September 30, 2010

Heartbreak at Home

The internet and the widespread media in our world make it common to hear about tragedy. Somehow, though, it can be especially heartbreaking and real when it happens close to home.

When Justin came home from work today, he told me that someone he knew had something awful happen to them today, they'd been a first responder at a car accident where a child had died. How completely awful and tragic.

This evening, I picked up my phone and the tweet that was showing on my screen was a headline from our local paper: "Toddler hit by car, killed near Bellingham's Assumption Catholic School."

A toddler.

She was only three at the most, and was holding her mother's hand when the incident occurred.

Holding her mother's hand.

We think we can keep our children safe. We hold their hands in parking lots. We teach them to look both ways when they cross the street. What do we do when it's just not enough?
Many lives have been altered today. A family, with another 5 year old and an 8 year old, has lost one of it's own. A mother has lost her child. First responders and students from the nearby high school witnessed the accident and watched another person die today. The person who is thought to have caused the accident is only 17 years old, and will have to live with it forever. The driver whose car struck the child is only 22, and had stopped to let them cross. She was doing the right thing. And her life is forever changed because her car struck a child and she watched her die.

In the horror of it all, I can't contain my tears.

Please pray tonight, for all of them.

September 26, 2010

Weekly Winners: In the Yard

Weekly Winners is the creation of the beautiful Lotus from i am lotus (aka Sarcastic Mom). It gives us a chance to share our favorite shots of the week every Sunday. This week, mine are from my first rainy day experimentation.

Kiddie pool? Froggy pool.


Whatchoo lookin' at?




Hanging on




The horizon


For more Weekly Winners posts, visit i am lotus.

September 23, 2010

Prayer Request List Update

It has been a while since I updated my Prayer Request List, and I came across a couple of things this week that made me feel like it was really time.

Today I added these items:

~ I have not been a regular reader at Unknown Mami, but stumbled across her blog last week through a blog hop. After reading her post, I knew it was time to update my list here. Mami found out last Monday that her 17 weeks along baby may not be growing kidneys. As of this Monday, things have improved somewhat - there is a bladder and at least one kidney seems to be developing. Please pray for peace for her mind, and for her baby to get in gear and develop everything it needs to be born healthy & live.

~ Casey from Moosh in Indy is pregnant! I know how hard it is to go through infertility, and pregnancy after infertility. Please pray for a happy & healthy 9 months for her.

~ Amalah is one of my favorite bloggers. She found out recently that her Dad has cancer. Aggressive cancer. I have never had to deal with a parent being seriously ill, the closest I've come was my Dad's car accident last year. I have watched my parents go through losing their parents, and I can't imagine experiencing it firsthand. Please pray for Amalah, for her Dad and her Mom, and for comfort for them all.

As always, my full list is located here. Please let me know in the comments if you need prayers, if you know of someone who does, or if you can point me somewhere online where they're needed. It doesn't matter about religion, just about putting positive energy and thoughts out there and caring for one another.

September 22, 2010

Pulling on the Past - Pieces I Left Behind: Part 3

Last night, I had an intensely emotional dream. The kind of dream where the feelings and the heartbreak stick with you long after waking and invade an otherwise perfectly pleasant day. Hours later, I feel so raw that tears are pooling in my eyes. And the subject matter and the fact that I feel so ridiculous that it could still have such an effect on me just make it hurt more.

I dreamed about people I used to work with. Between 2001 and 2003 I worked in retail. It was by far the most fun job I've ever held. I was young, and it was my equivalent to the experience a lot of people have in college. I made good friends, we hung out, I lived in a new place and did new things. I lived with Justin, but he traveled a lot for work, and during the time he was gone I spent a lot of time at work and with my co-workers. I met my best friend there. I worked on a team for a while with people I considered my closest friends. It was fun.

I got involved with people. The boy who lived in the same apartment complex as me. We talked at work, chatted online, went to movies together, carpooled, and had lunches and dinners together. I helped him through times he was sick - physically and in his heart. The girl who would eventually become his wife, who I talked to on the phone in the freezing cold for an hour during one of his ridiculous breakups with her. The boy who worked on my team with my best friend and I, with his volatile personality and inability to talk about his feelings. The boy with the long hair who I developed a huge, pre-wedding jitters crush on.

These were people who were very central to my life during that time. People who I deeply cared for, and apparently still do. But it became very clear upon time passing after none of us worked together anymore that I was more invested than any of them. I guess I'm not surprised, it's not as if I'd never found myself in that position before. I tend to give my whole heart to people, and for some reason keep expecting them to give theirs in return.

This dream last night involved some of these people. There was fighting, screaming, crying, and rushes of all of these feelings and my desire to know why? Why didn't they care about me? Why don't they think about me still? When I dream about these people, or other friends I've lost, the feelings are intense and real, and still very close. Why don't I matter to them?

As if the dreams are not bad enough, I find myself pulling the past back into my life. Why do I do it? Read old emails? Peruse their photos on Facebook, watch them together and wish I was there too? Maybe I am just kidding myself in thinking that we were so close. Maybe I was just in too different a place, not fun enough... Maybe it's out of sight, out of mind.

I open my old email account because I'm trying to figure out where the hell E-bay is sending my forgotten password emails. I sort through the hundreds of junk messages in my inbox, keeping only about 10.

And somehow, I just can't help opening the folders. My old emails, still there.

I read, because I can't seem to help myself. I am taken back to the times when I supported people through their own moments of emotion and feeling so unsure. They are there, in words, people I don't see. People I was once close with and no longer speak to. And it tugs at my heart.

I am an internet voyeur and Facebook lets me in to their lives just enough. Just enough to keep that longing alive. To wish I'd been invited to their weddings. To feel a pang of ridiculous jealousy when they message each other, but never me. When I see them planning to hang out.

I find myself feeling hurt and completely ridiculous all at once. What is the point of this longing? Even if we'd stayed in touch, these are people who are not married, or just getting married. I am like an old maid - I am a stay at home mom with two kids. I don't work anymore, and I don't have the freedom to go out whenever I want. It makes me feel like my feelings are even more irrelevant. Yet, their intensity remains.

Would it be easier just to cut myself off completely? I know from other ended friendships that I would still wonder. I know that cutting myself off that way would not end the longing, or the wondering, or the pieces of my heart that I've left behind with these people. But perhaps the past would pull a little less hard.

Do you have lost friendships that you still feel pulling on your heart? People who you no longer see who hold pieces of your heart? How do you deal with it?

September 20, 2010

Be-cause It's Important:: Water to Thrive

I wake up in the middle of the night, get up to go to the bathroom, and get myself a drink of water. It is clean and cold and satisfying.

I flush my toilet without a thought, the water swirls and cleans the bowl.

I run the water to warm it up and step into the shower. Some days, I stand under the stream of steaming water for an extra few minutes as my worries and tension flow down the drain.

I use it without thinking. My biggest problem is running out of hot water once in a while. How ignorant.

Imagine not being able to enjoy any of those things.

More than 3,500,000 people die every year because they lack something as essential as clean water, a basic human right. Worldwide, over a billion people lack access to clean water – that’s one out of every six people on the planet. As a result, an estimated 6,000 children die each day due to waterborne disease. 84 percent of water-related deaths are children under the age of 14.

So, what can we do? Get involved with Water to Thrive. Who are they? From their website:

Water to Thrive is a faith-based non-profit that transforms lives through the gift of clean water. Our vision is of a world where we share our abundance to provide health, hope, and water to all. Our current efforts are supporting rural and impoverished communities in Ethiopia and Sierra Leone. Help us change lives. Give the gift of water.

I especially love the part I highlighted in red. How beautiful. How necessary in this world. If that's not enough, just tell me this doesn't touch your heart:

When seeing water pumped from a well for her first time, a woman asked, “Where does this water come from? The mountains? The rivers?” When told it came from under the very ground on which she stood, she buried her face in her hands and through tears, she replied, “You mean I’ve been sleeping on it all of these years?”

We can be a part of something bigger.

This post is part of Blog for a Cause, a monthly meme created by Nirvana Mama to encourage and allow bloggers to use our bloggy power in an amazing way. Every month, the participating bloggers will post to bring awareness to the causes that are important to us in this world. We'll provide information to try and open other people's eyes to those that need our help and compassion in this world. If you'd like to learn more, or get involved, just click the button!

September 16, 2010

Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, "Heard" items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post.

Friday Fragments are the brainchild of Mrs.4444 and you can find more at Half Past Kissin' Time.

~ So I am going to be even more random than normal this week because I'm flipping tired and I need to go to bed even though it's not even 10:30. Gah. Somehow Justin working 120 hours this week (seriously, he is pulling his 3rd overnight in the last 2 weeks tonight) is making ME tired.

~ WHY are they remaking Footloose? WHY?! And Andie MacDowell is going to be the Reverend's wife. BARF. I don't know if I've ever mentioned it here, but she is high on the list of actors/actresses I just can't stomach. You know we all have them. My top 2 are her and Gary Busey.

~ Michael Cera always plays the same guy in every movie. But I don't care, because I like that guy.

~ Danny had his 4 month dr. appointment on Monday. He's only in the 10th percentile for weight now at 12 lbs 12 oz, but he's in the 50th for height & head size. We got a referral to Children's for the GI department. It turns out no one knows why we got referred to the surgery dept the first time, it seems to have been a giant mis-communication somewhere.

~ Thanks to Andy at Finding Fairytales for sharing this picture.

It is so weird, and I love it.

~ I want to go to this place, BAD. Echo Park Time Travel Mart.

~ Casey has a bun in the oven. SQUEEEE.

~ I quite enjoy Wil Wheaton's blog. This week, he posted something that made me laugh and I need to share it. It's awesome.

~ BarnMaven at
Clean Shavings wrote this really good post this week about Newt Gingrich, ignorance, and the supposed Ground Zero Mosque. Please go read it. I agree wholeheartedly, and she says it so well.

~ If you missed it, earlier this week I posted about Mockingjay and 13 Movies I Want to See this fall. I want to know what you thought of the book, and which movies you're looking forward to. I also wrote a little bit about my experiences as an advocate for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services and the unexpected memories that stick with me.

13 Movies I'm Looking Forward to This Fall

I look forward to the Movie & TV preview issues of Entertainment Weekly more than any other issues. So, I was elated when the Fall Movie Preview issue landed in my mailbox a couple of weeks ago. Even though I don't get to go to the movies as much as I used to I still get to go once every week or two.

For this week's Thursday Thirteen, I've made a list of the 13 movies I'm most looking forward to seeing in theaters this fall. Some of them (#10) I've been looking forward to for a long time, and others (#3) I just found out about while reading the magazine. So, here they are!

13 Movies I'm Looking Forward to This Fall
  1. Never Let Me Go (Sept) - As children, Ruth, Kathy and Tommy, spend their childhood at a seemingly idyllic English boarding school. As they grow into young adults, they find that they have to come to terms with the strength of the love they feel for each other, while preparing themselves for the haunting reality that awaits them. Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley.
  2. Devil (Sept) - A group of people trapped in an elevator realize that the devil is among them. Dir. M. Night Shyamalan.
  3. Case 39 (Oct) - A social worker fights to save a girl from her abusive parents, only to discover that the situation is more dangerous than she ever expected. Renee Zellweger, Ian McShane, Bradley Cooper.
  4. Hereafter (Oct) - A supernatural thriller centered on three people -- a blue-collar American, a French journalist and a London school boy -- who are touched by death in different ways. Dir. Clint Eastwood, Matt Damon, Bryce Dallas Howard.
  5. Secretariat (Oct) - The life story of Penny Chenery, owner of the racehorse Secretariat, who won the Triple Crown in 1973. Diane Lane, John Malkovitch.
  6. The Social Network (Oct) - A story about the founders of the social-networking website, Facebook. Rashida Jones, Justin Timberlake.
  7. Skyline (Nov) - Strange lights descend on the city of Los Angeles, drawing people outside like moths to a flame where an extraterrestrial force threatens to swallow the entire human population off the face of the Earth. Eric Balfour, Daniel Faison.
  8. Unstoppable (Nov) - A rail company frantically works to prevent an unmanned, half-mile-long freight train carrying combustible liquids and poisonous gas from wiping out a city. Denzel Washington, Rosario Dawson.
  9. Fair Game (Nov) - Plame's status as a CIA agent was revealed by White House officials allegedly out to discredit her husband after he wrote a 2003 New York Times op-ed piece saying that the Bush administration had manipulated intelligence about weapons of mass destruction to justify the invasion of Iraq. Naomi Watts, Sean Penn.
  10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (Nov) - Voldemort's power is growing stronger. He now has control over the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts. Harry, Ron, and Hermione decide to finish Dumbledore's work and find the rest of the Horcruxes to defeat the Dark Lord. But little hope remains for them, so everything they do must go as planned.
  11. Blue Valentine (Dec) - The film centers on a contempo married couple, charting their evolution over a span of years by cross-cutting between time periods. Michele Williams, Ryan Gosling.
  12. The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Dec) - Lucy and Edmund Pevensie return to Narnia with their cousin Eustace where they meet up with Prince Caspian for a trip across the sea aboard the royal ship The Dawn Treader. Along the way they encounter dragons, dwarves, merfolk, and a band of lost warriors before reaching the edge of the world.
  13. The Debt (Dec) - In 1965, three young Israeli Mossad agents on a secret mission capture and kill a notorious Nazi war criminal. Now, thirty years later, a man claiming to be the Nazi has surfaced in Ukraine and one of the former agents must go back undercover to seek out the truth. Sam Worthington, Helen Mirren, Ciaran Hinds.
Runners up:

Waiting for Superman (Sept)
Due Date (Oct)
Tamara Drewe (Oct)
Burlesque (Nov)
Skyline (Nov)
Tron: Legacy (Dec)
Black Swan (Dec)

Others I'm interested in:

September - Easy A, The Town, Monsters, Alpha & Omega, Catfish, Legend of the Guardians

October - Stone, Red, Paranormal Activity 2, Megamind

November - Love & Other Drugs, Tangled, 127 Hours, The Next Three Days

December - How Do You Know, The Tempest, Somewhere, The Fighter, Little Fockers, Miral

What movies are you looking forward to seeing this fall?

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!

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September 15, 2010


*Spoiler free review in my post, but I welcome ANY insights in the comments. I will post the first comment with some more specifics about little details of the book.*

I have a big list of books I want to read, but I always take notice when 20 people recommend the same book to me and tell me how great it is.

It definitely appealed to me that these are in Young Adult, I love reading YA fiction and science fiction because it's usually a pretty quick read, and they tend to be more character driven than a lot of hard core sci fi stuff.

A couple of months ago, I finally picked up The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I read it super fast, and went to the bookstore the very next day to buy and devour Catching Fire, the second book in the trilogy. Then, I had to wait. The good part was knowing that it was only a trilogy, and that once Mockingjay came out, I would have the rest of the story.

I am always amazed by the worlds that authors are able to create. Though I feel like I am a creative person, I can't imagine creating an original world that wasn't completely influenced and made by books I've read and movies I've seen.

I went and bought Mockingjay the day after it came out, but I was so busy that week that I didn't get to it for a little bit. Once I started though, I finished it in a couple of days. Back in my non-kid days I would have read it all in one sitting. Ah, the good old days.

Anyway, I really liked it! I thought it captured a lot of the war in a way that was.

I liked the development of the characters and how she delved in to the situation with Peeta and what had happened to him in the Capital. I found that all three of the books really drew me in and I became attached to the characters.

I was also happy to find this post on MamaPop: You Finished Mockingjay, Now What? Four Book Series To Fill The Gaping Void In Your Soul. I have already read The Giver and the other books that related to it. I highly recommend it for almost anyone to read. I am looking forward to checking out The Last Survivors series.

So, I'm giving this book a thumbs up! I really can't wait to see what Suzanne Collins comes up with next. I'll leave the rest for the comments in case you're reading and haven't finished it yet. If you've already read it, let me know what you thought!

September 14, 2010

Do you work? aka What do you do all day?

I have recently made a point to answer a certain way when people ask me "Do you work." Saying no? That doesn't cut it. So instead I say "I don't work outside the home." What does that mean? This...

Monday, September 13, 2010

8:30 am - Wake up in bed with the baby on one side and Sam waking up on the other. "It's morning! Let's play hide and seek!" As I try to will my eyes open.

8:45 am - Head downstairs, both children are awake now. Turn on morning cartoons. Make the baby a bottle and an English Muffin for Sam.

9:00 am - Leave kids in TV room. Put in load of laundry and gather changes of clothes from upstairs.

9:15 am - Pick up Danny as he wants me to hold him constantly.

10:00 am - Danny is asleep. Deposit him in his swing. Update Quicken and check over bills due. Do research for articles due tomorrow. Finish and post blog entry for today.

10:30 am - Danny wakes up. Get him out of the swing and feed him.

11:00 am - Put Danny in bouncy chair and wash face & get dressed. Get Danny changed, and give him a suppository to make him poop (my life is awesome).

11:15 am - Eat some chips and salsa while feeding Danny and hanging out with Sam.

12:00 pm - Sam decides he is hungry & wants Mac & Cheese. Thank goodness for Easy Mac. Cook it and help him eat it. He needs to eat quickly so we can get the bus!

12:25 pm - Load the baby in the car and drive to the bottom of the driveway to await Sam's bus.

12:35 pm - Deposit child 1 on bus. Drive to town.

12:50 pm - Costco parking lot is way too crowded for a quick run in to see if they still have those tutus I wanted to get for a friend's daughter's Christmas gift (yes I am already thinking about Christmas... easier on the wallet that way) and a box of crackers for Sam's classroom.

12:55 pm - Exit parking lot, drive to Walgreens and drop off prescriptions that need refills.

1:15 pm - Arrive at doctors office for Danny's 4 month checkup. He is 12 lbs 12 oz and in the 10th percentile for weight. He's smaller than Sam was at 4 months, but is in the 50th for height (25 inches) and head circumference. Doctor will call in a new referral to get us down to Children's Hospital to see someone in the GI department.

2:45 pm - Drive home.

2:55 pm - Arrive home. Transfer sleeping baby into the house. Pay 4 bills.

3:05 pm - Baby wakes up. Make a bottle and feed him while watching some cake show on TV.

3:25 pm - Play with baby.

3:30 pm - Hold sleeping baby. He will wake up if I put him down. Manage to pay the rest of the bills while holding him.

3:45 pm - Deposit baby in umbrella stroller. Walk down to meet Sam's bus.

3:59 pm - See bus whiz by driveway, already 11 minutes late. Contemplate calling the bus garage.

4:05 pm - Bus finally arrives, having turned around. Driver is a sub as there is no permanent driver on our route for the ride home yet. Sam is chatting it up with his friend Alex and the bus driver has to tell him to get off the bus.

4:05 and a half pm - Sam begins whining. He does not want to walk up the driveway. I am determined that this year he will get used to that TINY amount of exercise I am cruelly forcing on him.

4:06 pm - Sam stops whining and we play tag up the driveway.

4:15 pm - Sam is playing with Transformers and I'm nodding off on the couch holding Danny.

4:40 pm - Justin arrives home from work and sits with us. Danny freaks. Justin makes a bottle and he is happy again.

5:10 pm - Justin's Dad shows up at the house. He comes in to say Hi and hold Danny for a while.

5:20 pm - I get in the car to drive in to town for volunteer training. I stop at Subway on the way there and pick up dinner, which I eat in the car as I drive the rest of the way.

6:00 pm - Attend 2 hour training at Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services to learn how to give The Empowerment Project presentation about Dating Violence and Sexual Assault to students at local schools. I can't wait!

8:00 pm - Training ends. My phone is dead.

8:15 pm - Stop at the grocery store because we are out of cat food. Browse used DVDs at Blockbuster and buy Planet 51, Alice in Wonderland, Coraline and Fame.
Pick up random food items.

9:00 pm - Arrive home. Put away groceries, feed the cat. Let other cats in and out. All three boys are asleep in the TV room. Try to wake up Justin to see if he wants to go sleep upstairs, he says no. Continue putting away groceries.

9:15 pm - See if any new shows have been recorded. Season Finale of True Blood is waiting for me!

9:20 pm - Open the laptop. Write blog entry.

9:30 pm - Begin working on 2 articles due tomorrow.

9:44 pm - Hear Danny wake up in the other room. Make a bottle. Feed him & hold him.

10:09 pm - Try to put Danny down, he wakes up.

10:33 pm - Put Danny in his swing and get back to articles.

11:43 pm - Finish articles and submit them.

11:45 pm - Get formula powder & water ready, take burp cloths and blankets upstairs. Carry Sam upstairs, then Danny. Finally lay down in bed.

12:00 am - Fall asleep.

3:00 am - Wake up to feed baby.

6:00 or 6:30 am - Wake up to feed baby.

8:00 or 8:30 am - Rewind, begin again...

September 13, 2010

Unexpected Memories

I can never listen to the radio as I drive to the emergency room.

I rush to get ready. When I was pregnant, I would pack crackers and water to take with me. Now, I just grab my binder and my wallet and keys. I try to remember to eat something on the way, because I could be there for up to four hours.

In the pitch black of 11 pm, 3 am, 5:30 am I rush to my car. Some nights, the wind whips around me and I shiver not only from the cold but from the whistling sound it makes.

Sometimes, I pray. For God to give me strength to help. To change this person's experience for the better, even if it's only a tiny fraction of good in an otherwise awful event.

I don't always think about how I am meeting someone on what may be the worst night of their entire life.

When I arrive and they let me in to the ER, I can usually tell which room I'm going to by the police officer standing outside the door.

At first, I was surprised because they are almost never visibly broken as I expected they would be. Some are alone, some have a friend with them.

So far, the domestic violence calls have always been worse than the sexual assault calls for me. The emotions have been stronger, the devestation more apparent.

When I leave the hospital, it is often morning. Dawn is breaking and it's in that early time when the world is lighting up, but not quite awake.

As I drive home, I think about them. Days, weeks, months later I am surprised by the things that stick with me, these unexpected memories.

How pretty she was, with luscious, wavy brown hair.

Her mascara, the way it coated her lashes, thick like molasses and the streaks it left on her face.

The restraints hanging from the bottom of the bed, and how she knew they were there.

The way she sounded when she told me that she had learned her lesson, that she would never call the police again. How belieiving her physically hurt my heart.

Her son, 12 or 13, telling her that she didn't deserve to get treated this way.

Her pink hair.

Her pink bracelet.

How young she looked.

How beautiful her face was when it filled with her smile as she went to get dressed.

It is never the bruises or the violence or the pain that stick with me. It's not the stories.

It is the women.


So many people out there have experienced violence. I am an advocate, but thre are a lot of ways to help and offer support. One of the websites I support is Violence Unsilenced, where surivors have a voice. I'd love for you to visit it.

If you're in Bellingham, check out Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services on Facebook.

September 11, 2010

September 11, 2010: We Must Stand United in Love

I have spent a significant amount of time in the last few days wondering what to post today.

I looked in my archives to see what I've posted in the past, and I have not posted anything. Perhaps it just wasn't the way I memorialized the day in the last couple of years.

I looked in my journal to see what I wrote that day. The thing that struck me the most was something I wrote on September 12, 2001:

"I laid there last night and for the first time in my life I didn't feel safe in my own bed. Every little noise made my heart race."

I've kept an eye on my feedreader in the last 2 days to see what others wrote to acknowledge this day. Some people wrote about their memories of that day.

Marinka re-posted something she'd written about her experience of September 11, living in New York, and how that day sticks in her mind.

Mrs. Chicken
captured me with this line, which made me freeze even now: "I remember my father, standing in the living room of my parents’ house, TV remote dangling from one hand, mouth agape."

Diane wrote about her morning, and captured me with the image of a storytime interrupted with a passed note and a "We're going to stop here. You should all go home."

Kristin was alone on 9/11/01, like I was, and found herself glad because "I cried my heart out for a few days and I know that I wouldn't have been able to fully express my sorrow if he were home. I hated being alone for most of that week, hated knowing that my sister, mom and husband were all on the West coast, but it truly was a blessing that I was alone."

Sarah recalled the events of her 9/11/01 at 36 weeks pregnant and brought tears to my eyes with this:

"I spent the next three days on the couch in my "uniform" (you know, the only XL maternity clothes that fit), glued to the TV. Alternating between grief, disbelief and horror.

What kind of world was I bringing a child into?


September 11, 2001. I will never forget."

One day, I will record my memories of that morning. Today, it is too much to think about.

Lindsey wrote about the realization that her children never knew a world where the World Trade Towers stood tall, and her hope that they will never know tragedy like this.

I've thought about this too. I have visited NYC several times, and have photos of myself with the World Trade Center as a backdrop. One visit, I stayed in the hotel at the base of the towers. When I come across those photos in my albums, I freeze. It's hard to believe that now it's just an empty space.

I think about the Holocaust during WW2 and about slavery and genocide, and I pray for my children to live in a world without such things. In comparison, September 11 was fairly small... and certainly the worst tragedy to occur in my nation during my lifetime. I hope theirs will be even smaller.

Gina paid tribute to her husband and his service to our country.

Mr. Lady wrote about what New York means to her.

Mimi wrote an uplifting post about how she recognized September 11 this year, with some great photos of her in fire fighting gear.

I find it overwhelming reading all of these words. I feel like I cannot truly recall the morning of September 11, 2001, because if I let it in - REALLY let it in - to my mind, I will break down. 9 years later, the disbelief and horror is still strong.

In addition to the tragedy and pain of the events of that day, we have another tragedy on our hands now in the prejudice that is being shown by so many against people of the Muslim faith. So, I have to say that my favorite post and action of today comes from Adam at Avitable. He created We Are MUSLIM "after listening to one of his friends, born in America and raised Muslim, break down in tears over the feeling that America was no longer a safe place for her."

From the website Adam created:

"What is “We Are Muslim”?

We are Making a United Stand to eLiminate Intolerance against Muslims.

Muslims are everywhere. They are our friends. Our neighbors. Our family. Our peers. Our colleagues. Our fellow Americans. Our fellow world citizens. And they are not terrorists. They are not dangerous or irrational or fanatics. They are peaceful and loving and kind. They are human."

"The events of 9/11 were the acts of radical extremists who perverted the tenets of their religion as a justification for their actions. And yet, across our country, a country that was founded on the concept of freedom from religious persecution, Americans are called “terrorists” and persecuted, shunned, and hated for no reason other than the fact that they are Muslim.

We cannot let this stand. Every single one of us, regardless of our religion, creed, orientation, nationality, race, or gender, needs to be united in our support of our Muslim friends. If we continue to stand idly by, we run the risk of revisiting the darkest times that our country has ever seen.

By declaring that we are MUSLIM, we can challenge those who hate, those who stereotype, those who treat someone less than human based on the shade of their skin or the religion they’ve chosen. We can encourage them to treat every American as an American and every person with the respect they deserve.

"Share this on Facebook. Subscribe to our feed for posts about the religion of Islam and the message of peace and love that prevails through this and every religion."

Thank you, Adam. Thank you for your wonderful heart, and this creation of love and unity. This is just what we need - today, and every day.

Today, I am remembering September 11. And I am looking forward to a future where we challenge hate, we provide for our fellow humans regardless of race or religion, where terrorism is erradicated and respect reigns.

September 10, 2010

Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, "Heard" items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post.

Friday Fragments are the brainchild of Mrs.4444 and you can find more at Half Past Kissin' Time.

~ I have a billion thoughts swirling around in my head right now, but of course it's late at night and I can't stay up all night writing, plus the baby will probably wake up and want me to hold him anytime. Sam started school this week, so I'm hoping that I can somehow manage to get Danny to nap while Sam's at school so I can spend that time writing and catching up online.

~ I finished Mockingjay this week (so good!) and went and saw The Other Guys with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. I'll have review posts on each coming up, hopefully next week!

~ I discovered the blog Paper Hearts when Shane Nickerson highlighted it on his blog. At Paper Kids, Sabra writes about her daughter Emma. Emma has autism, and was non-verbal until she was 9 years old. Then, in May of this year, Emma started spelling things out on a keyboard and now they're able to communicate. This week she wrote a post called I admire your rewire. It touched me, but in all honesty I find that almost everything she publishes touches me. I am somewhat fascinated by autism and find that the blogs I read of people whose children have autism often highlight these wonderful, amazing beings. From kids who are non-verbal like Emma, to severely autistic kids like Kelley's Boo, to kids who are 'quirky' like Heather's Payton, to kids like Amalah's Noah, the posts these mothers write about their children show amazing thought processes, intuitions, creativity, and the overcoming of obstacles that stand in these kids paths. Sometimes I think that these kids just think differently - and that's not always such a bad thing. I often think we could learn something from them.

~ I haven't been cooking this week because we ran out of money and couldn't buy groceries really. But I am enjoying being on Weight Watchers again. On Wednesday I had a doctor appointment and I parked away from the doctor's office, so it was a brisk 30 minute walk there and another 30 back to the car. Creative ways to fit exercise in the schedule! And I'm enjoying it. I have not been to a meeting yet because it hasn't worked out, Justin and I need to put it into our regular schedule so I have a set meeting every week I go to. I'm a little bummed because the one I REALLY want to go to is at 5:30 on Tuesdays, but that would mean Justin getting off work early. The 6:00 on Wed would work better timewise, but I don't really like the leader of that one. So, we'll see.

~ Sam started school this week, and he seems to be liking it again. Yesterday he came off the bus in the afternoon talking about his friends and wanting to play with them some more. I am thinking of having a little party at our house (Halloween maybe?) and inviting all the kids in his class (probably 8-12) so that I can meet and connect with their parents for possible playdates in the future. Last year I never met any of the other parents, and I'd like that to change this year, especially so we can give them more time together if they play well together.

~ My Mom randomly called me yesterday and told me she wants to babysit on Saturday night. How awesome is that? Justin and I will have a date night, and I didn't even have to ask for it!

~ Many of you have probably heard that Rev. Terry Jones of the Dove Outreach Center in Gainesville, FL intends to burn the Qur'an on Sept. 11. This is a despicable act, one of hatred against Muslims and blind to the difference between people of a religion and their extremist counterparts. Well, something really cool is happening - the Massachusetts Bible Society is having a "Burn One, Give Two" drive. They have pledged that for every Qur'an that is burned, they will GIVE TWO. They will distribute them to Muslims in prisons, hospitals, shelters, anywhere they don't have access to their sacred text. People, THAT is Christianity in action. It's an example we should all follow. If you'd like to support the drive, you can visit through the link above and make a donation. Or, just spread the word. There's been WAY too much hatred lately, and this is a wonderful message of acceptance.

~ I feel like I could keep writing for a couple more hours, but I need to get to bed since Sam will be up dragging me out of bed before I know it. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

September 5, 2010

Weekly Winners

Weekly Winners is the creation of the beautiful Lotus of i am Lotus (aka Sarcastic Mom). She takes amazing pictures that I'm often jealous of, and her son Braden totally reminds me of my little boy - both the big blue eyes, and the attitude! Here are my winners from this week (click to see full size).











Three Generations




Down? Up!








No Diving


To see more weekly winner photos, visit i am lotus.

September 1, 2010

A Pain in the Ass

I had a different post planned for today, but I can't think about much. I am tired and will probably fall asleep watching TV in the very near future.

Danny got up at 6 today and I never managed to go back to sleep with him like I usually do when he's up so early. Sam woke up and then we had to get ready to go to Danny's appointment at Children's Hospital.

How about instead of whatever else I had planned, we talk about my kid's poop again? I promise I won't do it too often, but today was a big day for Danny's butt, and a big pain in mine.

If you've been around a while, you know Danny's had some troubles with what is best described as a LAZY ass. Okay, maybe that's not very scientific, but he just doesn't poop on his own. Nothing really seems to help. Although we found out last week that the super expensive formula (Similac Alimentum) IS helping in some ways when we tried to switch back to regular formula and ended up with a situation that involved a lot of screaming and walnut sized rock poops and ended with me on Ebay buying a box of 9 cans of the super expensive formula. Oh well, at least in bulk I can save $10 a can.

As an aside - how ridiculous is it that I just saved $10 PER CAN (a bit less than 30%) on formula? What the hell makes a 16 oz can of formula worth $27? Just a week ago I received 2 16 oz cans of formula in the mail as a FREE SAMPLE. So, how can it possibly cost so much? Ugh.

Anyhow, back to the main issue. He doesn't poop. So, we had a barium enema with an X-ray to look for anything indicating Hirschsprung's Disease, and it looked normal. Our pediatrician told us that the results would determine whether we got transferred to the surgery clinic or the GI department at Children's Hospital because apparently there are no specialists in Bellingham? I dunno. So, after the results came back normal I was sort of surprised when they referred us to the surgery clinic, but thought that they must know what they were doing.

So, we made the appointment, arranged for Sam to go to Grandma's, and drove 2 hours to Seattle. For a 10 minute out-patient easy biopsy. With a surgeon who basically told us that he thinks there is a next-to-zero-percent chance that Danny has Hirschsprung's, which is apparently the ONLY reason for the biopsy. Without any of the other symptoms, and with a normal rectal exam, he'd be in a VERY small group if he ended up having it. No more advice. No more discussion. He's a surgeon, not a GI doc or pediatrician, so it's not his job to help us any further really.

I don't get it. Danny's pediatrician knew the results of the barium enema X-rays. So, WHY did he refer us to the surgeon? I don't know. Why did they not say maybe we should do the biopsy to just rule it out, but hey, while you're down there, why not see a GI doctor? I don't know. Why did I basically just drive for four hours and navigate a hospital and wait for 30 minutes to most likely find out nothing that is of any consequence to Danny and his problems? I DON'T KNOW.

Now, if they do not find ganglion cells? And it turns out he has Hirschsprung's with almost no symptoms indicating it? I will eat my words. BUT, more likely, I will just let this go and then try to figure out who will take care of Sam and when Justin can take ANOTHER day off and we can pay for ANOTHER appointment to go to Seattle to a doc who might actually be able to help.

There IS one other option. Just stop worrying about it, give him a suppository when he gets really fussy and starts spitting up a lot, and wait for it to just happen on it's own. In all reality, Sam had suppositories regularly for his first year, and he poops on his own just fine now. Maybe we should just forget about all of this and wait and see. Who knows?