15 years old.  That’s how old my daughter is and the majority of the girls in my car were today. It was after a gymnastics meet (My daughter competed in vault) and I was the ride home for Alyssa and her friends. They laughed and talked and laughed, sang to the radio, and talked more. My gosh it brings me back, how can it not? I really enjoyed being with them and for a while I was a bit envious. I had a great “teen-hood” IMO anyway. I was on the gymnastics team, had a sweet boyfiend (now husband) and awesome friends. The majority of my friends were guys, there were a few close girlfriends but the majority were guys. The guys were great, usually drama free or less drama than most typical girls. I could trust my close guy friends with most conversations and just trust them with *me* and they were the best “brothers” I’ll ever have. Don’t get me wrong there was plenty of teen angst I mean really…didn’t we all have angst? I laugh at that now, but it wasn’t all that funny back in the day.

Anyway back to the car ride, I loved listening to them talk. Talk about themselves, making fun of themselves, poking fun at each other, talking about other people; not in a mean way though. It reminded me of how serious everything was back then and how everything could *not* be serious as well. In a weird way they made me want to go back. But only to go back to the fun, not the angst. The fun of being so young with everything ahead of you. Everything. Only you don’t know it. I never thought I’d enjoy being around teens. It seems like forever that your kids are small and you’re in charge of everything. Then you turn around and they’re “going out”. I’m cool with that I really am it’s just odd and fun to see your kids at an age you can really identify with. I can’t imagine what it’s like when they get much older into adulthood. I know those days will come but right now I’m enjoying watching from the outside and getting thrown back into my own memories~but only the good ones.

Up early

I’m up before everyone.  I do this fairly often and it’s really nice.  I’m up before the craziness of everyone getting ready for school.  That includes me getting decent hair and face going on.  I take Samantha to school but I’m not one to go in my pajamas.  Except for the barking of my dogs (for whatever reason early mornings are cat chasing time.  Go figure.) it’s really quiet.  Like hear a pin drop quiet.  So cool.  This used to be the quiet I would get at night when everyone was small.  They were all pretty much were in bed by 9pm the latest.  These days …nope.  Everyone seems to be up forever and want to talk.  Meanwhile by 9:30 ish I’m all talked out and I’m ready for the quiet. 

I pick up Thomas tomorrow for a weekend visit.  He’s so looking forward to coming home.  Every phone call these past 2 weeks has included confirmation of the date I’m coming to get him, Feb. 1st and that yes, I promise I’m coming.  Oh and that I spoke to the social worker about said date.  He’s funny but I don’t blame him I’m sure I’d be the same way in his shoes.  I’m impressed with how Thomas speaks to me sometimes.  He actually said, “Mom, you *promise* you’re coming?”  Who knew that he knows the concept of a “promise”?  Not me until he said it. 

I’m off to the city today (another reason I’m up earlier). Earlier this week I was reflecting on how things have changed since I started seeing Nancy.  When I first went to her I was terribly clinically depressed.  I hadn’t started meds yet, actually I was terrified of meds and said I would NOT take them.  That adamant position changed rapidly when I realized that no amount of therapy was going to help that this was more serious than I thought, plus I became more afraid of the depression than the medications.  When I first started seeing Nancy,  I cried through every session and after we were done I’d walk down Broadway on the upper west side for blocks and blocks, many times fighting back tears.  One time and I know this was The Lord’s work, my wonderful friend Jackie called me as I was walking.  I couldn’t believe her timing. I walked and talked and cried down Broadway on the cell phone with her for about who knows how many blocks.  Probably 10.  Until I saw a subway station for my train and decided I was tired of walking. Amazing how I thought I was all along when I wasn’t. I had the Lord with me and then He prompted Jackie to call. I love those perfect timings.

Ok, it’s getting later and I must start the chaos we call mornings. I’m extremely thankful the only one I have to “help” a little is Samantha. She really needs prompting and that’s ok. I’m off!

Leaving it in His Hands

This past month I’ve written 2 business plans.  Never in my life did I think I’d even write one let alone two.  Since this was self imposed I just buckled down and did the work.  No complaining, little procrastinating even though only one plan had a “deadline”.  One is for a grant application that I feel will be the work of The Lord if I even place in the finals.  Although even if I do say so myself the business plan I wrote for that application is one of my better pieces of work.  That first plan has a template that is specific to their application so in a way it was more inspiring for me to write that one.  The second plan I used a more traditional template and I’m not as confidant in my writing. Funny I didn’t procrastinate writing either one even though it really wasn’t imperative to write the second one, it’s good that I did because it puts my thoughts and plans down on paper.  I’ll find out how organized the second one is in the next few days.  I’ve been in contact with an organization that helps out people who want to start a small business.  They work out of the local college and the man they assigned me too has been awesome.  Oh my goodness.  He has been (IMO anyway) going totally out of his way to help me and believe it or not he lives down the street.  God is good.  Yet another person He has placed in my path. I remember a few years ago, a friend I met through church once said to me “There are no coincidences Menay”. I believe that with all my heart. People are strategically placed in our lives by Him.

Anyway, I’ve been praying about these business plans I’ve written and the future of my business (WWW.Nayaudo.com) and I admit it is all in His hands. That’s not to say I’m *really* not hoping things go the way I would like them too and I’m not working as hard as I can to ensure they do, of course I am. But in the end I know it’s not all up to me and it’s not “fate” it’s God and His plan.

I’ve acquired a body form or mannequin. A wonderful friend accompanied me to Manhattan to get her after I responded to an add on Craigslist. I’m beyond thrilled with “Sophia” the mannequin (I had to name her of course). She makes the clothes look so much more “real” than me taking a picture with say a sweater on a hanger. Now I just need to update my website. I’ve been procrastinating doing that of all things. I didn’t procrastinate writing a business plan but I’ll procrastinate playing with my website, go figure.

Speaking of procrastinating, I didn’t procrastinate the actual writing of the business plan for the grant, I’m procrastinating putting together the whole application and sending it off. Nice huh? I need a good nudge to just get going and finish.


I remember before I became a mother, before I had kids.  I was good with kids.  I used to teach gymnastics to children of all ages, like 4 yrs to 14yrs ish.  And the kids liked me.  I knew it all too haha!  Like everyone else did before you have that first child that totally rocks your world in ways you could never imagine.  Before I had kids I had all these things my kids were never going to do, see on television, or eat, I think I even continued that ridiculous image up until Thomas was a year old.  Silly. 

To say Thomas rocked my world is an understatement.  I mean we went through the whole newborn adjustment period all new parents go through.  Then at 6 months we had the CT scans, skull x rays, the helmet, Physical therapy, etc…  I seriously wouldn’t wish it on anyone.  But we got through it.  I never would have even for a millisecond thought that would be my life with *my* child.  Never.  I , like many other Mom’s was supposed to have this totally typical child who was all sorts of wonderful and did all sorts of typical things.  I’m sure other Mom’s of special needs feel the same way.  Don’t get me wrong,  I’m not bitter woman, Thomas is who he is and I love him all the same, I just NEVER thought our lives would turn out the way they did.   Sometimes I wonder how we got through it.  Neither one of us were particularly “religious” in the early years, I know I did pray but I didn’t have the relationship with The Lord I have now. 

I remember the person I was before I had Thomas.  I knew it all man, yes I did.  I’m thinking I wasn’t alone in that attitude.  Honestly I wouldn’t have liked to continue on that path, that road of knowing it all.  Thomas broke me down and made me who I am today.  Or should I say The Lord broke me down using my son as an example to me to be different, to grow a different way.  Yes, I think that is a more correct statement. When I suffered from depression there is a part of me that believes The Lord broke me down there as well, that I was maybe getting too cocky, or comfortable perhaps redirection was needed. I don’t know it just feels that way. I’ve learned a lot from the depression, things that would probably have gone un-noticed by me if the road didn’t turn the way it did. I’m NOT saying it was this magical, mystical, exploring time, not at all. It’s just the way I feel and believe.

I know I’m not alone in sitting there wondering where that original vision of life went. I’m sure many lives are complete 360 degrees from where one started. It’s really amazing isn’t it?

Thinking about things


I was thinking about a few things today.  First is our rescue dog named Riley.  We didn’t name her she came with the name and since she was 2yrs old when she adopted us last June we decided not to change her name.  Although for some reason when Thomas said “Riley” for the first time it came out “Rogerey”, so that is officially her nick name or “Roj”, oddly enough she will answer to it.  I know I say this all the time that the Lord leads us; but He truly did with Riley.  She’s the perfect blend of sweet, affectionate “wouldn’t hurt a fly” plus neurotic enough to fit in our family.  She needs a lot of attention which is ok with just about all of us because we love her.  I can’t imagine our life without this dog.  She filled a void and the Lord led her to us.

I was also thinking about prayer.  I really believe in prayer and that God hears us.  When I walk Riley after dropping Samantha off at school, it’s not uncommon for me to walk/pray/walk/pray.  I enjoy it.  I enjoy the solice, knowing Riley isn’t going to talk and interrupt me although there have been plenty of times I’m deep in prayer and not paying attention to Riley and she’ll make a sudden stop.  I’m sure it looks hilarious.  Sometimes it feels that way too.  Lately when I pray I’ve been praising more than anything else. I’ll pray on the ferry and subway and praise Him then as well.

I was also thinking about my therapist. Lately we’ve been talking about “things” and I leave feeling enlightened a lot of times. I never thought someone would be able to organize my thoughts and feelings the way she does. I realize she’s on the outside looking in but I’m impressed. I’m incredibly grateful to God for putting her in my life as well as my doctor who listens to me, actually listens. Some doctors have a “my way or the highway” approach and that can really stink. I’ve been blessed to have a physician who hears what I have to say and make necessary changes if I’m not happy. Again, this physician was put in my life by The Lord.

My husband entered my thoughts today too, as usual. I mean I think about him every day, but today I was just thinking about how he loves me and I love him. Quite simple really.

Praise Him.

Phone calls

Our son, Thomas has been calling us lately from school.  I don’t think we called him once, but he’s called us just about every evening with the exception of 2 evenings I believe.  And last night get this, he only wanted to talk to me.  It was really sweet.  Not a deep conversation mind you but he wanted *me*.  This is a big deal, for me at least because when he’s home and starts to get comfortable, Thomas starts sliding backwards towards behavior that landed him in the residential school to begin with.  So to have him say, “No Mom, I want to talk to you”  when I asked him if he wanted to talk to his father, is really sweet and just reinforces that he does love me.  Yes I know he always loves me but it’s difficult to logically tell yourself this when this sweet boy is giving me dirty looks for no reason.

When Thomas returned to school after Christmas, I was ready to have him go back but felt so guilty about feeling that way. Fast forward 2 days and Thomas calls us from school sounding so good, so comfortable, so at home…it was amazing. That really took the sting out of him going back and took some of the guilt away. After talking to Thomas last night it made me want to visit him even more. Tommy and I were discussing the best day/time earlier. But I have to bring the boy socks. He kills me. Thomas insisted he only has one pair (I find this hard to believe) and that we have to bring him socks when we visit. I called the social worker and she promised to look into the sock issue. Regardless, we’ll still bring him socks, why not?

I don’t miss it

I’m a people watcher.  I watch people where ever I go, the ferry, subway, the school yard, anywhere.  Lately I’ve been watching mothers with young children.  I was that mother not too long ago.  Bringing a child to kindergarten while bringing younger siblings along whether walking, carrying or in the stroller.  It wasn’t easy.  And to be honest I don’t miss it.  No I don’t, there I said it.  People would say to me that I would miss when the kids were young as the kids got older.  Nope, I don’t.  I’m enjoying them as they get older.  I’m not always a fan of the attitude and tone of voices I deal with but for the most part life is easier.  Maybe because life was so stressful trying to figure out Thomas and also raise Alyssa and Daniella. 

I look back at me when Thomas was 5, Alyssa 3 and Daniella a baby. Ack!  Craziness man.  One time I had to get something to wear for my sister’s daughter’s christening.  There was a boutique around the corner and Tommy was working so much I had no choice but to bring all 3 kids with me.  Thomas was I think 7, Alyssa 5 and Daniella 2.  The dressing rooms were the ones with just a curtain covering, we all know how secure that is!  So while I’m trying on clothes Alyssa yells, “MOM!  Thomas just ran out of the store!!”  Of course the store was on a very main street, I ran out of the dressing room yelling at Alyssa to watch Daniella and I grabbed Thomas trying to make a break for it.  I won’t go into how dressed I was or wasn’t but I’m sure some people got a “show” that day.  I laugh now but I wasn’t laughing then.  I’m sure we as mothers/parents all have similar stories.

By the time I had Samantha, Alyssa was 8yrs old and what a help she was!  OMG I never imagined she would have been that great.  By the time Samantha was a year, Alyssa was helping me feed Samantha breakfast.  I didn’t have much help when all 3 were younger at the same time.  I really enjoyed Samantha’s babyhood and even toddler hood.  I’d have to say mainly because the girls were older and Thomas was stable so life was easier. Even now I enjoy Samantha at 7yrs old. 

At one time I thought I never get out of the diaper stage, then I thought I’d never get out of toddlerhood, grade school…etc…  Currently I have one girl in each school ( high school, middle and grade school).   It’s fun and interesting because even though one already went through middle school, the next one is having a completely different experience.  And I’m sure she’ll have her own high school experience as well and then Samantha will be off to middle school.  Yep, I’m good with all this. 




Getting down to business

I’m in the middle if writing my business plan for my store I dream of opening one day. Yes I dream of opening a high end resale store in my neighborhood (I love my ‘hood). I had the opportunity to take an entrepreneur- ship class last year at the local city college and it was all about learning how to write a business plan. Since last spring I have been procrastinating writing my own plan. Now that I want to someday make this dream a reality I need the business plan.

I feel like I’ve given myself a huge homework assignment. I’m not complaining since this is self imposed but I’m overwhelmed a bit. I think this is the direction The Lord wants me to go. You know when things fall in that direction. I’m not saying I have this clear cut path and message, no not at all. No matter what other things I think of doing as a “grown up” this is one thing I can’t get out of my mind and I keep coming back to it. I have this thrill of the thrift that I keep talking about.

If I’m wrong and it’s not meant to be The Lord will show me and point me in a different direction.

So getting back to this business plan…I know I’m procrastinating by writing here. I haven’t drawn a blank like the one I have for certain parts of this plan in a long time. Usually I start writing and things take off. It’s forcing me to dig deep and use this brain God has given me. I know I can do this. It’s not even like I have little children around anymore to distract me. Even as I’m writing this I’m uninterrupted so I think I’ll take this as my cue to stop procrastinating and get to work. I won’t ask for a wish of luck but a small prayer couldn’t hurt :). Thanks.

Don’t Say it Out Loud

I’m talking about common treatments for depression.  Medications and therapy, that’s I’m familiar with anyway.  When I first started seeing Nancy for my depression I was dead set against medication.  No way, no how, I’ve thought about it…NO.  I was terrified as I’ve written in previous posts. If I started medication I thought I was weak or *really* so sick I that couldn’t wrap it around my brain; I was that messed up and that I needed that much help.

I’ve written about how I did decided to see Dr. L and I did agree to try a mild anti-anxiety med first and then realized that it wasn’t enough. I agreed to anti depressant medication and thus began the trial and error “rollercoaster” that isn’t fun but sometimes necessary to get the correct me or correct combo of meds.

Not until recently did I really appreciate the severity of what happened to me almost 2 years ago when I “went to bed”. I had a severe clinical depressive episode. Nothing like that had ever happened to me before, even when I had the miscarriages. After months of Thomas’ behavior not to mention years of pushing things aside or just trudging through it all, I couldn’t do it anymore. I used to get annoyed at people who say, “I don’t know how you do it” referring to my son and my girls when Thomas was not doing well. You “JUST DO IT” as the Nike commercial says. You seriously just do. You put your head down and go forward.

When Thomas became aggressive to me after years of him being so stable that he wouldn’t even think of hitting me, I broke down. I remember thinking I couldn’t go through this again. I guess once around is my limit. That trauma was so intense I still struggle to describe it and talk about it.

But getting back to taking medication. This past year when talking I found I still lowered my voice if I decided to tell someone, “I take antidepressants” Why do we still do this? Lately I consciously keep my voice even, I mean I don’t need to yell it or shout out loud but I don’t want to lower my voice as if I’m ashamed or I’m afraid other people will hear. I’ll tell anyone I’m in therapy. In fact I think everyone should have the opportunity to go into therapy. What happened to me changed the chemistry in my brain. That is not my fault and nor is it the fault of anyone else suffering from depression. Like the miscarriages I felt betrayed by my body. Why couldn’t I just carry on and trudge on through like I did in the past? Why did I now have to deal with “this”?? I felt broken. And then feel embarrassed that I was taking medications? Today I’m not embarrassed that I take meds, it’s necessary at this point in my life much like insulin is necessary to a diabetic or blood pressure medication to a person with hypertension. I know everyone always says that so much it seems like lip service but it’s so true why not say it again.

Lets not whisper it anymore I promise I won’t stare if you won’t.

Hit the thrifts!

I’m so glad I made it to Manhattan to see Nancy before the snow started.  I don’t know which I’m more happy about, seeing Nancy or hitting on of my favorite thrifts. I scored a gorgeous Lulumon hoodie, OMG that brand is expensive, who knew?  Not me I can tell you.  Anyway I paid 2.00 and I’m proud of it.  I also picked up a couple of sweaters I needed and another hoodie/sweatshirt that has cool embroidery and sequins.  Right up my alley.  Got to love the bling :).

So it’s now snowing and it does look pretty.  Everything looks so quiet and peaceful and clean.  I’m not a fan of snow by any means (not that I have any desire to move down south), but it is nice to look at when it’s first coming down. My girls are already planning their “snow day” tomorrow. They rarely close public schools here but you never know, besides I’ll most likely keep them home anyway.

I noticed this week how much I really have come to enjoy the thrift stores. I got my husband to come with me one day this past week. He’s not a thrift shopper and that’s ok. He came along because he loves me. I told him it’s a “hunt” he said he knows but it’s not his thing. Meanwhile I felt like I had to hit every rack or Heaven forbid I miss something! Ack! Today in Manhattan I noticed I’m quicker in going through the racks and how I can feel quality fabrics and I notice the workmanship of how a garment is finished. That’s how I found the Lulumon hoodie, the fabric, the workmanship, it’s gorgeous.

I also love the one thought mode I have when I’m in the thrifts. All I think about it the hunt and search. Not much else, unless I come across something I know someone is looking for. Then it’s as if I hit the jackpot! I can’t take a picture and text fast enough. And if that person isn’t eagerly awaiting my surprise text (like they really would be…right…) and get back to me right away I’m torn; do I buy this item and take a gamble or leave it and have thrift regret? Most times everyone gets back to me so all is right with the world.

I do have personal thrift regret, certain handbags I hemmed and hawed about and then left them! Oh man…I still think about them believe it or not. I think that’s the only thing I waver on is handbags. Mostly because many times they are priced higher than clothes and do I want to blow my thrift budget on a handbag I may not be in love with and use? Sometimes I totally score like the Kate Spade bag I have from the thrift, it’s new I don’t think anyone used this bag.

I hope this snow doesn’t stick around and keep me housebound and away from the thrifts!