Just ONE More Hug

Cheesy mommy moment, so please forgive me….

Pineapple gets in trouble at school – a lot. Mostly due to the fact that she is easily distracted, very physical, and loves to chat with others (dang ADHD). So every morning, after I walk her to her classroom, we stop just outside the door and talk about how she is going to use good manners, be gentle with her friends, and stay on task today.

Today was a typical morning. We had our talk, during which I have to cup my hands around her face to keep her focused on me instead of waving at her friends/jumping around/pointing out the artwork.

Me: “So, today we are going to stay on…”

Pineapple: “Task.”

Me: “And we’re going to keep our hands…”

Pineapple: “To myself.”

Me: “Good girl – you are so smart and I know you can do it. I love you. Now go in there and have a good day.”

She ran away from me at that point…over to her classroom door…and I said “PINEAPPLE!” And she turned around and I mouthed “I love you.”

And she smiled and went in the classroom.

I stood there for a moment…wishing for just one more hug this morning…but she didn’t come out. So I turned to walk down the hall and I hear “HEY MAMA!”

I turned around to see her standing there in the door and she said “Goodbye – I love you.”

So I held up my arms and she ran to give me a big, swing-around hug. EXACTLY what I needed. It also made me tear up…just a smidge.

But she’s only little for a bit longer. And her hellish kindergarten days are winding down (truly, hellish…unfortunately). And today, I just needed that one, last goodbye and hug…and somehow. She just knew it.

Kids…thank God for them.

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Here’s to hoping that everybody has a swing-around hug kinda day!



I hope your day is full of hugs and love!

Creative &%^%$$ Galaxy (I wonder if art can get the paint off my walls?)

This is me throwing my hands in the air and stepping away, folks. This is me saying “Listen here Children’s Programming, I CAN’T! I just CAN’T ANYMORE!!!”

We have been suffering from a serious plague in our home. A plague brought on by Amazon’s original program, Creative Galaxy. Sit parents, and I will tell you a tale…a tale of WOE. (My woe but so what, I’m feeling melodramatic, let’s go with this…)


I’ve posted about children’s programming in the past (for example here and here) and it’s no secret that my first love will never be Curious George (for real, the monkey is the smartest human on the show..and he’s not a human) and a lot of children’s programming is unbelievably disturbing – albeit charming (I’m looking at you claymation Christmas movies). But it is only recently that our family has been as effected by a children’s show (and we’ve been through the 4th ring of hell known as the Disney Channel…*shudder”). And the show plaguing us is called…Creative Galaxy.Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 11.55.12 AM

Creative Galaxy is all about art. The characters are brightly colored aliens living on some unknown planet in the “creative galaxy” which features other planets like Sculpteron and Paper Planet. Arty, the main character who I’m going to assume is a little boy alien, and his pet, Epiphany (no clue what that thing is) basically solve every problem that comes along with ART. (Sarcastic Yay!) Baby Georgia is crying? Make a stuffed Epiphany on the fabric planet (can’t remember the name of that one). Your dinner table is boring?! For shame! Make table decorations (that incidentally cover the ENTIRE table) on paper planet! (You genius, you!) Neighbor’s dog eats the ridiculously elaborate game your dad created for family game night? That’s right! Head to Sculpteron for the solution. Basically, you can fix ANYTHING with art (at least according to Arty).

I’d like to take a moment and tell you some things you CANNOT fix with art:

  • A clogged toilet
  • Dinner (although they make a serious go of it with the “Food is Art” episode – that’s resulted in some very interesting arguments at dinner time)
  • The walls (in spite of the library episode where Arty paints on the walls – thanks for that one)
  • The garbage disposal
  • Being late for literally everything
  • The dog (Pineapple is the MASTER at this…has been for years, so can’t really blame CG for that one)
  • My car
  • Her new clothes
  • The couch
  • You get the idea…

So what prompted this post other than the above list? Well, this morning before Pineapple went downstairs with DH to eat her breakfast, I told her “you can draw/color/cut paper/glue but NO painting before school – you might get paint on your new shirt and we don’t have time to change.” She confirmed that she’d both heard and understood what I said and promising not to paint, skipped downstairs saying “Woohoo! Breakfast! Yay! Good morning doggy!”

Happy girl / happy mommy.

So, I finish getting ready for work (can’t find my sweater – seriously, where did it go?! It’s not animated…how could it leave the house…which is clearly what happened because it is GONE) and I head downstairs. And guess what is happening at Pineapple’s little art/breakfast table in the living room. Go ahead…guess. You’ll NEVER guess.

PAINTING!!! YAAAAAY!!!! And it’s everywhere. It’s on her new sparkly donut shirt, it’s in her hair, it’s on the wall, it’s on the table. It’s EVERYWHERE. So instead of singing the CG jingle while smiling and happily wiping down my child with an “oh you silly thing” look on my face, I freaked the freak out.

Yep. Time out immediately, frantically wiping down the wall, her table, running upstairs to find another shirt for her to wear, and then making her morning protein shake and mine, while prepping a roast for dinner. FUMING MAD. Frustrated. And committed to throwing the dadgum CG-displaying TV out the back door and never looking back. So, when I walked over and excused her from time out and took her in the bathroom to attempt to wash all the paint off of her hands and out of her hair, and I knelt down to look at her and said “I asked you not to paint before school. You said you wouldn’t. But you did. Is that what you’re supposed to do?” And she responded “I’m so sowwy…you porgive me?” I just hugged her and told her of course I did. And I asked her why she did it…and she said “because Arty was painting and I wanted to paint, too.”

*%*&^%%$& Creative Galaxy!!!!!!! *shakes fist at sky*

Now, all of this being said (and the bitching out of the way), I will say there are some great things about this show….here’s a list:

  • Pineapple has ADHD and is often “in trouble” and she makes “mistakes in her schoolwork” (a lot of them and she tells me this so she’s aware) but “THERE ARE NO MISTAKES IN ART.” Let that soak in for a sec. Imagine you are a 6 year-old little girl who has worn the time out step’s carpet down to the wood and frequently hear “that’s a great 3 but it’s backwards” and other similar feedback on your work. And then someone tells you that if you just create some art, you CAN’T make a mistake…because it’s your art. And if you love it, then it’s perfect. That’s a pretty powerful thing for that little girl…a beautiful, powerful thing.
  • My kid knows what Dada art is. Not only that, but she can tell you that they made sculptures and they used dice to decide what to sculpt. She’s also a huge fan – and recreation master – of pointillism art. Pretty neat, huh?
  • We are enjoying a lot of really interesting art in our home.

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And she’s enjoying staying quiet for a period of time to make it (bless you Creative Galaxy).

  • We can all do art together. I awoke one Saturday morning to find DH and Pineapple making paper mache in the kitchen. They were covering a balloon in strips of soggy, pink paper. I asked DH what prompted this and he gave me a look that indicated “are you freaking kidding with that question? clearly it was Creative Galaxy” and he said “it looked easy and Arty said it was basically flour, water, paper, and food coloring so I told Pineapple we could try it.” Cute, huh?

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  • When we go to restaurants, we bring art books and markers now and ALL of us participate while we wait for the food. While we do that, we talk about the day and how we could draw what happened or how we felt. That’s quality family time right there, folks.

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So what to do now? Paint is going way up high in a cabinet and can only be used when permission is granted and there will be no more CG before school. I suppose we will go back to watching that moron in the yellow hat as George schools him on life. At least that show only resulted in her standing on the trash can, putting a banana in the microwave, and complaining that it was broken.

Oh – and if you’d like a suggestion for another really cute and fun Amazon program, check out Tumble Leaf…I actually enjoy this one. 🙂



Elastic <3

So, I’ve avoided writing or posting anything about this song or video by Sia (Elastic Heart) on this or any of my other social media sites because, frankly, it’s been surrounded by controversy and I don’t enjoy controversy and I certainly don’t want to hurt anyone. But in the interest of sharing my own opinion – whether that continues the controversy, changes some perspectives, or solidifies them….then so be it….and here goes.

I like to write. I enjoy it because (1) it’s fun, (2) I have a chance to express myself, and (3) I like to hear how others receive what I put out there. Because really, I suppose this is my art. I also think that art should move you. The very best art should resonate within you and become a part of you.

That’s where Elastic Heart comes in for me. I love this song. It touches me. I think it’s her voice – it’s so strained but beautiful – and the lyrics – “I want it, I want my life so bad, I’m doing everything I can.” But it wasn’t until I saw the video, that I was really and truly HOOKED.

You can watch the video for yourself HERE.

Now, I’ve read the lyrics, and I understand – this song is about a relationship ending (badly, from the sounds of it) and a person who is walking away strong but admitting their hurt and feelings of defeat. I get it. And I get why people find the video disturbing, given that it’s supposed to be about a relationship and it features a very grown Shia LaBoef dancing around with a young girl (it’s actually Maddie Ziegler from Dance Moms).

So I watched a bunch of interviews about the video and the making of it because if it was meant to portray the mistreatment of a child or if the artist was callous to how her art was received by individuals who have been mistreated, then it was going to be banned from my home.  I won’t spoil it yet because I still have an idea to share, so I’ll tell you what the interviews revealed later in this post.

But the truth is, I hadn’t watched any of this, or heard any of the negative comments, or anything else before I saw the video. So, when I watched it, I saw something VERY different…

I saw a parent trying SO HARD to parent a special needs child. I saw a parent literally breaking with frustration – pounding their fists against the bars of the cage they are trapped in – carefully reaching out for a wild child – a child tired and weary giving in – a parent making faces to get the kid to laugh and be happy – and a parent who helped the kid escape the prison but by that point, couldn’t go along themselves…the parent was just too damned tired. That’s what I saw. Basically, I took Sia’s art, and I applied it to my life and made it my own. And it made me cry. And I thought it was beautiful.

Then I showed the video to DH. And he saw…wait for it…a dad – trying to help his daughter – and she was so mad at him and frustrated but he never gave up.

Then I showed it to my dad and asked what he saw. “FOR SHAME!” he shouted. Odds were that at least one person in my test group would see something that made them uncomfortable in a bad way. It’s totally reasonable. Like I said, you take in good art and make it your own, in a way. Sia recognized that, too and she apologized for triggering any uncomfortable feelings, thoughts, or memories.

My perception of this song and the video is that it is beautiful. It still makes me cry…and that’s even after knowing what it’s really about! Do you want to know?

Here. I’ll let Maddie tell you herself.

She’s supposed to be a werewolf. She’s basically supposed to be stronger than him and killing him and escaping the prison they’ve been in for a year. A WEREWOLF. I also think it’s funny that she talks about how dirty they both were…and how she was grossed out. She’s also supposed to represent his “self states” and the cage is his skull – how people beat themselves up in their heads.

And in case you want to see a different version – one where there is a woman playing opposite Maddie, HERE you go. It’s just as beautiful and it also makes me cry.  And here’s one with a group of dancers on Jimmy Kimmel – a TOTALLY different take. And here is a video about the making of the video.

So, there you have it. I’ve shared some thoughts on art. And I’ve shared an example of something that I see in a vastly different way than other people – probably because of the particular journey I’m on – one I watch so many of my friends go through. Even our kids without special needs – those that are neuro typical…I’m betting they can push their parents to the limit just as much – and I bet their parents have elastic hearts, too…



A-D-H-Doh…doh,doh,doh – doh,doh,doh


…Oh…wait. I was writing a blog post. Sorry! I have ADHD so I can be distractible.

Pineapple has ADHD, too. It’s taken several years of speech language therapy, frustrated meetings with doctors and preschool teachers, and a MISERABLE half year of kindergarten to get to this point but we’ve arrived.

Pineapple has been diagnosed with severe (like off-the-charts) ADHD. And if you know anyone with ADHD, or maybe have it yourself, you might understand that along with a true diagnosis comes some other issues, as well. In our case, we’re looking at Oppositional Defiant Disorder (unlike how it sounds, it essentially means that because she has trouble focusing, once she focuses enough to make a plan, she is LOCKED in and if you CHANGE those plans…the fans can get pretty shitty, if you know what I mean), speech-language delay (which was initially caused by her hearing loss from ear infections but is perpetuated by her inability to pay attention), and some gross motor issues (like hugging her friends too hard).

We’ve been seeing a specialist for months and have tried everything from changing her diet and sleeping patterns to new discipline methods (timers don’t last long in our house…wonder why?), and reward methods (SO MANY STUFFED ANIMALS AND STICKERS). And absolutely none of it worked. NONE.

And it’s been awful. Like crying, gnashing teeth, and pulling hair miserable. And that’s just my reaction to everything. Pineapple has been stressed out and sad – frustrated and angry – and has really started hating going to school. (I gotta be honest here…I’m frantically looking forward to the end of the year myself…and this is KINDERGARTEN for-the-LOVE!)

So, a couple of weeks ago, after meeting with the school specialists, the psychologist she visits each week, and her pediatrician, we pulled the medication trigger.

I know. Believe me, I know. I know what you’re thinking. “You’re medicating your kid?! How could you?! You’re awful! The terrible choice you are making will stamp out her unique and amazing personality! Think of what it does to her little body! Why can’t you just try harder/be more patient/put her in private school/have a specialist move in to your home and stay with her all day/accept her as she is/stop trying to make her fit in some mold that clearly doesn’t work for her/BE A BETTER PARENT?!”

I know you’re thinking these things because I’ve thought all of them. Twice. At 3AM. While crying. And praying. And wondering what on EARTH is the best thing to do.

And then I asked Pineapple.

I sat her down and I said “if you had something that would help you at school to pay attention, and learn, and not hurt your friends, and not leave the room, would you want that?” She started crying and said “yes, please.”

Bear in mind, she’d come home several times the weeks prior saying things like “I can’t control my body!” and “I’m so sorry I can’t behave at school.” She had begun to recognize that she isn’t just like all the other kids. She’s her and she’s different and she does things in her own way. We’ve never told her she’s “bad” or “not good” – she’s picking this stuff up from the other kids. It’s impacting her socially and emotionally.

And that’s when I made the choice. If she needed glasses, would I get them for her? Yes. If she needed insulin, would I buy it? Yep. If she needed an inhaler, wouldn’t she have one? For sure.

So why not this?

After EXHAUSTIVE talks with the pediatrician and a late night perusal of WebMD (followed immediately by more talks with the pediatrician), we made the choice.

And guess what…it was the right one.

She’s able to focus better. She’s listening. She’s paying attention. She’s LEARNING. She’s WRITING (please understand, a few weeks ago, she really wasn’t). She’s not hurting her friends – as often (nobody is perfect and she just “loves them SO much!”). She’s getting praise and gold stars and she’s not disrupting the whole class all day long. We were told last month that she was attentive and engaged about 50% of the day…that’s only half. That means the other half she was distracting the kids around her (disrupting THEIR ability to learn) and not absorbing any information for herself.

She’s still stressed about her behavior but the difference is, she’s recognizing that she has the ability to control that now. It’s not something she “just can’t help.” It’s something she can change.

I’m so proud of my little ADHD girl. And I’ve decided to stop blaming myself – even though it’s hereditary and I’m the one with ADHD. It’s her life and her experience. Not mine. I just have to give her the tools she needs to be successful. For now, it’s her medication. Maybe one day in the coming months, now that she’s able to focus and make some changes for herself, we can start moving away from medication to more therapy-guided changes. But for right now…today and the next however many days…this is working. And I’m GLAD we did it.

Someday I’ll share some stories of my own struggles with ADHD (alienation, feeling alone, having others point out how different I am, the embarrassment, losing focus, and feeling lazy, stupid, and nuts – there’s actually a book called “You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Crazy, or Stupid?!” and it’s a good book). In the meantime, I’m proud of DH and I for making this IMPOSSIBLY difficult decision and supporting our sweet Pineapple in any way we can so she can be happy and successful at this game called life.

And just in case you were wondering, her crazy/incredible personality is perfectly in tact. In fact, as she wore her purple ball gown and slippers while creating pointillism art last night, she looked at me and said “I’m a very good artist!” And she TOTALLY is!

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Movement is Overrated.

So, it has recently come to my attention – mostly thanks to Pineapple – that I may be carrying a few extra L-B’s. (That would be pounds for those of you who don’t regularly discuss the number of L-B’s they need to lose.) Pineapple has been kind enough to point out that mommy “has a baby in her belly” (totally untrue) and when my sister was pregnant a few months ago, folks actually looked like they were preparing to congratulate me when Pineapple would announce “I’m going to have a baby to play with soon!” So…yeah…some L-B’s need to go.

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With this in mind, I went searching for some options that would 1. fit with my schedule, 2. be relatively engaging/entertaining, and 3. wouldn’t require me to run for miles on end or stop eating altogether. I found a solution in the form of one of those “pilates-yoga-ballet” classes and decided to give it a go by committing to 10 classes.

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When I told my friend about this her response was “I’d rather have my ass drag the ground than attend any such class.” I think she’s serious. I also think she’s smarter than I am but I digress.

We’ll call the class “Booty-B-Gone” and “BBG” for short, for the purposes of this post. Because, if I’m being honest, that’s what I’m looking for. Less bass and the incorporation of a washboard into the band…although that is probably aiming a bit high. (HA! I said “a bit” – so funny.)

So, this past weekend, I went to my first BBG class. I was feeling optimistic because, upon arrival, I realized the class participants varied in age (from 18/19 up to early 70’s) and the ladies in the room seemed to be at various stages of fitness (some really, really, super fit – as in, I’m not sure why you are here but maybe it’s because this class is working so well – and others that had on about 5 different kinds of braces and assured me they wouldn’t finish the class without possibly passing out). Either way, I felt like everything was going to be OK. That just proves, yet again, how poor my decision making process can be.

The ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE BBG instructor started telling us all a bit about what to expect from the class. I didn’t hear the words “run laps” one single time so I was all smiles. She also left the door open and had turned the heat off so the room was really chilly. When a couple of us commented on this, one of the other women, whom I’d begun to mentally refer to as “one of my tribe members” due to her relative visible health level being comparable to my own, assured me that I would warm up quickly and she would be sweating buckets before it was all over.

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OK…now I’m getting a little nervous.

We started out on our toes – just doing a little up/down thing and sort of raising and lowering our arms. Then…the BBG instructor made us squat…on our toes…and continue the movement. Then she made us use weights and double time the movement. This is approximately the time when I fell over…for the first time. Like, literally fell over.

It got worse.

I leaned/reached/squatted/bent/stretched/pointed/flexed/wiggled until I seriously thought I was going to DIE. And I was BURNING UP. Like sweat EVERYWHERE. And the lady in front of me was developing a heart-shaped sweat pattern on her lower back – actually very charming.

We were 15 minutes into the class.

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That was the point I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do everything for the whole class. When  that BBG woman made us move from leg raises at the barre to mountain climbers, I started mentally planning what I was going to do to prevent the incredible soreness I knew I was facing in the immediate future. I began daydreaming about a boiling hot bath and some epsom salt. About 30 minutes later, when I was lying on the floor with a ball balanced between my knees, squeezing for all I was worth, I decided that I would just schedule a massage to immediately follow the next Saturday’s class. Then I started wondering how I would clean up before the massage because, as I mentioned, SWEATY. MESS. This distracted me for about 30 seconds until the masochistic BBG person had us reach behind us, grab our foot, and try to pull it over our heads.

When it was all over and done, I wobbled my way across the room to put my weights and ball away, and shakily sip some water. And realized that most of the class was also barely moving around. And I seriously felt good. I felt a real sense of accomplishment.

It’s Monday now. I can walk again although stairs are out. I spent all of yesterday MOANING every time I had to bend over/pick something up/reach over my head/or sit on the couch. Yes, sitting hurt. But I was also super proud of every groan and ache.

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I’m going back again next Saturday. All I ask is that you pray for me. Lord knows I was raising it up right along with my leg for that hour of BBG. It probably wouldn’t hurt to pray for the instructor, as well…I started mentally planning some evil for her when we reached the 45 minute mark. I don’t anticipate she will fare any better next time. Amen.




I was feeling sad about the holidays being over so I decided to visit the future and take a peek at what the wrap of our holidays will look like 7 years from now…I found that Pineapple’s Diary was a GREAT resource for that information…enjoy.



(This means you, Mom!)

(Dad, if you see mom reading this, please remind her that my privacy is a real thing and it is important to me and she is not respecting that and we are both disappointed in her.)



Dear Diary,

Well, the Christmas break is coming to a close and tomorrow I head back to school. I’ve picked out my outfit and it is AMAZE-pants. Ky is gonna FLIP when she sees my new floral print blazer. It is soooo super retro cool. Here’s a pic of it: (fabs, amirite??!!??).

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Anyway, I’m feeling a little sorry for mom and dad. I mean, they’ve been going to work and stuff over the break while I got to chill here, play vids, and raid the fridge but we still had a lot of quality time together. I know how important that is to them. And I made sure the house needed some cleaning when they got home – it’s mom’s favorite hobby. I’m always thinking of them. They are so super needy, you know?

They always want to be around me and I know they love it when I get them up in the morning to make me breakfast. It’s important to them they they get to take care of me, so I go OUT of my way to get up super early, get them up, eat breakfast with them, and then once they’re gone, I head back to bed for a nap. I sometimes wonder if they will ever know the sacrifice I make for them by getting up that early for NO REASON other than to let them spend time with me.

And just the other night, they were just sitting there alone in the living room, watching TV. Mom was knitting and dad was just sitting there with his feet propped up drinking one of those nasty scotches while they watched some lame movie (probably nothing actually any good was on). So, I walked in and started a conversation. Don’t tell anybody, but I told them all about how Ellie has been using ZERO manners and not respecting private space by making out with Ryan…like all the time. I know, I promised not to tell that she kissed Ryan but SHEESH, it was a public service for my parents!!! They were BORED!!! I know because as soon as we started talking they turned off that boring show and mom put her knitting away and they were totally asking me all sorts of questions about me and and Ellie and if I’d kissed anybody. They were so interested in what I have going on…I think it’s because they have such boring lives. Either way, PUBLIC SERVICE.

But tonight was the worst. They were drinking. Pretty heavily by the looks of the empty wine bottle on the counter. And they were just sitting there at the counter with their glasses, whispering and toasting. I think they were trying not to disturb me. because I’m pretty sure mom was crying…because I heard them say “the break is over…she goes back to school tomorrow.” So. Sad.

So, I’ve decided that next Saturday, I’m going to get up super early – like SUPER – and get them to take me shopping. That will totally make their boring day so much brighter. I mean, they are always saying that the reason they work so hard is so I can have the things I need. I definitely need some new moon boots for my rainbow-print jacket – they have some super retro cool ones at the mall…I saw them when I was there with Ky. Mom acts like she thinks they’re ugly but I know she likes retro because she had a jacket almost exactly like mine when she was in middle school. 😛 Here’s a pic: (loooooovees).

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Yeah….so, 2014? Not my best year ever. And from what I’m gathering from friends and family, not necessarily most folks’ best year ever. So, I thought I’d share some highlights from my year and some goals for the next…you know, because it’s that time and all….

2014 Highlight Reel (Spoiler Alert! This is the poopy list.)

  • I turned 40.
  • I had an emergency appendectomy. (Because apparently, once you turn 40 your body just throws its hands in the air like it just don’t care”…in a bad way.)
  • I was laid off…while on medical leave for my appendectomy…I do not recommend this activity.
  • I interviewed with one company approximately 9 million times only to be told that I was too experienced and they needed someone more junior. REALLY?!
  • Pineapple started kindergarten. And turned 6. Within 2 days of each other. I cried…so. hard.
  • I had MORE surgery – this time because I developed a FREAKING HERNIA. Yep. You read that right. A FREAKING HERNIA. Why you ask? Oh, no reason. I was lying on a blanket in the park, reading while Pineapple played in the fountain…and when I stood up….my guts just sorta fell out. Yep. You read that right, too. Guts. Fell out. Of a hole. In my stomach muscles. Apparently, having kids + an appendectomy where they cut a hole in your navel area = really weak navel area. Or better known as “once you turn 40, your body just throws its hands in the like it just don’t care”…in a BAD. WAY.)
  • Pineapple’s teachers started noticing that she struggles in class…a lot. She can’t sit still, can’t focus, doesn’t really follow directions, has trouble retaining information (probably because of the not-focusing), and her speech language delay has become a real issue now that she’s older and the other kids struggle to understand what she is saying. It causes very real frustration for her. And it’s very scary for her parents. (That would be me and DH…we’re worried.)
  • I had to have 4 fillings. Why? Because I grind my teeth and cracked them and created these massive holes in my teeth. Why do I grind them? OH, I DON’T KNOW. Care to wager a guess???
  • DH, Pineapple, and I have been sick. All. Fall / Winter. Long. Honestly. I’ve bought stock in Robitussin and Advil. I’m gonna be rich, at least.
  • I had a hangover. Kidding! I had like 900 hangovers. Why did I have hangovers? OH, I DON’T KNOW. Care to wager a guess????????

But like I said…it wasn’t all poopy. Some really good things happened in 2014….

  • DH took me to Seattle for my 40th and my Lil Sis threw a Mardi Gras-themed party for me on my return. I got to spend alone time with DH and still got to party with my friends and family. BIG win-win!
  • We took a mini-vacation to the Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon (which was AMAZING) and then bopped our way down the coast visiting the Newport Aquarium and other cool places along the way. It was a simple, easy, and CHEAP family vacation…and it was perfect. We plan to repeat this as often as possible.
  • I spent the summer with Pineapple. No work. No excuses. No “we’ll do that later.” We had an absolute blast! I introduced her to the library – like daily. We jumped in puddles, and ran through fountains, swam in pools, and touched some sting rays. We went to the coast, we camped in the backyard, we visited all of the hotspots for the pre-K set in the PDX area, and we ate a lot of unhealthy food all while wearing princess dresses (seriously…one of them had a hoop skirt…that one was a challenge getting in and out of the car). We. Had. Fun. It was honestly the best Summer I’ve had in many many years. So maybe…just maybe…getting laid off wasn’t such a bad thing?
  • My Lil Sis got engaged – married – and had a baby! That means, I got to celebrate an engagement, help throw a BEAUTIFUL wedding in the Columbia Gorge, and welcome a new AMAZE-PANTS baby nephew to our Pineapple-loving family. And he’s a cutie!!! (No really! I didn’t even have to use the “oh, you must be proud” fall back all southern women are familiar with…don’t lie…you know exactly what I’m talking about.)
  • Pineapple started kindergarten. This one is bittersweet so it’s in both lists. She’s getting so big and learning so much every day. Even with her struggles to stay still / focused and correct her speech delay, she is still growing and changing constantly and acquiring new skills…and new challenges. I worry for her constantly but DH and I are working with her, and anyone else we can get our hands on, to help her be successful in her educational journey. It’s tough for all of us but if you’ve read a single post on this blog over the years, then I’m sure you know that she’s worth it.
  • I got a new job with a great firm and I’m actually enjoying the work! It’s challenging, I’m given the freedom I need to identify new opportunities for growing the business, and I’m meeting some pretty cool people in the process. Let me sum it up this way…DH took Pineapple, her friend, and my niece to the aquarium today. My comment? “I wish I didn’t have to work and could be there with you!…but I’m really glad I have a job I like.” That’s saying something, folks.
  • My Lil SisInLaw got married!!! In Nantucket!!!! Which means that I got to throw a fun engagement party for the bride and groom, then our whole fam damily picked up and hauled our buts to a tiny island off the east coast where I got to help out with a gorgeous wedding. It was beautiful and fun and a real adventure for everyone! DH and Pineapple got to see the Atlantic coast for the first time, we had a chance to tour Boston (new to both of them, as well), and we created some pretty amazing memories in the process.
  • We just celebrated a quiet and fun holiday at home with (some of our) family and (a few of) our friends. We wish we could have spent time with everyone but due to distance and hectic schedules, that just wasn’t going to happen this year. But we had a really great time with the folks we did get to see…we are truly blessed in that department.

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So, in spite of the job issues and stupid surgeries and stupid fillings and being stupid sick all fall / winter, we had a pretty amazing year. I suppose that even with the bad, there is good to be found. Maybe my struggle isn’t with the year…maybe it’s with my perspective.


BRING ON 2015!!!!!!

XOXO – Rachael

P.S. I’m back. 🙂