Roommate problems…


Here is a scenario. Completely made up.

Say, there is a girl who just went to college, like almost 2 weeks ago. And this girl thought she did a good job “screening” her roommate before they decided to bunk together. They hung out several times over the summer, and talked enough that she felt they had plenty in common. Rooming together would be great fun.

And let’s pretend that when they moved in together, this girl found out that her roommate was not quite what she expected.

Like maybe the roommate brought strange guys into the room at odd hours of the night/morning when the girl was trying to sleep. Because it’s always fun to wake up at 2am with a strange man looking into your face.

And maybe the roommate hooked up with more random guys while the girl was at class, and she had the pleasure of walking in on them when she came back to the room to study and go to bed, so instead went to sleep in another friends room because her room was full of people having sex.

And what if, this roommate actually started to pick on the girl for not hooking up with anyone yet…. because they’ve been away from parental authority for like 10 days, what the hell is she waiting for?

Gosh. Wouldn’t that suck?


Sometimes, boys don’t like you.

I had a conversation with my daughter and her friend during a “pre-college” lunch……

A conversation about boys. Something I’ve noticed about plenty of these girls…. they make excuses for boys who don’t call them, don’t respect them, don’t seem to like them.

Instead…. the boy must have “commitment issues”, and deep down, he’s desperate to get closer. He’s scared…. he’s just really, really busy…., or he just needs more time….

I’ve heard these girls talking to each other, sharing their problems, and giving advice. Advice that centers on believing that this boy in question actually is quite interested in you, is most likely desperately in love with you, but somehow struggling with some huge barrier to being as available as he wants.

Maybe he’s a werewolf? secretly married?

Or, how about… as much as it sucks to hear it…..

He’s just NOT that into you. (by the way, a GREAT movie.)

So, during my lecture I recount a couple instances in my life, in my short dating history, when I found myself chasing after a guy….. who turned out to be not that into me.

One of them was older than me, he was 21 to my 17. Not a great gap in my mind…but he was far more mature in many ways. He dated me, treated me with great respect, let me meet his family….. but freaked out if anyone called me his girlfriend. I was NOT his girlfriend.

So, of course I felt I NEEDED to be his girlfriend, the one and only……

He was dating another couple girls as well, girls from his college. It drove me crazy, I cried over him… I kept thinking to myself that I MUST be important because his mom liked me, his sister liked me, and he did continue to call me, sporadically. I wanted to believe so much that I was going to “win”, and that I just had to keep hanging on……

It fizzled out.

To his credit, he knew it wasn’t going anywhere. He talked about our age difference, how we were in different places in life, I thought I could talk him out of that silly stuff. Thank God. I appreciate now, that he was the older and wiser one. He saw me for the desperate, hormonal teenager that I was, thinking I knew what I wanted in life. He knew I had no clue, and never took advantage of that.

Then there was the guy who seemed to like me, and then one day….stopped talking to me. This one really drove me crazy. He had a reputation, the “bad boy” that girls just can’t seem to stop chasing after. He was also a few years older, and way more experienced.

Things were fine, I thought. We went out several times….it’s hard to remember the exact number. I do remember professing that I was NEVER going to have sex….EVER…. maybe once or twice to him. Thinking back…that might have been a reason he just dropped off the planet??

At first I didn’t get it. I paged him. and paged him. and paged him. (yes, it was so long ago, that we used pagers instead of cell phones…) One day turned into two, then three. My frantic calls and pages tapered off…. and one day my cousin came home and told me she saw him with another girl.

The part that killed me was that lack of knowing… I don’t know what I was hoping to find out, now it seems pretty clear, the guy just didn’t want to waste his time.

I should not have repeatedly called and paged him after realizing that he was not going to be calling back.

I wish there was a way I could save these girls from making those same mistakes, or even worse mistakes-Just because they want a situation to fit their idea of how it should be. Just because they don’t yet realize they don’t need a boyfriend to be happy or successful. Just because they don’t have enough confidence in their own self worth.

This is why I am maybe too blunt when I talk to them.

“Girls!!! Trust me, if he likes you, and WANTS to get to know you….he will find the time. If not, please, don’t waste YOUR time!”


We made it to the campus. Only cried once so far.

We made it to the campus, and found somewhere to park!  Only cried once so far.

Got a golf-cart ride to the dorm… and I sat with my sister for an hour, waiting for Rachel and her dad to get the ok to unload the car. Cried a few times, once heavily.

Oh...she's embarrassed!!! YES.

Oh…she’s embarrassed!!! YES.

It was a strange feeling for me. Watching these kids, and the amounts of energy they put forth. You could FEEL the opportunity, the fun, the excitement…. I got caught up in the rush myself, wishing I’d had the chance to experience this when I was her age. So grateful that she is here, part of this…. and yet I’m still terrified to leave her here.

The door. Just about to be opened for the first time.

The door. Just about to be opened for the first time.

First steps into the room.

First steps into the room.

My sunglasses were kept on as we navigated the stairs and halls, and I managed to smile during my silent sobbing.

Still able to smile. This is a good thing.

Still able to smile. This is a good thing.

We unpacked, kind of. Bunked the beds, it took all 4 of us. Later found out maintenance could have done it for us…. something to remember for next time. Decided to get some lunch while her roommate was on her way to the room with her own family. Saying goodbye was not yet imminent, so I was actually hungry…. enjoying the last hours with her.

After eating, a trip to the bookstore, and a trip to Target….all within walking distance of her dorm… we headed back.

Now is the hard(est) part.

Saying goodbye.

I’m crying right now, thinking about it. It still feels so weird that she’s THERE…. for so LONG…… Ugh.

Her pushing me out the door.

Her pushing me out the door.

No, she didn’t really push me out the door. She was gracious, telling me I could stay as long as I wanted. But I knew I needed to let her get to it. I knew I needed to go…. but it was hard. Actually harder than I expected. Because it was finally real. My eyes are still puffy. Sunglasses back on, but they kept fogging up as I needed just one more hug, and then just one more hug again…..

We texted as I walked to the car with my sister.

We talked on the phone that first evening-last night. and texted goodnights.

I had a horrible sleep.

She texted this morning that she was still alive. And later, as late as I could possibly stand to wait… I got to see her face again.

Aaaaahhhhh, facetime. How I love it.

One day at a time………


packing up

packing up 18 years

We drive tomorrow, to drop her off.

This pile has been slowly growing in the corner of her room, and today it took over. A day of sorting through every item saved up to this moment, and deciding if it stays, or goes.

The last day home as a fully dependent child.

And who do I find in the closet, as we sort through the past 18 years together.

He doesn't look depressed enough for me......

He doesn’t look depressed enough for me……


He’s been around since she was a newborn, her first stuffed animal. I remember buying him.

And now he’s all I’ll have to hold on to for a while.


Death of another summer


Summer was here, and we grabbed it up, desperately squeezing each moment out of it.

We used it to race up the hill at the blue park, and learned how to roll down. We swung for hours, sometimes pumping our legs, mostly not. We chased the daylight, going fishing at dusk….and those dying rays caught the oldest boy helping the youngest catch his first fish…and throw it back. Summer watched as training wheels were removed, and another child learned balance, then speed. Summer nights taught us to catch lightning bugs, and watch them on our fingers.

We felt it ending. The heat came, finally…. but so fast we knew it would burn itself out.

We were desperate to claim every free moment of every day. Throwing it up like a kite, begging the wind to catch it and keep it up just a little more.

A million walks for ice cream. Out with the hose, spraying each other, and the car. Amusement parks, big and small. Face painting, fireworks, big girl underwear–FINALLY! Hot and sweaty stroller naps, and the crash of summer thunder storms.

Late nights, too late…. but we don’t want to waste it!!

Slipping through our fingers. Even the two year old can’t sweet talk it into staying.

A sigh.

One final week before our summer dies.

summer20 summer2  summer9 summer8 summer13  summer12 summer5 summer11 summer6 summer3 summer4 summer16 summer18 summer17 4thz

Goodbye summer..... until next year :/

Goodbye summer….. until next year :/

Is she ready?


My last baby is 2 and a half.

A little past the half if truth be told.

Is she ready for preschool?

Am I ready??

The 2 year program is just to get your little ones ready to be apart from you, they do some crafts, sing songs, play, dance, whatever. They learn how to follow directions from their teacher, and how to socialize with classmates. This is a 90 minute program, 2 or 3 days a week-at a center that Sammy really loved. He still misses going there, and misses “Nathan”…the boy he stalked.

I took Sammy because he was so attached to me, I was afraid of what would happen if I didn’t do a slow transition into being away from me. There is a monitor outside of the room where you can stand if you want, and watch your child the whole time.

Sammy cried his first day, for a good 5 minutes until he actually threw up into a garbage can that a teacher was holding in front of him. I was trying to resist “saving” him, but just about to race in and scoop him up. Then, after vomiting….he stopped, looked around, and started playing. Never to cry there again.

Jenna is so much more social already, I guess I feel she probably doesn’t need the baby step approach. She already seems wise beyond her years. She even accompanies her big brother to the closet to get socks when he’s afraid of the dark.

And come on… EVERY other kid is transitioning this year. One into college. One into high school. One into kindergarten.

Can’t I just hold onto her for awhile? Is this going to hurt her??

I think I’ll worry about it after she turns 3. For now, she can socialize with me. We can play school at home, and I will keep her all to myself for just a little bit longer.

She made it!!!

Didn't this just happen yesterday????

Didn’t this just happen yesterday????

How I feel about the oldest finishing high school.

I sat there today, watching the class file into their seats, a sea of green robes and hanging tassels.

How funny that I knew her right away, although she looked like everyone else from that distance. We were looking at the shoes actually, I knew I’d find her if I just watched for the sandals she stole out of my closet this morning. After I zoomed in, I made sure-yep, she’s wearing my shoes.

I started crying right away, surprising myself. I was so rushed this morning, and so excited…. I had forgotten that I might get emotional. I certainly didn’t expect it to happen before her name was called.

But the eyes watered, and the tears flowed as I let the truth settle in…. this was IT. In a way, a relief…. one out of 4 officially graduated, I could count myself successful with this one so far.

And little moments kept coming to mind, her birth, her preschool graduation (yellow robe that day), and the years of teen angst that seem to have magically dissipated by this time. How funny that all those hours sitting up in her room, studying (while watching equal hours of Netflix) is over. Her time here is growing shorter, and her room will be empty soon-waiting for her to visit.

And so they start calling the names. We are asked to all be quiet until the last name is called. At first this happens, but soon families and friends let out yells, whistles, claps for some graduates. I’m sitting next to my sister, and we debate for about 30 minutes about if we will yell out or not. I’ve NEVER done it. Even at the T-ball, and later softball games. I always wanted to be the parent yelling encouragement, but never could bring myself to do it. This is my last chance!!

So we agree. I’ll yell her name, and my sister will make some appropriate noise of encouragement. We’ll both clap. We shake on it, no one can back out. And……there she was!!!  We watched her as she followed the line of students, awaiting their turn to walk across the stage. And I heard her name called, and I yelled out to her, clapping and smiling like an idiot. But I wasn’t embarrassed in that moment, instead just bursting with pride.

I pushed her during school, always harping on her grades, talking about her future. She was in advanced placement classes, at times completely frazzled with the amount of studying and homework required while continuing to play varsity softball and keep up with her responsibilities at home . She would often be up late to study after a game. I knew her GPA… but it wasn’t until I saw the program, and saw how she had achieved every possible honor and was listed Summa Cum Laude, that it struck me. She DID that…. she didn’t give up, she struggled, she sacrificed, and she made it.

So, how do I feel??

Of course the expected happy, proud, excited, nostalgic…..

And a little awed.

All this time, I’ve been a little worried. Thinking she’s still a KID….worried she may not be ready to go off to college and be in the “real world”….

I may not have given her enough credit. She’s got her act together. She’s going to kick ass in college….and in life.



Squeezing in together time

It’s here people….. ice cream time is here!! To be very honest, the ice cream place by our house is open all year (yay!), but we generally don’t walk up there until all the snow is melted. Takes a while in Ohio….

Yesterday, was the first trip. ALL 4 kids came with me, none able to withstand the lure of blue cosmo, cookies n cream, or that peanut butter banana smoothie. I love…. LOVE when I can get the 4 of them to go somewhere with me. Especially because now, the clock is ticking. The oldest is counting down the days until she flies the coop for college, having them all together after that is going to be a lot less frequent.

So in honor of our togetherness, I forced encouraged them to smile at the camera as I tried to snap some candid moments around the ice cream table.



Most of the time, these are not amazing pictures. It is impossible to get them all to look at me, or smile, at the same time…or at all sometimes. But I keep them, because I am that emotional mom who likes to think back and start crying sometimes when I reflect on how much each child has grown/changed over the years….. I think they like it when I cry….

I am also that embarrassing mom who likes to save these pictures, and them bring them out and show everyone how much they’ve grown or changed since last year, or years ago.

For example, I just so happened to remember that just last year…. we were sitting around a table at this very same ice cream place, and I also made them asked them to smile nicely for the camera…

last year

last year

Isn’t that so cute!!!  Can you believe Jenna FINALLY has hair? Can you believe how long her tongue was/is??

People, I live for this stuff. It’s what I do.

Christmas then.....
Christmas then…..
Christmas now!

Christmas now!

See what I did there??

I know one day, I’m going to miss having all these kids under my roof. (I keep telling myself this….) So I do my best to keep a record of the times they actually LOOK like they are getting along, as they grow up, and before they grow away.


Birthday Parties stop crime

Image result for birthday party

My version of hell

So Sammy turns 5 tomorrow.

Of course we are planning ANOTHER unforgettable, amazing party to celebrate. And every year I say I’m not going to do this again, and EVERY year I cave…. because I am weak. And I want my kids to love me. And not having a birthday party might cause some damage that could contribute to poor choices later in life.

“I (insert crime) because my parents didn’t value me enough to have birthday parties for me as a child. So I continue to act out…..”

So in my efforts to keep the kids wholesome, and positive contributors to society… I have ridiculous parties that become so stressful that I swear never to do it again. Until the next time.

Because Charles Manson probably didn’t have any birthday parties as a kid…….just sayin’

Love Day


Valentine’s day is coming up. The day to express our depth of sentiment with chocolate hearts, roses, pretty pink fluffy things.

I asked at Sammy’s school if he could pass out his valentine’s tomorrow, and was told the school doesn’t celebrate holidays, so the teacher had to ask first.

I thought about it all during the day yesterday, what if they say he can’t?? I already promised we would get valentine’s for his friends, we debated on writing just his name on the back vs writing the name of the friend and then also his name. What kind of candy or treat will we choose? Both of us giddy to have something fun to prepare for sharing with the class.

I remember Valentine’s day in school. We prepared an old shoe box with colored paper, heart cut outs, glitter and tape, turning it into a container to hold our cards. We all got up and passed out our cards and candy to our friends, then walked home eating goodies from school.

I remember the drama when one well intentioned boy wrote “I love you” on all of his cards, probably under direction of his mother…..and the class erupted in giggles and shrieks. Some of us were secretly pleased to have a real admirer, before we realized everyone got the same message.

No more valentine’s in school?

I felt bad for Sammy, and wondered how I’m going to break it to him?? I want him to have that experience, that bit of fun and feeling special. Already planning on what we can do instead of class valentine’s if he really isn’t allowed. And why are we seriously not allowed to celebrate anything anymore??

I hate that some people get offended about everything, causing schools to stop celebrating at all.

Chill out people. Go have some Dove chocolate.

All for naught…. I was later emailed that he is allowed to bring valentines.

I will save up my pre-formulated arguments for another time. Instead, we are headed to the drugstore after school today, to debate the finer points of sponge bob over teenage mutant ninja turtles and their respective messages of love.