Monthly Archives: December 2012

Is Mom Naughty or Nice?

By Deanna
Every year, just as Thanksgiving is about to hit I get into “Oh no, the Holiday’s are approaching” depressed mode. Dreading the shopping, dreading the whines about what the boys want, listening to Christmas song so I can cry over and over again. I tend to get out of d-mode right about now, which makes for a very magical Christmas (enter sarcasm).
Both my sons (five and eight) are still big believers in Santa Claus and that I am grateful, I actually dread the day the eight year old finds out, the five year old will roll with the punches, the eight year old not so much. This boy is just a pure mush, a delight, a sensitive little soul that every day I come home white knuckling hoping that some asshole from his school didn’t tell him that Santa doesn’t exist. Ya see, I found out in third grade from Kathy Shea, and when I asked my sister Aimee if it was true, she told me yes and added a big wallop that I was also adopted. A Bad Day For Me. Spent at least $100 bucks in therapy getting through that one. Nevertheless, every day I pray that if some jerk tells him that Santa is not real that he has the strength to go to the bathroom and sob, although I’ve been told by his teacher that he’s an open-in-class-crier so I highly doubt that will happen. Shit.
I’m not only dreading that the Santa gig will be up this year, I can no longer count on Santa Claus and The Elf on the Shelf to do my parenting for me. This year, I’m shit out of luck. I’m not sure if it’s because I am so over The Elf on the Shelf (after three years of moving his ass around, it gets old) or because the little freak no longer has any impact on my children’s behavior, actually scratch that, the eight year old is a diligent little solider while the five year old tests me, my husband, my mom, Santa Claus and the damn Elf every day of our lives.
Santa Claus. The Elf. Nothing works with this resilient little bugger. I’ve taken away the Wii, TV, computer. The boy is like Sugar Ray Leonard weaving and bobbing as the blows come he ducks, rolls gets up and is ready for more action. Today I told him I’d spank his tush and he pulled down his pants for me. Really? You’re five.
I screamed. I yelled. I threaten. I followed through. Nothing. I screamed so much the other day so much so that when I had to have emergency oral surgery my eight year old asked his dad “if it was because of all that screaming?” Yes the neighbors on the other side of town heard. You get the point.
Yesterday I made a parenting move that can only be used once a year I told the five year old that he was on the naughty list. The look of horror in his big blue eyes was worth it for about two seconds, as any mediocre parent knows after that two seconds you are consumed with the feelings of guilt deceit disgust. The feelings hit you like a snowball (in the face) and thats the point when you realize (very quickly) that you sunk to a new parenting low. 

The only remedy I had was to get on the horn with Santa but since Santa doesn’t exist the next best thing is to get Santa to send an email. The sister that blew the gig for me sent me this website which frankly is so fricking magical she may of redeemed herself. Every parent should do this it’s that cute. I set up messages for both boys did my best excited “Oh boys Santa sent you an email!!” voice and lead the boys to the computer. As we all huddled around the computer the boys were anxious to see their messages, it was cute to see as the boys were in awe as Santa spoke to them. The eight year old said with so much confidence “I knew I was I’d be on the nice list.” I then asked the five year old “Do you think you are on the nice list?” in which he replied “no.” I tried to reassure him and say you never know, as his message played I could see that he was anxious for Santa to open his book. I saw the five year old quietly stand on his tippy toes stretching close to the screen. As we heard Santa say “You just made the nice list you do need to try harder! Me and my elves are confident you can do it”. As he heard those magical words he teared up ran out of the room quickly ran back with a big smile on his face, and exclaimed with a fist pump “I made it!”
And all is good in the world.  

Posted in christmas, deanna, deanna verbouwens, elf on the shelf, no christmas spirit, santa claus, The Little Buggers

National Blogging Day of Remembrance

By Deanna

As I sit here readying my children off to school I can’t help to think about Newtown, CT, Sandy Hook Elementary.  I don’t understand it, my heart is breaking as is yours, I can’t help but think how unfair it is. The parents in Newtown should be doing what I am doing right now and they can’t and it’s shitty, horrific, and mind-blowing. 

I get to drag them out of bed,
I get to comb their hair.
I get to beg them to get dressed.
I get to bark “eat your breakfast!”

I get them.

I get to wash their faces.
I get to zipper their coats.
I get to tie their shoes.
I get to compromise with them to wear a hat.

I get them.

I get to pack their school bags.
I get to devise and have them repeat our daily affirmations as we drive to school. 
I get to remind them to be kind to others, to listen to their teachers and to behave.
I get to roll down the window and yell “have a good day, I love you!” embarrassing them.

I get them.  

And I know that getting them is a privledge, and being able to raise them is an honor.

I pray for them, for you, for our world, and most especially for all those in Newtown, CT.

26 beautiful souls that will never be forgotten.

Posted in Mangia Mia Fitness Pia, sadness for Sandy Hook, solidarity, That's Life, The Little Buggers


Guest Writer:
By Aimee Pitta

My closest childhood friend’s sister is dying, has been for a while, today she went into hospice and her passing will soon be upon us and by us I mean my friend Therese and her family. A family that has been part of my life since I was 8 years old. A family that anchored our neighborhood, they were the family with the 7 kids at one end and we were the family with 5 kids at the other. They had 6 girls and 1 boy we had 5 girls. Therese’s mom, Dolores, would tease my mom Rose, to try one more time for a boy, their boy Buddy, was the oldest, so it was a lock that my mom would have a boy as her youngest.

Stephanie, Therese’s sister, was number 6, she fell between myself and my sister Andrea. She was a spark plug, a tiny athletic girl with a fabulous laugh and a twinkle in her eye, a cheerleader who was always at the top of the pyramid, and a gymnast who was fearless.

The sisters, Maureen, Gina, Jennifer, Therese, Stephanie and Cynthia, were a sight to behold when they were all together, it was loud, still is, it was hilarious, still is and it was joyous, unfortunately a little less so now. Like sisters, they fought, they squabbled and even though they went to Catholic school for 12 years and wore uniforms, it was mostly over clothes. Just like me and my sisters.

I spent a lot of time with the Cleary family. I played a lot games of Little House On The Prairie with them, I did a lot of swimming in their pool and watching TV and playing board games and trying on make up and dancing and laughing and eating and drinking tab at that house. Those gals always had each other’s back. Just like me and my sisters. They got on each other’s nerves. Just like me and my sisters. They fought and squabbled and stole shoes from each other. Just like me and my sisters.

They were the Cleary girls. We were the Pitta girls. We always had so much in common until now. Now they’re one less in their sisterhood, a bond that has seen them through the loss of their beloved sister in law Donna, the loss of their beloved father, and through the joyous ups and downs of this messy wonderful life.

And I’m grateful. Grateful that I got to know Stephanie, that her thick brown hair, that was usually perfectly pulled back into ponytail, her mischievous smile, and her can do spirit were a part of my childhood. I’m grateful that I got to watch her from afar as she grew up and married and had children because her sister Therese proudly filled me in on her life and her accomplishments just like I do with Therese about my sisters.

And I’m grateful that I haven’t had to face what Therese, and Jennifer and Maureen and Gina and Cynthia are about to face right now. The loss of their beloved sister. I can’t even imagine it. I know it’s inevitable, I know death comes for everyone, I’m just hoping that my sisters and I are so old and so grey and have no teeth and that all the kids are grown, so that we don’t have to come together and be strong, and courageous like the Cleary girls have to be as they fill in for their sister with her 5 young children.

Her sisters were her witnesses. To every joy, every sorrow, every triumphant, every failure and to just about every mundane moment of her life and now their intimate innate knowledge of their sister will be used to fill in the blanks for her children so they can somehow get to know the woman, the aunt, the sister, the daughter, and their mom who they will never really know.

I’m grateful and heartbroken that they can do this for each other. Just like my sisters and I will be one day.


If you would like to contribute to help Stephanie Barry’s Family with the medical bills that have piled high you can donate to the Stephanie Barry Benefit c/o The First Bank of Suffield 3A Turkey Hills Road East Granby CT 06026

photo credit: gfpeck via photopin cc

Posted in aimee pitta, bond, childhood friends, friendship, happily ever before, love, sisters, That's Life