Saturday, December 1, 2012

Black & White?, 2012 Recap, Happy Holidays!

This is a long one and the last one for the year.  I know I have been quite quiet and full of mostly pictures this year.  I just figured out how to share.

DECEMBER 1st already?  

Morning coffee was an eleven month review of our life in 2012.   

It felt like déjà vu, I was having this same conversation last year and probably the year before and possibly the year after.   The review of the everywhere we went for the year, the crazy December schedule including the where he, she, me, and we have to be/attend for the upcoming month, and the "I can't believe the year is almost over"  and "we are another year older" discussions- Then I heard a click in my head and started to do a my own review as this past year has been filled with so many growing pains. 

After coffee I retreated to my private space, my thoughts started running rapidly in circles in my head.  Soon I came to the conclusion I may have suffered a mini midlife crisis this year after our return from the summer.  Maybe earlier in the year but I ignored it!  I always get a bit darker come September as I know my birthday is approaching.  I happen to be one of those people who loves everyone else's birthday but my own.  As you may have seen through the years, planning the Cupcake Birthday Bash starts well in advance.  

This year presented some issues that I thought better not to discuss until I had a grip on them and my position.  All of the sudden the rainbows and butterflies went black and white on me.  Rainbows are not so pretty in black in white.  It seemed like every moment I turned a corner I found myself feeling like I didn't know anything. My natural disposition of being a problem solver was diminished.  

I had only two choices:  I could roll the dice and hope turning right is the right way or turn left which was going to be a difficult challenge as turning left would be to completely surrender to other's opinions.  Logically, I had no choice but to turn left.  When it comes to Cupcake, I take no risks.   

In November of 2011, her new teacher noticed some issues and tossed out the ADHD term to me and said the word medication.  Who could have imagined the child who was reading and writing at age 4 would have academic issues?  

Solution mode:
1)  Call Pediatrician
2)  Find/Call Child Psychologist
3)  Try to erase all of my uneducated opinions
4)  Clean out my ears and start listening well

Number one, calling the Pediatrician was the easiest.  She and I have a wonderful relationship.  I know taking the time to interview doctors prior to Cupcake's arrival was priceless.  She made all of the worries go away for the moment.  Her simple advice of let's wait because she is only 6 and come back to this in the Spring was just what I needed to hear to relax.

Number two, find and call a Child Psychologist proved to be a bit more challenging as I needed someone to be the potential person who would test her but would be willing to counsel me (I needed more help than Cupcake!).  After 6 referrals, the list was reduced to three (Female ONLY).  I made the first big step and started weekly sessions with Dr. W in December.  This took care of number 3 & 4.

After about 8 sessions and a box of tissues with Dr. W the changes started to occur. I was no longer stuck on my position that I would never medicate my child but I would accept the guidance of the professionals.  Now I understood her academic abilities and the possibility of ADHD were not the end of the world. Coincidentally, the problems at school were getting worse.  Cupcake has started to realize she needed more assistance than the others by constantly needing the directions repeated and the frustration was driving her to tears.  She started to feel like the cry baby.  At the moment she realized she felt different, my heart cracked. 

Solution mode.  I made my final one on one appointment in February 2012 with Dr.W before setting one for her to meet Cupcake in March.  I coordinated the school, the Pediatrician and Dr.W so everyone was communicating.  All of us completed the tests required before Cupcake's testing.  Eight of the nine came back close to identical.  The only questionable one was from Mr. Daddy.  This is a whole different topic.  When spouses do not agree on medical issues for a child would be the next biggest hurdle I would encounter.  One I will leave to discuss next year.

Without a doubt she was diagnosed with ADHD.  In May we started the exploration of medication. Dr. W and I met again prior to starting medication as I was relapsing in my thoughts.  My logic was so persistent.  I couldn't understand how the magic of a little pill would be a solution.  I closed my eyes and clicked my heels three times and gave myself permission to give her the pill.  I did this for the last month of school before we departed for the summer.

Cupcake's school world changed dramatically.  She came home after a week saying things like I understand Mrs. C now (like Mrs. C spoke Chinese all year?) and I am the first one finished everyday so no one has to wait for me to leave for recess, and most importantly for my ears-  I don't cry anymore.

Not knowing anything about everything in this arena was a challenge but there was one more lingering thought:  Dr. W mentioned in our last meeting when a parent is ADD or ADHD with a child who is the same, this compounds the problem for the child.  Without boring you with the whole story, I was diagnosed with the same.  It was a life changing discovery at 40.  All I can say is my condition did worsen her condition.  We are both taking meds and our world is different in a good way.


Now that I feel like a new girl and a new mother- changes were in order.

When we returned from the summer I made a list.  I decided to pull out the dreaded favorite pair of jeans that don't fit from twenty something (gosh they look tiny) but I am determined to wear them soon!  I decided to spend more time playing tennis and playing with toys (like I did when I was 20 something).  Lucky Cupcake!  She now has every favorite toy I could find from my childhood from shrinky dinks to boggle.  The motherly nagging was going to be eliminated. Everyday I was spending too much time (as a mom) being concerned about what she ate (all 3 items on her menu) so I decided she can eat whatever she wants because if I was 20 something I probably wouldn't waste so much time nagging.  Seriously,  I haven't met an adult yet who eats mac n cheese 14 times a week.  Here is the big one, no more retirement.  Not working for the past 3-4 years has made me feel uninteresting.  Retiring by 40 was a stupid goal at best. Certainly not an interesting place to be so a new business was born.  I leaked it a few weeks ago but I can't wait to share it with you.

DollDigz of America.  If I counted correctly it may be lucky number 7 for business creations.  DollDigz is in full motion.  What better for a seven year old little girl than to have a mother who is so off the hook that she decides to develop and manufacture the first dollhouse for the 18 inch doll?  Does anyone not have an American Girl Doll or a like 18 inch doll?  It has been so much fun.  Literally has taken me all over the world. I promise to debut the really neat details in January.  Below I will share a few pictures of some of the rooms in the 18 inch doll's new Digz.

My mini breakdown had a few good results.  We play a lot more games together.  Even on the plane! (cupcake completed her 36th flight last month) I was able to get some of them in travel editions.  My tennis went from I suck to I really don't very quickly.  I love working and the travel is refreshing-  I think they say, "distance makes the heart grow founder?"  She came home last week and said can I try an apple and I really don't want mac n cheese (yes, I thought I was hallucinating).  Cupcake and I have started arguing everyday and even worse when she has friends over because they take my toys and I take her dolls.  My work materials are mistaken for toys and I take her dolls for models in the house and she can't find them.  I concluded she shares nicely, better than her mother!  I am confident we will work this one out.  Solution:   Santa will bring me a couple AGD's and everything I order for work- I will order an extra for Cupcake.  Most importantly school is going fantabulously for Cupcake!

Living and playing like twenty something has been fun and Cupcake promised if anyone asks, " how old is mommy?"  her reply will always be TWENTY-NINE.  She pinky promised with me.

Now is the time of the year where the time disappears and then we wake  having to remember to change the 2 to a 3 so I want to wish you and your family the most amazing holiday season and a very Happy New Year's!  Wishing all of you an even better 2013.

Until next year...Ciao for now!

Here is a little peek into DollDigz:

Bedroom 1
Bedroom 2
Walk-In Closet with Vanity
Laundry Room

Kitchen, Bathroom, Nursery, & Playroom coming soon!

Most Memorable Moments of 2012 :

The Spa Birthday Bash

Cupcake's and Daddy's Favorite
 Place -Home (Grossetto, Italy)

Cupcake's Favorite Evening Activity
( Is this legal in America?)

My one request for the summer.
Island of Giglio (only an Italian could sink a half 
billion dollar cruise liner)-Goodbye Concordia

                                                   Maia and Cupcake saying Goodbye to
                                                           Vacation in Mallorca, Spain

                                                      The amazing art in Barecelona-
                                                           OK I want legs this long!

                                         Welcome home to the USA from Cupcake's BFF's

                                                Meeting Jane O'Connor at the Premiere of
                                                               The Mermaid Ballet

                                                              My American Girl!

                                                   Cupcake's newest addition to amazing
                                                         women in her life-
                                                  Thank you Camilla for kicking both of
                                                                     our booties!

Happy Halloween! 
 So sorry Mommy's DNA is contagious!

                                          A quick trip before Thanksgiving to catch
                                          the last night of The Not So Scarry Mickey Mouse
                                          Halloween Celebration.  A little bit of Sun before
                                          Winter arrives is what we all needed!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Great Weekend!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Something Crazy..

Is your 18 inch doll or American Girl Homeless?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Some Old Some New...

Looks like we are going to wake up soon to say I can't believe 2012 is almost over.  Whoever said as you get older the clock ticks faster- SO TRUE!  I just had a D*** Birthday and it is coming up again.  How come when we are little it seems like forever for our next Birthday and then you turn 30 the clock starts ticking double time, ARGHHH!

I want to be a better blogger.  Since 2006 I have been blogging mostly about Cupcake and little about the annoyance of a neighbor and both with a little humor and few irritants.  I have had some positive responses and some not so positive responses ( those get deleted quickly!).  Overall I like sharing the journey of life with my daughter because I really didn't know...SO MANY THINGS!  To think when I was 14 I knew EVERYTHING and my parents knew nothing!  By the time I turned 30, I realized I knew very little and I was truly embarking on adulthood.  Even though I try to convince Cupcake I am a 29 years old, I am not so bent about turning 41 (ok, a little bent).  Life is more interesting is "learning" mode and Cupcake is an amazing teacher.  Her infectious smile and seven year old perspective on life is so interesting, entertaining, and a lesson in so many ways.  Cupcake's world is a place of rainbows, butterflies and unicorns. Of course there are a few bees and bee stings along the way but she always seems to see the vibrant yellow and black stripes after the sting.  She has taught me to smile in the morning even if I wake feeling grumpy and hugs and kisses every night are paramount (after milk & cookies).  She is the best reminder that it is just as easy to say things nicely (how far I have come even in the most contentious situations as being a role model in front of her trumps the "point."  As she is getting older it is difficult not to feel she needs me less but it isn't really less, it is needing me differently.  I find myself wanting to brush her teeth (i still scrub them well when I can sneak it in!) or tie her shoes (and sneak a thigh tickle) but she is a BIG girl now!  She has an opinion- OMG does she ever!  For the most part, I love her opinions and perspectives on life and friends.  I look forward to sharing more of her perspectives on life next year!

Today I have had an overwhelming sadness as I am following a story of a missing little 10 year old  girl in Colorado- Jessica Ridgeway.  My heart breaks for her mother.  I feel sick to my stomach of the thoughts that run through my mind.  I think of all of the little girls who have been kidnapped, murdered, and never returned since my obsession with following these stories (which started in 2005).  I hesitate to start writing about this topic because it is a topic that will only bring tears.  However it is so important to talk about it.  The more we talk about it, the more conscious we are of our surroundings.  Hopefully this will lead to better decisions.  If your child has to walk to school, make sure there is supervision, if you are on a playground don't turn around to take a call, and if you are a mall, amusement park, or any large event- do not blink an eye.  if you go to the movies be prepared to throw your child under a chair and lay on top of them.  If your child is going to a friends house restrict them on going to a playground or a crowed event if you aren't sure your child will be supervised in the SAME fashion you would.  Talk to your child about running, screaming, and hiding (in a healthy and unalarming manner) as preparing them is our job!  Most importantly, don't feel guilty or negative about thinking there are so many people in our country who harm children because this is the truth.  It is the reality of living in America.  With freedom comes many people who abuse their freedom resulting in crimes on children.  While it is important to be charitable in many facets from sick children to the less fortunate- don't ever risk the safety of our children.  I may sound a bit crazy and I know some deem me to be a bit (ok, a little more than a bit- Cupcake may not see a public event without me until she is 21) over protective, but I do prefer the chit chat about my craziness on this topic then the possibilities if I am not.  More on this topic later.

In the meantime, send strength and hope to Jessica Ridgeway's family!

Update:  Her body was found.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

SO SO FANCY! & More...


Fancy Nancy replaced Dr.Seuss very quickly!  I love Fancy Nancy too.  We have read them together and she loves reading them on her own.  When the "The Mermaid Ballet" book arrived we both gasped as it was just a beautiful book, a great read, and even better the Vital Theatre was rolling out the red carpet for the premiere.   Cupcake was not missing the show.  We have attended "Pinkalicious" which was also at the Vital Theatre in NYC and didn't think it could get any better  BUT...

All I can say it PERFECT!  She got to meet Jane O'Conner (the author -below), have her book autographed and sit with the cast.  All she can could say to Fancy Nancy...ARE YOU REAL?
Fancy Nancy was so REAL!!!  A perfect day in the world of Cupcake!

The show is playing for a couple months so if you have the opportunity and you are in NYC- Don't miss it!!! It is a MUST SEE!!!

Bree and Fancy Nancy are real!!!                                      
 The Mermaids waiting for the show to begin.    

Some scattered pics:

         Cupcake is so 70's!
Great Grandma Kay is going to be 93 next month!!!

Cupcake manipulated her way into the cockpit as we departed Barcelona for America.  Special Clearance granted.

FIRST trip to the doctor for an injury.  YES, you can get hurt with child proof scissors.  YES I did forget to remind her to use on PAPER ONLY.  While attempting to cut a thin piece of plastic she took out of the trash (pretty purple) to make a mask??  The scissors cut a nice chunk on the tip & side of her finger...ARGGHHH!  Mother's guilt at its finest.   Dr. Daddy bandaged and got us to the hospital successfully!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

We Love the Summer, Recap Summer 2012

Before we left for the summer 20 girls and Mom's joined us for a Spa Day for an early 7th Birthday celebration (the first of 3)
Goodbye America!

A few more months before we leave I start brain washing the routine for the plane ride...Dinner, movie, nite-nite Cupcake!  IT WORKS!

She woke up as we arrived in Italy- This is the "Are you for real face?" How can they not have fruit loops or cinnamon toast crunch-  SHE SURVIVED!

Cousin Ana came to the airport- Fruits Loops is no longer a problem!

Ok, Cupcake, you got what you want- after a long 24 hours of getting ready to leave, heading to Philly, boarding the plane, deplaning the dysfunctional US Airways flight 718, waiting for 5 hours for a new plane to arrive, and arriving 4 hours late, we managed to pull off finding our suits and getting to the beach IMMEDIATELY upon request!

While your mom is half dead trying to recover, your uncles and dad are the heroes.

For the first time your American Grandparents FINALLY showed up for a great summer visit!

When you don't remember, everyday but 2 out of 79 days all of us made sure you were on the beach!  By the way, Cupcake is a Beach Addict- A real life BEACH BUM!

If you aren't convinced that our apartment is to accommodate your every wish Marina Park is in our backyard.  All of the sudden our backyard at home looks a bit shabby!

Whatever it is - you little creatures find fun about running in a ball like a hamster- the fun is for us to laugh while we watch!

Out of 79 days, I only had one wish- this was to go to the Island of Giglio-  The Concordia deserved a moment of silence for the lives lost 100 years after the Titanic.


Thank you Maia- you made Cupcakes 2 weeks in Mallorca the best ever! 

For the 2 days she was without Maia- Dad was the sub

Bye-Bye Mallorca- we love your crystal blue waters and sunny skies!

NEXT STOP:  Barcelona

Walking the streets of Barcelona is a museum- taking pics were so much fun.  Barcelona deserves its own entry.  From Tapas Bar Bike to the beaches- we walked until we passed out but enjoyed every minute!  I miss you my pitcher of Sangria, you brightened every evening and tasted heavenly with every dinner!

Dad, Here is a message to you:  When mom says take a stroller because my little legs can't walk for 6 hours or you will be carrying me- you may want to believe her!

After visiting the cockpit with the pilot for a few minutes (and a few great pics)- Here is the chat:

Are we really back in America?  Yes Cupcake, we are here.  Mom, Could you please drop me off at Lilly's so I can play while you and daddy unpack and do your things.  NO CUPCAKE, you can help us and play another day.  There will be plenty of time to play!  ...SURPRISE  - Lilly was at the airport to pick you up- AND your mom can keep a surprise!

As soon as I get unpacked and comfy at home I will pack your bags again for one last hoorah with your girls!

O.C., MD- How could I not take her for one last weekend to a beach with her friends?  I am crazy!  I think they were having fun...

What do you do at the beach on a rainy day?  Ice Skating?

There is the quick recap of the summer that passed us by more quickly than we would have wished.  It was filled with so many adventures,  family, and so many friends old & new.

Cupcake, thank you for being the most amazing traveller.  You just completed your 17th roundtrip flight!  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

Is it May?

Ok, I have 2 days until Mom's Birthday,  13 days until  Mother's Day, 20 days until Cupcake's Party (having 2 months early since we are leaving for the summer), 24 more school days waking at 6 am, and 30 days until we leave for the summer.

All I can think is HOT PINK & Zebra for her party!

I will post some party preview pics this weekend.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring Break?

We aren't big planners but the commercials for The Atlantis broke us down in February so we decided to go for Spring Break in March. We went before baby and it was one of our favorite trips. It is a quick flight, and a great resort. If you love water like Cupcake, it is endless hours of many pools and beaches. Since it was spring break, there was never a moment she couldn't find kids her age to play. We got back last week. School is now closed Thursday until Tuesday, I thought last week was Spring break?

The night before we left, her top tooth was hanging. The second night it fell out and now...she looks like a big kid. The pics look like a daddy & me trip - I am just the family photographer.

Anyway- 2 thumbs up for a great family place! Swimming with the Dolphins was Cupcake's favorite activity! Being 48 inches could of been the only thing to make her trip better. She didn't like not being able to go on all of the slides and not so crazy about wearing a vest for the rides they let her go on- but overall it was a week of BIG SMILES and lots of laughs!