Canning with the Kids

Sep 17, 2014 by

We are pick-your-own fruit junkies in my house. Strawberries, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, apples…we love them all. There are so many fantastic farms that offer pick-your-own fruits in CT that it’s hard not to get excited about it. The big questions is always…what to do with all the fruit? We eat a ton of it, freeze some for smoothies, but we always save some for one of my favorite family projects: canning!

Dare to be Moved

Sep 16, 2014 by

My daughter mastering the art of the selfie.

My daughter mastering the art of the selfie.

When one member of a family is identified as having “special needs” the entire unit becomes a “Family with Special Needs.”  There is little about how we function that isn’t somehow structured in a deliberate way to encourage the best possible outcomes, interactions and moments for all of us.  We have an outdoor playhouse inside so there’s somewhere to climb during all four seasons, ditto the swing upstairs.  Around items we don’t want a power struggle the kids each have their own same item, such as their treasured kindles.  Yet, to push the goal of sharing and turn-taking, there are several items of which there are one, such as the sled.  Don’t let me kid you, there’s plenty of disorganization, too much paper, more than one junk drawer and ample broken toys we haven’t sifted through.  You pegged it, normal mayhem.  The truth simply is, special needs made our normal mayhem more conscious.  One of the gifts in that, truthfully, is that I don’t miss much anymore.  I’m awake.

The Value of Time

Sep 16, 2014 by

I met a woman at a dinner party this summer and the topic of our children inevitably came up. She has two sons in college. I have two sons not yet in pre-school. As the wine flowed more freely, our trivial small talk took on a more somber tone. She admitted to me she just experienced one of the saddest moments of her life: dropping her son off at college.   That drive home – alone – symbolized the end of a phase in her life.   She wasn’t ready. Eighteen years wasn’t long enough. I am in a very different phase of Motherhood: The Beginning.  However, even the thought of my son getting on a school bus in a couple years brings an overpowering feeling of sadness and emptiness. Because even that symbolizes the end of a chapter.

‘It Takes a Village’, and a smart phone!

Sep 16, 2014 by

Wow. Managing family, work, and elected office is quite the whirlwind. My son has just started kindergarten and I think it’s fair to say I’m a little overwhelmed. And my head is spinning just thinking about how it only gets busier from here. More homework, more practices, more activities, and then I’m going to add my daughter into the mix. I am quickly discovering that Kindergarten is as much a foundation year for children as it is for parents.

The old saying, ‘it takes a village’ is so true, but I would also add a smart phone. Thank goodness for that little device. It’s a multitasker’s dream. It houses my calendar, which serves as a to do list, all of my babysitters via text, work emails and personal emails, social media, the news, directions, not to mention allowing for impromptu dance parties and help with random questions from my kids.

“I found a lump…”

Sep 16, 2014 by

images[5]This past week I had a minor health scare. “I found a lump…” I repeated to my wife, my mother and the receptionist answering the phone at my doctor’s office. After a previously scheduled visit for other health related concerns, I had an order for more tests.

“I found a lump.” I explained to my new boss because I needed to reschedule our meeting. “This is perhaps one of the few reasons I would reschedule!” Her response was everything a woman wants to hear. “Of course it is! How are you doing?”

I texted my brother. It’s rather convenient to have a doctor in the family who researches cancer and can read those mysterious test results.

Me: Is it okay to have test results sent to you?

Brother: Do you have a lump?

Me: Yes.

As we texted back and forth, he reminded me that there are a number of false positives and not to worry. I was comforted, but I still worried.

The Wedding of the Second Born

Sep 16, 2014 by

My second son has always been an impulsive fellow.  But it was still a surprise when he announced in mid-August that he and his fiancee had decided to get married on September 20!  A. & E. became engaged in February of 2013, and have been a couple since 2009, so it wasn’t exactly a whirlwind romance, but still — a wedding in 6 weeks?  I needed time to get my emotions organized.

My second son is my baby.  I adopted my stepson earlier this year, so A. became the middle son, but that did not change the fact that he is MY BABY.  He was a beautiful baby, born with a full head of curls and blue-gray eyes that never changed color. He was a very strong-willed child, even before he was born!  He was supposed to be born on May 12, but took his sweet old time and emerged on May 20th.  He did not like nursing.  We wrestled for about 4 months, and he won.  He refused to color with crayons in kindergarten — all of his drawings were black and white.

Momfession: I enjoy kids’ TV shows

Sep 15, 2014 by

Maybe I’ve been cooped up in the house for too long. Maybe these early mornings are finally getting to me. Maybe I’m in desperate need for an adults-only evening out. But kids’ television shows? …Not terrible.


While I haven’t yet caught myself watching Nick Jr. long after Lenny has gone to bed, I did realize the other day my excitement while flipping through the channels: “Oh look, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!” Only, Lenny was in bed and I really had no reason to change the channel to anything animated.


I did flip past Mickey and the gang and probably changed it to something more “adult” (do the Kardashians count?) but my excitement got me thinking. I may actually like these shows.


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