Renee Weatherbee

Renee's Ramblings


INTRODUCTION:  This section is dedicated to my personal ramblings – it can be about anything, from a favorite product or service, to an opinion I feel strongly about, to a personal essay, to an attempt at adding humor to my otherwise boring day.  Whatever posted here will be highly personal and is my feeble attempt at exposing myself to the world as a writer, something that doesn't come easy for me.  I welcome any comments from anyone who takes the time to read my ramblings and will respond back to you (unless you are being overly offensive, in which case, I’ll just ignore you.)  I don’t know if you’d consider this a blog – blogs are written by people who have a particular expertise in some subject – I have no expertise in anything.  Thus, my ramblings…

Any products or services mentioned here are my own personal opinion.  I am not currently being reimbursed or endorsed by any company for mention of their product or service (however, it’s not out of the question for this starving artist writer – oh, that’s right – I’m not starving, I’m living off my husband’s income).  Any personal essays or opinions on this site are my own and I am fortunate to live in a country where I have the right to write about anything I so choose.  You have a right to read it, or not.  Thanks for visiting and I hope you come back often!


Posted: March 28, 2013


Daughters  are joy, laughter, tears, tantrums, beauty, wisdom, heartache, insight, treasures, gifts, singing, dancing, and lively entertainment.   

As a mother, the hardest thing about having daughters is witnessing their first heart break and not being able to take the pain away from them.  While they are little, we can kiss away the hurt or tickle them until they forget about it, but when our soon to be grown up daughters come crying to you and declaring their life is over, because some young man tore their heart in two, we feel helpless.  We tried our best to shield them from this inevitable event in their lives, but at some point, you realize that they need to learn their own life lessons and we have to step out of the way.   

As a mother, one of the happiest moments to share with daughters is witnessing their exchange of wedding vows to the love of their lives, as they stand their looking so radiant and sparkling, glowing in their expectations of a bright future with the man they are entrusting their futures with.  I know, because I had the great fortune to watch my three daughters get married to men I know cherish them and will love them like they deserve to be.  As a mother, it’s a relief to know they made good choices for partners. 

When my firstborn daughter, Amber Jo, came into this world when I was twenty-one, she made me happier than I’d ever been.  Having her taught me so many things about love and brought me out of my shell, because wherever we went, people often came up and told me what a pretty baby she was.  Having Amber took me out of my self-centered world and brought me into a world where I focused mostly on her and her needs and I was ecstatic to do it.  Being her mother was the best thing in the world.  She became my pride and joy.  As she grew toward womanhood, we had our differences, to be sure, but I am proud of the woman she’s become and I see how much she loves her own five children and I can’t help but feel that she learned some of that from me.  If I were to classify Amber, I would say that she is my artistic wild child, fiercely independent almost from birth, my little hippie child.

Seven years later, my middle daughter, Angel Marie was born, but not without some difficulties first.  I had three miscarriages the year before she was born and when I found out I was pregnant with her, I had to get hormone shots in my hip every week for three months to  try to prevent losing her.  Thankfully, it worked!  When she was born on Dec. 17th, we couldn’t help but name her Angel for she felt like our personal miracle from God, after going through the previous year.  She was this angelic little light in our lives.  She was always finding ways to entertain us – from dressing up and modeling, to singing and dancing to telling jokes – she loved to make us laugh.  She is very organized, social and fashion conscious.  She still enjoys being in the limelight and entertaining people with her stories and antics.  She, too, is a wonderful mom to her two children. 

A year and a half later, Arin Joelle, our baby came into this world, a surprise to start with, but one of the greatest gifts a mother could ask for.  From the start, you could see what a sweet, wonderful disposition she had and she has never lost that trait.  Her brown eyes appeared gigantic as a baby and they seemed to absorb everything around her – every sight, every activity, and every emotion.  It soon became evident how insightful she was.  Generosity was and is one of her most notable traits, as even as a very small child, she would give up whatever she had to her sisters, because she wanted them to be happy.  She looked like a little pixie doll – your heart would melt just looking at her.  She could be just as content to play by herself as with her sisters, but she loved clowning around with them.  As a grown woman, she is kind, sensitive, giving and a loving mother to her son. 

Best of all, daughters make you a grandmother and give you more treasure than can ever be counted when they give birth to your grandchildren.  My daughters have blessed me with eight gorgeous, intelligent, healthy, happy and vibrant grandkids. 

As I grow older and watch my daughters be attentive and loving mothers to their own children, I know that they will always honor me and watch out for my best interests should I become incapable of doing so. 

As I see my sister long for her daughter, Aimee Renee, who passed away way too soon and left behind three amazing daughters of her own, I thank God for having known Aimee and thank God that He gave my sister three granddaughters to love and cherish as she waits to see Aimee again one day.  Britney, Emily and Chloe all have the same beauty and spark their mother possessed and they are true treasures and tiny pieces of her.  Aimee loved her girls so much, and they too, will pass on that love to their daughters, one day. 




UPDATE AS OF MARCH 17, 2013:    


Status of Giving Up Diet Sodas – Was It Really Aspartame Poisoning?

It’s been about 4 weeks since I’ve knowingly drank or ate anything with aspartame in it.  The main reason I gave up diet sodas was because a doctor had stated they were probably the reason for my excessive weight gain and that the aspartame tricks the brain into thinking it is getting real sugar and acts accordingly.  This was a doctor I went to in Virginia when I was suffering from acute back pain.

My result was this – I gained four pounds to my horror.  I replaced diet soda with tea (unsweetened) and water, but mostly tea.  I did add one regular pop a day, which I should probably give up too.  I did not increase my food intake, in fact, I remained more conscious of what I was eating.  I’m not the healthiest eater, but I try to keep the amount of calories down.  I know I have lots of work to do to eat better.  I have always tried to exercise 3-4 times a week and I continue this.  I deliberately park the farthest away from the door when I go shopping to add some extra walking.   Nothing seems to help.

As for the other suspected symptoms of aspartame poisoning, I think that there has been some relief.

Some experts claim that aspartame can cause symptoms that mimic diseases such as fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis.  For years I have suffered with muscle and joint pain which has been mild to severe. Right now, I feel 10-15 years younger – I barely notice any joint or muscle pain – I have no idea if this is from not drinking diet sodas, but I am better, no doubt in my mind.  Another thing I have noticed is that the “pins and needles” sensations are gone. I used to almost constantly feel like something was pricking me everywhere on my body. 

Another supposed side effect of aspartame poisoning is seizures.  I have a seizure disorder that has been a mystery to the three different neurologists I’ve seen.  I have what they call “sleep myoclonus” and they all agree it’s the worst they’ve ever seen.  Sleep myoclonus is a name of a symptom – not a disease – they have no idea why I have these severe body jerks that I get.  It only happens when I am about to drift off into sleep or when I am exhausted.  Sometimes, loud noises spew out of my mouth at the same time that my body is jerking backward.  It’s embarrassing, but so far only has happened around home or family, when I am in a very relaxed or exhausted state.  It hasn’t happened at work or while driving or in front of friends (keeping my fingers crossed it never will).  My grandkids just laugh at me.  It’s an annoyance, but apparently it’s not physically damaging.  It is still my hope that with continued abstention from diet sodas, that these seizures will lesson in severity and number of incidences.

Since giving up diet sodas, I think I am breathing better having less shortness of breath.  Maybe it’s all coincidence - but I suppose, it’s worth not going back to a product that had no nutritional value at all.  It only perked me up.  I miss the refreshing fizzle of a can of pop. 

The bottom line is, I do feel better physically.  I have got to stop focusing on the “weight” and think about how much younger I feel, how much stronger I feel and how life is getting better and better. 

In conclusion, since giving up my two biggest vices – cigarettes (Jan.1, 2012) and diet sodas (Feb. 2013), I have gained a total of 25 lbs.  I’ve got to wonder if I did the right thing.  Logically, I know for my health that I did, but then I wonder if I’m not putting too much stress on my system.  I smoked for 35 years and I drank diet sodas for 30.  I think I sent my poor aging body into shock and it has no idea what to do.  I guess, I’ll just keep plugging away and throw away the bathroom scale.  That scale is doing nothing, but sending me into emotional turmoil.  I hate that damn thing!

The bottom line is I do feel better physically.  I have got to stop focusing on the “weight” and think about how much younger I feel, how much stronger I feel and how life is getting better and better.  I’ll continue to adjust my diet and work toward healthier weight and eating habits.  While I can’t conclusively or scientifically say that aspartame was harmful to me, for me there’s enough evidence there that will keep me from going back.  That’s what we all have to do, figure out what is best for us and then work from there

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