why no posts...
No recent posts because....

1) busy with family
2) busy being over due :) (dr's visits, ect)
3) holidays

So, yeah, excuses and more excuses. But I think the break from posts will probably last as I hope my baby will be born very soon. (She was due Nov. 24) That and now having a lot of little ones around is very distracting. :)

Extremely short post
Illegal immigration seems to be a heated topic in America. I honestly can't get too heated on the topic. A big reason why is because of the people involved. Americans are upset because "they are taking our jobs, ect." Americans are upset, essentially, because they firmly believe that the illegal immigrants are taking something (jobs) they are entitled to. On the opposite side, those fighting in favor of illegal immigrants fight because they are entitled to take ie: jobs, particularly because "Americans don't want them." Both sides fight over jobs that they feel entitled to have. The key problem here is this: they are both far too steeped into the believe they are entitled to something. The American dream has gone from being the ultimate goal for people to work towards to a right the government (or someone) owes to each and every person that steps on the American soil. People have way too much of a sense of entitlement. Just because you are born or run onto American soil does not mean anything will be given to you. Earn the American dream. Earn your citizenship, regardless of whether you were born here or not. (To clarify, I mean everyone who claims to be an American has basic knowledge of their country- be able to say the Pledge of Allegiance, know who at least the main founding fathers, ect.) Earn your right to speak before you open your mouth and spout stupidity before the world.

back contractions
As it turns out, those back pains I have been feeling for roughly a two weeks were contractions. I had no idea until my doctor gave a fairly detailed description of what contractions feel like. Ops. So I have been during a little bit of research (hurray interwebs!) and so far this is what I have figured out:

1) It is possible to feel pains between contractions (which explains why I was feeling the same pain, but it wasn't a contraction, since my stomach didn't harden like it does for a real contraction.)

2) Back labor is something no one wants, because they are more painful then ordinary labor. This results from a constant back pain.

3) Back labor can be longer than the alternative.

On a personal note, it seems during the contraction the following things happen: intense lower back pain, difficulty breathing, and light headedness. Anyone else feel like this?

Anyone know any other facts? I understand so far what I am feeling are Braxton-Hicks contractions and am just waiting now for the transition to real labor.

Helping with holiday jitters (1)
So far, it seems to me that the best way to fight off the holiday jitters is simply to recognize what is going on. That way, you can come up with a specific solution to cater to your specific needs. There are a few possibly very helpful guidelines to help you along the way:

1) Hurray for cliches being right! The first step is admitting you have a problem. Or is this case, diagnosis correctly your problem.

2) Try scheduling a specific time (or place) for your project. That way you can at least somewhat focus on work when it isn't project time.

3) Scheduling not exactly your thing? Maybe set up a time limit on how much per week, day, ect you can work on your project.

4) Too busy to keep track? Keep a to-do list with you and check off things as you go.

5) Too busy and not much of a to-do list person? Ask a friend or anyone you trust and is with you regularly to help keep you focused on the things you need to do when you need to do them.

I know this is kind of short, but I will try to post more later. Input always welcome!

The calm before the storm
Halloween is over and, at least if you are planning on long-distance traveling, Thanksgiving is creeping up on us rather fast. And after that there is the mayhem of the holiday seasons: constant playing of Christmas and other holiday songs, Christmas shopping, decorating and anything else you need to do to prepare for Christmas. There are office parties that start early December and the secret santa names have probably already been handed out. Before all this mayhem, before Thanksgiving, there seems to be a quiet lull. The Halloween specials have been replaced by the normal TV broadcasting. Advertisements and store shelves have begun to fill themselves up with Christmas and Thanksgiving goodies, but of which most do not pay any head, except to make fun of how the holiday shopping is being forced upon us earlier and earlier each year. It is the quiet before the storm. Deals are stating to be heard, but nothing compares to Black Friday and, quite frankly, both customers and dealers alike know this. So while bribes begin now, the real holiday shopping wont start until the day after Thanksgiving. Christmas decor is not in place, though one may find some Thanksgiving goodies placed about the house. Even this does not happen, it  would seem, until the around a week before Thanksgiving. This all leads to a single question: what do we do now?

Halloween, admittedly, gets us thinking of the Holiday Season. Little ones get excites and grown-ups start their preparations (and possibly get a little excited themselves). Halloween has come and gone and leaves us all with hat too-familiar feeling of a holiday passed. We all know what lurks around the corner, but for at least two, maybe three weeks, there is simply not much we can do. Sure, we can make out list for Christmas gifts. We can get the whole family organized so we know which house Thanksgiving will be held at this year. Nevertheless, we cannot cook our Thanksgiving meals quite yet (though I suppose a little practice making that turkey or maybe your famous side dish you bring every year can't hurt). So we are left in quiet anticipation of the holidays with nothing to do to help prepare for the oncoming annual chaos. Even if one were to try to buy all the Christmas presents now, there would still be the last few things" one needs to grab. And who wants to pay more than they have to if all they have to do is wait just a short amount of time for the price goes down? No, alas, we cannot truly do anything productive or holiday-y for a bit of time. Many may not feel it, but it seems this is a recipe for a perfect storm of anticipation. If not looked out for, it may cause irritability and a sense of haziness. Not the haziness from needing to do too much at once that often hits in the month of December, but the haziness of not know which direction to go. Essentially, we don't know what to do now. So we throw ourselves at any available project, one that most likely contains a productive result (at least for us) and keeps some part of us, or all of us, focused solely on this one project. For some this may happen before Halloween, since the feeling of oncoming holiday-ness begins to overwhelm us then though most can ward it off with the buying of costumes, decorations, candies, or decorating the house to look spooky for a month. Those that have none of these projects most likely feel the pre-holiday jitters before anyone else, which is only briefly eliminated the weekend or just the day of Halloween. After Halloween, the rest of us sets into the same mode. Even children get caught up in it. It seems they are possibly either fairly caught up in their school activities, though it probably isn't math but friends or sports or the latest fade replacing Pokemon cards, or can't focus on school activities at all because they are busy with some other project. Adults get frustrated now when they see any amount of unproductive-ness, which is caused by their own inability to be product in an area they know they need to be asap and unable to even focus too much on it because they themselves are consumed by a project. Perhaps this is why parents around this time of year are more hard on their kids. It really only adds to the stress levels of the house, which will soon sky-rocket due to the start of the holiday storm.

Perhaps you know exactly what I am talking about here, but maybe not. Some of us are much more heavily affected by this pre-holiday jitters than others. Most likely, those that suffer greater amount of pre-holiday jitters also suffer more during the storm. This may reveal itself in general anxiety of making sure the house is always clean, always trying to think of and buy the perfect present, planning the Christmas party or how one is to cook 40-something cupcakes on one night for the kid's class party. Most likely, this person is type A person. A more type B response is to be angry about the whole holiday season. They usually can't stand the constant amount of Christmas songs, the little children being extra hyper, ect. As the grinch so nicely put it, they can't put up with "all the noise, noise, noise!" Children are most likely to be extra excited and hyper or more moody than usual. And as for the project from the previous month, some cling to it so long as they can't find a holiday-type thing to do (or just don't want to). Once they need to get a gift, plan an event, or do anything for Christmas they usually can force themselves out of their project to work on it. This is only possible, of course, if the person believes it to be more important than their project. This is most likely to happen if they are working on buying or planning something for a loved one.

Here is a good, easy, visible example of this. One may find for their project a video game, either one in particular or just beating games in general. They find the need to constantly play whenever they have free time. Most likely this person already loved or liked video games, but now their is a huge increase in their game playing time. They usually focus in on a game at a time. The thing to tear them away will be their loved one. Specifically as far as the holiday storm is concerned, they will go out, search the web, ect for a gift for their loved one. However, when not trying to find that gift, they will probably be playing that video game as a cooping mechanism for the now occuring storm, rather than the pre-holiday jitters that got them into playing in the first place. The reason for this? When one is stressed, one immediately looks for comforts wherever they can be found. Since at least on some level video games is the most current relaxing activity programmed in (thank you pre-holiday jitters), this is what they will turn to during the storm itself. The difference between these two is the motivation behind the project. One is to fulfill the need to do something where nothing can be done. The other is to do something relaxing when all one can do is work and work and work at enormous amount of stuff to do for the holidays. Some, the type A, will only do this after atleast some of their insane to-do list is done for the day. Meanwhile, they type B person wants to avoid the stress all together and so avoids the holiday stuff and their to-do list unless heavily suppressed or suddenly are filled with desire to drop the controller and plan or buy that gift.

The result of all this is slower ability to work at school or at a job, which can be extremely frustrating since most jobs require the pace to be quickened around this time of year. This leads inevitably to feelings in inadequacy, which are unhealthy and even dangerous at times- especially during the holiday season when people seem to become their most vulnerable. Ever wonder why there is an increase in weight lose and other self improvement ads on TV during this time of year? It's not because of all the sweets (though I am sure it plays a very small part, but really that is just the excuse). It is because people feel at their lowest right now. Its not helpful that we cannot just program ourselves to have our project be our work. In fact, it rarely is our work because the project is to fill the void that is left by the demands of the holiday season, not the demands of the work we do roughly all year round.

Have you ever felt just more anxious, distracted, disappointed around this time of year? Then maybe this is why. 

So it is nice to know a bit more of the why behind the stress, but how can we help things get better? That requires more thought and so it will, hopefully, appear on the next post.

To anyone who is actually reading this post: 1) I am sorry for the typos, those will be cleaned up later. 2) Comments/ questions are always welcomed!

Writer's Block: So much for counting sheep
What do you like to do when you can't get to sleep?

I am now 37 weeks pregnant so I cannot always sleep. Recently, I have been going through two phases: one where I can't sleep at night and then, eventually, I get so exhausted I can at least force myself to sleep after my usual wake up with little sleep behind me. So, long story short, I am accumulating a list of things I do when I cannot sleep:

1) When I am lazy or simply too tired to do anything, but I still can't sleep, I just daydream in bed.
2) Read.
3) Clean
4) Do my work online (selling stuff on Ebay)
5) Munch on a few crackers, if I am hungry
6) Livejournal!
7) Shower
8) Play video games (xbox360 mainly)
9) Try to work out some plan for the future, ie: recipe to cook for dinner, presents for Christmas, getting ready for baby, ect

I am sure I will add more stuff to the list as I find them and as I have more sleepless nights.

Writer's Block: How old is too old?
Are you ever too old to go trick-or-treating? Is candy for everyone?

It depends on the person...

I posted my answer the day before this question went out: jp4life.livejournal.com/2010/10/29/

On another note, I am 21, now in my 9th month of pregnancy, and trick-or-treating still sounds like fun.

And finally, candy is for everyone!

Trick or Treating- when too old?
Halloween seems to the only holiday that involves goodies that has an age limit to on those goodies. Even after we stop believing in Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny we still get gifts. And on Valentines' Day the biggest difference is the kind of gifts we get. We go from handing out cut out cards and baked goods in class to giving the special someone chocolates, flowers, jewelry, and/or nice dinners. Even the non-gift giving holidays seem to get better. On the 4th of July we can set of fireworks (and drink alcohol) instead of just watching them. On New Year's Eve it is a lot easier to stay up until midnight and suddenly there's so much more to do than just watch the ball drop in New York. ie: instead of staying home you can go out to...wherever, really. Then, there is Halloween. The holiday that throughout out childhood was full of fun or scary costumes, more baked goods that are usually decorated with bats or candy corn, carving pumpkins, and going door to door to get a huge bag full of free candy! Then we grow up and not only do we have to realize Santa and the Easter Bunny don't exist, but we have to stop dressing up and going out at night for free candy. Everyone stops trick-or-treating at a different ages. There isn't an official age where people stop going trick-or-treating, but this is the general consensus:

0-1: too little to go trick or treating, but very cute in costume for going to that costume party.
2-8/9: cute and usually top rated amongst the most popular trick-or-treaters
9/10-13: still young enough to go, though they are probably with friends more than family
14-16: still okay, though people start to suspect foul play more than them being friendly
17-19: it is now getting too old, but is permissible. maybe because they are still in high school and so are therefore untrustworthy, but still seen as excusably...juvanille
20: not old enough too drink yet, but people are no longer giving you the excuses they use to in high school so... you are not very welcome
21-24: people either suspect you to be up to something more wrong than just toilet papering a tree or house or are just baffled that you are here and not getting wasted somewhere. And here is the oddity: this is probably to one time people would rather you be getting wasted than being at their front porch mooching candy.
25+: This is where the last phase fades and gradually becomes something new. This being people are now thinking you are extremely creepy, possibly a pedophile, and most of all they are probably wondering why you haven't grown up enough to at least be too busy with a job or kids (much like they are, most likely) to be out trick-or-treating with friends/ family. This enters into the only exception: you may go trick or treating now with your kids and no one will look at you too funny. Though, they may think it is odd that you are getting candy for you with your little ones, unless they are so small it is obvious they may be too shy or something to do it on their own. This may work for the previous group, but not too early as people will think of you as irresponsible more than anything else for having kids so young.

There are always alternatives when you get older, such as parties or simply hanging out with friends playing video games, drinking, ect. At the same time, this is when people tend to be at their poorest (during the college years and some after) and so the idea of anything being free is somewhat appealing. So when you are booted from receiving a free bag of candy, there is some understandable disappointment. Besides, at that age there is more time after the trick-or-treating hours to enjoy the candy than when you were younger. You can legally now enjoy your favorite candy with your favorite alcohol and some close friends all while watching whatever gory, scary movie you want to watch. This is the so called "best time of your life," the time just before or just as all the responsibilities of being an adult are thrust upon you and the end of when certain worries can't touch you: you still stay up late at night and not because of the baby, but because you have to beat one more level before going to sleep and probably waking up far too early for class or your new job. There is still an element of freedom in the phase of life when simple things can be enjoyed the most. Sadly, this phase is also when certain great parts of childhood are now seemingly required to be given up. Sad day.....

Well, if nothing else we do still have the ability to use our new freedom to find something else to do.


Costumes for pregnant ladies
Yes, this is yet another Halloween post. I have a few ideas to share, if anyone is interested. This time it is costumes for pregnant ladies (and their man if he wishes to have a costume complimentary to her). I hope these can help someone!

1) Mary, the Mother of God (and St. Joseph)
2) Chest-burster from "Alien" (have it attached to your belly, t-shirt, or a jacket)
3) If you are celebrating with other pregnant women, why not have a tummy painting contest? May the most creative, best halloween-themed, or cutest tummy win!
4) Painted ticking time bomb, using your due date as the time the bomb is rigged to go.
5) Turn your tummy into a bat! Paint the tummy black with white or yellow eyes (and fangs if you want to go creepy and attach a small set of wings to either side of your tummy. Want more out of this costume? Dress up as a vampire, too! You can pretend you are holding your new addition to the clan- baby bat!
6) Want to just paint your tummy, but want to do something more original than the pumpkin?  Paint your tummy white for a full moon and in front of the moon paint a black image of a witch, a bat, a black cat, eerie ghosts, or vampire! If you want to get really creative, paint an iconic picture from "The Nightmare Before Christmas."
7) Take a page of history and dress up as Queen Anne, the British queen who was pregnant 18 times! Or as Queen Elizabeth I, aka "Bloody Mary," who was not pregnant, but is famous for her tummy tumor.
8) If the weather permits it, why no go as the traditional "barefoot and pregnant" woman? No shoes and an apron are a must! Also, your guy can dress up in buissness attire, but messy like he just came home from the office. Give him a beer and you a sandwich (for him, of course) or anything else you can find in the kitchen (ie: roller). To make this gory, just make your clothes bloody and have a kitchen knife in hand. Your man can have anything from a tv remote to a fake revolver. For added realism, make sure your clothes look like straight out of "Leave it to Beaver."
9) Remember those two pregnant women shown in "Hairspray" smoking and sipping cocktails at the bar? If it only for one scene that you seen them, but they could inspire a good costume for you!

Feel free to add anything as you see fit! And, of course, have fun! :)

Pumpkin Carvings

I found this site via the stumble button. It has some really cool (and a few possibly disturbing) pumpkin carvings. Here are s couple of them.

I hope you like!


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