Friday, March 30, 2012

30 Day ABC Blog Challenge and such

So many milestones and such! We still have one day left in March, but I am already planning for April. In addition to celebrating first Blogiversary next week, I will also be joining the fun of the 30 Day ABC Blog Challenge. I may need a little assistance from my readers so suggestions are definitely welcome. A is for....? Also, I was tickled pink to see that over night I went over 9,000 visitors to this blog! Aunt J-Me Says so also came very close to breaking our one-month visitor record!

Anybody else reading, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer? I wasn't sure I would like the stream of consciousness writing but am hooked on it now. There's something genius about it! I wish my brain could come up with something like that! 

Also, there is a lot of understanding in the little mini-messages that are hiding in each chapter, especially for people who have lost someone profound in their lives.

"I think and think and think, I've thought myself out of happiness one million times, but never once into it."

"But I knew that there couldn't be pockets that enormous. In the end, everyone loses everyone. There was no invention to get around that..."

"Even if it was relatively insignificant, it was something, and I needed to do something."

"Dad used to say that sometimes you have to put your fears in order..."

"'...No, but there are books that I love, love, love,' she said it just like that, three times,..."

"...she wants to know if I love her, that's all anyone wants from anyone else, not love itself but the knowledge that love is there, like new batteries in the flashlight..."

"She said, 'I'm trying to find ways to be happy. Laughing makes me happy..' I said, "I'm not trying to find ways to be happy, and I won't' She said, 'Well, you should.'"

I hope to finish it this weekend so I can seek out the movie.

Hmmm...sorry this is pretty much about nothing! Seinfeld stayed in business for almost a decade on a show about nothing, didn't he? Have a wonderful weekend! We are hockey playoffs and date night set. Be blessed...xoxoxo J

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I was Bullied...

I heard this morning that the movie Bully was able to shed the R rating and garner an NR rating. I would have taken my darling daughter either way...heck I might have even stood outside and bought tickets for any kiddo who wanted to see it.

As a teacher, I not only witnessed and stood up against bullies but I also left teaching because of a child and one adult. Even after two years, it makes me incredibly sad to know that I may never teach again because someone took his power issues out on me and I just could not handle it. This tragedy landed me in counseling where I eventually understood that behaviors from my childhood were still following me around.

As a child, I was bullied because of my weight and/or my crooked teeth. I think once I was even bullied because of my shoes. Nevertheless, because I so wanted everyone to like me, I may have never established boundaries, allowing almost anyone to mistreat me throughout life. The main instance of bullying that I can remember goes like this:

In third grade, my rotund body had grown more wide than tall and "my girls" had grown in overnight to their adult size. I was still a little girl so no one thought to introduce me to proper under garments. As a parent now, I don't think I could do that to a nine-year-old either so no judging myMama...she did the best she could with a sneak eater like me.

Keep in mind that this is also the year that I may or may not have beaten up a little boy in my class for trying to hit my sister.

I don't really recall having any close friends at that time and the pictures of my birthday party that year include a little girl from our day care, my siblings and our cousins. I am sure I had someone to see-saw with, and I can vaguely remember impressing someone with performing a back bend during recess one day (I laugh now because I remember making it over but not knowing how or being able to get back up). I can also remember wanting so badly to be friends with the "popular" girls that I made a point to pay at least one of them a compliment every single day...even if they were laughing at me or being ugly. To me, everyone was least more popular than me. I also remember having my first "crushes" on a little boy who had moved to our school and one who had been there since my kindergarten year.

Once upon a school day, it was physical fitness testing time in PE class. That, my friends, is the pudgy kid's nightmare week at school. Day a mile being timed. Day many sit ups can you do in 2 minutes. Day many push ups can you do in 2 minutes. Day a mile; this time do it in under 10 minutes for an A. Day five...height and weight checks. That's where it happened. I had already survived four days of torment and snickering at my lack of athleticism. What else could go wrong?

I remember thinking I was going to die on the spot because, as I waited my turn in line to be weighed and measured and found lacking, I saw that "Coach" had her pets (the popular girls) helping out with cleaning and filing in her office. As one coach weighed the kiddos in front of me, she would call out the numbers to "Coach" to write on our individual cards. NO WAY! I knew I was popular kid had to be told to what extent...that would be turning the heat up in hell, people!

Just as I was about to faint in anxiety after stepping on the scale, I looked to the assistant coach with tears in my eyes mentally pleading with her not to say it out loud. Thank God she could read minds because she used her fingers to signal the offending numbers 1-1-5. At less than 5 feet tall that wasn't good but at least I didn't have to live with all the 70 and 80 pounders knowing. I breathed a sigh of relief and went to wait in my class's line to return to class.

This is when the New Boy came up to me, smiled and asked, "Hey! Are you okay?"

HOLY MIRACLE OF ALL THINGS WONDERFUL! He must like me! I put on my biggest smile and beamed, "Yes! Why do you ask?"

"Because I don't think I would want to live if I weighted 150 pounds?" and he burst into laughter along with everyone sitting within hearing distance.

I turned 10 shades of red and stammered, "Shut up!"

"Oh no! Don't make her mad! She will sit on you and then you're dead!" he laughed and brought out another round of laughter from his audience.

The coach's stealthiness must not have worked completely. I guess the little helper dears saw a 1 and 5 and knew I couldn't weigh 15 pounds. Their deduction skills to this day still amaze me.

I think that was the first time I ever thought I would be better off dead. I can remember day dreaming of falling off the monkey bars on my head and everyone being sorry that they had been so mean to me. My other day dream was that my parents would buy a new house in a different school district. I think that is also when my teacher started sending me to see the school counselor and my mother started taking me with her to Weight Watchers (because I was too young to officially enroll, we did it off the record).

Fast forward this bad, made-for-TV, after-school special around four years. MyMama and Daddy got me braces and spent a mint on making sure my teeth were not an issue. I shot up to my adult height overnight and the baby weight became more proportionate. I, however, would always think of myself as fat and unworthy.

It wouldn't be until I was a freshman majorette that I would finally find true and lasting friendships (and a support system for any bullying that continued). By my senior year I had even managed to find friends in all cliques at school. In college, away from the small town that knew me, I really got a taste of being on the "in" and had many friends and a few boyfriends. I think it is because I never changed the way I was as a person. To this day, I try to pay at least five compliments to people I encounter. I strive to be helpful and caring to everyone I meet. I married my best friend and biggest fan. And I was always surrounded by my family's love.

Because of that love, I wasn't irreparably harmed by my childhood. I wouldn't go through it again for all the tea in China, but I survived it. Life did get better. Even during the hardest times, I am reminded that because I didn't let it change me, I survive.

NOTE: Today, I am friends with several ladies that I grew up with. I know you gals read this sometimes. No stressing about this, okay? I have no memories of you abusing me in any way. Also, Mama, no stressing from you were my best friend through it all, and I love you and all you have done to make me the woman I am today. <3J

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hungry for MORE!

I wish every digit on my hands were thumbs so I could say 10 thumbs up....WAY UP! As an avid reader, I usually don't fall head over heels in love with movie adaptations because so much is left out or the chosen actors for my beloved characters aren't what I was expecting. However, The Hunger Games is my newest love on all fronts! Darling Daughter and I have been almost overly excited to see the adaptation and were thrilled to take Memaw with us.

The actors portrayed their characters perfectly. Although I pictured Peeta a little more Hoss-ish (from Bonanza...I think I just dated myself) and I kept seeing the little guy from Bridge to Teribithia, I love, love, love Josh Hutcherson! I've always been a sucker for boys with personality! Also, I think Jennifer Lawrence must have been cloned to play Katniss because she couldn't have been more perfect! Lenny as Senna made me fall in love with that character even more and I wished they had developed that relationship more. Ditto for Ru! Amandala Stenberg, you are just beautiful!

This may be one of the few times I go see a movie more than once in the theater! I will definitely own it when it comes out on blue ray! Also, watching the movie made me want to re-read the books ...that's a flip!

There were only two slips from the story line...where the Mockingjay Pin originated and the point at which who could win was flip flopped. It didn't really take away from the story so all is well that ends....well, you need to go read or watch to find that out!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Will-I-Am, Year One

A day late but better than never! Yesterday was the first birthday of my Will-I-Am (I like funky nick names and his is perfect!). His party is Saturday and his Aunt J-Me has fun, fun, fun gifts for him. When James III was born in 2009, I wrote him a letter the day he was born. Poor Will-Man was born in the midst of a very deep heart ache and his Aunt J-Me let him down. Once again, better late than never...

Dearest Will-I-Am, from the day you were born, you brought sunshine to my heart. You are the only little man I have ever met who seems to have started your life smiling. You have to know that your smile brings me some of the greatest joy. Your Uncle Chad always melts when you give him part of that joy (here's an inside tip...tell Uncle Chad he's number one, and what's his is yours for the asking!).

The day you were born, I was stuck in Plano taking care of business. However, I waited by my phone all day. I called your Granny and Papa every hour on the hour. I cried with your Pa at least twice on the phone. When your picture zoomed onto my phone that night, I broke down crying. You were perfect and finally here! I was also totally excited because you looked like me when I was a baby. You looked just like I had pictured my babies would have looked if I had had any.

As the second born, you and I have a lot in common even so early on. Your big brother, like my big sister (Your Aunt Gayla), will be your best friend for all of your life, little Man. I know there will be a year or so in your late teens where you cannot stand the sight of each other. You will sometimes feel like he is leaving you out of his fun (Aunt J-Me will always agree that it's not fair). However, there will be moments when the two of you will take on the world, and you will know that James III is the one person you want in your corner for all times.

William, you also need to know that you have the best parents backing you 110% of the time. Your Mama and Pa will have rules for you that you will not understand or even want. However, let me tell you a secret, they are not trying to ruin your life. They honestly don't have the time to sit around making up things to destroy your happiness. Ultimately, the rules are to make sure you grow up to be a polite, educated, and well-rounded man. Also, when you feel like they are on you too much, call me, Aunt J-Me will tell you some stories about your Pa ;-).

Will-MAN, I have a feeling, when you finally read this, I may owe you an apology. You came along during a time in my life where I was a little crazy with the creative juices. If you feel like I crocheted you into a Auntie's Boy, pardon this old lady. I did it out of love. Always know that, William! Your Aunt Jaimee loves you, loves you, loves you. You know if I say it three times, then I really, really, really mean it. Happy first Birthday, William.

Love always,
Aunt J-Me

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

If I Dont Write This I Will Never Get To Sleep

I have never given birth to another human being. Nor will I ever give birth. This, however, does not mean because you don't have half of my DNA that I am any less your mother. This goes for the one that lives under my roof and all the others who dwell in my heart.

Therefore, before one more well meaning person tells me to chill out, ease up, or whatever other terminology means quit stressing, let me tell the children of my heart how to help me be a more chill mother figure.

Ladies, you were a whole person before those boys drug their sorry behinds into your lives. You will be a complete person when they slink right back out. DO NOT SAY CLICHE AND CRAZY TALK like, "You complete me." It's not only untrue, but it is also VELVEETA cheesy. Take it from me; I was all me for the past 20 years of knowing my husband. I love him. I love my life with him. However, I am still whole within myself. He loves me more and finds me more interesting and attractive because I am my own person.

Secondly, you want to be respected as an adult. Then act like one. Basically, our house rules are there for one purpose--so that at the end of the day, you are not in the hospital, jail or the morgue. These house rules pretty much follow common sense. If you don't have the good sense God gave a billy goat, then you also have us to remind and re-explain some of them to you. Don't yell at me or say, "I know!" when I re-direct and re-teach because obviously you don't if I am doing this for the humpteenth time in the same week.

You want me to like your boy? Then don't break the rules for him. Nor should you break them for yourself. Boys, you should remind your girl if she breaks the rules, you lose as much as she does. Curfews are curfews and phone time ends at is common decency, people. Also, do not sneak anyone into my house...I am loaded and will shoot intruders on sight. Do not sneak out of my house either...someone else may share my thoughts on this one.

Another thing, that phone is a privilege. Piss me off too many more times and it will be one that comes in many pieces like a puzzle.

Boys, you have just as much responsibility in your relationship as the girl does. You want to win me over? Get the hair out of yours eyes, pull up your britches, use your manners and for pete's sake, look people in the eye when you speak to them. Oh yeah, I don't care if it is your age, the position you play on your team or whatever, DO NOT FLIPPING LIE TO MY CHILD OR TO ME. WHEN I FIND OUT, YOU LOSE MY RESPECT AND TRUST FOREVER! I think I might be able to sleep.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

One year

In memorial to my beautiful, funny and loving sister, Gayla Moore, I'm taking 24 hours off. Going dark on social media. I'm taking today to pray and meditate on her life. I'm sending out prayers and love for all. Gayla Leeanne Moore, beloved sister and friend, 08/21/72 to 03/19/11

Friday, March 9, 2012

Spring Break 2011 Broke My Heart

Spring Break Cruise 2005, Gayla and Me, we might
have gotten too much sun that first day.
Growing up, Spring Break was the be-all-end-all of vacations to me. There was no holiday smack dab in the middle of it for which to buy gifts, make big meals or have to go and do anything. Because my parents had to work every day, we three were free to sleep late, do nothing and just chill. The weather is usually nice. There was never anything pressing that had to be done. When I was a teacher, I loved to take this week to go on a cruise or do something fun with my family. Now that I am a parent, I take this week to be with my Hubby Dearest and Darling Daughter. We've made it a regular excursion to spend the week with my family in east Texas.

Sister on her Mexican solo vacation last year just a couple
of weeks before she was taken from us.
Last year ended my love of Spring Break. For the rest of my life, it will mark the week of horror that I lost my beautiful best friend and sister, Gayla Leeanne Moore, forever 38. A distracted driver was doing something other than driving his tractor trailer and his inattentiveness stole away one of my greatest joys.

How I will always remember myGayla
When the weather is sunny but the air is still cool, I will work in the yard and remember that day of planting hydrangeas and calladiums. When the moon is super full, I will remember watching it rise the night before we got the news and playing Words with Friends with my sister, me out on the back porch at our parents' and she in her house in Rhome. When I play UNO on my phone, I will remember Gayla, James and I huddled up in his room, playing against each other on our respective phones. Someday, when I think I hear Gayla's voice in those groggy moments before I fully wake, I won't cry when reality hits me.  

NOTE: I wrote a story idea down a few months back and have been fleshing out a possible novel. Then the new TV show AWAKE comes out and it's too eerily similar. Do I still write my novel?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I am Woman, Celebrate Me?

In my daily quest to keep fresh facts about distracted driving posting on the Texans Against Distracted Driving page, I went to do my daily Google of the topic. Their neat-o graphic intrigued me so I hovered and found out that today is International Women's Day. Train of surfing led me to the Washinton Post's article detailing the celebrations around the world in honor of women. Everyone should read the post to gain a better understanding of the issues women face all around the world...things I never even considered.

As for me, there isn't time to take the day off, no one knows about the day so I probably won't receive flowers, I have no extra money for donations to women's causes, in order to protest I would have to take off work (see point one), the same goes for meeting on a bridge, and I look horrible in red lipstick. So how will I celebrate...I already took a stand against sexual harassment this week with regard to the mistreatment of my child (YES, BULLYING IS HARASSMENT AND SINCE IT WAS HOMOPHOBIC BULLYING I SAY THAT CONSTITUTES SEXUAL HARASSMENT). Additionally, I will look back on history and dream of a future for my Darling Daughter were she is equal in every single way...even if she wanted to play professional Hockey. I think I will seek out a cupcake as miss an opportunity for cake? Have you seen me? ;-)

All joking aside, I am proud to be a woman with a voice. I am thankful for the freedoms that all too often I take for granted. I am grateful for loving family and friends, a solid education and my health. I celebrate being me every day that I crawl out of bed and choose to keep moving forward. Yay! Me!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spread this Like Wildfire!

After you watch this, DO SOMETHING!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Homophobic Bullying Comes Home

Hubby Dearest and I question ourselves as parents on most days, and we all know I probably have the most anxiety about it. However, in one area in particular, we are proud of our efforts. Our Darling Daughter is NOT a bully. She knows that there is a zero tolerance for meanness in our house.

My zero tolerance rule got bent yesterday, though, because my teary-eyed beauty begged me NOT to call the parents of the two teens who were harassing my girl in class. Instead, I had to resort to violently cleaning our living room to assuage my anger and frustration. I did however take breaks long enough to come tell DD about my latest witty comeback for her to use "next time." It was tough; how do you come back from a snide comment and your wit does not stoop to their insulting level? What can you say to a bully that maintains your cool points and yet puts them in their place without invoking violence or being disrespectful to others?

This past weekend, Darling Daughter finally got her year-long wish; I took her to get her hair cut and she could have it as short as she wanted. Having had short hair for almost 20 years, I know the upkeep, the upsides and the downsides to having a short do. We had discussed it till it was glue, so to speak. DD did it, and I was both completely thrilled it turned out so flippin' cute and completely jealous that she was instantly the cutest short pixie cut I had ever seen. She's a classic beauty so I should have known she would pull off the pixie perfectly.

Nevertheless, the hair was definitely the main attraction for the weekend. Complements were pouring in from friends, family and, to her father and my dismay, handfuls of male teens. I have definitely stepped up my search for the perfect metal baseball bat :-). As DD has told me that as the mama my opinion doesn't matter a hill of beans, the big test,  would be DD's first day back at school.

I was shopping for cleaning supplies for the big spring clean when hubby dearest sent me the text that the school had called. DD had left her science class crying because a boy asked her if she was "going lezbo on us." ANGER bubbled up so fast in me that I might have let one of the big dirty words fly. I called DD to check on her. After telling her that the school had called, she said, "I did NOT leave class crying; I wouldn't cry over C0##!%. He's just mean!" Whew! I told her I would be home soon and that I was proud of her. DD's teacher seemed relieved as well when I told her that DD was okay and not weeping in the least. It turns out there was a girl whom DD had thought was her friend who started it with comments about CANCER and HOMOSEXUALITY. The boy, whom had been a friend as well, joined in too. Haters gotta hate, I guess. DD did tell me that they were the only negatives in a multitude of positive support from classmates. She only cried when she was afraid I would cause problems by contacting the kids' parents.

Like I said earlier, I spent the whole evening and most of last night thinking. Probably over-thinking. In addition to witty comebacks like, "No, but I might be able introduce you to someone if you're interested" and "Even if I were, I wouldn't be interested in you because you are a shallow bigot," I really thought about homophobia among teens. We have always told DD that whoever she falls in love with, it needs to be a connection of the mind and heart; gender does not matter as long as she is loved and respected.

I wasn't surprised by the research I found on the subject of homophobic bullying but was no less appalled. According to a 2009 study by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, "Texas schools were not safe for many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) secondary school students. In addition, many LGBT students in Texas did not have access to important school resources, such as Gay-Straight Alliances, and were not protected by comprehensive bullying/harassment school policies." 

The reports also listed the following disturbing facts in its findings:

  • Nearly all students heard "gay" used in a negative way ("that’s so gay") and about 9 in 10 heard other homophobic remarks ("fag" or "dyke") regularly at school.
  • The majority of students experienced verbal harassment (called names or threatened): just under 9 in 10 because of their sexual orientation and nearly 2 in 3 because of the way they expressed their gender.
  • Many also experienced physical harassment and physical assault: about 3 in 10 were physically harassed (pushed or shoved) because of the way they expressed their gender and nearly 1 in 4 was physically assaulted (punched, kicked or injured with a weapon) because of their sexual orientation.
A majority of students never reported this abuse either. In fact DD probably would not have told on her fellow classmates. Two brave girls who witnessed her harassment DID report it though, and for them I am thankful. Because of their concern, the teacher was able to address it, I was able to talk to our darling girl child, and we are all now very aware of some on-going teen ugliness in that class.

I have agreed not to get involved at this time because DD wants to handle this her way. She forgives and moves on much more easily than I do. I learn from her every day in every way about dignity and grace. If there is a "next time," I am in, it is on, gang way and all that other pump-you-up crap. I have a theme song playing in my head and Rockey doesn't hold a candle to this mama bear on a rampage!

Monday, March 5, 2012

DD goes Short

Darling Daughter in late January. She is such a doll!
Darling Daughter on Saturday...I am going out to purchase a metal base ball bat today. She's gorgeous but my baby looks like a woman. And, almost as if short hair sent out a beacon signal, the boys are coming out of the wood work!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

To Mother or Not To Mother...THERE IS NO QUESTION!

In the past four days, I have had a ton of questions about death, grief and the meaning of life. I have questioned every word spoken to my Darling Daughter about the death of her classmate and friend. I have prayed that I am saying and doing everything in my power to support this young woman in an extremely difficult time. However, never once was it even a question in my mind whether I would be DD's constant companion in this event. I was going to be her shadow and go and do whatever she needed me to go and do.

You can imagine my distress and complete bafflement yesterday at the funeral service when it dawned on me that out of the hundred or so teens present that there were only a handful of parents there to support their children; even the teachers and administrators sat with their peers. My heart broke for the little girl wiping her tears on her jacket because she had no tissue (I gave her some of ours). I wanted to gather all of the weeping babies masquerading as adults for comfort. I wanted to take each of them home and give their absent parents a piece of my mind along with a good flogging.

DD didn't ask me to be there for her. It was just always how it was going to be. There was no question in her mind that her J-Me would be her rock always. Our communication was mainly about how she wanted to show her respect for her dear friend. Prior to our arrival I had already found out from DD that she was not up for viewing her friend's body. I knew that she wanted to sit with me and not her other classmates. She knew that I would not leave her side. We had gone into this endeavor as a team. I am not some saint parent! I am not even a perfect parent. However, I knew that my place was there mothering my girl!

Teens are closer to adulthood than childhood. I get that. However, according to, "At the same time the bereaved teen is confronted by the death of someone loved, he or she also faces psychological, physiological and academic pressures. While teens may begin to look like 'men' or 'women', they will still need consistent and compassionate support as they do the work of mourning, because physical development does not always equal emotional maturity." This was in evidence by the hysterical crying of many of DD's classmates and buzzy bee-ing from pew to pew prior to the service beginning.

I am always surprised by the lack of parenting I perceive in our particular community. It's as if affluence gives these people some get-out-of-parenting-free card. Of course they think I am over-the-top-s-mothering DD. To double check myself, I went online to research when, as a parent, you are crossing the line of mothering to smothering when it comes to grief and dying because obviously I don't still tie girl child's shoes for her ( has one of the best articles for teens to read when they are experiencing a loss).

The National Association of School Psychologists has an amazing guide for teachers and parents that talks about support of children in their grieving and groups it by age. For teens, they state:

Children need reassurance from caregivers and teachers that their own families are safe. For children who have experienced their own loss (previous death of a parent, grandparent, sibling), observing the grief of a friend can bring back painful memories. These children are at greater risk for developing more serious stress reactions and should be given extra support as needed.
RockerChick and Darling Daughter, vacation 2010
DD and I were blessed to go into this as a team. We were doubly blessed because DD's best sister-friend, RockerChick, and her mother, DesignerMom, joined our team to support both of us. In a time where neither of our girls would ever admit to needing their mothers, yesterday was one of those steps to becoming adult friends with our children. If DesignerMom or I had let our young women go it alone, we would have missed the opportunity to show them through our own actions how to pay your respects and care for each other. I know for a fact that the parents who missed this teachable moment should always regret not being a participant in a very formative moment in their childrens' lives.