Saturday, July 16, 2011

5-Question Friday!

I know, I'm a little late to the party, oh well!  Here goes:

1. If you knew your best friend's spouse was cheating on her or him, would you tell her (him)?
YES.  I know it would be a hard thing to do, but for that kind of behavior to continue hurts everyone involved.  It would be hard for me to have someone tell me that kind of thing too - but I'd rather know, so that I could end the relationship asap and move on with my life.  Why continue a bad thing one second longer than necessary?
2. Soda in a can or a bottle?
Well, I don't really drink soda/pop - too much sugar.  Mostly it tastes like fizzy syrup which, to me, is not really all that refreshing or hydrating.  But, when I do drink the stuff, it does taste better out of a bottle, with lots of ice, sipped through a straw.
3. What do you wash first, hair or body?
Hair.  And lately, every time I wash my hair (which is every day of course!), I think "wow I really need a haircut".  At which point I consider just trimming it myself, which I have done before.  And then I think, no, I should really use that gift certificate I recv'd for a birthday like two years ago, and go to a salon and have it trimmed and styled and all that.  And then I think, well, then I'd get all hooked on getting my hair done at the salon, and then before you know it I'd be spending $100 every 6 weeks to get it cut and styled and colored and all that.  And then I think, well, no, I should just use that hair-coloring kit I bought a month ago and have been too chicken to use thus far.  And then I remember when I looked at the directions and read that first I'd have to do an allergic-reaction-test, and not wash my hair for 48 hours after coloring (if I'm not allergic to the stuff in the first place, that is).  And then I think, well, that's just too complicated for me to try today.....and another day goes by, and my hair just keeps on a'growin.
Seriously, this is my train of thought pretty much every I wash my hair.  That's more info than you wanted, I'm sure.
4. What advice would you give to any new mama?
Oh, my.  Wellllll.......Get some sleep.  Forget about the laundry, the dishes, and cooking complete meals for yourself (and your spouse/partner if you have one).  Toss all of your personal likes/dislikes/hobbies/desire for a clean house out the window and forget about them.  Do not buy your baby Every Piece of Baby Equipment Out There, because believe me, you really don't need 75% of it.  Take lots and lots and lots of pictures, and video if you can!  I have been going through the "My Pictures" section on my hard drive, organizing photos....and have re-discovered sooooo many cute photos, and two videos!, of my kids.  I'm am so glad to have them - they are priceless because the time has gone so fast.  I really doubt we are having any more kids, so to have these photos and videos is really meaningful!  Oh, and also, don't worry too much about germs.  I mean, be careful of course, but unless you plan on never leaving your house, you child will encounter germs.  Lastly, do not forget about YOU; start slowly if you need to, but try to go out on your own or with some friends, at least once a month (yes, even when your baby is only a month old).  It can be for just an hour!  But get some non-house-non-baby-air, once in a while.  It will help you maintain perspective.

5. What is your best hangover remedy?
Well.  I haven't had the opportunity to drink enough to get into hangover range, in a long time!  But, even when I'm drinking just a little, I still feel the effects the next day.  So, my remedy is, that same night that you've been really chugging it down, take 2 aspirin with a LOT of water.  Alcohol really dehydrates you, so the water will help with that the next day.  And in the morning, drink more water, and a cup of coffee if you can, and eat a piece of dry toast - just to get something in your stomach besides alcohol and acid.
Thanks for reading,





Friday, July 15, 2011

Books in the Pile!

What's in "the Pile" these days:
The Perfect Reader Maggie Pouncey
The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains (NF)
  Nicholas Carr
Mrs. Somebody Somebody Tracy Winn
Neighborhood Watch  Cammie McGovern
The Map  Brunonia Barry
61 Hours  Lee Child
Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family's Feuds (NF)  Lyndall Gordon
Last Night in Twisted River  John Irving
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest  Stieg Larsson
The New Food Processor Bible (NF) Norene Gilletz
The Practical Naturalist (NF)  Audubon/Dorling Kindersley, publishers

(NF = non-fiction)

Now, keep in mind, this one stack of books will probaby take me several months to get through - considering I don't or can't really spend time reading until my kids are in bed.  Whenever I do manage to read during daylight hours - even for a few minutes - both the strangeness of it plus the attendant guilt that I'm not doing something "more important" get to me and I put the book down.  That, or I'm just interrupted so much that it's difficult to hold a thought.

I have started reading The Perfect Reader and The Shallows:What the Internet is Doing to our Brains.  Both are very good thus far, and Shallows has been both enlightening and intriguing as to the nature of the human brain and how it is affected/can be changed by the stuff we all do everyday. 

So, how do I go about finding good stuff to read?  Well, here is another photo:

This is a picture of the notebook I have been keeping, for the past few years.  I'm actually not sure how far this goes back!  I started this when I was still working at the library, because I would find so many books that looked good, but obviously just taking a book home doesn't necessarily mean it comes with the time to read it.  So I started keeping lists.  I also started reading two things:  "BookMarks" magazine, which my library carries and which is exclusively book reviews.  Very good magazine; I'd subscribe to it but at the moment, I'd rather save the money and use the local library.  I also read "Book Page" which is also available at the local library and is also solely reviews of books.  As I look through each publication and read the reviews I just write down the title and author of what looks interesting.

Then I go my library's website and just request a whole chunk of things at a time.  Just walking into the library and wandering around generally doesn't work, because what I have in mind to get probably isn't just on the shelf (like that Stieg Larsson book, that is never just on the shelf, it's too popular) - so then I just grab whatever.  And then the "whatever" I grabbed turns out to be poorly written and not worth my time.

So, now, I've got this whole stack of good stuff to read.  What are YOU reading these days?

Thanks for reading THIS!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

F.acebook Fodder: Social media is crazy

Do you "facebook" (yes, that's a verb now, don't ya know)?

How many people have you "friended" (yes, another new verb)?

I think I've been on FB for, I don't know, maybe almost two years now.  I blame my brother-in-law Jeff for getting me started...he kept sending me e-mails about some video he'd uploaded but which I could only see if I created a FB account.  I don't even remember what the video was (sorry Jeff!) but, these many months later, I am well and truly hooked.  These days I often log into FB before I even check my e-mail - I consider that to be a bad habit, as I have much more important stuff happening on my FOUR email accounts than is happening on FB.

I don't know, off the top of my head, how many "friends" I have.  I think it is over 300 at this point; but, the majority of those are parents who also have a child with Prader-Willi Syndrome, and so I consider those "friends" to be actual friends simply because we have our wonderful children and that rare syndrome in common.  I have become true friends with several fellow PWS parents, even though we've not (YET) met in person.

I will admit to getting tired of Facebook.  Gasp, I know.  There are so many news feeds going on, that I'm sure I miss 75% of everyone's posts on a daily basis.  There just isn't any way to keep up with it all, without spending hours on it!  And Farmville...I hate to admit how much time that has sucked from my life over the past two years.  I think, I really think, I may be done with it.  It was fun for a while, but I'm getting tired of it, there's so many other more valuable things I could be doing with my time, and my computer is 5 years old and often just doesn't load the games well anymore.  And the game itself has become so much more complicated since I started playing, that it takes more and more time to "play" it....and that's starting to sound like "work" to me.

It's funny, to watch how others use FB.  I have seen it be a catalyst for a PWS mom to get a car, so that she has transportation to take her daughter with PWS to doctor's appointments or just to get out of the house and go do something (distraction is a huge daily challenge for many families living with PWS).  That was, simply, amazing!  I have also seen FB used to in, one mom using a FB post to criticize another mom for how much she's on FB....uh, what?  I have seen ranting posts, complete with profanity and all in caps...ugh to those.  Then there are the "using FB power for good" posts, with people raising awareness of various causes (like PWS!), or trying to locate a missing person, or raise money for something.  But then, I know people who actually do not even go on Facebook, ever....can you believe that?  Some folks can't live without it, and some folks are doing fine never using FB at all.

Then of course, there is the T.witter phenomenon.  I don't twitter or follow others' twittering, at this point.  I've got my phone busy enough already, because I can check e-mails on it.  In fact I think I'm just getting burned out on technology altogether these days - it's this constant, nagging presence!

Have you (yes, you, the one reading this post!) ever done one of those internet-free weeks, or a "technology fast"?  How did it go?  I'm tempted to try this.  It seems like the only way to get perspective and figure out what parts of my technology habits are really important and what parts  can go, is to go cold turkey on it all for a few days at least.  Hmmmm......

Thanks for reading-

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Garage, lots of stuff

I've been trying over the past few weeks to steadily work through one room in the basement, sorting out what will go in the garage sale.  This is just to start with....eventually I have the goal of going through every single part of the house.

WOW there is a LOT of stuff. 

When K came along, we did what many parents do and went a little overboard with the purchasing of equipment, and toys, and clothes, you name it we probably had it.  We had a yard sale about 2 years ago and sold a huge amount of children's clothes, and some toys, so on and so forth.  I thought we had cleaned out a lot of stuff. 

All I can say is, while we did indeed clear out quite a bit of stuff with that sale, it's a good thing we did because otherwise, at this point, we'd be on an episode of "". 

I have so far filled up about 7-8 big black trash bags with things to go in the sale.  With my large family, and generous in-laws, both of my kids were very, very showered with gifts for Christmases, birthdays, and any other holiday which could be considered a gift-giving event.  While K did play with pretty much everything she received, S did not.  She is very much into the "idea" of asking for and receiving presents, but there are many toys/books/what-not which she just didn't get into.  Personally I think this is part of her PWS diagnosis - there are things she plays with, but they aren't your run-of-the-mill toy.  Little People?  Nope.  Puzzles (a favorite of many individuals with PWS)? Not really, at this point.  Polly Pockets? The clothes are too small and too hard to maneuver for her, in terms of fine-motor skills.  Board games involving any kind of strategy (checkers) or abstract thinking?  Not really at this point.  She does enjoy books, both for reading herself and also for pretend-I'm-a-teacher-reading-to-my-students pretending - but I've definitely purchased waaaaaaaay more than we really need over the years!  So I am happy to sell those (or even give them away) to folks who need them or will actually use them.

So, back to the basement for me today.  I have to confess, it actually feels pretty good to be sorting through things and clearing out some space!

Thanks for reading-
My biggest challenge, in terms of getting ready for this sale, will be convincing Hubster to go through his books and put a certain percentage of those in the sale.  Hmph.  We'll see on that one!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Church and the special-needs community

We are fairly consistent attendees at church, although since our church doesn't have air conditioning and S is somewhat sensitive to being extremely hot, our summer attendance isn't as consistent.

I have sat through many, many, many sermons/homilies in all my years of church-going.  I have heard countless sermons about how Christians, the church community, should reach out to and provide for and protect the helpless, the widow, the orphan, the downtrodden.  I've heard the Beatitudes read in many a reading during service after service.

Where does the special-needs community fit into all of that "reaching out"?  I have yet to hear a priest or reverand or minister include individuals with special-needs, and their families or caregivers, in the groups of people who might be appropriate recipients of the ministries of the church - prayers for healing (if the family wants that), home visits, taking communion to group homes (and don't tell me doing that isn't worth it because the residents of a group home wouldn't understand...yes, they would.  In their own way, they would.  And even if they didn't, I think God would still approve.).  Are individuals with special needs even welcome in a church atmosphere, or would that be frowned upon because they might be seen as "disruptive" because their attempts to communicate or participate might sound a bit different from ours?  Heck, there are churches where children aren't always welcome in the sanctuary during services because they make 'too much noise', so I'm thinking having a person with disabilities present during a service, someone who might not be able to fully control their movements or vocalizations, might make some of the congregation uncomfortable.  I know our church is handicapped-accessible; most buildings are, these days.  But do special-needs-families truly feel welcome, do they truly feel embraced by the various church communities out there?

There are various well-known stories of disabled/chronically ill people in the Bible.  In some (perhaps all? can't remember, need to research this) of those stories, the person was healed by Jesus. 

The people in the church community today are Jesus' healing hands...yes?  It may be necessary to go to the special-needs family, as in many instances it is medically/physically difficult for the family/individual to make their presence felt in the church itself, at services.  If they are able to attend, how accepting would we be?

"The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' Matthew 25:40.

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Little Bit 'A Random

1.  B and I upgraded our cell phones a few weeks ago...we both have "smartphones".  Even with the word "smart" in there I still have not been able to teach mine how to do the laundry.  I keep waiting...I've even left it on top of the washing maching downstairs a few times...nothing happened.  Sigh.
All joking aside, the phones are really pretty cool.  I've been using the calendar on mine a lot, which is helping to keep me organized.  It was especially useful last week as I helped get my niece to basketball camp and S to her summer Thursday, as I would pull out of the driveway, I had to do a mental check to remember who I was picking up/dropping off and if I was headed in the right direction!  My niece greatly enjoyed basketball camp.  She's pretty good (plus she's taller than me at this point, so that helps!)!  The camp was held at a local college, which has a relatively new gym...I don't think I've ever been in a gym that big.  I think I could fit my house in it a few times.

2.  We have now gotten 5 or 6 estimates on a new roof.  Cha-ching!!  This is going to cost between $5000 and $9000, depending on who we hire and what exactly they do.  Did you know it is aesthetically important that the roof and house shingles match??  I did not know this.  The Hubster was assuming we were getting the garage done too....I was not thinking that at all, since there is nothing wrong with the garage roof!  It is newer than the house roof and doesn't leak, so I wasn't including that in the job at all.  He said it would look stupid if the roofs didn't 'match'.  Ummmm.  I don't think I have ever noticed whether or not the roofs match.  I would notice if they were two different colors, but I don't think I would care otherwise.  I was, needless to say, gulping a bit at the cost; the Hubster did get a bonus this year but I was hoping to use some of that to help fund a PWS-related trip later this year.  So we haven't completely decided whether to do the roof this year, or wait another year.

3.  Try explaining this bumper-sticker to an eleven-year old:  "I Give Evolution Two Opposable Thumbs Up!".   I read it and got it right away...I had a really hard time, though, trying to explain it to K.

4.  Elder Daughter ("K") now has a cell phone.  Hallelujah we have crossed that bridge.  I don't think she is finding it as "all that" as she thought it would be.  I gave her my most recent cell phone, with her own phone number.  It is considerably less sophisticated than the iPhones I have seen other 11-year olds carrying. 

5.  Why would anyone in their right mind get an iPhone for an 11-year-old?  I don't care what kind of cell plan you have, those phones are a) expensive, and b) much more 'phone' than a person that age needs.  K can make phone calls, text, take pictures - that's it.  And even though she's been wanting a phone for two years, and now she has one, you know what?  It sits there.  She's not constantly texting or calling friends.  I've seen her with her DSi in her hands more, over the past two days, than the phone.  Of course, maybe that will all change once school starts and she starts giving out her phone number to other friends (no boys though!).  Although, if her grades start to fall, the phone goes buh-bye.

6.  We are in the process of putting up the pool outside.  We have so far purchased 28 bags of sand, trying to get this particular patch of ground as level as possible. We are going to need more sand.  It is really hot outside, especially when hauling around bags of sand. 

7.  I can't believe it is already July 4th weekend.  I have a feeling the summer is going to go by really fast.  S has been enjoying her summer camp, although there have been a few minor food issues.  I've become totally impatient with food-based "crafts" or activities!

Well, it's hot up here by the computer (although the computer does stay cool enough), so I'm off to go buy more sand...although it's hot doing that too!  Thanks for reading,