Monday, August 30, 2010


My anniversary is coming up. It's next weekend, the 12th to be exact. I am broke. Financially strapped. Buying something is NOT an option.

I need some creative ideas to celebrate. Nothing too elaborate, because that's not who we are. Nothing extremely cheesy either. I need something small to make a statement. We are going to dinner (assuming we find a sitter) using a gift certificate we got months ago. We even get to dress up, which we both LOVE having an excuse to do. We clean up a lot nicer than you may think!

It's hard to plan an anniversary gift for a husband. Women are easy to buy gifts for. Bring home some flowers, or jewelry or in my case a yummy treat and you're golden. Men are not so easy.

I suppose I could attempt a yummy treat. I mean, John would never turn away a delicious treat. But, what the hell could I make. Anyone? Does anyone even read this? I got a random (and very well-stated and appreciated) comment from a stranger the other day which made me think... are people actually reading my babbling? If so, help me recapture the following picture, in treat form...

It's hard to believe we went from being these two goofy ass kids (circa 2005, eeek). No "real" jobs, living at home with our parents, out super late on the weekends, dancing the night away:

To these "adults", in 5 1/2 year's time. Married, parents, homeowners, business owners, in love. We think midnight is late (ok, well, I do). Sleeping in is 9 am. We have a car payment & a mortgage. We have a SON, a dog, 2 cats. A home with a white unpainted picket fence. How is it that we managed to do all this "growing up", and still our love is growing daily. It all happens so naturally, so quickly. Life is funny like that. I am glad I get to spend my life with the best person I know.

Reflections on a Sunday...

John and I had a wonderful Sunday. We celebrated his mother's birthday, and had a wonderful time. However, a certain part of the day is still bothering me as I'm sitting here.

This has nothing to do with our family, or anything like that. I love them all dearly, and we truly did have a wonderful time. But, before going to John's mom's house to celebrate her birthday, she asked us to attend a memorial mass for Tom's father, who recently passed away. Since we were unable to attend the funeral or wake (they were in a different state), we decided that it was the least we could do out of respect for both Tom and his family.

I will speak for myself, and not on John's behalf about the mass. Upon entering the parking lot, I saw a monument. It had an angel, with a baby in her lap, with an inscription reading "In memory of the innocent victims of abortion". I instantly wanted to vomit. I believe that some things are better left unsaid. I realize that abortion is a hot button for the Catholic Church. We all know their official position on it. IF we have any doubt, in lovely MA you can find out on a friggin license plate. At any rate, we walked into the mass, and it truly was lovely. I find a lot of comfort in the familiarity of mass. I do enjoy the prayers, because they remind me of my childhood. They remind me of my father's parents. However, my love of organized religion and church ends there, with nostalgia.

The reading during the mass really stuck with me, and I'll quote it here only to prove my point:
Luke 14:1, 7-14

On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely.
When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give this person your place,’ and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

There was a deacon that gave a homily based on the reading. He preached about acceptance, and being an inclusive community. He preached about tolerance and love. The entire time I had to stifle my INCREDIBLE urge to stand up and scream "YOU ARE ALL A BUNCH OF HYPOCRITES, Look at the friggin monument you have outside! Who are YOU to pass judgment on those women!".

Religion is responsible for the persecution of so many people. The GLBT community is harassed endlessly by many religions, Catholics included. Abortion clinics are bombed in the name of religion. Innocent people die in the name of religion. I guess I'll never understand how people can organize themselves into groups, interpret what they believe some higher power is telling them, and then use that as ammunition to hurt others. What "higher power" would tolerate that? It's inhumane. It's wrong.

I have my own religious views. I was raised Catholic, and I baptized my son into the Catholic church. I can't say I stand behind the Catholic Church as a whole. I just think that organized religion, any organized religion, is in itself a contradiction. I have my beliefs, and I believe them wholeheartedly. I try to make decisions based on what i believe to be the "right" decision, in both a personal and spiritual sense. I just can't believe humanity. I just can't believe the complete disregard for other people based on their beliefs. A person is a person. Right?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bittersweet... Can my heart take it?

I find myself both celebrating and mourning each new accomplishment in Lucas's life. SIDENOTE:::I seriously need to figure out if it's Lucas' or Lucas's.... anyone? - I can only imagine the abundance of help I'll be when Lucas has English homework in high school.

Back to the point. Each milestone is incredibly bittersweet for me. His first haircut bring tears to my eyes each time I think about it. I remember the immense joy, incredible relief and intense pride I experienced when he started crawling successfully. Now, we're on to walking. And this kid, in true Romiglio fashion, can't ease his way into this incredible task. No, no. One day he figures out how to stand up from his armchair. The next day it's a bumbly step. The next day he walks 3 steps from Dadda to Mamma. Literally, within 3 days of his first couple steps, the kid is near running speed. He is walking clear across the living room. Granted, we don't have a huge living room. It does require a solid 15-20 steps from him though. He's mastered the transition from carpet to hardwood. He's even walking around the skatepark holding ONE of my hands. That's right. He grasps my hand, and it doesn't matter which one, and we are off. He even walked up a couple ramps today. Ramps that I have trouble walking up; the incline is pretty tough. He has no fear. I'm afraid that I carry the burden of enough fear for the two of us. I worry constantly. Will he bump his head? Will he twist an ankle? Will he scrape his knees or palms? OF COURSE HE WILL!
As a preschool teacher, daycare worker, and nanny I have always laughed at parents and their sentimental way. I always thought Moms were crazy in their instinctual over-protectiveness. Even the most laid back parents I know worried incessantly. Oh, man- what I would do to go back and erase those judgments. Who the hell did I think I was? I had NO IDEA. None. I may have worked with kids for 10+ years before having my own, but I didn't have the slightest sense of empathy for the bittersweetness of it all.
And until today, when I read this post on The Girl Who , I thought that I was the only one that both celebrated and mourned each milestone. I thought that I was teetering on a line of insanity. I thought that maybe something was wrong with me. But now, upon reading her blog entry, and reading a few others, I realize that all mothers feel some degree of sadness as their baby birds get their wings ready for flight.
I can't believe that at some point I'm going to look into Lucas' (Lucas's???) eyes as he gets ready for kindergarten, or baseball practice. I'll have to help him put on a boutonnière for a prom. I'll have to try to figure out have to comfort him when he has his first broken heart. I'll have to help him learn to drive, and teach him how to treat girls. I'll have to help him find his passions, and encourage him to strive to achieve his dreams. I'll have to let him grow up. I'll have to come to terms with that fact that he will reach major milestones that I won't witness. I won't be there when he proposes to someone. I won't be there when he has his first (likely extremely awkward) kiss. I won't be there for his first job interviews, or when he takes his SATs. Well... maybe I won't be there physically but I certainly hope he carries me with him everywhere he goes. Like his Daddy does. He carries a bit of his mother with him at all times. Every decision he makes is rooted in what she has taught him. Every goal he achieves is due to her diligence as a mother. Every milestone he reaches is just as much her accomplishment s as it is his. I can only wish that one day Lucas will hold me on such a pedestal as John holds Claudette. I hope he realizes that everything I do is for him. Everything.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Reality? It's all relative, right?

Is it possible for other people's deluded behavior to make me question my own reality? Because honestly, I feel like that is what is happening.
Maybe I'm the delusional one. Maybe I'm the one that has lost all touch with reality, because I have a hard time believing that this many other people can be THIS far off the deep end.
Maybe my reality is just fine, and I need to choose better company. The thing about that is that I don't get to choose family. I do, however, get to choose how often to interact with them. For now, my plan is to keep my distance because I don't need the extra stress.
I hope these people take a minute to stop and think about all the help other people have given them (myself included), and how much other people have sacrificed to help them out in times of need. Maybe they could be reminded of the amount of manipulation, lying, and general bullshit they have been guilty of. Maybe they could take into account the RIDICULOUS amounts of "second" chances they've been given.

Ok. Back to "my" reality - however deluded it may be. I'm going to enjoy the sight of my little boy toddling around my living room with my cell phone up to his ear, while babbling his little head off. He is my saving grace and I'm not sure who it benefits more; me or you. If it weren't for him, others would be hearing from me in a much more confrontational manner. So I guess we all win in this situation. I'll just bitch to my blog, to get it out, and spare you the embarrassment of having your ass handed to you verbally. Again.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Less than adequate

I am having one of those days, where no matter what I do or what happens I feel completely inadequate. Like it's impossible for me to see the positives in my life at the moment. Sorry, but I use this blog to sort through my own thoughts and hopefully see the silver lining. So that's what I'll do. What i always do. Make a list (Hello, Tye A Personality? First born child, much?), and then berate myself into realizing my problems are rediculous first world problems. Nothing like some good old Irish Catholic guilt to brighten your day!

1. I've been super down about financial stress. We had to empty all of our accounts, and Lucas' to pay the mortgage this month. The first and hopefully only time I have cried while at the bank teller window. Talk about feeling inadequate, "Sorry Lucas, we had to empty your tiny savings account because your parents can't make ends meet at the moment. But don't worry... we're only responsible for your well-being. No big deal" --- Really, Nicole? Boo hoo, you own a home, things got tight. Welcome to reality. Welcome to your parents' reality for the entirety of their marriage thus far. You will replenish Lucas' account long before he's even old enough to know he HAS a bank account. You did what you had to do for your family's survival.

2. This goes hand in hand with the above, but Lucas's first steps were captured on a shitty cell phone camera. I had always envisioned myself with a nice (or at least decent) video camera to capture his "firsts". I sit back and look at the crappy, tiny, grainy video and I can't help but shed a tear. Reality check, there is NO video of your first steps. Or John's for that matter. I'd be willing to bet 90% of people don't have videos of their children's first steps. Hell, I'd bet more than that. Stop whining. Seriously.

3. I'm not really 100% happy at work. I mean, who is. But I can't decide what to do about it. I have it pretty good here. Decent pay, part time hours that allow me to have a couple days with Lucas, and a not so difficult work load. At the same time, I leave my son every morning, before he wakes up, to care for someone else's children. The guilt is staggering. And I have no benefits. This job is not helping me save, plan for retirement, take a vacation, and most importantly I have no fucking insurance. How can I be a good mother, if I can't even take care of myself properly?? It's maddening. But in order to get a job with these benefits, I'd have to get a full-time job, which means less time with Lucas. It also means finding childcare for Lucas because John can't juggle him and the park on a full-time basis. It's just not fair to him. And while I've been in childcare nearly my entire working life, I can't justify daycare. The thought breaks my heart into a million pieces. Nevermind the unrealistic cost.

4. I realize this is going to sound so snobby, but I need some "me" time. I just don't even know what I'd do with it. I brought up the idea of training for a triathlon to John. He laughed in my face. He's always been 100% supportive of me, and this is the first time he has been the complete opposite. While part of me wants his to turn his lack of support into motivation, I can't help but be a little crushed by it. I mean, why couldn't I do a triathlon? I realize that I'll have to train until summer of 2012 before I can even consider, but still... I mean, why not? I'm not crippled. I'm fucking 26 years old. I have no major health concerns. I'm just wildly out of shape. Conditioning-wise. I'm be no means overweight. Ok, I could lose a couple pounds, but find me a woman that has had a baby and doesn't have a couple extra pounds to lose. I'm going to do it. I'm going to do the "Couch to 5K" program for the next 9 weeks, and then I'll combine that with some swimming training in the winter. Then next spring I'll start adding some cycling to my training. Hopefully by summer of 2012 I'll feel comfortable enough to try at least.

Ok enough whining. I need goals. That's what I need. Goals. Fuck... another list. Not now.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Life moves...

...and it's going too fucking fast.

I cant keep up, lately. I feel like I'm constantly playing a game of tag, and I'm always "it". Lucas is already one year old, and holy moly is he growing leaps and bounds. Just today he managed to crawl up onto the second stair and stand up on it in the time it took me to open an envelope. (Yes, I will now install the stair gates. Leave me alone, he's still alive, ok?) He crawls at lightening speed. His knees and feet are perpetually dirty. He loves to be in the water, and I honestly think he could learn to swim next summer. He is blabbering in his own little baby language constantly. I just wish I knew what he was thinking. I just never have enough time with him. I try to spend every second I can with him. On days that I have to work, I sometimes only see him for his last bottle and to put him to bed, which is a terrible feeling. And since I snuggle the crap out of him in that small amount of time, I have now created a nighttime bottle monster. He will only drink his last bottle (which is actually a sippy cup, of milk) if I am holding him or he is leaning on me. Scratch that. It doesn't have to be me, but someone, anyone, must be holding him or snuggling next to him. I probably should nip this in the bud now, but you know what? I only have so much time with him, and he'll only be a snuggly baby for so long so I'm going to enjoy every second of it.
Lucas is the light of our lives. Sometimes he's the only light. Times like today when everything seems so far gone, out of reach, and beyond repair. He smiles, and I know everything will be fine. And for those fleeting seconds, everything is fine. The flea infestation of the Romiglio house doesn't seem so bad (Thanks cats, for bringing those home). The lack of financial stability, while a huge burden, doesn't seem like the end of the world. The incredible amount of small household tasks and repairs that need to be done can all wait. Because my number one priority is that little boy. And jeepers creepers if he doesn't need all of my attention while he is awake. As we speak he is eating lunch about 5 feet away from me. Just out of reach, which he is taking advantage of by hand feeding the dog some Chex. Have I mentioned that Lucas loves all kind of cereal! Cheerios, Chex, Life... the list goes on and on. He is a mini-John. It's so funny. He picks up so much of his personality, his likes and dislikes, his facial expressions. It's amazing to watch.
Next week is officially vacation. I'm on vacation now, which started on Tuesday, but it won't be a real vacation until John is home with us. Thanks to our (my) stellar lack of financial planning, we will be spending it at home or doing things that cost nothing. We will do a beach day, visit WWII park in Attleboro to see the petting zoo, and probably spend a few days at Nono's pool. We'd also like to go visit Meme's lake. We spent the past two days at Nana's doing laundry (thanks fleas) and staying out of the house while it was sprayed (Thanks, Phil!). Unfortunately, our tiny house guests have decided that they were not ready to go.
I've never wanted winter more than I do now. Winter brings warm meals, snuggly movie nights and above all else, a little financial security. Winter means cold, ice and snow which are not really conducive to skateboarding. Works out great for us, but the summer is the complete opposite. At least we have a full year under our belts and now we know that we need to tuck quite a bit of money away in the winter to survive the summer.
Ok, the boy is done eating lunch, time to go bring some sandwiches to Daddy at work, and get a few things done.