My Little Picasso's

My Little Picasso's

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Dear Charlie

“Mommy, I have a tummy ache,” Charlie whined at me.  His large body is sat and slumped over the toilet, toes curled, arms curled around him.


“I’m sorry, bud.  Maybe you have a bit of a stomach bug,” I say reassuringly.  I’m trying to sound sympathetic, but I’m concentrating on deciding if I want to try and salvage this pair or underpants.


“Yeah, mom, it’s a fly.”


Now I’m looking at him.  “A fly?  How’d he get in?”  I ask.


“My mouth was open.”  He’s looking at me as if I’m dumb, which I’m not, but he must think so at this time.  He’s using his hands.  Not that my son is Italian, and yes, I just profiled, but my son talks with his hands all the time.  I’m just saying.  Mind you, he’s still on the pot. 


“Where is he?”


“Right here, “Charlie says as he points to his stomach.  “He’s going to come out tomorrow.”


“For your birthday,” I ask.


“Yep.  Mom, mom, I’m going to be 5.”


“Yes, buddy, I know.”  I take a quick breath.  “Are you done, Charlie?”




This is Charlie.  He’s 51 pounds, 48 inches, 5 years old minus a day, and all mine.  He’s glorious.


Charlie, you make me learn more about myself ever day.  Where I thought I was patient, I’m not.  I said I’d never use the words, “Because I said so.”  I have.  I do not have every answer, even though some people think I do when it comes to YOU.  I am not the best at reading your mind.  I don’t know why you do everything you do.  


Charlie when you shot out of me without one push, thank you for that by the way, you were ready to take on the world.  Thank you for being so dramatic about it.  Nothing like being wheeled down a hallway on a gurney, POP, there you are, and then the doctor walks in the room.  You came into this world screaming.  You’ve kind of never stopped since.


Open up the DSM-IV to ADHD, there you’ll be.  Your siren noises could win you an Oscar.  Your mood swings are as if I am trying to climb into the car when Daddy drives and he keeps advancing a few feet ahead as I try to climb in.  You love everything, then you hate me, or you hate the dog, or you hate your car because the doors don’t open and you have to have a car with doors that open.  You love waffles then you hate them.  You’re sleepy then you’re not.  You love Thomas, you love Cars, you love Animaniacs, and you love WHATEVER. 

Charlie I can only imagine what goes on in your head on a daily basis.  Can you feel those synapses firing back and forth?  I’d love a brain scan one day.  If you didn’t make your noises, if you didn’t wake up around 5 am, if you didn’t tell me ‘I’m sorry’, I’d worry. 


Charlie, I know all this is hard for you.  A few months after your fourth birthday, you were diagnosed with high functioning autism and ADHD.  I see very little autistic tendency in you, but I do see ADHD.  Many people would think, “Oh, just another child with ADHD?  Do you use meds?”  Charlie, you are not just another child, you are my child.  And no, we do not use meds.   You are loving, you are literal, you are big and strong, and you are mine.


Charlie, you can be and do whatever you want to be and do.  Mommy and Daddy are right behind you.  We believe in you.  We know you will kill it at kindergarten.  The obstacles are there for you to overcome, not to stop you along the way.  Mommy and Daddy will overcome with you.  Mommy and Daddy will not always have an answer for you, you will keep testing us, we will become impatient, but you are still our boy. 


You are still our little boy who loves trucks and cars, builds Legos, plays in the dirt, and wants PB and J but a whole sandwich, not cut.  You twirl your hair in your forefingers and suck your teeth to show me you’re tired.  You ask for your pillow, your blanket, Youtube, and breakfast every morning.  If I go take a shower before getting you up, I’ll hear it from you.  You like shorts, your heavy blanket, peanut butter, and edamame.  You give the best hugs, have a tendency to lick my face, get scared at thunder, and always love my t-shirts.  Charlie, you will be great at whatever you do.  Put your best to anything, always thank Jesus for your blessings, be a good person, hold the door for ladies, mow the lawn, don’t forget to write your name on the top of your papers at school.  Family first, look both ways, say your prayers, and always love with your whole heart.


I love you,


Monday, March 7, 2016

Little bricks under your feet ...

My two sons have discovered Legos - needless to say Michael and I are thrilled as we love them ourselves.  Putting together - yes.  Playing - yes.  Little bricks under my feet ... NO.  No. 


The big Lego Cities are the best, yet we are running out of space. 

On a sick day a week or so ago, Charlie decided Max needed a challenge. 

[You know, sick days, when a child gets an ear infection and complains just enough to get the daycare's attention to call me from work, but then when at the doctor's office becomes "miraculously" better, but yes, it is an ear infection.  You must stay home the mandatory 24 hours for the amoxicillin to kick in.  The pink chalky gooey must taste good medicine because he takes it like it's crack.]

So Charlie did this to the police station.  The really big eight books of instructions and bags after bags of Lego bricks to make Police Station.

So Max took a deep breath, spit in his hands, rubbed them together, and went in full force.  OK, so he really didn't spit in his hands and rub them together.  (But it sounded good, didn't it?)

I chuckled when he pulled out a book and told me he needed bag 7.  Well, there it is kiddo, in one big pile, along with bags 1-6 and 8.  May the force be with you.

He was an utter champ.

Then I was that really cool mom and took my kids to the Lego Store.  Do not walk, RUN, to your nearest Lego store and try not to spend all your money.

My name is Natasha and I am fully aware of my part in nurturing my children's obsession with the little bricks.

March 7th, 2016

Monday, January 18, 2016

It's Farm Show time!

If you are from near or even heard of Central PA - than you know about the Farm Show.  It always happens right after the New Year and goes for generally about 9-10 days.  Yes, folks, it's a Farm Show.  The 100th annual Central Pennsylvania Farm Show.

10 things to know ...

1.  It smells.
2.  The buses are always busy, late, crowded, never around, etc. - parking is your only "have-to" pay.  15 dollars.  Big whoop.  Then you take a bus to the actual location.
3.  It smells.
4.  Cows and horses will knock you over ... they have the right of way if you are in the barns ... MOVE PEOPLE.
5.  The baby chicks have got to be the cutest baby animals ever ... ever.
6.  What do they do with the butter sculpture after the farm show is over?  Does everyone come on the last day with bread?
7.  Farm Show milkshakes and potato donuts are the greatest ever. 
8.  Go see an auction - cannot understand a word, but pretty cool to listen and watch.
9.  Horses pull tractors ... did you know?
10.  Let your kids climb all over the tractors - it's the coolest.  Just don't let them turn anything on ... like the hazard lights.  Not that I have any experience with that at all. 

Want to see some pictures ... ofcourse you do!

Who's kid gets pizza at the Farm Show - mine.



They really let you sit on the tractors and push buttons.

In his glory.

Which one next?
Every child must enjoy the Farm Show, at least once.

January 18th, 2016

Monday, January 4, 2016

Port Discovery's Children Museum, Baltimore

I truly believe that children this day and age have it made.  Whoever came up with the idea of having "touchable" museums was a fucking genius.


Please ... bring your children into this enclosed space and let them run, climb, jump, scream, throw, skip, TOUCH WHATEVER THE HELL THEY WANT.


I have taken Max and Charlie to the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia, PA and the Hands-On Children's Museum in Lancaster, PA.  Obviously, the one on Philadelphia is much larger with a much larger budget, but both are equally fun.  The one in Lancaster is noticeable smaller which contains the children much better.  The one in Philadelphia has displays, a caroussel, sculptures, huge water play area, rock climbing, etc. (Please see my blogpost from September 2012).  Lancaster has an outside garden for bug hunting and sandbox for playtime.

This past weekend, the boys and I headed to Baltimore Inner Harbor where there is the Port Discovery Children's Museum.  Again, GENIUS.  See the website below: 

The climbing structure on the inside is the main piece and everything else revolves around it.  No one sticks to the age limits and my four year old was climbing in the 10 year old structure.  Spaces are narrow and even adults were getting into the rope gym, squeezing through tubes and sliding down slides.  It was so much fun and even us adults didn't want to wait our turn.  I was really proud of Max and Charlie - they held their own.  Charlie froze up once in a huge rope tube/ladder that took the kids to the top.  He looked around ... there were so many kids.  He climbed down.  Max kept going up.  All good.

It's actually not that expensive, they help validate your parking, we packed and ate a luncheon in the car.  It was fantastic ... plus you're right on the harbor.  Restaurants galore, the National Aquarium, Camden Yards, boats, etc.  Make a weekend of it.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.  Seek out these places, jump houses, trampoline parks, anything ... get your kids moving even when it's freezing outside!

Max and I!

My love.

Clay Egyptian lettering.


climbing more

and more.


and crops

big foam Legos


Sir Charlie
January 4th, 2016

Friday, January 1, 2016

I really need to write more ...

Happy New Year ... 2016.  Weren't we supposed to have flying cars by now?  Computers in our eyes?  Robots to do it all for us?

I think we're doing alright ...

I was crafting at 7:00am this morning ... how about you?

Charlie and his paper bag cow ... for Maximo, my student, the farmer.

My Max and his pop stick puppet cow.

2015 has come to a close and 2016 has begun.  I actually made it to midnight this time, keeping myself occupied with a ROLLTIDE shut out, thank you notes, and setting up my bullet journal.    

I'm still here.
I hope you readers out there will be reading from me more this year.  That is a resolution ... I promise.

But can I make some resolutions for my sons ...

Max will ...
1.  not pick on his brother so much.
2.  brush his teeth without being told.
3.  willingly eat more vegetables than just green beans.
4.  make his bed.
5.  not move his boat from the "Happy Pirate" zone into the "Rough Seas" at kindergarten.
6.  not lose his desire to hug and kiss me goodbye every day I leave for work.
7.  stop picking his nose and biting his nails.
8.  jump off the diving board at the swimming pool.
9.  stop using training wheels.
10.  always need me.
11.  be a leader, not a follower.

Charlie will ...
1.  stop making police siren noises at all times.
2.  control his behaviors.
3.  not lose his desire to hug and kiss me goodbye every day I leave for work.
4.  will have more than one good day a week at school.
5.  successfully start kindergarten.
6.  keep waking up and calling for me, even though it is sometimes too early, I get worried when he doesn't.
6.  get over his annoyance of busy classrooms, "too many friends" and be able to hold his own.
7.  write his name legibly.
8.  name every car brand out there by symbol.
9.  not let his disability define him.
10.  use utensils for an entire meal.
11.  always need me.

Natasha will ...
1.  blog more.
2.  keep up to date with her bullet journal.
3.  be a good person.
4.  not be that mom.
5.  be a beast in the gym.
6.  sleep more.
7.  learn how to help her sons more.
8.  write for the Huffington Post 6 times.
9.  play in the dirt.
10.  figure out more than she did last year.
11.  tell her husband every day she loves him so much.
12.  stop being critical of herself.

Let's get started.

January 1, 2016

Friday, October 2, 2015

"non-food" birthday's

Turn back the time machine to when you were in elementary school.  I had Mrs. Schilling in 3rd grade at Newlonsburg Elementary School in Murrysville, PA at Franklin Regional School District.  She was so cute, blond wavy wispy hair, wore long plaid jumpers in the winter, gave out stickers.  I had Mrs. Cady in 4th grade with her color changing shoes.  Mr. Ogline in 5th grade - "the coolest" math teacher ever.  I wore homemade clothes and sweatshirts you would make out of puffy paints.  I remember my first pair of jeans in 5th grade - yes, 5th grade.  My best friend changed weekly, Erik Connors "liked" me.  He was my boyfriend, than he wasn't.  We "hated" each other, we "loved" each other.  NKOTB, Metallica, Def Leopard, and Paula Abdul.  "Straight Up" and "Pour Some Sugar on Me." 

Do you remember birthdays in elementary schools?  You were the king or queen for the day!  I remember hanging the number 15 on the October calendar on my special day.  I got to pick out a game or pass out papers.  It. Was. Awesome.  Yet, the best part was bringing in your favorite treat to share with your class.  An extra treat on your special day!  For just one day, you were the most popular person in the 3rd grade because you had chocolate chip cookies, brownies, or cupcakes and everything that was normally going on had to stop so that you could be celebrated.  Everyone got a snack all because of you.  You could walk down the hallway and share your cookies with the other teachers. 

My Max just turned 6.  He had been so excited, asking for Legos, wanting cake, making us aware - 3 more days, 2 more days, 1 more day.  Unfortunately, Max cannot take cookies, or brownies, or cupcakes to his kindergarten friends.  Max's school district, not kindergarten, school district has a policy of no food treats for a child's birthday.  I'm sorry ... WHAT?  WTH?  My child is turning 6, he has new friends, a new school, a new teacher, but I cannot bring in cookies?  This infuriates me to no end.  I can't even fathom.  Needless to say, Max looked at me as though I had a horn growing out of my head when I explained this to him.  What do you mean, no brownies?  How may we celebrate?  Pencils, they say.  Erasers.  

Whoa ... hold up, I get to buy 18 small children a pencil to celebrate my child's birthday?  WOW.  Any 5 year old will obviously not be able to contain their pure elation over receiving a new pencil the 4th week of school after coming to school the first day with the dozen their mom or dad already bought them.  Do you sense my sarcasm ... laying it on kind of thick.  What kid wants a pencil?  I'm going to assume more kids would want an f'ing brownie.  

Each child got 2 Avengers pencils.

I get it.  Peanut allergies are rampant.  It is so much more severe for some poor children than I could even imagine - heaven forbid I not be able to have peanut butter.  It's not that hard to adhere to a no-peanut request.  And if you're so concerned about a healthy atmosphere or healthy lifestyle, leave that at home.  If children are raised to be healthy children, most likely they'll grow up to live as healthy adults.  A healthy child starts at home, not at daycare or school, but at home.  Do you not allow your children to go to a birthday party for the fear of cake or cupcakes?  Really?  It's a rite of passage in my mind; birthday parties with hot dogs or pizza and a big ol' birthday cake with the most popular cartoon character of the day emblazoned on top in an edible sugar cake topper.  Then they leave with a bag full of absolutely pointless, plastic, break after two times, trinkets and toys and guess what ... more candy!!!!!!  

It's the child's birthday.  It is their day.  Why can you not let them share it as they wish, with a sugary sweet treat to share with their friends and special treatment like passing out papers or show and tell.  Let them live, for goodness sake.

Rant over.

October 2nd, 2015