Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lost: Lighthouse

So often, when I am watching Lost, I am looking for the Biblical and religious references in the show. I have always known the show includes tons of literary references, but it wasn't until last night's episode, Lighthouse, that I stopped to notice all of the analogies to other famous books, like Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass.

I guess it's sort of like the Lighthouse itself. It was there all of the time, but the Losties didn't notice it, because "they weren't looking for it", as Hurley explains.

I'm starting to wonder if each character's life is a reference to a different literary work. While the characters on Lost remain the same, they also mirror the supporting characters in various books, giving clues to the overall meaning of Lost.

For example, John Locke has always struck me as Jesus in the Bible. Three episodes featuring Jack as a main character have played on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. His first episode was named "The White Rabbit", then "Through the Looking Glass (part 1 and 2)" and now "Lighthouse", which has a steady stream of Carrollisms.

And if this thought process is correct, then crazy Claire with her wild hair and freaky eyes, is definitely going to be acting out Stephen King's Carrie. And how fitting, since Emilie de Ravin, the character who plays Claire, was in a TV movie of the book, Carrie.

OK, so let's look at some of the clues from the books, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Jack notices his son is reading, The Annotated Alice, and tells him he used to read the book to him when he was young. He says David loved Alice's two kittens, Kitty and Snowdrop, one black and the other white. In the book, Alice blames the black cat for all of the mischief caused in the book, but in the end, he is deemed completely innocent.

I'm starting to convince myself that is exactly what I have been doing with Jacob and Fake Locke. I have presumed the man in white would naturally be good, while the man represented by black — black clothing, black smoke and a black stone — is evil. But it's starting to seem more likely that Jacob is the one who has ruined everyone's life by pushing them toward the island, while the man in black wants to give them free will and the good life they would have had if Jacob had not interfered.

In Through the Looking Glass, Alice wonders what life would be like on the other side of a mirror. She steps up to the looking glass and steps through. Similarly, the mirrors in the Lighthouse show the key points in the character's lives where Jacob had entered the picture and made a significant contact. They flashed through images of the church where Sawyer's parent's funeral took place, the pagoda where Sun and Jin were married and finally Jack's own childhood home.

Alice discovers a book which she can only read by holding it up to a mirror. Above the mirrors in the Lighthouse in Lost are the words: "seus siyd dadru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi". Read backwards, it says "I show not your face but your daddy issues." All of the characters in Lost seem to have "daddy issues" but what does that mean to the overall story?

In the book, Alice meets the Red Queen who reveals to her that the entire countryside is laid out like a giant chessboard, and Alice is one of the pieces. Likewise, in a promo for Season 6, the island is shown as a chessboard with the Losties as the pieces.

Alice meets Tweetledee and Tweetledum, the overweight twins, who seem like dimwits, but actually offer her good advice, much like Hurley's relationship with Jack throughout the show. They introduce Alice to the snoozing Red King and tell her that she exists only has a figure in his dream and will therfore cease to exist when he wakes up, much like the parallel existences in this season.

Wasn't it interesting that Jack wasn't sure if he could remember having his appendix removed? He often acts as though he has some vague recollection of life on the island, much like we feel when waking from a dream.

The absent-minded White Queen best remembers future events that haven't happened yet, and time moves in reverse.

The Red Queen also talks about living more than one day at a time. Alice comments that "'In our country...there is only one day at a time.' The Red Queen said 'That's a poor thin way of doing things. Now here we mostly have days and nights two or three at a time, and sometimes in the winter we take as many as five nights together - for warmth you know.'"

This also reminds me of The Chronicles of Narnia, another classic tale referenced in Lost. Just as one of the Dharma stations is named "The Looking Glass", with a picture of a rabbit, another is called "The Lamp Post". The characters step into Narnia and live out their entire lives in that alternate existence. But when they move back into the "real" world, they are at exactly the same point in time at which they left. They are able to live two parallel lives simultaneously.

One other reference to Lewis Carroll is the number "42" which is the final number in the series on the hatch, as well as the number given to "Kwon" on the roof of Jacob's cave and on the wheel in the Lighthouse. The number 42 was Carroll's favorite number and used often in his books.

So, I am guessing that the ending of Season 6 might be something like the ending of Carroll's books. He doesn't really answer the question of whether Alice's experience was real or a dream, but leaves it up to the reader to decide whether she wants to believe the fantasy.

Other points that struck me last night:

  • Jack and Hurley came to the cave Jack had found when chasing his father in the episode called "The White Rabbit". Hurley points out that perhaps the skeletons in the cave — Adam and Eve — are actually their own skeletons after they had traveled there in a different time and died. Why do I have the feeling that Hurley has a better handle on time travel than anyone else and he is correct?
  • Wasn't it freaky when Jack runs into Dogen at his son's piano audition? Dogen tells Jack that it's sad that the kids have to face so much pressure.
  • And what about the interaction between Hurley and Dogen when Hurley is following the symbols on his arm in the hallway? Jacob tells Hurley just to tell Dogen he can do what he wants, apparently because he is a "candidate". This response causes Dogen to leave him alone. Does this mean that the candidates really do have free will and their lives aren't being controlled by Jacob?
  • Jacob told Hurley to turn the dial in the Lighthouse to the number 108. Was this just to get Hurley to turn past the other numbers so Jack would see the flashes? Or was there something significant at the number 108?
  • I loved how Jacob told Hurley that he could appear to some people in a cab and tell them exactly what to do. Others needed to stare out at the ocean for a while. That sounded like a huge statement about how some people easily believe in God or another belief system, while others need to ponder and have all the answers before they can believe.
  • I'm anxious to find out the difference between a "candidate" — one of the people chosen by Jacob, and a "recruit" — one of the people chosen by Fake Locke. How do the "rules" apply differently to the two groups?
  • Finally, Claire. Oh, Claire. How about those shifty eyes that seemed to be Claire's at times and then possessed at others? I got chills when they showed her dead animal baby. And then we meet her "friend". WHAT did that mean? Does the Man in Black appear to her in the form of Fake Locke or does she see him another way?
My mind is spinning from all of the information in the Lighthouse. I'm not sure what it all means, but it was interesting to analyze. What did you think?

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lost: The Substitute

The part of last night's Lost I have been pondering the most is the name of the episode: The Substitute.

With all of the Biblical references, John Locke has always seemed like the character most representative of Jesus Christ. In the Bible, Jesus was the substitute for all the people of the world. He was perfect and blameless, yet he took on the sins of the world and was crucified as a substitute so others could live. Three days later, Jesus was resurrected from the dead and appeared to his followers before ascending into Heaven.

So in the show, Locke was the "believer". He was the only one who wanted to stay on the island, and yet he left believing he could save the island by bringing the Oceanic 6 back. He became a martyr, murdered by Ben Linus. And then he was seemingly resurrected.

The only problem is, he seems to be overtaken by evil, a force more representative of Satan. Why can't the Lost writers make this simpler for me and stick to the script? Sigh.

Of course, the title also corresponds to his WHAT IF life, in which Locke is a substitute teacher. Oh how I love the Lost writers' play on words.

The writers were leading viewers to assume that if the Oceanic flight had never crashed, the passengers would have gone on to lead their depressing, meaningless lives. And yet, the opposite seems to be true.

In their alternate existence, they all seem much happier than they would have been. Perhaps it's because Jacob didn't enter the picture and "pull" them toward the island, as the New Locke explained.

Locke is now in a seemingly healthy relationship with Helen. Before, he was sad and depressed, screaming into the phone, begging her to come with him to Australia.

He meets Hurley, who is the confident and secure owner of his company. On the plane, he actually told someone he always had "good luck".

And he meets Rose, who still has terminal cancer, but has reconciled with her condition and also seems happy with her life.

Perhaps those that had been "touched" by Jacob in the parallel world weren't affected by him in this existence. Except there's one problem with that theory: Locke wouldn't be alive if it weren't for Jacob bringing him back from the dead after his fall from the office building.

I loved the part of the episode where the New Locke was zooming around the island in the shape of the Smoke Monster. And I'm wondering if he is the first of the characters to meet his alternate self on the island. He is the only character who is there in two forms, one dead and one alive, although inhabited by something else.

Of course, the big question from last night is about the names written on the roof of Jacob's cave. How had he selected each of the "candidates" and why? Am I remembering correctly or did the numbers assigned to each of the remaining candidates correspond to Hurley's lotto numbers and the numbers on the hatch?

And was Kate's name missing from the cave? I know they showed flashbacks of Jacob's encounter with Jack, John, Sayid, the Kwon's, Sawyer and Hurley. But I don't remember anything about Kate.

The New Locke specifically asks the question of which Kwon was being referred to on the cave wall, as if to draw attention to that question. But when Aldo was about to kill Jin, the other Other begs him not to because he apparently is a candidate.

It does seem like the show is starting to answer some questions, even if I don't understand the answers yet.

Regardless, there were a few moments to love last night:

  • Seeing Ben's alternate life if even HE had not been brought to the island. Now he is waging war against the other teachers in the teacher's lounge over how to properly take care of the coffee pot.
  • His eulogy at Locke's funeral. "He was a believer. He was a much better man than I will ever be, and I'm sorry I murdered him."
  •  The New Locke/Esau guy reveals that he also is just a man brought to the island by Jacob. It seems that he was the most unhappy with this position as a candidate and the first to stand up to him, rather than going along with his manipulation of his life. But how did he become the Smoke Monster?

And finally, who was the little boy who was giving New Locke chills when he saw him? I was betting that he was a boy version of Jacob. When he told New Locke it was against the rules to kill him, was he referring to Sawyer? Or was he making a statement about how he killed Jacob?

What did you think? I would love to hear your theories. And for more Lost posts, check out Rocks in My Dryer.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

What does success look like?

This is part 3 of my post on success. You can click here and here to read my first two posts on this topic.

One thing that has been changing for me over the past few years has been my definition of success. What would have to happen in order for me to feel that I had achieved success? What would that "home run" look like for me?

Would it mean I had achieved great recognition?

Would it mean I had made a lot of money?

Maybe it would mean I had a huge circle of great friends?

Perhaps it would mean my children were well-behaved and achieved educational goals we had set for them.

Or maybe it would mean I had affected someone's life in a positive and lasting way.

I had a unique experience with my home-based business the past few years. It was unusual because when I started it, I didn't have any intention of being successful. I simply wanted to earn a little extra income, and the opportunity sort of fell into my lap. I didn't go looking for it. It found me.

Well, I found that I was naturally good at this type of business. And within a couple of years, I started earning a lot of recognition for my success, not to mention some awesome vacations to tropical locations. For three years in a row, I received an honor that was most special to me: the Woman of the Year award.

The cool thing about this award is that it's not something a person can try to achieve. The company looks at your stats in 14 categories that cover every aspect of the business. The person who has the highest overall ranking in every category is honored with the award. Since I wasn't able to track how other people were doing, I couldn't possibly adjust my performance in one area to try to "win".

But many women in my business also jokingly refer to the Woman of the Year award as the Kiss of Death. That is because many women quit the business the year after they are named Woman of the Year.

Why? In my experience, it's because it's nearly impossible to maintain over a long period of time, and it's such a let-down to fail to live up to the standard of being Woman of the Year. So, instead of going on to have an average year (which still might still be an exceptional year in reality), these all-or-nothing ladies, like myself, would prefer to quit. They have achieved the best they can achieve. It's time to move on and try something new.

This type of success also came with a startling revelation. While it was really fun to be recognized for a few days at convention, on an incentive trip or during another event for being Woman of the Year, it didn't carry over to any other aspect of my life.

Women would treat me like a rockstar for a few days of the year, seeking me out for advice and taking hurried notes during a seminar I gave at convention. But then I would return home to piles of laundry, dirty diapers and an empty refrigerator.

"Wait a minute! Don't you people know I am WOMAN OF THE YEAR!" I wanted to shout. But the empty milk jug really didn't care.

I realized after the first year how hollow this type of success made me feel. It was fun and it gave me a little high to feel successful, but it didn't carry with it any lasting value.

When it comes to my business, I had to completely change my focus. Working hard to achieve recognition wasn't worth it. I needed to achieve a certain level of income and with that, sometimes I would naturally also receive recognition. I also wanted to help other women be successful. And again, that might bring me recognition. But the recognition alone did not give a lasting feeling of success.

In my personal life, I also have been evaluating what "success" would look like. What would be my home run? When I get to the end of my life, how would I want to be remembered? More about that coming up.

I would love to hear from you. What does your success barometer look like? Have you ever achieved great success and found out later that it wasn't what you thought it would be?

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ready to roll

Weighing in at about 10 pounds and with her super bald head, many people think little everydayBaby is still a newborn. But our 10-week-old is ready to get mobile.

She has been doing her workouts faithfully, and we're predicting she could be rolling over in a few weeks. Here she is in training.

Roll right:

Roll left:

Legs up:

Legs down:

After a few swats at the toys on her play mat and a good look in the mirror overhead, she is ready for spin class. This is when she uses her powerful legs to spin the rest of her body around until she has moved in a complete circle.

I've also been doing a little more physical activity the past week. After my humiliating defeat on Christmas Day, I'm back at my 30-Day Challenge on Wii Active. I was a little disappointed the first day that after breaking a sweat and stretching muscles I had forgotten, I found that I had only burned 100 calories.

I quickly rebalanced my metabolism by replacing the lost calories with a 140-calorie Coke.

After that, I nursed the baby, and she spit up about half of the milk she drank. "Wow! I think I just burned more calories in the milk she spit up than I did during 20 minutes on Wii Active!" I said.

My oldest son looked at me perplexed.

"So, you mean that when moms get really big because they are pregnant, they lose the weight afterward by feeding the baby?"

That's right.

"Wow!" he smiled. "God was really thinking when he came up with that one!"

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Verification, moderation or spam, aka, the crazy word thing

A few of you fabulous readers have asked me why you no longer have to type in that crazy, impossible nonsense word before you can leave a comment. I actually was going to write this post when I removed it, but I thought, "Oh, no one really cares about that!"

But it turns out you DO care!

Here's the deal:

A lot of blogs won't allow people to leave "Anonymous" comments. One reason is that it allows people to say mean things without signing their name. I happen to love my anonymous commenters and haven't had that problem (yet).

The other reason is that it allows spam in the comments, just like you get spam in e-mail. On Blogger, you have three choices to keep out spam:

Word verification:

Allow Anonymous comments, but prevent spam by requiring people to do the word verification. The downside is, many people dislike typing in the crazy words so much that they won't leave a comment at all if they have to do that.

Comment moderation:

Bloggers can remove the word verification, but approve all of the comments before they are published. This allows the blog author to delete spam before it is published. But the downside is that commenters have to wait to see if their comment was approved and published, and the blogger has to constantly check for comments.

No Anonymous comments:

Blocking Anonymous comments would keep out the spam and wouldn't require the word verification. But then all of my nice Anonymous commenters would have to go through the extra step of creating a Blogger account, which can be a pain, too.


So, I decided to go with none of the above. I've just been deleting the spam when it comes through (after it's published). So, if you see an ad for something weird in my comments, just ignore it. It's the price we all have to pay to avoid typing in those annoying letters!

If the spam gets out of control, I'll have to go back to either word verification or asking everyone to register on Blogger. I hope this will work though!

Did I miss something? If you are a blogger, what do you think about word verification vs. comment moderation?

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

The cost of success

*This is part 2 of my post on Success.*

I tend to be an all-or-nothing person. And this quality can be both good and bad.

If I make the decision to do something, I want to give it my all. I want to really invest the time and energy that is necessary to make it successful. I get bored with mediocrity.

The downside is that I might be doing something at a level that is perfectly acceptable. But since it doesn't meet my standard, I don't want to do it at all. (I say the word standard with a lot of sarcasm because sometimes my standard can be ridiculous!)

This is a trait that I have really been working on during the past year. I am trying to be more content with where I am in life, even if I am not feeling the "thrill" of success.

I have heard so many times in my life of women who "wanted it all". A great marriage. Perfect children. A fulfilling career. A beautiful home. And absolutely no fine lines or gray hairs from the stress of rushing from one thing to the next to achieve this idealistic existence.

But I know from experience that it's not possible to have it all. If I am going to be successful in one area, then I must choose other areas of my life that will have to give. I only have the time and energy to do a good job at a few things at one time.

On the other hand, I can be average, mediocre or downright OK at more things in my life. And sometimes average is good. Especially if it allows me to keep my sanity. In fact, average can be better than letting something really important slide because I am trying so hard to be successful in another area.

You might think this the end of my stream of consciousness on the topic of success. But no, there's more.

While you're waiting, tell me what's on your mind. Are you feeling like you are trying too hard to be good at everything? Are you happy with average? Or are you longing for more success?

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lost: What Kate Does

Last night's episode of Lost has my mind spinning with theories about the meaning of the show. Instead of rehashing the details of the episode (if you are reading this you probably already saw it), I am going to write about what I think things mean.


The most disturbing element of the episode for me came at the end when we see Claire taking on the role of Danielle Rouseau. Claire apparently has been prowling the island with her shotgun, setting traps for people and living in the jungle by herslef.

My theory on this is that if the Losties are pawns in a big universal game of Chess, then just as players need pawns, rooks, a king and queen to play the game, the gods need certain characters, too.

Both Danielle and Claire have similar characteristics: Each is a single, pregnant woman who gives birth to her baby on the island. Is Claire a replacement for Danielle? Or could it be that Danielle was being used by one of the gods while Claire is being used by the other?

Likewise, Christian Shephard was brought to the island in a coffin the first time around, and seemed to be aligned with Jacob since he was found hanging out in Jacob's cabin. This time around, John Locke came to the island in a coffin and is now being used by the evil force, "Esau".

It seems there must be something significant about how Claire spontaneously decided the name for her baby would be Aaron. With all of the Biblical references in the show, could this have a connection to the fact that Aaron was the son of the Biblical Jacob?

The Others told Jack that his sister (Claire) became infected with the evil force on the island. But could it be that just like Rousseau, whose friends were overtaken by evil, Claire also is trying to protect herself from the "infection".

Another reason for this "Chess" theory, which of course, started with that creepy trailer involving the chess board, was when Jack asked the leader of the Others how he came to the island. Dogen says something along the lines of: "I was brought here, just like everyone else."


My second theory from last night's show has to do with the idea of free will vs. destiny.

At this point, we seem to be watching the characters in two parallels existences, one showing life on the island and the other showing what would happen if they had never crashed.

However, I'm wondering if the show will reveal that despite their circumstances, the characters' lives are destined for certain outcomes. Even without the crash, the characters are starting to make connections with each other.

For example, Claire wasn't meant to give up her baby for adoption, regardless of whether she crashed. Next enters sneaky, scary Ethan, who is still alive in the parallel universe. Does this mean he will steal Claire's baby again?

And what about Kate? It looks like regardless of her situation, she is a good person at heart who want to love others, but she is destined to run from situations and avoid commitment. In both story lines, she has become Claire's "protector".


We also learned a lot more in this episode about the "infection", which we first heard about from Rousseau in Season 1.

It seems that the forces of the island are able to take over the bodies of people who die or are killed. We saw this happen with Rousseau's friends, who were lured into the hole of the smoke monster and then emerged "changed" as if something had inhabited their bodies. Rousseau ended up killing them to protect herself.

Now, we see that the Others are convinced Sayid is being overtaken by the evil force. They are somehow convinced of this by how Sayid reacted to his torture. (Should it have killed a mere mortal?)

The Others seem to be giving Sayid a "witch test". First, they try to drown him. If he lives, it proves he is a witch, but if he's not a witch, well then, he's dead. Same with the torture. If he's a mere mortal, it will kill him. (Darn.) If he survives, it proves he's infected.

The Others also seem to be very concerned about keeping the other Losties alive. Perhaps they are afaid that if they are killed, their bodies will be used for evil.


Finally, I love the fact that this episode "What Kate Does" is a reference to the name of the earlier episode, "What Kate Did" in Season 2. Does this mean we will now get an episode focusing on the life of each of the Losties and what would have happened if they plane had not crashed? It looks very likely.

What did you think? Do you think I'm way off base with my theories? Do you have any ideas about what all of this means? Let me know in the comments!

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Following the Olympics

What combines history, geography, action, adventure and great stories of human triumph? The winter Olympics, of course!

We have found a fun way to study the Olympics as part of our home school curriculum, but this also is a great way for any child to follow along with the winter games, which begin Friday.

I printed out the material to make these lapbooks. It was our first time making a lapbook, which is basically a book the kids make out of colored file folders. It took us about three hours to cut out all of the pieces and paste the books together.

The first two sections cover the history of the Olympic games, facts about ancient Greece and information about this year's Olympics.

We followed the trail of the Oympic torch on its 28,000-mile journey across Canada. We learned that the torch relay will take 106 days to make its way around the country, starting in Victoria, British Columbia, and ending in Vancouver.

We learned about this year's Olympic logo, Ilanaaq the Innunguaq, which means friend.

We also found out the Olympic games have two mascots, Miga, a mythical sea bear, and Quatchi, a sasquatch.

The third folder in our lapbook is full of mini books where we can track the winners in each sport. We are especially excited about the "skeleton", which is like skiing on your stomach without skis. Racers lie on their stomach on a fiberglass metal sled that looks like the outline of a skeleton.

The boys also can't wait to see the biathlon, since it combines skiing and rifle shooting.

We have been studying a few new facts about the Oympics each day, and the excitement in our house is building.

Let the games begin!

I'm linking this post to Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family. Check it out for more great tips!

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Sunday, February 7, 2010


For the past few days, I've been thinking about success, or the lack thereof.

Maybe it's because we just attended the funeral of a beloved relative, and I've been thinking about a life well-lived.

Maybe it's because we are going through a series called "30 Days to Live" at our church, and I've been thinking about what is most important in my life.

Or maybe I'm just a bit discouraged.

It's not that I feel that I'm unsuccessful. I just can't point to anything I am doing with my life right now that is at a level where I am feeling success.

In fact, I can think of about five areas in my life where I would like to see success. In a few of these areas, I simply am too overwhelmed just trying to get through my daily activities to devote the time and energy that would be necessary to get good results.

In a few other areas, I have been putting in some effort, and I haven't seen the results I would like. In all of these areas, I have been tempted to give up. I want to quit so I don't even have to think about it anymore. Just move on.

But then I had a thought. What if someone told me they were able to see my life one year from now. And they saw me achieving enormous success in one of these areas. How would I act then?

If I knew that by giving the appropriate amount of time and energy to something I really wanted that the result was going to be huge success, wouldn't I be so much more motivated? What if I started acting NOW like I was already successful.

Instead of walking around with my head down, apologizing to myself for my lack of success, what if I started pretending I was already the person I want to be?

Hmmm. Maybe I shouldn't quit so easily?

Well, I have lots more to say about success, so stay tuned. But in the meantime, I would love to hear from you. Are you feeling successful at anything right now? And if so, at what?

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saturday Evening Blog Post: January 2010

I've been reading a new blog lately, On the first Saturday of the month, she invites bloggers to link up their best post from the month to create the Saturday Evening Blog Post.

My favorite post from January was the one in which I remembered that moment. I had examined my big, protruding belly one last time, watching in amazement at her form shifting from one side to the other under my skin. A few moments later, I was gazing into the deep dark eyes of that sweet beautiful face and holding a 7-pound person who had everything she needed to survive and thrive outside of the womb.

In my post First month... month of firsts, I wrote about the miracle of childbirth and all that came next during those first four weeks.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Just what you need, when you need it

One might think that with four children, I would be accustomed to babies that spit up.

But my first three kids really weren't big spitters as babies. So, #4 has taught me new lessons about spit, puke and other forms of regurgitation.

To say this girl spits up really doesn't properly explain the situation. She often spits cups full of milk right after nursing and then continues to spit up for the next hour. We are way beyond using burp cloths around here. She needs burp blankets, burp towels, and lots of them.

As you might imagine, this doesn't make for a very happy baby. The spitting increased significantly when she reached the 6-week-old mark, so my hopes for the end of the newborn fussy stage were dashed. Instead, she grew much more fussy as she got older.

She would basically wake up from a nap, nurse and then have 5 minutes of happy. After that, she would fuss and cry, sometimes as if in great pain, for the next 40 minutes. Then, she would be ready for a nap. (Now you should have an even greater appreciation for those photos I've posted of her smiling! Those have been hard to get!)

At baby's 2-month check-up, the doctor prescribed her Zantac. You know, the heartburn medicine: "Strong fast, lasting relief with a minty cool flavor."

Well, the minty cool flavor is a baby's worst nightmare. But it does seem to be working.

I've also been letting her drink less milk, but nursing her a little more frequently. And I've cut way back on my consumption of milk and chocolate, to see if that helps. My diet of chocolate pudding has quickly come to an end.

I'm not sure if it's the Zantac or something else, but it seems to be working.

Baby has been much happier. She spits up less. She goes to sleep without fussing so much. And she doesn't cry nearly as long.

We're seeing much more of this:

As Zantac says, "Just what you need, when you need it."

And as the old saying goes: "When baby's happy, mama's happy. And when mama's happy, everybody's happy."

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Be part of the community

The theme today at Works for Me Wednesday is "blogging tips". I love reading web sites with blogging tips, so I definitely will be checking out all of the links on this one.

I still have a lot to learn about blogging, but I do have a tip to share.

Back in my previous life, I was a newspaper reporter, so I wrote words for a living. That was back in the dark ages, when people preferred to have a newspaper dropped off on their front porch so they could read it while drinking their morning coffee.

It was a simple process: I wrote words. My editor read them. They were published in the paper. People read them. Once in a while, people would write a letter to the newspaper about something I had written.

I developed relationships with lots of sources. But I didn't really develop relationships with my readers, unless they were enthusiastic enough about something I had written to call or write to me.

And that is how blogging is completely different from the way the written word was published in the past. Blogging is a two-way relationship. It is so much more than just writing and expecting the world to read because you have the most interesting and thought-provoking words on the planet. Sending words out into cyberspace without interacting with readers is kind of like dominating the conversation at a dinner party without listening to what anyone else has to say.

When people comment on my blog, I try my best to interact with them. (And I KNOW I'm not perfect, but I do try!) If they have a blog, I pay a visit to their blog to read what they have to say. For those who don't have a blog, I try to respond to comments either through my comments section or by sending a personal e-mail, especially if the person asks a question.

If you do comment on blogs, I highly recommend that you enable readers to click on your profile, so they can read your blog. Also, set the preferences on your comments to include your e-mail address for the blogger so she can respond to your comment. If you don't want to do that, then subscribe to the comments. These are the only three ways the blogger is able to interact with a commenter.

This interaction goes both ways. I read lots of blogs and if something strikes me, I take a minute to leave a comment. That is the only way another blogger knows that you were there. Leaving comments or following other bloggers is a good way to encourage someone else. But it's also a way to leave a little "calling card" that can generate traffic back to your blog.

I'm not trying to say you should leave millions of comments just to serve yourself, but if you don't leave comments, it's impossible for other bloggers to even know you exist!

For more tips on blogging, visit Works for Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.

What do you think? What is your #1 blogging tip?

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Lost: LAX

After such a long break of thinking about Lost, my brain seems to have grown mushy in its attempts to process space jumping, alternate realities, and hydrogen bombs that detonate but don't actually hurt anyone. I think my brain was still spinning even while I was asleep as I attempted to make sense of last night's Season 6 Premiere.

So, let's just break it down.

It was Groundhog Day, which gave us a hint we might have to live the same day over and over in two different scenarios.

The Lost writers gave us flashbacks in the first few seasons. Then they switched to flashforwards, and then the characters flashed back and forth through time. This season, it seems we are following them in two separate realities.

First, we have the big WHAT IF the bomb did go off and reset the timeline that would have caused Oceanic 815 to crash.

The characters are back on the plane. The plane shakes, but they don't crash. We are reminded just how sad many of them were back then. Back in time before life on the island.

Except. This isn't the past. This is actually the future. They didn't get on that plane until 30 years after they would have thrown that hydrogen bomb into the huge hole in the ground.

And although they are all complete strangers on the flight, they start making connections. Jack saves the life of Charlie. He gives his card to John Locke. He chats with Rose and Desmond.

Sawyer meets Kate. He talks to Hurley. John makes a connection with Boone. And Kate shares a cab with Claire.

Are they all destined to get to know each other whether or not they crash on the island?

We also learn that in this WHAT IF world, the Lost island has sunk to the bottom of the ocean. Was that a result of the bomb or something else?


Then we go back to the present, which is actually the past since the Losties were working in the Dharma camp in the 1970s. At first, I thought they were waking up after a flash through time. But it seems they were waking up just moments after the bomb exploded.

However, that wasn't your average H-bomb. Even Juliet, who was lying right beside it is still alive.

We are starting to learn more about Jacob and his nemesis, who I will call Esau. Jacob appears to Hurley and informs him that he died an hour ago. He gives him instructions to take Sayid to "The Temple" where he will be healed.

There, we are introduced to a whole new cast of characters, which in and of itself was mind-boggling. Who are these people? They seem to be aligned with Jacob, living in his temple with the healing water. And strangely, some of the passengers of the original flight 815 are living with them.

Over on another part of the island, we learn that Esau is Evil Incarnate. He has taken over Locke's body, uses his superhuman strength to kill people, makes really scary faces, and most importantly, we learn that he IS the smoke monster!

While Jacob seems to be represented by light and water, as in the temple, Esau manifests himself through smoke and fire. White and black. Healing and Death. Water and Fire. Good vs. Evil.



I really have no idea what all of this means or where this season is going. However, the writers did give us quite a few clues.

  • Juliet's final words, as spoken through Miles, were that "it worked". Somehow, Juliet is aware of how her life would have progressed in a WHAT IF scenario and is able to identify that the bomb did go off.
  • Cindy, the flight attendant from the first flight, who is now living at The Temple, explains that Jack and Co. are from the "first flight". She could be referencing the fact that they came back to the island on a second flight. Or perhaps she means that after they reset the chain of events, another group of people were brought to the island on another flight.
  • Jacob gives Hurley a guitar case, which contains a list of the names of those on flight 815. Could this be THE list, that has been referenced so many times throughout the show? Was it actually created by Jacob to let his companions know not to harm the Losties. And then the list is used in the future to find them all and bring them to the island?
  • After Jack saves Charlie's life, he reprimands him for helping him. "I was supposed to die," he tells Jack. Ironic, since we know that Charlie does have to die to save everyone later.
  • Desmond appears on the plane and then mysteriously disappears. Desmond would have been working in the hatch at that time, so he couldn't have been on Oceanic 815. Oh, except that there was no hatch because it was never built.
  • Christian Shephard's coffin is lost. What does that mean? Did he somehow get transported to the island without the rest of the plane?
  • What did the new fake John Locke mean when he talked about Richard being "in chains"?
  • And strangely, in this future scenario, it seems that Jack and John have reversed roles a bit. Now John explains to Jack that he has an incurable spinal condition. And Jack retorts that nothing is irreversible. So, now Jack is the one with the extra measure of faith?
  • Finally, we have Sayid's sudden resurrection. Could this actually be Jacob coming back to life through Sayid?



The Losties thought that if they detonated the bomb, it would reset the timeline of history and they would never land on the island. However, it seems that they must continue to live their lives in the 1970s. We also flash forward to the future when they were on the original Oceanic 815.

Should we just view these two timelines as the past and the present? Or is one reality and one a dream? Or are they somehow living in a Groundhog Day state where they will relive the same time over and over with different scenarios?


What did you think of last night's premiere? Do you have any ideas or theories about how the season will progress?

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Two months

Two months ago, she came into the world at 7 pounds, 2 ounces.

One month ago, she gave us her first smile and started focusing on lights.

Today, she is two months old! She weighs 9 pounds, 14 ounces.

She tracks with her eyes. She coos. She watches intently when someone talks to her. She tries to talk back with little cat sounds.

She has slept several five-hour stretches at night.

She tries to suck her thumb. She still loves to be wrapped up tight to keep her nice and warm when she sleeps.

She has captured everyone's heart.

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