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Friday, September 30, 2011

Who's you Daddy??? Um, not YOU...

Now that I've got your attention, I hate to break it to you - but this post is going in a whole different direction.  :)

I know, I know - I tricked you.  Sorry, lol..

I'm just really annoyed & need to vent about women having their children call the man they are dating "Daddy" - especially after only a few months.

No offense to the guys who actually deserve the title, but I can't imagine that if you are a stand up guy that you'd want someone else's child calling you Daddy unless you know you're going to stick around...

Before anyone gets all defensive on me, I was a child of a mom who dated a lot AND I was also a divorced, dating, single mom once upon a time.  So I feel very entitled to vent on this!

Way to REALLY screw a kid up!

Once again - let me remind you - this post isn't directed at anyone specifically, so if you're feeling like I'm pointing the finger at you directly or this hits home in some way - take note, because you are about to be schooled!

I'm not good at holding my thoughts and feelings in, and when I'm about ready to blow - there's no stopping me.  I'm not standing in a place of judgement, but I AM definitely stating my (very strong) thoughts and opinions & you may not like what I have to say.

So I have this little chickadee...  Who has had several "daddies".  She always talks about when this one was her daddy and when that one was her daddy - I had to interject.  Wrong or right, I told this little girl that just because mommy has a new boyfriend - that doesn't make him her "daddy".  Especially since one of her "daddies" is her abuser.  How horrific!

Again, way to really screw a kid up!

I very clearly explained to her that biologically, we only get one mommy and one daddy.  The job of a mommy and daddy is to love, protect and teach their little person.  The end.

Not every biological can carry through their end of the bargain.  That's why there are adoptive parents, foster parents (including family) & step parents.  That is also why there are foster kids & messed up kids who grow into messed up adults!  I'm definitely one of them.  (mother, if you're reading - click the little x button now)

I consider myself to be a good parent.  I was both a divorced single mom at one time, and the product of divorced parents.

As the product of divorced parents, it was definitely not cool for me to have known mommy's "friends" AND I remember all of them, some not in a good way.  Luckily my mother never made me call anyone beside my own father "daddy".  However, her open dating is something that definitely screwed with my head when I was a kid.  It was also the reason that I kept my son far away from anyone I was dating.  He was a kid.  He was MY baby and MY responsibility and he already had a father.  He may not have been father of the year, but I wasn't looking for a new daddy for my son.  My marriage didn't work out - my bad, not his!

Yeah, I dated - but both my husband and the other person that I dated will attest to the fact that my son was never anywhere around.  I did my best to keep my personal life & my son separate.  My husband didn't get to meet my son for several months, and only after my dad cleared him.  Then there was STILL minimal interaction for quite a long time!  I didn't want any confusion on my son's part, especially since the only time my son briefly/accidentally met someone I dated (prior to my husband), he called him "daddy" out of confusion.  I nipped that in the bud immediately & that was the last time the two laid eyes on each other.  It was a good thing, because he was not the person I married.

Kids don't know any better.  They just want their world to be warm & fuzzy - happy & secure where everyone smiles & hugs each other.

To some of you women, I just want to smack you upside the back of the head & say WAKE UP!

Your beautiful little baby didn't ask to be here - you brought him/her here...  When you became a mommy - you became #2.  All your little wants and needs - SECONDARY....  The kids come first.

Wow, that sucks, huh???  How's that for a reality check??  The world no longer revolving around you, but someone else!

That's parenting - them first - you a very distant second...

If this hit a chord with someone - GOOD!

You are the person responsible for giving your little person the sense of security and self respect that will carry them through life.

They should look at you as a model of how they should be - not how they shouldn't be.

Your choice.

I pray that you don't screw it up!

Thank you for reading my blog!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cruising 101... Counting down!

My first cruise was truly an amazing and interesting experience.

Firstly, I had no idea if I would get seasick or not.  With that in mind, I went to see my doctor and got a prescription for that little patch that goes behind your ear.

I highly recommend that if your are going to cruise & this is something you are planning on purchasing - READ THE SIDE EFFECTS!

It's not nearly as fun to get that little "loss of vision" side effect while on a ship in the middle of the Caribbean at a Martini Tasting!  Talk about confusion!  It's hard enough learning how to walk on a moving ship, never mind doing it after a few cocktails without proper vision!

Luckily my husband read the side effects (after the fact), I took the patch off & started to regain proper vision within a few hours, but whew - what an experience that was!!

Also, maybe you won't actually BE seasick!  I don't get motion sickness.  I was still on the ship when I took the patch off & nada - nothing, not even a little queasy, but I didn't know in advance.  It's good to be prepared in the event of rough seas.  May I suggest those handy dandy little wrist bands instead or even Dramamine.  Yeah the bands mess up your tan, but would you rather spend time worshiping the porcelain god, or enjoying vacay??  Yeah - that's what I thought.  It's not like you can get a tan inside your cabin anyway!  :)

Also, I strongly recommend pre-purchasing your on board ship credit.  There is nothing like having the reality of vacation coming to an end smack you in the face harder than the sign & sail bill....  Eek!  Especially if you like to have a few cocktails.  Think NYC prices when you're ordering your little drinkie poo's...  They're like $8 a pop, no joke!

If you like to enjoy a glass of wine, or a cocktail here & there - check the alcohol policy on the cruise line.  Some lines let you bring your own alcohol (usually just wine) in your carry on.

Oh, and WATER!!  Order water to your cabin BEFORE you leave for your cruise.  Many cruises have all the free soft drinks you want - but water is $$.  If you pre-order your water to your cabin, it's cheaper.  There is usually someone coming around when you get on board to take orders, but really who wants to be bothered with more paperwork...

If you can get a cabin with a veranda - DO IT!!  There is nothing like watching the ocean any time you please.  Yeah, it's more expensive - but heck - you've already thrown down a mint for the cruise anyway - what's a few extra bucks!  You only live once!

We are planning to set sail once again & I'm ready!

Caribbean, massages on the beach, sun, sand & being waited on hand and foot...  I can't wait!

Thank you for reading my blog!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Aging, kicking and screaming all the way...

At this writing, I'm exactly 10 days from sliding down the middle of my imaginary teeter totter of life & beginning my rapid descent toward the next decade of my life...

I don't like it!  Not even a little bit, not even at all!  I guess that 46 is a prettier number than 45, but yuck!  What happened to 26?  Or 36?  I blinked!

Mostly, I've taken the aging process gracefully.  I like things simple, so I've never delved into the whole Botox, plastic surgery bit that seems so popular.  I'm not into all of that.  I'm me, love me as I am or not at all.

I do believe that I have entered mid-life crisis mode.  I am not always loving what is looking back at me in the mirror and feeling a bit ho hum. Who the heck is that older chick looking back at me?  The hot little 30-something now looks frumpty dumpty to me.  Boo!

Don't get me wrong, as appealing as it may sound to rewind the hands of time & redo the things I've done, knowing what I know now...  I'd still take back my old choices - because I'm quite sure I'd just make different mistakes that may not lead me to where I am today.  Today is good!

20's no thanks - for sure!  Reckless & wild - that was me.  30's a little better, but not quite there.

Now, in my 40's - I've accepted that this is who I am.  I'm ok with me.  Vanity surely kicks me when I'm down, but I know that I'm special and unique.  (Just like everyone else, lol)

My kids are getting bigger by the second - I'm getting older and greyer, but I'm me.

Working on telling Mrs. Frumpty Dumpty to relax and embrace the coming years and find a new "hot".

Yep, youth is truly wasted on the young.  I may be kicking and screaming all the way down my teeter totter, but I'm looking forward to the next phase of my life.

Thank you for reading my blog!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Reflecting back to September 11, 2001

It's one of those times in history where you remember exactly where you were, what you were doing...

I was working at Arrow Group Industries at the time.  At around 9 am our mail guy, Gene, came over to my desk and said - "Hey, did you hear that a plane just crashed into one of the towers at the World Trade Center?"  I tried to pull the news up on my computer & then it came over the radio that another plane had crashed into the second tower.  A half an hour later, another plane hit the Pentagon - then the crash in Pennsylvania.  I can remember people in the office frantically calling friends and family to be sure they were safe.  The office was very somber and chaotic at the same time - no work got done.  Everyone had the news up on their computers - the radio in the office got louder & we all sat there just listening.  I reflected back to the Trade Center bombing in 1993 - and now those same towers were gone.  It was all so surreal.

I wonder if this is how it felt to folks back when J.F.K. was shot.

It seemed like the world stopped.  I can remember feeling so scared.  My (step) dad was home (he lived with us) I wanted to get to him because he was sick, I wanted to get Kyle from school & I wanted Wag to be home.  I wanted to be safe in my little cocoon with my family.  We were living in the apartment across the street from Big John's at the time.  I remember us all on the sectional in front of the TV just watching the horror show over and over in disbelief.

It's hard to believe that was 10 years ago already.

On this 10th anniversary, please remember those who lost their lives.  Not only the first victims - but all of the first responders who selflessly put their own lives on the line to rescue others.  All of the random heroes who just went in to help whoever they could just because, and please always remember our United States service people who risk their lives every day defending OUR freedom!

God Bless America!

Thank you for reading my blog!


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Hurricane Irene in New Jersey - a week later

Looking back at my prior post on Hurricane Irene, I'm feeling pretty badly about my pre-hurricane post.

No one could have predicted how bad it was going to be for the inland folks here in Jersey.

Fortunately, the rivers have now receded & the flood waters are gone in most areas, but the destruction up and down the highway, not even a mile away from where I work is just awful.

Power is still out in many areas & emergency response is up and down the highway in several surrounding areas.  This doesn't even begin to call to mind the areas in South and Central New Jersey.

Currently being a PSE&G "widow", I can tell you that the utility companies are working their butts off to get things back up and running.  They are overwhelmed - genuinely.  Please hang in there.

I feel incredibly lucky and blessed to have been spared the devastation that so many of my fellow Jersey (and upstate New York) friends and neighbors have suffered.

This post is for all of you.

If you are out of state & know someone from Jersey who may have been affected, please check in with them.  Jersey Pride runs tough, so even if they say everything is just fine (and you know they were flooded) you may want to help out in some way anyway.

If anyone that I know needs help with clean up, or anything at all - please let me know.

Thank you for reading my blog!


Friday, September 2, 2011

Stevie Nicks Concert - PNC Bank September 1, 2011

First let me say, that THIS may have been one of the best concerts I've ever seen!

I love Stevie Nicks & she has always been my all time favorite, but I've been to A LOT of concerts!

At age 63 years old, this woman totally rocks it out - and with such style & grace.  She is genuinely appreciative of her entire band and her fans / the audience.

I loved her interaction and her energy!  She is so genuine.

I bought the new CD (I was about so say album, lol) "In Your Dreams" on pre-order.  While I loved a few of the songs (Secret Love, For What it's Worth, Annabelle Lee), I was only feeling 'eh on some of the others.  Then she played them live.
Stevie's Soldier's Angel was absolutely amazing live.  I wasn't previously a fan of this particular song.
Check out the song: 
What makes it better is her personal experience and story of what inspired her to write this song.  You can't get that just from listening to the CD.

She mostly played the new stuff to promote her album, but she played our fav's like Gold Dust Woman, Rhiannon, Leather & Lace (with her vocal coach).  I can't even begin to say how amazing it was.

As someone who writes, I appreciate an entertainer who pours her heart out on "paper" & brings it to life.  She really was just incredible!

And what a cast of characters at the concert.  Holy cow!  I thought people watching at Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, NYC was bizarre.  This concert was a close second, and I do believe I was a youngin' last night!

There were much younger girlies there as well.  While waiting on line for the ladies room (because you know there's ALWAYS a line for the ladies room) I hear this little 20 something, when she sees a picture of Lindsey Buckingham, say, "Oh he's the one who wrote ALL the songs Stevie Nicks & Fleetwood Mac sing."  Really?  All the songs??  What are you, 12??  I kept my mouth shut!  (yes, mark your calendars - it happened!)

What a fun concert, and for the first time in a very long time - I smelled that certain aroma wafting through the air.  You don't smell that at Jonas Brother's concerts with 9 year old little girls.

If you're a fan, check out Stevie's new album - ugh, I mean CD.  "In Your Dreams"

I personally give it a 2 thumbs up :)

Thank you for reading my blog!


PS.  Happy Birthday September 1st to my Lynne!!  Love ya girlie!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Common Ground

We've been foster parents for a good few years now.

Many little girls have come through.  Every one of them has left a different imprint on my heart for different reasons.  I've given up on the whole band aid theory.  I'm a mush.  I love from the top of my heads to the tip of my toes.  I don't bond with every single kid - a few of them I couldn't wait to leave.  It just happens that way.

This little chickadee - yet another I've sworn not to get attached to, has wormed her little way into my heart in less than a month's time.

Not only is she just the cutest, sweetest little thing - but she and I share common ground.

I always try to avoid using this as a forum to bash anyone, so I'll just say that my childhood was not stellar.  I longed for the love and attention of my mother - who only wanted sons.  Yes, I did have not only one, but two amazing dads, but it's just not the same as a mom.

This is where common ground kicked in.

One morning while I was driving her to daycare, she just started talking to me telling me how she wants to live with us forever.  No kid ever says that - no matter how bad their parent is.  That statement alone made me feel sad for her.  Of course, I tried to explain to her that she was just staying with me for a while and her mommy loves her.  At that she promptly said, "no she doesn't Miss Jenn".  My heart broke again.  She looked at me with her beautiful little eyes and said, "My mommy just wants me to stay away. from her."  I instantly knew how she felt.  My heart broke again & I felt as if I were five years old again and craving my mommy's attention.

Most women know how strong the bond should be between mother and daughter.  Daughters look to mom for all the things they should know.  When there's no where to look, you feel incomplete.

I flashed back through so many times I was "alone" - times in my life where I wish I had a mother who truly loved me to share things with me.  The birth of my daughter, when I was sick, when my brother died.  I won't elaborate, but I knew - I know this little girl's heart.  I know her pain.

I reached back with tears in my eyes & grabbed her little hand and promised her I will do all I am able for her.  It kills me that is the best promise I can make when I really just want to keep her safe, forever - just like she wants.

My daughter, many times, thinks that I am too tough on her - but she has no doubt how much  I love her.  In that alone, without anything else, I've accomplished so much more than I'd felt at her age.  I will teach her all I know - how to be strong and independent.  To have faith & know she's good.  To love with everything inside of her & how to love her own daughter like I love her.  I already know she's learning, because the compassion I see in my daughter for this little girl, and the ones before her, makes me so proud.

I do truly hope and pray that I am able to give this little girl what she needs for as long as she's here.  I hope all the times I tell her how smart she is, how beautiful she is, how good she is sticks in her brain and she knows she is good & worth it all.  I hope this time with us / with me gives her some of what I've always craved.  I also pray that her momma learns to give her hugs like I do & let her feel special and know she's worth it, and if she can't or won't - let someone else who will!.

I also pray that my own little girl will always look to her momma and always know - My momma loves me.

I wish you all the same!

Thank you for reading my blog!