Sunday, June 30, 2013

Rescue Me

I am currently working my way thru the show "Rescue Me" via Streaming Netflix.

And I love it.

While Jason's department isn't nearly as busy as, say, a New York City fire house, there is plenty about this show that I relate to.

One of my favorite things to do while watching it is to randomly ask him questions about his job.

Things like:

You don't really go into a burning building with your masks off, then put them on once you're in the heat of the fire do you? No.

Why is everyone walking around on shift in their civvies? Shouldn't they be in uniform?

Do you guys get warming covers to put over your food in case you're called out while eating?

Do you think big departments like New York really have their own giant office building for administrative personnel? with their own doctors & everything? Probably.
That's just a small sampling of the completely random things I ask my firefighter while watching this show.

I've totally gotten sucked into the storyline, and am loving it.


What about you? Are there any shows that you've just been sucked into? What's your current favorite?

Friday, June 28, 2013

A Letter to the Well-Intentioned:

For the past few years,  you have been inquiring as to the size of our family, asking when we would bless Jena with a sibling.

For the past year, it has happened more frequently. One of you approaches me with this question at least once per week.

Quite frankly, it is none of your business.

Just as it was none of your business the first time around.

But for the record, here's the deal:

- in my younger years, I was informed by my physician to expect fertility issues. There is a very good possiblity that Jena is our miracle child.

- I had severe complications from my labor & delivery with Jena. This makes having another child really scary for me and my husband.

- I struggled with Post Partum Depression for over 2 years following the birth of my first child. This not only postponed the time until I was mentally well enough to even consider having another child, but also adds an additional concern to having another child.

- I've been struggling with pituatary issues for over two years, and have also dealt with various other health concerns.

- we have been trying to conceive, and suffered a miscarriage three months ago.
- I was recently informed by my physician, that because of my ongoing pituatary issues, I am most likely not even ovulating any more, and if we do conceive at this time, am unlikely to carry a pregnancy to term

So there it is. All laid out for you. Now you know the in-a-nutshell version of why we haven't had more kids yet. Thanks for reminding me weekly of some incredibly painful moments in my life. I especially enjoy when you do this loudly, and in public.

By the way, while we're at it, stop asking anyone when they're having kids, getting married, finding a new job, etc. unless the other person invites you to discuss that topic. Despite public results the path to getting to any milestone in life is a very private journey. So knock it off.

Thank you for your kind consideration in this matter.

-- Jodi

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Miniature Golf

While on vacation last month, we stopped to play miniature golf at one of the many tourist attractions on Pigeon Forge.

It was fun. For the most part. Mini golf is a relatively new activity for Jena. She played her first two games on vacation last year, and fell in love. She LOVES miniature golf.

One thing we have not convinced Jena to do, is to use both hands. She typically stands directly behind the ball, and with one hand on the club, thrusts it forward, pushing the ball. Pretty far (considering).

Needless to say, we do not keep score. Not yet. This concept was difficult for my dad to grasp, and he kept a mental score in his head, up until Jena's meltdown. And even a little bit after that, I think.

We also had a hard time convincing her that you had to wait for everyone to finish before you moved on to the next hole. Probably because it's usually only the three of us, so the wait usually isn't as long as this time, when there were six of us total.

But at the end of the day, we all had a good time. And that's what matters, right?

Monday, June 24, 2013

The week I almost became a thief

While on vacation last month, I seriously considered stealing two dogs. Seriously.

Our 2nd night in the cabin two dogs showed up on the front porch. A dachsund and a mutt. Extremely friendly, except... the doxie would pee whenever one of the men touched him.

Raise first red flag.

Since there were several other cabins in the area, we decided to wait, hoping they would return to their owners.

They were outside all night. We heard them barking. Outside in the mountains.

But the next morning, they were still there.

Jena was especially worried, so I made her the promise that before we left for home we would either find their owners, or call "the animal rescuers" (ie. the local humane society).

That next day, when we were loading into the car to leave, the doxie jumped into our drivers' seat. I tried to coax it out, to no avail. Went to pick it up... and it peed all over the seat.

And let me be clear, the peeing instances were not I'm-so-happy-I-literally-can't-contain-myself types of peeing, but more of a I'm-so-scared-I'm-pissing-myself sort of peeing.

Raise second red flag.

Sometime on the 3rd day, we determined that they belonged to the family at the cabin closest to ours, when the man came looking for them.
Later that same day, they dogs were happily lying in the driveway to our cabin. The mutt farthest away, was friendly, but not outgoing, and never came directly to us.

Until her owner called her. The minute she heard his voice, she beelined for our legs.

Yeah, a dog who refuses to approach strangers, until her owner calls her for her? Then she runs for the strange folks and hides behind their legs?

Raise third red flag.

And that is when I contemplated stealing the dogs.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe my gut is wrong (even though it's never been wrong before), but I'm pretty sure those dogs were abused in that home.

And so I gave serious thought to stealing a couple of dogs. I spied on the neighbor a couple of times, just hoping to catch him in the act so I could call the authorities. But no.

But I still considered stealing the dogs. Maybe I should have. What's two more, right?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

HotTub? yes, please!

Jena's first time in a hot tub. See that smile? 'nuff said

I'm telling you, my kid is a total water bug. Give her water, and she's happy.

*note* yes, we turned the heat way down, and yes, she was never in there unless another adult was there too, and yes, you do have to explain to a 4-yr-old that hot tubs are for relaxing, not fun, so please stop doing cannonballs so Mamaw can relax.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

My Fat Butt: Answers

Well, I had my labs run and saw my endocrinologist.

I was right, my pituitary system is all jacked up.

While my sugar levels were still okay, I am beginning to show signs of insulin resistance, and my body is back to living on starvation mode. Everything I eat it tries to store. No big surprise there.

What I was surprised by is a few other results. My testosterone is low. Two other levels (and I cannot remember what they're called to save my life) indicate that at this point I probably am not ovulating at all. His actual words were "I would be shocked if you were ovulating at this point."

When I told him about my miscarriage three months ago, he said that these levels would also explain an inability to carry a pregnancy to term.

So... at least I have answers now, right?

He said one of our options would be just what I mentioned in my last Fat Butt post: stop trying, go back on my previous meds, when my levels return to normal and I'm at a happy weight, then we start trying again. But he also confirmed my fears: once I stopped the meds & the birth control, we'd likely repeat the pattern I was already in.

While we are trying to conceive, we have limited options, due to the dangers of many medications during pregnancy. But we're gonna try one of of our options.

He's starting me on Victoza. It's a diabetes medication that he hopes will regulate my insulin and GLP levels, and that once those levels return to normal the others will (hopefully) fall into place.

There are a few issues with me taking this med though:

First of all, I'm not really thrilled about giving myself an injection in the abdomen every day. And when the nurse told me to try to avoid injecting into stretch marks, I just laughed. That doesn't leave many options on my belly. But really, this is no big deal.

Secondly, because it's a diabetes medication and I am not only not diabetic, but my blood sugar trends toward hypoglycemia (low), I need to check my sugar periodically to make sure it's not dipping too low. So now I have my very own brand new blood glucose monitor.

Stabbing myself in the stomach AND pricking my finger?!? Who wouldn't love that?

Joking aside, I'm hopeful we're on the path to getting things sorted out. I guess only time will tell.

As always, thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bear-ly missed it

One of the last things we did on our vacation to the Smokies is to go thru Cades Cove.

We drove the loop, had a picnic lunch, took some pics, walked some trails, and yes, saw a bear.

Not uncommon for Cades Cove, as it is one of the most popular places for wildlife viewing in the Mountains.

As a child, we often camped near Cades Cove, and did the loop at least once per day while on vacation. I've been thru that thing hundreds of times. Okay, maybe not hundreds, but we might be getting close.

So when we saw the cars stopped, and lined up, we knew there was probably a bear up ahead.

Or maybe a deer, because occasionally you do get people who apparently have no deer where they're from, and get really excited about a deer.

And then we saw the people out of their cars. Maybe 20 of them, standing around, looking into the woods. We still weren't close enough to see, but I started noticing that none of them were pointing, and they seemed to be looking at something fairly close.

And then I saw the man and his son walk into the woods, and begin pointing at it from the other side.

Because it's really smart to cut off a large predator like a bear from all angles, with nothing to protect you. Like, brilliant.

And then we see it. And it's very clear that the bear wants to cross the road. And it's also very clear that the line of people watching him is in his way.

And people are stupid. And no, I will not apologize for that statement. Until evidence proves otherwise, I am convinced that the vast majority of animal attacks on humans (domestic or wild) are the human's fault. Because people are too stupid to realize that if you don't know enough about animal behavior to adjust your behavior accordingly, then you have no right to be that close to said animal. Grr. I could do a whole soap box post on this subject. But not now. I'm moving on...

So Mr. Bear begins walking farther down the line of cars, to where there are no people blocking the road. As in, by our car.

And it stops, and I swear it's looking right at us. And I realize, it's gonna come.

sizing up the situation

"Roll up Jena's window! Roll up Jena's window! Roll up Jena's window!"

Jason had just gotten her window rolled up, and was starting on ours, when it came. It ran right behind our car into the woods on the other side.

The picture above? That's the spot the bear ran across the road taken from the front passenger seat of our car. No zoom or cropping. I was hoping to snap a shot, but he was too fast. So here's a pic of the blank road.
Now, it may have only been a second, and we may have been in our car, but that is definitely the closest I've ever come to a wild bear. And the closest I'd ever want to.

As always, thanks for checking in!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Pains of Being the Oldest in our Family

While the three of us were driving in the car recently, this happened:

Jena: Raise your hand if you're the oldest!I raise my hand.

Jena: Raise your hand if you're the youngest!
She raises her hand and giggles.

Jena: Raise your hand if you're in the middle!Jason raises his hand.

{ long pause }

Jena: Raise your hand if you're almost 100!{ pause }

Jena (leaning forward & whispering): Mommy, raise your hand!

Geesh! No love here! LOL!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Vacation Aquarium

While in the Smokies, we visited Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies.

Several of us had been before, but Jena hadn't.

And she is our little water bug.

She had a blast. I think we all did.

This was a great attraction for a group of varying ages. It truly has something for everyone, and you can go at your own pace.

They've added a section since last time, the dinosaurs. It's a relatively small party of the attraction, but still fun. Jena's favorite parts were playing paleontologist by dusting off bones, and coloring pictures of dinosaurs on the interactive screens.

I think it's really neat how you can become part of the exhibit in certain places, by climbing in the tubes they have set up in the habitats.

And here's some cute pictures of sleeping penguins, just because.

As always, thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My husband is my daugther's dad

So, during a game miniature golf on our vacation, Jena had a meltdown. A major, gigantic, uncharacteristic-of-her meltdown.

It all surrounded a hole where you had to get your ball up a steep (miniature golf steep) hill. Jena, using her one-handed technique, tried 5 times and never came close. Nor did she want help. She loudly did not want help.

Proceed to meltdown.

At first, we were concerned. Jason & I looked at each other, and I mouthed "is she sick?". Because, that my friends, is about the only time you get a completely unwarranted tantrum out of Jena (well, now. When she was younger... Lord help us all)

So I sat on the ground, invited her into my lap, and talked to her for a bit. She calmed down, and was ready to try again. Giving up is not something that I want to encourage, and not something she does naturally. She's persistant, that one.

While we were talking, the others had gone ahead, and Grandpa had moved her ball to the top of the hill. She frowned, picked up her ball, and announced that she was going to the next hole. As I was opening my mouth to encourage her to try again, her announcement was met by a chorus of encouragement from all three of her grandparents:

"That's a great idea, let's move on!"

"Sometimes it's okay to skip hard things!"

and my personal favorite

"Giving up is a great idea! You can just do the next one!"

I kid you not. Her grandparents encouraged her to give up. I shook my head, and moved on. She already had, and seemed happy, as did everyone else. Maybe not every moment has to be about a life lesson.

So we moved on. Did I mention this hole was around hole 5? Of an 18-hole course?

Original meltdown aside, she made it thru the rest of the course, but not without some resistance, some back-talk, and just a generally bad attitude. We'd correct her behavior, only to have her repeat it again.

And then... we were done. We were on the last hole. She was so excited that she was the first one whose ball disappeared down the hole. We're almost done, we're happy... until she announces that she wants to play again and doesn't want to turn her club in. We inform her that we're done and moving on to more super-fun stuff on our vacation.

She runs off, about 10 feet away from us, still in our view, and curls herself into the side of a hedge, and cries. And I mean sobs.

At this point, I'm still concerned that she might be sick, and am perfectly willing to let her cry it out until we're all ready to leave.

Jason was not. He had had enough of her attitude, and was especially not happy with her running off, even if it weren't that far.

He went to get her, and when she saw him coming... she ran.

He finally caught her, and what ensued was not pretty. Lots of screaming. The kind that draws the attention of the other people on the course, no matter which hole they were at. Necks craned to see what the fuss is about.

To be honest, this whole scene was difficult for me. Very, very hard.

You've gotta remember, with his firefighter schedule, plus running a side business, I do 99% of the parenting in our household. And we have very different methods for dealing with her.

The grandparents found a couple of benches about 50 feet away, out of sight, in the shade, and retired there. I stayed at first, listening.

It was very, very hard for me to not intervene. But I didn't. I let my husband be her dad and parent her.

I stayed until she caught sight of me. Because at that point she started struggling against him even harder, reaching out her arms, and screaming for me.

And so, when she wasn't looking, I disappeared behind a building and joined my parents on the benches.

But before I left, I snapped this picture:

Can you see them? He's wearing a green shirt, back facing us, in the middle of the flowers. She's on his lap, but not happy about it.

Something inside me said this was a moment. As painful as it was, it was something to be remembered. And so I pulled out my camera, and clicked.

Eventually (hours, it must have been, or so it seemed) they rejoined us, and we finally left that attraction. Finally.

We finished the day tantrum-free. And I think we all learned a lesson that day.

Mine was a reminder that he is her dad. Oh sure, we know it, but with him being gone so much, and me consequently handling the vast majority of parenting items, it's good to have little reminders now and again.

My husband, is her dad.

Monday, June 10, 2013


And now, I give you go-cart pictures.

Mostly you need to know that this was Jena's 1st (and 2nd) time on the go-carts, that she's in love with them and likes to go as fast as possible, that I'm pretty sure Jason likes them just as much, if not more, than she does, and... that my 70-year-old father rode them too.

Look out for the guy in the red shirt.

That's my dad.

And it makes me happy that he did something just for himself, just to have fun, for him.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Connect your neurons!

A few weeks ago one of my dear readers, violajack, suggested an article on the power of praise. Yeah, you should probably go ahead and click on that link and read it. It's lengthy, but worth it. Go ahead. I'll wait.


Okay, now that we're all on the same page, let me just say that I am so glad she shared this with me. I've always made a point of praising Jena for her accomplishments, but the fact is I wasn't. Instead of praising her for doing good work, I was telling her she was smart, she was strong, she was {insert blank}.

And I got it. Her teacher gets it too. The lead teacher in her class, the one who has over 20 years of teaching experience, gets it. When the kids are learning a new task, she tells them they are connecting their neurons. I've heard it with my own ears.

"Connect your neurons!" she'll say, encouraging them to keep at it until they get it.

She gets it.

And so I'm working not to praise Jena less, necessarily, but to change the way I praise her.

When she gets all her math problems correct, instead of saying "Great job! You're so smart." I now say something like "Great job! I'm proud of you for working hard to learn your math!"

When she pulls herself up, using all her arm strength, instead of saying "You're so strong!" I say something like "Look at you! You kept trying until you got it! Awesome!"

And whatever it is, if we have a few moments for a longer talk, I'll throw in something reminding her of she couldn't do it previously, and how proud I am of her for keeping at it, and now just look at her, she's doing it.

I think sometimes we all fall into this pattern of saying things without really thinking of the message we're sending. It's something I've definitely been more cognizent of since reading the article, and something I'm working toward changing.

As always, thanks for checking in!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Copperhead: the Movie Giveaway

Did ya'll know I was a history buff? No? Well, I am.

In fact, my degree is a B.A. in History.

One of my favorite classes in college? History of the Civil War.

Wanna know my all-time favorite history class while in college? It told the story of the homefront. What went on back home while the soldiers were out fighting.

So let me tell ya, when I was asked to do a giveaway regarding an upcoming Civil War movie that focused on the challenges families faced as their loved ones left for combat, I was immediately intrigued.

Copperhead tells the story of Abner Beech, a farmer in upstate New York. While he opposes slavery, he also opposes the War. He is a Copperhead.

Personally, I can't wait to see it.

And one of my lucky readers will get to see it for FREE.
One lucky reader will win:

- an official Copperhead movie poster hand signed by Director / Producer Ron Maxwell (of "Gettysburg" and "Gods and Generals" fame)
- The Copperhead Official Companion Book (authored by Harold Frederic)
- Movie Theater Cash valid for one (1) movie admission

How to Enter:

- Take the Civil War Knowledge Trivia Quiz shown in the app below and post your results in a comment here.
- Read thru the Copperhead Cooking Recipes showin in the app below and post your favorite recipe over on my Facebook page
- Tweet a link to this post (be sure to tag me in it so I can count your entry: @kyfirewife)

Multiple entries are accepted. Each comment on blog and FB and each tweet will be assigned a number, and one winner will be chosen using MS Excel's random number generator (I'm a total Excel nerd). Entries accepted beginning 12noon EST on 6/7/2013 and ending at 11:59pm on 6/10/2013. Winners will be announced on this blog, on the KyFireWife FB page, and on the @kyfirewife Twitter account. In the event either winner does not provide contact information within 48 hours of announcement, a new winner from the original pool of contestants will be chosen.

All thoughts and opinions shown here are exclusively my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this post.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Rest Area Fun

if that girl finds a "stage" of any sort, she's on it

I love this pic. It's not posed, and just catches her in the moment of being... her.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Fat Butt - what to do..

Well, something about writing down my thoughts in my last Fat Butt post got me thinking. And thinking. And thinking. And talking with my husband. And thinking.

I'm wary of getting pregnant with my weight this high. It makes it harder to conceive, poses more health risks for me & baby, and gives me a really bad starting point for post-pregnancy.

So I was thinking maybe we should stop TTC, I would see my endocrinologist, run my labs, etc. go back on the meds, then when I reached a healthy weight, start TTC again.

But then I realized the catch-22. So I do that, then stop the meds (again), then stop the birth control (again), then blow up like a balloon (again), and end up in the same boat I'm in now.

Plus, with my age, I don't really want to put off TTC. I ain't getting any younger, you know?

So... what to do... what to do...

Well, I decided maybe the best thing to do is to see my endocrinologist and just talk thru everything with him. I'll go this weekend to have my bloodwork done, then see him next week.

I have no idea what the outcome will be, so... wish me luck!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Things I'm Loving

1. Evenings at the park

We don't make it out there as much as I'd like, but we do get some good play time with Jena at least once a week.

2. PopChips

I'm trying to eat healthier, and PopChips do a great job of curbing my quest for a salty snack, without making me feel too guilty about it. Even when I down the entire bag. Not that that's ever happened, right?

3. Sandals

I'm loving sandals. From flip flops to heels to water sandals. For me or Jena. I am loving the ease of sliding them on & being ready to go.

4. Clogs

I have a pair of white nursing clogs from my days working in a doctors' office that are about 11 years old and are just starting to fall apart. Except they are now brown, LOL. But still. They're holding up well. And now Jena has a cheapie pair of purple plastic clogs. When we need to get out the door for just a few minutes - say to feed the chickens early in the morning - they're perfect.

5. Popsicles

Perfect summer treat!


this post inspired by this post
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...