Easter Recap

Sorry about my absence.  I was sick and had a busy week.  And, it didn't start out great. 

So, I'm back!  With an Easter update.

Surprisingly, it wasn't 30 degrees!!!  I mean, it still rained and all, of course,but we didn't need winter coats, only umbrellas.

We got to hang out with family and have egg hunts, go to dinner, see the Easter bunny, have a caricature made, and get our face painted.

And, in keeping with a theme, the target may be different, but the picture never changes.



Tonight I am having a real bad night.  I can't pinpoint what triggered this, but I have an idea.  I don't want to talk about it.  These types of nights are horrible.  I am succeeding at everything and failing at everything.  Everything is good yet everything sucks.  I am a good mother I am a bad mother.  I know what's going on but I haven't the foggiest clue what I'm doing. My dad's cousin is going to call me in five minutes and I have to pull it together because I can't let them see me sweat.


Weekend Movies For Your Review

Love Song

Rainy days may have just packed you inside the cozy closet of your room. If you are all bored with the crafts and other indoor games, then just grab this movie from the nearby store to roll over with fun and frolic of the adventures of the world's most adorable singing kid, Leah Patricia. The film won the 2010 Kids' Choice Awards for Favorite Movie. So, I guess, you don't want to miss all the entertainment for few hours, that will make you a lifelong fan of this kid.

Gymnastics Kid

After hanging with the wrong kids at daycare and a run-in with the law, Leah G. is forced to return to the world from which she fled some years ago. Enrolled in an elite gymnastics program run by the legendary Miss D.J., Leah's rebellious attitude gives way to something that just might be called team spirit.

Now That's What I Call Dance
L.P. has lived most of her life very much like a wild street cat: surviving each day in the perilous Sparta, NJ while trying to overcome the tragedies in her life, like that day when her mom ran out of milk. But there is one thing that keeps her going—her passion for dance. Will she remain hidden in the dark alleys of Birch Tree Lane or will her talent shine through for all the world to see?


The Healing Corner: Abbe's Story; Part Four

It was Thanksgiving 1983. We had just purchased out first home 4 months prior. The week before I found out I was pregnant with our second child.

Ray III was 3 yrs old. Because I grew up in a Jewish household, I just loved all the Christmas holiday things. The family, the food, the gifts - meaning the shopping, the wrapping and cooking ~ alot of things people thought a chore I thought was fun. Since I was new to all this I also over indulged in shopping and planning.

A few weeks before Christmas I started spotting. I went to the doctor and he told me to stay off of my feet as much as possible.

I did, but it was the holidays and I also had a toddler at home and a husband who worked long hours. Anyone who lived nearby was busy in their own lives.

As usual we were planning to go to North Jersey for Christmas. It felt like one of those changes was going to get the best of us within the next couple of years because we were the only family members that lived down the shore at the time. We could still travel with little Ray, but we felt in the near future we would want him waking up in his own home on Christmas to share the excitement.

It was a bitter cold winter. I mean bitter. Below freezing wind factors.

Christmas Eve day I started spotting more. Then the pain started.....and continued. I couldn't/shouldn't leave my bed. I was hoping I wasn't miscarrying.

Uncle Ray stopped on the way home from work on Christmas Eve, picked up a roast and some fixings that he could put together for us for Christmas dinner at the last minute since we couldn't travel. I told him to go up north with Ray and spend the holiday there. He wouldn't go.

5:30 that morning I woke up in extreme pain and just knew from the depth of my soul I just miscarried. Here is was Christmas morning. I had to call the doctor. He said maybe not, just stay off my feet. I knew differently because the pain stopped out of the blue.

I cried for the baby I just miscarried. I cried because I pulled my husband and son away from the extended family for the day. I will never, ever forget Ray's words to me at that moment....."Abbe, you and Ray are my family. We are here together. This is how it's going to be from now on as our family grows."

That was the turning point in us running up north on Christmas. We realized that our immediate family was important and we had to alter tradition. We found our way over the years how to visit a day or two later. It's was all ok.

Later into the morning I called my friend Colleen to tell her what had just happened. She invited us to stop by later in the evening for dessert with her parents and family. It was the start of a new tradition. Now 27 yrs laters I still stop by late on Christmas night. Through that 27 yrs, she's divorced and has a new segment to her family, Uncle Ray died, her Dad died who always made the plum pudding Uncle Ray craved for every year, the kids have grown, sometimes one of our kids are there, sometimes not....however it falls, it works.

The next morning I went to the doctor and the ultrasound confirmed what I already knew.



Onyx The Penguin

Our library had a demo on penguins the other day. 

It was exciting waiting for it to start.

We met Onyx.  He was really cute.

Leah's a budding photographer so she grabbed my camera and took about 40 pictures of Onyx and another 40 of the trainer's feet and butt, so I have a surplus of pictures of this event.  You will thank me since I've decided to edit them down and only post a few.  Enjoy!



I Have A Dream

The other night I had a dream that I was picking my mom up from the airport.  She had been on vacation for 3.5 years.  She came out of the terminal with a straw hat on, so I guess she was in the Caribbean.

When I got to the airport I texted her to let her know I was there.  And then, when she was coming out of Customs, she texted me that she was almost there. 

When we finally met up, I kissed her on the cheek and asked her about the trip.  Then I nonchalantly told her about everything she had missed since she had been gone: the birth of Leah, Marco's marriage, Bella.  She asked questions about the events and we laughed over what she would have done if she were there.

And then I woke up.  Because my damn alarm clock goes off at 5 freaking a.m.  Instead of shooting the sh*t with my mom after she went on a three and a stinkin half year vacation, I had to wake up and brush my teeth.  Whatever.

**Happy Birthday Marco!!  Hope you have a wonderful day!



Easter Prep.

On Saturday we had breakfast with the Easter Bunny.

She is still on the fence about him.

She did enjoy the hopping contest, though.

And, everyone loves a good egg hunt.

A good time.  A very good time.



Clothes Encounters

We try to let Leah pick out her own clothes.  There are time when I must intervene--sometimes put the kibosh on the entire outfit--but we want her to be independent and proud of what she's wearing.  So, for the most part, I'll let her chose.  She's pretty good at it.

Until she's not.

My sister calls this Ace Ventura.

**If anyone cares, nine years ago today, Greg asked me to be his girlfriend.  


Running On Empty

By Thursday, I'm pretty much running on fumes.  I'm exhausted, no matter how much sleep I get.  I am rushing to get everything done at work before the weekend.  (Seriously, "end of week reports" are lame and whoever thought it would make sense to make people complete them is stupid.)  I am looking forward to the weekend, but not always looking forward to the many outings and events I have planned.  I am losing my last nerve with my daughter, yes--sweet, innocent Leah, since at this point, I haven't seen Greg since Monday, due our ridic work schedules. So, suffice to say, by Thursday I'm not my usual cheery, fresh faced self and could probably use a glass of wine.  And a facial.  And some botox.  Perhaps a Xanax.

But, I'll tell you who never gets tired.  Who is never on top of her game.  Who is always go go go, and knows that slowing down is for the weak and believes that she'll rest when she's dead!  The world is her oyster and her city never sleeps, because PLAY WITH ME, PLAY WITH ME, LET'S GO OUTSIDE, I NEED LEGOS, HERE YOU PUT THESE POTATO HEAD GLASSES ON, I NEED A SNACK, I NEED JUICE, WHY ARE YOU SITTING, GET UP, GET GOING, GET TO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1) Hope the title of this entry didn't make you think that I was running again.  I will be, but just not yet.
2) Sorry for all the black and white photos of late; Greg got a new phone and he's attempting to be artistic with his photography.



Whatever She Wants To Be

I often look at Leah and wonder what will come of her.  What kind of woman will she grow to be?  What will she do for a living?  Will she marry?  Will she have children?  Will she move to another state or country?  Will she never move out of my house?  Will she be headstrong and independent?  Will she be kind?  Will she own her own business?  Will she be an ant marching to work each day?  Will she be open with her feelings?  Will we be good friends? 

The list goes on and on...



While I'm At Work

On Mondays and Fridays Leah spends the day at home with Greg.  I don't know exactly what they do when I'm not around, but periodically I'll get a pic to let me know that the house is still erected and they are both still breathing. 




Anyone who knows Leah knows that this is a big deal.  She's not big on holiday-themed, life-sized characters.  But on the way to lunch the other day we passed the Easter Bunny.  And lo and behold, she touched him!  TOUCHED HIM!!  Long enough for me to find my phone, turn the camera on, and take a picture.  Despite the fact that the Easter Bunny is making some vulgar hand/mouth gesture. 

I'm not holding my breath for Santa or anything, because I don't want to get my hopes up, but maybe I will get to proudly display a picture of Leah with Santa this year.    As opposed to a picture of Leah with a statue of Santa.  Which is very lame.




There are times when I look at my daughter, my smart, beautiful, wonderful, strong-willed daughter, and think to myself,

Was I ever this strange? 
No, she gets that from her father.




she would have been 58.

she would have known her two granddaughters.

she would have been helping Adriana get ready for the purchase of her first home.

she would have witnessed Marco marry.

she would have been dancing to her heart's content.

she would have been able to prove to this girl how wonderful she was, rather than just have me tell her.

Today would have been a good day.



Bella in the Cart

On Sunday Bella was very unhappy.  She didn't want to eat.  She didn't want to be played with.  Didn't like it when people talked to her.  Didn't want her pacifier.  We were running out of things to try, when suddenly, I had a genius idea.

I'll just put her in a play grocery cart.

Worked like a charm.



To Leah...

...life is a trampoline.



Taking Life For Granted

One of the things that I learned from my last job was to take advantage of the time that I was not at work.

I would stare at the clock on Friday afternoons, willing it to move quickly to 5 p.m., and then run out of there and haul my booty home, excited for the two full days in front of me where I didn't have to be at work. 

I would forget about my job the second I walked out the office door and not think about it again until Sunday night, when the pending week would loom on my mind. 

I would pack our weekends full of family activities and functions, taking advantage of every second that I was with people that I loved, doing things that I enjoyed.  I learned to not take happiness and good times for granted, because I knew what the opposite felt like.

I learned to love my commute, because it was valuable time that I got to spend with myself, reflecting on my life, relishing in the fact that I was NOT at work at that particular moment, and listening to inspirational music*.  (Ed. note: When I say "inspirational music" I mean music that inspires me, like a song about a girl who quits her job the day before a lice breakout.  Not, you know, Inspirational Music.)

Even though I like my job and generally enjoy life so much more now, I still get very excited for the weekends.  Friday nights are reserved for family time, where I get to spend time with Greg and Leah, not worrying about cleaning the house or laundry, just kinda hanging out happy that I get to spend the next two days doing family stuff.

So there.  I've found one good thing about that wretched place.  ONE.

*Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air

I know I can count on you

Sometimes I feel like saying "Lord I just don't care"

But you've got the love I need to see me through

Sometimes it seems that the going is just too rough

And things go wrong no matter what I do

Now and then it seems that life is just too much

But you've got the love I need to see me through

When food is gone you are my daily need

When friends are gone I know my savior's love is real

You know its real

You got the love
You got the love
You got the love
You got the love
You got the love
You got the love

Time after time I think "Oh Lord what's the use?"

Time after time I think it's just no good

Sooner or later in life, the things you love you loose

But you got the love I need to see me through

You got the love
 You got the love
You got the love
 You got the love
You got the love
 You got the love

Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air

I know I can count on you

Sometimes I feel like saying "Lord I just don't care"

But you've got the love I need to see me through

You got the love
You got the love
You got the love
You got the love
You got the love
You got the love

-Florence and The Machine