Sunday, November 30, 2008
NaBloPoMo is officially OVER as of today.
But never fear, for those one of you who read this blog, I am participating in our church's Advent Blog, Rejoice to Behold His Appearing, and my first post is up today.
Check in and comment!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
So, we were planning to go to bed early. Of course, the baby decided that he was having a difficult time sleeping and went to bed nearly an hour late. Which meant that we needed a bit of time to decompress before we went to bed. And then my child, who has been sleeping for 10 hours at a stretch for nearly a year, decided to get up at 1, and 3:30, and then at 6, for the day. I woke up when the hubs left for Walmart, and never went back to sleep.
Why is it that the babies know when you have something odd going on, and decide that then is the best time to have a messed-up schedule?
So, today has been spent trying to catch up on sleep, for all of us. But it has been satisfying to be with family. AND, we have gotten a little bit of shopping done. YEA US.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
A pearl white Cadillac Escalade was tooling down the road in the middle lane. As I passed it, I noticed the bumper sticker. (As an aside, I enjoy reading bumper stickers. I also enjoy putting them on my car. My husband does not like bumper stickers at all, so I am a bit restricted.) Anyway, the bumper sticker said:
"Pay no attention to the car. My treasure is in heaven."
So many ways to come at this: 1) if passers-by really are not supposed to pay attention, why draw attention to the excess? 2) If you don't care what people think, then don't apologize; 3) If you feel guilty, a bumper sticker affirming your spiritual stance isn't going to make you really feel better. Etc.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
One of the children in your child's class....."
This is not about lice. Even typing the word makes my head itch.
No, this is about "hand, foot and mouth disease" or HFMD for short.
It seems as if every kid gets exposed during the pre-school years. And most parents are immune since we probably all got exposed during OUR preschool years.
But, you know, I am pregnant. And the only time that this is apparently risky for the baby is if the mother contracts it close to the delivery date. ACK! I am five weeks from delivering. Give or take.
So, there is a lot of handwashing going on here at the house of Maher. And I am trying to convince my son that kissing me on the mouth is a bad idea.
Well, I suppose that the upside is that when I go for my next OB visit in 10 days, I will probably know for sure if I have it or if he has it, and since the OB is testing me from Group B strep then anyway, I can just add this to the list.
Oh. Whine whine....the baby is still breech. Though he was flirting with the idea of turning this past couple of days.
Off to pack up for going to Gramma's tomorrow.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Well, I could write about how the president-elect hasn't gone to church since the election. Or, about how his kids are going to one of the most prestigious private schools in D.C. but he doesn't believe that private schools can teach kids any more than public schools and doesn't believe in allowing a voucher system that would enable poor parents to send their children to the same school that Obama has chosen to send his girls to. And I don't want one person to tell me that it is about security of his kids. Because that brings up all sorts of issues. What? Don't you think the Secret Service can protect your kids in the big bad inner city schools of D.C.? Don't you think that your girls can get a good education in the public school system?
Ok, I am already frothing at the mouth.
So I should write any more about that.
Or how about how he appointed as the new communications director the woman who is the director of Emily's List, a group "dedicated to building a progressive America by electing Democratic pro-choice women to office." And, how the first thing that he is going to do is sign the Freedom of Choice Act which will federalize the right to abortion. FEDERALIZE!
Shoot. That didn't stop me from frothing at the mouth.
So, I think I am going to go back to talking about my son and my unborn child, that latter of whom is quite the active little guy. Flipping and swimming and stretching to the limit of my body. Looking forward to meeting this little guy in just a few weeks. (We are rooting for December 28!!)
Sunday, November 23, 2008
And, as we have established, I have a baby coming in just a few short weeks (and we know that the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas go by really really fast) and so I am thinking that I am going to be less and less interested in the "decorating" thing as times go on.
So....hubby indulged me and put up the tree yesterday. And we turned on the fire, and listened to Christmas music. My two year old said, "oh the tree, it is beautiful, daddy!"
'Course, we still haven't finished raking the leaves. Ah well.
And this week we get to "go over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother's house we go."
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Anyway. Lying down settled everything, mostly. Now, if anyone can give me a fool-proof way of getting this baby to turn, THAT would be helpful.
Ok, onto the doula controversy.
My doula says that the ban on doulas at Reston Hospital, referenced in my last post on the subject, has been in place for a few years now. However, in her experience (13 years), she has never heard of a situation in which a doula got "between" a doctor and a patient in a medical situation.
There are several tracks one could go on with this: 1) railing at the way the medical system treats birth as a disease to be managed rather than a normal process of life; 2) the condescending view of many physicians that a medical/surgical answer to anything is the quintessentially "right" answer; 3) the fact that the trial lawyers and massive litigation has made it impossible for doctors to exercise judgment and true patient care in any particular case; or 4) the insurance companies (both mal-practice insurance, which is a boondoggle to lay directly at the feet of the trial lawyers, and health insurance, which demands certain standards of care unrelated to specific patient needs) have made health care workers extremely twitchy.
I am sure there are more, but those are the four that come to mind.
It is much more fun to rant and rail on 'tracks' one and two. It is fun to pick on doctors. Just like it is fun to pick on lawyers. But since I grew up with the former, I sometimes feel compelled to defend them. And since I am one of the latter, I choose to pick on my own. Though frankly, I sometimes think it is not so much the lawyers' problem (massive lawsuits with big money, which drive up insurance rates, which cause insurance companies to require doctors to jump through stupid hoops, etc.) as it is the public. Lawyers are opportunists. And they are ethically required to represent their clients zealously (ok, fine, I know that there are many lawyers who go waaaay beyond zealous, but still). It is the juries, which are made up of ordinary people, just like you and me, who award these big huge verdicts in med-mal cases.
So, what is the real problem? Our sense of entitlement of a "good" outcome in any given situation. We can talk about tobacco (you smoke for 40 years, get lung cancer, sue the company that makes the ciggarette that you CHOSE to smoke for 40 years, even though EVERYONE knew that cigs were unhealthy....don't tell me they didn't. If my 86 year old grandmother who grew up on a farm in central Virgnia called them "coffin nails" when she was a teenager, EVERYONE knew they were bad for you....just like we all know that french fries are bad for you). We can talk about firearms (no, don't get me started on that one). We can talk about worker's compensation, etc. etc. etc.
And medicine is the same thing. Doctors practice medicine with one hand tied behind their back, because they are afraid that if they take any risks, or do anything that is creative, they will get their pants sued off. And they are right.
And birth is no exception. It used to be taken for granted that babies, and mothers, died in childbirth. And it was sad. With the advent of better hygeine and sanitation and pre-natal care, those numbers dropped drastically. And using surgery judiciously prevented women with placenta previa or transverse breech babies from bleeding out and dying. All those are good things. But still, with all of our technology today, reproduction is still a bit of a mystery.
Someone told me a long time ago that 30% of babies who are conceived are miscarried before the mother even knows she is pregnant. And another significant percentage are miscarried early in the pregnancy. All in all, I read that every woman who is sexually active and of childbearing age will have some sort of pregnancy loss in her lifetime, at least once. And THAT is WITH all of the good healthcare we have now.
Nevertheless, people believe that they deserve (are entitled to) a healthy baby. And if they can blame ANYONE other than themselves, for a result other than what they expect, they will. And somehow over the years (here I blame the lawyers), that "blame" has become associated with monetary damages. As if any amount of money can make up for a life lost, or damaged.
As I sit and write this, I am five weeks (plus or minus) away from giving birth to my second child. Doctors say he is a boy and apparently healthy. We pray that they are right.
And I am trying for a VBAC this time. And I have a doula to help me through some of my labor b/c while I have a great doctor, he only is going to be there for the last three minutes, not the rest, and I didn't go through labor the first time (breech baby that we knew about, scheduled C-section before I went into labor). She will be with me in labor, and at the hospital, until after the baby is born.
If something, heaven forbid, goes wrong, I know that I have a crack medical team standing by. And a husband and doula who have mine, and the baby's best interest at heart. And if the result of all of this is something other that what we expect, we will all want to blame someone. That is just human nature.
So, for now, not only do I have to trust God for the rest of this pregnancy, and this child, I will have to trust Him for the outcome. And we all know that doesn't stop with birth, eh? I have to trust God every minute of every day with my two year old (who is quickly learning to test the limits of his physical abilities). I need to learn, in the words of my obstetrician, to "stop trying to control everything." Because I will drive myself crazy otherwise.
Anyway, somehow this post morphed into a "Trusting God" post rather than a rant about the silly ban of doulas. Maybe that is shere it was supposed to go. Hmmm.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
There was a part where they interviewed an OB at Reston Hospital, in Virginia. And she talked about the dangers to the mother when the doula gets "between" the patient and the doctor, sometimes making the patient 'question' the medical professionals. And so for "liabililty reasons" the hospital has banned doulas. (One does wonder what the trial lawyers and insurance companies have done to us....)
I was unable to find any information at the hospital site. (There is a weird link to a Denver hospital, but Reston is in Virginia, so that doesn't make sense. Anyway.)
There was a lot of emphasis on making sure that your doula has the right kind of 'training'. The implication was that if the doula was a labor and delivery nurse or a midwife, then probably she would be "ok", but if the doula just has the 'certification' from DONA, might be a little more suspect.
There is so much here.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Also, it is helpful to have the sleeves on your long slouchy sweater rolled up BEFORE you start mixing raw meat.
The saving grace was that hubs unexpectedly came home early and rolled my sleeves up for me.
Christmas music makes even the most ordinary chores bearable.
Jonathan-ism for today: "Mommy, where is the firetruck sound?" "I don't know honey, where is the firetruck?" "In the DIS-TANCE, mommy."
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
And has such funny things to say.
For those of you who follow me on Twitter (and you SHOULD if you don't, because don't we all need more excuses to stay glued to our computers?) this will be redundant.
But funny nonetheless.
Life with a two year old, is, as one would expect, unexpected most of the time.
For instance, this evening, Jonathan was gagging himself. With four fingers. With red eyes and making vomiting noises, he says "oh so funny Mommy!" Not really, son.
This afternoon when we got back from pre-school, he asked me for a nap and food in the same breath. In fact, what he said, verbatim, was "Jonathan want need food." Without waiting for me to respond, he asked, "Can Jonathan sleep now?" And I said yes, gave him a sippy of milk and he wandered into his bedroom and climbed into bed.
So I quickly changed his clothes (which I read is a good idea when they come back from school or play dates or the playground or whatnot...changing clothes and washing hands and faces keeps viruses from spreading) and he sucked down half a glass of milk and crawled into bed.
Sometimes life is easy.
On the other hand, when I could tell he was working on a diaper, and I asked him if he wanted to go to the potty, he said, clear as a bell, "No, I don't want to." And the same response when I asked him if he needed to have his diaper changed.
Weird to have to convince someone to have their dirty diaper changed. I mean, wouldn't you want a fresh clean diaper?
Monday, November 17, 2008
Though I can't get TOO worked up about it, it was simply tacky of Motrin. And not well thought out. I think the latter is the worse of the crimes. It seems that if you want to market to mommies, then you need to be more intentional about your market research. But then again, that is nothing new to the marketing community. I have been shockingly appalled at the number of people who lump all "moms" in the same category. Whether it is the 'soccer mom' description, or the idea that all women vote the same. Drives me crazy. And so, it shouldn't surprise me that there is a contingent that is snarky about babywearing.
But it seems like an ad agency and huge corporation would THINK that making a non-snarky commercial, which appeals to all women, would be more effective.
I mean, we might not all agree on the importance of babywearing, etc, but all moms are tired and stretched, whether we are home with the kids full time, working full time or somewhere in between. And we all need a bit of relief. The ONLY reason I don't pop ibuprophen all the time is that I am pregnant. Because, boy, is it a good source of relief for those special aches and pains of daily motherhood.
Anyhow. With all the choices out there, it seems unnecessary to support a company that produces slightly malicious (at worse) and thoughtless (at best) ads. So I won't. And I told them that. And the only reason I am giving it even this much thought is that I needed some fodder for this NaBloPoMo thing.
And someone else made the comment that the reason this minor issue got so much traction is because Motrin made the mistake of singling out potentially the most sleep-deprived, cranky population out there with the ability to express outrage.
Anyhoo, as all of you that are parents know, extended tiredness is a way of life with little kids. Sometimes I am not sure why. It SEEMS easy enough, watching a 2 y.o. How hard can it be? (laughing maniacially....). Sigh. I wouldn't trade it for anything, but there are days when the cut-throat corporate world seems restful in comparison. I mean, you don't have to spend an hour trying to convince your co-workers or competitors that eating lunch is a good idea.
Let's start a REAL controversy. I will make some obnoxious statements and see if people pick up on it and run with it. (Probably not, but I am feeling snarky). Letting your kids watch television means you are a lazy mother. If you don't breastfeed your baby, you are a lazy, thoughtless mother. If you go out for a girls' night out, you are a lazy, thoughtless, and obviously neglectful mother.
There. Those are fightin' words.
Motrin just employees idiots.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Oh, and I picked up a very nice black trench coat for Marcus off of Freecycle.
So, yummy and productive.
Oh yes, and I got a shower.
And a nap.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
2) Overly energetic toddler who won't nap;
3) Rainy day outside with weather that LOOKS like winter but feels like summer. Ugh;
1 + 2 + 3 = Perfect reason to NOT go outside and to bake gingerbread and send son to basement to play with his dad.
Friday, November 14, 2008
A weird tightening of the chest and sudden urge to cough, when childless, is merely the on-set of a cold, or allergies, or something. When there is a toddler in the car, all sorts of possibilities loom. When there is a toddler in the car, and a baby in the belly, MORE possibilities raise their ugly heads, especially when there is additional, repeated, tightening in the belly. And when the nearest family is at least an hour commuting time away, and it is getting dark, those possibilities turn into something darker in your mind.
And if you have a people-pleasing personality, the last thing you want to do is call anyone. Heavens. What if it is nothing? Don't want to look like an idiot, do you? On the other hand, there is a toddler in the car, dependent on you, and a baby in the belly, perhaps even more dependent on you. And while you have several people you could turn to who could be there in five minutes, you don't want to waste the favor on something minor, do you?
Thankfully, as is the case most of the time, the call to the doctor is reassuring, even if the call to your family is not ("What? You should go to the hospital NOW!")
And thanks to Noggin, you can lie quietly, stretched out, and get more oxygen into your poor squished lungs and feel the reassuring thud of your baby's feet. And the braxton-hicks contractions slow down when you aren't doing so much. And when the husband gets home and takes over with the dinner, and you are able to stretch out for longer, the weird feelings nearly, if not totally fade away.
And you still feel like a bit of an idiot. But somehow less so than you might otherwise, since there is a toddler and a baby dependent on you.
Parenthood changes you in ways you don't expect.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Specifically Life versus Choice.
A Twitter link to a blog post led to another and then finally to this. Which is from February of this year. It is an appeal to choice, and it is well written, and I find myself sympathetic to the writer.
In many ways, the author says that there is no "versus" in the argument of Life versus Choice. And certainly she thinks that there is no higher value than supporting a woman's choice, both to have a child and/or to have an abortion.
But is she right?
"I didn't make a mistake having my baby. And my friend didn't make a mistake not having hers. The right choice for me may not be the right choice for you and the right choice for you may not be the right choice for me and the right choice for Jamie Lynn Spears may be the wrong choice for you and your family but come on, now. Let's all have some respect for people's procreational choices."
I think one of the mistakes that the pro-life people have made over the years is that we have not trumpeted loud and long our support of women in unplanned pregnancies. We do, of course, have thousands of crisis pregnancy centers and other supports out there. Which do not, of course, receive anywhere near the funding that Planned Parenthood does.
But I can understand the focus on the baby. It seems like everyone else focuses on the mother: her decisions, her 'choices', her situation, the consequences of her behavior, etc. But in the discussion of choice, no one talks about the baby. And there are VERY few people as brutal as Camille Paglia is in her no-holds barred description of what abortion is:
As an atheist and libertarian, I believe that government must stay completely out of the sphere of personal choice. Every individual has an absolute right to control his or her body. (Hence I favor the legalization of drugs, though I do not take them.) . . . .
But the pro-life position, whether or not it is based on religious orthodoxy, is more ethically highly evolved than my own tenet of unconstrained access to abortion on demand. My argument (as in my first book, "Sexual Personae,") has always been that nature has a master plan pushing every species toward procreation and that it is our right and even obligation as rational human beings to defy nature's fascism. Nature herself is a mass murderer, making casual, cruel experiments and condemning 10,000 to die so that one more fit will live and thrive.
Hence I have always frankly admitted that abortion is murder, the extermination of the powerless by the powerful. Liberals for the most part have shrunk from facing the ethical consequences of their embrace of abortion, which results in the annihilation of concrete individuals and not just clumps of insensate tissue. The state in my view has no authority whatever to intervene in the biological processes of any woman's body, which nature has implanted there before birth and hence before that woman's entrance into society and citizenship.Ouch.
No one wants to face the fact that the child who is aborted is a "who" not a "what". No one. Especially not a woman who has faced the awful choice of what to do when she is faced with an unplanned pregnancy which she doesn't think she is ready for. She is faced with raising a child that she doesn't believe she is capable to ready to raise. Or placing the child for adoption after carrying him for nine months and answering all the questions from all the people. Or killing that child at a very early age. What an awful choice.
And I repeat myself.
What an awful choice.
And why should she have to make that choice?
There SHOULD be more support for women caught in these crosshairs. Attitudes toward the consequences of sex should keep up with the attitudes toward sex itself. Attitudes toward pregnancy should keep up with the attitude people have about sex. No one should have even THOUGHT about commenting much less criticizing Bristol Palin's pregnancy. And the hypocrisy of many on the left (not all) in that regard was beyond disappointing.
Something we in the pro-life community need to learn, to do the opposite of what the 'choice' community does: treat the vicitims differently. The women need as much compassion as we give the babies. And if we do that well, then maybe the 'choice' community will give as much compassion to the babies as well as the women.
We have a hard battle ahead.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
So here goes, seven things you probably don't know about me:
1) I am (was) a big catalog reader. When we go down to visit my parents, inevitably beside the bed in my room is a big stack of her catalogs, for my nighttime reading pleasure. Some favorites are, Signals, Wireless (which I really think are the same), Bas Bleu (I could bankrupt us with this catalog), and Levenger (ditto). I don't have so much time to sit in front of the television and read catalogs now, or the energy to stay awake after crawling into bed. But I still like the idea.
2) I grew up evangelical non-denom (basically), converted to Catholicism after college, and am now Anglican. Ok, some people know that. Hmmmm. My Anglican church here in little ole' Virginia is part of the Church of Nigeria!
3) Preschool "stuff" makes me crazy (the "pictures" and crafts, etc.). It makes me crazy when the kids are making it (Jonathan goes to a co-op preschool). It makes me crazy to bring home pieces of construction paper that have wet paint and glue on them. And don't get me started on the Scholastic flyers.
4) I love makeup. All kinds. The cheaper the better. Which is why I just love E.L.F. The sad thing is that I don't bother with it on a daily basis (the whole kid thing), but I still buy it. Oh, and sparkly shiney makeup? All the better.
5) I could live on breakfast food and dessert. As long as there is plenty of bacon.
6) I used to chew on the ends of my hair. When it was longer and I was six years old. My teacher told me to stop or she would CUT. IT. OFF. I was so scared I couldn't even tell my mother. So I started biting my cuticles instead.
7) We moved to Virginia from Michigan when I was ten. But I said "y'all" so I was O.K. (My mom is a bona fide Virginian.) And from then on, every time we passed a certain little church outside of my little town, I said "that is where I want to be married." And I was, 24 years later.
And yes, the colors inside the church (except for the stone floors and plaster walls) are Tiffany Blue and Chocolate Brown.
So, seven random things....I am tagging only a couple of people, because I don't want to chase people away: Sherri (who might have done this before, but I suspect she can come up with more items), Carmen (to give her something else to post about this month!), Kristi ('cause I know her from pre-blogging days), and Meg ('cause she left me a comment once!).
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
And this is kind of a lame post, but until I return from the Positive Discipline seminar at the preschool tonight, I don't have anything to blog about.
I was thinking about the ways that my child has changed so much in the past six or seven months. He went from being a baby to a little boy in a blink of an eye.
This is my angel baby at Christmas time last year. Too precious not to post.
And this is the day of his first haircut. I caved to the pressure, people. I had just HAD it with people talking about my beautiful little girl with her pretty curls. If you had a girl with hair like this, would you dress her in grey/red/black and camouflage? Well, maybe you would. But I would dress her in pink tulle ALL. THE. TIME. Anyway, I decided he needed a haircut.
So, post haircut, he doesn't look like a baby angel anymore, does he? Though I think he looks like he is going to get himself into some trouble, which is basically what he tries to do all the time these days!
And, finally, the transformation from toddler into (not-so-little) boy is complete. And he is STILL only two years old! (This photo is courtesy of The Picture People and Smilestore.)
Good thing I have another baby on the way....we'll see how long the new one can keep his curls!
Monday, November 10, 2008
We are fans of the babywearing thing. Jonathan really liked riding around in the Ergo, especially. Here is Marcus carrying Jonathan in the Ergo in April of 2007 (J was 8 months old or something at the time.)
And this is a closer up shot of the kiddo. You may or may not be able to tell that he liked to chew on the straps of the Ergo.
And to put things in perspective, this is how Jonathan currently likes to ride. I think our days of babywearing for THIS child are over. Conveniently, baby number two is well on his way, so we are all prepared for more babywearing. If you are interested in looking at some baby carrier options, check out here!
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Our Rector looks at most things as teaching moments. And he certainly does them well.
One of the many aspects of the "teaching moment" that especially hit me (and you could click on the above link to go take a listen yourself...well worth it. He has a New Zealand
accent which makes everything sound kindof posh) was this:
If you are either 1) Really happy Obama was elected and think that things are now going to be coming up rainbows; or 2) Really sad that Obama was elected and are worried that things are going to hell in a hand basket, then you need to rethink to whom you are trusting. We, all of us, need to be looking toward God, not to any man (or woman) for our salvation.
The second aspect of the sermon which struck me was the importance of discerning God's voice in the midst of "stuff happening" here on earth. For instance, often if life goes according to MY plan, I think it is God's will. But if something happens that goes against my wishes, I assume that it cannot be God's will. But God is sovereign. And sometimes His plan is inscrutable to me.
One of today's scriptures was Jeremiah 1:10. "See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant."
Our Rector made the point that we all want to "build and to plant" but that God requires, often, that things be uprooted, and torn down, and destroyed and overthrown, before something new can be planted and built.
And then he admonished us to be reconciled to each other as Christian brothers and sisters, some of whom share differing political opinions. And what a witness that will be. "And they will know we are Christians by our love."
Friday, November 07, 2008
Anyway, I have been thinking about all of the reasons that I love him and why he is perfect for me. Many of the reasons are in direct contradiction to "feelings" I may have had for someone else earlier in life.
We got married later than average, at least for me. I was 34 when we got married. I had just about given up finding "Mr. Right." In my twenties I went through of phase of settling for "Mr. Right Now", but that phase ended predictably. By the time I entered my thirties, I had finally settled on a career that was satisfying and had great potential (law). But I had kindof given up on finding an equally satisfying life partner.
And then I met Marcus.
Within just a few dates, I realized several things:
1) He actually really listened to me, tried to figure out my likes and dislikes, and what made me tick.
2) He had a grounded steadiness that was incredibly comforting. I knew that I could count on him.
3) He faithfully stuck by his word. If he said he would be there at 7:15, he was there at 7:15. That might seem like a small thing, but it is indicative of his faithfulness in all areas.
4) His faith was very important to him. He actively encouraged us to go to church. Together. (And he picked MY church!)
5) He has a weird, quirky, funny side to him that the vast majority of people never see, because he is quiet and reserved. When I discovered these little quirks, I realized that there were hidden layers to him that only I (mostly) would get to see. And that has been very fun over the past few years.
6) He is very smart, but doesn't feel the need to brag, like many do. I have to brag for him. For instance, when asked where he works, he will say, "the government" without mentioning that he is a lawyer. When people find out, and ask where he went to law school, he says, always, "In Boston." (And when I chide him for that, he says, with a grin, "Well, they asked where, they didn't ask what school."
I learned all those things within a few weeks. But those have been indicative of his character. So, while I am continually impressed that he seems to do things for me that are above and beyond what other wives might expect, I am not surprised.
I am seven months pregnant with our second child, and while I am in generally good health (thank you God!) I am woefully out of shape, and have a toddler to chase around. So I am super tired. And I feel like I complain all the time. But he doesn't. And suddenly I find that the dishwasher has been emptied and filled, and two loads of laundry done, all the while he has been working 80 and 90 hours a week. (And the trash regularly gets taken out, but that is a constant).
These past couple months have been really rough on him at work, yet every evening that he can, he rushes home, throws off his suit, and takes over with Jonathan. Who relishes his time with his father. I know that Marcus would rather put his feet up, but he runs the bath, finishes feeding the kid, and reads him story after story to get him to sleep. I tell some of my young friends never to underestimate the power of a man who loves his family more than his free time.
We both have strong opinions on a wide variety of issues, but somehow we have never had a fight. Sure, there are some disagreements, but I can't even think of something that rose to the level of an argument. And sure, there were some snippy moments when we were severely sleep deprived after our son was born, but that was just the sleep problem.
I think the reason we don't argue or fight is that we both go out of our way (more him than me) to make sure that we understand the other's position and thoughts and feelings.
And that is my definition of respect. We are more similar than we are different, and that probably helps, but the commitment to love and care for each other is still a choice. Which he makes freely.
I love you, sweetie. Happy Birthday.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
So, I am taking a page from Carmen's book and making a post of "random thoughts".
- Co-opping at my son's pre-school certainly puts the post-election haze into perspective. And pre-schoolers are hard! They don't put me in his class (2 y.o.) but with the 3 y.o.s. And I was in a class of all boys. Being 7 months (whatever - 32 weeks) pregnant and eight three year old boys is just hard work. My had is off to the teachers.
- Being heavily (and getting more heavy every day) pregnant makes everything else more difficult, like, you know, standing. Being woefully out of shape at the same time doesn't help matters.
- So, there is a staff member at the pre-school who looked like she could deliver ANY day. So, I asked the obvious question, and said it in what I thought was a self-deprecating sort of way, "so, you look like you are due before me, when is the big day?" And she said, "The beginning of February." I literally was speechless. My due date is January 1 (or December 31 as we keep telling the little guy). I think I caught myself before shoving the foot farther in ("Wow, you sure are huge!"). But, I should have known better.
- Noggin and PBSKids are sure fire way of ending the sadness that sometimes accompanies the end of my child's nap. And I am getting waaaay too dependent on it.
- By the time the post-nap snack is had, it is actually DARK outside. Crud.
- So, my dad had what they call a "mini-stroke" this past weekend. Do you know what the signs of a stroke are? The weird thing was that the signs were very subtle. And he, being a doctor, refused to go get taken care of for some hours. And, if you can get someone help within a very few hours (i.e. call 911 immediately), the doctors can almost fully resolve the stroke with few side-effects. Though it appears that dad will fully recover with some time, and his remaining symptoms are merely just a bit of slurring of some words, and some aphasia, the docs are telling him to take the rest of the month off.
- Since I have grandparents who are 86 and 90, and who live with my parents, and a dad who only gets serious problems (kidney stones, stroke, etc) rather than the common cold, it is not out of the ordinary to get a call from my mom which goes something like this: "everyone is ok, but we are in the hospital." But still, my heart stops a little every time the phone rings after 8 at night or before 7 in the morning.
- My husband's birthday is today. Tomorrow is a post about how fabulous he is.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
This is my last political-ish post. I think.
Jon stole my thunder. So I will just quote him and be done with it. "God is sovereign. God is good. He will provide and He has provided. Everything is going to be alright."
For those of you who didn't catch it, here are John McCain's remarks from last night. Very Classy Speech.
I am more than a little worried about the future of this country. I will be praying for the new president, because he does have a very hard job to do. I am worried about his promise to sign the Freedom of Choice Act as one of his very first actions. He got a 100% rating from NARAL. Urgh. I really am not a one-issue voter, but his very liberal stance against life is more than a little concerning for me. Check out this rant about the issue. Warning, she calls a spade a spade.
But God can change the hearts and minds of even the hardest and stubbornest of people. Obama claims to be a Christian, so I will continue to storm Heaven for wisdom for the President-elect as he prepares to lead our country.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
And all this hype about long lines that made me scramble and get a babysitter? There was NO ONE THERE. Seriously. I went in and walked right up and gave my name. And then I got to pick a paper ballot. I probably should have done the "touch screen" thing, because that is counted instantly, but I was feeling old school about it.
We will see if they even bother to count the paper ones, or the absentee ones.
I am having a couple people over to watch the returns tonight. Thought it might be a fun, adult evening. But Jonathan had a 3 1/2 hour nap. Of COURSE he did, because I had a babysitter and had stuff (voting) to do. So he isn't going to sleep any time soon. So it may be more wrangling of kids than people were imagining, but still.
I don't know what is going to happen in this election. I just hope that Veronica is right, and that there will be a peaceful transition. I wonder about it when the cops in Ohio have been issued RIOT GEAR in Toledo. WHAT??? I thought that only happened for soccer games in the UK.
I don't want a socialist president. But I believe that God is sovereign, and my hope is in Him, anyway, not in our form of government.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Things the Gov't can do better than I can:
1) Wage war. Always an evil, but sometimes a necessary one. oh, I can keep and bear arms, and believe you me, I do, but I can't do a lot about national defense.
2) Organize a money structure. Ours ain't perfect, but carrying around paper that represents money is better than trying to barter with shavings off of a gold brick or something.
3) Build roads/infrastructure. Too big a job for one person, or even a small group, to do on their own. It will would probably be more efficient without a big bureaucracy behind it, but still....
4) Hmmmmm. Oh yes, ensure that certain rights are protected, namely life, liberty and the opportunity to pursue happiness. A system of justice is something the government can set up and run and I really can't, especially given the size of our country.
I am sure that someone else can come up with others that I may or may not agree with, but there you have it.
Things I can do better than the government:
1) Feed the poor. Sometimes on my own, sometimes through various agencies. I remember reading somewhere that it takes three of my tax dollars to get one dollar to the poor through a federal agency. Yet, if I give that same three dollars to Operation Blessing, they are able to multiply it and get $36 worth of food and goods to the needy. Hmmmm, I think I should keep my money and feed the poor without government interference.
2) Save for my retirement. If I hear one more commercial telling me that privatizing social security is bad because "look what just happened to wall street, I am going to scream. Do people think that the SSA just puts the money that is confiscated from your paycheck under a mattress somewhere and then doles it back out to you later? Of course not. It gets invested and either increases or decreases. If it decreases, your benefits later are merely "guaranteed" on the backs of younger tax payers. Forget it. I can sock money away under my own mattress and not burden my children.
3) Educate my children. The public school system in this country is pretty good, all things considered. However, it is not geared to ensuring the best education for MY child. There aren't the resources.
4) Protecting my family. Weirdly enough, one of the things I learned in law school was that the police department is actually not responsible for protecting individuals. Yup. I was surprised. But once I thought about it, it made sense. Police are responsible for ensuring "community" safety, not personal safety. That goes for the fire department and rescue squad, too.
5) Protect my health and choose my health care. Why anyone thinks that putting the feds in charge of health care is a good idea is beyond me. Does anyone who has an HMO really love their choices and options and decisions? How much worse is it going to be of the feds nationalize health care. Sheesh. Let ME decide how to best take care of my health, and weigh my options. And don't get me started on how government mandates on insurance companies have negatively impacted my ability to make choices about my health care with my health care practitioner.
Maybe I will add more thoughts later, but so far, I think I would do a better job with my money than the government, on a lot of levels. So, I think I should keep more of my money. And that will impact my voting decision tomorrow.
* I totally believe that the money that I (we) have is really just a blessing from God, and that He has given us what we have as a loan. So I really do wrestle with the issue of stewardship....am I doing the best with the money He has given me? But, for the sake of this discussion, the question is whether I or the government will do a better job.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
The article is from the Wall Street Journal and it is about the "millenial kids" who are joining the workforce. These are the kids from the generation AFTER GenX, or those born after 1980. The point of the article is that apparently this generation of new workers has a vast sense of entitlement, and they want their new employers to accommodate them. So, only 40 hours a week; time with families; wearing comfortable clothes; and listening to iPods while working are becoming requirements that the newbie employees are putting on their employers.
Oh, and they want the big salaries, too.
Why would an employer bow to such hubris? Well, they are needing to replace the boomers who are rapidly aging into retirement. And, also according to the article, the employers realize that the Millenials are well educated and good workers, so they do want to capture them. The article points out that the sense of entitlement of these newbies isn't really their fault, after all, they were raised with lavish praise for every good little thing they did, and with enough money that they didn't really feel the need to work hard. Additionally, the employers who are now having to deal with the Millenials needn't look much farther than their own homes, as they are often the ones raising the kids with these types of expectations.
I was kindof amazed at the article. I am smack in the middle of GenX and had to hear about how my generation was full of slackers. But somehow I managed to realize that if I wanted to "get ahead" in life, I was going to have to become educated, and work hard. I didn't want to go to school indefinitely, so I took a few years off after college and worked for a youth ministry and then worked for a couple political campaigns, just to get a feel for things.
It became glaringly obvious to me that I was going to need more education if I were going to "get" anywhere. So I went back to law school, full time, while working part-time. Now THAT was anything but slacker-like. Phew.
And then, after three rather grueling years, I got a job in a small law firm. Making less than the secretary who did not even have a college degree. It was a bit of a wake-up call. Not only was I paying for law school loans, and working at an entry-level position at age 30, but I was going to have to "prove myself" over several/many more years in order to get to where I assumed I "should" be.
I grumbled to myself over the next few years, when the staff went home at 5:30 and I was stuck at the office until 8:00 preparing for a trial. But I understood that one has to "build" a life. Brick by brick. And that I had, theoretically, unlimited earning potential. It was a small comfort, especially after I got married and actually wanted to spend time with my husband. (What? Leave work before 8:00 at night?? Not work on Sundays? Really?)
But that is nothing compared to what these Millenials apparently feel. I mean, I cannot find a babysitter for less than ten dollars an hour these days. Seriously. I have a really hard time finding high school kids even to babysit for THAT kindof money. Apparently they have better things to do with their time. Apparently they don't need to make money. And they shop at places where t-shirts are more than $25.00.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
I guess for the next week or so I can talk about the upcoming election, the day of the election, and my post-election feelings. Those can probably now be summed up as dread, anxiety, and fear, in that order. Hopefully the last one will change from "fear" to "relief". All we can do is pray.
Ok, this is counting as day 1, even though I am composing it on a post-trick or treating sugar high.