• Personal

    What Stress?

    I was doing a bit of research on the stress of moving house, thinking “It’s not really so bad.” But this is what I didn’t need:

    Doctors have researched and found there is a breast cancer personality?!?

    Actually, how they put it is: “…well-documented and widely accepted fact that personality, stress, and a variety of external factors can predispose to … cancer.” Huh.

    Nice. I’ve only not been worried about this since my mother died of breast cancer at the age of 35 and I’m 35 for lessee… 8 more days.

    “Our own research, which has concentrated primarily on women with breast cancer, tends to confirm the existence of a cancer-prone personality.”

    1. Time Consciousness: “Hard driving” “Less casual about appointments.” “Type A.”

    These are BAD things? I mean, who wants to be “casual about appointments?” I time everything. Standing in line at the post office? Yep. How long do the kids take to get into the car after I yell “Let’s GO.” I am obviously riddled with tumors.

    2. Personal Drive: “Less ambitious” and “Less competitive.”

    Hm. Is wanting to be in the Senate since age 17 really ambitious or merely delusional? Less competitive? Definitely. I forfeit anything I know I can’t win.

    3. Satisfaction/Contentedness: They do one thing at a time and they do it slower.

    I’m not sure I want to do any introspection on this. I mean, seriously, I’ve got movers here and can’t give it the time it deserves.

    4. Interpersonal Relationships: Less interests outside their home and work environments.

    I have all kinds of interests outside my home. I meet ALL my online friends outside my home. At least once, maybe twice a year, we get together.

    “Furthermore, the women with breast cancer reported significantly more adverse life-events in the two years preceding their diagnosis.”

    Well there you go. In the last two years I have had no adverse life-events. No one died. We just made the transition from six years in the Air Force to civilian, moved from Japan to America and then from Northwest to the Midwest. ‘S’all good.

    The other risk factors were poor coping skills with life events. I do not have poor coping skills.

    “…bottle up emotions, turn inward, and not seek help or outlet for their feelings…”

    Come. On. What is internet chat for if not to seek help and vent your feelings? Why does anyone have cancer anymore?

    I think I’m in the clear, however it is entirely possible that I’ll be dead within the year.

    Comments Off on What Stress?
  • Fitness

    Firm It Up

    I really am being productive, really I am. Yesterday, just blazing through the house (okay, the upstairs) getting ready for the move.

    But this morning, my body is talkin’ to me and I want to share so you, too, can consider whether 58 minutes of lower body torture is for you.

    I’ve had, oh, I guess since 2005, this nice workout entitled Firm It Up from the Slim Series line. One of my absolute favorites; I highly recommend it. Very intense lower-body workout. I also read online that Firm it Up was featured on Fox’s The Swan reality show when Debbie was a trainer/judge.

    Check out some reviews at Video Fitness and here.

    As one reviewer writes:

    This is the 2nd time I have laughed out loud during a workout.

    This series has a certain je ne sais quoi that is difficult to describe, other than the humor factor and the impressive (and deceiving) difficulty level.

    It really does make you laugh when, during the interminable pelvic tilts, Debbie says, “A little tighter,” and Troy, in the background, says:

    It cain’t get no tighter!

    Workout breakdown here.

    Comments Off on Firm It Up
  • Family,  Photos

    To My Daughters

    1999 08 05 before cropOff the top of my head tonight … Having a baby is work. It really, really hurts. Can’t nobody push that baby out but you. But it is doable. Women have been doing it for thousands of years. And, we often have more than one. But there are some things I thought I’d mention.

    Your anesthesiologist (you know, the doctor they want you to pre-pay) won’t show up until you’re an 8. (That’s out of 10, my young ones.) He’ll saunter in in his cowboy boots and southern boy drawl and say “Sorry ma’am; couldn’t get here sooner…” just as your doctor decides you’re having a c-section and you can’t have drugs until they get you to the operating room. Oh hang on. That’s Caleb’s story from Oklahoma.

    Today, we’re going on about Gwyn. I was going back through our photos circa 1999. A good year in many ways. My last pregnancy and by far the worst, as counted in pure pain. Six blood transfusions, three of those in-utero. (Which also hurts. Looking at the needle hurts. And for some reason I always turned down the Valium. I’m not sure why.)

    I had an otherwise healthy pregnancy. Take a look, I think I look happy, 1999 08 05 before 2maybe even glowing a little. I always enjoyed being pregnant. I never complained about being “fat.” It’s a special time in your life, don’t ruin it by being miserable.

    I have a few things I want to mention. One, your father is a doctor but does not do well in the delivery room with me. Thank God he never actually serves as my doctor. It’s bad enough having him on the sidelines.

    With Gwyneth, he said utterly inane things like:

    “Epidurals don’t just fall out.”

    “I just delivered a seventeen year old without meds and she wasn’t crying.”

    I’ve got two words for you. Real. Doctor.

    No, make that five: I want a real doctor.

    The epidural had fallen out, never took completely anyway, and I had that thing we optimistically call back labor.1 Four babies, and only one was turned the wrong way, thank you God. Had she been first, she’d been last. If you think having babies is painful, twist that baby the wrong way and see nine months of good memories fade to black as every contraction slams the little urchin against your back . Get her out; reach in there and get her out.

    Minutes before they wheel me to the OR, my anesthesiologist rushes in, takes one look, and says (God love her): Her epidural fell out. She flipped me over and gave me a spinal block and within thirty seconds I was in love. (The next time I saw her was on the elevator. I hugged her.)

    The next thing I want to mention is that you can go into the hospital looking fairly chipper. You will leave looking larger. There is a reason: to add insult to injury during labor, they pump you full of fluid. Nice. You’ve got this new baby and want photos but you look pale. And tired. And swollen. Pushing is hard work.

    It bears repeating.

    1999 08 07 gwyn

    Let’s compare and contrast with the above. This photo is totally embarrassing, but illustrative. Two days after birth and I look like death warmed over. And notice. I’m in a nightgown and hospital robe. I know you think I’m some place private. Oh no. I just didn’t care. We’re at “How to be a good sibling” class. With other people present. No idea how I got down there in this state of undress.

    Gwyneth was a very sick baby. I smile when people tell me, “My baby 1999 08 09 gywnwas jaundiced too.” No, not jaundiced. Rh blood disease. Dying. They let me stay in the hospital in a vacant room. Every day, every two hours, 24/7 I would go down to the NICU and feed her and speak with her and stroke her face. It was hell. When you have a baby, you’re supposed to get to bring them home.

    Your father and I alternated emotions. I was in the throes of despair. He was trying to keep it together. Then one morning, he came through the door of my room, sat down with his head in his hands and said, “I think this is it. We’re losing her,” or some variation thereof. But just that morning, I felt this was the day it all turned around.

    Six days, three blood transfusions, a consult with a French doctor, and several helpings of polar bear gall bladder extracted medicine, and our baby was coming home. It was an almost instantaneous reversal after that medicine. Amazing.

    And yeah. I’d do it again. But I’d demand a real doctor.

    1 Nothing can prepare a mother for the severe unremitting pain that accompanies labor when the baby is in a posterior position. Now you know.

    Comments Off on To My Daughters
  • Personal,  Photos

    Eight Things

    Miss AHS 1989 I like a couple of things about memes, namely that I’ve been dying to pull out my late-80s-hair Miss AHS photo for quite some time. *Grin* Who let us outta the house with this much makeup?

    Thanks for the tag, Kitchen Madonna.

    Here are the rules: Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed.

    At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

    1. I am a Sanguine Choleric. That means I talk a lot but get annoyed when you do.2 It also means I don’t follow rules particularly well; tag 8 people . . . right.

    2. My parenting style is best summed up (by me, of course) as:

    Stockholm Syndrome Parenting. I love these people, I just don’t let them know it. I mean, really. I miss them when I go to the freakin’ grocery store but the minute I get back home I think, “What was that all about? I need outta here.” Usual SSP M.O.: I tell them that if I see them, they’re cleaning something.

    3. [Redacted]

    4. I’m addicted to fountain Diet Coke. It is an expensive habit, you rightly point out. Kevin tells me he’d rather I buy a $.99 two liter at the store, take one sip and pour the rest out than buy one (or two, er…) fountain drinks a day at $1.69 (McD’s) or $1.05 (local 7-11) a pop. Economics, sheesh.

    5. I coined the phrase “Scary Friends.” This is a friend that you know would turn on you in a New York Minute if you did something they didn’t like. They must have the power in the relationship — must be the smarter and funnier one, (can’t handle the truth usually, too) etc. — and so you give it. (which, really, means they don’t have the power oddly enough…)

    I refuse to have more than one Scary Friend in my life at a time. I let the previous one go before taking out an ad for the next. Scary Friends aside, I am a very loyal friend.

    6. Animals love me. All animals. I’ve been fawned over by a horse, for cryin’ out loud. Cats? All over me. Why? Because animals like a challenge. I can take them or leave them. That bothers even the most apathetic of cats.

    7. I take frighteningly hot showers.

    8. I really dislike cooking. I want to like it and think, shouldn’t a mom like to cook? But no. So what I do to compensate is collect, what else?, cookbooks and aprons. Yeah. Total sense. The other day I made frozen chicken and tator tots and the little hostages, I mean children, threw their arms around me in total adoration: You cooked!3

    Lunch today was pizza. I said, “See what happens when I cook?”

    Hostage #3 said, “Well next time you cook, ask for extra garlic sauce.”


    Stress? What stress? It’s just a move from Japan to Idaho in one year and then turn around 11 months later and move from Idaho to the other side of the country.

    2 I am actually a very good listener. Ask anyone except my Scary Friend.

    3 See? It works. Stockholm Syndrome Parenting. Look for the book late ’08.