Thursday, December 26, 2013

Random Thoughts

It Just Occurred to me that..................

Jimmy Fallon is the closest thing to perfection there is. #sofreakinfunny

It may be time to take a step back from my son's preteen life when I sweat my self tanner off at his basketball game. #wowthat'sembarassing

My little family makes the Griswold's look like the Von Trapp's. #therehastobehiddencamerasinthishouse

I am much less distressed by James Franco and Seth Rogan's version of "Bound 2" than Kimye's. #whatishappening?

I have been wearing my huge winter coat for 2 1/2 hours inside since I dropped the kids off. #needfirewoodASAP #freezing

Today of all days I hope noone tells me to "act my age". #justcan'tdoit #39yearsyoung

I hope the maddest I get today is after Johnny dumped my leftover Rio Grande all over the floor. #oneluckydog

The words "healthy holiday appetizer" should be banned from the English language. #oxymoron

I do love the song "Wrecking Ball", I just wish Miley would dress for the occasion. #anyoccasion

I have a grocery list a full page long and a stack of coupons, absolutely nothing on the list is what I have a coupon for. #whatisthematterwithme? #don'tanswerthat

Watching Johnny drinking a Capri Sun takes me back to my college days. #hepoundsit #impressive

I was so proud of myself for getting out my 5 Halloween decorations yesterday! #Oct29th

Yes, even with everything I have going on, I still have a fundamental problem with Kelly Osbourne hosting Fashion

Police. #youdon'tneedglassesitispurple

When my dad used to say, "good thing you're cute," he wasn't paying me a compliment. #ouch

Jacob is not procrastinating when he asks if he can wait till his dad gets home to do Math. He fully understands I have no idea what I am talking about and doesn't want to hurt my feelings by telling me as much. #6thgrademathistheworst

I wish Rocky IV was on tv more often. #deadserious

It may have been slightly inappropriate when Elizabeth's neurologist was referring her to an Orthopedist for Botox in the back of her legs to help straighten them and I asked if he thought they'd do a twofer.......#runningoutoffacecreamoptions

This is not a nine-year phase, Dora the Explorer is always going to be a part of my life. #backpackbackpack

If I wasn't so busy "keeping up with the Kardashians", I may not have found my autistic son two doors down in shorts and no shoes drinking out of a bird bath. #totallyblamingElizabethforthisone

Buying cute gym clothes is not the same as actually showing up at the gym. #noonesaidlifeisfair

Sunday Funday with the family shall henceforth be called Amber Alert Awareness Day. #gettin'thatkidashockcollar

When you have to say to someone "I was trying to be funny," you probably weren't. #toughcrowd

I look tired because I am....#needanap

Entemann's coffee cake could have been the best and worst decision I made today, until Rio Grande. #fullanddisgustedwithself

People will talk endlessly about subjects of which they know nothing. #oftenwrongneverindoubt

When someone asks me what I plan on doing that day, my first thought is, "I hope it involves Days of our Lives." #SamiBradyrocks #embarrassing

Quotes from the movie Tommy Boy run through my head way too frequently for someone my age. #housekeeping

I may need a handicap decal and a few autism stickers for someone not to be douchebag in carline #10moresecondswon'tkillya

My thighs may never not touch again.... #takeawalk

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Yeah, I kinda do..................

Wish going up and down stairs during the day doing laundry was considered the Stairmaster

Wish hair drying counted as weight lifting

Wish lifting or picking kids up counted as benching

Wish changing diapers was considered Pilates

Wish putting a 9 year-old kid with autism to bed who doesn't want to go to bed was considered Yoga or kick-boxing, depending on the night

Wish chasing kids with permanent markers/knives/scissors was considered marathon running or at the very least, sprints

Wish emptying the dishwasher counted as squats

Wish driving the kids to practices/school/therapy/Dr. Appointments etc. counted as riding on the stationary bike (is that pushing it?)

Then I could say-look at me-fit as a fiddle!

Disclaimer-Saying "fit as a fiddle", just makes me a woman of a certain age, not a total loser. Oh God, yes it does.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Potato Chips for Breakfast

I think about how I act when I need to eat and the nasty human being I become, so I think my kids come by it honestly when they act like little brats when they are hungry. Sorry, that was a little harsh, but I am starving. See what happens! Anyway, when there is even a hint that someone is crabby, I immediately think to myself-feed them. Even as infants when they would fuss I would automatically stick a bottle in their mouth. So it is really important to me that they are fed before school. I know, Mom of the Year. Wait, don't cast your vote yet, you haven't asked the front-running candidate what she feeds them. Well, I think I have become a little too lax on this. This morning-Chipotle, other times-leftover Mexican, on an organized morning a few years ago-a breakfast casserole, and more often than I'd like to admit-potato chips. What? Yes, potato chips. He refuses to eat cereal, scoffs at sweet things like doughnuts (I wouldn't lay claim to him for this-but it has been determined-he's mine), eggs-nope, toast-picks at it, but mostly leaves it scattered in crumbs on the floor, pancakes-not a fan, fruit-apparently only when he's in the mood. Seriously, what's a girl to do? I will tell you what this girl does-gives the kids some damn chips. I have done it and on more than one occasion. What can I say, he's a carb kid. He has to eat and I have to continue to live in this house without jumping off the roof head first, so potato chips it is!

Let the judgment begin or report me to the authorities, just don't write Dr. Oz on my behalf, he totally freaks me out.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What would you change?

Do you ever wonder what your parents think about you as a person, your life, the decisions you have made even though you are an adult? Are you still doing things to appease and sometimes please them?  I still do, but then I begrudge them for it. Sorry, I do. And then my split personality rears its ugly head and I start to wonder if they think I have made good decisions, am a good parent, made the right career (or lack thereof :)) choices that would make them proud of me? So silly, but there was a specific episode in my living room yesterday that got me pondering this. My mom was talking to someone who comes to work with Johnny and the young woman was talking about graduate school, standardized tests, grades, applications and the like. My mom then launches into my resume at that age. And that age was a LONG time ago! What my grades were, my goals, and also the choices that I didn't make. It left me wondering, in her mind, is this where my accomplishments ended? It is true, after all, I didn't pursue graduate school, get the job that led to a lucrative career, push myself to that “next” level. And now here I am, married-those 3 crazy kids I incessantly rant about, in the hometown I grew up in, minutes away from many with whom I went to high school. And in that moment I gave myself a chance to think of another life that “could have been”, and then quickly realized I wouldn't have what is. And I love what is. I understand that maybe I am that person people feel sorry for because of the path I have chosen, or worse because of the circumstances of my children. I certainly don't want that, it serves no purpose. Empathy fine, sympathy, kindly-no.

I also know the fact that I am still talking about what is expected of me at this age just shows I cannot be almost 40, I must still be 24. Even though my babysitters keep insisting on comparing me to their own mothers, which makes me want to slap them square in the face. Not really. Yes, really.

Either way, I apparently took a road, less traveled or not, I do not know, but it has certainly made all the difference.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

End of an Era-the fake tree

Things that I have said would absolutely positively never happen-keep happening, sometimes daily. So for this post, I think I'll choose a rather comical and timely example. I have stated out loud I would not ever get a fake tree, not ever, and then life kept happening and fast forward to 2013 and for the first time, we have a fake tree. I haven't blocked out all of the memories of the real tree. Some remain vivid. Adam losing his mind because he can't get it to stand up straight, pine needles I am still finding under the carpet easily from two years ago, hives on my hands from putting on the ornaments, and of course, the epic battle of keeping Johnny from pulling every Santa and snowman ornament off as soon as you put it on, if not before (unfortunately that is going to happen real or fake, he doesn't discriminate). So why, why, why have we waited this long to succumb to the purchasing of a fake tree? Like most members of my family, I have to do things the hard way. If it doesn't cause angst, unnecessary heartache, and a good bit of arguing, apparently, I am just not interested. And so the tree is up and there was no yelling, fighting, and very little threatening. (don't worry, the threats were not between spouses, they were to Johnny who doesn't respond and is not deterred by idle threats). So the tree is up! It is a sad, sparse, nonliving little thing, but it stands straight, lights were (gasp) on it when it was bought, Adam has professed his love to it more in the last 48 hours than he has to me in 14 years, and Johnny has almost grown bored of pulling everything off! Everybody wins! The best part, Adam and I can remain in marital bliss, a marriage, for another year. Thank goodness, that's a relief. No really, it is. My mood has brightened and so bring it on Christmas-you can't break me.

Monday, December 9, 2013


From one child to another

I'm the kid you pass in the hall, say hello to, maybe share a moment in class,
I act differently than you and sometimes do not do as I am asked.
I spin, or twirl or flap my arms seemingly without care,
but there are times and experiences that with you I'd like to share.
I love clapping, singing, and laughing, and a stranger I've not met-
like you I am made in God's imagine, without shame, guilt or regret.
I know sometimes it is easier to laugh with friends even during my distress,
and wonder if you'll ask yourself why you mock the one whose words can't be expressed​?
Yet I promise I don't blame you, my own brother struggles from time to time too,
to be the one who has to stand up, instead of being cruel.
Parents too can be confusing and on their children many old prejudices land,
it is true of them as well, they are frightened by what they don't understand.
I hope in time you look into your heart because I know like mine it shines,
and then your mind will ask of you-will I be the one others call kind?

Mary Claire, Johnny's Mom

Have you ever?

Have you ever woken up and realized you are not in the middle of a bad dream?
Do you remember the moment that your life separated from the rest of the “team?”
Have you ever wished so much that there were others with whom your experience you might share?
Do you remember asking the questions in your head, but ask aloud you could not bear?
Have you ever tried to reach out so hard your arm might break?
Do you remember the agony and the tears so violent your whole body would shake?
Have you ever looked deep into eyes that do not respond?
Do you remember saying “I love you” so many times and prayed those words alone will solidify the bond?
Have you ever wished and prayed for things you believe that they will someday be true?
Do you remember the exact time when you found out the blanket would be blue?
Have you ever come out of the haze and realized there is always a light?
Do you remember the sheer power of love and the desire to never give up the fight?
Have you ever been so buried and lost in the despair?
Do you remember the realization there are just some things you cannot repair?
Have you lived with a special child that is truly a gift from above?
Do you remember telling him that he will now and always be loved?
Have you ever picked yourself up and decided to look forward and not back?
Do you remember knowing that was the only way to get on the right track?
Have you ever felt something so deeply your heart sits open for all to see?
Do you remember becoming grateful rather than begrudging how life has turned out to be?
Have you ever asked these questions over and over as if the record in your mind is broken?
Do you remember the moment when you realized you can feel your child's love, even when words remain unspoken?

Mary Claire Brass

Sunday, December 8, 2013


I did a Top 10 a couple of weeks ago about wonderful things that make my life a whole heck of a lot easier and I wouldn't want to live without. No, I am obviously not trying out for Survivor any time soon. OK you reader you- if you saw my blog where I listed this aforementioned Top 10- you may have noticed- I left off Spanx. Let me write it again, I left off Spanx. Crazy-I live for Spanx. They are critical to my well being and whatever self esteem I have left. And no one said anything-well, I forgive you. But, I needed to revisit this topic since Spanx are the single greatest invention in human history. I said it, and I semi-mean it. It got me wondering though,why do people like lists so much? (Meals with 5 ingredients cooked to perfection in 20 minutes, David Letterman's hilarious top ten, toned abs in 3 easy steps) It sucks you in. Does it make us feel like we can attain whatever it is? (let me save you some time, the ab one doesn't work) I admittedly will fall for it every time. I am a total sucker. My husband thinks it is because it is shortens/summarizes things so you don't have to feel like you are spending a lot of time reading it, when you probably should be doing something else. Most of the time, I should be doing something more productive than what I am actually doing, so pretty sure he was talking about me. Anyway, I decided to list the Top 4 reasons I think people like lists:

  1. Supposedly unclutter your house, save $, cook dinner, do squats all in one Redbook-sign me up!
  2. Checking something off makes even the most unproductive day seem, well, yeah, productive. Ah, the rush of marking something DONE!
  3. In our no-wait culture, lists are immediate gratification-(example-Adam Levine-sexiest man alive on the cover of People. You're gonna have to open the magazine to get the other 100 hot men. I don't agree with the choice either, but it's not worth getting that upset over-geeze. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, it shall always be Ryan Gosling, 2nd on the list only to Adam Brass-had to sneak that in just in case he ever reads my blog)
  4. Who wants to go to the grocery 2-3 times in a day? Not this girl.
Oh my Gosh, I just read in Ladies Home Journal about “16 Women who made the World Happier This Year” (I told you I like a list) and Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, has pledged to give away half of her money to charities that empower women. She's #1 in my book! OK, that was cheesy, but seriously, good for her! She a billionaire, btw (mom, that is "by the way" in kidspeak.) Ms. Blakely, my sister Laura and I will be expecting our handwritten thank you note in the mail any day........

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

God Gave Me You

You're amazing.....just the way you are

This morning I began trying to organize old medical records, forms, papers, etc. and it became quite an undertaking. There were literally stacks and stacks of it and in no particular order. So I quit doing it, whew, overwhelming! But I did come across a few that took me back to certain appointments with Elizabeth. I remember lots of doctors examining her like a science experiment, young students staring-confused, nurses trying to entertain her amid the long wait. I remember the the incessant questions, not for no reason, but invasive, and seemingly critical nonetheless. And then I remembered getting the report in the mail and some of the things describing my baby were:

17 partial monsomy syndrome, generalized convulsive epilepsy, muscle weakness and tone, growth hormone deficiency, gliosis, intellectual disability, motor skill disorder, intrauterine growth retardation, FTT (failure to thrive), just to name a few things from one visit.

This isn't to make you sad or pity her, she truly epitomizes strength and sweetness, and it isn't to criticize medical staff, they were doing their job. It is just to “let you in” on a little bit of what she faces as she powers through this life.

Elizabeth is a gift. She is one of those children that brings joy to everyone with whom she comes into contact. Sure she is bossy, pushy, and frustrating to the point of exhaustion, she is my child after all, but you just fall in love with her on sight.

When I am worried about her in the middle of the night, which is often, I start thinking of songs that remind me of her. The music that comes to me soothes my soul, calms inner turmoil, brings back the angst of the past and delights in the today. But there are those certain songs that I feel like were written for my loved one, family, and special moments. Does music do that for you? I could and do listen to certain songs over and over, they never disappoint. That actually turns out to be lucky for me because Johnny will listen to the same song a thousand times plus before he tires of it or I am forced to delete it depending on how deep I have sunk into madness from the sheer repetition. Sorry, this post is about Elizabeth! Anyway, about 4 am this morning I woke up with the song by Bruno Mars, “Just the way you are”, playing in my head. My thoughts immediately went to my precious hearted Elizabeth. This is my song to my sweet baby girl. She is such a power house. Beyond a hard worker, she is an avid learner and constant positive presence. She loves with an open heart under no conditions. She knows no prejudice, envy, or hate.

Here are a few of the lyrics of that song:

Just the Way You Are
By: Bruno Mars

When I see your face

There's not a thing that I would change
Cause you're amazing 
Just the way you are 
And when you smile
The whole world stops and stares for awhile
Cause girl you're amazing
Just the way you are

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Bah Humbug

Yep, I am annoyed. What is going on with you crazies having all of your Christmas decorations up and playing your holiday music, making new traditions......I don't like you. I am being such a scrooge, I know. I need to snap out of it, truly I do. I know it isn't your fault that I cannot motivate myself to do anything related to getting ready for Christmas, its the post Thanksgiving blues. And now I'm hungry. Or maybe, I am just scared to face the garage. Why the garage? That is where I store most of the holiday decorations. You see, over the course of the year, every once in awhile I will catch Johnny coming out of the garage with half of a decoration or an ornament that he has mutilated or broken somehow. It could be just the head of a Nutcracker, or an antler from what once was cute reindeer decoration, or maybe what was a sweet angel ornament that now is just a halo. So partly I think I 'm afraid to see the conditions of the decorations themselves, it could be a very scary Christmas with a one-eyed Santa and an elf with no legs. I don't know why he wants to destroy them, but he carries them, or pieces of them, around while singing sweetly (ho, ho, ho who wouldn't go, or It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, or sometimes even Up on the housetop) so he is obviously in the spirit. Yep, it's clear I am afraid of what I am going to find down there. Or it could be that I am so freakin' lazy that my sister walked in my house two days ago and took down a Trick or Treat sign. Ugh. Hold on, someone is at the door. Perfect, more presents I ordered that I now have to wrap. OK now that I am up, I will venture down to the garage and report back in a sec. Well, I guess it's not that bad, most of it I have to get rid of anyway because well you know. Basically it just looks like a ton of work in there, which is why I generally try and stay out of the basement/garage (laundry, spiders, all things bad).

Don't you feel better about yourself now? You are welcome, I'm here for ya. Oh I know what you are thinking-my kids need a good mom for Christmas. I am accepting only full time applications. Anyway, thanks for listening to that rant. I think I am to go make some hot chocolate and try and get in the mood. Just kidding, no I'm not.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Remembering Meagan

"It takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, and a day to love them, but it takes an entire lifetime to forget them."

Author Unknown

There are some people that just brighten your life just by being in the same room with them. They are loved by all who know them. They have a positivity and light about them-like a glow. They are just better than the rest of us. That was Meagan Toothman.

We found Meagan through a babysitting website and the moment she was with any of my kids everything felt easier. She clicked right away with our family. We weren't “weird” or “different”. She had the innate understanding that all children are the same in that they want to be paid attention to, loved, read to, sang to and she did all of these things effortlessly.

I remember the first time she went to the pool with us in the summer. I was always worried about taking someone new to the pool because it would send most running for the hills. Johnny can be, how do I put it, a handful. He enjoys sprinting along the edge of the entire pool, taking the food right from an unassuming hand of a toddler, and jumping off the board so close to the side your breath literally is sucked from your body watching him. And this is all within the first 10-15 minutes of arrival, but Meagan never missed a beat. She loved the joy he took from being in the water, never tired of chasing him, and wasn't fazed by the people who whispered, stared or made comments under their breath (in their defense, though, when Johnny sweeps in and rips a spiderman toy from the chubby hands of your two year-old in the baby pool, it can be upsetting for a new parent) As Adam says, the deck is stacked against you when you take Johnny to the swimming pool. He describes it like going one-on-one with Lebron, playing to 10 and spotting him 8, you are going to get beat. But Meagan just went with it. Meagan would take on any challenge with Johnny and come out of it making me wish I had half the patience she had. She may have been only twenty-two years-old at the time.
Oh, and how Elizabeth loved her. She was patient, kind, beautiful. They would read books, play outside, and watched cheerleading competitions. Meagan would put Elizabeth's arms up in the air and have her pretend like she was doing a cheer. Elizabeth would laugh and laugh.
I know that we were only a small part of her life, just one summer she was with us. She was also a coach, student, mentor, daughter, sister and so much more to so many people. I never have met Meagan's mother, but if I had I would tell her that her daughter was one of the most special people I have ever met. She was genuine, pretty, smart, kind, and funny. She was an angel even before she was taken from us.
This is truly a case where you can ask God “why” and you will never get an answer that will make your heart mend. Her spirit was uncomparable, her smile contagious, her energy was unmatched. We truly miss you Meagan!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ladies who Lunch

OK so maybe “lady” is a stretch, but I have gotten to go to lunch this week (and dinner last week) with friends, so maybe it is more of “inching closer to middle-aged girl who eats out with others.” Whatever, it has been spectacular. If you know anything about me then you know I LOVE to eat out, but it is somewhat frowned upon in this house to have no job and therefore no income and spend a lot of money eating food that is not made in this house (Booo!) But, it is my birthday week so yeah me, I am going out to eat. Now I get excited eating Chick-fil-a and Chipotle, even if it's in the car. So let's just say it has been an indulgent birthday! Anyway, outside of the food, which is apparently and maybe a little sadly, extremely important to me; I am also so overwhelmed on this day by the support and love of all of my friends/family, those actually taking the time to read this, and always-Adam. But most of all-my inspiration-those crazy kids that I can't believe actually do belong to me :/!

Life is good! (that last declaration was just a reminder to myself!)

Jerzees for 80's night and an early Bday celebration!
A delicious lunch!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Top 10

I was thinking today of how new inventions and modern technology have changed my life- definitely for the better! I know I have made fun of some of the “creative” or “tech savvy” skill sets in previous posts, but that is clearly a defense mechanism, merely trying to mask my own insecurity of not having any true skills. And sure, it may be a tad frustrating that I will not always have or keep up with the “newest” thing, but even the oldest version of the “newest” thing has made a significant impact. So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I have decided to make a list of items that have certainly made a difference in my life and at the same time possibly kept me sane. Note: not all are technologically based. Another note, #2-10 could be interchangeable, but # 1 stands.

Top 10:

1.)  The skirted swimsuit; absolutely, unequivocally-yes.

2.)  Google-could not get Jake through school without it and/or might have to get my own library card

3.)  MAC lip gloss-try it and see for yourself (hint-long lasting, shiny, fairly inexpensive)

4.)  Any and all Apple devices and apps-Sure I would survive without them, but am thankful I don't have to.

5.)  Single packets of coffee, tiny kit kats, boxed wine- I cannot put these in any order, they are equally               important to me

6.)  Battery operated Thomas trains-spend 15 minutes in my house and you will see why.

7.)  “slimming” yoga pants-spend an hour in my house and you will see why

8.)  fire starters-great way to get through winter-brrr, I hate to be cold!

9.)  gift cards and social acceptance of giving them-lazy

10.) DVR-pausing live tv, never having to watch a commercial, getting to watch old Glee's with Corey                  Monteith=happiness

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Johnny's Favs

"Autists are the ultimate square pegs, and the problem with pounding a square peg into a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. It's that you're destroying the peg."

Paul Collins

Wonderful Quotes from Johnny's favorite author:
Dr. Seuss
"Fun is good."
"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."
"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple."
"Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one."
"It's not about what it is, it's about what it can become."
"I'm afraid that sometimes you'll play lonely games too. Games you can't win 'cause you'll play against you."
"When he worked, he really worked.  But when he played, he really PLAYED."
"You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child."

Helen Keller

"I seldom think about my limitations, and they never make me sad. Perhaps there is just a touch of yearning at times; but it is vague, like a breeze among flowers. "
"Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle."
"What I am looking for is not out there, it is in me.
"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."
"Self-pity is our worst enemy, and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world."

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cincinnati Reds Field Trip Extravaganza

I hope writing about this field trip is the closest to a PTSD episode I ever have. It was just a typical Spring day, breezy, sunny, a bit of a chill in the air; 2nd graders running about-baseball was in the air. It was a great day for a field trip to the Cincinnati Red's stadium. There would be tours, speakers, play time. This field trip was going to be great! The previous statement may have oozed sarcasm-in actuality it was a great day. Johnny, of course, would not be subjected to sitting and listening to history lessons and the like so Kathy (a fantastic aide in his classroom), Johnny, and myself strolled the grounds (mostly he was being pushed in stroller-that kid totally has my number), played in the museum area that was appropriate for kids, and ate our packed lunch in the actual place designated for lunch! Unfortunately, there were things I didn't consider (yes even after all these years, there were things I didn't consider). First, the field trip was all day, previous ones had only been a couple of hours. So I didn't think about changing a nine year-old in the public restroom and also that same nine year-old's affinity for bolting in a nanosecond. So the bathroom thing was no big deal, easy breezy, but if there was one instruction, one thing we heard throughout the entire day it was- “when we go around the baseball diamond, under no circumstances can anyone step foot on the field.” All the kids and adults nodded in agreement, over and over we were told and we understood (most of us, that is!). The instructions were clear- we would walk around the baseball diamond and not step on it. If I heard it once, I heard it a thousand times that day. Turns out my Johnny-not much of a rule follower.

The tour of the field and dugout were highly anticipated by the kids and began uneventfully. We were walking along with the class, close to the rope which was the “barrier” between us and the field, and the environment was controlled. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha HA! Remember that nanosecond? IPAD dropped, attention diverted, Johnny sprinted to the middle of the Red's field toward a moving John Deere riding mower. Well, let's just say, the Red's staff did not find this as amusing as the fellow parent chaperones. The man on the mower screamed over and over at us, at him, to stop. As if? Oh my gosh, by the time I caught up with him he was rounding first headed for a double (not really, he has no idea where the bases are I just wanted to give you a visual of how far he got before I could catch up with him). My heart was absolutely pounding out of my chest. What's interesting is that he wasn't being bad, he could care less about a silly baseball field. He loves riding mowers! I should have anticipated it, should have seen it coming. I guess maybe I wanted to blend in that day, just a mom and her kid on a field trip (so ridiculous, I know). But Johnny always has other plans...........

As one dad put it, “Not many kids will ever get an opportunity to step on a professional baseball field,” and that is true and a good way of looking at it. He just saw and opportunity and seized it! Looking back, I still shake my head and smile cringe thinking about that day.

Yes, he perfectly capable of walking. 
But if you could ride, wouldn't you?

Playing in the museum before the great escape!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I got your social media

Check Facebook for the Instagram pic that I tweeted about. Right? I have no idea. I have just figured out Newsfeed on FB and struggle with not “liking” every picture. I tend to go overboard-I do really like them all! Then Twitter comes along with all the @'s and #'s and I have no idea how to follow or be followed. Frankly, I have trouble reading Twitter and couldn't tweet to anything if I wanted to, it is hard enough to read what others tweet as coherent thought. Then, Instagram makes pictures look all fancy and old- fashioned or does it? I couldn't tell you because I see the Instagram pictures only on Facebook, which is totally bizarre. That is not entirely true, I do have an Instagram account because my 11 year-old is on it and follows professional athletes which, to say the very least, is disconcerting. (Does anyone else see the irony in the name Incognito?) And no, I am not 85, I am almost 39 (depending when you read this). Excuse me? Oh, yes, of course I have a LinkedIn account. So what that it hasn't been updated since its inception and I have no idea how to make a “connection” or update a so-called “skill”. Geez, the pressure. I should just “Tumblr” on over to Pinterest to drool over the clothes I don't need, covet the house I will never have, and eyeball the crafts I couldn't possibly make. Oh well, I need to be thankful Vine wasn't around when I was a teenager (just said a little amen :-) )
Ok, on a serious note, I just never thought I would be the one that technology got away from, that I would sound (deep breath) like an older generation. I guess I should have gotten the hint when my babysitter kept comparing me to her mother and I could not stop looking behind me for the person to whom she was speaking. I think my eyes were particularly swollen that day because of lack of sleep-not because of my age or alcohol consumption! But it does take me back to a time when I distinctly remember my mom telling me -at some point in your life you will look in the mirror and wonder, “who is that woman?” and you will be talking about the person looking back. Mom, I cannot believe it, that time has arrived.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ah yes, the barking

That awkward moment when you realize you have turned your service dog into a spoiled rotten house pet. This happened quite awhile ago but because my dog barks so incessantly, I am reminded often of yet another quest where I have failed miserably. The quick background--my daughter Elizabeth was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 1. She had seizures quite often back then and we thought a dog that could anticipate and support her if she fell from a seizure would be a wonderful thing for our sweet girl. My mom and I went to Frankfort and Elizabeth and myself went through 8 hours of training a day for a week. This in and of itself was the most ridiculous thing. Elizabeth was 2, couldn't walk at the time and was so tiny and Red, our "service" dog was huge. She was supposed to bond with Red by feeding and giving treats to the dog, neither of which she was capable of doing. Needless to say, Red and I came home best friends. Now I love this dog like he is one of my children, but we managed to turn a perfectly trained dog at the time into one that I now spy sleeping and shedding simultaneously on my couch unless there is a faint sound outside and then he will get up and bark like a mad dog for 10 minutes. The barking happens when we say outside, spell outside, get shoes on, grab keys, grab a plastic garbage bag, head in the general direction of the door-well you get the idea. My mom asked me at the time (foreshadowing), "what if this doesn't work out with the dog?" My response, "well I guess it'll be like having a fourth child" (self-fulfilling prophecy).

When they say a picture is worth a thousand word-truth!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Reality Bites

That awkward moment when you really realize you'll never be Savannah Guthrie. It just happened to me seriously this morning. Knocking on the door of 39, I still thought somewhere in the back of my mind that if NBC just happened upon me (yep in Fort Thomas, KY) that they would realize I should be seated next to Matt. I thought it when I was watching Jane Pauley, Katie, Meredith and just today realized that it may, ok won't, ever be me. I know I could party with Kathy Lee and Hoda, shoot the shit with Al and Willie., totally hang with Carson (great addition by the way)-but it really is over. So what if I am a slightly overweight mother of three who lives in Northern Kentucky, has special needs kids and a home that is an absolute wreck-I think I really thought (you read that right), that I would someday get a seat at the table. I don't remember a lot about childhood, but I do remember my mother telling me I could be whatever I wanted to be. Well, mom, I haven't totally decided what I want to be when I grow up, but for the first time Today (pardon the pun) I realized it wasn't going to be a 7-9 gig on must-see morning TV-and that sucks. I guess it is time for a new goal-I think it will be to have someone look at me like Willie looks at Brooke when she guest hosts—utter awe. Man that would be something. Totally legit though, she absolutely rocks.-who knew?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Oh my gosh! Elizabeth and Johnny's teacher sent me a picture of them on Halloween at school. They are in the SAME picture. Over the past few years, this has become virtually impossible, unless there is an adult using force. Seriously. So, needless to say I was so excited when I got this picture. Below is what I believe they are thinking when this pic was taken.

Johnny's thoughts:
Seriously dude, get her away from me.
Is someone calling me from over there?
Have I not expressed my dislike for her enough? Now a picture with her-unbelievable.
I will never hold her hand, not under any circumstances.
Hmmmmmmmmm (or whatever a humming sound is)
Are we good here?  I am so over this costume.
                                       This is so not fun!

Elizabeth's thoughts:


I love dressing up and I love my brother!

Come on Johnny, let's hold hands.
Could I be any cuter?
This is so fun!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


That awkward moment when you realize that your life is absolutely positively nothing like the people with whom you associate. It happens often to me, because our life is so very different than anyone with "typical" kids. This first realization, though, really sticks out. For me, it was when I was hanging out with a group of friends, which I love to do so very much, and the kids were little and my friends were chatting out what they were worried about at the time. Granted, these were and are important and significant things, things I worried about with my "typical" child, but it was still so striking to me. I was and continue thinking if I ever will hear the words "I love you", will my child ever be invited to a friend's to play or worse will he know/care he was never invited, will he ever go to the bathroom on his own, will he ever sleep in his own bed or through the night, will he ever be able to play/work/live somewhat independently? These are my everyday worries, every hour, every minute questions. It is that until you have that first time, where it is so apparent that your life, and more importantly, your children's lives, are going to be so very different than most of the people that you are surrounded by everyday. Sometimes that is a very lonely feeling, even if you have the very best of friends.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Back to work?

That awkward moment when your 86 year-old grandmother wonders "what you have been up to", meaning "when are you going back to work?" I have been getting it a lot lately, my mom, "what did you do today?" My husband, "we could use some extra cash." (wow, is that the understatement of the year) On October 12, it will be 2 years since I left work. Outside of the births of my three children, leaving work was the single greatest day of my life. I could focus on my family full time now. And I have done that, but more than that I have loved not having the Sunday blues, constant evening anxiety, the juggling act. It's the damn paycheck that I miss. Until recently, though, people have not mentioned anything about it. I guess they figured I needed this "break", and I guess now they figure "break time" is over.

Friday, October 18, 2013


Bossypants is a spectacularly funny read. Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“My ability to turn good news into anxiety is rivaled only by my ability to turn anxiety into chin acne.”

“Photoshop is just like makeup. When it’s done well it looks great, and when it’s overdone you look like a crazy asshole.”

“You can tell how smart people are by what they laugh at.”

“There is no one of-woman-born who does not like Red Lobster cheddar biscuits. Anyone who claims otherwise is a liar and a Socialist.”

“...I can't possibly take time off for a second baby, unless I do, in which case that is nobody's business and I'll never regret it for a moment unless it ruins my life.”

"We should leave people alone about their weight. Being chubby for a while (provided you don’t give yourself diabetes) is a natural phase of life and nothing to be ashamed of. Like puberty or slowly turning into a Republican.”

"Sometimes you want to have a very productive Saturday to feel that you are in control of your life, which of course you are not.”

Tina Fey

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Great Quotes!

"Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.... "

-Isak Dinesen

"Regardless of how you feel inside, always try and look like a winner. Even if you are behind, a sustained look of control and confidence can give you a mental edge that results in victory. "

-Arthur Ashe

"Never, never, never give up."

-Winston Churchill

"Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it's something you design for the present."

-Jim Rohn

"Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain."

-Joseph Campbell

-Albert Einstein

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart."

-Hellen Keller

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Too Perfect?

That awkward moment when your husband gets his physical back and it's damn near perfect, and he tells you maybe we should eat more fruit and salad over your nightly bowl of Doritos and wine. The man needs a vice. He needs to be addicted to gambling, porn, cigarettes-for the love of God-something! He did have one moment of weakness over the weekend where he lost his mind on Sat. night. Life was just too much with the kids and he desperately needed everyone to go to bed. They had beaten him down, they had won. Now this happens to me 25 times a day, kids-25, me-0. But Adam, it takes a lot to make him break and with no vice? I just don't get it. Oh sorry, I forgot, he does have one vice, he has excercise-that appears to be it. Borderline offensive if you ask me.

Oh, and we have plenty of fruit by the way.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

What must it feel like?

Today I have been wondering what it must feel like for Jacob having his "special" brother and sister. Does he sometimes feel lucky because he is the different one and things come easy for him? Or does he feel burdened by their constant need for attention? Of course, I have asked him this question, but an 11 year-old boy is not always great at sharing his feelings and, I speak for only my own child here, he is sometimes only articulate in sports and bodily functions. What does he feel like when we are at the park, at his games, around his friends. Does he ever get embarrassed? Does he or will he resent them? Us?

Yesterday, Adam and I were particularly hard on Jacob because he hadn't gotten his homework done before he played with his friends and then right before bed announced he needed to go to the library for a new book-the way I reacted he might as well have told me he took a weapon to school. I overreacted, I was tired and "done" . Full disclosure, I think I was not only feeling overwhelmed, but resentful that he got to go play all afternoon with his million friends without a care in the world and his brother and sister will never get to do that. Is that his fault? Of course not, and I shouldn't have been so short and acted so frustrated with him. He is a good boy and a good brother and he deserves a normal 11 year-old boy life. (although with his bat crazy mother this may prove more difficult than having two disabled siblings!). Bottom line, I need someone to invent a patience/perspective pill and put me on it either via IV or 3x a day minimum. Wait, I think they have those already, may be time to make an appointment!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


No light
Can’t wake
In your heart the constant ache
Is it real?
The sleep eludes
Not time to wake so very soon
Eyes are swollen
Were there dreams?
The need for rest becomes extreme.
Starting over the day anew
The minutes alone are too few.
They can’t know the wear and tear
Smile and face what you cannot bear.

Mary Claire Brass

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Reaching up.
Pushed lower.
Head Lifted.
Smacked down.
Catching a breath.
Counting to ten.
Wind knocked away.
Sun Shining.
Brisk Walks.
Falling flat.
Good news.
A breakthrough.
No response.
Holding the stare.
Get up again, again, and again.....
Always hope. 

Mary Claire Brass


“You can talk with someone for years, everyday, and still, it won't mean as much as what you can have when you sit in front of someone, not saying a word, yet you feel that person with your heart, you feel like you have known the person for forever.... connections are made with the heart, not the tongue.”

C. Joybell C.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Last year about this time, Jacob broke his leg in football practice. It has three days before school stared and it was extremely difficult to see him in so much pain and so helpless. No football, no basketball, no first day of school with his buddies. Adam and I were going on no sleep with him being in so much pain and our middle child waking up in the middle of the night every night and the dreaded stress of the first week of school. When I look back on that week, I consider it to be one of the most trying times for us. All of our children required full time care. Somehow when it is two out of three and you get used to it accept it, and then a wrench gets thrown into that, well it just seemed devastating. Although Jacob had his moments of feeling sorry for himself, overall he was so positive-his body was broken, but not his spirit. He would talk about being stronger because his break would grow together better than before, how he would train for basketball and do physical therapy, he would get his hours of make-up homework done (with only a bit of complaining :)- Children are so resilient. You hear that a lot, but when you see it in your own child, it is quite amazing. Jacob taught me as a 10 year-old that there are always going to be set- backs in life, and they will keep coming, no matter how much you plan. (Well I already knew that part!) It's how you handle those setbacks that character is built and the strength of mind and body grows. Broken bones are sometimes an unfortunate part of childhood, broken spirits should never be.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Family First

I love being with my family. That should go without saying, but hanging out with my sisters and my parents have been some of the best and most memorable :) times of my life!

Sarah is so funny. She tells great stories, is beautiful and is the life of the party. Laura is so smart and extremely generous. She is also beautiful, a ton of fun and they are both great moms. We have an absolute blast and too much wine when we are together! Oh, and we all live 5 minutes apart so it works out perfectly!

Laura's 40th

What a wonderful day that was. Celebrating 40 years of Laura!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Writing is such a release and a personal relief from stress. Recently, just short writing blocks have helped me from feeling like I am having a panic attack-which I suppose is a positive thing! Taking this forum is new for me, I hope I can express my feelings appropriately. On that note, expressing gratitude, even in low points, really has worked in getting out of a funk. So today I am grateful for the many generous caregivers in our life that help us with the kids. Mom, Dad, Abbey, Christina, Alex, Kayla, Matthew, Pam (and the countless people at church) and Sarah-you are appreciated! Oh and the teachers, aides, therapists who work with the kiddos every single day- truly you are angels from God! When Hillary said it takes a village, she had no idea.....

What are you grateful for?

(and please do not say people that don't end sentences with a preposition.)

My friend Denise-such a gift-always helps me with the kids! Here she and Johnny are before taking a ride in her sweet convertible! Wonder why he loves her?

So grateful for Fall, then found out my furnace is broken. So now I am thankful for a woodburning fireplace.

If this is fuzzy, it is because Johnny was throwing an absolute fit on the way to school yesterday and beating on the back of my seat. I pulled over to calm us both down and spotted this sunrise. I saw its beauty as a sign from God. Which worked out nicely for Johnny, because he needed a little God at that moment!

Have I mentioned how grateful I am for Johnny and Elizabeth's teachers? Heather, Lindsey, Judy, Kathy-thank you for making this picture happen-I know it wasn't easy. I will blog on this later, I have to stop laughing first!

Today, I am grateful for Sarah. She is a consummate caregiver and always is there for our family (the baby she is kissing? I have no clue, she loves them all and they love her!) She also reads and comments on every single thing I write, which is so very nice. Love you Sarah!

Monday, September 2, 2013


Pop and Johnny

Pap and Elizabeth

Mimi and Elizabeth

Pap and Grandma and Jacob in Florida

Grandmama with Elizabeth