Thursday, April 26, 2012

All by Myself

Mama Kat's Pretty Much World Famous Writer's Workshop has asked, in the form of prompt,

3.) List the top 10 things you miss about being alone. (Inspired by The Little Hen House)

The easiest thing in the world for a Mum to do is make a list
We make lists all the time:

Grocery lists
Things for the husband to do
Things for the husband to not do
To Do Lists for ourselves (laundry and dishes and cleaning and grocery shopping)
Christmas Card lists
Thank you card lists
Guests lists
Things for the kids to do
Things for the kids not to do
List of allergies
List of medications
List of what wine should be served with what meal (OK, this is not a real list for me because I'm just going to serve you beer...and probably not even offer you a glass)

So to make a list of things I miss about being alone......

That may be the easiest list yet:

1. Sleep: A night of uninterrupted sleep....even just a nap

2. Watching TV: Not Diego or Yo Gabba Gabba or (insert a Disney movie here) but an hour long drama or a sitcom, or an uninterrupted grown up movie

3. Privacy: No one throwing the shower curtain open to ask if my boobies are OK or leaning on my knees while I'm trying to go to the bathroom or asking why I'm reading a magazine on the potty or if what I get for a prize for going on the potty

4. Reading: And by that I mean finishing a book in one sitting...or at least in less than a month

5. Eating my own meal: Not that I mind sharing (OK, maybe a little when it comes to food) but I would like to make it through breakfast without having kid slobber on my toast or eggs

6. Swearing: Maybe its just me but I miss dropping F bombs. There's something about that word that can be so freeing

7. A clean house: I'm not talking so clean you could eat off the floor clean. I'm just talking no toys spread about, no melted crayon on the hardwood floor, no stickers decorating the trash can, the floor, the dishwasher and the fish tank, no piles of books or rocks or stuffed animals clean

8. Quiet: Just plain old silence, no noise of any kind, just quiet

9. Road Trips: Getting in the car and just driving to no where in particluar without having to stop or pack snacks or three sets of clothes, a first aid kits, a stroller, toys, books, diapers, boots, hats, raincoats, sweat shirts, wipes, and or anything thing one may need when traveling with a little britches type person

10. Thinking for and of no one but me: Making my decision based on my wants and needs not anyone elses'. Doing what I want to do when I want to do it and not having to think about how it will impact anyone but me

An easy list indeed....

One my 20 something self would relish.....

But one my almost 40 self finds depressing and a little selfish....and wonders why I would want those things:

1. Uninterrupted sleep means no one tapping me on the forehead to ask me if its time for her birthday party yet or if Santa has been here yet. No one tugging on my covers because she missed me and wants a snuggle. No waking up with Lucy cuddled up against me
I'd rather be woken up than miss any of that

2. I actually like Go Diego and Yo Gabba Gabba has some pretty good music. And, I've come to appreciate the beauty and lessons of the Disney movies through the eyes of a 3 year old. Besides, not watching live TV anymore, relying on the DVR and Netflix, means no commercials and fast forwarding through the boring and or scary parts

3. It actually makes me laugh when Lucy throws the shower curtain open and yells at my boobies. Sure, I (and Sean) miss me shaving my legs but who are we kidding, I never shaved every day anyway. And Lucy's right, how come I don't get a prize for going on the potty???

4. This is tough for me as I love reading but I am rediscovering the books of my youth and can't wait to start reading proper chapter books with Lucy. Reading with Lucy and watching her fall into the story and ride away with the characters is far more rewarding than finishing a book in one sitting

5. I love food - I love eating it, smelling it, making it, tasting it, savoring it....I love food. Why not share something I love with someone I love?! And who are we kidding, we all know that eggs taste better with ketchup and slobber

6. I still swear and Sean scolds me for it. I don't drop as many F bombs aloud as I used to but they are still freeing in the quiet of my own head. Swearing isn't lady like anyway so its not a bad thing to give up

7. Clean houses are overrated. I mean who really, who wants to walk into a house and feel like you can;t touch anything for fear of leaving a smudge or fingerprint on a surface. Personally, I think the melted crayons on the floor, the stickers on various surfaces and all the piles of whatever wherever add a bit of whimsy and charm to the place........and the house being messy makes it Home

8. The noise that fills my head now are Lucy's screams and hollers of delight as Daddy Monster chases her though the house. Her shrieks and giggles when he catches her (and his shrieks and giggles as well) Her voice asking me for a kiss or a hug, telling me she loves me. Sean reading to her as I make dinner. Her whines, her cries, her tantrums may wear me down but also renew my resolve to be stronger than her...which makes me stronger for her. Lucy's singing, her litany of questions and observations...her running commentary on life is way better than quiet......and a lot more validating

9. So now our road trips are to the Kitty Farm or a park or a playground instead of just driving until we no longer feel like driving or getting lost on purpose
And yes, the car is a bit messier and it takes me longer to get things ready
And every time we travel somewhere, we look like we're going for a month instead of a weekend.
But when we get there, when we get to that some place new, the sheer excitement and awe and appreciation on Lucy's face make the over packed car worth it.
And when we go someplace old, someplace we've been before, her excitement of being there again, her appreciation for who were are seeing or what we are doing, her level of comfort and familiarity....
Well, all that outweighs the over packed car

10. Thinking about someone else when I do or say things has made me a better person
I make better decisions because of the two people in my life
Without them, without having changed my way of thinking, who knows where I'd be
As happy as I am now?
Maybe....but probably not
As fulfilled as I am now?
Maybe...but who can say for sure
My life, my way of life, my way of thinking has changed for the better
Am I still the same person I was?
No, of course not
Becoming a wife and then a mother changes who you were, its impossible to not change weather we want to admit to it or not.
Do I still have the same core values, beliefs and morals?
Yes - yes I do - and they are actually stronger because now I do think about others before I make my decisions
Does it mean I don't think for myself?
No, absolutely not - I still do all my own thinking, I just take a bit more into consideration.....

10 Things I miss about being alone?
There's actually only one:

Not having what I have now............

Maria the Mum

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Birthday #1 and #2....#3 to follow.....

We just had Lucy's party for birthday #3 - and though I gave a quick nod to it in yesterday's post, I have yet to post any pictures of it (which I will)

Today, I was looking for something on my computer and found pictures from birthday #2 I never posted....and birthday #1....

So just for fun..............

Birthday #1, 2010, party in Maine with family and family friends

One of my favorite pictures ever!

So done at this point......

Below is birthday #2, 2010
Lucy wanted a Nemo party and by the time we were done, it looked like an Enchantment Under the Sea themed prom! But oh how much fun we had.....

There were blue and white streamers hanging from the ceiling (waves)
Jelly fish (made by me) in the corner to represent the scene when Dory and Nemo get caught in the
Jellies (notice Dory on top of the jellies?)
White, blue and clear balloons on the floor for bubbles
Beach balls with fish inside them,
Fish hanging from the ceiling and fan
And various cutout sea creatures hanging on the walls at kid level

Over the top?
But given the smile it put on Lucy's face and the giggles and smiles from her friends...well, if that is how they react, I'll be as over the top as possible!

This is Lucy taking a break from the party....watching the Red Sox game.....

A Promise

It's Thursday so that means it is time for Mama Kat's Pretty Much World Famous Writer's Workshop

1.) A Promise

1 a: a declaration that one will do or refrain from doing something specified b: a legally binding declaration that gives the person to whom it is made a right to expect or to claim the performance or forbearance of a specified act

I never used to like making promises...not because I could not keep them (although sometimes I couldn't) more because I did not want to ever have to break one....because I know how it feels when someone makes a promise and then breaks it. You're hurt, rejected, dejected and then angry and least that is what would happen to me...then I'd get back around to feeling like I was not worth a promise....and then I'd be hurt all over again...

So promises make me nervous....when I make a promise or someone makes me a promise.....but I find making promises to Sean and Lucy to be quite easy

I promise to love you unconditionally
I promise I will pick you up from school in the afternoon
I promise I will try really hard not to embarrass you
I promise I will hear you out before rushing to a decision or judgment
I promise I will always be your Mum first and someday, also be your friend
I promise no matter how far away you move, I will not make you feel guilty for doing it (although we could avoid this by you just not ever moving away) and I promise I will come visit
I promise to encourage and support you
I promise you the Red Sox will break your heart but also bring you joy
I promise to give you the foundation and building blocks you need but you have to figure out how to use them
I promise Daddy and I will always do what we can to protect you but we'll not shield you from anything
I promise to always look for monsters under your bed, hold your hand as long as you need me to and snuggle you as long as you want to be snuggled
I promise I will be here for you

I promise to love you unconditionally
I promise to keep the promises we made 5 years ago in front of God, family and friends
I promise I will try to make the bed...once a week
I promise to never make you eat peanut butter
I promise I am happy
I promise I don't care how big our house is how much money we have or what kind of cars we drive, as long as I am with you, I have everything I want and need
I promise I will have "The Talk" with Lucy, you're off the hook
I promise I will someday appreciate Star Trek...ok, no I won't but I will not make fun of your love of it...ok, yes I about I just promise to let you continue to love Star Trek?
I promise to encourage and support you
I promise to stop jumping out around corners and scaring you by yelling Boo! and then laughing hysterically as you pick yourself up off the floor....can I maybe just do it a couple times a month? It makes Lucy and I laugh really hard....
I promise I will forever and always be yours
I promise I will be here for you

The only other promise I’ll make?
Sean and Lucy, I promise I love you more than anything in the whole wide world (even more than my luggage) and I promise I always will

Maria the Mum

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April 16th

April 16th, 2012


It's official, you're three

It's 11:47pm and you are sound asleep curled against me in our bed (having wandered in less than 30 minutes ago)
Daddy is snoring his way to dreamland
I've started this on my iPad but will finish it tomorrow at lunch..or maybe the next day or the day after that.
But I will finish it, I promise

7 years ago I thought I was happy, then I met your Dad
5 years ago, I was happier than I had ever been, then we got married
3 years ago, I thought my life was complete, then you were born

You are 3...

You love to eat  
Hot Dogs
Fruit Snacks

You love to watch
Lady and the Tramp
The Lion King
Ice Age
Go Diego

You love to listen to
The Beach Boys
80's music (specifically Gloria, Footloose and Let's Here it for the Boy)
The soundtrack to the movies above
The Beatles
Jack Johnson
Katy Perry and Elmo and Bruno on Sesame Street

You love to
Collect rocks
Study the ants in the yard
Admire Daddy's garden
Swing and slide
Play with your animals
Finger paint
Use stickers
Read books
Be read to
Get as dirty as possible

You love to go to
The playground
The Bank
The Craft Store
The Zoo
The Aquarium
The Farm

We had your party Saturday and it was so much fun
We planned it for weeks -  I handmade the invitations for your friends and spent hours trying to decide how to decorate and what food we should have
We decorated for hours - Daddy and I were up until 1am and Cousin Cooper was up until 11pm helping us
We had tigers and lions and zebras and giraffes and hippos and monkeys and vines and a sign hanging out front point the way to the zoo (though I forgot to have Daddy draw the animal tracks on the sidewalk in chalk...maybe next time)
We cleaned and cooked and Auntie Lou Lou and Auntie Flea showed up in the nick of time and took over helping us pull it all together
Cooper and Daddy filled up lots of balloons - and yes Daddy, we heard you two sucking the helium out of them as well

And Lucy, you chose to wear a dress to your party!!
As a matter of fact, you have worn a dress for four days in a row now! Could be because one is orange and you call it your tiger dress...and Auntie Flea gave you a dress and told you its what a lion tamer wears...and your flowered dress is what a tiger tamer wears...
Could be because you're finally 3

9 of your friends came and the chaos and fun began! There were bubbles being blown, balls being kicked, balloons tossed in the air, a trampoline to jump on, a ball pit to play in, running and and yelling and laughing and giggling

By 2:30, the last guest had left (and the parents thanked us for not only a great party but for timing it so the kids would nap at their regular time and nap hard! I saw three parents yesterday who informed me their kids napped for close to three hours....)
You and Auntie Flea and Cooper laid down and watched the Lion King

By 7, you were sound asleep in my lap and even though Daddy kept saying I should put you in bed, I just wanted to snuggle my still 2 year old a little bit longer....of course Daddy was right and we paid for it later but I wanted and needed that snuggle.....

Your birthday celebration continued on Monday, your actual birth day
Daddy and I took you to school along with 24 cupcakes and lots of hugs and kisses
We arrived to pick you up and found you wearing a birthday crown and a grin from ear to ear
At home, we opened your presents and tried out your new bike.....and you laughed and giggled and sang Happy Birthday to yourself at least 4 times
A trip to Build a Bear with Cousin Cooper, hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill and one last birthday cupcake brought your day of celebration to an end

Tuesday morning, you woke up and asked me if it was still your birthday
No honey, your birthday is all over...
When's it gonna be my birthday again Mama?
364 days I said.....
Oh, ok Mama!!! you responded with a silly smile and without missing a beat, you held up your little finger and declared

I'll keep count!

Maria the Mum

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Times Like These

How come, Sean asked me last week in an exasperated, annoyed and defeated tone, you never blog about times like this? He gestured toward Lucy who was sitting at the table whining, crying, and screaming for no apparent reason we can identify anyway

As a matter of fact I reply in the same tone with a bit more snarkiness and an underlying tone of a threat, I have three drafts about just such moments…….and I just might publish them!
The “times like this” we are referring to are the temper tantrums and melt downs Lucy has been having on a (too) regular basis for the past few weeks….and by regular basis, I mean almost every morning
This morning, she woke up crying out for us. She had snuck into out bed sometime last night and when she woke up, neither of us were there. I heard her cry out but my mouth was full of toothpaste. When Lucy realized she was not getting a reaction, she stopped winging, hopped out of bed and padded into the bathroom.

Her hair was a tousled mess, she was rubbing the sleep from her eyes and her diaper looked to be at least 4lbs heavier than it had been when I put her to bed. Within minutes, after a good morning kiss, she started to babble away about her party.

She laughed and giggled, helped me clean the bathroom and waited as I got her toothbrush. In my head, I was thinking thank goodness....we're off to a good start.

Mummy, we listen to some music?

Sure I say, we've got plenty of time

She requested a specific song, I turned it on and she started screaming

I DON'T WANT THIS PART GO TO THE OTHER PART! THE OTHER PART!!!!!!!!!! THE OTHER PART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lucy, what other part?


By now, she was in full fledged meltdown mode. So I turned off the music, took her off the table and told her when she was done to come talk to me so we could figure out what she wanted.

She of course cried louder and harder, I ignored her...until she reached fever pitch and then I spoke sharply to her as Sean came up the stairs

Really Lucy? Again? he asked.

She cried some more

Lucy, Mummy and Daddy have things to do I said. We're going to head downstairs for breakfast, come down when you're ready

Sean asked me at some point what set her off and when I told him, all he could do was ask in disbelief


We retreated to the first floor to get breakfast ready, she stayed upstairs crying.

When she finally descended the stairs, at least 5 minutes later, she informed us, through tears and sniffles,

I'm ready to talk

But when we tried to talk to her, she started again - so we ignored her

Needless to say, 15 minutes later we finally got her seated at the table
Threw breakfast down her throat and we left as if nothing had happened

Every morning for three weeks this has happened....except Saturday and Sunday

What sets her off?
Who knows...........
One morning, she was set off because I moved her animals
Another morning, she was upset because she realized I did not read her 101 Dalmatians the night before (instead I has read Bambi)
One day it was because of the outfit I picked out

I don't know what sets her off and I sure as hell have not figured out how to combat it.
Wait her out?
Well here's the thing, we have jobs
Ignore her?
Again, we have jobs we have to get to
Try waking her up early?
She's up pretty darn early as it is - any earlier and we may as well skip sleep all together
Look, I'm sure there are a million things we could be doing differently - and on some level, I think we're doing just what we should be doing -
We just keep telling ourselves its a phase......that got us through the first week...

No, we do not feed Chinese or Mexican food before before she goes to bed
No, she has not been tested for an emotional disorder or autism as I don’t think she has either
No, we at not sending her to a therapist
No, we are not concerned she is having a reaction to gluten, wheat, yeast or the alignment of the planets
No, we don’t think she needs any early intervention
And no, we don’t think this is because she eats processed chicken, macaroni and cheese and non organic foods
You know what I do think?

She's 3...she's 3 and trying to figure out her place in the big world
Trying to figure out why she falls asleep with Mummy or Daddy reading to her but wakes up to a dark room with no one there
She's trying to figure out why she knows what she has to do to climb up on the blue tubes at school but her body won't do what she wants it to do because her arms and legs are too short
She's trying to figure out why she knows what she wants in her head but she does not quite know what the words are to tell us
She's trying to figure out what she is feeling and how to express it so we understand
And, she's trying to figure out just what Mummy and Daddy want from her...why on some days is it okay to have a snooze and a cuddle but other days, we're rushing her out of bed

Maybe she's just not a morning person

And then I think maybe it's not her

Maybe it's us
Maybe we're the ones who are trying to figure things out and are just not getting it
Maybe she has figured it out and is just pissed off because she does not know how to tell us what to do
And maybe, just maybe, she is telling us and we're not listening

One of her teachers told me the other day Lucy is one of the strongest willed kids she has ever seen - I agreed and noted that later in life, such a trait would come in handy, right now it's a bit trying

You know, she said, Lucy is also really hard on herself.....

I cocked my head to the side unsure if I should be concerned, offended or ambivalent to what the teacher said

I paused...What do you mean? I asked as nonchalantly as I could

Well, I mean that when Lucy tries something new, if she does not get it right the first time, she is so hard on herself...she beats herself up because she cannot do something. Like the blue tubes

The blue tubes?

Yeah, said the teacher, Lucy sees the big kids climb up on top of the blue tubes...and Lucy knows how to do it in the sense that she knows where her hands have to go, knows where her legs have to be but she's just now quite big enough to reach....she got so frustrated! And she looked right at me and in between tears told me she was frustrated!


Hmm, she really is a bright little thing - and she so badly wants to do everything.....I just keep telling her that in time, things will come....

The teacher wandered away to check on a couple kids and Lucy, who finally noticed me, ran over and hugged my leg

Come on Honey, its time to go home

No Mama! I no want to leave
She stalked off leaving me standing there counting to 10....

This is her other new thing....not wanting to leave which I think stems from this fresh little girl that tells me Lucy does not have to do what I front of Lucy...
Then she tells Lucy she does not have to go.
Lucy adores this girl and whatever she says as long as said child is not there, pick up is smooth. Unfortunately, I always get there before parents of said child.....
Now don't get me wrong, its not all this little girl's fault. We all hate being taken away from somewhere we're having fun but, I could usually get Lucy out the door by the third time I said its time to go. Now, I find myself asking/telling her a least a half dozen times before she even acknowledges me...and then I have to tell her another half dozen times before she finally realizes what I'm saying and then she and this little girl run away from me! Pick up now takes anywhere from 15-25 minutes and usually ends up with me scooping her up while she cries and then her pleading with me to let her I set her down and she runs then I catch her and pull her into an empty classroom to speak to her....Good times....

Anyway, I tell Lucy again its time to leave when she says

Mama, I want to show you something

She takes my hand and pulls me over to the tubes onto which two little girls are climbing

Mama! I tried to climb on top and I no do it! And I got frusterated (not spelled wrong, this was how she said it) and cried! Yeah Mama, I cried...

You did? I ask

Yeah Mama, I cried 'cuz I put my arms here and here (she positioned herself) and I stood here and look...

She tried to throw her leg up but of course could not quite reach

Yeah Mama, I can't do it and it made me cry 

I kneel down so we are eye to eye

You know what Lucy? I know how frustrating it can be when you try to do something and it does not work....

She is rubbing her eyes and had her head down and is sort of kicking at the ground with her toes

But you know what Lucy? You just have to keep trying....and if you keep trying and don't give up, guess what?

Yeah Mama?

Eventually, finally, after trying and trying, and maybe growing a little bit, you'll be able to do it! And pretty soon, you'll be on top of the tubes...

Yeah Mama?

Yeah Lucy....I promise. If you keep trying, you'll figure it out, you'll get there....

Tomorrow Mama?

Well, maybe not tomorrow but soon, I promise

Ok Mama....Mama?

Yeah Lucy?

I sorry I no listen to you.......and that I ran away with (name withheld to protect the not so innocent)

I know you are Lucy....thank you for telling me but let's try to work on that ok? When Mummy gets here to pick you up, we have to say good bye to our friends and the teachers and go home ok?

Ok Mama

Alright, I say getting ready to deploy the reiteration tactic, so tomorrow, when Mummy picks you up...I'm interrupted with...

Hey Mama! Is tomorrow my birthday?!?!

Lucy, Mummy was talking...

Sorry Mama, but is tomorrow my birthday?

Honey, let Mummy finish. When I pick you up tomorrow...interrupted again

It's gonna be my birthday when I turn 3?!?

Honey, tomorrow when Mummy picks you up and says its time to go...interrupted again

For my birthday party Mama? Tomorrow's gonna be my birthday...?

Lucy, Mummy is trying to tell you something

Ok Mama..well keep trying! Don't give up! What you wanna tell me?


I love you Lucy....and your party is Saturday and your birthday is Monday....

I so exited Mama! Can we go home now....?

Sure Luce, we sure can.....

So though it is not always fun and games at out house
Though Lucy is not always sweet, witty, charming and endearing
Though we are not always as patient as we could be or as calm as we like to think we are
Though dancing, singing and laughing are sometimes replaced by crying, whining, yelling and door slamming
Though I sometimes wonder if I accidentally brought home Rosemary's baby

We're just going to keep trying.....we won't give up....never give up...

Maria the Mum

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

15 Lessons and 71 Things

Yet another post I started a few weeks back and never finished.....but it's finished now

Originally dated March 7, 2012, finished April 4, 2012


Just so you know, I love you more than anything in the whole wide world
I miss you terribly today...

This morning at breakfast, which for your was a peanut butter sandwich and blub blubs (goldfish crackers), I couldn't help but think one day, you will not be at the breakfast table with us......'ll be in your dorm room sleeping through breakfast
....or you'll be in your own apartment having cold pizza for breakfast
....and one day, I hope, you will be sitting at the table with your own kids having breakfast and marvelling at what they've brought to your life

To our lives you've brought hope, love, humility, laughs, dreams, some bouts of sleeplessness, frustration, and fear
But mostly, you've brought unlike any other love I've ever known
Thank you for bringing me that

It makes me wonder if we're doing enough for you - are we giving you, providing you with the foundation you need to peacefully exist in this world?
Or will the times we lost our patience with you, yelled at you or made you sit on the bottom step to re-group and apologize damage whatever hopes we have of you becoming a good person?
Can I undo the times I was so frustrated I walked away leaving in in your room by yourself crying? Will the times I told you "no" overshadow the times I told you yes?

And you're not even 3 yet...I have at least another 15 years to screw you up

But I also have a tremendous amount of love for you, and I have your Dad, and we have faith.....and we have nothing but the best intentions for you and I'm hoping that will be enough to get us through....I'm hoping that will be enough for you

I read two articles the other day which were interesting and daunting all at the same time
One was a list of 15 Things Your Daughter Should Know Before she Turns 18
The other was 71 things your Child Should Know before Starting Kindergarten
By the time I had read both articles, and the comments that went along with them, I could not decide if I should call a Priest, Child Protective Services, my Mum or simply surrender my title of Mother

Usually, I'm pretty good about tempering articles like this....every child is different, people have different sets of core values and beliefs....I try to take these things with a grain of salt and realize that the list are subjective but for some reason, these two articles/lists got to me

I started to question if I was doing the right thing

I started to think your Dad and I weren't paying attention the way we should be and your were going to miss major milestones and get left behind

I questioned my ability to parent...and of course all the things I've done "wrong" the past three years came flooding to the forefront of my brain and I've been obsessing about them for hours

Then I took a deep breath....I re-read this and this and that steadied me a bit.

Then I went back and re-read both articles.....I started with the 71 Things

My initial reaction was Please Help me Jesus!
I only have two years to teach her 71 things
I went through the list again

Eager...yeah, you're good with this one - you attack anything and anyone with so much enthusiasm and gusto that you are endearing and overwhelming all at the same time
Curious....child! You could give Curious George a run for his money
Generally pleasant....your sweet voice, your hugs, your demands for more kisses..yes, you are pleasant
Follows rules....hmmm..file this in the We'll Work On It column
Hopping on one keep falling over, we'll keep practicing
Write letters and your name.....we're not even sure if you are a righty or a lefty so no
But you know your colors....and you know that red means stop, orange (yellow) is slow down and green is go...which in turns lends to your fantastic back seat driving abilities
You throw a ball really well, and catch it just as well...with your face....
Skipping....sadly, you inherited my coordination but don't worry, skipping will come in due time run like the wind but God forbid there be any obstacles in your path (a branch, a twig, a tree root, a pebble) because you are going down if there is
Scissors...Lord help me the day we let you loose with a pair of scissors

Good news is you have The Arts Section, which includes Creative Arts, Music/Movement and Creative Dramatics, down pat

Truthfully, these are all things that come with time...things that will most likely come naturally and instinctively as you get older
Things you will learn as your brain continues to grow and develop
They all make perfect sense...and are all attainable...and, in due time, they will all come

If you get to school and only have 68 out of the 71, I'm pretty sure they will still let you through the door...and I'm pretty sure you will still succeed

Now, as far as the 15 Lessons....this actually popped up in a couple places...and they were by different authors
One was an author for the Chicken Soup for the Souls books
Another was a Mom Blogger and a third one was an open letter a teacher had written to a graduating class

Certainly not an original idea but I liked it

I know I've written a couple similar letters to you already but I felt inspired to add to the list
And these are not necessarily things you need to know by 18 but things I think you'll need to help navigate life....hell, I'm 39 and there are still a few on the list I have not figured out

So here, Lucy, are the things I want you to know

Some are facts
Some are cautionary tales
Some are "Learn from my mistakes" parables
And some are just random tidbits of information that will make great conversation starter at a party

Some things you'll learn in school
Some thing you'll learn from your Dad and I
Some things you will learn from your friends

Whatever it is you learn, hang onto it no matter how mundane it seems at the time for one day, it will come in handy:

  1. If a door is closed, there is a reason; knock before entering - and I'm being literal here...if the door is closed closed, knock. Don't just barge in, that's rude
  2. Know how to balance your bank account and write a check
  3. You should always have your own bank account - with your name on it and your money in it. Not because I want you to someday leave your husband but because it teaches you responsibility and accountability....and frankly, buying something with your own money that you have earned and saved is a truly rewarding feeling and something to be proud of
  4. Know how to write a letter - a heartfelt thank you, a note of sympathy or a celebratory congratulations...and please, send a card on special occasions, not an e-card - go pick out a card and mail it....with a stamp
  5. If you are invited to a wedding, a baptism, a shower or any special celebration, go! If someone took the time to invite you, they want you there; return the respect and go. Even if you have not spoken to them or seen them for weeks, months or years, they thought enough of you to invite you - go! Same goes for wakes and funerals; when someone you know passes, even if you don't know the family, go and pay your respects. If someone you know loses someone in their family or someone close to them, attend the wake or funeral out of respect to your friend, even if you did not know the person who passed...they will appreciate your sentiment
  6. When you meet someone new, look them in the eye, shake their hand firmly and repeat their name while saying, Nice to meet you (and yes, women can and should shake hands firmly, this does not make you a man, it makes you polite)
  7. Mind your manners (I know I've said it before but it is something that bears repeating) Please, Thank You, You're Welcome, Excuse Me.......just be polite
  8. Be Dalton said Be nice....until it's time to stop being nice (that's right, I just gave my daughter a life lesson straight from Road House...)
  9. When someone says something and you didn't quite hear them, don't say Huh? (a terrible habit I have) say I'm sorry, I did not hear you or I'm sorry, could you repeat that
  10. Learn how to swim
  11. Know how to drive a manual and an automatic
  12. Be able to back into a parking space (you laugh but I have no problem admitting I cannot back into a parking space to save my life)
  13. Know how to pump your own gas how to check the the oil level in your car and how to to add windshield wiper fluid and oil to your car
  14. Follow the rules - sure, some rules are made to be broken but not as many as one would think. And if you decide to break a rule (or the law) be prepared to pay the consequences  
  15. Know where your voting station is.....which of course means you should be registered to vote...which by the way is my 18th Birthday Present for you, taking you to register to vote...Happy Birthday, no need to thank me
  16. For the love of God please, please know the difference between The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence
  17. Know where the Police Station, Fire Station and Library are in your town...whatever town you may be living in
  18. Know who your Senators and Representatives, your Governor, your President, Vice President and Speaker of the House are
  19. Know who Ted Williams, Freddy Lynn, Carl Yastrzemski, Jerry Remy, Terry Francona and Jason Varitek are
  20. Your Uncle John once told me to never date a man who drives a van with blacked out windows or a man who knows what a duvet is...I pass that on to you
  21. Smoking is bad for you; yes, Mummy smoked and yes, I loved smoking...but smoking is bad for you. It was hard for me to quit....would have been easier if I had never don't smoke
  22. You will drink before you are 21, which today is the legal drinking think you won't but you will ... I think you won't but I know you will....all I ask is that no matter what age you are, never ever ever get behind the wheel of a car after you have been drinking - and never get in a car with someone who has been drinking behind the wheel of a car. If you need a ride, call us - we may not be happy you were drinking (yes, we'll probably ground you in some way shape or form) but we will not be angry at you for waking us up at 1am to come pick you up...same stands for your friends, they can call us as well
  23. And while we're on the topic, yes, I tried marijuana...and it did nothing for me. I'm pretty sure I inhaled but it just did nothing for me. Grand total, I probably smoked it maybe 6 times and frankly, it never did anything or me. And no, I never tried anything stronger.....I was too afraid...the after school specials and Public Service Announcements I saw as a kid scared the shit out of me. Plus, I saw first hand the damage drugs did while I was in college and then my early 20s
  24. Clean up after yourself
  25. Multitasking is overrated; finish one task before moving on to another...your brain will thank me for it
  26. Know how to use a fire extinguisher
  27. Know how to change a tire (no, I don't)
  28. And if you never learn how to change a tire, date/marry a man who knows how to
  29. And if that does not work, sign up for AAA
  30. Whites should be washed with whites and whites only, colored clothes with colored clothes. And if it says hand wash or delicate cycle or do not put in dryer, there is a reason, follow the directions
  31. Wool was not meant for the dryer
  32. If its says dry clean only, then take it to the dry cleaners
  33. Keep your passport and your driver's license up to date
  34. Know that whatever you say, whatever you write, once it passes your lips or from your hand to paper, you can never take it back
  35. Never ever ever ever ever ever EVER take a picture or let your picture be taken of you in the not take pictures like this for your significant other/ not take pictures of yourself like this and send them to someone.....and if someone tells you its for the sake of art, stop and think about your parents, would we think its art? I'm trying to protect you here....listen to your mother
  36. While we're at it, try to avoid having your picture taken of you drinking/drunk/smoking/doing something I know this may sound like I am crushing your college memories before they even happen but trust m,e on this don't need pictures for the memories....And yes, pictures of this (not nudes) of me like this exist and no, I am not proud of them nor of the way I look....and no, you cannot see them
  37. Look, I had a blast in college and in my 20s....and I want you to have a blast, I just want you to be safe and smart while you are doing so
  38. Learns how to cook and bake (I'll teach you)
  39. Know that no question is a stupid question - ask away, just be careful who you ask
  40. Know that no matter what you do or say, no matter what we do or say, our love for you is unconditional. So even though I yelled at you last night for spitting at me (add that to this list, no spitting, it's rude) and even though we won't get you a dog, we love you more than you know
  41. Try not to lose your sense of times, this will be hard but trust me, even in a crises situation, if you can manage to bring some levity and laughter to it, you'll be just fine
  42. Share...not just your toys or the swing but also your thoughts and feelings. Share your hope, your dreams and your needs. If you have extra food, a smile, a laugh, a hug, share. If you have an idea, a joke, a solution....share.... Share with your Mum and Dad, your cousins, your Aunts and Uncles, your Grandparents, your friends...share with anyone you think needs it.
  43. Be patient with yourself and others
  44. Trust God and be grateful to God for what He has given us, for what He will give us and for chocolate...thank God for chocolate
  45. Be honest
  46. Make mistakes....and then learn from them and don't make the same mistake again. And when you do make mistakes, don't beat yourself up about it and don't be afraid to tell us about it - that's what we're here for
  47. Give lots of hugs and kisses and cuddles
  48. Live within your budget - have what you need and want what you need
  49. Forgive...this is hard Boo.....but you will be a better person, your life will be richer if you forgive. But I'm not going to lie, its hard to forget and sometimes, you should not forget - but you should always forgive
  50. If one day you come home a Democrat, or bring a Democrat home, if you convert to a different religion or bring someone from another religion home, if you come home with someone someone who is the same sex as you, with someone who is a different race than you, if you join a cult (try not to though) if you bring home a Yankees fan or a Lakers fan,or a NASCAR fan,  my love for you will still be unconditional....but Lucy, you come home a Yankees fan and all bets are off (this will be repeated through out your life)
Lucy, life is the biggest classroom you will ever have the privilege of being in; Take advantage of it
  • Open your mind
  • Explore
  • Experiment (not with drugs I'm thinking more with baking soda and vinegar or peanut butter and pickle sandwiches)
  • Meet new people
  • Change
  • Treasure the people already in your life, learn more about them
  • Read books
  • Go to Church
  • Paint, color, and draw
  • Visit new places
  • Go to museums and art galleries...even if you know nothing about art or science or natural history,'re bound to find something that interests you
  • If you find yourself driving through a town you've never been in, stop and have lunch at the local never know who you meet or what you'll learn
Above all Lucy,
Never forgot where you came from, who you came from and our love for you

So, for now, go be (almost) 3 - have fun, laugh, cry, dance, throw temper tantrums, snuggle with your Mum and Dad, hug your friends, sing out loud and eat your vegetables...just please don't spit

I love you more than I did yesterday but not as much as I will tomorrow

Maria the Mum

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Somebody said 'Hindsight's a wonderful thing'

Well I have my own saying:

'Hindsight Sucks!'

Back in 1994 Apple stock was trading at around $10 per share. Apple seemed like they were in the toilet but I flirted with the idea of buying some stock at the time (I may have just watched 'Wall Street' and fancied myself as a young Gordon Gecko). In the end I was scared they were going to go bust – I even went out and bought a PC cos I thought I should learn how to use one as I was convinced that I would be working on one within a year. I also wanted to get about 100 shares and didn't have a spare grand lying around, renting a single bedroom in Northern England as I was at the time.

So I read the above and pondered 'What would my $1000 investment be worth now?'
Apple closed at just over $629 today. My $1000 would be worth $629,000.
In 2014 they theoretically would be worth $100,000.

As I said:

'Hindsight Sucks!'