sad times

I hate how I am able to compartmentalize the war…even able to forget it’s even happening at times. The last two years are some of the few in my life that I didn’t live either on a military base or very near one. I’m amazed at how I’ve distanced my mind from all that being a military family entails.

Here’s a good reminder:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17773294/site/newsweek/

I would apologize for being a downer, but I’m not sorry. I’m only sorry that I don’t make more of an effort know what’s happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. Once my brother-in-law returned from his second tour, and the last of my good friends came home, and I stopped working as a contractor – planning military blood drives, I kind of checked out.

But the reality is that the rotations go on. The number of wounded and dead continue to grow. The sacrifice amazes me, and humbles me. It’s sad and exhausting to think about. For me, anyway. There so much guilt tied into gathering information – how lucky I am that I was never deployed, that my husband was never deployed. But even now, as other friends prepare to deploy on their third and fourth tours, I’m so grateful to be so lucky. And I feel bad about that. I don’t know what I’m saying here. It’s a little rambly.

Sorry about that. I’ll come back and edit this later.

lethargy smethargy…

I thought I’d write an actual post, and not just book reports. I have no interest in any of my interests this week. I don’t want to look at homework. I can’t find my disk with all my web designs saved on it, so I don’t want to work on my websites, because I hate doing stuff from scratch that I already have – and that crap took me a long time to make. Here I was thinking, “oh, I’ll back these up on a CD, and take them off my computer so they’re safe,” and then I can’t find the box with the CDs in it. Annoying. All of my illustrator designs are on that same disk. Also annoying.

All I want to do lately is read fiction. Hence, the numerous book postings in the last few days. I don’t even really want to watch TV (if you know me at all, this is really a big shocker.) My TIVO is almost maxed out with weeks worth of shows I haven’t watched. I even gave up a few shows and erased my Season Pass (DIRT, Apprentice LA, Shark).

Perhaps I need more sleep. I have been going to the gym, though. I’m doing pretty well there. The other day (Friday?), I walked/jogged on the treadmill for a whole hour! It’s because my new gym friend showed up right as I was going to get off (30 min.) and I ended up staying on and talking to her.  It was also the first time I ran a half mile straight. Normally, I’ll walk for .25 miles, jog for .25, etc. But that day, I walked .5, then jogged .5 miles at 5.5 and 6.0. That’s pretty fast for me. Then I walked another .25, then ran .25 at 6.5! This is almost a fitness miracle for me.

Anyway, I’m still as fat as ever. I can feel some muscles in my legs under the layer of winter blubber, but I can’t see them yet. And my pants aren’t fitting any better…so, who knows. Perhaps I shouldn’t have eaten a strawberry shortcake this evening :)

Aah, who cares. At least I’m going everyday. Eventually, that has to make a difference. I mean, I was doing NOTHING for a whole 2 years…so I’m sure progress will happen soon.

Props to my friend Spankratz for making it to the final round of interviews. Soon, she’ll be free from her overworking-drag of a job and onto the new and exciting world of magazine editing!

back in the saddle

We went to Maryland for a few days to visit my husband’s grandfather. He’s moving into a full-time-care facility, and we were helping my husband’s aunt clean out his cottage. Very depressing. But my grandfather lives in a trailer in Florida and refuses to leave. He’s two years older than my husband’s grandpa. At least one of them is taken care of.

On the mompreneur front, I am supposed to have a business plan prepared to enter into a contest in two days. I haven’t even started. Well, I’ve done a lot of research, and I have bits and pieces spread all over, but I haven’t started typing the actual document into Word yet. I don’t know what I’m waiting for. It’s free money, if I win. 1st place is $1000! That would go a long way as my advertising budget. But still, here I am, typing this blog post instead of my executive summary.

A friend sent me a blog by a girl that reads reads reads. She keeps track of the books she’s read by writing a short blurb in her blog and numbering each one – both keeping track of stories and how many books she reads. I believe I will start this. She also keeps a running journal. I don’t run that much, but I might keep an exercise journal. Basically, I love her blog and I’m going to copy it :) I’ve put her in my blogroll – “She Books It”. Get it? She’s a runner and a reader? Very witty, my friends, very witty.

I’ve already read a few books this year, but I’m just going to start fresh. Exciting news on the book front – the new Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book is out. I didn’t know there would be a #4. I requested it from the library, it looks like its going to be a while. That’s okay though, because it gives me something to look forward to.

The House Inaction

Here’s a letter I got from my representative:

 

Dear Mrs. <name removed> :

Thank you for contacting me to share your thoughts on the Safe Climate Act of 2006 .

Representing the interests of the 49 th Congressional District is made much easier by people like you, who take the time and effort to share their opinions with me. Your comments concerning the Safe Climate Act of 2006 have been noted. I will be sure to keep them in mind when related issues come before me in the House of Representatives.

To view my positions and additional information on current issues, please visit my website at www.house.gov/issa . Each week, I survey comments received from my constituents and post statements on the issues of greatest interest. Please return to the website often as new information is added frequently.

Again, thank you for contacting me about this matter of concern to you.

Sincerely,

Darrell Issa
Member of Congress

Not so impressive…I don’t feel confident that he will consider my feelings at all. That’s why I didn’t vote for him. I voted for Jeeni Criscenzo, even though she was a long shot. Issa’s not a bad guy, but the issues he’s dealing with are not my first choice. He has very little sponsored or co-sponsored legislation dealing with anything environmental. He is very supportive of the military though, which I think is important and fitting for our district.

I have letters that my mom received from both Kennedy and Johnson thanking her for expressing her opinions on the legalization of marijuana…I think I’ll write actual letters to my senators and representatives from now on, so my kids know what was important to me :)

Down with Starbucks

It’s official. I’ve given up Starbucks. I’m not saying I’ll never drink it again, but I’ve given up my once-a-day habit. I’m taking a Personal Finance class and all the annoying 18 year olds were like, “just get your coffee at 7-11” “just buy it at Costco and home brew”, etc.

If I was only in it for the coffee, then that’s what I’d do.

First of all, they’ve obviously never had to deal with the logistics of getting a not-walking-yet fourteen-month-old out of the car seat, into a convenience store, filled a hot cup of coffee with one hand while holding the baby with the other (not recommended). Here’s how that would go down: still holding the baby, setting coffee on counter, try to open Splenda and creamer with teeth, “no baby, that’s not for you.” Baby drinks a little creamer on accident. Get lid on coffee with one hand without spilling it. Head to counter to pay. Set coffee on counter. Crap, money is in the wrong pocket, switching baby to other hip, getting out money, “no baby, don’t put that money in your mouth!”, switching baby back to other side, shoving change in pocket, picking up coffee, attempting to open door with back, some stranger takes pity on us and holds door, set coffee on roof of car, put baby in carseat, get in car and leave coffee on roof.

Now, here’s the Starbucks version of that scenario.

Mommy and baby in car, jamming to Indigo Girls. There are 5 cars ahead of us in the drive through, so I flip through a magazine. Baby drinks some sippy cup and races his Hotwheel along the carseat.  I order my drink (venti soy chai, no foam, no water, with an add shot), “that’ll be $4.55, please pull forward.” I hand the girl my handy Starbucks card that (until this week,) I always kept loaded. She hands me the best drink ever. We drive off into the sunset.

If Starbucks would just sell the concentrated chai, and not the watered down version that’s in the Tazo box, I could make it at home. But here’s what happens instead. The whole point of me getting “no water” is that the vanilla soy milk mixed with just the chai concentrate and a shot of espresso becomes this wonderful, creamy, spicy creation. The home version is a little like Eddie Murphy’s home burger…terrible. (That was a Raw reference, folks.)

But I digress. A lot. I have given up the perfect joy-bringing drink to save that $4.55 a day. Now, instead of loading my Starbucks card with $50 a couple times a month, I’m going to deposit that money in our savings account. I’ve been making a half pot of coffee at home every day and using vanilla chai spice creamer, but it sucks.

Also, my home version is only about 60 calories whereas the Starbucks drink is around 350. Since I usually burn about 200+ calories at the gym, this is an added incentive for me to give up my high-calorie chai.  But that doesn’t mean I’m happy about it.

14 days!

Today makes 14 days straight that I’ve gone to the gym!!! Woo hoo…I have to say, I’m extremely proud of myself. Not that I’m training for a marathon or anything, but 30 or more minutes on the treadmill and at least 200 crunches everyday is bound to make a difference eventually, right?

So here’s something cool my friend Spankratz sent me: Pictaps

Which I was referred to by this newsletter:
Chris Prillo’s Picks which you can receive by emailing picks@lockergnome.com.

In other news, I was listening to NPR this morning, and there was a little snippet kind of pointing the finger at Gen. Casey for a lack of progress in Iraq. Along the lines of (some senator speaking), “Last year, Gen. Casey promised such and such progress pertaining to violence and insurgent attacks. Now a year later, he’s still making the same promises, only delayed a year.” This pisses me off. Why not hold George Bush accountable? Not the guys trying to do their best with what they’ve got. How far down the chain will they pass the buck?

Crap. I hate this war.

More and more My Space

Yesterday I found the two people I really really really wanted to find on My Space – my good friend Dr. Cooch and my long lost dancing, waitressing, high-kicking, tequilla-drinking, boob-flashing, laugh-my-ass-off friend Sara Cohones!!! I’m going to buy a lottery ticket today, I feel so lucky. I’m off to call Sara to catch up…it’s been a good six years since I talked to her, which is just ridiculous.

my space, your space…

I’ve been using my space as my primary source of social interaction these days. I keep finding more and more people from high school and college that I haven’t seen or talked to in years. In a wierd small-world instance, I was looking at the friends of a girl that was a few years younger than me in HS – seeing if I knew anyone. One of the friends was someone I recognized but didn’t really know, but he happend to be in Sweden, so I looked at his profile, because I wanted to see pictures of Sweden. Then I notice in his comments that he has one from a girl named Patricia. I look closely at her picture, and it’s her and her fiance, my long lost friend Scott that I went to college with. I clicked on her picture, but since I’m not her friend, I couldn’t look at her profile. Then emailed Scott exclaiming what a small world it is, and he says, “hey, speaking of small world, I’m in LA this weekend.” This is big news since he lives in NY, so I’m like, “where? I’ll come meet you?” So long story not-so-short, I drove to LA last night and got to hang out and catch up with my old friend Scotty Potty for a few hours. I hadn’t seen him in over 5 years. It was awesome. Man, I miss that guy.

As I was driving away at 3:30 am, I got really sad because I have very few really good friends like that that I really want to keep in touch with. People are so busy with their lives…and it really takes a lot of effort to maintain a good friendship. Even though I think a lot of stuff on my space is pretty corny, I’m so glad it’s there.

It’s a girl!

Beginning on the evening of the 2nd, and ending on the afternoon of the 3rd, I was with my friend Melanie as she laboured and then delivered her daughter, Dana Lynn. It was definetly the coolest, grossest, most miraculous event I’ve ever witnessed. It took what seemed to me like forever. And I wasn’t even the one having the baby. (She was with me at the birth of my son, which took a little longer. She must have been soo bored because I slept a lot.) So anyway, here’s a time line of what happened.

Dec. 2

  • 6pm – Melanie calls and says she’s headed to the hospital. I call David and ask him to get home, and he arrives around 8:20pm.
  • I arrive in the triage area of the labor and delivery unit at about 9pm, to find Mike, Jackie and Melanie all huddled into this very small curtained area, filled mostly with a hospital bed. We all scoot around eachother until we fit, where we wait for the nurse, Charmin, to tell us if Melanie is going to be admitted or not.
  • Charmin checks Melanie’s cervix and says that she’s still only 4 cm dialated, and that we should walk around to try to get things moving. So we walk.
  • After walking for a while, Charmin checks her again, and says she’s still only 4 cm, but things have changed enough that she’s going to call the doctor and recommend that Melanie be admitted.
  • They put us in a huge room around 11 pm. Mike immediately goes to sleep. Jackie has a serious allergy attack (which I think is caused by the lingering catness on my clothes) and she goes home to shower and take medicine. Melanie and I chill.

Dec. 3

  • A big fat nothing happens for the rest of the night. Melanie is uncomfortable and can’t sleep. Around 2:30 am she gets her epidural. During this, she almosts faints and some crazy nurse comes in yelling at everyone and bossing everyone around. We hated her. She’s an idiot.
  • So, still nothing much is happening. Our awesome nurse, Charmin, leaves at 7 am, and we get a new nurse, Layna. She’s nice too, but she’s no Charmin.
  • A male Doctor (which Melanie specifically didn’t want) comes in around 7:30 am and checks Melanie. He’s concerned because she’s been at 4-5 cm for about 8 hrs and he starts talking about a c-section. This gets Melanie totally freaked out.
  • I tell her all about the pros of c-section for the next two hours (the time the doctor is giving her cervix to make some progress or else… *insert forboding music*
  • So by the time they come back in to see what’s up, she’s ready to have the surgery. Also, she’s totally exhausted and is ready for any solution that involves her not being pregnant anymore – putting the baby’s health first, of course. And wouldn’t you know, she’s now 7 cm dialated.
  • During the next hour, things move right along, and Layna has her start to push. I felt so bad for her because she was so tired, and had finally accepted c-section as a reality, and now she’s got to muster up enough energy to push this baby out. Sometime during all this, she gets an extra bollus of epidural because her’s had been wearing off.
  • The doctor comes in and gets into his catcher’s position, and Melanies pushes little Dana out at 11:03 am.

For the most part, I didn’t think it was gross, although it was gory. The one part I didn’t like was when the baby’s head was out, but not her body. She was really purple, and her eyes were squinshed shut, and the cord was around her neck. She looked awful. Once Melanie pushed her the rest of the way out, and the doctor unwrapped the cord, she started to cry, and I was finally relieved. I really thought something was wrong for a minute. Scary.

So, here are the stats: 18 hrs of labor resulting in a 7 lb, 19 in baby girl :)

trapped…

So for the second day in a row, my husband’s car (the awesome Electric Lime Saturn that I purchased and he is now forced to drive) has been broken. So he’s been taking the Passat, leaving William and I stranded and the new casa. He’s all, “I’ll try to come home early so we can get it fixed.” Last night he got home around 7:30 pm.

The think that stinks about this situation is that we love to drive. Well, William loves to ride in the car, and I use it for at least 30 min to 1 hour of distraction per day. This is how I rationalize my daily venti soy chai with no foam, no water and an add shot (“that will be $4 million dollars please.”) So for the past two days, I’ve been forced to use the coffee pot that takes up quite a large footprint on my valuable kitchen counter space. Home coffee never tastes the same. It’s a little like home burgers that Eddie Murphy spoke of so eloquently on Raw. Even though I’m adding Vanilla Chai Spice creamer to it. And Splenda. It’s just not the same. Although it is remarkably cheaper.

And – to top it off, we were forced to enter the glorious So Cal sunshine today and go for a walk. Not having a car really takes away all my excuses. Well, not all of them. I could be unpacking right now.

Uh oh, I hear William making car noises…time to sing the “who’s awake” song.