Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A survey

TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF - The Survey
Name:Penny Jo Heeren
Birthday:June 29
Birthplace:Monticello, IA
Current Location:Newton, IA
Eye Color:Blue
Hair Color:Dark Blond
Height:5 ft 5 in
Right Handed or Left Handed:Right
The Shoes You Wore Today:Haven't put any on yet
Your Weakness:High Expectations
Your Fears:Stroke, not being able to care for my kids
Your Perfect Pizza:Green pepper, mushroom, onion, Sausage
Your Most Overused Phrase On an IM:LOL
Thoughts First Waking Up:Where are my pain killers?
Your Best Physical Feature:Eyes
Your Bedtime:8pm
Your Most Missed Memory:feeling strong
Pepsi or Coke:Pepsi
MacDonalds or Burger King:Burger King
Single or Group Dates:Group
Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea:Hot Chocolate
Chocolate or Vanilla:Chocolate
Cappuccino or Coffee:Hot Chocolate
Do you Smoke:No
Do you Swear:Definitely
Do you Sing:Poorly
Do you Shower Daily:Yes
Have you Been in Love:Yes
Do you want to go to College:Not sure I want to go back
Do you want to get Married:No
Do you belive in yourself:Yes
Do you get Motion Sickness:No
Do you think you are Attractive:No
Are you a Health Freak:No
Do you get along with your Parents:Yes
Do you like Thunderstorms:Yes
Do you play an Instrument:Used to
In the past month have you Drank Alcohol:Yes
In the past month have you Smoked:No
In the past month have you been on Drugs:Prescription
In the past month have you gone on a Date:No
In the past month have you gone to a Mall:No
Have you ever eaten a box of Oreos:No
In the past month have you eaten Sushi:No
In the past month have you been on Stage:No
In the past month have you been Dumped:No
In the past month have you gone Skinny Dipping:No
In the past month have you Stolen Anything:No
Ever been Drunk:Yes
Ever been called a Tease:Yes
Ever been Beaten up:No
Ever Shoplifted:Yes
How do you want to Die:Quickly and without a lot of pain
What do you want to be when you Grow Up:Rich
What country would you most like to Visit:Italy
In a Boy/Girl..
Favourite Eye Color:Blue
Favourite Hair Color:Doesn't matter
Short or Long Hair:short
Height:5ft 10 in
Weight:don't care
Best Clothing Style:classic
Number of Drugs I have taken:None currently
Number of CDs I own:~1
Number of Piercings:2
Number of Tattoos:0
Number of things in my Past I Regret:Not too much

Friday, January 06, 2006

At work before 10 am - progress? I hope!


Another struggle this morning getting up. I was talking to my mom last night and saying how relieved I am that work isn't making additional stress for me by being upset that I'm late all the time. Mom then thought that part of the reason I'm running late all the time is that I know that they won't be upset, therefore, I'm giving myself permission to let me be late. I honestly have to admit that there might be some truth to that in the first couple of weeks. The week before Thanksgiving and the week after were really, really rough for me. I had hit a brick wall - at the time I was still trying to get up at 4:30 am after not getting Little A to sleep until close to 11 pm - and was failing miserably. I was completely at the end of my rope. Here's a bit how it went:

Monday - overslept by about an hour - so I drove to work, but was still on time.
Tuesday - overslept by about an hour - but woke up with a major migraine pounding through my skull - so I called in sick. I spent the day in bed feeling miserable and completely depressed.

Wednesday - overslept by about an hour - but I woke up feeling very weak and thought that taking a second day to recuperate, see the doctor to see if he could help with the depression - figured I'd get an early start to the drive to my mom's (failed at that last bit)… to get ready for Thanksgiving.

Thursday - Sunday - stayed at my mom's and slept as much as I could - letting her and Big A take the worse of getting Little A to sleep.

Monday - overslept by three hours - taking the doctor's statement that I was suffering from sleep deprivation as a cue - I called in ill. Yes, the Wednesday and Monday were totally to be blamed on me thinking "I've got nothing to do at work, they won't care if I miss a few days, I'm tired and I'm taking a recuperating break".

Tuesday - got up on time - completely a zombie all day, but was able to ride the van to and from work - but was totally, completely exhausted by the time I got home. Went straight to bed when I got home, and didn't move for several days straight - this I blamed on the new anti-depressant vs. going cold turkey off the old anti-depressant… I just had no 'ability' to function.

The following week I forced myself to go into work every single day, still trying to get up extremely early - failing miserably at that - ending up driving myself and starting to be late for work by an hour or so every day. At this point, however, I can make up most of my time missed by working through lunch.

The following week, I decide that I'm not going to try to get up before 6:00 am - with the goal of driving myself (forget the un-manageable hours of the van) and yet, I still fail - call in a couple of times…. Set up all three of my alarm clocks because I'm convinced I CAN get up, I NEED to get up, I just need more motivation/assistance.

The following week - I decide to shoot for 6:30 am… and here's where I finally realize that I CAN NOT PHYSICALLY get up… I'm awake, I'm aware of the NEED to go to work, I'm aware that my tardiness will affect the possibility that they will probably never offer me a full time employee position…. I WANT to get up, but my body doesn't respond… when I force it to - I'm dropped to my knees - or am in front of the toilet trying not to vomit… the shakes take over my whole body…. I PHYSICALLY am unable to function for an hour or more….

When I do finally get up - I can't find anything - of course it doesn't help that my house has been thoroughly trashed by my 2 yr old and since I'm incapable of cleaning further than I can reach from a seated position - life is just going down hill very fast… I feel incompetent and ignorant… I can't always think clearly anymore. I can't stand for more than ten minutes or so…. So everything is taking 10 times longer - i.e., finding clothes to wear, getting dressed, brushing my teeth, dressing Little A - it all takes forever.

Anyway - to answer my mom, I said no, it's not that I know they'll let me get away with it… although the first few days that might have been the case - now, I just don't know how to fix the issue…. I know that my body is trying to tell me something… but it's not like I can 'slow down' and rest more… after all, I'm in bed by 7 or 8pm every day and the last week or two, I'm not getting up until 8 or 9 am… that's ten to twelve hours of sleep a day - at work, I sit all day - at home if I'm not in bed, I'm sitting…. The only exercise I'm getting is the four to five block walk into and out of the office. The walk has been fine - although I've had to start taking the elevator at the parking garage to get to the skywalk - the two story stairs have become insurmountable. I just find that by the time I'm at the car or the elevator, I'm winded - but I'm not down and out.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Today I managed to drag my but into work at around 11 am… only 4 hours late today… ??!!*(#$#%^$#%^

It might have been a little earlier if it hadn't taken me 30 minutes to figure out that Little A's other shoe was in the car. We had stopped the previous night after I picked him up from the sitter at the back up sitters house. She had to baby-sit him yesterday when the regular sitter had a doctor appointment get rescheduled at the last minute… so I had to stop by and pay her. Little A promptly slipped out of his coat and started to take his shoes off. He was very upset that he wasn't going to get to stay and play at her house and that mean old, grumpy mommy was going to make him go home. I finally had to grab him, his coat and his shoes and haul him out of there while he was screaming. Nothing like a case of "I hate being with mommy dumps"

Went home, forced myself to make and eat dinner, forced myself to spend almost an hour picking up (i.e., 5 minutes picking up, 20 minutes resting) before allowing myself to go to bed. Slept for 9 hours before 7 am and turned around and slept two and a half more hours before I could crawl out of bed. Way to go…? I think things are only getting worse. I've nearly finished off a big bottle of Maalox - supposed to max out at 8 per day - and at three days, I've polished off nearly 90. Gah!

Let's see - something positive instead of all this whining should be in order - hmm… I'm going to make my deadline tomorrow with our draft of the document they want… that's positive right?

I've got about half an hour of documenting to do - and then I wait again - they don't have anyone that I'm allowed to talk to that has the information I need to do my next step.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

60 questions

60 Questions - ok Stefanie - I give, I'm a sucker for this... lol!

1. What time did you get up this morning?
3:00 am (to give Little A his drink)
6:00 am (when the alarm went off)
7:00 am (when another alarm went off)
8:45 am (an 1 and 45 minutes after I was supposed to start work)

2. Diamonds or pearls?
Diamonds, all the way - the bigger the better.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
Harry Potter - Big A and I saw it after Thanksgiving

4. What’s your favorite TV show?
Can't do just one - CSI, Crossing Jordan, Medium, Supernatural, Gilmore Girls

5. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Pepsi and a granola bar

6. What's your favorite cuisine?
Italian or Chineese

7. What foods do you dislike?
seafood (other than shellfish)

8. What is your favorite chip flavor?
plain

9. Whats your favorite CD at the moment?
Don't really have one - I'm too much into listening to variety

10. What kind of car do you drive?
my lovely toy SUV -Toyota RAV4


11. What’s your favorite sandwich?
Grilled cheese with tomato soup

12. What characteristics do you despise?
manipulative, dishonesty, controlling, disrespectful

13. Favorite item of clothing?
I have a really sexy full-length black gown that I've only gotten to wear twice... hard to find events to dress up formally for.

14. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?
Right now? Mexico or Jamaica -- Spring? Venice -- Summer? West Coast

15. What color is your bathroom(s)?
blucky blank drywall until I paint it with ucky pink carpet and blah beige tub & sink

16. Favorite brand of clothing?
None - I'm too cheap to be able to afford to be brand conscious... though I do like Dockers for work casual pants

17. Where would you retire?
If mom is around - then near her - otherwise somewhere warm, near the water - but rich enough to run ahead of the Hurricanes

18. Favorite time of the day?
Mornings when I don't have to go to work... Little A wakes up, gives me a hug and a kiss and runs off to play

19. What was your most memorable birthday?
My 19th - I turned 19 two days before the drinking age went up to 21 and had a blow-out bash... which ended up being where I met my first husband... unfortunate as that was and was the first time I realized I was being hit on by what I thought was just a friend who was a lesbian.

20. Where were you born?
Monticello, IA

21. Favorite sport to watch?
In person: Baseball
On TV: Football

22. Who do you least expect to send this back to you?
Everyone - no one has time to do it

23. Person you expect to send it back first?
If anyone does it'll be Cindy (not that she has time)

24. What fabric detergent do you use?
Era

25. Were you named after anyone?
Depends on when you ask my mom - when I was 11 it was a dog, now she claims it was a character on a soap opera... not sure that's any more flattering

26. Do you wish on stars?
Yep - but only to encourage my little one too

27. When did you last cry?
This morning when I was trying to get up

28. Do you like your handwriting?
Not at all - I've been told by more than a dozen people that I should've been a doctor.

29. If you were another person, would YOU be friends with you?
Probably not - I tend to gravitate toward outgoing people and its hard for me to reach out to strangers

30. Are you a daredevil?
A little

31. Do looks matter?
Yes, but only to a point - good looks don't make up for all sins

32. How do you release anger?
I YELL

33. Where is your second home?
Yeah, right - it's out by the lake

34. What class in High School was totally useless?
All my math courses (not because of content, but because we never did any of the work)

35. Do you use sarcasm a lot?
Yes, and it's really rubbed off on Big A

36. Favorite movie?
Used to be While You Were Sleeping, then it was Bridget Jones' Diary... not sure I have one right now

38. What are your nicknames?
Mom, momma - that's about it

39. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Only my black boots... which are messed up and need to be replaced... my tennis shoes I never untie

40. Do you think that you are strong?
Physically - not anymore
Emotionally - hell yes

41. What's your favorite ice cream flavor?
pfish food

42. What are your favorite colors?
the blue in either of my boy's eyes - red like rubies, purple

43. What is your least favorite thing about yourself?
my attitude

44. Who do you miss the most?
little A when I'm at work... Jeremy when I wish I wasn't single anymore

45. Do you want everyone you sent this to send it back?
Nope

46. What color pants are you wearing?
Gray slacks that are faded and ready for replacement

47. What are you listening to right now?
The TV is on in the background. Little A isn't as interested in Dharma and Greg reruns as he used to be... so he's sitting on my lap trying to help me answer these questions

48. Last thing you ate?
pizza from my pizza oven... bad choice, I'm still sick to my tummy

49. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
sea green - see 48

50. Last person you talked to on the phone?
A wrong number called into the conference room where I was holding a meeting...

51. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?
their shoulders

52. Favorite Drink?
Pepsi

53. Do you wear contacts?
Yep

54. Favorite Day(s) of the Year?
December 25

55. Scary Movies or Happy Endings?
Happy endings

56. Summer or Winter?
Summer

57. Hugs OR Kisses?
If I have to choose - kisses

58. What Is Your Favorite Dessert?
anything chocolate

59. What Book are you Currently Reading?
just finished The Wedding

60. What's On Your Mouse Pad?
my company logo QCI

Still sooo tired


  • I got pretty sick yesterday - thought I'd leave early and ended up working past 4 just because I was having trouble sending out an email and was determined to get it out. Go figure there had been a bug or something that caused a small spreadsheet file to be approximately 60 GB which exceeded my maximum email storage… ya think??? Anyway - I re-created the file (it was just a copy of a tab out of a bigger worksheet) and it's now only 460 KB…. Wonder what happened? Don't really care other than I made sure I rebooted this morning!!!
  • Went home, went to bed… ate tons of Maalox chewables. Read this morning you're not supposed to take more than 8 in 24 hours… I think I was eating like 20 per hour - oops!
  • Not so sick this morning - still nausea but at least I haven't had to run to the bathroom…
  • Still exhausted though - it was almost 9am before I could crawl out of bed
  • At least I have some work this week… to try to take my mind off of things.

Oh - and I decided to try to sell some of my Usborne books via Google Ad words. So far I haven't sold a single one… but I'm testing it with baby steps. I've got a maximum on the setting so I don't spend more than $15 a month on it… the idea I had was I'd go for three months and if I don't sell $45 in books in three months I quit trying. So far I've had about 2% of the people who searched for how to draw animals or how to draw a cat  or similar (and got the ad) actually click on the link to my web site… which I think is awesome. The other ad wasn't doing so well, not a lot of searches - 0 clicks… so I stopped it and created a link to the free drawing that UBAH has on my web site… the issue here is that unless they feel like clicking around once they get there, I'm paying for a link to a free drawing that isn't exactly promoting my books… but it's a start I figure… and I know I'm more likely to click on a free drawing link than not if I feel like messing around - so who knows?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year


Happy New Year All!

Little A and I ended up having a bit of adventure on New Years Eve… Long story - our evening started early - around 3:00 Little A and I headed over to Stefanie's house where Little A was eagerly awaiting an opportunity to ride the twain (the Thomas the Tank Engine train that's big enough to ride on). I grabbed my camera on our way out the door. Went to grab it on our way to the basement where the train is set up - but 'no camera' to be found. Well, I figured it must have fallen out of my purse - no big deal, it's probably on the seat of the car. Thankfully, Stefanie has her camera… so she gets to snap some pictures of him riding the train - with me in the middle of the tracks because the train only goes if you hold the button down and Little A assumed it was a 'press and release' kind of thing… and when that wouldn't work, perhaps if he rocked it - lol! So, instead, I sat/stood/stooped in the center of the circle of tracks and tried to figure out a way to keep a hold on the button and not get so dizzy as to pass out - interesting, challenging - totally impossible.

Then we left the train for 'Imagineve' an event at Iowa Hall that had dozens of blow up rides and craft activities and about 300 kids per ride standing in line. Thankfully Stefanie didn't think the lines looked any more fun than I did… so we ended up at Chuckee Cheese - Little A's very first time there… he wasted no time standing in line to order pizza and instead headed off for more interesting parts - so I ended up trying to follow and urge back toward the vicinity of the line so I could keep Stefanie company and keep an eye on him…. When her little one headed off in opposite directions… so I followed and encouraged them to investigate similar areas and poor Stefanie got stuck waiting in line alone.

We were given free tokens at the door which was awesome… so besides the outrageously expensive pizza our only other expense was about $5 in tokens later in the evening when Little A decided he HAD to shoot some hoops - He couldn't even reach the top of the 'shoe' for the little kids basketball shoot - but with mom's help - which means - stoop, let him pick up one ball, discourage him from trying to pick up a second ball at the same time… lift him high near the opening - let him shoot - then start the process over for about eight to ten shots. We also had several ride-on toys which 'awesomely' enough - Little A would rather sit on while they were off… always has preferred them off when he sits in them… fine by me! Stefanie's little one was a little more timid when it came to the ride-ons - after a couple of peek-aboos though, he became adventurous enough to ride the green truck - only the green truck - nothing else. He really, really wanted to be brave enough to ride the train - only other kids were getting on and off it and it was running - as much as he loves trains - he wasn't ready to brave one that was actually in motion… so that'll have to wait for when he's a little older.

He and Little A also played on the small slide quite a bit - both exploring it at will - which gave Stefanie and I a chance to sit for a little while… I know I needed the rest.. But then Little A got it in his head he wanted to slide down the spiral slide… only the only way to get to the top of the spiral slide was to climb the indoor ceiling high climbing space… he's brave enough, but not quite tall enough to do it on his own. So after he asked for 'mommeee heeelp' about a half dozen times, I kicked off my shoes and climbed into a WAY too small space and helped him up inside… I figured I'd get out once I got him to the top - but oh, no - there was a sweet little girl who also needed help up and then she wanted me to follow her down the slide too - and she had the sweetest smile and the nicest 'please' so I made the trip a couple of times for her. Well, then Stefanie's little one wanted to investigate (sort of) so I helped him up - but he wouldn't go down the slide alone…. 'sit' 'sit' so I'd sit at the top of the slide - he'd hop on and down we'd go…. After a couple of trips up and down and me hoping he was brave enough to go alone (at this point Little A had commandeered the assistance of a little boy to help him get up about 30 times without me)…. He decided he wanted to know 'what's over there' "so sweet" how sweet is that???? So, we crawled around the tubes but then he got ahead of me - and by the time I reached the end - there was his mom going "so where is he" and me going --- hmmm, he was right in front of me… and then me freaking out because the last thing I want is for him to end up somewhere alone and scared and not knowing where to go or where I went - so I went back and around again - and I enlisted a little girl's help - neither of us could find him for about five minutes. Finally I come down and here he comes around the corner - he must have gone down the slide all by himself and wandered around looking at other games to play. Woooosh - all ended well…. Me, I was completed exhausted and extremely hot from way too much crawling in a way TOO small tunnel…

We ended up driving around looking at lights with occasional "wow" and "pretty" from Little A and "Christmas Lights" from Stefanie's little boy who is WAY more advanced verbally…. We ended up doing the drive through the seasonal lights at the park as well - though both boys were pretty tired by then - they'd name the lights but didn't seem very impressed … I didn't hear any 'wow' or 'pretty' coming from Little A - Stefanie's little one on the other hand was naming 'bear' and 'Santa' and 'deer' and loved 'tunnels' and all the balls were 'baseballs' except the football - he got that the bear was kicking the football which was way cute.

Afterwards we ended up back and Stefanie's house again - which was too short by Little A's standard - he wanted to ride the train and play with the train… but I hadn't realized how late it was…. It was after 10pm before we left and we had too very, very tired little boys that were up way past their bed time on New Years Eve… Nice part of that was although Little A didn't go to bed early on Saturday night - he got up early on Sunday - BUT then he laid down for bed/nap at 6 pm and slept through until 8 am on Monday morning - wahooo --- some sleep was good!

Oh, and where was the missing camera? Outside my front door in the rain for several days…. We've dried it out - but big A got it a little too warm when drying it out … so we're now letting it cool off and hoping when I recharge it I get more than 'error' when I turn it on. So much for my 5 mega pixel camera… sob… sob….