Thursday, May 29, 2008

Back Home

I am officially a Missourian again...whew! It feels great to be back...close to the woods, trails, caves, creeks and river bluffs that I remembered so fondly. Of course I have yet to enjoy any of that fun stuff. However, presently we do have one clean, stocked and fully functional potty room along with a 95% complete kitchen. I would say one more good day of unpacking/organizing etc and we might have our self a normal type home.

So today was a BIG BIG day in my little life. Not only did we actually sell our house (another whew) but I had that interview for the big fancy job. How crazy is it to have a super serious interview less than 48 hours after a move? CRAZY I tell you. I was furiously opening boxes this morning looking for make up, hair dryer, nail polish etc. It was FUN...not stressful at all! Fortunately it all came together and I looked pretty darn hott in my pin striped brown pant suit hehe. I did manage to pull it all together...including a few hours of intense preparation ( I am ALL about preparing for interviews...and think that it is the reason I typically get the job....or get darn close). Found out they had 81 applicants..and granted 5 I am already flattered. My gut however is telling me that I did not get the job...which is FINE BY ME. I was all ready to be a frugal stay at home mom (even if my 22 month old makes me want to jump off a tall building on a daily basis due to his screaming, hitting, kicking and overall uncivilized behaviour at times....yes I admit it...stop gasping). If they do call me back...then I will just be surprised and excited and probably go ahead and take it considering that I only offered to work part time. I will be happy either way.

Oh...our apartment is small (907 sq feet) but clean and quite. We have woods on one side and the playground is just across the street. Pictures to follow someday soon.

However my dear hubby wants to visit the lake this weekend ( I know...already? I don't even know where my underwear is yet) so my internet access may be abruptly ended just moments after being hooked up again. Oh the tease. Please stop by again Sunday for the photo journal.

Have a lovely fabulous and meaningful weekend. Hug the ones you love and a few you don't.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Ode of Thankfulness

I often find myself writing about life challenges...a form of therapy. I am sure you do to. Even though it does not make for the best blog topics....or I should say...enjoyable reading. Today, in the midst of a move, even as I sit here desk less with keyboard on knees and bottom on floor...I am grateful...oh so grateful for my life as it is.

I am thankful for:

  • songs that pop into my head (and out my mouth) from ions ago and bring with them a smorgasbord of memories and feelings

  • air conditioning

  • a mother who is also my best friend

  • a 22 month old son who is as sweet as he is fiesty

  • my mammary glands still producing and providing going into the second year (almost) and the benefits of the entire experience

  • a husband who has integrity, is kind, smart and giving

  • a career that I really love...I found my niche

  • my digital camera (thanks mom)

  • all the lessons that I learned the hard way

  • the ability to let my son make messes (its really hard for lots of peeps)

  • indoor plumbing...especially in winter

  • having experienced living in a small town...realization of a lifelong goal!

  • my teeth (and functioning body as a whole)

  • my family's health

  • having 4 sister-in-laws that are all super fabulous...and I love them

  • is right for us

  • the internet

  • having a church family in my new town! I found my liberal brothers and sisters :)!

  • enrolling Grant in dance class...starts July 8th! Cant wait to get the tap shoes in the mail.

  • lots and lots and lots of stuff

Ahhh...that feels ..............oh so nice. Sometimes...especially during a can get distracted and caught up in the drama of the whole experience. So being grounded and living in the moment is a very healthy blog topic for me! Try will like it ...too.

Tomorrow marks my last day at the first job I the best job I have ever had. Peace out Tongie.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Job Interview!

Holy cats! Remember that job I applied for...that I really did not want because I do not want to send my child to a new day care post move and instead be with him the last 3 years before he goes off to kindergarten?

Remember that job that I subconsciously tried to sabotage by including with my resume package a "Flexible Work Proposal" that stated the reasons why they should let me work 3 days a week instead of 5+? This was my way to somehow balance career and work outside the home and subsequently make the difference between border line poverty and comfortable middle class...yet still send my child to day care less days a week than not.

Well they called today to set up an interview!!!!! What a strange predicament I am finding myself in. I am flattered that they are interested in me.....still...even with my bold proposal...yet I am torn because I am so very set on NOT sending Grant to a new day care after the move. The move alone will stress us all out...but then to plant him in a completely new environment a mother can NEVER be 100% certain about....sounds terrible. Besides the fact that this very well may be my only opportunity to escape the office and instead be a stay at home most the time except when we are having adventures and exploring our world MOM. I have been lusting after this very moment for years...ever since his birth. And now that it is oh so very close (tomorrow is my last full day at my present job)....this crazy situation has presented itself.

The part of me that is still playing with the idea of working part time:

*Is intrigued by the income...that would allow us to save for emergencies, save for retirement, have better insurance and expendable income (do I hear sushi?)

*Is taunted by ego. I worked hard for my degree...and have worked hard in my field. There is a certain level of identity that goes along with that. Moving up the career ladder and staying on top of my "game" is thrilling. If I did not have a child...there would be no indecisiveness here.

*Is amazed by the timing and coincidences that has led up to this position opening...again! To sum it up in a nutshell....I have applied for this job already once before..last October...and ended up being #2 out of 71 applicants...loosing out to decades of experience. Then a few months later the Director (my former college teacher) resigned after 28 years! and the new Assistant was then promoted. Now the darn assistant position is open the city we are now moving to. Its like I almost have to try for it since it seems to be landing in my lap (of course I am saying that before I even got the job...but I just mean...the circumstances are leading me to it).

* Part time would be better than full time. I would have more time with Grant than I do presently. emotional, crazy moving experience has just been upped a notch. My plan has been rocked. It should be an easy decision I a stay at home mom....but its not exactly that easy. There is more at stake here...primarily financial. I will go ahead and attend the interview (1 day after I move CRAZY is that?Sounds like I will be a tad frazzled.) and see what happens. If they do not offer me the job...well then...the decision has been made! I have never gone bra less to an interview before...should be interesting (by the way...bra less for me..although NOT attractive (anymore).

Pro Choice

Thanks to T-Shirt Hell for this classic

Senior Olympics

1. Sag, you're It.
2. Hide and go pee.
3. 20 questions shouted into your good ear.
4. Kick the bucket
5. Red Rover, Red Rover, the nurse says Bend Over.
6. Musical recliners.
7. Simon says something incoherent.
8. Pin the Toupee on the bald guy
1. You sell your home heating system at a yardsale.
2. You have to write post-it notes with your kids'names on them.
3. You change your underwear after a sneeze.
1. Going bra-less pulls all the wrinkles out of yourface.
2. You don't care where your spouse goes, just aslong as you don't have to go
3. Getting a little action means I don't need fibertoday.
4. Getting lucky means you find your car in theparking lot.
5. An all-nighter means not getting up to pee!
Wouldn't it be nice if whenever we messed up ourlife we could simply press 'Ctr Alt Delete' and start allover?
Just remember, if the world didn't suck, we'd allfall off.
If raising children was going to be easy, it neverwould have started with something called labor!
Brain cells come and brain cells go, but fat cells live forever.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lilac Hedge from Heaven

This hedge of Lilacs here in my adorable small town is a treat each spring. Throughout "downtown", it's sweet scent drifts about, turning frowns upside down and turning smiles into giggles. I was especially thrilled to find this fearless yellow butterfly who unabashedly allowed me to photograph him up close. Drunk on lilac nectar indeed. Who can blame him?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Its a Miracle!

My husband's family pulled a Catholic trick on us! Those little devils. Turns out they buried Saint Joseph - saint of house sales - upside down in our front yard while we were out of town a couple months ago. Much to their delight, two weeks later our house was under contract. While they visited this past weekend....they came clean with us about their mischievousness...and dug up the poor fella as proof.

I found it to be endearing and hilarious. Driving 3 hours to bury a plastic figurine is commitment to the faith! Certainly a great family story... never to be forgotten. They however...really believe that the ritual was the reason we sold our house. I do agree that faith...projected is very powerful.

Our neighbors caught them in the act...while they were digging the grave many weeks ago...and like the good neighbors they are...asked them WTF they were doing. After learning the deed...they added to please pray for the new owners to have 2 boys to play with theirs. SOOOOOOOOOO...I know the new owner does have children....if I learn she has 2 boys around 9 and 11...I might be a believer!!!

It was funny watching them dig for 30 minutes to find the little thing!

Friday, May 16, 2008

"The extraterrestrial is my brother" yes I find the Catholicism to be bizarre...ever since the pope allowed corned beef and cabbage on a Friday during lent....because it just happened to be St Patrick's Day! What a hoot. But this headline just floored me: "Vatican: It's OK to believe in aliens".

Sure I believe in aliens...I mean...the universe is just TOOOO enormous to rule it out. But the Vatican? I'm glad they are coming to their sciences...but I guess I am just surprised. Its a bit unarming to find them being rational. The details from the interview of Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, are even more titillating.

"...the Big Bang theory is the most "reasonable" explanation for the creation of the universe..."

"...Ruling out the existence of aliens would be like "putting limits" on God's creative freedom..."

"Just as we consider earthly creatures as 'a brother,' and 'sister,' why should we not talk about an 'extraterrestrial brother'?"

So there you have CAN be Catholic and believe in UFOs and Aliens. I bet you can sleep better at night knowing it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Outing BPA

The BPA Primer

Taken directly from Green Mommy! Well said Jenny.
I learned a lot and wanted to spread her word.
Make sure to visit her for amazing information on all kinds of green topics.

"More than any other subject, Bisphenol-A or BPA brings readers to this blog. Without a doubt, it is the top search that leads readers here (mostly to my diatribe on BPA and the Infant Formula Industry). Undoubtedly concerned about BPA’s endocrine-disrupting effects on the human body, people are eager to learn more about the chemical and discover how they can limit their exposure to it. So, let’s talk about BPA.

What is Bisphenol-A (BPA)?

BPA is a chemical compound invented in the late 19th century by a Russian chemist. Manufacturers use this industrial chemical to primarily to produce polycarbonate plastics like plastic water and baby bottles, plastic children’s toys, pacifiers, CDs and DVDs, medical equipment and much more. It is also used to manufacture epoxy resins like those found in food cans, circuit boards, dental sealants and some paint.

In short, if it’s plastic it probably contains BPA. The US, on average, manufactures almost 800 million kilograms of the stuff each year. It is everywhere.

What’s wrong with Bisphenol-A (BPA)?

Oral toxicity of BPA is relatively low. For example, your average lab rat would have to eat 3.25 grams of the stuff to kick the bucket. But I doubt any of my readers would consider pouring themselves a bowl of BPA and chowing down.

The real concern regarding BPA lies in consistent, long-term exposure to the chemical. You see, BPA is a known endocrine-disruptor. The chemicals that comprise BPA–when compounded as they are–mimic estrogen in the body. Our medical and scientific community has known about BPA’s estrogenic effects since the early 1930s. That’s almost eighty years.

What are the health risks and diseases associated with exposure to BPA?

The risks are many, and great. As more research continues on the subject of BPA exposure and health issues, the chemical is linked to a greater number of diseases. This represents a short list.

Diabetes and Insulin Resistance
Breast Cancer
Prostrate Cancer
Reproductive System Cancers
Ovarian Cysts
Decrease in Male Fertility

But isn’t our exposure to Bisphenol-A (BPA) minimal?

“Minimal” is a subjective term.
The American Chemistry Council, PlasticsEurope and Japan Chemical Industry Association over at would have you believe that your exposure to BPA is minimal indeed and utterly safe, but do you really trust the industry–those who profit on the continued production of this chemical–to give you a straight and honest answer on its safety?

Sadly, a 6-year study on BPA exposure indicates that 95% of the adult population is so exposed to BPA that we actually excrete the chemical in our urine. A different study conducted in 2003 and 2004 concluded that 93% of tested children excrete the chemical through their urine. The chemical is also present in the amniotic fluid of pregnant mothers as well as the cord blood of the infant at birth.

When it comes down to it, do you want to to expose your body or your children’s bodies to any level of a known endocrine disruptor or human carcinogen?

What’s the government doing about bisphenol-A (BPA)?

While the US government seems to have little interest in protecting its population from the negative effects of BPA, other governments are taking the lead in fighting against BPA’s manufacture and use. On April 18th of this year, Canada became the first nation to ban the use of BPA in baby bottles thus helping to protect the nation’s youngest citizens from greater exposure to the chemical. Canada’s ban is slated to become law in October 2008. The City of San Francisco, always a forerunner on issues such as this one, banned the sale of products for young children that contain BPA (like baby bottles) in 2006.

If you are concerned about BPA exposure and would like to see your government follow Canada’s lead, contact your legislative representatives. (US citizens can do so here.)

How are we exposed to Bisphenol-a (BPA)?

While BPA is everywhere, food and drinking containers seem to pose the single greatest risk for BPA exposure for adults and children, while the fetuses are exposed to the chemical through their mothers. Breast-fed infants are exposed to limited amounts of BPA through their mothers’ milk while infants who are formula fed are exposed to approximately 11 times that amount through infant formula and plastic baby bottles.

Examples of Products Containing Bisphenol-A (BPA):

While this list is hardly complete, it should offer you a good idea about the types of products you should avoid if you intend to limit your exposure to BPA.

Cans of Food: Cans of food are often manufactured with a lining that contains BPA. The purpose of this lining is to protect the food contained therein from the metal of the can. It also helps to prevent canned food from developing that off-taste that marks it as, well, canned food.
Plastic Water Bottles: Water bottles made of polycarbonate plastic often contain BPA. The risk of BPA leaching from the bottle into your water increases with subjecting your bottle to extreme temperatures like sending it through the dishwasher or placing it in the freezer.
Infant Formula: Cans of infant formula are a notorious source of BPA exposure. The lining in the cans of both powdered and liquid formula contains BPA. When the formula is fed to an infant, that infant is ingesting BPA. Indeed, 1 in 16 babies fed formula are exposed to harmful levels of BPA.
Plastic Baby Bottles: Like polycarbonate water bottles for adults, plastic baby bottles also pose a risk for BPA exposure. The risk might even be considered greater since these bottles and the formula in them are often heated which increases the rate at which BPA leaches.
Plastic Food Containers: Plastic food containers often contain BPA and, like baby bottles, the rate at which BPA leaches from the container and into your food increases with extreme temperatures. So microwaving your container is a bad choice as is freezing it.
Other Sources: Without a doubt, food containers comprise our biggest source of exposure to BPA, but that does not mean it is our only source of BPA exposure. Indeed, BPA is an ingredient in many other manufactured products such as CDs and DVDs, baby pacifiers, children’s toys, sports equipment etc.

Limiting Your Exposure to Bisphenol-A (BPA)

While you cannot avoid exposure to BPA entirely, you can limit your exposure to the chemical by using appropriate forethought, caution and by purchasing products that are BPA-free.
Glass Jars: As an alternative to canned foods, you can purchase foods in glass jars or jar food yourself with mason jars. While the lids on these glass jars may still contain an epoxy with BPA, that is a considerable amount less than a can that is completely lined with the same epoxy resin.
Non-plastic Water Bottles: Ditch your polycarbonate plastic bottle and opt for a water bottle that does not contain plastic. Sigg water bottles offer an excellent alternative to polycarbonate plastic water bottles and are attractive. They also have a lovely line of kids bottles that could replace a BPA-containing sippy cup.
Breastfeed: Breastfeed your baby and continue to breastfeed your child until they are ready to wean. By breastfeeding you not only limit your baby’s exposure to the BPA in the lining of formula cans, but you also limit your baby’s exposure to the BPA in plastic baby bottles. If you encounter difficulties breastfeeding look into support from organizations like La Leche League and consider milk sharing or donor milk programs that will get the good stuff into your baby’s belly.
Use BPA-free Baby Bottles: If feeding your baby at the breast is not always possible, and you must use a bottle either occasionally or frequently, try using glass baby bottles or BPA-free baby bottles. We used glass baby bottles from Even-flo for my son. BornFree bottles are BPA-free and present an excellent alternative to polycarbonate plastic baby bottles.
Non-plastic Food Storage Containers: My heart will always rest with mason jars since they’re relatively inexpensive and fairly accessible. I use them for food storage, not just canning.
Other Sources: When it comes to children’s toys, switch from numerous cheap plastic toys to a few hand-selected wooden or cloth toys. There’s a handful of BPA-free pacifiers like those made by Gerber which are made of latex and those made by Binky which are silicone.

So what now?

If you got through that post, and still have questions feel free to email me at (jenny (@) green-mommy (.) com) and I will do my best to find an answer for you. (I’m still waiting to hear back from Meyenberg Goat Milk Products and whether they line their cans with an epoxy resin containing BPA). Just remember: understand the risks, limit your exposure when you can and contact your representatives to move in the direction of a safer environment."

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Grant is 22 Months Old!

Must obsess over Billy's and out and in and out....its SOOO much fun.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Transition Knot

I'm having one of the those days where my stomach is in knots from transition. Its exciting and nerve wracking and titillating and horrendous.

I have officially resigned from the best job ever! Holy cats. When asked how he was handling the news, my boss said, " Don't give me a gun because first I would off her then myself". Sound harsh but he was really just being a weird dry humor way that is so him. But obviously...he is not happy about loosing me. He told the Board that he wanted to hire my clone. Isn't that sweet? It feels good to be missed....but bad to be leaving period. I got it good...oh so good...and I know it...and I am still giving it away for greener pastures (in the long term since).

This is also my post big event crash time. To event planners this is the period after the party where you just heave a sigh of relief and sit still but feel like you are still spinning from the energy whirlwind of it all. Its a good time to reflect on what went great and what could be improved but also a time to collect your sanity and start cleaning up the mess. I'm happy to say that the Summer Kick Off party last Saturday was a HUGE success! We ran out of food twice which was very much of a surprise. I would say at least 500 patrons were there. It was a great going out event. One of my many event its third years already. What an amazing experience indeed to give birth to an event and watch it grow over the years...just as you would a child. They grow in depth and girth hehe...and really start having a life of their own. Its beautiful.

So my stomach is in knots as I realize my dear old Dad's Alzheimer's is progressing faster than we had predicted....and I really need to get them to move even though the thought of moving after 35 years in the same house and a lifetime in the same city is making it hard for my mom to take action. Do you blame her? I just want to make sure they are taken care of before my mom gets sick from the exhaustion of the whole thing.

Transition is hard.....but anticipation is the often times under appreciated part of the journey.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

I Live in a Palace

Perspective is everything. This becomes more and more evident as I mature. Today is no exception. As our move draws closer and the reality of moving down a socio economic class (or 2) is vibrating in my throughts, the riches that are before me shine like new. Our humble home, which on bad days I found fault, has now revealed itself to me as the palace it truly is. Solid, dry, comfy and safe but also beautiful, charming, spacious and ...well....our first home as a family. We live in beaver cleaver land as I like to call it. Virtually no crime, neighbors we consider family and a community that knows our names and watches out for Grant.

Yes I live in a palace and I plan on soaking up every last ounce of this experience before the moving truck turns the corner.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Living Will

Last night, my wife and I were sitting in the living room and I said to her,

"I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependant on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug."

She got up, unplugged the TV and then threw out my beer.