Friday, December 29, 2006

first fight

Last night we had our first real fight
We've fought before
over little trivial things
but last night was a big one

about trust
and lies
and things like that

I was proud of the way we fought
no one left the room
voices were barely raised

We talked our way though it
came to a resolution
and all was good

Yay us


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I'm Back!

The boys and I had an amazing weekend in Upstate NY with T's family. His parents welcomed us into their home like we were family, and his sister was awesome. I really could have stayed all week, but we had to get back for T's job. Below are some pictures for your viewing pleasure:

Christmas Eve pre church picture
a fuzzy picture of T's house
Christmas morning (yes, it's still dark)
T's mom watching over the boys

Friday, December 22, 2006

Tomorrow's The Day

Wish me luck!

We're off to T's parent's house until Tuesday night. I will be collecting blog entries my whole visit. I will give you an update when I get back, but I've as nervous as can be right now.

Merry Christmas!


p.s. the Mary post was a joke. Patrick really did tell me that, but I knew he was kidding. Sorry for making some of you worried, and even sorrier that some took offense to the post. I still think it's pretty funny though.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thank God for Patrick

Everyone else assumed I knew that you are supposed to dress up as Mary or Baby Jesus on Christmas morning. But Patrick quietly filled me in, so as not to embarrass me for my lack of knowledge. Thank you, Patrick. I've got my Mary clothes all picked out. T's family will never know how clueless I once was about this holiday of theirs.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006


I had a funny
all ready to go

i don't have it
in me

i just want
to cry
I'm not even sure

I may just be
from having sleepless nights
with josh
who is sick

I may be frustrated
with T
because he's so grumpy
because he's sick

I may just be missing Joe
for reasons
not completely clear
to me

maybe it's the holiday cards
with the family names
all intact

or the memories
of those days in
the hospital
that just keep
haunting me

or the fear
that things won't
work out with T
and I'll need to start all over

whatever the reason
I'm melancholy
and the funny entry
will just have to wait
until I have joy in
my heart


Monday, December 18, 2006

Tis' The Season

I miss Joe tonight
no surprise really
spent yesterday with
his family
but no Joe
sucks really

There's a commercial on tv
right now
Debeer's ad for diamonds
A woman is sleeping peacefully in bed
Her husband sneaks out of bed
goes downstairs
and comes back with a necklace

Damn commercial
makes me cry
every time

The song that goes with it
is what gets to me

I miss Joe

How can I tell you that I love you, I love you
But I cant think of right words to say
I long to tell you that Im always thinking of you
Im always thinking of you, but my words
Just blow away, just blow away
It always ends up to one thing, honey
And I cant think of right words to say
Wherever I am girl, Im always walking with you
Im always walking with you, but I look and youre not there
Whoever Im with, Im always, always talking to you
Im always talking to you, and Im sad that
You cant hear, sad that you cant hear
It always ends up to one thing, honey,
When I look and youre not there
I need to know you, need to feel my arms around you
Feel my arms around you, like a sea around a shore
And -- each night and day I pray, in hope
That I might find you, in hope that I might
Find you, because hearts can do no more
It always ends up to one thing honey, still I kneel upon the floor
How can I tell you that I love you, I love you
But I cant think of right words to say
I long to tell you that Im always thinking of you
Im always thinking of you....
It always ends up to one thing honey
And I cant think of right words to say

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Hanukkah Cheer

Yesterday we hosted a Hanukkah party at our house. Mel and Nikki came, along with their families. My parents and brother were also there. The kids had a blast, and got awesome presents. Today we visited Joe's family in the city that I like to call the most depressed city in MA. They are also the most depressing family to be around, but they behaved pretty well today. My kids got way too many presents. They are loving this holiday!

(kids at party decorating Hanukkah cookies. No idea why Jacob looks pissed. He loved the whole day)
(The party continued on Jacob's bed. It was transformed into a bus, and was played on, without adults supervising, for a long, long time)

(Jacob got his kiddush cup)(Josh with his doll, and about a gazillion other presents!)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Happy Hanukkah!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I'm Done!

My big research paper is complete! Going in the mail tomorrow!!!!! Thanks for all your help and encouragement. Now I need to take my last class next semester and I will be done with graduate school. It only took me seven years...


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Reality Overkill

So you all know that I love reality TV. It's actually the only TV genre I watch these days. I realize they are crappy, but it's what I like. Deal with it.

What some of you know is that I used to be obsessed with the movie, "Dirty Dancing." By used to, I mean the 7th grade, and by obsessed I mean I saw it in the movie theatre ten times. Really. Ten times. Then I bought the video when it came out and watched it endlessly. I had every line memorized and my siblings and I performed a lip synch to the talent show song.

But even I, a hardcore fan of both all things reality, and Dirty Dancing think that this is too much. For those of you too lazy to click, WE has created a new reality TV show called, "Dirty Dancing." Their catch phrase is, "18 will dance. Only one will have the time of her life."

I will watch only so that I can properly make fun of it. Really. Just once. Or twice. And of course I'll have to watch the finale. But that's it. Because this show is pure crap.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Help Me

I need to come up with Christmas gifts for T's family. We will be staying with them for 3 or 4 days. I got them a housewarming gift, but what do I give for Christmas?

I need something for his mom, dad, and 25 year old sister. I would like to spend under $30 per person.



p.s. This will be my first time meeting them, and I don't know too much about any of their likes/dislikes.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

It's almost 6:30 and I'm...

Still at work. That may not seem late to many of you, but as a teacher/mom, it's pretty damn late for me. Been working hard on my research paper. I decided to go with Kelly's idea about delaying boys who turn 5 in the summer from entering K until they are 6. It's been pretty interesting to research. The most interesting aspect for me was how this is helping to cause the achivement gap. It's almost always middle class/upper class white boys who are delaying entry until they are 6. Children from lower income homes, and children of color are entering K at age 5 because their parents can't afford an extra year of daycare/preschool. As a result, they are at an extra disadvantage when they enter school. Also, due to kids entering K later, parents have demanded a more rigorous curriculum, which then sprirals upward. I would love to hear JRowe's take on this, since she is a K teacher.

Speaking of JRowe, I've been having a disagreement with one of her husband's friends. Check it out (the disagreement is in the comments) , and tell me if I'm crazy. (well I know I'm crazy, but are my arguments crazy?) I had this same disagreement with MK last year, and I stand by my feelings.

Anyways, off for my first parent teacher conference with Jacob's teachers. Am slightly nervous, even though I talk to them every day, and don't think there will be any surprises. We'll see.

Oh, and T is giving notice at his apartment complex today. Now that he's working mostly in Boston, he realized it's just too hard to live in NH. A friend of his is looking to sublet her apatment, and it's just 15 minutes away from my house!!1

Gotta run.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

To Answer Your Questions...

We could here more about T, any long term plans for you all. Is he still looking for a job nearby?

Actually he ended up getting that job I told you about a while back. He starts on Monday and we are both excited for the change. The job involves some travel, but is mostly based in the Boston area. We decided to wait 6 more months before he moves in though. We both feel good about that decision. When he's working out of Boston, like he is all of next week, he'll spend every night here. But when he's based in another state, we'll still have our space.

How's school going? (Graduate stuff, not your day job.) Tell us about that!

Ugh. Well, as you know, I am taking my second to last graduate class. It started out as a breeze, and the class itself is still easy. But I have a gigantic research paper due 3 weeks from tomorrow, and I haven't started yet. I mean, I don't even really have my topic yet. I also have a lot of smaller papers due, so I've been working on getting those done so that I can fully (yeah, right) focus on my big paper. The big paper needs to be about a problem facing schools, and a way to resolve the problem. I need 10 journal articles that examine a solution to the problem. Half should be supporting one way, and the half should be against it. Then I need to state my opinion. I'm open to any and all suggestions for topics.

How about the boys' Hanukkah wish list? What WAS on that Thanksgiving day menu? How is Brooklyn? Is the WW thing still on track?

The boys really don't have a wish list for presents. Every catalog that comes to the house they grab and say they want every item in them. They are getting an easel, art supplies, books, and dramatic play items. Josh is also getting a doll, and Jacob is getting the kiddush cup he wanted :O)
Thanksgiving Day menu was delicious. We had the obligatory turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. Plus gratin potatoes, twice stuffed sweet potatoes, grilled root vegetables, asparagus, brussel sprouts, and broccoli and cauliflower with melted cheese. For dessert there was an apple crisp, two types of brownies, a pumpkin roll, and an ice cream cake. (all homemade)
WW is still on track for the most part. Thanksgiving was a lost cause, but this week I'm back on course.

Any other questions?


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I don't have much to say

That's a first, huh?

Maybe I need a little blogging break.

I'll be back soon.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

I am thankful

for memories
for photographs
for hugs & kisses
for the ability to laugh
for books
for a boyfriend that adores me
for the pitter patter of little feet
for the sound of my boys singing
for a home
for enough money to support my family
for friends who care
for music
for a job that I normally like
for family
for my health
for reality tv
for a place to write my thoughts
for freedom
for life

I am thankful


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

You are The Tower

Ambition, fighting, war, courage. Destruction, danger, fall, ruin.

The Tower represents war, destruction, but also spiritual renewal. Plans are disrupted. Your views and ideas will change as a result.

The Tower is a card about war, a war between the structures of lies and the lightning flash of truth. The Tower stands for "false concepts and institutions that we take for real." You have been shaken up; blinded by a shocking revelation. It sometimes takes that to see a truth that one refuses to see. Or to bring down beliefs that are so well constructed. What's most important to remember is that the tearing down of this structure, however painful, makes room for something new to be built.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Things that make you go hmmm...

  • Today Jacob announced that when he gets older he wants to wear underwear like mine.
  • There is a new reality tv show about brothers named Jacob and Joshua. They are gay rock singers trying to break into the business. Don't believe me? Check this out.
  • I went to a Thanksgiving Day feast at Jacob's preschool yesterday. A mom that I had just met told me that every time she brings her daughter into the classroom, she notices Jacob sitting by himself looking sad. She wanted to know if anything was going on at home. "Well," I responded, "His dad died." That shut her up.
  • This Thursday will be my third Thanksgiving without Joe. That seems so unbelievable to me. He was just here, wasn't he?
  • My bottom left tooth hurts every time I eat something the least bit sweet. Does that mean I have a cavity?
  • Brooklyn continues to bark every timeT and I have "alone time." WTF is up with that? T tells me to tune it out, but that's just not possible for me. It's the same as one of my kids crying. Hard to feel aroused while such things are going on.
  • There is a small outbreak of lice at my school. By small I mean contained to one class. By contained to one class I mean contained to my class. I had the nurse check my head today, but despite her assurance that my head was nitfree, I can't stop scratching my head.
  • I think this Thanksgiving will be a good one. I really do....
  • Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Knock on Wood

Jacob may actually
be potty trained!


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Random Notes

  • When I told T that I was joining weight watchers, he looked me in the eyes, and said, "Why?" And he didn't start laughing, he meant it. He's too sweet.
  • Weight watchers/exercising is going well so far. Have stuck to the program, and worked out 2 out of the past three days. Fingers crossed that I stick with it.
  • T bought the boys books at Barnes & Noble the other day. He bought them Clifford and Where the Wild Things Are. The past two nights Jacob has requested Clifford, while Josh has asked to read Where the Wild things are, in his crib. While I've read to Jacob, Josh has been reading to himself in his crib. It's the cutest thing to witness. He reads each page with voices of monsters. The words are all about being monsters, not what the real words are, but he's reading! I have to catch it on video. And his little voice making the noises is priceless.
  • Yesterday was a very long day of meetings to discuss issues with my class. We made up a plan that will hopefully help things. Today was actually my best day yet with my class. The best way to describe my class is with the title of my blog. I am always on Relaxed Alert with them. I can never let my guard down. But they are neat bunch of kids and I'm hoping we can have a great year together.
  • I can't believe that next week is Thanksgiving! And I'm hosting everyone here. And it will be our third Thanksgiving without Joe. (Holy crap, that's crazy!) Next entry I'll post the menu.
  • Last but not least, tomorrow is the one year anniversary of this blog. Thank you to all of you who read daily, weekly, monthly, or just every once in a while. You have all helped me through some miserable times, and I can't imagine my life without you in it. If you have never identified yourself, I would love for you to say a quick hello. C'mon, it's my blogiversary!
Love you all,

Sunday, November 12, 2006

If at first you don't succeed....

I rejoined weight watchers today
and I just got off the very neglected
elliptical machine in my room
I must get my body back

Wish me luck

Friday, November 10, 2006

Missing Joe

Two and a half years later I can honestly say that I miss Joe less frequently. I'll go hours, days, weeks even that I'm not actively missing him. He is not my first thought when I wake up, nor is he my last thought when I go to sleep. I am not constantly reminded of him, nor do I feel the need to bring him up in every conversation I have with people.

But the times that I do miss him are more painful than I can even put into words. Every pore in my body aches for him, my mouth can't open because no doubt I will cry instead of speak. Every song, commercial, comment by a passerby, all remind me of him. I want to smell him, feel him, talk to him, laugh with him. I just want him here.

And then I picture him in his hospital bed dying. He died in front of me and I don't think I can ever get over that. His body failing, his heart rate decreasing. I am just so sad for him. And for everyone who knew him, and everyone who didn't know him.

He was one of a kind, my husband Joe. One of a kind.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

6 Months Ago

six months ago
I was awakening
from a deep

I had a date
with someone I had

I had very
that night
but I went

who knew that
that someone
would turn into
that someone

who knew
that I
could experience

here's to six more months...


Monday, November 06, 2006

2 1/2 years later.....

Today is the two and a half year anniversary of Joe's death. I wasn't aware of the date all day, but strangely enough, almost cried twice at school today. I associated my vulnerability to my students, but driving home from group tonight, I was hit like a ton of bricks. He's been gone for two and a half years! And I'm in love with someone new. Life has continued moving forward even though he's not here to take part in it. Crazy.

Anyways, a long time ago I shared that Joe's doctor in ICU wrote an essay about being Joe's doctor. It has now officially been published in The Journal of Science and Medicine. I thought tonight was an appropriate time to share it.


Ghost Story Ian Jenkins, MD

On my first day as a nervous, third-year medical
student, a nurse offered to orient me to the pediatric
ICU. I expected a litany of facts to memorize.
Instead, she pointed at each room in turn and
described the tragedies they had hosted.

"Room one: a little girl just died of meningitis
[brain infection] there. Room two: that boyís liver
transplant failed and he had a massive stroke." The
father sat holding the jaundiced hand of his
unresponsive son, whose
stapled abdomen held back
tense ascites [fluid filling the abdomen]. "His wife
died of cancer two months ago. Now he has no one.
Room three: teen with cystic fibrosis; sheíll be ok.
Room four, I will never forget. A teenager died of
leukemia there and refused all painkillers. He
to be lucid for his family, and they huddled on his
bed and sang "Amazing
Grace® until he died. Most
beautiful thing I have seen."

I had thought, "Beautiful? How can you even come to

Five years later, I remembered that conversation as if
it had just happened. I was the senior resident in
the medical ICU, it was 3 AM, and I was gathering my
thoughts amid the whooshes, beeps, and flickering
monitors of the sleeping unit. I was preparing to go
tell Betsy that Joe, her 31 year-old husband, needed
prone ventilation. Joe lay dying, of all things, from
chickenpox. He was receiving twelve infusions,
including four
pressors [blood pressure medicines],
sedatives, antibiotics, acyclovir, full strength
bicarbonate [combats acid], his 26th amp [or ampule]
of calcium, and liter number-who-knows-what of saline.
He sprouted two IVs, two central lines, a foley
catheter, endotracheal and orogastric
tubes, an
arterial line, and an array of monitor leads. His
blood pressure
plummeted*from a systolic of
80*whenever we interrupted his bicarb drip to spike
[to start or hookup] a new bag, so we knew moving him
might kill him. Every nurse raced to finish tasks on
other patients, preparing to help.

Joe'­s admission began, like several earlier ones, with
a chief complaint of "Crohn's flare." This time,
however, he had a new rash, and while John's ward team
suspected medications were to blame, they soon started
acyclovir. In days, hepatitis, acute renal failure,
and pneumonia prompted his ICU transfer. He required
intubation hours later.
His course since had been
like watching a pedestrian struck by a truck in slow
motion: a sudden, jolting, irreversible cruelty*drawn
out over hours. Anasarca [the diffuse swelling] had
folded his blistering ears in half and forced us to
revise his endotracheal tube taping
three times so it
would not incise his cheeks. He had
hypotension [low blood pressure]. His transaminases
climbed above 6,000 and his creatinine to 6 [measures
of liver inflammation and kidney failure]; his
arterial pH dropped to 7.03 and his platelets fell to
16,000 [both commonly fall with infections]. His
partial pressure of oxygen sank below 60 mm Hg despite
paralysis, maximum PEEP and 100% oxygen [we were
unable to keep his oxygen at goal despite best
efforts]. Crossing that terrible threshold felt like
drifting below hull-crush depth in a submarine. I
waited for the walls and windows of the ICU to groan
with the strain as
disaster neared.

My intern followed me to the waiting room where Betsy
slept. She hadn't left the hospital in days. I knelt
beside her cot and woke her, and she supported her
pregnant abdomen her hand as she rolled to face me.
We smiled. Then she remembered where she

"Is something wrong?" she

"No, he's about the same. But the other things we
tried didn'­t help. We need to do what I mentioned
before*turn him over so he can use his lungs better."
She nodded. "We're very careful but he has so many IV
lines right now. If he loses one, he could get much
worse. So I wanted to make sure you spent some time
with him now, just in case."

Her eyes teared. "He could die?"

"Just a small chance. But possible."

"And if it works, he might get better?"

I paused. "He's very sick."

"There are other things you can do?"

"We have to really hope this works."

"This isn't supposed to happen. I don'­t know if I can
raise two children without Joe. I can't be a widow
at 29." I sensed I could have talked her*sleep
deprived and stunned*back into sleep, into a
conviction her nightmare would pass by morning.
Instead I squeezed her hand
and listened.

"We need to do this, ok? You'll have ten minutes to
talk. Remember how his blood pressure rose when they
cleaned him? He's still in there. I believe he can
hear you. So you tell him to keep fighting."

Betsy wiped her eyes and searched for her shoes. As
we walked briskly back to the unit, I composed myself
and told my intern, "I'll be 29 in 3 weeks."

"Me too. What day?"

"May 28th."

"Same as mine," he said.

It took 25 minutes to prone Joe with every nurse
assisting, but the maneuver went well. His
oxygenation improved, but his relentless decline
resumed within hours. Sometime the following
afternoon, I went home to sleep, and Joe's blood
pressure eventually dwindled to nothing, leaving only
sinus tachycardia on the monitor [the heart electrical
system working but no blood pressure] and the rhythmic
puffs of the ventilator.

Then, within two weeks,
resident team managed a series of unexpected
tragedies: we lost young mothers to acetaminophen
overdose and lung cancer, and cared for two young
adults with septic shock and a perimenopausal woman
for whom the cost of pneumonia was her first and
probably only pregnancy.

Five years before, when I first stepped into an ICU, I
imagined the residents held a dozen lives in their
hands and faced critical illness at all hours*alone.
By the time Joe died of disseminated varicella, I
realized the truth was far from that vision. Joe'­s
nurse had worked in the ICU as long as I'­d been alive
and expert respiratory therapists guided his
mechanical ventilation. I had co-residents and
consultants*even a rabbi when I guided a family
meeting on declaring "CPR not indicated." Our
institutionís overnight attending assisted me
throughout the night, and the primary attending drove
in at 2 AM to supervise nitric oxide
therapy. At no point did I ever
care for Joe alone.

Instead, the challenge lay in facing the winning
smiles of our patient Joe and his young son, waving
from a month-old photo taped by the head of his bed,
and a young wife refusing to leave her increasingly
unrecognizable husband as his body failed, despite her
conspicuous, 8 month pregnancy. And in the surprising
futility of all of our interventions. Perhaps most
of all, in the persistence of the sights and sounds
and smells of that night, and many others. I've seen
the ___expression a pathologist makes on learning his
daughter has anaplastic thyroid cancer [99% fatal
cancer, something a
pathologist knows best]. I've
heard the sound a daughter makes when her mother has a
ventricular free wall rupture [heart ruptures] while
welcoming us into her room. I've smelled a teenager
who burned to the bone while conscious yet pinned in
his car. I'­ve felt the crackle of subcutaneous
emphysema [air in the skin]after chest tubes for
malignant pleural effusions [fluid in lungs from
cancer], so severe the patient could not open his eyes
or close his hands. And the papery skin and tremulous
handshake of a man after my news of his wife'­s
prognosis promised the 64th year of their marriage
would be the last.

Far from alone, I spend much of my time in the company
of these ghosts, as must many health care workers.
How we make our peace with them is up to us. With
tears? Humor? Alcohol? Sometimes it is by numb
indifference; from most of the businesslike
discussions I'­ve heard physicians hold, you
might wonder if they even existed. Or, we can make our
peace with words. I am grateful for a chance to speak
with Betsy some days after Joe died to assure her that
while we did ask Joe to fight, in the end no effort
could have saved him. I am grateful she later wrote
us to celebrate the healthy birth of their second son,
Joshua.  She assured me Joe would live on for her in
their sons, and live on for them through her memories.
Her strength helped me welcome Joeís ghost, and many
others, into my life.

After five years of clinical medicine, I finally
understood the lesson I received from the pediatric
ICU nurse. Our ghost stories celebrate healing, or if
there was no healing, then release. At the very
least, great tragedy reminds us of the great meaning
of our calling.

(For Joe and Betsy B., and everyone at the Beth
Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, who helped
care for them them).

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Here's What You've All Been Waiting For...

T gave me permission to post his picture on my blog. Here he is with boys on Halloween:

And here he is with Josh:
Isn't he cute?


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Funeral City

I work in a school that seems to have a death related to it on a monthly basis. We have parents die so frequently that we have almost become numb to the news.

Last weekend, two seniors from the high school were killed in a car accident. One of them was the son of our school nurse.

Today was the funeral. It was the first funeral I had been to since Joe died.

And it was awful.

Kids are not supposed to die.

That's all.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Great Halloween

Chris, Mel, Denise, JRowe, and I have created quite the Halloween tradition over the past three years. Pizza, costumes, pictures, and trick-or-treating. Last night was the same as always, except for two noticable differences. JRowe, MK, and baby D weren't there (missed you guys), and T was there. Maybe it was the start of a new tradition for us all.

(Carving the pumpkin)

(the three oldest already jaded)
(The gang's all here. Except for D and Sammy, who refused to pose for pictures)


Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Days

Here are some pics of the past couple of days.
(I'm tempted to post some of T with the boys, but think that's not the best idea.)

I had a small Halloween party last night. Pictured are (from left) Mel, Mary, Mary, and Patrick
Here was our food
Here are Jacob and Mel's daughter, B, toasting each otherwith their milk.
Happy Halloween!


Sunday, October 29, 2006

My Weekend

I used to look
at couples
walking hand in hand

sitting in coffee shops
staring at each other's eyes
really talking
for hours

In a restaurant
eating a meal
side by side
completely lost in their partner

and I would feel an emotion
that can best be described as

I wanted that

This weekend
like the past
6 months of weekends

I had that

I am lucky


Saturday, October 28, 2006

I am at T's for the weekend. The kids are with my mom, as is the dog.

It's raining heavily so it's a perfect day to stay snuggled inside all day.

Except for two GIANT problems.

I am so ridiculously allergic to his cats I can barely breathe!!!!!!!


Aside from that, everything is lovely.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Some Highlights From My Reading
(I tried posting this last night, but blogger was down)

* Before Joe came through, My mother's mother came through. She died before I was born, and I was named after her. She had some interesting things to say regarding my family, and said that she had been my "guiding light" through my life. (she's done a shitty job, if you ask me!)

* He knew Joe was going to start his own business
* He could smell cigars and pipe smoke very strongly, and said that when I smell it in my house, it's Joe coming through
* He knew I was pregnant when Joe died, but assured me that he had met Joshua
* He knew that the boys have stars on their ceiling, and said that when the boys look at the stars at night, Joe is looking back at them
* Joe thanked me for the balloon (not sure if I posted the balloon story, will have to check)
* Joe was glad I had taken off my rings (I was wearing them at the reading, so he didn't get that from looking at my finger). He is happy I'm moving on
* Joe didn't want to talk about how he died. He said it was in the past, and it was time to stop discussing it
* Joe knew that I have been writing, and that others read my writing. He told me to keep it up
* He loves that the boys play his guitar
* He keeps messing with my tv
* He has the "Little Bean" with him. (Little Bean was what we called the baby that I miscarried)
* Joe showed him Foxwoods, or Vegas, and said, "Ca Ching, Ca Ching." (Of course it didn’t dawn on me to ask about the missing ticket from Vegas!)
* He liked listening to the harmonica that Jacob had just received the day before
* He told me that I am going to have a baby girl (That's the 4th medium to tell me so)

He was there. He really was there. And Bernie from widow group got about a 45minute reading from her husband.

It was a truly extraordinary night, and I only wish it didn't have to end. I literally could have stayed there all night listening to Joe.

I miss him tonight.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Great Reading

too tired to post about it now
but it was pretty amazing


Monday, October 23, 2006

Third Time's A Charm?

A year and a half ago Mel and I went to see John Holland, the medium, at a huge event (800 people) in Boston. I was amazed by the readings that I saw him give, and was devastated when I didn't get a reading from Joe.

I came home that night and went straight to his website. He no longer took private clients, but was taking small group readings for 8 people. I signed up on the waiting list, and waited.

Last November I went to see him at yet another giant event. Again no Joe. I was disappointed yet again. And still waiting for my name to move up on the waiting list.

Last week I got a phone call. There had been a cancellation for a reading tomorrow night. If I was interested, the spot was mine. If not, it could be up to another year wait.

So tomorrow I'm giving it one more try. I am guaranteed to get a reading, but it may not be from Joe. That would be too cruel. Please, everyone put out good vibes for me. I would love for Joe to come through to me. One last time....


Sunday, October 22, 2006

I Am Giddy

I'm in love
in love

(go ahead and puke now)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Conversation With Jacob

J: Mommy, I love you so much

b: I love you so much too

J: Why do you love me so much

b: Uhm...(thinking to self, why do I love him so much? I don't know, I just do) I love you b/c you are my son, and you are one of the most special people in the entire world. You make me laugh, and smile, and you make me so proud every day.

J: Oh. I love you because you give me candy.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I'm Psychic

If not psychic, than I at least have very strong intuition. I knew all day today that something was wrong with T. I began panicking this afternoon when I tried calling him and his phone was off. I got to the point where I emailed my therapist and asked her to call me.

Finally I saw T's name light up on my IM screen. I asked him if everything was ok, and he told me he got his official offer in the mail today. It wasn't good. No vacation days for an entire year, no benefits for 3 months, and a pay that's a few thousand less than he is presently getting.

As a result, he's not taking the job.

And as a result of that, he won't be moving in any time soon.


All in due time I suppose...


Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Last night I had a dream
as vivid as any dream
I've ever had

Joe was alive
we were together
and I was happy

I was so happy
to be in his arms again
to be kissed by him again

and he promised me
that he would
never leave us again

I believed him

We laid in bed
he held me so tightly
I can still feel the pressure
on my skin

When we awoke
he took out a cigarette
and started to smoke it

I had forgotten how much I hated
the fact that he smoked

I realized then
that I made
a huge mistake

I no longer wanted what I once had

and I said goodbye
once again
and then I cried


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Another Amazing Weekend

To write about everything we did would likely bore you, but it was just a really great weekend all around.

Some highlights:

1. We had the boys try on their Halloween costumes because they are both nervous about Halloween, and I'm not sure they will wear them on the actual date. As you can see, they have both decided to be pumpkins.
2. We are going to upstate NY to T's parent's house for Christmas. (Had I told you that yet?) I've explained to the boys that we are Jewish so that Santa Claus doesn't come to our house, but since T's family celebrates Christmas, Santa visits there. And as a result, Santa will bring them each a present. I asked them what they wanted. Josh wants a pumpkin, and Jacob wants a Kiddush cup. So funny!

3. T and I continued discussing him moving in. I didn't explain so clearly last time how that would work. He wouldn't technically be moving into my house, he'd be moving in to my in-law apartment that I rent out. It would be a nice transition for us both, as well as a place for all of his stuff to go (and his cats to go.) He would eat dinner with us at night, and sleep up here on weekends. But during the week, we would stay in our respective parts of the house. I realize this may sound strange, but it makes sense to us, and is far less scary to me than him moving all of his stuff in, and living up here full time.

Patrick is now here for our weekly Amazing Race viewing! Hope you all had a great weekend!


p.s. feel free to continue the name poll at the post below.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Please help my sister

She is struggling to come up with a name for her future daughter. She has asked me to post here for your suggestions. She's thinking of Leah, but is truly stuck.

What's your favorite girl's name?

btw, I was thinking that I really like the name Genevieve.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Happy Birthday Kristen!

I'm sorry I couldn't make it to your party. I have to say I was very proud of your husband for planning a surprise. You certainly deserved it.

I love you!


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Anyone still there?

I've been a crappy blogger as of late. It's mostly been due to the fact that I'm so ridiculously busy, I simply don't have the time to blog. But it's also been due to the fact that life is good right now, and I tend to blog less when I'm feeling good. But I miss you guys, and I miss writing each night. So I'm going to attempt to write on a daily basis again.

Things, as you may have guessed, have been amazing with T. He is becoming a member of our family, and it's scary and wonderful at the same time. He was offered a job yesterday in Cambridge, which would allow him to move here. (He is currently living/working in NH) It's looking like he may move in with us in January.

He continues to treat me amazingly well, and the boys have gotten attached to him as well. (hence the scary part) He just called me and told me that he's thinking of taking a half day on Halloween so he can be here for trick-or-treating. And that doesn't surprise me at all. He really enjoys being with us, and doing family activities. (Although he certainly enjoys our alone time too.)

We'll see where things go, but they're looking very promising right now.

How weird would it be to have another guy living in my house? I guess it may be time to take Joe's clothes out of the closets. But I still don't feel ready to. Maybe I'll make that my New Year's Resolution.

Thanks for reading.


Sunday, October 08, 2006


I am happy


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Ready For This One?

Here is the letter Joe received today from CHASE:

Dear Joseph s. B_____:

As your credit card comapny, it is important to us to provide you with timely information regarding your credit card account.

After careful consideration, we have elected not to renew your account. The principal reasons for our decision are as follows:

Consumer was reported as "deceased" at credit bureau

Consumer was reported as "deceased" at credit bureau

Consumer was reported as "deceased" at credit bureau

You can receive a free copy of your credit bureau report from this agency if you request it within 60 days of receiving this letter.

I love how they claim to be getting to him in a timely manner! WTF?

Thanks Dr. John!

For sending your readers this way. As always, they left kind, thoughtful comments. You really do spread joy!


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Great News!!!!!

My sister is going to have a baby girl!


Monday, October 02, 2006


Today is Yom Kippur, or the Day of atonement. Jews are supposed to fast all day, pray in temple, and think about mistakes you made during the past year. I chose instead to spend the day with my boys, eat chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, and pick pumpkins for Joe's grave. (To Whomever visited Joe's grave recently and left him a cigar, thank you. It meant a lot to see that someone who really knew him had recently visited.)

Anyways, since I didn't atone in temple, I thought I would do it here. Here are the regrets I have for this past year:

1. I should never have slept with NB! Ugh, I would redo that one if I could.
2. I regret the times I threatened to spank the boys because I was feeling frustrated. They didn't deserve to be spoken to that way.
3. I regret not being a better friend to my friends. I've been terrible at returning phone calls, and responding to emails.
4. I regret drugging the puppy when I wanted her to sleep.
5. I regret the times I ignored my kids so that I could spend time on the computer.
6. I regret not setting better boundaries for my kids.
7. I regret keeping my kids away from Joe's family for so long last year. That wasn't the right thing for me to do.
8. I regret not standing up for Mel in our infamous last day of school meeting.
9. I regret not sticking with any of my diets, or with running. (I really enjoyed the running)
10. I regret all the times I got worked up over a driver on the road. Road rage is not safe, nor is it worthy of my time.

I'm sure there's plenty more, but that's all I can come up with for right now. Anyone else want to atone?


Sunday, October 01, 2006

Random Events From The Weekend

  • Went to a nice fair yesterday. Jacob was scared the whole time we were there, but Josh enjoyed it. Josh got a helium balloon, but Jacob was too scared to take one. On our walk home Jacob took the balloon from Josh and released it in the air. Josh started crying, and Jacob told him that he gave the balloon to daddy. Josh spent the rest of the weekend saying that daddy took his balloon, and he wants it back.
  • T and I had a kid free day today. Went to Starbucks this morning. Read the whole paper, and had great conversation. Went shopping at the mall, then out for lunch. Saw a horrible movie called, "The Science of Sleep." It's a foreign film that had amazing cinematography (sp?) but was too crazy of a story for either of us.
  • I may have gotten food poisoning at lunch b/c my stomach has been a mess since. I even used the bathroom at the movies, which I will only do in major emergencies b/c I have a huge phobia of going to the bathroom in public places. I won't even go at work.
  • I loved every minute I spent with T. The boys have really grown to like him too. Josh cried when he left this afternoon. He will make an amazing father someday. (If not to my kids, then to his own.)
  • My babysitter is wonderful. The boys love her, and while they napped today she cleaned the house. It was great to come home to a clean house. She even organized the playroom which was the messiest it had ever been.
  • I got to see jrowe, and baby Dylan. Made me realize how much I miss having them here.
  • This was a very good weekend indeed. (except for my stomach!)

Friday, September 29, 2006

Have I Told You What My Sons Want To Be For Halloween?

Fairies. Both of them want to be pink fairies with pink wands.
To top it off, Jacob announced tonight that his new nickname is fairy.

Good god.

Sorry Joe :O)


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Why Being A Widow Sucks
(Reason # 277)

I miss my husband
I miss my boyfriend
How can I miss them both at the same time?

I want my husband
I want my boyfriend
How can I want them both at the same time?

I dream about my husband
and I cry

I dream about my boyfriend
and I smile

Some days I wish I could join my husband
Some days I get so excited thinking about a possible future with my boyfriend

I miss my old life
I like my new life

I love two men
and only one is still living

I wonder if this ever gets easier


Monday, September 25, 2006

80's TV

My blog buddy, Nick has requested that all of his readers write a post about 80's tv this week. But first I feel the need to tell you a little bit about Nick. Nick's blog was one of the first blogs that I came across, and was the first one that I ever bookmarked. Nick and I have very little in common. For starters, he's a Bush supporting republican. He's a little bit crass, and I rarely agree with his views of the world. Yet despite all of these differences, I really like him and his wife. He makes me laugh a lot, and has been known to leave me very sweet, supportive comments. He and his wife are expecting their first baby very soon, and I have no doubt that they will be excellent parents. Oh, and he has great taste in music.

Now onto the original topic, 80's tv. Was there ever a better time for tv? I think not. There was definitely never a better time for theme songs.

My favorite television shows fell on Thursday and Saturday nights.

Thursday nights consisted of The Cosby Show, and Family Ties. Saturday night consisted of Different Strokes, Silver Spoons, The Facts of Life, and The Love Boat. I also love Who's the Boss and Growing Pains. I could sing you all of the theme songs from the above shows, but I'll spare you my singing.

I had huge crushes on both Ricky Schroeder, and Kirk Cameron. On Facts of Life, I envied Jo's casual triple ponytail, and Blair's money. I wanted to work in the store in the back of the school.

Am I forgetting any shows? What were your favorites?


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Quick Update

I love T
Had an amazing weekend with him
He revived me from my state of crankiness
and he left me little love notes around the house

more later


Friday, September 22, 2006

Ready for this one?

One of my third graders was just suspended.

That pretty much sums up my class.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Cute Story From My Class

We were doing an activity called, "Numbers all around us." It involved writing various numbers that had some meaning to us, and then drawing pictures showing what the numbers represented. I modeled the lesson by writing various numbers on the board, and asking my students to guess what the numbers represented.

One of the numbers was 9 (my shoe size). A child raised his hand, got called on, and guessed, with a serious voice, that the number nine represented the age of my GRANDCHILD!

What's worse is none of my students thought that was a crazy guess! I know I don't look 20 anymore, but come on!


Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Someday I'll have a life again
Someday I will smile again
Someday I will breathe again

but for now
life is completely, utterly, hopelessly

Someday I will blog again
please keep checking in


Sunday, September 17, 2006

Apple Picking

Years ago, I wrote a poem about Joe's lack of interest in apple picking. It went something like this:

You say that we will go apple picking this year
You always say that we'll go apple picking
We never actually go apple picking
Why would I pay all that money to put apples in a bag myself? You ask
Next year, I will go apple picking without you

Today was our third annual apple picking outing. Mel, Chris, Denise, all the kids, and myself took the usual two cars, and followed each other out into apple country. (Very close to where Leslie lives, btw.)

I'm sure Joe was as entertained as ever as we made our usual slew of funny mistakes.

Thanks ladies, for yet another fun adventure with apples, kids, and friends.

Isn't it a pretty orchard?
Melanie climbed a tree
The boys picked tons of apples

We tried to get a group picture, but no one would cooperate!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Sorry For The Lack of Posts

and for not returning phone calls/emails.

Life is hard right now. No, not with T. Everything is fine there.

But everything else is hard.

School is the hardest it's ever been for me. My class is by far, the most challenging class in my ten years of teaching. By the time I leave school I am literally exhausted to the core. My every bone aches.

But I'm not done. I have had a meeting every day after school this week, and tomorrow I have my graduate class from 7-10.

The boys are equally exhausted when I pick them up, and we bicker like crazy until their bedtime. I have not been proud of my parenting skills this past week at all. But I am so completely done by the time I get home, that I just can't handle doing everything that needs to be done.

And I resent doing this alone. I really hate being a single parent. It just sucks beyond words. No one is here to help me with anything. Nothing is done if I don't do it, and I just am so sick and tired of doing it!

Sorry for the vent. I'm sitting here crying and feeling sorry for myself. Like that's gonna help anything.

This year is going to be a tough one...


Sunday, September 10, 2006

From Joe's Unveiling Service
read by my sister

You can shed tears that he is gone
Or you can smile because he has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray he will come back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him,
Or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember him and only that he’s gone,
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back,
Or you can do what he’d want,
-author unknown

Easier said than done.


Friday, September 08, 2006

Some Messages

To Jacob: Please stop crying when I drop you off at school. It is breaking my heart. Especially when you ask, in that tiny voice you have, for just one more hug and kiss. Please try to enjoy school. Make a friend...just one friend is all you need. Know that I am proud of you beyond any words I could tell you.

To Joshua: Why are you so angry with me? Do you think that Jacob and I are off spending our days together? We're not excluding you, I promise. Please look happy to see me when I pick you up at the end of the day. Don't scream when I pick you up. I know that you dislike being away from Jacob all day, but soon you will grow to love your independence. Know that I am proud of you beyond any words I could tell you.

To Brooklyn: Why do you like the taste of poopie diapers so much? It's a disgusting habit that needs to stop. You are cute, but your cuteness can only get you so far in life. I am not feeling so proud of you these days.

To my class: Could we please have 5 minutes of no talking in our room? Could we have 5 minutes of no fighting? How about 5 minutes of no fidgeting? No? How about 2 minutes of any of the above? No? 30 seconds? You'll think about it? Thanks.

To Joe: Do you know how many times I had to fight the urge to call and tell you about the globe article? Still, after all this time, I fight that urge. Man I miss you right now.

To T: Please stick with me. I'm far more scared of losing you more than I'm scared of keeping you.

To my readers: I love all of you. Well not all of you, but most of you :O)


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Holy Crap!

We made it to the front page of the Boston Globe!


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

1st Day of School

We got through it. It was a long, tiring day, but the 1st day of school is always long and tiring. I can't wait until we get into a routine! Until then the kids are basically learning about the classroom, and each other. My class is interesting. That can be good or bad. We'll see which one this is :O)

Jacob seemed to have a pretty good day at school. His teacher said he teared up a few times, but never actually cried. He was very excited to tell me about all that he did today, and it was all very positive. But just now, as I put him to bed (yes, he went to sleep at 6:30) he told me he didn't want to go back tomorrow. He started crying and told me that he missed me too much. Broke my heart. However, he's going to a wonderful preschool, and he'll grow to love it. At least, that's what I keep telling myself!

As an aside, Mel and I will be in The Boston Globe tomorrow. We may even be on the front page! We both started blogs at school last year for parents to read about what's going on each day. A reporter found it and interviewed us. Yesterday and today a photographer came and snapped up lots of pictures. Hopefully we'll come off as somewhat intelligent people!

And I miss T. A lot. Which I think is a very good thing indeed.


p.s. Thanks to all of you who stopped by via Dr. John!
Today is the first day of school for both Jacob and myself!

Wish us luck! We're both gonna need it.


p.s. happy Kel?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Life Can Be Sweet(My famous peanut butter hersey kiss cookies. Recipe to follow)

I went to the wedding of the son of a member of widow group last night. I had only briefly met S's son once, and had never met his bride before. The one word that I would use to sum up what I saw when I looked at this young couple is passionate. They were clearly passionately in love. I'm not sure I've ever seen a couple look so in love, so passionate about one another.

I want to be passionately in love. I'm not sure it's possible anymore. After feeling that way once, and losing that person I felt so passionate about, I'm not sure if my heart will allow me to feel that way again.

I think that I'm in love with Tim. And he says that he's in love with me. But the passion doesn't always feel that strong to me. Does that make sense? Is that a reason to end things? Or is this the best I can do? And I don't mean that in a negative way towards Tim. I think he's amazing. What I mean is, is there someone out there that I would feel more passionate about?

It's scary, this dating thing. And with kids, the stakes are high. I don't want to screw up. I don't want to make the wrong choice. I don't want to choose someone solely because they want me. And I'm not sure how to tell if that's what I'm doing.

One of the things I like most about my relationship with Tim is our ability to communicate. Last night he insisted that I share with him what was bothering me. I hemmed and hawed for a while, but finally I admitted the truth. I was worried that there wasn't enough passion. We discussed it for a while, and made a plan to try to change things. He never once got defensive, even when I said some pretty personal things about him. We'll see how it goes.

I do believe he's worth working on things for. He cares for me deeply, and he's great with my kids. He's smart, funny, and nice. He has a huge heart. I feel safe and relaxed with him. But I want to feel shivers go through my spine when I look at him. That couple last night clearly had those shivers. You could see them from across the room.

Time will tell I guess.

Thanks for your support as always. Hope this post made sense. I would appreciate any feedback you can give. Clearly I'm a bit confused.


p.s. last night while Tim was babysitting, Josh told him he needed to use the potty. Tim took him upstairs and Josh pooped on the potty! That's a first for either of my kids.

Chocolate Kiss Peanut Butter Cookies
(we made these together yesterday and had a blast)

2 2/3 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 C. butter
2/3 C. creamy peanut butter
1 C. sugar
1 C. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
sugar for rolling cookies
45 chocolate kisses
Sift flour w/ baking soda and salt. In large bowl, beat butter and peanut butter until smooth. Add sugars. Beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour mixture. Scoop spoonfuls of dough into balls. Roll in sugar. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Use fork to press down. Bake in preheated 375 oven for 8 minutes. Remove from oven, pit 2-3 kisses on each cookie. Bake for additional minute, and remove from oven. Trust me here, even if they don't look done, they are. Enjoy with milk. Life can be sweet.