2008 Year in Review

Hi, folks!

It's time for my annual Year in Review post - I've used this EXACT survey in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007...so here I am back with it again.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?

Had a baby!

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
In 2008, I didn't make New Year's resolutions. Instead, I started my 101 in 1001 project. Check out my progress! I'll be continuing on those goals in 2009.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Um, that would me ME. Hehehe!
In addition:
  • Two of my old friends (read: elementary school) also had babies in 2008.
  • A friend from judging speech and debate also had a little one.
  • The wife of two of my husband's coworkers also had kiddos.
Summary: 2008 = lots o' babies.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My father passed away on August 5th. I miss him terribly.

5. What countries did you visit?
Didn't cross any borders in 2008.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
More money! :-) 13 weeks on maternity leave really cleaned out my savings!

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Ecstatic - 10/9/08 - birth of baby Catherine
Excited - 2/18/08 - positive pregnancy test - YAY!
Happy - 10/29/08 - Phillies win the World Series
Sad - 8/5/08 - Dad passes away after 5+ year battle with Alzheimer's.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Uh, that would be growing a human being!

9. What was your biggest failure?

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Had some issues towards the end of the pregnancy, but nothing major. Fairly healthy year!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Anything baby related. Although, truthfully, we didn't buy much, because we were blessed to be given so many new and "gently used" items!

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Not really sure that I can congratulate anyone on turning around their ways in 2008. Oh, well!

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
My mother. While I empathize that it is hard to lose your husband of 40 years, it's incomprehensible to me that the woman would be so uninterested in coming to meet her grandchild. Especially after telling everyone in the world that she was planning to be here when the baby was born. And yet, three months later, no interest. I realize that it's more her loss than mine, but it just blows my freaking mind. And it's not like a trip would cost her a cent - hello, I work for the airline. But no, just not a priority. This shouldn't surprise me, I guess. I was never one of her priorities, so why should her grandchild be one either? Ok, totally ranting now. I'll stop. Just frustrating that my kid will be walking and talking by the time we plan to go to Pennsylvania and yet that's the only way, apparently, she will ever meet her grandmother.

14. Where did most of your money go?

The house and the baby and replacing my lack of income while on maternity leave.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
A baby!

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
I really can't think of one.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder? For the most part, happier. Thinking about Dad usually gets me crying, but I try to do that only in private.
ii. thinner or fatter? Despite gaining 50 pounds while pregnant, I'm now only +5 from last year at this time. However, I'm up 2 clothes sizes, because, well, hips don't unspread.
iii. richer or poorer? POORER! Lots of money spent on the house and the baby. We do have less debt this year than last year, though, so that's good!

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Had down time. We had houseguests for 35 weeks in 2008. And I worked an average of 20-30 hours per week on my freelancing to earn extra money for baby stuff in addition to my full time job. Plus, I took 14 work trips and went to Pennsylvania 3 times for Dad. So even though everyone told me to relax and enjoy just being pregnant, that didn't happen in any way, shape or form.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Running around and trying to be 3 people at once.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
For Christmas in 2008, we had Christmas Eve dinner in our house and Christmas Day dinner at Patti's.

22. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Uh, yeah. With my BABY!

23. How many one-night stands?

24. What was your favorite TV program?

I'd probably have to go with HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER and the now infamous DOOGIE HOWSER episode!

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

No. Hate is too strong. Strongly disappointed and disgusted, yes.

26. What was the best book you read?
Oh, so many. Check out my book blog for a comprehensive look at my reading in 2008!

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

No one new.

28. What did you want and get?

29. What did you want and not get?
A higher paying job. Well, ok, I didn't even try for a higher paying job in 2008, to be fair. Because I love what I do at AA. But it continues to depress me beyond belief that I make significantly less now than I did straight out of college 7 years ago. That's something I need to work on figuring out...either making peace with making less, or making plans to achieve more.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Uh...I didn't see many movies in 2008. Can't think of any standouts.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I went into labor on my birthday! I turned 28 the day before my daughter was born.

32.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Having my dad meet my baby. Since both of my grandfathers died years and years before I was born, I so hoped to have my dad become a grandpa. The fact that he died only 2 months before the baby was born makes it even more sad to me.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

34. What kept you sane in 2008?
My husband, as always.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Uh, no.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The election. And I continue to fear for our nation in 2009 and beyond.

37. Who did you miss?
My daddy. I say that every year, but this time, I can't look forward to future visits. Now, I just talk to him in my mind.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Um...can't think of anyone.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
Even when you are overwhelmed by life, there's no choice but to paste on a smile and keep moving forward.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Can't think of one...

Here We Go Again

The piece that follows was written by a frequent visitor to this blog, who uses the handle "CommonSenseUSA" for his comments. It was written to commemorate the 233rd birthday of the United States Marine Corps on November 10th. I am reposting it here with his permission, after its original posting in another post's comments.

May I present...

Here We Go Again
by Timothy Charles Cilley

It comes and goes, and comes back again;
the strife and struggle with the death of men.

The ancient call, to storm the wall;
the tithes of death from shot and ball.

As men and boys, give their last full measure;
the country bequeaths it's finest treasure.

Mothers pray, and wives that wail;
as the dirge of death does prevail.

Men do cry, and all do pray, and hug the mud;
and flinch, and wince, at the bullet's thud.

The mortars blast, and the flairs light;
there ain't no atheist in a firefight.

And as the world, does revolve;
with the thirst for souls that death dissolves.

Death does it's duty, and soldiers fall;
and give their life for that goddamn wall.

And now and then.......

A little breather with the death of men.

And then.....as a soldier says:

Shit! Here we go again....

To Rule and To Serve

Kelly McCrady shared a link to this post with me, from blogger "LawDog." Go visit (this site definitely deserves checking out). I've also reposted the video in question here for you to review. Pay very careful attention to wording used 30 second in.

Weighty Wednesdays

My original intent for Wednesdays was to post on the efforts that I am taking to get down to my target weight post baby.

But...without trying in the least (but breastfeeding a VERY HUNGRY baby, who is still gaining an ounce a day!), I reached my target weight about ten days after my child was born. Pre-pregnancy, I started out at 100 pounds. When we checked into the hospital on October 8th, I weighed in at 150. On the 11th, when I was released to come home, I was down to 138, after delivering a 7 pound 7 ounce child. By October 20th, I was down to 120! Yee-haw!

And yes, 120 was my target weight - it's what my doctors have wanted to see me at for years, based upon my body type and height - but what I was never able to achieve because of my hyperthyroidism.

Better yet, I haven't loss any weight since then, so it seems my body knew not to let me lose too much weight. Better yet!

But that doesn't mean my job is over! My hips and butt have taken a majority of this extra weight, added to my pooch of a tummy. So it's time to start firming up!

I have my four-week check up with both my OB/GYN and my endocrinologist on Thursday (tomorrow). With their approval, I'll begin my new weight training regimen ASAP.

To remind you, I'd already chosen P90X as my preferred post-baby workout. It's great, because it's not meant for losing weight, but for kicking yourself into shape.

I'm going to go ahead and order my copy of the workout DVDs and equipment by week's end so I can get started soon...ideally the Monday before Thanksgiving. (Theoretically, I will be getting my wisdom teeth out next week if my consultation goes well...so I don't want to start until after that.)

I invite you to follow along with my Weighty Wednesday posts, where I'll tell you each week what I like and don't like about P90X and give my own tips for firming up after being pregnant.

(Not) Leaving On a Jet Plane

Good Tuesday morning to everyone, and welcome to the 8th edition of Tuesday Travel Tips with Tiffany! To read previous editions, you can find them here.

Instead of tips, today, may I present a video! This was inspired by a parody MP3 that my friend Danielle shared with me...I just *had* to set it to images and present to you!

There's an "Easter Egg" in this video - one image that might not belong with all of the others. In fact, it's one of my favorite visuals. Identify it and comment on it on this post and you'll win...

Well, you won't win a physical prize. See, I'm cheap. And I have a brand new kid. And kids are expensive. But I'll love you, and isn't that enough of a prize?

Anyhow, enjoy the show!

Balancing Baby

It's sometimes hard to find balance versus baby!

For instance, dear hubby went back to work last week. So obviously, when he's gone to work, it's me and baby take on the world.

But when he IS home, it's his turn to take on baby so mommy can work on writing and projects and such, right?

Um, wrong. Apparently, despite discussion - sometimes several discussions - this is not something that will always work out.

As a result, I've blown writing deadlines - sometimes by a lot - and have found myself angry and frustrated. Not at having to spend time with the baby. But of a lack of balance.

We're working to fix that. Setting specific hours daily where it's my turn to work on other objectives and daddy's time to spend with baby. But today...that was blown again.

Maybe it was just a Manic Monday...or maybe we need to work on this more diligently!!

What solutions do you use in your own lives to balance time?

Election Preview

Tomorrow might be a very scary day. It could also turn out to be a very, very good day.

Nearly every poll in America is predicting not only an Obama win, but an Obama blowout.

The blog Vox Popoli, however, takes a different view. Check it out!

But I hope - and believe - that we may have a "Dewey defeats Truman" event in the making. Polls are so subjective - and statistically, their predictions do not always correctly portend actual outcomes.

Instead of rehashing all of my political beliefs, here are links to my past reactions:

1st Presidential Debate Wrap Up
2nd & 3rd Presidential Debate Wrap Up
Vice Presidential Debate Wrap Up

Republican Convention Recap
Democratic Convention Day 1
Democratic Convention Day 2
Democratic Convention Days 3 & 4

A Governor and a Community Organizer
Stupid People Voting

I've already voted - the hubby and I took advantage of early voting and headed to the polls last Thursday. And I'm sure you know who we both voted for. But now it's your turn. Cast your ballot for who you may. And remember this important axiom: if you fail to exercise your right, privilege and ability to vote, you forfeit your right, privilege and ability to complain.

Manic Monday #23

More great questions from the lovely Lisa for this Manic Monday:

How many hours of TV do you watch per week? Do you feel that's too much, not enough or just right?
Oh, probably 15-20 hours. I think that's too much. But sometimes I keep the TV on just for noise.

Which of the 5 senses do you feel is your strongest sense?
Hearing. But this is weird - I can't hear a lot of lower noises - I need the TV, for instance, to be fairly loud to hear it. But hearing is still my strongest because of my musical ear...I can hear someone sing or perform and really know if they're on key or performing well.

What's the wackiest belief you held as a child?
That my mom was trying to poison me. Hence, why I'm still picky!

Your turn! Leave your linky, leave a comment, and I'll come visit!

Debate 2 & 3 Wrap Up

Yes, I know...it WOULD take me until the day before the election to get to this, wouldn't it?

Here are some of my thoughts from the 2nd and 3rd Presidential Debates:

Debate #2, Belmont University

  • Question #1 - Solutions for the down economy
    Obama: "It means help for homeowners so that they can stay in their homes. It means that we are helping state and local governments set up road projects and bridge projects that keep people in their jobs."
    Obama has forgotten, yet again, about the role of the Federal government. First, homeownership is not a Federal issue - no how, no way. Second, it is NOT within the purview of the Federal government to step in and "help" state and local governments unless (a) that help is specifically requested and (b) it is for an issue that the Federal government should address. And jobs are not a Federal issue! And furthermore, where is the money going to come from to create these jobs? This idiot proposes more and more and more spending but swears taxes will go down instead of up. He needs a basic lesson in (a) the Constitution (power to the states/people) and (b) math.
    McCain: "We obviously have to stop this spending spree that's going on in Washington. Do you know that we've laid a $10 trillion debt on these young Americans who are here with us tonight, $500 billion of it we owe to China?"
    Thank you. NO MORE WASHINGTON SPENDING. We need to CUT, not ADD.
  • Question #2 - How does bailout package help ordinary citizens
    "...one of the real catalysts, really the match that lit this fire was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. ... But you know, they're the ones that, with the encouragement of Sen. Obama and his cronies and his friends in Washington, that went out and made all these risky loans, gave them to people that could never afford to pay back."
    Again, thank you. Thank you for acknowledging that the fault in bulky home loans lies between the lenders and the buyers, NOT The Federal government.
    Obama: "Right now, the credit markets are frozen up and what that means, as a practical matter, is that small businesses and some large businesses just can't get loans. If they can't get a loan, that means that they can't make payroll. If they can't make payroll, then they may end up having to shut their doors and lay people off."
    Talk about ALARMIST! How many businesses actually need loans to make payroll? Certainly not the millions of businesses that Obama predicts. This is a stupid thought in the first place, because it would seem to suggest that they'd need a loan every payday. Come on now.
  • Question #3 - How can either be trusted with money
    Obama: I'm not even going to quote him, here. His answer was completely scattered, he had no plan or solution to offer, and simply sounded like an idiot.
    McCain: Again, I'm not going to quote. However, I like how McCain pointed to his record versus Obama's, clearly showing that he better understands the economy.
  • Question #4 - What sacrifices will Americans need to make to get out of the economic mess
    McCain: "I first proposed a long time ago that we would have to examine every agency and every bureaucracy of government. And we're going to have to eliminate those that aren't working. ... I believe that we have to eliminate the earmarks. And sometimes those projects, not -- not the overhead projector that Sen. Obama asked for, but some of them that are really good projects, will have -- will have to be eliminated, as well. And they'll have to undergo the same scrutiny that all projects should in competition with others."
    This is a fabulous response. A politician suggesting less money be spent - it's the obvious solution, but not one that many would acknowledge.
    Obama: Nothing worthy of quoting. Apparently, he thinks we should save energy. And that'll fix the economy. I know...I'm laughing, too.
  • Question #5 - What about unfunded obligations to Social Security and Medicare
    Obama: This idiot alludes to taking on entitlements during his first term as President. Let's not get cocky, here. Don't allude to your first term as if that's a guarantee, let alone a second term. In his response, he outlines his tax plan - with the moving target of income limits to get a break. Never alludes to Social Security or Medicare.
    McCain: He didn't give specifics of what to be done, but he did one better - suggested putting together a commission to address instead of assuming that he has all the right answers himself. Bravo!
  • Question #6 - Congress and Environmental issues
    McCain: His response was to advocate nuclear power. And how he and Sen. Lieberman went around looking at greenhouse gas emissions. Um, not a response, per se.
    Obama: He didn't really respond directly, either, looking only at energy issues. Null point.
  • Question #7 - Healthcare as a commodity
    Obama AND McCain: Ok, folks. You already know how I feel about healthcare - and let me remind you that I've worked in healthcare. Obama is suggesting socialized medicine. Period. And I'm opposed to that 100%. McCain is suggested supplementation through income tax credits. I'm not really thrilled with that either. My opinion is to let it alone. Know what? I've had major medical issues myself. I've gone into debt to pay for them. But I'd rather that be the case than have to follow government mandates over managing my own health.
  • Question #8 - Economic stress vs. America's position as a peacemaker
    McCain: "I am convinced that my record, going back to my opposition from sending the Marines to Lebanon, to supporting our efforts in Kosovo and Bosnia and the first Gulf War, and my judgment, I think, is something that I'm -- a record that I'm willing to stand on. Sen. Obama was wrong about Iraq and the surge. He was wrong about Russia when they committed aggression against Georgia. And in his short career, he does not understand our national security challenges. We don't have time for on-the-job training, my friends."
    All I can say is: AMEN!
    Obama: "Now, Sen. McCain and I do agree, this is the greatest nation on earth. We are a force of good in the world. But there has never been a nation in the history of the world that saw its economy decline and maintained its military superiority."
    Really, Obama? Isn't it your wife who said she was finally proud to be an American? And next, I've already addressed that your little remark here is wrong. During the Great Depression, we proved our military superiority by kicking ass in World War 2. Get your facts straight. Oh, wait. You can't. That would mean not making up stuff to suit your own agenda.

  • Annnnd...this is where I lost interest, quite honestly. There were still a few questions left, but I drifted off.

Debate #3, Hofstra University

Selected quotes and my responses:

  • It's funny to me that right off the bat, when asked about finances, both McCain and Obama repeated exact phrases from the prior debate.
  • It's funnier that Obama can't seem to keep his own numbers straight. Is it $250k or $200k that makes someone right, you dumb fool? He uses both numbers in subsequent responses. Get it straight!
  • Oh, my gosh. Joe the Plumber. Hasn't this man already had more than his 15 minutes of fame? Let's move on, people!
  • It's not hard for a small business to make MORE than $250k.
  • For the record, Mr. "I don't mind paying a little more" Obama, spreading the wealth around is a SOCIALIST or COMMUNIST concept.
  • When asked what each man would cut in spending, Obama gave vague answers and McCain pointed to how he's saved taxpayer money in the past and will continue to do so in the future. Yay, McCain!
  • McCain: "Senator Obama, I am not President Bush. If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago. I'm going to give a new direction to this economy in this country."
    BRAVO! Well stated! Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Obama!
  • Obama: "If I'm interested in figuring out my foreign policy."
    A sphincter says what?
  • McCain: "You don't tell countries you're going to unilaterally renegotiate agreements with them."
    Yes, but Obama thinks he's above the rules of fair play.
  • Obama: "I exempt small businesses from having to pay into a kitty."
    Do ya, now? Ain't that special. Considering that if you become President, you'll be an EXECUTIVE, not a LEGISLATOR.
  • Obama: "I think it's going to be critically important for us to recruit a generation of new teachers, an army of new teachers, especially in math and science, give them higher pay, give them more professional development and support in exchange for higher standards and accountability."
    So...instead of improving current resources, you'd swap them out for next gen. Pay more? You idiot. With what money? This is NOT a FEderal issue.
  • McCain: "So choice and competition amongst schools is one of the key elements that's already been proven in places in like New Orleans and New York City and other places, where we have charter schools, where we take good teachers and we reward them and promote them."
    I agree with this wholeheartedly. Because my child will not step one foot in the public schools that my neighborhood feeds into. A charter school or enrolling in the neighboring school district - that'd be fine. Otherwise, it's private school or homeschooling for us.

And...that's that. Again, I don't support every idea from McCain...but they're, by and large, far more rational than anything I've heard uttered by Obama.

Happy voting!

Phillies Phriday

I'm taking a momentary break from working on some writing to watch the Phillies parade on MLB.com, celebrating their AWESOME World Series Victory.

To celebrate in our Phillies Phandom in Texas, here is a picture of our little one, with my 28-year-old Phillies Phanatic doll.

Look at her puckered up! She must have heard my promise to marry Brad Lidge if he carried off the save in game 5!!

And here is Catherine propped up by her Daddy in front of the TV showing the WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS! She looks less than thrilled...it'll take a few more years to teach her how important it is to celebrate for the Phillies!

And yes...the tears are rolling. Have I mentioned that I'd give my right arm to be in Philly today?

1980 - 1st World Series Win - I was born on 10/08/1980.
2008 - 2nd World Series Win - Catherine was born on 10/09/2008.

We are a Phillies Phamily!!

New Week, New Goals

Holy cow - my baby is 18 days old!

Just had to start with that - it just amazes me that so much time has gone by since she was born - it hardly seems possible!

She's doing very well now - we seem to have all of her health issues licked and she's started to settle into routines. So as she settles into new routines, I am working to do the same.

My husband is returning to work on Wednesday. Initially, he was going to take off through Thanksgiving, but because he's transferred districts for his job (from one 30 miles away to one a 1/2 mile away), he's finding that he feels guilty about them being a bit short handed. So he's going to work two weeks and then take the following two weeks off while his dad and step-mom are here.

I'm actually ok with him going back early - it'll help me to get into my own routine, as well. And what does that routine include?

Well, I'm working my way back to picking up more writing work, plotting out how to re-attack some of my long-neglected fiction, developing a blogging schedule, rebuilding a few websites I own, and checking in every so often with my full-time job to stay connected as I continue to be out on leave through early January. Sounds like a lot, doesn't it?

It really isn't. The schedule I'm developing (I can't live without spreadsheets and schedules) is entirely built around the Little Miss, but still allows plenty of time to tackle my own projects while she's sleeping...which she's still doing a LOT of.

But until my little routine actually gets going, I'm feeling a bit frazzled...and so it's another Manic Monday! How's life in your world?

Manic Monday #22

Hi, everyone!

Didja miss me?

I'm going to start getting back to a more "regular" schedule this week, beginning today! We seem to have our baby's health issues licked, she's settling into a better routine, and I'm gradually adding additional activities back into my life, such as writing and blogging.

So here I go...it's a MANIC MONDAY!

The lovely Lisa has provided some excellent questions as always for us to answer. Go visit the Manic Monday Meme homepage and join in the fun!

What is the greatest value that guides your life?
Individuality. I don't give a damn what decisions other people make for their lives - I am not a sheep. I like to evaluate situations and make up my own mind, rather than be swayed by anyone else's beliefs.

Fill in the blank: If I could be anybody besides myself, I would be ______.
A foreign correspondent. I'd love to travel the world and report on breaking news stories!

What is one item in your house that you should really throw out but probably never will?
Probably all of my high school and college paperwork/papers. I know...why in the world do I need my Medical Ethics papers to remind me of my pre-med days, or my Con Law papers to remind me of when I switched to pre-law? Considering I'm in neither field...you think I'd just let go! But nope! Gonna keep 'em!

Your turn - fill out the linky, leave me a comment, and I'll come visit!

Seriously, the Medical Edition

We had several seriously?!?!?! moments today that I can share. (By the way...head over to my How to Have a Baby blog to see the latest on baby's medical issues/status.)

First, baby has been having daily weight checks, color checks and bilirubin blood draws since this past Tuesday. Our doctor has Saturday and Sunday hours for urgent care and follow-ups, but the location varies between the main location and a sub location. This weekend was at the sub location. The nurse at the main location advised us yesterday to simply call the sub location at 9 AM today to see what time they wanted us to come in.

We're good at following directions, so we called at 9:05, and explained why we were calling and what our little girl needed to have done. The girl at the desk told us that a new nurse was working today and so she didn't want to over-burden her, and so couldn't we wait until Sunday? Um, no. So she said she'd page out our doctor to see what she said and get back to us if we "actually" had to come in. Ok...we'll play.

An hour later, no phone call. We decided to give it another half hour...and then called back. The response? "Oh, yeah. Well, how soon can you be here?"

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? This sub location is almost 20 miles away...and we were waiting on a call back to get ready to leave the house. So, really, you can wait on us. Seriously!

Second, when we finally got to the doctor's office, we ended up sitting there for TWO HOURS just to have her weight checked (she gained almost 3 ounces versus yesterday) and to have a lab slip drawn up to take to the hospital since the doctor office's lab was closed. TWO HOURS. And it totally put the little one off her feeding schedule. I finally went back to the nursing room to start feeding her when she was a half hour overdue and then the nurse came in to weigh her and promised that we'd be on our way soon. So she only got half a feeding. Seriously?!?

Finally, when we got to the hospital, we ended up with a stupid lab tech. She asked why we were doing daily blood draws (um, the diagnosis is on the lab slip, sweetheart) and so I explained that we had been monitoring her bilirubin levels since Tuesday to make sure they were coming down. She looked rather alarmed when I told her the starting level and so I commented that the blue light therapy was working to help bring her numbers down bit by bit. The tech said that she didn't know that phototherapy could be done at home and she just assumed we were doing it at the hospital. Seriously?

Rewind. So this tech thought that we came to the hospital, took our child out of her blue light therapy, and brought her up to the lab? Um, I've heard of self service, but that crosses the border into stupid land. Here's your sign. Yes, the baby is getting therapy at home. Duh!

As a postscript, the nurse at the doctor's office and the lab tech both referred to Baby Catherine as "he" multiple times even as I was correcting them on her gender. Oy.

So it's been a Seriously Stupid Saturday all the way around. And despite the lab tech saying the results would be ready in an hour...we haven't received any results. So, on our own, and I'm sure AMA, we've decided to say "screw it" to doing a weight check and a blood draw tomorrow and try to capture an entire day to ourselves at home without working around medical crap...Monday will be soon enough to do her next checks!

Hope ya'll are having a great weekend!

Thursday Thirteen #22

Happy Thursday to you all! Catherine is officially one week old today, and so in honor of that landmark, this Thursday Thirteen is all about her!

Thirteen Reasons Catherine is the BEST BABY EVER

  1. So adaptable - she didn't put up any fuss over the phototherapy lights she's having to sleep under!
  2. So brave - she's had blood drawn several times now and other than an initial scream, she only whimpers through the process.
  3. So nonchalant - in a house with 4 pets, someone is always around sniffing. Catherine just turns her head and lets the curious animal give her a once over.
  4. So hungry - this kiddo eats like a champ. We're talking 50 minute feedings where the only break in the action is switching sides.
  5. So big - even after losing a bit too much of her birth weight, she's rebounding nicely and is a good size for her age!
  6. So snuggly - having to keep her under lamps except during feedings is made very hard by the fact that she snuggles in with her mommy and daddy so nicely...we hate to put her down!
  7. So smart - that bunk about babies not being able to track with their eyes from birth is just that - bunk! She was tracking Chris from day one.
  8. So strong - weak baby necks? Pshaw! She held her head up without wavering from about 6 hours after birth.
  9. So pretty - have you seen my kid's hair? She was born with more hair than I had at age 2!
  10. So smiley - it's not just gas, I swear! This kiddo gives us the most beatific smiles on a regular basis.
  11. So scrunchy AND stretchy - she's like a worm...she can coil up to be so tiny but then can stretch out to be so big.
  12. So perfect - from perfect skin to perfect hair to perfect hands and feet and fingers and toes...she's just amazing!
  13. So OURS - obviously, the best part about Miss Catherine is that she's all ours...and we love her dearly!
Have a great weekend - I'll be back to posting more regularly soon!


I was born 10/08/80, and the Phillies clinched the NL pennant only days later.

Catherine was born 10/09/08, and the Phillies clinched the NL pennant only days later.

Coincidence or divine pattern???

Catherine needs a Phillies onesie like I had all those years ago!

Back to Blogging!

Well, not really! Just wanted to let you know to visit How to Have a Baby and 0 to Mom to get the latest on our new addition!

I'll be back here to post my 2nd Presidential Debate Wrap Up as well as over at Read and Release to post three new book reviews (one of those books read entirely while in the hospital!) very soon!!

First Fabulous Friday

This is our First Fabulous Friday with our new little one, Catherine Elizabeth. I'm sitting here in my hospital room, where my baby is propped against my belly a la a pillow, my husband is passed out in the cot next to me, and I'm on the internet blogging...how full is my life? :-)

This has just been the best experience - minus the 1 hour and 40 minutes between when the doctor broke my water and my epidural set in! We've had a bunch of visitors, gotten flowers and baskets from both of our jobs as well as other friends, and Catherine's gotten wishes of welcome through the internet from all over the globe. Life is way good!

We get to head home tomorrow. Discharge is "no later than" 1 PM but I think we're going to plan to leave earlier. Have to wait to get one last check up for me (let's not even discuss my massive swelling around my "little" tear) and one last check up for baby (who is doing WONDERFULLY!) and then they'll check out the car seat (which is funny since as a state police officer, my husband is also a certified car seat technician so I'm *pretty* sure the dang thing is in there just fine) and we'll head off. We're expecting Chris' aunt and uncle as well as his brother and his brother's girlfriend to visit either tomorrow or Sunday and then we'll begin the job of setting up our new routines in life!

I will be heading into my office for a *short* while on Monday to drop off my work laptop (someone else might as well use it while I'm out) and my budget work (Catherine came 1 day too early for me to finish beforehand) and my leave/disability paperwork. Chris will be heading into work for a *short* while probably on Wednesday to finish clearing out his stuff from his office (he's transferring from the Dallas office to the Fort Worth office) and to turn in his state vehicle since he'll get a different one from his new office. In between, Little Miss has her first pediatrician appointment on Tuesday morning - yay! So we already have a busy week on the horizon!

Hope all is well with you, dear reader! I look forward to sharing our journey with Catherine with you as she grows and our family evolves!

VP Debate Wrap Up

Just ahead of the 2nd Presidential Debate, may I present to you my (drumroll, please) Vice Presidential Debate Wrap Up!

Here were some of my Twitter comments during the debate:
  • Have I mentioned that I heart Sarah Palin? This chick kicks ass.
  • *gasp* Is Palin advocating personal responsibility? Silly girl...she should know that no Democrat would ever buy into that!
  • Say it again, girl. 94 times. 94 times. "Government's going to need to learn to be more efficient." No Dem will ever buy into that.
  • Biden/Obama have never taken a math class. They want the government to do it all...and still promise less taxes. HA! Robin Hood.
  • "Unless you're pleased with the way the federal government is running anything these days..." God, I love this woman. Go Palin!
  • OH SHUT UP. Spending the first 5 years of your life in Scranton doesn't make it your home. On behalf of Scranton, BITE ME.
  • Gotta love Joe playing scare tactics with healthcare. Too bad intelligent individuals won't buy it. Socialized medicine=bad.
  • What I think I just heard Biden say is that bankruptcy courts should help people stay in the houses they couldn't afford in the first place.
  • I'm not sure where in the constitution the issue of marriage - same sex or heterosexual - is mentioned.
  • I love Palin's clarification of Ifil's question on gay marriage instead of falling into a potential trap.
  • I think that Palin is very smart to point out the differences between what Biden has advocated in the past and what Obama has advocated.
  • I've judged HS kids who gave better answers to some of these same types of foreign policy questions than Biden. Sad.
  • Palin pronounced "nuclear" just like Bush. Apparently, that's become an accepted pronunciation.
  • Obama DID say he'd sit down with Achmidinijad (Sp?). Biden, you lie. Lie. Lie. Lie.
  • France hasn't ever kicked anyone out of anywhere. *Snort*
  • "Let me repeat"...yeah, heard ya. You still aren't saying anything of substance.
  • Oh yes, by all means, go to Scranton. Do they WANT to see my head explode?
  • GREAT summation by Palin.
  • Doesn't Biden just think he's oh so smooth. Yuck.
  • Geraldine Ferraro looks like 10 miles of bad road.
Here are some quotes from the transcript, and my reactions:
  • Biden: "If you need any more proof positive of how bad the economic theories have been, this excessive deregulation, the failure to oversee what was going on, letting Wall Street run wild, I don't think you needed any more evidence than what you see now."
    You say "letting Wall Street run wild," I say "free market system."
  • Palin: "John McCain, in referring to the fundamental of our economy being strong, he was talking to and he was talking about the American workforce. And the American workforce is the greatest in this world, with the ingenuity and the work ethic that is just entrenched in our workforce. That's a positive. That's encouragement. And that's what John McCain meant."
    Amen. And it's more than just the workforce. Many areas of our economy are strong. And if we'd just hold businesses and individuals to a level of personal responsibility instead of covering up for their mistakes, even more areas of our economy would be stronger.
  • Palin: "Darn right it was the predator lenders, who tried to talk Americans into thinking that it was smart to buy a $300,000 house if we could only afford a $100,000 house. There was deception there, and there was greed and there is corruption on Wall Street. And we need to stop that."
    And here's where Palin and I part roads. It's not the lenders' fault that idiot homebuyers got in over their heads. If you make 40k per year for your total household, you have no business buying a $300k home, ever. Period.
  • Palin: "Let's do what our parents told us before we probably even got that first credit card. Don't live outside of our means. We need to make sure that as individuals we're taking personal responsibility through all of this."
    Personal responsibility? Snort. Most Americans wouldn't have the first clue. I think we need this desperately but I also think that more parts of society would advocate entitlements versus taking responsibility for their own actions.
  • Biden: "You had actually the belief that Wall Street could self-regulate itself. And while Barack Obama was talking about reinstating those regulations, John on 20 different occasions in the previous year and a half called for more deregulation. As a matter of fact, John recently wrote an article in a major magazine saying that he wants to do for the health care industry deregulate it and let the free market move like he did for the banking industry."
    It's not deregulation that caused these issues. But nice try, Joe. Again, what you call deregulation, I call the free market system. Get government the hell out of the way and let businesses and individuals solve their own problems without interference.
  • Palin: "Government is going to have to learn to be more efficient and live with less if that's what it takes to reign in the government growth that we've seen today."
  • Biden: "The middle class is the economic engine. It's fair. They deserve the tax breaks, not the super wealthy who are doing pretty well. They don't need any more tax breaks."
    Yes, the theory of Robin Hood is always fair. Idiot.
  • Biden: "Well, the one thing we might have to slow down is a commitment we made to double foreign assistance. We'll probably have to slow that down."
    Oh, how very fiscally conservative of you. You shouldn't have proposed to provide that much foreign assistance in the first place!
  • Biden: "We should be allowing bankruptcy courts to be able to re-adjust not just the interest rate you're paying on your mortgage to be able to stay in your home, but be able to adjust the principal that you owe, the principal that you owe."
    Are you FREAKING kidding me? This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.
  • Biden: "If you don't understand what the cause is, it's virtually impossible to come up with a solution. We know what the cause is. The cause is manmade. That's the cause. That's why the polar icecap is melting."
    Can't you just picture this moron peering through a microscope at water that used to be frozen on a polar ice cap and seeing like a fleck of dirt so he can pronounce the problem manmade? Oy.
All in all, it's clear that Palin kicked Biden's butt! On to Presidential Debate #2!

Republican Convention Recap

Has your heart stopped? I'm actually posting the Republican Convention recap that I promised to you a month ago!

Day 1
Very tastefully done, considering the impact of Hurricane Gustav. Cindy McCain and Laura Bush make a great pair.

Day 2

Laura Bush
  • This woman is just the picture of class and she has an exquisite awareness of the camera at all times.
  • Great job differentiating opinions from facts about these successful endeavors
    • Education test scores
    • New Supreme Court Justices
    • Faith-based initiatives
    • AIDS relief
  • I love that she used the Obama quote in her own way - "Change you can really believe in."
  • Very eloquent "thank you" to veterans.
  • Very nice tribute to Cindy McCain.
  • Very nice thank you to the American people - gracious!

President Bush
  • Great idea to start by referring to Gulf state governors and volunteers in light of Hurricane Gustav.
  • I love that he thanked his mom and dad!
  • Great segue to pumping up McCain for president.
  • Quotes that I loved:
    • "Service above self."
      GREAT reminder!
    • "Arms had been broken but not honor."
      If the Hanoi Hilton couldn't break McCain, the angry left never will.
    • "Make tax relief permanent!"
    • Good point in reminder that McCain is not afraid to disagree - "Believe me, I know."
      Very cute way of putting this!
    • "Rather lose an election than lose a war."
      This is what the irrational left doesn't understand - it's much more important to work towards a lasting solution in the Middle East than to play politics during an election.
    • "Americans have always lived on the sunrise side of the mountain."
      This is a lot more meaningful phrase than the Obama rhetoric on a future of hope.
  • Very nice to end with a tribute to his wife.

Fred Thompson
  • Good enthusiasm.
  • Made a great point about the Democrats thinking we're in a Great Depression, we're down and we're disrespected - what a load of bunk! We will always have challenges, but as Thompson said, we are the free-est, strongest and most generous nation in the world.
  • Great comments about the media and great use of humor.
  • Cute joke about McCain's Mom and the North Vietnamese.
  • "John McCain knows about hope...that's all he had."
    GREAT point!
  • Character you can believe in - FABULOUS!
  • "A man who never quits is never defeated."

  • We don't need a president who feels the need to apologize for the US.
    He's right - we don't. But with Obama, that's exactly what we'd get.

Joe Lieberman

  • "It shouldn't take a hurricane to bring us together like this."
    No foolin'!
  • Why are we "fighting each other than fighting for the American people."
    GREAT question.
  • Liberman said he "supports McCain because country matters more than party."
    Too bad more people haven't figured this out.
  • The "oops" comment about natural/unnatural disaster...he recovered ok, though.
  • "God only made one John McCain and he is his own man."
    And thank GOD for that!
  • Love the funny Michael Moore comment.
  • Great observation on Obama: "Eloquence is not a substitute for a record."
  • We "don't need more party unity but more national unity."
    Again, too bad more people haven't realized this!!

Day 3

Mitt Romney
  • Ok, this man's opening remarks were way too smooth...maybe that's why I couldn't have seen myself voting for him.
  • Interesting comments on "Eastern elites" and now AZ and AK leaders. (Um, isn't Romney the former Governor of an EASTERN state?)
  • Great points on Washington already being too liberal.
  • "Time for the party of big ideas not Big Brother."
  • "This is no time for timid empty liberal gestures."
    Are there any other type of liberal gestures?
  • "Let's keep Al Gore's private jet on the ground."
    Hell, let's keep Al Gore in a closet. That man is a menace.
  • "There's never been a day when I was not proud to be an American."
    Take that, Mrs. Obama!

Mike Huckabee
  • Very nice humble start to his speech.
  • "Tackier than a costume change at a Madonna concert."
    This comment had me rolling!
  • "Excellent adventure to Europe" with bad ideas brought back.
    Great slam on Obama's boondoggle. We don't need or want to be like Europe, TYVM!
  • Best quote: "I'm not a Republican because I grew up rich. I'm a Republican because I didn't want to spend the rest of my life poor waiting for the government to rescue me."
  • The school teacher story was touching - nice tie to the Oval office desk.

Rudy Giuliani
  • This was strong: we select the President. Not the media; not Hollywood; but the people!
  • Great description of the election being a job application. Obama's resume would definitely make my trash file!
  • Isn't it great that no matter what he's discussing, Giuliani just sounds tough? I love this man!
  • Giggling at the community organizer designation was funny!
  • His facial expression when discussing the 130 times Obama couldn't vote yes or no was priceless - it's not good enough to be present - you have to make decisions!
    Yes, but if you're a Democrat, you just wait for other people to do that for you!
  • Great point: Obama has never had to lead people in crisis.
  • Substance over style; this is no time for on the job training!
  • "Change is not a destination just as hope is not a strategy."
  • I'm still so disappointed that Giuliani's campaign went no where, but I thought his presence at the Convention was AWESOME!

Sarah Palin
  • Made a great distinction between there being a time for politics and a time for leadership.
  • I like the message to families of special needs kids.
  • Her intro of her family was nice!
  • What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick!
  • I loved, loved, loved the comparison between a community organizer and a mayor. Wasilia might be a small town, but she still did a helluva lot more there than Obama's ineffectual "organizing" in Chicago. Pfft.
  • "The fact that drilling won't solve everything isn't an excuse to do nothing."
  • John McCain isn't a leader who is looking for a fight, but sure isn't afraid of one either. YES!
  • "The American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of personal discovery."
    Oh, so true!
  • "There is only one man in election who fought for you. For a season, a speaker can inspire with words. For a lifetime, a leader can inspire with deeds."
  • I love Cindy McCain's excitement for Palin!!

Day 4

Tom Ridge
  • Did a good job in focusing his speech on McCain instead of on himself.
  • Ridge is a very stoic, firm speaker.
  • Favorite quotes:
    • "We need a leader who fits the times, not a candidate who thinks it's his time to lead."
    • "It's not about building a record. It's having one. That's John McCain."

Cindy McCain

  • Focusing first on the Hurricane was so appropriate.
  • I loved her philosophy - if only the federal government would get under control and out of the way.
  • Should we consider what other countries think of us or what would our forefathers would make of us...or what our children will say of us.
  • I loved her conviction in describing McCain as a good father and her enthusiasm in talking about Palin.
  • Cindy is a bit bland - she seems to lack depth at times. She is definitely gracious, however.

John McCain
  • "No success has come without a good fight."
    AMEN! Too bad our country is filled with wusses who don't realize this.
  • I loved his thank you to President and First Lady Bush, as well as the former President and First Lady Bush!
  • You can just tell that he adores Cindy!
  • His mother is just the dang cutest - and I can only hope I'm that brisk when I'm 96! (Hell...when I'm 66!)
  • Very nice messages to Obama and his supporters - "despite our differences, more unites us than divides us."
    It's funny...but no one every seems to get that.
  • What was with the insano woman rushing the stage???
  • Great description of Palin: "She stands up for what's right and she doesn't let anyone tell her to sit down."
    Nobody puts Baby in the corner...
  • Great quotes that I loved:
    • "In the end, it matters less that you can fight. What you fight for is the real test."
    • "Government that doesn't make your choices for you but works to make sure you make more choices for yourself."
    • "Education is the Civil Rights issue of this century."
    • "What is the value of access to a failing school?"
    • It's time to..."set a new standard for transparency and accountability."
    • "I've been a servant first, last and always. I've never lived a day in good times and bad that I didn't thank God for the privilege."
    • "I was blessed because I served in the country of heroes."
    • "If you find faults with out country, make it a better one!"
    • "Nothing brings us greater happiness in life than to join in a cause greater than yourself."
  • You can just see this man's sincerity!
  • It's interesting that even leftist CNN noted that John McCain had more specifics in his speech than Barack Obama.
There you go folks...those're my thoughts! The VP debate wrap-up is coming next!

Thursday Thirteen #21

Thirteen Favorites About October

  1. It's time for the playoffs in baseball...and the PHILLIES have made it to post-season again this year, so you KNOW who I'll be rooting for!
  2. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase is on in full force - GO DALE!
  3. How 'bout some football? (Go 49ers!) I don't get into all that college and high school madness for which Texans are famous, but professional football rocks! (I'm in a fantasy league that my husband talked me into joining...all the other members are police officers from around the state...but guess who has the most points and the ONLY 4-0 record?? Yeah, I rock.)
  4. Hallowe'en is coming! I love handing out candy to Trick-or-Treaters! (Although I'm always disappointed that no one wants to do tricks for me!)
  5. Hallowe'en candy - this really deserves it's own separate blog post...it's one of the only times of year that I indulge my sweet tooth!
  6. Haunted Houses - yes, yes, I love being scared! I especially love Fort Worth's haunted warehouse!
  7. Texas October weather - although summer is still my favorite time of year, we're lucky enough here in Texas that the warm weather holds over nicely through the end of October!
  8. Delaware Water Gap and changing colors. This is a little area on the New Jersey/Pennsylvania border that always has the most gorgeous color changes.
  9. The elections are fast approaching - don't forget to register and vote!
  10. It's breast cancer awareness month, and my company/office is participating, as usual, in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure over in Dallas on October 18th, 2008. Hmm...that date also sounds familiar...could it be that...
  11. The due date for our little Catherine is fast approaching! We thought there was a chance she'd be a September baby, but she's still snugly tucked inside.
  12. Many family birthdays - both in my family, as well as in my husband's. In fact, today is my brother-in-law's! Birthdays are fun! Go visit my cousin Nicki - her birthday is October 7th, which is the day before...
  13. My birthday! Don't forget to come back on October 8th and wish me a happy 28th this year!
Happy Thursday Thirteen, ya'll!

September Sadness

As we head into October (only 7 shopping days left until my birthday...), I am reflecting on two events from September that have left me saddened.

The selfish and self-serving movie stars of today would do well to take a page from the book of Paul Newman, who not only dedicated part of his life to military service but also a huge chunk of his later life to philanthropy. The world loses a great man with the passing of Paul Newman, not just for his contributions as an actor but for his goodness as a human being.

It's like deja vu all over again...Yogi Berra says good bye to Yankee Stadium as the historic landmark hosts its last game. *Sob* I'm almost as sad as I was a couple years ago when the Phillies said good bye to the Vet. I hate that in our disposable society, we always prefer the new and shiny to the old and trusted.

Instant Weight Loss

My friends and coworkers continue to comment that I'm "all belly" and that I'm going to be back to my pre-pregnancy size as soon as I leave the hospital. I protest! At +45 pounds versus my pre-pregnancy weight, that'd have to be one dang big baby!!

But that leads me to this thought. We're anticipating a baby that is within a few ounces of 7 pounds. So between delivering the baby and all of the other fun stuff that comes out at the same time, it would be sensible to anticipate leaving the hospital 10 to 15 pounds lighter than going in, right?

What have you experienced, Mamas? Is that a reasonable amount to figure on losing while in the hospital?

What about in the first few weeks afterwards, especially if you breastfed your babies? I've also heard that breastfeeding can stimulate weight loss...even though I've also heard that I'll need to consume an extra 500 or so calories a day to feed Spoiled Baby adequately.

So what do you think? Tell me all about your experiences!

How Well Do You Know Your Car?

How well do you know your car? Do you just strap yourself into it every day and drive off to work or school and not know anything about it's value or about what different types of repairs may cost you when it breaks down? Instead of guessing and being caught off guard when something happens, there's a web site that can log all of the important information about your car and offer you the data you need to make wise decisions about your vehicle. Visit DriverSide and start a free profile to enter all of your car's information and begin taking advantage of the valuable advice. I paid off my XTerra about two years ago and ever since, I've just been crossing my fingers that nothing major happens to this car, since I have no intention of buying a new one for another few years. I think this web is a great resource that you can use to get to know your car better.

What is your car really worth? It's helpful to know this information so that you can manage your car's financing sensibly. It's also great information to have when you're looking to sell your car in the future. Values can change rapidly and hinge on a number of different factors, and the DriverSide web site can help you to get up to date value information when you need it.

You can also find accessories and parts specific to your car at the DriverSide web site. If your car is more than a couple years old, the parts you need to keep it up and running can be hard to find. Instead of going from store to store, this is a one-stop shopping opportunity that will ensure that you aren't left scrambling when something breaks.

If you are looking for someone else to make repairs to your vehicle, you can find mechanics in your area and get an idea of what fair charges may be by using DriverSide. If you go to the first repair shop you see, you may end up spending a lot more money than your repair should cost. If you have a great idea ahead of time what to expect, you can expertly deal with mechanical situation you may encounter.

If you're anything like me, you probably drive your car for thousands of miles a year. For the past 10 years, I've averaged 25k! I can't take chances with my vehicles, and you shouldn't either. Go check out DriverSide today to start getting to know your car better!

Debate Wrap Up

Yes, I know. You still want my Republican Convention wrap up, too. I promise...some day! :-) (Also still on the list is two posts on immigration and a new addition: a history lesson on what health insurance was/was not meant to cover.)

In the meantime, here's how I commented on Twitter during the debate:
  • It's too bad that Senator Obama has never read the 10th amendment to the Constitution. Education and healthcare are NOT federal issues.
  • I don't think I can stress strongly enough how much Senator Obama frightens me. We are screwed, blued and tattooed if that man is elected.
  • I'm so glad that Obama reserves the right to talk to whomever he wants. What if they don't want to talk to him? Oy.
  • Gee...if we'd just have invited the North Koreans to dinner, they wouldn't have nuclear weapons. This man is an idiot.
  • Obama needs one of those court reporters to read the record of WHAT HE'S JUST SAID back to him so he doesn't flip flop every five minutes.
  • Obama's foreign policy is the equivalent of parents who send their children to the corner instead of spanking them. Just not effective.
  • Obama: "There has never been a country on Earth that saw its economy decline and yet maintained its military superiority." YES THERE HAS. The US. WWII. Duh.
  • Clear winner - McCain. How can you even take Obama seriously? The man has clearly shown that he is not prepared to lead a country.
And here are some quotes from the transcript, and my reactions:
  • Obama: "we've got to make sure that we're helping homeowners, because the root problem here has to do with the foreclosures that are taking place all across the country."
    No. No, no, no. If people didn't buy more home than they could afford, they wouldn't foreclose. The bank's fault in this problem is changing their standards in how people qualify for loans. But the bigger fault lays with homeowners living beyond their means.
  • Obama: "And unless we are holding ourselves accountable day in, day out, not just when there's a crisis for folks who have power and influence and can hire lobbyists, but for the nurse, the teacher, the police officer, who, frankly, at the end of each month, they've got a little financial crisis going on."
    Did he pick three professions - nurse, teacher, police officer - that are fairly well paid for a reason? Most teachers make more for nine month's work than I make for 12. My husband, as a police officer, makes well above the median income. And after years of working in healthcare, I can assure you that nurses are well paid. Obama, your example sucks. If these "above median" wage earners have a crisis at the end of the month, it's because they have not budgeted properly and are living outside of their means. And that's not something the government can fix.
  • McCain: "Well, the first thing we have to do is get spending under control in Washington. It's completely out of control. It's gone -- we have now presided over the largest increase in the size of government since the Great Society."
    AMEN! I want the government to get the hell out of my business. I do not need some agency that covenes quarterly in some building in a half-assed city on the east coast to make decisions for my life. And I certainly want no part of the thousands of "entitlement" programs the government oversees. It's that word - entitlement - that has lead generations of leeches to expect someone else to provide for their needs rather than getting off their duffs and providing for themselves.
  • Obama: "Well, Senator McCain is absolutely right that the earmarks process has been abused, which is why I suspended any requests for my home state, whether it was for senior centers or what have you, until we cleaned it up."
    Way to piss of the senior citizens. Wouldn't want to cut off support to the ignorant and lazy young people who live off the dole. Let's screw the seniors. Jackass.
  • Obama: "And one of the things I think we have to do is make sure that college is affordable for every young person in America."
    Don't waste your time. If someone wants an education badly enough, they can get it. Period. I worked my way through college, earning scholarships, taking loans, and holding down two jobs at a time while still taking between 18 and 21 credits every semester. Don't tell me others can't do the same because I'll tell you that you're full of shit.
  • McCain: "How about a spending freeze on everything but defense, veteran affairs and entitlement programs."
    Sounds great to me. Just cut the entitlement programs, too. It's time to shit or get off the pot for folks who would rather get a monthly check than get a job.
  • McCain: "Well, I want to make sure we're not handing the health care system over to the federal government which is basically what would ultimately happen with Senator Obama's health care plan. I want the families to make decisions between themselves and their doctors. Not the federal government."
    AMEN! Thank you.
  • Obama: "Well, this is an area where Senator McCain and I have a fundamental difference because I think the first question is whether we should have gone into the war in the first place."
    Oh, you stupid ass. Why don't you just pack up your toys and go home since you're still sulking over decisions that were made half a decade ago? Do we really want a president who will sulk over the past instead of plan for the future?
  • Obama: "But that's Senate inside baseball."
    Wait just a freaking minute. McCain points out that Obama has never held a hearing for his subcommittee that should oversee NATO issues in Afghanistn, and Obama explains it away as "inside baseball?" Are you kidding? I thought Obama was the one who wanted transparency in government. Apparently, just not when it comes to his own actions.
  • McCain: "I'm not going to set the White House visitors schedule before I'm president of the United States. I don't even have a seal yet."
    That's just fabulous. I can't stop laughing.
  • McCain: "So let me get this right. We sit down with Ahmadinejad, and he says, "We're going to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth," and we say, "No, you're not"? Oh, please."
    And now I'm laughing even harder. This is great stuff.

Mr. Obama, your campaign slogan is "Change We Need." I will glad give you some change - 35 cents, to be exact - so you can phone for a taxi and get the hell off the national stage. You clearly are not qualified to take charge of a country.

Mr. McCain, I'll be honest. I'm still not your biggest fan. I would have preferred the Republicans to offer up a different candidate. But I'm coming to like you more and more. And I really like that you emphasized your long and distinguished record in the debate, as well as the many bipartisan efforts you have been involved with over the years. And bravo for continually pointing out how ignorant Obama is when it comes to any type of national and foreign policy!

Everything's Dead...

...except the ants.

Well, that's not true. I still have two live dogs and two live cats.

But anywho...

I came home from work today to find a freshly dead bird in my backyard, just by my covered patio. My dogs were just preparing to munch on it for dinner. Tastes like chicken. In fact, the little one already had feathers on her mouth. YEECH. Clean up, aisle two! I swallowed my disgust and scooped up the poor birdie with a shovel and threw it over the back fence. Gross.

(Don't worry. We don't have neighbors behind us. It's an open field that we actually own part of but that is used by the electric company.)

Walked inside...and there's a dead lizard. Just one of those tiny two-inch ones. But dead as a doornail. And being consumed by an army of ants, who kung-fu'd in from I-don't-know-where. Yippee. Clean-up, aisle three!

Talked to the hubby for a few minutes and he told me where I could swipe ant traps from to put in different places to get rid of the problem. Went to one of the locations he mentioned...and another dead lizard. This one was a bit larger and squishy. No ants, though. Clean-up, aisle four!

Some of the ants are still alive, but they're consuming the poison like good little lemmings. DIE!

Seriously, would any other wild creature like to die in my house tonight?

Have I mentioned YEECH?

Winding Down, Gearing Up

Happy Manic Monday, folks!

I'm in two very different modes simultaneously. I'm winding down and gearing up - at the same time.

Winding Down
At work, I'm going through transitioning projects and duties to various coworkers. Even though we'd initially thought I'd have a couple more weeks at work before baby, I'd designated this week in particular for transitions. Perhaps I just knew that Spoiled Baby was going to be even earlier than we thought.

Gearing Up
At home, I'm trying to make sure everything is just so before baby gets here. I've got a big checklist built (ok, I live my entire life by checklists) and have been going through items to feel like I'm ready. From having cash for the hospital (apparently, they make you pay for the difference between a semi-private room and a private room up front since insurance doesn't cover) to having my bags packed and all of my paperwork in order to even making sure that I have reading and writing stuff to keep me busy should I be in labor for a long time...I'm just buzzing around. Well, buzzing around as much as I can with (a) limited energy and (b) doctor's orders to restrict movements.

What do you most remember about the things you tried to accomplish just before the birth of your first child?

Ignorant Children, Part 2

I was at the library today, checking out a few books in preparation for the arrival of the little one. (I'm beginning my quest to read ALL of the books that have won the Pulitzer Prize.)

While there, I noticed a mother and her teenage son. He was busily picking out DVDs to rent. His mom asked him, in a very tentative voice, "Would you like to check out a few books as well, while we're here?"

He replied, "Naw. I don't need no books. Nothin' ever happens in books."

Oh, God. I had to stop myself from rushing over and bonking him over the head with the hardcover copy of Gone With The Wind I'd just picked up.

This is a problem I perceive with today's youth - they don't read! Even up to my age - a few, hmm, years past my high school days.

I was on a work trip to Philadelphia a little over a year ago with one of my coworkers, and I was showing him around the city that I spent a lot of time in growing up. Somehow, we got talking about books. He confided in me that he was hoping to read at least 1 book this year. Because, you know, he's busy and all.

Gosh, don't strain yourself.

When did reading become such a challenge? I'm not saying that kids have to run out and pick up the classics, but read something, for God's sake! I'd seriously challenge anyone who told me they didn't have time to read because they're too busy. Quite honestly, I rarely encounter people who have more crowded schedules than I do. But I'm still in the process of reading my 81st book this year.

What are your thoughts?

This trend in reading disturbs me...seriously!

Update on Chris

Subtitle: How Mother Nature Trumped Mother Tiffany
Sub-sub Title: Why I Hate Hurricane Ike
I let you all know in my "Updates, Updates" post that Chris was being deployed as a part of a state police contingent here in Texas to aid in enforcement efforts down in Galveston, so I just thought I'd provide a little update on how that's going.

Chris arrived there Thursday afternoon and got his gear stowed and settled in. He began work at 5 AM on Friday morning and spent his first 12 hour shift accompanying convoys and then driving around Galveston Island. Today's 12 hour shift was spent at a roadblock...apparently, despite sunscreen, he's burned.

We were hopeful that because the baby has sped up our timetable, he'd be able to head home a bit earlier than the deployment schedule calls for, so that he can be here if something happens. To summarize my update over at How to Have a Baby, my doctor has set the goal of keeping Baby Girl inside until September 27th. (Head over there for details...no need to rehash here.) But Chris isn't scheduled to leave south Texas until the morning of September 29th. Hmm...

Another agent volunteered to take his place. So I was even more hopeful. I'm very capable of taking care of myself, thank you very much, but I'd definitely feel a little more calm if Chris were here instead of there. But...it's not going to happen.

Governor Perry has requested an additional 600 state police officers to help out in both Houston and Galveston. Only 6 agents from the Dallas and Fort Worth districts of Chris' agency originally went last week. ALL of the remaining agents from both districts will now be heading down there on Monday. Ergo, no one to swap out with Chris. Ergo, he stays.

If I go into labor between now and the 29th, they allow him to come home at that time. If it's during the day, he can get over to Houston Hobby airport and I can get him on a plane up here - 45 minute ride and since I work for AA, it won't be any big deal to get him a seat. We run planes out of Hobby constantly from about 6 AM until about 8 PM. If it's during the night...well...it's a long drive up from Galveston. Even with lights and sirens. I've threatened the baby with duct tape.

So I'm coming to you again to ask for a few prayers. We need for this little girl to stay put until her daddy can come home. I'm trying to do my part by following my doctor's orders as best I can to restrict movement. But I have to tell you that I'm feeling a bit frantic. My intuition is that she's not going to follow orders that nicely...and that it'll become a matter of her racing her dad. In fact, I'm firmly convinced of this. And unfortunately, my intuition is typically dead on. Ask my friends about the times that I get up to go answer the phone before it even rings...

So in any case, that's our update. Hope ya'll are having a good weekend! I'm still trying to figure out how to dial back and do this whole relaxation thing.

Oh, Those Crazy Cats!

Our home plays host to two wild and crazy cats who know exactly what station in life they hold - as masters of the house! Over the past few weeks, here are just some of the shots we got.

Yin and Yang

Thanks for the new digs, Ma!

What's with the baby sh!t? I need room!

Mom's office is pretty cool...

...for napping in, at least!
It's ok, she naps here, too!


But I don't want to wear a diaper!

First, check your mirrors.

Then, glance behind you.

Time to hit the road!

That's my Mama...back off!

Happy Weekend, ya'll!

Another Fabulous Friday

It occurred to me today that with Spoiled Baby making her own plans to enter the world (see the post on that over at How to Have a Baby), I won't have many more Fridays without her by my side! In fact...this could be my last. Wow!

It's incredible to look back and realize how much time has passed since we first found out she was coming. Absolutely incredible. And although it now seems that life is in fast forward and she'll be here before we know it...I can't wait!

Although, really, I can. First...she needs to grow, just a bit more. Second...I need Funny Daddy to get home before she gets here. (See the post on where he is over at Breakfast at Tiffany's.)

Question to all you mamas out there - in the last weeks of your pregnancies, what were you most looking forward to, other than the obvious fact that your baby would soon be a part of the world?

Have a great weekend, ya'll!