Monday, July 30, 2007

Devils and angels on my shoulder, Monkeys on my back

Yesterday I had a talk with Anna because our day was rolling downhill very quickly. I sat Anna down and told her that I am very tired of having to nag her about the very same things every day, and that I get very grumpy because I have to say the same things every day. BUT then I realized that it was one particular incident that I was really annoyed with, and the other things that may or may not grate my nerves on a less trying day were piling up on my very last nerve.

It's called guilt, right?

I found her upstairs and apologized for being so cranky. I explained what had happened- which was that I was really annoyed with the first thing, then everything else really got on my nerves. It wasn't her fault that I was so grumpy, and that I realized I was really just still upset from the first incident.

I explained that I understand that it can be frustrating because we have so many rules, but then I asked her:

"Don't you ever get that feeling or hear that little voice that tells you 'you better not do that!'?"

"Well, sometimes it's like in those TV shows where you have a good angel on on shoulder and a bad one on the other... and one of the says 'You should-', and that's all I hear." She smiles at me, obviously happy with herself for painting such a vivid example of the trials of a 6 year old.

To which I sat and stared in disbelief, but with a wry smile... and then I said, "Come on, give me a break... somebody's been watching too many goofy kid's shows. Look, you can't tell me that you don't listen to that voice inside of you that tells you right from wrong. We all have that voice, even mom and dad. And - if you don't like having a grumpy mommy then you have to help me out by following the rules so that I don't have to get mad because I have to repeat the same rules everyday."

I rounded the conversation of by telling her that if you love someone, you worry if whether or not you have hurt their feelings- and that was why I had come up to talk to her. Also though, you worry if you are doing the same wrong things over and over and are making them upset.

Sometimes I tell John that I am worried that I am like my mother, and in the past he has helped me realize that the crucial difference between my mother and I is the fact that I even care whether or not my children are hurting... that and I don't beat the crud out of them.

I do care about my girls and I DO want them to have a better childhood than me, and on the days when I wonder if I am like that monster even just a little bit... well, I work that much harder at knocking the devil off my shoulder and being accountable.

One day I hope I can share with my daughters that it wasn't all about me teaching them about life. They have taught me a thing or two. Each of us have our angels and devils perched on our shoulders, I guess it's all in how we handle them, literally.


Me yesterday: Nobody gets breakfast until mommy's coffee starts to brew. *yawn*

John: Oh, is that right?

Me: Oh yeee-ahhhh, I have priorities, ya know. This trip (to Reno August 16th! yeeehaw!) should be interesting because I don't know how or when when I will reach caffination each day. *Thinks to self about the possibility of sucking on a tea bag each morning, or snorting coffee grounds if need be*

John nods in agreement but then says: Caffination? I don't even know what that is. Is that even a word?

Me: Sheeeee-yah *rolls eyes*, it's a word-

Caffination- the moment in which caffeine enters one's bloodstream.


The moment in which one reaches their
"Coffee Zen".

John: *snort and a smirk* Ummmmhmmmm....

Hello, my name is Mary... and I'm a Caff head.

Manic Monday- Miss

Today's Manic Monday is brought to you by the word MISS. For more manic Monday, visit Mo by clicking the banner. :D

I'm Miss Understood.

Sometimes I'm:
Miss Guided
Miss Behaved
Miss Communicated
Miss Matched
Miss Cellany
Miss Chievious
Miss Erable
Miss Fit
Miss Haps
Miss Ing
Miss Spent
Miss Stepped
Miss Stated
Miss Taken
Miss Informed
Miss Placed
Miss Pronounced
Miss Quoted
Miss Read
Miss Spelled

and occasionally:

Miss Ty Eyed

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Blogging Tips

My friend Judy tagged me with this cool meme about sharing blogging tips and some link love. This last January, I wrote a blog post about what I learned from blogging for a Carnival of Blogging Chicks theme. I've added my tip below quoted from this blog post.


It’s very simple. When this is passed on to you, copy the whole thing, skim the list and put a * star beside those that you like. (Check out especially the * starred ones.)

Add the next number (1. 2. 3. 4. 5., etc.) and write your own blogging tip for other bloggers. Try to make your tip general.

After that, tag 10 other people. Link love some friends!

Just think- if 10 people start this, the 10 people pass it onto another 10 people, you have 100 links already!

1. Look, read, and learn. **

2. Be, EXCELLENT to each other. ****

3. Don’t let money change ya! *

4. Always reply to your comments. ********

5. Link liberally — it keeps you and your friends afloat in the Sea of Technorati. ****

6. Don’t give up - persistence is fertile. **

7. Give link credit where credit is due. ******

8. Pictures say a thousand words and can usually add to any post. ****

9. Visit all the bloggers that leave comments for you - it's nice to know who is reading! ****

10. Make a blogger template unique: change the background colour, or add a background picture to your header. **

11. Write positively even if the situation is seemingly negative -- spread joy and not gloom. You can do it!*

12. When you find something that interests you, write about it. Sharing yourself with others is one of the best things about blogging.*

13. Everyone gets a little "blog burnout" eventually. Sometimes you need to hang up that "I'll be back in a few days, I am taking a blogging break" sign, kick back and relax. You'll feel so much better for it, and you might actually enjoy blogging when you come back.


If you would like to do this meme... you're it! Let me know in comments so I can check out your post too. :D

Thursday Thirteen- 13 things I did yesterday

1. Made coffee when I got up.

2. Having zero grams of caffeine in my blood, I immediately missed my mouth and spilled coffee on my night gown. ( I have a slight DRINKING problem)

3.Laundry for my baby boogers.

4. Left clean clothes in the dryer while washing the dishes. What? My hands were wet! At least the clothes are clean, right? ;)

5. Finished unpacking Anna's room from when she got her room back 3 months ago ( Anna had to give up her room for a year to share with her little sister but since they have nearly clawed each other to pieces, and John and I only sleep in our room, we decided for everyones sanity to give Anna her own room back) , moved all of the boxes and boxes of girly stuff that couldn't be crammed into the room- because every surface is now covered- up into the attic.

6. Took a 10 minute breather and wished I still had an inhaler handy.

7. Considered procrastinating and putting off cleaning Emma's room... for another 3 months.

8. Made blueberry muffins with Anna.

9. Made lemon poppy seed muffins, but added too much milk while I was day dreaming. Added another box of muffin mix and doubled the recipe to make up for the extra day dream dairy. Felt guilty over the 2:1 lemon poppyseed to blueberry ratio (since Anna and I are pretty much the only ones who eat the lemon, but the 3 of them eat the blueberry... thus making the actual muffin rationing in my favor)

10. Made another batch of blueberry muffins so that muffin distribution would be a bit more equal.

11. Cleaned up the huge pile of toys I have been neglecting on Em's side of our room, put away toys that had filtered to the bottom of the pile and rotated with new (to Emma, old to Anna) toys from the attic.

12. After an hour of toy categorizing (genus and species of Little People- yes I'm that anal. OK not quite, but almost.), organizing and swapping, I schlepped 4 more boxes and totes full of the ankle biters stuff up to the hot and steamy attic.

13. Contemplated a shower and procrastinated about it while taking a break, panting, and reading in the new and improved Emma's room. Had a nice time relaxing - except for the part where Emma kept putting her feet in my book, or tried to help me read by running her fingers over the sentences and saying "Once upon a time..."to get my attention. ;)

14. After seeing all the work I did yesterday, my loving hubby took us out for grub. :D Gad, that man must love me or something.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Manic Monday- WIND

When I think of the word wind, I always think of the Disney movie Pocahontas and the song Colors Of The Wind. I truly love that movie and never tire of watching it.

Wind has always been one of my favorite forces of nature, and it reminds me of the few peaceful moments of my childhood... camping and napping in the summer to the sound of the breeze caressing the trees around us.

To this day I become instantly drowsy when I hear the rustling of leaves, and it's no wonder that fall is my favorite season. Though the trees shift and change, and leaves sing their swan song, it's a song that is made more beautiful and brilliant by the wind's embrace. Long after the leaves have fallen from their place of glory, I continue to enjoy their whispers on chilly fall nights as gusts stir them up into swirls on the sidewalks.

I think that when I leave this world, I want to be outside under the shade of a tree with my hair flowing free in the wind... to feel the bliss of that sound in my ears, and to feel the it's lingering kisses on my skin. Yes, I love it that much.

I guess all in all what wind represents to me is peace, and I think we could all use a bit of that.

Thanks Mo for hosting this wonderful meme! For more Mo and Manic Monday, go here.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

This is my face... and, this is my face on crack.

Want to give it a try? Go to this site I found on Stumble... But you need a pic that is 60X50 pixels so have your paint program like photoshop handy to resize your picture. Also I couldn't get the html code they give you to look right so I used a screen capture utility to take a pic of the results... I use Simply Capture.

BTW, don't do crack. Crack is bad. This has been PSA brought to you by Mert.

The meaning of life? It's in the cards.

Yesterday Anna and I played her Littlest Pet Shop game, which involves moving around the board to collect one each of 4 colored chips, then making it home before the other person. If you land on a spot with monkey business (a picture of toy monkeys), you get to take one chip away from an opponent if you need one of the colors they have.

Each time Anna approached the monkey business, she got giggly and squirmy and told me that she WOULD take one of my pieces. Then, if she had more chips than me she would gloat.

"That's not good sportsmanship, honey," I told her.

Anna made the universal and exaggerated "Oooooooooh" face, complete with raised eyebrows. "I didn't know that, sorry."

We are still working on her not doing the end zone dance every time she wins a game, but she is learning.

I proceeded to win 3 out of 3 games much to her disappointment. I asked her if she wanted to play one more time, because she still had a chance to win one. "No way , mom," She said matter of fact, with her arms crossed, then she picked up a handful of game pieces and chucked them in my general vicinity.

"Anna, again- bad sportsmanship. Help me clean this up please."

And she did. Surprisingly, after only a few minutes of sulking she was up for the challenge of a new game. I explained that on rainy days as a child- or when our mother was behaving like a beast and nothing we did was good enough so as punishment we had to stay inside, which of course I didn't tell her- my brothers and I played a game called Kings On The Corner.

We really enjoyed playing; Anna enjoyed learning and I enjoyed watching her pick up the game without a hitch. Of course I won, but not because I didn't help her play, it just worked out that way. Despite losing AGAIN, she admitted it was a lot of fun and she wanted to play again one day with me , and maybe even her dad.

A little while later while I washing the dishes, she came in and said, "You know mom, it's OK to lose sometimes... it's not like it's going to damage your life or anything."

I'm so glad that by not letting her win all the time that I am teaching her that losing and failure are a normal part of life. Despite losing 4 games within an hour, she has learned that a little thing like that isn't going to stop her from enjoying these thing in the future. She's learned to suck it up and to pick up the pieces, literally. After a brief mourning period , of course.

Very profound, coming from a 6 year old I think. And I thought I was teaching her something. ;)

Friday, July 20, 2007

I've got a dirty little secret, and my dilemma

OK, it's not dirty, but it's not what you would expect from a mommy blogger. Bear with me, folks.

About 4 days ago, my younger brother called me with an idea. Since he and I are flying out to see our sister in less than a month and he will be meeting Marci face to face for the first time, Ben thought that to commemorate the moment, we could all get a tattoo. Marci already has 2, and Ben has at least 5 I think... but me? None. That's not to say that I don't have markings. I have plenty of marks on me but none of them are pretty.

My husband became angry very quickly, he is against tattoos, you see. He thought it was very inappropriate for my younger brother to suggest something like this, and he was angry that I would even tell Ben that I would consider it- despite knowing that he doesn't like them. Later he asked me what kind of example would I be setting for our children, which I really took offense to.

This may sound a bit romantic but since watching Miami Ink (which I love), I have learned that usually there is a reason behind a tattoo. That's not to say that people don't get a tattoo on a whim, or because they saw something pretty they liked. Watching the show and being an artist, I began to appreciate the time, effort and artistic skill these guys put into their work. Almost every client they have wants a tattoo for a reason, usually as a memorial to a lost loved one or to signify an experience that they had that changed their life forever.

And... to be quite honest, I have always wanted a tattoo but I could never think of reason good enough to get one. Most importantly though, I didn't want my husband to think less of me.

Over it's [almost] 38 years, my body has endured marking. I have so many scars that I have stopped counting; each and every scar has a story and a distinct memory attached to it. Some of the memories are horrible, and others bearable.

The marks on my body are not who I am as a person. They don't define me, and they certainly are not boundary markers of who I am and who I could or couldn't be. They simply tell a story of life as it is , and has been up until today.

I have many, many cat scratch scars from the 8 cats that I have owned since being married 18 years ago. Whether kittens or adult cats, all of my cats have given me at least one battle scar.

I have a small scar between my eyebrows from the time I managed to pull the high jump bar down on myself in track. As I jumped over, my foot hooked itself on the bar and eventually the bar came crashing down on my brow, the sheer force of the bar colliding with my skull caused my skin to split open. This scar brings up old resentments because I had finally found something that I loved but my mother refused to let me continue because I had hurt myself. This from the person who hurt me and my body on an almost daily basis... it doesn't make sense to me.

When I feel the pebble that is embedded in my skin just beneath a layer of barely perceptible scar tissue, I don't think of fear so much as a choice to live no matter what the consequences would be. I can recall jumping from that car with clarity as if it had happened yesterday, and though I felt great fear, I decided that jumping from a speeding car would ultimately save my life. My thoughts weren't completely coherent, but when I look back on that day, and on the days that my elbow hurts- in a weird way I look back with an odd fondness. This little pebble of mine reminds me on the days when I don't want to get out of bed that I am a braver human being than I give myself credit for.

I have a mark on my neck... it's fading still but if you look you can see it. Four years ago I had a very large benign mass removed with the right side of my thyroid. I feared for my life while I waited for the results from the preliminary biopsy, and those 2 weeks before I was told I would still have to have surgery to remove the mass was agony. I imagined the worst, that I had cancer, and that I would not live to see my 2 year old Anna grown into adulthood.

In my sk*rt post I explained that you'd "see paths my body traveled- in joy and in pain, through the marks mapped out on my thighs and belly", and I talk about "the scar on my lower belly that bore three children- 2 in life and one that was not meant to be". I also have 3 new scars : One on my right bicep, and two on my right thigh and hip from having lumps removed from body last December.

These marks were not my choosing. I didn't want any of them, and yet here they are. I've had a life time of marks placed on my body, and my life - I hope- is far from over.

After thinking for a night on what image I would want on my body forever- despite knowing that my husband was still very angry about the whole thing- the lotus flower kept coming to my mind. I told my brother and sister about the symbolism behind it and they both love the idea:

In modern times the meaning of a lotus flower tattoo ties into it's religious symbolism and meaning. Most tattoo enthusiast feel that the a lotus tattoo represent life in general. As the lotus flower grows up from the mud into a object of great beauty people also grow and change into something more beautiful . So the symbol represents the struggle of life at its most basic form.

Lotus flower tattoos are also popular for people who have gone through a hard time and are now coming out of it. Like the flower they have been at the bottom in the muddy, yucky dirty bottom of the pond but have risen above this to display an object of beauty or a life of beauty as the case might be. Thus a lotus flower tattoo or blossom can also represent a hard time in life that has been overcome.

After my husband had a whole day away at work, he was able to calm down and see things from my perspective. I told him that even though he doesn't necessarily like tattoos, that I hoped that he could see that this is something that will make me happy and he could be OK with that.

As I showed him the designs I am looking at (and after I chided him for not trusting me earlier that I could pick something that was actually pretty), and after I explained the symbolism behind the lotus, he admitted that me having a tattoo cold be sexy and that he liked what it represents. ;)

Don't get me wrong, it's not set in stone yet- we are still mulling it over.

I would love, just for once, to have a mark put on my body by my own choice. I would love to be reminded daily of the spiritual pact I am making with my brother and sister, and the joy of meeting my sister again after 10 years. I would love to be able to look at this mark and remember all that I have overcome, and see the beautiful flower that I am today.

It's not that I need a tattoo to remind me of all those things, but it would make me very happy.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I schmooze, you schmooze, we schmooze

Just when I think I couldn't possibly get more blog love, someone like Dorky Dad awards me with sumthin'. :D Dorky Dad sees my dorky potential as a schmoozer, and though he admits he is a fan of mine he admitted the other day that he is really here for the Anna-isms, LOL!

Anywho, I decided that before I wrote this post I would look up the actual meaning of the word schmooze. It's meaning from various sources on the net are:
1. to chat idly; gossip.
2. idle conversation; chatter.
3. To converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection.
4. (from a Yiddish source) Idle talk, gossip, (intimate) chat; to persuade; to have a lightweight conversation, not serious in nature
Hmmm, I think I like the last one the best. Then I read this article online, and for me this nailed the meaning of schmoozing. To quote Susan RoAne:
Yes, schmooze is everywhere in the news. I get daily google alerts when it appears in newspapers around the world. It’s Yiddish and it means easy -going, relaxed conversation. It does NOT mean “making business contacts” nor does it mean “sales success”. Can good conversation lead to both? OF COURSE!...

The best of conversationalists read, pay attention to what is going on in their communities, companies, neighborhoods and the world. They have charm, are engaging and make us feel at ease. The next time you meet one of those special people… observe: what they do, what they say, what they DON’T say, how they respond. Watch them LISTEN....

***Note: If you have a chance, please read Susan's entire article, it's very good.

Ok, YES! This one I really like. Though I wouldn't necessarily categorize myself as having charm (see previous post and comments, LOL!), I would like to think that for the most part I have the ability to make people feel at ease (please exclude previous post). I can run the gamut as they say, but I would like to think that for the most part that I do keep my readers entertained with light hearted chatter. And sarcasm.

Thanks Dorky Dad for awarding me this, I accept it with a humble (and dorky) heart!

Who to give this award too...

Local Girl of course! It doesn't matter what LG talks about... she's just such an all around warm and sweet person, but when she chats with you, you know she really means it. She's the real deal.

is another blogger that I love to chit chat with. Whether her posts are humorous or serious, she's always genuine. She's a gem! Plus I am totally jealous that she has a man that cooks for her... but she knows she is one lucky gal!

My next award'ee is Absolutely Bananas. Literally and figuratively. ;) I recently found her blog by way of sk*rt and I am really enjoying her humor and Banana-ish-ness. You'll find a little bit of everything as far as content, and a lot of funny anecdotes.

Slackermommy covers soup to nuts ;) Her most recent post about her kids is a prime example. Slacckermommy and I have a common bond concerning our egg donors, but I just dig her blogging style. She is very easy going. And funny ta-boot!

Annnnd last but not least, my buddy Michelle! I have yet to meet a more sweet and genuine person than Michelle. Her blog shows the world that you can have everything! She has this ability to see through the mess of life and still be objective. Michelle is another blogger that is the real deal, and the whole enchilada.

So there you have it. I'm trying not to hog all of the bloggers on my blog roll (like I did last time) so these gals have someone to nominate too.

On another note, is there a Schmutz'er award? Because I tend to wear schmutz , usually on -but not limited to- the front of my shirt. ;) That's how mert rolls ;)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Pedophobia... it's everywhere

If you hail from the planet Earth, you have probably read at least a dozen news stories and/or blog posts about this story of a woman and her toddler being kicked off a plane for committing acts of atrocity such as actually being a child. Don't even get me started on the attendant implying that this woman actually sedate her child with Benadryl!

Until today I was just generally enraged by this, but after reading a post authored by a supposed "intellectual"- on a network that is supposed to be for enlightened women... well, I nearly threw a clot.

This person did agree that what happened in the particular instance was horrible and unwarranted. She did agree that she has suffered all sorts of indignities and shocking behavior from other people while traveling, but she said that this behavior is no more bearable when coming from a child.

Her suggestion- to paraphrase, if I may be so bold- is that we should treat the shared space of an airplane much as we would treat a library, concert hall, museum and that it is not acceptable to bring out our worst behaviors while on a plane.

Though I agree with most of her (obviously childless) opinion, my opinion differs because having been a child myself and having had 2 children I have noticed a thing or two about the idiosyncrasies of ankle biters. AND though I agree that we are all responsible as humans to be on our best behavior while out rubbing elbows with the other 6 gazillion inhabitants of this planet, I believe there are just some things you cannot completely control.

If you are a reasonable adult and parent, try as you might, there are just some situations in which a child might act out. Like in the instance of a plane suddenly rocketing forward and/or said plane entering g-force factor 2, or the noise of take off increasingly becoming a high pitched roar... well, I would expect that some children might babble out of nervousness, screech out of fear, cry because the ear pressure is too much to take.

I would imagine that the only possible way to keep your TODDLER from acting like a toddler in this situation is to use tactics like threatening your children with physical harm and establishing a cycle of abuse to ensure that your child is adequately afraid of you. Hello- I've been there , done that. If you've been reading my blog for awhile now you know my opinion on child abuse, since I am a survivor.

So what should we do with these troublesome children? Should we institutionalize them all so that the older, disapproving or childless can be more comfortable? Maybe we should put them all on an island- a Kid-centration camp, if you will.

Better yet, why don't we just sterilize the whole planet so we can be rid of the nuisance of loud chatter, fruit punch stains, and the occasional projection of body fluids.

This reminds me of when Anna was just 2 weeks old, and we were out to eat breakfast with my mother before she flew back to Maryland. Anna started to scream because she was having a horrible bout of colic. An older woman in her 60's turned to her friend and said loudly that her "grandchildren never acted that way, and we should be ashamed to have the whole restaurant disturbed... if we were decent people we would take our screaming child out so people could eat in peace". I can't tell you how angry this made me.

I'm no hypocrite. Sure, when I was younger and before I had children, these things annoyed me. Yes, having a child stare at you while you are trying to eat a quiet meal out is annoying. As is having the back of your seat kicked, or having your ears bleed from the sonic boom of a new born, or being stuck with a crying baby on an 8 hour flight.

Now that I am a mom, I know better. And I would expect that being humans, that me and my children have just as much right to eat at a nice restaurant- whether or not they behave like model citizens- and enjoy a meal. You can't kick me and my child out of a restaurant, a library, or off of a plane just because my child is still honing their skills in appropriate behavior.

Well, I suppose you can, as evidenced by the latest news... but it's not going o be without ME making some noise about it too.

Though I am a believer of following through with punishments, there are just some things that we need to accept as ADULTS and human beings. Though I believe that we SHOULD teach our children to be considerate of others and to respect the sanctity of places such as libraries and museums, I think that we need to accept that on some level kids will be kids.

Yes, we are responsible for them and we are supposed to teach them basics like being quiet so that everyone in ear shot can enjoy their meal- including the parents who rarely get to enjoy their own meals before they have gotten cold. I agree that we should teach our children to respect others, and to respect the quiet of a library, and that common courtesy is the way to go.

BUT! As long as this world continues to make children, we have to accept that parents cannot control everything that their children do. Babies cry, toddlers chatter and children fuss. THAT'S WHAT THEY DO.

Further more WE are the ADULTS. As adults we are responsible for exhibiting good behaviors as role models such as patience, kindness and self control, are we not?

Can't we all stop being self absorbed idiots and just get along?

We interrupt regular programming for a word from our sponsor: Sarcasm

The MISU treated us to some Pizza Hut last night so that we could all get our grease fix for the week. You know you have a problem when your toddler sucks on a french fry until it's nothing but a salt-less blob of starch. Then discards it for another. We are trying to eat better... but baby steps people.

But I digress. On the way to Pizza Hut, we engaged in light hearted banter as we are wont to do when seconds from quenching our "grease lust".

Anna: I was thinking that maybe we could-

Emma: Not gonna happen.

Anna: Emma! I was still talking!

Emma: Get oh-ber it.

I try to hide my amusement by doing the "I'm pressing my lips together to [attempt to] hide the fact that I am laughing on the inside" face.

MISU, wearing an accusatory yet wry smile, while looking at his beloved (that would be me): Thank you. Thank you SO much for that.

Oh, yeah. Sarcasm IS our regular programming. Silly me. ;)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pass The Torch- Hugs and smoochies

My girls are both very high spirited and can be a handful, so summer time this year has been interesting. There has been a lot of "MMMMMOM!", and "STOP!", and screeching. *sigh* There are brief moments of sheer love when they will hug each other. There are moments when I see the little mommy come out in Anna, and she will say "let me help you honey...", and let me tell you, I always drop whatever I am doing to soak that moment, that brief tear and brilliant flash in the time/space continuum.

I mentioned last night that Anna had some really bad spider bites on her leg which were raised and bright red, and one in particular swelled to over the size of a half dollar. I became a little concerned yesterday when the outer edges had a pink "halo" that was expanding around them which is usually a sign of infection. I took her temp, she ahd a low grade fever, complained of mild abdominal pain, feeling tired and a bad taste in her mouth. The ER assured me that as long as the bites did not progress into ulcers quickly and she wasn't having nausea/vomiting and shortness of breath that she would be OK until we were able to see the doctor last night at 7 pm.

Can you tell that my nurse instincts kicked in? LOL!

Anyway, the doctor said that bad spider bites are usually accompanied by grin pain not mid abdominal pain, and since she really didn't seem to have any other symptoms that go with spider bites one should worry about, he was going to give her antibiotics for a possible staff infection- which was probably brought on from her scratching and opening the bites.

She's doing fine :D John and Anna stopped at the pharmacy to pick up her meds and as a bonus for being a brave girl for the doctor, her daddy bought her a multicolored plastic slinky.

Last night our kitten Zoey tore through the living room to the dining room and ran over Emma's foot. It turns out that Emma had a pretty nasty scratch on the top of her foot and was really crying from pain.

Anna offered her sister hugs and kisses while mom ran for the antibiotic ointment and a large band aid, and even let her sister play with her new slinky. Which NEVER happens... Anna's new toys are always off limits for Emma, and Anna never wants to let Emma see them even for a second.

Just when I have almost given up hope that these two girls of mine will ever get along and learn to appreciate what a blessing the are to each other... they go and do something like that. I hope those fleeting moments continue to grow into full fledged memories because I know one day they will realize how lucky and truly blessed they are to have each other.

Knowing that my girls have what I always wanted and finally have- a sister through good times and bad... well, it makes my heart smile.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Monday, July 16, 2007

Name that tune and other Anna-isms ;)

Hey mom?


How does that song go?

What song?

You know, the one where the girl says 'Something something , something something something'. *note that she says this in a monotone voice, but tries to help jog my memory with wild hand gestures*

Um, gee *I snort* you are giving me soooo much to work with here. ;)

Today Anna had to go see a doctor about some spider bits that had me concerned. Over 24 hours the reddened areas on some tripled in size- one got bigger than the size of a half dollar- and she had a low grade fever. The doc was more concerned that her bites were becoming infected from scratching rather and wasn't worried about the fact that they were spider bites because she didn't have the tell tale groin pain that usually accompanies the sort of spider bites moms DO need to worry about. Shes on antibiotics.

As I was putting her to bed I asked if the doctor was nice.

Dr. Hairy-Something? Yeah, he was nice.

You mean Dr. Harrison, right? * We both started to giggle*

A few minutes later I drifted off to sleep while snuggled with her, but I woke up to her muffled laughter. I asked her with a sleepy chuckle if she was playing copy cat, and if she enjoyed annoying me.

Anna rounded off the day by telling me, "That's how Anna rolls."

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Just do it.... On the 15th

I don't know if you remember almost a month ago that I mentioned that I am planning on making the 15th of each month "Frisk" day. All jokes aside, we all know that early detection of breast cancer is your best bet to surviving this disease.

In my post I explained that I regularly [forget to] do my breast exams each month, and I wondered to myself how many other busy women forget themselves? I made a pact with the MIL that we would remind each other to do our exam on the 15.

I then realized that since many a wondrous thing are discussed on the net, why not see if other women are interested in posting a little graphic on their blog to remind themselves and other women they know. I don't want to limit this to women only, guys if you are interested I can make some in green or blue too. Let me know. Also, as I said in the original post, breast cancer doesn't just affect women. Each year 450 men die from breast cancer, so it's important for men to do exams too, especially if they have family history.

As far as the title, I didn't want this to be such a serious topic and I couldn't figure out a name for the graphic that wouldn't sound stern and clinical. Or that it could be the title of a manifesto. *LOL* Soooo, I came up with Frisk the 15th.

I think as adults we are pulled in so many directions sometimes that we forget that we need to take time for ourselves too. Maybe each month on the 15th we could pencil in a little "me" time. Couldn't we all use a little of that? I'm thinking "make it a routine": have a bubble bath, do your nails and do your exam. :)

Each month on the 15th I'll post my regular post, and/or one of these graphics as a reminder for those of us who need it. That's it. :D

If you would like to post one on your blog to remind the women bloggers you care about to "frisk" themselves monthly, please feel free to get yourself a graphic here. There are 3 styles and 4 sizes of each style (marked LRG, MED, SMALL, XSMALL). In order to make sure you are getting the right size and not just the preview on the front page, click on a preview to view then "right click/ save as".

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Friday, July 13, 2007

My heart aches...

Every decent, loving parent I know has had at least one moment in there parenting career when the future suddenly becomes so painfully clear.

One day, our babies will leave home. There is no changing that fact. Knowing that moms and dads, grandparents, aunts and uncles have felt the sting of this realization for thousands of years... well, that doesn't do anything to diminish my pain.

Over the years I have been somewhat of a mainstream country music lover- meaning that if it hits the top 10 on the charts I am more likely to hear it since I don't really listen to country much. I do like a little though, Faith Hill is a favorite of mine and I like some Martina McBride too. When I saw this video on the Disney channel a few days ago, all I could do was weep.

I wept at the song's simplicity and beauty, I wept for his pain. I caught another glimpse of what life will be like in 12 years and I don't like it one bit.

My heart aches for what I will lose one day... my little girls. They will always be my babies in my heart but despite my best efforts to ignore the inevitable, they will grow up and leave.

Watch this video, and you'll see what I mean.

It makes me realize what is really important in life. I need to enjoy them, and continue to respect them as individuals and human beings... I want to lay the foundation for what one day will be beautiful mother and adult daughter relationships. I want them to be happy, I want them to know what love is... And even though I know I can't keep them with me forever, I hope they know I will always be with them.

I'm part of the sisterhood!

After many months of weighing my options about pay per posts, reviews and advertising on my blog- otherwise known in the blogosphere as "pimping"- I decided to take the plunge.

Lots of bloggers are getting paid for their opinion, and some are being paid to dedicate a block of pixels to an advertiser. After I heard that BlogHer was going to open enrollment for applications again, I jumped faster than a PMS'er pounces on a bag of Snickers;)

So, I'm proud to say that I was accepted by BlogHer to advertise here on my blog just a few hours after I faxed in the papers, even though they said it could take up to a month to have my blog approved. I'm very excited! They like me, they really like me! In a week or two expect to see some advertising in the upper left corner of my blog.

My husband agrees with me... I spend so much time blogging that I might as well get paid something. Besides, who couldn't use a little dough to put towards their shoe fund, right?

Four Things About Me

My friend Judy tagged me for this meme, thanks Judy! :D

1. My very first job as in the family owned "sweat shop"... We all of a sudden were the cleaning crew for an advertising agency for extra cash. My younger brother was 7 or 8 when we started and we worked very hard for little money.

2. Cashier at the local grocery store, down in the boon docks.

3. Corpsman (medic) in the United States Navy. :D

4. LVN or LPN depending on which state you're in.

1. So I Married An Axe Murderer

2. Wedding Crashers

3. North By Northwest

4. Anne of Green Gables

1. Hell.

2.Treasure Island, California (formerly a Naval base)

3. Oakland, California (when it was the murder capital of the US, Yipeee!)

4. Hayward, California

1. Since I have lost my craving for it I'm sad to say that chocolate, the previous reigning champion has lost it's heavy weight belt to steak and burgers. Which brings this saying to mind: I love animals. They taste good.

2.Any Asian food. Especially sushi which I haven't had any of in over a year :(

3. Any kind of pasta. I heart carbs, much to my butt's dismay.

4. Sorry chocolate, but at least you still make the top 4. Right?

1. Italy


3. S.F.

4. Eastern Shore, Maryland

1. Michelle

2. Maggie

3. Slackermommy

4. Dorky Dad

By the way... I was wondering if any of you have lost a pet unexpectedly? My bud Michelle
just lost her beautiful furbaby Coco during a dental cleaning procedure while under anesthesia. I know like a lot of people, Michelle felt like Coco was more than a pet and was just another member of the family. Michelle and her family are doing better, but Coco passed away on Tuesday. If you would like to, please head over and show her some love right now. Thanks.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Well, that's good to know...Who needs a kidney?

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Thursday Thirteen- 13 things I need to do before my trip to see my sis

1. Lose 55 lbs. HA! Yeah, right.

2.Register Anna for school since she starts school 2 days after I get back, on August 23rd.

3. Get Anna's hair trimmed. Get my hair trimmed too, the ends are a wreck.

4. Fill the fridge with easy to cook stuff for the hubby and ankle biters. And for the MIL since she has been sweet enough to take 2 days off to watch the kids since John can't take vacation.

5. Sew the purses I had planned to give to my bud Michelle's baby booger Emma. She just turned 2 last month. What a cutie! Ack, I'm late as usual.

6. Start my Continuing Education that I have to do to maintain my LVN/LPN license even though I'm not sure if I want to be a nurse anymore, and haven't worked in 6 yrs out of the home. They are due in November and I have to renew before then or my license will be nonrenewable.

7. Buy small bottles of stuff for my trip since the new regulations say that the containers have to be 3 ounces or smaller, and everything has to be in a zip lock.

8. Buy Anna's school supplies and back pack.

9. Stencil Anna's shirts and paint them in with sparkely paint made for material. Anna always complains about the plain shirts I find on clearance so I try to pretty them up for her.

10. Redo my iPod with music me and my brother will like for the trip. I might throw some BeeGee's in just to annoy him ;) because that's what older sisters do.

12. Paint my toe nails and give myself a pedi before I go so I don't look like I have the typical "I'm a mom and neglect myself" jungle rot.

13. Pack, pack, repack and pack.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Oh, reeeealllly?

So today I was being tortured at the dentist's office and before she got her meat hooks on me (literally and figuratively), I hear this song playing just as I was reclining in the masochistic chair of doom:

I mentioned this to Doctor Demento, and we all had a good laugh over it, including the hygienist. I laughed hysterically. You know the kind of laugh where your voice cracks and everyone feels uncomfortable after? Yeah. Like that.

Also today I was unfortunate enough to have a Wooden Handled Knife impale itself in my right ring finger, at the tip. It was lying in wait at the bottom of the murky Waters of Dish. Be very careful, those little somma guns will jump up and getcha. The hotter the water the better, since the hot water increase circulation in the Wooden Handled Knives' main source of nutrition... the digits.

So take my advice, wait until the dish water is luke warm before braving those dreary waters... kick your heels up and enjoy a book or something. Shoot, put the dishes off until tomorrow. That was my first instinct.

I should have listened.

The bright spot in all of this is that my 2 year old heard me yelp and came running, she asked me what happened as I held my hand up while bundling it in some paper towels.

"You got a booboo, momma?"

"Yeah, honey. I hurt myself, I cut my finger on a knife."

"Well, don't do that THEN."

"Thanks Emma, that a big help."

A free iPhone for the taking!

I was just reading my blogging buddy Judy's blog and she mentioned that there is a site giving away a free iPhone. Too good to be true? I think not!

I think that this giveaway is a brilliant use of internet marketing and given the fact that practically 1/4 (just a guesstimation) of the world's population is dying to get their hands an iPhone, I think this giveaway should bring Mr. Gary Lee a lot of business.

Gary also has a new business called Bunkers Paradise where you can (paraphrased from his site) :
  • Keep track of your Golf game stats with their Score Tracker
  • Keep track of improvements in your game by using their Golf Handicap tracker
  • Get Tips and Drills so you can see where need the most improvement
  • Set up Leagues to Compete in and check out your friends stats and progress
  • Read reviews of the best Golf Equipment out there!
As part of your entry for the giveaway, you also need to mention an affiliate of Mr. Gary Lee where you can check out free online coupons, and it's called Pinkdeals. I was reading the idea behind the site, and I thinks it's a wonderful idea. Pinkdeal was frustrated by the fact that she wasn't able to find search site that met her needs and that wasn't geared mostly towards men. So, she decided to open her own search site that IS geared towards women. Honestly, I am going to check this site out because what ever makes my life easier... I'm all for it!

Also, another interesting tidbit: If your blog/site has a page ranking of 4 or higher you will get 2 entries in the giveaway. How cool is that? For an uncomplicated Page Rank checker, go here.

Wordless Wednesday: Reno and reuniting with my sis :D


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Classy Clown- NO... Class Clown- YES!

***Sticky post***

Scroll down for more recent posts

I just found out that I made the top 3 finalists for Class Clown nominations for Local Girl's 2007 Bloggy Hoss Elections. Though in high school I was considered as a possible winner for class clown , I didn't even make the top 5 nominated. *sniff*

My buddy Jill over at Charming & Delightful left me a message that she had nominated me, and that I had made the top 3... when I read her message I was shocked and elated! I just told John about my Hoss "nod" and told him , "Some things never change ;) ."

I think this just boosted my dork status a little. *cheeky grin*

Voting will start tomorrow at An Island Life so if you think I deserve the title of Class Clown, please go vote for me Saturday,July 7th through Tuesday, July 10th.

Even if I don't win, I am honored and giddy just to have been nominated.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Thank you to all of you who nominated me, I'm so very proud and happy that you get a kick out of me. You know I'll do anything for a laugh so I'll leave you with this little gem (some of you have seen it before). It's itty bitty teeny bopper me, doing what I do best.

Vote for Mary for Class Clown 2007!

U Comment , I Follow

Have you noticed the fancy new graphic in my side bar? (BTW, I didn't make the original, but I did make a graphic by combining all of the colors ) It's an idea that by removing the ”nofollow” tag on your blog that you can share a little link love. By removing this tag , you are allowing the comment authors and their blog to get a reciprocating link back to them.

I believe the original explanation for needing this tag was to reduce spam, and to stop link farms from being able to keep having high page rankings and search results. I don't get a lot of blog spam to begin with but this tag certainly hasn't stopped spam on my blog.

So I'm jumping on the band wagon. I'm hoping- as others have said- that this will encourage lurkers to de-lurk. You leave me a comment, and you get a link back to your blog from you comment. It's that simple. This will in turn boost you page ranking therefore making it easier for people to find you site via search engine.

Here are a few articles on the "Do Follow" or the "U Comment, I Follow" topic:

Prepare for more comment spam, not less

Hey Google, Follow Me: Giving More Link Love

U Comment - I Follow

Link generously - you will reap what you sow

Interview with a link spammer

Monday, July 09, 2007

Manic Monday: Seven

Today's Manic Monday was brought to you by the word SEVEN :D

When I think of the number or word seven, I always think of a big burly man I used to have in my life. When I think of him, all of his funny little quirks come to mind.

He loved the smell of my just washed hair and would often rub his face in it. He loved to put his head in my lap and gaze lovingly into my eyes until drifting off to sleep... always with a smile on his face. If I was having milk or cereal, he insisted on having the same and would sometimes eat out of my bowl.

I miss him so much, that even the thought of one of his less endearing habits brings a smile to my face: he liked to pee on my furniture and twice when I was pregnant with each of my children ... he tried to pee on me.

Now that you are completely mystified- or horrified- I'm talking about my furangel Seven.

I miss his "Got Milk?" mustache, and the feel of him hefting himself onto my lap or on my side while I was sleeping. I miss how he would climb onto the back of the couch purring so he could mark his territory with his face- all over my head. I miss the way his little meow didn't match the size of him, he was a big boy. I'd put up with a lot just to hold him for one more moment... including a little (or a lottle) pee on my couch.

I miss you Seven... I hope to see you again, even if it's only in my dreams.

Another give away!

Flip Flop Momma is giving away the new Pooh DVD. We love Pooh here in my neck of the woods... so I entered the drawing. To quote from her blog:
All you have to do is put up a little post on your bloggy-blogs so others can get on it too...then leave me a comment(because I'm not smart enough to figure out the Mr. Linky thing!) letting me know that you posted about it. Please leave a link to my blog, letting others know where to join in the fun!! Contest ends Thursday at midnight! I'll draw a name from the comment's section Friday morning, July 13th!!

Good luck! :D

Sunday, July 08, 2007


I actually had several tittles in mind for this post, and couldn't choose:

A. Cruel and unusual punishment
B. Revenge is sweet!
C. Rid yourself of bad habits BEFORE having kids, and save yourself a lot of grief.
D. C seems a little long, and "Mwuahahahaa!" works.

There is no explaining this strange phenomenon that occurs between the time we get in our car and the time we sit down to eat while out... Somehow our 2 brilliant and semi-sweet darling offspring manage to resemble something out of National Geographic.

I think you all know just from "hearsay" that my girls can be 2 handfuls. Each. I assure that though I like to gild the lily at times, my minions need no further help from me. I just tell the stories, I don't make them up. ;)

Today we were able to use our brand new 12 ft wide X 36 inches deep "just add water pool". Naturally after expending so much energy, meaning jumping around and squealing at the top your lungs because despite the 90+ degrees it is outside, the water is only 70- young ones will need a snack or 2 to recharge. Anna is very sensitive to large amounts of sugar , and though I had hoped that she would burn off that granola bar , she still managed to act like a "spaz". A cute spaz, but a spaz non the less.

She then proceeded to contradict me all the way to The Bell, and during dinner. *note to self granola bars baaaaad*

Upon arriving at The Bell D'Taco my kids began to act something akin to chimpanzees. *Screeching, climbing on top of the table, rubbing their dinner on the window...

Just before we started eating Anna asked if I was still going to let her have ice cream, and I said "We'll see." A couple of weeks ago, she caught on and said, "I think that when you say 'we'll see', it really means NO." John and I got a good laugh out of that.

Anyway, Anna says, "YOU said if I was good I could have some. "

And I said, "Yeah, well, the night is not over yet - so WE'LL SEE."

Did I mention the screeching, climbing on top of the table, rubbing their dinner on the window? Oh yeah , right. Yup, more of that despite every attempt on our part to stop the ruckus.

"Anna, do you know what contrary means?" John asked.

"I don't really care. " Oh, grrrr I thought.

"Contrary means always saying or doing the opposite, being bad."

"Yeah, I was right... I don't care."

"Ooooh, guess what you just lost for tonight." I said matter of fact.

Enter big, brown and sad puppy dog eyes. Bummer.

I wasn't going to mention it but I had a hankering for D.Q., that just wouldn't be fair!

"D.Q.?" John asked me with a twinkle in his eye. I gave him the universal "Gee I don't think we should, not in front of the kids" look, with it's complimentary "I dunno" shrug. I though about it for a second, literally.


As we were pulling through D.Q.'s drive through waiting for our order John told the kids that we were going to follow through with our punishments from now on, startingnow. In complete and utter despair, Anna managed, "I'm duh-pressed, so don't even try..."

John and I laughed, "What did you say?"

"I'm duh-pressed, and the one who duh-pressed me... isn't- won't.... NO MORE FUN ANNA!"

Which i thought was hysterical on many levels but also because it sounded like she said "Fuh-nana". I asked her if I could borrow some fuhnanas to make fuhnana bread. She didn't see the humor.

John and I laughed some more, while Anna pugged her ears.

I was feeling a bit mischievous so I mention - after a huge spoon of ice cream- how Anna's mistake was delicious. Then I told John we should do this every time the kids acted up.

But no, I said- there isn't an exercise plan out there that can work off that much ice cream. ;)

Who couldn't use a little sparkle, right?

One of my all-time favorite bloggers has a new review site called An Island Review, in which she reports and links to contests, give aways and freebies. I think this is an excellent idea... Local Girl is providing a service to all of us bloggers who can't resist those sort of things :D

Local Girl is having a drawing for these:

My first reaction was "Oooh La La!", my second was to drool, and my 3rd? I entered the drawing of course!

Quoted from An Island Review-
How to Enter:
  1. Mention this contest on your blog with a link back to this post.
  2. Leave a comment below as to why you think you should win the bling.
  3. A random winner will be selected on July 14th and contacted via email.

Then I commented:
Hmmm, why do I deserve these? As a mom of 2 beautiful and spirited girls whom I love very much and can't imagine my life without- I need down time. My down time usually consists reading, blogging, crafting or sewing while listening to my iPod.

I think every mom needs a little down time, a little "mom time" to recharge their batteries, and I think listening to your favorite music while kicking your heels up - even if it's only for 15 minutes- could be just the thing.

Plus, these headphones are just deliciously pink and sparkley! Mom time with sparkles? Even better.
So, if you are feelin' lucky and would like these sweet little jewel encrusted headphones, head over to An Island Review and tell Local Girl why you deserve these... then just write a post about it!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Movies... gad, I'm so sick of popcorn

OK, let me just preface all of this by saying that my tastes in movies covers a wide range. I love comedy, drama, thrillers and foreign/subtitled films. I like guy and chick flicks- and if you can get a chick flick where they blow stuff up... well, I'm just tickled pink. Yeah, I can be a meat head like that sometimes. ;)

Knocked Up... lets just say that I have a very twisted sense of humor. Bordering on gross and obscene. I loved this movie- NEED I SAY MORE. Yeah, this is where the meat head theory comes in to play. This movie reminded me of the good old days when I'd go watch my hubby play softball on base in Oakland, back when we were in the Navy. Sometimes I was the one of the few chicks there so you can imagine. Yup, just me and the guys hanging out. Good times. If you don't mind the typical single guy humor and can hang with the fella's like the best of them, you'll like this movie. If crude humor turns you off, don't see it.

Live Free Or Die Hard? EXACTLY... tha's what I'm talkin' about! I love Bruce Willis and have for a very long time (think teen crush on a very suave David Addison on Moonlighting... YUM!), and for me this Die Hard movie didn't disappoint. Believe it or not, I didn't find the plot of this movie as far fetched as previous Die Hard's- but I ain't saying the action wasn't there. This film 'tis very good.

Transformers? The nostalgia was bearable ;)You might think that the concept is cheesy being that it is based on an 80's cartoon, but this movie kicked butt! Animation- mind blowing and so realistic. Action- Yes, yes and yes! Story line- very humorous and the creators did a very good job sticking to the original cartoon story line IMHO.

Have you guys taken your ankle biters to see Ratatouille yet? It's very cute! A lot of kids movies these days are lack luster when comes down to content, but I have to admit this one is pretty good.

My husband found this wallpaper at the official site and asked me to take out the huge logo and words at the bottom... and I did :P Here is the original:
If you would like to get my Photoshopped version without the junk, you can get it here. It may take a while for the page to load, then "right click/save as".

Here is a smaller version, so you can see what it looks like w/o the lettering:

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th!!! And 300th!

I hope all of you have a Happy Independence Day, and that you all appreciate the freedom that we have...

The freedom to share your skills, to share your food and drink with the ones you love, to tell people exactly what is on your mind, or to share yourself without any restraint and show people what you are really made of.

I hope your holiday is all of that and so much more... Have a good one!

Today is my 300th post! Thanks for hanging in there with me through good times and bad, dorky and sarcastic. Thanks for continuing to read The Circus That Is Me. ;)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Keeping the skills up over summer break- OR , You do the math

Me last night at bed time: Anna , I really want you to do some reading this week... I don't want you to forget what you learned this last year in kindergarten. We can do some math too.

Anna: Mom, I've got some math for ya...


I'm thinking somehow that this ISN'T Pass The Torch material. The hardest part is the fact that she KNOWS she is funny, so how am I not supposed to laugh? ;)

Oh my, one of my best blogging buds gave me the link to this... Maggie said"At least she didn't do this. I love Anna's sense of humor."

Monday, July 02, 2007

Manic Monday: Independence

This is my first Manic Monday post... Memories of my independence are mixed with great joy and fear of the unknown, and as I read some of the Manic Monday entries today, those feelings hit me once again.

A little while back I wrote about the stretch of time that occurred between me graduating from high school and meeting my husband, and to quote from part 3 of You Had Me At "You Kind Of Annoy Me" ,I talk about barely existing while waiting to start my new life in the Navy, months after graduation. I refer to the fact that my mother told me that she and the rest of my family had prayed and that GOD told them I was lying about being sexually abused by my real father, that I was sick and needed help, and that this was the reason why I was such a troubled child and such a burden to them:

I suffered through the holidays as best as I could, knowing that the end was in sight... just beyond my reach. I survived those last few days on pins and needles, excited about the unknown that stretched before me. I remember the night they took me to the airport with such clarity, I remember every facial twitch, every nervous gesture... None of them my own. By now, I was a master at masking my emotions, but inside I was ready to ignite!

My mother broke the silence.

"We believe you."

Squinting at my mother, I said a solitary,"What?"

"I said, we believe you."

I said nothing. I sat, I stared. Emotionless. Seemingly. Tears began to trickle down those stone cheeks of mine, and yet I never wavered.

My mother, taking my tears as a sign of some sort, started to cry hysterically. Was it sadness she saw, or forgiveness? Or maybe just weakness... I'll never know. It was if I was standing upon a precipice, and felt relief and joy knowing that I was about to take the jump. I murmured goodbyes, trying not to show my elation and agitation. I felt that old familiar feeling that at any moment she would pull the rug out from underneath of me.

As I walked through the boarding area, I never looked back. The next few hours would be spent with me being hit on by two older business men. As I flew from Maryland to Florida, I looked at pictures of their children, forced smiles at thinly veiled attempts by one of them to sound divorced, and accepted compliments, sexual innuendos, and business cards with home numbers scrawled on the back... simply because I had nowhere else to go.

What a way to start my new life.
I'll never forget that day. Never. It's as important to me, and is as much of a life altering, joyous moment as marrying my soul mate and finally having my daughters after years of infertility.

It was the first step in me claiming myself as a whole and separate person, and the first step I would take in standing up to my mother many years later. One day I would finally tell my mother she couldn't hurt me anymore with her words and her hands, and though the scars are still there from the past- mentally and physically- I tell her goodbye and try my hardest not to look back.