Friday, April 30, 2010

Cardiac Stress Test

Well, in addition to walking Caleb has unveiled another new skill. Yesterday I look up from my vacuuming to see that Caleb can now climb up on the couch, which he has done and is now STANDING on top of my lap top reaching for my water glass.

Yeah my heart just about stopped.

Also with his new found mobility is a whole new level of opinionated stubbornness and I have to say I really miss my mellow, laid back, easy going, happy baby sometimes.

On the positive side, I informed Caleb now that he's walking perhaps he should dedicate some time to figuring out the whole communication bit. I don't care if its speech or sign I'd just like him to perhaps express in some terms other than screaming what it is that his new found opinionatedness wants. He seems to be taking my advice actually. Today I stepped over the baby gate into my bedroom and left him in the hallway. He screamed for a minute like he usually does and then started to call after me, "MA!.... MA!..... MA!...." It was really cute. I'm like you're gettin there kiddo! Good job!

We had a good day today though. Some how I managed to go to bed at a reasonable hour, fall asleep and stay asleep all night long. Of course tonight its 3 am and I'm blogging but hey you can't expect miracles every night. But so after a shockingly good nights sleep we had a good morning and I fed Caleb grapes for the first time with his lunch. They were big fat green grapes so I chopped them into little wedges and he really liked 'em. The first one he put in his mouth and then went "HHMmm! MMMmmm!" It was really dang cute. He's a very enthusiastic little grape eater.

We're actually planning on making an afternoon snack a habit for him now b/c starting with his first birthday we get to ditch the formula and go with milk. So he's gonna need more of his calories from food  and since his stomach is the size of a ping pong ball we're gonna have to increase the number of his meals from 3 to more like 5.

We're also working on getting him more used to real food. He had mac and cheese for the first time the other night. And it turns out he loves broccoli (well steamed) and is generally a greedy little food moocher who hasn't found anything on Mommy's plate he doesn't like.

And in non baby news I have to say I'm completely in love with my new business cards. I want to run up and shove them in the face of every single person I meet just b/c I'm so dang proud of myself. I'm like LOOK! SEE!! ITS PWETTY! AND I DID IT!! Which I more or less did at my friends birthday party last night b/c I'm shameless like that. On the upside I took it as as serious compliment when a girl I met there who is a graphic designer asked if she could keep one of my cards b/c she likes to collect really great cards as a source of ideas. :)

And we got the Vintaj idea book today. I stole it from Kathleen's this afternoon (be proud of me I walked down there w/ the kiddo in the stroller!) and I've been drooling over it on and off all night. I want to play with the stuff in there so bad its not funny. Its just this whole amazing new world. I really wanna get seriously into wire wrapping and I wouldn't mind doing some of this embossing and painting/inking/whatever of blanks that they've got goin on in there b/c its in-frickin-credible and gorgeous and makes me drool. AND it seriously appeals to my cheap side by being MUCH more affordable than sterling silver (and we're not even going to discuss gold).

I'm really, really hoping that the Vintaj order gets here before I leave for Houston next week so I can takes some stuff with me to play!

Oh lord, wish me luck taking Mr. Opinionated on the plane by myself.... *shudders* Well, I think I just found tonights anxiety attack thats going to keep me from sleep. Good. Cuz ya know my cousin's coming over in the morning so I can help him with a project for school and I'd hate to be well rested and clear headed.....

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Caleb's WALKING!!!

Cross posted from Fleipaper

So yesterday morning around 9:40 am I picked up the phone to call my girl friend and was watching Mr. Caleb playing around at his toy table thing. He turned around and let go of the table to free stand, which he's done before, and then decided he wanted the coffee table instead. Well the coffee table was about 3.5 - 4 foot away from the toy table. So one VERY shaky step at a time Mr. Caleb went step, step, step, step and then grabbed the coffee table with his hands and walked the rest of the way!!!

I was SO dang excited and proud!! If I had a lick of sense I'd probably be terrified but I'm still just so thrilled for him! He's doing so good!

And he seems to like this walking thing. Its like he went "Holy Crap! I can do this!!" and is now attempting to walk every where in the living room. So far he's getting better and can walk in straight lines on flat surfaces with no obstacles. lol. And he's doing better about keeping him self standing upright and balanced. 

I would have tons of pictures and videos except for one significant problem. Mr. Caleb is a serious fan of the camera. He likes it better than the kitty cat and thats screaming something. So every time the camera comes out, he get so excited he turfs it and crawls at high speed to me as quickly as he knows how and proceeds to have a fit until I let him have the camera or it mysteriously disappears. 

Never fear though, I'll suceed.... eventually. 

But for now, shout it from the roof tops: MY BABY IS WALKING!!! YAY!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

So I've developed a new guilty internet pleasure. Its all my sister's fault. She found them first and got me hooked on them.

My favorites are the Top FMLs under the "You Deserved It" category. I've learned a lot reading them actually thanks to the stunning number of people who post remarkably similar FMLs. For example:

1. Never ever get drunk. Especially in the presence of devices capable of recording your drunken antics.

2. Never, ever draw a graphic image intending to erase/cover it later. Your batteries will die, your equipment will break, you'll forget about it or the marker will turn out to be permanent and you will be screwed.

3. Upon seeing your significant other talking to a member of the opposite sex, do not immediately respond in some extreme fashion until you have ascertained that the other person is not some variety of family member and that it is in fact your significant other and not somebody who looks like them lest you make a complete A of yourself.

4. Before yelling/throwing something/being rude to a person who is annoying you in some fashion its good to make sure that they are not in fact a small child, or a person with special needs or a disability so you don't make a complete A of yourself.

5. Always make sure your tshirt doesn't say something embarrassing before talking to your significant other's parents.

6. Always, always, always triple check the TO line on emails, text messages etc.

7. Never, ever write a rant about a person anywhere that you could accidentally click and send it to them.

8. If you're going to be a moron and try to rip some place off do not leave behind your wallet, cell phone or other important personal items.

9. Be nice to homeless people lest they open a can on you.

10. Never, ever take a nude photo of yourself. It will never end well.

11. Never assume that other people can't understand you because you speak a foreign language.

12. Never trust spell check.

13. Never, ever leave a rude note on the wind shield of someones car. It will come back to haunt you.

14. Make sure you know if your sunglasses are see through or reflective. It will save you in multiple situations.

15. Always smell mystery substances before assuming their food and popping them into your mouth, its probably not what you think it is.

16. Save yourself and never ever lie or cheat. You will get caught.

17. Never mess with a cat. You'll lose.

18. Never have one thing in one hand and one thing in the other. The odds that you will eat/throw/squash the wrong thing are excellent.

19. Never, ever assume something is a ball and kick it.

20. Never, ever try to show off. It never ends well.

21. Always, always, always pay FULL attention to your driving.

22. Always answer your phone, check your messages, mail etc lest you miss something really important.

23. Never, ever make a snarky/rude comment unless you are fully aware of who within ear shot and who they are related to.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Still not an upper...

So we made the mistake of stepping on the scale. And then the baby kept us up until 6:30 am. So today we accomplished nothing and instead we're having a fat, depressed day. And What I want to do to fix it is make and eat an entire pan of brownies. But that would not exactly help anything given that according to the scale I should probably never eat again.

And then to really help the situation, we had to keep the baby awake whether he wanted to or not b/c I wanted him to SLEEP tonight and not wake up and want to play for 4 hours. So that was LOTS of fun keeping awake a whiney baby. He was not the happiest of campers.

But I will admit he gets cuter and more animated by the day. I am loving his little personality as it blooms.

And then to make things worse, we watched "Knowing".... I'm usually a big fan of Nicholas Cage but this was NOT the upper we were looking for. It was like a really weird twist on L. Ron Hubbards Scientology meets the Book of Revelation. It was just WEIRD. And freaky. NOT the upper I wanted.

So then we watched "Failure to Launch" which I love so that helped some but right now I'm still feeling fat and depressed and I want to go eat an entire cake. Which will definitely solve all of my problems.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

We usually try to avoid this

But I'm having one of those moments because I stepped on the scale and determined that I should never eat again. Or at least not for at least a year b/c I figure I've got plenty of storage on hand so I should use that first. I figure if I drink lots of water and take vitamins I should be good right?

Ya know a couple months ago I was freaking over not wanting to go to my hs reunion b/c of how large I was. So I was thinking I was going to do some hard core dieting btwn then and now and at least made a dent. Well, apparently that translated in to develop a binge eating disorder and gain 10 pounds instead.

I should just start reading labels and max myself out at 1000 calories per day. It will suck butt but it should be doable in the "won't put me into starvation mode". I figure its a step up from just plain not eating right?


I'm having a depressed night so I'll just stop.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hurry Up and WAIT

So after several days of frantic planning and plotting and multiple anxiety attacks and what I'm sure must be highly repetitive blog posts we're now entering the Holding Pattern. Now we get to hurry up and wait and see what happens. After the vote next month I'll have a clearer picture. But I found out life was not what I thought so then I got to run around and plot several different contingency plans and blah blah blah and now all of the sudden here we are and theres NOTHING I can do except wait and see. *sigh*

Because if the tax increase passes then things are MUCH less complicated. We still have grad school shopping to do and apps to get in but its not like we've got a big life altering rush to figure things out.

If the tax increase does NOT pass and Adam is suddenly out of a job then life gets complicated. Because first order of business will be finding a NEW JOB. And odds are not good we'll find one in this state. Which means moving, which in and of itself is not a bad thing, but it means moving before we know for sure he can get into a graduate program in the place we move to. That means if we pack up and move (which costs a heckuva lot more now days than it did when I was in college and you threw everything in the back of one minivan and called it good) and get a job and start a new life and then find out the program there won't accept him?? That would suck. In VERY expensive ways!

So we're hoping from the anxiety perspective that the tax thing passes because it buys us time to move at our pace. From the "I wanna be back in Texas yesterday" perspective its kind of annoying. But oh well.

The only thing I haven't really looked into yet is selling the house and what all is going to be involved in that mess. I mean I know the basics like certain things need to get fixed first. And things have to get a heckuva lot cleaner before we can show the house to anybody. But most of the big stuff *knock on wood* is still kosher from when we bought the house.

But then theres me chopping at the bit to get to Texas so much so that I've already found out what part of Austin I want to live in and located 7 houses I'd like to look at. lol.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Houston, We Have a Problem

So I married my best friend from high school's ex boyfriend.


I did ask her permission first, and she had dumped him and he didn't do anything wrong it just didn't work out between them and she said yes and so I went for it and then it got serious and she freaked a bit and didn't talk to me for 6 months. And it wasn't exactly a brief relationship. It was more like a 3 year long, move across the country to be together thing.


And I think there was some post relationship scarring on both sides. But I have a happy marriage and she's started talking to me again so its all good, right?


Well, I had given up hope of my hubby going to my HS reunion with me on account of him not being able to get off work for more than a day or so and us not being able to afford plane tickets. Well then my sweet in laws found out I was plotting to drive me and the baby solo across the country and quickly volunteered to have my Mother's Day present be plane tickets for me AND the hubby.

Slight problem, since I'd given up hope, I decided to ask said friend if we could go together to the reunion. Yeah.... so now I get to tell my friend that I'm ditching her, after I ASKED HER, for her ex bf. Because the alternative is telling my hubby no I'm ditching him for his ex gf. *head desk... repeatedly* So just how big of a flaming bisnitch does that make me??

I suppose we could all go together which is totally cool with me but I'm not sure how well it would go over for either of them.


*head desk*

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Devil's Advocate

So part of me really wants to thwack a friend of mine right now for pointing out reality and playing devils advocate. Because I in my excited zeal over the thought of moving to Austin has largely mapped things out:

If the proposition doesn't pass then Adam will be out of a job by July, so we move to Austin then, he gets a job there, we buy a house, he applies to graduate school in October and starts part time in January, works until next August at which point we have residency and he can go to school full time for half the cost.

My friend had to go and point out the obvious: UT has one of the top rated grad programs in the country therefore that means its really fricking hard to get into. What if we don't get in? This is an ugly limbo problem. Because if Adam loses his job and we move there for work, and he can't get into school there, we're looking at having to move AGAIN so that he can go to school. This is no bueno.

BUT if we wait to move until we get a grad school acceptance letter before moving and he loses his job in the mean time, odds are he's not going to be able to find an equivalent replacement here so we're out his income and that leaves us with a nice block of time we're in limbo with no work and no school which is no good.

I dunno. I think we're just gonna have to pray really, really hard and go where the Lord tells us to go.

I'm just kinda scared right now I'm going to have a hard time feeling inspiration clearly through my excitement over the prospect of moving to Austin....

Oops. Too Late.

So with the whole job uncertainty and pondering of contingency plans etc, I was trying very very hard not to get my hopes up about the possibility of moving to Austin. I have completely failed. lol

They are wayyyy way the frick up there now. I'm flat out excited. I've been house hunting online and already narrowed down what part of Austin we want to live in (thanks to some friends who live there) and found 7 houses in that part that make me go "ooooOOOooooohhhh! Pweety!!"

Right now there is a grand total of ONE thing that is dissing my excitement over this whole moving thought and that is my jewelry business. I'm not sure how easily it would work from a distance. I mean sure we could ship pieces and run things via video chat etc. But I would sure miss these ladies. A lot.

But otherwise I'm so excited I'm like ready to start packing tomorrow!!! And that's screaming something since I hate moving with a purple passion for it.

Friday, April 16, 2010

I walk by Faith. Even if I don't wanna

There are times when I really really hate the exploratory, information gathering phase. Part of me is like - Okay Heavenly Father I am more than willing to do whatever it is you want me to do, just TELL ME WHAT IT IS!! lol

Which I'm sure would not let me learn and grow like I need to but ya know right now I'm feelin like this whole learn and grow bit is completely overrated and I should instead just find out now. Ya know?? lol

B/c we had The Plan. And we saw that it was good. And then we found out that The Plan needed some more ground work. Okay... so we paid dues and laid ground work and felt inspired to have our first kid along the way. And then it came time for all the ground work to pay off and jump into the main part of The Plan.... and we got told No.

Okayyyyyy..... SO we started pondering and we assumed that The Plan was wrong and we needed to revamp The Plan. So we came up with Plan B. Which was very logical and sensible etc. Except that things just were not falling into place and I was having a very hard time making a decision about exactly which of 3 paths Plan B would take. And so we were in a bit of limbo and the anxiety increased.

Then we got another little nugget of inspiration: Have another baby. Now this one was completely and totally left field. It knocks Plan B completely out of the park and means we're back to a variation on The Pan.

And now we're getting another little nudge, maybe, in the direction of The Modified Plan (aka Plan C). The Arizona budget crisis has reached such a peak that they have shut down the office of the Court Supervisor that oversees the Mental Health system as part of the lawsuit that gives us our mental health system in Arizona for the next 2 years. This basically gets them a 2 year get out of jail free card to do whatever the heck they want.

They've also announced that basically, if Prop 100 (or some such similar number) does NOT pass in May's special election, then they will slash and burn the current system. There will be untreated crazies flooding the streets (yeah I know. Realllllly comforting thought). BUT if the Proposition DOES pass then they hope to be able to continue services relatively unchanged.

So, come May, my husband might be out of a job. Comforting thought isn't it?

Yeah, I don't think so either. And so my life is in limbo and we're gathering intel as fast as we know how. Either way we need to earn more money for our family if we're gonna keep poppin out kiddos which means more school. So we need to figure out where we're goin to school, when we're gonna start school, how we're gonna live, where we're gonna live. Etc etc etc.

And so we gather information. Lots and lots of information. And we try to figure out what the frick we're gonna do next.

Its the uncertainty thats bothering me. I love my plans. I like my plans. I'm all about my plans. And right now.... all of the plans are about as solid as a spider web in a hurricane. I know it will all work out in the end. But I wish I could see the end from the beginning.

I want to be closer to my family so bad I can taste it. So I don't want to get my hopes, and theirs up too high if its not gonna happen.

I want a timeline. How long is it going to take me to get pregnant this time around? Are we going to stay here or move? If we move, are we going to sell the house or rent it? If we sell it what if it doesn't sell? What all is involved in renting? Do we rent an apartment in the place we move to? Or do we buy a house? WHERE are we going to go to grad school?? ASU doesn't have a half bad program. Its in the top 50 in the nation, which is a heckuva lot better than I would have given it credit considering how crappy their overall ranking is. But that leaves us here in Arizona. Which has ups. But its not close to my folks, which is a huge down.

Even if we do move to Texas, what if my sister moves? I want to be a part of those baby girls' lives so badly its not funny. They need to know their Aunt Ami. But I know they don't want to stay in Texas because the services for Emily SUCK.

What if we wind up someplace completely different? The logistics of moving some place I've never been, where I don't know anybody is huge.

Its just a huge fat lot of "I don't knows" and that makes me uncomfortable. Walking by faith always sounds so easy in theory, but its so hard in practice.

I do know that everything will work out. I know that the path will be laid out for us. I know that things will fall into place. I know that our job is to gather information, prayerfully make a decision and then ask our Heavenly Father and He WILL lead us.

But its just hard when you feel like the path you are on just disappeared from before you and suddenly... theres no more path and you have no clue whats up. It will work out, but right now is the scary uncomfortable part.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

LDS Live Longer

Random cool article:

Basically, we've long had anecdotal evidence that active Mormons live longer than the general population, now its official. Study by UCLA followed a bunch of Mormons for 25 years and found those who don't smoke, attend church weekly, are married and had at least 12 years of education had the longest life expectancy. Namely 84 years for men and 86 years for women. That would be 5 years longer than the national average for women and TEN years longer than the national average for men.

Not too shabby!


Its amazing to me how much can change in just a few days. Even more amazing how much can change because of a single conversation.

The state of Arizona is in a massive budget crisis right now. They're making massive cuts all across the boards. Adam's job has been so secure because of a lawsuit involving a family that sued the state for failure to provide mental health services or something to that effect. Because of the crisis they have shut down the office of the court overseer type person. Basically for the next two years, all bets are off. They're going to slash services to the bone most likely. There have already been threats, protests and violence because of the proposed cuts to the mental health system.

Tomorrow there is going to be a big announcement. All the corporate big wigs will be there. And more ominously they want all the larger, male employees to be present in case of problems. So suddenly Adam's previously stable job is looking a lot less stable. Its not for sure, but its definitely a lot more likely to go south now.

Which started us talking about contingency plans. Given that we feel its time to start working towards having a second child now instead of later, the odds of my being able to handle two very small children plus school are pretty much non-existant. I'm feeling like now is not the time and the season for me to continue my education. Now is the time for me to be a mother.

And paying for those kids is going to require a higher level job, so Adam is looking at going back to school, at least part time, like night school or something. And the school he really, really wants to go to is UT Austin. It has a top ranked MSW program, its only a 3 hour drive to my folks house and a very quick internet search found 5 job openings in the same kind of work/pay that he does here. AND the housing market there is MUCH cheaper than here. We can get a lot more, a lot NICER housing there for the same or cheaper money.

But oh  my wow, all the things to think about with a move like that. The Arizona family will not be happy about it. My parents will be THRILLED but the in laws... will probably be extremely less than pleased. We have a house here that we own. And we've only been in this house since 2008. Thats just 2 years. And I'm not sure with the current market how hard or easy it will be to sell this house, or if we'll keep it and rent it out. And renting is a whole other can of worms.

I did some quick shopping online for moving trucks. I estimate that with truck rental, boxes, gas, motels etc that we're looking at a minimum of 2000 bucks just to move to Austin. And given Adam's line of work, they probably won't be looking to cover our moving expenses. And we'd need help driving because no offense to my sweet husband but he makes me incredibly nervous behind the wheel of a big rig. And we've got 2 cars plus a moving truck. So we can tow one car and drive the other, but that leaves one adult in the car with Caleb all by themselves, and the other driving that big rig solo. This is not okay. We'd really do better to have somebody big rig capable help me drive the truck (my Dad would be ideal) and somebody to help Adam drive the Honda (Mom would be great).

Then theres the question of house hunting in Austin. Part of me likes the idea of moving there, staying in an apartment for a while so we can scope out the real estate and really get to know the neighborhoods. But the other part of me knows just how much crap we have and how much I really truly hate moving so I'm thinking I'd rather shoot myself in the foot than move half my household into storage, the other half into an apartment and then move to a house 6 months later. Especially if I'm pregnant. So really its probably going to be me, making road trips to visit my folks and go house hunting in Austin while I'm there.

And all of this is assuming that things go south and that Austin is where we are supposed to go. And right this moment this plan feels really really good, but I don't know how much of that is just me wanting to be closer to my family so bad I can't see straight and how much of it is actual inspiration from my Heavenly Father.

We really, really need to get to the temple. We need clear personal revelation to guide us badly.

Then theres the other thought - what about my jewelry business? I can make jewelry anywhere, but it would be hard to be away from Kathleen. I'd miss her and it would be a lot harder to swap supplies and have meetings etc. I can still web design for them no problem. Ditto the database. I just ... would kinda feel like I'm abandoning them. I dunno maybe it will work. I'm sure Lynn would LOVE IT if we had a branch in Austin, Texas to go with our sales in Arizona, Chicago, and England. We'll have to see. I really think with video conferencing it could work. And Kathleen is tech savvy enough to pull that off. Only concern I have right now is what if we get our store front sooner rather than later? I would really need to be there to help with the set up and launch if nothing else. And honestly I'd love to work a place like that... Of course I'd be thrilled to open up our Austin branch.... :) But thats getting slightly ahead of ourselves me thinks.

I'm in love with a couple of the houses I saw online. They've got some really nice options for really nice price tags in Austin. I'm inclined to go with a bigger house, not b/c I need to own a bigger house, but because I want a guest bedroom (cuz my folks are gonna wanna stay over at least one weekend a month, not including visits from Adam's folks to see their grandbabies), plus like 2 kids rooms, plus a master bedroom, and a study/workroom for me and Adam would be nice. Ugh. I don't know. If we want a prayer of selling this place I definitely need to clean up badly. lol.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Letter to My Younger Self

Yes I am shamelessly copying an idea from MommyWantsVodka, but its a friggin good idea and I feel all inspired so I'm going with it.

A Letter to My Younger Self:

You really are beautiful. 

You never believed it when your mother said it because its her job and she has to say that. Here's the thing: its actually true. And your beauty is completely independent of your current dress size. There are women out there that are big AND beautiful. Its possible and you've got it in spades. So stop freaking out and hating on yourself.

Chubby girls get married too.

Any man that doesn't want to be with you because you're not the perfect size is the kind of a-hole you don't want to be with anyways. Any man worth having will see you for who you are and love you no matter what. Hell, he'll even see just how beautiful you are inside and out and never allow you to say otherwise ever again.

Stop the Negative Self Talk

You started it in middle school. Because if you made fun of you before they did then it defused the situation. It bought you more social acceptance but the cost was what was left of your self esteem. And after a while you start to believe it. So just stop it right now. You wouldn't allow some one else to talk like that about someone you love so don't you dare say those things about yourself. You might have stupid moments, but thats part of life and learning and does not mean that you are stupid. Theres a difference. And its a big one.

You are really fricking smart

Thanks to those stupid test in elementary school that always came back saying you didn't quite make the gifted mark you decided that you were dumb. BUT when they let you in the gifted/talented program on accident, you were like a fish who just found water. You are not an average intelligence person who just works hard. You really, truly are a really intelligent person. So stop telling yourself you're stupid and not as good as all the other kids in your honors classes and that you just work hard and thats why you're there. Step up and accept the fact and you belong there. There isn't anything you can't learn and master with a good teacher.

Even if you are bigger than you want to be: You are STILL okay

Being larger than you want to be does not make you worthless, ugly, a bad person, or any of the other horrible things you tell yourself. You cannot afford to hate yourself for it. Life is too the frick short and hate just robs you of the energy you need to function. You are still wonderful regardless of your size. Maybe someday you'll beat it, maybe you won't. But either way, it does not affect your worth as a person.


Stuffing everything until you explode is not the way to go through life. Talk to people. More correctly - talk directly to the person you're having a problem with. If they won't talk to you, then screw it they're not worth it. But don't talk to everybody BUT the person you've got a problem with. Thats crap. Talk to them and deal with them directly and honestly and deal with things when they're little. That way they never get big.

There is a right way and a wrong way to say everything

Before you jump into the communication thing, take some time to pray about it, think it through, write it out, ask somebody else's opinion on your wording just in case. Saying something the wrong way can cause irreversible damage. I'm not saying this to frighten you into not talking. I'm saying this so that you recognize that when you're angry the odds are not good that you'll say things the right way. So step back, take a breather, figure out whats REALLY bothering you about the situation and pray for the inspiration to find the right way to communicate that with the other person.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


So yet another article came out today showing a correlation between spanking and bullying. Gist of the study is that the authors believe this correlation infers causation (any Psych 101 student should shudder right about now), so spank your kid and he will become a bully.

Now, I would like to start by saying that I do not believe that spanking is the root of all evil, however, I think there are often better parenting methods/alternatives. But my biggest problem with this study is its blatant claim that correlation infers causation. I think its more likely that its a third variable.

There are wide varieties in parenting styles which have various strengths and weaknesses. Its been my experience (and I'm fairly sure I'd have an easy time finding research to back me up) that children who come from unhappy homes (ie: high levels of conflict, yelling, arguments, physical confrontations, abuse etc) are more likely to be bullies. So it would be my argument that those same parents that exhibit these behaviors are more likely to spank their children. It would also be interested in learning what the "frequent spankers" define spanking as - although this could run afoul of high levels of lying and/or if they do tell the truth then you get into duty to report issues.

This is not to say that if you spank your kid you must be an abusive parent. Far from it. But I do think that an abusive parent is infinitely more likely to spank and/or use other forms of physical punishment and have a bully for a kid. I think its third variable correlation.

And of course the paragraph that every pro-spanking person comes out with - as cliché as it sounds - I was spanked as a kid and I was far from a bully. But my mother only spanked us when we had done something dangerous. It was used for the shock value to get the message home.

That said I think you can be a good and effective parent and never spank your kid. I think its a personal choice and there are pros and cons to every variety of parenting.

One final thought/tangent:

"Spare the rod, spoil the child" is actually a mistranslation. Its "Spare the crook, spoil the child." Which to anybody who knows anything about sheep, makes infinitely more sense. Sheep are dumb. Its sad but true and honestly a lot of the things kids do are dumb. Its part of how they learn. Also sheep are covered with a nice thick layer of padding all over their bodies, AND their heads are so hard that males can run at each other full speed and butt heads and not get hurt. Hitting a sheep with a rod does absolutely no good. They do not even notice.

This is why every picture of every shepherd you've ever seen shows the shepherd carrying a crook and not a staff. People now days assume you use the straight part of the staff and beat sheep with it. As mentioned previously - that doesn't work. The reason for the big hook on the end of the crook is this - you hook the wayward sheep around the neck/head with it and guide them back into line.

Ponder that for a bit.

More Random Ramblings

I don't have a solid coherent thought right now so we're just going to talk and something will come of it.

We're going to start working towards having another baby. Its well over a year earlier than I thought I'd ever have another one but I feel strongly that now is the time and this is the path. This does mean that just about every aspect of my life is going to get a major over haul and right now thats more than slightly over whelming.

Perhaps it will take some doing to get pregnant again this time and that will buy me some time to get some things in order before the puking and exhaustion start but with my luck my body will have gotten used to the idea and I'll get pregnant the first month we try.

Life continues to be complicated. I've been having massive sugar cravings this week. I'm not sure how much of it is PMS, how much is stress, and how much is me attempting to be a food addict or something.

I've had 3 full blown migraines this week and one would not stay dead. I'm not sure whats up. I know it was my period and we did some traveling but its not been this bad since I started seeing my neurologist. I think I need to give him a call and discuss things.

The annoying thing is that if I want the injections again, which were an excellent option for controlling my migraines, I have to have an MRI first and unless I'm much mistaken they frown on those when pregnant so I'm gonna vote that I might have to do that sooner rather than later. And honestly, we haven't even paid off the first baby, how on earth can we afford another one?

I miss designing jewelry. Its just that I really need to finish conquering the office if I wanna play with jewelry because Caleb gets into EVERY THING now and so its not so much an option to have allll those lovely chocking hazards in the living room now days.

And someday in the far distant future I might actually get this website done when people give me what I need (pics and info) so I can put together the products section. Someday.

And my yard is such a disaster area with those huge weeds that popped up while we were out of town that my neighbor pulled some of them for me and stacked them at the foot of my driveway.... I don't know if I should be completely mortified or grateful.... Mostly, thanks to the pms I just wanna cry.

At least I made some good headway towards digging out parts of the house from under the crap avalanche. I got my kitchen CLEAN and I managed to pick up the living room and vacuum the rug. Its slightly terrifying just how much CRAP a rug can accumulate when its the only one in the whole house (bigger than a bathmat that is). Its amazing how carpet can hide dirt. But when the rest of the house is tile, the one significant patch of carpet becomes a magnet for all the random crap a house with 2 adults, 1 baby and 3 cats can manufacture, and let me tell you its truly gross just how fast that rug becomes disgusting. And can fill my vacuum cleaner canister IN ONE GO.

And I was so embarrassed today to have people over with my house looking like it did. Cuz it was BAD. And at least 2 of the 3 had been here before so they know its not usually like that, but the 3rd, yeah this was her first impression. FAIL. But 3 days of migraines and a road trip. I kept the kid alive and thats about it. The rest has gone to heck in a hand basket. But at least we made decent progress today. I even went grocery shopping.

So yeah....

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Nerg. Narg. Ugh.

So there are certain downsides to being religious. Well "downside" might be a bit harsh, but right now its how I'm feeling.

Basically, the downside to talking to God and asking for him to guide and direct your life is that sometimes he tells you to do things that you don't want to do. And sometimes it comes right outta the clear blue sky. And you've already got plans in this area. And they're very good, logical, rational plans and you really, really don't want to ditch those plans and hurry up the time line on this thing. Because the thought seems overwhelming and it would throw a massive monkey wrench in your timeline and plans all around because doing the thing you now feel you are supposed to do will significantly impact just about everything.

And to be blunt - I don't wanna. I'm not ready. And I don't wanna. LOL I don't wanna, I don't wanna, I don't wanna. And I almost don't even want to name what it is here, or in any conversation I have with anybody else because somehow saying it will make it real.

And the kicker of the thing is that the thought of not doing as my Father in Heaven has told me to do terrifies me. Who am I to question the direction of the Almighty? He has never yet steered me wrong. And he's seriously redirected my life path in the past and it has always worked out to be a far greater happiness than I could ever have planned for myself. So I know this is the path and the thing that I must do. And I will do it.... its just right now I wanna be a little kid and kick and scream and stomp my feet and drag my heels. LOL.

Which is definitely not the way to show my gratitude for his direction and guidance but its where I'm at right now. I'm working through things. I just.... wasn't planning on going down this path for a couple more years but apparently the time is now. Which means, I have to delay the path I wanted to go down by several years and means we definitely need to rearrange our finances and job path/goals.

I guess its mostly that I'm a planner. And I have everything all planned out and plotted and the course is charted and this means tossing a match on the lot of 'em and starting over from scratch.

This does answer the question of why I haven't got an answer about exactly which fork I should go down on the path I was plotting to go down. I'm not supposed to go down that path yet.... And I do mourn the loss of that path. Or the delay of that path rather.

So mostly its going to involve a lot of prayer, and planning and research as to how we're gonna make this new path work financially.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Roadtripping Review

This is cross posted from Fleipaper:

So I've been more than a little home sick for the last couple weeks/months so I when I discovered two weeks ago that Adam had last Weds off of work for Caesar Chavez day I hatched a crazy plan to drive to Texas for Easter to see my family and because my sweet husband loves me he agreed to it. And his boss is my new favorite person for letting him have Thurs, Fri and Monday off at the last minute so we could pull off my crazy plan.

So we left Tues nite and drove straight through the night, I made it driving solo all the way to Kerrville and about 2 pm before I decided that I cannot in fact drive that entire distance by myself with no sleep, which is what I was afraid of. And so I was very grateful to have my sweet hubby along so he could take over and I could get some shut eye. Caleb didn't sleep as well in the car as I hoped he might. He did okay but the lights from the big trucks as we passed them kept waking him up. Making a blanket tent for him to block out the lights fixed that one but he still woke up and was less than happy every time we had to stop for gas.

And because I was pushing it trying to get to Houston as soon as humanly possible, he had a couple of melt downs. I've determined the trip is not possible solo in less than a couple days because while Caleb is capable of holding a sippy cup, he hasn't caught on to the fact he has to hold it UP while he's sitting to get the milk out. He does fine laying down, but sitting up in the car seat didn't go well. I think if I got the straw kinda sippies it could work b/c he's a good little straw sipper but the ones you suck like a bottle? He starts out holding them up, and then they fall down, and then he's sitting there trying to suck the milk out like a bottle, but its down in his lap, and the milk aint coming and he gets TICKED.

So you either wind up with the person in the passenger seat losing all feeling in their arm while they hold the bottle/sippy over the back of the chair for the kid (does not help things that his car seat is still rear facing until he's 1 year old), or you have to pull the car over, get him out of the car seat and hold him and the bottle while he eats. And since he's the world's pokiest little eater, either option takes a long frigging time. On the way there, since we were in a hurry we opted for the hold it over the seat option.

We did try drugging the kid with benedryl one time on the way there (don't worry we asked the doctor first) b/c he was having a melt down and we were in the middle of NOWHERE. Didn't do a lick of good. Made him slightly groggy for an hour. And since he'd gotten crap for sleep the night before b/c we were on the road and he wasn't cooperating about napping as we continued our trip he was just a smidgen on the whiney side. *ugh*

On the way home since we were in less of a hurry, we tried decided to try regular stops etc in an effort to have the child be less whiney. This initially worked rather well. Every 2-3.5 hours or so when we needed more gas, instead of just filling and going, we'd stop, get him out of the car and let him play, have a snack, bottle, whatever for 20-30 mins. That definitely seemed to help him be a happier child for the first chunk of the trip. But it added massively to the time the trip took. So instead of making it in about 18 hours or less, it took more like 23 hours. Which sucked, massively. And by the end of it, he wanted a break every 30 mins for 30 mins to be happy and that just wasn't happening b/c I wanted to get home some time this year. So added stops helped with happiness short term, but the cost of the time increase was long term not worth it in the toll it took on us and him.

So next time I make the trip I'm going to do the following:

1. The trip will take TWO days. We'll start at like 9 am after rush hour clears out, and stop in a hotel over night. And we'll plan to take short breaks every 3 hours or so with a longer break for lunch (the stop at the McDonalds with the big play place was GOLD).

Yeah I don't think he'll like two solid days in the car but I think he'll be happier if he at least gets a good nights sleep, and since I can't drive the whole thing solo in one go thats how its gonna have to work if I wanna do this trip alone. We'll get there sometime on day 2. If the kid is feeling cooperative it will be early, if not it will be later. Either way Mommy will have a good nights sleep and be less inclined to thwack people b/c she's sleep deprived and irritated.

2. We need a better sippy cup strap. Sippy Pal looks awesome but its not yet available in stores and I didn't have time to order one online, so I grabbed some generic piece of crap sippy strap from the store and yeah it was worthless. Too short and a pain in the butt to use.

3. Caleb needs to be big enough to be a in a forward facing car seat, which he will be in another month and a half. I think this will help with a lot of my issues. Also when he gets bigger I see a portable dvd player being a god send.

4. Caleb either needs to catch on to holding the sippy cup UP to drink from it, or we need to switch to the straw variety.

5. If at all possible, the length of time between the to and from trips will be MUCH longer. 4 days was not long enough of a break between LONG drives. In the future, 10-14 days sounds MUCH better.

In other news, the time in Houston was WONDERFUL. It was so good to see my family and get spoiled rotten for a few days. And it was so dang cute to watch Caleb play with my nieces. He and Leah are just 18 months apart and they both thought the other was the coolest thing ever so they played and jabbered at each other in baby talk. It was so cute. I loved it.

Having the time in Houston be so wonderful has not helped my homesickness one bit though. lol. Now I want to move more than ever. I think I'm going to start searching job listings in Texas. lol.