Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I am a fan of lots of their products. Their bakery stuff is major YUMMO behind glass, and offer lots of choices for nearly all dietary restrictions. I also especially love the wide, oval, oversized, left- or right-hand specific line of toothbrushes and am due for a new one (left-handed, of course, thankyouverymuch!). I also really love WFM's HUGE aisle of those yummy snack foods - granola, nuts, grains and dried fruits, etc., available by the pound in their handy-dandy self-serve dispensers. Won't find THAT at Walmart.
Anyway, so I've checked them out, and as I move down the path of exploring organics, and further loving whole grains, I look forward to checking them out more often. What I hadn't checked out, until recently, was their website, and more specifically, their blog. Looking for info on their products and how to use them? Looking for insight on "green" issues that we all face and deal with? Looking for perspective on organics; or on healthy tips for our kids and ourselves? This blog is the place to go.
Specifically of interest right now is their "back-to-school" podcast series. Good stuff, folks, I checked it out. They've already done a great audio podcast on natural oral care, and another on the benefits of multivitamins for everyone, but especially for our kids, and several others that are full of info that's relevant, informative and just plain good stuff to know. And a little birdy told me that, coming up in the next few weeks, they'll be posting more audio podcasts on their blog - one about EFAs (essential fatty acids) and how to maximize their benefit for those brains you're sending back to school (coming Sept. 2), and then expect another on immunity through the school year (coming Sept. 9), detailing how to give our families the best defense against the creeping crud that seems to follow us all home from now til Easter. With Samantha starting preschool next week, you can BET I'll be checking both of these out. (Especially the one on immunity - those kids are germ factories, and every day when she comes home she'll be the Trojan Horse of the sickies.)
So I'll be checking it out, and now YOU can be checking it out, and be passing it on to others so THEY can check it out. Don't make me bug you about it, just read it and pass the link on, wouldja?
Again, find the back-to-school podcasts here, and enjoy: http://blog.wholefoodsmarket.com/category/whole-body/
I am nervous as hell.
Preschool open house is TONIGHT.
She is terribly excited, and giggles every time the topic comes up.
I giggle along with her, and then go around the corner and fight the urge to throw up.
What if there are nothing but snotty little mini-bitches in her class?
On one hand, she may reject them and their evil ways. In which case they will torment, tease and harass her.
OR, consider the other exciting super neato alternative - she embraces their budding mean girl attitudes and becomes one of them.
And then I'll have to shoot myself.
What if they pick on her ears? Or call her "albino" because she's fair-skinned? Or make fun of her for chewing her fingernails? What if they push her down and she can't hold back and she cries, and then they call her bawl-baby and tell her to run home to Mommy?
And what happens when she DOES come home to Mommy, and Mommy commits multiple homicides on whoever made her baby cry?
For this I'm paying $185 a month?
I know, I know - she'll do great. She'll be fine. She'll make friends and have fun and learn lots. Right? Right, I know. Except what if she doesn't, she isn't and she doesn't? How do I look her in the face and tell her to "buck up, little camper"? It certainly didn't help me when that's what I was told, if I even dared to tell anyone about it at all when I was tormented as a child. I won't ignore or dismiss her fears and concerns if they should arise, but me going in with guns blazing at the first sign of trouble won't help her either - then she'll be labeled "mommy's baby".
Everyone else's, not mine.
Well, not yours either. Actually, I just mean those fucking little brats that my angel has to be stuck in the same room with all year long.
And if you're one of those fucksticks who made fun of other kids and teased people back in school, then you suck, too. Asshats like you are who give people like me anxiety when they approach days like this. You fuckers owe me some money for therapy to work through this shit.
So I'm crossing fingers that she is nothing like I was in school, that she is well-liked, has good classmates and good teachers, and that no one has to go to jail over name-calling and hair-pulling. I'll keep you posted.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Samantha and I are walking around while the boys browse electronics or some other such stuff, and she wants to pick a new cereal. No problem - Big Lots is our go-to for cereal choices (read: cheap!).
We find Kellogg's Wild Animal Crunch, with several different box designs - a panda, baby seals, polar bears, and the last choice we spotted, the meerkats. And with its claims of lots of whole grain, I was on board for picking up some of this Wild Animal Crunch. But back to the boxes (the pinnacle moment of the cereal selection process when you're four)...
I opened the box, and then the inner sleeve.
The smell reminded me of sawdust mixed with the most artifical vanilla flavor ever. Not completely awful in every way, but certainly interesting, and not wholly appealing. But, then again, what she likes and what I like seldom jive. After all, she eats those yogurt tubes, and let's face it, they are nasty. So I put on my best game face, raised my eyebrows at her to show my (fake) excitement, poured a serving into her Barbie bowl, topped it with milk, and served it up.
As I got back over to the counter, I heard her behind me. As only children can do, she summed up the smell much better than I.
"Well...it sure smells like meerkat."
I almost peed myself laughing.
Despite it's meerkatty odor, she finished off the bowl and smiled as she ran off to brush her teeth.
She has not, however, asked for more "meerkat cereal".
I am not surprised.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I've only recently even started exploring the topic, learning about the crap we put in our bodies without knowing it (and being astounded I might add). That being said, the skeptic in me looks at everything I read with a scrutinizing eye, wary of conspiracy theorists despite being one myself in general. This skeptic wonders how we can know what's true, what's not, where to start, what is most important to "go organic" with first, and the list of questions goes on and on. It's part of what took me so long to look into it in the first place - our world is full of unverified studies, theories that are spewed as fact, people who talk out their asses, quite frankly, and wading through all of it to find the truth seems an immense task.
But my family deserves the best, and I owe it to my kids to be their first line of defense against everything that could harm them, to the best of my ability - even in the kitchen. So if there are some steps I can take with our food to at least minimize their exposure to pesticides, chemicals, and other toxins, then I need to bite the bullet, figure it out and make a transition for the betterment of all our health.
Most of my reading and research has been online (surprise, surprise) and the information available is endless, diverse, and often scary. Most of what we think of at first thought in terms of "organic" always seems to start with fruits and vegetables. But in my recent reading, I found an article, written by Dr. Joseph Mercola, (whose website is chock-full of so much information pertaining to ALL areas of health) that gave me some great guidelines on what foods are most critical to switch to organic first, and which are less crucial in terms of levels of chemicals and pesticides.
For starters, there are foods that are generally grown without use of pesticides even when grown conventionally, and these are the foods we need to concern ourselves with the LEAST in the search for organics:
Sweet peas (frozen)
Sweet corn (frozen)
Good news, yes? I thought so, too. We use nearly all of these foods at one time or another, and it was comforting to know that, at least in part, there were some foods NOT coming into the kitchen as hot little toxin parcels, ready and willing to poison my family at first bite.
At the other end of the spectrum was the TOP 12 foods - the 12 foods with the highest levels of pesticides in them; these are the fruits and veggies of which we should actively pursue organic varieties:
Sweet bell peppers
Also lots of FMFO family favorites on this list. Sigh. So as I read, I was rebudgeting in my head to figure out how we'll afford the organic version of these foods. However, as I read on, Dr. Mercola had more information for me, and I was surprised at what he revealed later in the article regarding not only the order in which to switch over to organics, but also regarding the WORST offender in my fridge. In his words:
"... be VERY careful as the list above is for fruits and vegetables. Non-organic meats have far higher concentrations of pesticides than all of the fruits and vegetables. And the highest concentration of pesticides is actually in non-organic butter.
Butter? I know, right? Crazy stuff. I hadn't even considered meats and dairy much yet, all the hype tends to focus on veggies and fruits. So we're re-thinking this organic switch over, or the order in which we'd like to do it, to whatever degree we decide to do it.
I don't know if I'll ever be running a 100% organic household. Heck, even Kate Gosselin has a few non-organic items in her house on occasion. But you never know - if you'd have told me I'd be an avid recycler five years ago, I'd have guffawed at you heartily as I threw my pop can in the trash and ate my grapes right out of the package with not so much as a quick rinse. And now I have not one, but TWO recycle bins that we fill weekly, and I am seemingly becoming an organic girl after many years of trying to ignore, ignore, ignore.
Age, motherhood and time do strange things to us.
I really do recommend you check out the entire article, linked in the quote above, if you're interested in organic food, and especially if you're NOT particularly interested in organic food. Knowledge is power, and if you get the info and then decide you still don't give a rip about organics, at least you can say you're informed in your decision. This article has some simple guidelines that can help decipher a little bit of the overload of information floating around out there pertaining to organics, no matter your stance on the topic. So just go read it already. Oh, and then after you're done with that, check out these, too. Just do it.
Whoo. Sorry. Anyway...
They are rebuilding, by the way - so a shiny, new, state-of-the-art McCafe will take the place of the old Mickey D's where he and I made countless Big Macs, served fries, swept floors and earned minimum wage +, all the while spending time getting to know each other as friends, coworkers and later...you know...
Bow McChicka Wow Wow...
...but never AT work. No no no. Seriously. Not with me anyway. He dated most of the female crew at one time or another (yes you did, dear, don't make me list them) and I heard rumors, but he now denies them, and since I am his wife I am obligated to believe and move on, so I will. Whatever.
So the local paper posted video of the demolition of the old building, calling it a "landmark" (which may be a stretch for a 30-some year old building, but whatever, it's a small town) and I had a little tear action going on. Got a little choked up, I admit it. That building, as stupid as it seems (because, well, it's a McDonald's for cripe's sake), meant something to us; something that the new building can't ever hold for us. I remember the first day he noticed me, and the first day I noticed him. I remember standing next to the safe by the kitchen door and I remember how his eyes sparkled when he looked at me, and how my heart fluttered when we spoke. And many years later, on our wedding day morning, we would each go there separately for a quick bite on our way to the church, and then later giggle about how ironic it was that we had both gone there, ten minutes apart; and how surreal it was to stand there looking at the kitchen and counter area where we fell in love, never knowing back then what a beautiful life the future held for us. I told him that it reminded me of how far we'd come, and that from the very beginning, he had always been 'the best man I know'. True then, true now.
And he still has a nice ass. That's a plus, too. Or, in this case, a McPlus*.
*Ah, I still love the McJokes. You can "Mc" just about anything, trust me. The McManagement doesn't always think it's funny, but they're wrong. It's TOTALLY McFunny. Give it a try, it's a McRiot. Go ahead.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
So, with that being our reality, it seems it's "Q & A Period" here again at FMFO. Questions from you = answers from me.
Takes four seconds, people. Just ask, and I will answer. What have you been dying to ask me? What are you wondering about that I can go look up for you and post about. Remember that anonymous comments are allowed so you can ask anything without even telling me who you are! Exciting, yes? I know, right! So send me your questions, either to my email or just post a comment, and ASAP I'll be whipping up a witty, snazzy answer just for you. M'kay?
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
And now the web junkie business is back again, with a vengeance. It's like that first night out drinking after rehab. Or that first pack of smokes once you start again. OK, more like the third or fourth pack - you know, when you're smoking them like they're oxygen sticks instead of cancer sticks? Yeah, like that. Can't get enough, can't put it down, and can't walk away.
I have shit to do. Hear me clearly - SHIT. TO. DO. And yet I am here, in cyberspace, while the kids are in bed, and I have prime opportunity to get my wreck of a house cleaned up, and dinner started, and my grocery list finished. And what am I doing instead? Facebook. Myspace. Message boards. Online news stories. Birthday party planning (Hey, SKC's party is only five months away!). Email. Obits. Zoo events. Bills. On and on and on.
Damn. It's really an addiction, seriously. Hell, you know, you're here, too. Like, if I am away too long from the PC, I find myself thinking of other reasons to come downstairs, and hey, while I'm there, might as well "check in" for "just a sec". Ridiculous. If I don't come down and hop on, I start to get edgy. Grumpy, at times, even. How stupid is that? It boggles the mind. What's ironic is that there are things on the PC I could be doing that are worthwhile (other than blogging for you fine folks, obviously), and I'm not even doing those things!
Oh, wait. I forgot my excuse until I took a deep breath right now. You won't even believe it. But it's true. It's lame, but it's true. Because having a broken elbow, a sprained ankle, a cold and sick kids, and a mortgage payment that just went up 10A% in the same month when I have to start shelling out preschool tuition on my hands isn't enough, I pinched a nerve in my back this morning. Idn't THAT just freaking DANDY?! So it hurts to walk and certainly hurts to bend over (as in to pick things up) or stretch (as in to wiped off table and/or counters), so what's a girl to do?
Oh, yeah. Sit on her ass and mold it even further into that lovely computer-chair-shape. Nice. The ibuprofen did nothing for it, and the Doanes will work for it, but I can't take them until Greg gets home because they knock me out - and so then I won't be doing housework anyway. Not that I know where they are right now in this mess of a house.
Irony. My life is complete and total irony.
I missed the meeting where I signed up to give Job* a run for his money on hardships, but apparently it's already in the system and playing out nicely. Perhaps a hang-glider will fall through my kitchen roof later, or I'll stick a fork through my eye dancing a jig, whatever.
Hope your day is going better than mine. I have to check email now, and the kids are up so I'll need to log off for a little while anyway. I wonder if there are drugs to treat internet addiction yet?
OK, I'm shutting it off, that's it.
*OK, fine - Job had it worse than me, I know. WAY worse. But it's my pity party, so just cut me some slack, alright? Thanks much.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Woke up sore today, possibly because I rolled to my right (the injured) side during the night, or possibly because for one reason or another, there seem to be small children ending up in our bed night after freaking night. I LOVE snuggling with my kids, OK? Love it, let's be clear on that. But NOT at 4 AM, and NOT when I'm sore and achy anyway, and NOT when they think it's play time. And when I got out of bed with both of them (early - too, too early) I was blessed with a SPLITTING headache to top off my aching body. Dandy. So the day started out less-than-ideal to begin with.
Physician, Heal Thy Reputation (And He Did Just That)
I didn't blog about my appointment with my orthopaedic surgeon which took place a week ago today (last Monday, the Monday following The Great Fall From Step Four). And with good reason. I was too hot to blog, folks. I decided as the week ended last week that I would, and needed to, write old Dr. F a letter, explaining just how dissatisfied I was with the time I spent in his office.
The letter began thusly:
I was in your office on Monday, August 11, 2008 for a radial head fracture to my right elbow. I sat in your waiting room for an hour, having arrived at least 15 minutes early as was requested of me when I scheduled the appointment. After being apparently mistaken for someone else, being told (incorrectly) that I had checked in a half hour late, being sent for an x-ray I didn't need, and then being brought back from x-ray, I was taken to an exam room. I was hopeful to finally be treated, and to be on my way, knowing that mistakes happen. But by this point, I was already in pain, I was already feeling flustered and slightly shuffled around, and I was hoping that the time in your exam room would make up for the last hour.
Nice, right? A SUPER fun day, you betcha. The visit culminated with him spending approximately 90 seconds with me, giving me almost NO direction for my prognosis (which centers around the theme of "use your broken arm or it'll be stuck bent forever"), no discussion of pain management, and a "thanks for stopping, see you in four weeks" on my way out the door.
I explained my dissatisfaction as kindly, honestly and factually as I could, coming close to the close with this:
My visit to your office was unfortunately neither particularly pleasant nor comprehensive, despite what I believe to be your and your staff's honest efforts, and I find myself feeling more and more dissatisfied as the days go by. Frankly, if you were running a restaurant, I'd have asked for my money back.
I ended with my contact information, my hope that he would be willing/able/eager to help me find the answers I needed, and I faxed it over to his office this afternoon. I was NOT all that optimistic about the timeline for a response from him.
At 9 pm tonight, my cell phone rang, a "PRIVATE" call with no number listed. I almost dropped the phone when I realized it was, in fact, Dr. F. I threw the clean, ready-to-be-installed bedtime diaper I had been putting on Jackson and mouthed to Greg "IT'S DOCTOR F!!!!", and ran downstairs to find a quiet spot.
With not so much as a hint of any upset, resentment or chip on his shoulder regarding my two-page complaint letter, he apologized heartfully and honestly for the visit I'd had last week. He was grateful for my feedback, and then proceeded to go through every request in my letter, discuss every concern I had, and gave me AWESOME service over the phone, complete with research and statistics to confirm the information he shared with me regarding my particular injury. The man is very well-studied, and is in fact a professor of orthopaedic surgery and rehabilitation (which I found when I came across his 18-page curriculum vitae while searching for his fax number) at the university teaching hospital, and has been widely published in his field. He gave me complete information, in layman's terms, and listened to me when I spoke, and was every bit as wonderful as I hoped he would be last Monday. He has completely redeemed himself to me, and I look forward to my follow-up with him next month. Very cool. Who'da thunk that in 2008 there was a doctor who would actually respond to my needs, as soon as possible, who would take time out of his night to call me and make sure that I had the information I needed? A very pleasant surprise!
Jackson Turns Two, and My Heart Overflows
Most importantly, today was Jackson's second birthday. We celebrated at Red Lobster, where they sang to him, about which he was less-than-thrilled. They all got the disinterested "Jackson Scowl", the poor girls - frankly he just wanted to get to the cheesecake. Tonight I rocked him at bedtime (Daddy got the night off to watch the Husker Pre-Season Stuff on some sports channel or another), and as we snuggled in the chair, I sang him his own sweet, quiet "Happy Birthday"...which he loved and asked for more of, twice, while he patted me softly and smiled as he lay in my arms. It felt like my gift more than his, as he laid there, loving me so simply, so truly, and so completely as only children can love their mothers. These are the moments I want to seal in my memory, to comfort me someday when they are gone. My heart aches to go and scoop him up, forgetting the pain of his foot in my back and his arm flopped over my face, and bring him to our bed again, so I can snuggle him all night long, and when his sister hears me and follows me down, I want to put her right on the other side of me, and snuggle her too. They are such wonderful, special, fun, blessed kids. I have NO idea how I was so fortunate to have them sent to be with me (us), and on days like today I am overwhelmed at how much they have filled my life, and my heart, with joy, love and peace. Powerful stuff.
Two years ago, right now, I was pushing with all my might, drawing every scrap of motherly strength from deeper down than I even knew existed, to bring him to us, raging against his pre-birth stubborn streak that led him to decide he'd like to come out sunny-side up. Right about now, 11:30, I was feeling unsure and afraid I wouldn't be able to bring him forth, and Greg reassured me that I could, and that I would. He, of course, was right, and I did. That first second with him, despite his purple body and the sludge that covered him, he was perfect and beautiful and ours. I loved him instantly, as mothers generally do, but I had no clue how much the next two years would cultivate and multiply that love. My god, I cannot imagine my world without him, or his sister, and I struggle to even remember our lives without them.
Loving Through Laundry
Mom was here last week to help out as I transitioned through that first painful week, and thank the stars above that she was. On top of changing diapers, caring for the kids, cooking TONS of food for us, and letting me rest whenever I needed to...the woman is a laundry machine! I have NO IDEA how I came from her house as the laundry loser that I am. She washed every dirty piece of fabric in the house that would stand still long enough to be captured in a laundry basket. I am ecstatic, grateful and giddy at the cleanness of the cloth things in my house of all types. But more importantly, it has given me a desire to keep up on it more than when I catch it up on my own. When I spend time beating The Laundry Demon, I do overtake it. But by the time it all gets washed and put away, sort of, I am so sick of thinking about it that I don't care to look at it any more. Thus the problem, and the cycle repeats itself. This time, I was spared the scariness that is "catching up on the laundry" and so have not burned myself out and am reorganizing closets and dresser drawers like mad. It's like Christmas for me to have everything clean and waiting to be organized. SUCH a cool thing she did, and she said she enjoyed doing it. That just sounds like madness to me, but whatever works for her. I shudder to think about what this house would look like if she hadn't been here last week. My mommy kicks ass and she's better than your mommy and nothing you can say will make me think different.
Dang, talk much, Cathy!? Whoo! Now it's too late to clean the house, guess it'll keep til tomorrow. I have ten minutes to get to Jackson's crib so I can be looking at him, and stroking his hair at 11:55, his exact birth moment. I hope I always do that with both of them, as long as they will let me. Good night, all!
Frankly, it's not that I care personally. Sorry, that sounds assholish and I apologize, but it's just not my cup of Gatorade - this Huskermania, Husker Nation, In Bo We Trust, Os Rules (although he is a fine man who I admire in general), and in general the Go Big Red insanity that is the joy and heart and soul of my home state. While I do on occasion enjoy watching the Huskers play, and I get the tradition and nostalgia that keeps the love of Husker football alive, I'm not going to pee my pants if you win or lose. It's just not me.
HOWEVER, I live with one who, as the Husker Nationals say, "bleeds red for his Huskers" (as if they would bleed any other colors if they were Jayhawk, Seminole, Cyclone or whatever fans). He truly, truly adores the game, knows all the plays at first glance, believes in college football like some people believe in healthy eating or exercise for fitness. It's a ...what is it...well, it's a sickness really, in all honesty. But it's his sickness, and he loves it. He's been known to tear up in four bars or less of the Tunnel Walk, he honestly believes in Husker Nation, and it's been a long few years for him. Ole' Bill was about more than he could take. And so it's been a long few years vicariously for me, Bo. You don't even know, OK, just trust me on that.
But now you've come back to Nebraska. Back to Lincoln, back to campus, back to fabulous Memorial Stadium, and more importantly, to Tom Osborne Field, dear-sweet-jesus-and-saints-be-praised. These days it's all about "Order Restored", and all that jazz.
And there is hope again in Husker Nation. "I'm a Boliever" shirts are everywhere, on backs and on racks, and the countdown tickers to game-time are cropping up all over the state. The excitement is almost tangible, and is becoming more electric as the days go by.
Please don't let him down. Please do the things you promise you'll do. Please bring back the order that the Husker Nation needs. And not because the state needs it, or even because Husker Nation needs it. After all it is just football. Do it because I cannot envision another year with such disappointment in my husband's eyes, and such shoulder-shrugging which accompanies sighing and much "Oh, who gives a crap"-ing, when the fact of the matter is, I know that HE gives a crap. I don't understand it, and I don't need to. I just want him to be happy. And the Huskers on top makes him happy.
So go Bo. Go on and bring those Huskers back to where they belong. Go Big Red. Pretty please.
Monday, August 11, 2008
fell Friday lifting Samantha over our gate, fell down 4 steps to concrete. 4 hrs in ER = broke my arm at elbow, sprained my foot. foot is wrapped, arm is slinged for now.
yes, samantha is ok.
no, i am not. but i will be. i hope.
yes it hurts.
yes, i really broke it - google "radial head frature".
no i am not enjoying the drugs they gave me. (percoset = nausea)
no you cannot have the drugs they gave me.
yes they did x-rays. twice.
yes i am sleeping ok.
no it wasn't the arm i write with. not that i write much without a keyboard anyway.
anyway, enough of that...weekend was OK, made it thru w/ ibuprofen & darvocet (leftover from jtc's birth) at night. slept ok overall. jackson's party a rousing success, sooooo fun!!!
mom coming back tomorrow to help thru thurs, greg is home today.
appt today later w/ orthopaedic surgeon, hoping for good news; aaflac rep just came over to handle our paperwork for our claim...getting that check just might make me feel better...ha ha...more soon...
thx for good thoughts and prayers...