Journal of a wife, mom, and first grade teacher

Regrets Only

I have an issue.  I need to vent.  So now all of my friends who are kind enough to endure my posts can once again suffer my rantings.  My issue is the “RSVP” or “Please respond by…” or even the easiest, “Regrets only.”

Why can’t people kindly respond to this little request?  I mean, come on!  I went through the trouble to send you an invitation, which by the way, I spent a lot of time considering.  I thought of a theme, searched all the available and reasonable invitation web sites, chose the wording carefully, hunted down your address, planned a large menu which of course, included CAKE!  Why can’t you respond?

I keep it simple.  You can email me, text me, or call.  For goodness sakes!  You don’t even have to talk to me if you wish, but tell me how much cake I need to order and how much lasagna to make!

Listen, if you want your kid to have a treat bag…RESPOND!  If you want a clean wine glass…RESPOND!  If you want a place to sit…RESPOND!

Thank you to my friends for allowing me to air my grievances.

Math Facts and Mommy Guilt

SO yes, it is that time again this year.  A time when I experience sadness through happiness.  A time of reminiscing and celebration.  My oldest…is 7!!!!

Where does the time go?  I stare at him when he is sleeping and think, “how did we make this beautiful creature?  How did this miracle happen?”

Trust me, he is not perfect nor am I.  I hear plenty of “No! and “I don’t want to! or even the occasional “I hate you!”  I also find myself saying things like, “If you don’t… or I am disappointed… or Can you just leave mommy alone for 2 minutes?”  (followed quickly by horrible “mommy guilt.”)

Then there is the pressure of…”teacher mom.”  I not only feel your typical guilt as a mother, but then there is the even more horrible “teacher mommy guilt.”  I admit it.   I’m the mother who forgets it’s “wear your purple shirt” day or turning in those papers by the due date or downloading those oh so important apps to the iPad for math practice.  Do I do enough for him?  Are we reading enough?  Is he writing enough?  Does he know 2+3=5?  Do I leave all my teacher energy in room 8 when I walk out?

The answer is “YES” to ALL of it.  He feels happy.  He feels safe.  He feels loved.  Maybe we don’t read every night or write a journal.  Maybe he doesn’t know ALL his math facts yet.  And yes, I am spent by the time I get home.  It’s OK.  I am his mommy and this is what he loves.  He loves that mommy goes to work every day and teaches her students (even the naughty ones – his words not mine).  He sees both his parents rising to meet their challenges each day.  We are his examples.

So happy birthday to my boy!  Mommy loves you!  Now go read a book and practice your math facts!!!

Green Eggs and Ham

I do not like them Mr. President, I do not like them at all.

I do not like them in the rain, I do not like them on a train.

I do not like them in a boat, I do not like them with a goat.

I do not like them here or there.  I do not like them anywhere!

I will not try them by the pool, I will not try them in my school.

I will not keep one in my room, I will not hang it next to the broom.

Not in the rain, not on a train,

not in a boat, not with a goat,

not by the pool, not in my school,

not in my room, next to the broom.

I do NOT like them Mr. President!

I do NOT like them here or there,

I do NOT like them ANYWHERE!


Welcome Back

It’s been a while since I have written.  Things have changed as they inevitably do.  We are older, life is busier.  I sit here on this blog, not sure if it will be read ever again and that’s OK.  It’s like I have found an old friend and not quite sure if we will really stay in touch.  Do we still have things in common or have we grown  too far apart?

I never understood a blog or blogging.   Blogging is a platform to share our thoughts with others, rrrriiight??  Do we write for others or ourselves?  I never really know.  Writing can be cathartic but do I really want others to read my thoughts?  Then there is the argument of  “well I must if I am writing them down so why not a blog?!”

It’s not like I start with “Dear Diary, Dear Journal or Dear Blog.”  Would these introductions make it more personal, would that be a signal that my thoughts are for my eyes only?  If you know me, you don’t have to know me well to understand I enjoy conversation (to say the least); healthy and interesting exchanges of words.  I tend to be quick to ask questions and politely (I hope) make an argument for something I strongly believe or support.  SO…why not share my writing if I am so quick to share my voice?

Well, here I am.  I am back.  Maybe I’ll write again tomorrow, maybe next week, but I am here to share.  Read if you like, pass it up if you must.  Here’s to old friends finding each other again.



Yesterday morning I received some news that has sent me into a wash of emotions.  I have been in shock, angry, sad, angry, sad, angry, sad, and angry and sad.  I told myself that cooler heads prevail.  I was so thrown, I didn’t know what to do.  I have made a decision.


Let this slice be a message to…

the woman who threatened my little cub.  Your opinion about my son means nothing.   I am the lioness who will roar until no one can hear you any longer.  I will claw and hunt my way to make sure my cub is safe from your ignorance and illness.  I AM THE LIONESS who will follow you through the bush to see you no longer are able to have contact with any person of special ability.


Let this slice be a message to…

the teachers who care for my cub and help him find his way.  YOU are his protectors when I am gone.  YOU are his strength, and his voice.  YOU love my little cub as if he was your own.  I thank you for keeping him safe.  I AM THE LIONESS who welcomes you into our pride.  I am deeply indebted to you.


Let this slice be a message to…

all reading.  I AM THE LIONESS and my cubs are my life.  If I am empowered, so are they.  If I am fierce, so are they.  If I roar, so will they.  Look out for my cubs.  They will be kings someday.

Hotdogs and Beans

After a looong day of work.  I packed up my bagS and slowly made my way down the never ending hallway and out the door to my cold car.  Once in, engine screaming at me “Why? Why do you make me sit in the cold all day?”  I make my way through a dozen texts and voicemails.  Why doesn’t anyone understand I am UNAVAILABLE during the day?  They must think I can make telephone calls in between number bonds and word families.

I proceed to force my car to move and puddle down and around the corner to pick up the two little ones.  Inside I am greeted by my four-year old excited to explain why he was on “yellow” today, “I didn’t have good listening ears mommy.”  “God, I hope the ears repair themselves on the ride home.” is all I can think.  My two-year old finds it humorous when entering his classroom to run away from me.  So ensues a game of “catch me, pin me down, put on my coat and hat, and oh, don’t forget to wipe my nose for the 1,000th time today.”

The drive home is relatively quiet and uneventful except for the wrong turn out of the school and therefore forced to drive  all around town and then sit at a train for 10 minutes.  No, I do NOT know why or how I turned the wrong direction.

Once home and just inside the door, I find my beautiful, loving, caring, nurturing husband waiting for me (he has been home for over an hour).  “What’s for dinner he asks?” ” Um, can I take off my coat and shoes first?” I ASK.  I struggle with my boots, coat, kids’ shoes, coats, my bagS, the kids’ bagS and say, “How about hotdogs and beans?”

Happily, the beautiful, loving, caring, nurturing husband takes the boys down to the basement for a quick scrimmage of hockey.  THANKS.  Fast forward ten minutes, they are all back.  “Did you call?” My husband asks.

“Call who?”

“The bank for our change of address.”

“Was I supposed to do that?



“While we were in the basement.”


So here I sit (for the first time since I arrived home), after three dinners, two baths, some laundry, nighttime kisses, and a dishwasher cycle.  SLICE OF LIFE…would anyone like some hotdogs and beans?

If the sky is blue…

My dad.  He’s one of those guys who does the complete opposite of what you tell him.  If the sky is blue he’ll say it is gray. He likes to argue for the sake of argument.  He is always right.  He always has advice even if unsolicited.  He will talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime.  He can be completely inappropriate and not understand why someone is offended. He always knows the best restaurant, the best store, the best directions, the best deal, the best “guy for the job.”  He loves to surf the web and believes most things he reads on the internet.  He “plays the ponies, football, basketball.”  He enjoys the “one-armed bandit,” blackjack and poker.  He has been known to drive to another state just for a sandwich…a really good sandwich.

My dad.  He has always protected me and kept me safe.  He put food on the table, a roof over my head, and a car to drive. He made sure I attended good schools…great schools.  He took care of our family.  My brother’s addiction, my other brother’s lack of direction, my mother’s illness.

My dad.  He buys a size six for Nolan after I tell him a size 4.  He sends me sign language flashcards for Ryan after I tell him I just bought some.  He calls my husband everyday just to “talk.”  He calls me once a week to argue.

My dad.  I love him.

Momentary Lapse of Reason

Well, just like last year, I managed to miss the first day of the challenge.  I don’t know why or how, but I can’t remember anything and I have been losing everything including my mind.  I have lost my phone almost every day for the last four days.  I can think of three times this month where I get out of my car, lug the kids out of their car seats and frantically look for my keys in the freezing cold so I can lock the car, only to realize the keys are in the ignition and the car is still running.

I forget medicines, diapers, appointments, grocery lists, and visitors.

Saturday afternoon, I walked out of a store with the cart in tow.  I sidled up to my car, ready to unload my items, when I opened the door and realized someone had stolen my child’s car seat and replaced it with another one!  “Who would do such a thing?  This is crazy!” I thought.  After a few seconds of a momentary lapse of reason, (no, it is not just a Pink Floyd album, it really happens), I discovered I had opened the car door to some stranger’s vehicle.  So I did what any SANE person would do.  I ran like HELL!

Is there a cure for this?  Can someone help me?  My husband thinks I’m flaky.  My kids think I’m funny.  My colleagues think I’m nuts. I think I need HELP.

What a Ride

My children have led me on a journey I never imagined I would embark.  I am one of those women.  The kind that always knew I would have children.  I imagined at least three, never really cared boy or girl.  I fantasized a husband (sometimes) with a house and a dog. Birthday parties, soccer games, school plays, going to the park, first steps, first words…

Here I am, a husband, two boys, dogs which have since passed and living in a rental unit until “THE HOUSE” is built.  

Here I am, juggling job, doctors, therapists, friends and family.

Here I am, scheduling Physical therapy, Occupational therapy, Developmental therapy, Speech therapy.

Here I am, cooking dinner, doing laundry, vacuming, scrubbing, washing dishes.

Here I am, crying baby, whining preschooler, crabby husband.

Here I am, changing diapers, potty training, diaper rash, runny nose.

Here I am, grading papers, writing notes, emailing.

Here I am, Here I am, Here I am…

A journey I never expected, but a ride of a lifetime.


The Haunting of 1989

Since January I have been haunted.  Haunted by old friends and hallowed halls.  Haunted by ex-boyfriends and bad hair.  Haunted by old chemistry and French tests.  Haunted by Duran Duran, The Clash and “House” music.  Haunted by Medusa’s, The Alley, and McGreevey’s.  Haunted by the Metra express train at 6:02am, carpools, basketball games, and SAT scores.  Haunted by John Hughes films, the brat pack, VHS tapes, and tape cassettes.  Yes, I am being stalked, emailed, snail mailed and telephoned.  

It is my 25th High School Reunion.  Class of 1989!

The last one I attended was my 10 year,  I went with trepidation.  Will I see old friends or frenemies?  Will I look good or will they look better?  How many doctors?  How many lawyers?  I went.  I had a blast.  So many old friends, so many rehashed times.

I missed the 20th…my bachelorette.  A girl has to get her “whoop” on!

I am missing the 25th.  It just so happens to be the same evening as GiGi’s Playhouse Gala.  Gigi’s is a place for Down Syndrome achievement.  It has brought my family joy and hope.  We have made new friends and new memories.  We have become the class of present.  Everyday is a new day of development, a new day of hope, a new day of pure joy since Ryan has chosen us as his family.  

Yes, it would be fun to celebrate the “old days.”  Sip a beer or two and break bread with some old friends.

I choose class of present. Weekly physical therapy, occupational therapy, developmental therapy, speech therapy.  Acid reflux, low tone, ear tubes, clogged tear ducts. Smiles, laughter, hugs and kisses.  Hope, joy, love.  Man, a lot has changed since 1989!