Saturday, July 30, 2011

Actions speak louder then words, or do they?

 This week for the Dare to Share Link Up I'd like you to link to a post about your dream job, what you wanted to be when you grew up as a child...what you want to be now. Tell us about your dreams and how you're going to make them come true. This post can be old or new, fiction or nonfiction, poetry or prose. All that I ask in return is that you grab a button from our sidebar and try to visit and thoughtfully comment on at least three other posts.

Upon reading the prompt this week for the Lightning and Lightning Bug's dare to share post, I immediately knew this was it. I have reposted this from it's initial date over a year ago, May 17, 2010 to be exact. Maeve has since learned not only to sit up but walk, run and even talk a bit, and Mo's passion for the Wiggles has been replaced for that of the Fresh Beat Band. I'm still not sure what is worse.

From the time I was a little girl I always remember my mom and dad telling me that I could be anything I wanted to be when I grew up. While I sometimes played veterinarian with my pound puppies or office with the stapler and role of scotch tape, I usually found myself as the 'teacher' to my classroom of miscellaneous stuffed animals, Cabbage Patch Kids, and my little brother and sister, who were my students. I guess, there was never any denying that I would become a teacher.
As I got into middle then high school, I started working at the local YMCA. Surprise, surprise, I was a lifeguard! (Who would have thought the kid that was a competitive swimmer since age five would get a job in a pool.) While I found the social aspect of the job to be fun, I enjoyed teaching swim lessons 100 times more. I eventually let my life guarding certification lapse so that I could teach swim lessons.
When it became time to apply to college, I looked at schools that had education programs that had access to real school classrooms early on, and hence my decision to go to Seton Hall. I remember reading some statistic that most college students change their major a few times, but me, never wavered. Declared myself a dual special education/elementary education major from day one and I never looked back. I ultimately did my student teaching in the same district I was hired and worked there until the birth of Mo. During the last few years, I pursued my Master's degree from Rutgers in education with the idea that possibly I would consider getting my doctorate some day and then teach how to teach.
I knew deep down when I was pregnant with Mo that I would never go back to my job as a first grade teacher. I honestly and truly LOVED what I did. I had a ball with those 6 and 7 year olds every day and worked in a fantastic district. I had been there nearly 8 years when I left, which meant I basically knew my way around the district. I was a familiar face with the families in our school, parents requested me for their children, and I was even complimented by one father as being the "Progressive one" out of the four first grades. I did some things in Room 8 that I knew no other first grade teacher in the district was doing.
I mean, who really has conversations about race and gender with 6 or 7 year olds?
I did!
Who would scour freebies from the grocery store, fast food restaurant, own mother etc... to use in the weekly class auction?
Umm, again that would be me.
Not to toot my own horn, but I was good, the kids learned AND had fun doing it, and I felt blessed to have a job which I loved.
When I had Mo, I went on maternity leave and then took off the next year. She was born on April 1 and again, because of our contract any child born April 1 or after, one's leave does not count for that calendar year, I took off another year. I got pregnant with Maeve and then this March sent in my official resignation, and thus with one letter and signature, my time and tenure are over.
Now I'm full time mommy, yes, a full time mommy with a bachelor's degree in special and elementary education and a master's degree in education too! I have these pieces of paper but really, what are they doing for me now? A M.Ed really doesn't help one take care of their three and half month old at four a.m. nor does my special ed. degree help me figure out how to get my two year old to be potty trained.
I do not second guess my decision to stay home with my girls, but I wonder what me being here and not being in the workforce says to them. All too often I remember hearing as I grew up that I could be anything I wanted to be. Dream big, they would say- astronaut, oceanographer, doctor, or teacher. Yes, I WAS a teacher. I HAD that profession, but I gave it up to be a mom.
I wonder if my girls will value this?
Will they think I copped out?
Will they underestimate their own potential because I'm not that professional role model?
I want to be everything for my girls, but I realize I may have to relinquish this role to someone else. My sister, luckily, can be that strong role model in the workforce for them as she is the pediatrician, and maybe, just maybe, I'll jump back in to the education field in the future.
I know I'm getting ahead of myself, as Maeve has yet to sit up and I just bet if you ask Mo what she wants to be when she grows up she'll probably say "a guitar" or member of the "Wiggles", but I can't help but wonder now.
I do know, however, that like my parents before me, me and Bry alike will tell our girls that they can be whatever they want in this big world - whether a Wiggle, or doctor or teacher or yes, even a mommy.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Soccer Girl!

Walking into the dining room she calls out, "I gonna play mama. Keep sis away from me!".
No further words need to be exchanged.  I understand her plan.
She rounds the large dining room table, heading to the small wooden cabinet. Her little fingers grab the knob as she bends down to peer in.
She sees it!
There lies the plastic case. With excitement, she grabs it and eagerly runs to the head of the table. Placing the case there, she uses her strength to pull out the heavy chair. Like an acrobat, she contorts her body then pulls the case towards her.
Opening it, she begins to prepare her space.
Grabbing the large green carpet, she pulls herself on the edge of the table and begins to unfold. Her arms extend as she smooths out the wrinkles.
The pitch is up!
One then two plastic goals emerge from the case. Following the marks on the mat, she meticulously places one. Grabbing the other, carefully she repeats the motion at the other end.  During this time, she pulls out the lone orange shirted male figure. Meant to be the referee, she prefers he stand guard on one of the goals, and so there she places him.
It is ready for the girls, the soccer girls.
She buries her head into the case. She is searching with a purpose.
"Maevie, come here! I've got something for you!" she yells to her baby sister.
Hearing the voice and her name, Maeve enters. As she gets closer to her older sister, more instructions are given.
"Don't touch, Shiny!" she says, "You can have these two". She hands Maeve two plastic girls frozen mid-stride while kicking soccer balls. Their purple and pink jerseys look bright in her tiny hand.
"No go away!" she finishes. Obviously her good nature ends with this act.
She returns to her project. She places her hand into the case and pulls out a plastic pony-tailed girl wearing a purple jersey.
"Number 24" she says. "You go here!" Onto the mat she places the purple girl.
She continues her routine: pulling out, saying a number, then placing it with its color coordinated team mate onto the mat.
She finishes, and an audible "ta-dah" is heard in the adjoining room.
Grabbing the small soccer ball, she is ready to begin their game.
There are very few things that can successfully keep the attention of my three year old. Knowing her affinity for soccer, this thoughtful gift has become a favorite in our house for both of us.

Mama’s Losin’ It This post was inspired by Mama Kat's Pretty Much World Famous Writing Prompt:

4.) Share a favorite craft or game that will keep your kids busy for at least 20 minutes.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lesson Learned

Little red plastic cup. innocently stacked in a pile.
"Here" he says, "It's for you. I take care of my freshmen". Into each hand, he places a red cup.
"Enjoy" he continues, as he walks away, leaving us alone. A sea of unfamiliar faces look as we hover in the doorway.
I feel like I don't belong here.
I'm not this type of girl; not the partying type. Not the girl to be holding a cup at a fraternity party.
I'm a good girl,
But no one knows this.
We are virtual strangers, the girls and I. Barely do I know their names, their stories have yet to be revealed, as we have only met a few hours before. Since we are all collegiate athletes to be, we have been grouped together for Freshmen orientation class.
It is his idea, our peer mentor, an upper class man, to come out to this party this night. We later discover, that he is pledging this fraternity and so his actions may have ulterior motives.
In the doorway of the large white house we cling together, our shared naivete, our bond. As one unit, we walk to the kitchen, and discover a blue plastic tub filled with a purple punch.
"I guess I'll just try some" I say.
I'm a good girl, not the partying type.
It appears I am alone in my inexperience, as they quickly empty their glass.
Bottoms up, I suppose as I join them back at the rubber tub.
The little red plastic cup holds another glass of the purple punch, and then another. (and another?)
Our inhibitions begin to fade, as the liquor takes hold.
I'm a good girl, not the partying type.
I find a seat in the living room, and sit.
The room begins to spin as my stomach churns.
Purple liquid splashes onto the white carpet as I drop my little red plastic cup.
"Who's ready to head back to the dorm?" the familiar voice asks. I look up to spy my peer mentor.
I walk to the car, and crawl into the back seat. Two of my new friends, sit next me.
"Can you open the window a bit?" I ask, my stomach continues to churn, as I attempt to hide my intoxication.
"Of course" he responds, as the car takes off back to the university. I feel the cool air on my face as the window rolls down, then I hear the lighter click. He places the cigar between his lips, and immediately the smell overcomes me.
"Pull over! Pull over now!" I yell.

It was that early night in my college experience that I learned to be hesitant about those little red plastic cups.
Lesson Learned.

*Sorry mom & dad! I know you thought I was a good girl, and I was, most of the time! :)

What we finally landed on? Is this:
Write a post that either starts or ends with the words "Lesson learned." Word limit: 400 words

Monday, July 25, 2011


There are moments where I lose me.
The moments where I can feel all the patience I have disappear and in it's place
eye rolls,
and blame.
I pride myself in being patient and keeping my cool,
but there are times where it's gone,
Where I'm gone.
No more messes in the kitchen!
Not another dirty diaper to clean!
Be nice to your sister!
Don't jump off the couch!
Clean up the toys!

Then, Monday evening rolls around and I tune into A&E and realize things could be worse.
Thank you Hoarders & Intervention!

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Her small hand reaches up to mine. We walk with a purpose down the boards. Her cadence broken every few steps with a skip.  The excitement builds.
A warm April afternoon.
Easter Sunday.
The unofficial start of summertime, as the boardwalk wakes from it's winter slumber.
Our new Easter ritual, not performed in Church, but rather here, next to the ocean.
The salty air blowing strands of her hair into her face, as her eyes focus on the goal.
Already the year since our last visit has magnified her growth. She was content sitting in the stroller, sucking her thumb, observing, next to her infant sister a mere twelve months prior, but now, the shoulder straps could not contain her.
Around, around, she went.
Up and down and all around on the carousel.
Her fears conquered as she climbed the rope ladder, ran across the bridge, and descended the inflatable slide.
Toddler hood had escaped her sometime in this twelve month span.
Eloquence and fluency had replaced the babble.
Poise in place of immaturity.
Sometime over the past three years She had emerged, not a baby, but a little perfect person.
I held her hand tightly as our bodies navigate the crowd. Scanning, my eyes meet with a barrage of colorful signs.
Fresh Squeezed Lemonade!
We continue on our quest. Our feet fall into a synchronized rhythm as we search.
The giggle meets the salty air, as she spies it and raises her hand.
"I see it Mama!" she yells, "I see ice cream!"

This piece was inspired by the prompt: "Ice Cream!"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Simple Things...

Before my eyes can open for the morning, I hear the footsteps and the creak of the door open. Into our room she creeps, Jessie in one hand and panties in the other.
I grab her, as she tosses the panties onto the makeshift nightstand. Up and into the bed she goes.
"What we doing today Mama?" she asks, as her thumb finds it's way into her mouth.
Soft blue eyes look to me, waiting for the response.
"Close your eyes for a moment and cuddle in" I say, as I pull her little body closer, the sheet under her chin.
Her father asleep next to me, unaware of anything. He sleeps soundly.
"But mama, what we doing today?" she asks again.
The promise of more sleep dissipates as her sister stirs. Her babble audible through her closed door.
"Shiny*!" she squeals as she throws the covers off her body, hopping onto the hardwood floor. Jessie is left lying on my bed, as she heads to meet her baby sister.
The door is pushed open.
"Shiny Baby!" she sings, "How are you Maevie? How did you sleep, my baby?"
Her chubby hands are grabbing the top of the crib rails, as her body bobs up and down with excitement. She takes the blue pacifier from her mouth, placing it into her hand, and in her new found voice looks to her big sister and says "Mo-Mo!". Two steps behind, I emerge in the doorway. My hands run throw my disheveled hair, as I adjust the waistband of my shorts, and watch the exchange.

Mo spies me as Maeve hands the pacifier to her bigger sister.
"Mama, she said Mo-Mo!" she says, as she hands me the pacifier. She races back to the side of the crib, and grabs her sisters fingers through the slat. "I so proud of you Shiny! You said Mo-Mo!".
Together they smile and start laughing. I stand as an observer as my girls continue laughing.

Soon I find the giggles are contagious as I am laughing too.
"What's going on?" I hear from behind me.
"Da" she says, looking to her father in the doorway, freshly waken from sounds of laughter.
"Daddy, Maevie said dad and Mo-Mo!" she explains. "She talking!"
I take a moment to remember this perfect moment.
The simple things…

*Shiny = nickname for Maeve, derived from former nickname of Sunshine, Given by Mo, In addition can be shortened to Shine

Mama’s Losin’ It

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Happily Ever After...finally.

The Honeymoon- the usual culminating activity of the bridal process. In many great movies where weddings are a central theme, the guests and family wave and shout frantically as they send off the happy couple. Many times the bride changes from her wedding dress into a suit, obviously the most appropriate attire for travel, and off to start the rest of their lives they go. Annie and Brian from Father of the Bride, Shelby and Jackson from Steel Magnolias, Samantha's older sister and husband in Sixteen Candles, the list goes on... Happily ever after, as they drive into the sunset.
However reality isn't always so sequential, so scripted.

The wedding was stunning, everything I had always hoped and more.
A warm October evening,
Fantastic food, family and friends,
Dancing and drinking the night away.
Our subtle beach themed, fairly classic wedding.

Purse strings stretched tightly, we decided to postpone a honeymoon.
Responsibilities to maintain. 
Debts to pay.

In a few months, maybe over the holiday.
Responsibilities to maintain
Debts to pay.

No in the summer,
Definitely in the summer.
August would be perfect.

I'm sorry, it appears you have a blood clot in your lung.
Health to maintain.
Debts to pay.

Maybe for the new year?
Responsibilities to maintain
Debts to Pay

"I'll take care of it," he said. "We deserve something big."
Responsibilities maintained
Debts Paid

Two weeks before, a positive pregnancy test.
Between tears, I managed to offer my apologies for ruining our much delayed and anticipated honeymoon.
Kisses and hugs and reassurance in only the most fitting of ways.
"It's okay, at least I can still drink!"

When we returned,
Major responsibilities to maintain
Debts to pay
But for seven days,
alternate reality.
Honeymoon turned baby moon,
our own little slice of heaven.

Breakfast set up daily

One of the semi-secluded beaches

Toes in the sand

Blissfully unaware of the perils of pending parenthood

Flicker of Inspiration Prompt #8: I Need a Vacation

Write about a trip either you or a character has taken. It doesn't need to be a literal trip but can be more of figurative journey. If you're writing memoir, what do you remember most about this trip? Do you remember what it's like to go somewhere you've never been? If you're writing fiction, describe your character's trip vividly. Make us feel what your character felt, see what they saw, experience what they experienced. Come back and take us on your journey by linking up next Sunday.

After attempting to write a new piece to address the prompt for the Red Dress Club,  I realized this piece was it. This week's prompt asked us to write about a time that rhythm, or a lack thereof, played a role in your life. And don’t use the word “rhythm.”

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Net

In our backyard, we have a soccer net.
A gift from my sister for Mo this past Christmas.
Bry discovered the box in our basement a few weeks ago, and put the pieces together.
Glee as she kicked the ball into the net.
"Gooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallll!" her little sister would yell, raising her arms into the air.
Soccer is a passion in our house and the net helped to make play more realistic.
Then yesterday I happened to look out the window in our kitchen. We have bunnies in our backyard. Normally, there are three who hop around, looking for fresh grass to gnaw.
At the sound of our back door opening, they usually perk up, look to us, and continue to eat.
Comfortable, I assume with our presence.
It was different though.
While two were hopping, I noticed the soccer net had fallen.
What was that in the netting?
It couldn't be?
Could it?
I wondered silently while they girls sat watching Nick Jr., still waking from their nap time fog.
After delivering juice cups and a perky message that I had to check something outside, I left.
Nervous of what I would discover.
As I walked across the grass, the two bunnies eating, lifted their heads for a moment, and then as if they were gesturing hopped towards their friend.
There it was, mangled in the net. Fur on the grass as it pedaled its feet attempting to free itself.
Poor thing.
I walked closer and reached down.
At first it threw it's body side to side, only tightening the netting.
My hands touched it's small abdomen, as I could feel it's heart beating rapidly.
It stopped flailing as I worked to remove the net.
My hands trembled as I got to its little face and ears.
It was free, but injured.
The fur above its left leg was gone, leaving an open sore.
It looked to me, then hopped away.
I picked up the net.
A hole the size of a basketball, the net stained with the poor animal's blood, and my hands shaking a little, I repositioned the net, then walked into the house.
"Mama," she said, "Dino Dan is on!"
"Wow!" I replied thinking of that little bunny.
This morning I noticed two rabbits in the backyard. I'm still searching for the third, for some proof of life.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rockin' the Baby

With my first delivery, after waiting nearly 10 hours a little someone decided the whole birthing process wasn't for them, and so an emergency c-section was performed. The entire process was a whirlwind, but in the end, she was there, practically perfect in every way.

Moira, minutes old and already needing her voice to be heard!
With delivery two I had had a repeat c-section scheduled for Friday. A different little someone decided Wednesday would be better. Since baby and mommy were tolerating labor okay, I waited (and waited and waited) for an operating room. Laboring for four hours strapped flat to a hospital bed and monitors without any pain medicine, were not my best hours. Finally, late in that evening Maeve was born.

Maeve in her daddy's arms
The H1N1 outbreak during the winter of 2009-2010, made hospitals around the country modify their visitor protocol. Unfortunately, children under the age of 12 were prohibited from visiting, thus Mo could not come to the hospital during our entire stay. At the time I was devastated, however it truly was magical those first minutes they met that winter day at our home. It never really occurred to me how little Mo was when Maeve was born until I look back now.


I had joined Shell in her link up for "Rockin' the Bump" and thought it was only appropriate I followed up with baby shots. Seriously, who doesn't love newborn photos? Join in too!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


"Why Buddy?" I asked.

Bry and I were newly dating, our relationship in the infantile stage. The time where new discoveries happen daily and conversation topics abound. We were freshmen in college, both living hours away from our respective families. Thus, there were limited interactions with them. I had yet to meet his parents and I think he may have met my father accidentally before we were a "we". (Having a Labor Day birthday, I returned home for my 18th instead of spending it with newly made friends).

"When I was little, we would go places and he would always say to me,  C'mon buddy. I guess being little, I just copied what he said and referred to him as Buddy too." he said. "It just stuck.".

So Dad or Daddy was replaced with Buddy. When his brother was born, he too referred to him the same way.


When I was pregnant with Moira, there were a multitude of conversations with a topic of names.

"I feel like I'm too young to be a grandma." my mother in law sighed.

"I kind of like Pop" my dad negotiated.

"He or she can call me whatever he or she wants!" my mother demanded.

The deviation of grandmother and grandfather would be an extensive process for those three. Ultimately, Grammy with the bracelets, Popsie, and Grammy (sometimes Regular Gram) emerged, but with Bryan's father, there was no need for a conversation.

He was Buddy,
plain and simple.

On Saturday, July 2 Buddy passed away after spending almost eleven years tormented from the after effects of numerous strokes.

Today we gather for his memorial and I can't help but think that the definition of Buddy has been forever altered.

1. comrade or chum (often used as a term of address).
 –verb (used without object)
2.. to be a companion; be friendly or on intimate terms.
3. Father and grandfather

Good bye, Buddy.

Mo, Bry, Maeve, & Buddy
The three grandchildren together
Blaise, Mo, Maeve, & Buddy

Sunday, July 10, 2011

An Education

"Is it time to go yet?" she asks, her braids rest under the red hat, while she adjusts the waistband to her grey shorts. "I want to see the Philles now!"
I look to the clock, 12:30.
"Sorry Mo, we still have an hour until we will leave." I say.
"I am just so excited!" she continues, "I can't wait to see Chase and Cole and Shane and Roy".
"The little hand needs to be on the one and the big hand on the six and then we can leave". I say as I gesture to the large clock over the mantel.
Fans can recognize players in uniform, share a few statistics, watch their favorite teams on the television and wear the logo on the occasional t-shirt or hat. Then there are those fanatics, who know in depth information about players, use words like "on base percentage", "hits with runners in scoring position" and "earned run average" in everyday use, DVR games or listen to the game while in actual attendance, and have a closet filled with their team's attire.
My parents are fanatics, or rather being from the Philadelphia area "phanatics". We were raised on a steady dose of Red and White, and as we have grown, their love for the Phils has too. T-shirts, Sweatshirts, shorts, jerseys, beach towels, stickers, baseballs, pennant, and hats fill their basement, making it a virtual Phillies shrine. Into their isolette in the hospital, Phillie Phanatic dolls were placed next to my newborn daughters and their first gloves bought not soon after we brought them home.  While many grandfathers may have recited the alphabet or nursery rhymes while their grandchild sat on their knee, my father held Mo and later Maeve in his arms, while they perused his collection of bobble heads and autographed baseballs.
"Hello Cole Hamels" she would say, as he would lift the doll from the desk. With her fingers she would touch his disproportionally large head, it would bob and together, they would laugh.
They would continue.
"Hello, Chase Utley".
"Hello, Chooch"
"Hello, Steve Carlton"
"Hello, Whitey".
On they would go, saying hello to each. A history of the club presented in Bobblehead form. A primer for my three and one year old. Their indoctrination began here, and so it should not be a surprise when she speaks of these players as if they are family.
The Phillies are part of our family.
Thus, leading us to the most anticipated (or dreaded depending on the weather forecast) day of the season, Photo Day. The one day during the season when the players interact with the fans.
"It's time Mo!" I say, as I finish spraying sunscreen over her thin arms and legs.
"Did you see my number, Daddy?" she asks. Recently she only wants to wear shirts with numbers on them. "I"m Chase".
"I see it" he says as he looks to me smirking. "Have fun with your mommy! Don't get too hot!" he continues, the smile grows wider on his face.
Last year, as I remained in the cool of our home with an infant, he suffered through a mid afternoon heatwave in July crowded on the field.
Today is my turn.
"I'm going to see Chase! He gonna hold me and say hi!" she starts. "I also gonna say hi to Roy for you Shiny" she tells Maeve.
We make it to the stadium and find our family in the crowd of red and white.
And so it goes, one more lesson in the education of a Phillies fan.
The moral of the day, bring an adorable kid and have your Phanatic father yell to players repeatedly "You're my granddaughters' favorite, come over please!".
This is what happens:
                                                               Popsie & Mo

Mo & Antonio Bastardo (relief pitcher)

Popsie, Mo, & Shane Victorino

C.C. (Cousin Cindy), Mo, & Wilson Valdez

Popsie, Mo, & Ryan Howard

Mo with her two favorite guys: Popsie and Chase Utley

Thursday, July 7, 2011

36 and a half hours

Tuesday, July 5
7:35 pm
"Bry, Maevie's coming upstairs"
7:36 pm
Head over feet, head over feet, down she falls. 8 stairs
7:37 pm
"It's okay Maevie, It's okay" I say, bobbing her on my hip.
"Jeanna, it's Bry. Maeve just fell down the stairs. What should we do?"
Get on up, Clap your hands, When you hear the Freshbeat Band.
"I think she's fine, Bry" I say as she claps her hand and dances along.
"No, vomit. No, she's walking okay. Every two hours, wake her." he says.
"Good night Maevie, it's time to go to sleep"
10:10 pm
Text to Dr. Jeanna "When you said 'wake her up every two hours', do you mean shake her wide awake or just jostle her a bit?"
10:30 pm
Shake, Shake, Shake
She stirs.
Thank God!
11:10 pm
"Weather tomorrow looks to be the start of heatwave number 4!"
Wednesday, July 6
12:30 am
Climb out of the bed, creak open the door,
Shake, Shake, Shake
She stirs.
Thank God!
2:28 am
Climb out of the bed, creak open the door,
Shake, Shake, Shake
She stirs.
4:36 am
Climb out of the bed, creak open the door,
Shake, Shake, Shake
She stirs.
6:35 am
The door opens, footsteps down the hall
"Mommy, I awake!"
"Good morning Mo".
6:45 am
"Good morning Sunshine".
Smiles and signs for eat welcome me.
She's fine!
8:29 am
Balancing the basket of towels up the stairs,
"Bry, are you still sleeping?"
8:30 am
Bry yells, "CRAP!"
9:40 am
"Anybody home" the voice yells threw the open windows.
"Grammy!" Mo yells.
10:50 am
"Thanks mom for staying with the girls, especially in this heat!" I say, as I walk out the door.
11:24 am
"Mrs. S, I'll take you back to see the doctor now" the nurse says.
Height, Weight- Oh God, my weight!
11:40 am
The rheumatologist discloses "I'm not quite sure what's causing your pain. Let's take some blood and I'll see you in 2-3 weeks to discuss".
11:44 am
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 vials
6, 7, 8, 9, 10 vials
11:50 am
Ring, Ring, Ring
"How are the girls?
I'm stopping by the photo store to hopefully get the picture enlarged.
10 vials,
2-3 weeks,
2 alleve twice a day." I say.
12:20 pm
"Fifteen dollars to crop and fix the photo to an 8 by 10". she says.
I am thankful.
12:22 pm
Ring, Ring, Ring
"I thought you would call" he says.
"I'm finishing up with the photo. $15 and ready on Friday." I respond.
"What about you?" he asks.
"10 vials,
2-3 weeks,
2 alleve twice a day."
12:45 pm
"One half turkey hoagie- meat, onion, tomato, lettuce, light mayo, & light oregano, one slice of white and one slice of tomato pie. Oh yeah, two plain rolls".
1:15 pm
"Mama, I love white pizza!" Mo responds, as the sauce cakes Maeve's face.
"I'm hoping to leave for your house by 2." I tell my mom. "Thank you again for watching the girls. How's the hoagie."
"They put on a lot of meat, but it's good. I'll meet you there after I let out the dogs at E's" she says.
2:05 pm
As I'm pulling out the driveway, Mo asks, "Why we going to Grammy's, mama?"
"It's too hot!" I say since we don't have air conditioning.
2:25 pm
Looking back in the rear view window, Maeve's head bobs as Mo's thumb slowly falls from her mouth.
Nap time.
3:40 pm
Remembering my mom had said their refrigerator was empty, I drive past the entrance to her townhouse community, off to Thriftway.
3:41 pm
Maeve begins to throw up
3:42 pm
Maeve continues to throw up
3:42:30- 3:45 pm
3:45 pm
I pull in front of their house, Maeve smiles.
3:50-4:30 pm
Disrobe, Bathe, Disassemble, Clean, and explain what occurred.
4:40 pm
"She just had a bit of donut and some orange juice" my mom discloses.
That's why it smelled like Dunkin Donuts in my car.
5:30 pm
Off to shop for dinner, and groceries.
6:45 pm
Dinner- sweet potato fries, garlic cauliflower, and chicken cutlets.
7:40 pm
"It's just a little poopy mommy. I didn't wipe good!" she says, as she hands me her soiled panties.
Yes, that's puke and poop now!
8:20 pm
I survived!
8:30 pm
Coffee ice cream with cookie dough pieces.
Should I put on my PJs yet?
8:45 pm.
Ring, Ring, Ring
"You're going to have come and get me. The car died again" he said.
"We just had the alternator fixed a few weeks ago!" I respond.
"Actually, it was three months ago, " he said, "I'm at the pizza parlor".
He can't be serious?
8:59 pm
Into the car
9:56 pm
"Is that a Sicilian pizza?" I ask.
"They felt bad for me" he said. "They know I like Sicilian pies."
10:04 pm.
Back to Grammy's house.
11:02 pm
"Are you sure you want to drive back to our house?" I ask.
He is adamant. "I don't have any clothes here, and to be honest I'm not comfortable when I sleep here. The bed's just not good".
"I love you. Drive safe." I say.
11:24 pm
Lights out.
8:02 am
"Good morning Mama!"

After writing this post on Thursday, I cannot think a post that better sums up "me" right now.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Stage

It was a Sunday, and we had already watched our weekly episode of Kids Incorporated. The premise: a band of kids who performed family friendly versions of pop songs while they danced around.  Exactly the type of show made to appeal to the 6-12 yr old demographic. My sister and I were loyal followers. In the age before DVR, repeated viewings were rare, so we attempted, unsuccessfully, to make voice recordings using our tape recorder, in a meek attempt to have their songs to sing along.
On a cloud after each episode, we would take our makeshift microphones, mine an attachment to the vacuum, hers a yellow drumstick, and sing and dance around our family room. She as Stacy, the younger blond headed sister who could belt out with the best of them, me as Renee, the older auburn locked sister who was known for the longing glances she would give to the camera.
The show gave me my first exposure to Rocky Horror Picture Show's Time Warp and Springsteen's Thunder Road, of course with lyrics appropriate for the under 12 crowd.
Clicking on the television those Sunday afternoons, we were transported to this surreal world where parents and other adults were rarely seen. The kids had the run of the Place, with fashionable wardrobes of neon and denim and songbooks a mile long.
Kids Incorporated gave my sister and I inspiration.
"Do you want to see Great Grandmom today?" my mom asked.
I looked to my sister, and we nodded in unison. A trip to the nursing home to dutifully pay our respects to our maternal great grandmother, also gave us access to the stage.
In the great room of the building, wooden tables dot the floor, with bright orange plastic chairs surrounding them. Wheelchairs and walkers pulled up table side, a room which offered a sense of community to its elderly residents.
  After giving our great grandmother a peck on her cheek, and a quick hello, to the stage we would race. Our daydreams of being famous singers and dancers would come alive, as we did our best to mirror what we had seen earlier on the day. Twirling and singing, the time on that stage was magical. While a stray clap was our only acknowledgement, we continued. The majority of our visit spent on that stage.
By this time Great Grandmom was quite old, her body beginning to show the effects of a well lived life. I cannot remember any true acknowledgement of our talents, however my mom and grandmother both agree that she loved our visits, just as most of the other residents.
It was here we were stars.

TV is something that people either watch a lot of or have definite feelings about. This week, we want you to think about tv show from your past. Maybe you watched it, maybe you didn't and it was just something that everyone else talked about.

What feelings does the show evoke? What memories does it trigger?
Keep it to 600 words and come back to link up on Tuesday, July 5th.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Something Blue

"Is this your dress?" she asked.
Into the mirror I peered. It was lovely. "Diamond white silk shantung" I had been informed. The color somewhere between white and off-white. The pin tuck pleats in the bodice gave way to an a-line skirt with a small train. Little buttons started at the top of the back and followed down the train, while tiny swarvoski crystals were sewn in no particular pattern. As the light hit the crystals, they shined.
But did I? Was it enough?
I never cried in that dress, or any of the others I tried on in anticipation of my upcoming wedding. I deduced that the dress was it, as it fit the budget, my body, and the overall feeling of the day.
A small wedding, at a small seasonal chapel the first week of October in Cape May.
A simple, classic wedding with a small inspiration from the beach, that is what we planned.
I continued on the simple path with the majority of our planning, as our own purse strings were tight as we balanced the estimates from florist, reception site, and d.j.
There was not much room for extravagance and really it wasn't our style.
Except for my shoes.
Somewhere in my wedding planning madness, I had contrived the idea to wear blue shoes. The shoes offered a bit of levity in the seriousness of table numbers, response cards, and shades of white napkins. Their discovery was an accident. After scouring department stores and online stores, I happened upon a sale on the J.Crew website.
There they were, blue and off-white patterned heels.
In anticipation of potential sizing problems, I ordered two pairs.
For the next few days, I waited patiently for the brown package.
Onto my feet they went, and they fit.
While tears did not fill my eyes, these shoes were not a compromise. They were exactly what I had envisioned.
On the day of my wedding ceremony, my blue shoes remained hidden for the most part under the fabric of my gown. However, as I walked down the aisle, they peeked out for a moment with each step. They offered a little bit of whimsy in comparison to the remaining tradition.
After the ceremony, my new husband and I stood at the doorway, receiving accolades for our recent accomplishment, and in that time I shared my secret with a few guests.  As I modeled my blue shoes, I couldn't help but smile.
Something old, Something new, Something borrowed, and Shoes of blue!

The only picture of shoes from the day, our dancing shoes

My something blue shoes "after"

This post was inspired by the following prompt. We all have a pair of shoes that tell a story. It may be a story remembered or a story that never happened, but shoes can speak volumes, after all they've walked many miles. This week we want you to take a picture of your favorite pair of shoes (or a pair of shoes with a story) and tell the story of those shoes. Where have they been? Where will they take you? Let the shoes do the talking!

I wrote about what happened once the blue shoes were removed for a previous prompt here.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


It took us a while to find this place.
An old house filled with character and charm.
A diamond in the rough, or a money pit, depending on the day.
A place with enough bedrooms for a family, but small enough to feel cozy.
The checklist was long, the search was wide.
"Too small" I would say.
"Too new" he would respond.
"Ah, definitely not!" we agreed.
Our poor realtor, nodding his head as we rushed through another,
and then another,
and then another.
Days turned to weeks,
Weeks turned to months,
and then by chance, we found it.
"We should check this place out" Bry muttered, "after all it's only two houses away from this open house".
It's not even a town we were considering.
I didn't even get to preview it online.
I don't think this could be it.
Walking in, I was ready to count it out, to consider it another "no".
Dingy pink walks met us as we walked in.
"This will be an easy." I thought.
Pocket doors, really?
"Look at the dining room" I blurted out, immediately attempting to quell my voice. "It's huge, and Tiffany blue!"
"Nothing paint couldn't fix" Bry said.
Thanksgiving dinner and birthday parties
The kids could easily sit here at the table doing homework.
"Why didn't they publicize the kitchen?" Bry asked.
Room enough for the six burner stove he always dreamed and an old white porcelain sink.
Don't get ahead of yourself
Photos of our family through the years would look fabulous up the stairs.
Coming to the top of the stairs, doors surrounded us.
Four bedrooms, one full bathroom.
Small enough to fit a crib and dresser, and have a cozy nursery.
Hardwoods and huge windows.
"Be sure to check out the third floor" the realtor instructed.
Up another flight of stairs to the hidden gem, a room the size of the second floor.
While the ceiling is dormered, it still is tall enough for us to walk.
The kids could have a fantastic playroom.
A backyard and front, ivy covered but the size was right.
Back to the front porch, a porch we ignored coming it.
Ceiling fans and lots of room.
We left, but the memory of that house stayed.

More houses came, but nothing compared.
We made an offer, but it didn't work out.
We walked away.

One month.

Two month.

"Are they still interested?" their realtor asked.

We signed and found our house.
We found our Home.

My dad and Mo on the front steps a few hours after we got the keys.

The stairway

The Tiffany Blue walls in the dining room

The third floor playroom on the day we closed
This post was inspired by a prompt from the Lightning and the Lightning Bug. This weekend's Dare to Share Link Up theme is For Love of Country. We'd love for you to share any patriotic posts or simply posts related to your country or home.