Tinklemeister Turns 5

I love my little man. It seems like yesterday the doctor was announcing “It’s definitely a boy!” Three thirty in the afternoon on June 2, 2006, was a great time for me. My third miracle was born. I thought that my heart could never hold so much love without exploding. I was never so wrong in my life.

He’s my little red head (now strawberry blond) with the yummiest blue eyes and the quirkiest smile ever.

Always the perpetual mess maker and mischief maker, Tinklemeister keeps us on our toes. He’s what keeps me young and I am proud to be his Mom.

So, thank you for coming into our lives. Thank you for all of the fun we had today celebrating your special day. The Zoo trip with Buddy’s class was amazing and the Lego shopping trip was immense fun. Dinner at Mr. Gus’ Coney Island, playing I Spy! made lots of laughs and memories. And topping our day off with dessert at DQ, well that was the icing on the cake.

Keep amazing me day after day. I love seeing the world through your eyes!

I love you to Pluto and back again my littlest man! I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living MY baby you’ll be!

Hugs and kisses,
Mom ❤

Posted in Adventure, Childhood, Happiness, Hope, Life, Love, Memories, Motherhood, New adventures, Traditions, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Edible Memories

Here we go again! Yet another fabulous prompt from that darling that we all love, Mama Kat.  This one’s gonna be a breeze.  It jumped right off the page at me and smacked me across my watering mouth!!

Prompt #5: Comfort food at it’s finest. Share a family favorite recipe you loved as a child.

Growing up in Philadelphia, I had a great life.  It was simple and understated but I couldn’t have asked for more.  I had two loving parents that worked hard to give me all my heart could desire.  Through their sacrifice I was able to attend the best Catholic grade school and high school in our area. I never went without anything I truly needed in life.

One place in our house that I loved to be was in the kitchen with my Mom.   Hands down, I had THE most kick-ass Mom in the Universe!  She is an amazing woman who can make the most delicious meals out of anything she touches.  Corn flakes, tomato paste, olives and spinach? Give it to my mom and she’ll make you a meal fit for a king!  She’s like that, just sayin’.

The most favorite meal my Mom ever made took four ingredients. That’s it, four.  No  more, no less.  It’s something that to this day, when she comes to visit me in Michigan, I MUST make her cook.  Pierogi with bacon and onions.  My mouth waters and my stomach grumbles just thinking about it!  Such a simple recipe that packs a wallop of taste in each bite.  So without further fanfare I give you:

Mama Carlene’s Positively Perfect Pierogi

  • Ingredients:
    • One box of Mrs. T’s potato and cheese pierogi
    • One pound of bacon
    • One large yellow onion
    • One small container of sour cream.
  • Preparation:
    • Dice both the bacon and onion into large chunks and set aside.
    • In a large sauce pot, bring lightly salted water to boil.
    • Place pierogi in water and return to rapid boil
    • Boil until tender remove from pot and let drain on a plate
    • In a large frying pan, cook bacon till cooked to you liking
    • Remove bacon from pan and set to drain on a paper towel. Do NOT drain the grease from the bacon.
    • Place onions i n frying pan and cook until translucent
    • Remove onions to same plate as bacon and allow to drain.  Do NOT drain grease.
    • Carefully place pierogi in frying pan.  Cook for 3 minutes on each side or until the pierogi are crispy.
    • Remove from frying pans and set on paper towel to drain.
    • Continue this until all pierogi are cooked.
    • You may now discard the grease after it has cooled
    • Plate pierogi. Cut in half.
    • Place one or more tablespoons of the bacon and onion mixture into the pocket of the pierogi half and top with a dollop of sour cream. Repeat with remaining pierogie.
    • ENJOY!

YUM!!!!!  Now I’ve got to run to the store and get the ingredients……. Tooooooooddles!

Mama’s Losin’ It

Posted in Adventure, Childhood, Food, Happiness, Life, Love, Mama Kat's Writers Workshop, Memories, Motherhood, Recipes, Traditions | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Therapy in Six Short Words

Blogging for me is great therapy.

This poem brought to you today by:

 Mama’s Losin’ It

Posted in Life, Mama Kat's Writers Workshop, Poetry, Self Awareness, Six Word Memoir, Therapy | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Haunted by the “What Ifs?”

If it’s Thursday it must be what I call, Mama Kat Day!  Each week bright and early on  Tuesday morning I hungrily search my email waiting for the newest writing prompts.  This week’s, like every week, got my brain to churning.  And I might add that my heart stopped when I got to the second prompt.  I knew right away what I would write about.

The prompt is as follows:

2.) “One need not be a chamber to be haunted, One need not be a house. The brain has corridors surpassing material place”. -Emily Dickinson What haunts you?

I’m always second guessing myself about choices I’ve made in my life. Always asking myself “What If?”.  Would things have turned out for the better or for the worse? Would my life be richer spiritually, monetarily, healthier, happier?  As fate would have it I would have one of the biggest “What Ifs” hanging over my head and heart for the rest of my life.  The elephant in the room at every holiday, every birthday, every special milestone in life…

What if I hadn’t pulled the plug?

Nine and a half years ago, in early November of 2001 I awoke to what was going to be a typical day in my life.  Get up, shower, dress, head off to a job that, looking back, I totally despised.  It was the same routine day in and day out.  The only difference was that unlike other years, I was pregnant with my first child – twenty-five and half weeks to be precise.

I am one of those people who has Swiss cheese for a memory when it comes to dates, time and places.  But this, however, was a Thursday I will never in my entire life forget.  I will take the memory of that day and the following four days with me to my grave.

As I stood up to answer my boss’ phone, it happened.  I felt a rush in my stomach and thought that’s odd. I’ve never felt that before.  That feeling was quickly followed by a gush of water.  Holy crap! Did my bladder leak?  Is this part of pregnancy no one told me about I thought? Or worse, did my water just break?

Off to the bathroom I went.  By the time I got there, my worst fear was realized.  My water had broken prematurely!  This can’t be happening to me! It just can’t! All the drugs I took to get to this point in my life, to get the ability to conceive a child were now all in vain.

Co-workers rushed me 20 minutes back to my town and to my hospital.  Once there, my fears were confirmed.  My water had, indeed, broken and the doctors gave us the low down.  Since I wasn’t having any pain and I hadn’t dilated, my child’s birth was not imminent. There was time to get me to a hospital back in the city that specializes in cases like mine.  It would be my home for the duration of my pregnancy.

That evening while settled into the new hospital, the doctors came in to do one of about 50 ultrasounds I would have prior to my child’s arrival.  That Thursday I, along with my husband, learned for the first time the sex of our child.  A girl. With the aid of 4-D ultrasound, I got to see her beautiful smile, her wrinkled up nose, the ten fingers and ten toes.  We were even able to see that she had some wisps of hair on her perfect little head. In all ways she was perfect.   Well, practically perfect anyway.  Her tiny little lungs were under developed.

From the moment I conceived her I loved her.  From the moment I heard her heartbeat I knew I would die for her. Our little junior (our nickname for her) was our greatest blessing to date. I loved her more than I loved life itself.    That night she got her name, a name my parents at one time intended for me,  Samantha Marie. I couldn’t bear the thought of losing her.

We were offered the opportunity to enroll Samantha in multiple drug studies.  We were both enrolled in the Human Genome Project.  I’d do anything to help her live!  I received inter-venous medications to maintain my fluids and to help her lungs to quickly mature.  All to no avail.

Four days later, at 10:36 AM on  November 12, 2001, Samantha Marie, met the world head on!  Her tiny body so fragile. I never got to see her that morning after she was born. But I did get to see her that afternoon.  She was the smallest baby in the NICU.  She weighted in at one and one-half pounds and was 12 inches long.  And she had a mostly full head of auburn hair.

Sadly she was unable to hold her oxygen levels steady and by 6:30 that evening (her Daddy’s birthday to boot) we were rushed to be at her side.  We were, at that time, asked to make the hardest choice we have EVER had to make in our entire lives.  Force her to fight or to let her go.

I knew in a moment from looking at her tender face that my answer was simple… Looking at eyes that never opened I knew what she would want from her Mama. She wanted to be free of the pain and the agony.  Without a moments hesitation, I asked them to shut her machines down.

Before they shut everything off, the nurses wheeled me to a waiting area and while we  waited, they gave my darling a bath and dressed her sweetly in a beautiful hand made white gown and placed the most adorable little peach hand-crocheted cap on her head.

When they brought her to me, she was barely breathing, but she held on long enough to be with us, be real to us. To feel our love pulse through her tiny body. It was both the most ecstatic and mournful moment of my life.  Our pure angel passed away in the arms of her Daddy 40 minutes later.  Life would never be the same again for either of us. And the “What Ifs” came rolling into town.

Nine and a half years later, when I see her female cousin M., who was born a month later, I often wonder…. What if Samantha had beaten the odds? What if the drugs would have worked? What if we had forced her to fight?  What if? What if? What if?

Over the years, a new kind of  “What if” has rolled through my mind, heart and soul.  They’re the only ones that don’t haunt me to the point of hurting…

What if her short little life, having been enrolled in all of the studies we signed up for, saved someone’s child?  What if her existence on earth made a difference in someone’s life? What if her test results gave the doctors answers for a future premature child?   Those are definitely “What Ifs” worth holding onto!

Mama’s Losin’ It

Posted in Anxiety, Fighting the Odds, Hope, Life, Mama Kat's Writers Workshop, Neo-natal Death, NICU, Premature Birth, Survival, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


Stubborn red head; keeps life interesting.

Brought to you today by our favorite gal:Mama’s Losin’ It

Posted in Adventure, Childhood, Happiness, Hope, Life, Love, Mama Kat's Writers Workshop, Poetry, Six Word Memoir | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment


Asperger’s didn’t rob; gave him gift.

Brought to you today by our favorite gal:Mama’s Losin’ It

Posted in Asperger Syndrome, Autism, Childhood, Happiness, Hope, Life, Love, Mama Kat's Writers Workshop, Poetry, Six Word Memoir | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


Lovely little girl taken too soon.

Brought to you today by our favorite gal: Mama’s Losin’ It

Posted in Happiness, Hope, Love, Mama Kat's Writers Workshop, Memories, Motherhood, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Apartment

If it’s Thursday, it must be time for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop weekly writing prompts. Like every week, there were five great prompts, most of which I could go on and on about.  This week the first prompt felt like it would be the easiest one to flow from my fingers.  So here it goes, for your reading pleasure.

“What was your big dream for yourself when you were 18 and had graduated from high school?”  Boy, what a loaded question that one was!  There were MANY dreams floating through my head when I was 18 and getting ready to march down the aisle to Pomp & Circumstance.  Two dreams in particular were screaming in my ears to listen up and act quickly on them. They involved a “man” and a “home”.

The “man” one was simple, or so I thought.  Win back the heart of my on-again, off-again high school love who I always thought would be “THE ONE”.  Well, after a summer of trying, that one went bust. Oh well, on to bigger and better dreams right? Right!

The “home” dream took a lot longer than I anticipated but after 10 years, I achieved that goal and realized my dream come true.  But, as usual, I have just put the proverbial cart before the horse.  Let’s go back, way back.  As Sophia from the Golden Girls would say, “Picture it. Philadelphia, 1986.”

There I was, a fresh high school graduate, looking to seize all of the opportunities life had to offer.  But I wanted to live those opportunities out on my own.  What kid wouldn’t want that kind of freedom? The ability to come and go as I pleased and not having to answer to anyone.

After a summer spent vacationing out on Long Island in New York, I got my first job at Sears in their catalog order processing department.  Can you say “BORING!”? Three months into that job I landed a pretty posh job working for a major charitable fund-raising division within the Catholic Church.  It was a job that I loved more often than I loathed.    It was that job that helped me to finally live that high school dream.  With each passing paycheck, I stocked up on my household goods, towels, sheets, plates. You name it I bought it!

By September of 1996, I had finally achieved my goal. I had a sweet little two-story, two bedroom apartment in the Northeast section of Philadelphia.  The apartment was in a nice section of the city, accessible to public transit, the rent was dirt cheap (it helped that the landlord was family), I had some great neighbors and an great, old friend who lived just one block over.  What more could a girl ask for?

Fully furnished with the savings I’d set aside and stocked with all the things I needed to make it my own special space in the world.  My dream, while 10 years in the making, had finally become a reality. I was never so happy in my life.

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Woes of Water

It’s already Tuesday again?  Didn’t I just post last week’s prompt over at Mama Kat’s yesterday?  Wow, time does fly when you are having fun!

This week I chose several prompts to write about.   First up to bat, prompt 3. “Write a poem about the last person you spoke to on the phone, based on the conversation you had.”  Here’s my sweet little poem about the woes of water.


Help! My garage roof is leaking.

And I am afraid of peeking

Out to the garage to see

The wet rainy mess that waits for me.

But wait there’s more

You see my basement floor?

It’s wet too I exclaimed

All thanks to the water that rained.

There you have it, my little poem about the joys of home-ownership when your 56 year old house starts to bend and sigh with old age.  Corny, yep it sure is. But it IS the last conversation I had with a friend this morning.

Mama’s Losin’ It

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Rain, Rain Go Away….

Anyone have the schematics for an ark?  I am beginning to think that we are going to need them quite soon.  Life here in Michigan is one big soggy and overly wet mess.  Not a day has gone by in the last two weeks where we have not had some sort of precipitation falling from the sky. Today is no better, in fact, it’s gotten much worse.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for an occasional Spring downpour to help with the rebirth of nature that surrounds us.  Really I am.  But I never signed on for Seattle or London type weather when I agreed to relocate to Michigan more than a dozen years ago.

The rain is wreaking all kinds of havoc on our homestead….  We’ve got a basement that is once again leaking (after boatloads of money was spent to repair numerous leaks), a backyard that is now a swamp, and now, to our surprise, a garage roof that has sprung a small but very annoying leak.

But the worst of all the chaos this never-ending rain brings, is keeping my boys from being able to play outside.  There are only so many hours they can spend indoors without killing each other.  If I had a dime for each time I heard one of them whine over the last week, I’d have enough money to re-roof the entire house AND completely re-waterproof the basement with enough left over for a nice evening out with the husband.

My boys LOVE our back yard.  It isn’t much, but with their fortress/swing set and their toys, they can easily spend hour upon hour outside.  Husband LOVES our back yard.  He enjoys sipping his coffee and reading the paper or surfing the internet from the comfort of our patio.  I LOVE our back yard. I’ve got a beautiful sofa swing calling my name, begging me to curl up and read a good book on it. We’ve got a grill longing to be used and plants begging to be planted. We even have a lovely fire pit that is beckoning for fresh wood and marshmallows to roast.  All to no avail….

Because thanks to Mother Nature it ain’t happenin’.

So if you are out and about, could you kindly tell the old broad to quit with the rain.  Michigan, its people and our spirits are drowning as are MANY other states because of her unwillingness to let go!  Like the song says…… LET THE SUN SHINE!! LET THE SUN SHINE!! THE SUN SHINE IN!!!!

Posted in Life, Life in Michigan, Nature, Uncategorized, Weather | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment