Thursday, September 25, 2008

One Week From Today...

I'll be leaving on a jet plane. I DO know when I'll be back again.

I'm going to my high school reunion. Desert High School class of 1980. There I said it out loud for the mighty Internet to hear. Home of the fighting Scorpions.

Issues...? I have a few. I have a recurring nightmare that nothing/no one will ring a bell. Nothing but crickets chirping in my brain. That I will remember absolutely nothing. If that's the case, it's going to be a very long weekend. Then there are the usual chick issues (which, btw, my husband has dealt with very well). You know, things like, "Will I have a bad hair day/week?", "Am I wearing the right outfit?", "Can I really stand to wear these shoes all day?", "How am I going to fit in a mani/pedi before we go?". Shallow, huh?

Then there's the whole take care of everything before I leave thing. Things like write a book explaining to my mom where the kids have to be and what they need to do every minute of the time I'll be gone. Medical power of attorney, insurance cards, maps to birthday parties and other kid events. Then there's packing for 5 people and the dog (he's going to a friend's house). Jeez, I'm getting tense all over again.

Could any trip possibly be worth all this? I'm not setting the bar (of expectations) too high. It is what it is. If the reunion is a bomb (for me anyway)we aren't far from Los Angeles at all. I'll be alone with my husband for 5 days straight (2 of those days will be in an airport!). I'm going to see some family I haven't seen in oh... about 25 years. Those are all great things that make this trip very worthwhile.

Maybe I'll re-read this post next Tuesday or Wednesday when I'm having a screaming hissy in my attempt to get everything taken care of.....

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Amazing Amazon Kindle

So maybe this blog is becoming one big advertisement. If so, I'm a terrible business person-no compensation for me!

If you haven't heard of the Amazon Kindle ebook, go straight to and watch the video! If you are a reader, prepare to be in serious want.

Oh precious Kindle, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

1. Space. You can store 200 books on this thing and that doesn't even count adding in an SD card.

2. Newspapers and Magazines. For a monthly fee, you can subscribe to many newspapers (our Orlando Slantinel, oops, excuse me) is available for only $5.99/month. Much less than the home delivery price. I haven't subscribed as of yet, see above comment. I have subscribed to Readers Digest. That makes me sound old, huh? My Grandma got me hooked on those!

3. Samples. Any book you are interested in, you can download a sample (usually a couple of chapters) for free.

4. Speaking of free, how about free internet? This baby uses Sprint wireless to get you to your email, blogs, etc. Now it's only black and white and you need to use the mobile version of your email, but did you hear me say free????

5. Makes my waiting time oh so much more bearable. Let me say simply this about that. Study hall monitor. Four periods. Enough said?

Downsides? I really haven't found any yet. Maybe the price. Maybe I'm spending more on books (the most expensive book I've purchased was NY Times best seller Audition by Barbara Walters and it was only $9.99). There is plenty of free content out there. I recently uploaded about 25 classics (based on a Harvard reading list) all for free. Sweet.

Bottom line? File this under better than an Iphone. Really.

(btw, the cover doesn't come that way, I decorated it myself! Yup, I'm crafty that way...)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wacky Wednesday


So maybe it is because I was a theater kid. I don't know. I still have this side of me that's wacky, funky and a little too young for my age.

I had to order Katelyn some fingerless gloves for a play she's doing. In case you're wondering, it's an 80's style Midsummer Night's Dream. (Yup, can't wait to see that one.) Anyway, I saw these while I was ordering and they jumped in my cart. Since I'm being youngish anyway, I heart them! <3 <3 <3 (For you ancients, those are not less than symbols and 3's, those are hearts!)

I think the closer my high school reunion gets, the more I'm regressing. I'm totally feeling some valley girl coming on. If you don't know what that is, your mom is probably calling you to dinner right now...
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Monday, September 15, 2008

Why is wrong thinking so hard to get rid of???

I'm gonna make some wild confessions here.

Two years ago, I started a wild and wonderful journey. I started a healthful diet and exercise program. I lost a crazy 100 pounds (and still had just a few to go). I was training for a triathalon. Okay so it was less than a sprint tri, but a tri just the same! For the first month, I can honestly say I hated every minute of it. Really. Cussing under my breath every single second. I played mind tricks to push myself. "If you still think you're dying in 10 minutes, you can quit" (the first 15 minutes of any exercise always kills me) Then after a full month of exercise 5 days a week, I had a breakthrough. Something switched in my brain. I loved it. I found my inner jock. I never had an inner jock. I was in the band and drama in high school. In fact I can't remember taking a PE class. I must have... My tri goal seemed like it would happen. I wasn't going to place, or break any records, but I was going to finish and not dead last!

Then Pete's mom got sick. The whole world fell off its axis while we scrambled. The Y was not even an option. We were in survival mode and eating out of hospital vending machines. Does anyone else see the irony in the crappy, nutritionally devoid food they serve in a hospital? The fall off the wagon was long and painful.

It's been 5 months since my mother-in-law's death. We sure miss her.

Am I exercising again? Yes and no. The mental battle is worse than before. On what planet is that fair?

This morning started out poorly. Heading for a craptastic day early on. Last night I had packed my bag for the Y. I had planned to go to a water boot camp class that I really enjoy. Good thing I packed that bag, because I never would have gotten it together this morning. But the battle raged on. I felt horrible. Headache, nausea, I took a new vitamin/herbal supplement and felt jittery. Excuses? I've got a gazillion of 'em. Even though I know how good the exercise makes me feel when it's done, the battle still rages.
So I played the head game again. "Head toward the Y." "If you feel worse at the next light, you can head home." All the way there. Made it to the parking lot. "You have your bathing suit on, all you have to do is go relax in the pool, no pressure." The water was lovely. Perfect in fact. There's an open lane. "Maybe I'll just swim a couple of laps before class starts." I got in 20 laps and the boot camp class and it felt even better than I remembered.

I will fight another day (tomorrow is spinning class which I love dispite the spandex shorts).

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday, Day of Rest?

I suppose it's a matter of what you call rest. In my opinion, a day of rest is any day that I don't have the whole day scheduled to the minute.

The only thing on the agenda today was worship. Mind you, that's not a duty to be crossed off the list for me. It's a time of refreshing, a time to check in with friends that are busy during the week like me. A time to bring home a thought, idea, or spiritual lesson to be pondered, prayed over and applied to my daily life.

Now that worship is done, what will the day hold? If all goes well, my husband and I will have a productive date. We will head off to 2 grocery stores (one because it has cheap Kashi and South Beach products and one because they have great produce). After we drop off the groceries (it's good to have big kids who unload and put away!), we'll head off to my favorite (for the moment) chain restaurant - Qdoba to finish off our time together, before we both tackle the busy week to come.

I think it's so easy for couples during this stage of life (you know, the stage with kids) to be too busy to connect as much as we need to. Much like the refreshing time I get from corporate worship, I need that focused time with my husband as well. It starts my week out on the right foot, each of us knowing what the week holds for each other as we are pushed in different directions.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Is Our Health Care System Broken?

I swear I'm not going to get political on this one. Upfront I'll say that having been employed in the health care field, I am adamantly opposed to socialized medicine. I do NOT want the government making my health care decisions. I will say that I believe that is where we are rapidly heading, because people are so desperate and frustrated with the current system.

Okay, stepping off my soapbox now...

As I've mentioned before, we've spent our summer learning new and exciting medical terminology. Terms that even as a medical professional, I was not familiar with. We went in for a follow up with the neurologist today. More obscure terms and the realization that genetics are very complicated! Bottom line is that we need to see a hematologist and a geneticist. The specialists that we were referred to specifically, are so specialized that they really don't want to see your average Joe. In fact upon hearing Katelyn's initial diagnosis, their reaction was that 10 percent of the population has that and without clinical findings, it's really not that interesting. Fortunately, I understood enough to say, "ooh but we have clinical findings!" After hearing more, and with the promise of the faxed records to back my story up, they will consider hearing our case and offer an opinion.

Oh boy...

Then it was the phone call to our pediatrician to deal with all the insurance paperwork that it's going to take to be allowed to see these specialists- assuming they grant us an appointment. So even though the neurologist feels the other doctors are important, everything must be cleared by the pediatrician.

How many phone calls does it take to get an appointment? The world (mostly me) may never know... I spent 2 hours on the phone this afternoon and still don't have a single appointment. I did get a really great genetics lesson from a sweet and wonderful soul (a genetics counselor) at Dr. Wheeler's office. She said that most likely this is all much ado about nothing. Really that's what I needed to hear. It will make the waiting much more tolerable. Because waiting is as far as I can get right now.

Remember that nice bullet pointed list yesterday? Yea, the stuff I was hoping to get done... Not even close. Took care of the 2 medical appointments. That's it. Two productive days in a row? Nope, not here, not now.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Once in awhile it happens...

but just once in awhile.

I'm talking about having a day where I feel like I've actually accomplished something. Maybe even a couple of somethings. Most days feel like I've just spun my wheels all day.

There are lots of odds and ends to wrap up before Pete and I head off to the California desert in less than a month. When you are a mom, you don't get ready to leave by just packing your bag. I've got my stuff to contend with, plus the stuff of 4 others. In my younger, pre-family days, I could often put things off until the last possible nanosecond. Those days are long gone.

What did I take care of today?

-shopping for a special occasion dress for a 15 year old

-costume requirement for the above mentioned 15 year old

-marketing strategies mapped out for my husband's business

-making a table in MS Word with the help of a friend. Yay Linda!

-PSAT and PLAN tests scheduled and paid for again for the 15 year old

-MS Word reinstalled on my laptop (after massive hard drive failure)

What's left to get done tomorrow?

-bills, ick

-attack the disaster that I call my desk

-execute the maketing strategies

-rental car reservations for California

-hotel reservations for California

-homeschool reports for child #3

All this needs to get done in between finding time to exercise (oh spin class how I long to attend tomorrow), 2 children's doctor appointments, and assorted school instruction/direction.

When I type it all out, I begin to understand why on earth I can't manage to keep my eyes open past 10 p.m.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Latest Vera Aquisition

I haven't really talked about my love/obsession with all things Vera Bradley on this blog. So I'll just jump in.

My latest additions to my collection are the Chain Link Handbag in Espresso and the Tote in Puccini. I can't say how much I love both of these. I am also getting a lot of use out of my Caffe Latte Messenger and Out to Lunch bag. I carry them with me to school every Wednesday (packed with stuff to keep me occupied while I'm monitoring Study Hall).

Carrying the Chain Link bag helps me feel a little less like frumpy old mom and gives me just a little sass and style. This forty-something will take everybit of that I can get, thank you very much.

Friday, September 05, 2008

It's that time of year...

Time for class reunions. I'm working on booking tickets to mine. Where did I go to high school, you ask?

Desert High School, home of the fighting Scorpions!

No, that's not a joke. It's an actual high school located in the Mojave Desert. More specifically Edwards Air Force Base. You know, where the space shuttle lands when the Florida thing doesn't work out so well.

I haven't been back to the desert in a really, really long time. Think longer than 20 years (that's as much as I'm giving up). It was a great place to be a teenager. My memories are all good. I'm looking forward to sharing some roots with my husband.

The ticket booking is stressing me out. Do I fly into Palmdale (it's been a long time since I've tackled LA traffic-yikes!)? Burbank? Las Vegas? Really, it's all the same price and either way you slice it, it's a long dang trip from Florida. I have decided where we will stay. Whoopie, 1 whole decision made. Of course there is the real burning question all us women must face... What will I wear????

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Election Ups and Downs

I'd like to promise you that this will be my last political post... but it probably won't be.

I got so mad the other day watching the convention reporting on Fox. Now I know all you good liberals out there are screaming at your computer right now... "why were you watching Fox????". Oh come on now. They are all slanted. I am more convinced than ever that there is absolutely no unbiased media to be found in this entire country. In fact here's what would happen in Shelly's perfect world: There would be several news channels. One called RPC (Republican Party Channel), DPC (you get it, right? Democratic Party Channel), the Independents and the Libertarians would probably come up with more entertaining names. Then I want them to play the news without inviting dissenting parties to argue with. That way I know exactly what I'm getting and I don't have to watch the talking heads have a stroke while arguing with "the enemy". I'll watch them all with their slants, and decide on my own which way I want to swing.

Never gonna happen, is it?

Anyway, back to Fox. I was watching Tuesday morning because to be honest, I wanted to hear the latest drama going on with Mrs. Palin. Megyn Kelly, co-anchor of America's Newsroom, was interviewing Liz Trotta, Professor of Media at New School University (I have never heard of this place, have you?). Let me just try to embed this clip...|gender%20bias

(stupid blogger. Couldn't embed it, but there's the link)

Did you see it? Megan Kelly (as a supposedly unbiased member of the media) lost her crap. She was way too busy being offended.

Why can't we all just quit the politically correct stuff and be honest here. I think it's an unfortunate, but honest question to raise. How does one mother 5 children and do one of the most demanding jobs in our great nation??? I know dang well that no one poses that question of a man. Let's get real again. What father do you know leaves for work and says to his wife, "hmmm... what are we doing with Janie Sue today? Should I pack her lunch and pick out an outfit for her?" None, nada, zip, huh. It's really just not the way things work in our culture. Granted there are exceptions. Something about pregnancy and childbirth just makes the mom more prone to taking care of the kid business. Who usually picks the daycare, school, etc., etc.? Right or wrong, it falls on the mom. To call it otherwise is to be seriously out of touch, not sexist, Ms. Kelly. Why is it a crime to say, "How are you going to handle it all?". I'd love to hear her answer. I'm betting she has one and wouldn't back away from that question.

In the name of tolerance and being politically correct, we're just lying and covering up what we really think. I thought what made this country great was that we can all have our own unique opinions. Just because we may disagree doesn't mean we must be offended! I can disagree with you without being offended by you. When did we become so thin skinned? Seriously.

I listened to Gov. Palin's address last night. She's spunky and tough and yet still very much a woman. I don't feel that way about Mrs. Clinton. She's just tough in my book. I don't connect with her as a woman. If I believe that a woman can do that job (whoo boy, I just treaded into dangerous waters), I believe Gov. Palin can. Can she handle the media? I think she's shown us she can.

And everyone getting upset about this whole Tina Fey thing. Oh for crying out loud. The first thing I said when I saw the picture of Gov. Palin was "Tina Fey has got a great gig for at least 4 years if McCain/Palin wins this thing!". That's nothing to take offense at either. It's just show biz people! Comedians have made fun of politicians for decades in this country. We aren't above poking at our own.

Lighten up folks! And as Forrest Gump would say, "That's all I have to say about that.".

Monday, September 01, 2008

What do you call a woman who is the opposite of a feminist????

Is she a chauvinist? Go ahead and call me one. Maybe you should just call me a hypocrite right up front too.

I'm just sorting out my thoughts about this whole Gov. Palin thing. Am I shocked about a 17 year old girl being pregnant? Aw heck no. It can happen in absolutely any family, mine included. It's a mistake, plain and simple. One that numerous teens have made.

Here's what I find troubling about the whole situation. That 17 year old child is going to get ripped to shreds, chewed up, and spit out only to be raked over the coals. And that's just what the conservatives will do to her. I feel that the conservatives (of which I claim to be one) tend to eat their own young (which I do not condone). The liberals are dancing in the streets. Come on now, this is the stuff of Obama's dreams. He even came off quite gallant when telling the press that this was off limits. He looked like the cat who ate the canary. When Governor Palin put herself out there to be governor and then a vice presidential candidate, she offered up her whole family. Particularly a member she had to know was "gonna get it". Did she tell McCain? What was he thinking? Is he belting back some good stiff drinks today? Hmm... I've got a lot of questions.

Here's where my struggle with feminism comes in. We aren't exactly the same as men. We can be equally important, but very different. We can get pregnant. Men can't (I'm not counting the fake ones on the Internet or the one People magazine tried to pass off as a man-no man has a uterus thank you very much). Does this mean we are not "equal" to or have the same rights as men? Nope. But it does make our life very complicated. When we elect a woman to one of the highest offices in our country, we get a few complications. Men more easily distance themselves from their families. I'm not saying it's right, it's just how it is. It's not politically correct for me to bring this up, but it's my blog and a free country, so I can say what I think. Women come with children, PMS, post pregnancy bodies, hormone surges, and "mama guilt" (you know all that stuff we somehow think is our fault). I haven't noticed my husband having all those same issues in the 16 years we've been married. Maybe I'm an unobservant dolt.

My wonderful mother-in law (good liberal that she was - who passed away in April, before Obama had firmed up the nomination) told me that if Ms. Clinton got the nomination, McCain was definitely going to be our next president. She was 89 and lived through all the civil rights struggles and believed our country would much sooner elect a black man before a woman. At the time, I found it interesting she couldn't imagine that a woman had a shot at it. I'd chew off my right arm now to hear what she'd have to say about all this.

Maybe Bristol Palin is a very, very, very strong young woman. Her mom's gotta be some kind of tough too. I know it makes me a horrible feminist, but I could never put my daughter in that position. I'd give up my career advancement before I'd knowingly send my daughter to the wolves.

I'm not a career woman. Really all I ever wanted to be was a wife and mom. I haven't held a "real" job in 16 years. Maybe I'm completely and totally out of touch with working women. Because of my lifestyle and homeschooling, I'm surrounded by SAHMs. My sister works. My mom was a working single mom. But I just can't imagine subjecting my family to the scrutiny. No job would ever be that important to me. Especially when our family was going through some rough waters. I would have told Mr. McCain, "I'm sorry, now is not my time, I'm going to have to pass." Of course that kind of attitude would have never gotten me to be a governor, now would it?

See I'm conflicted. Truthfully, I long for those days when we swept all this stuff under the rug. It was your private business and we all kept our noses out of it. It was a kinder, gentler nation then, wasn't it?'s complicated.