About Me

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I am a mother of three boys and one girl, my youngest son Walker is developmentally delayed with no diagnosis, I am divorced and re-married, living life as I never imagined. I may be cynical, but I try to see the world as it is.... no frills but plenty of laughs.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Question to my fellow females

I have often been discribed as a feminist, hell, if you ask my father I am part of the man hating club, but seriously, i have always been one to not be defined by society's gender roles.  But I often wonder if our fore-mothers really did us all a favor by gaining equal rights?  Now, I could certainly get into a whole blog about the inequality still in today's society, but that is not where I wanted this blog to head.

This morning, I drove my older two children to school, picked up the mail, got Walker a haircut, went back to the school for a science presntation and picked up our farm fresh milk all by 10am.  Meanwhile, my husband was home waiting for me to return so that I could transfer some funds into our banking account so that he could go and purchase truck parts.  I then had to call the town clerk to locate my runaway dog and will have to head back out to pay the fines, and pick him up at the local shelter.  I can't help but think... why do I have to do everything?  I can remember my ex husbands grandmother telling me one day, that she felt sorry for our generation of women, because we were not only expected to handle all the house work and original womanly roles, but now we had to also juggle bringing home the bacon. 

So I ask my fellow females, did we do it to ourselves?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What do I want to be when I grow up??

Education was something that I have always enjoyed!  Back to school time makes me sad, when I myself, do not have new notebooks and a backpack full of texts and the excitment of starting new classes and learning new things.  Right after high school I attempted to go to the local community college with the intention of getting my teacher's degree while minoring in pyschology.  After one year I stopped going because it was more important to pay my rent and hang with my boyfriend then make time for school so I got a real job.  Fast track 8 years later, i went through a nasty divorce and really began examininng my future and career choices.  I quite my job and went back to school full time.  I soon learned that the teaching program no longer included the option of minoring in pysch.  So I had to pick another concentration. 

Being a single mom with two children to support I felt pressure to complete my degree and get on with my life.  I couldn't really keep pretending to be a teenager much longer now could I?  I chose history, because I was good at it, it interested me and i really liked most of my professors. Yet, the thought of only teaching history all day really did not excite me. 

In my last year at New Paltz I stumbled upon their Women's studies classes.  My first class was  Queer in the USA taught by Professor Peri Rainbow.  It was the first class at New Paltz that I felt like I fit in, where everyone fit in!  From there I took more and more Women's studies classes, but felt that since i was so close in graduating that I shouldn't change my major. I was a grownup after all!!  I should know what I want to do with my life at this point?? right??? I had intended on returning to New Paltz to get my Masters Degree but now I was torn if teaching was the right fit for me.  Professor Rainbow got me connected with SAFE Homes of Orange County where I was able to intern and really get a hands on experience working with a non-profit advocacy group.  I fell in love!  During the fall after my intenship I had Walker and now fast forward two and a half years later I still haven't decieded what I want to be when I grow up!!  Eventually I am going to have to get a job, eventually I am going to have to make a living.  So I figured that now would be a good time as any to start a Masters program, on line.  But today, my circumstances for returning to work are a lot different.  Today, I have a child with special needs that I want to stay involved with. 

Graduate school is A LOT of $$, but I know that it is something that I want to do, that I must do, for myself.

So.... what shall I do? Just bite the bullet and get started, (it does excite me to start taking classes again) or should I wait until the little ones are both in school and actually find a campus program?  Will that ever really be possible? Is taking more student loans for my higher education a smart move? or will i just be putting us more in debt?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A sunny place to play

Today's take it Tuesday is Snow and Sun. These days we haven't had much snow, but the snow has made some select appearances.  Having two immobile children its hard to take them out and get their vitamin D so i often find sunny places in the house to do our activities.  The other day, the sun coming through our kitchen sliding glass doors gave Walker a great place to play while in his chair. 

Walking in our Neighborhood

After a full week of being shut inside unpacking, organizing and cleaning I felt that the warm weather was a sign that me and the babies needed to get out and get some fresh air. We've been in our new house a full week, and hadn't yet investigated our neighborhood, plus I have this awesome jogging stroller that I seriously need to put some miles on!! So off we set:

We saw cows, met the neighborhood dogs and waved to a few people. It really is interesting what you see when you get out and walk! There was one creapy trailer that had organ music playing "Its a small world after all", so I made a mental note not to let the boys go trick or treating there!
we also discovered a small stream, and some really cool trees.(we get excited over trees in our house!)

I must say that I underestimated the size of the hill!! It was apparent that my one night a week Zumba class just isn't enough!

But the best part was coming down our driveway to see our house, a house that represents new beginnings and feels good to be coming home to!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

One of those days

Today I had the luxury of going to Walmart sands children. Yes, it is a treat!<>So I enjoyed some quality time with myself, lost in coupons and bulk prices, but no matter where I go or what I do to keep my mind busy, i just have those days. Those days are the ones, that my life catches up with me, when I feel like I am outside my body looking in, and wondering how the hell I got here and where the hell I am going. As I was checking out I looked over to one of the benches in front and saw a girl, maybe 13 or so in a wheel chair. She was with two older looking people, I assumed her grandparents. I keep looking at her through my peripheral vision to see if she was able to move the chair herself. If she has use of her arms or had a motorized switch. I took keen interest because I was trying to flash forward Walker at 13. Will he be confined to a wheel chair? Will someone have to push him around for the rest of his life? will that be me?

Like I said.. one of those days.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Back in Black

Every since I can remember I have been clicking away life through the lens of a camera.  My first camera was one of those rectangular 110 with a flash that you had to hold in while taking the picture.  I think I was about 8 and I must have saved up my money to develop the pictures, because I have albums and albums of pictures of various things, oil in the driveway catching light and forming a rainbow (it sounds better than it looked), an empty wine bottle from underneath a glass table, and many, many of my dogs and sisters.

When I got to middle school, i was introduced to black and white photography and I was hooked!! Since then, I have albums and albums of black and white photos of odd things that happen to catch my eye.  After not taking any for several years, I stumbled upon an old manual camera with a telescopic lens at a yard sale for $20!  It was quite a gamble but ended up taking great pictures.

Soon, however it became harder and harder to get my pictures developed, so i had to switch to the digital world and opt for the color options of black and white.

So here is a series that I am going to share, of my black and white photos.  Some old, some new.  I hope you enjoy.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Little goodbyes

This morning I logged on to get my fix of TheCrazyHipBloggers for their Write it out loud blog topic, this week its The hardest words to hear.  My intital thought was to blog about Walker but with the morning chaois i had to walk away and get everyone out the door.  As I pulled up to the school to drop off Mason and Dylan, each said their goodbye and I watched them walk into the building. It hit me then, that the hardest words to hear are just that "goodbye mom".  Today is Friday and I won't see them again to Sunday night.

Being a divorced mom, means that I have to say good bye to my children every week.  Each week I have to let them go and have their time with their father, which also means, their "other life".  They have another home, another family, another bed and another routine.  These goodbyes, don't get a reprieve.  I have to say goodbye to them over the phone, at Christmas and even on birthdays. I have been divorced from their father since Dylan was two, he is now 8 and it never gets easier.  I can't even imagine what it must feel like to them, to have to say goodbye to both their parents each week, to have two lives, two sets of rules, and two families

So as they walked away from me this morning, with those words so hard to hear echoing in my ears, i silently blew them kisses and whispered... "for now".


Input appreciated

I feel like I have been disconnected for an eternity!  Truly I have only been off line for less than one week, but as a stay at home mom with many random voices in my head, blogging is an outlet that I need.  My husband doesn't understand it, in fact, unless you are a blogger or a die hard reader to one, I don't think you would understand!

For me, blogging is a way to get my thoughts down, to organize them and acknowledge them.  I am more than just a stay at home mom, more than a mother of a child with special needs, more than a wife, small business owner and divorcee.  Blogging gives me a voice, whether it is heard or not is immaterial. 

So leave me a comment and tell me why  you blog, or why you read my blog or others.  I'll add your blog to my page so others can view it as well!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sawyer Kisses

Okay, so its not really a kiss yet, but more of a sucking on my face.  I just love that she is now understanding that I am a separate entity and am deserving of affection. I don't get kisses from Walker and my older boys are too cool most days to even give their mamma a hug, so just let me pretend for a little while and soak it all up! 

Toot Toot

I must admit that I have become quite a blogger addict!  Especially since I have been inspired by The CrazyHipBloggers !  Today they are posting a giveaway, courtesy of LooseLipsNY for any blogger to write about what they think is their best feature... it can be a physical trait, a character trait or anything else!

Not one to usually toot my own horn, it took me some time to decide what I could actually blog about.  What part of me I like best on multiple levels.  One that I could recognize without seeming especially vain, or especially deep.  (its way too early for that, I'm only on my 2nd cup of coffee!!)

So Toot, toot... my favorite part of me is my smile.  For several reasons, first when I was a kid I had horrible teeth!  No, really ... my teeth were sticking out in the front like two pieces of chicklet gum!  They were too big for my face and had huge spaces between them.  In the fourth grade I got braces and then was tormented by bi-weekly visits to the orthodontist, had to have oral surgery and was subjected to countless wise cracks about train track teeth until I was  junior in high school  Yes, that is right, do the math.... 7 years!! So my smile these days is my badge of courage for enduring those awkward years.

My smile also represents my attitude on a lot of things: smiles are contagious,or you catch more bees with honey etc.  I try to stay positive. You never know whose day or life you could be impacting. Smiling isn't hard. Please don't think that I am some lolli pop mom, all smiles and giggles, truth be known I can smile and hang the bird simultanously.

My husband tells me that it was my smile that first attracted him to me, and my sister in law calls me Sunny. So I must be doing something right!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Goals and Dreams

Inspired by my new friends over at The Crazy Hip Bloggers who have a weekly challenge to Write out loud! This week's theme is Goals and Dreams for 2010 and even though I am usually not one to follow suite I can't help myself!

This week especially is a great time to outline my goals and dreams for the new year. We are moving this weekend and it will start a new chapter in our life. So here I will out to the universe my Goals and Dreams!

1) make a decision about Grad school
2) have a smooth transition for Walker into Preschool
3) re-ignite my artistic flair
4)pay off that last credit card!!
5)give my husband more sex (he deserves it!!)
6) get back to one on one dates with my older sons

1) to move forward in my grieving process
2) to train Duke not to sleep on my furniture!!
3) to get Walker to a better place either physically, mentally or emotionally

I'm sure that I could list 100 more things on each list but I like to keep things manageable.

So there it is Universe

Our dance

Everyone must have one, that one person that can swoop in and make you question every decision, make tons of emotions from past and present rise up under your skin, make you re-evaluate and replay the entire conversation over and over. Dissecting each statement, searching for hidden meanings both consciously and subconsciously.

After years of therapy, support groups and self help books, I've come to a place that gives me more leeway. This place doesn't prevent me from going through all the motions, but the time spent on it seems to be less and less.

I don't fault this person for invoking these feelings. I know that it is me, who allows him/her power and that they probably have no idea it exists. Hell, my guess is that it is a dance between us and that I as well make him/her side step.

So today, just for this moment, I am embracing this dance, acknowledging it for what it is and knowing that its through love that it has been choreographed.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mommy guilt

Mommy guilt? I have a ton! I am sure not more than the next woman but when I am in my throws of self doubt and kicking myself when I am down, it seems that there isn't one thing that I haven't done wrong.

In the mommy guilt department my number one has to be divorcing my two older children's dad! There are so many components to divorce and mommy guilt has to be one of the biggest! I feel guilty about making them split their time between us two, i feel guilty for staying in the marriage too long that it exposed my older son to a lot of aggression, I feel guilt every time one comes home from school with a project and they have to decide who to give it to.

Then there is the guilt for being a stay at home mom. Yes, you heard me correctly. One would think that working moms have all the guilt but I am here to tell you that is not the case! Being a stay at home mom gives me guilt when dinner isn't homemade, when the house isn't clean, when my son Walker has therapy and I feel that I don't spend enough time with him.

Then there is the global mommy guilt! Disposable diapers, pollution and political decisions that will affect my children's future long after I am no longer on this earth!

I think guilt just comes with the territory any time you care about another being!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Warning: Explicit photographs

No, i am not an exhibitionist, no I never was a go go dancer, but there is just something about the image of my child suckling on my breast that is tender to my heart. Heck, there is something about any child nursing that makes me smile and feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I am not a breastfeeding Nazi... I don't preach to new moms about the benefits of breast milk and ad lib IQ level statistics (I really don't believe them anyways) I view breastfeeding as an extremely personal decision that only the mother can truly make. It is not up to a spouse to put pressure on the women to either bottle feed or breast feed, it is not up to the public to dictate it or the physicians. Making the choice to nurse or not is tough enough without all the societal bullshit that goes with it.

For me, after four children, nursing them is all I know how to do. To me, nursing my child is an intimacy that no one else can give me. Its not a sexual intimacy, its just an extension of my pregnancy and giving my child life.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Clueless in Minisink

This afternoon I attempted to take all four of my children to my nephews swim meet. I figured that this would be a good environment for Walker since it shouldn't be too loud and was indoors. Unfortunately, i forgot all about the acoustics and how magnified everything sounds in the pool area. Needless to say he wasn't too thrilled and I ended up walking with him out in the hall while the other three stayed inside with their aunt. My sister noted that as a woman was walking by Sawyer and saw her sitting quietly she commented "now that's a good baby" It amazes me how clueless and judgmental people are! Although society is becoming more aware of children with autism and other disabilities they still have no clue! Because my son doesn't show any apparent issues, he was looked at as being bad??? I think it would be asking a lot to have any child, be quiet and content at school functions. Isn't the school one area that should accept all children? Where families of all types should feel comfortable?
Should he have to wear a sign stating "loud noises bug me out"? or do we just keep him home?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Fun times at Rothschild High

Tonight at dinner was another fun night of living with divorce issues. My oldest two children are from my first marriage. Our custody agreement has been a never ending battle with my ex and my children. He lives in one school district, while I live in another. From the beginning, it was my school district that was the preferred choice for our children to go to. We have tried to share the children 50/50 as much as possible. Obviously there are times that this is not possible. Currently, the boys stay with me, Sunday night through Thursday night while school is in session and their father gets them every weekend. All my boys see is that they only get to be with dad for two days. What they don't understand is that he gets the down time with them, while I have them only for business.... showers, homework, chores and bed. Sure I could be a mom who lets them stay up as late as they want, not make them do their homework or chores, but I try to have some resemblance of a "normal" childhood and try to be a responsible parent. Last time I checked it was my job as a parent to prepare them to be independent contributors to society... not their friend. But with this responsibility also comes the downside of not always getting the sunny side of my children. Tonight was one of those nights. We mapped out the hours spent with each parent, and my share is 24 hrs a week, while their father has them for 29hrs. I think the hours together is fair, and have kept my mouth shut about the type of time. I tried to get him to do one week on and one week off, but that isn't too plausible since he lives in another district.

Sometimes it sucks being the responsible one. I know that it is hard on my children as well as myself that their parents are divorced. I hate that they have this issue! Yes, it sucks... yes its not fair.... but this is our life....

Monday, January 4, 2010

Goodbye house

In less than two weeks we will be moving. This step has been a roller coaster ride for the last year and I'm am looking forward to finally getting off the ride. The way my brain works is that once I make a decision I set my mind to not look back. I am a full fledge commitment type (which may seem strange since I divorced my ex) however I don't want to cloud all of my memories with this house on negative energy.

Buying this house was the main reason I let down my guard and picked a date to marry Ramiah. We had been engaged but I wasn't 100% sure I wanted to commit again. But, I figured since we were buying a house, he couldn't get rid of my anyways!!

This house was where our family emerged with Kawi, Duke, Walker and Sawyer. And even though it is way too small for us anymore, there are a few points in the house that I will miss.

I will miss the little shelf that is over our staircase in the kitchen which was the perfect spot to put my plants

I will miss the shelves above the kitchen cabinets which afforded me the space to display all of my glass bottle collection

The five minute commute to both my mother's and sister's houses.

Our Sunday breakfast deli, just down the road.

The yellow rose bush Ramiah planted for me for Mother's day.

The perfect rock that we placed by our driveway.

The sneaky side door that only leads the basement but keeps solicitors guessing!

I know we will create new memories and I embrace the change but for the next week or so, I will pay my respects to our little house.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Pattern of change

I've never been one for New Years resolutions. I've always thought that if you want to change something you just do it, don't wait until a specific day to make that change. Plus, I've always danced to my own drummer, not wanting to get involved in the whole "resolution" hoopla. But looking back throughout my life I realized that there has been a pattern of dates that I inadvertently made huge decisions on. They weren't planned, but interestingly enough they all fall on the 15th of the month.

January 15th 2003 - left my first husband - running scared for my life!
November 15th 2005 - quit smoking
July 15th 2006 - became engaged to Ramiah (love of my life and best friend!)
And now January 15th 2010 we will be moving into our next home.

So I'm happy to say that instead of just having one day a year to make changes, I get 12!!