Monday, August 31, 2009

I'm Live! I'm Live!

Here's my first article as the Kansas City Family Examiner:


Saturday, August 29, 2009


I feel like life just went on and left me in the dust. I am swamped. I wish there were about ten more hours each day because I just cannot seem to find enough time to accomplish everything I need to do! I need to get to sleep so I will just make a quick list to purge all of my to-dos...maybe that will help me feel less overwhelmed.

1)Homework. I am falling behind. My doctor's appointments and just flat out not feeling well have made focusing on classwork almost impossible. I will be spending most of tomorrow on homework.

2)Deadline. I received my first deadline for the Kansas City Examiner. It is Monday. So, as soon as I am finished with homework...or at least caught up enough to stop...I need to get busy on my article. My editor is waiting to approve it so I can go live. (It was super cool to say all of that!)

3)Party prep. A's birthday party is Sunday. I have a lot of preparation to get finished so Sunday morning is not crazy. I need to prepare some food and clean up a bit. So I guess between my homework and article I will squeeze that in somehow. Thankfully Jeff and the kids will help out a lot with that one.

4)Pros/Cons. Our company is trying something new and stumbled on something really awesome. It is great, I will blog about it another day because I am excited to share it. I am product testing and need to sit down and make a pros vs. cons list to make sure our product is worthy of competing with the other stuff. It will not take long, but I am running out of minutes to spare.

5)Labels. This is related to #4, but is more involved and will take quite a bit of time.

6)Homework. Did I mention my classes are overwhelming? Everything is due Sunday. I have no time. I wish I could freeze time so I could get some things finished while the world around me pauses.

7)Kids. I have four kids...they need my attention and I cannot give it to them right now. The guilt from that is pretty sad. They understand but I still feel like it is unfair to them.

And lastly, but it's not exactly a list item but more of a handicap, my shoulder/arm/hand is still messed up. Today I was finally told a diagnosis after one heck of an interesting test involving electricity and needles (more another day). I have a pinched nerve in my wrist. I will explain it more...only 10% of pinched nerves are in the wrist. I like to be different. It is kind of my specialty. Needless to say, movement has been difficult to put it mildly. I am pretty loopy with Vicodin making it even more difficult to focus. At least, thankfully, the Vicodin gives me is just unfocused and jittery.

Okay, so writing it all out did not help me feel less overwhelmed. In fact, I just sacrificed seven minutes I could have been reading my Philosophy textbook.

Oh, who am I kidding? I would be in bed reading The Likeness.

Please forgive typos, grammar and other oddities in this post. Blame The Din! (Special thanks to @OpinionatedGift for vicodin's new moniker!)


Thursday, August 27, 2009

I *Heart* Give-Aways!

Guess what everyone? One Hip Mom is giving away one of her very cute, handmade pillowcase dresses!


Visit her Etsy Boutique and check out all of her awesome designs!

A Diva and 3 Dudes

Seriously, RUN and visit One Hip Mom! And don't forget to tell her who sent you!


Sunday, August 23, 2009



Writing is one of my favorite things. I write as a hobby and most of what I write I never share. I have a life goal of being paid to write and most of what I write privately will be what I hope to have published, legitimately, so it will never show up as a blog post or Facebook note.

In fact, I do not even put my best writing forward in my blog. I keep it casual and mostly conversational because it is just a thing I do on the internet. I have no pressure to be wildly creative or witty. It is me, almost uncensored. Sometimes, I share my deepest thoughts, sometimes I write nonsense, sometimes I'll share my thoughts on a book, and sometimes I talk about my Super Mom friends.

My point is, this blog is just for fun. It is just something I play with like a toy that keeps me busy when I have nothing else to do. No big deal.

About three weeks ago I submitted an application to write for the Kansas City Examiner for the Family and Parenting section. I found the opportunity on and figured it was a long-shot but I'd submit an application anyway. What's the worst they'd say? "No."

When a couple weeks went by with no word from the Examiner people I figured that was their way of saying, "No," and I was a little disappointed but figured it was because I have no "professional" writing experience and the only experience I could show them was this blog and my BlogHer profile.

I was so happy this morning when I logged on to my email and found a letter informing me that I was just who the Examiner was looking for and feel my insight as a mother would be a great addition to their magazine. This is the foot in the door I have been looking to find. The best part is the content I provide will always belong to me so as I build a base readership and find more writing opportunities, I will have a good supply of material to present.

I am so excited! This is just the start I have been waiting for!


Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Personality

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Neurology of Angels -- Krista Tibbs

The Neurology of Angels The Neurology of Angels by Krista Tibbs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Neurology of Angels is a touching story that profiles three different sets of characters who's lives are intertwined through the complicated process of pharmaceutical research. Krista Tibbs details the often complicated and misunderstood processes behind FDA approval for new treatments for fatal disorders. Tibbs creates vibrant characters who are as flawed as they are heroic as they work to fight systematic bureaucracy and save lives.

The subject of The Neurology of Angels is socially relevant today as we are struggling with the very same issues as the characters. The Neurology of Angels leaves you questioning what you thought you knew about pharmaceutical research and government interference in private industry.

View all my reviews >>


Thursday, August 13, 2009


Twelve years.

It does not feel like twelve years. It feels more like five years. But even if the time flew by, it does feel like the end of an era.

As noted yesterday my baby goes off to Kindergarten tomorrow. Less than 24 hours from now. I do feel happy. But mostly, right now, I am feeling a bit pensive.

I am not usually sappy or emotional but an ending requires some reflection. I've been thinking a lot about the last twelve years. What they have meant to me as a mom, a woman, a wife. Wondering what they have meant to my children, my husband, my family.

The years have not been easy. In fact, I'm pretty sure some days were very near impossible. And there have been some days, a lot of them, that were simply amazing. I have had massive breakthroughs and massive failures.

The years have not been without sacrifice. We placed our plans for owning a home and family vacations on hold to just get by with one income. I am thankful that Jeff understood how important I felt it was to be an at-home mom. To be as hands-on as possible. But, if I am honest, it has been difficult watching everyone move, seemingly, blissfully forward while we felt stuck in neutral. It is not a regret though, because I cannot sit here today and say I regret staying home with my kids. If I were going to do it again, I would. Without hesitation.

For the longest time it felt like being a full-time mom was all I was good for...was all I was capable of. I do feel like I did it well, not perfectly, but well. I know I am biased, but my kids are awesome. They each have wonderfully unique personalities. They are kind and generous. They love each other and they love the world around them. Not to mention they are always good for a laugh. Today though, today I know I am much more than Mom. I have a lot to offer the world...whatever it is or however I may figure it out. I love going to school and I am excited to see what this next year is going to bring. It is just so new it is a little scary right now.

The last twelve years have provided some of my happiest and saddest moments...and some of my most frustrating moments. I did the math on diapering four kids...I did not, however, own up to the environmental cost. (I'm sorry, Mother Earth. I will make it up to you.) I know that unless you are or were a full-time stay-at-home mom for a long period of time you may not believe me but it is hard. Really hard. Harder than any job I have had before. There are no sick days. There are no holidays. Stay-at-home moms sleep and wake by their children. Eat and potty by their children. Showers are dictated by the children. And we have the privilege of teaching them every single thing they need to know. We mess up sometimes in moments of exhaustion and sometimes the tiniest thing is a major triumph that reduces us to tears.

Perhaps, the best part of this ending is my husband, Jeff. He's been waiting patiently for his wife this entire time. I have been, until now, run over and dog tired. Then if being a full-time, over-touched, over-nagged, over-whined mom was not enough, I started school and pushed myself even further away. Not on purpose, but life just kind of takes over and before you know it twelve years are gone and your head is spinning and you have to find yourself again.

My job as Mom is not finished. I know that. It has, though, shifted. I can feel it. A tidal shift on an epic scale...or that's what it feels like today. And probably tomorrow.

And...I was wrong above. This is not an ending. It is a beginning.


Fair Warning

This is the blog post where I give you warning that in just a short time, I will be reduced to a blubbering bag of emotion.

My baby will be going off to Kindergarten. And as happy I am that she is such a wonderful baby girl...little girl...I am heartbroken that my time with my babies at home with me is coming to a close.

This is hard. I am thoroughly excited and saddened at the same time.

More later.

And PS...

I am sorry I missed Monday's Super Mom...stay tuned though. Next Monday's mom is pretty cool!


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Curse

I blogged about my aching back a few days ago and am sad to say the situation has not improved. At all.

In fact it got worse. Way worse.

The pain got intense, ranking right up there with the intensity of childbirth and kidney stones. Not only did the pain get worse but the numbness got worse as well. You know the shocking, jarring feeling when you whack your funny bone and it sends that stunned arc of pain through your entire arm? Ya, that began happening all of the time. I lost the ability to use the last two fingers in my right hand and had severe weakness in my arm. It was pretty scary to say the least. After speaking to the urgent care center, Jeff took me to the ER since this met the definition of an emergency and was outside the scope of an office visit.

Now, this is where I should fill in some back-story so you'll see what I mean when I say "my curse". See, I have a high pain tolerance. One doctor, my urologist, called it "freakishly high". And what always happens when I am in severe pain one believes me. Ever. I don't writhe. I don't cry. I don't lose it or show it outwardly. I sit there dealing with it by going inside my own head. I cannot show it for some reason. I don't know why but I just can't. And it never fails, because I don't show pain, even the most severe, medical personnel do not believe me. It's frustrating.

When I had appendicitis during my pregnancy with my oldest my OB sent me to the hospital for a surgeon to evaluate me. Both the nurse who admitted me and the surgeon felt nothing was wrong because when I said my pain was a level 10 (on their little pain scale 1=fine 10=worst pain of your life) they said, "It doesn't look like it." Long story short, I went in to have the appendectomy and they found it inflamed and ready to burst and both nurse and doctor stepped all over themselves apologizing to me for not believing me. "You didn't look like it hurt that bad." No shit.

Another example, after my second was born I went to the doctor with severe pain in the lower right side of my back. My doctor sent me to the emergency room where I was, of course, asked what my pain level was. I answered "10". After a bit I was admitted and the next day an IVP showed three kidney stones. Long story short (it was a very long stay filled with lots of horrible events) my urologist had to do surgery to remove one last stone. I was in serious pain but they didn't believe me because I wasn't showing it outwardly. After the surgery was finished, he came to me and apologized for not really understanding how uncomfortable I was as he just pulled a 9mm stone out of me and that had to be excruciating.

I have a lot of those stories. It never fails. Medical professionals have an idea of what they think severe pain looks like then I come along, in severe pain, and am discounted as someone who isn't really in any pain at all. So back to yesterday...

Yesterday in the ER, I was asked the question about my pain level. I said, "Eight." I have felt worse but it was pretty bad. They gave me a shot of morphine (lovely stuff!) The doctor examined me...well, not so much examined but moved my head from side-to-side and said it's a compressed nerve and he wanted to take x-rays of my neck. I came back, the morphine had worn off...rather it only barely took the edge off of the pain and Jeff went out and told the nurse I was in bad shape again. And we waited...

The doctor came in and explained the results of the films. The x-rays come back showing extra bone growth that is compressing my spinal column. And told me that he thought the acute pain was controlled so I could go. I asked if the damage to my hand was permanent and that I was still in severe pain but he said, "I don't know." and walked out of the room. A minute later a nurse came in to check me out. I signed my name...well, what I was passing as my name because I could not control my hand. He handed me a list of prescriptions then said, "the pharmacy will put the instructions on the bottle" and walked out. That was it.

I spent all last night trying to will the Lortab to work better than it does. It's not. But I got enough of my hand movement back to type! I am very grateful for backspace though, my fingers are not quite going where I ask them's still a bit unsettling!

So the moral of this post:

If you are in severe pain, medical emergency pain, whine and cry and carry on about it because having a high pain tolerance does nothing for you. I am tired of doctors and nurses coming back to me after tests confirm that ya, I'm pretty miserable and apologizing. And if I am lucky enough to influence a medical professional--if you use the pain scale then USE it and believe your patients when they tell you it is severe. People don't display pain the same way and some people don't show it at all! Especially if your patient has zero history of abusing pain medicine or ER frequent fliers!

I'm going back to sleep now.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Super Mom Monday

Today's Super Mom is THE very definition of a Super Mom in my opinion.

I was very hesitant to profile this particular mom because I know how much she values her privacy and is now navigating new rules for discretion. So, because of that, I am going to be more discrete and not directly link you to her profile or public Blogger blog. Instead, I want to direct you to Army Strong Stories and you will find her public blog there along with some of her very fascinating coworkers.

Recently, my friend was given an opportunity of a lifetime when she was invited to join the JAG Corps. I have always known she is a person of strong character so I found it fitting that she began an adventure that takes the strongest among us and makes them stronger. I think it is her love of her family and her passion for the Constitution driving her success and she is absolutely thriving in her new role.

I left this vague on purpose (she knows who she is) but I want to share two last thoughts:

1. When you visit Army Strong Stories, and I know you will, please take the time to read about all of the awesome men and women who blog there. Their stories show us that sacrifice and patriotism are not about whether you are right or left, red or blue but are stories of real people on their own awesome adventures.


2. I am honored to know this woman and call her my friend. She is truly my hero and an inspiration to me. I am so proud of her and I wanted her to know I think of her often sending her thoughts and prayers of strength and endurance. She doesn't need them though because she's awesome. ♥ ;)


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Oh, My Aching Back

I have somehow managed to hurt my back...again.

My entire upper right shoulder area is in intense pain. It hurts so much I can't lie down or lean against anything. I'm trying to lie on a heating pad but the pressure of leaning on it is bringing tears to my eyes.

I know it is nothing serious because there was no injury or trauma. I'm pretty sure I slept wrong or something stupid like that. There's a huge knot in the muscle right below my right shoulder blade. Oh, I left out the best part. The huge knot is pushing on the nerves that got out to my right arm making my entire right arm throb, twitch and fall asleep.

I need to do some exercises that will get those muscles a little stronger so this stops happening!

But, today, I am stuck on the sofa on a heating pad covered in Icy Hot downing ibuprofen like candy even though it's not helping. At.All. (OK, not really like candy, 4 every 6 hours.)

*sigh* and *ouch*