Leather couch and La-Z-Boy recliner: $2500
couch Priceless



Ikea Kura Bed and mattress: $300

after1 Priceless



Custom book nook: $50

after2 Priceless



Still being able to fit in a laundry basket: Priceless

inthelaundry Priceless

Grow Up

You know you’re finally grown up when you can forgive your parents for all the mistakes they made raising you and start making your own mistakes with your children.

Our parents weren’t perfect.  Just like we’re not perfect parents now.

And you know what?  That’s OK.

Because we’re only human (your parents too… hard to believe, I know).


A Different Reason

As I sat having coffee with my mom a while ago our conversation drifted here and there.

We talked about how things were going with Vista, my brother’s move, my father’s asshole ‘friend’ who only calls when he wants my dad’s help with something (that’s a whole other post).

She told me about the movie her and Dad had seen the other day and how her friend’s daughter was getting married and she was trying to figure out what to get her as a gift.

We talked about the episode of Piers Morgan she saw where he interviews Joel Osteen and the pastor talks about homosexuality being a sin.  “Which is silly, really, because it’s not a sin.  It’s just the way they are. People like to make the bible say whatever they want it to” explained my mom.


Wait… What?

I’m pretty sure my eyes must have popped out of my head.  You see… growing up we were raised Catholic.  And taught to believe that homosexuality was a sin.  Which is probably part of the reason my brothers and I stopped going to church.  We thought stuff like that was a load of … well, suffice to say, we didn’t agree with it.

But any time the topic came up when we were teens, my mom didn’t hold back on her opinion… opinions that fully agreed with the church.

“Ummmm… so…uh.. since when don’t you believe it’s a sin?” I raised an eyebrow at my mom.

“I’ve never thought it was.”

She sounded surprised.

I laughed.

“You used to.”

“I did?”

“Yeah Mom. Trust me.  You used to be quite vocal about that subject.”


“Yup.  But I guess that was before your aneurysm.  You’ve changed a lot since then.”


This year marks the 10th anniversary of 9/11.  It’ll also be 10 years since my mom’s brain aneurysm almost killed her.  She has no recollection of the terrorist attacks. Those days never happened for her.  She was locked safely inside her mind, while her body was fighting to survive in the ICU.

The mother we knew went into that hospital.  But a whole new and different person came out.

Ten years later I am still learning about this new person.  About her likes and dislikes.  About what she finds funny.  About what her convictions are.

This person is different from the mother who raised me, and yet, she is still my mom.

For so many, September 11th marks the day that their worlds were forever changed.

The same is true for us… just for a different reason.

Silly Simple Words

Thank you to everyone for your hugs and love over the past few days.  They’re both needed and appreciated.

We’ve been watching V like a hawk the past few days.

Super vigilant and on high alert.  The ultimate helicopter parents.

It’s hard not to be.

Luckily though, it seems like the after effects from V’s seizure are mild.

She was a bit unsteady on her feet Sunday morning, but that has corrected itself, and we haven’t seen any other physical issues.

There doesn’t seem to be any behavioral issues from the seizure, either (everyone cheer!!).

It looks like this seziure went after her language center instead.

She’s had seizures in the past where she lost words, and when as a toddler you only have a few words to begin with, it meant she lost her ability to speak.

Thankfully, this isn’t the case this time.

But it’s the weird things that you take for granted that hits you like a punch in the gut when you least expect it.

Last night V wanted to dress up as a kitty cat.  She loves to dress up as a cat with a nose and whiskers painted on her face using my eyeliner.  A couple of weeks ago, I ordered a cat costume for her off Etsy.  Just a little set of ears and a tail.  And so last night when she wanted to dress up, I mentioned that we’d have to wait for the costume to come in the mail.

“Mail?” she said.  “You mean like press send?”

“No sweetie,” I replied.  “Not email.  Mail.  It will come to the mailbox and then we can go get it.”

“Mailbox?” she looked at me confused.  “What’s mailbox?”

“You know… a mailbox… don’t you remember how we walk to the mailbox to get the mail?”

A memory.  A word.  Something simple, and really, without a lot of meaning.  But *poof*, it was gone.  She had no idea what I was talking about.

I saw it again this morning.  She wanted to dress up in one of her play silks.

“Can you tie it around my elbow?”

I looked at her, “Where do you want me to tie it?”

She pointed at her shoulder “My elbow.”

I sat next to her and gently said, “That’s your shoulder, not your elbow.  Where’s your elbow?”

She again pointed to her shoulder.

We proceeded to do a body inventory.  Body parts she’s known and been able to name for years.

She knew where her knee was, but the word ankle was also missing for her again.

*gut punch*

Silly simple words.  Word I know will come back.  Words I know we can easily correct and reteach her if we need to.

But, oh those words.

Their absence says so much.

Please Send Comfort Food

I’m one of those people who can cry at the drop at the hat, sometimes.  If I’m frustrated?  Waterworks.  Angry?  Yup, I’ll tear up.  Watch that commercial on TV with the cute kid?  Well, you get the idea.

I’m having one of those overly emotional days, today.

Vista had a bad seizure last night.  It took her a long time to come out of it, which is very unusual for her.  Usually her seizures are short, and she’s fine right after them.

This one lasted longer and when we were finally able to wake her up after it, she couldn’t tell us her name.  She fell back asleep, which meant we had to continue to try to wake her up every little bit, trying to bring her out of the post seizure and make sure her cognitive functions returned.

Let me tell you… when you can’t wake up your kid, it’s scary.  V’s notoriously hard to wake up at the best of times.  But this?  This was different.  This was holding a ragdoll in my arms.  And just when we thought she might open her eyes she was gone again.

When we finally started to get some response out of her and I was coaxing her to open her eyes, she told me she couldn’t.  She was trying, but her eyes wouldn’t open.  Gah!

It took almost an hour for her to fully return.  That is a loooong 60 minutes of debating whether to bring her into to the ER, chatting with an on-call nurse, and repeating “Vista, sweetie…wake up and open your eyes for Mama” over and over.

This kid is seriously going to give me a heart attack.

She’s better this morning.  A little off on her balance, but otherwise seems to be alright.

I’ll be calling her neurologist on Monday morning to see if they want to do some level checks for her meds, since she’s had a couple growth spurts over the past could months.

But the fact that this seizure was so different than her normal ones… doesn’t sit well with me.

It makes me nervous that they’ll want to talk brain surgery again.  Which REALLY doesn’t sit well with me.


So while I’ve been doing the classic ‘worry about things you have no control over’ this morning I realize… wait… where the hell’s my cat?

I haven’t seen him since yesterday.

He always comes home.  Several times a day.  To eat, and get pets, and shed all over my floors.

But, no sign of him.

I couldn’t be Bil’s annoying useless cat that goes missing.  Noooo…it has to be my cat who I love and adore.



So I quit this weekend.  And in lieu of crying I’m eating ice cream, and carbs, and other random junk.  Please send wine and margaritas to wash it all down.




There are times when other peoples parenting styles make me want to slam my head repeatedly against a wall.  I have to forcibly bite my tongue to keep from saying something.

Yesterday was one of those days.

As a special treat my friend M and I took our girls to McDonald’s for lunch and let them play in the playcenter.  This was V’s first time playing in those climbing structures that McDonald’s has for kids.  And it reminded me why I’ve never been overly eager to let her go play in one.

As soon as we walked in, we pegged her.  You know the type.  The bratty little kid who figures she owns the place and who’s mom is too busy being oblivious to notice.

We let the girls run off into the playcentre, as we sat muttering about how there’s always some little shit you have to keep your eye on at these places.

Sure enough.

Within a few minutes I hear V start crying hysterically up in the structure.

I coaxed her down and tried to get out of her what happened.

Now, V is prone to dramatics, so I tend to take it with a grain of salt.  But she was really upset.  She finally managed to get out that someone had pinched her.  I looked and there were two red angry welts on her chest where someone had pinched her HARD several times.


But before I could do anything, M’s daughter started screaming and crying in the structure too.  This is a kid that’s tough as nails and not the crying type so we knew something was really wrong.

Moments later she emerged out of the playcenter with two bloody scratches down the entire length of her cheekbone.

W. T. F?!?!

Now?  We were really pissed.

Three guesses on who was the culprit in both these attacks (and the first two don’t count).

Yup.  Brat extraordinaire that we marked as soon as we walked in.

Brat’s mom finally took notice as the girls pointed out who had attacked them and, too her credit, made her child come apologize to our girls.

Now… If that was my kid?  I would have be horrified.  Absolutely horrified.  I would have been falling over myself to apologize to the kids and their parents.  And that would have been the end of play time.  I would have hauled her out of there and back home so fast it would have made her head spin.

This mom?  Made the kid sit out for a few minutes, then she was back playing.

There were no real consequences for this kid acting like a brat.  Is it any wonder she’s like that?  She’s allowed to be!

Children need definite, unquestionable, consequences when they’re acting like monsters.  Not a gentle reprimand.  The only thing that teaches them is that they can be a monster because nothing’s really going to happen.

Quite franky, I feel sorry for that mother.  Her kid is going to grow up to be an out-of-control teenager because no boundaries have been set now.

I may come off as a strict mom, but at least my daughter has manners and is very clear that if she wants to act like a brat, she’s going to have to accept the consequences.



BlogHer @ Home

My lovely bestie Nic and I are once again hosting BlogHer@Home this year.

I’m so appreciative to all our sponsors for their amazing giveaways (if you haven’t entered the prize giveaways yet, go now!)

BHAHPJs white BlogHer @ Home

For those that are here as part of our Blog Hop, welcome to my little corner of the universe!

If you don’t know me, I’m the mom to a special needs daughter, wife to an uber-geek, and I also do blog designs in my spare time.

Feel free to poke around.  You can read about how my daughter thinks cats taste like chicken, the time I schooled people on what people with a disability look like, or my reflections on owning my reputation as a bitch.

Or if you like a good ghost story, you can check out the tales of Sam.

Thanks for coming by!

There is no Mommy…Only Zuul

Vista tends to be a tad… emotional sometimes.  I have no idea where she gets it from.  Really.  *cough* shut up *cough*

Add that to her penchant for taking things very literally and it can make for some… oh… say, interesting situations around here.

This evening was a perfect example.

We had been butting heads all day, so when Bil came home from work I quickly tagged out of the ring and took a breather.

But she wanted mommy, Mommy, MOMMMMMMMMY!

Bil tried his best to distract her and find out what she wanted, but nope.  MOOOOOOOMMMMY.

I finally looked at her and replied “The mommy you have dialed is no longer in service. Please hang up and check with your father again.”

Did I mention my daughter is also stubborn?  Again.  No idea where that comes from.  (shut it)

She gave a big huff.  “But Moooooooom….”

I looked at her with a smile “There is no Mommy.  Only Zuul

Instant.  HYSTERICS.

She ran sobbing to her room.  I raised an eyebrow and looked at Bil.  He shrugged and followed after her.

I could hear him trying to decipher the source of the waterworks.

Vista:  “I waaaaant mommy!”  *sob* *hiccup* *sob*

Bil: “OK.  Well, she’s in the living room”

Vista: “No.  That person said there is no mommy.  Only Zuul.  I don’t WANT Zuul.  I WANT MOMMY!!”  *more wailing*

Bil: “What person?”

Vista: “That person in the living room.  They said there’s no mommy”

Bil: “Wait… you’re talking about Mommy?  What Mommy said?”

Vista: “But there is no Mommy…..”

By this point I had to step in and intervene.  I crawled onto her bed and picked her up and explained that yes, Mommy was here and we were just joking and there was no more Zuul, and so on.  ZOMG… the DRAMA.

Half an hour later we finally got her calmed down enough that she would go play.

Me: “OK, lets go play before Mommy breaks your bed by sitting on it”

Vista: “Mommy’s going to break my bed?!?  Waaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh”

Me: *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

Bil: *glare*

I’m pretty sure I’m banned from saying anything for the rest of the night.



My Mom Wants To Be A Vampire

Friday morning I packed up Vista, made the hour drive into the city, and we went to the zoo with my mom and nephew.

It was nice to spend the day just hanging out, seeing the few animals that could weather the heat, and watching the kids play.

I always find it interesting to watch the dynamic between my nephew, Sheldon, and Vista.  He’s a year younger, but physically more coordinated and stronger than V is.  While she is far beyond him in the language and communication area.

As they made their way together through the playground, they were always watchful of each other, making sure they knew where the other was at all times.  Sheldon would show V how to navigate the playground equipment as they talked back and forth in their own made-up sign language.

As they ran around playing, I had to constantly remind Vista to slow down so her asthma wouldn’t kick in.  Of course, that means nothing to a 4yr old, so eventually we had to sideline her as she sat there and did a round of inhalers to stop the coughing.  I’m hopeful that one day we’ll have her asthma under control enough that I won’t ever have to tell her to stop playing.

Afterwards we headed back to Mom’s and sat chatting in the shade on the deck while kids ran around the yard (where do they get the energy??).

“I’m thinking of changing my hair style when I go to get my hair cut tomorrow,” my mom mentioned as we sat sipping our coffee.

Me: “Oh?  What are you thinking of doing?”.

Mom: “I want something wispy… you know…,”  as she feathered out the back of her hair.

Me: “What?  Like Farrah Fawcett wispy?”

Mom: “No, no… just something that sort of flips out at the ends…”


I immediately had a idea of what she was describing.  I pulled out my phone, browsed and pulled up a picture to show her.


Me: “You mean like this?” showing mom the phone.

Mom: “Yes!  Like that.  Maybe not that it sticks out quite as much, but that’s the general idea.”

I doubled over in laughter.

Mom: “What’s so funny??”

Me: “You do know who that picture was that I showed you, don’t you?”

Mom: “No……..”

Me: “Well, just tell your hairdresser that you want to look like Alice Cullen from the Twilight series and you’ll be fine.”


Yup.  My mom wants her hair like this:

alicecullen 241x300 My Mom Wants To Be A Vampire

So there’s only two real questions…

1) Is she Team Edward or Team Jacob… and..

2) When is she going to start sparkling?

I’m Getting Old

(**This is a long post.  More a novel.  It’s definitely a rant.  And is being written in full ‘Jenn is a bitch’ mode.  In fact let me preface this whole post with the comment that, yes, I am an unapologetic raving bitch.  It’s who I am.  I call them like I see them.  I completely lack any sense of tact and my filter is broken.  So if you leave a comment saying anything to the effect of “You’re a bitch”, my response is going to be “yeah…and????”  Consider yourself warned .  **)


I’ll let you in on a well known secret.  I’m a GenX’er.  Yeah, that generation that are turning into your parents? That’s me.

And I’m at that age now where young people irritate me.

I’m not talking little kids (well, some of them irritate me too, but that has more to do with the way their parents are raising them than the actual kids).

I’m talking that select group of GenY’ers who are over-entitled brats.

You know… the ones who give all people in their 20’s a bad name.  The ones who expect everything to be handed to them on a silver platter.  They want everything in life and they want it now and they want YOU to give it to them.

People like that make me want to reach out and hug someone…so tight their head pops off.

I was having this conversation with a friend, yesterday.  We both have younger brothers who are the worst of the worst GenY’ers.  So maybe that’s why we tend to be more sensitive to this.  We’ve been living it for years.  Watching our siblings with their hand out, expecting other people to take care of them, while we did it the hard way – on our own, like adults.

And what really baffles me about these people is they don’t even understand why they shouldn’t expect everything to be given to them.  You can try to explain to them for hours, but they will never get it.

If you follow me on Twitter, then you know where I’m going with this.

Yesterday I called someone out very publicly on this very thing.

I was told I was a heartless bitch for doing it. Because someone is in NEEEEEEEED and how can we not give and support that poooooor pooooor poooooooooooor girl.

While I can’t disagree with the heartless bitch part, it has nothing to do with why I said what I said to this person.

This is not the first or second or even third time this person has asked for money.  By my count (and these are only the instances I know about) it’s the fourth.

She always has some good reason why she’s in crisis and needs money now.

But the fact is, this happens every couple of months.

And each time, heart strings are pulled and people send her money wanting to help.

Because rather than doing something about her situation, she would rather stick out her hand and ask other people to give her their hard earned money.

And when I pointed this out to her, last night, her response was:  ” But it’s always when I really need it. …because I’m poor. I just feel that there may be some good hearted people out there. ”

So… here we are.  The “I need it, you should give it to me” mentality.

And when I asked why her situation was always everyone else’s problem I got the response “That’s just what websites like wuah* are for”  (*wuah is the Wish Upon a Hero site).

*head explodes*

So you take all this, add the numerous discrepancies** (see below) in her stories, and the fact that she has publicly admitted that she was a drug addict… and I’m heartless for not sending her money?  No.  No I’m not.

I would much rather give my money to to people and organizations who are going to use the money to change lives (theirs or others).

I would much rather give people a hand up, instead of repeatedly pandering to people who want a handout.

I really feel it’s situations like this that jade people and make it difficult for legitimate organizations, who could do such good work, to fundraise anymore.

And that?  Breaks my cold unfeeling heart.


**Some of the discrepancies I’m referencing:

  1. When she requested money in early May, she was questioned about a previous WUAH request for money that was on the site and said her son was going to have open heart surgery.  Her response *she is mama2boys2011* (all comments on this WUAH page have since been deleted, but a cached version can be found here):
    am7 Im Getting OldWhen asked about this on Twitter though, this was the response:
    am5 Im Getting Old
  2.  She says in the WUAH video in the latest request that they gave their 30 day notice on their apartment after putting a deposit on a house.  But on twitter she says this:
    am8 Im Getting Old
  3. Single mom?
    am11 Im Getting Oldor

    am12 Im Getting Old

    ** Travis is her fiance or boyfriend
  4. Drugs?
    am13 Im Getting Oldoram14 Im Getting Old
    am15 Im Getting Old
  5. And then there’s this.
    am16 Im Getting Old
I’m not say she’s a bad person.  I’m just saying do your due diligence and make educated decisions before handing over your hard earned money to anyone.

**UPDATED:  AtomicMommy is now theboysmama on twitter.  So if you see her asking for money / donations / gifts (as she does on a regular basis) please do your research and consider carefully **


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