Saturday, November 22, 2008

Get a grip!

So last night, before I FINALLY got tired enough to go to bed, I checked on the kids. I found Jesse sitting up in his crib, crying. I figured maybe he had a bad dream or a messy diaper so I picked him up and brought him out to the living room. I changed his diaper, gave him his pacifier and gently rocked him back to sleep, singing a lullaby. When he finally went back to sleep (he kept dozing off and waking up again against my shoulder), I put him back into the crib. Then I went out to the living room just to see my husband arrive home from work. I was too tired to stay up any longer so I told him I was going to bed. When I got to my bed, though, I felt like I needed to check on the baby one more time. He was awake again. Crying again. So I picked him up and took him out to the couch again. As I started to check on his diaper, my husband bent over to talk with him and pat his head. Right when he took the pacifier out of his mouth, Jesse threw up on the couch.

From that point, it was an endless routine of him throwing up so much and having diarrhea in his diaper. It got to be so bad, it ended up spreading onto his back and clothes. YUCK! So we gave him a bath and washed his clothes out with bleach.

But the whole time I was going through the motions of helping him after he threw up or he had a messy diaper, he was crying and screaming so much. It was awful. He must've had really bad pain in his tummy. I could feel gas bubbles on his belly and he kept gagging like he was going to throw up again.

Just seeing him crying and screaming so much, practically shaking as he had his tiny arms around my neck, just really tore at my heart. I felt so bad for him. My heart just went out to my baby boy. I almost started crying, too! I just felt so bad for him that he was having so much discomfort and all this other stuff going on.

But I knew I couldn't lose it. I'm the adult in this situation. I HAVE to keep my cool and stay calm. If I started getting upset or freaking out, I would be useless to him. I'd do more harm than good! He was the one who was suffering here. He needed as much help as he could get to end the suffering.

All the same, I wanted to suggest we take him to the ER or call his doctor. I was scared he might have an infection or there might be something seriously wrong here. But my instincts told me to just wait a little bit longer. Just wait and see if he gets worse before he gets better.

We did manage to get through the many hours of him throwing up, having a messy diaper and screaming and crying. It was awful but it eventually came to an end. Soon he was soundly asleep at 3:30 in the morning and everything seemed to be okay from that point on.

I am just glad I was able to get a grip on myself. It's so hard to get through things like this with your children. I mean, you do have to stay calm and have everything under control, but on the inside, it's hard to ignore that pain and sympathy for the children going through what they go through. When Jennifer was a baby, I couldn't even watch them give her shots. It just upset me too much. But I know it's important to get a grip when things like this come up. The child cannot be expected to be in control of everything and joining them in their panic and crying episodes won't help bring any miseries to an end.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Wolves in Oregon

Today I came across an article about how wolves are making a comeback in some parts of Oregon. According to the article, wolves were wiped out of the area in the 1940s. I've heard several claims that wolves have been seen in Oregon, but never actually saw any news stories about them. There is even a White Wolf Sanctuary in Tidewater.

I am a big lover of wolves and the reports of finding wolves shot or killed by accident are disturbing. It makes me wonder if the appearance of wolves means that more wolves will be threatened, hunted and even destroyed by wildlife officials.

There is one time I saw a wolf. Actually, two wolves. When we lived in the desert, my dad knew someone who had two domesticated wolves. I can't recall what kind of wolves they were but he kept them caged up in the yard. So on top of not being out in the wild, they were kept caged up all the time. Which is really sad. Jennifer and I were discussing this the other day. Both of us believe that wild animals belong in the wild. And as much as I love wolves, and other wild animals such as panthers and coyotes, I firmly believe that they should be left in the wild. I know there are people who say they have a certain way with wild animals to tame them. They can command the animal and do things to remind the animal of who is boss. But my opinion is, you can NEVER truly tame a wild animal. They are wild at heart and deserve to be free. They need to be in their elemant.

But sometimes I know that a wild animal is more open to being hunted and killed if they are out in the wild. The wolves coming into Oregon will see an Oregon that will be a lot different than what they used to know. And perhaps they will be unfamiliar with venturing into such an area so heavily populated and modernized. The wolves coming into Oregon face so many dangers and a very high risk of being hunted down. I only hope with all my heart that those with compassion for wolves will find a way to help them find sanctuary here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Red flags

One of my sisters lives in Illinois, as do my parents and one of my brothers. Because of the distance, I have not seen them since March of last year. There's been talk on both sides of visits, but it never happened. Meanwhile, most of us have stayed connected with each other via MySpace. (It used to be through AOL, but not all of us use AOL anymore.) By doing so, we were able to get bits and pieces of what was going on with everyone, as well as passing on any news or information.

For some time, the sister who lives in Illinois has been involved with someone. Someone most of my family knows about from when living in the California desert, though I don't really remember him very well. (Them saying "you know, the one with the guitar?" doesn't really help jog my memory.) Needless to say, the ones who know him better have shared with me their views about my sister getting involved with him again. Apparently, he moved to Illinois just to be with her. And I've heard a thing or two some siblings have had to say about him.

Things that are not very...nice.

When I first heard about all this and saw their pictures, I got some bad vibes about it. I know I don't know this guy, but something about this whole situation just rubbed me the wrong way. I just didn't get a good feeling about it.

Then, out of the blue, I find out they're getting married. (Yes, that fast.) Then my sister posted a bulletin saying they're changing their phone service so they'll be offline for a few days, and she'll let us know the new phone number.

So far, I haven't gotten her new phone number. Something was definitely wrong here.

From this point, other things happened that had the sirens going off. My sister decides to let this guy she's with use her MySpace, and she turns it into a profile they share. I'm starting to wonder if Mr. Wonderful has been erasing messages I send to my sister on there, because I never get an answer. I am also concerned over how this guy is suddenly more important to my sister than her own son. Until they got together, her 7-year-old little boy was her world. Now she refers to him as "the kid" and doesn't talk much about him anymore. But she's all lovey-dovey with her S.O. (OK, I don't know for sure if that qualifies as a "red flag." I mean, maybe that's just ME. I ALWAYS put my kids first, even before my own husband! Even before me!) Then she announces they have plans to move out of state. This I don't understand. My sister has a great job, her own place to live and she's close to our mother. And she SHOULD be close to family! (I sure wish we were.)

I am just really starting to feel concerned that she is involved with a controlling and/or manipulative "significant other." Given my experience with my husband and given what I learned in ALL of those books and websites I read about controlling boyfriends/partners/spouses, I'm seeing these things going on with my sister and it just doesn't look right. At all.

I just hope that, eventually, I will find a way to get in touch with my sister. Maybe someday she will answer one of my emails or I will get her new phone number and call her up. Or I'll get her address and write to her. (With discretion, of course.) I just hope I'm wrong. I hope that these things going on are just...glitches or forgetfulness. I want to believe I am wrong to think this guy's she's with is controlling, and that I shouldn't worry about anything. But those red flags and sirens going off are just a little hard to ignore.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


The iron supplements I got from the store the other day are working really well for me. I am back to my old self again! WOO-HOO!!

And to celebrate, I decided that today I'd have a little outing for myself, while my husband stayed home with the kids. Take some time to do a little window shopping, check out sales and have a tasty treat. I also wanted to check out the new Nike store at the Oakway Center.

That was my second stop. (My first was at the local Bi-Mart, where I got some movies that were on sale, as well as a toy for the baby.) The Nike store is AWESOME. Right when I walked in, I was greeted by this HUGE wall-to-wall screen with Nike ads, informational skits and types of shoes Nike has made being featured all across it. There was one special area where shoes created by two local teens as part of a charity effort are being shown, as well as a large panel of information about Nike co-founders Bill Bowerman, Steve Prefontaine and Phil Knight. The last name is one I am familiar with: I have seen that name many times in the local paper. I read about "Pre" on a friend's blog, as well as also in my local paper, but Bill Bowerman was a new name to me. I briefly started to wonder if he was in any way related to my good friend, Peter Bowerman. (Heh, that would be interesting!) I knew Phil Knight was somehow connected with Nike, but had no idea that he was one of the co-founders. Same goes with Pre. I also didn't realize that Eugene, Oregon really IS called "Track Town, USA." I mean, during the summer Olympics, I thought it was just a promotional angle. But it is indeed called "Track Town," thanks to the natives of Eugene who helped create the company we all know and love as Nike. (The longer I live in Eugene, the more I am learning about just how famous it is for certain things and people.)

From there, I checked out the Pottery Barn, admiring the very pretty glitter candles, but, at the same time, disappointed that there was so much emphasis on Christmas but not so much on Thanksgiving. I mean, I know people shop VERY early for Christmas, but Thanksgiving IS right around the corner! (And on that note, I am eagerly putting together a VERY special Thanksgiving dinner menu. Millie and Allison are planning to join us for Thanksgiving dinner! YAY! I want to make the cheesecake EVERYBODY is always asking me to make for special occasions.)

Next I headed into Borders, where I came across the new book, The Purpose of Christmas, by Rick Warren. I enjoyed reading his other book, The Purpose-Driven Life, so I was interested in this one. And true to form, he was not overly preachy in this book and his ideas really made a lot of sense. The stuff he said in this book was stuff I could relate to, stuff I have seen myself, and I was grateful he touched on those topics. I read 50 pages of it before deciding to put this book on my Christmas wish list. Also while I was at Borders, I enjoyed their Marble Mocha coffee (YUMMY!) and a tomato and cheese toasted sandwich. Afterwards, I worked on my novel. Finishing a chapter, I browsed more books and I was able to score 4 books for $20! Sweet!

The next place I had to go to was the grocery store. My husband texted me while I was at Borders, saying we needed more milk, so I got the milk next. I WAS going to get a paper, but I forgot. GAH! It was nice chatting with a friend I saw there, though. I hadn't seen him for MONTHS, so it was nice talking with him again.

Later, after spending time on the couch with my husband and children, I looked at the clock and decided it was time to get dinner in the oven. I announced I was making pork chops and Jen said she wanted hamburgers. I was okay with going to get hamburgers for dinner but checked with my husband to see if he was okay with the change in dinner plans, too. Getting a nod from him, I got my jacket back on and left to get burgers. It was a good thing, too, because we needed ANOTHER thing from the store, which I picked up from the Amazon Market on my way. (And I got a newspaper, too. Woot!)

When I got to the fast food place, I debated going through the drive-through. I had a bad experience at a drive-through before and I worried it might repeat here. But I was VERY low on gas and was afraid to turn off the car because it might not turn back on! And I'd be stranded there with hot food that would turn cold. So instead of risking being stranded, I went through the drive-through. At the drive-through, I tried ordering the burgers at the box but they got the order wrong and I tried telling them "no, I don't want that, I want this," but they didn't change it. So I had to drive up to the window since I didn't know what the heck they were even saying and explained that I am deaf and had trouble with the box. They were TOTALLY accommodating about this, which was nice since ANOTHER fast food place I tried to order at the window gave me a lot of grief over it. They kept saying "we can't take orders at the window" and I kept reminding them "But I'm deaf and I'm allowed by federal law to order at the window." They went on and on about it until the manager appeared and, I guess for the sake of all the customers lined up behind me, she finally took my order. I was NOT happy then but at THIS fast food place (CARL'S JR., PEOPLE!!), they didn't give me any trouble at all. The employee was VERY understanding and spoke in a slow manner so that I could understand him. And when I couldn't, he wrote stuff down. (They'll definitely be getting more of my business, that's for sure!)

On the way home, I stopped to get gas. The gas station attendant kinda scared me. He looked like the bad guy in a horror movie I saw not too long ago. A horror movie that disturbed me so much, I couldn't watch all of it. And it was something this character did that made me turn it off. The same character this guy looked like! So the whole time I'm sitting there, I'm scared out of my wits thinking, "PLEASE don't hurt me! EEK!" Well, obviously, that didn't happen. But it made me remember one of my uncles, who kinda looks like Freddie Kruger when he puts his black hat on. I kid you not! My family thinks it's hilarious (and he knows this, too, and thinks it's funny) and I think it's funny, too, but at the same time....kinda weird. I started to wonder if OTHER people have relatives who resemble icons or bad guys in horror flicks.

All in all, it was an interesting day. I was really grateful for the chance to get out and shop, eat, write and see stuff out there. Those kinds of days don't happen very often but it's definitely a refreshing change when they do.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Is it over yet??

Most people are happy when Friday finally gets here. I sometimes share this joy, despite being a stay-at-home mom. The weekends mean FUN with my kids! from the hubby. Which I don't get much of during the week because of his two jobs. (Not complaining here, just letting you all know why the heck I'm hardly able to do the same online stuff I used to do anymore!) But I am especially glad that the week is finally over because maybe, just maybe, my personal miseries will come to an end, too.

The first of these is a severe iron deficiency I had yesterday. It was AWFUL. I have had problems with iron deficiency for as long as I can remember and I'm SUPPOSED to take iron supplements every day. But sometimes I forget. And forget. And forget. Yesterday morning, I DID remember them, but then I got busy and forgot again! GAH! So of course I ended up getting very sick from iron deficiency. I had the worst dizziness in the world. I honestly felt like I was going to pass out. I could hardly walk and my vision was a little blurry. The dizziness stopped a bit then started up again, this time reverberating through my head like the waves of an ocean.

And it all happened while hubby was at work and I was alone with the kids!

Thankfully, it happened close to bedtime, so soon I had them bathed and in bed. (It took an ENORMOUS effort to stay focused enough to give them their baths AND carry my baby to the towel I had laid out for him.) But after they were in bed, I was in agony. I was going between dizziness and pain in my head. I had no strength to walk and could barely focus.

With the symptoms as bad as they were, I had to wonder if it was indeed iron deficiency we were dealing with here, as my husband had guessed, and not something else. I started to worry a little that I was focusing too much on iron deficiency when it could be something worse that I really SHOULD dial 911 for. I thought on that. It just made sense it was indeed low iron, though, because lately I have been abnormally overtired and sluggish. I was so wiped out that I started drinking energy drinks and while they DID work, they made me VERY irritable and jumpy, so I had to stop drinking them. So in my reflecting, I decided it had to be the low iron.

You would think I would've tried taking an iron supplement by now, but guess what?? They were EXPIRED! ARGH! I had been texting my husband the whole time and it wasn't long before my messages had a lot of typos. He ended up coming home from work early, which I was grateful for. He got me into bed and told me to signal him with the lamp if I needed him. (I need to get a Bat signal thingy. LOL)

So this morning, even though I still felt a little sluggish, I got new iron supplements from the store. Now the normal dosage of iron for women is 18 mg. A little more for iron-deficient women is fine. (The one I got is 28 mg.) But I saw one there for....325 MILLIGRAMS!! WHAT THE WHAT! That is pretty high. Yeowch. Too much iron ingestion in one day is VERY bad and could be toxic. Sooo...I don't know if that is safe to have as an OTC. You know, I'm just SAYIN'.

Anyway, the SECOND thing that happened was today. See, I'm supposed to have dental surgery, to have FOUR wisdom teeth removed. They have been giving me bad pain on and off but today has been the WORST of it. The pain was in the entire upper and lower left side of my mouth. Gums and teeth. It's been hurting so bad and hubby is picking up some kind of pain relief stuff for my teeth from the store tonight. First thing Monday morning, I am scheduling an appointment for the surgery to have those teeth extracted. (Now, see, my husband is not the only one in this house who puts stuff off!) I've just been so conscientious about how much it will cost but my husband has encouraged me to REALLY get this done. I have also been scared of what kind of prescription painkillers they will likely prescribe afterwards. I just don't handle that stuff very well. It makes me sick and knocks me off my feet. Which is why I'm gonna try to schedule it as close to the weekend as possible.

Still, it hasn't been easy dealing with the pain. I'll just have to hang in there a little longer.

My only hope is that the end of the week will mean the end of any OTHER little health-related surprises.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Two special days

Yesterday, Jennifer didn't have any school so I made "school lessons" for her. For art, she created a kite using paper and twigs. For reading, we read a couple of books. And since it was Veteran's Day, we talked about why it was important to remember our veterans and why there are soldiers. I asked her to write a story about why soldiers are important and she ended up writing a little book-length story, complete with illustrations. One part of it was really sad: A little boy crying when his daddy, a soldier, was saying goodbye when leaving for war. She was upset over this and I told her this is a part of the sacrifice the soldiers make to fight for all of us. It just really tugged at my heart, though.

Today is another special day, but just for the Wilson household: We are FINALLY getting cable! WOO-HOO!!! That's right, we have NOT had cable in the more than 2 years we have been living on West 11th. I was REALLY happy about it but Jennifer got soooo excited, she was jumping up and down cheering, "YAY!!!" Shec can't wait to FINALLY hear Hannah Montana sing. She's really been waiting for that one! She's also looking forward to watching her favorite TV shows again: Scooby Doo, SpongeBob, Pokemon. I'm just glad I'll be able to see the very last episode of ER. Sigh! We have missed so much! I have heard that Law & Order ended and I've been getting snippets of the new shows on TV. I'm curious about the new nanny shows and a show called Jon and Kate Plus 8. So I'm looking forward to watching TV shows again and being a part of the whole "TV-watching crowd" again. Up until then, we have been watching movies and TV series on DVD's.

And on that note: I really don't think I'll be watching many horror movies anymore. I used to love watching them because they were so scary and I just got a big adrenaline rush from getting scared. Plus, they enticed my imagination. But lately, a lot of the horror movies I have watched have been very disturbing. There have been scenes of rape and violence towards children. And a lot of them have babies or children being murdered, something I just CANNOT stand to see. I love children and don't want to see them being hurt. Seeing them being murdered, even little babies, gets me extremely upset. That is not why I am watching those movies. I don't want to SEE that! I don't want to see a man drowning an infant or a robot snapping the neck of a newborn human baby. That stuff is AWFUL!! And not scary at all. And I've just seen too much of it. Horror movies these days are more disturbing than scary. Even my nephew was sickened by something in a new horror movie he saw. So I just don't want to watch that many of them anymore.

Besides, I'm more addicted to the old black and white classic movies. :D

So today after the cable was all set up, I threw the "TV-watching rules" out the window for the day. I told Jennifer that in honor of the occasion, she was allowed to watch as much T.V. as she liked. Just for today, of course. Tomorrow, the normal T.V. time limitations would go back in force. So of course she devoured SpongeBob Squarepants, Pokemon, Sesame Street and Barnyard. She did a lot of channel surfing (she gets that from her father!) and checked out other channels. And, of course, she FINALLY got to see Hannah Montana. Yay!

We've been planning to get cable for some time. It just never happened. Then something happened with our server, we couldn't get Internet anymore so we signed up for the whole 9 yards with our cable company. Now Internet surfing is MUCH faster, Aaah. Now all I need to do is figure out just WHAT it will take to get my husband to FINALLY call a plumber so that we can get our washing machine fixed. Going to the laundromat all the time is just NO fun at all.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Me, a first-time voter? Not this year

Today is Election Day!

Up until recently, I didn't care for politics. Oh, sure, I had my opinions and decisions about candidates and measures on the ballot, but I never made politics a big thing with me. I commented on one thing concerning a vice presidential candidate, but that's it. I felt that a person's decisions are their own private business and, even though I felt strongly on certain issues, I didn't try to tell people who or what to vote on. You know? It's their business.

But recently, I DID take an interest in politics. As Election Day grew closer and closer, I felt that I really SHOULD take advantage of my RIGHT to vote and get out there to vote! Besides, there were things I REALLY wanted to vote "no" on. Before, I would think, 'What good is it to vote? They'll just fix the results, anyway.' I also felt that MY vote wouldn't matter. That a yea or a nay from little ol' me won't make any difference.

But you know what? I'm beginning to think differently. I am beginning to think that every vote DOES count. That even if who I want to win doesn't win, it's not because I cast a vote. Maybe it's because I DIDN'T cast a vote. MY vote could've made the differemce. MY vote could've been a tie-breaker!

And, heck, women fought good and hard for us to have that right to vote! Let's not allow that fight to be in vain!

So I headed for the Election Office all charged up and ready to vote. Before I sat out, I took notes on everything to vote for and what I should vote "yes" or "no" on. Then I confidently went to the Election Office and excitedly stood in line, revelling in my VERY FIRST voting experience. Here I was, voting in an election for vthe VERY first time in my life! Me, a voter!

But I didn't get to vote. They ended up turning me away, because I wasn't registered. And I didn't know I HAD to be registered before the deadline 3 weeks ago in order to vote in this election. Nobody told me this. No news article reminded me of as much. No flyer came in the mail reminding all first-time voters to register to vote before a deadline. Nothing. Maybe it was something taught in middle grade, and of course I forgot about it. Maybe it was on someone's blog post or on a message board. Or maybe it was in the newspaper and I happened to miss reading that particular day's paper. Nevertheless, I...did not get the memo. I just didn't know, and so I couldn't vote.
And after I had to leave the Office, I was just so upset and disappointed. I just wanted to stand there in the pouring rain, thinking how unfair that was. And wondering why nobody ever told me about that.

They gave me a form to fill out for next year's election. Would've been nice if I could've voted in THIS election, though. Could you imagine, turning away someone who WANTS to vote? A potential voter? Good grief!

Well, we'll see what happens next year. At least now I know I have a deadline to keep my eyes peeled for.