My family. Our stories. Parent and Creative Explorer

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Hello friends,

How are you all on this Tuesday? I hope the weekend was kind to you, all. My family and I had a nice relaxing weekend, celebrating the hubby’s birthday. I don’t feel like getting into that though, because I have a lot on my mind, and I need to get it out.

Today’s post was originally going to be a different topic. I was going to showcase every day people in my life, who have inspired me. I was psyched to write about the every day people I’m my life that are amazing. They have more of an impact than celebrities, let’s say, donating money to a charity(because let’s face it, that’s not so extraordinary. Lot’s of famous people do it. While it’s wonderful, and you should continue, it’s not mind-blowing). These friends and family of mine are doing something positive and incredible with their lives: it doesn’t have to be grand. Inspiration comes in the simplest of ways. That post will come, as it is important, but this topic has been weighing heavily on my mind: ever since Parents/Teachers Conferences, a few weeks ago. It was something my daughter’s teacher said to me, about my daughter and her how mature she is, when it comes to empathy. I first recognized it, four years ago, when she was five years old. I was watching the movie, Jane Eyre(the Michael Fassbender version, naturally), and she wanted to sit and watch it with me. When it was done, she wanted to watch it, again. We didn’t: I saved it for another day. Later on that night, she started asking me questions about the movie, and the behaviors of certain characters. I was blown away: not just that a five year old who sit and watch this movie, but that she could feel what these characters were feeling. Then, it struck me hard again, as my family and I once again were watching movies this weekend, and my daughter got emotional and started to cry. She had just witnessed something terribly sad, and she was feeling what the other characters were feeling.

Before I get into the heart of my post, I want to give you an example of empathy, at it’s finest. This weekend, my siblings and I were having a group text chat. One of my sisters was reflecting and acknowledging on how we(there are four of us), are able to support each other even when it is uncomfortable. We are open, honest and real. She went on to say, that our dad was/is, remarkable for setting this example. He grew up the youngest of four brothers, with a father who, for lack of a better word, was insensitive.  We look at our father now, and even when he was “tough“(I got the brunt of it, being the oldest), he was real, open , emotional and honest. He is the most generous person I know: always willing to lend a helping hand to those who need it. His arms are always open.  Another sister of mine, went on to say that she attributes what makes her a thoughtful, deliberate, accountable, and self-owning person, to the way our father raised us. All of it true, and then some.

According to Wikipedia, the definition of Empathy is this: the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within the other being’s frame of reference. Seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the “heart” of another.

IMG_9615 A plaque my mother gave to my daughter, a few months ago.

There was a time that my daughter couldn’t express any words: you all know this, as I have documented it a few times. I used to refer to her behavior, as though she was “living in a bubble.” Now, I hear her speak words of wisdom, that most adults haven’t even comprehended. When she talks about bullies, and friends, and her overwhelming desire to help others that are less fortunate than hers. She understands that there are others, outside of her own world, that need help and people to care about them and to support them.

I am a writer by nature, so I am constantly watching and observing people. I can’t help it. I have noticed a pattern, that confuses and saddens me. People are accepting of empathy when others in their own circle of friends/family, express it, even when their favorite celebrity expresses it: but outside of that, it is frowned upon, sometimes made fun of. I have even seen others get so angry over it. WHY?  To me, that kind of attitude belongs in a Sweet Valley High book, or an episode of 90210.Clichy if you ask me.  Everyone else, is to remain quiet or agree with your notion? Only your favorite celebrity is right when they speak, no one else?   I scratch my head, sometimes at the hypocrisy that I witness.

You see: just because a friend or family member isn’t discussing it with you, doesn’t mean it is not happening to them.

I used to write that I was afraid to tell my stories, because I was afraid that I would be judged, in some sort of way.

There is so much that I held inside, and continue to do so. There were so many days and nights that I cried, and locked myself away from the world. Who could I talk to? Would people still be my friends? Would family shun me away?

Well, that is going to happen regardless, but then I dug deeper and I realized that wasn’t the only reason I wasn’t sharing them: I needed the right medium. I have finally found it, and hopefully by the end of this year, others can benefit, heal, and grow from them, too.

My family is a mixed raced family. I have two children, both with Special Needs. I have been victim of some heinous acts and I am still here. There is a long laundry list of things I could say: but I will not bore you with that, today.  I am aware that not everyone gets and realizes the opportunities that I have been given. Heck, I didn’t understand it, until my daughter was born, and that’s why I will always say, giving birth to her, saved my life. Now, I hear her speak, or I witness her actions(such as running for 4th Grade VP, and using Anti-Bullying as her campaign message), and I am completely blown away.

I was once a person who didn’t care too much for anything else that was not going on outside of my little world. I had a lot of negative attitudes about a lot of things, and I felt sorry for myself, constantly.

The world is smaller than you think. If you don’t think that other people’s issues and concerns don’t affect you, then you are “living in a bubble” and it’s not because you don’t know how to get out of it, such as  was my daughter’s case: it’s because you choose to put yourself there.

My daughter has been bullied a few times already, because she is different. My son has been ridiculed for his hand stimming, a couple of times already. He has even been made fun of, because of his intelligence.  Never mind, what my hubby and I have been through, married, and before we met each other. Yet…we still feel the need to express EMPATHY towards others.  Everyone is going through something and needs that help, support and reassurance.

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Our life is not easy, but we do alright. We don’t have a big house. Heck, we are a single car, family. While my husband has a good salary, we are still need to “live within our means” and budget everything. We are a one income family. That doesn’t matter, though.  When my children are receiving certificates for their Acts of Kindness, Responsibility and Caring: I can rest my head, easy at night. That other stuff, doesn’t matter.

The world is tough to begin with, and to discourage people from caring about causes that mean something to them, is in my opinion: heartless and ignorant. Doesn’t mean you have to care about every single thing: but if you don’t, kindly keep your mouth shut, and let those people do what they feel they need to do. If they are not hurting anyone, let them march. Let them protest. Let them say what they feel they need to say or do, to make this world a little more empathetic.

Deep down inside, I knew this where I needed to be: helping others. I have known it for a few years now, but I got sidetracked. I’m completely focused, now.  I wrote about it last week in a blog post, and I have begun on my journey to find my niche so that I can better achieve that.

You never know in your life when you might be placed in a situation you never thought possible, or that you thought  could never apply to you or your loved ones.

Trust me on this one. Life changes in an instant.

LEAVE THIS BLOG POST WITH ONE WORD AND ONE THOUGHT: EMPATHY.

Thank you for your time.

That’s all folks.

Until Friday.

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Remember to love one another, and to live and laugh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello friends,

How are you all on this Friday? I hope the week has been kind to you all. It’s been a relatively calm week, here in the suburbs of NYC.  Today is St. Patrick’s Day. Manhattan will be crowded with people celebrating.  Up until fifteen years ago, I didn’t really celebrate this day.  That changed in 2002, when I met my husband. His birthday happens to be today, and it gave me a reason to celebrate this day. This is the first time, in a few years that my hubby has actually had time off on his birthday, so he and I are going to celebrate while the children are in school. Then, this weekend, we continue to celebrate as a family.

Today’s blog post pays homage to the hubby. This is the second time I am re-posting this post,(I reposted last year on 3/10/2016) and the third time in total that is has appeared. I probably should come up with a new way to pay homage to the hubby, but I obviously adore this post, as I keep feeling the need to bring it back to life.

Anyway, here it is. Enjoy!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to those who celebrate!

 

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Hello friends,

How are you all on this Friday? I thought about what to write for today, when it dawned on me: re-post a blog post from last year about the hubby. Yesterday was his birthday. He couldn’t get the day off, but did manage to leave a little bit early. I made him a nice dinner of corned beef, potatoes and Irish soda bread(even though he is Puerto Rican, he feels the need to celebrate his birthday the Irish way. It seems only right to him, given he was born on St. Patrick’s Day). I had a birthday cake for him as well, with a couple of little goodies I had purchased. He is off this weekend, and so we will spend it, doing things he wants to do. Last October I dedicated a blog post to him, because I found more often than not, I do not write enough about how fortunate I am to have him in my life.

Therefore, since this weekend is all about him, here is the original blog post I wrote on October 23, 2015.

 

I hope the week has been pleasant for you, so far.  It’s been a pretty decent week for me and my family, so I can’t complain. I will take what I can get, right? I am looking forward to this weekend, as it is full of family events. I love my immediate family. I am blessed with wonderful siblings(and their spouses), and incredible parents. We are a close knit bunch, who provide so much love and support to one another.

I was thinking about what I was going to write for today, when it dawned on me, that I haven’t really dedicated a post to my husband. I have mentioned him in plenty of past posts, but never one that was just about him.

Well, today is that day.

Here’s the first few things you should know. The hubby and I have been married for 11 years(come November). We will have been together for 14 years, this upcoming January. We dated for 2 years, before we got engaged. We spent 11 months engaged, before saying “I Do.”

It has never really been easy. I have a lot of “hang-ups.” I have a lot of fears. Don’t get me wrong: I am a strong, fearless woman. I was shaped into becoming that way. My past has been filled with a plethora of “life lessons”, especially when it came to the opposite sex. That is what I call them now. I didn’t always feel that way.  I didn’t feel that way for a long time. I was angry, impatient, and bitter. I took a lot of it out on him.

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The hubby is a good man. He is a decorated police officer and Army veteran(the plaques, certificates and medals adorn our basement walls).  He has a stuck around. He believes in us, when there are times, I’m not so sure.

Isn’t the grass always greener? 

We have fought a lot.

That was then, though.

Oh, we still fight. I like to call them disagreements, now. They are not so viscous and mean-spirited. I used to love to attack. It used to make me feel strong. No. That was all of my insecurities and hurt coming out in a very unpleasant way.  He is not perfect, but then neither am I. No one is.  Recently, after all this time: we made a breakthrough.  He finally admitted his “hang-ups” and what he was going to do to change.

Now we are getting somewhere. Progress.

I began a journey of self-worth and self-appreciation, about two years ago. A horrible incident happened to me, and it “woke me up.” I discovered all the positive things about me, and about life. It made me stronger. I didn’t think I could be, after my daughter’s diagnosis, almost seven years ago. I proved myself wrong. A lot of things, became clearer to me. I had a lot of apologizing to do: not just to the hubby and to others,  but to me, as well.

He has supported every decision I have made. Even when I wanted to run. It’s so easy to do. That door in my past, was always open. Just run. Go. Don’t look back.

To me, marriage is more than just  “being in love.” It’s about friendship.  It’s about being a team.  We still laugh together. We still enjoy each other’s company. I like having him around.  There are times, that I feel lost when he is not.  

That means something, doesn’t it?

 It is being the best possible team you can be. It is working through every situation together, and coming out better because of it.  Time after time, life has given me reminders.

He is such a good dad as well. He loves his children with every ounce of his being. He loves spending time with them. It brings him such joy.

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I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Every day, I struggle with emotions and thoughts. The struggle is very real. Some days, I am very tired.  The past has damaged me, in so many ways. I don’t give up, though. I fight. I always will.

The hubby won’t let me.

Now isn’t that the best reason of all?

That’s all folks.

Until Tuesday.

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Remember to be kind to one another, and to love and laugh.

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Hello friends,

How are you all on this Tuesday? I hope the weekend has been kind to you all. We had a relatively relaxing weekend, here in the suburbs of NYC. A Nor’easter is headed towards us, possibly dumping up to 18 inches of snow, so the kids are home. Since the snow is expected to fall all day long, and clean up won’t happen until tomorrow, there is a good possibility the kids will be home on Wednesday as well. It shall be interesting, to say the least. We will be hunkered down in our pajamas, possibly watching movies all day: the hubby has to brave the storm and head out to work.

Moving Along…

I have come to a realization in my life. I’ve had a few of those, in recent years.  A change is on the brink. I have written numerous blog posts in the past, about how I am not going to focus on the small things in life: I am going to do more volunteering, I am going to bring about more awareness, etc… I have not lied: I have done all of those things.  A feeling has been itching inside of me, for awhile. I am not satisfied.  I NEED TO DO MORE. This feeling and desire to help people, has burned inside of me for years, and I temporarily feed it, and then, I ignore it. Which is what I have done with a couple of previous projects, but I am changing that as well. NO MORE IGNORING.

I just recently finished this fantastic book, “You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero. I recommend this book, to everyone. It has changed my life. I realize that may sound a little cheesy, and perhaps doubtful: but I kid you not.  It delves into all aspects of an individual’s life, and the steps needed to make the right and positive changes. Just like anything else in life, you have to work hard to achieve, but that it doesn’t matter, because if you really want whatever it is, you won’t mind.

Just go and read it.

Social media was taking up too much of my time. Maybe it is fine for some: for me it is not. I was starting to feel trapped and unfulfilled. My Autism page does not count. That, I hope, is serving it’s purpose: along with this blog and the children’s books I have written. So, I deleted all(except for Facebook) social media apps from my phone(and I had quite a few). I cancelled my Tumblr, Google and Instagram accounts, because frankly, they bored me. Twitter is still hanging around, but that might go, along with Pinterest, too. We will have to see. There are others, but I don’t see me deleting them, anytime soon. They are more creative apps, and I am hesitant to remove them completely from my life, just yet.

I am a people person. Always have been. I need to be with people. Being stuck behind a laptop, is just not cutting it for me anymore. Besides, the euphoric feeling I get, after every public talk I’ve done, after every volunteer event I’ve been a part of: it’s is just so great. I need to be helping people. Not just within the Special Needs community, either. I want to broaden my horizon.

So, this is my new path in life. Yes, I will still write every week for this blog, because along with dancing, writing will always be a part of my life. I am currently working on a new creative project, to help promote Autism Awareness and Acceptance, and hopefully that will be ready before the summer. The creative for it, has changed so many times, but I have finally found a medium that works for me. The same thing with my novel. I thought I was done, but the Universe threw me another curveball. There is a reason I have been working on it for over five years. It’s not ready yet. There is more to be done with it. It will get there, when the time is ready.

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Where do I go from here? Well, I have some special people in my life, that I am hoping can point me in the right direction. I know I have to get out and volunteer more: but I also have some ideas of my own, that I am waiting to unleash. I have been working with an individual already, and I hope our collaboration can prosper.  I am a firm believer in Karma and Paying it Forward, and now is the time for me to stop thinking about everything I want to achieve, and just do it.I am always taking notes, whether they are in my head, or on actual paper. I have listened to those, at my talks, who are not as fortunate as me, to have the opportunities that I have. That is part of my motivation to help others. My creative passions are just that: passions. If they bring me more, than that is an extra bonus. I always have a desire to try and learn new things. After the Summer, I hope to go back to take classes again. I stopped this year, but I shouldn’t have, because I loved going. I am already making a new list.

I am always encouraging my children to not be afraid of change. I have learned that is not always so easy: especially with one child on the Spectrum, and another who suffers from high levels of Anxiety. I am patient with them, as I have to be. I know when to step back and say “Not now, Mommy. Maybe another time.” Then, I try again with them. So, I have tried new things: some have worked, and others have not. I have had failures and I have successes. I keep on persevering, because you never know what one opportunity may lead to. A door may close, but then it leaves room for another one to open. It really hit me, when both of my children expressed a burning desire themselves, to want to help others. So we will. They are a big part of my inspiration in this new journey. I donate to a plethora of charities, but more needs to be done. Individuals may think that their voice doesn’t matter: but it does. It starts with you. Be passionate about the causes that move you, and mean something to you.

Family is the most important thing to me. Being Mommy to my children, cannot replace anything else. Knowing who my true friends are, and having them in my life: that’s important, too. I try to show my children the right things in life, but then I sometimes to forget to apply them to my own life. The other day, my daughter says to me: “Mommy, why do you do everything?” I wasn’t sure what to say to her, so I just said, “That’s Mommy’s job. It just do everything.” She wasn’t satisfied with that answer. I won’t tell you everything that was said, but we ended our conversation with her saying: “Mommy, you need alone time sometimes, too. Just like I do. You need to take a break, sometimes.” She’s a smart cookie that one, and very observant, too. I need to slow down my pace and take a step back once and awhile. Most things in life, are that important, to be sucking away my time and emotions. So,  I guess I’m doing a pretty good job as a parent, right?

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Lead by Example.

Continue to Help People, by Broadening My Horizons.

Taking More Breaks.

Loving Those Who Love Me, and Not Caring About Those Who Don’t.

That’s what’s on the agenda, moving forward.

Sometimes I go looking for answers, and then realize I don’t have to look very far. They have been with me, all along: right under my nose. Now that I have them, and I am there: it’s very liberating, and also makes me feel very free.

That’s all for now, folks.

Until Friday.

Remember to love one another, and to live and laugh.

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Hello friends,

How are you all on this Friday? I hope the week has been kind to you all. Yesterday was Parent/Teacher’s Conferences and I’m happy to report, that both of my children are doing well in school. I knew that from their report cards, which were distributed on Tuesday. They both received Excellent to Above Average in everything. Well, almost everything. My daughter is Way Below Average in Math: the bane of her existence since she started school. Her arch enemy, so to speak. Mommy has never done well in Math, and I told her all about it, the other day. After talking to her teacher yesterday, we both agreed, that overall, she is not grasping and retaining the whole concept of Math. This is reality: she relies on her manipulatives to do basic addition and subtraction. She might always, and that’s fine.  Everyone tries their best to keep her interested and not frustrated, when “Math Time” comes. I won’t get into the discoveries her teacher has made, today, because I am saving it for a blog post next week. It’s pretty awesome, though, and I have been noticing them, too.

My son, well his anxiety is getting the better of him. The First Grade has a show performance in nine days, and my son is misbehaving during rehearsals. Yesterday, I was told, he was asked to sit it out, because he was being disruptive to the rest of the children. I know why: he doesn’t want to be upstage in front of an auditorium full of people. He has trouble, speaking front of a classroom of his peers. His teachers told me an exercise that they did, to help him talk. It worked for that particular situation. Again, I won’t go into it just yet, because it was only one time. They asked me, if they should let my son “sit out” during the performance next week. I said, “not yet. Sitting out would be a relief for him, and doesn’t help with him getting over his anxiety.” While they both agreed, his main teacher doesn’t want to cause his anxiety to become worse, and I agreed with that. She is going to see how the next week goes, and we talked about working together, and saying things to him, plus positive reinforcements, to try and help him not be afraid. I ran into the Guidance Counselor yesterday in the hallways, and I asked her how sessions have been going with both of my children, and she said “great.” My daughter continues to improve, and my son is just delightful. That was nice to hear. I left the meetings feeling positive, happy and proud.

It left me thinking, what I have always felt, since we started this journey with our daughter: blessed. I am blessed that my children are in the school that they are in, and have the teachers and therapists that they do. This lead me to thinking about an important blog post that I need to write, and will for next week. It, along with other situations, have also led to a major shift in my life: something I will also talk about next week.

ANYWAY…

Since I am in a good mood, and the weekend is coming up, I thought I would make the rest of this post, a light-hearted one.  I’m keeping today’s post, “short and simple.”  I decided that a “Book Recommendation” post was long overdue. I started these sporadic posts, a couple of years ago, and then last year, I had the brilliant idea of adding my children’s recommendations to the post as well. So, without further delay, here are our recommendations, this time around.

Mommy’s Book Recommendations:

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Daughter’s Book Recommendations:

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Son’s Book Recommendations:

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That’s it folks! Short and simple, today. I hope you all have a great weekend.

Until Tuesday.

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Remember to love one another, and to live and laugh.

 

 

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER…

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Hello friends,

How are you all on this Tuesday? I hope the weekend has been kind to you, all. I have been suffering through a cold, since last Thursday night. I think(more like hoping), today is the final day of this annoyance.  One of the things I haven’t been able to do for days is properly work out, which is unusual for me, being a fitness mommy. I am looking to change that, this morning.

Any Hoo, Moving On…

Last week, I mentioned on my FB page, that I wouldn’t be writing any blog posts because I was a bundle of nerves, and I just couldn’t bring myself to write up anything. I think I needed the break, too. Once and awhile, one has to do that…try and relax, and take time for oneself.

BUT…it is hard. Almost impossible. Especially if you have a child with Special Needs.

This blog started years ago, because I wanted to chronicle my family’s adventures with Autism. Our daughter was diagnosed right before her 3rd birthday, and this blog was my outlet to talk about our family life.

Here is the condensed version of our son’s story.

A little more than two years ago, I started noticing “differences” in our son. The almost constant stimming of the hands was the first thing. He has been doing practically his whole young life. It doesn’t bother me any, but he’s been the subject of teasing from others, because of it. My daughter was bullied last year in the Third Grade because of her “differences”, and through therapies she was able to tell me what was going on at school. Mommy put an end to that nonsense real quick, and the bullying inspired my daughter to use it as her campaign slogan when she ran for Fourth Grade Vice President last November.

Anyway, the stimming was the first thing with our son. Then, on a family trip to Disneyworld, two years ago, he started showing signs of anxiety. High levels of anxiety: about everything. My son was not even five years old yet. He shouldn’t be thinking about the things he was expressing to me–yet alone have constant worries about them. This saddened me, but it also put me on alert. I started taking note of everything. As the months went by, his anxiety would get worse. When Kindergarten started, hyperactivity started to kick up, as well as him being at times, disruptive in class. A meeting was set up, and it was decided that our son would be switched into an ICT class with two teachers and a paraprofessional. He seemed to do better his second half of Kindergarten.

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Fast forward now, to the First Grade. He started out ok, but when it came time for his IEP meeting this past November, his teachers pointed out his anxiety and that he was starting to be disruptive in class. My son is extremely intelligent. His IQ is off the charts. Everyone wants to see him thrive, because they know intellectually what he is capable of. We agreed after that meeting, that he would get Group Counseling with the Guidance Counselor, to help with his anxiety. His sister has been getting the same counseling, but for different reasons. It has worked wonders with her and how she expresses herself. My husband and I, also decided we would look into a diagnosis with a Behavioral Doctor. My son didn’t have any proper diagnosis, and so it was difficult for everyone to give him the proper help he needed. It had been a guessing game up until this point.

After filling out massive paperwork and sending it in, we were granted an appointment, this past February. Last week, the hubby and I met with the doctor and he gave us a diagnosis. Mommy had an idea as to what it was, and I had told one of my sisters about it. Turns out I was right: our son was diagnosed with mild ADHD. Now, we have a proper diagnosis. The doctor believes the school is doing everything that they can to help our son, but he gave us some additional tips. I am not going to mention them all now, because I want to see if they work, first. He also recommended Family Therapy, so that we can learn to thrive in every day life, being a Special Needs family. He was fascinated with my son’s intelligence,(as most people are) and said we should look into further programs outside of school, that enhance his capabilities. Ok, so jiu jitsu is out,(he was getting bored with it, as he kept getting distracted by other things) and  science, technology and library programs are in.

So, here we are. I am a firm believer in talking about things with others: I have stopped being afraid.  I ask a lot of questions, no matter what the topic is(that may or may not have something to do with my journalism background). I always want to learn. Learning is knowledge: knowledge is power.

Which brings me to the second half of this post. On Friday, I had my bi-annual breast sonogram. I get them twice a year, ever since the doctors found a lump in my right breast, two years ago. It started because I had pain in my left breast, and after my regular doctor and my gynecologist didn’t have answers, I ended up at The Breast Imaging Center. They determined that there were cysts in my left breast, that were harmless: but the reason for pain. It was then, that they discovered the lump in my right breast. I had to have a biopsy and it was determined that the lump was an benign fibroid.  Every time I go for a sonogram, the doctors find something new in my right breast. This time, was no different, and I thought I was only going for a sonogram. I wound up having two sonograms and a mammogram.

The doctor said that some people have “more active breasts than others.” Those were his exact words. So a new cyst and benign nodule has now popped up. Apparently, I have a lot of breast tissue and it’s allowing for a party in my right breast. I asked him, if this was going to be the “norm”: me expecting new things to pop up every time I come. He said “yes” and that I shouldn’t get myself worked up, because they are seeing a pattern, and that’s not a bad thing. It’s better than one sole thing, causing all the fuss. If you say so, Doc.  It looks like I will be having these six month visits for a while, just to make sure nothing funky decides to join this wild party in my right breast.

There you have it folks. That was my week, last week. I am hoping it will be a lot calmer now that all of that  is behind us. Expect the Unexpected.

Back to my creative passions and me being a Special Needs Mommy!

Until Friday.

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Remember to love one another, and to live and laugh.

 

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Hello friends,

How are you all on this Friday? I hope the week has been kind to you all. We have had a great week, here in the suburbs of NYC. It’s been a relatively calm week, which surprises me, because usually when the kids are home on a break: it gets hectic. We’ve had no meltdowns. No frustrations. None of that behavior. Of course, I have now probably gone and jinxed myself, but hey…I guess we will just have to wait and see!(Insert wink)

This weekend is set to be another busy one, starting with a “Family Day”, today. Hubby is off from work, and we are taking the kids out. The weather has been mild all week, for winter, here in the suburbs of NYC. It’s been in the low 50’s, and then yesterday, and today, in the low 60’s! We are going on another nature walk today, we just haven’t decided where. My children have always appreciated nature walks and hikes, but as they get older, they are getting enthusiastic about them, as well.  You won’t hear this Mommy complain about that!

Later on tonight, I have dinner with one of my best friends. I haven’t seen her in almost a year. We have been friends for twenty-two years, and I love her like a sister. I am blessed to have long-standing relationships with amazing individuals. On Sunday, I have a lunch date with another wonderful friend of mine: she and I have been friends for twenty-four years. It’s all about friendship this weekend, as tomorrow, we are going to the christening of the son of one of my husband’s best friends. They used to be partners on the police force, and he is like a younger brother to my hubby.

When I think about it, these moments remind me of all the beauty, kindness and love in the world.

So for today, let me take you back to another one of those moments.

Enjoy.

Originally posted on July 29, 2016

 

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Hello friends,

How are you all on this Friday? I hope the week has been kind to you, all. It’s been a hot week, here in the suburbs of NYC. We are supposed to be getting a little bit of relief, this weekend, starting today. As I write this, it is a raining, and there is a cool breeze coming through the windows, so maybe the meteorologists are correct. It’s been another productive creative week for me, so that makes me happy.

So, what to write about today?

Life. It gets hard. It is sometimes frustrating. I especially know that. You want to scream. You want to cry. I’ve done both. Never in front of my kids. You get scared for your kids sometimes, because of Life. Your mind gets filled with worrisome and crazy thoughts. You wish you could take your family and run away. Well, at least I do.  That’s because at times, I forget. I forget to look.  I forget to realize that there are a lot of wonderful and beautiful things in this world.

Shame on me. I am judging. Sort of like, when people look at my children, and judge them, without even knowing. Judging my son because he is flapping his hands or covering his ears. They don’t know about his Sensory Issues. Judging my daughter, because she is having a meltdown, or is inappropriately vocalizing. They don’t know about her ASD. Didn’t I recently do a post about not judging, because no one is perfect?  I see so much judging on social media, it makes me cringe at times. People pointing fingers and saying horrible stuff about other people, not knowing the circumstances. I remember, I opened myself up, in that post. I said things out loud, that I had not said, before.  I took a chance, writing that one.

Well, it’s because I have my flaws, and sometimes I forget. I need to be reminded of my flaws from time to time: it’s healthy. I need to be reminded of the painful events in my past: it all lead me to where I am today.

And that is beautiful.

Which is one of the reasons, the hubby and I like to take the kids on Day Trips, exploring nature. It is not only a much needed relaxation and calming time for all of us, but it also gives a chance to put our minds back into perspective. The latest journey, was last weekend, when we all explored Nyack, NY for the first time. My son even said, “Mommy, I like these trips. They are so peaceful.” My 6 year old gets it.

The most beautiful part of this trip, as it would turn out, wasn’t the nature at all. When we left Nyack that day, my husband was without a wallet. He either lost it, or it was pick-pocketed. We spent over an hour, re-tracing steps, and going back into the shops we had made purchases. We called the local police station. No luck. We accepted that the wallet was gone, and he made the necessary calls. Two days later, a UPS truck arrived with a small package.

This is what was in it:

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I couldn’t believe! Everything was still in the wallet, too. We are sending them a Thank You card, and the son a gift card as well, as a token of our gratitude. It gave me a little bit of hope, that there is still goodness in this world. I got that same feeling, last week when I spoke at the Parent Workshop about Autism and my Daughter.  These are reminders to me that Beauty in this World, still exists. It’s happening in our daily lives, even if it something we think is small and insignificant: chances are, it is not.

It doesn’t have to be a day trip to a forest or a mini hike on a mountain. Sometimes it is right outside your window: a sunrise or sunset. Maybe even a plant growing in your backyard. Maybe it’s your children getting a long and playing all day. Last week it was my daughter and her new friend she made at the Workshop, giving each other hugs.

Life is tough. It is cruel and mean, at times. I get it and I understand.

Just try and keep your eyes and your heart open, though, because you never know.

You might miss something wonderful and amazing.

Here are some pictures from our Nyack adventure. We will be back again, when the weather is not so hot. On our hike, we had a monarch butterfly that followed us, our whole hike. Was that a sign? I’m not sure.  I took a picture of it, hopefully you can see it. We also spotted a deer, while it was eating. I took a picture of that, too. There were Birds of Prey, circling in the sky, and a community of geese in the water, as well. An awesome day.

I know I have posted this particular poem of mine, before: I felt it appropriate to post it again, for today’s post.

LIFE

There is so much beauty in this world

I look around

I can see

My eyes are wide

Wide open

Gazing

Admiring

All of the wonder in front of me

My heart  

My soul

Filled with calm

Content

Peace

Consume my body

Gentle as can be

I hear the trees blowing in the wind

The birds are singing

Melodious songs

The clouds go drifting slowly by

The sun burns bright

Strong

There was a time

I didn’t value Life

I feared that time would come

Miracles are happening

Right in front of me

Just look real hard

Please try

You

My friend

The possibilities are endless

Like the horizon of the sky

 

That’s it for now, folks.

Until Tuesday.

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Remember to love one another, and to live and laugh.

 

 

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Hello friends,

How are you all on this Tuesday? I hope the weekend was kind to you, all. I had a fabulous weekend, as it was my birthday weekend. I had a date with the hubby on my actual birthday, and then had dinner and cocktails, that night: a kid-free night! I don’t go out that much at night, and Friday night, felt good. Saturday and Sunday, were family day excursions: the weather was gorgeous, here in the suburbs of NYC, and the hubby and I decided to take the children out on day trips. Since it was my birthday weekend, I got to choose our daytrips. Saturday was spent at The Cloisters Museum in Manhattan, followed by lunch on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx(their version of Downtown Manhattan’s Little Italy). We have never been to either, so it was a real treat. Sunday, we headed a little up north to Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow, NY, for some outdoor fun. We didn’t hike, but in fact, did two Riverside Walks. Since the weather was mild, it made the walks even more gorgeous and breathtaking. This area of Westchester County, is one of my favorite places. The scenery is delightful, and there are a plethora of good places to eat. This time, we tried something new. We had “Afternoon Tea” for lunch, and it was scrumptious! Afternoon Tea happens to be one of my most favorite things in the world, and I don’t get to have the proper experience, that often. All in all, it was a most pleasant birthday weekend.

This week, my babies are off from school: their “Winter Break.” Although it doesn’t feel much like winter, with temperatures expected all week, to be around the low-mid 50s. Are we living in the suburbs of NYC, or someplace else? Anyway, we are jammed packed with activities, starting today. Two of my nieces are coming over for a playdate, and I’m on “babysitting duty” so my sister can get some work done. I don’t mind, as my nieces are seven and four years old, and not that hard to watch over.

Anyway, since I will get plenty of time and love from my precious little ones this week, I thought I would reminisce about the time I dedicated a post to them. Enjoy!

Originally posted on August 16, 2016.(Ignore the sentence in bold at the bottom. That was for when it  was originally written. There will definitely be a blog post for this Friday.)

 

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Hello friends,

How are you all on this Tuesday? I hope the weekend found you all, well. We are just getting over a weekend that was filled with oppressive heat. It started last Friday, and went up until Sunday evening. The temperatures were in the upper 90’s, but the “real feel” temperature got as high as 110 degrees. It was not very pleasant, and naturally, was not very productive. Hubby worked all weekend, and so it was just I, trying to come up with creative ways to keep my kids and the dog, cool. I somehow managed: although I’m still not sure how. Anyway, we did have some breakthroughs happen this past weekend, but I am going to save them for my next post. So you will have to stay tuned for that(insert wink)!

Tomorrow, my family and I leave for a vacation up north in The Finger Lakes, NY. We have been looking forward to this vacation for quite awhile. It is hopefully going to be calm and peaceful. We will be surrounded by nature and the outdoors for a few straight days. Our resort is right on one of the Lakes, and judging from the pictures, it looks beautiful. One of the things that I have learned to do when we are on vacation, is to bring a lot of notebooks and pens. I realized as the kids got older, and we were not limited to “child friendly” restaurants, that guess what!? These restaurants don’t have crayons, and menus that the kids can color on.  So then, my kids would get restless and wouldn’t know what to do with themselves. I don’t rely on the restaurants any longer: notebooks and pens are always in my purse, at the ready.

Two weekends ago, we had a “Family Weekend.” I highlighted it last week, with a photography post. What I forgot to do, was post all the adorable drawings my kids drew, when it was time for lunch, and we were sitting and waiting. Today, I am going to do that. I am going to post their pictures. I love to see my little ones’ creative juices flowing, and WE love to share their works of art, whenever we can.

So, that’s it. That’s all this post is about today. I have vacation “on the brain,” and quite honestly I don’t feel like getting into anything too heavy. I think I am entitled to that, ever now and then, right?

Enjoy my kids’ pictures!

My Son’s Drawings:

My Daughter’s Drawings:

That’s it for now, folks. There will be no blog post on Friday, since I will be away.  Blog posts will return, either next Tuesday or next Friday.

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Remember to love one another, and to live and love.

 

 

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