My First Ever Celebrity Encounter--Shabbat with Chelsea Lately

(Most of you know Monique, Trifecta member, over at A Day in the Life of a SurferWife. She is famous for her weekly posts on various celebrity encounters (read: I am totally stealing her idea with this one). Please head over to read them, tell her I sent you, and follow away!)

It was fate, and it was going to be EPIC.

I skipped into Rainy Day Books last Wednesday after my class at the JCC looking for a book my professor had recommended because I'm nerdy like that. They didn't have it, but they had another book I wanted, Anita Diamant's latest, Day After Night. As I was checking out, I noticed a flier for Chelsea Handler's book signing event for her brand new Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang.

I nearly passed out right there in the store. Struggling for breath, gripping the counter to hold myself up, and fearing my eyes were playing tricks on me, I peppered the saleswoman with questions.

"Chelsea Handler is coming HERE on FRIDAY?" (affirmative)
"You mean HERE, to Rainy Day Books?" (affirmative)
"I get to see her? All I have to do is buy her book and she'll sign it?" (exasperated, but affirmative)
"Wait, let me get this straight. Are you sure I will get to meet her? And she'll really sign my book?"
"Tell me again how this works." (eye rolling from saleswoman, coupled with an audible sigh)

I hurriedly paid for my book, raced home and began the search for girlfriends to accompany me. I mass emailed, I tweeted, I texted, I called. I left many ridiculously annoying messages. Shelly Kramer and Lara Shelton came to my rescue. Here we are waiting outside in line last night:

(I'm on the left and the crafty, creative Lara of La Plates is in the sunglasses)

(you can just barely see Chelsea hopping out of the car surrounded by her SWAT team)

(The line to get in was long & snaked around. But it moved quickly)

(Shelly Kramer (Twitter Queen, Social Media Expert) on the left & me on the right, just about to get in)

So I get into the bookstore and there's another line. It's like that movie Labyrinth, only with books and shelves instead of tall green hedges. And there's no David Bowie. I'm getting all swirly and disoriented and claustrophobic. The line keeps inching forward very quickly and I'm balancing my baby wipes, ticket, and book (baby wipes were a gift for Chelsea, if you don't get it then you haven't watched last week's shows) while thinking of funny things to say to impress the Queen of Late-Night Comedy.

"Shalom, Chelsea! Welcome to Kansas City. Here's some homemade challah (I honestly thought about doing that but she'd probably think it was laced with laxatives or something and just throw away my hard work) for you!"

"Good Shabbos, Chelsea (It was Friday evening, after all)! You are my long lost Jewish sister! Will you please write, "To the Best Little Mensch in the Whole Wide World: I Love You! Love, Your BFF Chelsea."

"Chels, I figured you might need some baby wipes to freshen up before your gig at the Starlight. Not that you smell or anything. You could never smell. I mean, you're like, perfect and gorgeous and so funny and smart! (then blubbering)"

While I was waiting in the snaky line, I stopped and took a photo of books that you must own if you have a girl. If you don't already own these, get thee to Amazon.com immediate to rectify this deplorable situation:
(Fancy Nancy and Olivia series)

Anybook, the moral of the story is: I am not Surferwife. I was not all cool, savvy, and prepared. I take terrible pictures. They wouldn't allow photos with Chelsea, and the closest/best shot I got of her was this one, take it or leave it:

I was shoved in front of her so fast it made my head spin. She said, "Hey Erin," and started scribbling while I blabbed about the baby wipes I'd brought her so she could freshen up before her stand up at Starlight. She smiled and had a glazed look about her and then I was pushed directed towards the door where I had to make my exit. It happened so fast it was a blur, but definitely nothing like I'd anticipated. I had hoped for some real interaction, but apparently my gift was crap compared to what my kiss-ass friend Lara gave her. Go here to read her take on the evening.

And here's my autograph. I really wanted her to make it out to "Peaches," (you won't get it if you didn't see last week's episodes) but there was a scary bossy woman who said it had to be just your name and that was all she would write, and clearly my name isn't Peaches.

The End.


Mother's Day is Nearly Here: Things I Wish I'd Known Before They Sliced Me Open

Since Mother's Day is nearly upon us, I thought I'd take this opportunity to tell you what I wish I'd known/realized prior to the arrival of my twin girls. Our next door neighbor gave birth to a baby girl last week, so I've been flooded with nostalgia and memories. Beware, not all are pleasant (p.s. I had a c-section). I also realize this day is difficult for many of you who are struggling to become pregnant. I've been down that road, too, and certainly never imagined I'd be writing a post like this. I am keeping you in my thoughts & prayers and sending lots of baby dust your way....

1.) People say "Oh, you'll just know when you're in labor." Guess what? I was 3 cm dilated, fully effaced, and had no clue except for the hellish contractions I was having (that I'd been having for several weeks) and the feeling that there was a rather large bowling ball in my nether regions.

2.) Your nurse(s) can make or break the entire experience. One will have no pity for you as you lie there like a beached whale as you're moaning and groaning, while another will give you ice chips, push your sweaty hair out of your face, and tell you in a soothing voice that everything will be okay even though she's lying through her teeth.
(Yes, this is me. Yes, you may look like this. Yes, it is downright scary & humiliating. Be prepared.)
3.) The spinal hurts. But apparently it works so quickly that they have to lay you right down as soon as they've given it to you, lest you lose all control and roll off the table like some giant boulder.

4.) Amazingly, your belly that's been so cumbersome, heavy, and suffocating suddenly becomes weightless upon administration of said spinal. I wasn't sure how I was going to breathe lying on my back for the delivery, but I literally felt nothing. Thank goodness, because that giant snake of a catheter was my biggest fear.

5.) The downside of a c-section is that you don't get to hold your baby/ies until the anesthesia wears off and you're able to wiggle your toes. This took several hours for me. The nurses brought me Polaroids from the NICU. I was so anxious to see and hold them, but for the life of me I could NOT make my toes move. Once I finally did, they wheeled me there and it was the most incredible moment of my life.
    (this is Baby Abby, roughly 2-3 hours old. Try not to notice how fat my face is.)

6.) While you lose a ton of weight immediately following the birth and begin feeling svelte as soon as you're wheeled from the OR (being able to see my feet again for the first time radically disillusioned me), make no mistake. You still look very fat pregnant. This is me the day I came home from the hospital:

    (Thanks Dad for the unflattering angle & my mouth was full of the lasagna dinner my mom made)

      7.) During my first night at the hospital, I was quite certain I was wetting (or pooping) the bed as I felt warmth and wetness spreading underneath me. I was alone because I'd made Hubs go home, figuring at least one of us should get some sleep. I was catheterized, so I couldn't get up. Couldn't reach the light switch to see for myself. Started crying and hit the call button, my face hot with shame. The nurse came in and I started apologizing and blubbering about what I'd "done." She checked me and assured me it was just blood. And gently reminded me I still had a catheter and therefore it was not possible to piss myself.

      8.) I started having wicked pain in my shoulder. Since I couldn't sleep anyway, I started imagining all the horrible things that might be wrong with me (infection setting in, sepsis, etc.). It got so bad I had to call the nurse. "It's just gas," she said. "Gas?" I gasped, "in my shoulder?" She nodded and said there really wasn't much to be done about it until I could get up and start moving around the next day.

      9.) The next morning my catheter came out and I was allowed to get up after some breakfast and pain meds that almost made me barf damn Darvocet. Since my girls were in the NICU, I had to go to them. I walked, pushing a wheelchair. But I didn't realize how much the surgery took out of me, and later that day Hubs had to wheel me back and forth to the NICU.
      10.) TMI (too much information warning) When you first stand up the next morning, there's a lot of stuff waiting to slosh out. When this happened to me, I clapped my hand over my mouth and screamed. "What's wrong?" Hubs asked (don't forget, he's a doctor). "Is that my uterus on the floor?" I asked, pointing to the bloody hunk that appeared to be the size of some internal organ (uterus seemed the most logical option given that I'd just had twins). Hubs snorted and said, "No, it's just a clot." I immediately tried to bend down to retrieve it before the nurse could, and the pain nearly took my breath away. "Don't worry, honey," the nurse patted me. "I see this all the time." I started crying again. I was so embarrassed.

      11.) Breastfeeding was incredible...while it lasted, which wasn't long. Preemies are notoriously bad at latching. Plus I had two babies to feed. Once my milk came in, I realized my body is a miracle. And so were my tiny babies. And so was my Medela Pump In Style. But your breasts will feel like rocks sometimes.

      12.) Look out for hospital crap that comes on trays  food. Go for the jello & grilled cheese or send some doting family member/friend to pick something edible up for you.

      13.) Don't let the lactation consultants manhandle you if you aren't comfortable with it. And any modesty you had prior to giving birth (even if by c-section) will go out the window as your breasts are constantly being used and the staff needs to check your incision/stitches.

      14.) There is nothing like loading up your baby/babies to bring them home for the first time.

      (Going home on New Year's Eve, 2005, after 3 weeks in the NICU)
      (so tiny in their car seats!)

      I wish I'd known the immense love my heart could hold.
      I wish I'd known how that love could move me beyond the pain of my surgery.
      I wish I'd known that my maternal instincts would kick in immediately.
      I wish I'd known that only I know what is best for my children.
      I wish I'd known that my breasts would leak every time I heard a baby cry, even if it was
      someone else's child and I was sitting at dinner in the middle of a restaurant.
      I wish I'd known that I would meet other moms of twins when I needed them most.
      I wish I'd known how often I'd call my own mother for advice, answers, and assistance.
      I wish I'd known how much I'd need and appreciate my husband.
      I wish I'd known that sometimes I'd just sit and stare in disbelief.
      I wish I'd known the exhaustion would bring me to my knees, but I still felt lucky.
      I wish I'd known to trust myself more, to believe in myself as a mother.
      I wish I'd known that all those fertility treatments would ultimately bring me to this day.

      To all the other moms out there, and my mom friends:
      You are incredible, amazing, intelligent, funny, and you have the hardest job in the world.
      You are honest, emotional, elated, stressed, tired, busy, friendly, and selfless.
      I don't know what I would do without you.
      I am proud to call you my friends.
      Happy Mother's Day to you all!

      To the women who don't have children yet, but who are desperate or unable to become mothers:
      You are not alone. I have been there. I know your pain.
      Mother's Day is hard, there's no question.
      I am sending you hugs. I know your pain.
      Let the tears roll if it helps you feel better.
      I am sending you hugs and healing prayers.


      Introducing Our New Green Stamp of Approval, or, A Fun Button I Know You'll Want to Use in Your Own GREEN Post!

      Deb over at Menopausal New Mom and I have been getting our GREEN on a lot lately, and Deb decided we should make our features a semi-regular thing. Lee of Road Trips For Wine and  Observe and Distort was kind enough to design this cute little button just for us. So from now on whenever you see it, you'll know a product, idea, or company, etc. has our official Green Stamp of Approval and you can trust that we've already done the homework for you. Should you decide to do your own green post, please feel free to nab this button and link up with us! Already Tracie over at Stir-Fry Awesomeness has done her green deed du jour. Please head over to her place to see her gettin' all Martha Stewart what she's been up to. Deb over at Menopausal New Mom has gone green by giving new life to old items, so head over there for her practical and easy green tips.

      This weekend the girls and I went GREEN by perusing a local farmer's market on Saturday morning, where we scored some homemade rhubarb and strawberry preserves, pasta, arugula, and raw honey, among other things.

      (for those of you in KC, we visited the Old Overland Park Farmer's Market at 80th & Metcalf)

      It's GREEN to shop local and support nearby farmers. The produce is fresher since it's bypassing the grocery store, and therefore it lasts longer. Straight to you from the farm. I was quite pleased to see it was crowded (we don't often go, but I intend to make this a habit and teach my girls as we go along) and I lingered as long as the girls would allow me. Afterwards we made a quick stop at Whole Foods (another thing I'm making a habit of)---oh how I love that store! I used the arugula in a salad with some pears, pecans, and parmesan cheese. It was delightful! I broiled salmon to go with the spinach lemon herb pasta---delish! It feels incredible to eat things that are so fresh, natural, and good for us.

      Later we passed something that brought a huge smile to my face--our local Ripple Glass collection dumpster. It was overflowing! I got about 12 kinds of verklempt and had to stop for the photo op. Here in KC, our recycling crews will not take our glass from the curb due to the danger involved--which means many people are just throwing it in their garbage cans. Fortunately Ripple Glass has given us a solution. They have set up these big purple beauties everywhere (read: you have no excuse, everyone can find one that's convenient) and you can drop your empty wine beer glass bottles, jars, etc.off there.

      (for those in KC, this is the location in Corinth at 83rd & Mission, but there are many others!)

      Have you done something GREEN lately that warrants borrowing our awesome button? Let us know! Better yet, write your own post about it and link up!

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