Follow Me on Pinterest

Wednesday, January 27, 2016



I cannot believe my grandson Jackson Tate is turning 2 years-old. The days and years are just flying by without any regards that it is making me a little more seasoned everyday that passes. JT, Jackson Tate, loves to watch a cartoon called Super Why, therefore his party theme was Super Why.
Hip Hip Hurray!

He loves watching this show on PBS and loves to sing and dance and follow along singing his alphabet. It is funny how children seem to relate to a particular character once they identify with them. Sofia's love was Daniel Tiger, a show that takes after our beloved Mr. Rogers. She loved the color red which happened to be the color of Daniel's sweater. Can't wait to see if he loves the color blue or green.

Let me take a step back to give you a little perspective of how my darling grandson entered the world. As you can imagine nothing in my life is smooth sailing and thus far God has made sure this continues with my daughter for now.
After the pregnancy she had with Sofia and the fibroid issues she had to have some procedures before and during her next pregnancy.
My daughter, had to have a small procedure to help make it possible for my grandson to be conceived. Then she had to have another procedure called, Cervical Circlage, With those things done she started her pregnancy as normal and calm as possible. She needed to have some progesterone shots, be a little more cautious than usual so as not to run any unnecessary risks.
Times have changed and new traditions have started wth these young couples. I had heard but had not attended a "Gender Reveal" party and was about to go to my first one to find out the sex of my grand baby. I knew what it was,  as I have always said I can tell what the gender will be when I look at a mom-to-be. Thus far in my years I have been 100% correct, just sayin. Naturally I had told my daughter what she was carrying but I was still nervous because my record was un-marred up to now. Since Lady Sofia's 2nd birthday and the sonogram happened to be in the same week the parentals decided to combine both occasions.

Time for the announcement came and there was one happy father as the blue, boy, ballon came up from a box. I had told my daughter it was a boy. Haven't missed yet in 50 years.
The celebration about the confirmation it was boy commenced and  suddenly baby clothes, shoes and nursery decorations was all that could be talked about. Months passed all was fine. I tried convincing Chenoa that I wanted to throw a wonderful baby shower since she couldn't have one prior to the birth of Lady Sofia since she went into early labor the day the invitations had been mailed out. Chenoa always my humble child decided she did not want a shower as it was her second child. However, when her aunt Cindy heard the news she stated, "every girl needs to have a baby shower." So  it was planned. Aunt Cindy can really throw a beautiful soiree so I was very happy because I knew everything would be handled as beautifully as I would do it and then some.  I was in charge of the cake and how I love ordering cakes for any party. Got on thee phone with my friends at Bake Me A Cake and we came up with a beautiful design. I don't like to make them, just create and eat them.

We started calling Chenoa's bridesmaids specially her Matron's of Honor. The planning started, the invites went out, shopping had started and the joy of celebrating this baby was around us. The shower was set for the January 19, 2014 at Aunt Cindy's house. Chenoa's friends would be coming in from out of town on Friday and Saturday. 
The weekend arrived and the house was a buzz. Ashley was to stay at my house with her little girl, Zella and Trisha and her daughter, Nikki, were to stay with Chenny and Jonathan. I was beyond excited to see these girls all together as I had know them while in high school and in college. Now I get to see them  all grown up and as mothers. Time does fly. 
These girls were her partners in crime in high school and in college. 
Trisha, Chenoa andAshley

We are all excited and talking about the shower and what we still needed to do. Originally the girls with their girls were going to head to Disney but Chenny decided that would be too much walking for her so they stayed close to home. Suddenly after dinner Chenoa said, "I am feeling a little weird." Famous words for a mom-to-be, it means "baby is coming!!!" We timed her contraction, took bets, laughed and claimed it was gas. Finally Chenny went home early with Trisha and Nikki. 
Ashley and I stayed outside laughing and having a couple of drinks as we were waiting to see where this was going. We heard Chenny and Jonathan had gone to the hospital to be on the safe side and get Chenny checked out. Chenny and Jonathan were about to head home when at the last minute the doctor decided to keep Chenny for observation over night. We all went to bed because we had a shower to go to the next morning.  
Surprise!!!! Baby will be delivered within the hour.  That is what we woke up to. We started by jumping in the shower, calling a sitter who could handle three little girls three and under and two of them didn't know the sitter and were away from home. 
It was like a scene from Steel Magnolia's when Shelby goes into labor during the Easter Picnic. We were literally running around trying to get things ready for the kids, get dressed, not panic. 
Sitter arrives and we jumped in the car. 

Then we realized, it was the day of the shower and the guest of honor will not be attending. Quickly we contacted aunt Cindy, and started calling and posting on Facebook to let everyone know the baby is going to be delivered. 

The second baby shower planned for Chenoa was not going to happen after all. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016



It seems like life was going to continue on without hitches and I was going to be posting every week. But as we all know life surely does not work that way.
Just to bring you to snuff: Lady Sofia is now 4 years old and almost two years ago she became a big sister to her not so little brother Jackson Tate. Lady Sofia has given me a great ride during her short 4 years. You know as a mom you always think your babies are just so smart and clever and plain with- it. Then they grow up and you realize, why they were pretty cool kids and pretty smart. Then you have grandchildren and your big head just grows ten fold because you now think your grand babies are just beyond awesome.
So here goes my story.
Lady Sofia is truly a brilliant little girl. Not just because she is my granddaughter but because she possesses an extensive vocabulary. Truly, I promise. While she was a mere three year old, she would walk out of her pre-school and say something like "grans, it is a really blustery day" Come on, what child speaks that way? Insert obvious grand mother pride, Lady Sofia, of course!!!
Well she is a smart little lady but with that smarts comes a lot of other smarty pants behavior. Yet all of these behaviors become adorable the moment you put the toddler in a nice dress and a bow. I keep telling my Lady Sofia, "your are never done till there is a bow on it." For quite some time I thought this would be the only little girl I have ever known in my life to never ever wear a bow on her hair.

I told you how can you possible stay upset when there is a face full of love and gusto staring at you? 
If we could only stop ourselves in the middle of the day and just really breath in deep and just love the moment you are in just like a child. It would make each and everyday a priceless day just like this moment.

This was also Lady Sofia's brother, Lord Jackson Tate's 1 st christmas 2014. I just wanted to share how exciting and vibrant our old "empty nester" life has changed. 

To  be continued. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Life Has Taken A Dark Road....I Want Off of This Road


Really God...... Really???? Was two deaths and a micro-preemie not enough hurt for one person in a matter of six months? Now my beloved daddy has a stroke? I guess it could have been worst, he could have died. 
Talk about being pulled in so many directions. Work all day, come home get some healing by loving my Lady Sofia, watching from the corner of my eye to make sure my daughter is ok, try to have some sort of relationship with my husband, going to the nursing facility to make sure my dad is being taken care of well. Oh yes I forgot get my campaign organized. Keep that smile on the face because I don't want to make anyone sad. So I hold on to my Lady Sofia as often as I can and I just try to take in her calmness, I love seeing the peaceful expression on her face. It is full of calm, happiness and just plain zen. I think if my Lady Sofia had not been born I would have honestly collapsed. Ahh the breath of sleeping baby is the best zen inducer.  

I remember my husband would sing to our daughter, Chenoa, "Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder. When Lady Sofia would sleep I would hum that song for her. But when she was awake I loved singing "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen. My silly moves and out of tune voice causes her to laugh so big. She is tiny but boy is she mighty. I promise if she was a lion cub she would be roaring. 
I sit and I tell Sofia what her first birthday party is going to be like, what pretty dresses I will be buying her and how she will be just spoiled with from from this Glam-ma, no doubt. I have en told her how I will put a fence around our pool until she is ready for swim lessons 
I am so looking forward to Easter because the bunny is just going to give my Lady Sofia a rockin basket. 
Sofia, my love there is so much we will do together. I will even take this girl to Bergdorf Goodman to shop and have lunch together when she is 5 years old. 
Like Dr. Seuss says "Kid you'll move mountains" in the the poem Oh The Places You'll Go. 

Nite, nite

Tuesday, February 3, 2015



The days go by and I find myself traveling down memory lane. Why did we argue? What was so important to get so mad and either yell or not talk to my brother on this or that day. I was missing him so much. I am missing my my first playmate, my partner in crime of days past, my brother. I can't imagine not being able to call or text him. Texting was not his favorite, he said texting you loose the real connection. I sit and read and re-read a text where his response was "call me, can't text had my thumbs surgically removed." I read it and cracked up. These days, laughter is not a part of my persona so a smile says it all and I just stare at a last joke we shared. 
If I could just share my experience to my kids. How does one explain death to late twenty-something and thirty somethings? You think they would know and clearly understand what the finality of death is really like. But I really don't think anyone understands till they have lost someone very close to them. Before loosing my mom, I would be sad and thought I was being empathetic or sympathetic to friends that lost a parent. Then I thought I knew the pain when I lost my mother in law because I loved her dearly. Then I lost my mom, and I cannot explain to my kids what it feels like. You can never say what you wanted to say, you cannot take back what you might have said in haste. You suddenly try to remember the advise mom had given to  you but you just acknowledged and kept on going because "mom was always here."
That pain, that loneliness seems to always be tugging at your heart and is ever-present in the pit of your stomach. I don't think it will ever go away for good, after all she was there from the beginning of my existence. 
My brother, well the same goes for him. My brother was the first playmate, my first friend, my first foe, my first team mate. Vincente was only 3 years older than I so he was the spear head, I just followed along. Oh what fun, laughter and mischief we shared. Now it will only exist in my head as I do not have someone to share it with. Maybe I will share it with my Lady Sofia. Maybe that is what grand children are for; they are given to us to share our stories with because our children, their parents are busy with life. Now I have the time to see the world through her eyes and she will have the time to listen to my family stories. I get God, this is why you have blessed me with grands. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Does Time Heal All Wounds?


My saving grace has been my darling Sofia. Just holding her and feeling her breath on my cheek and the warmth of her skin against mine has been heeling in a mysterious way for me. I tell her constantly that her Uncle Vinny had all the intentions of coming to meet her once he got better. I also reminded her that his words were so comforting when she was being born "she was blessed before she was born, she will be fine." How I remember those words in my head and in my heart. How I miss him every day. We take our parents for granted and we tend to think "here they go again, do I really have to hear the same thing again?" Only there does come a time when they are no longer here and we think, how we wished we could heart those words from their mouth just one more time. But, when your sibling dies, you are hit by this massive blow to your heart and stomach. All you could think of is, how can this be? He is a kid, he is partner in crime, he is my childhood. But nothing changes, the void is still there. The emptiness is still there and time has not changed it mud. It just isn't as raw. Then you try to to think how do you impart these lessons to your kids. To stop and enjoy your loved ones because they are not always going to be around and you will miss them!!! Damn it listen to me, I want to spare you the pain. 

How does it feel to hold your child's child? Almost like the first time you held your own child but with a little more strength and confidence because it is no longer a mystery. You are now the teacher. " Oh grasshopper, have patience," is what I would like to tell my daughter but a long time ago I had decided I must always remember she is my child, but now she is woman and a mother worthy of her respect as such. So I try not to say too much, it is this high wire I walk on daily. I don't want my daughter and son-in-law to think I am usurping their authority, I don't want the child to feel I am the one with the know-how. But, in the end I remember that some how we all found our way. The way that works for the parents, the child and the household. I see how my daughter likes to co-sleep and keeps Sofia in the room in  her own crib. However, in the middle of night Sofia wakes and cries to be brought in and they concede. 

Now that they have arrived and are currently staying in our nest. Things are a little crazy. My dad still needs his caregiver/companion/housekeeper. My daughter and her family and dog are here all living in what was previously know as the "Princess Suite." Doesn't look too glamorous these days. There are baby clothes on the the shelves, diapers, and bags and suitcases and me's shoes. I keep hearing her say that it is so hard for them to all live in one bedroom. All I can think of is how it looks from this end. My once pristine house has crap all over the place. And not only in her old bedroom. It is in my son's Brandon's room because there is naturally an overflow. It is in my living room in the kitchen, even in the garage!!!! So in my head when I hear either one of them complain about how their life is a little upside down the pyrotechs go out in my head and they are quieter than the whistles and steam sounds as I yell in silence, "do you see what I see?" But the mom in me just smiles and says I know babe it is not how you want to start your nest, she quietly walks away with a glazed look and a plastered smile. 
The year is moving ahead, the pain is subsiding, Sofia is growing. Now my daughter has to make a decision if she really wants to go back to work or does she want to stay home. I side with her working. Why? After all I was a stay at home mom. Yes, I was a stay-at-home mom because my mom worked and my brother, younger sister and I went to sitters. But then again I always knew deep down inside that I was fully capable of caring for myself and my child should I need. I wasn't sure my daughter did. So I encouraged her by assuring her if she did not like the hustle of working and motherhood she could always resign and come home. After all, I had the perfect person to watch Sofia in my house and I would get out of school by 3 PM since I was still working as a teacher that year. 
A plan was set out how we can all work together so that my daughter could resume her career. I wanted her to try because I just needed he to know she could be independent if she ever needed to be. 
March 12, everyone is off to work including my daughter. I hurry up through my day because I needed to get back home to see how my granddaughter did. To my surprise my husband is home!!! But when I walk in I see a look in his eyes which is not exuding good news. I was gently told that my dad, who lived with us, suffered a stroke. Tragedy again? What is happening to my life!!!!!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


The year 2011 ended in a great way, so I thought. My brother, Vicente, who was 3 years older than me got sick at the end of December. I thought all was going to be fine because he was my big brother. He could do anything. He was invincible. He didn't make it, we lost him January 18, 2012. He had promised me that we would not lose another member of our family in 2011. But I guess he knew 2012 would be different. I am devastated. How could this happen? He beat polio, he beat alcoholism, he beat a liver transplant. However, he could not beat loosing his only son who died suddenly. He fell into a major depression and his body stopped working eventually going into liver failure.
How does one recuperate from this? I have an older brother but he is 15 years older than me, we didn't play together. He was a cool guy who had cute friends and never said much to me other than tweak my cheek and smile. I have a younger sister, 9 years younger. I took care of her; we didn't play together I used her as my real life doll.
I never shared dreams or playground stories as I did with my brother Vincent because we created those memories together, they were our story. We would go exploring, he would find an injured bird or cat and we would bring it home so he would nurse it back to health. We would go to the candy store, back in the day, and buy a candy bar and split it. One day we even stole a candy bar, Hersey's chocolate big bar. We were so guilt ridden that when we were walking home we talked about it and suddenly he was trying to make a joke. I don't remember how or why but he said something about petunia. For some strange reason it made us puke. So he said it again and we puked and again he said it and same reaction. Needless to say we puked all the candy bar before we even made it home. Then my mom and dad talked about what they saw on the street leading home and said without a doubt it must have been a drunk guy. Vincente and I just looked at each other and giggled. Only he and I knew what we did and how sorry we felt about stealing.
He knew my nuances and he played them like a fiddle making me cry or making me burst into tears sometimes at the most inopportune times. Like when we would go to church and as soon as the nun was within visual range of us he would say something stupid and I would try not to laugh and made some strange guttural sounds. Then the nun would hear me and just like a stealth missile she would engage her eyes onto mine. I would sit there eyes wide open paralyzed in fear as she floated towards me. At the last possible moment my brother would either drop a thick hymnal book, cough like he was choking or even went as far as gagging like he was about to hurl just to take the attention off of me. Action aborted and nun was now disengaged on me. Once I would catch my breath and gave thanks to be alive I would reach over and give him a pinch on his arm and he would just in turn give me a smirk.
Throughout out lives I knew when he was trying to pull a fast one on me or when he was fibbing by that little smirk. How I miss his smile and his silly jokes. I know have no one to sit across the room and recall the fun things we did. Because we came from a family of 5 siblings we never needed outside friends when we were home because our home was always full of us kids in youth. Then as we all married and had kids of our own the number of people grew even more.
Little by little our family has moved away, my oldest sister passed in 1985. Her daughters moved away as our gatherings were too painful for them to attend. My oldest brother lives far away and my sister moved to Charlotte. This passage of time has turned somewhat sad as we have lost family members. How I miss those carefree days full of laughter and banter. All I now have are memories.
Death can really pull a family apart. I do not know if it the fear of never seeing them again, the guilt of maybe we could have done something to help or change that dreadful day or just the pain one feels when we are together and a void exists where our loved one's position in the family now sits empty. I don't know, I don't understand but a loss affects the whole clan. It is like a picture, where all the brushstrokes and colors whether smooth or strong creates a smooth landscape and the picture is complete regardless of the style. Suddenly this portrait has a tear, does that mean the portrait is different or is it just missing a small piece? Some become closer to try to not let the tear grow and for some the pain is too great to bear and they need to try to erase the picture completely. In our case we seem to try to smash what is left of our picture.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014



Our First Christmas Together.....

Too much time has past since I have posted but here I am and will be posting moving forward.
So to bring you up to date, Lady Sofia made it home for Christmas. As a matter of fact they flew into Orlando in the early afternoon on December 24, 2011. It was the most beautiful sight to see my daughter and Jonathan arrive with the beautiful baby.
The car seat buckles look so big!
We had the house all decorated and the gifts waiting under the tree. I know Sofia did not notice any of this but it was for all of us adults. I wanted the decorations, smells and Christmas music to be the respite after a long journey in the NICU. I wanted to distract the minds of my daughter and Jonathan because they had been put through a roller coaster of emotions ranging from fear, relief, uncertainty and pure exhaustion and I must admit a road ahead of trepidation of what was to come in the future. Having a preemie is so different than having a full term baby.
The tree sparkled, the bows were big and crisp and there was this silly little elf I had purchased at the hospital waiting to great our Lady Sofia.
From the moment my Lady Sofia was born I knew my heart would never be the same. She has me wrapped around her little finger.
My son Brandon and his girlfriend Laura arrived later on that day from New York. As we sat around talking in the living room my eyes were darting at the scene, which was playing out before me. A movie producer could not possibly recreate the emotions I was feelings or could capture that very moment. Everything seemed just right, just perfect. The backdrop was filled with the colors of Christmas, the music of joy, the laughter of all of us and there I sat holding my Lady Sofia close to my heart and feeling her breath on my chest and the warmth of her body.
To think just a couple of months ago I cried and prayed to please not take her from my daughter and to give her a chance.
God listened and answered the prayers and here I sit ever so grateful everyday.