Sunday, May 21, 2017

Fluency

I've been told one way to know that you're really fluent in another language is that you'll start dreaming in that tongue.

Well, I've been frequently dreaming in Spanish, but I spend a significant portion of my dream wondering what the heck anyone is saying, and trying to translate.

What the heck does THAT mean?

Also, may be why I don't feel very rested when I wake up.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Social Media

What I'm about to post will be controversial, for sure, and argued among colleagues for months to come.

Maybe.

Combined Facebook accounts.

Yes, I know some of my readers have them, some have considered them.

Coming from the friend's perspective, they are annoying as heck.

Reason #1:  You never know who is really posting.

Now, I have had some friends combine accounts and their spouse never uses Facebook again. However, I have also commented on friends' posts before, only to find out it was actually their husband posting, their husband whom I have never met. I don't want to be unfriendly, but I wouldn't have started up a conversation with the guy had I known it was him.

I also feel weird when I have friends' posts come up in my news feed that are clearly from their spouse. I didn't friend your spouse, I friend-ed you.

I don't generally "friend" my friends' spouses unless we also have a friendship, a networking need to be friends, or perhaps even a calling where we might need to communicate or share ideas (but really, I've never had that happen).

Reason #2:  Suddenly, I have no desire to ever private message you again.

I will never know who is really reading those private messages.

I'm not one to send skanky pictures via a personal message, or talk about inappropriate things, but I do care to know who I am talking to. I don't plan on sending a message asking "how are ya", "hey do you want to go visiting teaching next week", "oh my gosh the worst thing just happened at work", "My kid just pooped all over the floor", etc to your husband. It's not that it's inappropriate, but I just really would like to be confident of who is reading my message.

Also, that emoji that has hearts for eyes? Yeah, I'd feel weird if I sent that in a message that your husband read first.

Years ago, I was expressing my frustration about combined accounts to a close friend who had recently gotten married. She sheepishly said that they were considering it themselves.

My response was that she should do what was best for herself and her husband, but that she would never get another private message from me, or a post on her wall. It just makes me feel weird. She should feel comfortable in how she uses social media, but I need to feel comfortable too. It goes both ways.

These are really my main reasons for hating it, but these are some reasons I've heard from others on why they are combining accounts:

This will help keep us accountable to each other and have transparency in our marriage.

I honestly believe if you have that big of a transparency issue, you should get off Facebook. And if you really can't trust your spouse that much and it is not unfounded, he/she probably has another account that you don't know about anyway.

With that being said, I don't expect to tell you anything over Facebook that I wouldn't want your spouse to see. (If I had something ultra personal, I'd probably preface my message with just that....but again...your spouse is your spouse, I don't expect you to keep secrets from them). I just don't want to feel like I'm sending something to you that your spouse might first screen.

My spouse doesn't use Facebook anyway, so this way everyone that wants to contact him can just contact me.

If he's not on Facebook, his colleagues and friends probably call/text/e-mail him just fine. And it's probably really apparent from his Facebook wall/profile that he doesn't ever use it.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Think About It

Growing up, in many group chastity lessons, inevitably someone would ask the seminary teacher, or the unlucky bishopric member, a question of "is ___ allowed when I'm dating?" This frequently led to a response of "If you have to ask, the answer is probably no."

This led to youthful me feeling very frustrated. As the oldest child with 4 younger sisters, discussions like this were not frequent in our home. I don't fault my parents for that, but being told that if you had a question about what you could and couldn't do meant that you shouldn't be doing that thing was very confusing. Even though I knew that couldn't be right, every time I wondered something like that I had that guy in the back of my head saying it must not be good then. Not the Holy Ghost. The really otherwise-nice bishopric member.

I think what they mean, or rather should say, is "Here are the clearly stated things you should and should not allow while dating. That specific question might be better to discuss with your parents, where you can come to a conclusion after a thoughtful and personal discussion with people who know you, know your strengths and weaknesses, etc".

I was reminded of this today when talking about keeping the Sabbath holy in Sunday school, a class member with more weight to his words announced that if you are wondering if doing something is acceptable on the Sabbath, it probably isn't.

What if you are a new member and are unsure if leaving your house to visit your sick grandmother 100 miles away, because you might have to purchase gas, is in line with Sabbath day observance?

What if you are a healthcare professional, or a police officer, or just got a random job after a long bout of unemployment, and conditional on retaining the job is that you work on Sunday? And you're pondering what the right thing to do is? The answer is not automatically "Do not do that thing because you're wondering about it."

Or what if you make poor Sabbath day observance choices, but never think about it? Does that mean you're good?

:P

It's not a great message, in my opinion, to spread.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Debt

Yesterday, I had a friend post on Facebook, without going into specifics, about the sheer magnitude of debt they are facing upon graduation from her husband's dental program at the University of Maryland.

This post is not meant to incite pity, or feelings of anger that I want a free lunch or anything like that. I don't believe these things should be free by any means; I mostly just want people to understand the sheer magnitude of money it takes to attend some professional schools, especially those in a metro area.

I won't go into exact specifics, but I am going to give you numbers. They just aren't our numbers. Our numbers are 10-20% higher.

Let's make a reasonable assumption that Caleb will find a hospital pharmacist job that pays $100,000 next year (nice, round number).

In Utah, after taxes, that will be an annual salary of $68,000, or $5,600 monthly.

To me, these numbers are HUGE. With good reason. They are. There is no complaining here.

To pay off our student loans in the expected 10 years, our monthly payment will be $3,100.

Or, $37,200 annually.

If we choose to take the 25 year repayment option, that number will be $1800/month, or $21,600 annually.

The number will be higher when it comes time for repayment, because the interest that has been accruing from day one will be added to the principal.

That interest is accruing at more than $30/day.

Which brings me to the third option, the income-based repayment plan.

Income-based repayment is 10% of your income.

Roughly, $10,000 per year.

If interest is accruing at $30/day, that comes out to just shy of $11,000 in interest per year on the original principal balance.

You would potentially never touch the principal of the loan.

After 25 years, the remaining amount is forgiven, and you are fully taxed on the forgiven balance that year. Oh, and then that balance that was forgiven is now a burden on the American taxpayers.

My friend, who lives far more frugally than I, but whose husband's education was probably 25% more expensive than our situation, was met with responses that went similar to this:

"You've gotta stay away from those student loans."

"You have to live frugally, or you'll be paying that off the whole 20 years."

"I know people who pay off their loans in 5 years and they live way more frugally than those who spend 20 years."

What I saw was a bunch of people who had the right idea, but really didn't understand how large of loans a lot of these professional students, or students from private universities, etc are walking away from school with.

Those who are able to save up and pay for school outright should be praised. That is AWESOME! But not always feasible when tuition and fees for an out-of-state student are almost $40,000/year for 4 years and living expenses are high in the area.

I'm not suggesting school should be free (it shouldn't...economics...hello), but I do think that an overhaul is needed. Can there not be a study or investigation into where the tuition and fees go and why the cost has increased so much?

I'm having a hard time finding any exact data, but suffice it to say that pharmacists who graduated even 10 years ago had nowhere near this cost to their education. Pharmacists Caleb has worked with over the last 4 years have asked him about the cost of his education, expecting it to be higher than theirs, and expecting him to say something like $20,000. He has gotten a sufficient number of dropped jaws to imply that this is crazy high.

I will say that some of Caleb's classmates are graduating without debt. Only a few students have children, many students live with their parents (some students' parents bought them a house to live in while in school!), and many students' parents paid for their education.

My friend's family is planning on taking the income-based minimum monthly payment plan and paying the taxes on the forgiven portion (likely around $350-400,000) after 25 years.

Caleb and I are hoping (and we may be in dream land) that he can find a job close to family (or in an affordable region if there are no jobs available near family) and find as affordable of housing as we can. That he can find a hospital position that has a dependable enough schedule that he can be a floater for another company a few times a month, and that I can find a job to work part time or full time with good childcare options. And that we can pound out our loans as quickly as possible.

We may have lofty and unreasonable hopes.

That's the current plan, but you never know what life will throw at you, so we are ever changing and adjusting, thinking of different scenarios.

I have a lot more to say on the matter, but it's much more jumbled than this already-jumbled post, and I think this gets my point across.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

FOOD

Feeling too sick to get up and do anything, yet feeling so crazy hungry that you want to eat everything and nothing all at once, and feeling that you might die or pass out if you don't get food in the next 30 seconds.

For me, this adds up to a lot of eating out.

Which adds up to lots of $$$.

In my head, freezer crock pot meals could be a solution; however, I have yet to meet a freezer crockpot meal that I really liked. Which is a problem when I'm hating a lot of food right now. Of all the ones that I've made, the ingredients just didn't do well all mixed together in the freezer.

So far, toast and microwave/easy-to-make meals have been the main thing saving me from eating out too much. Personal favorite: Costco's Madras Lentils. They're on coupon this month. I managed to get out to Costco last week on the hubster's day off and got as many boxes as the rebate allowed.

Also (even though this is obviously eating out), Pizza Hut's deal for 2 medium pizzas for $6.99 each has been awesome, since that can stretch for 3 meals for myself and the munchkin. And it's just as close to my house as any eating option. As well, the McDonald's app has great deals. Yes, it's McDonald's, but even if you casually eat there just every once in a while, there are really REALLY awesome deals on the app most every day.

What did/do you do to deal with the first 3-4 months of pregnancy (and the rest of it) when it comes to food, food cravings, intense hunger, and all the food aversions?

Saturday, April 29, 2017

And So It Begins

I've had lots of stuff in my head to write about; none of it has been particularly uplifting, but here's something:

YARD SALE SEASON HAS BEGUN HERE IN PARADISE.

My 2 sad complaints are

1.  I feel like trash so I can't get out anyway

and

2.  I don't know this baby's gender yet so it would be a potential waste of time for purchasing items.

Sniffle.

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Waiting Game Revisited

Here we sit like birds in the wilderness....

One more week until Round 1 of the Match is announced!

Next Friday we'll find out if Caleb matched to 
     a. Meritus
     b. Frederick
     c. McKay-Dee
or
     d. None

If None, then he'll go on to Round 2 of the Match.

Dun
     dun
          DUN

The End.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Healthcare

I just spent 10 minutes trying to find out who exactly is the brains behind the Affordable Care Act, or, frankly, any healthcare legislation. I was looking for physicians, economists, actuaries, etc. I searched for 10 minutes and could only find the names of the senators who introduced bills. I'm not saying they're not there, just that I either put in the wrong search terms, or they are well hidden (or they're not there - please let this not be the case).

This seems like common sense, right?

I was listening to the news this morning before Claire got up (a rare occurrence indeed for me to be awake before the munchkin, because I am lazy), and scrolling through articles online, and saw an article about healthcare with comments from lots of people talking about on one hand, all these people now can't afford health insurance, who might have been able to previously; and on the other hand, all these women who couldn't get health insurance when they were pregnant because it was considered a preexisting condition now are guaranteed to not be turned down for insurance.

WHY CAN'T WE ALL AGREE THAT BOTH OF THESE OPTIONS WERE BAD?

We want women to have access to healthcare while pregnant. We also want people to be able to afford their healthcare.

I don't understand why it has to be one or the other. Why can't we have something in the middle? Something where people can afford health insurance, something where people are encouraged to live more healthfully in order to drive down healthcare costs, something where people aren't terrified to get pregnant or go to the dentist or get routine health checks just because they won't be able to afford the bill?

At the end of the day, what's mostly frustrating to me is the misunderstanding about cost, balance, risk, etc.

It would be great if everyone were covered for absolutely every healthcare issue no matter what - but there will be reactions to that - i.e. higher costs than previously paid for some, maybe lower costs than previously paid for others, possibly fewer doctors to choose from, longer wait times, higher flat taxes, etc. I'm not suggesting we should not cover people with preexisting conditions - just that people should realize that when this happens, the cost has to be offset somewhere else. No free lunches.

I won't pretend to be someone who is knowledgeable about this area. I'm not. I know this is super jumbled. Just thinking out loud. I'd love it if someone who is more knowledgeable could explain things better to me.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Confession

You guys.....

I am absolutely terrified to ever have children again.

I should re-phrase:

I am absolutely terrified to ever physically give birth to and raise from infancy any other children.

I still get anxiety thinking about having Claire. Maybe this is normal, but no one ever seems to want to address that fact. I don't care to talk about it (just thinking about it right now is giving me anxiety), but I also don't want people to pretend it's all peachy and something that isn't a big deal just because every woman who gives birth has to go through it.

And taking care of an infant. How do people get over the anxiety of wondering if their kid is alive all night? I look at my own grandma who had 10 kids and other friends and people I've known who have had similar #s of children and have zero (0) idea of how they emotionally and mentally (and physically) got through it.

Then couple everything with my migraines and pain problems. I'm terrified to be in the middle of a migraine and have 5 kids under 7 who need me all at once while my husband's away on a 12-hour shift at the hospital. It isn't like this is a once-a-year problem, but potentially a 1-5 times a week problem. It terrifies me. And then that anxiety in turn is likely to give me another migraine!

It's a vicious cycle.

I have always had a desire to be a foster parent. I can't explain it. I know that is not without its own HUGE set of challenges, but I often wonder if this isn't a possible solution.

There. I said it. Judge away.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Influence of a Teacher

My middle school Spanish teacher told us that Mr. Rogers, of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, was her uncle. She kept a portrait of him on the board year-round.

Still to this day I occasionally ponder this and wonder if she was really telling the truth or not.

And that, my friends, is what I took away from Spanish class.

Oh, and all the Spanish I learned.

Anyone else have something silly like this that a teacher convinced you was real and probably wasn't?

Monday, January 9, 2017

PSA Reminder

As we get into the thick of winter, I would also like to remind us all we are getting deeper into the season of

THE WEDDING CLOAK

Image result for wedding cloak

Remember, you can do your part to discourage use of this hooded monstrosity. Help brides who are in the throes of infatuation and unable to think clearly. No one wants to look back at their wedding photos and realize that their beautiful dress that they exchanged their firstborn's college education for was hidden the entire time by a thick, white, fur-lined hood.

However, know that if you do choose this hooded cloak, I won't boycott your wedding. I'll still come, support you, bring a gift, and I won't even make any comments about it.

But I'll be thinking them.

BAHAHAHAHA

Side note: Claire just happened by, saw the picture, and screamed, "SANTA CLAUS!!!"

Need I say more?

Friday, January 6, 2017

Huh?

Ok, I have a legitimate question, but for fear of being attacked on social media, I don't put it there.

I honestly don't understand why our government is funding Planned Parenthood at all.

I'm not even talking about different beliefs on abortion and contraception and what services are performed there, etc.

If it's a federal mandate that everyone has to have insurance, and that all insurances must offer coverage of contraception, why are they funding this?

I understand not all insurances do offer contraception coverage, that there are exceptions...I used to have coverage through one of the exceptions.

But do you get my point?

To me, it's like the government saying:

You must all enroll in dance classes.

And if you enroll in dance classes, you'll get free ballerina slippers.

Here, we're going to give tax dollars to this random place that sells ballerina slippers so that they can give ballerina slippers to people who can't afford them.

Surely it must be more complicated than that; I'm not trying to be crass. I honestly don't understand why this is going on, what the point is.

Why not just keep the money and use it elsewhere, or expand Medicaid or lower healthcare costs for the public? Or not take the tax dollars in the first place?