March 29, 2008

Request Granted

I don't do this very often...but I've been bombarded with requests to see the new specs. Don't mind the black and white, it cuts down the boldness of the red wall behind me and minimizes the under eye circles. I also can't get rid of the glare on my lenses. So I know that it's not a stellar picture, but it's the best I can come up with on my own. Please, please, please be nice. This way taken pre-shower, sans makeup and amidst some random breakout.

March 27, 2008

Personal Choices and Playdates

There was a conversation a few months back on one of the internet boards that I frequent that caught my attention. I've thought about it a handful of times since then, meaning to post but always forgetting. I'm not sure what triggered my memory but I haven't been able to shake the conversation lately.

It's written in the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution that: "A well regulate Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed".
There is much debate over the grammatical reading of this Amendment and how in turn it should be enforced. That it neither here nor there, and not the topic of this post.

Personally, I believe strongly in the right to bear arms. Although I do believe that it is a privilege and has the ability to be revoked. Common sense says that you need not suffer from a mental instability and that you need to be able to pass a criminal background check in order to buy a firearm. I also believe firmly in the stance that some states have taken in terms of gun privileges -- some states (Maine, Illinois and New Jersey for example) will not allow those behind on their child support to obtain a hunting license until their arrears are reconciled. Along with my belief though comes a strong sense of responsibility towards safety. Weapons are always locked up and gun safety, in terms of education, will be forefront with our children.

I understand that many people do not harbor this same belief. Many people feel that guns do not belong in the home and can only attribute to gun violence. I respect that, even if I don't believe it myself.

The original conversation stemmed from someone asking about home security measures. Mainly what other families were implementing, and why they chose the measure that they did. As topics often do it changed direction and went from a conversation about home security to the right to bear arms and having guns in the home with children.

What struck me though is an attitude that one mom had. She clearly stated that she would NEVER allow guns in their home, whether real or toy and that before she ever let her children go play at a friends' house she always asked the parents if there were guns in the home. If there were she wouldn't allow her child to play in the house. Under any circumstances. Her view was that gun owners couldn't be responsible and she feared for the safety of her child. That no matter how many safeguards were in place, the children would find the weapons and it could lead to a fatal situation.

To me, I thought this was ludicrous. I wholeheartedly agree that some gun owners are irresponsible. Handguns shouldn't be kept loaded and in the drawer of a nightstand. Shotguns shouldn't be kept loaded and stashed next to the front door. Responsible gun owners will ensure that weapons are not accessible to anyone besides themselves, especially children. Aren't they other dangers that could be present in a home, even a home without guns?

I know that a great deal of my belief is founded in the household (and community) in which I was raised. Although two very separate entities, guns and religion held similar status. You knew that everyone had very firm beliefs about both but you never brought it up. It wasn't that they were hush-hush topics. It was just that people respected the beliefs/opinions of others and you didn't let what could be differences infringe upon your relationships.

As KT grows older, my concern is that this very issue will be raised. Why should my daughter be secluded from having friends in her home because of the choices I make? I'm not breaking any laws and one of my forefront concerns is her safety. That doesn't make me a bad parent, does it? What about children who have parents that are in law enforcement? Should they be excluded from hosting playdates because one of their parents is required to bring their service weapon home? But if a parent thinks that it's okay to let their children play in the home of a law enforcement office that has a weapon, why not ours? Just because we're not required by our profession to have a weapon doesn't mean we don't take the same precautions, or even more, than someone who is required to have one.

**Actually, now that I think about it, what triggered this memory was a post on a board that mentioned a recent school shooting and children having accessibility to weapons in their own homes.**

March 26, 2008

I Can See Clearly Now

It always amazes me how much better I can see with new glasses. My old ones weren't that bad but my prescription had changed slightly -- perhaps related to when I was pregnant or the fact that I'm wearing my glasses 75% of the time now -- and it was enough to warrant new glasses. And new contacts. Gotta love that bill.

With the new prescription comes an adjustment period. Not only to the change in lenses but to new glasses in general. The frames are a more "modern" look than I've gone with before and I can tell that C isn't quite sure what he thinks of them. KT just looks at me weirdly and then tries to pull them off of my face. I obviously liked them when I picked them out but am second guessing my choice now that I'm home.

I doubt that they have a 30-day trial period. Hopefully in a few days I won't have second thoughts.

March 21, 2008

Road Construction Ahead, Be Prepared for Detours

Last fall I started going to the gym in an attempt to get myself into better shape, lose some weight and find a release for my stress.

I can say that it's been a fantastic release for stress. I can see some changes in the shape of my body. Some are better than others, but I'm making progress and firming up what was once so jiggly. The weight loss has left a little to be desired. Okay, it's left a lot to be desired.

My goal was to get down 15 pounds from my start weight. I figured this was doable. 1-2 pounds and week and I could easily have this weight off within 3-4 months. Nope. Not the case at all. Since I started going to the gym regularly, I've lost 5 pounds. The most embarrassing part of that is I lost 4 of them the week in January I was so sick.

I had my thyroid checked to make sure there wasn't anything wrong with it. I've changed my eating habits and have tracked my calories. I'm drinking 64-100oz of water a day. Working out at least 3 times a week, burning on average 600 calories per workout. And no real weight loss. So I decided that instead of shooting for a weight loss goal, I was going to set a different goal.

My revised goal is to run a 5-K by Thanksgiving (I have a friend pushing for earlier in the summer, but I'm trying to avoid committing to her deadline). Anyone who knows me in real life knows how very little I've run in my life and how much I really don't like to run. At least I've never enjoyed it in the past. Working out regularly has strengthened my knees and legs and I've actually started to like running. I miss it when I haven't done it in a couple of days. Funny that I've gotten to the point.

My training is slow but I am making progress. I've been trying to follow the Couch to 5-K Running Plan, albeit loosely. There are times where I repeat a week to give myself more practice and try to get stronger. I'm somewhat stuck in between week 5 and 6. I can jog 1.5 miles without stopping but I can't get to 2 miles without needing a walk break. I think my problem is I was trying to increase my speed too quickly instead of increasing distance. So instead of trying to set land speed records I'm slowing myself down and trying to focus on further distances.

It feels good to run. It makes me feel better about my body, it calms me down and it clears my head.

But my training might need to be set aside for a while, causing me to regress back to an earlier stage that I've surpassed. That week that I lost 4 pounds...well, I had a week similar to that again 2 weeks ago. Horrible stomach pains, hot flashes, nausea and vomiting. After some not so gentle encouragement from C, Sami and the Flying Monkey, I sucked it up and went to the doctor. Testing reveals my gallbladder is the culprit and I've been referred to a surgeon. My family doctor does not want to try to treat the spasms with medication.

My hope is that if he recommends taking it out (which I hope he does) I will recover quickly and be able to lace my running shoes up within a short amount of time. The weather will be turning here shortly--I'd hate to miss seeing the trees bloom and the flowers emerge.

March 19, 2008

Mommy Guilt At Its Worst

Days like today suck. It's been the kind of day that just makes me want to crawl into bed and pull the covers up over my head, not emerging until the snow has melted, the sun is shining and life has settled itself back down. I don't wish days like today upon anyone.

I went to bed last night grumpy. What I thought was a light-hearted conversation with a friend online somehow took a wrong turn (which I will gladly accept my responsibility for) and I ended up confused as to how the conversation went the way it did and sick to my stomach that she could possibly think I would question her worth or devalue her education. When I got up this morning, those feelings lingered like the soreness I feel after beating myself up at the gym. You move just right and it catches you off guard. A change in position triggers it again. Enough to make you think twice and hesitate for a second. But I didn't call. I didn't send a message. Sometimes I'm not sure what to say when I've done something wrong. I just keep my mouth shut and hope that it will just dissipate on its own.

The last couple of weeks have made me question as to whether or not me working from home, with no daycare for KT, is the best option. There are times where it works perfectly; but there are times where it is a challenge. Right now it's a challenge. I'm plugging my way through a catalog of responsibilities that can only be completed between 8am and 5pm, Monday through Friday. When regular people work. So there are times when she is awake that I'm trying to balance tending to her and fulfilling my job responsibilities at the same time. We've tossed around the idea of putting her in daycare a couple of days a week but have gone no further than making initial phone calls regarding openings and cost.

I started off the day feeling incredibly guilty for having to work and not being able to give my child my undivided attention. In an attempt to make myself feel less guilty, I vowed to set aside specific time for her when she was awake. Time for just the two of us, together.

After breakfast we were sitting in the recliner reading when my cell phone rang. Based upon the ringtone I knew that it was a work related call. And it was one that I couldn't let go unanswered--so much for one on one time with no work interruptions. So I left KT to sit in the chair with her book while I got up to grab my phone. I wrapped up the phone call quickly (the call timer said 47 seconds) and as I turned to set my phone on the kitchen counter she must have taken that opportunity to stand up in the chair and reach over the armrest for something on the table next to her. As I turned back towards the living room I heard her hit the wood floor. My heart probably stopped beating for a split second. Much to my surprise (and horror) she didn't immediately start screaming. Because she had fallen off the side of the chair opposite where I was in the kitchen, I didn't see it happen and didn't see how she landed. I just heard it.

I couldn't get to her fast enough. I scooped her up off of the floor and began checking for a bump. Almost immediately she threw up all over both of us and started crying. As I was talking to the nurse on the phone she threw up again, solidifying a trip to the ER for evaluation. I stripped my clothes off as quickly as I could, changing into something that smelled clean. She laid on the floor, whimpering with her eyes closed, puking a third time. I still couldn't move fast enough.

I raced across town to the hospital, pulling C out of a meeting to tell him what had happened and asking he meet us there. All the way thinking about how I shouldn't have answered the phone, how I shouldn't have left her in the chair by herself, how I shouldn't have stayed in the kitchen to finish my phone call. I'd woken up feeling guilty about working as it was; this only exemplified the feelings.

There's no concussion, thankfully. Although she does have a wonderfully purplish-red bruise on her forehead and some slight swelling that showed on the CT scan. After all of the excitement we came home and she's been asleep for almost 3 hours. I can hear her talking to herself right now in her crib, sounding as though everything is perfectly fine.

Too bad it wasn't so easy for me to feel better.

March 17, 2008

Smoke 'Em If You've Got 'Em

I have to admit that I'm not very aware of what gas prices are doing. Although my car doesn't get very good mileage, it isn't driven much. It might leave the driveway 2-3 times a week and then trips are less than 20 miles round trip. When I need to go on a child-free quick trip I take C's truck since it gets better gas mileage. And because of this I usually only fill my gas tank up once a month. One of the perks to working from home. If we both worked out of the house we might re-evaluate one of our vehicles for something more efficient.

So the last couple of weeks it's been interesting for me to watch gas prices climb the way they are. I know, based on phone conversations (my Dad always has to tell me what the cost of unleaded and diesel are, both in town and for the farm) that our gas prices are considerably cheaper than some states. The one gas station I drove by tonight had unleaded for $3.15, premium for $3.35.

But what struck me as odd, is that a sign out in front of the gas station was advertising Marlboros for $3.29 a pack. How sad is it that I live in a state that has some of the lowest gas prices in the nation (we were in the bottom 5 last I knew) but yet a gallon of premium costs more than a pack of cigarettes?

Just struck me as weird.

March 16, 2008

Tongue Tied

You know me. I've been quiet lately. That means I'm juggling more than I'm equipped to handle. Hopefully I can get a better grip on it soon. When I do, I'll go into more details.

On a positive note...we're on day 19 of the challenge and I've only had 1 diet coke since this started! I had one of my migraines last weekend and none of my meds. So two tylenol and a can of diet coke were called to duty. The sad part was that I couldn't even drink half of it, because it didn't taste good!

March 8, 2008

Please, "Enlighten" Me

There are a couple of topics that get me fired up. That's probably an understatement of sorts. Some of you can probably guess what those topics are without much thought as we've had conversations on them personally.

I fully respect other people's opinions. I know that everyone is entitled to what they believe in and can make choices based upon what they think is in the best interest for their family. I will sit and listen to your argument and respect it completely if you can back it up. I don't always have to accept it but I promise I will respect it.
What I struggle with is when people just follow something blindly and don't research it for themselves. Don't just sit there and spout words at me without being able to prove them.

Perhaps it's the research scientist in me.

Being on numerous discussion boards it's inevitable that these same topics that get me fired up come up time after time on the forums. I try to watch what I post in response to them. I know they are topics that can become heated very quickly. And nothing will get someone's defenses up more quickly that disagreeing with what they believe in. When I do post I try to do it in a manner that is non-threatening, in an attempt to dispel misconceptions people may have or explain the other side of the debate. I will admit that there are times that I probably don't post objectively; sometimes I take it too personally and let my beliefs cloud what I say.

I've been in a "discussion" of sorts for the past few days regarding one of my "hot-button" issues. I've stayed calm and even sincerely thanked someone for proving something I said wrong (even though I did try to show her how irrelevant her proof was). Yesterday though one of the girls told me that she disagreed with me, but didn't want to get into a debate. She had been "enlightened" by her nutritionist on the subject but due to the charter of the discussion board she couldn't post the proof, i.e. the websites that her arguments come from.

It took me almost 24 hours to sit down and compose a response. The whole time I stewed about it. Perhaps I took it the wrong way (which I'm sure I did) but her post came as though her nutritionist was a guru on this topic and since she had was "enlightened" by said nutritionist, I obviously didn't know what I was talking about.

So my question for today...which holds more value? Being enlightened? Or educated?

(That last statement -- totally facetious in case you couldn't tell.)

March 6, 2008

It's Been 9 Days...

...since I've drank anything except water, coffee, tea or milk.

Some days have been harder than others.

Today is one of those hard days.

I can hear it calling to me from the fridge...

Diet Coke

March 4, 2008

Dental Deferrment

It's been 742 days since I had a dentist appointment. Bad, I know. My last appointment was about 3 weeks before I found out I was pregnant with KT. I know that I should have gone when I was pregnant, especially with the horrendous amount of times I threw up because of the stupid HG. But when you're that sick the last thing you want to deal with is having people put their hands and other things in your mouth.

And after KT was born I just put it off. Last spring/summer I discovered that the enamel on my teeth is cracked. I can guarantee it's from being so sick. Instead of dealing with it and making an appointment I just stick my head in the sand and go about my business.

A couple of weeks ago I finally found a dentist with extended hours and called for an appointment. I was supposed to be there at 7am this morning. Key phrase in that sentence: supposed to be. I'm sick again, similar to what was wrong a few weeks ago. There was no way I was dragging my sorry butt out of bed at 5:45 to make a 7am appointment. So I called and canceled it.

Wonder how many days it will take to actually reschedule it?