Last day of school

Today is my baby girl’s last day of kindergarten. In a lot of ways, her first year of Catholic school has been harder than her first year of life. We have had a myriad of changes to contend with. Most have been good, some have made us a grow, some have taught us what we want to strive not to be or do. Without a doubt, I want to get organized over the summer and have a much better routine in place for first grade!

One of the biggest things I noticed, and I spent time with other parents/friends talking about, was how spiteful and two-faced some of the kids could be. I am lucky in that I can work part time, which lets me volunteer in the school library and go on field trips with the kids occasionally. I see the kids when they aren’t always at their best. When they don’t let everyone play, or say mean things, or dare another student to be mean to someone. I’ve been the parent that dries tears when my daughter was left out. I’m not going to sit here and act like I’m Mother Theresa. I know I am not a role model when it comes to be the nicest person on the planet. But that’s my point. As I was talking to a friend about this, the realization hit me in the face like a two by four. Where do they learn this behavior? Where are they finding these mean words to say to each other?? Us!

I am so dang guilty of sitting down with my sister, my friends, or my husband and venting. While I try to make sure my kids are out of ear shot if it’s about stuff they shouldn’t hear, I don’t always think cover my words when I talk about work, or bad drivers, or fill in the blank of whatever you may complain about while making supper. I do make every effort not to speak negatively about my spouse, family, teachers, classmates, classmate’s parents, etc. in front of my children. For one, they are like drunken parrots without filters. They will repeat whatever you say in front of them. Especially if you tell them to keep it a secret. Second, I don’t want my negative feelings towards someone to effect how they feel about them. And third, they don’t understand adult issues; They are not adults. Pretty simple. But they do realize that when I get together with another adult, we talk. And we usually end up talking about other people, be it people we know, politicians, musicians, actors, etc. Makes you think about the quote that is usually attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, doesn’t it? “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.


So my resolution this summer is to be kinder in my words and my deeds. When I talk, I want to be able to discuss big ideas and have grand adventures. I want to laugh and explore with my kids. I want to discuss things that matter and teach them we don’t have to like everyone, but we should be kind to them. 
Image result for psalm 141:3

Yesterday was a full day. We had PT for T at home, done by the school district. I don't know if I ever explained this, but we have a team of sorts, provided from the school district we live in. When you have a child that is declared disabled or is born under special circumstances, such as prematurely or under distress and they are put in the NICU, their name gets passed along to the county to be placed in a birth to 3 program. At least in Minnesota and I'm sure I'm explaining it in the crudest of terms. The county follows up with you once you are discharged from the hospital and offers to send a nurse out to help with well checks. Once they do that, they can assess for all different kinds of services, like physical therapy, occupation therapy, nursing services, etc. It has been both a HUGE blessing and a pain in the ass. Don't get me wrong, I would not trade it for the world. The resources these people have, the work they do, it's invaluable. The stress of trying to fit in another appointment, making sure the house is clean, putting on a bra and getting dressed... it can be overwhelming at times.:)

Then we were finally able to get him into the physical therapist's office here in town. We waited 3 weeks for this appointment. We have been trying to get a walker for him since February when he was evaluated at the spina bifida clinic by both his specialist and the physiologist for one. They gave us a prescription for a reverse walker and viola! We get a walker. Right? Nope. We went to Gillettes and they wouldn't measure him for one without evaluating him. We went to the rehab place in our town and the same thing. We couldn't get one from a medical supply store without a physical therapist ordering it. So we went to this appointment, waited over an hour for them to evaluate him, and we're told they weren't "comfortable" letting him walk because of how his legs turn in. My son has already had two surgeries on his feet. He wears AFOs and twister cables to (help) keep his legs and feet in correct alignment. They don't always keep them facing forward. That's why he needs more PT. The physical therapist recommended higher bracing, a gait trainer, and some other things. Mama bear came out. I asked how many children they see with SB. Well, he's our first. (I hear that A LOT around here.) "Okay... I'm going to call his specialist. And his orthopedist. We'll get back to you." I'm livid. Not because I don't believe what she's saying. Some of it actually did make sense. Not because she doesn't have experience with my child's condition. Everyone has a first person that "opened" their eyes to the unique challenges of a condition, so to speak. I think looking at something with fresh eyes and breaking from "it's what we do with everyone" can be helpful. I'm livid because I had my hopes up that we would have a walker ordered when we left. It's that next step to independence and normalcy for him and for us. It may not be degrading for him to crawl on a dirty floor at Target, but it will be. And the sooner we get him used to using a walker and building the muscles to walk, the better and longer he will be able to do it. So I was disappointed. I have calls out to both his specialist and his orthopedist. We will see where we go from here.

We celebrate my daughter's 6th birthday this month. She wants to go to a painting class, just me and her and paint a unicorn! I can't wait. ;)

Marriage is funny. You one day decide, well not one day, hopefully it's after a year or two of dating, that this other person is the one person you want to spend the rest of your life with. The. Rest. Of. Your. Life. The next 70 years or so, if your lucky, thanks to medical advances. That's a long fricken time to spend with one person. If you are religious, as I am, than you went through your church to get married. It most likely involved some sort of marriage classes. Let me be the first to tell you, they mean shit.

Zilch.

Nada.

It's like going through the fire drill at school. You get the jist of what is expected of you. But when it really happens, nothing is like what you practiced. Everyone is freaking out and you are just trying to make it out of the building alive. If your a decent human being, you don't trample those that fall and help anyone you can. If not, well... times like those show the world your true colors.

Unfortunately, no matter how "prepared" you think you are for marriage, you aren't. You can never account for another's actions. I made a list of qualities I wanted in a mate.You see, my parent's were never married and had a very volatile relationship. I did not want that for myself. I promised myself I would do everything in my power to have a "normal" relationship. I would be everything they weren't in life. (What kid doesn't think that of their parents?)  So, I made my checklist and if a guy didn't meet the criteria, they were not put on the long term list. What I didn't account for was a guy could meet thing on the check list and still fall short where it mattered.

What do you do when a guy is:
✔educated
✔ financially stable
✔ family orientated
✔ interested

You think, "I won the lottery", or "I don't deserve someone so normal".  I've never had normal. His parents are still married. He went to college and finished all 4 years. He owns a house.

You start noticing things. Every time you buy things for people, (your money) he makes remarks that he hopes people are as "generous" when you guys :have kids, get married, etc. It seems like he's keeping tabs on what you spend versus what others will spend on you. Now... You grew up poor. Like, dirt poor... Welfare Christmas poor. You know what it's like to literally have NOTHING in the house to eat. To depend on free lunches at school. To shop the Goodwill for your "new" school clothes. This man, he went on vacations every year. He's gone to Disneyland. His family scrimped and saved, but they were never poor. Not food shelf poor like you. He has never wondered where his next meal will come from. You don't hold it against him. But you do expect him to have a little sympathy for those that come from places he can't fathom. Yet, he keeps score.

Then you become pregnant. Or maybe your a first time dad. And your spouse is more worried about their parents being included in on the birth process than you guys experiencing it together. At first, you think, maybe this is how "normal" family's react to this. And then you talk to other people. And you find out it is not normal for your mother-in-law to be over every fricken day and to buy your first born every milestone thing. And it's perfectly normal for you to be pist about that. And when you say to stop talking baby talk, or that your child's name is ____,  please don't call them anything else, and they don't listen. Be mad. Say something. Your spouse needs to speak up, too.

Scripture calls for man to leave his parent and cling to his wife. (Genesis 2:24) If a man is unable to do this, than he is unable to spiritually fulfill his duty as a  husband. When you marry, you make the person you take as your spouse the second most important person in the world, after God. Next comes your children, then you. If you are unable, or unwilling, to make that so, than you are not ready to be married.                                                          

While my checklist had everything I though would be important to a successful marriage, it didn't take into account what I would want to make me like the person as a human being. I want someone that thinks of others before themselves. I want someone that will make me and our children #1. I want someone who seeks God in all that they do. I want someone that loves me so much that our daughter seeks to find a man like her father. I want a love our children want to emulate. I want them to know that in all they do, they were surrounded by love.

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Women's Rights, Rape Culture, and Religion

Can you open your browser without seeing a story about Planned Parenthood or a college football players being suspended for sexual assault, or a similar story? It is absolutely sickening the amount of times I see a headline about sexual assault. It's maddening to see another story spreading false information about abortions and Planned Parenthood. These two topics may seem a little weird to put together, but I'll get to that...


I live in Minnesota. The University of Minnesota has been in the news recently because it suspended ten football players over an incident that happened in September of this year. Apparently another female college student was raped and sexually assaulted by multiple members of the Gophers football team at a party. She reported the incident to police. The Minneapolis police did not press charges nor did the Hennepin County prosecutors. The University of Minnesota’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action did an investigation and it concluded that these men did do something wrong. So much so, in fact, that at least one person was expelled from the U of M. I will say that I really didn't get into this story much until an anonymous person release the 80 page document that the EOAA had written up. Why? Because until then, they wouldn't even release if the sexual assault charge in September was the reason for the suspension, let alone what the allegations were. Oh yeah, and the rest of the football team is now boycotting all practices and games in a show of solidarity. 

Oh, man, do I have a lot to say about that one. First, this story has been plastered all over the papers and evening news for weeks now. I see their faces everyday. Yet, I largely ignored the story. Then I heard the whole team was "boycotting" practice and games. Are you kidding me? Every single player that is there on scholarship that is not participating in practice and games as scheduled gets his scholarship pulled. Done. Next, anyone not showing up is off the team. We forfeit the season and they do not get to try out next year. Actions have consequences, folks. If this were your job, you would be fired. But I lost it when the 80 page investigative report came out. I read it. The whole disgusting thing. The first paragraph I was like "well, I can understand where the confusion is if it was consensual or not." But then I kept going and I thought, "what the hell is happening?!" The U of M got statements, pictures, texts, and videos from evidence provided by the Minneapolis Police Department. How were charges not pressed against these men? That is what I want to know.

Do you know that 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted while in college? More than 90% of sexual assaults that happen in college go unreported. 63.3% of men at one university who self-reported
acts qualifying as rape or attempted rape admitted to committing repeat rapes. 50% of sexual assaults happen in August, September, and October. And 8 out of 10 victims of sexual assault know their perpetrators. Do any of those statistics shock you? Do they scare you? I think about a lot of things when I hear them. The first thing I think about is my daughter. There is so much more in this world I have to prepare and protect her for. How do you teach a 5 year old that she can do anything she wants and to be fearless while knowing there are people out there that want to hurt her?

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I am going to go on record as saying that I oppose burning our nation’s flag. I am a daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter of servicemen. Most my cousins have served or are serving in a branch of the military. Many of my family members have fought bravely for this country. Regardless of how I feel about the current political situation or whether I am happy with the climate in America, I am proud of who am. I am an American.

I heard an interesting argument about burning the flag from none other than Whoopi Goldberg. Apparently, the conversation took place on her show, “The View”. I do not watch that show. Can’t stand it. Not because of her, however, I just choose to steer clear of it.  But I read an article with a synopsis of the segment in it and, I kid you not, I had an AHA! moment. I finally understood why someone would feel the need to burn the flag.

‘Actress Whoopi Goldberg got into a heated debate with her co-hosts on The View this morning, arguing the merits of burning the American flag.The hosts were reacting to President-elect Donald Trump's tweet in which he said that flag-burners should be jailed and possibly be stripped of citizenship. "The flag does not always represent all of its people-- All of its people were not taken care of under our flag," Goldberg said. "People are angry. They sometimes get angry and they burn the flag," she said. Co-host Paula Faris said that flag-burners have the Constitutional right to do so, but they often hate the United States, to which Goldberg adamantly disagreed: "They don't hate this country. Stop saying that." "That's your interpretation. It's like the person at the dinner table who's just complaining about the food... if you don't like the food... just leave," Faris said. "Why just leave? Why not just have something else that's on the table?" Goldberg responded.’ You can watch the video here.

If I go to a restaurant with a group of my friends and order a steak medium well, and it comes out charred, can I not complain? After all, I’m paying for it. I ordered the steak to be cooked a different way. What if I didn’t get steak at all? What if the waiter had brought me soup instead? And when I asked for it to be fixed, he was rude and said no or only did so after I became loud and asked for a manager. Do I not have the right to protest my bill? Why can’t I leave a bad review on Yelp? Just because the other waiters that worked there that night were phenomenal and didn’t mess up a single order all night does that make up for the fact that mine brought me the wrong dish? Should I not leave a bad review that might affect them just because of my bad experience? I have every right to. I work hard for my money. When I go out to spend it, I expect my food as I order it. I’m nice and polite to my wait staff, so I expect them to be nice and polite to me. After all- they are in customer service. That’s kind of their job.  Now, because I went out with a group, this horrible waiter, who never refilled any of our drinks and would not split our bill for us, tacked on 18% gratuity. Why do I have to pay that? Should it not be up to me if and how much I tip?

Turning this into a flag situation became easy for me once I started thinking along those lines. After all, we pay taxes. We vote. We have a right to expect that those elected to positions within our government will be doing things with our best interests in mind. We have a right to expect that our police will protect us, no matter our skin color. We have the right to hold our government accountable and when it’s not performing to our high standards, we have the right to protest it.
What I think those that are burning the flag don’t understand is that it’s not just a piece of cloth that flies outside of a government building. We don’t just wave it at the 4th of July parades or hang if from our porches during the summer months. You don’t hurt the President when you put a flame to Ole Glory. You stick a knife in the heart of the eight-year-old kid who has the flag that was draped over his dad’s coffin, folded neatly into a triangle, and put in a memorial box with a glass pane and a gold plate with his dad’s name on it. You sucker punch the 48-year-old mother who watched as her only child was taken from a plane, her casket covered by the stars and stripes. You bring back the memories of dirt, blood, bombs, and flames as a veteran relives pulling his childhood friend back behind cover, but it’s too late. The body goes limp and he’s struggling to stay upright. For those of us that lived through such tragedies as 9/11 and the attack on Pearl Harbor, seeing the flag fly free reminds us that we are still here. We have not been beat. There have been hundreds of times throughout our 240-year history that our country has been in turmoil. But we do what we do best. We march Washington, we elect different officials, we change laws, we kick ass if we have to. And we do it all under the American flag.

Another interesting debate I seen was between The Blaze’s Tomi Lahren and the host of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. It was regarding Colin Kaepernick’s choice to kneel during the national anthem in protest of what he deems are wrongdoings against African Americans and minorities in the United States.  "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL Media. If you have ever seen any of Tomi’s rants, you can about guess that she went off on what a little crybaby Kaepernick was being and how disrespectful he is. Trevor then posed a really thoughtful question; How should he protest? Now I want you to stop and think about that for a moment. I don’t want you to debate on why he’s protesting. I want you to think about how he should do it. What he’s doing is reminiscent of sit ins that took place in the 1960s. I would encourage you to watch the video. They have a great conversation with a lot of thought provoking points. I will throw in my two cents in the fact that I think Klaepernick lost his right to protest when he chose not to exercise his constitutional right to vote. Sorry, but you can’t complain if you aren’t willing to try and fix the problem.
All we need is another person blogging about the sad state of political affairs in the U.S. today. I think what is making it such a huge topic is that we have not seen unrest like this in 40 years. Not only do we have a volatile political arena with half the nation unhappy, but racial tensions are explosive, too. Throw in the threat of terrorists both foreign and homegrown, the fear is palatable. We need to reach beyond our comfort zone and try to imagine things from the opposite point of view. I’m not telling anyone to compromise their morals or am trying to sway anyone in any certain direction. Now, more than ever, we need understanding.


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My life- as a wife, mother, sister, caregiver, daughter, career woman- uncensored.

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Liberal Catholic. Working mom. Chronic pain warrior. Opinionated introvert. I speak fluent sarcasm. I'm married with two kids- a girl and a boy. My son was born with Spina bifida, hydrocephalus, Arnold Chiari malformation, and bilateral club feet. I may blog about food, politics, religion, medical updates, or our life in general.

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