Sunday, December 27, 2009

Cloud Nine

Cloud nine....this is where I've been floating around ever since I got the surprise job opportunity. Don't get me was hectic between trying to play catch up from being snowed in, having double workloads and literally doing last minute Christmas shopping....but I was on cloud nine the whole time.

We had a GREAT Christmas. The kids got a perfect Christmas...and not just in gifts. In every which way. Even G and I had fun with our little Christmas budget we had for each other. As I'm sure many parents agree, the real gifts are seeing your kids so happy. As G and I laid in bed Christmas Eve we both talked about how excited we were about Seena opening up her presents. AJ is still too young to understand but we figured he would enjoy the simple act of just opening presents (which he did!). Even Teen, with her simple wish list of gift cards, was going to be surprised with her gifts under the tree.

I don't know how else to say it but it really was a great Christmas. Nothing bothered me. Not the crazy lines, not the late night wrapping gifts, not the traffic, not the out-of-the-way shopping trips to get "the gift"... none of it. I was just so thankful and happy that I was actually able to do it. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Roller Coaster of My Life

I was originally going to title this as Christmas Miracle but I decided to change it to Roller Coaster of My Life because that is what my life is. I know this is true for everyone else too but it's amazing to me. These last few years has been nothing but a ride on a speeding roller coaster and not always a joy ride. We've had our highs and we've had our lows...I think I'm ready to step off and just enjoy a lazy river for a while.

Anyway, this week has been a roller coaster for us. With G still not starting work and with his dad's untimely death we've been wiped out financially. Both G and I sat the kids down and explained that X-mas was going to be EXTREMELY light this year. Teen was easier obviously but Seena is 5. She believes in Santa Clause so trying to explain why Santa Clause may not bring as many presents was a little tougher. Later that evening Seena approached me and said the following:

"mommy, I've been doing some thinking. I'm not going to make Santa give me everything I want. I already have a lot of toys and I know there are kids out there that don't have as much as me. It's ok. I can wait until next Christmas."

I know this should make me proud...and I am, don't get me wrong, but this broke my heart. All I could do was scoop her up, bury my head in her shoulders and cried, "I'm sory, I'm sorry, I'm sorry." I did manage to tell her how wonderful she was for saying that and that both God and Santa were listening. This was my low.

The next day, I got my Christmas miracle. Out of the blue I get a call for an opportunity for extra income, work required obviously, but it didn't matter, it was enough and more! I've always been told to just have faith and that God will always give you what you need. Bless him, bless him, bless him....He has given me a miracle. If all goes well G and I will be hitting the stores this weekend and in crazy, last minute shopping bliss! This was my high.

And just like that we hit another low that brought us back down to reality. The box arrived. Yes, The Box. Neither of us knew what to expect and G took his time. It was very sad and a little surreal; in his hands G held what was left of his beloved father. And for me, it wasn't freaky or creepy, it was actually comforting. It was nice knowing that we still had Papu with us. I know G is hurting all over again so I say this last prayer and goodbye for both G and I:

Papu, may you rest in peace in the Kingdom of Heaven and may you be comforted in knowing that you have finally made it to where you've always wanted to home with your boys and family. We love you and miss you.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Little Holiday Sugar Rush

What's more fun than spending an afternoon tempting little kiddies with candy they can't eat :) Just kidding!! Seena and AJ did pretty well actually. I thought for sure I would be constantly taking candy out of AJ's mouth....maybe it was the choice of candies in the Gingerbread House kit? Either way, we spent Saturday decorating a gingerbread house and baking chocoloate chip cookies...mmmm.

Seena, Juno Mom, AJ and Teen

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sneaky Siblings

This is how I found my two little candy canes after I put them to bed in their separate rooms.

This is how I found them a little later that evening. :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Night Leftovers

As of this moment I can't remember or figure out how the leftover button thingy works. So for now:

  • Seena does not like raisins however she'll eat them on peanut butter filled celery. She refers to this as "her favorite recipe"
  • Just this week I realized that AJ's 2nd b-day is literally around the corner and I have made no plans. As of right now I can't decide between it being a Backyardigan's theme or a Farm Animal theme. Oh, and I made up the guest list. That is as far as I've gotten, not good.
  • Meanwhile, today we celebrated Seena's 1/2 b-day at school. It was actually very sweet. We (G and I) took cupcakes to school and then we read her favorite book to the class.
  • Today, for the 1st time in my life, I went to Confession. ...and I confessed it all...every little bit. I have no secrets. I do feel better and I hope this "cleansing of my soul" will help me feel less angry all of the time.
  • I'm amazed every day by what Seena is learning. This week she talked to me about magnets, making self portraits and doing Dance Revolution in PE.
  • AJ has started the oddest and annoying habit. He chews up his food and then spits it out. I sat and watched him go through almost an entire package of cherry tomatoes that way.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

One Diaper

I'm the type of person that when I run errands or have to go places, I like to map them out in a very specific order so that I 1) don't waste time 2) don't have to backtrack and 3) don't have to lug any kids in and out of a car numerous times. I'm also one of those people that gets very anxious, annoyed, frustrated if things don't go as planned. I do not like to stray from the order of events. I just don't do well with that. So, with that said I had a specific agenda yesterday...

Seena to school....take AJ to get 2nd and final H1N1 shot...drop off AJ at daycare...go to work to input case in computer...go to Super Target...finish work at home...ship completed case to agency...pick up kids and go to Nanas. Simple. Instead, the earlier part of my day went like this...

Seena to problem
Drove by health clinic where free shots were being given. As I pulled up it seemed way too busy and I decided I would come back later. This is still ok with me because my "route" would not be affected as I could simply hit the clinic on my way back from work. To take AJ to daycare and then go to work would mean I would have to backtrack twice - once to get him back to daycare and then to pick him up and take him BACK to the clinic. That scenario was totally not acceptable.

Brilliant, right? I thought so too until I was just a few minutes away from work when I realized that I had no diapers, no wipes and AJ had not had his morning poo yet. Now, a smart mom or person, for that matter, would just go to the store and get diapers. Not me. Nope, this side trip did not fit into the route and/or order of events. In order for me to get diapers, I HAD to go to Target and it had to be a Super Target because 1) I had coupons for diapers and 2) I needed to get some groceries that I only had specific target coupons for. So, I really couldn't just stop ANYWHERE to get diapers....really, I couldn't.

So, I began to pray and send God all of my good thoughts to please, please let AJ hold out on his one diaper.

Well, God apparently is still enjoying playing jokes and naturally, AJ had a poopy diaper within 10 minutes of being at work. I had at least another 45 minutes of work to do before I could leave. Awesome.

After getting him cleaned up, I brought him back into my office. Thankfully, I have my own private office with no windows and that I can lock. And yes, I did the unthinkable. I let my white trash ways out and I let my son run around my office without any pants on. I tried to be clever and I set out boxes and trash cans and told AJ to use them as potties. How I wish I had a camera with me...AJ went from box to box, sitting in them and saying pee pee in each one. That lasted maybe 6-7 minutes.

Meanwhile my anxiety grew.

At sometime my good conscience came through and I began to try to find something that I could use for a temporary diaper.

My first attempt was bubble wrap. Mmhmm, bubble wrap.

That was immediately rejected.

Next, was AJ's jacket. It was lined on the inside and windbreaker like on the outside. I stuck his feet in the arms and pulled the jacket up all the way up as far as it could go up. Then I secured it by wrapping packing tape around him like a little mini mummy. Brilliant! Score!

... until I realized I went down too far and wrapped some of AJ's thighs together. Poor thing was trying to walk around but just couldn't. Goodness, I wish I had a camera!! And of course I let him stay that way. What is wrong with me?!!?

Miraculously I made it through work without any incidences AND we even made it to Target to get diapers. AND even better, there was no line and no wait at the health clinic.

And yes, I did take him out of his mummy-diaper outfit before we left work, I'm not that bad!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Things have been quiet around here lately, mainly from all that has happened. Last week G was dealing with issues regarding his brother and then over the weekend his father died. Papu died of a heart attack and it was sudden and unexpected.

This is the first close family member death for the both of us. I, unfortunately, did not know Papu (Greek for grandfather) very well. I've only met him twice. He lived in Florida and he came to visit us one summer and we saw him in Ft. Lauderdale the night before we were leaving for the cruise. I am saddened by this because in the beginning I misjudged Papu. I did not think highly of him but as the years went by I realized that I just didn't understand the nature of the relationship G had with his dad. Through the years I've heard great stories from both G and Ya Ya. Stories of a man who was an incredible chess player, a man who loved cars and painting them, a man who was as strong as an ox and of a man who loved his family and kids very much. There are two particular stories that I hear repeatedly from Ya Ya and each time I pretend that it's the first time I've heard it. The first is when Ya Ya was pregnant. One particular night she craved watermelon in the middle of the night and Papu went out and got if for her....when he got back she only had one bite. The other is that Sunday's were the days that Ya Ya got to sleep in. Papu would grab the boys early in the morning and take them out so Ya Ya could sleep in.....hmmmm, I wish this was something that passed down to G ;)

Seena has also only met Papu twice and she does remember him from the night we saw him in Ft. Lauderdale. I think for her, however, it was harder to see her daddy so upset. I know I have a picture of Papu and Seena together, I just don't know where it is.

G is slowly coming out of his somber haze, each day being a little easier than the one before. G has taken on the official role of the man of the family now and took on the responsibility of handling all of the funeral arrangements. Ya Ya and G chose to have Papu cremated and his ashes sent here. I can't even imagine what that will be like...for the FedEx or UPS man it will just be another box, for G it will be much more.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


G always jokes around that I can sleep anywhere, even standing up. I think I've passed this on to my kids....

Didn't even make it into the bouncy seat (not a wet spot)

My ultimate favorite....this was in the morning while AJ waited for Seena and I to get back from church.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


G and I decided to host Thanksgiving this year to give my parents a break. With my sister and her family living there and now two kittens, it's quite hectic over there....all of the time. So, in the spirit of thanksgiving I give thanks to my wonderful parents who have always given and continue to give us so much...

In preparation for the big day we made thanksgiving crafts.

And I when I meant hosting I meant hosting but apparently my mom (and sister) have a different take on that. See, when I made the call to tell them I would have thanksgiving at my house they immediately asked what they could bring. My first instinct was to say nothing but I'm learning not to do that anymore so I made it simple; Mom brings sweet potato casserole, Sister V brings rolls and a pie and Uncle J is in charge of appetizers.

Simple right....nope. Through many trial and errors, I've learned to double, triple check things with my mom. The day before I was going to go shopping I called my mom to double check on what she was intending to bring. Her sweet potato casserole turned into the green bean casserole, the stuffing and the mashed potatoes. I'm sure she would have bought the turkey had I not already done so. Don't get me wrong, that was totally fine by me but the whole point was to to help her out. Oh, and did I mention the appetizers? Please don't mistake this as a complaint, I really do find this all very humorous. In good old Uncle J fashion he brought enough appetizers to be Thanksgiving Dinner....and was actually a little peeved that he wasn't "allowed" to bring everything he wanted. I love my family :) So, in the end I was just in charge of the turkey. And it came out awesome...thanks to Ms. Martha Stewart.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

And of course I can't forget to mention the surprise my bro showed up with! Growing up we used to stay up all night on Thanksgiving and play video games. It was so much fun. Well, he surprised me with the new Super Mario Brothers game for Wii where two players can play at the same time. It was so much fun and my thumbs were so sore the next was a perfect ending to a perfect day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Teen's B-day Bash (a week or so later)

I know, I know...I've said it all before...I can't keep up with getting to my blog daily. Between my computer being as slow as the Comcast Turtles, my son waking up at 5:30am every morning again and now that G's laptop crashed, time on this computer (computer that has all of the pictures) is limited. As we speak I have little AJ sitting on my lap feeding me Crunch n' Berries. Oh, wait we're done so we need to go get more.

Alright, I'm back. So, anyhow, here we are recounting Teen's 15 b-day bash. As the big date approached G and I contemplated on what to do. Unfortunately, we found ourselves in the same spot we were last year...jobless and broke. Our original idea was to take Teen and a friend to NYC. The obviously went out the window pretty quickly. Teen didn't want a party so we finally
settled on a very nice steakhouse dinner and shopping. With some major saving and creative financial management we were able to save enough money to do this. We gave Teen a set budget and said this is what we have to spend can either spend it at a fancy dinner and have less for shopping or the vice versa. She chose the fancy dinner. I was surprised I must say.

The evening of her b-day we took her and a friend to a very nice and expensive steakhouse in the city. It was nice for G and I too. We didn't "celebrate" our anniversary this year so we looked
at the evening as our night too. It was also nice to see Teen experience it all. The food was of course excellent. Afterwards, we walked up and down the street looking at all of the shops. Of course, we, G and I, had to walk several steps ahead of the girls. Oh, I remember those days :)

The next day was the big family celebration. Everyone was coming over for Teen's favorite meal, spaghetti pie, and some cake. After looking through several of my cake decorating magazines I settled for what seemed as a simple cake. It was a stack of cupcakes with some decorations. Really not that hard, contrary to what BFF A said, "You always pick the hardest cakes to make".
She was referring to Seena's cake. Which was not hard, elaborate and time consuming, yes, but not hard. I know my limits and I know what I can and cannot do (yet).

The preparations for the cake started well.

I made flowers and dots for the cake

I made the layers or "tiers", which there were suppose to be 4. All in all I used 3 cake mixes.

All seemed to be going well until my 2nd tier. I didn't buy a jumbo size muffin tin so I improvised and used a large mixing bowl. It was a perfect, perfect, perfect fix until a small piece got stuck in the bowl. Ugh! As soon as I put on all of the tiers, I instantly noticed everything leaning...specifically on the side with the damaged tier. I, with the help of my dear friend V, tried to salvage the cake by literally stuffing extra pieces, which there was a ton of, of cake into the side of the 2nd tier that was damaged. At first, it seemed to have worked. We moved on to decorating the cake with the help of Teen and BFF A.

But since we are talking about me and things just never seem to go exactly as I envisioned them, we ended up with a leaning tower of cupcakes. Tada....behold the wonder

Nevertheless, Teen liked her was delicious at least :) And perhaps the crookedness added some extra flair to it.

Oh, and because I'm the greatest and most organized mom in the world, I also forgot to buy candles so we used tealights. Yes, you read that correctly, tealights.

Happy Birthday Teen!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Night Leftovers

Yeah, I got the thingy to work....yes, I really am computer dumb.

Anyway, my week's been blah and no umph to write a full blog so this is perfect!

  • **forgot to mention last week** I find it very interesting that Teen's mom has $$ to buy Teen a laptop for her b-day. She has yet to pay for 1 ortho payment, which she agreed to do prior to Teen getting braces back in November 2008.
  • was starting to think AJ was over me until he got super sick with a stomach virus and has been attached to my hip for the last two days....literally.
  • I'm really sorry to hear of my dear friend Danifred's fall, but do have to agree with her in her belief that all falls are funny :)
  • my implementation of a visual "1.2.3 strike-out = no playtime with friends" has worked excellent for Seena. We've had an incredible week so far...and she is even aware of how well she is doing
  • Seena is doing super good at school now....the letters have clicked. It's soo cute to hear her sound out a word to figure out the first letter....I just love it!
  • Teen had a "what to do to get to college" seminar at school this week where they emphasized how important it was to get good grades even in ninth grade AND that getting involved in extracurricular activities was just as important. I've been telling her this for forever but yet never believed me. So now naturally she is the manager of the freshman and JV basketball teams. I'm really beginning to think the book I'm reading...."Yes, Your Teen is Crazy" has merit.
  • I hold grudges and I hate it. G made a bad decision and has been in the doghouse for most of the week. Now that things seem to be turning for the better I should stop being grumpy but I don't know how to get over that hump. I'm ashamed of this because only a month or so ago I was harping on my sister for this exact thing. Staying angry is a choice but it's really not a choice that's worth it. Get over it, get over it, get over it, get over it.
  • no progress on the science garden.....grrr
  • On a good note...G got offered two jobs....AGAIN! Luckily this time we are in agreement as to which one would be better. Yeah for us!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Night Leftovers

Okay, I hope I did this right....
  • I am back to playing musical beds.
  • Really considered looking up a child psychologist for Seena this week.
  • AJ has begun a taking off his diaper and then peeing in his pants, but yet he has no interest in peeing in the potty.
  • Teen got an 82% on an Earth Science test that I made her study my way. I again reminded her that I was not crazy.
  • I wear Teen's hand me downs quite proudly. This week it was a like a shopping spree, I think I got 3-4 shirts and some PJs.
  • All week I was looking forward to posting to this and was purposely reminding myself of tidbits to add but now that I'm here, I can't remember
  • I'm not feeling the "love" on this new project from the PTA that I've been assigned to. So far the President has not responded to my e-mails and the treasurer told me that she couldn't quite get a strong feel for it yet. Meanwhile, I've already set up an appointment to take a tour of a very successful discovery school yard next week. This is not a very good start ladies.....

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Giving Tree

I've just returned from a volunteer meeting for my church's Giving Tree. Tonight we had to assemble the tags to be placed on the tree. The list of names are made up of local charities and some of the church's own Samaritan families. Typical giving tree stuff, I assume.

I sat next to a, let's see, how do I put this...a large, Italian, Catholic woman. I think that should be enough, right? Anyways, her task was sticking the labels on the tags and as she did, she read what was on them. And she commented and commented and commented. None were nice comments. Did I forget to mention this was a giving tree through our church???

Her biggest surprise was to see a gift request for an IPod Shuffle or a $50 gift certificate to Best Buy. Maybe, at first, one might think that was a little odd but the request was for a 14 year old boy. I pointed this out but it made no difference.

Soon after she came upon a request for gift certificates for McDonald's. Her comment...."now, this is more like it." Seriously? This is Christmas. This is a Giving Tree. This is a way to help and give someone less fortunate a give kids a Christmas.

This made me so upset tonight. Yes, an IPod request may raise an eyebrow but think about it. This is Christmas and this is a teenage boy. Obviously his family is in a position where gifts are not possible. It's not his fault but yet he has to go to school and be with friends that probably get whatever they want. It's not his fault and he should ask for this. This is Christmas. It's his wish, that's what Christmas is for kids.

A few weeks ago the church called me and asked me if I wanted our family to be on the tags. We are a Samaritan family. We've been helped by the church and they periodically check in on us. I declined but that could have been my kid's tag. I know what it's like to be poor at Christmas. It's a horrible, horrible feeling. For two years in a row I had no idea how we were going to buy gifts for the kids. Sure, we could try to explain to them that there was no money but it was heart wrenching enough to have to deal with it internally, there was no way we could have told the kids. Had I known the Giving Tree was an option for us back then I would have totally, 100% jumped all over it. And I wouldn't have felt guilty about it.

By God's miracle, we were able to give our kids a decent Christmas both years. This Giving Tree may be these kids, these families miracle. Shame on this woman for trying to take that away from a kid and from parents that want nothing more than a Christmas morning for their kids.

Shame on her. And she calls herself a Catholic.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bored No More

Beside the many quick approaching b-days, family events and holidays that are filling up my mind and time, I have finally found the "thing" - the project - I was searching for. Through Seena's PTA I've been put in charge of the Outdoor Science Garden.

I do hope they know what they are getting themselves into. This could not be more perfect for me. From the moment I was able to get the kids down to bed last night, I was ALL over the Internet looking at ideas, other schoolyards - which there are some fantastic ones that I have no problem copying - finding resources, etc. My mind is racing with ideas and I feel like I'm ready to burst and it hasn't even been 24 hours!

So far the plan is to have an Amphitheater, butterfly garden, a pond and raised flower beds. That's what's been budgeted for. If I can get my way....there will be much more :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009


For the past years I've been raising a shy who hides behind mommies legs, barely speaks above a whisper when spoken too by anyone other than family, when she was 3 cried so much in dance class that she was asked to leave...yes, this was my girl. But now that she's 5 she has been coming out of her shell and is apparently on her way to stardom, as per the conversation on the way home yesterday:

Seena - mom, when I grow up I want to sing on stage
Mom - wow, sweetie, that's great. Now that you are in dance, you will be on stage dancing so this will be great practice.
Seena - yes, and if there was a coloring contest, I would win that, because I'm so good at coloring.
Mom - yes, sweetie, you are very good at coloring
Seena - yeah, and I can color in the lines, I can dance, I can sing...and if there was a contest for stooding up for myself I would win that too. Oh my goodness, I am so good at everything. I am going to win and get lots of trophies. I can't wait to tell daddy and my friend A.
Mom - {raised eyebrow} ---thoughts in head---uh-oh, what's this all about?

I then proceed to try to explain that winning isn't everything, just trying your best, it's about the fun...blah, blah, blah....yeah, it went right over head.

The moment we got home she told her daddy how awesome she was and that she was going to win a ton of trophies.

I'm hoping this is really just the building blocks for great self-esteem and confidence :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Making Fake Phone Calls

I have given-in to making fake phone calls. This is sort of like telling little white lies to your kids to get them to do what you say. I really tried to avoid this. I wanted Seena to understand that no means no and ultimately want to prove that whining doesn't get you want you want. Unfortunately, for this particular case...I may have lost the battle.

Seena is 5 and for the time we have lived here, she has had no neighborhood friends. It's all boys, older kids or the kids are too young. But as of 2 months ago we now have another 5 year old girl living 1 house down, we'll call her A. When I realized this I was soooo excited. Finally, Seena can have a friend in the neighborhood to play with. We immediately introduced ourselves and invited her over.

As much as this was the best's also been the worst thing. It's none stop now. From the minute Seena wakes up it's "Can A come over? Can I go over to A's house?" This goes on all day, everyday. I was worried that Seena might be smothering her new found friend because it is ALWAYS Seena initiating playtime but her mother has reassured me that A shares the same feelings. If that's the case, why isn't she knocking on our door? I personally think we scare her. See A's family, even with 4 kids, is a quiet family. We are not...not in the least bit.

Again - this being a good thing, I now have new ammunition with naughty and no playtime with A. Bad thing, a whole new slew of arguments between her and I. Seena cannot take no for an answer when it comes to A. She won't even accept that A's parents are not home, are saying no, that I say doesn't matter. It's always, "well, can maybe, just maybe, can A come over after....whatever it is" or "can you just call A's mom and ask". I've tried to stand my ground but I finally gave in and made a fake phone call. And just like that it was over. Do I feel guilty? Yeah, a little, but in this trek through motherhood, you've got to pick your battles. As they say, you win some, you lose some. I'm not happy that I "gave in" but at least the argument was over and we were able to salvage the rest of the night and my sanity.

Friday, November 6, 2009


I'm not sure what I expected but I don't think I expected making lunch for Seena would be as difficult as it is. Well, maybe difficult isn't the right word....boring is probably a lot better. See, Seena has inherited Yaya's and G's pickiness. Or maybe it's the age, I don't know, but it's a little annoying. 5 days a week this is Seena's lunch:

Ham sandwich
Fruit -
Something else - fruit roll-up or yogurt.

Every once in awhile we'll mix it up with a PBJ sandwich and some celery. The fruit I'm fine with but the vegetables...I might as well be giving her water. I mean really, cucumber and celery? It's just green water.

I've tried giving her chicken soup. Came back almost full. I've tried pasta, broccoli, cheese - never finishes it. I even tried tricking her and I hid a slice of turkey inside her sandwich. Totally got busted. Apparently, she doesn't like the lunch meats mixed. And forget school lunches. We tried that once - horrible. I wouldn't even eat it and I eat anything.

My sister's kids on the other hand, eat everything. Hard boil eggs, humus, chicken salad, guacamole, burritos - yes, these have all been items in their lunch boxes. I would love to be able to have these choices to make lunch with everyday. The different nutritional values in the variety alone is worth the time it takes to make those lunches. My sister packs the kids lunches the night before...I whip up Seena's 10 minutes before we leave the house.

So this, on top of ABC's, Algebra and keeping the couch pillows on the couch, is my new challenge. I'm trying to add some new flair to Seena's lunch. Last week I introduced spinach and a pomegranate. Spinach no good in a quesadilla but was eaten in eggs and camouflaged in a salad. Thankfully the pomegranate was a hit. But that again is a fruit. Back to the drawing board.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Not in My Nature.

Growing up I did not have issues with school, meaning, my parents rarely had to check on me if I was doing my homework etc. I really only remember one time when I had a book report due and I had not read the book. I remember my parents giving me what I assume was coffee to try to stay up to read the book. They definitely weren't happy but other than that I was on my own. My parents, well, really my mom had high expectations for me and therefore so did I. I wanted and had to get A's. Obviously, some classes were harder than others but I tried to get good grades. I didn't miss homework assignments or any of that stuff. So, with this as my experience I'm struggling with how to cope with Teen's struggles in school. I used to blame it on the fact that I did not raise her but Seena is not progressing as quickly as she should in school. This is a killer for me. She's my flesh and blood and she's already struggling, well, maybe that's a bit exaggerated, she is only in Kindergarten but still. The teacher keeps reassuring me that it will "click" and I know it will. I see an improvement everyday, slow but it's there. I've resorted to labeling things in my house ....M for microwave, F for fireplace, V for vase, etc. I even made letter necklaces for G and I to wear around the house. And everything is letters...any games we play, anywhere we go, I'm constantly pointing out and asking what the letter is and what it sounds like. Volunteering in her class isn't helping me grasp this either. Some of the other kids breeze right through their letters. I know every kid is different but she's mine, I thought she was going to be just like me.

Anyway, this post was intended for Teen so I have to get back on track. After our "incident" I really struggled with getting past my anger and wanting to stay involved in Teen's life. I talked to friends and my family. I cried when I was told that I was fighting a losing battle. If Teen did not want to succeed nothing I did would make a difference. And as much as I believed and understood that, I couldn't accept it. It is not in my nature. My mom and I had a long talk and that's probably where I cried the most. And she asked me an interesting question....why was I trying so hard? Why was I trying to "fix" her? And I realized that's what I do. It's what I've always done. Growing up I was always on top of my sister, making sure she was doing what she was suppose to be doing. If she got herself in a mess, I fixed it. I still do it now. I'm the one that deals with all of legal matters, management issues, I write all of the letters, I still follow up on my sister and sometimes my brother. I most certainly have that same role in my household. Now, I know I can't change anyone but I do everything in my power to try to make sure those around me do not fail, get hurt or get in trouble. I don't do the work for them, at least I try not to, but I'm always there to pick up the pieces if need be. Does this suck sometimes? Sure. Is this taken for granted,\? Sure. But it is what it is. It's my role. I actually get more anxiety when things go wrong when they really shouldn't than with the fact that I feel like I'm the one having to "do" everything. So when Teen forgets to turn HW or fails a test, it's like I failed. I feel like it's my fault. I should have been more on top of her assignments or her study schedule.

I tried to follow the advice of letting go. I really did. I told her that I was no longer going to get involved and if she did not want to succeed than that was on her. I reassured her that I believed in her, as I always have, but that I was not going to try so hard when she didn't care. Yeah, that lasted less than a day. I couldn't do it. I felt like I was giving up on her. G tried to help. He wrote up a schedule and pushed the studying but I couldn't keep myself out of it. It's not in my nature. After several talks, many arguments of schedules and studying, many times to be told to "chill out" and a parent/teacher conference, we all seem to be on the same page. I think Teen is understanding that high school is not like middle school and she needs to study everyday. And I'm understanding to let Teen think she's managing her own schedule :)

The outcome of all my pushing and nagging .... we got a call from Teen's math teacher last week. Teen passed her retake test with a 78 and is receiving a passing grade for the semester! I'm sure I embarrassed the hell out of her in front of her friend. I jumped up and down with joy and covered her head in kisses. I knew she could do it. I've always known she could do it. There's no way I can let her fail knowing this. It's not in my nature.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Halloween is my favorite, favorite holiday...followed closely by Christmas of course. Christmas is a given...I almost don't even count that as a choice. But's so fun. All of the spooky decorations, the costumes, once upon a time the parties, the fun food things you can do, etc. It's just fun. Once a year you get to be silly...I love it. I've ALWAYS wanted to be the house that totally gets decked out for Halloween...I'm getting there....very slowly...but I'll get there :) Teen's best friend's mom decked her house out and had a bunch of teens over to kick-off the evening. I'm glad Teen got to go but I was jealous. I was suppose to be that mom. I know it's crazy wanting to have a bunch of teens in the house but I can't help it. I'll get there....

But for now, we'll just recant our day.

Crazy me decided to do a marathon festivities day. Maybe it was cabin fever, I don't know but I was all over the place. We started with a trip to Michael's for a Halloween craft project. Seena, of course, did great. I don't know what possessed me to think that AJ would sit through and do a project.

Because I'm a fabulous procrastinator, I waited too long for an oil change so that had to get squeezed in. Luckily there was a McD's to hang out at during the 45 minute wait.

Next we moved on to a Dog Costume Contest at the local Garden center. We didn't enter a dog but I thought the kids would get a kick out of seeing the costumes. They did, and some were so cute. Plus there was free popcorn there and we all loved that :)

Next it was the neighborhood Halloween party. Not quite the Halloween party I was expecting but still, there was candy there and a magician. For Seena it was great. For AJ, he was more interested in having me chase him around everywhere.

In between all of the festivities we made a few pit stops at home. Once while we there, G asked how I had the energy. The answer is simple...making my kids happy. I know the day was not some monumental experience or event but minus the McD's lunch, my entire day was free and my kids got to get a craft, candy, Halloween pails, balloons, popcorn, moon bounce, super slide and a magic show. Not to bad I don't think. Definitely beats sitting at home watching it kept the house clean...much to G's delight :)

Finally, after all of the running around it was trick or treating time. When Seena was younger she was scared to go. It wasn't until last year that she really got into it. It's a totally different thing for AJ. Maybe it's because he's got Seena to look up to but he had no fear, well minus one werewolf costume. We walked up and down two full streets and he never sat in the stroller. My favorite was when it was time to say trick or treat...I prompted AJ "what do you say" he looked at the candy givers with his hand out and said "pees". So stinkin' cute!
Yes, Halloween is my favorite holiday.

As for my kids, Seena has moved on, been there done that. She's already cutting out pictures of toys she wants and gluing them into the Christmas Wish Book....

Friday, October 30, 2009

One Year Later

Yesterday was the year anniversary of the restaurant closing. I can still remember it like was yesterday. I can still remember all of the emotions that slammed through us...shock, fear, confusion, sadness, anger, pain, guilt, emptiness. It was dreadful. I also remembering sitting on my front porch on Halloween night with my dear friend V. As I watched the waves of kids come to our front porch for candy I started to cry thinking that that was going to be my last Halloween in my house...but alas, here I am, still in my wonderful home, getting ready for those waves of kids again. In looking back, this past year has been interesting. Some things have been great, awesome even but other things haven't changed yet. For the first time in a long time, I can actually say that time did NOT fly by. It's been a long rough year but I remember my days, I feel good that I made the most of each and every one. I can look back and actually say I don't regret anything...well, that's not true entirely...I didn't make it to the beach.

So, in a quick round up - the good and bad of how far we've come since last year:

1. The restaurant is still empty. And I'm finally starting to agree with the guys (G&J) that the landlord screwed us over. They've heard it from several people and now that I'm learning of the incredible offers the landlords is giving to try to rerent the place, it's disheartening. I would like to say it serves him right but I'm Catholic and I can't.
2. No closure. Things are still not complete and it's very frustrating. I hate the unknowing and until things remain unfinished, that's where we remain.
3. G is back to being unemployed. We're back to where we started. This is hard to swallow. For a short stint we were doing ok, things looked promising but it was short lived and we're back "there" again. I can feel myself being pulled into my darkness again but I'm trying really hard to not let myself falter. I can't go back there again, I just can't.
4. My mom. She's not over it and I don't know if she ever will be. It's heartbreaking for me. I am still so consumed with guilt for having caused her so much stress and pain. No matter what I say, she can't get past being angry. I pray everyday for some resolution for her but I'm afraid her anger is blocking the way.

The Good
1. G and I have become stronger. I don't know how else to explain that. We as a couple, as parents and human beings, we've become stronger.
2. I've reconnected with my Faith. It is true that in the past I've turned to it in times of hardship but I've remained faithful, even in the good times. My Faith has given me a peace that fuels my mind, body and soul.
3. I'm still in my home, for now. We're so close to getting a resolution with our house but now that G is unemployed, I'm scared again. If this loan modification doesn't go through, we've lost our chance. There is no second one.
4. My kids, my happiness. They are immune to the suffering and the sacrificing and that is all that matters.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I'm Not Crazy

As much as I love being a mom, I've decided it's a perpetual curse from one mother to another. I know I gave my mom hell and I thought she was crazy. I especially thought she was crazy because she grew up in a different country so how could she know what life was "really" like for a teen here in the U.S.? I'm already thinking I can't wait for Teen to have her own kids (at the right time) and have to deal with "being crazy"...see it's a curse.

Well, now that I'm a mom I'm realizing that some things may have been different but for the most part my mom was not crazy...and neither am I...contrary to what Teen believes. It really is funny how she thinks I don't get it or that I talk just to hear myself talk..well, sometimes that may be true..but for the most part I know "what's up". I recently learned that her mother said that I was too strict and expected Teen to be a perfect straight A student. Yeah, that is not true. My mother was strict...I'm just tough ;) Seriously though, I don't think I'm overly strict. I want Teen to have fun and love life everyday, especially now when there are no worries. My rules are your best in school, get good grades (not straight A's), and be honest. That's it. I don't think that's too bad.

Ninth grade has been a big adjustment for Teen so far. The work is very different from Middle school and she's having a tough time with it. I've finally broken it down to her that she needs to study a little every day, even if she doesn't have HW. This did not go over too well with her..she thought I was crazy, especially after our little incident recently but after our parent/teacher conference and the teachers said the EXACT same thing I said, she finally got it. I even looked at her and said..."see, I'm not crazy".

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


No, it hasn't taken me this long to settle down and get over my anger's just been busy. The dust has settled, it's amazing what waiting in a 3 hour line for the H1N1 flu shot can do to simmer things down between Teen and I. Yes, you did read correctly 3 hours. And, the best part about that is out of the 4 of us, Me, Teen, Seena and AJ, only Seena and I got the shot. So, now I have to go back and wait 3 hours again for Teen and AJ. Fun stuff.

Anyway, Teen and I have come to an agreement (more on this on another post), G and I are on the same page, we've had a parent/teacher conference and they are on the same page with us. Hopefully, this will move things in a better direction. Still have not talked to Teen's mom. She won't return my call. That's fine.

And now back to my post. Ever since Seena started Kindergarten and Teen has started HS, I've gone a little volunteering crazy. More so for's easier. Recently, Seena's school had a family fun night with a Magic Show and I volunteered to help with the pizza sales before the show. One of my daycare parents overheard me say this and laughed that I was the in the new kindergarten mom honeymoon phase. Hmmm, is it? I don't know. Since school has started I've joined the PTA and have gone to the meetings, I volunteer in the classroom for a few hours once a month, I'm starting this attendance thing once a week next week (it's just 15 minutes), I volunteer at as many events as I can....including Teen's Homecoming. That was interesting.

Is it a honeymoon? I don't know but I don't think so. I've always wanted to be involved in my kids stuff and now that there are opportunities to do so, I want to. I enjoy it. Plus I'm bored. There I said it. I am very, very, very bored. My job offers me no fulfillment. None. Don't get me wrong, I'm very thankful that it's flexible and that I can volunteer but I'm finding myself getting aggravated with work. It's almost become a nuisance for interruption in my day. But I'm thankful...don't want to jinx myself.

My latest volunteering gesture is potentially becoming a co-leader for Seena's Daisy troop. My sister thinks I'm crazy but I need to do something. Being bored has made my mind wander into crazy going back to school to possibly teach?, to start my own part-time business, to go back to meeting planning...yes, I've actually been researching these options a lot and in depth....that's how bored I am. Maybe it's just my funk....but for now, I'm enjoying my volunteering honeymoon. Seena loves it when I'm in the classroom. Teen on the other hand...her words over Homecoming ..."I'm not going to talk to you". :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Out of respect, I have skirted around my true feelings about certain people in my life. I worried that just maybe certain people would come across this blog and well, not be happy but no more. I don't care. I am fed up. My shoulders cannot bear the weight of other people's responsibilities any longer...

I'm still finding it difficult to talk or even write about this because I am still so emotional over the betrayal I experienced this weekend. You know what, betrayal is probably not the right word, I mean, Teen's mom does not have any loyalties towards me right? I mean, I am only raising HER daughter. By her choice nonetheless. It's not like G and I swooped in and forced full-time care for Teen. I used to give her the benefit of the doubt. She had a horrible husband and perhaps it was in Teen's best interest that she handed Teen over to us. G tried a few times to tell me she wasn't exactly all-together right or as G would say cuckoo. But I didn't want to believe him. I couldn't understand how a mom could let someone raise their own kid but whatever, we did it.

It hasn't been easy. Not at all. The first year was horrendous. And maybe I still carry a grudge for Teen to this day because our relationship is certainly not perfect. We do lack a connection but I cannot accept the full blame. I have always dreamed of having a family, a big one. One where we were all up in each other's stuff all the time...kinda like I grew up. But I don't have that. There is a division in my family; me and the little ones and Teen and G. I know Teen complains of feeling that she doesn't belong anywhere but I have tried and tried to make this family unite as one but between Teen's walls and G's laid back approach to everything, it's been a struggle. But I continued to fight because I believed I would get there.

Within the last year or so I began noticing Teen's mom interest or concern in Teen decrease. Teen's mom did not insist on getting Teen on her weekends or over the summer as was agreed on. I don't think I ever received a call from Teen's mom asking how Teen was doing in school or in general. Lately, I'm lucky if she even returns a call now.

What I find so funny now, is that Teen thinks her mom walks on water and I'm the B. She even told a friend right in front of me, that her mom is like her best friend and I'm like her real mom. That's great. So, I'm the B because:
I believe in good grades
I'm strict about grades and following rules
I do not tolerate lying
I have expectations of everyone, EVERYONE, contributing in the house
I want family traditions

Yes, I'm the B. Can't you tell?

So, it finally starts to get really good when I caught both Teen and her mom in a lie. I grounded Teen again for bad grades for the weekend and her mom - fully aware of my rules when it comes to grades covered for Teen this weekend. She told me Teen was with her when in fact she most certainly was not. I can't even begin to express how angry I was and still am. I, for one, cannot STAND lying.. Because Teen is a teen, I can accept it for Teen because of the age but not her mom. Especially not when she handed her over to ME to raise. I don't think I need to remind anyone how difficult it is to raise a teenager. They are constantly testing their limits, trying to see what they can get away etc. etc. So, someone please tell me WHY, why would a parent want to encourage that behavior? And, on top of that, I struggle with authority with Teen as it is, didn't her mom think that by allowing her daughter to lie and lie with her would totally undermine any authority I had at all. AND ON TOP OF THAT - the fact that her mom KNEW Teen had not just one, but three bad grades (lower than C) and STILL let her lie, lied with her and let her go out to have fun, is completely beyond me. This makes me soooo mad. Part of our jobs, as parents, is to make sure that we help our children lay the foundation to a successful future for themselves. How is Teen going to get that if her own mother is teaching her that it's ok to lie and that grades are obviously not important?

Ooooh, and it gets better. After learning of all of the lying I told Teen and G she had to move back in with her mom. If her mom wanted to teach her those things than she can raise her. Teen's mom needed some accountability for her own daughter. I was done. So, what does Teen's mom do....drops off Teen at Teen's best friend's house, asks if she can stay with them and lies to them and tells them that we were aware that Teen was there. Unbelievable!!! I have absolutely NO RESPECT for this woman any more. None. I'm sorry Teen, if you ever read this but this is my space, these are my feelings. I cannot accept this.

So, you ask where G fits into all of this. He's upset with me for essentially making a decision regarding HIS daughter without him. I can accept that but he needs to understand that I never would have succeeded with Teen as long as that sort of manipulation was going on. And now, because Teen's mom has pawned off Teen to someone else, G is angry and has insisted that Teen move back in. When I sent Teen to move back in with her mom, I knew she wouldn't last there very long and would be back home with us but I never imagined this. It hasn't even been two days and Teen was at a friend's house. Even though I know G felt he had no choice and he felt he was doing the best thing for his daughter, I don't know if I agree. A part of me wishes he grabbed Teen and marched her right back to her mom's house and forced them both to take responsibility for their actions. The other part of me feels sorry for Teen. I'm sure she's feeling that she is not wanted by anyone, that she doesn't belong anywhere. I don't know what was right but I know that by G bringing Teen back this quickly he essentially has now done the same thing Teen's mom did. He has cut me at the knees and I feel betrayed. I feel defeated and alone.

As far as I can see nothing has been learned and nothing has changed. Teen's mom has skirted around her responsibility. Teen has learned nothing other than she can lie and not face any consequences. G says he's going to be all over her and on top of it all. {insert raised eyebrow here} all good intentions aside, he can't. I know my husband and I know his weaknesses. So does Teen and she'll bulldoze right over him.

I hope for G's and Teen's sake that I am wrong. But for now, I'm still mad. I'm still hurt. I'm still not ready to forgive.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Words by AJ

Since AJ's last doctor's appointment Still a Bobble Head we've made some progress on the word count. We've surpassed the 10-20 words that he should have been saying and we're on our way to reaching 50. I must say, it's been very fun trying to figure out what he's trying to say...a bit of a mystery game, not to mention oh so very cute! He seems to be catching on to words easier too...G taught him how to say "football" almost immediately.

AJ’s words

1. Ne na´ – Seena
2. nana – nana
3. anana – banana
4. daddee - daddy
5. no nie – not nice (with raised pointed finger)
6. pee pee – penis, pee
7. tuck – truck
8. ball – ball
9. Nose – Nose
10. Daa – hot dog
11. Mama – mom
12. ba by – bye bye
13. hi – hi
14. Noo – no
15. babas – warm milk in sippy cup
16. gogut – yogurt
17. ckee – cookie
18. Dun – done
19. Mine – Mine
20. Ma – more, mas
21. boon – balloon
22. booball - football
24. aba - agua, drink
25. bus - bus
26. daa da daa – AJ’s favorite song. ok so this is not an actual word but he says it ALL of the time and it's very cute.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Keeping Up

Goodness. That is all I can say. Life is busy and I only have one kid in one activity...well, actually two. I realized this morning taht I didn't take my laptop out of it's bag once this weekend. Crazy, crazy, crazy. October "appears" to be a slower month...according to my calendar but I can see that changing pretty quickly. I have to say that I have written on this blog daily...just mentally. For now, since I have a brief ten minutes before my next meeting I will jot down a very funny moment between Seena and G last night:

G is putting Seena down to bed and has just finished reading her a book:
G - quit peeing in your bed.
Seena - you quit smoking.

Enough said...that's my girl :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Seena Good...Seena Bad

We've made it through 2 weeks of school and today was the first day Seena did not tear up when I left...Seena Good. But perhaps that was because I was actually IN the classroom to show her where the bathroom was....Seena Bad.

Seena Good
Seena seems to like school. She still hasn't talked about meeting a bunch of new friends yet but she does have a friend from daycare in her class. She recalls most of the details of the day, her instructions from her teacher and anything interesting. She has had all six enrichment classes; PE, Art, Science, Computer, Library and Music. So far her favorites are gym and library?? Not sure how that is right since both times she came home from PE she said it was boring???

On a side note, I joined the PTA and at the first meeting I learned that they (we) are trying to put in an Outdoor Science Garden complete with a pond, raised garden boxes and a butterfly garden. Very excited about this!!

Dance - Finally, finally, finally Seena is up for this and looks forward to it now. Yeah!! The first time I took her she was 3 and she was TERRIFIED. I had to pull her out by the 2nd class. It was so bad. Now, she gets right in. G took her to her first class....I'm devastated that I missed it but I'm sure there will be other times now that she's comfortable with it. From the reports from G she did very well. A lot of running back and forth and jumping and clamoring around in her tap shoes :) Plus she looks adorable in her leotard and tights!

Seena Bad
The wet shorts are still a problem...everyday and now every night. I've threatened diapers (again) and that stopped it for one day but we had another accident last night. When asked Seena says she's "never" used the bathroom in her class, I'm not sure I believe that 100% but just in case, I walked her to her class this morning and walked her through the whole process of using the bathroom IN the classroom. Hopefully, this will get her going in the right direction.

1st assessment on letters - not great but Teacher is going to retest her herself in case it was just a "shy" thing. I know it's very early but still I worry.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Answering Prayers or Playing Jokes...Which is It?

I delayed writing this post because I wanted to be a bit calm. See, I did it again. I unleashed the famous Juno Jinx. I either commented or I thought something good. At first I was upset, scared and angry but I've learned from my past emotions and I'm trying to be open minded about why things happen the way they do. A lot of my rationale has to do with my Faith so I'm trying to understand and see the good in my current situation.

Just last week I was excited and looking forward to finally having some breathing room again. I dared make grand plans in my head of the all of the fun activities I was going to sign the kids up for, maybe even have a little extra spending money left over for something fun. I know this extra money meant my husband's continued misery at work but he (we) don't have any other options right now. I know he's miserable at his job (hey, I hate my job too) and I feel guilty that I'm (was) looking forward to spending money but it's been such a long time since I've had it, I don't want it taken away. I've had a taste and I now I'm drooling at the mouth for more.

To appease my guilty feelings I've been praying. I've been praying for G to find something that makes him happy and worthy. Um, the last time I prayed for this G got the restaurant and look where I am now. Hmmm. I pray this same prayer again, and now G is facing a layoff in two weeks. So what does this mean now? I was hoping to at least have something lined up first. So, again, what does this mean? Is this a joke...haha on me....or as the good ole Joel Olsteen says "there is river of good fortune heading my way, just be patient". Yeah, I listen to him occasionally....he's entertaining and it makes me feel a little less guilty for not going to church if I listen to him for the day.

So, I've decided to do as I've been doing...have faith. Have faith this is meant to be and to adjust accordingly. I suppose God answered half of my prayer, he gave G an we just need to find the new "in".

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Week in Review

Wow, what a week! And this is before any of the real activities have started. Even though it's been busy...not hectic yet...but just a constant steady busy, it's been a good week. A nice change of pace. I like this pace, I do better in this pace. Since I really couldn't do a daily blog I will wrap up this week in one post:

First day of School
Surprisingly went very well minus the crying. I stuck to my schedule - which required me to get up at 5:15am to make sure Teen gets out the door on time and to get in a run before the little ones woke up. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to go running on the first day because it was raining but I at least got up and got dressed to go running ;). Seena and AJ did big fights from either of them. After dropping of AJ at daycare, I came back and met G and Seena for our first walk to school. It was really sweet. When it was time to say goodbye I could feel the tears instantly flowing out of my eyes. Of course Seena didn't help. She was clinging on to me begging to go home with me. She has this heart wrenching pout, add that to her throwing her arms around my neck and burying her face in my neck while crying just made me lose all self-control I had. I buried my head in her shoulders and cried like a baby. G even got teary eyed a few times. After our emotional goodbyes we watched our little girl walk away to her first day of kindergarten. I'm so proud of her, I know she was so scared but she kept herself grounded and followed the rest of the class.

After school, we got, what I thought, was a pretty decent recount of her first day until I called Nana. After a quick debrief, ML (6 year old cousin) got on the phone and you would have thought my 5 year old warped into a babbling teenager. Seena proceeded to tell ML all kinds of things, who was in her class, what she did at recess, what the boys did at recess, what she ate, what she wore went on and on. It was very entertaining but at the same time I'm thinking..."come on - I just lost her to kindergarten PLEASE don't speed this growing-up thing any faster than it needs to".

The rest of the week, though uneventful for the most part other than car-pooling, back-to-school night etc., was very good. I'm a little hesitant to say that things may be turning around for us for fear of jinxing it but this week has been full of good things and good news; a potential new job for me, getting the car choice that I want if I stay at my current job, financially things turning out in our favor (potentially), court hearing going very well and Teen getting a call back from an agency that I sent pictures to months ago for an audition. I really do hope it lasts. I even learned that I'm Teen's Role Model....who would have ever guessed :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Going to School

After Seena was born my mom told me that she was worried about me being a mom. She worried that I would need "help" taking care of a baby. I can understand why she felt that way...I never really displayed any gaga feelings about having kids or kids in general...that was always my sister. I never really showed too much emotion about kids...didn't get what all of the commotion was about. Of course, I knew I wanted them and I wanted them sooner than later but other than that I didn't think I was going to be the mushy mom that I SO AM NOW. It's crazy, it really is. Kids change you. Mine have changed me. I used to only want 3 (which I have now) but now I want more. I want a whole house full and I want to be around kids and do things for them. I've been brainwashed by kid mania!!!

The mushiness has crept up on me. I was super emotional when I first had Seena but after that the whole mess with her apnea and RSV, I was ok. I calmed down for awhile. I didn't get emotional over daycare, I didn't get emotional about going back to work, I didn't get as emotional about having another baby, I definitely wasn't the crazy freak that I was with Seena with AJ. I've been much more relaxed there. And as Seena got older, I didn't get the emotional business of going to kindergarten. When I went to register her, I didn't get emotional...I was actually afraid that I wouldn't at all. Does that make me a bad mommy? Some people I know cried at registration. Why didn't I?

But as the day approaches I've been feeling the twinge of tears lurking in my eyes. I know Seena going to school is driving my wanting another baby. I don't want her to grow up. I don't want her to go to school. I don't.

And finally, the tears came. They came the day I had kindergarten orientation. They came all today just thinking that tomorrow was it. Tomorrow she's officially in school. And of course it didn't make it easier when we were getting ready for bed she looked up at me and said she was scared. Talk about pulling at your heart strings!!

So, I mustered up all of my super mommy strength and talked about all of the great things she'll do in school, that it's ok that she's scared, we talked about how all of the other kids are scared too because it's their first day too and we even talked about how lucky she was that she had a friend already in the class. And then I thought I would be a real super mom and tell her that I would be with her in her heart and if she ever got scared at school to close her eyes and she would see mommy smiling at her, telling her it was ok. Her response "that's not real mommy". That's pretend". And the little booger laughed. So much for that tender moment :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Just So I Won't Forget

I know I've complained about not getting enough sleep and that AJ wakes up randomly every other night blah, blah, blah. I know it will pass and I will get my full night sleep one day blah, blah, blah. Why I'm choosing to write about this is because last night AJ did the sweetest thing, I think at least. Since we've moved AJ into a big bed, he's progressed from crying out from his bed to getting up and coming to my door and crying out. It never mattered to him what time it was...but last night was different.

At 3:47am I felt the slightest tap on my arm. I opened up my eyes and there was my sweet boy looking at me with his sweet eyes. There is nothing significant about this but yet to me it was.

As soon as he saw that my eyes were opened...he cried out. I didn't say it was a long moment...just a sweet second moment.

I grabbed my pillows, turned off my alarm and headed to his room. We snuggled up, he grabbed my arm, wrapped it around him and he held it there for.....yep, another sweet second.

Still trying to hold on to the honeymoom :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sports Rule

In my house sports rule. However, between G and I we are rivals. G likes Dallas, I like the Redskins. G likes the Tarheels and I like Virginia Tech. The latter is not that big of a deal except when it comes to where our children will be going to school. Since I am the ruler of most things in the house, G has decided he will be the ruler in the sports chosing of the kids. Therefore, he has laid out the following:

Teen - since Teen is his biological daughter and she adores him, she does and likes anything he likes, therefore, she is automatically a Dallas and Tarheels fan.

Seena - This one is mine. I've brainwashed her to like the Redskins. He has tried to convince her that that is the wrong team and she has argued back that she can like both. That's my girl. I've also stated that she will be attending Va Tech.

AJ - because he is the boy, and only boy, G assumes he gets all sports rights with him. We'll see....AJ is a bit of a mama's boy :)

Now that it is preseason football the smack talk has begun. I surprised G today with AJ wearing a redskins cap and Seena is cheering for them to win tonight. Whether I am a true fan or not, as G likes to argue, that is not the point. The point is in the fun of the smack talk and heating up the blue blood that runs through my husband's body. It really is so much fun.

Now, I've got good sportsmanship. I do know when I have lost. I know I have lost Teen and most likely will lose AJ to Carolina or Dallas but I can always count on my baby girl to come through. Tonight after sticking to her guns about liking the Skins, G attempted to see who were some of her other "favorite" teams:

G - Sweetie, who is your favorite basketball team?

Seena - Troy Bolton's team.

That's my girl!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Who Turned Out the Lights?

I've been a little MIA these days because I think I'm skirting around another funk. But this one is different...I think it's more related to my health instead of my emotional state. I'm tired, unmotivated and lacking energy...all of the time. This will need some further investigating. Plus, there really hasn't been too much going on other than attending a million birthday parties.

So, back to our somewhat regularly scheduled program....I bring to you another Seena Rule of Thumb. As I mentioned before Seena is pretty well aware of being green and trying to do "her" part to save the earth. The one area that we have always had difficulty with is the lights in her room. She has to sleep with them on. It doesn't matter how many night lights she has in the room, the lights have to be on. Of course we turned them off when she goes to sleep but evidently, at some point in the middle of the night, she senses them off and turnes them back on. We finally had a sit down about this and we've come to the following solution....according to Seena:

We are not allowed to turn off the lights until she falls asleep for the 2nd time.

Because the first time she falls asleep is not real.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bite Me

Yesterday AJ got bit in the back at daycare because he tried sitting on some kid's lap while they were reading books.

I got the incident report and the note said"took away from each other and talked with them to be nice with each other".

Normally, I am very, very, very pleased with AJ's toddler class but this bothered me a little. AJ has been in this class for 4 months now. Many times the teachers have told me how much AJ loves books and how he sits in their laps while they read to the rest of the kids. I've also told them several times the reason why AJ does that is because that is how I read to him. I sit indian style and he plops himself right on my lap and we read.

So, please tell me why my son was "scolded" for doing what he thought was a totally natural thing. If the biting hadn't happened, I would have thought it was cute. And I understand why the kid bit AJ. I'm not annoyed by that but I'm annoyed that my son was treated like he did something wrong.

Like I said, I am normally very pleased with this class and the teachers. AJ loves it too. I'm hoping that this is an isolated incident and that the teachers are really paying attention as oppose to just telling me they are.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wet Shorts

Wet shorts. Everyday for the last week. So far our record is 6 undie changes in one day. 6! And that was within the last 2 months. I don't get it. The only answers I get from Seena is either "i don't know", "I didn't feel it" or "I didn't want to stop playing". I understand the playing - I get that. But I don't understand why she does it when we're at home doing nothing and the bathroom is literally right next to her. Is it an attention thing? Regression? I don't know. All I do know is that it's very frustrating....not to mention the extra loads of laundry this causes me to do during the week.

What worries me even more though is that Seena is starting Kindergarten in less than a month. I don't want her to be ridiculed for this. I've been to the doctor and was told I need to retrain Seena to feel the sensation and also to "hold it" longer so that her bladder gets bigger. His suggestion. Give her a lot of water. A lot. And then make her go to the bathroom every hour and to hold it for a count of 5. Do this for a few days and then make your way up to every fours and to hold it for a count of 30. Fun. Does he not realize that how difficult that will be? I guess we must do what we have to do.....

Seena knows this upsets me and I've caught her trying to hide it a few times. I've stopped getting angry since this has obviously not gotten me anywhere but I can't hide the looks of frustration. I suppose Seena sees this and tries to "make up" for it. Seena peed in her bed last night (which surprisingly doesn't happen as often as she pees during the day) but instead of notifying me of this she took it upon herself to fix the situation. I spied on her and watched her calmly take off the sheets of her bed, get a new set of sheets - including the fitted one, made the bed - including the fitted sheet and she pulled out a new comforter since hers was wet too. I also heard her whisper the steps to herself- from pulling off the sheets to putting the sheets in the dirty. After she was done she settled down to read some books and I snuck downstairs. I felt guilty spying on her and I didn't want to ruin her moment when she would announce that she made her bed all by herself.

Which she did. And was very proud about it. How can you be upset over that? I guess you can't.

So today we will embark on our journey of wet short freedom. If you need me I'll be on potty patrol.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Seena Update

Seena had her official 5 year physical this past week. Getting ready for school. Kindergarten. I can't believe it. As sad as I am, I'm actually excited about this new milestone in her life as well as my own. We're approaching almost a year since I changed my position at work and the restaurant closing. I know I have said this a million times but I am at peace. I am truly happy where I am right now. It took me awhile to get here but I love my life. I am beginning to understand and accept that I'm really not that interested in being a highly successful career woman. It's funny, I always thought that I would be but I also knew I wanted to be a family mom. I do miss my old job occasionally. I miss the office chit chats and I definitely miss the traveling but I know I could never go back, at least not for a long time. My job now is just that, a job. A job I need to have to support my family. But that's where it ends. My real job, the job I love, is being a mom and a wife. But this job has also given me something else. Time. Time that I hope that I will use wisely. Now that Seena is entering Kindergarten and Teen is entering High School, I want to be involved. I want to volunteer, join the PTA, the whole works. I've already informed Teen that everyone at her school is going to know who her mama is! And it doesn't end there...I have a yearning, a deep desire to do more but since the original intent of this blog entry was about Seena and not about me, I will have to save that for later. Moving update on Seena:

Weight - 43lbs - 75%
Height - 43 inches - 50%

Good news - she's doing great. She's just where she needs to be.
Not really bad news but for a split second in our appointment my heart dropped and tears immediately welled up in my eyes. The doctor detected a heart murmur. An innocent one, thank goodness. I know this is over dramatizing the situation but when it comes to the health of my babies, I am a big baby. I can't deal with it. It is my weakness. I've already been through the fear of laying next to your baby in the hospital praying and waiting for them to get better. My two experiences have been small, tiny even, in comparison to the enormity of what other parents are going through, but still it is my weakness. But she's fine and will be fine. There is nothing to worry about.

Fun Seena Tidbits:
-Twice now, I have been lectured on when it's ok to turn off the nights in her room at night. The first time I let her go on and on because I thought it was hilarious. And I thought she would have forgotten. But that is not so. Just the other day I got the lecture again. "Mommy, I told you. You are not suppose to turn off the lights after the 1st time I go to sleep. You have to wait until I fall asleep the 2nd time."
-Seena told me yesterday that she's been praying to God to help her stop peeing in her pants. "Mommy, I've been saying - God please, please, please let me feel it in time to pee". And as a thank you, she is making a card for God.
-Seena also informed that the wish she's been saying to the stars is not coming true - her wish to fly.
-Seena LOVES to sing. I sooooo wish I had a tape recorder. She sang for at least 30-45 minutes straight yesterday. She sings while she plays with her dolls and the dolls act out her singing. Yesterday it was mix of song and actions from Ariel and High School Musical 2. ***sidebar- Seena is singing now....about cleaning up her crayons.*** Maybe she'll be a song writer!
-As much as I want Seena to go into dance, she may be better at gymnastics. She may have a knack for it. She's basically taught herself how to do a cartwheel/round-off. It's her specialty that she loves to show-off.
-Seena loves to draw, color and is often drawing pictures for her loved ones. She's actually getting pretty good.
-We're still having issues with tantrums but I think it's getting better. I am finding there is some jealousy but it's more geared towards me. It's mommy only time that she seems to want and we're making some changes to make that happen.
-Seena, just like her father, cannot be rushed. This makes her very angry. As I am a struggling procrastinator, this makes for a very ugly combination.
-Seena, like me, is bossy and likes to plan the entire day for herself and everyone else. G informed me of this last night, when Seena told him the order of activities for the evening.
-Like me, she loves to be goofy. Something I need to embrace a little bit more.
-But most of all Seena loves being a sister to her brother.

5 - I still can't believe it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Seena is Only 5

I've realized that I tend to believe that Seena can comprehend logic as if she was 15. I forget that she's only 5 and has a brain/attention span of just that. This is most evident when we are arguing and I'm trying to explain the reason(s) of why something is the way it is, why we are fighting, who started it, what is going to happen blah, blah, blah. Keep it simple stupid. KISS. I need to remember that.

But also, I need to remember this in other situations, such as, explaining ticks. What I thought was going to be a quick explanation of why we look for ticks and what they feel like so that she can tell me if there is one on her turned into a long discussion of why this and why that. How do they get on you? Where do they live? Can they get in the house? What does it look like? Does it hurt? Do you get sick? Do you die? Do they suck your blood? Do they suck all of your blood? How do you get more blood? Does God make more blood to put in your body?

Ah, good ole God. I actually did not give credit to God on this one. I told her the truth...that her own body makes more blood. Thank goodness this was the last question and she asked me as we were walking out of the bathroom from taking a bath so that G could witness the never ending questions that he never seems to get. And of course, that God was the ultimate "fixer". The look he gave me when she asked if God made more blood was priceless :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

God Is The Creator, Maker, Teacher Of All Things...Even Sidewalks

Seena is at that point where she's really beginning to question things. I remember a few months ago she asked me a random question about something, like, "what are clouds". I explained it to her and then she asked how I knew that. I explained that I learned it from my teacher when I went to school. Then she asked how that teacher learned it and it went on from there for at least two more layers of "who taught THAT teacher". I finally told her that God taught the very first teacher and she taught the other teachers. So now God teaches everyone everything and also makes everything. I really did not mean for that to happen but how else do I explain where sidewalks come from?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Danger Lurks in Even Mere Seconds

I've always wondered how kids can drown in public pools with lifeguards at watch. I've always wondered how things can happen in seconds.

I witnessed (almost) both this past weekend. And once again, my guardian angel was there with me.

Seena had a b-day party at a friend's pool this past weekend.

The first incident was with another boy we’ll call BoyL. He’s 5 and has taken swimming lessons. He was not in a life vest but was still relying on pool noodles to keep him afloat. His dad was also in the water with him. Thankfully the dad was there because another boy thought it would be fun to hang on the back of BoyL right at the precise moment that he let go of his noodle. As you can imagine BoyL immediately went underwater and could not get back up because of his friend holding on (who was wearing a lifevest). Thank goodness the father was there to see this and immediately swam over to help. Aside from being scared BoyL was fine and well, clung to his dad’s neck for the next hour. I wonder, had the father not been in the water, how long would it have been before someone noticed. BoyL’s mom was watching constantly but from the angle where we were sitting, I don’t know if she would have seen BoyL under his friend. So, so, so scary.

Moving on to Seena’s story. Seena has not taken swim lessons and requires a lifevest. She knows this, well, I thought she did. After an eating break Seena decided she wanted to get back in the pool. I watched her walk over to a friend (who was less than 4 feet across from me to my left) and try to convince her to go in. While this was going on, I looked over to right and began talking to BoyL’s mom. I honestly don’t know how I could have missed it. One second, Seena was to the left of BoyL’s mom and the next she was in the pool without a vest, flaying her arms around and looking at me with a look of sheer terror in her eyes. I will never forget that face. I never saw her get in the water. What made me look was a sudden move another mother made towards to the pool. Or maybe it was a sound she made. I don’t know. I just know I looked towards the pool and there Seena was, in the pool, under the water, without the vest. Her eyes wide with fear. Thank goodness the other mom saw her get in and was already trying to pull her out. I jumped out of my chair and was poolside in a split second pulling my precious girl out of the water.

Seconds. All of this happened within seconds. Not minutes. Seconds.

I’m thankful, again for my guardian angel for watching over us again.

And I’m thankful for the parents that were there at that party. These kids have grown up together through daycare since they were at least 1 years old, these same kids go to the same b-day parties and all of the parents know each other. So, it’s comforting knowing that our kids are being watched by so many parents at all times. Some were lurking around the edges of the pool, others were in the water and the rest were keeping a watch from patio chairs. Regardless of where the parents were, everyone was watching, taking care of each other’s kids. It’s comforting.

This is especially comforting to me because I was a little peeved at two incidences from the weekend prior that was the complete opposite. Parents not watching, not taking responsibility for their own kids and not offering to help knowing that there could have been a potential problem.

Incident 1 happened at McD’s. I took the kids on a Friday evening because it’s family night and they give away a free happy meal. So it was a little crowded. Now, I know my son is probably not the right age to go tromping through the play tunnels at McD’s but the boy is not afraid of anything and had absolutely no problems with climbing up the steps and going down the tunnel slide. And Seena was with him, taking very good care of him I might add. The problem came when two older girls came in to play. All of the other kids knew how to play nice but not these girls. They began to play tag in the tunnels and down the slide. They were playing extremely rough and they were screaming. SCREAMING at the top of their lungs. I’m looking around for their parents to see if they were going to do anything about this but no, they are nowhere to be found. Each time the one particular girl came down the tunnel, barreling over AJ and Seena, I gave her piercing looks. She saw me and she looked at me every time she came down the slide. She knew she was being too rough. I finally couldn’t take it anymore and asked her to play gently because there were smaller and younger children in the tunnel slide. No improvement. I then actually yelled at the kid. I couldn’t take it anymore. Where the hell were the parents?? Oh, they were sitting somewhere else in the restaurant…not in the kid section. They had no idea what these kids were doing. Infuriating.

Incident #2 happened at a park. This particular park is not like the typical neighborhood park. It’s huge and it has TONS of playground equipment and some of them are very large. The floor is not mulched but the rubbery mat stuff. At a typical park I can stand at the bottom of the equipment and circle around it in a few steps to make sure AJ doesn’t decide to go down a pole or jump off a ledge that is way too high for him. This is not the case at this park. The equipment AJ and Seena were playing on was very big and it sprawled over a large area. I tried following them around on the equipment but it was easier to follow AJ around by staying on the ground….until he gets on the ground himself. Since the bugger is only 2 feet tall he can run under all of the steps, platforms and bridges of the equipment. I unfortunately cannot, so I have to find my way around by walking on the outside of everything. And considering how large this play equipment was, that was not easy. Again, let me remind you that my son is NOT afraid of anything and wants to do everything Seena does. After coming down some slides I see them both running off under everything and I try to follow them (quickly) by making my way around everything. By the time I got to them, AJ was climbing a rounded ladder sort of thing where the rungs are way too far apart for him and he’s already almost to the top. I am freaking out because he could easily have fallen through the rungs and gotten hurt. As I approach to get him I see a mom sitting right next to him under the shade of one of the platforms that AJ was trying to get to by climbing this ladder. Now, I know it’s not her responsibility but I have to admit, I was a little shocked to see her completely ignoring the fact that there was a small boy climbing on something that was potentially dangerous. And it’s not like she didn’t see him. He was right there. So not nice.

So, there it is. Danger is lurking around everywhere and can happen in mere seconds. It’s so scary. I know this, I’ve know this but I wish other parents would realize it too. I really do try to do my best but I hope, no I pray, for those seconds that I turn my eyes away or even blink that there is another parent who understands this threat and will be looking when I am not.