Some things I want to remember...

-Yesterday Zach says: "Did you know that Will Smith played a wrestler in a movie called MudMad Ally". Me: "Huh, never heard of that one". Kirby (who overheard the whole thing): "Do you mean Mohammad Ali the BOXER?".

-Saturday on our way home from breakfast with Santa Zachary asks Andrew "whose glasses are you wearing"...they were Kirby's. Seriously, all morning he has been wearing someone else's glasses and nobody noticed? HE didn't even notice...what's up with that?!

-I love that my children are becoming more independent but when it gets to the point when he thinks it's okay to take a different bus home (one that arrives 15 minutes later than his) and put me and Kirby (and both elementary schools) into sheer panic mode - NOT COOL! Yeah, he's grounded and I am NOT happy.

-"I have a train here that could, like, ahhhhh, huh...what?" -Andrew....and all the glory of his attention span.

-My latest Mother of the Year moment: Me in kitchen spilling raw egg "SHIT". Kid: "Bad word". Me: "Oh yeah, SUCK IT! How's that sound". I'd like to thank Roseanne Barr and all that she has taught me...

-Here in the boonies all snow days will be made up on Saturdays this year. I mentioned the Saturday school day to Andrew who is now having an absolute fit because "Saturday is an at home day!!!". Oh, my black and white boy...

-One day I locked us out of the house, making us VERY late for a family party. Zachary says to me: "Mom, I am so furryous". Furryous? WTF?!

Oh man, my kids crack me up. Someday I am going to write a book - they'll be the main characters alongside a bottle of Absolute (the bottle that mom used to help her make it through their lives).


Rocket Launch with Cub Scouts

We spent a couple hours launching rockets with the Cub Scouts on Saturday. It was a beautiful day with little wind. The boys all had a great time!


Halloween in Pictures



"It's always darkest before the dawn."

I have always been afraid of the dark. I honestly can't tell you why.

About a year ago I started walking home from work on regular occasion. I usually work afternoons and evenings and it is not uncommon to leave my office after 8 or 9pm to make the mile trek home. Of course, it's dark....

Sometime in that year I have gotten over my fear - for the most part. Even after the horrendous murder in our town in May I was not scared (call me crazy, but I refuse to live in fear in my own town).

Don't walk behind me up a dark staircase. Don't make spooky noises while I am walking through the dark house. It's not funny, I'm still scared. But, I am better...

This morning I got up around 5:15am and was out of the house and walking by 5:30. It was pitch black. So dark that even with the headlamp on my head I couldn't see the ground underneath my feet at some points in time. So dark that while I was running home I was terrified I was going to trip and fall because I couldn't see the sidewalk under my feet.

An hour later when I got home it was still dark and there was no sign of the sun even. The sky was starting to show a little blue and not so much black...but no sun. And the biggest fear I had was of falling.

Progress, not perfection.

And to top it all off, my great morning that started with a 5K, ended with dropping my children off at school was also met by an angel by the name of Bill.

Bill is an older gentleman who lives in town. I met him when he was doing some contracting work on our neighbor's home. I don't see him often but I was graced with his presence this morning as we left Dunkin Donuts (for Andrew's daily visit with his friends).

As we crossed paths Bill looked me up and down and said, "Have you lost weight?! You look great!"

I love that man.

"When it is dark enough, you can see the stars."


Stomp out the anger

My youngest son, Andrew, has an autism spectrum disorder. Many of you know what this means to our family, but for my new readers...I will explain a bit.

Andrew is incredibly "high functioning". He is in a mainstream classroom with the assistance of a full time aide. He reads and writes and does math. He leaves the classroom for occupational therapy, speech therapy (because while his language is sophisticated, in comparison to other children his age, you cannot have a conversation with him), he is part of a social skills program and he uses the nurses office to go to the bathroom (and has only been potty trained for 6 months).

He is the sweetest boy you will ever meet. He is polite and has exceptional manners. He makes friends wherever we go. In fact, we walk to the local coffee shop every morning and there is an entourage of people waiting for him - mostly elderly folks who enjoy seeing his smiling face.

Andrew is black and white. He follows rules because it is what he knows to do. He will tell you the rules if he feels you are breaking them. He is blunt and abrupt and often causes me embarrassment in public. He does not understand broken promises or changes in routine.

And this is where my story starts....

Weekends tend to be hell in our home. Andrew is off his routine and he does NOT like it. He doesn't even realize why he is angry or why he is acting out but dad and I sure do!

Sunday was one of the worst days we have had in a very long time. He was driving everyone in the house crazy. He was in and out of the fridge. He was mouthy. He was hitting...he was off his routine. And I was exhausted (having not gotten to bed until 3:30am as I was volunteering at a local memorial walk doing massage until 2am).

At around noon I had finally had enough. It was a gorgeous day (but we didn't have any plans as my older son, Zachary, was sick). I grabbed the camera and I grabbed Andrew and we went for a "nature walk".

Getting out of the house was hell. He was insistent on bringing his "monster truck" and I was insistent that he was not bringing said monster truck. He stomped down the stairs, he screamed at me, he growled...and we walked.

We went downtown to window shop. We went to the docks to see the fire boat, we took some gorgeous pictures:

And then we made our way to the walking path (much to Andrew's dismay). The walking path in town is one of my favorite places in the world. It is a path that was created where the railroad tracks used to run into town. It runs by 3 different lakes, you see wildlife and mountain tops, it's quiet and peaceful...it also runs rather close to a playground and Andrew wanted no part of walking he wanted the playground.

We weren't going to the playground - we were going for a walk. Andrew had other plans. He took off on me 3 times trying to get to the park. Yesterday I explained that I had been running...today you understand why. I HAVE to run so I can keep up with my little escape artist.

I feel I need to stop here and explain why I don't take Andrew to the playground. I am not an awful mother - I'm just a mother of a child who has ASD. A playground often just exacerbates his symptoms. He gets overwhelmed and wired and when it is time to leave we have meltdown after meltdown and the "angry" mood I was trying to get rid of has just intensified.

I explained to him (as I have in the past) that if he is angry and outside he can stomp his feet and yell. He did. I slowly watched my loving boy making his way back...

We sat down on a bench and I tried to take some pictures of him looking into the camera. These pictures were taken one after another (and there are about a dozen on my computer that look exactly the same) and will give you a pretty good idea about Andrew's attention span and inability to "look me in the eye":

This is as close as we get to "looking at the camera". And even still he eyes are squinting because he, literally, does not have the ability to look me "in the eye".

As we walked I watched him quiet himself. He started to be able to see what was going on around him. He started to come back to me.

The path we were taking is only 1/2 mile, at which point you can either take the road into town (and back to our home) or continue on the path past more lakes and through more woods. I knew that Andrew would only tolerate so much walking (and this short time had already taken us nearly an hour).

Andrew has recently joined Cub Scouts and needed to gather leaves for a project. He LOVED gathering leaves but has a hard time not leaving without all of them. Here he is gathering a "bouquet". I was amazed at the distance I could travel from him without him sprinting in another direction. He truly was calming....

We continued onto the road and meandered to our home. He stopped and looked at more leaves and bugs and looked for landmarks that he walks past regularly. On the way I tried to remind him how his behavior and his mood had changed during our walk.

"Andrew, when we left the house before our walk how did you feel?"

"Mad and sad."

"What kind of words were you using?"

"Angry words."

"Yeah....and how do you feel now?"


"And what kind of words are you going to use when we get home?"

"Nice ones."

And he gave me a great big hug.

The best part of this was that not only did I notice and his father notice (when we got home) but HE noticed. It was truly and eye opening day.

Now, what the hell am I going to do when winter comes?


Dear 5:30am, how I hate thee...

I started running in April. The day before Easter. It was cold and snowing and I couldn't run more than a few yards.

In June it started raining and it didn't stop until August. I stopped running.

In the meantime, my brother-in-law started running, my sister started running, my cousin started running and my mother started race walking and they all started planning. The plan was to run our first 5K on Labor Day.

Labor Day came and having not run since April I thought I was prepared (I know, really smart, huh?). I got there that morning, stood next to my youngest brother at the starting line (who had not been training either), the gun fired...and my brother took off. Soon enough I was at the back of the pack.

At the first hydration station the volunteers were yelling "you're half-way there, you're doing great" and I was so excited. I kept thinking "this isn't that bad, I can do it"...then I saw the sign that said "1 MILE"...they were wrong. I was only 1/3 of the way there...I was NOT going to make it.

Children were passing me. I was way at the back and I was hating every minute. I couldn't run anymore, I was walking, and slowly...I took advantage of every downhill and ran it as fast as I could - but even that was a VERY slow jog.

At the second hydration station I cursed myself for getting into this. Having learned that hydration stations were set at each mile I knew I still had another mile to go. I hurt, I was tired, I was frustrated...my MOTHER had PASSED me AND so had her husband (who is 72). WTH?!

Soon, the running nuns were approaching from the other direction, running against the grain. "You've got a 1/4 mile" they were saying, "you're doing great". At the same time I noticed a guy coming towards me (I don't run with my glasses so I couldn't see who it was). He was saying my name...

It was my brother-in-law, carrying a bottle of water and coming to check on me. My spirits lifted and I started to run again.

As I came into the final leg of the race, people were cheering me on, screaming my bib number and encouraging me it was amazing. I felt energized again.

I finished that 5K in 52:12. 11 minutes longer than my mother and her husband. It took me SO long to finish that my results were not even posted at the race - I had to wait to see them online the next day. My brother-in-law finished in half my time...I was NOT last (a woman being pushed in a wheelchair came in after me). Honestly, I was far from last.

It inspired me to keep running.

On October 3rd I did my second 5K in the POURING rain. I started at the back of the pack knowing that it would be less stressful for me there. As the race started I watched the crowd pull away from me. I was dead last. I was SO far behind that I nearly got run over by a truck who assumed that the racers had all gone through.

That second race was a very tough course. There were tons of hills, it was cold and it was raining. At one point in time the rain let up, I said (out loud because I was the only one around) "this isn't that bad, thank you God"...10 feet down the road the skies opened up. All I could do was laugh (and curse, just a bit).

I saw three women in front of me and decided that I was going to pass them. We were on a downhill and I knew I could do it. Just as I was passing a woman approached on my right, "are you guys in the race" she asked. "Yeah", I sputtered. "Oh, good, I missed the start by 10 minutes"...and she was gone. Way to kick a girl when she's down!

Again, as I approached the last 1/4 mile I found my brother-in-law waiting for me with a bottle of water. He updated me on the results and jogged with me till the finish.

I finished that race in 53:22. Although I was not last (the three women I passed came in after me) they were not listed in the race results.

Again, I have been inspired to keep training. I have given up on running - not completely - until I can get a good walk time. I do still take advantage of downhills but I am not pushing my running as hard as I was before.

The days are getting shorter around here. It gets dark before 6pm and the sun doesn't even come up until after 7. I rationalize that mornings are "safer" to run...but that doesn't make it any easier to get out of bed at 5:30am.

Today was supposed to be a training day. I have another race on Sunday and I need to be training right up to it...but my alarm went off at 7 (the time I get up on a non training day).

Today I am lethargic and grouchy and can't seem to get out of my own way. I know why that is. I know it is because I have not "run". I know what I need to do to feel GREAT everyday. Yet, I can't seem to get my ass out of bed to do it. I need new motivation, I need an amazing reason to get out of bed every morning ('cause the great feeling afterward just doesn't seem to be enough).

So I ask, what's your motivation? How do you get up for those early morning workouts? Does music keep you motivated?

Help a girl out of her bed in the morning. Share your thoughts and ideas.


Sick kid

I swear that my children have been sick for a month. They can never be sick at the same time. They have to pass it back and forth so that one of them is always sick.

Today we kept Zach home from school even though he was feeling fine. He started with a fever on Friday that lasted through Saturday and came with a cough and the sniffles (oh yeah, this is PRIME H1N1 material). Today the cough and sniffles persisted.

I forgot to call the school to let them know he would be in so the nurse called me to check. I informed her that I was NOT keeping him home for my sake, he was driving ME crazy and that she really needed to thank ME for not exposing him to the world 'cause REALLY he was FINE and could she please ask his teacher to pull together all his missed work so he would stop driving me NUTS.

Now he sits at the kitchen table working on schoolwork. Quietly. Thank GOD for teachers that work kids too hard.



You didn't think I was leaving forever, did you? Well, for now, I am back.

The past 6 months have been a whirlwind. Kirby is STILL out of work (and has been since February) and, sad as it is to say, he steals my hours spent in front of the computer while the kids are in school.

And YES, I said KIDS with an S. Andrew is now in school full time and it did not come a moment too soon. First grade has been amazing for him.

Zach has moved onto a new school and 4th grade. There have been some rough moments - we have left a warm and fuzzy school and moved onto a new, bigger and "badder" school for 4-6th graders....

I'm not going to bore you with the crazy details of my summer. I guess you all are going to have to pretend that it never happened. I'm going to do my best to start anew from this very moment.

So, now that you are here - check out my friend Lisa's new blog and thank her for renewing my desire to be a blogger!



No, not THAT auction (although that one starts in MAY and I am SO excited), the Cub Scout Father/Son Cake Bake Auction.

Have you ever been to one of these auctions? Should I say, have you ever been BLESSED to be at one of these events? Have you ever participated? Well, if not, you are sorely missing out.

Here's a brief run down of exactly what you are "missing out" on:

  • Three trips to the grocery store because they ran out of food coloring - twice.
  • Screaming phrases coming from the kitchen like, "I AM NOT DOING THIS FOR ME - GET BACK HERE".
  • A child whining "I want to go to the park, why does HE (accusingly pointing at the younger brother I have been trying to keep out of the kitchen all day) get to go to the park but I don't".
  • A finished product with only one missing piece (due to a younger brother getting handsy) that they TRIED (in vain) to fill in with frosting.
  • Enough frosting to clog a few of your arteries.
  • Enough food coloring to be shitty purple for two weeks (because they used both red and blue food coloring).
  • An auction where parents pay OBSCENE amounts of money for a cake that they made themselves (the highest cake went for $100 the lowest for $15) and their children have been sneezing on all night.
  • Children who cry throughout the entire auction process because you won't let them bid.
  • Children who cry at the END of the auction process because there seemed to have been a mix up and the cake you THOUGHT you won actually went to the person who was sitting directly in front of you (and had already started picking at it before you could even say anything).
  • A stop at the grocery store on the way home to buy ANOTHER cake to replace the one you THOUGHT you won but, obviously, didn't.
  • Cake at 8pm - past children's bedtimes.

Fun times, fun times....

I'll provide you with pictures of the cake when Kirby decides to get them onto the computer from the camera.


Autism Awareness Month Part II

This is more from the brochure that EANH will be distributing throughout local schools for parents and students to learn acceptance and tolerance.

Symptoms of Autism:

· Spinning objects
· Demands routine; resists change
· Difficulty in expressing needs, using gestures or pointing instead of words
· Repeating words or phrases in place of normal, responsive
· Laughing and/or crying for
reasons not apparent to others
· Preference to being alone, aloof manner
· Tantrums
· Not wanting to cuddle or be cuddled
· Little or no eye contact
· Unresponsive to normal teaching methods
· Sustained odd play
· Obsessive attachments to objects
· Apparent over-sensitivity or under-sensitivity to pain
· No real fears of danger
· Noticeable physical over-activity or extreme under-activity
· Uneven or underdeveloped gross/fine motor skills
· Non responsive to verbal cues; appears to be deaf although hearing tests in normal range


Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month. Keep your eyes open as I intend to do, at least, one post per week dedicated to Autism Awareness and Tolerance. Most posts will be from a brochure my non-profit, Embracing Autism, NH has created to be distributed throughout schools in our area this month.

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a broad category of disorders including Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), and Rett Syndrome. ASD cause abnormal brain function; those afflicted are often unable to engage in social activities and display atypical behaviors, such as repetitive movement and speech patterns, as well as an aversion to touch.

According to Jovana Ruzicic of the Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group, Environmental Working Group, the incidence of autism increased from 10 in 10,000 in the 1980s to about 60 in 10,000 today. Despite the current rise in autism diagnoses, the medical community has yet to discover any specific medical treatment.

Facts about Autism:

· Autism affects as many as 1 in 150 children
· Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the world
· More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with diabetes, cancer, & AIDS combined
· Boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism
· There is no medical detection or cure for autism, but early diagnosis and intervention improve outcomes
· Autism does not discriminate by geography, class, or ethnicity

From: www.worldautismawarenessday.org


Homework Troubles

A is a very smart boy. He reads above grade level and his math is at grade level. He has a vocabulary that often amazes me (with words like expression and conscientious) and he has a memory that would give most geniuses a run for their money.

After all the scares we had with A, I am so proud of all his accomplishments. I wasn't sure he would ever read - never mind above grade level. The last time he was evaluated we were told that he would probably have problems with math. While math is a harder subject for him he still does it and does it well.

Due in part to his ASD, he has issues with his motor skills. He lacks both fine and gross motor skills, therefore things that a "typical" 7 year old can do are harder for him. He can barely write his name (and it would be completely illegible to you), riding a bike is tough (he JUST started riding a two-wheeler with training wheels and still has spills) and he still runs like a toddler (with the waddle that shakes their whole back side).

On top of that, he has attention issues. He is so easily distracted that walking from the living room to the bathroom (all of 20 feet) can be hard for him to handle. It is so bad that he needs constant attention (leaving him alone for two minutes could account for videos being posted on Facebook - for those of you that do not have a Facebook account, he was able to record, save and publish a video of himself while I was watching Z walk to school the other day - , all the ice cream being eaten out of the freezer or his puppets being shown how the washing machine works).

For the past month or two I have been requiring him to do homework after school. I am hoping to help prepare him for the work he will be required to do next year (having been in kindergarten for 2 years the work load is familiar to him) and to help him gain some fine motor skills.

I haven't had a problem with him until the past two weeks. Now he flat out refuses to do it. As I mentioned, he has the attention of a field mouse, so this means I am sitting with him the entire time, walking him through each step of his homework and watching him scream every single step of the way...

We have tried reward systems (but a daily reward means he demands a daily reward for school work and a weekly reward is too far in the future for him), I have tried threats of death "groundation" (no TV or computer), I have tried reasoning with him...all to no avail. He will not do it.

Now I am at a loss. I will not give in to him (because who wins there??) but I am killing myself every afternoon to get it done. I am so frustrated from this afternoon's argument (when I gave in and told him I was done fighting with him) that I don't want to do it anymore and then the rest of our evening is shot because we are both so angry and frustrated. But, again, who wins?

Maybe 3 worksheets is too much and I need to work in some "play" time as well...maybe we need to take a break...maybe I need a full time tutor to come to my home and do this for me...maybe I should just give in and let him use a computer for the rest of his life (as he is more than capable of doing that as evidenced by the video)...

Educators, teachers, parents...I need your help! How do you motivate your children to work? How do you bring out their fullest potential? What have you done in times like this?


Ants In My Pants

All day I have felt like someone put itching powder in my panties...seriously.

Kirby even suggested that I picked up crabs from some sleazy public restroom (could have been...right, Nicki?).

Now I have realized what it is. The new body wash I used this morning. Not new, exactly, Kirby gave it to me for Christmas. But I tend not to use body wash that I am not use to, much less something that has perfume in it.

And now I remember why....


Webster's Dictionary defines productive as:

1. having the power of producing; generative; creative: a productive effort.
2. producing readily or abundantly; fertile: a productive vineyard.
3. causing; bringing about (usually fol. by of): conditions productive of crime and sin.

Sunday was an incredibly PRODUCTIVE day for me.

Three of the rooms in the house were cleaned (by threatening the children with death no TV or computer if they didn't finish it).

I learned new words (by playing Scrabble on Facebook all afternoon).

I made over $15,000 (by playing Texas Hold 'em on Facebook all afternoon).

I cleaned out my refrigerator (by eating all the food inside of it).

I cleaned out m cupboards (see above).

I took a shower (only after my own stench began to overwhelm me).

I made good conversation (mostly by internet chat).

I read a new book (or had it read to me by my 7 year old).

Laundry was cleaned (after I made a few nasty glances in Kirby's direction).

Groceries were bought (see above).

I ran a bath for the children (and ate dinner while they took it).

Children were put to bed (by threatening death computer and television loss).

Another rainy Sunday taken full advantage of by yours truly.

Call me lazy, I call it productive!

What did you do that was productive this weekend?


Thursday's Thankful Thirteen

Even during these crazy times, we have plenty to be thankful for!

1. I am thankful that Unemployment FINALLY sent out a check to Kirby. Over a month without his income has been tough.

2. I am thankful that spring seems to have FINALLY arrived. It is gorgeous out there today. A and I walked this morning and I didn't even need to wear a jacket.

3. I am thankful that, for the most part, A's homework has been going well and that, most nights, we don't fight too much about it.

4. I am thankful that Z was okay with not signing up for baseball this year. I'm not interested in all that goes with it (the money, the dedication, the tryouts, the small-town coaches and parents).

5. I am incredibly thankful that Nicki and Rich are coming down tomorrow and we get to meet up with them! I haven't seen them since June (although Nicki and I rarely go three days without talking and always have a, seemingly, never-ending game of Scrabble going).

6. I am thankful that we were able to spend A's birthday with my wonderful family. This is the first time all my siblings were together since my niece's homecoming (which is rare for us).

7. I am grateful that my most amazing family got A a new bike for his birthday. This is his first two wheeler (with training wheels). While we have had a few crashes it has not been anything too seriously (at least according to Kirby or myself - if you ask A he will tell you that he needs to "go to the hospital" or we need to "call and ambulance").

8. I am grateful for two new regular clients over the past couple weeks. The economy isn't killing everyone...yet.

9. I am grateful that I was able to spend a little while with the newest addition to the family, baby Marian, at Andrew's party. She sat with me and we played...it was heaven!

10. I am grateful for the two BINGOS I got on Facebook Scrabble this week. Cheesy, you say? My blog - my gratitude! BINGOS are hard to come by - I take every one I can!!

11. I am a little grateful that I am going to get my brows waxed tomorrow. This is only a small amount of gratitude because I HATE doing it but I know if I don't I will look like Beaker with the uni-brow.

12. I am grateful for my "new" laptop. My girlfriend upgraded and gave me her old one and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! I love that I am typing this while I am sitting on my bed waiting for A to go to sleep...

13. I am thankful that Z has made a great friend. I always worry about the friendships he is forming and his socialization (and he's the "normal" kid). He and his friend E have been spending nearly every weekend together and I really like this boy.

What are you thankful for this Thursday?


One of THOSE days

Have you ever had one of those days? The days that every single little thing grinds your nerves so hard that you want to scream? Yeah, THOSE days. I am having one...

Z is going through a bag of clothes a friend of mine handed down to him and he feels the need to pose in every-single-thing...including each winter hat and mitten set. Cute most days...today I am annoyed.

Kirby was watching Home Improvement earlier (while searching the web for job possibilities) and laughing at the most ridiculous things. Great that he was having a good time...down right annoying to me.

A isn't doing his work in school. Most days I would chalk that up to a typical "autistic moment". Today I forced him to do the work he was supposed to do at school AND his homework and re-write anything that wasn't "perfect" - meaning something that actually resembled the "A" he was supposed to be writing.

I have sent 3 emails today minus the attachments they were supposed to have. That's always fun (expecially when you are emailing people that you don't even know - way to make a first impression).

Every time I hear, "hey Mom" I cringe a little bit....

It is one of those days that my children should be thankful I don't use corporal punishment...

And I'm not even PMSing.


And you thought yesterday was TMI

I stole this from Mama Kat (see her listed on my sidebar - I'm too lazy to link right now):

Would you do crystal meth if it were legalized?

That's a big fat NO.

Abortion, for or against?

Is anybody really FOR abortion? I think you can be pro-choice and not FOR abortion. It's not like I stand outside the local OB-GYN office and encourage women to go get an abortion.

So, not for me but I can understand why some women do it.

Would the country fall if there was a woman president?

Are we talking Hillary, cause I'm not so sure...

But seriously, gender doesn't determine whether you can handle the job or not. I think there are plenty of men that the country would fall under.

Do you believe in the death penalty?

I do but would never want to be a member of the jury deciding it.

Do you wish marijuana was legalized?

I don't really care. I don't WISH it would be legalized but it wouldn't bother me if it was.

Do you believe in God?

Yes. God and I have our issues but I do believe there is some supreme being that gives me my yeast infections to test my strength and my kids to test my patience and learn unconditional love...

Do you think same sex marriage should be legalized?

Absolutely. Who am I to determine whether love is real or not? Who am I to determine whether you are worthy of receiving the same benefits I am? What makes my marriage any more real than yours?

Do you think it's wrong so many Hispanics are moving to the USA?

I think they want what we have and who can blame them?

A 12 year old girl has a baby...should she keep it?

There is nothing you can say that could convince me this would be okay. NOTHING. There are plenty of 32 year old women that shouldn't be allowed to keep their children (and one would hope that they have learned responsibility in their lives)...there is no way a 12 year old can handle the responsibility - I don't care who she is.

Should the alcohol drinking age be lowered to 18?

No but the age where you can join the military and fight (and die) for our country should be raised to 21.

Should the war in Iraq be called off?

I don't think you CAN call it off now. I think we need to do exactly what we are doing. Concentrate on Afghanistan, scale down in Iraq and get out as soon as possible.

Assisted suicide is legal...do you agree?

I do for terminal illness. I am sure there are other cases you could convince me on as well. If someone I loved was in that much pain that they wanted to die I would do everything in my power to help them.

Do you believe in spanking your children?

I believe you have the right, yes. I believe it doesn't work. I also believe that the threat is enough to get Andrew to stay in bed most nights.

Would you burn the American flag for a million dollars?

There are few things I wouldn't do for a million dollars. Seriously. Burning the flag is one of the things I would not hesitate doing, wouldn't even feel badly about it. Especially if it was one of those "American" flags that are actually made in China.

A mother is declared innocent after murdering her 5 children in a temporary insanity case...what do you think?

I think insanity is the only thing that makes sense.



I am sure you all are just dieing to hear this, so I will forewarn you, there is a bit of TMI in here but I just need to get it off my chest.

I think that yeast infections are God's way of seeing what kind of limits you can be pushed to. I think it is his way of testing your strengths and seeing how far you will go...

Having said that, if I have not proven myself by now I am terrified of what his next test of strengths may be.

I have, yet another, yeast infection. It's not like I have these once a week but often enough. I am so sick and tired of them.

When I was pregnant with Andrew I had a never ending cycle of them. I had a bacterial infection that I treated that then turned into a yeast infection (cause an antibiotic kills ALL bacteria including the good stuff that eats yeast) and he cycle continued until I gave birth.

I have also decided that there is nothing more erotic than cottage cheese and burning itchies. I know - the gross factor just jumped about 100 feet. Seriously though, Kirby is STILL not working (not for lack of trying), my schedule is not a jam packed (due to both the economy and the season...give me a couple months)...why not take advantage of it? Well, GOD had different ideas.

I know there are a number of contributing factors. My diet is not great (something that has only gotten worse since Kirby has been home - EVERY DAY, ALL DAY for OVER A MONTH), I am not getting as much exercise (I was walking to work for a while but now they are doing road work and the road I use to get there is closed) and my stress level is a little high (have I mentioned that Kirby has been home FOR OVER A MONTH?!?!). So those are things I need to work on.

In the meantime, if you have any natural advice, that doesn't include something oozing out of me for the next four days, I will gladly accept it.

Have I disgusted you enough for a Monday afternoon??


Happy 7th to my "baby"

It is hard for me to believe that 7 years ago today my youngest baby was born.

Andrew has not been an easy child. He has been sick since he day he was born, seen more doctors than I have seen in my life, had more surgeries than I...

I wouldn't change it for the world.

He is my perfect child.

In the past year he has learned so much. Today he was riding a two wheeler (with training wheels) with no problems. He is currently on the computer playing with his new Webkinz and navigates around the internet better than most adults. Yesterday he was sitting on the couch reading one of my books (I don't joke, he was reading it). He has gotten so big.

I am so proud of my baby!!
Happy Birthday Big Boy!


Guess where I am...

Did you guess? Any ideas?

Well, I'll tell you...

I am sitting on my couch, typing away with my "new" laptop. This is so awesome.

I know, you all are probably like "what is she talking about". You see, I have NEVER had a laptop. I have NEVER had any piece of computer equipment that was ALL MINE. NEVER.

Everything I own is attached to someone else in this home is some way, shape or form. If I want to use the computer it usually means fighting someone else in the house for it. If I want to watch TV, again, I am fighting someone else for it. And even my books, as I type, Andrew is reading one of MY books. Yes, he is 7...

Hoping to get back to all my bloggers over the next couple days. For now, I am downloading Itunes and enjoying checking in on facebook without hearing the kids whine about wanting to go to Webkinz...



I don't know if the computer is fixed. We have done everything but hit it with a hammer to try and get it back to normal...here's hoping we don't have to resort to that technique.

So now that the computer is (hopefully) back to normal, will I be able to blog on a more regular basis? Who knows. It has been so long since I have blogged and checked in on my blogging fellows...again, here's hoping.

In the past few months I have come to some realizations. Not necessarily good ones...

First off, as I have mentioned in the past, Facebook and MySpace feed drama. Someone commented on that post that she only accepts friend requests from people that she would sincerely like meeting for lunch with. Since that post I have done a lot of thinking about it, about why it is important for me to keep a Facebook account (since I have cancelled MySpace).

I have realized that if I haven't spoken with you in 10 years there is probably a reason for it. I am not saying it is my reason (it could very well be your reason) and I am not saying there are not exceptions to the rule. But, for the most part, if I didn't care enough to search you out between high school and now...well...I don't really care all that much.

I have realized that people who shut you out because of a misunderstanding never really cared about you to begin with. I know, I have done it. Since it happened to me, I came to the conclusion that this person never really cared to begin with AND that the person I did it to...well...I never really cared about them either. That's a tough one.

I have realized that Kirby and I work much better TOGETHER when we are not...meaning not together for 24 hours a day 7 days a week. You see, Kirby got laid off over a month ago and has yet to find anything. I love him, he loves me. I need time. He is driving me nuts. He intentionally does things to drive me crazy. He touches me. Not in that, "oh it is so nice to have someone show affection" touch...in that "MOM, HE'S TOUCHING ME AGAIN" way. Argh! Someone, anyone, please help me. He needs to work. I need him to work. Right now, he is throwing a pillow at me..over and over and over again. Seriously, people, take pity on me!!

A little deep for my first real post in months. I hope to be back with some nice fluffy posts soon enough! Till then...


Mother of Pearl!

Doesn't seem like anything is going right lately. I am typing this and PRAYING it actually gets posted...you see, my computer BITES. I don't know what is going on but pages, if they load, take about 10 minutes. I am expecting to get a new laptop this weekend (well, new to me, not NEW though). Here's hoping I can actually get back to blogging (and everything else I do on the internet) soon enough...



I am trying to be tolerant of my child with autism this evening….as I was working my ASS off on the brochure on tolerance that my non-profit, EANH, the child I am teaching how to use the freaking computer CLOSED OUT OF IT!!! Of course I had not saved it. Of course…..

The olden days

Now that I am feeling a bit better (I won't say I am 100% because that would be a lie) it is time for the kids to have vacation...of course.

So, again and still, I will probably not be updating regularly this week. We have dentists' appointments and haircuts and sleepovers and bowling and birthday parties all scheduled this week.

But even more fun, I bought a scanner this past weekend. We were in need of new ink for the printer and the printer/scanner I bought cost us as much as the ink for the old printer was going to cost. It just made sense.

Man, oh man, this is fun! I have posted over 100 pictures on my Facebook page of high school friends and summer "camp" friends (much to their dismay). I am loving this!

This is a picture of my sister Monica (left), my brother Alex (the baby) and myself with our great grandparents.

This is a picture my grandmother sent us while they were in Florida for the winter. When we were younger she would write to us. My grandfather hated to have his picture taken (and still does). If you read the caption she says that he threatened to break her camera...that doesn't surprise me.This is my grandmother, her mother and my mother with Monica and I.

And my grandmother...I miss her and wish that my children had the opportunity to meet her and remember her.

So, I will see you next week with lots of stories of the adventures we had this week.


Still or again

I'm still sick...or again sick...I don't know.

I thought I was over last weeks disgustingness but something started on Tuesday and I can't breath. My face is as swollen as a beach ball. It feels like it could explode any minute. And nothing is helping except cold compresses which leave me with a different problem - frostbite. I have sneezed more these past few days than ever before in my life. My eyes are watering enough to fill an 8oz glass every hour. And I've got a cough that puts 80 year old smokers to shame.

On the upside, Kirby has been incredibly helpful this past week (did you catch the sarcasm...I tried not to hide it).

If you don't hear from me again it is because I have died in my sleep because I forgot to open my mouth to breath.


Don't Divorce Us

My friend Sara at Life With Us posted this. Beautiful!

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.


Don't get too close.

You may want to sit back...

A little further....

Now cover your mouth...


I'm sick.

Not deathly ill but sick enough that when Kirby said goodbye this morning I wanted to cry because I knew it meant I would have to get out of bed in less than an hour to get the kids ready for school.

Sick enough that I was scared to go to bed last night because it is too far from the bathroom.

Sick enough that I would feel really badly if any of you caught it...so stay away!

It is the weekend catching up with me. I am too old to party that hard (or late - er...early, I guess).

I will post more when I am feeling better.


To Do:

This upcoming weekend is a weekend of PAR-TAYS around here. Every day of the weekend, beginning on Friday we will be hosting guests in our home. Saturday evening there are guests coming that I do not even know...people that I have never met, coming into my home. Kirby was VERY unsure of this...and now I am wishing I had heeded his advice.

Needless to say, my home needs a VERY thorough cleaning. Thankfully, I have a number of days off this week to get it done.

One way I keep myself on task is to publish it here, holding myself accountable to the world (or at least my version of the "world" - all of you).

So today, I will accomplish the following:

  • Clean and organize the kitchen.


  • The stove (which IS NOT a self-clean oven...which means scrubbing and FUMES)
  • The microwave
  • The floor (and being that it is winter and there is a LOT of mud out there due to the snow that can't decide whether it is coming or going - this is going to be a HUGE job)
  • The refrigerator (my least favorite job right after the floors)
  • The table and chairs (of course, they get cleaned every evening, but A is not the cleanest eater and they need a REALLY good scrubbing)
  • The top of the cabinets (this ends up being a place for little odds and ends to get placed and never returned to their rightful place)
  • The top of the fridge (where toys that are taken away end up)

So that is that. Period. What a way to spend a Monday.

Tuesday will be more of that just a different room of the house...as will Wednesday and Thursday and Friday...UGH!

AND they are predicting ANOTHER snow storm on Tuesday. Have I mentioned that I don't believe my children have had a full day of school since before Christmas? Did you know that looking at the 10-day forecast they are predicting snow 6 out of those 10 days? I'm SO done.

One day this week I will be posting all about the Pinewood Derby and the homecoming of our baby girl...what an emotional day that was...pics and stories to come.

I will do my best to be by each of your blogs (especially you, Very Good Year...I am awaiting news...ANXIOUSLY) but understand, I will be VERY busy!!


Feel the burn...

I love www.livestrong.com - have I told you that before?

I love that I can enter my activity for the day and it tells me how many calories I burned.

Sledding burns about 730 calories per hour (for me at my weight). Walking burns about 690 calories per hour.

But it doesn't tell me how much I burn while I am walking, pulling a sled with a 50lb kid in it...


I LOVE books!!

I think I have expressed before how much I love to read. My goal this year is to read 52 books (one for every week). I have already read 5 (all of which are listed to the right and all of which I recommend except The Last Girls - too wordy for me).

I was on Facebook the other day, playing Scrabble with Nicki, and this ad pops up on the right of the screen. Usually I never click those ads (we all know that is how websites pay for their free sites to be up, we SHOULD click them and click them often) but this one intrigued me. It said something about getting The Twilight Series for free. So I clicked it. It brought me to www.swaptree.com...

And it opened up a NEW WORLD for me!!

This place is SO FREAKING AWESOME! You list the books that you have (the ones you are willing to part with - for me this DOES NOT include The Twilight Series), list the books you want, they match you up and BINGO you have a new book!!

I put about 15 books on the list, added about 15 to my "want" list and immediately they told me that I had a potential trade. I "initiated" the trade, the other party accepted, I dropped hers in the mail and today I got my new book.


For about $5 in postage (even less if you buy it online DIRECTLY THROUGH SWAPTREE) I got a new book.


Not only does this work for books but you can swap for music, DVDs and video games. Currently there are about 620 items available to me.

Check it out if you have a moment. I am absolutely in love :)

Do you dare?

I recently purchased a book called The Love Dare. The movie Fireproof (that Kirby and I went to see a few weeks ago) was based on a couple's experience with this book.

"This 40-Day journey equips you to melt hardened, separated hearts into an enduring love that can withstand the flames of fear, pride and temptation. The Love Dare book will help you reinforce and enrich your marriage, earn back a love you thought was lost..." It also intends to bring you closer to God (which, honestly, I struggle with).

While Kirby and I are in a much better place than we were 6 months ago, it certainly couldn't hurt to strengthen it. And, as I mentioned, I struggle with my relationship with God, so what have I got to lose?

So I wonder, have any of you taken The Love Dare? Are you willing to challenge yourself to a 40 day journey to strengthen your relationships? Do you dare hop aboard my "love train"?

You can read a bit more about The Love Dare HERE.


We've got her!!

Or THEY have her...but really, she is OURS, right?!

Yesterday my sister and her family got to meet their baby girl. She is gorgeous, of course and it appears that she knows her mommy already. She fell asleep in Monica's arms before the day was over.

This has been such an amazing journey for all of us. Especially for Monica and her family. Taking a trip to Korea, meeting Steve's family (people that his mother hadn't seen in 17 years, people that Steve had never even met) and bringing home a baby girl. But for the rest of us, to even be a part of it...uh, I'm getting all veclemped (except I am not Jewish...so I don't know how to spell it).

I spoke with Monica and Christian (my nephew) yesterday afternoon (or VERY early morning their time - the boys are having a hard time adjusting to the time change). This was before they got to meet their baby (and sister) but even talking to Christian about it I started to cry. He is such a compassionate, loving little man. He is going to be an amazing big brother to this little girl (and he is already an amazing big brother to Than).

Tonight she will be spending the night with them in their hotel room then they all head home. They will be arriving here on the East Coast Saturday afternoon (at which point in time her adoptive name will be announced). Our plan is to meet them at the airport but Z is racing his Pinewood Derby car that day...if he stinks then we go, if he is great then we probably won't make it (is it awful that I SO SELFISHLY WANT him to stink?!?!).

I have pictures but am not ready to share them with the whole Internets....not until I have permission.

Prayers for a safe, uneventful journey home and an easy transition from foster mom to adoptive mom for our baby girl.

Another unnumbered Thankful Thursday's Thirteen. My gratitude cannot be measured.

Happy Birthday, Dear Loren!!

A VERY Happy 21st Birthday to my little brother, Loren. I love you very much.

Here are a few of my favorite memories:

  • I remember when you thought you were Peter Pan. You seemed so convinced that there were times I was terrified you would try to fly from a tree or the roof...
  • I remember you sitting on the living room floor, encyclopedias spread around you, in a pull-up. You could read (and read well) but you weren't potty trained!! YOU give me hope for Andrew...
  • You were SO cranky as a baby and that the only thing that would sooth you was your bouncy seat in front of a sing-along-song movie. I could probably still sing those songs in my sleep.
  • I took you to your first Star Wars movie and the second and the third (and I kick myself all the time for it). I loved taking you to those movies.
  • Dad let you cut school one day and I took you Christmas shopping and to see Space Jam. It was such a great time and one of my favorite memories of us.
  • When you first started dating Emily and you had her ring tied around your neck on a piece of string. You got so embarrassed when I asked you about it.
  • At your graduation party that you sang Piano Man and did it well - I would have been to scared to get up there alone. I was so proud of you.
  • You played your trumpet at Monica's wedding and everyone thought it was a CD - you were amazing for an 11 year old kid!
  • Remember that time Dad brought a woman home for dinner? Probably the first time he brought a woman home. You farted at the dinner table. She never came back.
  • The day you were born, Mom and Dad called from the hospital and told us your name and Alex cried because he wanted you to be named Clay.

    Just a bit of advice on your 21st:

    1. Do NOT get drunk in front of Dad. If you are getting a little buzzed STOP. He WILL kill you - or at least make you feel about 2 inches tall and you will WISH you were dead.

    2. If you think you are going to get sick GO TO THE BATHROOM. Don't think that you can overcome it - I promise, you CAN'T!

    3. Drinks are expensive. If your plans are to become an alcoholic you need to get a job that pays better than the one you have.

    4. You WILL NOT like beer. I know it is all "manly" to drink beer but it REALLY IS yucky. You will hate it. My best advice, grab a vodka with cranberry juice or Kahlua and milk or even a Captain and coke and put it in a clean beer bottle...that way Alex doesn't make fun of you for drinking the "fruity" drinks.

    5. Remember no drinking and driving. This is the MOST important. If you need a ride call me. I don't care where you are or who you are with...Kirby will come and get you :)


The BEST Mac and Cheese EVER

Part of what I ate this weekend was the most wonderful Mac and Cheese EVER (and most full of fat and junk - I know, www.livestrong.com told me).

It is so delicious, however, that I had to share it with you all. I do not have pictures (cooking with two boys running around takes enough out of me, I can barely NOT burn the butter - never mind snapping photos). I also have to confess that the recipe MOSTLY comes from www.foodnetwork.com - but I have made a few changes to bring down the fat content AND make it EXTRA special. Oh and MOST importantly, the kids LOVE it!!

Bake Mac and Cheese with Ham ala Crazy Momma, Crazy Town USA (Serves 6-8)

  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 3TB Olivio
  • 3 TB flour
  • 1 TB powdered mustard
  • 3 cups skim milk
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 ounces SHARP cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 cups leftover ham, diced
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • black pepper


  • 3 TB Olivio
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about 5 minutes. Make sure it is free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf and paprika. Simmer for 10 minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg (if you don't know how to temper in an egg - I didn't - click here). Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in the macaroni and ham into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.


Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes before serving.

ENJOY and let me know what you think!


Belly changes

I have been taking weekends off of my "diet" and exercise regimen. I don't track my calories, I don't push myself to work out and I don't, really, pay attention to what I am eating. I think it is a fair compromise. 'Cause telling myself "never" doesn't work (at least not today).

Both Saturday and Sunday I realized that I am not sure that is going to work. I didn't go overboard with food but I certainly ate like the calories didn't count. And, man oh man, I felt it!

Saturday we went for dinner at my mother's. It is not uncommon to eat at my mom's on Saturday for "beans" but we hadn't been there in a little while. This week we were sure to make it because the next day Mom, Monica, Steve and family were leaving for KOREA!!

I was SO full by the time we left there I thought I might have to undo the button on my pants...

From there we went to my father's where Kirby was going to play poker while I sat in a rocking chair in front of the fire reading a book watched the children. I couldn't eat a thing. I looked (oh BELIEVE ME, I looked - my aunt had even brought whoopie pies...YUMMY), but I couldn't do it.

Sunday, I flat out ate like crap. I can't even begin to tell you the junk that I ate (too embarrassing). It wasn't that I ate A LOT it was that there was absolutely no nutritional value to any of it (including the whoopie pie that we brought home from Dad's).

Worse than that, my mood was horribly effected. I found myself irritable and cranky. I felt yucky and full and bloated.

So I went for a walk. I went down to the local bookstore (The Country Bookseller - if you happen to be in the area I HIGHLY recommend it - wonderful place, wonderful people, so friendly). It isn't a very long walk - not even half of the way to work (which I walk to about 4 days a week) and I was winded coming home...

It could have been the air (very dry and colder than all hell), it could have been the pace I was walking (a bit faster than usual because of the temps)...but it could have been that I had absolutely ZERO nutrition in my body and very little water.

Two weeks into these daily changes and my belly is already feeling it.


This is why I don't like women....

Well, aside from YOU women, of course. Bloggy women are great. And, in all honesty, I have a number of very close women friends...but in general, I don't like women.

Kirby and I sent the boys to my Mom's overnight on Saturday. This is not something we do often so I was pretty darned excited.

The evening started in a church. First off, let me tell you that Kirby and I are not church goers. We both believe in God but have our issues with him...one of mine is organized religion. HOWEVER, my sister highly recommended the movie Fireproof and the church was showing it (and it was free). So, off we went.

Honestly, the movie was great. It is about a couple who are going through some major challenges in their relationship, on the verge of divorce and the "dare" that the husband takes to get their marriage back on track. Kirk Cameron stars as the husband and firefighter and he did a wonderful job.

It is kind of After School Specialish, it is about accepting God into your life and your relationships. It was, honestly, wonderful. I was, pleasantly, surprised.

After the movie we decided to meet up with some of Kirby's coworkers and go bowling. I haven't been 10 pin bowling in years and I was looking forward to having a great night out without any kids.

The second we walked into the bowling alley, one of Kirby's coworkers (a young, "hawt", girl) SCREAMED at the top of her lungs. And from that moment forward she completely ignored me. She also ignored her boyfriend (she never even introduced him to us).

As the night went on she got progressively worse. The more she drank, the worse she got. She slapped nearly every guy's (and girl's) ass...except mine (not that I am complaining) and thankfully, for HER, not Kirby's. At one point I commented on how much I had drank and she asked if that meant she could rub her ass in my face...I was so shocked I couldn't even speak to her.

And that is not even the worst part.

We were bowling two lanes. Kirby and I and a couple other women were in one lane and she and ALL the other men were in the other. At one point in time I ended up bowling at the same time as her. As I reached for my ball the girl reached out her hand and SLAPPED me. Yes...slapped my arm and told me "that ball is mine".

I was SHOCKED. Who does that? Who, within moments of meeting someone, does that? I could see if she and I knew each other (which we didn't - and, now, never will), a couple of girlfriends, messing around, but we aren't a couple of girlfriends. I didn't even know the girl.

And just to set the record straight, I wasn't even going after "her" ball. I may not be great at 10 pin and I may be "just a girl" but I can certainly handle a ball larger than 7lbs.

I explained to Kirby that, while I may have had a couple of drinks, I was still VERY aware of what was going on and if that bitch women touched me (or him) again I was going to punch her in the face.

Thankfully, she chose to keep her hands to herself off of each of us the rest of the evening and I was able to restrain myself 'cause I tell you....

My mouth, on the other hand, didn't show much restraint. The next time she and I met up to bowl at the same time, she reached out to slap me again as I took a ball and informed her that she looks "like a girl who is used to getting what she wants" and that she was welcome to whichever ball she needed.

I am sure there are women out there who don't feel the need to be center of attention at all times (in fact, the two other women that were there happened to be very nice) but those women tend to come into a room and do just that - be the center of attention (good or bad). I wonder what could have happened in her life that she chooses to act like that in front of complete strangers.


Seoul - here we come!!

At 8:30 this morning my sister got THE call. The one that we have been waiting for. The one that says "pack your bags, you get to go pick up your baby".

Hopefully, by this time next week we will have our little girl home, safe and sound!

Please send my sister and her family (her husband, her two sons, her mother-in-law and our mother) well wishes. Keep them in your prayers during this amazing journey. There are no two people in this world who deserve this more.

And with that, how about a little Thankful Thursday?

  • I am so thankful that my sister and her husband get the opportunity to visit Korea. My brother-in-law is Korean and I think this is such an amazing opportunity for him and his children.
  • I am thankful that my mother gets to be a part of this journey. I swear she has been waiting for a little girl since Z (her first grandchild) was born. I think it is fitting that she gets the opportunity to be there.
  • I am thankful that we didn't have to wait until after the Korean New Year (Monday) to get the call.
  • I am thankful that my nephew will not miss his Pinewood Derby race this weekend...they probably will not get to leave until Sunday or Monday.
  • I am thankful that the same nephew answered the phone this morning when he was suppose to be heading out the door for school.
  • I am thankful that my sister is allowing us to be at the airport when she arrives. I don't want to crowd the baby when she will already be so overwhelmed...but I do want to be there as much as I am "allowed".
  • I am thankful that this means the entire family will probably be able to join us for Z's birthday (as long as our little girl is feeling up to it).
  • This one may cause a little controversy...I am thankful that the plane went into the Hudson last week because what are the chances that there would be another serious plane crash in the weeks following?
  • I am thankful that my family is so close and that we are able to share this day together.

It's not 13...but, honestly, there are so many more things that just can't be put into words.

No pain - no gain.

I don't like pain. Not at all, not in any sense. If it isn't easy, I don't want to do it. And, honestly, this is the story of my life...

I gain weight because it is easier than working out and watching what I eat (which accounts for me being at my highest weight since losing 100 lbs a few years ago). My relationship struggles because I don't want to deal with the pain of putting in the work. My house is (often) a disaster because I don't want to deal with the pain of cleaning it up...the list goes on and on.

Lazy, perhaps. Actually, probably most definitely. But the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one...right?!

So, I have decided that I hate Billy Blanks (oh and don't even get me started on his perky daughter Shellie who just makes me want to puke every time I see her) . You see, I have started doing a Tae Bo video every morning with Z. I figured I could kill two birds with one stone:

1) Z gets some energy out before he goes to school with the intention of helping his (undiagnosed) ADHD.

2) I burn some calories and (hopefully) don't look like a fat cow at my brother's wedding in June.

And along with Billy and his perky daughter Shellie (gosh, even the way she spells it makes me think PERKY) I have added Lance. Now, Lance I like. Lance makes things very easy for me with The Daily Plate. I track everything I eat, every calorie I burn and every pound of weight I lose. And by "calorie burning" you know that I mean everything from grocery shopping to putting on makeup to SEX (yes, you read that right, you can count sex to your calorie burning) to massage work (some of my recent fitness logs included Tae Bo, folding clothes, washing dishes and shoveling snow). Did you know that massage work (for me, at my weight) burns approximately 417 calories an hour (which is really nice because, on a good day, I have 4 clients which equals NEARLY the amount of calories I am allotted each day) and walking to and from work everyday burns 353 calories...see, Lance I like.

I have been tracking my food for about a week. Honestly, I have not been doing it as faithfully as I should (I skipped the weekend) but it has made everything so much easier and made me really aware of what I am consuming on a daily basis. Did you know that a Dunkin Donuts Boston Creme Donut is 270 calories? That is more than I burn doing 20 minutes of Tae Bo with STUPID Billy and Shellie.

The past two mornings Z and I have gotten up early and done some Tae Bo. Yesterday (day one) I lasted about 10 minutes and then I died. Right on the floor. My heart stopped until the DVD was off...then I came to. Z, of course, being the ball of energy that he is, said "we barely even started". I told him I thought it was enough for one day...

It hurts. Every inch of my body hurts. My hips hurt, my legs hurt, my ass hurts...it's a big reminder of the last time I joined a gym.

But that got me thinking about the "no pain- no gain" concept and my complete inability to put myself through any sort of pain.

Did I think this was going to be easy?
Did I think that I could just melt the pounds away by blogging at the computer? Blogging, BTW, burns about 156 calories per hour.
Doesn't pain = strength?
Don't we all have to go through pain to get stronger?

And then (of course cause I have the (undiagnosed) ADHD tendencies as well) I started thinking about my life in general and how I am apt to give up at anything that seems too hard...

So now, I am on a mission. I am going to do things that are hard. I am not giving myself a time limit or going to say "until" (because that makes things so much easier for me to give up on). I am going to do this today. Today I am going to do things that are hard (like the 20 minutes of Tae Bo I FORCED myself to do - but you can bet your ass that as soon as 20 minutes was up I was DONE). Today is much easier than this week or this month or until I lose 100 pounds...

So, wish me luck, TODAY. Things are going to get a whole lot harder as time goes on...



I have come to realize that the networking sites (like Facebook and MySpace) do one thing well: FEED DRAMA.

So if you are wondering if you should join either site (because EVERYONE is doing it) and you don't deal well with drama...perhaps you should reconsider.

I left high school well over 10 years ago and wouldn't go back if you paid me. I certainly don't want the drama that I left behind infiltrating my life today.

I know who my real friends are, I don't need Facebook or MySpace to remind me or to tell me what they are doing every minute of every day.

So I'm taking a break from all things drama related. It's not worth it.

Did you just goose me?

My office is in one of the most beautiful areas of town. It sits right on the water, is surrounded by trees and is, mostly, very peaceful. We have a bit of wildlife though nothing usually too scary.

Until Saturday...

We are currently living with one car. The plus side is that I am getting plenty of exercise during the week. The down side is that the days I don't walk home from work I wait for Kirby to come and get me. Saturday was one of those days.

I got out of work a little earlier than I expected (don't you LOVE that). I decided to wait outside until Kirby got there. It was a beautiful day. A little chilly but the sun was shining and the snow was gorgeous.

As I was looking out over the water I noticed a Canadian Goose sitting in the snow close to the water but about 20 feet from me. He was just laying there, kind of pecking around in the snow. I approached him to check him out (thinking he might be hurt - while we often have geese not usually this time of year) still not getting any closer than 15 feet. I snapped some pictures with my camera phone and talked to the guy a little bit.

Well, I am not sure if he was pissed off because I took his picture without permission or if he was terribly hungry and thought I might be tasty...whatever it was that goose CHARGED!!

As he came at me I hollered, told him to keep back...he didn't listen.

I waved my arms, told him to stay away...he didn't listen.

That freaking goose chased me right back into my office where he proceeded to peck at the glass door trying to get me!!

Kirby drove in soon after I ran into the office and sat in the car laughing at me.

I tried to scare the goose away. I made threatening gestures through the window. Nothing. He just kept pecking.

I tried to call my father for advice ('cause that's what I do - life gets tough, call Daddy) but he didn't answer the phone. I tried to call my mom and ended up talking to her husband instead. He informed me that geese can be very scary (ummmm, YA THINK?!), that in Korea they use to use them as "attack dogs" (surely, you MUST be joking)...and his best advice: "attack him".

All the while I am on the phone Kirby is doing his best to distract the goose...FROM THE CAR. Please note that I said FROM THE CAR. The man rolled down his window and proceeded to honk at the goose (and laugh at me). And when he eventually did step from the car it was only to stand directly behind the door so he could make a fast escape if necessary.

Eventually I grabbed a broom from the closet, stuck it through a crack in the door and gestured wildly at the goose. He flapped his wings, he made some noise and he backed away. I took my opening and I ran - like the freaking wind.

Both the kids and Kirby thought this was the most hysterical thing they have ever seen...I wasn't so sure at that moment (I was still shaking with terror) but I can see the humor now.

I called the woman who I share space with (who was also working) and warned her to watch out as she was leaving for the new "attack goose". She sent me a picture of him as she was trying to get to her car...
Okay, okay, that isn't really her picture, I found that one on Google...but it is pretty similar (her picture was just a crappy one that she took with her phone and I couldn't seem to get it uploaded properly and in my haste I forgot to SAVE the pictures I took to my phone).
So, in the wake of the terrifying US Airways ordeal, and my, almost, equally terrifying ordeal, I have decided...the devil has made a deal with the geese. We are all in trouble!


I cried, I got chills, I texted...

Yes it is. Yes we did! Yes HE will. Today is the first day of the next 4 years.

When I saw Barack Obama in Dover, NH over 2 years ago I KNEW he was something special. Never before had I been so excited about a presidential campaign. But I KNEW this was MY time. So I signed that little card asking for volunteers.

When Max from the Obama campaign called me and asked me to help I told him ABSOLUTELY as long as I didn't have to make phone calls. Two weeks later I drove an hour to the Conway, NH district office and did just that...made phone calls. Because I BELIEVED.

And through the summer and fall I worked and worked and worked. I knocked on doors, I made phone calls, I worked events, I talked and debated and prayed and I hoped.

When all the Wolfeboro volunteers gathered in Phil's living room on primary night there was a palpable energy. We KNEW we had worked and worked and worked and made a difference in the minds of voters across the town. When OUR numbers came in and WE WON Wolfeboro - the energy became electric.

When they announced that Hillary Clinton had taken the state I cried. I was heartbroken, knowing how hard I had worked, how hard my fellow volunteers had worked...it hurt. I was in a state of shock for a number of days. The polls had predicted a 17 point lead. It killed.

And when he DID become the Democratic nominee. I was thrilled. I knew how hard I had worked and how hard volunteers across the nation must have worked to make that happen.

I did not volunteer through the general election. I had burned myself (and my relationships) out during the primary. It was a lot of hard work, a lot of time away from my family and friends. A lot of time on the phone debating why Obama WAS the right man for the job. I wouldn't take it back for anything - but I knew that I could not sustain (and my relationships could not sustain)another 6 months of working that hard.

When Charlie Gibson paused on election night, waiting for the California polls to close, I thought "WTF is he doing?". And then it happened. He announced that Barack Obama was the next President of The United States of America. I fell to my knees. I cried, I got chills, I texted, I cried, I got chills, I SCREAMED.

Today IS THE DAY. The day I worked so hard for. The day that I wanted so badly. The day that so many of us prayed and hoped and worked for.

Whether or not you voted for him, I hope that you recognize what TODAY is. Today is the first day of the next four years. The first day that Americans can say that we have a black man serving as our commander and chief. The day that history is made. The day that I can look at my children and say, "THIS is what I worked so hard for. THIS is what we stood on the corner holding our signs in subzero temperatures for. THIS is what took me away from you for nights upon nights upon nights. THIS is why we vote. This is why we are AMERICANS. THIS is the first day of the next four years."

He will not be perfect, he will make mistakes. But today is a day that we can all be proud of the democratic process that we are a part of - whether you voted for him or not, the democratic process works.

Democrat or Republican, man or woman, black or white...this is history. Take a minute and be part of it.


Musical Meme

These are my favorite memes...I love it even more when they make sense (which only a few of these do like my favorite saying - HYSTERICAL).

1. Put your music player on shuffle.
2. Press forward for each question.
3. Use the song title as the answer to the question even if it does not make sense.
4. Tag someone else

How do you feel today? U Got The Look - Prince

What’s your outlook on life? Volunteers - Jefferson Airplane

What does your family think of you? Iris - Goo Goo Dolls

What do your friends think of you? Just A Girl - No Doubt

What do strangers think of you? Overture/Hannibal - Phantom of the Opera

What do your exes think of you? Santa Fe - Newsies

How’s your love life? Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again - Phantom of the Opera

How will your love life be in the future? Don't Give Up - Peter Gabriel

Will you get married? Don't Stop The Music - Rhianna

Are you good at school? Keeps Gettin' Better - Christina Aguilera

Will you be successful? Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand

What song should they play on your birthday? Decode - Paramore

What song should they play at your graduation? Ball And Chain - Janis Joplin

The Soundtrack of your life? Javert's Arrival - Les Miserable

You and your best friends are? Love Like This - Natasha Bedingfield

Happy times: Cole's Song - Julian Lennon

Sad times: You Just Get Better All The Time - Tim McGraw

Every day: SOS - Rihanna

For tommorrow: Someone To Watch Over Me - Julia Fordham

For you: Maria Maria - Santana

What does next year have in store for me? Wishing It Was - Santana

What do I say when life gets too hard? Ventura Highway - America

What song will I dance to at my wedding? The Bargain: The Waltz of Treachery - Les Miserable

What do you want as your career? You're My Best Friend - Queen

Your favorite saying? Save A Horse (Ride a Cowboy) - Big & Rich

How will I die? Sloop John B - The Beach Boys

I tag Tony from Soy Sauce Packets and Epiphanies...have fun!


6, 6, 6, 6

I stole this from Christy over at Heavy on the Caffeine. It's a picture meme. Go to your picture file, pick the 6th folder, then the 6th picture. Post that picture and blog about it.

This picture of Z and Hunter was taken in July, 06 - about 2 and a half years ago. If you look closely you can see that Z is missing a number of teeth. He had just graduated kindergarten and man, oh man, he was a handful. But he was NOTHING compared to Hunter.

That dog was (and still is) a bastard. We loved (and still love) him but MAN, OH MAN, that dog was the worst behaved dog EVER. He loved the kids, they were his "pack". He loved any and all food (except dog treats and his own food). He loved to run (especially away) - there was a time Kirby chased him up the road (Kirby was in his truck) and Hunter OUTRAN him!! He loved to chew anything and everything but mostly the kids toys or shoes. And now he loves Nicki, Rich and Xander who adopted him when we moved and Hunter was not allowed to accompany us.

I can't believe how young Z looks in this picture. He is so tiny and clean and sweet and innocent...yeah, not so much anymore.

And from the pictures I have seen recently, Hunter looks tiny too...not so much anymore!

So I am going to tag Nicki because she hasn't posted since before THANKSGIVING!!


The words...oh the words!

As I was sitting on the toilet yesterday (and on the phone with Nicki - sorry, Nicki) A came into the bathroom:

A: "what's a predicament, Mommy"

Me: "well, it's a sticky situation"

A: "ewwwww, a STICKY situation"

Me: "well, no, not STICKY really"

A: "oh, it's just an expression"

Me: "Yup, just an expression"

Where does my child come up with this stuff? Of course, I can deal with "predicament" and "expression", whereas the OTHER words he has used in the past...eh, not so much.

On another note, Z is working on his Pinewood Derby car. Any suggestions? We tried baking it tonight. I guess it is suppose to dry out all the water from inside the wood, making the car weigh less so when you add the weight to the back (because it should weigh 5oz in the end) it will go faster...didn't work for us. The car didn't lose a single pound (or ounce, as the case may be).
Although, the house smelled like really nice, warm pine for a good couple hours.

And on a completely different note (VERY WAY DIFFERENT) my "blogga from anotha' motha'" over on the west coast is having a contest. I warn you - THIS IS NOT FOR THE PRUDE AT HEART OR ANY OF MY SIBLINGS. If you can't deal with anything that has anything to do with anything referring to your nether regions DO NOT CLICK THE LINK!! If you are one of my siblings (or Nana Sue who recently started her own blog) DO NOT CLICK THE LINK! I SWEAR, it could burn your corneas!!

Otherwise, go check her out here!