Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Site!

I wanted to let all of you know about my new website called Moms Questions.  I started it to get conversations going about being a mom (or dad) and raising kids and the worries and questions that come up in day to day life.  And then some.

Please check it out, comment, make suggestions, tell your friends!  Let me know how I could make it better or improve my writing.

I will still keep this blog going for a while, but eventually hope to move everything to that site.

Enjoy and thanks!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Prematurity Awareness Month

For those of you not aware, this month is Prematurity Awareness Month, and today is Blog For Preemies day. 

I was lucky enough to not have to deal with the heartache and stress that comes with having a preemie, but follow stories of those that have.  Not all stories end up happy, but one that did is documented on a blog called Our Stork Got Lost.  It deals with prematurity as well as infertility in a wonderfully humorous but serious way.  The willingness of these people to share their story, and the courage they display is inspiring.  (I went to high school with Jeff but haven't seen him in years - I give him, and his wife Kerry, so much credit for displaying their life and struggles to the public and putting themselves out there for scrutiny.  You'll see what I mean when I say scrutiny.) 

The strength of parents that have children born 10 or 12 weeks early amazes me.  The months their babies have to spend in the NICU must be agonizing.  I don't know if I could do it and I pray that I never have to. 

I didn't realize, though, that my chances of having a premature baby are higher here in the United States than in most other developed countries.  According to the March of Dimes the U.S. gets a "D" grade when it comes to the number of premature births.  In the U.S. alone more than 540,000 babies are born prematurely (that's 1 out of every 8 births!).  And worldwide the number is around 13 million.

So why is this the case?  Why has the percentage of premature births grown so drastically in the last 20 years? 

Most of the time there is no particular reason for a woman going into premature labor.  But there are precautions that can be taken to help prevent a premature delivery.  The March of Dimes website has some wonderful suggestions for pregnant women to help them stay pregnant for their full term.  It gives some great information on prematurity for moms, families and professionals.  It also gives you ideas on what you can do, pregnant or not, to help fight prematurity.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Arizona's budget

I have been meaning to post this link for a while now.  I don't really know what took me so long.  It might have to do with a certain seriously teething 17-month old.

Anyway, most of you have seen the posts I've put up in the past about how Arizona is in a serious budget crisis right now.  Most agencies have laid off employees throughout this year in an effort to reduce costs.  I've been lucky enough to make it through two rounds of lay-offs at my agency.

Just recently the Governor asked all agencies to put together a proposal for what they would cut should they be required to reduce by another 15%.  These can all be found on the Office of Strategic Planning & Budgeting's website.  My agency is Administration.  To go directly to ADOA's proposal click here.  Go to page 62 for the Human Resources Division section.  The gist of the document for HR says that if ADOA were to cut the amount requested in the proposal then HR would essentially go away completely.

If that happened all the agencies would be required to handle the HR duties that ADOA currently does (HRIS entry, recruiting, employee relations, etc.).  The problem, though, is that the agencies that we help out are saying that if they have to cut 15% they will cut their HR department as well and give everything that we aren't already doing back to us.  Ummm, hello?  There is going to be no HR anywhere!  It just can't work!

It still remains to be seen if something will come of these proposals.  Our Governor is still pushing for a temporary tax increase to help offset the deficit we have but the Legislature isn't having any of it.  There still is not a budget passed for FY2010 (which started July 1).  I think that they are getting ready to start a 4th special session to try to get things worked out.

So that's where we are.  Who knows when we'll ever get in the black again.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween 2009!

Halloween was a crazy day for us this year.  We had a garage sale (more on that in a different post) and then went to the Coyotes' game.  I didn't think O is ready for the whole trick or treating gig this year, but we'll definitely try next year.  My parents were also in town so we wanted to make sure they got to at least one game this year.

We carved pumpkins for the first time since John and I have been married.  I think our jack-o-lanterns turned out pretty good.  I free-handed, and John used a pattern.

John deciding which pattern to use.

 O enjoyed playing with the guts more than anything

I guess before we had a baby we never really got that in to decorating for the holidays.  Sure, I'd put a few things out for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but now that O is here I want to make sure she has great holidays, and that means decorating.  It's actually kind of fun!

I went a little overboard with the pictures but O was so cute as Supergirl.  I just couldn't resist.  Enjoy!

This costume was so cute.  I had to get it from all angles.

Up, up and away!!!

Supergirl has to re-fuel at some point