Archive for January, 2009

Thoughts from Dave

Wondering what financial guru Dave Ramsey has to say about the stimulus package that is making its way to the Senate?  You know, the one that costs more than the Iraq and Afghani wars combined?  Yeah, that one.  Here’s what Dave has to say:

 

Well, we the people have a new president. It’s an exciting time for Americans, whether or not you agree with President Barack Obama’s plans. My hope is that our new president will instill some confidence in people, not necessarily set out to fix everybody and everything.

There are some bogus government strategies floating around to stimulate the economy and “save us from ourselves.” Just because they’re all everyone talks about doesn’t make them true! Here are a few of the big issues:

Tax Breaks

These aren’t bad, and I would never turn them down. But to think that tax breaks single-handedly stimulate the economy is laughable. Remember last fall? Those stimulus checks didn’t fix the problem, so what makes us think it’s going to fix everything this time? Did you know it was your money to start with? They’re just giving it back to you and making you feel good about it. If you’re looking for $1,000 to change your life this year, you obviously don’t have a life to start with! 

It may help you today or this month, but $1,000 will do very little for you in the long run. To win with money, you’ve got to think long term. 

Patriotic Duty

The government wants you to spend, spend, spend—and many Americans are taking this advice while still in debt! No matter what the talking heads say, it is not your patriotic duty to spend money you don’t have. Your duty is to take care of yourself and your household with the money you earn from an honest day’s work. 

If you have your full emergency fund and are in a position to buy something, now is the perfect time! You can get some fabulous deals, but don’t let the deals entice you if you haven’t planned ahead and don’t have the cash!

National Deficit

The dog is still chasing its tail. 

Debt started the problem, so what is the current plan to fix the problem? More debt!
What really drives the economy? Is it D.C.’s programs or small-business people scattered throughout the country? This down economic time will begin to heal itself. Do we have to go $1 trillion in debt to do that? No way!

The good news is that our future as an economy isn’t coming out of Washington. Our future prosperity is coming out of the hopes, dreams and individual freedoms of the American people. When left alone, we have a tendency to prosper.

The healing of the economy will begin and end with you. Yes, you, the person you see in the mirror! You have to make your decision as to whether or not you’re going to take part in the recession.

As for our new president, if you’re not a fan, pray for him. He’s your president. If you are a fan, pray for him. He’s your president, not your savior. Your hope will be crushed if you wait for him and his administration—or anyone else—to fix your life and give you money.

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Bumps in My Road

It is typical for me to have a plan of attack for every day.  Today’s plan went something like this:

Wake up

Shower

Get Gideon out of crib, change diaper, put on clothing

Breakfast

Play with trucks and trains

Go get gas and a car wash

Go to World Market to see if that mirror I want is on sale for 25% or more

Lunch

Naptime

Work

Clean House

Play outside

Dinner

Bedtime for Gideon – bath, massage, teeth brushing, story time, prayer, song time

Bible Study

Bedtime for Jud and Kim

I think that’s a pretty good schedule of events.  I had everything pretty well ordered and figured that it would be a good day for everyone, especially if that mirror was on deep discount. 

And then I walked into the hallway and pretty much knew that the scene I was about to encounter in his room would be messy.  The stink was permeating the entire top floor of our house. I opened it up and found him sitting in the corner with all the blankets on the other side of the crib while he clutched Chuchi.  He looked nervous and asked for Papa.  I opened up the curtains and confirmed my suspicions.  I whisked him away to the shower, peeling off the soiled clothing and diaper on the floor that is easily disinfected. 

Once dried and clothed, I turned my attention to the crib.  The blankets are no big deal, but getting that crib sheet off with a belly the size of Delaware was going to be too much.  I took him down for breakfast.  Happily seated in a chair that is not designed for tiny people, I offered him waffles, which he politely refused.  I offered oatmeal.  That was a negative too.  I offered Honey Bunches of Oats and that received hearty approval.  Content with his delicious, but messy cereal and a cup of milk, I called for backup.  

My dad’s hours are flexible, if not completely insane and overwhelming to the average bear, which lends itself to saving me when I am need. I figured he’d have a hole in his schedule at some point to swing by and dislodge the sheet from the mattress.  I was right and he kept me from some serious back strain.  Thanks, dude!  I owe you big!  

Following breakfast and trucks and the visit from Papa where he saved the day, Gideon wanted a snack.  He got one and then we went down to move over the blankets.  Only they were still not clean.  Too much poo.  I added more soap, more softener, closed the lid and off we went to fill up the car.

I like BP and they are usually really clean stations.  Since there is one on the way to World Market, I pulled in. I swiped my debit card, confirmed that I wanted a car wash, chose my fuel grade and pumped away.  Waiting for my receipt to print was taking a while, so I finally cupped my hand over the little screen and read that it was inside the store.  Awesome.  How did it know that I really wanted to haul my kid out of his car seat to go inside?  I walked in and asked for my receipt.  At the time, I was the only car out there, so I didn’t specify which pump.  Yeah, the mistake is mine.  I get Gideon strapped back in and look down at the receipt to find the car wash code.  No number.  No letters. Not the right amount that I paid for gas. I get him out again.  We go back inside.  

There is now a line five people deep.  I am holding a child who can see a mop, a broom and a dust pan all within two feet of him and his determination to help keep BP clean is obvious.  A county sheriff is behind me now and I am not wanting to get questioned about my parenting by the law, so I try to point out letters we can talk about, “yes, that’s a B.  Those two are Es and that’s the letter R.”  My patience is wearing thin.  My hip is wearing down from the weight of one gestating baby and one squirmy toddler. I finally approach the counter.

I tell the woman that this is the wrong receipt that I was on the end, at pump 10 and have $18.23 in gas plus a car wash.  She tells me pump 10 is diesel.  I tell her she is kidding me.  She asks if I had $18 in gas.  I confirm.  She tells me I am on pump 1.  I say okay and ask for my receipt. She prints it out. 

Back in the car and ready to make it clean, I see the line is five deep and decide to soldier on to World Market first.  While there I find the mirror marked down 20%, not quite what I was hoping for, but still a good price and since there are only two left, I put it in the cart. I go over to the window treatments and have less luck finding what I want for our bedroom, but discover one panel that matches two we already own that were struggling to cover the window by themselves.  It is 30% off.  Score.  We buy both items.

The car wash is now no waiting but Gideon hates it.  He’s been in one before but I don’t remember it being that loud either.  He is shrieking until we get the green light and then he yells “Go, Dog Go!”.  I pull forward enough for the blowers to do their job. Completely out, he starts clapping and smiling.  I agreed.  

Home and lunched and now napping, the day is a bit more on course (although technically right now I should be working or cleaning). Off to get something done….

 

What? Me Make a Mess?

What? Me Make a Mess?

Overheard

“Impressions” of President Obama

by Dr. Laura Schlessinger

January 20, 2009 on 12:17 pm 

I just turned 62.  In my life, I have seen blacks go from the back of the bus to the White House.  I have seen women gain respect in the workplace.

But I have also seen an explosion in divorces.  Abortions.  Out-of-wedlock kids…on purpose.

I have seen a collapse of the values that made and can still make America great.  I have seen an abdication of personal responsibility in favor of the adoption of victimhood and situational ethics. 

There are many things that concern me about our new president.  Many policies that frankly, make me nervous.  But there are some things that I am impressed by, and hope he will set a tone and become a role model for our society.

I am impressed by President Obama’s work ethic.  I am impressed by his clear love for his wife and family.

I am impressed that during the campaign, Michelle Obama made sure she was home with her daughters 5 days a week.

I am impressed that they have invited the children’s grandmother to live with them in the White House.

I am impressed that the first black president got there through his own hard work and not because of affirmative action programs.

I am impressed that President Obama took the time to visit with some of our wounded warriors from Iraq and Afghanistan the day before he took office as Commander-in-Chief.

Now, I hope that through these actions, our new president will serve as a role model for all Americans – to take their vows and responsibilities as seriously as the day they made them.

And that’s my take on today.

Braggart

So, I’m pretty sure my kid is smarter than me (is this the pregnancy brain talking?  I don’t know. Yes and maybe no).  He’s already doing these (what I have obviously qualified as) advanced things that kind of wig me out and I am not just saying that because he is the light of our lives.  He really is amazing.  Here are a couple examples:

– Imaginative play.  Okay, so maybe I dug out my old Child Growth and Development book from college to check on this one and then did some brief google searching to confirm that I can be amazed at the things he does during the day.  Several months ago he began to pretend like he was picking fruit from trees and from the ground.  He’d cup his hand and bring me a hand full of air that I needed to pretend to eat with him.  We’d laugh and he’d pretend to pick more.  He pretends all the time. Trucks. Dogs. Trains.  He might have nothing in his hands at all or he’ll find an object to pretend like it is something else.  From all that I’ve read this doesn’t typically develop into the things he’s doing until 3 years old.  See?  I can be amazed by that.

– Letter identification.  A few nights ago while getting a bath he picks up the foam letter P and I tell him that it’s a P.  I ask him “what is P for?” He thinks for  a second and tells me Papa (which is his latest rendition of Poppy).  Then he digs around in the water until he finds the D and tells me that it’s for “woof woofs” and I say “you mean dogs” and he says “mmhmm., woof woofs”.  Today I was about to throw away our bulletin from Sunday but first he had to identify all of the As and Os on the page. I didn’t say a word.  He just started pointing them out and telling me what they were.  Blows my mind. Who taught him all that? I’m not showing him flash cards or making him listen to tapes while he sleeps or anything. Oh yeah, you’re right.  It was probably just Cookie Monster. Score one for Sesame Street.

Of course, it’s no surprise that I find his day to day life completely awe inspiring.  It’s the right way for a mom to be, I think (provided she still knows that her kid’s diapers still stink).  I just couldn’t be more proud of how his little mind is developing. All that sleeping and eating sure are paying off!

 

Of course, if you don't feel like spelling, there are other uses for letters too

Of course, if you don't feel like spelling, there are other uses for letters too

So THIS is Nesting

Last time around we were renting and I had an incredible ability to overlook all of the things that ought to be taken care of before a baby comes into your home because it wasn’t ‘ours.’  I overlooked it until I walked through our back door with a wee behbeh in a huge car seat and royally freaked out.  I burst into tears about how the baby had no special place, how I had not made things perfect for him, how he would know that I hadn’t decorated a room especially for him.  And then Jud looked terrified and I still couldn’t stop myself.  I sobbed and sobbed and he went to the drug store to get me more pain medication.  Did I ever mention that he is a saint?  He is.  And very brave too. 

So this time around, we have this house and I can feel the bizarre pull to make sure that we finally hang something above the fireplace and fix that leaky faucet and replace the toilet seats and pull the fridge out to vacuum behind it and buy another rocker/recliner and and and.  Tonight while Tony Evans was supposed to be encouraging me about my calling, I was instead wondering what Jenn would buy from Hobby Lobby to put on our mantle.  For real.  That’s what I was thinking.  One of our sweet attenders was busy having a moment with the Holy Spirit giving her life direction and I was lost in thought about hurricane lamps.  Yeah.  I am awesome.  Also, Jud may need to get a second job to pay for all of the things that have been adding up on my list of ‘things to buy/change/update before baby comes home’.  Did I ever mention that he is a saint?  Oh, right.  

On a very personal note, persons with issues of any kind or work for me to do should not attempt to contact me on Friday from 11am until sometime after the baby arrives.  I am cashing in a Christmas gift card for a 90-minute prenatal massage and all that goodness I’ll feel tomorrow is going to need to last just about ten more weeks.  You’ve been notified.

This Time Around

If I’ve spoken with you at all over the past seven months, or if you’ve ever allowed a baby to grow inside your womb then you already probably know this, but just for the record, no pregnancy is the same.  Speaking more directly from my own experience, this pregnancy is vastly different than the last one. Here’s a quick rundown of the dissimilarities:

 

Heartburn

Then: I had a few weeks experience with it last time, at the very end and it was the first time in my life that I’d ever felt acid creeping up into my esophagus.  It was the worst thing that happened last time and I could hardly believe how it kept me awake at night and just how many Tums I could chew while Jud slept beside me.  

Now: Hahahaha! It is always with me.  It’s not a late night problem.  It’s not merely a spicy food issue.  It’s ever-present.  It’s vomit inducing. It’s hard core.  The Tums still work, thank the Lord, but I am also eating them all throughout the day.  It’s worse in the afternoons and late evenings, can choke me away from eating at all and will be on the top 10 list of the things I am most enjoying as I hold my daughter in my arms. 

 

Pain

Then: I had some shooting bizarro round ligament business while my body stretched out it’s nether regions to make way for Gideon.  It drove me to my knees from time to time and made me wince.  It was stabby and sharp, but quickly went away.

Now: I feel like a 350lb 65 year-old woman. My legs and knees and ankles are sore.  My back is all ‘oy’ and ‘grind’ and ‘creek’.  My stomach skin is crying out for her to stop doing that pushing thing where her entire back is forcing my already thin epidermis to ache. 

 

Contractions

Then: I was waiting for them all the time, hoping they would come, excited for every Braxton Hicks seize of my belly.  It didn’t really have any pain attached to it and since my water broke before I was really in labor, I never really felt hard contractions until the Pitocin started dripping into my veins. I have no idea how much worse/better the pain was because of the meds. Maybe I’ll find out this time.

Now: I have plenty of contractions every day.  They aren’t organized or progressive, but they can take my breath away and cause random women at World Market to ask me if I am okay. I’m staying hydrated and I don’t typically do much heavy lifting (save the little boy who runs around and must be corralled for baths and bedtime and even still he is under 30 lbs), but they still come and interrupt my day with little reminders that in about 10 weeks our lives are going to be very very different.

 

Fear

Then: Every teeny tiny anomaly meant I was loosing the baby. I didn’t want to buy things, even when the due date was getting really close, for fear that having all the stuff and then no actual baby would break my heart into shards and I would be left with a bassinet and no bundle of joy to lay inside.  Lots of anxiety.  Lots of paranoia.  Plenty of random google searches and consequently blog reading that scared me senseless. 

Now: Who has time for all that worrying?  Oh yeah, people who are not raising Gideon.  He is so busy and creative and fun and exhausting that I barely have time to make sure we’ve turned up the heat for the day (or turned it down when we are headed out the door [note: purchase programmable thermostat]).  

 

In Remembrance

Then: I knew it was slipping. I’d read all the information about how you loose 10% of your brain power when you’re gestating and how it takes about a full year to get it all back in working condition.  I knew I had to write things down if I had any real hope of completing the task.  It’s not like me to be forgetful and I was slightly frustrated at myself for the things that I’d let slip through the cracks, especially when it came to work.  Nothing huge occurred, but people would ask “did you get this” or “where are we at with that” and I’d just be completely blank.  I couldn’t recall anything about those things and I’d have to admit it.  Bluffing is also apparently not something pregnant women do well. 

Now: I’ll be in the middle of a sentence and completely loose my train of thought.  I write things down and then loose the notepad or envelope on which they are written.  The other day I lost Jud’s cell phone because I was going to be helpful and bring it upstairs from the table and instead of doing that I somehow put it on the love seat.  It took a full 24 hours to find it since it was on vibrate while we called it, happily buzzing away on a soft surface.  

 

 

They aren’t huge differences to you, maybe, but I think I will be even  happier to have this baby snuggled in my arms than the last time.  I suppose we’ll have to have another kid before I can say “girls are harder to carry” or “boys are easier”.  Did I really just admit that, God willing, I’d be open to being pregnant again?  

 

I have no idea why I'm frying these onions

What? You didn't want to eat a pan full of sauteed onions?

Away, Away out east in Cinci

Jud is out of town right now on a business trip while Gideon and I hang out here in the absolutely freezing cold coldness of our city.   He left on Monday morning and it is now Tuesday afternoon and I am very much looking forward to Wednesday night when he returns.  

I lived on my own for a year of college in a cute little studio that used to be a an old elementary school.  It had huge windows, double lock entry and only vaguely reminded me of the school in the Sixth Sense. I loved having my own four walls and I loved eating hot chocolate for lunch and showering for hours and hours without anyone judging me. It was wonderful.  There were a few times when the bumps and bangs of the old pipes freaked me out about intruders but that was mostly early on.  By the time I was turning the key over to some friends of mine who were assuming my lease, I hardly ever thought about having to defend myself against someone trying to steal my 21″ television. 

Last night I only freaked myself out once.  The heater is constantly kicking on right now since the temperature outside is somewhere near Arctic Circle records. The howling wind against the exterior bathroom walls didn’t help me calm down. When I finally acknowledged that the likelihood of someone actually breaking into our home was very small, I had run through at least three scenarios of how to grab Gideon and run outside into the bitter wind without the intruder grabbing us.  I’d imagined the cold pavement and snow under my feet enough that I actually considered putting on my socks to sleep, but knew that I’d never be able to actually doze off with them confining my toes. I suppose I just got tired enough and nodded off.  

We we’re both still here, safe and sound when I finally got up at 8 am.  Gideon was still in his crib, playing with Chuchi and Elba and Ardi and Frog.  He has four stuffed animals in there now and I think he might never call for me in the morning if I could somehow rig up a Cheerio and fruit dispenser in there too.  He finally called for me around 8:45 and we’ve had a great day playing with trucks, his train and his favorite game – hide-and-seek.  I think  he likes being scared a little more than I do. 

 

We've Been Playing

We've Been Playing A Little Too Hard Today