Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Had a Dream

I had a dream last night that I was chauffeuring my Prince Charming around doing errands before our summer vacation and I was pulled over by a Police Officer.

In the dream, I was pleading and pleading in the car, before the Officer arrived at my window, that in no way was I speeding. I KNOW I was not speeding.

In the dream, while I began shaking and tearing up, My Prince Charming quickly opened the glove box for my registration and insurance.

In the dream, when the Officer arrived at my window and asked the infamous “do you know why I pulled you over, ma’am.” my Prince Charming leaned over to my window and was all apologies.

In my dream, My Prince Charming told the Officer how absent minded he was that he had forgotten to put his seat belt on this one time.

In my dream, My Prince Charming always wore his seatbelt because he knew how important it is, not only to be safe, but to also set a good example for his kiddos.

In my dream, My Prince Charming had only forgotten it this one time and thankfully the Officer was nice enough to remind him.

In my dream, the Officer shook My Prince Charming’s hand and said he must be a great guy to take responsibility for his not wearing a seatbelt.

In my dream, the Officer reminded us of all the studies and proof that have surfaced in the last 4 decades showing the worth of wearing a seatbelt.

In my dream, the Officer told me how lucky I am to have My Prince Charming and that there was no need to be angry for one mistake.

In my dream, the Officer reminded My Prince Charming how lucky he was to have a beautiful Family and that wearing his seatbelt would insure his safety traveling with that Family.

In my dream, the Officer bid us safe travels and thanked us for being great parents and upstanding citizens.

Pheww! Crazy dreams! 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My Gram & Julia

Thursday was, apparently, the 50th Anniversary of my Biological Grandmother’s Death. Julia Wojtkiewicz passed away (from a cerebral hemorrhage) 5 days shy of my Dad’s 6th birthday. He says he remembers much of the activities that week and they still feel very sad.

My Dad’s Dad (thought to be Biological, I’ll get to that someday) then took care of him for the next few months until his untimely death. From what I understand, Tony Wojtkiewicz passed away of Cancer. I believe his was Lung Cancer. Dad remembers him as hard working but a drinker and smoker and hardly ever home.

So, my Dad was left an orphan at 6 years old. This is where my Gram steps in.

My Gram is my Dad’s older sister, June, by 21 years. June and my Dad were both born to Julia but of different Father’s. June’s Dad was also named Tony. June had one son six months older than my Dad and one son a couple of years younger.

She and her Husband, my Grampie, took my Dad in. She was 27. Apparently no one else wanted to. Overnight she became a Mother to three boys instead of two. Overnight she had to raise a boy that had just lost both of his parents in the same year. Overnight, she had to get her boys to accept a brother. Overnight, she had to explain to strangers how in the world she had two sons only six months apart. Overnight, she became my Hero. And I wasn’t even born yet.

She raised three school boys, then pre-teen boys, then teen boys, then band members (what three brothers wouldn’t throw together a band), then bid them farewell through tears when each joined the military.

Gram celebrated each of their weddings in the same beautiful pink and blue flower printed dress and later gave each grandchild a piece of it. Mine was a potpourri sachet.

Gram celebrated the birth of each grandchild with so much joy in her eyes. When my parents called her to tell her of their pregnancy with me, before they could get the words out Gram says “I know the happy news, isn’t it great, your brother and his wife are expecting their first!” It’s a story they all still laugh about. My cousin was born six days earlier than me. We are Gram’s eldest grandchildren.

We all grew up swimming in the family pool, playing in the family barn, spending every summer together on the Family Compound. Grampie had given each boy an acre on the property when they returned from the military. My Dad was the only one that did not build on his. My two Uncles live on the Family Compound still today and often times I’m jealous. Ok, all the time, I am jealous.

I was told some of the story as a teenager, if I remember correctly, not too long before my Grampie passed away. Never knowing before my Gram was actually my Aunt. Never knowing before how my two Uncles were actually my cousins or second cousins or something like that. Never knowing their three children each were actually, oh jeez, who knows? All I knew was Gram and Grampie lived on the Cape, had three sons and eight of us grandchildren. And I loved visiting all of them.

Not long before I got married Gram gave me a wonderful surprise. Shortly after Grampie passed,away from Leukemia, Gram had her engagement diamond and Julia’s engagement diamond made into earrings. She wore them for years in their memory. She gathered my older cousin and I one day and gave us each one of the diamonds. She split up the pair she had been wearing to remind her of her loved ones lost. She gave me the diamond from Julia so that I would have something from my biological Grandmother. Something, in addition to my name.

Gram called my Dad on Thursday to remind him of the day. He hadn’t thought of it until then. But, then he could think of nothing else. So many things could have been different. But the way God worked them out, I’m ok with.

Friday, June 24, 2011


1. The mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.
2. The distinctive nature of something.

My character was questioned this week, in many ways.

In a licensing process my references have to be called.

The first reference was my neighbor. She chatted me, my family, and my baking up so much that the interviewer was disappointed when I showed up empty handed at my interview. He expected I bring some of “that wonderful zucchini bread” with me. My neighbor told him how great of a neighbor I am, how wonderful of a Mommy. I wouldn’t be surprised if she even told him about me splashing in the rain puddles. He told me she was great to talk to.

The next reference was Madylin’s Godmother, a wonderful Mom, a supportive friend, a Leader in every sense of the word. They had been playing phone tag before I had my interview. Later in the day, they finally connected. He asked her about my Character and she was taken aback. She said that was a loaded question. She told him that not only do we work together but that I am one of the very few (probably only) work friends she hangs out with outside of work. He took that as a compliment. And it was. She touted my organization skills (like you didn’t already know that), my work ethic, my determination, and my management skills.

The third reference was from the “on the spot” list the Interviewer asked me for on Wednesday. I joked and told him that I didn’t have time to warn the reference or even bribe them. He said that’s one reason why they ask on the spot. Oh, wow! So I gave the name of a former Employer thinking he would be kind. Holy Toledo, was he kind! I never knew he thought so highly of me. I never knew he thought the world of my family. After he finished with the reference he called my Dad right away. They have been friends for years. He was worried that I needed this reference for something unexpected and wanted to make sure everything was ok. My Dad assured him it was for work and was nothing to worry about. He then preceded to tell my Dad everything he had told the Interviewer. He went as far bask as to tell him he’s known my Dad over 30 something years and remembers me as a Baby. He was present at my brother’s Baptism because he had a son being Baptized at the same time. He was present for my Confirmation because his eldest daughter was in my class with me. He gave my brother his first job and hired us both the same day. His restaurant is where my Husband and I met, began dating, and fell in love. Even said that when the family comes in to eat he sees how I interact with my kiddos, how he’s never seen me have a drink, and how I treat his staff like Family. I could never have asked for such a glowing reference. I could never have imagined the impression I had made on such a dear Family Friend. I am honored.

Then yesterday, ironically having nothing to do with anything, there surfaces a naysayer.
To naysayers, I say this:

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Baby Fever

There are currently way too many friends around me having babies!

I am jealous.

No I’m not.

Well, sorta.

I’m not jealous of the fear, the morning sickness, or the pain associated with having a baby. However,

I am very jealous of that baby belly that starts to pop out of my jeans. And the way I would hold my belly so carefully as if I was already holding my baby. Or the way I could blame my big boobs on the fact that I was pregnant. (Shut up, I know I had them before and after.) I’m jealous of the attention and the encouragement and the way to go’s. The new pink and blue clothes and the little tiny diapers.

The smell of the baby lotion and
the baby powder and
the receiving blankets and
the bottles and
the binkies and
the baby booties and
the baby hats and bonnets and
the smell of my newborn’s head. Oooo, that smell!  

I am jealous of the new life that a Mom & Dad are so proud to bring into this world. This little creation that together they made and will love and love and love.

But, even through my friendly jealousy, I am most honored to have new victims Moms & Dads to share this wonderful club of parenthood. Even through all of it’s ups and downs, it is the best reward ever!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

By the Numbers

6 Months
13 Days
1 Sunrise (sorta) 
1 Mommy
2 Kiddos
1 New Camera
3 States
250 Miles
3 Beaches
7 Potty Breaks
4 Car Ride Movies
2 Naps
1 Ferry Ride 
2 Many Seagulls
1 Minor Injury
3 Lighthouses
1 Lighthouse Climb 
199 Steps
2 Tee Shirts
1 Hospital Visit (to see Aunt Rhonda)
1 Airport Drive By
1 Birthday Dinner with Friends
2 More Kiddos
2 Lightning Bugs in a jar
358 Pictures
96 Twitter & FB Happy Birthdays
2 Singing Voice Mails
1 Birthday Wish from Montana
18 Text Messages

1 Magnificent Mommy Birthday!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Betcha Didn't Know... There Was Even More

Read my first two lists here and here.

  • I don't like thunderstorms.
  • I pretend I do for the kiddos.
  • I can flare my nostrils.
  • My favorite vegetable is broccoli.
  • My favorite fruit is strawberries.
  • I don't eat enough of either.
  • I was engaged as a Senior in HS.
  • I was an idiot.
  • I text more than a grown-up should.
  • The only other country I've been to is Canada.
  • I have been pregnant three times. :(
  • I've caught my kiddos' puke in my hands.
  • I was my College Mascot my Sophomore year.
  • I've played basketball since fifth grade.
  • I've coached it since ninth.
  • I have a mean 3pt shot. 
  • I'm addicted to care packages.
  • And chocolate.
  • And ice cream.
  • But most importantly, my kiddos.
  • My brother broke my finger once.
  • It was completely my fault.
  • I babysat at the young age of 9. 
  • I would never dream of having a 9yo babysit my kiddos.
  • I digress. 
  • I still get zits.
  • I can fix the work computer but get upset at the home computer.
  • I give advice and forget to take it.
  • I've peed at the Pentagon. 
  • I threw up through Bubba's ENTIRE pregnancy. 
  • I left a Catholic School job to be a Bar Manager. 
  • I worked for Grotto. 
  • So did my brother, my stepsister, my hubs, & Madi's Godfather. 
  • I am a Duke fan since HS.
  • I 'knew' the Sixth Sense within 10 minutes. 
  • I danced the music number to Parent Trap over and over. 
  • That and Dirty Dancing.
  • I tease my kiddos. 
  • They tell me I'm silly. And crazy.
  • I try not to Hate.
  • I've had PPD. Twice.
  • I survived it. Twice.
  • I can't belch. 
  • I don't care for boats or planes. 
  • I love Old Bay Crabs.
  • My jokes are sometimes bad. 
  • Family Fun is my favorite magazine.
  • I was listed in it once. 
  • I wrote pages and pages of poetry in High School.
  • I started my Middle School’s News Paper.
  • I went to Catholic Elementary School.
  • 118, Fried, Chicken, No Guacamole.
  • I take too many TwitPics.
  • Tomorrow is my birthday.
  • Have I mentioned my kiddos?
  • Or chocolate?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Little Things

If it were up to TV, and the Internet, and the merchandisers it's all of the games and toys and stuff you need to buy to make kids happy and learn and grow. 


When I was little I remember the everyday things turned into fun and silliness. In the summertime, we didn't have a pool, didn't have a/c. We would have hose fights and water balloon tosses and wash the cars to cool off. We would camp out on Mom and Dad's bedroom floor to enjoy their window A/C. We thought it was cool. It never occurred to us it was for money reasons, or any other reason for that matter.We went camping and caught fireflies, and made smores and played cards. It was easy. It was fun. It, obviously, made memories with me. 

Last week, Madi and I decided to begin a list. These are things we've done on accident or on a whim or just because. I told her we'd make a list to remember them and to do them again. She assured me she doesn't need reminding. I tend to believe her. 

Help me add to the list, would'ya!?
  • Chasing a local freight train.
  • Pulling over to watch a turtle cross the road.
  • Coloring.
  • Watching the tractors plow.
  • Chasing Daddy with dirty hands.
  • Running through the sprinkler.
  • Running through the puddles after the rain.
  • Listening to and smelling the rain from the garage.
  • Reading bedtime stories.
  • "Washing" dishes.
  • Stopping over and over to see the Colt down the road.
  • Catching fireflies.
  • Digging in the dirt.
  • Camping out in the basement when the A/C broke.
  • TV Tag & Freeze Tag.
  • Mommy "falling" in the bathtub. 
  • Chasing sand fleas. 
  • Chalk pictures in the driveway.
  • Feeding the ducks.
  • Eating Ice Cream without a napkin. 
  • Finger and Toe Painting the garage floor.
  • Pitching pennies in a fountain. 
  •  Making our Sitter hold you while jumping on the trampoline.

 List to be continued...

    The Darndest Things

    I am famous for asking my kiddos silly, off the wall what if's. I have a few different mind games to play, just to get them thinking. 
    Also to see what kind of crazy toddler talk I can get out of JP. For example, today when I told him I was ready to leave and he was driving he very proudly stated "that's good, I have the key cars!"

    Anyway, one of the games we like to play is "Which Do You Like Better?" Sometimes I'll go with things in the same category, like pink or purple. And sometimes I'll go with crazy pairs: going to the mall or puppy dogs? 
    The answers I get back often blow my mind. Things I never would have thought of and things you would actually expect to hear from a youngin. For example, "I'll just buy the puppy AT the mall." Well, ok.. 
    If nothing else, the answers get us laughing and talking and listening to what each other has to contribute. (that's my own horn tooting there, you hear it?)

    Another one of my games is "If You had One Wish Today." This one was tonight's dinner conversation. 
    Luckily Hubs was not present to spit his food out all over the table and then clutch his chest and then fall out of the booth and then land on the crayons all over on the floor and then roll on them under the table and then gasp for air. Luckily. 
    Because tonight, Madi's matter of fact answer to the question "If You Had One Wish Today" was... (High flying curve ball hit out into left field!) "I want a baby sister." BAM!

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Daughter’s Love

    A recently turned 50 year old Mom walked herself to the emergency room around 9:15 on the morning of Tuesday, May 24th. Something just wasn’t right. She had made it to work, barely, which was located immediately across the street from the Hospital, but the morning had been a tough one. She sat on a hospital bed in the hallway of an emergency room, alone, for over 3 hours.

    Her daughter arrived by her side around 12:30. Her Mom had not yet been seen by an ER Doctor. She described to her daughter the odd morning she experienced and the terrible headache she was still suffering from, at the back of her head at the base of her neck. Told her she even went into the bathroom and stared into the shower at those “things” and couldn’t figure out what to do with them. She made a motion with her hands to show her daughter. She was describing the faucet and knobs.

    Her daughter tried, unsuccessfully, to get her Mom some help. They were told they would be seen soon. Her Mom was given some crackers and asked to be patient.

    At approximately 3pm her Mom’s mouth began to droop and the cracker she was eating came falling out of her mouth. She was suffering a major stroke.

    Later that evening, surrounded by Family, a Helicopter from the University of Pennsylvania Hospital arrived to transport her Mom there. Her daughter, reluctantly kissed her goodbye. That was one of only two times the past two weeks those two have been separated.

    Her daughter raced to UPenn and sat by her side as she was adjusted and set up in the ICU there. The next day, her Mom’s CAT Scan revealed terrible statistics. Her daughter didn’t listen. She cried, but she didn’t waiver. She held Hope; She held Faith; She held Love; that her Mom would be a different kind of statistic. The kind of statistic that Doctors can’t measure; the kind that Doctors can’t explain and won’t.

    In the following days, her Daughter held her Mom’s hand, stroked her skin, tickled her toes, talked to her. Her Daughter read to her Mom from her Bible. Over and over again. Her Daughter told her who was visiting, who was calling, who was sending their love. And then she would read the Bible again.

    Soon, her Daughter saw signs; signs of life, love, and laughter from Her Mom. Each day, each moment was something new from her Mom. One moment a moving pinky finger, another moment a twinge of her smile. Each sign more significant and meaningful than the next.

    At the one week mark her Mom was Signing using the letters of the alphabet with her right hand. Slowly but surely, one letter at a time, she was communicating. How blessed her Daughter must have felt. How honored to have witnessed a Miracle. Her Mom Signed “I Love You.”

    Throughout the next week more visitors dropped by, more Prayers were continued, more laughter instead of sorrow. Day by day, step by step there is improvement and there is more hope.

    At the two week mark her Mom was released from ICU and moved rooms, her Daughter by her side. Her Mom is now whispering, blinking, moving her left leg, breathing through a trach, and beginning her long recovery journey. This is no more a story of a major stroke but that of a Daughter’s Love and Faith.

    And so, her Daughter continues: brushing her hair, holding her hand, reading her passages, laughing with her, crying with her. All the while, knowing in her heart her Mom is not yet finished in her Miracle.

    The best is yet to come.

    Sunday, June 5, 2011

    I Have a List

    I have laundry in both the dryer and the washer (and, as always, all the hampers). I have dishes in the dishwasher and the sink. I have vacuuming, dusting, mopping, and windows to be cleaned. I have a garage that needs tidying, a bed that needs making (make that three). I have flowers to plant, trash to be emptied, a fridge to be wiped, and so much more. I have magazines that need recycling. I have cupboards to be organized. I have yard sale piles that need sorting. I have pictures that need dusting and mirrors that need windexing and I have windowsills that need attention. I have bathrooms that need bleaching and stairs that need emptying. I have shoes that need a spot, I have pillows and blankets that need a home and toys that need a box. I have grass that needs watering, and weeds that need pulling and flags that need replacing in the garden.

    But more importantly today, I have a Pops that wants to cook us hotdogs on the grill at his pool, whether my list likes it or not.

    I Missed My Calling

    Actually, I missed several of them. 
    I once wanted to be a Wedding Consultant. My Wedding was gorgeous! And on a budget. Granted, we still spent way too much money, but it could have been even worse. I hear about others planning weddings and get this slight twinge of jealousy that I’m not planning another one. I had hoped to one day be living my wedding fantasies vicariously through other brides. One after the other.

    I once wanted to be a Flight Attendant. Seriously. As a little girl I dreamed of helping people on their flights to far off lands and getting to travel the world seeing new places and faces. Alas, my fear of flying got the best of me.

    I once wanted to be a Marine Biologist. Just kidding. You are still paying attention, right?

    I once wanted to be a Third Grade Teacher. I would have been wonderful at that. As I put together our end of the school year thank you gift for ME’s 1st Grade Teacher I can’t help but think I was made for that. We (and by “we” I mean “I”) got her a Thirty-One Lunch Bag with her initial on it. I then sent ME to school with a few questions: what’s her favorite snack, her favorite candy, her favorite drink, and her favorite color? Honestly, her teacher must think I’m a stalker. Anyway, we got her favorite snack and her favorite candy and filled her lunch bag. Then we also made a Classroom Kit for essentials she may need: safety pins, binder clips, batteries, pens, highlighters, tissues, suction cups, buttons, googlie eyes, Hershey Kisses (Wait, what?). ME is decorating a label for the top and hopefully she can find a use for the things in her kit.

    This is where my dreams come back to bite me in the ass. For all the what ifs, I can’t help but be perfectly happy that I didn’t finish college for my teaching degree and that I didn’t go off on some flight somewhere or live vicariously through other brides. If I had, I wouldn’t be where I am today. My life took unexpected turns and landed me right where I am: with my amazing Hubs and my two gorgeous kiddos.

    I once wanted the Perfect Family. Jackpot!

    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    S’mores will be Served at My Funeral

    And Friendly’s Hot Fudge Sundaes.
    There will be an entrance fee of 2 canned goods per person.
    Or a roll of dimes for the March of Dimes.
    Unless you didn’t like me and then the fee is doubled.
    Everyone will be singing Madonna, MJ and NKOTB.
    Until Absolution rocks out a concert.
    There will be no crying. Or pouting. Or sulking.
    And absolutely no whining.
    No one is to be shushed.
    I want Purple Roses and Purple Orchids and Purple Tulips.
    Light Purple though, not dark.
    You can toast me with Sweet Tea and Diet Pepsi.
    And chocolate peanut butter milkshakes from Peppers.
    I want a moon bounce and pony rides for the kids.
    And, of course, the adults.
    A pick up basketball game would be nice, too.
    You will not spend a lot on my casket or service.
    Spend that on planting flowers and trees in your yard.
    Pictures of me pregnant are my favorite, so use them.
    And my wedding day. Those are beautiful.
    Everyone will hug everyone else.
    Hard feelings will be thrown out the window.
    Wait for a rainy day so you can splash in puddles in my honor.
    Have lots of purple towels on hand for drying off.
    Don’t ask my family members for speeches about me.
    Instead tell them what they mean to you.
    Tell me “see you soon” instead of “goodbye.”
    Know that I will wait for you for more hugs.