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Change of Plans

Hello, sweet visitors.

My long absence cannot completely be blamed on my current situation, but my continued absence can.

My son was born on April 28 after a failed inducement turned into an emergency c-section when his heart rate started dipping into the 60s.

Long story short, he was born with a number of health problems, including a small, deformed hand, one non-functioning kidney, a large hole in his heart requiring open heart surgery, an abdominal hernia, and a partial 7th nerve causing paralysis in his left eyelid and eyebrow.

We are currently on day 19 in the NICU, and it seems we have many, many, MANY more ahead of us.

If you’d like to follow little man’s fighting journey, we are blogging all about it over at Tales From the Plastic Crib.

He’s a fighter!

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Stop Hurting Women

So, Amy Glass and her opinion. Wow, where to start?

I get it, I do. I get the sentiment that this chick was kinda-sorta hinting at in her blog-like rant. Getting a wedding or baby shower invitation is normal; we expect it, because it’s the standard celebrations women get when they enter those life stages (some of us earlier than planned!). It’s the way it was for our grandmothers, our mothers, and now us. The standard baby shower punch (YUM, by the way, why is THAT not an every day staple?), trying to figure out if you’re going to think outside the box, or just shuck it and purchase yet another toaster– we’ve all been there.

So, I get it. Why don’t I get an invitation that says, “Look who just made partner at Pretentious Law Firm! Come join us for a celebration!” Let’s openly celebrate those accomplishments with our families, our friends, and make it the norm, as much of the norm as a baby shower. Go for it! I’m in. More chances to drink some Sprite + sherbet punch.

However.

If you are someone who thinks that women only have one place, and that is barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen to rustle up some of that homemade cooking, you are in the minority, and if you let this opinion be known to a group of females, mixed with SAHMs, WAHMs, and single, working women, you’re likely to die from the looks, if someone doesn’t outright punch you. That’s because women, just like men, can’t be pushed into a certain mold.

I have never had plans to backpack through Europe. Heck, I don’t even want to GO to Europe. This is not because I have a husband and kids, and am therefore tied down with my womanly duties. It’s because, well… I don’t like hiking, I don’t like the outdoors, I don’t like to travel, and flying over the ocean scares me. So, take your pick, but don’t blame it on my decision to get married and procreate.

The same goes with the fact that I was never going to be a doctor. Science bores me, and I’m sure everyone prefers their neurologists and pediatricians have a zest for the science behind the medicine. So, again, my 2-year-old ball-and-chain has nothing to do with the fact I will never have an M.D. after my name.

Ultimately, her initial question of, “Do people really think that a stay at home mom is really on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself?” while worded rather rudely (let’s be blunt: she phrased that like a big ‘ole biotch), does have a small point. Spending the day building blocks, eating pretend picnics, and reading “Goodnight Moon” 18 times is not nearly important as the woman surgeon who just prevented someone from dying on her table after a horrific car accident. Heck yes, let’s CELEBRATE that, because WOW, that’s amazing. I’m in awe of women who can do that.

But, someone raised that woman. She has a mother, or a mother-like figure. Someone taught her right from wrong, encouraged her to do well in school, and inspired her to keep going. Lawyers, doctors and high-powered career woman don’t pop out of thin air. They were children once that needed to be looked after. Maybe my daughter will grow up to be next in a long line of women presidents, or CEO of a powerful company. I fantasize daily about what she will do for herself and for the world.

One thing that has never, ever entered my mind though, is that she will be settling if she decides to fall in love, get married, and create some beautiful babies of her own. Because, the end goal for every human being should be the ability to look back at our lives when we’re 80, covered in wrinkles, and say, “Wow, I had such a fulfilling life.”

Women can raise a family, or they can climb the corporate ladder, or they can do both. If you want to empower women and celebrate them for their accomplishments, more power to you! The world can always use more happiness. And cake. And champagne. But if you do that by looking down on and crushing the spirit of those who chose a different path than you would choose for yourself, you’re not helping. You’re hurting.

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As A Mom, I Agree: Those Without Kids ARE Happier

A recent study came out that said couples without kids are happier than couples with kids. Immediately, moms huffily rolled their eyes, hugged their kids tighter, and claimed that could not possibly be true. Kids make EVERYTHING better, dontcha know?!

To this I say… are you crazy? Of course childless couples are happier! I coulda told you that without conducting a fancy study.

Now, before all the mothers out there line up to take my child that I clearly don’t appreciate, let me explain.

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Oh yeah, I’m pregnant

When that plus sign popped up on the pregnancy test, I was just as surprised as I was when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. Even the women who are charting, clocking, and monitoring every snap, crackle and pop their bodies make, when the green light finally appears, it’s just as deep a shock. Suddenly, you’re not alone on the toilet anymore– you’ve got a stowaway.

But, that’s where the similarities end. With my first, I did a small confused/terrified/excited lap around the house, talking to myself, and immediately grabbed an apple to munch on. Time to eat healthy! With this one… I went and fed my daughter lunch. Sure, there were butterflies in my stomach, and I was anxious for my husband to come home from the gym so I could spill the news, but it wasn’t that OHMYGODWHATJUSTHAPPENED feeling.

However, I was not prepared for the biggest difference of all: the fact that I have literally forgotten I was pregnant too many times to count.

Not like, “WHOOPS, just drank an entire bottle of wine, and oh yeah… I think I peed on a stick a few weeks ago? What did it say again?” Nothing like that.

More like, a week will pass, and my daughter will climb into my lap to read a book, and my brain will spring into action, “BABY! Don’t squish the baby!”, and I will readjust. That NEVER happened with my first. I woke up everyday, grinning from ear to ear, thinking to myself, “Guesssss what?! You’re still pregnant!”

I promise, tiny fetus, that when you arrive you will have at least 50% of my attention span every single day, and 100% of my love, but, I gotta say, until you’re here, screaming my ear off for a diaper change, you’re taking a backseat.

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Grow up, Congress

Dear Congress,

I know that, technically, a government shutdown is the way our democratic system preserves itself while the powers-that-be pass a continuing resolution. It’s a tool; it’s meant to buy some time while the details are hashed out, handshakes are exchanged, and the President finds his lucky pen.

However.

This shutdown, this going-on-day-10-with-the-debt-limit-ceiling-looming-over-us shutdown, is being used as a shank; it’s a weapon, not a tool. It’s meant to maim, harm, and embarrass the other side… and it doesn’t matter which side I’m talking about. Neither side has budged, both refusing to do anything but repeat their contrived and overused talking points, adding in “This is not a game!” wherever there’s an opening.

As I watch round-the-clock coverage, and listen to member after member spew their rhetoric, the only thought that runs through my mind is…

What right do you have to do this to the American people?

You cut off pay from the military (and please, spare me the BS about the Pay the Military Act– we all know that was to save face because of the public backlash of the possibility of screwing the troops).
You sent thousands of government workers home, deeming them unnecessary, leaving them wondering how long they would be without pay and benefits. Would they lose a week’s worth? Two? A month?
You closed national parks… like the Grand Canyon. A big hole in the earth, and people can’t go see it, because YOU can’t act like adults and come to some reasonable agreement.
You ruined people’s vacations, people’s weddings, people’s trips to pay tribute to war memorials.

Your pay is safe, though. Your gym is open, functional, and apparently totally necessary. You get to smirk like the Queen Bee as you’re interviewed by every media outlet on the planet, feeling smug, vindicated, and like you’re doing the world a favor, when, in reality? America hates you.

Yes, it’s true. We hate you. All of you. Democrats. Republicans. Independents. Hard working people who pay their bills, take care of their families, root for their favorite sports teams, and just try to make it in this world, we hate you. Watching the partisanship, the fighting, the back and forth, is sickening. Whether you actually mean to use the shutdown as a way to protect the American people, or if you are really just using it to score points for your party, it doesn’t matter anymore. The only thing you’re doing is hurting us. You’re hurting our faith in the democratic system, you’re mocking the choices we made at the polls, and you’re actually costing people money– people who don’t have stock options, a trust fund, or rich lobbyists up their sleeves.

We need the government to reopen. We need to know that we are working for a reason, and we need to know that the officials who hold our entire way of life, those who are the stewards of the nation, have more patience, restraint, and can share better than our two-year-olds. Because, I have to warn you, that when my two-year-old acts up, I put her in time out, and time out for you… well… it’s much more permanent than you would like. It means your seat in Congress is no longer your seat.

Grow up. Grow a pair. Sit down with your enemy, and open the damn government.

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I Am Her Sun

Today was one of those days when I kept glancing at the clock. It was 9 a.m. when she had a meltdown over something wrong with her pancakes. It was 10:15 a.m. when the dog wouldn’t take her plastic food and she threw it across the room. It was 11:30 a.m. when she was overtired and laid on the floor beating her feet against the hardwood.

It didn’t get better after nap time, either.

Tantrum after tantrum, problem after problem, and I couldn’t urge bedtime to get here any faster. I laid her down for her normal episode of Bubble Guppies before bed, and when I picked her up to move her to her room, she wrapped her little arms around me and put her cheek against mine. And, like a trigger, my eyes filled with tears.

In one of my favorite movies, Hook, Peter Pan’s wife, Moira, makes a beautiful revelation that pierced my mind as my tiny toddler wrapped around my body. She says, “We have a few special years with our children, when they’re the ones that want us around. After that you’re going to be running after them for a bit of attention. It’s so fast. It’s a few years, and it’s over.”

I have but a few years with Sydney before she’s going to be pushing me away, and shutting her door to keep me out. When she’ll roll her eyes when my name pops up on her cell phone, and count down the days to get her license as to gain even more freedom. When I will be an obstacle she has to get past to have fun, instead of being the one she runs to for it.

On days like today, I need to remember that. I will never get this day back with her. My eyes flickering back and forth to the clock weren’t just urging on nap time and bedtime; they were forcing the days and years to move quicker. Suddenly, she’s going to be five, about to start school. Then, a tween, obsessed with a future Justin-Bieber-lookalike. Then, the dreaded teen years.

As the mother of a toddler, it’s easy to get exhausted because you have half the energy the little midget running around your legs has, but try. It’s easy to count the seconds and minutes for an acceptable time to put them to bed. Instead, revel.

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Revel in the peanut butter-smeared smiles, and the sticky fingers. Revel in finding a way to stop the tears, and put a grin back on their face. Revel in the millions of questions, revel in their curiosity. Revel in showing them everything they’ve never experienced, even something as small as a ladybug. Never take a second for granted.

We have but a few short years where we are our child’s whole world. I am going to enjoy my role as her sun for as long as possible. My arms are tingling right now, itching to scoop her out of her crib and swing her around in the air, that sweet child of mine!

But I will wait, and tomorrow will be a new day. No clocks. No iPhones. No television.

Just me and her.

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Mike Jeffries Doesn’t Define Me

The Interwebs have been in a tizzy the last few weeks after comments made in 2006 by Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries resurfaced, and they have been on the Twitter-Facebook-Reddit media circuit.

It hasn’t been pretty.

Then, an apology in the loosest sense of the word was issued by the CEO, and it was met with great admiration and acceptance by the social media community. If you believe that, then I have some property to sell you in Florida. It was rage on a major scale. The Mozilla Firefox fox turned red.

But, all of the angry comments, the hate mail, the backlash, and the “open letters” in response to Jeffries words are forgetting one thing: this is letting him win. He is winning! We are talking about his brand, and even through the apology, he’s smug. Aren’t the non-cool kids always jealous of the cool kids? That’s what this is, a bunch of non-cool kids begging to be let into the club. Sure, they say they don’t want in, but what they want is inclusion. They’re screaming, “Market to us! We’re here, too!”

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