Archive for the ‘Randomness’ Category
I’ve never been much of a bird enthusiast. I like birds. I think they’re pretty amazing creatures. But I’ve never been good at looking at a bird and knowing what kind it was. So when my daughter checked out a book called Birdsong from the library, it wasn’t like I was super excited.
Then we read it at bedtime. And the book has the words that each bird’s song sounds like in the text. Only, I didn’t really know what most of the birds sounded like, so I wasn’t sure if I was getting anywhere close. So I went searching for birdsongs that you can listen to online. What I found was eNature. It’s the greatest little site. You can search for all kinds of animals and when you find them you can look at what is basically an encyclopedia page for that animal. Only better. Most of the birds had a spot where you could listen to their song, as well as look at pictures and read about them.
The best part? You can create lists. So after signing up for a free membership and making a list of birds, we can now read B9irdsong while listening to the actual birdsongs of the birds we’re reading about. It makes the book ten times better, and I know that it’s showing my daughter that there’s more to a book than just reading it at bedtime.
Anybody else read any good books lately?
EDIT: I also want to mention that next week, I’ll be hosting my very first giveaway on my blog. I’m very excited and I hope you are too.
Something weird happened this week. Someone said I looked thinner. This was weird because:
- I have not been working out.
- I have not been watching my diet.
- They see me every week.
My current theory is that my new haircut makes me look thinner. I know I feel like it makes me look younger. And it certainly makes me feel less like I’m in danger of heat stroke when I’m out side.
Another possibility is that we have been outside a lot this summer, so maybe I’ve sweated it off. Especially since I’ve been trying to monitor my water and make sure I”m drinking enough.
Whatever the cause, having someone tell me I look thinner, makes me want to start putting in the work to be thinner. At the doctor’s office the other day, I was back up to 195, which isn’t horrible, considering I haven’t worked out in over a year. But it’s not great either. And I told myself I was going to break the 190 line and never cross it again.
So I think it’s time to start running this week.
Who wouldn't want to stay home all day with these cuties?
I cried before I went to work on Saturday. Not because I don’t like my job. I love my job. I get to meet cool people and help them make cool projects. And I really like everyone I work with. Plus, I’m a fan of the company in general.
The problem is, my heart is at home with my kids. And recently, I’ve had to increase my hours at work in order to help make ends meet. Which means more time away from them. Add in the stress of my husband’s back being hurt again and mix it all up with a little bit of exhaustion, and you get a mom crying as she nurses her baby before heading to the babysitter.
I think there may have been a little bit of “I’m taking my babies to a babysitter while I work for the first time” tossed in there, even though it was my mom that watched them. The bottom line is, I’m not coping well with working more hours. It feels like such a step backwards. I want to be home with my kids and part of the reason I got a job was to pay off our debts and get our finances in order so that I could be home with them, but I just keep working more and more and more. It’s getting hard to see the payoff and that makes it hard to keep in good spirits. I trust that God will help me get home, just because I feel very strongly that home is where He wants me to be. But so many days, that trust comes with a “Please, just tell me how and when so I can stop wondering.”
I can be impatient though, when I know a plan, so maybe it’s better that I don’t know how He’s going to achieve it. I’d try to rush things and probably ruin all of it.
Knowing that doesn’t make things any easier in the meantime, though.
I’m going to be honest. My marriage hasn’t been in the greatest of places in the last couple years. In fact, on more than one occasion, it almost ceased to exist. But I’m nothing if not stubborn. And I’m not much of a quitter either. So I’ve stuck it out, and luckily, so has my husband, so now we’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Most days. During all of this, however, I’ve come across a few resources that I found useful.
Simple Marriage: The guy who runs this blog is a marriage counselor. He occasionally runs marriage help classes online, as well as emailing free information. He talks a lot about communication, in particular, but he also blogs about simplifying your life, too. Our communication problems were more of a symptom than a cause, but I still found this helpful in trying to repair our communication so that we could begin to work on the real stuff.
Christian Nymphos: In a book I was reading lately, the author stated that no couple with a satisfying sex life ever came to him about getting a divorce. While it’s simplistic to think that changing your sex life can save a marriage, it’s still an important part of a healthy marriage. And they talk all about it here. have a position of the week and they discuss all sorts of sexual issues in a biblical context.
The Marriage Bed: Another Christian sex site. This one feels a little more WebMD-ish, but still has good information.
The Generous Wife: This site and it’s companion site, The Generous Husband, are both about how to be more generous and loving to your spouse. They give ideas and thoughts every day for how to show your spouse how much you love them. Some of the ideas were total flops in my marriage, but mostly because of love language issues.
Have a New Husband By Friday: This should maybe actually get it’s own post, since it’s a book, but it fits this so here it is. This book was a smattering of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, The Five Love Languages, and a bunch of other stuff that I’ve read on the other sites I listed. But the way it takes all those elements and presents them was totally new. And it also helped me to know that I was on the right track with the things I’d been trying over the last year and a half to fix things.
I also read a lot of blogs and websites that talked about being a better homemaker. They wouldn’t necessarily be helpful to a lot of marriages, but my husband is an Acts of Service person, so the state of my house is very important to how much he feels loved.
I hope this list of resources helps someone else that might be having issues in their marriage.
My church does VBS every year during Spring Break. It creates a place for parents to bring their kids when they don’t have other childcare for the week. This past spring, I took Elisebeth to VBS and on the couple days in the week when I didn’t work, I helped out. At the end of the week, we had a Family Night where the parents were invited to come and see what their children had been learning all night.
All week long, we’d been having a contest. The kids were bringing donations, and whichever gender raised the most money for the Topeka Rescue Mission, the adult-in-charge of the opposite gender would get a pie in the face. Over the course of the week, each group of kids managed to raise around $60. Which meant that in a week, we raised over $120 for our local mission. That was amazing enough. But at the Family Night, I was nearly brought to tears as I watched God move.
Carol was the VBS Director, and as she was explaining the competition to the parents (and the difference of less than $2 between the two totals), a woman stood up. Raising a $5 bill, she declared that she wanted to spare Carol from the pie and was adding to the girls’ pot. That one donation set off a wave of parents donating money on the spot, to either of the pots. When all was said and done, both leaders got pies in the face, and we’d raised another $40 or so for the Rescue Mission.
Afterwards, I took the time to ask about previous VBS Family Nights (which I’d never gone to, even when I was a teacher all week). Never, in the known history of our church doing VBS, has anything like that ever happened before. It was amazing, especially in the midst of the economic times, to watch God working in a crowd like that. These parents had been sending donations with their children all week, and then they gave a little more.
So, up until Nathan’s diagnosis, I had absolutely no idea what a thyroid did. Now, I’m not quite sure what it doesn’t do. It’s got a finger in everything. Brain development, growth, body temperature, metabolism, digestion. If your body does it, the thyroid and pituitary probably have a hand in it. For example, take a look at these two pictures of Nathan. Same boy. Same onesie. Two weeks apart.
My husband was playing Fallout: New Vegas a few weeks back and asked me to look something up for him. In the game, there is a park with large dinosaurs that reminded him of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. So he wondered if that part of the movie was in Vegas. It wasn’t, but the time spent on Wikipedia led me to new knowledge. Pee Wee’s Big Adventure was Tim Burton’s first feature length film. Now, in hindsight, it totally makes sense as a Tim Burton film. His stuff has a certain flavor to it that was definitely not missing in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. But I’d never realized before that it was one of his.
Fast forward to this past Friday. I mentioned this knowledge to my brother. He was also surprised by the information. And by the subsequent information that Paul Reubens had a cameo in one of the Batman movies that Burton directed. This led to a discussion of the way Tim Burton seems to put the same people in his movies. And then we looked it up.
Tim Burton has directed 14 feature length films. Johnny Depp has been in 7 of them. I hypothesize that he would have been in 8, but he was working on Pirates of the Caribbean when Burton was doing Big Fish (and the windfall goes to Ewen MacGregor). Helena Bonham-Carter has been in 6 Tim Burton films.
All of this proves two things. One, it’s good to be friends with Tim Burton. And two, weird things interest me and spur me to research. This information will never be useful to me (I suspect), but yet, I spent at least a half hour browsing IMDB and discussing it all with my brother.
How I look now
My 6-week followup appointment was on Monday. Which means I’m officially recovered from the whole having a baby thing. And that means I can get back to my regularly scheduled weight loss.
I’m breast-feeding, which means I can’t diet, but I think that’s good. Because it means I have to focus more on fitness. And since the breastfeeding will make weight loss easier (by burning an extra 500 or so calories every day), the fitness is more important right now anyway. I’m looking forward to getting back into my Wii Fit. And I’m really looking forward to starting up again with the Couch to 5k. Running felt good to me (even though it hurt like crazy at first).
Current Weight: 194 (according to the doctor’s scale)
I have a couple confessions to make, But first, a couple links.
This week, my two kids and I made an appearance in This Is Beautiful You on Single Dad Laughing. Also, it will be a lot easier to understand my post if you first read his about Perfection (Don’t worry. I’ll wait while you read it). Moving on.
I struggle with money management. A lot. And it’s only made more complicated by a streak of miser. I’ve gotten better over the years, but I used to practically have a panic attack when writing the rent check. It was just so big. And other bills were not immune. $30 for the phone? It was better, but still sweat-inducing. Which makes my money management struggle an odd one. Basically, I’m so bothered by paying anything over $20, I tend to block out that bills are due. I’ve tried multiple systems of organization to attempt to get past this. I’m hoping the most recent system will work, since it kinda has to.
In the last 6 years that I’ve been married, we have definitely gotten into a terrible financial situation. And not because we’ve been stupid (though we probably own far too many video games, but we could always afford them at the time). Things were fine, and then my husband got hurt and we lost a few paychecks when he couldn’t work. And when he hasn’t been hurt in the last few years, there’s always other medical things. Having kids costs money, and while we have insurance, it’s not that awesome. We ended up owing several thousand dollars after my daughter was born. The few bills that we’ve already gotten for Nathan put us over a thousand already. And then there’s my gall bladder. That one was completely unexpected and the cost to us adds up to another thousand. And all this on a budget that’s so tight, I have trouble finding an extra five bucks.
How does this relate to Perfection? I try to pretend there’s no problem. Sometimes I even manage to convince myself. We don’t have credit cards, so I can’t spend more than we make in a month, but there are months when bills have only been partially paid (or not at all). And we owe money to various members of my family. We need new tires and the car is way behind on recommended maintenance (and we notice it in the way it runs), but we’re more likely to buy something frivolous than that. Because I just don’t acknowledge the problem. Or I acknowledge it too much. I’m always either ignoring that there’s an issue, or I’m freaking out about every dollar we spend. There’s no in between. And it’s really getting to the point where I don’t have the energy to freak out, so I need to find the place where I’m getting things paid without it.
Ironically, as I’m working on getting us to a place where we’re not one lost paycheck away from getting our electricity turned off, the pastor preached about tithing. Which has always been a struggle for me. When any check over $20 causes panic, imagine how well I deal with writing a check for 10% of our gross. And it’s not even that I don’t want the church to have it. I thank God every day for the roof over our heads. I know I wouldn’t have anything at all if he didn’t want me to have it. It’s just the check (I don’t know if cash would be better). It’s just the act of writing an amount that looks so big to me. I’ve had to learn to write the check beforehand, so that I can at least put it in the plate with the right spirit.