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Young bucks nowadays

I’m 32 years old and really the only thing I have accomplished in my life is being a mom. I never went to college. I never traveled the world. I never had any dreams or aspirations because I never thought I could reach them. So I just didn’t. And now at 32 years old, I struggle to know who I am and feel as though I am just watching the world go by.

Then I see a young 19 year old. Who is top of the class at culinary school and is just letting the opportunities pass by. They’re right there in arms reach, a hand starts to reach for it, then hesitates and draws back. The 19 year old and the chip on the shoulder settles with many excuses to go around about why not now.

My question exactly WHY NOT NOW?

Why not go to London and cook at a 5 star restaurant? Life back home will still be there.

Why not go and intern with Graham Elliot from Masterchef in Chicago? Home will still be here.

Why not take a leap of faith and explore the world? Family will still be here.

I am just a low man on the totem pole home cook, but I would jump at those opportunities. Going to culinary school alone, would make me over the moon! But to have these kind of opportunities is amazing and once in a lifetime opportunities.

So to all the young bucks, children, kids or teenagers! Take it from someone who wishes she made more of her life. Just a little friendly advice or encouragement.

I wish I had the opportunities you have or will have in your lives. Don’t be afraid to go out there and explore this world. Yes, it will be scary. But take that leap. Take as many opportunities that come your way. Go to London to cook with a 5 star restaurant. Or go to college in another state where they have 4 seasons. If you fall in love with that place, don’t be sad that you left us behind because we will still be here cheering you on. Leave the nest and spread your wings. Don’t ever settle in life. Make your life what you want it to be.

I wish I had to opportunity to live in a different state or country. To experience a new culture and see new things.

I wish I had a career goal and knew what I wanted to be and went for it.

I wish I had some passions and just went for it.

It’s not going to be easy but life never is. Things may not always work out how you pictured, but life never does.

In the end, you will make mistakes and you will live and learn. And you will grow!

But at least you lived your life, instead of watching it pass you by.

Because no matter what path you choose, you always end up where you need to be.

Home.

Family

 

My old life vs my new life

City Life vs Country Life

Stay at Home Mom vs Homeschooling Mom

I remember dropping the kids off at school and going to a PTA meeting. Then heading to the mall, Target or a restaurant for lunch. Grocery shopping with no kids was normal. I made sure all of my errands were done by the time I picked my kids up from school so I wouldn’t have to go out with all 3 of them.

But I also remember the traffic and the way our neighborhood was going down hill. Our kids had no yard to play in and even if they did I wouldn’t let them. The playground down the road was home to daily drug deals and bratty teenagers. All things my babies were not going to be exposed to.

Then again, I remember how much I loved my children’s school. How nice the teachers were. You couldn’t go ten feet without someone saying hello or good morning. The school was fantastic. Had we stayed in that area, I don’t know if I would have started homeschooling.

But then I remember the way I had to leash up my dogs and take them out one by one. I also remember how scary it was doing that in the dark.

Then we moved out here where there is no traffic except during our fair days. I have an acre and half for my kids and dogs to run in. No more leashes, drug deals and bratty teenagers (except my own).

Oh but the school, I hated it. I was supposedly part of the PTA board but they never included me. I was made to feel like I wasn’t welcomed because I was new. The teachers gossiped instead of greeting you when you walked through the halls. I remember being mortified when a teacher followed me out of a classroom to continue an argument with me. I remember being looked at with disgusted to whole rest of the year. I also remember constantly fighting with the teachers to follow my special needs child’s IEP. I also remember the way they let kids bully her because she didn’t look special needs.

And now I get up start my day with a cup of coffee. Get my oldest off to school and feel good knowing my other kids are right where they should be. Every child’s path is different. Every family’s life is different. There was a fork in the road for me and I could have stayed being the typical suburban mom or moved to country and become a totally different person.

My heart is fuller knowing I changed into someone who is not so shallow, not self absorbed and very much fighting for her kids. I wanted to fit into the whole status quo of what a suburban mom is: shopping, socializing and, yes on the outside, a good mom and wife.

But I honestly regret those years that I wasn’t home with my girls. I wish I lived out in the country from the beginning and homeschooled from Kindergarten and up. I wish I saw how fast that time was going to go by and treasured it a little more.

Better late than never though.

We have a new diagnosis!

As most of you know, I have a special needs child. I came into her life at age 3 and she was unable to talk clearly at all and not potty trained.  Compared to my daughter who was only 5 months older, she was very delayed. Once I felt comfortable to say, Hey she needs help, I started fighting for her. And I have still been fighting for a diagnosis. In an earlier post, I wrote about my frustration with getting an answer, which you can read here. Well since then we got a new doctor who really listens to me and my concerns and who actually wanted to see the results of the outside test I got done on her. Since then the word Autism has been used here and there. But nothing definite. Finally I said what is her diagnosis. I just want an answer.  As of right now, she has Asperger’s Syndrome with PDD. Now he did say this will change next year because the guidelines and titles are changing. So she will be considered under the Autism Spectrum. But I feel finally on a path to answers. And with this doctor, instead of making me feel stupid for saying I don’t think she is maturing like she should, he has told me that we won’t know what the bar limit will be for her because everyone is different. I always been made to feel like a terrible parent for not having confidence in my child that she will live a normal life but that was not reality in what I was seeing at home. I didn’t want blinders on. I wanted to know why and what to do next.  And now I feel we have finally gotten the right doctor for us. It may have taken 11 years but we are at a turning point.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

I had all these light hearted, funny blog post ready to go last week and then I just couldn’t. The news that I have been dreading for months now finally came true. My oldest daughter came home shattered because her friend who is fighting neuroblastoma is terminal. My first post can be read here.  I knew it would come to this but I hoped and prayed that his future would be different than all of those before him.

I was already stressed out because my grandmother was in a car accident and I was awaiting her and the tow trucks arrival. But when I looked up and heard the single word Mommy, which she hasn’t called me in forever. I knew it wasn’t good. She cried and I held her. Later in the day, I explained that childhood cancer is what my Rockstar Ronan shirt stood for and I handed her some bracelets to pass out in support of the charity. I told her it sucks and it’s not fair, but that life will go on and that you need to honor him in some way. And I did that whole supportive mom thing but you know what it’s BULL SPIT!

These kids should not be dying with no known treatment, cure or even recognition of the disease. I can tell you that before Taylor Swift made a song and I read a blog, I had no idea that this many kids were dying from a disease that only adults get. I had blinders on. And it is sad. We have a huge to do for breast cancer which no child should lose their mom at a young age, but what about the kids who don’t have a chance to even live. If I had to choose between me getting cancer and my child getting cancer, sign me up. I have lived enough to be satisfied but these don’t have a chance from the minute of diagnosis.

All myself and thousands of other parents want is for there to be some awareness and some funding for future research.

Please check out Maya’s blog Rockstar Ronan. She is fighting with all her might to move mountains and get the funds that is needed to save these kids.

And if you can’t afford to financially help by spreading the word, wearing gold (childhood cancer color) or writing a blog post.

Not Back to School weeks 2013

Well I hate to say this but the last two weeks of summer for my homeschool kids have sucked!

The weekend before my oldest was to head back to school, my homeschool kids got a really bad cold. So the first week of what was supposed to be fun and HAHA we don’t have school consist of sneezing, coughing, dirty tissues and Mucinex. My poor babies were hit hard. But they were due. Other than a few sniffles here and there, they have been extremely healthy for at least 2 years.

Once they finally got back on their feet which took about a week, it was time for our back to school shopping. No we aren’t shopping for school supplies! We are shopping to stock up the house. I do this at the beginning and end of summer. It was time for a BJ run! At the beginning of summer I took Hubby and 2 kids with me. BIG MISTAKE!! Hubby threw everything in the cart and boom $1000 before coupons! Never again, I tell ya!

This time I had 3 kids and well……….I wasn’t much better……take a look……….

 

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That is my receipt next to my brand new table which is a 108 inches long. My receipt well over half! OOPS! But that’s what happens when you got to stock up the house after going 3 months of non-heavy duty shopping. Plus my table is now full. Yup that’s right there is a total of 8 with 4 being teenagers. Another post coming about that later.

So that being said our not back to school  week wasn’t very fun. Hopefully that’s not an omen for the school year.

If only I was a more organized mom

I feel like I have a lot of missed opportunities when it comes to my kids. And sometimes (ok A LOT of times) I think if I was more organized then I wouldn’t miss them so much. I feel like we miss out on a lot of the fun aspects of homeschooling because I am so focus on finishing the books and saying we did it. I am definitely missing out on things with my son because of being so focused on the girls and not having a plan of attack. Sometimes he will ask to do school and then I have to scramble. And to me that sucks! I feel like it is half ass done then.

I also feel like if I was more organized then we could do the experiments and the art that my kids thrive on. We could take the field trips that they drive me crazy about.

For example, this past Monday I thought I was having oral surgery done. And I had nothing planned for the kids to work on while I was recovering. I had barely any menu planned that wasn’t microwavable and processed. I felt terrible. Luckily the surgery didn’t happen and I am feel to live about my life without stitches in my mouth and with yummy solid food in my belly. But then yesterday, reality hit that I have no meal plan, no grocery list made, no homeschool plan, coupons from the last month that needs organizing and a huge TO DO pile that has deadlines.

So I am determined to get more organized this year (what’s left of it). I want to make my life easier. I want to have time to myself because right now all I do is cook, clean and try to get organize. I have no hobby or anything for me. And I realized that I need that, no crave that me time.

First things first, the present task at hand. We have to eat, so bring on the meal plan. I usually try to make a months worth of menus but decided a week was good considering everything going on.

Then grocery list!

Homeschool plan is very vague and non detailed but gives me an idea of what to accomplish so done there.

Work on coupons with the kids.

And I want my To Do list done by Friday.

So that leaves the weekend open to think of more ways to organize and make my world simpler.

The phone call no parent (or in this case, sister) ever wants to get

I have the best baby brother in the world. He truly is like one of my kids to me. I was 13 when he was born and I just took over as a little momma hen from the moment he arrived. I taught him to show respect to adults. I also taught him that out of everyone I am the one to fear when misbehaving because I am the one who expects the most from him. I just knew he was destined for greatness and I pushed him to show that.

Now flash forward 18 years, he is a senior and has his whole life ahead of him with a bright future. He is learning to drive and be an adult and everything that means.

About a month and a half ago, my mom called around 5pm. Which was unusual and I knew something was wrong. First thing out of her mouth was Brandon and 2 of his friends had been in a car accident and he was driving. She sounded calm but I was an instant mess and I was driving at the time. Thank god for my back country roads with no traffic! Not trusting anything my mom says sometimes, I was yelling is he ok. Do you physically see him in front of you and he is ok? Then she was like Oh my god, the cars are totaled. And I am trying to judge how fast I can make it from my little city to the big city at quitting time. But she assured me that he was ok. So luckily I was 5 minutes from home when this phone call came in. I was shaking and had a ton of questions.

So a couple hours later, I needed to hear from him that he was okay. And I was overjoyed when I heard his voice on the other line. I even had my cousin go check on him the next day since they both go to the same school.

Needless to say, Brandon was very worried about the other driver and took responsibility like a man. He worried about the financial aspects of it since my brother decided a 2012 Lexus was the perfect match for his 2000 Chevy Malibu. Would he owe on what his insurance didn’t cover? But listening to him fret over real world stuff made me both proud and heartbroken.

Proud because I feel like he is the man I wanted and knew he could and would become. And heartbroken because I don’t have that smarty pants little baby brother who thought it would be fun to run into a wall to see what a fly felt like.

Graduation will be in a month and then he is off to boot camp for the National Guard for about 9 months. 9 very long months without my first baby boy!

A slap in the face…

So I had all these wonderful, light hearted and funny posts on how our life has been the last month or so. And I will still post those this week. But I really need to vent and get this off of my chest!

Anyone who reads all my post knows I am a huge fan of the blog Rockstar Ronan. I honestly fell in awe of everything Maya is doing to help bring awareness and keep Ronan’s death from being in vain. I have voted, I have begged on my facebook pages for votes, I have bought T-shirts and bracelets. I have to admit I became a little bit obsessed.

But never did I imagine that last week my oldest daughter would be reading to me, from her facebook page, that one of her good friends has Neuroblastoma!

Here is what happened. Two weeks ago she said she heard through the grapevine that he had a tumor in his lungs. Then the next day it was lung cancer. But nothing was confirmed by him so I didn’t give it much thought. Plus they go to different high schools so who knows what is going on.

Then last week she was reading to me from the kitchen while I am in the living room and all I heard was Neuroblastoma. Let’s say I have never moved that fast before at night after the lil one has gone to bed. I kept calm and I didn’t tell her that is what Ronan had. She always questioned my shirts and bracelets and I briefly tell her but not in detail. But I just didn’t know what to say. I was in shock!

I never imagined it would be that close to my family. I mean this boy is a really good friend of my daughters; they even tried the whole dating thing but it was too awkward.

I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news and be like there is no cure or he will probably die. But I don’t want to ignore it and pretend it will go away. I have always tried to shelter my kids from hurt and pain. Probably the worse thing for me to do but I tried to make everything stress-free. They will get enough of that when they enter the world.

But now I am not sure what to do……..

These last couple of years have been full of death…

A grandpa, a cousin, our pediatrician (like family), a family friend (just last month) and now possibly an innocent teenager who hasn’t lived his life to his fullest.

How cruel this world can be!

Parenting 10 years apart

When I first became a mom, I was 17 and alone, meaning the father hit the road. I was lucky to have family around me. But it was still crazy, hard and a huge responsibility. I’d like to think I handled it better than most, but you know opinions vary, I guess.

Unlike statistics, that say 1 in so many teen moms will have a second child within so many years, I didn’t have another child for another 10 years.

Yes I had 3 girls. But 2 I didn’t physically give birth too. When I gave birth to my son it was exactly 10 years and 6 days after the birth of my daughter.

Now that my son is 3. I see some changes that I have made as far as appreciating the little things that a baby/child does.

Looking back I see where I was in hurry for my daughter to reach and hit milestones. I wanted her to potty train sooner than most. I was excited when she could spell her name at 2 1/2. I moved her into a twin size bed at 2. I think I wanted her to hurry up and grow to that “fun stage”. And now it makes me sad that I didn’t really enjoy it. Meaning I was too young and naive and self absorbed (I’m not afraid to admit it) to see how incredibly special that time was and how fast they grow. And I am not saying it was just my biological daughter. I think I did it with all 3 girls. I mean I had to adjust to being mom to 3, while planning a wedding, while in the I can’t get enough of you love phase, then becoming a newlywed/wife and then buying my first house. I think I was just too busy, unfortunately.

Now when I had my son. I LOVED the whole baby stage. I loved waking up at night. I loved changing the dirty diapers. The one regret I do have is not breast feeding longer (which was not even an option in my mind when I had my daughter). I wait until the last possible moment to push him to move to the next stage of his life.

I left him in a crib until about 6 months ago. My mom was hounding me about getting him a big boy bed. But I just wanted to wait until I knew he was ready and me for that matter. And when I did switch him I didn’t have the fighting at night and the up and down with him. From day one, he has slept in his bed all night. In fact, in the morning and nap time, he doesn’t get up and come out. He lays in there and calls my name. But I think it’s because he likes me to cuddle with him.

I just switched him to pull-ups about 5 months ago or so.

I just started potty training off and on about 2 weeks ago. Getting more consistent with it every week. Of course I talked to him about it, I just didn’t force the issue. And I have to admit seeing all the friends on Facebook saying how their kids, that are younger than him, are potty trained did give me a moment of am I a terrible parent. But then I brushed it off and went to change his pull-up (HAHA).

I didn’t push him to learn the alphabet or his name. He has chosen to sit down and do school with his sisters. But I also don’t force it everyday. If he sits at the table I am prepared, if he doesn’t no big deal.

I take the time to lay in bed and cuddle with him every morning. And we have begun storytime before bed every night.

I just realized how much easier it is as a 30 yr old than as the young mom. And yes I am sure some of it has to do with the fact that he is number 4. But I feel like a lot of it is me. Waiting and wanting another for so long and now having it and appreciating it.

I realized how much of a gift it is to be someone’s mom.

NOT Back to School week 1

As homeschoolers we have the luxury of doing what we want, when we want.

With my oldest heading off to school this week, I decided to give my homeschoolers a couple of fun weeks. Yes they are filled with learning experiences but my kids wouldn’t know it. They think it is all about hands on activities.

Take a look at our week in pictures….

He was cold so he had to wear Mommy’s jacket. Getting up early is hard to do, you know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

School time or so he thought. He wasn’t thrilled that there was no school and that I was also taking his picture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First day picnic lunch. Because of rain we had to do this indoors with a movie.

 

 

 

 

 

Waiting for our homemade bouncy balls to be ready.  The kids thought it was fun how I could capture them in movement with the Sport setting on the camera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crazy kids! I am convinced they get it from their father.

 

 

 

 

 

I honestly love this picture. They are so happy and carefree and young. Gosh how I miss that.

 

 

 

 

 

By the way the bouncy balls were a dud for us. Instead of bouncing they went THUD.