Friday, October 31, 2008
Please tell me this ends soon.
On a positive note, we went trick-or-treating, and H stayed with me without the aid of a leash (always makes you feel like a stellar parent), there were no incidences of my 'raised voice' and we had a great time. One day at a time, folks. One day at a time.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I drink a cup of coffee as I watch the Today Show and check email and then head to a long, slow, hot shower filled with extra shampooing, exfoliation, aroma-therapy body wash, and shaving gel that doesn't have to be applied and removed with a dull razor at mach three. When I get out, I have time to let my hair air-dry slightly before blow-styling, applying make-up and moisturizing head to toe.
This is a video posted to YouTube called 'Oui, On Peut!' (Yes, We Can!) that was made by a Zydeco group at The Whirly Bird in Opelousas, Louisiana. While there are a million funny music videos, this one is demonstrative of the grassroots efforts in this campain.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
In exchange for those entitlements, we have certain responsibilities in doing our part to maintain a democracy. You'll have your chance to fulfill that responsibility in just one week. Make it a priority to get to that voting booth or mail in your ballot.
I saw an awesome bumper sticker the other day that said "Vote or Shut the F*&% Up!" It's only too true. Even if your candidate didn't win, you still have the right to complain about the outcome if you voted, otherwise you may as well be complaining about yourself because you are a part of the problem.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
The slightest twinge of pain leads me down a trail of obsession ending with the scene from Steel Magnolias where Jackson rushes into the house to find Jack Jr. crying as Shelby is laying on the porch unconscious with the phone next to her.
And then I take it even one step further...
I logged onto webMD for the first time ever (I know, hard to believe due to my history of compulsion and obsession) and typed 'leg pain' into the search box. Wouldn't you know that DVT was one of the first things to pop up. A-Ha! Confirmation.
Let me back up just one step. Just after I had H, I started having 'attacks' wherein I felt a tightening band around my chest to the point that I felt nauseated and was quite certain I was having a heart attack or some other fatal calamity which was frightening and anxiety producing in and of itself. J was in medical school and was wary of weighing in on family ailments, especially mine since I wouldn't listen anyway.
I had about three incidences where I felt that way, usually late in the evening, and by the time I would decide that maybe I needed to go to the ER, got H loaded in his car seat and ready to head out we would literally have the car started and the pain would be gone. Completely gone. I felt like a crazy person.
J gently suggested after the second foray to the car that maybe I was having a little bit of anxiety. Now, he was obviously not off-base in his suggestion, as I am a neurotic anxious person. But I know that I'm a neurotic and anxious person and am generally very in touch with why, and I just didn't feel like that was it.
I suggested the possibility to J that I may have gall stones, but he didn't say one way or the other (although he was fairly dubious of the self-diagnosis and still leaned toward me having anxiety attacks), just encouraged me to make a doctor appointment with a GP, which I didn't have. I got a recommendation the following day from my OB and made an appointment to be seen.
When I went to the ER, I asked that J just drop me off, as neither of us thought the waiting room at the ER was the best place for an infant and I promised I'd call him as soon as I knew anything. About five hours later (about 2am), a phone in my room rang and a frantic J was on the other line telling me he'd called all over the hospital and they first didn't have any record of me, blah blah blah. I told him through my fantastic morphine haze that apparently I was being scheduled to have my
I only tell this to illustrate that even though J has several years of training and education now under his belt I will always rely on this one story as proof that my obsessions sometimes have basis. Read: I grasp at loose straws.
I emailed J at his conference to let him know that I had a reason to be paranoid because the Lovenox quiz classified me as 'high risk' for DVT. All day as I went about my business I'd periodically reflect on my breathing to see if I had "Sudden shortness of breath, sharp chest pain that is worse when you cough or take a deep breath, or a cough that brings up pink, foamy mucus." Uh, no to all accounts. Whew! looks like I was in the clear for a Pulmonary Embolism for one more day.
I don't know about anyone else, but I just go into spin mode when I have too much time to think (aka, no adults with whom to share my evenings). I had pushed my ineviteable, impending clot to the back of my mind when I went to check my email tonight because I felt so, well, healthy and I got the following response from J:
1. No family history of clotting disorder - blood clots and a clotting disorder are two different things
2. IUD doesn't count, only estrogen based oral contraceptives
3. Based on the risk stratifcation tool that I use every day to determine the probability of DVT in patients, your probability is essentially zero.
I love you honey,
I noticed that he didn't make any note of the fact that I listed overweight as a factor that boosted me to high risk, and one of the prevention tips on webMD was "lose weight". What?! You mean consuming mass quantities of ice cream isn't the promotion of overall health? What about a spoonful of sugar making the medicine go down?
Perhaps the good to come of all this wasted time is the realization that my weight is the one thing I do have control over, and it's a major contributor to my lower back pain (and a host of possible future health concerns to be quite frank). I am making a promise to be serious about healthy eating habits. My meals are already healthy, it's all the refined sugar I eat throughout the day.
I am going to have to make the huge lifestyle adjustment of not eating dessert everyday. I know! So, I'll be saying to White Sugar what Samantha said to Smith "I love you. But I love me (and my husband and children) more."
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
After we headed inside, and snacks were distributed, I was wracking my brains for something they could do that would involve the smallest amount of interfering in one another's personal space. I then remembered the bright pink index card I keep on my fridge for just such occasions labeled "Cooked Playdough From Granny". A-Ha! I let the oldest pick the color and away I went.
Gathering ingredients, I pulled the container of table salt out of the cupboard that was circa 1912, and realized we had only about a tablespoon left, but needed half a cup. Curses! Foiled again! Luckily J was home and offered to run to Stop N Shop and I placated the boys with Ring Pops until he returned.
Now, I am typing away, as they're busily occupying themselves with what looks like a giant blob of bubblegum. If you ever need a quick, easy and fun rainy day project, here you go:
Granny's Cooked Playdough
Mix 1/2 c. salt, 1 c. flour and 2 tsp. cream of tartar in a pan. Add 1 c. water, 1 Tbsp. oil, food coloring and the optional flavoring such as mint or orange extract (although I never do this because I don't want them to think about eating it more than they already will.)
Stir CONSTANTLY over a low heat until it forms a stiff ball around the spoon. (about 10 minutes, but it feels like an eternity)
Ohhh! Happened. Turn out onto counter and knead until cool(ish) depending on how antsy the kids are.
Voila! An activity so easy, it may even qualify for Crafts for the Clueless
My first sock is completed...the true test will be whether or not I can make the other match. However, I did complete the Playground Mittens from Crossroad Knits and was able to make them exactly the same size, so there is hope...
Cascading Colors blanet completed...what a quick and easy way to use up a bunch of different yarn! Each stripe is a strand of 'baby' yarn (bernat, lion, etc) and a strand of Lily Sugar 'n Cream Cotton held together. I made it for a friend, so hope she enjoys the simplicity of it. It's nice and cozy and I contemplated keeping it for C for a carseat blanket, but surrendered it nonetheless.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
1. I have had a job since I was 13 and began baby-sitting. Staying at home was a huge decision for me, mostly because I was terrified of what people would think since I'd always been a 'worker'. After being home for over a year, I can say with confidence that it's the hardest job I'll ever do and I feel guilty for all the times I bitched about the gym having classes at 9am for all the 'stay-at-homes', or when I'd see them taking a walk with their double strollers and Starbucks lattes as I was driving by to do yet another assessment at odd hours, and turn to a co-worker to say "wow, they have it really hard..." Little did I know they were probably out in the fresh air before nap-time, doing anything to keep their sanity on a daily basis, watching the professionals lunching out and thinking "wow, it would be really nice to have a meal without my kids." I guess the grass is always greener.
2. I started attending church again under the guise that I want my kids to have the structure and support that belonging to the Catholic community brought me, but it's also because I still really like the donuts they serve at coffee hour...for free.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Posted by: logical human being September 23, 2008 11:56 PM "
Our two month old gets plenty of milk, our two year old son even asks for a glass of "mommy-milk" from time to time, and she is still able to donate about 2 gallons of milk per month.
Even if one stands clear of the ethical debate,logistical and production issues, and regulatory obstacles, there is one major hurdle preventing breast milk from being utilized in ice cream production...the only flavor would be cantaloupe (breast milk tastes like cantaloupe juice...seriously.)
Posted by: Derek, MD September 24, 2008 04:50 PM "
p.s. If cows have to be "forcefully impregnated every 9 months" how do you think we're going to get milk from humans?
Posted by: Kristen September 23, 2008 08:43 PM "
"Update: In response to our letter, Ben and Jerry's issued the following statement: "We applaud PETA's novel approach to bringing attention to an issue, but we believe a mother's milk is best used for her child." " Not surprising, there is no mention of the letter on the Ben and Jerry's website.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
It felt so good to not just be leaving the house for the day, but to be doing so for 'professional' reasons. What was the reason, you may ask?
Yesterday I attended the BlogHer Boston Conference as part of their national 'Reach Out' tour. It was my first BlogHer event and I have to say, I feel like I finally found "my people". While there were several times throughout the day that I looked around at the sea of laptops then back down to my own conspicuously empty lap that I felt like I'd arrived naked, it only made me realize how much I like being a part of this community as my fingers were virtually itching to type.
I got a ton of great information, some cool swag, and my first full-day sans C. J was home with the boys so I was completely relaxed in being away from them, and even felt a little gleeful while pumping in the bathroom.
I could not have a day without embarrassment, of course, so it was appropriate that after a day free from any major pitfalls, I would be talking about a time that I got 'stomach pains' on a drive from Eastern Oregon to Portland with only myself and a sleeping, one-year old H. It was apropos that I was at the rest area of 'Dead Man's Pass', and had no choice other than to stop and go to the bathroom with my child on my lap...yes, it was as awesome as it sounds.
Just as the phrase '...and I was thinking, If I get murdered while having diarrhea with my kid on my lap...' escaped my lips and received raucous laughter, my friend Alex and I (along with a new friend) turned to see that we were being taped by one of the videographers for the conference.
Luckily, I have one of the loudest voices known to man so will most assuredly be captured at my first professional conference in some time having one of the most unprofessional conversations. If you ask any of my co-workers, that's probably not so abnormal after all.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
In remembering the good ole days in P-town when the library was a walk (a longer walk granted, but a walk nonetheless) away, I realized with shock that I didn't even have a library card for any of the Massachusetts public libraries! I've not taken H to a story hour here! I've been buying every book I've read here thus far, and there has been A LOT of reading when you consider not only the ones I read on my own but my monthly book club books. Those are getting to be some costly care packages!
Ashamed of myself, I decided to drive to the labyrinth that is downtown Worcester in my quest for the public library as I'd heard it had a wonderful children's room. After about thirty minutes longer than it should have taken me to get there, thanks to failed leadership from my friend google maps (thirty minutes filled with H asking "What did you say to him, Mommy?" after I'd used yet another of my not so polite terms and phrases that inquire as to another driver's intentions on the road) we pulled into an empty slot and I fed the meter. I swear, I should be thanking my lucky stars that the dreaded Gd phrase is all that he's repeated after witnessing my road rage for three years.
I wrangled H inside, C securely in the sling, and proceeded to the membership desk. After walking away with my shiny new card, I headed toward the end of the library said to house the illustrious children's wing and expected something like the Iowa CityLibrary's Children's Room all shiny walls, high ceilings and toddler play centers. While it was certainly a nice space for elementary aged children, I have to say I didn't love it for H. There was a very small table with some Lego's on it, which had older kids playing at it, but there weren't many things that felt geared toward pre-schoolers. Darn. H must have been expecting the same, as he continually asked when he'd get to play at the train table...which are only at the IC library and every Barnes and Noble we've ever been to. Double Darn.
After reading a couple of books to H, we headed out and I saw a display of current fiction which included several of Jodi Picoult's books. I checked out My Sister's Keeper, secretly hoping it would be as much of a Debbie Downer as Nineteen Minutes. While Ms Picoult is phenomenal at character and plot development, they're pretty much suicide on a stick; do not read if you're feeling melancholy or are experiencing "the baby blues".
Speaking of card-carrying members...and the baby blues
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Sally HP, "if you were born to Sarah Palin, your name would be: Shank Piston Palin. Who knows, Shank Piston Palin you just might be president one day!" Even better, J would be Loin Falcon.
Give it a whirl here!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I was confident that was the only reason, so put a message out to my mom's group talk loop as there was at least one woman who cloth diapered four times over, and she is not the type to have a stinky house, so I set out to pick her brain.
I cc'd my mom and sisters as I knew that my mom cloth diapered the four of us. Since there is that large age gap between the two sets of sisters, I knew "The Big Girls" would have some insight as well, as they would definitely not have forgotten a stinky house. My mom wouldn't have known, as she has no sense of smell.
I got some great responses from my mom's group which were very encouraging, and one mom even offered about 3 dozen diapers. From my family, however, that's another story.
Here's what I got from my sister, Sherri:
Ok, I'm going to present a theory about handling cloth diapers I'vebeen carrying around for years but have been reluctant to share. Butstay with me for a moment and see if you don't agree that this is alittle strange. I'll walk you through it:
After taking into account all of our background characteristics, only one thing can explain our disparate health issues: Exposure to andrepeated handling of cloth diapers. The big girls had to change thelittle girls' diapers, which involved "dunking the diaper" in thetoilet to remove solid waste before placing them in the diaper pail. This exposure occurred over a sustained period of nearly five years (especially for one of the big girls in particular who will remain anonymous due to HIPAA issues). I'm surprised we're not both on dialysis.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Expecting to see someone with a balloon bouquet at the most, I turned to see a full-sized hot air balloon right in my line of sight, less than 50 yards away. It was vibrantly colored with blues, red and yellow, and it kind of made my stomach lurch. I realized that I'd never seen a hot air balloon in person that close. It was such a neat thing to see, and the colors were even more vibrant given the gray day outside.
I'm not sure why it was there, as it had to have been taking off from my complex parking lot. It was so unexpected that I even went to shake J awake and have him look out our bedroom window. It felt like when I was little and my mom would come into our bedrooms early in the morning to announce the season's first real snow fall.
It's times like this that I remember how fortunate I am that I get to re-discover the world through H and will have C to enhance the experience even more. It took me a second for all my thoughts to click and realize I should take a picture, so this is the closest one I got. It was so close that we could hear them firing it up. This is taken from my porch and the roofline is just the next building over.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
I understand that by completely ignoring questions that she didn't know the answer to she was technically being a good debater, but what does that say about how she will be as a Vice President? I don't feel at all confident that she would be capable of holding herself accountable. All the 'darn it alls' and shout outs to the "Joe Six-Packs" of the world do not make up for the fact that she did not answer the majority of the questions to which I would have liked to hear her answer.
One of my personal pet peeves is when someone is not able to answer the "what is your weakness question." You do not respond to 'what is your Achilles' Heel?' with a strength.
I secretly loved that she continually referred to General McClellan (a civil war general) when she meant General McKiernan. Then she tried to contradict Biden by saying "Well, first, McClellan did not say definitively the surge principles would not work in Afghanistan. Certainly, accounting for different conditions in that different country and conditions are certainly different. We have NATO allies helping us for one, and even the geographic differences are huge but the counterinsurgency principles could work in Afghanistan. McClellan didn't say anything opposite of that. The counterinsurgency strategy going into Afghanistan, clearing, holding, rebuilding, the civil society and the infrastructure can work in Afghanistan."
Huh, we'll here's McKiernan's quote from The Washington Post as found on factcheck.org:
"The word I don't use for Afghanistan is 'surge,' " McKiernan stressed, saying that what is required is a "sustained commitment" to a counterinsurgency effort that could last many years and would ultimately require a political, not military, solution."
Maybe she shouldn't be so smug in her challenge to people that they could try to 'stump the candidate' because it looks like they already have. If you haven't seen at least part of the Katie Couric interview with Governor Palin, check it out on YouTube as there are several clips. It's really interesting to see what happens when you take away the comfort of a script.
And now, a word from Matt Damon:
Matty, you can rest assured because I'm talkin' about it!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
When I went to my first 'meet-up' (sounds a little risque, huh?) I spotted what I thought was my group and my stomach dropped. It was exactly what I was hoping the group wouldn't be...old ladies knitting doilies with acrylic. Since I was already there and had been spotted, I swallowed my snobbery and introduced myself only to be barely acknowledged. Sweet. 'I've been rejected by someone I wasn't even interested in.'*
It wasn't until about twenty minutes of awkward silence later that they asked how I'd found out about them, and I realized I was with the wrong group! Seriously, what are the odds that there would be two groups of about thirteen knitters at one Barnes and Noble? When I walked to the back, I found a group of mostly young, hip and "happy hookers" working on fun projects and engaging in laid-back conversation. Internal sigh of relief; now this is worth getting a baby-sitter for.
Yes, I realize it's totally dorky to be excited about knitting. In public. Laugh it up, Chuckles. Pretty soon I'll have a whole wardrobe of homemade socks. Again, I refer to Napoleon Dynamite; "Luuucky."
*Stanford to Charlotte at the 'Real People' fashion show.