Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Monday, June 30, 2008

Did you know?

If you put cake batter in the microwave it will actually bake into a cake. Didn't know that myself. Also note that if you don't regularly eat cake and then eat too much of said microwaved cake you will feel like throwing up.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Constitutional Right to Bear Arms UPDATED


My opinion on handguns has wavered in the past, but I was really impressed with this feature on Nightline yesterday about a group that promotes the open carry of handguns where its legal. I've always worried about kids dying from handguns, but this group really gave me food for thought. Right now, where I live anyway, it's only the criminals who have guns. What if that changed? What if the law abiding citizens carried guns? I think that would change the dynamic of society a little bit. I think it would be a crime deterrent. And maybe the criminals would get cocky and attempt an occasional open carry. Then the cops could bust them and send them away for a loooooooooong time. Watching that show has made me consider getting one myself. It allayed my biggest concern- about someone grabbing the gun from someone's holster. Those people all had holsters that locked the gun in. Just a few hours ago the Supreme Court upheld the Constitutional Right to bear arms. This is definitely going to be a big issue in the coming years.

UPDATED: My online friend, Katherine said it even better than me and she gave me permission to quote her:

"It's not logical to assume that adding well-trained, conscientious, law-abiding citizens gun owners to that picture will produce more [violence]. For all we know, it might affect the balance positively, or it might not affect it at all, if the violence really is mostly gang-on-gang. More guns does not = more death. That's the same logical fallacy as more guns = less crime. It's just not that simple and neither result can be traced back to that one sole factor. "


And my IRL friend said something that cracked me up: "WWJC" (What would Jesus carry?) ha ha.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Mass. education plan ... and why I'm a Democrat

Governor Deval Patrick unveiled a long list of education proposals designed to really take our state to the next level. I'm fairly excited about it. The thing that excites me most is his proposal for free community college and trade schools!!! This is absolutely a good idea. And it leads me to the topic of the very roots to why I've switched from Republican to Democrat.

In politics it's difficult to match perfectly with a party because there is such a wide variety of topics (abortion, gun control, immigration, taxes,etc). Generally you go with the party that believes more of the same beliefs as you- or at least the ones you feel strongly about. Another way of choosing your party is to look at their core philosophy. Which party's core philosophy resonates with you more?

The Republican party resonated with a lot of people because their core philosophy was "less government". This is an anthem for people like me: people who like to homeschool and homebirth and generally go against the grain of society. We value our freedom from government control.

But two things have happened that turned me Democrat. First, the Republican party was given control of both congressional and executive branch. Under this leadership... well... less government didn't really happen. In fact, spending kind of went out of control. Voters like me were a little baffled. A little disillusioned. Now they're turning to the libertarian party for "less government".

The second thing that happened is I've watched the American dream erode. I don't think my parent's generation sees it as much, but my generation is living it. My peers are crushed by college loans. Everyone I know is either living paycheck to paycheck or on credit cards. The housing prices (here anyway) are unattainable. Medical costs are bankrupting hard working middle class citizens. And now the gas and food prices are making it hard to even make ends meet. Surviving is our focus, and actually moving up is a fading dream. I am a firm believer that if you work hard you can move up in this country. That's one of the most beautiful things about this country- right next to freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The economy is changing and there is becoming a class divide.

I support the Democrat party because they seem to recognize this crisis more than the Republicans and they are taking the vital steps to save our middle class. One of the greatest equalizers is education. A poor boy can move up in this country with a good education. So Gov. Patrick's proposal to make trade schools and community college's free, is a necessary step in keeping the American dream alive.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A quote about genocide

"Doctors, politicians, and teachers were as brutally complicit as everyone else. Those who sheilded their neighbors from violence- at huge personal risk- were almost universally peasants... It was very shocking to me that education isn't, in the way you want it to be, the answer". Rakiya Omaar, director of African Rights, about the Rwandan genocide of 1994.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

No understanding

An online friend's baby died. He died at birth. Shoulder dystocia. And cord wrapped around his neck twice. The birth was horrifically traumatic. I'm reeling from it. And I have so many questions and emotions. I'm really upset. But I don't feel like I can talk about it with anyone because my IRL friends don't know about it and it would be selfish of me to be talking about my feelings with my online friends. I mean, MY feelings are entirely irrelevant right now.

But I just. keep. looking. at. my. baby.

My God. It's not fair. Why was it her and not me? Why did it happen at all?

All of the every day life things seem so trivial to me now. Like looking at my recent blog posts kind of makes me sick. Basketball? Who can think about basketball? A baby has died. But I know that in a few weeks I'll be back to normal and my friend won't be. For her, life will always seem a little trivial in comparison. And I feel guilty that I get to go back to normal and she doesn't.

And then it makes me reconsider our crunchy ideals. Homebirth is best? Really? Birthcenters are good? Really? No pain meds for mom? How is that best when you have to rip her open like a piece of meat? If a doctor had done the usual routine- "a pitocin drip, an epidural, no progress? That's OK we'll section her" - we all would be bitching and whining that the medical system is messed up and all the Doctors care about is not getting sued and making it to the golf game in time. But what if the baby would have lived because of all those interventions?

I still want to go for the extreme in crunchy- for number five: an unassisted home birth. But. wow. Look what happens sometimes when things go wrong. Babies die. Mother's hearts break.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Getting my gall bladder out!

Remember that crazy incident when I was in so much pain? Well it was gallstones. I'm honestly relieved that there was something wrong with me. I mean, I made such a big deal- called 911- writhing in pain. I was so embarrassed that the pain just disappeared with no explanation. So I'll be getting my gall bladder out in August- during the few weeks I have off of school. Whew. My life is just one big thing after another!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Congrats Celtics!


NBA Champions! Congratulations. The last game was just phenomenal. A total blowout. Tons of energy. I'm so proud. Right now we have arguably the best football, baseball, and basketball teams in America. I feel like I should soak this up somehow because it may never happen again in my lifetime. We are so blessed. Except for the super bowl thing. Maybe that was to keep us humble. Anyway, I digress. Go Celts!!

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Are you a fast typer?

Y'all know I'm competitive. So beat my words per minute!! I found this cool typing test. I type 53 words per minute. That's pretty fast, so see if you can beat me. The only people who *I think* could beat me are my two brothers. Maybe. So prove me wrong people! :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

OM

Some people knit. Others meditate. My favorite soothing activity is rolling coins. Every few months I roll up my coin jar. I love the methodicalness. Counting to ten over and over. Separating all the different types. Making piles. I usually get about $8. I used to bring it to the bank, but I've started needing the money during non-banking hours and finding stores amazingly accommodating to purchasing with rolled coins. Anyway, there's a gift idea for me I'm throwing out there for you. I know. I know. Kind of corny to ask for money. But think of it as the gift of a relaxing activity and money.

Friday, June 13, 2008

LIke a teenage crush

Today I walked my son to school (usually he gets a ride). On the way he reached out to me and we held hands for a little bit. It was so cute. We chatted casually, but on the inside I was like an excited teenager, thinking "Ok. Stay calm. He's holding my hand. We're actually touching. Act normal. Pretend you don't even notice. Say something natural." ha ha. I just think it's such an honor to be close to my kids and I want to enjoy every moment of it while it lasts.



Also, unrelated, I had a dream that Saphira had an identical twin. Sigh. I want more babies. :)

Monday, June 09, 2008

When I grow up I want to be a cashier

My brother in law and my husband were telling me that when they first emigrated to America they were really impressed with cashiers. They look so smart and so professional pressing their buttons on their cash register. My brother in law said that the day he got a job as a cashier at Jack in the Box was the happiest day of his life. He thought he had really made it. We had a good laugh over that one.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

A conversation with Dimitri

Dimitri: "Mom, how do you get on a TV show?"
Me: "Well, you become an actor. Actor's get on TV shows"
In my head: I wonder if he's interested in getting on TV. He would make a really cute character. He's got an awesome personality. He'd be a hit- like the Olson twins when they were young and cute on Full House. If he wants to pursue this I would be willing to help him. Get him some headshots. A resume. Even move to Hollywood if the right opportunity came along.
Me: "Do you want to be on TV?"
Dimitri: "No"
Me: "Oh"

Friday, June 06, 2008

Saphira's so bad!! (said with a smile)

A couple times lately I've jumped out of bed cradling my screaming baby who sounds like I just bent her finger back or twisted her arm weird- it's that kind of cry... but I'm starting to get suspicious that she's just mad because she didn't get milk the instant it occured to her that she wanted some. I'm shaking my head in disbelief. This girl is baaaad.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Wolfie made the front page of the paper!

http://www.lowellsun.com/danphelps/ci_9463142

I'm so proud. :)

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Exhausted


I just finished my first weekend of summer clinicals. It was exhausting! I forgot how hard it is! And nerve-wracking. Unless you've been in nursing school I just don't think you can understand. It is about the equivalent stress level of a driver's test. It's just that your life-time dream and three years of work are on the line. It's way too early in the morning. And it's very possible to lose it all over a mistake. This professor is great, but she's so calm it's very intimidating. It's like walking on egg shells around her.

There is no way I could do another clinical while pregnant. I would pass out, or get sick, or fail. Good thing I don't ovulate for two years between babies. Because I already want another one. Baby fever hits faster every time. Though it may ease up a bit as she gets older and independent and I get a taste of freedom again. As it is I'm tied to her 24/7.

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