Monday, July 31, 2006

Gigglefest '06

We survived!! Yeah.... Friday night was the big sleepover. Cinderisa had her two "peeps," Cassie (all blonde), and Emily(should have been a blonde, but is a red). Then there was Chrissy's friend, Brittany - all silliness. We hosted a little cookout, music (DMB, naturally), they brought movies; it was actually quite fun!

Now, I'm not opposed to sleepovers, it's just been a really long, long time since I've allowed this many children in the house at once. Included are my own of course. Hence, the ever-present MIGRAINE, that keeps me, the kids and of course Frank from enjoying most anything above the decible of, oh, 10. I'm actually considering having earplugs permanently inserted surgically, deep inside my ears. The big soft, cushy one's that he brings home, just aren't working anymore.

ANYWAY...... there was the typical 13-year olds gang up on the 11-year olds teasefest. It was actually all-in-fun for the most part, although there were a few times I needed to scold the bigger girls. We watched Edward Scissorhands, which I hadn't seen in ages, and they loved it! We watched it again lastnight. Girls love Johnny Depp. Come to think of it, women and most men these days love Johnny Depp.

On Saturday we had the giggle party for Chrissy. I had ordered a chocolate cake with peanut butter filling. Let me just say, you really only need a 1in square of this stuff, it was RICH. Delicious, but sweet and rich. The kids did a craft, watched a scary, and I mean, SCARY, thunderstorm that had to blow it's way in.

Cinderisa and Frank had picked up the pizzas for the party and were fortunate enough, (right) to witness a little power line meeets gas line explosion down the road. They were very excited and jazzed to tell me all about it. I'm feeling the wrath of God as I look over Marisa's demeanor and excitement, and she has the nerve to ask, "Can we ALL go and , (get this), WATCH IT?????" I can just see myself explaining to the parents of these kids, in the ER, why exactly their kids are burned beyond repair or just have some little electrical burns. Meanwhile, thunder booming, rain falling sideways, literally, I'm beginning to feel my heart race a little faster. Frank just says, "you would have had a heartattack if you were driving!!" and he was being honest. I probably would have had, at least a small anxiety attack, not knowing what to do. Good thing he was driving.

With the storm, unfortunately came the unrelenting Migraine. To which I am just tired of playing host to. I was the Mommy host Saturday, not supposed to be the Migraine host. I play that role everydamnday. For just one day for my kids, I'd like to go on without the doldrum and wreckage of self! After the very heavy cake, presents, pizza and crafts, the little gigglers decided to go play in Chrissy's room. I headed for the couch, curled into a ball, and silently prayed for it to just g o a w A Y!!!!!! It just laughed at me. Literally, I heard it, inside my head, the mumble and jumble of nonsense and silliness. Slow at first, then speeding itself faster and faster. Defeated - again. Naturally.

One of the girls came up to me, knelt down and whispered, "Can I stay overnight? Your house is fun!!" I had to break her little spirit, and tell her no, I felt like death, but she was even more relentless than my migraine, "How about if I stay until 8?" "No, honey, I really don't feel very well right now. Another time." "How about 7???" she asks, excitement all over her face. At this point, I just ignored her. She got the hint and went back to the giggleparty in Chrissy's room. When her Dad came to get her, she thanked me and told me she couldn't wait until she could spend the night!! Oh boy! I'm wondering if she is going to call me everyday and ask. She really is a sweetheart, though.

So, I survived the gigglefest. Christina was excited she had a party at home, for a change! We haven't been home for her birthday the past 4 years on her birthday, because we're usually in Virginia Beach; our vacation spot. But this year, we opted out, renting it instead. The travelling makes me too sick to enjoy most of the vacation. We all missed going. Hopefully, next year will be a better year. Maybe, just maybe, I will be able to travel. I'm thankful they have the memories of our past vacations there. I'm thankful I was able to experience it with them. I miss the friends we see when we are there. But I know they will be there next year. I know we made a good decision this year for us.

Yesterday, I woke with a grand slammer, but denied allowing it to overcome my day. The only beautiful day of the week. We have been put on a heat advisory - high humidity and heat for the remainder of the week. Oh joy! Thankfully the A?C is in good working order. Today, is actually not so bad so far. I'm actuallly thinking of taking the kids to the beach before it gets too unbearable. We put my eggplant in the ground yesterday, and I have some cute little starters on buds. Can't wait to cook those babies!! Because of my digging pooch, I can't plant anything in the backyard yet, not until he's in a run. Which we're hoping for next year. I can just hear the crying now!!

Alice-in-Wonderland visited me yesterday, not feeling I was myself; but next to myself. Head spinning, pressure building inside. Tile grout meeting my knees. Aura all around, everywhere. Migraine coming and going - mostly on the left side yesterday. This one hit from the back of the head, like a lead pipe. Muscles shaking and twitching with the pain. And then, I entered the auditorium and it went into full-swing. What is it about the auditoruim?? I can feel my body swaying. I don't really want to go to that place right now. I survived it. I enjoyed the rest of the day; the sun shone, no humidity. My eggplant is planted. It was a relaxing day, despite the monster.

My friend, Dora called! She is doing well, and will be leaving the hospital today. I met her in MI, she, too suffers from the beast. She says she feels better than she has in years, can't wait to start living her life again!! What a wonderful call that was. I am so happy for her. I hope she can defeat it. I hope we all can.

So today, I'm going to enjoy the sunny day with my kids before the humidity lands. Always trying to be one up on it.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Family Matters; Doesn't It?????

Yesterday, I spent the day here with my baby sister and her two kids, Alyssa and Aiden. Yeah, the "homework" girl. Had fun with that yesterday -quoted the wicked step-mother routine to Cinderisa, "Did you finish the kitchen? Sweep the floors? Clean the chimney? Dust the walls? Vacuum the rugs? Clean the toilets? Sweep out the garage???" To which she hung her head, quite defeated-like (far Alyssa's sake) and replied, "yes, Mother." Alyssa was just looking at her Mom with this terrified look, and shot me a glance!! It was hysterical. I replied to Cinderisa, "you may now take the children to the park." She has my warped sense of humor, which plays so well when we have company.

I have a bad habit of keeping things like fake vomit, feces, flies and spiders for my guests to "find" in their food and on the floor when I have parties. Yes, I am a bit twisted. I've been known to take them with me and "spike" drinks with them as well. Usually my own, and pretend not to notice as I sip away, wondering if any horrified on-lookers will be kind enough to tell me. "Excuse me, but there is a fly in your drink!!"

I had this pile of poop for years and I strategically placed it for my former Mother-in-law to find on Christmas Day in the d'room. Okay, this is totally sick, and I'm cracking up thinking of it!! She was kind of wacky and easy to get. So she walks almost 'into' it and, literally, screams "CARMEN!! (my ex's name) CARMEN! THE DOG SHIT! OH NO, OH NO!!" She was very excitable. He just shot me a look, because he was not the practical joking type; and I said, "that's ok, Mom, I'll get it!" She is just standing there, watching as I bent over to pick it up, BARE HANDED, as to scoop it. Mind you, she is believing it's real poo-poo. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! CARMEN!!" By now, he is hysterical, I'm on the floor, rolling in the stuff, pick it up and hand it to her. she then asked me, "what is WRONG with you?" But we all had a great laugh. She was a lot of fun.
I got her the Thanksgiving before that with a fly on a banana cream pie she brought. I snuck it in, right on top before we opened it. So when the time came, after dinner was eaten and dishes were done. The pies came out. The pretty white boxes with their strings (reattatched) tied on. Plates, forks, knives, coffee (fly). I open the boxes, one-by-one, leaving of course, the best for last; which is the way to do things. The "OOOhhhhs and AAAAAhhhhhs" as each pie was examined exiting it's box. The excitement of it all! Now came THE pie, I made sure the flap of the box was facing everyone, so as not to see the evidence, and slowly lifted it out, set it on the table, pretending not to see it sitting right on top. My sister-in-law, Lisa flew her chair back about 8feet as, simutaneously my Mother-in-law is standing and screaming, "OH MY GOD, NO NO!! OH MY GOD! WHAT IS IT??? WHAT IS IT??? " Carmen was laughing his head off. What a day that was.

I miss those days, I miss her. She drove me absolutely crazy at times, but she never left us without saying, " I love you." Even if we were in a heated battle, which we often were, the "I love you's" were always plentiful. She had a rough childhood, which made her adulthood very tough. Unfortunately, made my ex-husband's and his sisters lives even tougher. But they grew into decent, hard-working adults; who never allowed the anguish to take over them. It's too bad society allows, in some situations, the stigma or stereotyping, that it does. I know, I lived with it. I do not allow it in my home - neither the stereotyping nor the prejudice. I'm not going to go all boo ha ha about it, but it's wrong.

My little blonde asked me one day if it was ok if she married a black man. To which I honestly answered, "As long as he loves you, unconditionally, treats you like a queen, and respects you above all other women, and puts you before himself - I don't care if he's blue with 6 eyeballs and a tail. Black, yellow, red; the color of his skin does not matter." Now, my father, would disagree, and probably refuse to be there, and well, that's his perogative. To be honest, he won't be welcome if that is to be his attitude, or anyone's attitude for that matter.

Carmen and I were both raised in prejudice homes, neither liking nor tolerating it. I could never understand it, still don't. We both agreed we'd not raise the kids in this manner. And as it stands, he has since remarried, a wonderful Filipino woman. She is great with my kids, and they adore her. I have learned some interesting words in her language via the kids. She is adorable. She thinks my dog is ugly, but hey, she loves my kids, so what do I care!! I think he has great taste in wives. (insert sarcasm)

So back to my baby sister, she is now 28. Will probably always be considered my baby sister to me. She, too is adorable. All 98 pounds of her 4 foot 10 frame. Yeah, we're giants, our family! Just larger than life. I have height on her, a whopping 2 inches. Both, well almost all 3 of my daughters are now taller than me, Christina is the only one I actually see eye-to-eye; she just turned 11.

Jamie and her husband are buying their first home!!!! I'm hearing the typical New Year celebratory horns here, complete with streamers and balloons, but that's just me!!! She tlells me of this little story of how she asked my father to read the purchase offer for her, just to make sure things were on the up-and-up. To which he replied; "I want NO part of this!" Wouldn't listen to a description of the place - nothing. Just reprimanded her on how it was out of her league! I'm thinking, are you so insensitive(duh) that you can't ever be happy for one of your kids? We had a great lengthy conversation of sorts afterward. She gave me a grand imaginary tour of the home and the yard, and I absolutely can't wait to see it. I also can't wait to see them move in. And more than anything else, I can't wait to see them SUCCEED!

This is something I have been hoping and praying for her for a long long time. This girl, now a woman, has been through it. She deserves her just reward and damn it, she deserved a compliment from her father. but he isn't the type to give one, not to her, not to me.

It's a cruel world. It should never be a cruel home where family dwells. I read my Bible, yeah I really do. And it tells me to "respect my father and mother," which I do. It's not easy, but I do respect them. However, sadly, I do not like them. They are untouchable people. Unapproachable and very cold. Sadly my children have lived without knowing Grandparents in them, like I had in my own. But my children have true family values, thankfully. They know who loves them, they know how to love, without materialistic value.

No, we have no video games in our home. No Play Station, XBox, Genesis. And as far as the TV goes, they actually like the wholesome stuff like 7th Heaven, and Gilmoure Girls, Family Matters, Cosby. I wish we could get the Glamorama to put wholesome things back on the tube. Rather than the smut they push on these kids.

When we took them shoppping for summer shorts this year, they were horrified that we refused to buy anything shorter than "bermuda" style! How dare we. Come to find out, they actually like and preferred them, and would stare and make remarks at young girls to us, who were wearing the exact styles we WERE PROTESTING IN THE FIRST PLACE! HHmmmmmm......

ok, I'm done rambling. I need to go shop for tomorrow's "Giggle Fest" Tonight we are having multiple sleepover. All blondes - God help me!

I hope all a pain-free weekend


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

My Pretty New Car!!

Well, I have finally taken pics of my car and I'm now posting them for any who are remotely interested!!! Yeah, so probably not. And of course, for whtever reason blogger is having some problems uploading whoa, what happened there????? Color-changing on me! Maybe I'll try the pics some more. Be back. Nope, not working.

So as you see, it is a very cute little car, note the Yankee plate on the front!! Nicholas helped install that this morning.
RRRight! I finished this little, mmmmm bigger blog off actually lastnight, clicked on the "preview" button, and lost everything I'd blogged. So now I'm going to try AGAIN!!!

THAT is my car. Those are my cute kids, who helped me wash my cute car. Nicholas helped me install my Yankee plate on the front of the car, which I "borrowed" back from him. Took it off of his wall. He has THE coolest room in the house. Navy blue walls, darker than the car, true-blue-boy. I call it his Yankee room. It is complete with Yankee decor. However; Philip did dec it out with his Bruce Lee items and Syracuse University leftovers before leaving for bootcamp, so it's a little "pimped-out" as Phil calls it. Complete with, hold your breath, 50 gallon snake aquarium. Yes folks, my boy has a Ball Python living and breathing in his bedroom. His name is Hyrup. Sounds like Syrup. I was completely reluctant at first, squeemish and girly; although I used to own iguanas, but I've grown to love our Hyrup. He's quite friendly. So long as you're not a small rat! He, believe it or not, knows his name! Or maybe it's the sound of your voice, but he comes when called. Cute. Really!
The little girl next to Nicholas is my neice, Alyssa. Is she not completely gorgeous or what!!! And she is a riot. When we were finished with lunch yesterday, I was giving the orders of who should do what. With all seriousness she says to me, "why do you make your kids do homework?" Meaning housework, of course. So cute! I told her, "Well, honey, they need to earn their keep if they want to live here. Doesn't your Mommy make you do homework?" She had no smile, just a very serious look on her face. But she did put her crust in the garbage like I asked her, and watched, cautiously as the girls HAD to, dare they, clean up the kitchen after lunch. She did tell me that she had to clean her room and bring her plate to the sink, which I explained was homework. I'm not sure she liked that.
I needed to take Marisa to the doctor's to have a ahem, growth, looked at. A very large wart. This is where the real Alyssa kicks in. This child is the same age as Nicholas, 5, but, being a girl she is going on oh maybe 15. BACKTRACK - Marisa refers to herself as, get this; Cinderisa. So, on the way to the docs, Alyssa says this litle statement: "One day, Aiden (her two-year old brother) was being bad, and Mommy said, 'Aiden, if you don't stop being bad, I'm sending you to Aunt Debbie's and she'll make you do homework!' So then she put him down for a nap and he waked up and he was being good after that and he didn't need to come to your house to do homework." I about pee'd my pants in my clean car after that statement. Which, of course, she just went about talking with Nciholas about nothing after. Cinderisa and I just laughed.
Now we get to the Pediatrician. This is where things got very interesting for me. And for any Migraineur who actually reads my blog, I'm asking if this happens to YOU: The scene; the floor is the black and white linoleum tile, on the diagonal; there are no straight and narrow pathways, mind you, only awkward turns. This is a new building. Not quite halfway up the wall, are the designs of oh, maybe 4 and 5 in. circumference circles of black dots on white walls to imitate the Disney Dalmations. This makes the Wainscoting. Above that, and can you just believe there's actually MORE??? Dizzying I know, I LIVED IT!!!! ... were these giant black, natually, Mickey Mouse shaped heads. Now, is where I'm clutching the wall, walking slower, reaching for something, didn't know what, feeling my knees go weak, watching as the floor was actually moving from side-to-side and my head, just the lower part in back was making this incredibly strange 'sound' and feeling at the same time. And let me just tell you that my stomach was instanty sick. The floor that had been white, oh, anything white, was now yellow. I was in slow-motion, walking, hanging onto the wall. Marisa was just watching me, laughing, saying, "Hang on, Mom," Hey, thanks for the support there Cinderisa! I think I have some toilets that need some swishing today. The nurse is just looking at me like I'm a freak, and I say something like, "you know theethe floorth are really bad for peeple with neurolololo dithordordorthh." And man did my head really start spinning then. She just gives me funny look, I sit, Cinderisa giggles. She weighs Cinerisa-on-her-way-to-scrubbing-toilets, much needed for wart removal, and says, get this, "ok, let's go to another ROOM!!" Kidding, right?
Down the hall and to the right or left, at this point, nothing made sense anymore. I'm just trying to walk, hang onto a wall, and look at the ceiling, thinking, yeah, and I need to drive after this! So I call Frank - "Here's the situation (explain it), and it's not good, the place is crazy and I'm in complete Migraine trigger Hell!" Which he responds with, "just try to focus on something else," but there really is nothing else. NOTHING. The place is a dizzying nightmare! But, like always, he's calm and cool, and that was what I needed.
The doctor came in did her little cryoprocedure on the twisted maniac child of mine. I did ask, seriously if I could do it, too. I don't believe she thought I was serious, folks I was dead serious. More of the dizzying hallway of horror on the way out and I was free.
But I've been anything but free since then. We had a storm lastnight. I've been a wreck between the two of them. When we got home, I took my trusty Toradol and hit the couch, in my usual migraine pose, hand on face, and I lay there, trying to relax. Trying hard. And over and over in my head were stupid random nothingness words and thoughts of 2-3 word sentencs linked to more 2-3 words hanging onto more and more going fastrer and faster and going and going and going. And I'm trying to make sense of what in the WORLD my head was trying to say, and I was clueless! I flelt like I was having a conversation with a bunch of giggling 11-year old blondes and I was stuck in the middle. I jumped off the couch, ran down to the computer room where Frank was and was probably rambling about what was rambling in my head, making no snese at all. Migraine so intense!!! The stomach again, ok, now I need myZofran. It just all started. By 7, I knew I was defeated. Took another Toradol, had an iced-coffee, that helped kick it into gear a little followed by water water water. Couch.
Silly Frank was on the porch during the storm with goofy, and wanted me to sit out there with him. Now, I'm quite scared of storms. Not like I used to be, but I have a great respect for them and their destruction. I didn't like that he was out there, but he had just lit a cigar, and he was not about to waste it. Oh, and he has no fears. I was watching the BOLTS, eyes wide, even as I write this. This was adding to the pounding, he says, (yeah ok Frank!) "turn on the Weather Channel and see what it says." Now, I'm the type that doesn't allow tv, computer, running water, telephone use, and certainly not any outdoor activities. So ME watching the WC was out of the ?!! He just rolls his eyes at me.
I used to hide in the closet when I was a kid, and even with MY kids when they were young; and my ex-husband would get so mad at me. So I used to literally make myself enjoy the storm with them. I'd make a party, with crackers and grapes and cheese and we'd sit on the porch and watch it. It was an enclosed porch, so it was safe. I was terrified, shaking. But I didn't want them to have my fears. Marisa still talks about that everytime we have a storm.
When I got up this morning, I knew things wern't too much better. I could see the bathroom tile moving. I'm just wondering what kind of day I'm going to have, already knowing, deep down, what is already in store. The pain is here. I'm unsteady. funny how the weirdest things will just throw me off. So has it happened to YOU???
This is Nicholas' new bike! He gets very upset wtih it and argues with it. Funny thing about him; when he gets mad, he'll argue with himself. Philip would make fun of him when he was home. I miss him. Frank took him to the park across the street to ride, and he'd ride, and fall, ride and fall, ride and fall.

This is the Big Dummy watching and crying because he can't be at the park with them. Yes, he smiles. He is a creampuff a real sweetheart. He is doing so much better without his old pal, Luke. He has visiting friends now. My sister Jamie, Alyssa's Mom, brings her dog, Riley over. They love to run and play together. The onl time Rocco will actually play is when another dog is here. He is very lazy. He refuses to fetch a ball, frisbee anything other than a Scooby snack or a cat. Which of course, he's not allowed.
It's time to go, my head is swimming - literally.
Wishing all a pain-free day. drive safe, no cells while driving.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Sunday Supper

While tossing and turning, yet again, this morning at around 3:30, I was thinking about my wonderful Grandparents and Sundays at their home for supper. How I miss that. Every Sunday when I was a kid, we would go to Grandma's house for Spaghetti. My Grandpa was the Sunday chef. He would spend all morning preparing the gravy, the sauce, and it was THE best sauce. And the meatballs, let me tell you; he was known for the meatballs. Anytime there was a party, a shower, anything, he was asked to make his meatballs. They were the best! Of course, being the Sicilian he was, he would grumble and complain about the cost, the time that went into them, this and that, the weather, but he would still make them. And I'm sure, be secretly happy at his success. They were a success. They were the first to go, the talk of every get-together. He made a mad meatball.
My Grandparents were the kind of Grandparents every kid should have. The kind I wish my own kids could have. My kids have my memories of my Grandparents. Marisa does remember the two of them. My Grandpa died in February of 1996 of a heart attack. Grandma had taken Sally, number 2, to the grocery store with her, which was still allowed in their neighborhood for her. The dog was pretty resistant; dogs are remarkable that way. She knew something was wrong with Gramps before they left. And on the way home, she was pulling Gram home like never before. When Gram got home, he was on the floor, face-down, unconcious. She called 911, and he lived for, I think a week on life-support, but Grampa was gone, the Grampa we knew and loved. I think that was the saddest day of my life.
They were like my parents to me. I was very close to them. They were such a part of my childhood, every Sunday, every vacation, school vacation, when my parents would take their vacas, that's where I was. I loved my Grandparents with every bit of my being. They were my life. I was much closer to them, than my own parents. They knew me in a way my own parents refused to. Still do. They loved me, unconditonally. How I miss them. As I grew older, on my own, I grew farther away from them, knowing they were aging; selfishly knowing that they would soon - die. And I look at that now, and wonder how I could allow that to happen. I was afraid of their deaths. Of their non-existence, so I let them go.
My Grampa was an avid Yankee fan, and I'm sure that is where I get that. I think that is where my sisters get it, as well. Before dinner was served on Sunday, we would watch The Three Stooges, or Laurel and Hardy or one of the old classics. I would laugh at him laughing. I loved to watch those shows with him. He would fill his pipe with the wonderful smell of old cherry tobacco, how I miss that smell. Now I get the aroma when Frank and I go to the cigar store for him. I'll plant my nose in the caraffes, eyes closed, and remember my Grampa, the movies and Sunday Supper.
After dinner, it was time with the Yankees, another pipe. He would fall asleep. Mom, Gram and my Aunt Diane would head out to the stores for shopping. Gram called that her, "DAY OFF!" She was a treat! When she first met Frank, she took one look at him, and in a way only she could, in her very scratchy from too many cigs voice she said to me, "he looks just like the other one!" Referring, of course to my ex-husband. That was Gram. We just bust out laughing. She was hillarious. My Dad would call her Hazel or Maude, she did have the wit and sarcasm of both. A little on the dingy side, no, a LOT on the dingy side. She was a total ding-bat! She loved BINGO. When she died, I "inherited" her canvas Bingo bag for Frank and Terri. They were, at the time, hitting the Bingo parlors. I actually made them, or him rather, take it as a sentimental gesture for Gram. He lovingly did so for his Queen-bee.
I miss my Grandparents. I really do wish my own kids could have a relationship with my own parents like I had with mine. But they choose not to participate in their lives very often. They are there for the essential b'day and Christmas; but that's it. And mostly on their terms only. They have their favorites, and it's well-known. But my husband's family has taken them on as their own, and for this I am eternally grateful. Carmen, my ex, his parents have become older and ill, and his Mom and Marisa had a special bond when she was well; Marisa cherishes that, as do I. Her Grandfather calls her "Maurice," because he cannot pronounce her name. He, too is Italian. She will only allow him to call her by that pronunciation. It is a very sweet relationship she has with them.
Children should have special people in their lives. I did. I had my Grandparents. The stories they told. OH, the stories my Grampa told me. The ones he took to his grave, the ones I will take to mine. For him. This one I will share, knowing not if it is true; but that he turned the TV up very loud, and spoke very softly when he told the story; he was a young lad, living in Chicago, his brother, a bookie for Capone, yeah, THE Capone, and my Gramp a little guy, who loved his big brother, would watch as they would gather at the local coffee shop. Mr. Capone would flip a nickel off his thumb to my Gramp and have him "fetch a paper" every morning for him. After a few months of that, his brother moved his family out of Chicago and into Oswego, NY. He never saw his brother again; the way his brother wanted it, safe. But, from the stories he would later tell me, my Gramp didn't wander too far from his brother's lifestyle. Not too far into it, but not too far away either. He had some interesting stories, my Grampa. Always with the TV loud, and he, very quiet, making certain, not to be heard. I was young, and thought he was just being silly. I mean, who could hear above a blaring TV?? But as I grew older and understood his stories, I understood his stories. Maybe they were, maybe they weren't. I guess I'll never know. But I'll never forget the fear or caution on his demeanor when he would tell them. Always when Gram was at Bingo.
I would give anything to be able to share a Sunday with them right now. The smell of the house. The Old Cherry tobacco, burning in his pipe. The meatballs and gravy on the stove, simmering away. Gram bitching that her teeth would fall out at the table, would always get us kids cracking up!! Always. She was so funny. "Don't make me laugh or I'll piss me girdle!," she'd say. And she meant it. She was funny. I remember them all, Mom, Aunt Di, Gram and Gramp making ravioli in the kitchen one day when I was about 6 years old. Who does that anymore??? My mother telling us to "Go play in traffic" those were my Mom's favorite parting words. So loving. But my Grandparents would just smile. And when we'd stay with them for vacations, my sister and I, they would always have special treats for us. My Grampa would always insist on putting a few dollars in my pocket when I would leave, up to the time I was an adult with kids of my own! And they didn't even have the money to do it.
I miss those Sundays with my Grandparents. I miss them both. How he could be so grumpy at her at times, and she be so incredibly goofy. I loved them. They called each other, "Al," because their names were Al and Alma, how cute is that.
New Years eve we would go to their friend, Carm's for poker. Being a kid, in a big house with a group of Italians playing poker, is both loud and hilarious. We would play po-ke-no, which my kids play now, when we remember we have it. My Gramp would give me wine and ginger-ale, when Gram wasn't looking. The other grandkids and I, would just watch as they'd get louder and funnier. I wonder whatevre happened to that crowd...
But I do miss my Granparents. I'll never forget the love they instilled in my life, the time I was able to spend with them. I cherish that time.
Wishing all pain-free days

Friday, July 21, 2006

Happy Birthday, Blondey!!

Today is my little Blondey's 11th birthday! I just can't believe it, where does the time go? I know I probably say this every year, but reallly, where does it go? I was looking thru pictures this morning - man do I have some scrapbooking to do! I came across this sweet pic of her sucking hre thumb, hanging onto her Atty, as she calls it, pronounced Otteee. It's a blankee that she has had since a baby. It was hanging out to dry and she just couldn't wait, so she hung on and sucked her thumb, I should attatch the photo. It's adorable. She was probably 2 or 3 years old in the photo, we still lived with her Dad so she was pretty small. Yep, cute pics. She loved that Atty. She still sleeps with the smelly thing. I don't know if she still sucks her thumb, though.
Her Bratz dolls were lined up next to her bed this morning when I went in to wake her. Like they were watching her. She's still a litle girl. Yeah!!!!!! She loves her Bratz, although, she is terrified her friends will find out. Funny, because, I'm sure they all play with them. She can't go a day without Raven, and Frank calls her Raven - she just rolls her big blue eyes and smiles, sometimes she'll pretend she doesn't like it. Sometimes he'll call her, "Curley toe," because her big toes curl up in this very strange way. Feet are ugly!! Even her curley toes are ugly.
Tonight she was supposed to go to her Dad's with Nicholas and Marisa, but she wanted to stay home with me and Frank, so we are going to make a cake and have some friends over. My friends. her giggly friends are coming for her party next Saturday. And boy do they GIGGLE!! Frank told her it was going to be a Bratz pack party, but she got all nervous. God forbid they find her out!! I always ask them if they play with Bratz, and they gleefully tell me, "oh yeah" so why she's afraid, I'll never know!! She's so excited about tonight though. Silly little girl. I think we should just paint our nails after cake.
I just talked to my friend Terri, her Aunt Terri, and she is coming, she's going to get her a Raven cd. She is going to be thrilled!! Alllie and the girls will be here. They will be going back to school in a few weeks. I will miss her. She has been so wonderful. She took care of me yesterday while I went for my nerve block. Then took the kids to the mall. What will I do without Allie??? She is a true gem! I wish she didn't have to be so far away! I think she said Quan will be here, Nicholas calls her, Fluffy. He is so weird. Boys!
I nneed to go make cake. I wish you all a pain-free weekend. Hey, I wish myself a pain-free weeknd.

Take care

Monday, July 17, 2006


The inevitable finally happened, as I knew it would; the drugs are failing me. I guess I was secretly wishing it would last a bit longer; the euphoria, the high of feeling so well. But the all-too-familiar-pains are coming back. Each one of them, taunting just a ltiile at first. And then, the pounce. So what happens now? I ask myself this question really, because I'm not sure I want to know.
I don't know if I can handle anything like I've had. These past 3 months have been simply wonderful, in comparison, to the last 3 years anyway. I've only been hospitalized twice as opposed to, oh gosh, I have actually lost count!! So I will only reflect on the absolute great state of health I was able to obtain for 3 little months.
I have been sick with this for as long as I can remember. Constant headaches. The agonizing carsickness and abdominal crap. Vivid-weird dreams, nightmares or the lack of and inability to sleep that would come before the headache. The auras; the lightshows, that I thought were just a part of what everyone saw when their eyes were closed, that have been coming nad going. They are becoming, once again, very vivid, colorful geometric patterns of swirling movements that are almost trance-like when they appear. Oh, if I could paint what my mind sees!! It terrifies me when I see them, beccause I know, all too well, what is to come, excruciating pain. Gnawing from stomach to back; moving it's way up to my shoulder, my neck and slamming itself into the back of my head, harder and harDER AND HARDER!! Soon, finding it's claws, and digging, never gracefully out of my eye. Yet it never finds it's way out - just digs and digs and my eye feels as it is bulging and pulsating. And the light becomes so blinding, that even the darkness is never dark enough.
In and out of pain, migraine pain; yes, this is where I am again. Body, muscles, twitching, ears screaming, head throbbing, gut-wrenching, vice-tightening-around-my-head P A I N!!
No, it never truly does go away. It was sjut suppressed, that's all. For a brief moment, that was very terrific for me and my family, that I will cherish, until the next time. If in fact, there is a next time.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Pie, Oh My!!

6:30am, nausea - CRAP!!!!! Not again. Oh yeah, here we go. What was it this time? Get up, run to the arsenal, Zofran, Toradol, water, start the process - FASTER this time. Before the headache begins. I am so sick of this. Heatwave coming thru this week, too. Storm came this morning. What did I have to eat?

The very last thing was the blackberry pie I made. THAT was, I must say, AWESOME! A little tart, Frankie likes it that way, nontheless, very good. I don't think it was that. We had fish, grilled, steak, I only had one small bite of sausage. Salad, lots of salad. My choices are so few to avoid the many triggers. It couldn't have been anything I had for dinner. I had plenty of water all day. No wine. I had l ginger ale. Mostly water. And then we finally narrowed it down - it was breakfast - we made brunch yesterday. Bacon, my "famous" (as Nicholas calls them) scrambled eggs, hash-brown potatoes by Frankie, Vanessa and Nicholas; very tasty I might add. I never even thought about the BACON!! And neither did Frank. We are both usually quite good about my diet - what can and can't go in the ever-triggering-war-zone. But, oops, we screwed up good this time. Hopefully, I can get thru the day, the weekend and the very hellacious hot, humid week scheduled without going thru another freaking storm.

This time, I wll try to stay optimistic. No, not stay, but become optimistic. I have become very pestimistic about my outcome when I get an aura - I know what lies ahead. And, unfortunately, the sparkles, the pinwheels, and the blasted nausea this morning were my little warning that something unwonderful was about to happen. SO, I am going to try something NEW - actually, old, I used to be an optimist, I'm going to her today.

Yesterday, we, as a family washed the hubby's minivan(my 13 year old on top) - I was clenching my LIFE!!!!! It looks good. We washed and waxed my baby, my beautful 300M - she sparkles and shines. I told Frank the "M" stands for "Migraine" but I don't think I like that - any ideas would be greatly appreciated. "Magnificent" Yeah, I know, I'm obsessing. So what! I'm allowed.

OOOOOHHHHHHH!! Hummingburdds. Yes, we have the hummingbirds by the way. I need to go. Here comes the f%$$^^&^ pain.

I wils all a pain-free weekend

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The "Death of the Party"

That's what he called me. I used to be called the "Life of the Party," but now I have succumbed to the dreaded "Dead-Zone." Rewind to Saturday: we had a going-away party for Philip, he is a Marine on his way to his first tour to Iraq. So we decided to have a party for him; celebrate his manhood, or how proud we are; mostly praying and hoping he will come back.
His job - he explained like this - "watch Black Hawk Down, that's my job! First man out on supply and demand chain in a hummvee. Need to watch for snipers, insurgents, IED(road bombs). I just hope I come back with my arms and legs. Most guys lose half their faces and hearing." UGH!!! So I'll skip the movie and head straight to prayer, thank you very much. It doesn't sound so reassuring; but he is well-trained, well-armed and ready, (as I guess you can be) to go.

But we, as his family, are biting our nails. His father and mother have already lost a child at 15; so this is just added stress to their hearts and to the hearts of the rest of his family. This has been an enormous growing experience for Philip; I'm sure nothing of what is to come. He tells us that men are constantly telling him he will be different. We know he will. He already is.

I am proud of this young Marine. Not just because he is my step-son, but because of who he is, and what he has done. At 20 years old, after attaining his GED, he decided to go back to HS so he could join the Marines. Go back to High School at 20 years old??? Would you, after you've already recieved your equivalency diploma? Not I, thank you very much; but he did. The Marines would not accept his GED. He needed a High School diploma to be a member of the elite -"The Few, The Proud, The Marines." I give him a lot of credit. It wasn't easy for him, but he did it.

At first, he wanted to join the Navy; they gladly accepted his GED; but after his good buddy enlisted with the corp, went to boot camp and came home a "gentleman," there was no turning back for Philip. There was no changing his mind either. We all tried. His Dad tried to tell him that going to the Navy would be better, afterall, he did sign up. We saw the big carriers in the shipyard in Virginia while we were there. That was incredible. But his mind was set. His Nonna wanted him to see Italy, her homeland - certainly the Navy would bring him there. His mother, she was afraid he'd be killed. As any loving mother would be. But Philip wanted to be a Marine. He had a desire, a passion, burning inside him, like nothing before.

And I am so proud to say, that he is a MARINE! OORAH!! He's earned his uniform and wears it well. And now he is serving his country, our country. Going to a nation that hates Americans. Despise the freedoms that many of us take for granted. He is to be on his utmost and best behavior in a hostile land, while protecting the "friendly" Iraqi people, helping to make their nation "safe." But will it ever be that - safe? And at what cost to our children, our brothers and sisters, fathers, mothers? Who will keep them safe? Each other, of course. More importantly, God, our Heavenly Father, will watch over our Philip, as He will watch over them. So our stresses, of "what if..." or "what about..." are only going to hurt us. There is nothing we can do, but pray, and wait.

So on Saturday, we celebrated Philip. Because we are proud of him. We are very VERY hurt that we need to send him away again; knowing that in a few short weeks, he will be off to his first tour. A very dangerous tour. But we celebrated him and his decision to defend our country. To go back to high school! To stick to his own decision, and not be manipulated by anyone. Not us. Not the Navy. His friends. He wanted to be a Marine. Philip IS a Marine.

Unfortunately on Saturday, a storm came for me. I ended up in my room, dark curtains drawn. Abortives not effective - Migraine at a 10! Defeated. Even the Marine couldn't beat my enemy. I needed something far stronger. I ended up giving in to the beast a little too late, on Monday, in the hosp, after severe dehydration and now a 10+. Why can't they teach the Marines to battle Migraines!!! Can you just see it with those sharp-dressed blues, white caps, swords to the sides; there to battle the monster within! OORAH! Go get 'em soldier!!

This was, by far, the quickest I've ever gotten better. I needed to see Philip before he left back to his base camp. He left this morning. He's called maybe 3 times since. The house is so quiet when he leaves. Dreadfully quiet. I can't wait until he comes back. Nicholas doesn't understand the extent of this leave. He truly adores his big brother. They call each other, (get this) "MAGOT!!" - all the Marine's out there will get that. I think I'll just leave it at that. I don't even think he really knows he's gone yet.

So if you pray, please put our Philip in your prayers. We love him. We are very proud of him; he has come a long way. He's been through a lot for a young man his age. I am very proud of this Marine. I would post his pic, but because of the situation he is going in, I'd rather not at this time.. Pray for his Mom and Dad, Nonna and Nonno, his Sister, step-Sisters, and step-Brother, they are going to miss him terribly. For his family, which is just huge, who will be missing him and fearing for him. And hey, pray for all of our soldiers. They're there for a reason. Don't believe too much media - REALLY! Not too much different than say, high school gossip. Highly over-rated. Just talk to a veteran. Or someone who's been overseas. Someone who is serving. Pray for their families.

Ok, wishing all a pain-free day

Friday, July 07, 2006

Finding Self

Today I woke up with that strange feeling of not knowing where my body was. I felt next to myself, not MYSELF, but next to me. I've had that grand feeling before, deja-vu - hit me like a ton of bricks!! I remember standing in my driveway, wondering if I was fully dressed, and then, not so long afterward, BAM!! Tenscore migraine hit me, I landed in the hospital. So is this what I have to look forward to again? And what is the trigger this time? I've been feeling OFF for a few weeks now; not quite right, not myself. Migraine here and there. Not like the old ones before the new meds. But ODD. Not me. And the buzzing in the ears, the fireflies and pinwheels in the eyes; that was my greeting this morning - my little aura of today. At least I've recognized it's coming. Oh yeah, the "buzz buzz" as I sit here now is telling me, I am in for something I haven't encountered in quite a while. I just wonder how long it will last. It's the waiting game I can't stand at this point. My fingers are ice-cold right now. I just want it to hit and get over with. Come and go, PLEASE!! GO!

So where did I go? I got comfortable feeling good again; and then, I was teased - or was the feeling good the tease? Who am I now? Has the Migraine taken over me? Does it consume me? Is it ME? Is that who I've become? Is that what people see when they look at me? Even I forget who I used to be.

Well, now I know why my dog has been glued to my side, crying. He, too knows that something big is coming. He won't leave my side. Poor big dummy - he must sense it in some weird way, and not know what to do. But he just looks at me and cries, puts his huge paw on me; tries to climb on me. Funny how animals have that aura , isn't it.

By the way, he loves my new car. It's quite entertaining to see the big dummy on leather seats. He didn't know what to make of the sunroof at first. He squinted his eyes and ducked. Now, he gets to ride shotgun.

Wishing all a pain-free weekend

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Independance Day

Today marks Independance Day for our nation. And yet, for us, as the patients of Migraine Disease, we are far from independant from the hold the pain has on us. We are dependant on the drugs we must take, to keep them at bay; or to keep the BIG ones at bay. That's not to say we are like Mr. Limbaugh in dependancy to the drugs - we are not addicted. We are merely "dependant", taking them for the sake that, if we don't, we may experience something far worse than what is already taking place - the constant daily pain that doesn't go away.

I have been fortunate enough to have experienced 2 weeks of pain-free days. The first in 3 years. My first experience of my own " Independance Day " of the disease. However; I am no longer pain-free. I am back to my migraine-daily walk. So here I am today, migraine at full bay, ripping through skull, trying to tear it's way out of my eye and ear. Stomach in an uproar. Light and sound too much for me today. Vibrations inside my head are coming like contractions or waves, one after another. This time, on the left side. Funny, I was always a right-sided migraineur; now, they come from both sides. How about that?! Could it be that my new meds are wearing down already? Well, this is actually the longest my meds have worked for me, so I really am quite thankful for that. But now what happens? Where do I go from here? When do I really gain my independance from the pain - or better yet, will I?

I'm afraid I already know the answer. I've searched the internet and other resources of the damn disease too much to know the answer. I'll probably never be dependant of the many meds I take to be free of the pain. And I'll probably never be completely pain-free. This is where I need to learn acceptance all over again. But do I really need to accept it? Accept the fact that I have to live with Migraines??? Have to?? What is my alternative? What is yours?

Today, for Independance Day, there will be no fireworks for me. Not the loud, and bright ones in the sky. For I cannot tolerate that today. My fireworks are in the shape and sound of aura; I have already experienced them this morning. Spinning, swirling lightshow of my own. But unfortunately, with this show, comes a much more unanticipated pain-Migraine. Complete, with all of it's nauseous details.

And so now, I must retreat to my quiet and darkened quarters. Away from light and sound. I do not want to irritate the monster too much, give him too much stimulation. This storm is much too furious for me to beat on my own. So I need to keep still and quiet. No movement, no light, no sound. They all hurt too much right now. Smells re becomming putrid as well.

I will wish you all a pain-free and wonderful Independance Day. Hoping you can enjoy it.