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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bouquet

I feel like a barren woman
In a room full
Full of pregnant women
Their bellies bloated
Their breasts full
Their hands resting atop swollen tummies
Dressed in maternity clothing
I will never get to wear

They sit around jabbering
About having a baby
They jabber about
The baby's name
The baby's room decor
The babies they've had before
Some even say they don't want the baby
They talk and talk
My baby this
My baby that

And I sit there smiling and nodding
Smiling and laughing
I am supposed to feel happy for them
They ask me questions
And I lie
About why
I don't have a baby
I sit screaming inside my head

Why them and not I?
What do they have
That I do not?
God help me!
Help me understand!

I crave the smell of a baby in my nose
To hold one so close
To love one
To have him love me back
To spend the rest of my life with him
But it is not a baby blanket I imagine in my hands

It is a bouquet.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Out of Death Comes Life

I woke up this morning and it was like looking through fog.  My eyes were swollen and sore.  Yesterday was one of the longest days of my life.  It was extremely emotional, difficult and awkward.  I won’t get into too much.  If anyone has ever lost someone or been to a funeral they know what it is like.  I think the hardest thing was, not saying goodbye to a man that acted as a Dad to me the majority of my life, but watching my mother weep over the loss of him and literally holding her up at his casket.  Her sobs made my heart break even more.  My nice had made some picture boards for our family, since the slide show and the other pictures were of “another family”.  In an effort to lift everyone’s spirit I began telling stories of better times.  “Remember when we were all at the beach and the sea gull pooped on Dad’s head and Mom was laughing so hard she almost wet her pants.”  Stuff like that, anything to make my Mom smile even for a moment.   Last night after all was said and done my family went back to my Mom’s, the place where so many memories were made.  We reminisced by watching home movies, some were almost 25 years old!  It was surreal to look at the faces on the television and see the same faces surrounding me, minus one.  We have all changed in appearance and maturity, but we have remained a family through much disagreement, hurt, joy, milestones, growth and mostly love.  Isn’t that the definition of family?  Not just mother, father, sister, brother but people that see you through life. 
In times of difficulty it is amazing how many people can be there to support you.  I was in awe of how many people came out to support my family.  Old friends that had shared memories with my Dad came to offer their condolences and many friends that couldn’t be there in person showed their support with flowers, food, cards and prayers.  A friend I have known since elementary school who I don’t recall ever meeting my Dad, drove to the funeral home during her lunch break to give me a hug and tell me she was there for me.  WOW!  I didn’t know people still did that?  I think the one of the most positive things to come out of yesterday is a certain someone who held me as I wept on his shoulder and made me laugh through my tears.  I guess I am just not used to having people be there for me and I will admit it was nice. 
So yesterday is over and that chapter is closed.  Hopefully, all of my anger towards the situation was also buried yesterday and I can look towards the future.  It looks pretty bright from here. 


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Here Comes Goodbye

This past week I have realized that my eyes look really green when the whites are blood red.  Not sure yet if this is a good look for me or not?  A week ago I received news that my Dad had a massive stroke.  Now as any person receiving news like this it hit me like I had been punched in the stomach, and I busted out crying.  It wouldn't be so bad if I had spoken to him a few days or even a few weeks before, but it had been almost 2 and a half years since I said a word to him and what I said needs not repeating.  The situation is so very complicated, and I won’t get into all the details.  Let me clarify this was not my biological father this was a man that married my Mom when I was 6.  One of my first
memories of him was when he took me trick or treating.  I was dressed up as Wonder Woman and it was freezing!  Many more memories were made after that night.  A few years ago he and my mother divorced (I’ll hit the high points, he had an indiscretion and things got incredibly nasty).  I was so hurt and angry that he could do that to not only my mother but to our family.  Like most people who have been hurt, I wanted him to hurt, but when it actually happened I felt differently. 
On Friday night I was able to see him in the hospital.  I leaned down and said, “Daddy, it’s Amy” and proceeded to tell him that I was sorry, reminded him of some of our fun times and finally told him I loved him.  At one point his monitors went off and his hand moved.  I have heard that people in comas can hear you, and I agree.  I went about my weekend and keep up with his condition.  On Monday I got the news that the decision was made to take him off of life support and 2 hours after, he passed.  I didn’t cry initially but have many times since then.  Waves of emotion come and go.  I get very angry and then I get very sad.  I will admit listening to country music when you are sad is not the best of ideas.  ( I have mentioned this before.  Rascal Flatts is a great band, but listening to "Come Wake Me Up" and "Here Comes Goodbye" over and over does not help my situation.)  My Mother has not handled this well at all for many of the same reasons.  Can you imagine loving someone for the majority of their life, losing them and then watching someone else handle what you should be handling?  Today has been especially hard for me. 
During times of death it is interesting how it brings people together.  Remember how close Americans were after September 11th?  That is how I feel about this situation.  There are a few silver linings that will come out of it; one of them is the mending of broken relationships and hearing from lost friends.  Last night I heard from my ex-husband and high school sweetheart.  No we are not getting back together, but it was so nice to know they still cared.  I have been overwhelmed with love and support by so many people.  I am so thankful that I have people to lean on, without them I would be lost.   I do have an amazing family and will get through this just like we have gotten through many other difficult times.  


Let go of your grudges, forgive and say what you need to say today because tomorrow might not come.


Goodbye Daddy, thanks for the good times.  I hope I find Angel a step-dad that is as good to her as you were to me.

"For Good"





Friday, September 27, 2013

Kids and Jesus

Last night while saying our prayers Angel asked me if I would pray that Jesus would be with her and protect her.  After our prayers Angel asked, “Can Jesus come over tomorrow?”  I replied of course, of course and then she said he would drive his car to our house.  This made me laugh but also got me thinking.  What do children think about God and Jesus?  My mom loves to remind me of when I was Angel’s age I would tell the story to anyone who would listen how I remembered being in heaven sitting in my rocking chair at the feet of Jesus waiting for him to tell me it was time to slide down the rainbow into my mommy’s belly.  I was so confident in myself and my story and told it with such conviction that my mother asked our preacher if that could have really happen and if I could really remember it.  The preacher informed my na├»ve mother that I was probably making this story up based on stories that I had heard.  Angel and I go to church and the school that Angel attends is a Christian based school so she learns about Jesus and stories from the bible at home, school and church.  To this day if she sees a picture of a man with long dark hair and a beard she says that is Jesus.  We wonder why the majority of us think of God as an old white man with a long beard in a robe that floats around in the clouds, it is
 mostly because that is how he is portrayed.  I am not trying to go off on a tangent I am just merely remarking on the imagination of children and their perception of God.  About a year ago Angel’s dad, who is Catholic, told me that when he asked her why they had to be quite in church her reply was because Jesus was sleeping.  I had a friend tell me that how she and her husband got their son to sleep in his bed was to pray with him every night that Jesus would watch over him and protect him while he slept.  This worked well except for one night when he came in their room and said “Um I know Jesus is watching over me and protecting me, but I don’t really want to sleep with him tonight.” 
I am happy that Angel knows her bible verses and can tell you stories out of the bible like Jonah and the whale and her favorite David and Goliath.  I am looking forward to more of her interpretations of it all too.  Who knows I may learn something new or see something in a totally different light.    

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Money, Money, Money..........MONEY!

I knew raising a child was going to be expensive the first time I stepped into a Babies R Us when I was pregnant.  I looked around at all the stuff that I was told I “had to have” and then looked at the price tag.  I immediately ruled out some of those things.  I have recently gotten another reality check regarding expenses since Angel has started school.  It is not just basic necessities like food, shelter, clothing, toys, dress up clothes, giant Barbie’s and princess accessories.  It is tuition for school, school uniforms, school supplies, school registration, (what is up with all the registration fees???  There is a registration fee to wake up every morning) field trips, class parties, dance class, dance shoes, dance leotards, registration for dance class and recital costume deposits.  The other thing I started calculating is birthday presents, not presents for Angel, presents for all the other kids whose birthday parties we are now invited to.  I was excited about going to the first birthday party, then there was an invitation to another party and then another.  If I spend $20 on each present and Angel is invited to 10 parties that is $200 a year on birthday presents for other kids so my kid can go run around and burn off the sugar from the cake and ice cream.  (Another down side to all these birthday parties is guess who else is eating cake and ice cream……ME!)  I am not opposed to this nor am I complaining, I am just realizing that I have got a lot more additions I need to add to my monthly budget.  I haven't even thought about Christmas!!! Presents for fellow students, the teacher, not to mention the gifts I have to buy for our friends and family.  Now I understand what all my other friends have been complaining about for years.  Perhaps now I won’t judge another mom for not having her toes done because maybe she is forgoing a pedicure to pay for ballet lessons.  I am sure she, like me, finds it totally worth it to have nasty toes to see the excitement on their child’s face when she told her she is going to dance class.  So I have accepted that I will be cutting checks for sequined dresses that are not for me and for gifts for someone else's kid.  That's fine I know it only gets worse from here.  I am already saving for the tween years when you have to buy merchandise for the Justin Bieber of the month.  And for you married people out there that know what I am talking about, imagine doing this as a single parent.

As I sit her writing this waiting for dance class to be over I can hear Angel talking about Angel Rapunzel (her giant Barbie) to the rest of the class.  That thing may be creepy, but it was worth every penny just like me having nasty toes.


Saturday, August 31, 2013

My Size Barbie

We've all been there, at a play date with our children at someone else's house.  The children are playing and having a wonderful time.  For some reason toys are always better at other kids houses and the children want a toy that's not theirs.  This recently happened to me when my daughter went to a friend’s house to play with their 2 daughters.  The girls had a My Size Barbie, actually they had 2.  If you don't know what a My Size Barbie, is join the club I didn't either. It's a 3 foot tall Barbie doll.

It's the same size as an average three-year-old would be. Angel immediately fell in love with this doll!  The dolls have also have neat clothes that the children can wear as well. After I saw how happy this doll made Angel I of course had to have one for her. {Back story on these Barbie dolls, they came out in the mid-90s and were very popular. They are not as popular now and somewhat hard to find.  Of course you can find them online, which is where I found Angel’s.}  When Angel came home from her dad's at the end of the summer I had this My Size Barbie in her bedroom waiting for her. She immediately named the doll Angel Rapunzel or Rapunzel Angel (all of her dolls are named after her).  Of course as soon as she saw her she had to take her clothes off and put the clothes on herself. (I'm still trying to understand what it is about children and wanting take clothes off dolls?  Every doll Angel owns, at some point, has gone without clothes for an extended period of time.)  Angel Rapunzel went without clothes for a while because Angel had to come home every day and put her outfit on.  I finally had to put something on the doll; it was getting a little weird! 

Angel loves playing dress-up, and since I saw again how much happiness this brought her I spent a Sunday afternoon on eBay. They don't really make clothes for these dolls anymore so the only place you can find any is on eBay. So while angel was sleeping soundly taking her nap dreaming of giant Barbie dolls, I spent an hour anda pretty good bit of money on 13 outfits.  (Don't judge 13 is not excess ;)

The doll goes everywhere with her and at night time has to be put to sleep on a
pillow and covered up with a blanket.  Since Angel occasionally sleeps with me this thing ends up on the floor by my bed.  Let me tell you it is hard to sleep with a creepy doll lying on your floor. I anticipate waking up and seeing the doll staring me down hopefully without a knife in her hand. 


I have many more stories to write about the My Size Barbie, so stay tuned.
Sorry about the font, not sure why it changed on me?????

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Good Times!

What a wonderful weekend!  Angel and I enjoyed our time together starting with a princess party with her and me and 2 guests.  We all dressed up, had a tea party and danced like princess ballerinas.  On Saturday and Sunday morning we resumed our weekend tradition of biscotti in bed.  My Mom makes delicious homemade biscotti.  Angel and I will eat it while she dunks it in the milk foam in my coffee.  We have been doing this for a while and it is something we both look forward to all week.  Angel and I visited with friends, went to Pete’s Party Castle, church, the pool, the park and we did a little shopping.  It was an eventful weekend.  I love this stage she is in right now.  She is so interactive, fun and surprising!  While at the park we were playing pirates, basically we stood on top of the equipment and said ARRGGGGHHHH Maties and Ahoy there.  She would point out other pirates in the distance that were nice or not nice.  After a while we got down and were walking to the swings and I spotted a quarter on the ground.  I said “Captain Angel look I found treasure ARRRGGHHH!”  She turned and looked at me so matter of fact and said, “Mom we’re not playing pirates anymore.” Guess I didn’t get the memo pirate time was over.

A few things to follow up on:
I have given up her not drinking the bathtub and pool water (this still grosses me out), but this is a battle I can’t seem to win.  I am tired of fighting it.  She is not drinking the water as much as she is sucking on the wash cloth. UGH! At least she is doing that before she bathes!!!!

If you have read my blog for any length of time you know how I loved to rock her to sleep and had planned on doing this until she was at least in high school.  I regret to inform you that I no longer get those precious 15 minutes of holding her tight, singing to her and rocking her.  I am now doing alright if I can get her to brush her teeth, potty and sleep in her own bed.  Forget me reading her stories before she goes to bed, now she is reading stories to me (more like making up stories that go along with the pictures).  She is such a sweet, delightful child especially when she yells for me to get out of her room or my favorite is when she yells “LEAVE ME ALONE” in public.  AHHHHH Good times.  They are good times and I treasure every one of them for I know they won’t last long. 

This afternoon I got a phone call that Angel had bitten another child on the finger, so much for getting all smiley faces this week.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

First Week of School

We made it through the first week of school!  It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Of course Angel showed up in the wrong uniform and without any jumbo pencils (who would have thought those things would be so hard to find!!!) I imagined Angel screaming holding onto my leg not wanting to go.  On Monday, the first day, when she was getting ready to leave the house she was excited, but when we got there that changed.  She cried and said, “don’t leave me here” which broke my heart.  I told her how much fun she would have and pointed out the other children who were not crying that could be her new friends.  I walked her to her seat, wiped her tears away, assured her that she would love school and left.  I must have stood outside the classroom for 10 minutes listening to her cries turn into chatter.  Then I got in my car and cried myself. 

Angel is 1 of 9 students in her class and the teacher uses binders that are sent home every night.  Every day I remove her work, look to see how many smiley faces she got for the day and have to initial that I checked.  The only time my parents had to initial anything of mine was when I had to write sentences for misbehaving. The teacher gives out smiley faces for following procedures, respecting others, obeying instructions, giving it all I’ve got and showing kindness.  Monday she got 5 smiley faces.  Tuesday she got 4 smiley faces and one straight face :/.  Beside obeying instruction it read, wouldn’t stay in seat while I was teaching.  Well she is my daughter and just like her mother, very social.  After talking to Angel she assured me she would get smiley faces the rest of the week and I am happy to announce that she did!!!!!  She was also the conductor for the day on Friday. 

Angel is adjusting going to school well.  She can recite her Bible verse of the day Genesis 1:1, part of the Pledge of Allegiance and the Pledge to the Christian flag.  She looks forward to Friday when they have a little party and get to do show and tell.  I am very glad I made the decision for her to go to school and am even happier that she enjoys it.

PS I did get the correct uniform and thanks to an old friend we got a pack of jumbo pencils!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Deal Maker

I would like to know when Angel became a used car salesman????  She is all about making a deal with me.  This evening she asked to watch television and I said she could watch tv after dinner and for her to go read some books to Angel Rapunzel (that is a whole other blog for me to write).  She looked at me as serious as she could be and said, "How about this I will read 1 book to Angel Rapunzel and then you go and turn on the television for me?"  She has also rattled off a list of things she wants to do and will look at me and say, "That sounds like a good plan" like she is reassuring me that it is.  She is very convincing that her plan is in fact a good one.  Tonight at dinner I am trying to get her to eat peas and she says she will eat 1 pea and then she can have her gummies.  I tell her she has to eat all of them and she replies with okay how about this I will eat 3 peas then I can have my gummies???  3 peas really????  Good negotiating though.  I am just waiting for her to tell me, "It drives off good and has cold AC."  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Starting School!

Monday was the official first day of school for students in my area, including my little Angel.  When I say school I mean a K3 program.  This was a last minute decision for me.  I have been extremely blessed; my Mom has kept Angel since she was a baby so she has not had to go to day care.  This has been so wonderful for my Mom, Angel and for me.  I never had to worry about anything knowing Angel was safe, being well taken care of and most importantly loved.  I know that there are a lot of parents that do not have a family member to take care of their child and I am not saying anything bad about day care.  There is just something comforting about having a family member take care of your child.  As she has gotten older I felt the need for her to have some more structure and interaction with other children.  She loves going to church because she gets to play with kids. 
A few months ago before school was out for the summer I started looking into schools she could start in the fall.  Most of them were through churches and offered the Abeka curriculum.  After looking at 4 different ones, I chose one that was medium size, offered a good curriculum, had a good reputation, was conveniently located and was in my price range.  It was from 7:30 in the morning and the latest you could pick your child up was 6:00 in the afternoon.  There was a reason I didn’t pay the registration right then.  I thought about it for months and then began to pray about it.  I needed peace about my decision and wasn’t getting it.  Angel has 20+ years of school ahead of her and I felt bad about my 3 year old having to stay in a classroom for 8+ hours a day.  So I took that idea off the table.  Still thinking she needed some structure and interaction I looked at some Mom’s day out programs.  These were also offered through various churches but the hours were 2 to 3 days a week from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Um, that’s great if you don’t have a job, but I do and I am out the door by 7:30 and as much as I would love to be home by 1:00, that’s not happening.  There did not seem to be a happy medium.  One day I drove by this church I have driven by a thousand times and saw a sign for a day care and thought I would just call to see what they offered.  Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 11:00 am same curriculum as the others and she gets playtime outside with kids.  No, I don’t get off at 11:00 either but one of the members of my AWESOME family picks her up for me and then she goes to my Mom’s.  Angel has it all.  She gets to learn in a structured environment with kids her age, she gets interaction and play time with them, then she gets to go to her Nana’s have lunch, take a nap and have time with my Mom.  It is a beautiful thing! 

Now my next post will be about the first week…….


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wise Words

I have 2 blogs I have been working on writing but I have been so busy I haven’t had a chance to complete them.  I saw this and thought I would repost it.  All of these are things we have heard before.  A few of them stuck out to me more than others.
#11 This one is SO hard, but I am working on it!
#14 I have learned if someone wants to keep you their little secret they are not worth your time, no matter what excuse they give you.
#18 That one speaks for itself.
#38 I am so thankful to really know true love.
#42 The best really is yet to come and I can’t wait!


Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio.
"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written.
My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short – enjoy it.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye, but don't worry, God never blinks.

16.. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19.. It's never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative of dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you need

42. The best is yet to come...

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."



Thursday, August 1, 2013

Summer is Over!!!

SUMMER IS OVER, at least for me. 
It may be as hot as Hades outside but as of yesterday my summer without my Angel is over.  Gone are the lazy days of summer for me.   No more nights of uninterrupted sleep.  Instead I am sure I will have 2 eyes staring at me at 2 am whispering my name or back to being head butted at midnight.    My early morning yoga workout will most likely be put on hold as I am sure I will be too tired to get up early from lack of sleep from the night before.  Besides who can do yoga with a 3 year old asking, “what are you doing?”  No more watching the news in the morning when I am getting ready for work.  It is back to waking up with cartoons and Chicka on the Sprout channel.  Same thing goes for the television in the living room; I’ve already had to watch the Princess and the Pink Shoes twice.  My twice a week Pilates classes are on hold for a while, as is the afternoon gym workout.  From now my run will be to get Angel as soon as I get off work to make up for lost time.  Yesterday, I put her car seat in my car as well as the DVD player, so much for listening to the radio in the morning.  I will not be sitting on my couch watching whatever I want to watch AND I WOULDN’T WANT IT ANY OTHER WAY!!!!
I am so happy to have Angel home and look forward to getting things back to normal.  Now I really wish summer WAS over.  Bring on fall!!!!

PS she is the cutest thing with her little glasses.  She reminds me of the little boy on Jerry Maguire.  Incredibly precious!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Children and Glasses

I am happy to say I got both a picture and a FaceTime call with my little Angel on Monday night.  After I found out she had  astigmatism in both eyes and would need glasses I raced home after work and  immediately went digging through my drawers to find my old pair of glasses.  I thought that if Angel saw that I was wearing glasses she would want to wear hers too.  I found 2 pair of my old future goggles and decided I would pop the lenses out and wear them whenever Angel called.  I faced 2 dilemmas in this situation.  First, my prescription was so bad that when I put my glasses on I couldn’t see anything (remember I had corrective surgery).  I had to put each pair of glasses on and take pictures of me wearing them to decide which one I wanted to pop the lenses out of.  Second, the lenses were so thick they weren’t just going to POP out.  After looking at the pictures I decided on my old Coach pair.  It was around 5:20 and I started calling around to see if there was an eyeglass store close to my house that I could take the glasses to, to have them remove the lenses.  The closest place was 2o+minutes away and closed at 6:00.  I jumped in my car and flew there.  They heated the frames up and popped the lenses out no problem.  The lady asked me if I wanted the lenses and I asked, “Can’t you donate them to a school to be used as a microscope or telescope?”  “No.”  I told her to throw them away.  I didn’t want to put them in my car and risk the sun catching them and setting fire to my car.  That night when I FaceTimed with Angel I had my glasses on and told her that I heard she got super cool glasses and I wanted to be like her.  She didn’t have her glasses at this point.  So I guess all that was for not.  I did take the frames back to the eyeglass store and had them put clear lenses in so that I can wear them.  Hopefully, this will encourage her to wear hers.
Today Angel and her Dad went to pick up her glasses and to make sure they fit her properly.  He told me that when the lady put the glasses on her face she screamed “I CAN SEE!” When he told me this I started crying.  How long has she not been able to see?  I thought about when she would stand too close to the television and I would tell her not to stand so close because it was “bad for her eyes”.  There goes my Mother of the Year Award.  They called me on their way home from the doctor and in the background she was saying, “Look a building and there’s another building.”  It was like she was seeing things for the first time.  I am very thankful to her Dad who took action when he noticed her squinting.  So, day 1 she likes her glasses and is wearing them because they help her see.  Her Dad told me that she has done well wearing them and has only thrown them once. 

Some advice that I would like to give to parents is if you notice your child squinting, turning their head to the side when looking at things, standing too close to the television or not understanding things they see take them to the eye doctor!  It is so worth it.  The sooner the better.  It is too bad children can’t hook up to a computer and have a diagnostic test ran on them.  

Monday, July 15, 2013

Almost there!



July 15th already!  Where has the time gone???  I am almost through with my summer without Angel.  It has flown by!  2 more weekends and she will be home.  I am very excited to have her back as I have missed her very much!  I will admit that I am having a decent summer while she is gone, staying busy.  I took care of some personal stuff that I needed to do for a while and couldn’t while Angel was with me.  I have been hanging out with special friends, working out and just got back from a fabulous trip to New York City.  I know I mentioned that I would write but for one I haven’t had much to write about (lack of subject matter) and whenever I would sit down at my computer I would get caught up in other things.  Sometimes an hour would go by and I would think what have I been doing, doodling on my notebook?????

It has been 31 days since Angel left and I can count on both hands how many times I have spoken to her. Love that!  Today I found out that she has to get glasses.  I figured this day would come, just not this early.  I started wearing glasses when I was 11.  My mom, dad, sister and both my nieces wear glasses.  I wore my “future goggles” up until 2 years ago when I had PRK (see blog PRK and Lightning).  That is what I called my glasses because my eyes were so bad if anyone else put on my 
glasses they could see the future (not really but you get the point).  It made me sad to think that she is going to have to deal with glasses at such a young age.  It made me even sadder to know she was at the eye doctor without both of her parents. (I got a phone call this morning 30 minutes before the scheduled appointment, she is 4 hours away.)  I am sure getting her eyes dilated was pretty traumatic for her.  I wonder how picking out her frames went?  Hopefully, I will get a picture of her with them on or even better a FaceTime phone call.  Anyway, 2 more weeks and then things will be back to normal and I won’t have to deal with this for another year.   
2 MORE WEEKS!!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Objects

It is amazing how an object can hold so much.  While cleaning out my bathroom closet this morning I came across an old jewelry case sitting on the floor covered in dust.  It has been years since I have looked at its content, so being in the purging mood that I was in, I decided to go through it and get rid of contents that I won’t ever ware.  In it I found an emerald ring set in a fat gold band, a broken tiny watch from the 1940’s, silver initial jewelry, 2 silver band bracelets with my initials on them, a bevel stop pearl necklace and the last box I opened contained a thin silver man’s ring with a name engraved on the inside.  It is amazing that an object so small, so insignificant, so forgotten can bring up so many memories.  I sat on the floor with that ring in my hand, my stomach turned and for a moment I felt sick like I used to feel after I found out what the ring symbolized.  I turned it over in my fingers feeling its light weightiness and even put it on my own finger, a small part of me wishing it was actually for me, but then thanking God that it wasn’t.  I looked around at the other objects some of them made me smile when I thought about what they represented and the memories attached to them. 
The emerald ring was a gift from my high school boyfriend.  I think he gave it to me for Christmas my senior year in high school.  It is a cheap ring and I would never wear it now, but he knew that emeralds were my favorite and probably spent all he had to get it for me.  So I put it back in the box smiling at the thought of him and all the memories we shared. The broken tiny watch belonged to my grandmother who died when I was 16.  I don’t know how I came to be the holder of this watch but I hold on to it as a small piece of her.  I tried to get it fixed once and the jeweler said it wasn’t worth fixing, maybe not to him.  So I put it back in the bag it came out of.  The mismatched silver initial jewelry was a hot trend in the mid 90’s when I was in high school.  All the girls at school would wear this somewhat gaudy jewelry.  It was like we were branding ourselves by putting our initials on it.  The bracelets matched the other jewelry and the reason I have 2 identical bracelets is because they were graduation gifts.  One of them, not sure which one, was a gift from one of my very best friends at the time.  We were inseparable and had matching bracelets like the wonder twins.  I haven’t spoken to her in almost 15 years.  The bevel stop pearl necklace I wore on my wedding day.  Yes, I suckered someone into marrying me.  I think about that day and how happy I was.  It was the perfect day complete with a horse drawn carriage.  Many mistakes were made, mostly out of immaturity and selfishness and the marriage did not last.  I think about all of the what if’s and put the necklace back in its velvet case.  Finally back to the ring what to do with it?  Should I give it back to its original owner?  It was given to me as a promise a symbol to build trust.  So I put it back in the box, in the jewelry case and will put it back in the bottom of the closet and forget about it for another few years just like I will do with the memories.  

It has been 10 days since Angel has been gone I have heard her twice for a total of less than 5 minutes.  I guess I am just sappy and sad today.  Tomorrow is a new day with new memories to be made.   

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Brad Paisley! Kicking off the Summer Right!

I hope this weekend was an indication of how my summer is going to be without Angel.  She left Friday afternoon, and although I was extremely sad I am trying to look on the bright side.  I spent Friday night low key, just dinner and a movie.  Saturday morning I had my usual coffee but no biscotti in bed, that is my and Angel’s routine.  I picked up her princess dresses, put books and puzzles away, put the last of her clothes in the drawers and turned off her nightlight.  Shockingly enough I was okay.  Later I headed down to the beach to get ready for Brad Paisley in concert.  I am not what you call a huge fan of Brad Paisley, but I thought it would be fun. Little did I know I would be sitting in the FRONT ROW! This was not the pit where people stand sardine style this was actual seats almost directly center stage.  I will admit I had to delete many pictures and videos of Angel off my phone to make room for all the pictures and videos I took of Brad and his opening act, Chris Young.  The show was AMAZING.  That man can ROCK a guitar!  It’s crazy how you can hear a song on the radio and think that is a good song, but then when you see the artist perform it you realize it is a great song!
I don’t know how many guitars Brad played but there were so many.  Brad stood in front of me numerous times and rocked out.  At one point when he was in front of me jamming he looked down and said “Hey Baby”!  I kid you not.  He just got a new fan out of that.  It was right here when he said it!!!!!!!!-------->
A hologram of Carrie Underwood even made an appearance and was so real! I have numerous videos and as soon as I figure out how to put videos on this blog I will post them, just don't mind my screaming.  :)









Today, I went to church, had a Pilates session and am staying for yoga after, because what else can I do but pray, breathe and BE?  The summer will be over before I know it!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

FOLLOW UP

I bumped in to one of my readers a few days ago and she asked me how Angel was doing without her passy.  She mentioned that I haven’t written a follow up to any of Angel’s milestones like potty training, giving up her passy and sleeping in her big girl bed.  Well, here it goes…..

Angel is completely potty trained and is Miss Independent when it comes to this issue.  Sometimes she doesn’t even tell me she needs to go, she just goes and then comes back and yells, “I poo pooed in the potty mommy”!!!!  She even tells me the size; she says she does a mommy one and an Angel one.  That is always nice to hear especially when people are around.  Angel is very proud of herself and even told the cashier at Target that she is a big girl and poo poos in the potty.  Why shouldn’t she tell everybody that?  So things on the potty training end are going well, except for one small issue.  We were outside playing one day when Angel pulled her pants down and popped a squat and peed right in my Mother’s back yard.  I stood there with my mouth open holding in a laugh that was coming up from my toes.  I didn’t think much of it and decided not to make a big deal over it.           (I have found the more attention you bring to an issue the greater chance they are to do it again.)  My Mom told me that she did it again a few days later.  My Mom told Angel that if she needed to go to the bathroom when they were outside all she had to do was tell her and she would take her to the potty.  Last weekend we were home and I looked over and there she was again peeing in the back yard.  It was at this time that we had a little talk.  I asked her why she was tee teeing outside and she said because she was a dog.  I am not sure if all children pretend like they are a cat or a dog, but in my experience they do at some point.  Her dad has a dog at his house and I guess Angel has seen her use the bathroom outside.  Since she pretends to be a dog it is only logical in her mind that she do the same thing.  She hasn’t done it since then and other than some pee on her shoe what is the harm???

Giving up the passy was easier than I thought.  Of course there was the melt down when she basically wanted me to rob the Easter Bunny’s house (See "Its Birthday Time" Blog), and there were a few nights that she cried, begged and pleaded for me to go to the store and get her one but those nights passed.  The only slip up we almost had was when she was in the guest bedroom, picked up a pillow on the bed and underneath it was a passy.  I jumped up Matrix style and landed on top of it before she saw it.  She has been 3 months passy free!  I’m sure that’s an issue we won’t have again….. I hope.

For Angel’s 3rd birthday I bought her a full size big girl bed complete with Disney princess bedding.  I thought for sure with all this pink she would want to sleep in her big girl bed…… I was wrong!  It must have started right after she gave up her passy.  I felt so bad for her at night.  She was in a new bed surrounded by princess (I am sure those girls can look pretty 
scary in the middle of the night) and she didn’t have her passy, the one thing that offered her comfort. So I did what any pushover parent would do, I let her sleep with me.  I honestly thought this would only last for a few nights and once the passy withdrawals were over she would want to get in her bed.  HA! Not a chance.  Every night became a struggle.  I would go through our routine bath, brush teeth, read stories, rock in the rocking chair, put her in the bed and then prayers.  She would usually start crying when I stood up out of the rocking chair, sometimes she would wait until after we said her prayers.  Sometimes she would go down fine and after about an hour I would hear a noise.  I would get up and just like something out of a horror movie I would see a small figure standing in the hallway back-lit from the bathroom night light looking like a ghost.  That was nothing compared to the nights I would wake up startled and see 2 eyes staring at me right over the top of the bed.  Poor thing, I have no idea how long she stood beside my bed not wanting or afraid even to wake me up.  So of course I let her get in the bed with me.  This has to stop!  I desperately need beauty rest and I don’t sleep well when I get head butted, kicked or when my nose gets tickled by her hair. Yes she sleeps that close to me.  One of the very few benefits of Angel being gone is that I will get some sleep. 

3 more days and she is leaving.  I am sure we both will have a great summer.  I will miss her terribly and I am sure she will miss me too.  It will fly by and before we both know it she will be back home. 

Don’t worry I have stock piled things to write about, I just hope I can find the time. 




Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Family Travel


Can it be?  Can school be out for summer? Is May really almost over?  Memorial Day is Monday which signals the beginning of summer and for many the beginning of travel season.  Most of us that travel travel with our kids and could all use a little advice on how to make these trips easier, more enjoyable, and fool proof.  Lucky for all of us I have an experienced traveler, writer and Mom who has some great advice on this very subject.  Kendra Thornton has written a post about this very subject and offers some excellent advice to get us on the road and possibly answer the question, “Are we there yet?” 
Travel with Kids without the Hassle

The thought of leaving everything behind and embarking on a family vacation fills many with excitement and anticipation long before the departure date arrives. Busy schedules and other commitments often inhibit the opportunity for enjoying quality family time throughout the year. So pack up your beach gear and get in the car – its time for a family vacation! If you plan carefully you are sure to create a pleasant time for all. 

Are We There Yet?

It is no surprise that children become fidgety when sitting in a seat for an extended length of time, whether in an airplane or car. A DVD player and a few new movies help pass the time. An iPad with a favorite book or a new game also keeps a youngster’s attention. On a long flight, combat stiffness and boredom by allowing for standing and stretching along with special treats. Road trips provide the convenience of stopping for meals, at rest areas or special attractions.  In the summer it can be fun to stop at a park for a picnic or three-legged race.  Winner picks the next round of car tunes.

Home Away from Home

If you haven’t started looking at hotels with family travel in mind, start considering how the various amenities will affect your trip. Whether you’re going to a beach resort or need a one night stay on a long road trip, there are a variety of options you’ll want to consider. Does the property lie within close proximity to local attractions and sights? Does it have a fridge or microwave for preparing healthy snacks in the room? A pool is oftentimes essential for summer trips!
Want your entire trip planned for you? Look into an all-inclusive resort.  Depending on the age of the children, parents often evaluate facilities for special perks that may include game rooms, playgrounds or onsite water parks. If contemplating a romantic evening, parents may opt for a venue that offers babysitting or supervised kids club activities.  My family chose a family friendly resort in Honolulu that had plenty of entertainment for the grownups as well as the kids.  These are a great option that provide entertainment for all ages and require little to no additional planning in terms of activity.

To Pack or Not to Pack

Packing is one of the less glamorous aspects of travel, but essential to a good vacation.  Start packing a week or more in advance, leaving absolute daily necessities for last. Create a list of clothing and items to take along with things to do before the trip. Oftentimes it’s the little things that get left at home that cost a great deal later – such as a new bottle of Advil that costs $20!  If handwriting a list seems bothersome or incomplete, find a smart phone app that fills the bill.

Blankies, Teddy Bears and Bedtime Stories

Parents and children often have particular rituals that make up daily life. Vacations typically mean escaping the mundane routines that keep life in some semblance of order. For younger children especially, some rituals remain important for their health and well-being. If little ones require naps during the day when at home, they will certainly need these rest periods while on vacation. Children also typically need refueling every few hours and families should continue regular meal times.  Pack a variety of snacks to tide your kids over when tummies begin to grumble so you don’t need to race to the nearest restaurant.

Transportation Tummy Aches

Motion sickness plagues many, young and adult. Avoid heavy, greasy foods before a trip. Sitting in the vehicle with a view of the front or on the horizon often helps prevent dizziness and nausea. Seats over the plane wing feature the most architectural stability and experience the least amount of turbulence during flight. In either scenario, cool, circulating air also helps alleviate symptoms.  You may also want to consider a remedy for motion sickness.  Consult your child’s pediatrician before starting a new medication, particularly when leaving town.

IsBio: Kendra Thornton: Travel advocate, TV spokesperson, PR businesswoman, proud wife and mama of 3. I am a long time travel expert who has been packing my bags and traveling the world since I was 3 months old! I've found my utmost desire in life is right here in my own home. I have taken my excitement for travel and brought it to you with some of my favorite travel tips and tricks. Enjoy!



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Summer Preparation


I can’t believe that we are almost through May!!!!  Where has the year gone?  If you have been following me for a while you know what this means, the summer is quickly approaching.  This may seem normal for most people, after all summer does come after spring, but for me it means I have to give up my precious Angel to her Dad for the summer.  The court ruled that Angel go to her Dad’s the 2nd Friday of June and stay until the last day of July……with no visitation with me during that time.  The past 2 summers for me have been very difficult, the first one being the worst (she was only 14 months old when she left and I didn’t get to see her for 2 months!!!! See Post)  Last year was some better, she was older and could talk to me a little on the phone, it was still very hard.  I have been telling myself this year won’t be nearly as bad, she is not leaving until June 15th and hopefully her Dad will bring her back the last weekend in July instead of the 31st which makes it roughly 6 weeks instead of 8.  In that time I am going on a trip, that is 1 week, I have a meeting, that is 2 weeks and I have plenty of things to do around my house all that should total about 4 weeks.  So it will be like she is only gone for 2 weeks…Right???  I have been telling my friends, awe it’s not going to be that bad.  Besides I could use a brake, catch up on some sleep, have dinner with friends, clean out cabinets, um twiddle my thumbs!!!!  I have been telling myself “it won’t be that bad” since January and really thought I would be ok until today.  Angel left today to go to her Dad’s for his typical visitation.  The only difference is she left 2 days early and will be gone 12 days instead of 10.  She left this afternoon before I got off of work so I gave her my goodbyes this morning.
I didn’t think much of her leaving today, after all this is the norm for us, but it hit me yesterday that this was her last month before she leaves for the summer.  Yesterday instead of going to the gym I took her to the park where we played for 2 hours.  Last night when she put up the usual fuss to not sleep in her bed because it is “broken” and sleep with me in “Mommy’s big bed” I agreed.  I held it together this morning, when she cried and told me “don’t leave me here!!” like my Mom’s house is some horrid place.  After I got her calmed down and got my last kiss from her, I got in my car and left for work.   As I backed out of the driveway I she ran into the back yard and smiled at me.
There she was waving and dancing for me.  She was barefoot wearing a pink dress with cupcakes for pockets.  As the sun was coming up behind her and back-lit her hair like a halo, and I swear for a moment I saw wings on her back, her own set of Angel wings.  I closed my eyes and let that vision sink into my memory and prayed that I would never forget it.    

This is still one of my favorite pictures.