Monday, May 22, 2017

The Broken Hearted Child

 When I was young, my Mom told me that, as a parent, you can only be as happy as your most miserable child. Of course, I didn't really understand this until I had kids. Now that I'm a mother, I understand what she meant. I can't be happy if one of my children is sad...and their sadness is magnified within me.

Earlier today, I picked up RJ's iPad and noticed that he had a message waiting for him from Max, his friend and classmate. I opened up his messages to see when Max had texted and if RJ texted often. I was not prepared for what I saw.

Yes, RJ messaged people. Not exactly "often," but enough and somewhat recently. One of the more recent message was a picture he sent to Day-Day.

My little boy has a beautiful heart. He genuinely cares for the health and well-being of pretty much everyone around him. He worries about his grandparents...he asks about them regularly. When my Mom had her knee replaced, he asked for her every day until he could see her for himself. He is genuinely concerned about those around him. When he doesn't understand something, he often internalizes his confusion until it comes out full force. For the past several weeks, he has shied away from any talk of Day-Day. He has focused instead on Messier and the need our family has for a kitten.

So when I realized that he was messaging his Day-Day, my heart shattered for him. RJ is not big on the written word - he instead expresses himself through art. Through a series of messages, my little guy clearly communicated his very broken heart.

I am so sad for him. I am sad for all of us - but knowing what much be in his head and his heart breaks mine. I can't heal this pain. I can't fix this loss. My sweet little boy gave his all to Dave - they were very close, and he is so missing the man who taught him how to stand up to pee...and so much more.

You can only be as happy as your most miserable child - so for as much as I hurt for me, I hurt so much more for my babies. I can't make this better for them - no matter how hard I try.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Angelina Loses A Tooth

From the time she was about three, Angelina has been asking me when she will lose her first tooth. Some weeks, depending on who she knew that was missing teeth, she would ask daily. I have remained consistent in my response: when you are six-and-a-half. 

At the time, 6 1/2 seemed so very far away. She would likely loss a tooth by that point in time, so there seemed to be no harm. That is until she turned six and didn't have a wiggly tooth. I wasn't too upset about this - after all, she is my baby girl and I don't want her to grow up. But her lack of a wiggly tooth was beyond upsetting to Ange, especially as her friends began to lose their teeth. 

She came home many times this winter with a finger in her mouth, saying "look, Mom! I have a wiggly tooth!" But it never actually wiggled. That was until last week. 

Just last week, she came home all excited. "Mom! I have a wiggly tooth!" As always, I would stick my finger in her little mouth and try to wiggle. This time, however, the tooth actually moved! 

You do! You do have a wiggly tooth! She was so excited. 

With her older siblings, the wiggly phase would last for weeks. Sometimes even months. Not my Ange. Just like always, she has to be different from the rest. 

Rosie came in first today, with Angelina about a minute behind her. 

Ro: Angelina has something to show you, Mom. 

Ange: Hi, Mommy! What looks different about me today? (smiles)

Me: did you lose a tooth?! 

Ange: (proudly) yes I did! I wiggled it and wiggled it until if popped right out during sharing. 

I hugged her. I ooed. I ahhed. I made a big stink. And after she proudly marched off for her after school play date, I cried just a little. As my tears fell, I looked at that little tooth in a baggie ans rhoight "my baby girl is growing up!"


Friday, April 22, 2016

Happy Half Birthday, RJ!

Dear RJ,

Today is your half birthday. Though I don't know quite how it happened, you are 7 1/2 years old today. I feel like it was just yesterday that we brought you home from the hospital - just yesterday that you danced around the kitchen table with a cupcake liner on your head. Just yesterday when you said your very first word - Mama.

I not only love you more with every passing day - but I like you more as well. I wish I could capture every moment of you and your sweetness, but since your school would frown upon a camera crew, a little letter will have to do!

You are my "guy." I love that you still need and want snuggles. I need and want your snuggles too and if I allow my mind to wander to a time when you might reject them, I feel my chest tighten and tears well. I love how caring you are - not just about me. You always ask me how I'm doing, how I'm feeling - and since learning of the baby in my belly, you sweetly will say "and how is the baby doing in there, Mom? Is the baby healthy? Is the baby moving around in there today?" When Nonna had her knee surgery, you asked about her health and well-being every day and often asked to call her to see how she was doing.

I love watching you play hockey and baseball. This weekend is opening weekend for baseball and I am so excited to see you in your uniform...on the field...your little grin is even more irresistible from under your ball cap.

When I ask you to take out the recycling, you often say "why am I the only one to take out the recycling?" You aren't - but I know you feel that way.

Your mind is a sponge - particularly when it comes to animals and nature. You are so in tune to the world around you, it is beautiful to watch. It is no surprise to me that we celebrate your half birthday today, on Earth Day, because you are already so concerned with protecting nature and the world around you.

One of my most favorite things about you is your sensitivity. You are a very sensitive kid and I hope that never changes. This world needs more sensitivity and caring. And you care deeply about so much.

You still have your stubborn moments - you are not a fan of mornings and while you "like" school and going to school - you would be much happier if you didn't have to get up in the morning to go. Your most recent quirk is that you don't like to eat breakfast in the morning, so we have to beg you to eat half a bowl of cereal.

You still love your animals and like to take Miri, the stuffed Meerkat, everywhere you go. You love to play your Jurassic Park game on your DS and Kindle - and are proficient in all things Pokemon.

There are so many little quirks and characteristics that make up your personality, my sweet boy, this post could go on forever! Just know that all of these quirks blend together to make up the one you - and you are absolutely the best and more perfect son for me. I thank God every day for the gift of you and all that you are. I am blessed to be your mom and so grateful that I get to spend my days watching you grow.

I love you.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Spring Fling!

It's SPRING FLING time at Bridges Montessori, Bel Air campus. Though this is only our second year in this community, it is rapidly becoming one of my favorite days of the year.

As parents, we join our kiddos early in their day - Rich and I only had time for a quick run to Starbucks before we needed to be back on campus to watch this super fun day unfold.

The elementary aged kiddos were the first ones outside. Our kids were fortunately grouped together (Thank God for small favors), so we were able to split our time between Angelina in her group and Rosie & RJ in their group. Rosie and RJ first tackled the Recyclable scavenger hunt.

While they were searching for specific recyclable items on their playground, Angelina and her group were digging in the dirt (her favorite!) to plant some seeds. She was so meticulous with the placement of every seed! I am not sure what seeds were planted - but I am looking forward to seeing her efforts grow.

The second event for the little kids was their recycle sort race. Miss Jenn spread out a bunch of different "trash" items for the kids to gather and sort. By the end of the "race," they had sorted the recyclable items into appropriate bins. While they were doing that - the bigger kids were doing a challenging relay race. The relay started with a potato sack race to a cornhole-style board. After three attempts to sink a beanbag, kids had to spin around a baseball bat 10 times before putting a plastic eggs on a spoon and walking around a cone. Once the egg was safely back in its place, it was time to hulahoop and be tied to a partner for a three-legged race. Finally, all of the kids had to work together and hold hands to work a hula hoop all of the way around the circle.

I think a big favorite for everyone was the petting zoo and pony rides. Angelina now wants a goat, baby piglets and chicks. She LOVED them. I think the goat was a huge hit for everyone. RJ and Rosie were pulled out of another activity for the pony rides and were able to take their rides at the same time as their sister.

RJ and Rosie also had the opportunity to plant sunflower seeds around the outdoor classroom behind their trailer. I was pretty impressed with these Bridges people - they got a lot of their gardening done today! Rosie and RJ also collaborated with their classmates to create a frame out of rolled magazine pages. (Rich and I were both amused that our two oldest children were rolling papers on 4/20...)

It was a wonderful day and I am so grateful that our children have the opportunity to share such beautiful times with their classmates in a wonderful setting!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Here we go again...

That's we go again.

The Galasso clan is expecting kiddo #4!

This wasn't something that I expected or planned for at this point in my life. In fact, I really thought the idea of another baby was a ship that had long since sailed. Rosie is 9 - she will be almost 10 by the time this new baby arrives. For a woman who felt the need to cluster my kiddos together, that is a huge stretch!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Beating of my Heart

 Dearest little one - 

I heard you today. You made yourself known loud & clear. I heard the strength of your little heart beating away. I am 7 weeks pregnant now - 7 weeks and 5 days, though it has been just two weeks since I learned of your existence. 

My heart swelled at the sight of you on the screen. You are beautiful.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Welcome to my world, Baby...

This morning I woke up with a persistent thought in my head...

I could be pregnant.

During my regularly scheduled annual visit yesterday, the nurse at Dr. Quartner's office joked that I should go home and take a pregnancy test. I can't tell you why I didn't ask for one on the spot. I guess I just felt such shock. It couldn't be possible...could it?

We went to Disney World last month. From the time we got home, I never felt quite "right." I was excessively tired and felt the need to sleep my days away. After a straight week of persistent lethargy, I started to suspect that I had mono or some other "sleeping" disease that was keeping me from living my life. I even looked up symptoms of depression. It never occurred to me that my exhaustion could be standard, first-trimester sleepiness!

I am one of those Type A, "Need to Know" kind of people. So I needed to know. I went out this morning and bought a pregnancy test at Target. Just a test. (Might have been my cheapest trip to Target ever...) I paid for my test and went straight into the bathroom. The test registered positive pretty much as soon as I peed on the stick. I left the store in a haze.

From there, I went to the dollar store and bought a generic two-pack. Home I went! The first test of the two pack didn't register at "pregnant" control line. Nothing. So I drank more water and tried again an hour later. Test #3: positive.

By this point, Rosie, RJ and Angelina were all home, so life got a little hectic. RJ was off to hockey and Rosie needed to be dropped off at dance. While she tapped, Angelina and I headed to another dollar store - this time to pick up a name brand two-pack. The test had to wait, however, as there were children to shower and feed and get ready for bed.

Once the girls were tucked in, I took test #4. Well...I tried to take test #4. I dropped it in the toilet. Bring on test #5...


No denying it - that is a positive pregnancy test!

Buckle up, baby...we are going on quite the ride!