Is Primerica a Scam?

Posted: under Guides, Life, Opinions.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

If you’ve landed on this link, you’re most likely someone who is experiencing some financial trouble and have been contacted by or heard about Primerica. (Or you’re one of my few subscribed readers. Hi, readers!) You want to believe that what Primerica says is true, but there’s a part of you that’s holding back, feeling like it’s too good to be true. So you’ve turned to the internet to find a real person who’s been in Primerica to tell you what their experience was. Partially, you want to know what it entails. Partially, you want to hear that your money troubles are over and you’ve begun to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can’t give you a guarantee of the second, but I can help you with the first. Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (4) Oct 05 2011

So, promotion

Posted: under Uncategorized.

I got made the cash office grand poobah today at work. Actually, technically it was yesterday, or tomorrow, depending on if you go by when the paperwork was signed or when my actual job code changes in the system. But today I got pulled in a little early because we had a shortage of hands. Tomorrow I go in at 5 AM and start making organized with the cash office. I’m actually really excited, but it also feels like my brain was put in a blender. I should probably get used to that feeling. :D

Comments (0) Apr 23 2011

Dire plan has unforseen consequences

Posted: under Life, Technical Difficulties.
Tags: , ,

Great. Now I’ve put one of Erich’s pocket notebooks through the wash. You can still read the text, but it’s going to take some work to restore.

/cry

Note to self: check all pockets, even the ones that look fake.

Okay, soldiering on now.

Comments (3) Jan 23 2010

Putting my dire plan into motion

Posted: under Life.
Tags: , , , , ,

I know you’re looking at this, Erich.

You see, tomorrow is my dear beloved husband’s birthday. I’ve been struggling with what to get him for some time now, seeing as we’re broke with a baby to support and still waiting on a paycheck to come in.

Well, I know a few things that would make him happy. For one, restarting this blog. I guess we can check that off the list, even if it’s not that great of a post.

Another would be to make him a fractal. Well, that’s slated to be finished at some point before tomorrow too, but I’ve given him fractals before.

I need something that will take some serious work. So, with the baby screaming in the next room (I get up to see to her and she’s fine for two-minute increments), I have nonetheless committed myself to this.

And that is: cleaning the entire apartment.

I know that there are people out there who think this is a downright retarded birthday present. Mostly because I’m the stay-at-home-mom, so shouldn’t I be keeping the house clean anyway? Well . . . I admit that I am not that great about keeping up with the housework. My husband, being the amazing man that he is, understands that I’m not SuperMom or even SuperWoman, and that even without a baby to take care of, I never was great about keeping the house clean for other reasons (mostly involving depression and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). And, through some miracle of proper raising on his mother’s part and general great personness on his part, he’s okay with this. Even though he would like for the house to be clean. Even though he would like to be able to come home from work and follow his heart’s desires. He still does loads of dishes, helps out with the baby, and gets up in the middle of the night to change diapers, all while keeping our family afloat financially.

I think he deserves a break.

For one day, I’m going to clean the entire house, not give myself breaks, and keep the cleaning ongoing until I’m finished. Or until I pass out. Ideally I’ll also cook dinner, but yanno, while the depression and chronic fatigue went away during pregnancy, the chronic fatigue did come back. So dinner is entirely optional.

Happy birthday, Erich! Or, well, almost-birthday. I hope my present isn’t too stupid.

ETA: And of course, right after I finish this post, Summer demands to be fed. Ah, well.

Comments (3) Jan 23 2010

The Big List of Morning Sickness Remedies

Posted: under Guides, lists, Pregnancy.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In my first trimester, I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum. For those of you not in the know about this most lovely of pregnancy complications, HG is morning sickness that starts earlier, lasts longer, and is of greater severity as compared to regular morning sickness. If left untreated, HG has a chance of causing the mother to die of either dehydration or starvation. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

Anyway, so I had hyperemesis. All day, all night, I was in crisis mode. If there was a home remedy for what I was going through, I wanted to find it. I entered into a research frenzy that lasted about two weeks. That doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but when your entire existence is devoted to finding the cure for what ails you, you can get a lot done.

Here’s the list of what I found in the way of cures and remedies for morning sickness. A word of caution: any time you want to go on a new supplement, medicine, or vitamin, you MUST discuss it with your health care provider. If it comes in pill form, it should be okay’d by your doula/midwife/ob-gyn/whatever before you start it. You never know what those pills can cause or contain–but your doctor does. So stay safe, and have a chat with your doctor before you seek relief.

Try these if you’re not too desperate:

1. Crackers before getting out of bed. You know how you feel great right before getting up and moving around, but then once you stand up you run for the toilet?  Getting up on an empty stomach can cause dry heaves. Try giving your tummy something to work on before you rise in the morning. Crackers are often recommended, but anything works–my personal favorite happened to be trail mix bars; other women recommend animal crackers or dry cereal. The worse your morning sickness gets, the more bland you should go. Keep your remedy by the bed and eat before sitting up if you can.

2. Smaller, more frequent meals. If you find that you feel better while eating but get nauseous a short time after finishing, then eating smaller portions more often may be what’s right for you. Instead of eating a full sandwich, why not eat half and then save half for two hours from now? The only problem with this remedy is that you’ll be eating for most of the day, and that gets annoying after a while. But if it beats the nausea, then it’s worth it, right?

3. Follow cravings; avoid aversions. For those of you who find that you actually crave things, eating those things will, more often than not, bust your nausea. But even if you have nothing but aversions, simply avoiding foods that make you feel nauseous can at least help. Don’t try to choke down something that you can’t stand the thought of thinking that if you get it over with, things will be better; if it doesn’t come back up, it’ll have a nice time trying.

4. Different prenatal vitamin. For the most part, a prenatal vitamin is a prenatal vitamin, but some women tolerate different brands better. If you find that yours is making you sick, try another brand. It could be that the one you’re on has an additive that your body finds objectionable for some reason.

5. Different vitamin taking time. If you’re sick in the morning, take your prenatal at night. If you’re sick in the evening, take your prenatal in the morning. And if you’re sick all day . . . well, you’re out of luck. Try a different remedy.

6. Brush teeth later. It sounds gross, but if you can put off brushing your teeth until the morning sickness lets up a bit, then do. I found that if I brushed before eating in the morning, I would throw up. So I ate before brushing. Just don’t put it off all day long; you’re at risk for more dental problems now that you’re pregnant than ever before.

7. Fruit. Many women, myself included, found that eating fruit when they felt nauseous cured them. Apples seem to be a particular favorite.

8. Avoid bad smells. Stay away from smells that make you nauseous. For me, this meant opening the back door while my husband was eating. For others, this means replacing the smell with another–try soaking a handkerchief in a soothing essential oil and whip it out and smell it when you can’t get away.

9. Protein. Filling your stomach up is all well and good, but if you’re stuffing yourself up with breads then you’re not doing yourself a favor. Carbohydrates stay the shortest time in your stomach; protein stays the longest. Eat some nuts or a side of lean meat and see how that treats you.

10. Exercise. Go for a walk or do another type of non-strenuous exercise. You may find that your stomach calms down along the way.

11. Sleep. Sleep deprivation can make nausea worse, so make sure to catch as many Z’s as you can!

You’ve tried those and none worked:

12. Gum. If you have to wait to eat or are having severe nausea issues, chewing gum can help. The act of chewing, the smell, the taste, and the sugar all have a chance of calming your stomach. I recommend a peppermint flavor of some kind.

13. Candy. For similar reasons to the above, sucking on candies can be helpful. For bonus points, try something with ginger, peppermint, lavendar, raspberry, lemon, tangerine, or spearmint. These smells and tastes have been shown most effective in getting rid of nausea.

14. Ginger in any form. Cut up the root to make tea, suck on candies, eat cookies, drink soda (just make sure it has actual ginger in it), put crystals in your food, smell it, take it in pill form . . . studies have shown that ginger is as effective as Zofran when it comes to nausea relief, but I have my doubts. Still, it’s one of the most-cited remedies for morning sickness out there, so you might as well try it.

15. Aromatherapy. Sniff a lemon or another good smell. I don’t know why, but sometimes smelling nice things helps, even if your environment is clean and non-pungent.

16. Salt. I’ve heard women swear by potato chips or salt bakes for nausea relief. If this sounds good to you, then go for it–just don’t take in too much salt.

17. Milk. But not if you’re lactose intolerant. With its high protein content and easy-to-take form, milk makes a surprisingly good stomach soother. I keep a half-gallon of chocolate milk around for when I start feeling queasy at night; all it takes is about a minute to get up, stumble into the kitchen, drink a glass, and then stumble back. And since the milk stays in my stomach for a long time, that means less of these midnight excursions. Of course, it would be better if it was white milk, but if you can’t stand the taste then don’t try to force it. For similar reasons, Equate breakfast shakes work great here as well.

Those didn’t work either, and you’re getting desperate:

18. Sea-bands (or bio-bands). These are elastic wristbands with small plastic knobs on one side. The knob presses into the P-6 acupressure point and alleviates nausea (or so I’ve heard). I personally did not have much success with these, but other women swear by them.

19. Liquids only while not eating. Drinking while eating can be hard on the stomach. Take in small amounts of fluids thirty minutes before or after eating. Don’t drink too much at once, as this can upset your stomach more.

20. Tepid food and drink. Don’t eat your food hot; try letting it cool to room temperature or refridgerating it before eating. Same goes for drinks. Less hot means less aroma.

21. Keep cool. The hotter you get, the more nauseous you get. Try having a fan blow on you or sucking on ice cubes. Popsicles can also work wonders.

22. Bathing or swimming. Believe it or not, getting into water that’s at least waist deep (or laying in a tub) can help sooth nausea. Even feeling water run over your skin has been known to help some women. If you’re in crisis mode, try taking a bath. Even if you end up taking five or six baths a day, it can be worth it to avoid vomiting.

23. Preggie Pops/Preggie Drops. I don’t know what they put in these, but they work. Preggie Pops/Drops are candies that are specially formulated for curing morning sickness. Both varieties are expensive–to the tune of $5 per 7 suckers for the Pops, and a similar price for the Drops. But, again, if it helps your nausea . . .

24. Vitamin B. Studies have shown that upping Vitamin B6 and B12 intake can help with morning sickness. You can try drinking Gatoraide for your fix of B6 or taking a supplement for both, but a word of caution: too many B vitamins can damage your nerves.

25. Flintstone’s vitamins. Instead of taking your prenatal once a day, try taking one Flintstone’s chewable twice a day (with a folic acid supplement if you’re in your first trimester).

26. Coca-Cola. Coke has similar effects to the OTC remedy Emetrol; in fact, the two are one and the same, except that Coke is carbonated and caffeinated. Make sure to let the coke go flat before drinking it; the bubbles could have a bad effect on your stomach. And of course, too much caffeine isn’t recommended during pregnancy; 200 mg is now the recommended maximum per day. Twelve ounces of coke has about thirty-seven milligrams of caffeine in it.

27. Tums. Sometimes, what feels like nausea can actually be really really bad heartburn. Try chewing a few tums when all else fails.

28. BRAT. Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast (or tea) is a popular way of getting through food poisoning; it works for morning sickness too. You must eat them plain to work, but you’re almost guaranteed not to throw them up. HOWEVER, if you go on the BRAT diet, it’s time to talk to your doctor about medicine. It’s not healthy to stay on the BRAT diet for too long.

Help! Nothing’s working! What to do now:

(please note, ALL of these must be discussed with your doctor)

29. Emetrol. Even if the Coke didn’t work, sometimes the real deal will.

30. Benadryl. If it doesn’t cure your nausea, it’ll at least knock you out.

31. Dramamine. Some women swear by this motion-sickness relief.

32. Doxylamine. This is a sleep aid known as Unisom in the United States; it, along with vitamin B6, used to make up the drug Benedictin before it was prematurely yanked off the market. The FDA now classifies both ingredients found in Benedictin as safe, so if you feel comfortable, then try it. Just don’t buy the extra-strength variety of Unisom as it is a different drug.

33. Zantac. If you find that acid reflux is causing your stomach woes, then taking a medicine formulated for dealing with stomach acid may be your ticket to comfort.

I’m still sick! What can my doctor prescribe for me?

33. Compazine. I’ve not taken this drug myself, but I’ve heard it can cause drowsiness comparable to Phenergan or Benadryl.

34. Tigan. Again, drowsiness is the most reported side effect to this medicine, but I’ve not been on it, so I can’t give you more information.

35. Phenergan. I just recently went on this to help with second trimester nausea, and let me tell you: it knocks you out. I took one last night at 9 PM and I’m still tired at 10 AM the next day. The upside is that it does help with the nausea . . . either that, or it was the sleep that did it.

36. Zofran. Before Phenergan, I was on this. I worship this medicine when it comes to nausea relief. Not only does it not make you sleepy, but it really works; before taking this medicine, I could only keep down Gatoraide and water, but thirty minutes after, I had graduated to Snickers and pizza. The only side effect I got was constipation. Bad constipation, but which would you rather have: all-day nausea with at least four episodes of vomiting per day, or a little bit of trouble going #2? Yeah, I thought so. Sadly, this medicine is extremely expensive–$700 for 60 pills without insurance. But if you can get on it, then I really REALLY recommend it. There is nothing else like it on the market today.

If none of these remedies work for you, then it’ll be time for a long talk with your doctor. Scary as it is, some women find that they cannot eat AT ALL during pregnancy. I was luckily not one of those women, but if you are, then I recommend this book, as well as its predecessor blog.

If you find you’re feeling in over your head or are having the signs and symptoms of HG, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about relief. (If it helps more, here is a list of comparisons between normal morning sickness and hyperemesis.) I remember feeling terrified of asking for medication because I knew that women were supposed to suffer through it and be strong; what I didn’t know was that my nausea and vomiting had risen to levels that were harmful to both me and the baby.

Doctors are very understanding about nausea and will not judge you if you ask for help, even if you end up not needing it. Let your doctor know what remedies you’ve tried; write down a list if there are a lot of them and hand them to him or her when you get in the door. This will show that you are trying to do something before asking for medication, and your doctor will be more likely to skip the preliminaries and prescribe you medicine if that is what you need.

Above all else, follow the recommendation of your doctor. If your doctor says to take a medicine, take it. If you doctor tells you that you need to be hospitalized, then prepare to be hospitalized. Hyperemesis Gravidarum can turn deadly very quickly, to both you and baby. Don’t hesitate if you feel that you’re in danger; if your doctor refuses to treat you, seek a second opinion. Don’t stop until you’re able to bring the nausea down to normal levels. Not only is it a matter of comfort; it’s a matter of safety.

Good luck.

Comments (5) Jun 10 2009

Pee on me, I’m a pregnancy test

Posted: under Opinions.
Tags: , , , , , ,

Yahoo! Answers. Maybe I’m just a cranky pregnant woman, but sometimes Y!A gets me in the mood to rant. And, since I’ve spent enough time on there to earn the top contributor status in the pregnancy section, that roughly evens out to me feeling the urge to rant for most of the day.

So I thought “Self, people love to hear rants. Perhaps I should vent in my blog to help fight the urge to smack people upside the head?” I try to avoid head smacking wherever possible, so here’s a list of pregnancy-related questions that I never want to see ever again.

1. Am I pregnant?

I am so sick of this question. Okay, I get that there are a lot of frightened women that ask this for peace of mind and the like. But this question gets asked at least once every five minutes (no exaggeration), and the answer is always the same: pee on the freakin’ stick!

Since symptoms are never conclusive (you can have every symptom in the book and still not be pregnant, or you could have no symptoms and be carrying twins), I’ll let you gals in on a little secret.

If sperm came anywhere near your vagina for any reason, there’s a chance (however slim) that you could be pregnant. No birth control method is 100% reliable, except for abstinence. Sperm does not die instantly outside of the vagina. I don’t care what your special circumstance is. It doesn’t matter what the chances are. You either are or you aren’t pregnant, so take a test and stop wasting everybody’s time.

2. Should I get an abortion?

Oh, internet.

In my personal politics I’m pro-life, but I vote pro-choice. A question like this makes me wonder why I bother. Half of the answers (and there will be a lot of them) will say “no” and talk about adoption, a quarter will call the questioner a murderer, and the last quarter will uncomfortably shuffle their feet and say “You know, that’s actually your decision, not ours.”

Decisions involving babies are huge no matter what the circumstances. You can keep the baby, in which case HELLO PREGNANCY and taking care of a tiny person who depends on you utterly and completely; you can give the baby up for adoption, in which case you skip that last part but get to deal with lifelong guilt, unhappiness, and ‘what ifs’; or you can abort, leaving you with guilt and a lot of angry people telling you how awful you are, not to mention the possibility that you could never have a chance at children again.

Why people try to put this extremely delicate question to the internet, I’ll never understand. I can’t believe such people are actually serious. So, instead of contemplating the possibility of someone  reproducing who thinks the internet can answer whether they should kill a baby or not, I’ll just chalk it up to trolls and shake my fist.

3. I’m bleeding out the eyes/peeing green funk/running a fever of 105 fahrenheit. Is this normal?

No. Now go to the doctor.

In all seriousness, sometimes pregnancy does cause some pretty weird symptoms. Like, the whole thing with having nightmares every single night? I would have chalked it up to mental instability, but nope, it’s common in pregnancy. But, none of us at Y!A are doctors, so why are you asking us? Don’t you have a doctor of your own?

4. I’m pregnant and I don’t want to quit X bad habit. Must I?

What you want is for someone to tell you that X bad habit (smoking, drinking, unprotected sex with a HIV-positive person, whatever) is okay and that you don’t have to quit, even though you know you should. Here’s a little hint. If you think you should quit doing something, then you should quit doing it.

5. I’m 12/13/14/15/16/17 and I want a baby. I know I’m prepared. What do you think?

Inevitably, the contents of this question end up being a teenager talking about how she knows ALL about babies (because she baby-sits her friend’s/sister’s/aunt’s baby) and that she is totally mature enough to have a baby. It’ll be great to have a baby, because she loves them and hers will love her back unconditionally.

The only problem is that everybody in the entire freaking world thinks this is a bad idea. She can’t understand why. She lists all the reasons why she’s fit to be a mother. She talks about how she and her boyfriend are truly in love and how they’ve both picked out baby names.

Then, inevitably, when the commenters don’t agree she whines and cries about how they don’t understand how terrible things are for her and how she’ll have her baby and that’ll show them.

If you’re a teen and you want to be a mother, then you had better be more prepared than any adult you have ever met. You’d better have a car, job, house, insurance, stable marriage, happy life, savings, and baby supplies. Yes, adults regularly get by with less. But guess what: you aren’t an adult. You’re still growing up and learning how the world works.

Since I know you don’t have any of these things, I advise you get a puppy, or an indoor plant.

6. How is babby formed?

Okay guys, it was funny the first time. Maybe it was even funny the second time. But you’re not edgy, hip, cool, or funny if you go into the pregnancy section of Yahoo! Answers and post this question; you’re a moron who can’t come up with his own funnies.

Ask one of these questions, and you’ll likely find yourself on the wrong end of a large number of moody, uncomfortable, sleep-deprived women; and believe me, not many of us have many qualms with tearing you a new one. Feel free to post if you really can’t help yourself . . . but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Comments (2) Jun 04 2009

Huzzah!

Posted: under Technical Difficulties.
Tags: , , ,

Well, now my CSS is finished enough that I’m not embarrassed of it, though there are still a few bugs to work out (why isn’t the hover color of the comments link light grey?). And there are some nifty ideas that I’ve got to further tweak the theme, but since they’re icing on the cake, I’m not in too much of a hurry.

Unfortunately some of my plugins are acting a little wonky, so next on the list is to fix those. Not too important, so I’m not worried.

I don’t want to use this post for serious content, so another post is to follow soon.

Comments (2) Jun 03 2009

How do I work this thing?

Posted: under Technical Difficulties.
Tags: , , ,

So here I am with a few snazzy looking images that took me about fifteen minutes to throw together with some old fractals, and a CSS stylesheet that I’ve been working on since roughly 4:45 A.M.

(The time is now 8:30 A.M., or thereabouts.)

It occurs to me that I should make a list of things I want to change and come back to it later. For those of you who are seeing this blog in its tacky-looking form, I apologize. Since there’s only so much a gal can do without driving herself gibbering insane, I’ll quit the hand-wringing and give The List:

1. Change my blog title text so that it’s not in Palatino Linotype. It seems the only way to do this short of completely disemboweling my CSS is to change my blog body’s text so that it’s also not in Palatino Linotype, which is not what I want. Right now my priority is making the body look nice, so the title will continue to look bad until I can figure out how to make it work (assuming there’s a way to do this).

2. Fix the title, category, comment, and archive links so that they’re not fruity colors and they’re not underlined. I’ll be making those a nice, neutral black with no further styling if I can.

3. Add some widgets, or something, to the sidebar. Because that area’s looking a bit lonely and lopsided.

4. Speaking of widgets, add a bit to that tag cloud so that it looks less pathetic.

5. Come up with a title that puts every other blog I’ve read to shame while simultaneously making me lunch and saving the world.

If you can’t tell, I’m not terribly optimistic about the title part. Part of the problem is that this blog doesn’t have a unifying theme beyond “oh hey look I’m an artist, listen to my opinions” (which range in topic from the importance of psychology in occupational therapy to why I hate plain M&Ms), and this also includes random crap I found on the internet. Frankly I’ll be surprised if this blog manages to get subscribers who aren’t close friends, part of my family, or my test account.

So for now I’m not going to worry about that last part. Who knows, maybe while writing I’ll discover that I’m making a lot of posts with similar themes and run with it. Right now I’m not to that point, and so this blog remains Untitled.

Comments (3) May 31 2009