Isabella Maria

Isabella Maria
Her 3 week pictures... such an angel!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Feeling a tad sorry for myself.

Instead of sleeping happy in my bed I have been awake for hours. I WAS EXHAUSTED all day yesterday. So I woke up about 3AM and have been up ever since, watching the Discovery Health Channel, which happens to be my favorite.
I have my myspace's playlist playing in the background, and to be honest it is kinda depressing me. I LOVE the songs I have chosen for it, but some of them have a lot of meaning to them, or they remind me of things I can't have. OK, so Lean like a Cholo has no true deep meaning, but I love it. LOL. The songs remind me of my youth, or England, or my English family, my friends that I can no longer see on a regular basis because we're all wives and moms and homeowners and full time workers, or my American Family that only miles and steep gas prices keeps me from.
I know, I am still pretty young, but when I refer to my youth I refer to the part of it that I know I can never have back. No responsibilities, no true worries, no career yet... I don't really want to go back there, but the carefree fun we had was just... amazing.
I miss England so much. I haven't been there in 3 1/2 years. It is so beautiful, the weather is perfect (for me anyway), it's just different than here. You'd have to go there to see it. And no, I am not talking London. London is nice, but not the same. I would love to go there and have a ball, but that's not what I miss. All big cities have a lot of similarities, at least in my experiences. The real stuff to see is north of London. Durham, Newcastle, the Lake District, the hilly, green countryside dotted with lambs and farms. I keep looking online at ticket prices and nearly crying every time, about $3000 per person. At that rate I will never get there before my grandmother passes away, and that breaks my heart. I really want Aaron to meet her. Unless I learn how to shit money I just don't see it happening. I have twin cousins that I have never met. At any given point I am without half of my entire family. If I am here, I have not one member of my mother's side of my family. If I am in England I have not one member of my dad's side of my family. It sucks. So no matter what I do, I will ALWAYS be missing out on my family's lives.
Having said all that though, I have a lot of be thankful for. I am healthy and am married to and in love with a good man who loves me very much, we both have jobs and are capable of paying our bills, we don't go without any necessities, we have friends and family we love very much, not to mention I have the most beautiful dogs on the face of the Earth. And hopefully very soon I will have a bun in the oven. I guess it is true that no one is ever truly happy. Well hopefully this is just me being premenstrual and moody. I am 18 days late, after all. 8 HPT later, I am pretty sure I am not pregnant. Ugh.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Flu Shots are Evil.

I got my flu shot at work on Friday night. It barely hurt to get it, and I was convinced in my head that all the people that I have heard complaining about how their arm was sore for days were big wimps. I pride myself on having a decent/good pain tolerance. (Once I had a dentist look at me weird/concerned during a procedure and ask me if I was OK, and I said yes, that I felt pressure but it did not hurt. Then she said "Wow, you must have a high pain threshold." But I digress.) Well I don't know if I do anymore.
I am wondering now if I am having a reaction to the vaccine. Before I got it the paperwork said that if I have a severe egg allergy do not take it. Well I have never considered myself "allergic" to eggs, but (sharing a LOT here...) they make me poop. Like stomach cramps, pain, sweating, etc. Not a pretty thing to go through. I can eat things with egg as an ingredient but eating eggs for breakfast will cause that to happen. So maybe that should have been a red flag to the nurse... uh I dunno. Nurses are worried about everyone else but themselves. We typically have a "I'll be fine" attitude.
Anyhow, I shrugged off the egg thing as I signed the paperwork and rolled up my sleeve for the big ass needle. For the rest of the shift I felt OK. I did get really tired on the way home and fell asleep in my car in my DRIVEWAY for a few minutes, but I have done that before and therefore can't entirely blame that on the shot. However, I have not been awake for longer than a 2-3 hr. stretch since then. Also, my arm is swollen at the injection site. It is red and looks like either an angry pimple or bug bite. I occasionally feel dizzy. It is not hard to breathe, but I often find myself taking larger than normal breaths, like how one does right after you first wake up in the morning after a full night's sleep. (At least I find for the first few minutes after I wake up that I still breathe deeply like most sleeping people do.) My body aches, I think I am getting a fever despite having taken 2 excedrin an hour ago (can't find my damn thermometer... ugh) because I feel hot and sweaty even though the most taxing thing I have done is eat toast and type this. In addition to all this, my whole left arm (where I had the damn evil poison) feels weaker. Sometimes I get shooting pains in those fingers. No, I have never had tongue/mouth/throat swelling or wheezing, so I know it is not an anaphylactic reaction.
WTF? Am I dying? Are all these things normal? Am I just a huge wimp? Lemme know what your experiences have been with this.

I want my mom. :(

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Can the election be F*CKING over now, please?

I am sick of the commercials with the scary voices saying shit like, "Can America take another 4 years?" or whatever. Don't the candidates know we MAKE FUN of those commercials and they sway virtually (I assume, if not completely) NO ONE? Or are they so far removed from the people they are supposed to represent that they can't grasp normal American living?
I don't want to watch a debate. I don't want to listen to people who, in reality, probably don't give two shits about us, preach from their podiums about how they are the answer to all our problems. It is going to take MORE THAN ONE MAN to fix Americans' problems! It is also going to take more than 4 years to fix them.

*Let me say now that before you read any further, I am the first one to admit I don't know much about politics. Me writing this does not mean I want to get in a pissing match with anyone! I am not arguing that I know more or better than anyone else, just voicing my own frustrations. Please feel free to respond, but I don't want to argue...*

After reading more about candidates from other parties, I think they suck too, one in particular whose views actually contradict the Bill of Rights! Seriously? Sure, if you're 35+ and a natural born citizen of the US you can run for Presidency... but just because you can doesn't mean you should.
Another guy I don't quite get is Baldwin. It just seems like he is a little out of touch with reality when it comes to 100% of American businesses owned by Americans. Does anyone else see the problem here? Sure, it's a great idea, but come on now. I live in a very diverse part of the country, where there are a lot of people from other backgrounds, who are undoubtedly business owners. So we are going to take away their businesses from them? How many Americans are in the position to be able to make all their bills, let alone buy a business? I have a problem with someone saying this country is ONLY for Americans. Because if that is the case, we should ALL leave unless we're NATIVE American. How many of us can say "Yeah, I am American, with an English/Irish/Scottish/Dutch/Italian/Indian/Asian/African/Arabic/you get the point background". I know I wouldn't be here if that were the case. I can only assume his Doctrine is his best case scenario/ideal picture of what would happen in a perfect world. Today we are SO far from it that he would seem out of touch with reality if he thought he, or anyone else, can honestly accomplish that in four years.
While the Green Party has some good points, I disagree with their nonviolence value. Well, to be honest I actually DO agree with it, but I think it is ridiculous to try to accomplish in the world we live in today. When there are savages in other countries who want to kill us, we need to be able to stave off their attempts and put them in their place.

OK I think I am done now. I need to go back to sleep so I can work tonight. Blah.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Life Change for the Better!

It is with GREAT JOY that I write this blog. I got a NEW JOB!!!!!
Starting Nov. 10 I will be part of the Training Team for HomeMed at the University of Michigan. YAY! Here is a copy of the posting to give you a better idea of what I will be doing:

Market Title: Registered Nurse
FLSA: Non-Exempt
Hours/Week: 40 hrs/wk
Shift/Hours/Days: Days, Monday - Friday
NOTE: Day shift between the hours of 9:00 to 5:30 with occasional Saturday rotation.

To provide nursing care, assessment, evaluation, training and monitoring to an assigned patient population (inclusive of pediatric and adult) requiring home infusion and durable medical equipment prior to hospital discharge and in the outpatient clinic setting. To provide nursing advice and consultation to nursing and other health team staff along the continuum of care. Triage problems as they arise with home patients. To train and serve as a preceptor of nursing and others assigned to Home Care Services. To participate in health team activities.
Job Requirements: (I erased the obvious ones, like 'must be a nurse, etc. etc.')
Direct care with all types of vascular access devices (i.e.: PICCs, midlines, implanted, tunneled), wound care and oxygen patients.
In-depth recent experience in patient education (i.e.: self care, disease state management).
Note: Role will require cross training to both the Hospital staff role (in-hospital setting) and the Home Infusion visit staff role (patient home). Occasional on-call.

So basically half the time I will be in the hospital teaching people how to use their central IVs, like how to infuse meds, etc. The other half of the time I will be in people's homes infusing medicines like IVIG and Chemotherapy.
I will be either on call or will be working at the Clinic every 6th or 7th weekend. I am not sure which one yet, it depends on which team they put me on. We rarely work any holidays AND get reimbursed for every mile driven in our own vehicles! If we drive over 1200 miles a month, we get a company car. Not permanently, I think it is just for driving for work. But still!!! How awesome is that? They really treat their employees well as far as I can tell.

Here is my Pro/Con List:
-It is a change! I have been working on the same floor for 3 years and 5 months, it would be nice to learn something different.
-This is a step in the right direction for my career. I would one day like to be a manager, and home care is where it's at right now. (Baby Boomers getting older, sicker, etc., home care is probably one of the highest growing nursing fields.) This experience in home care will only help me.
-There is really no room for growth where I work now. I have asked numerous times to be a preceptor or to have extra work to do to help the floor and I never get it. There are 80+ nurses on our floor, and all those positions are already filled. I would have to wait until everyone else doing those jobs leaves before I would get a chance to do it. And even then, it is not definite that I would ever even get it! See how this is going?
-I would be working the same shift as my husband, for the first time EVER since we have known each other! That will be awesome, I will be able to see Aaron EVERY DAY!
-A more normal schedule will make it possible for me to have a life; go to the gym more, see my friends more, and have every weekend off for my kids when I one day (hopefully) have them.
-I will make more money. Right now I work 36 hrs a week, and with this position I will be back up to 40 a week. It doesn't sound like much, but it equals out to more than the bonuses I got working nights. And in this economy especially, every little bit helps.
-I met my co-workers already and they are really nice. Everyone was very welcoming and hopeful that I would get the job. (I met them all before I accepted the position.)

-I will miss the 6Mott Girls (and the couple boys, too). I have been there for a long time and have developed some really good friendships. They are what has kept me there so long, I would have left already if I worked with a bunch of B-words.
-I will be driving more. But half the time I will get reimbursed for the gas I use, so hey I can't complain too much!
-I have to get to the U really early to get a parking spot unless I want to spend $700 a year on parking. I have to be there by about 7:15AM to get a parking spot in the orange lot and take the bus to the hospital. That does suck but at least then it means I will have time to take a nap in my car/put my make-up on/read/visit 6Mott before I go to work. So it is not all bad! :)

I am very happy and a little sad. But I already made an agreement with my boss that I can always come back if I decide I don't like it. That makes me SO comfortable to know that I have a plan B if I need it. :D

This means there is definitely some celebratory partying in order! I will make the appropriate plans as soon as I know if it is a BFP or BFN this month!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Convince me!

There is less than one month until Election Day.... and I STILL don't know who to vote for.
If they would let me do my debate it would be perfect. But since I doubt it is going to happen... if any of you are die hard Obama/McCain supporters, respond to this blog and tell me why you're voting the way you are. Maybe it will sway me one way or another. And no responses like "I am voting for Obama because McCain is old," or "I am voting for McCain because Obama is a douchebag,", I want REAL reasons.
OK cool.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Response from Victoria's Secret

Dear Andrea,

Thank you for your e-mail regarding animal testing. We appreciate your concern.

Victoria's Secret does not test its products on animals, nor does it request any of our third party manufacturers, or anyone else, to perform such tests on its behalf. We utilize ingredients in our formulations that are known to be safe and we do not ask the supplier of those ingredients to perform any such tests on animals. Most importantly, we rely on human testing to ensure the safety of our products.

Also, Victoria's Secret does not use any animal byproducts in its formulations where the animal is either slaughtered or harmed in any way. However, we do condone the use of animal derived products where the animal is not harmed such as lanolin, milk and eggs.

If you need further assistance, please reply to this e-mail or call anytime.

Victoria's Secret is committed to providing an exceptional experience for our customers. Andrea, we look forward to the opportunity of serving you in the future.


Erica B. Customer Service

Phone 1.800.475.1935 or (outside the U.S.) 1.937.438.4197
Fax 1.937.438.4290

Response from Johnson & Johnson

Andrea Lamorand

Dear Andrea:

Thank you for contacting Johnson & Johnson. It is always important to hear from our customers and we appreciate the time you have taken to contact us.

The ingredients in our companies' nonprescription skin and hair care products have been proven safe historically, so instead of using laboratory animals to assess the safety of these formulations, the companies perform a number of predictive tests in humans. Any new ingredients, however, would require appropriate safety validation that might include laboratory animals.

Otherwise, as health care products manufacturers, Johnson & Johnson companies have a responsibility to assure the safety of its products for intended use and in the event of accidental misuse. The primary means of providing this assurance continues to be the judicious and ethical use of laboratory animals and in vitro (test tube) tests.

Johnson & Johnson companies use numerous in vitro or "alternative" methods in testing new compounds and new product formulations. In fact, the companies presently use more than 160 different alternative tests in research, and we are spending more than $92 million each year in using and developing non-animal tests. Ultimately, however, testing with a minimum number of animals is necessary to fully assure safety.

The companies use as few animals as possible, mostly mice and rats, and when safety is established, new product formulations are no longer tested. We use tests other than the classical LD-50 -- such as the "limit dose method," which requires one-fourth or fewer laboratory animals. During eye safety tests, our formulations are so mild and gentle that there is no need to restrain animals, and for skin irritation studies we rely heavily on human volunteers or non-traditional tests that require fewer animals.

While there presently is not a single validated alternative test that can fully replace whole animal testing, Johnson & Johnson companies are committed to seeking alternatives through internal efforts as well as by supporting studies at outside research facilities. As alternative forms are validated, please be assured that Johnson & Johnson companies will take the lead in implementing them in its testing programs.

To learn more about our policies, we invite you to see more information on our website:

Again, thank you for your interest in Johnson & Johnson.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Response from Proctor and Gamble

Here is a copy of the email I got from them:

Discussion Thread
Response (RightNow Administrator) - 10/02/2008 01:14 PM
Thanks for contacting us about our policy on research involving animals.

P&G has ended animal testing on all our finished consumer products except when required by law. We use non-animal alternatives first. We only use research involving animals when there are no other reasonable options.

In our Healthcare business, we're focused on developing innovative medicines that improve people's lives. Current regulatory standards require animal research while developing these medications. It's our policy to use the minimum number of animals necessary while working toward our goal of the reduction and replacement of animals. We continue to identify screening techniques that are acceptable to global regulatory groups to take the place of animal tests in the earliest phase of drug discovery.

Through our pet care and nutrition products, we help dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives. We feed our foods first to dogs and cats to help us develop nutrition that delivers true health benefits to millions of pets worldwide. We make sure the dogs and cats we work with receive the best care. We treat them as if they're our own pets. They are adopted into loving homes or placed in our retirement facility when their help is no longer needed. At the same time, we're working hard on alternatives to find even better ways of getting these results and eliminating the need for additional research with other animals.

We'd rather use alternative test methods. Not only is the use of animals avoided, but reliable alternative tests generally cost less and take less time than animal research. We'd like to be able to eliminate animal research on ingredients in consumer products altogether, and we're making progress. We've invested over $190 million in alternatives, making us an industry leader. We've helped develop over 50 alternative methods and have shared our work in over 300 scientific publications. We're also working with the FDA and respected animal welfare groups, such as the Humane Society of the United States, to work on reforming regulations and validating alternative methods. To learn more about what we're doing to reach our goal, please visit our website:

For additional information about alternatives, visit the following websites: (Biological Research for Animals & People) (Alternatives to Animal Testing site) (Humane Society of the United States site) (Americans for Medical Progress Educational Foundation)

We hope this information is helpful.

P&G Team

Vegetarianism.... is it for me?

I frequent the PETA website. However, I recently found out I literally CAN'T join due to my husband being in the military and his inability to associate with groups like that because they say he is not allowed. So, I guess I will stick to signing petitions and emailing the bad guys asking them not pass laws that promotes cruelty, etc. It kinda stinks, I would like to be a part of an organization that helps the lives of animals. But at least this way I don't have to feel bad about not donating money. I can't. :/
So I have been eating meat. It's worse than quitting smoking. Literally every bite I take makes me feel bad, but sometimes I need it. Need. But when I don't get that need for it I abstain. Like last night, I made tacos for dinner. I made ground beef for Aaron and had no desire whatsoever to eat any of it. And I made refried beans for me, which were fabulous. Those, some Spanish rice, tomato, onion, low far sour cream, taco sauce all on top of tortilla chips and I was a happy girl. I didn't miss the meat at all. But every so often I have to have it, and I listen to my body. I figure eating less meat is better than eat meat daily, right?
I still try to buy only cruelty free products. I have shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotions, perfumes, laundry detergent and fabric softener, dish washer soap pellet thingees, hand soap, and dish soap all picked out that is cruelty free. SOme of it is a little more expensive, but I would hope to God that if I was a bunny, or a dog or something else furry and cute that the people who rule the world would find it in their hearts to pay a little more to secure my safety. I only buy free range eggs too. Hey even if I do have the occasional burger I am still making an effort.

In case you're curious, here are the brands of stuff I use now that you can find at every day stores like Wal-mart and Target that are cruelty free.

-Tresemme Shampoo and Conditioner
-Bath and Body Works (OK this is a mall store, whatever.)
-Lush- everything there is cruelty free... mall store again. So sue me.
-Method (they have laundry stuff, hand soap, furniture polish etc.)
-Simplicity (fabric softener, dishwasher soap pellet thingees and laundry soap.)
-Wal-Mart Brand now has a cruelty free laundry soap, Mandarin Orange scented. It is CHEAP!!!!
-Victoria's Secret products claim to not test "finished product" on animals... I am not sure what this means and I am going to try to find out.

I just emailed Tresemme, Johnson and Johnson, Victoria's Secret and Proctor and Gamble asking them if they conduct animal testing for their products. I plan on blogging their responses for you.
Just in case it is needed, the reference # for the P&G email I sent is: '081002-001876'

And no, they were not rude, accusatory emails. They were simple and to the point. An example is this, written to Victoria's Secret.

I have recently read on different bottles of body spray I purchased from you that it says "Finished Product not Tested on Animals". What exactly does that mean? Does it mean that individual ingredients are tested on animals?
If so, does it cause them pain? What does your company actually do to these animals? Please respond to this email with specific answers so I can be an informed consumer making sound decisions.
Thank You.
Andrea Lamorand

OK, I think I am done with this animal stuff for now. I don't know what to call it. Helping, crusading (haha), whatever it is I have to put it on hold so I can take a nap before work tonight.

I will keep you all posted on what I find out!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I want to moderate a Presidential Debate....

This is why.
I have heard of different debates/Q&A sessions that have taken place with McCain and Obama. I heard one was a religious group which would totally have McCain's back, and then tomorrow I heard there is one by a person called Gwen Ifill, who is writing a book called "The Breaktrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama". It is due to come out on January 20, 2009. Now we can all tell who this next debate will be favoring.
I think that is BS!!! Debates should favor neither party. It should favor trying to answer American's question of who is best to run our country for the next 4 years.

Here is my solution:
Get someone who has no real affiliation with either party. A NORMAL, AVERAGE AMERICAN. Since it is my damn idea, me. I want to do it. I for the life of me can't decide who to vote for. And, I am sick of hearing people say "Well, DUH... the choice is obvious..." because NO it isn't. I am a self-proclaimed moderate. I see both points of view of both parties but am not committed to either one.
I think it is safe to say we are all TERRIFIED to have another Bush-like president. That makes me not want to vote for McCain. But having said that, I do not like Obama's view on nuclear warfare, well maybe I do now, but at one point, before the likely flip-flop... (probably when he was being honest...) I didn't agree.

So, here's the plan:
A simple stage, 2 podiums, the moderator (ME) and every American TV station who cares to be there. But, as much as I hate to say it, MTV and VH1 must be there. If we want people to vote, we have to think of the demographics and lifestyles of many voters. We want everyone to vote, but isn't it just a little bit scary to think of the average 20 year old (clueless) American voting? I want everyone to vote, because it is our right to vote. However, almost more importantly, I want people to be informed voters. This election is important!!! May the best man win because a knowledgeable country elected them!
There is more to my plan. I want no questions submitted by any special interest groups, or by either party. In fact, I want no questions submitted period. Any question I am going to ask them is going to come from my own head. Not even questions from the audience, who could be a radical right or left wing nut, thus possibly foiling my attempt at having a NON-BIASED debate.

Questions will begin with: please identify your religious beliefs/affiliations. I say that ONLY because a lot of people think Obama is a Muslim, which he is not. No this is not to sway people away from one candidate or toward another, but only to educate the American people. Some people I KNOW will not vote for a Muslim person at this time due to the way the world is. I want to give both parties a fair chance.
After that, I want to say to each person "Mr. McCain/Obama, what is your stance on:"
Drilling for oil on American Soil
the American Economy (and what do you plan to do about it)
the Foreclosure Crisis (and what do you plan to do about it)
Gas Prices (and what do you plan to do about it)
Health Insurance
The war in Iraq
Stem Cell Research
the Banking Crisis/$700B
Social Security
College Funding for Students
AIDS Epidemic
World Hunger (and what do you plan to do about it)

OK so since I am an average American I am willing to take suggestions on questions. But that's it. I am bound to be forgetting some issue that is undoubtedly important.

Here are the rules of the debate:
1. Each candidate will have 2 minutes to answer each question.
2. If the candidate starts talking in circles trying to avoid the question, he will get The Gong. and be asked to please cut the bullshit out of his repertoire.
3. Instead of commercial breaks there will be guest appearances by musicians, comedians, celebrities, all doing it for FREE. Out of the goodness of their heart for t he American people. No payments from either party. This will keep the attention span of the American People. Instead of saying "change that horse shit Bobby!!!!" they'll be saying, "OK, well I will watch it until I see Katy Perry, then I will change the channel." At least this way there is a shot at educating the population. And sure, there will be the assholes who just TiVo it and skip the debate part. Chances are those people won't be voting anyway.
4. There will be no funding from anyone except from McCain and Obama. They must split the costs for the studio and for the employees doing the audio-visual everything. All the guests will be there on their own free will, no need to pay them. Since I am an average American and therefore have no money falling out of my ass, they'll have to fly me out to where ever it is and my hotel. I don't need any extra payment though. Talk about taking one for the team.

So there is my solution to the debate BS.

DISCLAIMER: I do not know much about this stuff. Really I don't know much about much. My "novel" idea of how my debate will be (funding at least) may actually be how all of them are. I indeed know I may look like a total ignorant asshole. I am cool with that. Feel free to leave me comments telling me that if you like. But just a heads up, I'm not going to feel dumb about it. So don't try to talk down to me and have that "I'm smarter than you" attitude about it. It won't get you anywhere except maybe in my next blog entitled "Why (INSERT YOUR NAME HERE) is an Asshole."