Chloe Pants

I decided to set aside the traumatizing photos from my youth for a while and instead, share a story about my little friend Chloe. Chloe is the gorgeous 2 ½ year old daughter of my friends, Tim and Debbie, and she was recently diagnosed with autism. Her whole family is rallying together to participate in a 5k Walk on May 21st to raise funds for the Cure Autism Now Foundation.
This seems to be the time of year for really great causes, because I’ve read about some of the wonderful things many of you are doing to support various organizations this year. But this one hits close to home for me since I’m pretty sure at one time or another, Chloe has thrown up on me. Where I come from, you can’t get much closer than that… at least that’s what I would always tell my college roommates while they were holding my hair.
Besides, can you even handle these photos? Hey! What’s that red, pulpy thing on the floor over there? Oh, I’m sorry. That’s my heart, which just EXPLODED OUT OF MY BODY when I looked at this picture!
[“It is futile to resist my adorableness”]

[“Wait… you’re not still trying to resist, are you?”]

[“Hank Hill” and the little fairy princess]
If you would like to learn more about Chloe, and make a donation to support Team Chloe Pants, please visit Walk Now Chicago – Team Chloe. Click on the team member of your choice on the right hand side to make a donation (so far Chloe is smoking the rest of her family in terms of individual donations… it’s those hypnotic eyes, I think).
Now, I haven’t even shared this news with Tim and Debbie yet, but I’m actually working on a second fundraiser of my own for Chloe, called the “Help Fund Chloe’s First Perm” campaign. Since I don’t have children of my own, I have decided to devote my time and energy toward making everyone else’s children look like they could be mine. I’m also getting Chloe fitted for green contact lenses, but that’s Phase II. The optometrist said something stupid about “her eyes still growing” and “severe infection.” That’s $99 he’ll never see again.
[She’s sad, because her hair isn’t curly. Yet.]
Thanks everyone for reading, and I hope you enjoy the insanely adorable pictures. This is an important cause that will help fund research into a disorder which is still very much misunderstood, so any support makes a difference. And ladies, please collect your exploded uteruses (uteri?) on the way out. I like to keep a tidy blog. Thank you!
[Click below for one super bonus photo]


Volunteers Needed

“Volunteers Needed,” was the subject line of the department-wide email sent out on Friday morning. Normally, I would just delete such an email without opening it, but my only option was to read the other unopened emails in my inbox which were titled, “This is the third time I’ve requested this report,” and “Christ, does anyone even work in the marketing department?!” so it seemed to be my best alternative.
The email read as follows:

As you all know, Valhalla Inc. is committed to providing employees with a safe work environment. In the event of an emergency, we need to be prepared to react quickly and ensure the safety of all employees. Currently, however, we are very short-handed on our fire safety team.
Additionally, we don’t have anyone on our side of the floor who is CPR/AED certified. Please contact me if you are interested in volunteering for either of these opportunities. Thank you!

I almost wished I had just deleted it because now, having heard the cry for help, I couldn’t ignore it. But… me? On the fire safety team? The last time we had a fire drill, I limped for a week after having to trudge down the 23 flights of stairs. Being on the fire safety team is a big responsibility. It means that in the event of a fire, I would have to don a blaze orange vest and cap, calmly direct everyone to the nearest fire exit, and stay behind to ensure that everyone had safely cleared the floor before heading down myself.
And while the “staying behind” part might seem the scariest, what concerns me the most is wearing that orange cap. I’ll put the vest on, no problem, but do you have any idea what my hair looks like in a baseball cap? I was never one of those girls who could look cute in a cap, all sporty, yet still sexy, the kind of girl who might pull a ponytail through the back of her hat, so it would swing rhythmically while she walked down the street.
Sadly, this is really what my hair looks like in a baseball cap:
Now, some people may read this and think, “Oh, that Jenny. She’s just exaggerating again for the sake of humor.” And my response to those sweetly naïve people is, “You’re very kind, but no, I’m not exaggerating.”
If you need any further proof, let me share with you this photo I dug out of the box of nostalgia I recently reclaimed from my mother’s house. Behold, my softball photo from what I’m guessing is about 1980 or 1981, so I would have been about nine or ten years old. See if you can find me.
[click to enlarge]
Having trouble? Here’s a closeup:
Now just try to imagine a baseball cap on top of that melon. It’s not a pretty sight, trust me. This photo also serves as partial explanation as to why I was mistaken for a boy until I was about 28.
I replied to the email, stating that I was interested in volunteering, but wanted to find out if the orange cap was optional. I added that I would gladly carry the cap and use it to direct my colleagues to the nearest fire exit. But the response was that wearing the cap, along with the blaze orange vest, was non-negotiable.
This left me with no alternative but the CPR/AED training. Like many people, the only experience I had with CPR was from my junior high school health class. I remember well the awkward moment when we each had to kneel down in front of the legless Resusci® Anne and give her mouth-to-mouth, but only after sterilizing her gaping and teenage germ infested mouth with isopropyl alcohol.
“If I hear any more giggling, I will start handing out detentions!” yelled the health teacher/wrestling coach/girl’s basketball coach. “CPR is no joke!”
Would there be similar snickers from my colleagues? What if, just as I began the chest compressions, my VP yelled, “OHMIGOD! Jenny totally just got to second base with Resusci® Anne!” Would I blush? Would the instructor throw him out?
And then, what if I actually have to someday use my new skills? What if I have to breathe life into the limp body of that accounting clerk who refuses to add me to the distribution list for monthly P&L’s, even though I’ve asked her to add me at least seventeen times? What if I have to sweep her mouth clear of vomit with my bare fingers? Will I hesitate? Might I choke under pressure?
I hope I’ll never have to find out, but after my corporate sponsored training sessions in a couple weeks, I will be known by all as Jenny Amadeo, CPR/AED trained associate for the southwest side of the 23rd floor. It has a nice ring to it, I think.