Saturday, September 10, 2011

Some families have two Daddy's

That was the sentence that started one hell of a long conversation with Thomas last night.

I was at the table with the kids eating dinner. Thomas asked if he could be the Daddy since Tom wasn't home. But then Collin wanted to be the Daddy. They argued and Thomas' response was there could only be one Daddy.

"Some families have two Daddy's," was my reply. We've had a conversation very similar years ago and I guess it was time for another.

"What? How? How can two Daddy's have a baby?"

We discussed how although all babies come from a man and women, not all families have a Mommy and Daddy. We discussed how some women have babies to give to families who can't have their own. We discussed how some women just can't keep their babies. We discussed that their are many, many different types of families. And that there are even some kids who don't have a mommy or a daddy. We even discussed adoption.

We discussed families with a Mom, Dad, and the kids.
Families with just a Mom or just a Dad, that may or many not have the other parent in the child's life.
Families with two Mommies, or two Daddies.
Families with no parents, families where the Grandparent, Aunt, or Uncle lives with the kids.

It was a long conversation with many questions. One I'm glad we had now that he is a bit older and does understand more.

Our family.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Anniversary to me!

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Six years ago I walked down the aisle a blubbering mess. Pregnancy hormones and seeing him at the 'make-shift alter' had the waterworks flowing before I even stepped into through the double doors.

It's been a long, difficult six years. More up and downs than I'd ever think possible for two people to endure. I used to blog whenever I was down, more often than now it was because of him. In the past year I've cut that out mostly. I find if I think of the positives when he is driving me up a wall, every one is happier, and I don't make him out to always be the bad guy.

Our anniversary's tend to come and go with just a "Happy Anniversary" and a card to each other. Of the previous five, only one had a happy memory.

Until now. The hubs and I are not big on going out and spending loads of money we don't have. Even as a rare treat, unless the kids are with us. This year, do to the same funds we always seem to lack, we decided to stay home. We shipped out all three children for the night. I went to Hallmark and Gamestop looking for something, anything to get him for our special day. What do you get a man after 11 years together? What does he want besides a PS3? I hadn't a clue! At gamestop I saw Monopoly for the Wii. How perfect!

Let me explain. The hubs beats me at everything! And I do mean everything. Especially video games. The board game Monopoly is the only thing we have played with each other that I have always won. I am the Monopoly champ 'round these parts. No one I have ever played has won. Until last night. He beat me and the two other computers. I don't think I've heard that much laughter from him and I in a long time. It was as if it were the first year or two of our relationship again.

Before starting our game we picked up some subs from the local pizza joint and just sat and talked. Not something we get to due to often. And when we do talk, it's usually about money or the kids. Never about us.

After we ate, we took a shower, then started our game. I feared we'd both be sound asleep by 9:30-10. Proving we are an old married couple. Instead we played Monopoly until a bit after one.

When we finally were ready to go to sleep, it was nearing 3 am. I couldn't believe it! We had a night, with out fearing the children waking up, just laughing and having fun. He could not believe I actually stayed away from the computer and my books all night. I couldn't believe he didn't once try to put on Ghost Adventures. We fell asleep in each others arms.

This morning, due to him needing to go to work, we went and picked up the kids together. At my parents house, each boy ran up to us, with a handful of flowers. Not one was a dandelion!

We may go out for ice cream or to the park when the hubs gets home. We had our night, now it's time to switch from "anniversary mode" to "mother's day". Either way, we will spend tonight and tomorrow as a family.

We did not do much, nor did we do anything special. Yet, this sixth anniversary has been by far the best yet.

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Smelling the Roses

"The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose."

Sometimes even the most pessimistic person really needs to just stop and smell the roses. Being the "glass is half empty" person I tend to be, I need to remind myself of this. Tonight is one of those nights.

I can sit here and focus on Tom being laid off, yet again. I can focus on the bills and the rent, and our way too small apartment on a run down street. I can focus on all the money I need to come up with to get my wisdom teeth pulled, which all have four cavities. And if you know me, or have been following my blog over the past couple of years, you know I can ramble about pretty much anything.

Instead of rambling and going on and on about the bad, I'm going to take a moment to reflect on the good.

Despite not being to the dentist in 5+ years and having 6 cavities, my teeth aren't bad. I do not need to have any teeth pulled, besides the ones most people need to have done. Despite my glasses breaking, at my own hands, I have a nifty new pair that I was able to buy, and pay for in full, that I absolutely love.

We may not have the largest home, in a decent neighborhood or even a home that we own, but we have a home. We have a roof on our heads. We have a door that locks. We have electricity, heat, and hot water. We have food in the fridge and in the pantry. We have clean clothes, that fit, on our backs and shoes on our feet. We have luxuries like  cable television, internet, house and cell phones. Luxuries like video game consoles, toys, books, and movies. Luxuries like gym memberships, a van that fits our family and runs, and more. We are living comfortably.

Most importantly of all, we have love. We have each other. I have a husband and three children who love and cherish me. As I love and cherish them. I have smiles in the morning, and I love you's at night.

My children are so kind and so smart. Yes, all three have their moments, moments I tend to dwell on more often than I should. But they are really good kids.

Thomas is reading and doing basic math! He just learned to tie his shoes as well! Despite being in school now, he still get's jealous if I don't kiss him after kissing his brother and sister. He still asks for kisses and hugs. He tells me he loves me constantly. His new favorite way to do this is to pop out of no where and shout, "Peek a boo; I love you!" Followed by running into my arms for a hug and kiss. He understands what it means to be a big brother, and even though his sister and brother get on his nerves at times, he does all he can to help them, to play with them, to just be there for them. When either of them are upset, hurt, or just plain not getting their way, Thomas is right there. Either by hugging them saying in his sweet baby voice, "don't cry, Thomas got you" or helping them get what they want or need.

Collin's speech has come so far in the past 11.5 months. A boy who had a vocab of grunts and moans, with the occasional "mommy" and "daddy" does not stop talking! And heaven forbid if you do not listen! "'S'cuse me" or "look at my face" he will shout until you do listen. Even if he just wants to say, "We watched that last day". (Last Day-Collin speak for yesterday) Though he does not know what they are, he is writing all 26 upper and lower case letters. He is singing his ABC's finally, and counting to ten. He finally has his colors and shapes down as well. Some people will think, big deal he's three, he should know this stuff; but it is a big deal! He has come so far, and I cannot help but be proud. The boy colors just as well, if not better than his big brother, and loves to do "homework" right next to Thomas as well. He will sit for hours just working in his "Kindergarten basics" book, and figures most things out on his own. He is loving the computer these days, as well as his Leapster 2 and his (bother's) DS. The boy is obsessed with Barney and if he hears any children song he may have heard on Barney, he will shout, "That a Barney song" over and over again until you put it on. We went through a rough few weeks with him refusing to eat meals. We learned he was just upset that Thomas took over most of the conversation at dinner time and he wanted some attention as well. It may mean us feeding him currently, but it's no big deal. He eats and enjoys dinner again, and Mommy truly does not mind. Hell, I enjoy it just as much. His current favorite way to play is by running in and out of the room to kiss Daddy and I in silly places, from our ears to our hands to our feet. He think's it the funniest thing in the world. Personally I just think it's the sweetest.

And Bailey... oh my Bailey. That girl is at my favorite age. Trying so hard to be a big girl, not quite a baby any more, yet still my baby. Though I am sad our nursing relationship is coming to an end, I am beyond proud of her and I for making it 18 months. (Well Saturday will be 18 months.) I still offer at nap and bedtime. And she only nurses for less than a minute or two, but it's hard to move on. We will keep doing this until she flat out refuses. Which is happening more often than I like these days. When she's done with her boo she climbs down and kisses Daddy "ny ny" and waves. As soon as she gets to the door leading out of the living room she blows kisses, then runs for our room. When I lay her in her crib, which she is sleeping in all night long instead of partially cosleeping with me, she tells me ny ny and blows me a kiss. She is stacking blocks and cups and everything else she can. She can now stack all ten of her stacking cups. She is saying between 15-20 words on a regular basis and is showing interest in the potty! She loves to sit on the big ceramic thrown and talk to me. She is a little Diva-in-training these days and is quick to make her preferences known. From picking her own clothes (and her brothers!) to picking which shoes and jacket she leaves the house in. She likes to pick what cup she drinks from and when she has a bath. She will let you know when she wants to play with you, and when she prefers to play alone. She loves music and will dance for as long as she can hear it. She is just like her brothers, and even me as a kid, and loves Barney. I think it's because of all the songs. She also is a huge Yo Gaba Gaba fan, and will throw the hugest fit if someone changes the channel when it is on. Whenever Daddy or I walk in the door she runs to us screaming "Dada" or "Daddy." Just this week she finally started calling me "Mama". This is a huge deal as neither of my boys called me mama. Always just Mommy. I love it! I love her. And her brother. So, so very much.

As much as a bitch and moan about the little things, I truly have an amazing husband. A husband who will do all he can to keep me home with our kids. He often goes without to make sure the kids and I don't have to. He cooks us dinner every night, he washes laundry so I don't have to lug the massive amounts to the laundromat on my own. He deals with the bigger, non everyday messes that I hate to acknowledge. He wrestles with our kids, and gives them so many kisses and hugs. He is completely wrapped around our baby girl's little finger, and can often be found with her in his arms when he is trying to do something, as she hates to be away from him when he is home. He gives baths and showers. He is the "good guy" and let's the kids stay up late and gives them snacks I won't before bed. He's the one the let's them play video games with him that I'd rather they not bother with. He's the one that takes them out to different stores all the time. He's the one who cannot wait to hit the park when it is warm enough out. He may get frustrated easily when it comes to Thomas' homework and reading, but he's the one that can get Thomas to do it for me. He kisses me every morning when he first wakes up. Kisses me whenever he leaves or enters the house. Kisses me before he goes to sleep at night. He tells me he loves me and that I am beautiful every single day. Though he prefers to sleep on his belly, he sleeps half the night on his back so I can curl up with him each and every night. He get's me books he thinks I would like, though he doesn't understand why I read the "crap" I do. Most importantly of all. He believes in me. He believes I will one day "grow up" and do something I love, career wise. He tells me I am perfect as I am, but supports me in my weight loss goals. I can pick on all the little things he does that drive me up the wall, like leaving dirty socks in the strangest places and opening each and every cabinet door in the kitchen and leaving them open, but isn't that what a husband is supposed to do? Drive their wives a little nutty? I am so very grateful for such an unselfish, caring, considerate, loving man to call my husband.

All in all I have it made. I may not have every material item I want, but I have what I need and more. And even if I had less, I am one hell of a rich woman. I have a home filled with unconditional love and support. I have a family of my own that is...just....well....amazing.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kisses for Daddy.

It was one hour ago, I put the boys to bed.
It was twenty minutes ago I had posted on Facebook about all three children being asleep.
Apparently one was faking.

Of course, after his 2 hour nap today, bedtime was not going to be that easy.
But, it's okay. He's being cute.

He came slowly tiptoeing out of his bedroom, and over to the couch where my husband lay, and kissed his arm.
Then his shoulder. Then his cheek and forehead.

At this point Daddy was smiling and my two boys were both giggling away. Of course when you laugh at Collin, or any of the kids really, he continues.

After a good 3-5 minutes of Collin kissing Daddy all over, the hubs told him with a huge grin, "That's enough Collin. It's time for bed."

Of course after the attention he was receiving he did not want to go back to bed. Then the kisses for Mommy began.

Of course I tried to kiss him back, and laid a gentle kiss upon his forehead, to which he replied, "No kiss my threehead!"

This kid is just pure awesomeness.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Snapshot Saturday & Weight loss crap

While looking at this photograph, my daughter announced, "There Daddy! Hi!" What a way to boost a 
self-conscious mom's self esteem. It shouldn't have bugged me, considering she calls both Tom and I daddy now..

I am at 25 lbs lost. Before I get the "way to go"s and "your doing great", wait a minute. That means I've only lost 5 lbs since December 6th. I need to step up to the plate. Thursday night I ran a 5k on the treadmill making another personal best.

37 minutes 20 seconds
Average speed: 4.9  mph
Average mile: 12 minutes 14 seconds
2 minute cool down at the end, making it 39 minutes, 20 seconds
Burned 750 calories

I started out struggling to do 50 crunches. I am not averaging around 375 each time I do them, I try for 500
My only problem is over the past 2-3 months my servings sizes crept back to where they used to be. And I've gone from hitting the gym 5-6 days a week to 1-3. Not good. Not good at all.

But when I look at a photo like that one up there, I can actually see some progress. Now, I know I really need to work harder on my legs, upper arms, and tummy.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

One screw up, and so much lost.

March 17th will be 30, yes 30 months clean. 30 months on this damn methadone program. 30 months struggling month after month to lower my dose. 30 months struggling just to get to the program to get medicated. Struggling to get to the program and home for the hubs to get to work on time. Struggling to find babysitters to get my monthly group in. Struggling and fighting so hard just to make contact with my counselor, who've I had since April 2010 and have yet to even meet, or even speak to.

January, I fucked up. I did. I can blame the snow. I can blame the ice. I can blame the program being closed the only day I was able to attend group. I can blame my mother in law for bailing out on us 3 different afternoons that month. But it was my fault I didn't make it to group in the month of January. February 1st when I realized the month was over, I called. Right away, "Hi My name is...Who do I speak to about....? What are the consequences going to be if my counselor doesn't return my calls or meet with me? I left voice mails for my counselor. I spoke to her higher up. I came in to see her where told she'd be with me in a few minutes, and after an hour of waiting and then finally asking what was taken so long, being told she walked right past me to leave for the day. Which wasn't the first, or last time she has totally blown me off.

Needless to say, they took away 7 of my bottles. Now I have to go back to weekly pick ups. So many people think, "Whats the big deal, you came daily in the beginning?" Or, "You did weekly pick-ups for months before the bi-weekly's." It's not that I have to come in every week. It's that I've only fucked up once. Never a dirty urine. Never raised my voice and cop't an attitude like the rest of the junkies who don't get their way. Never missed a treatment plan, a group session before this. Nothing. And they rip my bottles away. Yet, I have the person right behind me in line bragging about how they still only come twice a month and have never been to a group since moving program locations, 18 months ago. Go ahead and tell me life isn't fair, hell my 5 year old just told me the other day, but god damn it, this is just not fair. 

And to add insult to injury, my much awaited dose decrease had been denied. That makes no sense at all to me as well. Then the nurse is going to tell me to talk to so-and-so right then and there to clear it up? Um, I wish I could. I really wish I could. But I have a husband who cannot leave for work until I get home. I have three kids who are going to be waking up very shortly. I just cannot drop everything to meet with someone right then and there. Maybe if they would meet with me right then and there, I could have, but considering they usually make me wait 1-2 hours sitting in a waiting room, and then, only after all that time waiting, tell my my counselor either just left for the day, went to a meeting, took someone else who just walked in, or my favorite, went to lunch.

The drastic personality I tend to have is telling me to just quit cold turkey. I can do it, really.
Yea, sure. Then I think, "Um, Nicole....You start feeling withdrawals if you don't take your dose until the afternoon, are you really able to handle 3-5 days of that, slowly getting worse, and then finally getting better? Is losing a few bottles worth risking the fight and urge so intense to ease the pain? A fight you don't know if you can win?"

I want off, but I want off the right way.

Then I start thinking, "Well you've been told time and time again, to get anywhere in this program you need to be loud, obnoxious, and just plain rude. You were just told this, this morning! Yell. Get loud. Make threats. You're good at that with your husband and father, why not these people? You can be just as big of an asshole as most of the people there, as well as half the staff." Yet, while I do tend to get a little loud and mean when arguing with my husband and father, I am not going to do that with a group of people simply doing there job. But then again, if my counselor will actually answer the phone when I call in 2 minutes, maybe I will do just that.

All I want is just to free this hold Heroin has left on my life. I am suck of it controlling every aspect of my life. Is that really too much to ask?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Evil Kitty

When my son chose the only all black kitten out of a litter of all perfectly mixed black and white cats, that looked like cows I did not stop to think about stigma behind black cats. It's just a cat. Right?

Then when he named our new little boy kitten, "Darth Vader" (Vader for short), again I didn't think we were setting up anything negative.

Then we moved. And the cat moved with us. This cat has to be the most evil creature I've ever met.
If you walk by him and his bowl is empty in the kitchen, he strikes. I'm talking, standing on hind legs, swatting and biting anyone who walks by. And I do mean anyone. 
He loves attention, and would prefer if someone were to spend the whole day petting him. Yet, even that has to be on his terms. If you pet too hard, too fast, too slow, stop for a brief moment, he bites. 
For a pet that was supposed to be for my son, the kids all hate him. And he hates the kids. Most of the time. 
Very rarely, he'll play nice with them. Very rarely. 

Anyways...this afternoon while taking some pictures of Bailey, I noticed him sitting still looking out the window. I snapped a few of him, thinking maybe they'd look decent in black and white for a photo contest I was planning on entering.

What I ended up with was not what I began with, but with the nature of Vader, 
I love the way it turned out. 

Give me your best shot at Better in BulkPhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I've been struggling so hard the past month and a half. Trying to distract myself with every little thing. Working out, reading, putting on my happy face online and with everyone I speak to. As the weeks have passed, it's becoming harder and harder to distract myself. Just sitting and watching television isn't enough if I have to sit through commercials. Sitting online isn't enough when I take a moment here or there to think. Reading and working out, provides a steady stream of distraction. But I'm flying through books too fast to keep it up. With this depression I have no desire, whatsoever, to leave the house, so exercise isn't quite doing it's job. And the pure laziness I feel when I get like this is keeping me from doing anything much at home.

I have no desire whatsoever to do anything besides the bare minimum. I don't want to leave my bed at all. Yet staying in it is even worse. So I make myself get up before the hubs and go sleep on the couch. It's the only way I've been able to get up and take care of the kids in the morning. The mornings, I stay in bed until they wake I fight the most intense battle. My mind tells me to stay there. Don't worry about anything, just grieve and cry and sleep. My heart reminds me I have three precious children I need to take care of. My heart tells me she wouldn't want me wasting time reliving the past, feeling guilty, feeling angry, feeling that low.

I know things would be easier if I just made myself do things. If I just made myself do the mundane household tasks, play with the children, work with the children, leave the house, things would be easier..

Lovely. Just lovely. As I sit here typing what is so hard for me to get out, so hard to explain, while I fight to get the words out, the song comes on. Her song. Stopped my trying, dead in it's track, mid-word. "Every little thing's gonna be alright."

You see, New Years Eve 2007, just 3 hours before 2008 would begin, I got a call. Nana had a heart attack. We were having a party at our apartment. Since I was just 18 days away from my due date with Collin, I had the only other sober person there come with me to the hospital. On the way there Bob Marley's Three Little Birds came on the radio. I thought nothing of it at the time. Nothing at all. Just a couple days later she had another heart attack. Again, the song came on. Again, it didn't phase me. I hadn't even noticed that I heard it the night of her first one. On January 19th, two days after my sweet Collin was born, I got a call while I was still in the hospital, "Nana's in surgery, her entire colon is being removed, C-dif, not sure if she can pull through with her heart still healing from the bypass." Just a few pieces I remember from the conversation... I called my doctor to rush the   discharge. I needed to get to the other hospital. When I climbed into the car, with my brand new baby boy and my husband, he was turning the radio dial and stopped on the same song. "This is my message to you-ou-ou, saying, don't worry, 'bout a thing"

I was too worried to think much about it still, but it did calm me down enough to stop crying. I never made it to the hospital that day. The song came on a couple more times during my visits to her. On her birthday, February 9th, we left our 3 week old son with a sitter, for the first time. With the c-dif and being in ICU, my boys weren't able to come. Tom and I parked pretty far from the hospital. Just as we were about to get out of the car, it came on. I immediately cried. We were being tossed around with the doctors words. Every other day it seemed we were being told she was strong. Was going to pull through. Every other opposite day we were told she was weaker, and wouldn't. After listening to the song, and crying my eyes out I had the most intense sense of calm. We walked the 8 blocks to the  hospital in silence. That night we were told she would be in the ICU for a couple weeks at most, then moved to a different floor, then moved to a rehabilitation facility, then could come home if she had help. Two days later my entire family made the decision to pull the plug. She was bleeding internally, the pneumonia caused her lungs to be 80% filled with fluid. Her kidneys were failing. All of the machines were living for her. She was in and out of it. While she was "there" she would shake her head no to every question, never opening her eyes. The 11th was such a long day. We had all, except my husband who stayed with my boys, been there with her. The hospital staff didn't dare speak against us for breaking the two visitors at a time rule. Finally a little after two pm it was time. The plug was pulled. We all crowded around her bed. Crying and watching. Struggling to catch her breath.. Finally a very, very close family friend, scratch that, a member of our family, went to her. "It's okay Betty-Girl. Go see Frenchie." She said a few more words, and we all cried more intensely. She looked around the room. Into the eyes of most, if not all of us. And that was it. None of us wanted to leave. I tried so hard that day to remain strong. So strong for my mother. I couldn't, absolutely could not let her see me upset. Finally, after hours I left. As soon as I started my car, it came on again. I laughed. What kind of cruel joke is this? Every thing is not going to be okay. It will never be okay.

The day of her funeral, I was in a daze. I couldn't cry. Nana wouldn't want us to cry over her. She'd much rather us gossip, and be nosy. To laugh at our memories of her. And I did. Well, when we weren't in the car anyway. When leaving the funeral home to head to the church, Bob Marley played on one of the radio stations. When leaving the church for the cemetery, again. When leaving the cemetery, again.

She was never told she had her own special song.

It's been almost three years since her death, and this year has been the worst since it actually happened. Maybe it's because my mind is clearer now than it was the last two years. I don't know. I just know I'm really struggling. This battle is continuing deep in my soul. Half wanting me to give up. To do anything to soothe the pain, even if it causes more in the long run. The other side keeping me from diving into the deep end again. Fighting to keep me strong. Fighting to keep me here for my family. For myself. Fighting to keep me safe from myself. Fortunately, I know that side will win. It's only lost one battle and has gotten strong over the past couple of years. But it doesn't make it any easier to know that I will get through this. It doesn't make it any easier to know things will get better once I start doing things again. Once I start seeing some sun.

All I have to do is remind myself one small thing: "Every little thing, is gonna be alright."

I guess this post turned into a completely different one from what I intended, 
all because this one little song started on the television behind me.
I saw this video for the very first time after arriving home from the funeral. 
This take on the song perfectly shows my view on the song. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

They're growing up.

(warning: sex and drugs as a child mentioned.)

All children grow up. All people grow. It's just harder when it's your children and you weren't the best behaved teen on the block.And neither was your spouse.

So many people think of 11, 12, 13, 14 year olds as very young. Hell, even I think it's young. But is it really so young that it's shocking that kids at these ages think about sex? That kids these ages, think about drinking and getting high? That kids these ages, are actually doing things that would give their parents heart attacks?

I look at my children, especially my daughter and recount my pre-teen and early teen years. I think about how I will kill them or lock them away somewhere far away from the outside world if they even mentioned thinking about the things their father and I were doing at those ages.. But, is that the smart way to think about it? And if talking to my children is the right way to go about this, when is the right time to start? When they are too young to even understand? Or when the thought are already in their heads, and they're already acting on them?

Between 12-14 years old, I had started by giving head to high school boys, running away from home to be with high school boys and 18-25 year old men, shoplifting, drinking, smoking pot, popping pills, having sex, getting pregnant, being locked up in juvenile detention, skipping class, skipping school, getting kicked out of my parents house, and dating a man 7.5 years older than me. The hubs, was still drinking, smoking pot, and went on to snort coke, smoke crack, shooting up heroin, selling firearms to big shit drug dealers, moving from institution to institution.

How do I prevent my children from doing the shit I did? While, yes, my parents are what exposed me to drugs and alcohol, but they didn't introduce me to sex. In fact, when I did ask my mother at 6 years old, "how does a mommy get a baby in her belly?" I was told to go to my room. When I did ask my mother what sex was, I was grounded for a week. Maybe that's what did it to me? Maybe their fear of teaching me about sex, and honoring my body, and acting like it was a sin, was why I became so interested? Maybe, my parents addiction is why I started drinking and smoking weed so young? But how does that explain the hubs? His parents never did any drugs, yet he ended up strung out on dope by 14? How does that happen?

How do I get right and wrong through these kids' heads? How do I make it clear to them, that they can talk to me about anything? How do I get it through to them, that I will not judge or belittle them? That I won't make them feel stupid, or disgusting for asking? And then, how do I teach them to make the right decisions? Especially when both the hubs and I have made such awful ones?

Everyone always has the same answer, just keep talking to them. But how young is too young? When do I start? When I was Thomas' age I was hanging out with boys kissing behind houses. How do I talk to him, when he is still so little?

About a month ago, Thomas came into my room in the middle of the night wanting a drink or something. As like most nights, I was curled up with the hubs, with my head on his chest and my body wrapped around him. When my 5 year old came in, he asked if we were "doing sex". So is now the right time to talk to him about this? The parent in me says it's way too young to even think about starting to talk about these things. Then the still a child part of me, tells me to start talking, while I have my chance.
Back when I was pregnant with Bailey and Thomas asked how she got in my tummy, I explained to him that a man plants a seed inside a women. And that seed grows into a baby. Not a lie, exactly, but still not disturbing details. It was a good enough answer for him. But now the sex thing? When he asked, it was around 2 in the morning. I brought him into the living room, and asked him if he remembered how a baby got into a mommy's belly, which he did. So, I told him that sex was the way a man got the seed into the women, and that married couples have sex for two reasons, to make a baby and to share their love with each other. I don't know if it was the right answer. I don't know if it was too "mature" for him, or too "childish" for him. He seemed pleased with the answer, grabbed some water and went back to bed.

Now, I realize that his asking was just the tip of the iceberg. I have three children who are going to grow. And it is my responsibility to make sure they grow into good, honest, smart, self-confident people. It is my responsibility to teach them right from wrong. It is my responsibility to be the one to answer the embarrassing questions, not to shove them away to learn on their own.

But how, and when do I do this?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

365 Week Four Recap!-Snapshot Saturday

22. Party Prepping, Cookie Baking, & Actually Getting Along 
23. Family, Friends, & Celebration 
24. Colorful, Lost in the Crowd, & One of a Kind
25. Arts & Crafts, & Sibling Fun
26. Annoyed, Disgusted, & Sick of Snow
27. 18 inches, Trapped plows, & Everyone walks
28. Nap time, A tired Mom, & Finger Paints

Friday, January 28, 2011

No more snow please!

This has been one hell of a snowy Winter in the North East, with record totals for the month of January. I am beyond sick of it. Especially since I've yet to get my photo of the snow coming down. Just can't seem to capture it. Really ticks me off...

Anyway, this last storm that hit (18 inches here, on top of the few feet of snow already on the ground....) had brought me entire street closer together. I do not have neighbors who talk to each other unless it's to complain about noise or parked cars. Or children. Yesterday, not a car or foot print had even touched the snow at 9:45 am. Shocking, right? Then when the plow did come he got stuck. 10 or so of my neighbors were outside digging out cars. Sidewalks. Even the street. Hell, even the plow! Then for the first time in my life, I saw a plow driver get out and shovel! The neighbors and the plow dude came together, moving the snow that has taken over the cul-de-sac this past couple of weeks, and moving the cars that prevented the plow from doing it's job to the fullest. Unfortunately they didn't pay such close attention to the rest of the street and now my dead end, narrow road is one lane only. With no where to pull over. I'm waiting for a disaster here..

Anyway, like I said neighbors pulled together. Talking, laughing, and of course, bitching about the snow. People helped each other move cars and snow. I swear, nothing brings people closer than a big storm. I took a walk, with camera slung around my neck to the corner. A normally 5 minute walk took an 30 minutes. Yep, it took me an hour to get to the corner and back! I talked to so many people. People assumed because I had my telephoto lens, that I knew what I was doing. People, who are usually rude and bitchy, actually moved out of my way so I could get the shots I was aiming for. Wow. Even more shocking!

The coolest part of the whole day has to be the mountains of snow, some as high as street signs, some even higher. And then the sun came out and we saw blue skies! And, even more exciting about the giant piles of snow, it was perfect for making slides out of it, and sliding down. All without a sled. Oh yes, my boys loved this! And, lastly, this was the first snow that Bailey actually enjoyed, at least now that she finally figured out walking in her snowsuit.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Fun. Worthwhile. Love-filled. Amazing. Giddy. A few hours I will cherish forever.
All ways I will remember tonight.

Many know I am very anal about bedtime. 8pm is time for the boys to go down, then Bailey and I to cuddle while she nurses, then she goes down. Many nights I stress and get upset as Collin flat out refuses to go to bed, even if he is dead tired. Tonight was one of those nights.

Not too often there is something I have to get done after bedtime, but tonight (last night, as it's after midnight now..) was one of those nights. With Collin's party being tomorrow (today?) and me doing most of the baking myself, I had a lot to accomplish tonight. Normally I'd get upset, beg my husband to get Collin to sleep, and I'd be so flustered I'd screw up everything I needed to do.

Tonight was strangely different. Very welcomed, but different. Instead of bothering my tired husband, who was sound asleep on the couch, I let Collin come help. It may have been the best decision I've made in a very long time. We had so much fun just doing simple tasks. He enjoyed egg cracking. I didn't mind digging eggshells out of bowls. He helped pour, mix, measure. I laughed at his spills. He was in a silly mood, and making silly faces. I was silly as well. He and I both laughed so hard our bellies hurt. With the fits of giggles, and the quality time spent, I don't even mind the huge disaster my kitchen currently is. Collin has been more affectionate than usual lately, and tonight even more so. It seemed like every 5 minutes he was reaching for hugs, randomly planting soft little kisses on my arms and face, and telling me, "I love you Mommy."

It's not too often Collin and I get fun alone time. Our usual alone time is during Bailey's nap while Thomas is in school. We don't usually have anywhere near this much fun. We usually do his speech "homework" or other educational activities he enjoys, like working on learning to read and write the alphabet. Don't get me wrong we have a great time doing those things together but..tonight was so different. It was like there wasn't a care in the world. It was just Collin and I. And with three kids between 1 and 5, those feelings are a bit too rare for my taste.

After tonight (last night..) some things I've known really rang true. Like how it's okay to break the routines and rules sometimes. It's okay to let these kids make a mess. It's okay to let them stay up late every so often for some good old fashioned one on one time. It's okay to let each child believe they're your favorite. It's okay to sometimes take off the parent cap, and enjoy being their friend.

I cannot begin to express how much just baking with my boy tonight has affected me. It's as if I got a whole new glimpse on life. And I cannot wait to start spending more time alone with each of my children.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Another failed Birthday Party.

Collin's birthday party is fast approaching. It is this Sunday. We are still struggling with after-Christmas catch up, and Tom is laid off again. Unfortunately, between having to pay the rent this week and taking Collin out to celebrate yesterday, and grocery shopping, we are pretty much tapped out. This will be yet, another party I cannot provide for my children. Another party I have to count on my father to play the parental role.

I am so angry, bitter, and depressed right now. I am these kids mom. I am the one who is supposed to give them nothing short of the best. I am the one who is supposed to give them that fun-and-friend-filled day filled with games, activities, and cake. And as par with the tradition we formed, Collin will be getting the short end of the birthday party stick.

Thomas each year, has an amazing party with an excellent turn out. Almost everyone I know with kids shows up. We have a great time, the kids play as it's still summer, we have great food, great cake or cupcakes, and the kids walk away with stuffed goodie bags. Everyone always enjoys Thomas' parties.

Bailey has only had one so far, and it was not at bad as Collin's but not that fantastic either. I didn't spend any time at all with my children, or my husband. I was too busy rushing along everything in fear of everyone leaving before we got to the cake that took almost 8 hours to make. Everyone was cold, but we had no where indoors,  large enough for the amount of people we had invited. And just like Collin, other than Tom and my immediate family and my best friend, no one with kids came. I had 16 goodie bags, and so many kids cupcakes that I had to bring back home.

Both of Collin's parties while stress free have been awful. The first year, with a winter birthday we had to give him a two day party, one day for the kids we invited, and one for just the adults. Only half of the people we invited, came. I had counted on most, as that's what happened with Thomas' first two. Last year for his 2nd, only our immediate families came. No one else.

This year, again as it has been since the year he was born, money is practically non-existent. So many people knew my fear of no one showing and had promised they would make it. The party is Sunday, and only two of those people have RSVPed. We have yet to put the money down on the hall, and do not have it. My father, as usual will be taking care of that. Then, because it is in a hall, we need to provide activities and games for the kids, to keep them occupied. I had so many plans and ideas for a perfect Winter party and have no money to make any of them come true, even with how cheap they were. We have no money for goodie bags. No money for cake, of course my father will take care of that as well. And no money for the coffee and appetizers. We only want to do chips, and a few tray of veggies, fruits, meats and cheeses. Simply and not to expensive like Baileys, but again, have no cash.

My father has offered to put off paying his electric bill for another week to use his unemployment check on Collin's party. And I am very grateful for having parents who do care so much about providing for my children. While they won't get down and play with them, they will make sure they have everything the need.
Yet, as grateful as I am, I am angry and depressed, and just plain miserable about the whole thing. I am so beyond sick of having to rely on dear ol' daddy to take care of me and my children. I am sick of still needing him. I am so tired of not being able to provide 100% for my children.

I should just count my blessings and get over it. I mean, at least my children do get birthday parties. My niece and nephew (3 and 8 years old) have never once had a birthday party. At least until this year, when I celebrated them at Thomas and Bailey's parties.

And now I feel guilty. Guilty for not providing the best for my children. Guilty for not just being thankful for what help I do have.

24 on the 23rd.

My 24th birthday is fast approaching. Most people I know feel so old when they think of their age. I am so completely the opposite. I feel so young when I think of my age. 23? I'm just 23? I'm only turning 24? How can that be? When I think of being with Tom for nearly 11 years, and being married for nearly 6, and when I think of having three children and being pregnant 5 times, I can't believe I am still so young. I don't feel so young. I feel older, not necessarily old, but older. I feel much closer to 30, rather than close to 25.

For 3 years now, anytime someone learned my age, they think I'm lying. Yes really. I remember working at the gas station and being told I couldn't be any younger than 30. I had just turned 21. Here I am about to turn 24 and it just doesn't seem right at all..

I guess I should just be thankful that I really am still young.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

365 Week Two Recap!

(Click to Enlarge)

We two was filled with cold, snow, sickies, laundry. You know, just plain life.
Saturday we went out to play in the snow, came in had hot chocolate and soup for lunch.
Then the sickies kicked in full force. Friday afternoon, Bailey had the pukes and shits. Saturday morning, the hubs did. I thought it was a food issue, as the boys and I were fine. At least at that point. 
About a half hour after lunch, Thomas got sick, and stayed sick until late Sunday. Saturday night, after bedtime, it hit me. And in the wee hours of Sunday morning, Collin got struck with the evil forces of this stomach bug. 
Monday, at lunch time, I finally felt good enough to actually eat something and made two amazing buffalo chicken wraps. Oh my! HEAVEN! Tuesday we tackled 3 weeks of laundry, plus all the vomit covered towls and sheets. I ended up folding laundry from 2 pm until bedtime. Wow!
Late Tuesday night, the big snow started falling. We woke to 30 inches of powder on the ground. The kids spent most of the morning staring out the window, waiting to go out and play. All three with their hats on.
On Thursday I could not get a picture I thought I'd like to post. I ended up standing behind the hubs on a chair, while he was cooking, and snapping a quick photo of him in action.
Friday morning it was FREEZING and we had to leave early to bring Thomas to school and get to Collin's last speech therapy session and I found perfect icy flakes on the windshield.
It was a typical week in our household, with just a bit more snow and cold than usual.

To follow my 365 project on a daily basis, head on over to The Unexpected 365!

Snapshot Saturday

Been a while since I did a Snapshot Sat. post!
The little lady chose her outfit for the very first time. 
Didn't she do a great job? Hehe!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Yes, Collin is about to turn 3. Three? How did that happen? Crazy to think that the year he was born changed our lives so much. We are still struggling to get back to where we were before his birth, 3 years later.

Photo courtesy of
Small, sweet, Collin has learned such an amazing amount of new things since his last birthday. One year ago, he only pointed and grunted to communicate with us. Six months ago he had a vocab of about 20-30 words. Now?
Just this moment, while sitting here type this I've heard, "No, Mommis (Thomas) it my turn." "I shoot you boss." "I running around." "Stop it." And he is still talking!

We just had Collin's speech eval a couple of weeks ago. He has been receiving speech therapy over the past eight months through our state's Birth to Three program, and it has helped tremendously. The evaluation was to determine if he would qualify for other services after his 3rd birthday. While we still have a long ways to go with his articulation, we are so pleased to say, he no longer needs help. This coming Friday will be Collin's very last speech session. Wow.

We have received the results, and my not quite three year old has the intelligence level of a 54 month old. What? A four and a half year old? My boy? Wow. He does have the articulation of an eighteen month old still though, which is what we need to work on. He cannot make a "k" sound in the beginning of a word and will substitute a "d" sound. He has a frontal lisp, and another "thing" I cannot remember the name of. But he is doing great. Over the next two months we have to work on phonics, letter sounds, pronounciation, all the fun stuff. We have two months to work on this. In two months time, if he has made an expected amount of improvement we will move on to get him ready to start preschool in the fall. Yea, preschool! I cannot believe he is almost old enough for preschool! If he has not made enough of an improvement he will receive speech services while he is at school.

Now, I just mentioned Collin has the intelligence level of a 4.5 year old. I wanted to share a few things Collin has been doing around here. Let me preface by saying, I have not done any drills with him to be able to do these things. Nothing. Like potty training, I've let him lead me, and when I've seen an interest or him beginning to do something, I jump in to help. No sitting at a table doing these things over and over again. Just him starting and me assisting.

A few months ago, Collin had started tracing. He was tracing his name, all 26 letters of the alphabet, numbers 0-9, coloring book pages, everything he could. Two weeks ago, while at the doctors office I wrote the alphabet on the paper that was on the exam table, for him to trace. Instead of tracing, Collin shocked me and wrote the letters underneath my alphabet. Talk about impressed. When we got home and were doing homework with his big brother, Thomas, I wrote his name on our dry erase board for him to look at, and spelled it out a few times, then went back to Thomas. When I looked back over to him, this is what I saw:

(Click to Enlarge to see what Collin was working on.)

Yes, my not-quite-three year old wrote this. Not perfect, one 'L' looks like an 'r', but amazing for his age, especially with his speech history. And H L L O, awfully close to "hello". Yea, I'm a very proud mommy. 

A few days ago, he did the whole alphabet for me, and we went over letter names. 

We got Collin a little workbook for him to do while Thomas does his homework. Just tonight, Collin spent over 30 minutes working on his "homework." The first few pages, where just tracing lines and scribbling. Then he worked on the letters A and B. Here is his "B" page:

I mentioned Collin will be going to preschool. We sent his application for Thomas' school out last week. We are fortunate to have sibling and neighborhood preference, and the pre-k-3 program is a lot easier to get in than pre-k-4 or kindergarten, so we are pretty sure he'll get the spot. It will be full day, 9:15-3:25, 5 days a week. They will instill the same beliefs they are instilling in Thomas, and Collin is already working on reciting the school motto. "Be kind. Be courteous. Always do your best. And always ask for help."

I still can't get over him turning three. I still regret not remembering so much of his 1st year, but I think with this last year, I've made it up to him. Collin and my relationship has changed so much this year. He clearly adores me. He hugs me and kisses me randomly through out the day. He has been known to run out of his room in the middle of the night to come find me to tell me he loves me. And to steal something from the pantry. His imagination is already right up there with his brother, who he loves to play with. And he has even become quite the big brother these past 12 months. He loves to play babies with his little sister, or to help her play with the boys. He is just an all around great kid. 

And boy do I love him. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

365 Week One Recap!

I've mentioned starting a 365 Project, on my new blog, and so far I've stuck with it!
I thought I'd share with you all my first week of 365 photo's!

(Please Click to Enlarge!)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Disney On Ice-Review (Including Discount Code!)

(If interested in attending this magical even please skip to the last part of this entry to receive $5 off ticket prices! This show is perfect for all ages, from infant to elderly!)

Wow. Just wow. Last night, for the first time ever I got to enjoy a Disney on Ice performance on opening night at the Hartford, CT XL Center. Considering what a huge Disney fan I am, this was a wonderful treat for me, to be able to take my children to see two hours of magic.. And it was magical.

When we got there we were treated to a meet and greet. I think I was more excited than my children. My 5 year old enjoyed giving Mickey and Minnie a hug with his eyes lit up like I've never seen. Bailey, at just 15 months of age, was fascinated by Minnie, I think she was jealous of her bow! My hesitant, shy Collin, almost 3, did not want anything to do with them, and preferred to keep an eye on them from a distance. Due to time restraints and Mickey and Minnie needing to get ready to perform, they had staff on hand to take pictures for the family. Considering I'm usually the one behind the camera, this was a big deal to me to be included in a wonderful family memory.

(Please Click to Enlarge Photos!)

When going into the show I was a nervous wreck not knowing if my camera would be allowed in or not. They have a 90mm detachable lens limit. I just made it in with my 80mm lens. Whew! What a relief! When we went to grab our seats my 5 year old did begin to whine a bit, he wanted every item they had on sale for the show. The prices for the promotional items weren't too bad at all considering it is a live event. When he finally saw the ice he couldn't believe it!

At 5 minutes to show time, an announcer let us know just that. And again at the 3 minute mark. My nerves were still a wreck not knowing how my almost 3 year old and 15 month old would behave and react. When the lights went dim and the show started they were immediately captivated! Even my "tough guy" husband was mesmerized! We were introduced to Mickey & the gang and told they were going on a safari! As the show started, my eyes began to swell watching my children, wanting to know their exact thoughts.

The Lion King was breathtaking! The dance between Simba and Nala was beautifully executed. Childhood memories came flashing back as I sang along to the songs I've known for so long. It was brilliant!

After The Lion King, Mickey and Minnie announced they were going to the tropics! I drew such a blank trying to figure which Disney Classic we were going to see next. When Sebastian from The Little Mermaid came out I couldn't stop smiling. When Ariel sang, "Part of your world" I felt like I was watching the movie curled up on my couch, singing all the words without a care who heard me. 

 Just look at those faces! Wish I got Collin in on this but still.
You can see how their eyes stay on the show.

I could not believe they included my most recent, non princess movie favorite in the show! Lilo & Stitch is one of my absolute favorites! I was beyond thrilled! It was during this part the tears came back. When Lilo sat on her bed wishing to her shooting star that she wanted an angel, and again when she was telling Stitch about her "little and broken family" I couldn't hold them back. During Stitch's Ohana line I again swelled up. That movie is a perfect example of the importance of family and they nailed that during the show. 

During the beginning of this performance, they did experience some technical difficulties with the sound. It was short lived and I did not once here any children complain, cry, or become restless. The rest of the show went on with out a hitch!


After Lilo & Stitch, we had our intermission and I rushed to take Collin to the bathroom. Of course there was a crowd, but I wanted to make sure no one had to go during the show. That plan didn't work out to well as I had to miss much of Peter Pan and the Finale taking Thomas, and then Collin again. At least my husband and daughter got to enjoy!

Yes, Peter Pan was the next show, and this is where it truly became the most magical show in the world.
With Peter Pan flying in for his entrance, Tinker bell shooting Pixie Dust from her wand, Peter fighting to get his shadow back, Wendy and her brothers flying along side Peter, and Captain hook's pirate ship coming out through a cloud of smoke everyone in in the audience was captivated! It was truly amazing!

 As tinkerbell left, she flicked her wand one last time, lighting the stage with pyrotechnics. The entire audience sounded like it was filled with nothing but children oohing and ahhing. 

Unfortunately, I missed most most of the Peter Pan show, as I mentioned, and again part of the finale. I did make it back in time to catch the cast waving and saying good bye during song. 

(To see the rest of the night's photo's please view my public album on Facebook)

Between my husband and my daughter clapping together, pointing and laughing; my son's oohing and ahhing trying to see every little thing; and my reliving my childhood; this show was the perfect family experience.  Our seats where in the lower level and the "nosebleed" sections were empty. The XL Center's staff and the venue itself were all super child friendly. We had a family consisting of a Grandmother, Mother, and son around 3 years old in front of us, and a family with three kids ranging from a few months to about 8 behind us. Plus so many other people from newborn up to maybe 80-90 years old! The XL Center was amazing with accommodating the handicapped. And the best part is everyone, from the audience members to the staff and performers were kind and polite. Last time I was at a live event, people were so rude and pushing and shoving. Even during the crowds to leave, people were kind and thoughtful. My Collin (3 this month) tried to walk away from us into the crowd, as I struggled to reach his jacket, another mother stopped him in his tracks, gently, smiling and being polite. This is just one of the moments of kindness I saw at the show! 

I highly, highly recommend this show for all people, families, couples, friends. I know very well, had just my husband and I gone we still would have had a blast, but of course seeing our It was one of the greatest night's we've ever had as a family. Magical doesn't even begin to describe it. 

Now here's your part! 

Make imagination your destination! Join Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse on a journey into the magical worlds of Disney’s The Little MermaidThe Lion King, Peter Pan, and Lilo & Stitch. From Ariel’s enchanting undersea kingdom to Never Land with Peter Pan and his sassy fairy friend Tinker Bell, you’ll be captivated by the music, beauty, and laughter in a journey so magical, you’ll never want to leave!

Here is the offer:
Save $5 on tickets when you use the code: MOMS5
Valid Performances:
$5 off - Thursday, January 6th - 7PM
$5 off – Friday, January 7th - 7PM
$5 off – Saturday, January 8th - 6:30PM
$5 off – Sunday, January 9th - 1PM

Tickets can be purchased via and entering the promotional code: MOMS5
Direct link to XL Center's Ticketmaster page is:
Ticket Prices: $60Front Row, $45VIP, $25, $20 and $15
Discount offer is not valid on Front Row and VIP and prices do not include the facility fee or any service charges.


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