Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things

I love singing to my kids at bedtime.  As they get older it doesn't happen quite as much.  Little Bee will talk my ear off about all the wonderful things that happened that day and my son is a typical nine year old boy not caring for it quite anymore.  How I long for those days where we would all snuggle in bed together and sing with one another.  I miss those days.  My heart aches for them.

My daughter still loves me singing to her or singing along with me when we can fit it in at the end of a long day.  Sometimes I will stretch her bedtime routine out just to do so.  Tonight was one of those nights.  One of our favorite songs is "My Favorite Things" sang by Julie Andrews in the movie "The Sound of Music".  How we love the music in that movie.

Today we sang it several times together before I asked her the things that make her sad and what are a few of her favorite things.  Here's her list:

Sad things:

Cat scratches
Boo boos
Fighting with her brother
Mommy and Daddy being mad or yelling at her
Flying bugs annoying her (I laughed at this one because they were pestering her outside earlier when she wanted to practice her cartwheels.)

Favorite Things:

My Family
Playing with the cats
Snuggling with Mommy
Bedtime with Daddy...tickle wars
Playing games with her brother
Her sister spending time with her and letting her play on her phone & I-pod. (Oh technology!)
Her Uncles visiting her (they're coming next week!)
Her Toys
Shopping (Oh boy, I'm in TROUBLE!)

Her list was L-O-N-G....
It went on
and on
and on
and on...
until I had to end the fun and tuck her in for the night.  Part of her was having fun with it, the rest was stalling off the inevitable.

After tucking her into bed I went into Goalieboy's room where he was reading a Roscoe Rules book.  He was reading and he liked it...SCORE!  Reading is a constant struggle with him so I celebrate when he finds a book (especially a series) that he will read.  I'm hoping this streak continues.

He didn't want to go to bed (of course) but wanted me to lay with him.  He has a lot of trouble falling asleep at night this last year.  Lots of anxiety and worries for a child so young.  He didn't want to sing with me or have me sing to him but I was pretty persuasive.  In the end he even joined me.  Victory!  My sweet little boy is still inside the tween he's becoming.  I then proceed to ask him what made him sad and what made him happy.  He was very precise, so neither list was long but heartfelt.

Sad things:

His fish dying (I wanted to cry.  It's been weeks but it still haunts him.)
Mommy and Daddy being mad at him
Little Bee "beating him up"

Favorite things:

Playing with Little Bee

Looking at their list of favorite things I am very proud that family comes first.  We all agree that we are nothing without family.  The primary sad things centered around family too...upsetting or fighting.  Those are definitely things to be sad about and things we can all work on together.  I look at these lists and even though some of the sad things are really sad they are okay.  I am proud of my kids and just looking at their lists I see that they're priorities are straight and the rest of the things are age appropriate.  I love them with all my heart.

Here is a list of some of my favorite things:

My family
Time with my husband
Happy kids
Weekends with my stepdaughter (Dancer Girl)
Peace and quiet
No arguing
My friends-Supportive and Fun
Ice Cream

My sad things:

My kids disappointing me (fighting, not listening)
My husband working two jobs and long days
My husband making many sacrifices to keep a roof over our heads
Being unemployed
Little time to spend with Dancer Girl
Not being able to do or give my kids more
Not being able to go on a fun vacation with my family
Not always being a tolerable person (as in I get upset and frustrated easily at times)

I'm okay with my lists.  My family is and will always be my top priority through thick and thin.  I am who I am because of them.  They keep me going and I'm proud of each and every one of them.  I will move heaven and Earth for them. My sad things are unavoidable.  I'm working hard to change the things I can and accept the things I can't.  The important thing for me is to focus on being happy as a family and keep making changes for the better.

What are a few of your favorite things?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tooth Fairy Nightmares

Holy shit, I almost forgot the tooth fairy was visiting last night! Is it just me or can she be a royal pain in the buttocks?! Seriously man, she's ruined many a nights sleep for me. Good thing I'm an insomniac and usually remember to take care of it before its too late.

This time it took 3 (yes 3!) nights to get it right. It fell out at the dinner table when Little Bee was eating a hot dog. She begged to take it next door to show grandma and grandpa. She brought it back 5 minutes later only to realize she totally forgot to show grandpa. So, back next door it went. We didn't realize until bedtime the tooth did not make the return trip. Little Bee begged to go get it but I was firm in my no.

Mean mommy, right? She didn't understand that she was in her pjs and it was dark out. Wasn't happening. She even tried batting her eyes at me. I'm impervious to that trick. Nice try chicky.

The next morning she went next door bright and early to get it. I foolishly assumed she had put it in her room, perhaps under her pillow.

Picture this....
Next morning. She comes down to eat breakfast. Halfway through she announces she forgot to see if the tooth fairy left her any money. Oh fuck! Was the first thing to come to mind. I had totally forgotten. A string of curses flew through my head. Dammit! Shit! How the heck was I getting out of this mess?!

I made small talk as my brain raced to find a solution. I decided my best bet was to head upstairs as if I was going to use the bathroom. I silently stopped by my purse and pick up the loot. Her room is next to the bathroom so I figured I could tiptoe carefully in, palm the tooth and leave the money behind.

Easy peasy, right? Wrong! I was sweating bullets. That tooth wasn't to be found. I checked under the pillows, threw back the bedding, ransacked the top of her dresser and the top drawer. Fuck! Nothing. I finally gave up, tiptoed back into the bathroom (our house is old and you can hear EVERYTHING) and innocently called out..."Where'd you put your tooth honey? I'll see if she left you anything.". Why couldn't this fairy be real? I wouldn't be ready to lose it at that moment.

She told me on her bookcase. I had checked there but I checked again. Still nothing. "Are you sure?" I know I had to be sounding desperate. She wanted to come up but I told her she had to finish her breakfast. I double, triple checked everywhere before giving up and trudging defeatedly back downstairs. Obviously this was a battle I wasn't going to win. I figured I'd play the "tooth fairy was extra busy last night and she'll be here tonight." trick. I hate that one. Causes too many questions.

She charged upstairs once she was done. But guess what? She couldn't find it either. Great. Now what was I going to come up with to appease a 7 year old. Where was that stupid tooth hiding? I knew if couldn't have grown feet and walks away. She looked high and low. Then she decided to check downstairs. She swore then that the put it on top of the cabinet. Nope, not there.

Thank goodness she has an awesome mommy like me though because guess what? I found it. Where you may ask? On the floor right in front of said cabinet. It's a tiny thing so I'm amazed I seen it.

We immediately took it upstairs. I gave a little woven basket we typically use to put teeth in so I got it out of my room. The tooth went in, the lid went on and I put it on her bookcase. Now everything was good to go.

Until I almost forgot about it. Real swift Mom. I'm in bed trying to fall asleep, tossing and turning. Typically insomnia. All of a sudden out of the blue it hits me that I totally forgot the fairy was coming. I guess this was one time to be grateful for being restless.

I quietly slipped out of bed, grabbed the money and left the bedroom. No sense in waking the hubby. Quiet as a mouse I went into her room, removed the tooth and put the money inside. Something doesn't seen right though. Of course not. Nothings easy with this tooth. It's cursed I tell you. Inside the basket I see a small crumpled up piece of paper. Little Bee has a penchant for notes. I slip into the bathroom to read it. One side has a cute stick figure drawing of the tf (tooth fairy) and a smiley face. The other side says....Can I keep the tooth? Yes or No?

Are you kidding me?! Hell no! I've earned this dang tooth and I'm keeping it!


By the way...She showed the note to Grandma and said, I don't know how she was able to lift that heavy pencil to circle No. Fairies are really tiny. She kills me! She's quite a funny character and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Housework and Mommy Guilt

Looking around my house today I feel a bit overwhelmed and guilty.  What I'm talking about is mommy guilt.  You know that feeling when you have everything in a delicate balance and then you trip and all your balls go flying everywhere?  Yep, that's what I'm dealing with.  It's tough to balance being a wife, mom and woman.  It's even tougher to balance all the fringe jobs and I'm not even talking about working moms.  They are Gods unto themselves  I can vouch because once upon a time I was one of "them". 

I look back and wonder how the hell I did it!  I must have been high on insomnia because I use to run around with my head chopped off rushing here, there and everywhere.  I was a salaried retail manager working insanely long hours, often times 6 days a week.  Somehow I got it all done.  Or at least that's my perception now.  Sometimes I feel like I may have even done it better. I think my brain likes to lay on the Mommy Guilt THICK! Then again, that was almost two years ago when only one of my kids was in elementary school.  It definitely gets crazier as they get older between school, homework, activities and friends.  I didn't have as much kid juggling to do back then.  Now the time and energy I put into that is the time and effort I once put into a full time paying job.  Sidenote: Why doesn't this mommy gig pay?  How crazy is that?!  This unemployed stay at home mommy gig is exhausting and oftentimes thankless.  At least at work I got a paycheck and the occasional pat on the back. I even occasionally got a break.   However, I wouldn't change this for the world.  I love the time I'm getting with my kids and I'll be lost when I do eventually find a job.  I think they'll be a little lost too.

However, as I look around my living room right now, I feel the mommy guilt building up.  Like I said it's a delicate balance that includes all the fringe jobs.  The ball I drop quite often is housework.  Honestly, I hate it.  Please, please tell me you do too.  It would really make me feel better.  I feel guilty when I see other people's houses that look totally well put together and organized.  Tell me it's all a facade and all their clutter is piled up in the closets and tucked under the bed.  I want that clean, organized, uncluttered look but it's hard to find and even harder to maintain.

Things just find their way here when my back is turned.  I clear it off and within a few minutes days other things appear.

If you're anything like me your house is the cleanest when compay is coming.  It stresses me the hell out I'm on a mission aginst the clock and the punishment will be instant judgement on my housekeeping skills  I'm lucky enough that I believe most of my friends are not like this, but still the anxiety is there.

I have to say though that I feel better after I run crazy through the house before guests arrive. I feel a sense of peace.  Seriously, once I've made the time to de-clutter and clean up I feel so much better.  Like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  My house isn't really "dirty" it's just cluttered. Ok, I will confess I hate to dust so that's rarely done unless company's coming or one of the kids offer to do it.  I don't mind sweeping, mopping or vacuuming but they're all hard with my neck/shoulder issue.  It's the back and forth motion that kills me, plus the vacuum is heavy to lug around.  I sweep every day (3 or 4 times) but I only mop or vacuum once every week or two depending on what condition the floors are in.  Goalieboy said he would start helping with the vacuuming but so far that hasn't actually happened.  I'm going to get on him about that tomorrow.  Wish me luck.

Our mail area...most of it is in the blue totes. This spot drives me nuts because I don't know how to get rid of it.

The clutter is killing me.  It's not horrible, horrible but it's an eye sore.  We have a very old house (1890's) and it's not big (once was but converted to a 2 family decades ago).  There are no closets outside the ones in the bedrooms.  It kills me!  I have a shoe rack by the door for mine and hubby's shoes.  The kids each have an over the door shoe holder.  I have a toy chest in the entryway where I put miscellaneous things in and my son's smelly hockey bag goes on top of it.  I can't put it in the basement or my cats will pee on it.  Ewww...I know it's disgusting.  I also have a small armourer I put things in, especially when I de-clutter.  It's like my junk drawer but it's a (mostly organized) cabinet.  The worse area for us is the divider wall (between our living room and "entryway").  That's where everything ends up.  It's a collect all space...mail, paperwork, school work and odds and ends the kids leave lying around.  It kills me. 

The toy chest with Goalieboy's smelly equipment on top.  Where can I hide this thing?!

Seriously, I would kill for a couple in the entryway and another in the upstairs hallway.  It's pitiful.  Is anyone else singing my toon right now?  Do you feel my pain?  I feel guilty when I pass up tidying  up everyday to spend time with the kids.  I feel guilty when I go de-clutter crazy and it gets in the way of doing things with the kids.  I'll feel a little less guilty in September because I'll try to keep up on it when they're in school.  But seriously, I hate choosing cleaning over the kids. 

It's  delicate balance but I'm getting better at ignoring the guilt and living for the moment.  The clutter, dishes, laundry and dirty floors will ALWAYS be there no matter what I do but my kids will only be young once.  It's becoming my mantra and when I chat it I always feel better. 

***Please tell me I"m not alone***

Dropping the Balls by Guest Poster Babe_Chilla of Chill Mama Chill

Today I am welcoming Babe_Chilla from Chill Mama Chill.  This is how she describes herself on her blog:

I'm a brand new mama just trying to figure out how to raise my sassy little girl without losing my pretty little mind. I'm real, I'm honest and I don't sugar coat this thing called motherhood. I'm Babe_Chilla, and I'm trying to keep my cool throughout the formative years of my child's life through breathing, eating cupcakes and blogging my heart out. 
Also, if you're on Twitter she's a must follow.  Her tweets are real, relateable and oftentimes hilarious.  Check her out here.

Whenever I am offered the opportunity to do a guest post, I take it. Both because I like to hear myself speak in any avenue available to me, and because I know how hard it can be to fill your guest poster slots. The problem is I am always quick to jump at the opportunity, but slow to deliver on my promise. I could make a million excuses as to why, but the honest truth is simply that I have too many balls in the air too.

So when I was asked to do a guest post here at Juggling Act…Called Life, I thought “I can TOTALLY do that!” Right, I mean, this blog is ABOUT having too many balls in the air, so how could I fail?

Well, I fail by having too many balls in the air. See first I picked my week based on when I thought I might have enough downtime to really focus on an amazing topic. And then I didn’t write it down and the week just snuck right up on me (like hello, when the FUCK did it become the end of July?). Then, I realized that I have the most active 16 month old girl on the planet, and that there is rarely a moment of downtime, unless you count the chores that need doing when she’s finally sleeping (and not refusing to nap as usual). Add to that the fact I work a very busy, full-time job and sometimes require sleep and well, it has fail written all over it. Oh and did I mention that as I was sitting down to crank this post out, my entire computer imploded and I had to waste an ENTIRE day of work watching my tech guy try and fix it? Oh the failure.

Even now, as I am writing this, you can see that I haven’t really yet picked a topic. I am sort of hoping for some organic growth to spew forth from these fingers. I mean, it happens on my own blog ALL THE TIME, so why not here? No but really, this is a guest post and I’m supposed to be putting my best work forward.

Fail again.

So now that you’ve been introduced to just how random I am, let’s see if I can actually take this somewhere meaningful.

We can talk more about juggling. Not the actual act of juggling because I can NOT figure that one out. I mean sure, give me 2 balls and I can probably throw them around in a circle, but add a third and it’s floorsville. And while I tend to pride myself on being an expert multitasker, I have to say adding a small human to one’s life really shakes up your ability to do such things. I used to be ON THE BALL, I was at the top of my game, I could do ANYTHING. I was the type of person who would basically complete an entire day’s tasks before my husband even got out of bed in the morning. I WAS AWESOME ::toots own horn::

When I got pregnant, I never ever slowed down. I was lucky. I didn’t get sick. I didn’t get tired. And I barely got fat. I had energy and the ability to see my feet right up until the very end. I cooked, I cleaned, I shopped, I worked. I hung with friends until the wee hours of the morning, I put together a nursery. I was already kicking so much ass at mothering, it was impossible to foresee the future challenges. How much harder could this really be? I mean, I take care of everything and everyone all the time anyway, so adding another person to the mix will just mean a little more time to do things.

How fucking naïve are all us new pregnant people anyway?

Turns out my daughter had a different plan altogether. At 36 weeks and 6 days, the little monkey FLIPPED from the head down position she’d been in ALL the pregnancy long, to Frank breech. You have GOT to be kidding I thought. I figured I could flip her (you know, because I can do ANYTHING), and the list of things I tried to do so is endless. I did everything from a painful and awful ECV (or “version”) to standing on my hands in the pool every day for 3 weeks. Chiro, acupuncture, ice packs on the top, warm compresses on the bottom, hanging upside down from my couch, the list goes on. I DID IT ALL. In the end, nothing helped and we made the difficult decision to have a c-section.

Do you know what that DOES to you? It cuts open your abdomen (d’uh obviously you know that). And do you know what having a cut open abdomen and a very small human does? It eliminates your ability to DO IT ALL. Fuck, it eliminated my ability to do anything.

That was my first lesson. In those first 3 weeks after having my daughter, my husband was home from work and he had to do everything. I know some people bounce back from their c-sections easily, but not me. Even on Day 9, when I just HAD TO get out of the house so we went for a walk, I was in pain and I bled from my incision. Breastfeeding was not only a HUGE struggle in the beginning but it was also VERY painful when my uterus would contract. I couldn’t even get up to use the toilet without my husband lifting me from the bed. He did all the diapers, he did all the cooking and he did all the cleaning. I only fed and snuggled my daughter. And while that was (and still is) the MOST important thing in my life, I couldn’t help but feel like I was failing. I wasn’t used to being cared for. All I could do was think about what I should be doing. How could I let him do everything while I just sat there? When could I get back to doing it all?

The short answer was never.

We are 16 months into this parenting thing and I don’t think I’ll ever be the person I once was. To be honest, I don’t want to be her. That person stressed too much about getting it all done right, and missed out on some simple joys. That person put pressure on herself to accomplish irrelevant things in unrealistic time frames, and never revel in her successes anyway. That person didn’t take the time to appreciate all that she had; because she was too busy trying to get more.

These days, the house is a fucking disaster at all times. 11 minutes after it’s been fully cleaned, my little hurricane rips through and systematically dismantles it. The laundry sits in piles of clean and dirty, and is only ever folded when I desperately need the “clean” hamper for dirty clothes. There are food bits all over the floor (which the dog and baby fight over), and I honestly can’t tell you the last time my bedroom was actually clean. The car is beyond disgusting, which happens when your daughter is a master at removing the lids from her snack traps and also loves to say “uh oh”. I frequently go days without a shower because I can’t be bothered to deal with my hair and I am a far cry from the fashionista I used to claim to be.

In the end, none of that matters because those hours I used to spend obsessing about keeping on top of things are now better spent with my daughter. I no longer lay awake making mental lists of all the tasks I need to do, in order of priority and cross referenced by time allotment. No, now I lay awake thinking about our future and what that brings. Tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, it doesn’t matter as long as we’re together.

These days, I am constantly dropping my juggling balls, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Monday, July 25, 2011

My Feisty Girl (T-R-O-U-B-L-E)

I have to tell you my 7 year old daughter gives me a run for my money...daily! She is chock full of stubbornness, feistiness and pure gumption. In other words, piss and vinegar. There I said it. Funny thing is she's also sweet, loving, kind and empathetic (though not in this time). She can be as sweet as an angel or as evil as the devil. She drives me crazy at times (honestly, both my kids do) but I wouldn't have it any other way. The traits that push me to the brink of sanity now will be her saving grace when she gets older. She's in the process of learning how to use them properly and if she uses them for good instead of evil she will go a long way in life. I have faith that she will.

All that being said I just have to share some interesting tidbits that have come out of her cute little mouth the last week or so.

First off...remember that prehistoric bug I posted a picture of here? If so then you remember her reaction to it after grandpa swatted it off the tarp. She took a stick to that disgusting thing. When she was done bits and pieces of it were mashed into the grass. Ick! Ironic that she loves most bugs (see my post here). I was partly proud and partly grossed out. She took glee in smashing it. A bit twisted I think. She was proud that she smooshed it. Good thing I know that is not her overall personality. I was like, "It's dead honey, you can stop now.". I believe she liked the fact that she wasn't creeped out by it and I was. It was the thing nightmares are made of. I think the "boy" in her came to the surface at that point. My husband swears that there are times she acts more like a boy than our son. No knocks on him but as I said, she's feisty. She stands up for herself and what she believes in. She is rough and tumble when needed and defends herself well. It's a little misguided at times but we try hard to keep her on track. Thinking back I do laugh out loud. You have to picture this pretty, tiny little girl who barely weighs 37 lbs wet beating this little insect with a stick. It's too much.

We were all sitting around the table Sunday afternoon during lunch and she's telling her Daddy about it. She's like, "Daddy, bugs don't scare me. If I see them I'll punch them in the face and smoosh their brains.". Oh my god, I think his eyes popped out of his head. I think he was stunned and proud of her funny candor all at once. She just went on and on because we all busted out laughing.

It all started because there was a fly in the house and it was annoying her. She told him (daddy) not to worry that she would just punch it in the head so it would stop. I'm sure to some this seems a bit psychotic but you need to hear and see to understand. She's really playing to her audience. When we laugh, snicker or give her that "what is wrong with you" look she just embellishes more. She is a character. She definitely takes after daddy with her warped sense of humor. Dancer girl (my stepdaughter) was just laughing her pants off. I tell you the girls are just like daddy. They like to get people to laugh and will find the way that works best for their audience.

I'm telling you this girl is going to be a handful. Um, well she kinds already is but I'm in denial. Well maybe not since I just admitted to it. She's got the looks and the personality. She is already trying out the bat your eyes at a boy trick. She tries it with daddy and sometimes it works. She claims it works on her boy friends at school. She is precocious and sweet. She's tough as nails. I pity any boy she sets her sights on or any boy that sets his sights on her. Poor thing is going to be in for the ride of his life...I sure hope it's a good one.

I'm going to change her name to T-R-O-U-B-L-E!!

Hang on tight it's going to get wild around here!! Be afraid, be very afraid because I sure am.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Birthday Boy's Birth Story

I sit here thinking back to 9 years ago when my oldest was born. It was such an amazing day. I was both nervous and scared to be bring a new life into the world. I hoped and prayed I would be a good mom. I was terrified of the unknown from birth on. I was so scared about going into labor. The only thing that overrode my fears was the fact that I could not wait to meet the amazing child I had growing inside my body.

I'm still amazed I even willingly got pregnant. I swore I would never have a baby. Not because I didn't like children but because I was terrified of pain, needles and the thought of pushing a baby out of my va-jayjay. I liked kids well enough. I babysat A LOT from the time I was 11 until 16. I figured one day, far down the road I would probably adopt. My husband changed my mind easily. I was eager to create a new life that was part of both of us. I sucked it up and got through all the tests, the needles, the poking, the prodding and exposing myself monthly (then weekly) to doctors. Somehow, even after everything, I'm still modest and hate being check out "down there". Funny I know but that's just me.

I suffered all day morning sickness from the very moment I realized I was pregnant. I got violently ill right before Thanksgiving and I just knew. My husband had to work Thanksgiving morning so I ran to the local CVS to buy a pregnancy test and a card that read Congratulations You're a Father! Thanksgiving dinner was just the two of us because we had no family nearby at the time. It was a disaster because my (first ever) turkey wouldn't cook. So we just ate sides for dinner. I ducked into the bathroom before dessert and took the test. I didn't realize at the time that they work best first thing in the morning but that didn't seem to matter. It showed I was indeed Pregnant!! So, when I came out I served dessert and while we were snuggling on the couch I gave him the card. The shock and joy that crossed his face in those first few seconds said it all. I was nervous and excited. What did I know about being a mom?! Well, there was no looking back.  It was time to look forward and plan to welcome  new life into the world in nine short months.

Some how I survived morning sickness...lots of wheat thins, triscuts, grapes and baby carrots. I had that damn nausea all day long from the beginning until about a month before he was born. Too bad that isn't the good news it sounds like. Once the morning sickness ended I THEN had constant acid reflux 24/7 until 24 hours AFTER he was born. I still remember begging the labor nurse to tell me that once he was born that it would end and she told me yes. She LIED!! I was so upset at the time I almost cried. I just wanted to eat real food and enjoy it for once in a long time.

On the evening of July 22nd my first contraction hit. He was due on July 24th but if I didn't go into labor by the afternoon of the 23rd my doctor was going to induce me. I had been S-L-O-W-L-Y dilating since the end of June and my cervix was about 90% effaced the week before. My first contraction hit at 10:30 p.m. while I was on the phone talking to my dad and giving him directions to our new place. We had moved an hour away from where we had lived when I had first gotten pregnant.  He was driving up the next would be a six hour drive for him.  My mom had been staying with us and helping me out for the last three weeks.  I am so grateful she was there for me.  Five minutes after the first contraction hit the second followed. I quickly hung up the phone, ran to the bathroom and puked my late night dinner.I still remember we were watching that baseball movie with Freddie Prinz Jr and Jessica Beil.  Some details are so clear.
After that I called the doctor and we left immediately for the hospital. My mom had a history of quick labors as did her mom. I had forewarned my OB so we were in agreement that I should head out. Since I refused to change doctors after moving we had an hour drive ahead of us.  It was my first child and I wanted to go through labor with the doctor I trusted.  I was tempting fate.  That drive during the daytime could have easily taken two hours or more during rush hour.  That route is extremely.  I thank God that I went into labor in the late evening hours.  I fear I would've made the news otherwise by giving birth in the car on the freeway.

We made it to the hospital by 11:45. My normally calm husband was a bit tense because my contractions were strong, steady and getting closer together. I'd say he was a bit freaked out. I had sworn I wouldn't ask for a wheelchair when I got the hospital but man did those contractions change my mind really quick. There was no way I was going to be able to walk to the elevator or anything!  Wheelchair it was!

My doctor took FOREVER to get there.  Meanwhile I was settled into a birthing room.  The doctor on duty finally came in to check me around  12:20/12:30.  At that point she announced I was 9 1/2 centimeters dilated and (her words) bulging!  The only thing keeping him is was the fact that somehow my water had yet to break.  All I know is I had been fighting the urge to push for a while.  Not knowing, I just thought I had to poop.  I kept worrying I was going to poop on the table. Seriously.  Now I understand that the feeling was actually the urge to push the baby out of my body.  The doctor said not to push.  HA!  I tried to be accommodating while thinking she was nuts.  I agreed to try.  What was I thinking?!  I guess my mouse side was showing and I didn't want to call attention to myself.  Crazy me.  Pregnant women in the middle of hard labor are pretty attention getting. 

My mom was there holding my hand as the contractions kept coming.  I was so glad she could be there for my first child.  My husband and her really helped.  I knew my husband wanted to watch the birth so I counted on my mom's support up by my head.  He is so fascinated by the whole process.  He told me he was glued to it when his first daughter was born.  Amazingly he was able to multitask and comfort me while watching the show.  He held my other hand, reassuring me with each contraction while taking glimpses of my body giving birth.  I'm so glad he got to experience the whole thing again.  I didn't want to deny him of that miracle.

Good thing I hadn't opted for drugs of any kind because there wouldn't have been any time.  Honestly, the decision to labor drug free was once again my fear of needles.  I hate pain but I hate needles more.  Go figure.  I was worried they would come in to administer the epidural and I'd puke or flinch.  Yep, wasn't going to chance it. Not less than two minutes after the doctor left I came to the conclusion (with my mom's help) that the baby was coming and there was no waiting.  I needed to push.  My body refused to take no for an answer.  My mom is not the outspoken type yet she opened that door and demanded the doctor come back because our baby was coming whether she liked it or not.

The doctor listened thank goodness.  She rechecked me and broke my water.  My doctor made it minutes after that.   She barely had time to scrub up and get into position.  My son was born two pushes later.  It should have been one push but he had a huge head (90th percentile).  We welcomed Goalieboy into the world at 12:51 a.m. July 23rd, 2002.  He was 7 lbs. 1.8 oz, 20 1/2 inches long.  His head was 13 1/4 inches and it ripped me when I pushed him out.  It was over so quickly.  I felt every stitch of that episiotomy and the shot with the numbing meds was extremely painful on that sensitive swollen area.  It hurt almost more than those pushes.  Seriously!

Looking back I remember all the feelings rushing at me.  I was overwhelmed, happy and terrified scared.  I was so nervous about being responsible for this tiny human being. Somehow, I pushed past it all.  From the moment of his conception I have loved him.  He is my world and I would do anything for him.  He may drive me insane more often than not and I may question myself as a parent at times.  But that's part of parenting.  Parenting has no instruction manual.  We learn as we go, by trial and error.  I've learned to trust my maternal instinct as they are usually right. 

I love my boy.  He will always be my baby (even as the oldest).  I have no regrets.  I don't always make the right decisions and neither does he but we are in it together.  I wouldn't change a thing.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Men need a Good Woman and Women need good Friends

A recent study by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto shows that married men live longer than single men. It stated that men who were married or in a common-law relationship were less likely to die from heart attack or stroke and to live longer.  They were also more likely to regularly see their physician.  Hmmm.... are  you really surprised?  Come on now, be honest.  Nah, I didn't think you were surprised at this finding either.  I actually snickered when I heard about this on the news.  Seriously, single men don't take care of themselves like the wives of  married men do.   Not being mean, just brutally honest.  Hate to say it but this was good money wasted.  Seriously, those funds could have been spent supporting education or researching cures for diseases.

Fact is women tend to live longer than men.  Married men longer than single men.  And widowers who remarry within a few years of their wife's death live longer than widowers who never remarry.  Why you may ask?  I believe the answer is as simple as the woman behind the man.  Let's face it, men don't take care of themselves properly.  The don't eat right and they don't like to go to the doctor.  They don't emotionally unburden themselves often enough.  Yes, I'm generalizing but it's true that the majority of men just don't think about their personal, mental and emotional needs like a woman does.

Woman are caregivers by nature.  We are nurturers.  It's in our genetic make-up to make sure everyone is healthy, happy and productive.  If you don't take care of yourself either we'll do it or nag you to death until you do it for yourself.  Sound familiar?  I hate to admit it but the truth is I'm a nagger.  I wasn't before I got married and I hate that I've become one.  I have to be in my household of stubborn big and little people.  I always ask first and if you don't act quick enough I'll keep it up until you finally do it just to shut me up.  I try to use my nagging powers for good and not evil, though I know it slips in there from time to time.

For example, back in October I suggested several times that my husband go to the doctor when he continuously complained about his allergies.  His head was stuffed, his ears were clogged, his throat hurt, he coughed, he sneezed, his eyes were red and then his lips started getting tingly.  When that last symptom showed up he finally listened.  After a battery of tests it was determined that he has severe outdoor allergies and a few indoor.  He had what is called a "mast" reaction.  Thank goodness with a heavy dose of steroids (including a shot) he was able to get it under control.  The doctor said it could have been much worse if he had continued to ignore it.  I would like to believe it is with my help and support that he continues to be healthy and happy. 

What keeps me going is my family and friends.  I think this is true for most women.  We build a strong network of woman we can turn to in a time of need.  We have different networks to meet different needs.  I truly believe this is why woman live longer.  We always have someone we can talk to during emotional times.  We have a group of friends who listen willingly and offer advice or just a shoulder when needed.  We don't bottle our feelings up as much and are freer with our emotion.  Also, we keep ourselves healthy because we are the emotional cornerstone of our families.  We worry about what would happen if we weren't there to take care of them.

I have a few close trusted friends that I share everything.  I rely on them for emotional support.  Obviously, I rely on my husband too but there are times when he has so much on his overflowing plate that I don't want to burden him.  These ladies I can trust to keep my confidences.  My circle widens out to include other types of friendships.  I have some that I turn to for "mom" questions, others for educational help and others who are fun just to hang out with and chat the time away.  These circles overlap and change with time and situation.  As I grow older I've become more mature in picking my friends.  I pick and chose my close friends more wisely.  Unfortunately, woman are dramatic by nature and some more than others.  I try to avoid those that need to be the center of attention and will do anything to attain it.  I've been there done that too often and the emotional upheaval I've had to deal with in the aftermath is so not worth it. 

As I come closer to 40 I know who my true friends are.  I cherish them and what they add to my life.  I appreciate what I have and feel honored to have such good friends who are there for me.  I have the best IRL (in real life) and online friends who keep me grounded.  I am honored to have each and every one of them in my life.  I am a better person because of my friends.

Remember to let your friends know how much they mean to you!

And for my male friends, Remember...

~Behind every good man is a woman ready to smack him into place if he doesn't toe the line.~ 

    Let's BEE Friends

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    These Things Happen

    The day started off with a horrid sight . This "thing" was literally clinging to the side of the tarp covering our kiddie pool. Man did I freak out! I was think what the hell is this scary looking prehistoric insect?! I wanted to run screaming the other way. I have to admit I was screaming, "What the f*ck is that!!" inside my head. I couldn't freak out and scare the kids though. I've never seen an insect so hideous and there are many out there, but not on this level of scary. It was off the freaking charts! I calmly asked Little Bee to go get Grandpa. He told me it was a cicada, like I should know what the heck that is.

    Ironically, my daughter had no fear. She's a bug loving freak! My dad knocked it off the tarp because there was no way I was doing it. He announced it was dead. Thank the Lord! I just wanted it gone from sight. Little Bee took a stick and wacked the crap out of it. It was indeed deceased. I fear she enjoyed it a little too much. She was like, "It's dead mommy. I smooshed it." Eeewwwww!!!!! Good thing you're my little girl or I may have had to reconsidered a few things. Ironic that it freaked my son out too. As much as we drive each other nuts, we are too peas in a pod.

    The rest of the morning and afternoon went fine. The kids swam and had a great time playing together. We ended the day at the ice rink. Perfect at the end of a scorching, humid day. The night however was a kicker. We got home from the rink at 9:30 only to find the power out all over town. I found out later that whatever happened effected several towns and over 3,500 homes.

    The house was already warm and humid because I had turned the air conditioners off when we left at 4:30. I used my cell phone's flashlight app (a life saver!) to walk through the house gathering up flashlights, candles and such. I placed a few candles around the living room, two in my bedroom and two more in the bathroom. Goalieboy wanted to sleep in Little Bee's bottom bunk, so that helped the sleeping situation. Daddy was out of town on business and I really didn't want them crowding me in our bed.

    They each have hard hats equipped with a strong light and battery powered lanterns. I was so grateful for them! I set Little Bee's hard hat on her dresser with the light pointing upwards. It really lit up the room. I used one of the flashlights for getting around. I decided to save the others for later to use in the bathroom and my room if I had to blow out the candles. No sense in wasting batteries.

    The beacon of light...not the perfect picture because all I had was my cell phone. 

    Thankfully Little Bee fell asleep by 10:45 and Goalieboy was out by 11:15. I had just given up and blown out the candles when the lights came back on a little after midnight. I went through the house checking what was on and what was off. I reset clocks, including alarms. Made sure night lights and air conditioners were on. I finally crawled into bed at 12:40.

    Too bad that wasn't the end of everything. I woke up with a stiff neck and tension headache from the restless night. Then to top it off I blew out the rear passenger tire on my van. Thank goodness it wasn't bad. Poor Little Bee never made it to gymnastics. What a morning.

    The bright side of it all is....AAA came and put the spare tire on, no one was hurt and the rest of the day went great. I could have easily focused on the negatives but what good would that have done? By leading by example my kids got through it all with no whinning or complaining. I didn't let it get me down. I kept moving forward and made the most of it.

    The important thing is to remember these things are going to happen. No one is immune. We all have these days. Always try to move past the bad or you'll be miserable. I did allow myself to wallow for just a bit but didn't cling to it. It made for a much better day. Tomorrow is going to be even better. I have faith that it will.

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    Cuddles and Snuggles

    The guys are gone for the weekend.  They left with friends yesterday to drive to New Hampshire for the Nascar race; leaving Little Bee and I home alone.  While I miss them, it's been a wonderful girls weekend I will cherish.  Little Bee enjoyed having a friend sleep over last night.  The girls had a dance party, giggled, played baby dolls and so much more.  After a breakfast of blueberry pancakes and some more play time her friend went home for a bit.  She returned later for a few hours of outdoor fun in the pool.

    Little Bee and I spent the afternoon together snuggled up watching The Sound of Music.  I love that movie and all the songs in it.  This was the second time we've watched it together.  I cherished the time we had together, munching popcorn and enjoying each other's company.  I wouldn't trade it for the world. 

    This evening we ate spaghetti (Little Bee's dinner of choice) while watching the second half of the movie.  I'm amazed that at seven, she is enthralled with it too.  It is a long movie, after all.  We then watched Disney together and celebrated National Ice Cream Day with some yummy ice cream.  I am filing away every minuet detail, as we rarely get this kind of precious one on one time together.

    We ended the evening with story time.  She read a Katie Woo book to me and her new Koala.  She is becoming a good reader.  Her confidence level is increasing.  However, I could tell she was getting tired though she'll never admit it because she was starting to have trouble with some easy words.  I pulled her into my lap and she snuggled in while she finished the book.  It was precious. 

    The only sad thing about the night, besides it ending, is that I have a hard time snuggling with her in bed.  See, last month she got a bunk bed for her birthday.  (Reminds me...I still need to blog about that whole experience!) Since she is now sleeping on the top bunk it's nearly impossible for me to get up there with her, let alone lay down.  I don't feel the slats can hold all the weight without bowing.  I'm sure they would really be fine but I'm not up to testing out that theory.  I'm going to get a board cut out to fit over the slats and then I'll feel more comfortable being up there.  I don't like heights, but I'll suck it up to be with my Boogie Boo.

    I climbed up the ladder after her and carefully perched my butt on the mattress.  She cuddled up into my hip while I sang to her like I did pre-bunk bed.  I always sing You Are My Sunshine because my kids are the light of my life.  No matter what's going on they are what keeps me going.  Then we sang Rain Drops on Roses together.  It's always a favorite.  I always shorten it up because I forget a few lines.  Watching the movie again brought those lines to the forefront so I sang it again with them included.  Little Bee snuggled up close to me, with my arm around her.  My heart melted then, as it melts now in remembrance.  I wish every night could be like this.  I tucked her into bed and gave her many kisses and hugs before slowly making my way back down to the ground.

    Tomorrow will probably find our household back into crazy bedtime chaos but that's ok.  It's just the way it is here most of the time.  Both kids vying for attention at the same time and being unable to split myself in two.  I'll always have tonight to remember and cherish.

    Saturday, July 16, 2011

    It Hurts Me Too

    Did your parents ever tell you that punishing you was going to hurt them more than it did you?  Yep, I heard that line at least a time or too growing up.  I thought it was a line of bull.  Ironic how I sit here now thinking that very same thing.  Not the bull part, but that my parents were right to an extent.  I didn't utter it tonight but I sure as heck wanted to.  Dang, that line runs through my head quite often now that I have children of my own.

    To be honest, I don't know if punishing my kids hurts me more than it does them but it does hurt.  A lot sometimes.  I take little pleasure in punishment.  Most of the time it makes my heart break after the initial aftermath is over.  Granted, in the midst of the chaos I'm running on adrenaline trying to work through whatever the situation is, trying to keep my head above water.  Being a parent makes you think fast on your feet. 

    There are times I have to access, judge, and dole out punishment in the blink of an eye.  My two kids are sweet, little hellions and don't think twice before finger pointing at their sibling.  It's always fun to play who's fault was it really.  No matter what, the outcome, for me it always feels the same.  I'm the mean mommy.  I hate it.  Hate, hate, hate it!  No one told me that being a parent was going to be so hard.  Yes, I knew it wasn't going to be easy but it's really a lot like managing your own business and the kids are your hooligan employees.  Shhhhh....don't tell them I said that.  My children are really great kids but they know how to go from angel to devil in 3 seconds flat when no one but me is looking.  Heaven save me from those moments!

    I've come to some decisive parenting decisions that I try to rely on when faced with punishment.  First, the one that retaliates is more at fault.  Yes, this does suck but I'm trying to teach them to resolve conflicts better.  Retaliation is not the answer, especially when you get older.  Neither is tattling all the time but I'd rather have a tattler than a retaliator.  If your sister hits you and you hit back you get extra time in time out (or whatever the punishment may be).  You have a choice on how to react, choose wisely.

    I do not put up with anything physical.  You hit someone game over.  There's no coming back.  I will not allow that in my house or with my children.  I still struggle with matching up the appropriate punishment to fit the crime.  I go over board a lot and have to reign myself in.  I worry about coming across as a softy that will be walked over.  I've gotten better with it (the overboard part that is).  Time outs are their ages.  If there's an argument over a toy the toy goes in time out for a specified amount of time.  It use to be all day because I was so frustrated from having to repeatedly tell them to stop.  However, I've learned that sometimes that hinders the learning process because it's been so long they forget why it was taken away.  If they do something wrong when we are away from the house I do not wait and dole out punishment when we get home.  That's too long.  I hand it out then, even if it's something they have to complete once we are home.  They need to know the consequences of their actions immediately.  I also stand strong in my decisions, if you waive once it will be an ongoing battle in the future.  Stick to your guns.  Also, it's very important that if you make a mistake in punishment that you admit to it immediately.  You expect that from them so you need to do the same.  It shows them that everyone makes mistakes.

    The one thing I do know, when all is said in done is that I love my children.  I'm doing my best to bring them up to be good, law abiding adults that contribute in a positive way to our society.  I want them to be honest and let their conscious be their guide.  That is why I am hard on them at times.  That is why my expectations are high.  I love them and I want them to be all they can be.  On nights like this when they are up in bed a bit early because of something they fought over just before bedtime I want to cry.  I want to be snuggled up there with them, holding them tight, telling them how much I love them.  I put them to bed and we're all upset over the situation.  I'm frustrated and I remind them again that if they would just listen and work together they wouldn't be where they are now.  It's a pet peeve of mine.  It's easy....listen to me, do as I ask and we'll all get along perfectly.  But this isn't a perfect world and they are kids.  Even if I tell them something a million times, they're going to need to hear it another million and one times a million to maybe get it. The learning process is never ending but eventually it clicks and the next lesson starts. I have to remind myself that they're not adults and this is not a business. 

    I tuck them into their beds, kiss them good night and tell them I love them.  I always tell them I love them.  From time to time I will point out that I may not like what they did but I will always, always love them.  I go downstairs.  In the quiet of the night I straighten out my thoughts.  I give myself a time out.  Ten minutes later I peek into their rooms.  I creep in and lay down with each of them.  Tonight they are not crying and upset about getting sent to bed early any longer.  Now, they are sleepy.  They were overtired just as I thought.  Silly them fighting over the bathroom and being inconsiderate to one another.  9:00 o'clock was the perfect bedtime this time.  I tell them each that I love them and tomorrow will be a good day full of fun.  I tell them I'm sorry that I got upset with them.  I'm not sorry that I held them accountable for their actions though and I'm clear about that.  Appropriate punishment for the "crime".

    I think what gets me most is I can clearly remember some of those nights where I lay in bed crying myself to sleep because I felt my parents had been mean and unfair.  The thought of my children crying themselves to sleep breaks my heart in two.  I will stay strong though.  They need boundaries and accountability.  I know one day they'll understand and will come to the realization that I cried along with them even if I was in another room.

    Friday, July 15, 2011

    Why Parents Should GIve Their Children Permission to Fail

    Let's all welcome  Deaunna Evans a Super Moms coach and mentor!  Her goal is to help moms eliminate the dreadful 3 D's from their children-defiant, disobedient and disrespectful behavior.  Today she gives us an insight on how to get out of parenting purgatory.  If you're anything like me, and I'm sure you are, you've been there before


    Why Parents Should Give Their Child Permission to Fail

    The following conversation is one that every parent should eavesdrop in on, that is if they want to raise rebellion free children and avoid potentially living years in *parenting purgatory. The following is what the proverbial fly on the wall would have overheard in our home the other night.

    My husband and I were having a friendly conversation with our 15 year old son when he brought up the topic of a set of gaming headphones he intended to buy. He began describing their awesome features and enthusiastically exclaimed they could be cranked up to insane decibels levels! My husband counseled him to keep the volume at a safe human level, to which he gave the typical teenager response, “Well X, Y & Z friends all have these head phones and their parents …bla….bla…bla…if you have a child you can easily fill in the blanks here. To our credit, we resisted the urge to warp into a parent-child throw-down like our parents did when we were teenagers such as, “Well if X, Y & Z were to jump off a bridge, would you follow?” Instead the conversation went like this:

    “Okay son, you can certainly go ahead and blow out your ear drums if you want to. It’s your body and you can treat it as you please. You’ll spend a few hours enjoying the insanely loud blasts and bombs, however, just so you know, you’ll need to be ready to live the next, oh say, 70 years half deaf. Let’s get in a little practice of what your life will be like, shall we? Okay first you’ll need to lean forward, then you’ll need to get this really puzzled- deer in the headlights- look on your face. Next you will mutter this word a couple of times… Huh?…Huh? You’ll probably want to go ahead and learn how to not take it personal when people get frustrated as heck with you when you are constantly saying “Huh” “Huh” over and over in the course of a 2 minute conversation.” By this time he was smiling and had a look of resignation in his eyes. We all had a good laugh and changed the subject.

    How awesome was that! This conversation was humorous but more importantly it was void of the power struggle parents often unintentionally instigate. Neither parent nor teen was backed into a corner or forced to openly admit (save face) they were wrong. The outcome of this conversation reaffirms my notion that a parent should never ever, ever try and tell a tween/teenager that they CANNOT do something. Doing so just throws up a veritable irresistible challenge and serves only to give purpose to a teen’s life i.e. a chance to prove their parents wrong; you know, that’s what they live for;-)

    By the time a child reaches the ripe old age of tweenager they can sense a parent throw-down like a toddler instinctively knows to start screaming for attention when mommy picks up a telephone. Simply put, wise parents will not issue throw-down’s. Even in the most extreme situations like, “I guess I’ll just pack my bags and leave,” a parent will calmly and without emotion say something like, “yeah…that is an option” and with an empathetic voice, assure the child that he will be missed. The child would then effectively talk himself out of it with “what about food or what about that” questions. (‘That’s an option’ ‘one liner’ example is suggested by the professionals at Love and Logic- a great parenting site.)

    Long story short, the gift of agency (freedom to choose) and make decisions about one’s own life rests at the core of human rights, i.e. life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. By giving your teen permission to self destruct or not, you effectively dismantle the teenage time bomb before it gets wired up much less starts ticking. If parents are not laying down the law and telling their child they cannot do something, there is no ‘cause’ to fight for or against, therefore no rebellious uprising. It really is a beautiful thing!

    A parent’s responsibility is to not only teach their children, but model great values and principles, and help their child understand consequences associated with their choices. The tricky part is letting go and understanding that the child always has the last say in how he will pursue happiness and therefore own their own consequences.

    It’s easy for me to go on record, because I have experienced this over and over with my children, to say that using the principle of agency wisely is the most effective tool in a parent’s toolbox for raising rebellion free children.

    Oh, by the way, next time you catch yourself leaning over, with a “deer in the headlights” look on your face, repeating the word ‘huh’ over and over….remember this article and this powerful parenting tip! (lol) Happy Parenting!

    *Parenting Purgatory (PP) –n-noun- a place of immense suffering where parents feel trapped, helpless, hopeless and even fearful in some instances. PP is brought about by children who are defiant, disobedient and disrespectful. Please Note: Parents who were once living in PP have been liberated with the help of Super Moms Coaching! Contact Deaunna Evans, The Super Moms Coach Mentor to get a FREE “Get Out of Jail PP FREE Card” Click Here to claim your complimentary parent strategizing session, From Lil’ Monster to Angels- or call 1-800-269-0283 or email


    You can also find Deuanna on Twitter @SuperMomsCoach. She is a wonderful and insightful lady.

    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    The murder of Leiby Kletzky....hold your children a little closer today

    Yesterday, I heard the tragic news of Leiby Kletzky's murder.  For any of you who haven't heard the story...8 year old Leiby was reported missing Monday.  He was walking home alone from day camp for the first time and was supposed to meet his mother seven blocks away.  Apparently he got lost and asked a stranger for help.  What happened next is sad, scary, tragic, heart wrenching.
    The stranger was Levi Aron, 35, who spent 12 hours with him (including taking him to a wedding) before smothering and dismembering him.  Pieces of his body were found inside Levi's home early Wednesday morning.

    Investigators were able to track him with the help of a surveillance video that showed him approaching the boy.  The video showed him walking with the boy to a local dentist office.  Police were able to identify Aron using records from the office. 

    According to Aron's statement to police the following happened...Leiby asked Aron for a ride to a local bookstore then lost interest.  Aron then invited him to go to a wedding in Monsey, NJ and ,allegedly, Leiby agreed.  They returned to Aron's place after 11pm where they watched television and then went to bed.  He says he was going to return Leiby home the next day.  However, after seeing posters up of the missing boy Aron panicked and killed the him.

    My heart aches for his parents.  They said that Leiby had begged to be allowed to walk home from camp.  Many mothers of the Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Borough Park said they felt their neighborhood was safe for a child Leiby's age to walk home alone.  It is known as one of NYC's safest neighborhoods.

    I had heard about the boy's disappearance and was praying for his safe return.  As I listened to the details come out on the news I was horrified.  I sat there in stunned silence staring at the television screen.  Tears rolling down my cheeks.  How can people do such horrific things to anyone, let alone a child?!.  A child for God's sake!  There is no reason to butcher a child.  You panicked?!  Well you should have never had the child in your possession.  He was not your child to take.  He was lost and asked  you for help.  How dare you take advantage of a scared, helpless child.  I don't care that he supposedly agreed to go with you anywhere.  You had no right!  As an adult this child was trusting to help him, you should have done just that.  You should have walked him to where his mother was waiting for him.

    His parents will forever blame themselves for allowing him an ounce of independence.  They should not be mourning the death of their son.  They did nothing wrong but try to give him a bit of independence.  I will not judge them for that.

    Sadly, I do not trust people in general.  I learned from an early age that their is darkness and evil outside in the world and you have to be on your guard.  It doesn't matter how safe your neighborhood or community is or who your family and friends are, there is always that one person out there ready to betray your trust.  It's sad, but true.  I err on the side of caution with my children.  I am definitely overprotective when it comes to certain things.  Our school is two and a half blocks away.  My son (almost 9) wants to walk to school by himself.  I have told him no way and my husband is in agreement.  I told him I would not embarrass him by making him walk with me and his sister but he must walk in front of me where I can see him.  I would rather be overly cautious and know he is coming home tonight.  I have heard too many horror stories, including those of children being snatched from their door step.  My parents live on the other side of our two family house.  My kids know they are to go through the back doors.  They re only allowed to use the front doors if an adult is with them or watching them.  I am ever vigilante.  Some may say I go too far, but I say that is my choice.  I will give them small doses of controlled independence.  I will not smother them but I will teach them safety in a cruel world.

    I am glad my children have not seen or heard about this tragedy.  My son is extremely sensitive when it comes to this sort of news and would have nightmares for a long time.  I teach them safety and caution but I can not bear for them to hear this news.  I do not want to emotionally scarred.  They know about reality but I do not believe they need to hear the gruesome details played out in technicolor on the news.

    May God watch over this boys parents and family.  May he help them find some kind of comfort and peace.  I pray that Leiby is resting in peace.  I pray his suffering was minimal.  I can't stop crying over this tragic loss.

    Once again, we are reminded to hold our children closer, be more patient and show them more how much we love them.  Please, go give your child(ren) a hug and tell them you will always love them.

    Let's BEE Friends

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Fun kids craft

    I got this for my daughter, from A.C. Moore, for Christmas.  A friend of hers has it and she played it there during a sleepover.  It was  huge hit so I had to buy it for her.  I knew it would provide hours of fun for her and our son (if she chose to share).


    It comes with 2 bead packages, 5 peg boards, special paper to iron on, jewels and string.

    My daughter decided to use the circle board and create an umbrella.

    Her completed craft.

    Works in progress.  My daughter's  dolphin and son's bear.



    Easy to do...carefully place pegs onto board.  Cover with special ironing paper.

    Gently iron for about 30 seconds on one side and another 15 on other side.


    Finished projects.

    I highly recommend this as activity for children five and over. Parents will need to do the ironing, unless your child is closer to10 and then I would suggest standing by to make sure they don't burn themselves. I love that my kids can be creative with colors and also think outside the box when creating with this kit.

    ***This post is my own opinion and not compensated in any way by A.C. Moore or the creators of FunFusion.

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    Garden....6 weeks later

    In the beginning...

    My small starter garden.  I wanted to make sure everything would take before I went crazy with plants and money.

    My son's Lima bean plant looks beautiful.  We started it from seeds and it grew quickly. 


    It's flowering here.

    Now it's riddled with holes.

    This tomato plant seems to be thriving.

    See the nice green tomatoes?  Bad news...they've been like this for about 2 weeks.  They're not getting any bigger or redder.  They're not cherry tomatoes.

    Look at all the leaves...full of holes. I'm so sad. I can't seem to get rid of whatever is eating it. I even invested in an organic pest spray. It seems to have slowed them down but I think it's too late now. Nothing seems to be flowering anymore.


    Our cucumber plant.  It's had several beautiful yellow blossoms but something keeps eating them off.

    Pepper plant.  Nothing is flowering and the leaves have small holes and tears in them.

    One teeny, tiny bean on one of our pathetic bean plants.
    Ironic that the last garden I planted three years ago at our old house flourished and overflowed.  I couldn't keep up with the wealth.  Silly me figured that the soil would be similar since we're less than a mile from our old place.  I don't know if I should try again next year or not.  I purposely put the one bean plant in a container on the deck to see if it would fair better.  It's not doing much better. 

    The only thing that seems to be growing is my container of basil.  I'm glad it's doing good but it's the only thing.
    My flowers are not doing so well either.  A lot of my flowers have disappeared and the leaves are non-existent.

    No leaves on this flower.

    Ironic that the only thing that seems to grow unharmed is the ivy and hostas the old owners planted.  It was everywhere.  I don't know what to do anymore.  So, I guess I'm going to let nature take it's course and hope something good comes of all my hard work.

    Sunday, July 10, 2011

    Journal Posts brought to you by Little Bee

    My kids are journaling almost every day.  Here are some of the entries Little Bee wrote last week.  Not bad for a first grader. I added the parts in (parenthesis).  The only rules I have is that they have at least 4 sentences and there's some sort of conclusion.  We also working on adding details to writing.  I'm very proud that she writes without complaint and enjoys it.


    We went to the rail trail with J.  I swam in the pool.  Me and my brother had Popsicles.  He had a green and I had a blue.  We went to the library.  We got magazines.  I spent a lot of time with my cat.  I spent a lot of time with my W(ebkin).  I had a great day.
    P.S. I did not spend a lot of time with my brother.


    I went to the rail trail with J. again.  I swam in the pool with my brother.  I slept over my grandparents.  I had a great time.  We went to get (Goalieboy's) hearing aides.


    I went to my friend R's.  We went in the pool.  I loved it.  We went in her house and played with her toys.  We played with her cats.  They are cute.  We played with her horses.  I listened to my storybook (on CD).  I love my day.


    I went on the rail trail.  We dropped of my brother's old hearing aid.  We signed me up for gymnastics.  We picked up K (my sister).  We went to Friendly's.  I had a great day.

    Here's an email she wrote her teacher.  I typed most of it since she is still getting use to where the letters are on the keyboard.

    Dear Ms. N,                                                                            

    You are the best teacher ever.  I am going to miss you.  Are you coming to visit us?  What are you doing for the summer?
    I swam in my pool this week.  I've been writing in my journal every night about my day.  I also wrote about my cats too.  I walked on the rail trail every day.  I am reading the book called Mrs. Patty is Batty.  My favorite part so far is they get to wear costumes at school for Halloween.
    I hope you are having a good summer.
    (Little Bee)

    Friday, July 08, 2011

    Kindness and Generosity

    I have been so privileged lately to see the kindness and generosity of others around me. It really erases those annoying moments of the me, me, me generation.

    My family has been on the receiving end of many of these generous actions. I'm so grateful. We're going through tough financial times and it makes my heart ache (in a good way) when others go out of their way to lend a helping hand.

    My son's hearing impaired teacher has been amazing. Not only is she supportive but has gone out of her way to get him equipment he needs. She also researched and pursued financial options in getting Goalieboy new hearing aids. Without her he would not be where he is today.

    Another amazing person is a lady named Mary. She owns a hearing aid business with her husband. They volunteer their services to the local Lions Club. She personally helped us secure funds when it was determined our household income was too much to qualify for free aides. I'm blown away by her.

    My daughter's first grade teacher, who is amazing! She gives 110% every day. She is going to another school in our district next year and will be truly missed. She took all the kids pictures and made them each year books. She gave my daughter her email and home address so they can keep in touch. She is generous with her time, praise and attention.

    Little Bee's first skating teacher who moved to Virginia in January. She writes her and even made a trip up to see her first skating competition a few months ago. She is here this week visiting and made special plans to see her. We went out for ice cream today. It was wonderful seeing them chatting about everything that's happened since they last saw each other. She also brought her a birthday present. How sweet is that?! Most 22 year olds are not like that.

    Two of my good friends planned a special barbecue for my birthday last Saturday. They made me a cute cake and gave me wonderful (and unnecessary) gifts. They also got gifts for my son (birthday is July 23rd) and stepdaughter (her birthday was the following day). How thoughtful is that?

    I am truly blessed with the wonderful people surrounding me and my family. When things get tough I try really hard to take a deep breath and be thankful for what I have.

    ****Remember to sit back, breathe and count your blessings when life gets overwhelming.

    Let's BEE Friends

    Thursday, July 07, 2011

    Jugglling Act...Called LIFE! Community Forum

    Come join me on blogfrog.... Jugglling Act...Called LIFE! Community Forum

    This site is a great place to find lots of great blogs to read and meet lots of people.  I'm new and would love to chat with you there.  Check it out!

    Wednesday, July 06, 2011

    Dear Frickin' Insomnia,

    Blogging from bed via phone app on this beautiful morning at 5 freaking o'clock. Been wide awake since 4 a.m.

    Why you may ask? Frickin' INSOMNIA that's why. I'm so done with it! It's been a pain in my booty since school ended for the kids.

    Dear Insomnia,
    Hello...I don't want you here. Go away! You've been visiting here every few days and you're not welcome. You never were.

    You're like an unwanted house guest. Didn't you get the memo that we are not accepting visitors at this time? In you're case the invitation got lost in the mail. As in, it was never actually sent. Sorry to hurt your feelings with my harsh words. Um, yeah, not really but I was trying my best to be polite.

    I'm mean you say? Sorry but I'm just trying to be honest with you. You're like a tick that can't be removed. Head lice that are tenacious. A headache that just won't stop pounding.

    Go the hell away and don't come back! I need my sleep. I have two very active kids. They wake up by 7 a.m. and rarely run out of fuel until I enforce their 9:30 bedtime. I don't have time for this crap. I stay awake for my husband who comes home at 10:30 after working two jobs. I'm often awoken by said husband as he gets ready for work at 3:30/4:00 a.m. I don't get freaking naps as much as I would kill for one. So get lost. Go haunt some other poor sucker.

    Would it help if I said pretty please with sugar on top? Dang, I should've said that first. Now, I'm so screwed.

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