Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dodging Objects

Have you ever felt like you were standing in the middle of the room as if you were in a movie and everything was spinning around and around you? Sometimes the objects are moving quickly and other times they are moving slowly. Dodging left and right trying to avoid being hit by the flying object? Me too!

Lately, I just feel like this is where I am at in life. Please do not take me wrong because I am basically happier then I have ever been, but I also feel stuck. Not stuck as I am in a rut but stuck where there are plans and you see it getting closer but then just stuck there never letting that plan come into action.

I am not the only one feeling like this, Todd is as well. We have so many objects coming at us, work, children, health but it is nice to know that we have one another. I feel bad, he told me the other night that I am the one thing he is happy with in his life and I made him feel as if he is failing me.

How can I do this to the man that grounds me? He is my best friend. The one person that I can count on that will be in my corner. Yes, he may tell me I am wrong but he is still in that corner. He is the one that will stand up for me even if it will cause more problems for him in the long run (only when he feels that it is right as well though and that is the way it should be.). He is the one that makes me laugh. Laughter is so important to me. It is he who makes me smile.

I love his little touches. I love how he will walk by and tickle my butt no matter who is in the room. He will go out of his way to try to make me feel better and provide me with whatever I am missing or think I need. He is the one man in my life that has treated me with respect. He holds me every night just about for a little while. He will comfort me when my feelings are hurt. He completes me.

He cares about my children. I'm not saying putting up with them but he cares about their welfare as well. His children were nearly grown when he took me in and knowing he would be helping me raise the younger two basically.

Now we have our issues from time to time, but when we share our feelings, we then think about what the other said. I have found he listens and then puts my feelings first. How can all this be failing me?

Even if I have objects swarming around me, I know I have this wonderful man, my soul mate, my best friend, my lover, my husband. He is my shield protecting me from all the objects. I do love him so much. What or who protects you from the objects flying about?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Moans

I had such a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend (other then being sick off and on the entire 4 days.) that I really do not have much to MOOOOAAANN about, but here is what I have.

MOOOOAAANN for feeling icky 4 days straight, but it could have been worse. It was just icky feeling not miserable.

MOOOOAAANN for the 4 days going so quickly.

MOOOOAAANN for the airlines that caused stress on us for a few hours when they lost Emily's luggage on Thanksgiving day. She flew to Texas to see her boyfriend.

That's it folks! Life is good on the homefront at the time being...***knock on wood***. I enjoyed seeing my oldest for nearly a week. I loved playing games with the boys. I loved listening to them giggle however there were times I wished they were a little quieter. Thanksgiving went well. I hope everyone else had a good one as well.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pallido Ponto Nigral Degeneration (PPND)

When I met the boys' father, his father was just in the beginning stages of what they thought was Parkinson's disease only thing was it was not like normal Parkinson's disease. My ex's Mother and Father went to the University of Nebraska for a 3rd opinion and by the grace of God they found this wonderful doctor who has basically devoted 23 years to of his life.


Before my ex and I were married we talked about having children because of this disease. At that time they still did not know too much other then a form of Parkinson's. We both agreed that we would try for children. Where I was coming from is: one is never guaranteed how long to live and if by chance one of our children were to become ill with this disease he/she could do a lot in his/her life in the 40 some years. I also felt I had to put my faith in God. Medicine is always changing and I felt strong by the time my ex husband's generation came about there would be something there, maybe not a cure but something.

Eventually, the gene was identified for this disease and the doctor named the disease (his second choice) but there was not much interest by others to help with research since it is only one family that is affected here in the United States. 2001 The Des Moines Register ran a 3 day series article about the disease and devoted one article to the boys' grandfather. One week later my ex husband was fired from his job. Many companies are leery when they find out about a degenerative disease. This disease is like most neurological diseases it becomes activated in the 40s, however this is a rapid degenerative disease and typical life expectancy is 8 years. My ex's cousins reside in Montana. 

My older two boys with their Grandpa Titler

This January it will be 15 years since the boys' grandfather passed away. Out of the four siblings 3 have been tested for the gene and one chooses not to know. 2 of the 3 carry the gene. My ex is the one who does not. What does this mean, you may ask? It means he will not become ill with this disease, nor any of his off springs, so my boys will not get this disease as well. I would have been thrilled if the results were all 3 did not carry the gene. This means the other 2 will eventually get this disease and their children will have a chance to have this gene as well. Many people are now becoming interested in this family because the research that the doctor and team have been working on may assist Alzheimer's. This disease affects 4 other families in the world, 1 in France, 2 in Japan, and 1 in Ireland.

As of today they are working on a breakthrough.  If anyone is interested in making a donation, you may want to contact Dr. Wszolek.  He is currently at The Mayo Clinic in Florida.  He is the doctor that has dedicated the past 23 plus years.

If you are unable to make any donations, at least pray for this family. I can not even imagine what my ex-mother-in-law will have to go through. I know it was hard on her when she was losing her husband and to know now that two of her four children will eventually go through the same thing.

*Edit - 11/20/2012*
 It has been nearly two years since I have published this post.  In the two years, this post has had 2178 views from all of the world.  I have had other people with different types of neurological diseases reach out to me for assistance with setting up a post similar.  When I spoke to them, I asked how they found me and I was told they were referred to me by the Mayo Clinic in Florida.  I feel great that I have been able to provide something for others to use and the doctors recognize what a value post like this can be.  Educating is a big key in fighting any disease. I want to stress, I do not have the answers.  I have just provided sources and information about this disease.  Please contact the doctors at the Mayo Clinic.  Before being tested for this disease one should go through genetic counseling to make sure you are going to be okay if the results come back that you do have the gene.

I am also including a comment, my ex-brother in law has posted within this blog.  In case those who are reading do not read the feed back. He may be able to direct you to where you can go as well or provide you with the latest updates on this disease. 
My name is Dave Titler and Jolene is talking about my dad and any family who wants to chat or needs information PLEASE contact me at dtitler@yahoo.com and I will help with whatever u want. I have the gene and I know all about the disease. Im in contact with cousins all over the U.S. and can help so please contact me

 *Edit 8/10/2017:  At this time please do not email Dave any longer.  He will NOT be able to answer any questions any longer due to this disease.  If I am able to find any other resources I will update this post.*

* Edit 3/13/2018: Please do not take me as an expert on this subject because I am not. My post is to share my experience with this disease and what I knew at the time of my original post. I do not have the answers but I pointed to the direction I knew.  I am not sure if this doctor is still working for the Mayo Clinic in Florida. I do know my ex in laws are still going to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.  Please follow up with the Mayo Clinic for doctors wh o may have your answers.*


Some of you are aware I have another blog site that is basically a log of our garden. Our Slice of Heaven Planning for next year's garden has begun. Clink on the link below (the header icon) to read our new ideas for next year's garden. I do hope the boys that are home get into it a little more so they too can have the knowledge and plant a garden when they have their own homes.

Game Night

I had an enjoyable evening with two of my sons, Joshua and Ethan. We played Lord Of The Rings Risk. O.K. I had an enjoyable evening with them. I made Joshua mad because of the way I played. He is very competitive and is used to winning. My moves hindered him and ended up putting Ethan at an advantage to win. Ethan at first was so giddy but Joshua ruined it for him so he was not able to enjoy it as well.

Shop Until You Drop

Thanksgiving weekend is the busiest shopping day of the year...well Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving in the United States) is. It is where stores have great bargains at very early hours and limited time. It is suppose to be the day where the retail stores go into the black because they sale so many items. I have been shopping on Black Friday since Ethan was born 14 years ago. It started out a tradition of my Mother and I. I had such a blast. It was a time where it was just my Mother and I. We do not have just her and I moments very often and I loved it. We would pick up the Thursday paper that was loaded with ads and browse threw them, making a list of items we wanted. She would come over to my house and off we went. We would shop and shop and take a little break for breakfast and shop some more. One year we started at Wal-Mart and we found the items we wanted. The Wal-Mart we went to was open 24 hours as all are now, they had the door busters roped off. I can not remember what it was we were trying to get now, but it was some sort of appliances she wanted for my nephew and a few VCRs (Yes, you read right VCR so that dates us.) As soon as they dropped the rope my Mother literally ran to the VCRs to grab 4 of them. She jumped over items as she was running. I could not help myself by just standing with the cart and laughing at her hurdling the items on the floor to see my Mother this way was so entertaining. We would laugh often as we shopped.

I moved to the Iowa City area 6 Black Friday's ago and I miss shopping with my Mother. It is not the same. I mostly shop by myself now, and chat with people in line. I just can not stand for a long period of time near people and not talk. That is just not me. My first Black Friday here, my first goal was a lap top for Kera's graduation gift. Wal-Mart only had 12, I stood in line from 10 pm Thanksgiving night for the sale that was going to start at 5 am. The Wal-Mart workers would walk by and we would chat. Everything was organized until right before 5 am then a mob came rushing. The employees were looking out for those that stood in line for so long and they handed a lap top to me, only for this very tall and large man to take it out of my hands. They noticed what happened and handed me another. This time I hung on to it tightly and close to my chest. The same man, tried to take it out of my hands again, this time he could not get it so he punched me. The manager then grabbed him and called the police. One of the employees then walked me to the check out to make sure no one would take it out of my hand again. After being checked out another walked me to my car. Now, that is customer service and a horrible first Black Friday alone.

I did have Todd with me once, but he works the third shift and it is a rotation schedule so he does not have many holiday's off. That was an enjoyable Black Friday shopping. Last year I could not get everything I wanted at Wal-Mart so I enlisted my older two boys to help with Wal-Mart and Target. It was fun watching them in action as well. Their giggles as they rushed through the isles and entertained me while we stood in line. I then took them through McDonald's for breakfast for a reward to help get the bike for Ethan, then home to bed for them by 6 am. I then drove to the next store for more shopping. I typically meet up with Todd sometime after 7 am when he is work day is over.

This year I feel good with what I purchased. I really did not have any huge big ticket items, well so I thought. (Our big ticket item was purchased on Sunday at Target's Pre-Black Friday sale.) My shopping started on Thanksgiving Day at K-Mart. I was there early because there was an item I wanted 2 of (for Ethan and Noah) and I was not sure of how many they had. It was at a great price that I could not pass up for the boys. It ended up being a limited item and one per customer. I liked how K-Mart handed out tickets and went down the line first come first serve. Fair to me, luckily for me someone I knew showed up where she helped me and picked up one as well so I was able to leave with two. Yeah me!!! Yesterday, actually Black Friday, I was able to get what I wanted at all of the stores I went to. I even had a friend pick up something at Target for me. I only wanted the one item and she was going to be there very early, so I just told her what I wanted along with the money. Today I was up early again and only hit one store. I'm done shopping for this weekend. My body literally aches, yesterday was horrible on it. I definitely shopped until I dropped yesterday. It was an uneventful crazy shopping day and I am just fine with that. We all are adults and should know that nothing materialistic is worth hurting someone and respect one another.

I can not state exactly what I got the kids (just in case they read this before Christmas) but I am happy with my deals. I also picked up baby flannel to make a couple of receiving blankets as well as burp rags. Today I picked up material to make a baby quilt. The fabric is so soft. I am excited to start but it will have to wait a little while. In the picture below: the top flannel will be a receiving blanket and burp rags. The bottom flannel will be a receiving blanket and the center is the material for the baby quilt I will be making.

Todd picked up (last Sunday Pre-Black Friday sale) an item for one of the kids and new pot ware for us. I'm so excited, it's a nice set. It will be my first good pot ware that I have ever owned as well as he. It is Paula Deen Signature Collection. I am going to have to pick up a large skillet of this same piece later. It is the only thing I think we need. The collection has a 12 inch skillet but that is not big enough for my family. I cook for 7-8 people.

I am also excited for my birthday present. Yes, I know my present already. Todd had me pick it up. I believe he is going to let me have it early so I can take pictures with it on Christmas. I so want to ask for it now so I can play with it. I know so bad of me. (he he he) I just might have to open the package and look at the manual a head of time. (he he he) Next weekend I am going to take Todd with me to Cedar Rapids to the Home Depot so he can pick out his Christmas present. He wants a smoker this year and I want to make sure I get the right one.

Although I still shop on Black Friday, it is just not the same with out my Mother. She and I talked about it earlier, we both feel it just is not the same without one another. We both have bad knees now and do not move about so easily. I am hoping to have Thanksgiving at our house next year, where my Mother is able to come. Maybe next year she and I will be able to do some shopping together. It would be so great if my sisters would come as well. We have never done this together. Actually this year was the first year my sister Amy went and usually Katie the past 3 years has had my Mom go out and get her things while she is home with the girls. I really would love for them to be here next year at least for dinner. We will see.

Did you do any shopping this weekend? Any good stories you want to share?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Flashback Friday 13

My Mother (1st child in the back row) with her Mother and siblings. The youngest aunt has not been born yet.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful Thursday

For Everyone in the United States...Happy Thanksgiving! My last Thankful Thursday post for this year 2010. In my past blogs I shared how I was thankful for my family and friends and I truly am THANKFUL for them.

I'm THANKFUL for a job. The way our economy is today you can not take having a job regardless if it is crappy or a great one for granted. I am THANKFUL that I am bringing money home in order to pay my bills and a few extras if needed.

I am THANKFUL heat in the house. This time last year our furnace broke and we were without heat for 5 days. I am very THANKFUL that we have heat that was a rather cold 5 days when we live in Iowa and it is winter here. I am also THANKFUL that we replaced the central air unit at the beginning of July and not even 2 weeks later. Iowa did have an unusually warm spring but if we would have waited just too more weeks we would have been in a long stretch over 100 degrees and it would have been so much worse.

I am THANKFUL for hair color. I am not ready to have my hair gray yet. I know that contradicts what I tell Todd. I really do love the gray in his hair. It makes men sexy but women just older. I am not ready to look like a grandma yet.

I am THANKFUL that I was able to lower my top number with my blood pressure now to keep working and lower the bottom number, it is the serious one.

I am THANKFUL for bfads.net This website post the Black Friday ads before they hit the stands. I also have found some very nice people there as well.

I wish I could say I am THANKFUL for world peace and no more major illness in our lives today.

I am THANKFUL I had the opportunity for an education.

"It isn't what you have in your pocket that makes you thankful, but what you have in your heart." Author Unknown

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

He loved soccer and his coach!

I've linked this to 5 Minutes For Moms

Wednesday Woo Hoo

Today I really need to post this Woo Hoo because I need to change my attitude. After posting my Monday Moans, thinking I have been having a great week I do not have much to moan about crap hit the fan later that night. **SIGH** The mood is just lingering at home as well.

So here is my attempt

Woo Hoo for my husband. I do not envy him when it comes to issues with his daughters but Woo Hoo because he deserves it. It is not easy confronting issues at time especially when one behaves as one does. Woo Hoo for him standing behind me when I have issues with any of the children, his or/and mine.

Woo Hoo for game night with Ethan and Joshua, even though I irritated Joshua with the way I played the game. I enjoyed doing this with them that is not related to computer games.

Woo Hoo today is a short day at work. I just want to go home and sleep but Woo Hoo I will be baking with my husband. No seriously, Woo Hoo that it is a team effort and not a single person’s responsibility.

Woo Hoo Matthew is home for the week.

Woo Hoo I have a job, although I would love more pay because the expenses just keep coming in. It’s funny how they all are due about the same time as well.

Woo Hoo for Thanksgiving trial runs. I found my recipe for the crock pot that I will be making tomorrow to take to my in-laws house. I would love to say I’m excited for Thanksgiving but I think it is going to be a drama filled one and personally, I would love a low key and just enjoy those I am with. I wish one individual would think about how they approach others when given or receiving information. The timing is what matters as well as body presentation and tone.

Woo Hoo, my Monday Moan about the company holding on to child support was not the case this last payment. I was very surprised that the day after I posted my Monday Moan, the child support recovery account had the child support posted. It’s in my banking account now. That is a big Woo Hoo.

Woo Hoo I fit into a smaller size of jeans! What a feeling that was Friday when they zipped up.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday Tip #2 Holiday Planning

I am the type of person that makes “to do list” and checks off what has been accomplished and what needs to be carried over to the next day. Lately I find myself carrying over more then I would like to. I find that it helps me with my busy life. I started this years ago when I stayed at home during the day and worked late nights. Active stay at home/working mother I found it a must when I teamed taught 2nd grade Sunday School, boys in multiple sports events, PTA, elementary school year book, planned 2 dens in Cub Scouts, planned pack meetings for Cub Scouts, and then eventually the Committee Chair Person for our pack. I felt a list helps with challenges and stress and possibly confusion at times. My planner is not as full any longer since moving to Iowa City I am just not active in events like this. I am more of a spectator at this point in my life, which is good for me. I still do not have the energy as I used to since my divorce. I am hoping I regain some of that energy once I become healthier.

Where am I going with all of this you may be asking? Well let’s face it. The holidays can be one of the busiest and stressful times of the year. Why not keep a holiday planning notebook to help you through this time of the year?! How should you set up your holiday planner notebook? Good question. There are no set rules on exactly how to set up said planner notebook. It is your notebook you could be as creative as you want to be or as simple no one will judge you. You may want to choose a certain color of ink pen to keep it festive if you wish as well. Here are two of my suggestions on creating the holiday planner notebook.

Suggestion #1
· A notebook binder. This could be red or green in color. You could even get a white one that has the clear pocket in the front and make a collage of your favorite photos for this holiday season. The sky is the limit. I would label the binder with the year. You can use either a sharpie or a label if you have one of those cool label makers.
· Loose leaf paper. You need something to write on. If you wish you could even pick up colored paper and use a 3 ring hole puncher so you can store it in your holiday planner binder.
· Dividers. The number of dividers all depends on your categories.
· Pocket folders. Always a good idea to store loose papers, Christmas cards, receipts.

Suggestion #2
* A simple spiral notebook with pocket folders. They have 3-5 subject binders and I find the 5 Star brand works great for the children when they are in high school.

No matter what you choose as your planner, I do suggest that you hang on to it so you can review it the following year if need be. Make sure you store it in a place where you will remember and have easy access to the following year.

What should your planner include? Again there is no correct answer but here is what I include in mine.

My first page is a calendar. You will probably refer to this often. Make sure you add all events and dates on this calendar so you do not double book yourself.

Christmas Card Section. Keep a list of the people you send cards to from year to year. Make note of anyone that has moved or last names possibly changed from prior year. I know some people also keep track of who sent them Christmas Card the year prior to add to their list this year or they may use it as a way to weed out their list. (Personally, I am not going to omit someone because they did not send me a card. There have been several years that I did not send cards. The way I view this, it’s the time of year to give. Just my personal belief.)

Visiting Section. This section could include where you visit, who visits you. I use this to keep track of whose house our children spend the holiday with. My boys I get the privilege to have Christmas with every other year. The girls do the same with their mother. Keep a list of things that need to be brought to the other parents house during their visit if need be so you can check it off when they pack. Some people travel for the holidays. This could be a good place to keep notes as to where you stay if you book a hotel or any other travel arrangements that need to be made. Jotting down a review of that hotel later is a good idea to keep a memory if you should book there again.

Menus and Recipes. Let’s face it; food is a big part of the holiday festive. You may have a few little gatherings where you need to bring something. Planning on what you are going to take down to the recipe is a great idea. Also, this is a great place to jot down some of your favorite foods at said gatherings and check with that friend to see if they would share their recipe. You could also break this down into further sections such as the holiday it self, for example Menu for Thanksgiving, Menu for Christmas Eve, Menu for Christmas, and Menu for New Year’s, as well as individual parties. The pocket folder would definitely be wise here so you can keep your recipes for your menu, if they are on cards or if you print one off of the computer. If you are following one from a cook book, remember to jot down the page as well as the name of the food you have on your menu. It saves time later.

Receipts Section. This is a must in your holiday planner. A simple pocket folder would be ideal to place all your receipt into. A quick notation on the receipt is important if something is missing on such as the store’s return policy. Keeping receipts is always a good idea in case you have to return the item. ***SECOND THOUGHT*** I just came up with a better idea for receipts instead of using pocket folder a zipper pencil case (that you can place in the folder) would work better. The receipts would not fall out if you dropped the folder. This would work to keep recipes in as well.

Gifts Section. This is where I write gift ideas as well as a list of people who will be receiving gifts.

Shopping List Section. You can keep a list for several different things here. (I would exclude the gifts since you have a section already for gifts OR you could eliminate the gift section entirely and keep it all in this section.) Ideas to keep here could be: entertaining, decorations, food, home improvement and so on.

Budget Section. With the economy the way it is this section may be a very important factor for you. At the beginning of the holiday season jot down what you think is a reasonable budge to spend. You could also apply this to each section of your planning notebook. It is important to keep track of how much you are spending. Are you staying on budget?

Tradition Section. This may be nice to keep because an important part of the holidays to some is tradition. The older you get the more important it becomes in my opinion. You could number the tradition as of value to your family, incase time or money is ever a factor; you are able to participate with the important once. Traditions could be as to decorating, menu of the gathering, activities you may do at your get together, bake goodies, driving and looking at Christmas Lights.

Parties or Entertaining Section. If you happen to be throwing an event this section would be handy as well. Keep notes of you are inviting with RSVP, menus, recipes, decorations. Keep notes what worked well and what to improve on for the next event.

Cleaning Schedule Section. This section I find helpful to keep me on track as to make sure if my carpet needs to be cleaned that I get it done, to just the normal tidying up before the actual event.

What do you include in your Holiday planning?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Compassionate or Not Compassionate That is the Question.

My oldest son said I'm too compassionate towards people. That I let people walk on me and especially for those who do not deserve it.

I have always thought that being a compassionate person was positive. My oldest told me this tonight not knowing what type of day and especially what type of night I have had.

Tonight I would agree, maybe I should be less compassionate to those who do not deserve it. They will have to earn that piece of me. I am done. No more!

Monday Moans

Seriously, nothing new for me, so I guess this week's Monday Moans may be a little small and boring.

MOOOOOAAAANN for my sinus canals lately. I do not like the headaches and the pain you are creating every morning. I just might have to try the irrigation to see if that helps.

MOOOOOAAAANN for those who think they are better then others. NOTHING, I mean NOTHING erks me more then someone thinking they are better then another person. It is even worse if you are blood relatives. NO ONE is ever better then another. We all are different and chose different paths. Yes, yes some paths may be illegal but that does not make you better then that person, maybe better morals. WE are NOT to judge others, especially when we have things hidden in our own closet.

MOOOOOAAAANN for Winter. I just do not like Winter. I hope it is a mild one. We need precipitation, but no ice or less snow would be fine by me. Rain is a good form of precipitation and not too much. We do not want flooding to occur either. So come on Mother Nature can you fill my order please?

Friday, November 19, 2010


Three years ago, around this time Todd and I were out shopping and we came across the women's area where we found jeans on sale at a very low price. He made the comment that I should pick some up. I was too embarrassed to pick up the correct size so I grabbed a size smaller. He asked me several times if I was sure that they would fit, and I just smiled and nodded. A month later, while he was at work I tried them on. Not to my surprise, the jeans were snug on my thighs and I could not even zip them at all. It did not matter how much I sucked my stomach in and laid on the bed, the zipper was not going to go over half the way up. Last summer I tried the jeans again, same result.

As stated in previous blogs, I am truly trying with watching what I eat from calories, carbohydrates, fat, protein, and now sodium. ***shhh, I took a little break the past two days, the sugar free cherry pie and sugar free ice cream was just calling out my name.*** I belong to sparkpeople.com and I have found that I love their nutrition tracker. I just go to it after every meal, plug in my food and presto my numbers are there. I have found that if I plug my meal and snacks the day prior, I feel more accountable to stick to it.

I have joined a few groups on there and found some very rewarding ones. One of the groups is a group for chair exercising. This was an important group to me because there are times I just can not get up and move because of my knee. The cooler weather is approaching and I am concern about my knee. It may not allow me to dance this January when classes resume, but I have found this group that provides ideas and exercises that I can do in a chair. I can do a great cardio work out and put no stress on my knee. Awwh if only I found this a year ago, just think how much smaller would I be. How much healthier I would be.

I also found two groups on there that are challenging. One is an actual team challenge against other teams. One week out of 300 some team players I was the biggest loser in pounds. I can not express enough how thrilled I was. The other group I have found is very supportive, well they all are but this one takes the price.

On this site there is a tracker and I have watched my tracker move down, then up, and now down again. I started with my groups again in March and the tracker shows I have lost 26 lbs so far. I just do not see it though. I have some women at work last week tell me they think I have been losing weight from the dance classes. They noticed it on my back side. Hmmm...maybe that is why I do not see it.

This morning after I started a load of wash, I realized I placed all of my jeans in the washer and I had only 20 minutes to get myself to Noah's school for his fall conference. I rushed around trying to find something. I came across the pair of jeans I bought 3 years ago. I debated a little bit but thought what the heck. What would it hurt to try? I slipped in one leg and then the other. Hmmm the jean was not snug in my thigh anymore. I pulled the jeans up and then started to zip, up the zipper went. I am saying UP THEY WENT! I was not laying on the bed as the zipper went up. I was standing up. I was not sucking my stomach in. I was just pulling the zipper up and it went up. Dazed, I went to the full length mirror and lifted my shirt. I turned sideways, I peeked over my shoulder. I called out to Todd and asked him if they were too tight. His response was no. I went over to the bed and sat down. Ewh, a little tight when I sat but just a little. Definitely do able and I ran down the stairs (O.K. I can not run down the stairs anymore but I did limp in a hurry down.) got into my car. As I was driving down my street I had this huge smile and thought...Oh yeah, mama has a new pair of jeans.

Flashback Friday 12

Four years ago Ethan had a prairie unit and this was his project that we worked on.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I am THANKFUL for my oldest friendship Rhonda. I feel privilege that she does not mind that I still call her Rhonda even after she has officially changed her name. Who would have known back in Kindergarten our friendship would have lasted all these years. I guess the Friends Forever would fit us perfectly.

I am THANKFUL for MySpace, I rarely check it any more because I use Facebook now. However, I am THANKFUL for MySpace. Aimee found me on MySpace and through her I found Jenny. I love keeping in touch with these women, they will never know how much they have helped me while I have struggled the past few years with some issues. I’m THANKFUL for Facebook as well, where I found (again through Aimee and Jenny) Carrie, Joanne, Tim, Dave, Kris, and Shelley. I also have found Kristin, Laurie, Kristi, and Kelly. I love how I can relate to these women (o.k. a couple are guys) even though we have had decades apart and we live miles away from one another. Some I know would come help me if I really needed in a heart beat if possible. Thank you for being you!

I am THANKFUL for my crush on Tim and Dave back when I was a sophomore in high school never developed more then a crush to myself because I am friends now with their wives who are probably laughing at reading this. Yes, ladies I had a school girl crush on your fellows at one time. They both made me laugh and I need laughter in my life back then. You both compliment them in so many ways; you are their Ying to your Yang. I think I said that right… you know Ying Yang perfect harmony.

I’m THANKFUL for finding De Anne. I have missed you friend, now through the Internet we have connected. I loved hearing how you have been searching for me for years as well.

I am THANKFUL for my Kresge Friends and the fact that the Internet brought us back together as well.

I guess I am THANKFUL for the Internet, without it I would have never been reacquainted with old friends, family, as well as finding my current husband.

I am THANKFUL that this time around I have wonderful in-laws. None of them hate me this time around and that makes a relationship between the husband and wife so much easier.

I am THANKFUL for the company I work for hiring Jessica. She is definitely young enough to be my daughter yet she is very wise in age. She was a breath of fresh air and exactly what I needed at work. A big thank you to my supervisors for sitting her next to me. I love how she pulls songs and sometimes they are odd songs from no where and sing to me, not caring if she is holding a tune or not. I love how she makes me laugh. (Do you see a pattern with me how important laughing is?)

I have been blessed with friends and value them tremendously. I am THANKFUL the bunch in Des Moines continues to invite me to their gatherings and understand when I can not make it. It is difficult when you have so many kids involved in different things; it makes it a little more difficult when I am the taxi cab driver because my husband is sleeping during the day to work the late night shift.

I am THANKFUL that my Father has been sober for a year now. He is also trying hard to prove he deserves another chance and that he means what he says this time. I am THANKFUL he is becoming a grandfather to my children once again.

My ending quote this week is:

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. ~Albert Schweitzer

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

3 of My Little Super Heroes

I've linked this to 5 Minutes For Moms

Wednesday Woo Hoos

Last week when I went to post my first Thankful Thursday, I had to think about it. I already post Wednesday Woo Hoos, is a Thankful Thursday actually necessary? After pondering this for a little bit, I thought if I just keep it to the month of November that will only are 4 posts. It would also go with November – Thanksgiving, so I went ahead and did this. Later I read another friend’s post and she mentioned (well in a nut shell) a very good point people should be thankful all year long why just announce it just in the month of November. **Remember, I’m a people pleaser.** Wow, she is so right! I started to feel guilty and thought maybe I should reconsider posting it for November only but make it an addition either weekly or monthly. After a couple of days pondering this off and on, it hit me again my original thought, I already post Wednesday Woo Hoos, so I do post this at least monthly, so I think I will just modify the Wednesday Woo Hoos during the month of November and keep my Thankful Thursday.

**BTW- I absolutely love this friend who blogged that being thankful should not be kept to the month of November, you should let it be known that you are thankful all year. She has been a friend of mine for nearly my entire life (all but the first 5 ½ years of my life.) She made it clear in her blog that she did not mean it personal to those who are posting this type of blogs during November as well. I just had to put that out there because I did not want anyone to think ill of this person because I definitely do not. Now on to the Woo Hoos.

First WOO HOO this week and it is a very loud WOO HOO shout it from the roof top WOO HOO, Joshua actually having a job. I have been battling this child for two years to get a job. This summer he told me he did not see any need to work, that this is his senior year in high school he should be enjoying it. Alright I agree to some extent, but if he worked he would have money to go out and enjoy it more as well as saving for things he needs. I never had any doubt what type of worker he would be. I know he will be a good worker because he does a super job when he assists around the house. I also heard good things about his work ethic from his employer when he worked during the State Fair. I am just thrilled he is making his own money now and starting to build a work history.

WOO HOO, I am going to get a new camera for my birthday. Nothing is really wrong with my current camera, I just wanted a new one that will has higher zooming ability and higher DPI resolution as well as image stabilization since I tend to take more blurry pictures when my camera is not in sports mode (action mode). I am so thrilled we found one within the range we wanted. I can not wait to actually use the camera.

WOO HOO, Todd thinks it is time to look into replacing the burners that do not work properly on the stove. I hope that is all we need and not a new stove. It is frustrating to turn on a burner and have it not work, what is worse is cooking and all of a sudden it does not work. Of course they are both my larger burner as well, with the amount of food I have to cook for everyone in our house, the two larger burners are what I use the most. I cook for 7-8 people.

WOO HOO for Aimee being such the smart woman she is. Trial run for new procedures/recipes for Thanksgiving, saved my green bean casserole. Friday I plan to try it again and with the 45 minute delay. If it turns out Aimee I will definitely let you know.

WOO HOO the phones are busy this week. It is such a better feeling going to work and actually working. It makes my day go faster. It is odd that yesterday and Friday we will have television stations here. Our big chief here will be discussing how we are going to be creating a lot of new jobs after the first of the year for the Iowa City area. I think it is odd that they are not mentioning how many they are letting go since October by getting rid of two of our products. I am just hoping this new addition is enough to keep my department in tact and lose no one.

WOO HOO organization at home has begun. One of my pet peeves I did not list on my Monday Moan is unorganized and dirty windows. My home is so unorganized right now. I thought it was bad enough from when I still had boxes that were not taken care of from merging the two homes together. I have been working on this slowly but it is rather difficult because I have not re-decorated the house with my touches yet, therefore some of my knick knacks that are me are still in boxes. Re-decorating will be beginning soon, however some of the boxes in the shed will not be touched until it is a little warmer since we have no heat in the shed. The house over the past two years has become stuffed to the gills with boxes and storage. I have a few still as stated then 2 ½ years ago Kera moved back and we have her things, then Emily moved back a year ago next month, and in August Matthew’s belongings came to our home since he was moving from an apartment to a dorm. We have so many boxes and furniture stored in closets, garage, and the shed. I need organization! It is a must for my mental state. I am taking small steps here so I do not rattle the natives too much. Peace is good as well as organization.

WOO HOO we found carrots in our garden this past week. It was such a wonderful surprise and the baby carrots are very big for baby carrots. WOO HOO.

WOO HOO for my four day work week this week. Friday is going to be full of honey to do list for me. I just might get some inside painting started. WOO HOO!

WOO HOO for stats on here. Have you ever viewed them? I was so happy to see I have people reading my blogs from all around the world. Welcome readers! I enjoy knowing I am not alone.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday Tip 1

This morning while I was putting on my deodorant. (Yes, my mind is constantly running.) I noticed an expiration date. Seriously deodorant has an expiration? It made me start to think about other things I use or may not use that have an expiration date or life expectancy. Hey A Girl has to learn some time right? I have come to the conclusion that I am going to blog some tips every now and then. They may not be prize awarding tips, but tips I have come across and use or plan to put into action. Who knows maybe some of you out there do not know this and maybe you do. If you chose, you could post more helpful tips on the subject as well in the comments. All comments are welcome.

Health and Beauty Tips

Now if you truly know me, I am not one into well let us just say take care of myself. I am trying hard to work on this because I deserve the attention too, it goes back to that lack of self worth and esteem. I truly am trying to work on it. With this knowledge it may seem sort of odd for me to post this blog but I am going to provide the tips I do know as of today. In the future I think I may ask my step-daughter to write something as a guest post. I am sure she has a lot more knowledge then I or will experience more in years to come since she is a licensed esthetics now.

One rule of thumb I have been taught by my mother is: If you have not used the make up product in 6 months then get rid of it. Mostly likely you are not going to use it if it is just sitting in your drawer, on your counter, or in your make-up bag. This is a great way to help you weed out the eyeliners, eye shadows, lip gloss, and nail polish. My mother would also write the date she purchased a product on the label. I never understood why nor asked until recently, this way she would know when to throw it out, that makes sense and I will be applying this tip with future purchases. I personally have to laugh at some of the time frames I found because my products definitely do not last that long on some of these items. I find that I use them.

Blush and Bronzer (powdered) - Most blushes and bronzers will no longer be good after two years so you should discard it then.

Blush and Bronzer (cream) – Pigments and Preservatives found in cream blushes are good for up to 12-18 months after this time frame you should toss them out.

Concealer – You should be disposing your concealer after one year.

Eyeliner (liquid) – Dispose after 3-6 months.

Eyeliner (pencil) – Good up to three years if you regularly sharpen the eyeliner pencil.

Eye shadow (powder) – Keep for only 2 years unless the powder is starting to separate easily or is gloppy. If so then it is time to get rid of it.

Eye shadow (cream) – Can be good up to 18 month or if the cream no longer goes on your eyelids smoothly your cream has gone bad and you should toss it out.

Foundation (water-based) - After 1 year discard the bottle.

Foundation (oil-based) – Keep for up to 18 months then discard.

Lip gloss – Can last 18-24 months.

Lipstick – Will last 1-2 years. If it smells funny or does not glide on your lips smoothly, throw it away. ***HINT*** My mother stored her lipstick in the refrigerator to make it last longer. Lipstick can harbor a lot of bacteria and germs because of the way it is applied if you have been sick and you can not get rid of whatever it is that you have, you should discard your lipstick as you would your toothbrush.

Lip Liner –After 2 years you should throw this away.

Make-up Brushes – Wash at least every month to extend the brush’s life. You could use brush shampoo follow instructions on the package. You could also use baby shampoo as well, wet the brush down add a drop of baby shampoo and work into the brush, rinse with warm water. You should clean your make up brush monthly to remove make-up residue.

Make-up Sponges – Due to the material, make-up sponges should be tossed out after 1 month. Wash your sponges every week and air dry to rid any bacteria and dirt.

Mascara – Keep for 3 months the maximum. When using the mascara, do not pump it up and down – by doing this you will let a lot of air in the mascara tube and this can cause germs and bacteria will to accumulate. Never share your mascara with anyone. It is easy to pass germs and contract a case of pink eye or other eye infections. This is just disgusting! This is also a pet peeve of mine.

Nail Polish – Keep for 1 year. Nail polish should never look like sludge or go on like cement.
Powder – Keep for 2 years. Sometimes, when powder goes bad, it smells funny and it’s difficult for you to apply it easily.


Anti-Aging Tips

Morning Routine

1. Wash your face. Wash with a non-soap cleanser and warm water to remove dirt and oil.

2. Treat your eyes. We all know the skin here tends to be thinner, drier and more sensitive than any other area on your face, so gently pat a pea-size amount of cream on the under eye area with your ring finger, which applies the least pressure. Start below the inner corners of eyes and move out toward your temples. Pick the formula that will attack your trouble spots.

If you have puffy eyes: As you age, circulation slows and eye ligaments weaken, pushing fat forward. Apply a cream with aloe Vera to soothe swelling or caffeine to boost circulation.

If you have dark circles: Heredity is the main culprit for raccoon eyes, caused by pooled blood in blood vessels, however lack of sleep can add as well. To promote circulation, use cream with caffeine or grape seed extract. I use a brand at this time I can not remember. I will come back and edit and add. I found you want to use just a small amount again pea-size if you use any more it then highlights the lines under your eye.

If you have crow’s feet: Time is not our friend here, collagen breaks down and causes wrinkles. Choose a cream with amino acids, which trigger collagen production.

If you have crepey skin (bags): When the skin loses collagen it also becomes less elastic and sags. Apply an eye cream with hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture and jump start collagen production.

3. Moisturize. Each time we wash our face we are losing moisture and if we do not apply something to replace the moisture our skin will become dehydrated. Apply a dime-size amount of the formula for your skin type to each cheek and massage it into your face, neck and chest. If your lotion does not have SPF, follow up with sunscreen.

If you have dry skin: A change in hormones or the weather, or using alcohol based cleansers or bar soap can cause the skin to be dry. Try a cream with humectants, like glycerin, which attracts moisture to skin.

If you have uneven skin tone: You could be suffering from a loss of collagen or too much sun. Apply a cream with peptides, which firm up elasticity, and soy or licorice extract, which lighten dark spots.

If you have combination skin: An oily T-zone (dry on cheeks; oily on forehead, nose and chin) is probably due to hormones or genetics. Yes, you do not have to be a teenager only to have combination skin. Look for a lightweight moisturizer that has dimethicone, a hydrating skin conditioner, and soothing green tea.

Night Routine

1. Wash and exfoliate. As you do in the morning, wash with a gentle cleanser. Once a week, switch to an exfoliating cleanser that goes deep, removing dead skin cells.

2. Treat your eyes. Apply the same eye cream you used in the morning.

3. Pump on serum. Use when you have a specific problem and nothing else seems to be working. Serums generally will have a higher concentration of active ingredients and seep deeper than moisturizer into your skin. Pump a pea-size amount onto the back of your hand and use your ring finger to gently massage it into trouble spots.

If you have age spots: Apply a serum with kojic acid, which is found in (of all places) mushrooms. It blocks the skin’s tyrosinase enzyme, which creates melanin, the pigment that determines how light or dark skin can get.

If you have dull skin: Apply a serum with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), fruit acids that gently exfoliate skin to reveal fresh, younger cells and Antioxidant-rich serum.

If you have wrinkles: Pollution and UV radiation can speed aging. Neutralize their effects and prevent further damage with a vitamin C–infused formula.

4. Moisturize. Night creams are enriched with vitamins and antioxidants to help repair damage. Apply a dime-size amount to each cheek and massage into your entire face, neck and chest. Night cream you do not have to worry about UV exposure.

If you have dry skin: Look for a moisturizer Shea Butter. Shea Butter is rich in fatty acids and helps skin retain moisture and elasticity.

If you have uneven skin tone: Look for a moisturizer with anti-pigment peptides.

If you have combination skin: The moisturizer you need to look for should have hydrating moisturizer with nutrients like Vitamin E.

Any products listed within this blog are not due to any payment from the company. It is not in any way a commercial just my own opinion entirely. Same disclaimer will be for any products listed in the comments of this blog as well. I am by no means an expert, everything posted is from research that I have done as well as tips from my mother.

Healthy Communications web site
Essortment web site
Woman’s Day web site

Thanksgiving Dishes Trial Run Take One

We go to my Mother-In-Law's every Thanksgiving, well everyone but one so far. It's only a 45 minute drive but there is not enough room in her oven for anything she ask for me to bring. The past years she wants me to bring the green bean casserole and scalloped corn, yet it is always cold by the time we have dinner. Todd likes to arrive a little early in order to visit and to assist where needed. O.K. , it is to visit and for me to assist. Last year I thought it would be a great idea to bring my dishes in a crock pot, this way they can stay warm. The green bean casserole was great but my scalloped corn was not cooked enough.

A dear friend of mine blogged about how she does trial runs of new recipes for her Thanksgiving and I thought to myself..."This woman is a genius! Why did not I ever think of that?" This past weekend I cooked a dinner and included both crock pot recipes. To my utter disappointment, I could not find the recipes I used last year, so I searched and searched to one that I thought was it. My green bean casserole was not a hit at all and will have to have another take. The recipe I followed must have been wrong it stated that it would take 6-8 hours. I thought that was awfully long and I did not remember it taking that long last year. The casserole was scorched within 3 hours. I skimmed the top layer off and added cheese in hopes to save the dish. Trust me even the cheese could not salvage it. The scalloped corn on the other hand turned out great. 2 1/2 hours is perfect. I wish I had another opportunity to make the scalloped corn. I would do a true trial run with 45 minutes of being unplugged just like it will be on Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Kresge Girls

Last night I was watching television and folding laundry when a commercial came on. I have absolutely no idea what the commercial was for but the song with this commercial was Def Leppard's "Poor Some Sugar On Me". Immediately a flood gate of memories opened up of Kresge Hall. My immediate thought was of Liz, oh how she loved Def Leppard. I think she was the biggest Def Leppard fan I had ever known. At least once a week she would tell me how my hair would remind her of the lead singer of the band. She was such a free spirited person. I believe that she may have been reincarnated from someone that experienced the 60s.

My next thought was of Lori. I think it naturally flowed to Lori because she would sing this particular song a lot. I can still see her with her 80s big hair, eyes squinting, nose scrunched up with a huge smile on her face singing that particular song. Lori's smile reminded me of The Osmond smile. She had a big beautiful smile with the whitest teeth. Next in my mind came Laura. She and Lori were room mates and I met them my junior year in college. Laura was free spirited as well and she too could have easily fitted in with the 60s era. My next thought went to Staci she seemed so mature for her age and she introduced our floor to Scott. They were just made for one another. They completed the Ying and Yang of one another.

My sophomore year, I met Cathy, when "The Quiet Floor" moved to the basement. I loved that she could change her hair color so dramatically and look just as good with the new color as her original color. She had such spunk and I simply thought she was adorable. She always knew how to cheer me up. She too was free spirited. I also met Shawn that year. She always seemed to be smiling. I do not think I can recall ever a time she was not smiling and such a sweetheart. She could be ultimately labeled "America's Sweetheart." I also met Elaine during my sophomore year. I admired her so much that she was true to her faith and I knew I could always count on her if I ever needed anything.

My Freshman year, I met Carla. She was a Senior that year. I thought it was great that I met someone that graduated from the same high school I did. I envied her because she had her act together. I also met Pam that year. She definitely was outgoing. I loved our midnight runs to the local Kum & Go. Pam, trust me you did not lose anything at all by not hooking up with Mike. Then there was Deb. Oh, Deb, I could never figure out why you wanted to go to school here in Iowa coming from Hawaii. I know you had family here but Hawaii? I loved how excited you got when we had our first snowfall and it was funny how you were not as excited your second year here. Joyce was pure of heart and a joy to be around as well.

I think of Robin who was Pam's room mate and wish I could find away to talk to her once again as well as my old room mate Annette. These are two women that I wish I could find today still. There is also Susan, I wonder whatever happened to dear Susan? Although we do not see one another daily, nor live with one another, you all will hold a special spot in my heart. You were my comrades my college days and most even now through the wonderful world of the Internet. I do miss you and think Pam was right. It would be great if we all could meet some where next summer for a weekend, just to catch up and hang out once again. Our little reunion.

All of this from some sort of commercial that I still have no idea what they were soliciting over the television, but thank you for including the song "Pour Some Sugar On Me." because I had some warm fuzzy moments just thinking back to those days. It also makes me feel great that Matthew is starting to experience this life style as well this year and next year I am sure Joshua will begin his adventures of living on campus. Hold on to the moment boys because life will change so much once you graduate, even more then when you graduated from High School.

Oh and by the way, Kresge Hall is not an all girl dorm any longer, it is now Co-Ed. One of my friend's son is starting his adventures on the exact floor I started mine. 3rd Floor Old and yes, they still have to yell "Flush" every time they flush the toilet when someone is in the shower.

Monday Moans

You know, this week other then a couple of things mentioned previously, I really do not have any new moans. I think this week's moans will actually be my pet peeves, so I guess in a small way they are moans but only important to me type of moans.

MOOOOAAANN for those in the house that leave cupboard doors open. I do not know why but this bothers me to the n'th degree. If I wanted people to see what was inside the cupboards, the doors would be glass. I just think it looks tacky with doors open as well as a hazard. Someone could not be paying attention and hit their head on the corner of the door. If the cupboard is on the bottom, then definitely one of the cats will crawl in.

MOOOOAAANN for those who do laundry in our bedroom and leave your drier sheets on the floor. I do understand that the washer and dryer is in our bedroom, but it is in a closet located in it. Inside that closet is actually the laundry room, not my bedroom. Please pick up after yourself, if you drop the lint from the dryer on the floor, or dryer sheets pick it up and toss it in the trash can next to the washer. And for God's sake, do not sort your laundry and leave it in the middle of our bedroom floor. Mess up your own bedroom floor and bring a load in at a time. Seriously, would you like for me to go to your room and do the same thing there?

MOOOOAAANN on the subject of picking up after yourself. There are 7 sometimes 8 of us living in the house. When you are done with something put it away do not leave it out for someone else to pick up for you later. This goes for trash in the Kitchen as well. If you cook something for you, clean up any spills. If you drop any food on the floor clean it up. If you empty a box of something or jug of something, do not leave it on the counter or in the pantry. Our recycle bin is just on the other side of the door leading to the porch. MOOOOAAANN every time I clean up the Kitchen and within 2 hours there is a new mess there. Nothing makes me MOOOOAAANN louder then to come home from working and most of you being home all day and there is a mess in the Kitchen. I then have to clean up the mess just in order to cook dinner for all of us. MOOOOAAANN, the Kitchen is my biggest MOOOOAAANN if you can not tell.

MOOOOAAANN for complaining that the house is a mess when you do nothing to help out, especially when you too make the mess. As stated earlier, we have 7 - 8 people living there, if everyone were to leave just one thing or one dinner dish in the living room it would be a mess.

MOOOOAAANN for check outs that you have to wait in, and I am waiting patiently, but when it comes time for my transaction, you horridly give me my money back or card expecting me to just toss it in my purse so I can get out of the way for the next person. This MOOOOAAANN would go to drive through as well. I waited patiently for you to assist me, you should wait patiently for me to put things back into my purse. It would only take maybe at the most another 2 seconds. And if I do put the money were it belongs or the card, you look at me as if you want to ask me why am I still there?

MOOOOAAANN for Marsh & McLennan for holding on to child support the maximum days that they can (10 business days). I do not understand why you hang on to it other then making a profit a little longer on the funds. Shame on you for hanging on to it instead of giving it to those who are in need of that support. You do not hang on to it when it comes to pay day for someones earnings, why hang on to it when you know someone earned it and the court is ordering to go elsewhere for a child/children? The Child Support agency has to hang on to it for 3 business days to make sure the check clears, so by the time the child/children that it is intended for about 2 1/2 business weeks have gone since his payday. That is just disgusting when you know that the employee has worked the hours said for that pay period.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cheesy Chicken Poof

Oh I how I wish this blog could have the sense of smell and taste added because this recipe was a hit with both senses. As I was cooking the chicken, then the onions, butter, and garlic powder the smell was filling the Kitchen. I was wishing the baking time was over just to take a taste of this divine smell. I have to thank Yummy (my cousin's wife) for this newest hit. I do love her recipes and web site. (You can find a link under My Blog List; she also has a site on Facebook.) I found that some of her Halloween goodies, I typically make as well, but just a little different. As you know from reading my past post, our house can be a challenge to cook for lately, me with high blood pressure, Todd with diabetes, and picky eaters makes cooking a challenge to find a hit that everyone truly can enjoy. I did adjust her recipe a little bit to make it have less sodium.

For a Recipe of Cheesy Chicken Poof, please click on the link below
or go to "Recipes" at the top of my page.

Cheesy Chicken Poof

Dungeons & Dragons

Over the past few months, we have a new Saturday ritual at our house. Well o.k. maybe it is not a ritual but I love it. Matthew comes over with his friend Nathan and they play Dungeon and Dragons with Joshua. Some Saturdays, Ethan and Noah will join in as well. I love listening to the the laughter and I love seeing Matthew more.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My Little Nonah

I loved it when he said his name like that...Nonah. I still have to giggle when I say it. Being pregnant with Noah was totally different then the other boys. It was my shortest pregnancy. I did not even know I was pregnant until just entering my 4th month. I was taking my birth control pills every day as I should. I had no morning sickness. The fact that I did not have a period was nothing to me at the time because I had changed from the Depo Provera shot to the birth control right before I ended up getting pregnant with him. I was only having my period once every three months. It was the fact that I missed it more then three months that started me to think. I noticed that I was showing some simple signs of diabetes but I thought that the gestational diabetes I had with all the other boys, must have been a warning that I will be diabetic and I thought I should have it checked out. One day I was painting our kitchen, we were doing a little remodeling in there. I was standing on the counter and painting when I became dizzy and felt light headed. It was that moment that I feared I was pregnant. Now I know fear is a rather harsh word but my marriage was not the best and I realized we were not going to make it by this time. Our house was a small house and we were barely getting by. I took a test and was totally shocked that it said positive. I called Mike and told him. He was thrilled, it was only 2 weeks prior that he had gone to the doctor for a consultation for a vasectomy. We were definitely not planning for another...but Noah is what I call a bonus package. You know, you don't expect a bonus and it turns out wonderful.

I prayed and prayed the baby would be a boy. What would we do if we had a little girl? We had a three bedroom house and each room was going to have to have two kids in it. I already had clothing for a baby boy. The baby just had to be a boy! Mike followed through with his vasectomy so we would not have any more surprises. It was only a couple of weeks prior that we did find out that the baby was going to be Noah, another little boy in our house.

I was surprised when I went into labor for him. I was 4 weeks early. Each one of my children were early due to the gestational diabetes and each pregnancy the gestational diabetes was worse. The doctors had wanted to put me on insulin the week prior to giving birth, but I talked them into letting me prove to them that I could get this under control. When we arrived to the hospital I told the nurse right away that I wanted an epidural this time. This was my fourth one and I was not stupid, I knew what I was going into and I thought it would be nice to try this. She laughed and said she did not blame me one bit. Moments later she came back and told me that the doctors told her I could not have one.

***You see they thought I was going to go fast. Three days prior to going into labor I woke up with the most painful pressure in the pelvic area. It was uncomfortable to sit, it was uncomfortable to stand, it was uncomfortable to walk, it was uncomfortable to lay down. I went through three days like this. I went to my next appointment which happened to be November 12 a Friday. The doctor told me he expected me to deliver sometime that weekend and he would not be surprised if it was that night. He did not want me further then 15 minutes from the hospital. I looked at him and mentioned that this is something I think they say to many patients. He laughed and said something like, that may be so but this time he meant it. He told me he could tell me that the baby has a lot of dark hair. I just remember thinking SERIOUSLY! SERIOUSLY, YOU CAN SEE THE HAIR AND YOU ARE GOING TO LET ME JUST WALK AROUND? What if the baby comes and I am not at the hospital? Then it hit me like a ton of bricks, the baby had dropped Wednesday, he must have entered the birth canal then and that is why it was so painful. ***

Any way, the doctors thought that I was going to go fast. They told her they thought it would be only 20 minutes since each one was nearly half the other. I waited and waited, after twelve hours with nothing to relieve the pain because the doctors said I could not have any, I looked at my nurse and asked her if she could ask the doctors once again for the epidural. She told me she was very proud of me and I was doing great. Thirteen hours, thirteen hours of labor at the hospital and then my last baby boy was born. He was early and they did not consider him premature, however if he was born just a few days early then they would have. Unfortunately, he was early enough that Noah did not have the sucking ability and when it came time to feeding him, we had to spoon feed him since he could not suck. Eleven years ago, my youngest baby was born. Happy Birthday Nonah. You will always be my baby.

Small Battle This Time.

I know eventually some day my children may or may not read my blogs and this blog may not be a hit with them, but it is part of my life and what I deal with. Yesterday was a day that I do get by with a little help from my friends. Some days are just a battle, they are getting less and less often. Yes, I am a worrier and we do have a tremendous amount of events going on in our house hold right now that are stressful but I do not consider them a battle. Dealing for the most part with my ex is usually a battle. I have been blessed that for a year and a half now I have not had to deal much with him. He sees the boys very little. Although our divorce decree states he has visitation every other weekend, split holidays, every Wednesday night (not ideal now that we do not live in the same city or close to one another.) 2- 2 weeks during the Summer uninterrupted, he rarely sees the boys. 2009 he had the boys a total of 4 days at his house and came to Iowa City maybe 5 times as well and spent a few hours with them while he was here. He canceled his Thanksgiving with them and the year prior he canceled his Christmas with them (only a week or two prior to the holiday). This year he has seen the boys 3 days at his house (2 over night) and 3 times a visit here in Iowa City.

In the past I have asked if he would help me with the cost of the new school year. I mean it averages $800-$900 in two weeks to enroll the boys, buy school supplies, and a few new clothing for school. I only asked two years and he threw such a huge fit that he will not help, that is what his child support is for. When Matthew graduated, I asked if he would go in half of all the Senior graduating expenses, of course same answer. ***sigh*** He never supports me when it comes to disciplining the boys but then again, he did not when we were married either. Whenever I left to go to work, he would let the boys do whatever they wanted, so this is no shock that he continues to do so, only now he belittles me.

Now, he does talk often on the phone to the boys, but this is new thing for the past year I would say, possibly 2 years. He does not give much to the boys when it comes to Christmas and their birthdays. This bothers the boys but they never speak up. My guess, and this is only a guess, they do not speak up because they are afraid they will not hear from him if they did. His wife controls him in many ways and when she gets angry with the boys, she tells them they will not stay at her house again, and it then takes a couple of years before they actually do spend the night there. The type of Father he is very much disappoints me because they deserve better.

This is why it angers me so much that he is the good guy and I am such a mean person to them in their eyes. I mean I am the one that is there for them no matter what goes on in their lives, through the good and bad. Not that I would ever change that, to me that is being a parent, it comes with the territory. My first goal with my boys is not to be their friend. Yes, I want to be and I want them to always love me and never "hate me" or say they can not wait to get away from me. My first goal with them is to be their Mother. Let's face it, sometimes a job of being a parent is not a fun job. We have to not give them what they want sometimes and they will not totally understand why not. It is not because we are being mean but it is because either they do not need it really, it may be dangerous for them, it may be to teach them the meaning of valuing what they have, or some other reason. A parent does not have a child thinking, hmmm, how can I make this child's life miserable? I think I will take everything away from him and make his life just plain miserable! It is our job to provide for them in many ways, not just the basics but a good foundation where when it is time for the child to make his own choice he has that foundation to rely on. It just erks me that I am the bad one when actually I am the good one. I am the one that has to deal with all the troubles and wrongs. I can not just ignore them. I want them to succeed in life, so the bad one's hat I will have to wear. Some day I hope when they grow up they see what I did for them and realize how much I did love them and it was out of this love why I set the rules or consequences as they are. Everyone, everything in life has a consequence for their action. It is how they chose their action or type of action that will produce the consequence good or bad.

***Back to my original post now***

I know we (my ex and I) will battle one another when it comes time for Joshua to graduate this Spring and I know Joshua will not be happy with what will come. He is aware of it but I have a feeling he thinks we will change our mind. Unless his Father helps with the expense of a shelter home, he will not be invited to Joshua's graduation party. He will have to hold his own because he will never be allowed to step foot inside my house again. This all stems from his actions 2 years ago that involved Todd. My ex went way over board and had the opportunity to correct it yet chose not to, this action is what caused Todd to say he is never allowed to step foot in this house again. I agree with Todd and plan to back him up every step of the way. This will be a battle I stick too. I just was not prepared for this battle that started yesterday. Well sort of not prepared.

The reason for this blog now is I am amazed how this man thinks. I mean I should not be, I was married to him for 15 years but he never ceases to amaze me still. My feet are planted and I will battle this all the way to the court if I need be this time. As stated above, he does very little for the boys except what is ordered financially by the court for the boys. He does pay his child support, it is garnished from his wages and he does provided insurance for the boys. This battle is over insurance.

Insurance premiums are going up everywhere. I deal with this daily at work right now with open enrollment season upon us. Legally one can raise the premium amount up to 20%, even higher if the insurance company can prove that more was paid out in medical claims so they can justify the higher increase. I have been dealing with this daily the past two weeks, retired people's premiums going up over 30%, this just angers me. I hear their stories and see over $1000/month on their fixed income. UGH!!!! Any way, towards the end of last month we received our open enrollment package. I was floored when I read that the plan the boys have and I used to have was increasing 19%. (BTW, my ex and I work for the same company different locations and different branches, talk about a small world.) $244.06 per pay check, $488.12 per month now for the family coverage. I knew my ex would be upset with that and I do not blame him. Our company does have other insurance plans that will cost less, but as usual that means you pay more out when it comes time for the services, so there are other options.

Both Matthew and Joshua mentioned that their father wanted to talk to me about their insurance. They mentioned he wanted to look into private insurance since the cost is going to be so high. I thought, well he can look but if it means that any of the boys will not be covered I am not going to agree to it. You see, legally he does not have to cover the boys once they are 18 or graduated, which ever is the later of the two. Matthew technically, he does not have to cover but it does not cost him any more to keep coverage on him so he does. This worries me with a private insurance, so I need to look out after him as well. Their father emails me at work yesterday telling me we need to talk about insurance. The cost is way out of control and he tells me how much it would cost. He states he wants to put the boys on hawk-i insurance but he can not do so because they have to live 50% with him, he can not apply for it. He stated that he would pay for it but wanted me to apply. However, Matthew can not be covered, it is for children under 19 years, he told me that he told Matthew to look into insurance at the University. He also then told me the wages that a household of 5 would have to fall into to cover.

I have to admit, I was fuming! I was right down mad! I was shaking I was so angry. My sweet friend and co-worker stood up, she could tell I was mad. I ended up forwarding her the email, she stood up and looked at me and told me keep your response simple. I did and I haven't heard much since. Basically it comes down to a few issues here. 1. Matthew would have no coverage. 2. I do not believe Mike would follow through on his word and pay me. He has been saying that he will pay Joshua's swing choir from last year and does not follow through with his verbal commitment. Why would he me? 3. We just do not qualify plain and simple. He then asked me if I would be willing to cover them on dental. Nope.

Again, I realize the cost of medical premiums are going up, however so is everything else regarding the boys or life in general. What made me so angry about all of this, he was going to make sure that he and his wife had coverage, he was trying to find a less costly way for the boys only. I just do not get this. I hope this battle is over with and it does not get long and drug out.

He Loves Me