love

1095 Days

Dear Vista,

I can’t believe it’s been three years already.

You’ve been through more in your three little years than some people go through in a lifetime.  And yet everyone always comments about how you still manage to smile through it all.

It’s such a special talent you have, that smile.  We can be anywhere, and you’ll find the grumpiest person and flash that special smile at them, and they can’t help but smile back at you.  You make the world a happier place.

I can’t even begin to tell you how proud I am of you.  It makes me glow inside to hear your doctors call you their ‘little anomaly’ as you do everything they say you shouldn’t be able to do.  Like walk.  And talk.  And never mind the fact that you already know your alphabet, numbers, and colors, and are trying to get us to teach you how to spell.  You soak up all the knowledge we give you and more.

I know this hasn’t been an easy road for you, but you’ve walked it with such grace for one so little.

I also know the road ahead is going to be filled with even greater challenges.  But remember, your daddy and I will always be there to walk it with you,  and to carry you when you get too tired.

You looked at me yesterday morning and asked “Can I be your baby?”  And I told you that you would always be my baby. My very special little baby, no matter how old you get.

I love you so much.

Happy 3rd Birthday, my little princess.

Follow Friday – I’d Hit That

I’m one of those people that it’s not just looks that makes someone attractive to me.  It has to be a whole package deal.

Beauty, brains, personality… yeah, I’m greedy like that.

So here are a few of the “Mommy’s” I follow on Twitter that are the full meal deal.  And that I’d totally hit given the opportunity.

  • MommyGeekology – You might remember her from my Relationship Series.  Well, in addition to being a wild woman in the bedroom, she’s also a brilliant web designer.  See…smart AND sexy.
  • MommyNeedsMeds – This woman puts the YUM in yummymommy.  And she still manages to look kick ass hawt wile running after five (yes, count them, 5) kids.  Yet she still finds time to be a witty on Twitter.  It exhausts me just thinking about it.
  • BrainofaMommy - Smart, sassy, snarky.  And ooooohhhh… so cute.  Her unapologetic style also really turns me on.

If you’d like to play along on Follow Friday, than link up, and if you’re so inclined, grab a badge.

*smooches*

Followfriday Follow Friday   Id Hit That

Follow Friday – When I Grow Up

Actually that should probably be ‘if I ever grow up’ but who’s counting?

This week I’m sharing with you the ladies that I admire and respect.  Not because they have a lot of followers or win awards or anything like that.

These women exemplify what great writing is.  They are smart, witty, and not afraid to have an opinion.  And yet, not so high on their horse that you can’t have a conversation with them.

  • MommyMelee – This is one lady who’s not afraid to voice her opinions and stand by them.  And her writing on her blog is what I aspire to.  Sometimes witty, sometimes controversial, sometimes raw, but always elegant.
  • MommyWantsVodka – I adore Aunt Becky.  She has that sharp sense of humor that gets right to the point and makes you snort your drink out of your nose.  Seriously.  She’s also up for a Bloggie award, so you should totally go vote for her (just scroll to the right and look for her under ‘most humorous weblog’)
  • Looneytunes – Loralee is amazing when it comes to evoking emotion.  You’ll laugh with her, you’ll cry with her, but mostly, you’ll love her.
  • And a quick ‘bonus’ follow.  I just started following byflutter.  Her hilarious passive / aggressive commentary on Facebook is my must read blog post of this week.

If you’d like to play along on Follow Friday, than link up, and if you’re so inclined, grab a badge.

*smooches*

Followfriday Follow Friday   When I Grow Up

 

 

Relationships – An Intro

This post has been written and rewritten about a dozen times in the past week as I tried to figure out what I wanted it to say and how the hell I was going to manage that.

Most of my posts tend to write themselves.  I sit down, I write, and when I feel I’m done, I stop.  They may not always flow or be eloquent, but they get the point across.

This one?  Not so much.

I think the reason I’ve struggled with this so much, is two fold.

First, we live in an age where different still so often equals bad.  People love to be judgmental about anything or anyone who doesn’t conform to their idea of norm.  And, as many of my posts do, this one talks about things outside the norm.

Secondly, I have a lot to say on this subject.   I suspect this will probably end up getting broken out into a series of posts exploring the different sides of this topic.

What topic, you ask?

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen this one evening:

PrincessJennStatus Relationships   An Intro

I got a barrage of “Does his wife know that?” comments that made me laugh.

But it also made me stop and think.  And I realized… damn…. that was pretty judgmental of me.  It forced me to really step back and examine why that was my initial reaction.  It also prompted several very deep conversations with Bil about relationships and elemental human nature.

This friend of mine and his wife have chosen (and yes, it is a mutual decision) a lifestyle that is not the norm.  And perhaps that’s why I was taken aback at first.

But I soon realized that, under the surface, the relationship Bil and I have isn’t the norm either.

So what is the norm?  And even though it may be the norm, is it really the best choice for everyone involved?

I had the opportunity to go for coffee with this friend and he was gracious enough to let me quiz him about his lifestyle.  Not just the open marriage part, but the other part of playing they explore (that means BDSM for the uninitiated).  And by quiz, I mean sit and grill him for three hours about every aspect of his life to try and understand the motivation behind it.  He also agreed to let me share some of what we discussed.

So, I would ask that you keep an open mind when reading the next few posts I write before rushing to condemn.  I know some of the things I will write about cover a lifestyle most people don’t understand or choose.  But that is exactly why I’m choosing to write about it.  To see if my readers can suspend judgment in favor of greater understanding and just perhaps opening themselves to options they’ve never considered before.

UPDATE*

Part 1 – Open Yourself to the Possibilities

Part 2 – What a Woman REALLY want

 Relationships   An Intro

Why I Blog

A few days ago, the lovely Jennifer from The Psychobabble let me know she was tagging me for a Neno award.  I’m always flattered to receive any sort of recognition from my fellow bloggers.  But I sat on this one because the ‘rules’ of it state you have to post about why you blog.

I was struggling with answering that question.

Why do I blog?  I know it’s not for glory.  It’s certainly not for money.  I do use my blog as a place to vent, a place to update friends and family on my life.  But that’s still not the ‘why’ behind the blogging.

Well tonight it hit me full in the face.

PB and Jazz wrote this post:  Learning from others.

That right there.  That is why I blog, why I share, why I write.

Because if I can help one person expand their point of view, understand people a little more deeply, be not so quick to judge, then all the time I spend putting my words down is worth it.  If I can help one parent advocate for their child, find new ways of dealing with their issues, or offer them solace in the knowledge that they aren’t alone, then I will continue to write and share.

nenos award1 Why I BlogSo back to the award.

A big thanks to The Psychobabble for giving it to me and making me pause to consider this.  Sometimes it’s good to stop and remember the why behind the what.

The aims of this award:

  • As a dedication for those who love blogging activity and love to encourage friendships through blogging.
  • To seek the reasons why we all love blogging!

Here are the rules of the award:

  • Put the award in one post as soon as you receive it.
  • Don’t forget to mention the person who gives you the award.
  • Answer the award’s question by writing the reason why you love blogging.
  • Tag and distribute the award to as many people as you like.
  • Don’t forget to notify the award receivers and put their links in your post.

And so I am choosing to tag the following people:

  • PB and Jazz for writing a post that warmed my heart (and made me cry a little)
  • Messponential for being real and telling it like it is
  • Heart My Chloe for being brave and strong. And hawt. Can’t forget hawt.
  • The Mommy Tsunami for her Intentional Happiness 365 project. We should all be so inspired

And for everyone reading, what makes you blog?  What inspires your passion for writing?

Surprise!

My Belgian Shepherd is laying in the front entry way as I sit on the couch in the living room and work on my laptop.

I can hear the low rumble building in his throat letting me know someone is out front.  He jumps up and starts barking, apprising me of the impending arrival at my door.  We have no need for a doorbell or a burglar alarm as long as we have him.

I groan inwardly.  I just put Vista down for a nap.  The barking will wake her.  So much for working on this project.  And a knock on the door in the middle of the day hasn’t meant good things lately.  I groan again and get up to see who it is and how grumpy I’m going to have to be to get them to go away.

I tell the Shepard to knock off the barking and lay down.  He completely ignores me and blocks my way to the door.  He’s nothing if not a good guard dog and my fierce protector.

I shove him out of the way and open the door a crack.

A little old lady standing on the front step with a box.  I look past her to her truck in the driveway and see the Canada Post logo on it.  Oh.  A delivery.

I straighten up, tell the dogs to go to bed, and open the door wider.

“Are you Jennifer?”  She hands me the box already lightly covered in a dusting of flakes from the blowing snow.

I mentally run through my mind of things I’ve ordered online lately and draw a blank  I wasn’t expecting anything.  Hmmmm…

As a take the box and close the door, I flip it around looking for the return address.

Colleen… my girl Messponential has sent me something!

I race to the kitchen, tear open the box and start taking out the contents.

A pink shirt studded with rhinestones.  Too small for me.  I smile.  But a perfect fit for Vista.  Especially with her latest growth spurt.

Another thing for V.  A stripped fleece hoodie!  I have to hold back a ‘SQUEEEEE’.  I had just about bid on this exact one on ebay yesterday!  Now I’m glad I held off.  I know Vista is going to put this on as soon as she gets up and not take it off for the next week.  She loves soft clothes like this.

And then I get to the good stuff.  Oh, Colleen, you’ve really outdone yourself.

You all know my Tassimo fetish.  The only down side is there are a lot of Tassimo discs that are available in the US that we can’t get in Canada (sad panda).  And even the one’s we can get are not always available.  Bil has been whining for the past month about not being able to find the Chai Tea in any of the stores.  Well, now we can indulge thanks to Colleen!

 

colleensgifts Surprise!

 

Did I mention the indulge part?

 

swisshazelnut Surprise!

 

As soon as I pulled everything out of the box, I heard Vista calling to get up.  I picked up the shirts Colleen sent and went to show V.  She immediately reached for the hoodie.  “Oh!  I LOVE IT!  Put it on.  It my coloring shirt!”.   (I have no idea what a coloring shirt is, but the hoodie apparently matches the description perfectly).    I told Vista I wanted to take her picture to show Colleen and she immediately grabbed her cowboy hat, sat down and smiled.  “Cheese mama!”

 

colorshirt Surprise!

 

Thank you Colleen.  I’ve been struggling this week to remember where I put my smile.  And here it is in a box from a friend.

Sometimes It’s The Simple Things

I was watching Vista, this morning, play with, of all things, a flashlight.

The look of delight on her face as she turned it on and off and ran around shining the light at everything brought a smile to my face.

Not 5 minutes earlier, I had been using the same flashlight to look for something under the couch (don’t even ask me what I found under there), but I never gave it a second thought.  It took a two year old to make me stop an appreciate the little extra light in my life.

Every once in a while I’m lucky enough to come across someone who does the same thing.  Just manages with a word to bring that extra bit of light to my life.

Anissa Mayhew is one of those people.

I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting her in person.  I only know her from chatting with her on Twitter.  But, she has the wonderful ability to may you feel incredibly important and loved, no matter how insignificant you are in the grand scheme of things.

The other day she sent me a DM saying I was ‘good people’.  I won’t lie.  It put a smile on my face for the next three days.

I imeditately sent her a message back saying I felt the same way.  In my book, she is the best of what people can be.

That why, my heart just about shattered when I found out yesterday that she’s in the ICU after having a stroke.

A stroke.

This is not an old, feeble person.  This is a young, vibrant, mother of three.

I’m posting this under Wordless Wednesday because there are no words to say how I feel.

My heart goes out to her family and friends.

I am sending all the good thoughts, hopes, and wishes I can for her speedy recovery.  Because the world needs good people like her.

For updates and to find out how you can help, please visit Heather Spohr’s site.
http://thespohrsaremultiplying.com/help4anissa/

**UPDATED**
For those who would like to donate and help the family out with their expenses, here is the link to a paypal donation page

4114683939 c28d0ed5bb o Sometimes Its The Simple Things

Paging Dr. Twitter

Shot Paging Dr. TwitterPeople who don’t use Twitter don’t get Twitter.

It’s a powerful beast.

And I’m not even talking from the ‘social media’ perspective.

I’m talking from the perspective of a mother.

The day Vista managed to get a huge sliver in her finger that I couldn’t get out , I mentioned it on twitter and immediately had a dozen suggestions on different tricks that might make it easier to remove.  And it worked.  Sliver removed without crying and fuss.

The day we took V to the hospital for yet another round of gastro issues, I twittered it.  I was overwhelmed with support from mom’s who had been there with their kids.  Who walked me through different meds.  Who twittered me about different procedures the docs might suggest and what they all meant.  The pros and cons of each.  They offered phone numbers and then sat there on the phone offering support while we waited to be seen in the ER.  And most people just offered support, good thoughts, prayers.  All of which meant so much.

On Monday night of this week when I mentioned V had spiked a sudden fever and a cough, Dr. Twitter pronounced it Swine Flu and advised me to get some Tamiflu for her.  I should know better than to doubt the all powerful Dr. Twitter.  I put it off til she got worse on Wednesday.  Took her into the local ER and walked out with our Tamiflu prescription.

Then yesterday afternoon, I mentioned on twitter the wheezing when she was breathing and the barking sound she was making when she cried.  Several experienced mom’s popped up to tell me Vista had croup and I should take her in.  I brushed it off, attributing the symptoms to the flu (yes, silly me…. I’m a slow learner).

Later that night, after V decided to drop a soup can on her big toe (why yes, it’s been the week from hell.  Thank you for asking), the first place I went was twitter.  I was informed by the Mom’s Who Have Been There Done That that the toe would need to be x-rayed and then the nail would probably need to be punctured and drained.  Guess who was right again?

We bundled up Vista, took her into the ER.  The nurses took one look at her and said “She has croup”.  We explained that we weren’t actually here about that.  That we figured it was probably the flu and we were actually here to have her toe looked at.  After they picked their jaws up off the floor we were informed it was lucky we brought her in because of her toe.  The wheezing (stridor) we were hearing when she was at rest was NOT a good sign in terms of croup.  The doctor refused to do anything about the toe until the croup had been looked after for fear of getting her upset and sending her into respiratory distress.  So she was plied with steroids and popsicles to take care of the croup.  Later, as per the Twitter consensus, her toe was x-rayed (verdict was no visible break) and after a quick puncture of the nail we were on our way home.

Time and time again, my friends on twitter have been there for me.  With advice, recommendations, personal experience, and support.   I have learned that doctors give you REALLY funny looks when you say “My twitter peeps think this is the issue”, especially when it turns out they’re right on the money.  But I have learned to turn to these people first.  They are my rocks.  My support.  They are what keeps me going when I just want to sit down and give up.

So, to     

To all those amazing people who are constantly there for me, there’s only one thing I can say.

Thank you.

Follow Friday – Hugs and Love (but no baskets) Edition

I don’t know if it’s the alignment of the stars, moon, planets or other astronomical body, but this has been a crappy week for a lot of my online friends.  Who am I kidding.  It’s been a crappy week, month, year for a lot of people (anyone know how to fast forward to 2010?)

heart Follow Friday   Hugs and Love (but no baskets) EditionI’ve been dispensing a lot of virtual hugs this week and wishing I lived closer to a lot of people so I could smother them in hugs and love in person.  But since I’ve never actually met these people in person, they’d probably be like “WTF? Who the hell are you?  Stop touching me!  I’m calling the cops!” And then I’d end up with a restraining order and I’d be trying to tell the judge “But I was trying to hug them better” and he’d think I was crazy (which I am, but that’s a whole other story) and I’d end up in a mental institution.  And then I’d learn how to basket weave and I’d send my nice baskets to my friends to make them feel better and they’d be all “WTF?  What part of restraining order do you not understand?”

So really, I guess it’s better that I just give virtual hugs, because I’m really not a big fan of baskets either.

In lieu of baskets (or mental institutions, or if you’re a germaphobe and really don’t like hugging people in person) you should totally go give these people some virtual love.  Or figure out how to realign the planets.  Whichever’s easier for you.

  • Lu has been laid up for weeks now after ankle surgery.  Meaning she’s stuck at home popping pain pills.  And while that may sound like a lot of fun, the novelty wears off after a bit, trust me.  Then add the fact that, while she’s stuck at home, her mom is stuck in the middle of flood-zone USA.  Which means that the entire lower part of her mom’s house is underwater.  Which means (after rescuing their dog out of a tree where he climbed to get away from the rising water) her mom has been having recover and sort through years of memories from the pool that was previously a basement.  Some of those memories are raw and painful and shouldn’t be ripped open at the best of times.  So, Lu is hurting both literally and emotionally.
  • Sara found out this week that a close friend committed suicide.  As one of those left behind she is struggling with the “why”.  And the fact he had a daughter close in age to her Chloe has really hit home for her.
  • See that picture to the far right of Ezra?  Yeah, that’s Beth‘s son.  He has leukemia. This is reason enough to send her love.  But she’s having an especially cruddy week.
  • My girl Colleen.  I love her.  Lots.  And she’s just having a rough week.  From rushing her son into the hospital to find out he has a penicillin allergy, to having her mom diagnosed with anxiety attacks (which means her child care has *poof* vanished into thin air).  So now they’re faced with the daycare costs vs income conundrum.  (Completely off topic, but… Colleen does gorgeous design work, so if you’re looking for a new header or button for your website, you should give her a shout)
  • Sherri is sweet and funny.  But right now she’s dealing with something that it’s hard to find any humor in.  She found a lump.  In her breast. Yeah.  She’s had one piece of good news.  Someone has come forward to cover the cost of her mammogram and everything that comes after.  But still, she scared, and I don’t blame her.

So yeah… If you have time to stop by their blogs and give them a quick word or two, I’ll love you forever (but I promise, I won’t send you any baskets either)

Follow Friday

Looking for new people to follow on Twitter or new blogs to read?

Here are my recommendations:

Happy Friday reading.  *mwah*

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