Thursday, August 16, 2012

House Partaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

Good morning friends.  This is quite possibly my most serious blog post yet.  I've been reading Instructing A Child's Heart by Tedd and Margy Tripp.  Now that I've been staying home quite a bit more..........after my whirlwind ride at my most previous place of employment.....I have been trying to self-reflect as a parent and see where I can improve.  Lemme (yes.....that is a word where I grew up) tell ya a few things about myself before I get to rambling about my parenting skillz.  Or lack thereof.

1.  I am a procrastinator.  Working on this one. (haha......see what just happened here???)
2.  I tend to get stuck in ruts.  If this is you, it needs no explanation.
3.  I can be very hard on myself at times........
4.  I fall into bouts of mental laziness.  Which in turn manifests itself as physical laziness.
5.  I have a tendency to be an absolutist......I'll explain.

So how does all of this play into parenting, reading this book, my relationship with God and my day-to-day existence?  Well.......sit back and have a looksee.  I shall take you through it one painstaking step at a time.

This book.  It talks about formative instruction in conjunction with corrective discipline.  The first being an ongoing dialogue with your kids and using day to day instances to teach.  The second being the times you do the this-is-going-to-hurt-me-more-than-it-hurts-you-thing or some variation thereof.  I began to really think about these two concepts.  I think about all the times I have sat down with my kids and really talked to them.  Like REALLY TALKED.  About life, God, Jesus, salvation, obedience, siblings, love, the golden rule, not jumping off bridges if your friends jump too, eating your vegetables, gravity, sharing, consequences, reflection, heaven and hell, kindness, sympathy, discernment, cleanliness, discipline, worldliness, and how the world perceives them.  THEN.........I think of all the times I have spent the day just barking orders, yelling, cursing and creating general chaos in their lives.  And it devastates me (see #'s 2 & 3).  As someone who met and married my lifelong friend/partner by the time I was 19 (and this is not a bad thing folks........Kevin was divine timing in my life), I oftentimes doubt(ed) that I'm truly equipped as such a young and immature parent.

BUT revelation for me here people..........I REALIZED.........


It is only through God, and His Son Jesus Christ's shed blood, that I am able to do this.  It's like being a really sick person.  And you gotta go to the infusion clinic each day to get the life-blood that you desperately need to stay alive.  You go......sit down in a (semi) quiet place.......and hook yourself up to that IV line (the Word) and begin the infusion.  You are filled with  Encouragement and Hope and Love and Forgiveness and Peace and He even throws in some Grace and Mercy and for good measure.  The big step for me has been taking all of those heart nutrients and implementing them throughout the day.  Some days, I kick ass and take names (i think).  Other days.......well......see #'s 1 & 4.  Then I snowball into #5 and convince myself that I'm the world's worst parent and I can't do ANYTHING right.  And THEN, I have a pity party that I invite a few select people to (you know who you are).  And you see where the night ends up.

It's like a house party gone really wrong (or as expected).  The place is a mess.  All the dishes are broken, there's glass everywhere, bodies strewn about and general mayhem abounds.  Some guy is wandering around your house with a busted eyebrow and he's bleeding all over your mom's new carpet.  There's a girl you don't even know sleeping in your sister's bed.  The kitchen table is in the bathroom and a raccoon is sitting in the sink washing the dishes.  The  wardrobe door to Narnia is wide open and there's snow blowing in all over the furniture.  Dad's gonna kill me.  (I could really go on all day like this people.  It's a disease).  0_o

Back to reality now. The Bible and this book, are together teaching me that corrective discipline in the absence of formative instruction does not bode well for my future as a parent.  It's teaching me that the laundry and dishes and errands and all the blavin of daily life can wait just a few more minutes so I can have that conversation with my kids in order to help shape their hearts and minds.  And it's only through His grace and mercy and daily reliance on Him that it is possible.  MAN!  I wish (where are you robin williams in a blue genie suit when i need you????) I had known these things 10 years ago.  Why is it that you don't get "it" until you start getting older?  Ugh.  Thanks for that one God.  Way to design it where we spend the first 30 some odd years of our lives as dummies who can't figure it out.  (i can hear you all screaming at the monitor, "speak for yourself sanders!").  I've got A LONG way to go peeps.  My goal here is to model Christ-like behavior for my children.  I so often see them emulating me in the way I speak to others.......and them.  Sometimes it makes me beam with pride.  And other times, I cringe at the content of what they say and the tone of voice they use.  It's all my "glory".  Being displayed through my offspring.  Thanks again God (and this time, I really mean it) for using my children as a mirror.  A mirror that hopefully causes me to stop and take a hard look at my reflection.  You've got a lot of work to do Steph.  So get off your arse and the computer and go hang out with your kids.  Don't mind if I do..........

Peace out.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Not-So-Gradual-Decline of the "Health" Care System

Hi friends!  (Meaning the three people who actually read this). 

Welcome to my random rant once again.  It's good to have you.  So sit back, relax and marvel at how long I can sit here and type about nothing.

I just gotta get this off my chest.  Been stirring it around in the old brain and stewing about it for about 4 days now.  We all are acutely aware of the universal "health" care (this will be in quotes henceforth because it really is a gross misnomer) bill that was passed in late 2010 and is currently being implemented, rather poorly I might add, by the current administration.  I, Stephanie Sanders RN, get to witness the implementation of this government administered monstrosity on a daily basis at my place of employment.  It is a sad sad sad day ladies and gentlemen, when I see what any free-thinking rational human being would consider a grave grave grave disservice being done to a fellow human.  Apparently, these other free-thinking rational humans are running in short supply.

Soooooooooooo............enter government run "health"care victim #1275328743095405843.  Here's the short and skinny:

The blind gentleman slowly walks over to the stretcher to sign the consent form for his cataract surgery.  He happens to be a VA (Veteran's Administration) patient.  He also happens to have UNCONTROLLED Type II Diabetes and UNCONTROLLED Hypertension.  Glucose tests at 353 (normal is 70-110) and Blood Pressure is 196/98 (normal is 120/70 and anything higher is considered prehypertensive until the top number gets above 140 and the bottom gets above 80, then you have "high" blood pressure).  Now one of the major side effects of uncontrolled glucose levels for sustained periods of time is diabetic retinopathy.  This results in major, almost irreparable damage to the retina and surrounding structures, including the optic nerve, resulting in blindness.  Uncontrolled glucose levels can also result in kidney damage, nerve damage to the hands, legs and feet, impotence in men and a myriad of other health issues.  Uncontrolled high blood pressure can result in stroke, atherosclerosis (hard arteries), heart attack, aneurysms, and eventual death if not treated.  I have not even given an exhaustive list of all the horrible things that can happen when we don't take care of our bodies, but you get the picture.  So this gentleman had gone blind due to his diabetes.  So my question is............WHY IN GOD'S NAME ARE WE BRINGING HIM IN FOR SURGERY ON HIS ALREADY BLIND EYE????  Was I the only one on this page today?  How is this possibly in his best interest?  Why are we subjecting this man to this increased risk of infection  ( to remove a cataract from an already blind eye?  Why aren't we sending this man back to his primary care in order to get his diabetes and blood pressure under control before doing unnecessary procedures??????? Why are we finger plugging the hole in the dike when there's a broken gushing dam right around the corner? The anethesiologist replied, "Well, if we cancel his surgery and bring him back later, I suspect his sugar will still be high, so we may as well go ahead and do it now."  YEP.  THAT'S PAR FOR THE COURSE LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.  Go ahead and slice him open so you can get your paycheck.  Nevermind that he's an actual human being with actual medical needs that supercede your desire for another maserati or house in the dominion/rogers ranch.

Nevermind that what he really needs is someone who will invest the time to do some patient teaching and education on what it means to eat food with nutritional value and take meds on a regular basis to avoid uncontrolled glucose levels which led to this predicament in the first place.  THIS is government medicine people.  This is non-sensical silliness that will continue until we DEMAND that it stops.  This is what our AGING PARENTS have to look forward to.  This is what WE have to look forward to.  This is what OUR CHILDREN have too look forward to.  And this is only the tip of the iceberg.  Common sense is pissed away in the wind where copious amounts of money are concerned.  Just ask about 95% of people who have won the lottery.  Money (or the influence of it) makes people do really stupid things.  Remember?

Sorry Michael Jackson.  I'm not hating on you.  Just trying to illustrate the point that the influence of money tends to make us all lose our ever-loving minds.

Not sure if I've managed to convince anyone of anything here.  And if you have a differing point of view, I would love to hear it.  I am not even sure what the solution is to all of this (got a good idea though), but I'm for damn sure it's not the current system we have in place.  My job as a nurse is to advocate for my patients, and you can be confident I made my position known that day.  My patient was resigned to follow the only advice given to him up to the point of surgery.  And I must say he was grossly ill-advised.  It hurts my heart for that portion of the population who knows nothing other than the misinformation that is fed to them through differing outlets.  Sometimes I feel so small in comparison to the behemoth medical model being practiced today, but I know that my God is BIG.  I know that my faith and trust in HIM is paramount.  It is also my job, as a believer, to share the amazingly Good News with my fellow (wo)man.  I fail miserably sometimes (well......more than sometimes), but His Grace and Mercy are underservingly given to me on a perpetual eternal basis.  I know I'm waxing all theoretical on you now, but even as I type this, it's a reminder for me.  Reminding me that I am His child and I can lay all my cares and worries at HIS feet.  Including the above mentioned.  And I have to make sure that I listen for His still, small voice when He instructs me on how to handle and conduct myself on the world stage.  Because we are His messengers. 

..............and we gotta make sure it's HIS message. 

Peace out y'all.  Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day

Is it already Mother's Day again?  Oh wait.  EVERYDAY is Mother's Day.  Last time I checked, I've been one for almost 11 years now.  Almost 12 if you count the time it took to make her..........but alas.  I digress.  I do that alot.  Digress.  It's kinda like eating for me.  I do it on a daily basis.  Or maybe it just makes me THINK of eating.  You know.  Since it's close to digest.  Oh God.  Somebody make it stop.  OH YEAH!  Mother's Day! 

So this blog is dedicated to my mother, Susan Jana Simmons Davis who graced this world with her "other-worldy" presence on June 20 of a certain year which will remain untyped on this here page because it's just uncouth to tell a woman's age.  Especially your mother's.  Something I am still trying to teach my bitties.  She is the eldest (and presumably the smartest.......isn't that how it goes?) of three children born to Larry and Joyce Simmons in the greater Dallas area.  Ok, that's all the demographics I'll do.........just in case there are any of those aforementioned "creepy internet stalkers" who happen to read my blog.  Weirdos. 

I grew up thinking my mom was the BEES KNEES.  I idolized everything about her.  Right down to her long hair that she let me learn how to French braid on.  She even made up her own language.  And everyone had their own nickname.  Here's the breakdown.  Please have tissues or some Depends(insert tiny trademark "R" thingy here so as not to get sued for copyright infringement in our increasingly litigous world.  there i go.  digesting.  or digressing.  can't tell right now.  i'm really hungry) ready in case you cry or crap from laughter.

Dustin:  'Dustin-pooter' or 'DK'.  I know I know.  Not too terribly funny, but it was cute nonetheless. My mom was still in the novice stages of nicknaming.  It takes some diligence and dedication to the practice (as does blogging.....can't you tell???) to fine tune those skills.

Stephanie:  'Stephaneebins'.  Now, as of yet, I do not know the origins of this.  But as you can see from the web address of my blog, it has followed me through the years and is near and dear to my heart if not for the simple reason that it is the moniker bestowed on me by my mummy dearest.

Joy:  'Joy Beans' or 'Joyful'.  Joy's nickname has also been beside her like a faithful friend for many years.  I'm not sure if the bean reference is of an odiferous nature........or if she was like a "Mexican jumping bean."  Either way, it's fun to say.  And even FUNNER to know her.  She's all the things I am not and hope to one day be.  Graceful, forgiving, faithful, tall(er), creative, singer, poet, crafty, funny(er), spontaneous, etc.  The list is endless.

Ben: 'Benny Man Jobba' or 'Jobba Lobba Dingdong Head' or 'Ben Jobba Lee Robba' or 'Ben Jobba' if you are into the whole brevity (oxymoron?) thing.  Also, that was a "Big Lebowski" reference for those of you Cohen Brothers lovers. Think what you will, but it's pretty much the most bad-assest of the nicknames. I really can't help but think there might be some unconcious Star Wars Mania here.  Being that Benny was born in December of 84 and the Star Wars fever had not yet subsided since the release of "Return of the Jedi" in 83. (okay okay.  i admit i had to wiki search that last part since i didn't know if the last one came out the year he was born or not.  but hey.  at least i'm honest about my ignorance.  gotta placate the star wars nerds).  There I again. mom used to sing, "Ben Ben Jobba is a Lee Lee Robba!!!!!".  I don't care if someone just stole your My Little Pony (again....insert trademark thingy) on Christmas morning, it's stinkin' funny and will make you forget that you strongly dislike your sister for AT LEAST ten seconds.  You may then resume whining that your sister took your toy.  A side note here..........I dropped Ben on his head as a baby.  So if you are ever wondering why he streaked across a football field painted red wearing a blonde wig and basketball shorts....

Blame me.

Jared:  'Bubskinny' or 'Bubscooter'.  All you have to do is LOOK at Jared to understand just why my mother called him this.  Although, if you look at baby pictures, you may be a bit confused seeing that Jared was probably the chunkiest baby of all the kids. The 'scooter' part comes from before he could walk and basically scooted everywhere on his butt instead of crawling.  Lazy?  Or sheer genius?  You decide.  So "bubskinny" wasn't until later when he got......well.......skinny.  And bipedal.

Luke:  'Lukey-duke' or 'Lukeduke' or 'Tommy-Luke' or 'Blobbindoogey'.  No mystery here.  His first name is Thomas after my Dad's grandfather.  Or great-gf.  I can't member (how Asher says remember).  We used to sing songs about him too.  To the tune of some really old song.  But it involved how badly he stunk and needed a diaper change.  You're welcome if you are reading Luke.  I always aim to embarrass others so as to draw attention away from myself. 

Annie: 'Pinky-doodle' or 'Plickin'-Chickin'.  If you look at pics of Annie, she was really.......PINK. She had red hair and really pink skin as a baby.  I pretty much thought she was the cutest thing ever.  Until Sara came along of course.  Wow.....I will probably catch alot of shit for that one.  With regard to the 'plickin chickin' part, that was just years upon years of nicknaming by my mother.  She had fine-tuned those skills and they just were rolling off the tongue at this point.  Like word magic.  YEAH!  THAT'S IT!!!  My mom had turned into a bona-fide word magician!  Or she had just gone crazy.  We still aren't sure which.  I'll have to ask her when I go visit her in the institution this weekend.  She'll be able to give me some more insight.

Sara:  'Sara-Doodleishy' or Plickin'-Chickin'.  Again.  Magic tricks galore.  If you haven't ever been referred to as a 'doodleishy' (insert your name here for maximum effect), then you just haven't lived yet.  So give it a whirl.  It'll make you smile. 

Now, for your continued reading pleasure (or displeasure if you've made it this far), here are some other names for the general Davis population.  All are either terms of endearment, or in some cases, depending on the situation, (like when Jared and Luke set about 40 bales of hay on fire with fireworks), meant to invoke shame or feelings of goober-esque-ness.

1.  Bingots - generally referring to the two youngest girls.
2.  Noonillard - both this palabra (you likah my use of espanol here?  eh?) and the one below can be  used as mild perjoratives. 
3.  Nickaknobhead - one of my favorites.

Don't be jealous.  I know that right now you are really wishing that you had been part of the madness.  It happens to us all.  Family envy.  I'm pretty sure Freud came up with some asinine theory regarding this too. 

All joking aside (this is a toughy for me), my mother is also one of the Godliest women I know.  Always praying and interceding for her children.  Taking us to church on Sundays and then practicing what she preached to us during the week.  It took alot of years for me to really appreciate this.  Becoming a mother yourself gives you (me) this newfound appreciation and respect for being a parent.  And coming to the realization that you put your parental unit through some really tough times. But she handled it with such grace and poise.............and humor.  She is the QUEEN OF PUNS.  And the first rule of punning is, ALWAYS INTEND YOUR PUNS.  One of lifes greatest lessons that my mother taught me.  You can't just walk around punning and PRETEND like you were so unintentionally clever.  You have to OWN it my friend/reader.  It's like running with scissors or pointing a BB gun at someone.  There's a potential for injury here people!  Treat said puns with respect!  Or you'll put your eye out!  Alright alright.........enough browbeating........go have some pun with words.  (see what I did there???  huh?  huh?)

Something else that is a must know about my mother?  She will kick your ass at Wheel of Fortune.  Don't even try.  It's like Jedi mind trick status.  Let's take a trip down memory boulevard.  (just go with it.  "lane" is too mamby pamby for this story).  Enter Jana and Stephanie sitting in the living room circa 1989 watching WOF.  I thought my mom was the smartest person alive.  Ole Pat and Vanna are doing their thing.  Contestants trying to solve the puzzle and bankrupting themselves on that danged wheel thingy.  AND THEN BAM!  My mom solves the thing with just one letter on the board!!!!  True story people.  TRUE STORY.  I always envisioned her up there on that panel.  Kicking some proverbial brass (that's brain and ass together for those of you who don't follow my weird thought processes).  Chuck Norris ain't got nuthin' on my madre. 

I really could go on all day about her.  I thank God that He allowed me the privilege of calling her mother.  At 31, I still call her for advice on everything.  I value her perspective and wisdom.  Her love for her family is boundless.  Not fettered by unforgiveness or judgement.  She gives all of herself on a daily basis to those she loves.  If you haven't met Jana..........I hope you get to one day.  I met her on November 14, 1980 and she welcomed me with open arms into her heart where I have lived ever since.  I LOVE YOU MOM.  I'm one of your biggest fans. 


Your favorite eldest daughter.

Monday, May 7, 2012

My Maiden Voyage goes nothing. And is possible it will be exactly that. A big fat NOTHING. As you can see, this post will most likely be rife with self-deprecation in an attempt to downplay the monster that is rearing its ugly head in the form of "insecurity". But I will try to keep it on the lighter side so as not to make my reader close the lid of their laptop in disgust at how self-loathing I am :/.
I have been floating the idea of starting my own blog for awhile. But my hestitation comes from the little voice in my head that asks the obvious question.........."Who wants to read your mindless musings Stephanie????". Well....fortunately, I have ANOTHER voice in my head that not-so-quickly retorts, "My family and friends and possibly a few strange internet creepers THANK YOU VERY MUCH!". So that's pretty much how that little exchange went in my head. So alas, my blog has been born. Conceived from a little place in my soul that wants to share part of me with you. Yes......YOU! It has become more and more apparent to me over the years that the "human experience" (i.e. acutally interacting with other humans) is crucial to our existence. And yet, as I get older, I buck the system more and more. Retreating further and further into my shell. I have yet to figure out if it's due to being around and morphing into my God-given life partner.........who happens to be much more of an introvert than I am. Possibly. Is it because I think it's self-serving to blog? Maybe. I depressed? NAH. That's just crazy talk. I honestly think that it's due to the fact that I'm just not as funny and cool as I once thought I was. But I canNOT let anyone else in on this life-altering revelation! So I retreat. Like a turtle into his shell. Protection. From the mean, cruel, judgemental world. There you go reader. I just laid it all out there on my virgin blog. Soul-baring/searching epiphany right there. It's enough to make my eyes bug out even as I read my own thought processes being brought to life on this here webosphereblogpagethingy. But I'm tired of holding it all in. PLUS...........I really really want to share some of the super super funny stuff that occurs in this daily thing called life. My kids are hilarious. Kevin says some pretty crazy shit. Oh yeah. That's another thing. I curse a bit. And I'm getting to the point where I don't really care if it comes out in conversation. Sometimes inflections and inntonations just don't cut it. Gotta put a little "dammit all to hell!" to drive the point home.
Now. I would like to talk a little about how the title of my blog came to be. When Fiona (my eldest child. almost 11. yeesh.) was little, she LOVED chocolate pudding cups. She used to say, "I wanna puhple" ('purple' for those of you who are not well-versed in Fiona-speak). She thought the brown looked like dark purple. Henceforth, pudding will be referred to as "puhple". Go ahead.
Try it. You know you wanna. In fact.....just go ahead and rename everything. It's like learning a new language. Except it's not real, and at least you didn't pay 500 bucks for Rosetta Stone so it could sit and adorn your bookshelf and gather dust because you have WAY TOO MANY other things to do like....say......being the matriarch of your family? But rest assured, people will look at you like you are retarded. So maybe just keep it between you and the fam mmmkay? (a little aside here. i didn't actually buy RS, but i know this would be the outcome, so i'm simply projecting my eventual actions on you. you're welcome). Soooooooo, puhple was used extensively as positive reinforcement in our house for a loooooooooong time. And I always thought that maybe, just maybe??, I would write an autobio about my life as a wife and mother (so I could be rich and famous because ANYONE WHO'S ANYBODY would want to read about me of course). And THAT would be the name of my book! You get puhple when you are good.......and "no pudding for you!" (in my best Seinfeld character guy 'no soup for you!!' voice) when you're bad. Wow. That was a ridiculously long explanation for a title. Oh well. Hope you enjoyed.
I think I've worn myself out on my first blog. You know. Like too much mental aerobics. Except I wasn't discussing nuclear fission or how to dismantle a bomb or the origins of the pythagorean theorem. So I should save the sob story for someone who cares.
Peace out reader. Thanks for enduring.