Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Just for grins

Every so often I take a look at who's coming to the blog and how they wandered here. The most entertaining are those who did some sort of Google search and wound up here. My personal favorite is still, 'broccoli is a fruit'. However, I no longer pop up in that search. boo hoo, LOL.

Recent searches go from the 'huh?' to the 'ick...'

AH.UN.OH - on a google.cl search
broke my toe mom blog - ooookay
how did you feel walking in the susan g. komen walk for the cure? - I think this one was pretty cool
i hate my feet - this one's quite popular!
cut roses sprouting - when the heck did I write about roses?
understatement of the century - on a google.co.uk search
i hate my mother - on a google.co.in search (I think someone has issues.)
dairy withdrawal - on a google.ca search
true or false 1 in 10 women diaper dinner - wha?

The 'ick' ones I'm not repeating because I don't really want those kinds of people coming back here again. Yuck, yuck, yuck. Anyone have blog bleach?

Can't look away

In addition to my daily check on the tropical storm situation in the Atlantic, I'm now checking in on the wildfire situation in California.

Professional interest has me keeping an eye out for developing hurricanes (none predicted at this time, thank goodness) due to the nature of my job. When Texas gets hit by a hurricane, my employer goes into 'crazy' mode trying to assess claims and check on policyholders. Fortunately, Erin petered out and Humberto really didn't do much damage. We've still got a ways to go until the end of hurricane season, though.

Personal and professional interest has me voraciously reading news reports of the California fires. Hopefully, policyholders have appropriate limits on their homeowner policies. Between the damage caused in 2003 and the resulting increase in the cost of building supplies, I really hope insurers are on the ball and have raised limits appropriately. It would be terrible to lose everything in a fire only to discover that you are under-insured and can only rebuild half your house...

I did read one commentary that rubbed me entirely the wrong way. Well, one sentence: 'And while insurance companies appear financially well-positioned to cover losses, they’re increasingly pressing homeowners to reduce fire risk and increase coverage.' Ummm, in order for an insurance company to be financially well-positioned to cover massive losses, the policies they sell MUST have adequate limits. Encouraging (read: offer premium discounts or surcharges based on meeting certain underwriting guidelines) policyholders to reduce fire risk is a win-win situation for both the homeowner and the insurance company. In order for a policyholder to have a valid financial cushion, coverage must be adequate.

One of the things I love about working for an insurance company is that I feel we make a difference. Yes, everybody hates their insurance co. Shoot, there are times I dislike my own. I pay a lot of money for a product I hope to GOODNESS I never have to use. When I do have to file a claim, there is definitely stress present. However, without that financial cushion, many, many, many people would experience financial difficulty and/or ruin.

On the personal side of things, the devastation felt by so many people who have lost their homes or are in danger of losing their homes is horrifying. My heart aches for so many who have lost so much. The loss of life is even worse...


Bump, tap.... bump, tap.... bump, tap....

The bean has gotten the hiccups a couple times. It's pretty interesting because she has a WHOLE lotta space to move around in right now. When she hics, I feel a bump on the right followed by a soft tap on the left side in a fine example of Newton's 3rd Law of Motion.

Just wait kid, it won't be long before you're out of room.

Non-toxicity test

Hopefully, Crayola's water color paints are as non-toxic as advertised. L. decided it would be great fun to taste her water colors last night.

Monday, October 22, 2007

7 Random Things about me - or I've been tagged

Ms. Aimee at Greeblemonkey tagged me a few days ago. About time I answered, huh?

1. Chocolate makes me sneeze. My nose can tell fine chocolates from a Hershey bar just by the number of sneezes. There's some Swiss dark chocolate that triggered a good 6-7 sneezes per piece. Mmmmm....

2. I had matching scores on the SAT verbal and math the first time I took it. I also had matching verbal and math scores on the GRE. No wonder I can't figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

3. I love writing queries in SQL. Yes, I'm weird.

4. I learned how to drive on a standard transmission. Nothing says stress like a very novice driver stalling out in the middle of a busy intersection in Wiesbaden Germany.

5. I took 2 years Latin in high school. Elephantus non capit murem.

6. I like Scooby Doo cartoons

7. Back in the original Power Rangers days, I thought the blue ranger was just the cutest thing ever. Yes, I realize I'm a little old for Power Rangers, see number 6.

I can't think of 6 to tag... so I'm going to be a slacker and let it die here.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Throwing my own little pity party. Want to come?

L. was diagnosed with a severe allergy to cow milk 19 months ago. Since then, we've gone on a strict dairy elimination diet, and we've done quite well. Her last hives outbreak was a year ago (when I forgot to wipe down a restaurant table) and that one was pretty minor.

1 year ago, she had a follow-up RAST and skin test. The skin test came back negative, but the RAST showed her levels were unchanged. We continued the dairy elimination diet, and I just KNEW things were better this year. Her RAST test results looked good (from 2 to 1 for milk), so we were all set to do a food challenge yesterday. Right before the challenge, her allergist did one last skin test, and she failed miserably. Within 60 seconds of him applying the allergen, she was itching and developed 10 mm welt where he had put the whole milk.

We'll try again in another year... I had dreams of taking her to the fair and letting her have all the 'goodies', eating birthday cake and ice cream, enjoying my mother's pumpkin pie at T-giving, being able to go out to eat as a family, etc. Instead, it's another year of remembering to take epi-pens and wipes and special snacks and worrying about substitutes in L.'s daycare class...

I'm about to enter my 3rd trimester, so I'll be starting my dairy elimination diet soon. I hate soy flavors and cannot bring myself to drink soy milk. I guess I'll just have to suck it up... The allergist also recommended I avoid peanut and tree nuts since they are so allergenic. *sigh* I know it could be worse, and my heart breaks for the parents whose kids are allergic to unknown and multiple foods. But still, I'm having my little pity party today... I'll be better tomorrow.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Exam's comin' round the bend

You may (or may not) have noticed a marked decrease in the amount of posting lately. Weeellll, truth be told I'm obnoxiously busy at work, and I'm actually still trying to study for the actuarial exam next month. I would dearly love to pass this exam, but realistically, I hope to merely flunk well enough that they don't toss out my score altogether. The concepts covered in the material aren't bothering me much at all. The killer part is all the math I forgot or never knew in the first place. Things like natural logs, integration, geometric series, quadratic formula, that stupid e, etc.

I checked my blog traffic yesterday and was pretty shocked at what I found. People are still coming to read here! In fact, somehow my Actuarial Schmactuarial post was linked to from Actuary.net. Weird... and unexpected. I don't believe I'm the only person to grouse and whine about actuarial exams on a blog. Maybe I should take a look and see if I can find any brothers and sisters in pain. LOL!

I have 6, possibly 7, days vacation I need to use before the bean gets here in early February. Between training up my fill-in for my maternity leave and dealing with end of year bonus schedules, I won't be able to take any vacation starting January 2. I'll be using 2 day in order to travel to see my folks over Thanksgiving and 1 day for L.'s allergy test.... oooh, I haven't posted about that one.... which leaves me 3, possibly 4, vacation days just begging to be used. Guess who'll be using 'vacation' time to study? No, no, no, YES! Yours truly.

Now, the big dilemma is deciding WHEN to use those days. Should they be grouped together right before the exam? Should they be spaced apart evenly between now and the exam? Should I save one for the day after the exam when I will be in a big sulk and not want to talk to anybody, especially co-workers who will be asking me how I did on the exam, thus bringing the pain of my first failure ever to the forefront over and over again?