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Sunday
Sep112011

9/11 A Ten Year Reflection

Twin TowersTen years ago being pregnant with my first child should have been a happy day.  However  it has been ten years from today since I watched the towers tumble to the ground and witnessed the United States under attack.  Some days it feels like it was just yesterday while others it feels like a lifetime ago. 

Ten years ago I was about 6 weeks pregnant with my first son Walker.  Both of my sons will never know how impressive the towers were and have only heard about the tragic day of 9/11.

As I was buried with work I heard a co-worker say a small plane hit the world trade center.  Like many other employees that day we logged onto CNN to see live coverage of what was going on.  It never occurred to any of us what was unfolding in front of our eyes. 

All of a sudden the same co-worked said ,”Oh my god… the other tower has been hit”.  Frankly… it still never occurred to me that we, as a country, we under attack.  Shorty after that the Pentagon was hit.  We were stunned and frozen in time.  We all started to think of friends and family in the targeted areas and the phones were ringing and e-mails were flying through. 

At the time I worked for a supervisor that was also in the Army Reserves.  When he went running out of the building that morning we began to realize how serious the situation had become.

Firefighters, Police Officers, all arms of the military and people from around the United States started banning together to stand united.  We were sure at the time who or what our enemies were.

I was six weeks pregnant and I was beginning to wonder what kind of world I was bringing a baby into.  The terrorist desperately tried to break the American people.  They took buildings and lives but they could not break our spirit.  Though we lost many lives in this attack, we as a country survived. 

I now look at my 9 year old son and know that he will never know that fateful day but only hear about it through anniversaries and remembrance ceremonies.  I hope my children will appreciate how brave people were on that day.  I remember and will be sure to tell the story of how I witnessed everyday Americans come together for the greater good.

I will never forget and I will make sure my children don’t either.

Here are my thoughts from my 2007 journal entry.

Monday
Sep052011

First Day of School

DSC_0755

My children are now entering into the 2011-2012 school year with enthusiasm.  Walker is starting his 4th grade year while Peyton is starting his 1st grade year.  When asked who was going to do better on their first day they both agreed… Peyton.  There was no apprehension with either of them for their first day.

They both have homework most nights.  Though I check their homework is complete I do not “correct” their homework.  I will help explain when assistance is needed but I believe the teachers need to know what my children are having a harder time understanding.  If I correct their work they would never know and it is not a true reflection of their capabilities.  Both my children know they can come to me with questions but I won’t do their work for them.  They both have great teachers again this year and I wish them the best of luck.

Sunday
Sep042011

Post Irene

We prepared as much as we could with what we had.  Hurricane Irene came and went and left quite a mess behind.  Though it didn’t seem as vicious as everyone had anticipated no one truly knew the damage until we took a look around.  Most people here in Connecticut lost power for minimum of a few hours to several days.  Most importantly no one I know lost their home.  Video from Vermont proved to us how lucky we truly were.  Though it was an inconvenience it was just that… a mere inconvenience.  I thank friends who offered to help when and where they could.  The storm proved to be an occurrence that brought a community together.  We survived and lived to tell about.

Wednesday
Apr272011

Parent Up

It continually amazes me the difference of how people parent or don’t parent their kids. There are the “helicopter” parents on one end and then there are the “I had kids because I could” parents.

I have run into parents from both end of the spectrums. Let me tell you how I was raised to give some insight into how I feel.

  • I was raised that you never talked back to your parents or any other adult because… well… you would suffer the consequence. Non of us really knew what that was but we weren’t willing to find out.

  • You didn’t steal from your friends, neighbors or anyone else because… well… again you would suffer some kind of consequence that was beyond your wildest imagination.

  • You said thank you, please and your welcome because it came naturally due to the example your parents gave you.

  • I didn’t have to wait to get reprimanded until my father came home because I was raised by my father… thank goodness.

  • You were aware of others around you because the world didn’t evolve around you.

  • You always did your best because your parents always knew when you were slacking off.

  • You didn’t lie to your parents because eventually they find out when the guilt of what you did is too much to handle.

  • I was allowed to fail and make wrong decisions with the perspective that I had learned a valuable lesson. (This is important for helicopter parents to learn).

Since I was laid off from my job over a year ago I have had the opportunity to be more involved with my kids and their activities. I could be helping out every day in class but I don’t. The kids need to have other adults that they listen to and respect. I help out approximately once a week for about an hour in one son’s class and computer class for the other. I will help out whether in the classroom or out. I don’t need to hover (hence the name helicopter parent) over my kids while they are in school. When I have helped out in the younger son’s class and there is another parent I specifically ask if they can do the project with him and not me. I am there to help not monitor my child. One of the biggest compliment I received from the teacher was that Peyton behaved the same whether I was there or not. She was basically saying he was on his best behavior all the time. Music to a parents ears.

I was recently in the dentist office with both of my children. in the waiting area was another woman and three children. The fourth child was already in the dentist chair. They were disrespectful to her in that they did not listen to her when she reprimanded them. But from their perspective there was no consequence hence, they kept doing what they were doing. The way I view it is you are only making it harder on yourself in the long run if you don’t follow through. The kids were loud and obnoxious. After my kids and I had our appointment I found out I wasn’t the only one to think so. the doctors staff shared my sentiments.

My kids aren’t perfect by any means. What I will say is they have received numerous compliments on their behavior when they are at other people’s houses or we are out in public. Apparently well behaved children are such a rarity they get noticed.

As parents it is our responsibility to raise well adjusted, behaved and mannered children that will grow into mature and responsible adults. How else can we ensure a bright future for them or ourselves. They need to be able to make decisions on their own. This also means they need to be left alone to make their own mistakes on their own too. My father raised me to make my own decisions. Some of them were good and some of them were bad. Regardless, he was there to help mend or celebrate.

As I have said before my children aren’t perfect and neither and I but frankly my tolerance is getting thin for those parents who won’t step up to the plate and parent their kids.

Thursday
Jan132011

Gotta Love New England

  

Here  is what Jeff Foxworthy has to say about New   Englanders...

"Forget  Rednecks ......."

If someone in a Home Depot store offers you  assistance
and they don't work there, you live in New  England .
           
If  you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time,
you live in New  England .

If you've  had a lengthy telephone conversation with
someone who dialed a wrong  number,
you live in New  England .
             
If  'Vacation' means going anywhere south of New York City
for the  weekend, you live in New England .

If you  measure distance in hours,
you live in New  England .
           
If  you know several people who have hit a deer more
than once, you live  in New  England .
            
If  you have switched from 'heat' to 'A/C' in the
same day and back  again, you live in New England .
            
If  you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a

raging blizzard  without flinching, you live in New England .
            
If  you install security lights on your house and garage,
but leave both  unlocked, you live in New England .
             
If  you carry jumpers in your car and your wife knows how
to use them,  you live in New England .
            
If  you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a
snowsuit, you  live in New  England .
             
If  the speed limit on the highway is 55 mph you're going 80 and
everybody  is
passing you, you live in New England .
            
If  driving is better in the winter because the potholes
are filled with  snow,you live in New England .
            
If  you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still
winter and road  construction, you live in New England .

If you have more miles on  your snow blower than your car,
you live in New England .
           
If  you find 10 degrees 'a little chilly', you live in New England .
             
If  there's a Dunkin Donuts on every corner, you live in New England .

If you  think everyone else has a funny accent, you live in New England .

 

Tuesday
Jan042011

Hello 2011

Good bye 2010 and hello 2011.  In review of the past year there have been many ups but unfortunately just as many downs.  We all have the best of intentions with our resolutions from New Years.  Let’s see how many of us can keep them or even remember what they were at the end of the year. 

We all have that aha moments.  They may be big or they may be small.  Regardless of their size here is one I have vowed to uphold.  Life is too short to keep friends that just bring you down.  Yup – cleaning the house of friends is on the agenda.  The process has already started.  In hindsight friends that don’t treat you with respect aren’t worth your time.  They are not honest with you and only drain you of your self respect.  Yup I am done with this particular person.  Keep in mind I have been friends with this person for about 30 years.  A few friends have been given the details of what happened and are horrified of what this person did.  Whether they are friends or family they are not given a free license to treat you any way they want.  This particular person kept saying that I needed to listen to her so we could get past this.  Apparently I was the one that just needed to sit there and listen to her attack my integrity.  I decided after the call got dropped that my time could be better well spent. 

So 2011 will be better for many reasons.  I hope everyone has health and happiness.  Better days are on the horizon.