Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Scene Stealer

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Family Recounts Are Entertaining and Odd

Last night while talking to my dad he mentioned a few things that I want to write down before I forget them.

Oddly enough, at 41 years old, I still learn new things when an elder starts opening up about family.

Here are some brief bullets from lasy night's call that I hope to build on over the next few weeks.

I learned today that the reason my father and his brother had 5 years between them was because my grandmother had miscarried a baby girl. Ummm, a possible aunt? That would have been nice.

During Air Raid Drills or power outings my father, grandparents and my uncle would pile into "the bathroom with a candle in the sink to wait it out because it was the safest place to burn a candle".

My grandfather was an air raid officer. I had no idea.

My dad and his family had the first TV on the block because my grandfather built it. This story I had heard before but I didn't know that he was able to build it because he went to TV and radio school. TV and radio school? What the hell is that? He was a construction dude when I knew him. He helped build the Brooklyn Bridge what happened to his education?

My uncle was born on V-Day in Brooklyn NY. He was what they called a Victory Baby and everyone at the hospital was very excited so much so that someone stole the placenta. Grandma had a vaginal birth but my uncle was born inside the placenta like a calf or a horse. He had to be cut out of it and it came on with a V shape on top. Sounds like some crazy, old Italian malocchia thing. Malocchia by the way was used often in my house whenever someone was ill or if I wanted to get out of school. "I feel over looked." Don't ask because I don't know where that term came from but "over looked" meant someone gave me the malocchia and it was taken very seriously in my home.

Anyway, I I was saying, my uncle had to be cut out of the placenta like a fowl. The placenta was wrapped around him in the form of a "V". Ummm, ok...I am just relaying a story here people, these are not my memories. Anyway, when he came out a nurse exclaimed, "we have a victory baby."

From two accounts of the story, my dad and today my sister who heard from my Grandmother, things are sketchy here. My dad says that my grandmother wanted to keep the placenta to put into a necklace because supposedly she heard this would keep you safe at sea, as if she was boring an ocean liner in the near future! Anyway, when she asked for it she was told that it disappeared and that perhaps one of the nurses had stolen it.

My sister says, my grandmother told her that a nurse had wanted it for a necklace and when she asked for it, she was informed that it was missing.

Weird, either way I say. No?!

I also learned tonight that my dad was an RH factor baby and that when my uncle was born very ill. He was sickly as a child and very blond with blue eyes. My grandmother and my grandfather both have brown hair and brown eyes. The story is that when my grandfather came home from the war, he asked "whose baby is that?"

I am here to say that my cousin's born from my uncle look like my grandfather, especially the oldest. He is the spitting image. It is actually a bit disturbing considering my history with my grandfather.

Way Back Post - Writing In My 2 Year Old's Voice

When I had my daughter my son was going on 23 months. My daughter was colic and slept in 1/2 hour clips, and nursed when she wasn't sleeping or crying and my son had a speech delay which made him prone to tantrums. Life wasn't easy but I loved them both and writing has always been a great stress reliever for me.

I started a blog for my son called My Life As A Precocious Toddler and wrote in his voice. I found it both fun and therapeutic. Here is the first post ever written as my 2 year old.

Thursday, June 23, 2005
Parents Suck!

Hey, can we talk? I want to discuss my parents.

Dude I know I need them and everything, my being 2 and all but give me a freakin' break.

Let's take today for instance. I ask for a crayon. Mom looks at me and says "what?" I mean hello! How else do you say crayon? I try again all the while pointing to the shelf where she keeps the damn colored yum, yum taste so good sticks of wax.

I see a light bulb go off over her head and she hands me a broken piece of putrid green crayon and tells me to get my paper. I scream and slam my hand on the table.

A damn crayon women! She says, "that is all there is" and then I hear that pink bundle of "pain in the ass" start her opera.

My sister came into our home 2 months ago and nothing is right! Mom takes off to pick up the screeching pink bundle and I grab her legs as she tries to pass me. A crayon! Damn am I invisible?

I take the stupid piece of putrid wax that she handed me and reach for the flash cards she took out of the drawer an hour before. She said get paper and this sure looks like paper to me.

She moves the flashcards out from under my crayon and says, "not on those!" What? She didn't specify what paper I can use. Paper is paper. Damn her, she is always stopping me from doing something I want to do.

While she sits down to place her plump, dripping, flesh pillow into my sister's mouth I take the crayon and opps miss the little piece of paper she handed me. Wow, the crayon looks really good mixed with the color of the Ottoman. I keep going. Maybe just maybe, Mom and Dad will love my art work. They rave over every stupid mark I make on paper they are going to love this.

I take my time, putting a lot of thought into the amount of strokes, the direction of my lines and the amount of pressure I apply to my art project. I am totally in the zone and the next thing I know my mom is screaming "No!" God how I hate that word.

Ripping the crayon from my clenched fingers and placing me in time out. Huh? She is so ungrateful. That is the last time I try to impress her. As I sit in my time out I contemplate my next art project. I have been checking out the wall next to the TV, I think it could use a few dashes with a key to give it that subtle texture look.

Kelsey Briggs Day - Remember and Pray for Kelsey

Kelsey Briggs Day is April 28th.

May you rest in peace Kelsey and never feel pain again.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The To Do List Update

To Do List -

Make appointment for kids at Peds (3 & 5 year check up)
Get out invites for Son's 5th Birthday
Pick up all party stuff
Go through Spring, Summer clothes to see what fits, what can be given away, what is going on EBay.
Wash all clothes that will be worn by my kids that have been in storage.
Think about birthday gifts for Son and best friend.
Plan a trip with my sister for June to our Childhood town with our kids in tow - Hotel found and ready, need date and rental car.
Finish spring cleaning
Look into a bed for my daughter. (We promised her crib to best friend's brother and the girl will need something to sleep on).
Go through toys, book and games to see what is staying what is going - Almost done.
Think about communion gift for my nephew.
Mother's day is around the corner - Think about Grandma and Mother-in-law gifts.
Get beach stuff out of storage and ready to rock n roll.
Order contacts for myself.
Order wood for next winter - Waiting for ok from hubby
Clean out bedroom of all bags and stuff going to said best friend's brother - Trip planned for next week
Organize storage unit for fall and winter stuff
Clean all computers of old unused stuff - Currently being worked on.
Order pictures because I will be a year behind this coming August.
Get more photo albums
Pick up water shoes and swim suits for both kids - Waiting for Kohls card from hubby.
Find a home for a car seat and stroller that are no longer needed - Email was sent to Mom and Tot group in my neighborhood.
Clean out car of all fall & winter stuff.
Why do I like working from lists? Seeing all the things I have to do in one list makes me ill.

Invisible Beautiful - Focus

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Parenting Tips - 1, 2, 3, Magic

One of the counselors at my son's school handed a book and video to my son's SEIT for me to check out.

I started reading the book, and while I have never heard of the 1, 2, 3, Magic Method I do a lot of the things they suggest already.

Mostly the stop talking, no emotion one.

Kids feel inferior because they are to big old us. When we engage in debates with them and they see how they upset us, we are giving them power. If we stop talking we take the power away from.

A lot of parents have the "little adult assumption." They think children are little adults. I know quite a few of these parents (most of them are family).

Childhood is a period of transitory psychosis. Children are born unreasonable and selfish. Consequently, it is the parents job to help them be the opposite.

The Two Biggest Discipline Mistakes are Too Much Talking and Too Much Emotion.
Silence speaks louder than words.

The 1, 2, 3, Method in a Nutshell:

  • You hold up your fingers and say, "that's one"
    Wait 5 seconds (the child will probably not stop at this number)
  • You hold up two
    fingers and say, "that's two"
    Wait 5 seconds
  • If the child is still doing the unwanted behavior
    You hold up the fingers and say, "that's 3, take 5 - This means that they were giving 2 chances to change the behavior and now they will go
    to time out or a rest period.

    After time out there is no talking, apologies, lectures or discussions.
Some things do not warrant 3 chances to change their behavior, hitting for instance, will get them time out.

"Simply state 3, take 5 and add 15 for the seriousness of the offense".
To Summarize:
If you talk to much you take your child's focus off the need for good behavior. Instead you switch the focus onto the possibility of an energetic, possible enjoyable debate.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Moody Monday #10

This weeks Moody Mondays is all about..."Would You Rather?"

The original idea for this weeks Moody Mondays comes from "Would You Rather". Please Visit the web site

Here are a few questions for you to answer:

01. Would you rather sleep in late or get up early each day? Well considering I get up EARLY every single day for the past I don't know 30 years...I guess I would rather....get up early. Ha, you thought I would pick sleep in huh? Nope, I know how much can be done in a day by waking early and love being able to enjoy the evening without feeling guilty about everything I should have gotten to.

02. Would you rather work from home or work outside the home? I would rather work from home and DO!!! Whether it is getting the kids ready to leave, holding Mommy School, doing a job for my husband's company, catching up on domestic duties, snagging a freelance job or playing accountant for our household, etc....I work my ass off (unfortunately, not literally).

03. Would you rather know it all or have it all? I would rather well...I don't know. Having it all would mean that I know it all and vice versa. So whatever.

04. Would you rather lose the Internet or lose your television? I would rather lose my television. I can see anything I want on the internet even if it is not currently being aired on the TV.

05. Would you rather exercise at home or exercise in a gym? I think going to a gym would give me more motivation and if I was paying for it I just might do it. Oh, who knows....being at the gym means time away from my home we can exercise together.

Leave a comment and/or post answers in your own blog!

Don't forget to visit ""Would You Rather" and Moody Mondays

Friday Fill In - Edition 4

1. When I fell in love it happened accidentally.

2. I can be found inside when the flowers bloom and it heats up outside!

3. Oh no! The Internet connection is down, Honey!!!

4. Desperate Housewives is the craziest TV show ever.

5. Cheese and mac make a great meal!

6. Visit or plant a garden.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to spending time with my husband, tomorrow my plans include taking the kids out and Sunday, I want to get back to Church, it's been 3 weeks.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

The meme for this week was, thirteen places you have visited that you would recommend. I am not sure that I could possibly come up with 13 places. How sad is that!!?

For more Thursday Thirteen come over here.

So I will write 13 things about about myself starting with the letter M since that is the first letter of my name. I have seen people do this on their blogs and it looks so damn complicated. Here's to hoping I get through it.

M - Mommy, Yup you can call me that because honestly it is who I am. Everything about me and how I feel about my life and were I am right now is all summed up in that little word. I lost my own Mommy when I was 12 and being called Mommy is exactly what I have been wanting to hear since then.

M- Mom, what my little ones call me even though I insist on Mommy. I refer to myself as Mommy so I am not sure why they feel the need to shorten it.

M-Myself, I only know how to be me which is why I never progressed further in my career. I don't know how to BS anyone. I suck at telling people what they want to hear, I pretty much just say it like it is but in a non-threatening, polite way. There isn't a malicious bone in my body.

M-Multitasker, Is there any mom who cannot do at least 5 things at once while remembering the 30 things she will have to do in the next day or 2?

M- Married, I got married when I was 31. I knew I would be with this guy forever but I didn't picture married. He didn't seem like he was in any rush to get there and rightly so since he was 5 years younger than me.

M-Moment. Living in the moment is extremely important to our well-being. This is exactly why I have been able to keep my stress level down over the past 8 years or so. Something I learned from my husband is to not waste time worrying about things you have no control over. It is a waste of energy and time. Living in the moment has allowed me to be thankful for everything but most importantly it has enabled me to really know, understand and deal with my kids.

M-Moon, does everyone have this feeling about the moon? I adore spending time looking at it. Just gazing at the moon, noticing it every single night brings me such calm. I show it to my children and now they pull me over to the window to see it.

M-Moving. As most moms can attest, we are constantly moving. Even when we finally sit for that one moment a day, someone, or something gets us up. I think my butt finds a seat for about 5 minutes maybe 10 times a day. Sit at the computer for 20 minutes to type a blog entry, read email, surf or look something up and I will be pulled away at least 10 times to break up a fight, get a toy, set up a game, retrieve something that can't be reached, clean someone who has come out of the bathroom, get a drink for someone, a snack, etc.

M-Misread. Why is it that there are people who can say anything and everyone takes it with a grain of salt and accepts them for who they are. I am constantly misread with some people in my life. The littlest things are misinterepreted and some people get hurt unintendedly. I am thankful that there are few who fall into this category but since these are people I would never want to hurt it bothers me.

M-Memories. When it comes down to it this is all we've got. Our memories about past experiences, people who have gone on before us, etc. I need to sit down and really write out some of them from my childhood. It is a great resource for our children to be able to know people who should be in their lives but are not.

M-Mushy and I am not talking about body type. I am a total mush when it comes to things that pull at my heart strings and there are many. I am a total mush when it comes to noticing things especially about my kids. I must say "awwwww, you are so cute" about 25 times a day. Seeing my husband with my kids or my kids with my friends or each other makes me cock my head to the side and reveal in the moment.

M-Meme lover. God damn I love memes. Being able to sit down with a specific writing project makes me so happy.

M-Motherly even to my friends. I love cooking and serving my friends when they come over. I love buying things for people that I know they will love. I love hugging, talking, and taking care of everyone and everything.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hate & Bigotry In My Quiet Little Hometown

Yesterday at the park no less, I met the most racist women I have ever met.

A friend called me over to introduce me. Let me clarify, they are not friends but she wanted me to hear how crazy this person is.

She spoke of racism, bigotry, hatred, and sub-par standard education in our school system. The friend I was with, has never encountered what this women stated was a normal occurrence in our schools. My friend has 4 kids in the school system and feels that the schools are excellent here. She tried to tell the women how she has to disagree with what she is saying but the women had an answer for everything.

This person spoke about teachers playing favorites "I know my kids are not angels but none of the teachers ever liked them. They almost killed my son's spirit."

About the teachers being too old, "we have no teachers out of school, none of them have that desire to teach. They are all just waiting out until their retirement. You have to encourage children not discourage them. My kids spirits were broken every day."

She spoke about the schools academic curriculum being below average, "we have ghetto schools here. They aren't even average, we are below average."

She mentioned racism running rampart through my home town, "they are just a bunch of white faces looking out for themselves."

Her children were home schooled for 2 years and now are in the schools that she despises. Ummm..interesting. Why are her children in such deplorable conditions if she has a choice. She homeschooled in the past so why is she not still doing so? Are her children not worth a better curriculum. You have to wonder about people sometimes. I think sometimes people just like to complain.

I think, if you chose to see the world through tinted glasses of bigotry and hate you will find it, but, if you chose to see past it, to greener pastures you will see that everyone is the same, people are generally good and we CAN ALL GET ALONG.

I have noticed that if someone discuss bigotry and hatred that it is them who is racist.

Last night I mentioned this conversation to someone and they said, wait is her name, blah, blah, blah. I told her yes and she said she knows her and they live in the same area. She also told me this women feels that people are trying to get in her house and are watching her so there you have it.

I just feel bad that these children are growing up hearing such hatred that they too will obviously have the same feelings when they are older.

Hatred breds hatred...these are the days of our lives. Sad.

To Do List -

  1. Make appointment for kids at Peds (3 & 5 year check up)
  2. Get out invites for Son's 5th Birthday
  3. Pick up all party stuff
  4. Go through Spring, Summer clothes to see what fits, what can be given away, what is going on EBay.
  5. Wash all clothes that will be worn by my kids that have been in storage.
  6. Think about birthday gifts for Son and best friend.
  7. Plan a trip with my sister for June to our Childhood town with our kids in tow.
  8. Finish spring cleaning
  9. Look into a bed for my daughter. (We promised her crib to best friend's brother and the girl will need something to sleep on).
  10. Go through toys, book and games to see what is staying what is going.
  11. Think about communion gift for my nephew.
  12. Mother's day is around the corner - Think about Grandma and Mother-in-law gifts.
  13. Get beach stuff out of storage and ready to rock n roll.
  14. Order contacts for myself.
  15. Order wood for next winter
  16. Clean out bedroom of all bags and stuff going to said best friend's brother.
  17. Organize storage unit for fall and winter stuff.
  18. Clean all computers of old unused stuff.
  19. Order pictures because I will be a year behind this coming August.
  20. Get more photo albums
  21. Pick up water shoes and swim suits for both kids.
  22. Find a home for a car seat and stroller that are no longer needed.
  23. Clean out car of all fall & winter stuff.

Why do I like working from lists? Seeing all the things I have to do in one list makes me ill.

Wordless Wednesday - Sliding into a Smile

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ten on Tuesday - 10 Things You Love About Your Life

10 on Tuesday

1- My Kids - I was blessed with two beautiful children who challenge me everyday. The sun rises and falls on my babies and I never loved so fully in my entire life.

2- My husband who is one of the hardest working people I know. He lacks a bit in the sensitivity department but he tries. I respect him and love him even though he doesn't read my blog.

3- My friends who without I would be bored to tears. I am thankful to have so many actual friends in my life. We are lucky if we have one true blue friend yet I am blessed with many.

4- My life. I am thankful for everyday above ground. I tend to see the little things in life and not dwell on things that I can't control. Everyday that I live past the age of 34 (my mom's age when she died) is a blessed day.

5- My laptop (a gift from my husband). Being able to take it to the deck while the kids play or sitting on the couch at the end of the day makes the laptop worth it's weight in gold.

6- I love my digital cameras, one for pics and one for video (also both gifts from my husband). My love for photography started when I was about 6 or 7, when just taking random pictures of my life made me so happy. Now that I am older and have kids of my own, I get so much joy from just being able to capture a moment in time. My kids are my favorite muses but I love taking pictures of everything. As I walk or drive along I am constantly seeing places that I want to capture on film once the kids are both in school and I can park and walk alone to spend time getting "the shot".

7- The fact that my kids are getting to grow up out of the city. I grew up in Millbrook, NY and it was a great childhood. Picking wild blackberries, riding horses, spending time at diary farms, games of manhunt collecting frogs and fireflies at night, riding bikes from sun up to sun down and just enjoying the fresh air. When my mom passed away we moved in with my grandparents in Brooklyn. While it was still fun but in a different way. Roof top tanning, sitting on stoops, getting ice cream from the ice cream man with the jingling truck coming up the block and riding the subway everywhere I would have gone back to Millbrook in a heartbeat.

8- Finally mapping out some time to start reading again. I have loved getting lost in books since, well, since I could read. There is nothing like cracking open a new book and absorbing the words filling the pages. It is a feeling I have had since I can remember. There will never be enough days in my life to read all the books I want to read.

9- Waking up to a pot of coffee already made is heaven with a dash of milk. Love opening my eyes to the smell of coffee brewing.

10- My home. The fact that I actually have a house is still 9 years later amazing to me. My parents never owned a home. I still thought that we would not be getting the house until we actually recieved the key after spending an hour signing papers. It was too much to dream about and being a realist I wouldn't allow myself to think about it until we actually got the key to turn in the door.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Dialogues With Goddess

Today we headed out to Staten Island for a birthday party. We had an awesome time (pictures to follow)

We were on the Turnpike, passing the airport on the way home when...

Me: Wow, what is that? It smells horrible!

Goddess: I don't know. I think maybe a plane farted.

I laughed for about 5 minutes. How friggin funny!? Come on laugh with me, she's 3.

Wordless Wednesday - Saturday Edition

Ok, I know it's not wordless but the picture alone would be. I just had to add the words because they look so damn cute.

For more Wordless Wednesday Participants or to play along come here.

Saturday Nine

Saturday 9: A Movie, TV, Music, Actors & Idol

1. What is the most recent movie you’ve watched with someone? I sort of watched American Gangster with my husband but since I was only half interested in renting it I blogged or edited pictures the whole time.

2. What is currently your favorite TV show? I am not sure if I have one favorite. Twist my arm and demand that I HAVE to pick just one it would be LOST. Is there anyone who doesn't watch this amazing show? Storyline, characters, mystery factor, I am always left guessing and salivating for the next one.
There are so many awesome sites if you are a fan of lost. Check out Lostpedia if you are LOST. There is also this great section called Transcripts which is a written dialogue of all the shows. Love it. Also check out Hanso Foundation

And for your viewing pleasure, just because Sawyer is HOOOOOOTTTTTT!!!!

3. What CD by a new artist that is worth a listen? Sadly I have no idea.

4. Have you bought a CD recently by an “old favorite” artist, is yes what? Nope, before kids, I used to buy at least 1 a week. It has been about 5 years since I purchased a CD.

5. Who is your current favorite female actor? I don't know if I have a favorite. I like: Angelina, Gwyneth, Reese, Diane Keeton, Sandra Bullock, Michelle Williams, Sally Field, and Audrey Hepburn. I am sure I am leaving someone out.

6.Who is your current favorite male actor? I love so many actors for so many reasons. Will Smith, Denzel, Tom Hanks, Jack Nicholsen, Robin Williams, Jon Voigt, Sean Penn, Johnny Depp, Leo, Morgan Freeman, Clooney, Matt Damon, Joaquin, Andy Garcia and Bruce Willis to name a few

7. Do you pay attention to “actors born on your birthday”? Nope.

8. Who is your favorite artist left on American Idol? David Cook. He is awesome.

9. Who will when win American Idol? David Archuleta

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - Thirteen Things to Write About On Thursday Thirteen

This week has totally got away from me.
My Thursday Thirteen submission is about 13 things you can write about for Thursday Thirteen.

1. Thirteen Things you wish would be invented.

2. Thirteen things you would pack to take to a bomb shelter.

3. Thirteen reasons to write a Thursday Thirteen post.

4. Thirteen people you could live without.

5. Thirteen books you loved as a child.

6. Thirteen things you want to do tomorrow.

7. Thirteen reasons to not get married.

8. Thirteen reasons to watch or not watch Oprah, Lost, Desperate Housewives or General Hospital.

9. Thirteen songs that periodically get stuck in your head.

10. Thirteen things you would purchase if you were only allowed to think of yourself.

11. Thirteen foods you couldn't live without.

12. Thirteen things you wish your kids would do without you telling them to.

13. Thirteen songs you feel were written just for you.

Visit more Thursday Thirteen participants here.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Three Years of Goddess Love - Happy 3rd Birthday

Birthday Pictures to Follow

Three years ago tomorrow I gave birth to something I've wanted since I was 12. A baby girl!

My first born, my handsome boy was such a blessing. I love everything about him but after losing my mom when I was 12 I wanted so badly to have some sort of Mommy-daughter relationship.

I wrote on her first birthday, I wrote about how badly I had wanted a girl and how sweet and feisty you were. (More 1st Birthday Party pictures)

On her second birthday, I wrote about how funny you are and how you love to dance and sing.

Here we are on the 3rd birthday and I am happy to report that not much has changed other than she is getting taller. She is still sweet and feisty. She still loves to sing and dance and is soooo funny. I guess what I can add is how much you play and how social you are.

Whether the play date is with someone your own age or a 12 year old girl, you hold your own. Hide and Seek, turn taking games, racing each other, whatever it is you have them wrapped around your finger.

Ten Things I Love About You.

1- The way you come at me in the morning all bleary eyed and warm with your arms up for me to pick you up. You say good morning, hug me and snuggle against my shoulder for a few quiet moments.

2-Your affection for your brother. You look for him and look out for him. If you find something he was looking for you search for it and bring it to him. I love how you run to him when he comes out of school yelling his name and wrapping your arms around him.

3-It is adorable how you color or put stickers on a piece of paper, show me what you made for me and then take it to the fridge to hang up with a magnet. The bottom of the refrigerator doors are always cluttered with your art work. Cute!

4- Your sweet little voice singing in the back of the car every song you know or when you talk to your dolls, animals or Little People.

5- How you wrap your arm around mine when you come into my bed at night.

6- I love how you put your hands on either side of my face and say, "give me a kiss" or when you come up to me with your arms out and say, "give me a big hug." Your so affectionate and when you hug, you hug with all 25 pounds of yourself. Your little hands run themselves up and down the huggies shoulder. It is such a sweet, loving, mature thing to do that it warms my heart every time.

7- You are Miss Social Butterfly. You go to everyone in your life with a big hug and kiss. You smile and answer questions to whomever is asking you.

8- How smart you are amazes me. I cannot believe all the information you retain. The million animal names you know, where we live, the words to at least 100 songs, who gave you what item, your friends names and when you saw them last, etc.

9- The way you smell. I just want to bottle it and wear it behind my ears every day for the rest of my life.

10- You are just plain funny. Your made up songs, the way you talk to you dolls, your made up crying, whining or fake I'm hurt episodes, tell me that you just need to perform. I will be amazed if you don't perform on a stage at least once in your life.

Your Favorites These Days:

TV Show - Dora, Wonder Pets, Backyardigans, The Upside Down Show, Little Bill, Little Bear, & Franklin.

Toys - Baby dolls, stuffed animals, Anything Dora, Books, Leapster, Pretend kitchen, doll carriage, Little People.

Likes - Coloring, The colors pink and purple, playing with your brother, hide and seek, dancing, bubbles, play doh, painting, playdates, the park, animals, and going to farms.

I love you so much and can't wait to see the changes you make over the summer. You are a bright light in my world and the sweetest baby girl I have ever met. How did I ever get so lucky?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday 5

Over at Friday 5; here are the questions.

Among your acquaintances, who’s the best screamer? I am not sure if she would be considered an acquaintance but My daughter is the BEST SCREAMER. I don't anyone could beat her. I should hire her out for horror voice overs. Is there money in that?

When was the last time you had to shout in order to be heard? Today in my car, well this is an everyday occurrance but I have been basically just shouting, "I will not shout over you, listen!"

When was the last time you cheered for anything? Today when my son came out of school to show me his latest art project.

Whom did you last yell at? Today that would be the Goddess, my daughter. I never call her Goddess except on my blog these days. I call her Drama because she is all about the drama. She will be 3 on Monday but has the attitude of a 14 year old girl. I am so dead!

When did you last lose your voice, or at least find yourself hoarse? Probably more than 4 months ago. I am not a yeller so when I do have to, I lose my voice.

Friday Fill In

Friday Fill-In #67

1. I love springtime in my home town because it is so beautiful.

2. Eggs, bacon, bagels, french toast are foods I love to eat for breakfast, but not all together.

3. It seems I'm always searching for a moment for myself.

4. Hugs, kisses and cuddles, is a great way to end the day.

5. I think I need a new bathing suit this year.

6. Sleep is what I've been craving lately.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to wrapping my daughter's gifts, tomorrow my plans include cleaning and cooking and Sunday, I want to be able to enjoy my daughter's 3rd birthday party!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Booking Through Thursday - Writing Challenge

Got this meme from Booking Through Thursday.

Pick up the nearest book. (I’m sure you must have one nearby.) The Book of Bright Ideas

Turn to page 123.
What is the first sentence on the page? The last sentence on the page?
Now . . . connect them together….
(And no, you may not transcribe the entire page of the book–that’s cheating!)

What in the hell you doing, blaming Verdella for who she is?
I hear the toilet paper roll spin and then Freda's foot stomps thumbing back into the living room.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - #5 - 13 Favorite Movies

13 movies I could watch over and over (in random order). This lists to me shows what a pathetic romantic I am well, minus Saving Private Ryan.

Saving Private Ryan - Just a good movie all around. I love the acting, the visuals, the storyline, the message of honor and duty. Tom Hanks best movie.

The Notebook - What can I say. This is such a beautiful story about beautiful people in a beautiful landscape. This is a timeless love story.

One Fine Day - What more do you need besides George Clooney? George is just plain hot!

Interview with a Vampire - Long haired Brad, Tom and Antonio wearing gothic clothing and biting women is enough for me.

Titanic - Leo, Kate, a ship and icy water. The making of an incredible movie. Beautiful set, believable acting and a historical tragic story. The sinking scenes are horrific and still make me stop breathing. As annoying as it is that Kate took up that damn floating door with no room for Leo, I still believe this movie is one of the best love stories out ever.

Young Frankenstein - me some Mel Brooks. This 1974 movie is one of my favorites because my family can get together this many years later and still laugh about lines in the movie. Mel is a comedy genius and this movie will always be on my top movie list.

Great quotes
Igor: You know, I'll never forget my old dad. When these things would happen to him... the things he'd say to me.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: What did he say?
Igor: "What the hell are you doing in the bathroom day and night? Why don't you get out of there and give someone else a chance?"

Frankenstein, Igor and Inga in front of HUGE castle doors]
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: What knockers.
Inga: Oh, thank you doctor.

Froederick and Igor are exhuming a dead criminal]
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: What a filthy job.
Igor: Could be worse.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: How?
Igor: Could be raining.
[it starts to pour]

Inga: Werewolf!
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Werewolf?
Igor: There.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: What?
Igor: There, wolf. There, castle.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Why are you talking that way.
Igor: I thought you wanted to.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: No, I don't want to.
Igor: Suit yourself. I'm easy.

I could go on and on. Fantastically funny.

Meet the Parents - My husband and I still laugh over this movie. Ben Stiller and his easy humor is brilliant. He and DeNiro together had great slapstick comedy timing. Really funny movie.

Greg Focker: You can milk just about anything with nipples.
Jack Byrnes: I have nipples, Greg, could you milk me?

Jack Byrnes: If I set you up, do you think you can spike it, Focker?
Greg Focker: Well, I would have to get pretty high.
Jack Byrnes: I bet you would, Panama Red.

Greg Focker: Hey Jack, why don't you tell 'em about your little phone call in Thai.
Dina Byrnes: Jack can't talk Thai.
Greg Focker: Oh no, Dina, Jack can talk Thai. Jack talked Thai real well.

Meet Me In St. Louis - I adore Judy Garland and fine this to be one of the best musicals. The music and the story is timeless and I wish they were still making movies like this.

My Fair Lady - My all time favorite musical. I love all the songs and who doesn't adore Audrey and Rex? The original Pretty Women with classic songs. A beautiful love story.
My favorite song from the movie.

The Sound Of Music - This was a movie that I watched every year when I was growing up and this year I watched it with my 2 year old daughter. I was so happy that she wanted to watch it. I love the songs, Julie Andrews and I totally wanted to be a Von Trapp kid when I was growing up.
Dirty Dancing - Is there really anyone who doesn't love this movie? We all wanted to be Baby and dance and more with Johnny. I want to spend my summer at a camp with someone who looked like him. Talk about a good summer! Come on, the line..."nobody puts Baby in the corner?" and all that dancing is just good for the heart.

From Dusk Till Dawn - Again Clooney is in it with a nice neck tat. Love it! Vampires and Clooney holding a gun, makes this girl happy. Oh and my girl crush Salma Hayak is in this also in one of the hottest girl scenes ever.

For More Thursday Thirteen Participants

What Teachers Wish Parents Would Do

When asked what parents could do to better prepare their children, teachers most frequently mentioned the areas of receptive language, cognitive-attention/problem-solving, and small muscle coordination."

Parents, tend to emphasize helping children with pre-reading, math, and social skills.

Cognitive Skills
• Solve problems - trading toys with a child so they each have a turn
• Observe objects with curiosity and notice differences, such as how some rocks are smooth and others are bumpy
•Explore cause and effect — shaking a jar of water, for instance, and noticing how it creates bubbles
• Use something she already knows to attack a new problem. For instance, after learning to use a computer mouse to navigate around a site, she may test that skill by trying to play a computer game.• Think logically. She'll be able to classify objects by size or likeness, for instance, and to recognize patterns.
• Be aware of her own body in space. You may hear her say things like "I'm up high on the slide."
• Understand the concept of sequence. For example, she may sort objects from smallest to largest.
• Use numbers and count.
• Understand basic concepts of time, such as "now," "soon," and "late."
• Identify six to eight colors and three or more shapes
• Take on pretend roles. For example, she may hold a doll and say, "I'm the mommy" or look in a doll's ear and say, "I'm the doctor." You may also notice that she has a vivid imagination and perhaps even imaginary playmates.
• Understand that pictures and objects can symbolize something else. For example, she may tell you that something she's scribbled is a picture of a dog, or she may show you the "house" she built out of blocks.• Complete a six- to eight-piece puzzle
• Notice the features of people and animals that make them different. For instance, she may see that rabbits have big, furry ears while people have rounded, hairless ones.
• Understand the difference between herself and younger children
• Identify familiar signs and labels, for instance stop signs and her own name

By age 4, your preschooler may also be able to:
• Ask questions about birth and death
• Understand and remember her own accomplishment.
• Understand the order of daily routines, such as the fact that she always brushes her teeth before going to bed
• Follow two unrelated directions — for instance, "Take your shoes off, and comb your hair"

Small Muscle Coordination
Seven aspects of a child's small muscle coordination: scissors grasp, radial-digital grasp, inferior and fine pincer grasp, turning of wrist, assembly skills, pre-writing skills, and coordination of general skills.

Big Decision - CPSE Meeting - Kindergarten or Not!???

Today was my CPSE meeting for my son.

I always wake with a heavy heart on these morning.

Last week I was given the reports from the therapists and have gone over them at least 8 times with a fine tooth comb, making notes, highlighting, circling, etc.

Monday the therapists and I had a meeting so that we could go over the reports, discuss where things had changed, and so that we were all on the same page. It is really hard sometimes to read the reports because while they paint a broad picture of your child's progress, the test numbers are there and most of the time they are lower than actual.

Looking over the paperwork for the last time last night, I decided something that I had mostly planned since he was 2.5 years old. I decided it would be in his best interest to hold off Kindergarten for a year and put him in different preschool to give him exposure to a different curriculum.

This morning I headed over to the preschool after dropping off Handsome. We spoke about enrollment, I grabbed the paperwork, dropped my daughter off at my girlfriends and headed to the meeting armed with the knowledge that I would not be sending him to Kindergarten.

It is always strange walking in, I know the therapist and the Chairperson and the child (mine) we are about to speak about. There are 4-6 other people there to discuss my son and together we are to come up with his new IEP.

Today I was just waiting for the moment when I could say my big decision is "I'M NOT SENDING HIM TO KINDERGARTEN THIS YEAR!"

As soon as I said it I saw eyes rolling to each other, and breath being held. I started my explanation of the tests and how as I read the tests I had circled about 25 places where he was only at a 3.2 year old - 4.5 year old level. I asked them why we would rush a kid into Kindergarten if he wasn't ready. He is going to have to do a minimum of 12 years of school so what if he starts this year or next year?

They tried to play devils advocate and offer all kinds of solutions and concerns.

Since he is so academically advanced would this hinder the advancement? No because the Pre-K has a very structured academic program.
Would he feel like he was around a bunch of babies if he were to stay in a Pre-K setting? He is classified as a Preschooler with a special delay so talking to younger kids (at his speech level) may actually give him confidence.
We could have a Para follow him around the class for the day. No, he already has a SEIT follow him around for the 2.5 hours he is in school and he would prefer her to not be there.
We could start him in Kindergarten and then hold him back again if he is not ready for 1st. No, I actually think this would do more harm than good. His friends moving on and him staying back? Why repeat Kindergarten?

I stood my ground and understood why there were concerns but I truly believe that even if he was main stream this would not harm him.

The chairperson told me that if he was not academically where he was she would try to steer me in another direction but she knows that I constantly work with him.

She also gave me a wonderful compliment in that she has never met a mother who knew her child more than I do. "Every parent knows what's best for their child, but I never met someone who knew their child like you do." I do try. There is nothing more important to me than my children.

I am excited about his new Pre-K and can't wait to see how he progresses over the summer.

The chairperson also told me that at anytime I feel that he would do well in Kindergarten or that I made the wrong decision (no matter where we are in the school year) she will put him in kindergarten.

So positive. I wish for everyone to have such a positive CPSE experience.

Article in FamilyFun in favor of delaying Kindergarten.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Give Me Five Monday - #1

Over at Give Me Five - Becca's Buzz asked for favorite candies of all time or current.

I love any of the Lindt Truffles. This would probably be my #1 choice for chocolate.

But than again, Waaaaaayyy back when about 8-9 years ago I received a gift from my employer from Bromilow's Home Made Chocolate in Paterson, NJ. It was the most amazing chocolate I had ever tasted. I can still remember that I ate the entire box over the course of the day with nothing to bring home to the husband.

Another favorite is SKOR also by Hershey. I love the thick, decorative chocolate covering the buttery, toffee. This is also a topping on a much requested cake these days. The Better than Sex Cake.


1 pkg. German chocolate cake mix
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 jar caramel, butterscotch or fudge ice cream topping
1 (8 oz.) Cool Whip
1 Heath candy bar, grated
Bake cake as directed on package (9 x 13 inch pan) and let cool. With a wooden spoon handle, punch holes about one inch apart over entire cake. Pour whole can of sweet milk into holes. Pour entire jar of topping over cake. Pour entire container of Cool Whip over the topping. Spread grated Heath bar over all.

Then there is my tried and true, Reese Peanut Butter Cups. I buy this one more than any other bar. Did anyone know they had so many types?
The last candy bar (this list was hard to compile-I like so many different kinds of candy. The Hershey Symphony bar is the bomb with it's chocolate, toffee and almonds. Yum. Haven't had it in years but I remember loving it.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Manic Monday - 1000

Manic Monday's word this week is one thousand or 1,000.

This is my first Manic without taking about my kids.

So, after thinking (about 2.5 minutes) I would not be able to participate because I couldn't come up with anything.

I searched out 1000 and found this awesome site called Worth1000. Finding it pretty interesting I have saved it to my favorites and want to share it with the rest of you guys. I am thoroughly inspired by some of the pictures I viewed. So cool. I love the descriptions of how the photo was taken and what was done to give it a new feel.

If anyone from Manic ever participates in one of these contests please let me know I would love to see what you submit.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Tantrums and The Digital Camcorder

Tuesday, Handsome (4 years old) had a major meltdown over not getting to play after his SEIT left. He, like most kids are a creature of habit and this is the normal reward after sitting with his therapist. This particular morning I had a few errands to run and told him he would get to play later but we had to go now.

After hearing this because I am speaking to someone else I guess, he tried to plug the game in and I said, "I told you that we have to leave and you will play later." He tried again because he needs to test everything. I stopped him and said, if you do that again, I will take the plug away. He stopped and we left on our errands.

We came back and I asked if he wanted to play before or after his speech therapist. He said before. I told him that if he played now I would put the timer on and he had to stop when the timer went off. He said, "Ok." I told him again to make sure he understood and he said "ok".

When the timer went off (15 minutes before the therapist) I told him "ok, time to shut off the game." He said, "No, I'm just playing." (Like I am an idiot).

I told him "yes, I know you are but we agreed that when the timer went off you were to shut it off."

He said, "no" and rushed at me with his two hands thrust out and pushed against my stomach. I will never understand why he thinks this is ok to do. I am not a hitter and I sometimes wonder if I need to knock him on his ass a few times.

I told him that I was unplugging the game because he didn't listen and Speech was coming in a few minutes.

I walked over to pull the plug out and he rushed at me, hitting me with his open hands and crying. I took the plug and walked to the kitchen. He grabbed it and we fought over it for about 2 minutes. I grabbed for my video camera and started recording this fantastic display of preschool aggression.

While we had a tug of war over the plug, my 2 year soon to be 3 year old asked questions like "mom, can I have some water? and "I want to watch something on TV." Is she kidding me. I am holding the camera, street fighting my 4 year old and answering questions calmly.

We fought for about 15 minutes. I won (insert invisible cheering crowd) or have I?

Letting the therapist in, I told her what she had just heard through the closed door. I told her that I taped the tantrum and wanted to show it to him.

I taped the tantrum for a few reasons.

1- He works very well with visuals so I figured I could show him and explain to him what he should have done instead.

2- I could see if possibly I am not handling the situation well and this sets off the tantrum.

3- The therapists would be able to see what I am talking about and possibly offer some suggestions.

4- I could show this to him when his kid is turning 4 and let him know what to expect.

5- If I don't like his fiance' I could sit her down and let her know this behavior is hereditary.

Many, more reasons I am sure.

We watched the video together. He didn't laugh or smile like he usually does when he watches himself on video. This time he was silent until his therapist asked what had happened. He didn't look away from the video but he said, "I was upset."

Then he said,
"you've got to calm down, you've got to calm down"
which is mostly what I was saying while this was going down.

Interestingly enough when I am dealing with a tantrum I go into total zen mode. I am more calm while dealing with him for as long as it takes, than I am in normal life. Thankfully, or I would be Andrea Yates drowning my kid in the tub.

I digress....

We have watched the video 5 times (he asks to see it) and I think recording it was the best thing I ever did. When we watch it together he holds my hands, kisses my arms and hands, hugs me throughout the 5 minute video while telling me "I'm sorry for hitting you mommy. I love you with all my heart."

So, lesson here is always, always, always have the video camera charged and ready.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Why Do Boys Like to Play Rough and Why It Might Be Good For Them

I usually don't allow my son to rough house with others. I am always afraid that it will change quickly to something ugly and don't want to see that happen obviously.

Tonight we went out to watch a friend play soccer and my son and a little boy that he doesn't see often but as of late has seen a few times decided to rough house in the dirt. It took everything for me not to be that crazy mom, who shouts at her kid to stop every two minutes.

The boys were smiling and laughing. No one looked upset at anytime in the hour they were together and the mom of the boy he was pushing and throwing dirt at (yup that kind of play), told me to look away and that they were fine. She said, kids need at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted play and that if there was a problem they would tell us.

I was itching to stop them so many times but let it go. Eventually they stopped on their own and my son talked about him a few times after we left.

Tonight I looked up boys and rough play to see what the experts are saying and found this from the University of Pittsburgh Ofce of Child Development.

Basically it says:
Although this type of play may sometimes appear to be seri-ous, you can usually tell if they are really ghting. Playing children usually smile. Children in a real ght usually wear an angry or mean face

Rough play for children this age is not unusual. They are just beginning to realize they have physical power and strength.

Rough play has a purpose, Preschoolers like physical activity and usually want toplay rough sometimes. This is natural and not all bad.

Rough play helps children explore and understand their developing physical strength.

Rough play provides an outlet for active children, especially young boys. Children usually become less active as they mature. Children like to feel control over their bodies.

Rough plays lets them feel more power and control over their surroundings.nChildren see and experience a lot of aggression around them. Rough play, if under control, can help them enact and gure out aggression in a safe setting.

Rough play can be an outlet for children to express feelings of anger and excitement that they may have trouble expressing verbally.

It also goes on to say:

Children don’t understand that rough play also has limitsBecause they don’t yet know their own physical strengths, children can easily push rough play too far and lose control.Young children also don’t understand that someone can get hurt when play gets too rough.Teach your child what are dangerous behaviors. Your child needs to learn that certain activities can hurt people.

Use the word “dangerous” to describe things that your child should not do. For example, if your child wants to jump on your stomach when you are lying down, say, “No jumping on me, please. It is dangerous.”

Teach safe rough-and-tumble play by playing with your child yourself. Rough play with your child gives you a chance to set some safety rules that will guide your child when he or she plays rough-and-tumble with others.

I think these are all good ideas and I might even loosen a little of his rope on rough play but only if the other kid is up for it, the same size and weight, not his sister.

Tantrums Are Going to Be The Death Of Me or Him

I have been having some trouble again with tantrums only now they are more violent. More on this later.

What is working right now is just being silly. Asking him if he has lost his ears, "Oh my God, did you lose your ears? You can't hear me? Let's find them so you can hear me."

I pick up the imaginary ear off the floor and whisper his name into it.

Then I say, "I've got your ear. Do you want it back?"

He says, "Yes"

I then put my hands on the side of his head and ask if he can hear me now and he says, yes.

I ask if he is ready to listen and calm down and usually the answer is yes.

Oh Lord! I need a drink.

It's working about 65% of the time.

More on this situation to come when I have had some sleep and time to think.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - My Favorite Songs - 5th Edition

13 of my Favorite Songs in random order.

This is actually really hard. I love music and there are so many songs that I love.

1. Black - Pearl Jam - God damn I love this song. I love everything Pearl Jam. His voice, the words, the depth of the songs. The last line in particular gots me everytime. There was a time in my life when I played that line over and over. “I know one day you’ll have a beautiful life, I know be a star in someone else’s skye, why (especially this word) can’t it be me?

2. Like the way I do - Melissa Etheridge - There is nothing I don’t like of Melissa’s but this song really spoke to me. I love the grainy, tough, strong quality in her voice but in this song in particular you can feel the passion, hurt, anger, you feel when you just want someone so bad but have to compete with someone else.

3. The River - Bruce Springsteen - God damn I love this song. Springsteen rocks and always will. This song is so friggin good. It is hard to pick a favorite of Springsteen’s work. His words are strong, sexy, meaningful and full of life. Love him. Simply the BOSS.

4. Round Here - Counting Crows- I played this Cassette until it was unplayable. What is not to love? My name is in the song and who doesn’t want to hear someone say, “she’s always on my mind”? Ahhh…if only.

5. With Arms Wide Open - Creed - With songs like What’s This Life For (close tie for favorite Creed song), My Sacrifice, Torn, My Own Prison, What if, One Last Breath it is nearly impossible to pick a favorite. I love the singer’s voice, the words, the meaning of the songs. I had high hopes for this band. I found the singer and the guitar player grrr…sexy as hell but like most awesome bands they crashed and burned and all I have left are a few great songs. This song in particular speaks of when he first heard he was going to have a son and what he wished for his son. I sang this song to my belly when I was expecting my son.

6. Boy’s of Summer - Don Henley - One of the best songs ever written. I get such warm feelings when I hear this song. I reminds me of quiet moments on warm summer days, riding in a car, wind in my hair, heading back from the beach.

7. Crash - Dave Matthews - Such a friggin sexy song. Dave is the bomb. I’ll crash into him any day!

8. If -Bread- One of my favorite songs to sing. It is simply beautiful and it reminds me of my childhood. This was on the radio all the time in 1971.

9. Space Between - Dave Matthews - Dave sings words I would pay to hear someone say to me. “You cannot quit me so quicky, Will I hold you again” and my favorite, “Take my hand because we’re walking out of here.” A wet Dave playing a guitar in the video doesn’t hurt either.

10. Weekend in New England by Barry Manilow is just a beautiful song. It is really hard to pick a Manilow favorite for me because well, I love MANILOW. The music is beautiful as most Manilow songs are but it is the lyrics in this one that I love. It makes me tear up everytime.

When will our eyes meet

When can I touch you

When will this strong yearning end

And when will I hold you again

11. Lonestar is another band that just has some heartwrenching songs. I am all about the heart. Take care of my heart and you have me for life. So when I first heard Amazed, I was hooked. Who wouldn't want someone to say these things to them just once in life?

12. Foo Fighters are another band that I love most everything from but my favorite would probably be Everlong or Hero, or Best of You. OK, I guess it would be Everlong. Such a great song.

Breathe out

So I can breathe you in

13. Edge of Seventeen- Stevie Nicks - I adore Stevie and Fleetwood Mac so actually picking a favorite is like asking me to chose a favorite between my children(Sara, Dreams, The Chain, Leather and Lace, Landslide, Rhiannon, Edge of Seventeen). Impossible! Edge with it’s guitar intro and Stevie’s flowing shawl still gives me chills. Growing up in the 70’s circa 1975 every girl wanted to be Stevie. We wanted her hair, we wanted to dress like her, sound like her, she was the S-H-I-T. One regret for me is that I have never seen her in concert. She is one hot, talented chick, one of the best female song writers of all time and she still rocks. For me, she is the VOICE of the 70’s and the original Goddess.

The clouds…never expect it…
when it rains
But the sea changes colours…
but the sea…
Does not change
And so…with the slow…graceful flow..
of age
I went forth…with an age old…
desire…to please
On the edge of…seventeen

This is Stevie to me!!

For More Thursday Thirteen head on over here

Wordless Wednesday - Childhood Fun

For more Wordless Wednesday participants or to play along come over here

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Ten On Tuesday

Ten Things You’d Fix in Your Home (if you had the time and money)

1. The Roof
2. My Kitchen is totally configured wrong
3. The Windows
4. The Entrance Way
5. The driveway
6. The front steps
7. The downstairs bathroom needs a total overhaul
8. Close up the ceiling and walls in my laundry room
9. Garage door
10. Deck steps
For More or to participate head over to Ten Things