Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sandy Hook is Our School

On Friday, December 14th a terrible tragedy occurred that has affected me to my core.  Several times throughout the day I think of the children and how they could have been my own children. How Sandy Hook could have been our school. When I see overhead photos of the school I am taken aback at how similar it looks to our own small elementary school. The square shape with a courtyard in the center. A safe place for the children to learn and play. I cry often now, when I look at my 3 children, when I send them off to school, when I see a news headline. I can't control the ache in my heart for the children that died that day and for the adults who gave their lives trying to protect them. And the sorrow I feel for the families they left behind. All the lives lost, for what?  I want to know why but I know even that answer won't curb the heartache.

If I feel this way for all the people that I did not know personally then how could I ever hope to survive something like this if it were to ever happen to me. I can't fathom an answer as to how I would function from day to day. I suppose I would eventually do it to keep life normal for my family but there would always be a piece missing.. my heart would be forever broken.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

30 Days of Grateful ? Or Simply a Ploy for Praise?

OK.. I get that some people are super thankful every day of their life and I know who those people are. I see them all the time. But this being the month we celebrate thanksgiving and being thankful for things I just can't get over the number of posts on FB. Maybe it's my cynical side coming out, yet again. But to post every day about something you are thankful for seems a bit overkill. Can't you simply wake up and say to yourself  "today I am thankful for _________" and call it a day? Why must you advertise your overly generous behavior and super thankful thoughts all over social networks for everyone to see? I get that it's a month long "challenge" to see if you can come up with something every day. So if that's the case then is it really something from the heart? Why not call the person you are thanking? Or stop by their house and thank them in person. Or are you just doing it so you can say "yeah I did it every day for 30 days"?  Shouldn't you be thankful every day of your life ? And not just for your extra chocolately mocha cappuccino from Starbucks or for being able to sleep in. But for real things like happy kids, and that your extended family has made it through yet another health scare. THOSE are the things I am thankful for every day of the year. Not simply during November in order to get through 30 days of some challenge on Facebook.

Maybe I'm just getting ornery and cynical in my old age, but instead of advertising I will simply be grateful for my own positives, pay it forward and be thankful that I have the ability to do so.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I Just Can't Take it

For the first time since joining Facebook I have a very strong desire to either block a long list of "friends" from my news feed or simply deactivate mya ccount. It's the presidential campaigning season. I despise politics. LIKE REALLY FREAKING HATE IT. If I want to know about my government and the goings on then I make it a point to do my own research. I do not rely on friends, loved ones and acquaintances to "teach", "instruct" or otherwise overload me with politics. And I really don't expect it in the place that I go to unwind and have fun like Facebook. FB is my "other" place. It's my getaway from work, laundry and the dull every day goings on that I deal with 24/7.  So when I tap on my FB app and the news feed is overrun with comments and threads about the political candidates and who is winning the campaign and consistantly updating during each and every debate I get a bit annoyed and just click closed until I have an alert that actually interests me.

Here's what I don't get... People actually think if they continue to rant and rave and bully their ideas and opinions at other people in every forum possible they will change someones's mind and bring them over to their own side. I don't think I've ever seen that happen. All I've ever seen is a constant bullying and ranting back with the oposing idea and opinion. And it continues and goes on and on and on .. It's a vicious cycle. Period. End of story.  Like topics such as Abortion and Gun Control.. there will always be 2 sides and there will always be a back and forth argument.. there will never be a Black and White. No one wins so why keep fighting? Why not attempt a truce and work together to find solutions to the issues at hand?? hahaha.. yeah right.. because that would be saying someone was wrong or made a mistake and we all know no one will do that.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9-11 Remembered.. for a day

Today is September 11, 2012.  Eleven years since that fateful day that changed every American's feeling of safety in our homeland. Social networks are lit up with "Never Forget" and photos of the twin towers and other such rememberances. That's all fine and good. I posted a short update regarding the day as well. But as I sit here I got to thinking. "Never Forget" .. Where are all these people on March 25th, June 16th or any other day of the year that is not September 11th? I see nothing reminding me of the tragedy and to Never Forget any other time of year. I am just as guilty. The only time I think of the events of that day is when I'm going through photos on the computer and I happen to see one of me and the Man on a trip to NY with the towers behind us. Then I stop to think.  But any other day of the year I don't really contemplate the day or how it changed our lives and I know I don't see any posts telling me to Never Forget around Facebook or Twitter. So,  my question is this, are we really remembering or just reminding each other because it's on the calendar?  Will we give another thought tomorrow, or next week, or two months from now?  Maybe we should try to "Remember" a little harder.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Can You Hear It?

It's the sound of that huge sigh of relief that is coming. Soon. Once the kids get on that bus and head off to school in just over a week.

That sound signifies a cleaner house, a lower electric bill, less fights, and a general sense of calm that comes with the everyday routine we settle into once September hits. Maybe calm isn't the word I should use. Because life isn't calm by any means. But it is "my" kind of calm. I enjoy a structured day.

So yes, we will be running to swim lessons on Sunday nights, CCD on Monday  nights, Soccer Practice on Tuesday nights, Gymnastics on Wednesday nights and soccer games on Saturdays.. but to me it will be a relief from the crazy days we've had all summer. It's been fun for them while it lasted but I've had enough.

The fighting from all the togetherness is getting to me. The kids fight much less when they don't see each other all day. And that is what I enjoy.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Vacation.. what's the payoff?

We leave for vacation soon and I've begun the endless lists of things that need to be done to prepare for our departure. I find getting ready to leave for a week is super stressful. The Man says I stress too much. Well I think he doesn't stress enough.

his jobs:  pack his clothing
               put everything into the car

I have to do everything else from packing everyone else's clothing to cleaning the house to stopping mail and getting someone to care for the animals. In addition to making sure all bills that may be due that week or right after are paid up etc.  Stressful you say ?? Of course it is. By the time we are ready to leave I want to clean his clock.  Simply because he is overjoyed and relaxed and I'm exhausted.  Then vacation starts and all he wants to do is go, go, go. I prefer to sit and relax.  WTF. We are polar opposites when it comes to vacation personalities. It's almost like I need to bring a friend for him and the kids so I don't need to entertain them all.

The days away from work, time spent at the beach with my camera & the kids and just quiet time with a book are what I look forward to on vacation. My kids spending time with their grandparents for a week and having fun is alwyas a good thing as well.

But while I pack and get ready I wonder if it's worth all the hassle and stress.

Monday, June 18, 2012

For the Love of the Game

When our baseball season began all I could think about was the running here and there and the weekends that I would get nothing done around the house because I would be at ball games. I thought about the weeknights when dinner would be rushed to get to practice and the dust that would be building on my furniture as the house went uncleaned.

Then it began. The season to end all seasons. Nine games of glory. I remember Jim coming home from that first practice.. looking at me and saying with a sigh "Well, it should be an interesting season to say the least. We have quite a bunch of boys." He left it at that and I was wondering what he could have meant.

Then I figured it out at game 1.  So many different personalities but so much in common, they are goofy 8 year old boys. Kicking dirt and throwing things at each other in the dugout. Your typical 8 year old boys with a short attention span and a need to win or whine.

The first few games surprised many of us parents when the boys came together and won despite the errors and lack of pitching skills that early in the season.  But boy did they seem to mesh as the season went on. They developed a wonderful defense and their hitting on both the machine and from the kid pitchers was phenonmenal. But as they won each subsequent game it caused the other teams to put a target on their backs. The other coaches and players were dead set on beating the "undefeated team". We, as a group of coaches and parents, couldn't understand this "out for blood" mentality especially from adults when they were dealing with children. We were there to play and have fun. When the kids struck out or made and error we still cheered because we knew they felt bad enough about it. It's only a game after all. But we encountered other coaches that would put the rules (and ethics in my opinion) aside in order to win at all costs. It was sad to watch. And we felt bad for the kids on those teams because they weren't learning the true lessons.  Even those teams were no match for our teamwork and explosive bats.

We finished the season 9-0 and because our boys were not in the higher division we get no playoff or championship games they simply got a participation medal.  It was such a wonderful season and the boys became such good friends that I was sad to see it all end.  I was wishing for a few more games.

So now we have a party planned.. a bit of a shindig to close it all out. It will probably turn into a crazy adult party if you read all the emails going back and forth between the parents. But the boys will have fun and we'll be able to celebrate the season the right way and plan some get-togethers over the summer.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Win or Lose.. it's how you play the game

I have been accused of being a ferocious Mama Bear without reason on occasion and I will fully admit that I can be at times. But this is not one of those times. I am fully warranted in my rant in this matter and I have other objective bystanders that can back me up if need be.

At the boy’s 5th baseball game last night we played a team (The Thunder) that we have played before. We rolled over them in our previous game. Thunder’s coach is bitter because we are the only team to beat them and apparently he isn’t too happy about it. This is confirmed by the League Commissioner to our Coach in a conversation prior to the game. The game was supposed to be 3 inning coach pitch and 3 kid pitch due to a shortage of pitching machines. Thunder’s coach states he’d prefer all kid pitch so our coach agrees. We know they have a couple great pitchers on their team but aren’t too worried.

We get into the game and after a couple innings we realize this won’t be pretty. We are up by a couple runs (2-0) in the 3rd. That’s when I’m not running around to bathrooms with the girls and really start watching the calls and the pitches. The coach for the opposing team stands behind his pitcher and calls the pitches. His strike zone is ALL OVER THE PLACE. In the dirt, at their heads, he’s calling everything strike. Our Coach is calling pretty darn fair and we end up giving up a few runs on walks etc. So they catch up .. The Thunder coaches are yelling the score out while standing next to our kids on the field. Being true jackasses. Going on the field and coaching the kids in the middle of plays, letting the kids take more bases than the rules allow, etc. Our Coach had to say something to them at one point about how they are talking on the field in front of the kids. Our kids are so discouraged by the 5th inning they start swinging at shit pitches over their heads because they are so afraid of getting called out on strikes. A few kids come off in tears for striking out when the ball was in the dirt. And all we can do is pat them on the back and continue to encourage them.

Luckily by the end of the game our kids hung in there and pulled out the win 8-7. But in true jerk form they were yelling that it was a tie in order to keep their kids from feeling bad for losing. What is that teaching them? That isn’t how they learn to play ball the right way. That isn’t what I want my kid to think is right. You don’t push the rules to the side if they don’t suit you. You don’t put others down to build yourself up. You especially don’t do it to children when you are grown Men and you are dealing with 8 year olds.

The whole ordeal was still bothering me this morning so I emailed our coach and aired my concerns and asked if he thought things were a bit iffy. He replied that those particular coaches had already been an issue last year and this year with other teams according to the commissioner (he had already emailed him ) and he agreed that their way of playing the game was not how we want to teach the kids.

So technically I was an angry Mama Bear but it was warranted and it was for all the kids.. not just my own. They played a great game and did it the right way.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Don't Judge

I find myself a bit surprised lately. I am surprised by others’ surprise and shock. I also find it a bit humorous. When people find out I have tattoos or more specifically 8 tattoos. They give me this look of shock. I laugh. And I ask why they are so shocked and some say “Well you just don’t look like you have that many tattoos”. How am I supposed to look? I am an equal opportunity dresser. Meaning: I dress from one end of the spectrum to the other. You can see me in jeans, a T-shirt & converse one day, the next I’ll have platforms & a short skirt and the next stilettos with leather pants. You just never know. So why is it so hard to believe that I would have so many tattoos?

Do I look a certain way that I am expected to BE a certain way? Is it my age? I am 38 years old, I have 3 children and I have 8 tattoos (with at least 1 more planned) and my navel is pierced. I enjoy going out to happy hours with friends and the Man when possible and letting loose. I do have a beer more than once a week. I am not an alcoholic. There are other things I could tell you but you’d have to get to know me first. ;) I wear very high heels, I am not a hooker. I wear Izod and khaki but I don’t dine at the club.

I wonder if people with more than one secret tattoo are supposed to be a certain way and act a certain way and dress a certain way. I love all my tattoos. And if I could show all of them without getting arrested I would. I doesn’t make me some freak. It makes me different just like someone with blue hair or pants with whales is different. I have so many friends that look different and they are just the loveliest people and I know this because I know them.

Do us all a favor don’t judge at first glance, get to know a person’s true self. They could win you over with their wit, intelligence or caring disposition in spite of the mohawk, piercing, tattoos, whale pants, stilettos, converse or Lilly dress.

Hahaha… I finished this.. reread it and realized it totally reminds me of the Breakfast Club.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Silent War

In light of this week being National Infertlity Awareness Week my mind has been on the struggles of many women. I remember my own struggles and how I started out so optimisticly and naïve. Thinking, “Oh we’ll try for a few months and get pregnant and it will be great.” Oh how I was wrong. I suppose it’s better I was naïve because at least I had a few “fun” months before the true battle began. We tried for a few months and then I started charting my cycles and doing all the technical stuff to try and increase our chances. Once we hit the one year mark I got concerned. I called my Doctor. She said not to worry and that it can take a year or a bit longer to get pregnant the first time. Little consolation to someone with no patience who needs instant gratification. So we keep chugging along. In the meantime I find a message board online and start chatting it up with the ladies in the same boat as I am in. It helps to be able to air your issues with people that are going through the same thing without being judged. Little did I know those women would become my only strength some days, and my good friends to this day.

After 16 months I finally saw that little line on the pregnancy test. I didn’t believe it so I bought another one and took it the next day just to be sure. I did everything right, followed every rule, saw my little love at 7.5 weeks with a heartbeat and was mesmerized. I was in awe and totally in love. But he was not to be. I had a bleed at about 11 weeks. The ultrasound showed that the baby had not grown past the 7.5 weeks. I was devastated. To say I was heartbroken was an understatement. The callousness of the ultrasound tech and the Dr. that told me was unforgettable. And the (un)comforting words of family and friends that followed were just as bad. “You’ll get pregnant again”, “It was God’s will”, and “It was meant to be” ALL BAD CHOICES. Seeing pregnant friends who were due around the same time became torture. Hell, Seeing any pregnant woman was torture. I would look at a pregnant woman and say to myself “why her and not me?” And hearing someone say how easy it was getting pregnant was like a knife through the heart. The words Fertile Myrtle were like nails on a chalkboard. Getting pregnant became a job, a mission. And yet it still didn’t happen naturally. All the while I had no one but Jim. And he was a man. He didn’t understand the need. I turned to those ladies on-line. My friends, my comrades, my sisters in battle.

My Doctors got proactive and gave me some meds to help and when that didn’t work I was referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) or who I would like to call Dr. Castlebaum, My Miracle Worker. I saw the RE after trying for 30 months to get pregnant. He looked at me in his office and said “Let’s get you pregnant. “ I smiled and said “Yes, let’s.” He immediately scheduled me for a couple procedures to check out my insides. And instead of going the medicinal route again he suggested we go full force and start inseminations. I was all for it. Two months later we started the process of having Jim’s semen checked and my tubes and eggs checked. Everything was great, so why weren’t we getting pregnant? The next month was the insemination. And 3 weeks later I got a positive confirmation. It worked. And, as happy as I was, I was scared as well. I was on eggshells. I had ultrasounds monitoring this baby constantly. Finally at 12 weeks we decide it was OK to tell people we were pregnant again. You would think everyone would be happy. We actually got one response of “Well don’t get your hopes up”. That broke our hearts and caused a rift for a while. That pregnancy was one of joy and happiness for me because he was my miracle baby. He was my Aedan.

I think back to all of the people that surrounded me during my infertility journey and friends that gave me the most support I haven’t even met in person. They comforted me when I needed it. They listened to me rant and complain without judgment. Because they too were going through it. They understood. I am so grateful for those friends. And I am even more grateful that I still have them and that they have all been blessed in one way or another with a child of their own. I just wish I knew back then that others around me were going through the same fight I was in. I felt I was the only one. No one spoke of it around me. I suffered in silence. I needed the support and I got nothing in my day to day life outside of my computer. Infertility breaks you down and sucks the life from you. It causes you to envy other women, fight with your husband and separate yourself from others. You can’t function. It’s all you think about because it consumes you to your core. Being a mother is the most important thing to some women so when that is jeopardized we will fight to the death to get it. Any woman you know could be in the battle right now. Please remember what was said and don’t offer words of wisdom if you haven’t been there. Just offer to listen or a shoulder to cry on. Because if you haven’t had a struggle or loss you truly cannot understand the pain/grief/all encompassing sorrow that comes with it.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Same Old Tired Debate

In light of recent events involving Hilary Rosen and Ann Romney that wonderful debate pitting SAHM's against Moms that work outside of the home  has been brought into the spotlight again.  Talking heads like to stir the pot and get women going on social network sites like FB by posting threads asking opinions and most women can't leave it alone. And as much as women say that it's a woman's choice for her specific family later down the line you'll see someone throw in a comment like "SAHM's Don't get enough respect.. It's a full time job and it's 24/7, not 9-5."  Why won't women realize we are all Moms together and whether you work outside the home or not isn't the issue.. we all love our children and we all work our asses off to keep them happy and healthy, all while keeping a somewhat clean home.  All of which is done usually on little sleep. Being a Mom is a 24/7 job. Period. Some women do it from home all day some leave for a while to do other stuff and then come home and do it later into the night.. either way.. Same damn job. It's called MOM.

In my next life I want to come back as a man. Women spend so much energy tearing each other down and trying to feel superior. It's exhausting.  I don't think I'm better than another woman because I earn a paycheck and I certainly don't think someone else is better because she gets to spend all day with her kids.  It's a godamn choice for every family based on their own situation.. just like having a pet or a fucking minivan or taking a fricking Disney vacation every damn year. 

Choices. We all get them unless we are incarcerated and I don't look at parenthood as incarceration (most days). It was a choice I made, and a damn good one, that I live with  every day as I kiss them goodbye before school as I leave for work and then as I kiss them hello when I get home each night. MY choice. Take it or leave it but don't tell me it's wrong.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Birthday Girl

I was driving to work today and I was thinking about the smallest person in the house and her birthday tomorrow. She'll be 4.  A wave of nausea washed over me. I'm not sure why. All I know is that everytime I think about her turning 4 tomorrow I feel a bit sick to my stomach.  She is wise beyond her years. She acts and looks older than 4.  One day she wants to be a cowgirl and the next she has no clue what she wants to be besides a fashion model.

I could do without the whining that has snuck up on us in recent weeks. It's daily torture that usually precedes a crying fit over something so unimportant you simply have to shake your head and walk away.

I can only guess that ill feeling is the realization that I no longer have any babies and that I won't be having any babies in my house. The feeling that I am no longer 100% needed. She wants to do most things herself. The times I want to go out by myself I cave when she begs to tag along just to prolong our together times because I know she won't want to come with me much longer.  And even though she always has a big grin on her face when she sees me at the end of the day I can't help but wonder if it's just so I'll give her gum. I look forward to other fun stuff with her but will always miss having those special Mom and baby times. So bittersweet these birthdays are.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Oh the Shame

At this point I'll deal with it. Seriously. I feel like lying when the schedulers ask where I am having pain and why I need to see the Dr.  How do you tell them that a vacuum jumped onto your head without expecting a chuckle or a clearing of the throat? 

I think I only get my injuries requiring medical attention by very stupid means. " yeah um. I am having excruciating pain from my head through my neck and down into my shoulder. 3 Motrin doesn't touch it. Anti inflammatories don't touch it."  What happened to cause the pain ?  "Um.. well.. Um.. My vacuum jumped off the stairs and landed on the back of my head. Feel free to laugh once you hang up."

I give up. Dr. Lipton is gonna have a field day with this one. He thought messing up my knee in the name of wine was bad..

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cancer 101: More info. than I ever wanted to know

In embarking on this journey with my Mother I never imagined I'd learn so much.  I figured I would be the bookkeeper. Someone to keep all the paperwork and appointments in order and make sure she got to all her appointments. But I am so much more. I am her advocate. I am there to make sure she understands everything. So that she doesn't leave an appointment with more questions than when she walked in.  So that she has answers even after the appointment is over.  She can call me and I can tell her when she'll have a test or when to expect a certain side effect. I have taken on this job willingly. I need to be in control. I need to know she will come out on the other side of this disease healthy. I have to know everything.

Every Doctor, every Nurse. Every medication and it's side effect. Every test.  I have it all. In my head and on paper. Not only for her but for myself, my sister, my daughters and neices. We were blindsided.  We have dusted ourselves off and now that we are informed we will be prepared for the future. We will fight and be proactive.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Measuring Up

It's Valentine's Day. Another holiday, another day for Mothers around the world to use social media to compare themselves to other mothers.  I logged into Facebook this morning and was bombarded with greetings of "Happy Valentine's Day" as I expected as well as threads and photos of all different ways friends have chosen to celebrate their love for loved ones.  The fancy breakfasts, and gifts and decorations and general overkill that could make a slacker mom like me want to drive off a cliff.

We don't overdo Valentine's Day in my house. I get the kid's a bit of candy and a small gift. This year it's a special book they each wanted and a box of airheads for each. It's not Christmas for chrissake. I try and let them know I love them all year long so overloading them with red stuff on one day isn't going to change that. The man and I don't even exchange cards anymore. It's a waste to us. Sometimes one of us may surprise the other with a card or something dumb.. but it's rare, and it usually pisses the other off.

So when I see all the hoopla out there I wonder if I am robbing my children of something they need.  Will they be crying to a therapist in a few years that the reason they started those fires is because Mom never made them pink heart shaped pancakes? Am I supposed to add mores duties to my already exhaustive workload ?  I'm thinking that's a no. They haven't complained about not getting these things. As a matter of fact, if I put pink pancakes in front of them they may refuse to eat them. Because they are different. That would be my luck. I get up at 5am, make the damn pancakes and they refuse to eat them. Then I flip the hell out and there goes the happy -Happy Valentine's Day. Screw that.. they can eat Mini Bites Muffins or some cereal and we can continue our regular day. We'll all be much happier and I'll continue to get my much needed sleep.

I'm headed over to school this afternoon to help out in the boys class for the 1st time in 3 years. yeah .. I know.. I told you I'm a slacker mom.  It's a surprise.  I'm excited and I hope he will be too. Tonight we'll have red sauce in our baked ziti (that I didn't even make.. cause I'm a slacker.. my Sister in law had an extra tray)  and they'll get their books and candy. And we'll have our Valentine's Day the same way we do most years, together. Because that's what counts right ?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Not to beat a dead horse but I'm SIck of the Excuses

I haven't had a chance to really get things off my chest about this whole Penn State scandal so here goes.

I am glad the funeral is over so I don't have to keep hearing how great a man JoePa is and all the great things he did for Penn State. I don't care. He wasn't one of my favorite people before the Sanduskey scandal came to light and he certainly isn'y now. What I do care about is the children that were victimized first by Sanduskey.. then by McQueary and JoePa and then by the rest of the people that did NOTHING over the years. Those children suffered in silence while those grown men went about their daily lives and didn't give them a second thought. "I did what the State required" . Well godamnit when it comes to a child being harmed I don't usually stop and think.. "well I wonder what the state mandates are for reporting this? Maybe I should just tell my boss. That should do it."  No I don't fucking think so. My moral compass tells me to go to the police and report it and follow it until I'm sure that something is done. Because if I had even one inkling of a thought that maybe the police were not taking care of things I'd be on the phone again. FOR THE SAKE OF THE CHILDREN. Because I would want someone to do that for my child.

This diary was brought to my attention and I read it with tears in my eyes because THIS is the reason why someone needed to do the right thing and go to the real police not the damn rent-cops on campus and not the President of the University. So many other children could have avoided Sanduskey altogether had something been done years ago.

So don't give me the excuses like .."but he's a good man and has done so much good.. " well ya know what .. apparently so did Sandusky with his charitable foundations.. be he still victimized those children. You can be a good man on the outside and still not be the good man in the right situation.

What we've been doing...

It's a new year.. time to catch up. We all had a wonderful Christmas and New Years celebration and are happily trudging along with our regular schedules these days. A few things have added to our mayhem...
Pipsqueak or Pip for short has been a welcome addition to our family. He is such a sweet and happy little guy.

In addition to Pip we have added some activities to our weekly routine.  Chloe is now enrolled in gymnastics once a week and is enjoying the jumping, bouncing, flipping and balancing.  Aedan has started back at Soccer academy, and all 3 kids are back in swim lessons. These activities, added to the CCD class on Sunday mornings suck up 4 nights a week. I am lucky to be able to use the gym at the Y during the swim lessons and the gymnastics so that is one benefit to all the running. :)  But boy am I tired by Friday.

We have a few fun things planned like a trip to Baltimore to see the Phillies play and to visit the harbor and aquarium. The kids are almost excited as I am about that trip. I managed to score a couple sets of early tickets to 2 more Phillies games before the single games tickets go on sale so that's a plus.

One of the less fun things we have been dealing with is my Mother's breast cancer diagnosis.  I have a few appointments coming up next week with the breast cancer Dr. and the Medical oncologist to go over her treatment. I'm hoping all my research and subsequent "diagnosis"after reading her pathology report and other papers is wrong and things aren't as bad as I am thinking they are. But as usual, we will get through it as a family, good or bad.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Coddling our Kids.. raising adults who expect everything handed to them

This came over today in an email while I was at work.. it coincides with my trophies-for-everyone-dont-do-it post of last year.  Still holding strong to my belief .. and this says it way better than I ever could..

As a practicing psychiatrist and a parent of two children, ages 9 and 13, I am very concerned about the state of parenting in America.

When they were a little younger every child on my son’s and daughter’s soccer teams was given a ribbon. It didn’t matter if they were on a team that never won a game or if they had mastered any soccer skills at all. They routinely came home from swim meets with fistfuls of ribbons—first place and second place, but even for fifth place, in a field of five. For the first few years my son played baseball, every boy in the town league got a trophy.

It was a dangerous charade, and I took the steps I could to try to counteract it. I wasn’t heavy-handed. I simply commented, occasionally, that a year or two down the road it would be only the first, second and third-place teams that would get trophies. I would mention that the first-place ribbon from the swim meet was my favorite because it was “better” to get one for beating four other swimmers than for merely finishing the race.

Rewarding mediocrity—or worse—can deprive children of striving to be their best.

It can condition them to expect praise even when their work is average or less-than-average.

It can deprive them of the opportunity to learn—when the stakes are relatively low—that they can survive losses and come back next week or next season or by choosing a different field to compete on, altogether.

It can steal from them the opportunity to find the best in themselves—for real.

It can give them the clear message that they are frail of spirit and dependent on fiction to sustain false self-esteem.

See, since human beings have a God-given barometer of truth inside them, telling them they’ve won when they haven’t is actually dispiriting to them. Being a party to fakery is, in the end, more demoralizing than losing fair and square.

If a child intuits that praise is false, he or she will not be certain a parent’s love is true.

f a child knows that a victory is hollow, he or she can never know the joy of triumphing over adversity.

If a child senses that there is no such thing as excellence, that child can miss the inner calling to greatness that could be his or her birthright.

It has never been more important to honor real winners and comfort real losers and insist that the truth about our children be recognized by them and those around them. Because never before in history have there been so many ways our sons and daughters can lie to themselves about who they are.

On Facebook they can pretend to have hundreds of “friends.” On YouTube they can pretend to be stars. On Twitter they can pretend to be worthy of “followers.”

But the world is waiting to judge them, and certain realities will not be denied. All of us have real enemies to either defeat or be defeated by. We have real illnesses to either cure or be laid low by. We will always have real economic challenges to either come to grips with or run from.

Parents who want to pretend their kids never lose at anything are raising a generation of kids who don’t know what it takes to win. And that is stealing their best from them and stealing the best future from all of us

Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team

Seriously.. we need to wake up and pull our heads out of our asses.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

It's a Family Health Kick

We'll see how long this lasts.  It's a new year. We have a YMCA family memnbership so why the heck not. We could all stand to be a little bit healthier.

The kids are all in swim lessons. That gives Jim and I a 1/2 hour of gym time twice a week. At least track time since we will have kids in tow.  Aedan has soccer and Chloe is now signed up for Gymnastics on Mondays as well. So now I will also get another hour at the gym all by my lonesome.  Add that to our slightly more healthy diet choices and we are on a roll here.

If the gym time doesn't do it all the running from here to there and lack of time to actually sit and eat a meal might do the trick.

I want to flaunt my bikinis .. not just put them on and sit my butt in a chair hoping not to have to get up. I may be old but I don't need to look or feel old.  So I say down with the couch potato and up with action ! We are getting moving in every way possible.  Here's to a great year and our success!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year: New Challenges and New Adventures

Most people set goals and resolutions for the New Year. I simply look at it as a clean slate. An opportunity to try new things, maybe change a few things, but most of all look keep an open mind. It doesn't always work but hey, my intentions are always good.

This year is already chock-full of some important life lessons and decisions, and we are only on January 1. Keeping ourselves healthy is a major factor this year. Our family has been hit hard this past year with some medical issues and will be battling those in the coming year. Luckily some have been resolved in a positive way. Others are still being dealt with and hopefully we all can come out on the other side healthy and filled with a better understanding of the disease, strength of family and courage.

I am already taking a big leap and doing something out of the box for me on January 2nd. Makes me nervous and giddy just thinking about it. But it's something I've wanted to do so I'm hoping that in taking this leap that it will give me the courage to go further with other things I have only dreamed about.

This year will be all about adventure. As always with my Family each day is an adventure and I am planning on making the most of it.

Happy New Year 2012 everyone!