September 30, 2011


* Lovie turned 21 months old yesterday... 1.75 years... 1-3/4 year old.

I'm not sure what to say other than she's an absolute joy to be around, day in and day out. Sincerely an absolute joy. Her "Muh You"'s kill me, as does her increasing vocabulary (dudes, we're up to 4-word sentences these days... WHAT?!?!!), and memory of ... everything. I'm in awe of her daily. And her nighttime cuddles up next to me while we watch Blues Clues (a clue! a clue!!!) before bed... make my heart swell so much. I just... she's just... AWESOME.

But I don't think I'm telling you anything shocking so I'll move on.

* I created a new Facebook fan page. Wanna "Like" it?? Then click THIS HERE. Oh please!

* Tomorrow's October. How and when the hell did this happen exactly? Really, I'd like to know!

* 08 days from now I'll be seeing Bryan Adams in concert. I can't wait. Yes, really, Bryan Adams. Yes, really, I'm that old.

* How did I make that shirt in the photos above? EASY.
  • I designed the numbers and star burst thingie on Indesign (but you can do it on whatever you have, I'm pretty sure)
  • then print out image on regular paper from a color printer
  • then applied Rubber Cement to the back of it and let it dry (and applied more then let it dry, and again- making sure that each time it's not wet when applying more)
  • then, after it sits overnight, I cut the image out and stuck it to a $3 white shirt I picked up
The stickiness of the image is very temporary and will not stick permanently or even anywhere close to permanent! Plus the kid will probably end up tearing if off anyway. But if you want to do something like this just for photos- this is for you. If you want something to last longer, move along to doing some sort of iron on.

* We kind of figured out who will care for Lovie should we both die soon. Thanks to the comments I got on the post the other day regarding this heavy topic, I was able to broach the subject with the hubs again. And we both agreed, again, that yes, this was something that needed to happen soon. And, oddly, it wasn't too hard to think of who we'd want to care for Lovie. It's one of my cousins, but not my BFF cousin. I'm kind of sad about that but the fact is that the cousin we've chosen has two boys, a great job and home, and loves parenting. We just really think Lovie would accommodate the best in that home. Now, we just have to figure out a way to bring this up to my cousin. You know?  I mean, we're not neighbors or anything and we only get together on holidays or birthdays... I was gonna email her but the hubs was like, "is that something that should be done via email?" haha, Good point, Mr. Anyway, I think we're gonna try to contact them this weekend.

* Tomorrow's October. How and when the hell did this happen exactly? Really, I'd like to know!

Have a great weekend! :)

Just Daria

Daria’s long brown curls could often be spotted from the hilltop next to her grandparents’ home that overlooked the water. The lake was her favorite thing about having to stay with her grandparents while her mom got her act together again.

It was a small lake, surrounded by homes with large windows, big flowing trees, rickety docks storing small row boats, and a couple sandy areas. One of the sandy areas- the one Daria frequented- also housed a couple swings, a teeter totter, and a couple benches beneath some trees. One light, positioned on a large pole near the boat dock, brightened the little beach after the sun set.

Sometimes Daria could be seen swinging, her legs and toes pointing so far upward toward the sky as if she was reaching for the clouds with her feet, her back collapsed-looking and being held by her arms and hands holding onto the rusty chain, her hair nearly sweeping the ground every time her feet reached for the sky.

Sometimes she’d just sit in the swing and let the rusty chains twist, kicking her feet into the ground, looking out into the water that mirrored the sky. A fish would jump up on occasion, a car would drive by behind her. But otherwise it was just Daria.

Sometimes Daria went to the lake with her headphones listening to some of her favorite music. Sometimes she’d go with notebook and pen.  And when she did go to write, she always sat on one of the benches.
Writing was her therapy- even at 14.

Daria took to her journal like she was gossiping with a best friend. She wrote poems about her life, her wants, her needs, her anger, her sadness. She wrote letters to boys she had crushes on, to adults who she was angry with.

It didn’t matter what was going on around her at the time, when she sat on the bench overlooking the water and wrote, the world was a better place. It turned into the world she wanted it to be and allowed her to dream of a time when she’d be sitting there on that very bench…
The fog rolling in before sunset, tall historic buildings lurking behind her.

She was beautiful... Breathtaking.

Her long hair flowed so perfectly, gently. 

Her blue eyes sparkled in the twilight.

Jurien would put his hand on her shoulder and a smile danced across her face.

Her well-manicured hand would rest atop Jurien’s and the stone on her ring would display a little light show.

Daria and Jurien were oh so very happily married.

And rich.

And maybe even a little famous.

September 28, 2011

So very sad.

[Warning: cussing below.]

I was perusing baby names for a friend and started looking at baby names that celebrities have named their kids and came across a whopper of one: Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily Hutchence Geldof.  She's the teen daughter of the late INXS rocker, Michael Hutchence (and looks just like him!) and the late Paula Yates.

I loved INXS. I mean LOVED. I remember seeing them when I was like 17 or so and holy hot hell did Michael Hutchence know how to make all the girls in the crowd swoon as he glided across the stage. And then he had a kid. And then he offed himself. Stupid fucker.

Okay so I don't know for sure if he killed himself or if he was just found hanging. I remember hearing that he died during some sex act where you, the man, chokes yourself in more than one way. Regardless if it was an accident or on purpose, I remember feeling a bit ticked off. He had this little baby at home, damnit!!  (I remember feeling even more pissed off when I heard of Kurt Cobain's suicide. And I don't give a shit what direction anyone points me in, he definitely killed himself. Selfish fucking bastard. Sorry but when you bring a kid into this world, it's not about you and your selfish ass anymore. I don't give a shit how motherfucking distraught and sad you are, you find a way to move past it and RAISE YOUR KID.)

So anyway as I'm looking at baby names I come across this one- Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily Hutchence Geldof- and then I started looking for pictures of the now Tiger Lily (I guess she legally changed her name, dropping the first two names and adding the adoptive father's last name), which then led me to this video:

And that video, folks, made me cry. Like for real. (And I don't even have sound here so it's just the images that got to me.)

I don't know this child, I didn't know her parents, but I just can't fathom the utter sadness she must feel (or have felt at some point??) over the loss of not one but both of her parents. And I know that this happens in life and it's not just to the famous and it all just makes me sad. So very sad.

This poor girl's dad was found hanging when she was like 1 and her mother was found dead due to an overdose!! WHAT.THE.FUCK?!!!

I look at Lovie every single fucking day. I study her. Every single day. I'm not exaggerating here, folks. Every day I study her; I watch as her little fingers barely touch her lovey when she sits with me on the couch just before bed watching Blues Clues. I watch how her plump little mouth turns into a smile when something goofy happens. I rub her head and feel the tight curls form little balls in my fingers. Every day, I watch and study and smile and remember and cherish and wonder and worry and... then when my thoughts drift to bad ones where I think about dying children, the tears instantly well in my eyes and heart and I quickly think of something- anything- else.

I don't watch the news anymore. Ever.

If I hear any kind of negative toned story on the radio, I quickly change the channel.

I'm clueless when it comes to the current world outside of Lovie.

I know that may not be the healthiest lifestyles to lead, but the mere brushing of thought of her leaving my world scares the ever loving shit out of me. I honestly have no doubts- none whatsoever- that my life would be over if hers would end.

And I'm guessing most, if not all parents think this way.

But I rarely think of what will happen to her when I leave. I mean, I have a private blog dedicated to her that I plan on turning into a book(s) so that she can read herself how deeply I love her... but is that enough?

I have no fucking clue who would care for her if her dad and I died tomorrow. She has no godparents. We have no will. (Partly because we have no clue who to have as her godparents or put into the will!!!) As an only child, this could be a problem. Especially if we die soon!

Gosh, I'm just so sad right now thinking about all of this. So very sad.

I mean, at least Tiger Lily had someone else to look out for her when both of her asshat parents left her... Lovie has nobody but us. And even though we're not self-loathing/destructive people, wouldn't that be like Murphy's Law or something to fuck with us and get us killed leaving Lovie an orphan?!

We need to figure this out soon.  For Lovie.

Fried Oatmeal... FRIED.

Several years back, the hubs, my BFF/cousin, and I stopped off at a chic breakfast joint in a chic part of town. On the menu I saw something that piqued my interest: Fried Oatmeal. I'm fat, remember? Therefore it's like a law that I flock to Fried things.

Even so, I bypassed it because it was "oatmeal" and opted for an amazing stuffed french toast submerged in chai latte instead. And even though I always get that french toast dish, the Fried Oatmeal always echos in my head.

One day, a couple months after seeing this on the menu, I decided to google "fried oatmeal" and found some interesting recipes and ideas and tried it out- and it was like my life had instantly changed.

Fried Oatmeal is just... in the tone of DJ Lance
from Yo Gabba Gabba... AWESOME!

It's been years since I've made it though because, well, it's a bit time consuming (for my lazy, fat ass). But then, over the weekend, the hubs inadvertently picked up the key ingredient to making Fried Oatmeal (I asked for Old Fashioned to make apple crisp, he comes home with this stuff which is, like, NOT Old Fashioned oatmeal in the sense of that Quaker shit) so the other night, I went to town and have absolutely, without any doubt, perfected the most awesomest Fried Oatmeal dish. Really!

First you gotta go out and get yourself some STEEL CUT OATMEAL.

I'm not 100% sure, but I do believe the STEEL CUT part is of key importance with this dish. So do it. Find some Steel Cut Oatmeal and follow the instructions on the can and get to boiling 4 cups of water and/or milk (I highly suggest at least getting 1 cup of milk in there as the more milk you use, the creamier the oats will become... mmmmm!). After your liquid gets to a good boil, slowly sift in 1 cup of the oatmeal and stir, stir, stir. Once that gets added and the mixture thickens a bit and is blended well, drop your heat down so that the goods are left to simmer... for 30 minutes! Stir occasionally.

After your 30 minutes are up, you should have a thicker consistency... like... oatmeal! Aha, yes indeed, you've just made oatmeal!

This next part is not on the can (well, not really) and is what makes my Fried Oatmeal so AWESOME!

Get a good tablespoon of beautiful butter (feel free to add as much as you want, but I really don't suggest skimping out on this) and add it to the hot mixture.

Then add about 1/2 a cup to a full cup of brown sugar, about a teaspoon or two of salt, and mix well. The butter, brown sugar, and salt will melt nicely into the oatmeal.

Next, get a baking dish/pan and spray with cooking spray and add the warm oatmeal so that it lays flat and even- kinda like rice crispie treats!

Cover (when cool) and let sit overnight in the fridge.

The next morning, noon, or night (or days later), cut into the oatmeal which has solidified into the pan and add it to a hot pan with some melted butter and fry.

Just let it sit and fry in the hot pan for several minutes.

Flip and fry the other side... the longer you fry, the more caramelized* the brown sugar and butter become (making the dish so dang AWESOME!).

Even if it falls apart, keep on frying.

Plate and serve warm.
Mmmm, Awesome Fried Oatmeal.

*I am not a Cook so it's more than possible my terminology here (and throughout) is incorrect.

September 27, 2011

Opening scene

Falling dry leaves in yellows, reds, browns dance and twirl about before piling onto the ground. The gray sky emits a crisp breeze. A picture perfect October day. Schools have let out and groups of teens and pre-teens litter the sidewalks and alleys.

Two girls in their early teens walk slowly toward a big intersection, their Junior High School looming in the distance, several blocks away. One of the girls crosses the side of the street the school is on and enters an apartment building leaving the other, Christina, standing by an alley’s entrance. A larger group of about 8 teens, boys and girls, are slowly closing in. Christina enters the alley, and the others soon follow, some running to catch up.

“You think you’re such tough shit!” shouts a girl with short brown curls as she pushes Christina from behind.

Christina, with backpack in hand, turns to face the girl and is greeted by the group creeping in around her. She says nothing as the boys and girls trap her into the center of a circle. Another girl, with longer dark hair, darts into the circle to snatch Christina’s backpack out of her hands and immediately returns to the others, leaving Christina standing in the center of her laughing, pointing, and taunting peers.

“Now what you gonna do?!” one of the girls roars.

“Yeah, c’mon! You’re so tough, prove it!” screams another.

Christina stands and looks at the ground, her face contorted as if she’s about to cry.

“Not so tough now, huh?” someone barks.

The circle of teens move in closer, then move away almost like young kids do when playing Ring Around the Rosie. Laughter, shrieking, pointing close in around Christina who seems to try to break free for a moment.

“What about your bag?!” one boy taunts.

Tears start to flood Christina’s eyes and some trickle down her cheeks and make their way onto her flannel shirt.

The crowd of teens continue to laugh.

A boy with long black hair takes the backpack from the girl who originally snatched it away and throws it up and over everyone, including Christina. It falls onto the ground several hundred feet into the alley.

As everyone watches the bag fly, Christina runs through the kids blocking her, scoops up the bag, and runs and runs down the alleyway until she turns out of the alley at the next street.

The group of remaining teens all laugh and disperse into smaller groups as some continue walking thru the alley, while others continue toward the busy intersection on the side street.

This week we asked you, in 500 words or less, to describe the opening scene of a film. The film made from your best-selling memoir. What does the camera see? Who speaks the first lines of your story? Is there music?

September 26, 2011

Summer-icle Listicle

Summer 2011 was... hot. Hell, it started feeling like... hell... well before summer, with temps exceeding 90 in May already! Blech. I'm not a summer fan. At all. AT ALL.

But it was still memorable:

VACATION. For the third year in a row, we hopped in the car and drove a mere 90 minutes north to our favorite getaway. It's close, yet the difference in ... everything... makes it seem like we're in another country. Last year when we went, Lovie was 5 months old; this time she got to enjoy and see a lot more: like seeing the beach and playing in the sand for the first time... and visiting the zoo and all its animals for the first time... and, finally, on our way home, stopping off at our city's awesome aquarium for the first time.

PARKSCAPADES. As long as temps are above 40, below 80 and dry, I make it a point to stop at the park after school. Sadly, that wasn't too often this summer because it was just too dang hot. BLECH do I hate the hot. There were a couple times when we did get out, though, and we always had a blast.

TODDLER ROOM. Summer 2011 also marked the time when Lovie finally changed rooms at daycare... from the infant room to the Toddlers room. It was a sad transition... FOR ME...but Lovie has thrived and just adores it. (These days, when I arrive at school to pick her up, Lovie gets all giddy the moment she sees me, says "Look! It's Mama!" all proud and happy, and leaps onto me.)

1 and 1/2. Summertime will always mark when Lovie has her half birthday... this one was pretty big (for me).

HATE. No summer (for me) is complete without some spewing of my hatred for it... especially when someone is sick.  

ART. Because this summer was so disgustingly hot and humid so often, we spent a lot of time indoors in the lovely air conditioning being creative.

ICE CREAM. What summer is complete without an ice cream truck treat

WIGGLES. Summer 2011 brought about our first live Wiggles event. It really wasn't that bad! 

39. Summer is the time when Lovie will always celebrate a half birthday, and it's also the time, just before Fall, when I celebrate turning another year older. And damn, I'm getting old!  

A few of my favorite pictures from the summer, in no particular order:

September 24, 2011


The bear shown was gifted to Lovie at birth. She was scared of it at first (it plays a song), but now... now I don't think she'd be able to sleep without it. We've been fortunate to talk her into keeping it in her bed, only, so that she's not dragging it around the house, the car, school, etc, but it wasn't always like this and the thing has seen much better days.

The song it plays isn't really important (it's a Beatles song, "I Will", sung by a female/possibly child in a super high pitch) as she generally doesn't even like it when it plays (you have to press a paw to activate), but what's important is that we find a replica of the bear itself... its size, the texture.

We are sincerely growing very concerned over this thing falling apart. As it is the hat is super close to becoming detached, we can't really wash it (other than spot cleaning it). We NEED a new one. We NEED one on hand just in case.

If you've seen one or have any ideas where we can look, please email me at

Thanks SO much.

September 23, 2011


1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Go a little overboard encouraging the writer who linked up before you.

OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:


My love for you keeps growing. I’m not sure how this is possible when I love you so stinkin much today. And so stinkin much yesterday. Yet it’s true; I’ll love you even more tomorrow. It’s crazy, really. Something I never really imagined… existing. This love. I remember your dad once asking me if I thought my parents loved me the way I love you. I don’t think so. I didn’t hesitate with my answer either. How awful, but that’s how I feel. I honestly cannot fathom someone loving another the way I love you. Even though it’s happening everywhere, all the time. The love between a mother and child. The way it grows each and every day. And just when you think it can’t grow anymore, you do something so … unbelievable at the time and my heart wants to explode from my chest. Because as you grow, I grow. My love grows. Like when you look at me and say, Tank You Mama when I give you a Possicle (popsicle) after dinner. My heart wants to explode from the love. I nearly cry on a daily basis because of some of the things you do or say. Just yesterday as we were reading stories, you pointed to a triangle and shouted out Tranel. It took me a minute to realize what you were saying. I had to stop and really think about it and repeat the word in my head: Tranel, Tranel. I looked at the book and … TRIANGLE! I shouted. You smiled so proudly and my heart nearly exploded onto the page. You are so incredibly smart and it amazes me how much you’re learning, you’re remembering. How much you’re growing. Almost as fast as my love for you.


Papa's personal ad

Divorced, Sicilian born and raised grandpa of 5, great grandpa of 1. Enjoys cooking, soccer, billiards, bacci ball, playing cards and dice. Likes to keep busy and don’t understand people who can watch tv all day. Would love to travel more, but it’s no fun alone. My kids, they all grown and … too busy. Everyone is always so busy. I would love to see my youngest daughter and my bella granddaughter more, but my daughter, she too busy. My son, he lives states away and he never has any money. But goes out to eat all the time. I don’t understand how they can go out to eat so much! That’s why his wife so fat. Too many people fat in this country. I don’t understand. My youngest daughter, I told her right before she got married to that black man, that she can’t gain any more weight. I told her that if she did, I wouldn’t go to the wedding. She wasn’t happy but I tell it like it is. If I have something to say, I say it. I don’t be mean but if I have to say something, I say. My oldest daughter, I don’t understand. She’s not my real daughter but I raise her. She never call, never visit. I heard more from her when she live far away. I don’t understand today. So different than the Old Country. We would get together every weekend and laugh and talk and eat. We set up big tables in the yard where everyone come together. The children would all run around. Today they no do that here. Nobody ever comes to visit, everybody too busy. I don’t understand.

Note from the youngest daughter: If the above interests you or someone you may know, please oh please contact me at to get you hooked up with my dad. Not that I would know if things work out since I never see him or talk to him. :D

Let’s have fun this week. We want you to write a personal ad for your character, like one you would find on a dating site. The ad should tell us about your character, but should not be a laundry list – and no cliches about walks on the beach.

September 22, 2011

trying not to laugh

Yesterday we stopped off at the park again. It was about 70 out and just gorgeous and the rest of the week and weekend they're calling for rain so why not?

Lovie enjoyed herself once again. She can now climb the little kid's rock climbing piece (not real rock climbing- no clue how to describe it though... I'll snap a pic one of these days) to get up to the slide and she'll spend half an hour climbing it, stopping to "drive da cahde [car], room rooooom [vroom vroom]," before sliding down ["weeee"] and running back to the rock climbing thing after giving me a high five. : )

Some sort of after-school program came to the playground about 20 minutes after we got there and about twenty 10 year olds took over- running everywhere. Screaming. Laughing. Yelling.

I wanted to scoop Lovie up and get out of there but she was still having fun so I just kept a close eye on her to make sure nobody ran her over or stepped on her.

When she finally grew tired of the slide, she made her way over the spinning thing she absolute loves.

this is an older video, but it's the spinning thing

A girl, about 4, was on it. Lovie moved closer toward it.

"Honey you have to wait your turn," I said from a good 5 steps away.

Lovie looked at me like WTF and whined. She moved closer to the girl who was sitting and spinning on the thing with her legs out.

"Honey, you have to move..." Bam, the girl's legs ram right into Lovie who falls over.  "...out of the way," I continued, making my way over to pick up Lovie and assure her she was fine.

Through her tears, I told her that she has to wait her turn and share.

Lovie cried louder. Three seconds later she stopped and started to make her way toward the other slides until a couple big kids zoomed by right in front of her, stopping her dead in her tracks.

Then she turned to look at me and came back toward the spinning thing. The girl was still on it- and I could tell she wasn't planning to budge anytime soon. In fact, I'm pretty sure she wanted to stick out her tongue to Lovie and say, "Na - na!" ;D

Lovie moved closer and closer.

"You have to wait," I said.

"Mine!" Lovie exclaimed and whined at the same time while pointing at it and trying to get on- with the girl still on it!

"We have to wait," I said again, picking her up and moving her out of the way.

Lovie. lost. her. shit.

She let out a loud scream and started wailing, dropping her knees to the ground, throwing her upper body over so that she was in the fetal position. And she cried. And screamed.

And I tried not laughing.

The two teachers- or after-school attendants (not sure what they're called), both looked at Lovie and smiled and looked at me and smiled.

I smiled back and shrugged my shoulder.

I said nothing and did nothing other than tried REALLY HARD not to laugh.

I know that's awful but it was so ridiculous, I couldn't help but want to laugh.

Twenty seconds later (no lie- 20 SECONDS- if that!), Lovie stopped crying and screaming, stood up, and ran to the slides to play. "Weeeeeee," she exclaimed with a huge smile on her face as she slid down the slide.

I love this stage. I know a lot of people have a hard time with the tantrums and I know ... I KNOW ... we have it gooooooood with Lovie (right now), but I really really love this stage.

It's just super entertaining to me.

Writer's Workshop: SCHNITZEL!

3.) Share a family favorite childhood recipe.

Easy peasy. I saw this prompt and I immediately knew what I was going to share. Not only is it a family favorite childhood recipe loved and adored by all children in the family, but it's also everyone's favorite, period: Oma's Schnitzel.

My grandmother would make this for most holiday gatherings (always on Christmas Eve), as well as for other special occasions. And it's something we all always devour and pretty much fight over- from the itty bitty littles (though last year I nearly gasped when I saw my cousin's child, 2 at the time, with one of those microwavable cups of mac n cheese sitting by her plate! WTF?!? EVERYONE loves Oma's Schnitzel, man!) to the white haired old folks like myself. ;D

And the best part about this recipe is that it really is rather simple and not very expensive (the way we make it) at all! Andplusalso, it makes for some rad leftover* delectable delights!

Oma's Schnitzel
  • thin sliced pork tenderloin, pounded a bit (can use turkey, chicken, etc... originally made with Veal but not by anyone in our family)
  • eggs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • flour
  • bread crumbs (I use mixture of plain and Italian)
  • vegetable oil
  1. After pounding out pork, salt and pepper both sides.
  2. Place about an inch worth of oil in frying pan and heat.
  3. Add about 1/2 cup of flour to a large plate and spread over whole plate.
  4. Next to flour plate, place a large, shallow container with a couple beaten eggs.
  5. Next to the egg bowl, place another plate with bread crumbs spread out.
  6. Next to the bread crumbs, place another empty plate for the dressed meat.
  7. Take each piece of pork and dredge both sides through flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. (If you run low on anything just add to its plate or bowl.)
  8. Gently place each piece of dressed up meat on to a clean plate.
  9. Once all your meat is ready to go and the pan of oil is hot, hot, hot... gently place each piece of meat in hot oil until they start floating, then flip and fry on other side. (These cook up pretty fast- especially if pounded thin... maybe two minutes per side.)
  10. When golden brown on both sides, remove from oil (I place them onto a cooling rack that's over a paper lined cookie sheet) and sprinkle a bit of salt.
  11. Serve alongside your favorite sides with a wedge of lemon.

Leftovers* are AWESOME between some nice french bread and a piece of provolone cheese... and add some Muffaletta spread (Italian olive spread) and O.M.G!! 
I mean doesn't this look amazing?!? God I love food.

* Leftovers aren't really part of the childhood recipe- just the Schnitzel.

September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

my current favorite (also added to my new header)

i just adore this one

can't forget that face, though. and those curls. and those lips. my sweet doll.

linking up with The Paper Mama and Supermom.

Love your baby.

Love your baby.

Not just when they're cooing and gurgling, smiling and laughing. But always.

Not just when they're saying Mama and Dada and picking up their toys. But always.

Not just when they finish all their dinner. But always.

Not just when they learn to walk and run. But always.

Not just when they start school. But always.

Not just when they listen to what you say and do what they're told. But always.

Not just when they come home with good grades. But always.

Always, always, always love your baby.

And to love your baby, you have to communicate with them. Even if they're at that stage when the roll their eyes at you, talk back at you, are mean and cruel. Even then... especially then... Love your baby.

Even if they tell you they hate you, tell you you're no good or that you suck as a parent. Love your baby.

Even if they beg you to move in with the ex and you let them go. Love your baby. 

Even if they get in trouble with the law, get caught with drugs, won't stop doing the drugs or getting into trouble. Even then... especially then... Love your baby.

It doesn't mean you have to applaud their bad behavior, but you do need to tell them you love them, show them you love them. Because the moment you step away from them, from communicating with them, from parenting them, you're acting as if you don't love them anymore. It doesn't matter if you still "love them in your heart", you're showing them that you don't. And it's an unforgivable act. To stop showing your love for your baby. No matter how old they are. Unforgivable. And the one who will hurt the most is that baby. No matter if he is an adult and technically made his own bed.

I post this with a heavy, full-of-worry heart. Tomorrow someone very close to me has to go to court for charges filed against him while on probation for some other stupid shit he got caught doing. On paper, I want them to put him in jail....but he means so fucking much to me and was dealt a set of shittastic parents in this life. But that's not on the paper the judge will look at and, at 19, I guess these can't be excuses anymore. I'm so afraid of what tomorrow will bring. So afraid.

September 20, 2011

The start of the dark

Cars, trucks, busses, trains, people swarmed around us until we made our way to the highway and started moving in unison. News radio buzzed from the speakers. The clock’s green numbers inched closer to “the” time. Highway exits flew past. Tears streamed from swollen red eyes as my hand never left my belly. Life is so fucking unfair sometimes.
We made our way into the hospital, past all the people darting about, and into the room we were told to go to. I added my name to the list, filled out paperwork, and sat down across from an older couple, avoiding eye contact with everyone. If I don’t see you, maybe this is all a bad dream.
Whispers, the scent of coffee, soft music filled the air. My head hurt, my eyes were so incredibly heavy and hard to open. His large, warm, rough hand squeezed mine tightly when my name was called. I feel so helpless.

“He needs to wait here until we get you all situated,” the nurse said.

I looked at the woman, then over to my husband who was ready to sit back down, and started crying uncontrollably to the point that I needed to sit down. She touched my shoulder and apologized, telling me it was going to be OK and that my husband could come after all. He knelt down in front of me and took my hands to help me up. This was really happening.

She asked a bunch of questions, told me to do a bunch of stuff, I took off my clothes and put on the hospital gown and laid my flabby body on the bed in the bright and white and sterile room. My husband looked down at me and smiled and rubbed my hand. Would we ever have a child?

Lying flat on my back they wheeled me into another room where the temperature dramatically dropped. Several people all dressed in white helped me scoot off the bed and onto another when I was told to scoot down so that my butt was in a hole. Is this really fucking happening?!?

My arms got stretched out so that I lay like Jesus on the cross. Everything was so white, so cold. Everyone scurried about opening packages, placing metal things on metal trays. My doctor’s friendly face finally made an appearance and he told me what was going to happen and then I woke up back in the warmer room with my husband by my side, holding my hand. What the hell is going on?
The doctor reappeared and told us both how things went, what we could expect, what we should look out for, what drugs he would prescribe for the pain I might endure. He was, of course, talking about the pain from surgically removing my dead baby from me, from the scraping of my uterus. What about my heart? What about the pain that my head and heart and soul would endure for the next several years?
For this week’s memoir prompt, we’re going to let narrative take a backseat. Choose a moment from your personal history and mine it for sensory detail. Describe it to us in rich, evocative details. Let us breath the air, hear the heartbeat, the songs, feel the fabric and the touch of that moment.

This was harder than I thought it would be... but it's good to be back to writing again.

September 19, 2011

Childhood Differences: a LISTICLE!

It's Monday and I'm feeling back to my normal self again so you know what that means?  Listicle time!! :)

I'm sooo very excited to feeling like I can jump back into this so here goes...

Childhood differences from then (70s) and now:

1. Sibling rivalry. I was the youngest of three, born in the early 70s; Lovie is our one and only and there are no plans to have any others. This will probably be the biggest difference in our childhoods. She won't know what it's like to be teased and ridiculed, yet always protected by her siblings. It kind of makes me sad when I do think about it, but I know she's going to get the best of us, her parents, all the time so that kind of makes up for it, I think. (At least that's what I tell myself.)

2. Close-knit family. This is another sad difference to me. Growing up, we always were visiting with family or they us. Every single weekend (it seemed) was spent with grandparents and/or aunts and uncles and cousins. Every single weekend. Even some summers weeks were spent with them. Now, it's not anything like that. My nephews and nieces are all grown and my husband doesn't have any nephews and nieces so Lovie has no cousins (my BFF is one of my cousins). And while we try to visit with family at least every other weekend, it's super hard to do since we live in the city and most everyone else lives an hour away. That, and our parents are aging. It's sad really. Family meant everything to me growing up. Everything (even when my parents split when I was 9). And I just am not sure Lovie will ever feel the same. And that, to me, is incredibly sad.

3. Materials things. For me growing up, we didn't have much as far as material objects. Of course back then, I wanted more; but now, as an adult, I'm so glad I didn't have more. It kind of made me use my imagination more, made me want to get on out there and actually play and do things. And I also believe it made me really appreciate things when I did get them. Today though, holy crap is there a ton of stuff most kids have! I've talked about this before here, but Lovie is an exception to this. If I could remember back to when I was 20 months old, I'd guess that Lovie has more toys than I did, but compared to most other kids (that I know) today, she's got very little. And I'm totally OK with this (most days) and don't plan to change this up any time soon.

4. Food and drink. Back in the day, we'd stop off at McDonald's nearly every weekend on our way home from visiting with the grandparents. It would be late in the day on Sunday and we'd always hit up the drive-thru and bring home our cheeseburgers and fries and chow down. It just wasn't a big deal. And once a month or so, my dad would bring home bottles of 7up (back when the 16 oz bottles were sold 8 to a pack- anyone??) or Dr. Pepper for us to drink on a Saturday afternoon.

via google images
It just wasn't a big deal. We didn't live on junk food and pop, but we didn't avoid it like the plague or like a lot of new parents seem to do today. And "organic" surely wasn't a part of our vocabulary.

5. Movies. Now this was a big deal: going to see a movie. We didn't have cable, we had to get up off our asses to manually change what little TV channels we had on the TV, and kid-watchable movies never aired on TV. We actually had to leave the house to go to the movie theatre to see a movie. I remember seeing Bambi with my cousin and her dad when I was very young, and then when I was a bit older, I remember seeing Rocky in the theatre with my brother and sister. Today?? Pssshaw. I hear of kids Lovie's age glued to the TV watching DVD movies. I'm not saying Lovie doesn't watch TV because she most certainly does, but I have yet to pop in a movie for her.  To me, it's kind of like the materialistic thing... if you give too much now, there's less appreciation for it later on down the road. But maybe that's just how my mind works.

September 16, 2011

So much.

The other day, I posted about how I was inspired by Pinterest and wanted to create a print for Lovie's room from a quote from my favorite book of hers. It's the first book I purchased for her and it was bought just an hour or so after finding out she was going to be a girl.

Here's a post from my pregnancy blog regarding the book:

8/26/2009: After the beautiful appointment yesterday, Daddy and I went to register - or at least start to register. It was actually a lot of fun because it was a brand new experience for us both to be surrounded by everything baby.

After an hour or so we gave up (for now) and handed in the zapper (which your dad thoroughly enjoyed managing), I bought a book to start reading to you, and we headed out to dinner. The book is one that I'm sure we'll spend many times reading together because it truly is a wonderful story: I Love You So... by Marianne Richmond.
I'm not going to lie: by the end of the story, I was in tears. I had a real hard time finishing the story and one day you'll understand. They were good tears, my sweet baby girl. Wonderful tears. Because the fact is that while we haven't yet met in person quite yet, I really do love you so...

All my love,

Sappy, yes? YES!

But that's me, I guess.

Anyway, I'm not even sure how many times I've read this book.

circa April 2010

But it's definitely so many times that I've memorized it and Lovie's been bringing the book to me to read since before she was a year old (though this video is from a couple weeks after turning 1):

She's "read" it on her own many times, and now... now she will actually ask me to read specifically that book to her. She doesn't just bring the book to me like she did when she was first starting to walk (and talk- kinda)!

I'm guessing this isn't a big deal to most folks, but to me it's huge. Since she was a month old or so, we've established a bedtime routine that always included reading books because reading to a child, even an itty bitty baby, to me, is SO important. I couldn't tell you WHY exactly I feel so strongly about it, but I do. I digress though, sorry. Well, about a month ago, she started to fight the bedtime routine and I was at a loss for several days until finally I thought to see if she was wanting some sort of change. So I started to ask her to pick out a book instead of just reading. This helped matters immensely.

For the past week or two, she always asks for the Choo-Choo book (a Thomas the Train book that plays sounds when you press a button). But she also always tries stalling going to bed and will start pulling out several other books so in order to control that a bit (mean mommy), I ask her to pick out another book to let daddy read (when/if he's there) or for me to read. And the other day? When I asked her what other book she wanted me to read after the Choo-Choo book?? She says to me, "So much."

But she said it in a way that sounded like one word: "Somuch."

I didn't pick it up right away and thought that she was saying "Thomas" for the Choo-Choo book again and said, "Thomas? You want me to read the Choo Choo book again?"

"No," she said. "Somuch."

I sat there and looked at her and tried really hard to think about what she was saying.  And as I thought about it and said nothing, she went to get the I Love You So... book.

"So much?" I repeated with much enthusiasm as I was smacked in the face with what she was saying.

A big smile invaded Lovie's face. "Somuch," she repeated, handing me the book.

I nearly cried. Sincerely, I nearly cried.

"I love you," I said, picking her up. "How much?"

"So much," we said at the same time.

"How much is so?" I said.
"Way, way" we both said as I nearly died, "more than you know."  (her "more than you know" came out as a "eh-ah-eh-oh")

September 15, 2011

We stopped off at the park again yesterday. It was like 60 degrees out (holla), cloudy, and it had rained at some point during the day as the slides had some water on them. To me, it was a perfect time to stop at the park- it was all ours.

Lovie immediately started doing her own thing. She's come quite a long way since we first started going to the parks earlier in the year when the weather started to cooperate. Back then, she basically just stood around surveying everything and everyone, and only got in a couple minutes of actual playtime as a result. Now, she just gets right to the playing. No hesitations. It's like a job for her now.

About 10 minutes after we were there, she came over to me (sitting on the bench) and asked to eat a snack. I dug out some goldfish crackers I keep on hand at all times (along with raisins, a fruit pouch, and a granola bar) and she chowed down for a bit. Then a white haired boy showed up with his mom who carried a notebook and pencil.

The boy started playing right away, the mom took a seat on a bench and started writing. Lovie took notice of all this and decided she was done eating and went over to join the boy. I watched on from my seat and smiled.

They weren't close enough for me to hear, but I'm pretty sure they were conversing as I could see them pointing to things. Then they started playing by the big swings and it looked like Lovie wanted to swing (I let her get on the big swing the day before by herself for the first time) so I got up and asked if that's what she wanted.

"No!" she said and motioned for me to leave. (Much like an annoyed 10 year old would do. Oh boy I'm in for it, huh?!?)

I apologized (haha- seriously!) and went back to my seat. Clearly they were fine by themselves. These two little mini's- my little mini at 20 months old and the other a head taller and I'm guessing older than 2.

It was so awesome to see these two strangers playing so fabulously well with one another- and on their own. Sure I was there watching from a bench, sure the other mom was there on the other bench lifting her head up every so often. But they were doing their own thing without either of us hovering or stepping in or calling out to them.

My girl is growing by leaps and bounds every single day. Right before my eyes. And yesterday was just one more example of just how far she's already come.

I'm in awe at who and what this little girl is turning into, too.

September 14, 2011

life is just beautiful sometimes!

Lovie and I were watching some Nick Jr. on Monday after we'd been home for a bit. A video/song/non-commercial (after all, they're "like Preschool on TV" with "no commercials") came on by the Fresh Beat Band. It's a song that Nick Jr. has been ramming down our throats now for a couple months. A song that even Lovie has grown tired of. But still, every once in a while, we goof off to the song and such was the case on Monday.

It has been WEEKS since I'd last really played with my Lovie- and it was killing me to be so inactive with her. And while I was (and still am) so incredibly tired, I was fever-free so... I got up and started to sing and dance in a very exaggerated way.

Lovie was sitting in her little chair, holding her Baby. She looked up at me dancing and singing and smiled oh so big. She stood up, put her Baby on the table, and said, "All done."

For a moment I thought she was telling me to be all done with the dancing- something that is so unlike Lovie as she adores singing and dancing. Then she came and tried jumping on me with laughter erupting from the curls atop her head.

I scooped her up and we twirled and danced and she let out a "Weeeee!" as her head fell back and her hands gripped tightly onto my shirt.
"Cuz here we go!!" I shout-sung out as the song came to an end.

Lovie's legs were wrapped so tightly around my midsection and her face was that of absolute pure joy and happiness.

Yesterday after school and work, we stopped off at the park. It was stunning out- sunny and a bit cool (especially in the shade when the wind blew). After I got her out of her carseat and onto the sidewalk, she grabbed my hand and we walked into the park. When she saw the slide, she let go of my hand and ran to the stairs, climbed one, peeked over at me, shouted "I see you!" with the biggest smile on her face, finished climbing the stairs, sat at the top of th slide and said "Weeee!" as she slid down.

Pure joy and happiness beamed from her.

She ran to one of her favorite playground pieces
this video is a couple months old

and played there for a bit as I stood off by the slides, smiling. I could sincerely watch her play and discover and learn all day long.
When she was done with that, she came running over to me with a big smile on her face. I thought she was going to grab a hold of my hand and direct me toward the swings (where a 6 month old was swinging), but instead she just leaped onto my legs and latched on to give me a hug. Just because.

"Oh honey," I said, rubbing her curls. "Are you having fun?!"
"Yeah!" she said and went back to climbing onto the stairs for the slide.

Later, after we had been home and eaten dinner and taken a bath, we were getting ready for bed and watching Blue Clues. Lovie had her sippy of milk in one arm, her Grandmabear in the other and she sat with me on the couch for the entire episode.

Absolute heaven on earth... my life with her.

I do my best most days not to take any of this for granted. These aren't necessarily abnormal moments in our lives, but they really are so incredibly wonderful to me (and I think to her, too), that I really do try not taking any of it for granted. I'm SO blessed to be this girl's Mama. So blessed. And I'm also incredibly... incredibly... grateful to have this time, this experience, this life.

September 13, 2011

making your kid burst into tears sucks ass

Discipline. It’s a word that doesn’t really come to mind when I think about my Lovie. In fact, it never comes to mind.

Until the other day when she looked me dead in the eye, took her little plate of chicken, and tossed it over the edge of her tray for the floor to eat. Apparently.

Normally when she starts tossing food, mealtime is over. PERIOD. But she’s getting to be a big girl and she generally will say, “All done!” and start handing me whatever’s left on her tray because she knows I’m not a fan of throwing food and drink onto the floor. So tossing food hasn’t really been an issue for many months.

Until recently.

Something’s going on with her lately and she’s starting to test me more; it’s like she knows I’ve been feeling like ass, too, and therefore could get away with more.

Good thing I’ve gone into this knowing that it’s part of her job as a kid to test me.  :)

Anyway, the other day her dad made her some chicken nuggets. She pushed them away (but kept them on her tray). I covered them in ketchup, cut them up smaller, and tried giving again. She looked more closely at the red temptation and was going to pick up a piece of chicken. I turned my back to get a spork for her and when I turned around, she said, “No!” and took the plate and threw it onto the floor very deliberately.

I said nothing but quickly removed the tray, unbuckled her from the high chair, and sat her on the ground. And then I said very sternly, “No. We do not throw food on the floor.”

She sat there, looked at me stunned, and bursted into tears.

But she sat there and didn’t try to get up and run away. She just sat and cried.

I counted to thirty, took in a deep breath, got down to her level, put my hands on her legs and said, “I love you, honey, but it’s not good to throw food on the floor. Please pick the chicken up and put it in the bowl now.”

She looked at me and … picked each piece of chicken up off the floor and put it into the bowl.

Every single piece.

No hesitation. No crying.

“Thank you,” I said as I took the bowl from her and threw the chicken in the garbage.

I picked her up, wiped her face, and gave her hugs and kisses and dinner was over.

I love that girl more than anything and it does not feel great to be stern with her like that but I’ll be damned if she throws food on the floor like that! She’s 20 months old. She’s talking and communicating with us all day long. There’s no excuse for it anymore.

I remember once when I was living with my brother right after his ex-wife left him and the kids. My nephew was 4 at the time and quite the handful. They avoided taking him anywhere in public because he just … was a handful.  I don’t recall exactly what happened, but he did something that was not acceptable to me and I immediately picked him up and put him in his room and told him he needed to sit there for a few minutes because of whatever he did not being acceptable.

He screamed and cried and kicked. He came out of his room practically laughing.

Not sure if he thought I was his mother but that shit just didn’t fly with me and steamed me even more. I picked him up and returned him to his room and told him, again, why I was doing what I was doing.

Repeat the screaming, crying, kicking, coming out of his room.

This went round and round for probably an hour (sure felt like it, at least). And very quickly I stopped talking and wouldn’t even look at his face; I just would pick him up and place him in the room and did so until he laid so that his entire being was JUST inside his room.  But he stopped coming out.  And he eventually listened to me.

And I never had a problem with him listening to me again. EVER. And I lived with him for four more years.

There was one other time, though, when I took him to Target with me. It was around the same time as this room incident. I told him before we went into the store what we were there for and that I couldn’t get anything more than that and asked that he not ask for anything. When we got into the store he was fine. At first. Then he started trying to run around and asking me to buy this or that. I reiterated what I said on our way into the store and told him, again, that I couldn’t get anything more and that if he asked again, we would leave.

He asked again almost immediately.

I said nothing but grabbed his hand, wheeled the cart to the cart rack and walked out the store.

My nephew said nothing, just walked with me toward the car. When we finally got to the car and I got him in the car, he finally started to cry.

I never had a problem going back into a store with him after that. EVER.

I tend to think that the reason things went well with my nephew is because I’m not his parent. Sure I lived with him and basically played Mom, but I was not his mom and he knew that. I also always treated him with a certain amount of respect and not like some dumb little kid that couldn’t understand anything. And I think that respecting him made him respect me more than his parents who treated him like a dumb little kid who didn’t understand anything.

These are just my own personal, unprofessional thoughts though.

When it comes to my own- my Lovie… I’m guessing it won’t be that easy.  I’m guessing there will be more disciplinary action to take place. I’m not really looking forward to it because it hurts to see her upset, but I refuse to allow certain bad behaviors/actions take place. And I am the parent, after all.

I haven’t read any books, I haven’t taken any child psych classes or anything (though I’ve watched my fair share of Supernanny- go JoJo go!). I just... KNOW... that consistency and following through are key with anything when it comes to learning. And I also distinctly remember what it was like to be the kid that got treated like she didn’t matter.

September 12, 2011

The past several weeks

I'm still tired but overall am feeling better. What a draining couple of weeks. I mean, it really feels like months that I wasn't well, not weeks. Months. Especially when it comes to Lovie.

from sept 4

My lord do I miss that girl. Sure I saw her every day. Sure I spent time with her every day regardless how shittastic I was feeling, but having absolutely no energy really takes a toll on your mind when it comes to participating in the life of your babe. Especially when you're used to really enjoying an active role in her life. Know what I mean? 
the brooder ;)

all from Labor Day, sept 5
Sure we do a lot of lounging around during the week after we get home from work and school on most days, but we still have fun and laughs and tickle fests and chases. Not the past nearly three weeks, though. And man do I miss that. 

Instead, the past several weeks have been spent doing nothing. Absolutely nothing. And that really saddens me. Immensely.

proof of doing nothing- her playroom at its finest, eh. can you spot the LIVE animal in there? ;D

The weather, from what I can remember, was pretty perfect the past several weeks. Not a lot of humidity or hot, nasty, sweat your ass off weather (though I certainly was sweating plenty do to all the chills and fevers I was going through). Yet we were inside every single day. I hate that! I wanted to take Lovie to the park so many days but I couldn't even make it down the stairs, let alone down the 1/2 mile to the park. It was impossible for me. And when I begged (literally) my husband to do so, he just commented that she was happy at home.

from sept 10

Yeah, maybe she was happy at home. But I know she would've been happier swinging on the swings and going up and down the slides 723 times. I know because she's always happier there. And the weather was perfect and ... she didn't get to enjoy any of it.

But today I'm feeling better. I'm still tired as all get out but... as long as I can stay fever-free, we're going to the park every day this week. Well, except for today because, of course, today it's to be in the mid 80s and we don't do park visits when it's above 80.

I saw someone's "Annual Apple Picking" pictures on Facebook yesterday and thought Why are they posting these now? Then I looked at the little calendar in the corner of my screen and nearly shit a brick. How on earth is it mid-September (yes, I realize yesterday was 9/11; yes, I remembered- then and now)?!? It's my favorite time of year and I've missed so much of it already!

Well no more, damnit! NO MORE! It's time to start living again. And I can't wait!