Friday, July 31, 2009

My Summer Reading List

Most people choose light reading for the summers. Well, not me. I have been enjoying a lot of politically driven books. It sounds boring, but we NEED to understand our history and what is going on in the nation and world today. I used to be bored by politics and the news, but they are both so incredibly important to our well being. So here are a few of my recommendations.

Of course anything by Bernard Goldberg, but here are a few of the best.
1. Crazies to the Left of Me, Wimps to the Right: How One Side Lost Its Mind and the Other Lost Its Nerve
Anyone who isn't a far left extremist or a right wing extremist would enjoy this book. It talks about how the Democrats have strayed away from being a party that really was for the working people and how the Republicans sold their small government values for power. How can anyone trust any person from either party? It's an eye opener!
2. 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (and Al Franken is #37)
Here's the product description from Amazon: Bernard Goldberg takes dead aim at the American Bashers (the cultural elites who look down their snobby noses at "ordinary" Americans)...the Hollywood Blowhards (incredibly ditzy celebrities who think they're smart because they're famous)...the TV Schlockmeisters (including the one whose show has been compared to a churning mass of maggots devouring rotten meat)...the Intellectual Thugs (bigwigs at some of our best colleges, whose views run the gamut from left wing to far left wing).

3. Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto by Mark Levin
Mr. Levin is very polite in his book. Instead of referring to the people in charge as liberals he calls them Statist, which is the better term. After all, calling Nancy Pelosi or Barack Obama liberal is an insult to the REAL Liberals in this country. But the Statist isn't limited to the Democrats. He has quite a few Republicans too. Mr. Levin makes valid points about why we NEED to return to the real America without a powerful government.

4. New Deal or Raw Deal? How FDR's Economic Legacy Has Damaged America by Burton W. Folsom, JR.
This book did the most for me. All through school I remember being taught FDR was the greatest president ever and the New Deal saved America. It also brings to light an American president who deserves more attention: CALVIN COOLIDGE. Did you know we were headed for a depression that probably would have been worse than the Great Depression? Yes we were in 1920. Mr. Coolidge adopted laissez-faire attitude and guess what! The economy recovered in a year! Yup, Mr. Coolidge and the government backed off and everything recovered on their own. FDR should have learned from Mr. Coolidge.

Janet's Baptism

Sunday is Janet's baptism. I only hope it goes smoothly. It's from 1-2:30 and that's J's naptime!

I'm Catholic, but not very religious. But I do believe in God, mainly because of Janet and the video we watched at the baptism class reminded me of it. One of the mothers said that when she looks at her son she knows there has to be a God. How else do you explain such a beautiful thing?

I look at Janet and I know God has to exist. I used to think the making of life was simple, but I would read the weekly updates during my pregnancy at Baby-Gaga and it was just so wonderful to read about her development every week. The one thing that impressed me most was that right when the sperm fertilizes the egg EVERYTHING about Janet was determined. Even though it was a batch of cells Janet existed. Her gender, eye color, hair color, and even what hand she would write with was chosen.

At the class we had to write a letter to our child. I told her she is my world, my life. I also told her that a person's religion and faith is a very personal decision. If she goes to a Methodist service with a friend and decides she wants to explore that faith I will allow it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Michael Vick

Yay, Michael Vick is being reinstated in the NFL. I hope no teams picks him up. Any job is a privilege, whether it's an NFL quarterback or a 9th grade English teacher. Most ordinary jobs, like my previous ones, would never take anyone back after being in jail, especially federal prison. Why should Vick be any different?

Most people know I love animals. I donate regularly to the ASPCA and encourage people to adopt a pet instead of breeding. I don't eat meat, but I also don't push my vegetarian views on anyone. I'll tell Janet about being a vegetarian, but if she doesn't want to I'll be okay with it. I think all of God's creatures should be treated well. I wish the people who slaughter the meat for food would do it in a more humane way. I also wish the animals were treated more humanely before they were slaughtered. Quite honestly I prefer animals over humans. Sometimes I think my cats are smarter than a lot of people! However I do not associate myself with PETA. I think they are too extreme and even the Humane Society can cross the line.

Anyway, I know that Man is the top mammal in the food chain. But you can tell a lot about a person's character by how he treats those, how do I say this, who are not on his level. That is why I cannot associate with people who are so evil to animals. I think this quote from the Bible fits nicely: "To Whom much is given, much is expected" Luke 12:48.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Weight Challenges

Before I was pregnant with Janet I was working out everyday and sticking to my Weight Watchers diet. I lost so much weight and was actually down to a 28" waist when I found out I was pregnant. Of course WW went out the window and instead of regular cardio I did yoga.

After I was finished breast feeding I went back on WW and we were taking 2 hour walks every day. I was down to a size 8 in March!! Then the weather started to get really warm and walks were cut down and eventually cut out for good. I eat when I'm stressed out, especially chocolate chip cookies. So I was making them and eating them without any exercise or portion control. I went to Target to get non-maternity shorts. I realized I was now a 12/14. Yesterday I weighed myself and it said 158lbs. I about burst into tears. I was down to 140lbs before March!! I'm barely 5'0" and my normal weight should be 120-125lbs.

Yesterday I started back on WW and ordered exercise DVDs. I will do the exercises when she is taking her long afternoon nap. I really don't like public gyms. My work had a great gym and I liked working out there. I swear I will do better portion control and not pig out on chocolate chip cookies. I will also not eat a ton of Honey Nut Cheerios in the morning!! As soon as it gets cooler, which is usually October, we'll continue our 2 hour walks in the morning!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Man's Greatest Achievement

Yesterday on CNN they posted an article asking about man's greatest achievement. It got me thinking. What is man's greatest achievement? It's hard not to top the moon landing.

Zac said antibiotics and I'd have to agree with him. I'd like to also add in vaccines. Think of all the diseases we've been able to cure. Think of all the diseases we've been able to stop before we get them! Polio. Measles. Mumps. Tetanus. Tuberculosis. Now they have a vaccine for chicken pox.

I'd also add the written word and the printing press. I'm bias, though, since I love to read and write!! But they both made communicating with others so much easier. Think about it. Before the written word stories were told orally and as a result were changed or even lost forever. Writing was able to preserve these stories forever and in the way the creator wanted it. The printing press was able to distribute these stories to everyone. Branching off of this is the Internet.

How about agriculture? The ability to grow food to feed so many people.

What do you think?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My Baby Is 8 Months!

Time. I hate time. It's awful. Remember the episode of Seinfeld when Kramer decides to never wear a watch or look at a clock? I wish that is how we all operated. Time drives us crazy. Schedules restrain us. It causes stress. Both my mom and Zac are incredibly jumpy at the airport until they get through security. Am I the only person in the world who doesn't get stressed at the airport? You can be as stressed as you want, but it's not going to make the check in line move any faster. It's not going to make the security line go any faster. This is what time does to us and if I had my way I'd do away with time.

Time moves way too fast. THAT is what irritates me the most about time. J turned 8 months old on Wednesday. I nearly had a panic attack. My baby is almost 1, I've been out of high school for 10 years, moved away from Illinois 13 years ago, been married 4 years, been with Zac 5 years, and been out of college for 6 years. My grandmother passed away 6 years ago too. Can you believe July is almost over?

Zac's job takes up way too much of his time. I complain about his job and I will always complain about it when I feel it treats him unfairly. I will never feel guilty about it. I will never feel guilty about missing my husband. Janet misses her father. I may hate time, but it is precious and the time he spends at home is priceless. You never know if tomorrow will come.

I was in Oswego for over a week and ever since we left in 1996 it isn't easy to leave. Every time I go there I realize that no matter what Oswego will ALWAYS be my home. Even when my parents move back to Clear Lake Oswego will still be home. I miss it so much. I miss my friends. I miss my family. I miss walking among Chicago sports fans. I miss Chicago!! I miss everything about it. I've never told anyone this, but the night before I return to Texas I always cry myself to sleep. If the cost of living in Houston wasn't so reasonable we'd be back up there in a heart beat. You really can't beat the cost of living in Houston. I am very blessed that Zac can be the only one bringing in the money and we can live very well on it. In Chicago both of us would have to work. I'd have to work at least part time.

We went to visit my grandma at the cemetery. On her grave stone we taped a picture of Janet in my arms. It was the very first time I held her. I remember kneeling next to Grandma at her wake, promising her that no matter what my first daughter would be named Janet. If the guy I was with didn't agree I wouldn't be with him. But I think about it and even if she was still alive I would have named Janet after her.

I blink my eyes and my baby girl gets bigger and bigger. I love her more than anything else in this world, including the Cubs. I say that a lot and the people closest to me knows that is a big deal. The Cubs trumped everyone and everything, including Zac! But not my baby girl. I'll never get over how my priorities changed the minute I became pregnant. My life revolves around her. Her needs and wants go above us. I'm hungry and make lunch, but then J decides she is hungry. Oh well! I put my needs aside and feed her. We only have clean dishes because she needs clean bottles!

Being a mom is incredibly stressful and hard. I wouldn't exchange it for anything in this world. Even if the Chicago Tribune came to me and said they would give me the Cubs in exchange for Janet I would say no. Janet is my life. Janet is my world. Nothing beats the look she gives me when I go into her room in the morning. Nothing beats her reaching up her arms for me to pick her up. Nothing beats her "hugging" me. Nothing beats knowing the fact that my voice and touch can calm her down. I swore my daughters would never be princesses or divas. Well, Janet is a princess, diva, and drama queen.

I guess I'm just babbling. I could have just said Janet is 8 months old and I love her more than anything. Words won't be able to ever express my feelings for my baby girl.