Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why College Matters

This morning I had a conversation with my baby girl's uncle about public schools. We were talking about school ratings and how they came to be. His belief is that the schools who have low ratings are in impoverished areas whose families are working to survive and not teaching the kids that school is important. These kids aren't motivated to go to school, they aren't being taught that school is important by their parents, brothers, sisters, and relatives, and if they have no hope for college they wouldn't have the finances. Yes, the government would help them, but most don't even have the hope. His argument and tyrant struck me. I had never thought about the background behind how these schools came to be rated so low. It hit me that out of my entire family, and Brando's family, we are the only ones who think college is halfway important.

After reading this comment tonight on a savvysugar post, "Unless you're studying something that specifically is required for a career path -- like computer engineering -- your major really has very little impact on the jobs you have after college. It's all about the skills you developed and the different internships/clubs/jobs/volunteer work you have to put on your resume.", I realized how important it is that we encourage that vision in them. Brando is of the belief that you don't HAVE to have college. Which is true. We are making it without it. BUT I told him, think about how MANY more experiences you could've had. He might've ended up in the same place, but he may've been able to develop some of his passions and interests along the way such as photography, programming video games. Heck he might've even discovered more. Doesn't mean they would've been his career, but he would've had the opportunity to develop them along the way.

I want this for my kids, this opportunity for them SO bad. I told him tonight we HAVE to encourage them and make it a way of life. Our family certainly isn't going to and that's why we need to be so much more intentional about it.

Saturday, October 25, 2008



Gianni Bini "Livi"

Friday, October 24, 2008


From Savvysugar.com with notes by me:

"It's bad news for retailers, but good for financial health. Cash is making a comeback as the preferred method of payment. Online retailers are particularly troubled by consumers shying away from their credit cards, and according to the founder of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services Howard Dvorkin, "With credit cards, consumers spend 30 percent more (on purchases) than with cash."

Edited to add: Not to mention pay an extra 6%-20% in credit card interest on their purchases they've already spent 30% more on than they normally would have. That's 50% more! Unfortunately, they seem to think we'll return to our old ways (see below). Well we didn't spend cash after Sept. 11, but we do now for a very different reason - the credit in and of itself. People who don't learn from this experience will at least will know they are destined for failure when using credit, at least with that amount of money, not in life..

"Americans have usually gone back to ol' reliable cash when the economy is troubled, like after the Sept. 11 attacks. Dvorkin thinks consumers will return to their credit-spending ways when the economy gets on its feet, saying, "It's hard to to teach an old dog new tricks. Consumers have short memories. When the economy turns around, they'll return to the same old ways."

Nowadays every time I use a coupon or buy something I NORMALLY would buy on sale I tell Brando I earned blank percent on my money. So if I use a coupon I got in the mail for a free meal at Pei Wei at a time I would've eaten out any way then I've earned 100% on my money. If I use a $10 off coupon at Bed and Bath on a $20 item I've earned 50%. If it's a $1 they overcharged me on a $3 item that I bring up at the register that's 25%. These add up to real money. With just those three things I've already earned $19 of my money I've already worked so hard to earn, without any banks CD. I'm not even counting the credit card interest I'm earning had I put it on a credit card and been paying that amount. But that's a stupid tax for me any way, and I'm still paying it on the credit card amount we have left!!

I've also discovered something with Brando going out on dates with him lately. If you're nice enough to people to have an interesting conversation with people behind the counter who have been doing the same thing over and over all day you get lots of free things. I've never seen Brando so friendly with people, but he has conversations wherever we go. Totally not expecting free things, but it practically gets shoved in his hands as he hands it off to me : ) .

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Living on Advil

The pain has been bearable with Advil. It's been like a sore muscle all up and down the inside of my right leg. With Advil it's still been sore but I've been able to walk on it. Without it I was limping hard and exhausted from the effort. Monday I decided to go without in the afternoon and ended up taking the boys to and from sports and grocery shopping in agony.

Also, because of my varicose veins every night for the past five years I slept with a pillow under my feet to allow the blood from my broken veins to drain back to my heart. The few times I chose to fall asleep without a pillow under my feet I would wake up with my legs in pain, heavy, and sore about 3am and not be able to go back to sleep until I put my legs up. I was hoping I could do without right after surgery, but it was more comfortable to sleep with a pillow still. I thought maybe I will just have to keep sleeping with my feet up that way. Night before last night was the first time I slept without a pillow under my feet in five years!! Double whoohoo! I woke up that morning with my leg feeling and looking better than it has all week. Yesterday was also the first day all week it hasn't been sore while taking Advil!

Last night I put a lot of laundry away involving a lot of getting up and down out of bed after I took off the compression stocking so my leg was pretty sore. I slept the first half of the night with a pillow and then the last half without. Yay! Maybe I will actually get to sleep without a pillow under my feet in the future. This morning I didn't feel the need to take Advil until I got to work and started carrying the baby girl around.

My two week checkup is next Thursday. The only thing weirding me out occasionally is I'll get a super numb, fallen asleep feeling up and down the inside of my right leg. It's not all the time. It could be it's more prone to "falling asleep" now. I can usually walk that feeling off. Or it could be my stocking can be irritatingly tight like it was Monday or could be that I'm more swollen than normal, both of which could be related. We'll see how it goes, but I'm so excited that I actually may somewhat be back to normal (and better than my regular normal) by then!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Weekends I love...

...dancing crazy in the car  to Rihanna's Disturbia, Pink's I'm Gonna Start a Fight, and Flo Rida's In the Ayer on the way to Dallas.

...Chinese food at the restaurant with the Chinese good luck cat keeping the beat with his paw.

...staying up til' 3am chatting with Allison.

...the kids playing video games all Sunday morning long with Marc.

...Sheep. Ball of fluff.

...Emmy. Adorable.

...going to see King Tut with Allison.

...waterfall walls.

...items created 3000 years ago with materials we don't even use daily anymore.


...being completely exhausted from so much insight that I slept an hour on the way home.

...dinner at Chipotle on a perfect evening with my fam.

...getting home to a girls' night.

...walking the Domain, having drinks and dessert at Starbucks, walking the UT Campus, and Town Lake all in one night, on the same day I get home from Dallas.

...falling asleep completely exhausted from a wonderful weekend.


King Tut at the DMOA

That's the waterfall wall behind me. Talk about vertigo.

Trying to upload more including an adorable one of Sheep but blogger is being picky.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Surgery every day


Doesn't sound so bad when I can get my legs back and have Brando off for three days to stay home and pamper me. Okay he took those all on his own accord, I didn't expect him to be there, since really it was a MINOR procedure even though I was out of it.

Let me explain, since I was 8 months pregnant with Shawn I have had varicose veins in my right leg, the kind that bulge out. Which over time worsened until I slept with a pillow under my feet every night for the last five years so the blood would drain back to my heart from my broken vein. I checked out this surgery to take care of them five years ago but back then insur*ance didn't cover it and it was $3000 a LEG. Yikes. Glad I waited. Now the technology is better AND insurance covered it! Yay!

I'll post an after, but for now it's presurgery and postsurgery, which by the way looks worse than it is because they had just unwrapped an ace bandage that had been wrapped around my leg from thigh to foot for the last 24 hours following the surgery. They did intravenous laser therapy and used a laser to burn the main vein, then used a tiny hook to pull out the veins thru tiny holes. They used sclerotherapy on the veins that weren't big enough to bulge but were still quite visible where they injected a medication into the veins that took care of them. I'm feeling a bit muscle achey from the laser they used to burn the vein, and bruised from the injections, a bit like somebody took a baseball bat to me but other than that I'm looking forward to maybe having a normal leg again!!

 *Edited to add: The reason I got varicose veins is not just because I was pregnant but because I stood for three hours when I was eight months pregnant listening to three ladies tell me their birth horror stories when they SHOULD'VE known better and told me to sit the hell down and for that matter shouldn't have been telling me their horror stories either. The varicose veins showed up the next day. So, L, don't worry you should be okay - just don't stand for 3 hours straight when you're 8 months pregnant!

*By the way, we have arteries that take the blood to parts of our body and the veins bring the blood back to the heart with one way valves. Varicose veins happen when those valves break. The blood can't go up anymore so it pools and makes the vein bulge. Now you know more than you ever wanted to know about varicose veins : ) .


This is the veins, on the inside of my right knee - gross

My IV - I'm such a baby, I've had two natural births but I bawl at needles 

Marking the veins for intravenous laser therapy, microphlebectomy, and sclerotherapy.

After unwrapping the compression bandage. Today I'm wearing a compression stocking that makes me look very granny like, and taking Advil every 6  hours. I tried to stop taking Advil after  last night and that beaten with a bat feeling came back so I called the doctor's office. They told me, um, yeah, be taking that for at least seven days. Thanks, now you tell me.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Like lightning

You know how I've been complaining about putting up pictures and what not lately? It takes sooooo long to do anything on here that I normally end up clicking and doing something else for a few minutes until it finishes loading. Well, Brando's computer tech guy friend and his wife came over on Saturday for dinner. He sat down at my computer for a few seconds and told Brando it was so slow because I only have 512 mb of RAM on my computer. I'm supposed to have 2 gigs. He said the ram itself is inexpensive, but you'd have to have a special tool to put it in.  After Brando called the M*c storeand they told him it would be $120 for them to do it, he went to B*st Buy instead for the stick and somehow figured out how to put it in himself. For $30 I have practically a new computer that works wayyyy faster. Now after a tenth of the time I normally spend on here between doing other things I am all caught up on all my blogs, and heck I even blogged. Whoohoo! I'm out of here.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I used to love cooking but not any more

As I speak my burnt chicken parmesan is simmering away in spaghetti sauce while I'm crossing my fingers it won't taste too burnt. It's not that I don't know how, it's that I don't care. I used to love to cook, but lately it's become a damn chore. When I cook the fancy meals I actually like eating and enjoy cooking nobody eats it and it ends up becoming a battle between all four of us. The boys won't eat it so Brando's po'd they won't eat it. I just want to eat it so I don't care wtf they eat/ Then Brando's po'd I'm not backing him up. It's a giant meltdown really.

When I cook it's something that I KNOW everybody will eat. Let's face it, which kid doesn't like chicken nuggets, hamburgers, pbj's, etc. So my meals end up becoming glorified versions of these i.e. chicken parmesan, ground turkey burgers, etc. Boring!

The only time I enjoy cooking these days is over at Li's where I get to make my GIRLIE meals, although I hear there are some guys out there who are into making fancy meals too. Any who, in the meantime, I'm hoping my food doesn't keep burning while I ignore the timer because I forgot what I set it for because I just don't care.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Food Triangle, er, Square

Shawners just comes up to me and says, "It's moving on to desert time now." as he illustrates with his hands on his chest a square compartment over his heart moving catty corner to his lower tummy. Apparently he has compartments in his tummy for food that cover his entire chest. The lower left hand area is for breakfast and water. The upper left hand area is lunch. The upper right hand area is dinner and the lower right hand area is desert. Funny how they are all equal size compartments.

Friday, October 03, 2008

This Week

Sunday - Lazy, productive day. Slept in, made a big, yummy breakfast with maple sausage, eggs, season fried potatoes, oj and coffee. Went to a talk at our church on how to talk to your kids about sex. Some of the same stuff we've heard before i.e. talk to them from when they're itty bitty with medical terms, and explain sex at their level, but more about the telling them of the actual action than we've heard before. Had milkshakes from P. Terry's on our way home.

Monday - Had off from nannying. Homeschooled Shawn. Dropped off and picked up the boys at their respective sport lessons, Shawners to a multi sport lesson and Justinbustin to his tennis lesson. Girl night watching The Hills, and Gossip Girl, eating chicken salad with feta, raspberry pecans, cucumbers, garlic croutons, and balsamic viniagarette.

Tuesday - Nannied. Had lunch with Kel Bel and her little Leprechaun, then walked Zilker Park Botanical Gardens with both of them. Rushed home late for a harried late evening of labeling items for a consignment sale at the Palmer Event center this weekend.

Wednesday - Dropped off items at the Palmer Event center for the consignment sale and volunteered the four hours I'd signed up for months ago to see what was going on behind the scenes. Met up with Tina for dinner at Z Tejas and desert at 360 Primo!! Fun and yum!!

Thursday - Nannied. Had lunch with my sister at Potbelly. Picked up a friend of Shawners at his school and brought them home for a playdate. Tried desperately to get a hold of the mom who picked up Justinbustin, but never succeeded. Ended up picking him up right before a meeting for the upper math program he is in at his school (woot! here we go again. i swear this should he be in upper/lower programs question will never end). Paid him, Shawners, and Shawners' little friend to babysit themselves outside the room of the meeting. Met up with Shawners little friends' Mom at Chick-fil-a afterwards. Met Jen at another Chick-fil-a a few minutes later for a solid hour of friend talk that I sooooo needed after that day.

Friday - LOTS of schoolwork to do with Shawners today. Ugh. Feel overwhelmed. Thus I'm avoiding it on here.


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