Monday, March 30, 2009

another week begins

well, it's monday again. i'm working today, tomorrow, and wednesday in the afternoons which is a good thing. turns out we need the extra money more than we thought. why? because we are going out of state this weekend. my husband's grandma had a stroke last week and passed away. it is sad, but also a good thing, for her. she was in her 80s, had been living in an assisted living home for awhile, and had lost her sight and her hearing. her husband passed about 10 years ago, and so i'm sure that she is happy to be with him again. hubby has taken the entire week off with his funeral leave. it will be nice to have him home.

my grandmother is still in the ICU at the hospital. she seems to be doing better, although she is in an incredible amount of pain. we are still not sure how long she will be able to keep fighting this. i'm very worried about her, and it's hard knowing there's nothing i can do other than visit and tell her i love her.

on a little side note, i was slightly surprised that i didn't get many comments on my previous post. would you do me a favor and leave me some feedback if you have a minute? that is the post i submitted for the blog carnival and i would like to edit it if it needs to be edited. thanks!

Friday, March 27, 2009

the touch of the Master's hand

it was battered and scarred and the auctioneer
thought it scarcely worth his while
to waste much time on the old violin,
but held it up with a smile;
"what am i bid good folks?" he cried,
"who'll start the bidding for me?
a dollar, a dollar, then two! only two?
two dollars and who'll make it three?"
"three dollars once and three dollars twice.
going for three..." but no,
from the room far back, a gray-haired man
came forward and picked up the bow;
then wiping the dust from the old violin
and tightening the loose strings,
he played a melody pure and sweet
as a caroling angel sings.
the music ceased, and the auctioneer,
with a sad voice that was quiet and low,
said, "what am i bid for the old violin?"
and he held it up with the bow.
"a thousand dollars, and who'll make it two?
two thousand and who'll make it three?
three thousand once and three thousand twice
and going, and gone," said he.
the people cheered, but some of them said,
"we do not quite understand.
what changed its worth?" quick came the reply,
"'twas the touch of the Master's Hand."
and many a man with life out of tune
and battered and scarred with sin,
is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
much like the old violin.
a mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
a game and he travels on.
he's going once and going twice,
he's going and almost gone.
but the Master comes and the foolish crowd
never can quite understand
the worth of a soul and the change that's wrought
by the touch of the Master's hand.

although this poem refers to a man whose life is battered by sin, it speaks to me of my life, battered by abuse. the Master, just as he helps the sinner find his worth, helps those whose worth has been hidden in the tragedy of abuse find theirs as well.

since the announcement of the theme "rebirth and renewal" was made for april's blog carnival against child abuse i have been thinking about it a lot. what does rebirth and renewal mean to me, and how does it apply to my past abuse?

over the course of my childhood i lost sight of who i was. i was angry and i didn't know why. i had no self-esteem and little confidence in myself and my abilities. i was depressed and unable to deal with everyday problems. i began going to counseling at thirteen, which helped some. as i progressed through junior high and high school, i began to see more glimpses of who i really am underneath the pain and anger. but i am still unable to grasp at that knowledge all of the time--in fact, it seems, i rarely am able to see myself for who i really am, who i was before the abuse.

i have had a number of "rebirths" throughout my life and i am sure that i have many more ahead of me. there is one, however, that i am looking forward to with both anticipation and apprehension. a few months ago i spent a week working on myself, working on bringing myself to a point to be ready to confront my past and push myself into the future. while on this difficult and painful journey, with the help of a counselor, i made a decision.

the only way for me to truly be able to move on and let the past be is to tell my abuser what he has done to me.

this statement sends chills of fear and excitement running down my spine. i have a knot in my chest and terrifying images enter my head. i relive nightmares of him laughing at me, throwing it back in my face, victimizing me all over again. and yet there is a part of me that is larger than it has ever been that is determined to tell him exactly what he has done to me, and to my life. a part of me that will demand an apology, that will stand up for myself and dump all of my crap on him--and never look back. that would truly be a rebirth for me.

i have found that no matter what steps i take toward a renewal of the knowledge of who i am, i always fall short--unless i have help. unless i allow myself to be like the old violin, unless i let the Master wipe away the dust of pain and guilt and hurt, to tighten my loose strings, to use His love to play the notes of peace and joy in my soul. just as i am working toward this major step in my healing, i know that i will never make it without His love, His understanding, and His strength bolstering me up. as i think about His love, and His sacrifice for me, the knot in my chest slowly eases, the anxiety i feel slowly ebbs away, and is replaced with peace and a calm assurance that i can do this. my tears of fear and hurt turn to tears of joy and gratitude. i CAN overcome my fears. i CAN put the past behind me and move forward with determination, with confidence, with hope for the future instead of dread.

and the crowd may never understand. in fact, i may never understand what changed within me. but the worth of my soul, as a child of God, will shine through the pain, and the change in my heart will show through the hurt, all because of the touch of the Master's hand.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

boy or girl? how to infulence it

even though we know now that a baby's gender is decided at the moment of conception, i thought these old wives' tales were fun. they tell you how to influence the gender of your baby.

1. if you prefer a girl, just sleep with a pink ribbon under your pillow. if you want a boy, then a blue ribbon will do the trick.

2. if dad puts sugar in his boots as you are about to deliver, it will be a girl. if he puts salt in his shoes as your labor pains start, it's a boy.

3. swedish folklore says your pregnancy will shift into male gear if you carry a garlic bud with you wherever you go. for a girl, carry an onion.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

how about a plus sign?

well i'm at work. i came in yesterday to pick up some pictures and things that i had on my desk, and my boss asked me to cover for the receptionist who is on vacation this week. she is also going to have me do a few things at home for her. i am so happy about this. not only does it mean some extra money (which we badly need) but i have really missed being at work. even though i'm just sitting at the front desk to answer phones, the paralegal i worked for had me do some filing for her because i do such a good job. it's been so nice to hear everyone say they are glad to see me and they have missed me.

the past few days i have been feeling better, too, which is soooo nice, i can't even tell you. headache is still there but not as bad. nausea is still there but i'm keeping most everything down. dizziness sometimes when i stand too fast but i'm trying really hard not to do that.

my grandmother is still in the ICU. we had a scare on sunday--she nearly didn't make it through saturday night. i went to see her yesterday. she is in an extraordinary amount of pain and was in and out of coherency. my grandfather, however, said that she looks better than she had in a few days, ate some pudding (first food since saturday morning) and they were managing her pain pretty well. she has a very long, hard road ahead but i am trying to be optimistic. hubby and i decided that if our baby is a girl we will give her my grandma's name for a middle name. i love my grandma so much and i couldn't bear to lose her right now. she should live another twenty years. i have been praying so hard for her.

well it's about time to go home. thanks for putting up with my complaining. hopefully things will start looking up and my attitude will change--i'm really trying hard to be happier, more optimistic, and a better person.

boy or girl? tests for dad

1. do you notice mom smile more since she got pregnant? an affirmative answer means you've got a boy on the way. if there are no more smiles or fewer than before, folklore declares that attitude is brought on by a girl.

2. dad, if you are more nervous now that mom is pregnant, expect a girl. a boy will make you feel more relaxed.

3. a lot of household projects come with a pregnancy. if you're getting more projects done around the house, there's a new son in your future. if you're not doing any more than you did before, it's a girl.

4. sometimes fathers gain weight with pregnancy, too. if you get heavier as mom's pregnancy advances, it means a boy is on the way. if that's not the case, you're looking ahead to a girl.

5. pull apart a dried turkey wishbone with mom. if your piece is bigger, it's a son. if mom's is bigger, a daughter is coming.

6. thread a needle and stick it into the eraser head of a pencil. use the thread to dangle the pencil over mom's wrist, then wait for the pencil to start moving. if the pencil swings from side to side, it's a boy. if it sings parallel to mom's arm, it's a girl.

7. put a tissue on a table and ask mom to pick it up. if she grabs the edge of the tissue, she will have a girl. if she grabs one of the four corners, she will have a boy.

8. offer mom a cup of coffee (or hot chocolate) and watch how she picks it up. if you see her pick it up by the handle, her baby is a boy. if she keeps her hands warm by holding the cup by its sides, it's a girl.

9. a romanian old wives' tale says to sneak up behind mom and sprinkle a bit of cornmeal in her hair. the hope she doesn't shake it out before she asks, "why did you do that?" respond by asking her to touch her mouth or her nose. if she touches her mouth, she's pregnant with a girl. if she touches her nose, it's a baby boy.

10. put two pillows on the floor. ask mom to look the other way, then put a fork under one pillow and a spoon under the other. now get mom's attention and ask her sit on one of the pillows. if she sits on the one with the fork, she'll have a girl. if she sits on the one with the spoon, it's a boy.

11. ask mom to lie on her back. tie her wedding ring to a string and hold it so it hangs three inches above her stomach. hold the string still. when it starts to swing, does it swing for a boy, hip to hip? or for a girl, up and down the stomach?

12. when mom gets up after sitting on the floor, watch what she does. if it's a girl, she will put her hands behind her to push and pull herself up. if she used her arms at her side to get up, it's a boy.
13. this one is from italy. pull her hair up from the back of her neck. if you see new hair growth that forms a point or a "v," she's having a boy. if it's growing straight across her neck, it's because of the presence of a girl.

14. ask mom to show you her hands. how does she hold them out? palms up, it's a girl. palms down, it's a boy.

15. place a key in the palm of your hand and ask mom to pick it up. how does she grab it? by the "teeth"? it's a girl. by the base? it's a boy.

16. use this romanian test by sneaking up behind mom and sprinkling salt in her hair. do it without her noticing. in five or ten minutes, look to see if she scratches her lips or nose. if she goes for the nose, it's a boy. the lips, it's a girl.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

take a vote!

went to the dr yesterday--i've gained four pounds. yay!

next visit we will find out what the baby is, a boy or a girl. i've put up a poll on my sidebar. you should vote on what you think it is! if you want to ask me questions before you vote, to decide, go for it. you can leave a comment or email me at cornnut32 AT gmail DOT com.

Monday, March 23, 2009

boy or girl? part two of the old wives' tales

here are some more fun ones!

1. add one tablespoon of crystal drano to a small amount of your first-of-the-morning urine, and wait a bit to see what happens. if the mixture turns a bluish yellow color, that signals a boy. if it turns greenish brown, it's a girl.

2. you are more likely to have morning sickness when it's a girl. a boy, it is said, waits until he's born to upset you!

3. overall, do you feel well or not so well during your pregnancy? it is said that bearing a son is the more comfortable way to go. having a daughter, it is said, makes for a more troublesome pregnancy.

4. does your mom--the child's maternal grandmother--have gray hair or is it colored? it doesn't really matter whether the gray or color is natural or died. if grandma has gray hair, a boy will be born. if her hair is another color, a girl is coming.

5. have you been busier in the kitchen? are you baking chocolate chip cookies when the jar is already overflowing? or does a simple dinner turn out to be a feast of hors d'oeuvres, fancy salad, veggies of all colors, a succulent roast, and a pecan pie, which you've never baked before? that hyper kitchen activity is happening because there's a boy in your tummy. is the kitchen as dull a place as ever? then it's a girl.

6. in iowa, they ask if it's pickles or ice cream you're craving. sour pickles mean a boy. a sweet girl goes with a taste for ice cream.

7. in italy, bread is the key to this test. now that you are pregnant, do you find yourself refusing the heel of a loaf of bread? if so, you're bearing a girl. if you actually prefer the heel, it's a boy.

8. do you get up in the morning with the feeling that you must have a glass of orange juice? if so, a girl is coming. if not, then a boy is coming.

9. carrying high or low? according to folklore, a high baby is a girl, and a low baby is a boy.

1o. what does your stomach resemble, shapewise? without stretching your imagination too far, does the belly resemble a watermelon? then it's a girl. more like a basketball? a boy.

11. where do you get kicked most ofen by your little bundle? it's been said that a boy prefers the ribs. the lower stomach is likely to be the choice of a girl.

12. do those tiny feet go flying to your left most frequently, or to the right? in this norwegian wives' tale boys have an affinity for the right, while girls tend to kick to the left.

13. does the baby lie most frequently on the right or left side of your tummy? a boy will lie to the left, while a girl tends to lie to the right.

14. this one originated centuries ago in vienna. supposedly, baby girls "dance" when they hear music. baby boys keep still and just listen.

what are you having?

if you asked my hubby this question he would say, "a baby. duh." (even though you meant "boy or girl?") he's funny like that.

when i was pregnant with little buddy, before we had the ultrasound to tell us his gender, we got this little book called "boy or girl?" that is full of fun old wives' tales to tell you what you are having. ironically enough, after taking all the little tests, i was supposedly having a girl. ha....not!

according to the chinese conception chart, i'll be having a boy. (with little buddy it told me i was having a girl.)

so i thought i'd take a break from my normal complaining and share some of the fun old wives' tales with you. if anyone has any more that they've heard or were told while they were pregnant, or "tests" that you can do, leave them in the comments!

1. this old german tale checks not whether you are the fairest mother of all, but what your eyes say. stare into the mirror for at least one minute, but not more than three. do your eyes dilate? if yes, a boy. they don't? a girl.

2. pull your lower eyelids down and look at the whites of your eyes. do you see a broken blood vessel in the shape of a "v"? if that "v" is in the lower half of your right eye, count on a boy. left eye, it's a girl.

3. is your hair getting thinner and stringier with each day of pregnancy? if so, swedish folklore says you are pregnant with a girl. or is your hair becoming more shiny and full-bodied? if so, it's a boy.

4. if your leg hair is growing faster now, a boy is on the way. if your hair growth legwise is the same as before your pregnancy, you should be getting ready for a girl.

5. french tale tellers look to mom's legs for their clue. it's true that legs can put on weight during pregnancy. are your legs beginning to resemble tree trunks? a sure sign of a boy. if your legs are just as trim as they were before you became pregnant, look for a girl.

6. are your hands rough or smooth? a girl goes with smooth hands, a boy with rough.

7. have your fingernails grown faster and stronger during pregnancy? if yes, it's a boy. if no, it's a girl.

8. do you notice any weight gain on your backside? if no, a boy is on the way. if yes, a girl is around the corner.

9. now for face weight. are you more ample about the face since you became pregnant? italians say that's what comes with having a girl. still got your slender profile? it's a boy.

10. are you bugged by your feet being colder than before? if it's no, score another for the girl. if it's yes, mark one for the boy.

11. an old new england tale says if you are sleeping in a bed with your head to the north, you'll have a boy. a girl is on the way if your pillow points to the south.

12. a boy is on the way when you experience more difficulty breathing during your pregnancy. no problem breathing free and easy? it's a girl.

13. at the doctor, pay attention to the baby's heart rate. a rate of 139 or below indicates a boy. if it is 140 or above, it's a girl.

14. germans say that a girl will want to make you sleep more than before, but a boy won't make you so sleepy.

15. a girl is favored if you sleep on your right side. if your left side is your usual choice, it's a boy.

these are just a few...i'll share more another day. any of these totally wrong for you? totally accurate?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

be still, my soul

haven't posted in awhile. i've been really sick. going to the dr again tomorrow. hubby had to give me an IV to get some fluids in my day i was so weak i couldn't even walk. and my grandma is doing much worse. they didn't think she would make it through the night. we are heading over to the hospital as soon as hubby gets off work. i am scared and worried.

went to a baby blessing this morning. i actually blow dried my hair, did my makeup, and shaved my legs. crazy, i know. i feel better about myself when i get dressed up but hate doing it. on the way there i listened to a CD i got at a youth conference 8 years ago. for the life of me i can't remember the artist's name but the CD is full of beautiful hymn arrangements that are all about the Savior.

i want to share one of my favorite hymns with you...i'm trying to sing it in my head and take the words to heart right now.

be still, my soul: the Lord is on they side;
with patience bear thy cross of grief or pain
leave to thy God to order and provide:
in ev'ry change he faithful will remain.
be still, my soul, thy best, thy heav'nly friend
thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
to guide the future as He has the past.
thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
all now mysterious shall be bright at last.
be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
when we shall be forever with the Lord,
when disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
be still, my soul: when change and tears are past,
all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

sweet bethany....i don't deserve this!

i got an award, i can't believe it! bethany who writes at confessions of a mom of four (which i always read but suck at leaving comments....sorry bethany!) has given me the "love ya" award.

so here are the rules.

The LOVE YA award:

“These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

so here are the 8 bloggers i choose to give this award to:

1. enola

2. ali

3. blogstalker

4. georgie at decisionally challenged

5. kaylynn

6. julia at see more cemers

7. mother of the wild boys

8. bev at just for here and now

all of these great women have been my friend and been supportive of me, even though they don't know me personally (except for ali). it means a lot to me that you've all stayed around even though i've been really obnoxious and complain a lot over the past few months. you are all truly wonderful and i can't tell you how much i appreciate you! and i always read your blogs...i just don't leave comments too often. so sorry about that. :)

i'm tired of me whining about everything too

it just seems like i can't catch a break. i're all thinking that i'm obnoxious because all i do is complain. i am annoyed with myself. if i had something else to talk about, believe me, i would.

my mother-in-law is on her way over to watch little buddy so i can go back to bed. i've kept hardly anything down for two days, in spite of the scripts my dr gave me to help with that. i'm going to end up having to get IV infusions because i'm not getting the nutrients i need. luckily my hubby can do it so we just have to buy the supplies instead of paying to have it done. i feel awful again today.

my grandma is not doing well at all. i am extremely upset about it. the prognosis is terrible. she doesn't have much time left. it breaks my heart. hubby was so great last night...just held me and let me cry.

little buddy is sick, too. he's got gastroenteritis. luckily he is acting ok and doesn't have a temp, just a virus. poor kid. he is such a good boy. i am so blessed to have such a wonderful son. right now he is playing by himself so i can rest. he's talking to his tickle me cookie monster. i have so much love in my heart for him. i can't imagine fitting another baby in there too...i'll burst being so full of love.

i sure could use some humor. if anyone has a good joke or a funny story, leave it for me in a comment. thanks.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

info that could save your life--or the lives of your children

my hubby emailed this newspaper article to me this morning. it's a little long, but i think it's really important for everyone to read.

Act to survive gunman on a spree

News of a 17-year-old student storming his Germany high school and killing 15 serves as a solemn reminder of the peril students everywhere still face in the classroom.

Experts say the danger from the increasing number of shooting attacks is so chaotic, that even before the first responding officer arrives, a person can take several actions to increase their odds of survival. If you're ever found in such a situation, law enforcement officials say there are steps you can take to help you live through an event such as the one Derek O'Dell almost didn't survive.

Moments after O'Dell heard popping sounds down the hall, a gunman stepped inside his college German class at Virginia Tech, shot him and fired a barrage of 9mm slugs through most of his classmates.

In the 10 years leading up to the Virginia Tech massacre, 42 gunmen across the United States gunned down 210 students and faculty during school, killing 78, according to data compiled by the newspaper.

And since the 2007 VT massacre, seven gunmen have shot 79 students and faculty at school, killing 43.

Obvious gang-related shootings were not included in the data, which is specifically intended to follow active-gunmen-type shooters.

Dave Grossman, a West Point professor and founder of Killology science, coined the "active" shooter neologism in the late 90s to distinguish modern killers, who actively and indiscriminately aim for the most possible bloodshed without concern for themselves, from the deal-striking, hostage-taking oriented type in the past who typically killed for gain.

"These killers are on a spree, out to kill as many people as possible, and 'take no prisoners' could well be their motto," Grossman said.

The chances of meeting a gunman may be low but a student is 17.6 times more likely to die from a bullet at school than by a fire, according to a comparison of U.S Fire Administration statistics.

In perspective, school shooters kill more students each year than 93,500 school fires do in 17 years.

International codes, U.S. and state laws closely regulate fire safety; state elementary schools are supposed to drill monthly, high schools bimonthly.

But because laws do not mandate school officials to practice gunmen scenarios, besides perhaps a broad statement saying they must "drill for other emergencies" once a year, faculty and students are largely left to voluntarily or self-prepare for such a circumstance.

Law enforcement interviews, analysis from past gunmen behavior, and a ballistics test conducted by the newspaper, local university police and the County Sheriffs Office, all reveal advice for someone in danger at each level of a an "active" threat: from hearing the ominous pops, to escaping, to barricading and finally to a face-to-face melee.

First, believe it
Before you can take a physical step from danger, though, authorities say you should make a mental one: Come to terms with the reality that a shooting is entirely possible today — right now.

Those who haven't already ingested that bitter pill will likely psychologically "mis-frame the event as something more familiar — such as firecrackers, a prank, or the backfire of a car," noted Dallas Drake, principal researcher at Homicide Prevention Research. It is this unprepared group of initial unbelievers who will surely break the next rule of survival: Do not investigate.

Dying to know
Curiosity has repeatedly proven to draw people toward abnormal sounds. Unsuspecting folks often saunter closer to danger, peering around corners, probing for answers.


Virginia Tech professor Kevin Granata saved 20 students by heroically funneling them into his locked office from their more-vulnerable classroom after he heard popping sounds. But he just "couldn't wait around," students later told the Washington Post. He left the office, ventured toward the shots and was killed.

Distance, then cover
It may seem commonsensical for experts to suggest bolting to an exit, but too many in their panic automatically spring for close corners, nooks and crannies. Officials overwhelmingly stress distance as your No. 1 concern."You can't get far enough," said Richard Morman, Ohio State University police chief. "Make an exit, break a window. Just go."

Fifty-two Columbine High students didn't. They had nine minutes to escape the second-floor library after initially hearing "popping sounds" outside, according to Jefferson County, Colo., sheriff's reports, but they obeyed a teacher's order to "get down" and to "stay on the floor," as recorded in a 911 call. Students crouched defenselessly under wide-open tables in the school's library and remained there for seven and a half minutes while two active gunmen blasted beneath their shoddy shields, killing 10 and injuring 12 before moving on.

In most cases, there's an available exit — even if you have to make one and it's framed by freshly broken glass, 12 feet above ground.

Doors--lock or block
Authorities know, however, that gaining distance or reaching outside can be out of reach no matter your Rambo-strength or MacGyver-mind, especially for students on higher floors. So, without an exit, find one of two types of doors: either one you can lock or one you can barricade.

Since students rarely have the means to lock doors, they'll likely need to barricade, which is only practically possible by retreating to a room with an inward swinging door. Only inward opening doors have effectively been barricaded in past incidents with stacked furniture, body weight or wedged shoe soles. All have been reported to have saved lives during U.S. shootings.

Your chances of landing behind one of these more-protective doors are greater if you lunge into offices, lounges or smaller classrooms at the sound of gunshots.

That's because, according to international building fire codes adopted by every U.S. school, large rooms — 50-person-capacity or more — are fitted with outward swinging doors, according to Warren Jones a longtime university architect. The task of keeping an outward swinging door shut with a tough, white-knuckle grip on a smooth knob is awkward and ineffective.

A 76-year-old Virginia Tech instructor understood the importance of barricading. He kept the gunman out by bravely propping himself against his inward swinging door. He eventually died from a few door-penetrating slugs, but his actions kept the gunman at bay and saved every one of his students, except for one.

Just down the hall, however, students left their door unchallenged. The gunman, 23, entered the classroom two times shooting 21 of his 25 frightened targets. By the time the gunman wandered back to the classroom to fire a third volley of shots at the few still surviving, he was stopped. O'Dell shut and wedged his shoes against the door and saved his peers. Door-penetrating bullets missed.

Take charge, not cover
When you can't run, escape or take shelter behind an inward swinging door, you must be ready for when the doorknob rolls and clanks the mechanical sound of entry.

"At that very moment, that's when you have little choice but to take action," said university Police Lt. Arnold Lemmon, who has spent 28 years protecting students. "I wouldn't have suggested that years ago, but it's no longer hostage situations where you can just comply with their demands and live."

Lemmon and other officials know that contrary to many students' and teachers' first instinct, just passively dodging bullets behind desks when a gunman enters is unwise — and has proven deadly. In fact, using desks hardly helps, according to several field ballistic tests conducted by police officials and the newspaper.

One of the very weakest bullets, a regular .22 long-rifle caliber, tore through two different kinds of new university-donated school desks at 42 feet away — a shuddering fact when considering the average classroom depth is only between 26 and 30 feet. What may be more alarming, gunmen don't commonly use the weakest bullets. Newspaper data shows they overwhelmingly wield 9mm or similar caliber ammunition during their shooting sprees that are packed with 320 percent more lead and hit with 270 percent more energy than the average .22 caliber bullet.

The next most common weapon of choice is the powerful, easy-to-aim 12-gauge shotgun, which again, when tested, gave further evidence for students not to depend on a ¾-inch-thick, composite-wood desk top for much protection. A common 12-gauge round fired at 40 feet blasted through the desk's surface leaving a jagged 3-inch hole in the laminate-covered desktop.

Unsettling facts like these, coupled with such malicious and indiscriminate shooters as have been witnessed, are reasons why most officials say they have moved them from suggestions of passivity to more a modern and assertive view: "You'll need to become more aggressive than you ever thought possible," states the Center for Personal Protection & Safety, a Washington-based violence research think tank, in a survival training video. The center, staffed with former U.S. Department of Defense and FBI officials, added: "Throwing things, yelling, using improvised weapons can all be effective in this situation."

The center instructs students and faculty to take charge against an active gunman by turning off the lights, spreading out (because shooters frequently aim at groups) and to quietly discuss a synchronized attack — queued at the gunman's entrance. Then, solemnly, the center suggests, "Do the best you can."

"But," the center then warns, "total commitment and absolute resolve are critical."

Ralph Waldo Emerson succinctly penned this same notion about challenging a much stronger foe when he wrote, "If you strike at a king, you must kill him."

Active shooters won't stop to negotiate, forgive your charge or give second chances. So, if he does enter, security professionals agree: strike with several and strike with strength. Indecision or hesitation during your attack adds to your danger."

At the least, (students) should remember the 'three outs,' " Lemmon said in finality. "Get out, hide out or take out."

Friday, March 13, 2009

trying to stay positive

i posted yesterday that i had lost my job. i wasn't really in the mood for talking about it. i am really upset about losing that job....i loved working where i did. i have spent a lot of time in jobs i can't stand, it was so great to find one i enjoyed. plus the loss of income is a big deal. the fact that i've been so sick during this pregnancy....i doubt i'll be able to find another job. i'm really depressed about it. i feel like a failure. this puts a lot more pressure on my hubby, too. sigh.

my doctor's appointment on monday went pretty well. i meant to post about it earlier but with the job thing i haven't wanted to. we heard the baby's heartbeat again. i've lost some weight though because of how sick i've been, so the dr wants me to come back in two weeks instead of four. he gave me scripts for phenergan and zofran to try to help me keep food down. it's helped some. usually in the evening i'm sick again but at least it's not so bad during the day.

my grandma is in the hospital again. she's been really sick since christmas. for the longest time they couldn't figure out what was wrong--then discovered that she has lung disease, that looks like that of someone who has smoked their entire life. she has never smoked. she's had heart problems in the past, so it took them awhile to get her meds to where they could do anything with her lungs. she was doing better so they released her. but then yesterday she went back to the cardiologist and they discovered the right side of her heart was barely working. they immediately admitted her to the icu. later that day she was transferred to a bigger and better hospital. we are all really worried about her. she is still really young....68 years old. if you pray, it would be great if you could pray for her. i love my grandma so much, i don't want to lose her. at least not for awhile.

on a positive note, my sister came to see me yesterday. (not the one who is engaged.) she is in town for spring break and we spent a few hours together. it was good to see her. we walked around a little shopping center together and talked. she is 19, and i can't believe how grown up she is. when i left home she was in junior high. i miss spending time with my family. even though they've moved closer i still don't get to see them as much as i'd like. we are going to the zoo tomorrow with two of my sisters and their boys. i think it will be fun, i'm looking forward to it.

i'm trying to stay positive right now. it just seems like i can't get ahead with anything lately. it's frustrating. poor hubby is stressed out as well. if we could sell our, that would be great. maybe soon. i just have to keep a little bit of hope alive.

22nd blog carnival against child abuse

the new blog carnival against child abuse is up. rising rainbow is hosting it over at my clouds, my storm, and multiple personality disorder. the theme for this edition is "telling the secret." my post victims who suffer silently is up. there are also a bunch of other great posts, go check it out.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

hurray. (sarcasm)

so much for going back to work. i lost my job. they need someone who can work more hours than i am able to. i cried.

Monday, March 9, 2009

still stumped on post titles

today i have an appointment with my doctor. i am 11 weeks today. in some ways i feel this pregnancy is dragging on and on, and then when i think about the fact that it's already march 9 and i am nearly in my second trimester i can't believe how fast time flies. with little buddy, my pregnancy was the longest nine months of my life. but this time, i think because i already have one child to take care of, it is going by a little faster.

i am so grateful that i have such a loving and supportive husband. i know that this has been so hard on him. i have been so sick that he has had to take on a lot around the house. in addition to doing more for the baby, plus working 40 hours a week, taking care of me, and sometimes coming home from work early because i just can't take care of little buddy the way he needs. he has been awesome and i couldn't do anything without him. i can't imagine being married to someone who wouldn't help out or would complain about it all the time.

my in-laws and my family have helped, too. my mother in law has come over to help with little buddy and saturday my little brother and sister took turns helping me. i'm so glad that they are close enough to help, and willing to do so. my sister even told me i should call her more. i guess it helps that my son is the most adorable baby in the world and they all love him like crazy.

i really need to get back to work. i know that they are hurting without me there, and we sure need the money. i have been so sick....i just need to figure out a way to get back as soon as i can. luckily i seem to do a little better in the afternoons, when i would be working. mornings are bad and nights are terrible. somehow it will work out. hopefully sooner rather than later.

i am so jealous of all those women who have pregnancies that are easy. even those who are nauseated all the time but still able to handle daily life. if it weren't for these stupid headaches, and the vertigo, and the risk of syncope, i'd be able to deal with the nausea and throwing up without it totally interfering with my life. some women never even have the nausea. i guess it's useless to wish and to be jealous, it won't change anything and really makes me feel worse. i am grateful that i am able to have children. i have so many friends who aren't, or who have had difficulty doing so, and i know how hard it is for them. when i think about that i just feel so guilty for complaining. being a mother is the best thing in the world and i wouldn't give it up for anything.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

this post shall be called...untitled.

yesterday we bit the bullet and bought a new computer. we have been having problems with ours for a long time. we bought something smaller and much more inexpensive, but that will be great for internet use and our digital camera. that's pretty much all we use the computer for anyway.

also a little bit of good news on the home selling front. we contested our appraisal and were able to lower it by $4,000 which means we can set the MLS lower. this is a very good thing. we are hoping that we will get more interest in it again.

the past couple of days i have been feeling a little better. yesterday i was well enough to walk around costco for a little bit. today i'm not feeling too great but i'm hoping that will improve as the day goes on.

so now for some help. little buddy has been throwing tantrums lately. hubby and i have read about them and what to do. we think we have some pretty good ideas. anyone else have kids who threw tantrums at 12 months? any ideas on what we should do?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

wedding bells are ringing...

my little sister called me last night. she's engaged! she is getting married in july. crazy. her missionary came home less than a month ago. she is really happy and i am happy for her. what bugs me is my parents. when i told them i wanted to get married, i got a lecture and was told i wasn't ready and this was such a big committment and i was rushing into it. with my sister, it's all excitement and happiness. it bugs me so badly the way that my parents treat me so differently from the rest of my siblings. they've always been so much harder on me, expected more of me, been more demanding of me. and i can't live up to their expectations. it makes me sick inside. just once i would like them to be happy and excited for me the way they are for my siblings. it is somewhat comforting, although angering as well, because my youngest sister seems to be having similar problems. she understands what i went through, and i'm not alone. but it makes me so mad that they would do the same types of things with her. i know every child is different. but i think my mom punished me just because i was the oldest child. when she was growing up her older sister got everything and she was pushed she compensated for that by being harder on me. it's so not fair that i have had to suffer for her issues.

things have gotten better as i've gotten older, which i am thankful for. i think they've stopped trying to control me the way they did before.

on a side note: did anyone watch the bachelor last night? what a freaking jerk! i couldn't believe it. the idiot proposed to melissa after sending molly home. then on the "after the last rose" show, he broke up with melissa because he couldn't stop thinking about molly, then asked for a second chance with her. totally broke melissa's heart. and he was such an idiot about the way he did it, too. poor girl. i hope molly dumps him.

Monday, March 2, 2009

fishy fishy fishy

i apologize for the length between posts recently. i get on every day...and realize i have nothing new to talk (ahem...complain) about and so i don't. still having nightmares. still really sick. gross, gross, gross.

yesterday i was feeling a bit better so we went to the local aquarium as a family. they have a new exhibit open since the last time we went and it was pretty cool. the best part was that little buddy was old enough to sort of understand what was going on. the first time he went, he was maybe five weeks old and slept through most of it. this time, he pointed to the fish and tried to splash in the water at the petting pond. (is that what they're called?) we enjoyed ourselves. by the time we got home, however, my headache was starting to get worse. by the time i went to bed i was seeing flashes of light, had numbness and tingling in my right arm and leg, even some across my abdomen, and i was extremely nauseated. definitely not fun. at least it stayed away long enough for me to get out of the house for a few hours and enjoy my family.

we also had a bit of a scare with our computer this weekend. we kept getting these messages that there had been an internal failure with our hard drive. talk about freak out. luckily my dad was able to help hubby figure out the dos prompts and restore it...there was a file path missing or something. we immediately backed up all of our pictures and video. took me about seven hours to do but we'd been meaning to do it anyway. if we lost all of that we'd be devastated. luckily everything seems to be running fine again. we are thinking about a new computer soon anyway since this one is getting older.

well. i am going to go lay down on the floor and let little buddy climb on me. he rather enjoys that and i still get to lay down. i hope you are all doing well. forgive my absence and lack of comments please!