*How* Did You Meet Them?

*How* Did You Meet Them?

I get that question a lot when I talk about my friends. I have what I guess is considered a lot of friends online. Yes. Online. In my computer. That I’ve never met before. Some I’ve met. Some I haven’t but feel closer to them than anybody else in my life.

I think there’s a fine line of what is a healthy ratio of online/real life friends, but I consider myself very well-rounded and uh, diversified! I’m pretty sure I cover every demographic, religion, sexual orientation and political party available you can check off the list. But while I have a lot of friends in my computer, I still have a lot of friends I am in touch with in “real life” too.

One group of friends in particular is my December’s Finest group of girls! These girls are amazing! They all met in an iVillage expecting forum for babies being born in December 2004. At the time, I was on a Group B Strep forum on iVillage and after Henry was born, I jumped over to another group. Somewhere along the way, I met Linda. Sweet Linda. Loved her from the minute we first connected. When Henry was about 2, Linda invited me to her December’s Finest circle of friends. They had since left the iVillage forum and made their own private world. I jumped right in and it was like we’d known each other all our lives. There are probably 30 active girls at DF – more or less at times. And I can honestly say, some of those girls are my best friends in the whole world. And by “whole world”, I mean WHOLE WORLD. We’ve got somebody from Guam, from Luxembourg, from Australia, several Canadians, people from the west coast, the northwest, the southwest, the south, the mid-Atlantic and of course, the midwest. Every region is represented. It’s an amazing group. We share our funnies, our sadness, our victories, our failures, our relationships and our fears. Anything goes (even though we’ve put a moratorium on politics and religion lately). And the beauty is, we’re all connected through our wonderful 5 year olds (that are about to be 6).Seeing our babies go off to kindergarten this year was really hard.

We’ve all had our trials and tribulations lately and I think, as a group, we are all growing. I know as individual women, we’re all growing. We are all having little awakenings weekly it seems. Maybe they’re mid-life crises, or maybe we’re just realizing that as our children are becoming more independent, we can regain that role of wife and daughter and sister and most importantly, “ourselves”.

Some of us have met people. Some live close to each other. In fact, one reason I was kinda excited about moving to St. Louis was so I could live near Rena and Samantha. But I’ll just have to make a trip there soon! I am close to several girls in Atlanta and that’s awesome!

So, to my December’s Finest girls, here’s to many MANY more years of friendship, love and sisterhood. I love y’all so much and can’t imagine what my life was like before you came into it.

Meetup in Texas Part 1

Meetup in Texas Part 2

Meetup in Texas Part 3

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**Shameless plug: If you haven’t commented or liked or linked to my post from yesterday about pulling a The David Cook on Group B Strep International, please do! It’s fun!!

Pulling a The David Cook for Charity – Group B Strep International

Pulling a The David Cook for Charity – Group B Strep International

Who is Charity and what does she have to do with The David Cook? Haha! There is no Charity, unless you used to be on the payroll at the Gold Club (“high end” strip club caught in controversy years ago in Atlanta).

Well, now that we know there’s no Charity involved, what the hell does The David Cook have to do with anything? And yes, it’s The David Cook from American Idol. And no, I have never and WILL never watch an episode of AI. Anyway…my dear friend Aunt Becky over at Mommy Wants Vodka has been actively trying to screw with SEO (aka Search Engine Optimization) and get to the top of the Google page for searches about John C. Mayer. She got up to #2 with her posts, but her Pranksters (loyal followers) reached #1 with some of their awesome posts pulling a John C. Mayer on other celebrities!

So today, as a group, we are doing a play on Pulling a John C. Mayer for charity. Except we’re calling it Pulling a The David Cook for Charity Prank this time. For obvious reasons, such as John C. Mayer is kinda lame and The David Cook actually is philanthropic (and apparently awesome).

My charity is of course dear to my heart. Since we were unaware of the implications of Group B Strep when Charlie was born (and when he died), I wanna drive traffic and awareness to Group B Strep International. This is an organization formed in 2006 by two parents of Group B Strep babies. Their babies were both stillborn at term from Group B Strep infection. Group B Strep International has a goal of being a central resource for GBS information in a variety of languages for both the general public and medical professionals.

I have been involved with Group B Strep International since its formation in a few ways. I traveled with the group (before they formed Group B Strep International) to the ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) convention in 2004, while I was pregnant with Henry. There we talked to OB/GYNs and midwives who were there about making sure they were following Group B Strep protocol laid out by the CDC. We put faces with the statistics. Two families were represented who had lost babies at term, a family was represented whose daughter contracted Group B Strep at 3 days old and suffers setbacks to this day from the infection. I represented the very small statistic of those who lose a child to late-onset Group B Strep.

Over the last 8 or so years, individuals involved with Group B Strep International have successfully gotten July designated as Group B Strep Awareness Month. We spoke to the CDC – in person – and had a hand in getting Group B Strep protocols changed for 2010. This has decreased the rate of infected babies tremendously. See the Group B Strep International page for exact numbers.

All women are tested for Group B Strep at 35-37 weeks gestation. If positive, they will receive antibiotics during labor to suppress the bacteria. If their status is unknown at the time of labor, they will also receive antibiotics. There are other indications for treatment that can be found here.

Early onset Group B Strep is classified as GBS infection from birth to 7 days of age. Most cases of EOGBS are from the mother being positive during labor. Most all of these cases are treated easily with antibiotics.

Late-onset Group B Strep is classified as GBS infection from 7 days old to 3 months old (or later). LOGBS can come either from the mother during labor or from “elsewhere” meaning, well, from anywhere else in the environment. We all carry Group B Strep as a natural bacteria and it can be passed through poor hand washing, having had scalp electrodes during labor, being exposed to contaminated equipment and having meconium staining during labor.

Late-onset Group B Strep, according to Group B Strep International, presents with symptoms of sepsis, meningitis, and strokes.

There are stories on the Group B Strep International site, including Charlie’s. You want the crazy stats on the rare occurrence of late-onset GBS (late-onset Group B Strep)?

  • 4 babies out of 10,000 will contract late-onset Group B Strep
  • 5% of those babies will die
  • 30% of the babies will suffer long-term damage such as hearing loss, cerebral palsy, seizures…
  • 60ish% of the babies will suffer no damage after receiving proper treatment.

More information about Group B Strep can be found at Group B Strep International‘s site! Maybe The David Cook will decide to be the spokesperson for Group B Strep International one day. OR he’ll just write them a big check!

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* Here’s where I get on my knees and beg you to comment. USING the term Group B Strep International, Group B Strep or GBS and The David Cook. Great! You may now go about your regular business!

Can I Ask A Stupid Question?

Can I Ask A Stupid Question?

Happy Ask A Stupid Question Day!

Do it. You know you have one on the edge of your tongue. You wanna ask it but think you’ll get laughed at. Or worse (see picture – yikes)! Well, today’s your day!

All your teachers told you the same thing every year. “There’s no such thing as a stupid question.” Well, that’s not really true. There ARE stupid questions. I can think of a few…

  • Are you serious? Wouldn’t have said it if I weren’t serious…
  • What’s the capital of Washington, DC? Uh…
  • You ready to push? Of course! I can’t *wait* to push a thing the size of a watermelon out of my hoo-ha! Can’t wait!
  • How are you? This is stupid because nobody ever really wants to know. And everybody always answers “fine.”
  • Can I ask a stupid question? Because obviously…  *insert LARGE eyeroll here*
  • Was that a stupid question? No.

So what are some other stupid questions? Entertain me!

Drumroll…

Drumroll…

I finally did it.

I finally sucked it up and got my own domain.

After almost 3 years of blogging in Blogger, I switched over recently to WordPress.

I wasn’t pleased with the choices of templates and layouts there so I decided I was done. I was going to have my own site designed how I wanted it. With the help of my lifelong friend Lee at Firefly Loft, I am proud to present my new site.

It’s not as fancy and flashy as some but I think it represents my personality! The blue, for those who don’t already see it, is what we call “Charlie Blue”. Almost every picture of Charlie we have features his blue pacifier – like this one of him looking so wise and precious at only 3 days old.

It came to represent the color that made me feel peaceful and protected. When I see this color, I can feel my anxiety lessen and it feels like a blanket of warmth is wrapped around me. So when I found the blue tree image I knew it had to be mine. It hit me like a ton of bricks, only in a good way!

I think I’ll find that THIS Thinking Place will be the one where I feel comfortable, open and able to share our journey through this crazy thing we call life!

Big, normal post coming tomorrow!

Enjoy and Cheers!

The Good, The Bad and The Delicious

The Good

  • Looking Forward to the Weekend: This weekend we get to go out with some old (not age-old) friends on Saturday night and then Sunday is our 12th Anniversary! Can you believe it? 12 years!! I may have to blog about that separately on Sunday! Look for it.
  • My Blog Redesign: No, it’s not redesigned right now. My friend and I are working on it today and I’m sure I’ll tinker with it over the weekend and it’ll launch sometime between now and Monday! Get excited!!

The Bad

  • My Shoulder: It’s totally screwed up. I have no idea what’s up with it, but it hurts SO bad. I tried to be a good patient and see a doctor on Tuesday, after 2 weeks of pain. The only urgent care clinic in Dunwoody doesn’t take insurance. Well, they’re out of network for all insurances. So why would I go there? I won’t! So I drove to the closest one and got seen. X-rays didn’t show anything wrong and the doctor said I may have bursitis. Whatever. That’s just a pretty word for “swollen area between your joints” or some jive. All I know is that it hurts. He gave me a sling, which isn’t cute, and said to wear that for 7 days. Kinda makes it hard to type, clean, fold laundry, cook or wash my hair. So I’m sure I’ll just keep loading up on Advil til it feels better or I have to have it amputated.

The Delicious!

  • Yes, I’ll have a venti toffee mocha please: Dear sweet coffee gods… if you haven’t had a toffee mocha from Starbucks, you’re not living. Most of y’all probably love the pumpkin spice latte, but I prefer my fall pumpkin flavor in beer. Anyhoo, back to the toffee mocha. It’s decadent. And heavenly. And probably a sin for which I need to repent. And I’m sure it shows on my ass but really, I don’t care. It’s a little smile first thing in the morning. And I get it decaf – so there!

Happy Friday, Happy Fall. and Happy Weekend!

Go out there and enjoy it… I’m going to grab a venti Toffee Mocha and toast to all of you!

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