Well, we finally told our families on Thanksgiving. That was the hardest part, I think, keeping it a secret from my mom and dad. Then we put a picture of the ultra sound on our Christmas card as our big announcement and told all our friends on Facebook (because we all know nothing is official until it is posted on Facebook, right?)
We did all this announcing at the beginning of December. We've since had another ultrasound and the doctor has changed our due date to June 24 because I was measuring bigger. So that means it is highly likely that I will be spending my birthday (June 26) in labor. I'm not big on sharing my birthday (except for with Alison because she was born before me and she's pretty awesome), but I think if I have to share it with my baby, it will be worth it. What a great birthday present! (That doesn't mean you don't have to get me something, dear hubby!)
Just before Christmas, JJ started coughing a lot. Turns out he has bronchitis. Then right after Christmas, I got a cold. A really bad one. I was completely out of commission on Thursday and yesterday and even now I'm writing this in my jammies laying on the couch, where I've been since yesterday. On the plus side I'm writing from super cool purple laptop I got for Christmas!!
Being sick when you are pregnant is the worst because you can't really do anything about it. There are very few medications you can take and I'm not a big eater when I'm sick so I feel like I'm not eating enough for my baby. I'm trying and I'm taking my prenatals, but it is something I do worry about. I slept on the couch all night because 1) I didn't want to get my husband sick and 2) if I had a rough night, I didn't want to keep him up tossing and turning. I will say I feel much better this morning though. I'm still pretty congested and my throat is sore, but I don't feel like I'm dying anymore which is a really good thing. I'm being very cautious with this pregnancy and trying to follow all the rules as strictly as possible. Last night I did give in and take a Benedryl because it is on my doctor's list of approved medications for congestion. I may or may not take another one tonight, we'll see, but I'm probably going to get some nasal spray because that is also on the list and I've had success with that before (not pregnant).
My next doctor's appointment isn't until December 7 but hopefully it will come soon and I can get some peace of mind that my baby is still OK. I can't help but be paranoid.
I wish I had remembered to keep track of everything when I was preggo with JJ. Its hitting me, all the things I don't really remember. Like the nausea. I remember having it. I just don't remember exactly when or the pattern or how bad it ever got. I don't think it ever was terrible. I didn't throw up too much, just some mornings. I remember being happy when it was over.
Everything I've read says most women don't start really feeling pregnancy symptoms until around the 6th week and that sounds about right, but I gotta say I've already been feeling the nausea. It isn't terrible, but I've definitely stocked up on my supplies from my first pregnancy: Ginger Ale (.88 each when you buy 4 at Ralphs, so I scored on that one), Lemon drops (I've suggested this to other pregnant friends and it never seems to work for them, but it did for me, so there you have it), peppermint candies (my previous OB/GYN suggested this me. It helps with the excess saliva as well as works as a calming force on the stomach acid) and Tums (these were my lifesavers before. A little bit during the beginning of the pregnancy but a lot in the final months).
This time it is different, though. When I was pregnant for those few short weeks in July, I didn't feel sick at all. Not once. This time, the nausea is reminder that I am carrying a life inside me. It reminds me that I was blessed with this child. I am fully embracing the nausea this time around. It is a sign that I am pregnant and I count it a blessing.
This time is also different in that I am showing already. That was another sign before I took the test. It is true that you show earlier in your second pregnancy (since your uterus and stomach muscles are already stretched out, once the pregnancy hormones kick in, your uterus/stomach automatically start to take on their round shape. It is like blowing up a balloon that's already been blown up before) and I am no exception. I can still wear regular shirts, but I've already taken to wearing maternity pants for comfort. If this keeps up, it is going to make it pretty hard to keep this pregnancy under wraps until December. Maybe I should invest in some large briefcases to carry around with me. Or would it be too weird to carry a laundry basket to work?
I don't like to brag, but I like to think I gave my husband the best anniversary present ever (actually, it was for both of us).
As you know, we've been trying for a few months now to get pregnant. We had one unsuccessful pregnancy in July and since then its just been a waiting game.
I've been tracking my days religiously, calculating time days. I had a system down pat. We had a schedule and we were going to keep it no matter what. I've never been so in-tuned with my body.
I was also still pretty cautious. I'm not a fan of disappointment (who is?) and that single line on a preggo test is about as disappointing as they come. I'm also not a fan of waiting, but I was resolved to not take a single test until after I was supposed to get my period. No matter how much I wanted to know, it wasn't going to happen. I was going to wait so there was no question.
For a few days starting, I don't know, October 16 or 17, I was feeling very blah. I was tired a lot. Falling asleep when I got home from work and then falling asleep for the night around 8:30. I have a lot of half-watched shows on my dvr right now. It is not totally unusual for me to be tired since I work such crazy hours (5am to 1:30pm), but to take a nap and go to bed early is a bit excessive. I was also hungry all the time and just generally not feeling well. I knew it in my gut that I was going to get a positive test.
The timing was great, actually, because it was Thursday night and the next day was my 4th wedding anniversary. My husband was out watching the Thursday night football game. I knew it was early (I wasn't due to start my period until Monday) but I thought if it came out negative I'd just go back to the original plan and try again on Monday. If it was positive then Great! It turned out to be positive. And not just a faint is-it-there-or-not second line, but it was an instant dark no-doubt-about-it second line. Honestly, I was surprised. I wasn't really expecting a positive, but I was elated! I was also kinda glad my husband was not at home because I don't know if I would have been able to keep it a secret from him until the next day.
Friday morning I took another test (the box came with two: one regular and one digital). I took the digital test Friday morning and of course it was still a "+Yes" and I was just as elated. I put both tests in a little envelope I made and attached a card for my husband telling him Happy Anniversary. Inside I wrote a note and said, "I can't wait to make the three of us four."
He called me at work and was so thrilled.
We are feeling so blessed right now!! But it is going to be hard to keep it a secret until after 12 weeks... That seems so far away!
One of the things I really I'd done when I was pregnant with JJ was to keep some sort of log or journal of my pregnancy memories (especially since I suddenly can't remember anything about being pregnant the first time!) So when I found out I was preggo this time, I started to journal this pregnancy. I hadn't announced anything yet, so I saved up my posts. As I should have expected, I completely forgot to post the saved blogs!! So I'm posting them now. I really think I'm going to enjoy having these pregnancy memories.
I would like to preface this by saying that I'm going to try not to
make this an "angry rant" because it is a subject that is very
important to me and it is a hot button issue all over the country right
Recently two politicians (a congressman and a senate candidate)
have come under extreme fire/scrutiny for commenting on their believes
on pregnancies that result from rapes. The most recent comment was that
if a rape results in a pregnancy, it was God's Will.
This politician immediately came under fire. People (including
someone I know) called him the "worst person in the world." Why? Because
he believes life begins at conception and values human life? Gee, what a
terrible person, especially compared to the murders and drug lords and
genocidal leaders and the Taliban, for crying out loud. He is being
practically nailed to the wall for what he said. Guess what? He didn't
say that the rape itself was God's Will. I can't believe anybody would
actually think that he believes that. He was saying that if after all
that goes on in such a terrible situation as rape, if a baby is
conceived, it is just as much a miracle than if a man and woman were
actively trying to have a baby. Like Paul Ryan said, a life is a life
regardless of the circumstances of how it came to be.
When I lost my baby back in July, it was awful. People rallied
around me saying how sorry they were, including many who don't believe
what I do. If people think that at 6 weeks I only lost a group of cells,
not a baby, why would they be sorry for me? Not a life, not a big deal,
right? Why is it that if a woman miscarries it is a truly sad thing,
but if she aborts, its exercising her woman's right? So a note to all: I
too believe that begins at conception, so I guess that makes me a
terrible person as well...
The other politician started a scandal when he said that it is
unlikely that a rape would result in pregnancy. I don't know if that's
true --I'm not a doctor-- but this was also not a new statement to me. I
had heard many times in my life that the conditions of a forcible rape
(the adrenaline, the stress, the fear) are not ideal conditions for
conception. Again I don't know if that's true because my medical
training is non-existent, but it sort of makes sense to me. Along with
all that, the timing would have to spot on, you know what I mean?
Let me expand on that. As any woman who has gone through Trying To
Conceive can attest, myself included, the conditions for pregnancy are
very specific and particular. The parameters that must be met are
limited. The average woman of prime child-bearing years has one cycle
every month. In that month, there are only 1-2 days when she actually
ovulates. Depending on age and health, most women only have about a 20%
chance of getting pregnant each month. The older you get, the lower your
chances are. Women trying to get pregnant count and calculate until
they can't stand it anymore. It takes the average couple 6 months to
Here's some more biology for you: Tens of Millions of sperm enter the female body. Most of those will die or get "lost" along
the way (insert cheesy man vs. directions joke here). Then the sperm
have to choose between two fallopian tubes and hope they get the right
one. Then once the sperm reaches the egg (FYI: there are only about 100 left at this point, out of the initial tens of millions), they have to find a weak spot
in the egg to burrow into. The odds aren't great. This video is a bit
dramatic in the narration, but it explains it well.
So, pushing the emotional/hormonal stuff going on in your body
during a rape aside, the rape itself would have to occur within a day or
two of ovulation and the sperm would have had to find its way to the
egg and penetrate the egg itself in order to result in pregnancy. I'm
not saying it wouldn't happen, but I am saying the chances are small so I
really don't think that should be the definitive argument for the
legality of abortion. No website will offer hard statistics because they
are so hard to prove, but I really don't think the majority of
abortions are because of rape or incest. I just don't.
I know this isn't a popular opinion, but it's mine and I own it. I
am tired of people, especially other women, making women feel like they
are casting aside their womanly duties by not supporting abortion. I
will never support abortion, to be honest with you. I never feel like it
is OK to kill a child, in or out of the womb. In fact, I told my
husband if it ever came to that, choosing between me or the baby, to
always choose the baby. Rape is a terrible and tragic thing that should
never happen, but it isn't the baby's fault.
People got upset when certain states passed a law that required an
ultrasound before an abortion. Were they perhaps upset because they
would see a living being? They don't want to know that a heart is
beating and the organs are forming and the baby has a brain and a
central nervous system and cardiovascular system and fingers and toes
and CAN HEAR YOU.
OK, I think that is all for now. I'm sure I can say more. I could
talk about this all day. I'm not trying to change minds (though if I
helped, that would be great), but I am trying to make sure that my
opinion and those like mine are just as respected as people who
disagree. People need to stop putting others down for what they believe
just because it is different. It is a threat to the freedom of speech
and that is a dangerous territory to be getting ourselves into.
Things I took away from my 10-year reunion (which I believe was a complete success, by the way. Everyone really seemed to have a good time and we had a somewhat good turn-out. It was small-ish when you consider how many people didn't come, but I think it was a good size group):
1. Spanx and Little Black Dresses are the Photoshop of real life (myself totally included.)
2. Ten years is a long time in some aspect, but not long enough in others.
3. Those I genuinely liked and considered friends and have fond memories of, (outside of my regular group of that I hung out with all the time, that is), I still feel the same about them. I truly enjoyed seeing them and catching up (I was going to list names, but I was afraid to leave someone out, so I hope you know who you are!).
4. There were a lot of people not there that I haven't seen in a long time and I wish had been there
5. The people who didn't really talk to me much in high school, didn't really talk to me at the reunion either but I'm OK with that.
6. I'm starting to think my memories of high school have grown slightly distorted over the years, but it is all starting to go back into place now.
7. I don't know what's more disappointing: discovering the guy you had the biggest pull-your-hair-out-in-love-with crush on turned out to be kind of a jackass, or looking back and realizing he probably always was.
8. I not only miss, but truly TREASURE the really good times I had (Float parties at the Taylor's, homecoming decorating, spirit week, donkey basketball games, basketball stats with my girls JoAnna and Brittney, driving Mr. Goedhart crazy in choir, "babysitting" at the Natural History Museum with Kristen, Joey and Devon... I could keep going, I'm sure)
9. I experienced some not great things in high school and I used to say I hated it, but now having been out for 10 years and having the experiences I've had, I don't know if that's actually the case. I didn't love it by any means, and there was quite a bit I wish I could have changed, but I had some really great friends and enough happy memories that it would be wrong of me to say I hated it.
Confession: My high school reunion is on Saturday and I am pretty nervous. OK I'm terrified.
I wasn't the popular girl in high school, not by a long shot. (I wasn't exactly a loser either, for the record. At least I hope not.) My fear is that I was forgettable.
During one of our reunion planning meetings (yes, I somehow found myself on the committee and surprisingly enough have enjoyed it. Although, side note: Planning a reunion is much more stressful than planning a wedding.), someone mentioned a name I hadn't thought about in years (probably 10) and I thought "Oh my gosh, I totally forgot about her!" Then another thought occurred to me: What if that's me? What if I'm the girl people say "I totally forgot about her!" when they hear my name?
I had a lot of self-confidence issues when I was in high school. I guess a lot of people do, but still, it was big issue for me. When I graduated and started living my life out of my little private school bubble, I met a lot of people who knew nothing about me from before. I was able to recreate myself, if you want to put it that way. Or maybe even be more of my true self, which is probably more accurate. I made a lot of friends and my self-confidence soared. I still feel better about myself than I ever did before.
The problem? It is very easy for me to go back to the self-doubting, self-defeating girl I once was, to slip back into that routine. Especially when I am surrounded by my past. The memories alone of how I felt are enough to do it. The biggest thing is, nobody ever really made me feel this way (well, not nobody but that's another story or two altogether). This was pretty much all me. All me not feeling good enough. All me feeling down on myself because I didn't look a certain way or wasn't invited to certain activities. All me for comparing myself to others CONSTANTLY. I'm really glad my husband is going to be there with me, because when he looks at me, it brings me back to reality and I can brush off the old stuff knowing it doesn't matter anymore.
I had a really good group of friends in high school and even friends who weren't in my regular group. I'm sad that I didn't stay in better touch with more of them (except for Jen Westerbeek, who I of course stayed in touch with. She's been one of my best friends--if not my absolute best friend--since we were 10 years old. Can you believe we've been friends for 18 years??!! And now our kids are friends!), but I'm really excited to see them all.
There are a lot of people not going that I really would have loved to see and spend time catching up with and I hope you know who you are (assuming this is being read by anyone... oops, there goes that confidence thing again!)
This blog was "Part One" so I'll try to do a follow up after the reunion. Hopefully it'll be of the "See, I had nothing to worry about" variety :0)
This a thing, apparently. The message boards, in all their acronym-y glory, call it "TWW" (I had to look it up, as I do all those acronyms: DH, DS, TWW, BFP, BFN, TBO, BD. Seriously, who knows this stuff?) The Two Week wait is the time between when you start ovulating and when you can take a pregnancy test.
And it's torturous.
As you may know, a couple months ago I lost my baby at 6 weeks. It was awful. The good thing is, as far as miscarriages go, it was early and it took care of itself, meaning I didn't have undergo any procedures. My doctor told me I was pretty much the picture of health and we could start again after my next cycle. She then said that could come anytime in the next 3-8 weeks. It goes without saying I was pulling for 3 weeks. My son (DS? Did I get that right?) is 2 1/2 and we are definitely ready for another little blessing in our home. It came 6 weeks later. In the meantime, we were trying really hard not to get pregnant again because you don't want it to happen too soon.
I was really excited when it was time to start trying again. I was also, and still am, extremely anxious. What if we didn't get pregnant this time and we have to do it all over again? What if I do get pregnant this time, but I lose the baby again? It was such a terrible thing to go through, I don't know how I would handle two in a row.
So here I sit and wait. I'm about halfway through my Two Week Wait and all do is sit and try to remember what it was like when I was preggo the first time. When did I start to feel sick? How soon before the test did I feel different? Did I feel different at all or was it later? I realize I don't remember anything! All I can do is have hope and pray that God will do what He knows is best. I can find comfort in that at least...
It's no secret that I love anything that has to do with food or the kitchen. Cooking? Check! Baking? Check! This is something I hope to pass on to my kid(s). I believe it when they say that kids will likely be more willing to try new things when they help prepare the meal. Hopefully this will work because I'm all for my kid trying anything other than Mac & Cheese and chicken nuggets! (He eats a few other things too, but he's quite picky and not willing to try...)
This week, thanks to a club card special and a coupon, I found a couple new products from Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines that I think will help my 2 1/2 year old to know that there is more to the kitchen than the refrigerator as a space for this magnetic letters and numbers. It only cost me a few dollars to try this new product, but even without a coupon it would be reasonable.
All you need is the new Betty Crocker Shake 'n Pour cupcake mix (there is also a funfetti flavor mix and a brownie mix). Just follow the instructions on the back: Add water, shake and pour. Its super easy; you can see why this was perfect for a toddler. I would highly recommend watching them carefully in the pouring stage. Trust me.
To frost, I used a new product from Duncan Hines called Frosting Creations. I've seen them before, but I tend to prefer my own frosting to canned, but for $1 with a coupon, I had to give it a shot. You take the plain frosting and add the flavor powder you choose. They have quite a few flavor options too. The frosting is very smooth and easy to mix, so once again, perfect for the younger set.
I think the regular box mixes are a bit better, flavor-wise, but this one was still pretty good and the cake was really moist. The best part, it was really easy for JJ to do mostly himself and he had a lot of fun doing it.
Shake, shake, shake!! This is the fun part
Of course you have to lick the spoon! (We had a spoon because he poured a bit too much and had to do a little batter transfer!)
OK, so today is one of those days where I get to use this platform to rant about something I feel needs ranting about. I would like to preface this rant with the following statement first, though:
I am pro-gay marriage. I am so pro-gay marriage, it's ridiculous. I have a lot of gay friends and they are some of the nicest, most wonderful people I have ever met and I am so glad they are in my life. I don't look at them as "my gay friends" they are just "my friends" like everyone else. I think it is absurd that gay marriage is even an issue. Why do you care if two guys get married? or two girls? In what way does that change your life and what you do on a day-to-day basis? There are gay couples all over the US who are married right now and guess what? nothing changed in your life. The sky didn't fall, the ground didn't start shaking and your life didn't end when they said "I do." Someone in my office recently married his boyfriend and I didn't even know it happened until after the fact. Wanna know why? Because it didn't effect me in anyway except for my happiness that he is in love and loved and has a partner for life. Just like I do with my hubby. Good for him. People need to leave these such situations alone. Seriously. If people are gay, let them be gay. Stop whining about it. There are so many other things to be upset about in this world. Honest-to-God terrible things that demand our attention and solution much more than if my friend Steven and my friend Erick decide they want to go on a date. (For the record, they don't even know each other. Though they are both amazing people.)
I would also like to add, pre-rant, that I am a Christian. A God-fearing, Jesus-following, Bible-reading Christian. My Faith is a HUGE part of my life and I believe if Jesus were on Earth right now, he'd be saddened by the judgement we seem to feel as our responsibility to pass around. And that judgement goes in both directions.
That all being said, I'd like to weigh in on the recent Chick-Fil-A controversy. A recap (in case you've been living under a rock): Dan Cathy, the CEO of Chick-Fil-A, came out in a statement against gay-marriage and the public backlash has been severe. That is where I take issue. Mr. Cathy never said he hated gay people or that he wouldn't serve gay people or that he wouldn't hire gay people to work at his restaurants. He has an opinion, just like everyone else in America, about a current hot button issue. The difference is, he is being publically lambasted for his views.
Is it not his constitutional right to have that opinion? Why is it OK for one person to say "I am for gay marriage" and not for another person to say "I am against gay marriage"? I'll admit I'm not a PoliSci expert, but I'm pretty sure there were no such exceptions made in the 1st Amendment.
One of the greatest things about this country is our freedom to express what we believe. Pardon the cliche, but we are melting pot of ideas and beliefs and that is one of the things that keeps our country going. We need people with opposing viewpoints to spark discussion about issues so we are all fully informed of what we believe and why. Do we really want to live in a society where people won't express what they think for fear of public derision? That is a sad day indeed.
Chick-Fil-A doesn't make anti-gay propaganda, they make chicken sandwiches, and good ones at that. It is ridiculous to expect that just because someone owns a business, they don't have political or personal opinions anymore. Mr. Cathy always believed the same thing and we were fine with his restaurant being "Openly Christian" so long as no one actually talked about it. That seems dumb to me. In-N-Out is also out of the Christian closet, going so far as to put Bible verses on their packaging. No one seems to have a problem with In-N-Out. I have a couple friends who call themselves Atheists, but they still love their double-doubles.
Do I agree with the stance of Dan Cathy? Not necessarily; I'm a hate-the-sin-love-the-sinner type of girl, and thank God for Grace because I'd be in trouble if people didn't extend me the same courtesy. But I do whole-heartedly believe that Mr. Cathy should be able to claim his views proudly and without such scrutiny and hate. Ironically enough, the people protesting against him seem more hateful in their statements than he did in his.
This isn't the first time something like this happened either. The same sort of thing happened with Kirk Cameron and former Miss California Carrie Prejean, and to some extent Tim Tebow. In Kirk Cameron and Carrie Prejean's cases, their Christianity was no secret when they were asked by their respective interviewers about their stance on gay marriage. In my opinion, this was a sneak attack. No one was really surprised by their answers, yet it stirred up controversy and gave the public court of opinion the opportunity to nail them to the wall. In Carrie Prejean's case, the question was asked by Perez Hilton and none of the other contestants were asked. You really don't think he knew what she was going to say? I don't have any specific knowledge of Tim Tebow's gay marriage opinions, but he's been mocked endlessly since he was drafted a couple years ago. He prays and thanks God after good games and plays. So what? Why do people care so much? He feels God has blessed him with a gift and he is thankful for that. We should all be so grateful for our blessings. I'll never forget the hype over his first Super Bowl commercial in 2010. Before it aired, he was ridiculed for daring to do an anti-abortion commercial. Guess what? It wasn't that big of a deal. It was his mom saying she was thankful that she continued with her pregnancy and had a healthy boy. Oooh... so controversial.... Watch any random episode of the show Private Practice and the one stock anti-abortion character is always ridiculed for her beliefs. Though she stands by them, so good for her.
We are supposed to live in a country where we are free to live how we choose and believe in what we want, as long it doesn't cause harm to others. We've demonstrated time and again, that that is not truly how people feel. People want to say they are accepting of all people, unless those people disagree with them. When Oreo posted a picture of rainbow filling in honor of Pride day, a group of ultra-conservative Christians were upset about it. They were more or less told to calm down by the same people who are now protesting Chick-fil-A. Hypocritical? Just a bit.
Our constitution gives us freedom of religion, not from. An important distinction.
In my life I have been blessed with many people from a variety of backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures and I feel like my life is all the richer for it.
The plan was to chronicle my pregnancy journey from start to finish. I hadn't done that with my first pregnancy--though now I wish I had, even if just for comparison's sake.
My son turned 2 in February, which is about the time we started talking about adding another bundle of joy to the Weber household. We were (are) planning on a family vacation to Hawaii in August so we figured we'd wait until we got back. Around June, we decided to go ahead and start trying, figuring it would take a couple months to actually get pregnant. I had just finished my last birth control pack and it was our first month trying. When I was late the first week of July, I was shocked, but excited. I took a pregnancy test on July 7 and it was positive. I told my family on July 8 and that got the ball rolling because my sister can't seem to keep a secret (it's OK. I love you, Emily!). I took a few more tests over the next week and we made an "official" announcement to all our friends on Facebook on July 16 (because we all know it isn't real until it's been announced on Facebook! :0) ).
Unfortunately, but that Friday, July 20, I was in the Emergency Room at Cedar-Sinai. My baby was gone.
It is one of those things you think can never happen to you. It was every pregnant woman's worst nightmare come true and it was just as awful as you'd imagine it would be. I can't even express how thankful I am for my husband. I was a mess, a total wreck. He was my rock. He's the one who called the doctor for me. He's the one who sat with me (when they finally let him out of the waiting room!) and kept me smiling and assuring me it was going to be OK. My mom and dad and sister jumped in the car and came straight up (with a quick stop at Cold Stone first to pick up an ice cream cake. My family knows me too well :0) ). And I swear, you couldn't ask for better doctors and nurses than the ones on staff at Cedars. Seriously, the best.
At my follow up appointment yesterday, my doctor told me that 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. She also said that the majority of the time, there is no explanation. It is the body's way of noticing there is some sort of chromosomal abnormality that formed and the pregnancy would not last anyway if allowed to continue. The body knows what to do, it's pretty miraculous that way actually.
I don't know why this had to happen to me, to my baby. I truly believe God has a plan for everyone and everything that happens. I don't know what it was in the case, and I may never know, but I know whatever it was, He is helping me somehow.
The outpouring of support I received from my friends was remarkable. I was also surprised to learn how many of my friends had gone through the same thing, some multiple times. Old friends and new friends all reached out and offered a hand of comfort, a showing of love. For me, this is huge. Occasionally (OK, all the time), I deal with feelings of unimportance and inadequacy. No doubt feelings left-over from my middle school and high school days, the difference is, now I can deal with those feelings on a more rational, adult, i've-lived-a-little level.
I was overwhelmed with the messages of love and was reminded that a lot of really great people care about me, which is something I've been struggling with believing for some reason this year.
I also find comfort in the idea that my baby is in heaven waiting for me someday. And to my friend Britni, I love the idea that our babies are hanging out up there together looking down on their mommies :0)
Sometimes it feels like from the time we are little girls, we are programmed to despise one another simply because, well, for no reason at all really. Girls/women are being pitted against each other and this, dear reader, is not a new concept.
I would like to point out that I put "War on Women" in quotes because, while I do think gender discrimination is a real thing in the US, I also believe that the true War on Women is happening in other aspects--like Sex-selective abortions and female infanticide; like Genital mutilation such as circumcising females (nothing to do with hygiene) or sewing vaginas shut; like murdering or imprisoning women who have been raped or try to run away from their abusive husbands; like the estimated 45,000 to 50,000 women and children who are trafficked annually around the globe, including the United States. With that perspective, I think we can agree that we are currently playing pretty fast and loose with the phrase here in the US.
The phrase "War on Women" seems to have permeated our society following a certain incident in which a certain radio host--who is known for controversy, by the way--said something he shouldn't have. Something I would like to point out has been said by people of both parties about women of both parties. Full disclosure here: I am a Republican and while I tend to agree with some of Mr. Limbaugh's beliefs, I absolutely do NOT agree with the way he chooses to express himself. I do not think that calling Ms. Fluke a slut is appropriate, no to my knowledge, think it is accurate. (I also don't think Mr. Limbaugh understands how birth control works; you take the pill everyday regardless of how much sex you are having. But I digress....) I don't think Ms. Fluke is a slut, but I also don't think I should have to pay for her birth control either. I already pay for my own at a measly $10 a month. But to me, those are two entirely different issues.
In an admittingly round-about way, that brings me to my first point. I don't agree that Limbaugh calling Fluke was an "Act of War" but I do think it's symptomatic of a larger problem. Words like "slut" and "bitch" among countless others are used to put women down, demean them, make them inferior to others. Unfortunately, these words are often said by other women. By calling each other and even ourselves words like that, we are fanning the flames. We are feeding the monster that seeks only to tear us down and watch us self-destruct.
I'm not claiming to have never called someone a bitch, but when we use it so flippantly, we become desensitized to what we are really saying and that's when it arguably becomes the most powerful.
During the most recent season of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, during the infamous "Game Night" episode, a fight broke out between Kim & Kyle Richards and Brandi Glanville (shocking, I know). During the scenes, the show is structured with frequent break-aways for commentary by the girls. Well, during Brandi's break-away, she says "If she wants to be a bitch, I can be a bigger one." Seriously Brandi? Why? Why do you WANT to be a bitch? Why wouldn't you want to be a nice person? Take the high road. You don't have to be friends with everyone, but c'mon, are we really fighting over who is bitchier now?
This isn't even the first time I've seen or heard something like that either. It happens all the time. I heard a quote recently: "Women are angels and when someone breaks our wings we simply continue to fly... on broomsticks. We're flexible like that." Oh, I get it, women are inherently witches too? Is this really what we want to be? Is this how you would want to be known by other people? I'm not saying there is anything wrong with being a strong, confident woman, but why does a bitch stigma have to tag along with that?
The "War on Women" is fabricated in the US. Conservatives say it's a Liberal war and Liberals say it's a Conservative war. Either way, it rages on because we allow it to. From the time we're young, we fight amongst each other. Perceptions of jealousy quickly become real. We watch reality shows full of women, claws out, just waiting to start a fight. We have women like Samantha Brick fueling the fire with articles about her assumptions that women hate her because she's "so beautiful" and others like her. How many times have you heard that? "Oh she doesn't like me because she's just jealous." We are the ones judging by looks and determining what is 'beautiful.' We are constantly pitted against each other when we should be standing side-by-side.
We don't all have to be best friends or agree on all politics or religion or whatever, but I think we should all agree on one thing and that is that we all matter. We all need to stop fighting and support each other. Maybe we can set an example for everyone else and we can make an effort to extinguish the fire of hate that seems so strong in society today. It starts now, simple as that.
I'm going to take a break from the photos for a minute.
Yesterday, when I pulled into the driveway after picking up JJ, some of the neighborhood kids across the street were outside playing. They are older kids, probably 11 or 12, but they were running around and playing basketball and JJ wanted so desperately to play with them. You should have seen his face when he got out of the car and saw the other kids. He was so excited. "Play! Play!" he said, his face lit up with joy at the prospect of playing basketball. My heart melted.
Of course, 12-year-olds have no desire to play with a 2-year-old. He didn't know that and ran across the street ready to join in the festivities. (side note: we live on a quiet street and I held his hand. I didn't let my kid just dart off into the street unsupervised.) One of the kids was getting picked up by his grandparents, so he left. The little girl (she was probably closer to 8) went inside the house and the older boy continued to play basketball. JJ was clearly in the way, but was so overjoyed to be watching this kid play, it probably never even occurred to him that he wasn't actually playing himself.
The boy kept playing, careful not to let the ball hit JJ (he missed a lot of shots), but other than that, pretty much ignoring him.
I had to take JJ back and he cried. "Play.... Play..." he said through the tears, much less joyous this time around. He tends to get over things pretty quickly and by the time we were back at our house, he was fine.
But I was not.
I know kids that age don't want to play with toddlers, and I didn't expect them to, but still. It was my first experience watching my son want to play with someone who didn't want to play with him and it stung. Visions of a future where this happens to him at an age where he gets that it's happening to him came flooding into my mind. I was heartbroken.
I know it's crazy. He's very social and is so much fun to be around, but he's also pretty shy at times. I know he'll have friends and I'm hoping for reasons bigger than this blog post his K-12 years are more like his father's than mine. But I'm not totally off here. This will happen. Kids can be awful and at some point he's going to be told "You can't play with us." And he's going to know exactly what that means.
And that breaks my heart. Even more so, that there is nothing I can do about it.
Last August they filmed and episode of the new NBC show "Awake" at our house. It was such a fun experience!! And I got to meet Jason Isaacs, better known to me as Lucious Malfoy from the Harry Potter movies! (I was totally geeking out!)
The episode aired tonight. They ended up using a different house for the outside, but the bedroom scene inside was actually my living room!!
I'm a wife and mother. I'm a homemaker and a full-time office worker. I hate to clean but I can't stand a mess. I am a foodie and I love food, but I almost always feel guilty after I eat. I watch too much TV. My Faith is very important to me. I am a nerd in the sense that I just about burst with excitement over superhero movies, but I won't read comic books because that's a line I'm not willing to cross. I read a lot. I cry very easily. I can't sing with a lick, but I have a deep appreciation for people who can sing really well. I have a deep appreciation for anyone who does anything very well. I love to laugh and if you can make me laugh, that will give you a lot of points in my book. There is no excuse for poor grammar. I'm creative, but not artistic. The amount of hate and anger in our world makes me sad, but I truly believe there are more good people than bad, we just don't hear about them. I have a very thin mental filter and tend to just speak. I can be judgmental. I still deal with self-esteem issues and I'm not sure I will ever think anything I do is good enough. I love magic because I find it mind-boggling and there aren't enough mind-boggling things in everyday life.