Here I am two months into hosting this here link up and I just realized we weren’t formally introduced. Sure, some of you go way back to my bloggy cotillion, but since the Quick Takes torch passed, there’s been a lot of new people around here, and I figured it was about time for a refresher of who I am, and what exactly it is that I do around here. (I do have an ‘About’ page [‘Aboot’ if you’re Canadian] but, it kind of sucks. Thanks to everyone that hasn’t pointed that out.) And old timers stick around, I’ll try to throw you a bone of new info about yours truly occasionally.
1. My name is Kelly Mantoan. I’ve been happily married to my high school sweetheart Tony for 13 years. (I asked him to the senior prom.) We have five children; Adeline (Addie) 12, Byron 11, Edith (Edie) 9, Fulton 6, and Theodore (Teddy) 4. We live in New Jersey where I stay at home and attempt to educate the older four while my husband does things with computers to pay the bills. We live on an acre of land with a cat, dog and some chickens. We host epic parties.
2. My two youngest sons have a neuromuscular disorder known as Spinal Muscular Atrophy. It is genetic. Tony and I are both missing a specific gene, therefore, there is a 1 in 4 chance of a child of ours having SMA. All the voluntary muscle movement of Fulton and Teddy is affected, and subsequently both are very weak and require assistance to do everything, thus the powerchairs. It is a degenerative disease. Fulton is weaker than Teddy and requires things like breathing assistance at night and a g-tube while Teddy does not. We are not an SMA family but a family that happens to include SMA. If you don’t think we’re normal, I hope it’s because of my selfies and not because of the wheelchairs. Still gotta question? Click the SMA page at the top or email me.
3. I am gluten-free. Although I am a beer lover at heart, I am restricted to hard cider, wine and liquor (and the occasional expensive GF beer, most of which are lousy.) I gave up gluten right before starting this blog and to my dismay it alleviated a bunch of symptoms I was having. However, I am not officially diagnosed with Celiac disease. BONUS: We recently took Teddy off dairy so we are “one of those families” that is oh so fun to have over for dinner.
4. I love the beach, specifically Ocean City, NJ. Between the months of March and December, I make numerous “field trips” and vacations to the shore. I finally just decided to redesign my whole blog around a beach theme even though this is supposedly a homeschooling blog. Some day my husband will do so many awesome things with computers we will live at the beach! But until then, science will have to include multiple tide pool trips…to study ecology of course.
5. I started ‘This Ain’t the Lyceum’ on Feb. 21, 2012. Teddy had finally started sleeping through the night, I was done with our local parish dinner theater production and I needed something to do in those extra ten minutes at night when I wasn’t exhausted so I started a blog. I’d had a blog in the past (2006-2008?), but it’d outgrown it’s purpose so I started fresh with a new url and a name my husband created. I stayed fairly anonymous at first then gradually started opening up. By November 2012 I got an iPod touch and my ridiculous pictures became a regular feature. I’ve redesigned the blog five times….because I’m nuts and I have a husband who understands HTML.
6. I’m originally from Lancaster County, PA and I love things like red beet eggs, chicken and waffles and scrapple. (No, just kidding I hate the smell of scrapple.) My whole extended family (minus my cool sister) still lives in Lancaster and when we all get together, my PA Dutch accent is pretty hard-core. For two years, my husband and I lived in Lancaster and ran a Bed and Breakfast ( in addition to me raising two little children at home and he commuting to NJ). That business didn’t work out, and we found ourselves in NJ on what was to be a temporary layover. Nine years later, here we still are, surrounded by a great community of friends.
7. I’m a Catholic convert, and not because my cradle Catholic husband forced me to! I was raised Methodist and by my teenage years, I didn’t really know what I believed (although I read a book on Wicca and I was pretty sure I didn’t believe in any of that.) Cue my husband, then boyfriend, who was knowledgable in his faith and patiently answered all my questions. By college, I knew I wanted to convert, even when Tony and I, sob, broke up for a bit; but I waited until I’d graduated and moved out to start the RCIA process. I joined the Church the Easter before we married in 2001 and I’ve only grown to love Her more in that time. We currently attend an Extraordinary Form church in the Camden diocese. I love the Latin Mass and our family fully celebrates the liturgical year with all the bonfires, paper crafts and incense that’s allowed!
Now that you know more than you wanted about me, why not share some mundane details about your life?! Link up below with the url of your #7QT blog post! I can’t wait to learn more!