I’m not strong enough.

I’m going back on Zoloft – in fact, I just took my first dose a couple of minutes ago. I contacted my doctor’s office and requested a refill on my Ativan. Even though I currently don’t have insurance and thus can’t afford an in-office visit, I’m hoping that my doctor (who is also Dan’s doctor and therefore knows a lot about both of us and what’s going on in our lives and why we’re both such fucking basket cases) will take pity on me and just write the script. Actually, if he is the one who checks the message I sent in, I know he’ll do it. If it’s a random nurse, she’ll probably be a bitch about it and want me to come in. Blech.

I’ve tried too hard and for too long to beat this without medication, but I just can’t do it alone.


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Philly & NJ & traffic, oh my

I don’t talk about Philadelphia — my hometown — much. When I was born my parents lived on the second floor of a small apartment building in Rhawnhurst. After they split, we lived in Torresdale, on the second floor of a duplex. After my mom met and married her second husband and then had Puff, we moved to an old 3-story row home in Port Richmond. Of the three neighborhoods, Torresdale was probably the most family-friendly, but I loved Port Richmond. Multiple playgrounds, the library, and an open-to-the-public dock at the Delaware River were all within a 10 minute bike ride – and I rode my bike EVERY-FREAKING-WHERE (my mom nearly had a heart attack a few years ago when I revealed to her all the places I had, unbeknownst to her, ridden to and explored with my friends).

We moved from Philly when I was thirteen, Puff was two and three months, and my mom was seven months pregnant with Cat. Making the adjustment from growing up in a bustling city to living in the countryside was hard. But by 2000, three years after we moved, I had mostly adjusted. Now I feel like a fish out of water when we go down to Philly, though between memory and GPS I mostly know my way around. More than anything I can’t stand driving in Philly. I feel so closed in, and with a crappy sense of spatial relation, I’m always worried about hitting something. And I can’t stand how aggressive and impatient Philly drivers are. I’m not one to floor it the very second a light turns from red to green, much to the angry chagrin of the drivers behind me. And I won’t run red lights, or make illegal turns, or go more than five miles over the speed limit (unless I’m on a long stretch of back country road where there are no traffic lights, stop signs, cops, or many other drivers – in which case, ZOOM ZOOM BITCHES!). And god help the drivers who have to wait for me to parallel park via a 27-point turn – I’m horrible at judging spaces and I’m spoiled by parking lots for stores and a driveway at home. Sorry!

So on Sunday all four of us went to the Adventure Aquarium in New Jersey. The aquarium is very super convenient to get to for us – instead of coming into Philly via 76 and then getting on 1/the Boulevard, we stayed on 76 until we hit 676, and then took the Benjamin Franklin Bridge into New Jersey. A couple of minutes and turns later, we arrived at the aquarium. We made really good time, so we arrived and got parked a couple of minutes before the aquarium opened. And since we were so early, we scored the closest handicapped parking spot – great for Dan and Ryan too, ha.

One thing I remembered about the aquarium from a visit when I was in seventh grade was that food and drinks are allowed – and since we’re on a strict budget, the Adult Jenn definitely appreciated this! So we brought along with us several water bottles, and an insulated bag loaded with sandwiches, granola bars, applesauce and pudding, and some leftover candy from the kids’ Easter egg hunt the day before. We left the bag in the car, and took two water bottles with us. Alyssa brought her backpack (weighed down with her iPad, her Nintendo DSi, a cell phone she has in case she gets separated/for emergencies) and kept one of the bottles in there, and we hooked the other one on the back of Dan’s wheelchair (one great thing about wheelchairs, besides the obvious, is the convenient storage space on the back!). And on that note, I want to mention that the entire Adventure Aquarium is very wheelchair/stroller friendly: conveniently located and easily identifiable elevators, gently sloped ramps, wide doors and entryways, etc.

We went through the entire aquarium in about two and a half hours, which isn’t bad with two children and one person in a wheelchair. We saw all of the fish; I swooned over Bob, the adorable, photogenic, and photo-bombing loggerhead sea turtle; petted sharks, stingrays, starfish, and crustacean; oohed and ahhed over the cute penguins that are kept outside; and were in awe of the gorgeous jellyfish and magnificent sharks. The Shark Tunnel is A-FREAKING-MAZING. I could have spent hours in there, although it was a little disconcerting to be so close to some crazy-eyed shark who were clearly eyeing us up. But Ryan was getting antsy and Alyssa was a little freaked out, so we didn’t stay too long.

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CRAZY EYES.

Currently the Adventure Aquarium has a frog exhibit, Frogs: Nature’s Messenger. The exhibit is at the aquarium until the end of the month, and features over 20 different frogs (both land and water). From your basic American Bullfrog to toads (similar to the ones we have to dodge on the roads at this time of year, and again in early fall – it’s always fun to play, “Is That a Toad or a Leaf?” on a dark curving road) to poisonous dart frogs, there were a lot of cool frogs to check out. I had a tree frog when I was a teenager, so I’ve always been kind of partial to all frogs.

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After we wrapped things up at the aquarium, and let the kids pick out a few small trinkets at the gift shop, we headed outside to eat lunch next to the Delaware River. While the kids ate Dan and I plotted out the drive from the aquarium in NJ to the Smith Memorial Playground in Philly’s Fairmount Park. I have memories of going to this same playground when I was maybe five or six — most notably, the indoor wooden slide — and I wanted Alyssa and Ryan to get a chance to experience the playground before they get too old to care. Traffic was IN-FREAKING-SANE (mostly because it was such a beautiful day), but we finally made it, and Dan and I enjoyed the shade while the kids enjoyed the giant playground.

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(Ryan thought the graffiti-covered windows “came that way”)

Like all of our Philly trips, we didn’t head home until we had gone to Nifty Fifty’s for dinner. I first ate there when I was little more than a toddler, and the awesome food and nice service hasn’t changed much in nearly 30 years. Dan loves their cheesesteaks, and I used to go crazy for their cheese fries and Oreo milkshakes. These days I just grab a few bites from what everyone else is eating and call it a day. I can’t eat more than that, for one thing; and not ordering my own meal saves quite a bit when we do go to restaurants.

We hit evening traffic leaving Philly — first a multi-vehicle accident on the Boulevard, and then the typical congestion along the Surekill — but once we got off of 76, we were in the free and clear. The temperatures finally cooled enough so that we weren’t borderline-hot in the car (Dan’s car is always dysfunctional in one way or another; currently there is no A/C), and we arrived home in time for the kids to have a few minutes to play outside before it was time to drag them into the house and toss them in the tub. Dan and I were pretty beat at that point, so we crashed not long after we put the kids to bed.

(Mandatory disclosure: the lovely people at the Adventure Aquarium provided us with free tickets and comped parking.)


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Say NO to Kitchen Odors

How to remove garbage odor
Everyone at least once in the lifetime faced the problem of garbage odor from the disposal. You may wonder why it happens, but the answer is very easy. Sometimes mucous leftovers are accumulated inside the garbage disposal, especially if it used not accurately. Garbage residues which were placed into the disposal may remain on the inside surface. The leftovers start to rot and decay and that is why an unpleasant smell appears. To get rid of leftovers you should pour a glass of boiled water into the garbage disposal in order to cleanse its edges. After that you can put there lemon or orange peels and smash them.
To avoid appearance of the smell from the garbage disposal you should wash it with a stream of water every day after it has been used. One more method is to put the cork over the disposal after you have used it. Then you should fill the sink with a mixture of water and soap or any other cleanser. Then pull out the cork and turn the disposal on. Cleaning water will produce a lot of foam which will cleanse the inside surface perfectly.

remove odors from your home How to remove odor from the refrigerator
If you leave food in the refrigerator for too long then an unpleasant smell appears in it, or sometimes some products tend to rot and produce special gas. The first thing that should be done is to throw away spoiled or doubtful food and remove all the other products from the shelves. Then make sure that there are no splashes and dirt on the surface. After that you can put a cotton pad soaked in extract of vanilla in a basin and place it in the down put it at the bottom of the refrigerator. Coffee beans, vinegar and soda can also be used the same way. It is interesting that newspaper placed in several parts of the fridge is able to absorb smells.
Sometimes an unpleasant odor comes from the drip tray, which accumulates liquid which appears while defrosting. Even if the liquid is not visible, it still can provoke an unpleasant smell because of the presence of mold in it. That is why the drip tray should be removed and thoroughly cleaned with the help of bleach. It can happen that a drain which leads to the drip tray can accumulate dirt and mold. It can cause an unpleasant smell and even a breakdown.

How to remove odor from the trash can
We use the trash can every day while cooking. If not to remove the garbage after every cooking session then an unpleasant odor is ensured. It can spoil the process of cooking as well as the appetite and the atmosphere of the whole kitchen. Rotten food provokes appearance of bacteria and if you can’t throw the garbage away in time then you must know how to get rid of the consequences.
If you haven’t washed the trash can yet or just was doing it rarely then you should start to do it at least once a week. Especially effective is to take the trash can outside and to wash it with a strong jet of water. Then take some coal briquettes and put them in the bottom of the can. But you must be sure that it is not processed with the lighter liquid. You can also use it for absorbing odor from refrigerators or closets. One more method which is very effective is to put a layer of soda on the bottom of the trash can before you put there a trash bag.

How to remove odor from the stove
Very often when you cook something on the stove it produces certain smell. Sometimes this smell is not very pleasant especially if you cook cabbage. First of all you should remember that kitchen hood must be always turned on in order to reduce the smell of the cooked food. You must turn it on before you start to cook. To run the kitchen hood even if you don`t fell the smell is very effective because it absorbs the smell of gas which can be harmful for your health and the health of your kids. The stove should be cleaned after every cooking session with the help of warm water and mild cleanser which you usually use for dishes. Odors from the remnants of food on the burner pan can be removed when it turned on. Don`t forget to remove splashes immediately in order for them not to dry up, because in this case it will be harder to remove them. Burners should be cleaned thoroughly in warm water and mild cleanser for dishes. In order to do everything correctly you should consult the manual. Some parts of this articles was written based on content of educational websites like wikipedia, wikihow, wikitalks.com


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ID Tags And Accessories For Dogs

Some dogs may get lost or stolen at any instant. Dog owners need to take steps to make sure that they could find their canine companions. A custom collar should be wrapped around any dog that’s taken outside for walks on a leash. A personalized metallic tag should be attached to the collar. Such a tag may have engraved information about the dog and the dog’s owner. For example, the contact information for the owners should be listed on a collar tag. Additionally, the name and official registered canine ID may also be included on a metallic dog tag. Nickel and stainless steel are some of the most popular materials used to make such accessories for dogs.

Collars for canine pets are usually made of high quality leather that’s bonded in Britain or Italy. The leather should be soft and smooth as to prevent any allergic reactions in dogs. Additionally, leather collars shouldn’t be too resilient and tight on a dog’s neck. In fact, hypo-allergenic material may be applied to the inner linings of leather dog collars. Shades of brown and black are the most popular finishes for these types of accessories for canine pets. Personalized leather dog collars should have adjustable straps and other secure locking mechanisms that provide reliable attachment to a leash.

The color of a collar can be customized based on a specific dog. For example, a small female toy dog can wear a pink collar while a large working dog should wear a black collar.


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Easter eggs & allergies

The changing weather is kicking my ass. First it was migraines, now it’s allergies that either trigger a migraine, or just leave me in a total congested, itchy, coughing fog. Robitussin + Claritin + Flonase + Excedrin seems to be a pretty sweet combination, though a disconcerting side effect is feeling somewhat disconnected from my brain.

You know what’s fun? Going to bed after midnight on a Friday night, and being wide awake shortly after 7am on a Saturday. Oh, and then your child waits until 20 minutes before a 10:00am Easter egg hunt to 1) tell you about it and 2) express his desire to go. You, meanwhile, are still in your PJs and in the middle of dusting ceiling fan blades.

But I hustled, the kids hustled, and we were at the church that was hosting the Easter egg hunt at 9:57am. Three minutes to spare = Mom Win (and that was even with my car’s shifter sticking at first, which it now seems to do if I don’t drive it for a couple of weeks). Even though we don’t attend church, the kids were familiar with this one since they’ve been there before for VBS – and some of the staff recognized them.

After the hunt, arts & crafts, cupcake decorating, face painting, and lunch, we were back home. I cleaned and baked for several hours, grabbed an allergy attack induced nap (MOTHER NATURE IS TRYING TO KILL ME AND I THINK SHE IS SUCCEEDING), and now it’s after 7 and, ugh, early day tomorrow… we’re going to New Jersey’s Adventure Aquarium, courtesy of a product review. The distance is about the same as when I go to visit my dad in Philly, though this trip will have the added benefit of crossing the Delaware River – and of course spending the day checking out all sorts of aquatic animals. :)


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Hello! I'm Jenn, and this is my blog. I'm 29, married to a sexy man named Daniel, and mother to a nine year old girl named Alyssa and a seven year old autistic boy named Ryan. I'm obsessed with all things hot pink and/or glittery; I'm a crazy cat lady (5) and Betta fish hoarder in the making; and I work from home full-time doing what I enjoy: SEO and web design. I love digital photography, and I dream in CSS & HTML.
- @kissmykitty on Twitter

 

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