Monday, February 28, 2011

The Early Days

I feel like I've said it before but Olivia's earliest days were so hard. So, so hard.

And I want to say it again because anyone finding my blog, reading my words with a little tiny baby at home who has either been diagnosed with 5p- or is awaiting diagnosis, I want those people to know that it gets better. It does.

And I said that over and over during O's early days.

We got very used to carrying her around with her straddling our elbow, her tummy against our forearm and her chest on our hand. This was the only position that kept her from crying. And it didn't always last long. We had to do this hold while standing up because she didn't want to stop moving.

She hurt. Our baby was in almost constant pain from about three weeks old until she was almost six months old.

I read that stupid book, What to Expect in the First Year over and over, going to the pages that showed O's current age, comparing her to the babies the author was writing about.

Because I knew. I knew something was going on with our girl.

But our doctors kept saying she wasn't crying more than any other baby. She was just louder. And I'd get a pat on the head and a lollipop and sent on my way.

It wasn't until she developed a cough due to the reflux that they took me seriously.

It pisses me off to this day that those doctors were so complacent about my child's health. They didn't listen to a word I said. They didn't believe me when I told them that her cries weren't normal.

And it's not like I was a first-time mom who was just nervous. I'd been through the infant stage before. I knew what a hungry cry or a wet cry sounded like.

Olivia cried an almost constant "I FUCKING HURT" cry. And I couldn't fix it. Because no one listened to me.

Four months of my infant screaming.

Yet to anyone in my family who would demonstrate concern for me or for her, I'd smile and bounce my screaming baby and say, "It won't last forever. It'll get better."

When she was six months old, after two months on Zantac, things changed. They got better.

And to this day, they're so much better. Every day, she amazes us. She proves that time passes and things get better.

So those milestones your baby isn't meeting? Give him/her time. Olivia met her milestones in her own time (sitting at a year old, crawling at 17 months, walking at 29 months, talking at 33 months.)

But also? Don't ignore your instincts. Don't let the 'professionals' tell you that you're imagining things. We parents? We have an instinct. We know when things aren't quite right.

And while we tell ourselve things will get better, they'll sure as heck get better a little faster if we have our medical professionals on our side.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


I'm having a tough weekend.

Yesterday morning, around 10:00, I realized I was being so obnoxious to my own childen that I had to declare the day a 'No Yelling' Day.

Alyssa cheered.

I haven't had to declary a no yelling day in quite awhile. I've been pretty good about keeping on an even keel, letting things roll over me. But yesterday, everything was annoying.

So far today, I haven't had to make the declaration but I'm on the verge of having to do so. I'm tired. I'm annoyed and I'm irritable. My nerves are frayed and everything is driving me nuts. From Olivia's constant need for attention, to Alyssa's near-constant desire to be on the computer, to Tom's sense of 'humor.'


Who knows?

could it be hormonal? Sure, it probably is. I have a Mirena IUD, so I don't have periods. So I don't know when my hormonal cycle is ast it's worst.

Except, I guess I sort of do. Days like this are pretty good at letting me know.

I know I need more sleep.

I need to exercise more.

I need to find a way to have 'me' time.

I need to chill my butt out and stop being a bitch to my family.

Yesterday, I drank a Coke, hoping the lovely caffeine would help my mood. And it did.

But I don't want to drink one today for fear that I'll begin that dreaded cycle of NEEDING one (or four) every single day.

Maybe I'll just go take a nap (if Olivia will let me) and call it good.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Alyssa is much better. So much better, in fact, that the one day her school was in session this week (it's been a rough snow week here in the midwest) she actually went! Oh yes, there was much celebration upon her return to school.

Alas, this wonderful event heralded in the necessity for me to pack her lunch again.

Oh how I loathe packing school lunches. I know, I know. How dare I admit to such a thing? My beautiful, amazing, brilliant second grader deserves nothing less than me getting up fifteen minutes early every single day to pack her lunch.

Except...boring. So, so boring.

I informed Alyssa this morning, quite cheerfully, that I will pack her lunch until she's in the seventh grade and from that point on, she's on her own. I'm such a mean mom.

When I dropped the girls off at my mom's this morning, she told me about a conversation she and Olivia had the day before.

My mom had taken the girls outside for a bit to enjoy the snow and frostbite and biting wind.

Alyssa had left her snow pants at our house and so she went out in two pairs of sweat pants with stern orders not to wallow in the snow.

But upon going back in the house (everyone still had all their fingers and toes) my mom had Alyssa take her pants off so they could go into the dryer.

Alyssa was given a pair of pajama pants to wear while her pants dried.

Olivia was quite concerned about this change of wardrobe. She probably hadn't approved it and she fancies herself the stylist of every member of the family.

She followed my mom from room to room, trying to articulate her distress over Alyssa's pajama clad legs.

She'd point to Alyssa and say, "She's wearing those pajamas, Gram."

And my mom would nod and leave the room to attend to something.

Olivia would follow her, again saying something vague about Alyssa's pants.

Finally, Olivia figured out exactly how to word her concern and she asked my mom quite clearly, "WHY? Why is Lyssie wearing those pajama pants?"

My mom was so proud of her. She explained, "Well, Livie, Lyssie's pants were wet and cold from the snow. So I'm drying them and so Lyssie is wearing those pajama pants until her own pants are dry."

Oh, the relief at understanding why this was taking place. Olivia smiled at the explaination and went to find some lip gloss.

It was a minor breakthrough in communication in the House of Gram.

While I'm declaring Alyssa better and even going so far as to say she's no longer sick, Tom insists that her residual cough, the one that shows itself, oh, three times a day, is proof that she's still sick and should be lounging on the couch at least three hours a day. We clash here a bit.

I say she needs to build her stamina by just being eight and playing as an eight year old plays. He says she needs to rest and get lots of fluids.

I feed her when she's hungry and provide plenty of fluids for her to drink when she feels thirsty (or bored, or both) and say that she's gotten pretty good at knowing when she's tired enough to need actual rest during the day.

We're at an impasse. When she's with me, she's treated like she's not sick. When she's with him, she's an invalid.

I think the poor kid is getting confused. Last night, she asked me if she could go upstairs and get something. I looked at her like she was nuts and said, "Of course."

Tom was in the basement at the time and when he came back up, he asked where she was. I told him and he said, "I haven't been letting her go upstairs. I don't want her to wear herself out."

Oh. Oh wow. Well, good thing we have each other to balance out the obvious tendancy toward INSANITY.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Time Out

Olivia is a delightful child. She really is. Her adoration of all things make-up make her a very easy child to entertain. Give her a tube of lip gloss and she'll be happy for hours.

But discipline. Ohhh, it's so hard to discipline her.

See, she doesn't care. Time outs don't phase her. The few times I've swatted her butt haven't bothered her at all (of course the swat of a hand through a pull-up probably doesn't hurt AT ALL.) Taking away treats or priviledges don't get to her either.

And as wonderful as she can be, she has a naughty streak.

She loves to dump water on the floor. She loves to splash oceans of water from the tub onto the bathroom floor.

Making her sister or her cousin screech in dismay or anger is the funniest thing ever as far as Olivia is concerned.

But when we try to stop her from doing these things or when we have to 'discipline' her after she's done something? I don't know if it's getting through.

Example: Last night, I stupidly gave Olivia an open cup at dinner. And I told her, quite clearly, "Do not dump that water. Take a drink and then put it back on the table."

I left the room and not two seconds later, I heard water splashing onto the floor.

I looked back and there she was, the cup turned over, looking down at the puddle she'd just created.

And I was instantly furious. I was mad at her and myself. I shouldn't have given her that cup. I knew I shouldn't.

But I did and though I'd told her not to dump it, I had a feeling she would.

And she did.

And she went into time out. Where she sat, undaunted, for five minutes. I made her face a wall, I told her not to speak, I refused to talk to her when she did speak.

When it was over, I picked her up, I held her, I asked her why she'd had to have timeout.

And she said, "Because I poured water on the floor."

And she was right.

Except...does she really get it?

We think she does. She seems so smart and aware. But is she? Am I expecting too much from her? How much does she really get?

I want to believe that she's fine, that she understands me when I tell her something. But then things like this happen and I wonder if I'm in denial about how much the 5p- affects her.

I don't know how to discipline this child who doesn't care that she's being punished. She knows the time out will end and she'll get hugged and everything will be fine. She doesn't have a favorite toy to take away. Take away her gloss and so what? She'll find something else to do.

Spanking? I think we'd have to really, truly hurt her to make an impact and I can't do that. I won't do that.

So my mom and I talk and we continue to share ideas the end, we don't know what or how much Olivia understands. We don't want to be mean to her if she truly doesn't get what and why we're telling her the rules. We want her to behave because she knows that's how you treat other people.

But what if she never gets that? What if she doesn't mature, socially, past four years old?

I'm trying to be realistic and face the possibilities.

How do you discipline a child who doesn't understand what they did wrong? How?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Good Enough

What does that even mean? To be good enough?

A friend, a dear, dear friend, is going through a tough time right now. It's her story to tell, but this is just a tough time of year for her. She reflects a lot and her memories are tough. They bring about post traumatic stress and she worries that once upon a time, when her life was at stake, she made selfish decisions, felt selfish feelings.

She worries that she wasn't 'good enough' once she was out of danger.

And I wonder...why do we do this to ourselves?

Why do women set such high standards for themselves? Why do we expect more from ourselves than we ever would from our partners, our children, our friends?

Yes, I want to excel at certain things and be my very best. But sometimes? Being good enough is...well, it's good enough.

Sometimes, just getting through the day with everyone still in one piece and relatively sane is good enough.

Sometimes, just knowing that tomorrow HAS to be better is good enough.

Yes, it's good to continue to try and improve. It's good to set goals, but they need to be realistic. They need to be attainable. Because setting unattainable goals is just setting ourselves up for failure and more self-doubt.

When Olivia was born, I got through each day of pumping, visiting her in the NICU, going home to feed Alyssa, pump again, go back to the hospital and do it all again. And then she came home and each day was about pumping, feeding Olivia, feeding Alyssa, cleaning them up, attempting to keep Olivia from crying all day long while finding time to play with Alyssa.

Those first few months? I'm not sure I was ever good enough. But we all survived and in the end, we all thrived, so I'm going to rewrite those days and say, hell yes, I was good enough.

Mothers are so hard on themselves. We want so much not to scar or traumatize our children. We want to set good examples and show them how to be well-rounded people.

But in the end? I think that the occasional short-tempered outburst isn't going to cause scars or trauma. Because in the end, the love will outweigh the yelling.

The snuggles in the 'big man chair', the tucks into bed, the rocking, the drinks in the middle of the night, the homework checks, the balanced meals, the party planning, the every day shows of love and devotion will overshadow the early morning snaps to get shoes on and not to forget lunches.

We're humans, we mothers. We need to remind ourselves of that and, as Pink says, we need to change the voices in our head and make them like us instead.

Because in the end, we're good enough.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Station Wagon

I went to three proms during my high school career.

This is nothing to be proud of. It's just something that happened. The first year, I was a sophomore. I was asked two weeks before the prom and had to borrow a dress from some woman my mom worked with. It was pale pink and had a hoop. A hoop, for goodness sake.

But that dance was okay. I didn't end up going out with that guy again after that date but...whatever.

I went to my junior prom with one of my best friends. Dave and Jason and Roxann and I were best friends that year. We had so much fun together and in the all of our junior year, months before the prom was even being discussed, we decided we'd all go together. Ooooh, the fun we had.

Of course, by the time prom rolled around, I had a 'boyfriend.' I put that in quotes because, well, we'd sort of started dating a few months before the prom and as the day approached, he started getting all possessive about me going with another guy.

An example of my teenage attitude is that I didn't break that date with Dave. I told the 'boyfriend' that I'd made this date months ago and refused to break it. He was mad, but I knew he'd get over it. And if he didn't? Well, I guess he wasn't worth my time after all.

But then he told me that he wanted me to agree to go to my senior prom with him, so that no matter what, even if we were broken up by then, I'd go with him.


By the spring of my senior year, things were deteriorating between me and the 'boyfriend.' We were still together, but it was going downhill. I knew it and I think he knew it. But he was holding on for dear life.

Why? I'm not sure.

But as we made plans for that prom, I casually mentioned that I didn't plan to ride to the prom in his mother's station wagon.

Oooh, the drama that insued.

Looking back, I don't know why I chose to make a big deal out of the station wagon. I really don't. I think maybe I was trying to piss him off enough to break up with me. Maybe I wanted it to be over but wasn't in that big a hurry to end it myself.

Who knows what's going on in the mind of an eighteen year old? Probably not the eighteen year old, is what I'm saying.

So we fought. We fought daily about the car. I told him I'd borrow my mom's Zephyr and meet him at the prom. I suggested I just pick him up and drive us there myself.

He was adament that he drive. He insisted that he pick me up.

I said, "Okay, but don't show up in your mom's station wagon."

I was such a bitch. Yet at the time I felt entitled to insist upon this. It was important to me at that time to take that stand. And I did. I absolutely refused to budge on this issue.

And in the end, he borrowed a friend's car and picked me up. And we had a totally crappy time at the prom. And then we broke a month later.

But I did not arrive at my senior prom in a station wagon. And at eighteen, that was an important thing.

I kind of want to find that bitchy side of myself again. Not to pick fights with my husband over stupid things like vehicles. But to know that sense of self-worth. That sense of entitlement. To honestly and completely believe that hell yes, I'm worth this fight and I'm not backing down.

Yeah, I'm taking stock and making changes. Refinding myself.

I almost feel sorry for my husband. Except, not really a lot because I think the happier I am, the more fulfilled I am, the happier our entire family will be. Yes, I believe that completely. Oh yeah, that eighteen year old is still alive inside. I just have to let her out a little more often.

Monday, February 21, 2011

And Then There was Ice

After that lovely thaw last week, all our snow was gone. Our beautiful brown grass was showing and I was getting visions of the tulips I planted last fall dancing in my head. I know, it was premature.

Yet, waking up to ICE this morning was a jolt.

The call at 5:55 this morning, informing me that school was closed due to the weather was a nice one, though. Alyssa is still pale and sickly looking. She's acting better, racing around like a horse or a lion or a dog but then, every so often, she'll collapse in a heap on the couch and 'rest' for a half hour or so.

I had every intention of sending her to school today, though. She missed four days last week. She needs to get back. But, the relief in knowing she gets one more day off to lay around and get her strength back is nice.

We're going to hold off on gymnastics for another week, though. And I'm planning to send a note with her tomorrow so she can skip gym class. She's just not kicking this bug like she usually does.

But yeah, ice.

And now it's snowing, so the ice is beneath the snow, all traitorous and slippery and just waiting for some unsuspecting fool to try and drive or even walk across it.

Oh yes, I'm very, very tired of winter.

Poor Tom, still sick himself, home with both girls today because, duh, ice! I told him to make them rest and he laughed at me. I laughed back and walked out the door, leaving him in charge. I do believe I got the last laugh.

Except, I'm the one who has to drive hom in about five hours. Drive home on this snow that is covering the ice. Ice.

I really hate ice.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Big Man's Chair

We're still getting settled into our new house. Sure, we've been here for six months but there is still a lot to be done before I think it will feel completely like home.

I've painted the rooms downstairs, but one of those rooms needs a second coat of paint. It doesn't feel like a pressing issue, though, so when it will happen is anyone's guess.

There aren't a lot of pictures/decorations on the walls yet. I'm working on that.

When we first moved in we needed more furniture. We moved from a house that had 1800 square feet to a house with almost 2600 square feet. That's a lot of space to fill.

Last weekend, on the day before Valentine's day, Tom surprised me with a recliner.

I'd been telling him for months that we needed one. I love being able to sit back in a comfy chair and hold the girls.

When he showed me the chair he said it was labeled a "Big Man's Chair". I wasn't sure how to take that.

But then I sat in it. And then the girls climbed in with me.

Ahhh, yes, a big man's chair. Lovely.

And it couldn't have come at a better time. With Alyssa being as sick as she's been for the last week, we've done a lot of sitting, holding and rocking. She even spent one night in that chair, sleeping sitting up because her breathing freaked me out when she was lying down.

Yes, there's still a lot of work to be done to make this house a home but we're getting there, one chair at a time.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I had such an attitude as a teenager. Not so much against authority or anything like that. I wasn't a rebel or even one of the cool kids.

My attitude was more that I knew what was right and wrong and I was willing to stand up and demand that the world treat me well. I was nerdy and okay with that. I had good friends who made good choices and I was definitely one of the 'good' kids.

When I was twenty one or so, my mom showed me some papers she'd found in my brother's coat pocket. Jason would have been about sixteen at the time. I was clueless as to what those papers were. My mom was very doubtful of my ignorance.

But I truly had never seen papers used for homemade 'cigarettes' before in my life. I was that sheltered. I was that firm in my attitude about what was right and wrong. I wasn't afraid to share my opinions on that either. Wow, I was actually pretty obnoxious back then.

Then I went to college.

And something changed. I don't remember exactly when I changed, when I stopped being so sure of myself, so sure of my rights. I don't remember when I stopped sharing my thoughts and opinions so freely, when I stopped knowing that what I thought had value.

I want that high school attitude back. I want to be sure of what is right and wrong and be willing to fight for what I know I deserve.

I want to be that person who says, "Hey, I'm smart enough, good enough to deserve better than you're currently giving me."

I want to be able to go to work and know I'm doing a good job every single day.

I want to wake up each morning and know that the decisions I'm making for my children are the best ones, the right ones. I want to stop questioning every single thing I do.

I want to stop doubting my own rights.

I want my weight to stop being a factor in my self-worth. I want to rediscover that smart-ass teenager I once was, the one who knew she was smart, and pretty, and just as good as anyone else.

I want to like myself again, just because I deserve it.

I want attitude. An attitude that says, "Hell, yes, I'm good. I'm a good mother, a good wife, a good person. And I deserve good things just because I am."

That's what I want. I want to model that attitude for my daughters so that they'll become teenagers with attitude.

Oh yes, I want that so much.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Left Behind

I worried about Olivia from the start. From her tough time immediately after birth to her eleven days in the NICU. Even after she came home on a heart/breathing monitor, I worried. I watched every move she made, worried about every milestone she didn't reach.

When she was three months old, I was googling 'autism in infancy' because I feared she wasn't making eye contact like she should be. She definitely wasn't move like she should have at that age.

When she was seven months old and STILL not holding her head up, I googled 'cerebral palsy in infancy' to see what the symptoms were. I worried and then I worried some more.

I told people, "She's catch up. She'll be fine."

And I wanted to believe that. But I worried.

When my nephew was born eight days before Olivia turned one year old, I started worrying all over again. This time, I worried about how I would feel and even how Olivia would feel, when Jaxon passed her developmentally. Would I be resentful of this perfectly normal, typical child? Would I feel sad that my daughter wasn't doing what he was doing?

And just over a year later, it happened. Jaxon started walking. And Olivia wasn't anywhere near walking. She'd been crawling for about six months, but walking? No way.

And you know what? It didn't matter. I was thrilled for my brother that his son was so text book normal. I was happy that his child was independent and able to do all the things he was supposed to be doing.

By this point, Olivia had been in physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and developmental therapy for a year. She was making progress. Every one of her therapists agreed that she was catching up. She was going to walk and talk. She was just going to do it on her terms, in her time. And that was okay with me.

A couple of months after Jaxon started walking, Olivia was dropped by her developmental therapist because the therapist said that Olivia didn't need her anymore. "She can do everything I'm doing for her right here at home, just playing with her parents/grandparents/sibling/cousin." That's what the DT wrote in her evaluation at the time.

I agreed with her. Olivia was showing us all that she wasn't going to be left behind. She might follow for a bit, but she was doing what worked for her.

A month after we dropped the DT, we got her diagnosis and the relief I felt when that doctor told me Olivia had 5p-, the sense of "Ahh, so this is what it is. We're doing everything right." It was profound.

It was also a relief that Olivia's condition wasn't something that was going to get worse. She was just going to get stronger and bigger and smarter and more independent.

To watch Olivia and Jaxon together today is so much fun. She's still not as strong as he is, or as coordinated. She can't run as fast or climb nearly as well. But she's right there with him, doing what he does, right behind him, following, watching, learning from this kid.

I am so grateful that she has this little cousin of hers to observe. He shows her things she wouldn't have even considered doing on her own. Yeah, he can get her into a lot of trouble sometimes. But I love that. I love that they have each other.

And amazingly, at four Olivia speaks better than her three year old cousin. I find that remarkable. It's a testament to her determination to be heard and understood and the work we've done with the speech therapies. And sure, Jaxon's gaining on her in the area of speech but so what? He's supposed to.

I want him to be all he can be, just like I want that for Olivia. I would never want to hold him back just to keep her from being left behind.

Our Olivia is going to be just fine, even if she is following her younger cousin into trouble for years to come.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


My grandma is 85 years old. She's my mom's mom. This woman married at 18 and proceded to give birth to twelve children over the next 18 or so years. She's lost three of those children. One son in infancy, a daughter in her early twenties and another son just a few years ago when he was in his late forties.

On Tuesday evening, my mom received a call from a nearby hospital. They had my grandma there. She'd fallen while out for a walk. A passerby had found her, unconscious, on the sidewalk. She received three staples in the back of her head and was sent home with my mom with instructions to rest and come back in a few days to check for infection.

We don't know how long she laid there, in the damp, cold mud before someone found her and called an ambulance.

We know she's lucky she didn't break a bone or worse.

She's staying at my mom's for a few days to rest and recover. Already, though, she's antsy to get back to her little apartment, her own space.

My grandmother is a strong, vivacious woman. She's a sweet southern lady with southern sensibilites. When her youngest son, her TWELFTH child was just a young boy, her husband left her. My grandma still wears her wedding band because even if her husband divorced her, in her heart, in her mind, she'll be married until she dies. She's deeply spiritual and has a very close relationship with God. She's taught us all to look deep for strength and religion and listen deeply for God's voice.

This woman went on to raise her children pretty much on her own.

She raised some amazingly strong woman. My aunts (all 6 of them, if you include my mom in the group) inspire awe in those who know them. The strength, the opinions, the creativity, the loyalty these women exude leaves me wanting to be like them. Wanting to be worthy of being in their family.

Tom sings a lot around the house. He makes up silly songs and just entertains the girls for hours on end.

One afternoon, he was singing a variation of his "Mama and daddy got married..." song. This one ended with, "Because mama has too many aunts."

It was funny. And true.

We got married not only because we wanted to but because my aunts told me one day to pick a date and they'd plan a wedding. And they did. And it was great.

My aunts are a force to behold when they feel like one of their own is being threatened. My mom's house was full yesterday. People came and went all day long, just stopping by to make sure that Grandma was okay, to see if she needed anything, to see for themselves that she was going still around to lead our family, to guide us on our journeys through this life.

And she is. Okay, that is. She's a little sore from the fall and tired from all the guests. But she's resilient and strong and she's going to be just fine. Thank God.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Alyssa has gymnastics on Mondays. When I got to my mom's this past Monday afternoon to get the girls and head back into town for the class, my mom informed me, "Alyssa's not feeling well."

And she wasn't. She was pale and tired and feverish. We didn't go to gymnastics.

She also didn't go to school yesterday or today.

This morning, I called our doctor's office to see if they could squeeze her in. Since we moved in August, the new doctor, who has actually served as my doctor all along, hasn't had the need to see Alyssa.

The nurse on the phone informed me that the doctor doesn't see 'new' patients on Wednesday. The nurse suggested I take her to Urgent Care if I felt she needed to be seen today.

And I did feel that she needed to be seen.

But before I could say that, I heard some background conversation on the nurse's end of the phone. She came back to say that the doctor said to bring her in, he'd take a look at my girl.

He'd pulled rank and overruled the nurse.

And I love that in small towns like this, everyone knows everyone and doctors are willing to take a few extra minutes to see sick little eight year olds and think nothing of it.

We ended up with a prescription for the medicine that Olivia had last week. It knocked her infection out within three days, so I'm hopeful that Alyssa will be back at school on Friday. She's a tough cookie, with a little medicinal help, she'll kick this double ear infection/fever/upper respiratory issue pretty fast.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


During the early weeks/months of my pregnancy with Olivia, Alyssa insisted we were having a little sister. She declared that she wanted a sister and nothing else (as in, a brother) would do.

We had our big ultrasound (a level II because I'd failed one of the tests that scanned for potential chromosomals disorders, big surprise there, huh?) and got the confirmation that we were, indeed, having a little sister, Alyssa changed her tune.

Suddenly, she was just sure we were having a little brother and she wanting nothing else.

She's an odd one, that girl.

Tom's older daughter, who was 16 when Alyssa was born nad 19 when Olivia was born, was disgusted with our tendancy toward creating girls. She'd been the only daughter for 16 years before Alyssa was born. She had two brothers from Tom and his ex-wife and three step brothers from her mother's remarriage. She'd grown accustomed to being the 'princess.' Sharing her world with sisters wasn't a choice Jessica would have made.

Alas, girls we had. And honestly, I couldn't have been happier.

I grew up with two younger brothers. (And a boatload of cousins practically next door and sometimes in the next room, but that's another topic for another day.)

I adore my brothers. Jason is four years and seven months younger than I am and Mitchell is thirteen years my junior. In fact, Mitchell is only two months older than my oldest step son. Weird.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, Alyssa lamented, "I wish I had a brother."

I laughed and said, "But we like your little sister. I don't think we should trade her for a brother."

Alyssa rolled her eyes at my attempt to be funny and said, "I want us to keep Livie AND have a brother."

Ooooh, Sweetie. So not happening.

I've said often enough that I'm glad to be done with the infant stage. The infant stage is hard on me. I am old these days. (Forty, remember?)

But...the more I thought about it...if I'm completely honest I will admit that if we were wake up tomorrow or next week and find that we are independently wealthy and I can quit my job and stay at home and care for our two daugthers, I would be willing to have another baby in a heartbeat.

I know. I'm forty. But...I've had two babies. I could probably have another even at my ADVANCED MATERNAL AGE. And I would. If I could be at home to care for him or her as well as the two I've already got.

So it's not so much the age thing or even the infant thing that stops me from having another. It's the fact that I don't have enough time with the two that are already here. So, poor Alyssa. No brother for her. But hey, she's got a pretty sweet sister so...

And last weekend we did borrow my nephew for a night. He's practically a brother for Alyssa, you should see how those two fight.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Way back in November, when I first turned 40, I though, "What's the big deal?"

And I meant it. It didn't feel like a big deal. 40 didn't feel all the different from 39.

I've laughed hard and often at my dear friend Mandy (who doesn't read this blog, I'm sad to say) over the fact that age is a big deal to her. She had a really tough time when she turned 30. I thought it was funny. Heck, it IS funny.

But...last week I had an appointment to have my eyes checked. I have to drive over an hour one way once a year to have my eyes checked in order to keep my warranty current. I had lasik surgery way back when I was 37 and if I ever need the surgery again, the warranty will allow me to do so at a drastically reduced price.

So, I drove.

And as I sat my ample bottom in the chair all prepared to have my eyes gazed into by a professional, I was asked my age.

And I said without hesitation, "Forty."

The word rang in my head. It bounced back and forth against my skull. Forty. Four times ten. FORTY.

Forty felt so much more grown up and...well, OLD, than 39 ever did.

I know, it's insane. It's just a number. But it's a BIG FREAKING number.


I often wonder...if I'd had kids at an age younger than 32 would I still feel so amazed that I'm the mother? Would I sometimes look at these two little people and awe and wonder what in the world my own mother and husband are thinking when they leave me in charge of A and O? I'm not an adult. I often still feel like that 25 year old I was who packed her 1994 Dodge Shadow full of every single one of her belongings and drove out of Indianapolis on on Saturday morning in May, heading north to Chicago, to start a new job, a new life.

But I'm not 25 anymore.

I'm forty. And it's actually scarier than I thought it would be.

But you know what?

I wouldn't change the life I have now, at 40, for that life I had fifteen years ago, when I was 25. The body? Sure, any day of the week. But the life? Not for any price. Not ever.

I sometimes look around myself at the house that I bought, the children that I bore, the man I married and I pray that I'm not still 27, living in an apartment in Chicago, all alone, dreaming this wonderful, hectic life. Please, please don't let this be a dream.

Even if I have to be forty in real life, let this not be a dream.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I have to confess that I'm not always a good mother. In fact, more often than not, I'm not nearly as good a mother as I would like to be.

I yell. Too often.

I am not nearly as consistent as I should be. Mealtimes aren't always peaceful. Alyssa's actually a horrible eater and it's probably my fault. I let her eat too much junk and I don't push the good stuff nearly enough.

I'm sometimes too strict and at other times, I'm too indulgent.

But last night, as I tucked Alyssa in, after laying Olivia gently in bed after she'd fallen asleep in my arms, I realized that for these two girls, I'm quite possibly the perfect mother. As I kissed Alyssa goodnight and asked her if she'd had a good day, she grinned up at me and said, "It was a no-yelling day." And it had been. We hadn't even declared it such. It just happened.

With these girls, the sweet little souls who look to me for guidance and support, I have my bad days, my bad moments. But we also have some amazing moments, some wonderful days where everything is good, perfect even.

This morning after breakfast, I swept Alyssa into my arms, all 61 pounds of her, and we spun around the kitchen for a few minutes, just being together, just the two of us.

It was perfect.

We're busy these days. The older the girls get, the busier our family gets. That's how it is with most families. There's just so much do to and see. So many chores to be done and homework to check.

And in those moments of busyness, I'm less than perfect. I'm not patient enough, I don't take time to just take it all in.

But in the quiet moments before sleep, as Olivia sucks her thumb and holds her arm out for me to rub/scratch, gazing up at me with complete love and trust, those moments hold such perfection. Those moments tell me to give myself a little break, to not be so hard on myself when it wasn't a no-yelling day. Because the days, the moments we remember? Those quiet minutes of holding tight and the laughing, spinning times? Those are the stuff memories are made of. Those are the moments of perfection that they'll look back on fondly.

I hope.

I hope the yells to put on their boots and grab their lunch as we race out the door aren't the times that are impacting their psyche.

I hope there are more good than bad moments. More seconds of perfection rather then minutes of imperfection.

As mothers, all we can do is hope. Hope and try a little harder in the next moment to make it a good one. To make it a perfect one.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Be Mine

Alyssa's class had their Valentine's Day party yesterday. At the beginning of the school year we went to the school and met her teacher. Alyssa was nervous and in an effort to ease her fears and let her know that I take her education and the world she has built at school, I volunteered to help out at all of the parties offered. I was there for the Halloween party, the Christmas party and the one yesterday.

The difference between the first two and the Valentine's Day party is that I was in charge of the party yesterday.

Ooh the stress of figuring out how to entertain 22 second graders for an hour an fifteen minutes.

I appreciated the fact that her teacher put me in charge of the last party, giving me a chance to attend the first to and see what was expected.

We did two crafts, decorated heart-shaped sugar cookies and played a game, putting us right up to the point where it was time to gather their things and go home for the weekend.

I had a list of other moms willing to come and help out. We gave away gift bags too.

It was fun.

It also confirmed my belief that I made a most excellent decision during October of my fifth year at Indiana University when I changed my major from secondary education with a concentration in English. Ohhh my goodness, I was not cut out to be a teacher.

Teachers are amazing. They maintain such awesome control and produce amazing results from such a huge diversity of kids. Those kids were all so different and their teacher is able to find the strength in each and work on that, while not letting the weaknesses go unchallenged.


Speaking of strengths and weaknesses, Tom and I agreed a long time ago that we wouldn't make a big deal over things like Valentine's Day or that stupid Sweetes Day. Cards feel like a waste of money and space and candy? Well, I am supposed to be dieting, right?

And it's good. We're both left without the pressure of having to pick out the perfect gift/card and it's just another day, a day in which we try to remind the other that he/she is important in the other's day to day life. Which is what marriage is really about, right? It's not about the individual holidays or special occasions so much as the day in, day out living and appreciating each other.

I think that's one of our strengths, knowing that each day is important whether the calendar says it's February 14 or October 4th or any other random date.

Ahh, but now it's after 5pm on a Saturday afternoon/evening. Tom's at an auction, the girls are already in jammies and I'm settling in for a nice, quiet night.

Talk about living in the moment and appreciating the nuances.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Those chills I had five days ago? They morphed in the mother of all head colds. My sinuses and ears have been stuffed to the point of bursting for the better part of four days.

Of course, because of this awful cough and the way my voice sounds all garbled with mucous and whatnot, Tom complained of an ear ache on Monday evening.

I googled home remedies for ear pain. We put oil in his ear and he's walked around for three days with a cotton ball stuffed in his right ear.

Two nights ago, I came home and saw (without searching, just so you know) that he'd done a search on 'chronic adult ear infections.'

Chronic? Oh holy hell!

Chronic? Really? I've known this man for almost ten years. I think he's complained of ear pain TWICE and one of those times was four days ago.


I think perhaps he doesn't understand the meaning of the word.

In the eight years since Alyssa was born, I've had at least one ear infection a year. At one point last year, my doctor threatened me with tubes. I was 39 years old! Tubes in my ears, at almost forty!

But whatever. There are no pain olympics in marriage. I realize that since I married a man, I must live with the fact that he suffers like a man. Which means his pain is more intense than that of anyone else in the vicinity has ever suffered. Right?

This is how it with with my step-dad and brothers and it's how things work with my husband.

So my mom and I laugh and feel all self-righteous as we give our head colds just five more days to go away on their own before we head to the doctor.

Seriously, this cold has until next Wednesday before I hit it with some hardcore antibiotics.

Of course, while he suffers greatly, Tom stoutly refuses to see a doctor when he's 'ill.' Oh, his constitution is such that he'll defeat this illness all on his own, thank you very much.

Such a GUY!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Not the Momma

It must be tough to be the daddy. At least, it must be tough to be the daddy in our house.

Poor Tom. He does a lot of the work but gets none of the glory these days.

Since he's been in the house with the girls and me full-time (it will have been a whole month on Sunday) he's taken over a lot of things I was doing. He almost always gets Olivia's food for her at dinner time (usually after I've cooked it) and feeds her before he eats.

His efforts have helped us make huges strides in O's potty training.

He makes sure Alyssa does enough math and reading for her logs each week.

But at bedtime?

Both of these girls declare him, "Not the Momma!" And they flock to me, wanting tucked in just right and back rubs that aren't the same when administered by Daddy's rough hands.

He's definitely good enough for building snow forts with and for checking the air in the tires on my car. He's expected to fix the furnace when it breaks and to maintain the level of the coolant in my car to make sure the girls and I stay warm each day.

But the girls have declared that he can't quite make Kraft Macaroni and Cheese right. He's also banned from manning the hair dryer in the mornings.

Some of these chores he's glad to leave to me.

But others, the tucking in and the holding when tired and needing a back rub? Those are things I think he wished they'd let him do.

I've reminded him that this is new to them. Having him there all the time, every single day, is new. It's great! But it's new.

And they're used to the way I do certain things. And they're little.

So we share laughter over their heads and each carry a sleepy girl to bed, knowing that even seven years later, we're still learning our way.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Start of the Hate

I had to start wearing a bra when I was in fifth grade. I started slouching then too, in an effort to hide my, umm, assets. I hated them from the start.

By seventh grade, I was 5'6", weighed between 113 amd 117 and wore a 32C. It was awful.

I think I was about fourteen when I heard my mom and her sisters talking one evening. Her more volumptuous sister, Nell, mentioned laughingly, "I think Amy (her daughter) took after you and Tommie got my figure."

I cried for hours after hearing that. I didn't want to look like my aunt, I wanted to be tall and slim like my mom.

But I wasn't. At least, I didn't feel like I was. I look back now and realize that I was very thin, just not straight up and down like I wanted. I felt like my chest me my entire body fat. I wanted them gone.

I've never been one to flaunt what I've got. Thank goodness I was a teenager of the eights, when layers and big, boxy jackets were in. And I was in college during the ninetys, when shirts three sizes too big were the thing.

If the fashions of today were the style then, I may never had left the house. I could never have worn those tight, thin T-shirts that are all the rage.

When I was pregnant with Alyssa, I thought for sure my relationship with my boobs would change. I though, "Finally, they can redeem themselves. They can prove they've been worth all these years of angst and bother."

They just reinforced my hatred of them.

Neither of my girls were ever able to nurse from my breasts. And it was not my daughters' fault. It was MY fault. It was my breasts fault. This inability to give my children the closeness and the comfort of a breastfeeding relationship just confirmed to me what I'd known all along, these things were usesless and hateful.

I was able to use a breast pump and provide sustenance for each of my girls for two months or more (two months for O and 14 weeks for A.) But pumping is evil. It's time consuming, it's painful and it's just plain horrible. I couldn't justify pumping more than two months for Olivia because I felt like I was neglecting both her and Alyssa because of the damned pump. And because my boobs failed, AGAIN.

But the hatred couldn't last.

Because how can I hate something (some things?) that Olivia find such confort in? Sure, they couldn't feed her but she loves to settle her head onto my ample bosom and sigh as if she's come home. She loves to plump them up and say, "I missed your boobies."

How can I hate these things that she finds so endearing?

So we've come to an uneasy truce, my boobs and I. They stay out of the way and I'll...well, I'll keep supporting them with decently made, non-inexpensive, well-fitting bras. That's the best I can do.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Personal Space

During my years in Chicago, I developed quite a large personal space.

I found, about a year into my four year stint as a Chicagoan, that just the sight of a couple hugging could give me the heebie-jeebies. It made me shudder.

I worked in a very small office with a bunch of college students. They were carefree and fun. Except this one guy, who tended to stand behind my chair, while I was sitting in said chair, and get so close to me that I could feel that he was male.

Ugh!!! It was awful, this revulsion to touch.

Except that it was okay too. I lived alone. I cherished my space. I could stand on a bus and be fine as long as no one was actually touching me. They could be a quarter of an inch from touching me, but as long as that bit of air separated us, I was good.

It got to the point where just hearing the words 'cuddle' and 'snuggle' made me shudder. I detested those words. They conjured up such things as shared personal space and touching and, ugh, it was just horrible to contemplate.

So how is it that I managed to give birth to the cuddliest kids EVER?

Seriously, even at four years old, Olivia will snuggle a person to within an inch of their life.

And I don't mind. Not much anyway.

Both A and O are quite grabby and jabby and prone to jumping full-body onto me and it's okay.

And, having had two children with him, it's obvious that I don't have touch issues with Tom, right? I know, ewww, we're married and all but...whatever.

I don't know when I moved past that aversion to touch. It was before I had children, obviously. But I can look back and remember that feeling of "Ugh, too close, too close!" But I don't feel that anymore.

Good thing, since more often than not, Olivia, will state, "I need to hug your boobie."

Please note, this child never nursed, I do not understand her obsession with my chest, except, perhaps, using her words, that it's all warm and squishy. Whew, good thing I overcame my teenage angst about my chest, which is probably a post for another time.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The "S" Word

Mom's don't get sick. Right?

Because when they do? The whole world collapses.

Yesterday afternoon, I was cold and so I laid on the couch under a comforter. Olivia climbed on top of me and perched there gazing lovingly at herself in the mirror on the wall behind the couch.

Fifteen minutes after I laid down, Olivia chirped, "Daddy's home!"

Yay, I thought with relief, now she can get off me and my hips won't hurt so much.

Alyssa had been watching Underdog all morning and into the afternoon. I hadn't ventured into the family room where she was watching because I was too busy trying to get warm. After an hour on the couch, I got up and sort of limped up the stairs in search of a second blanket.

When Tom came in, he took one look at me and offered to get the girls something to eat.

I fell asleep.

Three hours after lying down, I felt Tom put another blanket on me, in hopes of stopping the chattering of my teeth so he could hear the television.

He's my hero.

At 8:30, I dragged myself and Olivia, who'd crawled on top of me at some point and fallen asleep, off the couch and up the stairs, where I heaved and gasped for breath before laying down and tossing and turning all night long.

It was miserable. Each time I moved, Olivia woke up and whined that I wasn't holding her.

I dragged myself out of bed this morning and upon decending the stairs, I found that even six hours of 'sick' time, leaves my family free to destroy our house.

The sink was overflowing in the sink, there were three million stuffed animals in three different piles strewn across the family room, the three blankets that had warmed me the evening before were strewn across the floor where I'd left them when I'd limped up the stairs.

In short, the house looked like it had gone several weeks without anyone picking up a single things from the floor.


This is why mom's don't get sick. Because nothing gets done and by the time someone comes along to clean it all up, it's almost too overwhelming to even contemplate.

But I will brace myself this afternoon after work, roll up my sleeves and get it all done. Because I'm a mom and I never get sick.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


When the girls first started taking gymnastics classes, the thing they both loved the most was the trampoline.

Olivia neede a little help at first as she tentatively jumped on the big trampoline at the gym but these days, she's quite good at jumping down the length of the thing with no help.

At home, one of her favorite things to do it hand from my hands, jumping and swinging. It sort of drives me nuts because she wants to do it all. the. time.

So I let her jump and dangle for a few minutes at a time, telling her that some of the jumbs are HUGE and that the swings are amazing.

But then I tell her I have lots to do and she goes back to her dolls and I go back to making dinner or folding laundry or vacuuming.

Yesterday, we came across some of those mini trampolines at WalMart. They were only $29. I decided if nothing else it would be sort of a continuation of 'gymnastics as physical therapy'.

Both girls have barely gotten off the thing since got home yesterday afternoon.

Olivia woke up and requested immedialely that we put a gymnastics suit on her so she could go jump on the trampoline.

I put it behind a piece of furniture, so she has something to hold onto and honestly, I think, she's already stronger because of it.

Okay, that might be a bit much. But I do know it's good for her.

She still asks for me to stand beside the trampoline and hold her hands as she jumps but she doesn't actually need me. She can jump without help of the couch as well, but she gets a kick out of jumping as high as she can, just to prove that she can.

And that's all I want for her. I want her to do things like that just because she can. I want her to be like every other little kid who takes a few risks just because the risks are there. That's what being a kid is all about, the state of his/her chromosomes don't change that at all.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Self-Sufficient Baby

Olivia's infancy seemed to last forever. As a child who didn't crawl until she was 17 months old, let alone walk until a year after that, she was carried a lot. Heck, she's still carried a lot.

She also had a few minor feeding issues and because of this, she ate baby food until she was 18 months old. Honestly, I think if my husband had his way, she'd still be eating the occasional jar of baby food.

All of this, combined with the fact that she's my second and last child, and Tom's fifth and last child, well, we've let her remain a baby and less than independent for longer than probably necessary.

This morning, after her bath, I was busy so I handed her underwear and told her to put then on.

And she did!

So, to continue the trend, I handed her a pair of pants and she put those on too.

Socks and a shirt followed.

She'd dressed herself with no help from me. It was awesome.

I know she's four years old and probably should have been dressing herself for years. But let's remember her that her fine and gross motor skills have lagged behind those of typical kids.

She's been able to take OFF her clothes without help for years. But then, it's all about motivation. Why exert the energy to dress herself when she knows that if she dawdles long enough, I'll take over just to get it done.

She's a smart one, that Olivia.

But she's also tired of being the baby.

The girls and I had to go buy groceries today. We ended up going to three different places of business and at each one, as I was getting O out of the car, she informed me, "I'm going to walk."

At 34 pounds, I don't find carrying her to be much of a burden, but walking? Always a welcome change.

I'm loving this independent side of her. It makes me realize that given the chance, our baby O isn't going to be a baby much longer. And that's a good thing.

We definitely don't want to hold her back, even as we coddle and baby her.

She's always been on her own schedule and it appears that we've arrived at the place on the agenda where she's developing an independent streak.


Friday, February 4, 2011


I wouldn't describe Olivia as sickly. Sure, she seems to have more than her share of colds and those colds seem to settle in and make themselves at home more often than they do with her sister. But sickly?

No., after three weeks of sinus congestion and a drippy nose and cough, cough, coughing, I took her to the doctor.

And we left with a prescription of what he called a 'strong' antibiotic. He said that he doesn't give this one as often because it's more expensive. But it also works very well, especially for respiratory infections.

And that's what O's got. That cough that was producing phlegm and other nastiness? It's because there's junk in her lungs. Ugh!!

Every single time Olivia catches a cold, I think, "This time, she'll just fight it off and be fine in a few days."

And she's not.

Alyssa? She can have a stuffy nose and a slight cough and be fine three days later.

Not her sister. I don't know if this slightly compromised immune system is part of her syndrome or not. Other 5p- parents can weigh in as to whether or not their kids can kick colds with just their own little antibodies or not. But Olivia can't.

And you'd think that after being this child's mother for over four years, I'd know that.

But every single time, I think that stupid thought about her kicking it herself. And then, a couple of weeks later, I give in and take her to the doctor and we leave with a prescription for medicine and I feel just AWFUL for not having taken her sooner.

Why did I let her suffer as long as I did? What is the matter with me? Am I in denial as to her health issues?

See...I don't think she really has any health issues. Her heart is fine, heck even her bowels seem to be working better than ever.

Except...she does have health issues in that she can't quite kick the common cold like her typical sister and cousin. She can't catch the sniffles and be back at gymnastics three days later with no lasting effects.

She needs help fighting those sniffles. And she needs me to be the one to get her that help. Poor kid. She needs her mother to step up and get on the flipping ball.

Oooh, Livie, I'm sorry I don't take you to the doctor at the first sign of a cold. I promise to try and do better in the future. To get you well before it gets nasty, to not let you suffer needlessly just because I keep thinking you're going to kick it. I'm sorry your sleep is compromised because you can't stop coughing every single night and that you are woken up at the ungodly hour of 5am each morning to another coughing fit. I promise to do better, because you deserve that.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


So much for the blizzard of 11. Whatever. Anyone who lived through the Blizzard of 78 knows that what we got this week was a snow storm. Just a snow storm. Sure, the surrounding counties were shut down for a day. And technically, this storm met the criteria necessary to be categorized as a blizzard. was a snow storm!

Alyssa was out of school on Tuesday in PREPARATION of the coming storm. I know!!

She was also off yesterday, because, yeah, blizzard.

This morning, her school was delayed for two hours. Why? I really don't know.

But it was delayed, which meant that this morning was the first time EVER she'd have to ride the bus...after a delay. Instead of getting on the bus at 7:18, she would get getting on the bus at 9:18.

And, instead of me walking her to the road to wait for the bus, my mom would do so.

It was DIFFERENT. And Alyssa doesn't handle different well.

At 9:00 this morning, I got a call from my mom. She said Alyssa needed to talk to me.

Now, before I go further, let me say that Alyssa is not a phone person. I'm glad for this and hope it extends into her teens. She isn't one to chat.

So when my mom handed the phone, I could hear sniffling but nothing more. She wouldn't say a word.

My mom took the phone back and said that Alyssa wouldn't tell her what was wrong. She just kept saying that her stomach hurt.

I asked my mom to give Alyssa the phone back and I talked her through the issue.

I asked her what was wrong.

She sniffled, "I don't know. My tummy hurts."

I asked her if she had her lunch.

She did.

I asked if she had her backpack.

She did.

I asked if she'd done her homework.

She had.

Then...I asked if it had something to do with the bus.

She wasn't sure.

I told her she could tell me anything. But that she had to talk to me for me to help her through whatever was bothering her.

She sniffled again. And she finally admitted that she was nervous about riding the bus after a two-hour delay.

I explained that it's EXACTLY like riding the bus at the normal hour. The bus driver would be the same, the kids would be the same, the drop off would be the same. AND!!! She'd still come home at the same time.

Even better still? She'd have lunch just a half hour after getting to school. Score!!

She handed my mom the phone back and I told her the problem. She tried not to laugh out loud and assured me that Alyssa would be fine.

I knew she would. She just had to get through this little change. She's eight. She doesn't like change.

But one thing she'll have to figure out is that life is all about change, even as things stay the same. And change isn't always bad. Heck, this morning's change was kind of cool. TWO-HOUR DELAY!! Wish my work would implement the two-hour delay rule.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Blizzard of Oz

*Disclaimer: I can't take credit for the title. Tom told the girls a story about the blizzard of oz last night at bedtime. There were lots of laughs and it was very cute. I just like the title.*

I don't work in a school. This means I rarely get snow days unless I just call in and tell the boss that I simply can't get out of my driveway that day.

Today, though?

I'm on a snow day. The entire county is shut down (heck, most of northeastern Indiana/northwester Ohio are shut down) and so here we are, all four of us, at home, watching crappy daytime tv and cooking chili and doing laundry.

And I couldn't be happier.

I was seven years old and in second grade when the blizzard of 78 hit. I woke up to a blanket of snow that was awe-inspiring. I don't remember knowing that there was a storm coming. I remember waking up and finding out there would be no school that day and probably no school for the rest of the week.

My mom baked cookies and kept the house warm and full of great smelling food. My dad was stuck in Coldwater, Michigan for the week. He worked third shift and got stuck up there. He had a sister who lived up there and so she was able to put him for the week.

Alyssa knew this was coming.

Tom started talking about the coming storm on Sunday, insisting there would be no school on Wednesday and Thursday. He was pretty sure I wouldn't be going to work on Wednesday too.

I kept teasing him that surely we'd just get around three inches and it was all hype. Of course he was right. Everything around here is closed.

Alyssa keeps asking if she'll have school tomorrow. Who knows? For now, we're enjoying the quiet that a blanket of snow tends to cast upon the area. We've got cookies that I made on Saturday and a batch of chili I just made this afternoon. Life is good.

Gotta love snow days.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I love television. Seriously. I love it.

We don't even have cable, but I could probably watch five hours of television every single evening even with 'just' the television channels that are accessible via an antenna.

When Tom and I first met, I warned him that I watch a lot of T.V. He was all, "Whatever."

Then? He realized what I meant by a lot.

I think of television as not only an escape but also as fodder for my imagination. When I was a kid watching The Bionic Woman, I spend YEARS pretending I was a young Jaime Sommers, that I'd been in an accident when I was eight years old and made bionic and every year or so I had to go see Dr. Rudy Wells to have my bionic limbs changed so they continued to fit my growing torso.

Okay, so maybe I was a little weird. But I spend hours upon hours outside in the backyard pretending.

And to this day, I love those old shows.

I love that I have all three seasons of Wonder Woman on DVD so I can share them with Alyssa and Olivia, and that THEY spend hours playing pretend.

I'm passing on my own key to different worlds to my children.

Okay, I have no excuse for the reality shows I watch, but the other ones? The ones that can make you think? That give you something to imagine, and dream about? Those are awesome and I won't apologize for being a television junkie, not even to my husband.