Friday, March 31, 2006

10 Things you may or may not know about Melanie

  1. She is an amazing singer. She used to be in a band, and she sings along to everything. I mean everything.
  2. She tries really hard to be a good cook. She has even been testing out new recipes lately with ingredients she's never heard of.
  3. She is an amazing mother. She would do anything for her girls, even if it means making big sacrifices for herself.
  4. She is the hardest working teacher I know. She spends hours every night looking over her students' work. She knows her students inside and out, and tries everything in her power to reach each and every one.
  5. She has horrible taste in movies. We never like the same movies, so it must be her taste that's bad :O)
  6. She never goes clothes shopping, yet she will go through an entire school year without repeating an outfit. (how is that possible?)
  7. She loves country music. (everyone has their faults)
  8. She's funny. We spend an awful lot of our time together laughing.
  9. She is the most loyal, non-judgmental friend a person can have. She will drop her plans in a heartbeat to help a friend in need. She will always be there to listen to you scream or cry. She will always put you before herself. (she needs to do this less)
  10. Her birthday is tomorrow.
Happy Birthday, Mel!!!!!! I am so lucky to have you in my life.


Thursday, March 30, 2006

How Easily We Forget

You know how you forget how horrible childbirth is soon after you've had a baby? Otherwise no one would have more than one child. Not only do you forget about childbirth, but you also forget how horrible the third trimester of pregnancy is.

Well I've discovered that I have forgotten about the horrible stages toddlers go through. Even though Jacob is just one year older than Josh, every time Josh enters a new phase I think to myself, "I forgot about that phase." Hopefully that means that each phase passes really quickly, and that's why I forget.

Current phase? The I want to do everything myself phase. That includes diaper myself, pour my own milk, put my shoes on, and strap myself into my car seat. All without any assistance from mom. And if mom tries to help? Well the whole neighborhood will know because I will scream at the very top of my lungs one word, "NO!"

How in the world did I forget this phase? And when does it end?

Luckily, he's so darn cute I can't stay mad for long.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

High Stakes Tests

Here in MA, like most states in the US, students now have to take high stakes standardized tests. It started out in the high school level, then moved down to middle school, and finally to the elementary level.

My school has not done so well on this test for a lot of reasons, one of which is we haven't been teaching to the test. But this year the pressure was on from administrators and parents for our school to improve its scores.

This being my first year teaching 3rd grade, and my second year with the same class, I feel an incredible amount of pressure for my students to perform well. So I have been preparing them all year for this test. Have I been teaching to the test? Unfortunately, yes. There was no way around it. So we have spent, on average, 45 minutes a day doing test prep.

What else could we have been doing in those 45 minutes? Science, for one. I have almost completely neglected science this year, because it's just too hard to fit in. What else? Reading more books for pleasure in reading groups. No time this year.

Instead, I have 8 and 9 year olds feeling more stressed out over this test than I was taking the SATs. That's what upsets me the most about this test. These kids are way too young to be feeling stressed out at school.

Today they took a practice test. And it was hard. And they aced it! So I guess there is something to teaching to the test. My students are ready to kick butt on this stupid test next week. They will do well, and I will be proud of them. But when I think of all the things we could have been doing this year, and when I think about how anxious they all are, I just have to wonder why we are making these little kids take such a big test?


Monday, March 27, 2006

Bruce Lyrics

This song was a really special one to us. I played it at Joe's funeral:


We said we'd walk together baby come what may
That come the twilight should we lose our way
If as we're walkin a hand should slip free
I'll wait for you
And should I fall behind
Wait for me

We swore we'd travel darlin' side by side
We'd help each other stay in stride
But each lover's steps fall so differently
But I'll wait for you
And if I should fall behind
Wait for me

Now everyone dreams of a love lasting and true
But you and I know what this world can do
So let's make our steps clear that the other may see
And I'll wait for you
If I should fall behind
Wait for me

Now there's a beautiful river in the valley ahead
There 'neath the oak's bough soon we will be wed
Should we lose each other in the shadow of the evening trees
I'll wait for you
And should I fall behind
Wait for me
Darlin' I'll wait for you
Should I fall behind
Wait for me

This is the song Joe used to sing to Jacob every night. I have continued this ritual, and now both boys know all the words:


Pony boy pony boy
Won't you be my pony boy
Giddy-up giddy-up giddy-up whoa
My pony boy

Ride with me ride with me
Won't you take a ride with me
Underneath the starry sky
My pony boy

O'er the hills and through the trees
We'll go ridin' you and me
Giddy-up giddy-up giddy-away
My pony boy

Down into the valley deep
'Neath the eaves we will sleep
Sky of dreams up above
My pony boy

And this is the one that I still listen to all the time and cry to. Because the lyrics ring so true:


Shirts in the closet, shoes in the hall
Mama's in the kitchen, baby and all
Everything is everything
Everything is everything
But you're missing

Coffee cups on the counter, jackets on the chair
Papers on the doorstep, but you're not there
Everything is everything
Everything is everything
But you're missing

Pictures on the nightstand, TV's on in the den
Your house is waiting, your house is waiting
For you to walk in, for you to walk in
But you're missing, you're missing You're missing when I shut out the lights
You're missing, when I close my eyes
You're missing, when I see the sun rise
You're missing

Children are asking if it's alright
Will you be in our arms tonight?

Morning is morning, the evening falls I got
Too much room in my bed, too many phone calls
How's everything, everything?
Everything, everything
You're missing, you're missing

God's drifting in heaven, devil's in the mailbox
I got dust on my shoes, nothing but teardrops


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Good Things To Share

1. Had a really great weekend with the boys. Yesterday we left the house at 8:30 am, and didn't return until 5:30 pm. We went to 2 different friends' houses, as well as 1 birthday party. The boys were really well behaved and cute all day.

Today we went on a nice walk in the morning, but then just hung out all day. And while normally I can't stand hanging out all day with them, today was really fun and relaxing. All three of us too a 3 hour nap. There was no fighting all day, and it was just really pleasant being around them.

Jacob, being the creature of habit that he is, demanded bed at 5:50 even though he took such a long nap. Josh wasn't yet ready, so he sat on the couch and watched me work out to my new workout dvd. He was so cute because he would do the movements from the couch. And he kept yelling, "exercise."

2. I found a preschool that I love for Jacob. I know that he will do really well there, so now I just need to get financial aid. My friend helped me fill out the forms today. I will drop off the application tomorrow, and cross my fingers for the best.

3. I love my new business venture. It's really fun, keeping me busier than I could imagine, and earning me extra income. Everything I had hoped for.

So all is well in this household. Hope everyone else had a great weekend as well.


Saturday, March 25, 2006

Counting Days

I just got back from a nice dinner with a new friend that I made through the widow board. She was telling me how she still counts the months since her husband died 15 months ago. And it made me realize that I stopped doing that.

I took Joe to the ER on May 1, 2004. He died on May 6, 2004. For at least one year after his death, every month from the 1st to the 6th was torture for me. I wasn't even always aware of the date, but would realize that I was in a terrible funk, would check the calendar, and sure enough it would be the first of the month. Each day leading to the 6th would get progressively worse for me. By the 6th I would be barely functioning.

And then on the 7th, I would be fine. Or as fine as was possible. It would often feel like a weight was lifted off of me that had been pushing me down for days.

The week leading up to the one year anniversary was the worst one of all. I spent most of my days crying hysterically, pleading with Joe to come home. I remember one day walking into my classroom, opening my mouth to say, "good morning," and instead burst out in tears. I then spent the whole morning sobbing in my principal's office. Melanie tells me that I was asking her to let me call Joe's cell phone, but she wouldn't let me. I honestly don't even remember doing that, but do remember being almost as distraught as when he died.

But then a strange thing happened. I stopped noticing the date. The 6th no longer became a day that I dreaded. It no longer marked ___ number of months for me. It just became another day. I have no idea when that happened, but I imagine it was shortly after the 1 year mark.

Having that discussion tonight made me realize just how far I've come. I am so thankful that I don't have that same traumatic experience every month anymore. I'm glad for me, for my kids, and for Joe. I have no doubt that he hated watching me those first 6 days of every month.

And I have no doubt that he is now very proud of all that I'm doing. That I'm moving on. I'm no longer counting every day as another day without him, but as another day for me and our children.


Friday, March 24, 2006

Crap TV

One of Joe's favorite things to tease me about was my taste in television shows. He would often walk into the living room, peer at the tv, and then slowly say, "c-e-r-a-p." I would giggle and say, "I know, and I love it." He would often watch it with me, making fun of it/me the whole time.

And I will admit that I do love crap tv. The more mindless, the better. It's a nice reality break for me to watch someone else's trainwreck of a life.

Here's a list of what's currently on my to do list on TIVO:

* stands for quality
** stands for crap
*** stands for I'm embarrassed to admit that I watch/love this show

Big Love*
Trading Spouses Meet Your New Mommy***
Beverly Hills 90210**
Real world/Road Rules challenge**
Cheerleader Nation**(My new favorite show)
The Real World**
Wife Swap***
The Apprentice**
My Super Sweet 16**
American Idol**
The Amazing Race* (Joe liked this one too)
Real Housewives of the OC** (My other new favorite)
8th & Ocean***

That's it. Go ahead, tell me it's all crap. I can take it :O)


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Picture This

It's the end of the school day. Kids are packing up to go. I witness M smack R on the butt. It wasn't a hard smack, but a smack nonetheless.

So I call M over in my mean teacher voice (gotta love the mean teacher voice).

me: What made you smack R?

M: khvfdefgierglig (Really. couldn't understand a syllable)

me: excuse me?

M: His butt cheek was annoying me

I kid you not. This was his excuse. I have never, in my 9 years of teaching, heard such an excuse before.

I ended up laughing.

Bad teacher.

Tomorrow I'll fill out an incident report. Today I'll keep laughing.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Sopranos
(Warning: If you watch, but missed this week's episode, stop reading)
Also, this may be upsetting for my widow friends. Proceed with caution

Sunday night's episode was incredible, but particularly painful for me to watch. Tony was in the ICU, and his family was standing by, looking miserably exhausted, talking to him. Looking at Tony hooked up to all the machines made me flashback to Joe.

If you could have seen him in ICU.... If you saw the episode, you have a bit of the image. But Joe's was worse. I could not have imagined more machines hooked up to one person. It took me so long to get those images of Joe out of my head, to remember how he really looked. But this episode brought them back full force.

I have cut and pasted a tiny bit of the essay Joe's doctor wrote. This is what Joe looked like:

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 chicken pox. 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.

His course 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 unremitting 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.

I realize this was in doctor language, but I think even if you don't understand it, you can imagine all the tubes stuck in him. What you can't imagine is the swelling. By the time Joe died (the day after this description) he weighed about 60 pounds more than he had a few days prior. He was truly unrecognizable.

And his chest would rise and fall dramatically, just as Tony's did. Even after he died, I told the doctors they were wrong, he wasn't dead, because his chest continued to rise and fall, a sure sign of breathing. But then they unplugged the machines that were giving me the false impression. His chest stopped rising. He was dead. There was no denying it.

This post was rather rambling. Sorry. Just where I'm at.

Gotta love The Sopranos.


Monday, March 20, 2006

So This is Why I became a Teacher :O)

I think most teachers go into teaching to make a difference in the lives of children. We hope that we can reach a few seemingly unreachable kids, and help them become kids who love school, and want to, as a result, become life-long learners.

Today I received an essay written by a student that I taught 6 years ago. He is now applying to private high schools, and had to write an essay with the application. Here was the essay question:

"Learning experiences come in many different forms. Describe an experience that has had a profound effect on you and what the experience taught you."

and here is his answer:

An experience that has had a profound effect on me was my experience in elementary school with a special teacher. Mrs. B, my teacher always encouraged me and helped me to reach my full potential. She knew that I was capable of excelling academically. She also knew I was a bit shy and not a risk taker. She placed me in a challenge spelling and challenge math group where only a few other students were placed. She pushed me to do well and because of her I became a risk taker in her class.

I continued to keep in touch with Mrs. B since my sister still attended the school. Mrs. B's son had just turned 10 months old, and she was expecting another son in two months, when her 31 year old husband unexpectedly died, leaving Mrs. B alone with her son, and another one on the way.

Since Mrs. B had a profound effect on me during my school year with her, I knew I had to give something back to her during this difficult time in her life. I bought her a US savings bond, out of money I had received for my bar mitzvah. I know that it was only a small token of appreciation of everything she had done for me, but for me this was important.

From this experience I have learned that if someone shows just a little interest in you it goes a long way, and will last a lifetime. Throughout my nine years in school I have realized that not everybody reaches out to help, and when someone does you should seize it and build on it.

I have learned it only takes one person to make a big difference in someone's life.

How cool is that? Of course I cried when I got it :O)


Saturday, March 18, 2006

My Moods

A few days ago I wrote a poem about feeling happy. Many of the comments that were left made me realize that most of you are under the impression that I'm rarely happy. And looking back at my posts (including the one I wrote tonight), I can understand why you're under that impression.

But it's not the truth. I'm actually very often happy. I smile a lot. I laugh through most of each day. I crack a lot of bad jokes. I enjoy time with my friends. I have fun with my boys.

But at night, when it's time to write, I am alone. And that's when I miss Joe the most. I miss watching tv with him. I miss making dinner for him. I miss eating with him. I miss having sex with him. I miss snuggling with him. I miss making him laugh. I miss laughing at his stupid jokes. I miss talking about my day with him. I miss him making fun of me. I miss him, and I hate being alone.

And that's what shows up in my posts.

But really, most of the time, most of the day, most of the week, I am happy.


The first day of spring is Monday
I used to love spring
Everything blooming
life beginning

Two years ago that changed
The countdown will soon begin
I wish I could skip right to summer


Friday, March 17, 2006

Raising My Boys With Religion

Tonight, M from widow group hosted RAD, myself, and our kids for a shabbat (sabbath) dinner. We sang songs, said prayers, and shared a delicious meal. It was so cool to me to look down at my boys as they covered their eyes during the lighting of the candles, and to listen to Jacob as he tried to sing along to the songs that were in a foreign language.

I felt like I was giving them both a gift; teaching them a bit about their heritage, and sharing with them my favorite ritual from childhood. Before we sat down, M asked me if I had any favorite songs. I named one that my family sang every Friday night for my entire childhood. I haven't sung it in at least 15 years, but as soon as M started singing, the words came to me like it was just yesterday. And then Jacob joined in, and I got tears in my eyes picturing his children one day singing the same words.

To me religion is less about God, and different beliefs, and more about traditions. Creating traditions, and passing old traditions down.

Tonight I passed down a tradition, as well as started a new one. Tonight I gave my boys the best gift I could give them.

Thanks M, for offering this gift to me.


Thursday, March 16, 2006


To my friend: We will get through this. We will be fine. I love you.

"True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it be lost."
- Charles Caleb Colton

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
- Anais Nin

"My friends are my estate."
- Emily Dickinson

"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out."

"A friend is one who walks in when others walk out"
-Walter Winchell

"A friend is someone who is there for you when he'd rather be anywhere else."
- Len Wein

"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words."

"A friend is one who believes in you when you have ceased to believe in yourself."

"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow.
Don't walk behind me, I may not lead.
Walk beside me and be my friend."
- Albert Camus (also attributed to Maimonidies).

"A hug is worth a thousand words. A friend is worth more."

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I am happy

In this moment
In this skin
In this house

I am happy

On this day
After last night
On this couch

I am happy

With these children
In these arms
In this life

I am happy

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

This May Seem Unbelievable
(but it's a true story)

Two Saturday nights ago, my household got a visit from Joe. I was awakened at 3 AM because I heard Jacob speaking loudly in his crib. He was clearly having a conversation with someone, and the conversation was so clear, I felt the need to investigate.

I went into his room, and watched him, still sleeping, talk to Joe. He was talking about building a sand castle with him, and answering all sorts of questions. He kept referring to "daddy." It freaked me outs so much, that I actually woke Jacob up, by gently rubbing his back. He stopped talking, and I went back into my room.

Within minutes of getting into bed, my visit came through. I can only describe it as a windstorm around me. The force of the wind was unbelievably strong. And with the wind came Joe's voice. We had an entire back a conversation. And he left me feeling slightly freaked out, but mostly peaceful.

I shared this story with very few people, b/c I know how crazy it sounds. If it didn't happen to me, I doubt I would believe it.

But last night at widow group, I shared the story with those who hadn't been present last week. And as I was sharing it, Linda, who had been there last week, interrupted and said she was wondering from reading my blog, if that's why Jacob is suddenly scared of the wind. And that question literally took my breath away. I don't know why that thought had never crossed my mind.

If you have seen Jacob in the past couple of weeks, you know that he has a true fear of the wind. And I've really been at a loss as to why. But if he experienced the same wind effect that I did, it would make complete sense to me.

So that's my story. Do with it as you please.


Monday, March 13, 2006

Joe's Dating Tips

Some of you may recall from an earlier post, that Joe had important rules that he thought women should follow when looking for a suitable guy to date. For those of you who are too lazy to look back at the earlier post, I will recap those rules here:

1. He cannot live at home with his parents

2. He must like porn (this doesn't mean he needs to have a collection, or even a subscription, but he can't be offended by it.)

3. His car shouldn't be too nice (b/c that means he's putting his money to his car, but not toward more important things.)

4. He must drink alcohol (Not that he should be an alcoholic, but if he never drinks, he's most likely a recovering alcoholic which means he could fall off the wagon.)

These rules were given to jrowe one night after quite a bit to drink. But I can't help but think that these rules were really intended to help me in the future.

I don't know if any of you are familiar with eharmony, but it's a dating site that makes you go through many "getting to know you" steps, before you can actually chat with someone.

The first stage is answering 5 multiple choice questions. The second stage is reading the other person's must haves/can't stand list. And the third stage is answering 3 essay questions.

If at any time you don't care for the match's response, you can close the match.

I have always found the must haves/can't stands to be silly. You choose 10 of each from a list of about 60 choices. Usually everyone picks the same ones. "I can't stand when someone cheats on me." Well, who likes that? See what I mean? Doesn't really tell you much about a person.

Well, today I closed a match based on his must haves/can't stands. I've only done that one other time. But I swear this was a message straight from Joe that this match was not for me.

His can't stand?

I can't stand someone who views or owns pornography in any form.



p.s. I do not own any pornography, but will admit to wishing I did at times :O)

Sunday, March 12, 2006


n 1: a feeling of dissatisfaction that results when your expectations are not realized

Four years ago Joe and I began trying to get pregnant. I'll never forget how sex became different when the purpose was to procreate versus just to feel good. It became different for the better in my opinion. I felt a connection to Joe that I had never felt before.

On May 6, 2002, I woke up, took a pregnancy test, and saw the 2 solid lines. I was the happiest I had ever been. I wrote a journal entry that day:

I am pregnant
I found out this morning
I can't believe it
I am carrying a baby
Please let this go well

10 weeks later, I miscarried. At the time, this was the greatest loss I had experienced, and I was devastated. I remember calling my sister on the phone, sobbing, and saying, "I lost the baby." I also remember her words as if it were yesterday. "This is just so disappointing."

That summed it up perfectly. My dreams, my hopes, my future, was not panning out the way I had planned.

Fast forward one year. Jacob was born, healthy and perfect. Life was good again.

Fast forward one year. May 6, 2004 (2 years from the day I found out I was pregnant the first time.) Joe died.

I have used many words to describe how I have felt the past two years, but it wasn't until yesterday, when I was with Slacker Mom, that the word disappointment came up again.

We were sitting by the kitchen, talking about how unexpectedly Joe died. SM said, "You must be so disappointed."

And it struck me as the perfect word to sum up how I feel. More than sad, or angry, or depressed. Disappointed. Certainly I feel disappointed for me, but even more so for Joe and the boys. How much they would have enjoyed one another's company. How much the boys will miss out on by not knowing Joe. And, how much Joe missed out on by not getting to watch his boys grow up.


n 1: a feeling of dissatisfaction that results when your expectations are not realized

Who knew one word could sum up an emotion so perfectly?


Saturday, March 11, 2006

Blind Date
(sorry SM, stole your heading)

Today I had a blind date with Slacker Mom. We have been reading/commenting on each other's blogs since we began them in November. Both of our blogs are so open emotionally, that I think I can speak for both of us in saying that we felt like we knew each other pretty well, even though we had never spoken on the phone, or met in person.

But still, it was nerve racking driving to her house, located one state north of mine. What if we had nothing to say in person? What if we just didn't click? What if our kids didn't get along? What will she think of me? What if there's a reason blogs are supposed to stay relatively anonymous?

As soon as I got to her (beautiful) house, I was welcomed with a huge hug. And it was just as I had hoped. We really did know each other. Although, it was funny that I had no idea what her kids' names were!

Despite Jacob being a bit difficult (what do you do about a kid who's scared of the wind? Seriously, I'll take any/all suggestions) we managed to have a really nice time together. She was so warm and welcoming in person, just as she appears to be on her blog. And her kids are adorable!

She made us a delicious lunch, and was an excellent hostess all around.

It was so cool to meet her in person, and to know that she was exactly how I perceived her to be: kind, funny, easy going, and pretty :O)

Slacker Mom is not the first person that I've met through the internet. Between online dating, and the widow board, I have met many people. Some have not turned out to be the way I expected them to be. But for the most part, the internet has introduced to me to some really amazing people; some of whom I now consider to be amongst my closest friends.

I am hopeful that today's meeting was just the beginning of such a friendship.

Thanks again, SM!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Busy Day

Am too tired to write much now, but will a give a brief overview of my day.

6:00 am- woke up, showered, got boys up, changed, fed.

7:15 am- left house, dropped boys at daycare, went to work.

8:00 am- Coffee (breakfast) for parents of my students. Socialized with them until 8:45, at which time I kicked them out and started the day.

2:35- students left

4:00- I left, and went to baby shower of co-worker

6:00 pm- left baby shower, picked up boys, put them to bed (they ate dinner at daycare)

8:00 pm- got picked up by Mel. Went with her and 3 others to MK's benefit concert at Copperfield's.

11:30 pm- left Copperfield's and went to IHOP (yes, I ate pancakes at midnight! How many points is that?)

1:00 am- sitting here typing, still slightly buzzed.

Now must go to sleep. I have a hot date with Slacker Mom tomorrow! Hopefully there will be no lingering side effects from tonight!

he comes to me in my dreams
I can see him from afar
I reach out to touch him
he slips away just out of reach

this is how it's meant to be?

my body aching with pain
wanting to feel him near
needing to hear his voice
begging him to stay

this is how it's meant to be

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Acceptance means that you can find the serenity within,
to let go of the past,
with its mistakes and regrets,
move into the future with a new perspective,
and appreciate the opportunity to take a second chance.

Acceptance means you'll find security again
when difficult times come into your life,
and comfort to relieve any pain.
You'll find new dreams, fresh hopes and forgiveness of the heart.

Acceptance does not mean that you will always be perfect.
It simply means that you'll always overcome imperfection.

Acceptance is the road to peace-
letting go of the worst,
holding onto the best,
and finding the hope inside that continues throughout life.

Acceptance is the heart's best defense,
love's greatest asset,
and the easiest way to keep believing in yourself and others.

- Regina Hill
Panic Attack

Tonight I had a panic attack. This is not the first one that I have had. What, you may be wondering, could cause such an otherwise calm and collected woman to have a panic attack?

My internet wasn't working! I could not get online. I could not check my email. I could not check my blogs. I could not check my new business.

Oh the horrors!

Luckily, after some fiddling around with the equiptment, I am back online.

*deep sigh of relief.*

I can put away the valium....

......for now.


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I know this is cheesy, but....

As I was driving in my car this afternoon, a Don Henley song came on the radio. The song is about a breakup, but I felt so connected to the words, that I started to cry. (I know, big surprise!)
Here are the lyrics that stood out.

I’m learning to live without you now
But I miss you, baby
And the more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I’d figured out
I have to learn again
I’ve been trying to get down
To the heart of the matter
But everything changes
And my friends seem to scatter
But I think it’s about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don’t love me anymore

I hope Joe knows that I forgive him. I hope he forgives me as well. And man, oh man, do I miss him. You'd think that after almost two years it wouldn't be so bad, wouldn't you? But it feels like it was just last month.
I’m learning to live without you now
But I miss you, baby
And the more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I’d figured out
I have to learn again

A Message From Joe

Last year, in an attempt to declutter, I brought all of my fancy printer paper to my classroom, so I could actually get use out of it.

Yesterday I decided to print poems that my students wrote on the fancy paper. I stuck the paper in the feeder, and clicked on the print icon.

Out came 21 poems, and one email.

The email was from Joe to his friend Andy. Somehow it got mixed in with the paper. Unfortunately the email now has a poem going across it, but I think it still captures the essence of Joe.

Here it is:

Monday, March 09, 1998 3:40 PM

Hey Paquin,
Where you been hiding? I need to get your address for the wedding invitation, and phone # so you can get details, when the time is right, for my bachelor party. Just bring a lot of ones!

Just bring a lot of ones! How great is that? That was Joe.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Dana Reeve R.I.P.

She's dead.

A widow's worst nightmare is leaving her children without the one parent they have left. I can only imagine what she must have been feeling as she realized that she was really going, leaving Will parentless.

There was a slight debate (it never got nasty) on the widow board about whether or not we felt jealous that she now gets to be with her husband.

We have discussed that many times in widow group. Would we, if we were guaranteed to be with our husbands, choose to end our lives. My answer has always been no. But if I didn't have kids, my answer may be different.

People sometimes ask me how I do it. "How do you do it?" It, meaning get up in the morning, and go about my day. My answer is always the same. "I just do it." There is no other option. My boys need me to be a mother, not a zombie, not a weeping mess.

If ever there was someone who "just did it," it's Dana Reeve. I hope that she and her husband are together, free of pain, watching over their son.

She was a true inspiration, and she will be missed.

A Survey for my female readers (But Walt, feel free to chime in)

Would you rather go to the gynecologist or the dentist?

I will give my answer after I've collected some data :O)


Monday, March 06, 2006

How is this possible?

S.D. Governor Signs Abortion Ban Into Law
AP - 2 hours, 32 minutes ago
PIERRE, S.D. - Gov. Mike Rounds signed legislation Monday banning nearly all abortions in South Dakota, setting up a court fight aimed at challenging the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. The bill would make it a crime for doctors to perform an abortion unless the procedure was necessary to save the woman's life. It would make no exception for cases of rape or incest.

Just tell me. How is this possible?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

What Will You Have On Your Tombstone?

Remember that commercial? For the pizza?

Anyways, it's a tough question. What would you want on your tombstone? In the Jewish religion, you wait a year after a person dies to place a stone on the grave. At the year marker, you have an unveiling, where the stone is uncovered for all to see.

I am glad that I had that time to come up with wording for Joe's stone. What words could possibly sum up someone's life? I struggled with this task for months. In fact it took me so long to come up with the right words, it almost wasn't ready for the unveiling.

Instead of just showing you the words on his stone, I thought I'd share my speech that I gave at the unveiling. It explains the quote that can be found under his name, dob/dod, as well as "Loving husband, father, son, and friend to many."

Here it is:

When I was 8 months pregnant with Jacob, Joe and I took a trip to Montreal to see Bruce Springsteen, Joe’s favorite singer, in concert. Joe was jumping around, singing along to every song.

But then the song, “Into the Fire” came on. The song is about someone dying and the people left behind hoping to gain strength, faith, hope and love from this person. Joe put his head right up to my belly and sang the whole song to Jacob.

When Jacob was born, Joe would sing the song to him all the time. As soon as Joshua was big enough inside me to sing to, Joe would sing these words to him as well.

I think that once Joe became a dad he found a strength, faith, hope and love that he never had before. I picked these words to be on Joe’s stone because I believe that they are true.

I think that Joe will show us strength at times of weakness, faith when we believe in nothing, hope when we feel hopeless, and most importantly love. When Jacob and Joshua get older and read these words on Joe’s stone, I hope that they will feel their father’s love for them, and just maybe, have some memory of him singing these words to them.

May your strength give us strength
May your faith give us faith
May your hope give us hope
May your love give us love

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Special Time

As any mother of more than one child knows, having alone time with just one is very rare. When I was a kid, my mother would have "special time" with us. She would take just one of the three of us out for the day. For my sister and I, that would entail lunch in Boston, and seeing the Boston Ballet. Frankly, I'm not sure what it entailed for my brother, but I assume they did something slightly cultural.

I'm not sure how often I had "special time" with my mother. My sister can probably help me out here. It may have only been once a year. But the point is, I remember it. Having my mother all to myself, going to do something exciting. It was always a nice day.

Today I had my very first "special time" with Jacob. Josh went to his babysitter's house, and Jacob and I headed out. We went to Bertucci's for lunch which was a special treat. Jacob got his very own kid's pizza. He was so excited.

We then went to his first movie, Curious George. They sell the cutest little kid snack trays at the movies. A little bag of popcorn, a drink, and some candy (I threw away the candy; it was gross looking). He sat in his own seat, and did not say a word until close to the end. At which point he announced that he was ready to leave. As we walked out of the movie theatre, we saw a poster for Curious George. Jacob pointed to it and said, "Look mom, a monkey!" So who knows if he understood any of the movie!

But, he did understand that he had "special time" with mom. And hopefully he will remember this day as fondly as I will.


Friday, March 03, 2006

A Poem

Linda from widow group sent us all this poem by Emily Dickinson. I thought is was blogworthy :O)

Look back on time with kindly eyes
he doubtless did his best;
how softly sinks his trembling sun
in human nature's west.


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Dancing With My Boys

Life doesn't get much better than when I'm dancing with my boys. Granted. I have zero rhythm, Joe had zero rhythm, and as a result my boys have zero rhythm.

But we love to dance. Let me clarify: The boys love to dance anywhere, I love to dance in the privacy of my own home. We dance ourselves silly, then we fall down.

Tonight I danced with Josh on my feet. His little hands in mine, his tiny feet on mine. Moving in synch, round and round we went. We were laughing at each other, and then little Josh said the words that moms love to hear,"I love you mommy." A perfect moment.

We had rhythm.

All was well.

.......So THIS is why it's better for my kids to be sick while I'm on vacation

Jacob is sick. Temp is 103. Cannot go to daycare tomorrow.

And while normally I would stay at home, tomorrow is one of the few days where I really need/want to be at school. My class is performing a play for the school/parents. We've been working really hard on it, and I'd just hate to miss it.

So I've been making some calls, trying to find someone willing to watch him.



Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Loweded Wookie

Why can't I access your blog?

You ok?
Don't be scared
I tell myself
Sometimes that helps
I tell myself
Sometimes that helps
You'll be okay
I tell myself
Somehow I don't believe it