Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Poop in the Potty - Poop goes in the potty!

I have no idea who's in this video on You Tube - I love the song and so does Dylan. Apparently it made an impact because when Marc and I were away this weekend we got a call from my Mom.... he pooped on the potty! I think we can officially say we are in full potty training mode :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Saying Goodbye

Monday I went to Andrea's memorial. Just like Andrea, she planned the entire thing. It was beautiful.

Her husband Kelly spoke, her minister spoke, her children spoke, her eldest Alec played guitar and say "My Life" by the Beatles which absolutely killed me. One of her friends read a letter that Andrea had written for the occassion.

I hope, many many many years from now, when my time comes, I have enough time to be as prepared as Andrea was. I hope that I can face my death as bravely as she did.

Her death has brought me some peace with my father's death. I think she said it best when she said that the person who dies has it easy - it's the ones left behind that really have it hard. She's right.

The memorial brought up a lot of emotions about my father's death and my subsequent reunion with my brother (there are reunion stuff happening on Andrea'sside as well so I was really personalizing a lot of things). While I feel a bit ripped open, it's not necessarily in a bad way.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Rest in Peace Angel... Rest in Peace

Andrea Smith Punk Rock Mommy

By Michael Matza

Inquirer Staff Writer Andrea Collins Smith, 38, the "Punk Rock Mommy" whose online journal about her terminal illness was a heartbreaking yet uplifting fixture in cyberspace since her fateful diagnosis last year, died at her Fishtown home Saturday, just hours after her last blog posting.

"I am sure that some of you are profoundly saddened by my passing. Death is far more about the living than the dead," she wrote, opening herself for the final time to more than 70,000 monthly visitors to her Web site.

"But I believe in my whole heart that this is what was meant to be for us all. . . . I pray that none of you will ever get cancer, it sucks. But if you do or someone you love does I pray some of my words are a comfort to you all. Have a wonderful life. I will have a wonderful afterlife."

Smith's husband, tattoo artist Kelly Smith, said his wife died at 10:30 a.m. Saturday after respiratory complications.

"Her spirit was so bright. She touched a lot of people in a lot of different circles," he said, citing her passions for church, the punk underground, and groups concerned with maternal and child health.

"She really was the star of her show," said her friend Amy McConnell. "Everyone, it seemed, waited with bated breath to see what was going on with her life."

Avid followers certainly knew.

"I feel my body rushing toward death. New growths in my neck. New pain," she wrote on July 1. "And I no longer pray for more time. I really want to be in Heaven now. ASAP."

In May 2007, two days after graduating with a psychology degree from Temple University and two days before Mother's Day, the hipster mother of six whose tattoos and piercings were too many to count learned she had inflammatory breast cancer, a fast-spreading, generally incurable form of the disease.

Rallying around their stricken friend, the region's rockers, artists and self-styled outcasts turned out in force, cooking, cleaning, holding fund-raisers, and driving her to medical appointments.

Smith, whose life force never failed to register on people who met her, was widely known in the punk-grunge subculture anchored on South Street.

She liked to say she once held "the trifecta of cool jobs" - clerk at Zipperhead, waitress at Sugar Mom's, and office manager at the School of Rock, where students 9 to 17, including several of her own kids, learn to perform hot licks.

A parishioner at Kensington's Circle of Hope Church, Smith always prayed. After her diagnosis, she said last December, she had some "funny" conversations with God.

"I'm a mother. I just graduated from college. Now I have terminal cancer. I thought you wanted more from me. Besides, it's very cliched. Very Lifetime television," she said she told God.

On a serious note, she said, she came to understand that everyone's "life is very short. None of us knows how long we have . . ..

"You can sit around and wonder, 'Why me? Why me?' " she said in an interview with The Inquirer. "But do you ask yourself that when good things happen?"

Raised in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Smith moved to Philadelphia with her mother and sister when she was 17 and immediately fell in with the punk and new-wave scene.

In 1989, she married musician Tony "Jeeter" Collins. A year later, their son Alec was born. Then came Jesse, now 16; the twins, Asa and Tucker, now 14; and Bailey, now 11, the couple's only girl. They divorced in 2000.

Four years later, she married Smith. Twenty months ago their son, Clay, was born. Persistent soreness that developed during breast-feeding led to the discovery of her cancer.

She began the Web site - www.punkrockmommy.org - to keep family and friends apprised of her condition, but it quickly grew, acquiring an international following.

A memorial service for Smith will be held at 9:30 a.m. Monday at New Life Philadelphia Presbyterian Church, 425 E. Roosevelt Blvd.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

3 Years!

Three years ago today I wrote this post. Three years ago today we received our referral of our son, Dylan. He was 2 days old.

I can't believe it's been three years (2 1/2 that he's been with us). He is the most amazing child you have ever met. His smile will melt the hardest of hearts. His spirit is wild and adventurous. His speech is coming along nicely although him repeating our random "shit! fuck! etc." we could live without.

But I can't let this day or his birthday go by without acknowledging his first mother. Both Sunday and today I felt her in my heart, tugging. I can't help but wonder what she does on his birthday and on the anniversary of her relinquishment. I say prayers for her and hope that she reaches out to us one day. If not, I hope that if Dylan ever wants to find her, that her door is open to him.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I've been tagged!

My lovely friend Liana has tagged me with a MeMe and I need something to take my mind off of things so here it goes!

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?

Wow - 10 years ago huh? I was working for MicroWarehouse which no longer exists. I was miserably single but doing all the fun things singles do like traveling, going out and partying.

2. What 5 things are on your to-do list for today?

Only 5? Dinner, have many drinks, play with Dylan, straighten up the house a bit, do some laundry.

4. What would you do with a billion dollars?

Make sure that my Mom was taken care of (bills paid off, nice place to live, nice allowance to play with), start the adoption of our second child, redo our kitchen (or maybe just buy a new house), travel.

5. List the places you have lived.

Marlton & Cherry Hill, NJ; Philadelphia, PA and Israel

6. List the jobs you have had.

I'm only listing the ones I've had as a grown up :) I've been a clerk typist (just like you Liana!), paralegal, kereoke hostess, waitress, sales person.

So now I’m supposed to tag 3 other people. Hmmm - how about Cecily, Stiletto & Barb?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Rest in Peace My Dear Friend

Last week Marc and I went away for Marc's 40th Birthday. We went to Vegas. On the next to the last day of our trip, we got a call from our vet's office. Shadow wasn't doing well. His kidneys were failing.

The vet said to give it till today to see if he could turn him around. He couldn't. Shadow was 16 1/2 years old and diabetic. He was tired. We sent him to be with Saffie and Zayde. The house feels very empty now. He will be missed.

Goodnight sweet boy.... we love you.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Reaching out - Asking For Help

Not for me.... for my dear sweet friend Andrea. Her time on this earth is quite limited but she'll leave behind a large family and they need help. Fast.

If you are in a position to help, they need funds for child care, they could use gift cards to Trader Joe's or Target or for gas. If you are in the Philadelphia area, they are looking for people with construction skills/supplies to help rehab the home they will be moving to on August 25th (also, if you own or know the owner of a moving company who is interested in donating their time and skills...).

If you are a blogger who will help spread the word - it would also be appreciated.

Thanks! Julie

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Doing the right thing... adoption wise

I've been reading blogs by adoptees lately. I'm posting this here because I don't want to take away from their feelings or thoughts. I'm not saying anyone's feelings are wrong. I'm just trying to get my head around some of them.

I don't want Dylan to ever feel anything but loved. He's not second best. He wasn't a last resort. However, there was a journey to him and part of that journey was going through infertility treatment. Marc and I always say how grateful we are for the experience of IF because it brought us to Dylan. I can't imagine my life without him. Not without a baby but without Dylan.

My whole life has been leading up to situations. Does that make sense? I feel like Gd is always giving me obstacles to help me appreciate when I'm given good relationships, jobs, etc.

Sometimes I need to let go of the fear that I will hurt Dylan in some way because he is adopted. I just need to continue to love him with all of my being.

Sorry - I was kind of going somewhere with this but it got a little goofy in the translation from heart/head to blog.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Thanks to UnGrateful Little Bastard for the story.

Seriously, if we ever decided to adopt again and an agency or attorney told us this is how to do it, I may end up in jail for assault.

Seriously... who is ok with THIS?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cool Website Find

So I was cruising the Guatemalan Adoption boards (as I'm known to do from time to time) when someone posted about this wonderful thing called Speakshop. It's a website that hooks people up with teachers in Guatemalan and Nicaragua. It's a fair trade situation so the money you pay ($8 per hour) goes directly to the teacher. How cool is that????


Time to pick the internet's brains a bit.

Dylan isn't extremely verbal. He gets into these fits (like this morning) where he'll whine he wants something. He won't verbal what it is other than to say "want dat". When we try to get him to "use his words" he just gets more frustrated. When we finally figure it out it seems to set him off into a tizzy that includes him saying "no want that" and then, when we remove the item from his view, reach, whatever, he flips out yelling. We give it back, "No want that", take it away, flips out - often times biting his hand.

So wise internet - give me some tools here... please.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Let the Voting Begin!!!

Please VOTE for my good friend Andrea's blog for best Mommy Blog. And, if you are so inclined... you can VOTE for me too.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Forgot to ask....

What makes your kids lose their minds??

Dylan absolutely goes insane with bubbles. He'll shriek like he's just won the lottery and go tearing off after them screaming "bbbuuubbblllessss!!!!". It's the funniest thing I've ever seen.

Somewhere in the middle....

So I started reading Raising Your Spirited Child. I'm only a few chapters in but it's quite apparent that Dylan isn't as spirited as I thought (at least, compared to the behaviors described in the book).

Oh, don't get me wrong, my boy has spirit and energy galore but he comes down off of it quite quickly. This book is geared more towards children who lock in and that's it. Does that make sense?

The one thing I've taken from the little bit I've read is I want to get rid of the negative language. He's not hyper, he's energetic. He's not loud, he's excited. You get the picture. It's still a good book and plan to keep pushing through it but first I have to read Customer Centric Selling. Can I just tell you how much I friggin hate sales books. I have to read three chapters by tomorrow for our sales meeting. What the fuck. One thing I've learned about this type of thing, read it, take from it what you can and leave the rest. I have never worked for an organization that actually implemented anything from these programs. Last thing was the Fish principal and how we were going to bring this moral program into our office. Meanwhile, moral is still on a downward spiral and nothing was ever done. I will say - that particular book was a good read. More like a story than a how-to book so it held my attention.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Allergies and Energies

We had our first visit with the allergist this morning. Dylan had a skin test done (he was a trooper and didn't even wince). He's allergic to trees. Thankfully, no reaction to cats or dogs.

We now have an idea on how to proceed with his stuffed nose and breathing so that hopefully we can wean him off of the Flovent in the coming months.

Hopefully, taking him off Flovent will help decrease his energy level. Dylan is being seen by a therapist for his speech. Well, not really his speech. They know he can speak but they feel that he's so busy that he doesn't sit still long enough to learn. ~sprays anti-labeling spray~ No, he's not ADD or ADHD. The therapist that works with him deals with many children with ADD, ADHD, Autism, etc. and he shows none of the classic signs. He's definitely spirited and like my friend Cecily, I picked up a copy of Raising Your Spirited Child and began reading that this weekend.

I've only read a few pages but the first thing that struck me was the desire of the parents to remove the negative words like hyper from their vocabulary. I agree. There is nothing negative about Dylan. Sometimes he exhibits negative behavior but that's normal - we all do. I had labels growing up and I hated it. I don't want to do that to him.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Broken Hearted

I had once said that my heart was broken when my Dad died. Now I know it's true and I have proof - an EKG was taken today (for some super minor hand surgery I'm supposed to have for a cyst) and it shows a left axis - anterior fascicular block. What does that mean? According to my adorable doctor, it means the lines go down when they should go up. It could be indicative of a past heart attack she says but she doesn't feel that the case. She said I need to know this because if I was in the ER for something and got an EKG, they may think I was having or had a heart attack.

I left there with an okay attitude and called Mom. She flips out and tells me I have to call Dad's cardiologist immediately. She reminds me that my father's side of the family has a history of heart disease. Fuck.

I get back into the office and promptly call the cardiologist. Cardiologist assistant is lovely and has me fax the EKG into her office. She's going to review it w/the Cardiologist and see if it's something they need to see me about immediately or if it's something that can be scheduled normally (I want a full workup as I'm planning to do the MS 150).

Then I start thinking to myself that this is just a baseline - I've never had an EKG before so don't panic yet..... yet..... wait.... what about 10 years ago when I was sick. DOUBLE FUCK

Here's a bizarre story for you.

I woke up one day at 3:00 a.m. with a blinding headache. I never get headaches like this. I thought I had carbon monoxide poisoning (I had fallen asleep to a show about CM poisoning). I drove around at 3:00 a.m. looking for a store that had a CM detector - finally found one, came home, plugged it in and it showed nothing. Decided in my haze of pain that it was broken and called the gas company who promptly came out and told me I was crazy. Shortly after the gas guy left is when it hit... horrible vomiting & diarrhea at the same time (thank Gd my toilet & sink were next to each other). I ended up passing out a number of times and ended up in the hospital. I had a 94 degree temp when I got there (brother took me) due to the dehydration. The hooked me up to an IV and also gave me an EKG because I had a horrible pressure in my chest.

Now I don't think I had a heart attack that day - they said the EKG was fine... but... they said it was fine. If this thingie is something that is my baseline then it would have showed up then. TRIPLE FUCK

Needless to say, I have a call into my regular doctor to tell her that I'm not convinced this is "normal" for me.

I really need to relax this weekend!

Monday, April 21, 2008


So tell me - wonderful internet people - do you and your significant other truly co-parent? How do you handle discipline.

I really need to get a better handle on this discipline thing. I am so tired of feeling like the bad guy. Dylan will pitch a fit and I feel like I am the only person willing to handle it. I've asked Marc several times if I am going over board and he's said no so.... how do you handle co-parenting when disciplining your child. Oh, and by discipline, I am referring to giving time-outs, removing child from a situation when they are acting up, etc.

I'd also love to hear any creative parenting techniques. Dylan has fallen in love with throwing and has quite the impressive arm. This is completely acceptable when we are tossing a ball. It's completely unacceptable when it's french toast and we are sitting in a restaurant and he managed to nail a guy in the head that is sitting across the isle from us (I shit you not).

Ahhhh, the trying two's!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Hey - Anonymous gave me an idea!

If anyone out there has some good recipes for Guatemalan food, please share them here! I'd love to start compiling recipes. I have a recipe for a Guatemalan Ginger Chicken Soup which is easy, delicious and low in calories/fat. I'll have to dig it up but I promise to post it.

I'll run the Charoset through a recipes builder to see if I can get some nutritional information to post for my weight watcher peoples.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

That's my boy!

Yesterday was beautiful so I took Dylan to the park near my office at work. There is a fountain that hasn't been filled yet that all of the toddlers love to run around in (and all of the parents love the fact that the kids are contained to a small area).

Now, there is a group of kids we see all of the time and Dylan plays beautifully with them. Yesterday, a new girl joined the group. She is 6 and has Downs Syndrome and was quite aggressive at first. She had two balls and would throw them. Dylan would run and pick them up and she would run up to him and scream at him and snatch the balls away from him. She threw the balls again and again Dylan chased them down and picked them up. Again, she got in his face and snatched the balls away. The third time this happened I could see Dylan's beautiful brain working. He ran after the balls, picked them up, ran up to Miss P and very gently handed her back the balls. After that, the two of them just played beautifully together.


In other news, I'm weaning off the lexapro. I keep forgetting to take it so I kept getting agitated but I know it's just a side effect of forgetting so I am able to deal.

Well, Passover begins this weekend and I came across a recipe for Guatemalan Charoset. I'll be making it for our Sedar tomorrow and I'm just so excited to be able to bring some of Dylan's culture to our Sedar table. If anyone else is interested, here's the recipe...

Haroset ingredients

* 3 green apple, peeled, chopped, with a splash of lemon juice
* 2 tablespoons cashew, chopped
* 2 tablespoons honey
* 1 ounce sweet passover wine
* 1 teaspoon fresh cilantro, chopped


* 1 ounce green chilies, and
* red chilies, chopped, they are locally called chiltepe
* 2 teaspoons onion, chopped
* 2 garlic clove, peeled, chopped
* 1 small tomato, chopped
* 1 tablespoon wine vinegar
* 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
* cinnamon


1.Toss all haroset ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
2.Liquify all ingredients for the sauce in a blender and season with salt to taste,.
3.Add 1 tablespoons of the sauce to the haroset and blend.
4.Add cinnamon to taste.

It was in an article in Hadassa Magazine about a new Jewish Community in Guatemala and how they had a Charoset contest and this was the winner.


Chag Samaech!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Time for a redo

I hate the way my blog looks. It's boring. I'd love to spruce it up a bit but I suck at this kind of thing. Anyone want to take a stab at it for me??? I have an appointment on Friday with my doc. I need a redo too. I want off of my anti-depressants. I needed them to help me get past my father's death. While I don't think I'll ever be over it - I've healed enough that I can exist with the meds. I'm tired all of the time and I think it has to do with the drugs. I hate feeling like this. I can't enjoy my evenings because I'm so exhausted by the end of the day, that I just go to bed right after dinner. It sucks.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Moving Right Along

I really need to post more often. So... what's new? Well, Dylan is 2 1/2 and is Mr. Independent. He will throw the most spectacular fits if now allowed to do things himself. He is a dare devil - he loves to jump and flip off of anything and everything. He (of course) loves Elmo and Dora and is just now starting to enjoy the idiot box. His speech is a bit delayed but that is improving with the help of early intervention. My depression is lifting and I think I'm ready to wean off the anti-depressant I've been on since my Dad passed away. I don't sleep and I think that may be because of the medication. I've been working out consistently 4x a week (2 days spinning and 2 days training w/a personal trainer) and it's definitely paying off. I'm down to a size 10 and feel stronger than I've ever felt (physically). Marc is amazing. He's such an incredible husband and father. It's just amazing to watch him play with Dylan. They are best buds. Adoption related... We are still waiting on Dylan's COC (Certificate of Citizenship). According to the website - we are hopefully about 2 months away from getting it. Let's keep our fingers crossed!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hi Ya Stranger :)

Yeah, I'm still around. This is just a quick post to ask you to go to The Best of Blogs and nominate (and then vote) for my good friend Andrea for most inspirational blog. Andrea is fighting cancer. She's an amazing woman. Go over to her blog and give her some love. So.... I'm sure you're wondering where I've been. I suck. I have no excuses. Dylan is spectacular. He just amazes me every day. He's a little boy now - no more baby. He's talking more. He's a daredevil and loves to jump and flip off of things. Gd help me. Life is good.