Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tip for Tuesday Love your Children

I did something that I can't even believe I haven't done yet. I put my ear on Leah's chest and listened to the sweet thump, thump of her heart, her beating heart, keeping her body full of happieness and life. I realized in that moment that nothing else matters, not the negativity that seems to be surrounding me lately, not the people who choose to be unhappy, not the nonsense, nothing else but the happieness and the life that God has given my 2 beautiful children. So my tip for this Tuesday is don't let other people's nonsense ruin your happieness.  Love your children, breathe them in, listen to the beat of their heart, realize how lucky you are that God chose you to be their parent.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Looking Forward- Monday Thoughts

So today I was reflecting on how much in my life I have to look forward to.  I thought about this as I had a celebration at the kitchen sink today as I dumped all of Leah's heart medications down the drain.  I am not sure what I felt at that exact moment, I do know I was fighting back the tears.  I wanted to thank God, thank Jesus, thank the doctors, and hold my baby girl close.  I was hanging onto these bottles of medicines, I am not sure why exactly.  She has been off all medications for a couple of months now, so I thought it was definitely time to get rid of them,  when something becomes such a constant in your life it is hard to let it go I guess, the constant what ifs, what if she needs the medicine, don't throw it away yet.  The words of the cardiologist were echoing in my head as I watched the orange liquid swirl down the drain, "your baby's heart is perfect, she has no restrictions, treat her like a regular baby with a regular heart now." She seems to be doing so well and I am so thrilled that all the modern medicine in our world today saved her life. Time to move ahead, looking forward to making more memories with her and not letting the negativity in my life bring me down or at least try not to.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Soups On Saturday

I made this recipe for the first time this week and it was so delicious and good for you too.

BBQ Chicken Tortilla Pizza

1 bottle of BBQ sauce whatever kind you like
1 cup of chicken stock
1-2 lbs chicken breasts no bone
Bell peppers at least 3 (orange, yellow, green or red whatever you like)
1 Large onion
Reduced Fat Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Whole Grain Tortillas

Pour chicken stock and bottle of BBQ sauce in large pot, put chicken in and cover with lid cook on medium heat until liquid boils- reduce heat to low and let simmer for 1-2 hrs.
Remove chicken and pull it apart with 2 forks
Put back into BBQ chicken stock mixture
Saute onions in olive oil move onions into a dish
Saute peppers in same pot
Put chicken, peppers, onions on Tortilla and top with cheese
Put in the oven on cookie sheet on 350 until cheese melts

Friday, January 27, 2012


So I completely missed yesterday's blog entry, I was super busy all day, so I am back today with Family and Friends Friday. I am slowly but surely becoming a sleep deprived mother again, baby girl decided that 2:30 was a good time to wake up today, so we were up until 4:45 ughhhhh. Yesterday I started looking at some old pictures and was reminiscing, some pictures made me smile, some made me really sad.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Weight Loss Wednesday

Well this weight loss thing is going okay.  I am down about 7 lbs with a LONG way to go, but I am trying to take my one day at a time theory I use with my daughter and apply it to my weight loss. I didn't gain all this weight overnight so it is not going to be gone overnight, it is going to take time and if it's half a pound or 5 pounds at least it's a loss.
I have been slacking in the exercise department, I am just so tired.  I know that if I committed to doing it everyday maybe I wouldn't be so tired.  I just have to commit to myself that I will do at least 30 minutes a day.
I am a bit intimidated by the gym, I take the ZUMBA calsses and that's about it.  The equipment, all the people who look like athletes intimidate me,  I don't even know where to start with the weight lifting equipment, they have a lot of other classes there but I haven't tried them yet.   Well I am trying, I am doing Weight Watchers online, I may sign up for the meetings as well for the extra support. We shall see what happens, but good news is I no longer have the desire to eat crap because of how awful it makes me feel.  Hopefully by this time next month I am down another 10 lbs. Wish me luck!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday Tips- Dieting, Kids, Etc!

Dieting and exercise can be daunting, it can seem like such a chore especially when you have a lot to lose.  I was reading this article this morning, that said "If the caveman didn't eat it you shouldn't eat it."  So we should be eating, fruit, vegetables, meat and nuts basically, nothing packaged, nothing in a can, only pure, fresh ingredients and I think it is true, whenever I eat this way I feel fabulous, try it I bet you will feel great.  But it is so easy to pop something in the microwave, so easy to grab a snack that is packaged, with life, responsibilities, kids, cooking, cleaning time is not something I have a lot of.
So my tip for this week is to try and eat clean for just a week.  I am going to buy myself and insulated lunch box and prepare all my snacks and meals for next week.  Wish me luck.  Oh and as for exercise, do something that is FUN or you will never stick to it. I havefound myself loving ZUMBA it is great exercise and lots of fun.

In other news, my daughter is starting her physical therapy and she is well on her way to catching up to all her little baby friends.  She is my light, she keeps me focused, she keeps me striving for better, she keeps my outlook on life clear, she's is my inspiration.   Her brother just adores her and is such a great kid, I asked him if he wanted to share a birthday party with Leah this summer and he said "Mom I don't need a big party, my sister has been through a lot she deserves to have her own party." I just love that kid. (he will definitely be having his own birthday party, just for making my heart melt) Have to start the planning, now I have 2 parties to plan.  Happy Tuesday everyone.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Methinks Monday- My Creative Past, Present, Future

I was a teacher before I had kids, I was a good teacher, a creative teacher, a teacher who went the extra step, made the extra effort, made things fun, at least I think I did.  I taught 5th grade and I absolutely loved my job, I looked forward to going to work every day. I look back on that time and I miss it, I miss being that good at something.
Do I want to go back to teaching in the classroom, probably not.  I want to be be here for my kids, I do know that I want to do something creative with my life.  I want to use my talents to do something in this world but I am  not sure that teaching is it.  I love crafts, I love to write, I love to take pictures, I love to create in the kitchen, I love being with my kids. I hope that someday I will do something that I love and look forward to each day that utilizes all my skills. Any ideas?  What do you really want to do in your life?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Can't Believe We Made it Here

It snowed yesterday, I kind of like it when it snows on the weekend, when my husband doesn't have to drive in it. It is nice to spend the day together.  My son got to play in it for a few hours with Daddy and I spent time with my little munchkin.  She is doing better and better everyday, she just amazes me, she went to the cardiologist last week and he said he didn't have to see her again for another 6 months, this was the best news ever.  He said her heart was perfect, she could be treated just like a regular baby no limitations, my husbnd and I were thrilled beyond belief leaving the doctor's office that day, so hard to believe where we are now, compared to where we are now.  I remember a very wise friend telling me, months from now you are going to wonder how the hell did I ever get through that.  We did get throught it, but we did it together as a family, we held on to each other, and never let go and here we are today.  Amazing how things happen in life, just when you think you've hit bottom there is a life preserver floating at arms length for you to grab on to, I guess if you don't lose focus, don't lose your grip you will pull through, if you lose sight of what is important you will lose, your grasp, lose your way.I am happy that I held on tight, held on to the hope that she'd be okay, because today she is better than okay, she is fabulous and if we got through heart surgery we can get through anything.  Through all of this I can not forget how wonderful my son has been through it all.  He amazes me with his strengths and talents each and everyday.  I know how hard all of this must have been for him to go through, but he was such a trooper and I am so proud of him.
We've come such a long way and there's no looking back now, onward and upward. I am looking forward to doing all the things we can as a family, together.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Beth's Turkey Chili- Soup's on Saturday

I love to cook it relaxes me, soothes me, calms me.  I like to create things that will make people happy, I am a people pleaser.  I can't wait until my daughter gets big enough to help me cook and bake in the kitchen. I make an AWSOME chili, so here is the recipe that I use. I make a big pot and I cook it in a big sauce pot or a pot you would make macaroni in.  I like to use turkey in this recipe but you can also use beef and it tastes just as delicious.

Beth's Turkey Chili

1 medium onion
1 clove of garlic
2 big can crushed tomatoes
2 cans kindney beans
1 package Ground Turkey
1 package Hot Turkey Sausage(you can use sweet if you don't want it too spicy)
1 package of chil seasoning, I use Old El Paso

1. Chop onion and garlic saute in 2 tbsp olive oil
2. Take the sausage out of the casings put in pot and break up with wooden spoon and cook until brown
3. Add ground turkey cook until brown
4.Drain and rinse kidney beans and add to pot
5. Add chili seasoning and mix until meat and beans are coated
6. Add 2 cans of crushed tomatoes
7. I usually cook on low with a top on the pot for 3-6 hrs, the longer you cook it the better it tastes.
Top with shredded cheddar and sour cream, and serve with crusty bread, YUMMMY.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friends and Family Friday- My Husband-My Family-My Friend

I had a hard time with this blog, trying to figure out what exactly to write about, Friends? Family? or both?  So I decided to write about the one person in my life who is both my friend and my family, my husband.  Kevin and I met when I was 21, just finishing up college, just out of a not so good for me reltionship and there he was.  We met in an AOL chat room, we talked on the phone for about a week and then we decided to meet.  At the time I was attending college in Manhattan, so I was thinking about where we could meet, well you couldn't get any more "public" than Manhattan so we agreed to meet in front of the Disney Store on 5th avenune, I almost chickened out, almost didn't show up. Anyway I am thankful that I did show up, he was so soft spoken, so kind, so nice.  He had never been to the city before and I could tell he was a little overwhelmed.  We went to the bookstore to get the rest of my books for that semester, and found a little diner to have lunch in, it was so nice I felt like I had known him all my life.  We hugged each other goodbye that day and made a date for the next day, from that moment on we spent every moment we could together.
He asked me to marry him on Christmas Eve 4 years later. On March 16 we got married surrounded by all our friends and family, it was a wonderful day and the best wedding I have ever been to.
Kevin is my best friend I can't imagine what my life would have been like without him, he works so hard for us and our family and I appreciate each and everything he does. He is the best father to our children and I couldn't have asked for a better man.  He plays with our son, his weekends are devoted to both kids, he is just wonderful. When we had our daughter he was my rock, my shoulder to cry on and he was there for me and I so couldn't have done it without him.  Our life has not been all daisies and roses, we have had some heartache and hardships, but through it all we have been there for each other and have loved one another. So thanks Kev for giving me a family I adore and being the friend that I need, I love you.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday- Random Acts of Kindness

"When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace." Dalai Lama

It's Thoughtful Thursday and today I would like to focus on being kind. If we all could just focus for a moment on being kind to one another, maybe there wouldn't be such hate and unhappiness in the world. Is it really that hard to just smile at someone, to say something nice, to do something nice for someone.  Be a shoulder to cry on, give someone a card or a gift that lets them know they mean something to you, that you matter to them.  It can be as simple as holding a door for someone, saying thank you, telling someone to have a nice day, it doesn't take that much time, and it could totally make someone's day.
I want to teach my children to be kind, because I feel like it is something that is lacking in our society today, it's all about me, me, me and never about what you can do for someone else.  I want other's to be kind  to my children, I want people to smile at them, I want people to treat them with the respect they deserve.  I feel like as a society people are more rude, and more obnoxious than ever.  So here is my challenge to you.  What can you do today to make someone's day?  What random act of kindness can you do that will make someone else smile?  Do it go ahead, I know you can.  Be mindful of someone else today, say hello, smile, hold the door for someone, hold the elevator, say goodmorning or have a nice day and mean it.  Just think of living in a world where everyone puts someone else's feeling before there own.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Weight Loss Wednesday-The Start

Let me start this blog by saying I have been "chubby," "heavy," since I was 5 years old, I have never known what it is like to be thin, well there was this time in college when I got thin, but I didn't see it, I still saw that chubby face staring back at me in the mirror.  Now that I look at pictures of myself during that time, I looked great, I felt great, I remember how wonderful I felt then.  I just wish I would have noticed, would have appreciated how great I looked and how wonderful I felt at the time.
Fast forward to now and 2 pregnancies later, I am ready to get serious about losing this weight once and for all.  I am tired of being the fat mom, I was teased terribly because of my weight as a child, I am convinced it is why I became so shy and sheltered, never letting anybody in. 
I want to be outgoing, happy and healthy.  I have started and failed a dozen diets, you name them I have tried them, from Slim Fast to Jenny Craig and everything in between.  It's sort of embarrassing for me to write about this, but I guess it can't hurt, there are lots of people who are in my shoes right?  Anyway so what makes it different now, what am I going to do to change my physical being?
Well I have started back at the gym slowly but surely, taking ZUMBA classes which I love.  Let me state that I do no have any kind of rhythm, so these classes are a bit challenging for me, but I try and I just keep moving.  I also ordered myself some Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds videos, it's an in home walking system since I can't get out much. So all that with eating to the Weight Watchers Points System will help me shed this weight for good. I have lots of support from my husband who is also trying to lose some weight, my son and daughter both like to watch and talk to me while I am exercising, so every little bit helps.  I will use Wednesdays to write about my weight loss challenges and hope you will be inspired and maybe learn a thing or two along with me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Tip for the Week- Happiness (you've got it, find it and use it)

My tip for Tuesday is be happy. Smile a little, turn that frown upside down and laugh.  There is saying that "Life is not a dress rehearsal," and it is so true.  We only get just one chance at living a happy life, and it is all what you make of it.  If you spend your days wallowing in self pity and surrounded by negative thoughts then you are not allowing happiness into your life.  I feel I fall into this trap often and find that I have to keep reminding myself of how great this life can be.  I know it can be hard especially when you are surrounded by negative people in your life.
All over the internet there are people who are choosing one word to describe how they want their lives to be in 2012.  I had a hard time with this because there are so many words I would choose, but if I had to just choose one I think it would be happiness.  I just want to be happy in my life, happy in my own skin, happy doing what I am doing in this moment, isn't that all any of us really want anyway, just to be happy.  I want to use this year to accomplish a lot of things, but with all of those things I must continue to count my blessings and be happy for all that has happened in my life thus far.
I guess my tip is to look at your life and realize all the wonderful things that you have to be happy about, don't sweat the small stuff and do things that make you happy. I realized that going to the gym makes me happy last night, getting there that's a whole other story but once I am there and doing something for myself it makes me happy that I am taking a little time just for me. Just being with my little family makes me so happy, we have been stuck in the house since my daughter was born so it has been very hard but I try to love all the moments I have with her. When my son comes home from school I love to sit with him and help him with his homework, because I know that soon enough he ill not want my help anymore. So my tip for today is find something you love, do something that makes you happy today.  Happy Tuesday everyone.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Methinks/Mindboggling Monday
Well I haven't been blogging everyday. So I have been trying to come up with some ideas to get me blogging everyday so I decided to dedicate each day of the week to something different to keep it interesting.  Depending on what I am feeling that week the topics may change a bit. I am also trying to spread the word about my blog because I just want to raise awareness about Down Syndrome, and to get people out to the events that help raise awareness for this disorder, so if you can spread the word and share my blog with others and get them to start following me that would be AWSOME!!! 

Methinks/Mindboggling Monday (what I am thinking or going through that week)
Tips for Tuesday (whether it's a product I like or something I think would benefit you)
Weightloss Wednesday (my neverending attempts to lose weight and get in shape)
Thoughtful Thursday (thoughts for the day, or how to do something nice for someone else)
Friends and Family Friday (I will blog about my friends and family)
Soups on Saturday (My favorite recipes)
Spontaneous Sunday (I will write about anything and everything, whatever topic comes to mind)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Down Syndrome Worry

I have thus far treated my baby girl just as that, my baby, my little girl, my happy little angel.  The Down Syndrome hasn't even really been an issue to me.  Her needing heart surgery was the hurdle we had to overcome and then we would deal with everything else.   So what is everything else you ask?  Well I am still trying to answer that question for myself.  Am I in denial that my baby has this disorder?  Some might say yes, some might say no.  For right now I just feel like she is my baby girl no different from my little boy.  I guess we have not really ventured out into the world as of yet so I don't know how the world is going to react to her and that frightens me.  I just want to keep her in my arms safe and warm forever, but I know that is not possible.  Everyone that meets her, has fallen in love with her, has been taken in by her happienss, by her bright almond eyes and her cheery smile.  She is only 5 months old and can light up a whole room, with her smile and her giggles.
I do not know what Down Syndrome has in store for us, but so far she is doing remarkable.  She is gaining weight, rolling over, cooing, laughing, holding things, doing a lot of things they said she may never do  or not do until she is much older.  She is determined, she is happy, she is sweet, she is my baby and I guess that is all that really matters.
Sometimes I sit and wonder though, am I doing enough for her, what else can I do, what else should I be doing?  Is Early Intervention enough?  Should I be doing more?  I know she is still so little, sometimes I think the more I do for her the better off she'll be.

Monday, January 9, 2012


Yearly Inflation Rate 6.5%
Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 831
Interest Rates Year End Federal Reserve 7.75%
Average Cost of new house $49,300.00
Average Income per year $15,000.00
Average Monthly Rent $240.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas 65 cents
BMW 320i $7990.00

I was born on this day in 1977,born 6 weeks early, I wasn't supposed to thrive, I wasn't supposed to make it, I wasn't supposed to live but I guess God had greater plans for me than anyone knew at that time.  Now that I think about it I wonder if it is all really true, are we put here on this earth, born so that we may in turn repay this world with some gift or purpose.  What is my purpose, was it to be a teacher for a short while, was it to be a mother to my son, was it to be a mother to my daughter., a wife to my husband.  They all need me but in different ways.  I always wonder about what is the meaning of my life, why am I on this earth and as I get older I ponder the question more and more. I was an only child, after almost losing me, they didn't want to try for another one, I guess.
I was painfully quiet and shy and my childhood was pretty lonely most of the time.  As I have grown I have realized that I am who I am and I am probably never going to change but in certain aspects of my life I would like to.  So this being my 35th birthday, I am going to look forward to this new year and whatever life is going to throw at me, I am stronger, and braver than I have ever been in my life and I finally believe that I can do anything that I put my mind to.

Friday, January 6, 2012

34 and 362 days

3 more days until I turn 35 and I realized I don't even have any plans to do something special, nor do I ever on my birthday, it's just another day right?  What do you do for your birthday? I have hinted to my husband at least 500 times since I turned 30 that I would love a birthday party( a real party, with decorations, music, dancing, food, cake, lots of people) but it usually never happens, okay well he was going to throw me one last year and I found out about it and told him not to do it. Mostly because it was so last minute, like 1 week before last minute (and I knew noone was going to come so last minute, so I didn't want to be disappointed when noone showed up), you need months to plan a good party, at least I do when I plan my son's parties, I have already started planning my daughter's first birthday. I am thinking 35 is a big year and I have been through sooo much this past year that I deserve to do something fun, since there won't be a party. But what to do?  Maybe I will go shopping, or get a haircut or out to dinner or all of the above.   I guess every year I have these big plans and big hopes but every year they never happen. I guess birthdays should be just for kids anyway.
Well since my birthday is on Monday I would have to do something this weekend, I most likely will finish organizing my craft space and stay home all weekend taking care of my lovies. I guess it is nice to just dream about doing something I normally wouldn't do.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

You Are In Holland, Welcome

There is an essay they give you when you are in the hospital and have just given birth to a baby with Down Syndrome, it's called Welcome to Holland by Emily Kingsly.  It is a beautiful essay that describes what having a special need child is like.  You plan this fabulous trip to Italy(plan to have the perfect baby) but when the plane lands the pilot announces "Welcome to Holland."(having a baby with Down Syndrome).  It's not what you wanted, not what you imagined it would be, you think you will never be able to do it, never be able to understand, but then you realize all of the wonderful things about Holland, the windmills, the tulips all so breathtaking, just like you realize what a blessing your child with Down Syndrome is.
My husband and I read this when we got home from the hospital with our daughter and it was so helpful and enlightening to us both.  Last night my husband gave me a gift, probably the most wonderful, most thoughtful gift he has ever given me.  He said it was a late Christmas gift from our daughter.  It was a windmill charm for my bracelet.

Windmill Silver Plated Style Pandora BeadsThis gift was so wonderful, so thoughtful and I will cherish it always because I am more happy and thrilled to be in "Holland" than I ever thought or imagined I would be.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Looking Forward to a Brighter Tomorrow

2011 was a cruel and blissful year all tied up in a neat little bow.  Life came to an end, life was renewed, love was regained, trust and capabilities were tested.  2011 will always be one of the years that I remember most, the year that helped me to realize the person I am, and the person I want to become. I have never been one to make resolutions, or if  I did make one, I never kept it.  Well this year it is simple for me, it just seems so effortless.  Be a better mom, be a better wife, a better daughter, a better niece, a better aunt, a better cousin, a better friend, just be a better me.  This year is 2012, I will be turning 35 in about 1 week, and I want to do all I can this year to be a better me, 365 days worth of discovering who I am and what the rest of this life has in store for me.
I carry with me the scars of years past but only as a rememberance of who I have become because of those scars and what this life will enable me to become because of the bruises and the battles I have endured.
I am humbled by 2011, only to stand my ground in 2012 and not let the bitterness, the hatred, the unhappieness of others taint my world.  I will move on to a better tomorrow, not letting in any of the negativity or misery.  I will make time for me, make time for the people I love, make time for friends, for having fun and enjoying life and all it has yet to show me. 
I will continue to watch my children grow and learn and play and love, I will submerge myself in all the good, crazy, creative, fun, things that this year will bring.  I will make a conscious effort to be silly and to play and to go away and experience things.  I will break out of my comfort zone, I will do things I have never done before.  Why is this year different?  I know for sure that my daughter has given me a new outlook, a new horizon, a new life to behold and I will not waste it, I will enjoy it and thrive on all the new experiences we have to look forward to.  So here is to a better me in 2012, may I be all that I can be, physically, emotionally, and mentally.  To 2011, thank you for humbling me, thank you for giving me my beautiful baby and showing me how to be a better mother to my children.