By Heather O.
That’s what was on the front page of the Washington Post.
Ok, the headline was actually “Utah Town Has Question about President: “What’s not to like?”, but it might as well have been “Only Utah hicks are stupid enough to vote for our president–twice.”
The article starts out with a scene where a woman goes into a small diner in Randolph, Utah, and orders a patty melt with Dijon mustard on the side. That prompts a, “We get some weird ones” from the cook, and the counterman says after the customer leaves that he doesn’t know what Dijon mustard is. Doesn’t care to, either.
That’s how this article sets the scene. People who are so insulated from the world that they don’t even know what Dijon mustard is, much less about Medicare and the War on Terror. And that’s why they voted for Bush. Because they’re ignert. And with all of the news around the world tonight, the Post puts them on the front page.
Yeah, that’s objective.
I finished reading Katherine Graham’s autobiography recently (her father bought the Post in the 30s, her husband ran it, and after his death, she brought it to the pinnacle of it’s success during Watergate. Now her son, Don Graham, runs the newspaper), and I gotta say, it makes me worried about where we get our info. She talks about her personal relationship with LBJ, and how angry he was that the Post didn’t come right out and endorse his candidacy for president. K. Graham insists that he should have been able to read between the lines of the newspaper, and realize that they were endorsing him, without having to come right out and make an official announcement. And yet she declares that she was entirely objective when it came to Watergate. Um, heLLO! Not that I’m saying that Nixon deserved to be defended, but the double standard and the hypocrisy is just a little much.
Anyway, sorry for the political rant, but it kind of bugs me when the media picks out the most sterotypical hicks who are insulated from the world to say, “These are the only kind of morons who would support our President!” It would be as if they took pictures of hip, wealthy New Englanders who skiied all winter in their lodges in Vermont and said, “These are the only people smart enough to vote for John Kerry!” It’s just offensive, all the way around.
The funny thing is, I doubt the people in Randolph, if they even ever see this article, will care one way or the other. The Post is trying to make this huge point about their lifestyles, and they won’t be bothered one bit by anything this newspaper prints. They’ll just go on eating their patty melts, sans Dijon mustard, voting for the next Republican candidate. And they will go on having the gall to say that every bad thing that has happened in their life is not President Bush’s fault.
Wow. Such ignorance is astonishing, eh?
By Tracy M
In one of my college English classes, my teacher told us to “write about our dogs”, meaning the things we know closely. So here is my dog. Fair warning: If you are squeamish, just skip this post. PG language (Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and I don’t even play one on TV- if you are having extreme sickness, see your doctor.)
Morning Sickness. If there was ever an expert on such a wretched subject, it is me, and I may as well contribute something for the crown I hold. There are others out there who have shared about this too, (check out Allison at Don’t Let’s Start), but I have to find some pearl in the oyster, so here is mine.
1. There are as many different degrees, or ways of feeling ill, as there are levels of hell in Dante’s imagination. Most women have some feeling of nausea during the early months of pregnancy, but for others, like myself, the nausea transcends ‘feeling ill’ and the vomiting continues for all nine months, and even through labor and delivery. If you are blessed not to be like me, don’t tell me about how easy and wonderful and problem free your pregnancies were. That is like eating a Crispy Creme in front of a starving woman, and I might push you through a window.
2. My Relief Society president, mother of five boys, told me it was all in my head. NEVER ever do this! Not only does it belittle the experience of the woman in misery, it basically calls me weak and accuses me of trying to get attention through vomit.
3. There is such a thing as real, drastic, morning sickness. It has a medical name, but I am not a doctor, and I can’t remember it. With all three of my babies, I weigh less at delivery than I did when I got pregnant. This type of sickness is NOT imagined or something that can be cured with soda crackers. It requires an IV to keep from becoming so dehydrated as to be a danger to the baby.
4. There are drugs out there to help, but most of them are pretty ineffective, save one, and it is so expensive most insurance companies won’t cover it. The others make you so sleepy that it is dangerous to take them if you already have small kids at home.
5. There are endless folk-tales and home-remedies for morning sickness, and some of them may work if you are a little bit queasy. I have tried them all, and 99% of them can be thrown out with the bathwater. If one more person asks me if I have tried Preggie Pops or ginger I will scream. ( Yes. Yes, no it does nothing for me, and it burns your nose when it comes back up- same with peppermint, chamomile and Coca Cola)
6. The one folk-tale that has helped me is: To keep from gagging and vomiting when changing your already-here baby’s diaper, pack your nose with Vicks. This works in the nasty, smelly grocery store too, by the way. (p.s. An RN just said NOT to do this, so this one is out too!~)
7. ‘Morning Sickness” is a lie- it is twenty-four hours a day. Evenings are often worse for many women than mornings.
8. Throwing up does NOT make it better. Many people, out of ignorance, think that once you vomit, you will feel better. Maybe with the flu, but that does nothing for pregnancy induced vomiting- the nausea is still there, and in fact, is often worse if your stomach is empty.
9. Use a bowl or a bucket to be sick in. Forget the toilet, and all the smells associated with it- get yourself a good plastic bucket or big bowl, and use that instead. Heaving at counter-height is much more comfortable and things come up easier. Then, dump the bowl in the toilet and rinse it out. Much better in the long run.
10. Keep a gallon-size zipper top bag in your purse, with three or four paper towels crumpled up inside- the towels hamper splatter and disguise the contents. Zipper top makes it safe until you find a trash can. This will save you in public situations where you cannot reach a bathroom, and public bathrooms are horrid anyway. If you have to use a public restroom, use the sink. You don’t want public toilet water splattering up on you.
11. Carry a towel, a change of clothes and underwear. No details really necessary here, but almost all women who are still vomiting later in their pregnancy have pressure-release problems. Be prepared.
12. Soft, cold things, like ice-cream and smoothies, Jamba juice, and the like are generally bad news, even though they sound good and often taste good. That much liquid in your tummy doesn’t translate well. And throwing up something still cold is just too creepy.
13. Eating food without a lot of liquid can make it more likely to stay down, but if you know barfing is imminent, drink something quickly. It is much easier on your body and less painful to vomit soft things than dryer food.
14. When you have an empty stomach but are still heaving, the stuff that comes up looks like orange juice. It is bile, from your galbladder. You are not dying, even though it might feel like it.
15. In later pregnancy, you can, in fact, break your water by throwing up. I have done it, and I don’t recommend it. Again, the pressure-release problems and lack of space in your abdomen.
16. Small capilaries on your eyes, face and nose can break if you are having a really hard time of it. This does not happen to women who are ‘imagining’ it, or women who ‘it’s all in their heads’.
17. Go to the dentist if you are having a pregnancy like mine. The enamel on your teeth is in serious jeopardy from all the acid, and he can give you a special toothpaste to help.
18. Dishes can be a really, really bad thing when your stomach is so tender and smells are so vile. Invest in the Costco size pack of paper plates and utensils.
So what can you do to help, if you know someone like me? Well, unless you have a magic-time-speeder-upper wand, not much. Try and be kind, don’t tell me it’s all in my head, or how easy your pregnancies were. When you have been throwing up 3-7 times a day for 30+ weeks, hearing things like that only compound the misery.
Offer to take my kids for a few hours- that would be awesome. The friends that have helped me the most are the ones who call and say “I have time on Tuesday at 10 am, let me come by and pick them up until after lunch.” That is just the best- the hardest (although I know they are trying to be kind) are the folks who call up and want to chat and hear all about how I am, then put the onus on me to decide what they should do. Trust me, I always feel like crap, and I am starting to hate it when people ask. They give the little head-tilt, and inevitably say “oooooh? Still?” Yes, dammit, still. And I can’t tell you how many calls I have had to drop the phone and run to my bowl. Humiliation.
If you want to bring something by for my starving family to eat, that is really nice. They don’t get a lot of home-cookin’ these days, and my DH especially would appreciate it. However, do skip the broccoli casserole, the BBQ pork sandwiches, or the corned beef and cabbage, please. While it’s rude of me to look a gift horse in the mouth, food with strong smells is why I don’t spend any time in the kitchen in the first place. And completely innocuous smells to the average bear, are unbearable to me. I end up in tears in the bathroom with the fan on, crouched over my bowl, and my DH has to dump the food in the outside garbage can. What will work for your friend might not be the same as works for me, but avoiding cooked broccoli is a good place to start.
Feel free to add anything I may have missed. My brain is not firing on all cylinders these days. T-minus 10 weeks and counting….
By The Wiz
I went shopping this past weekend, mainly because since I wear jeans literally every day of my life, thay had all worn out and I was down to one pair that didn’t fit well. So I ventured out for some retail therapy and some valued time alone, quite underestimating how hard it would be to hold a bunch of clothes and open a dressing room door with one hand. But I digress…..
Anyway, after finding some jeans, I headed to a different store because it had also come to my attention that I was down to basically 2 outfits for church. (No, I don’t shop that often.) I was trying on a dress that looked great, and I ended up buying it, even though I have no idea what season it is. It’s black, knee-length, and a thinner material. So it’s kind of spring-like, but who wears black in the spring? As DH put it, “if you have a funeral to go to in the spring, you’re all set.” (It also made me long for pre-baby boobs, but I digress….)
Anyway, I couldn’t help over hearing the gal on one side of me shrieking to the gal on the other side of me.
“How does it look?”
“My butt’s too big for this. It would look better on you. I’m too chubby.”
Wow. 3 blasts in one shot. That takes talent. And as I was (mostly) ignoring this conversation, because, unfortunate as it is, it really is a very typical dressing room conversation, something caught my attention.
“Mom, you’re not chubby!”
And as I stepped out of my dressing room to look in the 3-way mirror, I saw a young girl of maybe 7 or 8 years, hairsprayed within an inch of her life, reassuring her mother that she was attractive. And my heart broke a little, because I knew then and there that that girl had no chance of escaping body image issues. She would grow up wondering if she was too chubby, or too skinny, or too whatever, because this was clearly not the first time her mom had disparaged herself in front of her daughter.
“I wish I could wear short skirts. Unfortunately, my calves look like my butt.”
“Mom, your legs are fine!”
I left at that point, partly because I didn’t want to hear any more, but mostly because I was done trying on dresses. And now I can’t get that little girl out of my head. So I’m putting her into all of yours.
Women who read this blog - you have a perfect right to feel however you wish about your bodies. You can hate your tummy, your thighs, your boobs, whatever. But, PPLLLEEAAASSSEEE don’t express that hatred in front of your children. They will get enough conditioning out there about why their bodies aren’t perfect. Let home be a place where they don’t have to think about it. It will go a long way if they don’t see their mother falling prey to that particular stress.
So, next time, go shopping alone. Or, if your daughters do come along, keep in mind that if you start slamming the way your figure looks, someone might be in the stall next to you planning to blog about it.
By Heather O.
I took Jacob to gymnastics today, and since mother’s aren’t allowed into the gym for fear we will be possessed by the spirit of Nadia Comaneci and try to vault off the vault horse thingie, break a nail and sue the place for pain and suffering, there was a gaggle of us moms in the antechamber, if you will. I like these women–they are fun, energetic, and involved in their kid’s lives.
One mom asked, “So, did you take Newsweek? Did you read that article about how little boys are failing in school these days?”
No, I don’t take Newsweek, because, you know, I hate the liberal media and want all pundits to go to hell.
Ok, really, I just hate the clutter that a gaggle of magazines causes in my house. (Gaggle seems to be my word of the day, I suppose. I think it technically refers to some avarian species, but it seems to be fitting my purposes quite well today, don’t you think? I wonder how many times I can use it one post!)
Where was I? Oh, yes, magazines. A gaggle of ‘em.
Anyway, my friend went on to remark that today’s public schools have spent so much time and energy trying to get girls to catch up and realize that they, too, can look just as cool as the boys in goggles (wow, that’s almost like gaggle!) in chem class,
they forgot to spend 2 second saying it to the poor boys “You can do math and science too!”, and now everybody is just ADHD and high on Ritalin, which of course makes everybody depressed, and how can you learn about geese, gaggle like or otherwise when you are thinking deep, profound, depressiong thoughts about mortality while bouncing off the walls at the same time? Darn those teachers, when are they going to get it right?
Ok, so our sons are headed for a life of depression, ADHD, and illiteracy. oh NO!
But here’s the thing. I recently read another study somewhere (probably in that paragon of scientific findings, “Parent” magazine) that boys usually graduate from high school and set off for college feeling invincible, whereas the girls are the ones whimpering in the corner, just needing to be loved. The incidence of depression in adulthood is also apparantly much higher for women than for men, and the seeds of that seem to be planted in highschool.
Ok, so it’s our DAUGHTERS who are headed for a life of depression and, um, listening to Depeche Mode in the dark with their eyes closed, swaying to the beat and wafting incense through the air. At least they’ll be literate, though. (Wait–does anybody listen to Depeche Mode anymore? What happened to those guys, anyway. Were they even guys?)
All of this means one thing, really–our kids are doomed.
Somehow, though, I don’t buy it, or at least I can’t get all that excited about it. My parents admitted that by the time I came along, I was lucky to be alive at the end of the day. No namby pamby things like nap schedules or structured play time for me, no sir. They would basically throw some food my way sometimes, hope I would find it amongst the mess, and go on with the task of trying to make sure the house didn’t fall down while raising 6 children. And, not to brag or anything, but I did turn out to be pretty literate. I can even spell fairly well. I also know cool words like “gaggle”.
So I’m just going to keep reading to my child, keep encouraging him in his pretend games (well, maybe not all of them ..ahem..), and let him swim and gymansticize his guts out without worrying about the pending doomage of his academic career.
And if he does fail, I guess there’s still always Depeche Mode. And gaggles.
By The Wiz
I was upstairs today truly pondering the mysteries of life while 2 of my children were downstairs watching Sesame Street. Now, to the untrained eye, it MAY have looked like I was just zoning out watching reruns of “The Cosby Show”, but that is one of my preferred methods of pondering. As my ponderings came to an end, and, coincidentally, the credits began to roll, I came downstairs to make lunch for me and the kiddos. I was planning on making some “all white meat, no trans fats” chicken nuggets, along with the “no trans fats, completely organic, gluten-free” french fries, both purchased at Costco yesterday. SEE what healthy food we eat around here?
As I came downstairs, the first thing I saw was that only one of my children was watching aforementioned PBS. I turned into the kitchen, and saw Toddler-Man with his hand in the oven, (thankfully turned off) with some sort of pale, thick liquid smeared down the oven door. “Hi, Mommy.”
(He has never opened the oven door before in his life. He says “hot” every time we go near it.)
“Hi, buddy.” My first thought was that he had gotten yogurt out of the fridge and for some inexplicable reason had put it in the oven. Then I turned to the counter, and all revealed itself in due time.
Eggs. 24 of them, as one can only buy at Costco, had been removed from the fridge, and apparently Toddler-Man felt that they belonged in the oven.
The non-cracked ones looked like little white baked potatoes, placed carefully on the rack and ready to be removed, cut open, and smeared with butter and sour cream. The cracked ones, well, they looked nothing like that. Of course, they didn’t all make it into the oven. Several were cracked on the floor, which had been mopped yesterday, and one had even been cracked into an empty milk carton waiting to be recycled. Talented dude, that Toddler-Man.
My dog wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of licking all the egg off the floor. I thought dogs loved eggs.
Fortunately, 2 year olds love cleaning up almost as much as they love making a mess, as long as it involves paper towels and a spray bottle. (Wow, there’s egg inside the drawer.) The clean up song (the ONLY good thing to come from Barney, IMO) was employed in full force, while my 4 year old kept asking when we would have lunch. Oh, well, my oven hadn’t been cleaned in a while, anyway.
I think I need to place a child-lock on the oven door, go back upstairs, and ponder some more. Maybe I can find some reruns of “Cheers” on TV.
A Touchy Subject
23 Jan 2006 12:11 am
By Tracy M
As the most fledgling member of the Mormon world, at least in this neck of the woods, I occasionally- alright, often- come across things in LDS culture/doctrine that confuse, confound or downright perplex me. And the thing is, since the LDS world is pretty darn conservative and private about things that are, well, private, I frequently find myself with a passel of questions and no one with whom to ask them.
There are many things that I am discovering are cultural, but not necessarily doctrinal. It takes a while to sort out what is what, especially when you have no frame of reference. My husband and I have made MANY changes in our lives since we joined the Church- from our choices of media, to our language, our diet, our home organization, our relationships with family members, our finances, and restructuring our time. This Church asks a lot of it’s members- you don’t just go to Church on Sundays and call it a week- the commitment is enormous. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining- we have clearly seen the benefits and blessings of making these changes.
In sorting through some of the changes we have made, I come across things that perplex me. Like, why did my husband have to give up coffee and tea, but our bishop told him having a Mountain Dew or Red Bull was perfectly ok? Is caffeine out or not? And with all the pain he went through to totally kick coffee- and he did- it’s ok to get right back up on that horse with a soda pop?
Recently, I asked my husband’s aunt, my closest family member who is LDS, about garments. She was embarrassed and mumbled that it was ok to remove them when “experiencing marital bliss” (direct quote!), but otherwise they needed to be kept on constantly. So, to say that I was grateful for the thread over at FMH about garments is the understatement of the year. Most of my questions were kindly taken care of over there, and I had a lot of them- I mean if your mother never wore them, who do you get your info from?
Sometimes, as a newbie, one just stands around feeling baffled. In a church where family is so favored, why do mother’s have to nurse in a bathroom next to stinky diaper pails? Why do I detect the faint air of disapproval, even if I try and do it in RS where there are only women present? Why do so many meetings and so much work take place on Sundays? I practically hate Sundays because of how hectic they are- and I’m not sure that is how it’s supposed to be. Little girls can’t wear sundresses? How do you handle people’s inflammatory comments when one has close family members who are gay?
That brings me to my hot topic. I will attempt to be sufficiently vague. Over at T&S, there has been an interesting series on fertility. A man commented about semen collection, and the problems with it- saying that he would collect his sample from within his wife, so as not to have to use the “little room”- others went on as if this was normal and acceptable, but my head was reeling. A doctor finally commented that this was not clinically usable sperm for in vitro fertilization, and said that the “room” and a sterile environment must be used, and that it was not forbidden to do so for this purpose. So, does the Church have an official stance on masturbation?? Or is this one of those cultural things that is taken as doctrinal? Or did I just misunderstand the whole thing?
The thing is, we have young sons, - and our boys, like I thought all boys did, tend to fiddle with themselves. We have given them all the proper names for all their body parts, and have talked with them about inappropriate touching from anyone else. When they begin to fiddle with themselves, which I consider natural and normal body exploration in a child, we have told them that is something they should do in private. No problem, as far as we are concerned. But now I wonder if we are expected to deal with this differently. I am not interested in dishing out the heavy guilt about our bodies that other religions have done for so long-
So, doctrine? Or culture? Anyone?
By Heather O.
I just finished reading “The Hiding Place”, by Corrie Ten Boom. (Yes, I know that I just blogged about reading ‘Mormon Enigma’, which I’m still reading. I just took a break from the history to read “The Hiding Place”, and well, I couldn’t put it down and basically read it in 2 days. Sorry. I’m back to Emma now, I promise!)
The Wiz told me it was one of those books that can change your life. I think she’s right.
For those of you who are not familiar with this book, a brief synopsis: A Dutch family is arrested for hiding Jews during WWII, and 2 sisters are eventually sent to a concentration camp. Through a series of small miracles, they are able to have a bible in their camp, and read from it every night. They preach the Word of God while they are living in Hell. And they feel God’s love even as they are treated with hate. They bless those who curse them. They forgive those who imprisoned and tortured them, although the author admits that this was almost the one thing she could not do. When one of her guards seeks her out and asks her forgiveness for his horrid treatment of her, she falters. She manages it, though, and it is a powerful scene in the book.
So, I’m thinking about all of this, and if I could have handled things that way these sisters did. Um, probably not. But I think that if I were alone, and if my life were just about me, it might be easier to be that way.
But I’m not alone. My life is not just about me. I’m a mother. My life is largely about my son.
It seems that it would be easier to forgive somebody if they hurt me, or even if they hurt somebody I cared deeply about, like a friend, or another family member. But if somebody tormented and tortured and ultimately murdered my child with hate, how does one forgive that? How does one tell a child who has been hurt that he has to move on, to forgive, and then also, as a mother, forgive that person too? If the hurt is slight enough, sometimes it’s doable. If the hurt is deep, however, I tend to see red, and want to protect and defend my child. I imagine most mothers feel the same way.
There’s a story about a man who went to Iraq after Saddam Hussein was captured to survey things over there. He was led to a building which was said to house prisoners, enemies of the state. This man was told that the prison actually held only children, young people who were paying for their parent’s crimes. The parents had spoken out against Saddam Hussein, so their children were then imprisoned.
Sounds like an effective silencing tool to me. Oh, you won’t torture me, you’ll torture my kid instead? O.k., I’ll keep quiet.
It’s not lost on me that many revolutions and massive political and social changes are started largely by radical student groups. They have less to lose, so they feel they can risk it all.
And yet, forgiveness is vital to our survival as a civilized society, and Christ has told us in no uncertain terms that He expects us to forgive all. Again, seems simple enough when we are talking about just me. But again, my life is not about just me. I think to forgive somebody who has hurt a child, my child, may be the very hardest thing Christ could ever ask.
I think I need to go give Jacob a hug.
By Heather O.
Despite what they call “donor fatigue”, there are still lots of people from Hurricane Katrina who need some help. The rebuilding process, as you can imagine, is huge. I have felt very helpless throughout this whole thing, until we came across Family-to-Family’s Sponsor Program. There you can sign up to sponsor a family that is still in need of basic supplies for a home: sheets, blankets, pillows, basic appliances, etc. They suggest that it need not be one family that takes on the load–get a playgroup, a churchgroup, the entire extended family together to sponsor a family. It’s a tangible, personal way to help in a way that those of us who are quite distant from the tragedy were not previously able to do. Please consider sponsoring a family that is still struggling to get on their feet.
Who do you love?
20 Jan 2006 02:08 pm
By Heather O.
I’m just now getting around to reading, “Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith,” last month’s reading for FMH. Ok, I’m a little slow, I know, but I had to get through the Book of Mormon, first.
Anyway, I’m not that far along. I got through the preface, which was surprisingly revealing, and I’ve gotten past the intro, which was equally revealing. Now I’m past the first few pages of the book, and it definitely has my attention. It probably took me about 15 minutes to get through all of that, and I must have exclaimed to DH, “Hey, did you know that….” about 8 times. (Of course, the answer was always, “Oh, yeah, and then does the book mention anything about….” Sometimes it’s hard being married to somebody who seems to know EVERYTHING.)
Anyway, in my 15 minute introduction to this woman, I am hooked. I feel like I want to know all about her, everything, how she thought, what she said, what she ate for breakfast, etc. She went through amazing trials with her first husband, only to feel abandoned and betrayed by his friends (read Brigham Young). She then started a new life with a new husband and a basically new religion, only to have one of her children convert to Catholicism, and have her husband cheat on her and leave her to deal with his illigitimate child, whom she raised (Um, heLLO!)
(*NOTE: The writing of this post was temporarily interupted when I realized that Jacob was spending WAY too long in the bathroom, and I went downstairs to a partially flooded bathroom and a naked boy who was gleefully stuffing toilet paper into the toilet. [Sigh])
So, in a weird way, Emma is becoming one of my heros. One Sunday School teacher referred to her as Mormonism’s “drunken uncle that nobody wants to talk about.” And yet, I think we should honor Emma much more than we do. As my SIL puts it: Poor Emma.
I think that Emma is probably just one unsung female hero of the Restoration, and it gives me pause to consider that there are many others of whom I’m not aware. Any enlightening thougts on any such women? Do they fall into the same category as “Poor Emma?”
And now that the flood is cleaned up, it looks like I have to relinquish the computer for some serious game playing. It’s a sad, sad day, ladies, when you children discover comptuer games.
By The Wiz
I am an optimist. I remain firm in the hope that many more women will join the amazing sisterhood of Mormom mommies, and raise righteous children, and enjoy non-coffee-related drinks at Starbucks. But, my ultimate dream of dreams,well, not really, but for the purposes of this post,anyway, is to have Miss Angelina Jolie join our ranks. Can you just see it?
“Tonight’s fireside will be Bro. and Sis. Pitt doing a presentation on their latest trip to Cambodia. Their older children will also be doing a musical number. It is recommended that you arrive early to get a seat.”
I, of course, would be providing the nursery for such a fireside. Angelina will have dropped off her children early as she prepared her slides. (I don’t know why, but the thought of Angelina Jolie, in a garment friendly dress, doing a slide show in a Mormon cultural hall just cracks me up. Yes, I know…I’m easily entertained.)
Anyway, here are some pictures of the children I may be watching. And by “watching” I mean “plugging in front of a video” as mayhem ensues and I curse myself for volunteering for the nursery when I could be staring at Brad Pitt. Of course, like any “good” Mormon, the couple would have a whole minivan full of “Jolie-Pitts”, or “Pittlies,” as they prefer to be called.
This one’s just learning to walk. Isn’t she precious? You have to be careful of the lasers she shoots out of her eyes, though.
This one would rather be anywhere but here. Isn’t that always the way?
And here’s Daddy’s little boy.
And, of course, the angel baby. Never cries at all.
Years later, after many babysitting episodes and our families growing quite close through various games of “Scrabble” (NEVER underestimate the power of “Scrabble”) Angie will send me a picture of herself and her son at his first movie premiere (post-mission, of couse). Sigh…they grow up so fast.
By Tracy M
Now for the other side of the, er, cup. Not to take anything away from my Sisters who have never had a problem with the cupeth overflowing, but I know I am not the only Mama out here who dreams A-cup dreams. Maybe I am a radical. Well, in my family, even though I am the only Mormon, I am definitely the wild child, radical one, but that doesn’t have any bearing on why I told my doctor to cut them off. Please! Just cut them off!
Yes, ladies, I was one of those women who’s breasts turned the corner before I did, who had cleavage to Cleveland and back, who would actually have to snap my fingers at guys to get them to look at my face- How obnoxious is that? Finding clothing to actually button over my bosoms was futile; only knit or other outrageously stretchable fabric need even apply. When I got married, we had to special-order the under-bra thing, and perhaps I should post a photo, because you have never seen such an engineering miracle as was this bra. The day my milk came in with my first baby was unreal- many women feel like a cow when they first try nursing- but ladies, I actually LOOKED like a she-cow who had not been milked in three days- veins and all. My mother came laughing out of my bedroom with my nursing bra on her head- and it covered her all the way to the jaw-line. Really, is that what you A-cuppers want?
So, last year when my doctor discovered a vertebrae in my upper back was crushed almost to collapse (I was 32!), he suggested 20 years of hauling ol’ Undulous and Pendulous around was the cause. When the Orthopedic guy and the Radiologist concurred, our insurance was obligated to pay for fixing it. And fixing it meant, glory of glories, Breast Reduction Surgery! I danced all the way to the car…
If any of you are in the boat I used to paddle, struggling with straps that cut into your shoulders, upper back pain, inability to see your feet, breasts that are larger than your babies, or any of the other joys of the buxom, please see your doctor. Have your spine checked out. Had I had the surgery when I was 22 instead of 32, my back would not be fused at two vertebrae now. Yes, fused- and entirely due to the weight of large boobs. (The surgery was a little scary, as surgery probably should be, but let me stress- this was not a cosmetic procedure. Insurance will pay for it 100% if it can be shown that your body is suffering muscular or skeletal detriment due to your chest.)
Beforehand, I asked the doctor how small he could take me- I really wanted an A-cup, but he said that was too extreme, so he created a C. And with that, he removed over half of my breasts. The man was a genius and deserving of some kind of humanitarian award- I maintained all sensation, and the ability to nurse! The very best part? The backpain was immediately gone- absolutely immediately gone. And my spine is starting to repair itself. And I would do it again tomorrow; three times tomorrow- for how good I feel now.
We often yearn for the grass in the other pasture- whether it be curly hair, height, status or bra-size. But take it from me, you ladies with natural, small breasts are truly blessed- you are not harming your bones, your muscles or your body. Thank your perky girls and be glad they are yours!
By Heather O.
We got snarked. Apparantly, we are just not edgy enough. Sadly, though, we are compared to Tales From the Crib when they were talking about boobs. Not that I have anything against Tales, it’s just that the boobs were specifically mentioned.
That’s right. We are not edgy because we don’t talk about breasts enough. That’s the topic that the Snarker thinks is so edgy and cool.
Perfect evidence that the Snarker is most certainly male.
In this male dominated Bloggernacle, where the lawyers can’t figure out why more Mormon women don’t blog, and wonder why more women don’t comment or post, people get all excited when another Mommy blog posts about boobs. Cleavage. Bazoombas. That’s what counts. That’s what it comes down to, ladies. Sad, sad, sad.
What if you don’t have any boobage to post about, huh? What if your very best feature on your entire body just happens to be your clavicles? (And there’s only ONE permablogger in the bloggernacle who is man enough to write not about fleshy fat deposits around mammary glands, but about beautiful bone structure!) What are all the rest of us A-cuppers supposed to do, thank you very much? I think we should rise up and protest! Yes, let’s PROTEST! Let’s make our voices heard, let the Bloggernacle know that small breasted women are women too! We demand our rights! I’m not really sure what those rights would be, but dammit, if bouncy, buxom ladies are gettin’ ‘em, I want ‘em too!
Maybe we should sponsor some event, something that would raise funds for our cause. How about, um, a boob naming contest? Yeah, that could work. Let’s get all the breast obsessed blogger-ites to write in what their most favorite breast names are. We could have themes, categories even.
Media Cateogry: Thelma and Louise, Ren and Stimpy, or Pinky and the Brain.
Religious: Urrim and Thummim.
Cultural Icons: Calvin and Hobbes, Beavis and Butthead.
To enter, you must pay MMW a zillion dollars.
The winner gets a Bro.
By The Wiz
….for my broken wrist. And if you’re tired of hearing about the wrist, well then, I don’t know what to tell you. Anyway, the reason is so I don’t have to take the kids sledding. WAHOO!!!! You see, it has snowed here - truly, dumped-from-the-sky-never-will-be-spring-again type of snow. And, naturally, my kids want to break out the new toboggan, try on their snow pants, and head all the way across the street to go sledding. And this is the perfect day! There’s no school! Come on, Mom, look at the other kids! Let’s go!
Well, apparently my DH’s company doesn’t view MLK day as a big enough holiday to take off, so he has to head into work (oh, for banker’s hours). And there is no way I’m tackling sledding alone with 3 kids while I’m one-armed. And they get that. And, let me say this..it’s ALMOST WORTH IT.
Other positive things that have come of this roller-skating/saving nuns from a burning building accident:
1. My kids (at least the 2 older ones) are becoming far more independent. They learn really quickly how to make their own sandwiches when it’s make it yourself or no sandwich at all. Embarrassingly enough, I must say, the skills they have are far above what I was giving them credit for. And even though I am now skilled enough with my buff left hand to make that sandwich, I don’t let them in on that morsel of information. Plus, they really love it.
2. My kids (again, not the 2yo) are becoming far more helpful, and they were pretty helpful before. They are learning even more to recognize other’s needs and jump in to help. They help me get my coat on, or my socks, or to tie my shoes for me. Yes, my 4 year old ties shoes. And she does it very well.
3. Eating fast food while driving one-armed is virtually impossible. Well, I guess I could steer with my knees….
4. Any guilt I may have had that I was only doing the minimum as a mother is completely gone. Because with a broken wrist, I have truly learned what “doing the minimum to get by” means, especially in the beginning when the pain was so bad. Hey, I was a GREAT mother, and I will be again in a few short weeks. Unless I get a new book to read, in which case all bets are off, and my wrist hurts too much for me to leave this chair.
And, of course, the whole sledding thing. A Bonus I never would have imagined…..
By Heather O.
So, my visiting teachers came over yesterday. I like these women. They are nice, fun, smart. Best of all, they actually come EVERY MONTH! I really appreciate them. One of them is the education counselor, and since I am the RS teacher, we talk about the lessons a lot. And since this year is Wilford Woodruff, we naturally started talking about polygamy, and how the manual is going to get around the whole Manifesto thing. The other sister said that this whole church history lesson she has been getting about JS this year, etc, was a little freaky, but wow, polygamy? Wilford Woodruff was a polygamist?
Actually, yes, indeed he was.
Then she said it.
“But Joseph Smith wasn’t a polygamist, was he?”
Now, I know that FMH and T&S has talked about this before, but I’m going to bring it up again. What do you say when somebody says something like that? Do you burst her happy church history bubble? Do you fill her in on all of the funky church history stuff that she is missing? Do you let her know that indeed, JS was a polygamist, and every prophet after him was too, way up until George Albert Smith in 1945?
I actually told her that yes, JS was absolutely a polygamist, and she said, “While he was married to Emma?”
“Well, was he having sex with these women?”
“Well, they were just all getting sealed to him because they didn’t really understand the temple, right?”
Then the counselor jumped in and said, “There was so much that they didn’t understand back then, so there were a lot of people making a lot of mistakes. Don’t you think that’s right, Heather?”
Yeah. Sure. Whatever.
I think my visiting teacher was sufficiently freaked out, and we started talking about the Book of Mormon instead. Safe, easy stuff, right?
“Wait, there are people who don’t think JS wrote the Book of Mormon?’
By Tracy M
When did you actually feel like you were a mother? In my experience, becoming a mother is not something that happens just because you have given birth- or adopted- No, becoming a mother is something that happens to you over time, through trials, pain, happiness and barf- albeit having a baby, however you do it, is a pretty sizable gateway to the title of Mama.
When I first had Jeffrey, I felt like someone had handed me this little alien who needed everything from me, including all of my sleep, knawing on tender parts of my anatomy until they were raw and my ability to shower, eat or have clean clothing. It was also unreal that the hospital actually sent him home with us- didn’t they know we knew nothing?? How could they send him home with us? No, becoming a Mama is definitely a process, aided by birth, but not completed by it.
- The first time I really felt like a Mama was in the grocery store, when Jeffrey was about three weeks old. It was late at night, and he was at home with the DH, while I ran out to get a few things. Standing in line at the checkout, there was an older woman behind me, and she gently tapped me on the shoulder, and inquired how old my baby was. Confused, I asked her how she knew I had a baby, since I was alone. She kindly put her hand on my arm, and very sweetly said, “My dear, you have spit-up all down the back of your sweater”.
- Ever catch yourself swaying to and fro, when you are only holding your purse? Uh-huh.
- When someone offers to watch your child(ren) so you can do something for yourself, you don’t think “Pedicure” or “Clothes shopping”, you think “Shower? Alone? Hallelujah!” or “Shopping? Grocery store, alone!”.
- A fantastic night with your husband consists of uninterrupted sleep.
- When women friends who don’t have kids yet start to tell you what they will do when they have kids, you cannot choke back your manic laughter and hysterical tears.
- You can take your breast out in public, feed your baby, and no one knows or cares what you are doing. And you are not self-conscious at all about having your little alien slurping on your once-sexual but now a happy-meal body part.
- The gross-out and gag reflex completely leaves your body and mind. Nothing, no, nothing, not barf in your ear, not sneezes that create snot-bubbles the size of a dinner plate, not poo on the walls or in a little rose-bud mouth can really phase you. Oh, somewhere in the back of your mind, you know to a regular person this is gross, but you are a Mama, and thus are unfazed. You might even laugh at the pale faces of the uninitiated…
- When was the last time you ate your meal while it was still hot?
- Suddenly, your mother is not such nut-case after all, and many of the wacky things she may have done kind of make sense to you. And, you realize that she loves you the same way you love your tender little baby- with everything you’ve got in your life.
While I am sure there are as many things to add to this list as there are mothers, these are a few of the little-fires-burning-brightly that made me a Mama.
10 Jan 2006 06:00 pm
By The Wiz
I, like everyone else out there, am not a perfect parent. But I do try to do the best I can, and there are specific lines I will not cross. (Insert image of Gandalf here, yelling “You Shall Not Pass!”) Well, since I’ve broken my wrist, one of my “lines” has not only been crossed, but to quote a line from Friends “You are so far over the line…the line is a dot to you.”
I am speaking, of course, of bribery.
With my first 2 kids, the only time I ever used bribery was for potty training. I worked well, and it became very clear to me that my oldest (at age two) had great bladder control when she peed 5 separate times in 20 minutes, simply to get the candy.
I had seen other parents use bribery often, and I had come to the conclusion that it was counterproductive, making their lives more difficult in the long run, and it wasn’t doing the child any favors, either. I read books that convinced me of its evils, and I decided early on in my parenting career that bribery was not going to be a tactic employed in this family (see above exception). And it’s really worked out fairly well…until now.
Toddler yells every time I come near him to buckle him into his carseat. “NO! I DO IT!” He arches his back, crosses his legs, shrieks, rolls over, you name it. Well, since driving around without him strapped in is another line I won’t cross, I have the option of letting him do it, which takes 20-30 minutes and is still unsafe, or I can wrestle him into submission. Wrestling him one-armed is a battle I can’t win. (I feel like the one- armed man from “The Fugitive” but without the whole wife-killing thing). He’s extremely strong and extremely wiggly, and he’ll win every time. But if I say “Hold still, let Mommy buckle you, and I’ll give you some chocolate,” he jumps right in, puts his arms in the straps, and the shriek fest is over. I simply have to wipe his face when we reach our destination. Hmmmmm……
Same thing with changing poopy diapers one handed. It requires him to lay very, very still of his own accord, which rarely happens, or I have to hold him down with my feet (”NO MOMMY!! STUCK!!!). Or I simply wave a cookie in front of his face, and he is as still as a statue until I declare him all clean.
Getting him dressed when he’d really rather play with balls…well, you can see where this is going. I have totally caved, and am now regularly using bribery, even though it goes against my sense of “good mommying”. The thing is, I want to go back to no bribes when the cast is off, and I know it’s not going to be pretty.
So if you see a woman driving around left handed, with a car full of kids and chocolate (or flavored Altoids work well, too, and don’t even require the face wipe. SEE how over the line I am, when I’m getting BETTER at it?), just pray for her, because she has fallen into Shadow, and I’m not sure even Gandalf can save her.
09 Jan 2006 07:42 pm
By Heather O.
All of my Christmas is basically down–the tree is stripped, ready to be put back in the box (yes, we did fake this year, and I’m actually a big fan, but I realize that debate is a post in and of itself, so let’s just let it go, shall we?) The boxes for the ornaments, etc, are in my living room, waiting to be filled, and everything is taken down from my walls, tables, etc.
Everything but the Christmas cards. They are still happily displayed all over my piano.
I love Christmas cards. I love sending them, and I love getting them. I love picking out which font of “Season’s Greetings” I get to put on the cheap cards from Target I send out. I love picking out which picture gets put on the cards, and I even like picking out the stationary I will write my letter on, and the envelope it will go in. No white envelope for me, oh no, I like the Christmasy ones, complete with Santa Claus stamp that makes everybody go “Hooray–it’s a Christmas card!” And my Christmas letter is usually written right after Halloween. I love it.
I know a woman who hates it.
This woman is not a Scrooge. Far from it. She does Christmas extremely well, and is usually done with all of the busy stuff well ahead of schedule so that she can spend the holiday doing what is most important–focusing on family and the Savior.
But when I say she doesn’t like it, I am talking about the whole Christmas letter thing. She says it goes back to when she was having a particularly difficult time in her life. Ok, “particularly difficult” doesn’t really begin to describe some of the things she has been through, but in the interest of TMI, we’ll leave it there. She said it used to drive her crazy to get letters about how great everybody else’s life was when she felt like she had nothing positive to say about hers. Her life has picked up since then, but she still hasn’t worked up the courage, faith, stength, energy, whatever, to write her own letter, thinking about how painful some of those early letters were to her.
So, my question is, how much of our lives should we share with others, either through Christmas letters, blogging, talks at church, whatever? Is it wrong to want to show off what our kids can do, their accomplishments, the happiness in our own lives even when we know that others are suffering? Or is there a way that we can share our own happiness when things go well in our lives and still be sensitive to other people’s pain?
I hope that it is the latter, because I already have next year’s Christmas letter half written. I even picked out the stationary, 90% off at Target 3 days after Christmas. Gotta love it.
A sister blog
08 Jan 2006 02:53 pm
By Heather O.
Kaimi called it our competition, but I prefer to think of it as some more sisters, joining in the fun. It’s a blog called Tales from the Crib. It’s a good read–I’ll put a link on the side bar when I don’t have my family yelling at me to quit blogging already!
Guest post from Abby
08 Jan 2006 02:51 pm
By Heather O.
This is a guest post from Abby Bennett, who, gathering from her email address, is involved in those cool new shade shirts that are a must have for every Mormon woman. Am I right, Abby? Anyway, happy reading!
This one is to cheer the down hearted Wiz.
I am a regular mom. I have 2 girls, 3 and 18 months, and a boy, who I have most of his life, but give back to his real family after 6pm. I am also one of those tragic souls who was thwarted by nature from getting the families “skinny” genes. Therefore I am an exerciser. Now, I am not obsessed with regaining my high school pant size, but just maintaining cheek bones and a single chin. That said, I am also one who is plagued by exercise induced knee pain. After trying all the recommended ways to restore my limb to health I broke down and had knee surgery.
Nothing serious, just clean up a little here, scrape a little there sort of thing. Everything went fine,( although I did feel very vulnerable in that little gown they make you wear. If they are operating on my knee, why am I as naked as Eve in the garden??? ). So home I went with a pair of crutches and the instructions to remove the bandage in three days. Three days pass slowly with 3 kids and a crutch laden mother, but we made it to the day of the wound unveiling. It was Saturday morning, and loaded up on prescription meds I was feeling fine. I crutched my way to the bathroom to, you know, go to the bathroom and my littlest girl followed me. ( I’m sure I am not alone in never being alone in the bathroom.) While I was sitting there I decided to take a peek at my knee under all that gauze and tape. It was really an opportune time. I was there and my knee wasn’t hidden by knee length under clothes or pants. Perfect. So I unwound the bandage and took a quick look. Now I am not someone that has a problem with wounds. I grew up cattle ranching, and working for a Veterinarian, so I have seen my share of blood and guts, but for some reason the fact that it was my blood and my guts was a little disturbing. I suddenly felt faint. So I did what ever one knows to do when you feel faint. I put my head between my knees, and… I fainted. Next thing I remember, my husband is standing over me saying”WHAT are you DOING??!!” At the time I didn’t know what I was doing. I found myself lying awkwardly on the floor. My head was crammed into the corner where the tub, wall ,and tile meet. My knee hurt, my head hurt, and yes; in the words of my three year old, my bum was naked. Oh the Humanity!!! Apparently I had been lying there for awhile. My DH thought that the baby had dropped something. ( Yeah, a 150 lb. Momma) So, after hearing nothing from me he sauntered down the hall to take a look. And there I was in all my glory. My exposed nether region facing the door.
There is something that binds you closely to someone when the pull up your under ware as you lie on the floor in a heap.
I have a greater love for my husband because of that not so simple act of charity. And the fact that he refrained from laughing until after he helped me to bed.
I hope you all can have a good chuckle after reading this, and know that before you peek at a mortal wound, put a pillow on the floor just in case.
A New Battle
06 Jan 2006 03:52 pm
By The Wiz
Being in a cast is not good for me. It interrupts my healthy flow of chi, blocks all my chakras, whatever. I am convinced that when the technician wrapped my arm, the first layer was not cotton, it was a semi-solidified form of rage. Because, truly, I am feeling more rage now than is natural, and I believe the best explanation is that it’s seeping into my bloodstream through my arm. (Or maybe it’s because I chose a black cast instead of hot pink?)
I do not want to make this a list of things I am raging at, because, like any fire, rage only gets worse by feeding it. Once I start listing the things that make me angry, it quickly escalates from my immediate family (my 2 year old doesn’t hold still for me to change his poopy diaper left-handed), to people I know (apparently, Nate Oman found my fall fairly comical), to regional, national, and, given enough time to fuel my ever-growing fire with enough self-pity and anger, I can come up with injustices done to me on a global scale. No, really, I can. I’m quite talented at self-pity, once I get going.
So, I have to STOP THE MADNESS! Because changing diapers and wrestling an octopus into clothing made for humans isn’t going to get any easier until I have the use of two hands back, which won’t be for another 5 weeks. And 5 more weeks of insisting on how hard this is isn’t going to be fun for anybody to listen to, especially not my DH or my kids.
It is hard. Harder than it should be, in my opinion, and I have reason to complain. But so do a lot of people, and complaining isn’t helping. I can see that it’s fairly toxic to my family. Because, as we all know, if mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy - and if Daddy ain’t happy, nobody cares.
So, I’m trying to dial down the rage. I know, as mothers, that we have all had to fight the self-pity demon at certain times in our lives. Any good visualizations? Any tips? Share the victory stories!!!! Because although I believe I am currently winning the battle, I could lose the war at any time.
Also, I would like to remind Nate that “Fools mock, but they shall mourn…..”
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