Category Archives: Rambling

We’ve Gotta Get out of This Place.

We’ve gotten fantastic news. Awesome news. Glorious, fantabulous, shrieking-with-joy news.

After toiling for what feels like forever, I’ve reached our financial goal and we’re able to purchase a home. We’ve even found said home. Further – we’ve even accepted the seller’s counter-offer on this house. We get to move on or before August 31st.

I’m hoping that the “or before” is the most accurate part of that sentence. I truly am.

A little over a year ago, hubby and I gained a very fast realization that we had to move out of the little townhouse we’d lived in for about six years. We were eating dinner and saw a CHILD FIRE A GUN in the middle of the street. In front of our house. While our daughter sat beside us at dinner time. I did some homework and found a home for rent that was a short four minutes away from where I work.

The house has served as a home. I wish I could say it’s been a comfortable home, but since we’ve been in the place we’ve had months of the AC / heater working improperly, leaks in the roof, uncontrollable bug problems, a backed-up septic system, and a lot of time spent waiting for our landlord to fix our issues.

This weekend the A/C decided to stop working. Kaput. Fin. We don’t know exactly what’s wrong with it. The very same day our pool decided to deflate as well.

We’re so very close. We’ve got a home on the line. Not just a home – but a beautiful, well-kept, well-insulated, and sturdy home. This is in our sights! I believe it’s the fact that we know the home is ready and we know we’re just waiting that is making us so overly-anxious.

Or it could be because every month or so we’ve got to wait for the landlord to repair something else.

In short, I could never portray my thoughts quite as well as The Animals, so I’ll let them speak for me:

Watch my daddy in bed and tired
Watch his hair been turning gray
He’s been working and slaving his life away
I know
He’s been working so hard
I’ve been working too babe
Every day baby
Yeah yeah yeah yeah

We gotta get out of this place
If it’s the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
Girl, there’s a better life
For me and you

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em…

Last night I was thrilled to go to my first-ever LLL meeting.

I’ve practically lived breastfeeding for the last 3.5 years. I started researching and learning when I found out I was pregnant. I breastfed Puddin’ as well as I could. I’ve kept researching and learning since she stopped.

But I literally had nothing good to contribute to the conversation.

I pride myself on gathering information, putting it together, thinking it through critically, and then forming an opinion on X, Y, or Z.

Last night I was corrected on every point I made. If I said X the answer was X *and* Y. If I said the answer was Y, it was really Z instead…

How many other times do I just completely miss the point? How often do I lose important pieces of information? How often does my brain discard half of the answer, only to leave me with the second half?

I’ve made all my breastfeeding posts private now. They’re still there… but I certainly don’t want to chance giving someone some information that could either booby-trap them or information that just wouldn’t help them at all.

I think I’m also done with anything else requiring brain power. No more political discussions. No more activism. If I can’t get my facts straight and present those facts to others, then what’s the point? Cause more confusion? That’s never been my passion… I know that I’ve never been a teacher – I’ve never quite been able to clearly relay to others what I’m thinking or how I came to a conclusion – but my god, you guys… I can’t remember the last time that I’ve been so blatantly proven wrong. Repeatedly. On a subject about which I thought I was knowledgeable…

I’m tucking my tail between my legs and apologizing. I’m sorry if I mis-lead any of you; that certainly was not my intention.

As for this blog… it’ll still be here, and I can assure you that it will still be a hodge-podge of whatever has me thinking that day. I also promise that it still will not make sense, but at least I’ll keep my posts about my feelings and life events… at least I don’t have to worry about hurting anyone with those.

Lasik: Results!

I’m amiss! I realized tonight that I haven’t updated my readers on the results of my Lasik procedure.

You guys, I’m in love! Seriously – I can’t preach about this procedure enough!

First: The procedure itself is out of a sci-fi movie. From going to the back and popping the magic pill until I walked out the door ready to go home took all of 40 minutes.

I didn’t think that the Valium had taken hold until they said “April, are you ready to go?” and I said in the most nonchalant way manageable: “Yeah, let’s do it.”

They took me back and doc explained everything step-by-step. I’d elected to take the more invasive procedure since it had a less occurrence of side effects. I appreciated the information.

“April I’m going to put some numbing drops in your eyes. Next I’m going to add a round holder to keep your eyelids open.”

Mind – this was one of the things I was most worried about. I was wondering how the hell I was supposed to get through a procedure on my eyeballs without blinking. Honestly? The eyeball-ring-holder-openers were completely comfortable. I blinked like normal but my eyes weren’t affected by it at all.

“I want you to focus on the red blinking light right there. Put your head here and rest. Now I’m going to buff off your epithelial cells. You’ll feel a little pressure.”

Truth is I didn’t feel a thing but I could tell that, essentially, my eyeballs were being filed by an eyeball-specific sanding block.

“Now you’ll see the laser start to work.”

Straight out of sci-fi you guys. It was just like those cartoons where you see an alien tracking beam shooting toward earth. Little circular lights went :: click click click :: down toward my eyeballs.

“Now I’m going to put this medicine on your eyes and it will stay there for 30 seconds until I rinse it out.”

Everything was beyond precise. I heard his medical assistant counting down from 30, but by the time he’d finished his sentence we were down to 20.

“20. . . . . 15. . . . . 10. . . . . 5. . . . . 0.”

Immediately my left eye was rinsed. The eyeball-ring-holder-opener was removed.

“Now it’s time for the right.”

The same procedure was done on my right eye. No problemo. Once it was completed on my left eye I knew I had nothing to worry about. Sure enough – everything was done in precisely the same scientific way.

I have to admit that about an hour after the procedure the pain kicked in; for several days after I was very uncomfortable – but that I expected. The more invasive procedure does that, but it was worth it to me to deal with a few more days’ pain now in order to avoid aggravation later.

I had my latest follow-up appointment last week and they reinforced what I already knew. . . at this point I can see as well as I did with my glasses. But the uber part? I still have a couple months’ healing to go so by the time I’m finished I should be seeing better than I did before my glasses!

The best part? Waking in the middle of the night and being able to see. . .

I no longer have to have my glasses in order to find my glasses. . .

It’s incredible!

Here goes the lasik. . .

Tomorrow guys. Tomorrow my eyeballs are going to be changed forever.

Does that sound a bit nervous to you? . . . Well yes. Yes, I’m quite nervous.

For as long as I’ve known that lasik exists I’ve wanted to get it. I’ve dreamed of a time when I wouldn’t have to worry about glasses or contacts or the extra cost associated with either of those. (OK – for those of you who don’t know, the truth is that after tomorrow I’ll be “less dependent upon glasses or contacts” but it’s not a guaranteed thing that I’ll see 20/20.)

To be honest I feel terrible about getting this procedure right now. Since my darling daughter has had to start wearing glasses a few months ago it’s been easier to coax her into wearing them “like Mama’s”. I’m a little afraid, to be honest, that after I have this procedure done she won’t want to wear them any more. You know what else I’ll miss? I’ll miss her walking up to me or hopping on the couch, quite randomly, clinking her glasses against mine and then saying “Cheers!”

That’s priceless.

But honestly if I don’t get this done now I feel I won’t have another chance. I’m paying 20% for a procedure that is rare to be covered by insurance – it’s so rare to be covered, in fact, that I had difficulty finding a facility that would actually file insurance for me. I’ve met my deductible this year so they’re going to cover 80%. I can’t give that up.

But man. I’m nervous. Obviously I’m worried about something going wrong (these are my eyeballs for crying out loud!) but I’m more concerned with how my beautiful little girl will react.

I’m sure it’ll be fine. . . but these are the musings of a woman that’s about to get her eyes changed permanently. By a laser. That’s heavy.

A lesson in mindfulness

I feel as though it was a lifetime ago that I walked expectantly into my one-hour-per-week yoga class on campus, extremely thankful it was offered. I wouldn’t have been able to take another grade school or high school PE class.

I wanted to rid myself of extra pounds. I wanted to rid myself of stress. I wanted to rid myself of guilt. I wanted to rid myself of. . . memories.

So many memories.

I believe it was the second time we met that the yoga instructor sat us down in a rather large freaking huge circle. I was curious and open-minded. She got out a box of raisins and I wondered silently, “How the hell are raisins supposed to help me lose weight and get more flexible?” While I’m still completely uncertain how raisins can do those two things for you, I do know how they can help you become a healthier and happier person.

Please allow me to share this lesson with you. And please help me remember this lesson when I’m feeling low.

The yoga instructor had us all choose a golden raisin from the box and then return, quite perplexed, back to our seats.

“I want you to close your eyes and put this raisin in your mouth. Do not chew it. Just place it there. . .” she began. “Roll it around. Feel its texture. Notice the sharp ridges and rounded sides. Feel the weight of it on your tongue.”

She spoke in a soft, slow, welcoming, and warm voice. I felt my shoulders begin to relax.

“Allow the raisin to plump in your mouth. Feel it accepting its surroundings, taking in the moisture, becoming fuller and rounder.”

I began breathing more softly.

“Slowly begin to chew the raisin. Feel the skin pop. Taste its simple but bright sweetness. Try and realize every thought, every feeling, every motion, every sensation it gives you.”

I was suddenly much more enthralled with a raisin than I’d ever been in my life. I may have been more in tune with that raisin than I had been with anything else in my life. And that was the point.

She had us slowly open our eyes and re-tune to our surroundings. I had never enjoyed a raisin so much in my life. I’d never realized so much about the tiny little fruit; nor had I ever known that there is so much to experience – just within a raisin.

The level of pleasure, enjoyment, education, and understanding about a person or situation depends upon how mindful we are of it.

When is the last time you sat to watch something on television but couldn’t remember what you watched as soon as you got up from the couch? That’s because your mind was elsewhere. I’ve had the same happen while driving to and from my daily destination. My mind starts wandering to other places and completely forgets to enjoy the current moment.

I don’t want my life to be a series of flashes and barely-memorable experiences. I want to enjoy and truly appreciate each moment as it’s given to me.

(This is with the exception, perhaps, of giving birth to Tori – I’m glad to remember her delivery but I am also thankful that I remember very, very little of the pain I breathed through while I labored.)

I want to enjoy each day for its own scenario – for that day’s extreme heat, or extreme cold, or for that day’s perfect breeze while I walk. Each song, each story, each task. . . I want to enjoy it for its own simplicity or complexity. Either way – I want to recognize it. It’s amazing that, when I slow down to recognize each moment for what it is, it usually results in me walking away with a smile on my face.

Try it.

I’m thinking of you.

You’ll be moving far away to make new friends soon.

Your three-month-old baby boy passed away a few short weeks ago.

You’re not sure how you can live without alcohol.

Your little brother passed away this weekend.

You’ve just embarked on a new life on your own.

You’re currently battling breast cancer.

You’re unsure about your future.

You’re battling the effects of having a brain tumor removed.

You just met your brand new baby boy last weekend.

You’ve been unemployed a long time and you’re unsure how you’ll keep going.

You’re leaving your husband to make a better life for yourself and your children.

You’re quitting a 17-year cigarette habit.

You don’t believe you’re strong enough to survive without a man.

 

You. . . all of you. . . I love you and I’m thinking of you. And I’m not the only one. Hang in there. You can do this.

The Sickness has Invaded.

I’m not quite sure where we picked up “teh plague”. But we did.

Darling Tori has a coupy-cough and runny nose. I decided last weekend that I wanted to join her (for some unknown reason). Last night we sounded like a chorus of barking sea lions between 2 and 4 a.m.

I am tired. . . but we will survive.

Although I have to wonder how Dad is holding up since Tori was a mama’s girl all weekend. . . poor guy.

Are We Only the Sum of Our Status Updates?

I read this on a friend’s newsfeed through my Google+ account:

“It’s funny. We have Facebook, Twitter, and now Google +, and instead of getting closer, I just feel more distance.”

How profound. I mean – I’ve felt this myself and the concept itself isn’t strange, but when said that way it struck me hard.

I’m an 80s-90s generation kid. Some of us still had rotary telephones and black-and-white televisions. Not all of us had cable. Our generation saw the microwave oven get introduced in homes. Not all of us had video game systems. By the time we were nine years old we started seeing personal computers in homes and in schools.

Remember all that 21st Century Classroom hype, guys?

But amidst playing Oregon Trail and, later, playing Solitaire and Minesweeper on the computers, we still greatly craved in-person contact. We still begged to go to our friends houses (escape our own) and talked on the phone to our friends plenty.

These days I’m ashamed to say “I hate talking on the phone” but it’s true. Most everyone I talk to these days would rather email, text, or type a quick message on Facebook rather than call someone on the phone or – gasp! – go visit someone.

The more we tune in, the more we tune out. Is this because we’re now inundated? Have we overwhelmed ourselves?

I know that I’m elated to now be in touch with every person I ever went to elementary and high school with. I’m overjoyed that I have ways to get back in touch with those I’ve lost touch over the years. It’s fantastic. It’s good for the soul. . .

But is it?

Is it truly a good thing when, because I have over 250 people on my “friends” list, that I can’t keep a close relationship with just three or four anymore? I can keep up with everyone’s status – but I can’t keep up with THEM. There’s no way. There are simply not enough hours in the day.

I think that, as technology plows along, that we’re actually getting farther away from our goals. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, but it may have been easier to run calculations with a pencil and piece of paper than it is to have the computer automatically add the figures and then crash so that all our hard-earned data is lost. Social media networks are supposed to make it easier to stay in touch, but they’ve made it easier to be out-of-touch with a person’s self.

Is this what we’re destined for?

Are we only the sum of our status updates?

I’m not going to lie.

I’m not going to lie.

The Breastfeeding 101 Series is exhausting now that I’ve gotten down to the “nitty gritty”.

I suppose this is why I’m not a journalist. I applaud bloggers that research their hearts out and publish informative pieces day after day.

I shall continue. . . but I had to take a break.

Have you tried Swagbucks yet?

Search & Win

I know a lot of you have tried the “Do Surveys for Money!” and “Submit for a free sample of blah!” gimmicks out there. If you’re like me, you haven’t had a lot of success with actually getting money or free samples from these sites.

Well here’s one that actually works.

I get the most Swagbucks from my searches. When I’ve got a lot to search the web for, I head straight for Swagbucks’ search engine. (It’s powered by Google but you have to look below the link to see if it’s a sponsored ad or not.) You get awarded Swagbucks at random for searching. I even use my Swagbucks search engine when I’m going to familiar websites like WordPress, Facebook, and Yahoo. I just type that into the search bar and then go to the site from there.

You can also do surveys on the site, take a daily poll, do tasks, things like that. And you’re actually awarded Swagbucks, unlike those other survey sites that say “Hey, we’ll give you a dollar!” and then, twenty minutes later, you find out you haven’t qualified for their survey.

Ahem.

Back to the point, just give Swagbucks a shot. Click here and go look around. I’ve already redeemed some of my Swagbucks for music prizes, and I’ve got a lot of other things from the Swagbucks store on my wishlist – things like a Wii, a Keurig Single-cup Coffee Maker, and a Dali poster.

This site really works! Try it out! (And if you join from these links, I’ll get a referral bonus when you use the search!)
Search & Win

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