Monday, October 31, 2005

on a more positive note

I was a good mommy this weekend and we carved our pumpkins so that I can make sure my little toddler has his happy memories from childhood - I hope???

We spread out the papers - which he was a HUGE help with - who said little toddler hands who like to make messes aren't good for something?

Grabbed the first (tiniest) pumpkin first. I have a small, sharp knife and I cut open the top... and off goes my little one to the knife drawer. Yes, it's supposed to be baby-proofed! Yes, I bought the expensive little device intended to keep little ones away from sharp objects. Yes, I installed that device... does it work? No. I took it out, re-installed it, re-read the directions, re-installed it... does it work? Only in reverse. Any child can open it, but it takes an adult to shut it! Go figure.

Anyway here he comes with two semi-lethal looking paring knifes rushing to the pumpkin. Mommy says no sharp knives for baby and takes them away. Puts them up high. Off he runs again, I distract him from the knife drawer with a fruit snack bribe. Works for about two seconds. Finally I cave (after relocating the contents of my knife drawer after several more trips) and I let him have a butter knife. He then attempted to carve the second pumpkin while I finished cleaning out the first baby-sized pumpkin.

My manly little toddler who puts everything grusome in his mouth - wouldn't even touch the orange 'ooky' stuff I was pulling out of the pumpkin. He did however, use the scoop to take the 'ooky' stuff out of the trash bag and all over the papers and carpet and floor and chair. Yee-ha!

Took the mini pumpkin and instead of jack-o-lanterning it - I made my world famous stuffed pumpkin - which the teen and friends declared - tastes like goulash - and refused to try any of the pumpkin with the stuffing. Oh, well... It only gets made once a year... at least the teen tried it.

The other two pumpkins took forever to carve, since toddler isn't up to picking out and telling me what face he wants - and teen was too preoccupied, I got to pick out my own patterns for the pumpkin carving. I'll try to post pictures tomorrow.

I can't WAIT until toddler is a teen and loses interest so I can go back to using my plastic pumpkins and no longer have to carve anything!

2 am wake up call

Well, the weekend is over. I spent several hours on Saturday and Sunday trying to clean house. It's tough when you have a two year old helping and you can't manage to work more than twenty minutes at a time without feeling faint. Of course, by Sunday night it was trashed again - ah well, I tried.

My teen doesn't have school today. So he managed to clean his basement so that he could have company over to have an all-night lan party. I don't mind too much, I like the fact that they come here, I know what they are up to, what they aren't up to, and that they're safe. But, at 2am this morning they made a bathroom and food run and woke me up. It's tough enough not getting to bed until 9 or 10 pm and then having to get up at 4 am, I didn't really need the 2 am wake up call.

I over heard them talking about the mess in the kitchen (which includes about four weeks worth of dirty dishes brought up from the basement). My son was pointing out a mess his baby brother had made about two minutes before bed time that I had just left. He said - look at this filth - she can't blame me for the mess in here - I don't even live upstairs. No, he doesn't... but that doesn't mean I don't do his dishes, pay for the food they were preparing, clean the pots and pans and the dishes they were using to fix the food they were preparing. Scrub the toilet and stock up the toilet paper in the bathroom they had just used. I'm not saying the house is clean, mind you... I haven't been able to keep up with the household tasks with my health suffering for the past several months. But, this is after he was supposed to clean the kitchen for the 'sweat' equity for his car - and him pointing out the 'filth' to his friends and the sarcasm dripping off 'she can't blame me for this'. I don't blame him for it - but that doesn't make him any less responsible for cleaning up after himself! Nor, that he can't do his chores, nor that he can't help me clean up after the two year old. Here he has a day off - and owes me about $1700 so far paid for his car, but he can't run the dishwasher, do a load of laundry, or pick up some pop cans.

arrrgggh! I want to just run away from it all some days.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Lessons learned this week

  • I learned that as depressed as I have been, I still have a strong will to survive - and that my fight or flight instincts will still overcome my desire to keep the peace.

  • I learned that my two year old is exceptionally good at hiding work badges especially the ones you have to pay to replace.

  • I learned that my little one sleeps really, really well at 5 am in the morning on a mattress on the floor - perhaps the problem at 7 pm, 8 pm and 9 pm is that I keep trying to get him to sleep in a bed?

  • I learned that I'm still deeply touched by the tragedy and loss of lives in Katrina and Iraq; and even the tsunami last year - but somehow the Pakistan earthquake victims, not as much. Is it just that we can only bear so much grief at a time? I mean whole schools were virtually destroyed where only a couple of children out of a whole classroom might have survived, and yet, I'm more angered by a headline "It comes in like a tsunami" seems like a very disrespectful way to talk about computer junk when it took so many lives last year. Though I am thankful that several articles on the net are covering a couple of the lives and joys of some of the lost men and women in Iraq to try to put a touch of humanity behind the 2000 lives lost. But, why isn't the Pakistan earthquake motivating me? Is it just "one more thing too many?"

  • I learned that my son thinks I'm faking illness for some reason... that nothing is really wrong with me. I'll give him the benefit of a doubt, perhaps the thought that my life might be in danger is the "one more thing too many" that he can deal with.

  • I learned that he can bald-face lie better than anyone else I know.

  • I learned that genes make a bigger difference in my quality of life than income, boyfriends, job and location.

  • I learned that I really don't like getting up at 4 am anymore and that I don't like myself when I can barely function for lack of sleep.

Maybe next week won't be so grim... or maybe I need to talk to the doctor about changing to newer, better happy pills?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

teenagers addendum

Well, my teenager came home last night - said he was willing to converse. We both apologized for losing our temper. But, he refused to admit that he held any blame. He told my mother that I had kicked him out. He told me that I had 'locked' him out. I reminded him that the entire sentence had been "if you're not going to live by the rules in this house, get the h*ll out". That he did remember. He just conveniently didn't tell his grandmother, his friends, his friend's parents the first half of the sentence. He thought he was going to come in and explain to me what it would take for me to not push him to the point of losing his temper.

I asked him if he really thought that he could ask me to allow him to talk back to me, be disrespectful of me, not do anything I tell him to... While I know I need to take part of the blame for what happened the other night - I'm not going to just let him do whatever he feels like whenever he feels like it and never do the things he's asked to do.

But, we did at least discuss how to keep it from happening again. If we have another confrontation over 'talking back' - I'm to tell him that I don't appreciate his tone/attitude/lack of respect. Then I'm to 'nicely' tell him what I need him to do for me, and then if things go bad - say "we'll discuss this later". If he feels I'm not respecting him or giving him a bad time - he's to say "you sound upset, do we need a break?"

Do I think it'll fix anything? Nope... but I want to try to teach him how to 'fight fair' even if I have trouble sticking to the program. With the temper he inherited from his father and myself, he's in for a rough future with friends, girlfriends, etc. If he doesn't figure out how to keep things from getting to the 'point of no return'. It takes a lot for me to reach that point - but I did reach it the other night when he became violent. That was always his fathers way to push me as well. Too much history there to deal with or think about.

I talked to him about the point when he had become violent. It was because I was frustrated that he was being disrespectful and quite simply, I had reached a point of wanting to 'stand firm'. I told him that I was going to shut down his computer... that was the breaking point for him. I calmly said - I'll shut it down properly - and he freaked out and grabbed me in a choke hold over shutting down a pc.

teen - 'my pc is really precious to me'.

me - 'but posessions can be fixed or replaced. Family you love can't be'

teen - "but it's really precious to me, and it was expensive"

me - "my SUV was expensive and it's precious to me"

teen - "so you'd get violent if I - oh wait - I already wrecked it"

me - "Yes, and I know that you being safe is more important than any vehicle. I didn't get mad at you for having an accident."

teen - "Yeah, but if I were to try to destroy something in front of you that you found precious - you'd get violent with me to get me to stop"

me - "No, I wouldn't. Besides, do you really think shutting a pc down is equivalent to destroying something?"

That got him thinking... who knows? I doubt the conversation did much to make a difference, but I had to try.

We also had the conversation about the fact that he had agreed when I bought his car for him that he would pay the payments... and if he didn't have a job - he'd be paying them with 'sweat equity'... and that he's refused to do anything above and beyond his chores because 'I'm going to get a job any day now'. He said I had to 'make a list' and he would 'pick things he wanted to do off of it' and I said - ok 'everything, that's the list'. Since he wanted a more detailed list - i.e., don't say kitchen, say clear counters, clear table, clean oven, sweep and mop floors, do dishes, take out kitchen trash... that kind of thing. And I said - there you go, you can make the list yourself... that is the kitchen. Now go around to all the rooms - and you can come up with a list for each. Somehow, he knows what needs to be done, he just doesn't want to admit it - because then he'd have to admit that he just doesn't want to do it - typical male!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Can't believe what I found on my jump drive

I just made some updates to some files that I need to keep available for future - and I threw them on my jump drive. You'll never believe what I found!

My last days at my old job had several days where I had absolutely NOTHING to do, but had to come in to work 8-5 like clockwork. At one point I decided I was going to write down as much as I could remember of this funky dream I had had. I ended up typing for over six hours that day.... it was a funky dream.

It was like a love story where there were two teenage couples from very different backgrounds that became friends - and tells how each couple had formed and how each couple split up - and how they came back together again. I'd saved it as 'script.txt' - I don't know why - but I had to open it of course - thinking it had to do with programming - and it's tooo funny. I can't believe I was so bored that I typed a dream out for six hours. Can you imagine?

Hmmm.... maybe I should turn it into a 'script' - lol!

Sentimental fool that I am

A very touching story to help bring humanity to the list of 2000 dead now in Iran. They had nicknames...

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

teenager timeout

Well, I got home last night and my eldest was in the basement - like he always is - playing computer games - like he always is. I called down and asked him to bring in the trash cans. Since he always leaves them at the curb when he comes home, he doesn't bring them in until he's asked to do so.

He doesn't speak to me - brings them up to the garage. He then proceeds to load his car with his computer, clothes, etc. Still not speaking to me. Fine, I could use a break from all this stress. He makes two trips to 'wherever' still not speaking to me. At abour 7:45 last night as I was getting the little one ready for our night time routine - I cave and call him just as he happens to pull into the driveway. I ask him if he's returning the car (since it's our only vehicle until he finds the keys to the SUV which is still sitting at the shop and needing repair after the accident). I got a 'yeah' and a key handed to me while he stood on the front step.

Since he still hadn't spoken to me, nor told me the 'where are you going, with who, when will you be back' basic facts that he's supposed to tell me when he leaves, I didn't know what to think. I locked the doors when I went to bed last night. He never called nor knocked at the door to wake me up - so I assume he's staying with friends.

At this point, I would feel best if we had a long conversation before he stayed in my house again. He needs to know that he can't get away with violence against his own mother. He needs to remember his place - he's 17, but he still needs to obey the rules of the house if he wants to stay in the house. And part of that includes being respectful to the person providing the roof over the head, the car he likes to drive, the bed he sleeps in, the clothes he wears, the food he eats.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Health progress - posted for my family - who isn't reading this anyway

LOL! Maybe I can convince them to comment if I guilt them into it?

Anyway - I didn't do too much this weekend until my fight with my teenager anyway.

After two days of doing next to nothing, and sleeping in every day - I came away with two days with 0, yep, ZERO spells. Last night, however, add stress, staying up late first because little one was making too much noise, then elder one was making too much noise, then big fight over elder one making too much noise, then more stress, then crying for two hours - then almost two hours of sleep before I had to get up. And guess what? A spell - only maybe about 15 minutes long and since I was in the van on the way to work, not so bad.... no dizziness that I could tell anyway.

So - let's chalk the latest in my health crisis to stress and exhaustion. Anyone want to adopt a stubborn 17-year old?


A friend phrased it best lately - "teenagers have their days". They can be warm, they can be thoughtful and considerate, they can be kind and sweet, they can be helpful. Then they can be angry, violent, and disrespectful.

I'm no saint, not going to claim to be one. Couldn't pull it off if I tried.

Some days it takes being a saint to get along with a teenager. Too bad, I'm not one.

Last night we had a knock down, throw the chairs against the wall, drag out fight. Over trying to get him to turn the computer down and go to bed at 11 pm on a school night. OMG!

Part of the problem was that I was tired enough, and frustrated enough in my life, that I wasn't willing to put up with anything. He'd had three chores to do this weekend - 1) find the keys to the car in the shop 2) do three to four loads of laundry and 3) take the trash out. 1 didn't get done at all. 3 got started at 11:20 pm when it was agreed upon that I would leave and let him calm down if he would just do as I had asked before it had turned into a fight. And 2 got started at around midnight - I assume because he had trouble sleeping - and hope that at least part of a guilty consience was involved - although - I won't hold out hope. He probably just did it to lord it over me that 'look, see, I did do my chores'.

I know that I over-react when I'm tired. I know that at 11 pm when my alarm goes off at 4 am represents a bad time for a confrontation. But, I really, truly did just go down to get him to turn down the computer game and convince him he needed to consider going to bed soon. But, then, when he flat out responds with "No, I won't" - I see red. Then when I warn him "I have to get up in a few hours - I'm already upset that you haven't done your chores, let's not fight over going to bed on a school night". He responds with "No, I'm not going to bed - you go to bed." I see more red. Then I tell him, he needs to shut down the PC and go to bed.

Now, looking back - I feel like a complete idiot. But, I feel like he thinks he doesn't have to do anything I tell him to do. I don't feel like he respects what I do around the house, or the food I put on the table, or the clothes I put on his back.

And when he flat out defies me - then stands up and screams at me - just shut up and go to bed! I feel like I have to stop it, like now. He doesn't have the right to talk to me like that.

I didn't intend to push him past his limits. But, his temper, like mine, is on a VERY short fuse. Before I knew it, he had me on the ground in a choke hold. I tried to pull his arm back enough to tuck my chin in (sad, that his abusive father taught me the steps to take to try to save my life the hard way). When he tightened his arm even more - I dug my nails in. Finally he let go after I started to scream at him about "violence only lands your a** in jail". He slammed a wooden chair against the bar, then the floor - then I took part of it's remains and said "see, I can do this too - what good does it do?" and slammed it against the bar and the floor till there wasn't enough left to call it a chair. OK, I know - I should have taken a deep breath and calmed down and stopped things there - screaming, yelling and busting a chair doesn't fix anything - in fact, it probably only validates his right to do it himself. But, geez... who can think when their fight or flight instincts kick in and I know I have to make him understand that having a temper tantrum like a two year old isn't going to get him his way.

After a little more pushing, shoving, and a little choking - and me countering with "Well, do you feel like a man now that you're big enough to choke your own mother?" -- low, I know, dirty, I know... but certainly heartfelt at the time. I kept trying to count to ten before speaking to try to lower my voice, to try to become rational - but that seemed to tick him off even more. He finally became rational enough to tell me that we needed to separate, get some sleep and talk things over in the morning. I agreed, but said I had conditions. The conditions were that he had to take the trash out, turn off the computer and get to bed. Which were exactly what I had come down to ask him to do 20 minutes earlier. He agreed, I went upstairs.... and I'm certain that after he did as he'd been told - we both spent hours crying by ourselves in our beds.

I thought putting a two year old to bed was tough.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

a matter of beliefs

Funny how your belief structure frames your perspective on things. I'm not particuolarly religious, but am a bit of a believer of certain forms of supernatural events (after a couple too many experiences), and have never thought of myself as being lucky (way too many bad things happen to me).

But I was reading a blog the other day where "God saved me!" and the woman was writing about how she had survived a pulmonary embolism. Now, I know that they are very lethal. When I did the blog search for it, I found numerous references to people in someone's lives that had died with one. And only one other person who had survived one. But if the fatality rate of a pulmonary embolism is 1 out of 3... that means that 2 out of 3 survived. Did God save them too? Or is it just a matter of numbers.

I personally, felt that it was my father whispering in my ear that made me realize things were serious and it was time to raise the 'alert' and get to the hospital that saved me. Because, to be honest, I never really thought my life was in danger. To be honest, it was fear that caused me to hyperventilate - which is what was dropping my oxygen levels. Because once it became painful to breath - and it was difficult to get enough air - I panicked. Do I think the hospital saved me? No, all they really did was give me pain meds, find the problem - then they put me on meds to keep me from having a second embolism. They didn't do anything else. They occasionally put me on oxygen - but my oxygen levels were already at 100%.

More likely, it was the firemen who saved my life. There was one man in particular - I don't even remember if I even saw his face, he was by my shoulder, and talked very calmly to me. He's the one who convinced me that 'help was here' and I just needed to relax and take slower breaths. That's what brought my oxygen levels back up. Perhaps I should commemorate my 1 year anniversary by taking them a special meal or baked treat this fall.

Anyway - my fellow posters on a message board who have survived PE's all believe they were just lucky to survive. The end - they're not using god, or dead parents as an excuse. It's hard for me to blame it all on luck. Yes, I think I'm lucky to have survived, but was it really good furtune that kept me alive - or is it all just the numbers?


Friday, October 21, 2005

Lessons learned this week

  • Mr Clean's Magic Eraser is even more magical than I thought - it will remove permanent marker from hard wood floors (mostly anyway) without damaging the finish

  • My two year old will put ANYTHING in his mouth! Ugh! Second call to Poison control this month taught me that my mother's pills for dizziness are nothing more than antihistimines and that all they will do is knock you out if you take them at two. Last call taught me that the stuff that's used to clean dentures isn't a problem as long as it's no longer fizzing!

  • The stuff that's used to clean dentures (ok, at least the cheap generic kind you buy at Walmart) probably doesn't work all that well on dentures. Someone told me it worked miracles on the sippy cup don't spill valves - and either they were lying to me or they just aren't as cheap as I am and went for the brand name. I haven't decided if I'm willing to splurge on more denture cleaner tablets since I own 0 dentures at this time.

  • Generic pull ups work every bit as well as the brand name - but (duh!) you have to buy the blue package for the boy - since when were pull ups color-coded? Who knew? Like my two year old really cares if he's wearing pink or blue!

  • My 17 year old is good at losing car keys, cell phones - oh, wait, I knew that one, just had forgotten how much of a pain it is.

Sad and so very frustrating

Woman charged with killing her three children
The grandmother had tried to gain custody because her daughter suffered from schizophrenia and had threatened her children after refusing to take her meds. Yet, they said they couldn't do anything. The mayor, who justifiably said he was sickened by the act (who isn't?) stated that there were places where people can take their children when they can't care for them anymore.

So there are two officials that truly don't understand schizophrenia is a mental illness, if you stop taking your meds (which seems to be common with this illness and other somewhat 'mild' issues) you snap. You don't think, you're not logical, you are NOT SAFE TO BE AROUND. Unless the family is lying about her illness, it isn't that she decided she couldn't care for them, or that she wanted to get rid of them. From all accounts she loved her kids - but she was extremely ill and NOT TO BE TRUSTED. She caved to the voices in her head telling her to feed her kids to the sharks - my god! How, do we keep putting children at risk when their parents are unwell like this?

If a family member sees the risk and tries to act to protect the children - but the parent who is unwell seems fine, with or without meds - then the officers, judges, child welfare agents, whomever - they assume you must have an ulterior motive. After all, children are best left with their parents, right?

Unfortunately for these three, cute, wonderful little children - the world has failed to keep them safe. What will it take to educate the world that there are certain medical conditions that keep people from being able to be the parents they want to be? Now, I'm not advocating taking the family away from anyone with an illness, mind you ... let alone just psychological illnesses even. But, if immediate family members recognize that the children are in danger - then they at least need to be kept in a process of supervision where those children can spend time with their parents and still stay safe.

Some days I just want to walk away from my democratic and liberal background and become a communist where we can build communes where multiple families live together so that this woman wouldn't have been allowed to leave alone with her children without supervision and intervention. Extreme thought, I know... I don't want to give up my freedom - but then again, freedom was pretty expensive for those three children.

Health progess - posted for my family

The pain in my neck has lessened - I still think the right side is swollen very slightly - but at least the pain seems to be lessoning.

I'm still having my spells - but they are down to only a couple of spells a day. Alex has been sleeping a "little" better - i.e., two nights earlier this week I got 7 hours of sleep. The first bad night after that was followed by the worst day for spells. But it's gotten better again since then, so it could truly be just a wierd migraine perhaps partly blamable on lack of sleep.

I haven't talked to my doctor this week. I've been planning almost every day to call him, but I'm just so sick to death of being poked and prodded at just to be told, we don't see anything. The thought of going through more tests was more than I could stand this week - so I put it off.

I'm not sure I made it clear when I was out last weekend, but the pains in my legs aren't as bad right now - just a few twinges here and there; some achiness sometimes when I'm sitting - makes me want to put my feet up is about all. So that's all good news.

From what I've found on the internet, it seems like big clots are easier to find - people who traditionally get clots (the elderly, the infirm, etc) tend to get them in the larger veins of the legs - so using traditional methods works great to find those kinds of clots. Even the message board I check often that covers a different clotting disorder - they too typically get leg clots - large ones in the large veins - give off pretty typical symptoms and are easy to find. So, I'm kind of wondering if it's because of lack of experience with Protein C Deficiency here in Central Iowa that's making mine so difficult to diagnose. If I am getting clots - I can get them anywhere - either in veins or arteries... hence, possibly my having gotten the PE's last fall without having a leg clot first. So, not to scare you - but to 'vent' and reassure you (I hope)... I do think I have been clotting - I do think the aspirin is helping on the artery side of things - and I do think things are starting to get better. I just have to hang on a few more weeks to see the hemotologist - and I'm going to ask him a lot of the questions he'll be more likely to know the answers to than my regular doctor - and I'm going to find out the best place for me to get my testing done in the future if things turn around again for the worst. He may or may not put me back on coumadin - but if he believes I've had clots (who knows - nobody else seems to believe me) - then I'll be on it for sure. Which I know is risky in and of itself - but at least it reduces the likelihood of clots - which has to be somewhat of a reassurrance in and of itself.

Love ya!

2000 foot rule

Here's a Quote from Mark Gado of Court TV. It's long, but important in the debate regarding the 2000 foot rule, but most of all important when it comes to people who are NOT on the registry through deferred prosecution agreements or plea agreements:

Molesters engage in sex with children for a variety of reasons and sometimes these reasons have little to do with sexual desires. This type of offender, called a situational child molester, does not possess a genuine sexual preference for children. Rather, the motivational factors are criminal in nature. In some cases, the offender’s sexual abuse of young people is a natural outgrowth of other forms of abuse in his life. That abuse is a continuation of a process by which he has mistreated his friends, colleagues, spouse and family members. He will have low self-esteem, maintain poor moral standards and view sex with children as an opportunity to prolong the violence that is already an active component of his existence. Other situational offenders see children as a substitute for an adult partner. Although these types of offenders do not harbor a singular sexual desire for children, they may react to a built up sexual impulse or anger, that to them, is irresistible.

However, the victim is incidental. It could have been a store clerk, an elderly person or simply a woman walking down a lonely street. Because of the circumstances at hand, such as the Polly Klass incident, the victim happened to be a child. His main criteria for a victim is availability. The situational child molester will usually have few victims, sometimes only one, and never repeat the event again. He could be a social misfit or a psychopathic personality who harbors a seething resentment and hostility toward society in general.

My mother is constantly reminding me that any young man (say 18) who had sex with a minor (say a girl who lied to him about her age and was only 15), and the parents pressed charges of sex with a minor is now on the list. To be honest, that guy should have been able to tell she was a minor - but beyond that, will now ensure that every girl he has sex with shows him ID to prove his age. But now he's branded a child sexual molester and now has to comply with this new law for the rest of his life.

As much as I don't want a sexual predator in my own backyard- is this really going to fix anything? They aren't supposed to frequent areas where children are likely to congregate -but yet, they still find ways to do it. The guy who was found from Oprah's telecast last week who was living upstairs from a family - depending on their home's location they might or might not have been within 2000 feet of a qualifying location. If they hadn't; there is no legal requirement saying that these previous offenders can't live within an apartment complex or rent rooms from homes that have children in them. Deviants can and will find their victims either by proximity or if that isn't available then they will seek them out.

For these situational offenders - it could be a sister, a clerk at a neighborhood store, anyone to take out that level of frustration or built up anger on. Or they simply become emotionally or physically abusive to their wives. They simply can't control themselves when the need becomes too much and they lash out to anyone in their pressence. Even small, young children they care dearly for. Afterwards, they try to rationalize the action, apologize, blame the victim, or try to 'minimize' their actions as being less than criminal so that they face themselves in the mirror.

Why should these criminals be able to avoid the registry?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Well it's about time!

A little step in the direction of holding people accountable for their own actions!

Not so negative today

I got at least six hours of sleep last night - so I'm not feeling quite as exhausted. Still tired, but more positive at least.

I managed to completely space out bosses day! Of course, as a contractor, it's kind of a fine line as to who/what to do. But, I've got a great client manager who is really on the ball and making sure that the insanity that surrounds us isn't stepping on our ability to get our job done. So I went looking for a card last night. After two stops and not a single bosses day card to be seen... let alone a couple to pick out a nice one. I decided to make one last night. Not much fun doing cards with a two year old by your side, but I gave him his colors and some paper and he only got into the ink and paper I was using a couple of times. Not too bad, I think.

On the front of the card I have "This place would be a complete zoo..." and a stamp of a monkey with both arms raised over his head... with an arch over his head cut out - and a "spinning" bunch of bananas that will spin as you turn the card from side to side - so it loooks (sort-of) like he's juggling the bunch of bananas. Then in the inside - "if we didn't have a great boss like you" "thanks bunches" "Happy bosses day" with another stamp of a monkey hanging by his tail on the left side. Dorky? Maybe, but I think she'll think it's fun.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

So Tired

Ok - little one finally fell asleep around 11 pm last night - grrr. It wouldn't be so bad if my alarm didn't start going off at 4 am. After eight weeks now of this, it's getting pretty old. I actually had two decent nights of sleep before last night... but it seems like I'll never feel like myself again.

Count down continues it's 8 months until my eldest finishes high school. Once he graduates, we can consider moving!!!!

I've got to make some decisions.

Do I move to Des Moines and pay more for house and daycare and less for gas/transportation so I can sleep in? I know I can make more money in Des Moines than in Cedar Rapids/Dubuque/Iowa City/Davenport...
Do I find work closer to my family?
Do I rent a place so I don't have to worry about long term committment? But renting can get really expensive. But, then again, so can buying!

All I know is that sleep would be a very good thing to get to enjoy again. My little 'episodes' were a little better yesterday, I only remember one episode - about a half hour long and it was milder than any I've had so far. The numbness didn't spread so far, and the pins & needles weren't as intense. I've already had a 45 minute one this morning and it was a pretty strong one. I just wonder if I just need more sleep and this will all be in the past. After all, I didn't start having episodes until after I'd gone about six weeks with little to no sleep. I wonder if lack of sleep can trigger 'migraines' or whatever these little episodes are?

Monday, October 17, 2005


1) What color are your kitchen plates? Correlle creme with green/brown gemetric pattern along edge for every day (although I use paper more often than them)... white with silver and gray flowers for the good china I had to buy at auction after my grandmother died because my Uncle couldn't imagine I might actually want something after she passed on.

2) What book are you reading now? reading? reading? that thing I used to do when I had a life? hmmm... last book read was On Getting Older by Bill Crosby

3) What’s on your mouse pad? My employer's company logo - advertising for them

4) What’s your favorite board game? Monopoly

5) Favorite magazine? Chick rags - Woman's World, etc.

6) Favorite smell? My two year old's hair after being washed with Baby magic!!!

7) Least favorite smell? All five of Cedar Rapids's smells.

8) What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? Oh, my god, not morning already?

9) Favorite color(s)? Blue, purple, burgandy wine.

10) Least favorite color? puke green

11) How many rings before you answer the phone? Depends on how long it takes me to find my cell phone!

12) Future child’s name? Dear god, another child? Better not be!

13) Chocolate or Vanilla? CHOCOLATE. ... or better yet White chocolate

14) Do you like to drive fast? Almost, not quite, but almost as much as sex.

15) Do you sleep with a stuffed animal? Lord no - unless my two year old climbs into bed with one at 3 am.

16) Thunderstorms: cool or scary? Cool, being watched from a large window inside a nice, safe house.

17) What type was your first car? A beat up Maverick - boy do I feel old. It even had a manual CHOKE on it, let alone the stick shift on the stearing wheel. But with the suicide clutch and the big engine, that baby won quite a few drag races down First Avenue in Cedar Rapids in its day.

18) If you could meet one person dead or alive, who would it be? My dad

19) Favorite alcoholic drink? Kalua and Bailey's on ice

20) What is your sign and your birthday? Cancer, June 29

21) Do you eat the stems of broccoli? Only if they still have some of the green on the ends still.

22) If you could have any job, what would it be? Retired play girl

23) If you could have any color hair, what would it be? Ever been to the aisle in the supermarket selling do it yourself? You can have any color hair you want - mine is currently Blond 32

24) Is the glass half-full or half-empty? Is it mine or my teenagers?

25) Favorite TYPE of movie? comedy - action adventure - romantic comedy

26) Do you type with your fingers on the right keys? Yep

27) What’s under your bed? Clothes

28) What is your favorite number? hmmm - the one that wins me the $300 million lottery

29) Favorite sport to watch? football

30) What is your single biggest fear? Currently - having a stroke

31) Favorite CD? no clue, I'm still listening to fm

32) Favorite TV Show? Medium, CSI, Ghost Whisperer, Survivor

33) Ketchup or mustard? Ketchup

34) Hamburgers or hot dogs? Not really either

35) Favorite soft drink? Pepsi

36) The best place you have ever been? Paris, walking and holding hands with someone who I really cared about

37) What screen saver is on your computer right now? company default

38) Burger King or McDonalds? uggh. Wendy's

39) What did you want to be when you were little? A teacher - maybe I will be one again - way to expand my retirement income.

Van Pooling

Thank you Des Moines MTA!

I rode the van pool today for the first time. It's a pretty quiet group so I can semi-snooze my way into work. Not very good for arriving smart and ready to tackle my day... but sooo much better than driving myself. I am counting the money I'm starting to save as we speak!

The way I figure, it's saving me a minimum of $300 a month to ride the van pool. Even if I only do it throught the spring, that's still a couple of thousand dollars saved. wahoo!

Friday, October 14, 2005

A fresh start

My new blog is a sign of the fresh new start I'm making.

Not that I haven't made a lot of fresh new starts- but this will be the first in a while.

I'm a single mom who has been through tough times and good times. And the going was getting a little rough here lately. But I've started a new job and I am taking the time to re-evaluate everything in my life from - do I really need that book case that I've kept for 10 years and holds only junk, to is it time to switch bank accounts, to making sure I never have to pay another late fee on my credit cards and how the heck will I ever get those darn things paid off?

This 're-evaluation' didn't start with my new job... that was just my first step. The 're-evaluation' comes about from what could very well have been a near-death experience. It wasn't that close, but it could have been. And I have too much life left to live to let it end there.

I suffered from two blood clots in my lungs -official name "bilateral pulmanary embolism" last fall. Amazingly the death rate is actually only 1 out of 3 with a single pulmonary embolism. Better than I realized. I haven't found any statistics on what the fatality rate is with bilateral PE's. I'd be curious to know what odds I actually beat. All I do know is that I will swear to my dying day that I know who whispered in my ear that night and made sure that I took the pain in my chest seriously. I'd been hurting for two days - had been to the chiropractor to learn I'd managed to dislocate four ribs - but hadn't done anything to myself, nor been in an accident to cause them to dislocate... ER doctor told me later PE's can actually do that. So I had assumed the pain was from my so very sore ribs. It wasn't until my father whispered in my ear "it's time" that I realized my life might actually be at risk. Why you ask? Because my father died over 30 years ago from multiple PE's when I was only 3. I'm sure he doesn't mind my fighting the 'inevitable' and argueing with him that I wasn't ready to go... after all, from all accounts, I got my stubbornness from him.

It took me several months to feel better... then I felt worse, then better, now worse again. I was just in the ER again this week for symptoms similar to mini-strokes. Current diagnosis is that it's an unusual form of migraines - but then again, they have me taking aspirin just in case there is an arterial clot causing issues with the blood flow to my brain.

But on the lighter side - I want to choose to make my changes in my life now and not wait for my health improves any more before starting to celebrate that I'm alive, that I have two wonderful kids and that life does in fact go on. It's all about now and planning on the future.