Thursday, September 27, 2007

Why don't men listen?

So I am having a hormonal day. I was supposed to go and get a mani and pedi and I couldn't find my gift certificate. So because I am irrational I take it as a sign that I am not supposed to go. Yes I could have just gone and paid but that wasn't the point. So I sit around bummed all morning doing laundry and feeling like crap. I really wanted to go and feel a little pretty since I haven't felt pretty in a long time. Charles is home doing work on the puter and he is just not getting why I am not just going. I try to explain it to him but because he is a man he just says go and pay or snap out of it. Then as he is leaving to go to his home office he says "I am going into home office where all the hotties are ha ha". Uhm jerk. I said "Why would you say that when you know I am feeling like crap?" And he says "Cuz it is funny". Then he leaves mad. WTF was he thinking?

Monday, September 24, 2007


Well last tuesday it began and it really hasn't ended. The worst was Tues, Wed and Thurs. But it is still happening just not as much pain. So I called my doc and I have to go in to do blood work tomorrow and an ultrasound on wednesday to make sure everything has passed. I really want this to be all over so I can move on. I have meetings scheduled at the boys school and I am supposed to be helping out in their classes. So I just want to do what I need to do. Probably not this week but hopefully next.

As soon as I started feeling semi good I was up and working. It is so hard to be a mom and not be 100%. Dishes were piling up, laundry was insane and the playroom was a disaster. So Saturday Charles took the kids to a birthday party and I got to work and threw out 6 bags of old toys and crap from the playroom. It felt sooooo good. Then Sunday I did 5 loads of laundry and made homemade fish and chips with coleslaw for my parents. It was exhausting but felt good too.
Here are some pics from the party. Emmy had a great time and loved having her face painted.

Ready to go. I got the present and my backpack.

Bounce house fun.

I want to be a princess

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I can still remember that day as clear as yesterday. I was sitting on the rug in the living room playing with my one year old twins and watching GMA. All of a sudden they announced a fire in one of the twin towers. I called my dad (a native New Yorker) and told him to turn on the TV. As we watched and reminised about our last trip to the World Trade Center and how scared those people were, I saw a plane fly in and an explosion. I said to my dad, "Wow that observation plane just crashed into the other building, what a horrible accident on top of the fire". My dad said, "Annalisa that was no accident, we are under attack". I will never forget the fear that came over me. I will never forget holding my boys so close. As the morning events unfolded I became more panicked. When would it end? What would be next? I called Charles and he said he had been sitting in traffic stunned. He decided to come home early that day and we just sat together as a family and cried. It was horrible. I will never forget that day or all those people who lost their lives. That morning will live on with me forever.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Once your a mom.

It has been very strange with this whole miscarriage thing going on. I feel like I live two different lives. I am cleaning up, doing laundry, making meals, packing lunches, laying out clothes, cleaning up paint etc. All the while I am waiting for this miscarriage to start. Sometimes for a brief moment I almost forget. Until I go to the bathroom and see a bit of red. Then I am reminded of the life that ended inside of me. But I have to be a mom to my children that are here first. I want to curl up in my bed and wait it out. I can't. Little people need me. Maybe thats good. I am just so tired.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Roller coaster ride.

Well I am back from the hospital and found out that there is no heartbeat. I saw the little baby but they couldn't find a heartbeat. So now I just have to wait to hear from the doctor.

I feel sad. I feel exhausted. I just want it over. But I don't know how long this is going to take. The cramping and bleeding have increased but not like it is during the middle of a miscarriage. So only time will tell. Charles is bummed but being supportive too, well as supportive as you can be from a sales meeting. I am very glad we didn't tell anyone. I really would not have enjoyed all that drama and then having to tell them the baby passed away. That would be insane.

So I just sit here, cramping, with a dirty house and 4 loads of laundry, waiting until 2 to pick up my boys. Life ends and life goes on.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Did I say that I hate HMOs.

OMG I had the most horrible day running around because of my stupid HMO. I had a drs appt at 9:15. When I left she gave me a referral to my OB and wanted me in ASAP because of the spotting. So I call the dr who cannot get me until next tuesday at the earliest. So I let my primary know. Then I get a call that they want me to come back and pick up some lab orders that I can get done in the mean time. So I go back after the boys are out of school and they also give me a prescription of progesterone and a referral for an ultrasound at the hospital. They tell me to call the hospitals radiology dept and request an early appt. My primary tells me if they do not get me in by tomorrow to call the OB and find out what they want me to do. So I do this to which I find out I cannot get in any early than next thursday. I call the OB and they say that my primary is responsible since they ordered it and they should call the hospital themselves because they could get me in. So I call my primary who is now pissed because the OB supposedly is the one who told them to order it. So she tells me to look on the back of the referrel and there is a list of about 20 radiology depts. She says to call each one until I get an appt tomorrow. WTF I do not have time to do that. But I go ahead. After the third call I say forget it. I call my primary and tell them I do not have time to call all these places. I have 3 kids home and I am busy. They put me on hold and come back 2 minutes later telling me they got me an appt at the hospital tomorrow at 9. Why couldn't they just do that in the first place. Ahhhhhh. Now I have a splitting headache and 3 kids with boundless energy. Charles is at a company BBQ and I am on my own. The thought of bed is all that is keeping me going.

I don't think they will tell me anything tomorrow but I will try to get a peak. When radiologists do the exam they never tell you anything. They just send the pics to the doc. So wish me luck. I kinda know what should be there and what it should look like so we will see.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Red Tape

Well I have been corresponding back and forth with the principal at Anthony's school. I have a meeting at 11 today so we will see. I am having a hard time gettting her to budge but hopefully that will change today.

Here are the emails we have sent back and forth. Any suggestions are taken.

Dear Mrs. Silverman,

My name is Annalisa Rivera. I am the mother of Anthony and Michael Rivera. We have met a few times last year to discuss their special needs in Kindergarten. I went today to see where they were placed and I was quite disappointed in the choice of first grade teacher for Anthony.

At the end of last year I had been assured by you, and Mrs. Catalano that he would be placed with a teacher that could handle him and his issues. According to most parents that I have spoken to the best choice for my boys would have been Foster or Bartells. Michael did get placed in Foster but Anthony was placed with Pla. I don't know much about Bartells or Pla but from what I have heard Pla is very laid back and not has outgoing as Bartells. Bartells has a reputation among the parents for taking kids with issues and helping them turn around.

One of Anthony's issues is that he needs to be engaged and brought out in the class or he will be lost in another world. He has a difficult time concentrating and staying on task. He can also have quite a temper and gets discouraged easily when things get difficult. If what other parents have told me is true, Pla is not the teacher that would be best suited for these kinds of problems.

The other concern I have is that there are two children in that class that Anthony had serious issues with last year. One is Julian who threatened to kill his brother and tormented Anthony for quite a while with bad language. And the other is Edmund who he also had a couple of problems with. He has a hard enough time concentrating with out worrying about these other distractions.

Another reason I had wanted him placed with Bartells or Foster was experience. I have heard that they both have a lot of experience. Both Hammans and Catalano have told me that they have never had children like mine in their classes before. Their set of problems are very unique. Maybe someone like Bartells who has had many years of experience would have dealt with someone like Anthony before.

The last reason I would like Anthony moved is because I was hoping he would be with Ryan Martinez. I know it is not a critical issue but I have good reasons for why I had wanted them together. Anthony has a very hard time making friends. He is lacking social skills when it comes to knowing how to engage others. Ryan is very social and a good student. These are both areas that Anthony is deficient in. When he is with Ryan it makes him more confident and he learns a lot of positive attributes. Ryan is the main reason Anthony wanted to be in AR. Anthony is also very nervous and worried about school. Knowing he will see Ryan everyday would give him a reason to be excited about school.

I know that parents are not supposed to request placement and I know that nothing is guaranteed. But my boys education is extremely important to me. I have to stand up for them and be their advocate. If I think something can be made better for one of them it is my duty to speak up. So that is what I am doing. I know you must remember me and how important my boys are to me. I don't think many other parents break out into tears during meetings like I did.

I can't imagine how hard it must be to place all the children with special concerns. I really appreciate your time in considering this matter. I hope to hear your decision soon.


Annalisa Rivera

Her response

Mrs. Rivera,

Thank you for your letter of request. You are a very caring and supportive parent! I know that last year we spoke about placing the boys carefully to assure that they would have their needs met. I did not and cannot promise any particular teacher as we need to balance classes and make sure every teacher has a teachable group of students. As you know my teachers team and meet together on a regular basis as well as teach to the standards for their grade level. I have great confidence in all of the teachers on the 1st grade team.

Parents always have opinions about teachers based on their experiences and child. Sometimes information in the community is not always accurate and sometimes parents don't know the entire story. I do not recommend that you use that information as a basis for requesting a teacher as one parent or student could have a fantastic experience and another may not depending on their personal situation. There may be many success stories that you are not aware of.

It is my professional opinion that the boys are placed with teachers who have high expectations, teach to the standards, and can be understanding and patient enough to meet the boys needs. All of the teachers in 1st grade are highly experienced with 10 years or more in teaching. As a matter of fact Mrs. Foster is one with a shorter experience since she came into teaching later in life. I did the same thing.

I am happy to sit down with you and discuss at length what the needs of the boys are and invite the teacher so we can make sure to move forward in a positive way. Let's make an appointment to meet in the next couple of days.

I have change of class forms in the office and we can go over in more detail your concerns.

Debbie Silverman

My response:

Mrs. Silverman,

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my letter and respond. I know this is an extremely busy time for you.

In regard to the teacher situation the only reason I was confident in the community information is because it came from multiple parents and Mrs. Catalano. I would never take the opinion of one parent as fact but multiple sources tend to lend themselves to the truth.

Anthony loved Mrs. Pla and had a great first day. He actually said he loved 1st grade which is terrific because they spent most of the summer dreading it. I did notice a few things that I would love to address in a meeting. Mrs. Pla was not aware of any of Anthony's issues and made a comment to me as we were leaving that he was having a problem with his writing. So I would love for her to have time to read his file and familiarize herself with Anthony's special needs. She also was very soft spoken. Maybe this will be fine but Anthony tends to drift off and I fear he will not pay attention. I am not sure if Mrs. Foster has read Michael's file either, and that may be helpful also.

I am committed to my boys and their education. I would be remiss as a parent if I didn't try to get the best teacher for my child. I will work with them everyday and I am committed to a year of hard work. I just felt that a better teacher option could have been chosen. I really need teachers that are up for the challenge my boys offer and are prepared to work hand in hand with me to help them succeed.

I know my boys have tremendous potential. If we can find a way to overcome their challenges they would be spectacular students. I have appointments on Thursday but I am available on Friday. I am not sure if the whole team has to be present or not. Either way I would love to meet with you and the teachers.


Annalisa Rivera

Her response;


I commend you again for being such a committed parent. I will make time to meet with you on Friday according to your schedule. I noticed when I visited yesterday that both the boys seemed very happy and engaged in class. You are right ...teachers have not been fully informed so we will definately go over the files with both of them. I look forward to meeting with you.


Tuesday, September 4, 2007


I finally was able to make a drs appt today. I got in on thursday at 9:15. Now it is 4:45 in the afternoon and I am spotting and have lower back pain. It seems when I try to accept this pregnancy and can actually imagine it something takes that away from me. I am going to try to rest, not easy with 3 kids around, and I will post in the morning. For anyone who doesn't know I had 3 consecutive miscarriages before I had Emmy. That is why it takes me such a long time to become attached to a pregnancy. Anyway, wish me luck. Lets see what fate has in store for me. Maybe a big lesson.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Good days, Bad days.

That's life right. I have days where I feel pretty OK and only a little tired. Then there are the days where I feel like I am stuck to the couch and the thought of food makes me sick. Some mornings I wake up and forget that I am pregnant. Then I have this huge reality check.

In the back of my mind the chance of miscarriage is always looming so it is making it very hard for me to connect with this pregnancy, as if it wouldn't be hard anyway. So I wait until Tuesday when I can finally call and make an appt with my primary care physician and get the ball rolling. Did I mention that I hate hate hate HMOs. Ok.

It is also weird walking around with this huge secret. Every time we are with family I feel like a big liar. But I also want to wait til I know everything is fine. Why make everyone upset for no reason. We have only told one person in real life (All my online friends know and have been a lifesaver). Charles told his best friend John. I asked him what his reaction was and he said that John just said "Your fucking crazy". I am sure this will be the standard response.

So life goes on. Boys start first grade this year and there is already drama. Anthony was supposed to get a specific teacher and he didn't. I was livid. I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. With all his problems he needs this teacher. The principle assured me and so did his kindergarten teacher. The teacher he was supposed to get has about 25 years of experience. She has the reputation for dealing with problem kids and turning them around. The teacher Anthony got has a reputation for being very quiet and laid back. Anthony will get lost in the shuffle in that class. He needs a strong aggressive positive teacher. Also in the class they put him in there are two boys who picked on him last year. One boy even threatened to kill his brother. It was a huge deal the kid got in huge trouble along with his parents having to come in etc etc. So who needs all that drama when you have a hard time paying attention anyway. Also his best friend Ryan is in the other class. This boy is in the top of the class. Very smart, very social, a great role model and mentor for Anthony. He really brings out the best in him. I was told by his kindergarten teacher that they would be put together. So I tried to find the principle and couldn't so I sent an e-mail and will look for her Tuesday morning. Supposedly there are no class changes for two weeks. We'll see. I don't know what kind of response I will get or if she will change anything, but I will be there everyday. And if this teacher is not helping Anthony everyone will know.

Emmy starts school on Tuesday too. She is beyond excited. Everyday she talks about going to school, lots of friends, painting, big slide etc. She asks everyday. I don't think she will want to come home after only 3 hours. It will be interesting.

So that is my life right now. Lots of firsts, lots of new. I am looking forward to next week and dreading it at the same time. Should be busy at least so it will go fast.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Hot as hell.

I hate hot. I hate humidity. And it is both here. Yesterday at 5pm when I went to a back to school bbq it was 109. CRAZY. And it is supposed to stay hot all week. Fun. Yesterday we had a power alert and they turned off my AC. Ass wipes. Well thank goodness I have a pool. We just hung out there til it came back on.

The lack of seasons is one of the things I hate about Cali. Everyone else goes back to school and the weather starts cooling but not here. It doesn't cool until around Christmas. And even then it is a crap shoot. We have had Christmas days that reach the mid 80s. It really doesn't start getting cool until January and it continues until mid May. Then the warm up starts. And by cool I mean low 70s during the day and 50s at night. Not exactly the artic freeze. Occasionally we get an off week where we will have freezing temps at night. My kids love this bcuz the sprinklers create "snow" on all the bushes. On Halloween I have to make sure that their costumes aren't too warm because it could be 85 that day. Actually a friend of mine who moved here from Canada said we have seasons. Summer - hot as hell, Fall - hot windy and fire, Winter - warm days cool nights slight chance of rain and mudslides, Spring - warm/hot 50/50 chance.

Anyway I will have to focus on all pluses of living in Cali as I suffer through another hot ass day.
Tell myself, beach, family, mountains, shopping, lots to do. Ok a little better.


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