Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Reflections and Projections

I'm not sure what it is this year, but I don't feel that reflective as we end 2009. I have more the opinion of "let's get this over with and get to the New Year already!" It's not that I've had a BAD year, but I can't really say it's been a spectacular year. It definitely could have been better, and probably should have been better and maybe that's where my attitude comes from. 2008 was an awesome year. I honestly can't tell you why at the moment, but I do remember closing out the year feeling accomplished and satisfied. I just don't feel that way this year.

Of course, there were some downers, but you can't expect a year to go by without something. My aunt passed away and really brought the possibility of my own parents' deaths much closer to home than I would have liked. I didn't expect her death to hit me like it did. I still feel very sad for my cousins, and when I was looking through pictures of her oldest grandchild getting married over the summer, I swear to you I could feel her with me and hear her singing.

I felt very stressed out by the negativity around me in the world... people freaking out over politics, the economy, H1N1, etc. I can only imagine how crazy it would have made me if I actively followed the news.

My best friends have been gone all year. I just kind of feel like Adam in particular helps so much to ground me, and having gone through the year hardly seeing or speaking to him even has sucked.

But there were plenty of highlights throughout the year.

Our vacation to NY was amazing, Olivia started school, watching Zoe grow into her little personality without having the demands of a newborn to distract me, Bill has had the same job all year, we quit smoking...

Like I said, though, I am ready to get to 2010 and I am set that I will make the most of this year. I've had a few years where I didn't want to make resolutions... but I want to this year. I want to make goals and I want to achieve goals.

The last time I saw Adam, he said something to me. He might have just been saying it to be saying it, because that was his demeanor at the time, but I know Adam usually doesn't just shoot off at the mouth. He said (and this isn't word for word) "Don't let your self-doubt keep you from accomplishing your goals."

And oh, how I do.

So I have two themes this year: Control and Confidence

I want to be in control of our finances. We're discussing doing Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and the Total Money Makeover system. It's scary to me. I was super pumped and excited at first and then the reality of the sacrifices involved sunk in and I'm scared to death. But that has a great deal to do with lack of confidence... I feel that there is no way I can make it work. I know I can if I just relax and do it though.

I want to be in control of my health. I've let my weight loss quest slide for about a month now, and I really need to focus again and make some serious and permanent changes throughout the year.

Throughout this past year, a thought that crosses my mind often has been "what's the worst that can happen if you fail?" I have been reluctant to do photography for people, and have mostly refused to let people pay me for it because I just haven't felt confident enough in myself. A girl at work wants me to give her a quote for a wedding for a friend of hers and my stomach just flips thinking about it. This is what I want, but it's terrifying to actually do it. There are so many photographers out there and sometimes I am just afraid I'm not that good.

But what's the worst that can happen if I try to make my name out there? I don't get anyone calling for my services? That's what I have now... what's the big deal? Could I fall on my face? Yeah. But it won't kill me, and as long as I'm alive, it's not a total loss.

I thought today maybe I should find a tiny toy football helmet to carry around to remind me that it won't kill me to take a couple of knocks.

So other than all that deep stuff, I want to be more creative with the sewing machine this year. I have plans to make sock monkeys for each of the girls (the Rockford Red Heel Socks are on their way), rag dolls for the girls, probably some dresses this summer...

I am truly excited about 2010 and want to make it an exciting and satisfying year. I sincerely hope that anyone reading this an exciting and satisfying year also and that you have the control and confidence to reach all your goals and then some!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Book 33 - Somebody Else's Daughter by Elizabeth Brundage

Somebody Else's Daughter Somebody Else's Daughter by Elizabeth Brundage

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I was a bit disappointed. I really enjoyed "The Doctor's Wife" and all the reviews I read made it seem like I wouldn't be able to put it down. But it just didn't do that to me. I pretty much had it all figured out and was hoping for a twist and there wasn't one. I also thought she was too involved with too many characters... she tells the story from no less than 8 perspectives and it was just too much.

View all my reviews >>

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Just more pics

12/10 - I have to say my least favorite feature of my face is my nose. I think it's huge and I have enormous pores. I had one of those Biore pore strips on. I felt goofy.
12/11- New haircut. I've never had my hair this short before. I actually was very unhappy when I left the salon. The guy styled it all stupid and I looked like my mom 30 years ago. This was after a bit of restyling. It actually takes a lot of work to get it to look like that. My hair is too wavy to behave that well on it's own. It will most likely never look like that again.

12/12 - goofing off with Liv & Iz.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Past my bedtime

Day 3
Day 4
Today is actually Day 5, but I'm too lazy to get the picture off of the camera tonight. It did amuse me though =)
Tomorrow I'm getting my hair chopped. I got it cut in July and the girl did a horrible job. It's just now starting to look decent again. So why cut it again if it's just starting to not look like I cut it myself blindfolded? Because I want it shorter. I'm thinking a shag. Kinda short. Something messy. I'll probably hate it. I am taking a long lunch and doing it. I have stuff to color it too. Get these gray hairs to disappear for a bit. But first... the cut. Cross your fingers that I don't look like a freak.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Year 35

Well, here I am. 34 years old. This cheesy picture is me at the birthday "party" the girls and I threw at the last moment. Olivia was upset that no one came over and brought me presents so we had to do something. That's my party hat. Very stylish, don't you think? A good beginning to my little 365 project.

I may not get on here every day to post my pictures, but I hope to get them all posted here. I doubt they'll usually be all that interesting, but I'm hoping it will be a journey of sorts for me. I'm not too keen on having my picture taken and doing it every day for a year should be interesting. My nose looks huge in this picture. LOL

Friday, December 4, 2009

Big day coming up...

My 34th birthday is on Sunday. Crazy.

And believe it or not, I get a birthday party. A real birthday party. My coworker, her girlfriend, and I all have birthdays within a week, so we're having a joint birthday party tonight. Should be interesting, as I don't even know half of the guests.

I've decided to start up my Project 365 again to document my 35th year of life. Hopefully I can keep it going all year this time =) So look for that in the next few days.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Book 32 - The Doctor's Wife by Elizabeth Brundage

The Doctor's Wife

This book is about two couples and how their lives intertwine. Simon is an artist married to Lydia. Michael is an OB/GYN and is married to Annie. Annie is having an affair with Simon. Michael moonlights at an abortion clinic. Lydia is part of a radical anti-abortion group. Needless to say, it's all messy.

I liked two things about this book in particular. First was Brundage's description of things. The way she would describe a grape would make me almost feel like it was in my mouth. The other thing was her ability to make me love and hate all 4 main characters all at once. She tells the story from each character's point of view, so you not only get the negative feelings felt towards people, but then you get their side of the story.

My next book is also by Elizabeth Brundage. It will probably take me a while to read it, I have a huge list of things I need to get done before Christmas and I don't have much time to read right now.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Coming soon to a wall near me...

We went camping last weekend, and one of my objectives was to get fall pictures of everyone. Including a family portrait. I don't use photo studios. I take all the pictures of my kids and I either tripod the family portraits or have my sister take it. So, here are the pictures that will soon be showing up on my wall.

Our family portrait! This will also be our Christmas card photo this year. Much nicer than the crazy Easter family portrait we got. LOL

Olivia - age 5. Sometimes she is so cooperative and makes such a good little model.

My girls. Olivia (5), Zoe (22 m), Isabelle (3 1/2). I can't get anything remotely formal looking of the three of them and I think that's the best thing about all the shots I get of them. They are totally "them."

Isabelle - 3 1/2 years old. This was literally the only shot she would sit still for.

Zoe - 22 months. Hers are usually pretty candid too.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I have to vent for a minute

I am so aggravated right now I can't think straight. And to be honest, I'm not sure WHY this makes me so angry. Yeah, I feel like I have the right to be angry, but I'm seething.

A while back, I asked the landlady about painting. I mentioned two of the bedrooms specifically because the paint in them is just hideous. I also mentioned the nicotine stains in the living room and that it looked bad because I've had to wash parts of the wall due to Izzy's coloring on them. I remember this because the conversation went off on a tangent at that point because I had mentioned that we stopped smoking and the landlady didn't realize I had been a smoker and then asked how we quit.

So, she said we could paint and she'd pay us back for the paint because they can deduct it from their taxes.

We painted the living room a little over a week ago.

This weekend, while we were out of town, the landlord installed new flooring in the kitchen (looks like stone - very pretty - we're waiting to hear the landlady call it a stone floor since she thinks the laminate in the rest of the house is hard wood flooring). We came back to a note from the landlady stating that she only agreed to painting the two bedrooms.


Normally I'd be like, "Oh no! Did I misunderstand? Did I not pay attention?" It happens to me. But I REMEMBER this conversation. I know I mentioned the living room and I don't recall her EVER limiting what rooms we were able to paint. I am so pissed off about this. I suppose we'll have to paint it back. What a monumental waste of my time! Like I have any free time as it is... I wasted an entire weekend painting the living room, and now will have to waste another. I wonder where I can find nicotine stain colored paint? And I'm just going to forget about painting the bedrooms. I'm sure she'll find something to flip out about there too. Plus, I'm feeling a bit bitchy and she can forget about being able to deduct anything from her taxes.

I just can't stand this woman. I've tried to overlook this feeling ever since we moved in, but I do. not. like. her. Her husband is super nice, but you can't ask him a damn thing because it's almost like she'll contradict him just to contradict him. When I asked about having a dog once, she got this really annoyed tone of voice and said "I asked you when you moved in if you had a dog and you said no." Well, we didn't, and didn't have plans to, but thought we'd ask about it before giving it any more serious thought. You would think she would be relieved that we ask about these things... I know plenty of people who don't. I'm just so angry. She makes me feel like we can't feel like this is our "home." We like the house, we like the location, but I don't know how much longer I can deal with HER.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's not working!

I used to think people who refused to take generic medications or certain brands of medications because they didn't work for them were crazy. You know, like people who wouldn't take this acid blocker because it didn't work as well as the other acid blocker. They're both acid blockers and should both work. Shut up.

Yeah, well, as usual, I was wrong. One antidepressant is not the same as another.

When my Lexapro samples started running out, I checked the pharmacy website to see how much it would cost. There is no generic for Lexapro and it was going to run me about $30 a month. My doctor mentioned switching me to Celexa, which has a generic, and I checked and it was $8. So I called and had him prescribe the Celexa instead.

Bad move.

I made the switch sometime around my normal "cranky week" of the month, so I expected to be a total grouch because I always am then. But it's been 3 weeks now and the grouch has not left. On Lexapro, I was much more level-headed. Right now I feel like Linda Blair right about the time the pea soup starts flying.

I hate this feeling. I'm tired - exhausted - all the time. I have to force myself to do ANYTHING. I'm struggling with controlling my eating again. I just want to run far, far away. I cannot concentrate on anything and forget having a conversation with me that isn't completely thrilling because I'll just shut down in the middle of it and not hear a thing you say. I feel like a crazy person. I act like a crazy person.

Exactly how I felt when I went to the doctor to begin with. The Celexa is not working for me.

I think I'll call the doctor on Monday and get switched back. If I have to pay more, I think it will be money well spent. I feel like such a pest. I go years without going to the doctor and now I feel like I'm calling them nonstop.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Conferences.... ugh.

Every year about this time, I have to go to a work-related conference. I work in the medical field, but I do office work. I'm not clinical at all. So 75% of what goes on at these conferences have nothing to do with me. And what does is super boring.

I totally forgot about it today. I got to work in my smurf blue scrubs, no make-up, hair all crazy (because there is no other look with this godawful haircut)... and said "Oh crap! I have that stupid conference." I had planned on looking like a human being and enjoy being able to fit in my brown slacks yet again, but no... baggy scrubs and psycho hair for me.

I ate my breakfast waiting on my coworker to get there. I considered taking my sandwich and apple for lunch, but they normally have grilled chicken breasts and salad for lunch, and I can work with that for lunch. So everything was set and I left for the conference.

I got there and had to explain twice that I had already eaten breakfast and therefore did not need a danish. The day started with Medicare updates, which is about as exciting as watching a slug cross the room. Luckily the monotone speaker from years before was replaced by a guy who actually had a slight sense of humor. The information was dry as a Triscuit, but he at least cracked a couple of jokes.

Then we got to the only reason I wanted to go... the motivational speaker. He was cute, he was hilarious, but I didn't feel all that motivated. But he was funny, so it's OK. I really did want some motivation though.

After that was a speaker talking about audits, which did pertain to me, but only made me realize that I REALLY need a new job. Boring, tedious, mind-numbing. Ugh. I felt like my brain was about to ooze out of my skull. My boss had driven the motivational speaker to the airport and when she got back, she asked, "Did you learn anything important from the speaker I missed?" Um, yeah. I need a new job! But no, I didn't say that. I just got a raise, I can't piss her off yet. LOL

Then it was lunch time. I was starving, because I normally eat lunch about 10:30 and it was noon. They took the covers off of the buffet servers and all I saw was this mass of cheese and grease. Seriously? Some kind of Mexican chicken enchilada casserole. Refried beans covered with like an inch of cheese. Mexican rice. Chips and cheese dip. Could they give us more cheese? Where is the boring chicken and salad I was counting on? I'm trying to lose weight here people! I don't want to eat a pound of cheese for lunch. I took little bits of stuff, but I'm sure if I could even figure out how to enter it in my food diary, it would be ridiculous. I'll just go on with the rest of my day as planned. Once upon a time I would have counted the whole day as an "off" day and eaten whatever I wanted the rest of the day, but I really intend to otherwise stay on track.

But what I don't understand is this... this is a HEALTHCARE conference. In a HOSPITAL. Catered by the HOSPITAL. And the food is completely and totally unHEALTHy. Danishes for breakfast, ooey-gooey cheese for lunch? That's just not right.

Lucky for me, I got to leave halfway through the next speaker, who was speaking about infection control. When she started, she had the coolest accent and I thought "oh, great, sure this speaker will be interesting and I have to leave." But she wasn't interesting. She read straight from her Power Point slides and, no matter how hard you try, MRSA and surgical site infections are not exciting. Disgusting, but not exciting.

Then I got stuck behind a truck painting lines on the road. AND a person driving 5-10 miles UNDER the speed limit. I got home just in time to scoop up Zoe and run to get Izzy from Mother's Day Out. And, on a tangent, I'm going to start calling it Father's Day Out. Bill is the only one getting a break from this. Actually, I need to call it Father Needs a Nap. Yeah, I think that's what I'll call it.

My brain is still not quite awake. Forgive me.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Book 31 - Bag of Bones by Stephen King

Bag of Bones

I adore Stephen King. Some people think he's creepy, and they're right, but he's also a genius.

This book is a bout a writer, Mike Noonan, whose wife dies unexpectedly. In his greif, he finds he has writer's block, and decides to go to their lake house - Sara Laughs, named after an African American singer during the turn of the century. Weird things start happening to him, like hearing screams and the bell around the stuffed moose's neck ringning. He meets a widow, Mattie Devore and her 3 year old daughter Kyra and gets involved in an ugly custody battle between Mattie and her father-in-law. The story is very complicated, but SK works his usual magic and weaves it all together at the end. It is a bit depressing... and quite a bit sexual from time to time... but I didn't find it all that creepy or scary. Actually pretty sweet and lovely at times. I would add it to my list of SK books that I would recommend to people who don't like scary stories... along with Lisey's Story and Rose Madder.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Weight Loss Update - Day 30!

I have reached my 30 day mark with Power 90, so it was time to report on my progress so far. Here is the link to my weight loss blog:

Jen on the Lose

To sum up, in case you don't care to follow the link - I've lost 11 lbs and 4.75" in the past 30 days. I have only missed working out 1 day in the past 30 days, and that was this past Friday. I did a ton of walking that day though. Just nothing consistant enough to consider really exercise. Things are going great and I'm excited!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tomorrow, tomorrow...

... my oldest baby turns 5!

I can't believe it.

I'm super excited about it though. Bill and I have decided to put her (and Isabelle) in dance class for her birthday. So yesterday I made her a tutu. It was so fun and easy to make and looks better than most tutus we've ever gotten. We'll get her a few more dance-related things for her to open at her birthday party Saturday, but she'll get the tutu tomorrow.

The only problem is when to give it to her. Bill will only see her in the morning... I'll only see her in the evening. So one of us misses out on the fun of seeing her open her gift. Maybe I'll let him give it to her since I'll be going to school to bring cupcakes. That's a tough sacrifice...

There is another kid in her class with the same birthday. The teacher sent home a calendar with all the birthdays on it, so for a few days I fretted about this. What if we both send cupcakes? Should I ask the teacher what to do? Then I decided to stop worrying about it. I did send a note to school to let the teacher know what I was planning, though.

And I got the other mom's phone number back so we could coordinate what we were doing.


So I called and we decided to split cupcake duty - she'll bring 8 boy cupcakes and I'll bring 8 girl cupcakes. We're both bringing drinks (I wasn't counting on that) and she informed me she bought Olivia a birthday present.


So off to the store we went after school.

It'll be fun. I'll get to spend a little time celebrating her birthday with her friends.

I just have to figure out what to do with the other 16 cupcakes.... hope my coworkers are hungry...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

When you're too relieved to be embarrassed

I had promised the girls yesterday a trip to the park, and instead we went shoe shopping, so today we HAD to go. Everybody was dressed, water bottle and extra Pull Up ready, camera in bag. Off we went.

Normally, we go to a small, secluded playground at a huge park. It's off of a road that hardly anyone takes and I can sit and read and can keep track of the girls without a problem. Today, when I drove up to it, it was PACKED. Ugh - my secret playground is no longer a secret! So I thought it might be better to go to one of the bigger playgrounds. I don't know why I thought that... I guess being so antisocial, it's easier for me to get lost in a big crowd than a smaller one.

Now, the other playgrounds are all down the main road in the park. The speed limit is 20mph, but you're lucky if the average joe is driving 35 mph. On one side are several big jungle gym playgrounds that are set pretty far back from the road and on the other side are a few swings and a slide here and there. We parked and went to one of the playgrounds. There was one for the 5+ kids and one for smaller kids. Before we got to the playground, I stopped the girls and had a little talk with them. "There are a lot of people here and it's just Mommy to keep up with you. You listen to me and you do as I say or we will have to go home." They nodded that they understood.

We went over to the smaller playground, and as soon as I got settled, Olivia and Isabelle headed over to the bigger one. It was no big deal, because I could see them fine where I was. Then, I noticed Izzy wandering around looking lost, so I got up to head to a bench closer to them. She saw me, and went back to playing. I had just seen Olivia when I started heading over there. I got settled with Zoe, and noticed a little cluster of acorns that I wanted to photograph. I did a scan of the playground - found Isabelle... but not Olivia. Well, she's probably in one of the tunnels on the jungle gym. I got out my camera. Did another scan to see if she had popped back out, but still no Olivia. I walked around the jungle gym and asked Izzy if she knew where Olivia was and she started looking around, too. I started looking aroud the general area - she didn't go join the birthday party going on at the picnic table, she's not on the merry-go-round, not at the little playground... crap, crap, CRAP. There is an old train down the road, so that was my first thought and as I turned around to see if I could see her little pink tank top headed that way, I caught a glimpse of something across the street.

Olivia was at the slide. Across the busy street. By herself.

I grabbed my bag, yelled at Isabelle to follow me, and took off, screaming at Olivia to stay put. She headed to the side of the road but stopped there. I got halfway between the playground and the road, and turned back to see if Isabelle and Zoe were keeping up and Izzy was. But Zoe had not moved. She was standing at the top of the hill bawling because I ran off and left her all alone.

One kid across a busy street. One kid all alone in a crowd of people.


Isn't this every mother's nightmare? To have to choose between her children? To decide who to save first, knowing it could be worse for the other? I froze for a second.

Then I saw a guy jogging toward Olivia from the birthday party and he called to me "I'll bring her to you." What choice did I have but to take his help? I told Isabelle to run and hold Zoe's hand and help her walk to me. The guy was back with Olivia and I thanked him and hugged her and told her not to ever cross the street alone ever again. I turned around to find another guy (probably from the birthday party also) bringing me Isabelle and Zoe. I thanked him and then told the girls we were going straight home.

Not one of them protested. I think they all knew throwing a fit was not a good idea right then. Olivia bawled when we got in the van, because she knew she was in huge trouble. I explained to her that she could have been very hurt crossing the street and that someone could run away with her if she was so far away from me. Tonight we're having a very focused discussion on how important it is to have an adult with you to cross the street.

I'm so grateful that there were good people to help me out. I was too relived to even really be embarrassed, because I know I had to have looked like I was a totally incompetant mother. It would have been so easy to have lost one of my children today. Olivia was totally lucky the first time she crossed the street. And I ran off and left Zoe all alone. It was just a horrible, horrible experience.

Never again will we try to do the big playgrounds unless we have other people besides me to keep an eye on them. It's too difficult to keep track of them in the midst of several other children, with all the noise going on too. We'll just stick to our little secluded, not-so-secret-anymore playground from now on.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain

The Secret Life Of CeeCee Wilkes
I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked it, don't get me wrong. I just kind of felt like the end kind of fizzled out. I guess part of the end was supposed to be a big shocker and it felt more like "yeah, who cares?" But aside from the very end, I liked it a lot.

It reminded me alot of Jodi Picoult's novels. But not in a copy-cat way. More like imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

The story is about a young girl named CeeCee Wilkes who falls in love with a guy and gets caught up in his plan to kidnap the governor's wife. The woman is pregnant and goes into labor, and ends up dying. CeeCee takes the baby and raises her as her own. It's not a mystery or anything - you know from the very beginning that she ends up confessing everything years later to save the guy from being sentenced to death for the kidnapped woman's murder.

I really liked the book - it was very captivating. Even though you pretty much know the ending from the beginning, it still keeps you interested. It was a good book, it just didn't "wow" me. I'd be willing to read more of her books though.

This was book #30. Next up is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austin and Seth Grahame-Smith. This should be very interesting.

Tony Horton is a dork!

I got my Power 90 stuff yesterday. I watched the Cardio and Abs workout and it doesn't look so difficult that it would kill me. Of course I might feel differently when I actually do it =) And I haven't seen the Sculpting workout yet. The power yoga might take me a while to do properly. I've done kickboxing, so that's no biggie. Jumping jacks... not a big fan of jumping over here. But I'll do my best. That's my promise to myself. Do the best I can do throughout the 90 days.

I do have a problem. My DVD player remote is MIA. Has been for a very long time, but I haven't really needed it. But I need it to do any workout other than Phase I-II Cardio. Like Phase I-II Sculpting that I'm supposed to do every other day... But, we need another DVD player, because we only have one and Bill likes to have it set up on the TV in the playroom. (I don't, because I'd rather not have 2 TVs, but at least it's in the playroom and not a bedroom) So I will probably buy an inexpensive DVD player today for the living room.

I'm excited. I like how Tony shows you alternative moves in case what he's doing is too advanced. I like how it's very simple - no choreography to learn - because I'm not the most coordinated soul. I have to admit that Tony is a dork. But I like dorks, so it's alright. I don't really know anyone who has done any of his workouts other than P90X and he might be more serious in that one... I don't know. But he's just goofy.

I'm going to keep up with my progress on my weight loss blog, but I will probably put up some highlights over here. Unless I just suck really bad and then I'm sure you won't hear from me about it at all. Just being honest...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Excuse me while I get on my soapbox...

This has been irking me all day, so I need to write it out.

First, a little background...

I was a straight-A student. I had higher than a 4.0 grade average. I was my class valedictorian.

I'm not saying that so you can all applaud me. Yay for Jennifer. Whatever. School was easy for me, I didn't struggle. So I'll admit that contributes greatly to my opinion.

So, on Cafemom, a friend of mine asked a question: Would you get upset if your child brought home a C? My answer is that yes, I would. Unless I knew that my child had tried, had studied, done their homework, etc., I would be upset.

I was blown away by how many other mothers were upset that some of us would be disappointed in a C. Upset as in angry. One mother said that our children would hate us and accused us of expecting our children to be perfect. As is the norm on Cafemom, it was ugly.

This bothers me. Oh, how it bothers me. I am wrong because I hold my child to higher expectations than average? I just can't fathom that someone wouldn't want their child to strive to be above average. It's not like I'm going to give them 50 lashes for a C. If Olivia gets to high school and is a social butterfly, passing notes, talking on the phone non-stop, and I never see her crack a book at home, yes, I absolutely will NOT be content with a C. If I see her do homework every night, if she asks for help on assignments and she still brings in a C, no I would not be upset. Disappointed, yes. I can't help that. I never, ever made a C. But if C is the best she can do, I will accept it without making her feel bad about it. There is a difference between being disappointed in a grade and being disappointed in my child.

Why is it wrong of me to feel this way? Why is is wrong of me to hold my children to a higher standard than average? Yes, I realize not every student can be a straight A student. But why would you not even try? Why would you not encourage your child in that direction?

I think it's a huge problem with kids today... we don't hold them to higher standards so they don't try. And then we try to level the playing field so they don't feel bad. Oh, we have to give all the Little League kids trophies so that they don't feel like failures. No, you teach them that they will lose sometimes and that it's OK if they tried. Not that you get a trophy no matter what.

I've heard people say they want to do away with Fs in school because it damages kids' self esteem. Are you serious? It should damage your self esteem to fail a class. Because, and this is just my opinion, there are very few times (there are exceptions, I'm sure) that you fail a class that it couldn't have been avoided by either doing the work involved or getting help with something you had difficulty with. In life, if you don't work for something or get help when you need it - YOU FAIL. Sheltering your children from failure is NOT the answer.

What happens years from now to all the kids who have been sheltered from failure? They either get a terrible wake up call in the real world when they fall flat on their faces or we level the playing field and just have a world of mediocre, average joes. No one striving for greatness. No one pushing themselves to the limit.

I know that not everyone's talents lay in academics. Maybe Olivia will be the lead in all the school plays. Maybe Isabelle will win ribbons in art competitions. I will be proud of all their accomplishments. But I will never let them flake out on academics. If they are average students, fine - as long as they have tried. If you don't shoot for the moon, you'll never land in the stars. Or however the saying goes.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

I just finished this book and I have to say it was the first book in a little while that I felt the need to just sit down and devour regardless of what else I could be doing.

I mentioned before that I was having trouble getting into the book, and I definitely did. It's a library book, due back tomorrow, and I had told myself if I didn't finish it by then I would take it back regardless. I can only think of 2 books ever that I never finished, so that says alot. Of course, by yesterday, I was so into it that I was going to renew it if I needed to. I don't need to. =)

The book is about a lady, Roseanne McNulty, who is 100 years old, living in a mental instituion in Ireland that is scheduled to be closed. Dr. Grene must evaluate her to decide if she was committed because she was truly insane or if she could be released. (Like a 100 year old woman without any family could survive outside of some institution, but that's not the point) The story alternates between her written account of her life and Dr. Grene's written account of his evaluation.

I guess what finally hooked me was that he doesn't just lay out the reason she was committed and I just had to know. The book got progressively easier to read for me as it went on. I will say I was honestly shocked at the end. Like my jaw literally dropped open shocked.

I'm glad I stuck with the book and it was worth the struggle in the beginning. It would be an awesome audio book, I bet... I love a good Irish accent. =) I believe this was #27 on my 101 books. Next is The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

List Update

I'm making some changes to my 101 List. The idea of setting a frequency on some things was not good for me. There are quite a few holes now that I need to fill. I added a few things and will need to add more. It was good to go over it. Next time I'm bored I need to look at it to find something to do because there are plenty of projects that I can work on little by little. Of course, being bored is a rarity... =)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Silly me...

Sarah reminded me that I never gave any updates on quitting smoking.

Well... I'd have to go back to see when my actual quit date was supposed to be. And I'm too lazy for that tonight. But I didn't do it then. I tried. I cut back. Eventually I was down to 2 or 3 a day and still couldn't bear to just stop. I was hiding it from my husband - who had quit with me. My justificaiton was that if I was hiding it, I was less likely to smoke more than the couple I was smoking. He knew, of course. But I needed to think he didn't.

We went on vacation in mid-June. My last cigarette was a few days before we left. Driving for 3 days didn't really leave me any opportunity to smoke and then staying with relatives... it just always feels rude to me to excuse myself to smoke. By the time we got home I honestly had forgotten all about smoking. Maybe it helped to have cut down so much beforehand, so I didn't have the physical withdrawal as badly as I could have and then being so busy overshadowed any psychological withdrawal.

On occassion I'll miss going outside and taking a break from life, because that's what smoking was for me - a break. I didn't smoke in the house, so in order to smoke, I was away from my kids, the noise, often my husband. At work, I would have to leave the hospital campus, so I had to drive around the neighborhood. I do miss that. Not the cigarettes or nicotine, just the getting away from it all. But when I do think about it, it's a fleeting thought, not a huge craving that I struggle with. I'm very happy and proud of it. =)

Just some thoughts

So, I'm thinking when I finish reading a book that I'm going to write a little book report on my blog. I have a HORRIBLE habit of forgetting books and maybe this will help me remember them a little bit. Right now I'm struggling through The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry. I'm having a hard time with it so far. It's very dark, set in Ireland so there is a culture barrier for me to overcome, and there just hasn't been much dialogue so far. I'm hoping it will pick up and soon. It's due back at the library on Tuesday, and to be honest, I may not renew it if I don't finish it. I hardly ever put a book down without the intention of finishing it.

I'm also considering ordering some new workout DVDs. I had Yoga Booty Ballet and I loved them. I really looked forward to doing them. But my children have a bad habit of destroying DVDs and my husband has a bad habit of not controlling the children.. so I think I might have one left and it was a little too advanced last time I tried it. Plus, I'm trying to get him involved in my quest for a healthier life and he is not going to do Yoga Booty Ballet. I've been looking at Turbo Jam and Power 90. Power 90 may be a bit much for me. I think it's a baby P90X and while I would love to be able to move my body like that - I'd either drop dead or seriously injure myself. I'm nowhere near ready for anything like it. I think my husband would be more likely to do Power 90... but since he's still acting like I'm calling him a fat ass for suggesting it, I might go with Turbo Jam.

Since starting my meds, I'm definitely able to focus more on accomplishing things. A month ago there would be no way I could commit to any kind of workout program like that, but I think I'm ready. I wish Bill would do it with me, give me a partner - but maybe I'll figure something else out.

I have a lot of other ideas floating around, taking shape. I'm pretty excited. I don't want to give a final verdict on the Lexapro until I've been on it a month. I know when I gave in and went to the doctor, it was during my week of PMS where I'm at my worst anyway. I used to think people blaming stuff on PMS was a bunch of hooey, but since having Zoe I can't deny that I have pretty bad moodiness and it's gotten worse month by month. So I am anxious to see if this month is a little better. But today is 2 weeks on them and I think it's going pretty well.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mission Accomplished

I went to the doctor, explained myself and got some Lexapro. I start out with half a pill and work up to a whole pill and then let him know in a few weeks how I'm feeling. Hopefully the Linda Blair head-spinning will be gone soon.

I did learn something, though. My being so psychotic the last time I was on antidepressants may not have been entirely me being psychotic. He was explaining to me that since I am young (especially compared to his usual elderly patients...) that I need to tell him if I ever start feeling suicidal to let him know. It's more common for antidepressants to cause that reaction the younger you are.

When I was put on Zoloft in my early 20s, I started out on a fairly low dose. After I had been on Zoloft a few months, I was actually doing worse and was having panic attacks. So they upped my dosage. I started cutting myself - upped my dosage. Became suicidal. Then a friend of mine convinced me to stop taking Zoloft and I actually got better. 10 years ago, I don't think much of a connection had been made. Antidepressants were supposed to STOP suicidal thoughts, not cause them.

But I felt very encouraged that he seemed to agree with me that this should help me. He's not the type of doctor to just whip out a prescription pad whenever you tell him you want something.

I also got the results of the rest of the lab work I had done a few months ago. The nurse had called to tell me about the Hep C being negative, but she never said anything about the other routine lab he did and I wasn't really in a place to discuss it when she called. My blood sugar was good and my cholesterol was good - which is AMAZING! Heart disease is very strong on my dad's side of the family and I expected my cholesterol to be ugly since I haven't been the healthiest eater.

He said I should see a difference in a few days to a few weeks. I hope it's soon or my family is going to be duct taped to the wall if this evening is any indication.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Crying Uncle or something like that

It's something that has been on my mind for a while now and I've been trying to resist. I've been trying to avoid this for 10 years. But last night, after literally standing in the hallway and screaming, scaring the hell out of my child, for nothing that even remotely called for a reaction of such magnitude, I decided it's time to give in. I have to go upstairs today to take a check to my doctor for the copay they forgot to collect last time I was there, and while I'm there I'm making an appointment. He's going to put me on antidepressants or I'll find someone else who will.

I used to take Zoloft, once upon a time. Then I decided not to, that I could and would handle it on my own. And I still believe it's possible for me to do so, just not right now. Not with everything on my plate. I can't get a grip on everything. It's just not working.

I'm not suicidal nor do I want to hurt myself... nothing that dramatic. But I could totally see myself walking away from everything. And that's just not right. I have the attitude of "I don't care" about everything. I can't get motivated to do anything. I try. But when it comes down to it, I'd rather find some way to escape. So I read. I spend way too much time on the computer. I'd love to just go hide under the covers, but there are 3 little people who kind of depend on me to keep them from climbing the curtains and hurting themselves. The sad thing is, I can't really deal with them. My fuse is so short it's nonexistant. My kids will end up traumatized because Mommy just blows up over stupid stuff. I try. God knows I start every day with the intention of being a good mom and having a good day with them but I feel like I get to the point where I have to either shut down and let them run crazy or I'm going to be stomping around spitting fire and screaming.

I just want my husband to leave me alone. Don't talk to me, don't touch me.

I don't want to look at the bank account, even though it's not in bad shape and I need to start working on budgetting so that we can save up for a down payment for a house.

I don't want to clean. I'm even to the point that I don't even care if the house is a disaster when the landlord comes over.

I don't really care about work. Hell, I'm typing this at work. I'd stare at the wall if I had to to try to escape for a few minutes.

I'm in a horrible cycle right now with trying to lose weight. I'm an emotional eater. I tell myself I need to start eating better, I don't see results I get frustrated, I eat, I get pissed off at myself, I eat, I really get frustrated... I used to be able to pump myself while I worked out and now I'm just barely making it through.

Honestly, I don't expect to take something and be running-through-a-meadow-of-wildflowers happy. I just need to care. I just need a little boost so I can pull myself the rest of the way up. My friend once told me that antidepressants are a crutch. Well, I need a crutch. I need something.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Why is it?

Why is it that sending my kid to school for the first time feels like I'm taking a huge test on how good of a parent I am? I never felt like this with daycare. Now I'm worried if I sent the right things for lunch or if she's going to behave or make friends or if we take too long in the pick up lane.

Why is it that all of a sudden all of these people I never talked to in high school are requesting me as a friend on Facebook? Why am I so interesting now? Because I'm still not that interested in them... (yet too nice to deny the request) And why do they talk to me like we were friends to begin with? And why can't I remember half of them.

How is it possible that the geek who lived next door to me in high school that everyone thought I was dating (I was mortified!) can be an even bigger geek now? Like way over the top bizarro.

Why is it that I care what certain people I used to go to school with think about what I do for a living? Well, I know the answer to this - because I really know I could do much better. But it still shouldn't matter what they think.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Now THAT'S a compliment...

Today, after picking Olivia up from school (which was a million times better than the dropping-off part this morning), I needed to go to Walmart to restock on juice boxes and stuff. All went as well as it ever does until we hit the checkout lane. They wanted candy, which I said they could have IF they behaved while we were in line.

They did not.

So no candy.

So commence the wailing.

There was a nice-looking lady ahead of me in line. She turned around and asked me how old the girls where. I answered "almost 5, 3, and 19 months." Normally, the reaction I get with that answer is the person's jaw dropping to the floor and usually the phrase, "you have your hands full!" Not this time. I got a knowing nod. Like she understood somehow. I almost never find someone who understands. Even my own mother thinks I lost my marbles.

She smiled at me and said, "I had 7 kids in 10 years." Wow. First of all, I have to give her kudos for the 7 kids. I stopped at 3 because I didn't think I could handle more. She had 7... seven... 4 more than I have. Secondly, she had a baby on average every 17 months. I don't know the exact spacing of her kids. All I know is that she has 3 sons that are 20, 19, and 18. There could be twins, I don't know. It doesn't matter. 7 kids in 10 years. If the 20 year old is the oldest, the youngest would be 10. She's survived at least 10 years of 7 closely-spaced children.

She had a full head of hair.

She wasn't wearing a straight jacket.

She obviously was not in jail so she must not have killed any of them.

She is my hero.

When she got done paying, before she turned around, she looked at me... me, who was trying to not join in screaming with my kids... and said, "Keep up the good work!"

I'm sure almost everyone else in hearing distance probably thought she was being sarcastic... my kids were literally screaming and being a major nuisance. But she wasn't. I'm sure of it. I was very proud of myself then. If she, someone who was in my shoes times 2 and then add one more, if she says I'm doing a good job, then everyone else who thought I needed to get my screaming demons out of the store needs to bite my big toe. They don't know crap about having 3 kids under the age of 5.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Things I'm learning as Olivia starts school...

She hasn't even started school officially and I'm learning so much.

First of all, let me explain something. Olivia is going to a private school. I can admit to being a bit of an education snob, and since we were used to spending the money on daycare, we could afford it. It's no more expensive (right now... it gets more expensive as you go...). We're hoping to move to a better school district before we're paying tuition on 3 kids.

Now, her school is little. 400 kids from 4K through 12th. I learned during orientation a few weeks ago that the problem with a small school is that it isn't easy to get lost in the crowd. Especially when you have 3 kids acting like they've just finished a Cafe Mocha or something. I'm sure the principal will have her eye on us.

Today was Open House. We got to go drop off the multitude of school supplies and meet the teacher. Let me go off on a tangent for a second about the school supplies. Olivia goes to a private school. I pay tuition for her to go to school. I understand buying the normal supplies like pencils and crayons. But paper towels? Copy paper? They can't afford that off of what we're paying? Hell, tack an extra $5 to the tuition and go buy the stuff in bulk at Sam's for Pete's sake.


So, in addition to meeting the teacher, I got to see a few of the other parents.

I am totally not private school material. Granted, Open House was a drop-in event over a few hours, so I missed more than half of the other parents. But the ones I saw were way out of my league. The moms who stay home and still have the money to shop for boutique clothing for their darling princess. I'm not saying that is bad. I'm saying I can't relate. I work. If I didn't work, we couldn't afford to send Olivia to private school. Hell, we couldn't afford rent. That's the life we've chosen. That's the life they've chosen. We might get along famously and become best friends... but I doubt it.

It is jealousy? Partly. But not entirely. Even if our household income suddenly expanded, I don't think I could ever really relate to the women I saw today. I am not into fashion or hair. I own like 3 or 4 pairs of shoes. I don't accessorize. The only manicure I've ever gotten was for my wedding. It would be really difficult for me to find something in common without digging down deep into their personality and I'm just not that outgoing.

I was a little sad when I looked at all the sign up sheets for Room Mothers and party volunteers. My job is pretty flexible and I could help out for some things, but it's hard to committ to it right this second. And there were 7-10 names on each list before I got there. There are only 14 kids in the class. There was definite jealousy going on inside me there. It's like I want to be involved but my antisocial side makes it a little difficult, especially when it's evident that I'm not needed.

And lastly, I wondered if I'm the only one who hasn't taught their kid how to get in and out of the vehicle by themself. Olivia can unbuckle herself. That's it. She isn't strong enough to operate the van door. She can't buckle herself and doesn't want to. When I pick her up and drop her off, I have to get out and let her out or let her in and buckle her up. A couple other parents were like, "so I don't even have to get out when I drop them off, right?" I guess they're going to have to just hate being behind me in the drop off lane for a while.

I feel like I'm going to be That Mom.

Friday, August 14, 2009

As if I didn't feel bad enough...

Olivia is a tough cookie. She obviously has my level of pain tolerance - very high. She told me Wednesday night that her "butt" hurt. Her butt involves anything covered by her underwear... By the end of the night I was positive that she had a UTI.

BUT, like a dummy, when she woke up Thursday and told me that she didn't hurt anymore, I believed her. Didn't take her to the doctor.

Thursday evening, at almost 5pm, Isabelle and I left to go have some one-on-one time. We were barely 2 miles down the road when Bill called to tell me that I needed to get some cranberry juice for Olivia. OK... Then he informed me that she was crying in the bathroom and there was blood in her urine.

Luckily we were close to a stoplight so I could bang my head on the steering wheel without wrecking us.

So I told him to find the phone book and call the after-hours clinic at Children's Hospital. If she's bleeding I don't want to wait until the next day. She needed to go ASAP.

I'm very proud of Bill. He took care of it like a champ. He better watch out or he might find himself a new job as the family appointment maker.

We made it to the appointment, checked in and sat down to wait. The lady at the desk called me for something and Olivia tugged on my arm. "Mommy, my pants are wet." I was confused... maybe she sat in some water somewhere? No. She had an accident and peed on herself.

I know I had that deer-in-the-headlights look. I know I did. My brain raced trying to find a solution to this. She's been potty trained for almost 2 years, I don't carry around a change of clothes for her anymore. I thought there might be a Pull Up in the van, but I was pretty sure no clothes. Plus, we were next to be called back (they had this neat-o screen that showed who was up next) so I knew we didn't have time to trek out to the van to search.

Sure enough, they were out in a heartbeat to call us back. Olivia was just embarrassed as can be. So I told the nurse what happened. She said that they had some Pull Ups and she might be able to get a pair of pants from the hospital. She gave me a urine sample cup and said that when we were finished to go to room C4 (I swear that's what she said) and she'd have a Pull Up waiting for us.

Now, Olivia just peed on herself. There was no more urine to get a sample. We tried. Didn't happen. It just made her mad to have to pull up her wet clothes when we were done.

I found room C4. The light was off, no chart on the door, no Pull Up inside. I had that "this is going to be a LONG night" feeling and turned on the light and kept a watch for someone to come through.

Which took forever.

Another nurse finally came by. I told her I was pretty sure we were in the wrong room, my child is not happy marinating in her own urine, not to mention that it's almost her bedtime and she's getting bossy and cranky. She was an angel in scrubs. She couldn't find the Pull Ups, but found a huge diaper (Olivia did not care) and got some little kid sized scrub pants for Olivia and led us to B4, where the doctor was waiting on us (and a Pull Up). How often does that happen?

We talked about what was going on, and why there was no urine sample. The doctor left and came back with 3 cups of apple juice, a drinking cup, and a straw. She said "drink until it starts coming out." Yes ma'am. Olivia downed 2 cups in record time and announced she had to go potty. We took our cup and the "hat" (try explaining to a 4 year old that she's going to pee in a hat) and ran to the bathroom. She went (yay!), not much, but I know that they don't need a whole lot. Then it was like slow motion... she wipes... she throws the paper IN THE HAT. I'm diving across the room trying to stop her... NOOOOOOOOO! We managed to still have a little left, but you know I was ready to just beat my head on the bathroom floor by then.

The doc came back, announced that "whatever could be wrong with her urine is wrong with her urine." Blood, protein, all that jazz. She probably has had this for a while and never said a word. I should be used to this... her ear infections as a baby were always horrible by the time she ever let on that she was hurting. But it makes you feel like a horrible mother all the same.

We got our prescription and I left with my poor baby in her big ass diaper and scrub pants. =(

She fell asleep on the way home. Woke up screaming about 10pm. Yes, screaming. We almost went to the ER. I had her in the van, but the Tylenol finally kicked in and she fell back to sleep. I did manage to get the first dose of antibiotics in her. But it was awful. I think I'm pretty tough when it comes to dealing with my kids... I don't fall to peices when they scrape their knees, I can ignore them when they're having a fit, I can handle them crying, no problem... but to see her in real pain, knowing how tough she is... it still makes me want to cry now, after the fact.

I know she'll be back to her normal self today though. I, on the other hand, am exhausted, was late for work, and need some time to recover.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A history of how Jennifer journals

I went digging for a missing photo album today. Still haven't found it, but I got into my old footlocker while searching and discovered Memory Central. Journals dating back to junior high school. Various memorabilia and worthless pack rat type stuff from things I did in high school. I flipped through a journal I had to keep while I was attending Arkansas Governor's School during the summer of 1993 and WOW. I don't remember half of what I wrote about. I barely remembered who I was talking about most of the time. And it was an assignment, so my teacher was reading all this mess. I'm embarrassed now, 16 (holy crap, 16!) years later.

When I was in junior high, we had a gifted and talented program (TAG) and the teacher was awesome. Ms. J is hands down the best teacher I ever had. She required that we keep a journal and we had to turn it in every week or something like that. She'd read it, make comments, give it back. I had never kept a journal or diary before, but I loved it. I have one small and two huge notebooks worth of journals from TAG. I've looked at them in the past few years, and it's embarrassing too. I suppose most adults are pretty embarrassed by their adolescence if they're totally honest about it.

After that, I kept journals off and on for years. When I was about 22 or so, I discovered online journalling. I feel really, really old saying that this was before anyone ever called them blogs. I actually learned a little html making my journal online. I still have access to all of it, but decided a long time ago that all of it is best buried in the deepest corners of the www. Not a pretty time in my life. I did have my first negative journal experience then though. A friend of mine found my journal online, I don't know how, and she read it. She was not really happy about some things I said about her. I was used to paper journals I could hide away and be completely honest in. Being online is a bit different. I've learned to never say something you don't want someone to see. Of course, now it's easier for me to make stuff private online... but I'm still really careful.

I've kept a blog on myspace. I journalled on cafemom a lot. I don't write paper journals anymore because it's easier for me to keep my husband from snooping online. Not that I'm keeping stuff from him, but you know...

I'm usually a lot happier when I can empty my head out. I don't do it much lately and I'm very, well, not happy. I never get on myspace anymore. I feel that I have to be extra careful on cafemom because there are some hateful, ugly women out there and I'm not into all that drama. So I think I'll use this space more. And maybe I'll be more likely to work on my 101 list too. I guess this is the next phase in my journalling life - a real blog.

And in 10 years, I'll look back at this and be embarrassed all over again. =)

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Discipline. I'm not talking about my children... but they could use a little more than is dished out around here. Trust me. I'm talking about myself. It's something I've been thinking about alot lately. There isn't just ONE area I need to be more disciplined at - it's everything.

On Saturday mornings, my sister and I go walking or bike riding and it's one of my rare opportunities to have a real conversation. We were talking about our individual journies to lose weight. She's been far more successful than I have - she's lost about 30 lbs and looks great. I was talking about how I'm still getting over all the excuses. And I know that's what they are. There hasn't been one that I haven't come up with a solution to at some point or another. I haven't been able to make that true commitment to it just yet. I know in order to do it, I have to be hardcore obsessed with it and I am having trouble not seeing that as a bad thing. But even my doctor told me that if I have to be obsessed about it, then get obsessed with it.

Anyway, she mentioned a book she has been thinking about buying called Die Fat or Get Tough by Steve Siebold. I've been looking at it today and I might have to get it. There is NO sugar-coating to this book. He gives you 100 differences in the way fat people think versus fit people. And he's brutal. He doesn't let you fall back on any of the old excuses. He's a bit of an ass on his website, and he pisses me off a little bit just because he only had to lose 40 lbs and he's all smug like he lost 150 lbs. But then again, he lost 40 lbs and I can't really lay claim to anything close. I've read some reviews where people think he's just a bully and giving out common sense in a hateful way, but most reviews were kind of along my line of thinking - sometimes you need your backside kicked and there's really no nice way to kick someone's ass.

I know the book is about weight loss, but he is a motivational speaker focusing on business and that's where the principles come from. Being tough. No excuses kind of thinking. The principles could probably be applied across the board relating to most of my life right now. Because I have a ton of excuses. I can't do this because of my kids. I can't do that because I work. I put things off until I get other things done, and then find an excuse to keep me from doing that. I have all these plans and I'm sitting here waiting for them to happen. I need to start DOING. I need to stop wasting my time.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The results are in...

They have been in, actually. I just was on vacation and never thought to update. Bad me.

On Monday, the 15th, the nurse called and let me know that I DO NOT have Hepatitis C.

Happy me. I still am blacklisted from donating blood ever again, but whatever.

She didn't say anything about any of the other tests he ran, like my glucose and cholesterol. So I'm running on the assumption that they were either fine or not bad enough to warrant anything other than diet and exercise at the moment. The doctor knows I'm trying to lose weight and is letting that be my treatment for my slightly high blood pressure (which could have been a small case of White Coat Syndrome if I'm to be honest).

So I have now had my physical for 2009 and can cross that off my list, whatever number it was. I actually am thinking of redoing a few things on my list. My list, my rules, right? I can make a few changes if I want.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

#86 - Reconnect with Trina

Hot on the heals of almost completing the "Reconnect with Sam" item, I have had the other "reconnection" item dropped into my happy little lap. Here's the story...

In high school, my best friend girl-wise was Amanda. She still is. Our little friendship always seemed to be a part of a threesome (not THAT kind of threesome) with a few different friends filling the role of the Third Musketeer. One of our absolute favorite friends was Trina. Trina was awesome... funny, smart, had cool kinky curly hair (my hair is super straight - I love curly hair), and we all got along great. She lived out in BFE and you had to drive down this long, long, windy road that cut through a bunch of fields. Ultra creepy in the dark.

I guess I kind of lost touch with her after I graduated. She was a year behind me and when she graduated, she went off to college in Utah.

With all these social networking sites, I have found all sorts of people I went to school with. Even people I don't remember who remember me. But I could never find Trina. I tried emailing her brother, even. She had just fallen off the face of the earth. Amanda looked, too. Nothing. No Trina.

This morning I logged onto facebook and saw Amanda's status: "Fer! I found Trina!" Yes, people really do call me Fer.

After making me wait all day long, she finally sent me a message with a link to Trina's blog. I got her email off of it and sent her an email. She probably will think it's spam. LOL

I am so excited.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Old journal post - 12/20/05

I probably should edit out parts of this, but I won't. I'll just say that I was pregnant and I was extremely bitchy. If my mother in law ever reads this, I'm sorry for being so ugly.

Dog Crap

Ok, here's my advice for the day... if the first thing you deal with in the morning is dog crap, just go back to bed. The rest of the day will be dog crap.

I used to like dogs. My family started becoming a family of dog lovers. The kind who enjoyed taking the puppy everywhere. I'm still waiting for the cutsy outfits, but they've refrained so far. However, being around 3-5 dogs at a time wore me down and I wasn't so fond of dogs. Then we moved here to live with the world's stupidest dog ever. I can't stand him. He stinks, he's annoying, he gets on my nerves and in my way. I no longer ever want a dog. Especially after this morning.

I guess someone forgot that dogs have to be let outside every so often. Preferrably at least once close to bedtime. I got up and as I got closer to the bathroom, I kept thinking... it sure does smell down here. And not the usual waste treatment facility smell we get oh so often living down river from it. Once I was in the bathroom I recognized the smell. Dog crap. I just wanted to go back to bed. Nothing smells like dog crap but dog crap. It wasn't visable so I knew where it must be and I just didn't want to have to deal with it. But I had to. I pulled back the shower curtain and there it was. In order for me to shower and get ready for work, I would have to clean up dog crap. And I did. Gagging and holding my nose the whole time. Pregnant women and dog crap... not a good mix. Bill tried to tell me it was probably the cat because if the cellar door is closed and he can't get to his box, he'll use the bathtub. I've owned a cat. There is a fairly large difference between cat crap and large dog crap. This was dog crap.

Despite my gut instinct that today was going to suck, I went to work. And it did suck. I had a migraine, I had to deal with the stupid New York doctor's office, we did secret santa (I hate secret santa) and I went home early. I slept for 2 hours and had suffocation dreams. I dont' know why I have suffocation dreams, but from time to time I do. Maybe I have sleep apnea... I don't know.

Anyway, when I got home I noticed that my mother-in-law had wrapped presents. And put them under the tree. OK. Before the tree was ever put up, we had pretty much agreed on two things... 1... the ornaments should be hung high, out of Olivia's reach... 2... the presents don't come out until Christmas morning. Well as soon as the decorated the tree I knew it was only a matter of time. She had the whole tree decorated and she was not going to leave the bottom bare and Olivia just would have to learn to leave it alone. I think it's mean to tempt a child and then yell at them. I think it's unfair and I really hope Olivia breaks every freaking ornament and decoration that my mother-in-law has insisted on leaving within her reach. Luckily, Olivia does not yet understand presents and really hasn't paid any attention to them. Yet.

I just don't understand why she INSISTS on making the house non-babyproof. Every effort I make to keep Olivia out of trouble is wiped out. I buy cabinet locks. She won't lock them. I tie up the entertainment center doors. She cuts the ties. I meantion tying up another cabinet... one she NEVER uses... she said "I would really like to be able to get into things around here." Well, I would like my child to not poison herself with cleaning chemicals or cut herself on the glass she's bound to break out of the cabinet.

It's time for more Tylenol.

Old journal post - 12/30/05

I just want to preface this by saying I edited some things out of this post. I knew that I was a complete heifer when I was pregnant with Isabelle, but that's an understatement. I was a hateful bitch, and on the off chance that someone I've insulted reads this, I've edited out the unnecessary bitchiness. I'm sure it's more entertaining with it in there, but sometimes we have to sacrifice entertainment for the sake of someone else's feelings.


This weekend, we are going to New York (state, not city) to Bill's Grandma's house. She is having a Christmas dinner on Sunday. I'm not really excited about this, but it's one of those things you have to do. The good thing is that we are staying in a hotel this time. This is excellent. We only had two other options... his sister or his grandmother.

At his sister's house, we would have ended up babysitting my neices. When we discussed the trip last weekend, she offered her apartment and her children so she could go stay with her boyfriend. No thank you.

Let me tell you about the one and only time we stayed at his grandmother's house... We slept in her room because all the other rooms were full and she insisted on sleeping on the couch. As I crawled into bed, I noticed on my side of the room was a fire place and a pretty marble box inside the fireplace. It struck me as slightly strange looking, but I was tired and just went to bed. The next day, Bill's sister asked where we slept, and I told her. She laughed and said "how did you like sleeping next to my grandfather?" Huh? Well, aparently that pretty marble box was a pretty marble COFFIN containing his ashes and she keeps him IN THE FIREPLACE so her ashes can be added to the COFFIN when she dies. Yeah, I was creeped out and I won't sleep there again.

By the way, when we go visit NY in a week an a half, we are staying at his grandmother's house. Hopefully in a spare bedroom or something. LOL

Old journal post - 1/10/06

Phone calls at 7am

One of my "things" is that I don't like people to call me really early or really late. Not that I don't want to talk to you, it's my reserved "emergency call" time. No one calls with good news at 7 am. Today was no exception.
I heard the phone ring, and had no doubt who it was or what it was about. I was more upset that I had left my phone downstairs because the last thing I wanted to do was put my mother through more than she had to go through. I knew when the time came, she would want to just make the calls and be done. Normally I would be a little upset to get bad news via voice mail, but I can't really blame her. My grandmother passed away at 1:30 this morning.

It's so hard to describe how I feel. When my other grandmother died it was such a shock to me and I cried so hard that I inhaled my own hair and choked. The only time I've cried today is after finding out I had Olivia's appointment wrong and while reading my sister's blog. I really had let go of my grandmother years ago. We weren't allowed to see her for years. And this past spring when I finally did see her, I think that was when she was finally gone to me. She didn't look like my grandma, she didn't act like my grandma. She was just a very old, frail, confused lady. My grandma was always young for her age, strong, and sharp as a tack. I cried very hard after seeing her, and I think that is why I am not crying now. The little bit I have cried has been for my mother and grandfather.

When I called my mother back, I expected her to sound more upset. But she mentioned that with her being on Prozac, she's unable to break down. She wants to, she starts to, it never comes. She said it's OK though because she wanted to be strong for my grandpa.

I feel the worst for him. They were married over 50 years, almost 60 I believe. He had never lived alone before putting my grandma in a nursing home. He put up with all the difficult years, and probably would have kept her at home until the end if my mom hadn't convinced him to put her in a nursing home. I just can't imagine someone being with you almost every day of your life and then they're gone.

There isn't going to be a funeral. I know that's hard for a lot of people to understand. I didn't talk to my mom, again she got my voice mail, but I think I know why. For one, my grandparents were nto religious people. A religious ceremony would be the last thing she wanted. Plus, there would be 7 people. Anyone else would just be there for one of us, they wouldn't know her. Bill has never met her. I don't think Crystal's boyfriend ever met her. I doubt Trey would be taken out of school for it. Just my parents, my grandpa, my sisters and I, and my great aunt. She has no other family, she shunned any friends long ago when the Altzheimers began... that's all there is. It does feel strange that there won't be one. It's a final closure that won't be there. But most of us let go a while ago, and the two who were the closest to her decided a funeral wasn't necessary.

My grandmother, Mary Louise Landrum Follette, was around 85 years old. She was a nurse. She was 28 when she married my grandpa. She had one child, my mother. She was either 1/4 or 1/8 Cherokee and loved Native American jewelry. She was strict on us, almost a little scary to us, but we never doubted that she loved us. There are some strange parallels in my life and hers, and I think she noticed it and was proud of it. We were about the same age when we got married, about the same age when we had a baby. She was a strong, independent woman. I was told that the year I was born she was raped and had a nervous breakdown and that I never really knew my grandmother the way my mother did. Maybe someday I can see her again, young and happy, and get to know who she really was.

#45 & #46 - Order Isabelle's and Zoe's birth certificates

I know, I know, Izzy just turned 3. I should have had her birth certificate a LONG time ago. But I forgot. Then Zoe came along and I didn't see any huge need in it because I still didn't have Izzy's and had never needed it.

Well, sometimes making the intention to accomplish something is enough to set the wheels in motion for you to HAVE to do it. Kinda like when I said I wanted to have a physical this year and now I HAVE to go to the doctor for other reasons...

Bill got a packet in the mail. We were picked for an insurance audit. We have to provide documentation that we're married and our kids are our kids or they will drop us off of his insurance. And guess what I don't have? Birth certificates for not just one, but two of my kids. Luckily we have until the middle of July to provide the information. I got online Friday evening and ordered their birth certificates. I also made sure I could locate Olivia's and our marriage certificate.

So... check and check - two more items bite the dust!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Old journal posts

Once upon a time I kept a blog on Yahoo 360. They're shutting it down and advised members to move their stuff (pack yo' shit and go!) before it's gone for good. So I'm moving the ones worth saving here for your entertainment.

Sunday July 16, 2006 - 09:55pm

PooPoo Head

Here's a story about why I will never put Olivia to bed in anything less than a onesie until she is fully potty trained...

We put her to bed about 8pm and shortly afterwards, she started getting upset. Normally we don't have a problem with her fussing a lot... she just goes to sleep. I had the baby, so Bill had to go see what was wrong. We have a convertible crib that has been converted to a toddler bed, but she won't stay put and we haven't stressed the issue yet, so the open side is turned against the wall so she can't get out. On occassion, she gets wedged between the wall and the bed so we figured that was her problem. (I know it's not the safest sounding situation, but she really is fine) I heard Bill say "that's just disgusting," and put Isabelle down to see what was going on. I walked in to find Olivia standing up in bed with Bill holding something to her head. He said "it's poop." Poop? In her hair? He had a huge peice of crap in a wad of toilet paper that was still matted to her hair.

I looked at her and she was still fully dressed for bed. How did she get poop in her hair? Well, both times she was put down for a nap today, she decided it was not a good time to wear a diaper. The first time, she had peed and Bill stripped the bed down to the waterproof pad and her pillow, cleaned her up and put her back to bed. The second time I looked at her pull-up and it was clean and dry so I put it back on her and put her back to bed. Apparently one of these times, she pooped without us noticing it and it was underneath the pillow or something. I don't know. I guess I should have done a more thorough investigation when I discovered her naked butt. I mean, she normally doesn't take her diaper/pull-up off for no reason.

At first I wondered why the hell he didn't just pull the poop out and I'd go wash her hair. Well, let me inform those of you who might not know, but poop does not slide easily out of your hair. It has a tendency to cling similar to bubble gum. I mean, at one point Bill suggested cutting it out of her hair, but that would have put a HUGE bald spot on her head not to mention she just has gorgeous hair and cutting it would be criminal.

So, using toilet paper, I pulled out what I could pull out. Gagging all the way. It was the strangest combination of being pissed off, disgusted, and wanting to laugh my ass off all at once. Then I put her in the tub, fully clothed, and washed her hair three times. She hates getting her hair washed and she cried and cried, but not once did she fight me. She knew what happened was not cool. She didn't want poop in her hair any more than I wanted to clean it.

Afterwards, I had Bill find a fine toothed comb for me because I was NOT using my hairbrush in her hair even if I had washed her hair a dozen times. I did this because her hair felt gritty. Last night we went to Tonya's house and Adam had given her a peanut butter sandwich. Chunky peanut butter. I combed tiny little peanut chunks out of her hair. THAT is disturbing my friend...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A frightening followup to #81 - Donate blood

I'm mostly writing this because I need to just get it out of my head.

On Sunday, Bill walked in the house with Saturday's mail and handed me a letter from the American Red Cross. I thought that maybe since I didn't have a donor card that they were sending me one, although there was a tiny voice in the back of my head that said, "Jennifer, you know that this is too thick to be that."

I opened up the letter and began reading. After reading the line that said the screening they did on my blood came up with inconclusive results and I might have Hepatitis C, I stuffed the letter back in the envelope and walked off.

How? Who, what, when, where, how? Why me? What the fuck?

I wanted to throw up. But I went back and tried to read the letter in full. I really couldn't do much more than skim. It basically said that the initial screening was positive, but the subsequent, more thorough screening was negative. I most likely DO NOT have Hep C, but I need to see the doctor and get tested.

Well, I was putting off scheduling an appointment for a physical. Way to push me into that one!

I'm not letting myself freak out about it. For one, my appointment isn't until June 5 and that's over a week and a half away. If I dwell and fret and worry for that long I'll honestly make myself sick. For another, the letter said it was rare with the combination of results I had to actually be infected.

But it is still back there in my head... what if?

I've never really considered having something like that before. I've never before looked at the blue lines on the inside of my arm and thought, "the blood running through there could be lethal." If I were positive, when did it happen? Do they routinely screen for that when you are pregnant? Could I have infected my children? My husband? How do you tell people if you injure yourself to leave you alone so that they don't get infected? Would it make me really sick?

Those are just a few of the things that have run through my head.

Regardless of the results of the testing my doctor will do, I can no longer donate blood. They threw the blood I did donate away. In the whole "everything happens for a reason" scheme of things, I hope this was just God's way of nudging me to get that physical done a little sooner than my procrastinating self would have done otherwise.

#87 - Reconnect with Sam

No, this is not marked off the list. Because I didn't actually connect with him, but I did see him today.

I met Sam when I was 16 after I changed school my sophomore year. I had a huge crush on him - he had long hair, was a musician and very smart, plus he had started a student Christian group at school. I had a friend that had a crush on him too, and I got caught in the middle as her messenger. He was so sweet trying to let her down easily, and in the process Sam and I became best friends. We would talk on the phone all the time and write notes to each other. I still had my enormous crush on him, but that's just how my adolescence went - I'd like a guy and then we'd become best friends and, well, there goes that...

Sam cut his hair off the summer before his Senior year (he was a year older than me) and I cried.

He called me one night and out of the blue told me that he sometimes thought about asking me out on a date. But he didn't want to mess up our friendship (of course). I sat there in shock after he hung up. I called him back and told him he should ask me out. So he did. He was my first honest-to-God boyfriend.

Sam lived with his dad, step-mom, and sister. He rarely ever talked about his mother. All I knew is that she lived in New York. After we started going out, he would tell me more about his mother every day. Exactly one week after he asked me out, after one date to go watch Scent of a Woman, he wrote me the most heartbreaking and beautiful letter I have ever read to this day. He told me about his mother's death. He said, "sometimes I think I love you and I want to tell you." Then he broke up with me.

Of course, I was devastated, but Sam was more than some teenage crush come true. He was my best friend, so there was no way that I was going to let that week destroy the friendship we had. And I didn't.... we moved on like it never happened.

Part of me thinks maybe he asked me out so that he had someone close to him to talk about his mother with. That was honestly the only true difference in that week. We never even kissed.

After he graduated, we kept in touch, but he went through some strange changes for a while. We would lose touch for a while, then all of a sudden - there he is again. He got into Scientology for a while, he was pretty aimless, living with his grandmother and delivering pizzas... He was so bright that it's kind of a shame, but I should know better than anyone that sometimes good grades in school don't always translate into a stellar jet-setting career.

The last time I saw him was shortly after I met Bill, almost 8 years ago. He came over and played guitar for me. Bill was horribly jealous, but it just wasn't like that. I love Sam, but it's not like that anymore. I stopped thinking he was THE ONE in high school. I do love him, but it's as a friend and like a brother, not romantic at all. Sam called me shortly before Bill and I got married, he delivered a pizza to my sister a couple of years ago and hugged her and said to give it to me, and that's the last I've known of him...

Until today.

After work, I was feeling lazy and I didn't have the right shoes to workout, so I skipped the gym. I drove to the fabric store instead. It's on the other side of town and I rarely go over that way and the whole way kept telling myself I didn't really have time for this, but still went. I stopped at a red light and there he was, walking up the other side of the road. It's been almost 8 years, but there is no doubt in my mind that it was him. But there was nothing I could do about it. My window is stuck and I can't roll it down. Even if I could, I was at a red light that was about to change - it's not like we could have talked. I just stared at him as he went by - he never looked my way to see me. I felt like beating on the window and screaming "Sam! Sam! Over here!"

But I'm happy. I saw Sam. I know he's OK at least.

I really believe that there are people in your life that you will never be finished with. Sam is so woven through my life that I truly believe that I'll see and talk to him again. It may be a few months from now or years from now, but we will eventually reconnect.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

#81 - Donate blood

This is just a friendly disclaimer that this blog might not be for the faint of heart. You've been warned.

I saw a notice the other day at work that the hospital next door was having a blood drive today, so I decided it was a good time to cross something off of my list. Now, I'm a HUGE fan of keeping my blood INSIDE of me, so I wasn't particularly looking forward to this. I hate needles. I know some people would argue that someone with as many tattoos as I have can't say that, but I say you're wrong. A tattoo is nothing like having a hollow spike driven into a vein. Nothing like it at all. Piercing might be more like it, but I've never been a big fan of piercing myself.

There were two bad parts to the process - the finger stick to check my iron and of course, inserting the dagger into my arm to drain my blood. I'll kind of give you the fact that it is ridiculous for me to be so squeemish about the finger stick - that is more like a tattoo (but not really), plus when I was pregnant and had gestational diabetes I had to do it multiple times a day (in addition to insulin injections). But I still hate it.

I was proud of myself, though. I normally can't look anywhere near the tubing and whatnot. They always drape the tubing over your arm and feeling this warm tube on my arm, knowing MY BLOOD is running through it creeps me out, but I did better. I even watched the bag fill up some. I guess a lot has changed since I gave blood last. It has to have been almost 10 years, and I have had 3 kids since then. I'm not quite as squeemish now. Bodily fluids aren't such a big deal now.

What freaks me out most is when they take the needle out. I held pressure on my arm and when the guy pulled the gauze back, blood came rushing back out - AAAAHHHHH! My worst blood donation nightmare - leaving and my arm starting to just gush blood. He told me to hold pressure on it some more and I'm surprised my arm isn't black and blue from the intense pressure I was giving it. He checked again and no more blood. Then I got my bandaid and a pretty red Coban wrap to hold the cotton ball in place. The instrucitons were to keep the Coban on for 1 hour and the bandaid for 5. It was more like 3 hours and 8 hours. Like I said - I am just convinced one day I'll leave and the hole will open back up and blood will just spurt out of my arm all over the place.

It didn't though. Taking the bandaid off was a bitch though. Owwww!

Oh, never try to explain blood donation to a 4 year old. They will NOT understand and they WILL look at you like you just traumatized them for life.

Thursday, April 30, 2009


This really doesn't have anything to do with my list. I just need to blow off some steam. I mean, in a way it does, because I've sucked at my list lately. Lately, if I make a list of things to do... it won't get done. Period. If I try to challenge myself in anyway, I lose it. It doesn't matter if it's a list of chores, a way to challenge myself to lose weight - I'm going to sabotage myself somehow. I know it. Just don't know what to do about it right now.

The no smoking thing has something to do with it and it's a rollercoaster. I made it almost a whole week without any, but it didn't last. Still, it's 1 or 2 a day, so it's not like I'm smoking a whole pack or anything. I just think I need to get some patches or something to get me through. I always thought it would just be fighting off cravings. But it's way more than that. And let's roll on in some PMS (which seems to be getting worse by the month lately) and I'm ready to be committed - no exaggeration. Yesterday I was fighting tears one minute, laughing at absolutely nothing the next, and wanting to rip someone to shreds. I'm not talking about "hey, I'm feeling a little anxious today." I'm talking about sobbing at my desk at work... running to my bedroom at home to bawl because I will injure my children if I don't. I was ready to call the doctor for some prescription help. But I'm better today. Mostly. Enough to not call the doctor.

I am hating my job. I go through this every so often it seems. Normally, I don't really like it, but it pays the bills. But right now, I detest it and I would work part time at Wendy's if needed to pay the bills just to get away. Almost. I can't concentrate one little bit. My boss annoys the crap out of me. It's inconvenient. I hate it. I really can't think of anything about it that I like.

Money. What else do I need to say? When I'm in moods like this I don't care, I don't want to deal with it, I can't handle keeping up with it. And it always shows.

And here's another thing. I'm not one to really "regret" stuff. My life is what it is and I wouldn't have the good without the bad, right? Well, it's like this.... I was my high school valedictorian. With that comes high expectations, right? Right. Did I really live up to those expectations? Not even close. Probably those expectations were only my own.... possibly no one else looks at where I am and says "God, Jennifer! You could be doing so much more with your life right now..." And I'm pissed off at myself for it. Why now? Why all of a sudden do I feel like this? No, I didn't finish college and get a degree to be something... I don't know what. That's one of the reasons I quit. I didn't know what I wanted to do. And it's not like I'm THAT old... I'm only 33 and I have MANY, MANY years ahead of me. I know what I want to do now, I just have to get there. And going to college to get some BS degree wouldn't help me now anyway.

I just need a break. It's just been one of those weeks where the idea of having a nervous breakdown and being admitted to the hospital kind of sounds like a viable, preferrable option.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

#10 - Take a family portrait every 6 months

My baby is 15 months old and we have only had one family portrait made. I don't really want to go to WalMart or Sears and I can't really afford a professional photographer. So we wait until we have an occasion to all be dressed nicely and have someone take our picture informally.

I found out a few weeks ago that a guy at church was offering to do free family photos on Easter. Awesome. I made the girls' Easter dresses and was stoked about them... I coached Bill all morning to practice smiling... I was so excited. We were going to get a new, even better family portrait. I just knew it.

OK. So I'm not going to blow this up to put on the wall. The old one will suffice for another 6 months or so.

My husband swears he is smiling. Do you see even a hint of a smile? No. You do not. He's a liar. He even looks like this in our wedding pictures. Completely miserable. One day, our kids are going to look at all our family pictures and wonder, "Why didn't Daddy ever look happy? Was he that miserable to be with us?" That's OK, because I look happy at least. Not that you can really see me that well...

Next, let's look at Zoe. Do you notice her bare feet? Yes, I got them all dressed up for Easter and forgot to put shoes on the baby. I was so embarrassed.

And my darling, demon possessed Olivia... She was happy and smiling until the moment we mentioned taking a picture. Then she shrivelled up and we're pretty lucky that I managed to keep her dress down because she was flailing about for a while.

One day I will have a nice family portrait. I might have to hire actors to stand in for my family, but I will have a nice family portrait.


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