Friday, November 30, 2007

The Gift Of Time

The gift of time? How can time be a gift? What is a gift of time? Sit back and I'll tell you a story. Once upon a time there was a wife and mother. She had a special needs child as well as was a special education teacher. She threw herself into motherhood and teaching with passion and energy. However, after a decade she was simply burnt out. Nothing really inparticular, just burnt out. But what does one do with an education degree if one isn't teaching?

In steps our other character.

Her husband. He suggested that the wife take a year off. Don't worry about the paycheck. We can get by with a year off. We've got some money saved up. We just finished paying off the credit cards. Now is the year to do it.

But then I won't be contributing to the household finances she said.
But then I won't be using my degree that I worked so hard for she said.
But then I won't be teaching she said.
But we'll have to do without the extras she said.

But you need a break he said.
You need a year off he said.
You have stack of books you haven't read he said.
You have ideas that you don't have time to develop he said.
You have hobbies you don't have time for he said.
You've always wanted to volunteer he said.

Really she asked.
You'd be OK with the loss of my income she asked.

You'll be happier he said.
I love you and I want you to be happy he said.
Enjoy your gift of time he said.

That gift of time has allowed the wife to better balance her life goals, catch up hobbies, volunteer at her son's school and start her own part-time business. The gift of time has reduced the wife's stress and allowed her to find again her balance in life.

That gift of time was given out of unconditional love from a husband to a wife.
That wife though, had already received the best gift of all. It wasn't the gift of time. It was finding her husband.

Husband - if you are reading this, I love you more than you'll ever know!

This post has been brought to you by The Parent Bloggers Network and Excitations - give the unexpected.

What has been the most memorable gift you have received? Why was it memorable?

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Thursday, November 29, 2007


There, I said the B word. I bet that got your attention. Good. Now that I have it, read on. Cuz I have something to say today. I had a few posts in mind for this week. But when I read this, and this, and this I got pretty agitated. I mean really. I. Just. Don't. Get. The. Big. Deal. Over. Breastfeeding. I really, really don't.

We see much worse on TV, movies, and simply hanging out at a mall on a weekend night. And it's not just adults that dress provocatively. It's young children too.

So, how is it, in our society, that that is OK, however, seeing someone nourish their child is not?

I just don't get it. I never have.

I breastfed my son. I was miserable during my pregnancy. Throwing up at least once a day for 8 months and then every other day for the last 4 weeks. I had terrible acne all over my face, chest and back. I was put on some light restrictions. As much as I loved having a child, I hated being pregnant. (and yes, I do completely realize it could have been much worse, but I was miserable).

I remember after my csec recover (oh, yea, to top off the pregnancy, Son turned breech a week before my due date AFTER I had been 4 cm dilated for 2 weeks), the nurse handed me my Son. I immediately asked if I could breastfeed him. The nurse said sure. I latched him on, perfectly the first try and he began sucking away. The nurse had to ask if this was my first because it all happened so naturally. All those yucky 9 months were so quickly pushed to the back of my head. This was what it was all for. To have my son and to be able to nourish him.

I went back to teaching when he was 3 1/2 months old. I pumped, and pumped, and pumped. We had about a 6 month supply of milk in our freezer. And, although I wasn't spending my days with him, I had complete trust and faith in his daycare and he was still having a part of me even though I wasn't there.

There was something about breastfeeding that just worked for me. I absolutely loved it. I kept it up until Son was 11 months old.

Did I go around flashing my boobs to the world when Son was hungry. Well, at home I did. But in public I just put a blanket over us. It's easy to do. And I do realize that some people do not want to see my boobs. That's OK.

But for society to have a problem with women breastfeeding - that's just wrong. Yea, it's a boob, but when you are breastfeeding, it's for nourishment, not to arouse the person next to you. That's what watching TV, movies or hanging out at a mall on a weekend night is for.

So, if you too are agitated, please join me, along with bunches of other breastfeeding Moms, in this Internet, Mom-blogging protest. If we don't' fight for the right to feed our own children, who will?!?

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Ummmm. You'd think I'd have something to say after the long Thanksgiving weekend. Nope. Pretty typical. Family visiting. Eating. Good times had. Which is all well and good, but nothing noteworthy.

Ummmm. Thanksgiving is over. Time to gear up for Christmas. Did 90% of the shopping on Sunday. Just about done with the homemade holiday cards. Winter stuff up around the house. Still need to put up the tree. Weekends slowly getting filled with holiday stuff.

Ummm. Work options slowly picking up in the right direction.

Ummm. House still on market, but getting visitors in a slow, but steady steam.

Ummm. Umm. Ummm. Just not good at thinking up anything exciting and noteworthy today. Guess it's a ummmm kinda day.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

This would be the back yard that was completely raked 1 day ago.
Want to play too? Head over here to join in on the fun!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007


So, I'm rather bored today. Not much to do with any of my part-time jobs today. I've been surfing the net most the morning checking out some of my favorite blogs that I read. I headed over to Stimeyland. She got tagged by Magneto Bold Too! to do a Meme of Eight.

Instead of tagging eight specific people, she tagged 'you'. Yea, pretty sneaky!

So, here goes my eight:

8 Things I Am Passionate About
-my family
-being happy
-being the best parent and spouse I can be

8 Things I Say Often-Son's name
-Husband's name
-What should we have for dinner?
-Do your homework!
-I love you
-Yup, ok. Wait, what did I just say yes too?!?
-I'm too tired tonight

8 Books I Have Read Recently
-The Other Mother by Gwendolen Gross
-101 Activiies for Kids in Tight Spaces by Carol Stock Kranowitz
-The Secret Fan by Lisa See
-Inside Aspergers: One Man's Tale - Look Me In The Eye by John Elder Robison
-The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
-Louder Than Words by Jenny McCarthy
-Our Dumb World Atlas of The Planet Earth by the ONION
-Playing for Pizza by John Grisham

8 Things I Want To Do Before I Die
-watch my son grow up
-watch a sunrise with my husband (which would also imply that perhaps I wasn't too tired and we had been up all night long!)
-write a book - fiction
-write a book - nonfiction
-start a successful business
-go to Disney World
-eat better

8 Songs I Could Listen To Over And Over
-Hotel California - Eagles
-Christmas Eve in Sarajevo - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
-Christmas Cannon Rock - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
-Don't Stop Believing - Journey
-When You're Goen - Avril Lavigne
Landslide - Fleetwood Mac
-1812 Overture - Tchaikovsky
-Beethoven's 5th Symphony

8 Things That Attract Me To My Best Friends
-things in common
-will listen to me babble nonstop
-love my blog :)

And now - the first eight readers of this are tagged! Leave a comment so I can go and read your Eight :)

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Thanksgiving Stress & Traditions

Holidays. The stress. The preparations The family from out of town. The traditions. And the togetherness and happiness shared. Such a mix of it all!

But how to keep all the stress in pespective with the family traditions of the holiday? How to keep the meanign of the holildays when you are trying to figure out how big a turkey to buy and which side dishes to cook for the picky eaters? Family Fun has some great holiday ideas for the family. Kraft Foods always has some fun recipes to try. I'll be trying the maple-glazed baby carrots this year.

But seriously, how do you kep the meaning of Thanksgiving alive in your family?

When my son was a preschooler I came across this idea from some parenting magazine (I wish I could rememer which one it was). I bought a light colored table cloth - plain and some permanent markers. Every year we use this table cloth only at Thanksgiving time. After we eat and the table is cleared everyone writes what they have been thankful for during the past year, sign it with their name and the year. Then we read 'posts' from years back. This tablecloth has turned into a documentation of our family history.

This sets the stage for a discussion of what Thanksgiving is really all about. It's about family and begin thankful for what we have and sharing with each other.

My son loves this tradition. Each year about a week before my parents come into town he asks - Mom do you know where the Thanksgiving tablecloth is? We need to get it ready!

This year my niece will be joining us. She is 21 months old. Her scribbles will join my sons from years past. And she too will start to be part of this family tradition.

What will your family be doing this year?

Cross-posted at
DC Metro Moms.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday Haiku

Bloggers In NYC

Do you like to blog?
Do you live in NYC?
Then please contact me.

A blog sister site
Is looking for more bloggers
Do you want to join?


Gray, rainy and cold
Leaves have fallen off the trees
Fall is really here.

And here is the rest of it.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

The State of Things

The state of things has been very, very quiet. Son has been doing his homework, which in the recent past was a huge issue. After analyzing and reanalyzing and a 1st quarter conference with his teacher we decided it was time to up his meds. Son has gained 10 pounds in the last year. He was on the lowest dose of ADHD meds. Demands in 4th grade definitely focus on a lot of multi-tasking and independence. More so than ever before. His homework meltdowns were a result of the fact his brain was done for the day. It had reached maximum capacity for focusing. He also shared with us that he's been reciting commercials during work time. Like, saying a line and repeating it over and over again. He said it sorta helps him to focus, but bothers those around him. Watching him do his homework was painful, not only because of the arguing, but because of the energy it took us to keep him focused.

So we upped the meds one notch. Still, a very small dose in all reality.

And it's been a very, very quiet 2 weeks. No tantrums other than what one would expect from a 9 year old. Stuff brought home from school is being remembered 90% of the time again. No battles for homework. In fact, we get home and he simply does it and then moves on with his day. He's also been able to break down longer term assignments on his own and stick to his own schedule. Clothes are once again ending up in the hamper as are dishes and cups.

There is so much controversy with medicating your child. We don't use medication as a band aid. We use it to make him more available to learning strategies. Just every now and then he needs a boost to make himself more available.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

ARK Sundays

Don't worry - you're right. It's not Sunday. It's Monday. But this post was supposed to go out on Sunday. But I was too lazy on Sunday. So, while you are reading this, pretend it's Sunday.

Miss has started ARK Sundays. ARK is an Acts of Random Kindness. To join in it's real simple - just post about your random act of kindness that you did in the previous week!

Here's mine:

Want to put a smile on a strangers face? Here's something I do. When you are shopping, don't wait for the clerk to say, "Have a good day." at the end of your purchase. Initiate it - say it and mean it. Can you imagine how they must feel purchase after purchase of saying that rote phrase and getting no response? Tell them to have a good day. It'll put a smile on their face. It'll make them smile for the next customer. It'll put a smile on the next customer. It'll create a cycle of friendliness.

Remember in the 'old times' when you would go to the village store and every one knew everyone? Most of only see that on TV. Just because the person behind the checkout counter is a stranger, doesn't mean we can't be polite and courteous.

Don't make it random - purposely be kind to a stranger. It'll put a smile on your face and theirs!

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Are We Really Old Now?

Once a month the Son's TKD studio has a Parents Night Out. Hubby and I live for these. A night out with no child? The child having immense fun with his friends in a familiar place? So last night was PNO. Hubby and I had a nice dinner out with adult conversation. Then we went to Best Buy to look at some video games and music Cd's. I picked up Foo Fighters latest CD. Hubby has been a fan of them since they started. I don't mind them. Son LOVES them.

At the check out the teenage boy had the nerve to ask us which one of us the CD was for. I almost said it's for our son. But I didn't. It was for all of us. I like that we all like the same music. So I said, "Well, both of us actually." He clearly looked surprised as if he was expecting us to say it was for a kid. So I looked at hubby and him and said, "Is that OK, do we look that old?!?" He turned red and said, "Umm, no. I guess not."

I guess not?!?

Then we headed to Barnes and Noble. My favorite store of all. On the way to the car with our goody bag I was telling Hubby about this book I had found for Son and that I might even want to read it myself. So I'm telling him what its about. He stops me and says, "Is it (name of book)?" It was! I comment, "So, you've heard of this book?" "Umm, yea, we already have it and the rest of the trilogy at home!" So back into the store to return that one. The checkout clerk (not a teenager) was amused.

So, in one night we found out we were too old to be buying the music we did, and that the book I bought for our son we already have.

When did we become old enough to have a child that was old enough to share our music and reading interests?!?

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Friday, November 9, 2007

Get The Lead Out!!

My son is 9 years old and no longer puts toys in his mouth. So, I could easily look the other way with all the recent headlines regarding lead and other substances being found in toys for children.
But I’m not. And whether you have a child or not, and regardless of how old that child is, you shouldn’t either.

My son has 5 cousins – from toddlers to 8 years old. My Mother and I have NO IDEA what to get them for Holiday Season. You know – that over commercialized, buy-every-toy-to-see-the joy in your child’s face in the wee hours of Christmas morning? The sales and commercials targeting the desires of the little ones? My Mother said all the grandkids are getting gift certificates this year. Wow – how exciting for the little ones to open that and play with that all day!

But that doesn’t solve the problem. Now their parents get to figure out how to spend that certificate. How can we and other Mothers trust the products out there?

We all know the issue of toy safety is out there. But where can we get safe toys? How can we get toys to be safe?

Check out Consumer Union (a nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports).

They are an organization trying to help us sort all this out, while at the same time raising awareness with our government to make toys safe to begin with.

The Parent Bloggers Network is teaming up with Consumers Union to increase awareness. Won't you come join them in their crusade to make toys safe for all children, like it used to be for us when we were growing up?

Cross posted to DC Metro Moms.

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Animal School

Today LawyerMama from DC Metro Moms suggested us "Moms" talk about education. No problem! Who doesn't have something to say about that! As a special education teacher and a parent, surely I can come up with something! Well, I've been staring at this screen for way to long. Should I write about No Child Left Behind and testing? Should I talk about reading? Should I talk about parental involvement? Should I talk about special education or gifted education? What about year-round school? Then I remembered a video a friend sent me a few weeks back. Click on it, and then click the purple box. Sit back, relax, and watch wait. I'll wait for you.....

Makes you think, doesn't it? What animal is your child?

Cross-posted at DC Metro Moms.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Ohhh That Screen

If your house is anything like mine, the screen is always on. We define 'the screen' as TV, PlayStation, computer and movie. It's the never ending battle with "the boys" to turn it off. We've tried rationing the time. X amount of hours per week, X amount of hours per day, only screen time on the weekend. But it's hard to enforce. It's such a motivator (most of the time) and gives parents that 10 minute break to regather the energy our children suck out of us.

Have you ever heard of BOB?

The sister sites I write for, SV Moms Blog and Chicago Moms Blogs are hosting a give away right now. The lucky winner gets a BOB.

The best thing is that you can use it to control more than 1 person in your house. Above, when I mentioned 'the boys' in my house, that included my husband as well as my son. Yup - you can use it on your hubby's too :)

If you want to participate, don't respond here - be sure to click over to The SV Moms Blog or Chicago Mom's Blog site and leave a comment there.

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Monday, November 5, 2007

The Brain Is Coated

So, last Thursday and Friday were pretty rough days over here. Thursday I chalked up to the coming down of Halloween high. But Friday was just as tough. We threatened Military School to fix his attitude. Then around dinner time we noticed his ears were red.

"What have you been eating that you shouldn't have been?" we demanded. He tried giving us a convincing nothing. However, Saturday morning he ran to the bathroom. Didn't quite make it either, with the runs. He couldn't hid it anymore. There was no denying. His stomach was bothering him. His ears were red on and off all night. He finally fessed up. He did eat something that had both gluten and casein in it (wheat and dairy).

Slowly over the course of Saturday we got him back. Sunday he seemed to be back 100%. The glazed look in his eye was gone. He was having give-and-take conversations with us again and not only on topics of his choice.

Last night when I was tucking him into bed I asked him what was going on in his body Thursday and Friday compared to Sunday - how it felt, etc. He responded with something that really made me think. He said, "Mommy, my brain felt like it was coated in something. It just wasn't clear. But then on Saturday afternoon the coating started cracking. And I realized things were getting easier. So I pretended I was a spy person and I tried to crack the code. When the code was all cracked, the coating was gone and my brain was back."

Sometimes it amazed me how much of an effect food does have on his body. But sometimes it amazes me even more how articulate he can be about the whole process.

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Friday, November 2, 2007

The Other Mother

I’m speechless. I have too much to say. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know where to begin. But there is so much to say.

The book was amazing. I almost always read the last chapter when I’m a few chapters in. I like figuring out how it’s all going to end, while knowing the ending. I didn’t with this book. I wanted to rush through it to see how it ended. I didn’t want to rush through it because I didn’t want it to end. I wanted to be down yesterday. I wanted life to keep me from reading it so it would take longer.

Quick summary for those of you who have not heard of this book yet: 2 Mom’s. A SAHM with 3 kids and a Working Home with a newborn. The WM moves in next door right before her baby is born. The WM asks the SAHM to take care of her baby. It doesn’t work out. Instead it opens the door to so many insecurities each has about their decision. It opens up jealousy and competition. It ends their friendship. There are twists and turns I wasn’t expecting. You’ll need to read the book for those details.

Let me back up some. As you know, I also post at DC Metro Moms. We were invited to read Gwendolen Gross’ new book "The Other Mother". I got to exchange emails with her! Our sister site Chicago Moms Blog is having an on-line book club.

In the beginning of the book Thea, the SAHM mentions a neighbor who uses a leaf blower to shovel the snow off his driveway. He also uses a chain saw to weed. If I needed any more convincing of how much I would enjoy the book (which I didn’t BTW) this was it. MY HUSBAND HAS DONE THIS!!!! (But all that is for another post another day.)

As the story continues we truly get to know both Moms. OMG – I loved them both. I hated them both. I wanted to hug them both. I wanted to shake them both. I wanted to crawl into the pages and bang THEIR heads together. There was so much of ME in both of them.

You see, I used to work – full time. Well, most people don’t think teachers work full time – but we do. We pull in way more than 40 hours a week. But then we have 2 weeks off during the year and 8 weeks off in the summer. I always felt I never belonged to either camp. In the summer I would get to hang out with all the SAHM at the pool. But never felt comfortable and that I belonged in their group. I never felt I belonged in the WM camp either. They work till 5 or 6 and also worked throughout the summer. They had to deal with before/after school care and summer camps. I didn’t.

Now I work part-time. Kinda of. I’m doing some in-home behavior therapy for families with children on the Autism Spectrum. I’m hoping to do some home-bound teaching (but no one has gotten expelled yet). I’ve started up my own business, but it hasn’t started yet. I am the happiest I’ve ever been. I have found the right balance, for me, for right now.

But I still don’t ‘fit’ in either camp. I’m still somewhere in that ‘gray’ area. But there is something else I came to terms with sooo long ago. There is no right. There is only what works for you. For my family this works. For my family me teaching worked at the time until it didn’t work. For the 2 Mom’s in the book each works for them. What so many Mom’s don’t realize and/or forget to realize is that there is not a one-size-fits-all for parenting and finding life’s balances. We all have the same goal – to be the best that we can and to raise the best kids that we can. Instead of judging each other for our decisions we should be supporting each other. Being proud that we can all make it work in our own way.

This one is an absolute must read!!! Don't forget to join the discussion over at the Book Club too!!

Thank you Ms. Gross :)

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Friday Haiku

It's that time of month
crankiness and ickiness
cravings and cramping.

Luckily for me
our house has lots of chocolate
it's perfect timing.

Come join the rest of us over at A Mommy Story for some more Haiku fun!

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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Another Letter To Retailers

Dear Retailers,

This is a followup to an earlier request. I was very glad to see that some of you had actually listened to my request and only displayed Halloween items. So, imagine my disappointment when yesterday I went to the grocery store to buy Halloween candy to pass out. I know, I bought it last minute. But, if I had bought it any earlier I would have simply eaten it myself and had to buy again anyways. You had a wonderful display at the front of the store. I grabbed some bags and then wandered into the seasonal aisle to see the rest of the selection.

However, upon turning the corner I came across your stacker's opening boxes and putting items on the shelf. CHRISTMAS items. If you had waited this long to put out Christmas items, couldn't you have waited just 24 more hours till Halloween was actually over?!? Did you really have significant sales of Christmas items yesterday? I know I didn't buy any - I was too busy trying to stock up for the current holidays supplies. But, I bet people are at your store to get Halloween candy on sale and are now ready to think about the next holiday. I bet today you'll get some good sales. But yesterday?!?

I understand Thanksgiving isn't much of a 'lets go out and buy stuff' holiday'. I understand that Christmas is less than 2 months away. But really, couldn't it have waited just another 24 hours?

Still someone who would like to enjoy and get all caught up in the holidays, ONE holiday at a time.

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