Monday, November 29, 2010

Words, words, words.

3rd post today, oh well.

I was talking to John last night about trying to chronicle Lucas' language development. He picked up about 3-4 words just last week. I'm pretty sure this is going to snowball quickly... Right now he can say the following words:

- Doggie (pronounced "deej-da")
- Joey/Doughie (we call him both, lucas "do-do-do-eeee")
- Cracker (clack-ah)
- Juice (douche. yes he says douche, or jouche. same word also means milk, beverage really)
- Stop
- Bad
-Yes (or YEEAAAA)
-Uh-oh (that counts as a word, right?)
-Jackson (one of his first words, sounds like "jack-shin")
-Bye &/or Buh-Bye

He has said, but inconsistently:
- Nono
- Auntie
- Pa
- Lucas
- Baby
- Hi

I'm sure there are many many more. I'll likely edit this post a few times in the next week. I'll make this an "update" item when I do my typical updates about Marriage, Motherhood, Lucas' developments, Norm, Business, Family, etc...

last year's list, rewind.


2010's "list":

Get out of debt.i'm very close, only a couple hundred dollars left. less than one thousand.
Maintain consistent "family days" on Sunday. accomplished
Monthly date night (seems easy, right? HA! Have a kid... Not easy)hahaha not even close. we've been on maybe 4 dates all year.
Really start playing with & enjoying my camera I used it, but def. not how i wanted to
Work on the house (stairs!!!!) didn't happen.
Create & adhere to a monthly budget HA... nope
Begin process of getting after-school license. did this, learned it wasn't realistic for my situation
start a vacation fund we went on a mini getaway, that was it
Have at least 2 girls getaways - overnight, mini road trip. ...uh, right. not so much.


Thanksgiving was a blast, aside from my Dad's decision to hook up a television in the dining room. I'm not super traditional, but TV at dinner is a bit much for me. No big deal, it was a good time. I didn't spend much time visiting, due to some tension in the family lately, but I put 100% of my effort into being cordial and releasing my frustration by helping clean up.

We went from my parents' house to John's Mémère's house in Woonsocket. We visited with Mémère, John's Mom & Step-father, and Aunt Lorraine. We enjoyed a few stories about Claudette's childhood that gave us all a good laugh. Turns out, John definitely inherited his propensity for accidents.

Then we headed to John's "Aunt" (cousin) Nancy's house. Her daughter, Jeanne Marie and her boyfriend, Mark, where home from CA for the holiday. It was great to spend time with them, along with John's father and Uncle Louie. Nancy & John (sr) grew up in the same home, so they are more like brother and sister than cousins. They were hysterical. Listening to them reminisce about their parents, and old times growing up, is my favorite way to spend an evening. Nancy's mother, Mary, and John's mother, Santina, were sisters. And man, the stories are just amazing. So funny.

We talked a lot about family research, and genealogy and John's Dad wants to pay for my subscription when I'm ready to start digging in. I'm so excited. I was worried at first about stepping on Karla's toes, as I know she's already begun some research on her own, but I'm coming from a completely different place. I think we have different motives in our research. I'm just interested in the family structure, and learning what I can. She is interested more in the history and heritage of the family. As someone that is marrying into this family with such strong heritage and character, I am just eager to understand. I want to piece it together, and this is something I'd like to do myself. I hope she doesn't get upset, but this isn't really about her. It's about me. As selfish as it sounds, this is something I need to do for myself.

Thanksgiving was followed by Morgan's shower. I had a great time, and she was gracious enough to let me shoot some photos. I have NO idea what I'm doing, still. It was a lot of fun to play with the settings and try to figure it out. There were a few "keepers" among a slew of terrible blurry shots, but the whole experience has definitely renewed my love of photography and makes me want to learn some more. I'm going to attempt to read the exposure book that Heather lent me ages ago. Auntie Kim (not my aunt... actually not John's either but thats what I call her), asked me to take some photos of her and her son. I'm honored, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm feeling some pressure. Capturing the love between mother & son is a heavy task. And let me tell you, she ADORES her son. He is her sun & moon. He is her heartbeat. I just want to do justice to their amazing bond. I've been browsing the web for photos that I find inspirational. I'm hoping to get a vision soon because right now my mind is being clouded by cheesy photos. I don't want to do the "khaki's & white top, barefooted" photos. I know those are what some people want, and to each their own. But I don't think those super "typical" photos are my style, or Auntie Kim's. I guess we'll see.

I worried at first that Keri would feel like I was stepping on her toes, but I need to stop worrying about everyone else's feelings all the time. I was interested in Photography long before John & I even started dating. Granted I didn't invest much money in a camera or anything until we'd been together a while, but that was a financial decision. I'm going to do what makes me happy, and if someone gets upset then we can work it out. Families should support each other, in my opinion. I'm not "stealing business" from anyone. I'm just exploring a hobby and there is nothing wrong with that. I come from a family of hobby photographers. It's in my blood.

Looks like I'll be working on my New Year's resolution list early this year... Another year, another list.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I love lists, and conveniently this list is about things I love!

Best things about today:

- Into work late
- Kids were pretty good
- Out of work early
- Dancing with Lucas to awesome music such as Save Ends & Born Without Bones
- Getting a million kisses from Lucas
- Snuggling & watching Dexter with the love of my life
- Hot cocoa with that same dude
- Nice warm bubble bath & a book after putting Lucas to bed, and before hubby gets home
- Lucas pinching the fat on my butt that's hanging over my pants
- Lucas holding an unopened package of Skittles and pretending to chew them
- Watching Lucas walk around with my sneakers
- Long chat with my bestie in FL

After a LONG past 10 days, I needed to sit back and write down as many "little things" that cheered me up today. The house is a mess, my siblings make me want to strangle them, and I'm so close to my inevitable lay-off from work that it's nice to remember that there are reasons to smile. Everyday. Lots of them, in fact!

Monday, November 15, 2010


You'd think that I'd be used to being disappointed by now. She's been nothing but erratic lies, neurotic stories, and just general mayhem for her entire life. I mean, we're talking right from her birth. But it never fails as we hit yet another peak in the ebb and flow of her deceit, that I am completely floored. Every time I'm completely flabbergasted.

This one hit a sore spot, though. A recycled lie, aimed at a new target, that completely dismantled our family structure in it's first life. In it's second life, she seems to think she's some kind of hero. Wrong. She's a selfish buffoon, with no concept of consequences. She has rehashed an old wound, that would never heal, even if it had been left alone. It's taking a while to trickle through the family web, to reach each person. It's not going to be a pleasant journey, for anyone involved.

This leaves me with only a few concrete options. Obviously there are variations to these options, but it comes down to a tough decision. Cut her out of my life before her antics effect Lucas, or continue on this ridiculous roller coaster ride. There are so many variables, so many negatives to both options that it's hard to really see a positive at all. There is no positive outcome. There never will be. She's taken that option away from all of us. She took it away a long time ago.

If I cut her out, I'm also cutting out a niece and a nephew that I adore. I'm taking that close cousin relationship away from Lucas. I'm also creating tension for my parents, which is the last thing I want or they need. I'm not setting a wonderful example for Lucas by just severing ties.

If I don't come up with some kind of absolute resolution I'm sending an even worse message to Lucas. I'm essentially saying "When someone drags the family through the mud, disgraces us all time and time again, and makes life nearly unbearable, we just have to smile and keep on chugging because, hey, she's family" -- No. I need some kind of balance. She needs consequences. Lies upon lies upon lies, and I'm drowning in a sea of untruth while she just swims along as if nothing has changed. It's maddening.

I just hope I'm around to see her finally catch hell from all of the heartache she has caused. The turmoil left behind her is something that is indescribable. John says I should write a book. I probably should, but that would only further hurt my parents. I suppose I could write under a pen name to avoid further disgrace to the family. I just may do that. Maybe it will be a kind of therapy for me.

"He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions."
THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to Peter Carr, Aug. 19, 1785

Friday, November 12, 2010

Re: My Son is Gay by Nerdy Apple Bottom

If you haven't read "my son is gay" @ Nerdy Apple Bottom you are likely living under a rock. However, you'll need to read it now, so you can follow what I'm about to say.

If you're too lazy for the link, story boils down to this: A 6 year old boy dresses as Daphne from Scooby Doo for Halloween, Mom supports his decision, and other Mom begin giving them a hard time at school.

I've always said that if I had a homosexual child I would be 100% supportive. I couldn't understand how parents could be upset with their children for something that is not, in my opinion, a decision. Now that I have a son, I can't say I feel the same way that I did before. Now, I completely am baffled by it, but I'm downright offended by it. How can you have a child in this world and not love him/her to pieces, just as you have received him/her??? Sexual preference, in my opinion, is not really a "preference" at all. Preference implies that is a choice. Why would anyone CHOOSE to put themselves through the pain that society inflicts on anyone that is "different". And furthermore, how can anyone deny their support to their own child?? Ugh it infuriates me - but I'm getting off topic.

I lived in this happy world, ok call it delusional, where I thought: "Hey, I live in Massachusetts. We are super liberal here, sexism and gay bashing is super uncommon here. No one would bat an eyelash if that (Scooby costume) happened here." HA!! SO wrong... I learned this lesson quite a few times over this past week.

You see, my son, Lucas, has taken a strong liking to baby dolls lately. Now, we don't have any in our house because, well I honestly never thought about having one for a boy. But, I nanny for a set of boy-girl twins and when they were born they got American Girl Bitty Twins for their birthday. Lucas LOVES the little boys' doll. He carries it around, kisses it, tries to change it's clothes, puts it in the stroller. It's heartbreakingly adorable. Seriously. Painful. He has such a strong paternal instinct, it's unreal. I mean, the boy even hold the doll up on his shoulder, and pats it's bum!! Exactly what I do when Lucas is upset. It's amazing. It's awe inspiring, and I LOVE every minute of it... cue the "haters".

First, it was my boss' Realtor. She walks in to pick up some paper work, and sees him with the doll and says "Don't worry, they grow out of that... it doesn't mean anything...", to which my best on-the-spot response was "I certainly hope he doesn't out grow this. He's going to be a wonderful Daddy to some lucky child someday". I brushed that experience off, telling myself that she was from an older generation. It wasn't her fault...

Then I went to Toys R Us with my mom today, with the specific purpose of finding Lucas a doll for Christmas. HOLY CRAP... the looks we got from the other women in that store, you would have thought I was shopping for a weapon of mass destruction to give my toddler. Seriously. It was unbelievable. Eyes were rolling all over that place, and the "hmpphhhs" were unreal.

The only thing this experience has done is cemented my decision. I WILL be buying Lucas that doll for Christmas. And a shopping cart. And anything else that fosters positive self esteem. And if all these angry women are right, and he ends up being gay, I won't be upset. I won't feel guilty. I will love him just the same. He will ALWAYS be my son. I will always love him. I will always support him. If he wants to live the rest of his life with a man who makes him happy, who am I to tell him that's wrong? That's how I intend to spend the rest of my life; with the man I love. Love is love. And that is one thing I will NEVER deny to my children. Ever.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Norm update

It may seem that I neglected Norm in my last post. Not entirely true. I am more confused than ever about the Norm situation. John has been keeping tabs on Norm for me because my work schedule is wonky, and I don't get the opportunity to check in much. I'm usually in his area at night, and since he has no electricity or anything, it's tough to check in at that point.

Well, the other day John let me know that Norm was wearing a new coat, which made me deliriously happy. Then the next day John saw him eating a can of beans on his front stairs and I was instantly depressed again. I concocted this whole big plan, completely in my head, to anonymously start mailing Norm various supplies. Food, warm clothes, gloves, coats, etc... I happened to drive by again on the same day, and there was Norm checking his mail box, and waiting to cross the street to his house. Of course I stopped to let him cross and he flashed me a smile that completely melted my heart. I could just TELL that no one shows the man an ounce of respect or consideration. So I did what any rational woman would do...

I circled the block, and checked what # was on his mail box, with the intention of mailing him supplies or a letter or something. I was determined. I voiced my plan to John and he was on board, but he did mention that I should probably wait till we are financially able to help someone before we take money that we might need for Lucas. I had to agree with him. I can't take from my own child to help a stranger... we are struggling entirely too much at this point.

But, as usual, curiosity caught a hold of me. I googled Norm's address. HOLY SHIT. And I mean. There was a legal notice that popped up first, about his home. Too much legal jargon for me, but it seemed consistent with the story that went along with the photo of Norm... So I went to to see if I could make heads or tails of it. More PIOUS POOP! (holy shit... sad joke, I know) -- 65 records for the man. I now know his full name, but I won't disclose that. I know he's never been married. I know how he came to own the home he lives in. I learned that he actually owned quite a bit of land in town. He's sold most of it, I think... I wish I understood legal jargon. I really do.

Now I'm really conflicted. It appears from my best attempt at understanding the legal stuff, that Norm may have gotten himself into this bind completely by his own fault. At first I was furious at him, as if I even know this man!! Then I felt really sad for him. Now I don't really care how or why he ended up in his situation. I mean, I'm obviously curious, but it doesn't change the fact that he is living a really tough life. And if a package might brighten his day, even for just a moment, well then I think it's all worth it. Now I just need to decide what to send, and how to word my letter so I don't sound condescending or rude. We'll see how this all pans out...


If you know me, and if you're reading this you likely do, then you know that when I find a new hobby or task I become TOTALLY obsessed with it. Scrapbooking for a while, photography for a brief stint, a few other random crafty things here & there. Well now, aside from my obsession with Norm I have been obsessed with researching my family and John's.

I have tracked John's Meme's family (his mother's mother) back about 5-6 generations. I've tracked his Noni's side back pretty far too (father's mother). His Nono's side is a little tougher, as there were some name changes, but I'm getting it. I want to learn as much as I can.

As for my side of the family, it's a little tougher. Ma Walsh's family, (my Dad's mother) I just started asking about yesterday. Dad didn't know too much, only my great grandparents names (which i knew), their kids, and their kids' kids. I knew most of that.

To the point(s) of the post, Nicole. Jeepers!! I spent yesterday with my Mom at Nana's house. Since she is my last surviving grandparent, I feel this incredible need to get as much information out of her as I can. We spent 3 hours going through old pictures. HUNDREDS of them. Her wedding album, pictures of her growing up, pictures of her mother's childhood. I couldn't believe how much information she has tucked away in that brain of hers. She amazed me. I mean, she was sitting across t he room from me, a solid 8 feet away, and she while looking at her yearbook she would say "Hey, see that girl second from the right, top row?? She and I didn't get along, but she ended up marrying so&so and they have # kids now and they live over by New Pond!" Seriously, Nana?!?! You are unbelievable. My own mother impressed me. Her memory is usually not too great, but she remembered so much of her childhood, and listening to them laugh about old times, and funny stories was just what I needed. Such a fun day. And as much as I love Lucas with all my heart, I was glad I chose to leave him with John for the day. I needed some adult time, to just relax.

Nana also mentioned that she has TONS of slides and 35MM negatives lying around that I am welcome to. So for Christmas, I REALLY want to save up and buy this negative scanner. I also want to borrow or puchase a good photo scanner. Nana let me borrow a bunch of pictures and I NEED to make copies. I want prints of Nana & Papa's wedding with Grandma & Grandpa Bunney (Nana's maiden name was Bunney!) and Grandma & Grandpa Aitken (Papa's parents). Also I adore Nana's engagement photo and high school photo. She was so beautiful! I have really attractive grandparents, I must say! I really want prints of as many family members as possible. I want to make a scrapbook of a family tree for Lucas and I want to hang prints in my dining room or living room or hallway or all of the above!

I realize these projects will take years, but they are so worth it to me and it's a great way to combine a bunch of my little hobbies into a greater purpose, I think. I love the research, it's like a wild goose chase. I love getting results, and I even love hitting a wall or a dead end because it forces me to think outside the box and get creative which is not a strong suit for me!

Here's to getting to know as much as possible about the family I grew up in, and the family I've married into . For better or worse, every family has a story and I can't wait to see mine unfold from both past and future!