Monday, November 30, 2009

William says, "I am the bloggingest man alive!"

Today is 30 Nov 2009, and I have blogged every single day this month. I didn't know I had it in me. Although this is a short blog post, I promise to make a greater effort to blog in the future. I often have a lot to say about a lot of different things, and this blog is a great place to vent, get on a soap box, or just have a good time. Thanks to everyone for participating by reading my posts. They will get more exciting and will be of higher quality when they're not watered down by frequency. GOOD NIGHT!

I am freaking AMAZING!



I wrote 50,385 words on my novel this month for NaNoWriMo. Not all of it is awesome, but I like plot so far. Its been a really interesting exercise. I was supposed work on an outline all summer so that I would be ready when November came to hammer out the book. But I didn't. I had an outline of the first two or three chapters. So, the first day or two of writing went really well. Then it was really, really hard for the next couple of weeks. But I felt like I eventually hit a stride. And the characters started to tell me the story instead of the other way around. It was really fun towards the end. I just might even finish writing the book.


AND now I've successfully blogged everyday for NaBloPoMo.


See how amazing I am?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Atlanta

So, as you know if you've been reading our blogs this whole month (and bless your heart for that) we went to Atlanta for a conference that William presented a paper at. The most fun thing we did, besides the good food we ate, was go to the Georgia Aquarium. I thought I'd share a couple of pictures of the fun.


Here is William under water (okay, not really, but its funny that he's pretending to be):




Here is John enjoying the world's largest aquarium (and second largest viewing window). He actually stood there for quite awhile. He was totally fascinated. Which I, of course, found freaking adorable.


William says, "I am more tired."

This weekend was supposed to be the break I needed to recharge my batteries so I could have the energy to get through the rest of the semester, but I feel like the opposite has happened. As tired and worn out, as mentally, physically, and spiritually drained as I was going into the weekend, I feel so much more exhausted tonight as I head to bead, staring down my usual 6:00 a.m. alarm. The funny thing about that is my other alarm, the boy, who likes to wake up for the day any time between 5:00 and 5:45. That's right, he rarely lets me get to 6:00. So I'll hit the gym, more tired than usual, build up some endorphins and feel energized going into the rest of my morning. Sadly, it won't last. These days I am crashing around 3:00 p.m. or so. My brain will shut down for the day, and I will lose valuable time that could be spent on important work. So much for all that rest I planned on getting. Maybe the Christmas break will bring some. So I'll suck it up for two more weeks. Here I go ...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

First Time Driving... A Space Shuttle

video

Today John learned that he L.O.V.E.S. the fun carts.

William says, "The internet is cool."

I apologize in advance for such a short post. I discovered bidcactus today. You should check it out. It's fun, and it has some great deals.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

I went shopping today. It was my first time EVER to go shopping on a Black Friday. And I gotta tell ya, it really wasn't so bad. Mind, I didn't get up at 3am and wait in line anywhere. Just later in the day we headed out to a couple of stores. The crowds weren't that bad, the deals were still good, and Costco had some yummy samples. I didn't hate it as much as I thought I would.


I'll tell you where the real deals are at though. Cyber Monday. That is what I'm looking forward to.


That is all.

William says, "Black Friday was fun!"

Perhaps I am a little crazy. Allow me to explain. First, like most people, I am susceptible to the desire for material goods. For example, I am an electronics, movie, and book junkie. I can go nuts and get lost in a shopping spree for anything even remotely related to any of these things. I also like clothes a lot. However, books usually win out, since my profession involves books (as does some of my recreation), and because electronics can get really expensive really fast. Having said that, I am not obsessed with material things, especially things that I don't need. I mean, I have some toys. My laptop, for example, can be called a toy, although it is essential in many ways for my work. What I am trying to say is this: we have some toys, things that we do not absolutely need, and we have some things that are "higher end" or more than we could make do with (a 42 inch LCD TV is fun, but we could have settled for something smaller). I am happy to say that most of the "fancier" things we have, we paid for outright (no credit cards). If we personally want something fun (a little more TV, a Blu-ray player, a GPS) we will take the time to save up the money for it. That's what I did with the TV, and that is what I did for the GPS I just ordered. In other words, a whole bunch of fancy Black Friday deals will not convince me to buy a whole bunch of stuff I don't need no matter how bad I may want that stuff or how much fun it is. I was waiting to buy the GPS today, but again, I saved up for that. My Black Friday shopping in the wee hours this morning (which was actually long after every store had opened) was aimed at specific needs, practical objects that I knew would not sell out in the first couple of hours, and if they did? Well, my thinking was practical: it would save me some money. Fortunately, I was able to buy everything I wanted, and the Walmart I went to was not crowded at all. In fact, we've been grocery shopping at far busier times. So, I got the stuff I wanted to get, all at killer prices, and I found some bonuses along the way, like a Christmas present for the boy at a great price that I didn't expect. I finished up online at Amazon. Killer deals there today. With the money I had saved up, I was able to get a Garmin GPS and a nice dress watch (something I have not had . . . well, ever I don't think). I have always been a sports watch guy (I currently wield a Casio Pathfinder triple sensor). The good news is that I have a bundle of saved up money left over that I can use to buy something else fun. That's what made Black Friday for me, but it still wasn't as much fun as all the time I was able to spend with my family. HAPPY BLACK FRIDAY!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Today was a wonderful day with my husband and my son. We started off with the Turkey Trot this morning. We "ran" (experienced is a better word) the 5K. Neither of us has been training. I, in fact, haven't been running AT ALL in months. I still managed to pull in under 44 minutes and William somewhere around 40. And we had John in a stroller, so I feel like we should get to shave minutes off of that. I'm really just glad it didn't take me longer than an hour.


Afterwards we came home and cooked to our hearts content, which William has already blogged about. I love me some Thanksgiving feast.


The rest of the day was spent hanging about, playing with John, watching a Christmas movie, resting...


It was just a really great holiday. And I'm feeling like I have so much to be thankful for. Not the least of these things is my wonderful little family. I'm so blessed to have my boys.


I hope everyone else had a wonderful day too.


That is all.

William says, "I'm tired and STUFFED."

The title says it all. It has left me drained and unmotivated, so I will make this post simple. We ate some DANG good food today. Leah Marie and I do it right. Yes, we make healthy choices everyday to take care of our bodies, which includes eating right, but since Thanksgiving only comes once a year, we do go all out. What's also fabulous about it all is the effort we put into it and the time we get to spend together in the kitchen. Leah Marie and I don't do anything halfheartedly. We make everything from scratch and don't hold back: cream, butter, and whatever else makes things yummy. Today we had the following: Traditional Turkey (I slow roasted it this year, trying something new. It went a little too long, but it was good.), savory mashed sweet potatoes and mashed russets, Leah Marie's secret family recipe stuffing (YOW!), pineapple-glazed carrots, homemade rolls (I can bake me some bread), completely-from-scratch green bean casserole (I made a bechamel sauce with some butter and cream and mushrooms, mixed in the green beans, and topped it with some onions I had caramelized. WOWIE!), cranberry sauce (I made from fresh cranberries), turkey gravy, homemade apple pie (I did this one right with homemade caramel sauce in it), and some fancy mini Ginger Spice cupcakes Leah Marie made with some pumpkin and topped with cream cheese frosting. It was all very, very good, and absolutely amazing. I look forward to the leftovers.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Seasons Greetings

William's post today got me thinking. I LOVE this time of year. I live for it. While I do make myself wait until the day after Thanksgiving to break out the Christmas decor, I start listening to the music the day after Halloween. And I get so excited about seeing the Christmas stuff show up in the stores. I LOVE it.


I hear a lot people complain about the extended Christmas season, and how its all happened because of commercialization, blah, blah, blah. But here's my thing: I don't care WHY we've extended the season, I just love the fact that we have. Christmas is an AMAZING time of year where people all over the world unite in the celebration of the birth of our Savior. Even people who don't believe in Christ, or a God at all for that matter, still get into the Spirit with a general sense of good will towards their fellow man. Its like they just can't escape the Light of God, even for trying.


I think that life is what you make of it. You can choose to be irritated because its too much about Santa and not enough about Christ. You can choose to be irritated because they start selling Christmas stuff in October. You can choose to be irritated because people are calling it a Holiday tree instead of a Christmas tree. You can choose to be irritated by all of that and be super grumpy this time of year... every year.


OR you can just choose to get over all of that and celebrate. I choose to believe that it is all about Christ. Every last bit of it. Santa is the manifestation of the Spirit of Christ, in my mind. The fact that they start selling Christmas stores earlier than they used to is a reminder to me that I need to remember Him and celebrate Him in my life more often. Calling it a Holiday tree instead of a Christmas tree reminds me that Christ loves everyone, and would encourage us to embrace people different than ourselves and lovingly share the world with them.


I simply love this time of year. And you can't bring me down, you Scrooges.



That is all.

William says, "Is there a journeyman level?"

It's that time of the year when Christians the world over begin to think deeply about their religious convictions. It all starts with Thanksgiving. Currently there is a common theme in Facebook statuses, people identifying everyday something for which they are thankful. It will culminate near the end of the year with celebrations of the Savior's birth. It's a great time of the year to reflect, and for some, it's a great time to fire people up. There is a billboard I pass every morning I drive to campus. It is an advertisement for something called "Look Who's Laughing Now 2." Last year was the first one. For lack of a better description, it reads like it will be a New Year's Eve revival. They are taking over the Tallahassee/Leon County Civic Center. I am not sure who "they" are, but "they" come from or are the "In his presence cathedral of praise." Whatever that means. What interests me the most about this whole shindig is the man presiding over it: Master Prophet L.E. Cohen. Was there ever a more made up title? Come on. A prophet is God's mouthpiece on earth ("Surely the Lord God will do nothing but he revealeth his secrets unto his servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7)). It doesn't get any better than that. So this title, "Master Prophet," has me wondering, What is a "Master Prophet"? Did he start as an "Apprentice Prophet"? Are there "Journeyman Prophets"? I do not mean to sound as though I am belittling another person's beliefs. I am just genuinely curious. Okay, I do think it's a little funny.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Laughing Baby

Sometimes I go to youtube and search for laughing babies just for fun. It makes pretty much any day seem that much brighter. I thought this one was pretty priceless. I dare you not to smile.


William says, "Where's the love?"

I have blogged every day for the last 24 days (including this blog post). Admittedly, some have not been all that great or noteworthy, but many have been interesting, insightful, and thought-provoking. However, I feel like I have done all this writing for nothing. People have hardly commented if at all, and I am left feeling like my words mean nothing, and that my thoughts are not that interesting. However, when Leah Marie blogs, regardless of the content, length, etc., she almost always gets at least one comment, but usually two or three. So what is it? Do I smell bad? Do I merely speak drivel? I've got to say that it kills my motivation to write anything let alone put forth the effort to say something interesting. When NaBloPoMo ends, my blogging days may end, too.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Did you know you could do that?

Okay, so you know how they say you need to buy new towels once a year? 'Cause towels get old right. I think the biggest problem is that they start smell old. I'm sure you know what I mean. Well, a while back I got to thinking about how they start to smell old (because some of mine were) and I was thinking about why that happens. I figured it was because of detergent build up, and in my head I thought, "Like with the cloth diapers, that's why I strip them." And then a light bulb went off. "Hey! Maybe I could do the same stripping process on my towels!" I finally tried it for the first time last week. Worked like MAGIC. My old towels don't smell old anymore. They smell fresh. Its awesome. I'm not buying new towels this year, yo.

In case you're curious, instructions for stripping cloth diapers here.

William says, "Dissertation taking over."

I entered today with a goal for the day and for the week. Today, I needed to grade at least five papers, finish rereading The Tempest(since I am teaching that tomorrow), read/skim at least two articles, and write a little on that dissertation. The goal for the week: grade five papers a day until Thanksgiving and surpass 30 pages by Thanksgiving on the chapter on which I am currently working. This morning, while I was dressing after my shower, inspiration struck, and I hammered out over a page on the dissertation. I eventually started reading an article that gave me some more inspiration. Bottom line, I didn't get through half an article, I didn't grade a single paper, and I only read a few pages in The Tempest. However, I now have 30 pages on that chapter. Some of it needs polishing and organization, but it feels good to be cruising along because I have notes that will take me well beyond 40 pages, which is the goal by the end of the semester so that I can hand it off to my adviser for some feedback before the break. It won't be a complete chapter, but this is part of the meatiest chapter I will have (according to my outline, anyway). So the dissertation is taking over my life, pushing everything else work related out of the way. It's a beast that I must tame, but not too much. I want to finish a fast as possible.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Political Climate

So, this is something that has just been on my mind lately. The political climate in our nation is just off the charts these days. Its so charged and pundits are just about nastier than they've ever been. There is so much anger and too many accusations. I've been thinking about why that is really, and I think I've figured it out.

Well, for one, pundits generally say what they think other people will repeat. Even if in the repeating people are saying its the stupidest thing anyone's ever said... they're still repeating it. But, that's not really anything new, so not my point. My point is why pundits think that what they are saying is going to get repeated and that is totally based on what they think people do and don't want to hear.

Americans have historically been incrementalists. Conservatives generally oppose change and liberal generally propose change. Now, I'm not trying to be overly simplistic here, its just the way it it. Conservatives (think about it, conservative - conserve, get it?) seek to maintain the status quo and liberals seek to change it. Neither approach is always the right thing. Sometimes either approach is the right thing. It all depends. But, even when Americans have embraced change in the past its been INCREMENTAL change. We're baby steppers.

The thing these days is this, really: Obama, Pelosi, Reid, these people are not so much incrementalists. Now, in my humble opinion they are seeing things that are broken and are just taking the steps that are necessary to fix them. But not baby steps. The fixes are big movements, not little ones. Even it will be better for us in the long run, its got all sorts of people 10 different kinds of freaked out.

But, as much as people get all freaked out about big progressive movements, they'll forget in 10 years or so that they were all freaked out. And the conservatives will be fighting to maintain that status quo and liberals will be talking about what needs to be changed. I get that I'm making some super general statements, but I'm just applying a bit of historical context here. Just for fun.

That is all.

William says, "I hate to see the weekend end."

In response to those who ask, "how are you?" lately I often say, "I'm tired" or "exhausted . . . ALL THE TIME!" And I am not exaggerating. I am completely worn out by the end of a week of exercising, teaching, researching, writing, and helping with the boy, who sees to it that I don't sleep well at night. I always look forward to the weekend so I can rest and recharge, but what usually happens is I get less sleep on the weekends. It's a little crazy, but it doesn't make me appreciate the weekend any less because it is still not any where near as busy as the rest of the week, and the fact that I am so exhausted makes it even harder to motivate myself to go the extra mile, even though I desperately need to at this point in my education. MUST FINISH PhD AND GET JOB! Many of you out there are probably looking forward to this short work week; well, for me, as much as I LOVE Thanksgiving and cannot wait to cook and feast, I am NOT looking forward to the short work week because it means an EXTREMELY INTENSE week for me. I have so much work I absolutely need to get done because of deadlines I have set for myself. And for those of you who know me at all, even though I often set myself to extremely high standards, failure is not an option because it makes me miserable. I know I am not perfect, but I also know that I can meet my goals and deadlines if I keep focused and motivated, which is, once again, extremely difficult, nigh impossible when I feel so dang tired all the time. It is so hard even to think of simple words, let alone process difficult theoretical concepts. So you can see the vicious cycle in which I am stuck. CURSES!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

William says, "I'm stupid."

I say this phrase a lot, and I know that I shouldn't. The most recent use involved my going over on my calories by 73 today, something I could have easily prevented had I not bee so careless. I have been trying to take it easy in preparation for Thanksgiving (we like to go ALL out!) next weekend. Of course, I have also decided tomorrow is a good day to have pulled pork. Well, what are you going to do, it is that time of the year. I'm sure I'll get through it like I always do. I'll just need to run a little more.

New Moon: A



Okay, so I gave Twilight a B+ because I'm in love with the story and I appreciated the adaptation. But, I think we all ready know it was more like a D. Maybe a D-. And pretty much everything wrong with that film can be traced back to Catherine Hardwicke being a pretty terrible director.

Luckily, Chris Weitz is MUCH, MUCH better. New Moon was so fun to watch. It was a great adaption, the acting was much better, the special effects were not ridiculous. And Taylor Lautner is a super fine young man. (Was that messed up to say that? I'm not a creepy cougar, I promise.)


And how MUCH do I love the Volturi?!?! Michael Sheen was AWESOME as Aro (SO Awesome) and Dakota Fanning was great as Jane. I was a bit irritated that Marcus had a speaking part, but I get that a character that never says anything doesn't translate to the screen very well.
Anyways, I really enjoyed myself. I can't wait to see it again!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cop Out, Take 2

This is another post using plinky.com. Don't hate me for it. I have been writing furiously for my NaNoWriMo and just looked at the clock to see that it says 11:48. I have to post in the next 12 minutes and I don't have time to be thinking up something amazing to say.

They asked: How do you celebrate good news or big occasions?

With food. Seriously. Is there another way? We either go have a nice dinner or we go get the best ingredients and make it at home.

As a side note, I'm pretty sure this is the way I handle bad news as well.

That is all.

William says, "I have nothing to say."

That's right. I never thought it would happen. And those who know me best will be shocked to hear that I am at a loss for words. I always have something to say about something. I blame the fatigue. If I ever get caught up on sleep, I will have plenty of rantings and ravings. I just can't seem to make my mind work right now. Hmmm, I guess I can talk about my weight, 205.4 this morning. 10% body fat, according to our certainly less-than-accurate scale. I have never been healthier, neither have I felt so sure that I can maintain it. That didn't stop me from having some homemade cookies and ice cream for dessert tonight. Man, I know how to bake.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Window Shopping

Thank you to Chanda, who directed me to plinky.com for ideas on what to blog about. My mind is pretty blank tonight. I had planned on doing a post about the current political climate in America that included an incrementalist versus progressive discussion, but I'm too tired now. So, instead we're getting this:



I'm not much of a window shopper. I don't generally like being in a store just for the sake of being in that store. The one exception to this rule is Barnes & Noble. Oh, how I love the B&N. HOURS and HOURS of my life have been spent walking up and down the aisles looking at all the different books there are to read in the world. Everything from self help, to cooking, to travel, to hobbies... not to mention yummy fiction. Oh, and lately lots of baby related topics. I like walking through the store and gathering a pile of books and then going and sitting down in the Starbucks area (possibly with a hot chocolate or steamed milk) and taking my time browsing through those books. It is window shopping at its best. Except that sometimes I end up buying the books and that's not so much window shopping as it is, you know, shopping.



That is all.

William says, "I dislike grading papers."

It's not always the case. When the papers are good, it's actually exciting, but too often, I read paper after paper that disappoints. Often it is the simplest thing that vexes me. I cannot believe how often students just do not listen. It doesn't matter how many times I explain how to do something, someone is bound to do it completely wrong, I mean WAAAAY off, but it seems like the more I try to explain about the paper, the more "bases" I cover each semester to make sure mistakes aren't repeated, the worse things get. So far this semester I have read more papers that "got it wrong" than ever. And I still have a whole class of papers to grade. Sad, so sad.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Half Way There!!!!

Tonight my word count for NaNoWriMo is at 25,777. So I'm just over half way to the goal of 50,000!. Ideally I would have been at this point on the 15th, so I'm a few days behind. But, I have a handy spreadsheet (I love me a good spreadsheet) that tells me how many words I need to write every day to finish on time. I've been writing a bit more than that every day, so I'm slowly catching back up to where I should be. My story is... not always awesome. But there are moments of brilliance and at least when this is all over I'll have something to work with.


AND when this is all over I can just say that I did it. That's really the most important thing to me right now and the thing that keeps me going at it. Last time I tried the bottom feel out around 15,000 words, so I'm doing WAY better this time. And feeling pretty good about it!

William says, "I deserve to be recognized!"


Today, People magazine announced that Johnny Depp is the "Sexiest Man Alive." The magazine cover shows Depp with little more than a smirk and slicked back hair and, of course, sporting his trademark face fuzz. Before you read too far into this, you should know that I love Johnny Depp, and I think he is as worthy of the honor as anyone else. What troubles me is something else in this forthcoming issue of People. The words stamped on the lower left of the front cover read "110 OF THE HOTTEST GUYS ON THE PLANET!" Before you rush out to buy your copy, you should know this, I am not in the issue. People neither contacted me for use of a picture nor took pictures of me for the purpose of this issue. It is a travesty, I know. How can they make this claim when they know it is false or that their list is incomplete at best? Do I need a better publicist? Or maybe I should get a publicist? Seriously, though, congrats to those who did make the list. And just in case you're not convinced by my little rant, check out my pic!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nashville

Several weeks ago, William presented a paper at a Milton conference in MTSU in Mufreesburough, TN. Since it's not that far away, John and I went up with him. The MOST exciting thing is that my dear friend from high school, Ann Marie, drove down from Pittsburgh with her husband. I hadn't seen her in 13 years, and it was SO FUN to get to hang out with her again. We spent the day in Nashville together. We went to the Parthenon, the Pancake Pantry, some random mall, and the Neely's restaurant. It was mostly just the most fun day ever. Here's some pictures:


All of us out side of the Pancake Pantry (only just barely John, who was tired and busy rubbing his face on me):



If you ever go to the Pancake Pantry, order this. I can't remember exactly what it was called, but I'm pretty sure it had something to do with Chocolate and Sin. Ann Marie ordered it and I had a bite and I haven't stopped thinking about it since:



And here's a shot of John being cute in the hotel room. He loves these wall air units, and whenever we stay in a hotel that has them he beelines for it. Its a shame we don't have one at home:

William says, "Theory is cool."

Literary theory has always intrigued me, and some of it simply stumps me. As I navigate the deep waters of Historical Phenomenology, a fairly recent development in the interpretation of early modern drama, I get more and more excited. This happens to be one of the theoretical approaches I am using in my dissertation, and the more I learn about it, the more I like it and the more I see its potential for what can be an exciting piece of literary criticism. The implications and the possibilities are huge for what I am trying to do with my dissertation, not the least of which is applying a theory seemingly more apropos to drama to poetry. I would explain more, but it's all a little complicated, and I don't want to bore anyone.

Monday, November 16, 2009

An Old Story

Its late, and I'm tired, and I actually sat her for awhile thinking about what to post about. Its funny because I have all these ideas, but am too tired to put effort into most of them. I finally started looking at other blogs for ideas. My sister had a good one, she's been pulling questions from her "journal jar" when she can't think of anything else to post about. I don't have a journal jar. So, I googled journal jar. Came up with something about being betrayed by a friend, blah, blah, blah..."


But it got me thinking about the first time I remembered being betrayed by a friend. It was actually my cousin. When I was much younger there was a period of time when my aunt and cousins lived with us. Including my aunt there was five of them. And there were five of us. It was crowded. BUT, it seemed like a lot of fun sometimes. Probably because I was only 5 or 6.


I remember once that one of my cousins and I were bathing together (remember I was only 5 or 6, no big deal) and I was making some joke about rinsing off my bum (5 or 6, people). It made my cousin laugh really hard (she's only a year old than I am, so 6 or 7) which I'm sure was my goal.


A couple of days later, when I was being picked on by some of the older kids, this cousin jumped in with them. And, in an effort to seem cool, threw out something about how stupid I was when rinsing of my bum in the shower. At that moment, that's the first time I remember thinking that I had been betrayed by someone I thought was my friend. She had thought it was really funny at the time, but she also knew - as well as I did - that the older kids would think it was really stupid. She sold me out. Sure enough everyone was laughing at me being really stupid and all I kept thinking is, "But she thought it was funny, why'd she do that to me?"


Now, this doesn't - by a long shot - go down in the books as the biggest betrayal by a friend in my life, (I think the award goes to a group of roommates in college, actually), but it was an introduction into the world of "sometimes you think you can trust people, and some times you're right but sometimes you're wrong."


I still haven't figured out a sure fire of knowing which is which.

William Says, "Hamburger good."

I ate what was probably THE BEST HAMBURGER I have ever had, and I made it at home. It just goes to show you that fresh, real, whole, unprocessed, undoctored, untreated with who knows what food will always taste far superior to the alternative. The meat was organic, grass fed beef, and it was like a night and day difference from other ground beef we have eaten at home. My seasoning was simple so that we could appreciate the flavor of the meat: salt, pepper, and a sprinkling of Worcestershire sauce. UN-BE-LIEVE-ABLE goodness.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

John Reading At 10 Months Old

I already posted this video on facebook, but apparently not everyone is on facebook. Which is sad, because they're totally missing out. But I didn't want them to miss out on this. Besides, its late and I'm tired and I need to blog.


video

Sorry to my facebook friends, who will see this again when this post shows up on facebook. But... I guess I'm not that sorry since this video is just freaking cute and you probably wanted to see it again anyway.

William says, "Check out these stats."

So with all the blogging recently about eating right and then talking about all the weight I have lost and kept off, I decided to take some time to share some of the stats from that weight loss, proof that I am healthier or whatever. Anyway, some of these are staggering:
I once had a 62-inch waist. Now I wear size 34 pants. My thighs used to measure about 40 inches! I used to wear a size 66 suit. Now I wear a 44L, and I have to have the pants altered smaller! My resting heart rate used to be in the 80s, and now it is in the 50s! That is one of the biggest changes, to me. It often makes me think about the relief I have brought to what was once a stressed out heart. My knees bother me sometimes, but I think that's because I was too late in losing the weight. But I think about how messed up they could have been. In relation to joints, I used to have THE WORST ankle problems. They always ached, and if I spent more than a couple hours on them during the day, I could hardly walk the next day, if at all. And I rolled my ankles all the time in those days (it's easy when you weigh over 400 pounds). Today, my ankles rarely bother me. I rarely sprain them, and I can go all day (which I have done many times walking around Disney World) and hardly ever feel pain. And the next day they are good to go. Climbing a flight of stairs used to suck my breath away for several minutes. Now, on any given day, I can throw on some running shoes and pound pavement for 30 minutes at a good pace and not breathe as heavy as climbing the stairs once made me do. Of course, I don't run very often so as to preserve my knees, but I do it once or twice a week, mixing the bike and other cardio in between. I also walk a lot more. I mean everywhere I can. For example, my office on campus is in a building that is four stories and a "basement." My office is on the second floor, and the dept. office is on the top floor. I might use the elevator once a semester, and that is usually only because I am in the middle of a conversation with someone who is taking it. If it's within five floors, I will almost always take the stairs, no matter where I am because it's usually faster, too.
That's about all I can think of right now, but I will finish with an unusual stat: food quantity. I can still put it away, but not like I used to. I could once go to a buffet and clean off three or four plates before hitting the desserts twice. Today, I will go to a buffet, load one plate and only clean it if everything is good enough to finish. Whatever isn't, which is a common occurrence at buffets, I just won't eat. I will take a second trip, but only to get a little more of the one or two things I liked the best. Then I will take a trip to the desserts once. I will get two to four different things, but I will only sample each to determine which is the most worth finishing. If nothing is, then I leave it all; otherwise, I eat the one or two things really worth it. I use the buffet as an example because it is one of the most obvious to me. However, I should point out that I rarely go to buffets any more, and I used to frequent them, at least once a week. There are plenty of other examples, but I have saved those for my memoir. Now, I need to see about getting that published. Basically, it's about habit, and having trained my body to fill up on less food. Whereas my previous buffet trips would barely fill me after all that food, my current ones stuff me after eating less than half the amount. And that is the most satisfying feeling.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Riding in the car with the boy

Our trips to Orlando wear us out, and I think its because we usually drive down one day and then back the next. Its totally worth it, but we're pretty tired.
And John is so patient with us. I was thinking today about all of the traveling he's done in the first year of his life. He's been to Wyoming, Denver, Nashville, Atlanta, and Orlando half a dozen times. He handles being in the car well, he handles sleeping in hotels well, he handles being carted all over the place in his stroller well. Indeed, dare I say I think he actually LIKES all of these things? He just has a lot of fun being out and about. The only thing he's ever really struggled with is a time zone change. (And, mostly I struggled more than he did over the fact that he struggled.)

He's such a cool kid.

William Says, "I am too tired to write."

I am so glad that we have no scheduled trips out of town for a while. Between Leah Marie going to Denver, my conference attendance, and temple trips, the last 6 weeks have been crazy. I need a break. I need sleep. My mind is so far out of it I am having trouble concentrating. Maybe now I can make a more significant dent in that dissertation.

Friday, November 13, 2009

So, William and I function on a pretty low budget. We also love to travel. We get in a lot of traveling when William presents papers at conferences, because he generally gets some funds from Florida State to help him pay for it. If its within driving distance, we all get to go and stay in the hotel room he'd be paying for anyway. This past month we got to go to Nashville and Atlanta. (I'll be doing a post for each at some point during this NaBloPoMo-I'm saving them for days when I can't think of anything else to post AND I feel like picking out pictures for them.)
We also go to Orlando pretty frequently. Its important to us, because the main reason we go is to attend the temple as often as possible. We generally come down once a month and take turns going (while the other cares for John outside). This generally involves one night's stay. Back when I was working full time and we could afford it, we also had annual passes to Disney World. We can't afford that now. But for a mere FRACTION of the price we were able to get annual passes to Universal Studios (we actually got a good discount at Wal Mart).
Anyways, we used to stay in the cheapest hotel we could find. We stayed in a lot of nasty places. Places where you had to wear your socks all the time, because it was better if your white socks turn black rather than your feet. And it was the only way we could afford it. But one day I decided to try my hand at negotiating at priceline.com. Its mostly the most awesome thing ever. We don't always end up in super hotels, but we always pay cheap hotel prices for places we don't have to wear socks at all the time. And, sometimes, we end up at super awesome hotels. Tonight we are staying at a Residence Inn for $35.00 a night... in a room that normally goes for about $150.00 a night. Its just so great.
That is all.

William says, "Just when I preach about health ..."

I fall off the wagon. The good news is that it's okay. Believe it or not, people, livin' it up with food is okay . . . once in a while. As long as you don't make it a habit. The good news is that I only went over on my calories by about 200, I came in under in carbs, fat, and protein, so it's all good. I am allowed the occasional binge because I eat right almost all the time, AND I stay highly active. See, if you don't allow yourself the occasional half of a ginormous chocolate cupcake with chocolate butter cream frosting from Whole Foods, you will go crazy, especially if you love the stuff. Moderation, moderation, moderation. That is the key to everything. So I indulged. I also had a KILLER pulled pork sandwich at Yellow Dog Eats in Windermere, FL for lunch. I have said it before, and I will say it again: BEST SANDWICHES EVER!!! If you are ever in the Orlando area, no matter how far out of the way Yellow Dog is for what you're doing, it is worth planning your day around. Heck, it is worth driving to from anywhere in the country. It is that good. And I know something about good food. Recovering fatoholic, remember.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm so behind...

I'm way behind on my word count for NaNoWriMo. Like 4,100 words behind. That doesn't seem like much, but it keeps building. Every day that I come in a little under what I need the gap widens. So, that's all I'm blogging about today because I'm busy writing and trying not to add to the gap today.

William says, "I have the pictures to prove it!"

Many of you out there, at least those who know me best, know that I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE food, too. In fact, I love it so much, especially the fattening varieties, that I used to weigh over 400 pounds (I have the pictures and testimony of multitudes to prove it). It was a horrible life that I do not recommend for anyone. Well, it took a lot of work, but I have finally beaten the beast. Despite all the exercise and careful scrutiny of what I have eaten over the years to lose the weight and keep it off, the most important thing I have learned is the importance of food. Yes, the importance of actually eating and having an actual healthy appetite. Leah Marie said it so well in her post yesterday that I don't need to add anything. I still eat junk food, but I am so much more picky about it, making sure I don't waste calories and fat on something that isn't absolutely worth it. For example, forget chips ahoy, give me some of my own homemade, gourmet, decadent chocolate chip cookies. And the great thing about eating real, whole foods is that they taste so much better; they are richer; and they are more satisfying. Again, food is important. It is our friend. We need it to survive and (dare I say?) enjoy life. The problem with the obesity epidemic in the world, and this country especially, is one's approach to food, one's food attitude. Call it lifestyle change, call it temperance, whatever you want, but never call it diet. I like to look at mine as a healthy lifestyle. It has work for a while now, and I am holding steady at a svelte 207. And I have the pictures to prove that, too.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Food, Glorious Food

I've been thinking about a lot about healthy eating lately. Its something William and I always try to do, and I'm especially picky about what goes into my son's mouth (when I say 'especially', I mostly mean over the top insane OCD about it), but it seems like its come up a lot in the news a ton. Especially in relation to the "obesity epidemic" facing children in America. Children are pretty much fatter than they've ever been. And, consequently, are plagued with illness and diseases that have traditionally been something the elderly deal with - things like diabetes, heart conditions, high blood pressure, etc.
Its mostly just totally out of control. But I've noticed an interesting theme when I see this topic discussed in the news and whatnot. In one news discussion people were talking about reasons to blame the government. They say its all about farm subsidies and the fact that corn is so cheap to grow that it ends up as a filler in all of our foods. It's true, I can't argue with that...
There are also people talking about the labels on food and how they're calling things smart choices, or saying they're good for having fiber in them, etc. etc. and really they're just bad for you. People are, of course, outraged that they are being duped in to buying these foods. I guess that's fair, those labels are ridiculous...
I also recently heard about some studies done on working moms and how their children deal with obesity more than children of stay at home moms. Working women are, as you might predict, totally outraged. And here's where the theme among these stories is so obvious. One woman said, "I can NOT believe they want to blame mothers for this epidemic at all, much less hard working mothers!" Yeah, right... I was actually thinking the parents would be the first ones to blame. Certainly this mother wasn't suggesting that her 150lb 6 year old daughter was to blame.
Mostly everyone wants to think its someone else's fault that their kids are fat. Mostly I want to think that people need to start taking responsibility.
News flash folks: if your child is overweight, you need to stop buying them crap. If you're paying attention to what is in the foods that you are feeding your children and how much of it you're feeding them, it doesn't matter if someone else is calling the food healthy, it doesn't matter if you're a working mom, and it doesn't matter if corn is cheap. Get your head in the game.
As I said, I'm insanely picky about what goes into my son's mouth. Obesity and Diabetes run in both sides of his family. This means its most likely that he's not going to be one of those people who can eat whatever he wants and not worry about it. That, in turn, means that I need to be extra vigilant in what I feed him and the eating habits I teach him.
He's almost 11 months and he's never had sugar. Ever. And I'm not planning on it anytime soon. I didn't even give him fruits until he was 10 months, so that he'd get used to a multitude of flavors before he falls in love with sweet things. (My sister did something similar and my niece's favorite thing to snack on is spinach leaves. No joke. She likes candy too, but just not as much...) And I'm super wary of fillers. And freaked out about a lot of the food I see on the shelves at store. I almost bought some of those Gerber snacks that dissolve in the baby's mouth, right? I checked the ingredients first, of which there are like 20. Its, like, totally fake food. I bought organic puffed brown rice instead. Ingredients: organic puffed brown rice. And when I wanted him to try yogurt I looked at some stuff meant for kids. High fructose corn syrup. Awesome. I bought plain natural yogurt instead. Ingredients: Milk and Enzymes. I keep all of his foods pure and natural.
Anyways, I'm just saying this isn't rocket science. That is all.

William says, "I don't know what to say."

I need to blog for the sake of NaBloPoMo, but I have run out of things to say. That's right, the often loquacious William is at a loss for words. I don't want to cheapen this exercise by spewing a few guts and calling it good, but what can I do? Please forgive me, blog reading world, and I will try to make a comeback tomorrow with something much better.

oot!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Firelight


This was really funny.
Also really funny was me kinda wishing Taylor Swift HAD played Bella because she woulda done a better job.
That is all.

William says, "Think before you act."

As a college instructor, I get a lot of ridiculous emails. Often it involves people who cannot think for themselves, debating a grade, or asking about something in the syllabus, which I have also explained in class several times. I received the following email yesterday:
"Mr. Silverman,
There has been a lot of talk around campus about the possibility of classes tomorrow being canceled due to Hurricane Ida. So far, two of my professors have canceled tomorrow's classes, however I have not yet received any word from you in regards to the matter. Will you still be holding class tomorrow? Hope to hear back from you soon."

*insert laughter here*

For those of you not in the southeast, the "hurricane" referred to was little more than light winds (mostly around 25 mph) and an off and on haze, mist, drizzle of rain. My favorite part is the "however I have not yet received any word from you in regards to the matter." Hmmmm . . . I wonder why.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Catching Fire, A Book Review

This book came out a couple of months ago, but since I was not really blogging much at the time I totally didn't bring it up. Even after earlier this year when I vowed to do more book reviews on my blog. I KNOW everyone eagerly awaits my thoughts on all these matters.

Catching Fire was the amazing sequel to Hunger Games. If you have not read either or just Hunger Games and not Catching Fire, you must go to the bookstore and/or library RIGHT NOW. Seriously. Stop reading this, put on your shoes, and walk out the door.

After reading Hunger Games, which was simply riveting, I wondered what Collins could possibly do to maintain the intensity of that story. She not only maintained the intensity, but made the Hunger Games seem almost tame. It was freaking amazing.

But maybe everyone wouldn't like it. I mean, some people don't like stories with intense drama, action, relationships, manipulation, intrigue, revolution... If you're one of those people you don't have to go to the book store. But, you're kinda lame.

William says, "I'm tired."

Today was a loooooooooooooooooooong day. I worked extremely hard on a very, VERY important paper. Of course, my big concern is that all that hard work that completely drained me will be for naught. Failure is my bane, much like Isildur's bane. I am in the middle of an intense, stressful experience that I will blog about one day. Until then, I'm glad to have some breathing room for the next few weeks.
In other news, our new car got great gas mileage on the way home from Atlanta this past weekend, where we had lots of fun and ate some good food.
Sorry I wasn't more specific with today's blog, but I have been writing AAAAAAAALL day. I need a break.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lessons from the imperfect....

Today on the long drive home from Atlanta we were listening to Brian Regan (he's so funny AND he keeps it clean. Its great.) and I love the bit he does about the grade school spelling bees (K-A-T, I'm outta here...). Every time I hear it, though, I think about my grade school spelling bees. I had friend who won pretty much every year (she's on facebook, and this blog gets posted to facebook so she might read this. she is perfectly welcome to take credit if she wants.), except that she didn't win one year. It was 8th or 9th grade, I honestly don't remember which. And, in all my sensitivity, I was like, "Wow! You didn't win! What happened?" And she simply shrugged and said, "You can't win all the time."

I was thinking about that today and I remember another friend I had in 6th who always got As. I mean ALWAYS. Every report card, every assignment, every test... until one day a test came back and she got a C. And, again in my sensitivity, I was like, "What?!?! You didn't even get a B? What the heck!" And she simply shrugged and said, "It was bound to happen eventually."

The "ya win some, ya loose some" attitude is generally pretty lost on me. I don't handle it very well when I put effort into something and then fail at it. Even sometimes I'm upset when I don't fail, but don't succeed as much as I wished I had. I think I just need to learn to let it go. To trust in God and in His Atonement to perfect my imperfections.

That is all.

William says, "Let the government compete!"

I am sick and tired of all the doomsayers out there. I don't know how many Facebook status updates I read in the last two days that warned of the impending doom because the House passed the Health Care Reform Bill. Additionally, I keep hearing people over and over again warning of the disasters of the government sticking its nose into the private sector and destroying the free market. In answer to this, I cite an example of the government's involvement in one highly competitive segment of the private sector: package delivery. Despite all the competition out there, the USPS remains highly competitive, keeps other companies' prices honest, and manages to stand as the sole government organization that operates in the black. Yet the doomsayers persist, and not only that, they are actually badmouthing the men and women who struggle to provide for their families yet cannot afford health coverage.
Are people really that ignorant? Is it really such a bad thing to provide a way for people to have health insurance or to make the care that they need affordable? One person I know said,
"To those who read this and think I am insensitive, All I can say is there is a group for you. It is the GOYA group! Stands for get off your a$$. I made it happen for me and my wife so I'm sure IF and that is a big IF you have a will you can find a way..."

What the heck is all that supposed to mean? Is this person really suggesting that people without health insurance don't have it because they're lazy? I know so many people who are off their a$$es and probably working harder than this person just to make ends meet. Now, how are they supposed to pay for insurance on top of that? Again, I am so sick of the ignorant, ridiculous, and heartless arguments against taking care of our fellow men and women. As for me, I AM my brother's keeper.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

It's all about the boy.

This is gonna be a post about John, that has no pictures. I know that's insane, but one thing as led to another with us not having wireless internet in our hotel room, and I'm on William's computer. Pictures of John are on my computer.

I'm gonna brag about his skills and abilities and attributes anyway. He's 10 and half months now (roughly). He's almost 30 inches and weighs almost 24 lbs. His head is abnormally large. (Seriously. It was at the 96th percentile at his 9 month check up.) He's mostly just a big boy all around. Still just two teeth (bottom front).


He has been crawling for several months now. And he starting standing up and walking along the furniture pretty the day after he figured out crawling. He can also stand on his own, with no support from anyone or anything, but has not been brave enough yet to get those feet moving if he's not holding onto something. We try to encourage this and he just sits down.


He's using all kinds of syllables and vowels - and we're sure that he knows that William is "Dada". No such luck with me and "Mama". He says the "Ma" syllable often, which gets me excited, so he'll say it more... but he hasn't put two and two together yet.


He L.O.V.E.S. books. Cries when a good one ends and will pick it up and start "reading it to himself". (All of the right syllables - not in the right order.) Its the cutest thing ever.


Around 6 months I started to feel like he was picking something new up every day. I love it. I love it when he does something and I'm thinking, "I've never seen that before!". And I think he loves it too because I get all excited.


He's also a laugher. Pretty much everything is funny to this kid. AND he has the incredible ability to cry and laugh at the same time. We learn this when he's letting us know he's hungry, and we're trying to distract him while we prepare his food. "I'm starving to death and I'm really upset about it, but what you're doing right now is hysterical." Good times.


He's still not a great sleeper, but its way better than it used to be. Some nights he'll still stir two or three times (more if something like a diaper rash or teething comes up) but some nights he goes a 7 hour stretch. We mostly just never know what we're going to get. But I'm not waking up every two hours all night long every night anymore, which is awesome.


Okay, that's all for now. Pictures (and perhaps video) to come later.

William says, "What else can we eat?"

It has been a good weekend for food. Highly recommended in Atlanta: Mary Mac's Tea Room (the sides are EPIC!), Atlanta Cupcake Company, and our favorite Mexican food (which we first had almost three years ago) Mama Ninfa's. We're looking forward to another find. We also went to the Georgia Aquarium today. It was really cool, especially walking under the ocean and watching sharks swim above us.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Must... Blog...

So, I'm in a hotel and I can't get on the Internet on my laptop. But for some reason I can on my iPod. Blogging from my iPod is kinda painful. I'm doing it anyway. I have goals to acheive. And since it's way more likely that I'll fail nanowrimo than nablopomo, I gotta do this at all costs. (so far I'm on target for nanowrimo-I'm just saying...)

William says, "At least the drive was nice"

So here I am, standing in front of the elevators of the hotel I am staying in in Atlanta because it is the only place in the whole Midtown area where I can connect to the internet. The hotel charges to use it in the room, but get this, it doesn't work in our room. Not that we would pay for it anyway, not when I can stand in front of the elevators and get it from their bar for free . . . Suckers! Anyway, I am not liking this conference experience so far. It's costing a lot of money, and the hotel is crap for the price, even the conference price. But I will say this, it has been a fun trip. The drive in our new car was smooth. The best part was stopping in Montezuma, GA at Yoder's Deitsch Haus for lunch. This place is EPIC!!! It is run by local Mennonites. Yes, a whole colony of Mennonites it seems in the middle of no where Georgia. The food was excellent, especially this funky dish that is best described a "pulled" ham. ABSOLUTELY A-MA-ZING!!! Even better, there is a bakery in the restaurant where they sell all sorts of fresh baked goods like bread, pies, cakes, cookies, even fresh doughnuts (or donuts, if you prefer). And you know I am going to have a Mennonite doughnut. THE. BEST. DOUGHNUT. EVER!!! And the peanut butter cookies? YOWZA!!!! We bought a TON of baked goods, including a dozen cookies and two loaves of bread for around $10. The place is worth driving from anywhere! I cannot wait to eat there again. I will be dreaming about those doughnuts. So glad we bought a half dozen. :-)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Ride

So, since having a baby William and I had been feeling pretty cramped in our little Ford Focus. It was a nice car, but the back seat and trunk were both pretty small. The car seat barely fit in one and the stroller barely fit in the other (guess which we put in which). So, we've been shopping around for something new, but we've been pretty picky about it. We didn't have a car payment, and were loathe to pick one up. So, we were basically holding out for something bigger, something cheap, and someone who would offer us a good trade in on the ford focus.


As fate would have it, William found just that when he was out searching last Saturday. (Did you know that on the last day of the month dealers are desperate to get cars off the lot?) We got a GREAT deal on this:




(not actually vehicle. just like actual vehicle.)


We L.O.V.E. it. Mock me if you will for having a mini-van - but I can fit your car in my car. And watch DVDs. It pretty much rocks.

William says, "Gunpowder is bad for you."

Every year, Guy Fawkes Day sneaks up on me. It's funny because I virtually live in the 17th century these days, and the Gunpowder Plot was a huge historical "event." There are a lot of literary references to it and a lot of prominent men involved, including Father Henry Garnet, head of the clandestine Jesuit mission in England at the time. His mission was to spread anti-Protestant propaganda and seek others sympathetic to the Catholic cause. He's also famous for the publication A Treatise of Equivocation, a book that essentially taught Jesuits how to lie without actually lying if they were captured and questioned. On a mission from God, they figured they better keep their souls clean even under torture. As for the art of equivocation, see the scene in Shrek III, where Prince Charming questions Pinocchio on the whereabouts of Shrek and Pinocchio begins with, "I don't know where he's not." It's classic, and the perfect example of Henry Garnet's teachings on the matter.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bone Fish Grill Giveaway

I know this is a totally lame post for today, but I *really, really* want to win this.


Check out the Bone Fish Grill Giveaway at "Just Another Review Blog" and try to win a $25.00 gift certificate!


But I hope you don't win. I hope I do. Sorry about that.

William says, "I almost forgot to blog."

Fortunately, I remembered just now. Hope you've enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thanks you, and good night!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween 2009

First of all, thanks to everyone for the positive feedback on my last post. I'm really glad I chose to tell that story.


Now for a little Halloween: We went to the pumpkin patch to get cute pictures of John, and found out that you shouldn't wait until the day before Halloween to do this. There were NO big pumpkins left. Just little ones. But we got some great pictures anyway. I already posted these pictures on facebook, so you may have already seen them. (What? You're not on facebook? That's impossible. Everyone is on facebook...)






And here he is in costume. He took 2nd place in his age group at the Halloween Party. We were, of course, incredibly proud of his cuteness.






Funny thing is that we were so excited about how cute John was, that we forgot to take pictures of us. I was wearing a sign that said "Go Ceilings Go! Woo hoo! You're number 1!" (Ceiling fan, get it?) William had question marks all over his person. Whenever someone asked what he was he said, "I don't know." with a shoulder shrug. It was funny. That is all.

William says, "Pizza is good."

So I was just sitting here, in my office, internetting and eating some leftover homemade pizza, and I cannot help thinking, "MAN! I make some good pizza!" To those of you who know, sorry to entice you without fulfillment. To those of you who have never had the pleasure. I am deeply, terribly sorrowful for you.

Monday, November 2, 2009

PPD


I haven't posted much lately – kinda sporadically over the last few months, I guess. And mostly, it's because I haven't much felt like it. And to be honest, up until recently it'd been a while since I really felt like doing much of anything. I think it was around late July or early August that I realized why.
So, let's talk about Postpartum Depression (PPD). More specifically, let's talk about what I thought it was:
  1. Depression that sets in right after your baby is born.
  2. Depression that keeps you from really bonding with your baby.
  3. Depression can make you constantly stress and worry about your baby's health.
  4. Depression can make you suicidal.
  5. Depression that can, possibly, lead to psychosis.
What I've learned in the last few months is that while PPD is sometimes some of these things, it is also lots of other things too. For example, it can set in up to a year after the baby is born. And it doesn't always keep you from bonding with your baby. So, you can be totally euphoric on the day your baby is born and then continue to feel like he is the best thing that ever happened to you and STILL have PPD. I didn't know that before.
It wasn't until I read this article that I realized that a lot of the symptoms listed applied to me. Especially the fact that I was totally overwhelmed by life. I could take care of John just fine – that's the one thing that I've been really good at all along. But, the idea of taking care of John and, let's say, making dinner was, for many months, totally out of the realm of possibility. Because I lacked some of the other symptoms that I knew about, it really hadn't occurred to me what the problem might be. After reading that article I did some research, and one of the first things I found is that PPD is defined as "moderate to severe depression in a woman after she has given birth. It may occur soon after delivery or up to a year later. Most of the time, it occurs within the first 4 weeks after delivery."
So, I sought help. I'm uninsured right now, so I went to my Bishop, who arranged to help me pay for therapy. I love my therapist. I was afraid I would go see someone and they would just throw some drugs at me and that would be it. But he and I are of the same mind – drugs don't really fix anything, they just make you feel better so that you can fix things. And while I think they DO have value (they help A LOT of people; I just feel like more care and concern needs to go in using medication. Bottom line is that the brain is an organ just like any other and sometimes just needs to be treated.), I didn't feel like I needed them, and he went along with me. I told him going in that I didn't feel that bad, and I didn't think I was severely depressed.
After about 5 or 6 weeks of therapy I was feeling better – but it was like happiness was this allusive thing that sometimes I would have, but that I couldn't really hold onto. Some days I felt really good and would be super productive, and some days I couldn't get anything done. I was frustrated that I felt like I had a more mild case of PPD, but couldn't snap out of it. And then my therapist had an epiphany. He had been taking me at my word that I didn't feel that bad, but had not initially taken into account while I'm feeling below normal, my normal is relative. After discussing my history and other things you discuss in a therapist's office, he hit me with some more news.
He diagnosed me with dysthymia. Which basically means my normal is lower than normal people's normals. So, I thought I was only moderately depressed, but to anyone else it would seem like severe depression. This was a big news flash for me. I'd never heard of dysthymia, or I would have been treated for it a long time ago. I was just so used to my normal that I didn't know it wasn't a normal normal, if you're following me.
My therapist referred me to a great primary care physician, who agreed the diagnosis. So, I'm on Prozac now. And I pretty much love it. I feel SA-HO much better. So, I'm gonna ride that train for now and see where it takes me. I'm unsure about the future since I want more babies like, yesterday, and I'm not sure about taking the stuff while pregnant and breastfeeding… but for now I'm feeling great! :-)

William says . . .

Since Leah Marie has new blog posts automatically linking to her Twitter and Facebook pages, and I have decided to do NaBloPoMo, I will title all my blog posts as "William says . . ."

The crisp, cool morning suggests that Fall has finally arrived in Tallahassee. Of course, just by nature of the area, it's bound to change at any moment and hit the mid 80s. But I will enjoy the cooler weather while it lasts. Fall is very symbolic for me, mainly because it is called "Fall" and as a result of what it entails. I cannot help but think about the Fall of man, especially since I am almost constantly thinking about it in one way or another while I bust out that dissertation. I am presenting a paper in Atlanta this coming weekend that is part of that dissertation. Hope everyone will be impressed.

Oot!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

NaBloPoMo: I'll give it a shot, too!

I will begin with a question. If you had a hammer, would you hammer in the morning or would you hammer in the evening? [These are only going to get better]

NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo

That's right, folks, I'm doing both this year. Hold on to your hats.

NaNoWriMo is the goal to write 50,000 words in the month of November. I've got a story that's been stewing in my head for about two years now, and I'm going to give it my best shot. Last time I did NaNoWriMo it did not end well, but I think I'm more prepared this time. At least, I know what I've gotten myself into.

NaBloPoMo is simply the goal to blog everyday in November. It used to be called NaNoBloMo. I'm glad they changed it. That didn't make sense. I did this last year instead of NaNoWriMo. It was fun, so I want to do it again. Some days were harder than others, but I figure this time if I have a busy day I can just post pictures of John and everyone will be happy. I will try not to do this every day. In fact, I've been compiling things over the last week or so to blog about. For one, an explanation of why I haven't blogged much lately. Then, movie reviews, book reviews, political opinions, other controversial opinions, updates on John… its gonna be good stuff folks.

Stay tuned.

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