Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rough Night #2

It was another night of Jena screaming at bedtime. I'm not sure what's going on. This started happening out of the blue.

I'm starting to think maybe it's separation anxiety, because after our first try at bedtime last night, after I finally went in to get her up, she would not leave my side. Clung to me.
Second try I got her to fall asleep on my chest while sitting on the couch, was sure she was out, got up, laid her in the crib, and... let the screaming commence. Ugh.

I finally ended up taking her into our bed (we have never co-slept with her). She eventually fell asleep, calmly, gripping tightly to my shirt. I managed to pry her loose, then left her there, sleeping peacefully next to me, for about 30 min before I carefully moved her to her crib.

So on night two it took three tries, and three hours. She wasn't in her crib until nearly 1am.

After that I went downstairs to feed the dogs & lock them up for the night, since they had been barking intermittantly. So I finally got to bed around 2am.

Around 5am I am awakened by the sound of Tootsie barking. They managed to get out. Ugh. She barked for a good 30 min before I finally got up & yelled at her. I staggered back to bed & passed out. I wake up to the sound of her barking again at 6am. At 6:30am, I drag myself downstairs and give her a good talking to. She knew she was in trouble. Guess I should have done that in the first place, because there was no more barking.

Unfortunately, there wasn't much more time for sleep either. I crawled back into bed, only for my alarm to go off a couple of minutes later. I hit the snooze until 7:15am, then got up and began getting ready for the day.

Needless to say I am tired & grumpy today. Jodi needs a nap.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Rough Night

FireGirl refused to go to bed. On our 3rd try at bedtime, I decided to let her cry it out. Well, let's make that scream it out. She was screaming at the top of her lungs. Screamed so hard she gagged herself on more than one occasion.

Keep in mind this was our 3rd attempt at bedtime.

After 30+ min of screaming, I went in to get her. She was so upset she had worked herself into a sweat. I did my best to calm her down. Changed her diaper. Wiped her face. Lots of kisses. Showed her that I was still here. Woke FireMan up so she could see that Daddy was still here (seeing Daddy was the only smile I got out of her).
Then we went into the living room. I gave her a bottle and held her tight. Ten minutes of TLC from Mommy, and she was out.

I still don't know what the problem was. She usually goes to sleep so well. I mean, she fights in, but rarely more than 10 min. And never this screaming thing. But Mommy fixed it. {sigh}

I was tempted to sleep in the living room with FireGirl on my chest. Especially after FireCat came in and snuggled next to me.
But I knew that if FireGirl woke up in the middle of the night & saw me, we'd be right back where we started. So after 30 min, and being absolutely sure she was out out, I managed to get up & put her in the crib. She never opened her eyes, whimpered for about 30 sec, and that was all she wrote.

So that made for a long night. But you know, as much as I hated the screaming part, the fact that I could make it all better, and did, was 10x better than the screaming part was bad.

Nothing like soothing a baby to sleep to put life in perspective.

{sigh}

Friday, September 25, 2009

Quote of the Day

"When you speak, make sure you are speaking words of life, not death. Words that encourage and build up lead to life. Words that discourage and tear down lead to death. When you see yourself going down the wrong road, make a U-turn. It is impossible to go the wrong direction and get to the right destination! The power of death and life are in the tongue and we must remember that nagging never leads to life."
-- Patti Endrei

Thursday, September 24, 2009

God's Amazing Love for Us

I had a discussion with a dear friend last night about God, and how He reacts to decisions in our lives.

This friend felt like recent events in her life were evidence of God punishing her for a decision she made several years ago. A decision that she made with her heart, not intentionally committing any sins or knowingly disregarding the will of God, mind you.

I told her I just can't see it that way.

Does God punish us for unrepented sins? Absolutely. Do we sometimes reap the consequences of our sinful actions? Absolutely. Does God wreak havoc on our life because we made one seemingly innocent mistake a few years ago? Well, no one knows the mind of God, but I don't think so.

So here's how I see it:
When we are born, God has this perfect plan for our life. All we have to do is follow Him perfectly. Be within His perfect will all the time. Every second. Then we will live this perfect life and be blessed perfectly.

The problem being that we, as humans, are not perfect. No one can follow God perfectly. No one can be within His perfect will every second. None of us are without sin. And we all make mistakes.

But does that mean that God seeks to punish us? No. God loves us. We are His children. Are there sometimes consequences for our bad actions? Sure. There are also "consequences" for our good actions as well.

I think when we take a step outside of God's perfect will, then He creates a new plan for our life, and begins directing us down a new path. It might be awfully close to the old path, but we as an imperfect person decided to take a detour, so now He has to rearrange the path to get us back to the next best thing.
Sometimes there are little detours. Little tiny imperfect moves on our part that we don't even realize shift our reality.
Sometimes there are big detours. We knowingly sin against our Father. We make a BIG mistake.
But at the end of the day, even if God knows we're gonna have to hit some potholes to get thru this new road, He still wants us to be on His road. He still wants us to see the beautiful views, and be blessed by His goodness. He still wants the very best for us.

Again, no one knows the mind of God. And yes, there are times when we are punished for our sins. And yes, we do reap the consequences (or blessings!) of our actions. But just because things aren't going your way doesn't mean you are necessarily paying the price for a seemingly innocent mistake you may (or may not) have made years ago. Maybe it's just the road with potholes that takes you to new mountaintops. You just gotta take the bumps as they come and wait for the road to smooth out.

Take care. God bless.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Potential

*disclaimer* this post is speaking specifically to professonal aspirations. Has nothing to do with family.



Do any of us ever live up to our potential?

Sometimes I wonder if I could have done something more with my life. Professionally speaking. Okay, well, I know I could have. But am I somehow not living up to my potential by not? Should I have gone into another profession?

I used to be smart. I say that candidly, because I don't always feel so bright nowadays. But back when I was in school, yeah, I was the schizzle. Not that I ever really felt that way. But looking back on test scores, grades, etc. - yea, I was pretty awesome.

Then came college. I was an undeclared major for 2+ years before deciding on History. Why history, you ask? Because I didn't know what to do, and in my 2nd year of undergrad, a professor told me my papers were equal to or better than what his grad students were doing. Funny, because as I progressed with my History degree my GPA was consistently less than stellar. But obviously that professor saw some potential, thought that I was above my class. So it was still there then.

Then I graduated. And I fumbled. I am in my 30s, and I still don't know what I want to do with my life (professionally speaking). I know I'm not really happy in my current job, but I don't know where I want to go. And I haven't felt challenged intellectually in a long time. Which probably has led to the downfall of my brainpower.

What should I have done? Should I have been a doctor? lawyer? engineer? nurse? veterinarian? professional musician? teacher?

Or is this right where I'm supposed to be? Am I supposed to be an under-utilized support staff?

Do any of us ever live up to our full potential? Are we supposed to?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome

So, the dermatologist thinks this is what FireGirl has. He said he thinks they symptoms are peaking right now, and we should start to see improvement in the next week or so. If no noticeable improvement in three weeks, then we go back for a skin biopsy.

He also explained that it is related to having a "bad viral infection". His words. When we told him that she hasn't been sick in months, he seemed stumped. So I asked him about a possible link between GC and vaccines, and explained the timing issue. He said there was no known "definitive" link between the two, but he did make a note of it in her chart.

Overall, I'm very happy with the appointment. He listened to us, she got a good prognosis, all should be well soon.

{sigh} of relief.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rainy Sunday at the Zoo




We went to the zoo yesterday after church. Rained most of the day, but we still had a good time. Wandered from exhibit house to exhibit house when the rain was light, stayed indoors when it was heavier. FireGirl loved the Cat House. No big surprise there. She especially loved the snow leopard.

FireMan & I spent the first two hours there cleaning the tank at Manatee Springs. It was neat to be able to look up and out the glass and see FireGirl there looking at us. At first she was really scared. I think all the scuba equipment freaked her out. But she eventually waved back at me. My inlaws were with us, and managed to get some pretty decent pics of FireMan & I in the exhibit.

The manatees, Slip & Li'l Joe, will be leaving the Zoo in October. It's a good thing really. They're part of a rehabilitation program, and will be moving to Florida to take the final steps to be released back into the wild. I haven't been volunteering with them very long, but already I know I'm gonna miss those gentle giants.

So after our busy, productive, and fun day at the Zoo, I am sore and tired, but glad we had a good day.

You have a good day too, 'kay?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I am blessed to come from a large extended family

Today was our family reunion. Well, one of them. It's the third one this year. See, back in June we had the reunion for my maternal grandfather's family. Then in July we had the reunion for my dad's family. Then this month we had the reunion for my maternal grandmother's family. Did you follow that?

I love my family. I love that we have a large, extended family that we are close with and see regularly. I love that I grew up so close to my cousins, aunts, and uncles and that FireGirl will grow up close to hers. I love that my best friends are my family. Who needs a "real" social life when you have a family like ours? There's always something to do: reunions, holidays, birthday parties, bridal showers, baby showers, etc, etc, etc. The list goes on & on.D

I am so blessed.

Friday, September 18, 2009

PSA: Jobs, pay, benefits, and budgeting

Please, please, please do not base your household budget on your benefits, like overtime & bonuses.

Vacations, eating out, entertainment, even Christmas based on OT & bonuses, fine.

Mortgages, utilities, car payments, etc. based on OT & bonuses, not the smartest idea. Manage those on your base pay alone.

The reason I say this is because you never know when workloads will shift, and you will lose your overtime. But if that happens, and as long as you still have your job, you will still be able to manage with just your base pay.
Same goes for bonuses. I know someone whose company got rid of bonuses years ago, before the recession ever hit. So it's not even just about "these economic times".

You have to remember that those things are benefits. They are not your base pay, and should not be treated as such.

Here's hoping this little tidbit helps you in some way.

Have a great day!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Baby and Bumps and Vaccines, Oh My!

It's been a long day. Already.

FireGirl has had some strange bumps on her body for a while now. Didn't pay much attention at first. She had two tiny bumps. They didn't itch, didn't seem to hurt, didn't seem to bother her at all. Then she had a few more, and a few more. The past week or so it seems like they've exploded all over her. She's covered in these bumps. But she had no other symptoms and they didn't seem to bother her so I didn't really worry.

Well, this morning, she had a few on her face, so I called the pediatrician and got in today. They were stumped. Called in another doctor. Got out the dermatology book. No idea. Great.
They told us to take her to the dermatologist (managed to get her in in 2 weeks), but not to worry about it in the meantime, that they don't think it's serious.

I get back to work. Frustrated that they don't know what it is, but relieved that they don't think it's serious. Then my cell phone rings.

I don't get to it in time and it goes to voicemail. It's the pediatrician. They were discussing FireGirl's case after we left, and they still want her to see the dermatologist, but now they are thinking that it is Gianotti-Crosti syndrome, which children sometimes get following a serious viral infection.

Well, knowing that she hadn't (to our knowledge) had any viral infections, certainly none that would be deemed "serious", I googled it.

Yeah. Can also be caused by certain vaccinations.

I am so upset. I checked my calendar to see when her last vaccine was, and the timing lines up that that might be what caused it. I'm so upset.

My mind is spinning. We've delayed a few vaccines. Asked to have others split up. I've never been a "no vaccine" momma. But now.... I just don't know.

All the stuff you hear on TV, and now this.

I haven't done a lot of research on the syndrome yet, just two sites to be honest, but considering she hasn't had any other viral infections that we're aware of, and the timing from her last vaccines, it does seem to fit that one of her vaccines caused it.

If that is what it is. We'll still go see the derm to be sure. But that's not for another two weeks.

I'm just so upset. I'm angry. I'm worried. I'm frustrated. I feel guilty. I'm angry. Did I mention that I'm upset?

If it is GC syndrome, and it is probably from the vaccine, where do we go from here? Do we become a "no vaccine" family? Do we just stagger everything out? If we skip vaccines to avoid the syndrome, what about when it's time to go to school? Does the state consider that an acceptable reason to not have the vaccines? There's so much to consider.

My head is spinning. I have a headache from crying. My stomach is upset. And I don't really see myself being able to focus on work this afternoon.

I really just want for FireMan to come home from work, for me to go get FireGirl, and then for the three of us to curl up together all afternoon.

Unfortunately that's not gonna happen. Blah.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Musings from Golden Corral

Went to Golden Corral with the in-laws last night. Every time we go, I am amazed by two things.

#1 - the majority of the people eating there appear to to not have much, in the way of financial means
This always surprises me because it is not cheap to eat there. Buffet + drink = $13. We only go because my father-in-law belongs to an organization that once a month allows members & their families to eat there for $5.
It just surprises me that those that appear to need to manage their money the most are spending $13/person to eat out.

#2 - there are a great deal of morbidly obese people that eat at Golden Corral.Of course, there are those who will say this is no surprise, how do you think they got that way? But what I don't understand is why someone who is already suffering from obesity (some of them in carts, no longer able to walk themselves) would continue to add to the problem by piling up plate after plate of food at a buffet. I've watched. Heaping piles of not-very-good-for-you food on plate after heaping plate. I don't get it.

Spin-off of #2 - people insist on piling food onto their plate, like they only get one plate for the whole night.
Several of my in-laws do this as well. Never understood it. It's a buffet. You get more plates. You can go up as often as you like. Why pile it all on top of each other?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Can't Decide What to do About Job

I go back & forth on whether or not to stay at my current job.

Some days, I love it.
I like the work that I do, and I love the people I work with.
But the company treats me like crap (I'm "just" a temp), and most days I'm pretty bored. I'd rather be busy than bored anyday.

Part of me thinks I should look for another job where I'll be happier. Part of me says that the positive things about this job are enough to make me stay. And part of me feels like leaving is unethical in some way, during this recession. After all my company is on a total hiring freeze. So if I left, they wouldn't backfill my position, they'd rotate someone else in from a different location, or split up my duties, or whatever. So it's almost like if I leave, I'm taking an eligible job away from someone else. Does that make sense?

Anyway, today is a day that I'm not really thrilled to be here. I'm really bored. I could be home with FireMan & FireGirl, or at least doing some housework, and instead I am here, trying to spread out my work so I have something to do the rest of the week. Ugh.

What do you think? Just from what little I've told you here. Stay? or look for a new job?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"Date" Your Spouse

FireMan and I try to have date nights monthly. We ask someone to watch FireGirl overnight, and the two of us go out on a date. Just us. No friends, no baby, just able to focus on each other.

I honestly don't know how marriages survive having a baby if couples don't do this. It has been a life-saver for us.

So last night was one of those nights. And we had a GREAT date night. Nothing fancy. Dinner at a BBQ joint, ran an errand at the mall, went shopping for FireGirl's birthday (probably not really appropriate for date night), then a movie. It's not so much about what you do, it's about spending time together, just the two of you. Reconnecting with one another.

So anyway, while we were walking the mall, one of the topics that came up in conversation, sort of, was how we treat each other. How we speak to one another. The little things we do that irritate one another. Later in the night, as I was dwelling on this mall conversation, it dawned on me.

Dating your spouse shouldn't end with one night. It should be infused in how you treat each other as well.
Think about it. For example: when you were dating, if you did something to upset your partner (even a little thing), what would you do? You'd try to fix it, right? Do everything to make it better, right? What about now? Would you still do everything you could to make it better? Or would you just go about your day and tell yourself that if they're upset it's their problem? That they're too sensitive?

That's just one example. I'm not saying spend every day acting like a gushing little schoolgirl (or boy). Just let the thought cross your mind from time to time.
Ladies, if you got all dressed up for your partner when you were dating, do you do it now? Gentlemen, if you opened the car door for your partner when you were dating, do you do it now?
Just think about the little things, the little actions and the frame of mind that you had when you were dating.

And really "date" your spouse. Not just on the occasional night out together, but all the time.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Time to be Honest with Myself

So here goes.

I have gained FIFTY pounds.
There. I said it. It's in writing. It's on the net for all to see. Fifty. That number seems huge. And indeed it is. I'm carrying around the equivalent weight of 10 bags of flour. That's a lot. That's really heavy.

So, I know weight has dominated a few of my posts lately, and that's because it's been dominating my thoughts.

Oh, I didn't gain it all at once. It's not even all baby weight. So how did all that FAT creep onto my body, you ask? Several ways.

#1 - from early 2006 to late 2007 I gradually put on about 20 lbs. Gain five, lose three. Gain five more, lose three more. Etc. Eventually those net gains of two pounds here & there added up to right about 20 lbs altogether.

#2 - when FireMan & I decided to start trying to conceive, I stopped my birth control, and gained 13 lbs in about six weeks.

#3 - I gained 49 lbs throughout my pregnancy. I have since lost 30-35 lbs of it (it fluctuates), but that leaves me with a net gain of about 17 lbs.

Add those up, my friends, and it means I have gained FIFTY pounds in three years.

So what, do you ask, do I plan to do about it? Well, I'll tell you.

I have decided to have a Winter Weight Loss Challenge.

The wintertime is when most people tend to gain the most weight, right? Well, not this year. From Oct 1 thru Mar 31 I will try to lose the 50 lbs. I'm even gonna start another blog so ya'll can track my progress. Or join in the fun.
I'd like to have others join me with their own weight maintenance goals so we can check in with each other, share tips, etc. But even if no one else joins my Winter Weight Loss Challenge, I'll be there. Plugging along.

And if I don't lose the entire 50 lbs? Well, that's okay too. Now, I'm not saying I won't be discouraged. But I know I'll have made the effort, and I will be healthier at the end of it.

So there you have it folks. Can't back out once I publicize it, right? So there it is.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Weight, Confidence, and Attraction

So, for varying reasons the topic of weight & attraction has come up in conversation between me and different parties here recently.

One specific topic that keeps repeating itself is how it's unfair that overweight men are often still found attractive in our society, being the "cuddly teddybear", while overweight women are often written off as "fat cows".

This morning FireMan said he thinks it's not so much how society sees people, as how they see themselves. That guys are still found to be attractive, even when heavier, because they don't care as much about their weight, and so are still more confident in their appearance.

I argue that they're more confident because society as a whole still finds them more attractive than overweight women.

It's the whole chicken-before-the-egg argument. Which came first?

I do agree that confidence plays a big part in how attractive you are. But how confident can you be when society (especially the media) tells you that because you aren't a certain weight, you are therefore not attractive?

One point that I brought up is our recent excursion at Riverfest. I asked him how many overweight women did he check out compared to how many thin women. I got a nervous laugh in response.

Just think about it. You see yourself getting checked out (by anyone) and it boosts your confidence, thereby making yourself even more attractive.
You see numerous other women getting checked out by guys as you sit there seemingly invisible, and your self-confidence plummets, thereby making yourself even less attractive.
It becomes a vicious cycle.

I just hate double standards. The fact is that in our society today, "normal" weight people are treated differently than those of us who are overweight.
And to take it a step further, overweight men are treated differently than overweight women.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

We All Represent Something

Since FireMan & I knew we were going to be gone all day Sunday, we attended Saturday night church services at a local church (not our normal church). We had been there on occasion before, and in fact FireMan at one point had been a member of said church.
I really wanted to keep FireGirl with us thru the entire service, and we weren't even sure if they had nursery for Saturday night.
She made it fine thru the song service. Being a contemporary worship service, her squeals & claps went unnoticed.
Just before the message started, a woman approached me and said "you know, we have a nursery you can take her to", referring to FireGirl. Innocent enough statement, it seems. But something in her tone just rubbed me the wrong way. I felt like she was saying "we don't want your kid in the service, please take her to nursery". I can't shake it.
Well, a few minutes into service FireGirl got restless and started wriggling around and babbling, so I got up to take her to nursery. Although I would prefer to have her in service, and in fact get a blessing out of having my daughter with me during church, I also understand that she can be a distraction for other parishioners.
Anyway, back to this lady. I keep going back to it. I just really got the impression that FireGirl was not welcome in the service. That really bothers me.

And today it hit me. That one lady. That one seemingly innocent, even helpful comment, the tone in which she said it, all left me with an impression of the church as a whole. In a matter of seconds, my experience at that church went from great, to blah. Whether she realized it or not, to me, she represented the church.

We all represent something. We all have the power to influence how others see that which we represent.

Whether it be our church, an organization we belong to, our workplace, our family, our God.... our words & actions effect how others view it.

There is power in that. There is also responsibility. Think about your words & actions this past week? Were they representative for all that you stand for?

We all mess up from time to time, but I think, especially as Christians, it's important for us to remember that others are watching us, whether we realize it at the moment or not.

Monday, September 7, 2009

What I Learned While Working RiverFest

So yesterday FireMan & I volunteer for boat patrol with our Water Rescue team for Riverfest. This means that we spend approximately 12 hours on the water, patrolling the Ohio River, basically waiting for boaters to get into trouble so we can be there to save them. We were in one of the smallest rescue boats, so didn't get much action. We encountered two gentlemen who were attempting to swim the River, but by the time we encountered them they were almost across, and were wearing life jackets, so we simply escorted them the rest of the way across, making sure they were safe. We also assisted in escorting the fireworks barge into position, and ran the eastern picket line. The picket line is a line of rescue / enforcement boats that make sure boaters are being safe and maintaining a no wake speed after the fireworks are over.

Anywho, I learned / were reminded of a few things yesterday.

Being in the same general area as my husband and numerous scantily women is not good for our marriage.
He says he can't (won't) stop looking, and to see him to see him checking out other women hurts me deeply. So putting ourselves in that position = no good for the marriage.

Fat guys are teddy bears. Fat gals are cows.
Or that's how society sees them anyway. Saw numerous very large men surrounded by cute chicks. Saw numerous chubby chicks surrounded by... their chubby friends.

Drunk people do really stupid things.
Like when law enforcement is telling them to slow down, they yell things like "Thanks! Now get out of the way!". Right before being pursued by said law enforcement. Nice.

Sober people do really smart things.
Like radio dispatch requesting for a rescue boat to evacuate them from their boat, because the person driving it has been drinking, and refuses to hand over the wheel.

I am too old to be out past 11pm.
That one's pretty self explanatory.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Abortion

I recently read a poll of new mothers asking if they were more Pro-Choice or more Pro-Life since giving birth (than they were before being pregnant). I was shocked to find that more were Pro-Choice.I have a daughter.

I remember getting that ultrasound at 7 weeks. You can see your baby. You can see & hear the heartbeat. At just 7 weeks.How anyone can think of abortion as anything other than murdering a child is beyond me.How these moms, some of whom I'm sure also had early ultrasounds, could say that they are more Pro-Choice after having a child is beyond me.What kind of society do we live in that it is okay to kill the weakest and most helpless among us? That women will choose to go against the nature of their bodies, which is to nurture and protect this baby, and instead choose to kill it.What do they tell themselves to make them okay with this? How can you live with yourself, knowing you have intentionally killed your own child?*disclaimer* the following statements do not apply to victims of rape, or those choose to abort their child in instances where it is medically needed to save the life of the mother, or any other such cases.I have recently come to the conclusion that in most cases, the act of abortion is one of illogical selfish irresponsibility.Why it is illogical?Because many of the women who choose to get abortions when they don't want the child they'v conceived, would also fight to protect another baby that they decided they do want. What kind of logic is it that if the mother chooses to abort an unwanted child, it's okay, but if a stranger performs a violent act that kills a wanted unborn child, it's murder? That is no logic. The difference is only wanted versus unwanted. Whether you want it or not, murder is murder.Why is it selfish?Because you have chosen your comfort, convenience, way of life over the very existence of another living creature. Another person. Your own child. You have somehow convinced yourself that your child is better off dead, than to have the chance at life. I'm sorry, but that is not your choice to make. And before you say "yes it is, it's my baby", just ask yourself if you would then legalize infanticide.Why is it irresponsible?Because there are currently a bevy of contraceptive methods out there to prevent pregnancy. Most of them fairly easy to obtain. Heck, you can even get free birth control from certain family planning clinics. With all of the contraceptive options out there, there is virtually no excuse for an unwanted pregnancy, other than the fact that you weren't willing to take responsibility for your own actions.Along the same lines, if you are so dead-set against having a child that you would be willing to undergo an invasive medical procedure to "terminate the pregnancy", perhaps you should seriously consider abstaining from sexual intercourse. I'm being serious. Just think about it.Okay, I'm sure if you've found your way to this page that by now you're either applauding me, or seriously pissed off. Either way, hopefully I gave you something to think about.

Friday, September 4, 2009

I'm Fat. And Unattractive.

At least that's how I feel today.

Blah.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Just a thought

So, after a lengthy, and disgruntled, conversation between Jason and myself the other night, the following thought / piece of advice came to mind:

Stop doing things for your spouse that you want done for you, and start doing things for your spouse that they want done.

It seems so simple, but I think we can't be the only ones who make this mistake. And I am as guilty of it as he is. We tend to do things for each other based on what we want, instead of thinking of what the other person wants.

I've even read magazine articles & even marital help books suggesting that if you want your partner to do something for you, you do it for them, and they'll reciprocate. One example that I recall is a book suggesting to women that if they want their husbands to be more romantic, the women should do romantic things for the men, then the husbands will in turn do the same for their wives.
I mean, maybe, right? But if I bring Jason home a dozen roses, I don't think he's likely to think "that was nice, maybe I'll bring Jodi some". He's more likely to think "what in the world made her think I want flowers?".

And besides, when you do what you want but for them, even if it's for them, isn't it still in a way, selfish? Because you're giving them what you want, not what they want. You're not taking the time or effort to think about what they want. You're in a sense taking the easy way out.

Is this making any sense at all?

I hope so. Because for me it was a revelation, and I think it's a really good one.

Stop doing things for your spouse that you actually want done for you, and start doing the things that they want done for them.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Doing it All

I hear this phrase all the time lately. Maybe it's because I'm a mom. Maybe it's because I'm a working mom. Maybe I'm just in tune to it because I feel like I'm trying to do it all.

So since I hear the phrase all the time, I've been thinking about it a lot lately. I've come to the conclusion (thru no actual facts, mind you) that we've been taking the phrase "do it all" the wrong way all along.
My suspicion is that when people started using this phrase in regards to women being able to do it all, they didn't mean that we could do everything, do it well, and balance all the responsibilities at the same time. I'm guessing that maybe what they meant is that women are able to do each and every thing, individually.Do you see the difference?
One states that we have the capability within us to do whatever task we set our minds too. It is an encouraging, uplifting thought. It is attainable.
The other says that we can do all of those tasks simultaneously, do them each well, and let nothing fall to the wayside in the process. It is discouraging, because it is unattainable.

So the next time you hear the phrase "do it all", especially in relation to women doing it all, think to yourselves "yep, we can do whatever we want. But we don't have to do it all now."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Judgie McJudgerson

Have you heard of the Duggar family? 18 Kids & Counting? Well, they just announced this morning that they are expecting child #19.

And immediately, on one of the message boards that I frequent, there was judgement. They're "crazy". They "need a psych eval". They "are out of their minds". Etc, etc.

That sort of thinking drives me crazy.

I've noticed I tend to get more fired up about these things since I became a mom. More sympathetic I guess.

I just think that how many children you have is between you, your spouse, and God. No one else. Whether it's zero, or 19, that's your business.

They take better care of 18 kids than a lot of people take care of one. They live debt free.

I know, I know. These people chose to be on a reality show about their lives. They chose to make their lives public. Fine. But why do we have to judge them? Why is it seen as "okay" to judge them for their personal decisions?
Besides, just one generation ago, having that many kids was fairly mainstream. My dad had 11 brothers & sisters. My father-in-law had 10 brothers & sisters. It's only been during this last generation that big families like that have become a novelty. They used to be the norm.

It just makes me really upset. As long as no one is getting hurt, why is it any of our business? Even for celebrities, while much of their lives are public, there are still somethings that are private, or should be. There's something sacred about a family's decision to have a child. It should be cherished & protected, not ridiculed.

I could go on & on. But I'd better not. I'm done for now.
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