I Dreamed a Dream

I try to make this blog positive and not dwell on the negative, but there are times that it's difficult for me to remain that way.  There are circumstances and happenings that occur in which her absence is painfully obvious, and I get agitated.  I really try to pretend that I'm not longing for her, or that I don't need her, but, sometimes?  I really do.  And usually I just get sad.  But there are times that I get mad.  

I'm pissed at my mom. 

There.  I said it.

You can slice it and dice it any way you'd like, but she's not here any longer because of her desire to be thin.  And, not only her desire to be thin--NO--her desire to achieve her goal via a shortcut.  She didn't die because of some freak exercising accident, or as a result of a diet gone wrong.  She died because she needed to be thin quick and easy.  And THAT is why I'm pissed.

Hey, guess what, mom?  I would love to be thin too.  But rather than undergo some elective surgery that someone with a heart condition probably shouldn't have had in the first place, I spend three days a week running.  Yes, my large butt puts on tight pants and a sports bra and an ugly t-shirt and a headband that is so hideous, my two-year old laughs at it.  But, it's better than sweating in my eyes.  Which, BE TEE DOUBLE-U, I DID FOR THE FIRST TWO RUNS.  Because I forgot to bring a headband. 
And then, I drag my already-worked-an-entire-day-plus-a-3-hour-commute-haven't-seen-my-daughter-yet-today-butt outside, and I run.  There are times that I am sure the oncoming vehicle doesn't see me and I'm going to have to slide into the nearest lawn.  There are instances where I can actually feel my butt jiggle.  And, the other day?  I'm pretty sure the mailman laughed at me.  But still, I press on. 

And I keep telling myself, Oh, my mother could NEVER run...she could NEVER do a 5K.  You know what?  That's BS.  Because you could have run, if you had ever tried.  If doing things the long way, or the right way, or the hard way was of interest to you.  But apparently it wasn't.

And so, I get to attend a BBQ where I watch a little boy's grandmother follow him around, doting on his every move.  And I get to watch my brother practice changing Leah's diaper for when his daughter his born.  And I witness some of Leah's more unsavory behavioral traits wondering what the hell I am doing wrong, and I'm pissed.  I'm pissed off that Leah doesn't have what that little boy has.  And that Marco won't have you to help.  And I can't ask you for advice.  And that our lives must go on without you and you could have prevented your death.  You didn't have to die. 

Don't get me wrong, if you showed up tomorrow claiming you had to fake your death to escape the Armenian mob due to gambling debts, I'd welcome you with open arms and delete this post immediately.  But I know you're not living in the Caribbean, working the docks in a fishing village, answering to the name Bernice.  I know you're gone.  And I know that you didn't have to be. 

My life, and the lives of everyone in my family, are forever changed in a horrible way because you died.

And today I'm pissed off about that.

And still I dream she'll come to me,
that we will live the years together. 

 But there are dreams that cannot be,
and there are storms we cannot weather.


What I Got

There are good days and there are bad days.

There are happy days and there are sad days.

There are busy days and there are really busy days.

There are times that I can't believe I've accomplished so much and there are times that I can't believe how much more I have to accomplish.

There are a few loads of laundry to do and there are enough loads to clothe a family of 8 for 4 months.

There are a few work projects and there are work theses.

There are rooms to be vacummed and there are rooms that need an industrial cleaning company.

There are weekends and there are holiday weekends.

There are strawberries and there are strawberries that come from your backyard.

There are husbands and there are husbands that leave you flowers on your desk.

There are families and there's my family.

Life's too short so love the one you got.

*I slept 11 hours last night.  ELEVEN.  Damn you, Jon Bon!


Livin' on a Prayer

I am not 21 anymore and am incapable of going out on a work night and staying up past 10 p.m.

Last night that's just what I did when I ventured to the new Meadowlands Stadium and watched Bon Jovi christen the joint.

I know that it was worth it and I'll be proud to tell my kid(s) that I was there on opening night, and that, because of my superior skills of complaint, I was able to get our seats upgraded two levels, but... 

I'm just so stankin' tired. 

No update today, kids.  Pretend that this all made sense and was interesting and it's a good post.

See ya tomorrozzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.


A Little Girl and Her Daddy

Greg and Leah have a good relationship.  They spend a lot of time together and do a lot together.  Greg spends several days a week with Leah, and they enjoy swimming, gardening, and yard work.  He likes to take her on errands and she knows a lot of people at Lowes.

I feel bad that I don't get to spend every day with Leah, but I'm happy that she gets to spend that time with her daddy.  Not many dads get the chance to work a flexible schedule that allows them to be home with their children during the day. 

And they have a great relationship.  They understand each other and communicate well with each other.  They enjoy watching tv together.  They like having their picture taken with each other.

There are times that Greg and I talk about having a second child, and we discuss our reservations.  Although he never says it, I think he's afraid that he won't be able to love and care for a another child as much as he does for Leah.  I know that's not true, but when you see them together, you can see why he might feel that way.

He's a good dad.


It's Gettin' Hot in Here

It's getting toasty 'round these parts, so we've opened up the Guly Pooly. 

That's a silly name, I know, but I came up with it a few months ago and it stuck.  For me, at least.

Of course, with pool-activities come pool-wear.  Ugh. 

I know what you're thinking:  You're not alone--no one likes to strut around in her bathing suit, Dana. 

But, that's not true.

Always has, always will.


I Genitori Di Mio Padre

My paternal grandparents are long gone.  They both passed while I was in high school.  My grandmother died near Easter and my grandfather died near Christmas.  Or on Christmas.  I'm not sure--he lived in Italy at the time, and I remember getting the phone call on Christmas Eve.  But it might have been Christmas in Italy. 

Hey, as an aside--two people in different countries can die at the exact same time, yet, their deaths will be recorded as occurring on different days due to time zones.  THAT is really strange.

Anyway, I wasn't super close to my dad's parents.  They didn't speak English, and I didn't speak Italian.  It's difficult to forge a relationship with people that you can't communicate with.

However, there are things that I remember about both of them.

My grandmother always had knee pain.  (A good daughter and responsible writer would call up her father as this point and ask why, but, eh.  It's not like I get paid to do this.)  We would go to her house on Saturday nights and spend time with her.  When it was hot out, we would sit in her driveway.  When it was cold, we would sit on her plastic covered couch in her living room.  Someone would always ask her how her knee felt, and she would rub it and say, "Joosta the same." 

I don't think you're allowed to smile in Italy.

I don't remember much about my grandfather.  At one point he left my grandmother and went back to live in Italy.  He joined a church and spent a lot of time doing, uh, churchy things.  Before he left, however, he would do this thing where he'd slowly put one hand on top of the other and then make his thumbs move in foward circles towards me.  It looked like a turtle.  I just did it with my hands, and you know?  I'm not exactly sure it's supposed to be a turtle.  Maybe a fish?  Maybe not an animal at all.  It was funny, though.  I'm going to do it with Leah and see if she laughs.

I'll smile for both of us, Pop Pop.

My dad's family has a drama filled history, complete with familial homicide!  I'd love the time to sit down with my relatives and hear all of their stories.  Maybe even write them down.  I'll put it on the to-do list along with changing my sheets.  Because that never gets done, either.


Running Update: Highly Motivated, Slightly Able

Can I just tell you that I think about running non-stop? I mean, all.the.time. I flat out refuse to listen to music that’s not intense, fast, and motivating. I think about how my goal of running a 5K on Thanksgiving is lofty, but I am driven to do it. I imagine how nervous I’ll be before the race, and pray that my body’s usual way of dealing with anxiety--a certain bodily function I’ll leave up to your imagination--will not make an appearance. I dream about how proud I’ll be if I can keep up with Adriana and Gabrielle. I think about if anyone I know will come out to cheer me on. I wonder if I’ll cry when I see Leah at the finish line with Greg--actually, I wonder if I’ll see the finish line at all. I wonder if I’ll be able to jog the entire thing, and I pray that I won’t completely lose it if I have to bring it down to a walk at any point.

I’m putting so much on this goal--so much more than just being able to say I’ve completed a 5K.

This is something that I’ve never done and never thought I could do. This is something that my mother would never have expected from me. (I come from a long line of shoppers, not runners.) This represents a lifestyle that doesn’t include weight problems, health issues, heart conditions, mobility limitations, and weight loss surgeries. This represents life. A long life with my husband, child, dad, siblings, friends, future children, grandchildren family.

Now, if I can just stay focused and not think about how soon I will be training in 90 degree heat, I will do fine. I’ve completed week two of the running program I am doing, and today I will begin week three. I’m on a slightly slower track than the program suggests, but I have the extra time and I feel that I am benefiting from completing an extra workout before moving onto the next stage.

I’m not the most attractive runner on the track, if you know what I mean. I’ve never actually seen myself run, but I can only imagine I look tragic. I don’t have great form, or any form, really. I have to keeping reminding myself to land heel-toe, heel-toe with each step. I’m usually preoccupied with my pants and whether they are staying up, and my shirt, and whether it’s staying down.

But, you know what? I’m running. That’s what.


Mommy Guilt

I've been experiencing some big-time mommy guilt.

It's hard to leave this face every morning.

Greg's been working long hours and I've been parenting solo on many days and I feel like all I'm doing is rushing to get Leah dressed and to school in the morning and then fed and in bed at night. 

And I'm missing everything in between.

It's killing me.

If you happen to pass me in the car while I'm on my commute, you may see me crying. 

Please just ignore.

I know that I signed up for this.  The day we bought this house, and our cars, and, essentially our lifestyle, I signed up for working full time in order to be able to support my family.

It just kills me some days.  I never thought that I could love something as much as I love Leah.

And I want to do so many things with her but have so little time.

And on some days I have a lot of trouble dealing with it.



Uncle Rudy

Today I attended a funeral for a close family member.  Ever since my mom's funeral, it's been incredibly difficult to attend funerals, which, unfortunately, I've had several to attend.

When my grandmother died in September of 2009, I was able to dissassociate myself from the entire situation.  I kept telling myself that I was just a stranger looking in and watching.  Not a granddaughter who had lost her grandmother, but just somebody who was sitting in church listening to people talk about this woman, Violet, who had passed.  I was able to get through it by not thinking about it.  Everytime it would start to hit me, I would think of something else:  a grocery list, my dog, what I had to do at work the next day.

Today's funeral was different.  I couldn't stop being  in the present, no matter how hard I tried.  As much as I tried, it was so difficult to not let what was happening affect me.  I kept thinking:  laundry, tomorrow's work meeting, shampoo, but sometimes I couldn't take my mind off of where I was and what I was experiencing.  And at those times, I cried.

I came home and picked up Leah from daycare and we spent the afternoon playing.  And, as I did a Barney puzzle with her and opened up the Play Doh container, and put magnetic letters on the fridge, I was no longer sad.  I was no longer thinking of the funeral.  I was somewhere else.  Finally.

I'll miss you, Uncle Rudy.


The Healing Corner: Dana's Story

November 24th, 2007
Patricia E. Grieco


I wish I could turn back time and keep you here just a little longer. I wish I had just one more day with you. I’d settle for an hour, or even a phone call. I’d give anything just to hear your voice, or to see you at the kitchen table as I walked into your house.

I wish I could listen to you talk about “Dancing with the Stars”, or have you lick your finger and wipe my face, or hear you call me “Dana Ann!” one more time, or smile while you and Daddy showed us your newest dance step, or was able to call you up and tell you when the baby kicked.

But I know that I can’t, and I’ll be okay with that. The pain of losing you will never go away, but hopefully each day it will lessen, until all I think about are the good times and the great memories. I’ll miss you more than anything in this world, and I’d give anything to still have you here, but I want you to know that we’ll be okay. Daddy, Marco, Adriana, and I will take care of each other, and your passing will bring us closer together. We’ll be sure to call each other daily, and ask about each other’s days. We’ll say “I love you” to each other, and spend as much time together as we can.

We’ll think of you whenever we are together, and especially when we are alone. We’ll remember your smile and your laugh and your kindness and your love. We’ll know that you will be watching us, guiding us, helping us get through the tough times. But you’ll also be with us during the good times. You’ll be there when my baby is born. You’ll be there when Marco makes his millions and when Adriana walks down the aisle. You’ll be there when Daddy goes back to dance class. You’ll always be there.

And when we least expect it, we’ll feel your presence. We’ll know that you’re with us, and we’ll be thankful that we had so many good years with you, and so many good memories to remember you by, and a future that we all look forward to living, with you standing right next to each one of us.

We love you so much, and we hope we do you proud.


Giveaway Winner!

Of the 11 giveaway comments, number 6 was randomly chosen.  And number six is Stacey!  Who happens to be my cousin.  And what's so great about her winning today is that in a few hours she is graduating from Ryder!  I BBMed her to tell her the good news and she sent me this picture back.  I am really proud of Stacey, who will be heading to UConn for grad. school in a few days.  One day I'll do a proper post about Stacey and her family, who are all remarkable people who have been through some remarkable things.  So, congratulations Stacey!  Your bracelet is on its way!  You deserve it!

I was going to post a Healing Corner post today of something that I wrote, but then I thought about things.  Here I am excited about Stacey winning (and graduating) and then I'm going to go right into a depressing literary piece in order effectively bring down my mood and the mood everyone who happens to read it? 


Add to the fact that I might have figured out a way to get my cat to cease urinating in one corner of my home (and it doesn't entail getting rid of the cat), we are getting some new carpet installed in our family room this weekend, and I got a 30% off coupon in the mail from Kohls!  These are all good things, and, despite a death of a family friend and a grave medical situation for a family member, I think I would like to just take some time today to focus on the good. 

So there you have it:  Stacey is graduating and gets a bracelet from Jo's Codependent Kitty Creations, (don't forget:  free earrings with every purchase of $15 or more between May 16-June 15, when you mention DeenutsDana in your transaction), cats don't pee on aluminum foil on, I'm single handedly bringing back shag carpet, and Kohl's loves me, really loves me!

Have a good weekend, folks! 


Family of Four

Since I was five and a half, I've always been part of a Family of Five.

Being a family of five had its difficulties at times. 

Someone always had to sleep on the cot in hotel rooms while on vacation.

Someone had to sit in the dreaded middle seat in the back of the car.

Someone had to ride solo on roller coasters.

But, I can honestly say that the good outweighed the bad.

There was always a majority vote...no Mexican standoffs in our house.

There was always a choice in who to hang out with. 

I was able to hone my big sister skills twice.

And now, we are a Family of Four.

I'm still searching for the good qualities.

For the record, I despise this picture. 
I feel like Quasi Modo standing next to those aliens on V.

**There's one more day to enter the Giveaway.  Winner announced tomorrow.**


Lowered Ears

Over the weekend, I took Leah for a hair cut.  Her hair was getting really long. 

Case in point:

I mean, don't get me wrong, she was still the cutest kid that I've ever laid my eyes on, but, her hair needed some direction.

In the past, going for a haircut has been a stressful experience for all involved.  Long story short: Leah doesn't like to have her bangs cut, and Mommy's cried at three different salons, so we've made some changes to our hair expectations.  Those changes are that Leah no longer has bangs, and we've found a new salon that never needs to know that I tend to weep when my daughter loses it and screams at the sight of scissors.

                         WIN WIN.

                  Cute hair, interesting smile.

Do not forget that the Giveaway is still going on. Head on over and enter to win a beautiful bracelet designed and hand-made by the Quirky Jo Ellen Roberts! Good luck! Winner to be announced on Friday.


Running Update-Week One: CRAPPY

Week One of running is over and all I have to say is that running totally bites the big one. 

Just getting ready to actually begin running takes planning of epic proportions. 

First, I have to find someone to watch Leah.  Then I have to find something to wear while running. And lest you think that I am talking about some cute little fitness get-up--NO.  I just need to make sure that all of my parts are er, well supported, if you know what I mean.  I try to show as little skin as possible.  Believe me, it's for the better.

Then, I have to find my gel insert for my left foot arch, some sort of head sweat band, an arm band for my ipod, those damn ear buds that give me a headache.  All the moons must align so that Venus is in retrograde and Confucius must have deemed this a proper running day.  I have to check the Farmer's Almanac....ok, I'm kidding.  But not about the clothes, the gel insert, the head band, and the ipod with all of its accoutrements. 

Oh, and finding someone to watch Leah.  Because the last thing I want to (translated: can) do is run while pushing one of those jogging strollers.  I am concentrating too hard on not breaking my ankle(s).

Add that to the fact that last week I was driving  to a place with flat streets so that I could run and not see anyone that I knew....well, that didn't last.  I now run around my neighborhood and if the neighbors see me, who cares.  If they have time to be watching then they have time to be standing on the side of the road handing me little cups of water. 

Two things of note this week:

1-Greg asked how it was going, and I told him that I am the slowest runner that I've ever known.  In fact, I'm pretty sure that most of the running world wouldn't even consider what I'm doing running.  He then said to me, "Oh, so no one's passing by and yelling 'Slow down!,' huh?"  

That one, as supportive as an athletic cup, right?

2-I was talking to some co-workers about the program and told them that I was pretty sure that running never becomes enjoyable, just maybe sucks less.  My boss then told me that my short-term goal should be to find "The Absence of Suck."  Hehe.  Ok, then, it'll be my quest.  I'll let you know when I reach it.  (Don't hold your breath.)

So, I am chugging along.  I am ready to begin Week Two's podcast, which will probably kill me.

At the rate we are going, I should be able to run a 5K by the time I'm 56 years old.  Can't wait.

Thinks mommy's gel insert should go in her sneakers. 

Do not forget that the Giveaway is still going on.  Head on over and enter to win a beautiful bracelet designed and hand-made by the Quirky Jo Ellen Roberts!  Good luck!  Winner to be announced on Friday.


The People In Our Neighborhood: Jo Ellen (And a Giveaway!)

Today's post features my friend Jo Ellen.  She has been a very good friend since college.  Instead of getting her words for the first part of this post, I am going to write about her.  And then, since she is such a nice person, she has offered to host our Giveaway this week.  Which I am really excited about!

So, Jo. That's what I call her.  First off, it took my husband a good five years not to give me the hairy eyeball when I mentioned "my good friend Jo."  Since, well, he thought Jo was a boy.  But, Jo is definately not a boy.

Jo may also kill me for posting this picture.
I don't care.

I met Jo the summer after sophomore year of college when we subletted rooms on opposite sides of a duplex near Boston.  She's originally from Cordova, Alaska, and one of the things that I admire most about Jo is that she's a little off--quirky is what I call it--and she knows it, and she embraces it, and she doesn't give a crap what anyone thinks about it. 

Jo is Jo, and she's true blue.

What Jo doesn't know is that she is responsible for keeping me in college Junior year.  You see, second semester Junior year, my roommate and best friend, along with a few other good friends of mine, went to study abroad.  A stranger moved into my apartment, and I found myself spending a lot of time alone.  I stopped going to my sorority house, stopped hanging out with my other friends, and just pretty much stuck to going to class and then going home.  I was incredibly lonely and probably a little depressed. 

Now, I'm going to tell you something that may shock you.  Especially you, Dad.  So, I would like you to just be prepared and understand that it happened a long time ago and your perfect, rule abiding girl Dana would NEVER do something like this now.

Right around the time that my close friends went to study abroad, I happened across a fake id.  The specifics are not important, ok?  I am telling you this because it's pertinent to the story.  Jo turned 21 a few weeks after the semester started, and, since most of our friends were still 20 (uh, like me), and most of our friends did not have a fake id (unlike me), Jo and I started going to this one bar next to my apartment to hang out and have a drink (or seven).  We had a lot in common, like our love of film and tv, and it was nice to have someone to be able to talk to and hang out with and just be myself with.

Now, if you think this is the part where I go into my brief, yet torrid foray as a college lesbian, stop right there!  This is a PG blog, and also, that never happened.  Jo and I just became really good friends, and I was so happy to have someone that I clicked with.  She got me out of my funk, and convinced me that I liked being at school and wanted to stay there.  Once my friends returned to BU senior year, I introduced them to Jo and we all became close. 

Over the years, Jo and I fall in and out of each other's lives, but we always are able to pick up right where we left off.  These days she makes her home in Minnesota with her husband Nate and her mentally unstable cat Ren.  She just launched her new business and is nice enough to giveaway a piece of gorgeous jewelry to one of my readers, along with a discount offer to anyone who wants to purchase anything!

I own a piece of her jewelry and I can attest that her stuff is gorgeous.  I hope you feel the same.  I'm going to turn over this post to Jo, who has written some words about the Giveaway.  If you'd like to enter, all you need to do is post your name and email address in the comments.

I'll leave this contest open until Friday, May 14th.  I urge you all to take a look at Jo's site.  If you don't go for the jewelry, go for the photography.  Or just go for Jo.  She's uh, what's the word?  Oh yeah, quirky. 

I mean, really, who gets married at the Mall of America? 


“Sky-Blue Hearts” features freshwater pearls and hand cut blue-green apatite beads dangling from a delicate chain of heart-shaped links. Plus, I’ve topped it off with a sassy, yet sweet, arrow and heart focal encasing a matching pearl. I only used sterling silver throughout—from the chain to the clasp to the wire—so it’s appropriate even for those with common metal sensitivities. It measures a tad over 7”, but those with smaller wrists can easily adjust the length.

I’ll be adding one of these bracelets to the Codependent Kitty Creations Etsy site the week of May 16th when I launch my summer collection. Price: $32. But I’m so excited you’ll be giving one away to one of your lucky readers!

Plus, I’ve decided to give your blog readers a FREE pair of simple dangle earrings from my summer collection with any purchase of $15 or more from http://www.codependentkitty.com/ between May 16th and June 15th. (But, only if they mention your name when they place their orders. Hey, I gotta have a way to keep out the riff-raff.)

Ok folks, so there you go!  Post your name and email address in the comments section and I'll pick a winner on Friday.  Also, please visit Jo's site and don't forget to mention DeenutsDana when placing your order!


Dear Mom...

Well, here we are.  Our third Mother's Day without you.  And hey, guess what?  It's not any easier! 

Go figure.

My first Mother's Day without you was also my first Mother's Day as a mother.  It was the holiday I was dreading the most to have to experience without you there.  But, we managed.  As we always do.

What I like about Mother's Day is that Adriana wants to spend it with me each year.  Her reasoning is that I'm the mother that she's closest to.  She always does something nice for me, too.  Like takes me for a pedicure or changes Leah's diapers.

This may make me sound like a bad person, but on Mother's Day I just want to be able to do what I want.  I know I should say things like, "I want to spend the whole day with my family." or "I want my family to shower me with love, attention, and gifts." 

But I really just want to do what I want to do and not have to answer to anyone.  Sometimes, that means not spending the whole day playing with Leah.  Sue me.

I wonder if that's how you ever felt.  You never said it, and for good reason.  We would have been hurt if you said you didn't want to be with us for the entire day.  Or, maybe because you hadn't lost your mom, you didn't really dread the day the way I do.  Maybe you didn't want to just quietly have the day pass without much fanfare.  Like I do.

Well, this year I want to get a pedicure with Adriana (and only Adriana, Leah) and then I want to order Chinese food so that I don't have to cook and clean the kitchen.  That's it.  Everything else is just gravy.

Mom, 1978

Stay tune on Monday for a great Mother's Day Giveaway.  It's our first giveaway sponsered by an actual person with an actual business and not something I grabbed while on line at Pathmark!  Have a good one!


We Skipped the Light Fandango

I talk a lot about the relationship that I had with my mom, and the relationships I have with other family members, but I don't often talk about the relationship that my mom and dad had with each other.  Maybe it's not really my story to tell, but I definately have feelings about it.

When my mom had her attack and spent a little over a week on life support, I spent a lot of time with my dad and sister.  One of the things that my dad kept repeating to us was how much he loved her, and he asked us over and over if we knew that. 

"You know I love mommy.  You know that right?"

It was quiet obvious that he was reassuring himself.

I think that when you are faced with the situation that you may never speak with someone again, you start thinking about the last thing you said to that person, and you think about how you treated that person, and you hope that the person knew how much you loved them.  Because, in situations where a person dies suddenly, there's a good chance are you are going to have regrets with regards to how you left things with them. 

No one lives their life treating people as if it's the last time they are going to see them.  Who leaves work, or a party, or the neighborhood get-together telling each other how important they are, and how loved they are, and how much they mean to them?   At 5 p.m. each day I most assuredly do not say to my co-workers what I would say if I knew it was the last time I was going to see them breathing.

So, when someone passes unexpectantly, you only have how you treated them throughout their life to go on.  For me, I was so lucky that I had had some really good conversations and experiences with my mom before she died.  The last time I saw my mom alive, she was recovering from a surgery in a hospital.  I was able to tell her that I loved her and hug her.  But, had I not had those good last times with her, I think I still would have been content with how things were left between us.  We had our trying times, sure, but we also had our good times, and they outnumbered the bad.  We had a close relationship.  We joked with each other; we were honest with each other; we respected each other. 

I often wonder how my dad feels about how he left things with my mom.  From the point of view of their kids, their relationship seemed like a normal one.  There were tough times, and good times, and above all, they loved each other.  They loved to dance and enjoyed taking lessons.  They liked to travel and took vacations together.  They appeared to have the same interests.  But no one knows the inner-workings of their relationship except them.  I hope that my dad's need to reassure himself (and us) right after my mom's attack was just a knee-jerk reaction to the tragic situation we were thrust into at the time.  I hope he doesn't feel that other people thought he didn't love her.  I hope he doesn't still have regrets about how he treated her.  I hope he's content with their life together.



Cha Cha

Lately Leah has been going through some big changes. 

Her language has just exploded. 

She'll come out with a full sentence and just surprise us.

She knows what she's saying and what she wants and what she's trying to do. 

It's just amazing.

Sometimes I get so sad that she's growing up so fast and days are just flying by.

But, everyday brings so many great new things. 

I still can't believe that I took part in creating her.

She is such an independent little girl. 

And sometimes she comes and sits on my lap and puts her head down on my shoulder
and I know that she still needs me just like I need her.

I love my little Cha Cha.


A Big Deal

So, I ran.  For an amount of time and a distance that I should be embarassed of.  But I'm not. 

The first two minutes of running were brutal.  I was about ready to turn around and go home.  And I would have, but by the time I convinced myself that it was okay to quit, the two minutes were over.  And the voice on my ipod said you should be able to completely recover over the next three minutes, just in time for the next two minute run, and I laughed, because there was no way I was going to recover.  I was going to vomit, is what I thought I was going to do.

But, I recovered.  In time for the next two minute run.  Which was also brutal. 

But not as brutal as the first.  Which really surprised me.  Because I didn't expect things to get easier as I went along.  And, as I continued with this run-two-minute, walk-three-minute cycle over and over I began to experience something that can only be described as:

Periods Of Time That Did Not Suck Entirely.


Don't get me wrong, most periods of time sucked.  But there were some that didn't.  And, when Todd's (Tom?) voice told me that the running portion of the exercise was complete, and all I had to finish was a 5 minute cool down walk, I turned off Todd's (Tom?) program and switched over to my playlist, and smiled a little as I finished up.

A LITTLE.  Don't go thinking I skipped and frolicked my way down the road.  I smiled a teensy bit, because I've NEVER run and yesterday I did, and that's a big deal.



Greg and I have been thinking about Leah's education lately. 

Not her college education.  She's going to BU in the Fall of 2026 and that's already decided, settled, and partially (very partially) funded.

No, we are talking about Pre-School. 

It should come as no surprise that Leah is a spirited child.  She likes to run and jump and skip and play.  And she's active and opinionated and likes what she likes.  One could mistaken her strong personality for being spoiled, but I tend to think she gets bored easily and needs to be kept busy and occupied.

We are hoping that she'll be in full time day care very soon.  And then, in September, I'd like to get her into a morning pre-school program a couple of days a week.  I think I started pre-school at around her age, as there are pictures of me "graduating" from somewhere when I'm two and a half.  I guess I should start calling up local places and find out if they offer morning classes.  And then I guess I should start picking up a graveyard shift, as I hear pre-school is quite expensive.  I assume we'll need to go and visit places and sit in little chairs and speak with people and ask certain questions.  I've never been through having to interview and check out facilities, so I'm not sure what to look for.

I guess we'll wing it.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, we wing it a lot of times. 

Wonder what that diploma said. 
"Dana can now eat a cookie with barely any drool--PASS!"