Thursday, March 25, 2010

He's 2!

2 years ago today I was sitting in Auburn OBGYN with a heart rate monitor strapped to my large stomach. I was 2 weeks overdue and miserable!!

I can't believe that 2 years has passed since then. You'd never know that TJ took his dear ole sweet time coming into this world! For those of you who don't know, his delivery was horrible.

I went in on a Tuesday night to spend the night and be induced. Well, when they came in to check me in the morning I had went into labor on my own. Keep in mind that I did this without any pain meds. I like the idea of a baby being born without the chance of any unnecessary drugs in their system. I labored from 6am till 9:30pm when TJ finally decided to come out (thanks to the help of Dr. C.) About 9pm my nurse mid-wife (who I LOVE) tried to do a vacuum extraction (her very first one in like 565 births). It failed. TJ was stuck! His heart rate was dropping and I kept forgetting to breath (it's easier to do than you think!) Turns out TJ had his umbilical cord in his hand and that same hand up by his eye. His elbow was above his head, so when he actually came out, he came out elbow first. My nurse mid-wife was afraid they would have to do a C-section to get him out, so she called in Dr. C. I remember Dr. C looking at the heart rate monitor and examining me and saying, "We have no time." The OR staff was actually in the hallway ready to jump in and just cut me open in the delivery room if needed. He did a kind of reverse Heimlich move on me and out popped (seriously, I heard a pop) TJ. He had a gnarly black eye he gave himself, but other than that he was fine. I didn't realize how stressful the situation was for my nurse mid-wife till the next day. She blames her first grey hair on TJ. She also told me that TJ was her first vacuum extraction and the fact that it didn't work really scared her. I truly believe that TJ is here today because of her and her awesome mid-wifery abilities.

It amazes me to look at my 2 year old and remember how tiny he was when he was born. I was thinking on my way to work and I thought, "Oh my goodness. He made it to two. We really had no clue what we were doing when we brought him home, but he has survived till 2!" I can't believe that the booger who runs around the house terrorizing the dog actually came out of me. I am amazed at how God chose to create childbirth and pregnancy. It just amazes me! What really makes me giggle is imagining that at one point, Ayron fit inside his mother!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

101 Small Pleasures

I was reading through the recommended articles (thank you yahoo) and came across this one from

"Earlier in the week when we talked about the habits of happy people, many of you mentioned the small pleasures you enjoy that are worth more than anything money can buy, like walking on the beach and flying paper airplanes with your children. Since one of the key tenets of happiness is being able to savor small pleasures, here's a list of 101 delights that are worth enjoying today (not all in one day, though!)."

The list is as follows:

coloring (yes, grown-ups can do it, too)

crisp cotton sheets

soft skin

old family recipes

the first daffodils of spring

sleeping in

an exercise endorphin high

window boxes

a perfect cup of coffee

a genuine compliment (giving or receiving)

the way babies smell

a handwritten letter

waking up in a good mood...for no real reason

singing in the shower

finding a couple forgotten dollars in your pocket

doing something nice for your neighbor

a home cooked meal


movie theater popcorn

playing hookey

a bubble bath


an afternoon nap

street musicians

your favorite song

saying thank you

helping someone in need

old fashioned photo booths

fresh whipped cream

inspiring blogs

a glass of wine

rainy afternoons

the funny things kids say

a novel you can get lost in

finding the perfect piece of clothing...on sale

clean laundry

the wind in your hair

treating the person behind you at the drive-thru

sharing an umbrella

the smell of lavender

a long walk that clears your head

a bear hug

The Beatles

smiling at a stranger

eating with chopsticks (Chinese food optional)


staying in your pj's all day

singing along to the radio and knowing all the words

fresh herbs

ordering in pizza

happy endings...even if they're fictional

flying a kite


root beer floats

holding open the door...

...or having someone hold the door for you

fountain soda

white, fluffy towels


spending an afternoon at a museum

really great advice

green lights all the way home

the sound of rain hitting the windows

sitting in a booth

holding hands

a great hair day with no effort

building a fort with your kids

when someone falls asleep with their head on your shoulder


the perfect taco

geraniums on a windowsill

slow dancing

the smell of fresh-baked bread

cheesy, uplifting musicals

great stories

the smell of gasoline

the cold side of the pillow

love letters

old friends... friends

a pull-through parking space

a baguette -- crisp on the outside, airy on the inside

when a dog licks your hand

sitting at the counter at an old-fashioned diner

using your favorite dishes

reading your child a bedtime story

Girl Scout Cookies


kissing someone you love

the smell of onions and garlic cooking

hot chocolate

jumping in puddles

old photographs

birds hopping on the sidewalk

Ella Fitzgerald

a spoonful of peanut butter straight from the jar

your softest t-shirt

a new magazine in the mail


having exact change

bacon and pancakes cooking on Saturday morning

I would have to add the smell of freshly cut grass, hearing the birds chirp for the first time in Spring, hearing your child say "I love you," an unexpected phone call or text, a good belly laugh, I could go on and on.

What would YOU add to the list?

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Interesting Concept

As an educator I am not sure what I think about this, but am curious what other people think. If this had been offered to you, would you have taken the chance?

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Too Connected

Do you ever wonder if there is such a thing as being “over connected?” Between Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Email, it seems that we know exactly what everyone is doing, the moment they do it. We can use our cell phones to text, email, update status, locate places, and make calls! I can even blog from my phone. We are all interconnected thanks to technology.

Sure, used in moderation each of those afore mentioned sites are great, but they can take over your life. Like I said, I admit to being a Facebookaholic. It is a great tool to connect with family that lives in OK, MI, SC, WA, TX, etc. We can share pictures and just know how life is going with everyone. It’s kind of like a mini family reunion without the torturous picture taking session at the end (Come on all you Eaton’s you know what I am talking about. I think Jacque even made a whole FB photo album of the pictures!). But it can take over aspects of your life.

Seriously take a look at how many “friends” or “followers” you have. How many of those people do you actually call up or talk to (face to face) on a weekly basis? Do you really care what the “popular” people from high school are up to now? Will it make your life any better to know what they are doing this very instant? I’m not saying it can’t be a good tool to reconnect with old friends, but just take a genuine look at your “friend” list and discover who really matters. Who are the people you interact with face to face on a weekly basis? Which one of your friends really cares about you? Once you know that, work on developing and nurturing your friendship, because if Facebook/MySpace/Twitter/YouTube were to “die” they would still be your friend.

I used to rush home from work and check Facebook to see if anyone had beaten my Farkle score. In the grand scheme of life, does it really matter? I realized that I was choosing to spend time on the computer instead of time watching my child grow. I felt guilty, but have made changes. I check my email once when I am at home and play one game of Super Farkle. I actually play the game with TJ. He sits on my lap and will scream, “BLOCKS” (he calls the dice blocks) until the game loads. We turn it into a learning time. He loves numbers and will point to a “block” and tell me how many dots are on the dice. I am not trying to brag, but every night he astounds me with his increasing knowledge. He will count each dot. Cracks me up and also scares me. What if he is smarter that I am by the time he is 4?

So I’m still connected, but not obsessed. The fact that I am blogging my thoughts through Blogger which will automatically upload this to a “Note” in Facebook shows that I am connected. But I will admit that it is nice to spend the occasional weekend with the cell phone shut off, the laptop stowed away, the television off and the Ipod uncharged.

Self Reflection

Tis a season of change for me. Both physically, mentally, and emotionally. The physical part is easy. Mentally and emotionally, those are the hard parts!

Physically, I chopped off my hair. It hasn't been this short in a while and I love it. It was so much easier to do this morning! I also agreed to start the mailbox run with Ayron. It is a practice that helps non runners (like myself) get into running. It doesn't sound like much to those of you who are physically active, but to me, it is a start! On day one you run to your neighbors mailbox and back. Day two you run to the house just past your neighbors and back. Day three you run three houses down and back, etc. I am sure I'll feel silly just running next door and back, but it is a start! I have also started parking in the back of the parking lot and walking. Once again, doesn't seem like much, but it is something. I have also started to really watch what I eat and do portion control. I also have cut out pop and this time, I have been doing well with it. I still have the occasional head ache and urge to reach for a pop, but so far I haven't caved. I drink about 4 liters of water a day. Keeps me running to the restroom every hour, on the hour, but I know my kidney's are working! I also walk most of my "office mail." My "office" (it's really and old style ranch house that is close to downtown Angola) isn't far from anyplace I need to send "inter-office" mail. I used to just put it in the mail bin and let someone else walk it where it needed to go, but now I just do it myself. It's faster, I get some fresh air, some sunshine (when it is available) and it's another way to keep me moving.

Self reflection is hard and painful. I am examining the way I conduct myself and how I view things and attempting to change them. I realize that I have slacked off in certain aspects of my life and that is not what I want to do. I know that the process of reflection can be hard and painful, but I also know that it brings about growth. I also know that I tend to bottle up emotions and then let them explode at the worst time and it gets directed at the wrong people. I thank God everyday for Ayron and his ability to put up with my flakiness. While I love my job, it also comes with enormous stress. If I could, I would take home all of these kids and raise them the way I think they should be raised. I can't and so I take home their emotional baggage. I shouldn't, but I do. I spend some nights just worrying for them. Do they have heat at home? Does she have enough money to feed and diaper her baby? Are they going to try to run away? My heart breaks for these kids and yet I know that their actions are what brought them to me. That realization can turn into anger and that is not what my kids (that is what I call them) need. They need someone to just listen to them. I had three students in court this week and I know that two of them are not happy. I only hope that 5 years down the line, they realize why I did what I did. I know they think that I was after them but they needed help that I cannot provide. It was nice to hear about the success of my other student who was in court and that thankful look given to me by him and his family made it all worth it. I have to keep looking at the positive. So far this school year we have worked with 28 students. 5 are still active (and doing great), 20 were successful, and 3 were not. That is an 89% success rate. I would like to have my rate up to 90% by the end of the school year. We have yet to hit our busy season (the weather gets nice, the kids get antsy, they break they law in the process) so it may be possible. This is by far our biggest (numbers wise) year yet. I am not trying to brag, but these stats are what make me realize why I do what I do and why I care so much.

I recently had a day where I just felt like I had the opposite of the King Midas touch. Everything I tried to do, I tried with the best intentions, but it only managed to explode in my face. I was having a rough day and a relative told me, " What helps me when I feel that way is to focus on things that cannot change. I am a Mother, I am a Daughter, and I know that I am a good Mom and good Daughter. I start seeing myself as my mom does, or as my children do, and I begin the small steps to dig out of that feeling."

(Raises an imaginary glass) So here is to making the changes we can and praying for guidance with the things we can't.