to your mother


Friday, December 30, 2011


Since Joseph started this new school year in preschool, I have only heard of mainly one friend: Alice.

Mommy, I play blocks wif Alice.
Mommy, Alice not at school today.  Her sick.
Mommy, I made dis for Alice.
Mommy, I like Alice.
Mommy, Alice ride my bus.
Joe?  Did you play with Alice today?  No Mommy, her tired, her sleep.

It wasn't until the Halloween party that I finally met Alice.  She was dressed as Dorthy from the Wizard of Oz.  She looked very festive from her blue checkered dress to her ruby red sparkling slippers.  Joe wanted to walk with Alice in the parade through the hallways of the school and he gently touched her check during snack.  I was able to capture a picture of Alice and Joe after snack, before we packed up to go home.  Joe looked enamoured.  Let me tell you, Joe adores Alice.

I recently printed out this picture for Joe to give to Alice.  I helped him write a message on a sticky note and he signed his name.  We placed the picture in the bag with other presents for him to take to school.  As Joe climbed onto the bus that morning, he dug through the bag to retrieve the picture, walked back to a sleeping Alice and gently tucked the picture into the folds of her jacket.  He left her with a pat to ensure the picture was safe and jumped into his seat.

When I arrived at the preschool holiday party, the kids were actively playing about the room with a group of parents looking on from the door.  Peeking through the crowd, I spotted Joe next to Alice, gently stroking her hair, moving the toy on the tray of her wheelchair.  He ran off to play a little then returned to Alice, using her bib to wipe her mouth, tucking her hair behind her ear, patting her under the chin.  One parent said, "Look at that boy with Alice, he is so good with her" another replied, "Yes, he is so gentle with her, so sweet".  Hand over my heart, my eyes welled up.  That's my boy.

I'm not sure how or why this boy has developed such a gentle soul towards Alice...and it really doesn't matter to me.  My heart is warmed knowing this side of my boy.

Now I need to go..I have left  these children on their own for too long...I'm afraid of what the Gentle-Alice-Adorer may be doing to his sister.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Negotiations and The Joke

Episode 1:
The Negotiator

Joe doesn't like wiping his bum.  Bribing goes a long way with this boy and it was no different this morning...

This Mama: Joe, how about 5 gummies if you wipe your bum.
That Boy: No, Mommy! You do it.
This Mama: Okay, how about 5 gummies and a quarter.
That Boy: No Mommy.    (pause)  How bout 5 gummies and 2 quarters.
This Mama: How about 5 gummies, a quarter and a trip to the Dollar Store.
That Boy: Wow! Dat Good one!

As I was writing this, that boy came dashing into the kitchen, dripping hands raised (washing hands and flushing is an unspoken expectation for the 5 gummies) with a smile circled with white crusty stuff.

This Mama:  Wait, did you brush your teeth too?
That Boy: Yeah, I goooooooooood!

Now I'm wondering if I can wear my pj's to the dollar store...

Episode 2:
Knock Knock

Joe:  (standing in my bedroom while I'm getting dressed) Ding Dong. who's there? Ding Dong, who's there?
This Mama: Joe, you waiting for someone to come in?
Joe: No Mommy, I tell a joke.     Ding Dong, who's there?
This Mama: Who's there?
Joe: I not say banana!!!!  (He falls out laughing...I'm not sure if he should quit his day job, that's all I'm sayin'.)

Monday, December 19, 2011

This Boy

saw the tractor, came in the house, donned gloves and a hat, and begged his daddy for a ride.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Our Newest Addition

It is a dream that we were not sure would be fulfilled...but after a 48 hour delivery (thanks Grandma Mac and Lisa for watching the kids), Mike and I proud to introduce our newest addition...

Joe told the guy at High's that he wanted a tractor for Christmas...guess lots of dreams have come to fruition today.

Friday, December 2, 2011


that picture is for you!  Thanks for your unending support!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

One Of My Greatest Joys

is seeing this girl in dresses that my Mom made.

 fluorescent orange fleece dress by Peggy Brooks Loyd for Rachel Jean Loyd circa 2003
tiger striped pants by  Vintage Values of Leonardtown 50 cents

This girl likes them too.

Love you Mom!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

This Morning

It's 7:59 A.M.

So far we have:
eaten some peanut butter
played tunnel under the covers
taken all the pillows and bed linens off the beds to create a nest in the living room
made lemonade
drank lemonade
played tractor trailer
begged to eat red peppers in the living room
forgot about red peppers
begged for Halloween treats
begged to take the coffee-grinds-covered bear art project out of the protective baggie
begged to play the cherry game
waited to play the cherry game while a sister pooped
waited to play the cherry game while Mom finished blogging

Planning to post some pics soon...

Just another day in paradise.

Wait, I've pushed the limit a little too long...sister just came running from the bathroom, pj bottoms back on, yelling "SURPRISE" after NOT waiting for a bum-wipe.  Gotta go.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Last Tuesday I had laser eye surgery to correct my vision.

My corneas are still healing.

I have been walking around with vision of someone not wearing their glasses even though said person desperately should be wearing glasses.

The following post was written and posted by a legally blind person.

Read at your own risk.


is a true super hero in this house.

For the past week or so, Joe has been gettin gup in the middle of the night to let us know he is scared.  Mike would then go to Joe's room and lie down with him until he fell back asleep.  Friday night was three episodes of this new routine and we had had enough.  Satrurday moring, we decided to go in search of a super hero to help Joe feel safe at night. 

The shopping trip turned into a magical adventure, led by a Higher Power I'm sure.  My idea was a huggable Spiderman stuffiie that I had seen while out and about,  No such luck, now Woody, Buzz and Hello Kitty were on the shelves.  We settled for a Spiderman comforter to snuggle under and a long body pillow to snuggle against. 

We were then led to another store so I could purchase more wooden blocks.  As I wandered the isles for a super-sized Spidie-stuffie, I came across a 12 inch plastic "Wisecracking Spiderman".  It reminded me of action figures that my brothers had growing up...that Spiderman was ours.  He came with web-slinging accessories that I quickly hid cause this was a snuggling-sleeping toy, not an action-web-slinging toy.  Joe promptly examined his new buddy, noticed a hole and button on his positioned arm and asked  "Mommy, where is the SHOOTER?"  I gave some lame excuse that seemed to satisfy the boy.  Then he asked for the "map" ie: instructions, and expertly pointed out that the pictures show shooters, "Where are the shooters, Mommy?"  I was had...Mike and I gave each other the how-can-you-deny-that shrug and the boy won his shooters.

But I digress.

The smurfy-blue body pillow wasn't doing anything for me and I remembered a piece of Spiderman fleece that my dear friend Teresa (Hey Tersea Hey!) had given me about a year ago.  I dug out the fabric, pinned and sewed and within 5 minutes had a cover for the body pillow that was a perfect fit.  The pillow, longer than Joe, now is covered in a soft fleece with the likeness of an almost larger than life Spiderman .

The boy, accompanied by the wisecracking action figure and fleecy body pillow, snuggled under his Spiderman comforter, slept through the night.

Spiderman, this one goes out to you, thanks for making the boy feel safe.

Higher Power, thanks for a magical day of doing the next right thing.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Friday, September 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Paul!

He's one of the best when it comes to being an uncle...

We love you Uncle Paul!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

We Grew Some Carrots

Last spring I made a list of veggies we like to eat that we could grow in a garden.  We eat a lot of carrots, so why not grow some?  

We have had a great harvest, plenty for us to eat and to share.  I believe we have had so many in such a little space because Joseph was a tremendous help when planting the seeds (wee, tiny seeds...spread by the little boy fist full).  Dad once told me he had a hard time thinning out plants cause that means you are disposing of a perfectly good plant.  I feel the same way, so when the directions stated to thin out the plants, I couldn't imagine tossing those little sprouts aside...I let them grow as they were.  This resulted in some crowding in the short row. 

 Let's just say our carrots got a little close and personal. 

That's all I'm sayin', we try to keep this blog family friendly, ya know.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Many Blessings

Gallbladders, earthquakes (the shakes as they are called around this house), hurricanes, vertigo, rubbing thighs, processing/articulation issues, learning to dress ourselves, bored children of an early childhood education major...whatever our troubles may be, let us not forget to stop and count our blessings. 

This wee one is certainly up there on my blessing list.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Dig This Mama

She is a bestie for sure.

Love you, Lucy!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Ice Cream Man

Due to computer failure, downloading issues, and general anxiety, I have been lax in posting here recently.

This is a picture montage of a trip to Grandma and Grandpa McAloon's from three trips ago...but I'm thrilled to be be sharing it with you now.

And now presenting...The Ice Cream Man.

the anxiety

the choices

the wonderment

the joy

the ears

the snitching of another's treat

the dare-you-to-take-it-back, Buster
It was a good time.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Colossal Gumball Lesson

Each week the kids and I travel to the local Weis store to purchase groceries; a task that used to be daunting with two under the age of four, a task which used to frighten me and cause great anxiety.  I've gotten over that, now I just drag the kids, not caring what the outcome might be.  Surprisingly, we have gotten into a comfortable groove.  Julie drives the car in front of the cart, Joe darts from item to item "Dis on da yist? Mommy is DIS on da yist?  Mommy, you tell me whats on da yist and I'LL put dit in da cart, K?"  If we have a "good time" in the store (Mommy has not pulled out her hair, impulsively screamed, or cried openly) each wee shopper gets to get a treat from the gumball machines.  This strategy has proven successful for me, I like it.

Well, each week Joe asks about the colossal gumballs, various fruit-shaped-small-apple-sized gumballs in a huge gumball machine that costs 50 cents to purchase.  The first time he saw them he exclaimed "Mommy, Mommy!  BIG GUMBALLS??  I want a BIG GUMBALL!"  I pointed out the "Out of Order" sign on the front and said "Those gumballs are out of order. Let's choose one of tese down here."  Since then, each week Joe studies the machines, points to his beloved hug gumballs and states "Mommy, its still out of order".

Well, not this week.

This week, a scream could be heard all over Weis and the parking lot beyond.  Sort of like a primal cry, a scream that comes from deep within...a little boys dream fulfilled.


Sweet thing, we only had two quarters, one for the girl and one for the boy.  He time we come to Weis, he could get his ginormous gumball.

Well, this morning, Joe was looking through his money bucket..."MOMMY TWO QUARTERS!!!!!!!  TWO QUARTERS!!!!!!  I CAN GET MY GUMBALL!!!"  Props to the kid for knowing what a quarter is.  This meant a trip to Weis this A.M.  I added that to the list of places to go right after the playground and the library this morning.  NOTE:  The snack man was filling the vending machine at the library and gave the kids each a bag of Skittles.  They ate a few, then each chose to save the rest of the bag in order to get their gumballs.

Time warp to the Weis store...a joyous boy, a huge purple gumball.  Lick lick lick, holds it up, a stained purple smile, "Mommy, I can't get dis, you help me?"  Picture me, Joe and Julie, standing around sweating in the July heat in front of Weis while I literally gnaw on this colossal gumball, just trying to make a dent in it so the boy can begin his chewfest 2011.  I finally break through, now covered in permanent  purple stain, and hand over the victory to the kid.  He smiles and knows...he's happy.

Time warp to 10 minutes later in the van...a sad, frustrated boy, the purple stain creating a sad-clown effect.  "Joe, what happened to your gumball?" 
"I don't yike it anymore." 
"What happened Joe?  Why don't you like it?" 
"I don't yike da inside, it's too hard." 
"Are you going to get a big gumball next time?"
"No.  I yike Skittles."

A great lesson learned for the boy and for me. 

He got his chance at the biggest, what he thought would be the best. He tried it out, found disappointment, yet was able to pull himself out of the slump and look towards what he already had...Skittles are just fine.

I have been reminded that going all out, trying for the biggest and more is not always a happy ending. Sometimes I need to stick with what I have right now, be happy with the present, in order to find peace.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Game of 100 Questions

We were sitting in the van in playground parking lot while I talked to Mom on the phone.  Both kids sat silently in their car seats, staring out the window while Mom and I played 100 questions.  After about 10 minutes, Mom and I decided to figure out what she wanted at another time.  After hanging up the phone, Joe quietly asked:

"Mama, why all the questions?

Can't get anything past that boy.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Our Garden

It's just a backyard thing, nothing fancy.  Just big enough to fill the fenced-in space where a pot-bellied pig used to live.  I came up with the list of yummies to grow while thinking of what fruits and veggies we mostly eat.  A row of each and there you have it, a tidy little garden that produced enough strawberries this year to feed myself and two wee ones as we stood in the garden admiring their redness...all three berries (at least we didn't have to share).  Dad promises there should be more next year.

This little plot of land has brought me much pleasure over the past couple of months.  I planted seeds and seedlings with a devil-may-care worries if a small foot trampled on it, no concerns over whether or not I thinned out the carrots enough...whatever produces out of the ground would make me happy.  I have learned the art of weeding when the soil is loosened after a good rain (or drowning from eager waterers with a hose).  I have learned to lay straw between the rows; it keeps the weeds down but it also makes boundaries for the little busy feet that like to run around the garden. There is a now-familiar sound echoing through the neighborhood; walk on the straw, walk on the straw, walk on the straw!!!!!!!  Ah, does it really matter anyway?

Just a coupla pics of the boy enjoying the garden...


 I always have a lot of help in the garden, for which I am truly grateful.

This boy, I love.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Living Life As It Comes

Recently I have been working on trying to have a plan yet still living life as it comes.

The plan helps to curb anxiety, no wonder of what we will do today, it's written right there on my things-to-do-today list.

Then there are times, where I just need to let loose, live life as it comes, no plan, no expectations...just go with the flow.

A lot of joy can be found when I go with the flow.
Sweet relief.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Blessings (thanks Marye)

sun shining through sheer curtains that billow in the breeze
peaceful bedroom, patchwork quilt gently lit by the sun
sandy hardwood floors, nothing a broom can't handle
smelling fresh pineapple, cut this morning
two little ones (not so wee anymore) playing in the sand
farm buildings sprouting up from the rolling hills across the field of growing corn
leaves of the birch tree dancing in the wind

Can this be?
I truly live here, experiencing this existence?
I could capture these experiences on film, create a book or a movie.
I could title it This Mama's Dream Come True.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What You Can't See

Joe and I are still in our pj's, Julie is naked.
We are on our third hour of mindless T.V.
It's 10:50 A.M.
Joe has eaten three pieces of leftover pizza from a plastic bag.
At one point this A.M. Julie was wearing tap shoes.
I feel nauseous and have a headache.
I keep reminding myself that all of the above is okay when this Mama doesn't feel well...
tomorrow will be a new day.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Right Now

He naps in his bed after getting up at 3 A.M.
She giggles and belly laughs while watching Kipper from the couch.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I Know

At times I will complement Mom; upon her hair, her outfit, her laughter, her crazy socks.  Her standard reply (said quickly and with confidence) is "I know", such as:

PA:    Mom, love your outfit, the shades of purple really are becoming to you.
Mom: I know.
PA:    Mom, that's just rude.  You should say "Thank you" when someone compliments you.

Then we both bubble over with laughter...and she never says "thank you".

Recently I have been reflecting upon my self-esteem.  Let's just say that what I portray to the world (confidence, beauty, self-love) is not how I feel inside.  When I receive compliments from others, I usually smile, say thank you, then promptly dispose of the compliment because those good thoughts don't apply to a cretin such as myself (in my head, remember?  Not a safe place to be, you don't want to vacation there is all I'm sayin').  Now I am working on BELIEVING those good thoughts.  I AM beautiful.  I AM intelligent.  I AM talented.  I DO love myself.  This is hard work, brain surgery for someone who has thought this way for eons, but I AM a strong woman and I AM able to change.  I am working on stopping the negative thoughts in my head before they run rampant and replacing those negs with positives.

In the midst of all this self-work, I started thinking about Mom's replies to my compliments.  Maybe I need to learn from her.  Hear the compliment and think "I know", such as:

Mike: There's my beautiful wife!
PA:     (I know) Thank you, if feels good to be beautiful.
Mike: Now give this Daddy a kiss.

You get the picture, I'll stop there. 


Thanks Mom.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A List Of Graditude

1.  fog on the field
2.  a clean face
3.  music in the kitchen
4.  free basketball hoop
5.  talking to Bonnie
6.  Elizabeth as a sponsor
7.  misty rain on the garden
8.  load of sand for the boy
9.  cleaning up the house
10. a meeting that feels like a lodge
11. joy on Mom's face
12. So Soft shampoo
13. warm sunshine
14. friends to play
15. sweeper
16. green green grass
17. extended family love
18. freshly made bed
19. getting little things done
20. coffee with cream
21. a beautiful home

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Slowly Coming Out of the Fog

This week has been a little better, more manageable, less stressful.  I continue to feel blah and flat, but at least now I don't feel like I'm crawling my way out of the hole.  Each day can be better, thanks to Zoloft and a Higher Power in my life.

Friday, April 29, 2011

This Week

has been hard, very hard...but it is good.  I can count many blessings that are right here in front of my face and many more that may be miles away.  I'm slowing down to regroup so then I can speed up a little to move forward.  I believe that this is something that is good to do every once and awhile, but let me tell you I am looking forward to moving on from this episode. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Wee Bit of Sunshine...and Giggles

Life, on a daily basis, has been okay; this is a good thing.  I have been living a day at a time, reveling at being a stay-at-home-Mom, kissing my kids, laughing.  At times I get overwhelmed with thoughts of L.I.F.E. but then I am able to breathe, realize that what is happening right now IS L.I.F.E. and enjoy the ride as it comes.  Having a list of things to do each day has been very helpful...some days the list simply says

pay bills

Anything else that happens is gravy on the biscuit (love you Bill J.) and anything that doesn't happen doesn't really matter anyway.  I plan play dates and buy pretzels for Joe's preschool party.  I call friends and text even more.  I inhale.  I exhale.  I read good literature.  I think about eating healthy, whole foods...and sometimes I eat them.  I listen to Wee One banter on in her Julese language.  I laugh when Joe rides his bike on the patio with no shoes, in his underwear.  I am finding joy a little at a time.  It is good.

I have been able to capture some little bits of joy over the past week to share today, no captions, just simple joy.

Peace, and chicken grease.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Life Isn't Always Sunshine and Giggles

As I look back upon various Word to Your Mother posts, most are uplifting, comical - full of pictures to oohhh and aahh over.  Then there may be a brief pause in posting for awhile...then back to the stuff and giggles of which some days are made.  I think it's about time to blog about LIFE.  My LIFE to be specific.

Hold onto your panties.  I will try to keep this brief, yet honest and to the point.

In my head, my life sucks.  In my head, I am a horrible mother.  In my head, I am obese.  In my head, I am a neglectful sister and daughter.  In my head, I am a slothful, undeserving wife.  In my head, I am crazy.  If you had all the vacation time in the world, you would never want to visit this world in my head.  It's a yucky place to be. Upon meeting me, spending time with me, you would never believe any of this was going through my head...I put on a pretty good show.

Recently I have been diagnosed with conversion disorder, for the second time in two years.  This time around I have lost my sense of taste and my sense of balance.  I am taking this diagnosis a little bit more seriously this time as I realize this disorder is not just something to fix with upping the Prozac; it is a diagnosis that points to some serious personal work with which I need to do.  I have a psychiatrist, behavioral counselor, close friends and family, and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous with which to work and get support.  I believe this support system will help me to work on the yucky-craziness that amounts to the thoughts in my head , which may alleviate some of the pressures/ stress that rears it's head as conversion disorder in my life.

Nuff said.  Anyone out there ever heard of conversion disorder?  Experienced it first (or second) hand?  This is NOT a post looking for "good thoughts about Peggy"...that will make me gag.  This post is about  me telling it like it is...I'll keep you posted on how all this is going.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Tat Master

That's right.  Paul is the master of tattoos.  You didn't know?  Guess you haven't been out much.

Paul has been spreading the good news of tattoos for years now.  He has a special touch that makes people feel comfortable and at ease with their choices.

He allows people to express themselves as they wish, without judgement or guilt.

He is tender, caring towards even the youngest of tat-wearers.

He seems to continuously have joy to spread to others.

People are thrilled with their tat experience with Paul.  Don't believe me?  Ask this guy.

That Paul is a keeper, tats and all.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Goodness

Read the link below...and I'm worried about wearing green today...

Peace and Prayers,

My Son

is happy, confident, caring, snuggly, thoughtful, spunky...just a good boy all around.

Today we forgot is school tote bag...AGAIN.  That's okay, he rolls with the punches, I'm more bothered by it than he is.

We walk into the entryway of his preschool and are greeted with a sea of GREEN's St. Patrick's Day, you know. 

I'm talking green shirts, green tights, green socks, green ribbons, green shoes, green doodlie-boppers upon a head (not just the kids...even the token dad who made a guest appearance dropping off today was donned in a kelly green button-up shirt).  I felt sick to my stomach.  Joe had dressed himself today (as he does most days) and had made sure to let me know he put on underpants because he was going to school today (such a thoughtful boy to remember that this is important)...he chose a pair of jeans with no holes...and a red Spiderman shirt that is actually a pajama top but we all have to pick our battles and in the grand scheme of things, who cares about a pj shirt, truly?

Anyway, my point is that my kid was the only kid NOT wearing green at school today.  My first thought...I'm such a bad mama.  How would a three year old know to dress himself in green today?  I went to one of his teachers to apologize about the tote bag and to share my grief over the red-clad-non-green-wearin'-non-leprechaun-supportin'-boy-with-the-last-name-of-MCALOON.  She laughed and said "I guess we get to pinch him today!"   How horrified I was, my kid will be pinched cause he's not wearing green and it's all my fault.  The teacher gave me a cardboard shamrock and a piece of tape and I stuck it to his shirt saying "Today is St. Patrick's Day, wear green!"  Joe had no idea what I was talking about and really didn't seem to care.

I promptly walked to the van and called Mom.  I retold the horrors of my bad-mama-episode and mom laughed and laughed.  She threw in a coupla "oh nos!" and "oh mys" and then settled down at the end of my story.  Silence.  "Mom, am I a bad Mama?"  "No."  "Mom, will Joe's day be ruined because of me?"  "No."  "Mom, do I need to get over myself?"... pause...she replied in a small, sweet voice "yes"  then a roar of laughter from the lady who loves me so much.

Even though Mom doesn't speak worlds, I learn volumes from our conversations.  This is what I know...

Wearing green is not the end-all-be-all of being a good mother.
Wearing green doesn't define who I am as a person.
Just because everyone else is wearing green doesn't mean that I have to wear green to be a good person.
I need to embrace who I am, realize that I'm not perfect.
I need to hold my head high and wear whatever color I'm wearing today with confidence and joy.
I need to know these things and believe these things so I can teach my son the same.

In summary:
My son is happy, confident, caring, snuggly, thoughtful, spunky...just a good boy all around.
I'm a good mama.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Been Wanting to Post

and this is why I haven't.

I give up.  It's worse than trying to read the paper or sew while a cat is in the just doesn't work.