Why America is Going Downhill

phonearrangement.jpgIt came to me yesterday. I know what is wrong with America. Americans are hearing voices in their heads. No, I don’t mean we all need psychiatrists, I’m talking about the voices that come over cell phones, ipods, and other technical toys. Look around you (or perhaps just look in the mirror). The vast majority of people are on the phone or have something else stuck in their ears.  On the street, in the mall, in the park, in the car, in restaurants, moms pushing strollers, moms pushing their children on the swings, dads (including my husband) taking the kids for ice cream. Adults are on the telephone all the time and everywhere! When are we taking the time for quiet? When do we take the time for our thoughts? Perhaps, if we took time to be alone with our thoughts, we wouldn’t be electing such buffoons and we wouldn’t be destroying the planet as fast as our SUVs can carry us. It would be something else if we were talking on the phone about the meaning of life, but we are not. Typically, we are telling our friends and family how “busy” we are. I submit that many of us are afraid of our own thoughts. We get nervous if we are left in silence to ponder our life and the lives around us. Don’t be afraid, we need these thoughts to protect us and to keep us moving forward! I suggest that the next time you are out, you do not use your cell phone (unless you have an emergency and need to call AAA or something) or your ipod. Try to spend an afternoon, a morning, or an evening with the “quiet” of your own thoughts. Take a walk to the coffeehouse without checking your voicemail. Ride to the office without that call you usually make to just “check in.” Don’t be afraid of your own voice. Just let your mind wander and see where it takes you. (Even if your only thought is, “Gee, I seem to be the only one who doesn’t have a phone attached to my ear.”)

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Why Can’t We Stop the Rain? Why Can’t We Save the Miners?

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(picture from umbrellas.com,  who knew?)

With all our technology, we are still at the mercy of Mother Nature.  Here in Chicagoland, it is raining and raining and raining. It is flooding in many parts of the country.  While over in Maryland, where I have a bunch of relatives, they really, really need rain.   Why can’t we invent a machine to control the weather?  How hard can it be to blow some rain clouds in another direction?  Ok, so I’m not a meteorologist, scientist, or any kind of ist.  But there is so much we have accomplished, yet so much we just can’t do.  It breaks my heart to think of those miners trapped in  Utah.  It boggles the mind that we can build a rocket, develop nuclear power, but we can’t dig a tunnel to rescue someone!

I am a Human Pacifier

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(Maggie Simpson of FoxTV by Matt Groeing)

I took my two-year-old’s pacifier away (this was, of course, before we went on vacation and he got the stomach flu). I figured, hey, he’s not sleeping well anyway, now is as good a time as any. We put them in a baggie and pretended to give them to his baby cousin B. Now, whenever he thinks about it, he says, “Baby B took my pacifier?” I remind him that we gave it to her. Anyway, I hope he doesn’t harbor any long term resentment toward her. Now, I am the pacifier. He screams and screams for me in the middle of the night. Daddy just won’t do anymore. So, now I’m spending half the night on a twin air mattress in his room with him next to me. For three nights now, I have been telling him that we can only nurse in the morning, not in the middle of the night. If I hold him while we sleep, he is usually ok about this. To top it all off, he is getting his two-year molars. There no way I’m going to ever let him see those pacifiers again. I guess we’ll all have to settle for mommy, the human pacifier. As they say, “you made your bed . . .” now I’ve got to go lie with him.

No Sleep ‘Till . . .

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The husband went out of town so I skipped town too, with the kids and my mom and dad. I thought I would have a relaxing weekend (shopping, napping, running on the beach) while my mom and dad played with the kids. Oh, how wrong I was. Just after lunch on the first day . . . VOMIT. My five-year-old let it out right on the carpeting of my parents’ vacation home. Ok, now I’m with her holding her hair back and holding her all day while my son goes to the beach to play. All night we toss and turn because my two-year-old won’t sleep in the pack and play and the three of us are trying to sleep on a full size bed. Why we didn’t move into the next room with a queen bed I don’t know. Anyway, the next morning, everyone is well. Pancakes and a walk on the beach. Then a nap for my son and me. After the nap, we went out for ice cream. I should have known there was something wrong with my son when he refused to eat his ice cream. An hour later . . . VOMIT. Right on the sidewalk. He continued to vomit until I drove him to the ER at 4 a.m. We waited in a yucky crowded waiting room for over an hour and a half. He threw up bile in my hand and one of the security guards had to get me a towel and a little tray for him to throw up in. The room they finally put us in was a “trauma” room, so people kept coming in and out to get stuff or to restock the room. Then, there was a shift change so we had to wait even longer. No one was coming in to help us. I just wanted them to put some fluids into him to get him to feel better. When our nurse finally arrived, she was more concerned about doing tests. They put a catheter in to get urine (did you know that a guy can be in pain for days after that? I just found that out the hard way, poor little guy). They took blood and then finally hooked up an IV. All tests were negative and they said he had the stomach flu. The poor guy went from sleeping on my lap to screaming about something. First it was the rectal thermometer, then the catheter, then the IV, then the vitals instrument they put on his toe. One time, he was sleeping soundly and the nurse came in with a Tylenol suppository for his 100.5 fever (our doctor does not even consider that to be a fever). I asked her to wait until he woke up, but NO, she said she had to put it in in case his fever got worse. That started another long bout of screaming. We were released as soon as he kept down a bit of pedialite. A quick stop at the drive-thru for coffee and my son and I went back to the vacation house and got packed. I just wanted to get home. My breasts were killing me b/c I hadn’t nursed for about fifteen hours. I was even leaking a little bit, something that hasn’t happened to me in over a year! He slept the whole way home and my daughter was quiet and patient for a change. At home we turned on the tv for the rest of the day while my son flopped down on the couch and drifted in and out of sleep. My husband was back in town by then and helped me out as soon as the work day was over. My son slept in bed with me and I had another sleepless night. He only threw up once though so that was good. The next day, diarrhea — right through the diaper and his pants and onto my couch. Ewie! A trip to the doctor in the afternoon confirmed he wasn’t too dehydrated and that my nursing helped tremendously since it was the only thing he would take in. At 2:30 a.m. this morning, he sat up for the first time in days and asked to watch TV. It is now almost 10a.m. and he has been up ever since. I am elated and exhausted at the same time. He finally smiled and laughed after days of listlessness. My boy is back! Yeah! Oh, and did I mention I had my period during this time and it was a bit-h! When will I get to sleep? When the kids go off to college, I guess. 🙂

Hooray for Kroger Grocery Stores (and its customers)!

Kroger has promised to sell milk free of synthetic hormones!  Yeah!   No more synthetic hormones for Kroger customers, no more unwanted antibiotics that have to be pumped into the poor cows who get sick from the synthetic hormones.  You Kroger customers are soooo lucky!  I’m so tired of going out of my way to get hormone-free dairy.  You know, these hormones are banned in Europe.  I only wish we had Kroger here.  Our biggies are Jewel and Dominicks.  I guess it’s time to write a letter.