Thursday, September 30, 2010



I am SOOO excitedddd! I'm like a little kid at christmas and I'm so wired with my excitement its 3 am and I can't sleep at all and I'm okay with that.

In 12 hours my plane takes off and I get to go play with jewelry, kid free, for two SOLID days!!!

I will miss my baby and my hubby but I'm so excited and happy for this R&R I just can't be sad right now.

*Does a happy dance*

Okay, that is all. I don't know what my internet access will be like in Galena but I'll try to keep you posted!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Who am I? 2

I want to spend some time examining some of the different anecdotes that illustrate principles that I try to live my life by.

I don't want to be the old man in the flood.

The Story:

There a big flood and the old man is sitting in his rocking chair on the front porch and the flood water is lapping the bottom of the porch and the rescue workers come by in a boat and say "Come with us you have to evacuate." And the old man says, "I'm not leaving. I have faith. The Lord will save me."

A while later, the water is now up to the roof of the porch where the old man is now sitting and another boat comes and asks him to leave. And once again he refuses, "I have faith. The Lord will save me."

Finally the old man is perched on top of his chimney and a helicopter comes and says "Come on you HAVE TO GO." And the old man refuses "No! I have faith! The Lord will save me!"

And then the old man drowns and he gets to heaven and asks, "God! I had faith! Why didn't you save me?!" To which the Lord replies:

"I sent you two boats and a helicopter! What more did you want?!"

Which is a humorous way of saying just how important it is to realize help and salvation when the Lord sends it. He may not send it in the way that you want or they way that you think the help should come or be done. But He will send it and you need to be humble enough that you're willing to see things as they are and do what He would have you do.

That the goal anyways. I'm still learning. I still have times when I want the Lord to save me the way I want to be saved. But I hope I can catch on before I drown.

Now I know the following will surprise people who have only met me recently but I used to be a door mat. I had like no spine. If you hit me I'd probably apologize for running into your fist. And then I had one of my favorite people in the whole wide world tell me something:

There are people in this world who go around handing out steaming buckets of shit to other people. And they want you to gratefully take that steaming bucket of shit from them, thank them and dump it all over yourself. 

Any time some one tries to make you feel inferior that is a bucket of shit and you don't have to take it. 

And it has taken some doing for me to learn to recognize the buckets quickly. Some are cleverly disguised as high grade manure and some even come with a bow or from people who claim to love you or that you love. But they're still shit buckets. And once you recognize them as such you do not have to take it.

Its empowering. And its liberating. And life just feels a whole helluva lot better when you get good and fast at recognizing those buckets for what they are and rejecting them with as much vigor as if someone did actually try to walk up and dump manure on you.

And the reason it feels so right and so good and you only get better at it is because you have a divine right to protect your own life. And that includes the quality of your life. God wants you to have joy. No where in scripture does He say "lay down and take it". NO!

Nephi LEFT!! For those unfamiliar with the Book of Mormon the story starts with a family who flees Jerusalem at the time of the prophet Jeremiah, just before the city was destroyed and the inhabitants carried away captive to Babylon. The family of Lehi was lead by the Lord, to the coast where they built boats and sailed across the ocean to the Americas where they settled. Of Lehi's children the two oldest (Laman and Lemuel) were wicked and the younger sons were righteous and lead by the 4th brother Nephi.

After the death of Lehi the whole thing comes to a head and Nephi is warned in a vision that if he stays there his brothers will kill him and his family. And so Nephi takes his family and departs into the wilderness. He didn't stay there to die. He took his family and left. And it was the right thing to do. And more than that he made swords and shields and weapons and taught his people how to use them so that they could defend themselves.

If it becomes clear in a situation that a person is not going to stop trying to shovel shit all over me and they won't stop, my choice is to leave. Thats how I turn my cheek. And if they follow I have a right to defend my life.

Since I discovered this principle my life has been immeasurably more joyful. I grow in happiness, confidence and spine with every passing day. I am my own little fire ball now. And I LOVE IT.

And with most people, they usually back down once you point it out. "Wow that was rude!" has an amazing effect. You identified that there was a shit bucket present and refused to accept it. Do it with a smile and they're usually left sputtering an apology.

Try it. Its fun. What shit buckets are people handing out? Are you trying to give any to other people?

Any extra prayers would be nice

So I couldn't sleep last night because I was so angry.

And I couldn't figure out exactly what it was that was making me so intensely angry. And so I did a lot of thinking and praying and writing and was able to determine exactly what it was that was making me so nutty. And its something that has been going on and on in a cycle for a long while now and I've discovered that my patience for that cycle is simply gone.

And so I had a talk with the person this concerns this evening and explained my concerns and the fact that after this length of time I can no longer be patient with the present pattern. And that while this person does not have to change, I have made it clear what it is I require from the beginning and this had been previously agreed upon by both parties whole heartedly.

And unless things can conform to the agreement then the relationship cannot continue as I cannot handle the stress of it. It makes me too unhappy.

So they don't have to change but if they chose not to then my decision is to leave. I hope that things work out. Cuz things will massively suck if they don't.

I don't necessarily like this path but I do feel peaceful about it.

Some prayers would be nice.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Who Am I?

This post is liable to be the start of a whole new series. Because I'm of course egotistical enough to think that "Who am I?" is a very complicated question. I'm heading this direction mostly because I have had occasion recently to look back at who I have been and be shocked and amazed and how much I've changed. I'm a very, very, very different person than I was 10 years ago. And I think in most ways the change has been good. But in some ways I need to stop and reevaluate who it is that I think that I am because now, apparently, some of my assumptions about myself are false.

So a while back Blogger added a new feature to my little dashboard called "Stats"that I have found endlessly fascinating. I can see how many hits my blog has had and when. I can see what posts are the most popular. I can see how people find my blog, what country they're from and what browser they're using. And I've been absolutely floored at the number of page hits I get.

I mean I'm definitely not getting anything huge but its still A LOT more than I thought I was getting (or would EVER get for that matter). And I've had some people follow me publicly that I don't even know. Ditto for my Twitter feed (which is @fleipaper btw). And this plus the strange levels of affection I receive from my crew on Evony has lead me to the VERY strange conclusion that people seem to actually like listening to me talk.

Because part of why I like to blog and twitter is it gives me the chance to run my mouth with out inflicting my talking on anybody. If somebody actually reads what I have to say then its totally self inflicted and I'm not forcing my blathering on some person. Because prior to now with real people I'd feel obligated to stop talking when they show signs of rigor mortis or the like but with this I can talk as much as my little heart desires and if they don't like it they don't have to read it. I think its just FANTASTIC.

And they are! Reading it! At least some of the time. Which means they actually want to hear me talk.

How weird is that??!

I say this is strange because for most of my grade school years I was that kid. The obnoxious one that ALWAYS had her hand in the air (I have impulse control issues) and I know for a fact that for long periods I think most of my classmates were thinking "For the love of all that is HOLY SHUT UP" and I"m moderately confidant that at least a few of my teachers thought the same thing.

I got this message through my thick head some where in middle school and thus began the years of challenge to find a balance. I discovered I had to be doing at least two things at once b/c either I would totally wander off and day dream and miss the whole lesson. Or I'd want to comment on everything. So I needed something to keep my hands busy so the brain could focus on the lesson with out feeling the need to talk and discuss it. In school I spent A LOT of quality time doodling. I learned how to finger spell in sign language so I could spell along with the lecture. I took up calligraphy. In college and church I'd even crochet and cross stitch my way through things.

College was a lot better mostly because the pace was faster. I wouldn't have time to get bored. That was the big problem in grade school. I was BORED. The teacher asked a question and refused to move on until somebody gave the answer. And for some completely retarded reason my fellow class mates decided knowing the answer was not cool and would therefore NOT speak.

So the teacher would stand there and stare until somebody would raise their hands. And ya know what? For me it was a agonizing battle - do I do the unpopular thing and annoy my fellow students and the teacher (who wanted to hear from someone OTHER than me) and give the answer so that we can move on so that I'm not bored or do I just sit there and try to sing songs in my head until somebody else gives in and I can finally learn something else?

I usually tried to limit myself to some arbitrary number - like I'm allowed to answer no more than 2 questions in class today and then space them out so as to help alleviate the pain. Honors classes helped with this A LOT but still college was SO much better because they'd usually move so fast I'm taking notes for all I'm worth and I don't have time to get bored. And they usually don't ask stupid questions either.

I did have the problem in class if I read the book in advance, which I tried to do to keep up but then it would create this problem of, I'd keep up a running commentary under my breath on what I'd like to say if I could raise my hand.

Yes I am a freak of nature and I have Issues. We know.

Usually it worked just fine unless the prof had dang good hearing because I have to sit front and center because I am half deaf. And then some professors would find it more than slightly annoying and I'd really have to watch myself. Or just not read the book in advance so I wasn't anticipating the direction of the conversation and making the connections under my breath.

Which of course created the problem of getting behind. Because I swear I'm either ON the ball or horribly behind. There is no in between. My house is that way too. Either the room is perfect or the room is a disaster area. I don't quite know how that happens but it does.

But I digress because the point here is that for most of my life people were asking where the "OFF" button was to my motor mouth and then I started to have a very peculiar experience in college. When I'd make a comment in a group of people.... they would smile. And laugh. And later even, sometimes, thank me for my thoughts. This was a strange experience.

And now there are people who tell me that they like my blog. And they're rather emphatic about it. I have a guy friend online who describes listening to me rant as "relaxing" and enjoys it. And I wonder what it is exactly that people like so much. Usually when asked I get the response "I like the way you talk."

Which is just perplexing because growing up I got told repeatedly that I "talk funny". And I have no idea what it was I said or how I said it that was so "funny" but I got that all through out my youth. That or they'd declare my an arrogant beotch. That happened more in middle school and early high school.

Which lead to me making jokes about my being fat or dumb because if I made fun of me first then they would laugh and I wouldn't get called a fat arrogant bitch. Which happened. More than once.

The problem was that after several years of being told that, and calling myself that. I started to believe it. I had roughly the self esteem of a gnat and some remarkable door mat like personality characteristics and a nice dose of codependency too.

I really truly believed that I was dumb, or maybe even average intelligence and I just worked hard. I wasn't any smarter than anybody else. I've now determined that is a complete crock of manure. I would say I'm statistically significantly more intelligent than the average population. At least one standard deviation above the norm. I'm not sure if I'd credit myself with more than that but I'm there for sure.

And don't you dare accuse me of being arrogant. I'm still not saying I'm better than anybody. I am saying that I can learn faster than some people. And I don't think that makes me the bees knees or anything its just being aware of my abilities so that I know how best to use them. And also in being aware of how I differ from other people I have better expectations of what other people can and cannot realistically do.

Also, while I might weigh more than I want to, I do think I look good. I like that I have curves. No matter how much weight I lose I will still be SERIOUSLY curvy. And I like it. 

Momma got some junk in the trunk. And she likes it.

I now actually like the shape of my own hind quarters. Do you have any idea how MASSIVE a mental shift that is for me? I used to LITERALLY burst into tears after looking in the mirror. I also think I'm pretty. I never used to think that. I think I'm getting more attractive as I get older. That or I've always been attractive and I'm just now seeing it.

No I don't think I'm all that and a bag of chips. But I do think I've got some good things going for me. Which is a huge, massive, giant change from my teen and young adult years where I was sure I was so ugly I should probably go around with a bag over my head and no man could possibly ever want me or find me attractive because I was so grotesquely fat and I was going to die alone.

No there was no drama there either.

I can go out in public with no make up on and see a mirror and not wince. I do still really want my make up if I'm meeting some one new (the whole "first impressions are most important" thing) or actually if I'm feeling sad or insecure and I need to hide that for some reason. Its like my war paint. With it I can face anything. With out it, we're good for daily living. lol. Used to be I religiously applied it every morning. Not anymore.

And since I think this is approaching novel length now I'll stop for now.

Random Post #357e Paragraphs 2-789

So many random ends I want to cover tonight....

1. The purpose of the on ramp on the freeway is so that you can accelerate to freeway speeds (ie be doing AT LEAST the speed limit) before you enter the freeway. Thats right folks, the on ramp is not to just be casually cruised up so you can think about trying to maybe jump into that big scary freeway. You should achieve freeway speeds before you're half way thru the ramp so that you can then look to your left, pick a spot in the traffic for you to merge into and adjust your speed so that you can hit it perfectly.

Is it the most fuel economical thing in the world? Nope. But its a heckuva lot cheaper than an accident. WHICH IS WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO CAUSE WHEN YOU'RE STILL DOING 40 WHEN YOU GET TO THE END OF THE ON RAMP. And whats worse is when I'm stuck behind you, while you commit this gross stupidity. Because by NOT achieving freeway speeds before merging into traffic you impede the flow of traffic and are highly likely to cause an accident. 

Did you know that while accidents that involve speeders are more likely to result in a fatality, slow drivers actually cause 70% more accidents?? If you're not prepared to do what is necessary to merge on to a freeway safely - STAY ON THE SURFACE STREETS. 

Thank you. 

2. So Heavenly Father does hear prayers and He did put the perfect person for me to talk to in my path today so I was able to vent and get it all out and have her understand and not freak out and she was completely empathetic which is so what I needed. Did it fix my problem? No. Do I feel a million percent better? Oh yeah. 

Also I did get an answer, of sorts, to my concerns while I was listening to the Relief Society General broadcast (I'll explain in a min) and that was "Forget yourself and get to work". And that was SOOO not the answer I wanted. Will it help? I'm sure it will. Is it what I'm supposed to do? Yes. Should I stop with the pity parties and get over myself and suck it up? Yes. Do I wanna??? NOOOOOOO. Was that what I wanted to hear??? Oh heck no. Was that what I needed to hear? Unfortunately the answer to this is probably yes. *ugh* I just wanted Him to magically fix it! Ya know?? 

And here I am again going "Okay Heavenly Father, your power, and my plan! Lets go!!" And He just laughs at me. And it NEVER works the way I want it to or think its going to. 

I just wanna take one more moment to pout and be petulant and then I'll grow up and go lose myself in service and feel better. 


*is petulant*

*sigh* Okay. Moving on. 

Mormon Moment: The Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the worlds oldest and largest women's organization. Created to give service and to uplift and support women the world over its just plain AWESOME. And once a year we have a big broadcast. They get all the big wigs in Salt Lake City and they have a little 1-2 hour series of talks and AMAZING music and they show it around the world by TV, satellite, internet, radio, probably carrier pigeon if they have to. And its awesome. And you listen and are inspired, and frantically scratch out notes of things you want to remember, and walk out of there feeling like a million bucks. I <3 the RS Broadcast. 

3. In other news we finally managed to finish all 3 bracelets and set up the display board for the class they want me to teach on jewelry making at church. I think its going to be a ton of fun and I'm particularly proud of the bracelets. Because we've got quite the age range going - we're going to invite all the women from age 12 up to this activity. So I need something that is going to appeal to quite the spectrum. So I think I have something my Mom would love, one that I am thrilled with, and one that I think the younger set is gonna like. So I think we're covered. 

Also we managed to keep all 3 in budget. Go me. 

4. We fly out in T minus 4 days and counting. :D :D :D Is it weird that I'm more concerned about what jewelry I'm going to wear to this conference than anything else?? lol

Saturday, September 25, 2010


So I'm a little slow b/c apparently there's this blogger with a site by the name of Dooce and she's apparently like the most popular blogger in the whole friggin' world and been on the news and a dozen different shows and magazines etc.

And um.... prior to yesterday I'd never, ever heard of her. Because I live under a rock. Duh.

But point is, I checked out her site and after laughing myself silly at some of her posts I looked up her book (she's got two) and read the little exerpts on Amazon.

Apparently her story in a nutshell is she started blogging back when blogging was new, and made headlines by being fired for ranting about her boss on her blog. She then got married, got pregnant, had massive issues with post partum depression and blogged all about that too.

Now let me say that anybody who goes through post partum depression (PPD) has my deepest sympathy and love. But I find myself extremely disturbed at one thought. She's a person who suffers from chronic depression. She has to take her little pill everyday to make sure she's in control of her emotions - something I completely understand because apparently my brain was miswired in exactly the same way for the last decade. But um, she went off her meds so that she could get pregnant and have a baby.

And in so doing, not at all surprisingly wound up with mad, crazy depression and anxiety. Which was pretty much one of my personal nightmares. I've actually known people who wound up with good old fashion post partum psychosis their PPD was so bad. And I was scared sh*tless that thats exactly what would happen to me. I mean deep, bone chilling fear.

Which is why I did a lot of homework on antidepressants and pregnancy. I talked to SEVERAL physicians. I looked up the research. I have a frigging degree in psych. And I personally made the decision to stay on my meds through out the entire process.

Granted my psych med of choice is Zoloft which is the one you want to take if you want to try to have a healthy baby and not go nuts from your depression so yay for me I didn't even have to adjust my meds. And I do not know if she has tried Zoloft and it didn't work for her and the only psych meds that work for her are the ones that will make your kid grow antlers or something.

But my gut reaction to seeing those words in print was "ZOMG WHYYYYYY????" I'm just like gasping that someone would go through my personal nightmare if they didn't have to. Because I have a VERY healthy, happy, beautiful baby boy and minimal depression issues (Although I admittedly gained like 40 pounds after I had the kid b/c I self medicated with brownies a fair bit but thats another discussion) by conceiving and carrying to term, and breast feeding there after all while taking my little happy pills.

And so, I'm glad she overcame this huge challenge. I'm awed that she's got the courage to share it with others and spread hope and light and humor through a crappy situation. But I honestly think that if I couldn't take psych meds and have a healthy baby I'd probably adopt rather than try to go off my meds when I need them. And I wonder if she could possibly have avoided the whole mess by just taking Zoloft....

I really don't mean to judge and be harsh but its so just shock and awe for me and I want people to know there is another option. Its possible to have a healthy baby and your happy pills too. But should you chose the other path, you should probably go chat with Dooce because she is a survivor.

Talking in circles about nothing

I've got a problem. And this is going to sound like the most bass-ackwards statement you've ever heard but I think this may be the first time I've ever had a problem that I can't talk to anybody about. I mean I'm really seriously racking my brains here and I don't know who to discuss this with.

I might be a freak but I've always kind of, compartmentalized my friendships. Not really intentionally it just works out that way. So if I'm having an issue related to someone in group A, then I can discuss it with a person from group B who can offer me objective advice and I don't have to worry about it getting back to the person from group A b/c the two groups have absolutely NO contact and I'm not wanting to gossip I just need to consult with somebody. And this has served me well prior to now.

The one person I can discuss anything with is the person with whom I'm having the problem. I can't blog about it because of privacy and loyalty issues. I can't figure out how to talk around it so that I can talk through it. None of my non Mormon friends will understand what my issue is and none of my mormon friends would be comfortable discussing it. There is one person I can think of who will understand the issue and be okay discussing it but I know what they're going to say already and thats not what I want or need to hear just yet. And I can think of 2 others with whom I might be able to have this chat if I can get over my personal embarrassment of discussing the topic with them at all. I mean they'd probably be uncomfortable too but they love me enough they'd hear me out. Probably. Maybe.

I don't know. Maybe I'll figure it out. But right now I can't think clearly enough to think through it and I can't figure out who to use as my sounding board. I've tried just journalling it out but thats not working. I've chased that tiger around and around in my head and I'm sick of it.

I guess I should just pray harder. But I'm so tense and wrapped up in this I can't feel anything spiritually to get any answers back. And mostly what I really want to do is self medicate with chocolate and we're trying very hard to avoid the baked goods because we've done so good with the weight loss lately. But I'm stressed and a little freaked and right now I want an f-ing cake and a whole frigging pan of brownies.  And maybe some ice cream.

I may also have issues with food.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I wasn't sure what I was going to write about this evening until I was surfing the Cheezburger network in my boredom and came across this little gem:

After I stopped my hysterical laughter, I did sober up just a little bit because I have so thought this of my fellow Christians on more than one occasion.

Call me weird but the following concepts are the principles by which I try to govern my relationships when dealing other people who do not believe or think as I do (you are welcome to disagree with me but this is my opinion):

1. "We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where or what they may." Articles of Faith 1:11

I take the freedom of religion clause very seriously. I might find it strange if you want to worship the Holy Cow Pie, but if you're sincere then more power to ya. Likewise if you want to worship nothing have fun. This is what I believe. You don't have to believe it but I would ask you show a modicum of respect for me and my beliefs just as I will do for you.

2. I've tried for years to find a nicer way to state this one but can't get it any clearer with out getting extremely verbose: "Hate the sin, not the sinner." Its my belief that I'm supposed to "love my neighbor as myself" and that "my neighbor" includes everybody - not just the people who look and act like me and I don't think I can love anybody while ostracizing/hating/ridiculing them.

However, you'll note that I'm not saying that I agree with you and think everything you're doing is just hunky dory. I might think that it is very wrong, and I will express that if asked. But provided what ever the "sin" is  doesn't constitute a direct threat to the health and safety of others, I also think that its between you and your Heavenly Father and is none of my business. My job is to love others.

So with those two concepts in mind I am saddened that "Christianity" has come to have such a strongly negative connotation in many circles. I believe it was Ghandi who once said something to the effect of "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." It saddens me that "Christianity" has almost become a byword for "hateful" and "intolerant", since to me and my understanding of the teachings of Jesus Christ we should be the most loving and charitable group out there.

I'm not saying that every person who calls themselves "Christian" is bad. Far, far from it. But there seems to be a significant movement that makes it on to the news on a fairly regular basis by being outright hateful and claiming their motivation to such is their belief in Christ.

And right here is where I have to be careful because I, myself start to fall into the hole of "Well I don't know what scripture you're reading b/c you're wrong" and I can very easily go get super judgmental myself. Even these people, who from my perspective are the antithesis of what they claim to represent, are allowed to feel the way they do. I guess I just wish they could be a smidgen more respectful.

And on the flip side of this whole conversation - I dislike the haters that claim to be Christian, but I also dislike the way that the backlash to that group has affected all of Christianity. Its almost not okay to be a Christian. People can respect and revere every other belief system (or lack there of) but Christianity should be ostracized.

From a "Freedom of Religion" stand point, no I don't think you should have organized, mandatory prayer in schools, but I do think a "moment of silence" is absolutely okay. I think, in fact, its an excellent compromise. If you desire to pray you can, if you desire to think "I hate potatoes" thats good too. I think as long as everybody is quiet and respectful of others its an excellent opportunity to allow others to worship or not as they chose.

The other classic example of this back lash is the way its been non politically correct for several years now to wish a person a "Merry Christmas". I, for one, am happy to be wished a "Happy Chanukah", a "Merry Kwanza", a "Happy Solstice" or "Merry Winter Festival" or whatever makes you happy. I appreciate the sentiment of wishing me tidings of good cheer and happiness. When I wish a person a "Merry Christmas" I am attempting to express affection, good feelings and happy thoughts. At no point have I ever considered it to be a command, or in any way an attempt to force my beliefs on a person.

Maybe somebody some where means it maliciously but I don't. And I'm sorry if you get sick of red and green every where for a month or so but please by all means retaliate in good cheer and paint yourself blue and white, or black or red/yellow/green or aquamarine for all I care.

Its something that means very much to me, that evokes happy, happy memories from my childhood. So please, don't take offense when I wish you a "Merry Christmas". I have the right to celebrate how I chose, and so do you. Feel free to tell me "Bah humbug!" Just kindly, don't throw anything. :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Things They Don't Tell You Before You Have A Baby

and a few things that I at least didn't know/expect/appreciate before I got pregnant and stuff I wish I'd known: The first 10 items on this list were originally published as a Note on my Facebook page when I was roughly 7 months pregnant. I wanted to revisit this list and add to it. I've discovered a few more things that really should be documented for posterity here at I Like Sparkly Objects. 

1. The two most commonly listed symptoms of early pregnancy are "fatigue" and "nausea". Fatigue is NOT the correct word in my opinion. Fatigue is a MASSIVE understatement of what happens in the first trimester, because to me fatigue means "I need a nap". My first trimester was closer to what you get at the end of finals, when you haven't slept more than 3 hours a night for the last two weeks and not at all for the last 48 hours and you're running on caffeine and cold pizza, and you are literally so sick and horribly exhausted that you're shaking and you're going to need to sleep for roughly a week to make up for this abuse to your body. THAT is the level of "fatigue" I experienced the first trimester. You'd wake up after a nap and feel like you haven't slept at all.

2. They call it "morning sickness". This is also a misnomer. Its all day, all night, puking so hard it feels like it comes from your toes sickness.

3. I NEVER EVER expected pregnancy to be the single best diet I've been on in years. In fact, I was deeply concerned that since I was already plus-sized, about what the physical effects of the added weight of a baby would do to my joints etc. Instead I have slowly but steadily lost weight my entire pregnancy. I've now lost over 25 pounds. According to my doctor apparently my metabolism really DOES suck that bad (ie- normally I can eat less than anybody else and STILL gain weight) and the baby has rev-ed up my metabolism to the same level of as that of a normal person so now I'm dropping weight.

4. I've heard of women who get dark lines up the center of their belly when pregnant. I've even seen some that got hair up their belly, I never expected freckles. No lines and no hair but lots of freckles. Between about 6 & 7 months I have gotten a BUNCH of new freckles. Almost all of them are in places that NEVER see the sun. I showed the doctor and she says that its totally normal.

5. I've decided that any woman who claims she "didn't know she was pregnant" when she gives birth is either lying or has some variety of psychiatric issue. Being poked from the INSIDE is a VERY strange sensation. But it gets progressively stronger and more insistent and really does feel like somebody just elbowed you, only from the inside. There isn't ANY WAY a normal person could mistake these sensations for any normal bodily function.

6. I forever misspelled the word "pregnant" before I got pregnant. ;) Now I know how to spell it.

7. I thought the reason pregnant women are known for being constipated was because the baby was some how sitting on things and slowing them up. So I was surprised when this happened when the kid was the size of a peanut. I also didn't know that pregnant women are prone to gas. Somehow they neglected to mention these two lovely facets of pregnancy. Apparently pregnancy causes the smooth muscle tissue to relax, in part to slow down your digestive processes so that you can more completely absorb the nutrients in your food. The downsides to this is that your foods' extended stay in your bowel allows more time for the creation of gas and also dries the stool more which causes the constipation. Drinking obscene amounts of water can help to fend of this situation. Lots of fiber is of course vital as well.

8. I didn't know that your blood volume nearly doubles when you're pregnant. Most of the reason for this is to buy you grace when you deliver so you don't bleed to death but also to allow surplus circulatory capacity for the two people your organs are now providing for. Your kidneys ALSO kick into high alert AND for the first trimester the baby's kidneys are not yet functional so your kidneys are cleaning up for both you AND baby - which is why frequent urination is such a problem in the first trimester.

9. I knew pregnancy was divided into 3 trimesters. I always figured that it was because 9 months divides evenly by 3. I didn't realize the pregnancy really divides its self into three in terms of symptoms and development. People didn't do it, Mother Nature did. It's really true that you do the exhausted/pukey bit the first 3 months, then you feel pretty good the second 3 months, and then you go back to exhausted and very sore for the last 3 months. And his development goes a lot the same - everything is pretty much THERE by the end of the first trimester. It gets bigger and develops more fully the 2nd and the third is almost totally dedicated to weight gain.

10. I didn't know that every lubricant on the market (except one that claims otherwise) is basically sperm killer. When trying to conceive the doc says not to use lube because even if it doesn't actually kill the sperm outright with its happy chemicals, it makes things thicker so the sperm get stuck in it and die before they achieve their purpose.

11. "Bloody show" is defined in every text I've seen as "blood tinged mucus discharge". I was like "Oh no big. I mean I've had my period for how long now?" We can handle us some "blood tinged mucus discharge." Oh HELL NO. That is GOO. I mean like GAK or think ectoplasm from the first Ghost Busters movie. If you're familiar with livestock - you know what happens to a cow 24 hours before birth - the GIANT, voluminous strings of GOO? Yeah. Just say "Moo" and get it over with. It was GROSS. Like wear a pad and change it every other hour GROSS. Lots and LOTS of Goo. *twitches*

12. Your first period after you have the kid will be so heavy that you're so sure you're bleeding to death or something is wrong you will call the doctor. Also you're going to have hormones, mood swings and cramps the likes of which you haven't seen since you were a teenager for the next several months. It sucks. 

13. I NEVER thought I would be one of those people who looks in the mirror (they offer you a mirror so you can see your cooch while you deliver) - b/c hello its gross, and I figured I'd be otherwise focused. But I pushed for an HOUR, and when it got to where they said "You can see him now!" I had to look. I needed to see him, to see that he was okay and that we really were progressing. 

14. Next time I have a kid, they can have my name and then they can start my f-ing IV. You can check my crotch, hook up the monitors, etc AFTER you start my IV. Because you have to have two whole bags of fluid before they'll let you have the epidural and in the name of all that is holy, you don't want to wait for the epidural. They took FOREVER to start my IV so by the time I was allowed to have the epidural I was in so much pain I couldn't believe I was still alive. 

15. Nothing prepared me for the changes in the geography down there post labor. I was absolutely shocked. It was like I didn't even recognize my own bits and I was kinda freaked that things would NEVER be the same again. I was shocked and delighted when inside of 6 weeks things looked and felt exactly like they did before. I was sure things would NEVER be the same again. So fair warning - its worse than you think BUT it will get better. 

16. Before I had my baby, I was really worried that because of my hearing loss I wouldn't hear him if he cried or had a problem in the night. I never would have guessed that I would be so attuned to him that I would wake up if he so much as changed his breathing. In fact it was so bad that the only way I could get any sleep at all for the first week was to very carefully take him to bed with me. If I was holding him and his breathing changed I could check on him with out completely waking up like I would if he was someplace else and I had to go to him. 

17. I had no idea how much lactating breasts weigh. I've never been a "wear my bra all the time" person before. When you're breast feeding you will want to wear that bra full time because otherwise you have to use your hands to support those poor girls because they're huge, heavy, and they hurt if you don't support them. 

18. Its going to hurt almost as much the first time you have sex post baby as it did the first time you ever had sex. I don't know if she just went overboard stitching me up or what but oh wow. Have lube handy. 

19. You really will forget just how bad it was. The first 6 months I remembered vividly just how bad the whole pregnancy, labor, and first couple months of sleep deprivation and exhaustion were. Now? Part of me remembers but not really. You really do sort of gloss it over and forget. Mother Nature does NOT play fair on this one. (I wrote a whole post about this here.)

20. Pregnancy really does give you the sense of smell of a blood hound. I don't really know why this is, particularly given the insane amounts of nausea which are NOT helped by being super ultra sensitive to every odor in a 5 mile radius. Good news is this one will pass pretty quickly after you pop out your crotch parasite. Bad news is - you have to go through labor like this. You want to bring breath mints for every person in the delivery room....

21. Oh and once your water breaks you will drip fluid CONSTANTLY until you actually give birth. Be prepared and have big fat phone book pads and a stack of towels available in the event your water breaks before you head to the hospital. Oh and should your water break - call your doctor immediately and head to the hospital. Doesn't matter how far apart your contractions are they want you there NOW. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Things are looking up

So last week was a giant crap cake topped by a crap sundae. I didn't even JohnCMayer the internet even tho I seriously considered it b/c I was barely pullin together enough mojo to function well enough to feed the child 3 times a day when he screamed. I haven't had a migraine in close to a month and last week I had 3. Plus a whole bunch of other badness, that ended in epic badness.

But we're going to move past that now. Its a new week. New day. And I for one am ready to focus on the happy.

Starting with - I AM SO FRIGGIN' EXCITED ABOUT my upcoming Vintaj 2 Day Workshop!! Its like me doing random happy dances every time I think about it!!! Vintaj has one of the COOLEST idea books you'll ever get your hands on - and they're gonna teach me how to make everything in it!!! WHOOO HOOOO!!!!

Right now I lack much else to say. So this is gonna be a short one. You're welcome.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Operation: Psycho Momma

So I think its a conspiracy. I think the kid's thought pattern goes like this:

Okay Its time for Step 1 of Plan: Push Mom OVER the Edge

For a solid week, any night that Mom hasn't gotten to bed early, wait until Mom has JUST gotten really comfortable and is falling asleep. THEN begin screaming. Now I know this is old school and she thought we were over this by the time we were 6 months old but we're bringing back the classic. But with a twist....

We're gonna scream good and loud for 5 mins and then we're gonna pretend we've crashed back out. We're gonna be quiet JUST long enough that she starts to relax again and think we've gone back to sleep and then we're gonna start screaming AGAIN. Only this time its going to be louder. Repeat this procedure 2-3 times for maximum effect until she surrenders and comes for us.

Step 2: She comes and gets us, initially refuse to be consoled. Thats right scream, writhe, carry on. Make the obligatory diaper change as difficult as possible.

Step 3: Okay post diaper change I want you to start to quiet down. Initially accept the sippy and calm down. But if she does anything other than exactly what you want be sure to prod her in the right direction with a ear splitting scream. Bonus points if you get it in the ear on the same side as her migraine.

Step 4: After pretending to be consoled for several minutes, strenuously object to something. Preferably something minor like her changing her breathing patterns or adjusting a pillow on the other end of the couch.

Step 5: Blow this final fit completely out of proportion. Refuse all consolation. Freak out so bad she has to put you on the ground to stop you hitting her face. Later run the other way when she tries to pick you back up but then throw yourself on the floor and scream if she gives up and walks away.

Bonus points awarded for inhuman banshee screams.

Double bonus points if you can keep up Step 5 for more than 15 mins.

Triple bonus points if you can keep up steps 3-5 for 45 minutes or more.

Step 6: Don't forget when she finally gets you to bed strenuously object as long as possible with a round of your very best banshee screams.

Step 7: Make sure you don't sleep in the next morning. Its going to take her a bit to unwind and get back to sleep after the tension and self control required to not kill you. Use this to your best advantage by not sleeping in at all the next morning. You want her up bright and early for maximum damage.

Yup.... I think that just about sums up my week. Dang near word for word what happened this evening....

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I need to whine

The last 48 plus hours have SUCKED giant hairy elephant balls. I do not know what cosmic bowl of cheerios I peed in to deserve any of this but I AM SORRY.

SO Sunday I think it was I keep myself up all night b/c my sleep schedule is so massively screwed up that it doesn't take much just to stay up the whole night. I get to bed early on Monday and life is looking pretty good. Tuesday morning I'm up with Caleb and I actually feel good instead of wishing I was dead b/c I'm so tired and I'm thrilled my new sleep schedule is working out so well.

Tues afternoon I get a migraine. Not a horrible one. My pain meds worked fairly well but I still feel like I got hit by a truck. So the hubby gets home and I crash out for a nap b/c I feel like mud. Well then Tues night, I can't sleep. Like at all. Partially thanks to the nap and partially thanks to the meds (they've had this side effect before).

I FINALLY get to sleep at about 6 am on Weds morning. Caleb then wakes up several hours early at 6:10 am. He's hysterical and has completely soaked his diaper and jammies. I get him changed, get him a bottle. He's still hysterical so I force feed him some of those happy pills (aka teething tablets) which instead of downing happily like he usually does he tries to spit out and scream at me.

Bottle gone I try to put him back to bed b/c I am the walking dead and he's not having any of that so we feed the kid breakfast and try to keep from killing him.

I finally get to lay him down for a nap and get to sleep myself.... for a whole hour and a half..... And then I'm back up w/ the whiner. Then like the only good thing happens and a dear friend of mine comes over for a few hours to watch the kid so I can sleep (I decided that our other friend was inspired when she said she'd pay for the first friend to come watch the kid to give me a break at some point this week. I think she saved both my kids and my life today).

So I get up and life is looking pretty good. I go to the chiropractor and come home and have dinner and a fairly decent evening. Well then I'm too tired to get up from the sofa to take my meds and go to bed so I crash out on the couch for an hour. Then I wake up hungry and go eat and take pills and then I go to head to bed, shut off the light and walk through the dark living room like I do every single night and I discover that my friend who watched Caleb earlier did some straightening....

.... and moved Caleb's chair. Now most kiddy chairs are light weight pieces of crap. But this chair courtesy of Adam's aunt is SOLID. It looks like a high end deck chair. Really cute. Weighs a TON. And I ran straight into it. Hooked my right foot, nailing my right ankle on the front edge, and I fell on it nailing my shin on the back edge and catching myself on the elliptical machine. So now my neck hurts, I tweaked my shoulder, elbow, back, hip, and knee. I skinned my shin and I have a technicolor bruise glowing on my shin and ankle and I can't sleep b/c I'm wide awake and I HURT.

Its 4:30 am and I can't sleep.

I hate the whole world and I have no idea what I did to deserve any of this....

Monday, September 13, 2010


So today we made progress. Instead of flat out missing church like we have the past few weeks, we actually made it to the last hour. The meeting times this year are a KILLER with the baby. We've got the 12:30 - 3:30pm block. Now back before I had a kid that was IDEAL b/c I am all about sleeping in late on a Sunday morning. However, now that Mr. Caleb rules the roost in our house thats exactly the time he goes down for his morning nap usually. So sure I can go to church and miss the whole meeting b/c I'm walking the halls trying to keep my kid from screaming his little head off because he's tired.

I even tried putting him to bed early last night so maybe he'd be up earlier and take his nap earlier. No go. He just SCREAMED for 35 minutes until I gave up and got him and then he stayed up even later than usual. *sigh*

Mormon Moment for those of you who wonder what I mean by "block" and why I can't just go to a different church - basically there are 2 different congregations that meet in our building and the church is very big on people attending the congregation (aka "ward" in mormonese) they're supposed to (its divided up by where you live). So we alternate who gets which time slot. Last year we had the 9a-12p slot and the other guys had the 12:30-3:30 slot. Well now its flipped and come January it will flip again.

Mormon Moment part 2: we go to church for 3 hours (yes really). First hour is called "Sacrament Meeting" and takes place in the chapel and the whole congregation is there and we sing songs and have a couple people give talks and take the sacrament (the mormon version of communion).

Second hour for those over the age of 12 is sunday schools broken up by age groups. In case you're wondering under 12 (but over 3) has "Primary" where they spend part of the time in a big group singing cute songs and having story time and the other part is a mini sunday school. If you're 18 months to 3 years you go to nursery (play with toys, have a snack and a mini lesson/songs).

Third hour for the age 12+ group is kinda like Sunday school but broken up by gender and then age. All the men 12+ get together to sing a hymn, say a prayer and do announcments and then break up by age groups (12-13, 14-15, 16-18, 18-old, older) for a lesson. The young women (12-18) do the same thing. The women 18+ just meet together in one room for the whole bit (song, announcements, lesson etc). I think the difference is b/c they know the women talk too much and if we had to move ourselves we'd never get anything done....

Neways - so we managed to make it for the last hour at least and Caleb was shockingly good for which I was grateful. Then we got home and he turned into a mini vengeance demon (for which I was not). But the hubby and I had some good times (we're reading a series of books together) in spite of the whining. And I grilled some burgers for dinner.

And then we completely blew traditional sabbath day holiness out of the water and actually got some cleaning done. Honestly I know Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest but I feel MUCH more peaceful right now with a clean kitchen and dining room than I did earlier with a dirty one. I got the kitchen cleaned to spotless (which took some doing) and Adam managed to get the floors in there clean. The floors didn't used to be a challenge before we had a toddler who likes to throw food.

I honestly didn't used to know that if you miss a piece of fruit and it dries to the floor it becomes remarkably like cement and will take a NICE long time to get scrub clean. Even if you soak it first.

Now my goal is to clear all the clutter out of the dining room so that I can baby proof it and be rid of the baby gate o doom before my husband managed to actually break his leg tripping over it....

And on another random side note I recently revamped the blog background but it still doesn't like .... sing to me. And so I'm continuing my quest to find the perfect (free) blog template/background. And I've spent an embarassing amount of time doing it to be perfectly honest. Here are the two I'm currently debating between. Lemme know what you think!

Option A:
Option B:

Friday, September 10, 2010

Poison Extraction. aka: Leukemia part 2

My memories of the time between when Mom was admitted and when she left for Houston are jumbled. I know with Mom gone running the house largely fell to me. I would get me (age 8), my sister (age 3-4) and my Dad up in the mornings and make breakfast. I remember having burns on my thighs from wearing my night shirt while cooking bacon in the morning and the grease would pop and splatter me. I remember learning how to do laundry and having to have a step stool so I could climb on top of the washing machine so that I could reach the soap. I remember sitting on the sofa attempting to hand sew a hole in my under wear closed.

Through out the summer we spent a lot of time with various family members and random people from our church who volunteered to look after my sister and I for a day. That was probably the hardest. Every house had different rules. One house I sat until I was near starved b/c I'd been taught it wasn't polite to ask people for food. When the woman found out she was like "oh honey you just have to speak up or better yet go serve yourself!" Then the next house I got in trouble for trying to do just that. Some houses they'd tell me I could eat anything I wanted and others I was told that beggars can't be choosers and I should eat ONLY what they offered me and eat every last bit. 

Then there was the boredom. Some people had kids who would share their toys. Others did not - either the kids were grown or the kids wouldn't share. Or they'd want to watch a movie I wasn't interested in or what not. The sweetest woman, I have no idea what her name was or I'd write her a big fat thank you note all these years later, discovered I liked to draw and she bought me a BIG thick fat loony tunes coloring book and a box of 64 crayons. I swear that book saved my life with all those days of house hopping. 

I also discovered reading. But mostly I discovered how to fake reading.... Nobody would tell me exactly what was up with my Mom. They made this big show of how Momma would do 6 weeks of chemo therapy (counted it off on the calendar with us and everything) and then she'd be all better and could come home. That was a lie. I don't know if it was intentional or just misinformed but either way when the info changed they didn't tell me directly. 

And so I'd pretend to read a book and listen while Daddy talked on the phone. I even remember him saying "Oh nah, its okay, she's reading a book. She's not listening" and he would talk about chemo therapy and radiation and bone marrow transplants. I didn't understand what those words were exactly but I caught the gist of it. Daddy seemed to underestimate my vocabulary and comprehension back then. Where as my Mom always just talked to me like I was an adult and I'd just have to stop her occasionally to have her define things. 

It was funny b/c at one point they put me in this class with one other little boy and some type of teacher there at the hospital where she tried to give us the "My Mommy has Cancer" after school special or some such thing. I was so excited to finally have a person to ask all my questions to. I immediately started asking about chemo etc and she about freaked. lol. I think she would have put her hands over the ears of the other kid if she could. 

As it was class was HASTILY broken up - me with one teacher where I asked all my questions and the little boy went with some other person to get the kiddie version. 

Our day's went something like, we'd get dropped of with whoever was watching us that day, Dad would go to work, then he'd come and pick us up, we'd go visit Mom in the hospital. My sister and I would wear masks b/c the docs explained that we had cooties and would make Momma sick (oddly enough she never once got sick from my sister and I but she caught a dozen things from Dad lol). And then later in the evening we'd head back home and I'd lay across the foot of my Dad's bed pretending to read Black Beauty while he talked on the phone. 

In retrospect Momma mostly looked good at the time. I remember she lost some weight and when the chemo got started a friend of hers who was a beautician came the hospital and gave her a hair cut. My Mom had had the 80's big curly shoulder length hair and her friend cut it off to a ultra short pixie cut. They explained that this was better since the chemo would probably make her hair fall out and it wouldn't make such a mess this way. I remember being shocked but liking it. 

I missed being able to give my Momma kisses but at least we could scramble up into her bed and cuddle with her and get hugs. We'd bring her pictures we'd drawn to decorate her hospital room. And we always loved to see when other people would bring her balloons. She couldn't have flowers so if somebody forgot and sent her them they'd hold them out at the nurses station and we'd take them home with us at the end of the night. I liked that part b/c I loved fresh flowers but I sure wished I could share them with Mommy...

Then they began to talk in earnest of transplants. Momma needed a donor and a hospital. At the time there were only 3 hospitals in the country that did the transplant - one in Tucson, one in Seattle and one in Houston. At the time we lived in Phoenix and so Daddy asked the doctor, "Well, Tucson is closest... whats the difference between the them?" The doctor replied that, "Well, right now, Tucson has about a 13% sucess rate, Seattle is running 20% and Houston is doing 50%". My Dad stared at him for a minute and went "Ya know Houston sounds GREAT to me." 

I remember the search for a donor. They started by testing all of my Mom's brothers. Adam and Sam went first and neither was a match. They'd wanted to avoid putting Uncle Mike through the stress because he had a heart condition, but he agreed to be tested. By this point I'd caught on that if Mommy didn't have a bone marrow transplant that it was going to be bad. I wanted them to test me. I didn't care if it hurt. I was willing to do anything to save my Mommy. 

Momma was dead set against my even being tested. She said it hurt too much and she didn't want me to go through that. I was set and ready to be stubborn and fight long and hard for this if I had to but thankfully it turned out my Uncle Mike was a match. 

So now we had a donor and a hospital there was just one more major roadblock: money. The insurance company was refusing to pay for treatment. There was some sort of government assistance available but they didn't want to pay either and MD Anderson wouldn't let us come unless they got a down payment that was either 30k or 3k I don't remember. I was 8 at the time but I remember it was wayyyy more money than we had. My parents had always been on the verge of broke though they worked hard to provide for us but the medical bills quickly piled up and wiped out whatever was left of their finances. 

And so, I don't know who all organized it but they had a big benefit dinner to try to raise money for my Mom. A local grocery store donated steaks, family friends provided entertainment, and Kodak (my Dad was a professional photographer at the time) donated door prizes. I know the tickets were like 100 bucks each. We raised a ton of money with that dinner (I can't remember exactly how much) but it was still far short (less than half if I recall) of what we needed. 

Unbeknownst to me at the time, my father's child hood best friend, who was an attorney, sent a letter to the hospital and the governement and explained that if they continued to delay my mother's treatment while they quibbled over the money and she died that we would sue them for everything that the mother of two small children was worth. 

The day after the benefit dinner we got word from the hospital that they'd let us come after all and we only needed to pay less than half the previous amount in advance. I don't remember the numbers but I remember it was almost the exact amount we'd raised at the dinner the night before. It was a miracle. 

A small army of sisters from church came to the house and packed up everything. My sister and I went to live with my grandparents while Mom and Dad went to Houston. 

The day they left we went to the hospital early. Mom was in street clothes for the first time in months. They wheeled her in a wheel chair out of the hospital and to a waiting limo. I was so excited, I'd never been in a limo before. Daddy explained that taxi's had too many cooties and they wanted all of us to be able to ride together so they'd gotten a limo. I remember my Mom and Dad piling into a little leer jet complete with a small medical team to monitor Mom through out the trip. 

I hugged my Mother goodbye for what I was scared might be the last time. I had know idea if I would ever see her again. And then I stool next to my Grandma with her arms wrapped around me and I sobbed my little heart out as I watched the plane back up, and take off. 

Poison Extraction. aka: Leukemia part 1

I think this post is going to be one of many. There are things I am remembering that I haven't thought about for years. I read the intro to Aunt Becky's newest blog Band Back Together and I felt my chest get tight and tears start to form. Just the premise - a place to share, fully, completely and be safe. Maybe it could help somebody else. Maybe it will only help me. But either way I think some of these demons aren't as dead as I thought so we're going to start try to pull them all kicking and screaming into the sunlight. I'll submit them at the Band but they'll all be posted here for sure.

Some background before we begin- My Mother has had cancer 3 times. Starting with Leukemia when I was 8, Melanoma when I was 15 and Mucal Epidermoid Carcinoma, stage 2, when I was 20. My Father also had Lung Cancer (Non-small cell Carcinoma stage 1) when I was 22.

These are my stories:

It was spring. I was 8 years old. Mom found a couple lumps on her neck but we'd been digging in the yard the day before at the new house so she dismissed them as some sort of bug bites....

My parent's didn't want to uproot me this close to the end of the school year and so I would get driven to school every morning and then I would walk back to Grandma's house with my cousin Josh and hang out there until Mom or Dad could pick me up after work.

One day Dad came to get me, I can't even remember if it was early or late now but I remember it was out of the normal time he usually came. We had to go to the hospital. Momma had "collapsed" at work.

What I found out later was that what actually happened was that my Mom had been walking down the hall way at work (she is an RN) talking to some coworkers and had passed out. She'd shrugged it off as hypoglycemia getting the better of her. But then a few hours later while bending over a patient it happened again. This time they insisted on taking her down to the ER for tests.

We sat for 3 hours waiting on a single blood test. Turns out they tested it on 3 different machines and the results were so off they decided the machines must be broken so they called in a specialist to count it by hand.

I don't remember what the exact white cell count was. But I remember it was SO massively off what it should have been. Lots of extra zeros. I knew that was bad but at 8 years old I didn't know much else.

The next day, my Aunt Lois came to stay with us. I really liked Lois, even if I wasn't so fond of her cooking at the time (she's my organic aunt). Mom and Dad were just going to go get one test done and see a doctor and then they'd be home.

Momma never came home to that house. In fact she didn't come home again for nearly a year....

It was me, my little sister, Beth and my cousin Kaydee sitting in the living room floor watching Bambi of all the horribly perverse things when the call came. I remember Lois looking pale and repeating like she couldn't believe it "She's got cancer??"

All I knew about cancer at that time was the week before I'd watched one of those stupid hallmark specials designed to make you bawl your frigging eyes out and the lady had died of cancer b/c she'd refused treatment so she could deliver a healthy baby.

I turned back to look at the TV in time to catch Bambi wandering alone in the snow asking "Mother? Mother?" I swear to God I am NOT making that up. I jumped up and shut that TV off as fast as I was capable of. I couldn't watch Bambi with out FREAKING OUT for 10 years afterwards.... I still don't like that stupid film....

Lois explained that Mommy wasn't coming home that night. They were admitting her to the hospital straight away to start treatment. My Mother had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). They even initially misdiagnosed her with another form of Leukemia, maybe it was wishful thinking b/c ALL in adults is bad. Like, usually they have enough time to diagnose you, admit you and then you die, levels of bad. Its more commonly found in children where it takes a much less aggressive course than it does in adults.

In a lot of ways, I look back now and realize my childhood ended in that living room that day. I have a lot more to share. And I will but I can't right now. Maybe tomorrow....

I am the child of a cancer survivor and this is my story.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Brief History of the Female Climax

So after conversing with a friend of mine earlier today who is 33.5 weeks pregnant (read: the super, ultra uncomfortable stage) and it brought back all of my thoughts about the gross inequality in the creation of children.

I mean think about it - what is a man's contribution to the process? He has a great time in the sack and thats it. Sure he does have to live with the pregnant woman and hold her hand while she's in labor but thats nothing compared to what the woman goes through. I mean for me it was 9 months in purgatory followed by tour of hell. Oh and then your memory gets tampered with by biology so you forget JUST how bad it was until of course you wind up in that position again and now its too late and theres only one way out of it....

I decided after I had my first child that God knew what he was doing when He ensured the creation of effective pain control right about the same time that effective birth control came about. Because otherwise no woman in her right mind would do that TWICE. I mean you'd do it once b/c babies are just so cute and it can't really be THAT bad... right??

Oh yeah it really is that bad. And humanity would be doomed to a slow decline if you had the option to never do that again and still get all the perks of an active sex life. And thus you have the miraculous creation of the epidural to ensure that humanity will survive.

On reflection, I've also decided that the ability to have multiple climaxes is God's way of apologizing to women for putting them through the whole process, epidural or no.

Which puts me in mind of one of my favorite lectures of my college career. It was my Psychology of Women/Sex and Gender Differences class and she gave us a brief history of sexuality in western culture.  The condensed version looks something like - women used to be allowed to have appetites, passions and a healthy sex life. Then the Normans invaded and decided women were wilting flowers and delicate and asexual (what a bunch of bastages). They thought if a woman actually liked sex there was something wrong with her. She was a deviant or some such thing and should be shunned (or made into a prostitute). Which is pretty much how it was until roughly the early 1900s.

Thats not to say that everybody had a crappy sex life - some of the journals from back then are quite amusing. One woman talks about how after she got married she was conversing with a few other women who were bemoaning what a pain their conjugal duties were and she confessed that she found the whole experience to be exhilarating personally tho she definitely didn't say so. At the time the pre wedding chat for upperclass women went something to the affect of "lay there and count the cracks in the ceiling until its over". Ugh.

Another amusing example involved a couple of arctic explorers who took note of the sexual practices of the Inuit people and how the women there commonly enjoyed the process (1 room igloo = NO privacy). Well apparently one of the explorers had a good relationship with his wife and told her about it and she told the other guys wife who decided to try actually moving/participating to see how that worked. Apparently guy 2 (who clearly needs to talk to his wife more) kinda freaked b/c he thought that he had hurt her b/c she'd never moved or made a peep before.... lol

But so you get up to the 1800s and medical science has decided that the reason why women get moody/hormonal/hysterical is because their uterus is detaching from its seat and wandering around the body cavity thereby making the woman crazy. No, sadly, I'm really NOT making this up (for perspective consider they also thought bleeding you would cure disease).

It was determined the proper course of treatment to temporarily remedy the problem was that if you stimulated the seat of the uterus you could cause a "great spasm" during which the woman would writhe and scream and which would result in the uterus being reseated properly and the woman would then become very calm, peaceful and happy.

I'll give you a moment to digest that bit.

Please remember that women of this period were NOT sexual creatures and what they're experiencing couldn't possibly be what it sounds like because those delicate flowers would never be so crass.

In fact this treatment became such a staple that medical science invented the first wind up vibrators to save the doctors hands which were becoming tired and sore after assisting these poor women all day to properly reseat their uteri.

And there we were pretty much up until Freud showed up on the scene at the turn of the century and shocked the whole world by declaring that those women were having what you and I know they were having and turned psychology on its head by declaring that women did in fact have appetites, passions and drives and we are in fact sexual creatures.

Freud might have a whole host of issues but I do have to thank the old boy for that one.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Random Post #683c

You like me!!! You REALLY like me!!! ZOMG!

So um, way back in the day, we got tired of the depression of scrolling thru my mile long blog posts just to see that I had no comments. I mean its okay that I don't have comments, b/c I'm mostly writing for me, but it was depressing to hunt and find NOTHING, so I thought I set up blogger to send me an email and have it tell me if and when I ever got a comment. And I have happily blogged along my merry way since then. 

Well, I may be slow and, I apparently did it wrong, and tonight I discovered theres this (possibly new or I'm just that inobservant) tab called "Comments" and I clicked on it to discover what it was and lo and behold oh my holy frick - I HAVE COMMENTS!!! I mean not a lot or anything but a heckuva lot more than the ZERO I thought I had. And now I feel something like a big fat jerk for never responding to any of the comments posted (I'm sorry I'm slow okay!!). 

So now we've re-set up blogger to tell me when I get a comment and hopefully I did it right this time and it will actually work. It works on Fleipaper - which is how we found out that it wasn't working on ILSO. 


Caleb had his 15 month check up this last week (if you want details go read Fleipaper) and he is now so far off the chart for height that I'm officially kinda scared to have a girl. Cuz its totally cool by me for a guy to be 6'8 but that can be seriously ROUGH for a girl to be super tall. 

I mean I'm 5'8 which doesn't sound that tall for a girl, but are you aware that the height of the average man in this country is 5'8? Yeah. It means that I put on shoes and I'm taller than half the guys out there. If I put on my favorite pair of 4" heels when I was in college I towered over most of the guys. It was annoying. 

So I'd feel sorry for the dating prospects (b/c its a rare man that can handle his date being taller than himself) for any daughters I'd have if they grow anything like Caleb is doing. I mean I know boys tend to be taller than girls but he's SO tall I'm sort of afeared. It can be rough to be a foot taller than every body else in your middle school/high school. 

On the other hand being the mother of the WNBA first round draft pick wouldn't be too terrible... Although I'm not so into sports so that might just pan out to be painful.... *shrugs*

But so yeah. I'm in this semi-funk post return home. I just can't quite seem to find my groove and its negatively affecting my productivity. At least I'm continuing to lose weight (18 pounds and counting hell yes) and my house is getting closer to being clean...

And I'm once again searching for a new blog theme. I'm in love with the one I just got for Fleipaper but I can't find one that sings to me for ILSO. Ideas? It would really help if I wasn't completely lazy and just made them myself so I could get everything just so. That or if I had the money to pay somebody else to make me happy....