Sunday, May 31, 2009

Discovering HOPE

Although I am NOT the Queen of Self Confidence, there are a few things that I believe that I was born to do ~ be a mother, be a writer, and a contributor to the betterment of this world; and I can honestly say that I do believe that I am currently doing all 3 and I will continue on this path for as long as I draw breath. To be a mother was my hearts desire, there was no way that I was going to miss the opportunity to share my life with children, and all that entails. I believe that it is my calling to be a writer; to communicate and share ideas both for the purpose of entertaining and for being socially responsible; which lends itself as well to contributing to the betterment of this world; and I don't mean that arrogantly; I mean that EVERYONE should do their part from picking up garbage in the street, to showing compassion for man and animal kind etc. Now all 3 of these things require a certain amount of courage; and a certain amount of courage is about all I've got; but yet I am putting myself out there.
It is intimidating to say the least to actually share your thoughts and feelings and risk criticism and disapproval; but when I receive your thanks and your praise; it is the SWEETEST reward; so PLEASE keep those cards and letters coming; and by cards and letters I mean comments on "TBR" on Facebook and your emails. I am on a literal high from the outpouring of encouragement and support that I've received over my last post and it only fuels my fire to write, write, write; so I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

May's theme for the "Scrapbooking From The Inside Out" kit club was Hope. Now although the kit was delightful, I have currently made zero lay outs with it due to an extraordinary lack of time. Nonetheless I have come to realize that if you don't have HOPE ; you don't have anything and that ALL THINGS are possible if you have HOPE. I have also discovered that hope can be contagious and it is something that people love to be inspired to feel. Now, I don't necessarily write my posts to share constant sweetness and light; and I've told you before that Mary Sunshine I am NOT; but when I feel things, I feel them strongly and therefore I can be extremely positive or a caustic biotch and that's just how I roll. It seems that the people that I'm hearing from love to read about accentuating the positive and pursuing your dreams and if that makes you happy; then I am more than ready to take this journey with you.

When I was growing up, Paige was NOT a popular name; in fact I was teased mercilessly throughout elementary school and junior high. Of course I'm sure that it didn't help my cause when one day (in I can't remember what grade,) someone asked where my parents had gotten my name from and I replied "in a book." OK, well of course I meant a book of baby names, but it was TOO late; the damage was already done and would linger for many years to come. (Now of course I can't go into a play place or store without hearing 10 moms calling out "Paige, Paige;" Oh if only those Paige's knew how easy they had it... They're the new Stacey's and Brittany's.) Interestingly enough; my ENTIRE life, if someone called me by the wrong name; they ALWAYS called me "Hope." I always thought that it might have had something to do with the fact that both Paige and Hope were old English names; but now I'm starting to think that there may be something more to it. Maybe people were seeing something what I've been waiting to discover. I have mentioned before that writing a book at this point in time seems a bit too far out of my reach and part of this belief stemmed from the fact that I am my character. I write about ME and I believe that I need to find a way to develop a fictional character who has my traits; and thus today "Hope" has been born and I couldn't be more thrilled. I have often wondered if there was any rhyme or reason as to how authors decide what to name their characters but for me this is an obvious choice for I AM HOPE. And so this is another step in my journey and I feel so blessed that you are coming along this Bumpy Ride with me.
Till next time...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Not Quite The Bluebird of Happiness

My phone rang at 1AM on Monday morning, or Sunday night; however, you want to look it at. It was a man from an accounting department in a hotel in Saudi, Arabia and I believe that after repeating myself 3 times, I conveyed the message that it was 1AM, I was sleeping, the next day was a legal holiday so please call me back on what would be Tuesday here at 430AM. Now although I was looking forward to the tad of flexibility that the summer might afford my schedule, I knew that I needed to get up at 415 so that I could be ready and on my computer in case he called back. Which by the way, he did not; he sent an email.
Anyway, I took Hershey outside around 500AM and 45 minutes or so later she seemed interested in going again, so I opened the door, let her out and although I NEVER do this; I left the door ajar so that she could come back in at her leisure.

I went back to my desk and continued working until I heard her barking inside the house. I didn't think much of it, until I heard what sounded like a very distinct whistle; which startled me. I slowly got up to go see what it was; and when I went in the playroom I noticed that a medium sized bird was sitting on the top of my banister. OK, so I did what any normal woman would do (I think) I SCREAMED which naturally woke all 3 kids up and caused the bird to go flying into my picture window that doesn't open. The bird resumed its perch and although I opened the door for it to fly out, it took 2 more stabs at making out that window. After a couple of minutes the bird flew out my front door and the kids and I took a minute to talk about how bizarre it was to have the bird in the house.
I gave them breakfast and went back to work until 800 when I had to get ready to take them to the pool for swim team practice. Once practice started it seemed like it had been no time at all since we had been there last summer; and was just another reminder of how quickly time flies. Nicky practiced at 830 with the 9 & 10 year olds, Lyndzi & Kelsie practiced at 9 with the 7 & 8 year olds; but when Kelsie saw the 5 & 6 year olds start their practice, she decided that she wanted to swim with them at 930; so I indulged her for the first day. I thought she was a trooper to swim for 2 practices, and sometime before the week is through I'm sure we'll figure out what's best for her. I left the pool, went home to work for a half hour and FINALLY made it back to the gym.

I never thought that I would see the day that I looked forward to going to the gym; but I surely did today. I rode the bike for 10 minutes, used the treadmill for 35 and the elliptical for 10; and I felt good. Lesa G had been with me for the bike and treadmill but by the time I made it to the elliptical, I was on my own and without my Ipod; so it really gave me a chance to think. I was very aware that I felt SO much better about everything, when I was exercising. When I had to take time off from the gym, I was also taking time off from my blog; and although I don't know exactly what the correlation is there, I don't think it's a coincidence. It's almost as if I was punishing myself by having to let everything go. I completely recognize that I always feel good when I am at the gym and it is a great way for me to get my creative juices flowing. So, I hope that I'm not making TOO bold of a statement by announcing "I'm back!" I'm back on the path to CREATING the life that I want. The life filled with good health, and a future as a writer. And so I would like to share part of a little project that I did while I was in Santa Monica a few weeks ago, celebrating Rachel K's 40th birthday. Rachel had asked each of her guests to choose a word that represented something that they wanted to work on this year; and my word was CREATE. We made cubes "Scrapbooking From The Inside Out style;" and each side was supposed to represent our word. My 6 sides were as follows:
1. "Achieving Starts With Believing" Author unknown (and then I decorated it very simply.
2. Inspire, Dream, Create
3. "The Future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" - Elanor Roosevelt (and then I decorated it very simply.)
4. Creation is my goal... Creating is not an option for me; it's a NECESSITY. Every fiber of my being tells me that I AM MEANT TO BE A WRITER; and it is MY ultimate goal. There is no time to waste. It is time to CREATE. - Paige Ramos
5. I will CREATE a home where the kids feel emotionally & financially safe & secure. I will CREATE an environment of positivity & understanding. I will CREATE lives that are full & rich with experiences & LOVE; for CREATION is the manifestation of our DREAMS. - Paige Ramos
6. Now dancing the Samba, WRITER Paige Ramos & her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

So a bird flew into my house today; and instead of it bringing gloom and doom as wives tales would suggest; it was just a bird who flew into my house; and that is how I choose t see it. I think things are looking up; I feel recharged and I can't wait to see where my creativity is going to take me ~ Hawaii I hope. So stay tuned because I'm planning to CREATE like it's no bodies business.
Till next time...

Thursday, May 14, 2009


The past few days I've found myself doing a lot of reflecting. Maybe it was because of Mother's Day, or because Kelsie is graduating from pre-school tonight, or because Nicky and Lyndzi will have completed another school year next Thursday, or because my first born is turning 10 on Saturday. Maybe it's because no one has been majorly sick this week so I had some time to change my focus; or maybe it's because both "American Idol" and "Dancing With The Stars" are coming to an end next week. Well, regardless of the reason; you know what this means... I have A LOT on my mind.
It seems that I am constantly replaying moments in my mind (and yes, I'm sure that there is some psychological diagnosis for this;) but for the sake of this ride; I'm going to work backwards (now there's a twist.) For instance, I'm wondering when exactly Sanjaya (American Idol Season 6) became a celebrity. AND, we know that he IS a "celebrity " because he's going to be on the next season of "I'm a celebrity...Get me out of here" along with reality show whore, Steven Baldwin. Now don't get me wrong; I actually enjoy Steven Baldwin (on reality shows, ) I just think it's fascinating that someone who has already worked as an actor, would now be spending most of his career over the past few years, appearing on reality shows. By my count he's done "The Celebrity Mole "- twice, "The Celebrity Apprentice" and now just in case we forgot that he's a celebrity, he'll be appearing with other big celebs; (like Sanjaya) in "I'm a Celebrity...Get me out of here."
Now typically I write about both "American Idol" and "Dancing With The Stars" in a timely fashion; however, this season I have completely dropped the ball. If you're following Idol, my commentary is well overdue but I do want to go on record saying how much I have absolutely LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Danny Gokey. I am SO sorry that he did not make it to the final 2; but I have no doubt that we will be hearing from him again and that he will outsell Reuben, Fantasia and Taylor Hicks combined. Trust me, Chris Daughtry is no worse the wear for not making it to the final 2 and neither will be Danny Gokey. Now, why Gokey you may ask... It could be because I think he looks like Robert Downey jr.(and ya know how I LOVE him;) but I really believe that it's because his singing moves me. His voice tells a story (not only the words.) And, unlike Adam Lambert; the man can REALLY sing! Now all you Lambert fans; don't get all mad at me. I'm NOT putting Adam down, it's just that he doesn't always SING the song. He has the ability to hit those REALLY high notes and when he does, sometimes it sounds (to me) more like shrieking than singing while Danny is a PURE singer. Adam is a performer through and through. I think he puts on a great show which is why I think he is primed for the revival of "The Rocky Horror picture Show" ~ and I'm sure that he can even provide his own costume ~ wink wink; I mean did ya see the boy STRUT down that staircase; that's just quintessential Frank N Furter. And in the inimitable words of Forrest Gump "that's all I gotta say about that."
As for "Dancing With The Stars" this season I have been absolutely wowed by Gilles; and although this probably sounds like an odd thing to say; I prefer him with his clothes on. For those of you who don't know, Gilles Marini came on the scene in the "Sex and the City" movie when he played Samantha's naked, neighbor. As a matter of fact, he was so NOT famous that when "DWTS" was announcing who he was, they pretty much said "naked guy from Sex and the City movie;" which is why I am SO glad to see him doing so well. He is a FABULOUS dancer and it seems to me that people are voting for him because of his dancing and not because of his popularity because even he has admitted that coming into the show he had a small fan base. The opposite may be said for Ty Murray who though he tried so VERY, VERY hard his technique wasn't there, but his fans votes were; and he was able to knock out the extremely entertaining Lil Kim. I must say I was really sad to see her go, because I had really high hopes for her freestyle; but alas Cheryl Burke IS the Queen of The Freestyle in my opinion, so I'm sure that Monday's finale will be all that and a bag o chips. And while on the subject of "DWTS" I also want to say how much I LOVE seeing some of the dancers, from "So you think you can dance" now appearing as pros on "DWTS." Lacey, Chelsea and Dimitri all hale from SYTYCD; and my boss has actually said "Maybe they should rename the show "So you think you can dance with the stars" ~ which gave me a chuckle.
Now believe me when I tell you that it takes longer to read and type these things then it really takes me to think about them, and there really are more important thoughts going on in my mind; but before we get to that, and since I rarely cover TV anymore; let me just make a few more comments that I feel are worth sharing.
First I want to say KUDOS to Joan Friggin Rivers. I am ecstatic that she has won the "Celebrity Apprentice" and though some of you may think that ecstatic is a really strong word to describe ones feelings over a reality show, I have to tell you that it is so much more than that. It was the battle between good and evil and GOOD won out. Joan Rivers proved herself to be a force to be reckoned with and gained the respect that she is so deserving of. Her work ethic, professionalism and compassion were all exemplary. Did she verbally attack Annie Duke; you betcha but she did so because she thought that Annie was two faced and sneaky and she told her what she thought right to her face; unlike Annie who let the cameras hear her thoughts about Joan (like, I hope she dies) but didn't say anything to her face. Joan worked hard no matter the task. She was a GREAT role model, a leader and a humanitarian (I mean WAS on the show, not like WAS as in she's dead;) and I hope that the American public has gained a new found respect for her. Oh sure, I like most thought that she was obnoxious to say the least on the red carpet, but ya' know what, I see now that it was all just a part of her act. What you saw on the "Celebrity Apprentice" was the real deal; and I am ECSTATIC for her and her charity.
Now, though it may sound as if I watch A LOT of TV the truth is I DVR a lot of TV and try to fit shows in while I'm cooking, doing the laundry, paying bills etc, etc, which is why I STILL have a month and a half worth of "General Hospital" to catch up on. Nonetheless, of all the shows I DVR ,there are 2 other than GH that are NOT reality shows; and those are "Ugly Betty" and "Grey's Anatomy." I don't really have anything to say about "UB" I've just been enjoying it for the good, clean fun that it is. But "Grey's" now that's a different story. I smell an Emmy or 2, people. The story lines have just been brilliant. And Katherine Heigl has been spectacular. The show makes me cry and emotes feelings that a typical TV show does not. I know that the finale is going to be a real tear jerker, and although I don't enjoy crying over shows and movies; I know that I will be all the better for watching it. I know that it will reinforce the fact that we need to live each day as if it were our last and live with no regrets; which is what REFLECTION can help us to do; and what it did for me; on Mother's day.
This Mother's day was truly significant for me, because although I fully acknowledged my own Mom and remembered the magnificent woman that she was; I was finally able to allow this day to be more about what I have than what I have not. I was able to appreciate the gifts of my family and how very lucky I am to have each one of them. I cared not, where we had breakfast, lunch or dinner or that no flowers were involved; I just felt honored to be the Mom that Luis, Nicky, Lyndzi and Keslie bestow their love upon. I felt blessed that they recognized all that I do for them and that they wanted to celebrate that and honor me. I remembered why I wanted to become a Mom and what my goals are for raising my children; and when the day was done I felt TRULY satisfied and EXTREMELY proud.
As a Mom it is bittersweet to watch your children grow. Every time I drop Nicky and Lyndzi off at school I marvel at the independent people that they are becoming. Although they are my babies, they are no longer babies; but capable children who can make their own way when they need to. And now tonight, my baby, my Kelsie will graduate from pre-school and begin a new path. She is going to sing "You Light Up my Life, and I have no doubt that I will be moved to tears; just as I was when she sang "What a Wonderful World" last year; in her tiny, sweet voice. Oh yes, Kelsie is my biggest challenge thus far; but I could not imagine my life without her; and I am certain that she is going to do great things in her lifetime.
Now if my mind wasn't reeling enough from all that I have been contemplating, My Nicky will be turning 10 on May 16th and THAT is just mind boggling to me. Nicky, my first born, my only boy, my protector, my sidekick; is going to be 10. Boy does time fly. It seems like just yesterday that I was giving birth to him; and I love to sit back and remember EVERY moment of it. I remember feeling each contraction and saying to myself "I'm one step closer to seeing Nicky, I'm one step closer to seeing Nicky;" and when I did see Nicky; I cried tears of joy as I do EVERY time I relive that moment in my mind. I don't write about Nicky as much as I write about the girls because quite honestly; he's just not that funny. I mean he has his moments; but given that I'm prone to writing about the ridiculous and he is the most complacent, low key guy; he doesn't typically provide me with a lot of material; unless I want to brag about his straight A's or his humongous heart. Nicky has compassion like I have NEVER seen. He has been able to demonstrate empathy since he was only a few years old; and he is wise beyond his years. Nicky has memorized almost every episode of "The Amazing Race" and dreams of going on it one day - hopefully with me. He has a BEAUTIFUL singing voice and can easily get a perfect score on Karaoke Revolution without really trying; and oddly enough he will sing in front of anyone who will listen. Nicky tells people that I am a great blog writer; which is just the icing on my cake. One might say that Nicky is painstakingly shy, and often times awkward but the boy has HEART and to me that is MOST important. He did give me a laugh today today though when I picked him up from school and he informed me that HE; is the King of Solitaire. Wonder where he got that expression from?
When I reflect on my 10 precious years with Nicky, I relish EVERY moment that he has been on this earth and I feel so fortunate that he is my son. And just when you thought I couldn't possibly have anything more to reflect upon; my cup has runneth over. Summer is upon us here in AZ. School gets out next Thursday, and I cannot wait. I love having them home; and spending time together. I love taking them to swim team practice and watching them compete. I love our freedom and flexibility and the endless possibilities of what we might do. And although I want everything to go VERY slowly, so we can savor every minute; I also look forward to all the times ahead, when I'll be able to reflect back on all that we've done.
Till next time...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Kelsie Strikes Again

I am a big fan of Sweet Tomatoes ~ aka Soup Plantation if you live in California and if you're not familiar with it by either name; it's a soup and salad bar restaurant. Anyway, each month they have a different theme in addition to their regular offerings and April was lemon month; which I adored, so I was determined to go there for dinner on the 30th so that I could have my favorite salad just one more time. And because I know you'll want to know; it's lettuce with spiced pecans, cranberries, and blue cheese, tossed in a lovely lemony dressing. - YUM!
I took the kids to swim school, and ran them home to shower. In the meantime I checked my email and just in the nick of time, I received a Sweet Tomatoes BOGO coupon. Now as an aside, and in the interest of the greater good, I highly recommend that if you enjoy Sweet Tomatoes / Soup Plantation, you should sign up for their Club Veg; because they will email you GOOD coupons a couple of times a month.

Anyway, the kids and I pulled up to Sweet Tomatoes (Luis was in class ) and I realized that I didn't have any cash with me for a tip. This had happened to me a few weeks ago too (when Luis was in Vegas) but Nicky had money in the car and temporarily bailed me out. But this time; no such luck. I thought about it for a minute, because I really didn't want to go to the bank and come back; so I told the kids that if Amber (the cashier that we're friendly with) was working I'd ask her what my options were. Again luck was with me because Amber was there. I started piling up my plate with my yummy salad, when all of a sudden I heard Kelsie say "Um, Amber my mom has no money and she needs to ask you a question." OH MY GOD! I started waving my hands around like I was trying to clear the air or something; all the while saying "NO, that's not true; I just have a question;" and before I could say anymore, Amber said "I know what you're going to ask," and I said "no, I don't think you do;" and again she said "yeah, you want a coupon;" and again I said "No, I actually have a coupon; I just wanted to know what my options were for leaving a tip because I don't have any cash with me." And then I said "Thanks for giving me my next blog Kels." Amber told me that my only option was to give the waitress a check. And so when Luis called I explained this to him, but he vetoed the idea; so I told the waitress that I would go to Target and get some money and come back with a tip; which of course I DID.

Oh, it's never a dull moment with Kelsie around. Bring on the hiccups; I have a new most embarrassing moment that I can try out. I honestly don't know where she gets her chutzpah from (OK, yes I do; ) but I'm sure that I NEVER did things like that at her age; (5 going on 30.)
Now I ask you, how could I be anything but a writer when I have such marvelous stories to share - Hello Parents magazine...
Till next time...