Thursday, September 29, 2005

September 29, 1987

Eighteen years ago today my dad died. It's still painful to remember.
I spoke to Kara this morning and said,"Do you realize you have been without Daddy longer than you were with him?"

Of course she knows that information but I had to say it out loud to make sense of it. Kara was just about to turn 13 when he died. I was 24. It will never make sense to either one of us.

Daddy has missed my life. Lillianna will be 8 in just a few days. He would've loved his grand daughter. She is happy and funny and full of life. Daddy loved that. He would've loved Rich too. They have a lot in common.

So,I've lived my life but there will always be a missing piece of my heart. Eighteen years or one hundred and eighteen doesn't matter.....I am still sad that my Dad is gone and that he wasn't here to share the good things in our life.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

How do you remember?

Someone at work asked me how to spell psych.
I immediately blurted out,"P-S-Y-C-H." Then I admitted,"Well,I know that from cheerleading."
Even though I have always been a good speller,there are just some words I learned from cheering in high school.

There was the famous,"P-S-Y-C-H-E-D...let's get psyched!" or
"S-U-CC-E-SS,that's the way we spell success!"
The confusion came in with the following cheers,
"R-O-W-D-I-E...That's the way we spell rowdie....rowdie....let's get rowdie....WOOO!"
and then "Let's get a little bit rowdy....R-OW-D-Y." which is it? (Spell check accepted rowdy but not rowdie....what do they know? They wouldn't accept cheerleaders as a word!!)

So,I try not to use rowdie/rowdy in a sentence. Who needs the hassle?

I went to college at UMASS Amherst. I didn't cheer there but their cheerleaders did a cheer that spelled out Massachusetts. Before that,everything was abbreviated Mass. so I didn't have to worry about spelling it at all. Thank goodness for the cheer. I have been able to spell my home state for the past 24 years.College.....good! I admit I do cheer it in my head as I spell it know,so I get it right!

This got me thinking about tricks to remember other things. We all know the spaces and lines in music,right? The spaces spell out F-A-C-E while the lines are E-G-B-D-F which can stand for many,many things. We used Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge or
Empty Garbage Before Dad Flips!

In my college astronomy class,we used this sentence to remember the order of the planets: My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us New Prunes. I don't know if I'd think Mom was so excellent if I got prunes but...that's the sentence.

We all have little tricks to remember things. How do you do it?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Please hang on to your child!

Monday was the first day of Brownies for this year. Lillianna's troop meets in a conference room in the local library. After her meeting,Lillianna and her friend Emily went off in search of books. Emily's mom Janet is the troop leader and also one of my friends from childhood.

After the girls checked out their books,we all headed out the front door. For some reason we stopped in the doorway to chat for a few minutes. Janet was leaning against the open door when a 3 year old girl walked out of the library...alone. I remembered seeing the little girl in the children's section when Lillianna was waiting for Emily but I didn't notice an adult with her.

Janet asked the girl,"Should you be out here?"

The little girl looked up at us and asked, "Where's my mommy?"

Ya,that was what we wanted to know! Sure,we had the front door opened but she had to go through another door to even get to the front door. Why wasn't a parent watching her? We took her inside and as Janet reported this to the librarians,I walked around a bit with the girl to see if she could spot her mother.

Finally,a woman from the complete other side of the library came running towards the girl. She thanked us a million times and then took her child back to where she had been. Lillianna wanted to know why the mother hadn't been with her child? Why wasn't she watching her?

I don't have the answers to those questions. When Lillianna was 3 years old,I was with her in the library. She was not out of my sight for any reason. At the end of last year,when she was 7 1/2,I allowed her to go into the main library with Emily after Brownies to pick out some books to take home. Emily is one year older than Lillianna.

I trusted Lillianna to pick out her books in the children's section and then to come get me in the adult section when she was ready to check out. The two girls stayed together and I felt like this was ok for me to do. The library is only one level so I wasn't very concerned. Lillianna knew this was a big step for me and she appreciated this little bit of freedom.

At 3 years old,there is no need for freedom. There is a need for complete vigilance. Turning your back on your child for one minute in a public place could prove to be fatal. That little girl could have been scooped up and taken away if we hadn't caught her when we did.

How much freedom do you give your young children in the library?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Short hair

Lillianna hates when her hair gets too long because she hates the snarls and she is not too happy when I put her hair up in a ponytail either. She will use any excuse to keep it down. Lately she has been asking to get her hair cut. Today,I finally agreed.

"How short do you want it?" the hairdresser asked.
Lillianna pointed to her shoulders.I tried not to scream.

"Uhm....I still want to put it up in a ponytail from time to time," I chimed in.

"Ok,I'll leave the front a little longer and angle it so that it can still go up," the hairdresser replied.

I bit my lip,swallowed hard and sat quietly in my hair. I sighed and clutched my chest as big clumps of hair fell to the floor. My baby! All that beautiful hair.
I looked at Lillianna. She was one big smile. Her smile got bigger as more and more hair was chopped off. She was loving this.

When the hairdresser was finished,I looked at Lillianna. She was thrilled. She did look adorable but she looked older. She'll be 8 in two weeks and she didn't look it. She just looked.....Older. She hugged me and thanked me a million times. It was worth it.

I try to listen to what she wants to wear and how she wants her hair to look. She still has days of,"Whatever," which means I pick out her clothes but I want her to be comfortable making her own decisions. More than that,she has to know that I have faith in her decisions. It's difficult and it's a learning process,for both of us.

What decisions do you let your children make on their own?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

It's all about the friends

Lillianna will turn 8 in just two weeks. Her party will be in 4 weeks so we are starting to plan for that.Thankfully,she likes simple parties. You can read about it at DotMoms.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Off to the doctor

Well,I've had this hacking cough for the past 3 weeks and it's just getting worse.
When I first got sick,I had sinus congestion along with the cough. The congestion cleared after about a week but the cough has lingered.

Both of my jobs require constant talking for the entire shift. Many times,I have lost my voice and talking can be painful. Last night at work,my cough seemed to get worse and I had a pounding headache to go along with it. Nice bonus!

I dragged myself home last night after telling Rich that I just didn't have one bit of energy to go food shopping after work like I had planned. He said he would shop on Saturday. Thank goodness for that.

This morning,my cough frightened Lillianna. She looked at me with wide eyes and asked quietly,"Are you ok Mommy? You don't sound too good." That's an understatement. So,as soon as Rich is out of the bathroom,I will take my shower,get dressed and call my doctor. I am hoping I don't have pneumonia like I did last year. I guess I'll know soon enough.

{5:00pm...Update: I have a bacterial infection. I am now on an antibiotic,Tylenol and a cough syrup with codeine. The fact that surprised me the most was when the doctor told me I had a slight fever! I almost never have a temperature. When I called Rich with the news,I said,"I have a fever. I only have a fever when I am really sick." Rich laughed and said,"What makes you think you aren't really sick now?" Good point.

The doctor also wrote a note and told me to take the weekend off from both jobs. That was dicey because I hate calling in sick. The guilt is overwhelming but I had to do it. Right now I am making a huge pot of chicken noodle soup. That's all I want to eat when I am sick.

So,there you have it!}

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Hair don'ts

The sky just suddenly opened up. I can hear big, fat raindrops plopping on my air conditioner. I dared to look out the window and could only see grayness through the swirling rain.

I wish this could be a day where I could stay snuggled in my jammies,sipping lemon tea and cuddling Lillianna. Unfortunately,I have to hop in the shower,iron my clothes,eat lunch and get Lillianna from school at 2:40pm. Then it's a 30 minute drive to my Mom's to drop Lillianna off so that I can go to work.

Since it is so windy and wet outside,I figured I would pull the front of my hair up so it won't be whipping in my face when I go outside. Nothing looked right. I hate having my hair all flipped out and frizzy in this weather. Headbands give me a migraine but I might just give in to it today because it is really nasty outside.

If I were in a magazine,I am sure I would be a hair don't with this headband but....what can ya do?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Another traveling companion to Disney World

Tonight was open house at Lillianna's school. It was my first time meeting her teacher,Miss L. I was very impressed. The classroom has a lot of fun and interesting things in it and I just got a really good feeling. Well,I could barely feel anything as it was 100 degrees in the school and the sweat was pouring down my face like rain.

Like many classrooms around the world,Lillianna's class uses Flat Stanley. Each child made their own flat people last week. Miss L said we can take Lillianna's "Flat Lilly" with us to Disney World and document the trip. We are all very excited about that.

Does your child's class use Flat Stanley?

Once nation,under nothing

So,they want to take "under G-d" out of the pledge of allegiance and try to take the pledge out entirely. Apparently,atheists are offended.
Do school children get to believe in anything anymore?
On the news they said that even a moment of silence in the morning is inappropriate.
How is 60 seconds of silence inappropriate?
So,I guess we can be one nation under nothing. That's sounds depressing.

Are you offended by "under G-d"?

Monday, September 12, 2005

How young is too young to be alone?

Thirty four years ago,when I was Lillianna's age,I walked to school by myself and no one worried about that.My Mom left the house at 7:00am every day and I left the house at 8:00am and walked to school. Dad was home but he was asleep.
I can't even imagine this scenario for Lillianna.

Up until I was 10 years old,I had a babysitter at my house after school. I didn't enjoy them all that much so I asked Mom if I could stay alone until she came home at 5:00pm. With some hesitation,she allowed that. I was a bit scared but I did it.

I make sure I am home for Lillianna every single day after school. If there is a reason why I can't be home for her,I ask a friend or neighbor to pick her up for me. She is 3 weeks away from turning 8 and I would never leave her alone for any reason.

A ten year old boy who lives in the building next to us,is left on his own from 2:30pm-6:30pm. He seems absolutely fine with it. He rides his bike all around the complex as well as in the woods on a bike trail. When he told me that, I tried not to shriek in horror. Alone in the woods? No matter how you spin that,I am not comfortable with that.

The other day he was out riding when he saw Lillianna on her bike and asked her to come up to the club house. So, we went up there and the two kids rode around on the basketball court. He is a sweet boy and he seems like he has a good head on his shoulders. He said that he would love to play basketball with Lillianna one day after school. Her face lit up. She loves basketball.

We just found out that a woman was raped this past Saturday,three buildings away from us. She was outside,in the middle of the day, and a man dragged her into the woods. That puts me in a panic because I come and go as I please and don't worry about being dragged anywhere and raped. We pay high rent here and it's a gated community! Yet,we're not safe at all.

Rich always watches me from the window when I come home late at night but now he will start watching me when I leave the house early in the morning.

But what about the young neighbor who is home alone every afternoon? Is he safe?
I have already told him what apartment we live in and that he can come to me anytime he needs anything. My friend,Sherri,lives in his building and he knows he can go to her too. I guess that's all we can do.

How old do you think a child should be to stay alone for 4 hours every day after school?

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Please don't offend the sex offenders

Massachusetts has welcomed some of the Hurricane Katrina survivors which I think is great. However,there are 7 sex offenders among them. They have put the 7 men on a floor by themselves but gosh darn it,they don't want to offend or stigmatize them. Are you kidding me?
You can read the pitiful story here.

Just like Hester had to wear a scarlett "A" for adultery in the Scarlett Letter,the sex offenders should wear a 5 foot penis on their head to literally give us a heads up! If I saw a 5 foot penis heading my way you can bet I'd be running in the other direction.

It's not a good thing to be a sex offender.There's nothing to be proud of. I think we can all agree on that. So who cares if we point a finger and yell,"SEX OFFENDER!!" That's what they are. We know it and they know it. If they don't want to be offended then they shouldn't be molesting anyone!!!!! It's pretty simple. I don't care about their feelings. Did they care about the children they molested? I don't think so.

So I am giving a big F&*$ You to the disgusting sex offenders and I hope the people at Camp Edwards will protect the innocent survivors there.

Do you think sex offenders should have any rights?

September 11th

It is unbelievable that four years have passed since the horror of September 11th.
I just re-read my post from last year and decided to post it again since I think it was a good post,if I do say so myself.

Yesterday I heard on the radio that we have 1,400 illegal aliens in Massachusetts who are running around with an illegal driver's license. That is not a typo. It is one thousand-four hundred people. Why are we so lax with our illegal aliens? I mean it's not one or two who slipped through the cracks. It's 1,400. That's way too many cracks!

I completely understand wanting to live in the good old U.S.of A.
If someone wants to live here then they must do what it takes to become a legal citizen,get a job and pay taxes. I have no problem with that. What are 1,400 illegal aliens doing here in Massachusetts? Are they plotting our demise?

So,here we are four years you think our security system is better or worse than it was on September 10,2001----the day before our world came crashing down.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

What does it mean?

We were talking at work about expressions. Since I work in an ophthalmology practice,we were discussing the phrase,"blind as a bat." That brought me to the expression,
"deaf as a haddock," which is something my elderly patients always say to me.I always ask them what that means. Do haddock have ears? If not,are they the only fish without ears?

We googled "deaf as a haddock" but we couldn't come up with an explanation of this expression. If you know of a link that explains this odd saying,please send it to me. I have to bring it to work.

Monday, September 05, 2005

I am entitled to my own feelings

When I was in my early twenties,I used to read parenting magazines to gain some insight. One of the articles that I read said that if a child says,"My knee hurts," don't say, "No it doesn't," just because you don't see anything wrong. If you keep denying your child's pain,it undermines their ability to trust their feelings. I thought their was some truth in that and I have made sure that I have never denied Lillianna's feelings about anything.

What about adults? Aren't adults entitled to feel any way that they want? Lately I have found that there are people who want to tell me how to feel and I am annoyed and angered by it.

If I am sad about something,I hear,"That shouldn't have upset you. Forget about it." If I could forget about it,I would,but obviously I can't. Please allow me to feel sad. It's okay. It won't last forever.

If I am frustrated,I hear,"You shouldn't feel that way. It's no big deal." Well, to me, it is a big deal so let me feel my feelings.

I honestly wanted to hit someone the other day for telling me how to feel but luckily I am not a violent person and I just let it go. I wanted to scream in their face,"Shut the F*&$ up!!!! Don't tell me how to feel! You can't belittle my feelings just because they are not your feelings." That makes my frustration doubly frustrating!

I am not sure why people feel compelled to tell others how they think they should feel but it needs to stop......NOW!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

One is not the loneliest number

Being an only child is not a bad thing.In fact,it can be rather fun. You can read today's post over at Dotmoms.

Friday, September 02, 2005

What's in the trash bag?

Today is another one of my famous trash bag days. I take a bag in my room and I give one to Lillianna and we throw away whatever we haven't used since the last trash bag clean up. I know this isn't exactly a day of fun on Lillianna's day off from school but since I work all weekend,this is a necessity.

I started by just going around and picking up the little pieces that everyone leaves behind at the computer: a popsicle stick(Lillianna or Rich's),a thank you note from a party Lillianna attended a month ago,a Christmas cassette (I have no idea why it was there), papers with email addresses on them(that's Rich's stuff for barter town where he trades toy soldiers),nail polish (ok,that's mine. I polish my nails and then play Chuzzle on the computer while they dry!), coupon book (ya,mine again. I look for coupons then type my list out). The computer on it's own is a dumping site!

Then I found my old iron sitting in the corner of the room. One day, a few months ago, I plugged it in and nearly got eletrocuted. We immediately replaced it but for some reason,that old one is still here. I tossed it in the bag along with my old cordless phone that died a slow,painful death about 6 months ago. My bedroom is a graveyard for dead appliances.

So, after almost 3 hours of cleaning,we are taking a break and going out for Thai food. After that,I hope to tackle the rest of the apartment.

How cluttered is your house?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Miss A, Mrs B and Mr C

Lillianna loves her 2nd grade teacher, Miss L. That's what the kids call her because apparently her name is too hard to say. For privacy reasons I won't disclose her name but believe me,it's not a difficult name even though it has 4 syllables. Yes, 4 syllables. Our last name has 3 syllables and I would hope people could pronounce it unless they are brain dead. Oh sure they may ask how to pronounce it the first time but then I would expect them to be able to say it.

Lillianna's art teacher is Miss G. Her name is not difficult at all and it only has 3 syllables but apparently the children are not bright enough to take on this challenge. Lillianna is almost 8 years old. When does the school think she will be able to say a teacher's 4 syllable name....maybe by high school?

It is no secret that I hate Lillianna's school. They have disappointed me in the past 2 years and I had been hoping that this year I would be pleasantly surprised. With more and more teachers being called by their first initial,I doubt this is going to be a better year.

At what age do you think a child should be able to pronounce their teacher's name?

Gas Prices

I drove by two gas stations today because I refused to pay $3.25 per gallon. I did find one that was $3.15 and since I was on "E" I had to suck it up and put $20 worth in. It filled it half-way. I couldn't afford to fill it.
This totally sucks.

Gas prices were rising before the hurricane. I think they are using that as an excuse to keep them rising. The news said prices could go as high as $5 per gallon. Are they insane? I won't be able to afford to drive to work. Something has to change.

What is the price of gas in your area?