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Saturday, September 6, 2008

A letter to my daughters

A friend of mine is having some problems with one of her children and she and I have had endless discussions about what to do and what not to do. I realized during one of our recent conversations that we often dont let our kids know our feelings about them and about other difficult subjects. We assume they know our thoughts on lifes difficult subjects but kids arent usually tuned into our mind powers, sometimes it needs to be said out loud. Sometimes over and over again.

We think that after a certain point we have established the rules and we expect that they know what they are and should follow them. The problem is with outside influences they sometimes lose sight of our moral values and goals and start to see their friends values as way more fun.

So I decided to write a letter to my daughters so they know how I feel.

Dear Beautiful Amazing Girls,

I love you with all my heart. I know that you know that but what I want you to know is that you will never know how much I love you until you are lucky enough to have children of your own. Sure you think you have experienced love either with us or others but the love of a parent to a child is unimaginable. It would be like if you never tasted ice cream. How could you explain that to someone who never had it? They might think they get it but never until they tasted it. That is what motherhood is like. Until you know the love of your own child you could never understand it.

I know that and that is why it doesnt hurt that bad when you hate me for things that I know are good for you and you think are bad. I wish you understood better but I know you cant. That is not how it works. You will understand someday and then you will worship the ground I walk on. Ok maybe not but you will understand why I made some of the decisions I did.

I know the decisions I have made have not always been popular ones. I know that some of the other kids are able to do more than you and you resent me for that. That is ok. I never set out to be the most popular parent. I thought I wanted our house to be the one that everyone wanted to come to but I realized that in order to be THAT house there were things I would have had to overlook and I couldnt do that. It went against my beliefs and my morals. It may be ok for the other kids but for you... I want more for you than that.

I have always wanted only the best for you. From the day you were born I had goals and plans for you. I wanted you only to experience true happiness in everything you do. And I mean that with all my heart. If you came to me and said Mom I really want to be a window washer I would say If that makes you happy be the best window washer you can be. And when you are happy I am happy.

The thing that always hurt the worst was watching you go through things that I wished I could have stopped before it hurt you. Sometimes I had gone through it and sometimes not but I could never tell you of my pain and suffering and expect you to not make those same mistakes. That is not how it works. Everyone has to make their own mistakes and as a parent that is the most painful thing to watch.

I let you make decisions for yourself early on so you would understand the consequences of decisions. I always let you choose your haircut or your hair color. If it came out wrong the lesson was hey its not so bad, hair grows back, it can be fixed. Some decisions could not be easily fixed and those are the ones I tried to guide you more on.

I never ever wanted you to hate me or misunderstand my ideas. But it happens. I loved you enough to hate people that I knew were not good enough for you to be with. Perhaps you didnt agree, maybe you still dont but in the end I think you will be happier that you finally came to the decision that you did. Life is hard enough without dead weight dragging you down.

I worry about your safety all the time and that is why I insist that you call or check in. I worry that without me to remind you of what is a good decision and what is a bad decision you will make a decision that I cant help you fix and that may change your life forever in a way that is sad and tragic and stops you from being the amazing person I know you can be.

I dont believe in underage drinking. I dont believe you have to drink to have fun. I dont believe every teenager has to drink to experience what teenagerhood is like. I believe we can openly discuss things. I believe I am reasonable enough most of the time to understand why we differ on certain things. I believe I might be wrong about this but I believe I am willing to change to make it better.

All I ever dream of for you is a lifetime of love and happiness that I have experienced with your father. A man who would lay down his life for me and for you and would do anything to make sure there is food on the table and clothes on your back. It is out there for you, you just need to look hard and not settle for less than that.

Of course I wish we had more money to spend on you all but the division of resources can only go so far. I do what I can and I hope you know that whatever you need I will try my hardest to make happen. I would love to get you all new cars and pay for college but that isnt how things worked out. I will help you but I am proud of how you have taken care of yourselves and how you are learning to be way more responsible with your money than I was at any of your ages.

The people you choose as your friends define you as well. Surround yourself with people you want to travel through life with. People that want the same things as you and are willing to sacrifice to get it. You will have many friends in your lifetime for different reasons but your sisters will always be there for you. Get to know them, each of them. I know you all individually and I am amazed how much depth there is that you may not know about the others. They will be all you have when Daddy and I are gone and you should know that a sister will always understand your pain and always want whats best for you. At least that is how it should be.

Just so you know... I am against abortion for myself but I will fight to the death for your right to choose. I believe that family always comes first and I would fight to the death to protect our own. Your safety is my number one concern and with everything I have I will never stop worrying and giving my unwanted advice to make you safe.I believe that all people are created equal and even though I make inappropriate horrible jokes from time to time I am not prejudice. I would love and accept anyone you brought into this house that made you happy and helped you to become the best YOU you could be. If I see that someone stops you from being the person you can be and brings you down or makes you something you are not I will never stop trying to change that. I believe that this country should be open to new immigrants, really that is how we all got here. I dont believe in cursing and I apologize for the times when you heard me say words that were bad. I believe in education for the sake of learning, nothing more. I dont really care about grades, I just care about knowledge. There is a huge difference.

I admire you all for your strengths and your weaknesses. I love you for what makes you YOU and what has made you that since the day you were born. I shut my mouth when I can when I think you dont want to hear me but I sit up nights wondering and hoping that you know what your life means to me and how your presence in it makes me the person I am today.

I think that each one of you is on a path that will make you into even more wonderful people. I think that with a little luck and lots of effort you will have successful, happy lives whatever you choose that to be. I wish I was a part of your everyday life and I wish I could keep you close forever. But that is not how nature works. And that is not really how I want it. I want you to be independent.

I just want you to know that you are always welcome in this home. Wherever I go our home will be open to you and yours. And I hope that when you are all grown and gone we will be together on holidays and happy events but I will not be upset if you have other obligations. I will always miss you and I will always want you. Never forget that.

You were all born into a family of love and hope and joy. We are all still like that. We will be annoying, and we will be pains in the neck but we enjoy our time together. I wish it was more often but I treasure each moment.

And so my beautiful girls, you can make fun of me for this letter, I am ok with that. I love you with every ounce of my being and your happiness is my number one concern. I am always here to listen and I am always here for advice. I think about you every minute of every day when I am with you and when I am not. Make good decisions, you never know which ones are the important ones and which ones can be the last you ever make.

The life I want for you is out there and I will always be here routing you on, picking up the pieces if you fall and dusting you off and telling you to get back out there. Life is all about small moments, a collection of them and like they say... life is not the train station its all about the trip. Make yours memorable. I know you have made mine that way.

I love you
Love Mom


Yes, I have changed my template to Dragonflies and there is a reason. I dont know how much of it I can tell without getting too emotional so I may quit halfway.

Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a little colony of water bugs. They were a happy colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they were very busy, scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the pond. They did notice that every once in awhile one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about. Clinging to the stem of a pond lily it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more.
"Look!" said one of the water bugs to another. "one of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk. Where do you think she is going?" Up, up, up it slowly went....Even as they watched, the water bug disappeared from sight. Its friends waited and waited but it didn't return...

"That's funny!" said one water bug to another. "Wasn't she happy here?" asked a second... "Where do you suppose she went?" wondered a third. No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled. Finally one of the water bugs, a leader in the colony, gathered its friends together. "I have an idea". "The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell us where he or she went and why."
"We promise", they said solemnly.

One spring day, not long after, the very water bug who had suggested the plan found himself climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up, up, he went. Before he knew what was happening, he had broke through the surface of the water and fallen onto the broad, green lily pad above.

When he awoke, he looked about with surprise. He couldn't believe what he saw. A startling change had come to his old body. His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail. Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings...The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from the new body.

He moved his wings again and suddenly found himself up above the water. He had become a dragonfly!!

Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere. By and by the new dragonfly lighted happily on a lily pad to rest. Then it was that he chanced to look below to the bottom of the pond. Why, he was right above his old friends, the water bugs! There they were scurrying around, just as he had been doing some time before.

The dragonfly remembered the promise: "the next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk will come back and tell where he or she went and why." Without thinking, the dragonfly darted down. Suddenly he hit the surface of the water and bounced away. Now that he was a dragonfly, he could no longer go into the water...

"I can't return!" he said in dismay. "At least, I tried. But I can't keep my promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the water bugs would know me in my new body. I guess I'll just have to wait until they become dragonflies too. Then they'll understand what has happened to me, and where I went."

And the dragonfly winged off happily into it's wonderful new world of sun and air.......

So that is the story of the dragonfly and it has helped my sister in law get through some of the most painful moments of her life.

My sister in law is the baby of 5, all the four above her boys. She is the baby and the only girl. We always wondered what kind of man she would marry. Who could ever fit in with the mix of brothers she had?

And then she met Jeff. He walked into the family like he had always been here. Just another one of the brothers. And yet just as easily an "outlaw" with the wives of the brothers. He treated my sister in law like a princess. He cooked and cleaned and when their son was born became the dad that all kids wish for.

He loved being a dad and he loved being a husband. He was up for anything. He fished, he drank, he was a good ol boy from Massachussetts. I know that doesnt make sense but just go with it.

They moved back to Long Island and bought a house near the rest of the family in the Hamptons. He built a chicken coop in the backyard and ordered baby chicks that he raised. He was your perfect neighbor always offering to lend a hand and making friends with everyone he ever met.

In September of 2004 he was in his work truck and someone ran a stop sign and hit him. He was hurt. He had ruptured 2 discs in his back and spent months getting steroid shots, going for physical therapy and taking drugs that never worked.

Finally the pain was just too much to bear. He saw a doctor who recommended surgery. He couldnt work, he couldnt move and he could not take the pain. And let me just add that this guy could cut off his own finger and then play an entire football game. He was not a wuss. He was a big, strong guy and the pain was killing him.

We picked up their son Ryeguy from their house on a Monday. Hubby said the pain in Jeffs face was unbearable and he was glad he was finally having surgery to fix it. They checked into the hospital on Tuesday morning and he had surgery at around 8am.

He was supposed to come home the same day. He came out of the surgery in such excrutiating pain it was unbearable. My sister in law came over and was crying and saying this isnt right. My mother who had had the same surgery just 20 years earlier said No I felt that awful too, It takes time.

Jeff wanted to stay in the hospital. The nurses wanted him to get up, walk around, drink a ginger ale, eat a jello, pee and then go home. Jeff couldnt get up. The doctor spoke to him on the phone and said you have to get up. Jeff said I cant, the pain is unbearable. The doctor said Fine stay in bed, get a blood clot and die and he hung up.

The nurses said Jeff must have been a vicodan addict because the pain killers werent working. Jeff said I never took the vicodan because it never worked for me. She said yeah sure, you're a drug addict and we arent giving you anything else. He was slowly dying and being tortured the whole time.

Wednesday comes and he is not feeling any better and they tell him he has to go home the insurance wont pay and he still cannot walk. So my sister in law calls the doctor from my house and finds out the doctor who did the surgery is on vacation and his brother is on call. He will be fine the doctor says. He needs to get up. He cant says my sister in law. He has no choice says dr. killer.

So my sister in law returns to the hospital to find that they have packed Jeffs bags and checked him out of the hospital. She can barely make it to the car with him and calls ahead for her cousin to meet her at home so they can get him out of the car.

They live an hour away from the hospital. I tell her we will keep Ryeguy so she can get Jeff settled and we will bring him home later or tomorrow. She half argues but thank god finally agrees.

On the way home Jeff feels sick, he wants to throw up, he cant breathe. She figures it is the anesthesia and he just needs to get home and rest in his own bed.

They are not in the door for more than 2 minutes and he collapses in the front hallway. They call 911 who is there immediately and they take him away in an ambulance.

But he is already gone. A blood clot, lots of blood clots to the lungs and brain. Blood clots that had been building since the surgery. Blood clots that took away a father who wanted to be there for little league, for school events. A husband who wanted to take care of his princess, and give her more little children to love.

Hubby got a call while I was shopping at BJs that Jeff had collapsed. He got in the car and headed to the hospital. He got another call in the car that he had passed. Kaka his sister asked him to please go in and say goodbye for her. He did. And then he called me.

Hey whats up I say? Um Jeff passed away a little while ago. No Hubby No I collapse to the wall. I have Ryeguy in the tub and it takes every ounce of strength I have to keep it together for him. But somehow I look into the face of that beautiful boy and I say no honey everything is fine, because I just want him to have one more peaceful night of sleep before his life is turned upside down.

Was it preventable? The judges and lawyers said no. I say maybe. Maybe if the hospital has paid attention to a man who was crying out in pain. Maybe there was nothing that could be done but the last moments of his life did not have to be in such torment and despair. All that was needed was a little compassion, a little understanding.

I get angry when I think about what my sister in law has lost. I am angry that there was no one to blame except for the guy that hit him in the car. I am angry that there is a 7 year old child without a father because no one would listen.

My sister in law just got a dragonfly tattoo to remind her that maybe Jeff is in a better place. Maybe we are all just the waterbugs and someday we will all be together flying gracefully through the sky with our beautiful wings.

We never know how long we have or what our lifetime is. Jeffs was only 35 years but he made an impact that will last a lot longer than that.

Every time I see a dragonfly I know it is Jeff. Watching over my family and my sister in law, making sure that someday we will be together again. And we will make up for lost time. We miss you Jeff.

It's a Girl June 1993

I always wanted lots of kids. Really lots of girls. I think this came from the fact that I always really felt like an only child. I always envied the families with lots of kids running around, having fun. And when I married hubby and he had 3 brothers and a sister and he loved being a part of a big family, we decided yeah thats for us.

Daughter 1 and Daughter 2 are 16 months apart. And I was 19 and 20 when they were born. We lived in Florida, things were good but we wanted to move back home.

So we packed up everything we owned in a u-haul, drugged our 1 year old dog and set off on a 26 hour car ride with a 1 and 1/2 year old and a 6 month old. Not the story for this blog though.

After returning to NY, it took us awhile to save up money for a house and realize that although we would probably never be able to afford a third child we were going to have one anyway.

When I wanted to get pregnant with Daughter 1 and 2, I just thought hmmm I'd like to get pregnant and the next month I was. Just like that. The immaculate conceptions, both of them. Or close to it.

With Daughter 3, I wanted to get pregnant and one month went by and then two, still not pregnant. I was desperate to have another baby. I realize people try for years and still have no luck but I never had that experience so for me 2 months was 2 long.

I will skip all the details but I set out a mission and by the third month September, I was pregnant.

Hubby came home from work and I was like "Hubby come up here I have to tell you something". And upstairs in our room I had two wine glassed filled with milk and a small box. He didnt get it at first. He opened the box and the pregnancy test was in there.(Yes I do realize that I gave him a box of pee but I needed for him to get the full effect)And he was so excited and we called in D1 and D2 and told them. D2 was jumping up and down screaming yeah I am gonna be a big sister. She had been waiting her whole life for that role. D1 was like yeah I've seen this before.

I think it took about 20 minutes for the morning sickness to kick in.

I thought that I was sick with D1. That was nothing compared to how sick I was with
D3. If I tell you that I threw up everything I ate that would not even describe how sick I was. My friends told me I actually looked green. All the time. I got used to going out to bagels with my friends, excusing myself and throwing it all up in the dirty bagel bathroom.

There was a story about shopping at TJ Maxx and an everything bagel and a chocolate milk and lets just say, I have never eaten an everything bagel again. Never in 15 years. I just threw up in my mouth a little thinking about it.

So I have two kids ages 5 1/2 and 4 and they go to Kindergarten and Preschool and I literally cannot even get off the couch without throwing up. You know what the doctor says... Try crackers in the morning, try lemonade, try eating small meals, try standing on your head spinning around real fast and do the hula. I mean really, nothing worked.

For 9 months, my kids made themselves peanut butter and jelly everyday, at 5 and 4. They dressed themselves and basically took care of everything. They learned to tie their shoes by tying mine, because once again I gained 50 lbs and couldnt reach my feet.

Sure, Sure you are so sick, sure you are not keeping any food down. I can tell by the enormous weight gain. Years later by the way I found out that the gestational diabetes I had with D1 and D3 are most likely what caused the extreme nausea and vomiting. I diagnosed that myself by reading WebMd. I dont think the Hawaiian Punch and Lemonade I was drinking by the gallon was really helpful for that. Thanks Doc.

Now with D1 I gave birth on my due date. D2 was 6 days late. I figured with D3, which by the way I did not know was a girl until she was born, I would be right around my due date, because I was fairly certain of the day I got pregnant.

Wrong. She is due May 28th. I am enormous and it is hot and I just stopped throwing up every second a few weeks before. I wanted the baby. Over. Done. Now.

My doctors were so conservative. Oh you are healthy the baby is healthy lets see where this goes.

Every day when you are late people call you and say "anything?". Oh yeah I had the baby I just wanted to keep it a secret. No Nothing!!! Maybe I was a little cranky being 175 lbs, sweating, which I am opposed to, and waiting and waiting for D3.

On June 4th, I could not take it. I was going for a stress test for me and the baby, praying for just a little high blood pressure so they would induce me. No you and the baby are fine, lets make an appointment for next week. Holy crap I am gonna take this into my own hands.

Castor oil, chinese food, bumpy car rides, beet soup... these are some of the go into labor old wives tales. Well I did every one except the beet soup. It was too gross. Hubby had a mustang convertible so he and I and D1 and D2 head out on the open road. We go over every bumpy street on Long Island and when we end up near the ferry, we take it. To connecticut. Now I realize that this was really stupid, if I had gone into labor it was a four hour trip but hey I had already gone into Madison Square Garden the week before by train to see the Knicks in the semifinals, I wasnt scared. Maybe just a little.

That was a friday. All weekend nothing. Just me sitting around eating and watching my stomach get fatter. Until Sunday.

Sunday I wake up and I feel like I had the flu. I was achy and nauseous and did not feel well at all. It was my best friends birthday and her husband had made this delicious strawberry shortcake but I couldnt even go I was so sick. Apparently, that was the beginning of labor. Each kid was so different I had no idea. It had to be something I mean I gave up strawberry shortcake.

Hubby was bartending at the time and had worked the whole weekend. Sunday was his night to sleep. So we go to bed around 10 or 11 and I wake up at 2am with labor pains. I get up walk around, take a shower, its 2:30, they are getting bad, I wake hubby up.

Go back to sleep for a little while he says in his stupor. I am like No I already did that this is real. We have to go to the hospital. It took me a little while to convince him but he finally got up.

My mother was going to come over and watch the kids, so we try to call her. No answer. What? I am overdue and she is on call to watch the kids, it is 2:45am and she isnt answering. We call over and over. This was before the day of cell phones. There was no way to get in touch with her. So we drive over. We unlock the door and of course my dad wakes up, he sleeps with one ear open at all times. "we called and your phone isnt working"

Ok ok here let us take the kids ,my mother and father are saying. Oh wait... Merry, my sister had just gotten home from college and all her stuff is all over the beds the girls were supposed to sleep in. I have to ask them because I am not sure where they slept.

Apparently her stuff was piled in my old room and it pulled the telephone wire out of the wall and disconnected the phones. I wonder if she did that on purpose knowing I would go into labor soon. (ok i know i am just being ridiculous but i just wanted to put it out there)

We leave the kids there, head off to Stony Brook and they tell me I am not ready. Go home they say, labor at home and come back when you are ready. I am I am, I want drugs now. No they say you have a long way to go.

So we go home. The sad crappy feeling like holy crap I may be pregnant forever. And then my labor stops. Completely.

I spend the day sitting on the couch drinking tea and eating soup and waiting for more labor pains. Nothing. None. 12 hours goes by. I doze off here and there but I am so fat and uncomfortable that I just sit in the chair, watching soap operas and game shows. For hours. Waiting.

We finally decide to go back and get the kids. And as soon as we get in the car. Its back. Labor pains. We get to my mothers and the pain is really strong. I call the doctor and then I make the biggest mistake of my life.

I eat macaroni and cheese. Homeade with sour cream and onions and cream and cheese. I have heartburn now just thinking about it. I cannot describe how gross it is to eat that and then go into labor. Tip for the day... dont eat that when you are about to give birth.

We go back to the hospital and because Stony Brook is a teaching hospital they have student nurses, doctors, everyone there is trying to learn something. A student nurse is trying to put an IV in. I tell her I have really close valves. It is not easy to get an IV in. She keeps trying. First in the back of one hand, then the other. Then on the inside of one wrist, then the other. Then in the fold of my elbow on one side and then the other. Finally I say, thats it, I dont want an IV.

Well then you cant have drugs.

Fine, squeezing an 8 lb baby through a tiny hole has got to be less painful than having you stick me with that giant needle another 8 times.

My doctor arrives and she is standing there in her coat and clogs and she is like hey lets break your water, it will speed this up. Great for me. I love speedy. Especially now I have committed to no drugs.

She takes out a crochet hook, ok probably some medical tool that looks like a crochet hook and breaks my water.

I have been known to exaggerate but you can ask hubby this anytime... there was so much water that came out each time I had a contraction, there was a huge puddle on the floor. It was going over the edges of the bed like Niagra falls everytime I felt a pain, whoosh, water everywhere. No exaggerating. When the nurse finally came in she was like oh my god what happened and I was like that is just from my water breaking. And she is like hmmm that doesnt seem normal. But she was a student and I was having a totally different labor than my other two when my water didnt break until they were about to be born, so what did I know.

Now at this point, technically I had gone into labor around 2am and this was 10:30pm so it had been around 20 hours so far on and off. That seemed long to me because D2 was only 8 hours and I expected it to get shorter each time. I guess though to D3, she wasnt even ready until about 11pm.

From a medical standpoint, while my body was in labor, D3 was just hanging out. Knowing her personality now I would say she was singing in her bubble when someone popped it and she kept singing for a few hours until she was like Wait, should I be born now? No one told me. And like a bat out of hell she came from way up in the clouds to the beautiful world outside.

She was born so fast she had a ruptured eyeball which really just means that there was a pool of blood in the white part of her eye. I on the other hand had been pushing so hard that I broke every blood vessel in my face. It looked like I had been in the ring with Muhammed Ali but no one told me until I finally got up and looked in the mirror and didnt recognize myself.

With no drugs I felt great after the delivery. A little dizzy and tired but for the most part pretty good.

The student nurse came in to check my blood pressure. I had an automatic cuff. So she looks at the reading and goes OH MY GOD and runs out. Suddenly doctors and nurses from everywhere come running in...How do you feel, are you dizzy , are you going to pass out? Actually I feel pretty good. Well your blood pressure is 70 over 30. I guess thats bad.

They made me stay in the recovery room and drink fluids for a while and they finally brought me up to my room around 1am. D3 was born at 11:04pm. I guess I was dehydrated from not having an IV and losing about half of my body weight in fluid.

D3 was born so quickly, as far as they were concerned, not me, but anyway she did not have a conehead or a blue tint like D1 and D2. She was pink and perfect except for that bloody eye. She slept 5 hours at a time from the day she was born.

I think she was preparing us for what lay ahead, because just 3 days later is when hubby began the journey that started with a doctors appt with our doctor we went to lamaze with and ended with having 2 fingers amputated.

D3 accompanied us to every doctor visit because I was nursing and wouldnt leave her alone. She brought more happiness to those people suffering from Cancer than I am sure we will ever know. At 6 weeks old I would hold her up and she would giggle and smile at all the people there. They were able to forget for maybe a few seconds where they were and what lay ahead for them. She was like a shining star and I know we wouldnt have made it through without her.

We had 3 daughters now and that was Hubbys motivation to get better. How could you look into the face of a newborn and not think "Wow I made this, maybe I can conquer the world"?

Or just conquer cancer. But that was all we needed.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I am Superwoman

So my kids think I am Superwoman.

I learned this most recently when I was dying Daughter #4's hair pink. I said you know I don’t really know how to dye hair. Of course you do Mom you can do anything D4 said.

I think they may have gotten this idea from the fact that I spent most of the summer recruiting them to do home projects that I had never done before. We ceramic tiled the bathroom, painted vaulted ceilings that were about 15 feet high with a stepladder and landscaped the yard.

Maybe I have always led them and many others to believe I am Superwoman. It has been like my claim to fame. Oh sure Nancy can do that. A Belle or Jasmine Halloween costume? Sure I will whip it up on my sewing machine. Clouds painted on the ceiling? Absolutely. Cupcakes for 90? What color icing?

Daughter #3 often wants to play the game "Fix my problems". I always win.

Just this morning we were listening to a Sheryl Crow song about God. I don’t recall the words but they were like talk to the one you love, talk to the one who made you, talk to the one who can make it right... something like that. D3 thought the song was about Moms.

My girls have watched me simultaneously breastfeed an infant, help with homework and cook a 7-course meal, all while talking on the phone.

There’s no need to fear... Oh wait that’s Underdog, not superwoman.

In any case, maybe I have made it look too easy. When hubby was working full time and bartending on the weekends, I didn’t want him to be bothered with any of the lawn care. So I took out the ride on mower, put the smallest kid on my lap and mowed the back 40. Ok so we don’t have 40 acres, maybe just a half, but it was hard work.

Then I would get out the weedwacker and trim the bushes... blah blah blah the list went on and on.

Hubby has become so allergic to poison ivy in the last few years that the doctor actually wrote on the paperwork last time "No Gardening Ever". We hired a landscaper to cut the lawn but the weeds and the bushes, all me. I spent an entire day a few weeks ago taking small trees out, digging with worms, pulling out weeds, dragging it all to the curb. I actually sweated and smelled. And I am opposed to that stuff. Sweating and Smelling.

I used to give the best parties. We were reminiscing recently about some of them. A wizard of Oz party, complete with flying monkeys, an over the rainbow 7 layer cake, a house dropped on my sister (i wish), a yellow brick road...

Another party I gave was a hungry caterpillar party based on the Eric Carle book. In the book, the hungry caterpillar eats so much stuff each day and then gets in his cocoon and becomes a butterfly. I had all the food cut into little pieces and then I drew all the pages of the book on poster board. I read the story as we served each piece of food and when they were all done I had them go into a tent I had set up in the backyard and I had one of my older daughters pin butterfly wings that I made out of tissue paper on their back.

Superwoman or Stupidwoman... I am not sure.

My kids have often told me the night before... I need posters to win student council. That means a creative idea and then me staying up until midnight making the posters. I think D4's Snapple facts one was pretty cool, although I do remember a Rugrats poster that put all the other posters to shame.

So was this helpful to them or detrimental? Should I have stayed the princess I always wanted to be and waited for a man to help me get it done? Um No!

I have sacrificed a lot being Superwoman. My hand was always the first raised to volunteer for everything, countless class mothers, coaching and of course girl scout leader to all 4 girls. I spent every waking moment doing stuff for other people.

Part of the problem was I didn’t know how to say no.

During my long years of therapy, my therapist wanted to know why? Why do I have every holiday at my house, cook everything from scratch and never let anyone do anything? I am really better at it than anyone else, I say. So, she says. What would happen if you didn’t make fudge this year? Oh My God, I scream. I don’t know what would happen. People would be devastated if they didn’t get to eat my fudge this year. Really would they she asks. Or would they be like Ok Nancy didn’t make fudge. Maybe this year she actually sat down and ate some store bought cake for dessert.

Let me tell you...it has taken me 5 years of therapy, lots and lots of dollars of therapy and lots of work...

And I still have trouble with it. I still want to have these super parties that people rave about and I still want people to talk about how amazing I am, and I still want to do everything for every holiday because I really do do it better.

But I did learn that the sacrifice I had been making for all these years was not necessarily a healthy one. There is a power to being great at everything, but there is also a power in saying today I am worrying about me and mine. Today I cannot participate in the bake sale or help with the craft fair. Today I am staying home and laying on the swing with my kids and laughing and joking.

So maybe I have hidden my cape in the closet. I may not need it for a while.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Nancy's Radical Views on Life

With the political parties making radical choices for vice presidents I thought it was time for me to shock everyone with my radical political views.

First of all, while I am proud that there is a woman nominee for Vice President, I really dont think Sarah Palin will measure up to my idea of a candidate for the second highest political office. And lets face it, McCain is old. He could drop at any moment and we would be left with her.

She is 44 and just had a baby. Already, not my idea of a good decision. This is not a woman who got started late and met her true love later in life and wanted to have a baby with him. No... she has plenty of kids. It is irresponsible to give birth to a child at 44 and now that child will face challenges its whole life. Take a pill lady really! Be a little more responsible at 44. Oh wait... you oppose birth control right?

And should someone who is still in the midst of diapers and hormonal changes and exhaustion have a finger on the red button? I remember how clearly I was thinking when my kids were 4 months old... yeah right... i remember crying when I didnt get any hot water in the shower. Wait let me go chat with the President of Iran now.

Strike 1

So I really dont want a weeping wreck in the White House but I could overlook that if she wasnt an antiabortionist. I truly cannot understand a woman who believes that her own body should be the property of the government. I mean, I believe in abortion, wait let me rephrase that... I believe that it is none of my business. If you are pregnant and know that you do not want the baby and could not carry it to term and put it up for adoption then that is your decision.

The problem with the antiabortion outlook is that they want you to have the baby now but they dont want to do anything to help you with it later. And if because you dont want it, you treat it poorly, dont teach it properly and end up with a criminal for a child, who eventually hurts someone else, the antiabortionist will have you kill it later because they usually believe in the death penalty. So let it do as much damage as possible and hurt as many people as it can. And then kill it. Its much less cute when it has a lifetime of death and destruction on its hands.

Look I have never been in the position to have to make this decision, nor do I hope my children ever will be either. But if one of my daughters was raped and became pregnant would i encourage her to give birth to the bastards child and know everyday that there is a child conceived in hate and pain living on this earth? Or what if my daughter got pregnant and then her life was at stake, should we sacrifice the life of my child for the life of a fetus? My child could go on and give birth again maybe. That child would be born without a mother and is that any way to start your life?

Here is what it comes down to... I dont think anyone thinks abortion is an easy answer to anything. I am sure the trauma involved lasts for a lifetime. But that is not anyone elses decision to make. My body is my own and mine to take care of. If I determine that I am incapable of giving birth to a child then so be it. Stay the hell out of it.

And I can just barely understand a man making that decision. He has a penis, and he uses that to think with most of the time. He never has to give birth, he never has the ultimate responsibility, he is only as involved as he wants to be. But as a woman I think that is criminal. She should know that maybe she wouldnt do it but that every woman has their own right to make their own decision.

Strike 2

So I am trying to find some more ammo against this pot smoking, antiabortionist, bambi killing, skinny bitch and I open her bio and you know what I find... her birthday is the same as a person in my life who is not a nice person. Really, truly, this lady is an aquarian. And another thing... her husbands name is Todd...and my friend hates people named Todd. I think I just saw a picture of her wearing a baby polar bear coat. That is just plain mean. And she looks like witchy poo. What is with that hairdo and glasses? Her daughters names are Bristol, Willow and Piper, um do those sound like strong womens names or strippers at the local tavern that has Bambi's Mom's head hanging on the wall? The boys names are Track and Trig Paxson Van and as if it isnt bad enough the kid has downs syndrome they named him after Van Halen. No joke. Check Wikepedia. Her middle name is Louise... hmmm. Strike 3

Her parents, The Heaths, do not even think she is capable and this is a direct quote from an article I just read about it...

High water kept the Heaths from reaching their gold mine, which they use as a camp to hunt caribou.

How many things are wrong with that statement??? Hunting, guns, what do you think we own a gold mine???

I just read the most disturbing part of her life story.

"After her water broke, on the day of Trig's delivery, Palin delivered a keynote address in Texas and then flew 8 hours to Alaska. She and her husband drove a further 50 minutes to Mat-Su Valley Regional Medical Center, where she gave birth seven hours later. Palin returned to office quickly, just three days after giving birth to Trig.Palin's decision to have the baby has been applauded by the pro-life community" Stolen from Wikepedia.

So lets see, she gave a keynote address with a giant diaper on to hold in all the fluid that was leaking out and then she got on an airplane where she may have given birth in the bathroom like a teenager on a school field trip, and then after squeezing out a special needs child, just 3 days later, she returned to work. Does this sound like a woman who is gonna have any sympathy for women who want a longer maternity leave? No she has Todd at home to watch them when he isnt racing poor defenseless dogs.

She opposes gay marriage and has opposed giving health benefits to same sex partners. Once again, here are my radical views on this. Two men, two women, one of each whatever, when people love each other that should be their decision to make. Get married, live together, whatever. I believe that God created us all. Ok maybe I believe something like that but I believe that as human beings we should be allowed to decide on our own if we want to spend the rest of our life with someone we love. I actually think there should be more committment instead of less. I believe in monogamy and when you decide to be with someone for life, you should do everything in your power to make that work. No divorce, no bailing out, just hard work to stay together.

And when pot smoking was legal in Alaska, she jumped right on that bandwagon or should I say "The magical mystery tour"? She smoked pot then but doesnt want it legalized now because of her children. Can you spell H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E?

I AM impressed with the fact that after she was elected she tried to have her sisters ex husband fired from a government position. She is being investigated for that right now. I would do the same thing I think. Use my power for evil. That is why my kids say I will never win the lottery. True Story.

So maybe Biden is no golden boy, I am actually extremely dissapointed in his being chosen as well. I will bash him in another blog.

But other than Sarah Palin having a very beautiful first name I dont think she is someone we want having sex in our oval office. Oh wait thats the democrats.