Wednesday, August 31, 2005

We take too much for granted

This catastrophe should be a huge wake up call for us as Americans. Life is precarious. Things we have today may not be here tomorrow.

I feel so badly for the women who joke they want their epidurals in their 8th month because they don't want to feel the pain of childbirth. What's going to happen if there's a natural disaster in YOUR area and the epidural isn't available? How do you plan on dealing with that?

What about the babies who's mothers aren't breastfeeding? The formula isn't available now. What are you going to do? THe best thing these women can do at the moment is pray the baby can remember how to latch on. Pray that they are able to relactate because that's the best bet for baby.

Diapers. Where are they going to come from?

simply put, many of the crutches we lean on as mothers, our 'back up' plans are gone if there is a disaster.

homebirthers are usually mocked and tsks because "what are you going to do in an emergency?" but let me ask YOU, what are YOU going to do in an emergency if the hospital isn't there? if that bottle of formula isn't available?

It is vitally important for women to be taught what to do in an emergency other than "call 911" because 911 might not be there either.

and it wouldn't hurt to learn how to tie your baby or child to you either. - Behind the Scenes: Katrina aftermath hits LSU hard

This just breaks my heart. I cannot fathom what is happening. But at the same time I almost envy those who are actually able to be there to DO something. I hate just being a few hundred miles away and not able to get there to help. - Behind the Scenes: Katrina aftermath hits LSU hard

Editor's note: The following is a firsthand account from Bill Martin, a student assistant in the sports information office at LSU, of the devastation from Hurricane Katrina being felt in Baton Rouge and the horrors he witnessed on Tuesday night and into Wednesday.

Little did I know what I would be doing following Hurricane Katrina's aftermath, but as I type right now, there won't be a more gratifying or more surreal experience than I went through tonight.

Associated Press
Flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has been catastrophic throughout Louisiana.
We went up to the office today and held a press conference regarding the postponement of the [North Texas] game and it was the right decision. As the Pete Maravich Assembly Center and Field House are being used as shelters, we decided as an office to do everything we could to help the situation.

At first, we were just supposed to make copies of this disaster relief form for all of the people. The copiers will never print a document more important than that.

It's weird. Nearly 12 hours ago we were running off copies of game notes for a football game that is now meaningless. We printed the copies and carried them over to the Field House at 6:30 p.m. I wouldn't leave the area for another eight hours.

On the way back to the PMAC in a cart, it looked like the scene in the movie Outbreak. FEMA officials, U.S. Marshalls, National Guard, and of course the survivors.

Black Hawks were carrying in victims who were stranded on roofs. Buses rolled in from New Orleans with other survivors. As Michael and I rode back to the PMAC, a lady fell out of her wheelchair and we scrambled to help her up.

We met Coach [Les] Miles and Coach [Tommy] Moffitt in the PMAC to see all the survivors and it was the view of a hospital. Stretchers rolled in constantly, and for the first time in my life, I saw someone die right in front of me.

A man rolled in from New Orleans and was badly injured on his head. Five minutes later he was dead. And that was the scene all night.

What did we do? We started hauling in supplies, and thousands of boxes of supplies. The CDC from Atlanta arrived directing us what to do.

One of the U.S. Marshalls was on hand so the supplies could not become loot. I asked him what his primary job was. He serves on the committee of counter terrorism, but once he saw of the disaster, he donated his forces to come help. He said the death toll could be nearing 10,000. It was sickening to hear that.

After unloading supplies, I started putting together baby cribs and then IV poles. Several of our football players and Big Baby (Glen Davis) and Tasmin Mitchell helped us.

At the same time, families and people strolled in. Mothers were giving birth in the locker rooms. The auxiliary gym "Dungeon" was being used as a morgue. I couldn't take myself down there to see it.

I worked from 8 p.m., until 2:45 a.m. Before I left, three more buses rolled in and they were almost out of room. People were standing outside. The smells, the sights were hard to take.

A man lying down on a cot asked me to come see him.

He said, "I just need someone to talk to, to tell my story because I have nobody and nothing left."

He turned out to be a retired military veteran. His story was what everybody was saying. He thought he survived the worst, woke up this morning and the levees broke. Within minutes water rushed into his house.

He climbed to the attic, smashed his way through the roof and sat there for hours. He was completely sunburned and exhausted. Nearly 12 hours later a chopper rescued him and here he was.

We finished the night hauling boxes of body bags and more were on the way. As we left, a man was strolled in on a stretcher and scarily enough he suffered gunshots. The paramedic said he was shot several times because a looter or a convict needed his boat and he wouldn't give it to him.

Another man with him said it was "an uncivilized society no better than Iraq down there right now." A few minutes later, he was unconscious and later pronounced dead. I then left as they were strolling a 3-year old kid in on a stretcher. I couldn't take it anymore.

That was the scene at the PMAC and it gives me a new perspective on things. For those of you who I haven't been able to get in touch with because of phone service, I pray you are safe. Send me an email to let me know. God bless. encourages donations to the American Red Cross. You can specify your donation go toward "2005 Hurricane Relief." To make donations, please click here.

This was reprinted with the permission of Mr. Martin. The death toll estimate that he was given should be considered speculative at best.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

from my 2 yo,...

Kari turned two last week, to give you an idea how "two" she is.

We've been working with my 4 yo to learn letter sounds and of course, Kari is involved. Working on the B sound, I asked "what goes "buh buh buh?" and Kari piped in "a sheep!"


my sister!

she lives in carol county georgia. just saw on CNN that it was hit by a tornado. we haven't heard from her (even before this...there are some issues) but i am no so worried about her!


Words truly cannot express how my heart aches for the millions of people who's lives are going to be forever altered because of this hurricane. I do not believe there are adequate words to describe even what has happened.

What can you do to help?

Well, for us, the first place we are turning to is our Church as they are very good about organizing efforts to assist those in need. Just five weeks ago, following Hurricane Dennis, my husband went to the Mobile area to help clean up. I suspect we will be going down again...though, we're not sure whether it will be to Mobile or Western Alabama.

Next, contact the Red Cross. They will probably be deluged with calls, though. Donate blood! Even though there may not be an imminent need for blood in the area, it is always needed.

Following Hurricane Ivan, we were asked to donate clothes, especially for children. I had planned on donating our outgrown clothes to a local thrift store, but now they will be heading south.

Other items that will probably be needed include sanitary supplies, diapers, formula, the things you just don't really think about needing because they are *always* available.

I am particularly worried about the diseases that will become rampant in the area that we haven't seen in many years...diseases that are caused by unsanitary conditions. These people don't have clean water, sanitation systems...*shudder*

I also worry about the pregnant women and children. I can't imagine abandoning my home while hugely pregnant and then losing everything. It is horrible.

Prayers go out to those who have been touched by this storm that they may have the strength to endure the challenges and the wisdom to see the miracles and blessings that surely the Lord has in store for them. It is times like this, I remember that the Lord does not give us more than we can bear.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

a compliment...i think

during the stage when children don't want their food to touch, is also the perfect time for them not to want their siblings to touch them either. this means in order to have sanity at the dinner table, you have to buy those spiffy divided plates. And, in order to have sanity in public, the children have to be divided up with parents in between. If you have too many children to do this, well...I suppose you just have to put up with the stares and dirty looks for bad behavior. ;) I am fully justified in saying this as a mother of four! I know those dirty looks all too well...

a friend called to see how we were preparing for the storm. in the coversation she says "your kids did really well in church today! i didn't hear them at all!"


and yes, we WERE there and we decided to sit in the front. It went child_mom with child on lap_ child_dad_child.

watching the storm

Like so many others across the country, we are glued to coverage of Katrina. Winds are 160 mph with gusts up to 200 mph. Having been through hurricane Ivan, albeit 180 miles inland, I just can't wrap my brain around winds that strong. It is simply unimaginable.

I am also so worried about the people seeking shelter in the SuperDome. If, worst case scenario, the city is under 20 feet of water and it will take a month or more to drain it, what will these people do? How will they eat? The sanitation system in the city will be shot so naturally the superdome will not be able to sustain 70,000 people with no working sewers. The disease potential is just awful.

It makes our concerns about whether or not we'll have school tomorrow seem so...miniscule. Hubby teaches at a school just at the border of where the national weather service has issued a hurricane warning. We're "safely" inside an area of tropical storm warning.

So many people will be effected by this storm.

Gas prices will top $70/barrel; produces prices will increase; clothing costs will increase. The cost will be felt by everyone. Even with the damage Ivan did last year, we were paying $5/lb for tomatoes! they are anticipating the cotton crop in Mississippi will be wiped out.

Prayers aren't just needed for those in the area, but for everyone to be able to afford the economic fallout from this storm.

confessions of a bargain hunter

I consider myself frugal. I am not cheap, however. I don't separate 2-ply toilet paper; I don't rinse out baggies so I can reuse them; I don't wash out my tinfoil to get extra uses. I do clip coupons, watch the sales, stockpile items and, heaven forbid, follow up if something doesn't live up to the warranty.

Today, I got to throw the clerks at Sears for a loop. They have a program called KidVantage. When you purchase $100 in children's clothing, you earn a $15 rebate or something like that. Another wonderful perk of the program is that items are guaranteed. That is to say, if your child wears out the clothing before they grow out of it, it will be replaced.

Most people probably forget where they buy the clothes or figure it's not worth it to drive down to the store to replace. Not me. I've got other kids waiting to wear those it may be several years down the road before it happens, but there's a line. (OK, confession much as I am frugal, I have had to break myself of the habit of holding on to clothing. It must be in excellent condition to warrant taking up my precious space. Most things get donated.)

In February, I bought my oldest a pair of pants that were slightly too big. He was in that awkward stage of too tall for size 8 but too short for 10s. We bought him a 10. He played hard in those pants, so hard that he wore a hole into the cuff. You betcha I marched those pants into Sears and wanted an exchange.

Now the problem I have, and I'm not sure what to do about it is this: The original pants had an adjustable waist. Dear son is too big around the middle for slims but regulars just about fall off of him and he hates wearing a belt. They were completely out of the pants we originally purchased. We had to replace them with a pair in the same size of equal or lesser value. They didn't have any wtih the adjustable waist. I'm very tempted to have DH take these pants back and exchange them for a 10 slim because those *Should* fit. But then I feel dishonest. thoughts?

Second thing I had fun with today was shopping at the new Publix. The supermarket is opening two new stores in our fair city, presumably to compete wtih the two super walmarts and the new super walmart being built. We have something like 5 superwalmarts within 20 miles. it's obnoxious.

Anyway, I was able to get sugar at a very good price, but other than that, this store was more expensive than the walmart. I really have no idea how they are going to compete. A large grocery chain in the area is going out of business because they can't compete. And the other large chain, eh...they aren't exactly the place of bargains either. I really expected this new store to cater to a market different than the other stores.

I wasn't really all that impressed with their prices, but I will probably end up shopping there for one or two items at a time, if I run out. In order for me to justify shopping at the super walmart, it needs to be a big trip. I use a gallon of gas to get to the walmart and back home. Right now, that's $2.50. In order to justify shopping at the neighborhood stores, I have to either a) save more than $2.50 over walmart prices, or b) spend less than $2.50 between gas and the cost difference between the stores. For example, soy milk is $2.18 for a half gallon at walmart. If I were to go to walmart I would actually be paying $4.68 for that soy milk if that were the only thing I needed. And let's be honest here, if I go into walmart I will spend A LOT more than what I intended. Now, let's pretend I go to Publix. The soy milk there is $2.60 but I only went 6 miles roundtrip, so the actual cost is $3.85...and I'm less likely to buy other junk I don't need because the publix is over priced on most other items.

Sometimes, I being frugal involves too much math.

Friday, August 26, 2005

speaking of big girl panties...

My little girl turns 2 today. I can't believe the time has gone so quickly. Happily, for her birthday she gave mama a present. she wants to wear big girl panties! woohoo potty training made easy.

the only "down side" to all of this is that the makers of little girl panties don't make girlie style panties with dinosaurs or trains or cool superheros like batman or spiderman. If she didn't obsessively watch dora and carry around her babies and only want to drink out of the purple cup, I'd think I finally got my tom boy.

When it comes to panties, if she can't have dora, or "estrella" (stars), she wants dinosaurs "raarrrrr" and "chugachuga choochoo" panties.

Thankfully, her big brother has more than enough unders that kari can snag a few pairs of his and be blissful in her big girl...err boy...errr...big KID panties.

i do take requests

for music that is. let me know what you think of my tunes. i have rather eclectic tastes so you never know what's going to show up.

Ok, I hear ya loud and clear

This is a vent. Feel free to skip this if you don't like this sort of post.

The problem started about two or three weeks ago...or maybe it was in June, hard to tell. My computer died in June. During this time, I went "inactive" on a messageboard and all the inactive accounts were deleted. I can understand that. Well, I was reinstated...for about a week or so. Then, my account was deleted/disabled again, even though I was posting regularly. I emailed several people, including moderators and sent several emails and private messages to the one person who could reinstate me. I posted for help. Those posts went ignored.

OK y'all I get the hint now. I've somehow offended someone somewhere and I'm no longer welcome.

Oh and I'm posting on my blog because only about 10 people read it instead of the multitude of people I could gripe to elsewhere. I need to gripe because, well, my feelings *are* hurt. I've never intentionally hurt someone or posted offense (except maybe to well known trolls). So, I guess this is sort of taking the high road. I need to vent. I posted to my blog...not the other place. I'm also upset because how hard would it have been to email me and set this straight? If memberships were going to be limited or something, again an email would have cleared up all the confusion. Would my feelings be any less hurt? Probably! Now I feel absolutely snubbed...this is so freaking junior high...why oh why am I still playing these games?

anyway, I think I'm done venting now.

you know what i'd love

cookies for lunch. heck i'd love to be able to keep anything down right now. darn kids. why'd they have to go and get me sick???

Thursday, August 25, 2005


For the first time in more than 9 years, we are TTC. Shocked? Especially since we have four children already?

People say "don't you know what causes it?" I answer "I know what causes it, it's the preventing it that's the problem!"

Of our four darlings, three were conceived while trying to prevent. I have lost pretty much all faith in human-designed ways to prevent pregnancy. I've come to the mind that if God decides that it's time for me to have a baby, no amount of preventing on my part is going to keep that from happening.

So with great excitement, we're are now TTC. We feel ready. We want another child. We feel another child is out there waiting for us.

Of course, it took us 18 months to conceive our first. Now that we're actually trying again, I'm half expecting it to take a long time again since we're now doing this because we want to and not necessarily because God has decided it's time. I mean, we're open to God's plan for our family, believe's just we're saying, finally "OK, Lord we're ready!" and the cynic in me is thinking the Lord will answer, "Great, but it's not time yet."

Now, after I ovulated, I get to play the great waiting game. Watching my temps and waiting for any sign that we might have succeeded on our first try.

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

greetings from the trenches

holding out here in puke central. my youngest started throwing up yesterday. if she were a grown up, she'd have been praying to the porcelain god with both ends. it was pretty awful.

today she was doing much better. no pukes and only once with the other nasty business. all was starting to look right with the world.

i decided to be domestic during her nap. i was lucky enough that the daycare kids i have also went down for a nap at the same time. Ben was happily playing on the computer. I made, are you ready for this??? Lasagna noodles FROM SCRATCH. I've never done such a thing before and it was surprisingly easy. During the nap, I managed to get my entire lasagna prepped and ready to pop in the oven.

it's times like these when i realize it wasn't a domestic diva moment. it was actually my mommy instinct quietly whispering in the background "you better get dinner ready now because you won't be able to get anything done by 5 pm"

I walked my daycare kids back across the street to their house and handed the reigns back to mom. Little boy turned around and hurled all over mom's shoes. Next, he let go in the bushes. I happily, ignorantly ran back home thinking "glad he's not coming over tomorrow since it's dad's day off!"

Once at home, i turn the oven on and dinner is going. Then, all you-know-what breaks loose. The older two kids scream "ewwwww! MOMMMMMYYYYYY!!!!!!!! ben just puked everywhere!"

Just peachy.

Dh gets home. Dinner is done in a few minutes and DH announces that the little one is naked again. He takes her to the potty then, much to my dismay, we hear that familiar gurgle in the hallway...Ben is letting loose again.

Ben now has a puke bucket chained around his neck. It'll be his new bedtime buddy.

I look over at my 6 yo at the dinner table. Lasagna is one of her favorite foods. She's picking at it. "Mommy, my tummy hurts."

I quickly slide the food away from her and get up from the table. I hand her a puke bucket and send her off to bed.

I have a feeling it's going to be a long long weekend. Surely by Friday the oldest will have it. It will make it's way through our family by Sunday.

At least with something like this, there's an end in sight...too bad it's still 5 days away.

Monday, August 22, 2005

i'm gonna dieeeeeeeee

its 1030 am. it is 91 degrees. heat index is 102. real feel is 114.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

just cause i enjoyed this so much

if you scroll down on the left, there's a link to "napolean's sweet ads"

it's a must see for dynamite fans!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

sleep is highly overrated

That, at least, seems to be the view of my children. I have no idea how a child that has a complete meltdown if she doesn't get her nap by 1 p.m. (11 a.m. pacific), can have four hours of sleep and be playing happily while i'm walking around in a complete daze. It makes absolutely no sense.

I am just praying she goes down for a nice long nap in about an hour (taking her nap 3 hours early) so I can catch some zzzz. Thankfully, my older child will quietly watch The Heffalump movie while I doze. I'm also very glad it's not the loud obnoxious movie he used to like to watch. There's no way I could close my eyes for even a moment on the couch then!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Cookies sound so good today

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I went to a 45 minute spinning class followed by time on the elyptical then the treadmill. Now, I realize I need to clear up any possible misconception that i am some super exercising goddess (c'mon i know you were thinking it). That was the first time I've worked out in a good month or so. I used to be pretty good about going, but summer vacation hit. OK, more honesty...the good month is in dog months, you know, a month in human terms is 3 months in dog terms.

Anyway, back to spinning. My head is still spinning and I want to sit down, but I can't because my butt hurts too badly! More accurately the inner part of my legs that were in contact with the bike seat are killing me. I swear, I must have bruised them they hurt soooo deeply. I was going to go spinning again today, but I don't think I can muster it. I'll probably leave in about 30 minutes and hit a water aerboics class before I start my circuit training orientation. I am determined to lose this weight before we get pregnant!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

my first post on my new blog....

this post is really to explain how my blog got it's name and just a sample of some of what you will read here.

today is definitely one of those days...

it started out well enough. got the kids to school on time, came home and loaded the daycare kids up in my van then we all headed off to the ymca. i did 45 minutes of spinning class followed by some time in the treadmill and elyptical machines. i was beat!

once we got home is when things went wrong, terribly wrong. and, amazingly enough, kari wasn't the culprit this time!

i was unloading the kids from the van. got everyone settled inside. the baby was asleep in her carseat. kari wanted to nurse and ben wanted a cookie. i told ben to wait just a moment and i would help him. but, ben, being an independent 4 yo decided to help himself. normally this wouldn't be a problem, but this time, ben didn't know where i put the cookies.

he saw a bag on top of the fridge that in his mind, looked like it could hold the cookies. problem: it was a can of paint....a can of RED paint.

so i did what any exasperated mother would do...i shoved the kids into the backyard and tried to clean up the mess. there was so much paint! at first, i tried slopping it up but that just made it bigger. then it came to me...i hadn't finished painting this color in the i got out my roller and painted the doors down the hallway! there was just enough paint on the floor to cover 3 1/2 doors.

by this time, the kids were done outside ... so i gave them the cookies and said "have at it!" i figured it would keep them quiet and out of my way while i moved the refrigerator (did i mention the paint spilled down the front of my freshly painted cabinets and my brand new refrigerator?)

meanwhile, the baby is waking up and screaming. she had to wait.

my hair is now covered in red paint, my gym clothes are covered in red paint, my cabinet is covered in red paint...but the floor and the refrigerator aren't. the kids are happy now...and i'm completely pooped!