The W Family Chronicles

Archive for March 2008

Maybe you’ve heard of SparkPeople…it’s an online weight loss/health community.  I finally signed up there yesterday and I’m making an effort (once again!) to change my eating habits and try to move more and lose some weight.  It is something I’ve struggled with since puberty.  I have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and one of the ways it manifests is in insulin resistance, which can cause obesity.  PCOS can also cause infertility, excess hair growth, acne, and a whole host of other things.  It’s a really difficult disease, because it can affect so much of what makes us feel like a woman.

I’m really impressed with the site.  There seems to be a lot of support, and best of all, it’s FREE!  I loved Weight Watchers Points program, but the monthly fee ($12.95, IIRC) is just not in the budget right now.  SparkPeople seems to have a lot of the features WW did, but without the expense.  I lost a lot of weight last time I did WW, so I’m hoping that SP motivates me to do the same.  I don’t have 100 pounds to lose, but I’m not far off.  If you’re on there, My username is my first name and the state I grew up in.  I’m a bit overwhelmed with all the site has to offer right now, but it looks like a great place to hang out!

I despise Wal-Mart. I have for years. I hate their business practices, plus I find their products, service, and selection to be vastly inferior to Target. I LOVE Target. I spend about $100 every time I step foot in that place. When we lived in Florence, (that’s SC, not Italy!) we were about 5 minutes from Target and I was there as much as 3-4 times a week. We bought everything there…kid’s clothes, diapers, convenience food (this wasn’t a Super Target or we’d have gotten groceries there), stuff for the house…you name it, it probably came from Target. For a while there, it was a running joke among some of my friends and I. Every time someone asked where I got my purse/shoes/J’s clothes/etc. I’d say Target. I figured if Target didn’t have it, I didn’t need it!

Then we moved to Sanford. And all we had here was a Wal-Mart. Not even a Super Wal-Mart but an old, dingy, dirty, badly organized small Wal-Mart on the other side of town. YUCK. I despised going there, but it was often my only option unless I wanted to drive to Apex. Truthfully, it’s not much farther plus Apex has a fairly new, very clean, well stocked Super Target. But the idea of having to leave town to get diapers or cleaning supplies was a little too much for this city girl who’s used to having *everything* within a 15 minute drive. The idea of driving 20 minutes to the nasty WM or 30 minutes to the lovely ST was kind of staggering when we first moved here and I’m still not used to the idea of it. But WM usually won out as it’s a bit closer and it’s prices are slightly lower. But inevitably they wouldn’t have everything I needed and I’d end up telling D we needed to plan a weekend trip to Apex anyway.

Then in September, the new Sanford Super Wal-Mart debuted. And it *is* nice. Clean, well stocked, well organized, and they have a much better food selection than my favorite grocery store. Especially frozen foods…I swear they carry every single Lean Cuisine and Smart Ones meal. I really like that. It’s a bit farther away now, but at least the worst qualities are gone. Plus they have that whole $4 prescription deal, which saves us a LOT of money. And they do carry some organics, which is nice. Their meat and produce are terrible (we suspect they add preservatives to the meat so it stays”fresh” longer because all of the meat we bought there tasted absolutely awful) but their packaged foods were good, plus the prices are slightly lower. So I found myself going there more often, compromising my feelings about the company in general because it was convenient and cheap.

But then I read stories like this and I remember why I hate Wal-Mart. I understand *why* they did it. I understand it’s part of the contract and that they’re trying to “protect” their other employees. I still think it’s crappy. I think it’s a crappy contract. I think it’s crappy for the employees who aren’t interested in this kind of “protection” lest they find themselves the next victims. I think it’s crappy that WM makes $470k every 30 seconds and sues a woman, who has been severely brain damaged and is in need of long term care, for the money that is supposed to pay for her care. It’s ridiculous. Legal, yes. Moral? Ethical? Not just no, but HELL no. It’s reprehensible, and shame on the people who decided to pursue it. As much as it is within my power to do so, I won’t spend another dime at Wal-Mart. I’ll make the trek to Target when I need diapers or cleaning supplies or a really nice selection of frozen food. I’ve always liked them better anyway.

I have already been puked on this morning.  I think I should just crawl back into bed and sleep until tomorrow.  I can deal with blood, snot, poop, pee, etc. but vomit really does me in.  Ugh.  C seems to be feeling a little better now, so I can only pray that it’s a short lived upset stomach that won’t affect anyone else.  Please God, let that be all it is.

Yesterday he made huge strides with his speech…he probably said 10-15 *new* words yesterday.  It was amazing.  J was a little behind on speech but when he started talking, it was full sentences and he spoke very well for his age.  C has been a bit slower than average, but I decided I’d wait until his 2nd birthday before making the call to Early Intervention.  J’s speech really took off right around then, so I figured I’d give him at least that long.  Well yesterday he was saying the word for EVERYTHING he saw.  Book and car are the 2 I remember off the top of my head, but there were a LOT more.  So cool.  Those are the days I love being a mom and especially being able to stay home with them.  I’d have missed most of them if I’d been at work.  And he was so proud of himself every time he said a new word.  Those are the good days.

The days when you get puked on are NOT the good days.  And even if I worked, I would be at home with the incredible puking toddler so I guess insisting on going back to work won’t solve that problem. *sigh*

J’s back to school today.  I have TONS of photos to edit and post from our time at my mom’s and Easter, but I just don’t have the motivation.  I’m sorry…maybe later today?  I’m overwhelmed with other stuff right now and it’s just not been high on my list of priorities.

I know I mentioned Obama a few posts back.  I’ve tried to stay away from politics in this blog because most of my family is uber-conservative and I’m, well, not.  To be perfectly frank, they probably view me as a flaming bleeding heart liberal.  Which is mostly true…on social issues I find that I’m very liberal.  On the fiscal side, I would describe myself as moderate or even conservative.  Regardless, I find that frequently we clash on the issues and so I rarely bring it up anymore.  I can respect other people’s beliefs and stances, but I don’t feel the same way.

That out of the way, I adore Barack Obama.  I remember hearing a speech from him several years ago (maybe during the time of the last presidential election?) and thinking that he should be our next president.  The name and the spirit stuck with me, and I find myself thrilled that he has made it to this point.  He gives me hope for the future, and I find that sorely lacking in our country these days.  I know that no president can truly change the country and it’s policies, but I think they can change the mood, for lack of a better word.  And I think that’s something that’s very powerful.  I like his platform, though as we all know most of that is a pipe dream…but at least I know where he stands and I think he and I align very closely.

The debacle last week where his nutty minister’s sound bites were released bothered me.  A lot.  Until I started thinking about it some more.  As I caught the clips on CNN here and there, I remember thinking that he sounded a LOT like those morons on the 700 Club right after 9/11.  Perhaps his words were a bit more vulgar, but I found it to be much the same rhetoric.  I didn’t like what they had to say, and I didn’t like what Wright had to say.  I think spouting hate in God’s name is wrong, no matter who does it or the form it takes.

That said, I still support Obama.  Nobody has been able to produce clips of him saying those things, nor have they shown that he agrees with those things.  When I was a child and teenager, my family attended a church where we didn’t care for the minister’s sermons.  My parents certainly never spoke up to say anything.  For us, church was about way more than what the minister had to say.  We had friends, Sunday School classes, youth programs, choir, etcetera that we enjoyed immensely.  A church is about more than just the minister, especially when it’s as large a church as Trinity (where Wright is minister) was/is…there are over 6000 members!  I checked out Trinity’s website and their ministries are really impressive.  It’s the type of church I’d love to find.  And if I didn’t like some of the things the minister had to say from the pulpit, I might swallow that in the interest of participating in the other great things going on there.

Obama’s speech last week really moved me.  I didn’t hear it until I got home and someone posted a sound clip of it at a website I frequent.  If you haven’t heard it, please consider listening to it here.  It’s a rather large mp3 file, so if you prefer to read it, a transcript is available here.  If you don’t want to read the whole thing, scroll down and start at the paragraph where he starts “I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms…”  It was an incredibly moving speech, and I had tears in my eyes while listening because it says, so well, what I feel so often when I think about what I want for this country.

I am an unapologetic idealist.  I hope.  I do my best to be the kind of person that I think this entire country should be made up of, and I think I do a decent job.  So come May 6, when NC holds it’s primary, I’ll cast my vote for Obama.  And pray that he wins the nomination.  And then pray that he becomes our next president.  Because we need a change.  We need hope.  And I think we need Obama.

C will be 2 in June.  Hard to believe!  Some of you have been asking what he wants/needs, so here’s a little inside scoop.  We’ve decided to get a backyard playset for him and J to share.  It’s something we’ve been wanting for some time.  Sanford is severely lacking in public parks/playgrounds and the one that is decent has a 2-5 yr age limit.  Which means that J soon will be too old for it and then there’s no good place to take both of them to play.  Plus, let’s face it, going out to the backyard is infinitely easier than trekking across town to some park where there might be kids who are too old or rough for my little guys.  It’s a constant problem, even at the playground for little kids.  The Catholic church just behind our neighborhood does have a nice play area, as do many of the schools and churches around here but I feel a little strange taking them to play at a church that we don’t belong to or a school we don’t go to.  Plus they tend to feel slightly unsafe as there *never* seems to be anyone else around when we go.

Needless to say, those backyard playsets are EXPENSIVE.  We plan to use our tax rebate, but if you’re planning on getting C a gift, we’d love it if you gave him a gift card to Lowe’s instead.  We have SO many toys and books and clothes so he doesn’t really need any of that.  I understand that this is not as fun, but if you really want to wrap up a gift and give it to him, consider buying one of the accessories…the items are available to view at the Lowe’s website.  That should be a direct link, but if it’s not go to lowes.com and choose the “Outdoors” drop down box at the top of the page.  Look all the way to the right and click on Play Equipment & Accessories.  From there you can filter the products by brand — we’re looking at The Next Generation.  We plan to start with the tower ($585) and a slide.  We hope to add the swing bar this fall, for J’s birthday.  And later the tunnel and climbing wall.  We like this set because it has lots of add-ons that we can buy later.  I’m already thinking Santa can bring stuff to add on to this rather than the ridiculous amounts of toys that normally end up under the tree and then all over the house!

closet.jpg

Yes, it’s a closet. To be more specific, it’s *my* closet. And until yesterday, it was a dark, ugly useless space. It is only 48 inches wide. It was painted peach (of all colors!) and I had just one high bar with a shelf above it. Didn’t even come close to holding my stuff. D added 12 inches of shelves, 12 inches of a high bar for dresses and pants, and 24 inches of double bars for shirts, shorts, etc. I finally have enough room! I haven’t gotten all of my clothes in there yet, but I’m well on my way. After I took this pic, I hung up a bunch more, got rid of some things, and still have tons of room. It’s made a huge difference in our room, too, since I was using the blanket chest as a closet. Everything clean got piled on top of it and I just picked my clothes from the pile. Now we can get into the blanket chest and I can store some of my fragile Christmas stuff in there and get those boxes out of the living room. This is going to make an impact on the entire house. How lame am I???

Oh, and I also had a kidney stone, though that didn’t happen until this AM. I’ve had a little twinge now and then and suspected I had one, but didn’t really say anything to anybody. They just tell me to go see the urologist and nag me mercilessly until I cave and make an appointment. (You know who you are!) Since there wasn’t any real pain, I wanted to see what would happen. My symptoms were increasing and I thought I might actually have a UTI instead, but a home test for that was negative. So I decided to wait it out and see where it went. And this morning, there it was. It was a good size and it looks like the composition is a little different than in the past. So I guess I’ll be trotting off to see Dr. E anyway so they can analyze it. But I am really thrilled about the fact that I passed it with very little pain and best of all, no pain meds necessary or x-rays. I am really getting worried about the effect the x-rays may be having. Surely it’s not good to have them so frequently??? (Can anyone weigh in on that? It’s something I’ve been really worried about but can’t find any research one way or the other.)

Everyone has returned to Sanford safely — D from a work trip to Indiana and the kids and I from Knoxville.  We had a great time with my mom, but I’m happy to be back in my own bed with my sweet husband beside me.  (Yeah, I’m sappy, sue me!)

J has been registered for school. He has a kindergarten screening on April 14 (for which D has to take off work because they won’t let me bring C…what about the moms who don’t have this option???) and a health assessment with our ped for May 1.  They took our religious exemption letter for vaccines without so much as batting an eyelash, though I was told that he might potentially be asked to stay out of school if there was an outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease.  I’m OK with this…it’s the risk we take.  And of course, depending on the illness/vaccine, we may consider vaccinating at that time for whatever is going around, assuming it’s something he’s not immune to.  I plan on getting titers drawn for some of these things if necessary.

I have some thoughts I’d like to share re: Obama and his minister’s statements that have caused such a stir.  I don’t know that I feel like getting into it tonight, though.  A bath is looking mighty inviting…I’m sore all over from the drive home yesterday.  We’ll see if I ever bother to revisit this topic!


W Family Players

D is the dad, the husband, and the breadwinner. All around nice guy and good at pretty much everything he does. It's disgusting, really. But makes him worth keeping around.

M is the mom, the wife, and the hopeless housekeeper. At least the kids' heads haven't fallen off yet. Beyond that, she sucks at the "stay at home" thing. Oh, and she's the blogger.

J is the big boy. Born October 11 2002, he is in kindergarten and loves it. Now 6 years old, and too smart for his own good. Talks a lot but extremely entertaining.

C is the little boy. Born June 26, 2006, he went through a lot in his first year but is doing just fine now. The only blond in the family, so his paternity is routinely questioned by rude strangers.

V is our baby girl. She is brand new and arrived in January 2009. So far everything is going well. We're thrilled to have added the final piece to our family puzzle. And yes, she WILL be the final piece!

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