I’ve changed my look…
Well not my look, but the look of my blog. I wanted to go with something a bit more user friendly.
And with the changes comes a new name for my blog…… “Just Call Me Jiji”
~me, pretending to be me. ~now, where did I put my cape?
I discuss my life, my family; the issues we face, the things we enjoy doing as a family, and the things I enjoy pursueing by myself
With this new look, you, the reader get to go straight to the content you are interested in.
This is what I write about and why I write about it.
My Home Page – All posts in chronological order starting with the most recent. My blog tells my story and the story of my family; warts and all!
Hello World – About me, this is who I am, or at least who I try to be.
Disabilities and Special Needs – I discuss those disabilities and differences that we, as a family face on a daily basis; and the treatments and accomidations that accompany them.
DIY – I’ve always loved using my imagination and being creative. I love the feeling I get when I see something and think, ” I can do that” or even, ” I can make something out of that “. It’s taken me a long time to amass some measure of confidence, but I am ready to admit I do have some talents.
Home Life – For me, home life means family life, after all, home is where your heart is.
Travels – I love to travel! And I especially love to plan our trips. I get a little high off of finding great deals and planning out little side trips. We love amusement parks; especially ones that we can get wet in.
Just For Fun –
So here are a few more pieces I’ve made….
….wait what were YOU thinking?
Once the Holidays are over I plan on jumping right into my New Year’s Resolution to build up my inventory for my Etsy page Always Branching Out.
Let me know what you think. I am always open to new suggestions…
(Click here for more wood)
Someone pointed out that he looks like a certain sexy hunk from Sex in the City.
What do you think?
Personally I think my little man is much cuter!!!!!!
(although I wouldn’t throw Jason out of bed for eating crackers…)
Oh and if there are any modeling agents out there … we are prepared to be wooed. 🙂
Early in the morning through bleary eyes, I peer out across the sun lit room at my child, and a grin slowly forms on my lips as I think to myself;
“I LOVE my Feral little child.”
Sitting cross-legged on the floor wearing only his PJ bottoms, with his fuzzy blanket draped around him like an animal skin of sorts, with his long, wild and crazy hair all messed up and draped over his shoulders; he really does look like a feral child!!
He looked back at me, and I fully expected him to say “Me Leon, You Mommy, Me hunt and gather food, You wait here.” instead I got “Mooooom, I am huuuuungreeeeeey!” To which I replied, “Me Mommy, me tired, go now, ask your father to forage for food”; his reply … “you’re weird!”
Yes, yes I am!
I later opened up my laptop to look up the meaning behind “feral child” , I wanted to be sure I was thinking of the right word. Wikipedia not only spit out the meaning, but provided a picture in example as well:
Oh look!! It’s a picture of my very own sweet child!
It looks just like him!!! At least I think it does.
It’s fitting though, and not just because he looks like a feral child with his hair all tangled, and mussed up, going in all different directions. But also, because he is a wild child at heart. And I mean that in the best possible way.
He certainly dances to the beat of his own drummer. As I’ve often maintained, he is a strong-willed child with a mind of his own, and once it is made up there is no changing it.
Such as it is with his long luscious locks, which I am happy to say, we have learned to tame (somewhat anyway).
He made up his mind to grow his hair long just short of 2 years ago in January of 2010, I remember the date because I blogged about it here.
It was late in January when he came home all excited about doing the Math-a-thon to raise money for St Jude Children’s’ Hospital and helping other kids his own age, who were sick with cancer. It was on that day that he asked if he could donate his hair to the kids at St. Judes. When we told him he would have to have a lot more hair than what had just recently grown out from his mohawk, he said he didn’t mind at all.
I also told him that it would probably take him a few years before he would have enough to donate. It didn’t phase him one bit. Both Ron and I were pretty proud of him for wanting to do this, but we also thought it would not last. Boy were we wrong. It’s been two years and he still has an inch or two more to grow before he can donate it. Despite being picked on and teased in summer camp, and consistently being called a girl by strangers, he is more determined than ever to reach his goal.
We’ve come a long way….
In the end it will be so worth it. And that long hair suits him, it suits his personality. And yes he does occasionally look like a feral child, possibly raised by monkeys. It was after all just yesterday that I caught my wild little child in the act of standing on his chair in the pizzeria attempting to swing on the lamp that hung above his table. But no matter how wild my little child gets or looks, he will always be MY little wild child!
“I LOVE my Feral little child.”
I recently found this on ellen ;
Do you know an amazing person who could use Ellen’s help? We want to hear about them! Tell us all about the most deserving person you know, and how Ellen can rock their world. Maybe it’s a family member or spouse who always puts your needs before their own, a neighbor who has changed your community for the better, or even a teacher who goes above and beyond with your kids. This season, Ellen’s gonna keep giving back!
Read more: http://ellen.warnerbros.com/show/respond/?PlugID=433#ixzz1RH3DUlaq
So I decided to nominate My Superman!
I love you and I love your show. You and your show always make my day! You are just so genuine, with a hugely generous nature. You have a way of making people feel comfortable and at ease; like spending time with a really good friend.
Well good friend, I’d like to share something with you about my family, about my husband in particular.
His name is Ron, he is a handsome devil, a smooth talker with an odd sense of humor, a sci-fi geek, who rocks my world, and keeps things balanced in our lives. And he is the most giving and amazing man I know. He always puts the needs of our family before his own. When I met Ron, he became the man who renewed my faith in hope. In short he is my Superhero.
My family consists of Ron (39), myself (42), and our son, Leon (8)
We have a good life, NOT an easy one, but a good one, because we have each other. Things have always been tough on us financially, and we always seem to muddle through whatever life throws at us, either on our own or with help from our extended family. And for this we have always been truly grateful.
We all do our best to make the most of our lives. But no one works harder than my husband to provide and take care of our little family. I try and do my best too, but I have so many limitations, that I fear he often gets the short end of the stick.
Both my son and I suffer from disabilities that require regular doctor visits and a lot of very expensive medication between the both of us. My son has severe ADHD/ODD and I suffer from Fibromyalgia. We have a HUGE deductible on our medical insurance and given our individual medical needs it is necessary for us to come up with a LARGE sum of money in a very small amount of time at the beginning of each year. He barely makes enough money that we can usually get by living paycheck to paycheck with just enough left over to cover and enjoy the little things like the movies or Cub Scout fees for our son. But when the big bills come in, that’s when we really struggle.
This year, so far, has really tested Ron’s limits. Ron’s car died, and while we managed to get by with only one car for a few months we did eventually have to buy a second used car, which is already in need of repair.
In addition to our financial stress, Ron has had to take on additional parenting duties, above and beyond all the amazing things he already does with and for our son, due to the decline in my health this year.
No matter what comes our way, Ron does everything he can to make things right again. He really is a good man, and he puts his all into everything he does. As a husband he is just amazing, not only does he work hard in the office every day, but he comes home to take care of a majority of the household duties, when I can’t, due to my disability; and he still makes time to be a Den Leader in Leon’s Cub Scout troop and spend quality time with him.
Lately though, it seems as if life has really been testing Ron’s limits. My husband’s normally optimistic outlook on life seems to be dimming. Right now, Ron feels as if we just can’t get a break and that everything is getting thrown at him all at once and he just can’t get ahead. Some days I look at him and he just looks so terribly defeated, like someone had just drained him of all his energy. It kills me to see him this way.
This is a man who truly deserves a break. Not only is he an amazing husband and father but he is also a genuinely GOOD MAN!
Ellen, PLEASE help me make my husband’s life just a little bit easier.
Here we are at his sister’s wedding, which also happens to be our wedding anniversary. (I am the one with the pink hair 🙂 )
EDITTED ON Jan 19th 2012 to add:
Being that this IS your birthday-month; I wanted to share with you that May is my husband’s birthday month. In fact, this year he turns 40 on May 13, 2012.
You know incase the SWAGGIN WAGON is in NY around that time???
That’s a hint…. you know incase you didn’t catch it.
Love ya Ellen!!
And my Superman!!!
With this year being as difficult as it has been, doing something I truly enjoy hasn’t been much of an option.
One of the things I really enjoy doing is planning something special and hosting parties for special occasions and holidays. Traditionally, we host big Christmas and Easter celebrations for our family of 17 every year with special extras like traditional Weinachts Teller and Easter Egg Scavenger Hunts, birthdays of course are also real big here, and I plan big too complete with banners, balloons, and birthday fairies. Then there are the smaller holidays and events that I try to make fun and memorable, like New Years Eve where Leon gets to stay up late and bang pots and pans at midnight; Valentine’s Day where we decorate the windows and make heart cakes; St. Patty’s Day where Leon leaves out a decorated treasure box at night for the Leprechauns to fill with gold and greenery; the last day of school where we have a big get-together in our yard complete with wet and wild summer activities to welcome summer vacation; 4th of July BBQ, which Ron has been hosting for 20 + years; Halloween… etc… etc… etc.. .
But due to all my health issues this year, I just haven’t had it in me to make these special events happen, I even had to cancel Easter at the last minute this year because I was too, too sick to make it happen, and that is saying a lot. I was so incredibly disappointed in myself. And for as much as everyone reassured me that it wasn’t a big deal. It WAS a big deal to ME! I loooove hosting the holidays, it was a big letdown for me and I lost out on doing something that makes me happy doing it. Even the Leprechauns made a poor appearance this year because I just could not do it.
Leon always looks forward to the backyard party we have on the last day of school and I was not about to disappoint him or myself. I knew full well that I would pay for it in the end, and that it probably would end up being a bit too much for me, but there was no way I was not going to have our year end “Welcome Summer Party” for Leon and his friends (and for me and my friends too).
The invites went out, and the responses came in. As the date came closer I started to have some doubts. Every day has been a painful one for me at some point during the course of it. There was no reason to believe that this day was going to be any different. I wondered if I would make it through my own party without excusing myself to take a nap. I started begging Ron to take the day off so he could help me get through it (that was unfair of me I know).While he could not take the day off, he did go above and beyond in helping me turn this hoarders paradise back into a home.
Leon’s last day of school was a half day on June 25th. I spent the morning rushing around and breaking a sweat as I was working hard to get the yard ready for 20 + kids and 10 + moms; that I had absolutely no time to wallow in the pain.
It was a really great day, despite the threat of rain. The kids arrived with their moms and headed straight for the water slide, while us mom’s headed straight for the Coconut Pineapple Mohitos.
I didn’t get to sit in a chair for any good length of time with all the running around I had to choose to do. I had a bunch of fun summer activities planned.
While we waited for the rest of the guests to arrive, the kids jumped from pool to pool and discovered the big box of prefilled water squirters.
Once all the guests arrived we picked teams for the water balloon fight. The kids had a BLAST!
There where plenty of other activities for the kids as well.
Like jumping on the trampoline;
drawing with chalk;
building a castle;
huddling together in pop up tents;
and just all around having fun with good friends.
It was tons of work to put it all together and keep things rolling! By the time I finally able to really take a seat and relax; I was exhausted and in pain. The pricklies on my arms were feeling hot and hurtin, and my legs were heavy and aching pretty bad. As the party was winding down I was dreading the worst part of the party, and that is the clean up. All the work to get it together and only a few hours later it needs to all be broken down again. I was NOT up for it any more.
As luck would have it I have some really amazingly terrific friends!! Everyone just chipped in and helped put everything away in no time, despite my arguments to “just leave it”. In a blink of an eye the pools were drained, the castle was boxed up, as was the Lego, the chairs were stacked by the garage and the dishes were done. I don’t know what I would have done without my good friends to help me.
And now here I am just days later and I am still paying for it. I may have spent the the last 2 days in bed, but it was definitely worth it to see this smiling face;
And hear him say “mom, thanks for inviting all my friends over and having a party; I had so much fun!”
Yup, it’s my party and I can run myself into the ground if I want to!
… Cause it’s worth it!
In a previous post; Gettin’ my Creative Juices Flowin’ I wrote about my various talents, and things I have tried my hand at, with the latest thing being wood burning.
I recently took up wood burning for the sake of my sister, Suzy. She is getting married in May, and asked me to use my creativity to make a few things for her. She had some basic ideas of what she was looking for and showed me a few pictures of things she had seen on Etsy.com. But she pretty much gave me carte blanc to come up with my own vision of things. I toured Etsy, which by the way is now my favorite artsy-fartsy site, and I found inspiration and ideas all over the place.
My self-imposed deadline was this past Sunday for her Bridal Shower. I managed to get everything done that I had wanted to (thanks to a few 3am bedtime). As usual I pushed myself to accomplish a bit more than necessary. It was important for me to put so much into it because I want Suzy to know how much she means to me. She may be Ron’s sister by birth, but I have known her since she was 15 years old, and I have watched her grow into an amazing young woman that I am proud to call her my sister too.
It was her intent to reimburse me for any purchases I needed to make for these creations. But I refuse to accept any reimbursement, I want to make this my gift to her (and Eddie) from one sister to another.
I am so happy for the both of them. And I wish them the best that life and marriage has to offer them.
As a result of her asking me to do this; she has unknowingly given me a gift as well. Because of her, my enjoyment of; and desire to; create art, has once again been rekindled. I find myself sketching new ideas and getting inspiration from the things around me. I have really enjoyed being creative again.
I am also pretty proud of the outcome on most of what I have made. I wanted to give her options so I made different versions of the items she wanted for variety.
These are the his and her hangers she had asked for. She really only asked that I somehow write the word Bride and Groom on these hangers that she provided to me. I wanted to give her the option of dressing them up with the flower I had made using two other flowers and Swarofski Crystals and the bow tie I fashioned with cardboard and black ribbon after I simply woodburned the hangers;
Another item that she had asked me to make was a cake topper. She had seen my very first attempt at wood burning a tree design and had decided that she had wanted it as her cake topper. Since it was my very first attempt, and I wasn’t happy with all the mistakes I had made I refused to let her have it. Not only was it a scrap copy it was also on scrap wood. This is the initial piece she had seen;
It was the smaller one she was interested in using, but I really did not like how it came out. I was also concerned with how 1 dimensional it would be.I made a new one similar to this on a better piece of wood; I liked the way it came out;
And although I am pleased with the art, it just seems so flat for a cake topper. So I came up with the bright idea that I would have to make a woodcarving of a tree to make it more 3-dimensional. Yes, I did say wood carving. Here are 2 I managed to make without nicking a major artery in the process.
The tops of the trees are interchangeable. Personally I like the balls on the top, but the tree slice can be further personalized. Perhaps with a simple scroll design, green leaves, or their names in a heart in the upper portion and the year in the smaller heart on the tree trunk. Suzy also asked me to make Mr. & Mrs chair signs. These are similar to ones I have seen on Etsy;
I have often heard;
“you are so talented, you should start a business”.
That would be WONDERFUL, I’d love to do that.
The question is; how? I have no business sense and the coin purse is empty. And you know the old adage; it takes money to make money.
And then, there is the lack of confidence in my talents
It’s not that I do not believe that I have any talent, it’s just that I feel there are people out there that are so much more talented than myself.
It doesn’t stop me from enjoying the creative process though. And sometimes I even impress myself with the outcome 🙂
My creative talents have included:
Drawing – it’s been a while, I did a lot of drawing as a child and in my teens. I have only recently taken it up again. I even tried some creative drawing on the computer to make some matching t-shirts for our trip to Disney;
Trip Planning – YES I definitely consider trip planning a creative talent!! And I do it well, especially when traveling with a highly sensory child with ADHD/ODD. Accommodations for travel require quite a bit of creativity. Like the badge I made for him to wear that clearly outlined the rules with a visual prompt.
Event Planning – like my DIY wedding where I made everything from the centerpieces to the floral arch to the ring box to the 150 hand-painted Champaign glasses I made to give as wedding favors to each of my guests.
Enough people told me that I should go into business selling my Glass Painting that I decided to give it a try. I successfully sold a few pieces but in the end I wasn’t making enough money to cover the time, effort, and money it took to not only paint each piece , but then to pack everything up and transport them to a little craft fair, where I paid $60 for a table, only to sell a couple of pieces that maybe made me $40, and then have to pack it all back up and bring it back home. It just didn’t pay.
I also have helped to plan a few showers, my sister’s wedding, and quite a few themed birthday parties for kids. I love doing it. Especially the themey stuff
Leon’s 2nd Thomas Birthday Party – he didn’t know how much I put into this party but I had fun doing it
Leon’s 5th Pirate Birthday Party – yes my spoiled little child had 3 parties and 3 cakes
Leon’s 8th Lego Birthday Party;- this was a really fun party!
If I knew how, I would love to make money as an event planner.
Photography – …is another talent I have. More specifically I have an eye for. Ron, often tells people that I am a photographer, and it bugs me, because I am SO NOT a photographer. I WISH I was, but at best I am a photo enthusiast. The difference being that although I thoroughly enjoy photography, and have an eye for capturing great shots; I pretty much have no education in photography at all.
I can really relate to the guy in this Panasonic Lumix commercial:
..see it’s not me, it’s my camera! (which btw is a Canon)
…plus some creative digital photo editing too.
Basically I am just winging it.
When Leon was born, my love for photography grew, and my need to share it grew too. I started showcasing my photos on my smugmug website for all my friends and family to see.
(btw -gardening is NOT one of my talents)
As a result I was asked by two different sets of friends to photograph their weddings. Of course I said yes, it was an honor to be asked. I never expected to be paid, but when one of the couples thanked me with $1000.oo check , it gave me the confidence to try to make some money doing what I loved.
I got a few jobs and made some money, but most of my jobs were for friends and I had a hard time charging them, so that didn’t last too long. I also needed better equipment in order for my photography to live up to my own standards.
In general I don’t know that I am so much talented as I am creative and crafty
And recently I have been inspired to try a new craft;
I was honored when my sister -in-law asked me if I could make a few things for her wedding. She pointed me in the direction of Etsy.com where she had seen a few things she had really liked. I was already familiar with Etsy, but I had never really perused the wedding category. One of the things she had pointed out to me, started to get my creative juices flowin again. It was something that I have tried my hand at before, but I didn’t really feel that there was a big demand for it. But with the trend of weddings being a bit more green, the rustic look of woodburning seems to have become a bit more popular.
Woodburning – is now a talent I am trying to cultivate. And I am really enjoying it. And who knows maybe I can even sell a few pieces on Etsy….
Besides what else is there for this SAHM to do?…uh, besides taking care of an ADHD child, managing my Fibro, keeping track of $800/month medicines, PTA volunteering, School Newspaper editor and author, caring for my 3 year old niece, plan playdates, etc.., etc…, etc… …oh yeah and maintain this blog.
I celebrated my birthday this week, and despite my grumblings about the weather, it was very nice!!
I’d like to thank all the people who made my birthday special, and in case you don’t know who you are:
~ my Face Book friends, some of which I see on a regular basis and some I haven’t seen in many, many years or even ever met before (Lynn 🙂 ) for all your well wishes from around the world.
~ well wishers who emailed, phoned, or sent cards, from NY, AZ, TX, and Germany
~ friends and family baring gifts, from CD’s, DVD’s, tickets for two to a show in Manhattan, orchids, balloons, a family night at home, a fun – albeit VERY LOUD night out – with both family and friends, CASH (thanks Mom), two tickets to see the cast of GLEE in concert, to being made Queen for the Day by my precious son, Leon. I gotta say I really did get a kick outta Leon answering everything I said with “Yes, my Queen” or “As you wish, my Queen” 😉
I am one of those people who loves celebrating birthdays; especially my own. And definitely not because I am enjoying the aging processes; but because I am enjoying the living process.
Yes, yes, I know I’ve been grumbling a lot lately about how difficult it has been for me of late, living with FMS. HOWEVER, that is just what is at the surface of my life at this time. But beneath that layer of unfortunate… crap; lies many other layers of my life.
My ever-growing and never ending love life with my husband; the joy, wonder and pride of watching my son grow and become; my sisterhood and friendships with friends – new and old; my ever-changing, ever maturing relationships with my family near and far, whether blood-related or bond-related; my accomplishments and achievements as a mom, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a woman; life lessons I have learned and passed on; events and experiences I have yet to encounter; these are all layers of my life. These are the things worth celebrating!