Thursday's Thankful Thirteen

I mentioned on Sunday that I would like to start a weekly post about gratitude. So, here it is: Thursday's Thankful Thirteen. Every (hopefully) Thursday I will post 13 things that I am grateful for either from the week past or in my general life.

I encourage you to do the same. Be sure to let me know if you have decided to join me by leaving a comment and be sure to let others know where you learned about it!

1) I am grateful that our home was not affected (Jessi, is it Affected or Effected?) by the tornado that hit our town.

2) I am grateful for "Nana Sue" (Dad's wife) and that she is always willing to accompany me to the movies with the boys. That way Z is able to enjoy the movie while I chase A around the theater.

3) I am grateful for amazing friends that reply to my INSANE text messages late at night telling me that I am a good mother and trying to help me get my kids bed by offering to discipline them for me over the phone.

4) I am grateful that my children are healthy, that we have not had to make any serious trips to the ER since February and that A's MRI came back a BIG FAT NEGATIVE!!

5) I am grateful that I have a thriving business no matter how exhausted I am at the end of the week...because come October when all my summer clients leave I will need to remember this. I am also grateful that I DO NOT BELIEVE in "The Secret" or else I would think that I caused my client to no show on me today.

6) I am grateful that idiots like Michael Savage exist in this world to help raise Autism Awareness.

7) I am grateful for Rec and School. Without the two programs I would not have survived this summer...and we still have over a month left.

8) I am grateful that I was able to spend an evening with my great friend Caryn (without children), enjoy some good food, some great drinks and so wonderful conversation!

9) I am grateful for Peggy. She has helped Zach and me through many tough times and has listened to me for the past three weeks when she didn't have to.

10) I am grateful for C, our babysitter. She is great with the kids, ever available and doesn't charge me too much! And (she doesn't know it yet) but she is going to watch my girlfriend's baby so she can get a massage next week from yours truly.

11) I am grateful that none of us got sick even though the beach we spent Tuesday at was closed on Wednesday for high bacteria levels...even here in Crazy Town you SHOULD NOT drink the water!!

12) I am grateful that Z told me that my old phone I gave him was still receiving my texts (how I do not know because there is no SIM card in it and the phone was deactivated back in November). And I am grateful that the texts I was worried about him seeing were not on there...it seems to pick and choose which ones it receives (there were a few that Insane Mama would be proud of.

13) I am grateful for the blogosphere. Again, sounds silly, but no matter what I post about I get so many great responses. It always amazes me that people from around the globe (I have had visitors from Brazil, The Middle East, Europe, China, Turkey, Columbia, Italy, Greece, Australia, Iceland, Canada, Hungary and, of course, USA) are so supportive of everything you do.

So there it is. My first Thursday's Thankful Thirteen.

What are you grateful for?


Yesterday's Post

What an overwhelming response to yesterday's post! While I want to respond to each one of you individually, there is so much to say...I think it would be done better in blog form.

Molly, you are absolutely right. I am not sure if there is an epidemic or if autism is just being recognized better and easier. A would not have been diagnosed 10 years ago with autism because his "symptoms" are so much less severe. They have also opened the umbrella (so to speak) and the range of pervasive developmental disorders is so broad that many children fit on the spectrum that wouldn't have when you and I were growing up.

Thank you for your thoughts and your kind words. Yes, it is hard, but I also know that I am never given anything more than I can handle.

I can't comment on vaccines or toxins or environmental causes because I just don't know. I believe that they have something to do with this...but when it all comes down to it: TODAY I DON'T CARE! That may sound harsh and I don't intend for it to. Today, what "caused" this does not matter to me. Today, I need to concentrate on how to make it better and how to help my son be the best that he can be. Someday, the causes may become part of my world...maybe when A wants to have children...I don't know. Today, I can't focus on that because it does nothing to help what I deal with on a daily basis.

Sometimes Sophia and Feliz, thank you both for your kind words and your prayers. I am part of an AMAZING group of women who want nothing more than to help change the world for our kids. If you have a moment please check out Embracing Autism. This is the way that I can be active in advocating for my son and children like him.

Wheres My Angels, I think that of all people in this world, you probably understand this more than most. You are right, Mr. Savage has, obviously, not been touched. I think that from the moment he said those words he opened up the doors to become touched by autism. I only hope that he has learned something...

"The Queen", thank you for teaching your children compassion. My son (and others like him) need nothing more than that. A needs kids that are willing to play with him, understand that he is "different" and accept him for who he is. It is so important that children are raised to be caring, compassionate human beings. You do that! Thank you!

My 2 Boyz, I thank you for not feeling pity, because, honestly, I am SO blessed! I'll take a cyber hug any day you want to give one :)

Trish, you are probably right. What was said (and then interpreted by the rest of us) by Mr. Savage was probably not his intended meaning. Had I heard the whole segment I may feel very differently. And let's face it, these men (Rush, Howard Stern, etc) are put on the air for a reason. These are the types of things that people want to hear from them. I do not believe he should be fired. And, as I mentioned in the end of my blog, while the remarks were ignorant and insensitive, he has educated so many people with what he said...I will take that.

Swirl Girl, there are more days that I want to "chuck it all" than you can imagine!! I am SO blessed to have amazing family and friends in my life that are supportive of us. I am also MORE THAN BLESSED to have a school system that works wonders with my child. Special Ed teachers, OT teachers, Speech Paths, One on One Paraprofessionals...THEY ARE MY SAVIORS! I COULD NOT do this on my own!!

Dawn, I am trying so hard to believe that what Mr. Savage said is going to bring so much education to so many people's eyes. But you are right, those who speak about issues they have no education on....oh man, they frustrate me more than you can imagine!

And last, but CERTAINLY not least, Nicki, you are my rock. I can do this because you do it. Together we will piss and moan and love and feel guilty and work harder and harder every day to make sure that our children are amazing young men who make amazing fathers and husbands. We rule :)

I thank you all for your support. One of the things about this blogoshpere that never ceases to amaze me is how people from across the globe will show up in droves to tell you how wonderful you are! Thank you for being there, thank you for not pitying me, thank you for sharing your stories! Keep 'em coming!


Dear Michael Savage: Come live my life!

About two weeks ago radio talk show host Michael Savage made some insensitive, ignorant remarks regarding autism. Honestly, I had enough going on in my life at the time and decided to ignore it. I've got enough stress, I don't need to add more, knowing that the rest of the autistic community is going to voice their outrage.

However, a few nights ago I couldn't sleep. I was up at 2am watching stupid television...Entertainment Tonight or The Insider or whatever - it was one of those stupid tabloid shows. Whichever show it was aired a clip on Savage's remarks which I quote:

Now, the illness du jour is autism. You know what autism is? I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is.... What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, 'Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot.' Autism—everybody has an illness. If I behaved like a fool, my father called me a fool. And he said to me, 'Don't behave like a fool.' The worst thing he said—'Don't behave like a fool. Don't be anybody's dummy. Don't sound like an idiot. Don't act like a girl. Don't cry.' That's what I was raised with. That's what you should raise your children with. Stop with the sensitivity training. You're turning your son into a girl, and you're turning your nation into a nation of losers and beaten men.

I have to say, Michael Savage, come live my life.

I am not going to talk about all the research that goes into autism (which is not nearly enough for the epidemic that it has become - 1 in 150 children), I am not going to talk about the YEARS it took to get A diagnosed (he was 5 before anyone aside from his pediatrician took us seriously), I am not going to SCREAM about the services we started receiving when A was 9 months old to "reverse" what autism has caused (intense weekly therapy to make him talk and look you in the eye and increase his motor skills)...I won't share that because NONE of that describes what we live with every day. None of that talks about what we, parents of children with autism, deal with on a daily basis.

As I write this I have gotten A out of the refrigerator 4 times. I have watched him eat 4 yogurts today. This is not because the child is hungry, it is not because he has Prader-Willi Syndrome (I know, we have had him tested) it is because he has an obsession with food. He finds something he likes and he can't stop eating it - all or nothing.

I have taken him to the beach, pulled him away from another boy's toys kicking and screaming, watched him knock over a mother and her child (that we do not know) trying to "say hello" while giving them a hug in the water and heard him talk incessantly about "Scout" the two year old that was kind to him and he has adopted as his new "best friend".

I have fed him every meal and watched him pick and choose what he ate while going back to the fridge for something I didn't put on his plate. He will eat anything and everything ON HIS TERMS.

I have pulled him off the counters 3 times, once off the fridge because he wanted something on top of the fridge or to flood the counter with the sprayer hose on the sink or to get something out of the freezer.

I have watched him hit his brother in the head with a toy for no apparent reason. Z has taken more abuse than any child should at the hands of his little brother.

I have listened to his shriek at a level only dogs should be able to hear because Z looked at him. The neighbors moved out a few months ago...there were numerous noise complaints.

I have changed his diaper 5 times, his swimmer once and gotten him dressed twice. His motor skills (and attention span) do not allow him to get dressed on his own and he is not potty trained (although yesterday we made it 5 hours in underwear).

And I have disciplined. I have put him in the corner, I have taken toys away, I have made him sit on the picnic table at the beach, I have threatened, I have yelled and I will be honest, in the past, I have tried spanking (and stopped because it doesn't work)...

This is my day...just today.

Tonight will be no different. You see, A does not sleep. He wakes anywhere from one to a dozen times each night with more energy than that stupid energizer bunny. I cannot remember the last full night of sleep I have gotten (in fact, 3 years ago I was in a major car accident in the middle of the day because I fell asleep at the wheel).

And there is rarely a break. While my family loves my children, I rarely EVER leave them with anyone. I am terrified of the havoc that ensues...and A gets terrified that I will"never come back". And, let's face it, nobody can watch my kids as well as I can...need I remind you of what happened in October?

I need to make VERY clear that I am one of the fortunate ones. There are many things that A does that children with "more severe" cases of autism do not.

My child speaks and he speaks clearly. He tells you how he is feeling, why he is feeling that way, when he will stop feeling that way...he talks like there is no tomorrow. Matter of fact, he doesn't stop talking. He even talks in his sleep. Whether or not what A is talking about makes any sense or has anything to do with what you are talking about is a very different story.

My child reads. He reads at a level that no kindergartner should read at. He reads everything and anything. He reads street signs while we are driving, emails over my shoulder, my blogs and ANYTHING else he can see.

My child is VERY social. Honestly, a bit too social. He could be taken in a moments notice. He would walk away with anyone. But that is because he loves people. He wants everyone to love him. But he has NO idea how to be a friend. Adults love him to pieces, children are annoyed by him or scared.

My child has no fear unless it is extreme fear. It is all or nothing, black and white. There is no gray area. He has no idea of what safety is. He will run out into the street but be terrified of getting run over. He will walk out into the water over his head but is terrified I am going to dunk him. He has an obsession with all emergency personnel and their gear (trucks, cars, stethoscopes, etc) but is terrified he is going to be arrested.

He has no boundaries. He does not know how to take two steps back when he is talking with someone. He hugs everyone. He forgets that someone might not like to be touched. He doesn't understand that the neighbor does not want him in his home. He forgets that his private parts are his and nobody else wants to see them or hear about them.

My day consists of being on high alert - all the time. There is no rest. I must be sure that I have his hand if we are anywhere near the road. I must be sure that I get him out of the fridge every time he runs for it or he will eat the raw hamburger sitting in there to defrost. I must be sure to stop him from tackling other people, "stealing" their toys or eating their food. I must avoid all dirty looks I get in the grocery store/post office/restaurant/playground because people want me to just discipline the naughty kid who screams when I say no or runs behind the counter or screams "FU@&ER" at the top of his lungs...

And you may wonder why he doesn't keep himself occupied. Me too...he has a room full of toys, trains and planes and books and stuffed animals and everything in between. He may play with one toy for 15 minutes - and he will play the same thing over and over and over,drive the same truck on the same path, bang the same two cars against each other... But he is not interested in really playing with his toys. He will not play with another person. Again, he is black and white and he either plays his way or no way and more often than not - it is no way.

And through all this, I see an angel. He wants nothing more than to be a good boy that everyone loves. He tells me on a daily basis how much he loves me and that I am the "best mother ever". If you gave me a pill to "fix" him I am not sure I would give it to him...because then I might lose the child that I love so very much.

Having said all that, Mr. Savage, please, come and take a day. I swear, if your discipline works, I will NEVER AGAIN mention the word autism. I will never believe a single person that says their child has autism.

Honestly, I could use a few hours to grocery shop without a child that eats/opens/throws everything I put in the cart. I would love to use a public restroom without a child that opens the door while I am sitting on the toilet - pants around my ankles. I would love to go to a movie where I could actually sit down and enjoy it rather than walk in and out 5+ times with a child who can't sit still. And I am sure that Z would love to have a day alone with his mommy.

And, in the end, I will become your biggest fan. And I know that I can say that and ask that of you, without any fear of my child being changed, because it doesn't work.

Lastly, I want to thank you. I want to thank you for making those statements. I want to remind you that no press is bad press. Your insensitive, ignorant remarks have caused enough of an uproar in the autistic community that idiots like you have now been educated. You have affected more people then you can imagine...thank you for helping to change to world for my son.


Beautiful weekend

After about two weeks of rain, wind, tornadoes, lightning and thunder we FINALLY had a sunny day on Saturday. I was incredibly grateful because the boys and I were heading to a BBQ and if it rained it would be indoors - not a good idea with A.

So this is where we spent our Saturday:


And I promise you, the pictures do not do it justice!


The boys had a great time:



And A only gave me one really good scare. He refused to go in the water so instead he and I sat on the dock while Z swam. In a second he took off...flying down the dock with no intention of stopping. I just KNEW he was going to run right over the edge and I was going to have to dive in after him...but he didn't. He stopped at a couple that were enjoying the sun to show them his firetruck. Ugh!


There was a great swing set that the kids enjoyed most of the afternoon. It was, however, directly under the trees and had accumulated a number of spider webs. Both my boys are terrified of spiders. Z tried to clean it up to the best of his ability with a stick but every once in a while A would let out a shriek because one got too close to him.





I did learn that as long as I am alone with my children I will never again have the opportunity to carry on a conversation. I left at least three conversations right in the middle to chase A down. I swear that he knows when my attention is not completely on him and he takes full advantage of it.

The people who say that autistic kids are dumb and don't have the ability to learn - well, the never met my kid (or the other autistic kids that I know). He is too stinking smart for his own good (and mine for that matter).

So, unfortunately, I was not able to enjoy my fellow auction volunteers as much as I would like but we did have a great time.

Sunday we took off for the movies. When I checked the weather report on Saturday it said rain all day for Sunday. I figured it was a great time to spend the day indoors.

When we woke up it was sunny. When we got to the movie theater it was sunny. All during the movie it was sunny. Driving home from the movies to Grampie's was sunny. On the way home from Grampie and Nana Sue's the skies opened up. In fact, it was kind of a scary ride - downpours, lightning, hydroplaning...but we made it.

Nana Sue came with us to the movies. Another thing I have learned is that A and movie theaters do not mix. He has every intention of sitting still and he really wants to see the movie but an hour and a half is way too long.

Consequently, I do not bring Z and A to the movies by myself. It would mean leaving Z in there alone every time A decides it is too much for him or taking Z out...which isn't fair.

Thankfully, Nana Sue is an amazing grandmother and loves spending time with the boys. I also think that she enjoys those kids movies as much as they do. Anytime I am thinking that the movies are a good idea I give her a call.

So the four of us headed out to see Kung Fu Panda.


From what I saw of it (which was maybe half), it was very enjoyable. It was a little more violent then I expected and I was a bit fearful that Z would try and become the panda...but all is well thus far.

Bedtime was eventful for me. Kirby usually puts the kids to bed (mainly A). A does not do well with change and Mommy putting him to bed is change. We spent both nights fighting the hour+ before sleep FINALLY came. I threatened him with violence (not out loud, but in my head), I threatened him with friends (mine, not his, I told him that J would call and be very angry that he wasn't sleeping), I threatened him with school (although taking school away would be more of a punishment to me than him). Eventually he knocked himself out...or I did from the constant banging of my head against the wall...

It was an eventful weekend. The kids were, mostly, worn out. We had a great time. And, honestly, I am ready for my weekend off!

I NEED This - SITS Contest

You know how your kids (or kids you know) whine..."I NEEEEED IT" about whatever it is that has sparked their interest in the store, or on the TV commercials, or out of the blue. Like: "I NEEEEEED that new Nintendo DS". And you reply (or I reply): "No, you don't need it, you want it, and there is a difference".

This is one of the many reasons that I am thankful for PBS and why I volunteer so much time there (okay, really that is just a great excuse to spend so much time there - I do ABSOLUTELY love it). PBS doesn't have those commercials that trigger the needs or wants.

When I saw this I had one of those I NEEEEED moments. I NEED THAT IPOD! You all know that I have a bit of an obsession with music (and if you don't you can go here, here, here or here). and you all know that I have been looking to find the best songs to put on my MP3 player.

What you may not know is that my MP3 player has been acting up lately. It shuts down whenever it feels like it. The batteries die frequently. And as I mentioned here I tend to look like a junky trying to get her fix when it won't work when I NEED it to.

I have been looking into buying a new MP3 but I can't talk myself into spending the money. I am MORE THAN frugal when it comes to spending money on myself. When it comes to the kids or my business I tend not to worry as much but when it comes to me I rationalize every reason and talk myself out of it.

Have I made it clear enough? I NEED THAT IPOD!

So here's what I need from YOU:

1) If you are not already a member of SITS go here and leave a comment. (The great thing about SITS is you find wonderful blogs to read and, if you are interested, often times it increases your readers and your comments).

2) Make sure you mention "CRAZY MOMMA" sent you in your comment.

3) Put this little label on your blog:

4) Go read some blogs!

Again, I NEED THIS IPOD! So make it happen :)


Sunday repost: Grateful for 2007

This post was written in the beginning of 2008. I need some reminders of what I am grateful for...I'm thinking that I will start a regular post one day a week with a gratitude list.

Thinking about another year passed...many wonderful things happened in 2007 and I want to have a memory of them:

-Andrew "graduated" preschool and started kindergarten in a "typical" classroom.

-We FINALLY got an OFFICIAL PDD-NOS diagnosis for Andrew.

-Zachary played baseball and Kirby and I were able to help coach the team.

-Zach's team also won all but one game.

-We moved!!!!

-We LOVE Andrew's aide and his teacher.

-Zachary's teacher is a PERFECT match for him - she totally gets him - we are SO blessed to have her.

-Tommy took driver's ed.

-My sister and her husband have "passed" all their adoption paperwork/background checks and we are officially awaiting the arrival of a baby!

-Alex got engaged to Andrea - man, we have been waiting!

-We spent some great time with James (my "big brother" from NYC) and his family over the summer.

-Zachary raised over $200 for children's cancer research with his lemonade stand over the summer.

-Zachary, Josiah, Leana and I raised over $800 for breast cancer research.

-We have made it through an entire year without a single SERIOUS sick visit for either of the boys - and no hospital stays or surgeries!!

-We spent a great long weekend up at the family camp.

-Kirby and I met and shook hands with a presidential candidate.

-Zachary was able to meet and shake hands with a presidential candidate.

-We made it through a full year without Kirby having to go to the ER :)

-My business is thriving and I survived my first year!

-Although my father's wife, Sue, was diagnosed with breast cancer, it was found early and her chances of beating it are VERY high (we appreciated any prayers for her surgery on January 9th).

-I reconnected with old friends from high school.

-My grandfather celebrated his 80th birthday and is still in, relatively, good health.

-We have a WONDERFUL neighbor whom we will miss horribly when she moves in March!

-Allyson had a healthy baby girl.

-I have WONDERFUL, AMAZING friends, especially Nicki, who took our "mutt" when we moved to a "no dogs allowed" place. We were all so relieved to know he was going to a good home.

-Andrew has made some amazing friends around town from Dunkin Donuts to the bank to the post office and everywhere in between. We have met some truly wonderful and understanding people who love my little man.

-Kirby and I got to see Oprah!!

-I have made some great new friends.

-I have gotten involved in a political campaign and I am having a great time with it!

While I am sure there are a million more things, this is what I am able to come up with right now. I may continue adding to this as the week goes on.

It is bittersweet to see another year end. I heard some young women (VERY early 20s) talking about how time flies recently. I told them that until they have children, they have NO idea how fast time flies...it is bittersweet to watch them grow and to know that, soon enough, they will not want me around anymore. Soon enough, they will be having children of their own. Soon enough, I won't have anyone waking me in the middle of the night to say I love you. Bittersweet....


Busy weekend

Just a quick note, nothing impressive.

We have an incredibly busy weekend! This afternoon the boys and I are going to a BBQ for the NHPTV Auction volunteers. The BBQ is right on Lake Winnipesaukee in a BEAUTIFUL location. I love these people and don't get to spend nearly enough time with them.

I am thinking that we might head to the drive in tonight...not sure if I have the energy or the strength to do that...

Of course, if we don't go to the drive in tonight it means that we will go to the movies tomorrow. The bonus of the drive in is that there is no escaping for A...and I won't have to chase him, and if he gets loud the only people his is annoying are Z and I.

It is suppose to rain all day tomorrow (although, we are use to the rain by now...did you all hear about the TORNADO that hit my town?). I think it has rained most everyday for the past two weeks. So, keeping these two young men occupied during a rainy day is never fun...maybe we will hold off on the movies until tomorrow.

What have you mommies seen lately in the theater that you recommend for a 6 and 8 year old (and NO I absolutely WILL NOT take them to see Dark Knight)? We are thinking either Kung Fu Panda or Space Chimps. I would really prefer the panda movie but Z was suppose to go see the chimps on Thursday with Rec and the theater couldn't fit them all so he has his heart set.

I hope you all enjoy a fabulous weekend!

**SHOOT! I just checked the drive in and there is NOTHING playing for the kids...Journey to the Center of the Earth is playing but it is the second show...first is Dark Knight. STINKERS!**


Crack Pots...

My sister Monica sent me the following:

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole, which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. 'I am ashamed of myself, be cause this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.'

The old woman smiled, 'Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?' 'That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.' 'For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.'

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

I have read this before and I do really like it. I wonder, however, if there was a hidden reason for her sending this to me. Now this could just be me taking things so personally right now - I don't doubt that.

I know that my family would like for me to work things out with Kirby and I understand that. They are thinking of the kids. I GET THAT.

My siblings and I were products of divorce. Each of us were effected in different ways. I think that others were more effected than I was.

Honestly, I was relieved it was over. I was sick and tired of the fights. I was tired of protecting my little sister from the arguments (her room was closest to theirs so she would come into my room at the other end of the house so she didn't have to hear them). I was tired of the drama and the tension.

I am not saying that it was easy growing up in a divorced home. And it certainly hasn't been easy as an adult child of divorced parents. It is a constant fight between homes (where's Christmas, Easter, etc). Getting our parents into the same room for a kid's birthday party is ridiculous (one parent handles it better than the other but it is still so childish)...and feeling like you can't talk about the other parent when you are with one because you worry that you will hurt their feelings. It still isn't easy.

Believe me when I say that these reasons and more are why Kirby and I have stayed together this long. I don't EVER want to put my children through this. I don't EVER want them to feel like they have to choose between us (as children or adults).

But I have realized something over these past two weeks. The cracked pot does not give me enough water to be healthy. And I don't believe that it is only the cracked pot's fault...I chose to put up with it for this long (and I taught him how to treat me). But because I have waited this long to do something, I am completely dehydrated. And I don't believe that any other pot (cracked or not) is going to make me healthier. I need to learn to get from the water hole to my home on my own...and keep healthy and nourished while doing it. Maybe I just need a water bottle or a CamelBak. I don't know what the answer is...

One thing I did learn from my parents:

Kids know what is going on. You can fight behind closed doors, you can stop fighting all together. But kids know. Kids feel tension. Kids feel energy.

I don't believe that staying together for the kids is always the right thing to do...and I don't believe it is the right thing for our situation.

Right or wrong...I don't know. I am doing my best to listen to a higher power on this. I have never been known for making the right decisions in my relationships with men...this time I need to turn it over to someone else.


Polls have closed.

And it appears that y'all want a contest! While I have not yet decided what the contest will entail I promise you that I am working on it. I hope to have something up for you next week.

I can assure you that the lurkers will not be able to participate unless they start commenting. I am not sure of all the rules but I know that will be one.

So don't be shy - let me know you are here and tell me what you are thinking!

Stay tuned!

Another day of doctors.

A had another doctor's appointment this week. This one was a little more intense, however. If you remember, this was our February vacation. It was really a "sickation". And the week that Andrew had his most severe seizure.

A few months later we were finally able to get in with a wonderful pediatric neurologist that suggested an MRI. So off we went to Dartmouth for said MRI...

Living here in the boonies, we have gotten use to traveling for anything. This includes doctors (especially specialists). Dartmouth is over 100 miles away or 2.5 hours...

I have also learned that any appointment that has to do with anesthesia should not be done in our local hospital. Since an MRI requires you to be still for 45 minutes to an hour, anesthesia was a necessity for A. Dartmouth has a CHaD Pain Free Clinic with a team of anesthesiologist that specialize in children.

Dartmouth was the place to go. Period.

And besides all that, I get to drive by my very favorite rest area :)

This morning I dropped Z at his rec program for a day of "jello wrestling"....and off A and I went to Dartmouth (remember how last week I wrote about how I will NEVER again take two kids to a doctor's appointment together).

Not ONCE did he scream or kick or cry. Not until we were actually less than 5 minutes from the hospital did he start with the "are we there yets". It was AMAZING!

Kirby did not come with us so I did get a taste of single motherhood, however. We got there a little early and I had to fill out some paperwork. They made us wait in a hall and told A he could climb on the bear statue if he wanted. That lasted all of 2 seconds. Then he was off and running...looking for the playroom...running in and out of offices...ugh!

When they finally got us in he was able to play in a small room with a bunch of toys. He was in heaven. They had a garbage truck and a fire truck and a play mat with a road on it. This was A's territory! He loved it!

When it was time for him to go in they allowed me to be with him when they put him out. He was allowed to choose which "flavor" mask he wanted. Unfortunately he wasn't all that fond of the cherry he chose and he was ESPECIALLY not fond of having it over his face. Soon enough, though, the gas kicked in, he went limp, I kissed him goodbye and off he went.

They gave me a pager, told me that they would page when he got back and sent me on my way. I was told to expect everything to take about an hour so I set the alarm on my phone for 45 minutes. I wanted to be right there when he got out. I didn't want to have to run from the other side of the hospital to get there - or get lost while I was trying to get there.

Less than 20 minutes later the pager went off. I threw the food I had just bought into my bag and ran back to the ward. It ended up just being a dead battery...so I walked back down to the cafe and ate my lunch.

Within 45 minutes I was back on that ward waiting in the hallway - a bit impatiently. I watched them wheel him past me from the MRI room...he was still sleeping (although the nurse was talking with him - so sweet). 15 minutes later nothing - no page - but I couldn't hear him crying so I knew he must still be sleeping.

30 minutes later I finally got paged and the nurse informed me he was still sleeping and I could wander a bit more if I wanted. I informed her that I had been waiting in the hallway the whole time and there was no way I was going anywhere (this is not A's first time experiencing anesthesia - he has had 4 surgeries - but I am not the kind of mom that leaves her kid while they are in the hospital - asleep or not).

An hour after the page I was wishing I had gone for a walk. He was still sleeping...the nurses were getting frustrated because he was their last patient of the day and they couldn't leave until he did. And they kept trying to make small talk and kept asking why I didn't just call my "husband" rather than text him (I didn't feel like explaining to them that Kirby and I are barely on speaking terms and that texting was the only way I could "speak" to him without the voice of the devil coming out of me).

He was so stinking pitiful...you should have seen the drool!

90 minutes after the page we forcefully woke A. Sat him up, shook him a bit, gave him his new toy (an Oscar the Grouch puppet I got in the gift shop), took out his IV (that they put in AFTER he is asleep so he never gets stuck with a needle) and "sobered" him up a bit. 10 minutes later we were on our way (after I figured out how to get him and all his stuff down to the car by myself...he couldn't walk, I couldn't carry him and all the stuff and the nurses weren't much help).

He was a bit groggy on the way home and didn't really say much (although he was awake the whole time). Again, no screaming or yelling (from him OR me). He started to get antsy about 20 minutes from the house but other than that it was a PERFECT 2.5 hours.

A day this perfect has solidified my decision. No more than one kid at the doctor's office at a time.

I have also been convinced that mommies can handle ANYTHING! This was not an easy day. Honestly, it would have been so nice to have someone else there to help me keep him occupied, someone to hold my hand while I was waiting, someone to cry to when I got nervous...but I did it by myself.

I didn't get lost, I found my way to more than one place to pee on the way to and from the hospital. I found Dunkin's in towns that I had never been to. I made my way through an enormous hospital without getting too lost. And I didn't kill the car.

I also was able to drive down I89 at 70+ mph, while wiping A's dirty hands in the backseat and not miss a beat! Mommies can multitask single or not.


Not yet 30...

Don't forget to vote in my poll - it ends today!

I'm not even 30. I have a few months left. You don't all have to comment what a baby I am, I know and I love it!

30 doesn't scare me. Honestly, I have lived a life that most 50 year old women couldn't dream of. I have helped raise 2 (now adult) step children, I gave birth two young men (6 and 8), one child that is on the autism spectrum, I own my own business...my life is full. I feel that I have accomplished a lot for "not yet 30".

But can someone explain to me why I already have so many things that a 90 year old would have? My hair is already going gray and has to be colored every 7 weeks, my breasts sag to my knees (leaving the house without a bra is NOT an option), my heels need to be constantly exfoliated or they crack...and the worst? You can't even imagine...


I have had this issue for a few years now. It has progressively gotten worse. I swear it grows faster and faster every time I pluck it.

Every time I see it I am instantly reminded of my great grandmother. She died at 92, one of the most amazing women I ever knew, she raised 12 children, had more grandchildren and great grandchildren that I can count (in fact, at family reunions with just the immediate family we all have to wear name tags that often say "Erica, daughter of Richard" or something of the like).

So this AMAZING woman had hairs growing out of her chin. Not just one (like I am blessed to have) but a pre-puberty beard. Of course, at 92, who is it that you are trying to impress? So there they sat, on her chin, a good inch+ long...

For me, one is bad enough. Sometimes I don't catch it before it has gotten longer than I would like. Sometimes I realize it has grown back in after someone has pointed out to me (typically Kirby or my wonderful children). And then I wonder...how many people have seen this mole hair and not pointed it out to me?

So once again I will go pluck this most annoying hair. I would consider electrolysis but is it really worth it for one hair? Maybe when I get a chin full like Great Grammie I will think about it. Then again, maybe by the time I have a chin full I won't care anymore...


Critters Hide When They Hear My Name

Fellow blogger Heather from Mindless Junque recently posted about a "Big A$$ Rat" and it reminded me of a couple funny stories in the critter department.

I am a girl (do you doubt me cause I CAN prove it). While I can be "tough" in many ways, rodents and critters in my home do not help me show my toughness...Outside of the home I am fine. Field mice are cute, bats eat "bad bugs", raccoons are funny...IN my house?! Not okay!

Living in the boonies we have had our fair share of critter encounters. Those that think I am soooo strong will realize quickly how wrong they were:

When Z was a baby a bat got into our house late one night. Not only was it in the house but it was in the bedroom - my bedroom, the one I shared with Z and Kirby.

Kirby couldn't catch the stinking thing and it kept swooping down towards me and towards the baby...I was FREAKING out! At one point in time it got UNDER the bed and climbed up into the headboard. Kirby yanked the mattress off to try and find him but those little suckers are sneaky!

After about 10 minutes of freaking out, trying to protect my baby and trying to help Kirby I finally gave up. I grabbed Z and ran into the bathroom closing the door tightly behind me.

Kirby found me on the floor, clutching Z, rocking back and forth, crying "I want my Daddy"...I have never lived it down.

A few years later Kirby was away on a business trip in New Jersey. I was home alone with the kids. In the middle of the night (or VERY early morning, try 2am) I woke up to use the bathroom. What I find was one of the most horrifying things EVER: a mouse.

I didn't know what to do so I grabbed the cat, threw him in the bathroom and closed the door. Then I called Kirby....in New Jersey...to rescue me...

A VERY groggy K (AVGK): "humph...hello"


AVGK: "Where?"


AVGK: "well, what do you want me to do about it? there is nothing I can do from here"


AVGK: "I'm in New Jersey, it is 2 in the morning...I can't help you...I'm sorry"


I'm pretty sure I hung up on him...At the time it all seemed incredibly rational.

A few hours later, after the noise of the cat scurrying around the bathroom stopped, I grabbed the dustpan, some paper towels and some cleaner and made my way in the clean up the bloody mess. However, there was no mess to be found. Either that cat ate the entire mouse or....well...I didn't even want to think about what else could have happened...

But a couple years ago I found that mouse (or his cousin, brother, sister, whatever) in the bathroom again. Again, I called Kirby who was at work and he was all "jesus, there is nothing I can do, I'm an hour away"...so I was, again, left to my own devices (and hang up on him...see how rational I am when I am scared?).

I trapped him in a cup...but then I didn't know what to do and when I tried to move it he got loose. I screamed - I am lucky the neighbors didn't call the cops...I screamed bloody freaking murder!

I knew I couldn't leave him for the cat - that stupid cat had proven to me what a big defender he was last time there was a mouse in the bathroom.

He climbed up behind my linen "closet" and hung on for dear life between the rack and the wall...I had no other choice, lives were at stake (lives that I consider MUCH more important than this little rodents)...I grabbed a cat dish, opened up the doors to the linen "closet" and slammed the dish against the spot where the mouse was...and I screamed, the whole time.

Then there was bloody freaking murder. I held the murder weapon in my hand..an empty cat dish. And I was left to clean up the remains. The autopsy revealed blunt force trauma...what a way to go...I bet he didn't even know what hit him...

Now you all know the truth. There is blood on my hands...I feel so relieved that I have finally admitted it to the world.


Blogging for Life...

Due to the changes that will soon be taking place (see my recent post Small Town. Big Talk) I am in the need of making some extra money. And since we have already decided that wet t-shirt contests are not the way to go (see THIS post), I am considering finding ways to learn some new skills, expand my blog, and start to market it.

Of course, I will have to make some changes on the blog front (spiff it up) and visit LOTS more blogs to not only spread my name but to learn about what makes their blog so popular.

I don't expect that I will ever be able to quit my job and make blogging my full time career (like Dooce - see my bloglist). I don't even expect that I will make enough to cut out a regular client. But a few extra bucks here and there...I certainly won't turn it down.

So, my faithful readers (and this includes YOU LURKERS - I KNOW you are out there), tell me what you want to see. Tell me what you look for in a good blog. Tell me your favorite blogger (and what makes them your favorite). What annoys you when you visit a blog? Spill it - I want all the juicy, saucy details!

Help a soon to be single mommy out!

AND, did you all notice that I have learned to link??? Thank you, Mama Kat!!

And lastly, check out my poll to the right and take a second to vote!


Weekend Repost: My Destructive One

I think I am going to try and start reposting on Sundays. It tends to be a busy day for me and I don't often have time to write a new post (and know that I don't get half as many blog hits on Sundays as I do on Wednesdays so it almost feels like a lot of effort for not much).

So, this is one of my favorite blogs. It is also one of my most controversial (at least according to the family, you can see their comments here: http://craybickford.blogspot.com/2008/04/my-destrcutive-one.html).

So, enjoy, leave a comment or two and enjoy your Sunday!

I have boys. Two full on boys.

I have to be honest that this is something new to me. Although I grew up with two brothers they were not those kind of boys. I know that you all know those boys that I am talking about. Scared of nothing, dirty all the time (and loving it), skinned knees and, a bit, destructive. Alex and Loren were not like that.

The worst that Loren did (oh man, he is going to kill me) was run around dressed like Mary Poppins with about 5 different umbrellas. Or there was the time he dressed like Peter Pan, complete with a feather in his hat. He was so serious I thought he might try to fly off the roof.

Alex may have been more of a "man's man" but he was still pretty mild. There was the time he hit Loren while bike riding that ended in a trip to the ER (for Loren)...but then there were the million T-ball and Little League games where he spent more time picking flowers (or holding himself) than actually playing the game.

Zachary is definitely a stereotypical boy. He rides his bike hard, he fights with other boys hard and if he had a sister I know that he would pop all the heads off her Barbie dolls for no apparent reason. He goes through stages of "destruction". He likes to take things apart (but hasn't figured out how to fix them), and when he is bored, he breaks things. I have some to realize that these stages are around the same time that the seasons change. The beginning of spring, he has spring fever, things get broken or, in this case, torn.

Last week, while he was suppose to be cleaning his room, he took a pair of scissors to two pairs of pants. The first was a hole in the knee and the second was beyond repair - he cut the legs off (in my defense, I was prepared to turn these into shorts and make him wear them but they, somehow, got thrown away).

He is growing like a weed and has very few jeans that actually fit him anymore. Most of them look like high waters on him now and this was a very nice pair that didn't come halfway up his shins. I am not going to go out and buy him new clothes this time of year, he will just grow out of them by fall and, soon enough, he will be in shorts anyway (besides all that I don't think it sets a good example to buy him something to replace the item that he ruined in the first place). On top of that, I refuse to allow him to wear clothes with holes in them to school. Therefore, these jeans had to be taken care of.

My intention was to put a patch on that didn't look too horrific but just horrific enough that he was a little embarrassed about wearing them to school. Maybe that would teach him a lesson. Well, he is lucky that he, obviously, has a very cool mom that doesn't even know she is cool.

When he came home from school and saw what I was doing he said (with incredible enthusiasm) "I hope you finish them by the morning so I can wear them to school". Grrr.

I own a sewing machine and this tasks probably would have taken 15 minutes with a sewing machine. But just because I own the sewing machine doesn't mean I have a clue how to use it. I tried to get my mother (the quilting instructor) to teach me and even she got irritated with it.

So, two hours, lots of needle stick in my fingers and a sore neck from bending over it all afternoon, this was the end result:



The patch says "Laconia Bike Week 2006". It was from a shirt that had been washed and worn so many times that the elastic in the neck was all crunchy. It was one of my favorite shirts (how white trash, huh). But I saved it from being turned into rags for my son - the destructor - and man was he happy. He threw those pants on this morning, sporting my beautiful patch and ran out the door to school (with his Red Sox Spring Jacket).

So much for lesson learned...


Weekend of ME!

Part of the separation agreement was that we each start taking weekends with the kids immediately.

Kirby feels that he doesn't have a life outside of work and home. Now there are no excuses.

Last weekend was his first weekend without the kids (aside from when Z REFUSED to ride on Molly the Trolley with A and I and Kirby took him fishing instead). This weekend is ALL ME!

I have big plans and a gagillion friends that want to "babysit" me all weekend. Beaching, eating, drinking, shopping...it's all there. What's missing? Kids!

Honestly, I am a little nervous about a weekend without kids. I can't remember the last time I went out with friends and didn't worry about what time I had to be back for the kids, if they going to bed alright for the babysitter or if they have wandered out of the house unnoticed (see Mommy's Intuition: http://craybickford.blogspot.com/2008/01/mommy-is-sick-or-mommys-intuition.html)...

I will not turn this blog into a bitch session about Kirby or our relationship (although I am sure there will be plenty of complaints). I am not here to badmouth him or complain about how he "failed" our relationship (honestly, it takes two).

All in all, Kirby is a good father to Z and A. But he is just that: A Father. Dads just don't work the same way Moms do (right? I know you all agree - tell me all about it). He loves them, he cares for them but he isn't ME! A "me" has a little bit of an issue giving up control...

So, me, is going to spend a weekend away. Me is going to drink myself into oblivion if needed. Me is going to enjoy my time with my friends. Me is going to do my very bestest not to worry about the children...and if they had their baths...or went to sleep on time...or got vegetables with their dinner...or ate breakfast...I swear - I am not going to worry!

SITS Contest!

If you aren't already aware, I am part of an amazing blogging group:

Every day they have a featured blogger who gets to show off her blogging talents. The featured blogger gets TONS of love from the SITSas who comment on her page, share in her joy and laugh (or moan) with her.

The other GREAT thing about SITS is that they have a weekly contest. For the past couple weeks they have been giving away Target Gift Cards but this week...oh, this week is something AMAZING!

This week they are giving away a Red Sony Cyber Shot W150 ($250 value). This camera features a 8.1 megapixels, 5x optical zoom and 30m wide-angle lens. And, as you all are well aware, I am not allowed to touch the camera of this home (and, quiet frankly, I am not sure I want to anymore). So this is a MUST have for me!

So do my a favor. Head over to SITS, comment on their blog and let them know I sent you. This will ensure me another entry for every new SITSa I have sent!

Help me to continue capturing my baby's lives! Help me win this camera! Head on over to SITS, make a comment and let them know Crazy Momma sent you!


When I learned that alcohol and wet t-shirts do not mix...

I need you all to understand that yesterday's post does not mean that I will never mention Kirby again. He has been a part of my life for 10 years and will continue to be a part of my life. There are still funny stories that I will share, angry times that I will vent and moments where I may need a bit of therapy...


When I was old enough to start getting into nightclubs I went through a bit of a party stage. Okay, who am I kidding, I went through a MAJOR party stage. There were times that I woke up in the morning still drunk and needed my employees to drive me to work...way to gain the respect!

I was young and irresponsible (though a retail chain deemed me responsible enough to manage their local stores and a handful of employees). I enjoyed heading to the clubs and getting some attention. I was young (and much skinnier). Aside from the responsibilities at my job I had none. So why not?!

Kirby and I met at the club that my girlfriend and I frequented. He was a bouncer...I was naive and enamoured and thought dating a bouncer would be the coolest thing.

Soon after he and I started dating my girlfriend and I decided to enter the wet t-shirt contest that the nightclub put on every week. The cash prize was pretty substantial, what could be the big deal, right?

I have never been more wrong in my life...

Before we went to the club I started to drink. Legally, I was not old enough so I couldn't drink in the bar and I knew that if I was going to do this I was going to need me some alcohol. So we drank, shitty wine coolers, nothing that even began to give me the buzz that I needed.

Finally we got into the club, we signed up for the contest and they took us to the back room with the other girls that had signed up. We were each given white Fruit of the Loom t-shirts and a pair of scissors. We could create our own shirt, or, in my case, your bouncer boyfriend could create your shirt.

When I walked out into the club it looked like I was barely wearing anything. The t-shirt had been cut into tube top with slits up the sides...my nipples were barely covered (and until I had kids there wasn't a whole lot to cover).

I was terrified.

The put us all on stage in a line and one at a time we stepped into the kiddie pool while the male staff members poured water over us while the enormous audience screamed and hollered for whomever they wanted to win. I don't ever remember the club being that packed on a weeknight...

(As I write this I realize all over again how absolutely degrading this is and I wonder how I ever allowed myself to get talked into this).

I looked out into the audience and saw men that I once worked with...I saw the man from the pool hall (Stew) that I absolutely adored...I started to shake. I was seriously shaking...I thought I might pass out.

My girlfriend stepped in the pool. She was never one to be shy. She made it look good. I could do that, right?

It was my turn. I stepped into the pool, made eye contact with the guys I use to work with and allowed these men to dump FREEZING cold water on me. As if I wasn't shaking enough already, the water was FREEZING! I lost my breath it was So. Freaking. Cold. I looked like a moron. I stood there shaking, gasping for air...mortified. The crowd went dead silent aside for a few pity claps and one crazy guy yelling...

In the end neither my girlfriend or I won (shocking, I know!). One of the other contestants (who happened to be a professional stripper complete with fake boobies - can you say CHEATER?) won and took home all the money. I do believe that my girlfriend placed second...but once that cold water hit me the blood rushed from my brain trying to warm my poor boobies so I don't remember a whole lot...

I quickly ran out back to change into my regular clothes and melt away...but I couldn't. My public was awaiting my return.

As I went back in the club Stew's girlfriend approached me. "He was screaming like a maniac for you." How sweet. He was the crazy guy yelling at the terrified girl standing in the kiddie pool gasping for air and shaking like she was having a seizure...I knew there was a reason I adored him - he was too nice for his own good!

WTF was I thinking? And, seriously, why in the world would Kirby have "allowed" me to do that?

Ladies, if you are reading this and thinking that a wet t-shirt contest may be a good way to earn some extra money, I assure you IT IS NOT! That water is COLD! You don't have even a second to gather your bearings and look pretty...I think pimping yourself might be easier - I am sure there are better ways to earn a few extra bucks.

I have never, since that moment, shown my breasts in public (aside from a little innocent nursing of the youngins). It truly was one of the most mortifying moments of my life, I am not sure how I lived through it...to this day when I think about it I get a pit in my stomach...

It was soon after that they closed the club and opened a much larger one next door. The stopped having those wet t-shirt contests...I like to believe I played a small part in that - they realized that not all women look "hot" in a white, wet t-shirt...

So, tell me, what was your most mortifying moment in public? How have you made a complete ass out of yourself while the entire world was watching?

Small Town, Big Talk

Much like my fellow blogger on the western coast, Twenty Four at Heart, (see my bloglist to the right) I live in a small town that has a lot of big talk. I often joke that my little massage room is where I learn what is happening in this town. No need to buy the paper, just ask my clients.

This was proven (once again) to me recently when my MT intern was in a major motorcycle accident. When we spoke a few days after her accident she asked me to keep it kind of "hush hush". She didn't want to answer the questions or worry what everyone was thinking. Too late...my clients were telling me soon enough. And they weren't just telling me there was an accident, they were telling me the details of the accident. Details that hadn't been released to the public.

Small town, big talk.

I never thought I would be the subject of the gossip, however. Honestly, this is one of the main reasons I have not posted about the recent happenings in my life. It is incredibly personal and while I don't have enough of an ego to believe that everyone (or even anyone) from my town reads my blog regularly - I do know they have in the past.

It has come to my attention that the word is out. People are talking. I can't avoid it no matter how much I try. I have told only the people that I believe have the right to know (people that have something vested in me or my future in some way)...but already the word has spread.

So now what do I have to lose? Nothing but to set the record straight.

Kirby and I are separating. The reasons are not necessary. I feel this was inevitable and (for lack of a better term) what happened was just the "shit that hit the fan" and encouraged me to move forward.

At this moment in time he believes that we can still work through this. I do not. As I said, this was the final straw...it is exactly what I needed to make the move.

Due to finances and lease agreements we are stuck living together until May. 10 months. A very long time to live with someone that you don't want to be living with anymore.

Let me remind you all that Kirby and I have made many sacrifices over the years to ensure that I am able to stay home with the kids. One of these sacrifices is my business. My hours are choppy, my clientele is small and there is very little room for expansion because my number one priority is being home with the kids. Our financial situation is not do to poor planning or irresponsibility (at least not all).

I am doing my best to look at the positive side of our living together for the next 10 months. One being that we have ample time to prepare the children for the changes we are about to go through. The other is that he and I have ample time to learn how to do this together even though we are not together. The last is to work towards a way to tell the children together with as much civility as possible, ensuring that they understand this is NOT about them.

We are consulting with a couples counselor this week. This is NOT to reconcile the relationship. Our (or at least my) plan is to work towards a "contract" of sorts, an agreement on how we are each going to handle the next 10 months with each other and with our children. This needs to be as civil as possible while making as little impact on our children as possible.

My feelings and moods change everyday. Days that I am alone with the kids and they are being terrors I wonder how I can do this alone. Days that I see something or hear something or he says something I wonder why it took me nearly 10 years to get here. Days that I think about telling the boys I shake and wretch and cry hysterically.

Slowly but surely I will get there. With the support of my friends and my family I will make it. I have started seeing a counselor on my own to help me make it through. She knows me well, knows the dynamics of the household and knows what I need to be healthy. I'm not saying that she is making any decisions for me, just helping me stick by the ones I have already made even when I am not feeling like following through.

So, townies, there it is. If you feel the need to talk, go ahead. Just do me a favor and watch my kids. Don't be cruel, don't spread this like it is the news of the century, don't bad mouth myself or their father. Matter of fact, don't talk to them about it at all.

"Gossip needn't be false to be evil - there's a lot of truth that shouldn't be passed around." Frank A Clark


3 streets and one lost kid.

My youngest little man, A, goes to "summer school". Essentially, he goes to the day care everyday, receives OT two times a week and gets "academic instruction" once a week.

I HATE THE DAY CARE! If for no other reason than he calls it "day care". For him it is NOT day care, it is school (but the school didn't have any other program, so they made this work). I hate that he tells people he goes to day care...I am a stay-at-home mom (and massage therapist) - there is NO need for him to be in "day care" - my days are scheduled around theirs..

The school department transports him back and forth to the "day care" Tuesday through Friday. Thursday and Friday I got into work for a few hours and the boys stay with a baby sitter. She is wonderful and great with them.

Thursday afternoon, while I am working, I get a near frantic call from C (the baby sitter) that A has not gotten off the bus yet and could I call her and let her know what is going on. The call came in at 1:30...he leaves school at 12:30...we live 3 streets over.

I panicked.

Immediately I called the school, they put him on the bus and couldn't understand why he wasn't there yet. They called the transportation department who told me he was in another town (about 15 miles away), they didn't know why but he would be home shortly.

Now, I must say, it didn't happen all that easily. I spent 15 minutes yelling and screaming at people to find out where the hell my son was. The transportation department was wonderful (and are wonderful) but when I called the school (day care) the woman wanted to chat...JUST FIND MY FREAKING KID - I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT - JUST DO IT!! And when I couldn't get through to transportation and called the SAU the woman explained that "these things happen". NOT TO MY KID THEY DON'T!

A showed up at the house at 2pm (no worse for the wear). He had been on the bus for 90 minutes. When I spoke with him on the phone and asked him where he had been he said "I took a nap on the bus". "I was SO worried"..."I'm sorry mommy".

Turns out that the school put A on the bus seat DIRECTLY behind the driver. Being such a little guy he was hard to see in the mirror. He also tends to be very quiet on the bus. The driver forgot about him, went to his last stop, checked the bus and realized that A was still there. A eventually fell asleep somewhere on this journey...where I am not sure.

It was an accident. I understand. The transportation department was wonderful (the SAU could get a few lessons on how to handle a terrified mother) and the driver is beside himself. I've been told that I can take further action if I feel it is necessary. I don't. It was an accident. He followed procedure and checked the bus and found my son. He made a mistake by forgetting him.

How he forgot about my son that lives 3 streets from the school is BEYOND me. But I rest assured that he will never forget him again.

The transportation director has no excuses. She is incredibly sorry and worries that A was traumatized (he is not, I assure you).

I may be, however...


Two Cranky Kids + One Honda Civic = One Incredibly Cranky Mommy

Both boys had eye doctor's appointments about an hour away. I am not sure why I haven't learned to schedule them on different days...I always seem to think it would be easier to do both at the same time - I AM ALWAYS WRONG!

The van is out of commission. I can't drive the "old" van because Kirby isn't sure the patch is going to last. So I end up driving his Honda Civic. Tiny. Two doors. No AC. Two kids in car seats (well, one is in a booster). One Mommy that hasn't eaten or slept on a regular schedule for about a week and a half...can you say disaster? Did I mention that we have an hour drive (+/- depending on traffic).

Did you say disaster? Okay, say it a little louder, increase the pitch...louder...louder - okay, there you are. That was my day!

Have you ever tried to buckle a kid into a car seat in a two door car with my size rear end? NOT EASY!

10 minutes after picking Z up from rec and A up from "school" they are screaming. In the mini van they sit in two different rows so they can't touch each other. In the Civic they, essentially, sit on top of each other. SCREAMING - high pitched SCREAMING. I turn up the radio and tell them if they better quiet down or we are going to skip McDonald's..."can you roll up the window, I'm cold...it's too windy..."

20 minutes later we are at McDonald's drive-thru. Z and A argue about whether they are getting the "boy" toy or the "girl" toy...Z is telling A he must be a girl if he wants the little pocket pet thingy - SHUT UP, DON'T TOUCH. They tell me to pull over and wait for my nuggets. NO AC - 80+ and NO WIND...."I'm hot..."

25 minutes later, back on the road, nuggets in hand (why I chose to make a happy meal my first "real" meal in days is beyond me...I paid dearly) I decide that the radio isn't working anymore to drown out the sound of the fighting children in the back seat. I pull out my MP3 player (that has become like another appendage lately)...it won't start...is the battery dead...WTF?! I must have looked like a junkie who couldn't get her fix while I was trying to switch the battery. I was shaking, nearly hyperventilating...OMFG IS THIS A JOKE?!

Both windows are down, again, no AC. Trash starts flying out the windows...I can't even do anything. McDonald's bags and straw wrappers...flying out the window on a 55+ highway...there was no stopping me.

5 minutes from the doctor's office, MP3 player working (ignoring my children well) my left arm goes numb. From the shoulder down I can't feel a stinking thing. I know it is from hanging it out the window (because it is so stinking hot in that car)..."are we there yet...what town are we in...where are we..."

Pulling into the parking lot my MP3 player stops working, again. How will I ever make it home? I can't worry about it I have to find a parking spot. "No Z, I CAN'T park there, it is for physicians only...WHEN YOU HAVE YOUR LICENSE YOU CAN TELL ME HOW TO DRIVE. UNTIL THEN - ZIP IT!!"

Into the doctor's office. Quiet - for a few minutes. We love this eye doctor. He specializes in pediatrics and the office is really designed to cater kids. He is the one that did Andrew's eye surgery - we trust him and love him completely.

HOWEVER, in each and every room they have a computer screen that they use for the eye tests. While you are waiting for the doctor they show a loop of Veggie Tales for the kids. It is the same loop that they were showing when we started going to the doctor 6 years ago!! Are you freaking kidding me? I can only hear "cebu moo moo, cebu moo moo, cebu moo moo, cebu moo moo, cebu moo moo, moo moo moo moo moo moo" so many times before I start to go a little more insane...

Both kids need new glasses. We stop in at the eye glass shop, pick their glasses, wait and wait and wait for the women to put the order in and head home. "NO your glasses will not be ready today. I already told you twice they will be ready in about a week. NO you are NOT getting prescription swim goggles - SERIOUSLY?!"

In the car, MP3 appears to be working...both boy's eyes have been dilated. Since it is so bright and sunny they have no other choice but to close their eyes. Silence. Ah. Thank you lord!

20 minutes later they are both WIDE AWAKE. "I'm hot...it's too windy...STOP TOUCHING ME".

20 minutes from home traffic stops. STOPS! I have to pee like a freaking race horse and traffic is not moving AT ALL. I can see them clearing the road from an accident. Why oh why can't they hurry? "GO MOMMY" - "I can't go honey". Then the meltdown starts (can you say DRAMA?) "we're never, ever gonna go. we're gonna be stuck forever. I wanna go..." Oh. My. Lord!

We made it home. Everyone is in one piece. Veggie Tales won't get out of my head. I will do my very best to NEVER EVER schedule their appointments on the same day again. I don't care what gas prices are. I don't care how many days I have to take off from work. Never, ever, again!


Beware of the car killer.

Don't forget to tell me your "10 can't live without 'em" songs! Help me make my next ITunes purchase!

Have I told you all before that I have the ability to run ANY vehicle into the ground? I do. Honestly. Every vehicle I have owned (and I have owned MANY) has dropped dead...usually while I am driving it.

My "Bovine" (my very first car...LOTS of good memories from that car) died on the way home from work one night. I blew a head gasket. My Colt died on the way TO work one day...the engine seize. A CV joint broke on one of the mini vans we have owned while I was driving home. I drove our Escort into 3 other cars...oh, the list goes on and on and on.

Most recently this was our van...yes...our NEW van. Of course, it was only new to us and had plenty of miles on it but, honestly, we bought it in May and I have already killed it.

Driving along, taking a break from my life, all of a sudden I hear a loud bang and the van lurches. I seriously thought I had hit something. I pulled over, nothing in the road, cars moved along past me oblivious to whatever had happened to me. I look under the hood and something is POURING out. Who knows what it was...I suspect transmission fluid.

I was not too far from home and figured I would just turn around and try to get back there. Nope. Not going to happen. The entire van starts to shake and rumble...the engine is rattling so loudly I can't even hear myself. What to do? Well, I parked it and walked home. In my white t-shirt in the pouring rain (Mommy boobies, wet t-shirt...the two don't mix...matter of fact, my boobies in a wet t-shirt have NEVER mixed...but that is for another blog).

So now I am driving the "old" van (yes, the one that we ripped a hole in the oil pan that Kirby patched with some fake metal filler stuff). Except for today.

Today I drove the Civic...but that's another story.


My 10

So I have been doing some serious thinking about my 10 most life altering songs. Honestly, I don't know that I can narrow it down to 10 but here goes nothing:

1) Solsbury Hill - Peter Gabriel. I have posted before that this song reminds me of my brothers. I am not sure the reason...but I love the song.

2) Anna Begins - Counting Crows. There is something about the passion in this song that can make me cry immediately.

3) Lose Yourself - Eminem. Most people immediately turn from Eminem. If you take a minute to listen to the lyrics (okay, not all, but at least these lyrics) you will see that there is something so much deeper. This song is about fulfilling a dream, taking care of a family and learning how to make it work.

4) My Immortal - Evanescence. Ugh. I think this is my anthem right now. Never mind that the song is haunting...but the words, the passion...perfect. Exactly my thoughts and feelings (at least today).

5) IF - Janet Jackson. Nothing better to dance to. That Janet - she rules!

6) Boxer - Simon and Garfunkel. It is an intensely moving song about a boy coming of age.

7) One Headlight - The Wallflowers. This song reminds me of simpler times. A summer when all I had to worry about was getting caught "parking" behind the elementary schools in Rochester. A summer full of passion and love (even if it was nothing but teenage love). In an instant it will bring me back.

8) I Run for Life - Melissa Etheridge. I love the passion for life in this song. She survived and she isn't letting anything get in her way. Such strength!

9) Santeria - Sublime. Because I want to "pop a cap in Sancho and I'd slap her down"...well, not really. Seriously though, if you aren't familiar with Sublime they are well worth checking out. A bit vulgar, catchy beat (Ska maybe)...no longer, however, the lead singer died of an overdose.

10) Dance Monkey - Sage Francis. I warn you, this song is not for those easily offended. I freaking love it. I went to a Sage Francis show and it was, possibly, one of the most terrifying experiences of my life - they are scary. But it was such an awesome scare. This song makes me move and if you check out my myspace page you can see a great video of Christopher Walken dancing to it...HYSTERICAL!

So there you go, my top 10. I don't know that it is actually my top 10 but more like 10 of the top songs. I don't know how many there are - music is vital to my life therefore, I end up with a lot of songs that mean something to me (or I just like for whatever reason).

Tell me your top 10. Help me expand my MP3!

Tribute to Mama's Losin It

Fellow blogger, from Mama's Losing It (see my favorite blogs to the right) is having a great contest. She is giving away 4 wonderful prizes and I want them all!

So as a thank you to Mama for this amazing contest (that includes NOTHING beige) I have decided to tell you all why I love her blog so much.

She has a myspace page. Honestly, I thought I was the one of the only grown women with children who had a myspace page. Ah, I feel so much better about myself.

Mama loves greyhounds. Myself, I could do without a dog (I have too many other living things to take care of) but Mama, well, she is a complete nutcase! As if a house full of children wasn't enough she wants to add a greyhound to the mix...LOL! What the heck is she thinking?

I think that Mama blogs in the shower. Again, with the amount of children in her home and the number of posts I see her make a day, I am not sure how she does it. If they make waterproof laptops, I am sure she has one. My only alone time is in the shower (and more often than not I am not alone there either). I wish Mama would let me know how she does it.

Now, if by some fluke her wonderful husband decides to leave her and she becomes a lesbian I would become her best friend and start dating her (not that I myself am a lesbian but am certainly considering since recent events). She is HOT - I would TOTALLY date her!

And the greatest thing about Mama is that she uses words like epistemology. Now I have no idea what that means and had to look it up on Wikipedia to find out. I guess that epistemology is the theory of knowledge...not that the definition helps me out any. But, heck, she is one smart cookie.

So now you all know my true love for Mama. If you feel the urge, go check out her blog, sign up for the contest and tell her I sent you!


Music is my saviour

Music has always been an integral part of my life. There are many songs that I hear that I can remember the exact first time I heard them. There are millions of songs that remind me of specific people. There a songs that help me through rough times and songs that help me get my groove on...

During times that I am having a hard time with what is going on in my head I turn the radio in the car all the way up (which really isn't all that far in a Dodge Grand Caravan - matter of fact, one of the speakers decides when it is and isn't going to come one...annoying), sing, dance and drown out whatever my head won't shut up about.

So, yesterday I went on a bit of a shopping spree. Something to help lift my spirits a bit. I bought a few new CD's and a $30 Itunes gift card.

Those of you who know me know that I rarely...well....NEVER buy these things for myself (in fact, after I burned what I wanted I passed the CDs to my stepson so he could have them). This was a HUGE splurge for me. So I am not about to just hop on Itunes and buy whatever. This is going to take some major research to figure out what 30 songs are going to be the best add to my MP3.

So tell me, what 10 songs could you not live without. What songs make your world rotate better? What 10 songs help you get your groove on or forget about the world around you? Post it in a comment, blog about it (and let me know) and help me choose the songs to frame my next 10 months.


Not so good about blogging lately

There is lots going on around here and lots going on with me in particular. Unfortunately the happenings are not something I am interested in sharing with the world...my family reads this blog, people from my hometown...these are things that I don't want shared right now.

I am not feeling very bloggish and that stinks. Blogging can be such a great form of therapy for me. Getting feedback and knowing that other people are there and "listening" is incredibly helpful.

I have very few close girlfriends and those that I am close emotionally are physically very far. While I know that they are there whenever, wherever...sometimes it is nice to just be able to sit down and pound it out and hear from people around the world.

I'm not sure when I will be back here. I check in everyday - read my blogs (although, I have to admit, the lengthy ones have not been able to hold my attention as of late). Just not feeling very humorous or interesting...

I may repost some of my favorites until I am ready to start something new.

Don't lose faith!


Can't sleep

So I want to know what all of you do when you can't sleep...


4 hours too long...

This morning I got roped into taking another kid for the day. Well, roped isn't exactly the right term...more like guilted. And, honestly, nobody guilted me except myself.

J called this morning for Zach and asked for a "playdate". I explained that Zach was at Rec until noon then we were off to the beach for swimming lessons until 1. He asked if they could get together afterwards and I said I would have Zach call him. "There's just one thing" he says "my mom says that I have to go over someone else's house since she and my dad aren't here". I told him that was fine and asked if he wanted to come to the beach with us. He did and informed me that his mother would pick him up after six when she got out of work. I asked if I could drop him off earlier and he informed me that nobody would be there...

I take a look around my house (which we have barely been in for more than an hour over the past two weeks) and see disaster (and think NO WAY am I allowing anyone to come in here). So, now I have already invited this kid. This is when the guilt starts...

Honestly, I don't mind Zachary having friends over. J and Zach usually do really well together but for only a couple of hours at a time. They are both strong willed children and they each expect to get what they want when they want it. six hours is too long.

I decided that we would spend a good long while at the beach. Nothing better on a hot day - right? WRONG!

Andrew does not do well at the beach. He has NO boundaries. He gets overwhelmed. He has no concept of water safety. Essentially, a day at the beach means a day of me chasing Andrew away from other kids, their toys, food, towels, swim trunks...He wants to chat with the lifeguards, use their megaphone, trample another kid's sandcastle...I swear, I should be thinner considering the amount of running I do with him. I start conversations with other moms and abruptly drop it mid sentence to chase my child.

We got to the beach a little after noon, put some sunblock on and the boys took off. For the next four hours they played in the water, built sandcastles, searched for clams and had a great time.

Andrew wears a life vest at the beach because he often times gets into situations in the water he doesn't know how to get out of (he forgets he can't swim, he plays with bigger kids that accidentally dunk him, he wanders out over his head). Honestly, I am never more than 2 steps away but all it takes is two seconds. Unfortunately, the beach that we were at does not allow any flotation devices (Andrew was informed after he went into the water by one of the lifeguards). This just made my day that much harder.

After two hours in the water and sun I made them reapply their sunblock. I supervised them, I even reapplied myself. So tell me, why oh why do I look like this*:

2nd degreeee burnss

And the worst part is that my kids look pretty darn similar. I have never felt so guilty in all my life. I know how much a sunburn hurts. I know how unbearable it is to sleep at night. I know how itchy you get on the third or fourth day...Ugh!

Aloe Vera for all...lots and lots and lots...

A part of me wonders if J looks similar and if his mother will ever trust me with him for six hours again...

*Of course, that is not really what I look like - close enough, minus the smiley faces.


Bathing Suit For Sale

One beautiful yellow bathing suit for sale. Size 16. Only been worn once. Offers lots of coverage and helps slim those areas that need slimming.



It does have one minor flaw: It's see through when wet.

Yup, you read that correctly. Just what every fat girl wants: A see through bathing suit for the beach full of families to see.

Every year when my "brother" from NYC comes home for a visit we do a night at the lake. The entire family gathers.


We eat:

We laugh:

My kids get some "manly" advice:

We build sandcastles:


We do our best not to scare the wildlife:




We swim:





However, we DO NOT offer free shows to anyone on the beach. At least, not intentionally.

This year I didn't have a bathing suit. The morning of the "Annual Night at the Lake" I flew to the closest store that sold bathing suits (the discount store 15 miles away). It took me FOREVER to find one my size. I asked where the changing rooms were and was informed that they don't have any and if it didn't fit I had 30 days to return it with tags in "saleable" condition.

Excuse you? Who buys a bathing suit without trying it on? Apparently anyone that buys a swimsuit from Ocean State Job Lots does...including me.

They were inexpensive so I grabbed two that I thought may fit. One yellow, one black. They did, indeed, fit. Andrew decided that I should wear the yellow to the lake that night, and since it was my favorite as well, I did.

After swimming with the little ones out at the buoys for a while I decided it was time to come in. Kirby took one look at me, his eyes nearly bugged out of his head and he, quietly, informed me that he could see "EVERYTHING"...I QUICKLY covered up and stayed that way until I was dry.

WHY, OH WHY, would anyone EVER sell a bathing suit meant for larger ladies that was SEE THROUGH?! When I questioned Kirby on this he replied, "well, now you know why it was at Job Lots". Yes, yes I do.

Later, after swimming a bit more I came out, covered by two kick boards. Zach didn't understand why I needed two kick boards when I wasn't even swimming...until I turned around and he announced, LOUDLY, "I CAN SEE YOUR TATTOO"!

You see, I have a very small, very respectable tattoo on my upper derriere. Now everyone knows that the swimsuit is see through (only the "dark spots", though).

So, I am sure you can understand why I will not be wearing this suit again and feel the need to rid my house of it immediately...

If you are the kind of girl that doesn't mind showing her goods on the beach (no judgement) please let me know. It's inexpensive, I won't even charge you what I paid for it which was, honestly, too much considering the results.