Monday, April 30, 2007

New Hat

Here I am in my College of Disney Knowledge graduation cap! I received it along with my certificate last week.

I am beautiful

I have taken up a new hobby over the last 6 months. I am taking bellydance lessons and I LOVE IT!! It's something strictly for me, and I love how it makes me feel. I feel beautiful when I bellydance. The movements are graceful and exotic. I'm learning "tribal" bellydance which is very earthy, and it all about the empowerment of ourselves. It is helping me to love my body and appreciate all my curves. I am feeling much more confident about dancing now, and I'm sure will even more as I continue.

Here is a quote that pretty much sums up how I feel about dancing......

Do not deny yourself the opportunity for a spontaneous exchange between the musician and yourself. Let the music come inside of you and dance that music. It is this most intimate musical self and your most intimate dancing self. Feel the music. Fill yourself with it... This is the art of takseem." ~ Artemis

More PE talk

With 11 days to go until the Walk-A-Thon, and with your help, we have raised $620 to date. Thank you to all that have donated. If you are interested in donating, please consider doing so this week.

A couple high profile topics concerning preeclampsia have surfaced over the past couple weeks:

*Marcia Cross, star of Desperate Housewives, developed preeclampsia with her twins recently and gave birth 4 weeks early.

*This past week's episode of Grey's Anatomy featured a pregnant woman who developed preeclampsia. She progresses from preeclampsia to eclampsia, and is forced to deliver her baby at 30 weeks by c-section.

4 years....

Four years ago, I lay in bed thinking I had the flu. I couldn't eat or drink without it coming back up. The abdominal pain was intense and got to the point I could not find any position that would relieve the pain.

Four years ago, I did not know I was days away from giving birth to my beloved daughter. That I would have to lie on my left side for over 24 hours and receive a drug (magnesium sulfate) that would prevent me from having a seizure.

Four years ago, I did not know the words "preeclampsia" and how they could affect a person's life. While I had glanced at the paragraph on preeclampsia in the pregnancy books it was something that I wouldn't have to worry about. I had no clue what HELLP was, or that it even existed.

Four years ago, I was still naive and was having the "perfect" pregnancy. Now I know things don't go as planned and our experience has made us stronger. Awareness is so important to me and if I can reach out to just one person, it has all been worth it.

Four years ago, I never expected to have a 4lb baby who would have to stay at the hospital while I went home. I never expected the feelings of guilt, loss, careful happiness that came our way. I never expected to be able to hold my baby while she was hooked up to monitors, or only be able to hold her for brief periods of time before she needed to go back into the isolette so she wouldn't lose too much body heat.

Four years ago, I knew my life was about to change with the upcoming birth of our first child. What I didn't know was how much love could exist inside me, and that this child would amaze me daily.

Ariana turns 4 this week, and mom is happy, excited, and sad that her little girl is growing up.

A few days old
April 2007

Monday, April 23, 2007

Protective Instinct

It's simple. We protect the ones we love. No questions asked.

Someone we love was hurt last night and as I knew she sat sobbing with her heartbroken, we rallied around her. The situation was over something so simple, yet complex. The comment may not have been meant in the way it was taken, but there are simply some things you just never say to a woman. Jason reared up and both of us spoke to the person who did the hurting. I'm not sure the person gets exactly how they hurt her, and while I was trying to impress how crushed she was, I don't think that was understood.

There will be aftermath, I'm sure. But I refuse to apologize for protecting one I love. It's a requirement of loving someone unconditionally.

Friday, April 20, 2007

I Love her

I love this little girl so much.
Her spirit is so fantastic and she finds so much joy in the smallest things. She may be small in stature, but she's big at heart. She loves to run and feel the wind streaming through her hair while on the swing. The pride shines in her face as accomplishes a new feat. Of course, since she loves to inject her fun spirit into everything, she can match that in a tantrum. She can be stubborn and hard-headed. Even when she's steamin' mad and I'm about to lose all patience, I love her. That goofy grin, and the way she doesn't walk but skips along. All that excitement in that little body. I hope she never loses sight that she can do or be anything she wants to be. And that fun and beauty can be found in all things. Her love of bugs, jumping off the furniture, and dressing up like a princess--all at the same time. Her spirit constantly amazes me.
Dream big kiddo. We love you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Making sense

This is a direct quote from an individual who worked with a person who took his own life, as well as his two children's, earlier this week.

"The only person that knows the facts is gone. The rest of us need to make sense with the facts we know," Rasmussen said, adding that speculation and innuendo aren't helpful for those trying to understand the tragedy. Rasmussen explained everyone reacts to stress differently, because what may be stressful for one person may not be for someone else." WDH 4/17/07

I understood what they meant. There are so many questions that will never be answered when someone commits suicide. This makes sense to the Virginia Tech tragedy, who can truly know what was going on it that kid's mind when he shot all those people?

Suicide is an awful thing to have to be a part of as a family member or friend. I think most are wondering if they missed something that could have helped the person. Of course, there are the those who talk about how selfish an act suicide it. For that person this was a choice where they possibly felt they had no other options, they couldn't share their pain, or it was a chance at freedom of whatever was causing heartache in their lives.

The speculation is always rampant. "Do you think he did it because.....?" "I didn't know they were having problems." "But she always seemed so happy." Then the question of why. "Why did he do it?" "Why would she do that to her family?" And the those things will never most likely never be answered.

While I do ask the "why's," I try to remember that whatever this person was feeling was so awful that they felt ending their life was a solution for them. The despair or pain they were feeling must have been so great. Suicide is not something that makes sense to the people left behind. They have to deal with the aftermath and attempt to balance their feelings of anger and grief.

I had the chance to attend a QPR training over a year ago. QPR stands for "Question, Persuade, and Refer" Ask the person outright if they are thinking of killing themself. There was a story of a man who committed suicide by jumping of the San Francisco bridge (if I remember the location correctly). He wrote in his note that if just one person would ask him how he was, he wouldn't go through with it. This man walked from his apartment to the bridge, which was blocks and blocks away, and not a single person said "hi." He ended up taking his own life. Sometimes a "hi" is all it will take.

We all need to learn more about suicide and the signs of it. Depression cannot be a "hush-hush" topic any more.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Phoenix popped his two bottom teeth through last week and I think he's working on another. Boy, does he get cranky!!

PE on YouTube

This is a video made by someone who lost her two babies to preeclampsia. It's long, but worth watching.

Upcoming events

I'm hosting a "Crop out Preeclampsia" fundraiser this week with two friends. One is a Creative Memories consultant and the other is with Tastefully Simple. Looks like it will be a smaller gathering, but I'm excited nonetheless. The fee and a portion of their proceeds will be going to the Preeclampsia Foundation in the fight againt preeclampsia.

Then our family will be participating in the 3rd Annual Preeclampsia Foundation Walk-a-thon held on May 12th. Last year, we missed the WAT as I was pregnant with Phoenix and wasn't sure if we'd have a baby by then or not. So I am really looking forward to this year's event. I've helped get two raffle baskets together (one with thanks to the authors of Passporter) and we are getting close to achieving our goal of raising at least $750 for the WAT. Jason's mom & hubby ride Goldwing and their local chapter had donated $100 to us, we were overjoyed and are so thankful.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Passport of Life

What would be in your passport of life? What types of personal destinations have you gone through? The journey of life has it's ups and downs, it's awful moments and memorable moments. What would you write about what has happened in your life and where do you want your journey to go in the future?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Why did he abuse you?
Why did he force himself on you?
Why did he think he could have complete control over you?

Why did he do what he did?
Why are your children without a mother now?

Why did people blame you?
Why did they honor, yet shun you in death?

I think of you often, and hope that you know in the afterlife that you have made a difference in at least one person's life. I hope I did enough, even though I question that when I think of you. Was there something more we could have done?

Why did it have to end in such a tragedy?

Monday, April 9, 2007


I saw this in a signature in one of the message boards I frequent, and I laughed hysterically.

"I'm so happy I could poop a rainbow."

I love it!

Motto for life

We love to laugh.

For the past how many years, my motto in life has been,

"A day without laughter is a wasted day."

I've tried to search for who originated the quote, but came up with a few options. One being Charlie Chaplin? I don't know who said it, but I love it! It truly brings a smile to my face whenever I think of it.

Another milestone for the lil' guy

He started walking in the last two weeks. He's really cruising now. Last night and today he was so darn cranky, but I found the culprit. He's got two teethers coming through! Both bottom front teeth, one is out a bit more than the other. He beat his big sister on the teeth by just over a month. Her's sprouted on her first birthday.

A new adventure

I'm starting a new adventure. I will be starting as a Travel Consultant with an online travel agency that specializes in Disney destintations! I'm excited to be able to share my love for Disney in a new way. I've used an online agency in the past for our trips and have referred friends to them as well. It's a nice way of having someone else do the work with a personal touch.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Hoppy Easter!

What's white & fluffy outside?
You'd think a bunny, but nope! It's snowing!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Our County Stats for Sexual Assault

The agency that I previously worked for tracks sexual assault cases that occur within the county. The staff works with victims and their families throughout the entire process from police report to sentencing. These statistics can give you a decent idea of how many cases are happening right here. For those who have the "It doesn't happen here" mentality, forget it. It does happen and it happens more often than it should.

*As of April 2007, there are 105 open cases that they are tracking. Over the last two years, there have been 189 that are closed out. These cases range from "lewd & lascivious behavior" to "all degrees of sexual assault."

*In 2006 they served 334 people and responded to 22 victims in the ER.

*There were 5,618 sexual assaults reported to law enforcement in 2004, which is an increase by 4% from 2003. Those are the latest WI stats.

*There are 100 cases filed with the DA's office in Mar. Co at any given time and the majority of are chid sexual assault cases.

Sexual assault is something no one should ever have to endure. It can affect a person for the rest of their life. One act is too many.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Ending the Violence

How many women need to die before our society gets serious about violence against women, and children?

Yes, there have been advances in rights and laws, but there seems to remain this idea among communities that the woman must have done something to deserve the abuse. I find this attitude sick and repulsive. No one deserves to be hit, kicked, raped, spit on, called names, or murdered. There is a huge injustice to victims with this line of thinking. I've heard it from various people when there is a murder of a woman by her partner, "I wonder what she did wrong?" Does everyone think that way? Of course not. But if the question is thought of or asked once, that's too many times. We need to put blame where it belongs, on the perpetrator. We need to be thinking when we hear these stories, "What type of person treats another human being in such a manner?" Violence is perpetrated by the offender, not the victim. We need to support that person, not blame them.

We all know domestic abuse and sexual violence happens in our communities. It is easier to ignore it and pretend it is not happening, but it is. It is time to stop the violence.

This post is dedicated to PT.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Please visit the WI Coalition Against Sexual Assault at
And check in your community for activities that a local organization such as a women's shelter or agency may be hosting to increase awareness.

Speak out against sexual and domestic violence. Educate yourself. As the WCASA theme says, Change begins with you.

Their website states: "Sexual violence is any act (verbal and/or physical) which breaks a person's trust and/or safety and is sexual in nature. The term "sexual violence" includes: rape, incest, child sexual assault, ritual abuse, date and acquaintance rape, marital or partner rape, sexual contact, sexual harassment, exposure, and voyeurism. Sexual assaults are acts of violence where sex is used as a weapon. Assaults are motivated primarily out of anger and/or a need to feel powerful by controlling, dominating, or humiliating the victim. Victims/survivors of sexual assaults are forced, coerced, and/or manipulated to participate in unwanted sexual activity. Victims/survivors do not cause their assaults and are not to blame. Offenders are responsible for their assaults"

Another Quote

"You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, April 2, 2007


Jason and I spent a child-free weekend in the cities this past weekend. It was heaven. We could attend to ourselves and our relationship. Huge props to my parents who took the kids for the weekend.

We had a wonderful dinner with friends Friday night. It was great to see them, and wish the night could have been longer. Saturday, we shopped our hearts out at Cabela's and then some other places. We had a delicious meal at Outback, yum! And we were able to chill out and relax after dinner. No feeding the kids, no bedtime stories, no getting another drink for Ariana. We love our kids, but it was nice to get a break to recharge.

The weekend had it's moments. The best was Jason realizing Sunday morning that his debit card is missing. Ooops. Of course, the first thing he asks is, "Do you have it?" Why would I have it. So, we go through the packed luggage to sift through the pants he had on the night before. In and out the jacket pockets. Through the other bad. Hmmm...where was the last we remembered it? Outback? So we drive over and sure enough, his card is at the restaurant. Crisis averted. ;-) I have to commend Jason for keeping his cool during this escapade.

We were able to talk about things other than the kids. Actually have a long conversation without interruptions. If you have or have had children, you know how difficult that is at times. The weather was crappy with rain or drizzle on Sat, but we made the best of it.

It was a wonderful weekend.

Coming out of my comfort area

I really dislike discussing politics with other people. I believe that each person has a right to believe what they want to believe and has ideas & opinions of their own. Just because we may have different ideas doesn't make one of us wrong or right. It's simply that we follow a different thought.

I am coming out of my self-imposed shell on politics however to address something that pisses me off. And I'm tired of being lumped into a category and thought to have poor sense. I consider myself independent, I do not identify with a particular party. I vote for who the best candidate is based on my beliefs. Having said that, most of my ideas and beliefs tend to fall along the more liberal sense. I do not identify as a democrat, but would most likely fall into that particular category if I had to pick one over the other. I actually think the whole hullabalo over party lines is pretty ridiculus and prevents forward progress at times.

There was a email that was shared with me last week via a recipient (names are being withheld) and it has spurred me to write this. The individual is more of a conservative thinker (by my estimates) and usually does a fair amount of liberal bashing. I used to receive the political banter sent back and forth with this group, but selected to opt out as I had begun to feel like my opinions were "wrong" simply because they were not of the same mind as another. There is a difference between discussing politics in an open-minded, fair way and basically telling someone that they are wrong.

Well, I'm tired of it. The email contained this phrase, "...I've been troubled by the mystery (to me) of how liberal-minded people come to the conclusion that everything about this country, their country, is wrong - wrong to the point of being evil. What upset me the most about this comment is that a group of individuals are being lumped together with the idea that most liberals believe this country is evil. That I as a more liberal thinker am being categorized as a person who finds the USA evil. I find that statement offensive personally. I may be of liberal mind, but I do NOT believe this country is evil. This idea, for me, goes along with the whole if you do not support the president's decisions you cannot support the troops, and then you must be unpatriotic. Bullshit!

I love my country. I love the things it stands for, our freedoms here, the idea that we can be anything we want to be. We have flown a flag at our home. We have supported the troops. We have too many family members who are active military or retired to not be aware of the the things soldiers face. We are proud of those individuals and of the things they do. I would never withhold support to them simply because I disagree with some of the President's choices.

Just because I may disagree with certain decisions of the current administration does not make me a less-minded thinker. It's my option and choice to disagree. If we all thought the same way, this country would be in much worse shape. Differences are always going to be there. It's what we do with and how we handle those difference that matter to me.

I have read stories and news reports of how during the last election people stopped speaking to one another simply because one was of a Republican and the other a Democrat. These people had been friends for years. I find that idiotic. Differences are what makes us unique and yes, they will stir up discussion. I'm not against that. What I am against is being judged for what I believe. There is the mention of "rational discussion" in the email and while I hope for that, deep down I believe what will happen is what's happened in the past. Because my beliefs (and my husband's) are different from the email sender, there will eventually be a feeling of "your wrong" thrown into the rational discussions. I have no difficulty explaining my ideas and opinions to others and have done so with certain individuals who are there to discuss the thought without judgement. We all pass judgement at some level, but there is a higher level attached to these discussions at times.

There are certain people that I know I can trust to hold a safe, open, and rational discussion. And no, we are not of the same political mind. We can discuss our differences as just that, differences. No one is right, no one is wrong. We just simply believe different things. And that is okay. It doesn't make us enemies, we don't think each other is nuts for what we each think and believe. We respect one another for the beliefs we have.


"There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings." ~ Hodding Carter