Showing posts from May, 2012

A Rainbow In Somebody's Cloud

"Each one of us has a chance to be a rainbow in somebody's cloud." ~Maya Angelou

With eloquence and humor, Maya Angelou put into words what I've carried in my heart all of my life. "Each one of us has a chance to be a rainbow in somebody else's cloud." With a simple hello, we can brighten someone's day. With a complement or a helping hand, we not only give joy to others, but to ourselves in the process. A kind word holds the potential to radically change a person's life for the better. Adding a little light to someone's day can form a rainbow of hope in their cloudy perspective on life.

Listening to Maya Angelou's words, a rainbow of faces flashed across my mind - the myriad people throughout my life who were rainbows in my cloud.

Some of my earliest memories are of Tina Delmonico, who lived in the three family house we lived in in Ansonia, CT during the first few years of my life. My three-year-old mind recorded the delight in Tina's f…

Deep Breaths

Today is one of those days when I need to remember to breathe. A stressful phone call this morning from the bank, a body that isn't cooperating with my to-do list, and the mountain of thought and effort it's taking to plan for vacation and camp are conspiring to cause great amounts of stress.

Usually I'd remind myself to take deep breaths and trust that everything would work out. In fact, I did  just that and nearly fell over from the pain. It's amazing that when your brain is going a mile a minute thinking about someone basically robbing you of close to a thousand dollars, you can forget about the arthritis in your chest as you're trying to calm yourself down. 

So, no deep breaths for me. Lots of printing off of bank statements and account histories. Copious highlighting. Plenty of praying. A tad bit of swearing under my breath. And anyone who knows me well knows that there was dish washing in there somewhere. Not that I have OCD or anything. Nope. Not me. 

What I wa…

What's the Point?

What's the point in inviting her if she's only going to cancel out on us?

What's the point in asking, if she's just going to say, "if I feel up to it."

What's the point in calling/visiting if she's going to be too tired or distracted to talk for long?

The point is that she wants tolive her life, even if that means making plans and having to cancel them. 

The point is, knowing she's stillincluded and her friendship stillvalued is priceless and helps her get through the rough days. She hopes her friends realize that the invitation means the world to her, even if she can't handle going out or is busy with other things. 

The point is that although many things can interfere with having a coherent, cohesive conversation, it doesn't mean that she won't still havefun, make wonderful memories, or find joywhen spending time with friends. 

Whether it's due to having small children, health issues, no transportation, or anything else that might hinde…

When I Grow Up

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

It was quite the unexpected question, coming from my four year old. Perhaps I hadn't yet realized that I haven't yet grown up - but if you think about it, I spend my day reading kids' books, doing puzzles, helping with crafts, painting, singing, and learning a ton from my kids, so from her perspective I'm not quite fully a grown-up.
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

We heard that question all the time when we were growing up, and I bet some of us ask kids this, too.
My six-year-old wants to be a "space paleontologist." In case you're wondering, that's a paleontologist who digs up fossil remains on other planets. My scary four-year-old wants to be a pathologist - yes, as she says, "the kind of doctor who figures out how people died." 
Throughout my life, I've wanted to be many things including a teacher and a doctor. Life and my views on things changed, I got married, and …


Each year I make a "vision board" which contains words and images that inspire me to manifest those things in my life. During the first few years of having a vision board, I'd actively work toward the goals pictured and would often get frustrated in the process. Amazing things have happened since I've let go of trying and instead opened myself to the possibility of the things on my board weaving themselves into the fabric of my life. 
This is my vision board for this year:
An odd array of pictures, but they make sense to me! 
We're nearly halfway through the year and despite the hurdles I've had with my health, things are going pretty well. At the very least have a healthy attitude toward life. I'm playing more - both with the kids and just doing things I enjoy doing for fun. I'm giving - little bits here and there as we can - and in fun and exciting ways sometimes ... little things sent to friends in the mail, sharing fundraiser information on facebook …

Take Two

Around six months ago I started taking Enbrel to treat my psoriatic arthritis. It did wonders for my hands, wrists, feet, ankles, and knees, but it didn't touch my back and my chest decided to get in on the action. Treatment take two: I start Remicade infusions on Friday.

In the last few days, off all PsA meds in preparation for starting the new med, I've been going downhill fairly quickly. Hand pain has returned, though thankfully not full force. My energy levels have plummeted. My insomnia has returned. Downward spiral take two.

With increased pain levels due to spondylitis in my back, new and intense chest pain, and returning pain in my extremities, my rheumatologist can only suggest an increase in my pain medication. Tramadol: take two!

How to Choose Your Mate (according to a 4 year old)

A photo essay by Alia with Mama's help. Most of the pictures taken by Alia.

Make sure he's a Fun Guy.

Bring him to a house containing at least five kids and two cats, one of which stares at him from the stairs. A cat, not a kid. 

Get talked into a game of chess by the four year old - points if he helps you not get beaten by the four year old. 

More points if he then plays a game of chess with the six year old and feels slightly guilty for winning. 

Lots of points for his sense of humor. (Why do some melons have to get married in a church? Because they -->)

A zillion points for everyone being able to tell how much he loves you by the way he looks at you, even when you're not looking at him.

Extra points for being polite, cleaning up after himself, and making sure you left with all of your stuff before you even thought about it.

Prelude to a Bath

Looking at the two wee bairns, it was clear they needed a bath. Hair tangled, smudges of dirt and marker on various parts of their bodies, they proved quite content with their state and quite resistant to the idea of a good scrubbing.

Inspiration struck and the scene was set. A glass of water, two paintbrushes and a palette of paint adorned the bathtub floor. Pieces of thick paper graced the walls of the bath surround. The invitation to a bathtub painting soiree was graciously accepted. Soon the artists were at work, minus their clothing, adorning not only their papers, but the bathtub and themselves. 

Masterpieces finished, the artists melted into a bathtub full of bubbles. Hair "massage" and rinsing done, the girls luxuriated in the foamy water until it turned cold. Emerging from the bathroom draped in towels, teeth chattering, they seemed to not notice that they just took a bath.

Will This Post Title Be Good Enough?

I used to be a lot of things. 

Mostly I used to be scared, worried, fearful. I used to worry about everything all the time.  Anxiety ruled my life. I'd worry about whether or not my kids were breathing at night. I'd worry about whether or not the doors and windows were locked. I'd be wracked with fear if my husband was more than four minutes late getting home from work. I'd agonize over how I was going to pay our bills AND put food on the the table. I'd stress out about being a good enough wife, a good enough mother, a good enough friend, a good enough person. I'd become distressed about the little things as well as the big things.

My anxiety lessened over the years, but it was a constant gray cloud hovering overhead, clouding my thoughts, dimming my outlook, often turning my colorful world into shades of gray.

Then I got sick. Not only did I lose range of motion in my ankles that made getting around difficult, but I became overwhelmingly in pain and exhausted. Pr…

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow?

As if my life wasn't "interesting" enough, one of the few side effects from my meds is hair loss. It's gotten worse lately. Going from Enbrel to Remicade for my PsA is my next step in treatment. One of the ramifications of remicade is that my hair loss may get worse. A lot worse.

Now, I'm not someone particularly fussy about or attached to my hair. I do like to have fun with it. At the moment it's purple. I have an array of funky bandannas and other hair coverings that I wear almost every day.

Bald, however, is something to which I had never given much thought. Although it's not probable, it is possible that I'll lose enough hair for it to be very noticeable.

You know how the more you think about something, the more you notice it around you? Well, I've been noticing bald women lately. Alia's mother in Dune, Lady Jessica, is bald, which I guess is fitting. Borg women are bald. Delenn from Babylon 5 is bald. Too bad my life isn't science fic…

Days Like Today

It's days like today when I find it difficult to get out of bed.

It's days like today when motivation seems to be on vacation.

It's days like today when my mind is on overdrive with what-ifs and worries.

It's days like today when I want to remain curled up in bed and not have to deal with the world or my body at all.


It's days like today that my family understands and lets me sleep in.

It's days like today when I choose to do only what needs to be done - eating, bathing, doctor's appointment and what I love to do - Tuesday Night Sunday School and church choir rehearsal. You will notice that dishes and any form of housework are not on this list.

It's days like today when I pray. Constantly. For peace of mind, for acceptance of what is to come, for the strength to keep going.

It's days like today when a four year old curls up with me in bed, providing me with an excuse to do just what I feel like doing. We are joined by a cat and a few more kids. A…

Inflammatory Blog Post Pitting Parents Against Parents ... or not

If I wanted to, I could write an inflammatory blog post about forced weaning, nighttime neglect, and coerced autonomy. Most people call them by different, more socially acceptable names. I could expound on the many things that I might find wrong with forcing a child to wean from the breast before they are ready and before it’s biologically, nutritionally, and developmentally appropriate, or depriving a child of breastmilk altogether. I could find fault with parents who ignore their child’s nighttime needs. I could take issue with forcing children to be “independent” before it’s developmentally appropriate while not meeting the attachment needs that need to be met to more easily and naturally create an independent person. But what would that accomplish?

Would responding to recent parenting-related media with an attack of my own on a parenting style that differs from my own help the situation? I think not. Instead, I’ll talk to those who want to hear a different perspective. I’ll encoura…

I Just Want...

I just want...
everyone to be able to touch the gift that's inside of them and use it to make the world a better place. 
people to be accepted for who they are rather than judged for what they look like or whom they love. 
every person to feel their worth as a unique and wonderful human being. 
for people to see those around them as fellow human beings, not beings alien to themselves. 
to leave the world a better place. 
to feel love before anger, always.
to be at peace with my body. 
But today, in all honesty, I just want ...

a nap.

That's Entertainment

Grown-ups tend to want to be entertained. We watch tv, we get on facebook, we play games online. We go to sporting events, concerts, and other events where there are people to entertain us. 

Kids - they're a different story. Take today for example: the kids in my household entertained themselves in all sorts of ways without anyone else doing anything to entertain them.

Miss M spent twenty minutes laughing hysterically while playing with a pool noodle. Her face lit up as it made contact with the wall, a person, or herself. She shrieked with joy when she figured out how to spin it. She beamed with the other kids commented on the fun she was having.

Miss A and Miss F spent part of the day in a box. They were cats and it was their bed. One was Alice and had outgrown the house she was in. It was their own universe, full of infinite possibilities. 
The kids ventured outside and found frogs and salamanders. 
They worked industriously on lego creations for a contest and essays to go with them.

To Do vs. Did

To Do:- up early, med, shower, dressed
- grocery store - thrift store - put groceries away - M, R and F arrive - call to schedule appointment
- crafts
- lunch
- naptime - dishes
- paperwork for non-profit
- update paperwork for other non-profit
- plan meeting for yet another non-profit - lesson plans for homeschool co-op class
- watch documentary with olders
- nappers up - snacktime: make snack with littles
- craft of some sort - prep veggies for dinner - outside time with kids - whip up cookies for tomorrow night
- M, F, R home
- taco night
Did: - up later than expected, throw clothes on - M arrives - run out door, realize I forgot med, go back into house to take med - back down driveway, realize I forgot grocery list, call family to bring it out - grocery store - thrift store - F and R arrive while I'm out, but Jim has me covered - home, put groceries away - get interrupted by children - read books - supervise lunch - realize I have yet to eat  - make coffee - get interrupted before I can make food - help with homes…


There is a creature that oft comes at night, seeking body heat from the unsuspecting sleeper. Slithering between your sheets, it sticks its freezing cold appendages in your warmest spots, immediately turning your skin to ice and sending chills throughout your being. Sucking the warmth from your body, it also snatches your blankets and absorbs the warmth they have to offer. Should you vacate your bed, it curls up where your body once laid, making noises of pure contentment and uttering, "warmness ... warmness..." 

Beware the heat-hijacking rannygahoot, with its sweet, innocent eyes and adorable pout...its sonorous voice that steals into your dreams, hypnotizing you into inviting it into your bed.