Just call me Jiji

…me, just pretending to be me ….now, where did I put that cape??

Archive for the tag “friendships”

Nine Years Old and Already Breaking Hearts

A couple of days ago Leon came home from school and I could tell he wasn’t himself. Well not his, get off the bus and get the homework done right away, to get it out-of-the-way, so he can watch TV and play, self.

His ODD was in full force and rearing its ugly head. Everything was an argument or a fight, he asked for things he knew I would disagree to and then would have a huge fit when he would hear the word no. He lashed out, got fresh, and as a result he had to suffer the consequences of his actions. The consequences in this case being no video games for the rest of the day, including his newest addition to his collection; Skylanders.  He had just gotten it for his birthday the week before and was becoming obsessive about it. I felt he needed a break from it. Which he did. But the storm that came after that, resulted in a huge temper tantrum. There was yelling and crying, and screaming and runny noses, and soberly “i hate you’s”, and “i hate myself”, and “i just want to be left alone”, and screaming into pillows, and pinching and scratching at himself, and me grabbing a hold of him in my arms to cradle him and love him and keep him from physically hurting himself.

Phew! I see more and more of myself in this child every day! Memories and things long forgotten and tucked away in the far back of my mind. And now as I watch him go through so many of the things I went through in my own childhood (things that had made me feel “wrong”); and now to see him go through it, and not know how to deal with the intense emotions that come with it,  just kills me. I only hope that I can parlay my understanding and feelings to him based on what I have already gone through and cushion the blow even just a little. Let him know, he is NOT alone, there are others who understand, who get it, who have the same difficulties and differences.

This poor child carries the strain of always having to restrain and keep in check his natural ADHD impulses to do his own thing, his own way, while he is in school all day and for just long enough after school to get his homework done. The meds that he is on helps him to do that, and for all intense purposes work great, but some days are a bit more challenging than others. Sometimes the smallest monkey wrench puts a crimp in his day and throws him completely off course. It could be anything, maybe his schedule was unexpectedly interrupted, maybe he isn’t feeling well or maybe someone said or did something that he just can’t get off of his mind. What ever it is, it can cause the storm described above…

and below….

Leon: MOM! I am having a REALLY bad day! All I want is to come home and relax by playing my new game and you won’t even let me, And I am just really really stressed (pleading now, with tears running down his cheeks) PLEEEASE let me play with my Skylanders I just need to forget today happened!! Pleease!!! I DON’T WANT to go to fencing, I just want to RELAX!!! and I can’t do that if I can’t play my game!!

ME: (cradling my poor sobbing little boy whose trying desperately to sway me into changing my mind about taking away his video game privileges as a result of consequential behavior) I know you are upset, Leon. I am sorry that this hurts your feelings, but you know the rules if you get nasty with mommy you lose certain privileges and telling me you feel too sick to go fencing but just fine to play video games is not going to cut it.

Leon: I’m sooorrrrrry! I won’t do it again. Pllllllleeeeeeaaaassssseeee can I play my game. I had a bad day and besides I got some bad news at school and I am stressed about it! I just neeeeeeeeeed to playayayayay my GAME!

ME: What bad news? Do you want to tell me about it.

Leon: I just don’t want to talk about it OKAY!!! (screaming) Just let me PLAY!!!!!!

ME: eh, there is that tone again. (remaining as calm as any parent who just wants to strangle their beautiful child can)  Lets just try to stay calm and talk things out and we can see were we go from there.

Leon: If you knew this bad news you’d know why I am so stressed!

ME: So tell me about it

Leon: I don’t want to

ME: Okay you don’t have to tell me. But I am a little worried, can you tell me if it’s bad news about you?

Leon: no

ME: is a teacher involved?

Leon: no

Me: a friend?

Leon: yeah…

Me: did someone get hurt or sick?

Leon: no it’s not like that, it’s, it’s it’s just to horrible to say, I’ll write it down.

Me: (a little concerned now…. takes the folded up paper from his hand – reads his scribble and…..) (SMILE) Leon, is this what is upsetting you so much?

Leon: yes!

The note says: ” _________ has a crush on me! (It’s shocking!)”

ME: (inner voice) AWWWWW how freaking cute!!!!!!!!! (outer voice) This is flattering news, it should make you feel good about yourself. _____ is a very nice girl and she obviously has good taste. Don’t look at this as a bad thing, think of it as a good thing. I thought you liked ______.

Leon: I do! but I don’t want a crush, I want a friend!!!!

ME: All you have to do is just tell her that.

We talked a bit more about how he came to this knowledge….

Leon: Her friend came and told me, and then _____ said she was too embarrassed to tell me herself.

ME: what did you say?

Leon: nothing, I just fainted!

Ah the complexities of a fourth grader.

Today he came home in all smiles, we talked a bit before my bronchitis sent me back to sleep and he had a very nice evening playing with his dad.

I had asked him if he had spoken to ______. 

Leon: yeah, I told her that I didn’t feel the same way about her, and I asked her if we could still be friends. and she said yes.

Alls well that ends well!

I just hope ______  is okay! I mean who can blame her? My kid has always been a looker…… 

and he is an AMAZING KID to boot.

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And So It Begins….

7:00pm

Telephone -(ring, ring)….                                   
Me: Hello?
Little Girl Voice: Hi, Can I talk to Leon?       
Me: Sure who’s calling?
Little Girl Voice: This is Samantha
Me: Okay Hold on a sec.
Samantha: ok
Leon: Hello?
Samantha:Hi    (….yes I was listening in)
Leon:   Hi (….trying to hide his grin)
Samantha: What are you doing?
Leon: Um, playing Monopoly with my dad
Samantha: Oh, okay I’ll let you go play monopoly
Leon: Wait, why did you call?
Samantha: I just wanted to say Hi
Leon: Hi
Samantha: Hi
………(silence)……..
Leon:  Okay, I guess I’ll see you tomorrow   
Samantha: Okay, bye
Leon: bye (GRIN)
Click

ME:  (suppressed smile)  

Voices in my head:  O-M-G!!!!! How freakin cute!!!!! Leon got his first phone call from a girl!!!! (SQUEEEEEEAL!!!!)

Leon certainly lit up when he heard her voice.  Could it be???? …..Puppy Love???  – tee hee……

It’s my party and I can run myself into the ground if I want too!!!!

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;

playing with Lego;

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!

Happy Birthday to ME!!

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!   

Happy Birthday to ME!!!    

And the WINNER for My Dumb-Ass Move of the Week goes to …

Shoveling Snow!!

Well I wasn’t so much shoveling snow as I was moving it around.

We had 15inches of snow on the ground yesterday when all was said and done. It was quite a beautiful site to wake up too (see previous post)

Poor Leon had a snow day and was stuck at home ALONE with his dear old mom. That would be me – Dear and Old… among other things, like in pain and overly fatigued.

 

We spent the morning playing the Wii (well he played, I got to watch) and watching “Back to the Future”. By 11am I felt we had had enough screen time, I wanted him to go out and get some fresh air, play in the snow a bit, get some much needed vitamin D. But he just kept saying he rather stay in and play Lego. I didn’t argue it, since I had kept him home sick the day before (stomach bug).

Every so often I would remind him of how much snow was out there, and all the cool things, that he could build with it. He finally admitted that he wanted to go out but he was waiting for Daddy to come home first.

I explained that, he doesn’t get home till after 6pm and that it would be too cold and too late to go out then.  He then said “Oh okay, I’ll go out now, but it’s nicer to be out there with someone, and I didn’t want to ask you”, then he added “Well, not because I don’t want you with me; but because I don’t want you to have more hurt from the cold”

I cried inside when he said that. It’s times like that, that I really just hate myself for having fibro; and I hate that I didn’t push harder to have another child (which can also be blamed on fibro). FIBRO SUCKS!!

I told him that I would be okay and I went outside with him (I lied).

When Leon saw the neighbors having a play date with each other across the street he asked if we could invite them over to our yard. I said yes of course but I was sure they would say no. Not because they are mean kids or anything remotely like that, quite the opposite. But because, aside from the fact that they already had their own fort well under way, I think they know Leon well enough to know that he has his own way of doing things and often has his own agenda and doesn’t always compromise so well.

Leon took it in stride and just asked me to call another neighbor, which I did just to appease him, knowing they would decline too. For no other reason than they are girls after my own heart – they do not like snow. Again Leon took it in stride, and asked me to call a classmate, and then someone else, and then someone else, down the line.  You see, Leon does better one on one, rather than in a group and even then sometimes he isn’t necessarily looking for one particular person to play with; he just wants another warm body around.  –That’s a little sad don’t you think? How do I fix that???

I know a few of his classmates that I could have called, that would probably have come by, but the truth is I really didn’t want a play date at our house. I was feeling lousy and I suffer from CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome) because I can’t pull myself together to clean up around here. I didn’t want to see anyone, I didn’t want to talk to anyone, and I certainly didn’t want to have to change out of my snuggle pajamas and give up my blanket with sleeves. Having the neighborhood kids over is one thing because once they were done playing outside, I could just send them back across the street. But having a classmate who needs to be driven over, in tales a bit more work and planning. I just was not up for it.

Leon hates to be alone; he always needs someone in the room with him. He would rather read a book in the same room with someone rather than play with his toys alone in his room. The closest we get to him playing in his room on his own is if we are in the adjacent computer room; and even then, he will move whatever it is he is playing with into the doorway so he can be nearer.

I felt bad for him; even though I knew he was fine out there on his own. But the mommy-guilt got the better of me.

So there I was shoveling snow into huge piles for him to make a fort out of, fully equipped with snow slide. The snow was very heavy and there was tons of it. It was definitely my dumb-ass move of the week given how bad of a Fibro-flare I am having, especially when considering the fact that it is the snowy weather that is triggering this never-ending flare-up. Today I am paying for it big time!!!

It was a mistake, one that I knew I was making at the time I was making it.

So why do it?

This is why……

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The things we do for our kids!

My Superpower is Invisibility

When people pick the power of invisibility as the superpower they would most like to have, I am dumbfounded!

I am dumbfounded because I have that power and it really sucks!

I have invisible disabilities.

For those of you who are new to the term;  invisible disabilities ,as defined by the Invisible Disabilities Association (IDA), refers to such symptoms as debilitating pain, fatigue, dizziness, weakness, cognitive dysfunctions and mental disorders, as well as hearing and vision impairments.  These are not always obvious to the onlooker, but can sometimes or always limit daily activities, range from mild challenges to severe limitations and vary from person to person.

Someone can have invisible disabilities whether or not they also have a visible impairment or use an assistive device such as a wheelchair, walker or cane. For example, whether or not a person utilizes an assistive device, if they are debilitated by such symptoms as described above, they have invisible disabilities.  (click What is an Invisible Disability?  for more).

My invisible disabilities include every one of the symptoms mentioned above. And it sucks. BIG TIME!  Especially when they hit me all at once.

But wait, there is more…

There are other symptoms that are not mentioned….

..Feelings of incompetency, self-loathing, worthlessness, loneliness, guilt, frustration; feelings of being forever misunderstood, and more…

Those are currently, my additional symptoms, at least.

I seem to be going through something right now. I don’t know what it is exactly, but something is happening to me. I have been “OFF” for the lack of a better word, for a few weeks, longer even; it’s just that it seems to be all rushing at me at a faster pace now.

I’ve been having these feelings of being out of control.

.. Out of control of my life – my health, both mentally and physically, my routines, my emotions, my daily living even. I feel as if I am not functioning properly or normally at all anymore.

My standard go to has always been… “Oh it must be my fibro”; “after all it is the change of seasons”; and “don’t I always have a tough time transitioning at this time of year when things get so busy?”  (-yes that is me talking to myself)

But this is different. Something is different – yet strangely familiar.

One of my major complaints is how I a have been increasingly and incredibly more forgetful; I mean scary forgetful. In the last 2 months, I can point to several instances ~ like making plans with a friend to meet up and then forgetting about it within the hour, having an important meeting scheduled in my own home, with Leon’s behavioral therapist and answering the door in my pajamas because I completely forgot about it, even though I had just confirmed it the night before, having whole phone conversations with someone and forgetting that I spoke to them, taking my meds and then forgetting if I did or not (..okay so that’s and old one), going to my doctor –to discuss this very problem, as well as get the flu shot, and at the end of the appointment when he says okay; “ now go downstairs to the lab, for the blood tests and I will call you with the results”, I respond with, “okay, is that where I will get my flu shot as well?”, and he responds, “Jill, I just gave you the flu shot, you have a band-aid right there on your arm, don’t you remember?” …..umm no, no I didn’t remember. That it just one example of how I am forgetting, from one moment to the next.

Then there are the days were I really just can’t get my act together. One little thing happens and I am thrown off all together. Last week I spent an hour looking for a sippy cup that had the very last drop of milk in it for Kiera. No exaggeration, I was running around the house like a chicken without a head, looking for this damn sippy cup that I had just poured, which in the end turned up in the crib with her, yet I don’t remember ever giving it to her. And while I am crazily looking for the cup I am doing a million other things, or at least I am trying to. My fatigue has been increasing too lately, so while in the mitts of trying to get things done I have to sit or lie down and rest my body and my addled brain, every so often. I just can’t seem to focus on any one task. I am all over the place, so much so that I finally remember to take my medicine, and it’s not until after I throw them to the back of my throat and just start to pour the water into my mouth that it dawns on me that –whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute, something doesn’t feel right; were those my pills that I just popped into my mouth? Or were they Leon’s?  Pa-Tooey I spit them out and sure enough they were Leon’s. Crap! Instead of taking my two cymbalta and one lyrica, I almost swallowed two concerta and one clonodine –SCARY!!!

And somehow stuff like this keeps happening, not as serious – or as dangerous as all that, but concerning none the less.

I go through my days feeling all discombobulated and completely out of sync. Nothing seems to fit right.  

So what is it? Is it the fibro getting worse with age? Is it hormones? Am I premenstrual? IS IT ADHD…? Is it all of the above?

The more info I get on my son’s disorder the more insight I am getting about myself! This is not unusual by any means. I see in Leon all the things that I did and went through as a child (only without the right tools or coping mechanisms); I see and relive the frustration of it all. When I say I know how he feels, I really, really do. I see so much of me in him, and I see so much of his ADHD in me, then and now. –AHA! So THAT explains it!

  These feelings of incompetency that I have been feeling lately are not all together new either. They feel like growing pains. Growing pains that I felt back in high school.

I’ve been feeling that A LOT lately.

These old feelings of being incompetent or like I’m a “Fuck up”, which was my choice of words back then, like I just cannot fit in no matter what I do, like I just never ever can get anything right, like people think I am a complete ditz because I can never really retain any info or because I forget things a lot (like make plans and then get sidetracked too easily or forget them all together). My lack of ability to train my focus on one thing makes me look careless and scatterbrained, messy even. I can’t get it together enough to keep a clean house without clutter everywhere you look. I feel stupid, and awkward and like my life is not my own, I am not in control of it.

I can look back and say, that while some of those feelings, back then, were your standard run of the mill growing pains, but most of them were and is ADHD.

My blood tests showed no Lyme disease, low vitamin D, and some other medical gibberish that I didn’t understand, basically they are normal. It ruled out other possibilities and I am now being treated for ADHD with Strattera.  Well, in theory anyway, I’ve been putting off starting it because the side effects are scary ugly and I want to do it at a time when I don’t have a lot of ‘other’ things going on and I can deal with them more easily. –yeah good luck with that.

What does all this have to do with invisible disabilities?

Both Fibromyalgia and ADHD are invisible to the naked eye. You cannot look at me and see that I have these dysfunctions. When I am in pain you can’t see it. When I can’t concentrate on the words coming from your mouth you can’t see it. When I am feeling weak or fatigued you can’t see it.   

And with that, the invisibility of it all also comes those feelings. Feelings of incompetency, self-loathing, worthlessness, loneliness, frustration; emotionally instability; feelings of being forever misunderstood, and feelings of guilt.

They affect my mood, my relationships, and my ability to function “normally” out in the world and at home.

Out in the world – I worry about my relationships with my friends, especially the newer ones. What do they see? What do they think? With all these changes that I seem to be going through right now is it easier to just step away from me? – Can you tell I am feeling a little insecure?

I know my lifelong friend and family will always be around no matter how cuckoo I get. But lately I feel as if some of my other friends might be withdrawing. It is probably just my imagination.  But I have felt more left out as of late –Ahh, feels High School all over again

With  majority of my friendships being with women of girls, it is only natural that they get together more often with their girls and Leon being a boy isn’t invited and therefore I don’t get spend that time out with my friends either. They talk openly about their plans, and I enjoy hearing about what’s going on with the kids. But I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel a bit of envy. Especially when plans are made without the kids, and I am not even asked.  It’s really not a big deal, normally this type of thing really would not bother me, but I am not feeling all that normal right not – at least not what is normal for me anyway. I am just feeling very self conscious – more so lately because, as I am feeling more and more out of sync, I just know I must be coming across as flighty and unreliable and lazy.  Face it my life is becoming this huge mess and I can’t seem to get it together enough to clean it up. If my inability to pull myself together because of my fibro and ADHD is being misinterpreted as me just being a loser, then it’s no wonder I feel misunderstood, and lonely. It’s no wonder that I feel like a loser.

At home – my house is never clean, there is always clutter everywhere, and boxes, always boxes. Storage boxes, for The Kids Kloset, Halloween, presents to be wrapped, decorations to be put up, decorations to be put away, old photos to sort, etc, etc. There always seem to be a parade of boxes in and out of the house, and always smack dab in the middle of my kitchen. We get rid of one and the next one comes in. It’s ugly and it’s messy, and always in the way. Worse than boxes is the paper work, papers everywhere – some in boxes even that I just can’t get to. I feel as if I just can’t keep up with any of it. By the end of the day I am too spent to cook, or pack up the day, or even talk; breathing is the most I can handle.

 Ron tells me it’s because I have too many things going on, like taking care of Leon, the babysitting, PTA volunteering, and getting ready for the holidays or some other project.

I am a mom, I take care of my child, we have our challenges of course, but every parent faces challenges, whether it be chauffeuring them from one activity to another or from one therapy session to another; I babysit, that is my job, that is how I make my money, it helps us afford some of the little (very little) extras in our lives; I volunteer with the PTA, it keeps me connected to Leon’s school and gives me a social outlet; and getting ready for the holidays (or any other event whether it be a trip or preparing for the consignment sale) is just some of the little extras that come with life to make it more interesting and enjoyable.

But seriously does that sound like a lot? It doesn’t, it sounds like normal everyday life to me, no more, and no less than what any other normal person might do in their life, right?

Here’s the rub – I am not like any other ‘normal’ person. I look like one; I walk and talk, like one. I even act like one. But what you don’t see is what is invisible. You don’t see the pain throbbing in my legs as I stand there talking to you, or in my arms as I try to carry an empty trash can back to the house, or my hands that look perfectly plain on the outside, but feel so swollen on the inside that I sometimes wonder if they might not just burst open one day. You don’t see the fatigue that forces me to sit or lay down every 20 or so minutes the evening or the day after I’ve had a ‘good’ day of pushing it all aside to do ‘normal’.  You don’t see that even though I am smiling and laughing, and enjoying myself, I still feel the pain in my limbs that can only be described as shards of glass traveling through my veins. You don’t see how confused and foggy I get because the buzzing of the light and the ticking of the clock are louder than anything else going on so whatever it is that you are saying  to me is going in one ear and out the other. You don’t see what is invisible.

What you do see is this person that can’t seem to get it together.  Is she lazy? Is she a slob? Is she a scatterbrained? Is she unreliable? Is she stupid? …

Nope but she is feeling a little invisible right now.

To All My Favorite M.O.M.M.’s

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all my favorite M.O.M.M.’s 

You are all; 

  • Makers
  • Of
  • Miracles and
  • Memories

You are all Super Women; who have touched me, taught me, inspired me, and helped to shape who I have been, who I am, and who I will become as a girl, a daughter, a woman, a friend, a wife, a mother and as a person! 

I dedicate this page to you; 

 

 

From SuburbanPediatrics.org : 

Attention “Super-Moms” It’s O.K. to…

 

Often, as parents we are tired! Frazzled by never-ending obligations, we sometimes neglect to fully engage with our kids. Try to enjoy the little parenting moments as they happen. 

  • It’s OK to have a messy house sometimes.
  • It’s OK to get a sitter and go out.
  • It’s OK to stay home with the kids — watch a movie or play a game!
  • It’s OK to make cookies this year from frozen Pillsbury dough instead of homemade.
  • It’s OK to sit in the warm car at the park while you watch your older kids go sledding.
  • It’s OK to re-gift — its green!
  • It’s OK to give your kids less gifts … they will appreciate them more.
  • It’s OK to say NO without giving a reason!
  • It’s OK to order pizza 3 times this week because life is busy — and the kids will actually eat it!
  • It’s OK to go to a party with baby spit-up on your shoulder and down your back.
  • It’s OK to let the kids have a little extra TV, computer or game time if it helps keep you sane.
  • It’s OK to let go of the parenting guilt! We all do our best.
  • It’s OK to not be perfect!

  

 

From The Unemployed Mom Blog

What Does A SAHM Do?

by The Unemployed Mom on 06/10/09 at 3:32 pm I find it amusing that some people think a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) does nothing all day long. While we may not have a written job description, we do have a very important obligation which is taking care of our children. My blog title “The Unemployed Mom” is a complete oxymoron, which is typically why I receive laughs when people hear it. Anyway, I wanted to share a few thoughts about being a SAHM and let people know more about what we do. 

  1.  Being a SAHM doesn’t start at 8 am and end at 5 pm like a typical job. Our children dictate when our day begins and when it ends.
  2. Overtime occurs regularly, yet we do not get paid time and a half. We are compensated with hugs and kisses which is far more rewarding. Of course, we do receive our share of unpleasant compensation too (diaper blowouts, fussy kids, food spills, bathroom blunders, wet beds, tantrums, etc.).
  3. We do not receive vacation or sick time and must fulfill our duties 24/7, 365 days a year! No, we do not get weekends off either!
  4. We have a big responsibility which is trying to set the right example for our children and being the perfect role model. This can be challenging at times if we are frustrated or dealing with real world issues.
  5. A SAHM has mastered the art of multi-tasking! We are able to focus on many things at once but still keep our child’s safety and interests at the top of the list!
  6. We do not have one whining boss to answer to, we have our significant other AND our children!
  7. A SAHM is also a teacher, day care provider, guidance counselor, taxi driver, photographer, CEO, nutritionist, chef, laundry attendant, maid, accountant, janitor, entertainer, nurse, party planner, personal stylist, administrative assistant and a baker. Keep in mind, we are not compensated…but imagine what our salary SHOULD be with these responsibilities!
  8. We are extremely flexible! Our goal may be to complete our to-do list; however, our children dictate what our day actually consists of. Some days are extremely laid back while others are complete chaos. We must “go with the flow” and make the best of it, even if that means not accomplishing what we planned to.
  9. Being a SAHM is exhausting, there is never a dull moment! Some evenings, I am ready to fall asleep before my toddler goes to bed!
  10. We love our children dearly; however, staying home with a fussy or sick child can be draining! We do need a break once in a while, even if it is just to take a quiet walk alone to clear our minds. When our significant other arrives home, we do not need to hear “why do you need a break, you stay home all day”!  I challenge any person who asks this infuriating question to stay home alone with their child for just one day…I am pretty confident they will beg to return to their regular job!

I have held a variety of professional positions and being a SAHM is by far the job I am most proud of (and as mentioned above, it is one of the most exhausting)! My child is only little once and I feel blessed to share every single day with him. 

 The next time someone says a SAHM doesn’t do much, please direct them to this blog! 

FROM Mom.Salary.com 

If paid, the typical Stay-at-Home Mom in Hicksville, NY would earn the pay shown below for her work as a mother.

 Earning Statement  
For the year ending: May 2010
Job title Hourly Rate Hours worked
Housekeeper $11.10 728
Cook $14.73 364
Day Care Center Teacher $14.73 1,040
Facilities Manager $35.13 520
Computer Operator $17.15 624
Van Driver $16.72 364
Psychologist $42.12 624
Janitor $10.89 416
Laundry Machine Operator $11.16 0
Chief Executive Officer $56.63 260
Staff Nurse – RN $31.66 208
Event Planner $29.30 312
Nutritionist $25.95 208
Logistics Analyst $24.85 364
Interior Designer $20.78 156
Bookkeeper $18.91 104
Administrative Assistant $18.52 208
Plumber $18.19 0
General Maintenance Worker $15.56 208
Groundskeeper $13.86 52
Total Value
Regular Hourly Rate $22.56 2,080 $46,934
Over Time Rate $33.85 4,680 $158,402

$205,336

WHAT I OWE MY MOTHER
(Momisms)

My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.If you’re going to kill each other, do it  outside.  I just finished cleaning.” 

My mother  taught me RELIGION. 
You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

 My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL. “If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”

My  mother taught me LOGIC.  
Because I said so, that’s  why.”

My mother taught me MORE  LOGIC. 
If you fall out of that swing and break your  neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”

My mother taught me FORESIGHT.  
Make sure you wear clean underwear in case you’re in an accident.”

My  mother taught me IRONY.  
Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.  
Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.  
Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!”

My mother taught me about STAMINA.    
You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

My mother taught me about WEATHER.    
This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”

My mother taught me about  HYPOCRISY.   
 “If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate!”

My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE. 
“I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.”

My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION. 
Just wait until we get home.”

My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE. 
If you don’t stop crossing  your eyes, they are going to freeze that way.”

My mother taught me HUMOR. 
When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”

My mother taught me GENETICS. 
You’re just like your father.”

My mother taught me about my ROOTS. 
Shut  that door behind you.  Do you think you were born in a barn?”

My mother taught me WISDOM. 
When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.”

My Mother taught me ESP. 
“Put your sweater on; don’t you think that I know when you’re cold?”

My Mother taught me TO MEET A CHALLENGE. 
“What were you thinking?  Answer me when I talk to you… Don’t talk back to me!”

MY Mother taught me PATIENCE.  
“Sure, you can do that. As soon as you’re 21 and leave the house!”

My Mother taught me DIPLOMACY. 
“I don’t want to hear who started it, It takes two to fight.”

My Mother taught me SHARING. 
“Play nicely with that or I’ll just take it away from both of you.”

My Mother taught me ETIQUETTE.  
“Use your fork! If I see that hand on the table again, I’ll slap it!”

My mother taught me about ENVY.
“There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”

My mother taught me about RECEIVING.
“You are going to get it when you get home!”

My mother taught me TO THINK AHEAD. 
“If you don’t pass your spelling test, you’ll never get a good job!”

My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
“If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”

My mother taught  me about JUSTICE. 
One day you’ll have kids and I hope they turn out just like you!”

But most of all, my mother taught me LOVE. 
“You know that whatever you do or whatever happens, I’ll always stand behind you, no matter what; because I love you.”

-Unknown

Dedicated to; Erika Fitzgerald, Jeanette Fitzgerald, Kathi Buss, Celia Vera, Jennifer Fitzgerald, Sheila Streng, Anne Oldfield,  Heather Hodkinson, Ana Thompson, Donna Ganiaris, Gerri Lima, Allison Schaefer, Kim Baitz, Angela Kobetitsch, Lynne Wiltse, Penny Williams, and so many other moms who have touched my life in one way or another.

Up to My Ears in Hot Dogs

Happy 4Th Everyone!

4thofjulystitch

This year’s 4th marked Ron’s 21st Annual  4th of July BBQ (making it my 11th). At the age of 16, he started the tradition in his parents back yard, when he convinced them to let him stay home while the rest of his family went off on a camping trip. His friends and family (and eventually mine as well) have been getting together for fun, food and drinks ever since. It is amazing to see how much things have changed over the years.

What started out as a bunch of teens without adults around having a party, gave way to college kids letting off steam; to a bunch of young adults enjoying time with their significant others, spouses, friends and family, while reminiscing over the old days; to new families withlittleones running around, many of whom only see each other once or twice a year.  I wonder if we will still be doing this into the next stages… maybe it will be our kids throwing the BBQ or even better yet we’ll all be a bunch of old geezers enjoying a summer day with our kids and our kid’s kids.

Our group of friends are so diverse, many have so much in common and some have nothing in common, but our Annual 4th of July BBQ always brings us all together and guarantees a good time for every one.

This year’s BBQ was no different …

It started as usual with an invitation via evite, email, word of mouth and new this year…facebook, inviting everyone we know to come, bringing a bag of ice, food and liquid refreshments to share, and a friend or two. In the past 4 years the invite welcomed those with little ones to bring bathing suits and towels and promised some sprinkler action that has over the years graduated to inflatable pools and water slides. We also suggest that every one get into the spirit of things by wearing red, white, and blue.

Everyone brought a little something, there were hot dogs and burgers, buns, chicken, beer, Smirnoff Ice, more dogs and buns, Icees, cake, more dogs and buns, honey dew, chips, dips, more beer, more burgers, even more dogs and buns, pies (3 to be exact- Cherry, Coconut, and Blueberry -red white and blue, I was very pleased that someone took my theme to this level!!! 🙂 ), my very first trifle ever, dark chocolate fondue, alcohol, more dogs and buns, chicken, sausage, watermelon, pasta salad, potato salad, fruit salad – yummy, yummy, cookies,  and again more dogs and buns. This recession has made it’s mark on my BBQ!! Where were the usual steaks, and swordfish, filet mignon, and pork chops??? No biggie it wasn’t about the food anyway, it was about the company. I’m just up to my ears in hot dogs that’s all!!! (Ha I started to write weenies and thought better of it 😉 ) Seriously though I could feed my whole neighborhood with all the hot dogs I have left in my fridge!

Every year I try to make something new to the menu. This year it was a 

Quick Lemon-Berry Trifle 

(video from Kraftfoods) 

What You Need!

2-1/2 cups cold milk
2 pkg.  (3.4 oz. each) JELL-O Lemon Flavor Instant Pudding, or any other flavor
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, divided
4 cups  mixed fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries and sliced strawberries), divided
42 NILLA Wafers

Make It!

BEAT milk and pudding mixes with whisk 2 min. Stir in 1-1/2 cups COOL WHIP. Reserve 1/4 cup berries for garnish; set aside.

ARRANGE 21 wafers on bottom and up side of 2-1/2-qt. bowl; top with layers of 1/3 pudding mixture and 1/2 each berries and remaining pudding mixture. Top with remaining wafers, berries, pudding mixture and COOL WHIP. Garnish with reserved berries.

REFRIGERATE 1 hour.

My first ever trifle dessert - yum!!

 
 

I did however increase the amount of Cool Whip to give it a lighter taste and I boiled up some sugar water and added it to the berries once it cooled before layering them in. It was so yummy! I was so proud of myself. Toot toot!

I did also create a new recipe after making a spontaneous purchase of a jar of Boar’s Head Deli Dressing at the store the day before. I tried one of those hard to pass up sample stations in front of the deli counter and just had to buy it. I just wasn’t sure what I was going to make withit but bought it none the less. So I made it up as I went along. In the end I tossed it together with elbow macaroni, diced onions, sliced grape tomatoes, avocados, bacon, salt, and pepper. It was excellent! No picture though, it wasn’t as pretty. The only complaint was from my sister, because I hadn’t made enough of the vegetarian version for her (omit bacon). Next time I may add mozzarella cubes too.

Enough toot, tooting my horn about my (non cook) cooking. Although since the microwave is about the extent of my cooking abilities i am quite impressed with myself.

The day was filled with walks down memory lane; deep conversations about life, love and the pursuit of happiness;  jokes and pranks; introductions to the newest family members; a bunch of wee ones aged 2 months to 8 years old frolicking in the garden, playing with Lagos and bubbles, racing between the water-slide and the pool, not to mention the intentioned new added feature of “the kiddie spa”; swordplay between the little kids and the “big kids”; news of a new baby on the way for the newlyweds; reacquainting with old friends who moved too far away; missing friends/family who are still too far away but are expected back soon; lots and lots of laughs; and just a plain old great time.

Here are some photos:

Leon modeling the slide. This was not taken at the BBQ, but it is the best shot of it I have. Kiera is modeling the trampolene  (we thought it best NOT to use it at the BBQ)… IMGP4633

Kiera, modeling her ladybug bikini…IMGP4635

Yay! Bubbles!! IMGP4637

Enjoying the sunshine and the pristine, crystal clear water… IMGP4731

Looks refreshing doesn’t it… IMGP4730

………ummm

 

           ….. 🙂

 

               ….  😀

 

                    ….  😕

 

                          ….  😯

 

                                   ….  😳

How about now???…….

IMGP4801  IMGP4802

IMGP4808

Whaaat? This is the unintentional “kiddie spa”. C’mon people pay big money for a good mud bath!

Wondering how this happened? Well with all the non stop rain that hit over the past month, it seems that our lawn had, had enough water. Add the overflow of the water slide to a bunch of kids trampling through the patch of mud it created on the way to the pool and you get our first and last kiddie mud bath.

IMGP4800IMGP4798

IMGP4799

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was only slightly appalling, I did my due diligence by offering to close up the pool and keep the area off limits. But all the parents were fine with it. As far as everyone was concerned, as long as the kids were having fun and not killing each other they had no problem with a little bit of mud.

Leon actually chose not to partake in the mud bath, he said it was TOO TOO gross. I suspect it had more to do with the fact that the poor kid had a really really bad ear infection than the gross factor. He was soooo amazingly well behaved for the majority of the day, it was only in the evening that he started to break down a little. Not bad, not bad at all. We had some major heart to heart before the BBQ about wanting to have a really really good day. He worked hard at it and to be honest I do feel that being under the weather helped to deter some negative behaviors that might have cropped up. I AM SO PROUD OF HIM NONE THE LESS!!!

IMGP4738

I had a great time, and I really hope everyone else had as good a time as I did.

  ….although maybe not as much as a good time as I did,

                                               …I am nursing a two day hangover right now.

 

Here are some more pictures…

[rockyou id=140169527&w=500&h=375]

Whew, he didn’t jump!

Yesterday was a doozy and it left me feelin woozy

Today I had to get up at a quarter to eight and I’m not feelin so great

Here’s hoping today goes well cause yesterday was not so swell

…… okay that’s enough of that, Leon and I were rhyming this morning over breakfast. Anything to keep him entertained, right?

After yesterday’s fiasco I feel like we just can not leave him alone. Which now a days, means when he gets up we get up. Leon was up at 5:15 am this morning. He snuck into our room with his blanket and a CD. I woke up to “Cows, We’re Remarkable Cows…”  playing from my CD player and a little boy hiding under his blanket next to my bed. I told him he could stay but he would have to turn the volume way down so Daddy and I could sleep a bit longer. Ron couldn’t take it so he went to sleep on the couch.

Prior to yesterday I would have sent Leon back to his room to play and told him to stay there till 6:30am which is when Daddy gets up with him. Now, being that he is a flight risk, I am afraid to leave him to his own devices. I mean, I always worried about leaving him to his own devices because inevitably he would do something he wasn’t supposed to, like pour popcorn seasoning salt all over the couch, color with markers on the breakfast trays or draw on his train table, break my hair accessories into a dozen pieces, sneak snack foods, basically get a hold of anything left out over night and devour or damage it. We learned quickly not to leave things out, we need to scan the rooms before bed time to make sure there isn’t anything within reach that he shouldn’t get his hands on. We slip up now and then and have to pay for it. But short of boarding up the windows and nailing them shut, I can’t trust he won’t try jumping out his window again. Obviously we can’t board them up and I refuse to let Ron nail them shut because it’s a fire hazard (my father died in a fire because he could not get out the windows with bars on them). We’ll have to come up with something else, an alarm maybe.

With Ron in the living room, Leon hopped into my bed, and pretty much kept on hopping till he noticed it was after 6:30. I was exhausted and wanted to sleep. I shut my eyes comforted with the fact that Ron was getting up with him. Soon after I realized Ron had come back to bed. Poor guy was exhausted after yesterday’s events. He told me Leon was sitting on the computer playing games. I knew I had to get up but I just wanted to close my eyes for 5 more minutes. …can you guess? Yup, 5 minutes turned into an hour, Oh oh, the good news was he was still safely in the house on the computer where Daddy left him, the bad news was he managed to find my stash of “chocolate therapy” that I keep on hand for my monthly visitor. The desk was covered in wrappers. Well, it could have been worse and at least he ate something. Now to get him to eat a real breakfast.

Speaking of yesterday’s events, we made it to the Psychiatrist’s office on time and I was perfectly normal, not crazy at all. 🙂 It was a good appointment, she sat with Ron and I and then with Leon. Based on her observations both during the appointment and in the classroom on the previous day along with interviews with us and various school staff and the rating scales she sees that Leon definitely has severe ADHD along with another coexisting condition or disorder. There is a high rate of comorbidity with ADHD, as high as two-thirds of children with ADHD have an additional coexisting disorder. Based on her observations she is leaning in the direction of Bipolar Disorder and would not rule that out. It is rare that a child has it and it can be somewhat over diagnosed, so she won’t make that diagnosis lightly. I will be doing plenty of research on that now. Her recommendation to us is that we seek out a Child Psychiatrist who can diagnose and regulate his medication properly. She also suggests that we get him off the Zoloft immediately as it is for anxiety disorder and could be what is contributing to his escalating bad behavior. She sees him as having more of a behavioral disorder, and not an anxiety disorder in addition to his ADHD. She also suggested that while he is getting off of the Zoloft (which can take some time to leave the system and can’t just be stopped cold) we might want to keep him home from school and get some home instruction (where the school sends someone to the house). The fear is that it is intensifying his impulses and his lack of control over them. This makes him a danger to himself and possibly others. Her recommendation to the school will be to have him classified. *This makes me happy, now he can get the help he needs, he really is too smart to let slip through the cracks!! So for me this is good news. Now it’s up to the CSE. I am very hopeful that her recommendation and the findings from Dr. Petrosky’s assessment (which we get in ten days) will help to get him exactly what he needs.

On the way home I had Ron drop Leon and I off at my friend, K’s garage sale while he returned my sister’s car (we are still without cars – grrrr!), I am so glad I stopped by there. I got to meet her twin sister and a friend of hers. Her friend has a 15 year old ADHD/Bipolar son. What are the chances of that happening in the same day? She was a wealth of information, giving me tons of helpful information. Along with the information she was so, so, so, kind to give me a bunch of children’s books on ADHD. Books that I have had my eye on and on my wishlist for some time now. I was so thrilled to have met her and for the wonderful gift. Leon and I have already read 3 of them straight through.

From there we walked home stopping at 6 (count ’em, six) other garage sales. Leon was happy to have picked up a board game and was eager to play it. I was eager to find my bed, it wasn’t just calling my name it was screaming for me. And that walk really did me in, I could barely move at this point. Poor Ron was busy taking care of the house when I begged him to let me lay down for an hour. Of course not only did my knight in shining armor agree but he just let me keep sleeping while he juggled laundry, dishes, tiding the house, dismantling Leons bed so as to remove the attached desk right under his window and Leon. No wonder he is exhausted this morning. It’s about 11am should I wake him yet?

Nah I’ll let my Prince Charming sleep. incredibledadhusband

My Pocketful of Sunshine! (slideshow)

Pictures from my life:

 


On turning 40…..

This has been A GOOD month, a fun month. So much has gone on, I have so much to tell,

Firstly…

              NOW…

this-many

Funny huh? I can't take full credit though, I got the idea from a T-shirt, although that IS my real hand - LOL

 

 

 Besides turning 40, my niece turned 1. We had a wonderful Ladybug party for the little Love Bug here at my house.

I got my new computer! WoooHooo! Now I can make this site into more of a photoblog.

I got even more addicted to Facebook and passing “Notes”

I traded in the opportunity to get a new camera for my Big 4-0  for a weekend trip to Disney World on my birthday with my husband and son (sooo worth it – but still working on the camera).

Leon came back from our trip with the flu (we think) and had to miss 3 days of school (Ugh!!! I’ll be in the principle’s office soon enough.)

The monthended with me throwing myself a Narcissist’s 40th Birthday Party which was great fun! (Hey, I deserve to be Queen for a Day – or in this case a week or two or three) And the celebrations just keeps continuing.

 

I promise, I will go into our fantabulous trip to Disney in detail (and include our tale of woe which covers Leon getting sick) very soon!!! But right now I want to talk about my birthday. It is all about me after all!!!!

I have to say that this has been my bestest birthday ever!!! It even beat out my 25th Birthday which was up until now my bestest birthday ever. Ironically I celebrated that one for about two or three weeks too. My actual DOB falls on 2/21  but I would say I started celebrating it this year on 2/18 when my dear dear husband told me that I could go ahead and book Disney for the weekend if I wanted to use my birthday money towards that rather than towards a new camera. It was a hard decision given that I really, really NEED a new camera and I really, really wanted to go to Disney for my birthday, in the end I realized that I could have my cake and take a picture of it too, but I would just have to wait a bit longer for it to develop 😀 . Plus I am an immediate gratification type of girl (there’s that dang ADHD again). So we went to Disney from 2/20 to 2/22

Without going into too much detail about our trip now, I’ll just say it was nice to plan a trip to Disney that revolved completely around me, me, me! Of course I did consider Ron and Leon in my plans… but still even in doing that it was still about me, after all whatever makes my little one’s heart fill withjoy also fills my heart with joy. The planning fell into place and despite a few bumps while we were in Disney, I could not help but smile and think this is the bestest birthday ever the whole time we were there! And both Leon and Ron did everything in their power to make all three days ALL ABOUT ME (even when my poor little guy got so sick). I believed the hype so much that I even bought myself a little tiara in Disney to wear to my Pajama Party that I had invited the girlfriends who mean the most to me to. I even got caught up in the hype about the pajama party – I think it was at that point, when I bought the tiara that it became a Narcissist’s Birthday Party. Granted I was the one who hyped it in the first place but my friends certainly did help build the hype. As I stated in my previous post, my birthday wish not only included going to Disney World on my birthday but also to spend it with a small gathering of close friends, eating, drinking, and laughing the night away without spending a ton of cash.

My initial intentions of having a just a small get t0gether of 4 or 5 friends grew to about 11 or 12  friends. I realized that I wanted a fun ladies night in with the people who I feel a close or growing friendship with. Woman who have touched my life in a positive way at one point or another. I don’t neccesarily consider myself to have a lot of friends.  It can take a while for me to consider someone truly my friend. What can I say I don’t fall into friendship lightly – plus I kinda think that sometimes I just don’t generally like people 😉 – so for me to consider someone a friend they must be truly a genuine person. So while I may not have many friends, the friends I do have, fill my life with love and laughter and a genuine feeling of friendship and family. I could not think of any better way to celebrate ME and my 40th than with people who help make me who I am.

My close girlfriends are made up from different parts of my life and have all influenced me and become a part of me. I have known my closest and best friend for well over 25 years, we are so close that not only is she my best friend but we have become sisters by choice, she is my family. The only friend that I have known longer and felt just as close to as we’ve grown up together, is my actual sister by birth, whom I feel so close to, that she is not only my sister but also my best friend.  Another long time friendship is with someone I met when I started working for the airlines 20 years ago. We’ve worked together, traveled together, SCUBA dived together, and shared lots of laughs. We get together once a week to play games or watch movies. Then there are “my mommy friends”, a great group of  5 gal pals that came together from different but nearby towns and grew in friendship,  first by way of a mom’s yahoo group and then through the local Mother’s Center, because we all had the same thing in common, we were all first time moms looking to share our experienceswith other women who were going through the same things we ourselves were. We’ve all grown togetheras moms and as women over the last 3 to 4 years. And more recently I’ve been bonding with two women who started out as my neighbors and I am pleased to say have become good friends. I look forward to our friendship continuing to grow as we bond at the school bus stop over stories about one of our nutty neighbors, the PTA, how much the principle rubs us the wrong way, and on occasion a margarita or sangria (not at the bus stop of course). We are The Real Housewives of Blankity-blank Avenue & Blank-blank Dr :P.   …seriously you didn’t think I would give out my real street names. We watch out for each other’s kids and have get togethers for them and for us. And last but not least is someone whose company I have always enjoyed when our husband’s got togetherand we tagged along. I’ve always felt from the start that she is a genuine person and would make for a wonderful friend. Most recently she has come to my rescue more than once when the gremlins would attack. And for that, along with her friendship I am truly grateful. These are the woman who I invited to my Pajama Party on 2/28

My request of each of them was,  NO GIFTS!!!! Just indulge me in the whole Potluck – Pajama – Game Night– Party thing, by bringing a yummy appetizer, wearing pajamas, and be willing to play games. I was sad to see that not everyone could come in the end. The fact that my PMS hit that same day didn’t help when I started counting up all the cancellations. Let’s just say I was a little irrational and there were some hormonal tears and some mutterings about “nobody loves me, no one wants to come to my party” 😥 . But then people started showing up and I got over it. Besides those who could not make it all had very good reasons. I missed them and they missed a good party but I am sure we will make up for it.

We had a BLAST!!! The food was great. We had bacon wrapped scallops, stuffed mushrooms, brie & raspberry wrapped in filo, hummus, bruchetta, potato skins, shrimp and asparagus salad, taco dip, spinach dip and chips, brownies, and let’s not forget the CHOCOLATE FONDUE. Do you know how good Peeps are in fondue????? And then of course there was the Verdi (which I will have to admit I started early) and the Sangria!!!!(which became my drink of choice), regretfully I never did get to have a White Russian. Everyone came in their jamies and I of course wore my tiara with my favorite candy stripe PJ’s.

Me in my candy striped PJ's with Leon

Me in my candy striped PJ's with Leon

We played a game that I had put together called “You’re how old?”. Basically I printed out about 30 pictures of famous celebrities and everyone had to try to figure out if the person was older or younger than me. We also played “The Game of Things”, my new favorite game (although, apparently not everyone elses 🙄 ). I had another game that we were going to play called “How well do you know the Birthday Girl” It was a question and answer game about ME,of course, you know, to fit the Narcissist theme. But I guess I got a bit self-conscious when The Game of Things kinda went south. Don’t get me wrong it was alot of fun and the game did draw a lot of laughs (and snorts – there was lots of snorting!!) but I got the sense that not everyone was into it. I definitely had an awesome time and it definitely added to the fact that this has been my bestest birthday ever.  You know you had a good time when you go to bed giggling out loud to yourself. I am pretty sure everyone else had a pretty good time too. Apparently one of my friends spent the next morning giggling out loud to herself while blow drying her hair. Now that’s a sign of a good time 😆 

I did get gifts after all, although I really, really, did not want anyone to get me anything. The whole point was to have an inexpensive night out. Plus the best gift of all, that any of them could give me is totally free and I already have it from them. That gift is thier friendship! Although I am very thankful for the scanner that a few of the ladies chipped in for, the very nice tart warmer, the wine called “Mommy’s Time Out” (how cute is that!), the gorgeous orchid plant, and the invite for a night out. But I am most thankful for thier friendship.

I celebrated my birthday on the next night too, with my mother and sister. We went to a wonderful Hibachi restaurant called Wasabi. It was fantastic! Luckily the fact that I was starting to get sick did not get in the way of me enjoying the food or the company. Ron and Leon came too, of course and it was fun to watch Leon watching the chef do his thing. We had a really good time. Our family has had it’s ups and downs over the years but in my “old age” I have come to really appreciate them. My mom has been through so much in her life time and has sacrificed so much for my sister and I, I am very lucky to have her – despite our differences. And my sister, well I think we are coming full circle. We’ve always been there for one another and always will be. 

Next Sunday will be the last of my 40th birthday celebrations. We will be going to Ron’s parents house for a fun day of games and a birthday dinner. I look forward to going, we always have fun when his family gets together. I am very blessed to be a part of their family.

In the weeks leading up to my birthday I’ve done a lot of thinking about turning 40. I think everyone does when there is a milestone to celebrate (or for some people, mourn) . There seems to be this fear of turning forty that a lot of people have. I didn’t have that. I thought a lot about my life and where I am, and I am happy just being me. Granted I am not exactly where I thought I wanted to be but I am in a good place. I don’t own my house but I do have a great home, I don’t have 2 or 3 kids but I do have one very amazing son, I don’t have a high paying job that affords us a life of luxury but I do work from home making just enough to help keep up with the bills and still afford a few small extras. I like myself and I like where I am. I couldn’t always say that. I can honestly say that I am much happier now than I was 20 years ago. I have a home and a wonderful family and terrific friends! It’s good to be FORTY! It’s good to be me!

For me, turning forty has been a celebration of me!

What a week!!!!

I hope everyone had a nice Valentine’s weekend. I sure did. On Friday Leon fell and hurt his hand. When I asked to look at it he said no I had to wait till Valentine’s Day. When I asked why he “said well I’ll tell you but I can’t show you yet, it’s in the shape of a heart so you can only see it on Valentine”s Day”. I love my little man!!

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Valentine’s Day was very nice! I got some very nice cards from Ron and Leon. I gave Ron his gift with a note attached that said “Now we both have a nice set of cans” …I gave him two garbage cans. LOL.  The best part of the day was finally getting a new computer. A friend of ours “built” one for me. I think I am a little scared of it. I’ve got to learn how to navigate Vista and Open Office now. They are both new to me. I’ve got to say I really like Vista’s Windows Photo Gallery. I can’t wait to play with my pictures. And now I can truly make this a photo blog!!

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Sunday was a nice day too. I planned and hosted a 1st birthday party for my niece. I love planning parties, especially theme parties. My sister and I decided on a ladybug theme. We toyed with a few other ideas, but then we found the perfect ladybug dress and the decision was made.

 

 

 

The party was a success and lots of fun to plan. We used red, black, and green streamers and balloons to decorate my house. I also used red and black paper plates and black pipe cleaners with some scissors and glue to make  cute Ladybug decorations. Ladybug decoration made from 1 black and 1 red plate

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I bought some sun catchers for Leon to paint so that he could be a part of the planning.
 
 
 
This is the no sew tutu I made for Kiera and the super cute Ladybug hair clip I found at www.itsy.com.
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We found some cute ladybug soaps from http://www.bigdotofhappiness.com/ and my sister made cute chocolate lollipops to give out as favors. The kiddies got a separate bag of goodies too.
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We also put the chocolate ladybugs on the cake we ordered from BJ’s and set the table with a red tablecloth topped with black dots.
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The party was fun …

  …for more pictures of the party check out my photo website http://jillo.smugmug.com/gallery/7394040_dhHTR#476300226_ZXLLu

Speaking of Birthdays, mine is coming up!
I will be the BIG 4-0 this coming Saturday. Woo hoo!
I had originally planned on celebrating it with the whole family this Saturday and then on the following Saturday I plan on having a small gathering of girlfriends at my house for a Potluck Pajama Party Game Night. It should be fun. I’ve asked my friends to come in pajamas (like I said, I love theme parties)and bring an appetizer to share, I will provide the liquid refreshments and the game. It’s called the Game of Things and it’s great for a ton of laughs. I still have the decorations up from Kiera’s Party so I won’t need to decorate. Some friends (well actually only one) has expressed concern over the fact that I am throwing my own party, but really it’s just how I want to celebrate my birthday. A small gathering of close friends, eating, drinking, and laughing the night away without spending a ton of cash. That’s my birthday wish, actually my birthday wish was to go to Disney World again, but I just did not see that happening, so I planned a night with friends instead. 
Well guess what, I won’t be spending my Birthday this Saturday with the whole family, I’ll be spending it with Mickey Mouse!! That’s right Ron and Leon are taking me to Disney World for my Birthday. I just found out yesterday and we Leave the day after tomorrow at 6am. WOOOOOO HOOOO!!!  So now I’ll have to write up two trip reports. I am very excited to say the least. well, I’ve got to get packing now…
TTFN as my pal Tiger would say.

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