first poison scare

Our little booboo is sick at home with croup.  He’s had a hacking phlegmy cough for about 3 days and has been miserable for about a week already. Since he was starting to act up around 8:30 am I decided to let him watch some Baby Einstein or, D’s baby crack. This way I would be able to get some breakfast so that I can continue to chase him around and carry him when he’s sensitive/in pain the rest of the day. I usually trust him enough to let him roam the room and with just a little “mommy cross room scan” every minute or so. Well, I look up and booboo had a white face and in his hand was a tube of diaper cream!

I freaked out inside!!

I whisked him to the sink to wash everything off his hands and face and continue to rinse inside his mouth, and to see if there was any diaper cream residue in there to guage how much of it he has eaten. He was smiling the whole time.

We ran upstairs, as fast as a mom with a 23 lb baby can run, at least and I sat him on the floor as I threw on a bra and continued to call his father. busy signal. greeeeat.  I looked closer at the tube and it said in case of ingestion to call poison control, so I did.

My heart was racing as I poured out what happened to the guy on the line… “He reached and got the cream and came to me with white stuff all over his face… should I go to the hospital or the pediatrician… should I try to make him throw up?” while my own mommy guilt was raising higher and higher along with embarrassment that this occurred during my watch.  And his reply really was the greatest thing ever.

A little zinc oxide never hurt nobody.

So we are safe, yeah, of course I questioned him from a few other angles to double check that everything was cool.  I rewarded little D with some haggen-daz strawberry ice cream. I figured his throat could use the soothing and it’s got the same creamy consistency as the diaper cream, ha. The ped recommended it, since it helps with the sore throat that accompanies that awful croup, and teething, because only one thing at a time can not possibly be enough for a boss like little D!

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Habit 1- Be Proactive

Honestly, this was a long and thought-provoking chapter.  I’m not sure whether I am wanting to teach these points or merely remember the ones I choose to keep, kind of like the bread and butter.  I am leaning more towards keeping the jewels, however, if you have read the book and would like to add some points, be sure to comment.  Also, if you would like a more broader scope and more detailed points, let me know.  His style of writing is very twisty-turvey, he will make a point and twist it and then turn it over and makes you react to it, this leading to a very sloooow read and often re-reading.  I’d recommend getting the book if any of what I say is striking a chord because I’m sure you’ll pluck from it your own tunes and other areas of his work may sing to you.

Covey’s first habit is to be proactive. He offers a definition, “It means more than merely taking initiative.  It means that as human beings, we are responsible for our own lives. Our behavior is a function of our decisions not our conditions.  We have the initiative and the responsibility to make things happen.”  We each are confronted with scenarios and situations in our daily lives, the highly proactive people do not blame circumstance, or even their previous experiences (conditioning) they approach each problem with conscious effort a choice based on their own values, with the responsibility to own up to it later on.

“It’s not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that hurts us.”

Eleanor Roosevelt observes, “No one can hurt you without your consent.”

Those two lines are worthwhile nuggets of wisdom.  Think about it, you have the option to choose how you wish to see/approach each situation!  He gives an example of a jew in Nazi death camps who chose to see outside of his limitations- he chose to see himself in the future, a teacher telling the students about what travesties occurred.  He took himself way into the future, did not choose or swallow that bitter pill and used his imagination to gain mental freedom while in the camp.

Love, according to proactive people is a verb.  Don’t buy in to Hollywood Hoohaw on the irresponsibility of falling in love or having lost that feeling.  “Love is something you do; the sacrifices you make, the giving of self, like a mother bringing a newborn into the world.  If you want to study love, study those who sacrifice for others, even for people who offend or do not love in return.”  So, if you’re in a relationship where you chose to be, choose to love.  Support each other mentally, emotionally, be that safe haven you wish to find.  Sacrifice and serve each other, you deserve to love and stay in love, and often it takes a lot of work.

Each of us have a wide range of concerns that affect us.  It can be all sorts of things including: the government, world peace, global warming, recycling, our children, national debt, problems at work, or relationships.  These all fall into a category of Circle of Concern.  Within that large circle is a smaller circle, a circle of issues or concerns that we have a direct link to and can affect change in, called the Circle of Influence.  Proactive people focus their efforts and energy in the Circle of Influence.  Reactive people focus their energy on the Circle of Concern.  They are the entitled ones, focusing on the weakness of others, blaming the economy, the environment and other circumstances to which they have no immediate control.

This Circle of Concern is filled with the have’s: If only I had a boss that wasn’t such a dictator, If only I had more obedient kids, if only I had my degree….

The Circle of Influence is filled with be’s: I can be more patient, more loving, more patient.  It’s focused within, to change the problem from the inside out.  “…we are responsible– “response-able” to control our lives and to powerfully influence our circumstances by working on be, on what we are.”

Working on consequences and evaluating our mistakes.  Since our behavior is controlled by our principals it is crucial for us to stop and recognize when a mistake has been made and deal with it accordingly.  To cover up our mistakes and not learn from it is amplifying that mistake on another level.

30 Day Challange.

The author proposes a 30 day challenge in which we practice being proactive.  Work only in your circle of influence, make small commitments to areas that truly matter to you and you have the capacity to influence, and KEEP THEM.  Make small promises or set goals and takes small but measurable, steps towards the right direction.  Be a model not a critic.  Try to apply this challenge to all areas of your life: your work, your marriage, with your kids.  Do not argue with others’ weakness, face your mistakes- admit, correct, and learn from it- and move on.  Look at others’ weaknesses with compassion not accusation. It’s not what they’re doing (or not doing) that’s the real issue, it’s how you choose to look at it or take from it.

7 habits overview

The author, Steven Covey decides to start off the chapter by quoting Aristotle.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

The seven habits are those of effectiveness.  In natural laws of growth, they  provide incremental, sequential, and integrated approach to move from dependence to independence to interdependence.

Dependence  is the paradigm of you.  You take care of me.  You do this, and that. I blame you for these results.

Independence is the paradigm of me.  I can do it, I want this.  I am responsible, I can take care of this.

Interdependence is the paradigm of we.  We can do it, we can work together.  We can hone in on our skills and unite our talents to create something bigger than the sum of us, together.

It is the author’s goal to move you through these habits and incorporate these habits into our everyday so that we can move from the areas of dependence and independence into a more awesome sphere of being- interdependence.  Because we do not exist on this earth alone.  We are often comprised of companies units, family units, even couples.  These same habits of effectiveness can be brought into play with each situation and relationship we find ourselves.

These seven habits of effectiveness are based on principles of balance between the production (or wanted results) from production capability (or the ability or asset that produces the results.)  A wonderful example of the goose and the golden egg was given.  The golden egg being the production and the goose being the production capability or asset.  The balance between getting the results you wish and not undermining the health of the goose is where his ideas come to play.

The principle of always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers, is a nugget of wisdom in the realm of business.  I want to add here, that in dealing with business and employees, it is great that you want to treat them well for the sake of your customers… (notice here that the end goal is still your customers?) but remember that you’re dealing with people here.  They are not put on this earth for you to monetize and take the best out of hoping for your best intentions in the end.  They each have hopes and ambitions and creativity- deal with each person and treat them with genuine respect and strive to understand.  For me, to understand the why is far more important than the what or the how.  Do good simply to be a good person- with no end goals in mind, and you will outshine every single goal you’ve set forth for yourself.

We are comprised of our own unique experiences, habits, and goals.  These may be changed.  You are not the results of your habits.  If you make conscious effort, matched with the skill to do so and the desire to do so, you can CREATE better habits.

With that, we anxiously await the first habit.

7 Habits

In pursuing photography, I have trained my eyes to zone in on details.  While I haven’t perfected the mastery of this art (some say it can take a lifetime…) I have dissected enough photos to be aware of details.  For me, it’s the intangibles that move me.  That punch in the gut that leaves a mistiness to the eyes.  It’s the little details that can turn your images from a basic snapshot to a moving story capturing the perfect blend of light-love-powerful emotion-and art.  An awesome photo often leaves a trace of ghostly elements that linger in our minds- not out of perfect execution, but that mood.  That’s the story I try to tell when I pick up my MarkII.

Unfortunately, I’ve been applying too much critiquing to my fellow unawares- innocent bystanders than have the bad luck to come across my direction, and catch my attention.  I oftentimes find myself wondering about people’s stories or why they look the way they do, what has happened to them, and what influences them.  What compelled them to bare their unsightly midriff?  What bravado was behind the older lady that dared to stick a plastic flower in her hair last minute and wear it all day?  What made the poor girl kneel down on the sidewalk and break down into tears?  I can’t help but notice- the big the small… the everyday.

It’s when I catch myself noticing the negatives more than positives that I realize I need to change.  I myself am not an enormous fan of religion in general.  I believe they serve a higher purpose and many people need that guidance and order to find peace in their lives.

I believe in goodness and love.


That is why I’ve began reading some self-help books. And, rather than highlighting the main points only to close the book and its memories forever, I want to re-inforce what I choose to take from this that I’m currently reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and share it with those that don’t have access, or even the impetus to think they need to read such a book. Call it cliff notes.

Let me begin with the bullet points from the first chapter: Inside Out.

Character ethics- the foundations of success: integrity, humility, fidelity, temperance, courage, justice, patience, industry, simplicity, modesty, and The Golden Rule.

Often times it takes a paradigm shift (or a shift in perception) to really see things as they are, and not through your own rosy colored “always thinking you’re right” glasses.

Listen to others and keep an open mind so that you are not left alone to your own flawed paradigms and a stubborn ass fool.

Remember that we as people are only made up of our own experiences- so we are “seeing the world not as it is, but as we are- or, as we have been conditioned to see it.”

“In all of life, there are sequential stages of growth and development. A child must learn to turn over, sit up, crawl, walk, and then run….” remember that on a 1-10 scale, and you are a 2 level and want to move to a 5, “you must take the step towards level three.” “A thousand mile journey begins with the first step” do things one step at a time, do not cheat- yourself or others to get ahead by faking the funk.

To relate with people you MUST first learn to LISTEN. “Listening involves patience, openness, and the desire to understand– highly developed qualities of character.” I personally love and notice when people give me their 100%, there forms a connection between our channels, and makes me want to give back 125% It’s with these bridges that true connections form.


The way we see the problem is the problem. Einstein said,”The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” Read that sentence 3-4 times and digest it.  We need to be at a higher mental capacity to SOLVE the problems we create.

Lastly, T.S. Elliot’s quote,

We must not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time.

Amazing quote. One for the walls.  We need to have that constant thirst for improvement, betterment of ourselves and constant updating of our worldly and moral goals.  And when we finally get it, we will arrive at the beginning APPRECIATING EVERY DAMN THING. Being enlightened.  Awakened.  Alive.


Hope you enjoyed these points.  I know this sounds corny and my husband will shoot me for writing this, but I really get emotional when I hear MJ’s Man in the Mirror.  Because I want to be that man.  And to think that changing myself might make this world better? Isn’t that just awesome in itself?