Saturday, May 28, 2011

“Puddles Should Win Every Time”

This has been a rough week for our Family and Friends. We are on a roller coaster ride.

So, when out of no where today when I was getting out of the shower for work and it was POURING rain, I had an Idea.

No; a Thought.

No; a Plan.

I threw a headband in my dripping wet hair, threw on shorts and a shirt (yes, & skivvies) and ran through the hall to the top of the stairs. The kiddos thought I had lost it. They both wondered aloud what in the world crazy Mommy was doing now.

I teased them, “I’ll beat you outside to the puddles!” I ran down the stairs and out the front door knowing they were hot on my heels. The rain had slowed but our road still had somewhat of small river heading past our house. I ran out to it and surprised the kiddos by jumping right into it and splashing water on my shorts.

They took a couple of seconds to react to this craziness but then joined right in. We played in the rain puddles for about 15 minutes. All the while laughing and giggling and just being silly.

It was the most fun I’ve had all week. 

Spontaneous, silly, crazy, no nonsense, not a care in the world, FUN.


Title courtesy of @feuxdeforet this afternoon, when I tweeted about the puddle fun.


When it's your time, will you know?

On the way home from the hospital this evening to visit Rhonda, Mary and I had a conversation about all of this. She surprised me in telling me of Rhonda's speech on Sunday at her Surprise 50th Birthday Party (the kiddos and I hadn't made it there).

Wednesday, my Elementary Gym Teacher (also friends with Rhonda and Mary) spoke to Mary about the speech. She said as Rhonda spoke to all of her friends, coworkers, and family that afternoon she couldn't help but feel as though it was a goodbye speech. Possibly a clearing of the air, a thank you to all that had been in her life, a reminder of what they all meant to her. She (my gym teacher) got the distinct feeling that this speech was a premonition of sorts of what was to come.

Two days later Rhonda suffered a major Stroke of the Pons. 

Mary also surprised me in telling me about the day her Father passed away. It was Father's Day. At breakfast he made his two adult girls promise that when he dies they would not let their Mother dress him in a suit. Later that morning he also walked the girls around the yard pointing out each plant and how to care for it. He then showed them his bird feeders and described how and when to fill them.

He passed away that night in his sleep.

When it's your time, will you know?

Friday, May 27, 2011


This week has been a roller coaster ride, to say the least.

I have been reminded of how precious life is in every turn I’ve made.

I need a good cry. 

Life is Precious. Life is Short. Make it count. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Don’t Tell Him I Told You

  • He’s 33 today.
  • At 18 he purchased his first home.
  • Turkey Subs are his favorite.
  • He’s a gadget dude.
  • He loves to be outdoors.
  • He is a GeoCache superstar.
  • Anything electronics are his hobby.
  • He can fix them all.
  • He was a Manager by 18.
  • He lost his Mom at 24, two days after his birthday.
  • He lost his StepDad at 31, three weeks before his birthday.
  • Poison Ivy does not affect him.
  • He’s the Daddy of all Daddies. The best!
  • He has one older brother and one younger sister.
  • He was friends with his BIL before his wife.
  • He has traveled the country.
  • He is a phenomenal cook/grillmaster/chef.
  • He was named after a TV character.
  • He now lives in what was a cornfield he played in as a kid.  
  • On his wedding day he wasn’t old enough to drink.
  • He used to have his ear pierced.
  • His FIL used to make him take it out at the house.
  • Now his FIL has his pierced.
  • He likes opening the brand new peanut butter jar.
  • He’s a dog lover.
  • He wears shorts in the snow.
  • He even wore shorts as the Schwan’s Freezer Warehouse Manager.
  • He became a Daddy at 26.
  • And again at 29. 
  • His kiddos were held by him first.
  • Boring Learning/History/How To TV shows fascinate him.
  • He’s a RedSox fan.
  • And a Chiefs Fan.
  • And used to be a Braves Fan.
  • His biggest fan is his wife.
  • He likes the beach.
  • He washes the kitchen floor more than his wife does.
  • Orange Slices are made for him.
  • He has too many hats.
  • He worked with his wife at three restaurants.
  • He loves to swim.
  • He loves Scooby Doo and Looney Tunes.
  • Landscaping is another hobby (you should see his lawn!).
  • Steely Dan is one of his favorite bands.
  • Absolution is his #1 favorite band.
  • He uses his wife’s Anniversary gift more than she does.
  • He likes to drive.
  • He doesn’t golf.
  • He calls himself the High Five Guy.
  • He’s an Apple junkie.
  • He answers the front door in his Terrorist Tee Shirt.
  • He works hard for his family.
  • His favorite comic is Calvin & Hobbs.
  • He’s a sucker for Sicilian Pizza.
  • It reminds him of his Grandmother.
  • He has two cousins named Nikki and one named Julie.
  • His Dad still calls him Nickie.
  • He owns his third home now.
  • He went to DisneyWorld for his Honeymoon and his 5yr Anniversary.
  • He works 3, 14 hour days.
  • He rocks out to MJ Experience on Wii with his little girl.
  • He is his wife’s soul mate and the best Husband in the world. 

Monday, May 16, 2011


Hubs and I are experimenting with discipline. Lately, the kiddos behaviors have been less than what we expect. Now, they are good children, in fact, great children. When they want to be. However, it's the "when they don't wanna" that's the issue.

So for this week, we're pulling in the reigns, tightening the belt, cracking the whip. They are grounded. We have pretty much taken away the decision making that they take for granted: what would you like for breakfast, what would you like to drink, where would you like to eat, what would you like to watch? All of these, are on hold for (at least) the week. Oh, and the electronics are out the window, too.

Instead, we will focus on manners including asking permission; respect including what others would like to do;  reading; playing outdoors; conversing; drinking water instead of juice or sprite; eating at the table at meal time with less in between snacking; and so forth. 

We are also dead set on only saying things ONCE. My kiddos have learned, at a young age, to keep on asking questions. They are smart kids. They want to learn. They learn by asking "why?" However, I am beginning to learn that, although I hated hearing it as a kid, some things are simply "because Mommy/Daddy said." I don't need to explain every decision we make to our kiddos. 

They also have learned (whether conscience or sub) to wait until the request/instruction has turned into a demand before reacting. Saturday I saw it in Madi. Once we were ready to leave for MayFair I said excitedly, "let's go put your dress and shoes on so we can go!" She took her stare from the TV to me and back again without so much as a nod, a blink, or a grunt. Admittedly, I blew up. The morning was all about HER MayFair and she couldn't even give me the time of day when I spoke to her? I don't think so! It reminds me of my Dad asking us when we were younger, "at least grunt or something, so I know you heard me."

So I sat them down yesterday and explained who the decision makers in this house are. And, surprisingly, they took it well. 

Wish us luck. We shall see.

Sulking Sunday

Since I awoke Sunday I have been sulking. I've been crying & sobbing. I've gone through being mad, upset, angry, sad, bitter, pissy, irritable, helpless, lonely, depressed, astounded, just to name a few. Here's why:

When I wake up most mornings I catch up on what I missed in my social world overnight if I have time before showering and beginning the day. I've learned now (I actually knew before but now it has smacked me in the face) that I should wait until later after I have awakened my kiddos and gotten my hugs. Hugs would start my day off so much better. Noted. 

I opened my email and was SHOCKED wide awake when I opened a short email from my Aunt Patty. I began to cry immediately.

Saturday evening my older cousin Matthew (we're 6 days apart) and our Uncle Mike (said Aunt's Hubs) flew to Florida on their planned trip to retrieve Gram's Boyfriend's car. Each Spring someone in the Family flies down, drives the car home to Cape Cod and she and her Boyfriend fly home with her kitties. In the Fall the trip is reversed.

I talked to Gram on Mother's Day Weekend and her only complaints were that of her injuries from her Palm Sunday "death", CPR, and original Spider bite that led to the incident. She also said she can't wait to get back to the Cape and is looking forward to us visiting in July. There was nothing said to prepare me for this email.

The email I received was a picture of Gram from Uncle Mike's phone at the airport pick up Saturday and a short message that read: "Please tell me this isn't all old age!!!! Mike says her foot is pretty bad too. I believe she's having an MRI done tomorrow. Poor Gram!!!!!"

Apparently, I've since learned, she fell again sometime last week. She says she fell sleep walking. I have not heard first hand her story. I have heard from Matt and he says she is fine. It seems, through messages received, that Mike and Matt have different opinions of the situation. Either that or Matt is sugar coating to me for my sanity. I have yet to figure out which. 

I've been told "they" think her arm may be broken. She is having an MRI today. I don't know who "they" are or if "they" should have already done something. Being so far away leaves me feeling absolutely helpless. 

My kiddos were great yesterday morning. They sang made up songs to me in Bubba's room when I sat down with tears that hit me again out of no where. Madi sang "Don't Cry Mommy" to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle, or was it Happy Birthday?  They tried their best with their hugs and smiles and eventually just went off playing while I gathered myself, my tears, and the blankie I had been given by Bubba. We lazed around the house all day because Mommy used all of her energy to be sad.

Friday, May 13, 2011

I Know

I have long time been confused by the decision making of others (I’m sure me at some point, too). I often wonder, in different situations what determines the grasp we have on them. Why hold on so tightly in some circumstances and not others? Is it as simple as laying the blame on someone above you or in control of you that you have to hold on tightly? Maybe it’s as simple as the situation depends on with WHOM the person is making the decision for/based on/about? 

Why are we all so adamant on not backing down? Power struggle? Control issues? Or the need to fight for what you believe? Does it come down to just something you believe? 

I know I am vague. I know these are hypothetical questions with no real examples. I know. 
I just have my panties in a bunch, that’s all.

Mother's Day

My Mother’s Day began with my kiddos bringing me presents in bed. Hubs was at work all day. They gave me a basket full of goodies including a pretty pink mini rose bush to plant in the yard. (I secretly hope they get me one every year to add to the yard as a keepsake).

We had plans to pick up my Mom, Abba DeeDee, later in the morning so the kiddos and I set off for our Annual Ice Cream & Pancake Mother’s Day Breakfast at Friendly’s. The kiddos think this is a real treat and think they are even supposed to keep it a secret from Daddy. We just started this little tradition two years ago but it stuck, I guess.

We stopped by our favorite produce and plant shop, Willey Farms on the way and picked up two Lilac bushes for my Mom. Lilacs are one of her favorites and yet she doesn’t have any in her yard. We brought them to her when we picked her up for our fun filled Ocean City Day.

We arrived in OC after what the kiddos thought was too long of a ride and found an all day parking lot. Expensive, but in the end worth it with Madi’s ankle cast and the lot’s location right at the Boardwalk. We headed to Spring Fest at the Inlet first and loved browsing through all of the Arts, Crafts, and Handmade Finds. Mom and I are always ones for “oh, I can do that” ideas that we take with us. Mom picked out a few things, as did I and the kiddos enjoyed seeing so many different things people can make on their own.

Before lunch we decided to hit Jolly Rogers to give the kiddos a break from the Arts & Crafts. While Madi and I rode the Ferris Wheel, Abba DeeDee and Bubba “fished” at the duck pond where he won a sword that he loves. We waved and waved to Bubba as we went by and he got a kick out of looking for us. He, so far, is not keen on riding rides himself. Hopefully, he’ll grow into them.

Madi and I loved the Ferris Wheel on the Ocean City Beach. It was a beautiful day with not too many clouds and such bright sunshine. It was peaceful at the top looking out onto a spring beach day with not too many crowds anywhere. Spring and Fall are my favorite times at the beach for just that reason. Not too hot, not too many people, and I still feel like a local. Ok, an hour and a half away local.

We grabbed a pizza and fries at a shop on the boardwalk and then decided to head back to the Arts & Crafts tent to finish up. But, not before the kiddos and I ran into the Old Tyme Photos and got dressed up for a picture. I remember doing a picture like that when I was a kid and just thought on a whim that the kiddos would get a kick out of it. They did. Bubba so much so that he thought we were keeping his cowboy outfit and taking it home. That was not a fun argument.

After Ocean City we decided to take the inland route home and thus pass by the Assateague Island road. And, who can resist? So, off we went on our Pony Hunt. As soon as we crossed the bridge onto Assateague Island we were greeted with 3 ponies off the right side of the road and one more grazing in the median of the road. They were busy with their grass and look so used to people pointing and starring and shooting pictures of them. Almost like they welcome it and know we love to see them enjoying their island. We continued on through the free part of the park and decided to turn back at the gate. Eventually we ended right back to the original ponies. They had moved up the road a little and been joined by a few more ponies, 8 or 9 in all, and stopped to take some pictures. The kiddos enjoyed talking to them from the car. It’s funny how it’s so much different than seeing horses on the local farms in our town.

Our last stop for the day was at Dumser’s where Bubba had already passed out in his car seat and missed his second ice cream of the special day. Mom, Madi and I grabbed cones and set off for home where Mom had Corned Beef & Cabbage awaiting us in the crockpot.

All in all, a great Momma’s day with my kiddos and my Mommy.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

He Calls Me "J"

I have this friend.
He lives in a town we traveled to when Hubs worked for ASCAP (that's another story).
We met on Twitter (yes, Dad, twit-ter).

We talk here and there about all sorts of things. We have boys with birthdays two days apart. I've introduced him to my brother's music. He has introduced me to his lovely wife. He can't believe I've been to his town. I proved it by pointing out the M on the mountain. He calls me "J."
What he probably doesn't know is how honored I feel when we have our little chats. It's just a little Twitter chat but to me, it's awesome. It's the kind of friendship that can pick up right where it left off with no worries of "why haven't we talked." It's the kind of friendship that's simple and easy. The kind I hope my children someday have. The kind that travels the miles.

This man that calls himself @TheRealClint has been influencing so many friends like me these past couple of months. From the moment his wife hijacked his Twitter and asked for Prayers, we have all been even more, hooked on Clint Miller. Oh, we were all fans before, trust me. But we then were a group of friends stunned. Stunned that this strong man was in need of us. He needed us to rally for strength, encouragement, and Prayer and not one of us hesitated. As fast as we all could we joined hands, fell to our knees and began Praying. And we haven't stopped yet. We're all in the bleachers chanting #WeLoveClint!

My friend, Clint, has Testicular Cancer. He still has more road to travel. But he won't be traveling alone. He has a support team holding his hand every step of the way and we won't let him fall.

Clint's wish since his diagnosis has been to meet his predecessor with this disease, Lance Armstrong. Lance's success having beat this disease has kept Clint going, kept his Family going, and kept his friends going. I want to see this meeting happen. So far, Lance has sent Clint a You Tube Video in response to a few tweets we all sent his way. Also, just recently Clint's wife Angela went on air in their home state to tell of Clint's Journey and get the word out about Testicular Cancer as the link Clint and Lance share. Angela rocked her interview (as we all knew she would) and got TV into this Social Media Mix (funny, I feel I should have a link on TV to remind us what it is). You can help too, by following Clint's journey on Twitter and Facebook and getting the word out, one little status update at a time.

I continue to Pray that the next link that Clint and Lance share will be BEATING Testicular Cancer.

Don't Wait Until a Eulogy

"She died and was brought back. By my count she has 7 lives left." The text my cousin just sent me in a convo about our Gram's Palm Sunday. It's ironic that he would describe her like that as she has been an avid cat collector all of her life. At any given time she always has two cats to care for. She loves them with all of her heart. And usually, they only love her. They are dedicated to her. 

I talked to Gram this past weekend. She sounded upbeat and happy to be coming home to Cape Cod soon. She still has some follow up to do on the bite she got. Turns out it was a spider bite, not hornet. She says her foot is still swollen and she has nightmares about baby spiders crawling around in there (#mentalimage, you're welcome). She also says her ribs are still sore from the CPR. Again I reminded her it is better than the alternative.
So, my cousin and I were marveling at the luck, good fortune, strength, blessings Gram has had these past few years. Basically, she has died twice, and lived to tell of it. Is it divine intervention, is it luck, is it man made things getting in the way with His plan? And even that could go wither way. Is it not yet her time and God turns her back or is it and man turns her back? We may never know.

What I do know for sure is how blessed I am to still have Gram in my life. She has taught me through these two deaths that it is never too late to tell those you love that you do. Don't wait until a Eulogy to tell the world how much someone means to you. Don't wait until a Eulogy to remind the living what you want to be remembered for. Don't wait until a Eulogy to be sorry for your sins, your actions, and your wrong doings. Don't wait until a Eulogy to be the one being remembered either.

Live your life for the here and now. Live your life the way you want your 6.5 year old to fill in the blanks on a pre-made first grade Mother's Day card.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Neighborhood Shits

I am currently admiring my parenting skills from the front window of my home. My two are in our yard with four neighborhood kids from down the street. Two of them we know from the bus; the other two are new to me. They are all WILD!
So far, it's a toss up between bear hugging my children and bringing them inside to guard them against the stupidity, carelessness, and dis-respectfulness of at least three of the four; or allowing them to play as a lesson in not all kids will act nicely 100% of the time. Including, I'm not naive, themselves when not under Mommy & Daddy's watchful eye.
I am proud to see that Madi is trying her best to look out for her Bubba. He being the littlest seems to get the raw end of the deal most times. Also, because he is the youngest he is the most impressionable, I'm sure.
It's a fine line trying not to be the mean Mom yelling out the window at every little thing but I also want to make sure they know I am watching, closely.
I think it's time to thank my Mom once again for all she went through with me.

Update- one down, three to go. Little kid decided he wanted to use one of my flag stones from the front garden to "get" one of the other kids as he was upset with him. He then turned to the window and saw me. Yes, little shit, I am watching you. "Time to go home now."

Friday, May 6, 2011

5 Days Shy (part 1)

Madi made the Honor Roll (again) for the third marking period of 1st grade. The evil side of me wishes the nice side of me would let me make a copy of the Report Card and send it to the naysayers. Well, not necessarily “naysayers” but the “she’s too young, it doesn’t matter how smart she is” sayers.

Way back when I was pregnant with Madylin I was terrified with the Due Date of September 2nd. I knew, at that time, the date was past the kindergarten cutoff date. I was obsessed with having her before then. I begged the doctors. No really! I begged them to induce me ahead of time; at every appointment; at every Ultrasound; every single time. I think at times the doctors thought I was joking. I know Hubs thought I was worrying a little early for something that wouldn’t be an issue for five years. Well, he learned!

Not only was Madi not early, she was three days late. That’s not much, I know. But it put us at September 5th, 5 days shy of the school cutoff date. That became the name of her birthday: “September 5th, 5 days shy of the cutoff.”

Skip ahead 3.5 years and you find me squirming her into the 4 year old PreSchool class at the local Catholic Church/School. School started Tuesday, September 2 and she turned 4 on Friday, September 5th. They didn’t even realize she was the youngest one. She was one of the smartest.

That entire PreSchool year Hubs and I spent on the telephone with so many schools: public, private, charter, you name it! We got no where. We got speech after speech of how she wasn’t ready, she wasn’t the right age, she wasn’t gifted, she wasn’t smart, we as Parents were biased, we weren’t seeing the truth, we were just proud parents. Of course we were proud parents! And shouldn’t we be? But all of this was said without even ONE of these schools meeting her. They would not even give her the time of day.

My most frustrating and disappointing came from my own Alma Mater Catholic Elementary School. How hurt I was when the Principal refused, yes REFUSED, to even talk with Madi. She said absolutely not. I was wrong. I was wrong in wanting to push my child, challenge my child, get my child the best education she deserved. They would gladly take my tuition money for PreSchool but would not even consider testing her for what she rightfully deserved. I argued over and over that the same speech should be given to Parents whose children’s birthdays fell on August 30th. After all, they were right on that fine line, too. I was laughed at and told, “they made the cutoff, they’re fine.” No, they may not be fine. It depends on the individual child; of which you won’t even speak to mine. We’re talking FIVE days. This Principal even joked that Madi would do great in PreSchool even going as far as to tell me she could help the teacher in teaching other students! Are you kidding me!? I pay tuition so my child can teach the class!? I don’t think so.

So, we almost gave up. Almost.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Jump to Conclusions

Why is it ok for everyone else? Why am I misunderstood? Why is it ok to only be the way you want me to be?

That’s not me. You know me. You laugh with me. You joke with me. You KNOW me.

So then, why are you ashamed, or embarrassed or surprised by me, being, well ME!