New Rounded Theme!

WordPress came out with another theme that I like and I feel it actually works great with my blog!

Sometimes I find themes I like and once I try it out I realize it doesn’t go with the flow. I am not crazy about the colors but it is neutral enough. Those that know me well – know that my favorite color in the world is PURPLE! But anything that I can find that incorporates that color is “icky”!

So I would love some feedback – I hate keeping it the same all the time, I like to change it up a bit. What are your thoughts, do you like it? It’s the same ole blog just a different look!

Enjoy!

PS – You have to see the cool comments section – so you must leave a reply!!

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I Am Very Proud of My Son

That’s all I wanted to say!

No – there is more!

My son is 14. He is nearly 6 feet tall and pretty mature for his age in some ways and immature (or on target!) in other ways.

Since he was 2, he had an enormous thirst for knowledge, asking questions, debating and questioning you beyond your limits! It was frustrating and challenging and we grew together.

When we drove on the parkways, he would observe other cars on the different roads and he would wonder how they got there. Being a frustrated teacher and not having anything else to do on my 1.5 hour drive to visit my family, I will go off on this explanation of exit ramps and side streets, etc. My family thought I was nuts trying to explain this to a toddler at the time. But I had the patience and sometimes the knowledge to explain things to him without saying, “Because”, or “I don’t know” or better yet lie to him fudging some sort of answer. If I didn’t know something, I told him, “Mommy doesn’t know, let’s see if PopPop (or Grandma) (or Uncle) (or Aunt) (or Daddy) knows when we get there (or home)”.

He was always questioning. So when it was time to start Pre-School it was no surprise that he ran to the door and without a second look back took his seat and beamed.  Same goes for Kindergarten. Flew on the bus, almost forgetting to say goodbye to me. Parents spoke about their children crying and making a fuss and I just thought, my kid couldn’t wait to get away from me!

Dan was one of the brightest in his class. I would be up at the school volunteering (as class mom) and I would wait in the hall. I had my 2 year old daughter with me as well. I would have one eye on her and one ear in the classroom. I was embarrassed! The teacher would ask a question – a number of guesses were made. And I would hear my son sighing. Mrs. Peterson would say, “Dan, I know you have the answer, let us give another child a try” proceeding by “OK, Dan, tell us what it is”.

And that is when I cringed.

“Forty ninnne-uh!” in the duh you idiots attitude. I was mortified. I had a talk with him. I tried to set him and his “I am smarter than you all” attitude straight.

Then we moved. Out of the district – into a new home. And the school wasn’t as good in my opinion. I was disappointed on so many levels. Perhaps he felt it or perhaps it was due to him, because his performance dropped. He lost his thirst, his interest. And I was devastated. The problem was he was repeating Kindergarten in the first grade! Nothing can be done, I was told. I was too young of a mother to realize I could have requested he skip the grade. I did beg for extra work, but then they told me he would have the same problem in 2nd grade. So because I didn’t know better, he suffered.

He skirted by in grade 2 and was blessed with a wonderful teacher in grade 3 that tried to bring him back. She knew he was capable and called him lazy. It was a wake-up call for me. My perfect boy was not [perfect]!

And then he had mediocre teachers in grades 4 and 5 dissolving any progress made in third.

He moves on to middle school. My straight A student then gets a “D” in his favorite subject. How could this be? I call the school – seems like my wonderful child doesn’t believe in doing HW or projects! Every test I saw come home [and the teacher verified it was all the test taken] was 98 or higher. So why the D? I was under the assumption doing no HW would drop him one letter grade – why a D and not a B? Well he didn’t do a project that counted as 1/3 of the grade! Hence his D. I wanted to strangle him! I refrained.

For the next 3 years we had to monitor him closely to make sure he did his HW – but he still either a) didn’t finish it, b) never handed it in, or c) it wasn’t up to par. I was at my wits end. I would see him work on his HW but how could they say he didn’t do it. He was so unorganized he didn’t know what he was doing.

Where did my little boy go, the one that was craving more and more information, the one who wanted to please you – where was he?

I think my husband gave up on that little boy. I however did not. I refuse. My son is good-heartened. He has leadership abilities which he displays at Boy Scouts and the teachers always compliment him, enjoying him in class and saying he balances the class out. I was told he is like a mediator in the class. He was a peer-mediator with the guidance center – a job that sought him out. That is how he met his new best friend – but that is another story. He is athletic and dedicated to his sports. It is his life and his father and I stress that education comes first. If he doesn’t get the grades, we pull him off the team.

My problem is that we expect As – Bs don’t fly well. He gets Bs without studying. We try to explain if he only cracked a book, and applied a bit of effort, he would be getting the grades he is capable of. Never settle for second best.

At the present time, he is a freshman, a 9th grader at the high school. He is loving it. He keeps his agenda up to date and he is always talking about what happened in school (and not just at gym)! My little boy is back! And I am so happy. Yes, it is only the first week of school. But I have every confidence that he will keep it up.

When he got his class list of supplies, I left it up to him to decide how to organize himself. We let the teachers in middle school dictate what type binder, etc to purchase even down to the color. It wasn’t his way. Looseleaf pages were ripping out. It was a disaster. NOTE: As typical with the oldest child, he is my trial and error subject! I now know better for my daughter. I bought what we thought was best for her supplies and this year, I am leaving it up to my son to decide what works best for him. He is appreciative of it. You can tell in his attitude and demeanor that he sees I am treating him like an adult. I know he isn’t. He knows he isn’t. But I am encouraging him to take charge of his life. And you know what? Dan knows Dan best. And I trust him. It seems to be working. He is even coming to me for help with his HW. He is back to trusting me as well. He knows I will not steer him wrong. We are bonding once again.

My husband on the other hand is still bringing up his past mistakes, almost waiting for him to fail this year. All I can do is be there for my son, cheering him on by being a positive force in his life. I need to do a lot of work. I need to do a lot of talking and communicating with him. I stressed to him, that I am not able to know when things are not going smoothly for him, he needs to let me in on things. I told him it is his responsibility to let me know when he runs out of supplies. I will go to the store and purchase it. The key is working together and trusting one another. I hope my husband decides to join us. But somehow I think this balance is working out. My husband stresses the “we won’t take any nonsense attitude” while I stress the “I know you will do what is best for you and I am trusting you” attitude.

We have threats and guilt on our side. I am praying he has no choice but to make the right decisions! If he rebels against dad, he will disappoint mom, and if he doesn’t live up to expectations (not extremely out of range) he has dad to deal with. I say that is a good balance for kids. But what do I know! All I do know is I am very proud of what my son is becoming – a fine young man.

I love you, Dan. XOXOX

Where Were You?

A comment on my previous post made me recollect my thoughts about this devastating day – 5 years ago.

I was home.

I was perhaps enjoying a cup of coffee. My daughter was in Kindergarten and my son in second grade. He was just diagnosed with asthma and he was having a tough time. He needed a nebulizer and treatments every 4 hours. I was exhausted.

The phone rang – the kids were already off to school. It was my husband. He told me he was stuck in traffic and he thinks the reason is because some airplane crashed. He is not sure where, because the radio announcement was confusing. He asked me to turn on the TV to find out what was happening.

I froze. There on every station was the World Trade Towers in flames – well the first one anyway. I told my husband what I saw and he said some things out of disbelief.  He was getting another call. I hung up. He called me back and said he was ordered to go to the site. (he was a NYPD officer.)

I begged him not to go. I pleaded. I cried. I told him it looked really bad and besides what can he do. That was not his area. I panicked.

My heart raced as I heard comments about terrorists and suicide and more reports of hijacked planes. I thought I was going to throw up. But I couldn’t take my eyes off the TV. And then it happened – I am not sure if I saw it first hand (as I saw it so many times in repeated plays) – perhaps I was in the kitchen, but I heard the news. The second plane hit. They were not sure if they were evacuating.

I remember screaming at the TV – get them out. My God – get them out. I saw people jumping and I thought of my husband, where is he?  Then the phone calls started.

“Mom, where does Aunt Lena and Anthony work? Didn’t Anthony work at the trade center? Wasn’t he there during the last bombing? Mom, where are they?”

“Calm down, Elaine. They no longer work there but they are close. They are fine though. Your brother is not there either. Everyone is fine.”

“Mom,” I say, “Erick is there.”

Silence.

“I am sure he is fine”, she assures me.

I go back to the TV.

I stand there watching, glued – and then….

It just collapsed.

And so did I.

I even scream. I know I did, but I didn’t hear it. But I screamed. I ran to the phone and my husband’s cell just rang and rang. “Answer it”, I pleaded – “answer the damn phone.” Then all lines went dead – I couldn’t get through to anyone.

I watched people jump from the buildings and I wept like you can’t believe.  And then the second one went down. And I was just numb.

We heard of the PA flight and the DC crash. My uncle works at the Pentagon. To be honest, I don’t know if he was at work that day. All I know was we found out pretty quickly that he was OK – either he wasn’t at work yet or his office was not near the site. I am not sure.

Then I was forced to make a decision. Do I take my kids out of school? What do I say if I do? I didn’t know where my husband was, and I had no idea if more attacks were on the way. I grabbed my keys and ran for my car. I went to the school and there were other parents there as well. The officials were understanding. There were people crying all over. We all knew people. Friends. Family. Acquaintances.

I reached for my children and I hugged them tightly and I cried. I told them something bad happened but we are safe and we are going to go home and wait for daddy to come home.

I didn’t let them anywhere near the TV. I kept my bedroom set tuned in, low. I situated them in the living room with videos and kept my eyes and ears on everything.

And then the phone rang.

It was my husband and I cried. He was upset. Too many people he knew were involved. He was ordered to go to his sector instead of the World Trade center shortly after our phone conversation.  I asked why he didn’t call to let me know he was OK – he said he tried. But naturally, he needed to maintain order at work. 

I don’t remember much of the days that followed. It was all a blur. My husband went through severe depression for a while. He felt he wasn’t able to do much to help. He went to the site numerous days, but he felt useless. He found no survivors and he learned of many friends that perished. He was needed more at his precinct, yet he wanted to be there in Manhattan. My husband has asthma as well and they did not want him to aggravate his condition by placing him there. He had to go through numerous tests and follow ups regarding his lungs.

I was fortunate.

My husband was safe. My family members were safe. I had no close friends or relatives that perished. I recognized many names (though from years ago) that had died – acquaintances. I heard many stories of how “so and so” was late for work for one reason or another and missed being at work by minutes of the attack. Who missed the train, bus etc. Who stopped for breakfast or took a cigarette break. And then there were the unfortunate ones. The ones we mourn. Even though we don’t know them. We could have.

I remember feeling uneasy for the next few months, years, especially the first few weeks. I needed to cross bridges (literally) many times to visit family. I feared they would be bombed. NOTE: this fear was NOT instilled in me by the Republican Party trying to keep control over our government! That is absurd. This fear was instilled in me the day these terrorist proved to me that we are all vulnerable. As long as they are around, we are all still vulnerable. But I don’t live in fear anymore. I go about my business and I trust that the best is being done to protect us. Nothing is full-proof, and there may be another attack. But it is no one’s fault – no one except these terrorist. And they must be dealt with. I don’t ever want to live through another day like I did on September 11, 2001 – and I got off lucky.

Remind me why we are in Iraq again

TO LET THESE CHILDREN KNOW THAT DADDY DID NOT DIE IN VAIN.

I am tired of everyone questioning why we are in Iraq. 

Would you rather fight a war here?

No – no one wants to fight anywhere. And we shed a tear everyday that one of our young men or women are slain or held hostage because of this never-ending war.  But listen, my friends, the terrorists are in Iraq and other countries including OURS (US); they are world-wide trying to take over the Mid-East and everywhere else. They are trying to intimidate those that don’t agree with them.

WE WON’T BE INTIMIDATED.

We lost too many lives, and these children will never EVER know their fathers like most of us were fortunate enough to have.  Their father’s were ripped away from them in a most horrific manner.  We tracked the terrorists down and we are fighting them. There are Way2Much of them in this world, and it will take a long time to be rid of them. But it is a battle worth fighting.

Just so that there will NEVER be another 700 babies wondering “Would daddy approve of who I am?”, “Would he love me if he were alive?”

My heart goes out to all these children, and I hope when they are young men and women themselves, they do not feel the pressure to have to live up to anyone’s [elevated] standards, but I do hope they are fine, upstanding young men and women and they don’t have any burdens carried on their shoulders. They all deserve our prayers, and I, for one, will always keep them in mine.

Won’t you do the same too.

God Bless America – we all should unite and stay united.

Remember divide and conquer. They will conquer if we divide.

The Chief’s Wife is Naked: This is Nothing Compared to Her Drug Charges!

Would this story be completely different if the chief’s wife was beautiful?

What disturbs me is that the chief of police has a wife that served time for drug related charges.  He’s supposed to uphold the law?

I thought it was interested.

Posted in obscenity, politics, review. Comments Off on The Chief’s Wife is Naked: This is Nothing Compared to Her Drug Charges!

Happy Halloween!

Let me start off by explaining that I am very grateful I have a roof over my head that houses my family. We have heat, running water and electricity.  We enjoy the benefits of health insurance, dental coverage (to an extent) and we do not have any severe disabilities.

I b!tch moan and groan about bills and the cost of gas, but all in all we are lucky that I am able to put food on my table and my family doesn’t have many needs that go unmet. They have clothes, toys and friends. We’re good.

So why this post?

Why the ranting? and the raving?

I will tell you:

I live in a community that has all of the above and then some. I am not jealous (well maybe a little green 😉 ). JK. Put aside the kidding, I am happy for these individuals and I do not wish them any discord. What bothers me is the town officials and the school board and the teachers all think we are privileged like the others.

We are not. The majority of us are not.

With this said, school supply shopping can put a dent in my budget. I would like to have taken advantage of sales and shopped during the summer for supplies. But my daughter’s supply list was just made available to us this past week.  A few days later, I go supply shopping.  I go to the major chain of stores, Office Depot, Staples, Target even CVS. Guess what! Nothing is left! Everyone went shopping in the middle of July! I don’t blame them. If I had the opportunity to take advantage of all the sales, I would have done so as well.  Now I could have taken a gander as to what my children would need, but you see there is a problem with that! The teachers want things to be color coded.

That is right!

Math needs to be green.

Social Studies needs to be red, etc.

You get the point. They need a 1 inch binder, no make it a 2 inch binder, or is it a 1.5 inch binder. They need colored composition notebooks to match – along with folders as well. So you see I couldn’t just pick up anything – I had to wait and see what demands they made first. Did I mention they are particular over soft cover, hard cover, plastic or what-have-you type binders! I kid you not.

So the stores are wiped out! And now my son comes home with his list from the first day of school! His is not too bad, but had I known what he would need I could have saved about $100. Now I have to pay top dollar and scout all over for these supplies, as the stores are barren!

It is ridiculous.

And to top things off – not only did school supplies reach the shelves early July (right after school let out!) but the stores are now stocked for Halloween! Enjoy your holiday!

Back To School – A Mixture of Feelings

Labor Day weekend is gone.

For the most part it was a wash-out.

My summer is officially over come tomorrow – the kids go back to school.  I just saw a commercial for investing and it shows a man swinging a young boy at a park.  After a while, it transforms that boy into a young man and the voice-over says something along the lines of “times goes by so quickly” or “before you know it, they’re all grown up, so invest wisely.”

It is so true.

I was just watching some home videos and saw my “little boy” at age 8 or so.  He is now 14 but looks like an 18 year.  It is scary.  And then there was my 11 year old daughter at age 4 – giving the camera her dirty looks! She was such a snot, but a cute one at that!  It made me sad – where did the time go.

And now here we are – on the brink of High School and Middle School. They are excited and so am I – but I am also sad.  Here I am a 36 year old mom – feeling oh so old.  I long for the years where we sat on the floor, assembling a puzzle, playing memory, studying flash-cards (or in the case with my daughter – ripping them apart!), playing other board games such as CandyLand, Chutes and Ladders, Hi-Ho Cherry-O, Arthur goes to the Library, Game of the Year, etc.

I try to treasure every minute I have with my family. It is hard. At times they argue and I can’t wait for the day they are back in school, and then they are so wonderful again and I want time to freeze.

This summer had a nice steady pace to it, but yet I am not willing to let it go. But I have no choice – the weather is fall-like, so the idea of going back to school is not a dreaded one – it feels like school weather! It would be so hard if it was 90 degrees and sunny, and hearing the beach calling out to you – “guys come on down, enjoy the sand and waves and the pier – you know you love to jump off the pier!”

Once the 4th of July is here – the countdown begins.

Two weeks later it is my birthday!

Then it is August and you say to yourself – where did the time go? Summer is almost over. (NOTE: here in the Northeast, school begins after Labor Day – unlike my Southeast friends whose children begin early August – for them summer is truly over – in the sense of school vacation).

Then I milestone it further by my brother’s birthday – the 14th – how more in the middle of August can you get?!

And then a few weeks later it is Labor Day – the last hurrah! And usually we cap off the summer by canning and preserving our own tomato sauce for the upcoming year. (This year it did not happen. But we did get together that weekend anyway – there is nothing more important than family – and if you are blessed like I am – your family is the BEST! 😛 )

So here I am, getting ready for school – well getting my children ready for school. Ericka still doesn’t have a “first day back to school outfit”! Dan doesn’t care what he wears! And I am blogging! Some things never change!

Seriously, I have other things to write about, but I will just leave this one post off with a final comment. I am seriously busy getting them ready for the big day tomorrow. I have so much to say regarding my past weekend at my aunt’s house. (Sorry Big A – I know it is yours as well – but I just keep referring it to hers! 🙂 ) I  hope I get to write about it before all thoughts escape my head – but I have them all to refresh my memory! 😉

So enjoy catching up with my blog – if it has been awhile –

or – for new viewers, Welcome – feel free to peruse and comment wherever you see fit.

I also have a comment from one of my past blogs – it deserves its own post, not to be buried in comment #133. So look for that new post as well – or in the mean-time just click on the above link and it will direct you to it.

Take care of yourselves and here’s to a safe and productive NEW school year!