Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Some of my favorite quotes...

I am going to update this blog whenever I find quotes that I love!! :)

'You don't have to be the one responsible for making everything work. Believe me. The big things are already taken care of: The sun will rise in the morning, the stars will come out at night, and- if you work it right- a child, someone you love, or a dear, close friend, will share a special smile with you- and make everything wrong- right again.' ~ Douglas Pagels

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'Someday everything will all make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason' ~ Unknown

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"There comes a time in life when you have to let go of all the pointless drama & the people who create it & surround yourself with people who make you laugh so hard you forget the bad and focus solely on the good. After all, life is too short to be anything but happy. " ~ Unknown
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"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart walking around outside of your body." ~ Unknown

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"God doesn't give us what we can handle; God helps us handle what we are given" ~ Unknown

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"Just because you can't see the air doesn't mean you stop breathing. Just because you can't see God doesn't mean you stop believing" ~ Unknown

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"Having someone to love is family. Having somewhere to go is home. Having both is a blessing" ~ Unknown

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"Enjoy the little things in life.. for one day you'll look back and realize they were the big things" ~ Unknown

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"Life isn't about waiting for the storms to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain" ~ Unknown

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"It doesn't matter where you go in life. It's who you have beside you." ~ Unknown

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"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away" ~ Unknown

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"Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life" ~ Unknown

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"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, latte in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, WHOO HOO, what a ride!" ~ Unknown

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"Being happy doesn't mean everything's perfect. It means you decide to see beyond the imperfections." ~ Unknown

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"A child will fill a spot in your heart you never knew you had." ~ Unknown

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"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the door which has opened for us." ~ Helen Keller

"If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or fight like hell." ~Lance Armstrong

Monday, July 28, 2008

Oopies Mama Oopies!! Oopies Mama OOOOpies!!

LOL Yep, that's what I hear now!! "Oopies Mama, Oopies! Oopies Mama OOOOpies!!!" And nope, he didn't drop anything and nope, he didn't fall down. Oopies is apparently Mike's word for poopies!! LOL The minute he goes he says it... and unfortunately that can mean we get to it mid-poop and 2 minutes later he comes to me saying Oopes Mama Oopies again!! LOL

And yes, this is using more diapers... well, not for long... with this kind of interest in not having a dirty tushie we are going to Pull-Ups soon so that he can be wearing big boy pants! :) And in light of the clean tushie act going on in the house I went out and purchased a potty!! It is a Safety First potty that comes apart for easy movement to the big toilet so he can be comfy sitting anywhere!! LOL

And that brings me to my question.... Why is it that you teach boys to pee sitting down and then have to teach them to pee standing up?? I know, logistically speaking that it is for poopie in the potty comfort but I feel like it is teaching them twice. I know that little boys need to be able to aim into the pot (and let's face it, if you met Mike you would know that just ain't happenin' in my house!! LOL) but I feel like the whole teaching them to 'point it south' then teaching them to 'stand and aim' is confusing! It is probably more confusing for me than for him but still... confuse the Mommy and most likely you will confuse the kid!! LOL

I think I should start stocking up now on Clorox wipes and cleaning supplies!! Anyway, stay tuned for the Adventures in Potty Training from Happy Valley!! ;)

With Love,

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Is Sex and the City really all that different than Disney??

Now, before I get in all sorts of trouble, let me start by saying I LOVE Sex and the City and I LOVE Disney!! I can't get enough of either of them! I could watch episodes of SATC daily and I could spend days and days at the Disney parks and watching Disney movies. But I really must pose the question, Is Sex and the City really any different from Disney?? Isn't it just Disney on Viagra for the older girls looking for the fairy tale ending?

The series, including the movie, is all about Carrie and her search for true love and a happy ending. Granted, it comes in a more grown up package (my polite way for saying NC-17 rated) than a Disney Cartoon but it's true love and happy endings!! True love is a common theme in a lot of movies but for the SATC and Disney movies it is usually the main theme and find me a Disney movie that doesn't have a happy ending, and now we all know that there were happy endings and true love for all the SATC girls... and guys for that matter!! In fact, during the last episode of the series this is what Carrie says, "I'm looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can't-live-without-each-other love". How is that any different than a cartoon princess dancing around singing about how someday her prince will come? Carrie has her issues, issues you just can't ignore and file away, but how is that different from any of the cartoon Disney princesses and their step-mothers, wicked step-sisters, poisoned apples, spindles & evil squid queens? Issues are issues, right? You have your issues and you work them out with friends until you get to the point that it's time for that movie to end and time for you to get your happy ending. In the cartoons Aurora has Flora, Fauna & Merriweather, Snow White has the Dwarfs, Cinderella has Gus-Gus and Jacques, Aurora has Sebastian, Flounder & Scuttle... in SATC Carrie has her girlfriends, Charlotte, Miranda & Samantha. These 'supporting characters' in the story lines are as important as, if not more important than that main character. They are often the voices of reason, the sounding board, the support system for that main person. You always hope that those supporting people get their happy ending too (and they always do) but it's always that main character that you hold out the most hope for, the one that you really root for.

In a way, real life is like that. You hope for happy endings for those around you, you are a voice of reason, a sounding board and a support system for your friends and loved ones. You hope that they are happy and in love and taken care of. The difference is that even though you are the main character in your life, you still wait. You wait for your turn to need a voice of reason, a sounding board and a support system so that you can get your happy ending. You watch these movies and tv shows where all these people solve their problems in 30 minutes, 60 minutes... 2 1/2 hours at the most... and wonder how you got to be the age you are and still be waiting and hoping for your happy ending. Can you really find that ridiculous love that you can't live without? Can your true love and your soul mate and your best friend be wrapped up in one person? Can that love last forever? Can you find true love when you are young and even though it isn't the right time somehow pick up right where you left off and be happy 10 or 15 years later?

I will admit, on top of being a Disney addict, I am a hopeless romantic. I walked out of SATC and I LOVED it! It was everything I wanted in a movie. I laughed, I cried, I laughed, I cried... it was amazing! It brought everything from the series and wrapped it all up in a package and put a bow on it. Sure, they wrinkled the wrapping paper and had to re-tape a couple of spots along the way but in the end, each girl got her happy ending in a pretty little package. But while all the girls were happy, I left the theater wondering where MY John James Preston and Miranda, Charlotte & Samantha were. Damn Hollywood...

Now, don't get me wrong... I'm happy. I love my husband. I have 2 amazing, wonderful kids that I love like crazy. Sure, there are things I would change and there are things that I would have done differently but seriously, for the most part I am happy. So with that being said, why does watching these movies or TV shows always make me wonder if there is more out there? Why do we all buy into it? What is it about watching someone on a screen that we know is a character written by a team, yes a TEAM, of people that makes you re-think your own choices and where you are in your life? Why do the endings always seem happier on screen than in real life? And how come, even though we know they are characters and that these actors go home to relationships that are falling apart or so distant they might as well be bi-coastal relationships, we think of the characters as the main person that the actor is and forget that they are real people? I am sure most of the actors in Hollywood would like to have the happy endings that their characters get!!

So, now that I have determined SATC is really just Enchanted on Viagra, I am going to join my sleeping husband in bed... he may not be Chris Noth or Patrick Dempsey but he's a good guy and he loves me and he's a great dad. My happy ending may not be Hollywood worthy but it is good enough for me... until I watch the next romantic comedy of course!! ;)

Good night, sleep tight...

With love,

My Youniverse results...

..Youniverse Personality TestYouniverse Personality Test

Friday, July 25, 2008

My little man's first!!

Well, today was a first!! The first time my little man got a haircut!!! I know, I know... he is over 2 1/2, it should have been done before now!! LOL But, Mike never had hair that really needed to be cut. In his first birthday picture he had a perfect head of hair!! LOL It was just recently that the curls started to come out and get all crazy, especially in the heat. And living in Florida there is some major heat!!
So, we walked in and he had no idea what was coming. He sat in the kid booster chair and saw the scissors in the woman's hand and was having none of it!! So, Mommy had to sit in the chair with him. Yep, that's right... why should the 2 year old be the only one covered in hair when his mother could be itchy and covered too?!?! LOL The minute that scissor touched his head that was it!! He was whining and antsy saying 'All done'. 'Bye Bye Car' 'All done' 'Bye Bye Car' over and over again until that electric razor came on. That part was fun, but the scissors, those horrible scissors they way they took that hair off his head!! LOL
Needless to say, he came out of it fine :) No worse for the wear and even though I thought it was impossible, he came out cuter than he was going in!! Now he is walking around saying 'bye bye hair'!! LOL I love it!! :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

We're back.... and big changes are in store for me!!

Yeppers, we are back in the Sunshine (the really nice way of saying hot & humid as all h*ll) state!! We had a great time in NY, there was a lot of craziness and running around and I didn't get to see my friends nearly enough but it was nice to be home for a month. I can't say that I am happy to be back but I am happy to be back to a routine for the kids! Katie is thrilled to be back and to see her friends. Mike is happy to have his things back and I wish I could say that I think Pugsley-Ugsley is happy to see us but I think she enjoyed not having 2 crazy kids running the house!! LOL

As for me, I have found that I need to do more than just a little work on me. It is time that I start adding myself to the 'People to take care of' list. Don't get me wrong, I had myself on there but I was somewhere below the gecko that found its way into my patio and couldn't find a way out... so it is time I bump myself up on that list. I deserve to be taken care of just like everyone else. And I need A LOT of work!! LOL It is time to whip me into shape. I don't just mean the physical me. That has needed a lot of work for a while!! LOL More than the physical me, the emotional and mental me needs work. I need to deal with things that I haven't really dealt with but put aside and in the back of my head in that infamous 'to deal with later' file. That file hasn't been opened in years and I think it is about time I stopped filing things away in there. It is time to stop keeping it all in and to stop dwelling on things that I can't change.
With that said, I have decided to do a few things and I am putting them here so that I can be held to them. So that I can come back here in a month (or 6 months or a year depending on the goal) and say, see, I set out to do that and I did it! Here are the things that I have decided to do to work on ME for a change...
1) Lose weight. Joining the gym, eating right and getting exercise!
2) Get out!! Meet some people, make some friends down here. I have 2 moms that I am friendly with but I really want to meet more people.
3) Get a babysitter!! Matt and I need time away from the kids more than once every 6 months so I am on a mission to find a sitter! And by getting a sitter I can accomplish my next goal...
4) Volunteer more at Katie's school. It was hard this past year to do anything at school since you can't bring the little kids so by having the babysitter I can get out and do that!
5) Clean up and get rid of the clutter!! There is WAY too much stuff in my house!! I need to downsize all the nonsense. Get rid of toys the kids don't play with and that are broken, donate the clothes that don't fit them, shred all the papers that I have kept for some unknown reason!!
6) Work with Matt to decide just where the hell we are going... are we staying here in the Cape? Are we moving to another part of Florida? Virginia? Maryland?? Where do we want to go? Where do we want to be? Where do we think would be the best place to raise our kids?

See what I mean?? BIG things and BIG changes are in store!! So, those are the goals for now. I don't want to overload myself and put too much pressure on me. These are all hard goals for me. I don't like leaving my kids with anyone, I am a HUGE pack rat (I mean crazy huge pack rat... I still have cards from my Sweet 16!! LOL) and I think I was born a size 16 or 18 so losing weight has never been really easy for me. But, even with all that I am going to do it. I have this nagging voice inside saying, 'Chris, it's time to take care of yourself, it's time to put yourself first on the list, under your kiddies of course!'. So, here goes.... Wish me luck, say some prayers and keep me in your thoughts! I will be updating my progress here as I go so stay tuned... :)

With love from Happy Valley,

Friday, July 11, 2008

Disney: A major addiction that needs a support group or just a fun vacation spot??!!

Since acceptance is a step that all people who have an addiction must go through, I will admit and I do accept that if they had a Disney Addiction Support Group I would DEFINITELY be one of the first in line to join! LOL I LOVE Disney. And I don't just mean all of the Disney movies from Snow White through Enchanted (even though I do love all of them) and I don't just mean the Disney channel in the mornings (even though I leave it on for me and blame the fact that it is on from 7-11 AM on my 2 1/2 year old) and I don't just mean the merchandise or the toys (even though my Christmas wreaths are shaped like Mickey) and I don't just mean the parks (even though we have been to WDW 10 times since we moved to Cape Coral 15 months ago)... but I mean EVERYTHING Disney!! I love it all!! I think there is something so magical about an empire (because let's face it, Disney is way more than a corporation!) that does so many things to make people feel so great. They make you believe in fairies, princesses, happy endings, fairy tales, true love and everlasting friendship. They make you feel like you are 10 when you are 32. They bring out smiles, waves and hello's from strangers as you walk through the parks. They make you look at things through the eyes of a child and smile when you are at your most cynical, frustrated and stressed points.

Like any addiction there is the general Disney addiction and then there is the major weakness that puts your addiction out of control. For me that major weakness is the parks. I LOVE going to WDW. If I were to have my way I would buy a house around the corner from WDW and spend every day in the parks! :) I can't go there enough. And I am proud to say that I have passed my addiction to Disney onto my children. :) Mike has officially grasped the character photo pose. :) He runs up, gives the characters a hug and then turns around and backs into the character and says Cheese!! He loves Mickey, Pooh Bear and Handy Manny and Peter Pan. Katie is a HUGE princess fan. Anything princess is right up her alley. She is a definite dreamer and fairy tale lover. And they both LOVE the rides! :) They have their favorites and I have mine and we hit all of them every time we go. We love walking around the parks. The smells and the sounds (even though they may be mostly from the smellitizer machines and that wonderful Disney music piped through every inch of the park) to the food, the shows and the rides (the only place where you can get any nationality of food, see shows that could be on Broadway and rides as tame as Small World to thrill rides like Expedition Everest) to the Cast Members that greet you everywhere you go with a smile and a "Have a Magical Day" greeting (even though if it were anywhere else I could consider that a very 'Stepford' like characteristic) it really truly is the most magical place in the world! :) And I am happy to say that My name is Chrissie and I'm a Disney addict!! :)

With love from Happy Valley,

I'm SOOOOO excited!! :)

I can't spill the beans just yet but I have to get it out!!! :) I AM SOOOOOO EXCITED!! I got great news today and I am bursting at the seams to say something!! It is going to make me crazy to hold it in but I have to... so I will just say this... HOORAY!! :)

Ok, at least I feel a little better about keeping this secret by just saying that!!! LOL

With love from Happy Valley,

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Coloring the time away...

I have to say, I do love time away from reality. Now, I don't mean actually AWAY from reality like packing up and running away, but I mean mentally away. You know, doing those mindless things that keep you from loosing what little sanity you have left. Whether that time is spent sitting on the beach digging a hole with the heel of your foot, playing a game on the computer, reading a book that you don't have to pay attention to too many details or watching a movie, it is the simple fact that you NEED that time. It is easy to get engrossed in things and let all reality slip away. I like that feeling and there are days that I not only want, but I CRAVE that feeling. I find that I rarely take time for myself. My favorite thing to do to escape reality mentally is color. I know, a grown 32 year old woman that colors as her release is silly but its what I do. I will admit it... I have my own coloring books and crayons hidden in the house and I use them as often as I can. :) To me it is soothing. I put on my music and sit at the table or on the couch and color. I don't really know what it is about coloring that soothes me. Maybe it is the reminder of carefree childhood days that were spent with a box of crayons and a coloring book, maybe it is the idea of making something appear where there was nothing before, maybe it is all the colors, maybe it is the control that you have to make things just the way you want them. I don't know what it is, but I do know that I love it. And it calms me down. And it brings me to a place where I don't have to think. My mind can take a rest from all the craziness of life. I really think that everyone needs that time away from reality. I hope that you all indulge in your mindless activity as often as you can!! :)

With love from,
Chrissie in Happy Valley

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I can hear the bells...

You know you remember it...that sound that you would wait for every day when you were a kid. The one where your ears perked up as soon as you heard that very first note. It started to play every weekend and on the nice evenings in the middle of April and then on June 1st it was ringing through the neighborhood every day! My parents waited for it, I waited for it, you probably did too. And now my daughter waits for it. The sound that is music to every child's ears... the ice cream truck! It is amazing how quickly something like that gets engrained in kids' heads. We have only been in Rockaway for 3 days and she listens for it like a pro! LOL
And the ice cream truck that has the Rockaway route is the best! He knows the kids, he talks to them and by the end of the summer, he knows what they want before they ask for it!! That is one of the things that makes Rockaway.... well, Rockaway. That and the beach, the breeze from the water, the smell of the ocean, the walks in the evening just as the sun is going down so it isn't too hot, the people saying hello whenever they see you whether they know you or not. Katie was out running in the sprinkler on the front lawn while Mike was napping the other day. It was great. There were people out sitting on their front stoop, on their porches, walking to the beach. Mike came out when he woke up and played too. There were people sitting outside and walking here and there & they all came over and stopped and said hi. None of that, people coming home, giving you a 1/2 a wave and closing their garage doors.
I am looking forward to seeing my friends so much!! :) We have a beach playdate this Thursday with a friend of mine and her son. J & J are coming down in the morning so we can spend some time on the sand and in the water. Friday my BFF, C (Mrs. B.H. I like to jokingly refer to her as now that she is a newlywed!!) will be here!! :) I can't wait to see her! I haven't seen her since her wedding day!! :) I am hoping to see my other BFF J and my FABF R soon too!! :) I would love to get time in to see all of my friends while I am up here!! I miss them all so much!!
I love being home. I love seeing all my family and friends!! :) Being home is like getting a big hug after a really long, tough day. And I have been needing one of those hugs in the worst way!!
So, I wish for all of you to get that hug that you need... I am off to get some straightening up done before my mom gets back to a 'grandchildren-destroyed house'!!

With love from,
Chrissie in Happy Valley


So, it's about time I started posting about this. After all, this is a spot for me to get it all out, right?!

Well, here goes nothing... Mike's speech therapist went on vacation the end of May. Since she was going to be gone for 6 weeks and the kids and I were going to be gone for 4 (2 of the weeks were overlapping so it would have been 8 weeks w/o therapy) I asked that another speech therapist be able to consult w/ me to give me strategies and exercises for our month w/o therapy. And am I ever so glad I did!! 45 minutes into our first session with A she says to me, 'Did E ever recommend that you take Mike to a child neurologist so that he can be tested for speech apraxia?' I talked to her but after about 10 minutes she had to go to her next appt.

I was so pissed... how come the speech therapist that has been working with him for over a f*cking year didn't pick this up?? I went right to the computer and this is the first page that I pulled up: The whole page was like reading about Mike! Here is what they said:

"What is childhood apraxia of speech?
Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder. Children with CAS have problems saying sounds, syllables, and words. This is not because of muscle weakness or paralysis. The brain has problems planning to move the body parts (e.g., lips, jaw, tongue) needed for speech. The child knows what he or she wants to say, but his/her brain has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say those words."

My poor little guy gets so frustrated trying to get things out! He gets one sound out and nothing else! He looks like he just wants to say things and has so much to say and when he tries it doesn't come out. And then I read the symptoms and that was it for me...

"What are some signs or symptoms of childhood apraxia of speech?
Not all children with CAS are the same. All of the signs and symptoms listed below may not be present in every child. It is important to have your child evaluated by a speech-language pathologist (SLP) who has knowledge of CAS to rule out other causes of speech problems. General things to look for include the following:
A Very Young Child
Does not coo or babble as an infant
First words are late, and they may be missing sounds
Only a few different consonant and vowel sounds
Problems combining sounds; may show long pauses between sounds
Simplifies words by replacing difficult sounds with easier ones or by deleting difficult sounds (although all children do this, the child with apraxia of speech does so more often)
May have problems eating "

Well, if that isn't Mike!! I was raging pissed and on the phone to E's boss in less than 2 minutes! How could she not have even brought this up, even if it was to rule it out!! What the hell kind of speech therapist can she be if EVERY symptom (including the eating one) fits Mike and she didn't say a f*cking word??!! She either sucks at her job or she is just an ass because anyone can see that this kid should be evaluated for this issue!

So, now I have one neuro appt. July 30 at 10 AM and the other Dr's office has no computer system for today so they will call me tomorrow to set up an appt. And needless to say, since this is the SECOND f*ck up with the early intervention in Lee County I have been in touch with them every other day and they have agreed to take E off Mike's case and we will now be seeing A as his speech therapist. It is a relief to me because I don't think I could even stomach seeing E anytime soon. Because of her, if this is what is going on w/ Mike he will have missed out on an absolutely necessary 3-4 more hours of speech therapy a week for the past 6 months!

Anyway, thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated! I will update more on this when I get the next appt and when we get back to Florida and I know more... Thanks!

With love from,
Chrissie in Happy Valley