Sunday, September 14, 2008

Follow me here.

I made the switch to wordpress. I'm a bit sad to be leaving this site, but think the new one will have more to offer in the long run. But, hey who maybe I'll keep this one around for a little while just for the heck of it. I might hate it over there for all I know. Ok, so here's the link.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Yikes is right, it's Ike.

Beth sure is right, yikes is all I can say for the residents facing the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. Many of you may be sick to death of all my hurricane talk around here, but mother nature truly is an awesome force to be reckoned with and I simply cannot resist documenting her destruction, along with some history.

Storms have always fascinated me. Floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, lightening, earthquakes, name it...and I am glued for hours to the television. You can imagine my joy when I was offered a course in college called "Natural and Man-made Disasters". It covered all of the above and more.

I learned so much in this one little class, that it spurred my desire to change my minor from history to geography and to wish my actual major was in geography. At the time, it was way too late in the game to do that. And so, my minor became all things topographical, cultural, and historical. That's the thing about geography it covers everything. It's a wonderful subject and major that is often overlooked.
One of the topics we had covered, obviously had been hurricanes. Hurricanes were a huge deal since ODU was located in Norfolk, which is barely above sea level and is a major U.S. port. Therefore, our professor (Freebird as we called him) assigned us to read the book, Issac's Storm by Eric Larson. This is the 1900 storm that devastated Galveston, Texas killing over 6,000 people because the United States choose not to heed Cuba's warnings of the approaching Category 5 storm. (-Which in retrospect, the storm's category is actually unknown since wind and surge instruments and other meterologist tools were just beginning to be invented. It may have been more of a Category 3.) However, this very storm is what prompted the city to build a seawall. Up until Ike, this seawall had been good at protecting its citizens. For more on Isaac's storm and to view a few pictures, visit this link.

Both this story and Ike, remind me of my days living in Houston and how on the weekends, I would visit Galveston pier. It prompted a search for an old picture of me fishing off the pier at Galveston Islands. (where I accidentally hooked a stingray and couldn't catch anything more than baby shark.) My interest in this picture is that this pier I am pictured on has a large hotel sitting out on it about 1000 feet from the main road- (Seawall Blvd.)
I remember thinking to myself, one day that thing isn't going to be there. I also remember being amazed as I realized how vast the sea really was. (Even though, I frequented the beaches of the east coast since a child, I never fully realized how big fish could get or how powerful hurricanes really were. I was a naive soul back then.) Anyway, here is a picture of the Flagship Hotel minus me. This is a video of the Seawall Blvd. and the Pier yesterday before even making landfall. Look how high the surge is and the Ike was still some 9 hours away! I wonder if it has survived. As I search the Internet today, I will keep you posted.

Although, I doubt that many folks have lost their lives because of modern inventions, I do fear there will be a death toll since only 60% of the Galveston residences actually evacuated- leaving nearly 20,000 or so brave souls to weather Ike's impact alone.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

So much to say

I really truly wanted to have a post that remembered 9/11, although I wasn't there- it touched me the same ways it touched all Americans. I also wanted to create a post on Galveston/Houston and the impending hurricane, along with a few other things I have been meaning to get around to but still haven't! So, you may be asking- if I have all these things I want to say, why don't I? I mean I am sitting here typing....

Well, thing is my ECZEMA is DRIVING ME CRAZY. I get one area ALMOST completely healed and wham bam thank you m'am if I don't get another annoying area that sprouts up. Here's the deal- I usually get eczema in a variety of areas, usually all are manageable, except in between my fingers or say under my ring on my ring finger.

This location has officially prevented me from wearing my ring since I gave birth to Garrett. Before Garrett was born I had to stop wearing my rings because my hands were swollen. Sunday we took my wedding band in to be resized to see if this corrects the situation since my eczema in this locations has almost cleared up.

Now, if you know anything about this EVIL SKIN CONDITION, you would know that it is an immune disease, kinda like asthma (actually very very similar, as your immune system attacks your skin, rather than your lungs in this case). There are no known causes, it simply exists. A few theories link it to food, a lack of good bacteria (bifidus stuff) and stress. I think it has MANY triggers (an overabundance of perfumes, dyes, chemicals, lotions, plastics...yep you name it) yet it's primary cause is genetic and possibly related to chemicals found in one's life (environment, food, etc.), but again who really knows. It is obvious though, in my opinion that it is the body's response to pollutants or what it believes to be pollutants.

With all that said, I have suffered OFF and ON for oh ALL MY LIFE! I have years when it is dormant and everything is peachy, hunky dory and then there are times like NOW that are agony. And this go around it hasn't even been as bad as it CAN be. Yeah, you heard that correctly.

I have had it so bad that I wake myself up in the middle of the night scratching at my skin, so frantically that I feel a sensation like pin pricks/goose bumps upon my skin- only to find I have made myself bleed. The scratching is that intense. Luckily it has not gotten that bad since my college finals. (read stress) Now, I have learned to control it, with a few outbreaks here and there. I was dealing with it as best could be with only a heavier hydrocortisone when I felt it warranted getting a prescription of Elidel (the 2002 Drug of the Year). My regular doctor prescribed it without a whim and said use it sparingly. Oh ok. So, because I am anal about things, I look up some more information on it (I used this stuff like it was going out of style when it first came out, but no one had said use it sparingly.) I find out the FDA has now given it a BLACK BOX WARNING, meaning it MAY cause issues (as in skin cancer or lymphoma from prolonged use and too much use while in the sunlight). Ok, so now if I use it I have to be careful it isn't SUNNY out. Great.

I also have another ointment that is a pure steroid cream (another use sparingly product) that is awesome and I actually think has less bad effects (skin thinning and screws up your endocrine system- which indirectly effects my milk supply) vs. cancer. Anyway, I was using it as prescribed- and read up that Elidel could be used on the face, the other can't. Thing is I get dried cracks on the sides of my lips- I used it and it started clearing it up. Well, guess what....

It appears that I didn't wash my hands good enough after applying the ointment to my fingers or that I have overused the product because now I am plagued by Perioral Dermatitis. This can be caused by hydrocortisones/steroids! In this case, I am pretty sure it is. Lovely.

I am at my wit's end. The recommended course for treatment is bacterial creams. Well, as someone who already has had 3 course of antibiotics this year, I feel I really cannot succumb to anymore rounds of antibiotics and feel still feel safe. (A buildup of resistant bacteria can occur from overuse of antibiotics or by not completing your full dose of antibiotics.) I'm starting to think I am a worry wort.

I feel somewhat better now, if anything maybe I educated some folks on eczema and it's EVIL nature. I don't think I can take much more of this horrible disease. I am asking for any prayer, big or small. Thank you in advance.

In the meantime, I will be saying a silent prayer in remembrance of New York City and another that God looks over the Texas coast as Ike approaches.

Those people I call family

Disclaimer: Certain family members may not want to proceed reading this, as you might get mad at me. Of course you never visit this site, so that really shouldn't be a problem, now should it.

(The players)

Nana: the overzealous hip grandmother/mother that is NEVER wrong or to be called out on.

Jessica: the dramatic, heartbroken, soul searching twenty-something roller coaster.

Me: The sane and calm refereeing 'what about me!?!' mother.

(The Scene)

Sitting up in bed enjoying my *new* Corel Draw program with Garrett snugly sleeping next to me. As I was lost in my musings, the cellphone jingled that rather annoying tune that I have yet to change at what seemed the highest decimal it possibly could muster. I tried quickly to reach it's blaring high pitch before Garrett began to arouse. (He has been teething and dealing with a bit of an upset stomach the last few nights, seems oatmeal is rough to digest just yet.) I reach the phone and answer without hesitation as I see the name Nana. Something could be wrong.

Last night went something like this:

Nana- "Hi, I didn't wake you, did I?"

Me- (In a whisper, thinking all the while, "Doesn't she, of all people know better?") "No. But he's asleep."

Nana- "Oh, well I just have a question. Did you tell Jessica....that I left her alone with your friends without you, when she was a child?"

Me- (No, where is this going?) "No. Why?"

Nana- "Well, she says she remembers me leaving her and her friend alone at the house as I went to the store when she was about 8. I didn't though. Here, I'll let you talk to her."

Me- (Doesn't anyone care that I have a baby under 6 months old that I am taking care of and that he is sleeping right now? Or that I have to get up and work tomorrow?)

Jessica- (a bit over dramatic if you will) "She is such a liar. I know she left us. Why can't she just admit it? I don't care that she did. I just want her to say whoa you remember that. Because, she is making me feel like I am crazy. But, I know what I remember Brooky."

Me- (Trying to console as quietly as possible) "That's how mom is. She isn't going to say she did it, so you should just drop it. But, if you remember it, it most likely did happen."

Jessica- "Then why can't she say it's true?"

Me- (Trying to sooth my waking baby while juggling the phone at my shoulder.)"Because that's just how she is. You need to just drop this, you guys have a flight to catch tomorrow. You really shouldn't be arguing now."

Jessica- "I'm not going anywhere with a liar."

Me- (My voice is now much higher and my child is awake and staring at me, listening to my irritation.) "Oh, pu...leaseeeee. Just stop it, Rod bought those tickets for you guys, you have to go. So get over this, you need to accept mom for who she is. She isn't going to change."

This continued for another 20 minutes. Garrett is wide awake and restless now. I am seriously irritated, but maintain composure pretty darn well. Although at one point, I thought I was going to pull my hair out. I kept thinking, why exactly was I called? (I guess deep down we are all selfish and narcissistic.) But, really did I need to be brought into this one? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy being called, etc., etc., etc....However, I get a little annoyed that no one acknowledges my life here with Garrett. Or that I would love to hear from them some other time, preferably when they are not bickering over nonsense.

After we got off the phone, I realized how wonderfully content I am with my new family, my own family. We are so happy together. In a pretty sickening way I guess, but I love it that way. I find so much balance with Bryan and Garrett- I feel peaceful with them. And I'm relieved that I don't have to deal with all that family drama on a weekly basis. (no offense to mom or Jessica if you're reading this...which I doubt.)

Moral of the story:
I guess sometimes a person needs a little shock to the old system to let them know how good life really is.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Picture Perfect.

A tad bit's Tuesday's picture.

This was taken after church a couple weeks ago. The baby pictured was absolutely fabulous during the service. What can I say? He is my baby. Only kidding. I mean he is my baby and all, oh you know what I mean!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Going in Circles (Not me, silly.)

I'm my own worse nightmare. I have reverted to eating peanut butter out of the jar. It seems I have come to a point in this motherhood life that eating is now a past-time. It seems to be all I want to do anymore. Or rather, the only thing I have time for. This probably explains why I have begun baking all the time. It's something that I can actually accomplish while wearing Garrett. If you were wondering, it appears I don't have an easy baby at all, unless this consists of constant entertaining or holding. Happy and alert, yes. Easy, no. Problem is, when he is 'preoccupied' with something, I feel guilty as if I should be conversing or playing with him. Sometimes mommy-hood is torture. I can't even imagine what my world will be like as this child begins to crawl. At which time, I will officially lose my rights altogether. Whatever rights those were.

Now don't take this the wrong way, but I feel like, since Bryan is with Garrett in the mornings from about 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. that he uses up all his 'preoccupied time'. (a.k.a. mommy free time) I only come to this conclusion because Bryan is less apt to pick him up the minute he cries or is fussy. The other reason I think this is true is because by this point he realizes that I am gone, so when I am at home he wants all of my attention. Is there some great secret to juggling all this? Let's not even get into the cleaning department. (- as it has taken a deep rooted backseat to anything and everything at this point.) What's a mommy to do?

In an effort to give myself a moment of sanity and clarity, I have been popping in a Baby Einstein video here and there. We have about 6 that I rotate as much as possible. Garrett really loves them all, except for the one titled Bach- he never truly focuses on that particular one, but they all last about 20 or so minutes (just the right amount of time for his attention span)... unfortunately not at all enough time for me. Usually, it simply gets me started into something, only to have to quit in the middle of what I am doing. Sometimes, I am really bad and restart the dang thing just to finish what it is I am doing. Like now. (Cough, Cough.)

Let's however, get the record straight, I am not a mother that plops or intends to plop her child in front of the television. I frankly think that this is what's wrong with the world today. That and the wonderful computer. (And yes, I am indeed calling the kettle black on that one.) I do feel pushed up against the wall as a mother though on this matter. I mean when is it too much and is this too young to use the television? I know many balk at the idea of allowing a baby to see videos and such, but really what is a mother to do and what in the world did mothers years and years ago do to get a small moment to themselves? Maybe the 'me' of mommy didn't exist back then. I don't know, I know there certainly isn't an easy solution and I can only do my best with what I believe is right or appropriate.

Well, it looks like it's time to go get some more peanut butter. Garrett is staring at me wide eyed as he completes his fifth circle in less than five minutes.

And for the record, honey peanut butter is really much better than the plain stuff.

(Suggestions, as always are welcome.)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Time to be GrEeN CONTEST.

I've been trying to decide what day to be GREEN on and exactly what could be included on these posts. I'm still working on the details, but I think Sundays should be GREEN because it's already my zen day, so it only makes sense to make it green, too.

I'm not going to share any 'green ideas' on this post. Rather, I would like to pose a question to you the reader. (I'm also hoping some of those lurkers start speaking up...I mean come on, you can be anonymous and still post!!!)

Anyway, my question is this: What prevents YOU from being more green and how could you change this?

Write up a short thought-provoking paragraph or so that really gets ya' thinking about all the ways you could and can be more green, along with what personally gets in your way of doing it. In return, I will randomly give away one of my GREEN bags.

(The contest will last the whole month of September).