30 Day Challenge – Day #19 and Day #20

Day 19-Something you miss

Innocence…I miss innocence.  As my little ones grow, I am fortunate enough to be able to see the world through their eyes.  Mary thinks “wish flowers” are the best!  When she blows them into the air, she watches them float away, and keeps her eyes on them to see where the last one will land.  She stops to smell every flower and mentions how beautiful it is.  She scrutinizes every crab she picks up, or every shell, or every rock, and marvels at how blue it is, or how sharp the corners are, or how smooth it is.  Noah just figured out how to pull the chord on a little turtle that is attached to his exersaucer, and squeals with delight every time the music stops, before pulling the chord again.  Levi loves walks outside, where his curiosity for the world is contagious, as he opens his blue eyes so big and takes it all in.I find myself saying, “Te gusta la flor?!  Te gustan los pajaritos?  Te gusta estar afuera?!” Do you like the flower?  Do you like the birdies?  You like being outside?!

I say to myself, “I’m not smelling that flower!  Not since I’ll be dying from my (supposed) allergies later!”  “I’m not putting my feet in that polluted water to get some shells.  May need a tetanus shot later!” ” I’m not, I’m not, I’m not…” These are the words uttered constantly by someone who has lost their innocence, by someone who has been treated unfairly in life, by someone who doesn’t see the small and simple pleasures anymore because there is always a “but then such and such a thing could happen”.  Having children really puts those things into perspective.  I miss my innocence and not knowing things a lot less nowadays.  I have let go of some of my I don’t think so’s and replaced them with well why the hell nots!  I’ve been able to leave my tainted and skewed view of the world behind and have allowed myself to experience life all over again through the eyes of my 3 kids.  Doesn’t mean that every once in a while I don’t forget, but I try my hardest to not take away those moments from my kids and corrupt them with my “buts”.  I like living life like this much better…much, much better…


Day 20-Nicknames

Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I am the QUEEN of nicknames.  I get it from my dad.  Since I was little, I don’t remember my dad calling anyone in my family by their real names.  My cousin Al was “Metralleta” because he spits like a machine gun when he talks.  My cousin Steve always wore yellow shirts so my dad called him “Cheeseburger”, which was later shortened to cheese and that name has stuck ever since he was about 7.  He’s 30 now.  My sister Natasha, “Chuleta”.  That means pork chop becasue she was a little porker when she was small.  My sister Raquel was always Francésa, which means french woman, for her pale skin and European features. My brother, Sargento, sergeant, for his very serious, calm and no nonsense demeanor even as an infant.  My 6’5″ tall cousin? “Lungo” or long in Italian.  My cousin Elaine-Mary, who’s been dubbed MaryLou since infancy, had a screaming match with my uncle when she was 7 because he kept insisting that her name was not, in fact, Elaine MaryLou, and it was simply Elaine-Mary, and she cried…for days! And now, as we are all grown and surrounded by our own little circles and a growing family, that tradition of nicknames continues.

My Wife:
Callie – Babeski or Saumensch, the first is my made up German word for “little pig”, and the second is the actual German word for “little pig”

My Kids:
Mary – Coocoo, it’s just always been that since day one, which lately has been shortened to “Cooc’s”
Noah – Nene, means “boy” and we kept saying “nene lindo” and it stuck
Levi – Macho, because he was always making muscles when he was first born.  Wita called him Macho Man, and it stuck!

In my family, nicknames are a right of passage.  If you don’t have a nickname, it kinda means you’ve been overlooked, even though it kinda sucks to say that.  So if we’re friends, and I shorten your name to just the first letter, or I make up some silly nickname, don’t get offended.  You totally own some property in my heart….

Mother’s Day and The 30 Day Challenge – Day #17 & #18

Our first official Mother’s Day was pretty dope, I have to admit!  I say “official” because last year we had Mary with us for Mother’s Day, and even though it was special in a completely different way, it was beautiful and special this time around because of our adorable little boys!  Knowing what Callie’s body has gone through, and all these sleepless nights and dirty diapers, feedings, first smiles and giggles, and all of that, made this Mother’s day more real.

On Friday night, my best friend Tee and her partner J, who both work in the Hospitality field, booked us a suite at the Hyatt near where we live.  They came over and ushered us out the door so we could really celebrate each other uninterrupted.  We decided to exchange gifts that day, so as my gift to Callie for all her hard work raising our 3 wonderful kids (and to myself for being a hardworking Mama holding the fort down financially), I booked us a one hour couples massage.  Let me say, I didn’t know how much we needed it, until it was over and we were devastated that it didn’t last all night!  Afterwards, we went and had a quick bite to eat at Smash Burger (which we absolutely LOVE) and then went to take a walk around The Romantic Depot (boom chicka wow wow!) before heading to our favorite little local gay bar for some karaoke (which actually didn’t happen because one of their drag performers was celebrating his birthday-ugh!).  We ended up having a beer and just heading back to the hotel.  I must say, there is something about being able to sleep completely naked, on cold sheets, uninterrupted, in a pitch black room thanks to those blackout curtains. We haven’t done that in over a year!  And it was really nice to give my wife my undivided attention and receive the same in return. SUITESince Callie’s mom had to work all day on Sunday, we spent the day with her Saturday, so after returning home from our night away, we got all three kids ready and ourselves and went up north to visit with Callie’s Grandmother.  She was so shocked to see us since Callie’s mom hadn’t mentioned to her that we were ALL coming.  The saying of the day was, “Great grandma’s as happy as a pig in shit!” And every picture she has of her holding her two great grandson’s or her playing and reading and drawing with Mary, show just that.  Her health has been declining, and because she lives with Callie’s aunt about a 45min-1hour drive from us, it makes it really difficult to get up there to see her.  She also has an L-VAD, and requires 24 hour care, so trying to schedule something around her therapies, and rest times and medications, and feedings is quite hard.  But we got up there, and boy was she ever happy.  They finally got to take their “4 Generations” picture, and even Callie got a little bit emotional about that.  After about an hour and a half, we went to Callie’s parents to exchange gifts and eat some dinner.

Sunday, we get woken up by Mary who is WAY too excited about getting us to open our gifts.  Like 6:45am, way too excited!  But I remember being the same way with my mom when I was younger.  So we got up, made coffee (because that HAD to come first) and let her give us our gifts.  We each got a beautiful plant (mine was Pink!), and two really beautiful cards that expressed what it was that she loved about us so much.  Apparently, she loves when I make taco’s because I make them “the best ever”! Callie had the kids make me a really amazing little book with a bunch of saying and cute pictures.  There were footprint Jalapeños, finger print flowers, and a super cute puzzle that Mary made with each piece representing a different family member and showing me how perfectly they fit together.  They also got me a Pandora Charm bracelet with my very own “Heart Mom” charm.  The morning was great!  I made everyone breakfast, and then we got ready to go to church.

After church, we went straight to my parents house to spend time with my mom and my sisters and aunt.  It was really nice to be able to lay out in the grass under the shade of my dad’s Maple Tree, and it made me really sad that after almost 20 years, this would be one of the last times that we would all be congregating under the shade of this tree.  My parents have sold the house, and are waiting for the lawyer to let them know when the closing is.  So it was a really bittersweet feeling laying our kids on the blanket, under a tree where we had spent so much of our young lives playing, fighting, pretending, sleeping, and being kids.  We spent the rest of the day eating, exchanging gifts, cuddling with our mom, and laughing at my dad’s ridiculous jokes.  We were even surprised that Mary didn’t ask for her mother once.  She wasn’t even sad.  If anything, she seemed really excited to be able to celebrate with us.  Maybe, it’s really starting to sink in that we are her moms…it made the day even that much more special…
two moms

MY SISTER, AUNT, MOM, CALLIE AND MYSELF ON MOTHER'S DAY 2015

MY SISTER, AUNT, MOM, CALLIE AND MYSELF ON MOTHER’S DAY 2015


Day 17-Something you’re looking forward to

I’ve never been the type of person to really look forward to things.  I learned early on that if you don’t really expect much, then you won’t be disappointed.  But the older I get, the more and more I realize that I spend a lot of time looking forward to SOMETHING, whether it be the weekend, or cuddling my kids at the end of the day, or for 5pm to roll around so I get the hell up out of this office!  Lately, there are 2 things that I have really been looking forward to, and those two things are something that I CAN’T WAIT to happen.  The first would be, well, being pregnant.  I never really was crazy about the idea of carrying, but now, more than ever, especially after seeing Callie carry the boys, I have this urge and this NEED to get pregnant.  We told my parents that we planned on having more kids, although we didn’t say when, but when I saw my mom light up at the idea of me being pregnant, I think I may have given her one of the greatest Mother’s Day gift ever.  I’ve been looking forward to that very much.

The second thing that I have been looking forward to is Mary’s adoption.  Initially, we weren’t sure whether we would adopt her or not. There are a lot of reasons that I won’t get into, but it took a lot of soul searching and a lot of questions, and a lot of going over the same information over and over and over again to make our final decision.  When we spoke to her worker K a few days ago (to get permission for a family trip at the end of June) she still hadn’t heard from Mary’s mom (a little over two months now) and she turned the paperwork in to her lawyer, so that the TPR is officially filed.  Mary’s mom will have some time to appeal (if she ever shows up!) and then Mary will be freed for adoption and we can start the paperwork.  Every few days we touch base wit her worker and see if there has been any word.  We’re kind of hoping that Mary’s mom won’t show for another 3 months so that we can speed up the TPR for “abandonment” and Mary will be freed quicker.  We are still deciding whether we want Mary to be able to contact her mother in the future or vice versa.  It’s difficult to try and figure out what’s best for your child in a situation like this.  We know that Mary is very attached to her mom, so maybe seeing her after adoption would really hinder her and her progress, but we also wonder what NOT seeing her would do.  We’re still letting this play out, as it’s been almost 3 months, and if anything, her behavior has significantly improved.  We look forward to the day, where we can call her Mary Mendez (and she was very enthusiastic about the possibility of a name change when we asked her what she would want to do if we adopted her. “IF we adopt you do you want to stay Mary D. or Mary Mendez?” She shook her head vigorously and said, “Mendez!!! Yeah, MENDEZ!!!”

Day 18-Something you regret

I’m not the type of person to ever regret anything.  I don’t believe in coincidence mainly because I believe everything happens for a reasons and that would be contradicting. So to me, regretting something would mean hoping to take it back, and in turn changing the outcome of the rest of your life.  Where would my life be today, if I had done something completely different and hadn’t returned Callie’s email, or hadn’t broken up with my ex, or hadn’t put my self out there and worked that open mic night that led me to my amazing friends?  That is what I always ask myself when I think about my regret of not going away to college.  I was in love, and I was scared, and I was sheltered and unprepared.  I had gotta accepted to several universities and colleges (some with scholarships for sports and music) and I didn’t go because I was totally smitten and I didn’t want to leave my first love.  I think of my siblings and how they traveled the world, and studied abroad and had the full college experience, with dorms, and fraternities/sororities, and late night partying and early morning cramming.  I didn’t go to school for another 6 years after graduating High School.  In that time, I learned so much. So many things that I never would have learned unless I actually lived it, like how to stretch $20 for the whole week, or how to give back to the communities that gave to me that whole while.  Alls I know, is that 30-40 years from now, I don’t want to wake up and realize that I have been sleeping through life, taking my socks off to finish counting the regrets that no longer can be counted on my fingers.  I want to live my life now, without looking back, and pressing forward no matter how crappy some of my decisions might be.  When you live a life free of regrets, it’s fair to say, you really lived…

30 Day Challenge – Day #16

Day 16-Dream house

I always thought of my dream house growing up, as this huge mansion looking home, on a huge plot of land, with a stone fence and electric gate.  A 3 car garage with automatic

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PHOTO CRED – BUSINESSWEEK.COM

stable doors, and Japanese Cherry Blossoms lining the walk way to the front door.  It would have huge floor to ceiling windows, a winding staircase an no less than 6 rooms. I’ve always wanted a greenhouse (I actually have quite the green thumb and have brought several plants back from the brink of death) where I can grow my families fruits and veggies year round (I don’t think I want to leave NY as much now as I did when I was younger and the winters here can be brutal), and a swimming pool, right by the ocean.  And then I saw my first real paycheck (not the after school job ones, but a REAL one) and all that crap flew out the window!

As I got older, and my need to “fit in” with everyone else became less and less relevant, I

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PHOTO CRED – TODAYSPHOTO.ORG

started thinking of my “dream home” as a small farm (like 5-10 acres or so), with a few animals that would be more our pets than anything, and plenty of space for my kids to run around, wind whipping through their hair, grass between their little toes.  Where they could get lost in fields of sunflowers, and pick lemons off the trees and challenge each other to see who could eat the most without making a face.  A place where my kids would learn to ride horses, and tend to the fields, and get to ride around on huge lawn mowers, while Mommy makes ice tea, and then hangs laundry on the line.  Where they would gain an appreciation for the land and learn to take care of our very precious planet.  But the reality is that we are too attached to our families (more so Callie than me) and we would have to move too far to actually have us all be happy and not miserable that we are missing out on everyone’s birthday’s or graduations or baseball games.  So my dream of having a farm has been put on the back burner.

If there is anything that I know about my little family, it’s that we LOVE the water.  We would take a summer of sitting on the deck of Pop’s (Callie’s dad) boat since we had to sell ours, floating around the Long Island Sound any day!  The first time we took Mary out, she just threw on the life vest, grabbed a rope, tied it around her wrist, and jumped right in!  She learned how to swim very quickly, and has been asking since the weather warmed up when we are going out again.  Callie’s parents, also lovers of the water and fishing and boating, decided to forgo buying a house, and instead invested their money on a boat.  They have been boat owners for longer than Callie has been alive (35+ years)!  They say it’s the best thing they could have ever done.  They live on their boat from March-October (this year the dock is getting repaired so they are still not in the water, which to them {and the rest of us} is completely frustrating) in the marina across the street from their apartment (which happens to be 2 buildings down from us in the same complex!).  So when Callie and I talk about our “dream home”, we never fail to mention how much cooler it would be to just live on a boat for a few months and then in the apartment when it gets cold.  I think we MIGHT actually do that one day. Our dream boat would have 3 rooms, a master for us, a room for the boys with bunks,and a room for the girls with bunks.  It would have a living room, and a bathroom, and a small dining area.  It would have a huge deck at the stern, and a nice seating area as well.  It would have lights underneath for night swimming (which looks SO FREAKING AWESOME!), and a flat bow where we could lay towels and soak up the sun.  Then when the kids grow up, Callie and I can travel the oceans and seas of the world and visit places that we have always dreamed of but know we can never afford to travel to, like Tonga, and Fiji and the Maldive Islands.  We could travel to Europe and the Mediterranean and take our grandkids on a trip along the east coast of the US down to the Florida Keys.  That would be the best!  A boat would truly be our Dream Home…

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PHOTO CRED – HUNTSYACHTS.COM

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PHOTO CRED – HUNTSYATCHS.COM

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30 Day Challenge – Day #15

Day 15-Bible verse

I’ve never been much of a reader of the Bible.  I have picked it up several times, and I have downloaded it to my kindle in hopes that one day, I may just decide to really figure out what they are saying.  I try my best when reading it (when I actually DO read it) to stay objective and open minded, but being a person of faith has little do with a book.  Is it the word of God?  It could be, or it could not be.  It is open to interpretation?  It should be, but usually isn’t.  People take the bible too literal (considering that it was written more than 2,000 years ago, and society and mores and values and culture were WAAAAYYYYY different back then, but I could go on forever about this so I’ll just stop there), and sometimes, I feel that if you read it like just an ordinary book, well, then you might get some knowledge dropped on you when you least expect it.

I CORINTHIANS 13:13 –  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

No words could be truer.  I try my hardest to live my life in love.  I pour my heart into damn near everything I do.  A while ago, when I was jaded and angry and disappointed and annoyed with life and the world in general, I would forget.  I would forget what it was like to feel love, or the amazing pleasure I would experience in giving love.  The whole of Corinthians talks about how love is patient and kind.  How it does not envy or boast or is proud.  Lots of times we forget that love JUST IS and you either feel it or you don’t.  You either allow yourself to experience and share it, or push it aside or keep it to yourself.  Being on the receiving end of so much love throughout my struggles in my adult life, and seeing how that love propelled me forward and catapulted me out of the pits of despair, I KNOW that having faith and hope is awesome, but having love, the greatest of all things, well, hell! Nothing beats that!  The greatest of ALL THINGS is love, and I like that, I live that, and pray that everyone, at some point in their lives, will know exactly what that feels like…

(Another Password Protected Post {sorry!} will be posted today.  Same password as last post.  If you need it, email me at thechroniclesonanonbellymama at gmail dot com.)

30 Day Challenge – Day #13 & Day #14

Just a quick story I wanted to share before I get into this challenge…

Lately, when we are out and about as a family, it’s me on one side with a baby in the Moby, Callie on the other with the other baby in the Infantino, and Mary smack in the middle of us both, holding our hands.  We look like that around our neighborhood, at the park, at the grocery store, walking on the Avenue, pretty much everywhere. People always comment on our family and how cute our kids are.  More recently, people have been lingering longer and asking about the babies, and our family, and somehow it always comes up that Mary “looks like the perfect combination of both of you!  My goodness!” But we never really know how Mary is gonna react.  For a long time, when people would say, “And these are your moms?”, she would quickly counter with, “NO!!! They’re not my moms!!!” and that soon turned into, “Not my REAL moms, but my foster moms!” But lately, she doesn’t say anything.  She sorta shrugs and smiles her shyest smile, and then looks at the lights on her sneakers, or changes the conversation quickly to take one of our attention away from engaging in the conversation.  At the grocery store Sunday night, a women and her very pregnant daughter approached us, and as they were admiring our family commented to Mary that she’s beautiful and that she has my nose and gap and the my big round eyes, but that she has Callie’s complexion and eye color and freckles.  She couldn’t believe how well we did that she looked “just like the both of us!” (I’m still not sure whether or not I should be offended about this, but we’ll just say Kudos to social services for literally, a PERFECT MATCH!)  I noticed her withdrawing at that point, and shifting from one foot to the other, so we said “thank you and have a nice day” and went about our grocery store business.  Callie and I talked about it and her behavior when we got home.  We weren’t sure whether or not Mary felt uncomfortable and was withdrawing or if she wanted us to acknowledge her as our daughter.  So yesterday morning before school, Callie had a conversation with her over hairdo’s and shoe-tying.

Callie: You know how people ask if you’re our daughter?
Mary:  Mmm hmm…
Callie: Well, we’re not sure what to say, so we wanted to ask you!  We don’t want to say we’re your “moms” in case it makes you upset because we know you have your other mom too, but we don’t want to say “foster moms” because we love you like a real daughter, so we just wanted to check and see what YOU wanted us to be called.  What do you want us to say when people ask us?
She thinks about it for a minute before answering and then, smiles, but quickly looks embarrassed and nervous…
Mary: Moms..just regular moms….

And that was it.  We are officially, in her heart, her moms…


Day 13-Goals

I don’t have very complicated goals at all.  I mean, I think we all have those universal goals…good job, family, nice house, car, you know the usual stuff, but really I just have one real goal, and it’s one that I have lived by for as long as I remember.

“Make someone laugh every day”

That’s it!  The other stuff in my life, all those material things, finances, jobs, those things all come and go.  They are here one day and gone the next. One year I had over $10,000 in my savings account and the next, I was splitting Ramen for dinner with my best friend.  But the one thing that has never faded from my life, is the laughter.  It resonates! And even in my darkest times, it’s the laughter that stands out the most.  It whirs around, tickling me from the inside out.  I know how it has illuminated the hollow person that I was for so many years.  Laughter can makes someones day, especially those days where it seems like everything’s amiss.  My goal, every day, is to share laughter with as many people as I can.

And speaking of which…How many tickles does it take to make an octopus laugh?!?!  TEN tickles!!!!  ::drops the mic::

Day 14-A picture you love

OUR SPOT

OUR SPOT

This is probably my all time favorite picture of me and my best girl.  It’s so simple, yet everything about it reminds me of our love and how it came to be.  We fell in love right in that spot, on a rainy summer day, while we fished and talked about life, and heartache, and love, and work, and family, and everything that two young people getting to know each other could talk about.  It was there that we cemented out love, and threw out anchors in the water hoping to never drift away from one another.  It was in that same spot that I set up candles and dropped rose petals on the coldest of winter days to propose.  It was there that we told Callie’s parents that we were having twins.  The same spot where Mary caught her first fish, and we knew that this kid, regardless of what happened, was definitely meant to be in our lives.  And this will be the spot that we will teach our boys to swim from, and where they will also catch their first fish or net their first crab.  This one particular spot, in between dock fingers, has become “our spot”, and this picture, no matter how infrequently I see it, always brings a smile to my face and makes the offspring of the offspring from the original butterflies years ago, hatch from their cocoons and flutter all over again!

Life and The 30 Day Challenge – Day #11 & Day #12

Quick Update:
It’s been pretty busy at Casa Mendez these past few weeks.  We’ve been gearing up to celebrate the boys baptism, and have gotten together with all 4 godparents to purchase their clothes and jewelry and finalize plans for the day.  They are growing so fast! Too fast! A week from today, they’ll be 4 months old!  4 FREAKIN MONTHS!!! Can you believe it?!?!  I’ll update more about them in a week after their 4 month check-up, but for right now, they love Plaza Sesamo, their feet in the grass, front facing carry with the Moby, Yankee baseball, playing “Superman”, and hanging out with Mary.  And of course, an obligatory photo dump…

FullSizeRender IMG_1290 IMG_1332 IMG_1348 IMG_1345 IMG_1279 IMG_1338 IMG_1203

Mary has been doing sooooo well this past week and a half.  We see a definite change in her attitude and her behavior since we took the therapist and the case worker’s advice to get more honest with her.  We have been telling her that she will probably not be going back to live with mommy, and that she will probably be staying with us as her forever family.  I can’t imagine that this is an easy pill to swallow for ANYONE, let alone a 7 year old.  She’s been receptive to us being her new family, but cries every night before bed and asks if it’s okay to pray for her mom.  Her prayers sound a little like this: “Dear God, please help mommy to make good choices.  Make her be safe, and in a special place that’s not jail.  I hope she has food to eat, and that she is healthy.  Let her know I miss her, and that she will call K (the worker) so I could talk to her and I could see her soon.  And take care of my whole family. Amen”.  This is her prayer almost every night.  Sometimes when it’s Callie or my turn to initiate prayer, we pray that her mom makes good choices too.  This always seems to help her get to sleep better.  We stand together on this.  We don’t want her to forget her mom.  We’ve seen the same photo album every night for the past week with the same 20 pictures in it of Mary and her mom.  We listen to the same stories, but we have to, because we love her, and we want her to know that she is safe and loved and taken care of. That her life before us, and our house, and are family count, and that it’s important to us. She cries sometimes just because, and we tell her it’s ok becasue it must be hard to not know what’s going to happen next.  She’s been extra cuddly, so we have a special spot on the couch now.  She’s had extra deserts and snacks and a little more freedom.  Anything to make that bitter pill a little easier to swallow.  She has another big transition coming up.  Her therapist (who is an intern) has been working with her for a little over a year now.  Every Tuesday, Mary goes to therapy and does some tough work (through play and art) to get her to express her feelings a bit.  They had a party for her therapist, and on Friday she brought home this huge packet of artwork from the past 15 months.  It’s pretty loaded stuff for a 7 year old.  It gave us a little more insight into what she is feeling and how she is processing what is happening.  The most recent sheet of feelings showed that she is sad because she thinks mom doesn’t love her.  That she feels happy because she has two brothers.  That she feels angry when mom doesn’t show up.  And that she feels confused because she loves us and wants to live with us and gets sad thinking about leaving, but that she misses mom and wants to live with her too.  I can’t even begin to imagine how I would feel in this situation.  All of that said, she’s been doing so well after us telling her that mommy is having a hard time making good choices and it’s not her fault, that to encourage her positive behavior, we bought her a bike!  Callie’s newest obsession (thrift/tag sale shopping on FB groups for a ton of second hand stuff) had her scouring these pages for DAYS trying to find a bike, and we nailed one!  $20, basically brand new.  We took her out for a bit yesterday, and this kid!  She learned how to ride a two wheeler, no training wheels, in 3.65 seconds, and we couldn’t be prouder.  The best part is, SHE couldn’t be prouder!  Total parenting WIN!

LOOK AT HER GO!

LOOK AT HER GO!

And now, back to the Challenge!

Day 11-Favorite TV shows

I can usually ramble off a list of all of my supposed “favorite” TV shows, but the truth is, there really are only 3 shows that I would consider my favorite.  The cancellation or ending of these shows would cause severe devastation, I’m not kidding!  That would probably get me to just throw my TV out of the window, since there really wouldn’t be much use for it anymore.  I have been watching all 3 of these shows since Season 1, and even when I am away on vacation, I have to watch.  I am a reality TV junkie, so it’s not surprise, that my 3 favorite shows would be in this genre.
3. So You Think You Can Dance – (season premiere on June 1st for anyone who is interested – YOU’RE WELCOME!) I have always wanted to be a dancer.  Not because I love to dance but because when I see people dance, it moves me.  It moves me in a way that evokes so many different emotions.  I cry more watching this show then I do watching anything else (except maybe The Biggest Loser).  The fluidity of their bodies, the pain or pleasure punctuated by each pointed toe, the heartbreak and the hope in each leap.  It’s mesmerizing.  And when the men dance, be still my heart!  My boys, they’ll be dancers…they have no choice! OK, they do, but I hope they choose dance, becasue it’s inevitable that this show will be canceled (sigh) and then what will I have?! Hopefully, two boys that can arabesque, pas de bourree, ciseaux, pas de duex with the best of them.
2. The Amazing Race – Just watching this show gets my adrenaline going like crazy!  I know, given the opportunity to have either Callie or Marco as my partner, we would totally be awesome at this game.  I’m a geography junkie, I’m amazing at reading maps (no really, like weirdly good, that I wonder if I was a cartographer in a past life!), I speak several different languages or enough that I can get by in the majority of the countries that they travel to, I’m not scared to try anything new (unless of course it has anything to do with snakes, lizards [but totally chameleons], balloons, or clowns), and with the partners that I would choose, our communication would be so on point, that we would kick some serious ass, and probably, just maybe, make it to the top 3 to win 1 million dollars.  At least I’d like to think so.  But seriously though, I would totally win!
1. Survivor – My all time favorite show…I have not missed a single episode in 30 season.  I can tell you what Players were in what season.  I can tell you the different places that they’ve traveled.  I can recite a play by play of my favorite blind sides.  I remember almost ever winner and runner up of every cast.  I live and breathe this show! 15 years of Survivor and I have yet to make an audition tape.  Maybe this year I will.  I know, with my ability to charm people, make quick friends, be trustworthy but also manipulative, my physical abilities, and how kick-ass I am at puzzles, I would be a tough player to beat in this game. Throw in there my experience with camping, building fire, fishing, and my construction background, I would be a pretty significant asset to my tribe. When I force ask Callie to watch with me, she is always like, “How the hell did you know that was gonna happen!?!”  And my response is, “Because that’s what I would have done, if I played this game!”  And most of the times, all of the moves that I “make”, get me (or my player) right to the finale. Top 3.  I can win this game, I know it!  So maybe next year, you guys might just learn my real name, when you catch me on the world’s greatest show!

Day 12-What you believe

This question can be answered so many different ways, and there are SO many things that come to mind, so I figured I’d answer this question with my heart.

I believe:

  • That love makes a family
  • That it’s never to late to learn to read
  • That random acts of kindness can change the world
  • That we value money too much and family too little
  • In the good in the world
  • In miracles
  • That everyone lies, as sometimes it’s necesary
  • In reincarnation (cartographer remember?!)
  • In God and his divine power, even if it hasn’t been proven to me yet
  • That smiling at random strangers can change their day
  • That we are all created equal
  • That every cloud has a silver lining, no matter how stormy
  • That everything happens just as it should and in it’s time
  • That everyone has a soul mate, but they’re just too scared, or lazy, or complacent or  scarred to keep searching
  • That Love doesn’t always win…right now…but it always wins at the end
  • That letting go is sometimes the best and hardest thing to do
  • That people change and there is nothing you can do about it
  • That people deserve second chances and sometimes a select few deserve a third
  • In Love…I always have and I always will

30 Day Challenge – Day #10

Day 10-Something you’re afraid of

I didn’t want to write this particular post, because well, I’m a ‘fraidy cat.  This post will be in bullet form, otherwise it would take me FOREVER to discuss all of my fears here…and honestly, since this is basically a judgement free zone, I’ll just put it all out there.  All my fears, both rational, and irrational are as follows:

  • Balloons – don’t even come near me with those freaking things!!!  Even my own father can’t believe I haven’t grown out of it.  No clue where it comes from, but I scream if they get to close to me, and I cringe in sheer terror!  This is my #1 fear.  And the fear is crazy real!
  • Scary Movies – I have yet to watch a scary movie in its entirety.  It took months of coaxing me to watch American Horror Story.  This lady will refuse, adamantly to watch any Child’s Play, Nightmare on Elm Street, or anything of the sort.  No way Jose!
  • Clowns – Yup…pretty freaked out by those too, although, not as bad as I was when I was like 20…but still, they aren’t normal!
  • Haunted Houses – I plan these almost every year with my friends and then spend 45 minutes outside of the place debating whether or not to go in. I get made fun of, and then the cast of these haunted places realizes that I’m a sucker and won’t leave me be the rest of the night.  I have never ONCE opened my eyes in a house, and am usually sandwiched between Callie and Marco with my head down, eyes closed shut, and clutching them both as close to me as possible.
  • The Dark – this fear comes and goes, and I realize that when things are a little crappy in my life, the fear is much worse.  I usually turn on all the lights to make my way to the kitchen or bathroom in the middle of the night.  And when I don’t, i get where I’m going really quikcly, turn on the light, do what I have to do, and then shut it off, and run speed walk back to my room, all the while convincing myself not to look behind me, because, well, monsters!
  •  Feet – or at least feet touching me.  They are so freaking gross!  Why would people even want to touch feet?!  I’ll never understand.  I barely touch my own feet!  I can guarantee you, if you try and put your feet anywhere near my person, you will not be walking for a few days…it’s that serious! ( I get mad thinking about people putting their feet on me!)  Someone put a picture of feet (from a Sketchers add in Seventeen Magazine) through one of the slots in my locker in high school, and when I opened my locker, these damn FEET were freaking looking at me, all gross and everything, and I damn near lost it!  Lucky I never found the culprit…sooooo lucky….
  • Snakes and Lizards – it’s all fine and dandy when they are behind glass (although sometimes I envision a Harry Potteresque scenario, when the glass just disappears and the snakes come loose!) but when they are in person, like around someones neck while I’m out and about Coney Island and not expecting it, I totally freak out!  I hauled ass to the other side of the park, and then the anxiety was so intense, constantly looking around and over my shoulder and clearing corners like I was some stealth ninja to avoid a snake, I just left, because I couldn’t anymore! Lizards are no better, all flicking their tongues at me and stuff.  I don’t like that ish at all! Except Chameleons.  Chameleons are super cute!

There’s a ton of other fears, but they are things like loosing my loved ones, and stepping on poo barefoot, or getting a tape worm.  There’s also loosing all my teeth (family has hereditary gum disease and most of my uncles and my grandmother lost most if not all of their teeth by the time they were 40), having sleep paralysis, and having broccoli in my teeth at a job interview.  I’m petrified of getting into a serious car accident, of hitting my cats tail in the door and severing it, and now (THANKS A LOT LADY KING!!!) hair tourniquets! Basically, I’m scared of life! Good thing my wife (as small is she is) is big and bad and brave enough for both of us! Hi, I’m Sammie, and I’m a pee.you.ess.ess.why…