Tuesday, July 18, 2006

My Friend Rachel sent me this meme. I have been trying to answer it for several days. If you're wondering what I've been doing with my free time, please see my WHINING post from earlier this week. To answer the questionairre and share some information about my charming self with you, here are my answers:



of course not!

of course, every single day

orange juice

I'm kidding!!!

Here's the questions and answers...

1. First name? Keri

2. Were you named after anyone? No. Well, sorta. My mom wanted to name me Keri Dawn. My dad said Dawn was too hard to spell. He picked Keri Sue. After my birth, the hospital staff was getting my mom to complete the birth certificate. "How do you want to spell 'Keri'?" Mom points to the lotion bottle on the table next to her hospital bed, "like that." And that's why I was tortured in high school by the guys shouting the phrase from the Keri lotion commercial "Keri is so very...." You can use your 17 year-old's imagination to fill in the blank.

3. When did you last cry? This previous week. A dear friend was very sick, had a stroke. Cried while praying for him and then cried as I rejoiced over his miraculous recovery. ("Tim, God has His hand on you. He's keeping you here for a reason!")

4. Do you like your own handwriting? Definitely not. I've typed soo much for sooo long that I can hardly hold a pen/pencil long enough to write a few checks. Might be carpal tunnel. Probably just lazy hands.

5. What is your favorite lunch meat? Does meatloaf count? Yesterday and today, I've had sandwiches with brown sugar ham and roast beef. Yummm.

6. Kids? You've not read any of my previous posts, huh? ;-) DD is 5 1/2. I'm pg with #2 and due Feb 1, 2007. And this will complete our happy, little family.

7. If you were another person, would you be friends with you? Sometimes I already am that other person and, no. To be frank, I'm not sure. I hope so. I try to be a good friend and a good person; I'm just not sure how successful I am at those efforts.

8. Do you have a journal? Well, there's this blog. I've had journals in the past but never kept up with them.

9. Do you use sarcasm a lot? Define sarcasm.

10. Do you still have your tonsils? Yes. I can't convince the doctors to yank them out. "They're not 'diseased'." They whine at me.

11. Would you bungee jump? No way.

12. What is your favorite cereal? Special K Red Berries - but Peanut doesn't like it, so I've not eaten any since getting pg.

13. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Well, my swollen feet are loving my new sandals. But no, when I wear my tennis shoes.

14. Do you think you are strong? Sometimes. For DD, yes. For my parents, yes. Not sure I am strong for DH.

15. What is your favorite ice cream? Homemade vanilla. I'm searching for a recipe that doesn't use raw eggs (banned during pg.)

16. What is the first thing you notice about people? Their smell. That's mean, isn't it? Not their cologne, but are they clean? I mean, their SMILE.

17. Red or pink? Red. DD has influenced me to like pink more. DH bought me a pretty pink top in Oregon that I love. But still red is my favorite.

18. What is the least favorite thing about yourself? I can't pick just one. Sorry. Pointy chin. Flabby butt and thighs. Personality traits galore. My sensitive nose.

19. Brothers or sisters? One older brother, mean as a snake!!!

20. Do you want everyone to send this back to you? NOOOOOOO!!!!!! I get enough emails. Just post it on your own blog (yes, you need your own blog) and let me know its there.

21. The last thing you ate. Pretzels.

22. What are you listening to right now? The hum of an air conditioner. and the voices in my head!!!

23. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Red, duh!

24. Favorite smells? DD's freshly shampooed hair, clean laundry, Italian food.

25. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? My boss/dad.

26. Favorite drink? Orange juice!!!!

27. Favorite sport to watch? Auburn football. Any t-ball game (when you're stressed, it's the most effective tension breaker!!!)

28. Hair color? Natural? Sandy brown with God's high-lights. I get help covering up the Lord's handiwork though. Right now, there's a little reddish-brown streaked in with my sandy brown/gray.

29. Eye color? Blue with green around the pupils. DD loves to tell me my eyes don't match.

30. Do you wear contacts? I should, but I like to live life on the edge.

31. Favorite food? Meatloaf and macaroni and cheese; Mexican; Italian; hotdogs; hamburgers.

32. Scary movies or happy endings? Happy endings, definitely. Funny movies are great. But I recently saw "Signs" for the first time - it's scary with a happ--- oops, I mean surprise ending.

33. Last movie you watched? Cheaper by the Dozen2 on PPV

34. Summer or winter? I HATE the heat. I don't hold up well in the killer heat of my beloved South. I dream of Alaska summers and Alabama winters.

35. Favorite dessert? cheesecake with raspberry sauce. Warm, underbaked chocolate chip cookies with cooooold milk.

36. What book are you reading? I don't get to read books other than LeapPad. I read on the internet. I'm addicted to some blogs out there.

37. What's on your mouse pad? My finger!!! haha! I use a laptop - no mouse pad.

38. What did you watch on tv last night? Funniest Home Videos, Disney Channel, Supernanny

39. Favorite sounds? rain on the roof, my daughter's deep breaths while sleeping, my own singing (y! right!)

40. Rolling Stones or Beatles? How about Third Day or Jennifer Knapp or Steven Curtis Chapman or Jimmy Buffet? (Which one of these is not like the others? Which one of these does not belong?)

41. The furthest you've been from home? Tijuana, Mexico or Catalina Island, CA

42. Do you have a special talent? Yes, but it's private. ;-) I have a knack for rembering numbers.

43. Where wer you born? Fort Payne, Alabama

44. Paper or plastic? Rachel says "everyone knows..." blah blah blah ;-) But she's wrong. For those of us who have resigned ourselves to a long life as a pack-mule - er, Mommy - it's obvious that plastic is superior to paper because you can hook 5 or 6 on each arm PLUS the 3 in each hand! (lovya, Rach!)

45. Snow or sun? Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

46. Dog or cat? Both. We have the sweetest, stinkingest farm dog ever: Sport. And the luckiest, goofiest cat ever, Angel.

47. Favorite tv shows? Monk, House, Psych (still new, might get removed from list), Funniest Home Videos, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

48. Theater vs video? Payperview!!! Except for DD, I take her to the "feeeeater" every once in a while for a special treat.

49. Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate

50. Wine vs beer? Beer stinks. Wine is the preferred of the two, but I partake soooooo rarely that I don't even count it.

51. Tulips vs roses? As gifts, either is wonderful. As plants for me to grow, they'd better be fake.

52. Ocean or mountains? MOUNTAINS all day every day and twice on Sunday.

53. Sandals vs stilettos? Swollen pg feet require sandals.

54. First job? Working for my dad, helping bookkeeper. Sheesh! I've been working for my dad my whole life!

55. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Canadian Rockies, Scotland, Australia, Colorado, Washington (not DC), Virginia/Maryland/DC, etc. I love the mountains and historical places.

56. What's your dream job? I guess I'm in transition on this one. Right now, I'm preparing to quit work to be a sick pg woman and new mom. I DREAM of being a great stay-at-home mom that finds pleasure in keeping a clean house. Reality: A clean house doesn't make me happy. So, I'm working on it. I fantasize about running a home-based business designing custom cards/invitations/announcements.

57. If you have any vehicle, what would it be and why? It would be a Honda Odyssey (2004 or 2006). I've researched mini-vans to death. For the price, it's the best quality out there.

58. Most recent blessing you have received? DH's love and forgiveness. DD's love and devotion. Friend's (Tim) recovery.

59. Prayer request? Friends looking for work. Friends with health problems. Family members who don't know Jesus as their Savior. My personal pg pity-party.

60. Coke or Pepsi? I grew up with Coke in the fridge. I quit the habit while in California in 1994-1995. I now prefer decaf sweet tea or OJ or water or milk and very little else.

61. Rock vs country? I tolerate country. It has to be an exceptional singing talent and special song for me to enjoy it. I love Southern Rock. If you haven't heard Third Day, they combine good, classic, Southern, bluesy, guitar rock with a Christian message. Ultimately cool.

62. Digital vs traditional photography? I tried to be a film snob. I still have a nice 35mm slr. I dug it out to take a few pictures of DD back in May to compare it to our non-SLR digital Sony. Almost equal picture quality. I want Rachel's camera.

63. Do you consider yourself crafty? Not really. DD and I throw together things sometimes. I manage to pull something out of my hat for the children's classes at church. I enjoy it, but not more than I enjoy sleeping or eating. Frankly, that's all I have left to give up to have time to craft anything!

64. Are you logical or emotional? Rachel said it best.... I'm very logical about my emotions and feel good about my sense of logic. Except for when I'm pg, then I'm just emotional and your logic needs to accomodate that!!!

65. Are you analytical? I could answer this in great detail. But it would take way too much room. I'd have to use many charts and graphs. The research would take months to complete. I'd probably have to get someone to write a new programming language to do all the calculations. It would possibly require the assistance of 4 full-time administrative assistants and 2 interns to enter the data and type the findings. A commercial printer would be necessary to print and bind the results. And then, I'd probably have to read it to you to explain the terminology used.

Nah, I'm not very analytical.

Now you know!!!

Dr Mommy

That’s not a new term. I won’t begin to take credit for it. I know I’m not the only mom to consider herself the first medical professional that cares for her child.

I don’t presume to have sufficient knowledge or training to perform an emergency appendectomy. A tracheotomy, maybe. Splinter-ectomy, definitely.


Anyway… I was chatting with My Friend Rachel via email the other day. (Her messenger is dead and can’t be reconnected on her new pc at work. Alas.) We were discussing our blogs. She takes some beautiful pictures and posts them there. I loved seeing the pics from her and Mark’s trip to ND, CO, etc.

I yearn to write. I dream of it. I thoroughly enjoy the process and results. It’s my only current attempt at journaling. I enjoy recording my memories and thoughts and stories about DD’s antics and other crap. It’s therapy. Catharsis (my word for the day.) However I run out of ideas/topics. I’ll get an idea or two then have a dry spell for who-knows-how-long.

So… I’ve emailed myself with a few things that I want to write about. One of them follows…

Dr Mommy recommends the liberal use of chapstick and wet washcloths. These two non-medical treatments are quite versatile in their applications and have amazing, almost miraculous qualities.

As DD has grown (now 5 ½ y-o and 4 feet tall), she has had her share of boo-boos. Thanks to the Good Lord that none have been serious (yet?). But they seemed very serious to DD at the time of the injuries.

I don’t recall the first time that DH and I discovered the healing properties of chapstick. It was probably a bump or scrape or bruise. She might have mashed her finger. (The boo-boos tend to blur together after a while - does that make me an inattentive, insensitive mommy?) Anyway, she had this desperate, pleading look on her face. I do remember that.

Meaning of the Look: “Please do something to make it better. I think I’ll die. I need some relief of this misery. You’re my MOMMY. You can fix this. I believe in you.”

Well, I couldn’t just sit there and let her hurt and absolutely ruin this wonderful image she has of me and the unbelievable level of trust she has in my abilities to care for her. Could I?

No. I couldn’t.

So, I did what any self-respecting, resourceful, desperate mother would do. I grabbed the first thing I could find on my bed-side table.


She never batted an eye. She never doubted that in that magical green tube of Blistex medicated lip balm was the CURE to her suffering and pain. I carefully opened the tube and gently applied the “medicine” to her very serious boo-boo. I held her close, rocked back and forth, shushed and said “It’s ok, Mommy loves you. You’re gonna be allright.”

Healed. It was only the first of many chapstick miracles in our house.

It wasn’t long after she started talking that she’d actually ask for chapstick when she’d get a boo-boo. I remember my mom’s phone call one night when DD was staying with her.

Mom: “DD hurt her finger.”

My memory is vague again about the specific type of injury. It might not have even been her finger.

Mom, with a questioning voice: “She asked for chapstick.”

Me: “Yeah. Chapstick. Is she bleeding? I can tell from her screams she’s not unconscious or dead. How bad is it really?”

Mom: “She’s not bleeding at all. Just a mashed finger.” (or whatever it was)

Mom, again with the questioning voice: “About the chapstick.”

Me: “Get some chapstick and rub on it. It’s magical. You’ll love it. Never be caught without it again in her presence.”

Mom: “Ohhhhh Kayyyyyyy. Come here, DD. Let Nanny put this medicine on you. Yes, it’s chapstick. No, it's not the green tube like Mommy has, but it will work just as good. Nanny promises.”

Now, I don’t have to tell you that my mom was astounded with the rapid recovery she witnessed.

But what strikes me as funny, still today, is this…. I can’t count the different things my mom used on me and my older brother to reassure us or help us that were really just psychological in method. She’s no Dr. Phil (he’s a wimp in comparison.) She always knew when what we really needed was not necessarily some medical treatment, but something to restore our faith in our own survival and to help us see that we were not going to die from a mashed toe or cat-scratch or driving the go-kart into the oak tree (RANDY!!!). Well, maybe he could have died from the go-kart vs oak tree duel. But he didn’t. He had plenty more chances to kill himself with reckless, wild-boy behavior as he grew. (Yes, he has survived them all, thus far.)

God bless my mom. And my dad. I don’t know how they managed to survive raising us (especially RANDY!!!) without killing us (especially RANDY!!!) I suspect there were probably times that they considered making me an only child. They’re super parents – a whole ‘nother post.

Anyway, I’ll quit now. I’ll tell you about the wet washcloth treatment another time.

I’ve rambled enough.

Important note: The exact brand of chapstick you choose does not have to match my preference. Just be sure that if you have an especially observant and particular child that you always have the same kind. DD noticed that one time I tried to use her Cinderella chapstick on a boo-boo. She wasn’t buying it. I had to go dig out a new tube of Blistex medicated lip balm from the bathroom drawer before I could relieve her agony.

Mommy to the rescue!!!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Pregnancy is not much fun this time around. To be frank, it's down-right miserable. I'll do a quick re-cap and leave out most of the gory details.

Lots of nausea.

Migraines are not banned by this pg, like with pg #1.

Fatigue is the standard. Fatigue is an inadequate word. Malaise is better... (Malaise is a generalized feeling of discomfort, illness, or lack of well-being that can be associated with a disease state. It can be accompanied by a sensation of exhaustion or inadequate energy to accomplish usual activities.)

Sciatica is not only for older, arthritic people. It is actually quite common during pregnancy. I have no medical training, other than being a Dr. Mom/Wife, but I suspect that the 1/3 of the female population that has a retroverted uterus are more likely to suffer sciatica during early pregnancy. It seems to be the case with me, anyway. This time isn't as bad as pg #1 (no crawling to the bathroom at night - YET); only a sharp pain occasionally in my left buttOCK.

Vomiting is not the worst thing about morning sickness. Sometimes the nausea is worse and vomiting is a relief - maybe only temporary, but still a relief.

Babies aren’t the only ones that need to be burped.

Bra size can change very quickly. woo-hoo!

A visit to the local ER for migraine relief medication is not a guaranteed quick fix. The ER staff has a knee-jerk reaction to anyone complaining with a migraine. They think you're a drug addict looking for a good fix. It helps that the triage nurse knows you from DD's t-ball team and the admitting clerk knows you from teaching her daughter's Bible school class. The admitting clerk came back to the waiting room to retrieve me through a back door to get me into a quiet dark room (not just a curtain area) and let me lie down. God bless her!!!

PG women with migraines who have already had chicken pox must be moved from their comfortable spot in the corner of the ER waiting room to a less comfy spot to be isolated from the lady with the chicken pox. Note to self: Next time, look at chicken pox gal through black-out eye mask and say "Get up and move yourself! I've puked all afternoon from pain. I can at least lean my rupturing head against the wall over here!" It apparently didn't impress the triage nurse that I mumbled from behind my black-out eye mask that I'd had chicken pox as a kid: "It's not worth the risk." DH just led me to another seat across the room. Bless him!

You CAN lie in bed so long that it hurts your back.

Watermelon is the sweetest nectar.

Five year-olds make pretty good nurses in a pinch. I hope I am stronger when school starts on 08-10.

DH is a wonderful dad and husband. I’ve realized this with great clarity at different times over the years. When his mother was dying, I was absolutely amazed at his strength and honor and dignity. I fell deeply in love with him during that time. Being pg #1 at the same time made me very, very protective of him too. Then when DD was born, I witnessed a transformation in him that I never anticipated. He went from being the big guy who could kill and clean a fish or a deer and was a super uncle and God-father to a huge puddle of Daddy-putty with Jell-O for a spine. He has stepped up to the plate in grand style over the past few weeks, making sure DD was fed and entertained and cleaned, cleaning and washing clothes (learning to bleach his socks and underwear back to white after our red quilt tinted them), calling in his aunt to help me clean when I do feel up to it, even taking the initiative to make an offer on a new mini-van for me.

My job is a real blessing. I’ve been training my replacement, and she is GREAT. My boss is great too: my dad ;-) I do not know how long I will be able to work, but I’ve got to maximize my efficiency when I am able to work.

Orange juice is vital to my existence in a while new way.

The peanut has finally allowed me to enjoy chocolate chip cookies and cold milk again. Thank you, Baby Peanut!

I have a few funny stories that I want to share. Right now I need to find something for DD and I to eat for lunch. DH is playing golf today. It’s his company’s 1st anniversary this month. They’re celebrating with a golf tournament at a Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail over in Huntsville, Al. He’s worked soooo hard. I’m very proud of him. He deserves a day of fun and celebration. Well, really more than one day, but it’s a start.

Thanks to everyone who has pitched in lately to take care of us.

Thanks for your prayers. They make a real difference.