BY Natalie

03/01 Direct Link
I took the kids and the filthy car through an automatic car wash today. I didn't make the kids get out.. I let them stay in the car as we went through the car wash. I told them they could just take a bath at home.

You'd have thought we were at an amusement park. I'd forgotten how thrilled the kids are by the soap spraying, water pelting & brushes flapping. Kind of nice to get 2 things done at once... true multi task professional that I am... A clean car and entertained kids all in the same 30 minutes!
03/02 Direct Link
When driving, oldest daughter said, "Mom, I think it'd be really funny to see you driving a Harley wearing a black leather jacket with a matching helmet."

She then laughed so hard that she had tears rolling down her face. She said, "It's so funny because you are so sensible all the time. I cannot imagine you doing something dangerous."

I said, "I've done dangerous things. I've been reckless."

She wasn't going for it.

She said she'd be nice to youngest daughter for an entire year if I'd ride for a day.
I'll have to take her up on that.
03/03 Direct Link
At a store where everything costs one dollar, I found Biore pore strips. The boxes had a combination package of six strips for the nose and six facial strips for, yes, one dollar. These are usually five dollars or more for six strips at other retailers. I love these things. I got two boxes and if we go by the average local prices at retailers near my home, I saved twenty six dollars! Of course, I would have never gotten four boxes at once to get twenty four strips, but it's fun to say that I save that much money.
03/04 Direct Link
I think that the reason for the recent craze with exfoliants (recent as in the past 10 or 20 years, since that's all I've noticed as I'm 36), came about when electric dryers became more accessible. As more and more people were able to have them in their homes, line drying became a thing of the past, a novelty, if you will. When scratchy towels gave way to soft fluffy towels, we had less skin exfoliated when drying off from bathing, and that created the need for exfoliants, which has become a huge market.

A conspiracy by the exfoliant people?
03/05 Direct Link
I've been with the company where I work for over 2 years. There's not a high turnover in most departments, so I've known these people for a while, for the most part. After a while, one starts to believe that they KNOW the people they work with.

This past week, a co-worker told me that her three children are not all hers, which is not a big deal, in itself. Then she went on to explain. Two of them are her sister's, with her husband, well, common law husband. Her sister's legal husband.

I was fine not knowing that. Ever.
03/06 Direct Link
At oldest daughter's yearly asthma check up, they checked vital signs height. She is 5 feet 6 1/4 inches.

I've always said I am 5 feet 6 inches.. but I thought I was 5 feet 5 3/4 inches. I just rounded up to make myself feel better. So today, I asked the guy to measure me just to be sure, as daughter gloated that she is now taller.

I'm 5 feet 6 inches. I've grown 1/4 inch somewhere along the line. Oldest daughter is 1/4 inch taller than me.

I knew it would happen one day. I wasn't ready yet.
03/07 Direct Link
With Oklahoma House Bill 2158 passing the committee this week, I've had censorship on my mind. This bill would require that books dealing with homosexuality be removed from the children's and young adult's sections of the library. The exact wording from the bill is: "to confine homosexually themed books and other age-inappropriate material to areas exclusively for adult access and distribution." Whether or not I agree with what others believe or write about, I believe everyone has the right to read what they choose. Information should be available to everyone, not just a select few who believe a certain way.
03/08 Direct Link
I read books that are on the banned and challenged books list. Not necessarily because I believe in what the book is about, but because I CAN. Maybe it's really because I'm rebellious and dislike the Library Nazis who want to dictate my reading. I talk with my children about their right to choose, about freedoms that we take for granted, about how the restriction of these basic rights takes away what America was built on. My children read banned and challenged books: Harry Potter, The Giver, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A Wrinkle in Time.. the list goes on.
03/09 Direct Link
I am amazed that this Representative Sally Kern likened these books she wants to ban to illicit drugs and giving alcohol to children, in a conversation with my mom yesterday. They finally agreed to disagree. Representative Kern stated foolishly in her conversation with Mom, that she believes the reason for high teen pregnancy rate & AIDS in Oklahoma is directly related to the types of books these children are reading. I think maybe it's due to them NOT reading enough and not enough parental supervision. Sally Kern has a personal religious agenda that should not be part of state politics.
03/10 Direct Link
I've heard of botox for wrinkles. I've heard of botox for muscle spasms. But never for sweating. Some information I found online states that botox injections are used in the treatment of certain eye disorders such as strabismus and blepharospasm. It is also used to treat severe underarm sweating. It is also useful in treating certain spasms, movement disorders, tremors, as well as cosmetic skin treatment. It's odd, I think, that this would be advertised on the radio. It's kind of a gross thing to be advertising. Probably not good for the restaurant business if this ad plays during lunchtime.
03/11 Direct Link
Oldest daughter's peak flow reading this morning was 400. After 350 yesterday, this is MUCH better. She was at 86% instead of 76%. The number that represents 100% breathing capacity is 464. It's based on height. The asthma action plan has very plain directions regarding what to do when she is breathing at certain percentages. It has specific instructions, how to do the medicine, how many puffs of the inhaler, how often, how long to wait before taking daily medicines. It's really a nice tool to have. We take the best of three peak flow readings each morning before medicine.
03/12 Direct Link
Totally random things:
My kids are on spring break this week.
"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" is the new favorite dvd at my house.
The kids are eagerly awaiting the release of Narnia on dvd the first week of April.
I just finished "Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination," by Helen Fielding, the author of "Bridget Jones's Diary."
Next on my list is "Wicked," by Gregory Maguire.
I enjoy the soundtrack of "Wicked," the musical.
Oldest daughter's favorite song on the "Wicked," soundtrack is "What is this feeling?"
Youngest daughter's favorite song on the "Wicked," soundtrack is "Popular."
03/13 Direct Link
This morning after I dried my hair, I noticed something in the mirror. Something kind of sparkly & light. I leaned in a little closer to get a better look. It was still there.

Then I got out a hand mirror to look even closer, from a new angle, with the light shining just right (with no shadows to impair my view, you know).

I blinked, looked away, focused on something in the distance.
I squinted.
I peered closely again.

Is it really there?
It cannot be.
Maybe I'm seeing things. Hallucinations are common in 36 year old moms, right?
03/14 Direct Link
Follow up on what I saw in the mirror:
As I was peering closely, I saw that it was there.
Actually.. THEY were there.
Two of them.
On my head.

Two gray hairs.
It's official. I'm getting older.

Now when my kids ask me why I'm forgetful, I can tell them it's because I'm old with gray hair.

UPDATE: I just saw one of my sisters. She said I do not have any gray hair. She looked and could not see a single one. My nephew said I must have been hallucinating. My sister said I was imagining things. WHEW!
03/15 Direct Link
Right now, at the company where I work, employees can choose to work from 8am to 5pm with one hour lunch or from 8:30am to 5:30pm with one hour for lunch. That's it.

Beginning April 3, this is changing. Employees will be able to work any 8 hours between 7am & 5:30pm with either 30 minutes or one hour for lunch. Management is making this change to make the company a more appealing place to work.

I am choosing to work from 7am to 3:30pm. I will be home at 4pm, the same time my youngest 2 children get home.
03/16 Direct Link
Today at work, I came across several patients who are named after famous people in history, like General Robert E. Lee, for example. Who would name their kid this? If my last name was Einstein, I would not ever name my son Albert. Talk about setting them up for loads of fights and getting beaten up on the playground! I really don't understand what people are thinking when they name their kids these things. Maybe the pregnancy was a nightmare. George Washington Abe Lincoln Ben Franklin Tommy Jefferson It is just mean, you know? Why not choose an original name?
03/17 Direct Link
Tonight after work, I went over to my parents' house to get a book I had left over there this weekend. When I was still outside talking to Mom (when I arrived), Dad waved me in & said, "Do you know how to find the address book on this thing?" He'd gotten a new cel phone because his old one died & didn't want to read the instruction booklet. He said a guy in Home Depot today helped him find the address book but he couldn't remember how the guy had done it. Too cute. He is so funny sometimes
03/18 Direct Link
It's finally raining here.. soaking rain. After all the wildfires these past few months, it's nice to have rain. Hopefully the fire danger will decrease & the burn bans will be able to be lifted. When I woke up this morning to no electricity & the sounds of thunder & pouring rain, I smiled, snuggled back down into the covers & dozed. I dreamed of childhood overnights at Meema & Grandad's house sleeping in the wayback bedroom where I could hear rain pounding on the roof. That is such a comforting sound for me. It has been for many years.
03/19 Direct Link
At work today, we all got an email from one of the managers regarding a fund raiser we‘d had for a co-worker and her husband.
Here's part of the email:

"You guys are the best group of caring, concerned and big hearted individuals I have had the pleasure to work with. You should be proud of the characteristics exhumed by your generosity. I personally thank you for that!"

I think that instead of exhumed (dug up.. as in a buried corpse), the word should have been exuded (displayed conspicuously). Am I horrible for noticing that & being bugged by it?
03/20 Direct Link
After school today, son was a bit down, so I asked how his day had been. He said he had homework in every subject because he'd fallen asleep during the day over & over. When I asked how he was feeling, he said headache, backache, cold, hot, burning throat, sleepy. For son, this is not normal behavior. He NEVER sleeps during the day unless he's sick. When I checked, 102 degree temperature. I am a little upset that his teacher didn't call me. I'd think it was obvious that he didn't feel well if he was falling asleep & feverish.
03/21 Direct Link
Dobby, our one year old cockatiel, loves the Bird Sitter dvd. The kids and I play it for him when he is home alone during the day. I am quite sure I have posted about it before, but since I am here listening to it, I thought I would mention it again. I am playing it for him as son sleeps and I play online. Dobby doesn't actually watch the dvd, but he chirps when he hears the birds on it. It loops & plays all day long. As soon as I turned it on, he began chirping & whistling.
03/22 Direct Link
He slept all yesterday afternoon & evening had a fever last night. Whenever he woke up last night, he drank a lot of kool-aid & water. He woke up this morning with a temp of 102.5. Not hungry, just thirsty again. He slept until around noon today & woke up feeling much better. I told him he had to lie around on the couch & that he could not go out & play since he had been home sick. Now his fever is completely gone. No tylenol. No motrin. Nothing. Just sleep & letting his body heal did the trick.
03/23 Direct Link
This morning's peak flow reading was not very good. Oldest daughter fell asleep without doing her asthma medicine last night. It has made a HUGE difference in how she felt this morning & in how much air she was actually able to breathe. After doing the medicine this morning, her lungs opened back up & she seemed to feel better by the time I dropped her off at school. Son is feeling so much better that he wanted to walk to school with his friends instead of having me drop him off on the way taking youngest to the dentist.
03/24 Direct Link
At work today, a lady said that she liked getting paid weekly at a previous job. Another lady, said that she'd not like getting paid weekly because she'd have to pay more taxes, but at least she'd get a bigger tax refund at the end of the year.

I asked her what she meant..since taxes are a percentage.. the same percentage is taken out whether you work 40 hours, 80 hours or 160 hours in a pay period.
She said that you pay more taxes if you get paid weekly.
This made sense to her. She was totally serious.
03/25 Direct Link
She then explained that you pay less taxes if you buy things one at a time at the grocery store.. rather than a whole buggy-full of groceries at once. I said.. well, yes, you pay more taxes when you spend more money since taxes are in proportion to the dollar amount spent. She thought I was strange for saying this & said that I was wrong. I'm not sure where she gets her ideas about how taxes work. She said I was being argumentative when I tried to explain it to her. After a few minutes, I had a headache.
03/26 Direct Link
If I go with my co-worker's way of thinking, perhaps I should pay for the kids' school lunches by the month instead of sending money for two weeks at a time so it will cost less. No, I got that backwards, didn't I? I should send money each day, and that would make it cost less. Or, instead of filling up my gas tank once a week, I could put 2 or 3 dollars worth of gas in the car daily and save money that way, along with wasting a whole lot of time! It's funny how some people think.
03/27 Direct Link
After biting my nails as a child and then wearing acrylic nails in my late teens and twenties, I'm happy to say that my nails are strong enough to grow out without chipping, flaking, and breaking constantly. I've been using a strengthening polish. I put on one coat of the polish each night for four nights. Then I remove it & start over. My nails are much stronger since I've been doing this. Until yesterday, all ten nails were close to the same length. I don't wear them long. Just short, square. Anyway, one broke. I hate when that happens!
03/28 Direct Link
When you pick out your clothes in the morning, and you choose a white shirt, do you (ladies) say, "I'm wearing a white shirt.. where is that black bra? I cannot wear a neutral color.. it has got to be black!"

I believe that some of my co-workers do this. Each time some of them wear a white shirt, they wear a black bra.. and they are pale skinned girls.. the black bra shows.

It is not cute.
That's all I'm saying about that.

New subject: I changed the headlights on my car tonight. By myself. And they work! YIPPEE!
03/29 Direct Link
The co-worker that I fussed about recently, about the confusion she has with how taxes work in real life, said something else today that floored me.

I was walking back to my desk and overheard her & another co-worker arguing about whether or not you can kill a cow when it is standing up. As in chop it's head off.

Yes, it's really true.

Why in the world would anyone talk about that? I could not figure out how they got on that subject. This is not a normal, work day, run of the mill conversation topic in my world.
03/30 Direct Link
Eleven years ago this week, at 6:30 in the morning, I woke up with an achey back & what I thought were Braxton Hicks contractions. I got up, did a few things to get ready for baby, and the contractions became worse. So, off I went to the hospital. At a little after noon, the doctor came in & asked if I was ready for my baby to be born. When I said yes, he said, "OK, then push." I did. Twice. And son was born at 12:20pm. In the same hospital his father & uncle had been born in.
03/31 Direct Link
I rarely run into bigotry these days. With my children being bi-racial, I've had my fair share of ugly comments & stares over the years. When we lived in Louisiana, I noticed people staring at us much more than I have ever noticed it here. I don't care what people say about me. I'm an adult, I can deal with it. It's not going to skew my view of the world. But, when my children are brought into it, war has been declared. I'm not going to walk away, or turn the other cheek when my children have been hurt.