Tuesday, February 27, 2018

I sit here,staring at my screen, wishing I could just pick up and go.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Many Merry Thank Yous This Christmas

  R  R  Y     H  R  I  S  T  A  S

You Did This.  Thank You All For Your Help.

My kids are so happy


Friday, May 23, 2014


okay, I'm not sure where to start, but I want to write this down.

Today is May 23rd, 2014. On March 9, 2014, my 38th birthday, I almost took my own life by overdosing on sleeping pills. There is a long story to this, but honestly it didn't start out as me wanting to die; really it didn't end with that thought either.

I find myself looking back on the events of that day and the night before. I am head over heals in love with my best friend, who does not feel the same way. {We'll call him Ed} Over many years we have been friends with benefits. The night before I had "implied" that I wanted to wake up on my birthday to him being home in bed with me. His response was, "nimodos." Which is Mexican slang that loosely translates to, "oh well, get over it." Which hurt my feelings because he is my BEST friend and I thought he should be with me on my birthday. {There is some back story here I should get into. He is very promiscuous, whereas I am/was very monogamous to him even though we weren't in a relationship because of how I feel for him.} We argued for a bit and I ended up going to bed sad and alone. When I woke up in the morning, (my birthday) I was still feeling very withdrawn and could not even consider being happy. It was around 8am that I sent him a text basically saying I give up and since I'm such a problem he would never hear from me again. I turned off my phone. Now know at the time, I honestly just meant I wouldn't bother him anymore, but I worded it so that if he cared at all, he would come to me instead of me always worrying about him. At this point I went back to bed. I couldn't sleep, so I took 2 of my amytriptiline that mt doctor had given me to help with my insomnia. 
{amitriptyline /am·i·trip·ty·line/ (am″ĭ-trip´tĭ-lēn) a tricyclic antidepressant with sedative effects; also used in treating enuresis, chronic pain, peptic ulcer, and bulimia nervosa.}
I never really thought I wanted to die. I wanted him to think I did. I wanted him to come rushing home to make sure I was okay. As I lay there in my bed, not sleeping, I think that maybe if I take 2 more pills my mind will stop racing and I will sleep. I lay there...awake, still thinking. So I take 2 more pills. I don't know how many times I repeated the cycle of laying there thinking and taking 2 more pills, but it seemed like a lot. At some point, as I went to take 2 more, I had very little motor control, so I poured the bottle of pills into my hand. I tried to count them and couldn't. At this point I was thinking, "well that should be enough, if I take them all, my brain will have to stop one way or another." I took them all!

The kicker is, my brain never shut down. I never stopped thinking, only now I couldn't move or open my eyes. Friends started coming by to tell me happy birthday, even my mom stopped by. Everyone just thought I was asleep, so they left me alone. "Ed" did get my text message and it must not have taken him long to realize that my phone was off because he called some friends who were in the area to come check on me. They tried to wake me. They shook me, slapped me and yelled at me. They cried. They called "Ed" and he rushed over to me as fast as he could. He realized I had taken pills, so he flipped me over and shoved his fingers down my throat to try and make me vomit. He called 911 and my mom. My brain was still awake. I heard everyone and everything. In my head I thought, "just leave me alone, I want to sleep." My mom threw water in my face, my daughter cried, and the paramedics used smelling salts to wake me. As soon as they would remove the salts, I would go right back out. Based on what little information they could get from me during each "salts" moment, they figured out what I took. They started an IV and put me on a gurney. After this, I blacked out completely. {I'm pretty sure all this was within an hour of my laying down to sleep} I woke up in the hospital ER at night, maybe 8 or 9PM, it was still my birthday. My mom was there. My longest, best female friend was going to be back soon Mom said. "Ed" had been there and my kids had been there. The nurse banned "Ed" from the ER because whenever he spoke, they said my blood pressure spiked dangerously high. I was in and out for hours.

I voluntarily agreed to be committed to a behavioral health facility in my area. I spent night 1 at the ER and nights 2-4 in the mental hospital. Mostly I slept and cried. The paramedics reported my incident to Child Protective Services. It has been 2 months; Mom has to be with me everyday while my kids are home. I'm required to have a "Safety Monitor" 18 or older with me. I have a Family Preservation team at my home 3 days a week, plus weekly visits from CPS.
I had been off of my psych meds for about 4 years and had not been to a psychiatrist in just as long. In conjunction with being off my meds, the amitriptyline I had been taking for 2 months prescribed to me by my PCP for sleep had mood altering effects that I was unaware of and they may very well have led me down the path to get me where I was. I am back on my meds with a whole new diagnosis. I take an anti-histamine based sleep aid now that was prescribed by my psychiatrist. I am okay. I am still in love. I am still sad. I am coping. I am ALIVE!
Taking to Twitter-TheBloggess a couple of weeks ago helped me open up to tell my story. Thank You Jenny for your kind reply.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Politics! YAY!

So today was an interesting day for me. At the end of our day at church supporting my daughter's freedom of religion, the Deacon came up to me and invited me to join our congregation's representatives at a political conference in Phoenix, AZ to discuss some of the current issues that are affecting our community. Barring the religious aspect of this campaign, it is a tremendous opportunity for someone of little means and resources, like myself, to finally be heard. There are so many things that I feel strongly about. Human rights being the biggest (and realistically, the only) one. I am completely unsure of the topic that the most current conference, but I have been told that there are several of these conferences coming up. I really hope I can make a difference.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Define American

So this weekend I was told that basically because I am poor and voted Democrat, that it is questionable about whether or not I am "anti-American". This same person, when I was 17 and pregnant, tried to get my to marry one of his illegal co-workers because, "he's a good worker and I'd hate to lose him." At which point I was accused of being racist because I wouldn't agree to it and marry someone I didn't love (not the first time mind you that this particular person accused me of such a thing). Tonight I sit here and think about what it means to be an American. As an American, it is our duty to follow the news, register to vote and select who we feel is the best candidate. To honor our country, accept the President elected by the people, obey laws and honor our flag. [I'm going to stop here for a moment to mention that honoring our flag does not include reciting the words "under God" but to stand up, place your right hand over your heart and pledge allegience to the flag of the United States of America.] We, as Americans are free to think for ourselves and believe whatever we desire to believe. I was born in the United States of America, I do support our Constitution. I believe ALL men, women and children were created equal, no matter race, gender, creed, color, religion, or sexual orientation. I am NOT anti-American, I am pro-humanity, pro-compassion, and pro-freedom of choice. Tonight I will go to bed proud to be Melodie Ann Bowman and the next time anyone tries to question my dedication to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (any damn way I see fit to find it) I will cut them out of my life for good.

Sometimes I just get tired of being told what to think/feel...

Religion vs Gay Marriage

Religion vs Gay Marriage
(I never really finished this post, I found it in my drafts and figured I'd put it up)

I am not sure how one relates to the other.

Marriage in a church, performed by a member of clergy: Religion

Marriage performed in a courtroom by a judge: Civil

As far as I know, the church has the option to allow, or not, weddings to be performed by their clergy and on their sites at their own discretion.

I know the church my daughter goes to does not even perform ceremonies for non-pledging members in good standing. I would think that would be pretty standard at most churches.

If the specific church was not supportive of gay marriage, they likely would not have pledging members in good standing that were gay.

Separation of Church and State: The government shall pass no law that honors any religious institution.

Why are there laws passed to preserve the sanctity of marriage if not for religious purposes?

In some research I learned that marriage was originally the equivalent to selling off your child in order to provide for the rest of your family.

Marriage did not originate from love.

Marriage licensing by the state was intended to regulate and limit incest.

Marriage according to the Bible is between a man and a woman and divorce is frowned upon. Second marriages following a divorce seemed to be non-existent. Although adultery is a violation of the 10 commandments, it seems to run rampant in the Bible.

Old Testament rules seemed to have been disregarded in the New Testament.

Old Testament = Hebrew   /   New Testament = Christian

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bad Day

Yesterday something happened that triggered an apparent panic attack, but I don't know what it was.

Around 2 PM I was playing online and all of the sudden my heart rate went up noticeably a lot. I got up to go to the bathroom and I almost fell over backwards onto the toilet from the dizziness. As it progressed I worried about it and looked it up online, I got the "Alert! seek immediate emergency services" warning. I disregarded it because there was no chest pain. I was relieved when I finally got to the possible diagnosis list and on it were both Panic Attack and General Anxiety Disorder. Since I have previously been diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder I assumed that was the one.

At 3 o'clock I had to go out and get my kids from the bus. I was still feeling pretty crappy and mostly tired and short of breath by this point. But I sucked it up and just took care of business. Once we got back to the house, about 3:30 PM, I laid on the couch and watched the History Channel in hopes that I would eventually calm my heart and relax. I fell asleep. At about 6:30 PM I woke up and went upstairs to bed. My kids were really good, I guess because they could tell I wasn't feeling well, they did all their chores and fed themselves. (We have lists and schedules because my son is Autistic and so as a general rule now they are pretty self sufficient) I woke up about 8:45 PM and realized I had to take care of a few household things before going to bed for the night. I guess whatever it was had passed because I was wide awake and able to tend to the cat litter box and turn off everything around the house and lock up. By 9:30 PM I was back to bed and in for the night.

I woke up this morning with a terrible back ache, undoubtedly from all the laying down with my Degenerative Disk Disease. Today I feel fine. A little guilty about yesterday, but mostly fine.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sometimes Family Sucks

I've had a rough day just from one person's rotten comments. I expected more from her and I grew up thinking she had everything. I wanted to be just like her. As an adult I realized I didn't want to be like her, but I still had this idea of her that kept her high up in my heart. About a month ago, she brought reality crashing down, my spirit and idea were crushed. This morning, she cemented over top of the idea with hate in such a way that it suffocated and died. So now, even a jackhammer can't rescue my idea. Now my heart just hurts in the way that one feels when a loved one passes away. Hopefully the idea won't haunt me like a ghost for the rest of eternity.

I wrote this on facebook about some things my aunt said to me. I guess as I have gotten older I have realized my ideas about my family were created whilst wearing rose colored glasses...

BTW, I logged on to post this and noticed I've reached over 1000 page views! That is awesome. Thank you for reading and I'm sorry I haven't been on much.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Sorry So Long

It's been awhile since I've made a post. Politics, church, Girl Scouts, sleep study, med checks, hospital visits and other medical things have kept me on my toes.

 I'm tired, I don't sleep. I take care of everyone I can. I have been running my mom, my grandma, my kids and myself to every appointment under the sun. I'm taking care of the neighbor boy because his mom is a putz. He's with us so much that people actually think he is my child.

This election was crazy, mud slinging at it's worst. I usually never get involved in politics, but this term was important to me. I spent a lot of my time researching issues and testing the limits of my family and friends. I lost a few, but then I guess they weren't my friends to begin with.

My daughter is slowing her role in all of the church activities. She dropped choir. I don't want her to give up her faith because it is hers after all. I am still encouraging her to go, but in the end it is her choice. I only go to support her, so when she isn't there, I obviously am not either. Recently we found out that the Reverend is relocating to a new parish after 15 years at this one. We have only been there a year, but it is still sad to see him go.

My oldest son (18) decided he was withdrawing himself from high school and at this point, has no plans to continue his education.

My younger son has been a pleasure. I love him. I took him the other day to get a haircut. His face is so bright when he's clean cut.

Next haircut is mine. I totally want to do something different. Short but not too short. I just get tired of maintaining long one length hair. 98% ish of the time, it is up in a pony or clipped to my head. So I'm just going to do away with it. I'm thinking it will lighten the load, reduce some headaches and refresh my brain.

My neighbors are moving and not taking their cat. I hate when people do that. So it's likely I will be feeding another cat (I already have 3), but this one is going to stay outside...maybe

My love (friend) in prison is getting ready to be deported to Mexico when his sentence is up. He was raised here in Arizona, so it is going to be quite an adjustment for him. I'm working on getting my passport so that I can go see him when his mom drives down. The good thing about where we live, it's not much to drive to Mexico for the weekend, or even the day for that matter.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sometimes Dad's Suck (updated)

Over the course of the last week I have had a long tedious argument with my dad on facebook about the history of the pledge and freedom of religion, civil rights, and gay marriage. To me it all boils down to everyone having the right to live their life and respecting everyone's right to do so.

In this conversation I sent my dad an e-mail and I ended it with,

"I do love you and I do respect your beliefs. I however feel like you don't respect mine which is why I continue to argue. Mom says it's because I was raised by you and I'm just like you. So maybe we should agree to not discuss it any further ever again? What do you say?"

Well, I got a long drawn out response about how God saved him and how he's chosen to ignore some of my facebook posts about women's rights, gay rights, and political debates. Never once did he say he respected my right to have my beliefs, in fact he basically said, yea let's not talk about it anymore or else I won't love you anymore.

"I think your Mom is right, there are some things we really shouldn't discus. I do love you and would like to keep it that way"

So if we don't agree, and we discuss it, he can't love me anymore? Seriously? I wanted to tell him to FUCK OFF!! But being the respectful daughter I told him

" I noticed that in your response you did not dispute the fact that I said I feel like you don't respect my choice of beliefs and that says a lot to me about our relationship. I am glad that your beliefs have helped you get through your tough, even toughest times. But you also have to realize that I have gone through some really tough times as well without having the same beliefs. We should all respect eachother's beliefs. This is the last I plan to say on the subject but just remember that in all of our years I have never told you I thought your thoughts or beliefs were bullshit, but over and over you have told me that mine are."

I have to get off here now, but I needed to share this. I am hurt more deeply than I ever believed possible by the man who raised me as his own, even though he is technically my ex-step-father, he is and has been as far back as I can remember, my dad.

update: got a couple of new emails from my dad, but basically it boils down to he said he didn't mean it the way I took it. I feel better but nothing is really better. Mostly I just realized he is insensitive unintentionally and it's just the way things are.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Back Pain...Updated

So this past Thursday morning, my whole world came to a screaching halt.
A little history, when I was 20ish I hurt my back. I'm 36 now and have been living with a range of back pain and I suffer from degenerative disk disease in the L5/S1 region.
So I'm sitting in an old fashioned rocking chair, typing on messenger to my mom. All I did was push up with my hands on the armrests and used my right foot to turn myself to get comfortable. Suddenly this sharp, stabbing, radiating pain locked me ino position and I was stuck. I couldn't release my weight from my arms or my leg. The lower right side of my back and hip were in so much pain. Luckily my kids hadn't left for school yet and I was able to get my daughter to type to my mom for me.  I sent the kids off to the school bus, my mom got here 20 minutes later and I was still stuck in the same position. My hands were numb and my leg was twitching.
My mom currently is suffering from a torn rotator cuff and I weigh at least 100lbs more than her so she couldn't help me so she ended up calling 911. I swear there were 20 firefighters in my house. After an IV and something that made me super dizzy, but didn't stop the pain, they were ale to get me to stand and guided me down the U shaped set of 15 steps down to my livingroom so they could get me on the gurney.
At the hospital, the CT showed what I already knew about my spine degeneration. The doctors of course then determined that I either sprained or strained my back and in the process pinched the cyatic nerve.
So I'm at home, in bed, on pain meds. Taking short walks to and from the bathroom with a cane. I went down stairs with some help from my 18 year old son and his friend. I also was able to take a sort of shower today. I will not be kept down from this. It is simply a setback. I love everyone in my life who has catered to my needs for the past couple of days. Without them I feel like I could have just given up. I'm feeling a ton better, but I am still very stiff and my meds are making me rather emotional.
I just felt like writing this all down.

Update 9/18/2012: I wrote the original post on 9/15/2012, I actually hurt myself 9/13/2012 but was on tons of pain meds/muscle relaxers. Today however is the first day I've been off all of that and my last dose of the 6 day steroid "dosepak" I just wanted to say, I'm up and around business as usual. My back is stiff and my stomach is too, but I'm functional. I have way too much to do to sit around and do nothing all day and letting the children take over my house. It looked like a scene from "Lord of the Flies" in my house. A tornado couldn't have done as much damage as my kids did. I swear without me their brains must just fall out onto the floor and they must walk on them or something. That and my cat has a nervous stomach and was stressed out and dropping little piles of stress all over the house to gross everyone out. So glad that's over.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Full Circles - This is a fun post (for me at least)

It is something that seems to happen to me often, and today is no different.

Yesterday I was looking up David Bowie movies and came across a movie I had never seen before.

The Prestige (IMDB Link - The Prestige)

In this movie, David Bowie plays the incredible scientist and inventor, Nikola Tesla. (Wiki Link - Tesla)

Today I decided to get the movie and as I was watching it, I also decided to check my Facebook. Interestingly enough, there is a post by The Oatmeal (FB Link - TheOatmeal) linking to an article about Nikola Tesla. (BBC News Link - Tesla)

After finishing the movie, I go back to my Facebook and I click the link to read the article. Within the article is a picture of David Bowie as Nikola Tesla.

David Bowie played Nikola Tesla in 2006 film The Prestige

Ah, how my life goes in circles    };o)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Irrational thoughts are just that, "irrational"

So today, Monday, September 10, 2012, the Bloggess posted about suicide prevention and awareness. She instructed us to give the reasons why we are still here and the things that get us through. My comment on her post was as follows:

The doctor always asks, “have you had any thoughts of committing suicide or hurting yourself?” I always answer, “no” It’s not true, but I think that they mean, “have you ever seriously considered it?” and then my answer is true. In fleeting moments, I imagine what it would be like to drive my car into a wall, or though a red light. Just because. Or what would happen if I just didn’t wake up. But then I think of my children and my mom. My poor mom. She would have to care for my children with all of their disorders AND deal with my death. That’s totally not fair. I’m still here because I can rationalize how fair/unfair and selfish of me it would be. And I believe in an afterlife, so I don’t think the suffering would end, but possibly go on forever…

Now, someone read my post and followed through to my blog to post their comment. It was a very welcomed comment and it actually made me feel like my "thoughts" are okay. The comment was left by an "unknown" but was:

I followed your comment on The Bloggess's post here because replying there seemed too messy. When my shrink asked me if I'd ever felt suicidal, I asked him to explain the question, since I frequently imagine situations that would cause my death. Buses going up on the sidewalk and hitting me, house fires, shootings, that kind of thing, as well as the "what if I wake up dead?" question. He told me he thought it might be something called persistent catastrophic thoughts, and it's actually an OCD symptom. Just wanted to share since once I had an explanation, those thoughts stopped bothering me and started just existing, and I thought the information might help you too.

Now, I want everyone to know that I truly have no intentions of hurting myself in any way. I sometime have the "what if" and "I wonder what it would 'feel' like" thoughts though. I actually have a low threshold for pain. I get no pleasure in any way out of injury or accident. It was funny that the person who commented mentioned fire. I have had an irrational fear of dying in a fire or losing all my "things". I'm aware that it is irrational. I am also aware that things are just that, "things". 

Anyway, I just wanted to share this and say thank you to the "unknown" person who made me feel better today. You have supplied me with my good thought for the day.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Am I Autistic too?


In terms of the distribution of the scores of the general population it can be said that the getting a score of:
11 – 22 is Average for most of the population.
22 – 31 Indicates that one has slightly higher than average autistic traits.
32 +     Shows a high degree of autistic tendencies
A score of 50 is the maximum that can be achieved with the AQ Test and indicates an extremely high degree of Autistic traits.
So I was looking at the preceding site today. I had previously taken the test on behalf of my son prior to having his doctor evaluate him for Asperger's Syndrome and for fun decided to take the test for myself. I scored a 37. Rightfully so, the site suggests anyone scoring 32 or above should seek medical advice. One of my biggest symptoms includes the inability to ask for assistance or in anyway be confrontational. I know that some people don't see those as the same, but to me they are. You see, anything that makes me anxious, relates to myself as confrontational. If, in the act of doing something, I feel I have to explain myself, it becomes confrontational. Now all of the mixed diagnoses that I have gotten over the years could most likely fit neatly into an Asperger's diagnoses and suddenly have an, "A-ha! That's what's wrong with me" kind of response. But I'm not feeling the "A-ha!" moment. Instead I'm feeling the, "It's all my fault my children have mental disorders and I should have known better that to have multiple children after knowing there was something wrong with the first one that the doctors tried to convince me to abort 5 months into my pregnancy because my initial screenings came back Downs Syndrome, but then the genetic testing came back as not Downs, so they were terrified it could be something completely different and probably worse" moments. So now I feel like i suck and I feel the depression coming on but I'm fighting it. I probably shouldn't have taken the test today anyway because I was already feeling a bit edgy and snippy beforehand. I've had what one can only assume is a stress headache now for almost a month and my medically diagnosed irritable bowel has been acting up. It's a slippery slope to be standing on I do believe. So far, I'm still standing though. And that is a plus. Mostly because I'm still standing AND I'm talking about it. Maybe not to real life human beings, but I am sharing it on the interwebs. I know you are real life human beings, but I don't see your judgement, so it's less like you are real to me. And now, I'm off to pet my cat. 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Rough Times Ahead

Well, school started for my kids about 5 weeks ago and so it seems we are only 4 weeks away from break time again. This year has been hectic, I have gone to meetings and doctors and extra-curricular activities pretty much non stop for the last 5 weeks. I get about half a day on Saturday to sleep in and then I have to clean from the previous week I neglected in all of the running around. I'm feeling tired and a bit ill. But that's not actually what I sat down intending to write about. From here I will shift gears.

I am used to the misbehavior of my boys. With the mental disabilities and social difficulties, one grows accustomed to certain "bad" behaviors. My daughter on the other hand, has always been the shining ray of normalcy in an otherwise turbulent existence. Until recently...

She will be 10 in a month, and I don't know if it is typical for a girl her age to develop an attitude and behavior issues or not, but these new "quirks" are taking a tole on my clarity of thought. I took her last week to get new shoes for school. Something practical that she can use to look cute and still wear for PE. Every time I suggested a pair of shoes, she would huff and roll her eyes. One of the times, I picked a pair of shoes I would have worn if I was her age and she proceeded to put her hand on her hip, flip her hair, roll her eyes, bob her neck and say, "I actually CARE how I look, mom." Yesterday I got an e-mail from her teacher regarding atypical behavior at school:

Krysta is having a VERY rough morning. She is off task, spinning in her seat and kicking the clipboards that are beside her desk.  She was verbally warned twice. When we started independent work time, she was digging and emptying and cleaning out her desk. I found her with a bunch of papers at her backpack and when I asked her what she was doing she stated she was "looking for her spare pencil."
Can you speak with her please? I'm not sure what's going on today.
Thank you.

Of course when she got home, I sat down to talk with her about this and she started making up things that were nothing to do with the topic. Then I read her the email and she looked at me and acted confused like she didn't understand what the teacher was talking about. The only part she acknowledged was that she needed another pencil because hers broke. She has increasingly been disregarding rules and directions.  I don't know what to do. In addition to the attitude, she has been lying and manipulating the situations around her and then cocks her head and bats her eyelashes at the problem. Sigh.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Update: I have 1 follower

So I just realized today that people can "follow" my blog page. I guess like Twitter has followers? However on Twitter I have at least 3 constant followers. I say or do nothing terribly interesting to warrant them though. I think I have more interesting things to say here than there. The 140 character limit does just that, limits me. You cannot limit creativity and free speech. I feel like I am intelligent, but I still need to learn more. I am not a professional writer, I am probably not even a "good" writer. I just write what I am thinking, feeling or the facts. I have never been consistent in my writing. I don't write on a schedule. I write if and when I wish to. And since I have no followers, there is no pressure. No pressure to write. No pressure to be good when I do. But alas, it saddens me today, to realize I have no followers. I only get post hits and comments if I post a comment at www.thebloggess.com or if I write something and share the link to the page on a controversial post online somewhere. I actually like watching the hit counter go up. Especially since I know that none of you know me. That none of you are obligated to be here or like what I say. None of my family nor friends even have a link to this page. I won't share on facebook, I won't give them my "pen name." I write for me, but I still like to see validation. On post with 0 hits, I feel like I've failed. Today this is just a private journal. No one but me keeping score.

Update: thanks for reading and following :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Non-Human Kids

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I love animals. The loneliest time in my life was from 2007-2011 when I actually went without ANY pets of any kind because of the restrictions on apartment rentals. I love animals of all kinds: dogs, cats, reptiles, rodents, etc... Currently though, I only have 3 cats and a turtle. I thought I could share some of the joy, so today I'm posting pictures of my non-human children.

Thank you for visiting. I hope you enjoyed them like I do.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Bloggess Is Awesome!

So yesterday, my 9 year old daughter and I went to The Bloggess book signing event at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, AZ. It was a wonderful (and nerve wracking) experience for both my daughter and myself.

On the way there we encountered the onset of a giant rolling dust storm, known here in AZ (at least) as a haboob.
Since we were extremely early, my daughter and I sat in the car in the parking lot for a few minutes before deciding to risk the fury of the dust and just go inside.

I had already bought my book during the pre-order prior to it's release so we knew we wouldn't get a seat, but wanted to be sure we were where we could see, so we stood in line basically from 5:30pm until the event started at 7:00pm. Where I was standing, I was actually lucky enough to see Jenny come in through the back door and head to what I imagine is the back room of the bookstore.
There were so many people, my anxiety almost got the best of me. I was sweating so profusely that the ends of my hair were soaked as if I had stuck them in a cup of water. It was disgusting.
When she came out, she apologized for bringing the monsoon with her and explained that she just learned the word "haboob" and she thought we were just spelling boob incorrectly.
Then she did a reading from her book. One of the most awesomely hysterical chapters of all time, in my opinion, "The Psychopath on the Other Side of the Bathroom Door".
After this, Jenny did Q&A and my daughter, who was super excited to be there, raised her hand. Jenny was sweet when she called on her, Jenny said "Yes adorable little kid in the back?" At which point my lovely daughter asked, "Why are you so awesome?" After all the awes from the crowd subsided, Jenny replied, "You're so sweet." My daughter was beside her self with happiness.
The line for book signing was basically in groups labeled A-H in the order they had pre-purchased the book, each containing about 25 people, and then the rest of us. We sat around patiently waiting for them to call each group to the line.
The lineup started at about 8:00pm and my daughter and I finally got to Jenny about 9:40pm.
She is the best! Super friendly and patient. She took the time for each person to do pictures and short chats.
When we got home, I set the book on my bed, where my cat Chewy decided he liked Jenny's book too and he laid down on it and fell asleep.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Shameless Popery vs. The Oatmeal

Let me start this post by stating that I am not anti religion; I am anti organized religion. I also believe in allowing everyone their beliefs, which is why I attend church every Sunday with my daughter (youngest of 3). She has been baptized (by her choice) and serves as a torch bearer (also her choice) during services.

To start, The Oatmeal is a webcomic, it is satirical in nature. As any comedian, they get their humor from life and exaggerate it to make their joke. The humor is in the mixed reality with the absurd. All comedy is like this.

Now back to my point, from the points listed at Shameless Popery:

I did not see The Oatmeal comic as specifically targeting Catholics. In fact, I saw Mormon, Jewish and Scientology specifically named. Although Catholic was implied in # 2, everything else was implied as Christianity as a whole.

1.) I have had some Catholic parishioners actually tell my eldest child that, "the devil is going to open the earth and snatch your mother to hell for not taking you to church." And yes, actually in those words. My son is now 18 and still, to this day, REFUSES to step foot on church grounds because now he believes church is all about threatening small children.

2.) The point the Oatmeal was making is that in many generations, what the church (yes I know, this looks like the Pope in this particular drawing, still think he wasn't TARGETING Catholicism) didn't understand about science tends to be deemed sacrilegious and shunned. Continued in point 3.

3.) I am not pro-life or anti-abortion, but I have CHOSEN to never have one myself. I am pro-choice. Stem cell research can save millions of lives. Although, the best stem cells come from embryos, stem cells can be harvested without killing embryos. I have seen stem cell studies that came from not only aborted fetuses/embryos, but also from amniotic fluids and placentas.  But again, sacrilegious and shunned due to what? The potential for encouraging abortions or test tube biological material?

4.) At Shameless Popery, this one seems to address The Oatmeal's final thought rather than the fourth panel in the webcomic.

5.) (panels 4-8? on The Oatmeal) I loved the color comparison to shoving religion down a child's throat vs. the explanation that no one really knows as a good way to open a dialog with a child. That's all this was, a place to start. Asking a child what they believe is a lovely idea. When I was a child, we did not go to church. My parents did occasionally send me to church though. The first time I brought home books from the public library on mythology and witchcraft, my dad went ballistic. Suddenly I was turning my back on God. Shoving your beliefs down a child's throat by being ridiculous instead of having an open conversation about religion, I'm sure, has a lot to do with why I oppose the organization of religion as a whole.

6.) I felt the point from The Oatmeal here is that religion and our sexuality should not be one in the same. Telling you that sex is bad and only for procreation as a doctorate, seems unfair. Why would it be enjoyable if it was solely for the one purpose. Yes, as Shameless Popery pointed out, there are responsibilities to our sexual actions, but I don't think religious sanctions are quite the answer.

7.) I believe it is okay to share your beliefs in the proper venue. Going door to door and chasing people down to "spread the word" in any religion doesn't feel right, like a violation of personal space. Sure, some people stand and listen, a few maybe go try out your church and maybe agree with you. Here's what I do: In the past, I would stand there (not wanting to interrupt), smile, nod and say whatever I thought would make them go away without hating me (this makes them want to come back). In the not so far past, I would either hide and hope they went away or  tell them I believed in the devil and slam the door (I didn't, but they went away anyway and rarely came back). Now, I open the door, and very politely interrupt them and say, "No thank you, I'm not interested." (They do sometimes still come back, but rarely and I feel better about myself.) I actually have anxiety attacks when dealing with unsolicited door knockers.

8.) I sort of agree here with both sides. Mockery of any religion by another is not done as a whole. However, I have heard, and even occasionally been part of, discussing what comes across as silly or weird to me  This is where a majority of humanity falls short and The Oatmeal actually gave a decent enactment of conversations I have actually heard.

9.) Sadly, I really do believe people vote based on religion. Religion and politics shouldn't be combined (separation of church and state is in the Constitution), but boy do people love to do it anyway.

10.) Every religion has extremists, and honestly it is a sad place in the world where we can't draw an iconic figure in a humorous way without being a target for murder and mayhem. 

11.) If you would kill for your religion, you are probably violating your religion.

12.) I don't see how allowing others to believe what they choose and you believing what you choose and keeping it to yourself when unsolicited is equal to "placebo" which means "fake." Be honest Shameless Popery, If I came to you, door to door or in public, and told you why I don't agree with organized religion, or if I went door to door explaining Ancient Astronaut Theory you would be annoyed with me. Maybe we could march to the White House and insist that creating hybrid clones of human headed horses is our religious right. I completely understand The Oatmeal telling you to keep it to yourself!
I have always believed in the "Live and let live" philosophy. If I am wrong, I will suffer for it in the end, but that is my choice. As if you are right, you will be rewarded IF you follow what you believe. HOWEVER, one of the core beliefs that MANY Christians violate is, "Thou shalt not judge, lest ye be judged." For that matter civilization breaks that rule in general. You can not say he is a bad person for making his webcomic, because you are judging his opinions. He is judging yours. I am judging yours. We are all going to rot in hell based on this one quote from the bible. So who goes to heaven and ascends? Most likely children and the mentally ill. Because they are the truly pure souls who are have yet to be tainted by real life. Oh, but I can ask forgiveness before I die and go to heaven, right? So I mass murder 1,000 people, and right before the police open fire, I beg God forgiveness and repent. Now I go to heaven, right? Seriously? Now lets move on to marriage equality... So, since the bible, in the old testament says marriage is between a man and a woman, our government should not allow gays to marry. Well the bible also allows us to own slaves in the old testament, shuns women on their monthly "unclean period", and allows you to stone "to the death" people who disobey the bible.
So does it matter if you agree or disagree with me? Not at all. I am educated and honest. I am a good person. Not because I go to church or believe in a deity, but because I am polite. I did not call either argument stupid or insult either party in any way (I hope). However I did notice that in Shameless Popery's rebuttle, the author referred to The Oatmeal's points as "stupid." I find this kind of debating technique offensive.
If you got this far, thank you for reading.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

OMG Wal-Mart!!!

So I'm leaving Wal-Mart and I hear this lady screaming at her kids, "Come on! I don't know why the f*** you have to make such a f***ing big deal about it right in the store!" All I could think was, "Probably because of the big deal you're making about it outside the store right now." (I'm not saying I'm a perfect mom, but I felt embarrassed for her and her children.)

Sorry this is short, I just wanted to get this off my chest...thx   ;-)~

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Asperger Syndrome

This post is dedicated to my son. I love him very much and people need to be educated on this disorder, so that it may be taken more seriously.

The following post in it's entirety is from the page:http://www.asdvisualaids.com/asperger-syndrome.html 

What is Asperger Syndrome?
Asperger Syndrome is a form of Autism; it is a life-long brain disorder that is normally diagnosed in early childhood. The disorder effects how a person makes sense of the world. Autism is often described as a ‘spectrum Disorder’ because the condition affects people in many different ways and to varying degrees. 

Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome are considered to have a higher intellectual capacity while suffering from a lower social capacity.

Asperger Syndrome is mostly a ‘hidden disability’ this is because you can’t tell that someone has the condition from there outward appearance.

Aspergers can have both positive and negative effects on a person’s life, like many Autistic Spectrum Disorders Asperger’s includes repetitive behaviour patterns and impairment in social interaction and social imagination.

While there are similarities with Autism, people with Asperger Syndrome have fewer problems with speaking and are often of average or above average intelligence. They do not usually have the accompanying learning disabilities associated with autism, but they may have specific learning difficulties. These may include dyslexia and dyspraxia or other conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and epilepsy.

What are the characteristics
of Asperger Syndrome?

Difficulty with communications
People with Asperger Syndrome may sometimes speak very fluently but they may not take much notice of the reaction of people listening to them. They may talk on and on regardless if the person there talking to is not interested. Despite having good language skills, people with Asperger Syndrome may sometimes sound over-precise or over-literal . Jokes can sometimes cause problems as can exaggerate language and metaphors. An example of this could be a simple statement like "she bit my head off" this statement may confuse or frightened the person with Asperger's.

In order to help a person with Asperger syndrome understand you, keep your sentences short - be clear and concise.

Difficulty with social interaction
Many people with Asperger syndrome want to be sociable but have difficulty with initiating and sustaining social relationships, which can make them very anxious. Eye contact can be very hard for people with Aspergers Syndrome to keep. This intense eye contact can make them feel very uneasy.

Unlike those with autism, people with AS are not usually withdrawn around others; they approach others, even if awkwardly. For example a person with AS may engage in a one-sided, long-winded speech about a favorite topic, while misunderstanding or not recognizing the listener's feelings or reactions, such as a need for privacy or haste to leave. This social awkwardness has been called "active but odd". This failure to react appropriately to social interaction may appear as disregard for other people's feelings, and may come across as insensitive.

Difficulty with social imagination
Many people with Asperger Syndrome lack imagination. This means they may find it hard to play pretend games in such as role play. They may find it difficult to imagine alternative outcomes to situation or to predict what will happen next. It can be difficult for them to interpret other peoples thoughts and feelings, subtle messages given through facial expression or body langue may be missed.
Special interests
Special Interests People with Asperger's often develop an almost obsessive interest in a hobby or collection. Usually their interest involves arranging or memorizing facts about certain subjects. Some children with Asperger's may also be very precise while playing with tops and find it hard when other children try to join in and move objects from a certain place. However with encouragement, interests can be developed so that some people with Asperger's can go on to study or work in their favourite subjects.
Love of routines
For many people with Asperger Syndrome, any small change in their routine can be very upsetting and causes anxaiety. To try and make the world less confusing, people with Asperger syndrome may have rules and rituals (ways of doing things) which they insist upon. Young Children may impose their new routine, such as insisting on always going the same way to school. At home or school they may get upset by sudden changes, such as changes to class activities. People with Asperger's often prefer to order their day according to a set pattern.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

So we took a road trip...

So last Friday, my friend Laura and I took our girls on a road trip to Payson, AZ. It is about 85 miles on Hwy AZ-87 North from my hometown in the valley, Chandler, AZ. The only turns are as the highway bends and turns it's way around the the mountains; chewing gum is a must for decompression of popping ears. So we are a good 75 miles in and suddenly we hear this loud rumbling sound and of course, my friend Laura says, "what's that noise?" I assume it's the motorcycle that has just come up behind us and passed us, but apparently I was wrong. We had a flat. Not just a simple flat either, an all out "looks like we had been driving on it for hours," flat.

So now we have 5 young ladies on the narrow shoulder of a main highway, at least 10 miles from the nearest town. Chivalry is obviously dead because no one stops. So after some minutes of digging through the trunk for a donut tire, a jack and a tire iron we get to the task of changing the tire. Now this is not my first tire change, but for some reason, I always jack up the car first, then realize I should have loosened the lug nuts BEFORE jacking up the car...oops. So after, lowering the car, scissor jacks suck, loosening the lugs, jacking up the car and completing the whole tire changing process, we load up and get back in the car.

On the road again...
We head into the small town of Payson. Knowing that we can't drive home (85 miles down the mountain) on a donut tire, we look for some tire shops. We find a listing on our GPS for Ed's Tire Shop and head over there, but it's not Ed's anymore, it's Kyle's. Oh how, young and dreamy Kyle was. With his sweet country boy mannerisms and accent, I just wanted to snatch him up and kiss him. Sadly, he didn't have the tire size we needed. We decided to hold off on the tires for a little while so that we can enjoy a bit of the sweet mountain town. First, we went over and picked up lunch and headed down Main Street to the park. We had a lovely picnic in the grass and watched this cute little squirrel dig a hole and leave behind an unburied seed.

After the picnic, we took a stroll around the lake where we saw ducks and dragonflies. Then we walked around outside of the museum.

On the way back to the car we saw another squirrel and a hawk. This one seemed to be posing for my camera, seeing as how he stayed in the same position until I completed my series of shots and didn't move until I put the camera down. The hawk seemed to be circling us, but as my aunt pointed out later, we did seem to be surrounded by squirrels.

Natural beauty in everything, everywhere...

Next stop, the cemetery...

In town...

After this we finally went to Big O and got tires before we decided to head home.
On the trip home, we took a side trip through Strawberry, AZ
This is it, Strawberry, AZleaving Strawberry, AZ
a storm front heading our way

Friday, June 29, 2012

A Bad Dream

So this morning, I woke up in a horrible fright. I had the worst dream a mother can imagine.

In my dream I was crying, apparently my daughter had died in a school related bus accident along with her friend. (In my dream the friend was unnamed, but in my head looked like her friend Siani from Girl Scouts) I was moving down the long street in my old neighborhood where I grew up. I felt like I was riding on something, but I don't know what. Every time I would pass a little girl bike or playhouse, I would cry some more. I decided to go to the church that my daughter loved so much. When I got there, it looked like a cafeteria from a school. In the far right corner were some dumpsters and to the left their were cafeteria style  folding tables that were set up like benches in a row and along the side row of benches, there were shopping carts with balloons tied to them. On the balloons were pictures of the two girls. I still don't know if there were more than the 2 balloons, but I feel like they were repeating the images down the row. I cried, "My daughter!" I went over and somehow I was sitting down and my daughter was sitting in front of me talking to me about her passing. She was telling me how God had taken her from me to teach me a lesson and that I should appreciate him. Other than a few scenes where I was crying behind the dumpster and replaying the scene with my daughter, I don't remember much else after this except having to use the restroom...and so I woke up.

It took a few minutes after waking for it to sink in that I had lost my daughter in the dream. So immediately after finishing in the bathroom, I went to her room. She has this decorative netting that goes around her bed, like a princess, but when I walked in the room, it was wrapped around her like a blanket. I carefully removed it and draped it back over the foot of her bed and I just stood there and watched to make sure she was breathing. Of course she was, it was only a dream after all.

I hate religion, and this is a good example of why. I believe there is something out there that contributed to our existence on the planet Earth. I don't know what, who, or how but I believe that science will find the answer one way or another. But I have a hard time accepting that there is this "one true God" who will punish you for not believing in him. Taking away your loved ones to teach you of his existence to me would be counter productive. Because although you might believe in him, you would resent him forever. I also don't comprehend how everyone says, "God is a merciful God." Only to be banished to the fires of Hell for misdeeds  and lack of repentance. I am a good, nice, and honest person. I try to love and care for everyone equally. I try to always do the right thing, because I feel bad when I don't. I am sure my dream stemmed from a whole slew of religious post I saw on Facebook right before going to bed. Plus the massive headache I've had for almost 2 days could have been playing tricks on me. Or even a combination of both. All I know is that I am alive and so are my children. But what a fucked up way to wake up.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A week off ?

Hello and welcome.

I have not written anything in a while because I have been kind of busy with the crazy, hectic rigmarole that is my Summer break with the kids. Until this past week that is.

Getting ready to board the bus. Water bottle
and hat did not make the return trip home.
One week ago today, my daughter left me for a week to go to summer camp. On Tuesday, I went to see the movie "Rock of Ages" with an old friend. Wednesday I took my grandma to the doctor and I spent Thursday afternoon drinking with another old friend. Other than that, my schedule was miraculously clear of any obligations. So what to do with myself and all this "spare time." I decided to dig through my old video games and replay "The Longest Journey." As it turns out, I have been unable to make my old, antiquated, 2 disc copy work on Windows 7 64-bit. Although, while digging through boxes to find my beloved game, I came across my old diaries dating all the way back to December 31, 1990. Reading through, I realized that there is a strong possibility that there may, or may not, be some significant information in there to help my doctors settle on a more concrete diagnosis for my mental condition. So begins my new project of transcribing all of my journal entries to document files on my computer so that they are in chronological order (I discovered that I did not tend to stay on the correct page when writing, luckily I did date each entry - however the lack of order will be annotated on the transcribed pages for relevance, if there is any.) and easily handed over to whichever doctors are willing to read them. I am actually only about three months in and I have realized that I don't even like reading through my own mind, let alone remembering and reliving it. I have, of course stopped. I don't want to continue. I need to continue. I was definitely a terrible person, a terrible writer, and an especially terrible speller. It makes my head hurt. In fact something I noticed when flipping through old journals was that at some point during my third pregnancy, I stopped writing. So now I'm going to change the subject.
My less than happy, slightly ill daughter with her pillow
Come Friday afternoon, it was time to pick up my daughter from the bus. I waited impatiently as one bus after another arrived and none of them was the one my daughter was on. Finally, and not really late (thought I felt like it had been forever), The bus arrives. When my daughter steps off the bus, I can see that she is feeling VERY ill. You see, she suffers from motion sickness and takes OTC generic Dramamine for long trips. The problem is, the camp personnel do not seem to see the importance or significance in giving her this medicine more than 2 minutes prior to stepping on the bus even though the bottle clearly states to take one hour prior to travel. Ah, the pleasures of letting other people care for your children. Now, I know that I write more about my daughter than anyone. Maybe because she is more active than my other 2 children. But if you read through my past posts, you will see that I have a son with Autism and a son with "undiagnosed something" who gets hit by cars frequently. I love them all. But in honest, full disclosure, I always wanted a little girl. I wanted to be able to dress her up, do her hair, and hang out and do mother/daughter things. Just the two of us. And instead, it's the four of us and the boys have mental issues like me. That doesn't fall into my fairy tale of what having children was supposed to be. So for now, I'm going to sign off. I don't know when I'll post again, but thank you for reading. I love you just for being here.

P.S. TheBloggess, Jenny Lawson is Awesome! You help me navigate my way through my own brain.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Memoirs and Biographies

So my family and friends keep telling me I need to write a book about my life. I don't even know where to begin. I am not an excellent writer but I can tell my stories verbally but rarely in chronological order. In a conversation type setting. Maybe I should find someone to "write" it for me after I tell them all about me? I don't know. I started a brainstorming timeline, I am hoping it will open my brain up. Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Yesterday was a bad day, today is better

This is one of those nonsensical rants that possibly only I will understand, but go for it.

So it started as a normal day. My younger son had an appointment at 9:30am to get lab work done. To start off, we live close enough to the lab to leave 20 mins before the appointment and still get there early, however we didn't get out the door until 9:15 so I knew we had to go straight there. So we are heading there and we hit construction, so I'm thinking I should have gone the other way, but too late now. One lane of traffic each way on a road that normally has 3 on each. So we're motoring along and we get to the lab and check in RIGHT at 9:30. At least we're not late right? So I give the lady behind the counter the paperwork and as it turns out, although the doctor said STAT he didn't write it on the paperwork. So the lady behind the counter says she can't add it. Oh well. So we sit in the waiting room for 20 mins and they finally call us back. Then we sit in the lab room for 10 mins before the tech gets there and she tells me she's the only one working today. SERIOUSLY! Okay, lab work is done. We go to the car and upon attempting to exit the parking lot, in my little white car that no one ever sees, a big old ginormous truck decides to come the wrong way through a one way lot and tries to run me over. Luckily he seemed to notice me at the last moment. Time to get my son something to eat before taking him to school. He wants McDonalds. So we head to McDonalds. Driving down the road and I get stuck behind a car doing 28 in a 45. And of course, everyone in the next lane is going 45, so I can't pass it. I honk and the car speeds up to about 35, and then gradually returns to 28. Finally, I pass HER and just as I'm moving back into the lane, she speeds up and almost hits me. OMG! ANYWAY, We are finally at the drive thru and we attempt to order a chicken sandwich, but it's 10:15 and they only serve breakfast until 10:30...okay, so we order a bacon/egg/cheese McGriddle combo instead. Way more expensive than the 99 cent chicken sandwich and a drink we were going to get. But it's okay. We pull up to the window and the guy hands me the drink and asks me, "bacon egg and cheese?" I say, "yes." He goes away for a bit, 5 minutes actually. When he comes back he says, "bacon egg and cheese biscuit." me: "Um, no. McGriddle." I pull out my receipt. He says, "does it say that on the receipt?" in a very condescending tone. And I say, "yep." So he leaves again. about 5 more minutes go by (they must be making it fresh?) and he comes back and gives me the right food. Before I can even pull out, he's already hanging the next person's order out the window. Now I'm taking my son to school. That went well.  So I'm driving to the next place and I catch myself spinning my left hand in circles above the steering wheel and saying out loud, "round and round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows." over and over again, until coming up to a red light where I thought, "I wonder what would happen if I just don't put on the brake?" This isn't the first time I've caught myself thinking this while driving down the road. This is a thought that truly worries me, because I really don't want to kill myself and I don't self harm. However when I'm driving on a bad day, sometimes I just think, "what if..." The thing that seems to snap me out of it and makes me stop the car is that  with my luck, I would live through it but wreck my car and have to explain the reason I just drove through a red light to a police officer, or my family and friends. Moving on...I went to the school my kids will be going to next year to fill out their registration packets, then the auto parts store to get an air filter for my car. Drove to my mom's where my mom and I located the place to put in the filter and then replaced it, easy peasy! So I went with mom to the beauty school to get a haircut, man they take forever there. One of my ex boyfriends calls to see what I'm up to. I imagine for a booty call or something. But I politely turn him down with the excuse that I will be busy all day because although I don't want to go there again, I don't want to make him upset with me either (I have non-confrontational issues.) Now during the haircut, I rode with my mom there in her car while my step-dad washed my car. You would think that'd be great, it wasn't. When we got back to mom's house, my step-dad proceeded to lecture me about the state in which I "didn't" keep my car clean on the inside. So I left there just slightly pissed considering all the buttons that have been pushed on this lovely day. So by 3 o'clock when I picked up my younger 2 kids from school, I was totally a wreck. I was never going to my mom's house again and didn't want to ever leave my house again either.

The good news is, today I still got up and got out of the house, went to the store with my mom and even went to my mom's house. I functioned today, in spite of myself. In spite of the rotten day before (more than one bad day this week actually...but that's not important)

And you know what? I owe it all to Jenny Lawson, a.k.a. The Bloggess. I just finished reading her first (and only so far) book Let's Pretend This Never Happened. I learned to keep going even after a total meltdown. I realized I'm not alone in the feelings I have. If you are here, you are probably here BECAUSE of Jenny's site http://www.thebloggess.com but if you aren't here because of her, you should go check her out. She is not for the judgmental or the easily offended, but she is honest and beautiful and funny and (right now) my favorite person on the internet. And if you are Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess, "Thank you Jenny, for being you!"

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My Beautiful Daughter

This is Brag Book Day for me

My daughter is beautiful, talented, intelligent, funny, ambitious and today she was baptized. Anyone who has read my blog so far knows that I am not a religious person, so you should know that this was in no way my doing...it's all her. Which I find absolutely wonderful. She is 9 years old and completely and totally in control of her life. She gets excellent grades, she's a Girl Scout, she has faith, she is good with computers, she's articulate and VERY charming. Everyone I introduce her to tells me how pleasant and beautiful she is. One day, an elderly Asian woman came running up to us in a parking lot and in her broken English told me how pretty she thought my daughter was. I was a little scared because I wasn't sure what she was saying and I wasn't sure of her intentions. Anyway, today was a PROUD MOM moment.