Friday, November 1, 2019

Listen To Your Heart

Hello everyone!  I know I have somewhat abandoned this blog in the last couple years.  There are good reasons for that.  Partially because life got very crazy with how involved I became volunteering at school and all the girls’ activities.  Also partially,  as it turns out, teen and pre-teen girls aren’t so keen about you writing funny cute stories about them to share on the internet.  So as their mom I had to respect that.  Why am I back, you ask?  Well this story is less about them and more about just me.  About the fact that I am still alive because I listened to my body.  Some of you might be learning about this for the first time, but a lot of you already know what happened.  However, not everyone knows the whole story, so I thought I’d come on here to tell it so I don’t have to relay it over and over again.  I’m getting sick of hearing myself tell it to be honest. Here it is in black and white.  Settle in everyone-this one is a doozy, and a tad long.   

Around the middle of August, I started to notice my anxiety acting up at odd times.  I get anxiety from time to time, but it’s usually hormonal, like right before my period or  circumstantial, like whenever I’m traveling.  This anxiety was coming from nowhere, for seemingly no reason, and happening often.  I thought perhaps it was the girls going back to school, or me trying to get everything done so I could do some substitute teaching.  I didn’t know, but I tried to ignore it for the most part.  Then around the beginning of September, I was working out at the gym one morning when this weird burning sensation came up either side of my neck.  I thought it was odd, but I had to finish my workout dammit! So I did.  It got better after  about 15 minutes so I thought nothing of it, until the next day when it happened again.  Around this time I also started feeling very fatigued all day.  This symptom is tricky for moms, however, because show me a mom who isn’t fatigued and I will show you a mom who has three nannies.  Moms are tired no matter what.  However, this fatigue was different.  I would wake up in the morning and feel like  I hadn’t slept at all.  I would do my workout and then an hour later, feel like I needed a nap.  It was weird.  For those of you who have been pregnant, it was like the fatigue you felt during the first trimester.  I decided after the workout neck pain that I should see a doctor.  Something definitely was not right.  

For those who are super close to me they  know I have a tendency to be a bit of a hypochondriac.  Not in a, “I’m in the ER every week” kind of way.  More of a, “I have a pain in  my head -what if it’s a tumor -oh no the pain is gone now”, kind of way.  So when I started to worry that maybe it was my heart, nobody else around me thought it was.  With very good reason.  I’ve never had high cholesterol or blood pressure, I’m not overweight, I work out six times a week and I eat a mostly healthy diet.  Ok fine I like my wine and perhaps I’ve been a social smoker a time or two, but nothing that should land me in the unhealthy category in anyone’s mind.  Still, I didn’t feel right.

I googled Cardiologists around me, found one with good reviews and made an appointment for that week.  When I went in, they did an EKG, which was normal and a quick check up, took blood,  and he had me make an appointment for a stress test for two weeks later.  He clearly wasn’t overly concerned, so fine.  I wouldn’t be either.  Except, I started feeling worse.

I started to have shortness of breath and sometimes chest pains, but mostly pain in my upper back, and was it going to my left arm?   I really felt like it was, but maybe it was in my head.  Whenever I would exert myself I would feel worse, like my heart was beating too fast for just standing up and walking down my hallway.  Then one Saturday night after we had gone out to dinner I was just feeling terrible.  I decided to go to Urgent Care.  Let me just tell everyone now-if you think it’s your heart do NOT go to Urgent Care.  I will spare you the details of that visit, but let’s just say the asshat of a doctor I saw just about patted me on the head with a, “there there crazy woman-you’re fine”, comment.  It’s not exactly what he did, but it was damn close.  

Now I had seen two doctors who didn’t seem overly concerned, yet here I was feeling shittier than I ever had in my life.   I kept thinking maybe I was getting a cold or a flu.  Then I started to having lower jaw pain.  Then I did the thing everyone tells you not to do.  I looked it up on Web MD.  EVERY symptom I was having pointed to heart failure in some way.  Either I was having a heart attack or I was about to.  Then again, when I used Web MD in the past I’d had about 4 different kind of cancers according to them, so it probably wasn’t right.  I mean how on earth could I, as a 45 year old fit woman, have a heart problem??

I held on for a couple more days, feeling kinda crappy.  Then I’d feel better and think it as going away, but the next day would be worse.  On Monday, September 9th, we had tickets to the Hollywood Bowl to see Heart and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts was opening for them.  Just to throw a little irony into my story, we see not one but two bands with heart in their name.  It was at the Hollywood Bowl, which is a very hilly walk.  Even walking up the very slightly inclined hills was making me feel short of breath.  

The following day I started having a weird pain in my calf.  It was at this point that I texted Megan-my nurse practitioner sister-to ask her what I should do.  Over the years she’s heard of my worries about this pain or that ache and mostly she has told me I’m fine.  This time after hearing all of my symptoms she said-

“Go to the ER.  Go now.”

Yeah.  So I went.  Despite the fact that all I kept thinking was missing taking Georgia to her improv class and the PTA meeting I was supposed to be going to that night.  When my sister said go to the ER she meant it, so I guess everything else had to be put on hold.  The fear was that I might have a blood clot-hence all my symptoms and the pain in my leg.  That made sense.  Kind of.  I mean it made more sense than me having a heart problem, right?  

Nope.  No clot.  I spent 5 hours at the ER where they did blood tests, EKGs, chest x-rays and a leg ultrasound.  Everything came back normal and perfectly healthy.  Nothing to see here!  Move along.  However the ER doctor was great.  He told me that he was going to send me home because he was pretty sure I was ok.  He said- “I’m 98% certain you are fine, but I never say 100% because you know I was 100% certain Hillary would win”, and I said  “Yeah and look how that turned out.”  He said-“Don’t even get me started!” Little did he know that I would end up being Hillary in this case.  

 Then he told me I definitely needed the stress test and to move it up.  He also told me to not work out until the stress test, which in all honestly probably saved my life.  Thank you ER doctor!

So I went home, kinda feeling silly because they didn’t find anything, but still feeling like they should have.  Something was wrong.  I couldn’t shake it.  That weekend I felt on and off terrible again.  Shortness of breath, back pain, some chest pain, left shoulder and arm pain, jaw pain, rapid heartbeat after meals, just bad all around.  I mean I wasn’t even having wine at this point so you know it was bad!

Monday came and I went for my stress test.  While the nurse was getting me set up, he asked about my symptoms and history.  He stopped short when I told him about my  maternal grandfather who had a heart attack at 49, also with no history of high cholesterol or blood pressure and in good shape. Although, he did smoke a lot of cigarettes for a while, but that was the 50s and 60s.  They all did.  

For those of you who don’t know, a stress test isn’t about seeing how stressed you are, but about how much stress your heart can take. They hook you up to an EKG and have you walk/run on a treadmill until you get to your target heart rate to see what happens.  This test I failed miserably.  On the one hand I was thinking-oh crap.  On the other hand I was thinking-SEE something IS wrong-but still- oh crap.  

I met with the Cardiologist that afternoon and he scheduled me for an angiogram for Thursday morning.  What is an angiogram?  you might ask-because I did.  I mean unless you’ve had a parent go through this, how many of us 40 something moms know about this procedure?  They make a small incision in your groin and send a catheter through your arteries.  Then they shoot dye in them to see if there are any blockages in the arteries.  It’s an outpatient procedure and at most I would have to stay in the hospital one night depending on what they find.  I’m fairly certain nobody thought they would find anything.  

I went home and that night I had a lot of pain in my back radiating to my left shoulder and down my arm.  I just had to make it to Thursday.  I’d be fine.  Tuesday morning I woke up feeling worse than ever.  Besides all the symptoms I’d been having, I was feeling a little light headed and dizzy.  I managed to make it to send the girls off to school.  Andy came home from dropping off Sonya and saw me sitting on the couch. 

“Are you ok?” He asked.

“Uuuummm….I’m not sure,” I said.

“Do you want to go to the ER?”

I answered, “Let me sit here a minute and see how I feel.”

He said ok and to let him know and headed to the bedroom to get ready for work.  I sat there on the couch contemplating.  I felt so very off.  Something was very wrong, some would even say I felt a sense of doom,  but it was Tuesday again and one of my biggest days of driving the girls around everywhere after school.  Then this voice in my head said ‘and if you’re dead you will never be able to drive them anywhere again’.  I listened to that voice and had Andy take me to the ER.  

Fun fact about getting in quickly at the ER-tell them you’ve had a recent positive stress test and are currently having chest and back pains with shortness of breath.  I had a bed in the ER in about 5 minutes.  They gave me baby aspirin and nitro paste to open up my arteries in case of an impending heart attack.  After doing a few tests and talking to my doctor they decided to admit me in hopes of moving up my angiogram.  However, I once again seemed fine. EKG’s were good, bloodwork, x-rays- all of it.  They weren’t able to do the angiogram that day so I had to stay in the hospital overnight and they were going to work on getting me in for one the next day.  Just an FYI for all of you.  Turns out that unless you are in the middle of or have recently had a heart attack, the EKG shows nothing.  If you had a normal EKG, don’t assume all is fine.  It will not tell you if you are about to have a heart attack.  File this under: things I’ve learned in the last month.

Andy brought the girls to see me.  Sonya doesn’t do well with hospitals to begin with and Georgia has always been very emotional, so they pretty much cried the whole visit with me.  Upon seeing that I looked fine, Lana was unfazed and asked if they could go home soon, because she was tired and wanted to go to bed.  Love you too Lana!  Actually, no that’s just how she deals with things.  She tends to push it down and let it all come out at a later date.  I will say in that moment I was appreciative that she wasn’t upset since the other two were close to hysterical. 

 That night after they left I had a breakdown myself.  What has going on with me?  What if they did the angiogram and they found something?  What if they found nothing?  I wasn’t sure what would be worse in that moment.   I needed to be here for my girls.  I wasn’t ready to leave this planet and leave them without a mom.  I was scared.  Plain and simple.  

The next day the nurse practitioner told me they were going to be able to do the procedure that afternoon.  So if all went well I might be able to leave the next day.  That was good, because I was chairing the family picnic at the middle school on Friday and who was gonna take care of everything?  Yeah, luckily I have a huge group of fantastic friends who took that off my plate as soon as I went into the hospital, and they wouldn’t let me have anything to do with it. I still wanted to be there though.    

Andy came into the hospital to see me after the girls had gone to school.  My procedure wasn’t until 2 and since the day before he had spent most of the day at the hospital, I told him to go to work and take care of what he needed to and be back by 2.  There wasn’t really anything for him to do until then.  Plus my friend Elisa stopped by to keep me company for a couple hours.  

They came a little before 2 to take me for the procedure.  I was a bit on the scared side, but they do these things all the time so I was talking myself into everything being fine.  This is a procedure they keep you awake for, very drugged, but awake.  When they first went in with the catheter I felt some pain, but they assured me it was fine and continued.  I was kind of in and out but at one point they made me take 2 pills while I was laying flat.  I still have no clue how I managed to get those down without choking.  When it was done the doctor said I was all fixed up.  They had found a 99% blockage in my main artery.  They put a stent in and I was good to go!  Let me repeat that for those of you who didn’t read it right the first time.  99% BLOCKAGE IN MY MAIN ARTERY.  Yeah, I was a bit surprised too.  I was just a mere percent away from having a major, most likely fatal, heart attack.  It was in the place that’s otherwise known as the, “widowmaker”.  

I’d like to tell you that’s where this story ends and I was all good, but alas it is not.  That pain I felt when they first went in, was not a normal pain from the procedure after all.  They had to put pressure on my groin area to stop any bleeding from the procedure-totally normal-but I had an area that hurt more than I can even begin to describe.  There was a lot of back and forth about whether it was fine or not, but eventually they decided not, and I went for CT scans to look for internal bleeding.  There was.  I was petrified.  Internal bleeding is bad as far as I knew and the looks on the faces around me were also a bit worrisome.  Not so, “You’ll be fine!” as they had been.  There was talk of emergency surgery, but they weren’t sure if they needed to.  I was taken to ICU to be monitored and given a blood transfusion-I can check those two things off my bucket list!  They eventually decided they needed to give me an angiogram on my other groin to go in and look at the right side to see where the bleeding was and if surgery was necessary.  So, back to the procedure room I went.  The pain was awful, but they were giving me morphine, so that was a plus.  

This angiogram went off without a hitch, this time, and good news!  The bleeding had stopped so no surgery required.  I was relieved about that.  The last thing I wanted was to be opened up after being so close to death with a near heart attack.  I was beginning to feel like a character in a Final Destination movie.  What would happen next? Flesh eating bacteria?  

That night was probably one of the most uncomfortable nights of my life.  I had to lay flat on my back and not bend my legs.  They had this device that they had on my groin that was keeping pressure on it to make sure I didn’t start bleeding again.  I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink in 24 hours, but they had me on IV fluids.  They wanted to make sure nothing else happened before I was allowed to have anything.  Andy spent the night with me in the hospital and our amazing neighbor slept over at the house with the girls.  I was in a lot of pain and didn’t sleep much.  The good news is I was alive, so I was okay with the pain.  Neither Andy or I got much sleep that night.  I was just in so much pain and discomfort, even with my friend Morphine.  Andy got to sleep in a recliner chair, so fun times for all!  

The next day I was feeling much better after I was able to eat something, even if it was hospital food-the stories you’ve heard are all true about the food by the way.  
I was able to move my legs, but they still wanted me to stay on bed rest for the day, so I got a fun compression gadget that periodically squeezed my calves to prevent blood clots.  Andy brought the girls to see me that night, since the night before I was in no shape for them to see me.  Georgia and Sonya cried again.  I guess  being in ICU did NOT help them feel better.  Who knew? Lana just wanted to know if I would be at the middle school picnic the next day.  I told her I probably wouldn’t be allowed to go home until Saturday.  

“Can’t you just come for ten minutes?” She asked.

Sure-let me see if the hospital gives out afternoon passes for patients who had internal bleeding the day before to go to a middle school picnic.  

“I don’t think so Lana,” I told her.  

Well, I knew she wanted me there, so I guess there was no harm in her asking.

My parents decided to fly out to help after the internal bleeding incident.  My mom was slightly freaked out to say the least.  It was for the best, so that they could help out at home, if needed, and also they could see that I was indeed still alive.  They got here Friday around noon and headed straight to see me.  The good news was they could go to the middle school picnic in my place, so that helped Lana a bit.  

I continued to feel better and was able to move around on Friday.  They wanted to move me from the ICU, but that didn’t happen until Friday night because of the lack of space.  On Saturday, they decided I was well enough to go home.  I was thrilled because I was so very done with the hospital.  The nurses were amazing,  like I said, the food was not.  I did have people visit me every day and I caught up on a lot of good Netflix and Hulu, but I just wanted to be home with my family.  The girls would Facetime me several times a day and Georgia would cry every time.  I needed to be home.  

I finally got out late afternoon on Saturday.  As it turns out, it takes forever to have three different doctors sign off on you getting out.  

When I got home, the girls had made me a sign, my parents bought me balloons, Andy gave me a cad and there were flowers, food, and gift baskets from so many people.  This is the part that totally threw me. The night I went into ICU I had all of my close friends show up to see me. My people that I’ve known since college, Melinda, Melissa, Sooz, Norb, Cecelia and Jon.   Then my two best mom friends, Elisa and Libby came later. My besties, my village.  I mean I know I have friends, I’m a social person and I try to treat everyone I know kindly and with respect.  When others go through a hard time I do what I can to help them.  I’ve made a meal or two and picked up friend’s kids and transported them, when someone needed help.  However, I was not prepared for the fact that when you put out love into the world like that, it really does come back to you in spades.  I had people calling, texting, messaging me on Facebook.  There was a meal train started, and people offering to drive my girls to wherever they needed to be, if Andy needed to be with me.  I had visitor after visitor at the hospital, flowers were sent and someone bought drinks and snacks from Costco and dropped them off to my house.  I still don’t know who did that.  When I got home I was completely overwhelmed by just how much people wanted to do for me.  I guess they liked me.  They really really liked me.  I was extremely grateful and felt so fortunate that I have such a huge village of people who would step up to help out me and my family.  It still overwhelms me when I think about it.  Anyway- I digress.

I was home for a couple days, taking my new medication-four pills daily now!  I didn’t have a lot of energy, but that was to be expected.  All of this was because of the internal bleeding.  As far as my heart was concerned I was all good there, but the hematoma was going to take some time to heal, about four to six weeks.  Plus it was a lovely shade of purple!  I was doing a lot of sitting around and resting, but at least it was at home and my mom was there to cook and clean every closet and cabinet in my house, so I decided to relax.  

It would be nice if I could tell you that was the end, but yet again, no.  Monday I started feeling very off again.  I calmly told my parents I needed to go back to the ER and they obliged.  It was crowded in there, but they took me back to check me out on the EKG and get an x-ray, all the greatest hits.   The concern maybe something was wrong with the stent.  I will cut to the chase here.  There wasn’t.  I actually started developing a fever in the ER and they admitted me.  They thought I could have an infection of some sort, so I got to spend another two fun-filled days in the hospital again while they did ALL the tests on me.  In the end they couldn’t find an infection and the only way they could explain the fever was that when the blood from the hematoma starts going back into the system, it can sometimes cause a fever.  Lucky me.  

I finally went home for good on Wednesday morning.  Every day I felt a little better, but I would still get some pain in my back.  I learned that can happen as your body is getting used to the stent.  I guess it is a foreign object in there so it makes sense.  However, the overall fact was I was freaked out.  Every little pain or twinge made me nervous.  I kept replaying things in my head from the week before I had the procedure.  I was so close to having a heart attack that anything I could have done, could have pushed me to one.  Even now I have thoughts, about it.  Like what if I was working out when everyone had left for the day and it happened.  It would have been the girls who would have found me.  I man I try not to dwell on it too much, but damn those thoughts creep up on me.  It’s so hard to try and work through.  Not to mention the fact that this even happened to me at all.  WHY?  I’m relatively young in the heart world.  The cardiac floor in the hospital had 89 year olds at death’s door.  I was the youngest on that floor by far that week.  I work out, I eat well.  It just doesn’t make sense.  I am seeing a new doctor now who is trying to make sense of it, so we will see what he comes up with.  

There is another, kinda weird, sorta supernatural or maybe it was in my head piece to this.  The time 11:11.  For the month and a half that all of this was happening to me, I saw the time 11:11 every day, usually twice a day, on a digital clock.  I looked on line and there are different thoughts about seeing the time.  Some suggest it’s good luck, but there are many things that say that a deceased loved one is sending a message.  I don’t know if I believe it, but my paternal grandfather did pass away last year, and I was close with him for the last 20 years.  His birthday was the day before mine, so I always felt we had a special bond.  Perhaps he was trying to tell me something was wrong.  Or my sister, Megan suggested maybe it was the time I was supposed to die. Thanks for the morbid take, Meg!  Either way, it’s kinda weird and since I’ve been better I see it much less than I did.  Who knows?  I just wanted to mention it because I will say every time I did see the time I felt like someone was trying to tell me something.  

The bottom line to this entire story is, don’t ignore warning signs your body is giving you.  Mine were very loud and clear.  I’m glad I took them seriously and didn’t let all the doctors who thought nothing was wrong with me be what killed me.  I took my life in my own hands and pushed until they did find the problem and fixed it.  Without me being my own advocate, I would not be here today.  If you have family history, get checked regularly and early.  Even if you think it’s too early, it may not be.  I would have never gone to a cardiologist  if this hadn’t happened to me.  Both of my sisters are now getting check out and guess what, because of what happened to me, they are being taken seriously.  

I also have to take a moment here to thank my village. Without them this would have been much harder.  All the teachers at the girls’ old elementary  school, the teachers at the middle school and my neighbors, Kelly and Jon, Victor and Maritza, Kelby and Ryan.  Kelby was especially helpful because she is a nurse in the hospital I stayed in, so she made sure I was getting top notch treatment.  Thank you to all the fabulous nurses a St. Joe’s, and the doctors who saved my life.  Thank you to Melinda who visited me every day in the hospital and brought me contraband food.  Thank you to Norb, Cecelia, Jon and Sooz for coming to see me and always being great friends.  Thank you Melissa for making the trek to come see me, the flowers and being my bestie for 25 years.  This was NOT what, “we’re almost 45”, was supposed to mean. Thank you to Ann for the visits, the necklace and reminding me to take time to relax with meditation.  Thanks to my family who lives in SoCal who came to the hospital-my cousins, Michelle, Lilly, and Lisa  and my Uncle Stan and his new wife Grace.  Thank you to my amazing mom friends, Elisa, who jumped in to help with anything, Libby, Lesli, Talia, Lisa and David, Dawn and Frankie, Michelle and Sean, Richard and all the PTA peeps who visited me, cooked for my family and helped pull off the picnic I was supposed to be in charge of.  You are all amazing.  Thank you to my sisters, Beth who called me constantly to check on me and talk to me, and Megan who kept everyone informed in laymen’s terms what was happening with me. Having a medical professional in the family is very fortunate. I highly suggest it. I love you both and am glad I’m still here so we can  have our bitch sessions about what’s going on in our lives.  Thank you to my parent in-laws who also offered to come out when this happened, also called me to check up on me, and for the Amazon gift card. Also to my brother and sister in law who called and texted. Thank you to my fantastic parents who flew all the way from Virginia, on very short notice, to help me and my family get through all of this.   Not to mention the cleaning of my garage, my car, my kitchen and my hall cabinets.  My mom cleans when she’s nervous if you couldn’t tell.   I love you.  Thank you to my girls, Sonya, Lana and Georgia, for trying not to fight the first few days I was home, and for helping out when I asked.  You are also a big reason I am still here, because I will do anything I can to fight for my life and be here for you in yours.  I love you three more than you will ever know.  I’m so sorry that you had to go through all of this last month.  Lastly, thank you to my husband and partner, Andy.  I know at first you didn’t think there was anything wrong, but you listened to me that day I said I needed to go to the ER with no questions asked.  Thank you for taking me and being there with me through all of this.  Thank you for sleeping on the crappy chair and being there for our girls.  I know this had to be just as scary for you, maybe even more.  If something would have happened to me, you would have been the one left with the fallout and raising the girls alone.   I’m sorry for what you had to go through too.  I love you.  I promise to try and not do it again. 

For anyone I might have missed, please know I appreciate everything you all did and I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to be so loved.  

I THINK that’s it.  I guess I learned a lot from this little detour in my life.  First and foremost-always always listen to your body, and don’t discount signs like 11:11.  Just saying.   Secondly-put love out in the world, it will come back to you in greater ways than you imagined and when you least expect it.  Thirdly-and this is a big one-don’t take anything or anyone for granted.   Just because you are here today doesn’t mean you will be tomorrow.  Tell those people you love them, take that vacation, visit your family, make plans to go out with friends, spend time with your kids.  Whatever you are on the fence about, do it.  Whatever you haven’t made time for, make it.  You might not get a second chance like I did. 

****Just a side note-I am an open book about this, if you couldn’t tell.  If you want to ask me a question about this, please feel free.  If my story can help save another life, I’m all for it!  You can email me at

Friday, July 7, 2017

Doing What I Never Thought I Would

Hello all!  Yes, I am well aware that it has been over a year since I wrote anything.  I don't like it, but there are many factors that have kept me from writing.  Or rather having the time to write.  Part of the reason it is getting harder for me to write is because I have growing children who are finding out more about this Internet thing, and that they might be a part of a few stories on here. Or maybe all of them.  Semantics.  Fine and cute when they were younger but not when they are almost in 8th grade, MOM!  So I feel I do have to respect some of their privacy.  I guess.  However the bigger reason I haven't been on here has been time, and not having enough of it.  Not that any of us do, but this past year my life turned into crazy town.  The reason for that is because I did something I said I would NEVER do-I really should stop saying never-I became PTA president.

Now I know some of you just had a flash of Christina Applegate as PTA president in Bad Moms, but I can assure I am more of the Mila Kunis character.  This was not something I wanted or lobbied for in any way.  In fact,  I must have told  the nomination committee last year "NO" almost a dozen times.  Then they wore me down, but not after convincing two of my good PTA friends to do it with me.  They had also been approached and told the committee no, but when the three of us started talking about working together, we figured it could work.  Matt is my PTA husband and he agreed to co-President with me to share duties, and my friend Libby we roped in to being our VP.  Then we found out unfortunately that you can't have "co-Presidents",  so on paper I am the President.  Yay.

So what's it like to be PTA President of an Elementary school-you ask.  Well, you know when you were in college and  you took that internship, worked your ass off, worked ridiculous hours and didn't get a dime for it because you were getting "work experience"?  Yeah, like that, except 20 years later and with kids.  I pretty much work a part time job with no pay.  Here's the thing though-I kinda liked it.  Shhhh...don't tell anyone!

Yeah I know I'm a little crazy, but you all knew that already.  And believe me-I didn't like it all the time.  There were times throughout the year when we were about to have our next big event-Halloween Hulabaloo, Variety Show, Spring Event-where everything at school and my life were being boiled into one big mess of insanity.  I may have walked the line of a nervous breakdown a time or two, but managed to come out on the other side  with most of my sanity intact.

I've been involved in school since Sonya was in kindergarten, but just not all the way.  I still had the little two at home, so I would attend all the school events and help by baking for the bake sale.  When I had grandparents in town I would volunteer in the class.  Then as they all went to school, I went to school more.  I mean-why not?  I don't work and as much as I think I want to sit around and eat bon bons while watching soaps all day, I am so NOT a good sit around and do nothing all day person.  Plus there are only about three soaps left on TV these days anyway.  So I continued to volunteer for this position or that position.  I helped out at events and continued to do things in the classroom.  I became good friends with the teachers and the PTA parents so much so that when they needed a new president, they turned to me.  I guess it's flattering  they thought of me, but I know it was also a matter of necessity.  The people who had been around and in charge for so long were all leaving.  And I mean just about all of them.  There were only a handful of us left who knew anything about how to run this organization, so we agreed to take over.  Little did we know what we were getting ourselves into.

Because so many parents left last year, those of us who did take over were a little lost for a few months.  Or completely lost for most of the year.  I guess either statement could be correct.  The people before us who had been treasurers-and I use that term loosely-either had no idea what they were doing or just didn't give a shit.  Perhaps a bit of both.  I did not know this when I took over and asked my friend Christina to be my treasurer. (Sorry again, Christina!)  Looking back now,  the best thing I did as President last year was ask Christina to be our treasurer.  It took her ALL YEAR-and I am so not exaggerating about that-to clean up the mess that was left for us.  I couldn't even go into detail about all the problems we had, because I didn't even understand half of them.  Numbers are not my thing, but they are  hers.  She was my superhero.  She managed to untangle the mess that was made over at least 3 years and fix it so it's all pretty and neat now.  We have real working correct numbers.  Not-"maybe we have this much" or "maybe we spent that much".  She filed our taxes and made sure our audit was correct.  I honestly can't sing her praises enough.  I would have failed without her.  So part of the moral to this story is make sure you have a good money person in your life for anything!

Besides the money, we were down in volunteers- period.  I don't know if it's the ebb and flow with things like this, or because we had so many volunteer parents that left, or if people just don't give a shit anymore.  However, my goal was to try and be as welcoming as possible to encourage new parents to help.  I think for the most part we did a decent job of getting more people involved.  It's hard because people have such a stigma about PTA.  Kind of the similar stigma mini vans have.  They are the same. Once you get involved or you buy into it, you are hooked.  Plus there were the couple margarita parties I threw at my house complete with bounce house for everyone's kids.  Margaritas help people to say yes to chairing a position, while still having fun! (Although I should point out that these parties were MY parties, and not PTA sponsored parties in any way.  They just happened to have all my PTA friends there.)   I love my PTA family.  They are friends I know I will have forever.  People like Matt, Libby, Christina and Elisa who I run the Variety Show with every year, these are not just PTA people I see at school.  They have been there for me when I have needed someone in a pinch to watch my girls or pick them up or just to bitch to. In turn I am always there for them.   They have become some of my best friends.  Maybe other PTAs are different, but we try our best to include whoever wants to be included and not ostracize those who don't.  Although it would be nice if everyone just gave one hour of their time to an event now and then.  I'm just saying.

So am I doing this again next year?  Yup.  I am.  Again-there's that I'm crazy thing.  I've had several people ask why I'm doing this again.  Here's the deal.  I've just cleaned everything up-so why am I going to hand it over to someone else?  No, I want a chance to run this thing right for at least a year.  I have 2 more years in elementary before I move on for good and I plan to make sure it stays nice and neat for at least that long.  I have so many people now who are behind me wanting the same thing now.  People who are excited and want to do this PTA thing.  Two moms-Dawn and Frankie shout out to them!-who have been amazing and will be there long after I will.  Not to mention  awesome dad, Justin-who has brought so many of these new parents in and jumps in to help out with anything and everything.  So yeah.  I'd say I'm at least doing better than Trump.  Although, I guess that's not really saying much these days, so perhaps that's a bad comparison.

Here's my takeaway for all of you who are parents out there.  If you are involved in your kids' schools  now, continue your support.  If you're not, consider it.  Even if you are a full time working parent.  All the people I have mentioned in this post are full time working parents still willing to put the time in to make their kids school experience a great one.  I'm not saying take on the role of President, yet.  Offer to run a bake sale or at least work it for an hour.  Find a friend and pick a position to chair or hell-just go to a PTA meeting.  You might find that you like it too, or at least like the people.  Even if you think that the PTA is just a bunch of cranky moms.  Chances are they are that way because they feel alone and overworked and like if they don't do it nobody else will.  Believe me, it's a sucky feeling.  So be the one to reach out to them. Not to mention the fact that your kids see how involved you are, and it makes them more willing to be involved in school and keep their head in the game, so to speak.  My girls love that I am there, and they do like to mention that I'm the President to their friends.  Not that their friends care, but still.  Now perhaps this wouldn't fly as well in middle school or high school but they still like me right now and think I'm cool for the most part.  I'm hoping that will carry me for a while.  Once they get to middle school it's a whole different ball game. One that is harder to navigate, so get in on the ground floor.  I promise it is not something you will ever regret.  So here's to one more year of my Presidency and hoping that it's slightly easier this time around.  After all-I know what I'm doing now.  I think.  

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Georgia's Turn

Hello everyone!  I am indeed still among the living.  I just have a crazy schedule that does not allow much time for writing these days, but I feel like I need to.  At least I have to tell the story of Georgia in the Jungle Book play at school.  I wrote about Sonya and Lana's experiences, so it would be unfair of me to not talk about little GG.  Plus then, when she gets older, I'll never hear the end of it about how she, as the youngest child, always got the shit end of the stick.  Less writing in the baby book, less pictures of her, blah, blah.  It's a song my little sister Megan likes to sing sometimes.  Well, I'm here to make sure that doesn't happen to G!  At least in talking about her part in the 2nd grade play.  

For those of you who have been with me a while, you might remember reading about Sonya's experience with this and then Lana, who ended up with the same part Sonya had when she was in 2nd grade.  This is one of the things I love about my girls all growing up in the same place.  I moved around so much when I was a kid and my sisters never had the chance to have the favorite teacher I did or get the same part in the play.  We didn't have similar experiences to compare.  Which is fine, I swear I'm not harboring a grudge-well maybe a tiny one- however I like that my girls can share and compare their similar childhood experiences.  

Now unlike Sonya, who was petrified to get on stage, Georgia is my ham.  She is the one who longs to be in the spotlight and have everyone looking at her-as long as they are supposed to be looking at her.  When they started discussing the Jungle Book at school in January, Georgia was dying to play the part of King Louie.  I honestly have no idea why she wanted to be him, but that was who she had her heart set on.  Then she came home in tears one day because she wasn't going to get the chance to try out for King Louie.  They were organizing it a bit differently this year and each 2nd grade class had a group of animals they could try out for.  Her class was not the monkeys.  Her class was Kaa the snake and she had no desire to be one of 10 kids as Kaa the snake.  She could, however, try out for one of the four main parts-Mowgli, Shere Kahn, Bagheera, or Baloo the bear.  Once she heard about this option, all her cards were on the table to go for Baloo.  I thought this was a perfect choice for her since Baloo is more of the comedic relief of the play, and Georgia is the comedic relief in our family.  

Sidestory-We were talking at dinner one night about how the girls wanted to see the new Ghostbusters movie.  I told them they could, but that they had to watch the original one first.  Sonya and Lana decided they would be too scared.  Georgia said that was fine, she wanted to watch it.  Then she said,

"But I might end up in your bed in the middle of the night....Consequences!"

Consequences indeed.  Damn that kid makes me laugh.  Anyway-Baloo.

They auditioned in their class for the teacher.  Then their teacher picked two kids to move on to audition with the other Baloo, and main part hopefuls in the other classes.  (You're going to Hollywood!)  Her teacher kept telling me how great she was for the part, but they had to see the other kids first before they could decide.  Of course none were as good as Georgia, not to brag, but yet to brag, and she got the part.    Little GG was going to play the part of Big Bear Baloo!

Over the next month and a half, they rehearsed the play at school.  I kept hearing from all the 2nd grade teachers how great she was doing and how cute she was.  We worked on her lines at home and I could see how into this she was.  Her only problem was running the lines too quickly.  

She was so  nervous the night before and the morning of the performance.  We could barely talk to her without her getting mad or bursting into tears.  She was jumpy!  I was just praying she wasn't going to get a migraine.  Don't worry-she didn't.  This isn't one of those stories, but I was sweating it.  She hadn't had one since December and she was due.  Thankfully it happened two weeks AFTER this.  

The school held two performances and we went to both.  I even took Sonya out of school for a bit one day, so she could come watch her sister.  I was nervous for her, but she remembered every line and played the part adorably well.  People I didn't know came up to me afterward to tell me how cute she was.  She really was.  She is easily one of the smallest kids in her class-as all of my girls are, they come by it naturally-and here she was playing the part of what was supposed to be a big bear.  I was so proud of the great job she did and of course cried at the beginning of both performances.  I am such a sap!  The best part is she loved every minute of it.  She loved the acting and getting the laughs and she loved the spotlight.  I guess something else she comes by naturally.  

It's been so crazy to watch each of my girls do this play and each in a different way.  Even though Sonya and Lana had the same part they certainly didn't play it the same way.  Then having Georgia play a main part brought it to a different level.  I'm so glad they go to a school that will do things like this for the kids.   There was talk of it not happening this year, and I would have been heartbroken if it didn't.  I feel like things came full circle while watching Georgia up there, after having seen it two times before with the other two.  Not to mention that this really sparked something in her.  I would guess she is going to look for more opportunities like this to shine.  She enjoyed herself so much from beginning to end.  I think the craziest part of all this for me though is to realize that they have now all been through 2nd grade.  This is it.  We are on to the END of elementary school.  I just can't even think about it half the time.  I will miss all the littleness and cuteness of all this...


On the plus side-I am anxious to see what they will choose to focus on in their lives and if something like this play really will spark something in Georgia.  I love watching their lives unfold and seeing what kind of people they will become.   I will NOT love the attitudes that are about to explode in my house over the next eight years though.  Especially if this acting bug kicks in.  The drama that will follow!  Oh Lawdy!  Pray for me people! 

Friday, March 4, 2016

A Superbowl Challenge

There are times as a mom when you realize that you can do superhuman things.  Like lifting a car off your child trapped underneath, or grabbing them before they get hit by a truck in the street, or changing a full set of sheets under a sleeping child.  Yup.  I did that last one.  Just call me Supermom!

A few weeks ago we had that big game that some refer to as the Superbowl.  Perhaps you've seen it?  Well some years we've had parties, some years we've gone to parties.  This year we didn't really care so much about who was playing, but it's still nice to have a couple people over and eat unhealthy, but yummy food, while having an excuse to start drinking at 2pm.  Also why I love Thanksgiving.   We weren't going to have anyone over, but decided last minute that eating unhealthy food and drinking alone (mostly me) would be sad.  So we invited a couple of our friends who had been around for the Patriots playoff games with us the weeks before.  Yes, we are Patriots fans and I love Tom Brady.  Do not judge or start making cheating jokes because I'm very over it.  Anyway-our friends brought over a ton of food and I made a few things, as I always do, because I come from an Italian family.  There is never such a thing as too much food.  

We had too much food.  I mean it was ridiculous how much food we had.  We could have had half the Patriots at our house and still have enough to inflate all the balls with food. (See- I can make fun of us too).  

In regular every day life, we do a good job with balancing out what the girls eat.  I make sure they have fruits and/or a veggie with every meal, lean protein, some good carbs.  Yes, we have desserts sometimes, and maybe baked chips or pirates booty, but when I look around at what other people feed their kids on a regular basis, I am so proud of the job I do with them.  I know we are teaching them the right way to stay healthy and, hopefully, not become overweight in their future.  HOWEVER-I will let them eat whatever they want on special occasions, such as the Superbowl.

On days like that they will go all out, but for the most part they will only eat until they are full.  They will still select some carrot sticks amongst their mounds of tortilla chips and mini hot dogs, so at least something good is getting in there.  I ignore the fact that said carrots are covered in ranch.  At least there is a veggie there somewhere.  I will cut them off after two desserts.  Although Sonya will try for that third cookie or cupcake.  So, yes, it's not the best day of eating but it's one day.  They will usually complain about stomach aches afterward too, so it's kinda a good lesson as well.  Well maybe not, because after 42 years, I end up complaining of the same thing at the end of the night. I also love eating a lot of unhealthy food at once.  I guess when you eat well all the time it's fun to be bad for a minute.

Sonya and Lana do know when to stop eating.  Georgia, on the other hand, is a different story.  That girl loves her some chips.  If there is a bowl of chips somewhere, she will find it and eat the entire bowl if I let her.  In fact-funny side story-Last weekend we went to Big Bear to go skiing. The place we rented had a big game room complete with pool table, bar, poker table, etc.  I was behind the bar and said, "Oh they even have poker chips." Georgia's ears perked up upon hearing this and said, "Where at the chips?" I didn't even think about it, and pointed her in the direction when Andy knowing what she was looking for said, "Everything isn't always about eating Georgia."  When I saw the look of disappointment on her face as she saw the poker chips, I realized that she thought I had been talking about some kind of potato chip.  Oh Georgia!  

Back to my original story!  As I was cleaning up after everyone left, I saw Georgia at the counter shoveling more tortilla chips into her mouth.  I told her that was enough and shooed her away to go get ready for bed.  I knew she had had plenty to eat that night, and there was no way she could still be hungry, but she couldn't resist.  

(WAIT!  Before I go any further with this story, I'm giving fair warning to all you stomach squeamish people who might be eating.  Either don't read this now, or don't eat right now.  Trust me.)

The girls got ready and went to bed, and I was just about to go tuck them in when Sonya ran into the kitchen in a panic.  "Georgia is throwing up!!"  

Wait what?  She was perfectly fine 10 minutes ago, downing what might have been her 10th helping of chips....Oooohhh.  Yeah.  Maybe too MANY chips.  Huh.  

I calmly asked Sonya to go get me the throw up bucket from the garage and went to the little girls room where Georgia was throwing up into a puddle on her bed.  Yeah, I know.  It gets more gross, so just wait.  Sonya came running in with the bucket just in time for Georgia to spit the very last of her puke in it.  So that did no good.  Then I noticed it.  Did I mention Georgia was on the top bunk?  Sure there was a nice neat puddle of puke on her sheets in front of her, but before she decided to throw up there she decided to first go over the side of the bunk bed.  Which hit Lana's bottom bunk below her, and the trundle bed under Lana's below that, and the floor.  It was spectacular.  I also noticed Lana was completely passed out.  It was 9:30, but she had only been in bed about three minutes which I thought was odd.  However, it makes sense looking back now, because the next afternoon she came down with Influenza A.  It must have been brewing.  Never a dull moment. 

The point is there was a lot of puke in many different places to clean up, and I needed to figure out where to start.  So I called in reinforcements.  

"Andy!  Get in here!"

He came running into the room and knew what the situation was from the smell that hit him in the face.  I told you there was more gross coming.  Oh the smell.   It's not bad enough that vomit has to look gross, but the smell is just not something you can get away from right way.   

"I need you to help me clean this up, " I told him.  Needless to say, he was thrilled.  Normally, I would have just taken care of a situation like this, but this time I needed help.  So I put him in charge of taking the soiled sheets off Georgia's bed, while I went to work on the side of the bed puke.  Andy wasn't sure how to take the sheets off because there was so much of it in one pile.  So he came up with the brilliant idea of shoveling it all into a garbage bag first.  I'm impressed he got through it without adding to the pile himself.  So. Very. Gross.  After he took care of that, I had him take care of getting Georgia cleaned up, who as it turned out wasn't so bad.  She had managed not to get any on her person, so score one for her in that category.  Still, l she needed a face wash and a toothbrush.  

There wasn't a lot of throw up over the side of the bed, but enough to make it so I had to change Lana's sheets.  Oh and there was the fact that the bunk beds just have a mattress laying on top of wooden slates.  So whatever didn't make it on the mattress, fell in between those slates.  On both the top AND bottom bunk.  Have I ever mentioned how much a pain in the ass bunk beds are for SO many reasons?  Sure they save space, but that's the end of their good side.  Making them sucks.  Changing the sheets takes days and will break every nail you have, but unfortunately they are very necessary in our small house.  So after I cleaned under Georgia's mattress and the wooden slates, I had to figure out what to do about a sleeping Lana and her dirty sheets.  Do I wake her, move her, or try and just change the sheets around her?  I decided to do that last one, since it sounded the most challenging.  Because I mean changing sheets on a bunk bed is difficult enough.  But doing it with a sleeping child on top-near impossible.  Challenge accepted!

The taking off the sheets wasn't too difficult.  That was just a lot of pulling from underneath her.  No biggie.  It was getting the new ones on that proved to be more of a challenge.  Let's keep in mind that I had to replace the mattress cover as well,  So not one but TWO bottoms sheets. Oh, and I had to lift up the side of her mattress first to clean down  those wooden slates, where the puke was stuck.  After I did that I got the two bottom sheets out and  I started at the top on one corner, then managed to roll her on top of the sheet and do the other corner.  Once I got the top part of the bed done it was easier to pull the sheet down to do the bottom.  Especially because Lana is a peanut and only takes up half the bed.  The top sheet was a piece of cake since it was just covering her up and tucking under the mattress.  When I was done, Lana was still completely asleep and in a new set of sheets.  The next morning I asked her about it, and she had no recollection of the entire incident.  She wasn't even aware that Georgia had gotten sick.  

As for Georgia,  she was not ill in any way.  I thought perhaps she was at first, since the stomach bug had been circulating at school and gave her the benefit of the doubt, but she was immediately better after she threw up and fine the next day.  Andy had said so, but I didn't believe it until the next day, she had simply eaten to much.  Or maybe just too many chips.  Which you think would stop her, but not at all.  That story about the poker chips was just last week.  

So I will continue to do what I can to help reinforce the good eating habits with a fun eating day here and there for them, however, perhaps the next time I do need to monitor how much they are eating a bit more.  But hey!  At least I discovered what a badass I am at changing sheets with a sleeping kid in them.  Okay fine that hardly makes me a badass, but I'm a stay at home mom.  Let me have this one.  

Friday, January 8, 2016

Being Good At Family

Hey there!  Yes it's me.  I know I totally fell into the pit of being overwhelmed and overburdened with a thousand things to do with school and the holidays, which left me no time to write.  I wrote a bunch of blogs in my head, but none of them made it to the computer.  Looking forward to the day where I can think something and Suri will write it down for me.   I even got a little bah humbuggy at one point because of how crazy everything was.  Even though I still have much going on-like helping to produce the Variety Show at the girls' school-I decided to put everything else I should be doing right now on hold (changing sheets, cleaning, getting cat litter) to do the one thing I like to do for me.  Writing.  So with that here's a little story about a New Year's Eve Day trip we took last week.  (Was it really only LAST week.)

Over the holidays we didn't have any family in town which was (sorry parents) kinda nice.  I mean don't get me wrong, I love when my parents or Andy's parents come and spend Christmas with us.  The kids love them being there and it's nice to have a big family together for the holidays.  However, every three years it's also kinda nice to not entertain parents for a week or more.  This year was that year.  So there was more hanging out and just doing nothing, which is good for us since we are always doing something every damn minute of every damn day.  The only bad part about doing nothing for a family who is very active, is that after a while we start to go a little stir crazy.  So we decided that on New Year's Eve, during the day, we would drive to the mountains to a sledding park. 

One of the advantages of living here in Southern California is that we are so close to the mountains to go sledding anytime in the winter if we want.  Even though we hadn't had any rain yet last week, the sledding parks all make their own snow.  The other great thing was that it was actually cold here this Christmas.  In fact while we were in the 50's here on Christmas day my in laws were sweating it out in the 70s in Rhode Island.  Crazy!  Since it was so cool here it was even colder in the mountains which was perfect for the snow making and sledding.  

I found a place on line that is only about an hour from our house, called Mt. Baldy.  When we got there we were to purchase tickets to take a "scenic lift" to the top of the mountain where we could do the snow tubing.  They also have skiing and snowboarding but we weren't going that crazy for one day.  After we bundled up and purchased our tickets we walked up a little hill to the lift.  That's when we realized the lift chairs were only for 2 people.  Last time I counted there were 5 of us, and three of us are kids.  Huh.  How was this going to work?  I wasn't crazy about the idea of Sonya going by herself, and sending her with one of the girls could prove disastrous.  I didn't need a fight to break out on the lift and someone pushed off onto the side of the mountain.  No worries though.  She wasn't allowed to go alone or with one of the girls unless she was 14.  That would have been nice to know BEFORE we bought our tickets. They did let us know she could ride with another adult who was alone and wanted to go up the mountain.  Oh yes-let me put my 11 year old on a ski lift with some stranger for 20 minutes who could be a Jared from Subway for all I know!  I don't think so.   Oh and by the way-it was seven degrees at the top of the mountain.  SEVEN!!  Now I know there are a lot of your out there who that freezing temperature might not bother so much and probably think we are big pussies.  However to those of us who just went through a 55 degree Christmas and were complaining of how cold we were, making fires in our fireplace every night,  seven degrees would have killed us.  

Andy and I made the decision to see what we could do about getting our money back, then figuring out what we could do to salvage the day from there.  It was of course greeted with a barrage of questions from the girls who were so looking forward to sledding.  

"We're not going?"

"Not here."

"But why?"

"Because Sonya can't ride the lift by herself and it's colder up there than it is down here even."  They were already freezing in the 32 degree temp.  

"So we aren't going to go sledding at ALL??"

"I don't know yet.  We will figure it out."


"We will see!"

Neither one of us was optimistic about it being easy to get our money back, but turns out it was!  They were very nice about it after we explained that we had no idea about the age for the chairlift.  So we were happy we didn't lose any money on it, but now what the hell do we do?  We had decided to go to this mountain because it was closer than the one in Big Bear.  Were we even in the right direction of heading to the other one?  Unfortunately, it took us a bit to find out since there was no service on the mountain.  Once we got to the bottom I found that the other place I had looked at was less than an hour from where we were.  Since we had left the house so early it was only 11am at that point, so we decided to go for it.  

We arrived at the tubing park about an hour later.  No traffic at all thank goodness!  This place was right off the side of the road, no lift, and cheaper than the other place.  So win win!  We went and got our tickets.  Georgia and I made a trip to the disgusting outhouses.  

Side note here-Why, in the year 2016, have we not figured out a better way to keep an outhouse clean?  Those things are the most disgusting places on earth.  I am always so grossed out when I go in one.  I have been in nicer ones that are brought in for outdoor weddings or other such things, but then they are usually newer and not used at all yet.  The ones on the mountains though are just so incredibly gross. I just tell the girls the whole time we are in there, "whatever you do, don't look down."  I gag now just thinking about it.  Back to the main story...

After we paid and grabbed our tubes, we headed to one of the smaller hills because the girls were a little nervous and wanted to start there.  To be honest I was fine starting there too.  Sonya and Georgia went down almost immediately raving about how much fun it was and climbed the stairs to go again. Lana though.  Well Lana and I spent 10 minutes on that first little hill together.  She was nervous to go down, I sat there trying to convince her everyone else was still alive after sledding, and she would be too.  I think it was that fact that she had to go on her belly head first that freaked her out.  She would start to lay down  and then say  "No, no, no, I don't want to."  Andy claimed I was babying her, but I know how Lana is.  She has always been this way.  It takes her a minute to try anything new, food, swimming, jumping off the diving board, skiing, sledding, bike riding, roller blading, whatever.  She is convinced something bad is going to happen to her.  I knew as soon as she did it though she would love it.  

I'm not sure exactly what it was that made her finally go.  At one point I gave up trying to convince her  and went down without her to show her it was fine.  Not to long after that, she went with me and that was that.  There was no stopping her.  She loved it as I knew she would.  

When we first got there all three of the girls agreed they weren't going near the big hill.  Even after Lana had been going down the smaller one, she pointed to the big hill and said, 

"There is no way I'm going down that one!"

I reminded her that she didn't want to go down the little one at first and look how much fun she was having.  So she said,

"Okay maybe I will at some point but NOT today."

"That's fine," I told her.  

At the end of our hour we were all riding down that big hill.  And we were all loving it.  It is only an hour you pay for at a time.  You can go more, but then you pay more.  At first I thought-an hour that's it?  But trust me, after walking up those stairs a bunch of times you are exhausted and done after your hour.  At one point we all went down together which was comedic.  I laughed so hard when, at one point, Andy was trying to push us all down the hill together, and Sonya and Georgia accidentally broke free leaving Andy holding on to Georgia's mitten at the top of the hill. 

Andy and the girls going down the hill together.
It was one of the best family days we've had as a family and a great way to end the year.  The girls keep talking about how they want to go back.  It was fairly easy too, minus the detour we made to the other mountain an hour away.  I was proud of us that we found a way to salvage the day even though we ran into a problem and our original plan didn't work out.  It was a good lesson for all of us.  Especially for me, because when my plans get thrown off I tend to get anxious.  It was one of those days where I thought to myself, "We are good at family!" 

*(credit to that line goes to the show The Goldbergs, which if you aren't watching you should be!)
Me and Lana

Georgia, Sonya and Andy

Happy 2016 everyone!  Hope to write more for you in this year and here's to everyone finding a day where they feel they are good at family too.  I know all to well how some days that is so hard to do.  

Sonya and Georgia