Love is finding a whole new world in the very same places.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Hollowed Halloween

   It is my favorite time of year again. Filled with pumpkins, apples, cider and scary Saturday nights spent in paid-for horror. Since I was a little girl I have loved fall. Everything about it just exudes peace and change. This love is something, I have noticed, that a lot of people experience. Between the leaves, football and the dog-days of summer ending, autumn is a wonderful time. Mostly.
           Tonight Jon and I sat were sitting on the couch, he watched college football as I studied for my ASL class, it was a pretty peaceful night.
        Until that moment, which every parent dreads, when a real scream emanates from your child's bedroom. Thankfully, these screams are a result of bad dreams and not something worse. Carter's screams at such times as these during the night have been the result of many fevers that resulted in many hospital visits. Therefore, we-almost-welcome bad dreams, which are easily fixed with kisses.
      Although Carter is big and loud enough that the baby monitor is not as necessary. However, tonight I feel guilt as it was Jon who heard Carter's first scream and not I. I find myself wondering just How long had he been screaming? Jon's super-sonic hearing had sent him running into Carter's room, with me trailing behind. It was as if suddenly he was gone in a flash, and then I heard it. Carter's screams grew louder and drown out the loud noises of ESPN.
       It is during these times that I begin to feel reminiscent. It is during these times that my heart feels a depth of sadness, that I don't think my mind can even comprehend.

            Autumn means a lot to me, but in the last two years it reminds me of a heavy weight in my heart and even more the weight in the heart of a friend of mine who lost her young son on Halloween two years ago this year.

We found out we were pregnant with Carter in early October, but we didn't begin to tell people right away. The first night that I told someone at work was right around my birthday, which is the 21st. Coincidentally, the night I told my co-worker was also the night I met baby Lucas.
   To be honest, I don't know the details. I don't even know if I want to know. 

What I do know is that I am so sad that I only got to meet him this one time. 
I know he was loved and adored by all who knew him.

        By Halloween everyone knew I was pregnant and my excitement was overwhelming.
I distinctly remember standing with a coworker, jabbering away about babies, when another coworker walked in, crying.
      This was a man that I had known for at least two years and although seeing him expressing his emotions (Yes, Ladies, men do that on occasion) was not uncommon, it was uncommon to actually see tears. He told us what happened, yelled at us actually, because he thought we were being insensitive  by talking about babies. Even though we had no idea yet what had befallen. Then our manager came out and confirmed what we had been told.

       I cannot imagine such a feeling. I cannot even begin to fathom the strength it takes to walk into the hospital, or for some moms to walk into the room and see their child no longer breathing.
            To this day I have flashes of fear, fear of going into Carter's room and seeing the worst nightmare a person can. I still go in and lay my hand on his chest at least twice a night. I still make sure he didn't pull his blankets over his head. The story of this little boy, that I only briefly got to meet, who had so much life left to live, has stuck with me and will for the rest of my life. 

         October, while being Breast Cancer Awareness month,
                      is also SIDS awareness month.

 Below is a link to a website about it.
Every child deserves a first birthday

 I'm not asking for your to donate money or anything.
 All I'm saying is that if you know someone who has suffered a loss of a child, in any way,

 give them a hug this month.
Send them a card, give them a call.

Likewise, if you think of any other ways to contribute, please feel free to comment below. If you have a story to tell, or any other links where people can donate, in any form, list them below.

                                                                            Love and Hope,


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Woeful weekend

       There have been very few times in my life where I have been deeply ashamed of myself, where I have questioned myself to such a degree or had a day that was so terrible it would affect the next days to come.
                              Sadly, this weekend was just a series of those days.

       As a woman I know that I can sense in myself, most of the time, when I am just on a hormone driven rampage. I feel my blood pressure spike and I can feel the frustration immediately instead of gradually. Therefore, I must admit that there have been times, that after I was done yelling or speaking I had to stop and ask myself. "What the heck just happened?"
        As women though, there are times when this is justified. We inject ourselves with hormones to prevent pregnancy, we consume foods that alter our hormones, we stop injecting ourselves so that we can try to conceive. We screw with our biology a lot, it is a wonder that we have any control at all. However, we can still maintain control. As my mother always told me; 
                    "If you feel yourself getting angry, just walk away. Let it be and breathe."

    Very few times do I feel like I have failed to do so, but no one is perfect and it has happened.
 For example:
                It was a lovely afternoon, Carter and I were out playing in the yard and his daddy and his buddy came out to work on the truck. The bugs had been getting Carter and I all morning, so I offered the men our bug spray. After a short while Carter and I went inside so he could take a nap.

            The boys drove the truck out for a test run down the block, everything runs smoothly and they come back. As I come outside, by this time I've rubbed off my bug spray and I feel a little sting and I ask the boys for the spray. As they inform me that they left it on the truck as they drove away and it is now gone I can feel the immediate fury.
             Now don't get me wrong, this was not a golden can of bug spray, which costs me millions and I can never replace. This is is standard Off! brand spray. However my, hormone driven self doesn't care. 
            Now ladies, I hate the term "PMS" and the first man to ask me if it's "My time of the month" is going to lose some essential parts and become a woman, but I respect that sometimes we do slip. Just as any humans can be, man or woman, we can get a little unreasonable. 
            In this particular instance, I did slip. I stormed off down the street, shouting obscenities in search of this bug spray, like losing it was going to alter the course of my life forever. After a short, heated tromp down the street, I turn around and have thankfully calmed down. But, the damage is done and the look on my husband's friend's face was unforgettable. It was as if I were that little creepy girl from The Ring crawling towards him to eat his soul or some other horrible monster from the black lagoon. He seemed genuinely worried for his own personal safety.

         It was in that moment that I realized I let my frustration and possibly my hormones get the best of me. 
      This past weekend was much the same, except it was not hormones but circumstance that I let take me to that place. For many personal reasons, my husband and I were at each other's throats this whole weekend. Let's sum it up to us both being without work, among many, many other stresses that life has thrown this way. (Although as of today we are both working again! WHOOP! WHOOP!)
 After being on edge this weekend, we decided to do something nice and take our kids to the Cincinnati Children's Museum on Sunday. We go out to breakfast in the morning, it's a beautiful crisp day, the kids are happy and other than a morning spat all is well. 
      Breakfast is something we do quite often when Chloe is with us. On Saturdays we make chocolate chip pancakes and eggs and Sunday we go to Bob Evans. My husband began the Bob Evan's tradition with his grandmother and so it has special meaning to all of us.
    Of course Bob Evans and The Golden Nugget are packed. We then decide to go to Steak N' Shake. In the middle of our meal, thanks to the wonderful gift of online banking, we realize the new insurance we just switched to has come out a few days earlier than expected. So no Children's Museum.
          It was no one's fault, Murphy's Law (Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong) was just kicking our butts. Instead I took Chloe and Carter to the park and we had at home time.
           After a series of more events and more fighting we have reached that point where we are just fighting over anything. You know what I'm talking about, you're fighting over the trash, the laundry, the dishes. Little insignificant things that in the grand scheme of life should not result in such drama, but do anyway.

    I am ashamed to say that the look on Chloe's face when she left with my husband to go back to her mom's will haunt me forever. She had listened to us yell and she was sad and it broke my heart. That isn't what a five year old needs and we knew better. To my understanding though, Jon had a nice talk with her about grown-ups fighting on the way home.
  Now, we are not by any means the parents who go in the bedroom and fight. This does not teach kids about conflict resolution and therefore we don't hide, but we also make sure that they see our make-ups and 'I'm sorry's' as well or we at least talk to them about it. We have even gone so far as to have little kissing matches with Carter after, so that he sees the love too. In this way they know that we always love each other and we have resolved our anger. Each child knows that even though people fight, there can be ways to solve what you are angry about.
     Sadly though, the look on Carter's face later that night was also an unforgettable one. For the first time in his little, short life I yelled at him, really yelled. 
     As a parent, and even more importantly as a step-parent (which sometimes requires a lot of delicate handling) I try to hold myself to a high caliber. Never will I hit my children, I have said "Imma spank you."  In our house even our running joke is to say "Imma beat you" and then attack the person with kisses, because in our house the idea of an actual beating is that ludicrous.
           Sadly though, as I transformed Carter's crib into a toddler bed that night, I had the worst time getting the board in place, with it's evil itty bitty screws. After struggling for forty minutes with the allen wrench and with my hubby not there to help, I was at my wit's end. Then, as I finally began to feel the last screw catch, Carter jumps right on the board and knocks it out. 
   As a person and as a mom, I feel the need to say that this was the straw the broke the camel's back.
Frustrated and afraid that he was hurt, I screamed out "Mommy said No!" to him. 

  Anyone who has a toddler or any kid knows,
 that there is the "You told me no" cry and
the "You scared me mommy" cry.
This was one of those.
If you ever needed something to bring you to earth,
 it is your kid looking at you in fear and sadness.
After this happened I think I cried harder than he did. 

This isn't Carter, but dang can't you just imagine if this was your kid looking at you all sad and it was your fault?!

To make it worse, I was even more ashamed that night, as he did so well in his toddler bed and has continued to do so every night! 

      Although I would personally never hit either of my children, I know there are people who hit levels deeper than my own. By no means does it mean you should even think about striking your child. I am a firm believer in there being a difference in spanking and hitting. Personally, I am not a believer in either.

        Spanking itself is a very controversial issue. Many people say "Spare the rod, spoil the child." However, there are so many cases of abused children in this country that many believe it should be unlawful to spank your child.

            After all this, what is your opinion?
As a mom or dad, when was the first time you had to walk away and take a breath?
For some it's the first nights after the baby is born.
For other's, it's the toddler phase or the older phases.

                                                 When you fight, do you hide?  

    Do you have a specific disciplinary policy for your family?
My husband and I are both lucky enough to agree on ours. (Finally, SOMETHING, right?)

             These are all things that need to be discussed. As a person we come with limits, if you are unable to take a step back, you may really scar your child. I'll admit, there are some days when I want to throw things or kick the trash can and this is a learned behavior. But, it is also a learned behavior not to.
      I am confident that my children are safe in my home, that they will never be abused or neglected. It is my plan to show Chloe and Carter how much their dad and I truly love each other, and I believe that 99% of the time we do show them this. Sometimes we just have bad days. We're human. 


  (If you feel that you are unable to take a step back from your anger, if you have previously hurt your children or considered/planned hurting your children or if you wish council on any of these issues, please feel free to look at any of these pages I have linked below. If you do not feel like you can bring yourself to ask for help here is a short video on anger management techniques.)
Child help hotline
Anger Management Hotlines
Love Our Children USA

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Peeved Photo-shopped Pinterest

      Anyone who knows me, knows that Chloe and I do a LOT of crafts. It is our bonding fun time.
          This morning we tried one of those Pinterest crafts that everyone is doing these days, with our own spin on it of course. After doing many such crafts that we find on this website, I'm actually convinced that all of these pictures are photoshopped.
          Honestly, except for my sister making some FABULOUS looking cupcakes for Carter's party and then for my niece-in-the-making Aubree's shower, I haven't had one craft, or seen someone make a craft and have it come out looking as professional as these pictures. I also noticed that most of these pictures lead you back to websites where you can purchase the item in the picture. For example, it could lead you to a manufacturer, or a website like
    Now, Chloe and I aren't going for professional, and we definitely aren't practicing for that Crafters show that is on TBS. But dang, doesn't it just make you feel bad?


( My suggestion for this particular craft, where you melt the crayons, is lay down some newspaper, because the wax flies everywhere. Thankfully, we did ours outside. )                              

It could just be me, because my sister has made some awesome looking cupcakes these past couple months.  For example, these ballerina cupcakes vs the Pinterest cupcakes. To the left is one made by my sister and to the right is one from website, and the right, is obviously set up as a professional picture. As I said before I have seen many crafts on Pinterest I believe are either made by professionals or photoshopped. However, to be fair, I have always lacked artistic skill.

(I know, poor Chloe, she is going to do a craft with someone else one day and wonder what's wrong with her step-mom!)

    I personally believe that my sister's are fabulous, Martha Stewart can eat her heart out. Especially in these next pictures, I could not bake these to look so awesome, especially made from scratch. Can you tell which is which? 

What are your thoughts? Do you think that websites with crafts like these lead people to unrealistic expectations, which ultimately lead them to purchase items professionally anyway on the websites that they link to?
 What about wedding websites? Most that I've seen offer DIY crafts, but offer them to purchase anyway. Do they give women unreal ideas of the ideal wedding done yourself, only to find that you really need to be a professional to do whatever it is successfully? Do they make weddings an even more materialistic affair?

        Is it just those of us without skill who are doomed to be the ones with their art in the folder and not on the wall? 
Maybe, my art will simply have to improve and I can make some of my own crafts for and make some money, wouldn't that be awesome?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Too long Too long

I have to admit, I had given up on this whole blogging thing. However, I find myself narrating in my head as the days go by anyway. Therefore, here I am. Giving it another go.

    Well here is a jolly update on what has happened. Let's see....

      February.... my dad turned 50, but then the rest was boring...
         March.....more boring.......
               April.......... well you get the idea.

         I give up, I cannot remember things month by month anyway. Let's see Carter turned one in May, it was a fabulous suaree of pizza and FLEAS.

 The party was supposed to be at our house. You know, the house I spent the two weeks before scrubbing from top to bottom. However, our two lovely kitties brought a sudden influx of fleas in the week before. After 16 flea bombs in three days we finally got rid of them. In case you didn't know this, 1 flea bomb is supposed to cover a 2k square foot floor, and both my top and bottom floors are less than 1800sq ft. We were just a LITTLE determined to finally be rid of them. The day of the party came though and the bombs were being set so thankfully we had Marion's pizza as a backup plan.
If you are not from Ohio and you have not had Marion's pizza, then I highly suggest you get in your car and drive to Ohio and eat there. If you ARE from Ohio and you haven't had Marion's Pizza,what the hell is wrong with you? Put down the Dominoes and drive. Right now.

   Shortly after his first birthday Carter took his first steps. It is truly magical to watch him run around the room now. However, less magical when he is running and topples into the trashcan.

       In July Chloe turned five :) We actually had her ON her birthday too :) I set up balloons in her room while she was sleeping, and posted the number five all around the house. Her daddy and I were determined that she would remember her first birthday morning with us. ---------------------->

My favorite moment was her explaining to me: "There are five fives hanging, and I'm turning five!"
To which, my response was "It's like someone planned it that way..."

Also, later in July we adopted a dog, Beretta, from a friend. She is a young Jack Russell/terrier mix. Loving and sweet and Carter's new best friend and partner in crime. 

Oh yeah, and I guess it's important...

                            We GOT MARRIED :)

    Jon and I eloped to Gatlinburg, TN and were married on July, 14th. It was a small ceremony with only us, the preacher and the photographer. Beautiful, romantic and everything I could have hoped for. But more details on this later.

School has started again, I'm trying to find a job and life is stressful but we're pretty happy. More to come soon, and much better topics than my boring old life.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Trending Travesties

       I hope your Christmas/Thanksgiving was awesome!! Mine was fairly uneventful, despite it being Carter's first.
       As of late however, I have been browsing the "OMG 2011 is over we all feel the need to recap what happened!!" statuses.
       However there was one article that caught my eye.
   Kid Trends we hope not to see in 2011
        This article is all about bad teen trends that some moms around the country feel are inappropriate for their child. Such examples include low rise jeans, ugg boots and printed tee shirts.
Of course those are just the examples I expected to see. However, some I found were surprising. Not necessarily simply that they made the list, but that they exist.
 For example, push-up training bras? As a girl who had to wear a bra by third grade, all the women in my family are rather blessed- or cursed depending who you ask- I can understand that some young girls need to start wearing training bras earlier than some others. HOWEVER, the fact that any mother would encourage her impressionable young daughter to wear something that distorts her body image, ESPECIALLY at that young of an age, is appalling. What happened to moms who told their daughters "All flowers bloom in their own time?" What happened to you are beautiful and you don't need to look like everyone else?

In the same state of mind, who buys their child a tee shirt that says "I'm too pretty for algebra?" Coincidentally, I am currently in search of a book that is about images like these shirts and other images like Princess memorabilia. The book is called Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orstein. (Click for the NYTimes book review) and from what I have heard, it gives a fresh look to the images that we subject our girls too. Such as the influx of Princess memorabilia. Now don't get me wrong, Chloe's room looks like we won the Disney Princess lottery. Seriously, my little girl keeps Disney in business. However, I try to teach her that she should be strong and independent. She doesn't need a prince to rescue her. Still, I wonder, what does my own gender-bias mind say to her? I associate pink and fluffy with girly and so does she. What does that say about us as women?

Now then there was that thing, which I could not even CONCEIVE why it is on the list. Monster 
High Dolls! Why on earth would you be against these little dolls? Barbie and her skimpy skirts and double d's has been on the shelves since 1959. The company which has infiltrated every little girl's room with the image of the perfect woman and had such horrible failed designs such as "New Ken" Later deemed as "Gay Ken" because of his new earring and mesh shirt. Likewise, there is "Happy Family,Midge" Barbie's pregnant friend.  Barbie Remake Playtime Fail: Classic Toys and Their Failed Remakes However, set up little girl's these days with a doll that has the exact same body type, but whose clothes aren't pink and frilly and the world ends. Personally, I love the idea of these dolls! I think they give girls a new perspective. They still aren't perfect, I think companies need to make some dolls with wide hips and a chubby face or something, but still they get the much needed toe in the door.

What do you think, what aren't your girls or boys, allowed to wear? What has caught your eye and made you think, what were they thinking?!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Troubling Television

       Sometimes I find myself wondering not just how much television my children should be allowed to watch, but also what they are really watching. One night my daughter and my nephew were sitting watching Spongebob Squarepants. Spongebob is an extremely happy, fun-loving aquatic little cartoon who famously, “lives in a pineapple under the sea.” There was no real pause for concern for me as a parent, since it was on Nickelodeon; I figured it’s a kid’s network so life is good. As I folded my laundry, however, the cartoon characters did a multitude of inappropriate and suggestive things. Such as, Squidward calling Spongebob an “idiot” and an “imbecile,” these things just don’t fly with momma. Likewise, in one episode there are suggestive jokes as Spongbob and Patrick wrestle in their underwear.
     A friend of mine suggested this was because the creators of Spongebob didn't intend it as a children's show at all. However, I've found that it isn't true. Spongebob was meant to be a children's cartoon from the beginning. He was supposed to be this creature who smiled brightly and was happy through any adversity. And so he is.
      Ironically, it is not Spongebob's character I question. It is the adversity, and the language used in that which I question. Let him conquer evil, let his optimism overpower anything. Teach my children that hope is more powerful than everything else. However, don't teach them so if Squidward has to call names or I have to explain to my kid what that dirty joke actually meant.

Here is one example, to show you what I mean.
Most of these aren't too bad, as long as your kid is too young to understand.

          This one I thought was a little more of a legitimate example: Spongebob Watches Porn

 My kids may not understand what the joke was, but that doesn't mean I want it in there.

So lately, I have begun to look at my kids’ movies a little more carefully. Last night I began with a newer continuation of an old classic, Toy Story 3.

                The beginning is very action-packed and very thrilling. As always with Disney Pixar, the animation was superb. My husband and I were immediately drawn in, and my five month old was captivated by the colors, if only for the few minutes he was awake to see it. The plot of Toy Story 3 is about, as always, Andy and getting older. This time Andy is off to college and the toys in his room wonder, what’s going to happen to us? Complaints of having not been played with in years ensue and as Andy’s mom presses him to make decisions about where all his stuff is going, a mishap happens. Mom accidentally throws the toys in the trash, and then they get donated to a local daycare. Nearly seven hours of play, every day, with endless amounts of new kids to play with, seems like heaven to the new toys, but heaven is soon too good to be true. Although the movie is action-packed and thrilling, I found that it is the appropriate amount and type of action for its target audience. There is no shooting, no one blows anyone up and no one pops any caps.
                 During the movie though, some mom alarms definitely went off. Not nearly as bad as some Disney movies I have seen, with adult undertones and innuendos, there were still some moments where I felt certain phrases or expressions could have been left out. For instance, Lotso-Hugs, who is ironically the antagonist, calls another character an idiot. This was really not as terrible as it could have been though, since immediately the other characters on his side looked at him differently, and saw it as a mean gesture. Likewise the producers made it very obvious that it was not something that was not nice or appropriate. Similarly, Buzz Lightyear stumbles upon what is very obviously a game of roulette. I thought the fact that gambling was in a children’s movie was inappropriate, but I approved of how the creators set it up. The setting was very dark, with a green, somewhat evil hue to the room. It sent a message that they were doing bad things, and were definitely not behaving. That much I appreciate, although they probably could made it more appropriate.
                Woody is a character that kids can relate to, and so are all his friends. After this movie, there is a definite reaction. It pulls at your heart strings, it makes you laugh, and it even makes you wonder. Much like, when I saw Transformers and afterwards I walked out to my car, only to stare at it and wonder; “Why can’t you do that?!” I wondered about my own toys, where they were now and where my kids' toys would be when they grew up. Even though we made a deal and they aren't allowed to grow up!

                         All in all, I have no problem with this movie. But what about others?
       Are there any movies or TV shows that are supposed to be for kids that you've caught?
                          What do you deem appropriate for your child's age group?

 Personally, I wrote a letter to Nickelodeon after watching the new Fred movie with my nephew. At one point Fred opens the fridge, where his dad is supposed to live, and exclaims "Damn it!" very loudly when his dad isn't in there.
                  What shows, if any are your kids allowed, or not allowed, to watch?
                         How do you feel about adult language in shows or movies
                                 that are supposed to be rated G or at least PG?
                                       What have you banned from your house?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Whitey white white.

How can I express my astonishment and elation to walk into my spanish class the first day and find a stout little white man?! He was not a dark, tan woman with dark eyes and an indistuinghishable accent. He did not have bright, vibrant colors on, no, he was wearing a UD hoodie and jeans.
     Now I have no problems with those women, or teachers like that. It is simply so INCREDIBLY reassuring to me that, although I am not from nor will probably ever live in a foreign country, there is still hope!
    I want to be a spanish teacher, and there was something about that man, he just made me so ecstatic. He grew up in the same city as me, and was doing what I wanted to do!
     Who gives you hope at random times? Do you ever get random bits of happiness? Not the serious kinds you expect like family members or paychecks.
     When have you been surprised happy?
      When the vending machine at work suddenly has your favorite candy?
         When a random rose appears on the bush that didn't produce any the year before?
                    When a note is left in your lunch that says I love you?
           What makes you happy? That random, out of place kind of happy?