Monday, July 30, 2012

At the Park





Saturday, July 28, 2012

On the Chick-fil-A BoyCot

source


Okay, so after all this ranting about Chik-fil-A I went to read the interview myself. Read 3 different articles from 3 different sources, quotes were the same, so I'm fairly confident I have what Mr. Cathy said correct.

In the interview, he never bashed homosexuals, never stated that he or the company was anti-gay anything, just reiterated the already known & well-publicized fact that the company supports the traditional man/woman view of marriage, specifically via their WinMarriage program.

So... am I the only one who knew they were a conservative Christian company before this media firestorm?
The only one who noticed they were the only major restaurant chain willing to lose profits to be closed on Sunday?
The only one who read the
giant WinMarriage poster hanging on the wall in our local restaurant?

Basically, nothing said in that interview is news at all, but because the media picked up on it and told people to be mad, they are? Do I have that right?

If you feel like you need to boycott the company to stand up for your own personal beliefs, fine. Just please tell me that since all of this is old information that was readily available and even HANGING IN THE RESTAURANTS, that you've been doing it for years, and not just because the media told you to. Please?



*****************************

And, since you're obviously such a great human rights activist, I'm sure it's safe to assume that you're already boycotting the following companies as well, right?

- ExxonMobil (the only Fortune10 company whose non-discrimination policy does not include homosexuality)
- WalMart (donates money to organizations that aim to prevent gay couples from adopting)
- A1 Self Storage (donated money to support Prop 8)
- Dominos Pizza (donates money to several causes considered anti-gay)

Because, surely, if you're boycotting a company for supporting the traditional view of marriage, than you must be boycotting a company who refuses to include homosexuals in their non-discrimination policy, right?

Right?


Surely you're not only boycotting one of these companies because the media decided to target it? Right? I mean, surely, as an intelligent, responsible citizen you are thinking for yourself and are already boycotting all of these other companies as well.

Right?

Please tell me you're not sheep. Please....

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Gratitude

Kinda random, but tonight as I was putting away the dishes, and lamenting how I hate putting the dishes away, and how I would rather wash 3 loads of dishes, than put away 1, it dawned on me...

We have food. Not only do we have food, we have enough food that FireMan & I are both overweight. Not only that, we have nice dishes to put them on.

The dishes. Nothing fancy, but nice. Not as nice as others, but... there are others who don't have food, let alone dishes.

Perspective.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Jena, the dog

pretending to be a dog

with Buddy

getting kisses from Chief

Sunday, July 22, 2012

So What Have I Been Up To?

You heard about Jason, you  heard about Jena, so what about me?

Wel, I'm leading a couple of large projects at work, which have me working more-than-usual hours.

I started volunteering in the church nursery. It was supposed to be just one service a month, but with everyone taking all kinds of vacations, they've been short-handed, so it's really been at least 2 services a month so far.

Our family has joined a small group at our church. It's only supposed to last thru the Summer, and is a "strictly social" group. Basically instead of meeting to do Bible study, or other development, we meet to hang out & build relationships. Considering I have a hard time meeting people & making friends, it has been a God-send (no pun intended). I still have a bit of anxiety every. single. time. we meet, but am starting to make connections with some of the other folks in the group. And it's really great because most of the people in this group are roughly our age, and several of them have kids around Jena's age.

ThirtyOne. I had an open house to clear out some of my inventory & make room for newer products, offering cash-n-carry items at a steep discount, and a small discount off of catalog orders. Attendance was as good as any party, plus I've had several requests to have more! Everyone likes a discount I suppose! And I do still have inventory I'd like to update, so I guess I'll probably have another. I also had my first person to sign up as a consultant under me. That has me a little more energized about this endeavour than I had been, as I really want her to do well & want to be there for her.

Extended family. Well, drama has finally calmed down (knock on wood), and we are all settling in to the new 'normal'. After my father-in-law's passing, followed shortly by my nephew's overdose, things have been all kinds of crazy. So now we're making up for it. Picnics, weekend getaways, vacations, date nights, family dinners... making up for lost time. Well worth it, and much needed.

As much as I love the distraction, and as much as so much of our busyness is because of wonderful good things, I'm also distracted by how jam-packed our schedule has become. As I was reviewing our calendar last night I realized we are basically booked from now thru December. No lie.

I suppose that's it in a nutshell for me. As always, thanks for checking in!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bye Bye Hickory

In late June we had some bad storms & lost our biggest tree yet. Also the closest tree to the house that's come down yet. I was home. Not gonna lie, it was a little scary...







Wednesday, July 18, 2012

FireGirl Update

So you know what's been going on with Jason, so what about Jena?

Well, she's awesome as always.

She finished her swimming lessons about a month ago. After 6 short weeks she can float on her back unassisted, swim on her back unassisted (the entire length of the pool!), swim on her belly assisted, and flip from front to back unassisted.

She took private lessons thru our local YMCA, and we couldn't be more pleased. For her first lessons, we really wanted the survival stuff down, and that's exactly what happened.

Now we're trying to figure out what class she'll take next.

Preschool is going wonderfully. During the summer they have water play days as well as ice cream days, and they try to spend extra time outside, which I love. Especially since I've been busy at work lately, and sometimes am not getting home until time to start the bedtime routine. So at least I know she's getting a good amount of outdoor play, even if it's not with me.

They recently did her first real evaluation, using the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA), which is what the State of Kentucky uses as its standard. She did well, and scored above her current age in all areas. Which raises questions I'll address in another post.

Her writing is much clearer (ie. strangers can tell what the letters are, not just me), her picture drawing has suddenly improved by leaps & bounds, and she's beginning to read short words (some phonetically, some by sight). I anticipate she'll be reading no later than age 4.

She's really wowed us with her love of math & numbers. Something she surely didn't get from either of us, but maybe from one of her uncles (sales, sales, engineer), or her grandma (statistics major in college).

She's dealt with the death of her Papaw as well as you can expect a three-year-old. She's not talking about death as much as she had been, although she mentions her dead kitty almost daily. I imagine that's part of her processing it, and may possibly be a projection of her emotions about losing her grandfather. But overall... she's doing well with it.

We do think she's gearing up for another growth spurt. Although I would really appreciate if she would wait until cooler weather. Jena's growth has never really slowed down, and the result is that she gets an entire new wardrobe ever 3 - 6 months, and has since birth. I've already had to throw out some of the shorts I got her in the Spring, because she moved up a size. And now her belly is hanging out of the bottom of some of her shirts. And she's been eating like crazy the past week or so. But I am really gonna push it to try not to have to buy her 2 summer wardrobes this year. Please?!?

What Jena wants to be when she grows up changes frequently, but most often lands on "diver" or "firefighter". Other top favorites are "water rescuer", animal rescuer, and doctor.

Her favorite game is now to pretend to be the mom, while I'm the kid. Mostly because she gets to make the rules and boss me around. Three going on thirteen, I tell ya!

Anyway, in a nutshell she's awesome as ever and growing like a weed. Thanks for checking in!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Fathers' Day at the Firehouse


taking a nap on Daddy's bunk

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Yes, I need my alone time, but...

Jena has spent the night with my parents on a fairly regular basis since she was six months old.

She's also spent the night with my in-laws, my brother & his wife, my husband's brother & his wife.

Jason & I have taken "just us" trips together since she was around 10 months old, leaving her in the capable hands of family memers.

Spending the night away from home is nothing new for her.

Spending the night away from my baby is nothing new for me.

I believe it's good for us, as individuals, and as a family.

Sometimes, I simply need some alone time to recharge.

Sometimes, Jason & I need some time together to reconnect.

Both of which enhance our family as a whole, not even counting the personal growth Jena is experiencing by learning to spend time away from her parents.

But, the truth is... as much as I enjoy the time away from my child, so that I can focus on my husband, or simply relax in quiet, or sometimes get stuff done... I also hate it.

My heart aches to be with my baby again.

Today Mamaw is picking Jena up from preschool and she is spending the night at Mamaw's house.

Even now, a time when I am at work, Jena is at preschool, and I wouldn't see her anyway, even now, just knowing that I won't be picking her up after work & taking her home with me makes my stomach sink.

Such is the dichotomy of motherhood, I suppose.

I need time alone. I need time alone with my husband. Both things help me to be a better mom, help me to support my family better.

But the very same part of me that tells me when I need alone time, also cries at the thought of not being with my daughter, even for a  night. Even for a moment longer than usual.

Three years later, and I'm still not used to it.

Part of me wonders if you're ever completely used to your child leaving, even when they're grown.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

FireMan - what's he been doing anyway?

Just a quick little update on Jason.

He's doing well. Still adjusting to life without his dad, which is difficult.

As you may (or may not) recall, he is a full time firefighter, working 24/48 (24 hours on, 48 hours off).
Like many firefighters in our area, the pay doesn't quite cut it, so he also works a 2nd job maintaining & repairing fire trucks at the fire house.
On top of that, he has his own business maintaining, repairing, and otherwise working on emergency vehicles (fire trucks, ambulances, security vehicles, etc).

While his business is doing well, he's hit a bump at his second job where not only is he no longer satisfied with the work, but the fact that they pay is roughly half what he can make elsewhere... let's just say he's a little burnt out.

So he's been looking for income elsewhere, and hasn't worked any hours at his second job in nearly 2 months. Odd jobs, fixing up & selling cars, fixing up & selling lawnmowers... really, whatever.

So far (the past 2 months) he's managed to bring in pretty close to what he would have made at his second job.

I know he's not happy there any longer, and have actually encouraged him to go ahead & quit. As long as the income is similar, I'm okay with that.

He's been fairly active with the local (volunteer) water rescue team this summer, primarily by performing boat patrols along the river. He's always enjoyed boat patrol, and even moreso this year, as he is now a boat operator, having completed the training / testing at the end of last season.

New this year, he recently began volunteering with the media team at our church. He's primarily been working as a camera operator during the services, filming the preaching for later broadcast on the internet. I'm really proud of him!

Around the house he's kept busy with a never-ending list of projects. Lately these are: cutting up the hickory tree that was felled in our last big storm (yay free firewood!), finally building the dogs a real doghouse (as opposed to the functional, yet ugly, one we created from home renovation scraps), and landscaping the front of the house (untouched since we'd moved in).

Between work, volunteering, home projects, and family, he's definitely keeping busy.

Which is good because:
    a) he's never happy if he's bored
    b) it keeps him out of trouble

So that's a quick update on my FireMan. As always, thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hey! I didn't get a holiday weekend!

*warning* this post may contain information that some may find icky. bodily fluids related to illness are mentioned. you have been warned.


From Wednesday night thru Sunday morning I was either taking care of someone with a stomach bug, or suffering thru it myself.

And probably the most severe one we've ever seen at our house, if you include severity + duration.

To give you an idea, the ELEVEN HOURS of non-stop... ahem, stomach trouble... that I went thru with only short breaks to pass out on the bathroom floor (not an exaggeration), I lost 7 lbs.

That's correct, I lost SEVEN pounds in roughly 11 hours. That was the worst of it, but all the symptoms didn't stop completely for another 24 hours.

Two days of eating normally later, and intentionally trying to re-hydrate, and I'm still down 2 lbs.

Jena (who had it first - stupid preschool) and I are still finding ourselves tiring more quickly than usual, but are otherwise okay.

I'd also like to ask why my child only gets the onset of stomach illnesses in the evening? Why?!? Is it so I can die of a heart attach at a young age because I have spent so much of her childhood in desperate fear of her aspirating on her own vomit?

Seriously. Every single time she has had a vomiting episode, it has started in the evening. We were blessed that her first one wasn't until she was two years old, but I vividly remember the horror of her walking into our bedroom to wake us up covered in vomit, her nighttime snack embedded in her hair, partially dried out.
You see, my child sleeps like a rock. She slept thru it. Visions of what-might-have-been flashed thru my head as I cleaned her up.

Since then, she's had several more (again, totally blaming preschool). Always starting in the evening. And she sleeps thru them. This last time it was early enough in the evening that I knew it was going on, and listened for her, running in to attempt to wake her up enough to position her over "the bucket". And then changing her sheets, because I was inevitably too late to catch it all.

I'm sure some of my anxiety this time is because what happened with my nephew is still relatively fresh. Visions of him in a coma, the doctors telling the family there is no hope... all still fresh. And all because he aspirated on his own vomit.

Because, let's face it, the fact is that whether it's due to a drug overdose, or an illness, the body's reaction is the same. The end result has the potential to be the same.

And it scares the crap outta me.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Tucker Earns His Keep

Jason is fond of saying that Tucker needs to "earn his keep".

Then I woke up one morning to find this on the floor of the fireplace room:



Yes, folks, that would be a dead snake, killed by Tucker. I think that qualifies as earning his keep. For life.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My Fat Butt


Well, I quit Weight Watchers.

I'm pretty sure I mentioned that FireMan & I fell off the wagon when his dad passed away. And gained a significant amount of weight back in just a few short weeks.

We did manage to get back on track, but... somewhere along the way I realized that this isn't working for me. I don't want to do a program that the minute I stop I start gaining back what I lost. And I certainly don't want to spend the rest of my life counting points.

Or calories, or sugar, or fat, or carbs, or whatever.

Will that work? I'm sure of it.

I just don't want to live that way.

One of my friends has lost over 100 lbs doing Weight Watchers. I am very proud of her, incredibly proud of the work she's done. And she's kept it off for approximately 10 years.

She also still religiously counts her points. She will not accept a spontaneous lunch invitation, because she hasn't had time to plan what she would get. She requires about a week's notice if we want to eat out, so she can work it into her weekly meal plan. She cooks two meals each night: one for her husband & sons, a completely separate meal for herself. That she eats alone, after the boys are done, so she won't be tempted.

I know that's an extreme example of the type of dedication required to make any one of these programs work for life, but the point remains... I don't want to live like that.

Not long term. And the fact is that doing it short term just means that the pounds will creep back on.

Do I still want to lose weight? Yes. And I know that now that my endocrine levels are normal, I should be successful on any program.

But I've come to realize that I don't want a program. I want a lifestyle. Even if it means the weight loss is more gradual. Honestly, even if it means I don't lose any more weight. I want to train myself to change my life so that the changes I make become second nature.

So I've come up with some baby steps to gradual incorporate into my life. Baby steps because I think the more gradual it comes, the more likely it is to stay long-term.

Step #1 is to reduce the amount I eat out. Jason & I have known this was an issue since we were dating. We eat out way too often. It's not good for our waistlines or our wallets. So that's the first item I'm tackling.

I started about a week into June simply by tracking how much we eat in versus how much we eat out. I didn't try to eat out less, as I needed a baseline. I simply tracked.

Are you ready for this? The last 3 weeks of June, I ate out for nearly 60% of my meals. Sixty percent. It's one thing to know it's "too much". It's another thing to see the numbers.

So my initial goal is to reduce the number of meals we eat out by a minimum of 5% each month, until we reach 25% or less.

This may not seem like a big deal to ya'll, and I totally know it's doable. But... for this not-very-good cook, who has failed at meal planning repeatedly... it seems a bit daunting.

Anyone know any quick-n-EASY recipes they'd like to share? Or EASY crockpot recipes? I'm listening...

As always, thanks for checking in!
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