Monday, December 31, 2007

Last Year's Christmas Present

Last year Aryon gave me a puppy for Christmas. It's funny to look at him now and see how HUGE he has gotten. My sister calls him a "big dog" but I call him little. He is low to the ground and fairly compact. He can be a pain, but at times, he keeps me entertained and healthy.

Attempt at Technology Failed

Ok, earlier this week my attempt at trying new technology failed. I removed that blog and decided to try it again. I am currently uploading 37 pictures to and will then attempt to make a "slide" that I can post on my blog so that everyone can see the photos I took from Christmas. I would like to say that my sister also took a ton and I am currently, yet patiently, waiting on her to email those to me as well. The ones we took using her camera should prove to be hilarious (TARGET PRACTICE!). While I am waiting for my pictures to load I'm sure I can kill time by babbeling about my holiday so far.

Christmas was low key, which was great. Presents should not be the focus of the season. We told mom to not get anything for anyone and for once she listened! It was great! She then felt bad when we gave her some small gifts, but at least she listened to our pleas to just relax for once. We spent Christmas morning at our house and mom and Nat came over for breakfast. Ayron made "Dad's Famous Pancakes" and our homemade bacon. It was good! We then managed to spend close to 5 hours together and not kill each other. That is proof you are getting older. When you can and want to spend 5 hours with your sibling! Christmas night was spent at the in-laws with Ayron's family. We also convinced them to have a low key Christmas as well. It was great. Of course the girls were spoiled, but grandma claims she scaled down!

The past week and a half has been great. Ayron's work schedule has been different due to the holidays so we are able to spend more time together and with friends. We even managed to build the changing table together yesterday without losing our patience for one another. I'm hoping we can tackle the dresser this afternoon! I have also realized that I have a ton to get around before I go on maternity leave.

I have 10 weeks until I'm "due." It's an odd thought. Frightening and thrilling all in one. I have hit my nesting stage WAY EARLY and am trying to not drive Ayron crazy. We pulled out all of the furniture and swept behind them and rearranged the living room. I managed to completly empty the "nursery" of the spare crap we've been procrastinating about.

For those of you who are visual, my photos have now loaded and you can see how I've spent my time away from work.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Baby Update

We had our "check up" ultrasound yesterday morning. The placenta has moved, but only about half of the way that it needs too. Anything is an improvement. Taylor is healthy, all fingers, toes, and appendages are accounted for. His brain is developing wonderfully. He is in the 95% size and development wise. He is now 3lbs4oz. The ultrasound tech is going to make a note on my file to have the Dr. look at my case and we might end up taking him a bit early.

I had the glucose test yesterday as well. I recommend the orange flavor. It tastes just like a Crush and it goes down easy. The lab tech was wonderful, I didn't feel a thing. It was great. Ever since then I have been craving nothing but sweets! The drink also had Taylor bouncing off the "walls" all day. He has finally settled down, but I did just drink a smoothie, so give him some time. I have my check up with the nurse mid-wife this afternoon so hopefully the blood work is back by then and we'll have some more answers.

This whole thing is and adventure, I'll give you that.

Man Up and Leave Your Name

I had an "anonymous" person leave a rather crass comment on a previous post I wrote about ADHD. I would normally just choose to either ignore the comment or delete it, but I have decided to take a different approach. Maybe by addressing it, I'll make it worse, who knows.

Anonymity has a place. Like the lovely associate at Home Depot who bought a washer for our cousin in need and chose to remain anonymous. That is cool. If you are going to disagree with someones opinion, man up and own your opinion. I was merely writing about my opinion. While I acknowledge that my opinion may not be shared by everyone, I am not going to tell a person they "are full of s&*^." and then not leave my name. So speak up, leave your name. Engage me in a lively debate, I don't care.

I recognize other opinions with open arms. I also am willing to end a debate with "Let's agree to disagree." So "man up," "grow a pair," and any other cliche you can think of.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

No Wonder ADHD Is On The Rise!

I believe in ADD and ADHD. I also believe that in many people it is a learned behavior. They learn this behavior to help them cope with the stresses of college or life. I developed it and have been able to harness it and allow it to help me. I am getting better and I know what foods to avoid, but I am astounded at the skyrocketing rates of it in our students.

I will say now that I am not sold on the "Baby Einstein" products. I have watched a couple of them and I am wondering if they help teach our children to be ADD. Scoff if you want, but it is something I've wondered. The images flash so fast that I can't even focus and form a thought about one before a new one appears. Now little kids have "learning video games." Video games for 3 year olds? What happened to going out side and playing with the neighbors? A friendly game of kick ball or jailbreak? Seriously. And the television and computer have taken over as babysitters in some houses. Yes, I am guilty of coming home and plopping in front of the tube, but I've begun to change those ways and by doing so, Ayron has too.

Last night we were at Meijer and you can pay to use a cart that has a tv screen in it for your children. There are enough situations going on while in store, why add to it by allowing your child to watch tv while you shop? Why not have your kids count apples as you bag, or start teaching letters, those types of activities.

We are overstimulating ourselves and our kids. Yes, I am able to chat, blog, talk on the phone and grade a math test all at once. Yes, I taught myself how to deal with several stimuli at once, but it's not always a good thing. It does make it really hard for me to focus when I have just one thing to do. Why are we over stimulating our kids? By the time they hit 1st grade they are almost expecting the classroom to be like home with several things going at once and no need to focus on one for a long period of time. No wonder our testing scores are down (although I'm not a fan of the testing either).

I vow to make/teach my children play outside, to make friends with the neighbor kids (if we have any), to read a book instead of watching tv, to use their imaginations to play instead of the video game system. Call me old fashioned, but I think it's the better alternative.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


My nieces are the proud owners of 2 4-wheelers. They made arrangements to pay their parents back out of their allowance and have those "paid off." They are responsible for the gas and other parts they may need.

The other day my oldest niece overheard a conversation between her father and one of his friends, C. Turns out C was approached about buying a snowmobile. He thought about it, but decided against it. The lady really wanted to sell the snowmobile because the family has fallen on hard times and the money would allow her to pay some bills and buy a few gifts for her 5 children.

After hearing the conversation, my niece approached her dad. "Dad, can we buy the snowmobile." She was told that they couldn't because of the cost. She shyly replied with, "Well, I have the $500 the lady needs for it. And this way she would get her money and we'd get a new toy." Turns out her and her sister (along with help from mom) have been stashing back some of the rabbit farm money for a "rainy/snowy day." After some convincing, and explaining (about the money) the girls bought their very own snowmobile. The funny thing, sure they are all excited about having a snowmobile, but they were more excited about helping the lady in need.

Blech, Shopping

I normally love to shop (insert your own joke here, I'll wait.....ok, ya done?). But for some reason, I don't care to right now. This is especially difficult considering it is the holiday season. We have decided to get one (maybe two) small gifts for each person on our list (10 people total). We keep putting the shopping off. Every year I think, "Yeah, this year I'll be one of those people that has everything bought before Halloween and wrapped before Thanksgiving." Hasn't happened yet, probably never will happen.

So why am I dreading this? I am looking forward to hanging out with friends and family. I like getting together and watching my nieces play (now on their very own snowmobile: cute story, think I blog that one next). It just doesn't feel like Christmas yet. Why not? There is a ton of snow out, lights are up, tree is decorated (at work anyways). Will it ever feel like Christmas this year?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Horrible Person or Horomones?

I have recently realized I am not immune to the pregnancy hormones. I have merely been suppressing them to keep everyone, mainly Ayron, happy. I have put up this "Everything is fine" front and I'm sick of it.

I have nothing to complain about. I am in semi-good health. Taylor is healthy. I shouldn't complain, but part of me years to let the truth out. I feel guilty because I know several people that are encountering pregnancy problems or are having troubles even conceiving. Yet, I push on with my confession.

I don't like being pregnant. I like knowing that I am supporting a life, I don't like the feelings that come along with it. Why do people do this multiple times? I have been putting on a fake face for Ayron most nights, but about two weeks ago I snapped. He came home to find me a mess. I finally just opened the flood gates and told him everything. How I had been feeling physically and emotionally. It caught him off guard. He has been so wonderful during this time and has been extra attentive the past two weeks now that the truth is out.

I just hate complaining about it to other people. Several people ask me how I'm feeling, etc. I've stopped saying, "Fine" and started telling the truth. Funny thing is, people don't want to hear the truth. They look at me like I'm some sort of horrible monster for saying that I do not care to carry another child. I am happy with one biological child. I want more children, but why should I have more (knowing how it makes me feel) when we can adopt a child that someone can no longer care for? I am big fan of adoption and we have talked about it and even have some orphanages picked out. When you tell people how you feel, the true story, they look at me and I know they are thinking, "What a horrible mom." I bed to differ.

How can you judge my mothering skills by how I feel now. My body has been through a lot in the past two years and now to add a pregnancy to the list. It needs a break. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of being a mother and all of that stuff, but the physical aspect of being pregnant no longer appeals to me. If you love being pregnant, great, good for you. It's not for me.

There, I feel better. I'm just sick of people looking at me funny when I say, "This is the only child I will give birth to." Several people (and I am guessing my aunt is thinking this) have said, "They are all different pregnancies and you can't compare one to the other." or "Don't say that, you know you'll have more." Yes, I know that I want and will have more children, but for right now, I am saying I am done after this one. Sure, maybe I'll change my mind, who knows. I'm not God, I'm not perfect. Maybe I will get pregnant again, who knows. All I am asking is for someone, when I say that this has been rough and I am done after Taylor, to acknowledge that it is hard and that they felt the same way. I know I'm not the only one out there who has felt this way. It is all hormones? I really don't think so, but then again, I'm not God, I don't know for sure.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Personal Protection Permit

Yesterday was our office Christmas party. We had a nice lunch and did a fun "white elephant" type gift exchange. To our surprise, our boss decided to get each of us a Christmas present.

The big joke is that in our office, my boss and I are in the minority. Most of our co-workers have their personal protection permits. They often go out to homes and do visits and thus must be armed. My boss and I tend to be office people and thus, haven't bothered with our permits yet. This year he decided to get everyone something we all could carry. If you want to see the weapon I got for Christmas, click here.

Needless to say, we all decided to pull our weapons on our boss as soon as we had them all unwrapped.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I've Been Elfed

My sister did this and so did a co-worker. I had some time to kill, so I thought I'd try it too.


'Danger: Avoid Death' contest winner

By RON VAMPLE, Associated Press Writer Wed Dec 12, 6:22 PM ET

DETROIT - Words to live by, from a warning label on a small tractor: "Danger: Avoid Death." That warning was selected Wednesday as the winner of the 11th annual "Wacky Warning Label Contest," sponsored by Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch. The contest is part of an effort to show the effects of lawsuits on warning labels.

Kevin Soave of Farmington Hills, a Detroit suburb, won the $500 grand prize for submitting the tractor's "Danger: Avoid Death" label.

The $250 second place was given to Carrianne, Jacob and Robby Turin of Greensburg, Pa., for a label they found on an iron-on T-shirt transfer that warns: "Do not iron while wearing shirt."
Richard Goodnow of Lancaster, Mass., earned the $100 third-place prize for a label on a baby stroller featuring a small storage pouch that warns: "Do not put child in bag."

Contest organizer Bob Dorigo Jones says the silly labels reflect how broken America's civil justice system is.

"Predatory lawyers know they can file ridiculous lawsuits against innocent product makers and blackmail them into a cash settlement — even in cases in which a user has ignored common sense," Dorigo Jones said in a statement Wednesday.

Honorable mention went to Cyndi LaMonde of Traverse City for a label on a letter opener that says: "Caution: Safety goggles recommended."

Ann Marie Young of Fillmore, N.Y., took the second honorable mention for a warning she found which cautions users: "The Vanishing Fabric Marker should not be used as a writing instrument for signing checks or any legal documents."

The group selected a list of finalists and listeners of WOMC-FM's Dick Purtan show chose the winners.

What gets me is that you know people have done those dumb things and then sued because "It didn't say no to." Come on people. You complain when your coffee is cold, yet you sue when McDonald's actually gives you hot coffee. Go figure!

Candy Making

I have been trying to watch a lot less television lately. I average around 4-5 books a week and since I started this, reading has gotten old. I like reading, don't get me wrong. I just wanted a change of pace. I decided to try to pull Ayron into my plan for less television. We have been having a nightly Uno war. I will admit that I have been losing that battle. I'm sure Grandma Reese is laughing up in heaven because I have finally found someone who can beat me at my own game.

Last night we decided to try our hand at candy making. It was an experience to say the least. Earlier this week we already made reindeer noses. I don't know if those are what they called, but that's what I have decided to name them. They are the round pretzels with a melted hershey's kisses in the middle topped with an M&M. We became creative and used candy cane, regular, hot cocoa, cherry cordial, and dark chocolate kisses. They are yummy!

Last night we expanded our candy production to include two kinds of fudge (cookies-n-creme and walnut), truffles, and home made turtles. I think Ayron tasted three of everything. I'm surprised I had some left to bring to work with me today!

We have decided to open our own candy making business. We talked about it jokingly, but I would really enjoy that! If my dad was staying in the area, I'd be willing to go into business with him. I could do the candies and he could do the baking. That would really be fun........maybe I should go back to school for my pastry degree.........not a bad idea.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

2 days and counting

Today makes day #2 of working from "home." Due to this lovely ice storm, the school district I work in closed. In Auburn it is just raining right now, but they say up north it is really bad. They are guessing that it will stop raining and start freezing soon. So I decided to spend another day working from "home."

I say "home" because I am currently up at Joshua Cup using the free wireless. I do have a list of things to do for work when I get home. I really need to start planning and delegating things for when I am gone. I need to make the SOP's for YIP. SOP's are our standard operating procedure manuals that describe how things are done, by who, and when. I also need to work on creating more work for a day student who is finishing his work quicker than I can grade it.

If I stay here and work I'll be more tempted to play games and read blogs. If I go home where I don't have wireless, I will be forced to actually work. Maybe I should go ahead and head home...or maybe I should play one game of pool.....

Saturday, December 08, 2007

What a Year

It has been year and we are still amazed. For those of you who don't know, a year ago today my sister-in-law was hit by a semi ( It is amazing to look at her and know that she is here for a reason. She should have died, but she didn't. If you didn't know her before the accident, you would have no clue what she has been through. Her voice is still a bit off, but you can understand her and every day her speech improves.

It is also interesting to see how our family dynamic has changed. We don't take each other for granted. Not that we ever did, but we are more aware of each other now. I still have flashbacks of her lying in the ICU bed and those freak me out, but I have to remember how far she has come. I am constantly amazed by her and Him. He could have taken her, but He didn't and for that we are grateful.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Giving Them What They Wanted

* Let me state that I realize the oxymoron/paradoxical nature of this blog. I do not mean to promote what I am opposing. I just want to make a point, but in this certain situation, by making a point, I am partially doing what I object too.

Yesterday there was a mall shooting in Omaha. The shooter was a 19 year old male who had serious mental issues. I only watched about 10 minutes of the coverage that the morning shows were giving the event. A piece that I did see mentioned the suicide note the shooter left. In the letter he mentioned something about how his actions will make him famous. I think he should have written infamous, but that isn't my point.

Let's think about this. The shooter wanted to be famous, seeing no other way, he selfishly took the lives of innocent people and injured several others. He knew that his actions would send the media into a whirlwind of coverage about him and his life. Bam, he got what he wanted. The whole nation focused on him. This makes me think.

If the media didn't offer such "in depth" coverage of shooters who do acts of destruction similar to the mall shooting, would he have chosen to act this way to become "famous?" Why do we give shooters (school shootings, mall shootings, hostage holders, etc) so much power by putting their actions/words/thoughts/family on television? Aren't we merely playing into their game. They get what they wanted, publicity. Often times, they kill themselves to "insure" their names become "famous."

I am not saying that the media shouldn't care about the innocent bystanders, but do we really need to focus 2 hours of our morning shows on the shooter and their background? Why does the news focus on such bad situations? I know that in our day and age, the world is full of bad situations, I just wish the media coverage tried to balance the good with the bad. I know several parents who don't let their children watch the news because the coverage of such bad things gives their children nightmares. Case and point, I have a niece that once watched and interview of Elizabeth Smart (after she was home and safe) and since then she has been terrified that someone will break into their house and take her. This terrified her to the point that she would no longer sleep in her basement room. She now sleeps up stairs with her two sisters.

Why do we play into their game? I realize this blog post is giving the shooter "power" but I just wanted to throw my thoughts out there.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I Just Can't

I have discovered that lately I am unable to fully relax. This has begun to take a toll on my health, which is the last thing I need right now.

As I starred at the alarm clock at 3am this morning, I wondered if I have ever been able to fully relax? Is this something I've just recently acquired? If so, how to do I get rid of it?

I really don't want television anymore. There are a few shows I enjoy, but even lately, I have been so busy or mentally preoccupied I can't myself to sit and enjoy a show. My mind is always going. I am always making mental lists, along with physical lists, of things that need to be done at home or work. I am constantly bringing work home with me. In the beginning I didn't mind because I was racking up comp time for maternity leave, but now it's getting to me. I like my job, I don't mind doing the work, but I am wondering if me bringing it home is preventing me from relaxing.

If I sit in front of the television and solely watch television, I find myself thinking, "I could be doing this, or that, etc." I am a multi-tasker. Call it learned ADHD if you will.

I keep using television as my example, but it's not just television. I can't even just sit and read a book for fun anymore. I tried last night and all I kept thinking was, "I could be giving Scooter a bath, running the dishwasher, grading, cleaning, etc." The other day I sat down to attempt to start organizing things for Taylor's scrapbook and I felt guilty. Why was I taking time for myself when I had no clue what I was going to cook for dinner? Even doing my daily prayer drawings are becoming difficult. If I find myself doodling/praying for something in my life, I feel guilty because "surely someone else has it worse off than I do, so why am I praying for myself?"

I thought that by turning my mental lists into physical ones I could help the situation, but I made it worse. I have now become anal retentive (that phrase cracks me up) about my lists. I will go through and prioritize the things on my list. Then I will redo the list with specific times and details. I can't just write it down and be done. Why?

Maybe it's just a pregnancy hormonal thing, I don't know. What I do know is that it would be nice to just go home and enjoy Ayron's company tonight, but I already have a list of things to do.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Back to Basics

Ayron and I have decided to have a simple Christmas. Partly due to money, partly to escape the commericalism of the holiday.

Growing up I knew why Christmas was important, but when you are a kid, it is all about the presents. I always got flannel sheets, a brand new coloring book, and the biggest box Crayola had on the market. As I've grown up, I changed my requests for needs. Sure, I may want something, but do I really need it? Last year it was stuff for the house.

We aren't exchanging gifts on my mom's side of the family. None of us have things we really want/need. Ok, so we do, but our lives will go on without them. Sacrifice won't hurt us. I have decided to make a couple of small things for everyone though.

Our nieces told us not to buy them presents because they want us to save up so we can all go to Disney together. I don't think the three year old realizes what she is asking for. We are keeping it small.

I think after last year (My sister in law being in the hospital), we (well, at least me) really realized what it is supposed to be about. Family.

I must say that I am calmer this year. I am not frantically running around to save a dollar on the latest gizmo or toy. I am just looking forward to spending time with my family. It will be nice. Our family is ever expanding and changing, and being able to get together and share is better than any present I could get or give this year. I know, sounds fake doesn't it. I am being serious.