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Posts Tagged ‘Francesca’

Cruisin' in PJ's on Christmas morning

Cruisin’ in PJ’s on Christmas morning

Where's Frankie?

Where’s Frankie?

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That’s right, it’s over.  I had such a delightful time while staying with Chiara and Tom and the two girls;  I wish I could have spent more time with Finley which is what they expect me to say.  However, I spent considerable time with Francesca;  We read, we drove to school, we looked at 245 Halloween photos three times.  I made her a rubber band bracelet, dressed her, undressed her and brushed her teeth and hair. We had several chats about this and that and silly questions were answered and I have been trying all day to remember what some of her destinations and professions were for “This little piggy…”, because they were clever!

I had to blow a kiss goodbye to Chiara because she was in bed and insulated with baby on her left and a crib and cat on her legs.   Last night was a rough night for Mommy, Fletcher did not want to go to sleep!  It might have been the birthday cake!  

I left Tia in charge and headed off to the airport with Tom and the girls.  Good thing I packed last night!  We made it to the airport in good time;  Tom had checked me in last night.  I mentioned that maybe I would check my bag  outside but Tom quickly dissuaded me with the tale of Chiara’s missing sunglasses.  When we got to the airport, I noticed Tom was heading towards Terminal A to drop me off – No, he was going to premium parking and he and the girls were going to walk in with me.  Everybody out and we are in a part of the airport, I’ve never seen.  We’re headed up the escalator to the concourse level and Tom asks me if I just have these two bags? Two bags? NOOoooo, I have 3 bags, where’s my computer? In the car….YIKES!  Tom says, “no worry, I’ll get it”.  He directs me to turn left at the top of stairs and head to what I think is going to be the Jet Blue counter.   

I have a suitcase, handbag and two little girls in tow and walking and walking and walking.  Francesca is distracted by the gift shop that is selling Minnie Mouse dolls and the fountain with the Lion’s head spouting water.  I am wondering why I’m passing restaurants and stores in an area where the check-in counters are?  The answer is you are NOT in the area where the check-in counter are, you are now at security.  I only have to wait a few minutes before Tom shows up with my computer bag.  I tell him that we’re at security and I wanted to check my bag in.  He says, “Why, you can take this one onboard”.  “I can’t because then I have 3 bags and I can only get with two”.  Tom: “They won’t care”.  Lori: “Yes they will, they are very strict about this”.  So Tom says: “Well put one of those bags into the suitcase”.  So typical of a man, just solve the immediate problem.  I’m concerned my glasses will be crushed as he jams my handbag into the suitcase.  It’s getting hot in the airport or I’m getting stressed and sweating.  I think it was the latter.  

I wend my way through the zig zag maze of stanchions and black tape up to the first checkpoint, dropping my scarf along the way (thank you sir).   As soon as I get to the counter I realize I don’t have my photo ID.  It is in the g__d purse which is in the suitcase.  Flushed with stupid embarrassment, I tell the Officer that I forgot it’s in my handbag in my suitcase.  I plop the suitcase down on the floor and fumble with which end the zipper pull is at since it is one of those which open at either end!  The lady behind was NOT happy.  The gods must have been smiling down on me because I was able to unzip, reach into the handbag and actually put my hand on the case with my license. Check!  Next, off with the shoes, put the computer in one bin, the case in another with my scarf, and shove the suitcase up onto the conveyer belt.  I have to tell you I DO NOT LIKE putting the computer through the scanner and then finding out there is only ONE line going through the body scanner.  I am straining to lean over and keep an eye my stuff, “Please raise your arms over your head”!  I step out and am about to go over to pick up my computer when one of the TSA people say, “Excuse I have to pat down your shoulders, please put your arms straight out”.  My shoulders? I don’t even had shoulder pads on!  

When you’re already stressed and sweating you can rest assured that the Gate you’re supposed to go will be the farthest one   away, the last one in the concourse and of course mine was!  Did you know that the Starbucks in the West Palm airport does not carry those very important green picks?  The ones that protect your hand from being burned by hot coffee as it bounces out thru the sip top while you are walking the mile and half to your gate?  Yes it’s true.

Aha there was an upside to this long walk.  I figured out way to get my suitcase checked in.  The seating area was filled and there was no one at the Jet Blue counter BUT there was a man at the entrance of the jetway and I marched right up to him and threw my son-in-law under the bus – Sorry Tom I had to do it.  I told the man that my son-in-law thought we were late so he got us to the concourse instead of check in to save time but I really didn’t want to carry on this suitcase, can you help me (big smile)?  Of course he could and probably would have done so even without my fabrication.  Again, sorry Tom!  

Finally at the door to the plane and what do I see but this very tall man dressed in a ground personnel uniform standing there with my suitcase.  I ask him if that bag is going to be checked and he asks me if it is my bag? I say yes and he tells me I can take it onboard if I wish – NO I do not wish!  THEN he asks me what I have in the cup and immediately I wonder if one is not allowed to bring coffee onboard.  I look a little startled and say: “Coffee” – he smiles and says: “You could have gotten Dunkin’ Donuts coffee onboard and for free”. Music to your ears, Tom?

Dunkin Donuts logo

Dunkin Donuts logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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From the title of this blog you might not think that things are winding down, but today it does seem like they are.  Of course not having to start the day with the hectic madness of school clothes, hair brushing, breakfast and off to school, does make a difference.   When I went to bed last night which was REALLY early for me, I was looking forward to sleeping in this morning.   First of all , I figured the girls would sleep late because we didn’t return from the Ocean Club till about 9:00pm.

Last night we went to a Friday night buffet and pool party.  The kids had a blast jumping in and out and swimming and jumping off the diving board.  I wish I could have taken a picture of Francesca jumping off the diving board.  Unbelievable!  And this was not one of those diving boards that you step onto, this was one you had to climb up to.  I have never seen a child that small actually jump off a diving board and she didn’t even hold her nose.  Anyway, the party was a throwback in time for me. OMG it was retro to the old GCA; Golf Club of Avon.  Even the characters were the same.  We sat under the stars and brightly lit half moon that just hung in the sky over us all.  The weather was warm, the drinks were cold and the food was plentiful.  So familiar…even Chiara said, “I’m living your life all over again”.

So I didn’t think it was too far-fetched to think that after hours of swimming and eating (a lot of sugar), those kids would sleep late and so would I.  And that Daddy was home so he would entertain them in the morning.  At 7:20am Francesca came into my room.  She climbed up to be with me, but not for long because the purpose of her visit was really to get me out of bed and into the living room where Daddy was laying down on the couch to watch cartoons with them.  I saw that there was little to no chance of me remaining in bed so I got up.  Tom proposed we go out to breakfast and then pick up Tia who was arriving this morning.     I didn’t think we had that much time; Tom thought she was arriving at 10:30 but I knew it was 9:30.  So Tom and girls headed  out to the airport and I stayed behind to make Chiara a really good breakfast, something she has been sort of skimping on this week due to Fletch’s feeding schedule.  I’m going to post the recipe which came from Confessions of a Pioneer WomanRee Drummond‘s famous blog.

We spent the afternoon at the Ocean Club, hence the SUN and SAND which was plentiful.  Lunch at poolside and once again I was taken back in time to Avon.  The kids spent time in the pool and then we went to the ocean.  The sun was glorious, Tom signed up for a surf board and Finley and two friends spent 2 hours getting up and falling off the board!  Finley did stay up long enough to float into shore – Uncle Joel and Uncle Justin take note!  SURFERS in the making.  We wound up the afternoon at the pool with a SANGRIA Blanco, NICE!

Tonight we are going to have a mini-birthday party for Francesca who turns 3 on Tuesday.  Since I’m leaving tomorrow, Chiara decided we could celebrate with dinner and invited her best friend who has 2 children fairly close in age to Finley and Francesca and so we had 4 kids plus Fletcher and 6 adults (you can get the picture).   The kids had pizza and we had SALMON!  And cake of course! Francesca had a ball opening gifts.  It wasn’t the gift that actually seemed to thrill her but rather the opening of the gift.  We had to hold off the older kids who so desperately wanted to help her.  Several threats of no dessert, a time out and the possibility of going to bed NOW were all invoked to keep the other 3 away from the presents.  Tia came through for them all;  She had assembled Halloween goodie bags for all 4 kids which amused them and held their attention for all of 2 minutes.

Well as you can see, things really have wound down.  There wasn’t any high drama today, there wasn’t anything too unusual going on around here, it was simply SATURDAY!  There was a very funny moment this evening when Chiara was discussing with Tom what Halloween costume would they wear when they went to a party with the theme:  Enchanted Halloween.  Ki has been online searching for appropriate attire and came up with a fairy-like outfit adorned with leaves.  Since they want to match somewhat, what does that leave (no pun intended) Tom to dress as?  The suggestion of stump came up but that was quickly withdrawn.  Chiara found a sort of shawl and hat that looked medieval and after ALL of the laughter died down, we all began firing out suggestions;  Maybe he could be a wizard, or a gnome or The Grim Reaper which put Chiara into hysterics, not to mention Tom who was more hysterical at the thought!  How about a Leprechaun? 

Pasha was quite evident tonight.  Wherever Mommy went or the baby, Pasha was soon to follow. Did you know that in Egypt Siamese cats were used to guard the throne of the King of Siam?  Pasha stands watch over our Prince.

Pasha Guards Fletcher

Pasha Guards Fletcher

Mommy, baby Fletch and Pasha

Mommy, baby Fletch and Pasha

It’s a wrap tomorrow morning!  I’m flying home, Peter will pick me up in Newark and we’ll head down to the shore.  LIfe just won’t be as exciting or as interesting to read about as it has been these past few days!  Oh well….

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OH, didn’t I tell you that my daughter’s Nanny does NOT speak English?  Oh yes, that little detail adds so much more to the running of the household, the raising of the kids, not to mention general communication.  It’s been a learning experience  for all.  I believe Belle joined the family in July, my daughter spoke no Spanish, my son-in-law speaks no Spanish, Francesca knew a little bit of Portuguese from the previous NY nanny and Finley was getting bits and pieces of Spanish at school.  That was then.

Fast forward to October and I find that my grandchildren can understand directions and instructions from Belle in Spanish, (most evident at mealtimes) and my daughter can have a conversation (albeit somewhat limited in subject matter) with her.  As for myself I am at a loss as to why only French words come to mind,  since I took in high school and you don’t really want to know how long ago that was!    I never took Spanish and never spent any time with someone who spoke it, but thought since French and Spanish were both Romance languages I would stand a chance communicating.  NOT SO!  There is very little resemblance between the words and of course the spoken word is completely foreign to me when pronounced with her Colombian accent.

This morning, Belle and I were the only ones up after the girls went to school.  We were in the kitchen together so we attempted some sort of conversation.  It’s amazing how much you can say and understand when you combine French, Italian and hand-gesture sign language.  BUT it’s not enough.  Galaxy4 to the rescue.  I have two apps on my new phone that have enabled to actually get a question answered or to say something to Belle.  One is Voice Search and that one is a riot.  Most of the time it gets it right but a couple of times the response were really crazy.  It operates on my voice asking how do you say___in Spanish.  Then the electronic voice ( I don’t know her name but she’s not Siri because this ain’t no Apple) comes on speaking my words in Spanish.  So I talk to the phone and then hand it over to Belle to listen to.  You can see how easily conversation flows NOT.  The second app is called Translate.  I type in a sentence and the phone translates it into Spanish, so again I’m on the phone and then I hand it to her.  This all makes for a discussion that no one else can hear.  Mmmm possibly a good thing!

We talked about the girls and about food and cooking.  We compared some notes and traded ideas.  She likes to cook with coconut oil and I’m into olive oil.  This morning I showed her how to fork split a Thomas’ english muffin so there would be nooks and crannies for the butter to ooze into.  We, as the older and wiser parental units, talked about child rearing and how the younger generation does things differently (do not read better).

Five friends are coming for lunch today to see the new baby.  Belle has been cooking quinoa with pistachio nuts, craisins, parsley and lemon juice as one of the dishes.  A vegetable lasagna is also prepared to be heated and there will be salad.  I’m not sure if I am included in this luncheon, but either way is fine with me.  I wouldn’t mind delving into my book for a while or actually going outside other than to get in a car to drive somewhere.  There is a pool outside but it appears to be black – the bottom is painted black Tom calls it The Black Lagoon.  No one is swimming in it, we think the filter is broken

INTERMISSION:

The Lake Ida gang of good friends arrived not just to meet and greet Fletcher BUT also to learn the gender of Leslie’s impending birth.  She brought dessert and very cleverly had one cup cake decorated in the appropriate colors.  Bets all around;  5 of us said it’s a boy and Chiara forecasted a girl.  You guessed it right?  The cupcake had pink frosting on it!

After the ladies left, there was maybe 15 minutes before the before the next visitor arrived;  I picked up Francesca at school (solo) (aren’t you impressed?) This visitor arrived with a bundt cake and 3 kids!  The cakes looked delicious and with a devil-may-care attitude, the mothers gave the kids slices of cake (Gigi does not approve of cake before dinner).  Now with 5 kids wired on sugar, let the fun begin!  Lots of racing around, lots of shrieks and then my sister called.  

Silly Putty

Silly Putty

She wanted to visit to see the new baby and the girls and me.  This would be the only time I would see her before she moved to Las  Vegas to marry her beau, Nick and start a new career as a hostess in the high roller room at a casino.  Nick has made all of the arrangements and she has assured me everything is on the up an up.  She needed directions to punch into her GPS.

This is when the real drama began;  Francesca needed me in the bathroom with her with the door closed.  About 4 minutes later I emerged to the sound of wailing, and I mean REAL loud crying.  What happened?  Well, if you’ve been to Florida you know the builders penchant for stone tile floors, granite counters and ceramic tile foyers?  Apparently during a wild chase through the rooms, one of the visiting kids slammed into the kitchen counter on the island AND knocked out a tooth!  She had a baggy of ice on her mouth which did little to muffle her crying!

Chiara says: ” I think Aunt Mardy called on your phone”.  I called her back and was greeted with: “It’s about time you picked up your phone”.  OHHHHHKAAY!  I just bit my tongue and calmly explained I had been otherwise occupied and did NOT bring my phone into the bathroom considering the fate of the iPhone5  the other night.  

She arrived laden with Halloween bags for the girls and gifts for Chiara, Tom and Fletcher.  And what do you think was in the goodie bags?  Glow in the dark Silly Putty – all the better to locate when stuck onto the couch, a microphone (batteries required) so one can be a Rock Star, Glo-sticks which she opened into glass jars with the girls to make Fairy Dust! and Hair Chalk!  Yes now the girls can paint their own hairs pink or purple, how convenient.  AND then the floor and leather chair were sprinkled with  blue powder! Fairy Dust? No, Finley opened up a small cylinder of this powder and spilled it.  She didn’t know it was the 2013 version of Pixie Dust which in my day, came encased in a straw – all the easier to suck up.  This innovation had a big sucker attached to a handle that after you sucked, you could dip it in the blue SUGAR!  Clearly by now you know my sister has NO children of her own!

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I’m writing this as fast as I can BEFORE the pain-killing lidocaine numbing effect on my left foot wears off!!!!  Sometimes I like to give you the climax of the story right up front…to get your attention kind of like baiting the hook.

And of course there’s more to the story.

This day actually started last night when I called Chiara’s neighbor, Christina to confirm what time she was going to pick up Finley to go to gymnastics camp. OHhhhh didn’t I mention that I was in Florida?  Well, if you’ve been following this blog, you know that no trip to Florida goes unscathed, so to speak.  So…back to the phone call.  Before Ms Organization left for a mini-vacation on a friend’s 4 bedroom yacht in Barbados (oh yes she lives well), Chiara wrote out the kids daily schedule.  The calendar said, camp was from 9am-12pm, and if I wanted  she could stay for the afternoon session, 2pm-3pm.  Christina said camp began at 8:30am and Matte was driving. So then I called Matte to ask her at what time should I have Finley ready.  Matte said 8:45am and she would bring Finley back at 12:30.

I was picking up stray puzzle pieces and random markers in the kitchen when all of sudden I felt this stab in my foot. Damn, I had stepped on something. It felt sharp but then almost anything you step on feels sharper and larger than what it turn out to be.  I tried to look at my foot but a)they were dirty from walking barefoot all day inside and out, and I didn’t have my glasses on.  Peering closer, I could discern as spot and what looked like a tiny piece of skin.  I thought it was like one of those cuts you can sometime get on the sole of your foot where the part that hurts is the little flap of tissue so I yanked it off.  Now my foot hurt because it had a little tiny opening in it, so I put some neosporin on it and a Dora the Explorer band-aid.  Two hours later it still really hurt when I walked on it.

When we got into bed, I told Peter about the incident (he had been out at the time) and said the damn thing hurt much more than it should given what I thought it was.  He looked closely (and yes I did wash my feet before getting into bed) and said, “You have a piece of glass in your foot”.  Forty-five minutes later I called off Peter’s intense mission to remove the sliver.  He denies it, but part of him was loving the task of trying to figure out how to extricate the shard.  Tomorrow is another day, maybe in the morning it will be easier. Oh WRONGGG!

It hurt a lot going down the stairs and I was hobbling in the kitchen trying to get Finley fed, Francesca fed and Finny out the door.  I asked Peter to get me a ponytail rubber band for Finley’s hair -it was upstairs in the top drawer in the kids bathroom.  He returned with a length of orange ribbon. Muttering several four letter words and poly-syllabic names at him, I went upstairs, opened the drawer, saw two little sating top boxes, opened one, took out the colored band and limped down the stairs, cursing all the way.

After Finley left for camp, Peter thought we should try again to get the glass out of my foot and to do so we should be in the bright sunshine. Francesca, Pete and I went in the backyard and sat down.  During the night, a brainstorm came to him, he would use a razor to slice the skin and sort of release the sliver so it could be easily  pulled out. I wasn’t exactly enamored with this idea and for the last half hour kept saying that I was going to go to a Walk-in Docs and see if they could do it.  Well I let him make several attempts to grab the piece but I know that tweezers cant’t really hold the grasp on a piece of glass. After a couple of OMG’s and Owwwwwws, I  knew this wasn’t going to work at all and went in the house where I immediately opened up my computer and went online to find a Walk-In Urgent Care facility.  I called, checked if they took Medicare (who am I kidding, this IS Florida) and said I would be in shortly.

Leaving the house with Frankie requires several things; she has to get dressed, she has to wear shoes, we have to pick out at least 3 books and we have to pack a snack to take along.  We are headed to Dr.G’s Urgent Care;  Peter is convinced we will spend hours there waiting to be taken I’m convinced I’ll be in and out because after all it is only a sliver. Turns out we were both right.

After filling out 5 pages of forms and signing my name at least 7 times and giving them my Medicare card and my Master card, because apparently this is a pay first before you get treatment place.  I thought that was a little strange, I mean after all, even doctors in New York City don’t make you pay before they treat you. But then again, this IS Florida and just maybe do you think they’re afraid the patient might expire before the bill was paid if it was sent in the mail?

In I go to Room #4 where soon a person comes in to ask me what medications I take – the fact that he asked me how to spell two of them was a little disconcerting.  Then he takes my blood pressure, my temperature and my pulse rate AND then he says I need to have an X-Ray. “An X-Ray”!?, I say, “I have a sliver, I can see it on my foot”. With that he walks out.  I sit and wait (we have been here at least 45 minutes). In walks a woman (not quite dressed like a doctor). She asks me some redundant questions and announces I MUST have an X-Ray pre and post because there is a foreign body in my body, and she leaves.  I sit and wait.  Along comes Ben who brings me a wheelchair and takes me to X-Ray.  Three pictures of my foot and I am back in Room #4.  Ben returns with a basin filled with brown liquid which I believe to be part Benzocaine, because I need to soak my foot and soften it up. Then he realizes that Room #4 is too small so back into the wheelchair and he deposits me in Room #2 and I soak my foot.

Tracey (the non-doctor, she is a PA) arrives shortly thereafter and wants to know how did I get the glass in my foot, how long has it been in and she’s seen the X-Ray and the sliver is really in there!!!!  I tell her how my husband wanted to try to slice open my foot and release the sliver and I shudder – She says, “How do you think I’m going to do it? I have a scalpel”.  After swallowing hard, I say, “But at least you’re going to make sure it doesn’t hurt”.  And then Tracey, aka Nurse Rachet, produces a hypodermic syringe  and says,”You’ll feel a little pinch” and proceeds to stab my foot.  I SCREAMED! Yes, I SCREAMED,” OWWWWwwww, oh my God”! Tears sprang to my eyes and I jerked my foot away.  This totally annoyed Tracey who asked me if I wanted her to slice open my foot without anesthetic?  I hesitated because there was no way I could imagine allowing her to jab me again and push in some burning liquid which I think was pure lidocaine.  She sat, needle in hand, awaiting my answer.  I said OK but and before I got any other words out the needle was in but this time it was only a pinch.  My interruption of the procedure had allowed some numbing take place so the second jab was only a pinch. Thank God!!!

She has an array of tools beside her; scalpel, several tweezer and other pointy things. She asks me if I feel that and I say no. The next thing I know she is yelling for Brian to come in and bring her an Eppi – an Eppi? That sounds familiar, thank you Grey’s Anatomy.  She can’t believe how much blood is coming out of my foot and wants to know if I’m on blood thinners or aspirin. NO, I’m not. She can’t see the glass because of the blood and the Eppi will stop it and sure enough it does.   More probing and finally a tiny piece of glass comes out.  Time for a post X-Ray.  She bandages my foot and I’m back in the wheelchair with Ben and off for two more pictures.

BAD NEWS! Tracey says there is still a good size piece in my foot. She asks for another lidocaine/eppi syringe.  Brian questions the combination but she says she thinks it works better that way.  I am sitting in this chair worrying about the time because by now it is 12:30 and Finley was going to be dropped off at home.  Luckily with some measure of aforethought, I called Christina (because Matte didn’t pick up her phone) earlier and asked her if she could get a hold of Matte and ask her to keep Finley if I wasn’t back from the clinic.  By now, Tracey is calling for help to hold open the incision (OMG!) so she can see better into the tunnel where she believes the rest of the glass is. Now she’s asking for saline and a syringe because she thinks she can flush it out.  After a while and  she is convinced she got another piece, she calls for Ben to take another set of X-Rays of the foot to make sure she got it all. Back in the chair and same old, same old all over again. It’s now after 1pm and I’m very concerned about both Finny who is with Matte who might have had plans for her own family and Francesca who has been out in the waiting room for over an hour. I ask one of the nurses to go ask my husband for my cell phone and glasses. What comes back to me is my cell phone and my sun glasses! OY VEY. I thought I might have Matte’s telephone number on my cell but I don’t so I did what I had to do and called Chiara in Barbados on the 4 BR yacht – did I mention she lives well? I explain to her where I am and why and she should call Matte and hope Finley can stay there till I return. Things are getting worse…

I’ve been wheeled back to Room #2 to await the development of the X-Rays number 6 and 7.  I can hear them talking in the hallway and as I hear Tracey say to Ben, “How can that be? Well at least it’s less than it was”.  My heart sank, I knew what was coming.  Sure enough, she’s back and giving me a song and dance about how she was sure she got another piece out, BUT the X-Ray showed that there was still a piece in my foot. Oh dear Lord…

At this point since she is now saying what she really needs is yet another pair of hands to hold open the incision and she is going in again, I ask her if the numbing is still in effect and just to make sure, she calls for another lidocaine/eppi cocktail.  Now there is serious flushing going on and another person with tweezers says she doesn’t feel anything (and thank God I’m not feeling anything either). Perhaps the tiny piece is in the third bloody basin. Encouragingly, Tracey announces that it looks like someone committed Hari-Cari in here! Geez did that ever make me feel good!!!! She calls for another set of X-Rays. Ben and I make our trip to the X-Ray room again where I put my foot on the table for numbers 8 and 9.  Really I will probably glow in the dark tonight. It’s pushing 3:00 and now that I have my phone I call Peter in the waiting room and suggest he take Frankie to MacDonald’s.  He’s resistant and I’m not sure why he is suggesting home but after about a minute of back and forth I give my usual blessing which goes like this: “Do whatever the f__k you want to do” and hang up.

I sit in Room #2 and wait and wait but I have lost all hope of ever leaving this place alive or at least in one piece.  Again I hear voices in the hallway and what I’m hearing only confirms that things are getting worse.  Tracey returns with a cadre of helpers and with the determination of General Custer decides to make another charge at the foot. Although she’s convinced she actually got  a piece and it is floating in the kidney-shaped basin, her two cohorts feel otherwise.  I thought it a good idea to remind her that glass doesn’t float and when one of them said that what she saw was tissue, I began to think about making out a will.

Nothing convinces Tracey like an X-Ray so she tells Ben to take another just to confirm that she got the piece.  Are you beginning to see a pattern here? Meantime Chiara calls me while I’m in the torture chamber and tells me not to worry about Finley, she’s fine and can stay as long as it takes.  X-Ray number 10 is taken, this time only one because Ben the technician has decided to defy the boss because he thinks I’ve probably had enough radiation for one day, ya think???

Number 10 like all the other preceding it confirmed  that STILL the sliver of glass remained intact and inside.  Tracey came in and threw up her hands and said,”I’m done”.  Mmmmmm here I am with an open bleeding incision, a piece of glass in my heel still, a 4 yr old in the care of others, a 2yr old and a husband wandering around Boynton Beach looking for a MacDonald’s and it’s after 3pm and SHE’s giving up??!!!  They left the room and left me sitting there wondering if someone would come back to bandage up my foot so I could…what? leave?

And then, she came back.  Tracey had decided to call in the big guns to do battle with the glass sliver.  She informed me that the “Doctor” was on the way, be here in 5 minutes.  Of course the 5 minutes was actually about 15 minutes before the “doctor” walked in.  She was given a briefing on the various procedures that failed to remove the splinter, she looked at the X-Rays and turned to Tracey and said, “You never cut deep enough”.  OMG not deep enough? She smiled at me and said I’m going to numb your foot and see what I can see. Oh and she also handed me the big lie, “you’ll feel a pinch”.  Of course I felt nothing because my foot had already been shot up a few times. She noticed that I didn’t scream or anything and since she knew the “pinch” was a BIG lie, she asked me if I felt the needle and I smiled and said “No” and added words to the effect that had this foot not been numb I would have been hitting my head on the ceiling about now.  Tracey concurred that the original “pinch” had produced a howling OWwww.

Doctor orders her instruments of torture, a syringe, saline, tweezers, and mercifully no scalpel because she did think perhaps the cutting was deep enough after all.  She squeezed enough saline in that hole in my foot that I began to wonder where does that all go? Some comes out of course and blood-red but…….?  Doctor made an executive decision and said that the sliver was too small to feel in there so best solution would be to see a podiatrist who could use a fluoroscope  to see where he should probe while he was actually probing.  Of course I was NEVER again going to allow a syringe of lidocaine to be jabbed into my foot, but they didn’t know that. I said I was going home on Monday and had my own podiatrist.  BUT just to make sure the sliver really was still there, I should have another X-Ray! Can you believe this? Even Ben was getting anxious about the number of X-Rays he had administered to me that day.  When I was in the room with him (and by the way I’m still wheelchair bound) he told me to wait and he would develop it right away and I could see for myself – and sure enough there it was, lodged into my heel and holding on for dear life.

Doctor said to give me the first and last X-Rays to take and strongly insisted that I take antibiotics and  anti-inflammatory/pain killers.  OK I agreed, anything to get out of there as it was now 4pm! And it’s possible that the body will reject the foreign body in due time, I was told. Umm I wonder what due time really means?  I made some remark about the 4+ hours I had been there and Doctor, who turned out to be Dr. G’s daughter was clearly disturbed and annoyed.  She had already chastised Tracey for using too much of the special tape, for wasting a needle, and she told Brian he had wasted a syringe by opening it up to contamination before giving it to her and also said something about the number of basins that had been used!  Clearly business and not medicine was the first priority here.

By the time I got the prescriptions – You HAD to know that Dr. G also ran a pharmacy? You’re not surprised, are you? I wasn’t but oh well the prices didn’t seem to out of line but what do I know, I’m hobbling again and have an Ace bandage wrapped around my foot and a piece of glass in my heel.  I was so shaken at this point that as soon as I got in the car, I started to cry and don’t you know within 30 seconds Chiara called (from the yacht in Barbados in case you forgot).  She already knew about the glass but didn’t know why I was crying! Really?? Seriously??

Now while all this was happening  to me, Francesca and Papa Pete spent 4 hours of quality time together! She never cried, she was happy to have him all to herself and she amused herself to no end. 

This was one strange day and NOT so Good Friday!

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

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Well it’s finally here; Tuesday the 15th and I’m going home today.  Back to New York City, back to my husband who I have missed and  back to my two cats who I hope have missed me.

Finley goes off to school and Francesca and I have breakfast and  I decide to give this blasted kitchen floor one more washing to see if I can get it really clean. I did and it didn’t.  I think Chiara is right, she has to get the floor steam-cleaned or try a scrub brush because the swifter dry-wet combo hasn’t worked and neither has a sponge mop.

Chiara returned and said, let’s get ready to go to the store;  We have to return the lamp for the toy room which was broken and  I’m sure as we stroll through the aisles of Target, any number of things will jump in the cart.  I’m looking forward to Target’s because Starbucks is there and this seems like a Venti morning for sure.  I have been packing up my stuff since yesterday and now I’m just about done.  It’s been a lugubrious task 😦

It’s really lovely and sunny today as it has been for the last week and I’m sure I will miss the weather.  Target was a bit empty but then again how can you really have any idea how many people are in a store the size of a football field?  Today it was less than 20 minutes before Frankie moved from buckled to un-buckled and in the basket to out of the basket.  She’s getting really good at this!  She enjoyed the Bath an dBedding department  because we saw Mickey Mouse towels and a Spider Man drinking cup and toothbrush holder.  Chiara is a feminist, there are three females and only one male in the house, well two if you count Pasha but he is neutered after all.  So what is the first thing Francesca says when she sees the Spider Man stuff? “That’s boy’s”? Yes she did and she often ends her phrases and sentences with a questioning rise in her tone.  Very cute!

She managed to try on at least 5 pairs of shoes on her own in the shoe department and pointed out the gender of a lot of toys while she and I waited for Mommy to make a decision about a lamp and a rug.  Eventually we filled two carts…oh didn’t I mention that we had two carts today?

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It’s time to pack up and head for the airport.  Feeling blue is an understatement but I try to make small talk along the way with Chiara and Finley.  Timing was perfect because when they dropped me off at the Delta departure terminal, all they had to do was drive over to the Jet Blue arrival terminal and pick up Tia who will stay with them for 2 weeks.  Help is never far away…and I learned later that evening that Tia wept tears of joy at seeing Finley and Frankie (and we all know Frankie is her favorite).

I got my suitcases, gathered up my blazer, swung my computer and handbag on my shoulder and kissed Francesca goodbye, hugged and kissed Chiara and went around to the other side of the car to kiss Finley goodbye and tried VERY hard to control my voice which was quivering and say goodbye and I love you very much to her.  She looked at me and saw my eyes were brimming so I just kissed her again and closed the door.  I decided to go into the airport to check my bag and there were no lines.  There was a reservations clerk and another Delta employee alongside of her who seemed to be a greeter. She was all smiles and cheery and asked me how I was.  AND that’s when I began to cry.  I couldn’t stop myself even though I knew I was making a scene. Thank God the area was almost completely empty.  I told her I had to leave the grandchildren and she immediately extended empathy and said she understood as we all love our grandchildren so much.  Asked me where I was going and assured me I would be back soon.  Valiantly I pulled myself together to get checked in and PAY for the suitcase which I find really ridiculous that you cannot have even ONE piece of luggage stowed!  When I got to the gate and sat down I called Peter and of course started crying tears of sorrow again.  This was going to be a rough ride home…  

Before boarding the attendants asked passengers to surrender their carry-on bags and allow them to go into cargo because the flight was full and overhead space as always limited.  Considering that Delta charges to put bags in cargo, gee what a surprise that everyone had a suitcase with them.  They also repeated company policy dictating only two pieces per person allowed and your handbag was one and my computer the other one.  I did have a bulging carry-on bag with me too.  I debated about what to do because I did not want to be embarrassed at the entrance to the jetway so I went up to the desk and asked if they were charging for the bags that they were now storing. “No” – well okay then, here’s my bag.  How nice to go down the narrow aisle carrying nothing more than my handbag and my laptop!!

And guess what? It was! NOT because I was teary but because there were two children in the row in front of me. One with her mother and grandfather and the other with the grandmother.  At least the one with the grandmother in front of me was well-behaved BUT OMG the one across the aisle was wild.  I think she was around two and she would NOT stop screaming.  You know that awful loud shriek and make-believe tears because there are no real tears just a long whining whimper and it went on and on.  The couple behind them were beside themselves.  They tried to change seats, they asked for earplugs.  I’m telling you she would not stop and the mother remained calm and did try several things to placate her but nothing worked.  I mean REALLY what did she want?  If it was to sit with Grandma, couldn’t they have switched seats?  Well actually they did pass both kids twice back and forth OVER THE HEAD of the man sitting on the aisle seat in front of me!!!  At one point the mother took the crying kid to the back of the plane and managed to get caught behind the food service which meant although I could still hear the crying (we all could), can you imagine what it was like for the people in the rows behind me who now had this kid right next to them?

The best part of the trip was yet to come.  Tom had a car service waiting for me at LGA. The nice young man took my luggage which came out almost immediately and had me home in record time.  

It’s always nice to come home!

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English: Logo of Target, US-based retail chain

English: Logo of Target, US-based retail chain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The store that is!  There’s just something about  the allure of big box stores.  Give a woman with a new house to set up and a car to get around and sure enough the GPS has found Target, Walmart, Home Goods, Pet Supermarket and Lowes

By midweek, the house is really shaping up and the only problem is each room that we tackle ends up needing something she doesn’t have or needs to be replaced.  So we set off for Target pronounced Tar-zhay when you want to pretend you’re shopping on Madison Avenue in Manhattan instead of a strip mall in Florida!  And this was no ordinary run-of-the-mill Target store.  NO, this was a SUPER TARGET.  Really it was like a Mall unto itself. And one of the best things about it was that there was a Starhucks cafe inside it.  Nothing like that extra shot to get you moving down those aisles.  Fortified finally with a Grande Americano I’m ready to roll.  I say finally because unlike my home in New York City where I can walk across the street and get my morning fix, here you have to really be dressed and get in the car and drive into the commercial district of Delray Beach to get to a Starbucks.  AH, but who knew that
Target was on target when it came to keeping the shoppers in the store and fueled to buy nonetheless.

Of course we have two carts because one of them is for bouncy bouncy child and one for the loot.  This store is SO BIG that Chiara gives me some of the items to locate and she goes off in another direction. She needs an ironing board, they don’t have any! Really!  She needs a small dish drying rack, like my sleek stainless steel one.  They don’t have any. She needs a few good knives, they only carry one line and they weren’t very good.  I have to continually return to her and report in what I have found that might replace what she really wanted, which of course she doesn’t so I have to return it to its appropriate aisle.  Mind you the store is ginormous and I’m not saying Francesca was crying…but let’s just say I dnn’t have any problem locating them – I have a good ear!!

Frankie always starts out in the carriage, even buckled in, but sometime between the “I hold it”  and “I’m cold” she is out of the buckled seat and into the basket itself.  This neccessitates cargo transference as 4 boxes of padded hangers and a toaster oven go into my basket which heretofore held only a small bottle of eye makeup remover and tinted moisturizer.  Now I’m hauling Vitamin water, Pampers Pull-Ups, and other assorted sundries.

The sun was extremely intense that day and believe it or not, with all the things I did pack to go to Florida, I forgot my sunglasses.  I knew I had to buy a pair today because I could hardly keep my eyes open in the car.  I ask a store clerk where they are and by the time she finished giving me directions, I knew the last sentence was going to be “….Turn right at the second star and straight on till morning”.  The sun glasses were truly at the opposite end of the store and it so happens that children’s shoes were there  too.  As I met up with Chiara I note that Frankie is no longer is the basket, she is now on the loose.  Francesca is a climber, a runner and a mischief with a mind of her own.  In other words she is TWO.  Chiara wants to go get something so couldn’t I just keep an eye on her for a minute? Well I could if I could spin my neck around 360 degrees!  She is moving at the speed of sound between the aisles and trying to keep her in one place while maneuvering my cargo barge on wheels and carrying a handbag is not an easy feat. For a while I had her amusing herself with the brightly-colored wristwatches but she was able to grasp them and soon she was trying to buckle a lime green Swatch-like watch to her arm all the while repeating, “Frankie’s watch”.

After the watches we moved on to Jewelry and the rows of dangling beaded necklaces were soon the source of a color-identifying lesson. Some she would lightly touch and say the color, otherls like silver and gold she looked to me for an answer.  She is so funny because of course she wants (and often does) touch everything but when you say to her, “Don’t touch”, she looks at you and holds both hands up in front of her with palms facing outward and says, “Just see”.  It is so cute, I can’t stand it.

By this time I am really wishing Chiara would return.  Frankie ran off so fast and into a main aisle, that in order to catch her, I had to abandon the cart with my handbag in it, so I could catch her and bring her back. Just as Chiara returned, Francesca removed her shoes and proceeded to walk around barefoot.  She was cruising down the center aisle with no shoes and Chiara and I were following her.  I turned to my daughter and said something to the effect that I found it rather interesting that she yelled at Tom and me for walking into the playroom with our shoes and here her daughter was walking barefoot in a public store, for God’s sake and let’s not forget that while the other one is in nursery school eating an organic  lunch, Frankie wolfed down a box of 4 chocolate truffles and wouldn’t even give me a bite. Oh how much easier life is for child number

two.   I reminded her that it was I who bought the lollipops about an hour ago but regardless she wasn’t sharing.  

Sticky fingers and all we headed for the check out counter.  We still had time to hit Walmart before Finley got home from school!

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