Updated Bucket List

sss bucket list

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week, 14 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:


Secret Subject Swap


http://www.BakingInATornado.com                          Baking In A Tornado

http://themomisodes.com                                       The Momisodes

http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/                          Spatulas on Parade

http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/                      Stacy Sews and Schools

http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com                   The Bergham’s Life Chronicles

http://www.eviljoyspeaks.wordpress.com                       Evil Joy Speaks

http://dinoheromommy.com/                                      Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

http://www.silenceofthemom.blogspot.com                    Silence of the Mom

http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com                                Climaxed

http://sparklyjenn.blogspot.com/                                  Sparkly Poetic Weirdo

http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com                           Someone Else’s Genius

http://www.crumpetsandbollocks.com                       Crumpets and Bollocks

http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/                        Confessions of a part-time working mom

http://www.smalltalkmama.com                            Small Talk Mama


My subject is “What is on your bucket list, and why?” It was submitted by:  http://www.silenceofthemom.blogspot.com


About a year ago I did a bucket list post for Finish the Sentence Friday, you can find it here.bucket list

So, instead of reinventing the wheel, I’m going to update the list…cross off things I did, delete things I changed my mind about, and add new things.

1. I want to visit Italy with my hubby. YES, STILL WANT TO DO THIS

2. Learn how to change a tire. YES, STILL WANT TO DO THIS. 

3. Get a tattoo of Dinosaur’s birthday on my shoulder. I DID get a tattoo of our fur baby, balboa, who passed this summer. I STILL plan on getting a dinosaur and his name, Anthony, on my arm. 

Dear Balboa Post

PicMonkey Collage  1002141051a

4. Learn Italian so that if I ever go to Italy I will understand some of the language. YES STILL WANT TO DO THIS. 

5. Go sky diving from a plane. NOPE, this was one of my jokes. I will NEVER do this.  

6. Crochet a poncho for myself and all of Dino’s hats and fall jackets…at least for a few years. While I have crocheted MANY things, I have not crochet any jackets for Dino. He DOES love the blanket I made him though. 

crochet collage

7. Eat more (not ALL) vegetarian meals and even buy organic foods if I can afford to do so. I have gone completely organic and NON-GMO. While it is expensive, I see differences in our health and feel better about what we are eating. 

8. Go for laser hair removal, you ladies know what I’m talking about right? YES, STILL WANT TO DO THIS…one day when I have spending money. 

9. Travel to every state in the US and get a picture participating/next to what that state is known for. YES, STILL WANT TO DO THIS. 

10. Buy Dino an iPad, that will be all his. He has a Kindle Fire right now and that seems to be good enough. He can use our computers for ABC Mouse, so we’ll hold off on that iPad. 

11. Swim with the dolphins. While dolphins are majestic and amazing animals, I don’t want to be in ocean with them. 

12. Win the lottery and buy a house with three bedrooms, and eat-in-kitchen, and a pool. YES, STILL WANT TO DO THIS. 

13. Watch Dino graduate with honors from college. YES, THIS WILL HAPPEN…or graduate from a technical school and open his own successful business….AS LONG AS HE’S HAPPY! 

14. Dance with Dino at his wedding….and hold his MANY children… YES, THIS WILL HAPPEN. 

15. Have Jackson Rathbone serenade me while I get a full-body massage. YES, THIS WILL HAPPEN…even if it’s in my dreams

16. Learn Karate…that would be cool While I haven’t learned karate, Dino has and now has an orange belt! GO DINO! 

17. Learn how to pole dance. YES, STILL WANT TO DO THIS. 

18. Get to my ideal weight and still LOVE to eat. , NO…who cares about what I weigh???? It’s all about being strong! I can squat 115 pounds. I have gone down three dress sizes. I recently put on dresses that I couldn’t even get on months ago…now I look smoking hot in them. BESIDES…I DO EAT LOTS OF FOOD…but it’s all real food, no chemicals in this house. It’s not about eating less, it’s about eating right. 

19. Just once ride on a roller coaster with hubby NOPE, this was one of my jokes. I will NEVER do this.

20. Run a marathon. I DID want to do the TriAtholon…but don’t think I’ll have the time to train…maybe I’ll change my mind.     


Boy, Was I Wrong


FTSF collage

Janine's Confessions of A Mommyaholic


When I was a kid, I really believed that…

I could do whatever I wanted. 

I knew it all, didn’t we all as kids? I gave my parents hell as I told them numerous times all the things I was going to do as an adult. I was going to…

  • eat what I wanted
  • dress how I wanted
  • work where I wanted
  • stay up as late as I wanted
  • make my own rules
  • stay out as late as I wanted
  • drive where I wanted

Then reality hit

I was not in charge, I had TONS of responsibilities.

  • going to college to earn degrees
  • applying for jobs
  • going on interviews
  • working all day
  • planning lessons all night
  • going to bed early
  • waking up early
  • cleaning my house
  • cooking food

Sure I had money…but that money needs to go for rent/mortgage, food, bills, clothes, and gas. Yup…I could do what I wanted…but I would not like the results.

Then as a parent I had to do all this and care for another human being…OH BOY!  This little human thinks he’s the one in charge and slowly I’m turning into my parents. One day he’ll tell me he’s going to do all these cool things when he’s an adult and I just may laugh in his…then call my parents and apologize for putting them through that.


I also believed I would NEVER get any tattoos…well after our furbaby passed I knew I needed a tattoo to keep him with me forever. I got the tatto on the side of my calf, right about Balboa’s height. Please ignore the hair, you can’t shave a new tattoo for about two weeks. 

tattooo better

So at the age of 38 I got my first tattoo! Now of course I have to get one on my arm for Dino. I’m thinking his name with a cute dinosaur under it. Perhaps closer to Christmas break, so I have those two weeks to heal at home.

What did you think when you were a kid?
Do you still believe the same things? Or has age/time changed your mind?


What is one thing you would never compromise?

A Recent Challenge???

SSS collage (2)

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week, 14 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Secret Subject Swap
Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:


Baking In A Tornado

The Momisodes

Spatulas on Parade

Confessions of a part-time working mom

Juicebox Confession

Evil Joy Speaks

Sparkly Poetic Weirdo

Follow me home . . .

Someone Else’s Genius

Crumpets and Bollocks

Stacy Sews and Schools


The Bergham’s Life Chronicles

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy


Tell me about a recent challenge you experienced. How did you learn and grow from it?

It was submitted by: http://www.JuiceboxConfession.com

I’ve been sitting here trying to think of what to write…I am truly at a loss this time. I know I have faced challenges currently and in the past, but just can’t think or write about any of them.

All I can think about is our Balboa, who we recently lost. I knew there would be a day this would happen…but never expected it so soon. He was my baby before I thought I could have a child. He refused to believe he was a dog, he thought he was our baby…and he knew we were his parents. It’s going to take a long time for us to stop crying and accept that he is gone. Perhaps one day we will adopt another dog, perhaps when we won’t compare him/her to Balboa, because that’s not fair.

PicMonkey Collage

We were in Florida just last week. It was a wonderful trip for our son. Hubby and I went with my parents, but it was bittersweet as our sick Balboa was boarding at the vet. We DID have a good time, Dino got to experience and remember Disney…last time he was just one years old.

We sure did luck out, it was cloudy and rainy. How is that lucky? Disney is flipping hot with little cover from the sun. So having rain and clouds make the heat somewhat tolerable.

Dino got on quite a bit of rides and got to see the parade. He loved every minute of his time in Disney. He also got to see family in Florida…he was so happy to see all his cousins.

See? Bittersweet vacation, while we had a great time we knew Balboa was sick, then it turned out he was sicker than we originally thought.

I think we will always remember our Disney trip as the one where we lost Balboa.

PicMonkey Collage

The challenge is…

  • getting back into our routine without Balboa
  • dealing with never kissing him goodbye each time we leave
  • never getting welcomed home with snorting love and kisses
  • never worrying about how long we’ll be gone or when to get home to take him out
  • passing by the pet isles knowing I don’t need to buy anything
  • getting used to the silence…no grunts, snorts, or slobbers
  • helping Dino understand that Mommy and Daddy are not dying
  • helping Dino understand that Balboa is happy and pain free in heaven with all the other angel dogs
  • helping Dino understand that while Balboa may visit us or send signs, he is not coming back to life or going to scare us as a ghost
  • not having a dog to alert me to noises and people on my property (even though he would probably play with anyone…I felt safe knowing he was always aware of any sounds or people)
  • making a peanut butter sandwich or apple with peanut butter and not having to give Balboa some in his chew chew
  • not having to share my food every time I eat
  • dealing with a hole in our hearts and an emptiness in our house


I am trying to figure out how to learn and grow from this. One day we’ll be doggie parents again. Right now we will never get another French Bulldog, because Balboa was beyond exceptional…no other Frenchie could compare and we would always hold them up to Balboa’s standards.

We will adopt a doggie in the future…a young dog, who needs love and would be okay with a wild and loud boy. We will adopt a doggie, who needs a forever home and wants to be loved, spoiled, and treated like a member of the family. We will adopt a doggie who will always have a Frenchie guardian angel.


Dear Balboa

There will be no reading post today…in light of our dog, Balboa’s passing. Instead I will be writing a letter to our sweet boy.

PicMonkey Collage

Dear Balboa,

I love you dearly, you were our baby long before having a child was even possible. I spoiled you from the beginning and I never regretted it.

I remember when Daddy first brought you home, you were so tiny and scared. I refused to leave you in the kitchen alone, you had to be in my bed with me. You immediately held onto my arm as you slept. You KNEW I was your Mommy.

Everyone fell in love with you, how could they not? You were cute, sweet, cuddly, and loved to give kisses. You did not like being a dog, you knew in your heart you were our furry child.

Even when we brought Anthony home and too often you had to wait for affection, you still loved us. You loved to play tug with Anthony and would happily chase after toys we threw.

You loved when Daddy would rub your belly, the joy was all over your face.

You loved your kisses and hugs.

You loved to sit in the sun’s rays, sorry you missed that when we moved to our small apartment.

You loved to lick the sweat off Daddy’s legs.

Anytime someone got off the couch, you immediately took their spot to not only feel the warmth, but to show you could do whatever you wanted.

Even though you peed on Anthony’s bed a few times, we still deeply love you.

You loved to press your body against ours at night, truly cuddling with us. If you were lucky you got between our legs making it impossible for us to move at all.

Whether we were gone for twenty minutes or six hours, you welcomed us home with love and joy.

Tearing apart boxes brought you so much joy, of course we had to clean up the mess.

Even toys labeled as indestructible, were no match for you. If it had a soft inside, it ended up in your tummy.

The vet said you had the best teeth. I knew the “chew chews” bones filled with peanut butter would benefit your pearly whites.

A flashlight on the walls drove you mad, you just wanted to eat it.

We loved your enthusiasm for peanut butter and cheese…heck, you’d eat anything. We loved how you tried to protect us from all those crazy leaves…what a brave dog.

You loved Anthony’s giggles when you’d kiss him over and over.

I am sorry I didn’t pay better attention to your symptoms…I wish I hadn’t chalked up your extra grunts and snorts as you just being you… You weren’t having seizures, your body was in pain because of your megaesaphagus. I wish the neurologist had taken the time to look a little closer. I wish you were still here, running, snorting, jumping, licking, talking, and cuddling with us.

I’m sorry that we were in Florida when your body took a turn for the worse. I’m sorry that it would be too painful for you to wait for us to get back home. I wanted to hold you in my arms as you started your journey to heaven with God. While I’m glad that you had wonderful nurses and doctors to love you as you fell asleep, I wish it was me that held you. I’m sorry that I was not there when you needed me the most. For that I will always feel guilty.

We will always love you and miss you, our hearts will have a small hole just for you…one day we will meet again and play with and cuddle with…I can’t wait to kiss you again my sweet boy.

For now run free my sweet boy. Run, jump, snort, sneeze, snort, talk, chase those leaves, sniff other dogs, eat all the cheese and peanut butter you want, cuddle and feel safe in God’s arms. I know you will watch over us and I am so thankful we have you as our guardian angel dog.

Love Always Mommy, Daddy, and Anthony

new home new home3 new home1

belly rub 2 me and mommy  tanning 3



posing with Carol and Ray ~ April '06 100_3777 j and p

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almost last

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Our Healthy Meal Plan

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  • DID NOT PLAN AT ALL…between Anthony’s karate test and Balboa getting sick and needing to see a neurologist I just figured out each day as we go.


thurs karate collage

Dino was so proud to earn his yellow belt. Since this test was at 5:30, we ate pizza in the parking lot of the karate dojo. Dino loves his karate classes. Hopefully he will continue to be successful and learn more than just karate, he will learn how to be respectful and gentle.

fri balboa collage

We spent from 10 am to 6:30 pm in the vet office just to see a neurologist. It was worth the time (and money) though. Balboa does not have a brain tumor, he does have increased white blood cells, but not enough to be alarmed. Right now he is to continue his meds unless his seizures gets worse…then onto to steroids instead.

Thanks Mom and Dad for staying with me…

sat burgers


sun mon collage


tues dnner collAGE


wed collagewed flowers collage


Dino loves watering my herbs, tomatoes, and lettuce. Even better he loves helping with the compost bin and looks forward to dumping leftovers in the bin and shaking it up.


Yes, buying organic/NON-GMO is expensive. Until there is a big change in food production and what consumers buy, healthy choices will always be more expensive. If you want to start small with organic…here are some great tips.

How to eat organic on a budgetPractical ways to eat well when you can’t afford organic.  Dear Mom who can’t afford organic.


Products that participate in and are NON-GMO can be found here





      Mini Van Dreams


Thirteen Years

Thirteen years of marriage, love, fights, memories, and dreams…

PicMonkey Collage

13 years of marriage. 13 years! Wow! How fast time flies…. In all those years we have experienced.

  • owning a condo
  • becoming dog parents
  • dealing with 6 years of infertility 
  • becoming parents
  • losing a job
  • losing our condo
  • moving into an apartment
  • starting over 
  • planning birthday parties for our son
  • letting go of old dreams
  • creating new dreams
  • dealing with loss and grief
  • opening up to love and hope
  • laughing at old memories
  • creating new memories

we’ve been a lot of ups and downs in the past thirteen years. Some times were tough, but in comparison I think we are pretty lucky.

We have changed over the years, but through it all we are still here and happy.

 linking up with

Mommy Monday Blog Hop


Parenting Do Over

listicles 3-31 collage

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This week’s list is from Cathy @ETNHome
0 Things you would do over as a parent


1. Don’t breast feed:  I had five infections in two months. Dino was/is allergic to dairy. I should have just stuck to the special formula. Sure it would have cost more money, but I would have had no guilt and lost precious time with my son. 

2. Use cloth diapers. Okay, even though I didn’t have a washing machine in my condo, I am sure there were places that I could have used. I am sure I could have found service that picks up dirty ones and delivers dirty ones. It would probably would have been cheaper than all the money we have spent on diapers and wipes. 

3. NO MORE ADVICE: I should have let those with unsolicited advice know, under no uncertain terms, that their advice and opinions are NOT needed or wanted. Now I am NOT talking about the kind and good-hearted advice. I am talking about the advice that is meant to judge, hurt, embarrass, or criticize you.

4. Let my husband help: I should have let my husband help in HIS way instead of making him do it my way. Sure there were some things he needed to understand, but most of the time it all turned out fine and I could have used the break. I mean so what if he put the onsie on over the pants, at least he dressed our son so I could take a shower and rest in peace. 

5. Date Nights: I should have set up monthly date nights, even if we didn’t have money. We could have found ways to go out and enjoy each other and strengthen our marriage.

6: House Cleaner: I should have hired a bi-weekly house cleaning service –  I thought doing that would say that I was not organized, messy, or not a good enough mom and wife. But in reality I don’t need anyone’s opinions. I’m a mom who works full time. After I come home from work, my teaching job doesn’t end, I have reports to write and lessons to plan.


7. Think before I react: I would have taken a second before I react to Dino’s behavior or words

8. Have another: IF we had time, money, and a guarantee that our last round of IVF would work…we would have had another kid so Dino could have a sibling. Though we are VERY happy with our son. He is a great kid with good manners. 

9. A different time: I wish Dino was brought up in a time similar to the time I was brought up. He could walk to school, not worry about who has the best cellphones or laptops, and no cyber bullying. It was a safer time when I was growing up, now there are too many dangers out there. 

10. Approval NOT needed: I wish I had used the line “Do I look like I need your approval?” when given unsolicited advice or complaints 

 linking up with

Mommy Monday Blog Hop


Dino Reads the Alphabet

It’s Wednesday and time for the Kid Lit Blog Hop and my story. 

As you know I love reading books. I love to read in bed, read in the living room, read to my animals, and read to Mommy. Now even Balboa joins us on the bed as we read at night. Reading is fun and I love to show all that I know now that I am a big boy.

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In daycare we recently had fun learning about Dr. Seuss and I got to bring in one of his books. I read this with Mommy at home, so I know what’s on every page.

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I can sing the alphabet, but forget which letters are which when I look at them. Mommy says soon I will learn to read the letters and even words in books.  I can pick out all my numbers though and am learning to count and add.  

I am learning so much at daycare and Mommy gives me work to do at home. Its always fun work and I am doing a great job. She prints them out from EdHelper.com I think it’s a teacher site. Mommy always finds the best things for me.  

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 What resources do you find are the best for additional work for kids? 

linking up with…

Kid Lit Blog Hop

Nighttime Routine

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This week’s Listicles is 10 Traditions by Christine 

As I sat here Sunday night trying to think of what to write, I thought about writing ten things that we do for Dino’s Bedtime Routine would be perfect. I try to put him in bed for books about 7:50 and ready for sleep about 8:20. He gets up around 5:30 every morning but knows to stay in bed till 6 am. I wish I could get him to sleep later. 

10. Cleaning up after dinner – Dino is good about helping me clean up after dinner

9. Getting lunches ready for the next day – sometimes Dino likes to help me do this


8. Playing for a bit and watching TV – always find a great new thing to watch on Netflix

listicles2 Collage

7. Taking a bath/shower – we alternate between baths, quick showers, or just cleaning off with a washcloth. It’s a great way to alternate and save water. 

6. Getting clothes ready for the next day – Getting both our clothes ready saves so much time in the morning


5. Playing some more – usually a way to exercise or release all that crazy energy

4. Cleaning up – always better to clean after he took a bath…feels like nighttime isn’t a rush

3. Brush teeth and go to the bathroom – Dino is so good about this and loves his light up spider-man toothbrush

2. Reading 3 books, 2 if we go to bed a bit later. Though going to b bed too late means the chance of waking up with a night terror

listicles Collage

1. Rubbing Dino’s back, talking about our day, and what tomorrow will bring

 What are some traditions you follow? 


linking up with

Mommy Monday Blog Hop


What’s in a Name?

name CollageThis weeks Listicles was chosen by Coletta

10 Names You Would Have Named Yourself

I think I wrote about this before. I just can’t change my name…it’s who I am and what makes me, ME. I had a difficult time coming up with a list. First I was going to write all the names Dino and Hubby call me. Then I thought of a list of titles that I should be called. I just couldn’t finish either list.

So I decided to go with nicknames we have for Dino and Balboa.


Big Boy Little Man – I called Dino this when he was in the NICU and until he was about a year old. 

Dinosaur – Obviously at a young age he would roar like a dinosaur. I still don’t know how he doesn’t have a sore throat at the end of the day.

Fart Pod – Hubby calls Dino this because of his loud and smelly farts. Who knew a little guy could fart that loud.

Buddy – Also a Hubby nickname for Dino, they are buddies.

Dude – my nickname for Dino when he is being silly.

Stinky – Yes, I call my son stinky. Why? When he hugs me just to fart on me…yeah…He’s stinky. . 


Boobalas – Where did I get this? I am not sure, it just started one day and he answers to this as well.

Cuddle Bug – a vet called him that and it stuck, he really is a cuddle bug. Though now he just pushes his butt against you so you can rub it.

Love Bug – I swear he wants to be friends with everyone and will love you forever if you scratch is butt, behind his ears, or his belly.

Pippick – Hubby heard this nickname from a former co-worker and he LOVES it as a nickname for Balboa. .

 What nicknames do you have for your kid(s) / pet(s)?

 Linking up with

Mommy Monday Blog Hop