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.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Just Two Weeks

Just two weeks from today my baby boy, Collin, will turn 3.
Three? Already? How can that be? 
But, it will be.
He will be 3.


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