Saturday, October 18, 2008

I need a break... and told him about it

I need a fucking break. I've been at home, since the day we got to Colorado, every single day while my husband goes to work (it's a retail/photography gig, but at least he gets to leave the house!). I love my daughter, I really do, but I need a break. On his days off, he lets me sleep in, but that doesn't cut it as I get up with them anyway. On his days off from work, it seems as though he expects me to do what I do every single day while he's at work.

He's not keeping me from working; from those previous journals I've made about job searching, you would know I'm constantly looking for work and setting up interviews earlier in the morning so he can have the car for work. So, he's not being an asshole about me not working; in fact, we both know that I have to work.

But, I need a fucking break. I have found wonderful programs on Sprout, Noggin and Discovery Kids that Bella is interested in and can learn from. The only three things I don't let her watch (just because I find them annoying or irritating) are Caillou, Barney and TeleTubbies (and, no, not because of Tinky Winky [I think that's the name], the supposed "gay" one; I couldn't be a bigger advocate of gay rights).

She loves playing with tupperware and rubber-maid bowls, flat magnets on the fridge and dragging her favorite blankets around. She loves watching music videos that Daddy has saved on his youtube account. Ludo's "Love Me Dead" is a definite favorite; it's the only one where she claps her hands and says, "Yay!"

I need to get out of the house and let him hang out with Bella all day. I'd love an all day thing, even if it's going to a friend's house to visit all day. The only money spent is for gas. There are some friends here I still haven't seen yet (deelucas, MommyMeghera) as well as new friends I've never physically met (kimberlee382)! I would like a Bella-free day so I can take a break and breathe.

I'm sure other stay-at-home-moms feel the same way, at times. I'm sure they feel it even more if their spouse doesn't help. While I'm home, I care for Bella (fed, clothed, napped) as well as the dishes, any cooking/food prep for dinner, and any other cleaning that needs to be done around my parent's home (yep, we're still there/here).

Thanks for listening to my bitching.

Added:

Not from him, mind you. He asked me what I was talking about. He thought it was becuase of him. I told him that it wasn't, that I just needed a break and proceeded to tell him that I wasn't sure how stay-at-home-moms did it without going insane.

I love Belladonna with everything that I am, but I'm going crazy not working. He's not with her as much as I am. He doesn't know just how much of a pain she can be sometimes. Yes, I know what I was getting into when I told him, "Let's try for a baby," in late 2005. I know a lot will say, "Welcome to Parenthood." That's perfectly fine because I knew what I was doing. I just need a break from the walls of this house, especially the negativity from "Peepa" (Grampa Asshole).

The depression that I've had the last several years isn't helping, either. I need to get out of the house. There are days when I just want to crawl into bed and cry, for no good reason. There are days when I want nothing to do with my child. I spend time with her to get over that. I love my daughter and couldn't imagine my life without her.

He said that he misses our date night; I do, too. But, it's not going to happen for a long time. We can't count on my mom or Asshole to get up in the middle of the night if Bella wakes up. I'm constantly afraid that when she starts crying or screaming at night, he's going to wake up and do something drastic. Ever since the day he nearly hit her when throwing his bag on the floor, I've been fearful. My mother says to not take it personally when he doesn't acknowledge my daughter or doesn't take me seriously; it's kinda difficult to do that when it's been that way your entire life. My husband (and mother-in-law) believe in just letting it go. It's easier said than done and he realizes that.

I've taken great strides since leaving home in 2003. I have a backbone and I'm not afraid to tell you what's on my mind. There have been several occasions since we've been here that I wanted to tell him what I thought of him, but she's stopped me. I really wish she wouldn't; he needs to hear it. (The previous paragraphs have a journal entry all their own and I wrote one, but it was done on MySpace and I lost it while trying to post it.)

Anyway, that was a tangent I didn't mean to take. I think my husband understands. I told him (in not so many words), that I don't like the fact that I have to ask him to do things (like taking care of the dishes in the sink/dishwasher and laundry) on the days he's home and I have interviews/appointments. I asked him to do these things on Monday and he did them. Super. I had another appointment on Tuesday and nothing in the kitchen changed. I thought he would do it without me asking him. I do these things every day/week (depending on chore), as well as cook up something for dinner. He sits and watches tv or spends time on his computer, instead of helping out. I hate that I have to ask him to do little things; I shouldn't have to ask him. When we were in San Diego, I'd start messing with the trash bag (obviously super-heavy) and he would see me struggling with it. He would tell me, "You have a mouth," and I'd tell him, "I shouldn't have to use it." I really shouldn't have to ask him to help me or help out; he should be able to make a conscious decision to do it on his own, without me asking him.

I attempt to maintain the upstairs of this house as a way to "earn our keep." I'm not asked to do anything around the house; I do it as a courtesy (and the previous statement). I try to maintain the kitchen area especially because that's where everyone goes once they get home from work. I try to keep Bella out of the way when Asshole gets home, but she's so curious about Peepa.

I can't wait until I start working again and I can put Bella in a childcare program. She needs to be around children her own age on a regular, daily basis. I feel that even with our time spent at home, her abilities may be lacking. My husband doesn't think it's all because she isn't around kids her own age. I think so. I think she's bored at home with me. We can only do so much at home, especially when he's using my car for work. I would love to take her to the park every day after her nap, but my husband uses my car to get to and from work. My mom has left her car a few times, but I hate driving her car.

I need some psychiatric counseling, I think. I need to get back into therapy but it needs to be a therapy that isn't just cognitive therapy; that's what I had in San Diego and it didn't do squat. Give me drugs for my depression; it couldn't hurt if said drugs helped me with my libido. My libido has gone missing again. We went from using a box of 12 condoms (when my body was flushing out the birth control so I could start anew) in a week, to a box of 36 condoms in a few months. Our sex life is going down the toilet from where it was before. We have sex maybe twice a week; three times if I'm feeling really froggy. Every now and again, I'll initiate. I've gone to keeping certain stones (citrine, rose quartz and carnelian) in my pocket and using an ointment as a perfume to get me in the mood. They don't always help.

Again, another tangent. I think I'm done for now.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Oh yeah, and Bella's potty training...

There really hasn't been a change. It's once or twice a day, sometimes before her bath time. I wanted to wean her from her bottle, but it seems it'll have to wait until we have our own place. That way, if she starts screaming for it, we can let her and not worry about waking up Grampa Grumpy.

Where we stand financially

Well, we're still living with my parents. There's an up to our downs; a friend of ours (married couple; she performed our wedding three years ago) wants to rent their house to us. Thing is, they need a couple of months to find another place. I offered to help out by finding some possibilities for them.

I'm still looking for work. Four interviews with four staffing services and two interviews with two companies. I did have a job for about 24 hours but had to turn it down. It was too far of a drive (just under an hour), and not paying what I need to get bills paid, gas for the car and childcare.

Speaking of, I haven't been able to make a car payment since August 27 and I can't ask for a deferment unless: the payment is at least one day late and I'm working (since it's my loan). The loan payment per month is $310.25; I've been doing half payments every two weeks of $155.13; I changed this amount to an even $156 but I had to stop that today. With Patrick's current income, we can't do it right now.

My mother-in-law's car insurance lapsed and because she's no longer in California, they wouldn't renew it for her. I had to add her to our policy, which increased to $220 from $77 per month. She has an at-fault accident on her driving record from April 2007 (which, in our opinion, isn't even her fault; thank you, CA law).

Even once I find work, there's childcare. The place I want to take Bella to has a $90 registration fee and then it's $220/week for five full days. I can take her in for a free day to see how she likes it, but I'd want to take her back again and again once I find work.

So far, we're at $1,410.25; this doesn't include gas or groceries. Gas here at a cheap station is roughly $3.54/gallon. I have a 15 gallon tank. I spent $32.50 to fill it from roughly half a tank. For a full tank, it looks to be about $65 bucks. If driven carefully, this can be filled every two weeks. So, 65 x 2 is $130. This brings the monthly total to $1.540.25.

I know we can go to King Soopers (grocery store) and spend about $200 every two weeks to keep us fed. Going there twice a month is about $400. Once I get my inactive reserve ID card, I can go to Buckley Air Force Base and use the commissary for groceries and things. I can probably spend about $150 every two weeks there on groceries; this brings the new grocery total to $300 every month. For posterity, I'll say monthly grocery bill is the higher; $400. New monthly amount is $1,940.25; builds up fast.

Patrick's getting $10.50/hour, which is a few dollars above minimum wage. Thing is, he's not full time; only the managers at the portrait studio are full time. If anything, he'll have roughly 35 hours every week. I need at least what I was making with my last job ($14.40 by the time I left) to make any kind of decent income. I'd like $16/hour, but I will settle for $14.50-$15/hour.

My mother-in-law is still looking for work as well. She had an interview as a receptionist, but they told her she wasn't what they were looking for (read: she's over-qualified and/or too old). She'd to retail or bank, but she'd have to stand. She has MS and is unable to stand for long periods of time.

My mother has been a great help, spending money on food for us and clothes for Bella. Thanks to "Mimi" Bella should be good on clothes for awhile. If we're lucky, we won't have to buy her any clothes for another six months!!

My "dad" might as well be a zombie. He doesn't say hi back to Bella when she says hi to him. He seems to see her more as an annoyance than anything else. He doesn't like kids but obviously favors my sister's son. The room Bella's sleeping in was his computer room. He has pictures of Bella, my nephew and two girls from his son. I counted up the pictures shortly after we got here; he has maybe two or three of his son's daughters. He has TWICE as many pictures of my nephew than my daughter. If he's going to play favorites, at least let me know.. or just take the pictures down. He also still sees me as the 21 year old who still isn't capable of doing anything right; this was me before I joined the Navy in 2002. Summer 2002, I let a friend drive my car (with me in it) so that she could get her license. I'd let another friend do this and he did just fine. She put my car into an inactive fire hydrant. I found out when the police showed up that her permit was EXPIRED. To save my own ass with the insurance, I told them I was driving. I called "dad" about it and he ripped me a new asshole. Twelve hours later, he was laid off from his job; budget cuts, I think. He's still sore about that. The friend owes my mother $3,500 for damages to the car; it was totaled and it cost more to fix it than to pay it off.

So, that's it in a nutshell.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Day 3 of Potty Training

She woke up this morning soaked; then again, she had two milk bottles last night so it's not surprising. Once Daddy sat her on the potty, she went! She's eating apples & cinnamon oatmeal with cranberry/pomegranate juice (watered down a little) for breakfast. About half an hour after she's done, I'm taking her back to the potty.

So far so good, I guess. =)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Day 2 of Potty-Training

I took her into the bathroom with me first thing this morning. Her diaper was loaded with pee, but we did end up giving her about three milk bottles last night.

We go in, strip her bottoms and sit her on her potty. I'm sitting across from her doing my own business. I squint my ear toward her potty and she's peeing in the potty again!! This is great!! I made a big deal about it but not very loud; hubby was still sleeping. I'll take her in there every couple of hours or when she says, "Eww." Normally when she says that, it's too late, but I'd rather put her on it anyway.

She should pee in the potty again after her nap. =) Eventually, it'll happen more often. She'll wear diapers at night until we change her crib to a toddler bed. Then it's a whole new ball game.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Bella's Potty Training Has Begun!

We went out and bought Bella her potty chair and a package of Easy Ups (Pampers). I didn't want to use Easy Ups, but I honestly don't know what else to try. These seem to help her realize that she's made an "eww" right after she did it. Once she does, I'm taking her to her potty and having her sit on it. We have the wipes right there, so when she's "done" on the potty, she can wipe.

Sometimes, she'll want to sit on the big potty and we've done this and without the blue piece on the toilet seat. I like it so far. It'll definitely take some time and consistency, but I think we can have her potty trained by the time she's 2 years old.. maybe a little bit past. Hopefully by New Year's she'll be completely potty trained.

Every time she does something good (like telling me "eww" or "potty", I make a big deal out of it. Once she goes in the potty, I'm going to make a big deal about it.

It's very easy to remove the blue piece to put on the toilet seat and it's just as easy to take it off the toilet seat to put it back on the potty chair. I would write a pre-review for Wal*Mart (where we bought it) but apparently, it's so new that the site doesn't have it up yet.

If two hours go by and she hasn't said "eww" or "potty' we are going to the potty to sit down for a few minutes. I'm also taking her when I go; Daddy not so much because he has different parts.

1-2-3 Teach Me Training System
The 1-2-3 Teach Me Training System includes a potty, trainer seat, and step stool in one!

  • Built-in handles on trainer seat - so far, so good
  • Easy clean drop-in bowl prevents leaks and spills - haven't had any messes, but the bowl is easy to drop in and looks like it would prevent leaks and spills
  • Non-slip base - it has two rubber pieces that go on the bottom part of the white piece, to keep from slipping
  • Teach me chart helps your child learn the 5 steps of potty training - this is located on the top of the lid (green piece). You can't see it very well though.
  • Includes a potty training guide - this has to be the same as the above; the "User Guide" has the parts list, how to assemble, how to use, how to transition to the toilet and how to clean. Nowhere do/did I see a potty training guide.
Safety 1st 1-2-3 Teach Me Potty Chair

BELLA PEED IN THE POTTY!!!!!

I put her on it after her nap. Super poopie, but showed her where it goes and then I sat her on her potty chair, thinking she's not going to do anything... then, I heard the tinkle-tinkle of her going pee in her potty!! I'm so proud of her!!

Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat

I'm curious if anyone has this car seat. My mother will be purchasing it for my daughter (for her car, not ours) and I'm wondering what you all think of it. It's rated pretty well by Babies R Us customers, but I'd also like to know how YOU ALL like it (if you have it). This would be the LAST car seat we'd ever have to buy (except for a travel system). I eventually want one of these for my own vehicle. The current seat won't last her as long as this one will. I'm really big on reading reviews of products and the one negative review I read [on the first page; BRU site) was that it doesn't work well with newborns. I thought, "Umm.. if you read the weight requirements, the minimum weight is 20 pounds."



The Graco Nautilus 3 in 1 Carseat converts from 5-pt harness to High-back Booster for children 30-100 lbs and Backless Booster for children 40-100 lbs. It features a steel reinforced frame that provides strength and durability, 3-position recline to get the correct installation and comfort, and wider, padded armrests that are extra comfy. Its head rest can be easily adjusted in one hand so it changes with child's growth. Also features energy absorbing foam, cup holder & convenient side storage keep must-haves handy and open loop belt guides easily position your vehicle's seatbelt.

Extensive Crash Testing: Engineered & Crash Tested to Meet or Exceed US Standard: "U.S. Compliance Standard FMVSS 213" New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) peak Crash Force approximately 2X Car Seat Standard" Extreme Car Interior Temperatures

12 months - 10 years

12 months - 10 years (details)

20 lbs

100 lbs

Pros: Sturdy, Easy to install, Comfortable, Great features, Easy to adjust
Cons: Heavy, Uncomfortable, Difficult to set up
Best Uses: Back seat, Toddler, Infants, Front seat



  • 3-in-1 multi-mode Car Seat for longer use.

  • Extended 5-point harness use from 20 - 65 lbs (fits 97% of 5-year olds in harness).

  • Converts into High-back belt positioning booster for use from 30 - 100 lbs.

  • Converts into Backless booster for use from 40 - 100 lbs.

Finding Work in Denver, CO

Not only am I looking for admin (hell, entry level) positions, but minimum wage/retail as well. Maybe I can land a spot at the Hot Topic in SW Plaza and I can dye my hair again. At this point, we've been here two weeks and I'm still not working. Pat just got a job, but it's part time. At least it's work. If anyone knows of ANYWHERE hiring (I will NOT work fast food nor will I wait tables again), please let me know. If your place of business is hiring let me know and could I ask you to put in a good word for me?

I really appreciate everything.

(KEEP IN MIND FORMATTING LOST IN COPY/PASTE)

Objective

A challenging position as an administrative assistant at a growth-oriented firm, which will allow me to both further utilize my skills and acquire new abilities in the Administrative support field.


Skills

- Typing: 70wpm

- Strong analytical and organizational skills

- Excellent interpersonal skills, phone manner, and office etiquette

- Software: Proficient in Microsoft Office, strong skills in Word, Excel, and Publisher


Experience

October 2007 – August 2008

Contractor – Administrative Support

ITS Group/QinetiQ North America, San Diego, CA

- Provided administrative support to faculty and student services of Defense

Acquisition University (DAU)

- Handled data entry to ensure information accuracy and completeness

- Prepared materials to support the faculty in the conduct of courses

- Prepared graduation certificates for DAU students

- Assisted scheduling of classes

- Managed store room organization and supply stock

- Interfaced with security personnel to assist visiting students with base access


March 2007 – May 2007

Administrative Assistant - Temp

AppleOne Employment Service, San Diego, CA

- Provided administrative support for AVID Center, La Jolla, CA

- Completed projects assigned by department leaders

- Completed large volume of data entry for upcoming summer events

- Answered phones and met with public to answer questions

February 2003 – March 2007

Administrative Assistant - Yeoman

United States Navy, San Diego, CA

- Prepared, typed and routed correspondence

- Drafted evaluations and fitness reports

- Organized and maintained files and service records

- Received office visitors and handled telephone communications

- Performed officer personnel administration

- Maintained records and official publications



Education

2007

Grantham University, Kansas City, MO (Distance Learning)

BS, Business Administration, 12 credit hours


2003

Central Texas College, Killeen, TX

General Education, 3 credit hours


2000

Red Rocks Community College, Lakewood, CO

General Education, 6 credit hours


1999

Park University, Hill Air Force Base, UT (Main Campus: Parkville, MO)

General Education, 6 credit hours

Salary

$15-$16/hour or $30,000 - $35,000/year

References available upon request.


To Whom It May Concern:

I have worked for Information Technology Services Corporation/QinetiQ North America in the position of Administrative Support Contractor for Defense Acquisition University. The skills I use in this position will carry over well into the Secretary position as far as meeting deadlines, managing time and workload, filing and maintaining records and schedules, and communicating with tact and diplomacy.

I was a Yeoman in the United States Navy managing paperwork for up to 200 personnel in various career fields for Engineering Department aboard the USS Peleliu, stationed in San Diego. A unique factor about the Engineering Department was dealing with the engineers on a professional level, assisting them in their regular work and learning how and why they worked in their particular career field. The Engineers appreciated that I took such initiative to learn something not mandatory for my field. In the military, I also worked in a primary administrative building for the 32nd Street Navy Base, San Diego. We maintained service records, drafted paperwork and provided exceptional customer service. I provided detailed reports to the Assistant Officer in Charge, utilized in drafting an improved Naval Instruction and assisted in the writing and proof-reading of the document. I was the Petty Officer in charge of all out-going and in-coming official mail for the detachment and as a Petty Officer, had to maintain and enforce the military’s strict drug and alcohol policy.

After leaving the military I worked as a temporary administrative assistant for AppleOne Employment Services in San Diego, California and after my first assignment, was requested to interview for a new position within that company. At my second assignment I worked back and forth as an assistant and receptionist. During that time I expanded my knowledge of Microsoft Office. I use Word, Excel, Publisher, Access, FrontPage and PowerPoint; I’m most proficient in Word and Excel and have a strong working understanding of the remaining Office programs. My most recent position was as an Administrative Support Contractor on an anti-submarine base. I prepared classrooms and provide assistance to instructors, both visiting and local, as well as the students.

I would like to expand my potential and my horizons in your company My experiences have provided me with a strong overview of how customer service should be and what needs to be done to ensure 100% customer satisfaction. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Tamara M. K

Thursday, September 04, 2008

La Petite Academy - Your Thoughts?

So, Bella, my husband and myself had a visit with the La Petite Academy I want to send Bella to. I liked what I saw online and I liked the facility itself. We met with the director and the lead teacher for the Two's Room. If Bella goes full time, five days a week, she'll be the only girl on most days. I'll tell you what though.. as soon as we walked in from the Two's playground, all the boys in the room looked straight up at Bella; she was sitting on Daddy's shoulders.

Overall, we really liked it. Thing is, it's $220/week for full time, five days a week. She said she'd work with us on payments and we explained our current situation. She was very friendly and willing to give us a break.

I'm not working yet. I'm having a helluva time finding work (over qualified maybe? not enough education?) and we find out tomorrow if my husband got this job at a photo gallery/portrait studio. We won't really need childcare until I find work. The director told us about a free day, where we could drop off Bella there in the morning and then pick her up that afternoon or evening.

I'd like to know your experience with La Petite Academy, be it good, bad or indifferent. Is it worth $880/month?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Bella's Vocabulary - Past 100 Words!!

Any words from #77 on (in other words, those in color) have been said/learned after coming to Denver. =)

1. Daddy
2. Dada
3. Mama
4. Mommy
5. Nana
6. broder (brother)
7. Jeffy
8. pasta
9. pizza
10. blankie
11. bottle
12. baby
13. hot
14. cold
15. boobies
16. butt
17. bum
18. nose
19. eyes
20. brow
21. nigh-nigh
22. bach (bath)
23. hi
24. bye
25. angel
26. toys
27. cookie (which is an unsalted saltine cracker)
28. ready
29. go
30. outside
31. yeah
32. rainbow
33. pretty
34. happy
35. ugly
36. eww
37. owie
38. pee
39. peas
40. cheese
41. juice
42. shoes
43. milk
44. water
45. doggy
46. mine
47. no
48. uh-huh
49. again
50. uhm (up)
51. all done
52. a bite
53. whee
54. eat
55. shit (she rarely says this but she does say it; she will learn when it's okay and not okay to say it)
56. bitch (read the above parentheses)
57. Bella
58. Belladonna
59. uh-oh
60. safe
61. ta-da
62. one
63. two
64. three
65. leaf
66. laces
67. watch
68. zoom
69. hello
70. phone
71. Chris
72. purse
73 doody
74. sucked
75. boobs
76. yes
77. Mimi
78. Gampa
79. kitty (sounds like "titty")
80. bear
81. Taylor
82. Niko (knee-koh)
83. yellow
84. hungry
85. Mina (we're thinking this is a combination of "Mimi" and"Nana")
86. Nina (imaginary friend maybe?)
87. cup
88. sippy
89. all gone
90. potty
91. ball
92. hug
93. bless you
94. sorry
95. thank-you
96. cooking
97. kitchen
98. towel
99. paper
100. color
101. bunny
102. bacon
103. glass
104. welcome

105. It's okay, Gary
106. Bird
107. Kat
108. music

109.
110.

She can say over 100 words. She's even able to differentiate between many of those words. So proud of her!! She'll be 2 in three months. Have I missed any others? I think I've forgotten two or three, but I'm not sure.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Filing for Unemployment in Colorado

How simple (or complicated) of a process is this? I filed Worker's Compensation earlier this year (for a shelf falling on both big toes) so now I can't do it onlne!! I'm now on hold.. going on ten minutes. Hopefully I'll get through to SOMEONE before COB today.

By the way, for those who want to get together this week, call me before stopping by. I'm still trying to get through this stupid college algebra course. Has to be completed on August 31. What fun.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Job Searching and oher stresses

Now that we're here, I've been searching for work online. I'm going through Monster, Career Builder and HotJobs. I'm even going back to the temp agency I used after I got out of the Navy. I have an appointment set up for September 2. I need work appropriate pants for it and I had to toss the two pair I had. The cuffs were so worn and ragged, no one will want to look at me. My profile for AppleOne is completed. If I get the pants I need prior to the appointment, I will see about rescheduling for an earlier date.

I'm afraid now that I won't be able to complete my classes and am tempted to just drop out. I hav way too much going on right now and I'm stressing too much to worry about school. I may have to re-enroll later. I'll pay them back what I still owe them. I honestly don't think I'll be able to complete my math unless I have someone on the phone to help me while I'm doing the chapter tests.

I have way too much on my plate right now. The stress of staying with my parents is high. We feel as though we're a burden and not welcome. At least, this is what we get from my dad. My mom wants to help, but my dad is being an asshole about it. He rolls his eyes when Bella makes noises and squeals!! I'm sorry but that's what toddlers do when they're happy. He rolls his eyes when she cries. I can't wait to get the hell out of this house [again].

Sunday, August 24, 2008

We made it!

We've finally reached Colorado. Don't know how often I'll actually be online.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Bella, early stages of potty-training and her ever-growing vocabulary

So, I'm thinking she's definitely getting ready. She's starting to let me know when her diaper has a poopie in it and sometimes when she's peed.

Since we've started packing the house up, there's some extra space in the living room for her to play in. There are blankets and toys over there and it seems to be her favorite place in the house. When she knows she needs a new butt, she'll head over in the direction and lay down for me to change her butt. Sometimes, she'll carry the box of wipes or her diaper over there. When finished, we say, "all done!" and she gets up to go back to playing.

Sometimes, but not every time, she'll wake up dry from her nap. Many times this is due to me changing her right before her nap. I would love to start potty-training her now, but I can't. We leave for Denver in just over 12 days. It would confuse her too much.

In other news, she can say the following:
1. daddy
2. dada
3. mama
4. mommy
5. nana
6. broder (brother)
7. Jeffy
8. pasta
9. pizza
10. blankie
11. bottle
12. baby
13. hot
14. cold
15. boobies
16. butt
17. bum
18. nose
19. eyes
20. brow
21. nigh-nigh
22. bach (bath)
23. hi
24. bye
25. angel
26. toys
27. cookie (which is an unsalted saltine cracker)
28. ready
29. go
30. outside
31. yeah
32. rainbow
33. pretty
34. happy
35. ugly
36. eww
37. owie
38. pee
39. peas
40. cheese
41. juice
42. shoes
43. milk
44. water
45. doggy
46. mine
47. no
48. uh-huh
49. again
50. uhm (up)
51. all done
52. a bite
53. whee
54. eat
55. shit (she rarely says this but she does say it; she will learn when it's okay and not okay to say it)
56. bitch (read the above parentheses)
57. Bella
58. Belladonna
59. uh-oh
60. safe
61. ta-da
62. one
63. two
64. three
65. leaf
66. laces
67. watch
68. zoom
69. hello
70. phone
71. Chris
72. purse
73 doody
(I'll come back and add to this later as I think of words she's said or as she says new words.)

I didn't realize just how many words she could say until now!! Too cool. Though I've heard of toddlers her age who have twice that vocabulary. I know that all children are different, but I'm also hearing that children her age should have upwards of 100 words in their vocabulary. I attribute her language and vocabulary to the fact that we don't use "baby talk" around her. We feel that it hinders language skills and vocabulary use.

Am I making a mountain out of a mole-hill?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

You may not agree with everything, but you're nodding your head...

WARNING: If you read this journal, you may become angry or upset, and want to debate it out until you're blue in the face. You may not agree with what I have to say and vice versa. If you're easily offended, then don't read any further.

Something got me thinking (I know, it was the reply I made to the "Tolerance" post). I wanted to list the things I wish of our society, culture and the world in general (world peace, man!). Now, ya'll said we've got our "big girl panties on" so I'm not apologizing for offending anyone.

-I'd love for everyone to know how to read and read something without being told to (a book or newspaper). Mark Twain said something that makes me nod my head: "Those who don't read have no advantage over those who can't."

-I'd love for everyone to have the good education they're entitled to. Along these same lines, I'd love it if teachers were actually paid what they're worth, and not some standard pay. Teachers are what get our kids interested in learning (that's how it was when I grew up anyway; this thought may vary). Teachers keep them interested.

-I want to see stronger border control. If we have to erect a wall (like China did) to keep out the illegal aliens, then so be it. I'm tired of illegal immigrants getting free healthcare and medicine when I either have to pay out of pocket or a hefty co-pay. I'm tired of them taking the jobs that LEGAL Americans could have. I think those who hire illegals for work, should be fined and sent to prison for 5-10 years PER ILLEGAL hired. This should teach them not to hire cheap labor. Yes, illegals have human rights, but not legal immigrant rights. I know that sounds wrong, but I'm sure you all are reading what I'm trying to say. Human rights and legal immigrant rights are not the same. I say, if you want to migrate to this country and be given a good chance, do it legally and become an American citizen. I feel that the "if you're born of illegals in America, then you're a citizen" should be thrown out the window. At this point, that's just bringing in more illegals. I understand they want something better for their children than they had, but do it legally, please. I'm tired of the fact that when I drive around [San Diego], depending on the area, I see billboards in Spanish, not English. I feel if you're going to live in this country, you should learn the language and speak the language often; after all, you can't get better if you don't use it. I'd rather hear my order at Burger King called out in English, instead of Spanish. Just because I understand it, doesn't mean I want to hear it when I'm ordering my food (or otherwise going about my business). I don't care if you want to come to this country, just do it the LEGAL way and become an American citizen.

-Abortion (and teen sex); this subject is like beating an already dead horse. It's up to the woman to do what she wants with her body. This would be pro-choice, right? If a woman is using it regularly as a form of birth control (more than two), then she should just learn to keep her legs closed. I also feel that teenagers should keep their legs closed. If they're not, then the parents should be more active in their lives (as a whole) and make sure they're using protection. For example, with my own daughter, my husband and I are planning on putting her on birth control when she gets her period (if after the age of 12). We will also supply the condoms if she's out there having sex. We'd rather her be protected than to tell her, "No, teen sex is bad." This would be hypocritical as my husband (four years older than me) had sex at 15; I waited until 18 (my younger sister was also 15). I'd rather be the parent who helps in prevention than living life, pretending it's not going to happen to "my little girl."

-End this stupid, dumbass war in Iraq! We shouldn't be there, nor do we have the right to be there. Who in the hell are WE to tell people how they should run their government? Yes, we have the oldest Constitutional document and yes, it's used by many other countries, if anything as a template. That doesn't mean we're right on everything! Matters vary depending on the country. Bring our troops home; we're spending money we DON'T HAVE to keep them over there. I heard recently that someone is trying to think of a way to make it LEGAL for our troops to stay there. Why? Yes, they're "primitive" in comparison ("primitive" is not the word I'm looking for but I'm hoping you know what I mean) to us; my mother used the term "parochial" in a recent email with me concerning our presence overseas.

-Please remember the separation of church and state. I'm not fond of the fact that "God" is everywhere [in our society]. Our money says, "In God we trust." What about those who don't believe in "God?" I feel it was the right thing when people said the Ten Commandments should come down from courthouses (I remember hearing this story and recently read a brief paragraph about it in my American Government textbook). "God" has no place in government.. any of the three branches. If I were to go to court and be sworn in, I'd say everything except for the "so help you God." Same thing with the pledge; I end that particular phrase just "one nation, in divisible, for liberty and justice for all." It's okay to be proud of your faith; it just doesn't belong in politics nor the government. Keep it in your lives.

-Healthcare. If you have the insurance, go see the physician who accepts the insurance. I've been hearing the one of the candidates wants to implement "universal healthcare." Okay, this looks good on paper, but when put in to use, it doesn't work nearly as much. Example? The military. The miliary pretty much works on a universal healthcare system. You don't have a choice about WHO you see. You see whoever happens to be on duty that day and/or whoever has the time. You don't have the option of researching different doctors to find the right one for you. And, once you see that physician, you see that same one for any follow-up. Sure, this is fine and dandy, but what if you don't like the doctor? The only "choice" really given to anyone in the service (or their pregnant spouses), is where you'll have your prenatal appointments. Even then, you really don't get a choice as to WHO you see. If you choose a clinic that isn't the main hospital, the OB you see for your appointments will NOT be present when you give birth. Again, whoever is on duty or has the time, will be the one delivering your baby. I don't know about you, but I'd like to have someone I already have a "history" with.

The Founding Fathers had a really good idea about things. Here is something I found not long ago; please tell me what you think.

In 1776, the founders risked their "lives, fortunes, and sacred honor" to set up a free and prosperous nation. They warned us that it was our responisibility to keep it that way. But we didn't listen to their wise advice.
As a service to America, they have come out of retirement to issue a final warning.
An open letter to the American people: We the Founders...

-Warned you of the dangers of excessive taxation. now you labor nearly six months of the year to pay taxes at all levels as your economy suffocates under this cruel burden.

-Warned you of the dangers of foreign entanglements. now thousands of men and women suffer and die in foreign lands while your government plans a military draft.

-Warned you of the dangers of government spending. Now your growing National Debt stands at 8 TRILLION (last known amount)
and your babies are debt slaves from the day they are born.

-Warned you of the dangers of a private Central Bank (The Fed) and a debt-based monetary system. Now you drown in credit card debt as you lose your home to foreclosure.

-Warned you to obey the Constitution because power corrupts. Now a secretive government can spy on you and detain you at will under the guise of "National Security."

-Warned you of the dangers of political parties. Now you have two powerful parties that conspire against the people, plunderingyou while they pretend to oppose each other.

-Warned you keep your nation sovereign and independent. Now you submit to
UN and NAFTA authority as your borders are deliberately left open to endless illegal immigration.

-Warned you to be distrustful of governemtn. But you believed the sugar-coated falsehoods of ambitious politicians and now you no longer now who to trust or what to believe.

-Warned you of the importance of an honest, independent and unbiased press. Now your centralized
"Mainstream Media" is full of propoganda, distorions, and omissions.

-Warned you that the price of liberty was eternal vigilance. But while you were distracted by ballgames and tv shows, government stole your liberty and bankrupted your children.

If you've made it this far, great! The only I apologize for is how long-winded this reads.

Now, I realize they are long dead, but what do you think they would say if they were to come back for a short time, and see the nation as it is now? I think they would be sorely disappointed in us, in our government.

According to an old story, a woman confronted Benjamin Franklin as he left the last session of the Constitutional Convention.

"What kind of government have you given us, Dr. Franklin," she asked. "A republic or a monarchy?"

"A republic, Madam," he answered, "if you can keep it."

I dunno. Just food for thought I guess.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Potty Training Plan for Bella

I just wanted to clarify that this is how I'm planning to potty-train my daughter. I haven't started yet. Thank you for the encouragement!! I'm really hoping this works.

When I start to potty-train my daughter (she's almost 2), I'm planning on setting up "times" to go.

Right after she wakes up, we go to the potty and sit for a few minutes.
About 30-60 minutes after breakfast and juice, we go again.
Before nap time (after lunch), we go again.
After nap time, go sit on the potty again.
Two hours after nap time is over, do it again.
After dinner, we visit the potty again.
Once more before bed time.

I'm betting it looks easier than it really is. This is what I'm hoping to accomplish, anyway. I don't want to use a potty chair or training pants/pull-ups, as I feel it hinders the potty-training process. Big girl panties and the vinyl panties that go on over the cloth panties. I don't really want to use a potty chair because most kids [I know] would see it as a new toy, not something to go potty in. I want to get a potty seat for the toilet and sit her on it.

By the time I begin her potty-training, she won't be getting her bottle at bed time (so as to avoid night time accidents), as well as nothing an hour before bed time.

What do you all think? I mean, are these goals realistic?? She's already tugging at her diaper and sometimes she tries to pull her pants down. She can say, "potty," as well and says it every time any of us use the bathroom. If possible, we leave the door open so she can see. She's also taken an interest in helping us (hubby and me) dress her. I'm told that's another sign they might be ready for potty-training.

My family and I are also moving from San Diego to Denver in about three-and-a-half weeks and I don't want her to revert back to diapers; I'm waiting until we get to Denver to really start any kind of potty-training.

On another note: Has anyone heard of the 3 Day Method to potty-training? What are your thoughts??

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Top 20 High School Movies - How many do you remember?

Please feel free to comment, as well as quote to talk about your favorites!!

1. The Breakfast Club
2. Fast Times at Ridgemont High
3. Dazed and Confused
4. Rebel Without a Cause
5. Heathers
6. American Graffiti
7. Clueless
8. Boyz N the Hood
9. Election
10. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
11. Say Anything
12. Mean Girls
13. High School
14. Donnie Darko
15. Carrie
16. Lucas
17. Peggy Sue Got Married
18. Rock 'n' Roll High School
19. The Last Picture Show
20. Dead Poets Society

-as featured in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY issue #739

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Letter from a 3rd grade teacher to Pagan parents

A letter from a 3rd grade teacher sent home to pagan parents
by Ld Obyron Irondrake

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Thomas,

I write this letter in concern of your daughter, Aradia Moon. Please
don't take this the wrong way, however, although she is a straight A
student and a very bright child, she has some strange habits that I
feel we should address.

Every morning before class, she insists on walking around the
classroom with her pencil held in the air. She says she is "drawing
down the moon." I told her Art Class is in an hour and to please
refrain from then to do any drawing.

And speaking of Art Class, whenever she draws a night sky, she
insists on drawing little circles around all the stars and people
dancing on the ground. And that brings up dancing, I had to stop her
twice for taking off her clothes during a game of Ring Around the
Rosey! By the way, what does the term "skyclad" mean?

Aradia has no problem with making friends. I always find her sitting
outside during recess with her friends sitting around her in a
circle. She likes to share her juice and cookies. It is nice how she
wants no one to ever thirst or hunger. However, when I walked over to
see what they were doing, she jumped up and told me to stop, pulled
out a little plastic knife and started waving it in front of me. I
thought this was a bit dangerous, so I took her to the Principal's
Office. She explained to the Principal that she was "opening the
Circle" to let me in. She also said that her Mommy and Daddy always
told her not to play or run with an "athame" in her hand, that she
could put someone's eye out. I don't know what an "athame" is, but I
am glad that she keeps it at home.

As for stories, your daughter tends to make up some whoppers. Just
yesterday while I was talking sternly to Tommy Johnson and shaking my
finger at him, he started screaming and ran from the room. When I
finally caught him, he told me that Aradia told him and the rest of
the class that the last time I shook my finger at someone, they
caught the chicken pox. I explained to him that the Sally Jones
incident was just a coincidence, and that things like that don't
really happen.

One of the strangest things that happened was when I asked the
children to bring in Halloween decorations for the classroom. Aradia
brought in salt, incense and her family album. I see she has quite a
sense of humor.

One of Aradia's worst habits is that she is very argumentative. We
were discussing what the Golden Rule was (Do Unto others as you would
have them Do Unto You), she firmly disagreed with me and stated it
was "Do As you Will, but Harm None" and she will not stop saying "So
Mote It Be" after she reads aloud in class. I try correct her on
these matters and she got very angry. She pointed her finger at me
and mumbled something under her breath.

In closing, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas, I would like to set up a
parent/teacher conference with you sometime next week to discuss
these matters. I would like to see you sooner, but I have developed
an irritating rash that I am quite worried about.

With Deep Concerns,
Mrs. Livingston

P.S. Blessed Be. I understand that this is a greeting or closing from
your country that your daughter informs me is polite and correct.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Every 6 Minutes

A song about rape awareness. Rape victims need to know that it's not their fault.

www.RAINN.org You're not alone. Unlock the Silence.

These are lyrics from a song called "Every 6 Minutes" from the movie Prey for Rock and Roll (starring Gina Gershon and Lori Petty). One of the characters (Sally) is raped by the boyfriend (Nick) of another character (Tracy). Gina Gershon's character (Jacki, a struggling musician) is a tattoo artist. She finds him, gets him strapped into a chair and tattoos "RAPIST" on his forehead. She and the victim's brother ("Animal") then dump him on the sidewalk in a bad part of town. The women (Jacki, Tracy, Sally and Faith [Petty] are in a band called Clam Dandy.

Every 6 minutes
Someone says "no"
Every 6 minutes
She gets ignored
It's not what you're wearing
Its not where you've been
The fact that they think so
Tells you somethin' bout sin
Every 6 minutes
A woman cries
Because every 6 minutes
Her pleas are denied
No one's asking for it
It's no woman's secret desire
The fact that they think so
Is a man-made liar
The passing of time
Brings you closer to me
Cause I've got love and justice
Keeps you free
I've got .38 special
Reasons at my side
Face the ultimate "no" big boy
This time I'll decide
If I had a bullet
For every six minutes
I know just where to put it
Every six minutes
Running your heart
And runnin' your brain
Maybe I've gotta start
It just might ease my pain
The passing of time
Brings you closer to me
Cause I've got love and justice
Keeps you free
I've got .38 special
Reasons at my side
Face the ultimate "no" big boy
This time I'll decide
If I had a bullet
For every six minutes
I know just where to put it
Every six minutes
If I had a bullet
For every six minutes
I know just where to put it
Every six minutes

x6
Every six minutes
(every six minutes)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Prayer for the Military

Though I don't pray to the God of Abraham, I do pray. This is for the troops, Sailors, Marines and all others overseas and away from their families.

The photo that gets me is the child accepting the flag for his parent.

Let us pray...


Prayer chain for our Military.... Don't break it!

Please send this on after a short prayer. Prayer for our soldiers Don't break it!

Prayer:

'Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen.'
Prayer Request: When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our troops around the world.
There is nothing attached. Just send this to people in your address book. Do not let it stop with you. Of all the gifts you could give a Marine, Soldier, Sailor, Airman, & others deployed in harms way, prayer is the very best one.

BLESS YOU FOR PASSING IT ON!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Denver Post - June 26, 2008 - NeoPaganism Grows Quickly (Electa Draper)

Give them that old-time religion — ancient religion — and then watch an exploding population of modern pagans give it contemporary twistsTheir numbers roughly double about every 18 months in the United States, Canada and Europe, according to the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Neopaganism, whether a careful reconstruction of ancient practice or a completely modern interpretation of ancient lore, is now among the country's fastest-growing religions. People, especially teens, are rejecting what they see as the "autocracy, paternalism, sexism, homophobia and insensitivity to the environment" of some more traditional religions, the Canadian group concludes. Denverite Jesse Walter describes himself as a recovering Irish Catholic, conservative Republican and Army reservist. He is also a druid who follows one of the most difficult traditions of his religion — taking his livelihood for at least a year and a day from a grove of trees.

Walter, 33, who became a druid at age 18, first took a literal approach and bought land near the Wyoming state line where he could hunt. Then he and his wife, Kantis, who calls herself a generic pagan, were inspired to open a community center/coffee shop, Witches Brew, across the street from Berkeley Lake Park in north Denver. Walter picks up litter and watches over the park. In a part of the grove sacred to him, he leaves spiritual offerings, sometimes a bottle of whiskey, to ward off wee-folk mischief. The park, for its part, provides a stream of patrons to support the coffee shop. The Walters' regular customers, however, come from Denver's vibrant and diverse neo pagan community. "It's my modern twist on druidry," Walter said. Druids were the priests of the ancient Celts. The essence of Walter's modern druid faith, he said, is that "people's perception of reality is what makes reality." He said he religiously avoids negative thoughts.

No consensus, even on history

Witches Brew coffee shop owner Jesse Walter prepares a cup for a customer. Walter, a druid, watches over and leaves offerings in nearby Berkeley Lake Park. (Karl Gehring, The Denver Post)Walter's friend, 28-year-old J.J. Steelman, teases him about his grove and remarks that no one really knows what ancient druids did. Steelman is also a druid. He was born into a family, he said, that "has never been Christian." "Being a pagan means I'm free," said Steelman, who roundly rejects Walter's rituals. Whether organized or disorganized, the pagan revival is stronger than ever since its blossoming in the 1960s hippie counterculture and its cross-pollination by the New Age movement in the 1980s. The forms neopaganism takes are so varied, they almost defy description, said Carridwen Brennan, a 62-year-old Wiccan. There is no ultimate leader and no one sacred text, according to Carl McColman, author of several books on witchcraft and paganism. The Wiccans, one variety of witch and the largest single group of neopagans, took flight in the 1950s when the religion and craft were popularized by Englishman Gerald Gardner. The number of U.S. practitioners grew from 8,000 in 1990 to 134,000 in 2001, according to the American Religious Identification Survey conducted by the City University of New York. The Ontario group and other researchers now estimate American Wiccans number between 750,000 and 1 million. "We don't really know the numbers," Brennan said. "Most witches and pagans are semi-closeted, or so deeply closeted because of prejudice we don't even know they're there." The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life's 2007 survey found less than 0.4 percent of the U.S population to be practicing pagans. Even so, their numbers are quickly approaching those of U.S. Muslims, at 0.6 percent, and Buddhists, 0.7 percent.

Thriving in Colorado

In Colorado, Pew estimated the percentage of Wiccans, pagans, Unitarians and those espousing other New Age faiths to be about twice the national figure, which could mean a statewide neopagan figure in the tens of thousands. Brennan, a credentialed Wiccan minister with the Denver-based Alexandria Temple & Academy, sees a strong local trend in people self-identifying as generic pagan. Brennan said neopagans generally prefer to experience spirituality firsthand rather than adhere to authoritarian dogma. She describes a typical neopagan as having reverence for nature, seeing it as a manifestation of the divine. Many neopagans are polytheistic, worshiping gods and goddesses. They generally believe worship of God as father without worship of Goddess as mother is a serious imbalance in the natural order of things. Yet generalizing can be dangerous, even within sects. "You'll get no agreement on how Wiccans see God — or Goddess," Brennan said. "In Wicca, there is no 'you have to' and 'you can't.' There is no orthodoxy." Yet it was the focus on goddess worship that drew Brennan's husband, 52-year-old Martin Anthony, into a Wiccan coven.

Neopagans observe rituals for healing, divination, marriage, lunar and solar cycles and the passage of time. Christian holidays, the timing and customs, have roots in pagan tradition.

As for neopagan ethics, the Wiccan Rede, a commonly quoted saying, is simply: "As long as it harms none, do what you will."

What has kept many Wiccans and other neopagans in the broom closet, a common quip, is the stereotype of them as practitioners of such dark arts as Satan worship and blood sacrifices.

"Pagans are not devil worshipers," McColman wrote in "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Paganism." "Why would the members of one religion worship the bad guy of another religion?"

Still perceived as spooky or kooky

Ritual animal sacrifice, although practiced by the ancients, including Hebrews in biblical times, is not a mainstream practice of neopagans, Jews or Christians, McCol man said. Nevertheless, a city inspector recently came by Witches Brew to inquire whether the shop boiled any animal parts on the premises, Kantis Walter said. "We don't do that," Kantis said as she mixed up an almond-flavored Italian soda. It is the nonjudgmental nature of pagans that drew her to them, Kantis said, yet she is aware other religious Americans still perceive them as either spooky or kooky. "We're pretty normal people," Kantis said, "but my grandmother still hands me a rosary every time she sees me." Brennan and Anthony also serve as state prison chaplains. Their services are in demand by 500 self-identified pagans who account for 2 percent of the state prison population. Inmate neopagans include Wiccans, druids and the Asatru, who worship Odin and other Norse gods. In prisons especially, the Asatru can be identified with Nazis, skinheads, patriarchy and racism, yet there are pure forms, Brennan said, which focus on positives — self-empowerment and tribal loyalty — rather than white supremacy.

Every movement has its mainstream and its deviant elements, Brennan said.

The Walters' community center is wholesome family entertainment most of the time, Jesse and Kantis say.

The center hosts Tarot card and astrology readings, pagan meet-ups that typically attract 20 or more, role-playing card games, Fetish Fridays, a book club, Wicca Knitting Moms, Witches' Sewing Circle, mead- and jewelry-making classes, drumming circles and more.

"It's important to have a spiritual path that's working for you," Brennan said. "We all need a connection to something greater than ourselves."

Witches practice magic, Brennan said, "but the only thing you can really change is yourself."