Friday, June 28, 2013

Hitting the road

We're getting ready to hit the road with family for 8 whole days.  It'll be nice to get out of dodge for a bit and take a break from work, but the packing part is something I absolutely dread.  Now that we have the little one, packing has become insane.  Thursday morning, as T and I were driving to work, I was compiling multiple lists, broken into categories of what we needed: one for Aubrey, one for T, one for me, and one for the car in general.  And then breaking those lists down into even more sub-categories:  beach, bedtime, bath time, clothes....yeah, it's a little excessive, but this is my way of making sure we have everything we need.  I mean, yeah, I know...they have stores there so if I miss something it's not the end of the world, but still. 
The week should be nice but interesting.  We'll be spending the first half with my family up in South Haven, MI, and then traveling across the state to spend time with T's family for 4 days.  Yes, that is a lot of family time.  But it's also a lot of time for Aubrey to be entertained by her cousins.  So this could definitely work in our favor. 
I am excited because one of those days we'll be seeing an old friend of mine from college.  And by old, I don't mean age, of course.  I've known her since my freshman year at IU, and this will be the first time she meets Aubrey and really the first time she has any interaction with T.  She was there at our wedding, but it's not like they got to have a real conversation then.  She's actually from South Haven originally so it's always nice to see her when we go up there on vacation. 
I had high hopes of getting a blog post pre-written as well as an Examiner article per day for while we're gone.  Key word is "hope."  Because that totally didn't happen.  I'll be MIA next week, maybe posting once, and I know that not posting on my Examiner page will ding me in terms of page views, but oh well.  It's vacation, right?  (But if you want to help supplement it, click on them anyway...ha).  I'm probably a little over ambitious thinking I could actually come up with 8 posts and 8 articles.  Oh, crazy Alaina...
We'll be hitting the wineries and beaches.  Aubrey's first exposure to the beach.  Considering she's still hesitant to even step foot in grass, I have my concerns.  But who knows?  She could totally surprise us and love sand.  I promise to come back with lots of pictures!  Um, yeah, that reminds me, I have yet to upload our St. Louis pictures from way back in May.  Man, am I slacking....
So I'll be back in a week!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Nature? No thanks!

Second Blooming
This week's Spin Cycle, brought to you by Gretchen at Second Blooming is on The Great Outdoors.  Excellent 80s movie, by the way.   But I'm not sure that's what she intended :-)
Now I don't think it's a secret, as I have never really hidden the fact that 1) I'm not a camping/outdoorsy kind of girl and 2) I'm not really an animal person either.  I've had friends of mine be like "do you like kicking puppies, too?  No, but I don't fawn all over animals when I see them.  I'm more like "yeah, cute dog" and then move on.
My idea of roughing it is staying at a Holiday Inn Express or Best Western.  The way I like to see nature is at the zoo when things are contained.  I'm sorry, but...that's just me.  On most of my attorney trips I stay at pretty nice hotels.  T, on the other hand, on his work trips stays at ones where their trucks can stay.  On his most recent trip, they were out late and he was starving...I said "why don't you order room service?"  Um, yeah, he was at a Best Western.  He cracked up.  I guess I'm a little spoiled.
Now, I have my reasons for not liking the outdoors.  As a kid, my family went camping weekly.  My parents bought us a pop-up camper, and we traveled to many of the state and national parks in the south while we lived in Alabama.  And I'm not saying they weren't fun trips.  They were, and I got to see a ton of really cool stuff. But man, the hiking.  The hiking blew so much.  My dad is the kind of guy who will start on one trail and go to another and then another.  Four hours later we'd be done.  And I swear, every trail ended with one of those huge flight of stairs to get to the parking lot.  An asthmatic like me hates that.  We also regularly stayed at Stone Mountain in Georgia.  It's a huge stone mountain.  They have trams that ride up there, but no...we hiked up the damn thing.  Did I mention it was a stone mountain
My least favorite part of it was the bathroom situation.  I hated having to haul our stuff to a public restroom and use those disgusting showers.  Bugs everywhere, and they were so dirty.  I was absolutely traumatized when I was a little girl by this one experience.  We stayed at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky.  The bathrooms there were awful.  Those huge daddy-long legs spiders were everywhere.  It was like a scene out of Arachnophobia.  My sister and I freaked out.  We'd try to use the toilet and they'd start crawling up our legs.  I'm not exaggerating either.  I'm still scared to death of those things.  I know this probably isn't healthy, but I'm pretty sure I didn't pee for the rest of that trip. 
Now this isn't to say I'm going to raise my daughter to be some sort of prissy girl.  If she wants to go camping with friends (and their families, obviously, because it sure as hell won't be me) or join Girl Scouts, that's fine...just as long as she doesn't expect me to be a Troop Leader.  I'll gladly take her to all the zoos she wants.  But camping?  Um.  No. 
So that's my "Nain take" on the Great Outdoors.  They're fun for some but not for me, man.  Give me the comfy beds, TV and room service, and I'm so there.  I'll stick to watching the guys on Duck Dynasty to get my fill, thank you very much.

Stop by Gretchen's and see what others have to say!  There may be some outdoors people there!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The "real" news

Let me preface this by saying that I'm writing this on Tuesday afternoon and have no idea what decision the Supreme Court will have on the Defense of Marriage Act....I anxiously await this constitutional argument, clue at this present moment.
This week is totally a law nerd's dream week.  Supreme Court decision after Supreme Court decision.  I have been actively monitoring the SCOTUS blog to get live updates and was sorely disappointed at 10 a.m. this morning when we were told that no other decisions were coming out on Tuesday.  Saving the best for last, huh?  Come on...
If anything, it's given me a lot to write about with The Examiner.  I've written 4 articles so far:
Silence can be held against you when arrested but before read your Miranda rights, the Court defined the term "supervisor" and struck down a claim that an employee at an Indiana university made that she was experiencing racial discrimination and harassment because the employee doing it wasn't technically a "supervisor," the Court reversed an affirmative action decision, pushing it back to the lower court to decide on the admissions policies at a Texas university; and what I deem to be the biggest?  They ruled a part of the Voting Rights Act as unconstitutional.  What the what?
I have my opinions on these decisions, but as a journalist, I will keep these to myself.  But all of these high court decisions has me glued to the SCOTUS blog, and yes, I realize that makes me one gigantic nerd. 
The thing I find fairly irritating, however....I write these stories, and I know there are other Examiners who are, too, but when I open up the main page for The Examiner (at least right now), the first thing you see is George Zimmerman.  I'm not discounting that murder trial by any means, but...please, the only reason that is being featured is because it's sensationalism.  There are major constitutional issues being decided today by constitutional scholars, not defense attorneys who open up their argument with a friggin' knock knock joke.  Alas.  The times we are in. 
Anywho, so this week I get a special 15% bonus on page clicks for my articles, soooo, please read, read, read!  And subscribe if you haven't yet because at least someone is covering the important stories out there.  You know, the stories not including what Kim and Kanya named their baby?  Those stories. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June 25th

Each year, T and I celebrate the anniversary of our first date, when we first met.  It's a special night for both of us, and we always go back to the restaurant where we went to that night on June 25, 2008.  And today, it's been five years.  It's so hard to believe that it has been only five years.  Sometimes it seems like I've known T forever. 

 (Don't we look so youthful, so energetic, so full of life?  While we met in June and this picture was taken at a wedding in September, this is one of the very first pictures we have together.)

Five years later, and we've been through so much, the ups and the downs.  We were married, we have been blessed with a beautiful little girl who is now 16 months old, we moved in together, we built a house together, we (I) switched jobs, we had a few health scares, some sorrow, some joy, we traveled to Ireland together.  So very very much has happened in the course of just five short years.

(November 2008)
The last five years have hands down been the best five years of my life.  Had I known that by saying yes to this shy and someone nerdy engineer who asked me to dinner, I would be married to him five years later, with his child?  There is no way I would have predicted it. 
Life is full of so many decisions.  Some of them are big and some of them are small.  T came into my life when I was skeptical of love, beaten down, and really....well...just not sure.  But I said yes and took that chance.  Just one date.  And while he didn't order any wine with dinner and when I asked if he wanted dessert he responded with a "Well, I had ice cream for snack at work, so I'm good!"  (Oh, T...), I knew there was something special about him.  And I was right. 
So tonight, we'll be thinking back to that special evening and celebrating all of the years to come.  I love you, T!  Thanks for taking a chance on me and saying yes, too!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Motivated to get back on track

Motivation Monday

Good morning, everyone!  Hope all of you had great weekends!  Ours, I have to say, wasn't too shabby.  Aubrey was in a relatively good mood, which made for a pleasant Saturday and Sunday.  Much better than in previous weekends.  And we're looking at a short week this week, since Friday we will be getting ready to head out for a week-long family vacation.  So that's not bad, right?

I've decided to post a motivation Monday post today...I don't do these every week mostly because I found that I've had the same things to write about every week.  It usually involved working out, and this week?  That's just what it does.  Because I've strayed off course just a bit, and with vacation coming up, I know that next week I won't exactly be as disciplined as normal.  So this week will be my "detox" of sorts.  I've resolved to exercise every day this week, alternating between running and doing the bike thing.  Saturday I did a longer 45 minute run, and my legs were having a hard time keeping up, so what that tells me is those weeks of me running maybe once or twice a week aren't cutting it.  While November is a ways away, I do have that mini-marathon looming in the distance.  So I do need to keep the legs nice and strong. 

That and I noticed the weight creeping up every so slightly.  And by slightly, we're talking 5 lbs.  And I know darn well why that happened - sweets.  I've succumbed to sweets.  So we're stepping back from all of that this week.  The Cake Boss cake is now gone, though delicious.  That thing was ridiculously filling, as I'm sure that it's made with a ton of heavy cream, real butter, you name it.  But it was freaking amazing. 

The working out isn't just important for the weight maintenance either....with the hospital scare and a great deal of stress going on at work and in my personal life, it's the one way I seem to manage my stress or at least it's a release.  So maybe that'll help me keep some of that under control this week.

So that's my motivation for the week.  I am proud to report that I did drag my tired butt out of bed this morning, despite the fact that Miss Aubrey woke up at 3:45 a.m. crying because of her teeth.  I stumbled into her bedroom, gave her some Tylenol and Orajel, fell back into bed and got up to run at 5:45 a.m.  I'll be feeling that later, but that's what coffee is for, right?

Monday - just four work days...I can do this! 

Sunday, June 23, 2013


 Thank you, Lord, today for the blessings I have in my life...thank you for blessing me with this amazing and caring man...

Thank you for this beautiful girl.  While she may push my buttons at time, I would do just about anything for her....the truly is the best part of T and me:
Thank you for my family and the opportunity that we will have in two weeks to spend extended time with both of them.
Thank you for my friends, each and every one of them.  They have all been brought into my life for a reason and they each individually teach me so much.  I am truly blessed.
Thank you for my job and for the fact that both T and I are fortunate to have employment.  Not everyone, I know, is so lucky.  My job my bring me stress some days, but it's work and it's in a field I love.  For that, I am grateful.
Thank you for my health.  Thank you for my home, the fact that I am able to clothe and feed my family.  Thank you for all of the amazing opportunities you  have given us. 
I may talk a lot on this blog about the things in my life that cause me stress, the times when I struggle, my anxieties and frustrations, but, I think it's necessary to say thanks for all that I do have.  Because I am truly blessed. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Stop growing!

Well, not really....I mean, it's good that my child is growing.  I'm all for that, but man, I can't keep up with the clothing, shoes, you name it.  T and I were going down the list of items we will need for our vacation coming up, and the list kept getting longer and longer as we thought of more and more things Aubrey needed.  New shoes, new sandles, as her old ones are too tight.  Bigger PJ's, bigger clothes.  Bigger diapers (she's a size 5 now, hard to believe), and a booster seat. It's so hard to believe sometimes that I have a toddler.  She still seems like my little baby.  But she's getting so big, and she's growing so fast.  It's just amazing. 
She has slowed down in the weight department.  She's stopped somewhere just shy of 30 lbs.  After my heart scare a week ago, I have been told to not pick her up as much, which isn't always easy.  But I'm not a huge person, and I'm technically not supposed to lift more than 25 lbs per the cardiologist...but...she's my kid.  And she's a growing girl!
BUT, if she's going to keep growing this quickly, Mommy or Daddy are going to need a pay raise and stat :-)  So Aubrey, maybe, just maybe slow it down somewhat....

Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy happy joy joy

Second Blooming
This week's Spin Cycle brought to you by Gretchen at Second Blooming in on happiness.  What makes you happy?  I'm a firm believer that the little things in life are what make you happy.  I mean, the big things, too, but sometimes the little things bring that extra joy into your day.  And that is so important to ultimate happiness.  So what things make Nain happy? 
I mean there are the big things - T and Aubrey make me happier than I ever thought possible.  That's an obvious one.  So I have to start with that one for sure.  If I didn't they'd be all like "what the what?  where am I?"  So number 1 on my list:  T and Aubrey.
And here are a list of other things that make me none of these are in any particular order.  It's more of a stream of consciousness thing.  What comes to my mind first:
Buca di Bepo food
Wine (No, I'm not an alcoholic...)
Cake Boss
Hoarders or  Hoarding: Buried Alive, though I do prefer Hoarders
Ducky Dynasty (happy happy happy)
Kisses from Aubrey
Kisses from T
Hearing Aubrey sing Ring Around the Rosie
T's impersonations of Beavis and Butthead
Really crappy 90s music
A good run
Brian Williams
Jon Stewart
Stephen Colbert
Having a clean, the process to get the house clean is a whole other thing
That feeling of accomplishment when I publish a new Examiner story
Writing in general
Taking walks with T and Aubrey
Singing the "Wubba Wubba" song from Sesame Street to Aubrey
T's honey chicken stir fry
Surprises (like getting flowers, hint, hint :-) 
Making a new friend
And lastly, girls night dinners

AND speaking of happiness....look at what surprised me when I came home!  Crumbcake from Carlo's Bakery, courtesy of the Cake Boss, Buddy!!!  T really know how to make a girl smile :-)

Now those aren't in any particular order and are subject to change.  That's just the lawyer in me giving my disclaimer.  But those are just a few of the things that make me happy.  SO what about you?  What makes you happy?
Weekends make me happy, too, and what do you know?  It's the weekend!  So have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The second child

Ever since about one year after Aubrey was born, I have been bombarded with one annoying and very personal question - when are you going to have a second child? 

I'm sorry, but honestly, I'm not sure why people feel comfortable asking that.  Having a baby or trying to conceive is one of the most personal things I can think of (and yet, I'm writing about it right now on this blog, ha).  I mean basically you're saying "so when are you and your husband going to have unprotected sex trying to conceive?"  Um, personal? 

Also, I have way too many friends who have tried to conceive and have had such a hard time doing so.  You get the questions every month, "are you pregnant?"  What if you are having a hard time?  What if you have miscarried?  What if you have chosen to not have a second child  I already get that question when I choose to abstain from drinking at any given event.  I get the question if my stomach is queasy.  Or if I say I'm craving some kind of food.  It's annoying. 

I got the question the other day from someone I hardly know, a funder when I was dropping off a grant application.  Really?  Really you just asked me that?  The answer to that question not only is personal, but it's complicated.  I'm not even comfortable telling pure strangers in person (not through the protection of somewhat anonymity online) about my heart condition let alone how it would affect a pregnancy.  Why would I even think to tell someone I barely know?  Why would you even think to ask that question is what I wanted to ask her.  But I bit my tongue and laughed it off, saying something about Aubrey being a toddler and not wanting to deal with another one just yet. 

It's tough.  Having the scare a few weeks ago where I legitimately considered the reality that I was having a heart attack frightened me.  Something seriously bad could have happened.  It didn't, but it could have.  It's a reality I have to face, even more so as I get older.  I know, I know, I'm not old, per se, but I've had this condition my whole life.  I'm getting older.  Doctors have said the chances of surgery increase with age.  Home girl takes two medications for blood pressure and took three rather strong ones during my pregnancy.  It's some serious shit (pardon my language). 

I have scheduled a cardiologist appointment.  I was holding off...technically this was supposed to have been done in April.  T kept pushing me and pushing me to schedule it, so I finally did after my scare.  I don't expect anything to happen.  I have no doubt it'll be all clear.  BUT, I also know I need to ask some tough questions.  And I'm afraid of the answers.  And then I really don't want to face the discussion T and I will need to have afterwards.  But I scheduled it.  Begrudgingly. 

Will we have another child?  I don't know, and when we do decide, I won't say.  That decision lies between me, T, and God.  Well, and my cardiologist.  He's kind of like God in that he's the one in control, in addition to God, of my heart.  There are so many things I have to pray about, really consider, and I don't know what in the world we'll decide.  But I do know when we do, you'll know when you'll know.  Unless you are that lady.  I won't be telling her. :-)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Interesting little tidbits

Short on ideas the other day for a blog post, CW Martin suggested I write a little bit about some of the more intriguing things I have discovered and written about through my Examiner posts.  Because he's awesome and follows me regularly, which you can totally do, too, of course, I listened to his ideas and thought "Hey, that is a great idea!" 

 Here are a few of the stories I have written, the more interesting ones....
As a lawyer, I have to love these law suits.  It's like the McDonald's "hot coffee" law suit.  People will sue for anything, and honestly, I can't sit on here and hate on attorneys who take these cases.  I think they're ridiculous, and if anyone came to me and asked me to head up a law suit on this type of issue, I'd tell them they are barking up the wrong tree.  But, this attorney did make quite a bit of money suiting this corporation.  Read the entire article, but basically, people sued in a class action suit saying that they were relying on a 2009 advertisement for Frosted Mini Wheats that said it was clinically proven to improve attention spans.  Not sure that's much of a claim, but to also say you relied on it and that is the sole reason you bought Frosted Mini Wheats?  Come are just looking for some money.  It's too bad, though, because I'm pretty certain I bought Frosted Mini Wheats during that time period, but I know I bought them because they are damn good.  Not because they would improve my attention span.  But oh well...

Hey!  I hear Lucky Charms actually  brings you to the end of rainbows!
Being silent can be held against you in a court of law:

I'm kind of against this decision.  I understand the need to protect the safety of the public and to get to the bottom of a criminal investigation, but....I also realize that not everyone out there is truly educated in constitutional law.  The best most people see is from Law and Order or similar shows on television.  "You have the right to remain silent..." being told to suspects as they are arrested.  But what most people don't realize is the police question suspects prior to determining to arrest.  This practice is fairly common.  I see it all the time when watching COPS (out of morbid curiosity, of course), and it's not surprising to see people just spilling details of what happened.  Details that will be used against them in court because, well, they are statements incriminating themselves.  And they aren't under arrest so technically they aren't entitled to be informed of their Fifth Amendment rights.  So when I read that SCOTUS ruled that mere silence while the police questions a suspect prior to arrest can be used against them as some sort of indication of guilt, I cringed.  I see this becoming a problem.  Expecting the average person to just say "Hey!  I have Fifth Amendment rights here!" and then be silent?  That's a stretch.  But that's just me...I'm sure there are different opinions out there, but I enjoyed writing about this.
Oh, Detroit.  Having a husband who is from Flint and whose parents live just outside the great city of Detroit, I had to write about this.  Michigan's Attorney General ruled that the city couldn't sell priceless works of art in order to pay off its $15 billion in debt.  It kind of surprised me that the city was even considering this.  Selling art isn't the first thing I'd think of when looking to find money.  But the decision stated that the artwork was not really property to be sold, but rather the city held it in "charitable trust" for the citizens of Michigan.  So, bad, Detroit, bad.  Shame on you!  (Sorry, I find this somewhat humorous.)

Last one...this one is pretty controversial: 

Search warrant to install GPS tracking device on suspect's car issued based solely on suspect's Facebook activity

Not sure how I feel about this one either, but apparently a trial court in Hamilton County, Indiana, signed a search warrant, allowing police to install a GPS tracking device on a suspect in a drug investigation's car based on damning Facebook and Instagram activity.  No interviews, nothing other than social media activity was stated in the probable cause affidavit.  I mean, I'm all for using social media statements and pictures as evidence people in court because, let's face it, people are pretty stupid about what they post.  Really, people will air out the dumbest things.  And if you put something out there, it is going to be used against you.  I did this many a time in my Department of Child Services cases, printing screen shots of Facebook messages on people's walls.  But installing a tracking device on someone's car?  I do see some argument there against First Amendment rights of free speech.  BUT, if you're dumb enough to pose with drugs, money and firearms in a picture, not using pretty tight privacy settings?  You deserve to have an investigation against you.  But does it warrant putting a tracking device on someone's car?  I'm leaving that up to you all.

See?  I have you yearning for more, don't I?  Well, then you will just have to subscribe!  If you open these stories, click "Subscribe" and then confirm through an email that will be sent to you.  I'll share more interesting tidbits as I learn them.  For now, I'm going to go get me some Frosted Mini Wheats because I'm having a hard time focusing...


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Love is a verb

Over the course of the weekend, T and I took a day for "us" and participated in a 'Celebrate Marriage' retreat held by our church's marriage ministry.  I've been wanting to go this forever because I know the couple who started this ministry at our church, and is not often that T and I get to take couple time. Combine that with free daycare, and I was there.  And no...this is not a retreat where couples go when their marriages are in trouble, so don't think that.  It's one of those take time out of our busy lives, reflect on where we came from, where we are and where we will go in our relationship.  And it was amazing. 
Something that was discussed really hit close to home because it's so very true, and it's something that you don't always think about.  It was the statement that love isn't a feeling.  Love is a verb.  It's something you do.  So often couples say "we fell in love" or "we fell out of love."  The presenters said something that hit me in one of those "wow" moments.  You don't "fall" out of love.  You don't lose a feeling.  Every day, I wake up next to T, I actively make the decision to work on our relationship.  I have to.  Love is a verb.  I love T, meaning I put work into our relationship.  I choose to really put effort into making our relationship strong.  I feel like I'm rambling here, but basically you don't fall out of love with someone.  You make the decision to stop working on the relationship.  And when I said "I do" I didn't just say "I do so long as everything is rainbows and ponies and nothing ever gets hard."  I said I do to good times and bad, health scares, mice in the house, toddler tantrums every day, job stress, all of it. 
Thinking about it, I'm not sure that I can say that I have been putting the effort into my marriage that it deserves.  Things get busy.  Our lives get in the way.  Aubrey.  We focus so much on our job of being parents, and no matter what we said before she came into our lives about how we'd put us first and nurture our relationship, that isn't always happening.  We got some time to really reflect and just talk about just that, "us."  And we were reminded of who we were and who we still are. 
Coming upon the 5 year anniversary of my first date with T on the 25th, I'm brought back to that day and the feelings of excitement and happiness that I had.  I still feel those. 
Love is a decision, one I make every day.  And it's the easiest one to make, but sometimes it takes a step back for me to realize that.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Random random random

I seriously cannot for the life of me come up with a decent and heartfelt blog post as I sit here writing this on Sunday watching Family Guy.  Honestly, I've looked at this screen for a good 15 minutes and yeah...nothing.  Damn.
So you get random thoughts on this fine Monday - enjoy!
So I have this unusual obsession with Brian Williams.  Seriously, I love Brian Williams.  I used to be a huge Matt Lauer fan, but with that whole Ann Curry thing, I've now become a tried and true Brian Williams fan.  Did you know he was actually in a episode of Sesame Street?  I am flipped out when I saw that.  He just did a cameo during Family Guy and couldn't stop smiling.  I heart Brian Williams, especially when he is on The Daily Show.
And speaking of The Daily Show, I'm going to miss Jon Stewart something fierce but...John Oliver is doing okay so far.  I'm loyal, I'll stick to it...what can I say? 
This weekend T and I participated in a very moving and worthwhile church event.  Part of it involved turning of the cell phone for the day (relax, Aubrey was at the daycare set up and we would know if she wasn't doing well), and not having a cell phone or computer?  It felt weird but it was also kind of nice.  Maybe I should do this more often. 
Aubrey kind of took revenge on us at church that night after being left at the daycare thing.  Seriously, I have never seen her that bad at church.  I was in tears by the time the mass was over, not because I was moved or anything but because she had taken the spirit out of me and killed me from the inside.  She did better on Sunday, but seriously, that wasn't cool, Aubrey. 
She's learned a lot of things in daycare, and it's funny because we're seeing it every day.  She knows the Wheels on the Bus, and the other day she kept twirling in circles saying "ashes, ashes," so we figured out she was doing ring around the rosies.  I'm not sure if that was a good or bad thing that we figured out because Mommy spent the afternoon spinning around and then falling to the floor and getting back up.  It's not kind to Mommy's knees, let me tell you.
Lastly, it was a great Father's Day, I think...I mean, it wasn't my holiday but I think T enjoyed it...time playing with Aubrey, taking a family walk, and I made him a homemade, baked spaghetti dinner.    It was delicious. 
So that's what you get for the random day this week...I need to come up with something good to write for the rest of the week...ideas, anyone?
I'll be good if I don't start this week with a trip to the E.R.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all of you dads out there!  Today I'll be treating T to his favorite meal and taking care of Aubrey while we let him sleep in.  It's his day, after all!  Anyway, here's a huge shout out to the special men in my life.  Happy Father's Day!
To the love of my life and the best Daddy Aubrey could ever ask for....

To my father, the best Daddy a girl could ever ask for....

And best Grandpa, too....(Aubrey is lucky and has two wonderful Grandpas, but I only feel comfortable exposing my family...ha)

To my bro, who is one awesome father himself...

And up in heaven to my guardian angel...
And Happy Father's day to the rest of you out there!  And to you moms who play the role of both mom AND dad.  Personally, I think this is your day, too!  Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The writing bug

Happy Saturday, everyone!  Keeping up with the daily I'm writing this a day in advance since T and I will be at a church retreat all day.  It'll be nice not actually having access to a computer for the day.  Maybe, just maybe, I can focus on my thoughts and not Facebook? 
Anyway, so speaking of focusing too much on the Internet, your home girl here has been crazy with the writing.  So if you haven't already, you should definitely subscribe to my topics on The Examiner.  You have to subscribe to topics separately, but I get paid extra per subscriber.  And you get handy dandy emails when I publish a new article.  I write on Indianapolis Nonprofit Issues; local Greenwood Family/Parenting Issues, and Johnson County and South Central Indiana Court Issues
While, yes, not all of you live in Indiana, I don't just focus locally.  My favorite article thus far?  People who sued Kellogg's because they thought that the commercials saying that Frosted Mini-Wheats improved attention spans was actually true.  Yeah....I mean, I'm an attorney and am all for getting justice and stuff but seriously?  Come on, people.
I have to say, writing for The Examiner, while not lucrative, has bit me with the writing bug.  I used to love this stuff.  Journalism was my major, and I was passionate about it, like I am about the law.  I could pump out stories like nobody's business.  I don't know...maybe this is something I should pursue further? 
So if you all want to be my bestest friends in the entire world?  Subscribe, subscribe!  And I'll be your forever friend, and we can braid each other's hair and skip rope. 
Happy Saturday everyone!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

T, I have a special post for you from someone very special.  She can't type, so I'm going to type for her as she dictates what she wants said :-)

Dear Daddy,
I'm too little to write, so Mommy is writing this.  I sure hope she writes all of it.  She types fast.  And I want to touch her computer, but she won't let me.
Daddy, I loved you as soon as they put me in your warm arms.  I was so scared and cold, and you made me feel so much safer. But you did have those weird glasses and that mask on.

You always make me smile.  I love when you pick me up from school and get me out of the car.  I love walking to the mailbox with you.

I love to give you kisses, too.  But not when you have that weird fur on your face.  But I love you anyway.


 Sometimes you and Mommy put me in weird outfits.  But it's okay, only if you don't call me your little monkey.  Or Missy Muffin.  And never ever Sweet Gum Drop.

Sometimes your sneezes scare me, and sometimes I think you and Mommy are crazy, but you always give me food.  And I like food.
You take me to fun places where I can see all of these cool things.  There's always so much to look at.
We always have so much fun together when we play.  I love playing blocks and riding my car with you. I love when you sing Snuggle Puppy and Pajama Time to me.

I even love you when you kiss and eat my toes.  You always say you're eating my piggies, but they are toes, Daddy.  Toes, not piggies.

I think you're the best Daddy I could ever ask for.  And I have done a lot of thinking.  You are the best Daddy ever.

So I wanted Mommy to make sure you knew.  I love you so so much, Daddy.  Now let's go play with the blinds!


 Happy Daddy's Day, Daddy.  I hope you like my letter.  Maybe next year I will write it all by myself.  I'll be a big girl then.

Love you, Aubrey

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Reality check

So this is to follow up to yesterday's post....Monday night, it hit me.  A harsh reality check.  I've been in denial about it, but a scare was all I need to snap back to reality. And here it is...

I need to get my shit under control.

Sounds harsh?  Well, it is.  I am not invincible.  I can't just say "oh, yeah, I stress a lot and have a heart condition...but oh, it's not a big deal."  Or laugh off the fact that I barely skated by in stress management.  Because while, yes, it's funny.  You know what?  It's also sad. 

Monday night, as T and I were talking about the scare, the words "heart attack" being thrown out by the doctors and nurses assisting me.  And I thought back to a few months ago when an attorney I worked with in the Columbus area passed away suddenly from a heart attack.  He was 38, and he was extremely healthy, only 38 years old, wife, two young children, a wonderful person and attorney.  He complained of chest pain and went to the doctor to get it checked out and was given an okay on his health.  He woke up one Saturday morning, went to the gym to exercise, and he collapsed and died.  No warning, no reason. 

Monday when I was at work, and I noticed that the chest pain was getting worse, I momentarily thought "Oh, Alaina, just brush it off.  It's nothing."  It was T, really, who talked me into it.  The entire time I was at the E.R., I apologized to every nurse and medical technician who helped me.  "Oh, I'm sure that I'm here for no reason.  It's probably nothing."  At one point I told the nurse I felt foolish for coming in and maybe I was making a big deal out of nothing.  But she assured me, no, that's not the case at all. 

See, heart issues with women are not usually those huge moments you see on TV.  Someone clutches their chest and collapses.  The nurse told me that normally you have these symptoms that cause you mild pain and discomfort but most women brush them off.  And, as my brother pointed out to me the other day, I have a heart condition.  I can't brush these off.  I can't do that.  I have a baby and a husband who depend on and need me.  I can't play fast and hard with my health, and when things like this happen, screw being paranoid, get it checked out. 

The diagnosis I received comes from stress.  Depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart burn...all of these conditions I have.  All of them come from stress.  When is enough enough?  Seriously.  I worry to the point where I worry about worrying.  And look what it is doing to me.  It is literally making me sick.  And it could very well kill me.  I'm not being dramatic either by saying this.  On Monday I had the phrase "we need to rule out cardiac" when I was being examined.  And it scared the living crap out of me. 

I need to change my focus.  And I need to let things go.  How to do that, I don't know, but I have to.  I have no choice.  If Monday wasn't a wake up call, I don't know what is.  I know there will be stress in my life, people who bring drama, but I have control over how it affects me.  And I have the free will to say no and walk away.  And it's well overdue that I start. 

Granted, I know that I can't control everything.  No one would have known that that young attorney would die.  These things happen.  But I do have to listen to my body, listen to how I feel and take care of myself.  Because there are people out there who depend on me, and well....this is the only life I have. 

So there was my wake-up call. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

A lesson on relaxing

Second Blooming
This week's Spin Cycle brought to you by Gretchen at Second Blooming is on the subject of relaxing.  This subject is almost laughable to me.  I don't relax.  It's not in my nature.  Hell, you're talking to the girl who got a B minus in a class called Stress Management during my junior year at IU.  So relaxing isn't my best skill. 
But apparently it's one I need to do.  Because I had quite the scare yesterday, and it was mostly if not all due to emotional stress.
I woke up Monday morning with some sharp pain in my left chest whenever I breathed in.  Thinking it was asthma-related, I took my inhaler and took Aubrey to daycare and headed to work.  Well, once I was at work, the pain when I breathed in worsened so I called my doctor to see what I should do.  My inclination was to just tough it out and say it was nothing, no big deal.  But the doctor said I should get it checked out, and seeing as I was 45 minutes away from home, I reluctantly made the decision to go to the local E.R.  So I texted T this, who was at home, and drove myself there.  (My staff was just about ready to tackle me and drive me themselves, but I'm stubborn.)
So I get there, tell the check-in lady that my left chest hurts, it is a sharp pain when I breathe, my shoulder was aching and I was short of breath.  Oh, and I have high blood pressure and a congenital heart defect.  So they took me right back without waiting.  That kind of alarmed me because that's not normal.  The nurse took my vitals and immediately sent me to a room.  Before I knew it all sorts of electrodes and monitors were being hooked up to me and about five different people were in there asking me questions. 
I think I started freaking out right about the time I told the nurse that this was nothing and I was being foolish for being there, and she said that heart attack symptoms in women were not as noticeable as you see on T.V. and that we needed to rule out if my symptoms were cardiac in nature.  What the what?  So at this point, I just wanted to cry.  I was alone, T was 45 minutes away, and my age, with my heart condition and how much stress I put on myself, it's not like this was some far-off conclusion. 
So I had an exam, an EKG, a chest x-ray, and some other tests, and it was ruled that I had inflammation of the muscles under my ribs or costochondritis.  Something that can trigger this?  Emotional stress.  (See previous posts.)  And when I say see previous posts, I mean, start reading my  blog from May 2010 and then see this diagnosis.  That and it could be aggravated from heavy lifting.  You mean, lifting my 30 lb. toddler has its negatives?  What are you talking about?
So clearly something has to give.  Nain needs to relax.  I need to let go of some stuff, learn to cope with things in a different way.  Maybe I need to crack open that old stress management workbook? 
So while this may not be the take other Spinners do on the whole relax concept, this is how it affects me this week.  I think the experience has scared me enough into realizing that maybe, just maybe, I need to figure this out.  Because stress is quite literally making me sick. 
Relax, Nain, relax. 

Weeknd do-over

So I should probably explain about yesterday's post.  I haven't completely given up as a parent, was definitely one of those weekends where I didn't really like my child, as much as I love her with my whole heart.  I hate saying that, I really do.  But it's like she woke up Saturday and Sunday on a mission to do everything possible to push all buttons we had, do everything she knows she shouldn't, just to get a reaction. 
And it worked.  No, not at first...Saturday, T and I did pretty well just trying to tell her no, but not really lose our cool.  I thought for sure after her mid-day  nap that she'd wake up in a better mood.  Ha, silly Mommy.  Nope.  In the morning and the afternoon, I took her out in her wagon, trying to at least get her  out and maybe distract her.  But she threw a tantrum during the walk.  I'd put on Sesame Street.  Tantrum.  I mean, nothing was working. 
We had the best of intentions of going to mass together.  But that didn't happen.  I think it was the hour-long screamfest that really made that decision.  And when I say screamfest, I mean it.  It's almost funny.  She throws herself on the ground like an NBA player who just got fouled.  But even more dramatic.  I try not to laugh but that didn't work.  And I think about 45 minutes into it we realized that yeah, we weren't bringing her to church.  I mean, I did consider just throwing her in the holy water to see if whatever demon was inside of her would escape but we don't have any young priests at our church...and I seem to recall needing a young priest AND an old priest for an exorcism. 
She calmed down for T when I was at church but both nights we had our reenacted scenes from the Hitchcock movies.  I felt awful because I actually looked forward to going to work and sending her to daycare. 
So I'm pretty much the worst mom ever, right? 
She had her sweet moments, too.  She isn't without those.  Sunday's nap made her a little happier, and we did manage to make it to a new park with friends.  And I even got her to head bop and jam to Ice Cube's "Today was a good day."  I might as well pass on some good habits, right?
Look at that little belly pudge sticking out behind that seat belt.

She did love the swing. 
Aside from that,'s Father's Day this weekend?  What the what?  I'm not sure what calendar I was looking at, but I thought I had 2 more weeks for that.  Yikes.  Better get on that ASAP.  Anyone else miss the boat on that one?
I do demand a weekend do-over, just so you know.  Next weekend.  Next weekend....

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sorry guys....

I am posting because I swore that I would post every day this month, but really...I've got nothing.  I am but a shell of a person.  I have been beaten and bruised.  By this:
oh don't let that adorable smile fool you.  There's a demon in there.  It's just cleverly disguised behind those curls, those big blue eyes and that little grin. 
Waving the white flag.  And getting me a glass of wine.