Thursday, December 2, 2010

Letter to kid-me from grownup-me

Dear Christine,


I'm you - but you from 2010. No, The Jetsons didn't come true. We don't have flying cars and robot maids. Sadly, that part of life is pretty much the same as ever. That's not the point of this, though.

I know you are caught up in the drama that is being a girl in junior high and high school. As you should be. But here are some truths you should know to help you along.

1. Your two best friends who you have been BFFs with since elementary school that you are convinced you'll grow old with? Just like Sex and the City, although it hasn't been invented yet and you wouldn't be allowed to watch it even if it was? You will all lose touch. You will see them at funerals of important-to-you people, chat, say "we need to get together again" but it will never happen. You are all different people now. You will miss them, but you will have new friends who are just as wonderful.

2. The drama at school? It's temporary. Sure, there will be a little  more teasing and picking in high school, but everyone will be busy figuring out who they are and who they want to be. Some may even make friendly overtures to you, but you will be so untrusting after all the years in elementary school and junior high that you won't believe it's genuine. Don't worry, a few years after you graduate this thing called Facebook will be invented and everyone will know how cool you really are ;)

3. Keep dreaming. Never lose your dreams, no matter what. Don't be afraid to have a backup plan, though, because I'll tell you something: your current dreams aren't going to happen. We are not famous, or rich, or traveling the world, or have a PhD in whatever, or CEOs of a company. We are not just now looking to settle down and adopt a child or two and live in our ginormous house in a big city. We got married at 19, during sophomore year of college, had one baby right away, had another when the first was 12, and live in a small house and never have finished a bachelor's degree. But - we are happy. We wouldn't want to change anything about our family. (Although honestly, I wouldn't turn down a ginormous house in a big city.)

4. Sadly, Mema isn't magic. Cherish every moment with her. But your first daughter will have a wonderful, close relationship with her just like we did, and they will be so much alike it's scary. It will make us start to think there's actually something to astrological signs; your daughter will be born 3 days before Mema's birthday. Also, your daughter's first birthday without sharing it with Mema will be very hard for her. Also, you will name your second daughter after Mema. You and your first will agree that when the second is bigger and asks why we gave her the middle name of Inez, it' s such an old lady name, to sit her down and tell her all about the wonderful woman she didn't have a chance to love. And you will both cry when you make that agreement.

5. Don't change majors in college! Trust me on this - you WILL change your mind and go back to your first, and then you will be screwed. Just don't bother, and save yourself so much time and money!

6. Buy stock in Apple right now. Yes, I know you are young and have no idea what I'm talking about, but trust me. Clean out your savings account, buy all you can, and hold on to it for 20 years. You will thank me when you're my age.

7. Finally, and most importantly, love yourself. Respect yourself. Stand up for yourself. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. You deserve it.


ps - take good notes in math and English and keep them - you will have to help your daughter with her homework and won't remember nearly as much as you think you will!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Up in arms over breasts!

W Magazine is publishing a special Family issue, featuring various celebrities and their families.The Daily Mail website has a story about this issue, featuring many of the photographs and snippets of interviews with the celebrities.

One of the photos in the story is of a pregnant Miranda Kerr, the Victoria's Secret model married to Orlando Bloom.

The photo is a stunning representation of the pregnant form. (And before we hate on her for not having stretch marks, remember that this is a. in black and white, and b. in a magazine and therefore airbrushed and edited.)

She sounds so sweet and excited in her interview, too, like a first time mother should be.

The comments on the article, though, were just awful!
"Kerr's nipples look like dumper truck starter buttons"
"Has Miranda got stick on nipples? lol"
"The Miranda picture is awful, some things are just plain wrong"
"I'm sorry, but Miranda Kerr just looks cheap and nasty."
There are so many more - a few do praise the picture, but many more degrade the picture and Ms Kerr for posing for it. Are we really that prudish and backwards in this world? I just don't have the right words to express how I feel about these comments. Instead of celebrating a woman's body doing what it is made to do, we want it hidden away, covered up, and treated like something contagious or unnatural.
And don't even get me started on the comments about Jenna Jameson! According to these people, apparently no one is allowed to have a questionable past and later have children.
Why are we so judgmental?
It's sickening to me.

Friday, November 5, 2010

My little feminist

So last night we had tacos for dinner. We were in the kitchen, lined up at the counter assembling our creations. Chris said something so completely innocently, but that sounded so horrifically DIRTY that I just lost it. I was laughing so hard I couldn't get the sour cream off the spoon onto my food! Emma was right there - inquiring mind and all - so he just said "shut UP!" hoping she wouldn't want an explanation. She pipes up "Don't tell my mom to shut up!" He answers, "she is my wife, I can tell her to shut up if I want to!" Her answer? "Says you."

Let me interject here - this all sounds like we are so mean to each other, but at this point all three of us are laughing - me uncontrollably by this point - and we were joking around. In reality we are much nicer to each other, and would never say these things in seriousness.

After Emma's last remark, he goes on to say how he's the husband and what he says, goes. Emma retorts "This isn't Egypt. You're not the king." The conversation quickly deteriorates into a Bill-Clinton-esque argument: "define castle. Define domain. Prove it's not." I end it there before we go insane (Ok, even more insane) and make sure Emma understands that in reality she DOES have to listen to her Daddy and do what he says, but secretly I am very proud of her.

No man is going to walk all over her when she gets into the dating world. I have a very strong daughter who sees men and women as equals and won't take crap from any future boyfriend or husband!

And on a side note, but still related, before she went to school this morning she asked me to record the Rihanna interview on Good Morning America for her, the one in which she is discussing the abuse by Chris Brown. I have no hesitation allowing her to see that. She needs to hear all about that now, before she starts dating, to help keep her out of that situation when she's older.

The best line from that interview? Rihanna said that she initially went back to him after the beating because she still loved him. Then she realized what it was saying to young girls in that situation. She told Diane Sawyer "F love. Step back and look at the situation as a third party and see it for what it is." I LOVE that! I wish more women could do that. If he TRULY loved you, there wouldn't BE a "situation."

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What about working moms?

Here are a few wonderful activities for children in our community:

Mother Goose (music, stories, games)
Storytime at the library
Open play at bounce facilities
Craft activities
Art lessons
Mommy and Me yoga

And that's just a few I can think of off the top of my head. I am sure if I really looked, I could find many other examples. There are also groups for moms - La Leche League, holistic moms, meetups, playgroups.... you get the idea.

It's wonderful!

There is just one problem: they meet, almost without fail, somewhere between 9 am and 3 pm, on weekdays.
That leaves us out. Of all of them.

Sure, there are some weekend events. But on weekends, there is laundry to be done, house to be cleaned up, weddings, visits with family, and anything we couldn't do during the week. We can't often make it to these events. Usually, though, we don't fit the demographic anyway. Sophie is too young, Emma too old.

I would love to take Sophie to Mommy and me exercise or storytime. Mother Goose has times for various baby stages so she'd fit right in. Some of the mom groups sound amazing, too.

It's almost like working moms aren't counted anymore.

I don't want this to be a "Mommy wars" post - I've done both, working mom and stay-at-home mom. Both are important. One is not better than the other. One is not harder than the other. That is not the point of this at all. But I have noticed, and not only recently, that organizers forget that some moms work, too.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Would you surgically impair your tongue to lose weight?

I heard about this on the radio this morning: a plastic surgeon in LA has developed a "Miracle Patch" to help patients lose 20 lbs a month. No drugs or chemicals are used. Sounds good, right?


He surgically applies the patch to the tongue, making it extremely painful to eat. THAT is how the patients lose so much weight - they can't eat solid food.

It's crazy.

I just can't fathom being willing to have something surgically applied to your tongue that will make it so painful to eat anything at all. And what about speaking? How does the tongue know the difference? Or will we see a new trend of thin, mute people?

There is a gallery on the doctor's website that includes a photo of a patient having this procedure performed. It is a square mesh patch sewn onto the tongue with blue surgical thread at the corners. So, if Sally Somebody has this done, she will be thin, mute, and look like grandma sewed a piece of plastic canvas to her tongue with extra blue thread.

Just wonderful.

But what should we expect from someone who advertises "Mommy and Me" plastic surgery packages?

It's revolting.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Dating my daughter

I went on a date with my daughter on Sunday.

In the efforts to not have her feel excluded, replaced, or anything negative about having a new baby in the house, she has continued the Daddy-Daughter Date from her small childhood, but I realized last week that since the baby was born eight months ago, she and I hadn't really had any time together, just the two of us.

So, I made a date with her.

We left S home with Daddy, and started with lunch. We tried a new restaurant, and she was having trouble deciding what to order. I asked her what she was looking at, and she said she couldn't decide between the half sandwich and cup of soup, or a full sandwich because she could get fresh fruit as the side item. No pizza, no chips as the side. A sign of my first baby growing up.

We had a while before our movie started, so we did a little shopping next. We have a wedding to attend this Saturday; it's turned cold here and all her dressy clothes are very much for summer. We each got a new outfit for the wedding, and S even got a new dress. We looked through the dresses in E's size, then she wanted to look at dresses in my size. We got side-by-side fitting rooms and showed each other the dresses as we tried them on. She helped pick out S's, also. No asking for more, no grumbling about buying something for the baby our our day. Another sign that she's growing up.

Next was Borders. They were having a tent sale this weekend; the most expensive book we saw in the tent was $3.99 and all were buy one get one free. Too bad neither of us found anything. We went inside the store and found the book we were after. She has really gotten into the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovitch. She has read the first six books in just a few weeks, so we bought number seven.

Then it was time for the movie. We watched You Again, with Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, and Betty White. And the dad from Alias. It was a very funny movie, by the way. The whole theater was laughing out loud. We passed up popcorn (still full from lunch - we agreed that next time it will be half sandwiches and soup) but each got a box of candy. We laughed, we munched candy, moaned about how full we were but couldn't resist the sweets, laughed some more.

The absolute best part of the afternoon? We both agreed that we had a wonderful time. She wasn't embarassed to be out with her mom, we enjoyed each other's company and conversation, and didn't argue about anything. We sang along to the radio, chatted about anything and everything, and just hung out.

And it was incredible.

I think we need to make this a regularly scheduled event.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

View from the living room floor

Hey, there's something bright and colorful!


Wow, they make sounds if I bang two together! I wonder what happens when I bang it on the dog...


He jumps! Hahaha! Oh. Then he goes away. Well, I'll show him!


Oh hey, what's that? It's splashy! And the dog was drinking it so it must be good to play with.


Hey! Mommy, why are you taking me back into the living room? I was having fun! I wasn't done yet!


Oh wait, what's this?

*reaching under the couch*

Cool! A long black thing with a square black thing in the middle! And it keeps coming! *gigglegigglegiggle*

Mommy! Why did you take that away? Oh, it's attached to the shiny thing that opens up and has lights and sounds and pictures of sister and me. Ok, it's still fun.

*reaching again*

*and again*

*and again*

But I don't wanna be in my exersaucer! Noooo!! Ooh, it plays music when I jump! Cool! What does this button do? And I can chew on this part all I want? Sweet! Look Mommy - I can reach the books now!

Hey, where did the doggies go? I can go back on the floor? Nice. Let's see what changed.


Mommy walked by! Pick me up!! Please!

Mmmm, Mommy cuddles. This is nice. I'm sleepy now after all that exploring. Naptime!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 30 - I can't believe this is the end!

Wow. I can't believe I've finally reached the end of the 30 days! I wonder if this is how Morgan Spurlock felt...  (man I miss that show)
So here it is - Day 30
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself
Dear Self,
I love your eyes. I love that you don't get angry easily. I love that you are positive. I love that you love to be with your family. I love how you play with your babies. I love that you love animals. I love that you have a good work ethic. I love that you have a conscience. I love that you are becoming more adventurous and less afraid of stepping out of the box. I especially love that. I love that you and your husband not only still love each other, but still LIKE each other after 13 years.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day 29- Laundry List

Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself.

Ok, here goes...
My size
My teeth
I procrastinate
I let things slide
I have too much to do and not enough energy for all of it
I hate putting away laundry
I am in a dinner rut
I'm easily distracted
My hairstyle (or lack of)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 28 - Scary stuff

Day 28 → What if you were pregnant, what would you do?

Oh boy. I have no doubt what I'd do if I was pregnant again - PANIC.
First of all, I've already had a procedure that is supposed to make me unable to get pregnant ever again. Second, Sophie is only 7 months old! Third, we only have a 3 bedroom house and it's not a large 3-bedroom house. Fourth, things are tight now. There is no way we could afford a third child.
But in the end, if it happened somehow, I suppose we'd do what families all over the world do - we'd make it work somehow.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Day 27 - Best thing going3

Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?

My marriage
My daughters
My job
Good books to read
Parties to plan
Weddings to attend
Lunches with friends
The views in our town
Threw out the scale
Healthier eating
Fall TV starting
Found my iPod

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 26 - Giving up

Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?

The timing of this one is heartbreakingly eerie.

I had a few hectic days and wasn't able to get to the next Truth immediately. Friday I did have a minute while eating lunch to look at it, but not enough time to write anything. I had planned, though, to just give a simple answer of "no" and go on to the next one.

Then, Saturday morning, I got a text message that changed everything.

A dear friend at work DID decide to give up on life. It still hasn't fully sunk in, and probably won't until tomorrow at work when I am around everyone else that worked with her, or maybe not even until Tuesday, her usual first day of the week.

Sunshine (her nickname; Judy, her given name, was her name only when she was in a bad mood, which wasn't often) was the first person I met at the hospital when I started my job. She took me under her wing, answered any question I had, and helped me when I didn't even know I needed it. She was the first person at work I told when I was pregnant with Sophie. She always asked about the girls, and sent gifts to them all the time. She made everyone laugh. It was easy to love her. She had such a big heart in such a tiny little body. Every day she had a smile for someone.

I had noticed last week she wasn't her usual cheerful self, but she was sick and I attributed it to her not feeling well. Working 12-hour shifts when you are under the weather will do that to anyone. Still, I'd get moments of her usual Sunshine-ness throughout each day.

She doesn't work Fridays, so I didn't get to see her that day. I have no idea what happened, why she chose to do what she did. I am sure we'll never know. I just can't believe I'll never talk to her again, hear a hilarious naughty joke from her, get a smile and a wave and a "Hello, Love" from her again.

My heart is heavy.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 25 - A dash of existentialism

I didn't realize these posts were going to get quite so deep...

Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today

Why are any of us still alive today? No, really - how do we know? If we are alive so we can be in a certain place at a certain time to save a life, or to set something in motion, do we even realize it? For example, have you seen the movie Vantage Point? It's a pretty cool movie, just from the way the story is told. But that's not my point. Not to give much away, but at one point Forest Whitaker's character saves a little girl from being hit by a vehicle. Was that his reason for living? Will he ever know? Or was it just coincidence and anyone could have been there?

I almost drowned once. I am not sure if I ever told my parents this story, I do know that I didn't immediately because I didn't want to cause them to worry or be upset, even though everything turned out fine. (I'm sure I'll get a phone call later if I didn't tell them.) On the day I graduated from high school, after the party at our house, my boyfriend at the time, my best guy friend (BGF) at the time and I went to the river. That's what kids do in that small town. We were blessed with beautiful waterfalls, though. One is called Baby Falls. It's dangerous I suppose, but not like the big beautiful one further downriver, Bald River Falls. (You can see photos of both waterfalls here.) Anyway, apparently it was popular to jump off of Baby Falls into the river below. My BGF had done it many times with other friends, and we decided to go there. He and I were sitting at the top of the falls, when I quickly came to a realization - he and his friends all outweighed me by around 100 lbs. As we were sitting there trying to get the courage to jump, I was pulled over the falls by the current and could not stop myself. Just to the left of where the photo cuts off are some large boulders in the river. The current pulled me to the bottom of one of them, and I could not get out. I wasn't caught on anything, but the current kept pushing me down. I thought to myself, "I am going to die on the day I graduated high school." Then I thought, "No, I'm not! I'm not done living yet!" and started pushing and kicking against the boulder. Finally I made it to the surface, only to be caught again in the current and be carried further down. I was in the middle of the river, too, with nothing to grab hold of. My BGF had been following along with me on the side of the river, and he was able to get in the water and swim to me and catch me, and help me get to shore, and our day of swimming was over.

So, why am I still alive? One year after that happened I met my husband, and now we have two daughters. Are they the reason? Will they accomplish great things? Will their children? Maybe. Who knows? Maybe I still have something to do. Maybe I've already done it and don't realize it.

I do know, though, that I am very glad to be here. And even though our friendship became tumultous and eventually faded, I am forever grateful to my friend for jumping in the river and saving me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 24 - This one goes out to the ones I love

Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)

1. I Know What I Am, Band of Skulls
2. Single Ladies, Beyonce
3. They All Laughed, Charlie Biddle Trio ft. Stephanie Biddle
4. Like a Star, Corinne Bailey Rae
5. You Gotta Be, Des'ree
6. Seasons of Love, Rent soundtrack
7. Cinderella, Cheetah Girls
8. Hands, Jewel
9. Heaven, Live

This playlist is for two girls, Emma and Sophie. Now for the explainations.

1. Always know who you are. Don't let anyone make you into something you're not.

2. When you are older and dating, make him work for it. Don't settle for second best. And if you are dating someone forever and you just aren't sure - if he's really the one, he'll put a ring on it. At least you will be discussing it. And if you have a feeling of doubt or worry when discussing it, he's not the one.

3. When you find the right one for you, don't let other people tell you otherwise. Someone will always want to define your relationship for you, or tell you what you should do based on their experiences. Ignore them and live your own life.

4. Just like a star across my sky
Just like an angel off the page
You have appeared to my life
Feel like I'll never be the same
Just like a song in my heart
Just like oil on my hands
Oh, I do love you

5. Be bold. Be strong. Be wise. Know you are loved.

6. Measure your life in the important things - friends, laughter, love.

7. Em outgrew this group a few years ago, but this song still has a great message: I don't wanna be Cinderella, waiting for someone to come rescue me. I'd rather rescue myself. I hope both girls live by this.

8. Your hands are your own, so is your life.

9. How could I look at these two and not believe?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 23 - I wish

Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life

I wish I had gone straight through college without taking a break.

I wish I had stuck with my original major instead of changing.

I wish I had been braver sometimes.

I wish I had been quieter other times.

I wish I had done a few things differently than I did.

I wish I had been more assertive.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Day 22 - Regrets, anyone?

Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life

Hurt others' feelings

Led boyfriends on, let them think I was as "serious" as they were

Wasted time

Wasted money
Read certain things

Lost touch

Lost my iPod

Spent time with "this group" instead of "that group" in college

Let things slide

Let fear take over

Given up on something I wanted

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day 21- That's what friends are for

Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?

Ok, this is a no-brainer. Fight, schmight... What is a little disagreement in a situation like this?? I can't remember us ever getting into a fight so I don't see it happening now, but if it did, that is not even close to stopping me from being there for her. At the hospital, taking care of her son, sitting with her mom, at her house cooking for her, whatever she needed. Without question.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 20 - Nancy Reagan would approve

Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.

Remember the old "Just Say No" campain from Nancy Reagan? I guess it was in the mid-80s because I was in elementary school. Or how about the egg in a frying pan?

They sure didn't give many details, did they?

As for alcohol, it falls into my "everything in moderation" category. I am not a drinker myself, personally I can't stand the taste of alcohol, but if someone wants to enjoy adult beverages, more power to them! As long as they are responsible about it, who am I to judge? Don't drink and drive and have someone sober in charge of the kids and you're ok with me.

Drugs are a different story. Drugs are bad. More than just "frying your brain" like the egg commercial, they ruin lives. Of course not ALL drugs are evil; many of them are wonderful healing tools prescribed by doctors (and yes, I include marijuana in this category. It's been proven over and over again.). But the bad ones - meth, heroin, cocaine, whatever else is out there - they are so not worth ever trying. And watch out for those prescriptions, too - some of those can be addicting as well. Frequently I hear in the news about a pharmacy being robbed for Oxycontin or Vicodin.

Just say no.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day 19 - Forbidden territory

What are the two things that we grow up instructed never to discuss in public? Religion and politics. Guess what today's topic is: Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?

So here goes....

Religion: I have struggled the past 14 years, trying to figure out what exactly I thought of religion and how it all fit together. I finally came to this conclusion: Everyone wins.

First, let's get this out of the way: I am a Christian, and follow those beliefs. But I recognize that there are many other religions in this world. I wondered when I was a girl about them - obviously the followers of those religions all feel just as strongly that they are "right," just as Christians do. So, who IS right?

Since religion deals with souls and the spiritual plane, and not physical bodies, we aren't limited to a physical place for Heaven, Paradise, Nirvana, or whatever the final destination is called. So, why can't there be more than one? In the end, we go where we think we are going.

Politics: No one wins. I hate election years. I don't agree with either party 100%, and actually I agree with right about halfway with each side, depending on the issue. It's basically a 50-50 split. When it's election time, I check out each candidate and research their voting history. I stress about who is telling anything resembling the truth. I vote. Then I let go - because we are a large enough country that even if the candidate I chose turns out to be a typical politician I can realize that it's not all my fault. I am not enough of a voice all by myself.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 17 - A story of food

Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.

A couple years ago I bought a book by an author that I already liked very much. I had read several of her books and loved every one. So I had no worries about this new book I found.

I loved this book, too. But it was different. Instead of getting lost in a story of fictional characters, I was lost in the story of the author's family's move across the country, making a home out of the old house, and the change to local foods. I had never considered the journey  my food made to reach me, how much was involved in the transport, the packaging, the fact that produce had already been picked for several days before I bought it, making my window of use very tiny (explaining why I had to throw out so many things). I became more interested in growing my own vegetables (although I have yet to be successful with this), composting, and buying local produce. I am not to the point of raising chickens or cows; that is a line I am not willing to cross, but I am more aware of what I eat and how it gets to me.

Day 18 - Live and let live

Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage

This one won't be popular with my conservative friends and family, but I won't apologize for it at all. I feel very strongly about this one.

If two people love each other and want to get married, let them!

I do not buy this whole "protect the sanctity of marriage" BS that gets gay marriage opponants all riled up. What about people who commit adultry? What about people who marry and divorce?

What about The Bachelor and The Bachelorette? Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire? No one complains about these shows tarnishing marriage. And how in the world does the fact that two men or two women get married affect MY marriage at all?

This stupid, illogical argument drives me insane.

Then there is the religious arguement. I may step on some toes here, but so be it. I am a Christian and was raised in church, and take my girls most Sundays. But - not everyone is. Many conservatives are concerned about protecting freedom of religion, as long as it's their own religion. But there are many. Also, marriage in our country is a legal contract, not a religious contract. Sure, people get married in the church. But they must get a document from the courthouse legalizing their marriage. People get married outdoors, at City Hall, while falling out of airplanes. Religious leaders perform marriages, but so do judges. Christianity does not have a monopoly on marriage.

So my ultimate view on gay marriage?

Live and let live. There are way more important things to put energy into.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Day 16 - I'll pass, thanks

Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.

I could definitely live without alarm clocks. Seriously, I would love to be able to work around my sleep pattern! I could get so much more accomplished, you know? I do hate getting up early and can't fall asleep at an earlier time at night (usually).

I could most definitely live without IBS. I would LOVE to live without it. And I've passed it on to Emma, also. Too early to know for Sophie, but at least I know how to feed her when she's older to lessen the severity if she DOES develop the evil monster.

I could live without reactive airway disease, and most of the year I DO live without it thank goodness. But whenever I catch a cold/respiratory infection/sinus infection/whatever, I have an allergic reaction to the infection (I know, right?!?) and cough like I'm trying to rid myself of my lungs for 8-12 weeks afterward. Thank goodness I have an inhaler for it now.

I can also definitely live without knowing ANYTHING about the lives of Paris, Lindsey, Miley, a Kardashian, anyone from The Hills.... It's bad when I know all about Heidi & Spencer's dating, marriages, divorce or not, surgery, habits, whatever... and have never seen one episode of any show they've been on. Same with the Kardashian/Jenner family. Not. One. Single. Episode. So how do I know about all this crap? Why is it in my head??

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day 15 - I've given up trying to give it up

Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.

I choose the something because the someone will just be getting annoyingly redundant.
So, here are things I know I can't live without, and yes - I have tried.

Caffeine. Coffee, tea, soft drinks- all of it. I just cannot give it up! I did seriously try, once, and lasted several weeks, maybe even a couple months. It took a while for the headache to go away, but it eventually did. I carried a reusable water bottle and refilled it constantly. All day long I drank water. It was probably the best thing for me and I'm thinking of doing it again - sort of. My new goal is 2 servings of water for every 1 serving of caffinated drink. I think it's reasonable, right? Of course as I type this I have a Dr Pepper Throwback on my desk that I am sipping from (have you tried the throwback version yet? It's made with real sugar instead of HFCS. It's goooood.). It's not even about the drug itself for me, though - it's the taste of the drinks themselves. I LOVE sweet tea, cherry flavoured soft drinks, and a delicious coffee treat. I am such a sucker for a Javacano that I drive way out of my way on my commute to get one. I'd still go there, though, even if I gave up coffee forever (not that I ever intend to!) because you can't beat the people, the whole atmosphere, and the delicious baked goodies.  Anyway, caffiene is here to stay. And I like it.

Internet. Ok, why would anyone ever want to give this up? I admit, I did consider it for a fleeting second when we changed providers and were without internet service for an entire weekend. Emma had a school project due soon and had no idea how to research material without going online. Seriously- apparently middle school doesn't teach how to look up information from sources without http:// at the beginning. But that didn't last long. I was soon missing the net myself because I couldn't remember the exact way to cite sources (WHY does that have to be so freaking complicated and precise?!) and had no idea where my "Rules for Writers" copy from college ended up. Thanks to the internet, though, I now have a connection to long distance friends and relatives, an instant and free way to communicate with oversees family, and so much more! News, music, television, finance, social networking, job assistance... it's all there. Even on my phone.

Books. Ok, so I haven't actually tried going without books. I just can't. Even though I love the convenience of ebooks, you just can't beat being curled up in a chair with a great story, turning the pages with anticipation, peeking to the last chapter then chickening out and going back to your page. The feel of books, the smell of books, the look of them all lined up on the shelves (or scattered over the house, as the case may be...). And I bet no one is brave enough to take a Kindle into a bubble bath. Isn't that what bubble baths are for? Uninterrupted reading time?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Day 14 - Insert cheesy "hero" song here

Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)

This one wasn't quite so simple. I couldn't think of anyone at first. Then I remembered. It's not quite the same, but I did look up to this person for a long time. I won't name anyone, because we are related. I thought she was fabulous, though - very smart, had it all together, and nothing was going to stop her. We became adults and our lives were very different, but I still looked up to her.

Then, the phenomenon of social media exploded.

I was following her on Twitter, and finally just had to stop. I can respect that we have different views on many things, but some of her tweets just appalled me. Where did this person come from? She berated and belittled anyone who supported the opposing political side. When she used a dozen or so tweets making fun of someone on her Facebook page who didn't agree with a comment she made, just endlessly belittling his hometown, his job, his education, that was it for me.

So, I painfully clicked the "unfollow" button.

That may not seem like a big deal to you, but it was to me. You see, I've grown up nowhere near my relatives. Don't get me wrong, I loved my life, but the few times I got to be around my aunts, uncles, and cousins I was thrilled and embraced those times. I envied the close relationships that many of them had, so social media was an incredibly easy way to keep in touch with them. As much as I care about my relatives, though, I can only take so much negativity and hate.

I noticed later that she either unfollowed me, or deleted her account all together. I hope she didn't take it personally - I missed hearing about her life, but the political venom was just too much.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Day 13 - The music in me

Here is the actual prompt for Day 13: Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)

I'm not going to write them a letter. Yes, I'm a daring rebel like that.

A few come to mind, though, not just one. When I was in high school, in the teenage drama/no-one-understands-me phase we all go through, R.E.M. was IT for me. I loved the music, the words, the melodies, Michael Stipe's voice... I still love their music actually. But back then, it resonated with me. It was amazing to me that a super-famous band from Athens, GA could reach through my radio and find me, a teenage girl in Small Town, TN and make me feel like I wasn't alone. Their music spun a web around me, reaching through my ears into my head and entwining with my thoughts.

Then there is No Doubt. Remember their Tragic Kindgom album? Gwen Stefani wrote the songs after breaking up with her bandmate and longtime boyfriend. Guess what happened my first year of college? Big breakup, out of nowhere. The song "Don't Speak" came on my radio on my way back to my dorm. I liked the song anyway, but it really hit home that night. Gwen and I both got over our respective breakups and soon found our husbands, but her songs helped both of us through at the time. There were times I had to turn off the music because it would make me cry again, but that was ok. I got the message, Gwen. We were stronger than that and are better now than we've ever been.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day 12 - No compliments

Wow. This is awkward to think about. Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on. Who sits and thinks about things that they DON'T get complimented about? Someone pretty insecure I'd imagine. I can just see it now: "I like my legs. Why didn't So-and-so say anything about them?  Why doesn't everyone talk about how awesome they are?" Ugh!

Well, I don't get compliments about my beautifully landscaped yard (we're lucky it gets mowed before it reaches the jungle stage). I don't get compliments on my spotless car (oh please!). I don't get compliments on the architecture of my house (yeah, right).

And you know what?

I really don't care.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 11 - Compliments

You'll notice I skipped Day 10. This was Day 10: Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know. Once again, I had nothing. No toxic friendships, no horrid coworkers... nothing. So, I skipped it.

Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.

This "something"  has changed over the years. When I was a teenager, it was always my hair. Everywhere I went, I'd get comments about my hair. Now, it's my children. How beautiful they are, their hair, their eyes, Sophie's cute chubby little cheeks, their behaviour... it's endless! And I couldn't be happier.

Although, it would be nice if people got my hair colour CORRECT now. I don't mind not being complemented myself, but I've been called both a brunette and a blond lately. What's up with that??

Monday, August 30, 2010

Day 9 - Drifting away

Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted

I can easily think of one person for this entry. We met in elementary school and quickly became friends, as did our parents. We were inseperable - all of us. Our parents would do things together, once even taking a weekend trip together and leaving the two of us at home together. That was fun! We were friends through the end of high school and college. I was in her wedding; a year later she was in mine. Our first children were born 5 weeks apart. First birthday parties, second... then "life" started happening. We only live 30 minutes apart, if that. She worked during the week and off weekends, I worked weekends and off during the week. Her son played sports and my daughter was in gymnastics - even harder to schedule time together. We finally saw each other at the funeral of a friend, after her second son was born. Not an opportune time to catch up, but we did what we could. The next time I saw her was a couple years later, when she brought her kids to visit my grandmother before she passed away. That day was so nice. I saw her again at my grandmother's funeral, almost three years ago. That was the last time.

She was my bestest friend, my sister.

I miss her.

On Twitter recently someone local I "follow" tweeted that she and her best friend ended their friendship over a stupid arguement a few years ago and she misses her friend and regrets the arguement. I replied that she should reach out with a call or email; it's never too late.

Maybe I should take my own advice.

My hope

I almost wish I had a crystal ball, so I could see into the future of my daughters. I frequently wonder how their relationship will be when they are adults. Will they be close emotionally? Will they live near each other? Will they even get along?

Having no sibling myself, I am experiencing sisterhood through their eyes. Right now it's mutual adoration - Sophie isn't big enough to annoy Emma yet. Emma loves to entertain her baby sister and watches out for her. She is very protective. Sophie adores Emma. She lights up when she sees her big sister and follows her every move with her eyes. They have their special games they play together, and sometimes Sophie would just rather cuddle with her sister than Mommy or Daddy.

They won't have the traditional sibling relationship with their age difference, so I'm not worried about fights over clothes, shoes, CDs, boys... I am sure I will hear several "Mom, she's in my room AGAIN"s and "Mommy, she won't play with me!"s. That is to be expected.  I just hope there are no major, life-changing blowups that affect their relationship. They will always need each other.

I said I almost wish for a crystal ball - in reality, I'd be so afraid to see the future. I'd be crushed if they didn't get along, or were distant (not geographically, but emotionally). I hope they raise families together, that their kids will have cousins around  to play with regularly, big family holidays, all things I didn't have but look wonderful.

In short, I hope they always simply adore each other.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 8 - I've got nothing

I seriously almost skipped this one.

Day 8 - Someone who has made your life hell.

I really don't have an answer for this! I know that makes me a very lucky person, and I am very grateful to be so blessed. I even asked my husband if he had any ideas. He suggested an old boyfriend, who actually wasn't that bad. It was just one comment he made at the end of our "friendship" that tainted his entire memory and killed whatever friendship was left. (By the way, if an ex says he wants to be friends, even though you KNOW it will work, run the other way. When you find someone else things get very messy.)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 7 - Someone who has made my life worth living

Another easy one! These two:

Seriously, how could I live without their smiling faces??

Friday, August 27, 2010

Day 6 - Please, God, no

Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do

This one is easy. There is one thing that I am positive would crush me, so that I would just stop existing.

I hope to never ever ever ever ever outlive my children.

I am so completely lucky that both girls are very healthy, but we know that is no guarantee. It is every parent's worst nightmare and the one thing that would cripple me. I know that it sadly happens to parents all over the world and they go on living, but I cannot comprehend how.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day 5 - Something you hope to do in your life

Yay, another fun one! I like how this series follows up a hard topic with a fun one. It is a good balance.
What do I hope to do in my life?

Graduate college.

It's hard to believe I still haven't. I went straight to college after high school, with a full scholarship. I worked hard to get that scholarship, also. The candidates had to be nominated by their school, then write an essay that seemed HUGE at the time, then a select few were brought in for an interview with a room full of people.

Freshman year was an amazing experience. It was so much fun, and a true growing experience for me. A lot happened that year. Then that summer I returned to the summer camp where I worked the year before, and met my husband. We were married over my Fall Break my sophomore year, and then near the end of the school year Emma was born.

After we moved and bought our house, I went from working part time and going to school full time to work full time and school part time. Then less and less as demands of work and family increased. I never fully stopped going, though.

A couple years ago I enrolled at another school (my fourth!) that has a great program for working adults. Classes meet two nights a week for 6 weeks. Students can get three classes in a semester, but one class at a time, one after the other. It's wonderful.

I completed two or three semesters, and could have had my degree in just two years. Then last summer, shortly before the summer term started, I had to have surgery on the wrist of my writing hand. I would be in an imobilizing brace for a few weeks, with a couple more weeks healing on top of that. In short, the entire class term I would be unable to write or take notes, which puts a kink in school plans. Then the week I had the surgery, we found out Sophie was on the way. Suddenly the tuition money I would be spending had other priorities.

So, this is why I still have no four year degree, fourteen years after starting on the higher education journey. As of now, I hope to graduate before Emma does.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 4 - Forgiven but not quite forgotten

Day 4 in 30 Days of Truth is supposed to be "something you have to forgive someone for."  There is only one thing that comes to mind, and I've already forgiven that someone for that something.

But I can't quite seem to forget it.

I am sure that someone would like for me to have forgotten, and perhaps thinks I did. But, try as I might, I can't. The memory of what happened, the words that were exchanged, the emotions I felt- they sneak up on me sometimes still, several years later. They brought with them new emotions - heartbreak, insecurity. The insecurity is the kicker. Heartbreak heals. Eventually, it always heals. But insecurity... it is like herpes. You can supress it, and it will be gone for a long time, but it never really TRULY leaves. It will sneak in when you least expect it and creep around your thoughts, making you doubt yourself and everything you know.

The forgiveness part is easy.

I just wish the forgetting part was.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 3 - Something I have to forgive myself for

Wow. This one is tough.

Not that I think I'm perfect, but I try not to hold on to things like this. I hate the way I feel when I think about negative things I've done, things I wish I hadn't done or done differently, so I don't often think of them.

One regret I have, though, is not making more effort to communicate with my grandmother, who died two weeks ago. Obviously not the same grandmother I've blogged about before; this was my father's mother and we lived far away from her. When I was a child, Mom would put me on the phone to her during the weekly call. I'd try talking to her, but my voice was so soft that I'd have to repeat myself several times, then give the phone to my mother who would tell her what I was saying, then get the phone back, hear her response, try to answer, repeat process. I was so frustrated, because I just wanted to have a normal conversation. I tried speaking louder; I just couldn't. I know it was as frustrating to everyone else as it was to me, but there wasn't anythign I could do differently. Finally I started avoiding her calls. She couldn't hear me anyway, so why try? is how my young little mind worked it out.

Now I wonder, why didn't I write? I know we used to. When I got married and was cleaning out my bedroom at my parents' house I found some old letters in my closet with cards I'd exchanged with her.  I really could have and should have kept that up. Especially as I got older; there really was no (valid) excuse not to write.

Now she's gone, and there is no more time to write, call, email, anything. I feel like the only grandchild with no memories of stories Grandma would tell, or rhymes she'd make up. Hearing my cousins talk about her is like hearing stories of someone else's grandmother - this was not the Grandma I knew. Granted, the ones with stories did see her a lot more than I did, and spend time with her that I couldn't, but really, there is no excuse for the lack of communication on my part.

And for that, I need forgiveness.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Day 2 - Something I love about myself

This one will certainly make me FEEL better than Friday's post, but will it be easier or harder? Let's see...

I love my hair colour.

I love that I love to read.

I love that I'm easygoing... Really, sometimes it's better not to get so worked up over little things.

I have learned that I'm strong. I love that about myself. It feels weird putting that out there, feels self-centered and  "uppity" somehow, but it's the truth. I've handled a lot and made it through in one piece.

I (mostly) love my height. I can reach things, I can find people, it's easy to describe myself when meeting someone in a public place (look for the tall redhead... simple, right?).

I love that I can talk to people easilly. It makes waiting in long lines, for the shuttle, for the elevator, whatever, go much faster.

It was smart to have this post be the one AFTER "something you hate about yourself." We need to build ourselves back up after tearing ourselves down.

Friday, August 20, 2010

When I saw the first post this week I thought, "That's a great idea! Too bad I can't in good consciousness copy it." Then I saw another... and a third. That's when I realized it's something "out there" for bloggers to use. And you know what? I could really use some help lately.  And I just might learn something about myself in the process. So here goes!

Day 1: Something you hate about yourself.

Ooh that's easy! My teeth. They are so soft, and so sensitive. No matter how much care I take with them, something always happens. They break so easily.

I also hate that somehow I have a VERY hard time being on time for things. I get up early, I set things out the night before, I do everything you are "supposed" to do but something always happens. It's annoying.

My size. I know that we are all beautiful, and it's the inside that matters, and all that jazz, but honestly, I miss my old body. I miss swimsuits and shorts and cute tops. I hate the parts that jiggle and bulge. I want them to just go away already!

Ok if I keep this up I'm going to end up with a bad day... Good thing tomorrow's post is something I love about myself!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I have an exciting announcement:

I won the lottery!

Chris and I are thrilled to have such a windfall - and Emma is already writing her Christmas list (or emailing links, actually...) So what are we going to do with all that money?

Pay off all our debt

New car for me

New house!!

Get ALL medical/dental/vision needs taken care of for all of us.

His mom, my parents will get something. Also my former college (which really needs help right now) and his school will each get a donation. Also the church.

College for Emma and Sophie, and for me also - I still have that pesky degree to finish.

He will start his own business, and I will be free to be "Mom" and also have some writing/painting time.

Of course there will be the investments - this money will have to last a long time!
I think we'll take a nice vacation, also.

Sadly, this is just pretend. It would be nice to have everything magically taken care of, but since I don't even buy lottery tickets I just don't see it happening. I also would never be so tacky to announce it like this.

It sure is fun to imagine once in a while, though!

So what would you do if you won millions?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Excuse me while I go hide for a bit...

(Like I could ever really do it)

This has been quite a week. It started with my grandmother dying late Saturday night, just before midnight our time. I had a good cry - for all the time I never got to spend with her, and because I'd now never get a chance to really get to know her. Sunday we spent the afternoon with my family, and my parents flew to North Dakota on Tuesday. Tomorrow is her funeral. I wish so much I could be there.

Also Sunday night Sophie broke out in hives on her arms. Monday morning it was spreading to her face, and by Monday evening her arms were covered in welts and her face had a rash all over one cheek. I bathed her and it helped a lot, used her steroid cream for her eczema and it improved more. Turns out she came into physical contact with pollen on a chair she was sitting in and that was the culprit. She has had nasal allergies for a couple months and is finally old enough for medication for them. Yesterday was her 6 month checkup and we got some Zyrtec - spots were cleared up this morning! It was also the first time in a long time she didn't wake up with a crusted-over nose.

However, we found out something else at her checkup. She has a condition called torticollis. We had noticed for a while that she kept tilting her head to one side, but she hardly ever holds it straight. It's worse when she's getting tired; her ear will touch her shoulder then. She also obviously prefers her right arm and uses it 90% of the time for splashing, playing with toys, and things like that. It is mild now, as she CAN still straighten her head and turn to the other side, and use her left arm, but if left untreated the muscles will tighten and she will lose range of motion. Her pediatrician thinks we can treat at home with therapy without going to "real" PT. If she doesn't improve by her 9 month visit we'll have to go to outside therapy, though.

I am not so sure. I am feeling VERY overwhelmed with this. I understand how important it is - this will not get better on its own and could cause severe problems if it worsens. But I don't know if I'm doing the stretches correctly with her. I don't know if I can do them enough to be effective since I'm not home with her during the day, and I am so afraid of failing her in this. I am blessed that through everything, from her seizures her first week of life to her ear infection that seemed like it would never end, even through her exercises she is a happy, easygoing baby. This would be so much harder if the treatments hurt or made her cry. I think it's uncomfortable for her but I can get her to laugh throughout. But it's still scary and overwhelming for me, like a big cloud of suffocating worry that envelops me when I think about it. And the worry won't help her at all.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Why I write

There are two huge things in my life right now. I am dying to write them out. That is how I deal with issues. I can't always express myself verbally so this really allows me to get it out of my head, work through things. Hopefully get a little feedback, a fresh perspective. I do talk about these things with my husband, but when I have no new words and he has no idea how to help me, what good does it do to keep telling him?

Thing One has been an issue with me for years, but lately is HUGE. It is sad, it is regretful, it causes me to feel guilt. But mostly, it is very sad. But I can't write about it publicly. I just can't expose that side of myself to everyone. I am so afraid of what you will all think of me, friends and family both. I did write a lonnnnnnnnnng post about it a few days ago, but erased without publishing. That did help, some. But not enough. I am not sure writing it out will ever be enough.

Thing Two  is big also, but different. It is life-altering, yet not as bad as I had feared. At least for me, but I am on a different arm of this wheel. I need to work this out, too, but I am not allowed to make it public. I understand and fully agree with the reason, though. At least I can discuss this privately with those who know, which helps. 

So instead of writing off witty blogs, or fascinating research, or something about current issues... I mostly use this as my outlet, my therapy of sorts. And I don't know what I'd do without this!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010




Sure of herself

Precious little girl growing up too fast

I remember her as a small child, playing dress-up. Princess one minute, rock star the next. Dorothy in sparkly red shoes.

Singing, dancing to the music of her soul.

Fascinated by life. Captivated and captivating.

She once snuggled and slept on my chest just as her baby sister now sleeps. She still likes to snuggle, just don't tell her friends.

Her world is still black and white. There is no gray area. A behaviour is good or bad. A person is good or bad. She will accept you and love you, or cut ties and never look back.

Our first baby girl, the sole light of our lives for so long.

When did you grow so tall?

When did you get so worldly?

Yesterday you were collapsed in sleep in satin princess jammies, looking at a car magazine. Today you are reading Twilight and discussing the hotness of Taylor Lautner with your new BFF.

I want a pause button. I want a rewind button.

But most of all, I want you to continue to grow into this amazing young lady I see emerging.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Baby love

The smell of lavender

Cool floor

Soft cotton rugs

Blinds closed - dim room

Poetry on the wall

Flowers everywhere

Tiny dresses hanging in rows



Chubby little cheeks

Bright blue eyes

Soft fair skin

Softly curling whispy red hair

Teeny, tiny toenails

Gigantic gummy grin

Smile that lights up her whole face

Baby kisses

Belly laughs

Happy chuckles


Sleepily snuggling into my chest

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Warning: Obects in windshield are closer than they appear

I have had the worst best luck the past few weeks while commuting to and from work. Seriously - I called my husband last night on my way home and asked him what I could have done to set all of this off! Luckily I have not been hurt (yet) but each time has been such a close call!

It all started several weeks ago. I had dropped the girls off at the babysitter's house and was almost back to the interstate. I was on a very busy five lane highway with TONS of semi traffic. Imagine combining the best retail/restaurant area on this side of the city, two major travel centers, a hospital, and so much just 'in general" traffic and and interstate ramp or four and you can imagine where I was. There was a pickup truck up ahead of me that was loaded down like someone was moving. All of a sudden, a metal shelving unit (the kind sold for workshops and garages) comes flying off the truck, and into the air straight at my car. I brake, and it crashes to the road several feet in front of me. I slam on brakes (miraculously I wasn't rear-ended) and close my eyes. I stop LITERALLY an inch from the metal. The truck is way ahead at this point, at the traffic light. I start honking my horn like crazy (like that's effective. My horn has small-car syndrome. It sounds like a kids' toy.) The driver sees what happened, and backs up and removes his shelves from in front of my car. Also the police car in the parking lot next to the street saw what happened - thankfully for me, because he blocked traffic so I was able to back up and go around and get to work. Not so thankfully for the pickup driver, who was detained on the side of the road.

Then, a few weeks later, I was driving down the interstate headed home from work. Rush hour, lots of traffic. We weren't quite to the first backup spot yet, so traffic was actually moving at normal speed. There was a car in front of me, and a truck pulling a trailer in front of that car. All of a sudden, guess what happens... a 4 ft by 4 ft piece of what I thought was glass went flying up into the air.... and then started plummeting. Straight at ME. I had flashes of what a plate of glass could do at that speed/distance. I panicked. Hard. The car in front of me swerved onto the shoulder, but by that time the sheet of glass was crashing to the highway. I also went to the shoulder, but ended up driving over part of it. Thankful again for brakes on cars - I was able to slow just enough that it hit right in front of my car. And it turned out to be plexiglass, not actual glass, thank goodness. It didn't shatter like glass would. Also very lucky I wasn't rear-ended.

Then last night - guess what happened.

We had thunderstorms and heavy rain yesterday afternoon, so traffic was moving slowly. After passing the usual slowdowns, though, the rain had stopped and traffic was moving along at a decent speed (most of us). There was one of the big trucks, like the ones ulitlites use, and construction people, and the city street furniture/branches/whatever-is-out-but-not-garbage pickup services use, in the lane next to me but a little ahead. He was speeding. Really speeding. I noticed something that looked like a hammer up in the sky, and thought "that's odd." Then it started to fall... quickly. It was a freaking PUSH BROOM. Seriously - something else flying off a truck in front of me. Again - very lucky. It landed in the lane next to me (RIGHT next to me) and there wasn't a car in that spot. Push brooms bounce really far, too, by the way. The driver never saw what happened. He was going so fast I couldn't even see him after about 30 seconds.

I wonder if I should start telecommuting... this driving thing is getting scary.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My hair is bipolar

I am baffled.




I have no idea what is going on with my hair. My entire life, it has been the same: a light red with the occasional darker red or blond strand in the mix, fine, and very very very straight.

Seriously straight.

Curling-irons-are-useless, couldn't-even-perm-it straight.

Lately, though, I've noticed something interesting. The new hairs that grow at the top of my head and around my face... are curly. And "platinum." (Shh, don't spoil my delusion.)

This is the weirdest thing! Is it hormonal changes from childbirth? Is it age? (Remember- don't spoil the delusion. Of course it's not age.) Maybe it's all the failed perms from my preteen years finally "taking."

It sure does make a difference in styling my hair. Well, if I DID really style my hair more than either putting it up, pulling it back in a clip, or leaving it down until it bugged me too much and I put it up.

Instead of everything staying smooth and flat, I have these weird frizzy flyaways that puff out from ear to ear across my head. I had to unclog my hairspray bottle (I think it had been a year or more since I last used it...) and tried to hold them down that way. It didn't work, and I could smell the stuff all day long. I can't use heavy styling products because my hair is too fine and thin (think baby hair but longer) to support them. If I even knew HOW to use the products.

So what do I do? I keep removing whatever "platinum" strands I can see but apparently there are more on top of my head, judging from my mom's "oh my" and giggle last time she cut my hair. Good thing I'm tall - no one else can see those!

If only I could get the fluffy strands under control.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

"Women with lower IQ more likely to pursue rich men"

I heard about this article on my way to work this morning. Apparently it is causing quite the controversy! A study from University of Michigan found that women with lower IQs are more attracted to rich men than women with higher IQs.

Here is the full text:

A new study from the Michigan University has found that women with lower IQ are more likely to be attracted to rich men than their smarter counterparts, reported UK's Daily Mail.

The findings suggest that contrary to popular belief, there's more to the 'gold digger' phenomenon than pure greed. Researchers are now suggesting that it could be seen as an "instinctive urge to guarantee a secure financial future for any potential children."

Lead author of the study, Dr Christine Stanik, of Michigan University, says it is "only natural" for women with limited education and career prospects to pursue men who are able to provide financial stability.

‘In ancient times, women evolved an attraction to men with wealth because they knew such a mate could improve the chances of their offspring’s survival,’ said Stanik.

‘It is a very strong gut feeling that is hard to shake off, especially when a woman does not have her own career which would give her financial independence.’

So next time you feel like indulging in an episode of Girls of the Playboy Mansion, don't give yourself a hard time. Remember, it's not only mindless reality TV you are watching -- but true Darwinism at work.


One of the radio show hosts (a woman) was outraged and felt this study demeaned women. She is getting married next month but has a standard for the men she would date - they had to not so much be successful or wealthy NOW, but have the drive and ambition to get there.

I kind of see the truth in it, though. The article doesn't contradict women seeking men with ambition. Smart women DO gravitate toward men who are more their equals. I see this article applying more so to women like Lorelie in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." Pretty, not terribly smart, places a higher value on money than anything else. She wants to marry a rich man, one who can buy her diamonds and take care of her every material desire.

Women with higher IQs are the ones who go to college, have successful careers, have other interests. They can provide for themselves and don't need a man to fill that need. They have other needs. If you'll notice, the article makes no mention of ambition, drive, or personal success. Wealth is the only attribute considered. This could mean a now-grown trust fund kid "finding himself" while living off his family's name and fortune. It could explain the whole Anna Nicole phenomenon - women going for the rich old men and gaining (or fighting surviving children for) an inheritance.

No, the study finding itself doesn't offend me at all. I know where I stand. I love my husband dearly and would be devastated if anything ever happened to him or to our marriage, but in the end, I know I could take care of myself.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I had a sick day again yesterday. This time it wasn't me; the baby is sick. She was fine on Monday, slightly congested Monday night, then when I woke her up yesterday morning her nose was all crusted over and her poor little eye was matted shut! I used a warm washcloth to free her face while I called the pediatrician's nurse, who wanted her seen right away. Turns out she has infection in both ears and her eye. But we caught it before it got TOO terribly bad. Anyway, yesterday was spent as it should be: snuggled up on the couch with my babygirl. Older babygirl was at her grandparents' house but we exchanged phone calls/texts all day. She knew Sophie was sick first thing, since she called me as I was getting my phone to call the nurse, and wanted me to call her right away after the visit. "I want to know EVERY detail." Such a caring big sister! She even offered to cut her visit short and come home early - even though beloved Aunt Shirley flew in yesterday. I love my girls.

I used a quiet opportunity yesterday to make another entry in my gratitude journal. I discovered something awful, though - it won't save if I list more than five things! So I had to cut a few lines from the list. I believe that it still needs to get "out there" somehow, so here is my full list from yesterday:

* Understanding boss
* Great healthcare providers
* Health insurance (picked up 4 prescriptions yesterday. Total cost: $0)
* Medicine to heal my babygirl
* She likes her antibiotic!! No struggles to get the medicine down her throat
* Happy babies (no crankiness or fussiness all day)
* It wasn't quite as hot yesterday.
* Fans - one fan kept our house 9 degrees cooler all day yesterday.
* Caring older daughter
* Diaper Genie (you really don't want to know the details there...)

And of course, as usual, my husband, my daughters, my family, my friends. I don't know how I would get through this life without them.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

What's cooking?

So I decided to make Sophie's baby food instead of buying it. Not only is it healthier, it's a lot cheaper, too! I did get discouraged in the beginning because I couldn't get my baby food maker to work properly and bought a couple packages of Gerber, but after some time to calm down, an email and a phone call to customer service, I am cooking up a storm!

A couple months ago I got the First Years' BabyPro All-in-one baby food maker. It is a little unit with a steamer and food processor. It is not very big, and doesn't take up much counter space. Since I do not have a real food processor, don't know where to get one or what in the world I'd do with it other than make baby food, and have no idea how to steam foods on the stove, I figured it was a sound investment. And we have a small kitchen - the size and having everything in one unit was a huge plus.

I started out with squash. The babysitter has a garden and had given me four HUGE yellow squash. Huge is more of an understatement - these things were monsters. I cut up part of one for the steamer, cooked the rest for our dinner, and had leftovers. Then apples, avocado (not steamed), and peaches. I made cherries and banana next. Today I went grocery shopping and picked up frozen peas, and fresh pears, plums, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash. This baby will be eating good the next few months!

My husband seems a bit surprised by all this. He is fully behind it, but can't figure out where the food-processing bug came from. Honestly, I don't either. I am NOT this domesticated. I cook from mixes, not from scratch. I much prefer the fast, easy way to cook. But I just can't make myself buy all this jarred babyfood!

At least I know without a doubt what will be going in her little stomach. And we won't have to worry about any recalls, either.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

So hard to say goodbye

So my goal of writing every day has already hit a snag! I DID remember, but it was after midnight and I knew if I turned on my computer it wouldn't be just to write something. The allure of the internet is just too strong!

In my defense, yesterday was a REALLY bad day. My 12 yr old has been sick since Thursday, the baby had a fever off and on over the weekend, and I woke up on Sunday sick also. Yesterday felt worse. Also, I had a feeling my cat was getting another UTI since I found dark brown pee from her on Sunday and sure enough, when we got up yesterday morning she was sick also. So I took a sick day so Em and I could recover and I could take the cat to the vet for some antibiotics.

When we got there, the diagnosis wasn't what I had expected at all. It was not a UTI but a recurring infection (she had it in January also but made a full recovery). Her little body would attack its own red blood cells suddenly (that was the dark brown urine) and this time she just couldn't fight it off. The only treatment was a blood transfusion, but that itself would probably have been too much stress on her sick little body. I called my husband to discuss it with him, when suddenly the vet said "I need a decision NOW because she's dying on the table." So after 13 years of life, my poor kitty left us. It was so hard on us all. She and her sister were our "practice babies." We got them as 6 month old kittens when we were pregnant with Emma. These two animals have trained us well. Sure, we gave Ocoee the nickname "Pita" (Pain in the a**) but loved her dearly. She loved nothing more than to get in a lap and be the center of attention.

Chris came home from work early and buried her. I picked out a spot under the dogwood tree at the edge of our yard. The vet's office did provide a burial box for her, which was very nice. Her sister Charla seems to know something is different - she has been very clingy since we got home yesterday morning.

So that's why I didn't write anything yesterday. I was sick and heartbroken. That's also all I can write about it today because if I don't stop now, I'll start crying again and I'm back at work today. Can't have that. It was hard enough finding her fur all over one of my bags. She had slept on it most of Saturday when she wasn't trying to steal my seat at the dinner table or stealing the bacon left unattened for a few minutes.

I'm going to miss that little bugger...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mamas, I need your help!

I realized I am guilty of doing something I have always been opposed to doing.

I don't know how to change.

I had this realization when I was browsing a local website for moms, (BTW if you live in Knoxville area and have kids, check out this site. Bookmark it. Seriously.) Anyway, there is a group titled KnoxMoms for Comprehensive Sexual Education. My first thought is "Excellent!" I really think kids should be taught about sex - their body parts, what they do, how to protect themselves, and how to communicate about their feeling. I really do!

However - ask me how many times I've discussed this with my own 12 year old daughter. Or better yet, don't ask me! I can't answer that! When she was 8, she asked me what a period was and I gave her a basic, bare-bones discussion of what happens, reproduction-wise, but no real details. With my pregnancy, she learned all about baby developement and how babies are actually born. She has had a class at school, but I don't even know what was covered! She says the teacher never actually got around to the "sex" part of the sex-education class. I dont' even know for sure how much she actually knows!

This is not healthy at all. I was (intentionally or not) raised thinking sex was bad, not discussed at all, forbidden. When my mom tried to have "the talk" with me I was so freaked out I wouldn't let her speak. I still can't discuss things like that with her! I'm married with two kids so obviously she's aware I'm not a virgin, but I still can't have that conversation. When I think of having a similar discussion with Emma, I have the same awkward freak-out in my head and just put it off again. I just can't get the words out!

On one hand, I am afraid of "spoiling her innocence" - exposing her to this foreign, scary world that she doesn't need to think about at her age. On the other hand, I am well aware of what other kids her age are doing and think she probably knows some of it already. Is some misinformation? Probably. But I'm too afraid to broach the subject with her to find out.

How do I get over this?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

House and home

(I am trying to get back in the habit of blogging regularly again. I have really slacked off since Sophie was born! I guess that is a good reason, but still... For me, the writing habit is of the "use it or lose it" variety. I apologize in advance if I am a bit random or rambling.)

Today is cleaning day. My first couple weeks back at work I was really good about keeping the house picked up and laundry kept up. That, unfortunately, didn't last long. So, today is cleaning day. I am really trying to stick to one room at a time but I keep getting so distracted! I have a ring sling, though, that helps me get more done when Sophie is awake and wanting Mommy instead of Daddy or big sister.

Thursday, we had a new roof put on our house. The week before I went back to work, Emma was on Spring Break and showed me some spots on her ceiling. Yep, water damage. We could have just had the spots repaired, but in a couple years would need a new roof entirely, so we just had that done all at once.

Not only was the roof old and deteriorating, our gutters were in horrid condition! Neither the roof nor the gutters were built properly when the house was built, so we are dealing with that damage now. Today we are getting all new gutters and soffit. We are also getting a leaf guard put in, so no more climbing to the roof to clean out the gutters.

It is so nice to have repairs done to the house. I have not been feeling the love for it lately. I joke about wanting the contractor from Holmes on Homes to visit, but really would prefer Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Eleven years in, we are finding out just how poorly our house was built 32 years ago, and it is wearing on the soul, that's for sure. I know "home" is what you make it, but when our house seems to be revolting against us... the home feeling just isn't as strong. We are slowly but surely getting the repairs done, and I hope soon we can work on improvements.

In the meantime, while the workers are working on the outside of the house, I'll work on the inside, making it once again "home."

Monday, May 10, 2010

No more...

Two weeks ago, I had a procedure done that has made me sterile. Same principle as having my tubes tied, but non-invasive and not painful. It was a simple, quick, and easy procedure. (I even got to watch the screen along with the doctor!) This is definitely what I wanted, and I have no second thoughts or regrets.

However, for some reason I am a little sad. Sophie is the last baby in the house. There is no reason to hang on to her adorable little outfits once she outgrows them. The heirloom baby cradle will never be used by our little family unit again, until Emma is grown and has a little one of her own.

And for the life of me, I don't know why this makes me sad! I truly do not want to have more children. I am happy with our family the way it is. And honestly, financially and spatially we can't have another. We can't afford for me not to work, and childcare for three, one after school and two full-time, would be impossible. We'd need a larger house if we had another, also. Bigger house = bigger mortgage. Again, not possible.

Is this some innate biological feeling? Some ancient instinct saying "females must be able to produce!"?? A biological clock I never knew I had?? I mean, logically and rationally (and even 95% emotionally) I know without a doubt this was the right direction. But that tiny, hidden part of me thinks "what have I done?"

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Who is your daughter's role model?

Ok, our family has four shows we watch together, as a family, and never miss (thank goodness for DVR). Bones, House, Chuck, and Big Bang Theory. Last night it was just us girls, my husband had a business dinner, so Emma and I watched this week's episode of Chuck again. (If you are not familiar with this show, a brief summary: everyday, average guy gets CIA super-spy stuff in his head and gets two handlers to make him a spy. Handlers are Adam Baldwin [by far the best Baldwin] and a beautiful strong blonde, Sarah.) As the episode was finishing, I took Sophie to her room to change her diaper and soon Emma was at my side, excited at the ending. She was jumping around in the way wound up kids do, and our dogs were in the doorway getting all excited, too. She starts playing with our Pointer, and I heard "I'm going to go all Chuck on you! Nevermind, I'm going to go all SARAH on you! Hiiiiiii-yah!" She kept jumping around, fake kung-fu fighting the dog, and kept repeating "See? I'm all Sarah on you! You can't get me!"

I love that she loves this show, and Sarah's character. The main character, Chuck, likes the spy world. He has worked at a dead-end retail job since being unfairly expelled from Stanford where he was top in his class. But, he refuses to carry a real gun, kill people, or let the assignments take away from his life with his family and friends. Oh, and still gets the girl :) But also, the female leads are both wonderful for her to see - Chuck's sister, a brilliant doctor, and Sarah, who kicks butt regularly. Neither one defer to their male counterparts but treat themselves (and hence are treated by others) as equals.

So Emma's playing around last night, combined with a tweet I received this morning, really got me to thinking about the new female role models and who I want my daughter to look up to. I mentioned Bones as one of our can't miss shows - the main character there, Temperance Brennan, is on that list. Genius scientist AND bestselling author? Yes, please!

Here are a few others I like:

Mellody Hobson, financial contributor on Good Morning America

Sandra Bullock, Oscar winner, adoptive mom, handles things with class. Oh, and doesn't party like crazy and show her undies (or lack of)

Robin Roberts, Good Morning America anchor. She's tall, smart, athletic, and relatable.

Selena Gomez - Emma's already a fan. Cute, sweet, Disney star. Acts, sings, designer, philanthropist, dog rescuer.

Emma Watson - Hermione! Also scholar, humanitarian, and model.

Danica McKellar - Remember Winnie from The Wonder Years? Yeah, she's a math genius. She has also authored two books to encourage girls with math.

Then there's the "real-life" role models: moms, teachers, local business owners, pastors, the women in our community who aren't afraid to take charge and make a change for the better.

So who do you want your daughters to look up to and admire?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Music to (in) our ears

Maybe I'm getting old, or am just becoming more aware of what my daughter hears, but I've really started paying attention to the lyrics of songs lately as Emma and I listen to the radio in the car. It really started a few years ago with that horribly annoying song about "Superman" but not the superhero - the really gross, disgusting thing apparently young men like to do to their partners in bed. Remember that song? Soulja Boy was the artist. It was everywhere, even played at Emma's school at an outdoor PTO event. Here are the lyrics. Yeah, my daughter's elementary school was playing this for the kids.

Recently, I've seen a lot of criticism of Lady Gaga's work. I know we live in the Bible Belt, and am myself a practicing Christian, albeit a more liberal one. I'm more of the "live and let live and let's all love each other and get along" mindset than the "my way is the only way, change your way or you're going to Hell" mindset. I know many people of the second persuasion, though. A couple weeks ago someone on my Facebook friends list whom I went to school with posted a rant about her music, mainly her videos. Granted, they are out there. These aren't your standard pre-reality show MTV 3-minute bubblegum videos. Her videos tend to follow the Thriller-esque, mini-movie productions, but more avant garde. This person's complaints were that the videos were available online and his kids could find them and watch them and be exposed to a naked female body (I'm sure his daughter knows what girl parts look like) and that Lady Gaga has admitted that she likes both girls and boys. You know what? Elton John is gay, too, and no one criticizes his music. But that's another topic all together...

I have Lady Gaga's first CD, and most of the songs from the second. I love them. Emma loves them. And you know what? She can listen to them all she wants! I've listened to them, I've read the lyrics in the CD liner. Nothing is objectionable. Lady Gaga has said that some songs have different meanings, but there is no way to get that from the songs themselves. And as for the online availability? Someone apparently needs to teach his children rules for the computer and know how to check out where they visit while in Internetland. And does he really think that's the worst thing out there?? Then he really needs to get out more.

On the other hand, there is Rihanna. I like her music, too. It's catchy, it's fun to sing along with, and she's just adorable. And after the Chris Brown incident last year, the whole country is in love with her. Sunday her song "Rude Boy" came on the radio as Emma and I were going to my parents' house for Easter dinner. Here is what we heard: Come here rude boy, can you get it up? Come here rude boy, are you big enough?

Like that's subtle. I'm sure most parents really don't want to hear "What is she talking about?" and have to answer that.

My point isn't even that these songs are out there, really. Like I said, I'm pretty liberal about a lot of things. And I like Rihanna, that's not the point either. It's the perception, I guess, that gets to me. People are shocked by the performance and assume the music is just as provocative, or remember the vulnerability of last year and assume the music is innocent. It's the judgments that get to me, I guess.

Just pay a bit more attention to what is put in our kids' heads. And if you don't agree with something they listen to, talk to them about why. But PLEASE have a better reason than "I don't like the video" or "that person is homosexual." Be a bigger person than that.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Milestone missed

So in my previous post I mentioned being afraid of missing some of Sophie's "firsts" that I experienced with Emma. First crawling, first steps, first words, things like that. Those will be the beginnings of a lifetime of "firsts" - first boyfriend, first kiss, first time driving, first job - milestones that mark our babies' growth into adults.

Emma recently had another first, and one that she chose NOT to share with me: she had her first period. Wanna know how I found out? I found a wrapper in the garbage and knew it wasn't mine and asked her about it. She still wouldn't even admit to knowing what I was talking about until I asked her point-blank if she had started her period. I was floored when she said yes! I mean, it's still two weeks until she turns 12. I was not ready for this (emotionally, I mean. She's been "ready" for a couple years now and knew what would happen and what to do). But, I never in my wildest dreams thought she just wouldn't say anything about it at all.

And to be honest, it kind of hurt. Ok, it really hurt. I don't expect her to come to me when she has her first kiss. Most of her upcoming "firsts" she'll go running to her friends with before she ever gets around to us. That is a normal part of growing up, I know. But this one - I'm her MOM! I'm SUPPOSED to be the first to know about this, right?

We've always had a very good relationship. I've tried to make her feel like she can come to me with anything at all. And she has - until now. So now I worry about things that may not even be real: if she didn't tell me this, what else is she not telling me?? My imagination has been working overtime.

I have to trust in her, though. We're raising her, I hope, to know right from wrong and how to behave. And she is still young - it's not like she's a teenager yet with the freedoms of movement (transportation) that allows. She and her friends still have to rely on parents to go anywhere or do anything. She doesn't spend a lot of time at friends' houses right now, either. Her friends group has changed with the new school and the parents haven't caught up yet. So it's not like I really have to worry yet.

I have realized one thing, though. I am terrified of her becoming a teenager. I am losing my baby girl to the grownup world!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Almost time to rejoin the "real world"

I have two weeks left of my maternity leave. Sophie will be ten weeks old when I go back to work. I know that is four weeks later than many other moms have to leave their babies, but it still seems way too early to me! With Emma, I didn't go to work until she was sixteen months old. I was there for her first word, her first steps, first solid food, first everything. I am so afraid of missing one of these milestones with Sophie! I also worry about how she will be taken care of (not at first, my amazingly wonderful mother has offered to stay with her for several weeks until she is a bit older). No matter how good a babysitter might be, or how long we've known her, no one can care for a baby like her parent (or grandparent).

Oddly enough, when Emma was smaller I never wanted to be a stay at home mom. She was always Daddy's girl - she loved me, too, but unless she was hungry (nursing) she wanted her Daddy. That didn't change for many years, either. She just didn't seem to NEED me as much. She loved her daycare and was even a bit spoiled there. When she started school, homework night was one of the two nights a week I was working so she didn't need me for that, either.

Once she moved into middle school, though, things changed. Homework is harder and more involved. I can no longer trust she finishes it at the babysitter's house. By the time we get home from work and picking her up, it's dinner time, then bath and bedtime for her. We don't have time during the week to just catch up, relax, enjoy each others' company. I miss that.

Now we have Sophie. The past eight weeks have been wonderful. I have time with her during the day, time for myself when she naps, then time with Emma in the afternoons. I help her with her homework, we talk, we play, we do things together. She has time to go outside and play. We're more relaxed. We eat better meals, and earlier so we have time for family time after dinner.

Don't get me wrong - I love my job and will enjoy being back at work. It is challenging, and interesting, and I work with a lot of wonderful people who I miss interacting with. But I also have a financial obligation to my family to go to work. We just can't do without my salary in the mix.

But if one of us came across a winning lottery ticket, guess where I'll be...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

She's here! And the rollercoaster began...

What an emotional week this has been!

Tuesday was the day for my scheduled induction of Sophie. Turns out she had other plans. At around 6:45 Sunday morning, I woke up having strange pains. I wondered if I was having contractions, but it didn't "fit" - felt different than when I was in labour with Emma, and running through the checklist from the doctor (belly tightening, gets worse, can't talk or walk through the pain) didn't really help. My husband woke up at 730 and asked if I was ok. I honestly answered, "I don't know!" I had him start keeping track of the timing just in case, and when I realized it was happening every three minutes (which puts me in the "10 an hour" range for the doctor) I had him call the office.

The on-call doctor said I should come to the hospital to get checked out, just in case. So my husband woke up Emma, she salted the front steps, he tried to shovel the ice off (unsuccessfully) and showered, I finished packing, and we got ready to leave. Thinking that we'd probably be sent back home, I didn't hurry, and we both thought we had hours. Finally around 930 I was putting on my shoes to leave when my water broke.

I changed clothes, and we headed to the hospital. We arrived at the door at 10:20. Emma ran in to get a wheelchair because by then, I REALLY couldn't walk. I was rolled up to a room, put in a gown, and examined. The nurse said I was between 4 & 5 cm and had someone call my doctor at home to let him know I was there. The anesthesiologist came in and tried to put in an epidural, which was difficult because apparently Sophie wouldn't tolerate me being in certain positions and her heart rate would drop. He finally got it inserted, and less than 5 minutes later at 11:18, she was here! My doctor walked in as I was being cleaned up. He told me that from the time the nurse called to say I was at 5 cm until she called back to say I was delivering was only 15 minutes.

A pediatrician came in and checked her out right away, and seemed surprised to find her in such good condition. He explained that many times a birth that is too fast is just as dangerous as one that is too long and puts the baby in distress. She was perfect, though, and passed all her screenings with flying colors!

Oh - for those who want to know she was 9 lbs 2 oz, 21 inches long, 39 weeks along, and has blue eyes and hair that looks both red and blonde, depending on the light.

Monday night we were discharged and went home. I was moving around pretty well, she was in excellent condition, and there was no reason to stay another night. We left the hospital at 6:30 and took our girls home. It was a sleepless night, but a normal one. The usual several feedings, and just her getting used to life on the outside.

Tuesday morning Chris took Emma to school and came back home. Around 8 I noticed Sophie's right arm was jerking a bit. I thought it was strange, but really didn't know what to make of it. I thought it was probably her hiccuping and her arm was just positioned the right way to be moved by the hiccups. I filed it away in my head just in case, though.

Then an hour later it happened again, but her eyes and mouth joined in. I called to make the appointment for her first checkup with the pediatrician, but since I had to change the information for her birthdate and all I forgot to ask for a nurse to ask about it. Then, another hour later, it happened yet again, and this time her right leg was involved. I called the office back and spoke to a nurse, who wanted to check with one of the nurse practitioners and call me back. She called back within a few minutes and wanted us to bring her in at 2 instead of Thursday, appointment day.

It happened again at 11, then three times at 12. We went to the doctor's office and tried to explain what was going on but having a hard time of it. Then, while the NP was out of the room, it began again. I had Chris get them right away, and all the practitioners came in to see. Phone calls were made to the head doctor, to Children's Hospital, and I think one other place. The verdict was they did not feel qualified to take care of this, with her being only two days old, and the doctor at Childrens Hospital wanted us brought in immediately by ambulance as a precaution. Sophie and I rode to the hospital, Chris picked up Emma from school and followed.

In the ER we were shown into a room right away, and testing began on her immediately. Seizures in a two day old are taken VERY seriously. She had an IV line inserted, blood drawn, urine drawn, and eventually a spinal tap. If you want to know what true torture is, sit with your two day old infant as she has all this done to her. I hope none of you ever have to go through that. She had another seizure while we were in the ER, and that was her biggest one yet. The others only lasted 20-30 seconds and that one was two full minutes. She was given Ativan to stop the seizure, and then phenobarbital to keep her from having any others. She was sent for a CT scan, and after the medicines were finished we were taken to our room.

We've seen a neurologist, an infectious disease specialist, and several pediatricians. She had an EEG on Wednesday, another spinal tap, several cultures taken, and blood for labs every morning. The infectious disease specialist was leaning toward a viral infection, which is what the second spinal tap was sent out for. Even though she didn't feel comfortable saying "probably" or anything definite, that is the most dangerous out of all the possiblilites. The neurologist read her CT and EEG and was positive her only problem was bleeding on the left side of her brain, which is actually common in vaginal births but does not usually affect the baby. He wanted to wait 48 hours and have another EEG to compare. If it was the bleeding, it would resolve itself.

Yesterday morning we had the second EEG and he read it and talked to us before we even left the room to come back to ours. It was perfect! She is 100% fine, and now that the combination of anti-seizure medicines have worked their way out of her tiny body she is awake and alert now. (Everyone wishes their newborn would sleep a lot. Trust me, you don't. It's unnatural and scary and nervewracking.) Unfortunately, even though the neurologist has cleared her and said there is no reason for us to stay, he is not her admitting doctor and she doesn't feel comfortable releasing us until the second spinal tap test returns, clearing her of the viral infection. I understand it's just a precaution, but we all want to be home so badly.

Today was a quiet day. Since we're just waiting for the last test to be returned nothing else is going on. One of the doctors came to check in today and our nurse checks in frequently, but that's it. Chris did our laundry and he and Emma came for a visit and brought clean clothes back. Sadly, though, Emma began feeling sick so they are back at home tonight. Hopefully she will be better tomorrow and they can come back.

I must say, though, that I have been overwhelmingly touched by the huge outpouring of love and support we've received this week. This is the first time I've been able to be on a computer all week, but I can check Facebook and Twitter on my phone and am amazed at how many comments and messages we've received about Sophie. Several friends have even posted about her on their own profiles asking for prayers for her. Gladly the prayers have worked and she is healthy and seizure-free again! The people in our church have been amazing, also. Emma has been staying with a family at church so Chris could be here with me. There have been so many phone calls and emails checking in on us every day. I am just amazed. And touched. And overwhelmed. It will take weeks to respond to everyone once we are able to return home! So, if any of those wonderful friends and family members read this, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your care and support. It has meant so much to us and really helped us get through this week of ups and downs and joy and tears.