April 30, 2010

the latest TRENDS

"We're off cupcakes and back to donuts."
-Jack Donaghy, 30 Rock

Today's thought was inspired by my favorite comedy TV show 30 Rock.  It's hilarious.  It's consistently funny (not like The Office which totally went down after Jim and Pam got married) and I just love it!  I own the first three seasons on DVD, and my husband I watch an episode or two every night.  It's one of our quarky traditions that I've grown to love.

Anyway, during one episode Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) is introducing himself to one of Liz Lemon's (Tina Fey) friends (guest star Jennifer Aniston) and says:  

"Welcome to New York.  Ah, let's see...we're using credit cards in cabs now, all the galleries have moved to Chelsea and we're off of cupcakes and back to donuts."

I love the part about the cupcakes.  I totally remember when, all of the sudden, cupcakes were the new thing.  Everyone wanted to eat a gourmet cupcake (and didn't mind paying $4.00 for one) and everyone wanted to own a cupcake shop.  I'll admit, I drank the cupcake kool-aid.  Fortunately, for my wallet and waist line, my town didn't have any cool cupcake bakeries, so I wasn't able to fully enjoy the cupcake craze. 

All this talk about cupcakes got me thinking about fads and trends.  Isn't it funny how a certain gadget, restaurant, musical group, etc., can pop out of nowhere, be way popular and then disappear?  I've jumped on a lot of trend trains in my day.  Here are just a few examples:

  • Slap braclets
  • Ring Pops
  • New Kids on the Block
  • Girbuad jeans
  • Keeping one strap on my overalls undone
  • Crystal Pepsi
  • Krispy Kreme Donuts
But, there are also a few trends that never interested me:
  • Pokeman
  • Power Rangers
  • Bluetooth
  • Halo
  • iPhone
  • Blu-Ray
  • Harry Potter books
Then, there was the time I'm pretty sure I started a trend.  It was while I was in junior high, and I was hanging out with a friend that I only saw once in awhile because we lived in different cities.  For whatever reason, we went to Home Depot.  I honestly have no idea why we were there.  Anyway, we found these crown bolts and each bought one to wear as rings.  I put stars on mine just to give it a little kick.  I wore it to school and didn't think much about it.  One day, while at school, I noticed a bunch of girls (who weren't my friends) each wearing a bolt on their finger.  I was way surprised because I never thought anyone noticed my bolt.

I never talked to the girls about our "rings" so maybe I didn't start a trend.  But, maybe, it wouldn't be a bad thing to think I started a trend.  Who's gonna know anyway, right?


April 26, 2010

my TOP three

"There's no way to fully prepare to have a child, so there's no reason to delay parenthood."

I've heard many people say this. Maybe it's a cultural thing. Who knows? All I know is that I do not agree with it.

Sure, of course, there's no way to know exactly what parenthood will be like until you have a child; however, I believe there are three things that people can do or think about that will help with the decision of starting a family.

Acknowledge and be content with the fact that your life is going to change

Your life is not going to end. You will not cease to exist. You will not need to forget about your hobbies, interests, outings, etc. You will, however, need to adjust how you go about your daily routines. It may take a little bit of time and effort to get used to taking care of your new bundle of joy and including her in your everyday life, but eventually it will become like second nature.

Always remember that it is just as important for your little one to adjust to your life as it is for you to adjust to hers. Don't stop living, rather be ready to tweek your lifestyle so there's room for one more.

Financial Independence

There's not really a way to estimate how much money a baby will cost you. If you want to start a family, I highly suggest you have sufficient, steady, reliable income. Of course, jobs are not always a guaranteed thing; however, you do have control over your work ethic. If you realize the importance of always having a job and are committed to providing for your little one, you're on the right track!

A Support System

Welcoming a baby into your life is huge. Having people around to encourage, support and help you is key.

My number one support was (and still is) my husband, Dustin. He and I were on the same page when it came to starting a family from day one. Dustin was always interested in my pregnancy and came to almost all of my doctor appointments. He took the pregnancy seriously and helped me cope with the physical changes.

Once Isabelle arrived, we started working as a team. We both acknowledged that we had no idea what we were doing, but we did as many things together as we could so we could learn together. We took turns changing her, bathing her, holding her, feeding her. There was no division of roles. We did what needed to be done. We were sensitive to each other's needs and pitched in when someone needed a break. When things got difficult and we put our frustrations on each other, we quickly apologized and got back on track.

Knowing that Dustin is always there to help me is a great feeling. I realize how lucky I am to have such a great husband. I'm a better mom because of him.


Well, there you go. Those are the top three things I think everyone should think about before having a child.


April 25, 2010

LANGUAGE barriers?

This thought was inspired by a Facebook page I recently saw titled:
"YOU came to OUR Country. YOU learn OUR language."

Before I dive into the good stuff, I want to make clear that this post is NOT about illegal immigration. I am NOT in support of people coming to the United States without proper documentation. I am NOT trying to justify why people cross the border illegally. This post is my thoughts about the Facebook page. Period.

With that said....

In 2005, my husband, Dustin, and I vacationed in Montreal, Quebec on our honeymoon. It was my first time visiting the Eastern side of Canada and I was excited to see a new part of the world.

As most of you probably know, Quebec's first language is French. After living in Montreal for two years, studying French in school (which included a 3 week course in France), Dustin was prepared to speak the language. Of course, because French was not his first language, any Quebequoi would know right away he wasn't local because of his accent. Nevertheless, he was prepared and fully capable to communicate in French. Because I didn't speak French, however, when it was just the two of us talking to each other we, obviously, would speak English.

Our first evening in Montreal, we went to a restaurant near our hotel. When we were greeted by the hostess, out of habit I said "hello" to her. Her entire demeanor changed and, based on her facial expression, there was no denying she was utterly annoyed. I could just imagine her thinking "Ah, stupid Americans!" She began speaking English and walked us to our table. When our waiter arrived, she spoke to us in English despite Dustin's attempts to convert to French. The service was awful and I felt like I was such a bother to everyone.

We experienced the same type of reaction almost every place we went. The Quebequoi refused to speak French with Dustin. At dinner, our waiters only came to our table when they absolutely had to (to get our order, to give us our food and to give us our check), and never asked us how we were doing, if we needed anything else, etc. It was so frustrating and I couldn't believe how horribly we were treated just because people assumed we couldn't speak French.

One day, we were in Quebec City. We just so happened to be in the city on a busy day when some festival was going on. While driving around, we got to an intersection where a policewoman was directing traffic. Dustin apparently did something that upset her, so she came to our car to talk to him (in French, go figure). She realized he had an accent which only made matters worse. For the next 10 - 15 minutes (and I'm totally not exaggerating), she made us wait at this intersection while she let all other directions go multiple times. Only until there was a huge line of cars behind us did she finally let us proceed.

Overall, it was a great trip. Quebec is a beautiful area. The architecture was amazing, and in some areas it looked like Europe. The pros of the trip definitely outweighed the cons, but I'll never forget the way we were treated.

Some of you may be thinking that I'm too sensitive and interpreted things incorrectly. Maybe the people were trying to be nice by conversing with us in English? Had I not been there myself, I probably would've thought the same thing. But, in these few examples it was very obvious the people did not like us.

Up until this trip, I had never been treated with such disrespect based on my nationality and language. I was floored by the experience and not because I expected everyone to conform to me (after all, I was the one who was in another country), but because everyone assumed we were unable to communicate with them in their primary language.

I immediately thought about my experience in Quebec when I saw the aforementioned Facebook page (which, by the way, three of my "friends" are "fans" of. I'm sure they'll get a kick out of this post). I couldn't help but wonder how many Mexicans, Hispanics, Latinos, etc. (because, let's face it, that page isn't referring to Europeans or Asians) that appear not to speak English actually do.

Is being bilingual a thing of the past?

Is it possible we are too quick to judge?


April 12, 2010

is there LIFE after LOVE?

"If two people love each other, there can be no happy end to it."
-Ernest Hemingway

I first read this quote many years ago. At the time, it didn't think much about it, but I was reminded of it the other day after having a conversation with my husband.

It all began when I started to think what I would do if Dustin died suddenly in the next 5 or so years. I felt really guilty having such thoughts, so I told him about it. He confessed thinking about the same thing which made me feel better. (If it was crazy to think such things, at least we were being crazy together.) So, we talked about it for awhile. We expressed what we would each do and also told one another what we would want the other person to do. We had some differences, but overall our agendas were the same.

Since the conversation I've come to realize that I would be able to continue living a happy, productive life even if I lost my husband. I can imagine my life without Dustin physically by my side. It's not the life I would choose for myself, but if I had to live it, I would. And, I would try to make the best of it.

Do these thoughts make me a bad person or reflect negatively on my marriage?

Do they make me seem indifferent about my relationship?

I don't think so. While conversations like this are difficult and not something I'd ever want to dwell on, I think having a plan is vital. We have 72-hour kits, food storage, so why not have some sort of mental plan in case one suddenly finds herself without her spouse?


April 9, 2010


To get the ball rolling, I decided to take a post from my family blog and publish it here.

As Isabelle's first birthday approaches, I've been thinking a lot about this last year. I don't believe I've ever learned more in one year than I did in 2009. I decided to publish my thoughts on the blog for my own records, but also to compare experiences with other people. It's a lengthy post for sure.

The Hospital Experience

My doctor decided to induce me six days before my due date because I was progressing well and my blood pressure was so high. It was a surreal experience waking up the morning of my appointment knowing, in a matter of hours, Isabelle would be here. It was much less exciting than having my water break randomly and rushing to the hospital, but I personally preferred having more control over the situation.

After I was hooked up to all the machines, I learned I was in the middle of a contraction. My labor and delivery nurse asked if I was in any pain, which I wasn't. I realize now (assuming the nurses/doctors would've let me), had I got the epidural as soon as I arrived I may have escaped the pain of contractions altogether. Because I waited a few hours before asking for the epidural, I now know the pain and discomfort they cause. It wasn't an enjoyable experience by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm glad I know what they feel like.

I've come to the conclusion that more often than not, nurses are really inconsiderate, condescending and overall lame. While I really liked my labor and delivery nurse, my recovery nurse and Isabelle's nurse were not my favorite. My nurse didn't seem too concerned with my needs, but rather getting through her shift. Isabelle's nurse focused more on scaring me half to death by letting me know all the horrible things that could happen if I didn't follow her guidance explicitly. I suppose I could've asked for new nurses, but taking my ER experiences into consideration I knew I didn't have a great pool of people to choose from. Bottom line, I learned not to take them too seriously.

The Instant Bond

Being pregnant was a wonderful experience for me. I realize I had a cake walk of a pregnancy compared to others, but feeling Isabelle and experiencing her movement multiple times a day was very fun. She and I were buddies and it was a special 9 months.

On the other hand....

All of my life, I heard women express the instant bond they felt the first time they saw their baby. This was definitely not the case for me. Isabelle was born 5.5 hours after I got to the hospital. It was a very fast process and I pretty much went from one thing to the next with very few "waiting" periods. Before I knew it, I was looking at Isabelle. The first thing I remember thinking is how much she looked like Dustin. I wasn't overcome with any strong feelings. It wasn't until a few weeks had gone by that I began to bond and love her the way I always imagined. The bond grew when I knew she trusted me, when she recognized me and smile at me. It's a little difficult for me to admit I didn't bond with my daughter right away, but that's just how it happened.

Full-time Mom

Anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis knows the transition from full-time employee to full-time mom was not easy for me. I had no idea how much I relied on my job for validation and a sense of worth and purpose. It was very difficult for me to appreciate the role of a stay-at-home-mom. Often times, I felt like I wasn't doing enough or that I was lazy. It wasn't until months had gone by that things started to click. It sounds very irrational, even ludicrous, that I didn't realize the importance of what I was doing, but I'm glad I went through it all because it was a great learning experience for me.

Information vs. Instincts

My Bachelor's degree is in Family Studies. While in school, I often joked about how I would be such a great parent because I studied so much about parenting skills, childhood development, etc. As soon as Isabelle was born, I learned that my wealth of information wasn't always useful or practical. In fact, doing what "they" say you should was usually overshadowed by what would work in the here and now. While having information is a great tool and I refer to it often, I learned it was also important not to overlook my instincts and to trust my abilities. After all, "they" don't know everything. :) (Side note...during my pregnancy I started to read "What to Expect When You're Expecting." After a few chapters, I decided to use the book as a reference when I had a specific question. I liked this routine because it helped me focus on what was really going on with my body rather than filling my mind with what could potentially happen.)

Social/Entertainment Issues

Although unexpected, my view of TV has changed this past year. I'm a big fan of crime shows, but I can no longer stomach watching shows in which children are harmed. It used to be just TV, nothing personal. Now, it's really personal. While I'm not paranoid or live in constant fear, I now realize more than ever the importance of good quality entertainment.

I have since changed my position on certain controversial issues like the sex registry list. I used to be against it in some respects. Now that I am a mom, the logic behind it is clearer to me. I won't resort to looking at it everyday and I still believe some sex offenders can be rehabilitated, but it seems a little careless not to use it since it could save my daughter from a harmful situation.

I always knew child abuse in any form was wrong; however, I now believe a person that abuses a child is nothing short of evil.

And now, last but not least........


I absolutely love Dustin. He is a great husband and father. He is always there for me when I need him. I know he was nervous and unsure about having a baby, but I know that throughout this year he has grown to love Isabelle in a way I don't think he anticipated. I know he enjoys being a father.

Isabelle absolutely adores him. She knows when she hears the sound of the garage door opening, it means daddy is home from work. She gets so excited that she screams when she see him walk through the door. I love watching the two of them interact.

In the end, this year has left me feeling so content, so complete. I love my little family and I look forward to all the challenges and fun times that lie ahead.

(Snaps to anyone who read it all.)

P.S. They say "it's different with your own kids." It's true. There's no explaining it. It's just true.


Welcome to my new blog. Some of you may know that I have a family blog that chronicles my day to day activities among many other things. The family blog is private because I talk a lot about my daughter, my house, where I live, where my husband and I work, etc, so I have limited viewers.

Every so often, I'll publish a post that has nothing to do with my family. Instead, it's ramblings of how I feel about an issue or an examination of myself and what I'd like to accomplish in life. I really enjoy writing posts like that and want to discuss similar issues with other bloggers.

Insert: Emily's Thought Blog.

This blog is my latest attempt to become more apart of the blogger community and to meet new people. I'm curious to see how my opinions differ from other bloggers, and I hope to gain new insight on topics I think I have all figured out.

Let's see how this works!
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