StrangerDanger!!!! What Parents Need to Know

Hi Loveys,

What a whirlwind week it has been.  Some folks asked me to share my latest foray into drama, as it’s something parents need to be mindful of.  I admit that prior to yesterday I NEVER would have thought I’d need to background check people who provide services for kids, but apparently, it’s important.  Yesterday I found out a convicted child molester was advertising to work an an entertainer at children’s parties.  Scary stuff!!  I Angela Lansbury’d it like a champ.  

It all started with Facebook.  A friend posted a picture of a convicted child rapist who was able to cut off his ankle bracelet. Someone posted the pic in hopes that with people all over the country looking for the guy, he would be sought and captured quickly.  I clicked on the picture to look closer, and scanned the comments.  I saw irate people yelling at someone (I will not list his name here as I have already forwarded the info to the authorities for their review of the situation, and there could be legal ramifications for myself for posting his info.)  I will call him D.  D had posted a comment that he didn’t understand the hatred for the child rapist just because he enjoys kids  This struck me as odd….EXCEPTIONALLY ODD. I looked at this guy’s fb page and saw what state he was from.  I then looked at the sex offender registry for that state.  Low and behold, there is a person on that site who has pictures that resemble D, and that person is a convicted child molester!  (The reason I am hesitant to post too many details is because I found the info on the registry, I had to agree to terms which could be violated if I post all his information on here.  This is why I instead alerted the local authorities, and I will get to why I did in a moment).. It appears D is using his middle initial for his FB persona.  His FB page also indicates that he committed crimes starting at age 9, and has been institutionalized multiple times.  This was right there for the world to see.  I Googled His FB name.  There it was……..he was a self employed performer who advertised his services and events, including CHILDREN’S BIRTHDAY PARTIES!  WTF!  I looked deeper and cross referenced his registered offender address with a reverse address site to find the name on the house, and it belongs to someone on D’s facebook page.  It’s the same person.  No doubt about it.  The pictures show the same guy, the address on the registry belongs to someone on his FB page, and the guy doesn’t understand why someone would have anger towards someone who would do such horrible, disgusting things to children.  AND he works at children’s parties.  Now, I’m not sure what the law is about pedophiles working in a capacity that surrounds them with children, but if there isn’t one, there SURE AS HELL SHOULD BE.  I sent the info I had to the police in that jurisdiction for their review.  They have forwarded to the center for Missing and Exploited Children to do follow up on.

The moral of the story here is:

Simple research.  The interwebs is handy for more than crazy cat videos.  If you hire someone to work at your child’s party, it takes two seconds to look them up.  Also, each state has a sex offender registry.  Look them up for your area.  It makes sense to know who lives in your neighborhood, and who interacts with your family.  Hell, if you go on a date, check the registry to make sure you’re not going to dinner and a long dark walk home with Captain Rapeypants or his sidekick, Peeping Tom.  

Look, I don’t know if what this guy is doing NOW is illegal.  What I do know, is that I never, before today, would have thought to do research on something like this, because I tend to initially be trusting.  The fact is, however, that there are tools at your disposal to do some quick searches, and this goes to show they are worth using!

If you need help learning this stuff, let me know.  I’ll help where I can.

Messy xx




39 for 39 minutes

Holy shit. In about 40 minutes, I’ll turn 40. That seems so insane to me. What is on my mind, as 39 dwindles, is how lucky I truly am. I firmly believe that being grateful is one of the biggest ways to achieve happiness. Being grateful for what we have makes us focus on the good things in our lives, and naturally brings some happiness.

Tonight, my son was out and it was just me and the tiny diva. We cuddled, we giggled, we bakes cupcakes, got covered in frosting, ate cupcakes, and cuddled some more. I made an extra effort to truly focus on the moment, because I want it firmly planted in my memory. My son walked through the door and I gave him extra hugs and kisses. My son challenged me earlier in the week to use my Fitbit and actually reach my 10,000 steps each day. Out of 3 weeks I am sad to say I had only reached that goal once. He challenged me though, and all I can think of is that I can’t let him down. I want him to see me reach goals, and make the effort. Needless to say I spent the last hour or so pacing and jogging around the house. I made the 10,000, and I know tomorrow I can tell him with pride that I worked to meet my goal. I am far more at peace tonight than I had expected. Content. It is good.

I have been thinking of my parents a lot. My dad sent me a card with a sentiment in there that was uncharacteristically emotional for him. It was short, and it was sweet, but I don’t think he has any idea how much I was thrilled to read it, and how special it made me feel. I have also made big strides in my relationship with my stepmother. I wish I had realized a couple of years ago that a little (ok a lot) more effort on my behalf would have not only made our relationship far less strained, but would have brought everyone involved a bigger sense of peace. I feel bad that the realization hit me so late that being more open to her wasn’t a slight towards my mother’s memory. It’s a balance I am learning to handle much better these days.

I miss my mom right now. Miss her terribly. Every year on my birthday she would wax poetic about the day I was born. I enjoyed it, but I wondered why she told me the same thing every year. God, what I wouldn’t give to hear those stories again! I realized now she told me those stories because that’s what mom’s do. Now that I am a mom, I do the same thing. I want to share the stories of when my kids were born with them because they were some of the happiest moments of my life. One of the stories my mom told me was that I was possibly a twin. I was born prior to the days of multiple ultrasounds etc, and her belly was huge. She had been pregnant with twins before and miscarried. She had a very hard labor, and lost a lot of
Blood. After they delivered me, the doctor told her to hold off pushing for a moment, and that there was another baby. The nurse started crying, and the dr told her to leave the room and get another nurse. A second nurse came in an the for told her to get a bowl. She too started crying. My mother was in and out of it soon, and she believes there was another baby, but that the baby had passed in utero. She asked her nurse about the other baby and was told she had a healthy baby and should focus on me. She never got an answer, and I guess she decided to focus on the baby she had that was in her arms. She often wondered over the years, and tried to find out, but was unable to obtain my birth records. She asked my grandmother to look into it, but she wasn’t able to find anything out either. I think the records went missing or something had happened at the hospital. It makes me sad my mom died without knowing. Years later, a relative lost one twin after brig diagnosed with twin to twin transfusion syndrome. I now wonder if it runs in my family. I often wonder if I had a twin. I wonder what it would have been like.

I wonder what my mom would think of how her daughter turned out. Would she be proud of me? Would she think I have done ok? Would she be telling me those stories again? I think she would, I know she would. I miss her more than I can express. This birthday feels like one we should be celebrating together. Instead, I shall be thinking of her and missing her, especially during the quiet moments.

I took the day off work, and planned some pampering time. What then happened was that a host of appointments got scheduled, leaving my running errands and seeing drs all day. Not so relaxing. At the very least, I hope to finish the day with a fabulous haircut. I’d like to write more, but this 40 year old is exhausted. Thank you to all who read my ramblings and support me with your kind words. I am grateful for the encouragement! Onwards and upwards to the next 40!

Finding a sliver of the past

Today a news article caught my eye about an arrest made locally. The police raided a house and found bombs, guns, ammunition and the like, The ages of the person was the same as mine, and the name sounded familiar, so I went to look for my old high school yearbook to see if he was in fact a classmate of mine back in high school. I found him in there, his picture next to a picture of one of my high school friends. What I also found in the yearbook, was several papers, pictures and cards. I must have slipped them in there within the past 6 years or so in order to keep them flat and safe until I could find a better place for them. (story of my life..things put somewhere “safe” only to get lost for years until they turn up again.). As soon as I saw my newfound treasure, I beamed with happiness,

Tucked inside my yearbook, was a small treasure of cards, letters and pictures of loved ones and people I had never met. One of the items that made me smile from ear to ear and then get a bit nostalgic, was a card from my mother. On the front is a child and a cat, looking up at the moon. Inside, it says “how I wonder what you are” in type. My mother, in her careful writing, in red pen, had written “have a wonderful holiday. As you can see I have saved up a little money for you. Sorry it isn’t more. Extra $3.00 for a drink on the flight”. The $3 comment shows it was quite a long time ago she gave me the card, because drinks on planes costs quite a bit more these days I believe. I’m not sure what trip this card was for. I don’t remember how much she gave me, or the picture on the card. What I do remember, is being on a plane, opening up this card, and the feeling it gave me, I remember the warmth, love, and feeling so, so loved when I opened this card. I remember feeling guilty she had saved up money to give me some extra spending money so I could enjoy myself. I felt…..mothered, and it was the best feeling ever. I lost my mother to cancer almost 8 years ago. I’ve mentioned it and alluded to it in the blog, and I’ve said I’d write more about it, but haven’t been able to bring myself to. I probably will soon. I lost my mother the same year I got married (she was too sick to make it to the JOP wedding we had in hopes she could see me get married. ). I lost my mother right after I moved into my house, and most importantly, right after I had my son.

At a time when new mothers call their mom’s for advice, soothing, or babysitting, I couldn’t call my mom. When I battled postpartum depression quietly, and felt more alone than ever, I couldn’t reach out to her. When I needed her more than ever, I didn’t have her. I was angry, I was depressed, and I was heartbroken. I don’t care how old you are, if you have a decent relationship with your parents, you always need them in some way, I wanted and needed my mom more than anything, and she was taken from me. I had a wave of the exact same feeling the day I had my daughter. When my hospital room was empty, and the visitors had left, I would cry big fat sobs that my mother was missing out on what would have been such a joyous, proud day for her, and for me. I cried for all the times i knew i would have questions about how to raise a little girl, knowing i couldn’t ask her. I cried for all the stories of my childhood that only she knew. I cried that she would never hold my daughter or son. I cried that they would never know her infectious laugh, her sly sense of humor, or her huge heart that made her always befriend the underdog. On that day, I wanted to be mothered. I wanted to hear my mom’s thoughts on my beautiful little baby, to hear her laugh, and to see her smile. I wanted a hug.

This morning, when I found that card, for a moment, I felt mothered. I felt the exact same way I remember feeling on the plane that day when I opened that card. It was simply awesome. For a brief moment it was like I had stepped back in time. What made it all even better was that right behind that card was a card from my mom’s mom. My grandmother and I, despite living 3,000 miles apart, we’re always close, I thought the world of her and she never made me feel any different from the other grandkids, even though I lived so far away. When she babysat me, she’d let me have fruit and icecream for dinner, for God’s sake. How awesome is that when you’re a kid? Why did she do it? Because once in a while, grandparents can do that sort of thing! That’s why! The card had a picture of the church in the village where I am from. There was also a letter that went with it asking if I remember the church, and that her, my mom, and my aunts and uncles had gotten married there. This made me laugh, because I didn’t remember this particular letter, but I too chose to fly to England and get married in that church, on the same weekend that my parents had gotten married there years before, and my bridesmaid was the daughter of my mother’s bridesmaid. The letter also said that she was sending a picture of her mother, and also her grandparents. I had been looking for these photos for several years and and had been devastated I had lost them, as I was the only person I knew of who had a copy of the picture of my great great grandparents.

Who would have thought that a house raid of a guy with tons of explosives would give me a huge gift on a snowy morning? A few pieces of paper instantly took me back to wonderful moments back in time, and reminded me of the two women who have had the greatest impact on who I am today. Of course, I am reminded yet again that I simply must archive all these family moments and notes. For a long time I couldn’t bare to do it because it often hurt too much once I’d start, and I’d quickly give up. I am getting to a point now where these tokens and memories of the past bring me renewed hope and happiness. My mother gave me a card once to bring me a smile, but I bet she had no clue that day she gave me what a truly great gift, all these years later, that it has become.

Bye for now,
Messy. Xx

F is for 40

The time is coming. The big 4-0, and it’s knocking at my door. I’m not sure why I have such a weird “thing” with birthdays. On one hand, I love them. I love the joy and celebration that birthdays are supposed to represent. I love them…in theory. On the other hand, in practice, aside from cake and presents (because really, who doesn’t like cake and presents?!) birthdays are a milestone by which we look at our life this far. They’re also a sign of us getting older. A sign of being one step close to the end rather than the beginning.

I know deep down that it’s just another day, and that if I’m honest, I’m way more content at this age than I was at 20. I was such a moron at 20. I swear I made decisions that make me literally cringe when I think about them now. A friend reminded me of a comment I made during my youth and it was so dumb I actually winced. What was I thinking? Who was that person?! I was a young, naive girl full of hope and independence. I had opinions and had no fear of voicing them. Consequences…what were those? Yet underneath it all I suffered with self esteem and simply wanted to be loved for me. I took a lot of hard knocks, I got knocked down and had to pick myself back up. I made decisions in the name of wanting to fit in and be loved that would make me go absolutely mental if my daughter did the same thing. I walked a fine line between being content being on my own and independent, yet feeling lonely and wanting people around. Cake and eat it too, so to speak.

Eventually, I got the hang of it. As soon as I swore off dating and really hammered down what *I* wanted in life, things fell into place. I met the man of my dreams and got married, I had my kids. I have joy. I have a job. It’s not my passion, but I enjoy it. People ask me what my dream job is, and I can’t honestly say. My dreams centered around my home life, and I am living the life I want, so anything else is a gift. Things are good, and that’s what frightens me.

I am at the age where I am attending funerals for my friends’ parents. I attended my mom’s funeral. I have friends who have battled cancer. I know my odds aren’t good of escaping cancer, and it terrifies me. Friends are divorcing, some are in rehab. Some are having babies, while some are becoming grandparents. Some of my friends’ kids are going to college. One friend went back to college and just graduated. More than one friend has a spouse who battles depression. We are adults, we are parents, we are losing our parents. Life is getting more scary on some levels. Some are losing everything, others are building from the ground up after their world collapsed. I am one of the lucky ones. I am hanging on and thus far, healthy. Health concerns are more prevalent as we age. Take my family history and it’s down right terrifying.. Adulthood is scary, and I’m not sure I have the hang if it sometimes. I am beginning to understand midlife crisis’.

Yet all this aside, I am happy I am figuring out who I am. I am growing up. I have learned when to speak my mind and when it might be best to self censor a little. It’s a learning curve, but I am improving. I have more patience. I know my quirks. I hold fewer grudges, and I move on easier from anger. I’ve calmed down a LOT. I find I am more open to ideas, but I also know when I am steadfast about something. I know that I am a good mom, a good wife, but a very mediocre cook and quite crappy at domestics. I know it’s a good idea to have dresses for a funeral, a wedding, and a baby shower in my closet. I don’t care that I’m not skinny, as long as I keep my weight in check. I know that I will likely always be one lack of a pedicure away from being locked in the reptile cage at the zoo. I consume too much sugar (but gave up Equal and other sweeteners!) I also gave up smoking, and I stopped taking ambien because it gave me withdrawals. A night in watching Downton Abbey or Breaking Bad, curled up with a glass of wine and wearing my pjs will beat out a club any day. Losing my mom has made me painfully aware that my days could be numbered, and I will always stop to give my kids a hug and kiss even if it makes me late to some adult event I should be at. That 2 minutes I am late to work is worth it if it was spent letting a 7 year old know how much he is loved, or giving a 3 year old an extra hug as I leave the house in the morning.

So while I may be entering 40 under protest, I also consider it a gift. This girl is under construction, a work in progress, under maintenance. I’m far from perfect, and I can confidently say I will continue to embarrass myself as usual, or do or say the wrong thing. Yet I can hope that perhaps I do those things less, that I can listen more, be better. I hope that I can bring back a bit of the fun loving self of my youth, as I have felt her slipping away with the responsibilities of adulthood. I miss her. She was one crazy broad, and she needs to get her groove back. There has to be a middle ground, and I’m searching for it. Wish me luck.

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Hey everyone! It’s a been a while. I’ll explain more on that later, but for now, I wanted to share a few of my favorite things/products that I am loving right now.

For starters, I am still hooked on Method products concentrated cleaners. While clutter tends to be my main issue (too much stuff, not enough room to store it all in!) I love the Clementine floor and surface cleaner, as well as the French Lavender. I bought them at TjMaxx or Marshall’s for a few bucks and they have lasted ages. They are naturally derived, non toxic, and great at cutting grease. They also smell DIVINE. Put a little in a spray bottle, dilute with water, and it’s happy cleaning time. Anything that makes housework remotely enjoyable for me is worth a shoutout.

Next up, Marrakesh Hair oil in dreamsicle. It shines, conditions, and makes hair look immediately healthy, without that greasy look. One squirt is all you need and it smells like heaven. This has totally helped defrizz and gloss my hair, and I am addicted.

Third, my Fitbit Flex. I got this to get a better feel for how active I really am….which is sadly, not at all. This little bracelet tracks your steps, encourages you, has a silent alarm to wake you up in the morning, and also tracks your sleep patterns. It’s also wearable in the shower. I’m now acutely aware of how little exercise I was getting and am now spurred on to walk more and reach goals. I lost a few pounds the first 2 weeks, and am still going. The whole thing synchs on the fly with your phone or computer, giving you a full picture of your calories, exercise, and water intake. I lie gadgets so I’m still entertained by all of the info this little bracelet gives me. It even sends me emails when I reach a milestone. Check them out!

Lastly, and while you may think this is a goof, I love the next product. The last one is PooPourri. When I first saw the Poo Pourri ad I thought it was a joke. It’s honestly, genius. I suffer from poo shame. I admit it. I bought a bottle just because the commercial made me laugh so hard. My husband made fun of me, saying they practically used me as a target audience for it, but even he was floored at how well it works. It literally stops any poop odor in the bathroom, and frankly, may leave it smelling better than before you went in. If you’ve seen the ad and not tried it because you thought it was a joke, I can tell you, the product works. Seriously? If this was around when I was in college and sharing bathrooms, it would have saved me a lot of miles in driving home to go (the poop shame ran deep. It’s a story for another time).

So there you have it…..a small list of my favorites right now. More of my messy life to come.

Messy xx