Friday, September 13, 2013


A friend of mine and his wife just had a baby about a week ago.  In that week, they became parents, and began dealing with their new lives not only as caretakers of a new human being, but of a child with special needs.  You see, their beautiful baby boy was born with Down Syndrome.  I just read an amazing post his wife made on Facebook about the calm and peace she feels about the diagnosis.  She is a pillar of strength who sees her baby not as a problem with a child attached, but as a regular baby who just needs a little extra love and care.  I was so very impressed that it made me think how I would react in the same situation.  Could I be calm, cool and collected knowing the hardships that not only my child would go through as he grew but also the stress put upon me and my husband?  It sounds incredibly selfish, this I know.  And maybe that's the problem.  There is an incredible stigma against those who are wired differently than the norm.  Who's brains don't function as fast or as well or whatever.  We have such an ingrained idea in our minds about what things SHOULD be, that we tend to overlook what actually is there.  I know for one that I do.  It's awful and I'm working on it.  I can only hope and pray that if ever I am put in that position, I am granted the same strength to realize that it's a part of my baby but it's not all my baby.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My Debt to my School

I went to college at a small, private, liberal arts Catholic university in Austin.  What Up ST. ED'S!  Three out of the five years I was there, I worked as a student worker/intern for the Alumni and Parent Programs office.  So I helped out with all alumni events, like Homecoming and Night at the Ballpark and the Alumni Board meetings, and I really enjoyed it!! I loved my bosses, and we had the most kickass group ever.  The point is I really bonded with my bosses by the time I graduated.  So of course, as an alumna, I got voluntold for a lot of things.  Voluntold is when you're asked to do something but there really is no room for a "No".  This has continued, becoming less and less as my former bosses moved on from St. Ed's and yesterday, I had my final "voluntold" scenario.  My last boss, who is amazing and a good friend, is leaving St. Ed's for a better job, and as one of her last things, she suggested me as a volunteer for one of the college fairs in Dallas.  So I bucked up, put on my St. Edward's t-shirt, and went off to DeSoto High School to convince kids to consider St. Ed's as their college of choice.

I learned a lot in the three hours standing behind this table.  One, most people dress up for college fair.  I was rocking jeans and a t-shirt and I was SERIOUSLY underdressed.  Two, knowing the requirements for acceptance is a good plan.  And three, some of these kids were seriously prepared!! I had several kids give me resumes and academic scores, and one kid, when filling out his info card, just stuck a sticker with his name and contact info on it.  I was duly impressed.  Also, the DeSoto culinary arts students made a DELICIOUS dinner.  I may actually VOLUNTEER again next year!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Over Summer

It's almost the middle of September.  School has been in session for most school-aged people for almost a month now.  The stores have Halloween stuff on sale.  The really ahead of the game places (*cough* Hobby Lobby *cough*) already have Christmas stuff up.  Starbucks has Pumpkin Spice Lattes back and you can't go into a grocery store or go online without running into something pumpkiny.  It's officially Fall season. Well almost, Fall doesn't officially begin until Sept 22nd.  But judging by the decorations and the food and the start of real TV again, I'd say it's Fall.  You know what's not Fall?  The weather.  When you have continuous days of over 95 degree temperature and the sun continues to beat down, making it unbearable to go outside, how can it feel like Fall?  Fall is a time for jeans and sweaters, boots and scarves.  You're supposed to be able to enjoy being outside rather than be hotter than all get out.  And as a Fall baby, I am putting my foot down.  I demand that the weather cooperate.  Or at least that we in Dallas get the same storms that the other big Texas cities are getting.  I find it unfair that they get a break while we're stuck in the heat.  Plus I have a bunch of really cute sweaters just waiting to be pulled out from the back of my closet.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What Do You Say?

I've been reconnecting with people lately, some people I haven't talked to in a couple of months, some people I haven't talked in even longer.  Inevitably, people ALWAYS ask this question.  "What's new?"  Well what if nothing is really new?  What if everything that is "new" in your life actually has been happening to other people?  Sure it's affecting you inadvertently, but really it's not happening to you.  I've been thinking about this and I think I've come up with some viable options that aren't too creepy, personal or weird.

- I downloaded a new app that allows me to make grocery lists on my phone

- I've been kickboxing lately.

- I made an awesome cinnamon sugar pull apart bread the other day.

- I have a new niece, so that's fun.

- I've been preparing for the fall, which is going to be nuts.

That's pretty much all I've got.  How do you make things that haven't really changed seem new?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Days of Vacation

So my year is a little weird.  I started work at my job in August, so that's when my year starts over.  Which means I have to be careful with vacation days.  When you have ten and summer is really the end of your year, it's a little tricky.  My year started over a few weeks ago, and now I have days to spend after a year of having three (that's what I get for spending half my vacation days before the year restarted!).  I'm taking three this fall, for wedding purposes, but I really want to do something fun and for me with some of the others.  I know I'll have to take some in consideration for my brother's final vows in August, but that still leaves me with five days to play with.  FIVE DAYS!  That doesn't seem like much, but when you've been functioning with three, five is amazing.  Part of me wants to save them for after busy season and take a week off to just hang out.  The other part of me wants to make three day weekends, maybe once a month starting in February?  That would get me to June, and leave July vacationless, but who knows?  Maybe I'll just save them all and build up for the next year and take a two week trip somewhere.  Oh the possibilities.  It's a good thing dreaming is free.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Schools and Technology for Parents...What?

It's September, and despite the 100 degree weather we're still experiencing here (thanks for that Texas, really), it is back to school time for nearly everybody.  The majority of people I know started school about three weeks ago, towards the end of August.  This was the first week that my cousins were back in the office though, due to their mom starting up dance classes again (teaching).  Now they've been in school for about three weeks and there's really not a lot you can do wrong in the first three weeks of school, right?  Well apparently not.  My uncle had serious conversations with not one, not two but all three of the boys about homework and grades (The joys of a small office and a loud boss).  And this got me thinking.  How the heck did he know about it?

I was not the best student in the world.  Okay let's rephrase that.  I was not a good student.  I was smart, and I knew the answers to stuff, and I loved to read, but I hated the homework.  I hated projects.  I hated having to turn stuff in.  I did pretty well on most things, though there were a few classes I completely slagged in.  But for the most part, I went along my own way, doing what I wanted to, and not worrying about the consequences until they came up.  Don't get me wrong, I was still in AP classes, and graduated from high school in the top ten percent.  But I could have applied myself more.  And my parents didn't really know until the consequences came out that I was slacking on homework and projects and studying.  AFTER the fact.  Like when I brought it to their attention, or when I got progress reports or report cards.  Which came in the mail.  Nowadays, and it may just be at the schools my cousins attend, parents can go online and find out not only what homework their kids have for that day, but also the future tests and quizzes they're going to have, as well as grades.  Teachers are constantly updating their online stuff, and parents can log right in and find all they need to know in order to make their children keep their noses to the grindstones.  I would have been so much more of an achiever if this had been the case in my day.  Or, more likely, I would have buckled under the pressure, done my stuff, then gotten to college and completely gone crazy with the power of freedom of not having eight teachers plus my parents constantly breathing down my neck.  At least that's what I think.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

How do Our Bodies Work?

That seems to be a slightly menacing title, but this illness which has been lingering has made me wonder.  How do our bodies work?  What's going on inside of me that is making me feel better then worse then better again?  Should I have become a nurse or doctor?  Because this stuff kinda fascinates me.   Here's what I found out when I googled my questions.

-What makes me congested?: well, the first page is all about how ALCOHOL makes you congested.  Thanks Google, you're helpful.  Let's try again.

-What causes congestion?: oh Wiki, you always help me out.  Nasal congestion is usually due to membranes lining the nose becoming swollen from inflamed blood vessels.

- What is a runny nose?: it's called rhinorrhea and is where the nasal cavity is filled with a significant amount of mucous fluid.

-  Why do I get lightheaded when I'm trying to breathe through a stuffy nose?: Lightheadedness is caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain.  When your nasal passages are congested, less oxygen can get into your body, and into your brain, causing you to feel lightheaded or dizzy.  This is also why when you're sick and have been lying down for a long while, you feel weak and dizzy.

-What is a cough?: a cough is a sudden reflex used to help clear the large breathing passages from any kind of foreign object or irritants.

-When I have a cold, how does my body fight it?: by an immune response.  Our bodies use the antigens, or the invading foreign particles to create identical antibodies which immobilize the antigens.  They have to match exactly in order to be stopped.  Our bodies then remember the virus pattern in case it ever invades again.  It takes about a week to ten days for our bodies to create cells which match the virus precisely, sometimes longer, sometimes faster.

Isn't it fun to learn?

All answers were found on wikipedia, or on and then paraphrased by me

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Slightly Awful

Today,  I do not feel good.  I am not one to willy-nilly claim sickness.  The position I am in at work means that I do my best to push through and not succumb to any sort of sickness.  And in the past four years (knock wood) I've done pretty well, only missing a single day of work due to sickness, and that was only because I was throwing up every five minutes (food poisoning, it's a joy I'll tell you what).  But today is a day I wish I could take off.  I don't have anything that could be considered reason to stay home (e.g. a fever or vomiting), and so here I am.  At work with a sore throat, a cough that could clear lungs of fifty healthy people, a runny nose, lightheadedness, and my personal favorite, the voice of a lifelong smoker.  Dead sexy, I'll tell you what.  I'd go to the doctor, but I know what she would tell me.  It's allergies, and until the weather settles down, there's really nothing to be done.  So here I sit, feeling slightly awful and just wishing I could curl up in bed until the weather adjusts itself.