Happy Pumpkin Day (Eve)!

Well I have to say we haven’t always celebrated Halloween.  When my children were young, I called it Harvest Day or Pumpkin Day.  We still trick-or-treated.  But I limited the ghosts, skeletons, and other scary stuff

But teenage boys want everything to do with painting their faces and scaring each other!

A couple weeks ago, elder son wanted to go to Halloween Horror Nights with his classmates at school (sort of a school field trip). Several of his friends were going so I signed the registration form… Shhh… but I snuck out there to hang outside the park in case he ‘needed me’.  Over-bearing, much?  Anyway, he you-tubed and googled the HHN Haunted Houses and read reviews for days before the trip.  He was SO excited! Ended up, he didn’t need me after all.  We went home and waited for his call to pick him up.  The next day I asked him how it went and he said, “Mom, we didn’t go to ANY haunted houses.  One of my friends was too scared and we didn’t want to leave her.”  Ahh, how nice of the group..  But you can’t go to Halloween Horror Nights and not see any of the houses!! I caved and bought us tickets for the next week…

At the entrance! My son on the left is trying to do a scary face but it ended up looking like “duhhh”

If you are like me and get scared easily, go in thinking “they can’t touch me, they can’t touch me.”  That seems to do the trick.  Also, for the love of your big toe, please go in sneakers or flip flops.  I saw so many ladies in heels and after one 90-minute line you will not have any fun!  I just have to say, 6 Haunted Houses and 8 Hours later, these boys were happy… Tired, but satisfied.

Please excuse the Ham in the background..

The next day they carved pumpkins.  And I am still debating on if they should go Trick-Or-Treating, never sure when the cut-off age is for these things… Well, that’s pretty much how we have celebrated Halloween / Harvest Day / Pumpkin Day so far.  What I do love about this day is that it sort of kicks-off the holiday season… So however you celebrate (or not) hope you have a great week and eat lots of candy!

Couponer Tip: Family Dollar has Fun Size Candy for $1.88 (In-Ad Coupon), and you can match it up with $1.50 off 3 Fun Size Candy (Manufacturers Coupon) = $4.14 ($1.38 Each!)

Thank You

Well, it has certainly been a couple weeks since my last post.  Thanks to WordPress for recognizing a unique post of mine, and I have been steadily responding to the amazing outpouring of support.  I sincerely hope that anyone who has/had the same experience would take the responses as their own and also know that they (WE) are not alone!

I will continue to respond to every comment but I just wanted to say Thank You as I continue to post in the meantime. 

To my new followers, I just wanted to introduce myself.   Hello, Thank you for following me!  I might have already followed several of you as well.  I am a mother of 2 teenagers… Of course, it is easy for any parent to lead by that statement: “I am a mother.”  But my teenagers are growing quickly. I have poured my heart and soul into these boys and I’m not sure where (geographically) the future holds for them.  I am also a newlywed and we have been actively trying to have a baby for over a year now.  Other than that: I like to shop (too much), have a shoe-fetish, am addicted to coupons, watch football, and I love my job mainly because I get to create Excel Spreadsheets. I grew up in the suburbs on the West Coast, and now live in the suburbs on the East Coast.  Like many suburban-ites, I greet my neighbors with a ‘Hello’, smile at passers-by, and take my children to sporting events. But few really know what’s behind the smile and that is why I have my blog.  Hope you have a great day!


My Dark Secret

I have been going back and forth on when I should share this.  When I started my blog, I had no doubt I would eventually share it.  In part, I have been going through a healing process the past few months and I feel this is a step towards true healing. But, most importantly, I wanted to reach out to anyone who might be going through the same thing.

Note: I will probably end up deleting this post eventually, this sensitive subject is highly confidential personally.  But something inside me is saying that someone needs to hear this.

The year 2004, was a blur. I was a single mother, just coming out of a divorce.  A young-minded 25-year-old, I felt like I was invincible.  I was on a Divorcee Honeymoon.  Having fun was my life’s goal.  Last month, 8 years ago, we had just been through 3 of 4 hurricanes.  The power was out for 4 days in this little condo. We cooked out of the fireplace.  At night, we played board games by candlelight.  I had a friend, he was just a friend.  But, was it cabin fever? Was it curiosity? I am not sure.  But it was not a relationship either of us needed to pursue.  One-night-stand.

This month, 8 years ago, I jumped up. No symptoms, nothing out of the ordinary.  I just knew, I needed to take a test. Something in me was different.  And there it was a clear and quick answer……. positive. I was pregnant.  Me, a “good girl” but already divorced, already a single mother: pregnant.  And this time, with no one to turn to.  My first thought, should I even call him?  I did. His answer, “you better take care of it.” So I did. I called the doctor. I went to a specialist, and at the time with my given diagnosis I would have been a high-risk pregnancy patient.  At that time I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus. I was severely sick in the past, and my doctor was telling me the ‘worst case scenario’ that I would be on bed rest the entire last half of the pregnancy.  I ran it through my mind, prayed, became numb, even put off the first appointment.  But I didn’t want it to draw out, I did what I thought I had to do: went to the clinic. I had an abortion.

My heart became numb, hate grew to its worst in my heart.  And I tried to forget.

See, last year, the same doctor that gave me the high-risk prognosis, took away my diagnosis of SLE.  Was I healed? Or had I not carried the disease all that time?  And for the first time in years, I realized that had he not told me I was going to be high-risk I would have kept the baby.

I said I tried to forget, yet I have not.  My unborn baby has been in the forefront of my thoughts many times through the day.  Often in my thoughts, my afterthoughts, and in my prayers.  She would have been 7, she might have shared the same birthday month as me and her eldest brother.  Sometimes I would imagine if she was with me in the car driving the kids to school.  And slowly, in the past few months, I have come to the realization that I need to let her go.  I need to let her be at peace, as she is in a much better place than I could ever have given her at that time.

I have dealt with the guilt, the sadness, the anger.  I hurt and ache, not because I am struggling now.  It’s the feeling that I would never want my children to hurt at my doing.  As much as I love my children, she would have been loved the same. I wished I could tell her that.

As I live month to month now trying to have a baby, I can’t help but wonder if I’m even worthy of the blessing, another chance. I pray, but I cringe. I am hopeful, yet cautious.

I have been seeing a lot of information on October 15th.  A day of remembrance for the Unborn Child.  For those lost in miscarriage, those who have not been conceived.  Not knowing if she fits into this day of remembrance, but I remember her… Often.  And she is my unborn child.

I am not writing this to advocate or not advocate for this sensitive subject.  My experiences have no bearing on a woman’s right to choose.  I am more writing this from an “infertile” point of view.  I want to share with you the dynamics of my darkest secret as someone who has now dealt with infertility for 3 years. 

E.N. Bucket List #14: Road Trip

Ahhhh…. It has been another great weekend! Along with all the chaos and GPS recalculations, this weekend could not be more perfect.  My best friend graduated from college yesterday and it was a wonderful excuse to take a road trip.  For over a month, I have planned a no-rules weekend for my son, but who knew how much fun that would be for me!

For instance, the “no-rules” Bacon Sundae from Burger King.  Yep, I actually ate this entire sundae and it was AWESOME.  My son ate it like he was starved – it was gone in 2 minutes flat.  This was at a stop in Ocala.  I asked the cashier what city we were in and she had to ask her manager.  Hmmmm…. shouldn’t she know what city she works in?? But anyway, it might have been a delirious trance from the Almighty Bacon Sundae.

Burger King Bacon Sundae… it really does exist!

In Columbus, we got to see my friend graduate which I have to admit I was a little more emotional than the Graduate herself.  But we have known each other through the ups and the (very bottom) downs.  I was just so proud of her.  Ok stop me before I start crying again!

Graduation Ceremony, Columbus GA

After the graduation, we stopped by a mall in Atlanta to do a little shopping, then I took my son to Dave & Busters.  (GPS Tip: GPS addresses are not always accurate! If you don’t know the area very well, look up the location address on the internet first, then type the address into the device.) It took 3 tries and 40 minutes to get to the Dave & Busters that we realized was 3 miles away from our original location. Needless to say, I took a short nap while he played and came back to the car with this:

The rubber chicken? No….he brought that with him from home.  He won the light up green glasses, along with light up white glasses, and a pack of basketball cards at Dave & Busters.  We hung out the rest of the evening with my friend and her family, then headed home early this morning.

Since the rental car did not come with Satellite Radio, we plugged in his iPod: The Beatles Greatest Hits.  Friends, we listened to the Beatles during our WHOLE road trip.  (and yet I still can not explain the meaning of the Yellow Submarine)

A couple other highlights from our road trip:

We kept seeing these big wheat-looking plants all over the Georgia Interstate.  To me, they looked like huge allergy bushes. I googled “wheat bushes Georgia Interstate” and “grass bushes Georgia Interstate” and could not figure out what type of plant they are.  Definitely beautiful, but not too sure if I want to get too close to them and break out into a sneezing fit!

My son’s #1 goal was to find a Firework Stand and not just any stand would do.  If it’s connected to a Pecan Stand, he would not even waste his time, he envisioned a Firework warehouse.  And thank goodness, we found a store called Ceremonial Fireworks in a city called Micanopy (Mi-can-O-pee, he said it is NOT prounounced “my-canopy”).  In this picture, my son is happily holding his Waterproof Fireworks.  Might I add, he held these in his lap the rest of the way home, and excitedly blew up my leftover breakfast burrito in a metal bucket later in the evening….. Boys.

This trip was absolutely a treat for me!  And though hubby and my younger son could not come with us, they had a blast at my son’s football game then going to the Tampa Bay Bucs game (looking good, by the way).  Dad & son time was truly needed as well.

By the way, in preparation for my road trip with my elder son, I took the ‘Baby’ (my 13-year old) to Disney World’s Hollywood Studios last weekend.  So, I leave you with this:

Can You Find The Hidden Mickey?

Can you find the Hidden Mickey?  The cool thing about Disney World is that they hide Mickey Mouse profiles all over the parks & resorts.  This is at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater at Hollywood Studios. (Hint: Relax your eyes and focus on the yellow tiles)  😉 Enjoy!

#14 of my Empty Nester Bucket List = Road Trip DONE!

The Little Things

Having a productive week so far. Yet, it’s only Tuesday.  After 8 months of deciding if I should cut my hair, googling hair styles, and being too busy to make an appointment, I made a last minute decision to trust my locks with a young lady at a Hair Masters near closing time at the mall.  I think any gal would completely understand my apprehension, but given my busy week ahead I had no choice!  So very relieved that it turned out well. I did not get much cut off, just long bangs and she cleaned up my layers.  Though it was not much, it feels much healthier!  A big difference for such little maintenance…

That being said, I dedicate this post to the “Little Things”

This Barnie’s Coffee Cup Cozy

This amazing little contraption is only $1 at your local Barnie’s Coffee Shop.  I have this little condition where I break out in hives when I touch cold things. So I have been guilty of stealing more than one cardboard sleeve at coffee shops when I pick up my cup of joe.  However, a few months ago, I came across this little comfy sleeve of joy and think I can say I’ve saved a couple trees since.  I use it for any cup-sized hot or cold treat (including yummy ice cream sundaes).

Pink, Pink, & Pink

I have never been a fan of the color pink.  Actually, Orange is my favorite color.  And though I’m partial to Orange, I wear a lot of Purple… and still when I’m looking for something ‘customized’ I opt for Pink.  I guess, living in a house with 4 males (this includes my cat), I tend to accentuate my “girly-ness” as much as possible.

This little Jewel Case and the treasure inside it as well.. 99¢ Nivea Hand Creme

A friend of mine sent this to me on a birthday.  She is always so thoughtful and kind.  And this little case reflects her personality.  So I like to keep it on my desk, sort of a reminder of my friendships back home and it gives a little ‘bling’ to my desk. The Nivea Hand creme fits perfectly in the case and it comes in handy throughout the day!

Pandora Radio

I don’t know anyone who can get through a day without music.  Even when sitting in silence,  a song might pop up in my head once in a while.  And yes, I am ‘one of those’ who will occasionally blurt out in singing.  My Pandora Channels? SWV, Nat King Cole, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Hidden Beach Recordings (instrumentals of hip hop/r&b music), and yes… Christmas music.  Because at times who can resist the holiday spirit in the middle of summer??

Things I Don’t Need

Hi there, I am a Coupon Addict.  How can you tell?

Well, first off, I don’t have a bird.  Secondly, we live in a second-story condo in which we don’t have any trees to hang these cute little bird seed sticks.  And, finally, I got these SOLELY because they were free.

But, let me just step back and ask…. if you were walking down the street and someone asked you if you wanted a free sample of (name your unnecessary item here), wouldn’t you take it??  That is my very lame excuse for having 3 sticks of birdseed that I probably will end up donating to…. yeah, I have no idea who would have use for them.

True story, I had a dream last night that I saw my childhood pet cockatiel, Sandy.  And I quickly realized I had food for her! Not kidding, I think it’s my sub-conscience trying to tell me something about my couponing habits.

Anyway, if any of you have birds and get the Sunday paper and live by a Wal-Mart, the 9/30 Red Plum has $2.00 Off Any Kaytee Products = FREE 🙂

Reason Why I Thought I Was Pregnant #37

#36 Because We Were On a Break

(#36 because it has been about 3 years now)

Duh… everyone says it’s Gonna Happen When You’re Not Trying.. but of course, was I really not trying? Maybe it will take a few months to get out of the habit of counting DPO’s!

#37 Because My Ta-Ta’s hurt

Yep, my very last and final “missing” symptom that I thought would be IT.  My ta-ta’s hurt for nearly 2 weeks and I thought this was a sure thing… but aren’t all new symptoms a “sure thing”?  Well, checked and crossed off the list.  I have now experienced ALL symptoms that the books have spelled out, friends have detailed, and the twoweekwait.com posts have listed.

And, like clockwork, Not-So-Pretty-in-Pink has showed up again.

Ok, back to not trying again… and I think now I will finally relax because there will be no symptom my non-pregnant body can experience that would surprise me.