Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wasted time?

Its 9PM, the boys are sound asleep and here I sit at my computer….. I just wrote a note to 10YO in his “after school instruction notebook.” This is the notebook I leave sitting at the front door outlining the responsibilities he must take care of before I get home from work. Usually it reads something like:

Dear 10YO,
I hope your day was a good one! Fix yourself a snack and get started on your homework. When your homework is done make sure you
1-take the trash out
2- empty the dishwasher
3-dirty dishes into washer
4-make sure your room is straightened up
Remember, soccer tonight! Be dressed and ready to go when I get home in 45 minutes!
Love you tons,

I had a visit with a dear friend this afternoon and here is the letter I just composed:

Dear 10YO,
I hope you had a good day! Fix a snack and don’t start on your homework before I get home. Sit and do nothing if you want….stare at the ceiling even but enjoy it whatever you choose! If you would rather read –go ahead…. Whatever you want to do. I will figure out your chores when I get home, until then enjoy the time to yourself. Do what you want –just veg out and relax, we will take care of all the boring stuff later.
I set out your soccer stuff if you want to change before I get home.
I love you ,

While venting to my friend about how I got home from work yesterday and 10YO's homework and chores were not done. I was about to begin a rant when she stopped dead in her tracks and exclaimed “WHAT?! HOW HORRIBLE! Oh my gosh HE’S a KID! Let him zone out –let him do absolutely nothing –stare at the ceiling if he wants but he needs to unwind after school!”

I took a step back and tried to register whether the problem was that he did -or did not do the chores…. She was talking so fast and so loud- I had a hard time comprehending her words. Finally it started to register…. I was being insensitive to my childs natural tendencies! She went on to say how she was a big believer in kids needing time after school to relax. She explained how after being told what to do all day he should be allowed to come home and relax before starting into the rigors of responsibilities….. Needless to say, after about five minutes I was shocked at myself for being so insensitive to his needs as a child. That’s right... he is after all –A CHILD! He is a good one at that. He knows responsibility; he works hard, and obeys….. He is not an unruly –out of control spoiled brat. My extremely wise friend suggested I make a new rule –no homework or chores until I get home.

It was extremely difficult to “let go” of him being productive and accomplishing tasks all day. However, as soon as her words resonated, it was simple to see the situation through her eyes and say to myself “Oh my gosh –she’s so right.”

It’s a precious thing when you are connected to someone in such a way that they say exactly what you need to hear when you need to hear it….. and they don’t even mean to.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

All grown up...

Okay, not really -but look!!

Oh yeah, they are home -safe and sound. I will post something from their homecoming last week -I am behind, it's been a whirlwind around here!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Bird's Nest

I tried it..... it's not as easy as it looks
-or I just lack the grace and discipline to pull off such a pose

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mr. BrightSide

It has been 28 days since I hugged my boys good-bye and watched as the person I trust the least with their physical and emotional well being, drove away with them in the backseat. Twenty eight days they have been away and 16 until they return!

Whoa, wait....only 16 more days of having NY all to myself?

I was looking ahead to the boys' return and was shocked when I realized that we are past the half way mark. Now that we are in the home stretch, I felt a twinge of consternation -just a twinge..... less than a bit but more than none at all!

It's just that my time alone with NY is normally pretty rare. Because of location, I only get him on the weekends to begin with and we have either 4 boys or 2 -but never zero! And even though we get a babysitter for my kids, one dinner every other week is scant... cherished yet scant. Gone are the days of dropping off the boys to my parents for a night or two and escaping for a long weekend full of belly laughs and this smile.....

(I love that smile, and the laugh? Even more!)

So I guess what I am saying is that even though I miss and worry about my boys, I absolutely love the time that NY and I have alone together.

No play dates, baseball practice, or birthday parties to interrupt our Sunday mornings. We have the freedom to decide at 11pm that we should venture out in search of an open restaurant knowing that we won't find one but sure we will have fun cruising around none the less. We can go to a nice restaurant, share wine, and have an uninterrupted conversation without worrying about the time and having to get the babysitter home. We can make inappropriate jokes without hesitation or consideration for little ears -but for the record, that is NY's territory.... We can work on the house for 12 hours without a fight breaking out in the living room or the kitchen catching on fire because of the rugrats scavenging for food.

The last 28 days we have been:

a little absurd

maybe sentimental

(okay, maybe not -we're too busy laughing)

a tad PMS-ish -that's typically my territory...except when NY is paddling, he gets a tad moody as well :)

(and I must say, even when I am crazy hormonal and emotional, NY can talk me down -or at least gets me to crack a smile)


full of laughs


and sometimes, just plain stupid.....

(alright, alright -alot of plain stupidity.....that's our specialty ok?)

we have been all these things together -ALONE! and it has been delightful.

If the boys have to spend 45 days in OH, I can't imagine a better way to spend my time while awaiting their return!

Although I'm looking forward to summer coming to a close, I think I am okay with a little loitering along the way!


Thursday, July 23, 2009


My 6YO is one of those kids who does not seem physically afraid of anything. He is not one of those kids who shrieks and pulls away when an over anxious dog rushes him and he won't jump away when a snake slithers out of the brush. No, he is one of those kids who seems to think fear is a weakness so even if he was afraid, he would never show it.....

Except when it comes to BEES! As soon as he hears the "buzzzzz" he freaks. A giant boa constrictor? Bring it on!! But a tiny fuzzy bee? No place is safe!

He is terrified of bees. I think it goes back to when he was 18 months old and he was stung by two bees, one after the other. The first right smack dab in the middle of his forehead and the other on his temple. I remember that day. We were at 10YO's soccer game and the fields were swarming with bumble bees. When he got stung, he cried and I watched as his forehead and temple swelled to the size of a walnut and then I did what any mother would do... I took pictures, yep that's right, I took a few shots before I put the camera down to comfort him.
And that was the beginning of a phobia.... My baby got stung by two huge bumble bees and I took pictures of his wounds. How sick is that?
Anyway, he just hasn't been the same since... Poor kid.
But despite his fear of bees and my cold hearted reaction to this (very legitamate) fear of his -he still manages to fake a smile for me!

Oh how I miss that smile!

I think when they get home from thier dad's I will put the camera away for awhile -ok, maybe just a day or two. Experiances like that are character builders, right?

Days until the next character building opportunity:


Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Background: After 23 days and attempting to lessen the feelings of loss that seem to be growing with each passing day, I decided to distract myself with photos. I have hundreds of photos stored various places documenting the numerous activities that took place the weeks prior to the boys departing. So, I will post some of my favorites...

Find what's unusual with this photo....

It's not blatantly obvious.

Hint: Look at the shot below.....
(The 2nd baseman in the bright blue jersey is my 10YO )

Now look at #1 one again.....

Okay, give up? Here is a clue.

10YO and I nicknamed the kid in photo #1 "gigantor" or "humongousaurus" Does that help?

Let's be clear though, we speak at of the utmost respect, we are not making fun of this boy -who happens to be an INCREDIBLE baseball player by the way.

Actually, my boy and I are kind of envious. See, I am 5'2 and my ex maybe 5'9.... so 10YO is destined to be little.

Ahh well, that's it for my evening photo reflection from a June baseball game.... I had to laugh when I came across the photo and thought I would share.
Please don't think less of me.

22 days!

Monday, July 20, 2009


24 Days and Counting

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Fortune....

Went to my favorite Chinese restaurant with my most cherished companion the other night, this was my fortune...

"Your deeds speak so much louder than another's words."
I hope this holds true even when the words are spoken by a charming and convincing sociopath who showers you with gifts and lets you do things your other parent always says "NO WAY" to.....

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


It's way too quiet. Too quiet here -in this house- and on the phone with my 10YO.

Something is not right. All I get are one word answers but worse than that is his voice -it's horrible, just horrible. I talk to them at bedtime everyday and each day he has sounded worse than the day before.

Now I know that my wise and level headed better half would tell me "he's fine. Things are different and he's just getting used to it- give him a week or so." Which means he's thinking "she's a little paranoid and a lot over protective. She has to let it go and stop reading into things."

But the thing is, I know my kids -especially that kid. I can read him with my eyes closed. Something didn't necessarily happen, but something is bothering him. He is the type of kid whose feelings get hurt if the lifeguard tells him to stop running at the pool, so obviously he is extremely sensitive and very prone to worrying about the smallest things.
I know something is off, he is worried about something; everything in me tells me so. Not only do I hear it in his voice and in his words -or lack thereof- but I feel it. Everything inside of me tells me so and I can't get the kid on the phone without someone (his dad) hovering over his every word.....

And they have only been gone one week.... one week today, actually -not that I'm keeping track or anything.
I am so distracted I can't even focus MJ's memorial -you know the important stuff.

But 6YO was much more enthusiastic , wide awake, and responsive tonight despite having a "sugar-less day" as punishment for yesterday's crime..... Gee imagine that, no sugar and the kid is more lively and energetic -maybe someone should explain a sugar/caffeine crash to dad's girlfriend or the creator/enforcer of the brilliant "sugar-less day" punishment.....
"Talk me down man, TALK - ME - DOWN...."

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Last week was the last day of school. Lots and lots going on the last few weeks....
Baseball -Lots of Baseball!


Open Houses


S.E. Annual School Play -Koi and the Kola Nuts


Puddle Jumping


Play Dates


Strawberry Picking


A Trip To Fire Island


A Farewell Party


And Then... They Were Gone For The Summer

They left with their father last night and won't be back until August 13th, so now it's quiet.

I went from crazy busy to -well, nothing, nothing except this:

You know when you have a stomach bug and are laid up on the couch, and after three hours of nausea all of a sudden instinctually you know you had better get to the bathroom FAST only to make it to the toilet just in time to hurl? That's the feeling I have about this visit.

Something is off, something is not right....

and I hope it's this gut feeling I have!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Just in case....

6YO had a play-date at a classmate's today. This is what was said when we were leaving, this can't be a good sign....

Classmate's Mom- "Bye, thanks for coming over!"
6YO- "Bye, see you tomorrow."
Me- waiting.....waiting then I whisper "What do you say?"
6YO- "Oh yeah, SORRY!"
Hmmmmmm, interesting.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Morning Person

Morning person, I am not! Everyone who knows me understands that I hate getting out of bed in the morning -almost as much as I hate matching up socks or double dipping (ok, not as much as double dipping but alot.) It's not that I don't get out of bed, I will when I have to -but I don't like it, so I make sure anyone who has the nerve to talk to me before 11AM understands that and learns not to ever, EVER do it again! I can pretty much fall asleep anywhere, anytime -EXCEPT when I am in a bed before 3AM; so when I finally do fall asleep and stay that way, I do not particularly enjoy opening my eyes and leaving my comfortable warm cocoon. My body just does not cooperate with the whole morning concept....

BUT, my 10YO? He can wake up and climb out of bed inside of a minute and both before 7AM -on his own! I know -it's just not right!

So, at 8:30 on Saturday morning after I had been asleep for a a whole three hours, 10YO walks into my room. He was cleaning his hamster's cage and was holding a cardboard toilet paper roll. He walks over to my side of the bed.

10YO: "Mom?" he says and points to the leftover glue marks on the cardboard roll, "can this hurt my hamster if I put it in her cage and she eats it?"

Me: I open one eye, roll over, and then wonder how much effort it would take to launch a pillow at his head "Huh? What? No Alex, it's fine."

Then, he actually approaches my side of the bed!

10YO: "But what if she chews it or licks it or...." he holds the roll in front of my face just in case I have never seen one in real life before...

Me: Irritated, I sit up, grab the toilet paper roll out of his hands, and lick it -from top to bottom- then hand it back to him. "No Alex, see? It's fine!" I lay back down and pull the covers up to my chin.

10YO: As he's walking towards the door, he looks down at the cardboard in his hand with a look of hesitant satisfaction and turns towards me and says, "Um Mom, just to tell you..... I couldn't find an empty toilet paper roll," -then a pause for dramatic effect- "so I had to dig this one out of the trash can....."

Me: "Which trash can?" (as if it really mattered)

Guess which trash can. Either the kitchen trash can with all of the used hamster shavings or the bathroom can with everything else?

Yep, the bathroom trash can..... the one where the booger filled tissues, used Q-Tips, used dental floss, and band-aids stained with dried body fluids end up at the end of the day.....

NY and 10YO had a laugh, they thought it was just hilarious.

NY: "ha ha ha, that's perfect..... you're freaked out by double dipping and you just licked that.... hahaha.."

I let them have their laugh, but what they're not thinking about is how I am the cleaner of the bathroom which also makes me the keeper of the toothbrushes, their toothbrushes..... And let's just say that I have not always been exactly trustworthy when it comes to other peoples brushes.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

My Prayer- Unedited (And I Don't Really Care)

Dear God,

Thank you for Adam, Alex, Luke and Gary. Thank you for my mom, dad, Shane & Ally. Thank you for the many souls who have touched my life and helped me along the way, and for those whose impact I have not yet realized.

Please God, please take all of the grace you may be granting me and bless Jimmy with it. Forget all of the prayers I have offered on my own behalf and put that love towards Jimmy. I’m good, God. I can manage. If you have to, leave me and tend to him. I have lived a lot. I have experienced more. I have married, birthed children, lost unborn children, and found myself along the way. I have lived success in a career, and been lucky enough to have the security to walk away from it and raise my children. I have loved and been loved. I have laughed and felt moments of ‘no worries.’ I have encountered souls that have filled me with more love than I will ever be able to give back. I have been hurt, and hurt others. I have had my heart destroyed by someone I trusted and had faith in and then nursed back to health by someone who had faith in me.

I am young, but Jimmy? He has so much to experience. He is being cheated God and YOU KNOW IT! He has felt pain no one should have to bare. He has faced his mortality and wondered what will follow. He has watched from a distance as his friends live moments he knows he may never experience; traveling for spring break, going to college, living on campus, and even taking a job. I mean really God? Most kids his age look forward to dollar a beer night and the start of the Buckeyes football season. Not Jimmy. No God, he looks forward to driving again after the seizures stole his ability to do so. He is excited to resume the courses that he had to put off because he was trapped in his body for months while nobody at the James Center could figure out why he was suddenly loosing his motor skills, then his speech, then his ability to swallow. Most kids his age are self conscience about the beater they have to drive around in order to be able to afford to live on campus or the freshman fifteen that has landed on their backside. No, not Jimmy! He is self conscience of all the scars that cris cross back, forth and around again through his thick dark hair from the half dozen or so times he has had his skull cracked open in the last five years…. He is overly aware of the round shape his face has taken on thanks to all of the cancer meds -that hey -seem to be working real f@&*ing well.

Most kids his age worry over the final the next morning. Jimmy worries whether he will SEE the morning. Twenty-somethings look forward to their future and wonder what it will bring. Jimmy looks forward to his future as well, the end of his pain –OH WAIT…. Would that be his death?

It’s just not right. It’s not fair that he is suffering and has been for so long. It is mean and hateful that You could rob him of experiencing all the treasures this incredible planet has to offer and all of the emotions that come with living. Why does he have to carry the burden of something so horribly painful and frightening when he should be living the best days of his life?

I know I am still young. I know I have a lot I have not yet experienced. But God, I've still lived more than Jimmy has and I feel like he is getting short changed and I just don’t understand. Please God, I have asked for strength. I have asked for help to forgive those who have hurt me and the ability to truly let go. I have begged for guidance to become a better mother, a more attentive partner, a supportive friend, a present sister, and a worthy daughter. TAKE ALL OF IT! Take all of the energy and love you are using up on me and give it to him.

It’s just not fair. I don’t understand. Please, please, please! I mean really, you gave me a miracle when I was undeserving, unappreciative, and incapable; can’t you please give Jimmy his? And if you are saving up another one for me, I don’t want it….I DON”T WANT IT, he needs it, HE DESERVES IT!

I have witnessed others suffer the sudden loss of a child, a family member to a tragic accident, and even a friend loose his 31 year old high school sweet heart to lung cancer. I was incredibly sad and horrified in each case, thinking of the pain their loved ones were going through in dealing with their untimely deaths. But this God? I am feeling this one in different way -a bigger way. I hurt inside for this boy. Not as a family member, friend, or parent would hurt…. Not as someone with a connection to the boy, I can’t put my finger on it –or maybe I just can’t put it into words. It’s a darkness that is constant. A feeling of dread, of total repulsion. But this is wrong, God. It can’t possibly be right, it just can’t be.

Please give it to him, please. I know you can, I have been on the receiving end and I know you can do it if you really want to. I don’t know whether or not I deserved any miracles, but I do know that I am IN NO WAY more deserving than that boy who is lying in a hospital bed on life support right now….. two days after his 22 birthday.

A year ago, after months of the poor kid being a prisoner in his own body, I prayed for his peace. I prayed for you to end his pain and to just take him. And then finally, after keeping the James Cancer Center doctors perplexed for months, they tweak a shunt this way or that and DONE! THAT’S IT, problem solved –P-O-W released??!!! One day before his 21st birthday, you sent him home to relearn instinctive movements and get his hopes all high, that he can begin to look ahead to dreams of driving again, of being able to see without an eye patch???!!!! Why did you even bother? To string him along for another year?
What, were you thinking..... “You were sick, you had cancer, you went through pain, torture, let’s just say ……HELL, but I let them get it, the surgery got it, the chemo killed anything that may have been left of it it, and the shunt manages the damage that was done when they went in after it! Go learn how to walk, talk, and see again. Start to feel better –normal even- and maybe look forward to leaving the house for something other than a doctors appointment one day! But hey! Don't make any plans for this time next year, ok?…….”

I just don’t understand, I JUST- DON'T - GET -IT…. Come on, please? Make him healthy. Let him know the joys I have been lucky enough to know….



That’s all. My eyes burn , the sun is coming up, and I don’t think there is anything else much to say….. AMEN

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Favor on Jimmy's Birthday

I need a favor.

My little sister has a friend, a good friend who has struggled many years with cancer, brain cancer to be exact. In and out of the hospital, chemo, surgeries, shunts, ventilators, etc etc.... the kid is only 22 TODAY. He has had some close calls -really close calls. We thought we had lost him around this time last year, but miraculously he 'snapped out of it.' I had my church group praying for him last year and as months passed, the request went from praying for Jimmy to praying for those who love Jimmy and a peaceful passing -that's how close of a call it was. My sister just told me that he is back in the hospital, unconscious and looking very grimm. He had some issues with a shunt and went in on Memorial Day. It looks like lymphoma and he is on life support.

The thing is that this kid is incredible. He is truly a 'nice' kid. Out of all the kids my little sister and brother have introduced me to, he is the only one that really strikes me. I have begged my little sister to just accept the fact that they will one day be wed! He is a nice kid, really -I am not just saying that. He is young and he has already been through so much, more than anyone should have to go through. He has missed out on so many things kids his age experience and it is just not fair! He deserves a long, happy, healthy life and the world deserves Jimmy, we certainly have not had enough of him yet!

He needs prayers. So please, anyone stopping by please say a prayer for Jimmy today, tomorrow, and the next day if you would be so kind!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Have you ever noticed that the natural order of things seem to override any plans we have for ourselves?

The weekend started out questionable. My truck started making a horrible noise and it ended up in the shop...ALL WEEKEND. Usually I absolutely freak when anything happens to my truck, I cry and say "but what am I going to dooooooo!? it's so much money that I don't have....... How am I going to get anywherrrre?" this time was different, this time I was alright. Even though I my dad isn't here to give me a ride into work or to provide an extra car to drive while mine gets repaired.... emotionally I handled it alright.

Despite my trucks betrayal, I was still able to enjoy the beautiful weather and the long weekend. NY and I decided to try out a 'ropes course' that just opened at the local ski area. It is officially defined as "an aerial forest rope course consisting of platforms that have been installed in the trees with ropes and cables connecting them to form "a bridge". The objective is to move from tree platform to tree platform walking over the different secured bridges to complete the course. There are some small scale zip-lines throughout the eight different courses. Each course will have a different degree of difficulty." For me, this definition seemed accurate.... for NY however it should have read "an aerial death trap consisting of tiny platforms (large enough for only half of a leg and maybe an elbow) installed in the trees with ropes and cables that will slice multiple layers of skin off your extremities should you brush against them while plummeting off the wooden plank the size of a stick of butter and suspended 60 feet in the trees. The objective is to lumber from tree to tree, fall off several platforms, and leave severe bruising, bloody scrapes and walk away with a limp and in need of a peroxide bath. There are some small scale zip-lines that you will complete with great tact however it will not provide nearly enough entertainment for your agile, graceful, and sweet girlfriend who loves you very much and does not take pleasure in your pain despite her uncontrollable fits of laughter."

I have to confess, I felt a teeny weeny bit of satisfaction over my ability and in the ease I felt completing the course while NY struggled. I know that my size (5'2) provided my edge but I have to boast because usually I am not the picture of grace -not even close! And NY- well he is -in most cases. I really wish I would have had a camera, I laughed so hard I cried and I have never done that before- I usually just snort. We had a great time and even went out for dinner and a drink -just the two of us.

The rest of the weekend was spent hiking. NY was our drill sergeant. Every time we turned around he was packing for a hike..... I complained because one departure was made during a "sun shower" you know the opposite of a cloud shower? NY made us go anyway because I guess sun showers are not as bad as the cloud kind......

6YO took this picture and made them say "Monkeeeeeey"

This shot proves that men can get lost even when following a marked trail.

10&6YO taking their own picture at the top of Mt Everett.

The rock sculpture at the top of Mt. Everett.

10YO asked NY if he could put a couple of rocks in his backpack to take home for our own rock sculptures. NY agreed before he saw the rocks.....

After hiking we went into town for a late lunch and made a pit stop at the toy store!

And finally .....LUNCH - because it would make too much sense to take a picnic lunch on our hike....

So despite my truck issue, I came out of the weekend feeling relaxed and very content. I got a lot of stuff done around the house, enjoyed the fresh air, watched 10YO play a kick ass baseball game, spent some quality time with NY, But...... you know that balance thing? Well I should have known things were going too well. Emails from my ex were waiting for me this morning....

I hate emails from my EX -almost as much as I hate matching socks..... maybe even more!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Only Child

Well for one night anyway!

10YO spent the night at a friends' so it was just me and the 6YO. After we finished his reptile diorama (photos coming soon!) this is what we did.....

He almost looks happy doesn't he?

**This childhood memory made possible by the giant oak(?) tree and good old fashioned country environment**