Mari Likes

Just another Day at home

Mari Likes - Just another Day at home





As he time gets closer to the festivities, Ethan and I had a ball at the annual Fall Festival that his elementary school hosts.DSCN1798  What didn’t they think of? From bouncy house to crazy eights. DSCN1802 It was a rainy day and we couldn’t get on the bouncy house.  Happy to say it wasn’t a complete wash out because that didn’t stop us from having a good time.  Ethan’s favorite had to have been Ring the Crow, he went 3 times.   DSCN1795It’s nice to know that we had an opportunity to go and enjoy this time together and for this I  am Grateful



AUTISM – Day to Day



Autism- day to day challenges

I want to give you a little insight of how we deal with Ethan having Autism.  We have good days and we have bad days but, every day is a learning experience.

Routine, routine, routine is part of our everyday schedule for Ethan.  Ethan needs routine to be able to focus.  This is how one of our days may go:

Morning is basically the exact routine.  For the most part, Ethan wakes up in a really good mood.  He starts to get dressed.  He has to start with his pants not the shirt.  He sometimes thinks that if he starts with his shirt then it’s not the right way to do it.  Brush teeth and wash hands. He HAS to wash his hands because as he says, “he has to”.  There was a day that I rushed him and he couldn’t wash his hands.  Well, he had a bad start to his morning.  He cried a little before getting on the bus.  Now I make sure he washes his hands.  (At least these are good habits) Since he has breakfast at school, I still give him a morning snack.

When he started school, his teacher put a label on his book bag that has his bus information on it, that is to make sure he gets on the right bus, he sets the tag a certain way.  I remember seeing him doing that on most occasions that I purposely placed it wrong.  He was a little uncomfortable about it and takes his backpack off and fixes the label.  When he comes home we have lunch ready for him, he eats, changes his clothes, then he is ready for a little T.V.  He loves to watch nicktoons.

Dinner is usually difficult since there are days he can’t have anything too mushy or sticky.  After dinner is bath time, story time and some chocolate milk before he falls asleep.  It’s not a whole lot of things he does to occupy his time but, when we do change his routine a lot of times he literally shuts down, just like a robot would do when he has no power, Ethan would do the same.  He puts his head down and does not respond to anyone.  It doesn’t matter if we are either at home, in the doctor’s office ect.  It’s funny how that is the perfect example of what he does.   Again, he needs to stay on his routine to focus.  It’s good to know that when we go out in public, it’s pretty hard for people to see he has Autism but, his behaviors will remind us that he is different and special.   We are always learning more and more of how his condition can affect him.

I have been able to learn a lot about my son these last couple of years.  As a parent with previous kids I know how much patience I have grown to have.  After having Ethan I can definitely appreciate having patience.

Every day we have different challenges and there are worst days than others but I am definitely grateful to have a family that is extremely supportive.




Locks of Love Hair Drive



Where do I even start…………….

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about ‘Success’ and how being successful is following what you’re passionate about……AND THIS IS MY SUCCESS STORY!!

On Wednesday October 16 2013, I had organized a hair drive for Locks of Love.  This organization helps collect pony tails to make wigs for kids with cancer.

Can you just imagine your child suffering from cancer?

Can you imagine your daughter being bullied because she’s bald?

Can you imagine your child having low self-esteem because she doesn’t have hair?

Almost all little girls want to have long hair they can twirl and do different hairstyles.  Unfortunately a lot cannot.  This is why I decided to organize the event along with Plant City High Schools Cosmetology Dept.  Although I wish we had tons more, I know that every ponytail collected on Wednesday is going to make a child very happy.

Locks of Love is always receiving hair donations so, if you or anyone you know haven’t done so already, please donate.  It’s for a great cause.

The response we received was so overwhelming.  We had 2 sessions, in the morning and in the evening.  I did expect a couple of people but, we received 30 ponytails.  I am at awe.

No, I did not made a single penny out of this event but the feeling of accomplishment is my payoff.  Not only did we collect the pony tails we offer a makeover by Mary Kay consultant, my Director Kathy Jones but, we had tons of fun!!!  We had 4 newspaper photographers present and they did write a story about it. DSCN1332DSCN1350DSCN1328DSCN1313 They took photos so please look out for the story!!

My daughter decided to donate her hair for this cause and I am so proud of herDSCN1398



Laurel Ritenbaugh, Cosmetology Teacher at Plant City HS, Thank you for allowing the event to take place in your salon.  And thank you to all students DSCN1495that took time out of their schedule to participate.




Its Home coming!!!  10/12/13




Today is a very exciting day.  It’s my daughters’ first homecoming dance and she is extremely excited.  Welcoming the new school year and a freshman in HS.  This leaves a few more homecomings to go.


From the hair and makeup, new dress, new shoes and the accessories, to the wardrobe malfunction, this is what I live for.


After trying on the dress every day for about 2 weeks, TODAY the zipper did not want to cooperate.  She couldn’t zip or unzip the dress.  Mommy to the rescue……not really.  She literally got stuck in the dress.  I couldn’t stop laughing while she was just crying.  I’m sure she will look back later on today and laugh.


Her hair in curls but of course, living in FL., the humidity is not her friend.  I think we went through a can of hair spray (sorry ozone)


 As for a date, Well, She decided not to have a date because she says she wants to have a drama free night and have tons of fun…..That’s my baby girl.    And for that, we bought her a beautiful corsage to wear.


She has come a long way and refreshing to know she has something to look forward to.  I am so proud of her and she knows it.  Mommy, step daddy and siblings are extremely overprotective of her so this is a big step for her to be on her own looking all grown up.

And now just waiting until its time to get her and hear about her nights events.


Krystal, if I told you once, I will remind you again, WE ARE SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!  LOVE YOU BABY GIRL!!





Parents please keep your keys in a safe place.

A couple of months ago my teenage stepson decided to take my car to get some candy from the gas station……well, he never made it to the gas station and my car was totaled.

It was the day after my birthday and my husband and I were running errands.  My son was home early from school that day.  We were running late so I called him about 2:10 to let him know he was to pick up my 5 yr. old from the bus.  I live in a gated community so it was just a couple of yards from the house, there was no need to drive.  Although he did have his permit, he was not allowed to drive the car on his own.  I received the call at about 2:15.  He was hysterical.  That was such a scary feeling at the moment, not being able to understand a word he was saying because he was crying so much.  All I heard was CAR ACCIDENT.

All in a matter of seconds my mind was just playing tricks on me.  I understood that a car hit Ethan…. (Remember he was supposed to get him from the bus stop).

We were still about 30 minutes from home but it felt like an eternity.  When we arrived I just couldn’t believe what I saw.

He said he was driving at speed limit and a car was coming towards him.  He swerved and lost control, the car went in a ditch then back up to the street. Luckily he was wearing his seatbelt.  As you seen in the pictures, my car was totaled and if he had not been wearing a seatbelt, it could’ve been a lot worse.

Thank God he was ok and no one was hurt.

All this was terrible but, because of all this, we find out he was taking my car in the middle of the night….guess for what?  To see his girlfriend.  Can you believe it?  I couldn’t.  I wanted to beat the S*** out of him.  That was just a feeling for the moment though.  He had opportunities to see her and he spent time with her but he was still sneaky.

We work hard on teaching our kids how to be responsible along with being respectful, making the right choices, the list goes on and on.  It was heartbreaking to deal with this dilemma we had at hand.   I felt defeated and embarrassed but, I looked at the bright side of it all.  Did we learn from this? Absolutely.  We learned not to leave keys on the counter.  (Laugh)


Parents, just because we teach our children how to behave and how to carry themselves doesn’t mean they will.  It doesn’t make us bad parents it’s just part of them growing up.  It’s those hard bumps on the road that teach them how to deal with the consequences to their actions.  Out of all my kids he was the least we expected this from.  But it goes to show that we don’t know what they are thinking but, its ok.

This is one lesson that I add to my list.  We get stronger from every obstacle.  This definitely helps me grow and be a better parent.

At least we can laugh at this later in life.

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Sept. 29 is International Coffee day!!!!  I decided to have coffee with my family at out local Dunkin Donut shop.  We had a great time.

I was thinking far back and I cant remember when I started drinking coffee.  I remember when I was much much younger my mom used to serve us coffee after dinner.   I can say that those were some good memories since I still LOVE to drink coffee.

I don’t consider my self an addict to coffee (although my family can disagree) but I do think that a sitting outside a coffee shop when the weather is cool is such a great feeling.

Thanks for reading!! ;)


twitter for dummies

So I decided to create a Twitter account since its the in thing…….PEOPLE HOW DO YOU DO IT??  I am definitely the old fashioned type (still sending mail via post office)  can someone please tell me how this thing works!!!!!!  Do you think in need a twitter for dummies book??  Seriously.  Want to know who I follow?   Wendy Williams, Kevin Hart.  Now do you really think they see me???  This is just too funny.





I longed for her for many years. So close yet so far.  many time she came around but I didn’t have time for her so she left me.  I then wanted to find her but she was so far away.  Yes talking about having SUCCESS felt many times as a story you read in a book, a STORY.  But, was I really striving for her as I should?  Was I taking the steps to meet her?  I had to sit here and realize that being successful isn’t about making a lot of money, it is doing something I love to do.  Even though I don’t make any money off of this, creating a blog was a step forward in my life to move forward.  Taking chances at something you have a passion for.  My passion has always been to help people.  I always say that if I can go to the ends of the world and make a difference at least in 1 persons life, I would do it.  What stopped me from doing that was myself.  I always underestimated the potential I have, maybe I’m not expressing myself properly, or who will want to hear about my drama or maybe you will judge me.  Although I am not a writer, I enjoy sitting here writing about me in hopes that we can relate .  I received a call about a week ago from a friend who I never thought would reach out to me and tell me I posted a story that touched her.   This definitely made me feel like a million bucks and that my friends, I call success.

Please continue following your dreams.  Be proactive and take initiative in your decisions that will make you successful.  Its never too late get that degree or open the business you’ve been thinking about or taking that exotic trip you’ve been dreaming about…..just do it!    JUMP INTO SUCCESS!!!



Have you ever asked yourself, ‘what is my purpose in life’?  Well for a very long time now I have been hitting myself over the head asking myself this question.   Well, I am now 37 years of age with a full house.  I care for my family more than I care for myself,  I would do anything for them,  and I told myself that when I am 40, I have to have something to show for it.  I’m a good mom, a good wife (I’m sure my husband would agree)  and I care for all my pets.  But I always felt as though something is missing.  I need to do more. When I decided to blog I told myself and my husband, that if I can reach out and help someone out there through my experience then I would be sooooooo happy.

One of my missions now is to do something that is worthwhile.  I donated my hair to Locks of Love in June and it was such a great feeling.  I never really thought of donating hair because I didn’t see the need.  Well, was I wrong.  They collect at least 10in of hair (I donated 21) and with each ponytail they are able to use it to make a wig for a child.  That touched me even more.  I don’t have any children that have any type of diagnosis that causes hair lose but I can only imagine how hard it must be not only for the parents that see them like this but the kids.  OMG!!!!  the low self esteem, the bullying the name calling.  when I think about it……….my hair will grow back……and I will do it again.  I decided to organize a hair drive that will help support the Locks of Love.  I think that if we can pass the word around and donate at lease once, we will change the life of a child and their family.  The event will be on October 16, 2013.  No matter what State you’re in, I think it will be really cool to donate hair for the Locks of Love.

I would like to hear from someone that has been blessed by Locks of Love.



sept. 11

As we get closer to the anniversary of the saddest day to most, I sit here giving thanks to God for so many heroes that stood up and took a stand not only fighting for our country but to those heroes that helped for months following the tragedy.  Although there is so much to say about this day, anything else added would be too much for me to say.  My heart and prayers go out to each and every one of you who lost someone.

Special thanks to my husband who after the disaster of the World Trade Center dedicated his time in the aftermath searching for bodies.  I’m proud of you