Friday, February 29, 2008

Still Wins My Heart

While Nursing Tree Faerie down for a nap, she was trying hard to resist sleep. One of her favorite self-distraction techniques is to play with my hair. Because the tickling on my face was getting annoying, I turned my head so she could play with the hair away from my face.

Apparently she wanted my attention and affection, because after a moment she stopped nursing, pulled herself up to my face, and planted a big wet kiss on my face. I gave her a kiss and a hug and told her I loved her, and she snuggled back down to continue nursing.

(I hear the chorus of "Awwww!!!" out there. That's what I said, too!)

How could anyone resist the cuteness that is my child? *sigh*

Fickle Friday

This won't be a long post, but I wanted to keep you wonderful ladies updated. Tree Faerie had her doctor's appointment this morning, and now we have an appointment with an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor on Monday.

Oddly, it's not because her right ear is still infected. It is because her left one is now infected! I wasn't treating that ear with the ear oil (which, by the way, is why I think the right ear looks so much better, though the doctor doesn't think so).

So, now I'm treating the left one, too.

Oh, and I'm home with her today because she keeps throwing up. She started last night around 11 PM. I had hoped to drop her off at daycare this morning after the doctor's appointment, but she decided to spew again on the way. Now my car smells like half-digested breast milk. Of course, right now that's how everything smells to me.

Next week is a new week and will be much better, right?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Over at 5 Minutes for Mom

I'm FAMOUS! :)

Expecting Miracles

Tuesday evening I tried warming the stuff that I squished out of the garlic capsule to no avail.  It was kind of the consistency of cool petroleum jelly, which does not get into the ear easily, so I had to move on to plan B (or C or D or X or whatever plan we’re on now). 


Yesterday I drove down to Wild Oats during my lunch break to try to get garlic oil in actual oil form.  What I found was even better – Ear Oil!  It has the garlic oil, olive oil (a.k.a. sweet oil), mullein for its anti-inflammatory properties, and St. John’s Wort for promoting healing.  I put some in her ear as soon as we got home yesterday evening, then again before bed.  When she woke up this morning, she still had swelling, so I don’t know if it is working.  I went ahead and put some more in her ear (the instructions and articles say to use it every 2-4 hours). 


Her appointment is tomorrow morning.  While we may still end up going to see the ENT doctor, I’m still hoping to avoid ear tubes if possible.  I’m not against them, but I’d like to exhaust other options first.  I’m hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.


On a side note, I really wish these websites would stop claiming that the herbal remedies have “no side effects.”  There are always side effects.  They should change the wording to “no ill effects are known” to be more accurate.  Contraindications are a part of ingesting or coming into contact with any substance, no matter if it is natural or chemically created.  I had to get that off my chest.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wandering Wednesday 4

Welcome to our 4th installment of Wandering Wednesday.  I need to start limiting myself for each Wandering Wednesday, but that’s proving to be difficult!  Someday I might actually link to posts of people who are not in my blogroll.  For now, though, you just have to bear with me, especially since I still can’t sign into Blogger from work.  Now, on to the tour!


In addition to sharing with us her notes from her 24-hour heart monitoring adventure, Patti-O also shares a thought-invoking comment from one of her beta-readers.  I was blessed with the opportunity to read the first two chapters of her novel, and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading the rest of the book.  I’m a little torn on whether I agree or disagree with the comment, though.  Many people are more likely to actually finish reading quick-and-easy reads.  While blogs are a common form of entertainment, I don’t necessarily believe all the same rules apply to both the blogging and the novel-writing worlds.  As a copy-editor, I make sure the appropriate rules regarding grammar and punctuation are applied, but more importantly, I make sure the words, sentences, paragraphs, and the stories themselves flow smoothly.  Some grammar and punctuation rules can be broken.  So, Patti – if you can find a way to apply the same passion that is obvious in your blogging to your novel-writing, go for it!  Your writing style seems to be similar for both your blog and your novel with appropriate changes to structure.  Your novel is great as it is, though, or at least the part I read is. 


I Can See Clearly Now has taken a small break from her own novel-writing to share with us the thoughts inspired by a quote from American Gangster.  I am actually working on a post in my head in regards to this quote, because I think getting the jumbled mess out of my head and into black-and-white will make it easier to accept where my thoughts have led.  Thank you, beautiful woman, for making me think yet again.


Mom is in the Fishbowl broke my heart today.  Don’t go visit if you’re feeling emotionally weak, because the tears may flow.  Nikke – My heart goes out to you.


3 Boys Under My Roof tells us of her husband’s deep, dark secret (though honey, telling us means it’s no longer secret) – crafting!


Confessions of a Coalminer’s Granddaughter showcases a book review of Walter the Farting Dog, an actual children’s book that even came with a noise-making plush animal.  My sides were hurting after reading this post!


Mom’s Happy Handful reveals her new, successful way of communicating with her 18 year-old daughter that prevents eye-rolling and snarky tones.


And finally, Milk Breath & Margaritas indulges in Shark Bites and Live in the Badlands graces us with Scott-isms!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Up for Anything

Sorry I’ve been so quiet over the past few days, but I didn’t really want to see my thoughts in black and white (or black and tan). 


At Tree Faerie’s doctor appointment on Friday morning, the doctor confirmed that Tree Faerie still has an ear infection.  The verdict was to have a follow-up appointment this coming Friday to see if the Rosefin finally worked.  If she still has the infection, Tree Faerie will have to go see an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) doctor. 


I still have not seen any improvement in her ear, and she’s starting to “run a little warm.”  I know it sounds like I’m talking about a car when I say that, but that’s my phrase for when she feels warm all over, yet the thermometer says she’s normal (or less than normal, even).  Running warm seems to come just before the 3AM 103 degree fevers.  I’ve been screamed at a lot over the last few days.  The ear infection coupled with trying to cut four top teeth at once makes for a very unhappy child. 


Since Western medicine doesn’t seem to be working, I’m trying out a home remedy, because the next step in Western medicine is tubes if this doesn’t clear up.  I researched a lot of sites and found a multitude of different suggestions, ranging from mildly helpful to completely gross.  I’ll save you from the gross suggestions, partially because I really don’t want to know if any of you have tried them.  The one I decided to try is garlic oil.  While you can make your own garlic oil by simmering a crushed clove of garlic in olive oil then straining it through cheese cloth, several sites suggested garlic oil capsules, even the odorless ones. 


I picked up the capsules yesterday and tried putting it in her ear last night.  I don’t think it was very successful, but tonight I’m going to try warming the capsule first, because the oil was kind of congealed.  I have had very successful personal results with home remedies in the past when Western medicine failed, however I’ve been reluctant to try to treat Tree Faerie with home remedies.  I guess I’m so hesitant because she can’t clearly communicate what is wrong. 


I’m stressed and tired.  My nipples are cracked and sore from Tree Faerie teething.  Everyone, and I do mean everyone, keeps telling me to wean her, but these people who are telling me this either have never breastfed a child or only breastfed for the first 3-6 months.  Yes, I know I will have to wean her at some point, but I won’t do it cold-turkey.  I’m too scared of the hormonal fluctuation in combination with the melt-downs she’s liable to have.


It has been a rough week.  Can we just fast-forward to the weekend and try again for a better week next week?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wandering Wednesday 3

Welcome to the 3rd installment of Wandering Wednesday!  This is actually a lot of fun to put together, so I think I’ll keep it going for a while.  If you decide to join me for Wandering Wednesday by posting a Wandering post on your blog, please leave a comment telling us so.


Today, 3 Boys Under My Roof admits to what she calls a ‘rookie mistake’.  You can’t really blame her, though, because brains are not expected to work properly when one is roused from sleep in the middle of the night.


The post from Monday on Antique Mommy is an inspiration for living life.  I decided to put the last line of her post on the wall of my cubicle as a reminder that if I can’t manage to put on a good front, at least have fun.


The Peep Show has started over at Bumble Blog, and it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch the show pan out.  Don’t worry – it’s PG and work-safe.


Coal Miner’s Granddaughter once again made me laugh until my sides hurt!  She regales us with the blow-by-blow (and pictures) of her first experience with Spotted Dick - Heinz Spotted Dick Sponge Pudding in a can, to be more specific.  DTTF is becoming a regular reader of her blog lately, too, and not just because of the picture of her in the Catholic school girl outfit on her header.


At Milk Breath & Margaritas, props are given to the Room Mothers of the world.  Maybe she just means the Room Mothers of her world, but I think it applies for a lot of the WOHMs out there.  I wish I could be a SAHM quite often, but since I can’t, thanks to those moms who pick up the slack.


To Mom’s in the Fishbowl, I just have to say…  When anyone tells me something along the lines of, “The kids were perfect,” it is automatic for me to think, Uh oh!  What happened that they don’t want me to know about?  Am I just being paranoid?


Finally, go cheer on Military Mom!  She’s taking her promotional test today and may need the encouragement.  It’s always nice to know you have people rooting for you.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Round 2 of Antibiotics

While having my mommy-intuition proven correct is a great boost to the ego, I still hate the fact that Tree Faerie still has an ear infection.  So, Round 2 of the antibiotics has ensued, and this time it’s in the form of a shot (or 3).  She had her first this morning, and I’ll take her again tomorrow morning and Friday morning.  We’re skipping Thursday because Tree Faerie’s regular doctor is out on Thursdays, and she wants to be the one to re-check Tree Faerie’s ears.  I’m all for that, especially since I prefer that she be the one to check Tree Faerie every time I go in.  I’m the type of person who likes dealing with only one doctor because then I know there are no varying opinions.  I get the same person with the same training, the same background, and the same views on treatment instead of picking from a grab-bag of doctors.


To answer the question that many have been asking, we discussed tubes this morning.  If Tree Faerie continues this pattern of getting ear infections, we will discuss tubes at a later date.  At this point, I’m just going to leave it at that.  I’m not in any rush to have it done, and usually the infection responds to antibiotics.  Hopefully the issue will resolve on its own.


In other news, I’m rather amazed at how un-lonely Hank (the betta fish that sits on my desk) makes me feel.  I really enjoy having him share my cubicle with me.  If a fish can be happy, I’d have to say he’s a very happy fish.  Who knew that all I needed was a little company?


As far as the Blogger problems I’m having, I’m sorry if you guys are having trouble reading my posts.  It looks fine in IE6 (I know, I know – gag!), but for some reason it’s all screwy in Firefox.  The old template wasn’t right in either browser, though.  I hate it that not only am I not able to comment from work, but now some of you can’t read it, either!  I tried other layouts, but all of them are wonky.  Hopefully all will be well soon.  I’ve got my fingers crossed, but I’m not holding my breath.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Things are wonky with Blogger, and I don't know what's wrong. I don't have time to mess with it too much, so I've reverted back to the old layout. Thanks, Military Mom, for letting me know. Ugh.

Putting out fires

Today I’ve been playing the role of fire-fighter at work.  I hate having to research and correct someone else’s mistake, especially when they’re not available to explain how they got the number in the first place.  So far, all fires have been extinguished, which is amazing because I probably only got about 3 hours of sleep last night.


Tree Faerie has a follow-up doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning to check the status of her ear infection.  I think she still has it.  The lymph nodes beneath her ear still swell on occasion, and she still pulls at it.  About 1:30 AM Friday night/Saturday morning, she woke up with a temperature over 103 degrees.  I gave her ibuprofen and put her back to sleep, and the fever finally broke around 3:30AM.  She had a lower fever on Saturday night.  Last night I gave her ibuprofen before bed in hopes that her ear would feel better and I could actually get some sleep.  No such luck.


I still can’t log into Google or Blogger, so I’m still not able to leave comments on most of your blogs.  If I get a chance tonight to sit at my computer at home, I’ll try to comment.


Well, off to fight more fires.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Apparently our firewall was updated last night, and now I can’t comment on any blogger accounts or log in to Gmail or Blogger.  I have to email my posts, and I’m just glad I can post that way.  I’m having slight withdrawals from being unable to comment, though.  Just know that I have visited your blogs and laughed or cried appropriately.  I just have no voice with which to tell you so!


Hopefully there will be another update to fix what the first one messed up. I have my fingers crossed.

I Love Him

I still remember the first time I met DTTF, though when I think back to the day, I almost feel as if it was in another life.  I met him on May 1st, 1999, at the grand opening of an occult/new age store that was owned by mutual friends.  Newly wedded to my first husband (it had only been 5 days since we tied the knot), I didn’t notice many other men, however DTTF was definitely worth noticing.  He was tall and slim with gorgeous eyes and a great smile.  His laugh is what really intrigued me because of how real, how genuine the laugh sounded.  He was married at the time as well, and his wife was exotically beautiful with long dark hair and soft eyes.


We ran into each other several times over the next two years, and each time there were undeniable sparks.  We were always in relationships when our paths would cross, though the people changed a time or two (both of our marriages ended).  We still held interesting conversations, and I still loved the sound of his laugh.  I enjoyed every moment I was blessed to spend with him, even though it really wasn’t much, especially after his new girlfriend entered the picture.  She always made a valiant effort to keep us from carrying on a conversation for more than two minutes.


In May of 2001, I was a co-coordinator of the May Day Festival and was working the registration desk when DTTF walked in.  Even with the sad look on his face, he was still absolutely gorgeous.  I could not resist asking him why he looked so sad.  According to him, the previously mentioned girlfriend had dumped him.  I could feel ashamed for the glimmer of hope I held on to, however I have never felt ashamed of the way I feel for DTTF.  I had been single for a couple of months, and while I was not necessarily looking to date again, I was not opposed to it.


We spent the entire weekend talking, and we saw each other every weekend after that until August, when we decided to live together.  After I moved in, we argued and bickered off and on until our first Festival of Souls as a couple in October.  On the way home, we had a really great talk, and suddenly things got better.  We’ve only had two fierce arguments in the past 6 years, though we have had a couple of disagreements.    


I love my husband more than I thought was humanly possible, and my love for him still grows.  He is intelligent, witty, caring, and passionate.  He’s grown and changed in the past 6 years, and they’ve been wonderful changes.  DTTF is an absolutely amazing man, and I am often reminded just how lucky I am.  He still surprises me on occasion, even after six and a half years.


My most recent surprise came on the 13th of February.  My husband is not the type to buy flowers because he always associated flowers with apologies.  I had no problem with this because I, too, associated flowers with apologies.  In my past, guys only bought flowers when they were either in the doghouse or afraid they were going to be there soon.  Only recently have I begun to desire flowers, just because flowers make me feel good.


On Wednesday, my dear, sweet husband brought me home a dozen of the most beautiful roses I’ve ever seen.  He says it’s the first time he’s ever bought a dozen roses.  As far as I can recall, it’s the first time I’ve actually received a dozen.  These roses are a beautiful bright red, unlike the dark red the other roses were.  I keep sniffing them every time I walk by.  I made sure to tell him that I love the flowers and would not mind if he bought me flowers occasionally, as long as he never buys them in apology. 


I am one lucky lady…

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Saturday's Story

I just wrote this long, beautiful post about Saturday's adventures, and Blogger ATE IT! That SUCKS!

So, you only get the short version while I try to resist kicking, screaming, and throwing things. I wanted to go see Cloverfield, but then I remembered DTTF telling me that people were being warned about motion sickness, which meant that we had to wait for the movie to come out on DVD. I get motion sickness from playing or watching others play video games sometimes, so that option was out.

On to Plan B - Barnes & Noble. I knew I had to eat first, but the prospect of eating alone was kind of depressing. I first called my friend I'd had to cancel with earlier in the week due to being sick, but I only got her voicemail. I started scrolling through the phone to find someone else and was surprised by how many people I either was not in the mood to talk to, knew they had plans, or they lived too far away. One name kept popping out at me, so I dialed the number.

Turns out she was free, so we met at a great steak place after I dropped Tree Faerie off. We had melt-in-you-mouth-it-was-so-delicious steak and wonderful conversations. After dinner, we headed over to Barnes & Noble for over-priced-but-nice-for-a-treat coffee and an abundance of books. The great conversations continued. Before B&N closed, I purchased Stephen King's new book, Duma Key. The evening was wonderful and couldn't have been planned better.

I picked up Tree Faerie and had her home and back in bed by midnight. I still hadn't received a call from DTTF, so I called and left him a message telling him goodnight. I then picked up our new book and started devouring it. I went to bed around 1AM.

As soon as DTTF had a signal on his phone on his way home Sunday, he called ant talked to me until he pulled into the driveway. Tree Faerie was napping, so we ate lunch and he made a few phone calls. He was still on the phone when Tree Faerie finally awoke. As soon as she heard his voice, she sat up and said, "Dada?" I took her into the bedroom where DTTF was sitting with his back to the door. The moment she saw him she wanted down, so I set her on her feet. She toddled over to him and made it very clear that she had missed him and was very happy to see him. He quickly got off the phone so he could snuggle with his child.

We survived our first weekend with DTTF gone. Hopefully there won't be too many of those, though, because I really enjoy having my partner right next to me!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wandering Wednesday 2

I promise that tomorrow I'll tell you all what I finally settled on for Saturday, but today is dedicated to the second installment of Wandering Wednesday. I really enjoy reading your blogs and your friends' blogs. Thank you all for keeping me entertained.

This week, Heather at 3 Boys Under My Roof is travelling, so her three boys are left to their own devices. She still gets to be in on the happenings, and it's pretty obvious that with her crew, boredom is next to impossible.

Over at Ask Moxie, Moxie talks about sugar substitutes and metabolic syndromes and how they may be connected. Make sure to read the comments section, too, because there are always great responses from her plethora of readers.

Beth from Blind as a Bat is holding a fun and very entertaining contest. In order take part in the contest, you have to tell about one of your best lies in the comment section. The winner gets a gift card to Target and a cd.

Last week over at I Can See Clearly Now, Maria posted a list of questions that if she can get 15 people to respond to at least 3 questions each, she'll post her answers to the questions. I'm really looking forward to reading her opinions on these topics, so please, go comment! Several of us have answered every one of the questions, but really, you only have to pick three to answer.

And lastly, Mrs. Flinger is pondering whether or not to advance her child. Of course the responses and opinions vary, but ultimately I think it depends on the child. Some will thrive from advancing them to the next level of education while others will suffer from the lack of social maturity. It's a tough decision, and one I'm glad I'm not making right now.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Return of Aunt Flo

Due to breastfeeding and my wonderful Progesterone-Only-Pill (known as a POP), my monthly cycles did not start up again after Tree Faerie's birth. In essence, I have not had a cycle since April 7th, 2006. Of course, that is not including the shedding of the lochia, because I don't consider that a cycle.

Taking the amoxicillin has kick-started a menstral cycle because it negates the POP. Thankfully this cycle is nowhere near the cycles I had prior to getting pregnant. The cramps have been mild, the moodswings have been mild, and overall I feel pretty good. I even cleaned off my desk yesterday!

Cleaning off my desk is a really big deal. Apparently, I've been nesting for the last two years. I had surrounded myself with piles of paperwork, some of which needed to be filed, some needed to be shredded, and some just needed to be thrown away. When I stopped pumping at the beginning of the year, I wanted to get myself a treat for pumping for a full year. My desk was so overflowing, though, that I told myself I couldn't get my treat until after I cleaned off my desk. It took the return of Aunt Flo to give me the motivation to clean off my desk. I had several people stop me and ask if I was planning to return from lunch.

After picking up Tree Faerie from daycare yesterday, we immediately headed over to the pet store to pick up feeder fish for Creature, the garter snake we are currently housing, and my treat. This is what my treat looks like:

This is not my actual fish because I don't have my camera with me. I named him Hank after Henry Rollins, who's birthday is tomorrow. DTTF is a huge fan of dear old Hank, and he got me hooked several years ago. I got to meet him a couple of years ago, and even had him sign a dollar bill.

So, now I have a betta fish on my desk in a green-based aquarium. The hum of the filter is going to take a little while to get used to, but Hank the Fish is adapting very well to his new home. He dislodged the plants, though, so they're floating at the top of the tank. I think I'm going to get some decorative gravel instead of just the brown stuff, and I'll fix the plants when I put in the new gravel.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Solitary Saturday

While Tree Faerie and I are both feeling much better, we really miss DTTF. Or at least I do. All Tree Faerie has wanted to do all day is nurse and sleep. What really sucks is that I can't just call him up.

Well, I could, but I'd probably just get his voicemail, or on the off-chance that he actually does have a signal out there, I don't want to interrupt anything. When he has to work on Saturdays, I miss him, but I know I'll see him in just a few hours. I won't see DTTF until tomorrow! It seems like forever away.

I haven't heard back from my friend I was trying to make plans with, so I guess I'm flying solo tonight for Parents Night Out. I'm actually pondering going to a movie all by myself, something I've NEVER done. Then again, I may just go ahead and go to Barnes and Noble. Another option is to wait until another friend of mine should be awake and call her to see what she's doing before work. She works 3rd shift, so I know she'll be up and probably be free beforehand. Hmmm. Decisions, decisions.

DTTF asked me why they scheduled two PNOs so close together. I pointed out that the daycare probably thought they'd be nice and offer one close to Valentine's Day to give parents a chance for a romantic dinner. While I don't really NEED a romantic dinner, this thought definitely makes me miss DTTF more.

And before you point it out, yes, I'm fully aware that I'm a co-dependent person. I've come a long way, but I will freely admit that I depend on DTTF for a lot of things.

Like tackling the playpen when I can't get it to work right... I woke up this morning to a very, very dirty child who had a very, very dirty bed. After I cleaned up the child, rinsed all the bedding, and started the washer, I dismantled her bed, took it outside, washed it off, and sprayed it with Lysol. I left it sitting in the sun to freshen up and dry. What sucks is that when I set the bed back up outside, I apparently did it wrong, because only one side clicks into place but I can't get it to release now that it has clicked. I figured I'll go ahead and let it soak up some sun, and later this afternoon, Tree Faerie and I can go outside and wrestle with it. If all else fails, I can always have her sleep in my bed tonight. I just don't get much sleep that way. Surely I'll be able to fix it, though.

Okay, enough rambling. I think I hear the kiddo stirring.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Beach Cruiser Bicycles

For those outdoor enthusiasts who are more interested in comfort than speed, there’s good news. Beach cruisers are making a comeback! Beach cruisers were very popular in the 1950s with the Baby Boomers but were soon pushed aside to make way for the ten-speeds and mountain bikes. In recent years, the cruisers have become popular once again, and not just for folks living in LA and other beach-laden areas! They’re moving inland!

Designed more for smooth, flat terrains, these bicycles are great for casual street, beach, and boardwalk riding. While there are multi-speed versions of the beach cruiser, these bicycles are not built for speed but for comfort and ease. Everything about this style of bicycle coos, “Relax and enjoy the ride,” to me.

The new versions of the beach cruisers are more lightweight and durable than their ancestors. There are multiple colors and styles for women, men, and children. There are even big & tall beach cruisers, lowriders, and choppers!

I used to love biking but have not done it in years! Maybe this is a way to break back into it without breaking any bones or the bank! Now I’m pondering whether to get back into biking soon and find a bike trailer for Tree Faerie or wait until she’s old enough to ride a bike of her own…

Feeling Better...

...but not by much. I am back at work today and seem to be mostly fever-free. As long as I remember to keep taking the ibuprofen, I should make it okay.

Tree Faerie is still not sleeping at night. She's finally keeping the antibiotics down after the nurse suggested I give her a small dose of Mylanta with the antibiotics. She's still running a fever off and on, though. At first I just thought it was because of the ear infection. Now I'm wondering if she has the same thing I have. Maybe I gave it to her. She doesn't seem to have a bad cough, or at least not any worse than the one she's had off and on since Christmas. She keeps rubbing her forehead as if she has a headache, though, and she still wants to sleep a lot, at least as long as she's on me. Sadly, that is not conducive to my need for sleep. Thankfully I was able to take her to daycare yesterday so I could go home and sleep. I think that's the only reason I made it to work today.

Hopefully we'll both be better soon. DTTF has a minister's retreat this weekend, and this will be the first time he's gone to a retreat without me since we moved in together 6.5 years ago. I've been to a couple without him, though I missed the one I usually go to because I wasn't willing to take Tree Faerie with me OR leave her at home with him. She was only 3 months old at the time. This will definitely be a new experience. Daycare is offering another Parents Night Out tomorrow night, which I will be taking advantage of. Even if I just drop her off and go hang out at Barnes and Noble to drink coffee and extend my book wish-list, at least I will be out of the house doing something fun and kid-free. I used to feel guilty for doing anything kid-free, but I don't feel that way so much anymore. Now I see the need to take breaks so I don't get burned out, because I can't quit this job if I'm suffering from burn-out.

Tree Faerie's 13 month letter will have to wait until next week because I have to try to get caught up at work.

Handfastings and Weddings

As a Wiccan Priestess, I am often asked about handfasting. The first thing everyone wants to know is – What is a handfasting and how is it different from a wedding? Essentially, a handfasting is a type of wedding during which the betrothed couple’s hands are tied together with cord, ribbon, cloth, or some other material that can be knotted and stay knotted. Historically, the couple had to stay physically bound until they could consummate the marriage. Nowadays, many couples forgo that tradition for several different reasons. DTTF and I did not keep our hands bound because we had the wedding and reception in a Unitarian Universalist church, then had to go to our apartment with my parents, and then had to drive all the way to his mom’s house for the “after-party.” We had neither the time nor privacy to stay bound until we could consummate the marriage! (I know – more information than you wanted to know, right?)

A handfasting can either be a spiritual wedding for a set amount of time, after which the couple may decide whether or not to stay handfasted and make it legal, or it can be both spiritual and legal at the same time, like mine was. One of the reasons for having a handfasting performed for a set amount of time is to help alleviate fears surrounding marriage and divorce, which is completely understandable when one sees how high divorce rates are in this country. A handparting is much cheaper than a legal divorce.

A couple can write their own ceremony or have the priest and/or priestess write it for them. I’m currently working with two different couples regarding their handfastings. One of the couples wants to just do the spiritual handfasting for a year and a day to make sure they really want to be married to each other since both have been married and divorced before and are afraid of that happening again. The other couple is planning to have a legal handfasting because they’re sure this is what they want.

One inquiry both couples asked was whether or not they should send out traditional invitations. My response to both of them was that it is up to them, just like it would be with a traditional wedding. Personally, I really like the photo invitations over at Wedding Needs. One of the brides-to-be takes very artistic photos, so I sent her here to take a look. They certainly are not cheap invitations, but if she is willing to spend the money, I’m sure she can come up with a photo that will make a very classy invitation.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

No Wandering Wednesday today.

I have one in the works, but I have to go pick up Tree Faerie from daycare because she hasn't stopped crying since I dropped her off. Hopefully I can get her to go to sleep and let me take a nap... I feel worse today than I did yesterday. And we aren't even going to discuss the catastrophe that was the doctor's appointment yesterday.

So, until tomorrow, hope you all start feeling better.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Trudging Tuesday

While it's nice to have suspicions confirmed, it is not nice to still have to deal with a sick child. Tree Faerie has an ear infection, just like I suspected. Sadly, she's also running a fever off and on. This morning at 3:30AM, her temperature was 102.2 degrees, and she was awake and delirious. She had a lot to say in a very sing-songy voice, which would have been absolutely adorable had it not been 3:30 in the freaking morning. The Motrin finally kicked in and broke her fever around 4:30.

Of course, then I couldn't sleep well. Since scheduling the appointment for my bladder infection, I have developed a terrible chest cold. If Tree Faerie had not demanded that I get out of bed this morning, I would have probably stayed there until my appointment this afternoon. I'm certain I'm running a fever despite the Advil I took this morning. Basically I just feel like crap and still have to pee every 15 minutes. I'm at work, though, at least until my appointment this afternoon.

Sorry for the whiney post, folks. Hopefully all will be better tomorrow for the second installment of Wandering Wednesday.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Doctor Visits Galore

We're starting this week off with doctor visits. Tree Faerie is exhibiting the symptoms of an ear infection again, and I seem to have a bladder infection. What a wonderful way to start the week, right? Tree Faerie's appointment is this afternoon, and mine is tomorrow.

This weekend, Tree Faerie went from walking like a drunken sailor to walking like a drunken sorority sister. She can walk in a fairly straight line and stay on her feet for a little while, but if she tries to do any fancy maneuvering or goes to fast, she falls down. She is almost up to a run, though. It's incredibly cute. I am often amazed by how quickly things change.

Tree Faerie is also starting to mimic words more and more. She doesn't use a lot of consonant sounds, but she has the vowels and the inflections down pretty well. I'm starting to understand her more. I wish I could be more consistent with using sign language. Having my hands full the majority of the time makes it difficult, though. Of course, my hands are full from holding Tree Faerie a lot. She certainly loves her Mama. I am considering picking up a signing DVD. There are varying opinions out there regarding how well the children pick up the signs from the DVDs, so I'm not sure how well it would work. I really think, based on the opinions and reviews I've read regarding the plethora of signing DVDs on the market, that the success of any particular DVD is based more on the child than anything else.

Do any of you have experience with the signing DVDs? Do you have a recommendation of one to try? Do you know of any that I need to steer clear of?

Friday, February 1, 2008

Fey's Tricks of the Trade

By the way, I've posted a couple of new posts over at Fey's Tricks of the Trade. Yesterday's post is about de-icing your steps, and today's post is about freezer tricks.

Fair-weather Friday

Since the sun is currently shining, I figure now would be a great time to shed some light, so to speak, on my current struggle with SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder. Technically, I'm only in the Winter Blues stage, however because I have dealt with some form of SAD since puberty, I know that preventative measures have to be taken now before it gets any worse.

SAD is found to be directly related to the amount of sunlight a person gets. As Fall changes to Winter and the sunlight becomes less intense, often coupled with long bouts of cloudy skies, some people experience depression, lethargy, social withdrawal, sweet and starch cravings, weight-gain, oversleeping and lack of focus, among other symptoms. The circadian rhythm is disrupted, which in turn affects a person's melatonin levels. Also, sunlight (or lack thereof) has been shown to directly affect a person's seratonin levels. Usually as Winter changes to Spring, these symptoms disappear. Some individuals experience SAD in Spring and Summer instead of Fall and Winter, marked by insomnia, irritability, weight-loss, and an increased sex drive.

Reverse SAD is when a person experiences mania or hypomania during the summer months. While many people are much happier during these months, people with Reverse SAD are also hyperactive and have an unbridled enthusiasm out of proportion to the situation.

SAD is something I've come to expect every Winter, and I try to prepare for it accordingly. I try to soak up as much sun (safely) as possible during the winter months, which is sometimes extremely difficult. I try to control what I eat without completely restricting myself from the sweets and starches. If I restrict myself, I know from past experiences that I'll binge on sweets to the point of making myself sick. By allowing myself little indulgences, the binges are prevented.

Exercise is very important, so I try to make myself do some sort of exercise every day, even if it's just 10 minutes of squats behind my desk at work. Of course, the catch-22 is that SAD also makes me lethargic, so I really have to MAKE myself do something. This is actually one of the hardest parts of coping with SAD.

I also usually take the winter months to complete fun crafts, particularly sewing or crocheting. I love crocheting because I get into a rhythm and pattern, which gives me a sense of order and control. This is really helpful when all the thoughts in my head are jumbled up, because sometimes I feel like I'm trying to listen to a crowd of voices while my head is in the fish tank. I know things are being said, but I can't really focus on any of the conversations because they're all kind of blended together.

This year the Winter Blues snuck up on me because I haven't really had time to think about myself. I have been so focused on Tree Faerie that I didn't take the preventative measures, so now I have to really take measures to pull myself out of this funk. I make myself exercise. I started crocheting an afghan. I soak up the sun. I will make it through the next 6 weeks.

Is it any wonder why I am drawn to a nature-based spiritual path? Nature has such an impact on my life. One of the things that really helps me through the winter is knowing that after Winter Solstice, I know for a fact that the days really are getting longer. At Imbolc (which is tomorrow, February 2nd), I know I only have 6 more weeks of winter before it is officially Spring. This knowledge makes it easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel.