Monday, October 7, 2013

Had a fabulous birthday today. Will fill you in on the happenings tomorrow.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Tough night tonight y'all. I will write more tomorrow. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Dog's Journey and pet blessings

Today, we attended the blessing of animals at St. Margaret's. We celebrate it every year on the first Saturday because we are celebrating St. Francis of Assissi. I can't tell you how many pet blessings I've been to I my life, but they are numerous and usually meaningful. Today was no exception.

The girls wanted to take our dog, Daisy, and so we did. She was very well behaved and I was glad we took her. She was definitely not the only dog there. There was a Siberian Husky, a Weimaraner and many small dogs. But the one that true touched part of my soul was a baby terrier that the Humane Society had brought to be blessed. She had German Shepherd markings and was small but oh so good. I fell in love!!!

How I wanted to take her home, but alas my husband says no. It's too soon, he says. And perhaps he's right. Although I can tell you decades could pass before the hole that Rachel left in our lives will be filled. Oh, this puppy reminded me so much of her or at least of how she looked when she first came to us. She was just six weeks old then and someone had dumped her out in the country. She'd found her way to my door and the rest was history. Rachel lived with us for 6 years. She was my first dog to raise from a puppy and she was definitely family.

So as I looked at that puppy who responded differently to me than it did to others, I couldn't help but wonder was it Rachel who had returned to us as another dog.

I know that may seem silly to some, but to me it makes sense and I got this idea from a book called: "A Dog's Journey."

If you haven't read the book I highly recommend it. It's written from the perspective of a dog and is about the bond a dog and person have. It's amazing.

Anyway, the puppy didn't come home with us today. I'm praying she gets adopted and will probably check on her to make sure she does. Even if I can't bring her home there's no reason she needs to stay at the pound. And who knows perhaps my husband will change his mind and decide she can come and live with us too. 

But even if he doesn't it gives me peace to know she has been blessed and encourages me to try to find her forever home for her. 

So if any of you are looking for a puppy give the Moultrie Humane Society a call and ask I see her. I just know you won't regret it.

Boop droop de doop

Friday, October 4, 2013

Setting 12 week goals

My life has been just slightly crazy lately. My home definitely has begun to show the wear and tear from my frantic pace...and many obligations, but let's my honest my home usually begins to show wear and tear even when I have a normal amount of obligations and responsibilities.

However, tonight as I began to ponder this weekend and all that we have planned. And trust me I'm excited about almost everything we have going on this weekend, I also began to think about how long it's been since I've been working out on a regular basis. It's been a maybe 1/2 a year and I think I'm about to get back into the habit. See this last January I joined a group of ladies who had decided to get in shape in the new year and win some money to boot.

We competed again 143 other teams people (4 or 5 people per team) and the weighed in each week.  Our individual percentages counted as did the teams percentage. Honestly, there were weeks it was stressful, but it was also quite fun and motivating. I lost almost 30 lbs in 10 weeks.

To be completely honest, when I began the team lean challenge I had no idea that I weighed as much as I did (as strange as that may sound) or that I could possibly afford to lose almost 30 lbs. But not only could I afford to lose it when I look back at the pictures from before I question how I couldn't have realized how needed the weight loss was just to be a more healthy individual.

Since January I've put back on 5 lbs though and I never quite made it to my goal weight for team lean. I was 8 lbs above where I wanted to be. So I have decided I am going to have to find time in my busy schedule to start again. My deadline will be Thanksgiving and I'm going to get rid of those last 13 lbs.

I think I can...tomorrow starts a new day. And I think doing so not only will make me proud of me, but will help me have more energy to be a better Mom and perhaps more energetic too. I'll be honest, I've felt quite sluggish lately due to all my allergies. So perhaps this will least one can hope.

So wish me luck...because this portion of team lean is beginning again. 12 weeks, 13 pounds...totally totally doable. And when I meet this goal, it will be nice to know that I'm lighter than I've been since I finished high school and probably healthier too.

So here we go!

Boop doop de doop

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Losing my brain at the DMV.

Today has been a day from start almost through finish. Very, very early this morning at 1:41 to be exact I awakened because my allergies have been acting up. I'm very, very, very allergic to smoke and my dearly, beloved father in law and mother in law smoke like chimney so helping to care for them while being something that I am truly enjoying doing has had many bumps along the way for my health. Last night was just another one of those bumps. I took some nasal spray and then laid awake for two hours before finally managing to fall back into a sleep induced stupor.

So daybreak happened much earlier than I would have preferred this morning. Then as I ran through my morning routine I realized. The allergy medicine that I would have sworn to you was 24 hour medicine was actually 24 pills of 12 hour medicine. Oops! That certainly explains why I've been awaking with breathing issues so much lately. Thankfully, this was an easy problem to fix and I happily went on my way.

Then at some point of the morning it dawned on me, I needed to go get my driver's license renewed because it expires this coming Monday. So....I began to make preparations for that.

Ah, the DMV. I'm sure I've begun to think of it as this world's torture center. Both my daughters and I spent two interesting hours there. They watched three Curious George Episodes on my iphone. They played with their princess figures. They colored. They cried, and cuddled and I think we all wanted to scream and run away when my number was finally called. Amazing! I do believe I thought the heavens were going to open and the halliulah chorus sound. And then perhaps angels would break into Ava Marie since I had all of the proper documentation to renew my license. With all the new requirements this was no small feat. I had to take my current license, social security card, passport, tax return,  & property tax bill. Ummm...all just to prove I am me.

But I did it! And I got my picture made. The girls looked it. The representative was really friendly to my girls. And it was a great picture. I was ecstatic until she asked me if I'd like a 5 year license for 30 or a 10 year for 50. Uh oh!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'd forgotten my cash and debit card at home. No worries, she says. They take credit cards, American Express, Visa, Mastercard, etc...blood of your first born child. But I wasn't quite ready to sacrifice Ella Rose. I try not to use credit cards so I don't carry them. So I decided I'd also left my brain at home. Who spends back to back days at the DMV as a customer? Yep, only me y'all. Two hours, two exhausted children, I'm mind numbingly frustrated and ready to cry. And we were starving because it took so LONG! But it must have been worth it, even though we did it for nothing. Practice run? I think so, because guess where we are going tomorrow...that's right. Another fun filled fieldtrip to the DMV. Join us! You too can participate in the extremely grueling and tedious job of renewing your license. It's fun, really...join me and see. Just bring half the paperwork in your house and you too can have a GA drivers license renewed too. After all everyone needs to get in on the fun and torture of the DMV....just make sure to arrive early so you'll get one of those nice plastic chairs.

And if you need me tomorrow and can't find me, you know where to the DMV the DMV! Sigh.

Good night,
Boop doop de doop


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My Political Perspective

I've debated with myself for the past few days over whether or not to write anything about my political perspective on the world in which we live. Please understand, I LOOOOOVVVVEEE politics. I don't even mind when people disagree with me politically, but what I do mind is how divisive our world is. I truly despise how filled with hate, and how selfish and uncaring people behave. I know that a large portion of this hatred and selfishness comes from fear and lack of knowledge, but nonetheless it saddens me.

 What's more it bothers me that some people I consider family, and close friends are  so closed minded and frightened of the idea of a national health care plan. And to be honest, I do understand where they are coming from. Growing up, I remember a couple that emigrated to the United States from Scotland because they needed medical care. I was just a small child, and I know their names were Mr and Mrs Edwards. Do I remember what care Mrs. Edwards needed? No. I do not. But what I do remember is that Scotland had a nationally (Socialized) run medical program and that there was an extremely long waiting list for the care she needed. So rather than wait, Mr and Mrs Edwards came to the United States to get faster health care. I assume it was better care, but I can't swear to that.

And I'll admit when I first heard about National Medical Care in the United States these were the first thoughts that appeared within my head. So I get the other side, I truly do. BUT, and this is a major but then I began to explore it further. And through the twists, turns, experiences, and discussions within my immediate family (and almost immediate family) my opinion of  the Affordable Care Act began to change.
First off, I have a nephew who was born with hydrocephalus. For those of you who don't know what this is, it's literally water on the brain. I've included a picture of a child with hydrocephalus that hasn't been treated so that you can get a more clear picture of what I'm describing.

 So, all people have some fluid around their brains, but the body regulates how much fluid is made and cushions the brain. For my nephew this isn't true. His body just continues to make more and more fluid and his skull would not have fuzed together properly without brain surgery and a shunt being inserted. The shunt drains the extra fluid from his brain into his abdomen. As I'm sure you can imagine this surgery, literally brain surgery, is very dangerous, but also very expensive! Combine that with the fact that this nephew was a mere two pounds and some odd ounces when he was born there is no doubt he would have maxed out any lifetime cap that insurance companies placed on care within his lifetime. See he won't just need brain surgery once, but possibly every seven years or so. He's seven now (soon to be 8) and so far has just had to have one surgery, but we all (in our family) know there will be another one in his future and more than likely another one after that etc...

I've also included a picture, on the right, of my nephew so you can compare the difference that this surgery makes and how impossible it is to tell someone has hydrocephalus when it's treated properly.

 Danny, looks like and functions as a normal little boy because of this life changing surgery.  However, once he hits the lifetime maximum on insurance getting the second or third or fourth necessary brain surgery would be almost impossible. However, the Affordable Care Act removes that cap. And my nephew can have as many brain surgeries as he needs to live a happy, productive and normal life. So that was the first thing that began to change my perspective on the Affordable Care Act.

And if that wasn't enough then there's my sister. God bless my sister! She's one of the most caring, most giving people I know. Any time she sees a person in need, she gives! Even to her own detriment she will give to others. But my generous sister has had some major health problems within her lifetime. She had a tubal seven years ago that went wrong. The doctor tore her uterus and then tried to fix it and tore it again. He claimed it was paper thin and that he couldn't tell she'd borne four children. But she had! Anyway, because of his negligence major scar tissue developed and wrapped itself around many organs within her. She began having blood cysts and endometriosis and extreme pain. She went to the doctor and the E.R. repeatedly telling them she hurt as if she was in labor for days. They gave her mild pain meds and sent her on her way. They'd discuss with her the options but almost no surgeons were willing to operate to remove the scar tissue present. Why? She had no insurance. She had a disc bulge in her back and had very little care because she had no insurance...and I could go on and on with her medical plights. My family discovered during her healthcare adventures that the only healthcare hospitals had to or doctors were willing to provide was for imminent  life saving procedures. Quality of life for those without insurance didn't matter.

And then, I became a stay at home Mom. Until I decided to stay at home with my girls my husband, girls and I had wonderful insurance through the school system. But after that the shock of how messed up our status quo healthcare system was truly hit home. First, I had a very difficult time finding insurance that would cover me, even with exclusion provisions. I had, had two back surgeries and two C-sections in the last five years. All 4 of these surgeries were necessary. The back surgeries because I had a massive rupture of my L4-L5 disc twice. The rupture was so massive that I truly have no disc left at that level. The C-sections were due to severe pre-eclampsia that didn't manifest itself until I was in the midst of labor (both times). Oh and I'm it was almost impossible to find coverage for my family that included me since I was no longer employed.

My husband spoke to his employer about providing insurance but was told it wasn't necessary because all the other employees had it through their spouses' jobs. So we had to search for insurance on our own. Then, we found a company that would approve us for coverage with the exclusion of any C-sections for me. So obviously I couldn't get pregnant, but no biggie. I didn't plan to anyway.

All was good until my daughters caught the flu. When we went to get prescriptions for their flu I was shocked. Total cost for their prescriptions for Theraflu for my two girls and anti-nausea medicine was $500!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, you read that correctly. No this didn't include the cost for the Dr's visit. It was medicine alone supposedly with insurance.

Needless to say I began to wonder shortly there after how in the world my family would manage if anyone caught even the slightest cold after that. And decided drastic action had to be taken. I'd been totally against the idea of applying for Peach care for my children before the $500 prescriptions, but after that it became my main goal in life. And it just about took an act of Congress to get it for them, but we did it. So I now no longer have to worry about their medical insurance.

But my dear husband and I still had the lousy health insurance that we were paying out $240 a month for just the two of us and wasn't covering almost anything...and I do mean anything We simply couldn't continue to pay for that. We couldn't afford it! But I didn't want to be uninsured so I called companies and told them I only wanted major medical, like serious problem type insurance. I was told what I was looking for didn't exist. I truly wanted hospital coverage so that if my back had problems again or something to that effect we'd not be out tens of thousands of dollars. So we took a leap.

I cancelled our insurance and we became one of the millions of uninsured. Thankfully, knock on wood we've managed. Neither of us have had any major illnesses. A common cold here and there...but nothing major. And we've held on or at least I've held on to the hope that Obamacare would be the answer. We will be able to afford insurance. What a blessed day! Not only will be able to afford insurance, but good quality insurance. Does that please me? Yes...immensely.

Now let me make this footnote because I know someone may comment, well if it was that important to you then you could have just kept your job and not become a stay at home Mom. Honestly, no I couldn't. I call it my choice and it's true, I quit...

However, it was inevitable. The school where I worked had issues with my focus on my family. They couldn't understand why I'd travel to Arkansas to be with my dying Nanny and with my youngest daughters need to nurse and the arrangements to do so which in no way affected my job performance. However, the administration saw it as an all or nothing matter so I quit and made it official that my family was first in my life.

Do I regret that decision? No, I do not, not in the least!. I simply regret that our society has become so work focused that they couldn't realize that family has to be a top priority too. And I would resign again tomorrow, even knowing the things that I now know.  I'd do it again a million times. Being at home and truly putting my family first was one of the best decisions I've ever made. But I'm sure I've upset some people with my perspective and for that I apologize. However, I hope that I've made those same individuals think and consider who this Obamacare is going to help. We, the individuals who need the Affordable Care Act are not (in the majority) people trying to mooch off the system.  They are people who can't get or can't afford the healthcare they should receive in the status quo. As a friend of mine commented yesterday:

"Hands are a powerful thing. While I have one in a fist of smiting rage at our horrible Congress, the other is wiping away tears of joy and gratitude because I am amazed that I will have health insurance. Love it or hate it, there are lots of us good, tax-paying folks that have dreamed of this day so that we can finally get treatment on, say, an arm that dislocates every day. No matter how you feel about what's going on and the shenanigans of our government, I hope we the people can hug it out, make each other laugh, and get through it...hand in hand."

 I couldn't agree more with her if I tried so that my dear reader is my hope as well. So with that in mind, I leave you for the day...and I promise a less controversial blog tomorrow.

Until then,
Boop Doop De Doop


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

National Blog Writing Month

Hi all-

Today, since it's the first day of October, is the first day of National Blog Writing Month. I've attempted this for the last three years and I don't believe I've ever managed to blog every day for the entire month, but I'm rearing to go and super excited about trying again. If you blog, love to write or even are mildly curious in trying to do so I highly suggest that you give it a try. Just put a link to your blog on Facebook at NaBloWriMo. Join us! Won't you?

Now with that said...buckle in and get ready for the ride. I can hardly wait to blog each day for the month! I suppose I could start by telling you why I do NaBloWriMo and a little bit more about my crazy life that I love. Today is actually a quiet day around here...okay semi-quiet. My four year old does have both gymnastics and soccer this afternoon, but other than that the day is much more calm than they've been lately. Since I'm a stay at home much of my days are focused around helping others, be it my in-laws, children, people in the community, etc...and of course running my household.

Lately, it's been a challenge to get it all done each day, but a joyful one. Two weeks ago my father-in-law fell 18feet out of a tree and broke his pelvis. He was airlifted to a larger hospital because his fracture was so severe, but the larger hospital opted not to operate and sent him home after just a few days. So my daughters and I have been visiting with him multiple times a day for the last couple of weeks. Honestly, it's been a blessing to have that time together for all involved. My girls are becoming much closer to their paternal grandparents and the relationship between my mother-in-law, father-in-law and I has changed drastically. As much as I'd never wish this situation upon anyone, good has come from it. It just goes to show sometimes we don't know why life leads us into the moments it does, but there's true purpose in all that happens and good can come out of even the worst circumstances.

I think the other major change in our lives is that although I'm a former high school teacher, I'm embracing my stay at home Mom role a bit more fully this year. Perhaps that's true because it's my second full year at home...but for whatever reason it really makes me question how families with two working parents make sure it all gets done. the added money would be nice, BUT it wouldn't be worth the things I'd have to miss out on. Don't get me wrong, I know at some point I will return to working outside the home (maybe when both girls are in school) but until then I'm going to savor our moments together and find creative ways to make funds in the process.

I've started a pet sitting service and actually am heading out to distribute more information about it today. I have a regular customer that the girls and I visit with her dogs every day and it's really been a joy to see the puppies smiling faces. I've tried selling my daughters old clothes for consignment, but haven't had much luck. I've made less than $100 dollars doing that. But as I said money isn't everything.

This next week we begin fall break and I'm truly looking forward to our little Stay-cation. Actually, I find myself looking forward to October as I always do. We have so many wonderful things that happen in October. This coming week the girls and I will be traveling to see the Ugly Ducking Light Show at the Grand in Macon. We have a Blessing of Animals at our Church this coming Saturday. My eldest is headed out to a birthday party for her best friend on Saturday and she has soccer pictures on Saturday too. Saturday is going to be BUSY!!!

The next weekend we are going to the GA National Fair, and the weekend after that to ride on Thomas the train at Day out with Thomas. I believe it's our fourth year to go to that too. :) And we have a yard sale at church too! Whew!! Busy, busy but just how I love it.

We will probably throw in some play dates, visits to museums and the bouncy houses, the mix and just enjoy our life here at home.

Yes, the beginning of October always lifts my spirits y'all. Perhaps, it's the realization it's really fall. And this  year the air is a little bit more crisp (something that is unusual this early in the fall in South GA). Perhaps it's the apple picking, or the pumpkin patches popping up everywhere. Maybe it's because my birthday falls in this month and reminds me how important it is to celebrate each day and year of my life.

Whatever it is, not even the shut down of the Government can spoil my mood. Which says a lot since I think it's absurd that our elected officials can't worth together for the good of all. But I won't get on a political soap box on this grand day. So with that said, I hope you all have a blessed day and that you consider joining us as we begin our new adventure into National Blog Writing Month.

I'll talk to you again tomorrow!
Until then, Boop doop de Doop