Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Saturday, December 31, 2005

I put my cat to sleep

Yesterday I had a perfectly healthy cat. Today, my cat was so ill I had to put her to sleep. It was tragic. She had a blood clot that was completely cutting off blood flow to the back half of her body. This morning I could tell something was wrong so I picked her up and she meowed in pain. Then I noticed her limping badly, not weight bearing at all on her back left leg. I thought maybe her leg was broken, though I couldn't imagine how. So I brought her to the veterinarian hospital, even though my husband and brother thought I should wait. The doctor was so professional and gentle. When he came back from the x-rays he slowly explained what WASN'T wrong with her and then carefully explained what WAS wrong with her. I cried. He showed me that if I held her front paws I could feel them warm with circulation. And if I held her back legs, I could feel that they were cold. She had no femoral pulse whatsoever. Also, he trimmed her back nail deeply and saw that it didn't bleed. So they gave her morphine and I called my husband and eldest son to come say goodbye. When they gave her the injection it took about two seconds and then she just dropped her head. It was so peaceful.

So in memory of Chma (her name means "cat" in Cambodian), some of my favorite memories of her...

The day my husband brought her home. I was a neglected, very lonely housewife and I was thrilled to have two kittens to keep me and the baby company.

When she was several months old she ripped a hole in the window screen, jumped out of our third floor apartment and disappeared for a week or two. I worried so about her and then one day saw her on the neighbors front steps, meowing at me. I scooped her up and was overjoyed to have her home.

She used to follow me when I went on walks. She was so protective of me. One time she actually attacked a small dog that was walking with it's owner on a leash.

When my husband came back from his four year "vacation" she immediately recognized him and seemed happy to see him.

Towards the end of her life she mostly stayed inside, only going out when I would. She slept at the foot of our bed with us and still occasionally played like a kitten.

She acted like a big sister to my bunny, Bugzy. Although she seemed annoyed by him, she would stay close to him when we let him loose in the backyard, as if babysitting him for me.

You had a good eight years on this earth, Chma, and I am proud to have had you.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

More lessons at UPS

My husband and I compliment each other well because he is the street smart one and I am the book smart one. Our strengths are utilized in different life situations. For instance, he can buy a used car without getting screwed (in fact, usually getting a great deal) and I can read all the fine print on the credit card offers and save him from getting scammed. Also, I can teach the kids their school work. He can teach them how to impress the girls.

Anyway, I admit I am sometimes lacking in the commonsense/street smart area. The kind of skills that are so important for a blue collar job. So that is an area that is really being challenged at my job as a package loader. Some examples: Me thinking that there was no paperwork on the hazardous package because I couldn't figure out how to open the velcro seal, Loading too many heavy packages on the top of a wall until it fell, not being able to figure out which ladder to go up to break a jam, looking around for a gigantic set of rollers that were right in front of my eyes.

Instead of getting frustrated with my job or angry at my supervisor for correcting me, I am embracing this as an education in the one area of life that I really need to work on. I'm sure this could benefit me in immeasurable ways. Hopefully the learning curve isn't too steep.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas! (And a little bragging)

Ok my grades are in. I'm very proud. A- in English and a solid A in Anatomy and Physiology! Since I'm still waiting to get accepted into the nursing program and the competetion is tight, I was really needing to get those grades to help my application. Of course, I'm also very competitive, so I probably would have gotten those grades regardless. Next semester I'm being very brave and taking three classes. Anatomy and Physiology II, Cultural Anthropology and Math Connections. Fun, Fun! I don't know where I'll find the time, but to help, I'm going to start studying for A&P II over the Christmas break. That should lighten the load a little.

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Friday, December 16, 2005

Honest reflections of a working mom

So I'm wrapping up my first semester at college and my first six months as a working mom. So what sacrifices have I made? What has life REALLY been like? Well, the big question is how has it affected my children. I have to say that I spend a lot less time with them. This is especially true in comparison to last year when I homeschooled them and we were together nearly 24/7. If I thought it were really harming them I would stop, but they get a lot more time with their Dad and that's important, so it's OK I guess. I have pretty much stopped church going and devotions. I know. I know. I'm a heathen. The church thing was a combination of the lack of time and also I am in a transition and haven't picked a home church so I don't have a lot of motivation to go every week. I don't have nearly enough time for house cleaning. I hire my neighbor girl to help me keep up with it on Saturdays. Cooking? Ha. That's a joke. I don't really do that anymore. It's sad but true. And personal time is very rare - time for things like painting, piano, blogging, etc. And my poor neglected friends, I hardly ever talk to them anymore. So that's all the sacrifices I've made. What are the benefits? Well I'm looking at the long term and I'm really looking forward to becoming a nurse. Mostly, I need the stability that that degree will provide. I need to know that I can provide for my kids if something ever happens to my husband. I've been a single mom on Welfare before. I'm never doing that again. Also my husband really took my role as a wife and mother for granted. This experience is a good lesson for him. He will really appreciate me when I stay home again someday. Also, I get out of the house, get a work out (at UPS), get adult conversation and stimulation (at school). So those are all good benefits. And another side benefit is that I found as a stay at home mom I was always a little panicked in the back of my head about my complete identity. I was always fretting about what I was going to be. I'll feel more complete as an RN. I know that sounds kind of shallow but maybe other homeschooling moms can understand.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Polygamy

I just read a book called "God's Brothel" A book with 18 stories of women who escaped Mormon cult polygamous marriages. I went into the book unopinionated about polygamy. I can imagine the upsides to a polygamous culture... all the women have the opportunity to marry and have children, the women can live together and share household responsibilities as well as be emotionally supportive of each other. Also, though it is clearly not supported by The Bible, we do find examples of it in the Bible by hero's we love- King David, and Jacob.

What I read, however, removed all doubt from my mind that polygamy is unacceptable. Each story recounted horror after horror of sexual abuse, incest and physical abuse by the men. Almost worse than that, the "tightknit family" I imagined is NON EXISTENT. These women hid their relationships to avoid punishment from the state and as a result, most of the children did NOT EVEN KNOW WHO THEIR FATHER WAS. Many of the women told of living in complete poverty, getting no financial support, having to dig through garbage cans for food. As if that weren't bad enough, the women were expected to produce one child a year and since they were so brainwashed by their religion they complied.

Even though I imagine a utopian-like community, the truth is, these women reported, there is NO WAY to avoid the competition and hurt these woman feel to be the most loved wife. It is not a happy situation.

One epiphany I had was when I thought about Elizabeth Smart, the Mormon girl who was kidnapped and held hostage in a polygamous marriage. I always thought it was strange that she never escaped, but I just chalked it up to fear. After reading this book though, I feel like I have more insight into the situation. You see, these women are taught in the Mormon faith that in the afterlife they will live in polygamy. So it is not such a huge leap to start in this life. Elizabeth Smart was probably easily brainwashed into thinking she was now married to this man and had to stay.

polygamy is a HUGE step backward for the rights of woman. I am by no means a "modern feminist", but I do believe in respect and esteem for woman. Polygamy holds no room for either.

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Monday, December 05, 2005

Sudoku

I've been bitten by the sudoku bug. It's the logic puzzles that are all the rage right now. My brother and I spent half the weekend competing against each other see who can finish first. To sum it up you just have to put the numbers 1-9 onto a grid so that each row, column and box each contain one set of 1-9. You can't just guess though, you have to deduce logically from the digits they give you. Fun. Fun. Fun. Addicting. Try it at: www.websudoku.com
 
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