Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday's Feast


Name a great website you would recommend to others.

Besides my own? Any of my blogging buddies on the right or The Breast Cancer Site to help fun free mammograms!

On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 as highest), how often do you dream at night?

Supposedly we dream every night. On the scale how often do I remember- 3

Did you have a pet as a child? If so, what kind and what was its name?


Dog- Lady Fish-Angelo Cat- Hobbes Another Dog-Boomer Bird- Cookie

Yet another Dog- Kennedy....Kennedy ended the line of pets.

Main Course
If you had the chance to star in a commercial, what would you choose to advertise?

Well, I am LOVING my Listerine Pre-Brush Whitening Rinse! I would definitely recommend that!

What is your favorite kind of hard candy?

Either Butterscotch in the clear orange cellophane wrapper- the kind you find at the bottom of Grandma's purse or the Strawberry candy that has the gooey center and the wrapper that's supposed to make it look like a real strawberry!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Let's Have a Lead Free Christmas This Year

In light of yet ANOTHER recall...this time on some more Go! Diego Go! toys...I'm posting this link for a China Free Christmas, courtesy of my cousin!

China Free Christmas lists toys and products that can be trusted, so far, as safe for our kids!! Too bad they don't have a power wheels because Nicholas just picked one out! Guess it will have to be a homemade soapbox car! :)

Thursday Thirteen #3

Thirteen "Interesting" Things About Me
Interesting being a relative term...

1. I can put my entire fist in my mouth
I know it's gross but I figured I'd better get it out of the way!
2. I was the President of the First Women's Rugby Club at Saint Joseph's University
(Started by Melissa Byrne)
3. I met my husband in a liquor store
4. I've ground(?)my teeth so much over the years that I no longer have any points on them.
(Makes ripping raw meat apart difficult)
5. I love Salami with Cream Cheese
(Don't knock it 'til you try it!)
6. I was born in New York City
7. I still have the underwear I wore on my wedding day- weird, I know- but they fit-AWESOME!
8. Our wedding was on TV
(Buff Brides)
9. I start listening to Christmas music- sporadically- before Halloween
10. I never EVER EVER wanted to be a teacher
11. I let my husband pick our China pattern
(BIG mistake! Oddly enough, it's pink!)
12. I LOVE the city of Philadelphia- I would live there if my family were there.
13. I always said I would end up with someone who was taller than me-5'10- but I am significantly taller than my husband- and I wear heels!

There you have it....13 "interesting" facts about me. Now you can sleep better knowing what you know- or maybe you'll sleep worse!
Please share your Thursday 13 in the comments with a link!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Today is blog for the MOTHERS Act. I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you about the MOTHERS act and then a little bit more.

This is from Postpartum Progress and blogher on the MOTHERS Act:

What is the MOTHERS Act? The Moms Opportunity to Access Help, Education, Research and Support for Postpartum Depression Act, or MOTHERS Act (S. 3529), will ensure that new mothers and their families are educated about postpartum depression, screened for symptoms and provided with essential services. In addition, it will increase research into the causes, diagnoses and treatments for postpartum depression. The bill is sponsored by Senators Menendez and Durbin.

Postpartum depression is a serious and disabling condition that affects up to 20 percent of new mothers -- as much as 800,000 American women each year. Yet only 15 percent of these women will receive any assessment or treatment. Let me repeat. With all we know and as smart as we are, only 15% of 800,000 women will get diagnosed and treated. That is so wrong on so many levels. Women are not being diagnosed because they're not being educated and they're not being screened. Untreated, the consequences of maternal mood disorders range from chronic, disabling depression to death. The impact of untreated maternal depression on infants/children ranges from behavioral and learning disabilities to depression and, in the worst case scenarios, death from infanticide.

Specifically, the MOTHERS Act will help new moms by:

  • Providing important education and screening on postpartum depression (PPD) that can lead to early identification and treatment. The legislation includes two grants to help healthcare providers educate, identify and treat PPD.
  • Expanding important research to improve and discover new treatments, diagnostic tools and educational materials for providers. Since the exact cause of PPD isn't known, research continues to be the key to unlocking the mystery of this condition.

The bill is currently with the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee of the Senate. If the majority of the HELP Committee members endorse the MOTHERS Act, the bill will move forward for consideration by the Senate. Without Senate sponsors, the bill could languish in committee and await reintroduction at a future date. The moms of America can't wait for that.

Most Senators rarely hear from mothers (and others!), and phone calls from you and your readers will cause them to sit up and take notice on a specific issue. Writing or sending emails has much less impact. With your support, Blog Day for the MOTHERS Act can truly have a measurable impact.

I encourage each and every one of you to contact your representatives and encourage them to sign on to this! This is so very important!

On a personal note, some of you are aware of this others are not, after Addison was born I was diagnosed with PostPartum Depression. As I put it to one friend, "The depression fairy was one of my first and only visitors after Addie was born and the bitch just wouldn't leave!". After encouragement and support from those around me I sought out counseling and have been on the road to recovery for some time now. My depression was caught early and I was able to get help, that is not always the case. It is so vitally important that we do all that we can to help other moms and families out there who are suffering with this debilitating disease!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

It's Over...hmmmm...Ok

I have squandered away my three free periods today...oh well. This is my last free 43 minutes of the day and I have chosen to completely ignore my work before me and surf and blog. I feel good about this choice!

Have you ever had a friendship that ended and at first you were upset about it or at least upset about the way it ended and then you came to realize that maybe you're not all that upset about it at all? I have. I've had a couple of them.

Initially, I was upset about it. It bothered me that the friendships were over and the relationships had come to an end and often it was more about the way that it ended than really the friendship. I came to the realization, though, that it's ok that the friendship is over. Actions following the ending of the friendship showed me what exactly I had been dealing with. I'm alright with it ending...I didn't need that in my life. I needed loyalty and commitment and maturity and support and that clearly was not what I received.

I've found myself, a couple of times, on the side of the friendship that does most of the giving and support and loyalty. The side that recognizes when the other person needs a little cheering up or a phone call to say, "hey, I'm here" or a little something to cheer them up because a major life event, or not so major life event, has occurred that day. Being on that side has often meant that I wasn't on the other side. I was not the one getting the phone calls or emails because I was the one making them or writing them. I was not the one receiving the little something that says, "hey, I remembered that xyz was happening today and I thought you might need a cheering up" because I was the one giving it. And I was not the one receiving the support and surprises for no good reason, just because we're friends, because I was the one giving them. Sometimes, that's ok. It's ok to be on the one side for awhile and be the person always giving as long as the pendulum swings back eventually. I've found that it doesn't always swing back and I'm tired of holding on to it on my side.

Don't get me wrong here, I am not the perfect friend. I have my quirks, idiosyncrasies, things that are difficult to deal with and work through. I can be a bitch and I can be selfish and forgetful but I do my best to not to be that way. I try to be the friend that I want others to be to me and I sometimes wonder why I don't have friends like me. (Isn't that the most self absorbed thing you've heard?!?! Self centered! I feel terrible even thinking it because it makes me seem so great, and I'm not like that, but sometimes I need a friend who does as much for me as I do for them or who at least shows as much concern and care for me as I do them.)

I have friends who are wonderful and who are thoughtful and who are loyal and who think of me and remember me and send me cards and touch base with me regularly. I am beginning to see that I have the friends who are like me. Who are there for me and who have always been there for me but I've been so worried about the other ones not being there for me that I've had a hard time recognizing the ones right in front of my face. So, to my friends who have been wonderful, thank you. You have made my life better by being in it. You have strengthened my faith in friendship and made me see what it is all about. Thank you for being you and for being here for me.

So, yes, a couple of my friendships have ended. And, yes, in the beginning I was upset. It bothered me, but it bothered me because they ended in ways that I wasn't happy with. But we don't always get what we want, do we? Luckily, I'm realizing I have exactly what I need in my friends and that's all that matters.

If I drink Diet Coke plus in the morning does it count for my vitamin for the day??
It's my no point alternative to coffee!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Manic Monday

I know it's pretty half assed today. I'm swamped at work and I skipped some schoolwork that needed to get done....
The theme today is Frost and I've searched and I've searched for exactly what came to mind when I saw this week's theme and I cannot find an image for it ANYWHERE!
Immediately I thought of Jack Frost from the claymation Christmas special. Don't ask me how or why that came to my head but it did! Jack Frost all white and clue and cold looking.
Makes me want winter right now!
I can't stand scraping frost off the windows of my car in the mornings but I do love the winter and the snow. I love when the house windows get a thin layer of frost and ice and you can "draw" on them.
It's just such a magical time of year when nature takes over and makes everything so pretty- in my opinion!

I'm Watching

Well, I bit the bullet...I'm on Weight I sit here eating my 100 calorie Lorna Doone cookies which are delicious but still...

I decided that since my medication is readjusting everything in my body to work differently and I am clearly not able to maintain an ok weight or lose weight with ease anymore, it was time to do something about it. My friend K and I decided that Weight Watchers was the way to go! I have never had anything but good experiences on WW. When I joined before our wedding, WW actually led me to the TV show that followed my weight loss journey and wedding prep- and the 30 pounds I lost. When I joined after our son was born it helped me to come back down to just below my pre pregnancy weight and jump started my major weight loss to where I was before our daughter was born. WW has always worked for me and I really like the structured aspect of it with points, etc.

It's funny, but I've almost always done WW with a friend. It just makes it easier for me...I have to be responsible to someone besides myself. This time is no different. K and I are really trying to lose a good amount of weight and we've discovered we have no justifications as to why we shouldn't be trying. I used to use the excuse that if I lose weight then I need to buy new clothes and we just don't have the money for new clothes. We still don't have the money but I do have an extra wardrobe of smaller sized clothes that I know will fit if I lose the weight. So there goes that excuse! I used to say that I never had time for meetings or to get them. Now there's a WW center right by my job and I can go online all day and track my foods. Plus, since our house is wireless I can have my laptop in the kitchen with me as I prepare dinner and track all of my points. The only problem I can foresee is exercise. When in the world am I going to fit in exercise?!?!? I had thought about getting up around 5, instead of 5:30, to go out and walk/run/bike but we live in the mountains- hence the blog title- and we do have bears around. I'm just not comfortable with risking my life with a bear so that I can be skinnier. By the time I get home, I'm exhausted. Although, I did used to work out in the evenings just before bed...maybe it's back to that! I've also decided to start yoga on Sunday mornings...lets see how that goes!

Now, why do I hate WW? Because I LOVE food! You can eat anything you want on WW, everything has a points value and you deduct the points you eat from your daily allowance. You also get a weekly surplus type of thing, I try not to eat that weekly surplus or at least only dip into it slightly. I feel I lose faster that way. The problem is that some of the foods I love the most have the highest points. It is all about portion control and I am not good at that....guess I have to get good at it. Hopefully, my stomach will shrink enough that I won't even have to worry about portion control. Although, the only time my stomach really shrinks is when I'm pregnant and God knows that's not happening anytime soon!

So, yes, I'm back on WW. I'm happy about it because it was my choice...I don't have a deadline right now but for every milestone I will be rewarding myself. I think the first 5 pounds might mean a pedicure, a spa pedicure and 10 pounds may mean a new pair of shoes but I'm just not sure yet! Join me, if you'd like, on this journey...we can eat our way think together!

Friday, October 19, 2007

I was Going to but then...

I was going to write about my pinstripe pants that I have on that defeat the entire purpose of being pinstriped...they do not make me look taller or like I have longer legs that are thinner. They make me look a little wider and it upsets me. Then I went to my local newspaper website and saw that an area baseball coach and teacher and community member had passed away this morning and I felt the need to touch on that.

Brian Fleury was a coach, a teacher, a father, a husband. I did not know him well, only met him maybe once or twice at a random baseball game or athletic event but I had read about him and followed his story. He was an amazing athlete who was struck with Hodgkin's' disease as a young man, battled it, went into remission, only to have it return a few short years ago. He passed away this morning leaving his wife and young son. It is horrible that this man, who was kind, loved by many and admired for his strength and courage, has passed on. He's no longer in pain which is of some comfort but I think the thing that is most upsetting is that he leaves behind his little boy and family. I guess that is the thing that is always upsetting about death- those of who are left behind.

I was looking through pictures on a website dedicated to Brian and it brought tears to my eyes to think of his son who has only photos and memories of his dad. Then I began to think about my own children and the idea of leaving them and it was full on waterworks. My family is central to my life, as I'm sure Brian's was to his. The idea that I might not be there on my daughter's wedding day or see my son graduate from college is horrifying to me! Is it a reality? I guess it could be but it's something I try not to think about all too often. I dealt with a lot of those feelings when I was diagnosed with two tumors on my thyroid and I'm beginning to feel them creeping back as I await the results of my cancer screening. I make a conscious effort each and every day to thank God for what I have, to love my children as much as humanly possible, to tell them I love them as much as I can and to hug them and play with them at every chance. But it doesn't always happen. I get tired, I get distracted, I find myself doing other things that I deem more important. They never are.

In looking at those pictures I came to realize that I have been more concerned with stupid things and stupid people rather than those who matter most. I have allowed myself to drift away from what is most important and in doing so I have neglected those that are most important. Life is so very precious and it is so much more important for us to be good and loving people on this earth while we have the opportunity to than to worry about the people who don't really care about us anyway. Why waste our time worrying about the people who are never there for us when the people who are always there we've "forgotten" about? Every moment is precious and every person we encounter is a chance for us to touch a life in an amazing way.

Friday's Feast

If you were a dog, what breed would you be, and why?

It's a toss up between a Boston Terrier- cute and energetic, loves to play- and a Golden Retriever- Friendly, loyal, great with kids.

What does the color purple make you think of?

Hmmmm....I have two purple items of clothing and they are both from college and they are both from Take Back the Night Rallies that I helped organize for Domestic Violence Awareness. Purple is the signature color for the cause.

Approximately how long does it take you to get ready each morning?

Most mornings, 30 minutes TOPS!

Main Course
How many cousins do you have, and are you close to them?

HAH! About 20 on one side and I'm pretty close to most them- talk to the majority of them at least once a week. 4 on the other side and we talk about once a month.

Take your initials (first, middle, last) and come up with something else those letters could stand for. (Example: SFO = Sweet Funny Otter)

I have two middle names....





Comment and Share!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Supermarket Underwear and Jerry Maguire

The two things in the title aren't really related except that they both are part of my day.
I woke up LATE today and I mean LATE like 90 minutes late. I woke up at the time when I would normally be 3/4 of the way to work. It was bad. No shower...bad outfit choice...poor hair day. Just all around not good. I jumped in our new car...yay....and began the rushed drive into work...praying for NO TRAFFIC. Fat chance, although it was lighter than normal.

It takes me about an hour to get to work, no big deal. I don't mind sitting in the car for an hour, it does help me pass the time after I take my morning meds when I can't eat for an hour and a half. It's also a chance for me to be alone, to not listen to Little Einsteins, to not listen to Music Together music, to just sit and be alone. Lately though, I've been feeling like Jerry Maguire. You know that scene when he's in the car and goes through 4 or 5 songs and comes to "Freefallin"? This morning, I hit "Freefallin" and I had no desire to bang the steering wheel and sing. So I changed the station for the 60th time!! I just want something good to listen to. I can usually deal with the morning radio shows, sometimes they're even funny, but some good music would be nice. Just something to keep my mood up...something that every single other station isn't playing....something unique and fun....something that's not "Freefallin".

My day ended with me buying supermarket underwear. As I said, no shower this morning. I HATE that feeling. I can deal with that feeling if it's only temporary, like if I'm cleaning all day or just running a few errands or going to the gym. But I had to work all day today and then had a meeting that went into overtime after school and then had a bunch of errands to run. By the time I got to my parents I was GROSS! OR at least I felt gross. That's why I bought supermarket underwear. I needed to shower and there was no way in hell that I was putting on dirty clothes back on that had been next to my dirty body all day. So I spent 6 bucks and bought some "stylish" Granny like supermarket underwear. And you know what? I showered and put it on and it is SO FREAKING COMFORTABLE! It almost makes up for the fact that I'll probably get in the car tomorrow morning and have to listen to "Freefallin" on 6 different stations because they all have the same playlist!

Growth Spurt?

I'm fairly certain that I'm growing. Not widening or fattening but growing...taller. I put on a pair of pants this morning, in my mad rush to get to work since I woke up 90 minutes late, and they were short! When I purchased these pants, they were long. I mean really long. Like I couldn't wear them without some type of heel because they would drag on the ground long. What the hell happened??!?!

The jeans I was wearing yesterday, also notoriously long. I actually think I purchased them during that XL phase at the Gap. I couldn't wear those jeans without a pair of pumps on because, again, the pants would drag. Most days I didn't give a crap but these are the jeans that I considered my going out jeans because you can't wear pumps and a sweatshirt...just doesn't work! So, I wore these jeans yesterday and yes, they were still somewhat long but nothing like they used to be!

My favorite pair of work pants, aka slacks, short! Bought them and they fit, had a little extra length but nothing MAJOR! Now, I have to remember to pull them down and have them sit on the lower part of my hips after I use the restroom. What is going on!??!?!?

I do not dry my pants in the dryer so that's not the answer. I KNOW they shrink that way! I wash them every 3 or 4th wear...I know to some of you that seems gross, but I wear pants every day. No skirts for me!! I just don't see the need to wash them would ruin them. I wear just about the same shoes with my pants all the time, so it can't be them. If anything, the heel on the shoes is getting worn down and I would seem shorter. Not the case!! WHAT IS GOING ON!?!?!

The pants I have on today cost a lot of money, for me at least. They were like $70 pants. I don't spend $70 on pants...I hate spending that much money on any clothing item, unless it's a "fancy" dress. These pants should not be shrinking!! I bought them because they fit PERFECTLY. Now? Not so much! Could I really be hitting a growth spurt at 27.5? This is really going to freak my husband out, I'm already gigantor compared to him! Good lord this is annoying! I can't stand sitting here in these pants! I just want to put on my jeans and be comfortable, except that they're my going out jeans and I would feel the need to dress up and that's just not going to happen!

Thirteen Things about Domestic Violence
Not the Cheeriest of Topics but Important!
It's DV Awareness Month, Pass these along!!

1. Of those victimized by an intimate partner, 85% are women and 15% are men. In other words, women are 5 to 8 times more likely than men to be victimized by an intimate partner.

2. Only about 1 in 5 of domestic violence victims
with physical injuries seek professional medical treatment.

Every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted.

One in six American women are victims of sexual assault, and one in 33 men.
(Those numbers have changed, it used to be 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men. Things are getting "better".)

The majority of women killed at work are murdered by a current or former intimate partner

More children are served in battered women’s shelters than are adults.

Only about half of domestic violence incidents are reported to police.

The National College Women Sexual Victimization Study estimated that between 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 college women experience completed or attempted rape during their college years.

Most perpetrators know their victims. According to the 2000 National Crime Victimization Survey, 62% of rape and sexual assault victims knew the perpetrator. More than 40% of rapes and sexual assaults came at the hands of a person the female victim called a friend or acquaintance.
(There is a 2005 NCVS that supports with similar numbers.)

More than half of all rapes of women occur before age 18; 22% occur before age 12.

Females ages 12 to 24 are at the greatest risk for experiencing a rape or sexual assault

Domestic violence occurs in approximately 25-33% of same-sex relationships.

As many as 324,000 women each year experience intimate partner violence during their pregnancy.

References for these facts:
Lawrence A. Greenfeld et al. (1998). Violence by Intimates: Analysis of Data on Crimes by Current or Former Spouses, Boyfriends, and Girlfriends. Bureau of Justice Statistics Factbook. Washington DC: U.S. Department of Justice. NCJ #167237. Available from National Criminal Justice Reference Service.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hope Line For DV Awareness

Find out More about HopeLine and donating your used phones and accessories to Domestic Violence Causes.

Wordless Wednesday- In Memory for Breast Cancer Awareness

Wordless Wednesday
My 1st

(I know it's supposed to be wordless, but the picture came out too small! The Shirt reads,
"In Memory of My Grandma, Hilda E. Stella")

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Yesterday, October 15th at 4:15 PM, perinatal mental health history was made as H.R. 20, The Melanie Blocker Stokes Postpartum Depression Research and Care Act, was passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 382 - 3!! What a thrill it was to watch from the Congressional Gallery as Congressman Bobby L. Rush made his final, victorious push for American women, children and families.

Please join me in congratulating Congressman Bobby L. Rush, Carol Blocker and his hardworking staff on this pivotal victory which has been the result of SEVEN YEARS of steadfast advocacy. Postpartum Support International was recorded as the number one sponsor of the bill. A very proud moment for all of us and the beginning of hope for more consistent attention to this issue. The bill will now proceed to the Senate where it will join forces with The MOTHERS Act.

Thanks to all of you who have been unfailing supporters of this legislation and the issue!

Check out Melanie's Battle

I Reserve the Right

I reserve the right to go into my daughter's room and pick her up from a deep slumber and hold her. I also reserve the right to accept, and sometimes not accept, the consequences that go along with that action!

Our lives can often be quite hectic and it sometimes feels like we come home from work, feed the kids, feed ourselves, get the kids ready for bed and that's it. The craziness of the evening washes away any chance to spend a piece of quality time with them. My kids go to bed by 8pm. If they are not in bed by then the next day does not go well for anyone who interacts with them.

Last night I put Addison to bed and went back downstairs to do some schoolwork. I wandered back upstairs for bed around 10 or 10:30. I checked on Nicholas, sleeping peacefully- thank God! Went in to check on Addison and she was asleep on her stomach. This drives me nuts- read scares me. She rolls great...all the time...but it still makes me nervous that she sleeps on her stomach. So, I flip her over each time I check on her and see she's put herself in that stomach position. Last night was no different. I flipped her over, turned on her music and she was back asleep within seconds- if she even really woke up. I put in some laundry, helped Pat with something and then, just before I got into bed, I went back and checked on her. She hadn't rolled back over, she was still on her back. I think she stays that way until she knows I'm done checking her, so she won't be bothered! :) I stood and stared at her for a few moments and then decided to pick her up. I just wanted to hold her, so I did. I did not care if she woke up and stayed awake...I would take care of her. I just wanted to rock her and hold her. She doesn't like to be cradled anymore. She almost 7 months old and if she doesn't have a bottle in her hands or isn't being fed then she doesn't always like to be held/cradled. So I held her and I rocked her and she slept the whole time, snuggled into me. It was perfect. I put her down after a few minutes and headed to bed. Pat thought I was nuts- what if she had woken up? Who cares? I would've given her a bottle and she would've gone right back to sleep. I told him I carried her around for 8 months, I pushed her out, I reserve the right to pick her up whenever I want. I also reserve the right to make him take care of her if I wake her up! ;)

Monday, October 15, 2007

WhyMommy's Friendship Letter

The Kind of Friend I want to be.....WhyMommy

Get your tissues ready....

Can I just Say

It is never a good sign that when you approach the faculty bathroom you can smell the Lysol more than 20 feet away!

that is all.

I Am Who I Am. Who are you to tell me otherwise?

Girl over at Fertile Mertile posted this morning and it got me me thinking...

I do my best to teach my kids each and every day, this is my school kids and my own children, that who they are is unique and special. They should not change because they want to be "in" with someone else or they want a guy to like them. It doesn't work that way. If we change who we are we become someone else and people aren't liking the real us but someone who isn't confident enough in who they are to put that real person out there. This is a common occurrence with teenagers and I'm finding more and more that it is a common occurrence amongst adults, too.

At what point did we abandon the idea that we are who we are for a reason? I didn't change who I was so that my husband would love me more. Maybe I did for the guy before him but that's why I'm not married to him. My husband knows I'm an Eagles fan and he accepts me as I am. My husband recognizes that I'm a messy person and he can't stand it but we work around it, and FYI- he's just as messy, if not more. I know that my husband can be closed emotionally but that's why we talk as much as we can and sometimes I have to push him. I understand that sometimes it just is not possible for him to remember to stop at the supermarket and pick up milk but that's why they've made convenience stores and post-it notes. We're who we are and we have grown together. Have we changed? Yes, in some ways but not who we are inherently. I wouldn't love him if he wasn't the hard working, loving and ultimately kind concerned individual that he is. Am I different than who I was when we met 7 years ago? Yes. I've gone through a lot, I've learned how to deal with a lot and I've graduated from college, gotten married, had two children and dealt with some major issues. Some of it I did on my own- no one else was writing my thesis for me. But a lot of it I did with my husband right next to me and my family close behind. I have never had to change who I was for them to accept me.

Why are we changing ourselves and allowing others to dictate that change? I couldn't accept that my college roommate was doing tons of pot and dating a guy who sold drugs, but she wanted me to and she wanted me to come along with her. I moved out. I couldn't accept that my boyfriend was an insensitive jackass and thought nothing of my feelings, but he wanted me to. I dumped him. I wouldn't accept the district manager who continually doubted my abilities as a professional because I was a young woman in the workforce and I didn't respond to being called 'sweetie'. I left the job. I took control and I walked away. I wanted something different and better from each of those situations and I found it. I found the great friendship outside of drugs and addiction with someone different. I found a wonderfully loving man who was not the mayor of jackassville. I found the profession that I am drawn to and really enjoy. I somehow, briefly, lost that. I allowed myself to be dictated to, even to the point where I had lost any semblance of control for myself in the situation and did not see the need to end it.

We are needy by nature. We need each other to feel secure, to feel loved, sometimes to make us feel happy. We are needy and when we allow our needs to become who we are it becomes difficult to remember the original. Some of us are more needy than others and that can be problematic. I teach my students, especially my female students, that being who you are is more important than anything else. Inevitably, they counteract with something about not being able to be unique in a uniform. But I remind them that what we wear and the things we have do not define who we are. It is our actions and our words that define us and make us who we are. It is how we react to each and every situation that makes us who we are and shows others the character that we have.

I'd like to say that in "losing control" I learned something about myself and maybe I did. I know that I was not being true to myself. I was allowing my needs to overcome my character and I got lost. I ignored what was at stake and who was at stake. I made it about everyone else but me and forgot about what I needed until I finally realized that I wasn't getting anything even though I thought my needs were being met. I won't allow myself to get "lost" anymore. I've ventured down that road more than once now and I'm beginning to feel like that saying, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Shame on me for not recognizing that I was being asked to abandon myself and my needs. No more. I am who I am and I love me for that. My husband and my kids love me for that. My family loves me for that. And my friends love me for that. I teach my kids that their actions show others the character that they have and now it is time for me to practice what I preach.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

It's a Batty Manic Monday

Bat is the theme this week!

For more info on Manic Monday

The first thing into my head upon hearing bat??
That's right, Louisville Slugger. I sleep with one of these next to my bed. When my husband is gone, I sleep with it in bed with me hidden under pillows. I also have one in my car but that's more because I'm convinced I'll come to a pick up baseball or softball game more than for self defense. Also, because I used to be the assistant softball coach and I never removed it from my car!

Yes, I sleep with a bat near by. I get very nervous at night. I usually go to bed after my husband or way before and I'm convinced that I'm always hearing something unusual in my house and that unusual noise is an intruder. This past summer when I had to spend a week alone I would walk through the house, bat in hand, checking all closets and behind all doors to make sure no one was there!

Be sure to comment and share your own! Still working out the kinks to have follow me comments but I am looking at your memes!!


I have this tendency to leave our mail in the mailbox for days at a time...not a great thing but I do it. I usually just forget. I just went out and got the mail from roughly the past 6 days and amongst the bills and catalogs were two cards from a good friend of mine. They had clearly arrived earlier in the week, meant to come to me on two different days but with my mail ignoring I got them today. They were just two cards letting me know that she was thinking of me and missing me thanking me for being a friend. She's getting married next week and, as any bride can attest to, these past few weeks have been quite stressful and I've tried my best to do whatever she's needed whether it was to listen or help her do seating charts via text messaging!

Little does she know that those two cards were exactly what I needed to see! She made my day, my week even...maybe even my two weeks! She gave me a good smile and even brought a tear to my eye. She may think I'm a great friend but she's an even better one and knows just when I need it!!

Found This...Must Share

I just found this wine this weekend at our local liquor store and I had to share it with all of you!
It's called Mommy's Time Out and that is seriously the only reason I purchased it. Well, that and the fact that it was like six bucks!
I haven't tasted it, I don't really care what it tastes like. Even if I open the bottle and have one sip and hate it, I'll empty the bottle and refill it with wine I like!
Just thought it was too funny to pass up...

Sleazy Saturdays Reaffirm My Hatred

As you are well aware, if you've been reading for awhile, I hate shopping for a car. Well, yesterday we spent the whole day doing what I hate most and it just reaffirmed my deep seeded hatred for it and the reasons behind it!

Pat starts his new job on the 23rd and is pretty excited about it but needs a new car, to replace to company car. We've spent the past two weeks or so scouring the internet for deals on cars. We had no real idea about what we actually wanted. It started off that we wanted to go back to our SUV days and get another Cherokee. I was a little excited about this because hindsight showed me how much I LOVED the Jeep. I was also a little cautious because gas is expensive and the Jeep is a guzzler. Then I was looking around online and happened to find a low mileage used Volvo and all I could think of was my dad's Volvo. I learned to drive in my dad's Volvo. The very first deer to ever hurl itself at me as I was driving did it while I was driving my dad's Volvo. The Volvo saw to it that I went to an excellent high school and great university. My dad drove that car until it had 235,000 miles on it and then sold it because he wanted a pick up truck. The car was still running, no problems! It was a great car...a TANK! It had the most temperamental tape player and an air conditioning system that we were convinced didn't work until one day I accidentally turned it on and lo and behold it blew out freezing wonderful air! That car took me down the shore after prom and drove all of my friends and I around any night we wanted. It was a great car! Even a few of my friends can attest to its greatness since they "stole" it one day during school and tried to hide it to freak me out. Luckily, I got violently ill and foiled their plans and they had to return it to its parking spot. So, yes I digressed- shocking, I know. I found the Volvo online and it became my mission to convince Pat of how wonderful the Volvo is even though his heart was CLEARLY set on another Jeep. I prevailed!

We set out yesterday down a major thoroughfare that we knew was littered with numerous car dealerships. Both kids in tow, Nicholas coming down off a MAJOR temper tantrum and a few attempts to make himself vomit, and Addison lounging quite nicely with a bottle. The day started off a little rough but not terrible. The first stop was fine- nothing major to report, we found nothing but encountered our first "Slick Willy". I think his name was Stan but I can't be sure. He left us alone for the most part. Everything was WAY out of our price range so we left. The next stop was a little bit better. We found something we really liked, and a sales person who was actually pretty nice. Slightly slimy, trying to make us feel like we were getting some great advantage because he printed something off the car dealership's website that he "wasn't supposed to". We left that dealership with every intention of going back if we didn't find anything else we liked- we didn't think we would. Five dealerships later, my patience was wearing thin- mainly with the sleazoids we were dealing with. Each time I shook a new hand I felt the need to contact a plastic surgeon for a hand transplant because each hand seemed to get a little grosser. The last hand was the one that sealed the hatred deal for me.

Nicholas was really tired at this point and Addison hadn't had more than 5 minutes of continuous rest all day and none of us had eaten anything concrete since early AM. So, as we pulled into the dealership I had a feeling this was not going to go well. The fact that the place was having a super sale and was covered in people and balloons did not help! We started out on to the lot to check out the used cars and within moments this lanky looking 16 year old kid approaches in a yellow shirt and bad tie. Uh-oh. It's always the same basic conversation..."Are you being helped?"
Us: "We're just looking, thanks." Moving away.
Them: "Well, what are you looking for? I'm Sleazy Sam, by the way. And your names are?" Extending his slimy hand for us to take.
Us: "Well, we just want to see what's on the lot, thanks though." Still moving away but feeling as if we are being sucked into the dirtiest force field ever!

It eventually does break down where we tell him exactly what we're looking for in terms of price and miles. And wouldn't you know?!?! The car we're standing right in front of meets all of our needs, except I hate does Pat. So we move on to something else...not bad but what else is there. This was why we wanted to avoid starting off with a sleazy salesperson- just let us look around we'll come get you when we find something. So, Sleazy takes us to another part of the lot where he introduces us to the red headed stepchildren of the dealership. You know, those cars that aren't certified by the dealership but are perfectly fine in every way- they just don't belong the brand that the dealership specializes in. We find an SUV that we like and Sleazy immediately starts the ball rolling. Nicholas at this point is in full on crazed lunatic mode and we tell Sleazy, as he walks away with Pat's license, that a test drive is NOT possible today and that we just want to know the best number he can give us and we'll come back later. Does that happen? No. Does Sleazy ignore the fact that Nicholas is approaching Linda Blair, aka Exorcist, status? Yup. Does Sleazy overlook the fact that Addison is screaming bloody murder in the infant carried? Absolutely, anything to make a sale!

Sleazy takes us into the show room and offers us a hot dog or hamburger. Uh, no thanks. I see him darting around with license plates and keys and I'm done. I get up and I walk out, Addison hooked on to my arm. This is not happening today- I am not getting stuck buying a car from Sleazy Sam. I tell Pat to get his license back and get out. I offer to take Nicholas with me but Pat keeps him as part of his "insurance policy" to get him out of show room. I take Addison to the car where I feed her and eventually get her to sleep. Pat finally exits and puts Nicholas into his seat but soon realizes that Sleazy still has not returned his license! DAMN! Luckily, Sleazy is right behind us waiting with Pat's license and a business card. Pat tells him we'll be back when we don't have the kids or when they're better rested. Yeah, ok, we'll see about that. We FINALLY get away from Sleazy and out of the parking lot and what does my husband say to me?? "I really didn't like the design on the seats that much." ARE YOU SERIOUS?>!?!?!?

The day ended ok...we went to one more dealership, the one we had been searching for all day. And we're waiting to hear on the loan and the next steps for the car and hopefully by Wednesday we'll have a brand "new" car to tool around in. Keep your fingers crossed...Pat actually likes the seats on this one and the salesperson was far from sleazy!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday's Feast

Famous Philly Cheese Steak at Geno's

When was the last time you were surprised?

This past week I had a few surprises but the big one probably at my baby shower in January.

Fill in the blanks: My eyes are brown, but I wish they were green.

If you were a Beanie Baby, what would you look like and what would your name be?

I would look like my little friend below. But I would change my name from Awareness to Busty.

Main Course
Name two things you consistently do that you consider to be healthy habits.

What brand of toothpaste are you using these days? Do you like it? Why or why not?

Love it! I use with my Listerine Pre Rinse and they work like a championship team!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Second Edition

Thirteen Television Shows That I Love

(Yes, I am well aware that I am OBSESSED with TV)

1. Grey's Anatomy

2. ER- mainly reruns

3. Scrubs

(Are we sensing a doctor theme here?)

4. The Cosby Show

5. The Daily Show

6. Brothers and Sisters

7. Kate & Allie

8. Top Chef

9. OLD SCHOOL Saturday Night Live

10. Third Watch

(No longer on, not even reruns but I love it!)

11. Dawson's Creek

(It's a sickness, I know)

12. DOG the Bounty Hunter is tied with Wife, Mom, Bounty Hunter

13. Handy Manny

(It's a Disney Show and I can't resist it!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Memories...Like the times I can't remember and those other times I'd like to forget...

First, let me say this, I followed a pickup try LOADED with bales of hay this morning and now my car is COVERED in hay! That is all.
Isn't "funny" how places that we've been before bring us right back to when were there originally? I work in a high school that was a major competitor of my high school, still is. I played basketball during my high school career and as a freshman I blew out my knee pretty badly- on the court of the school where I now teach. I didn't realize it until last night but every time I step into the gym I am immediately brought back to the night that I was hurt. I can remember just about every single thing about that night/day from the time we got into the van at my school to the argument between my teammates and I about who would ride shotgun next to our CRAZY coach who drove so erratically that we were convinced we would die on our way to anywhere to the snow that started to fall as we were careening down winding mountain roads in the backwoods of NJ. Incidentally, I got the shotgun seat and yes, I did see my life flash before my eyes each time coach would open the driver's side door to spit his chew juice out because the window didn't work. Every single thing I remember. I could even tell you exactly where I was standing on the court when the injury happened and how they laid me down afterwards and what I said to the refs as they took care of me. I can tell you how I felt while it was all happening and the looks on the faces of my friends and teammates as they watched in "horror" as body parts were in places that they should not have been. The smell is even the same. It is absolutely incredible to me what the mind can remember and process and bring out when it is given the opportunity.

Each time I hear the song "Carolina on my mind" by James Taylor I think of a kid I went to grade school with because he was constantly singing it and we were probably the only two kids in our grade school who even knew who James Taylor was, thanks to our parents who are now- and always were- good friends. Whenever I hear a certain song by Destiny's Child I think of senior year of college when I lived in a townhouse with 3 friends and that's what would blare through my part of the house each morning as I showered. Anytime I am in Philadelphia or I see pictures of the Schuylkill River I am brought right back to 4:30am practices on the water and standing on the dock trying to figure out if I was hallucinating the words wrapping around the energy building in Center City. There are so many things that our minds bring us back to.

There are things that I would rather not remember but sometimes I do because of triggers but I do my best to associate these memories with good things rather than the sadness they might conjure up. It is sad when I think about the night I was in a bathroom stall and overheard something at our team Christmas party that I shouldn't have. But what I overheard ended up bringing me together with my best friend and beginning a friendship that would last through all sorts of things and lead to all new avenues and people. I hate thinking about the time just after my knee surgery when I felt completely helpless and like a cripple and when therapy took longer than anyone thought. Or the time after my daughter was born and depression set in. I don't like remembering those times, among others. But they have the power to show me my own power and strength. The bad times teach us and help us grow. They also make us into the people we are. Our actions and words define who we are seen as and who we become and we must remember that above all else. Our memories show us where we came from and who we came from- who we were and who we have become.

So, Barbara had it right "...misty watercolor memories of the way we were... can it be that it was all so simple then? Or has time rewritten every line?" I try to remember things exactly as they happened or why remember them at all.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Thank God I Found This!

Oh goodness! I am so glad that I found this, what would have I done without reading it!?!? I'm going home right now to take out our Scrabble board and plan a night for us to butt heads and make sure he doesn't get too bored!

Does making sure I don't suffocate him in his sleep from too much snoring count as challenging him??

I'm off to find the article on 5 ways to keep your woman from killing you after you've suggested 5 ways to keep your man from straying! I'm sure it's on Yahoo! too!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Wal-Mart Wants

Well, it has arrived...the age of "I want, I need, Gimme". I tried to keep it at bay for as long as possible but last night reaffirmed what I thought was coming.

All day yesterday I kept putting off an impending trip to Wal-Mart. I needed to go and pick up some pictures that I had sent over from my digital camera but I really did not want to make the trip with both kids alone. It's not fun. The shopping carts are too small, there is too much going on and Nicholas goes NUTS! Inevitably we get there and Addison of course needs an extra bottle or decides to freak out or fill her ENTIRE diaper and pants! It's just not a fun experience- ever. Wal-Mart is an experience best done alone. I made the mistake of mentioning to Nicholas that we needed to make the trip and that's all I heard about for the rest of the day.
"We go to Wal-Mart?"
"Not right now, Nicholas. Maybe later."
45 minutes later, "We go to Wal-Mart?"
"Nicholas, not right now. It's time for a nap."
If only this kid knew what it was really like!
Another 45 minutes later from Nicholas' room, "Moooooooommmmmmmyyyyy, Wal-Mart, PLEASE!!"
"Get in bed Nicholas or we're not going anywhere today!"
Silence...momentarily. Nicholas didn't sleep nap..barely slept last night and I'm fairly certain it was all related to Wal-Mart. I finally took him out of his room around 4 or so after trying to get him to rest for about an hour and do you know what the first thing he said to me was? "We go to the mall?" WHAT?!? How did we upgrade from Wal-Mart to the mall?!?! "No, Nicholas, no mall. MAYBE we'll go to Wal-Mart when Daddy gets home."
"When's daddy coming home?"
Oh, good Lord this could go on forever!

So, Pat came home from work and we ate our dinner and headed out the door. It was a double duty type of evening. We had to hit Blockbuster AND Wal-Mart. I know it's overly exciting how we spend our weeknights accompanied by our 2.5 year old and 6.5 month old! I had told Nicholas that if he was good and he listened he could maybe get a small toy or dvd at Wal-Mart. MY MISTAKE! I readily admit that!! As soon as we got in the store, "I get a toy? I get a DVD?"
"We'll see Nicholas. Let's get the other things we need, too."
I picked up my pictures and some diapers and wipes and then we meandered into the toy section. Add that on to our list of mistakes. Who knows? Maybe if we had avoided the toy aisles completely we wouldn't have what next ensued.

We began in the large toy area- bikes, powerwheels, wagons, etc. No interest...yes! Next came clearance...please let him find something here...something cheap and good and we're done! Yes...Thomas the train, and it's only $8.00. Then my husband points out, wait is it so cheap because it's covered in lead? Good call honey! No Thomas! Moving on....Dora toys...Diego toys...maybe...maybe...maybe...NOPE! Oh great, another entire aisle of Thomas! CRAP! This is the real stuff...the stuff that's expensive. This is where it all goes down. The child, Nicholas that is, begins to remove items from the shelves and all that can be heard is "oohh I want this! oohh this makes music, I want this! Ohhhh I WANT THIS ONE!!" And it continued on that way for at least 15 minutes! Thomas is expensive and I'm not comfortable with paying a lot of money for possibly lead laced toys! Let's try the next aisle! BOOKS! YES! BEST AISLE EVER! Nicholas wanders right through and back to Thomas...CRAP! "Mommmy, I want this one, it plays music!" I witness my child sitting on the floor of Wal-Mart playing with a Thomas the Tank Engine Laptop and LOVING it! CRAP, again! It's $30.00...a lot more than I wanted to spend on a little toy!
"Not tonight Nicholas. What about this great Thomas book? It makes noise!"
"No, This!"
It gets louder from finishes with me putting the laptop back on the shelf and re-introducing Nicholas to the book aisle, again. Luckily, he spots a Diego painting book that he is just DYING for! We grab it and for only $4.97! YES! SUCCESS!

It has arrived and I'm not looking forward to Christmas. My son knows what he wants and he knows toys and I'm not excited about it! I think it's great that he has grown and changed and he's becoming a "real boy". But the toys and the Wal-Mart trips may have to dwindle slightly because the Wal-Mart experience is best done alone!

Inbox Happiness

This was in my inbox this morning when I opened it. What a nice way to start the day!

I passed it along to my friends, copy and paste and pass it along to yours, too!!


I used to believe in the concept of one best friend,
And then I started to become a woman.
And then I found out that if you allow your heart to open up,
God would show you the best in many friends.
One friend is needed when you're going through things with your man.
Another friend is needed when you're going through things with your mom.
Another when you want to shop, share, heal, hurt, joke, or just be.

One friend will say, 'Let's cry together,'
Another, 'Let's fight together,'
Another, 'Let's walk away together.'

One friend will meet your spiritual need,
Another your shoe fetish,
Another your love for movies,
Another will be with you in your season of confusion,
Another will be your clarifier,
Another the wind beneath your wings.

But whatever their assignment in your life,
On whatever the occasion,
On whatever the day,
Or wherever you need them to meet you with their gym shoes on and hair
pulled back,
Or to hold you back from making a complete fool of yourself
Those are your best friends.

It may all be wrapped up in one woman,
But for many, it's wrapped up in several..
One from 7th grade,
One from high school,
Several from the college years,
A couple from old jobs,
On some days your mother,
On some days your neighbor,
On others, your sisters,
And on some days, your daughters.

Remember... A friend is one who walks in when
The rest of the world walks out

Monday, October 8, 2007

Georgia Rule

I'm pretty sure the reviews were bad on this movie but I just finished watching it and I really enjoyed it. I found the message about forgiveness extremely poignant. It will always amaze me how things happen or are done for a reason!
I can't stand Lindsay an actress and as a celebrity....but she was pretty good in this. I think the role hit somewhat close to home, at least from the gossip mags, and maybe that helped her performance.
At any rate, I recommend "Georgia Rule". It's nothing heavy, oddly enough it did not make me cry- and everything has been making me cry lately- it's just a good night in movie.

"Forgive and Move on, Georgia Rule."

Singing in the Shower

I'm off today, thank God and Christopher Columbus! I really needed a break...I know it's only like a month and a half into the school year but I think all of us needed a break! I needed it to be Monday morning and not have to get up at 5. I loved the fact that my husband woke me up at 6:30am to tell me I was running late and I could say, "I don't have work today". GREAT FEELING!

Days off are usually my opportunity to catch up on things. I got a lot of cleaning done and baking and general organizing, which is always a good thing. Everything is still completely disorganized but I feel a little bit better! I also take my days off as chances to take a longer shower. My showers are normally 5 to 8 minutes MAX! I wake up jump in the shower, wash my hair, brush my teeth- yes I brush my teeth in the shower, wash myself, rinse and jump out. VERY QUICK! No time to dilly dally in the morning. On days off, though, I can do all of those things that I don't have time to do during the week or when I'm working. I can the time to deep condition my hair, shave my legs, use that apple sugar body scrub that reminds me of fall, you know, the things that make me feel good and relaxed.

Today was no different. My intention was to take a lovely long shower and get all of those things done and relax for a few extra moments. I waited until after 1pm. Nicholas had been fed lunch, Addison had napped for the morning and had finished her bottle and half a container of food- it seemed like a good time. I put Nicholas in his bed with the hopes of him napping. Normally, I would put Addison in her crib but she had been in it for 2.5 hours earlier today and I felt bad so I put her in her bouncy and put the bouncy in the bathroom with me. I got in the shower and wouldn't you know the moment the razor hit my leg she began to scream. "Oh shit!" Was the first thing to go through my head. Then I peeked my head out and she calmed for a minute or two. Not long enough, obviously. What could I use, short of jumping out of the shower soaking wet, one leg 1/4 of the way shaven, to calm her and get her to stay in the bouncy happily? Then I started to sing and almost immediately she stopped. I started off with the song "Sing" from Sesame Street and she was silent. Then I tried "Twinkle, Twinkle" back to whining and crying. Ok, how about the "A,B,Cs"? Nope, more crying. Back to "Sing" it was. I must have sung that song about 25 times but I really did not care because I was able to "accomplish" all of my shower tasks that I wanted to and I didn't have to rush and she was perfectly content to sit and listen to me sing! I considered jumping out and bringing her in the shower with me at the end for a quick impromptu bath but then decided against it for the sheer fact that I was afraid something might happen- slipping, dropping, etc.- and Pat wasn't home to help me!

So my day off has been relatively nice although Nicholas never slept and he ended up EXPLODING in his diaper which resulted in an impromptu shower for him, but that's ok because it's quick and easy- no shaving his legs or apple sugar scrub!

Manic Monday

I'm having issues with the link and the logo for Manic Monday so hopefully if you click on the above words they should bring you to the Manic Monday homepage. The homepage will explain exactly what Manic Monday is. Essentially, it's a cue word that you use to blog on.
This Week's Theme: Track(s)

My immediate thought upon "hearing" tracks is the deer tracks we used to see all the time in my backyard and around my house when I was growing up. (I also think of the race track, Meadowlands to be specific, but that's not nearly as interesing! :) )
We moved to NJ from NYC and it was like moving to the most rural country you could think of- to me at least. All of a sudden animals were not in cages, they were in my backyard. I would get up for school in the morning and there would be these footprints, aka Tracks, along the front walkway of our house. They were unique. Not cat tracks or dogs or squirrels. But raccoons and deer Tracks.
I guess the fact that I knew the deer were RIGHT THERE is what brought me to my fear of deer and deer Tracks. If the Tracks were there then that meant the deer were right there, too!
I ended up having a horrible nightmare where a deer was given these person like qualities. He was dressed in typical hunter gear, overalls, red and black checked shirt, hunting cap, and he was coming after me to eat my hands. Hey, as a 6 year old that's pretty scary! Even now, I can picture exactly what my dream and my brain had created and it still makes me nervous. I really can't stand deer!
I'm still deathly afraid of deer. I won't get out of my car if there is one on the lawn and if I see one in the distance, I book it from my car to my front door. They frighten me even when I'm in my car driving. I think that's because I've now had two run smack dab into the side of my car and cause a large amount of damage. I think I will always be afraid of deer. The Tracks are persistent reminders, to me, that the deer are always around me and I know we pushed them out of their habitat, yadda yadda yadda, but I'm still afraid of them and I don't want them around me.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


I am doing everything in my power right now to find a way to avoid doing my schoolwork for tonight! I have to watch one of the videos I made during residency and critique it and I just don't feel like doing it! Let's see what I can come up with to distract me and you...

-Why is it that people ignore crosswalks??
I live in NJ and the law is that if you hit someone in a crosswalk, it's your fault. In other words, you have to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. I'm taking on the new idea that I DON'T have to yield to those momos who choose to step into oncoming traffic and cross in the middle of the block because walking the 10 feet to the crosswalk is just too much!

-Why is it that when people get in their cars they think it's ok to pick their nose and dig for the deepest booger they can find?
Seriously, trying driving route 80 on a Sunday afternoon or 287 and see what you see! IT'S GROSS!

-Is it Extreme Makeover: Home Edition's goal to make every viewer weep uncontrollably?
Don't get me wrong, the people on the show deserve the houses they get and the episode on right now is heartbreaking! Little girl with cancer, going through chemo....horrible! Should never ever happen! But COME ON! I should buy stock in Kleenex between Extreme Makeover and re runs of ER where Mark Greene dies!!

-I've been tagged so I'm going to use that as my distraction now...I had to take a break and saw the tag!
Crazy Working Mom left an open tag and I'm answering it!

8 Things from this past week

1. I tasted blueberry wine and openly gagged in public for the first time since the last time I was pregnant.
2. I had dinner with a girl I was friends with in high school and she informed me that another girl we knew had been murdered in Philadelphia a few weeks ago- right where I used to row and play rugby during college.
3. For the first time since the show began I did not watch an entire episode of Grey's Anatomy on the original night it aired! (I know it's CRAZY!)
4. I realized this week that my children look almost NOTHING like me! (I think it's the hair)
5. I was completely thrown off my rocker when my students said that they believe God physically punishes people.
6. I went to see my gynecologist on Monday and was informed that it would be a good idea to get a cancer screening for three different types of cancer. (I had actually wanted it voluntarily for breast cancer and she actually was going to mention it to me anyway.)
7. My son showed me that he has a memory like a STEEL TRAP when he was able to sing along, word for word, with the songs from his Saturday morning music class!
8. My husband and I watched "Knocked Up" and it scared us into not having any more children any time soon! (Eventually, just not now!)

Ok, so I've tried to distract and procrastinate and in the process I actually got all of my school work done and also helped my husband do his work! Now I'm going to watch "Brothers and Sisters" because I really love Rob Lowe!


Missing PPD Mom

Check out this link to another blog I read and take a good look at the picture....just in case!

Sharing the Journey: Missing PPD Mom

Friday, October 5, 2007

Tank Tops and Tattoos

So I've been struggling with a topic to blog about. I didn't want to be too serious because I've been serious a lot lately. And the kids haven't done anything overly "funny" as of late, although Nicholas has insisted on wearing his Halloween costume all over the house- only after I had to put it on and convince him that he really wanted to dress up in it ON HALLOWEEN. I have since hidden said costume, hopefully his smart little brain won't realize that it's in the hall closet! We've been pretty busy and crazed, which is good, but we do need to find a little downtime and hopefully this weekend will afford us that! We'll see...

OH, so blogging...coming up with a topic for today was tough for me. I'm working off of 3 hours of sleep last night and a total of maybe 8 or 10 over the past three nights. I've just been working and painting and doing school work until the wee hours and not getting enough of anything! My brain is on shutdown mode and I'm hoping I can keep it out of there until this evening- or at least until I leave work for the day. I decided that I would blog about therapy and try to keep it as light as possible but it won't be, I know that, and you'll just have to deal or not read. Whichever is more appealing for you!

My daughter was born on March 20th and 5 weeks later I was diagnosed with post partum depression. I knew I had it long before my doctor ever diagnosed me. It was HARD with two kids. It was HARD coming off of the pregnancy I had had. It was HARD giving birth to a preemie and wondering if she was going to be ok. The whole experience was really HARD- it still is. Lately, I've been feeling it more than I had been. Like anyone else who has experienced this disease, I have my ups and my downs and sometimes either of those can last for a long time or a short time- it's unpredictable. My doctor prescribed an anti-depressant and one of the lucky side effects was weight loss. I was PSYCHED! Weight loss AND depression relief...why hadn't I signed up for this earlier?!?!? The medication did nothing for me. Actually, it made me nervous to even take it because I was afraid of the side effects. I weaned myself off of it and in the meantime started seeing a therapist- Pepper. We'll call her Pepper because, well, it's her name! :)

So, Pepper has this BRIGHT RED/ORANGE hair and her practice is out of her home and it's quaint and it's comfortable and it was exactly what I was looking for. It was exactly what I wanted my practice to be like- well not exactly, mine will be a little bit more modern, but it was pretty close. I wish that there was a reference point to really accentuate what her hair was like. At first, she reminded me of what our images of witches are as children. That shock of red hair and a very angular face and kind of bony features all topped off with black cloaks and a pointy hat. She never wore a pointy hat, but she did like flowy clothing. From the moment I made the appointment to start seeing her I felt better. Kind of.

I was nervous about therapy. Me, the therapy student, was nervous about therapy. Was she going to find something from my childhood, as I laid on her couch, that pre disposed me to ppd? Was she going to suggest I go back on the meds or even worse put me on meds that made me fatter and made me lose libido? Or was she finally going to help me get the relief I needed? Was she going to help me see that my son was not suffering because we had had another child and I was exhausted and taking a little extra time to recover? Was she going to help me find a way to get off the couch and actually do something and not feel like the world was crashing down around me? Was she going to heal me? Nope. She was going to help me talk my way into healing myself. She was going to show me how to look at things with a different light that helped me understand that the person I am as a result of my illness and my pregnancy and my birth experience is an amazingly strong person who is allowed to falter. She did not allow me to give up, ever. But you know what? Neither did my mom or my dad or my husband. They were there in the same ways but I needed someone external from everything else to listen to everything and hear with an unbiased ear.

Pepper helped me a lot, or rather she helped me to help myself- the best thing a therapist can hope to do! How did she do it? She never changed who she was. Each week, I could count on Pepper to have her red hair and her tank tops and her tatts on her chest showing. That stability and reality really made me feel better- along with all the therapy, too! Am I cured? No. Am I scared that if and/or when we have another child- years down the road- I'll slip back into the ppd as bad as before? Absolutely. Do I see Pepper anymore? No, my insurance won't cover it any longer. I'm not happy about that. But she taught me how to help myself and I know now that if I need to I can turn to a therapist that can help me learn newer ways to help myself when the old ways stop working. And she did it all with her tank tops and her chest tattoos! Who knew a therapist could be like that?! I hope I'm that good someday!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Thirteen Things about Alison
This week's Thursday Thirteen is all about movies!
13 of my favorite movies from now or
Along the Way
Please Sure to Share Yours, too!

1. Love Actually
2. Dirty Dancing
3. The Quiet Man
4. Up Close and Personal
5. Animal House
6. Caddyshack
7. Remember the Titans
8. Sixteen Candles
9. Garden State
10. Philadelphia
11. Goonies
12. Rocky
13. It's a Wonderful Life

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Comic Depression or Comic Relief?

I read the comics just about every day. I read the rest of the paper, too, but I make it a point to read the comics. I enjoy them, occasionally they make me chuckle but more than anything they're just light reading with pictures. Something to give me a break from thinking and life- if only for a few minutes.

There are a few strips that I will skip over, such as "Momma", because I don't enjoy them and they actually annoy me to read them. Lately, the strip "Funky Winkerbean" has been at the forefront of my comic reading experience. I'm not sure how many of you read the comics and if you do, how many of you read Funky. Funky's creator, Tom Batiuk, has taken two characters who are married and have been a part of the strip forever and is having them deal with the struggles of Breast Cancer. Lisa, a character in the strip, is suffering from her second bout of Breast Cancer. A few years ago she went through her initially battle with the disease, went into remission and was married and had a child with her husband, Les. Recently, she has
re-developed the disease and tomorrow, according to Batiuk's website, she succumbs to this horrible killer.

I did a little research before I sat down to today because honestly, the strip was really bothering me. I open the comics and I want to be relieved of my daily stresses. I don't want to think about my own personal health struggles. I don't want to be reminded that we all have full plates that are often very full. I want to be shown some pictures and told a funny little story and then go back to reality. Since Lisa has been dying in the comic strip I've been getting more and more upset with the paper each day. Initially, I wanted to know why Batiuk felt it necessary to give us this downer of a story in the funny pages. Who really wants to read about Breast Cancer and a mom and wife "leaving" her family? Not me, especially not first thing in the morning! I thought about it a little more and realized this man who draws this strip couldn't possibly just be writing and drawing about this for the sake of nothing else to talk about. I went to his website and found out that he had a purpose and all of a sudden this comic strip took on new meaning to me.

How "appropriate" to show this "family's" struggle with Breast Cancer and the damage that the disease can do during a month that is completely dedicated to its awareness. The strip is depressing, it's sad, it makes me think extensively about the possibilities that could lay ahead for me and my family and also for the other women and men in my life who this disease will touch. But the strip is eye opening, it is refreshing in many ways, and it is action producing. I don't think any of us would want anyone in our lives to have to go through what Batiuk portrays for Lisa and those around her but I think, sadly, many of us will somehow be involved in something similar unless we do something now. Unless we are looking out for ourselves and one another and making sure we get checked and are checking and unless we are fighting in every way that we can to make sure more and more research is being done, we could end up in a circle very much like that of Lisa and Les. It's a very scary thought but it is a relief to know that there are people out there, like Batiuk, who have taken the time to use their "power" and influence to show us that life is about more than we think it's about.

I urge you to check out Funky Winkerbean. Look at the past strips and see what has been happening. It's not easy to read and it's very sad but it is very real and very important for each and every one of us.

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