Just a Whisper…

Have you ever just whispered so as  not to wake your sleeping child when they were brand new? I wasn’t one of those moms. I believed in getting them used to the noises they would be listening to from the time they came home.
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Kids get used to what they are surrounded by. I know this because I’m a mom of 4 and because I was a pediatric nurse for 16 years. I guess you could say I know a thing or two about kids. Kids have been my bread and butter, so to speak, although no longer, as I am now seeing, the big people. Regardless, kids pick up on things from their parents. If you are loud, they will be loud. If you speak softly, they will speak softly. Well, for the most part.
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In my house, my son is always amazed that I can hear him whisper. It just is something I’ve learned to do over the last 20 years. My husband mumbles a lot and I strain to hear him quite often but if clearly spoken, I can hear the whispers. My son tries this out all the time! I love it. It’s sort of a bonding thing for just the two of us.
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Whispers can be dangerous as you never know who can hear you. Words can hurt or words can heal and lift the spirit. Let our whispers be joyful and not be judgemental or hurtful to one another. Whisper something kind today and let the goodness spread.

Letter to 18 Year Old Me

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My mom and me on my 18th birthday

You think you are so smart in that outfit.

Let me tell you something little girl.

Buckle down, work hard, keep strong.

Don’t lose site of this relationship.

He is the right one and he does love you more than you know.

You are screwing up and you think you’re right so listen to your mom,

she’s right, as usual.

You can’t eat everything.  You will be fat and you will be miserable.

I know you can’t imagine that now, but if you don’t watch it,

it’s going to happen when you leave home and it’s going to be bad.

As for your mom? Be kind to her.  She is your best friend and you can’t even see it.

She isn’t going to be around forever.  You are going to miss her so much.

You will be lost without her when she’s gone. Take time to be close now.

Family is everything. I mean everything.  Don’t lose sight of that.

They are really the only ones who will always be there for you.

Always.

And remember that you are precious.  You are God’s child.  He doesn’t make mistakes.

He loves you always.

Never forget just how loved you truly are.

You will make a great nurse someday.  Just stay the course, little girl.

Stop being so stubborn and thinking you know everything.

You don’t know one damn thing about the world.  You’re still a child,

but that’s okay.  You’re just learning.  You’re getting your wings on.

You will learn, just don’t learn things too fast.

Stay the course, remember the love and be kind.  Okay? Just do it.

Now get on with your life.  There’s so much out there. Be careful.

Ah the Green

 

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40 Shades of Green in Ireland

Green, the color of lush grass on a beautiful spring day.  The color of St. Patrick’s Day and the strange color they dye the river in Chicago. The color of a cat’s eyes. It comes in so many shades.  From kelly green, to emerald, to olive and mint green.  The colors are endless and bring about so many different feelings.

With the color green there are also different tags attached.  People hear being green and they think of recycling.  They think of being kind to the environment.  We think of the Green political party.  We even think of the symbol for recycling.

We think of being green with envy, or the green eyed monster of jealousy.  So many implications for one little color.  I love the color green but not under those circumstances. I’m not into jealousy or envy.  I wish being green had a good emotion attached!

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Many shades of green

My favorite implication for the color green is all that comes from those associated with my favorite country, Ireland.  Ireland is the home of my family.  In Ireland, it is true that there are at least 40 shades of green.  The Aran Isle is one of the most beautiful and colorful places you could ever see.  This is the place that makes me happiest, besides being in Southwest Florida!

So, as you can see, green isn’t just a color anymore!  It has many connotations.  For me, I’ll always think good things about green.  I love it just like my dad does.  He even has a green front door and green carpet.  He’s a good Irishman.  Gotta love him! I do.

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Dad and I on a sunset cruise in Florida 2015

Tricky Little Hamster

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Nagini Look Alike

We recently acquired a new little pet to add to our zoo.  She is absolutely adorable and extremely active.  Her name, today anyway, is Nagini, like Voldemort’s snake from Harry Potter.  She is a cream colored hamster with tiny gray ears.  Why they chose that name, I’ll never know, but Nagini it is, for now anyway.

She is extremely active, as I’ve said.  She loves to climb in her 2 story cage, up the tubes, down the tubes, up the tubes, over the wheel.  She even jumps from her perch to the first floor of her abode.  Silly little girl.  Are you wondering why I call her tricky yet?

Well, she has had two mishaps in her short stay at our house and has survived them both.  The first mishap happened several days ago when the top part of her cage, a giant wheel contraption, broke off and landed on the floor, 5 feet down.  The floor just happens to be hard wood.  After she shook that one off, we realized that she had performed several bodily functions while being stuck in there, but otherwise was back to herself.

Her second kamakazi attempt came later that same evening but was all her doing.  We placed her in one ball, which she promptly escaped from.  Tricky little thing to catch when she didn’t feel like being caught! Having caught her, we placed her, unwillingly into her bigger ball.  As we were trying to fix up her cage, she managed to roll herself in her big ball all the way down the stairs, the ard wood stairs!  Again, she was fine.  The ball opened, but she luckily remained inside.

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Bandit Look Alike

She is difficult to get ahold of when she is outside of her cage.  She loves to explore and wants to run and explore everything.  And she is so fast!  I’ve never in my life owned a hamster so this is new territory for me.  My daughter convinced me that we needed to get her a friend.  We did, however her friend is still in quarantine and is not nearly as interested in the world as little Nagini.

Her friend is Bandit.  Bandit just burrows into the bedding and sleeps.  If after the ten days is up Bandit makes it, we will put the two together.  Yes, they are both girls.  No baby hamsters for me!!!!  No way, no how! You read it here first! Hopefully that will be comfort for Nagini and take some of her mischievious ways and propensity for escaping away and liven up little Bandit.  That’s the hope in all this.

I Write Because…

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Empty pages ready to be filled!

I love to write.  I just can’t help myself.  I find myself at the keyboard wondering “what shall I write about” and Boom! there it is.  I just find something that I want to write about or I find a daily prompt and once started, I have to finish.  Sometimes it’s poetry, sometimes it’s one of my family’s musings or perhaps just something that I find interesting.  Whatever the case may be, I have to write.

Writing to me is an outlet.  It’s a form of communication that I’ve been using ever since I learned how to spell.  Spelling was always my best subject in grade school and now, well, I’m still writing.  I used to get in trouble when I was little.  I would go off crying to my room and I would inevitably look for my Winnie the Pooh to wipe my tears after a good cry.  I’d tell him how I’d been wronged and after we had a good chat I would see the error of my ways and always, always write an apology letter to my mom.  It would read something like this “Dear Mommy, I’m so sorry for making you mad.  I promise not to do it again.  Please forgive me.  Love, Deirdre”.

I’ve written many letters over the years.  I’ve still got letters from my husband from when we dated in high school and college, but he doesn’t have my love letters.  I just love the written word.  It’s so powerful.  My mother always told me to be careful what you write.  Be sure that you don’t hurt anyone with your words because once it’s on paper, you can’t take it back.  Very good advice I’ve always lived by.

I write to tell stories.  Our stories become our histories.  It’s how our generation will be remembered by the next ones.  I always wanted my mother to write her stories down, but she didn’t.  Now, I have to remember them because she was called home by God last November.  She didn’t have the chance to write them down.  That was what she had planned to do this year.

I write to express my feelings.  When we feel joy, what better way to express that than to write. The same goes for sadness, anger, in the right context without hurting anyone. I usually write poetry to express my feelings.  I used to write poetry all the time then I sort of got away from it.  I’m writing it daily now and I’m feeling empowered and refreshed just in the act of writing it.

I write for the sheer joy of writing.  Writing to me is not a chore.  Writing to me is like breathing.  I just hope that some people enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy sharing my ideas with the world.  My daughter, Katie, asked if I was trying to become internet famous.  I told her no, but wouldn’t that be wild if that did somehow happen?  I don’t think I write that well, but I do enjoy seeing that there are people reading my posts and enjoying them.  I want to share my love of writing with the world.  I especially enjoy seeing where everyone is from and reading everyone else’s posts.

These are a few of the reasons I write.  How about you?  What are your reasons for writing?  What do you enjoy about my writing?  Please share any comments with me.  I love that connection with everyone.

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This is written as part of a link up to Finish the Sentence Friday. This week’s sentence was ‘I write because…’. Head on over and view the rest! They’re always a blast to read! http://www.FindingNinee.com

Raising Girls

My three girls are each unique and amazing in their own way.  each possess pieces of me and pieces of their dad but manage to be their own person that is not like either of us.  This is one of those things that I find absolutely intriguing and incredible.  The fact that a two people can come together in love and create 3 uniquely different human beings with the similar traits has always fascinated me, but watching my girls grow in20141114_190321to the independent young women they have become has created in me such awe. Wow, we done good!

My oldest is in college.  She graduated high school nearly two years ago and began her college career as a music education major.  After her first year, she determined that although she has a passion for music, educating the youth in music wasn’t necessarily for her.  She was concerned that she wouldn’t have a job when she was done despite going to a school renowned for it’s music ed program.  She wasn’t sure what she wanted to do and was feeling depressed as a result.  She tried to hide her depression from me.

She returned for her sophomore year as a communications major.  Unfortunately, her heart wasn’t in it and her depression was getting worse.  Watching your child go through that when you are suffering from your own stress and depression makes you feel absolutely helpless.  My baby was away from home and falling hard.  She started seeing the counselor on campus and I went over there to meet with him as well.  It was decided that she needed to come home for a while.  We needed to get her some more help so she could figure out what she truly wanted to do.

As a baby and a small girl, she was my easy child.  She was easy in every way.  She was helpful, easy-going, laid back, and so very sweet.  I often said she would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it.  Unfortunately, her father and I divorced when she was nine.  Emma’s personality changed somewhat over the next several years.  Some of this I’m sure was due to having more responsibility to taking care of her younger sisters as well as moving from her home, her city, her friends, her dad.

She’s doing much better now.  She’s decided on nursing, following in her mom and both of her grandma’s footsteps.  I know she will be a great nurse.  She is very caring and always very concerned for others. She is easy to talk to and has an joy for caring for others in their time of need.  I saw this firsthand when she helped me care for my mother before she passed away.

My second daughter is extremely bright and determined.  She has always has known what she wants and isn’t afraid to do the hard work to get it. She was the jealous sister when we brought home her little sister, but not so when we brought home her baby brother.  Clare has always been very focused on her homework and getting work done.   She is talented in many things but feels “subpar”.   Her friends are all overachievers like her and she has a sense that she is never good enough, I suppose.  She is beautiful.  She just had a lead in her senior high school musical and will start the pre-med program at university in the fall.  She amazes me every day with her talents.  Then again, so does her older sister.  All my girls can sing well.  The only thing Clare can’t do well is draw like her little sister, Katie.

Clare will make the best physician. Her dream is to become a pediatrician.  That’s been her dream since she was a little girl.  With her determination, she will do it.  I know that she may change her mind eventually as to which specialty, but I know she be a doctor and I’m sure she will do something with children.

She has always loved children.  She is a much sough after babysitter.  She’s managed to get herself a sitter job for the summer and is looking forward to it very much.  She has a great deal of patience with small children, even more than parents do sometimes, including this mom! She will even speak French to the tiny ones.  She’s in the National Honor Society and the French National Honor Society.  She just excels!

My third daughter is hilarious.  She is my sweet, funny, artistic daughter.  She is an amazing artist.  I have heard people say that her art is beyond her years.  It’s truly incredible.  If she would give me any, I’d be glad to post it here. Alas, she has not.  She shares it on her instagram, just not with her mom.  Sigh. She has the best and weirdest sense of humor to those who know her best.  At school, they see her as the quiet little mouse, but at home, she is loud, very musically talented and always perfecting her art.

Katie was a fairly easy baby, but if she wanted something, you knew about it.  That was the way Clare was too.  Clare wouldn’t even give up then.  Katie, on the other hand, would curl her legs around each other in a sort of knot, we called it “the ball of fury”.  She would even twist her little chunky legs through and around the slats on her crib, locking them together on the outside.  It always frightened me trying to untwist them and get them back through the slats of the crib.  I was so afraid that her little legs would break and I would be carted off by DCFS.

Katie plays the ukulele which she just acquired on Christmas Eve.  Believe it or not, she is really very good.  She has a very good ear for music and refuses to take any more music lessons.  She also plays piano and knocks sparks out of those keys.  It usually takes her a day or two to learn a new song, but then we are listening to it until she gets tired of playing it.  Her artwork, as I’ve said is unbelievably good.  Her freshman art teacher said she belongs in college level courses.  This is the first actual art class that she’s ever taken so perhaps that gives you an idea.

She does suffer from anxiety and panic disorder.  This has nearly crippled her at times.  When my mom suffered a severe stroke and was hospitalized for 5 weeks before passing away, Katie suffered a migraine caused by the anxiety for most of that time and the time just after that.  It was nearly paralyzing to her.  My heart was broken.  I had her in counseling because hospitalizing her for the migraine really didn’t do much for her.  She is now with a counselor who has really helped her so much.  I owe Katie’s health and wellness to that wonderful counselor.  My baby girl has her life back, although 3.5 months later, she is still playing catch up at school.  As long as she gets through this year, she will be fine.

All three girls are similar but so very different.  From the way they were as babies, to the way they are as young women.  I wouldn’t change the people they are becoming and just hope that my best was good enough.  Someday they will understand why I did the things I did and the way I did them.  Now, I just need them to know how much I love them. They will always be my babies.

My Sweet, Funny Boy

I am one lucky mom.  Not only do I have 3 wonderful, amazing daughters, I was blessed with this incredible little boy almost 9 years ago.  He dazzles me with his wit and adorable smile while driving me 20140817_203101absolutely crazy at the same time.  Boys are the strangest of creatures I have found.  They are not only the most loveable, cuddliest creatures, they also are rough and tumble sorts who will fight with their friends over the weirdest things.

My little man loves to play hockey, baseball, soccer and football.  He loves to play video games, especially Mine Craft, which I will never understand.  He is still afraid of the dark and doesn’t want to sleep alone.  He loves animals, loves music, refuses to learn the piano.  He’s headstrong and stubborn as a mule.  He’s soft hearted and kind to others, most of the time.  He sticks up for the underdogs.  Overall, he’s one great kid, but he has his issues too.

He suffers from ADHD which is enough to make any parent a little crazy and any teacher a saint in my book.  You see, a child with ADHD is a child who has a hard time focusing on anything that is not really interesting to him, AKA any subject in school with the exception of PE or recess or lunch.  Even those things he wants to do his way because he might have his own way that works for him, but he will follow the rules. Thank God my child is a rule follower. He has respect for his teachers!  Hallelujah!

For Liam, he’s good at school and he’s a smart kid.  He has meds and his meds help, but we are trying an experiment at the moment.  When we went on vacation, we didn’t take the meds with us.  I wanted to see my child without meds for the week.  Guess what!  He did alright!  I think he may be learning to control his focusing issues.  The reason I did this was because I wanted to see first, how he was during the day, and second, how he was without the nightly crashing caused by the meds wearing off.  It’s tough on him and I know that, not just as his mom but also as a nurse.

I love this little enigma of a child more than the world itself.  As long as he is active, and we keep his brain active and interested, he is alright.  Maybe not great yet, but alright.  It may not be time to take him off the meds just yet while he’s in school, but he’s getting there.  As his mom, I just want the best for him.  I try to focus on the positive things he does and not the negative things he does or the things he doesn’t do that I want him to do.  He’s learning to make choices and learning consequences for his actions.  Only he can do that.  I can’t do that for him.

I want so much for this child, just like I want so much for all my children.  Liam is my baby and he’s my only boy.  He is so very different from the girls and let me tell you, from all I’ve heard from other mothers of boys, he’s a very normal boy.  They are genetically programmed to do strange things.  They do things like run around the house stark naked, go outside with no shoes on all the time, believe clothing, shirts in particular, are optional, eat everything, especially boxes of cereal, and they are filthy all the time.  They also get over things much faster than we girls do.  If boys get upset with each other, they’ll settle it with a punch or just agree to disagree and it’s over and forgotten about just like that.  How does that work?  We don’t do that, ever.

For our holiday, I had the opportunity to observe what it would be like to have an 18 year old and an 8 year old as sons.  The two had a few spats, but just like that, it was over!  Liam thinks of Michael, my 18 year old daughter’s boyfriend, as his awesome big brother.  I have to say, taking Michael on our trip was amazing not just for Clare, but for all of us.  Liam was in heaven having him around, and so was my 14 year old daughter, Katie,  who also sees him as a big brother.  So much fun and bonding was done by my little troop.  I could never have dreamed or asked for more.  Yes, boys are from a different planet, but I’m so glad to have them around, especially my Liam and my husband, Jim.  Without my husband, I wouldn’t have my boy and my world wouldn’t be complete.
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Precious and Few

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Often we don’t notice how quickly life passes by. I’ve learned to take notice of the little things and appreciate the small things in my life. Here is a poem written about those precious little things in life. Enjoy! DAILY PROMPT
Precious

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/precious/

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Precious and few are the things we hold dear.
Children laughing and playing.
Birds sweetly chirping their morning calls.
Father’s stories of long ago.
Mother’s photos, her shoes, her purse.

Precious are the memories we share with those we love.
First kiss, first love, prom.
Wedding day, a vision of loveliness.
The birth of babies, first days, months, years.
Each day lasts forever, but years last only moments.

Our precious times are few of not shared with each other.
Memories last longer if shared.
Those memories become our histories and will be all that’s left when we leave this world.
Precious is our family. Precious are our true friends.
They will keep our treasured memories safe.
Together, we will create our precious histories.

Our Street

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The street I grew up on us the same street I live on now. Just 4 houses away, we live in another ranch style red brick home similar to my parent’s home.

The street where I live has so many memories for me looking back at my own childhood so it’s really rather lovely knowing that my children are also making their childhood memories on that very same street.

Many is the time we played in that street as kids. We played catch, cops and robbers, ghost in the graveyard, rode our bikes and caught fireflies. We came in when our moms called us for supper.

My children do similar things but different games. They ride bikes, make chalk drawings, play basketball and soccer, rollerblade, play zombie tag and 4 square. They come in at dark, but the neighborhood camaraderie is there just like it was 35 years ago.

Our street has changed a lot over the years. The older people have passed away, younger families have moved in and life has moved on like it always does. Our street has some of the same faces on it that it always had, too. It’s a nice mix of the old and new.

I love my street. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. I love my neighbors and neighborhood. So, here’s a shout out to them, the residents of Huntleigh Road!

America’s Favorite Pasttime

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Batter up! It’s that time of year again with Spring training just ended and the new 2016 season just underway, baseball is here again folks!  It’s a sport that you either love or don’t understand.  Well, that’s what I’ve come to believe anyway.  My parents came from Ireland many years ago and baseball remained a foreign sport to them.  To me, well, I learned to love the sport.  I never played as a kid.  I attempted to play in PE class, but failed miserably.  I played tennis and golf as a child.  I learned to absolutely love soccer and relished playing when I found a team to play on at the old age of 13.  I can’t say I was very good, but I practiced constantly.  In those days, there weren’t any teams in school for girls to play soccer in our area.  Baseball was something I watched on TV, alone.

I watched and learned what I could about this great American sport.  At first, I thought, like my parents, that it was boring.  There was little bits of running, but the games took forever to play.  Once I understood what was going on, I watched more and more games.  I rooted for the St. Louis Cardinals because that’s where my cousins lived and I knew they were big Cards fans.

I then had a boyfriend who was a huge Cardinals fan.  He just happens to be my husband now.  He’s still a big Cards fan.  He explained more of the game to me.  Some things I understood, but there were things I just didn’t get.  He’s very technical in his explanations and has this habit of going over my head sometimes.  I know I have to have that “deer caught in the headlights” look on my face, but he never seems to notice.  I’ve learned to tell him to please dumb it down for me.  I ask him to pretend I’m a 3 year old please.  Sometimes that works.  Sometimes.

Now we have a son who plays baseball.  I love to watch him play.  This year should be quite interesting.  This is the first year that the kids are pitching to each other.  All the previous years, the coaches have pitched.  He skipped out on t-ball.  I suspect these games to be extremely long, but very intense with these boys.  And then there’s my son who has no interest at all in pitching.  He likes playing 1st or 3rd base or short stop.  Hockey is still his very favorite sport behind football (which he still has yet to play on an actual team), but he does enjoy baseball.  Perhaps the camaraderie with the other boys and the mischief they get into while “sitting” in the dugout.  I’ll never really understand the mind of 8 and 9 year old boys.

My favorite memory of my son playing baseball was actually the only game my mom saw him play.  Mom and dad were able to come one day to his game.  We picked them up and had our chairs set up for them.  Mom, a sports junkie, asked questions about this strange sport she didn’t understand.  All the while, one of the other grandmas sat chatting endlessly to us.  My mother asked many questions about the sport, about the times up to bat, how many chances they had to hit the ball, how many outs there were, what was an inning, wasn’t it clever that they all wore hats to keep the sun out of their eyes. After we were in the car, she looked at me and said, “Liam did very well.  It would have been better if that damn woman would have shut her trap though.”  I laughed so hard I thought I’d never stop!  My mother never minced her words and the poor woman was just such a sweetheart chatting about her grandson.  My mother was such a proud woman and would never say anything to her or in front of her, but out of earshot she let us all know how she felt!

We still root for the St. Louis Cardinals in this house.  We enjoy going to the odd game there as well.  It’s a beautiful stadium and the nachos are amazing!  Best deal for your dollar! It’s one team where our house is not divided in team loyalty.  Hockey is another story, but that’s for another day.  Today, it’s baseball baby!

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I’d like to give a thank you for the word prompt for the day which was baseball.  I should have written this yesterday, but we were traveling 1235 miles in a van.  After doing that in 20 hours, we all slept! Anyway, it’s much easier to write with a lap top than on my mobile phone and my lap top was here waiting for me to fire it up.