Friday, August 31, 2012

Sometimes

Sometimes I am a warrior.
Sometimes I am a messenger.
Sometimes I am on guard.
Sometimes I am a nurse.
Sometimes I am standing on the sidelines.

Sometimes I have strength.
Sometimes I am wounded.
Sometimes I am weary.

Sometimes I am bound.
Sometimes I am free.

Sometimes words are plenty.
Sometimes words won't come.

Sometimes I pray.
Always, HE answers.


-- KyFireWife


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Summer Fun


Monday, August 27, 2012

Why isn't my house clean?

Wanna know why my house isn't clean?

I'm a working mom.

I know that's not a be-all, end-all reason, but what does it mean?

It means I was physically away from my home for 11 hours today.
Factor in getting ready for work, getting Jena ready for school, the few chores (laundry & dishes) I got done this morning, plus the dinner we just ate, and I've been "working" for 14 hours.

Bedtime routine, including bath, will be around an hour for the munchkin.

That means I will have been working, either at my job or directly taking care of my child, for 15 hours today.

That leaves just 9 hours to spent a tiny bit of quality time with my husband, attempt to perform a few household chores, get myself ready for bed, and, you know... sleep.

This is not a rare circumstance. This is a normal day.

Factor in a trip to the grocery store, an odd errand, or (Lord willing) the occasional trip to the park, and my available house-cleaning time shrinks significantly.

Our weekends are booked almost solid between now... and New Years. True story.

Oh, I should have my husband help out more?

Well, my husband's job means that he is gone overnight at least 1/3 of the time (more if he's pulling a double - like he is tonight & tomorrow).
The nights that he is off shift, he is either working late at his 2nd job (got home at 7pm last night), or doing his own chores (reparing the chicken coup, digging out a clogged septic pipe, mowing the lawn, etc).
And squeezing in far-too-little quality time with myself & Jena.

I wish my house were tidier. I really do. I really, really do.

But I'm going to stop feeling guilty about it.

I think a 15 hour work day should grant me at least that much, don't you?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Drugs Kill

Drugs.

It's crazy how much my family & I have been affected by drug use.

And no, not the good needed-for-medical-problems kind.

I have had three relatives killed by drug overdose (2 by ODing on illegal drugs, one an accidental OD of prescription medication).

I have 2 other relatives who have been thru alchohol abuse programs.

The father of a close friend has struggled with drug addiction for 30+ years.

The husband of another friend has been struggling with drug addiction for around 10 years.

Two of my nephews, both less than 25 years old, are struggling with drug addiction.

One of my ex-boyfriends was a recovering alcoholic & recovering narcotics addict (16 yrs clean when we dated).

And that doesn't come close to counting those that I personally know or have suspected of abusing illegal or prescription drugs.

There's not really a point to this post, just to say that the drug problem in our country is very real. It damages people, families, relationships. It kills.

Let me say that again:

Drugs kill.

So, just don't do it. Don't start. Don't take one hit because you think you won't be the one who becomes addicted. Don't share prescription meds because you think they're harmless.

No drug is harmless.

Not illegal, not prescription, not even over-the-counter. They all have differing levels of risk.

Don't take any medication that isn't yours.

Don't give away or sell any of your medication.

Read labels. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns.

If you're struggling with addiction, seek help. See below for a list of places that can help.

Take care of yourself. Please.

NarcAnon

Teen Challenge

Addiction Tribe

National Institute on Drug Abuse

As always, thanks for checking in

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Visiting Papaw's Graveside

Jena asked to visit Papaw's grave. I obliged.



Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fifty Shades of KyFireWife

1. What is your best friend's Mom's name?  Delores

2. Where is the weirdest place you have a mole?  I used to have this very sexy (I thought) heart-shaped mole in a very sexy area. Then I had a kid. Now it's just a weird blotchy shape and not attractive at all   :/

3. Who was the hottest teacher you ever had?  The last teacher I ever recall having a crush on was my elementary school gym teacher. And his name currently escapes me.

4. Have you ever made out in a movie theater? Yes. Several times.

5. What body part do you wash first?  Hair. Always hair.

6. Do you hover over the toilet in public bathrooms? No.

7. What's the strangest talent you have?  I don't know if this qualifies as a talent or not (probably not), but I can squish my nose into my face. I was in middle school before I realized that not everyone could do this. Apparently my cartilige is very soft and bendy.

8. Do you have an innie or an outtie?  I have an innie.

9. What's your favorite flavored Pringles? Sour Cream & Onion

10. Have you ever been tied up?  Yes.

11. What was the last thing you ever got grounded for? The one and only time I was ever grounded was for telling the truth. Seriously. My dad accused me of lying and grounded me for lying, but I really was telling the truth. So... basically I got grounded for telling the truth & standing my ground about it.

12. Do you parallel park or drive around the block? Drive around as much as I can until I find an easier spot. Growing up in the country, there aren't many reasons to parallel park, so I haven't had much practice. I can do it. It just takes me 4 or 5 tries. And then I get embarrassed. So... I avoid it.

13. Have you ever had two dates in one night?  No

14. How many times have you been cussed out?  Maybe once?

15. Which shoe do you put on first?  Left. When I first started marching band I had a really hard time remembering to start on my left foot. So I started doing everything left-first so it would be drilled into my head subconsciously. It worked.

17. Have you ever been to a gay bar?  No. But my sister & I used to do karaoke at what turned out to be a swingers bar. Does that count?

18. Girls  This is not a question.  Just want to have fun.

19. Is there one thing all of your love interests have had in common? They were all men? I dated each of them in my 20s? Seriously, though, not that I can think of. I've had 4 boyfriends in my day, 2 of those serious. All 4 of them different as snowflakes. Although both of my serious relationships (one of those being the hubs), have the same first name.

20. Did you French kiss before you were 16? No. Not until college. And not even my first year.

21. Have you ever been cow-tipping or snipe-hunting?  No.

22. Who is the last person you usually think about before you fall asleep?  Jena. Usually in a "I hope she's still breathing" sorta way. That's totally normal for a mom, right?

23. Have you ever had a poem or a song written about you? Not that I recall.

24. If you had to choose to not ever wash your bed sheets again or not wash your bath towel ever again, which would you rather not wash?  bath towel. I'm using it when I'm clean anyway, right?

25. Have you ever found anything in your parents' bedroom that was questionable? Once. But that's really personal. So I'm not telling. Also, ends up it wasn't what it seemed anyway.

26. What was your childhood nickname? Didn't have a nickname until college, and then it's just a variation on my first name.

27. When is the last time you played the air guitar?  Probably within the past few weeks. Jena is in a rock-n-roll phase.

28. Have you ever peeked in the opposite sexes locker room?  No. I'm not much of a peeker. More of a walk-right-in-er. It's not that exciting.

29. What's the weirdest thing you have done while driving?  Made a bottle for Jena. Not my finest driving, or probably parenting moment. But at the time it seemed perfectly logical.

30. Have you ever bitten your toenails?  Yes.

31. How do you eat your cookie? This question needs more details. I mean, Oreos have a way different answer than chocolate chip, which have a different answer than sugar cookies.

32. When working out at the gym, do you wear a belt? This question involves 2 things I don't do: work out at the gym, and wear belts.

33. Name something you do when you're alone that you wouldn't do in front of others. I conduct to the music. In my head.

36. How many drinks does it take before you get drunk? Despite my relatively little drinking experience, it ends up I have a high tolerance for alcohol. That's the long way of saying: I don't know.

37. Have you ever sniffed an animal's butt? Not that I recall.

38. How often do you clean out your ears? Every day. Except when I run out of cotton swabs. Like now. It's driving me crazy.

39. Do you scrunch or fold your toilet paper? Fold. Three squares. Five if it's #2. Wait, this question confuses me. There are people who don't fold? Or count their TP squares? What? I'm confused...

40. About how many times a day do you pick a wedgie?  None if I'm lucky. Every time it's uncomfortable if I'm not.

41. Do you have any strange phobias? Well, my hubs thinks my fear of clowns is weird.

42. Have you ever stuck a foreign object up your nose? Not that I recall

43. What is the stupidest thing you've ever done at a bar? Besides karaoke?

44. Have you ever been dared to do something you totally regretted?  No. Because I was the nerdy responsible one who just wouldn't do it.

45. Have you ever called your love interest by an ex's name? See #19.

46. Have you caught a guy/girl farting while on a date? I'm sure I have. But I also don't really care, so...

47. Have you ever played naked Twister? Not that I recall. I have played Body Parts. That was a fun game...

48. Have you ever been drunk at work? Um, no.

49. Have you ever found your date's/lover's brother or sister more attractive? Nope.

50. Do you want to bring sexy back? I didn't know sexy was gone. I mean, I look in the mirror, and there it is

******************
this post inspired by this post

Friday, August 17, 2012

Mini-Vacay

We took a weekend trip to a couple of state parks and had an absolute blast at Greenbo State Resort Park and Carter Caves State Park.
If you haven't visited your state parks lately, GO!

I don't know where she came up with that pose, but it's become her signature.





Daddy on my left, climbing the highest thing he can get on top of

Jena on my right, doing the same thing

pony ride



1st time playing miniature golf

she refused to follow instruction, but did pretty well. And LOVED it!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Stupid Breast Cancer

*warning* I use bad words in this post. If you choose to read on, then deal with it. If you think you might be offended, then please stop reading. Thank you.


Before I say what I want to say, please go over to Baby Rabies, and read this post first. Because my post isn't gonna make a whole lotta sense until you do.



Okay, did you read it? Good. Now I can proceed. Because I really want to say:


FUCK YOU BREAST CANCER


I don't know why this woman's story has struck such a nerve with me, but it has and I am pissed.

How dare you?!? How dare you invade this beautiful woman, this loving mother, and put her & her family thru this?!? How fucking dare you?!?

You have no idea how badly I want to come up in there and KICK YOUR ASS right now!!!

She is a woman. A wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT.

To put her thru this with a toddler at home and a baby in her belly is just cruel. But that is what you do best, isn't it? Cruelty?

Well, you know what? Screw you. She rocks, and is gonna beat you at your own game.

And guess what? She's got a helluva huge support group behind her.

God bless the internet.

So I'm doing the only thing I know to do to help: I'm spreading her story. Because FUCK YOU. She wants to breast feed her baby, and you're gonna take her breasts? Fine. Screw you. We got her covered.

I may not have milk to give, but I have a computer, and I have internet access, and SCREW YOU.

On that note, let's go folks. If you are in, or know someone in, the Orange County, California area and are able & willing to help, please follow the instructions over at Baby Rabies. If not, pass it on. Seven degrees of separation & all, we can all reach someone who can help.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Back to Using Lists

My longtime readers may remember this post about how for me lists went from helpful tool to harmful crutch.

Well, after some time of not using any lists or calendars at home, I discovered that my newfound freedom was resulting in a little too much not-getting-stuff-done.

And so, I brought back a few of my lists, just updated.

Chore List
Same list, used slightly differently.
I still mark down the date when I do a chore, just not every. single. time. Prevously, if I did 3 loads of laundry in a day, I would mark it down 3 times. Now I just write down the date. It really does help me keep on top of how long it's been since I've done certain chores, and helps me keep the house maintained.

Grocery List
After one too many times of arriving home only to realize what I'd forgotten at the store, and one to many times of not having the coupon I wanted to use, it was starting to stress me out to not have a list, just knowing how much time & money I was wasting by not being organized. So the grocery list is back.

Chore Schedule
This is new to me, and still in the testing phase. I struggle so much with keeping our house together, that I thought I'd try one of the many house cleaning schedules I've seen online. The only problem was that all the ones I found were clearly geared towards SAHMs. So I printed out 4 of the most popular, marked down what they had in common, and prioritized tasks. I came up with 4 daily & 2 optional chores for each day, and made a calendar. Seemed doable enough.
Not so much. Yet. I think it needs... tweaking. I used it for a month with very limited success, modified it a little, and it went a little better last month. I think I'll still work on it. If I ever get to where I feel it's a really good, easy-to-keep-up-with system, I'll share.

Meal Planning Calendar
This one is coming back next week, and is primarily the result of me trying not to eat out as much. The truth is there are actually times when we eat out either because I can't think of what we might have to eat at the house, or because we've run out of  meals at the house. True story. So my meal planning calendar is coming back in an effort to help me prepare to eat in. I've changed it some from when I unsuccessfully used it before, so hopefully combined with my new incentive to eat in, I'll be able to tie it in to my grocery list and it will work some better.

So that's where I am. Threw away the crutches, but brought back some tools to (hopefully) help me keep my house running smoothly.

As always, thanks for checking in!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

There's Something Sweet...

... about visiting your wedding location with your daughter.






Thursday, August 9, 2012

On Having it All

With the announcement of Yahoo's newest CEO, there's been a lot of talk about whether or not women can truly "have it all".

I suppose some of it may depend on your definition of "having it all".

Is it possible for a woman to have a successful career and still be a good mom? Yes, I believe that it is.

But the truth is I don't think anyone can truly have it all, male or female.

There will always be choices to make, items to prioritize, things that fall by the wayside.

You make a choice. You decide what your priority is, and why. And you have to be good with that.

Whether you are working because you have to, or because you want to, it's all about choices. And no matter what yours is, you have to reach a point in your life where you are at peace with the decisions you're making.

It doesn't mean you won't feel the tug from one side or another on occasion. Or every day. It just means that you know why you're doing what you're doing, and you're good with that.

I've written on here before about how much I struggle being a working mom.

The truth is I love being a mom. Love it. Believe it is my calling in life.

But I also like my job. For the most part I enjoy the work that I do, and I enjoy working with the people that I do. I also make decent pay, and have great benefits.

Due to recent organizational changes, there is a pretty good opportunity to begin climbing the corporate ladder. We have multiple positions to fill, new groups to create. I have the qualifications to fill more than one of thoes.

It would be a promotion, more money, and even better benefits.

FireMan thinks I should try.

I'm not.

I'm making a choice.

The truth is, each of these postions requires greater responsibility than I have now, each of them has the potential for anywhere from 5%-80% travel, they all require overtime, and most of them will deal regularly with critical issues.

I have seen people in these positions go on one-night trips, only to have to stay for a week. I've seen these people jump up from their seats at the office, to go home & pack a bag because they have to leave right now.

It doesn't happen often, but it happens enough to not be weird.
While my children are young, and as long as my husband has a job with shifts where he is gone overnight, I cannot in good conscious be in one of those positions.

There's a reason where the vast majority of the members in our group have spouses who stay home with the kids. It's not just a luxury, it verges on necessity.

Do I have a desire for greater responsibility? Yes.
Would I like to travel for work? Yes.
Do I have interest in their areas of expertise? Yes.
Do I think I have the capability to do their jobs? Yes.

Just not right now.

Right now, motherhood comes first. Okay, not right now, but always.
But right now, I have a young child at home, and because I make her my priority, I could not be successful in a position which required so much of me.

Could I do it? Yes.
Could I do a good job at that position? Not at the moment. At least not up to my own standards.

Are there other positions open within the company that might not be so difficult to transition to? Possibly.

But I'm not looking. Er... rather, I'm looking for future possibilities. Areas I'm interested in, jobs I would like to have. Someday.

And I've told my supervisor that I'd like to transition to more project work, more responsibility. I've told him that I would be looking for a promotion in a few years.

I'm making a choice. I am a working mom, but I am choosing to be home with my child every night. I am choosing not to regularly leave her at preschool for 10+ hours a day. I am choosing to not subject her to the instability of both of her parents performing critical jobs that could alter her daily life at any moment.

I am choosing to stay in a job with less responsibility, so that I have the wherewithall to dedicate myself sufficiently to my tasks, and can do my job well instead of doing poorly at a job with greater responsibility.

At this rate, It's highly unlikely I'll ever be the CEO. If I happen to stay here for the remainder of my working career, at this stage in the game I'll likely never be higher than a Manager, and that would be pushing it.

And that's okay.

I'm making a choice.

And I'm good with that.

Maybe that's what "having it all" is really all about. Or maybe it should be.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Critters

Buddy

the chickens


Tootsie

Peg Leg

feral kitten we rescued, hiding out behind the dryer, as usual

Sunday, August 5, 2012

My Fat Butt Update - eating out


Well, ya'll... here I am. A month later. So, how did I do on the whole not-eating-out-as-much thing?

Well, not to brag or anything, but I think I did great!

In one month I went from eating out for 60% of my meals, to eating out for just 39% of my meals!

Still  more to go to hit the target of 25% or less, but a much larger reduction for the first month than I was expecting.

After the good news... the bad. I reduced eating out by 21%, but still managed to gain 2 lbs. I know, right? Not gonna lie, I'm a bit bummed by that. Not defeated. But definitely bummed.

Especially since that 2 lbs has put my waistline back into that in-between size. My smaller clothes are way too tight (if they fit at all), but my larger clothes are huge & baggy (if they don't actually fall off). My wardrobe is extremely limited right now.

But... I must move forward.

So I will continue my efforts to reduce eating out, and now I will also aim to reduce my consumption of pop (soda to you Northerners).

I have to say, when I started tracking my pop consumption, I was surprised at how high it was. As a rule we don't keep any in our home, and I often order water when eating out.

Yet somehow 43% of my beverages are pop. Nearly half.

This is a problem.

So my goal is to reduce my pop consumption by 5% a month until it reaches 10% or less.

As a side note, I know you often hear how keeping a food diary is helpful. I would say take it one step farther & do what I'm doing - what portion of your food intake is stemming from a bad habit?
It's one thing to know that you eat out "too much". It's another thing to see in black & white that you eat out for more than half your meals.

Similarly, it's one thing to know you had a pop for lunch. It's another to see in black & white that half of your drinks have been soda. Numbers don't lie.

Tracking in this way has been a real eye opener for me, in a way that just keeping a diary, or even tracking "points" never was.

Thanks for checking in! And wish me luck as I continue marching along on this journey!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Routine Immunizations

The other night I had the opportunity to participate in an online discussion regarding routine childhood immunizations. It was an interesting discussion, with a good mix of moms who follow the standard schedule, follow an alternate schedule, or skip altogether. And it was probably the first such discussion I'd had without drama.

No flames. No judging. Just people sharing their viewpoints & perspectives & information.

It was awesome. I actually usually avoid discussions on any sort of hot-button topic because, let's face it, it seems like it's nearly impossible to have those talks without someone getting defensive, or hurt, or preachy. Or all three. And the next thing you know, you're stuck in the middle of a snark fest. Ugh.

As far as my stance, I am neither pro-vaccine, nor anti-vaccine. I am pro-doing-what's-best-for-my-child.And I accept that what that means is different for everybody. And that's okay.As for what we chose to do with Jena, we looked at each immunization separately. After all, each one is vastly different. Protecting against different diseases, bearing different possible side effects, etc, etc, etc. The list goes on & on. Barring any religious or medical reason to avoid all vaccines, I personally do not believe there is a blanket answer to the whether-or-not-to-vaccinate question.

Anyway, some of the people participating asked some questions that created an opportunity for me to dredge the depths of my mind for what I learned while doing my own research. And then I was asked for more info. And more.

And... I don't remember that much. And although I did a TON of research, I never found the time to compile it all and write it up. And then I just let it fall by the wayside.

But that discussion has motivated me to continue with my research and get it out there for other parents.

The obvous question? Why do your own research when there is so much already out there?

Well, because I couldn't find any info that didn't seem to be biased one way or another. I didn't want bias, I didn't want someone else's opinions, or conclusions, or findings. I wanted raw data. Numbers. Put together in a meaningful way that permitted me to make an intelligent, educated decision without pushing someone else's agenda on me.

Some of my findings were interesting. Others were downright surprising.

And it is my intent to post that on this blog once complete.
And so, dear readers, I ask you: what do you want to know about routine childhood immunizations? what would you like to see included?

As always, thanks for checking in!
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