Monday, December 31, 2007

To Resolve or Not to Resolve

With a new year a few hours away, I have been wrestling with whether to make any resolutions. And while they may be cliche and while I may have missed meeting my goals previously, I think I will plunge forward and make a few anyway. So without further delay, here are my 2008 resolutions:

  1. Exercise a minimum of 3 times/week (this can be at the gym, at home, outside, wherever, whatever, just try to make it a habit).
  2. Eat healthier (more veggies, whole grains, fruit, fish; less red meat, junk, unhealthy stuff).
  3. Continue with my PhD, even though I know it is going to be a challenge, keep positive and remember that if God brought me to it, God will see me through it.
  4. Lose a minimum of 30 pounds (hopefully more).
  5. Pay off a minimum of $24,000.00 in debt this year (hopefully much more).
  6. Revisit these goals on a monthly basis to see how I am doing, as close to the first day of each month as possible, provided we are not traveling.
  7. Get a pedicure at least every 2 months, sounds pampering, I know, but that is going to be my self treat and my feet are SO UGLY right now given that they have been neglected so much! This will be my treat resolution.

Wish me luck!


Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Sick Shenzy

So the pinching of the wonderful Christmas actually hurt! Shenzy has had a cough and intermittent fever since last Monday, but not too bad. The fever got progressively worse as did the time between when she was feeling her feisty self, so I took her to the pediatrician on Friday. Diagnosis = she has a cold, bring her in on Monday if she still isn't feeling good. Okay, fine.

Saturday, she went down hill ever more and by 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning, I was throwing on some sweats, her coat, and heading for the emergency room. I try not to be dramatic about illnesses, but I personally know 2 moms whose young children have subsequently died from what seemed to be common illnesses, so that is admittedly in the back of my mind.

Well, given that we are "new" to our area, I had not been to either emergency room closest to ours, but decided on the one closer to the big town and it is also only about 2 years old, so it is a nice new facility. Whatever. We ended up waiting for almost 20 minutes for intake, despite the fact that we were the ONLY PEOPLE in there, and that was only because I went back up to the registration desk, with my 35 pound bundle of HOT baby girl, and "queried" why we were still waiting. We were seen within 2 minutes then.

She had a temperature of 103 in the ER, still very puny and lethargic, we were able to get a urine sample (for that alone I believe I should get mother of the year), and finally we were given a doctor, about my age, who said "I am not impressed" no less than 4 times - which was his idiot approach to bedside manner that was supposed to mean, this isn't this bad. Arrogant jackass. He initially stated that he would do a chest X-Ray, but that was just a precaution as he was certain she did not have pneumonia. Well, guess what, she has pneumonia. AND, possibly a urinary tract infection, which if she does (they are growing cultures) we will then have to consult with a urologist for possible structural issues with her urinary tract. Seems odd to me, but we will know more on Monday.

The nurse (or aide or whatever he was) then brought me her first dose of antibiotic at the ER so we could get her started on treatment and when queried about how much to give her of the remaining bottle before I fill her prescription, said "I think 8 ccs". I just stared at him as only a mother who has slept 0 hours in that night and not a full night's sleep in the past week could and said, for your sake, you had better do a quick calculation and make sure the medicine you just administered to my 3-year-old was the correct dosage and what exactly it is that I am supposed to give her at home. I literally saw the words law suit stamped on his reddening face as he apologized and did the calculation, showing me the numbers.

Then, as a final guffaw, Shenzy developed a shooting bloody nose, as in she was eating a Popsicle and all of a sudden the purple Popsicle was RED, in 1 second, it was scary. I got it under control, but it was all over her and her clothes, so I told her to sit still and went down to the nurses desk to inform them, and the doc and aide came tagging along behind me, to which the doc said "I am not impressed" again and when I gave him the I might hurt you, seriously, I might, look, he said, that is a good thing. He then asked what I wanted him to do??!!! I just looked at him and said "apparently nothing", and he flubbed around getting me some wet clothes to clean her up with, but what a MORON.

We have had an up and down day since arriving home at about 6:00 a.m., D had to preach at 3 services this morning, so I was home alone with all 3. Shenzy is good for a while, and then when that fever decides to spike, she is a miserable little thing all over again. We are doing our best to manage the fever and hopefully the antibiotic will help very soon, but good grief, I am exhausted and feel helpless.

This adventure has taught me that I will NOT go back to that ER unless someone has a severed limb and it is the closest place, that I am glad that I have good health insurance and it does not even pass my mind whether I can afford to go to the ER with my sick child, that I am glad I am outspoken and educated in the medical and pharmaceutical fields, as I can see how easily it would to be intimidated, pushed under the rug, unattended, etc. in that situation.

May Shenzy be healthy and back to herself SOON!


Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Best Christmas Ever

I am still in "pinch me" mode as I have just experienced a truly great Christmas. This Christmas with the kids was by far the best ever. They were truly appreciative of their gifts, they loved them, played with them, said thank you when appropriate (without being prompted), and then shared, played and DID NOT FIGHT with each other. The fighting has resumed a bit today, but not much. They are loving staying at home, relaxing, never taking off their pajamas, and having D and I full time just hanging out. Seriously, this is how every Christmas should be. This shows me that we need to just hang out at home more often than we do.

I snuck out of the house for lunch with a friend yesterday, but other than that, we have not left the "nest". D has to go to the dentist and to work for a bit today, but hopefully we will be snuggled back down to do not much again today. I have homework to do - still have 100% in my classes - let's hope that can continue! It is definitely much harder than I was anticipating, but I am already learning a lot.

Ahhh, so very relaxing!


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Good Good Day

Have you ever noticed how the mood of others' influences you? I am aware of it, but not too much on a normal basis. My dear hubbie tried something on his unsuspecting family yesterday and it was rather amazing, so I will share.

Tuesday mornings for the last several years, D has fixed breakfast (sometimes cereal, sometimes steak and eggs - one never knows) for his senior high youth group. You might think, what kid in his/her right mind is going to get up and go eat breakfast at the church - before school? I would guess 0. Well, D has some sort of cool aura about him and the kids LOVE HIM. They come, at 6 in the morning, to meet and fellowship. He has taken them through some unique things over the years, with one of the coolest being the practicing of ancient prayer practices. He tries to make them aware of the larger world and to be more compassionate and understanding of others in this big orb we all inhabit. Yes, the reasons I love him are many.

Anyway, getting sidetracked, so yesterday, he came back home after breakfast and started telling the kids and yours truly that it was a "good, good day". How do you not respond positively to such a pleasant statement and the positively charged environment that surrounds it? He even managed to make Shenzy (of the morning Sybil personality) smile and become more pleasant. It was downright amazing the effect that his very positive attitude and mantra of it is a "good, good day" had on my the rest of the day. It worked on the kids too.

So, I wish to you all to have a good, good day. If you embrace it, you will!


Saturday, December 08, 2007

Back to School - Do I Have Time?

So I have officially begun my PhD work. The degree is far removed from my previous education and daily work (BA - biology and MS - clinical psychology), so I am a bit intimidated as this degree will be in Public Policy with a focus on Nonprofit management and NGOs. While I am very excited, it has also already a bit overwhelming. One problem is that my paid employment has been OVERLY busy as of late and I have been working ridiculous hours to try to achieve something in like 1/4th the normal time. I get the fun projects:). Anyway, back to the degree, it is an online program ( and it is going to be challenging. I had some concerns about it being an online degree, would it be rigorous enough, would it be respected by others? Well, Week 1 has conquered several of my doubts.

Wow, by Day 3 I had to decide on one of my major research topics. By DAY 3! It had to be something related to democratic governance, a problem I would like to investigate and propose a solution to. I decided to pick the issue of multiple departments of government being involved with international adoption and how problematic this can be. I know of a great piece of legislation that was proposed called ICARE, primarily written by a friend who has recently started a new organization that I would urge you all to join,
EACH. McLane is very motivated and has not only the knowledge, but the experience and passion to make this work.

Anyway, with the degree, paid employment, Tabitha work, kids activities, their homework and all the Christmas-related activities - this month is going to see me sleeping a LOT LESS. I know that I can do it though, so I am trying to remember to do it all with a good attitude and to not take my fatigue out on my family. Top this off with a sinus infection and I am just beat and ready for a long winter's nap.

Despite all of the above, I am looking very forward to all the Christmas-related activities for the kids. It is so fun to see the holidays through their eyes, they truly sparkle with excitement.

Life is THIS GOOD,

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Good People

Yes, I would love to raise kids who are successful, healthy, full of all that life can offer...but more than anything, I want them to be good people. So how do we define a good person? To me, a good person is one who considers the feelings of others, who strives to make a difference in the lives of others, and who does all of this because it makes them feel good, makes them feel closer to God, makes them feel whole. Teaching this can only be done so much through talking, D and I must live like this so they can see this behavior, and while we are FAR from perfect, we do our best.

I like to have "dates" with each child by themselves, I enjoy spending the one-on-one time with each of them and they enjoy this special time with me too. All of the kids went with me to the Breakfast with Santa and Santa Shop activities that my dear hubbie helps put on at our church, so the morning was a bit hectic and full - talk of what to tell Santa they wanted for Christmas and lots of fun. Well, that afternoon, Meesta and I left the ladies with daddy and we went on a date. We ate at Cracker Barrel and I saw the nicest older gentleman who was eating by himself and just cheerful and relaxed. If I was not on a date with my little guy and wanted to focus my attention on him, I might have asked him to join us, but who knows, caution is always important these days...unfortunately.

So, as we receive our bill, I asked the waitress to please provide me with his bill too and to tell him Merry Christmas when it was time for him to receive his. This little tradition is something my hubby and I started on Valentine's Day several years ago. We decided that we didn't need anything from each other on the "commercial" day of love, rather we decided to share the love. We went to our small diner for supper and secretly arranged to pay for the meal of two ladies who were widows and dining together. These gestures are certainly not out of pity - these ladies could have bought and sold us in a minute, it was out of love, to share a nice surprise and gesture. Those widows went crazy trying to find out who had paid their bill, but we had sworn our waitress to secrecy. Since then, it is something we do from time to time and D has since taught his youth group this and they love to do it on Mission Trips when they all eat out.

So Saturday, as we left, I explained to Meesta what we had done on our way out. And while I am not sure he completely understood, I could see the wheels turning and could tell he liked the idea.

I hope that we do raise good people. Now, don't get me wrong, I hope they are financially successful, happily married and parents to amazing little grandkids - but more than anything, I hope they are good people.

Wish us luck!