Archive for May, 2009

May 28th

When I got up this morning I was all set to sit down and write about our trip to the pediatrician yesterday. But before I got a chance to sit down at the computer my phone rang.  I was reminded of the date and it all went down hill. Today is a day I wish would just go away.  Unlike Steven’s birthday there is nothing to celebrate today.  Today is the anniversary of the day I will always remember as the first worst day of my life.  The day I learned a phone call at an odd hour is almost never a good thing.  The day I learned nothing is a guarantee in life.  The day a folded flag became something more than a flag.  And the day that a 21 gun salute, Taps, and the final call of a fire alarm became something that makes my knees week and my head spin.

After my list on Steven’s birthday I received a few e-mails from people who did not know him.  They all said the same thing, “I wish I knew Steven”.  My answer to all of them was the same.  “I wish you knew him too”.  So today I am going to do my best to “introduce” you to my brother.

Steven was fun!  He really knew how to have a good time.  That was what he did.  I could sit here and say he was a responsible, hard working guy who always did what he had to do.  But that would be a lie.  He knew how to party.  Always made friends with the bar tender, bought the drinks, and made people laugh.

Steven was a fire fighter.  In every sense.  He had a bond with the others like nothing I have ever seen.  I think he was most proud of being a member of  Liberty Hose and truck co.  He loved his brothers.  This was something I never understood until he was gone.  But I quickly learned it was so much more than just fighting some fires. They were a family.

He really helped people.  In the short time he was given he did more than most people who live to be 100.  He would give someone the last dollar he had if he thought they needed it more than he did. (And he did a few times, even if he had to borrow that last dollar from me.)  He once helped deliver a baby.  And on September 11, 2001 when most people were getting out of New York, Steven was driving in.  He said his brothers needed help, and he had to help them.  So he drove to New York and found a fire department to help.  He came home a day or two  later to a frantic mother who had not heard from her son since the attacks.  And if I am remembering correctly, could not understand what the problem was when she was worried about him. They needed help, he was just helping.

He was a friend.  Steven had a lot of friends.  I met hundreds of Steven’s “best friend” in the days following Steven’s death.  Steven had his few “best friends”  but treated everyone like they were one of them.

His friends poured in by the 100’s. And they all had stories to share. Some that I will treasure for ever.  “I’m lookin’ in the mirror, and I don’t really see myself commin’ in today.” He called in sick to work that way, when his friends pointed out that he never said who it was he replied “they know”  Some I wish I never heard. “Hey Murph!” Blecch, Blecch (that is the sound of me barfing a million times.)  Some that make me proud.  “Steven helped me through a really hard time in my life”.

The stories are what have gotten me through this.  Please, if you have a story to share about Steven put it in the comments so everyone can enjoy it.

Christmas 2003-Nicole Party-STEVEN 092

One last thing, I have needed to get this out for 5 years.  I hate you Julia Davis!  I think of you almost every day. I hope your life sucks.


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A hot dog with what?

Any one who knows Maddy knows that once she has her mind made up about something her mind is made up.  So today when she did not want to eat her lunch because it was not pb&j I decided that I had to be just as stubborn as her.  Chris had made hot dogs for lunch and that is what she was going to eat.  I let her eat in the living room watching t.v.. When that did not work she had to come and sit at the table.  She sat there, and would have sat there all day before she ate the hot dog.

I offered her ketchup to dip it in. No. Mustard, nope. Mayo, no. Ranch dressing, no. Chris offered hot sauce. Still no.  I decided to just get silly.  She had decided she was not going to eat it and unless we could get her out of the bad mood she was in it was going to be a long afternoon of her sitting at the table.  So in my silliness I suggested chocolate syrup.  And she said yes!   For lunch my 2 year old ate a hot dog dipped in Hersey’s chocolate syrup.  GROSS!!!!!

I never expected her to say yes to that.  She was supposed to laugh at the thought of  a chocolate hot dog.

I could not even watch as she ate.  And she ate all of  it!

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Things I learned from my brother, Steven Sochinski

Today is my brothers 30th birthday.  I should be getting ready for a big party.  Wrapping some silly gag gift and making a beer run.  I should be enjoying the day, celebrating.  But I’m not.  May 19th is no longer a day of celebration for my family.  In one instant that changed.  I have tried to go the way of celebrating his life, instead of his birth.  I have tried to be happy for the time I did have with him,  but I am selfish and that is not good enough.  I have tried to laugh over memories past,  but I just want more memories.  I have tried to see pieces of him in my children, but I would rather he had a chance to see them himself.

So for Steven’s birthday today I have decided to share the lessons I have learned from him.  Some will make you laugh, and some may make you cry.

  • Never take advantage of what you have.
  • Be happy with who you are.
  • Have a good time, all the time.
  • Don’t worry about what other people think of you.
  • Help others when you can.
  • Don’t drink it if you don’t know what is in it. (what is in a live wire?)
  • Never lend a blender to your brother to make beer sours. (I still can’t get mine clean.)
  • A  lighter + wd40+ worms = a lot of time spent in your room.
  • Do what you want to do.
  • One person can make a difference.
  • Never pass up a chance to let the people you care about know how much you care.

I am sure there are hundreds more.  But who has that kind of time on the computer?  I would rather be playing with my kids.   So as you remember Steven today, think of all the gifts he gave us all.  Hug your children.  Call your siblings.  And tell your parents how much you love them.

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Why 5 year olds are not scientists

Abigail loves science, so when she got a science experiment kit for her birthday she could not wait to get started.  The first experiment she did was mixing citric acid and baking soda in a cup of water.  The little “interruption” (eruption) it made was cool.  She was pretty excited about it and of course wanted to do more of the experiments.  So Chris asked her if she wanted to see what would happen if they did the same thing, but used double the citric acid and baking soda.  She was more than willing to give this a try and could not wait to see what would happen.

Just as Chris was about to add the citric acid Abigail added, “I hope it does not kill us!”

Chris asked her if she thought it would to which she replied “I hope not”.

He explained that a scientist has to have some kind of idea what will happen so that no one gets hurt. (Yes my 5 year old now understands what a hypothesis is.)  Being only 5, Abigail was not sure what would happen.  When they did it the first time it “exploded”.  She understands that adding more will make the “explosion” bigger.  But does not know how much bigger.

After giving her some time to think about it Chris asked her if she thought it would kill them.  She answered, I don’t know, then braced for the worst as he added the chemicals.

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I was recently informed by Abigail that next year she will be taking karate instead of ballet. As I am sure you can imagine I was a little surprised by this.  Abigail? Karate?  No pink? No hearts? No rainbows? This makes no sense to me at all.  But hey, I’m pretty easy going.  I told her we will look into it. That was last week and we have not heard anything more about it,  until today.

Today when it was time to get ready for dance class Abigail wanted to skip. (I let her skip once when she was really over tired and now she wants to every week. ) We explained commitment and how important it was to finish what you start.  She made a commitment to dance and she has to stick with it until the performance in June and then she can stop going.  She of course in her, I’m 5 but way smarter than you, and I have an answer for everything voice informed us that  Mommy made this commitment, she never wanted to dance, and only ever wants to do karate.

Yes world, I have been forcing my 5 year old who plans to be a radio city rockette when she grow up to go to dance.  (Apparently the kicking learned in karate is more helpful in becoming a rockette than dance class is. )

We power through the “you are making me go to dance” meltdown, and start to get dressed for dance class.  Today is a little different because the girls were asked to wear a black leotard and white tights with no tutu.  Abigail is a tutu girl.  A tutu girl who completely lost it when she found out she was not going to wear anything “fancy” to dance today.  So we spent extra time on her hair and put a little lip gloss on so she had a little something special.  Black and white is no fun.  She really wanted some pink.  Do they have any pink in karate?

On the way home from dance Abigail had some questions for me about karate.

Abigail- “Is karate girlie?”

Me- “It is not just for boys, or just for girls.”

Abigail- “But is it girlie?”

Me- “No, it’s not really girlie.”

Abigail- “Do they have any pink?”

Me- “No , they wear a white uniform with a belt.”

Abigail- ” They all have to wear the same costume?”

(Notice she says costume, clearly this is a girl who is made for karate.)

Me- “Yes, they all wear the same uniform.”

Abigail- “So, no tutus?”

Me- “No”

Abigail- “I don’t want to go to karate.”

Me- “Why? Because they don’t have tutus?”

Abigail- “Because it’s for boys, and I’m too nice to hit people.”


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What Dads do

Last night I enjoyed a great night out with a friend and the kids enjoyed a great  night in with their Dad.  Whenever a Mom goes out for an entire evening she thinks about everything that is going on at home.    Will they eat?  Will they get a bath?  Will they go to bed on time?

Last night was no different.  The kids were going crazy before I left and a big part of me wanted to stay home because I knew it would not be an easy night.  But a bigger part of me was yelling, “Run!  Get out wile you can!  Don’t look back!”  So I went out and had a wonderful time.  Were the dishes done when I got home? No, but he did them before he went to bed.  Did the kids go to bed on time? No, but they were all asleep and safe when I got home.  And they had a lot of fun with their Dad. They did arts and crafts and some science experiments.

For a split second I was a little upset to find out the kids were up until after 9, and a little annoyed by the dishes in the sink.  But I realized that as moms we always keep a list of what we have to do.  We can’t see past the dishes in the sink and just have fun. I am a little jealous of a dads ability to just have fun with his kids.  We could all learn a lot from our husbands.

Next time you go out for an evening, instead of bitching about what your husband did not do, thank  him for what he did do.  Spending time with them is worth so much more than early bed times and and empty sink.  The memories my children will have of the time they spend with Chris will all be happy ones.


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