Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cholestasis and God's Grace

Monday I updated the status on my Facebook page to say, "God's grace is not sufficient. God's grace is overly and abundantly awesome! Dave and I will be meeting our baby boy in just a week!"

On Thurs. Nov. 29, I got a major surprise.  After the Thanksgiving Weekend of Horrible-ness, I woke up in the middle of Sunday night/Monday morning with the palms of my hands itching.  I contributed it to an adverse reaction to the Bug, until the itching spread.  Head to toe.  I felt like a drug addict going through withdrawls, and probably looked like it too considering the circles under my eyes.  I was waking Dave up in the middle of the night with my scratching.  But there wasn't any rash.  Since I had a Drs. appt. that Thurs. I just decided to wait it out until then.  So when I told my Dr. about the itching, she said that it sounded like cholestasis, they were bumping my induction from Dec. 31 to Dec. 17 and I would be seeing a specialist the next morning.  Wow.  That was a lot to process in just a few short minutes.  I know I had a shocked look on my face because she said something to the effect of, "Look at me, I'm not excited.  Not excited is good, this isn't anything bad."  I was shocked because all of a sudden, there were two weeks that I thought I had to prepare for our little Dumplin' that I no longer had!  And on top of that, I really haven't nested.  So since then I've been nesting out of necessity.  On top of finishing Christmas stuff.  Hallelujah for online shopping! 

So to explain the cholestasis in what little terms I know.  I knew the word from Med Tech school and knew it had something to do with either my gallbladder or liver.  Couldn't remember which one.  But I had also been told by my Dr. not to go looking it up because I'd find a ton of things that would just scare me to death.  I looked it up a little just to refresh my memory because it would drive me crazy otherwise.  From what I understand, my pregnancy hormones are keeping my gallbladder from moving bile like it should and that's causing bile acids to build up in my body which is what is making me itch like crazy.  There's about 1 in 1000 cases in pregnant women, and it ususally isn't a big deal, until after 37 weeks.  Then the bile acids can start causing problems for the baby. 

This was all discovered at 35 weeks.  So now I've seen the specialist 3 times and will see them one more time before I'm induced.  Once for lab work, an ultrasound to make sure Josiah's growing right and to put me on some medicine to bind the bile acids up (helped the itching tremendously!).  Found out then that Punkin' Head already weighed 6 lbs 5 oz then.  Big babies run in both our families.  Once for another ultrasound.  Once for a non stress test in which Josiah got the "Good Baby of the Day" award.  He kicked so hard a couple of times that the heart rate monitor got knocked out of place and lost his heartbeat for a bit before he settled back down.  And the last appt. will probably be for another ultrasound.  I'll know Friday from my regular Dr. whether or not I'll need to go to the hospital Sunday night or Monday morning. 

I have hit the jackpot!

We ran into some trouble with our insurance.  We have a high deductible, but anything after our deductible is covered 100%.  At least this past year.  So we put our deductible away in an FSA because we knew we'd have to be paid up before the end of the year on our baby.  Except the Drs. office can't file the insurance claim until Josiah actually gets here, and the FSA won't pay us back until the claim is filed.  If he came after the end of the year, we would lose all that money in the FSA.  Plus after the end of the year, our insurance benefits are going down thanks to the Affordable Heathcare Act (I do agree that something needs to be done about the costs of healthcare, but I don't think this is the way to do it, that's another story...).  So even if Josiah got here before the end of the year, if we were still in the hospital after the beginning of next year, we'd still have a good chunk of change to pay out.  Dave did the math and it would be the difference between paying no more than what we already have this year, or paying $11,000 next year. 

Plus you saw that at 35 weeks he was weighing in at about 6lbs 5 oz.  After doing some extrapolating, he would weigh between 9.5 and 10 lbs if he came at 40 weeks.  I know women have big babies like that all the time, but that doesn't mean they want to.  And, I'm kinda on the small side. 

That's where God's Grace took over.

I always knew he'd take care of us.  If we had to pay the money, he'd provide a way.  Things might be tight, but He'd get us through.  If I had to have a 10 pounder, He'd help me through it.  If I had to miss Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, He'd make next year's that much more special.  But I never imagined He would do what He did for us.

Now that I'm being induced on the 17th of Dec, as long as things are normal (even if I need a C-section), we'll be out of the hospital several days before Christmas.  Which means I'll get to do at least some Christmas festivities.  And which means we'll be home before the end of the year!  We shouldn't have to pay anymore than what we already have.  And extrapolating again, Josiah should only be between 7 and 8 lbs.  And then, on top of all that, He provided for us in a way that we hadn't even really asked or worried about.  Dave got more fire fighting money this year than he though he would.  And with a new baby, more money is always a useful thing. 

Sufficient to me means enough.  Just enough.  A sufficient Christmas present for my 4 year old little cousin is a Hello Kitty t-shirt.  And she would love that.  But I want to give her over and above that.  A Hello Kitty game, coloring book, hairbows.  If we had the money, everything Hello Kitty I could get my hands on.  I can imagine the delight in her eyes, and even though she won't love me less for not giving her the whole Sanrio store, I can imagine the hug that she would give me if I did.  I think that's the way God is.  I think that even though we ask for small things, He delights in giving us over and above what we ask for.  More than we can imagine He would do for us.  And because He's God, He can give us the whole Sanrio store. 

So by God's Grace, I have a pregnancy complication that is making my baby come 3 weeks early.  And I'm not even worried about any health issues either Josiah or I might have.  God has taken such great care of me so far, why would He do anything less in the days to come?   

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

As we all have at least heard, pregnant women are some of the most emotional people in the world.  I'm thankful that I have not been super emotional for the past 8 months.  I've had a few breakdowns, mostly over my ability or inability to care for my baby properly, but it's a rare occurence.  But over the past 8 months, I've compiled a list in my head of things that I will never say to a pregnant woman.  I know most people ask or say things because they care about you (drawing some thoughts from my last post there), but there are some things that should just be kept to yourself :)  Note:  All of this is said in jest.  If you have said one or more of these things to me, you are not on my bad list.  Most things I don't even remember who said them.  This is meant to make people laugh more than it is a rant.  Because I know most pregnant women have heard at least some of these things. 

Belly Size Statements.  I think I get these more than normal because I'm short.  And Josiah has measured a week and a half ahead of schedule since 20 weeks.

1.  Are you sure it's not twins?
Yep, ultrasounds are really good these days.  And I've had 5. 

2.  You know, another one could be hiding behind a kidney.
Really?  A 6 lb baby could be hiding behind a 150g organ.  Seems plausible.

3.  You're not going to make it to your due date.
This one is usually said with such authority that I'm convinced that the person making the statement is a Dr.  Not really.

4.  You're huge!  Or the variation, You look like you're about to pop!
As if this makes anyone feel good.  Coming from my brother isn't so bad, but that's because we give each other a hard time a lot.

I would much rather have someone say, "Oh, it's gonna be a big baby!" than any of the above.

Lies!  These are unique for different situations.  They have been true at times, but at times they haven't.  The short of it is, don't say something to a pregnant woman if you don't think it's exactly true.  We like to hear things that make us feel good, but we also know when it's not true.

5.  You're just glowing!
Even though I do feel like I've glowed through most of my pregnancy, I got this one last Monday after I had a stomach bug most of the weekend and Daddy had already told me that he could tell by the look on my face that I was sick.  Dark circles, no color, that distant look that said my brain was elsewhere...well, maybe I was glowing some way or another...

6.  You're just so cute!
At some points, yes, I think I look cuter pregnant than not.  At others, like when my hair hasn't been washed and I've worn the same sweater 3 days in a row and I don't have on makeup...not so much.

The Stress Factor.  The last thing we pregnant women need to be reminded of is how ready we aren't.  Some people may have no problems with these statements.  I, the procrastinator, do.

7.  Is the nursery ready?
Nope, still piles of trash from new baby gear in the floor.  Still toys in the crib.  Still junk piled on the changing table.  He's gonna sleep in a shoebox beside the bed (I told my grandmother, Mama Pat that one just to get a rise out of her even though it wasn't true.  Mama Pat is usually asking for us to get a rise out of her). 

8.  I bet you're ready to have him.
See above.  Plus, no, I've never changed a diaper and is anybody ever ready for sleepless nights?  Am I ready to push a watermelon out of my body?  In all honesty, I'm ready to have my little boy here to hold.  What else I'll do with him, I don't know.  I'm still mildly terrifed of babies.  Right now, he's still snug and warm and doesn't need anything.  I feel like he's grown so independent in the past months, squirming and kicking by his own free will.  Then he'll be born and be completely dependent on someone else to take care of him.  It's kind of scary.

Let's Rephrase That.  These are honest, I-care-about-you questions that I'll just rephrase when I ask another pregnant woman in the future.  It just makes me feel like I'm letting people down when I answer some of these because I'm bursting their assumptions.  I know that's probably all in my head.

9.  You're miserable, aren't you?
No, not miserable.  I'll rephrase to say, "Have you reached the miserable point yet?"

10.  Are you excited?
One of my friends who had a baby 6 months ago clued me in to this one.  And it kind of got funny at that point.  She said pregnant women are supposed to remain in a constant state of excitement evidently.  I'll rephrase, "I know this is an exciting time for you!"  

Misc.  I don't know how else you would ask these questions, but they kind of make you want to print out business cards to hand out to answer these questions.  They're usually rapid fire too.

11.  When are you due?  Do you know what it is?  Have you picked out a name?  First one?  Have you been sick?  Natural delivery or drugs?

Then finally for good laughs, there are the memorable statements.  The things that I've only heard once.  But the things that have made me have to turn around and laugh at times.  These I didn't mind hearing.

Me:  I just thought you would want to know that Dr. Pat (my Daddy) is going to be a Grandpa!
Patient:  Oh my goodness!  That's so exciting! is you and not Sam, right?  (Sam is my unmarried brother who is still in college.)

Patient 2:  (Looking at my belly) Whoa!  What have you been doing?
Me:  Probably what you're thinking about.

Mama Pat:  (Hollering across the church.  Thankfully it was mostly empty.)  Evan's getting seduced on the 17th.

A close friend of my Daddy's:  I wanted to tell your dad what the worst part about being a Grandpa is.
Me:  What's that?
Friend:  Having to go to bed with Grandma.

(Before we found out it is a boy)
Daddy:  We haven't found out if it's a boy or a girl, but I guaratee you, it'll be born naked.

If I think of anything else, I'll write it down later.  It's amazing the emotions and inhibitions that pregnancy breaks down.  You find yourself telling friends things you never thought you'd say.  And close friends, especially those who are also pregnant, get even more of an earful.  It's also amazing what other people will say to you.  I find out new things everyday it seems.  There are a million things that nobody tells you about until you get pregnant.  It's like it's some big secret and if you tell it before a woman gets pregnant, she won't ever get pregnant.  Which I find to be rubbish because most people have more than one baby.  They know the secrets and still got pregnant again. 

If there's anything else you'd like to add to make me laugh, just leave me a comment.  I'm always up for pregnancy stories!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Biggest Liars in the World

At some point last week or the week before (they all run together nowadays), it occurred to me that pregnant women are the biggest liars in the world.  At least if most are anything like I am, they are the biggest liars.  Don't get me wrong, I've had a great pregnancy and would, (will) do it again without a second thought.  But how many of us, pregnant or not, when asked, "How are you?" say, "Just fine," when really we aren't?

I say that pregnant women are especially the biggest liars because that seems to be a popular question that I get asked several times everyday.  I know that this means that I see people who care about me everyday, and that's good, but I still lie to most of them.

"So how are you feeling?"

"I'm tired.  I'm huge.  There's this spot in my back that won't quit hurting.  I have to pee all the time.  I'm gassy.  I have heartburn.  Did I say I'm huge?"

That's what I want to say.  But instead, I say, "I've felt great.  Can't complain at all," simply because I feel like I can't complain.  There are so many women who have had morning sickness and blood pressure problems, very preemie births and a multitude of other problems.  So who am I to complain about all these little problems?

Still doesn't mean I didn't lie to them though. 

I have used this response, and should probably use it more:

"How are you feeling?"

"Very pregnant."

That's not a lie.  But it keeps me from complaining.

I suppose that I was inspired to put all of this down in words after this weekend.  For posterity's sake, I had a stomach bug on Thanksgiving.  I go 8 years without catching a stomach bug and then manage to get one when I'm 8 months pregnant on Thanksgiving Day nonetheless.  This weekend was the first time that I truly wished I wasn't pregnant.  Not so much because I felt bad, but because I was afraid that anything I was doing was hurting little Josiah.  Not eating, not drinking much, then taking a Zantac for indigestion (the doc told me to), not eating "healthy" stuff, pushing myself to hard, and some other gory details that I'll spare you. 

Yet, this somehow makes me a little proud.  Somewhere in the first and second trimesters, I made the statement that I think I was the only pregnant-by-choice woman in the world who was scared of babies.  But now I've started to feel that love that I'm convinced only God can make me feel for my unborn little baby boy.  And this weekend was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster just letting the thought cross my mind that I might have hurt him, that I couldn't or didn't take care of him like I should have. 

There's my confession I suppose.  It makes me feel better anyway to get all of that out.  There's so much more than I can say, but maybe I should just take a cue from one of my favorite movies, The Italian Job, and when someone asks how I'm doing I should say, "FINE."  Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional.  I've heard pregnancy will do that to you :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Where Else Would I Start?

But at the beginning.

This will be a mommy post, so if you were looking for crafty-ness, it won't be in here.  So you can skip it if you like.  I know I didn't like reading mommy posts of strangers when I wasn't going to be a mommy. 

We decided that we wanted to start trying to have a family in December of 2011.  My doctor told me that I could go off The Pill and start trying right away.  She said that with me being young and healthy that I should get pregnant within 3 months.  3 months came and went, and those crazy female doubts started sinking in.  Especially after 4 months.  I had decided that if I wasn't pregnant the next month, I would go to the doctor to make sure everything was checking out OK.  (We had deductible money, $3000 of it, put away in a flexible spending account and needed to spend it before the end of the year.)  That "Magical Week" rolled around at the beginning of May.  My tummy had been feeling funny, but that wasn't unsual.  What was unusual was that the "Magical Week" hadn't started yet.  So on Thurs, May 3, I peed on the stick, and got two lines!  We decided not to tell anyone until Father's Day, after our first Dr's appointment.

I had been feeling fine.  Great really.  But I have a long family history of sick pregnant women in my family.  Like so sick that several had IV shunts in place just to get fluids.  I was prepared to be sick.  But I hadn't been.  Until Sunday, May 7.  We had our Middle Schoolers at the house that night.  And had Little Caesar's pizza for supper.  I was in the bathroom most of the night.  No barfing, but the other end.  I thought I had just had too much greasy pizza.  I called my employer (Daddy) to tell him that I had an upset stomach and I probably wouldn't be in to work that day.  What was worse, Hubs left that morning for a week long trip to Suriname, South America for his job.  But I started feeling better during the day, and continued to blame it on the pizza.  Until Monday night, which I also spent most of in the bathroom.

I was sleep deprived, sick, and knew I couln't go into work like I was.  But I was still torn on trying to keep the pregnancy a secret.  But I was also afraid that I would get dehydrated, or so sick that I couldn't even get myself to a hospital if needed.  So I still got dressed for work and went.  I told Daddy that I thought I had a stomach bug and I was going to go to his house where Mama was.  When I got to Mama and Daddy's house, I had to tell Mama.  It wasn't the most creative way, sick-looking at 9 AM.  But it worked.  I think she suspected it anyway.  I told my brother, Sam that morning too.  He came down the stairs in nothing but his boxers.  When I told him, his reaction was, "Ahh!  My sister's knocked up!" which is the truth.  I waited to tell Daddy until he got home that evening.  He asked if I thought I had a stomach bug.  I told him no.  He asked, "Well what do you think it is?"  I said, "I think you're going to be a grandpa."  The look on his face was priceless.  He did a double take.  Then I think he may have danced around the room a little.  But this was the hardest part.  They couldn't tell ANYONE until Saturday when Dave got home.  I couldn't let Dave's parents hear through the grapevine that they were going to be grandparents again.  And Daddy wanted to tell EVERYONE.  But the secret stayed safe, and after Saturday, Daddy told anyone he wanted.

The rest of the week, I stayed at Mama and Daddy's house.  Because it sucks to be sick and alone.  I spent most of Tuesday that week feeling nauseous.  I thought for sure that I would barf that night, and kind of wished I could at one point.  And most of Wednesday too.  But my OB reccommended taking Unisom and vit. B6, and it worked wonders for me.  Every 8 hours for about 2 weeks.  Then I decided to see if I could live without it.  And I could.  I had a few food aversions, and developed a couple of smell aversions, but I had more "evening sickness" than morning sickness.  By the time I got home from work everyday, I just wanted to veg out on the couch and eat a peanut butter sandwich.  But I still never barfed.  To this day, I haven't barfed during pregnancy.  (So Blessed!)    

We finally told Dave's parents on Saturday, and thanks to a husband who wanted me to tell them, but failed to let me know that, there was a, "You tell them," "No, you tell them," moment.  So I think his parents knew before it finally left our mouths.  I think they suspected it anyway too, because I'm never sick. 

And that was the most eventful thing that happened in the first trimester.  We went to our first appointment, saw the heart beat, got pictures of the most adorable little blob I had ever seen, and eventually agreed upon the name "Dumplin'" for until we found out the sex.  I just have a problem calling a baby "it" or "the baby" all the time.  He needed a proper name.

Stay tuned!  More stories to follow on the blame game and kicking! 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Last night, Hubs had a class at the fire department at 6PM that lasted til about 9:30PM.  That meant that he wasn't coming home between that and work.  And I had to go to the grocery store.  And I wasn't going to "cook" supper for just me.  (I had a bowl of grits and a Toaster Strudel by the way, plus some Blue Bell Birthday Cake ice cream later.  That's a whole 'nother story.)  So I went home, ate supper, piddled on the computer while watching Monday's episode of Revolution onDemand and Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog on the CW (never thought that would ever be on TV).  And somewhere during this, I realized that I hadn't blogged since April.  So I decided that I was determined to write a blog post today.

So while I was in the shower last night, instead of reading the French translations on the back of my shampoo bottle for the millionth time, I carefully planned (meaning randomly thought about) what I was going to write for the next few posts.  I went through pictures in my mind that I need to post, pictures that I need to take, and words I want to say.  I eventually decided that an explanation was in order.

There are a number of things that I could legitimately blame my absence on.  I could say that I've been too busy, had better things to do at home than play on the computer.  I could say that since taking my new job, I have a greater feeling of self-worth that makes me not constantly turn to my blog and others' opinions of me.  I could say that I've just been lazy.  All of those are at least part of the truth. 

But the biggest reason that I haven't blogged is probably the overarching reason for all of the excuses above.  The truth is that for the past 27 weeks, I've had what can biologically be defined as a parasite.  It sucks up my nutrients, makes me tired, continually grows and thrives within my body, and I technically get no benefit from it.  But in just another 3 months or so, it will change my life.  It will make me and Hubs probably the happiest we've ever been together (that is, if it hasn't already.)  I know that it has tickled our parents and siblings. 

If you haven't figured it out, I'm pregnant!  I'm fulfilling one of the biggest dreams that I've had since I was a kid myself.

Ok, so it may seem a little inappropriate to call my baby a parasite.  But I'm also the girl who kind of enjoys funerals because I get to see friends and family, then I break down afterwards.  It also kind of grosses my brother out when I call the baby a parasite. 

There will be more stories to follow of the first and second trimesters.  Some with weeks attatched to them, most without.  I haven't been a "good mommy" and written down everything that comes to mind about this "magical time."  But neither did my Mama, and I don't think I'm any worse for the wear.  There will be pictures.  Pictures of belly, studio-turned-nursery, projects for our little Dumplin', and all the likes of that.  And I'm cramming 6 months of all the "interesting" things that have happened into just 3 months of blogging.  As if I needed to add anything to my to-do lists here lately!

Anyway, Josiah David, you are going to be one loved little boy, with one crazy Mama! 

Monday, April 2, 2012

One of Those Weekends...

I know that I promised a caution sign for negative posts.  There's not one here, but I'm not apologizing.  It's not all going to be negative.  In fact, my plan is to make it funny.

This Saturday did not turn out at all like I had planned.  I woke up in a foul mood.  Thus, I was in a foul mood all day.  I couldn't get my mind wrapped around what project I wanted to tackle.  I should have known not to tackle anything too hard. 

The first plan was to do my second pin-up style knock off.  But the shirt that I was going to refashion no longer fit (darn the local Mexican restaurant).  So I decided to make the dress I wanted with the beautiful navy blue ponte knit that I bought for way too much.  I needed to do this.  After all, I finally had my red wedges to match that I had been in search of.  But as I was winding my bobbin, my thread ran out.  I had to go to two different stores to find some navy thread. 

All was made better for a while when I got home and X-Men Origins was on.  Even as a mutant, Hugh Jackman is one fine man. 

Then I commenced to making the dress.  Nothing went as planned.  I think the dress was mutating on me.  I finally decided that it wasn't going to turn out how I had imagined.  I changed my game plan and started redesigning. 

Until I accidentally cut the straps off. 

I think I threw it across the room.  I'm not sure.  I was in that mode where I just threw things.  I know I threw the mayonnaise jar across the kitchen.  Thankfully those are no longer made of glass. 

But all hope is not lost!  I still think I can salvage a decent dress from what I had.  I was just so frustrated that I couldn't think of anything besides my "failure."  I'm so self concious aboug failing.  It has always seemed like the world was just waiting on me to fail.  I've always felt like there were very few people who liked me.  I'm not really sure if that's the truth, or if it's just a lie that Satan planted in my little middle schooler brain 15 years ago that somehow flourishes.  Even if it is true, I KNOW there are some really great people who do love me.  Even and especially when I do "fail."  And to all of those people who fall into that category, thank you.  You know who you are :) 

But the only ones who never fail are those who never try anything new.  I can tell myself that now. 

So now the hunt is on for a shirt to refashion.  And my seam ripper is going to get a lot of love.

But this weekend, I'm going to Dollywood again with Hubs, my Mama and Daddy, and Sam and Megan, my brother and his girlfriend.  So unless the urge hits me after work one day.  There ain't nothing in that sewing room getting much love this week! 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Knock it Off!

I love knocking stuff off.  I'm sure there's something wrong with that.  But I love it.  I always have.  I have boxes of beads and shells from making hemp jewelry when I was in middle school and early high school.  I didn't want to pay $10 (which was a lot to a 12 year old back then) for a necklace I could make for about $3.  Plus I got the satisfaction of knowing that I made it.  I think I've always been very analytical.  I can look at stuff and figure out what went into making it.  I've always been good at spatial things, like geometry.  I think that was one of my favorite classes in high school and I did really well in physics in college.  I just like figuring stuff out.  And it's awesome when all of that combines into something more useful than what time two trains will collide. 

All that being said.  I found this dress at Belk a few weeks ago.

Source: via Evan on Pinterest

(Yes, I succumbed to Pinterest, I feel like a sell out)

But I did find this dress in real life at Belk.  There were just a few problems.  1) It was in the junior's department.  Some things I can get away with in the junior's dept. like T-shirts.  Not dresses.  2) Coming from the junior's dept. it was very short and see through.  People complain about what hoochie mama's today's teenagers are becoming.  Part of the problem is that mamas are buying the hoochie mama clothes for their teenagers.  OK, getting off the soap box now.  3) The print is all wrong for me.  Petite girls should wear petite prints.  Not giant butterflies gracing their naughty bits. 

So I studied the dress in the store while the Clinique lady wondered what I was doing to the poor hanging half mannequin thing and remembered it for the day I found the perfect fabric.  Little did I know it wouldn't be long before I found it. 

I found this wonderful cotton knit at Hancock for $3 a yard!  $3!  And I used less than 2 yards.  So that's a new dress for less than $6.  It kind of has an Indian feel to the print.  But it's in dominantly berry color.  I love berry color.  And I got some practice matching stripes.  I'm wearing a long sleeve T-shirt under it because it was cold that day and I couldn't wait to wear my  new dress, but the little white panel in front is sewn in so I won't have to wear a cami underneath in the summer.  And the fabric is such better quality than what's in the stores. 

I'm in love.

So my next knock off project is in the works.  Because I think it's senseless to pay $200 on sale for a bag just because it says Michael Kors.  Did he sign it?  Sew it together himself?  Guaratee it free of defects in workmanship?  Write you a personal thank you note for shopping his brand?  Even if he did, there's no sense in spending that kind of money for a bag that will go out of style next season.  Just sayin'. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Supporting the March of Dimes!

Hey everyone!  This is going to be a short-ish post with a lot of horn blowing advertising.'s for a good cause.  I have a friend from church who has an adorable baby named Ruthie.  Ruthie was born at only 24 weeks and spent her first 3.5 months in the NICU.  Ruthieis doing much better now, but sadly, Jay, Gina and Ruthie aren't the first family that has had to go through this and they won't be the last. 

The March of Dimes aims to help more babies be born healthy and full term.  Gina will be walking in and Ruthie stroller riding in a Greenville March of Dimes event in October.  I'm helping her to raise money with this little cutie:

This is the Ruthie Bag.  Made with colors and prints that Ruthie loves.  It's small, but very versatile and sells for $15 in Evan Becky's Gift Shop.  Good news is, that $10 of that will go to Gina's efforts to raise money for her walk.

So go check it out!  You'd be getting a cute bag and helping babies! 

Monday, March 5, 2012

1st Day to 5K

I honestly can't recall if I've ever said anything about my excercise habits on my blog.  I know I've mentioned a few things about losing some weight, but not much more than that.  So here goes.

I've struggled with my weight since I was in middle school when I started drinking Diet Dr. Pepper.  I started getting chunky and just never lost it.  I loved eating too much.  I would try one thing after another and nothing really worked for me being a teenager with self esteem issues and no will power.  I got up to 135 lbs. by the middle of my junior year of high school.  You're probably laughing now because that's probably a healthy weight for a lot of people.  I'm 5'1".  If I gain 2.5 lbs, I look like I've gained 5.  So I finally decided to get the weight off by eating lots of small meals and dairy products.  It didn't help that I was running around like a wild thing between band practices.  I finally got down to 110 by my senior year.

I gained some in college, lost some elsewhere, gained a lot after getting married, lost some more working 2nd shift then gained some more after starting my new job.  My weight rarely stays steady.  I know that's not exactly good, but I'm trying my best to keep it in the healthy range. 

Although I look healthy enough though, I rarely exercise.  I hate it.  I cannot understand someone who loves to exercise (like Hubs).  There is nothing fun about working yourself until you are sick, and then hurting for the next 4 days because of it.  I get no self satisfaction out of it.  More than exercising, I hate running.  I was always the kid who ended the game of tag because I couldn't run for long enough to make the game interesting.  I was the girl who was judged unfairly in PE because I couldn't run constantly for 20 minutes whereas my peers on the championship Cross Country team could run for the whole hour and a half if they wanted to.  I still feel like I'm mocked when I say that I can't run a whole, or maybe even half a lap around the 1/4 mile track at the high school. Especially when my friends are always posting on Facebook how they just had a great 3 mile run.  I would love to be able to run, but I can't.

I have a bad taste in my mouth about running.

And considering my record with running, I wasn't about to go and spend money on a "Couch Potato to 5K" program.  Especially since I've noticed that "Couch Potato to 5K" probably means "Someone who already can run at least a mile non stop to someone who wants to win a 5K."

Then I started reading about interval training.  If you know nothing of interval training like I did, it's basically when you walk/jog at a slow speed for a period of time, then jog/run at a faster speed for a period of time and just alternate between those speeds.  At first I thought I'd bombed it again.  I found a program that the slow speed was faster than I could run anyway, so I knew I couldn't keep that pace.  But while trying and failing at that attempt, I did find a song in my arsenal that was comfortable to walk to.  So I put my phone on repeat and kept the beat.  Being a marching band dork, this pleased me, a lot.  So after that, I went in search of songs with similar beats per minute (bpm).  I was fully prepared to buy some new music just so I could keep myself entertained, but I found this:
It's a free 9 week series of music downloads that follows the 1st Day to 5K plan.  Just download the music to your music device, hit play and keep up with the beats per minute (each beat = 1 step).  It's not music from the latest top 20.  It's actually not music that many people have even heard.  Kind of techno-y, tribal-y, funky-y.  But the important thing is that it makes me exercise.  And I can do it.  I actually just speed walk the whole time.  I'm so short and my steps are so quick I can walk fast and not have to run.  I actually cover more ground walking fast that trying to jog at that pace, and I can't stand to see someone "jogging" when I can walk faster, then hearing them say "What a great run!"  Isn't the purpose of running to get somewhere faster than if you are walking?  Ok, sorry for that caveat.  It just had to be said.

Anyway.  I've been at it for two weeks now, and I feel so much better.  I'm not sore because I'm walking, something I do all the time, and I don't feel like I'm dying from the invisible knife that stabs me in the side when I try to run.  Yet I'm still getting the cardio exercise that our bodies need.  And I'm gradually covering more ground in less time.  I probably won't be ready to enter a 5K race at the end of the program since I'm walking.  That would be quite embarassing to step off the line power walking.  But I'm one step closer to having better cardio endurance.  And I get to spend some time with Hubs walking the 1/8 mile track at our local fire dept. 

And maybe I've given someone else the motivation to start doing something healthy by writing this post.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Spanking Children Leads to Lower IQ?

Yesterday I read this article online:

And I'll be honest here.  I was a little upset.  Actually quite bothered. 

I'll offer a disclaimer here.  As many of you know, I do not have kids.  I love them, and want some one day but don't have any of my own yet.  At this point, many parents may quit reading because you may think that I don't have a valid opinion on child rearing if I don't have any children myself.  Please stick with me though.

The article states in short that spanking a child lowers their IQ.  There are also hints in there that claim that spanking makes a child socially awkward.  The thing that bothered me most about this article was the fact that they said that there were no studies where spanking created a positive outcome.  And this may be true.  But I know where they can find some adults who would be considered positive outcomes if they were ever studied.

I was spanked.  Well and often.  My brother Sam was even more so than I was.  We grew up in mild fear of a paint stirring stick emblazoned with the words "True Value."  Also in fear of a wooden spoon at one grandmother's house and a fly swatter at the other.  My father grew up in mild fear of one of his grandmother's bedroom slippers.  And we all knew exactly what a hickory was even though it may have come from a yellow bell or an azalea bush.

Here's the catch.

Excuse the blowing of my own horn. 

I graduated at the top of my high school class with a GPA closer to 5.0 than 4.0.  I started playing piano when I was 8 and the clarinet when I was 11.  I was on my high school yearbook staff, was in the marching, concert, and jazz bands, was in the National Honor Society.  Furthermore, I was Drum Major my senior year of marching band and president of the National Honor Society.  I got a load of scholarship money and was a finalist for my college's biggest scholarship.  When I went to college, I was part of the drama honor society and the Women's Chorale.  After earning that BS in Biology I went through a program that earned me a second BS in Medical Technology in just 1.5 years and graduated with honors. 

Now for Sam.

Sam played piano when he was 7, alto saxophone when he was 11 and guitar sometime in high school.  He also played soccer through high school and was very active in our church youth group.  Sam was anything but socially awkward.  He was also in the Beta Club.  He took computer repair classes and graduated from high school with honors in the top 25 of his class.  He went on to Clemson University where he's majoring in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology and on track to graduate with honors.  He's talking about going to grad school.

My point here is that we got spanked and it hasn't seemed to hurt us.  In fact Sam got spanked everyday for most of his childhood.  He would chase cats, bite me, chase chickens, give strangers the "stink eye," and rued the day that he told Mama to shut up.  I got spanked for fighting with Sam, for hitting Sam, for doing something Sam talked me into.  I wasn't a perfect angel and got plenty of my own spankings, but most were for things involving Sam.  But we both got it especially for getting an attitude with a grown up or "telling stories," Mama's euphemism for telling lies.  I would be afraid to meet either my brother, or myself now had we not been spanked as children.

Time outs wouldn't have worked for us.  For one thing, it just didn't bother us.  We knew we would go right back to playing in just a little while.  Mama and Daddy also raised us so that we had enough imagination, that sitting still and quiet in a corner for a length of time didn't bother us.  I could sit (and still do) imagine stories in my head without saying a word for a while.  I've seen Sam play with a stick and a rock as if they were the latest GI Joe with Karate Chop Action.  Mama sang songs to us, read stories with us, turned her hands red with Play Doh with us.  We didn't need the latest baby doll or action figure that did everything for us. 

Taking away privileges wouldn't have worked either.  Refer to above stick and rock example.  You can't take away every speck of lint away from a child.  Believe me, we would have found something to play with. 

So by instilling what I think is an amazing imagination in us, Mama relinquished two of the most popular discipline methods used today.  So, should she have limited our imagination and not spanked us? 

You may argue that this is my only point.  Sure my brother and I may have great imaginations, but we could have been smarter had we not been spanked.  If this is true, if we would have had a higher IQ if we had not been spanked, I'm still glad I got spanked.  I may not be a genius.  In fact, I really think I'm pretty average.  But what I possibly lack in IQ, I make up for in respect.  Sam and I grew up respecting people who were older than we were.  We learned that you couldn't whine and cry and get your way all the time.  We learned that you had to work hard to get what you want.  We learned that you have to be responsible, whether it's for a group you are leading, or for the consequences of your actions.  So even though it may have caused us to have lower IQs, I think that getting spanked was what allowed us to be good musicians, good students and good leaders.     

The important thing is that when we were spanked, it was out of love.  Our parents wanted us to be the best people we could be.  They didn't get some twisted joy out of hitting a child and making him cry.  They never spanked us out of anger, or left bruises.  If I was spanked now the way I was when I was a child, I'd actually probably laugh.  I always knew why I was getting a spanking.  Mama made sure that we knew.  We had to look her in the eyes and say we understood.  That also helped me understand why later she might not let me go to someone's birthday party or spend the night at someone else's house.  And I respected those decisions because she always explained why.  Sure we got a lot of spankings when we were young, but we hardly ever did when we were teenagers.  That's because we had learned early how to behave.  We had our moments, as do all teenagers, but I really hope that compared to some, Mama and Daddy didn't have a lot of trouble living with us two teenagers. 

Time outs and other disciplines may work for some parents.  If they do, great!  I'm not going to try to tell anyone how to raise their child.  That's for each family to determine on their own.  I'm just arguing that spanking shouldn't be taken away as a form of discipline as it has been in other countries.  I'm also stating that the above article may be a little short sighted by implying that nothing positive can come from spanking a child.

So I wasn't playing Beethoven's Fifth Symphony when I was three.  Nor was I solving the quadratic equation when I was five.  How many kids, spanked or not, actually are?  I do know that I consider myself a respected member of my community.  And I don't think any drop in IQ I may have as a result of past spankings has hurt me.

At least I dont' sit in the corner by myself picking my nose.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Few Wild Weeks...

I started writing a blog post several weeks ago.  Then I added on a few weeks later.  Then when I looked at it again I figured that everything was so out of date that I'd just better start over.

Amanda, here is your post ;) I didn't fall off the Earth.

I'm hoping now I can finally settle into a rhythm.  But you may be thinking, "Evan, you've been in your new job for two months now, and you still aren't in a rhythm?"  My answer:  Christmas Season.  Hubs and I have had to make so many changes and adjustments over the last two months.  Not bad changes, mind you, and I've spent much fewer hours crying and whining and moping. Which made me realize, I think I was looking for love and acceptance among the blog world because that was the only place I was getting any "human" interaction besides that of Hubs.  Working at the front desk of Daddy's local dental office where most people know me definitely has it's rewards there. 

So, nothing personal to any of my blog readers and any of you who I loyally followed, I have found that I no longer need my blog to try to find some purpose in my life besides my job.  Because that was formerly the only purpose I seemed to have. 

In keeping with tradition of my blog, here's what I've been up to.  With no pictures.  Sorry.  You'll get over it ;)

~Immigration day costume for my niece Emma including a crocheted hat.  She was Adelaide Bryant who immigrated from England in the 1900s.
~Elf costume for Emma which included a tulle puff slip, circle skirt and hat trimmed in faux fur and suspenders.  By the way, it looked like about 20 white cats had been sleeping in the sewing room floor after cutting that faux fur.
~Pillowcase dress for little cousin Emma (different one) with purple corduroy and lime green ruffle ribbon trim.
~Fleece jingle bell ball for little cousin Brentley following Jenilyn's tutorial here -->Baby Football Tutorial  Except mine made more of a round ball.  Not sure how that happened, but it was still cute and Brentley liked it before it was ever opened.
~Khaki purse with grommets and leopard print ribbon.  We gave it to Hubs's hair lady for Christmas.  I really regret not getting a picture of this at all, but it needs some design adjustments.
~A few wallet and bag orders for Christmas.  Things got sticky for a while since most of my orders came in the same week that Hub's uncle and aunt were in town from Arkansas.  But it got done!

Now I've got a few things that I want to make happen here in the next few weeks.

~I have a few friends having little ones soon.  Gonna make some diaper bags and accessories for those.
~Bought some fabric intended for diaper bags but dreamed up some cute bag combos in the process.  Got it prewashed today too.  Love All About Fabrics! 
~Gotta go to Hancock tomorrow and gets some fusible fleece, table cloth vinyl and some lining fabric.  And something else that will be a surprise to debut soon!

Oh!  And the newest thing that makes me quite happy!  For Christmas I got some "custom" insoles for my shoes since I have warped up feet that used to hurt all the time.  I put these insoles in some Alegria shoes, and this really is my new happy!  My feet haven't hurt in a whole week!  You have no idea how nice this is!

So...what's been new for you?
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