Hello Winter, I Hate You

Well here we are in the thick of winter. The excitement of the holiday season is long gone and the beginning of spring is so far off on the horizon it’s not worth even thinking about. Here in Connecticut, our local groundhog, Chuckles, predicted an early spring. However, Punxsutawney Phil did not and everyone knows he’s the “real” groundhog (sorry Chuckles). Phil, I hate you too. Winter, for me, is a big bucket of suck. The days are too short and never get bright enough for me. I look out my window and everything is either gray or brown...

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Punxsutawney Phil, I Reject You.

Six more weeks of winter?! No thanks. Part of why I love being a New Englander is so that I can change my mind and mood along with the weather. I like the different experiences and memories each season brings, but with every year of motherhood I find myself more and more anxious for spring immediately after January. My husband and I invested a lot into our playscape and brand new deck; complete with the cars, bikes and toys galore. As I sit here all of those treasures just continue to collect more snow.   I do not know the scientific...

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Peace

In a few weeks, my mother turns 70. I expect her day will be similar for her to the numerous, monotonous ones that come before and after. When I recently told her that she would be turning 70 soon, she looked at me, incredulously, and asked, “You?” I said, “No, Mom. YOU are turning 70.” She just laughed in her vacant way, without much understanding. We first started noticing my mother’s memory issues when she was 60. If she ever could have anticipated how her mind would deteriorate, requiring institutional living, I have no doubt that she would have...

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Confessions of a Special Needs Mom

When I can’t come up with anything good to write about, I go back and look at the things I wrote to myself in the height of the hardest period of my life – the first year after my first-born was first born and diagnosed with Down syndrome.  It was a pretty dark time for what should’ve been the happiest time.  I hope this shines a little light into what it’s like to get the kind of surprise.  The best worst surprise I’ve ever had the privilege of receiving. * * * Today Abby is 6 weeks old and while...

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Lucky for the love of my friends

I’ve always been a social gal, and these days, I’m especially grateful for my friends. They are my anti-anxiety drug, my mood-lifters, my restored faith in humanity. Making plans to look forward to and spending time together negates the other moments that I want to crawl into a blanket fort and hide from reality. Take Michelle, or Sister Mary Sunshine. That’s been her nickname since middle school; she’s a veritable ray of light. She has a buoyant spirit, an effervescent laugh. The day-to-day bullshit doesn’t get in her way of a good time, like playing poker at home with...

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Ladybug of Love

Twenty years ago, I walked into dog rescue quite literally by accident.  While home from France for the winter holidays, I went with my bestie Carey to the Connecticut Humane Society to help search for her first dog. Initially reluctant to join her, I thought seeing all the undeservingly homeless dogs would break my heart. Which, predictably, it did.  The surprise plot twist was that I found myself walking out the door holding the leash of my own adoptee.  Somehow, I was not deterred by the fact that I lived in another country, nor was I concerned that my mom had allergies...

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Confession of a Working Mother: I Bonded With My Last Baby in the Middle of the Night

I gave birth to my final baby at age 35. My other two children were six and eight when she was born so she was stuck with a working mother by day and a mother to two busy school-aged children afternoons, evenings, and weekends.  She spent much of her baby years in her car seat or stroller attending sporting events, school concerts and plays, and all of the various extra-curricular activities and lessons of her older sisters. She was passed from lap to lap, moved from car seat to high chair to swing, all in an attempt to keep...

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A Mother’s Place Is In the Picket Line

Before my daughter was born, I was an activist. I’ve marched on Washington multiple times, protested in streets around New England, spoken at press conferences, organized groups, written letters, made calls, all of that. Activism is who I am, a huge part of my identity. I didn’t think becoming a mom would change that. I saw kids with their parents at protests all the time and I couldn’t wait to bring mine and raise my own little activists. Speaking up for what you believe in is one of the values I will (try to) pass on to my child(ren)....

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Confessions of a Working Mother: Tips For New Foster Parents From a Foster Mom and Foster Son

I have officially been a foster mom for an entire year. In that year I have learned many valuable lessons that I would like to share with you here. In addition, I have included a section written by my 15-year-old foster son. He has been in homes other than mine, and has used his life experiences to make a very well written list of his thoughts on a good foster home. With all of that being said, here is what my foster son and I have to say… My Tips for Foster Parents Make friends in foster care class. ...

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Climbing the Bedtime Mountain

Every night, day after day, on school days, holidays, sick days, and every day in between, we put our kids to bed. No matter what kind of day we’ve had, how tired we are, or how depleted we feel, there’s no avoiding the bedtime routine. So, whether we’re sneezing, coughing, or fevering, whether we’re worried, depressed, or irritable, we dig deep into our mommy souls, and find a way to climb that mountain. I call it a mountain because, let’s face it, bedtime is one of our toughest mom jobs. It always happens at the end of the day...

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