Friday, February 29, 2008

Play Date

Grant had his best bud TJ over last night. They had a BLAST. It is so cute watching them...and then cuddling them both at the same on each side. Made me think of my friend babyamore over at mytwodrummerboys...she has twins the exact age as Grant! WOW. AND she is still nursing on demand! Now thats committment! Koudos to her...and all mamas than manage to nurse their babies into toddlerhood.

Anyhoo wanted to share some of the pics and wish you a wonderful weekend! The dog had just accidentally bit his fingers when he fed her a noodle - thats why he is crying in that last pic. Its very spring like here and its just intoxicating! Tonight is the Battle of the Bands event...and Im wearing the tshirt all day to promote it. Im excited! This is really a fun even to organize and manage. Sure hope A TON of peeps come out for it.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ear Tubes, Breastfeeding & stuff

As I count down the days to Grant's ear tube placement....the reality slaps me around a bit. I mean...this kid was exclusively breastfed for 5 months and is STILL getting daily breastmilk. Sometimes I feel like my milk isn't good enough or something stupid...but of course the truth is that he would have just been sicker and had a harder time these past 19 months without mama milk. Its just hard to think about sending your child down the dark dank (ok I made that up)institutional hallway without his be sedated, poked and prodded.

They say the procedure is quick and relatively painless. He should be in and out within 15 minutes. She is going to suck all the fluid from his ears and send a sample to the lab. We will finally know what the hell has been growing in his ears. Is it bacteria or a virus or even fungus? I read that merely 30% of all ear infections in children are actually bacteria....even though almost every one (at least those that Drs are monitoring) is treated with antibiotics. Hmmmmm..and why again are we having super germs and a generation that antibiotics do not work on? Everybody say "over prescribing".

What irritates me to no that I did not demand a culture months ago when his ear was draining like a river. Unfortunately I did not know to do so. Here is my advice to all parents....if your child is uncomfortable and has draining ears...go ahead and get it cultured. It is a painless, non invasive process. They just need to collect it and send it away. Wouldn't it be nice to know what you are dealing with? Why guess? Its as simple as that. When you know who/what you are at war have more leverage. Take charge of your family's health care. Be the advocate. Do your own research (I know it is time consuming...but do what you can).

I have been warned that when the child is detoxing the sedative...they can scream and cry for up to an hour! This can be the worst part of the whole experience. I admit that worries me. Why do they scream? Does it hurt? Are they hallucinating? Are they afraid? What the F%#*K? Hopefully little Grant will just nurse and nurse and eventually be fully awake and be able to go home very quickly. That is my mantra.

Oh...and they tell you that the child is to have no food or drink after midnight. However, there is plenty of literature that states that breastmilk is ok 2 - 3 hours before anaesthesia. So I will be going against standard protocol and little Grant WILL have milk till 3:30AM (and clear fluids aka water till 4:30). Then however, I must restrict him. This will be the first time EVER in his life that he has been denied milk for a long period of time. Sure there are times when we are out in public that I say "NO not now". But even then if he would persist I would find a place and make sure he got what he needed. So in order to make this situation less stressful for both of us...I am planning on not being around. Ideally I sleep in a different bed after 3:30am...and then I stay in a different area at the surgery center (wont be easy) until he is in recovery (Dad and Nana will be with him in the waiting room). Sounds terrible..and even tricky...but I just think it will be easier on him if he doesn't feel denied. If they aren't around...he has nothing to be denied. Right? Ugh...this sucks.

I would love to hear your experiences with ear tubes. Anyone?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

truth, honesty and moving on

I was married for 10 years. I summoned enough balls to asked for the divorce. It was a great decision...for both of us. We were unhealthy together, poisoning each others happiness. And even though at one time we were a tight team...that was the past...and there was so much built up resentment, angst and overall mental illness that there was no going back. We were a fast burning flame which eventually burnt itself out. That was 4 years ago.

Since then I moved on. I started a new life. I graduated college and landed my first "real" job. I bought a house, married again and started a family. Huge gigantic changes. Throughout this time my ex has contacted me repeatedly. At first I was cordial because I did still care about him and wanted the best for him so I would encourage him to do great things. However, with time I realized that these contacts were bringing me down. They were surely bringing us both down. He had said we could never be friends after the fact he manipulated me with the hatred that he would be dead to me if I signed the papers. At the time that scared me to no end...but actually...not being friends was smart. Its almost impossible to be friends and still move on. Staying emotionally involved...would be a spiders web of entanglement...for both of us. Moving on...separating our worlds the only way to be healthy.

My biggest not being completely honest with him. I was trying to protect him. I was afraid he couldn't handle the pain of knowing I was happy (he had said that he couldn't be my friend after the divorce because he didn't want to know how happy i was). I did not want to add insult to injury as they say. I wanted to protect him with the "ignorance is bliss" kind of mentality. My council kept encouraging me to tell him the truth...or even let them tell him..but I resisted. My present husband has wanted to be honest with him from the time we started dating. Since we were all 3 friends during my first marriage, it may seem obvious to do so....but I have continously begged him not too. Now I regret this!

Many times in the past 3 years, my council has threatened to contact the ex but of course I pleaded with them not too. They wanted to be fair, honest and clear with him. When I had talked with the Ex in the early days...he was always full of sad stories and was never in a good place it seemed. I knew he had a lot of things to work through to be healthy and productive again...and it just hurt me to know that my happiness would probably cause him more pain. So I kept my secrets...with the hopes that he would eventually move on himself and be at a place where my new life would not cause him pain...he might even be able to be happy for I certainly would be for him.

However, what I was blind to, was that the truth cannot be hidden. Eventually it comes out..and it can be worse for someone to find out on their own...than to be told straight up. Somehow I kept telling myself that there would be a happy ending for BOTH of us if I just held out a little longer. But that was not to be.

Ex found this blog a couple days ago...and I am sure he was wide eyed as he viewed the pictures of my son and read stories of my new life with new husband. I apologize from the bottom of my heart for not being straight forward with you. I was just trying to protect you...from what you said you did not want to know. Maybe now that you know the full extent of can move on. Maybe it was the closure you needed.


Battle of the Bands --oh the excitement

My parents left for their home in St. Louis this morning. How good of them to come out to take care of Grant for a he did not have to go back to day care while his poor little head was healing. It was great having them around and we actually didn't even get on each others nerves too bad!

My husband treats my parents very well. This is such a wonderful amenity. My EX was just the opposite. He hated my parents and they reciprocated.. The family events I did attend I went to alone and many times I missed them all together to avoid turmoil. Times sure have changed...for the better! Hallelujah.

Grant is still bruised and sore but looks much prettier now that the raccoon eyes are not so dark. He is in fact at day care today...and Des just called and said they were all playing very nicely and that he hadn't hurt his head at all. So glad she called. I know he is V excited to be back amongst his buddies!

I'm busy at work preparing for the big teen battle of the bands this friday! 3rd annual already. This year I took it up a notch by having event shirts printed up. I decided to have a design contest which I promoted at the middle and high schools. The chosen artist receives VIP passes to the event, free tshirts, glow stick and all you can drink bottled water at the event hehe! They turned out awesome (see pic)! The back says "this ain't guitar hero" which I gleaned from one of the entries...that artist also receives the vip package for her contribution. I am really excited about the shirts...and hope they sell sell sell. We shall see. For now I am promoting like a banchee.

Forgive me for being lack luster...I'm just beat...and busy...and boring.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hopeful Spring Haikus

spring is springing up
birth of hope, life, love and warmth
green peeking at you

just when the cold bites
and i want to hide for good
a warm day saves me

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Saturday here at the homestead. Grant has been vomiting since midnight (again) and continued into mid morning. The good news is that it appears to be over..moving now into explosive diarrhea. Can you say...when it rains it pours?

Dave and I might take a little date night this evening as long as Grant is emotionally and physically strong. Fingers crossed. I could really use an escape. Last night we were up AT LEAST 20 times with his nausea and vomiting. OH JOY IS ME. Thank goodness the vomiting does not appear to be linked to the head injury as advised by 2 doctors and ask a nurse. He really does look a bit better today. Can you say CONTRACEPTION? Man I dont think I really can handle another one...this is just too much.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Pediatric Cat Scan Perks

These were taken last night..hehe..he loves to wear big boots.

I have decided I don't really feel like reliving the entire urgent care visit for here is quick synopsis:

*the staff was amazing
*after we actually got a room the service was fairly fast
*they believed me thank goddess
*and here is the super dooper highlight. they ordered a cat scan to rule out bleeding of the brain and usually they have to sedate the child which means an IV and nothing by mouth for a few hours prior. I suggested that I could most likely get him to sleep - would that work? They were all excited and hopeful! Well sure enough after we arrived in the dark CT room...with the hummmm of the was a perfect sleeping environment. So I told the nurses to leave us be for a while and I would motion when it was all good. We started nursing and I sang Grant his little to bed song...whispered "sweet dreams little bear" (sleep time ritual) and off he went. It was lovely.

So the nurses returned and I layed him in the mold that holds them still..still nursing. I hung over him a bit just to make sure he was good and gone...and then he just let go so perfectly. Then we draped him with heavy radiation blocking blankets. He was quite bound by the time they started the machine up. The table flew back and forth as she adjusted him just so underneath the machine's red lazers. The sweet nurse that stayed with us was just ecstatic and so proud of us for making it happen without sedation. They don't want to stick babies..and then there is always the potential for side effects etc. After the procedure they were kind enough to loan us the mold so I just picked up the whole thing and placed him in the wagon (another children's hospital perk) and off we rolled.

I must say that even though he was exposed to radiation, I am very glad we had the cat scan. Without it I would still be wondering. They said that kids can have intracranial bleeding and still be acting normal!!!!!!! The fact that it was a reinjury...within just days of each other...that made them really concerned (and me too!).

On an iffy note....Grant has vomited 3 times since 12:30AM last night. Hopefully he is just sick (that sounds nice doesn't it) and it is not related to the head injury. Remember...we are still watching him for stuff like this for 30 days! So I am going to call the Dr and just check in.

This pic was taken just this morning..can you see the improvement? I sure can! yae

I am starting to feel better. Not nearly as anxious and tense and frightened. My parents are here now thank GOODNESS. We are keeping Grant out of day care while he has a chance to heal. Looks like I will be bringing him to work with me a few days next week (don't even want to think about it...sounds so stressful) while my parents go home and take care of some things. My mom plans to return to be here for the Battle of the Bands (a program of mine that leaves me needing a babysitter) and then the ear tube placement on march 3. Some one pour me a double please.

Besides all that...HAPPY FRIDAY. Get drunk for me or something.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Large Frontal and Parietal Hematoma

Here is my black eyed pea :(. It looks MUCH worse today even. No wonder he was grabbing the top of his head too..poor baby...the hematoma is HUGE.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Music Genome Project - Pandora Radio

Before I fill you in on the urgent care excitement...I want to share my hubby's new find. I love it! Padora radio where you enter a favorite song or artist and they play you every song in that musical genome as they call it. From the site:

"Together we set out to capture the essence of music at the most fundamental level. We ended up assembling literally hundreds of musical attributes or "genes" into a very large Music Genome. Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song - everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony. It's not about what a band looks like, or what genre they supposedly belong to, or about who buys their records - it's about what each individual song sounds like.

Since we started back in 2000, we've carefully listened to the songs of tens of thousands of different artists - ranging from popular to obscure - and analyzed the musical qualities of each song one attribute at a time. This work continues each and every day as we endeavor to include all the great new stuff coming out of studios, clubs and garages around the world.

It has been quite an adventure, you could say a little crazy - but now that we've created this extraordinary collection of music analysis, we think we can help be your guide as you explore your favorite parts of the music universe."

Is that cool or what? Now go enjoy yourself.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Let me just sum up the last 24 hours for you....fear, anxiety, shaking uncontrollably with the unknown, a sleepless night topped off with a day spent in the hospital not knowing if they were going to call social services on me or not. Hell day in short.

I told you that Grant re injured his left temporal area again last night. After my post he awoke twice screaming in anguish. A talk with"ask a nurse" told us once again that we did not need to take him to the emergency room (or even to the doctor the next day...pretty rediculous if you ask me...even if its just for liability). I wanted to rush to the ER but my husband and friend (and day care provider who caused the original injury) said we should stay put. It was crazy. We even made it into the car...where Grant quieted down I decided to go back home. It was such a gut wrenching experience. The ask a nurse did say that if he woke up again screaming and crying to take him to the er...but he didnt. he slept the rest of night sweet dear. I of course did'nt. Between every 2 hour assessments (is he coherant...does he know you...are his eyes equal...any drainage?) and the overall stress of the experience...I laid awake praying for everything to be ok.

This morning I called in to work. I just couldnt send my baby to "the lions den" aka day fend for himself with just ONE EYE open. His eye was a straight up SHINER rising up past his eyebrows. IT LOOKED TERRIBLE. However...his demeanor was delightful. Unbelievable child. Very high pain threshold (that why when he was screaming and wouldnt nurse or lay down or keep any focus worried me SOOOOOO).

After chasing him around the house worrying about every crazy little prank he pulled..I called around to find a helmet. I found one..and we jumped in the car just to drive a block and half to get it. HOWEVER....I realize that we should call the chiropractor (like I had planned out at 4AM) especially since we were already in the car seat etc (did'nt matter at the time that I was not wearing a bra or SOCKS).

Called the chiro..they were leaving soon....come in NOW. We pressed the petal to the metal and he saw the chiro. I MELTED DOWN SEVERLY. Being around 5 women in the office...and we were basically alone..and they all reacted stunned at his wound....couldnt believe we hadnt seen a doctor...allowed all my own feelings and fears to rush to the surface. Dr. Mary was sure he had concussions. I was weeping...they encouraged me to go to the doctor...I told them I had wanted to go to childrens mercy since last night but was ganged up on to not go (by my husband, Des, and the ask a nurse). They gave me directions and I went.

Straight up we drove 45 minutes to childrend's mercy. I knew they would likely call social services but I DIDNT CARE. My child's health is more important. I knew they might keep me on house arrest like they did in Florida...but my child's health is more important. I knew it was going to cost the entire $2,000 deductible...but come on now...we are going to meet that very soon anyway. Money is NOTHING. I needed to know if my son had bleeding from the brain or any number of life theatening injuries. I was on a mission.

So we arrived and 6 hours later we were home!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was a marvelous visit. I love childrens hospitals...they are the ONLY way to go if you have an option for your child. Drive the extra 30 minutes and go where they specialize in little people. You will be so glad you did.

I will write more tomorrow about the visit. But I want to say that Grant is FINE. Yes he has a very large hematoma...but his brain is fine. His eye is fine. He is going to make a full recovery. They were happy I brought him and they believed me that BOTH injuries were an accident. They didnt even call social services....which was a beautiful thing. I know from history that it (being interrogated by ss) is a traumatic experience. Every time I saw a social worker or policeman my heart sank..are they for me? But not they were not...and Grant was given the AOK. Thank god.

Tomorrow I will expand upon why not having a bra on, a shower or socks was a hinderance to my full day at the children's hospital experience.

Till then....THanks for your love.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Ear Tubes & Goose Eggs oh MY

Being a mother is HARD work. Not only is the physical labor part kinda grueling (during birth and to beyond)....but the emotional rollercoaster is not for the weak of heart. My son has sent me to heaven and hell these past few 19 months...and honestly I would'nt trade it for anything (that crazy love thing again), but still...I NEED A DRINK, or a shot of heroine or something...come on help out a cracker girlfriend.

So to those of you who have blissfully healthy chilren who barely get runny noses and are so graceful they hardly ever bruise....I am estatic for you...and you best be saying some thankful prayers to whomever for that mercy. Grant, for those of you who know him and or those of you who have kept up with the journey via Olive Juice, has had his unfair share of challenges (although thank GODDESS he doesnt have a terminal illness etc...I KNOW THINGS COULD BE WORSE and many hugs and blessings to parents who have to deal with those kind of situations). Im embarrassed to say how many different doctors I have taken him too...with the hopes of finding answers or at the very least finding a doctore who we love and who actually cares about Grant.

A VERY short, simple synapsis of his health history:

2 days old - screaming, arching back while nursing, mild exzema
1 months old - starts choking till blue on his own mucus repeatedly
2 months old - diagnosed with GERD after ER admission
4 months old - every bug starts triggering a major respiratory reaction which includes wheezing, coughing, labored breathing, retractions etc (he was tested for RSV 3 times!)
6 months old - 1st ear infection (in conjunction with RSV supposedly)
7 - 14 months - lots more lost sleep & nebulizer treatments
15 months - ruptured ear drum with ear infection
18 months - ruptured ear drum with double ear infections

That brings us to today. After trying watch and wait, natural remedies then 2 rounds of antibiotics (one being very heavy) he STILL has an ear infection with fluid. I am so sad about this. It is SUCH a huge disappointment. The good news is he can hear (which isnt really news but he was tested by an audiologist which was awesome). The Ped ENT was awesome by the way..I really did fall for her...didnt hurt that when she walked in she commended us for still nursing. So she said she recommends ear tubes for little Grant. He fits all the reasons for doing so...being on the severe end actually.

We scheduled for March 3. I will still research it farther...but I am at a loss. We have tried everything except a wheat and corn elimination diet. The thought of that just overwhelms me! When we did the milk and soy elim diet...we had no that was such a let down for some much work. I guess I am too lazy to go for wheat right now. Sad really. I am ashamed.

It was really an exhausting visit....and I am still soaking it all in. I did remember to tape the visit...which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Its so hard to remember all the details...especially with a little one getting into everything. I feel for Grant...and just want him to be pain free and healthy. History tells us that leaving stubborn ear infections alone...can truly kill. It isnt a joke.

And just to add insult to injury my poor little dear HIT HIS SORE HEAD AGAIN TONIGHT...really really hard on the door jam. It was LOUD. It swelled up again....just terrible. I tried to take a picture...the shadow is where it jolts up in goose egg style. My heart is just aching for him. I am pretty stressed about the whole situation.

Motherhood is feeling the joys and pain of your extensions.

Its a Celebration!

Party party!

Here ye....Grant Paul slept 8 hours solid last night! This is the first time EVER in his short (sometimes long) 19 month life. The previous record was 5 hours and that was like once. Yes he did have normal wake cycles...but he just readjusted, looked around and then WENT BACK TO SLEEP! He did not need old mom to parent / comfort him back to sleep! ROCK ON. So in honor of this is the robe dance:

Friday, February 15, 2008

Pounded by Arse

So my day was already scheduled tight. I knew it was going to be a haul...but it was completely doable. Until I received the dreaded call.

Whenever I am at work and see that day care is calling heart skips a the HOLY CRAP kinda way. That all started when Grant was choking a lot...and I guess I never got over it. often does day care really call? I mean they are busy ya know. was another BAD call from school day. Starts off...

"Paula, I hurt your kid". WHAT? YOU HURT MY KID? "Ya, he has quite a little welt on his should come see it for yourself". Sure there in 10 minutes. Whoossshhhhhhhh...I am off. When I arrive she is holding him down with an ice pack on his forehead. I cant see the "boo boo". The process of her removing the blinder still plays back in slow motion. I was pretty scared of what I was going to see.

Sure enough...he is LOPSIDED. I mean half of his head was adorable and normal for him...the other half was like 4 times the size of normal. I melted. I fell apart. I tried to stay calm...but I teared up. I tried to nurse him but he was in too much pain...and for those of you who know that is rare. The sky has to be caving in for them not to nurse.

She tried to explain what happened. It was STRANGER than fiction. I love her by the way. She is a friend and Grants day care provider. She is wacked out in a fun loving, brillantly scattered kinda way. Turns out she was performing a somersault for the kids, entertainment mind you, and Grant ran underneath her. Doesnt really sound that bad. BUT IT WAS. Somehow her spine and back end smacked him so hard his head got a GOOSE EGG sized bump on it. Grant it...she is 6 foot 2 and 5 months pregnant (adds to the mystery). She of course was terribly apologetic and remorseful..even saying she wished it had been her child instead.

So I held him as he wept and sobbed and held his head. He was mad, he was in anguish, he was sick and tired. We called his primary pediatrician's office..and get this the BITCH secretary who I already call the gait keeper, gave MEDICAL ADVICE to DES (child care provider and friend). Des had asked to speak with a nurse and good old MARTHA AKA BEEN THERE TOO LONG GOTTA GO BITCH decided to go ahead and pretend she was one. I only found this out because Des handed me the phone. I said...Isnt this Martha? I was too overwhelmed at the moment to completely go off on I decided to snitch on her Monday. Then we called ask a nurse.

They were professional and went through a see if the symptoms could mean something really bad had happened. No he wasnt vomiting, or leaking from orifices, he did no have a dent in the goose egg and his pupils were equal in size. WHEWWWWWWW thank GOD. Yes he could nap but just make sure and wake him after 2 hours to see that he could speak and walk etc. By the way..Martha did not say ANY OF THOSE! She could freakin kill somebody giving out medical advice. GRRRRRRRRRRR

So after about 1 hour of crying so hard he was coughing....he finally settled down to mama singing our favorite tunes including "you are my sunshine" and "row row row your boat".

Tonight he is actually doing very well considering. The swelling has gone down to 25%of the original size. There is a very large bruise...about 3x2" at the largest point...its a triangle on his forehead. I feel so sorry for him. I mean doesnt he have enough going on? Fighting ear infections, on a super strong antibiotic 3x a day, teething up a storm, fighting a cold and now this. Sweet baby.

So send out good energy for Grant....that he will heal quickly and not have any long term damage. I know kids get bonked on the head lots..and heads swell up nice and dramatic...but its still scary as hell to see your baby like that. In his world...a butt fell from the sky and pounded him one. Will he be scared of somersaults now? I doubt it.

18 Month Pictures

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Lupercalia What?

First a Grant UPDATE:
Grant slept without pain last night! Thanks be. This is the first time in a long time he did not need motrin to help dull the pain (from the ear infections...and teething to boot). We are on day 8 of the strong antibiotic Clindamycin. I was wondering if it would ever kick in! I also put him to bed earlier last night...he was asleep by 8PM...and woke for good at he shoudl feel GREAT today! He generally gets a mere 10 hours of in bed time at night..with a 2 hour nap in the day. However...he has been exhausted before nap and considering that he is fighting buggies...extra sleep is probabaly a great idea. So as long as he doesnt start getting up at 6AM...I will continue to bed him down around 8. Oh the excitement of parenting.

We celebrated VDAY this morning. All 3 of us exchanged cards. Dave got a bag of Missouri beef jerky show my love for his carnivorous self. I received a box of chocolates (not free trade) and flowers. So yes we are typical american consumers. I must say that we do not celebrate many holidays at all (including xmas)and I actually like VDAY. In fact...a few years ago I had to demand that we as a couple did acknowledge each other on VDAY with at least a letter or card or something tangible. I know its silly...but damn it...I like it.

So in honor of Lupercalia, or Valentines Day or whatever you wanna call it, I will post some interesting historical tidbits. May I just say the PEOPLE ARE F*#@^Ked UP...but you already knew that.

From WIKI: In Ancient Rome, February 15 was Lupercalia, an archaic rite connected to fertility, without overtones of romance. Plutarch wrote:

"Lupercalia, of which many write that it was anciently celebrated by shepherds, and has also some connection with the Arcadian Lycaea. At this time many of the noble youths and of the magistrates run up and down through the city naked, for sport and laughter striking those they meet with shaggy thongs. And many women of rank also purposely get in their way, and like children at school present their hands to be struck, believing that the pregnant will thus be helped in delivery, and the barren to pregnancy.

The word Lupercalia comes from lupus, or wolf, so the holiday may be connected with the legendary wolf that suckled Romulus and Remus. Priests of this cult, luperci would travel to the lupercal, the cave where the she-wolf who reared Romulus (pic) and Remus allegedly lived, and sacrifice animals (two goats and a dog). The blood would then be scattered in the streets, to bring fertility and keep the wolves away from the fields. [4] Lupercalia was a festival local to the city of Rome. The more general Festival of Juno Februa, meaning "Juno the purifier "or "the chaste Juno," was celebrated on February 13-14. Pope Gelasius I (492-496) abolished Lupercalia."

From the HISTORY CHANNEL: "One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men -- his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.

According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl -- who may have been his jailor's daughter -- who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine,' an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. It's no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.

While some believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death or burial -- which probably occurred around 270 A.D -- others claim that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to 'christianize' celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia festival. In ancient Rome, February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Houses were ritually cleansed by sweeping them out and then sprinkling salt and a type of wheat called spelt throughout their interiors. Lupercalia, which began at the ides of February, February 15, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus."

So ya...VDAY is whatever you make of it (as any holiday). Im certainly NOT going to be sacrificing any animals...unless you count the meatloaf for dinner tonight. So ya I am. Thank you cow...I definitely appreciate your life and your energy. AMEN.

MUCH LOVE TO ALL WHO WANT IT...and the rest of you can suck it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Negativity & Dire Consequences

Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I am an optimist. I come off as a happy person...above average type of happy. Smiles come naturally and I have the innate ability to make people feel good. Problem mind is many times cluttered with negativity!

I allow a TON of negative inner dialogue. Blame could be cast on my father...who has always been a complainer...but why should I do such a thing? This is my life and my choices determine my happiness. I have noticed that the "devil on my shoulder" has become louder in the past few years..even since my son Grant was born. What does the "devil" say? Well he plants the seeds of doubt, fear and defensiveness. Many times I feel that my husband or whomever is treating me unfairly. Other times I am fearful about my son's health or any number of uncontrolable variables. Anxiety pulses through my veins. There are plenty of times when I feel completely overwhelmed and feel very close to being out of control.

I have analyzed the situation throughout the years...and I have tried to work on it. Here again I am recommiting to the cause. I do NOT want to be a bitter old woman...and that is exactly where I am headed. Negative dialogue is truly a "sin"...truly a dis ease...truly a sucker of life. A void...a vacuum...a self inflicted nightmare.

As I was walking on the treadmill yesterday, I saw an article in the Oprah magazine about how feeling slighted actually takes years off your life. It is very unhealthy to walk around in a defensive state! No surprise really. They also talked about a newly defined personality...the D personality...detached and distant due to fear and resentment. That doesnt explain me....but the whole story really brought my own many times hidden, negativy to the surface.

I do not want to be unhappy! I fully understand that my happiness is up to ME. I am now taking charge of my inner dialogue and will no longer allow dis ease to poison my thoughts, my heart, my life. I also challenge you to pay more attention to the private life you live within your own mind. Could it be more positive? If so take the time to listen to yourself & counteract each negative thought with a postive one (or two). I also plan to recite positive mantras whenever I have a few moments of when driving or cleaning etc. Those blank slate kind of times are fertile grounds for both positive and unfortunatley negative thoughts to plant and grow.

Here is to a more positive existence! Things are good, life is good, I am good and as they said on Saturday Night Live...I am OK and people like me hehehe.

**edited to add...How timely to receive this daily Buddhist wisdom today, from my beliefnet subscription....

Delight in heedfulness.
Watch over your own mind.
Lift yourself up
from the hard-going way,
like a tusker sunk in the mud.

-Dhammapada, 327, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ron Mueck & the Filthy Truth about Handbags

Ya this should prolly be 2 separate posts...but consider it a 2 for 1 post (sounds like a deal..maybe its an olive juice special or something).

This must be spread the word day. I just keep finding incredible information and now art that I feel compelled to share. So the following 2 tidbits are balanced nicely between DISGUST and DELIGHT...together they just might improve your quality of life. Here is goes. First up...the Filthy Truth about Handbangs...and the best for last...Ron Mueck...artist extrodinaire! You are gonna flip when you see his work.

Sneek Preview

The Filthy Truth about Handbags

"The NBC Today Show did a segment on how dirty a woman's handbag can get.

HANDBAGS... Have you ever noticed gals who sit their handbags on public
toilet floors, then go directly to their dining tables and set it on the
table? Happens a lot! It's not always the 'restaurant food' that causes
stomach distress. Sometimes "what you don't know will hurt you"! Read on...

It turns out handbags are so surprisingly dirty, even the microbiologist who
tested them was shocked. Microbiologist Amy Karen of Nelson Labs says nearly
all > of the handbags tested were not only high in bacteria, but high in
harmful kinds of bacteria. Pseudomonas can cause eye infections,
staphylococcus aurous can cause serious skin infections, and salmonella and
e-coli found on the handbags could make people very sick. In one sampling,
four of five handbags tested positive for salmonella, and that's not the
worst of it. "There is fecal contamination on the handbags" says Amy.
Leather or vinyl handbags tended to be cleaner than cloth handbags, and
lifestyle seemed to play a role. People with kids tended to have dirtier
handbags than those without, with one exception. The handbag of one single
woman who frequented nightclubs had one of the worst contaminations of all.
"Some type of feces, or possibly vomit" says Amy.

So the moral of this story is that your handbag won't kill you, but it does
have the potential to make you very sick if you keep it on places where you
eat. Use hooks to hang your handbag at home and in toilets, and don't put it
on your desk, a restaurant table, or on your kitchen counter top. Experts
say you should think of your handbag the same way you would a pair of shoes.
"If you think about putting a pair of shoes onto your counter tops, that's
the same thing you're doing when you put your handbag on the counter tops" -
Your handbag has gone where individuals before you have sneezed, coughed,
spat, urinated, emptied bowels, etc! Do you really want to bring that home
with you? The microbiologists at Nelson also said cleaning a handbag will
help. Wash cloth handbags and use leather cleaner to clean the bottom of
leather handbags."

Ron Mueck - Brillant Artist
You all do it...start wandering around the web...and don't remember even how you got somewhere. Well I did that when I discovered this artist. I landed on the mystery blog after dropping Entrecards. However, I couldnt find my way back (and surprisingly they were not listed entrecard art blogs) if you are that blogger-- comment and I will link to you.


Ron Mueck - Click here for funny video clips

Is he amazing or what? I would love to see his work in person. Oh the humanity!

Whole Food Signatures

Kristen sent me this and I had to share it! I personally do not believe that this is divine symbolism or anything...but I do find the parallels fascinating.

"Here is just a short list of examples of Whole Food Signatures.

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye...and YES science now shows that carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart is red and has four chambers. All of the research shows tomatoes are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows that grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds are on the nut just like the neo-cortex. We now know that walnuts help develop over 3 dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet the body pulls it from the bones, making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Eggplant, Avocadoes and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats 1 avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? .... It takes exactly 9 months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemica l cons tituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries

Grapefruits, Oranges, and Other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like body cells. Today's research shows that onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells They even produce tears which wash the e pithelial layers of the eyes "

What do you think?