Happy Mischief Night!

I got the last little details of "the" costume under control.
The kids & I gutted and slaughtered our pumpkin.
And I had Gracie do a final fitting for her costume tonight.

And if I do say so, she makes quite a cute 'Dorothy'.

Aaaahhh.......Mischief Managed.

Please Stand By.......

As I have roped Slacker Mommy into giving my spot an updo. She has been gracious and patient and awesome. Sorry about the 40 foot woman.......we'll bring her down to size!!!


The Trouble With You

Mother pressure. I can't figure out what else to call it. But I'm buckling under the pressure.
I feel that I'm half the mom I used to be. With one, glorious child, I was the very picture of a doting, together mommy. I did all of the one-on-one attention things with Connor. I didn't feel tired, I didn't schlep around half-dressed, half-asleep, unkempt, un-showered(unless I was sick). When he fell, I kissed his boo-boo's. Now, when either one of them run up to me, "kiss my foot, I fell. kiss my butt, I fell. Kiss my elbow, I fell...and so on", I'm like "You're fine. Oh come, here. I'll kiss it. Jeez." When I really want to say, "Yeah well, I fell and sat on the bologna pony and I got landed with you. But where are my condolences???"
Ok, so I had a choice. And truth-be-told, I don't want things any other way. I just can't handle the pressure. I can't handle the pressure I put on myself. To do all of the things I want to do. I need to do.
I can't handle at times, that as soon as I wake up, I feel like quietly throwing on a jacket. And walking out the door. Without a word. Without a second glance behind my shoulder.
I feel like a subpar mom. I never, ever thought that I would feel like this.
These four walls are closing in on me. I want to be Mother Earth incarnate. But I can't handle all that comes along with it. I mean, even my moods effect the entire mood of the house. My kids act up if I'm feeling tense or sick or tired. You can feel the change in the air, when I'm having a mood. The balance shifts and everyone is scattering like rats.
I want so desperately to feed my brain, to feed my soul. I've been on this journey to find myself again. I'm restless. I want to feel fire. I want to feel passion about something - anything. But I feel guilty. Why can't I feel passion about being a mom? Or do I? But I'm just so caught up in the day-to-day that I don't even know what passion really feels like anymore?
The pressure of wanting to better myself, while trying to juggle my duties as a wife and mom. I feel guilt for wanting time for myself. It goes back to me not being completely satisfied by being 'just a mom'. I want more. I need more. I don't want my entire identity & worth to be only fulfilled in my children. That is a scary place to be. Dont' get me wrong. My desire to be a good mother while they are under my wings, learning to fly with theirs, is a strong one. I want to be here. But when they go soaring on their own, I need to be able to hold myself up.
Hell, it's not easy. No one said it would be, I guess. I just thought I could handle it. I thought that I could handle all of the demands on myself. I thought that I could easily fulfill every role. I long for the ability to happily juggle it all. With smiles on everyone's faces, a clean house, with ease.
The endless days, the mundane routines. I could give you a play-by-play of my day. Almost down to the minute. Don't worry, I won't do that. But the fact that I can do that irks the shit out of me. As I sit here typing, I want to cry. I should just let it go. But my pride is holding it back. I'd be giving in to my weakness if I let the tears flow.
The seriousness of this hit me last night. I was watching Gracie sleep. She looked so cute, peaceful. My heart filled up to overflowing watching her breathe in, exhale. Over and over. The toils of my day before forgotten. All of the tantrums, the hitting, throwing, yelling. Forgotten. She looked perfect. And of course, in my eyes she is.
But as she was laying there, I realized I was looking at her through Whiskey-colored glasses.

Trouble With You
By: Dave Matthews Band
The brightest starOn a cloudless night
Some kind of miracle
Almost empty sky
In fact, sure as God is a monkey's dream
Ate that mushroom and believe what he see
The trouble with you
is you always wanna find the fires
And sitting warming your hands by the fireside
The trouble with you
is you always lookin' way outside
Oh, and not enjoy yourself by the fireside
Just as the bite of the blade
Wakes the absent mind
There's time to dreamAnd there's time to open your eyes
She said Just as the warmth of a kissBrings the love alive
It's right here by the fire
Where the answers lie
The trouble with you is
always wanna find the fire
Oh, when you warmin' your hands by the fireside
The trouble with you is you always lookin' far and wide
Oh, why not enjoy yourself by the fireside?
But you saidWhy you always lookin'?
Always lookin'?
She said
Why you always lookin' outside?
She said
The trouble with you is
you always lookin' for the fire
When you're warming your hands by the fireside
The trouble with you is
you always lookin' far and wide
Oh, why not enjoy yourself by the fireside?
The trouble with you is
you always lookin' somewhere else
Oh, and what you see there inside yourself
The trouble with you
is you always lookin' for the fire
Oh, why not enjoy yourself by the fireside?
Oh, why not enjoy yourself by the fireside?
She said, oh, why not enjoy yourself sittin' by the fire?
She said
The trouble with you
The trouble with you


Old Dirt Hill

I remember going to the grocery store as a young girl in my 'hometown' with my mom or my grandmother or aunt. My grandmother has never had a license, so if I was at the grocery store, as a girl, with my grandmother we were either with one of my aunt's or my mom. I remember standing in line with my cousins (who were, in all honesty, more like siblings - and still are) and lined-up in their neat little way were all of the candy, plastic junk machines , as well as, a skill crane. It was deliciously beautiful and decadently shabby. But this was our local grocery store. I didn't know there was much of a variety. I didn't realize that, it was just barely a grocery store. It was teetering on the verge of being a grocery store. And it was most definetly not a supermarket.

My cousin Casey & I as toddlers on The hill.

As a little girl, playing with my psuedo siblings (better known as cousins) one of our favorite spots to play was on a hill at a neighbor's house next door to our grandparents. We used to roll down it, push each other, sit basking in the sun, use it as second base for our kickball games. This hill seemed so big. It was the mainstay of our childhood. It waited there, like a loyal, longing friend.

Time passes, we become older, possibly wiser. Our playthings are abandoned. We no longer want or care about going to the grocery store with our grandmother . Hoping for a quarter, like a bunch of hungry baby birds, to throw into a machine that dispenses stale gum or a plastic ring that will break before you get to the car.

Simple playthings like the hill are left. We take for granted that the hill will always be there. That if we come back to it, or send our children to it, it will be the same. We are naive to believe that time will stand still.
A few weeks back, I had stopped at my grandparent's house. I walked on the side of their house - in between theirs & their neighbor's. I looked to my left and saw the hill. I stopped walking & stared at it.......I looked down at my feet. Blacktop underneath my Dansko's - where once there was grass. Blacktop to make way for the driveway because my grandfather can no longer walk well.
I continue to stare at the hill. It looks so small. It blew me away that it, at one time, seemed so big. That I actually got butterflies in my belly when rolling down it. I thought about that grocery store. And how the last time I went in it, it was exactly the same as it had been then. Time has stood still in that grocery store. Thank god.
I long for the shabby, old-school grocery store. I want to give my kids a hill like the one we had. It wasn't much. But we were happy with it.
I want so bad for there not to be a reason for the blacktop and the driveway. I want the grass growing there again. And my grandfather the ability to walk. Pain free.
I've always liked the song, "Landslide". But all of a sudden.
It makes complete and utter sense to me.

I Follow Where My Mind Goes

Today: I woke up to my DSL line being down. OH, the HORROR. I convinced Bry to post my Thursday 13 from work. Which allowed me to sit on the phone with Verizon for....oh, about a half-an hour +. With no resolution. I was fiending all day. I kept trying to sign on. To no avail. But I'm finally back online. Yaaahhooooo!

I got all registered for my classes, my loans/grants are all in place. My first class is Wednesday night, another class Thursday evening and then another one on Saturday. I read the three syllabi and I'm freaking out. I haven't been in a college classroom in quite a few years. And now, I'm going in as relavtively "old". Yikes.

Lastly, anyone who watches 'Lost'......are you feeling at all bad for Sawyer? I mean, I know he's a shit. But I've come to really like him and his funny politically incorrect nicknames for everyone. But, without a doubt, he's had his ass handed to him WAY more times than anyone else on the Island(s). I dunno. I feel bad for him.


Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Songs That I Love To Enjoy with Gracie:
1)'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' by Judy Garland - This is self-explanatory. Gracie 'gets' this song already. And everytime she hears it, it stops here in her tracks.
2)'Part of Your History' by Blue Merle - This song is sort of sad and sentimental. The first time I heard it, it just grabbed hold of me. I put it on one of Gracie's lullaby CD's. She loves it when I sing it to her.
3)'Didn't Leave Nobody But The Baby' - by Gillian Welch, Alison Krauss and Emmylou Harris - I first heard this in the movie 'O Brother Where Art Thou?' I was mesmerized (it was an effective choice then, for the 'Sirens'). I downloaded it right away and again slapped it onto a lullaby CD for Gracie. She walks around singing it all of the time and asks me to play it on our computer.
4)'Free Little Bird' by Lisa Loeb & Elizabeth Mitchell- The entire CD 'Catch The Moon' is charming. But the first time I heard this particular song, it reminded me of Grace. I don't think she's all that crazy about the song - but it fits her personality.
5)'Sweet Rose' by Matt Costa - One of Gracie's personal favorites. She sings along and dances to this one. I enjoy this one too and was excited to discover that it found a place in her little heart.
6)'Anthony' by Nickel Creek - Again, one of Gracie's favorites. When I first bought the album this song is on, I was bewitched by this little song. I guess Gracie was too. She used to refer to this song as 'Mmm Hm Hm' because she could not yet pronounce 'Anthony'. There is a section in this song that is hummed like that.....
7)'With My Own Two Hands by Jack Johnson & Ben Harper - I don't know that she 'likes' this song or not. But as a mom who wants her children to be aware of themselves in their community & the world, I felt that it is my responsibility to share such a great song.
8)'Dream A Little Dream Of Me' by Mama Cass - I just love singing this to her. Mama Cass's delivery of this song is so sweetly simple.
9)'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da' by The Beatles - We love to dance and be silly to this song. I always feel a 100 times better after singing and dancing along with her to this song.
10)'Get Rhythm' by Johnny Cash - As Gracie says, "Shake It". She really gets her groove on to this one. So does mommy! I love this song & it's basic message: 'Get rhythm, when you get the blues.' I find my best comfort in songs, so this is a no brainer to share with her.
11)'Gotta Get Drunk' by The Little Willies - Yeah, Yeah. Inappropriate?! Maybe a little. But she and I LOVE to jump around singing to this one. It's so fast-paced. And SO much fun!!
12)'The Long Way Home' by Norah Jones - We like to sit still and snuggle to this one. She rests her head on my chest and I quietly sing this to her.
13)'Buffalo Soldier' by Bob Marley & the Wailers - (of course!)The first Bob Marley song that she requests to hear.......over..............and over. That may be fleeting because I believe she is moving on to 'One Drop'(one of my favorites). But I was busting with pride at the fact that she enjoys this one so much. Could it be the horns??

Nine Weird Things You Should Know About Me

Slackermommy tagged me for a meme. For whatever reason, this one was hard. I know that I am weird. So, picking just 9 things should've been easy. However, I had to call on Ravioli to help me narrow it down a bit.

1) (just like Slackermommy) I am a serial picker (pimples, cradle cap, ear wax). I just can't help myself & felt very relieved when I read someone else is like this as well.

2) I can only eat eggs with toast. I saw George Carlin live in 1996 . He was doing this bit about eggs being liquid chickens. Ever since then, I cannot eat eggs without toast.

3) I wake up singing songs that I haven't heard in years. And they're weird songs at that.

4) I 'play this game' inside of my head (since I was a little girl) whereby I'll pull apart a word I've just heard and make as many words as I can from the 'original' word.

5) I like the smell of bleach and gasoline.

6) I get freaked out when walking down bleachers. I have a fear of heights & I always feel like I'm going to tumble down, out of control when walking down bleachers.

7) I enjoy operating heavy equipment (Bobcat's especially.....but things like tractors, forklifts, etc). My life will not be complete until I OWN my very own Bobcat.

8) As stated before, I am a music Nazi. As Ravioli says, I have a disdain for music that "I" don't like.

9)Read this and pick one to insert to #9. I can't think. There are just too many weird things.


Blood, Sweat AND Tears

It is done! YIPPEE!!!
That's all I'll say. I won't bore you with anymore.



I Know What Boys Like

As of late, Connor has been watching a lot of TV. I have not been feeling well and it's all about survival at this point. And of course, because of the program he is watching, he is being bombarded with commercials for the 'must have it' toys of the season. Every commercial that comes on, we are bound to hear, "Mommy! I want that! I'll put it on my wist(list)." "Ok, Connor. Yes, put it on your list."
I've noticed lately that he is now moving on to girls toys. And I found myself saying, "But Connor, that's a girl toy." He said, 'Yeah, I know. But I want it. I want the girl toy."
This has got me thinking for the past week or so....
I never minded Connor taking a pair of my shoes and walking around in them or having a 'doll'. And I remember him doing it at a wedding, when he was 3. He was walking around in women's dress shoes. No biggie. Until a comment was made about him wearing women's shoes and what that could mean about his sexuality. A rather insensitive comment about a three year old. Needless to say, my feathers were ruffled.
I would never say to Gracie - or any other little girl, "You're playing with a baseball(golf club, matchbox car, train set, etc). Heh, heh. We know which team you'll be on." A boy, however, puts on a pair of dress shoes or wants a barbie car or Polly Pocket and there are instant thoughts/opinions of his sexuality.
How is it that I have fallen into the double-standard? Me? I would never pass judgement if a girl - Gracie even - were to play with a G.I. Joe doll or a matchbox car, Thomas the Tank Engine, Star Wars, etc...or for that matter want them. But I have an issue with my son wanting Polly Pocket or a Doll, etc. And at the very uttering of an ill comment about my three year old boy playing around, wearing women's dress shoes, got me beyond mad.
What is it that has changed in me? Why is it that when he was 2, 3 years old - these things were acceptable. And now they are not. Is it me projecting my own insecurities about what people think, off to my kids? Is it that I'm stuck in what are 'appropriate gender roles'?
I've always considered myself a very open-minded person. I have friends of all different backgrounds, religious, political beliefs, even sexual preferences. I never want to pass judgement off on things that really of are no concern to me. I've always felt that I should embrace people. Things like social status, clothing choices, physical appearance, sexuality, religion, politics aren't important to me, as far as whether I can or can't be close to someone. I want my children to understand that as well. It's how people treat you that is important. I want them to be loving to people just based on the fact that they are people.
And yet, here I am. Worried about my son wanting some silly girl's toy.

The Promise

Ok, here's the deal. I have to finish Gracie's costume. Not much is left to be done, but this is when I need to pony up even more. Because I will say to myself over and over, "I have time. I have time." And well, I'm running out of time.
Also, I FINALLY have been awarded my grants so that I can return to school. As classes for the 2nd part of the semester begin on the 30th, I have to get in there and register. SO...........
If I'm short on blogging the above reasons are the reasons why.
However, everytime I say that I'll be short on blogging, it seems I have even more to say. But I'm thinking I have to step away from the computer in order to get these things done.
Hopefully I can juggle it all in appropriate ways so as not to upset my blogging schedule!


Mothers Be Good To Your Daughters

I love my daughter.
Really I do. BUT she is 2 years, 3 months. Need I say more????? She is yelling -no not even yelling. She sounds like a demon. With this throaty roar "Noooooooo. Don't want it!'
or "Mines!!!!!" "NOOOO, Daddy!" She is picking fights with her brother, she won't have anything to do with Ravioli. She won't eat, she is throwing things, pushing us - literally - pushing us out of the way, hitting and list goes on and on.
Her frustration level is off the charts. As is mine. I'm losing my will to remain calm. I want to scream back at her. But really, what is that going to solve?
And not only that -
she has been a mommy's girls since birth. I'm trying to relinquish some of the attention and let daddy take the wheel. She's not having it. But if I continue to jump in to save Ravioli & Gracie, it just feeds her little fire. It will not solve the problem in the long run for anyone.
The behavior, attitudes and habits of a barely-three-foot tall person is shaking the foundation of this family to the core.
How could I have forgotten in 2 years, how to handle a 2 year old?
In fact, I didn't.
I hate to say this - being all feminist & all about equality - but it's because she's a girl. I'm not saying Connor didn't have his moments. But it's NOTHING, nothing compared to the shit-storm a 2 year old little girl will inflict.
Ugh. I can't give up. I can't.
Are any of you out there dealing with this same disease?? The plight of a having a 2 year old daughter??


Sunday Morning Warm & Fuzzies

Yesterday, I spent most of the day tagging along with my mom as she shopped. Which means Ravioli had our two heathens. After a morning with them rooting on their Uncle FatMarc at a local bike race, Ravioli & the kids are awaitng my return & winding down.
I return home & am unloading some groceries. Ravioli meets me in the kitchen and says, "I have to tell you this story."
And now I have to tell you:

Ravioli: "I was sitting at the computer and Connor was resting on the recliner under some warm blankies. And I hear Connor giggle, this weird giggle."
I immediately hear in my head Connor: devilishgiggle, devilishgiggle, devilishgiggle.
Ravioli: "So I'm sitting there thinking 'what is he doing'? So, I say to him, 'hey, buddy? what are you up to?"
Connor: devilishgiggle, devilishgiggle, devilishgiggle. "Daddy, I'm not playing with my penis."
Ravioli: "Buddy, stop playing with your penis."
Connor: devilishgiggle, devilishgiggle, devilishgiggle. "But I like to. It feels good."

Bry got great amusement out of this. I, too, chuckled. And really, it's normal. And I shouldn't make a huge deal out of it. But here's the thing: I'm not ready for this.
And as I'm sitting here typing this, I'm questioning myself & whether this is even appropriate to blog about or not. I can't wrap this post up in a neat, tidy little package. I just need to put it out there, in an effort to laugh it off.


When In Rome

I had a hit on my page from Torino, Italy yesterday. Pretty cool, huh?? Want to know what the keyword search was on google that they used? Ready??
Anal fist.
Yes, that's right. You read correctly. Anal fist.
And, if that is not disturbing enough, my blog was on 'page' 22 on google for that keyword search.
So, whoever it is in Italy sat through 22 pages of Google until they landed here. At little old Mrs. Incredible with the key word search of Anal fist.
I'm scared.
Are you??


Talkin' 'Bout A Revolution (Sounds Like A Whisper)

President Bush.
"Military Commissions Act"
Habeas Corpus.
That's all I have to say. Otherwise, I may be put on a list................ & arrested.

The above picture (as well as this Administration) scares the crap out of me. If I had the ways & means, we (and by we, I mean Ravioli, myself & little Ravioli's) would be OUT OF HERE.

Check out this blog and watch Keith Olberman's report. You must do this.


Thursday Thirteen Ramblings

THIRTEEN RANDOM THOUGHTS. Brought to you by: My scattered, crazy mind.

1) "His capa was detated." From last week's episode of 'The Office'. Michael was taken aback by his old boss passing away & he then finding out he was in an auto accident & was decapitated. That show is too funny & of all the 'wrong' things Michael says, this one just took the cake for me.
2) Without even thinking about it, my brain automatically will make a word/words/phrase out of the jumble of letters from the word verification when leaving a comment. I'm completely bizarre-o.
3) "He flicked me...with, with.....the end of himself." A quote from a "Mad About You" episode that I still find completely amusing. It has somehow come back to me after all of these years. I just love it.
4) I was sitting at the diningroom table with Connor while - making a project - and out of nowhere he exclaims, "BOOYAH!"

Where in the hell did that come from?? Where did he learn that??

5) I climbed into bed the other night. About an hour+ after I wanted to be in bed. Bry rolls over to me and says, "What time is it?" I replied, "Sex-o-clock".

6) There is nothing like a hot cup of coffee with Coconut Creme creamer on a chilly, rainy afternoon.

7) Lucky Charms - since childhood - has been my favorite cereal. However, a few months ago, I realized that the shapes of the oat pieces are the same shapes in 'Meow Mix' cat food. I'm completely freaked out by this.

8) I love thrift shopping. Monday, at the Goodwill, a clerk kindly gave me this hanging Tiffany-style diningroom lighting fixture. (I had been wanting one of these forever, but never wanted to pay the $).
I was stoked. After finding some cool clothes for Gracie, the light fixture was the cherry on top.

9) Has anyone else drawn the parallels between George W. Bush and Lord Farquaad from 'Shrek'?? I have thought this since the first time I saw the movie.

Especially when Lord Farquaad is amping up the Knight's to go on the quest to rescue Princess Fiona. He's addressing the knights in a public arena. He's speaking at his huge podium and says to the knights: "Some of you may die. But it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make."
Sorry, but that sounds like good 'ole W. to me.
10) What is the point of cleaning my house?? When TWO MINUTES LATER, it is completely destroyed by two sets of little hands?
I've given up on having a clean house.

11) My heart melted into a goopy, syrup-y mess, when last night, my baby girl sang along with me to Judy Garland's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".
It was a beautiful little moment. Gracie sings it better than I do.

12) There are two people from my past that I was really mean to.
One was from 6th grade.
The other was from the winter of 2000.
I have made up my mind that, before I die, I must find and contact these two individuals to offer up my sincere, heart-felt apologies.
It's been eating me alive for years that I could have ever been so cruel.

13) Bryan is in a training class to work in the prison's for overtime. He said to me, "I think that I want to do the S.E.R.T. training." I ask, "What is that again?" He replies, "It is the Emergency Response Team in the prisons. You know, basically it's their SWAT team." I told him, "Do It." He says, "Yeah, but the training is five weeks long. I'd have to get into shape......." Me: "Honey, if this is something you want to do, then DO IT. Find a way to make it happen."
Why can't I take my own advice?


Sign Your Name On The Dotted Line

How cool is this?? Connor's first signature. He did this by himself. I felt such a rush of pride. And accomplishment. Maybe all of the OT he has received/is receiving is finally paying off.


I've posted before about how the kids always seem to barge in when I have to sit on the porcelain goddess. Or just as I'm turning off the water in the shower. They always time that one just so. They open the door & let in that blast of frigid air. Amazing, really. They're timing.

Here is my solution: to buy a Shrek mask, put it on and scream this at the top of my lungs: "I live in a swamp. I put up signs. I'm a terrifying OGRE!!!!! WHAT. DO. I. HAVE. TO. DO. TO. GET. A LITTLE. PRIVACY?!?!?!?!?!"

Not funny? Not even a little? Oh, well. I tried.


Somebody More Like You

Thanks to Pippajo for this idee-er. This was fun to do. It is how I spent my afternoon while Connor was at school. I really know how to prioritize.
For the record, though. I do not believe I look like any of these here ladies. Although, anything is possible with a ton of make-up.


(I Think To Myself) What A Wonderful World

I've done my fair share of complaining the past few days. And now that I'm over it, I need to reflect.
Tonight, Gracie was having a hard time soothing herself off to sleep. I decided to go in, lightly rub her back & sing to her via her homemade lullaby CD. In about 2 minutes, she's sitting on the edge of her bed, falling asleep - sitting upright. I began to cry. Looking at her pudgy cheeks, singing to her. I wasn't like bawling crying, just a tear falling here & there.
The beauty of her really struck me. She's so simplistic & complicated. She is so feminine.
She snuggles up to me, in my lap & we become this tight little ball of a mother & daughter. Sitting there on her floor.
It comes back to me. How I enjoyed singing/rocking my children to sleep. It was a part of their infancy I didn't want to give up. And most would argue against such night time rituals. As this does not promote them comforting themselves to sleep. I say: you don't know what you're missing.
I should have done this three days ago with her.
So many things come rushing back to me.
The countless times spent nursing her and talking to her. Singing to her. The quiet pleasure of being totally immersed in her. And her in I.
The power of my bosom still lingers with both of my kids. And the power of them still lingers with me. They hit me right at my core. They bring me back home. They always seem to lure me back to where I need to be.
They have no idea they're doing it.
As I, am not always aware that I'm doing it.
The draw of my chest. The warmth that I carry there. The comfort, security and muffled conversation of my heart beating that let them know they were, and still are, completely safe.
The powers that clash as I hold Gracie could almost wreck the room we're sitting in.
My power of being the essence of safe. The life-line. Being the mommy. The womanly strength you feel when you are nurturing your children. My mommy mo-jo.
And Gracie's ultra-feminine, mommy's little girl allure. It's powerful.
These two forces. Colliding. At one moment in time. Gives me chills.
I sat there, tearfully. Absolutely peacefully. Happily. Listening to Eva Cassidy's version of 'What A Wonderful World' and am so thankful for this.
That I've quieted down my crazy mind. Long enough to enjoy this moment.
With my beautiful daughter.
My Little Girl.


Tide Is High. But I'm Moving On.

I thank you all for your kind words during this trying, monthly time. You all put a smile on my face (Jen, Pippa, Jon, Hev). Thank you.
I just want to say this: I took Jen's advice. We managed to get the kids to bed early. I poured myself a TALL pint of Guinness (got a good buzz going, by-the-way), got a comfy blanky & watched 'Casablanca'.

The storm has passed.
I repeat.
The storm has passed.

Thanks for weathering it with me.

Yes, I Do

Once A Man And Twice A Child

After my parents divorced, my mom remained single for many years. I remember once asking her at a young, tender age: "Mom, why haven't you gotten remarried?" She replied, "If I wanted another baby, I would've had one." I remember sitting there baffled by this, because, a man is a man. He can take care of himself. He is capable. He is mature. He is adult.
Psah. As if.
I have now come to know just what my mother was talking about. And it is infuriating. Here is a new quote/motto - whatever you'd like to call it which I have adopted:

'he who sits on his own ass while his wife slaveth away is deserveth of sideways glances, slanted eyes, glares and any profanity she throweth his way.'

I am not about to be dominated by anyone. I am not about to be in servitude to anyone either. If that means some people say 'she wears the pants in that family.' Then, so be it. This isn't 1954. It's 2006. My sisters before me didn't fight for me to wait all-a-flutter to clean up after any damn man. No matter how much I may love his lazy ass.
If the four of us contribute to a mess, than the four of us contribute to cleaning it.

So, ladies out there who have men that can do things without being asked, what is your secret? How do you get them to do that???? I've tried everything.

As a sidenote - I stand by this post & this one.........And Connor, in his infinite wisdom has taken cover at my mom's house this weekend. He's a smart boy. Wicked smart.

I Tried

"When the wind had freed me from the roots that tied me down, now I need them back for comforting" 'I tried' by Matt Costa

It may appear, at times that I cannot let things go. It may seem that I re-hash things that should long be forgotten. I say codswallop. You think those things because you do not know me. If I bring something up again, it is not to keep a fight going or relive something. I bring it up, usually, because I've been trying to reconcile it in this noggin of mine.
I've taken the opportunity to think about it, twist the words around inside of my head, to hear them in different intonation. I tend to recede within myself and see if that particular piece of information fits into context, if it can be applied across the board, if there's any merit or validity, and if it has been worth all of my time or not.

This thought has occured to me: my b-i-l was right. I am not sunshine and smiles. And it was wrong of me to portray myself that way. I am mostly cloudy to partly sunny. And my smiles are only spent on those whom I think may deserve them.

I am introspective, introverted, I am deep, always lost in thought. I try to mask my caverns with moss, flowers and shallow ponds. I try to keep away from the depths that I teeter along on a daily basis. I know that those depths could carry me into madness. I walk that fine line between sane in insane everyday.
I lean toward the sarcastic and the cynical.
The quiet and hopeful.

I long ago wanted to be the girl at the party/bar that everyone flocked to, the one with all of the jokes, the one with the right thing to say at the right time.
I have never been, nor will I ever be that girl.

I have found that because I am always afloat in my cloudy bliss that it gives me leave to appreciate more, the things of beauty, the Gods and Goddesses of Sun, the hopeful things, the lovely things. I have also found that in my caverns I hold feelings that run deep. I feel with my whole body. I feel happiness with my whole self. I lean towards empathy, I am eerily perceptive and can feel strong emotions for a total stranger in need.
I wish, however, that I didn't run from myself for so long. Because I think that I had potential to do some real good, to make some real change. With my mostly cloudy to partly sunny personality. Instead, I listened to people who - didn't really matter - and sold myself short.
Now is the time to feed my depths even further. Which, in turn, will feed my children. To help shape their caverns. And give them the fire that, in me, was put out too early.
I now look at something that I took as a dagger, as a gift. It has made me realize, though I'm not a round peg - or a square peg even - that I may be a little Left of Center.
That is more than o.k.
I enjoy my ability to wrap my mind around many thoughts, to feel for everyone (even those that can't feel for themselves) and to be passionate.
Thank you. I need to remind myself that being all sunshine and all smiles is not always o.k. Clowns are all sunshine and all smiles. And they're freaky.



As you all know, I haven't been feeling well the past few days. That being said, my blog has been neglected, as well as, the reading of all those I stalk regulary. As I sit down tonight & take a peek at my regulars I'm totally overwhelmed. I have so much to catch up on & so little time. I have been away from the computer for a day & it's like I've missed so much.
It's pathetic. I feel like I'm in high school & had to leave a slumber party & feel totally out of the loop.
What's worse than missing out on what's been going on with my regular reads is that I have nothing to say. I'm a well that has run dry. It seems to happen often. I should amend that. I have a lot to say. But my thoughts ram into each other & I can't peel them off of one another to stream together one lucid, clear thought. *Sigh* Thank god I don't support my family by writing. It appears I have writer's block. Constantly.
The most that I can come up with to write about is our big excitement for the month was our State Police helicopter was flying up & down our street looking for someone on the run. So, we like all of our neighbors, went outside & stood in our yards watching the helicopter, which was watching a criminal. Not the smartest move, in all honesty. To stand outside while a criminal is on the loose.
Which leads me to think about all these bloggers whom I love to read about. Having all of these great plans, wonderful trips, exciting lives. All I've got is a helicopter story, an underwear on my kids head story and a bad case of PMS. *Sigh*
Well, have a wonderful weekend. Maybe I'll come up with something riveting to say. What would we all do then?


Meant To Be?

So, I did the Dead Celebrity Soulmate quiz on Biography's website. And here's my 'perfect match'. Rudolph Valentino. Whudda thunk it??


You Better Run. You Better Hide.

I just had to share this, quickly...

My sinuses/allergies are doing the mambo all inside my face, head and throat. They're having a rip-roaring good time. Which means, I'm not having a good time. Quite frankly, I feel like shit. Now, my kids (especially Connor), being so sensitive and understanding, have figured out that the best way to help mommy is to be as demanding as humanly possible and about as impatient. It's 10:48 a.m. and I'm already done for the day. I'm sick of the demands. I'm sick of hearing, "Mom, will you do me a favor? Mom will you get me a snack? Mom can I have a cuppy?" and the oh-so lovely, "BUT I WANT TO PLAY THE GAME NOW!"

This is bull. It's all I can do not to pluck out every hair on his body. One by one. Which leads me to what happened next......
Connor comes downstairs from the bathroom. Which means he has nothing on the lower part of his body. (he has to take off his pants & underwear when he goes. don't ask me....ask his father). For whatever reason, he refuses to turn his clothes inside out. I was sitting here, writing my computer post, he walks over & holds up his underwear for me to fix. I didn't jump right on it as I was typing in mid-sentence. So, the cute little turd decides to shove his underwear in my face. Hot damn, it's on brotha. I took the cute little underwear, and put them on his cute wittle head and pulled them down over his face. Little shit.

Don't F$%* with me today, kid. So far, it's not looking too good for you.
Next thing you know, he'll be getting a swirly from me.

Ok Computer

The past few days, I've been feeding my blog obsession/narcissism by trying to learn more about blogging. I want a new look for my blog. I don't want to keep using this cookie-cutter design that blogger is kind enough to let me use. I want something better.
I've been doing google searches to try to learn how exactly I do this. And I've come up with this conclusion: I am an idiot.
Reading all of this computer jargon makes me feel like my head is going to explode. I have a hard time reading 'instructions' anyway (remember I've said that I'm a visual learner). I feel like I need to take a class to understand what exactly an RSS Feed is, what a blogroll is, what a ping is, how I get more people to read my blog, how I can get my own template, and the list goes on and on. You all are probably wondering how I even have a blog to begin with.....
If any of you have answers to these ridiculous questions, please, feel free to enlighten me. And, if you don't mind in your explanations, try spelling this stuff out as if you were talking to my 4-year-old.


The Space Between

There's a tiny corner in my house.
I walk by it and it gives me hope.
It appears to be untouched by chubby little hands - eager to paint the wall of that tiny little corner - with unintentional fat, kid finger strokes of smeared caresses as they walk by.
It has somehow, someway, serendipitously removed itself from the wrecking path of this family.
There is no adult detritus of shed clothing, shoes flung about, laundry, used dishes, books or bits of daily living left there - uncared for.
It is devoid of the sprinkling of the joys of two small children. No toys lay unplayed with - forgotten there. There are no tossed-aside books, no crumpled up socks. Not even a crumb from a once-enjoyed snack.
This tiny corner is a space that is well-traveled, regularly used and yet, somehow, almost forgotten. We have failed to dirty this corner with the smatterings of our family.
If there were an art book or magazine designed to showcase what a tiny little corner 'should' look like, this tiny corner - our tiny corner - would be on the cover and the focal point. It is the very epitome of a tiny little corner.
It gives me hope that, in time, one day the rest of the house could look like this. That tiny little corner is the standard to which I hold the rest of our home against.
Though it sounds quaint, prim and almost-perfect, it does bear a mark or two. It serves a most practical purpose, a tad filthy even. But yet this area is so pristine.
I walk by the tiny corner. At least 40 times a day.
Each time it gives me hope.


Here I Am. The One That You Love.

It has recently come to my attention that I've not only the propensity to be a complete music snob, I have developed the ugly disease of being a Radio Nazi. I can't help it. Bryan & I are not even really on the same page, musically. I think I tend to lean toward the more artsy, eclectic and he leans more to pop stuff. And when I say stuff, I'm being nice. (See what I mean? It's like I can't control it).
Saturday evening, we were on our way to my mom's for my birthday dinner. For once, he's driving. Which means he's got the wheel to the Sirius Satellite radio, as well.
He stops at Air Supply's "Here I Am". I swear, I was willing my ears to sew themselves shut so that I could be spared this monstrosity of a 'song'. I'm sitting in the car, hemming and hawing. He tries to tell a story about how this song reminds him of being a kid & his dad listening to it.....and I most rudely cut him off and say, "I can't believe you're listening to this. This is horrible." He huffily changes the station and says, "Do you approve of this?" I said, "Yes, actually I do. This is much better" ('American Girl' by Tom Petty). I look over at Ravioli and I can tell he's pissed. And what you have to understand about Ravioli is that he rarely ever gets his panties in a bunch about anything (which is good & bad). So I say in my best dig myself out of being wrong hole, "Are you serious? You're mad?" He says, "Yes. I was having a moment. I was trying to tell you a story about how this reminded me of when I was a kid." So feeling about as shitty as I should feel for being a total bitch, I say, "Change it back. It's no big deal." And of course, would he? No. Just to make me feel all that much worse.
I deserved it.
I just can't believe I've turned into this person that can't stomach a subpar song. That I can't suck it up for two minutes - to let my husband have a moment with a song that reminds him of his father. I should, of all people, understand how certain songs can reach deep inside of you and not let go. But because this song was not up to my standard - Bry had to forgo his moment because I've turned into a Radio Nazi music snob.
This wasn't about the song. It was about the feeling and the moment. And I'm so wrapped up in what I was hearing that I couldn't just swallow that - for my Ravioli.
I'm a totally insensitive, self-serving person. One more thing on my list of things that need to be overhauled.......

Progress #2

As I haven't bored you to death enough about Gracie's Halloween costume, I figured I'd make sure you are completely, thoroughly inundated with updates on my sewing progress. Here's the latest:

This thing has been a beast. I spent about 7 hours on the sleeves and the skirt yesterday. I was really aniticipating the sleeves being a bear and the skirt being cake. Oh, no. The sleeves? No effort. The skirt? A whole other story that I swear I won't bore you with.

There's still work left to be done. But if I have to look at the crappy pattern directions anymore today, I just may put my fist through a wall - or- a windshield. I'm thinking that I should get into the pattern-making business. There's got to be a way to come up with pattern directions that aren't completely discernable. Who knows? It could be me. Maybe I am just that thick.

Morgen's Halloween Meme

Slackermommy tagged me for this Halloween Meme, which came from It's A Blog Eat Blog World. Hmm, who can I tag? Jen and chunky monkey. I don't know anyone else well enough to ask them :/

1. What's the scariest movie you've ever seen?
Undoubtedly, the scariest movie for me was 'The Ring'. After watching that, I couldn't sleep for a week and when the previews were on TV for the Ring 2, I had to either cover my eyes or change the channel. I cannot watch scary movies. And if I do, it has to be during the day.
2.What was your favorite Halloween costume as a child?
Get ready to piss your pants. But I dressed up as Boy George (he was my favorite singer at the time). That one was probably my favorite. I had total creative control over my costume that year.
3.If you had an unlimited budget, what would your Fantasy Costume be for this Halloween?
Glinda, The Witch of The North
Costanza from 'Amadeus'.
4.When was the last time you went Trick or Treating?
That last time I went trick or treating was in the 7th or 8th grade. But the last time I escorted someone trick or treating was last Halloween.
5.What's your favorite Halloween candy?
I'd have to agree with slackermommy that anything with chocolate, peanuts and/or peanut butter.
6.Tell us about a scary nightmare you had.
I can't really think of any. I sleep so deeply when I do get to sleep that I can't really remember my dreams.
7. What is your Supernatural fear?
Evil spirits
8.What is your Creepy-Crawlie fear?
Anything to do with nasty, disgusting, disease-ridden mice.
9.Tell us about a time when you saw a ghost, or heard something go Bump in the night.
I was standing at the kitchen sink, washing dishes & I thought Connor walked by the doorway that seperates the kitchen/diningroom. I was talking to him and he didn't answer. He wasn't in the diningroom at all. He was laying on the floor in the livingroom, watching TV. (My stepdad's brother did die in this house battling brain cancer & he passed away in the make-shift hospital room they had set up for him in the diningroom). There are more stories, but too many to type.
10.Would you ever stay in a real Haunted House overnight?
Um, HELL NO. But it seems that my house may be haunted from time to time. So, if I had a choice....NO NO NO.
11.Are you a tradionalist (just a face) Jack O'Lantern Carver, or do you get really creative with your pumpkins?
As weird as I am, I am a traditional Carver.
12. How much do you decorate your home for Halloween?
I don't decorate hardly at all for Halloween (not as much as I'd like). I basically decorate for Autumn.
13.What do you want on your Tombstone?
Ding, Dong The Witch Is Dead
It took all that dirt to finally shut me up.


I Heart Inappropriate, Vulgar Humor - Especially On My Birfday

This is how Bryan sang 'Happy Birthday' to me this morning. Too freaking funny.
(It's not really Ravioli. Just a link he was kind enough to share with me.) This is up there as one of the best 'presents' I've received. Completely juvenile. Completely necessary.


Now, stop reading and checkitout.


October 7th, 1978. On this day, my beautiful wife was born. I have hijacked her blog this morning to leave a message for her. My wife uses this as an outlet to vent, so I thought that I would too. Tab, I love you. I love you more everyday and I cannot imagine my life without you in it. Like most couples, we have not always had an easy time, but we have persevered and are stronger for it. We struggle almost daily to keep our heads above water and to retain our sanity. There have been days when I thought I could not keep going, but the thought of you always brings me back where I belong. You bring me home. You have enriched my life in so many ways. You work hard everyday to raise our beautiful children, which is a job that I certainly don't thank you enough for. I could keep going on forever, but I wanted to keep this simple. I hope that you have a wonderful day today. I also hope that regardless of what others have planned for today, you realize just how wonderful today is. 28 years ago, you came into this world. Born to two people who loved you very much, and still do. Along the way, others have come to know and love you, not the least of whom, is me. I love you baby and always will! Happy Birthday!



Just in case any of you are entranced & on the edge of your seat waiting for me to post about sewing, I figured I'd post about Gracie's "costume". Here is where I'm at so far:

This is the bodice (obviously) minus the sleeves - they are next up to be worked on.

This is to be the skirt. I haven't figured out the fine art of gathering. I thought this was to be the easier part of this little project. No. Not true. If any of you have tips on gathering, I'd love to hear them!

So, that's it. Can you handle the excitement??? I am proud, though. It's the first time I've sewn clothes. I guess I shouldn't count my chickens before they hatch. I have plenty of time to screw this up!


One Little Slip

Tonight, I quickly let go of my patience. And over something pretty trivial. I had to run out to pick up a zipper, hook & eye fasteners and some interfacing for Gracie's costume.
I came out of the store to find a car parked ridiculously close to my car. I mean, to the point where I could not get in my vehicle. I stood there staring. People probably thought I was crazy as they were walking to their cars & see me standing there, just staring at these two cars. I didn't park all wonky in my parking spot. And when I pulled in my spot, that car was not there. I had to climb in my car through the passenger side.
Granted, in the whole big picture of things people could do to me, this was not a big deal. I know. I understand. All week I've been laughing stuff off. But this sent me on a note-writing rampage. Here is what the note said to the a$%hole who ticked me off this evening:

"I generally do not enjoy getting into my car by climbing through the passenger side. So, thank you for parking in a way that made that possible tonight. The level to which people can be an asshole never ceases to amaze me. So, thank you."

And in all honesty, they're lucky that's all they got out of me. Because I was teetering along the lines of bashing in their passenger side door w/ my driver side door. But I made progress tonight. I controlled my anger & did not lash out. One small step...........

I never claimed to be perfect. But I would not be me if I didn't get my Irish temper on every once-in-awhile, right?? Don't sweat the small stuff.....Yeah, Yeah. I know. I'm tryin'.

Days Like This

Yesterday I was in the shower (can you believe it??) I was thinking about Pippajo's post the other day & realizing how badly things in my life are being neglected.

My kids, my husband, my dog, our Netflix queue, the book 'Wicked' that I bought to read & it sits......Gracie's costume isn't far along as I'd like, my kitchen floor, my yard, our car and the list goes on and on.
The thing is I get so overwhelmed that I have NO clue where to start. I throw my hands up in the air at the thought of cleaning my house. With two small children, I feel like, "What's the point?" Everday, I walk by the festering pile of toys and promise to weed them out. And the thing is, I do. But somehow, someway they seem to multiply exponentially by touch....or something.

*Ravioli & I neglect ourselves & our marriage everyday. Not willingly. Just part of daily living. The mundane, the everyday can strangle the life out of anything. We, like most married couples, have fallen into a routine that could, quite possibly, qualify us for AARP.
*We've gotten so wrapped up in our crappy TV viewing routine, that we are neglecting movies that have been sitting here in our house & in our queue.
*I had this grand delusion that Connor attending school everyday for 3+ hours would transform me & this house into the very vision of perfect homemaker & perfect house. The only thing the Connor-free afternoons have allowed for is for me to do absolutely.......nothing.
*Awhile back, I had this wonderful idea to give myself approximately 45 minutes one night a week to take a bath and give myself a facial, a 'pedicure', a hand treatment and to scrub the nasty dead skin away with Clinique's Body Scrub (mmmm, LOVE this stuff). Do I have any idea when the last time I did that was???????? I mean, my family could stand to have a clean mommy in the house. But it's a luxury they'll have to do without.

**The only thing I haven't neglected is my blogging. I always can find time to do that. So, I hope that I/we are not neglecting these things because we want to neglect them. I don't want to feel like if I walk into an electronics store, the kids will see a computer, run up to it & call it 'Mommy'. Or have them sit on a couch in some therapist's office and say, "My mom loved us once. She paid so much attention to us. But then.........she.....started.......blogging ! " (insert great sobs & wails here).

I need to make an effort to put just as much of myself in everything here, in the real world, as I do out here in Blogland. I can't give up either. But balance is in order.

This is the worst of all >>>>>>>>>

I have neglected to properly teach my daughter how to accesorize!!!

Burnin' Down The House

Now, don't all get hysterical. This is a (possibly) temporary change.
I've heard a rumor that the comment portion of my blog is not working properly. I really don't know what's going on.....as it is working for some and not others.
I was thinking that maybe changing my template is a possible solution.
I have emailed blogger & have yet to hear from them (imagine that). Hang tight......I'm going to enable the 'contact me' portion over in my profile in case any of you are absolutely desperate to comment and can't......


Eyes Without A Face - Open Forum

I just wanted to open up the lines of communication for all of my lurkers, stalkers, readers out there who read on a daily basis, but have yet to comment.
I know you're out there.
I don't bite.
I'd love to hear from you.
Suggest a topic for me to write about. Let me in on the posts you've enjoyed the most. Or Whateva.
But I would love to hear what's on your mind.

Random #661

As a sidenote, I just had to share my glee at it being only October 4th(?) and I have purchased TWO Christmas gifts already! This is a first. I have to take the little triumphs. They're what is keeping me going at this point.


The other day, I sat down to write out on paper something that I wanted to blog about. Bryan read it, thought it was corny, so I scratched that idea. Since then, I have struggled to come up with something to say. I have struggled to sift through the many, many thoughts that are swirling inside of my cranium. They are so jumbled and muddled that I can't put two thoughts together. It's to the point that I don't know where one thought ends and another begins. It is completely and utterly exhausting, exasperating and frustrating. Everything I'm doing to try to quiet my mind, is not helping.
I feel like there is all of this pressure to write about something great. And I can't do it. My blog is filled with fluff. And you want to know why? Because I'm a coward.

I don't think people can handle what I have to say. And not only that, I'll risk sounding negative and bitter. I'll sound harsh. And can you believe that I actually care about what people think? I want to believe that I don't. And to some degree, it is true. But deep down is that young band geek trying desperately, awkwardly, quietly to be heard, understood and accepted.

The other scary thought is: do I even have anything to say? Or am I just a shallow pan of wannabe thoughts and insights? What if all this time, I just thought I had something to say? What if all this time, I just thought I had slightly intelligent thoughts?

What is it I'm lacking? Inspiration? I.Q.? Clarity? Feeling? The ability to effectively sort through thoughts & effectively get them from brain to paper/computer?

Something is amiss. And it has me questioning everything.

I'm afraid I've plunged into an abyss that I can't rescue myself from.


The Name Game

(this is one of my favorite pictures that I took when Gracie was only a few months old)

I thought since I titled the childbirth posts in a 'strange' way, I'd do some explaining.
About a year ago, when I would ask Connor what his name was, he would reply, "Connor D-Daniel D-Dettori". So, I thought it would be cute to use that as the post title for the childbirth stories.
And then I figured since I cleared that up, if you're at all interested, I'd explain their names. Granted, neither is all that uncommon. I had figured since my name was unusual, I wanted both of my children to have uncommon names........That was not to be.
The debate over Connor's name still rages on, 4 years later. Bryan says he picked Connor. My recollection is that we agreed simultaneously. Alas, he was to be Connor. And we picked his middlename after the song 'Daniel' by Elton John. Bryan's family is Irish-Italian. I am of Irish/English/German descent. I thought Connor Daniel Vettori was a nice spaghetti-eating Irish name.......
The story behind Gracie's name is much clearer. I had my heart set on 'Cadence' and shorten it to 'Cade', looooooong before she was even conceived. It was not to be. Bryan couldn't stand it. Now, before we found out the sex for Connor, I know I had thrown 'Grace' out there as a possibility for a girl's name. And I distinctly remember Bryan not liking it. But one day, he comes home & says there was a newspaper article about popular baby names based on TV shows & he mentions 'Grace'. I thought how perfect......
See, as a little girl, I remember watching interviews of George Burns on 60 Minutes and what-not. And in every interview I had seen him in, he always mentioned his beloved Gracie. I adored the fact that a)he still held her so close to his heart and 2)he called her Gracie. So, Grace it was.......Gracie-goo, in fact. (The 'goo' part isn't legally part of her name - just thought I'd clarify.) And her middle name was picked after the song 'Alison' by Elvis Costello.
There you have it, folks. The story behind the story.

The End Of The Innocence

I need clarity. I need to know why we live in a world that has all but lost it's humanity. The shootings that took place in Lancaster Co. yesterday have me shaken. We don't live all that far from Lancaster Co. It's not 5 mins away, but it's not so far removed, either.
We pass through Lancaster when we visit with my mom's side of the family. I know where that schoolhouse is. My family is considered 'Pennsylvania Dutch' just because of our German heritage - and living in Pennsylvania. My family is by no means 'Amish'. But there are some core values that, I believe, in the older generations are similar.
I can't stand to hear of any cruelties against human or animal. I think I'm pretty normal as far as that goes. But when I think of young, totally innocent children being shot - execution style - I cannot wrap my mind around what could possibly push someone to commit something so monsterous. The innocence of that culture is completely shattered.
I just can't find it within myself to post much more about this. In some weird way, I feel too close to this.

These pictures I took on a weekend trip to Lancaster in November of '00. This is NOT the schoolhouse that was involved.....


Grace Alison

I was due with Gracie on July 20, 2004. I knew she would be close to on schedule. On July 21st around, 5:30 p.m I began having strong contractions. We head to the hospital, where we meet my mom & stepdad. My mom stays with us and my stepdad takes Connor with him. We go in and I'm having regular contractions, but I'm only at 3 cm's. I know instantly that they're going to cut me loose. And based on my track record, I know I'm in labor. Just not progressing. They monitor me for about an hour, give me a sleeping pill, tell me to take a shower and kick me out.
We hop in the car, with my mom in tow - we have to take her to her house & get Connor. Now, my mom lives all of 15 mins. from the hospital. In that time, I begin having pains that could choke a chicken. And my mom is in the backseat, laughing and trying to relieve the 'tension'. I was in so much pain & so tired of hearing her, that at one point, I was going to tell Ravioli to stop the car and either she gets out or I do.
We get to her house and I am in unbelieveable pain. I'm in the bathroom, hanging over the sink. Kas walks in and asks if I'm ok. "NO! I'M NOT OK!!!!!!" I finally have my fill and we head BACK to the hospital.
They plop my ass in a wheelchair and sit me in.a.waiting.room. Thanks. There are other soon-to be mom's in there. Chatting away. Talking about nonsense. They all look to be anywhere from 5-7 months. And a nurse calls one of them back to go into a room. The expectant mom says to the nurse, "Ah, don't you think you should take her first?" (talking about me) Because I was in there moaning and cursing.........
They finally take me back and I get the original nurse that sent me home to begin with. And by now, my mood has greatly changed. I'm in so much pain.....my glasses were on & I'm fighting through a contraction and I spat out to Rav, "WOULD YOU TAKE THESE GLASSES OFF OF MY FACE!!!!!!" The nurse says, "Oh yeah, she's in labor." They give me an epidural. Rav falls asleep and I am left to sit awake. All.damn.night. Everytime I try to sleep and just begin to fall out........here she comes. My mother.
As is my MO, I take forever to progress. In the early dawn hours, I feel the urge to push. I push for 5 minutes, and at 6:45 a.m. on July 22nd, Gracie - all 8+ lbs of her - is wailing away.

Connor D-Daniel D-Dettori

As I'm writing this, let me just clear up right now that it is 1:38 p.m. Monday afternoon & I'm teetering between buzzed and drunk. I'm doing beer can chicken for dinner, ok? You can't use a full can, or 2....or 3. ANYWAY.
I was due with Connor on 7/22/02. That day came and went. With me being totally miserable, fat and only eating Flavor-Ice's as my appetite was nil.
The days keep coming and going. No baby. Damn.
My in-law's have a rather large yard and every night, after dinner, I'd walk this 'loop' around their yard. Trying to encourage dilation - anything.
One evening, after dinner, I'm having Braxton-Hicks contractions and true to form, begin my nightly walk. Bryan was at work. On the 3-11 shift. Actually, he may have worked a double that day. He gets home around 11:30 and asks how I'm feeling. I tell him, "You know, I've been having the normal fake-me out contractions. I feel weird, but it's probably nothing." He looks at me weary-eyed and says, "You can't go into labor tonight. I'm exhausted." We head up to bed.
I awake at about 2:00 a.m. after being startled awake & feeling like I have to pee - badly. I go into the bathroom and with basically no effort, there is a big "GUSH". I look in the toilet and call out to Ravioli, "Um, this doesn't look like pee. You better get in here." We call the doc, she tells us to go in, and we do. I'm feeling no pain. Nothing, other than the constant leaking.
I go into my holding cell, they confirm that my water broke, but I'm barely dialated. After awhile, they send me to an actual room. The nurse says, "I see here honey, that you want to deliver naturally. With no drugs. I say, there's nobody here. The anestesiologist is right out in the hall. Let's get you that epidural now." Sheepishly, shamefully, I consent to the epidural. Bryan is asleep. Damn epidural hurt like hell. Sweet dreams, Bry.
I sit, the rest of the 'morning' and into daylight, awake. Nothing is happening. They keep checking me and I'm not progressing. I'm stuck at 3....barely to 4....by 5:45 p.m. the next day I'm stalled at 5. They give me some time and the same. The nurses and docs descend on me to tell me I'm being wheeled in for a C-section, but before that, check me & I'm up to 8 or 9 centimeters. FINALLY.
The nurse announces that I can begin to push. And I did. And began having a 'movement' so-to-speak. Totally emabarrassing. I pushed for 40 minutes and at 7:27 p.m. on 7/27/02, Connor Daniel was welcomed to the world.


Note To Self #1

I need to stop the nasty habit of drinking coffee after 4 p.m. It's getting me into a funky sleep pattern. It's neither helpful or practical.

From One Goober To Another

The Ravioli & I don't have a lot of people we call 'friends'. People we see often, talk about 'surface' stuff with. Filler people basically. People who place themselves around you for the parties, the beer, the good-times. But are scarce to find during the not-so-pleasant. And since, with two small children, we don't have much of a social life, that works out well for us.
Instead, we are blessed with a handfull of GreatFriends. They are there through thick and thin. We may go months without talking. But we think of each other everyday & when we do speak again, we pick up right where we left off.
Tonight, we had the pleasant surprise of a spur-of-the-moment, drive-by visit from our GreatFriend and Godfather to our children, Jon. He has moved away from the great state of Delawhere to the city of Baltimore. He has been there for almost 2 years. Boldly going where no Jon B___ has gone before. I admire his courage to try something that some only think about trying. I admire him for always giving things an honest go and for testing himself in new & exciting ways. He thrills us with his stories of danger & adventure and we bore him with stories of the kids.
What you have to understand about Jon is the ability to weave a tale of humdrum into the tale of excitement, comedy and mad-capped escapades. It is a gift. A gift that I truly didn't appreciate until the birth of Gracie-goo.
Gracie, obvioulsy, was my second delivery. And I was expecting to go home after one-night's stay. However, the doc suddenly discovered her to have jaundice (total BS) and they wouldn't send me home. I was freakin'-frackin' determined I was not spending one more night in that hospital.
Jon was visiting with us & it started getting pretty late (as far as the hospital was concerned). My 2nd shift nurse came in & said she hadn't gotten in touch with the doc. It looked like I was staying another night. I burst into tears (I was all hormonal). She had a heart & said she would try again to get in touch with him. End scene - Enter Jon
Jon leaves my room & goes out to speak with the nurse. He concocts this story that, 'all of my family were waiting at home to throw us a 'welcome home, welcome Gracie' party. They were all waiting for us, as they heard we would be coming home. And how disappointed they would all be if they had to leave. Then he threw in - just for good measure - that his sister (or his friend?) had a baby who was jaundiced, but that they sent them home with biliblankets. Gracie wasn't that jaundiced. Couldn't they just send us home with a biliblanket?' The nurse is touched by this, gets the doc on the phone & I am discharged at 9:45 p.m.
I was ecstatic! Yay for Jon! He made his bones the night he sprung me from the hospital.

Jon has been at just about any major event that we have celebrated. He was there shortly after the birth of both of our babies, he was in our wedding, he is the Godfather to both of our children.
He is good to tell us when we're acting like asses, but remind us we're still awesome.
He constantly extends himself above and beyond. And I know that if we ever needed to, we could call him for anything.
May The Force Be With You, Jon.