Sunday, June 29, 2008

Confession: I'm terrified to have kids

Chris and I always said that when we turned 30, we'd have kids. Then we joked about "whose 30," since he's a year older than I am. But now he's 31 and I'm officially past that 30 mark, and we're thinking we should start thinking....or thinking of how much longer we can put it off.

I've made a lot of changes in my life since I graduated from high school and college. Getting married was very exciting, but not scary. I spent most of my time with Chris anyway, and all that really changed was my last name. Moving was scary, but kind of necessary for jobs and starting my new life as an adult. I got used to it and now love where I live. But creating a whole new person who is going to live in our house with us for a very long time...that's downright terrifying for me.

I have a lot of fears about the entire process. I'm not looking forward to being pregnant or giving birth. The birth part is not as scary since we started exploring alternatives to hospital births. I'm not sure how that will all play out, but hopefully I can avoid the hospital scene altogether. But what's even more scary for me is how having a child will change our lives.

I really love my life. And OUR lives together. We have a very comfortable life...a nice house, pets, cars, and enough toys to keep us busy. We have a lot of activities that we really enjoy, especially concerts, theatre, travel, biking, jet skiing, etc... Plus we have our way of doing things...dinner when we get home from work, and working on our hobbies in the evening. With a child, all of that changes.

I feel like I can barely take care of myself, our home, and our animals while holding down a full-time job. I'm exhausted as it is. With a child, my mornings will be even more hectic following a night of sporadic sleep, then I'll work all day, get the child from daycare or whomever I hire to raise the child, then I'll go home and take care of the child while doing all of the tasks I normally have to take care of, plus all of the things that the baby needs...more laundry, more dishes, more food prep... I feel overwhelmed already!

Don't get me wrong...I'm not complaining. At this point, I have nothing to complain about. But I'm trying to be aware of how different it's going to be, and then I have to decide whether or not I can pull it off. I know that other women do it...they even have multiple children and/or longer commutes than I do, and/or harder jobs than I have, but I just feel that they're stronger women. I don't think I have the physical or emotional strength to make it happen.

I'm giving it some serious thought, but I'm not sure if I have what it takes to be a mom.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Knee news-or lack thereof

On Monday I went to see Dr. Suchanick about my knee. Although it doesn't hurt anymore, I promised some people that I'd get it looked at, and Chris pushed me to go, so I sucked it up and went. I wanted the appt on Monday because we took Mom, Dad, and my mother-in-law (aka Colleen, Mom II, or MIL for short) to see Wicked, and since MIL stayed at our house, I wanted to be home to see her off. Which we didn't do anyway because she got up really early and left quietly without waking us up. (She warned us the night before not to be offended if she got up and left early. She's an early riser and wanted to get on the road early to avoid traffic and get home to Guy (my FIL) sooner.) Wow, huge digression...

Do you know how embarrassing it is to go into a doctor's office and say, "I'm having problems with me knee, but it's fine now." She was bending and twisting it and asking if it hurt, and nothing hurt, so the whole thing seemed kind of pointless. She sent me for x-rays of my knee and also my toe that I hurt when Xander tripped me, and she also ordered blood work because my knee feels hot to the touch, which I learned is a sign of infection. So after the doctor's appt I went over to the hospital where I had the blood work done, then about 8 x-rays of my knees and foot.

She prescribed an anti-inflammatory/pain reliever, but since I'm not really in pain, and since I can't see or feel any swelling, I'm not sure if I want to take it. And also, once the results come back from the blood cultures, I'll find out whether I'll be on an antibiotic, so if I need another prescription, I'll pick both of them up at the same time. I guess I won't really have a choice about taking the antibiotic, though.

Now I'm just wondering what to do next, because I thought that by now I'd have heard the results from at least the blood work, but at the same time, I can understand that with a culture like they did, they need to give it time to show the results. I realize that it's not really a big deal, but I guess I'm just a little bit impatient.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How NOT to sell me a car

In the mail today there was a regular old business sized envelope hand-addressed to me, bearing no return address. Inside was a page from a newspaper, and stuck to this newspaper was a hand-written note saying "Kelly, Check this out!" and a completely illegible signature. I unfold the paper and the page is a big story about Shults Auto Group and a sale that's going on. "Vehicles to sell for just $29 down and $99 a month with gas for 99 cents per gallon until 2009." Upon further examination, it was easy to see that this page did not appear in a real newspaper. Did they send this to me because we smashed up one of their cars on a test drive? (I'm not kidding...we really did, but it wasn't our fault, and the police report proves it.) It's hard to tell, but I do know one was kind of creepy to receive something like this in the mail, and it's going straight for the recycling bin!


I've come to appreciate and respect fellow bloggers a lot more since I've started blogging. I've made a few discoveries about blogging...

1) Sometimes I just don't feel like blogging. I had hoped to write a blog every day, but sometimes, I just don't wanna. (Of course, sometimes I don't have time, either.)

2) I worry about sounding too negative. As everyone can see in my little blurb about myself, I'm a happy person. I'm pleased with my life and I appreciate every day and every person who touches my life. But I'm also realistic, and I'm very opinionated about certain topics. And I also have EMOTIONS. Sometimes I'm ecstatic about the dumbest things...but occasionally I'm also annoyed by stupid things. I'm even MORE annoyed by ignorance. I hope my readers know that just because I blow off steam from time to time, it doesn't mean that I'm an ungrateful or pessimistic person. I'm just a person!

3) I wonder how honest I should be. Do I admit that I curse too much or talk about how much a friend annoyed me? (Both of these are blog topics in and of themselves, so I'll save those for a later time in order to stick to the topic.)

4) I always think of the best blog topics when I'm out and about, and by the time I get home, I've forgotten what I want to write about.

5) I'm never quite sure if I'm done with a post. I'm always wondering if there's something else I want to say before I post it. And if I post it and then think of something else I want to write, and I edit my post, will readers who have already seen that post know that it's been edited? I don't expect to have a lot of readers, but still, these are the questions on my mind.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Radio morning show-gas discussion

This morning on the radio the DJ and the traffic guy got into a big argument. They were laughing about it later, but I couldn't help but be annoyed by the ignorance of the DJ.

The issue is about the "Dump the Pump" day that's going on today. I don't know if it's all over the nation or if it's just here in WNY, but the DJ's argument is that one day of not driving isn't going to make a difference, while the weather guy's argument is that it will. Now, if you pick the argument apart a little bit, they're both right, but the ignorance of the DJ really made me angry.

If the DJ was arguing that it's not going to hurt the oil companies, then he's probably right. He said that if you don't get it today, then you'll just need it tomorrow. That's only partially true. You actually delayed needing gas by one day...that means that you saved some money, and you prevented a few gallons of gas from polluting our atmosphere.

I know that it makes a difference. I carpooled to work a while back when another person from Dunkirk worked with me, and Chris is carpooling now with a lady who lives in Dunkirk and works in Buffalo. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that if you drive less frequently, you'll buy less gas. I just wonder how long it will take the idiot on the radio to get a clue.

When I turn on the radio in the morning, I don't want to hear negativity and arguing about how little of an impact you're having on the world, I want to hear someone encouraging people to help make the world a better place. ((It's kind of like my using canvas bags at the grocery store. Some will argue that it doesn't make a difference, but I believe otherwise, and will proudly use my canvas bags every time I shop.)) I think that what he did was awful, and to add this to the fact that he plays "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis every morning makes me think I might have to find a new radio station. I'm sure he's crying his heart out at the thought of losing me as a listener. (sarcasm)

If you "Dumped the Pump" today, I say GOOD FOR YOU. You made a difference, and I'm proud of you.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Late night carpentry

Last night we didn't hear our favorite wild animal, but we did hear the neighbor across the street doing carpentry at 10:30pm. He was hammering away on something for half an hour before I got up and closed the windows. It's a good thing it was a cool night, because the windows blocked out most of the sound. If it had been warm, he would have gotten a visit from me in my bathrobe, asking him (kindly, of course) if he could pick a better time to build his masterpieces.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Community service

My Girl Talk group at school has done some nice community service projects. The two biggest projects were collecting shoes for a shoe drive and making bracelets for girls who are hospitalized. Next year I want to do more community service with the group, but it seems like most organizations just want money. While I can see the need for money, I wish that there were more that the girls can do that doesn't require them to raise money. Some of these girls come from homes that don't have much money, so it's tough to hold a fund raiser and then give all of the money away, knowing that some of the girls I work with are in need as well.

So if anyone reads this post and knows how a small group of junior high and high school girls might be able to help an organization, I'm open to any and all ideas!

This is the pile of shoes that "my girls" collected in February during our "Heart and Sole" shoe drive...

Last day of school

Today is the last day of school, and I kind of feel like crying. Every year I've been attached to the students, but this is a special class. Maybe it's because I've been with them for five years, and I've had longer to get to know them than past classes. But I think that part of it is the special bond I've formed with some of these remarkable students. They've gotten to know me and I've gotten to know them. They know my quirks and my passions. I was reminded today about how well they know me when I walked into my office and found the following gift on my desk:

It's going to be a rough day, but a happy day. The day ends with the seniors doing their "Senior Farewell Tour." They start upstairs and walk through the hallways up there, then come downstairs and walk through the halls on the first floor, and the juniors hand them a flower as they exit the building on their last day as high school seniors. Graduation and the awards ceremony are both very upbeat events, and no one really cries, but during the senior farewell tour, EVERYONE cries. Even me...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Temper, temper!

I noticed the other day how easy it is to get mad at other people. I always teach my students to try to just "chill" when someone makes them angry, but I fully understand how difficult that can be at times. The other day on my way to work, I got stuck behind a guy doing about 23 mph (not kidding...he was doing less than 25!), and that really frustrated me. Then I got behind a bunch of other cars that slowed me down, which frustrated me even more. It was like all of the Sunday drivers were out on a Tuesday. So finally some of the slow cars cleared and there were four cars left, and we were all traveling a little faster than the speed limit to make up the time we lost. I was the last one in the line, and actually wasn't really paying attention to how fast we were going. We got to the point where the speed limit drops from 55 to 35, and then there's a stop sign at the bottom of the little hill. A guy walked up to the road and waited for traffic to clear so that he could cross (I think), and when I got to him, he mouthed "slow down" as he made a motion with his hands which would also indicate that he was telling me to slow down. And that really made me mad! First of all, I don't do well with scoldings. I always try to do the right thing, so a scolding just felt like a slap in the face. Secondly, I was the fourth car in the line, and he picked ME to yell at? Sheesh!

Now, I know that I wouldn't have gotten out of the car or confronted the guy or anything because I just can't see the point in doing something like that. But for the rest of the ride to work (about 10 minutes) I played a little movie in my head. I often do that...I have those little daydreams about different ways to react in a given situation. Now that I think of it, it's kind of like what you'd see in Scrubs or Ally McBeal, where they space out and have a silly daydream, then snap back to reality.

I'm terribly ashamed to say that my first reaction would have been to argue with the guy, but that's the emotion I was feeling at the time. I know very well that if I were to have gotten out of the car and said, "I'm sorry, I didn't realize that I was going that fast. I won't do it again," that there wouldn't have been an issue. But if I had gotten out and said, "How dare you tell me to slow down. Who do you think you are...?" or something like that, I'm pretty certain that it wouldn't have fixed things one bit.

I'm finding that this post probably makes me sound like a big jerk or hothead, but I guess the point is that even though I know the proper way to be have, sometimes blowing up at someone seems to be a natural reaction. I also don't want to give the impression that I was actually contemplating getting out of the car and arguing with this was simply one of those thoughts that crossed my mind.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Some environmental quotes

A few weeks ago in the coupon packet in th Sunday paper, they printed all kinds of environmental facts. These are my two favorite facts:

You only need to reuse a bag 11 times before you've helped to reduce the environmental impact of plastic and paper bags.

Buildings with green roofs or vegetated roofs capture water, providing natural cooling for building interiors and enabling the National Park Service to save on energy costs.

Shopping, reading, 7pm bedtime

All week I've been really tired. I've taken forever to fall asleep, only to have screeching wild animals wake me up. Then the stress at work has me frazzled. It's nothing bad, it's just that there seem to be millions of things going on and I can't even figure out where to start. And on top of the normal work stuff, my Girl Talk group is getting a lot of extra attention since my student won that big award, so now I have to send a write-up to Channel 2, to the Buffalo News, and eventually to the Jamestown paper (although they're a pretty sorry excuse for the paper...they're the only news paper who hasn't gotten back to me about running the story.)

That's another thing they don't teach you in Counselor school--how to deal with the media, but that's a whole different topic...

So anyway, after five days of no sleep/all stress, I was exhausted. I got home quite a bit before Chris did on Friday evening, so I sat on the couch reading Karma Girl. (I'm almost done!) He got home and I cooked some dinner and we watched TV for a little bit. Then he went out to work on his planes in the family room and I sat down to finish the rest of my book. I read several pages but then got really sleepy, so I put my head down and fell asleep. I probably slept there for a couple hours. Chris came in and saw that I had just woke up. He said, "Come on, let's go up to bed," so I went up, did the whole "bedtime routine," crawled into bed...and didn't fall asleep for three hours. I felt too tired to get up and do anything, yet I couldn't fall asleep.

When I'm in a good sleeping mode, I still take a while to fall asleep, but at least I'm comfortable and content. Lately, though, I've taken HOURS to fall asleep, and once I fall asleep, if strange noises don't wake me up, I have really weird dreams. I don't remember them very well, but I do remember that the dreams make it feel like I'm working in my sleep. Not necessarily on counseling stuff, just a general stressed out feeling. In one dream I was sleeping at someone else's house, I think it was Grandma's house in Cuba, and I was worried that I wouldn't wake up on time so that I could shower and get to work, so when I woke up, I was all stressed out that I was going to be late for work, and I wondered why I was staying at my Grandma's house when I had to go to work the next day. (It would take me about 1.5 hours to get to work, and I have to be there at 7:30!) When I finally realized that I was home, I was still really groggy and confused, which made it hard to get ready for work.

I think that might have been the day I forgot to put on deodorant. (Don't worry, I found some deodorant in the nurse's office. But it was kind of funny because I told a few people what I did (I have very few secrets!), and I found out that even the people who seem to have it all together have forgotten deodorant, or something similar (forgotten to brush their teeth, went to work wearing two different shoes, etc...) One person actually said, "Oh, I do that all of the time, that's why I have spray deodorant in my office, so if you ever need it, just come on over!"

Thoughts that I never finished on Thursday:

READING BOOKS (written on 6/12/08)

Last evening we didn't know what we wanted to eat for dinner, and we didn't feel like doing anything in particular, so we just stayed in. I cooked brinner (breakfast for dinner) and we worked on some projects. Honestly, I really didn't get a lot done. I'm reading a book called Karma Girl which started out kind of, um, different, but it's gotten kind of exciting and I'm anxious to see what happens. I was surprised, though, that even with all of the time we spent at home, I didn't really get any reading done. I bopped around online for a while, did some stuff for work, picked up the kitchen, and got my clothes out for today. But anyway, I'm looking forward to going home after work today, sitting down on the couch with a cup of tea, and diving back into my book.

SHOPPING (written on 6/12/08)
This weekend we're going shopping. You won't believe me when I say this, but Chris insisted that we go! There's a big sale at Ann Taylor Loft (one of my favorite stores--their clothes actually fit me!!!). I love to shop, but I've been trying to cut down. I have too many clothes and I'm trying to save money. However, I need to dress up for work, and dress clothes are expensive, so the time to get them is when they're on sale! So sometime today we're going to head out and see what we can find on sale. And I might enjoy a Chai Frappuccino from Starbucks while we're out because I have a gift card :)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Weird night, weird morning.

Last night (or actually this morning--1:30am) we were awakened by the sound of really loud growling, whining, whimpering, etc... It was all happening outside, so we knew it wasn't the cats (who stay in all of the time). Then it sounded like someone set off a fire cracker, presumably to scare the animals away. Then Xander started barking, which woke up Chris. We were looking out the window, but it was hard to tell where the noise was even coming from. We got Chris' work light from the basement and shined it outdoors. We didn't see anything, but the noise stopped, so we went back to bed. I take forever to fall asleep, so just about the time I was falling asleep, around 2:30, it happened again. I shined the light but didn't see anything, and then the noise stopped, so I went back to bed. Then at 3:30...same thing. This time, I caught a glimpse of something up in a tree in the neighbor's yard, and when I shined the light back on it, it fell out of the tree!!! Probably from about 30 feet up! I think it was still alive because I could still hear it making noise and running around, but then it stopped growling and once again, I went back to bed. It made a little noise again shortly after the last incident, but it didn't last long. Chris went around and closed up all of the windows (luckily it was cool outside) so we could get a little bit of sleep. Thankfully, we were able to sleep after that, but I was TIRED this morning when 5:30 rolled around. I must have hit snooze and fell asleep immediately because at 5:4o we woke up again going "holy crap, we're late!"

Isn't it ironic...when I have to get up for work, I can fall asleep in a second, but when I go to bed at a normal time, I lie awake, thinking of all sorts of stuff. Maybe I should get up and blog myself to sleep.

Then this morning, I was walking Xander and I saw a guy laying in a really awkward position on the steps of the church that was converted into a halfway house, and I was certain that he was dead. I tried to see if he was breathing, but I couldn't tell if he was from across the street, so Xander and I walked a little farther down the street and then crossed over. I tried to see/hear if the guy was breathing, but I couldn't tell. Just then, Xander decided to "do his business" right near the guy, and since I had to stand there for a little longer, I was able to hear that he was breathing. If Xander hadn't stopped, I would have gone home to call 911. My dear mother in law reminded me that it probably wasn't the best idea to walk close to the guy like that, and I know she's right, but hindsight is always 20/20.

I'd been putting it off as long as I could, but I finally broke down and made my doctor's appointments. If I don't use up my flex money, I lose it, so I need to make sure I get my insoles for my shoes or cool new sunnies or both. I think that I've been so grumpy because these phone calls were looming over me, and that on top of the end-of-the-year festivities at MG, it was just causing me a great deal of tress. So I broke down and made my calls today, which I hate to do at work, but sometimes it just has to be done. I rarely make it home in time to make the calls before the offices close because I stay at work late nearly every day, plus I do some of my work from home, so I think that it (more than) balances out.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Errands, lists, and other musts

The Pilot had to go into the shop today because the AC stopped working. Turns out all it needed was some fluid, and needed to be charged. Although I'm pretty mechanically minded, I have no idea what it means to charge the air conditioner. Although taking it into the shop wasn't exactly something that I enjoyed, I'm thankful that it wasn't anything major. I'm just trying to keep things in perspective :) I'm also grateful for my friend Susan, who kindly gave me a ride to the dealership. And picked me up at the door of our school because it was pouring out. I've said it before and I'll say it again, MY FRIENDS RULE!

Yep, I still hate making doctor's appointments almost as much as I hate going. Luckily for me, the calls I made today didn't result in any appointments, so I'm safe for another day. I'd better just bite the bullet and finish the calls tomorrow, otherwise this is going to eat me alive. I've been in a bad mood lately, and I know that it's because I have all of these appointments looming over me. Gosh, I feel like such an ungrateful jerk...I'm not facing any life threatening conditions, and I still bitch about doctor's appointment. But for as easygoing as I typically am, this is one area that gets me all crabby and I can honestly say I have no idea why.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Students, fatigue, writing, doctor's appointments, and asking for favors

My students make me laugh. I'm often surprised by the things they tell me, but I'm also amused :)

I'm very tired today. I hate it when people constantly complain about being tired, so I try not to be one of those people. Actually, I'm not one of those people because I'm not usually tired. Generally, there's a solution to the problem...get some sleep, preferably on some sort of a schedule, and nourish your body. Once in a while, fatigue cannot be avoided. (Like on the day after the awards ceremony this past Monday. Fifteen hour workdays almost guarantee fatigue the next day.) Today I have no excuses. I'm just tired. I would like to go home and sit down on the couch with a book and a smoothie.

Lately I have had the urge to write. I'm not sure what I want to write about, but I want to write, so I have decided to just write what I think. Maybe that will reveal what a genius I am. Or how weird I am. Either way, I'll learn a little something about myself. So as I sit here at work, all I want to do is write about nothing.

I hate making doctors appointments almost as much as I hate going to them, but it appears that this knee is not going to fix itself.

I'm reminded of how I hate asking people for favors. Tomorrow I have to take the Pilot to have the AC looked at, and I need to bum a ride to work from the dealership and then get a ride from a friend to get back to the dealership. But the thing is that people generally don't mind helping out, just as I don't mind helping others out. But sometimes it's still hard to ask.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Why do cats always sleep in laundry baskets?

I can't set a laundry basket down without one of the cats climbing in it and snuggling up for a little nap.