Monday, February 27, 2006

Weight Loss

OK, I'm getting serious about it. The diet, that is. I have no excuses. I have plenty of time to exercise. Rachel loves being in her stroller. Maybe if I make a public admission here then I'll follow through with it instead of falling off the bandwagon!

First let me get this off my chest (no pun intended!)...I'll admit the thing I will miss most is regular Coke. Not the diet or the anything else variety. I feel as a Coke drinker I've almost had to be "in the closet" so to speak. People judge you when you drink regular Coke. When you go out to eat and everyone is sitting around a table ordering their water or Diet Coke and you say "Coke" they look at you like "uh, oh. You forgot to say 'diet'". When I assure them I did not forget, they scoot their chairs a little further from me and pull their children a little closer.

Maybe I'll start a "Regular Coke" drinker's movement. I'll have "Regular Coke pride" parades and "Regular Coke" bars. Maybe there will even be a TV show where they'll have a "regular coke" drinking neighbor. People will talk to me about my Coke lifestyle and debate weather it is genetic or a choice.

It isn't the caffeine I'm addicted to. I drink the caffeine free stuff at home becuase I'm breastfeeding. I like the taste. I am normally not a sweets eating person, but I love Coke. Combine Coke with a box of Better Cheddars (I'll substitute goldfish in a pinch), and I'm in HEAVEN!

It is impossible to diet and drink regular Coke, though. Well, unless that is ALL you consume, pretty much. And that's irresponsible eating. I can't stand aspartame, so no Diet Coke for me. I'll be drinking water, which is best anyway.

I need to lose about 20 pounds. Wish me luck!

*does anyone know how to make the text go along side the image on the top? If I upload a Flickr photo it does it for me but if I "steal" (shhhh!) one from google images I don't know the code to position it. Thanks"

Friday, February 24, 2006

My hot topic.

Generally I avoid hot topics on my blog, mostly because this is a place for me to have fun and an outlet. If I post something controversial and there's a huge disagreement and people get hurt and people say hurtful things then it isn't a stress reliever for sure. This blog is "Smiles and Laughter" for a reason.

I'm going to sidestep my rule for just one time. It's my blog, I can do that. :) There's a topic I am pretty passionate about. I am also curious what the thinking is of those opposed to it.

Adoption. I just DON'T understand why it isn't more of an option, especially when someone is young. There are SO MANY people out there looking to adopt babies. I'm talking waiting lists of 2 years or more. People on these lists are often times two parent households who are professionals, maybe not rich, but secure.

I think it is very selfish of someone who is young (I'm talking teenage here) and single not to give their child up for adoption. I think it is also selfish of single grandparents to raise the child because they couldn't bare to see the child "given away". People say they chose to keep the child like it is a badge of honor for not "abandoning" him or her. I say what better way is there to honor a child than to allow a secure, mature two parent family who want a child so badly to raise him or her?

I understand that anything could happen to the family once the child has been adopted. The adoptive parents could become single parents due to death or divorce. However, at least there's a CHANCE there. If the baby was kept by the teenage single parent then the baby has no chance at all of having the influence of two parents.

I'm not talking economics. Economically you can make due. Babies are pretty cheap, actually. If you HAVE to you can use cloth diapers, and breastfeeding is free. You can get an entire nursery at Wal-Mart for less than $100. I'm talking maturity and stability. And by "stability" I mean emotional. It is HARD to raise a child. DAMN hard. I never knew how hard it was until I had one. It takes TWO people to keep eachother sane. It takes a lot of maturity and clear thinking, something that the most mature teenager doesn't have, especially if they are alone.

I admire the maturity of teen women and men for that matter who have considered not their own needs or wants, but what BEST suits the needs of the child and put him or her up for adoption.

I'm done with my vent. Thanks. Back to your regularly scheduled program.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Be Careful What You Wish For!

Mommyhood. I'm forever excited about the next step. You know, when they first come home and sleep all the time you want them to wake up. Then they WON'T sleep (as I've whined about) and you want them to sleep more. I couldn't wait until Rachel crawled, but now that she knows how to go backwards she is getting into everything. Well, at least I just have to be careful what is behind her for now. When she figures out how to go forward, though, watch out. The dog is in trouble.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Girls go to Jupiter to get a lot Stupider

Esmerelda was dumb. She didn't realize she was dumb until it was too late. After all, in elementary school and high school she made good grades. Her IQ score was 130. That's genious level everyone told her.

But Esmerelda did dumb things despite what the records revealed. She should have known she was dumb since there were signs from when she was a wee one. I guess Esmerelda was in denial. When she was about 5 she and her sister both had to go potty. Her sister beat her to the potty then told Esmerelda that mommy wouldn't mind if she went in the tub. So she did. And mommy DID mind. But Esmerelda was dumb so she believed her sister.

When Esmerelda was about 12 she was invited to a slumber party. They were playing truth or dare, a staple at 12 year old girl's slumber parties. When she was picked she chose "truth". She was asked if she was a virgin. She said "No". Of course all of the girls eyes got very wide and you could have heard a pin drop. Then Esmerelda said "Doesn't that mean you were born in September?"

Poor Esmerelda continued to do stupid things all her life. At flashing red lights she thought you were supposed to go only when it showed red. It took 10 minutes to get through an intersection with all of that stopping and starting. She never knew why people were honking at her. She thought Cheerios were Alphabits that someone had taken all the "good" letters out of. She thought "peep show" meant a play starring the Easter candy, and the word "oxymoron" meant someone with below average intelligence who had to live in a bubble.

When Esmerelda graduated from college she had to find a job. She put in resume after resume and had interview after interview. No one would hire her. Finally, she applied to be a cashier at a discount store. After the interview the interviewing supervisor was thrilled. After all, they aspire to hire people who look good on paper but are really as dumb as a brick. "We might even put her in one of our commercials" they said.

So Esmerelda took that job. And she made stupid comments to the customers, and made them mad. But the customers knew that was a part of shopping at the discount store, so they didn't mind. And Esmerelda was happy. And the supervisors were happy. And everyone lived happily ever after.

Question (this is as two parter): Are there days when you feel like Esmerelda? Have you run into any "Esmereldas" lately?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

This is the Most Public of my Many Humiliations.

That quote, from Jackie Chiles, the Lawyer on Seinfeld, seems appropriate. Although I suppose it's probably not the most public. I've had far worse humiliations. But I also suppose it isn't the first time I will feel like an idiot when it comes to my kid.

We tried the sleep thing I mentioned below. It worked. In fact, it worked SO well, that the first night it took her 45 minutes to get to sleep, she woke up twice in the night and it took 45 minutes each time to get her to go back to sleep. That alone is a HUGE breakthrough. By the second night it took her 10 minutes to fall asleep and she woke up and fussed for 10 minutes once, but never cried so we didn't even have to go in there. Last night she fell asleep within 30 seconds and woke up in the night but never even fussed and fell back to sleep. Naps are great, too. She still wakes up at the 30 minute mark, as usual. But now she'll cry for maybe a minute then fall back to sleep. I feel like an idiot for fretting so much about this.

Now, in my defense, we DID try something very close to this method when she was about 4 months old, and it DID NOT work. My thinking is she just wasn't ready for it yet then. My assumption was if it didn't work then, it won't work now, and it will just traumatize the kid. Boy, was I wrong.

I think Weary Hag and my husband are right, I need to quit reading the books and do what I think is right. I fret to much.

Question: What is something you worried about, and it turned out to be nothing?

Monday, February 13, 2006


As most of you know we went to the much anticipated sleep clinic appointment last week. They basically told me what I expected.

They said she has problems "self soothing". Meaning she uses us as a crutch to get to sleep. This is nothing I didn't know. I knew this was the problem. After all, the first three months of her life before her surgery she was sick. When she was sick she needed cuddling and nurturing. Her grandparents were here, I was a SAHM, so she got the cuddling and the nurturing she needed to get herself through the experience. However, now that she is healthy she has decided she needs the cuddling and nurturing to get to sleep.

I have read many books including Baby Wise, The Baby Whisperer, and experts such as Jodi Mendell, Richard Ferber, T. Berry Brazleton, and William Sears. I have spent more time reading than anything else. I tried The Baby Whisperer method which suggests picking her up when she gets upset, but putting her back down immediately when she calms down. That absolutely did not work. I wasn't crazy about the Ferber method and didn't want to "Ferberize" Rachel. The Ferber method suggests letting her cry and leaving the room. The method says to go in for about 10 seconds after she has cried for 5 minutes, then immediately walking out and go in again for 10 seconds 10 minutes later, then walk out and go in 15 minutes later, and at 15 minute increments until she quits screaming and falls asleep on her own.

I have probably read way too much. Some experts say the Ferber Method is too traumatic. Other experts say this is the way to go. The people at the sleep clinic say it is the way to go.

They are the experts. Part of me thinks it is cruel, but part of me wonders if I am going to be one of those soft parents that protects their kid when they need to let them figure things out on their own. I mean, if I can't handle this and she is only 6 months old, when she is upset because she can't finish her math homework am I going to buckle and do it for her?

I do know one thing...her sleeping with us is NOT working, her waking up every 2 to 3 hours is NOT working either. It is effecting my dimeanor, and it isn't much good for the marriage.

If we do this, and we're leaning that way, we'll start it Thursday because Bryan is off on Friday and Saturday. Bryan and I will take turns going in. I am told the first two nights are living hell, then it gets better. I am told within a week we should be able to put her in her crib, kiss her goodnight, and she'll fall asleep on her own.

Of course, after this experience I'll probably be the one that needs medication.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Plea for Help

Tuesday is Valentines Day. Now, for all of you that forgot...that's your reminder.

I must admit in my relationship with my husband when it comes to such holidays as Valentines Day and Anniversaries and things like that I'm the husband and he's the wife. He's not going to like that I said that. So, I better qualify.

He loves to mark every occassion, make a big deal, celebrate, get me gifts, etc. That's what I mean that he's the wife. Because generally it's the wifey thing to do. I'm the husband because I'd rather just forget about it and not bother. I mean, Valentines seems like such a silly Holiday. We do special things for eachother all year, I make dinner for him, if he sees that I've had a particularly bad day he will do things for me and pamper me.

This year, though, he wanted to make Valentines special. I think mostly because we have a 6 month old that I'm at home with all day every day, who doesn't sleep (I'll talk about the sleep clinic in another post very soon), and we're in a new place where I have no friends. Come to think of it, I think he thinks I'm going insane. Anyway...

He got me a gift certificate to a spa. Something we really can't afford, but he wanted me to have it. It was so sweet of him. I appreciate it, and I really need a massage.

But now I need to find something to get him. Since he spent a ton on me we I can't reciprocate with the dollar amount because we can't afford it. So, I don't know what to do. I mean, I cook for him about every night...that's not a big deal. We don't have anyone in this town to babysit, so we can't go anywhere. Or do anything we can't do with a 6 month old in tow. I do have plans for after she goes to bed...and as much as I know THAT is proably all he wants anyway, I feel like I need to do something more than THAT.

Here is my plea for help. Any suggestions??

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Baby, it's cold!

We went out to eat last night, something we don't get to do much anymore. We went to a Tex-mex restaruant. Now, if you've never been to Texas, you've definitely never had good Tex-Mex, and probably not good Mexican food. I love it all.

Rachel is pretty good when we go out, so I wasn't too worried about her being a little fussy. We got to the restaurant and they had the traditional Tejano music playing and bright colored walls. Perfect to keep a 6 month old entertained.

Why restaruants think putting those carseat/carriers in an upside down high chair is a good idea, I'll never know. They aren't steady at all, and I would think would be a liability. But, they all do it. So, Rachel was in her car seat carrier in the upside down high chair. The thing was wobbly, so I was holding it with my knee. She was happily playing with Mr. Banana and watching the pretty lights and hustle and bustle around us.

Then the chair wiggles and looks like it is going to topple forward. So, instinctually I reach to stop it. Of course my instinct doesn't tell me I have a large glass of ice water in front of my hand at the time. Poor Rachel was showered with ice and water. Her eyes got really wide, then she let out a loud cry. Her outfit was soaked, and there was water sitting in the bottom of the carseat/carrier. I jumped up and frantically got her out fo the carseat. Of course, by the time I got her out she was smiling and giggling like she thought it was funny.

Question: What's something that seemed horrible at the time that you laughed about later??

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Garage Sale

If someone talks you into having a garage Fast. Do not hesitate.

I went to my sister's house, 3 hours away, on Wednesday in preparation for a garage sale this last weekend. I had so much, well, "crap" that I needed to get rid of it was embarrassing, especially since we moved and I didn't have the apartment anymore. And I really needed the money. We took two truckloads of said "crap" to her house (I say "we" but I know I will get scolded for sister and her boyfriend took one and my parents took the other for me). So, it seemed like a good idea at the time. We've had them before but I forgot two very important things:

1. Mom was there to help us so we had 3+ people.
2. I didn't have an infant.

I went Wednesday thinking I could price stuff Wednesday night and Thursday. I didn't take into account that Rachel would be sleeping in a strange place and for a kid that doesn't sleep much anyway this would put her back past any accomplishments we made as far as sleeping went. I put her down to sleep Wednesday night, she fell right to sleep, and in her usual 30 minutes she woke up with the bloodcurlding scream. Except she figured out that once she falls asleep mommy leaves the room and she was in a strange place, so she wouldn't go back to sleep for anything. Then of course Thursday she was a grumpy gus because she was tired. I got little done to prepare.

My sister, in her infinite wisdom, thought having the sale at 7 a.m. was a good idea. Me, knowing the idea wasn't her best, should have been more adamant about having it at 8 a.m. Especially considering I was sleeping in the same room as Rachel and if I get up, she was surely to get up. But, I didn't. So, we had to get up before light to get the crap out on the front lawn, and Rachel of course having the superpowers even in a completely asleep state to detect when I was leaving the room woke up also. Well, at least my daughter is showing talent at something.

Of course first thing Friday morning, no not at 7 a.m. but 6:30 a.m., the die-hard garage sale people came. You know, the ones that if they see a coffee pot for 50 cents they'll run over their own Aunt Edna and trample puppies to get to before anyone else.

Speaking of which, I am amazed at what people will buy. Our motto was "Put it out there, ya never know" and I think every thing that we said that about went. Curtains with a stain on them, cheap particle board furniture that had paint dripped on it, a can of oven cleaner. Even the 1973 hat decorated with yellow flowers and orange ribbon went for a few cents. Not that ALL of our stuff was that bad. I must say, we did get rid of some good crap.

All in all I'd say it was a success. I made about $400, and my sister made close to that much. And we really had nothing big, it was $400 of, well, crap.

p.s. We go to the sleep clinic tomorrow!

Question: What's something you tried that you'll never do again?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

All I ever really needed to know I learned from my infant.

Since I'm on a list is everything I've ever needed to know that I've learned from Rachel.

1. It is much more fun to blow raspberries with strained peas in your mouth.
2. Bald is beautiful.
3. You CAN fit your entire fist in your mouth.
4. If you yell loud enough eventually you'll get your way.
5. Smile at someone long enough they can't help but smile back.
6. You can wash anything.
7. If you gotta go, you gotta go. See #6.
8. You CAN get far on your looks.
9. Stick out your lower lip and you'll always get your way.
10. Riding backwards in the car is much more fun than forward.
11. Doggies are WAY COOL.
12. It is funny when you sneeze.
13. Passing gas at the dinner table is acceptable behavior.
14. And a good burp makes everyone feel better.
15. There are plenty of things to play with right on my body.
16. Two naps a day are essential

The last 50.

Here they are...

51. I hate that sucker bulb thing I have to use to suck out snot from my daughter's nose
52. I like my limbs squished under my husband when I sleep.
53. I dislike the mall.
54. I always put the shopping cart in the shopping cart receptacle when finished.
55. I wish I could think of great posts on a daily basis like bloggers like Happy and Blue.
56. My husband doesn't understand my humor.
57. My guess is no one does.
58. And that's....OK.
59. I think there isn't much on TV these days.
60. I wonder why it seems to always be on?
61. I have 8 hammers
62. I'm not sure why I have 8 hammers
63. I have a ton of scissors, too.
64. But I can never seem to find any.
65. Or nail clippers.
66. I just joined Flylady's e-mail list.
67. I can never finish a project before I start another.
68. My dog needs a bath
69. I despise clipping my dog and my daughter's nails.
70. My favorite vacation was Hawaii.
71. I will probably never be able to afford to go there again.
72. I've been twice to Maui
73. I wish my dauther would sleep longer
74. We're going to a sleep clinic on February 6th.
75. I like to landscape
76. My dream would be to restore an old victorian house
77. We move too much.
78. In the 13 years we've been married we've moved 6 times.
79. That's what I get for marrying an itinerate pastor.
80. My in-laws visit once a month.
81. They drive me crazy sometimes.
82. They mean well. Usually.
83. I accidentally stuck my finger in a working light socket when I was a kid.
84. I wish my daughter lived in the days that I did..where I could go out and play in the neighborhood and just come when my mother called.
85. I always stay up way too late.
86. I haven't ridden a bike in over a year.
87. I still have the teddy bears my husband gave me when we were dating
88. I lost the promise ring he gave me when I was 16. It was stolen.
89. I look forward to getting the mail everyday.
90. Rarely is there any mail worth looking forward to.
91. I used to wear socks that matched my shrit just about every day in College.
92. I found out years later that people who didn't know me called me "Sock girl".
93. I am getting into watching the Waltons.
94. I love chocolate shakes
95. I made the All Region Choir in high school
96. I tasted my daughter's Pedialyte and it tasted like Gatorade on speed.
97. I like irises
98. I am tired 90% of the time.
99. I love baking.
100. I'm done with this list.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Is this 200 things, or 100 take two?

Since my husband informed me that #2 on my last post wasn't funny, I feel obligated to post something else. However, I have nothing interesting to say. So, I'm going to do another 100 things about me list. Which will actually be 200 things about me. I know, I know, you are thinking I'm not that interesting to have 200 things. Well, blame it on my husband then.

1. I burnt my tounge.
2. I hate it when I do that.
3. I love it when it rains
4. If I don't have to go anywhere
5. I would watch HGTV all the time if my husband would let me.
6. He hates HGTV and makes fun of it.
7. I love beagles and other hound dogs
8. I had a beagle but she was from a puppy mill and had all kinds of health problems.
9. I spent thousands on her and she lived to be eight.
10. I have a 13 year old 13 pounds mutt named 'Casey'
11. Five of my close friends I met on the internet.
12. I'm kind of embarrassed about that.
13. They all live in different parts of the country and Canada.
14. I'm very easy going. Probably too easy going.
15. Sometimes I have to quit watching the news for a while because it upsets me so badly.
16. There was a time I wasn't sure I wanted kids.
17. I definitely had no idea what I was in for with kids.
18. I wouldn't change having my daughter for anything.
19. In fact, I find myself wanting another.
20. Then I come back to reality.
21. I have a hangnail.
22. I should use lotion on my hands but I never do.
23. I always seem to get it for gifts and it ends up old and crusty under my sink.
24. I know, you don't care.
25. If I start a book I feel obligated to finish it.
26. I have never done illegal drugs
27. My dog sleeps on a heating pad.
28. I hear that's not good for them, but she's 13 so I figure she deserves it.
29. I need to make my bed more often.
30. I think Pam cooking spray works better than the generic.
31. I cut my finger cleaning the garage.
32. My car is way dirtier than it should be.
33. I want to lose 15 pounds before I get pregnant again.
34. I'm putting off losing those 15.
35. I'm not sure why.
36. I lied. It's because I'm lazy.
37. I have an aversion to tape or things sticky.
38. I want a nicer digital camera
39. I like Better Cheddar crackers but not all stores carry them.
40. I'll settle for golfish if I have to.
41. These two thing don't help me with #33
42. I think the chicken came before the egg.
43. Or maybe it's the egg before the chicken
44. Or was it just that it crossed the road?
45. Certain bloggers intreague me. Some bore me. Most inspire me.
46. I like protein for breakfast
47. There aren't many protein choices for breakfast.
48. I never eat samples when offered at the grocery store.
49. Because I never know what to do with the little cup they give it to you in.
50. I'm going to finish the other 50 later. I need to get to bed.

Forget dieting...I'm having dessert!

I'm having lunch with the sweet and lovely Milkmaid! If you haven't visited her blog...go do it! What are you waiting for??

**We had a great time at lunch...she looks 10 years younger than she is. She wouldn't tell me her secret. She is as nice and down to earth as her blog!**

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The things that go through my mind.

Sometimes I start pondering things then wonder if I should admit that I ponder these things. Oh, well, if you want to put me away to the funny farm at least I'd get some sleep!

1. Why do people assume because you are a preacher's wife that you know everything theologically? Do they think I went to seminary WITH him?

2. Why is a "nose job" and a "boob job" names for plastic surgery, but a "hand job", well, is...not?

3. Why did Ben and Jerry's quit selling Festivus flavor?

4. I know doves mate for life, but do they mate for love or is it a pre-arranged mating?

5. How in heck does my daughter have RED hair?

6. Do people actually watch "Fear Factor"?

7. Would someone please put Pat Robertson to sleep?

8. Why after 13 good years of being housebroken does my dog think she can now poop on the carpet?

9. Is there any way to attach the pacifier to my kid's lips when she sleeps?

10. Jelly Bellies are $6 a pound. Are they really worth it? Should I just be happy my husband is addicted to those and not some tobacco product?

That's all.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

You Know That Movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"? I'm Jack Nicholson.

I have reached the corners of all patheticness. Is that a new word? Patheticness? Regardless, it fits.

The problem with being a career person turned stay-at-home-mom is you lose your friends. When you work you have friends that work with you. And what do you talk about? Work. And if your friends aren't colleagues, then they are other kidless professionals that you picked up here or there. What do you talk about? Work. What is your life consumed with? Work.

Then, you become the SAHM. It all seems glamourous to your working kidless friends. You stay at home, go to the zoo, have playdates, and lunches with no time limits. Ahh, yes, the naive opinions of being a SAHM to those that neither stay at home nor have children.

When you make this decision your friends agree you'll keep in touch. But your once best friends in the whole wide world no longer have anything in common with you. Oh, they are happy for you that your life has taken on this all too unfamiliar path. And they intend to keep in touch with you. And they do. At first. But what was once a daily friendship turns into a weekly, then biweekly, then monthly, then the occassional Christmas Card friendship until you realize they've moved and you don't have their forwarding address.

So, here I sit. I realized on New Year's Eve that I literally hadn't been out of the house since December 10th. This from someone who traveled and was rarely in one city for a week, who had something to do or somewhere to go every weekend. Who volunteered at the church, who couldn't say "no", whose phone rang off the hook. So, I forced hubby to take me and the little one out to dinner. He suggested I find friends.

Have you ever been single and wanted to be married really bad? You know that despearate feeling? If you haven't been there certainly you've known someone who has. Well, that's me. And I have that same desperate look on my face that makes everyone run when they see me. Except I'm not looking for a husband. I want a/some friends.

Finding other SAHM's seems to be harder than I would expect. And the ones I have found already have friends and seem to be content with those. If I see another SAHM I look desperately in her eyes like a little kid, and my eyes scream "Will you be my friend?", which, by the way, is a real turnoff.

So, here I sit. Day after day. The only conversation I have is with 5 month old, and the occassional hour a day with my husband.

Keep the straight jacket handy.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Weird Habits.

Oh Girl tagged me for a meme. I have to list my five wierd habits and then tag others to list theirs. And just when I ran out of things to say!

1) I wash and my hair every day and always in the morning. No matter what. Even if I'm not going anywhere, don't put on make-up, or wear anything but my PJ's. My hair will be washed. It's curly, so if I don't it ends up in a tangled mess. And, if I don't wash it every day it ends up so greasy you could oil your car with it.

2) If I am sitting around I need some sort of a throw blanket on me. I was so bad that when I worked in a lab I used to bring a sweater to throw on my lap when I was at my desk. The people in the lab used to call me "Grandma Carol" because of it.

3) If I write anything, say on a calendar or in a note, and I mess up, I either need to use liquid paper (white-out) or rewrite the entire thing completely. If it's a note I will rewrite it, if it is a calendar that I can't just throw I will use liquid paper. If I'm writing a grocery list and have to mark something out, I'll rewrite the entire list. Yes, I realize I could get committed for this.

4) I constantly twist my hair while driving. If I am on a long road trip my fingers get sore I do it so much. It's annoying.

5) I can only eat ice cream at night. It's weird, but I swear it just doesn't taste the same during the day.

And now for the obligatory tags. I must pick three good friends, because they won't beat me up for picking them, and one other person I don't know well but she seems too nice to hate me for tagging her. So, Fizzy at Fizzy's Nuthouse, Adrienne at Just my Junk, Angie at Rocks and Garbage, and Chickity China.

Oh, and just a hint for those of you who decide to do this...don't ask your spouse what he/she thinks your weird habits are or they'll start listing your not-necessarily weird but habits that annoy them.

Sunday, January 01, 2006


Sometimes it scares her. Well, actually, it always scares her. This new emotion that she felt. This new 'love'. To love a child is a feeling you can't explain. She thought she loved her niece as much as she could her own. And she does love her as intensely as she thought love could go. But having your own is different, and she knows that now.

Kate had a pretty normal childhood until she was about 10. Her family moved half a country away then and all hell broke loose. Her dad couldn't find work. Her mom got sick. Her mom survived but became so depressed she was hardly a mom. Kate's dad, finally finding a good job, worked 12 hour days often 7 days a week for the overtime. He also had to deal with Kate's mom, what time did he have to deal with Kate?

So, her defense came in the form of self-reliance. Not a bad thing, really. She kept her nose in the books, made good grades, kept herself out of trouble, made sure she was the best at everything she could be. If only all parents experienced kids with this sort of rebellion. But Kate knew she was it. If she relied on anyone else for anything she would only be disappointed. So, she must make something of herself for survival.

She hated asking her parents for money. More like afraid to ask. Not that her parents would scold her for it, but the mere look on their faces, she knew they didn't have much to give. She got a job at 15 and saved her money hoping to buy a car, to save for just in case. You never know when you'll need it. When she needed to go to the dentist at 16 she used this money to pay for it. When she saved up enough she bought that car, and had a little in savings.

In high school she had a boyfriend. Like most high school romances, it came to an end. After school she came home and cried. Her mother came in her room and said "I don't want you to come home crying tomorrow" in a mocking voice. Kate realized she had let her feelings out. Oops. A mistake. She'll never let it happen again.

When Kate got older she went to college, married sensibly, graduated college, and got a job. She climbed the corporate ladder like everyone assumed she would. She married, but didn't rely on even her husband. For anything. No, you can only rely on yourself if you want to survive.

Kate and her husband decided to have a baby. Kate longed for one of her own, and that's what she was supposed to do, right? To please her parents and everyone else? She got pregnant and everyone was glad.

Kate struggled because she felt as though she should quit her job for the sake of the baby. After all, lets be realistic. You can't work 70 hours a week and have a baby. At least not teach it and raise it to be self-reliant. This, after all, is what it will need to survive.

This dillemma was such a struggle for her. How was she supposed to be self-reliant for herself now? Panic set in. She realized her husband was perfectly capable of being the breadwinner, but 'what if'?? You just never know. After all, her parents were supposed to fill her basic needs, to be her emotional support, and look what happened?

Kate quit her job when the baby was born. And then it happened. The love. The emotion she was feeling. That scary love that she is afraid to unleash because in the past it has only come to haunt her later. It amazes her how she let this little thing that can't even speak, can't even feed itself, take all her own self reliance. And not only that, but she actually let the little thing make her feel again. Like she hasn't felt since she was a child. And this child's love made her look at her husband in a new light, admire him, see parts of him that she wouldn't let herself see before. He was charming, handsome, strong. She let herself love him, too. Really love him for what seemed like the first time.

Kate still finds herself scared, waiting for this love to hurt her. Most of the time she can't enjoy it because of the fear. But every once in a while she catches a glimpse of relaxing, of enjoying the love, and she realizes she has grown a little.

We think we are put on earth to teach our children, but I think God had bigger plans.