I Keep Going

city-people-walking-blurI haven’t participated in a while and thought its about time I contributed.


hosted by Kristi and Michelle (who thought of today’s sentence)

After a hard day’s work…I keep going. 

Yes, it never ends…not even when I put my head down on my pillow to sleep. My mind keeps spinning a list of all the things I must do the next day, and the day after, and so on…

It all begins with me leaving for work about 6:40 in the morning and starting my 70 mile round trip commute. As an itinerant reading specialist, I often travel to various schools.   It’s a long drive, but at least I can listen books on tape and try to enjoy the ride.

When I finally arrive in my town, I can’t go home.

Why? Well we live on a main road and next to stop sign. The traffic going to the stop sign is horrendous from three to well after five, just when I need to get my son. If I go home for a bit, then try to leave again, chances are it will take some time to get back out. The wait often turns into ten or fifteen minutes. Other drivers, even thought they aren’t moving, will inch up and refuse to let me go…it’s really sad. Let me say there are some sweet people out there who will let you go…thank you!!!!

Therefore I choose to either stay a bit later at work and then drive to my son’s daycare to pick him up. Other times I pick up a few items for the local health food store or stop by the library to get the latest book I put on hold.

“Hold on…didn’t you say your kid was in kindergarten?”

Yes he is, but I don’t make it back in time to pick up him. I don’t want to say I will get him and then not make it back in time. Instead I like knowing the daycare picks him up and brings him back there. It’s a great way for him to decompress after being in school all day.

Once I get him then get home a little after 5 pm, the craziness begins. All within in a few hours I have to…

  • empty out his lunch bag and clean it
  • empty out my lunch bag and clean it
  • make lunch and snacks for him
  • make my lunch and snacks
  • see what he has in his backpack
  • get out of my clothes and into panamas…after being in my clothes since 6 am I want out!
  • make side dishes to go with the (hopefully already prepared the night before) main dish
  • go over his homework and read books
  • get my clothes ready for tomorrow
  • try to put away growing pile of clothes on laundry rack
  • wash and dry clothes and towels
  • get his clothes ready for tomorrow
  • cook a main course for the next night
  • compromise and argue about cleaning up and getting ready for bed
  • getting him cleaned and ready for bed
  • cleaning up the living room
  • getting his teeth brushed in bed
  • reading a book or two
  • rubbing his back and having some special cuddle time

This does not include the days I have late meetings, when I take him to karate (and get home even later), or the time I spend on lesson planning.

By the time I get to bed, I lay down and fall right to sleep, only to wake back up because my brain is going a mile a minute.

So after a hard day’s work, I come home and work some more. At least I can work in my pajamas.

How would you finish the sentence, After a hard day’s work…

Epic Fail OR Epic Win

fail win

Finish the Sentence Friday hosts:

Kristi Finding Ninee
April 100 Lb Countdown
llie The Latchkey Mom


Whenever I hear the term “Epic Fail,” I think of the time…

I failed at organizing.

I tried to create an organizing blog hop. I tried to clean and organize. I tried to do it all, but I FAILED.

It’s okay that I failed. Who says we should it all? What is doing it all really mean? Why is it a goal for moms?  I rather fail at “doing it all” than fail at being a mom that my son thinks is awesome…like the Lego Movie which I LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Since I work full-time and commute an hour each way I have little time as it is. I decided to hire a cleaning lady to come every other week-that’s all I could afford right now. It makes a HUGE difference. I love coming home to a clean home. I love knowing that I only have to do touch-up cleaning in between… By having a cleaning lady I now have more time to prepare real-food meals, spend time with my son, and go to the gym.

Such a treat coming home to clean place. So did I really fail or win? 

PicMonkey Collage



Since I’m in a sharing mood, I also failed with Dino’s lunches. You know I am all about real food. I can’t stand Monsanto treating us like science experiments. I can’t stand that the FDA has their pockets lined with companies and doesn’t really care about what’s healthy.

I used to pack Dino lunches to take to school, most of the time they were sandwiches, but at least they were organic bread, meats, cheeses, snacks, fruits, and veggies. All of a sudden he started coming home with his lunch box full and ordering lunch at school. Yes I put money on his lunch account. Why? I didn’t want him to be without food just in case of an emergency.

Now he only gets lunch from school…though it’s not really lunch. As far as I am concerned it’s all experiments created in a lab, frozen and shipped long distances. The “food” doesn’t spoil because it’s not really food. He wants to eat it, because everyone else is eating it. Sure they serve veggies and fruits…but they are canned, jarred, and sugary..not real or fresh.

But what can I do? I can’t force him. At least he eats real food at home….just check out all our real food meals HERE.

The only positive in this is that I don’t have to make his lunch the night before…which is sweet. I offer to give him leftovers in a Thermos, but he wants none of it. I do pack his snacks with a juice and water. Perhaps one day he will change his mind and opt for real food lunches.

What was your epic fail? Was it really an fail or a win? 

Finding Courage for my Dinosaur


FTSF collage courage

Finish the Sentence Friday hosts:

Kristi Finding Ninee
Trana Sand in My Toes
Viday VidaySuray


“I never had the courage to

well, the darn list is too long.

I happily admit I’m scared of a bunch of things…

I never had the courage to (and never want to) go sky diving or jump off a cliff. I hear it’s a great adrenaline rush or thrill. That’s fine, you keep doing it and I’ll stay safely on the ground.

I never had the courage to (and never want to) touch a spider. I heard that if you conquer your fears they will be gone. My answer is a big, fat NOPE!

I never had the courage to (and never want to) go on a roller coaster. I’m too scared of heights, being thrown around, and being upside down. I LOVE the fact that my son is not scared of heights or roller coasters and will gladly go on them a hundred times…good for him…and hubby who goes with him. I’ll share in their joy from the ground.


I DID have the courage to fight for my son. It’s been a long battle since before he was born…

With all the fertility treatments, injections, hormones just to get my body to work and hold onto, nourish, and carry a baby.

With knowing there was something wrong with my pregnancy, even though everyone and their mother told me…”It was fine.”, “This is what I wanted.”, and “Man up.”


With being diagnosed too late with preeclampsia (with a terrible doctor and should have switched to another doctor) and having my son in the NICU. I grieved for the birth I would never have and the loss at not being able to see and hold my son when I wanted. I often felt like a criminal being buzzed in just to hold my little man.


With trying to breast feed my little man and him not latching on. In the midst of trying for two months, I got numerous infections and somehow had to let go of the guilt, heal, and become a healthy mom to care for my son.

With knowing he DID NOT have allergies and need to go on Allegra at almost two years old, but rather he was allergic to dairy milk and taking him off of it made a huge difference in all our lives. If I had known then what I know now, I would have skipped the cow’s milk and let him drink coconut, rice, and almond milk…so much safer and healthier.

With knowing he had speech delays and fighting to get services, which he eventually received and what a difference it made.


With having years of PPT meetings and not getting help for his sensory issues. Since he was not yet in the school system they didn’t seem to care or want to help. Now he is in kindergarten and officially in the school system. His kindergarten teacher was able to provide enough evidence that he needed more help than she can give him. We had our meeting and low and behind he is getting the service he needs. While he does not qualify for an IEP since he does not have a learning disability, he does qualify for a 504. What is a 504? It means that he has an impairment that requires accommodations for him to be successful in school. His accommodations will include a variety of efforts and manipulatives as well as occupational therapy twice a week for visual processing delays, fine motor delays, and sensory delays.


I wanted to jump up hug each member of the team, I just about cried from joy and relief. Finally my son is getting the support he needs. The 504 will last a year, so when he returns to school in September as a first grader, his OT services will continue. Next December we will all meet again to discuss his current progress, goals, achievements, and delays.

As a reading specialist I often worry, since I work with students who have such learning disabilities, that he has dyslexia or ADD. I know he’s only five and it’s too early to identify this, but it plays a role in my worries. Maybe one day he will qualify for an IEP or perhaps the OT can help my son overcome his delays and he will no longer need service, consultations, and manipulative

What do your don’t you have the courage to do? What have you overcome or are trying to overcome?

I Woudn’t Watch It Either

FTSF collage reality


Finish the Sentence Friday hosts:

Kristi Finding Ninee
100 Lb Countdown
Michelle Crumpetsandbollocks


 If they made a reality show about my life, it would be called

I have no flipping idea. 

I hate reality TV, because it’s not reality in the least bit. It’s all scripted and fluffed up. It’s edited and made to look one way or another. Alas Finish the Sentence Friday calls for an answer, right?

Now, don’t think I’m judging those who watch reality TV. I’m truly and sadly hooked on many dramas and comedies…which sometimes suck out your brains. I love Parenthood, Scandal, Sleepy Hollow, Law and Order SVU, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Mysteries of Laura, Bones, How to Get Away with Murder, and Bad Judge.

As I thought, wrote, deleted, rewrote and deleted again I finally came up with an answer. I just have too many choices.


Eating NON-GMO: watch me on shopping trips as I look for, buy, and cook real food meals. Wait with baited breath to see if Hubby will like the dinner, eat some of it, or outright refuse…Dino eats almost all the food I make. You can check out my attempts at cooking and eating real food here.

FTSF collage reality

Can You be Serious for One Minute?: Watch as I go mad as Dino and Daddy, who are just too similar, are silly and crazy as I try to get things done. I swear Hubby is a big kid and Dino follows in his footsteps I love having fun, but there is a time to be serious. Wanted to get a pic of hubby making his infamous “I messed up face”, which Dino has perfected…but I kept forgetting…sorry. Next time though.

silly collage

Commuting: Watch as I drive to work and listen to books on tape. You WILL be entertained by my reactions. I scream, cry, shout, curse, tell the characters what to do or revel in their deserved misery. Plus you get to watch me stuff my face. You can check out my book reviews here.

FTSF collage reality

Snow Day Survival: This one would be insane, watch us survive being trapped in a TINY apartment for two days or longer. Who will go mad first? Seriously, our 950 square foot apartment is not big at all. I normally LOVE the cozy space, EXCEPT when we are trapped in by snow. Thank goodness we live within walking distance to a few restaurants, or I’d be taken away in a white coat.


So, which one of these shows would you sign on to watch, talk about with your friends, host weekly viewing parties as you guessed what would happen next?


Don’t worry, I wouldn’t either. 


Driving on Ice


FTSF collage ice


Finish the Sentence Friday hosts:

Kristi Finding Ninee
Jennifer Dancing in the Rain
Lisa The Golden Spoons


“I thought I was going to die when

we had to drive home in an ice storm

Last Christmas Eve, we spent it at my sister and brother-in-law’s house. We knew it was going to snow, but it was supposed to be a dusting. Hubby made the smart decision to drive us in his Jeep, just in case, even though a dusting was nothing. Boy were we wrong. It turned out to be more than that a dusting. It was an ice storm. I was terrified, heck even hubby who remains calm in these situations freaked out. Why did we drive on the highway? Well we didn’t realize how truly bad it was until we got on the highway, then we were done for.

We The highways were at a standstill as cars couldn’t drive on ice. There were accidents everywhere-some we saw the after affects and others we witnessed. Thankfully Dino slept through most of it. What was supposed to be a 40 min trip took 90 minutes. He woke up after an hour restless and cranky wanting to be home. I am sure he could see and feel how nervous we were and began to act out. I prayed to God that we did not get hit. Then I prayed to God if we did get hit, it would be only a tap and we could continue driving.

Hubby took the side roads knowing the highway would be a terrible mistake for us to stay on. Once again his decision was spot on. While the side roads were bad, very little people were on them, which made getting home a safer option. We didn’t have to worry about getting hit.

We somehow made it back to our town, but cars were stuck everywhere. I held on to the handle as Hubby nearly missed cars swerving all over, even trucks with four wheel drive were swerving and sliding on ice. I began praying to God again, pleading we would survive on impact, that Dino would be okay. Thankfully we made it home. After letting my parents and sister know we were safe, I read the town tweets and realized just how dangerous this storm was. I truly believe my Grandma was in that car with us keeping us safe.

What a way to end a Christmas Eve celebration. We sure were thankful to be alive and safe at home the next morning!

xmas pic

 Have you ever been so scared for your life?  

Dad’s Best Advice


FTSF collage dad advice


Finish the Sentence Friday hosts:

Kristi Finding Ninee
Stephanie Mommy for Real
Michelle Crumpets and Bollocks
Ruchira Abracadabra

FTSF collage dad advice


“My father’s best advice was…”


Yes, there is no end to that sentence. Why? Because my father’s best advice was NOT what he said, but what he did. He worked nights and evenings and would often come home in the morning before we all left for school. He would forgo sleep and make sure we had everything we needed, and either bring my mom to work or my sister and I to school. Even after we were all gone, I am sure he didn’t sleep right away. He cleaned, did chores, and laundry. No, not because he had to, but that is what he thought a husband and dad should do.

When those chores were done, he would be available to pick us up or be there for an emergency. I can’t tell you how many times he drove me to interviews while in high school or when I was applying teaching jobs The Bronx and had no idea where I was going. He was there when my sister and I had car trouble or needed help. He was there when my purse was stolen in high school. He was there when I swore Dino stopped kicking in my belly-of course it was a silly first time mommy’s nerves.

He was there when Dino was sick and Tony and I had to work, or when I had to rush Dino to the ER for an ear infection. He is there to come up early to bring Dino to school when Tony has to go to work early. He was there showing my sister and I what a Dad is supposed to do for his kids. Now he is there showing Dino what a grandpa is supposed to do for his grand kid.

My father’s best advice was in all the amazing things he did!

father advice6

father advice8

 father advice3  father advice7father advice

 What was your father’s best advice?  

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?

Knowing My Limits



Janine's Confessions of A Mommyaholic


“The one thing I’ll never compromise on is…”

Knowing My Limits

FTSF collage (3) (1)

I know MANY, MANY, MANY moons ago I posted about organization and a cleaning routine. Heck I was even a Flybaby at one time too…but I was also overweight, not sleeping, stressed, and not exercising.

Everything was piling on my shoulders and I thought I could do it all, but I was wrong.

Then inspired by a friend on Facebook, Carlin, who lost weight, I started making changes.

  • eating and cooking healthy, organic foods
  • exercising almost daily
  • keeping to a blogging schedule
  • feeling stronger and healthier
  • having more energy and time to play with my son

But where does cleaning and organizing fit in? It doesn’t. My other friend Cathy and I were texting. In reference to my getting in shape and strength training, she asked how I do it all. I responded with “I don’t. I haven’t cleaned in God knows how long.”

There is only so much time and so much one person can do. Sure some moms can get it all done and more power to them. I can’t and that is okay. NO MORE GUILT was a previous post and I still stand by it. So what will happen if I don’t clean and organize. Well, I still need to organize, but as for cleaning.



I decided to hire Molly Maids.

They will come twice a month starting in September. I’ll be home this summer, so I have no excuses with Dino in summer camp three days a week. If I wasn’t working, I wouldn’t/couldn’t’ afford it, but to keep my sanity in check this needs to be done. I don’t feel guilty about not doing it all. There are those out there that feel moms should NOT have time to themselves, their wholes lives are for their kids. To that I respond…What are you teaching your kids? That you as a mom are not worth a life? That you are only there to serve them? That once they too become parents they will have to give up any life they once had to be there 100% for their kids.


My son knows I work hard. My son knows I NEED to have time with my friends. I need to blog to create and receive inspiration. I need to exercise to keep healthy. I need to read to fuel my mind. I am a human, just like him, and need to nurture myself as much as I nurture him.


Paying forMolly Maidswill bring peace of mind and more time. To me it’s worth the price, which isn’t that bad. The first cleaning will be the most expensive since they have to start from scratch and it may take up to three hours, but after that it’s a set price each visit. 

They will

  • vacuum every inch of our apt including under and in the couches
  • dust from the fans to the floor boards
  • clean the kitchen, including inside the cabinets 
  • clean the bathroom, including the toilet and tub
  • clean all the window sills and blinds

Now I know I still have to keep it tidy, so they can do their job. I don’t want to pay more for them to clean up after us, but having a clean place will make me want to keep up the cleanliness. Knowing that I can spend more time with Dino and do the things I want to do makes it all worth it. Granted, I don’t like the idea of them being in my house, but they are a well-known company that is used often and has great reviews.


Here are some questions that have been asked or might be asked…..

Hubby suggested I don’t write this because some people might read it and give them more ammo to talk about me or judge me. 

Once again, I am doing this for myself and for my sanity. I have a new attitude, I don’t give a f&ck. People are going to talk about me and judge, so I’m going to do what’s best for me. I am so tired of it all…so I am choosing to be happy and let them live in negativity.

I’m not going to change my blog for those who are going to pick it apart. I write my blog for me, to create memories for my son, to express myself, and to connect with other moms just like me.

I was asked why I still can’t do my fly lady routine in the morning before work and at night???

I don’t leave the bathroom a pig sty in the morning, but I have to get up at 5 to have enough time to get ready, eat, and leave. I have a long commute to work, it’s not like I can sleep till 7 and drive 15 minutes to work. If I continued doing the routine I would have to get up at 4 just to get it all done…hence no sleep. I can no longer stay up late, I am ready to crash as soon as Dino goes to bed. I try to do as much as I can while we are both up. It would be wonderful to do my work while Dino is doing his homework. Staying up late is a torture I don’t want to endure as long as I work and have a son who wakes up at 6 am, or earlier.

Sue down the street works all day, has three kids, and still keeps her house clean.

Well that’s great for Sue. More power to her. I’m not Sue and I don’t owe you or her an excuse.


What is one thing you would never compromise?

Dear Dad…

FTSF dear dad


Janine's Confessions of A Mommyaholic


“Dear Dad…”

WARNING…I cried writing this…you might cry reading it.

Dear Dad,

I am very lucky to have you for a father.

You did more than other dads. You worked all night, came home exhausted but still drove us to school and mom to work. You were always there, we came first your needs always last.

When my sister and I were little, you always changed our diapers, dressed us, bathed us, never made excuses as to that being a women’s job. You were a there for us and took part in our lives. 

We watched you cook and clean. We watched you take pride in your family and always keep us safe.

As I grew older, you were still always there. Whether to drive with me to a job interview in an unfamiliar city, make sure my car was safe to drive, take me on a test run so I would know how to drive there, or come up whenever something needed to be installed, repaired, or fixed.

Sure you yelled at me, I yelled back, I get my irrational behavior, stubbornness, and snarkiness from you. But I also got love, support, respect, and safety. 

dear dad collage1

Now you are a grandfather to my son. Once again you are always there. Whether it was to come up and watch him when he was terribly sick, but Tony and I had to work. Whether it was to come with me when I had to bring him to the hospital at night. Whether it’s to drive to our place early in the morning and bring Dino to daycare at his normal time instead of at 6:30 in the morning.

Once again you never shied away from changing diapers, caring for him when he was sick, or just hanging out with him.

Dino loves his PopPop, you are his buddy and knows he can count on you. It brings me great joy to know he has you in his life.

dear dad collage2

As you get older I worry. You need to take good care of yourself. You need to make sure you are around for us and for Dino. He needs you to be his pal for many years to come and I need my Dad. 

Love you Dad. 

What would your ‘Dear Dad’ letter say?

Ready for the Beach



Finish the Sentence Friday

“It’s almost bathing suit season, and to prepare, I’m…”

strength training and eating healthy


As you know from my Saturday posts I am getting stronger and healthier and from my Thursday posts I am only eating HEALTHY FOODS, you can find all the posts HERE.

I began with Weight Watchers but soon realized a few things.

  • I could eat junk and still be within my point range

  • Most of the food recommend was low-fat, fat-free, and processed

  • I gained muscle, which in turn adds weight, but lost inches…but was not be succeeding in Weight Watchers


I decided to dump the program, continue strength training, and only eat organic and NON-GMO foods. Sure it costs more money to eat organic and NON-GMO, sure it takes extra planning, but knowing we are eating real food is worth it.  I used to NEED to have crystal light in my water or a soda. I would NEVER drink plain water…ever.


I only want water, or seltzer when we go out. I drink my tea without any sugar and honey. The taste of artificial sweeteners is sickening.

My exercise routine consists of a 20lb kettle bell at home along with push ups, squats, and lunges. I can do 15 push ups (on my knees) with Dino on my back, I can do 15 regular push ups (sans Dino). I can lift him up and squat 2 sets of 5.

At the gym, I usually climb the stair master, recently climbing 50 floors, that’s right 50 floors!!!!!  With a personal trainer I am learning how make my muscles even stronger, by doing dead lifts and squats.  I recently rocked on a treadmill (I normally don’t since there isn’t big muscle gain while walking), but I raised the incline to 80%…the reason I did so well??? My muscles gave me the endurance to keep going.

It’s so empowering being strong and healthy.

  • I went from a size 1x to a 16
  • I went from NOT being able to walk up the stairs at work, while carrying my heavy bag, without hyperventilating and needing to sit down. NOW…I can practically run up those stairs with the bags and keep going.
  • I can run around our driveway and yard with my son and he’s the one who needs to take a break first.
  • I no longer hate water, I actually LOVE the taste of it.
  • I find that fruits, vegetables, and real food fill me for longer and provide me with the energy I need.
  • I am beyond delirious with joy when I find another NON-GMO product that Dino loves.
  • I love cooking from scratching and making healthy meals and treats for my family. Before it was all about cheap and quick, now it’s all about health and real food.

old me2

sorry about the out of focus pictures, I took them on my own and they don’t seem to come out best like that. Despite the fuzziness, you can still see the difference in how I look.

may 2014 collage

 How are you getting ready for beach season?