Tuesday, April 28, 2009

This made me happy! (Thanks, VV!)

cut and paste then click on the black -- or click and drag . .. fun :)


Pain . . . .

I'm breaking a personal rule in order to make some profound notations.

Pain. Pain is amazing. Pain is totally engulfing.

I've been living with pain for years. Many years. Every morning, I awake stiff & sore. Some mornings, it is markedly worse than others. During really bad times, I can't stand up straight, have difficulty walking, can't lift my children and struggle, even with a good and plentiful pharmaceutical arsenal, to make it though the day.

I've broken down. I've cried. I've cursed. I've placed blame. I've been angry and felt jealous. I'm envious of others around me with no pain, thinner bodies, more energy.

And then, I've broken down again. I've seen doctors and chiropractors, general practioners and, during pregnancies, OB's. Many of them have looked at me with one eyebrow raised and said, "mmm-hmm", or treated me to the line about weight gain, years of gymnastics or what the hell ever.

Fast forward to Ryan. I saw a PA that actually gave a shit. That determined, even though I have strong legs and can balance . . . even though I'm functional on a day to day level . . I could still have legitimate, genuine, 100% bonafide pain. Xray. Done. MRI. Done.

Big owie. Found. Degenerative disc disease. He called it severe, but really . . . how could it NOT be severe. Seems it's either there or not, right . . like you're pregnant or not. We talked surgery. We talked pain relief. We talked causative factors. We talked quality of life.

On April 8th, I opted for an epidural injection. For 2 weeks, (for the first time in over 5 years), I awoke pain free. No motrin as the first thing in the morning. Liberating, it was. I felt the breath of hope whisper to me. Paired with the emergence of spring flowers, I felt lifted. I felt light. I was relieved. Not of just the physical pain of the disc problems . . . but of the fear. There's fear associated with movement, living, lifting, doing, bending, stooping, pulling weeds, playing catch. Fear of slipping, fear imbedded in everything.

And, it's back. The return of the pain. And, guess what. It frickin' hurts. Worse that before? I don't know. I can't even judge it because now, I've been teased with this pain-free period and I don't know if it's a 6 or a 4 or a 9. I know it hurts. And almost as much as it physically hurts, it hurts inside. All that lifting, and lightness and renewed energy. Gone. And that, my friends, sucks.

Babysitters . . .

I need some fellow maternal feedback on the topic of babysitters.

Babysitters . . . . by definition, are hired to care for your children during times of parental absence. Their function is to keeep the children 1) SAFE and 2) entertained within the bounds of the parents direction. They are paid (and pretty damn well in comparison to what I made to sit on kids a quarter of a century ago.) That second part (about the pay) makes them "employees" of sorts, right? So, basically subject to feedback from their "employer"??

* Who out there uses sitters?
* What's your going rate for sitters? how about for multiple kids?
* What's the optimal age range for the perfect sitter?
* What's better . . close family friend sitters or more distance?
* How to do approach a sitter (or do you) that you feel is unfair to your kids or isn't doing a great job? does it warrant approach or do you just "not hire" them again?
* How about sitters who bring along thier kid sister? This caused a gasp in me . . but i'm just adding it to my list for general feedback.

Gimme some . . . I use sitters rarely . . . on RARE occasion. Our rate in this neck of the woods is $4 per hour for the first kid and $2 per hour for each additional kid. For us, a cool $10-note per hour. Ouch. I know professionals who don't make that wage. I've alwasy thought that closer is better . . . however, I wonder, if . . . when you hire closer to get the baggage and attitute . . tiredness and frowny faces because they are familiar with you and your routines. Close family sitters are also more intimately intuned with discipline in your house, and feel more comfortable issuing consequences and the like. I've always thought that younger sitters are better . . the age that doesn't mind getting on the floor and playing trains . . . the age that still (kindof) likes playing . . . . just isn't "COOL" among their peers anymore.

But . . I do need some solid maternal advice on "how to approach a sitter when . . " . and for fun, "what to do when your sitter bring her kid sister along."

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Well, Crap. . .

Our school district NEVER cancels school. There can be inches, no feet . . and we still go.

Since September, I've been heading this committee, with a bunch of other super moms to plan a 20 year anniversary party for our school. It's a big friggin' affair. Catered food. A virtual transformation of the gym, library and common areas with 20 years of art, t-shirts, memorabilia . . . . a tribute to kids come and gone . . special kids who've had some kind of major impact (like they died of a tragic childhood illness.) There's a movie. A montage of photographs set to tear jerking music. There's almost a thousand dollars worth of catered food and custom cakes coming. Our local media was coming for a remote broadcast. Our district TV was taping the whole event. All the past principals were going to speak, along with a reprentative of the family for which the school is named. Big friggin' affair.

The date has been set for months. Months.

April 17, 2009.

And wouldn't you flippin' know. Snow day. All district activities cancelled. Damnit. Damnit. Damnit.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Well, doesn't this remind us not to judge a book by it's cover!
Amazing! Worth the 7 minutes of smile time!


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Seriously fabulous letter . . . .

Y'all know, every now and then . . . . more rare than a white giraffe . . there is a forwarded email worth reading. Here it is:

This is an actual letter from an Austin woman sent to American company Proctor and Gamble regarding their feminine products. It's PC Magazine's 2007 editors' choice for best webmail-award-winning letter.

Dear Mr. Thatcher,

I have been a loyal user of your 'Always' maxi pads for over 20 years and I appreciate many of their features. Why, without the LeakGuardCore or Dri-Weave absorbency, I'd probably never go horseback riding or salsa dancing, and I'd certainly steer clear of running up and down the beach in tight, white shorts. But my favorite feature has to be your revolutionary Flexi-Wings. Kudos on being the only company smart enough to realize how crucial it is that maxi pads be aerodynamic. I can't tell you how safe and secure I feel each month knowing there's a little F-16 in my pants.

Have you ever had a menstrual period, Mr. Thatcher? I'm guessing you haven't. Well, my time of the month is starting right now. As I type, I can already feel hormonal forces violently s urging through my body. Just a few minutes from now, my body will adjust and I'll be transformed into what my husband likes to call 'an inbred hillbilly with knife skills.' Isn't the human body amazing?

As Brand Manager in the Feminine-Hygiene Division, you've no doubt seen quite a bit of research on what exactly happens during your
customer's monthly visits from 'Aunt Flo'. Therefore, you must know about the bloating, puffiness, and cramping we endure, and about our
intense mood swings, crying jags, and out-of-control behavior. You surely realize it's a tough time for most women.

The point is, sir, you of all people must realize that America is just crawling with homicidal maniacs in Capri pants... Which brings me to the reason for my letter. Last month, while in the throes of cramping so painful I wanted to reach inside my body and yank out my uterus, I opened an Always maxi-pad, and there, printed on the adhesive backing, were these words: 'Have a Happy Period.'

Are you f------ kidding me? What I mean is, does any part of your tiny middle-manager brain really think happiness - actual smiling, laughing happiness, is possible during a menstrual period? Did anything mentioned above sound the least bit pleasurable? Well, did it, James? FYI, unless you're some kind of sick S&M freak, there will never be anything 'happy' about a day in which you have to jack yourself up on Motrin and Kahlua and lock yourself in your house just so you don't march down to the local Walgreen's armed with a hunting rifle and a sketchy plan to end your life in a blaze of glory.

For the love of God, pull your head out of your ass, man! If you have to slap a moronic message on a maxi pad, wouldn't it make more sense to say something that's actually pertinent, like 'Put down the Hammer' or 'Vehicular Manslaughter is Wrong',

Sir, please inform your Accounting Department that, effective immediately, there will be an $8 drop in monthly profits, for I have
chosen to take my maxi-pad business elsewhere. And though I will certainly miss your Flex-Wings, I will not for one minute miss your
brand of condescending bullshit. And that's a promise I will keep.

Always. . .

Wendi Aarons
Austin , TX