Monday, December 29, 2008

Definitely Losing

I will be the last to say I am a grammar nazi.

I know that I don't always use punctuation correctly; I never did learn many of the rules of writing. My knowledge of writing rules are slow in coming, and I know I make mistakes quite often. I know I'll likely make mistakes in the writing of this post.

Blogs are a personal thing for most of us. I purposely overlook grammar and punctuation when I read them, because they're not intended to be a perfectly polished piece of writing. It would take away the joy if I were constantly analyzing, and I hope that no one would do that to me either.

I have, however, increasingly come across two words that are being shamefully misused. So often, in fact, that I can no longer keep quiet about it. There is no reason for these poor words to be tortured so. Just because you see someone else do it doesn't mean it's ok. I'm not kidding, the misuse of these words causes me physical reactions, from ranting and raving to having the urge to toss the computer across the room. I'm not normally a violent person.

I don't think anyone who has a blog I regularly read misuses these words, and if you have, you're forgiven. I still love you. Just please, please, for the love of all that is good and decent in this world learn from this post.

The first one, my number one all time pet peeve, is the incorrect usage of the word 'lose'. Use it, people. This word is going to expire from our language if it's not used correctly soon. As in "I'm going to lose my mind if you don't stop this insanity." It is NOT 'loose'.

One of the main definitions of the word 'lose' is, according to Webster: "To miss from one's possession or from a customary or supposed place."

The definition of the word 'loose', also from Webster
:" Not rigidly fastened or securely attached." and "Free from a state of confinement, restraint, or obligation."

So if you say that you always "loose your shoes" you mean that you barely put them on your feet, or set them free to find their own way in the world. If you mean that you always misplace them then you always "lose your shoes".

Repeat after me:

My shoelaces are loose. I need to tie them.

The chain on the bicycle is getting loose.

My grip on this language is getting loose. I should tighten it.



Now, let's try this with 'lose':

I hate to lose.

I lose my mind often.

Lose the attitude.

Both these words start looking funny the more I type them. Where was I? Oh yes. Here are your last sentences, combining the two words properly. Study them as long as you wish.

I want to lose weight so my pants will be more loose.

My dog's collar is loose. I should make it fit more snugly, or he'll lose it.


See? It's not hard.


The other word is definitely. Not defiantly. If you are "defiantly going to the store", you're doing it in spite of whatever obstacle is trying to impede you. Most people mean that they're "definitely going to the store", as in they're absolutely going.

The fastest way to get this one right is to read it out loud as you type. The misuse of 'definitely' tends to crack me up. I don't get as upset as I do with lose/loose, because the mental picture it provides is, in some cases, awesome.


"I'm defiantly loving the way the dress looks on you." I see that person twisting your arm.

"You're defiantly a special person." Uh, thanks.

"One scoop of ice cream is defiantly enough." You tell 'em!

"We defiantly had a great time." I'm so glad you had fun in the face of such opposition!


I do feel a little bad being so sarcastic. Just a little.

Will you stand with me in reclaiming the proper use of these words? Please?

If not, I will definitely lose my mind at the defiant looseness of it all.

Seriously.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Winter Ponderland

Well, that time is here again. We in the midwest are surprised with gifts from Mother Nature quite often.

Yesterday we hit a rare winter high of 64 degrees. James flung open the front door and turned on the attic fan. He was almost giddy, I nearly expected him to burst into song and the Highland Fling. That he does not know any Scottish dancing is of no consequence.

Our house was immediately filled with the smell of clean air. We humans (and a stinky dog) sure know how to make it stifling in here in the course of two months. The fresh air was blissful! I got a bit chilly (not my fault I'm married to a human torch, wait, maybe it is) but my sweater soon remedied that.

It smelled of 'almost spring'. Smells can be deceiving.

In the later evening I thought I heard a rumble. I decided it was a truck or some such thing. A while later I heard it again, stronger. It was thunder. Hmm, I thought. A thunderstorm in December. How exhilarating! (It should be mentioned that I love storms. The swirling energy, the charged air, the raw power coursing through the atmosphere.)

I heard cries from Princess' room. James went in and consoled her.

Five minutes after he came out, the wailing began again. I went in to console her and told her some nonsense that it was like the bowling game we play on the Wii, but in the sky. Or the one I try to play, but completely suck at. (Sorry for the word, Mom, but I do.) I get mad and don't release the button soon enough, then pull my arm muscles. I hate that game.

Anyway, my explanation seemed to do the trick. I gave her a little doll so that she could take care of it and tell it that everything was ok. She may have given another wail or two after that, but then she fell asleep.

So I went to bed, very very late. Listening to the thunder made me feel satisfied in my soul. It always does. The rumbling echoes any rumblings inside me, and I'm not talking about hunger pangs. It makes me feel wild and free, one with the whole of the windy, unpredictableness of it all. It makes me feel alive. So, so alive. When I went to sleep I felt peaceful amid the grumblings and groanings of the sky.

I wasn't even thinking of any possible danger when I woke up this morning, after blissfully sleeping in. I should have, but the thought hadn't even crossed my mind. James' father called at 8:30, asking if we had power. I couldn't think of why we wouldn't, until I heard the words 'ice storm'. Blast. I should have thought of that the night before.

Looking outside, I thought back to the ice storm we had last December. The 12th, to be exact. The one that put our city on the national news, most of the city had no power for close to a week. We were one of the very lucky ones who didn't lose power. I was worried we wouldn't be so lucky this time.

Last year we ended up with a limb on the house. James was able to get it off and it hadn't damaged the roof. We had branches and a huge mess everywhere, and it affected our power lines but we didn't know that until the next week. This morning I was grateful for that storm, because all the limbs that exploded like gunshots off the trees had already fallen. Our house was in no immediate danger, and I was free to marvel at the beauty a tree takes on when it is coated in crystal. They seem like fairy trees, not of this world. So beautiful.

It gets me to thinking. We go through storms in this life, sometimes we deal with the same storm more than once. But, we can take what we have received from those experiences and apply them to our current troubles. Sometimes the pain of the past helps us in ways we hadn't before thought about. We would have rather not had those experiences, but the blessings come in ways we may not initially see. Sometimes the pain of the past is in its own mixed way, a blessing for the future.

This all makes sense to me now, as it's late and I should be in bed. It may not tomorrow. But the challenges we all face in life, whether big or small, can actually help us. Perhaps not right away, but at some time they will help us. Or they'll enable us to help someone else.

I remember how long it took the sheared trees of the ice storm of '94 to grow back. Driving along the highway caused sadness deep in my heart. The sight of twisted, mangled trees affected me physically, with almost an aching sadness. But did the trees give up? Nope. Slowly the new growth appeared, and the split, painful looking landscape healed. They may have even grown back stronger.

The trees around here have been through a lot this past year. Nearly all of the destruction from December 2007 is gone in the city, but driving down the highways you can see much of it left when you peer through the trees. But they have come back fighting. They don't let the ice win.

Before I snuggle into my bed, I'm going to take one last look outside at the winter wonderland. My trees look burdened. But they are strong, they'll make it.

And so will we all.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Top 3 Things to Not Do Before Christmas

# 3: Don't not clean your house for several weeks, no matter how you've been feeling. You may have a breakdown a few days before Christmas. If this happens, remember that all you need is a slightly clear space around the tree to take pictures.

# 2: Don't step on a patch of ice even if you have on a pair of boots and there's no way around it. Just don't do it. However, if you do it, make sure you go to your wonderful chiropractor whose feet you could kiss. He will reassure you that you just strained your shoulder and although it feels like it's been kicked out of place by a mule, that you will be fine. He will also say that even if your upper back is out (which he will so deftly squash back into place) the fall may have actually helped you a bit. Smile at the silver lining.

#1: Do not, under any circumstances, go to Walmart the Monday before Christmas. If you do, do not, under any circumstances lose your eight-year-old son and three-year-old daughter. You will leave your cart, dragging your six-year-old son with you around lines and lines of people to the customer service desk, where you will run to the head of the line and begin crying as you frantically tell everyone you lost two of your kids. You may be so worried that you tell the employee helping you that your daughter is four when she's actually three, because you were thinking of her clothing size. To her credit, she doesn't bat an eye. When your children are returned to you, by all means fall down in the middle of the department, hugging your children and crying and telling them to never do that to you again. Hope that all the people standing in the line that extends around the corner remember what Christmas is all about. Also, be very very thankful that you taught your eight-year-old what to do if lost. He may hold on tightly to his sister and go to the nearest counter to ask for help. Finding this out may make you cry even more. If you realize that it's time for your husband to get off work and call him to tell him the chiropractor is still open (in case he fell on the ice too), he may not go there. He may come to Walmart instead to rescue you because he hears the tension and the tears behind your voice.

And if these three things happen, count your blessings. Then blog about them.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Syncopated Musings

Clever title, huh? I think so.

But I didn't come up with it. My husband James has started a blog. His first ever. I wish he had come up with this name when I was trying to think of blog names. But I'm not bitter, nope. Not at all.

There's even a game on his first post! Of course, I think he's brilliant. He's a fantastic writer, and I would say that even if he weren't my husband.

So without further ado, I present Syncopated Musings.

My Superpower

Yes, you heard me correctly. I have a superpower. It comes and goes, this is the fourth time its presence has graced my life. Thank you to all who have left such nice comments on my posts, and I'll come visit you as the superpower lets me.

This superpower lasts nine months at a time.

It arrives with each pregnancy. I wish it helped the masses, but it's only fruitful for those who, well, like fruit.

I now have a sense of Super Smell.

And by Super Smell I don't mean that I stink. Although I do. I'm sure I do, anyway, I'm just avoiding moving my arms.

Super Smell power comes in handy when shopping. I can tell a perfect melon with one whiff. A honeydew is either carefully placed in the cart, or tossed back onto the pile with my nose in the air. I can afford to be a fruit snob. I have The Power.

Although this power likes to play with my sense of reality. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had this shampoo and conditioner that smelled like ambrosia. I stood there daily in perfect bliss, shampooing my hair. I inhaled while squeezing the bottle, trying to become one with the scent before it shot up my nose. I had found the holy grail of earthly olfactory pleasure!

After my baby was born though, the shampoo changed. The conditioner changed. It was at least pleasant, but nowhere near the euphoria-inducing scent it was before. Sad, but at least I wasn't like my mom. While pregnant with one of us, she had to continually resist the enchanting scent of gasoline. Yep, you heard me. Gasoline fumes! Hmmm....that could explain a lot.

My superpower is mostly used for evil, however. Evil against ME. Yep, it turned on me.

This means that the slightest whiff of something my pregnant body can't tolerate and it magically transports me to my bedroom where I lay gasping for clean air.

What sort of scents, you ask?

Dried ketchup is one of the worst. Just the thought of it makes my tummy churn. And of course, walking into the bathroom is just asking for trouble, especially when kids have left presents of failed nighttime protection on the floor. I need a permanent bed in Walmart, because the scent of the deli is....*gulp*. Ooooooh. I'm feeling a bit woozy at the moment. If people knew that fried chicken really smelled like that, they'd never, ever touch it. Not even with their grandmother's hands. I have been known to walk around the store with an empty grocery bag in case I didn't make it to the bathroom. Hey, you do what you have to!

Sorry Superman, but this is one power I wouldn't mind taming. I'm thinking of getting one of these, my own personal brand of kryptonite:



It's an aromatherapy diffuser necklace.

You put a little cotton pad with a few drops of an essential oil in it, and wear it. Instant perfume. I'm thinking this would be so handy! Come across a dog doing its business? Shove your necklace in your nose and breathe deeply. Other people may think you're insane, but hey, you're still standing.

Have to walk into the mother's lounge at church? Those diapers don't stand a chance.

Walking by a squished packet of ketchup? Laugh mockingly in its general direction!

Now the only problem is...what essential oil should I put in it? I know there are some that are contraindicated for pregnancy. I also don't want to smell like a haystack.

Although, you never know. My superpower may decide that "Haystack" is the next celebrity perfume. Hmm....I know who should market that.



I expect a thank-you letter and check from Tina's publicist any day now.

And as for me? I think I just spied a dried spaghetti-sauce lid.

Bedroom, here I come.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Swear Bees and Other Odds of Ends

I have some good news!

James fixed the van so I was gone all day.

Well that was good news, but not the good news. I was at the OB's office. Waiting for TWO HOURS before he showed up. He's a great doctor, but I get sick of waiting for him. If I wasn't high risk I would choose someone who was faster. Thank goodness for my sister who watched the kids at her house. They would have destroyed the office by the first hour, or at the least imploded my brain with super-sonic whining. I spent a total of four hours there. Blech.

Sorry, that wasn't the good news

Today was my yucky first OB appointment where you get to model a fashionable hospital gown that closes (or almost) in front. I don't need to explain further. I still feel violated.

That wasn't the good news either.

It's this: They did an ultrasound and there's a heartbeat! So for now, everything is looking ok and I'm finally allowing myself to get excited about this baby.

While I was waiting to see the doctor, I talked to people. It's neat when you're in a waiting room with expectant mothers. Some glance around furtively and when you catch their eye, whip their heads away so fast they need a neck brace. Others will not only tell you anything you're curious about, but everything you don't want to know as well.

Thankfully, I had interesting people to talk to. One poor girl was there with her three-year-old son, who was going nuts. Other people and I kept reassuring her that we understood, because she looked both helpless and embarrassed. She was there to see if she could have another child. I think she has three. Or maybe she was there seeing what her options were for not having more. She was trying to talk to me when I was being distracted with the receptionist wanting me to fill out paperwork. Watching the girl with her son was making me try to remember why I'm doing this again.

Another girl I met lives with her parents during the week because her husband works out of town. Her mom came there with her, as she's on bedrest and having twins. Someone was actually at her house at that moment, an art teacher, getting the nursery ready for her. Wow. I was just thankful that no one was home at my house, destroying it any further.

Not long after she went in I finally got into my appointment, and the only thing I had written down for allergies were "sweat bees". If you don't know what a sweat bee is, they're these little tiny black and yellow bees. They look like baby bees. In some areas of the country they're kind of metallic-looking. Anyway, the nurse misread and stated that I was allergic to "swear bees". We both got a laugh out of that. "Well, I am," I insisted.

Then, when I was waiting for my ultrasound, this other gal and her husband came and sat next to me. She had just found out she was pregnant. She has a 19 year old son and a 7 year old girl. I think she had her tubes tied, anyway this one was a huge surprise. We have the same doctor. It was nearing 2:00 by this time and I told her I had been there since 11:30. I think at some time in her life she must have been a sailor because she was rather colorful. Her reaction was (and sorry for typing this, but...) "F*** THAT!"

I was slightly shocked, so I hastily replied "No, not really." I paused. "But this is the end result."

She lost it, laughing so loudly that I think her husband was embarrassed. What else could I do? It used to be that I would just recoil inwardly when someone swore horribly in casual conversation, but my inner rebel has started saying things of its own accord. Maybe I should have told her I was allergic to swear bees. I really liked her personality, swearing and all. When I came out of the ultrasound she was still there, and looking for my reaction. I gave her a thumbs-up and she just beamed and yelled across the crowded waiting room, "Good luck!"

Of course, my kids were excited to see the ultrasound pictures when I got to Karen's house. It must have been a little disappointing. ("Look! You have a smudge for a brother or sister!") Maybe a tiny tadpole, but I won't say that because frogs freak me out. It looks like nothing, really. It's the size of a blueberry though, so that's to be expected. It's good that I looked up about how big it is, because the clinician wouldn't give me a good idea. All she would say was how many millimeters or centimeters. She gave in a little and put it in inches (less than 1/2 inch). She said, "I don't do objects. No oranges, no olives. One person's orange might be bigger than another's."

"What about kiwi fruit?" I surmised. "Those are pretty uniform."

"No kiwis either".

"So it's just...go home and get a ruler."

"Exactly."

Tonight I gave Princess a bath and asked her what she thought the baby's name should be. Of course, she thinks it's a girl.

"Princess Isabella?" I asked. (Not seriously, not with Bella fanaticism raging rampantly across the nation.)

She loved it. I threw out another random name.

"How about Rachel?"

First she shook her head no, then she looked up at me and said "Deuce".

"Deuce?"

"Yes."

"What if it's a boy?"

She pondered this for a moment. "Kid Boy."

She's original. Maybe she's like Professor. When I was expecting Princess, we were riding in the van one day. He was four. Out of the blue, he said "We should name it Hebrews. Or the letter 'E'."

Her nickname before we found out she was a girl was Hebrews. Maybe this one should be Ephesians. I like Colossians, but it reminds me of colons. Not pleasant when you're thinking of a new baby.

Speaking of colons, I have to leave this new tidbit for you. Or more specifically, for Nancy Face. I think she'll appreciate it.

I was snuggled up in my bed tonight, reading. Suddenly the wails of Princess filled the air.

I tried to ignore them, hoping she had just temporarily misplaced one of the three stuffed doggies or two baby dolls she sleeps with.

It didn't stop.

I got up and opened her door. She was standing up on her bed in her favorite pink nightgown with big white polka dots. "What's the matter?"

"I pooped in my undaweah."

"You pooped? No honey, you barfed." For that's what it looked like. Alas, I was wrong. As I studied her, I realized how horribly wrong I had been. Although, does it really matter which one it was? Icky, icky, ew, ew, ew.

I carried her to the bathtub, my arms extended as far out as I could without dropping her. I'll spare you the details because I would love for you to come back to my blog again. Let's just say that I was having a difficult time breathing. I love bathtubs, and running water, and a plunger that works in the bathtub as well as it does in the toilet.

My knight in shining armor came to the rescue when it came to changing her bed. Even glancing in her room almost became my undoing. "Stay away," he told me firmly. "Don't even look at it." This from a man who gags at the slightest smell of wretchedness. He can't even change an infant's poopy diapers until they eat only solid food. (Hey, that's fine with me! He can have all those!) He didn't want me to get sick, because I had taken insulin and had just eaten a snack. Insulin+ an empty stomach= bad.

So he took a mask, a doctor's type mask, and sprayed some cologne on it before welding it to his face. He then proceeded to change the bedding and put everything in the washing machine.

How I love that man.

And that, my friends, is another day in the life of me.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Nostalgia.

Once upon a time there was a little girl who was four years old.

She loved imagining.

She would only let her mom do her hair like "princess hair".

She loved baby dolls and told all her secrets to them.

Sometimes she had nightmares about skulls. Those were not her favorite dreams.

She loved her little sister, even when she was being chased by her with booger fingers around and around the kitchen table. Well, she loved her the other times.

She loved dreaming about what it would be like if the ceiling were the floor, instead.

She loved her parakeet, Peeper. He was an unusual parakeet, he enjoyed being read to. Her mother sometimes found her asleep with Peeper snoozing on her chest and a book in her lap.

She loved Mr. Apple Face Horse. That wasn't his real name, he lived behind her house in a large pasture. But, when she called in her little girl voice, he came thundering across the pasture, stopping short of barreling through the fence. He loved apples.

She loved cool breezes, and walking around the land outside with Daddy.

She loved making miniature pies at Thanksgiving with Mommy.

She loved her bouncing horse on springs.

She loved that her grandma lived up the road and she could walk up to see her.

She loved the smell of cherry tobacco, because that's what Grandpa smelled like.

She loved getting up on a chair at Grandma's sink to look out the window as she washed lettuce for lunch. She hated getting water on her arms.

She loved listening to Daddy's records.

She loved the huge Christmas tree that had her very own doll carriage underneath it. Two in fact, one for her and her sister. She loved her jewelry music box with the tiny twirling ballerina.

She liked rice alright--until she was sick and threw up. It was years before she could touch it again.

She loved the little yellow swing that was in the trees on the property. She could only visit it with Daddy because the trees weren't by the house.

She thought it was funny and gross when her little sister stripped naked and rubbed red clay mud from head to toe.

She remembers hanging on the doorknob in the wintertime trying to get inside, having gotten the door open but her boots were sliding on the ice. She screamed for her mom as she hung on for dear life. She still remembers the complete relief and trust she felt when her mom came to rescue her.

She doesn't miss the giant horseflies.

She loved visiting the health food store that Daddy and Mommy ran. Well, except for the time when the little boy bit her and stole her raisins. She remembers the maple sugar candy she would have sometimes. Molded in different shapes, it was creamy and sweet.

Years have passed and still at times, she yearns for the simplicity of her childhood. She wishes now that just once, she could open the door into the past and smell the clean breezes, call for Mr. Apple Face Horse, and run up the road to visit Grandma.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Important Things.

Ok, so life has been very stressful lately. I can't stop thinking about everything that's been going on.

I also have a touch of anxiety disorder, I believe. I get very uncomfortable at the thought of going anywhere like a doctor's office. Uncomfortable is a rather mild word. I basically freak out. I have a hard time making phone calls to people who are not my family. The thought of anything that I have to do besides grocery shopping makes me panic. You could call me a homebody.

I have three appointments this week, and a dead van. This means that in order to have my husband's van I will need to take him to work, with the kids. When we get back home from going anywhere in the morning, my kids turn into sluggish sloths. They don't want to do anything. No schoolwork, nothing. It's like pulling teeth, and I don't feel like fighting battles right now.

I'm a little nervous about meeting the new endocrinologist. I'm stressing about finding all the information needed to apply for assistance to help with medical bills. I had hoped never to have to do that again, but you do what you have to. I'm stressing about getting the van fixed. James has had to spend all weekend at work with a crashed database when it's finals week. I'm concerned that I don't feel horrible morning sickness like I did with the other kids, although it was better with the last pregnancy. Usually by now I'd be barfing at least twice per day. Now, I only feel a little nauseated now and then. This makes me wonder if the baby's ok.

Everyone's taken turns being sick. I'm finally getting over the awful sinus thing I've had. Today I was so tired, and so was Princess. I asked her if she wanted to snuggle with me and take a nap. We were just drifting off to sleep when she threw up all over me and my bed.

Poor girl.

I couldn't leave her much this afternoon. I was the bucket runner, at least she knew about 2.6 seconds before she threw up that she was going to. Well, except for that second time when she threw up on me.

She wanted me to hold her while she slept. Of course, I obliged. Sitting there, stroking my baby's head while she fell asleep, every other care in the world melted away. It all didn't matter. There I was, holding one of the loves of my life, keeping her safe, watching her sleep.

Somehow, it put everything into perspective.

Beware of Giant Blue (and Green) Bees

I had another weird dream last night.

I forget what happened first.

All I remember is that there was a really weird, big bee trying to sting people. It was big and fat, fatter than a bumblebee. It was also blue, maybe with some green.

I wonder what the colors mean? The other dream I had including an animal with blue and green was a snake that bit me. Strange.

Anyway, this bee didn't fly like normal bees. It moved in a straight line without any buzzing. It didn't curve at all in flight, just made right angle turns. It would head toward someone and when they would brush at it it turned to another direction.

I went inside a screened porch to get away from it. In real life (and this is true) I'm allergic to sweat bees, those little tiny black and yellow striped bees. I didn't want a chance to find out if I was allergic to blue and green giant bees.

Someone had a screen window open, and while I was trying to get it shut the bee flew through. I felt resigned as it flew toward me. It lightly stung me on my arm as I brushed at it with my other hand. The bee exploded, dry like it had been dead for years.

My extremities started tingling. I started having trouble breathing and ran to the hospital next door.

They didn't seem too concerned. After a while I started breathing better on my own. I was mad as h-e-double hockey sticks at the emergency room personnel. If I had been any more allergic I could have died right in front of them. All the admitting nurse asked was "Do you have a problem with post-traumatic stress?" She was trying to find a nice way of asking if I was a hypochondriac, because this was the third time I had been there in in two weeks. Once when I was being diagnosed with diabetes, once when I thought I was losing the baby, and this time with the bee.

The rest of my life is stressful enough at this point. If I see a giant, blue and green, right-angle flying bee, I'm heading for the hills.

The End.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Your Guide on How NOT to Overindulge

First of all, it's never a good idea to try to release stress by eating ice cream. Ice cream will only temporarily freeze your emotions. They will thaw out later.

Secondly, if you're going to overindulge in ice cream, don't do it with the sugar-free kind. I decided to because I was in this horrible sugar-craving mood. I can't eat regular ice cream (hello, diabetic here!), so I broke my "no artificial sweeteners" rule and got some chocolate almond fudge. It doesn't taste as fatty as regular ice cream either, so I really like it.

Thirdly, if you're going to overindulge in sugar-free chocolate almond fudge ice cream, with its smooth icy sweetness and perfectly toasted almonds, don't eat sugar-free apple pie beforehand. Just don't. Trust me.

Why not?

Well, you know those labels that say "Excessive consumption may cause a laxative effect in sensitive people"? The warnings on both the ice cream and the pie?

What they don't say is that you may feel like a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon.

"Hey there, Snoopy!" *waves at Pikachu*

Groooaaaaaaannnnn.

My new personal motto, a twist on Nike's:

"Just Don't Do It."

Don't.

You'll regret it.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Ouch.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Budding Phlebotomist

I know that I just posted about body fluids. I know that it grosses some people out. The waste disposal system of the body grosses me out too. But, that's my life. I face these things every day, so if you don't, count yourself lucky. However, if you get woozy from reading about needles and blood, don't read this post. If you do, I won't be held responsible when your spouse or kids come in to find you sprawled across your computer with melted chocolate between your face and the keyboard.

Princess is three years old. She is a very curious child. She can be as dainty and girlish as can be one minute, dressed up in a pink and gold costume, then scream and yell her displeasure while charging an older brother to give the full effect of her wrath physically.

She's a brave little girl. I didn't realize how her curious nature could overcome her fears until this week.

Since I've been home from the hospital, I've had to go to a local lab and have my blood drawn twice. The first time the boys stayed in the waiting room playing a handheld game, while she came back with me. She watched with big eyes as the phlebotomist took the sample from my arm. Her eyes grew to the size of saucers when the phlebotomist took the vial, stuck it in front of her, and said "Here, do you want to hold it?" Princess' eyes remained frozen open, as wide as they could go. She sat there silent, looking from me to the phlebotomist. Finally, she shook her head 'no', slowly.

Fast forward to the second time. Before we left the house, I told Lion and Princess, who were coming with me, that I had to get blood drawn again. Princess declared, "I want to hold it."

"The blood?"

"Yes."

"Ok." I was a little surprised, but not completely.

We got to the office and Lion decided he didn't want to see anything. He stayed in the waiting room. Princess walked back to the 'drawing room' (haha, I kill myself!) and climbed up into the chair. She watched as the needle went in, and when I jumped asked "Did it hurt?"

"Not much. Just a pinch. Do you want to hold it?"

She nodded.

The phlebotomist, who has kids of her own, handed the vial to Princess. I thought she might freak out when the phlebotomist said, "It's warm."

She didn't.

She looked fascinated. She studied it for a bit, then handed it back. I was impressed at how all matter-of-fact she was about it.

She may be an odd apple, but she obviously doesn't fall far from the mother tree. After all, I did work for a dentist, briefly in home health care, and I like to watch surgical operations on tv shows. Yep, even if they gross me out. James has turned from the computer when one of those shows was on, looked and said "Ugh! How can you watch that stuff?"

I know I'm weird. It's just interesting to me how the body works. Such a grand design!

Yep, Princess is definitely her mother's daughter.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Why Every Household Needs Doctor's Latex Gloves

I was on the phone with my mom this morning, when the air was suddenly filled with gut-wrenching crying. Not just any crying, mind you--the kind that makes a mother run at top speed because she's sure she'll find broken bones or massive amounts of blood.

The sounds of tragedy were coming from the bathroom. I flung open the door, heart in my throat.

Princess was screaming about something that I couldn't make out. Lion was standing next to the open toilet yelling "MOM," --insert Princess' wails, drowning out Lion's words--"toy fell" --more wailing as Lion pointed to the toilet, his words still undecipherable--

You can guess what happened.

I walked over to the bowl and discovered the source of despair.

A fake, plastic tortilla chip was floating directly over--well, let me just say that although it looked like a pile of refried beans, it most assuredly was not.

It was at this moment I thankfully remembered the box of professional disposable latex gloves we keep on hand for such an emergency. They also come in handy when cleaning up dog vomit, poop, blood, and worst of all--dead bugs. Those make me gag.

I reassured my darling Princess that all would be well as I donned the ill-fated glove. Her cries calmed as I fished it out while holding my breath. Using the last bit of Fantastik I sprayed that thing thoroughly and left it in the sink to soak. After about 10 minutes, and a quick but thorough rinse of soap and water, it was good as new.

Don't ask me why she was in the bathroom playing with toys when Lion had been going potty, I'll never know the answer. I tell them to leave each other alone in the bathroom and shut the door, but I catch them disobeying pretty often.

Hopefully the "tortilla chip incident" has made a lasting impression. One can always hope!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Self-Esteem Carnival!

Jen had such an awesome idea, to hold a Self-Esteem Carnival. I wrote for it a few posts ago, and there are other posts contributing to it as well! I can't wait to read all of them.

Visit here.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Huh?

Before I begin this, I am changing one of my children's names. Not in real life, that would be too confusing to him. Plus, I like his name. We knew not long after we found out we were expecting that his name would be....HA! You thought I'd slip, didn't you?

Bugaboo doesn't quite fit my six-year-old son anymore. We've been calling him "Lion", so that's what he'll be here too. It's quite appropriate, considering he roars any time things are not to his satisfaction. He loves it though, so it's a quite fitting term of endearment. I say "I love you (insert real name here) lion" and he says "I love you Mommy lion".

Tonight we were reading scriptures together as a family before bed. All was lovely and spiritual until Princess, who was on the floor with Lion by my feet where I couldn't see, started crying. The gist of the situation was that she had swiped at him, so he hurt her. I scolded her while James spoke to Lion.

"Are you a boy?"

"Yes."

"Are you bigger than her?"

"Yes."

"Under no circumstances should you ever hurt your sister, period."

Professor spoke up. "I didn't think little girls had periods."

James and I looked at each other and started cracking up. Lion, still on the floor, was quizzical.

"Pyramids? Pyramids? Like Mario and Luigi?"

I believe I told him yes.

You'd think we let that boy play video games all the time with as much as he's obsessed with them.

We don't, by the way. We use all four kids games that we own as reward and punishment, mostly. "You play that video game until you're blue in the face, that'll teach you!"

Just kidding. Well, maybe.

No, for real. Just kidding.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Positive Self-Esteem

I've done a lot of thinking about self-esteem lately. Ever since Jen announced her Self-Esteem Carnival, in fact.

I thought about it the day I read her post. I thought about it when I went into the hospital last week with newly discovered pregnancy and diabetes. I even wrote a post chronicling events of my life that led to my difficulty with my own self-esteem. It's still in my drafts folder, not quite expressing my thoughts quite right.

Hmm, that's interesting. I said I had thought about self-esteem, but really what happened is that I would start to think about it, then shove the thoughts away. It was as if I really didn't know what to think about it. Or my subconscious did, and didn't want me to go there.

So much is in our media about the need for us as women to take time for ourselves, focusing more on what we want out of life. I agree that making time for myself is important, but I've always felt that there's more to having a positive self-esteem than just getting regular facials or attending yoga classes. Painting my toes does make me feel pretty now and then, but the feeling never lasts as long as I wish it would.

Positive self-esteem is more important to me now than ever, because I have a three-year-old daughter. She practically hero-worships me at this point. She's so much like I was as a child, enthralled with princesses, babies, pink, dancing, and dresses. I don't even want to think about her getting older and having the challenge of developing a positive self-esteem in this world. I'm concerned about my sons too, but let's face it--our culture is more obsessed with women being perfect in every way than ever before.

I feel the pressure to have it figured out so that I can help her all I can. After all, if her mother doesn't have a positive self-esteem, what does that say to her?

One of the last days I was in the hospital, I made myself think about self-esteem, more specifically, mine. Not just barely think, but really dig deep down. I learned a few things.

The times in my life where I have had good self-esteem was, paradoxically, when I was not thinking about myself. The time of my life just before I met my husband was probably the most positive self-esteem I have ever had. I had gotten over an ended relationship, and learned to be true to myself. I went out with the sister missionaries in my church, and taught the gospel. I read my scriptures, prayed, and decided that other people's opinions didn't matter as much to me as my Heavenly Father's opinion. I found a new job, went to dances and spent time with my friends. I served where I could. The most important people in my life were my family. I decided that I was going to be me, and if other people, namely men, didn't like it that was too bad. I figured that as long as I was asking the Lord's guidance on my life, that I was satisfied with it and at peace with myself.

On the other hand, the lowest points of self-esteem in my life were when I have been focusing on myself. How fat I looked, how tired I was, how messy my house was, what a crappy wife, mother, church teacher, etc that I was. It was all focused inward on me, me, me.

Why, I asked myself, would I have a poor self-esteem when I'm serving now more than I ever had before? When I know I'm doing what God wants me to? When I'm sacrificing myself for my family, each and every day? The answer lies in this key fact: I can wash dishes, do laundry, cook, and clean toilets while being entirely engrossed in myself.

It wasn't until I realized this that things are slowly changing for me. It's entirely possible to focus on myself when washing dishes (WHY do they dirty so many, I'm not the maid...), do laundry (I have nothing better to do than get stains out of clothes, a robot could do this...), cook (I spend this long cooking and it's gone in a flash, no one appreciates me...), and clean toilets (Is it impossible for them to get it all in the toilet? Really?)

How could I develop a positive self-esteem with all of these negative thoughts running through my day?

When I started replacing these thoughts with others, my happiness and self-worth began changing. I still struggle with negative thinking. However, I'm discovering that it is possible to focus on others, and in the process, lift myself. Positive self-esteem is found in doing mindless, mundane tasks when I remember who I'm doing them for. When I focus on laundry for example, I can choose to be thankful that we have clothing and that my children are healthy and growing.

In the last while I have also learned something else critical for developing a positive self-esteem. Forgiveness. I am finally learning to forgive myself.

It started in the months leading up to when I'd turn thirty. The big 3-0. That was on October 30th. Golden birthday, double whammy.

The thought of turning thirty was really hard on me. It wasn't the number so much as for what it stood for. I had wanted to have it all together by that time. I didn't want to leave my twenties fat, or with a messy house, I wanted to have achieved something, a personal goal. I felt like a failure.

Then, a few weeks before the big day, I began changing. Maybe you get some magical wisdom by turning thirty, I don't know. But I began to look at my upcoming age in a different way--instead of an ending and a failure, it became a chance for starting new and fresh. I started becoming eager to leave my twenties behind and become an older, hopefully wiser, me. And when I did this, I started learning to forgive myself.

Forgiveness is different than making excuses. Forgiveness means telling yourself "Yeah, this did happen. Own the problem and accept it. Then you can move on."

I forgave myself for all the self-loathing I have done over my body. I know now that there was so much more going on than just gaining weight, both emotionally and physiologically. It doesn't mean I have to like it or love the fat rolls, but a little kindness is better than hatred. Hatred does nothing but anchor them more firmly.

I forgave myself for the times I've gotten upset with my children. It does no good to beat myself up constantly for my mistakes. Those keep me in the past. I can't fix them. The only things I can do is make better choices every second, every minute, every hour, every day; and say I'm sorry when I make a mistake.

I forgave myself for having a messy, unorganized house. I know think it's a miracle that I functioned as well as I did before knowing was making me feel bad. Feeling overwhelmed can be physically crippling.

I forgave myself for not being in the kind of physical shape I wanted to be in. All I can do is take care of myself and try my best. Beating myself up over it never accomplished anything, and worked against me.

I forgave myself for not putting enough trust in the Lord. He knows me. He knows what I can handle, even when I don't think I can.

We women sabotage ourselves in so many ways--our looks, our clothes, what men think, what other moms think, what well-put-together women think, our houses, our religions, our service, our parents, our houses, our hobbies, our total happiness. All I can say to this, is STOP DOING THAT.

The way to positive self-esteem is loving ourselves if for no other reason that we are daughters of God. The way to positive self-esteem is forgiveness and acceptance. The way to positive self-esteem is struggling past our own hurts and pain to lift up someone else.

So, what will I tell my daughter to help her feel she has value?

That I love her, unconditionally.
That she's a daughter of God.
To find joy and feel God's love by serving others.
To forgive herself for making mistakes. God does, so should she.

And once in a while, take a bubble bath with a good book.

Giving Thanks Today

First, I want to thank all of you for your prayers and well wishes! They mean so, so much to me. You have helped to sustain me and make me feel like my spirit has been hugged. It's a safe, warm, wonderful feeling.

There's so much that I am thankful for.

I'm thankful for my family. For my best friend, my husband. For my children. Each one is so unique.

I'm thankful for my parents, sisters and brother.

I'm thankful for the smell of pumpkin, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon warmed all together.

I'm thankful that Princess tried to help me by folding laundry this morning.

I'm thankful that I'm feeling better today than I was yesterday.

I'm thankful for Bugaboo's smile as he proclaimed over and over that Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday. (It's because of the food.)

I'm thankful for the laugh Princess gave me when she found out that Bugaboo was in the bathroom and she had to go. She told me, "I guess Bugaboo didn't know that it's ladies first." So funny coming from a three-year-old!

I'm thankful for Professor helping to take care of his brother and sister so much lately. He makes a mean grilled cheese sandwich in the sandwich maker.

I'm thankful for the Relief Society president who called this morning to offer to send a child or two over to help me cook Thanksgiving dinner. It was so thoughtful and sweet. I had bought pie and rolls, so I didn't need extra help, but it was so kind of her to offer.

I'm thankful for my golden tablecloth that matches the beautiful fall silk flower arrangement that a friend made me for helping with her daughter's wedding. It's so beautiful, and the look on the children's faces when they saw the table was priceless.

I'm thankful that I enjoy cooking. Even when I'm tired, it's therapeutic. Making food for my family with my own hands is such a loving act for me. So basic, the nourishing of loved ones, but so fulfilling.

I'm thankful for the sounds my children make as they're eating when they love their food, especially when it's made up songs that they hum.

I'm thankful for the insulin that I take so that I can eat without hurting myself or the baby inside me.

I'm thankful for James. He is so supportive and I love him now and forever.

I'm thankful for the occasional ligament pain that means my baby is growing. Whether this baby is meant to be with our family now or not, every day I'm thankful for it. It doesn't matter that it's only the size of a sesame seed now. (I actually showed Bugaboo and Princess a sesame seed, telling them that's how big the baby was. After the explanation I didn't think twice about popping the seed in my mouth, but the two of them looked shocked. Princess' eyes were big and she looked slightly horrified. Should have thought twice about eating it!)

I'm thankful I found out that I have diabetes. Knowing why I've been tired and had a difficult time losing weight is the first step to getting healthy.

I'm thankful for my dog. He misses me when I'm gone, and is so thankful for every little kindness I bestow on him. I need to give him more little kindnesses. I also need to bathe him so I don't cringe when I pet him. He needs love too.

I'm thankful for the internet and my computer. I would be lost without them.

I'm thankful for warm water from the tap, bathtubs, and indoor toilets. Seriously, I do think about that stuff.

I'm thankful for Thanksgiving. I love this holiday. It gives me a reason to think all day long about what I'm thankful for, and I have so, so much.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lab Results and Rebellious Produce

You know, I need to post something funny. I need funny after the power steering belt broke on the way home yesterday. My car must think I'm the Hulk. At least it went when we were almost home. It would have been worse if it had gone on the highway home from the hospital.

I need something funny because my baby girl had a 102.6 fever last night, and Bugaboo feels warm. We're missing Thanksgiving with the family, whom we haven't seen in a while, and I'm not at all motivated to cook.

Right now I can hardly stay awake, let alone cook, clean, or think of something funny. If I try, the first thing that comes to mind are penguins, which aren't really funny. I guess they could be if one talked to you and told you a joke, but that doesn't happen as often as I like. I think the whole penguin thing is a remnant of some inside joke from the early years of our marriage. I don't even remember the situation, but James started talking about penguins when he was overtired or some such nonsense.

Speaking of overtired, that's where I am. With higher blood sugar levels, I'm foggy and loopy. I just want to curl up in bed and go to sleep. The emotional and physical stress from this makes me almost numb. I got hold of my OB this morning, because my levels aren't good. I tried to call the endocrinologist yesterday, but they were not helpful. I asked for someone to talk to because I had gotten out of the hospital the day before and had high readings, and was told to leave a short message on the blood sugar readings message line. Sheesh, after hearing that I had been in the hospital and needed to talk to someone they should have had a doctor or nurse call me back.

After some back and forth with my OB's nurse, the endocrinologist's office called. This was AFTER I found a new one in my city, because I don't want to travel far to go to a doctor unless I have to. They changed my dosing and directions, quite a lot. I didn't get some critical info when I was discharged, and was told to test 4 times a day when it's supposed to be 7. I could go on and on but I won't, as no one reading this probably cares or needs to know, but it's therapy for me at the moment.

I asked my OB's nurse about my hormone levels. My HCG has gone up appropriately, but the progesterone has gone down so they want me to supplement. If the baby makes it through the next two weeks, they'll do an ultrasound to see if it's ok. I'm hanging on until then.

If you've made it this far, you're getting a reward. Here is something funny, it's one of my favorite silly things in the whole world! Enjoy!


Monday, November 24, 2008

The Story of the Past Four Days

First of all, I'm sorry that I scared you, Jen and Michal! I didn't realize I would do that!

Here's what happened:

Monday night I found out that I was pregnant.

Tuesday I started to feel thirstier than usual.

Wednesday I felt even thirstier, so thirsty that I could have drained a lake and still been thirsty. My fingers and lips were tingling.

Having had gestational diabetes with my other kids, I knew I needed to test. I went to Walmart Wednesday night and got a monitor.

I tested my blood sugar and it was very high. That was surprising because I eat extremely healthy, mostly veggies and some fruit. No sugar, no white flour.

I was up until 3:30 am, worried and searching on the internet for info. I didn't want to go to sleep and risk my sugar level going so high that I passed out, so I waited until it went down some. That plus my hands were tingling so badly that I couldn't sleep.

I called my OBGYN early Thursday, and they had me come down right away and put me in the hospital. I was on an insulin drip to stabilize me until Saturday evening, then put on insulin injections. That wasn't a big deal since I had been on insulin when I was pregnant the last time.

That's the story. It turns out that I actually have diabetes and have for at least the past 3 months, but didn't know it until the pregnancy hormones made me feel the effects. It also explains why I've only lost 5 pounds in the last month and a half despite eating the extremely healthy diet I have been. High blood glucose makes it very difficult to lose weight.

At this point we don't know if the baby will survive. My HCG levels are fine, and the chances are good since we caught it so early. I was only 4 weeks when I went into the hospital. The bad thing is that my progesterone level has dropped some, and if it drops too low it causes miscarriage. My doctor is monitoring my levels and will supplement me if it goes too low.

Uncontrolled diabetes is very dangerous to unborn babies. The most critical time is the first trimester. If it's not caught, it can cause miscarriage or birth defects. We caught it so early, before much of anything has developed, that the chances are good.

I'm putting my faith in the Lord. All I can do is take the best care of myself that I can, and trust in Heavenly Father. I know that whichever way the next few weeks go is according to his will.

I'm feeling better now, and I'm so thankful for my sister and her husband. They took care of our children when James was at work. Scott got me books to read from the library to take to the hospital, and Karen sent dvds with me. Scott even took the boys to the arcade that first day. It means SO much to me and I love them immensely. Karen was getting a yucky sickness but still took care of my children in addition to her fussy, getting sick, 7 month old baby.

My mother talked to me every day in the hospital, several times. She calmed me down when necessary, and listened to me ramble on about everything. I talked to my dad a couple of times as well, and feeling his strength and love helped me handle missing my family.

It was hard being away from James. He is my rock. We spoke on the phone every night as he struggled to stay awake. I'm so happy to be home with him.

I'm so thankful for the ladies in church who have brought dinner to my family while I have been gone. They're bringing it through tomorrow, even though I said it wasn't completely necessary. Through this time of adjustment, and not knowing if the baby will be ok, the extra love and support is so welcome.

I go to have more bloodwork done tomorrow. Right now I need to go to a pharmacy to have my prescriptions filled, so I'll sign off.

But before I do, I have to tell you that I missed you all. I thought of you often as I sat in my hospital room. I wished I could read your posts and laugh, cry, smile, or completely identify with you as I always do.

Any prayers you can send our way would be so greatly appreciated!

Quick Update:

I haven't been around because I've been in the hospital since Thursday and just got back about 15 minutes ago. I'm fine. I'll elaborate later, but I wanted to let everyone know why I haven't been around lately. I did not take another break! :D

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Weird Dream

Night before last I had a really vivid, weird dream.

If you are my mom or sister you'll probably start shaking your head and groaning. Why? Because whenever I tell them "I had a dream last night" the first words out of any of my family's mouth are "Oh no." That's because I have some of the weirdest dreams in history.

The funny thing is that I usually can remember certain things that triggered specific parts of the dream. The other night I'm sure it was seeing "Failure to Launch" on TV Sunday night. I also wish that TBS hadn't agreed to show nudity, especially since I was treated to the sight of Terry Bradshaw from behind twice! I stopped trying to poke my eyes out this morning.

Anyway, in that movie Matthew McConaughey's character keeps getting bitten by animals. One of the cringe-inducing moments was when he was rock climbing and a lizard, hiding in a crevice, decided to try to make a meal out of his finger. I'm quite sure that is what I need to hold responsible for this dream.

I was standing by a stone wall, at some park or something. There was a snake in a crevice in the wall. (It being a snake was from all the talk of snakes we had when our hometeachers were over on Sunday.) It was some kind of deadly poisonous snake. I had never seen one with coloring like it before. It was tan and brown with a long arrow shaped metallic blue streak on the side of its underbelly, and green somewhere else.

I don't remember how it got me, but it did. I think it chased me and I twisted and turned to get away, but it bit my foot. (The foot thing was from watching Steve Martin get shot in the foot on "The Three Amigos". That's what I get from watching TV on Sunday, I guess.)

There were people around me and no one was calling 911, for some reason James was trying to get me to walk and I knew I shouldn't because the poison would spread. So, I called 911 myself and tried not to walk too much. My leg swelled up and was huge! It also got super red where the swelling was, and I was trying to describe it to the 911 dispatcher. I remember being surprised that I wasn't dead yet.

The last thing I remember was waiting for someone to show up with an ambulance. I think I was about to drive myself to the hospital, as the dispatcher on the phone didn't show any urgency.

The point of this dream is something we all can learn from. Two points, actually:

#1. Never think you can depend on another living human if you're bitten by a super poisonous snake that no one is familiar with. They won't think it's as serious as it is, and you may die. #2. Keep a suit of body armor in your car in case you find yourself at a park with a brick wall.

Want to hear another dream? Oh, your dog's sick and you have to take him to the vet? Ok, another time then.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

I have sunk to new lows.

The kids have been fighting mercilessly this morning. I'm at the point of shipping them off to Siberia. Or at least banishing them to their rooms all day. The problem with that is number one: we won't get any schoolwork done, and number two: since the boys share a room they'd be maimed or worse within 30 minutes.

All moms know that the moment you take a shower or go to the bathroom that all h-e-double hockey sticks break loose.

Your estimation of me is going to go down a lot after I tell you this.

I stood outside the bathroom door and called to my kids, who had just exchanged more lovely nastiness:

"I am going to go poop. If anyone is mean when I am in there, I am going to make you go in afterwards and I will NOT FLUSH!"

There. I told you I had sunk to new lows. At least they took me seriously and were civil while I was in there.

I hope you'll still talk to me.

Tooth of Wisdom

Oh tooth, fraught with wisdom!

Thou hast been with me many a year. Thou hast given me pain, with which thou has taught wisdom.

Not much pain, perhaps mostly when gnawing on a teething carrot. The wisdom I have obtained is that for adult teething, chilled carrots are delightful.

Thou art my last holdout. I forsee that I shall not miss thee. Why, doth thou ask? Because I have freakish dislike of all things uneven. Thou art the uneven-ness maker in my mouth.

Please do not make it harsh for me. I have a Sharing Time for the children on the Sabbath, and a Song to sing in a trio of praiseful worship in front of many people on that same day.

At roughly 3 o'clock we shall part ways. Please make this a hurried leaving. Do not cling to me. It shall be better for us both.

I shall never forget thee from the first I felt you swelling underneath my skin, to the first sharp points that marred the carrot.

Farewell, O wisdomus tooth.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Musical Me

You can tell a lot about a person from their music choices. So, for some unknown reason I'm going to bare my soul by sharing some of my current favorite music artists.

The first one is definitely an artist. Her name is Regina Spektor. You can tell she's Russian, which adds an adorable quality to her voice. This is my favorite music video.


"Fidelity"

Regina is one of my new favorites. I want her newest cd so badly! It's called "Beginning to Hope" and is the yellow cover extended version, in case anyone wants to send me Christmas presents. Why do I need the extended version, you ask? Because it has this song:



"Musicbox"

Regina makes art out of her music. To me this song means that she compares life to a musicbox, mundane. And then she tries to break out and do something completely different, but at the end finds that she's still in the musicbox although her quirkiness (soap bubbles) is still trying to get out. Very cool song.


These next guys are the Christian group Newsboys. I discovered them when I found out they sing the "Belly of the Whale" song in the Veggie Tales "Jonah" movie. They're so much more than that, though. Here are a couple of my favorite songs by them.

This first one is beyond awesome. The music video is really neat and has a lot of depth to it.


"Million Pieces"


Here's a really fun one, I think it's hilarious. This is not a Newsboys video, some guys made this up using their song. I love it!


"Breakfast in Hell"

Next up is the brilliant KT Tunstall. I swear, she could sing the alphabet and make it sound great! I've been a fan of hers since I first heard "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" in TJ Maxx, danced in the aisles, and remembered enough to rush home to look up the lyrics to find out who she was. This was just as she was first starting to be played on the radio. A month or so later that song was everywhere!

First, a really neat music video. This one makes me think of her going through all different music styles (notice the ones that remind me of Jennifer Lopez and Jewel?) before realizing she likes where she is.


"Hold On"

Then another one. I love this song.


"Saving my Face"

Next up from KT is one of the best covers of a song that I've ever heard. I wish she'd put this one on one of her cds. Another cool thing about this is you can see how much of her music she plays herself. She has a recorder thingy that you see her stepping on to loop various parts she plays.


"I Want You Back"

Last, but not least, is *cue girlish screaming* Michael Buble! I've posted about him before, (When I went to his concert, jealous?)but here is a song that just...ah...melts me. I debated about posting this because I know that the song is a little...you know. No swearing or graphic anything, but a wee bit sensual. Of course I could make that argument for anything he sings, even if it's about a toaster oven. (No, he doesn't really have a toaster oven song.) At the risk of getting my good girl reputation revoked, herrreeee's Michael!


"I'm Your Man"

I think I'll end this on that note.
So now you all know a little more about me. If there was any doubt about my weirdness, there isn't now. Of course I have even more favorites than these, but I'll keep those until later. I thought They Might be Giants and Weird Al might be a little over the top today. I'm saving Mozart, Bach and Beethoven for a Sunday post!

Have fun going through the day with "Musicbox" stuck in your head. Meanwhile, I'm going to scroll up to the last one and click play a few more dozen times!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My Nemesis.

You didn't know that I have a nemesis, did you?

If you know me personally you might be surprised to hear this. I, who avoid confrontation at all costs, have a nemesis.

He's downright evil.

Even so, he seems to have a right to be here no matter how I'm feeling. I wish I could kick him out, but he has such a hold on me...

Oh, sometimes he tries to pretend he's my friend. When I say hello I'm never sure how he'll react. Most of the time he's unkind, even demeaning. But at times he's almost sweet, and nearly fools me for a day--but never more than two. Then he goes right back to being the biggest scumbag on the planet.

He's not perfect looking. His gorgeous exterior has been marred. A big scar appeared across his previously clear face somehow in the last few days. I've been both feeling slightly sorry for him (because after all, I do have a heart) and wishing I had put it there. Goodness knows there are days I could gleefully stomp on his face. But I don't, because in hurting him I only hurt myself.

So why do I keep going back for punishment? I'm not sure. I feel like part of me will be lost if I kick him out. Plus, in a sick way he keeps me in line. You know that line about keeping your friends close but your enemies closer? Exactly. Although I suspect that if I could keep him away for at least a week at a time perhaps I would slowly be able to make some progress on my own and not be so dependent.

Even if I kick him out, I still need to see him now and then. I can't break myself of this. I tried kicking him out for a few months 9 years ago, but by the time I let him back in my life I was a mess. He made life even harder for me when he was away. Better to keep him semi-close.

I really, truly hate him. There are moments I could kiss him, but mostly I hate him. Even in those brief, kissable moments I still hate him because of what I'm sure he'll do to me tomorrow. Although, I never cease to hope.

He's leaving for a week. I haven't told him, but he's going. Would you like to meet him before I kick him out? He looks a little different in these pictures. I think he's had some work done since. One of them shows him in action. I don't know who he's with, but he's a whole lot nicer to her than to me. I don't get it. What did I ever do to him?




























Hmm...you know, maybe part of it's my fault. After all, I do think he's beneath me. I step all over him every day, sometimes several times a day. Come to think of it, maybe that's why he hates me. Now I feel guilty. I'm going to send him on an all expense paid vacation for a week, maybe two.

Yes, that's it. A nice location. Peaceful, quiet, dim light perfect for resting.

The closet.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Today Before 11 am

I woke up this morning to my Prince Charming's kiss and prayer before he left for work. I was still pretty zonked from my bout with insomnia the night before, so began drifting off to sleep.

Next thing I heard was "Becca? Do you have to go anywhere today?"

"Um..yeah! Dance class, martial arts...it's Tuesday!" (Busiest day of the week, excluding Sunday.)

"My van won't start. I could come home at lunch..."

"But the class starts at noon."

"Oh."

"I'll take you."

Everyone throws shoes on with lightning speed (why won't they do that for just me?) and Princess gets carried out to the car, barefoot.

We drop Daddy off, get back home, and I start oatmeal, the steel-cut kind that takes a while to cook. Then I load the dishwasher, because I didn't do it last night and all our bowls are encrusted with junk.

We eat oranges. All except for Bugaboo, who ate about 3 pieces. Even bribing him with points for his point chart (post soon to follow) didn't work.

Got online to check email and Ebay auction, I'm still winning.

Bought a Leapster on Amazon, the older version. Only 52 more points before Bugaboo earns it. By the time it gets here, he'll have his points.

Kids whining and hungry, by 10:00 the dishwasher goes to "dry" and we get our breakfast. While the younger ones eat and Professor is starting his math, I head for the shower. I was about to crawl out of my skin since my last shower was Sunday.

In the shower, I realize that I ran out of body wash, despite the fact Sunday that I made a strong mental note to remember to get one out of the closet. Strong mental notes only work if you write them down on paper, tape them to your forehead and look into the mirror.

"Professor!" I yell. Several times. Finally I hear the door open.

"Yes Mom?"

"Would you please get me a new bottle of body wash from the closet?" He's rescued me from this before.

I hear him moving around.

I sigh. "The closet. Left shelf."

He's rummaging. "Shower gel?"

"Yes, that's fine. Just pick one. It doesn't matter which."

Incoherent mumbling, probably reading the different varieties.

"Just pick one! It doesn't matter which."

A hand appears in the shower, holding a fresh bottle of Bath and Body Works Vanilla shower gel. (I stock up at the clearances.)

"Oh, thank you! You're a lifesaver!"

He responds, "Now you should smell better."

Pause.

"Thank you so much, dear."

After that, I got clean and yes, I think I do smell better.

A few minutes later, I was standing in the middle of the living room. I'm not sure why, I may have been lost. It happens often. Actually, I think I was searching for clean clothes among the piles of clean laundry on the couch and baskets. Hey, no judging! At least they're clean!

Princess entered the living room, cradling an overgrown red banana pepper:

"Poor little pepper. Poor little pepper."

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"Poor little pepper. It died. It's squishy." We went back and forth about this a few times, me saying "I know" and her saying "It's squishy".

Finally I told her "Oh, it's ok. It just got a little dry. Go put it in the kitchen."

"So it can come back alive?"

"Sure." I've relaxed my standards on lying to my children. I go less mental that way.

From the kitchen, a little voice is heard, presumably as the unfortunate pepper is put on the counter. “Poor little pepper”.

She is so maternal.

It's nearly time to leave for dance class, and as I'm finishing up this post, Bugaboo yells from the bathroom, "WILL SOMEONE GET ME SOME TOILET PAPER!"

"Just a second!" I call.

Princess runs down the hall. "I'll get it! Never fear, Supergirl is here!"

I love superheroes, especially in my house.

I'm quite curious as to what the afternoon holds in store.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What Was That Again?

On Saturday mornings James and I have a tradition.

We tell the kids to go ahead and watch TV while we stay in bed for a while and talk. Yes, talk. Mostly.

It's so nice to have some time to sleep and catch up on what's going on. He's been so busy with his next-to-last semester of school (HOORAY!) that we don't get as much time to visit with each other as we'd like.

Last Saturday the doorbell rang. Since what I sleep in doesn't cover much, I tried to find the closest clothes to put on which took me a minute or so. Of course, my robe was nowhere to be found. I was terrified the kids would say "Come in!" which they've done before and I've told them never to do when they don't know who's at the door. Not so much that I'm afraid of them getting abducted, but because I don't want anyone to see our living room on a Saturday morning.

When I didn't hear the doorbell ring again as I ran down the hall, I was desperately grasping at the faint hope that it was a politician who had left a card. No such luck. I opened up the door without having peeked out my window first. Big mistake.

What could strike dread into the heart of this woman on a precious, coveted Saturday morning with her husband?

Jehovah's Witnesses.

Now I don't have anything against them. They are pretty nice people. Well, except for the time six years ago when this guy kept me talking at the door when I had crawled off the couch with the flu when the doorbell rang. It was winter, I had told him I was really sick and I was trying to keep little Professor from escaping out the door. I was practically hanging on the door frame, near collapse. Yes, I did support the troops and want to pray for them. No, I didn't want to stand there freezing listening to scripture. He only left when I think he noticed my grip on the door failing during the second scripture. Maybe he wasn't a Jehovah's Witness after all, as there were two or three women with him. I never saw him again, and I lost no tears over it.

But I digress. Mostly the problem is that Jehovah's Witnesses just seem to stop by at the most inopportune times. Usually when they find out I'm LDS they don't stay long. I'm really embarrassed to tell you that we play the "Hiding Game" when we see them coming down the street during the week. I close my blinds and the kids and I all huddle in their bedroom and stay quiet. I'll sneak out bending down so I won't be seen through the front door to see where they are in relation to our house. It's so sad on my part, but the kids think it's a kind of SPY GAME and love it! I'm weird. I don't like talking to strangers at my front door. My heart pounds as we hope not to get "caught" at home. I try to play it cool, talk about how fun and exciting it is so the kids won't get weird fears from me. It's pathetic, I know.

Jehovah's Witnesses aren't singled out. Nope, we extend the honor to any strangers whom I think may stay longer than I'd like. Especially people selling vacuums, special cleaner you can drink by the gallon without dying, and those young turkeys trying to sell magazines so they can win some exotic trip. I have no sympathy for those magazine guys. I'm an almost 30 year old woman (golden birthday, 30 on the 30th!) who hasn't even had a honeymoon. The only overnight trip I had with my husband since our wedding night at the hotel was the anniversary before last, where we spent the night without kids and went to the temple the next morning. It was wonderful, but I also wouldn't mind going to a temple in an exotic location. They're not getting any money from me until I get a trip to Hawaii too!

Yesterday I knew I was caught when a man was walking up my driveway and I knew he had seen me through the window. He knocked, I opened the door and he announced that he was so-and-so running for such-and-such, gave me a card and told me to have a nice day. I nearly opened the door to tell him that he had my vote because he wasn't long-winded! Now that's a man who respects a stay-at-home mom's time.

Anyway, like I started to say before I got all sidetracked and stuff, that Saturday morning there were two women on my doorstep. They had an adorable little girl with them. When I said "Hi." one woman stated, "We know you weren't expecting company." It was nice of them to put it so delicately. My hair was a mess, I had no bra on, needed a shower, I'm glad it was that obvious!

Then she talked about how the state of things in this country are going, and how a lot of people are scared, and did I have concerns about the future? "No,"--and here I smiled and gave them a knowing look--"I know what's going to happen." They looked a bit surprised--or wary, maybe. It could have been because of my hair. I casually mentioned "When Jesus comes back he'll take care of everything. I'm not worried." She asked me what church I belonged to and I told them, then she read me a scripture that is in "both of our Bibles". I took the pamphlet she gave so I could get back to James, thanked them, and they left.

I called down the hall to James, "It was just the J-Dubs!" That's what a lot of us Latter-Day Saints call Jehovah's Witnesses affectionately.

Professor, next to me in the living room, was a bit confused. His voice was puzzled as he said, "Chain Chomps?"

I couldn't explain to him for a bit because I was laughing so hard! If you have ever played any Mario games, you'll know what a Chain Chomp is.



Unfortunately for Jehovah's Witnesses, they will forever be referred to in our family as Chain Chomps. Respectfully and affectionately though, of course.

Magazine guys and vacuum cleaner salesmen? Watch out. You're next.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tag! You're It!

My friend Jen tagged me back in June. JUNE! My sister just tagged me again, so I figure I'd better get started. I used to bemoan the fact that I never got tagged, and here I am with two luscious tags to play with. I'll bet you've never heard the word 'luscious' in conjunction with a tag before. :D

Eight Random Thoughts:

1) When will Professor finish his breakfast so we can start schoolwork?

2) Is Bugaboo pretending he's an airplane? He's not going to jump off of the couch, is he?

3) Beauty pageant contestants really need to stop wishing for world peace. Not gonna happen until Jesus comes back. Their wishing has no effect whatsoever on that.

4) I ate too many chocolate chips last night.

5) Man, I'm tired. But I sure did enjoy getting to talk to James last night. I've missed him a lot since he started school again.

6) I'm glad Bugaboo and Princess are playing together nicely. So far he hasn't jumped off of the couch.

7) It would be a good idea to finish getting dressed. I'm wearing pants and a shirt, but if I jump I just might break my kneecaps. (If you don't get this then you probably haven't had children, or have fantastic genes.)

8) Professor is done with breakfast. We'd better have circle time before a war breaks out amongst the natives. Reading a Book of Mormon story from our B of M Reader sounds like a great idea. I wonder if Bugaboo is going to dress up as Nephi again to "look for the plates".


RULES

1) each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

2) people who are tagged need to write a post on their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules.

3) at the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

4) don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

This is where I'm a *devil-may-care-tossing-hair-back-laugh* rebel. I doubt I have eight people who read my blog or even care about this. So I will not tag eight, but I will tag some.

Karen, Kimberly, Mindy, and Michal.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I Won!

This is late in coming, but I won. David against Goliath, gum in a 3 year old's hair (peanut butter really does work) kind of won.

Sam's Club sent me this message two weeks after the email I sent, documented in my last post. I'll take it, in spite of the unprofessional tone, spelling, and grammar. Really, who do they employ in their customer service department?

"I truely am sorry for the experiences your family has went through in our club. We are a family friendly establishment and don't want you to feel uncomfortable to bring your family here. We will communicate to all managers, teamleaders and associates on choosing appropriate movies to display. We thank you for bringing this to our attention and thank you for your business."

True to their word, when I have gone into Sam's since then they have had nothing higher than a PG rating playing. The day or two after I sent my letter they were playing "Cars" on all of the tvs. Several days later they had "The Polar Express" playing, "Cars", and another mildly rated movie. Coincidence? I think not.

I would like to think that the corporate world does, in fact, care about the morality of their actions.

I'm jaded enough to know that it's probably their legal department that jumped into action. Emotional distress, anyone? That's the only reason I can think of that took them two weeks to answer me, yet they made changes within the first couple of days after receiving my email. Whatever their motive, I'll take the changes.

I am mama bear. Hear me roar!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Standing for Something

By now, you all know that I'm a fair-weather blogger. My posts have become few and far between, and my blog-reading as well. That's in part because I'm actually trying to get some decluttering done, I'm stupidly trying to write two books at once, and we got a Wii. We're playing Dance Dance Revolution to get fit, and my husband is already losing weight. What do I have to say about this? Phffffbbbbbt. I'm happy for him. No, really I am.

Anyway, I'm sharing something that burns my buttons. It stemmed from a culmination of experiences over the last year. I decided to take a stand for decency. Instead of explaining, I'll post the email I wrote on Saturday to Sam's Club. It's edited for privacy.

"Last year my three young children and I were in our local Sam's Club in xxxx Missouri. As we walked in, we passed a big-screen tv. There was a movie that I had not seen before, but an intense/scary scene popped up just as we walked past. My then five-year old son saw and was instantly upset by it. I walked directly over to Customer Service across from the tv and told them what happened. I was very pleased as we left from shopping that the movie playing had been changed, and hoped Sam's Club would be more careful.

We walked in a few months ago, I don't remember when but it was in the spring. There was another movie playing that had an intense or scary scene, but I was able to tell before we got up to it so I told my children to look the other way.

Last month we were in the video game section, and as we walked up to a main aisle "I Am Legend" was playing. I had seen this movie so I was able to tell my children that a scary part was coming, so I was able to avoid them seeing it. If we had walked up a minute or two later, I wouldn't have been able to prevent them from seeing one of the scariest parts of the film, which includes a dog being badly injured.

The final incident was today. This time I had my now six-year-old son with me, the same one who had been upset last year. As we were walking up an aisle, in the main aisle, I saw a scene from "Batman Begins" playing. The scene had a man pointing a gun. I immediately told my son not to look, and he obeyed. Again, if we had been not even one minute later, he would have seen a man get shot in the chest.

I always thought Sam's Club was a family friendly store. Two of the four movies that were played had a PG-13 rating. I do not know what the rating of the others were, but the content was inappropriate for young children. PG-13 means "parental guidence for children under 13". We have chosen not to show movies of this rating to our children, and frequently edit movies that we're watching as a family that have a PG rating. I expect when I enter a warehouse club or grocery store that I should be able to bring my children. I have six and seven year old boys, and a two year old daughter. It is morally reprehensible that Sam's Club is actively contributing to the loss of children's innocence.

I shop at Sam's Club often, several times per month for food, dog food, etc. My husband James and I both use Sam's Club Optical for our eyeglasses and contact lenses. We purchased tires for our van there. I enjoy the quality of the produce, the grapes I purchased today are fantastic.

I really have no desire to discontinue my membership. However, I would rather discontinue my membership than risk my children being traumatized by seeing scenes that no responsible parent would let their children view.

I am sorely disappointed in Sam's Club.

Sincerely,

Rebecca xxxx"

They asked for my membership number and where the club is located. Apparently they didn't read the email first as the club location was named, but I hope someone reads it. I hope Sam's Club rethinks their television viewing displays, or they'll be rather disappointed in the outcome. I don't usually make a big fuss about things, but this involves my children. Care to know my philosophy? I am the proverbial 'mother bear' about my kids. Mess with me, fine. Don't you dare mess with my kids.

I have hope that Sam's Club will fix the problem. If they do not, I will go to my local newspaper, television station, and start a "Boycott Sam's Club" forward to pass around the internet forever. (Want immortality? Start a forward.)

Hopefully these measures will not be necessary. I like to think that Sam's Club will do the right thing. I will keep you posted on what happens next.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hair Clips, Birth Control, and Cleanliness

I'll bet you've never seen a post title like that before. I'm also putting in a warning that part of this post should be for the "age 13 and over" crowd. That's so I don't have to take responsibility for you having to explain certain "stuff" to the kid who may be reading over your shoulder. (Hint hint, Professor!)

I'm up at 1:27 am, waiting for the two generic Benadryl I took to kick in. It usually knocks me out cold. I can't sleep, so I've been eating ice cream while reading some of my favorite blogs. I'm never, ever, going to catch up. If I haven't been by, I will be soon. I may stumble in looking for a pillow, but just smile gently and ignore me as I lay my head down on my computer keyboard.

Anyway, you know how they say that you learn something new every day? I don't. I've always thought that was baloney. There are days that go by that I feel my mushy brain stagnating. There are definitely a lot more days that I learn nothing. However, last week I learned three lessons:

The first lesson: Kids grow up fast. Seems like I learn this lesson more and more, lately.

Princess was in the bathroom while I was cleaning the counter. She hates having anything like barrettes or ponytails in her hair. FINALLY she decided she likes those little mini clips that never stay in your hair, the ones with teeth. She was fiddling with some in the hair container thingy, and I took out a shiny brown one and put it in her hair. She reached up to take it out while declaring, "No! It's not cool enough." Pause. "It's not cool enough?" I said, wondering if I heard what I did. "It's not cool enough. " Pause. "Where's my pink one?" She won't even be three until next month. What am I in for when she turns 13? Wait-- don't answer that.

The second lesson: water+exhaustion=disaster.

I learned not to do the dishes when tired, especially when it involves a moveable dishwasher that hooks up to the sink faucet. Since it doesn't seal off completely, I take it off when it's on the drying cycle so that we don't waste water. It's a cool thing that has one hose attached to take in water, and an outgoing one to put it back into the sink, all connected in one.

Well, I heard the machine empty for the last time, and disconnected it. I didn't hear any water running into it, I automatically wait for that before I disconnect the hose. Minutes passed, and I didn't think anything of it until Princess walked by it and yelled, "There's water on the floor!" My first thought was that it had leaked. Then I saw the water gushing out of it. That's when I also realized that I should have shut the towel/dishcloth/tablecloth drawer behind it.

The water was pouring into the drawer, and out of it. I grabbed the hose, and yelled for dirty towels to catch the water as it was heading for my free-standing pantry cabinet. I then realized that I had taken all the dirty towels downstairs to wash. Luckily, standing right next to me was a basket of dirty clothes I was going to take downstairs to wash several hours earlier. I dumped the entire basket onto the swelling flood, and saved my cabinet from swelling irreversably. I'm sure it will make you feel better to find that I saved the plastic wrap AND the baggies.

I never fail to listen for the sound of swishing water now after I disconnect the hoses.


The third lesson: Always laugh at someone else's misfortune if it truly is funny.

The last thing occurred last Friday. I was in the shower, and James was in the bathroom talking to me. The phone rang. He got it, (it was left in the bathroom) and let me know it was my sister. Next thing I knew he was laughing so hard he could hardly stand up.

Karen had a baby almost three months ago. She also has a small husky-terrier mix named Nova, who's about 2 years old. Nova has been pretty good since the baby was born. She has mostly gotten into things before the baby was born, swiped stuff off tables, ripped things up, things like that. Karen has trained her incredibly well, so all that was kept to a minimum.

Karen was happy with how well Nova adjusted to the baby. What Karen didn't know was that her adorable little doggie was biding her time, plotting and scheming all the while. She figured out the best way to get back at her 'parents' once and for all. She waited until she was alone in the bedroom, and got to work.

When Karen came in the room later, she found 40 condom wrappers. You're probably thinking that Nova got them out of the trash, since they were all empty. Nope. That dog helped herself to 40 brand-spankin'-new condoms by taking each one out of the wrapper, and swallowing them. "See," I bet she was thinking, "I showed them!" That was, until she threw the first one up on the carpet. Karen ran to get her outside, where she proceeded to upchuck their entire stash of birth control.

As disgusting as that is, she's one lucky dog. If she didn't throw up, she would have had to go to the vet to prevent a blockage. She also proved she's smart beyond belief. I think she was trying to prevent another wailing baby arriving to take more attention.

And that, gentle (and over 13) reader, about sums up last week.