Monday, July 30, 2012

10 Weeks

          So there are 10 weeks left (9 weeks, 6 days to be exact, but who's counting?) until Jose's due date.  Granted, I know the chances of him arriving precisely on that day are slim, but it is still a point to look toward nonetheless.  I hear "mommy brain" isn't much better than "pregnancy brain" but the total cluelessness and forgetfulness must eventually get better, 'cause moms sure do end up remembering a lot of stuff - play dates, soccer games, etc.  At the moment I'll settle for not feeling like a puppy out on a windy day.  Sniffing along some trail here, hearing a noise and having to investigate there, finding a new trail to follow, seeing some leaves blow then having to chase them, and never finding out where that first trail leads.  Honestly, the other day I forgot to take my second iron dose three times, after reminding myself of it four times.  Yeah.  Forgetting what I had just decided while over by the bedroom in the 10 steps it takes me to get to the kitchen, then remembering 4 hours later.  That's what I'm talking about - anything has to be an improvement.  
          I also had my first encounter with heartburn last week, which was not pleasant.  Not quite painful, but definitely not pleasant.  Though it does mean I will make a more concerted effort to eat smaller more frequent meals, something I've been failing at so far.  The thing I'm looking forward to most after Jose arrives, other than the baby himself, of course?  Getting my body back, but not in the sense of looking good again.  I know, for the most part, that my body will never really look the same as it did pre-pregnancy, but it will sure be nice to have my insides back!  Jose isn't crowding me too too much as of yet, but my!  How wonderful it will be to feel true hunger again, to have my digestive system working as it should, to be able to eat normal meals with normal people!  Perhaps I am just a wee bit shallow for being excited over such a thing, but it truly is the little things in life, is it not?  ;)  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Worth of the Mentally Retarded

          This is actually gonna be a short one, I promise.  Watch this video.  I know it's 9 minutes long, but you should watch the whole thing.  
People like this girl ought to be cherished just for the fact that they are human, they are people, regardless of the strain/drain they might place on society.  That being said, our medicine and science don't know everything, least of all the potential such people have to improve society, if they were only treated with the love, respect, and humanity they deserve.  If this girl were to have been institutionalized, most likely she never would have found her "voice".  I understand not everyone has the resources and time to devote to the special needs of many disabled, but those who do, whether parents, therapists, those who work in institutions, ought to do so in such a manner as these parents, with respect and charity.  How many more people could have helped give us such insights, if only they weren't aborted or shoved to some inconspicuous corner of the world?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

On Tragedies and Idiotic Responses (L-o-n-g Rant Warning)

Originally written 7/20/12
          So I get up this morning, and proceed on my normal routine of eating breakfast and checking the only 3 things I basically ever look at online (email, FB, Blogger) and see a mention in my FB newsfeed about a shooting at the premier of Batman in Colorado.  Of course, this link is a bit lacking in details, so I Google it, and read like 6 different reports on the incident, all of which contain the same basics of the incident as known at the time.  My prayers go out to those in Aurora and elsewhere who are experiencing pain and loss as a result of the shooting.  As I read the heart-wrenching details of blood and gore, fear and confusion my compassion for the victims became mixed with indignation at the manner with which some details were reported and the reactions of those who spoke out in reference to the tragedy.  
          Now, I do realize that in pretty much every age such tragedies are more often than not seized upon by some one or other for some sort of gain.  This seems to be a part of human nature, but that does not mean that it is not annoying and reprehensible.  Though I personally do not think politicians of any sort need to be involved in such a tragedy at any level, I do understand how upon hearing of one, people in public office might desire to issue a statement of condolence of some sort.  It is a human desire as well so offer succor in such instances.  But for the president to say that his "administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time.  We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded." (quote taken from second to last paragraph) is a bit overreaching to me.  His administration should have nothing to do with it; yes, the F.B.I. is involved, but they would do the same job whether the administration was there or not.  There is no reason for the federal government to get involved.  None.  In case you were wondering about bias, I would be critiquing any president in office who would speak so, not just the current one.  
          It also irks me immensely when people use tragedies such as this as their soapbox for why we need gun control.  I sort of understand where many are coming from on this issue - countries with strict gun control have fewer gun related crimes.  But that does not mean that the actual crime level is lower, only that fewer guns are used.  In general, criminals feel more secure knowing that a potential victim will be unable to prevent said criminal from doing what he will.  Further, as criminals do not obey laws, banning guns does not necessarily keep them out of criminal hands.  Sure, it might make them a bit more difficult to obtain, but not impossible.  Furthermore, in countries such as Britain where there are strict limits on guns, much of the time the victims who do try to defend themselves as best they can end up charged with assault on the criminals.  There was even one report of a man who found a weapon left by a fleeing criminal on his property, brought it to the police, and then was charged with criminal possession of said weapon.  Severe gun restrictions often result in more harm than good.  Then there are those who maintain that concealed carry is the only/best solution.  Perhaps, in many situations, yes; but I"m not so sure in this situation.  In a dark theatre with panicked people, I think the chances of "friendly fire" would have been very high.  Success rate would probably have been better had a bunch of them just jumped the guy; fewer accidental casualties that way.
          Finally, my annoyances at the reporting.  It is frustrating how much focus invariably ends up on the children who are either injured or killed in tragedies, especially considering the 3 month old mentioned could have been killed legally 7 months or so ago if the mother wanted to.  Yes, I understand the deaths of the young pull at our heartstrings more than the deaths of those older, but it doesn't change the fact that 12 people are dead.  People were murdered.  Focusing on the youth strikes me as a bit utilitarian.  It is also interesting that we are called to pull together as a country when a certain number of people die tragically together, considering the number of people who die or are murdered every day.  Are we called to stand in solidarity with their loved ones?  No.  But perhaps I just don't get the national day of mourning type stuff.  
             Now for my idiotic response, unless you already consider what I had written as idiotic then this is even more so:  I wonder why no one attempted to stop him.  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

HHS Mandate, Religious Freedom, Freedom of Conscience, and Armed Resistance

          So we went to see The Amazing Spider-Man on Sunday, and the loss of Uncle Ben got me to thinking about what it would be like if The Martian were to never come home again.  In addition to being a train-wreck for having lost my best friend, chances are I would lose everything else as well.  With J.B. coming in October, there would be no way I could possibly get a job to support us.  Not that our expenses are all that great, especially once our student loans are consolidated, but still.  And that emergency plan I have?  You know, the one where I go back to N.H. and live with my family?  Yeah, that one?  Well, thanks to Obama, that plan isn't really that feasible anymore either.  Because if my parents drop insurance, there will be no way they can pay for the prescriptions which help Dad to manage the pain from the arthritis in his back.  If he can't function because of the pain, he loses his job.  He loses his job, and they lose everything.  *EVERYTHING*  Sure, Mum could get a job, and my sister could just live there forever (no, she isn't one of those old lame people, she's still in school), and perhaps together they could scrape up enough to keep the house and pay the bills...except for the fact that they will get whatever living they manage to scrape together "taxed" out of them for not having insurance.  And it isn't just my family that faces this possibility; there are countless others who do as well.  
          Too much, I think, has been made of the "contraception" in this mandate, and not enough of the required, separate abortion surcharge.  Too much of the focus has been on the Catholic Church and her "mean-spiritedness in regards to women's health" in opposing birth control, and not enough focus on the fact that millions of Americans conscientiously oppose abortion.  This "Stand up for Religious Freedom" movement would be much better named "Stand Up for Freedom of Conscience".  Believe it or not, there are many who do not subscribe to any religion who oppose abortion, and they seem to be left out in the cold when using the term "religious/religion".  It seems to me, that the best way to unite all who would be opposed to this Mandate is to focus on a different issue, one which will have far more serious consequences than just forcing Catholics to violate their consciences in regards to birth control - millions of Americans are going to be forced to go against their consciences in regards to abortion.  And these millions, if they choose to honor their consciences and drop healthcare, stand to lose everything.  Honestly, I don't see an ending that does not involve armed resistance and bloodshed.  There are enough people in this country who will quite simply refuse to passively watch while they get thrown out of house an home; there are enough people who are willing to fight to keep what is rightfully theirs; there are enough people who would rather die fighting than waste away and die in some prison camp.  
"Live free or die:  Death is not the worst of evils."
~ Gen. John Stark; N.H. state motto.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Necessity of Life

          I have decided that life is a necessity for my well-being.  I thrive when surrounded by that which is living, be it plant, animal, or human.  I need the companionship of living beings.  I have only begun to realize this somewhat recently, as I began to seriously analyze the depression that customarily hits me whenever the Martian and I come back from some social activity or visiting.  Said depression would usually exhibit itself in the form of agitation and discontent with my current situation and a longing to be elsewhere, pretty much anywhere but here.  I had known that much of this was the result of the drastic changes usually associated with coming home after a great time, namely coming from a fun and active time and arriving home to a boring and listless environment.  But it is more than that.  It is the isolation and the deadness of being home that weighs heavily on my soul.  Thankfully, we now have Michael, and he really helps to liven up the atmosphere, but only fairly recently has he become comfortable enough to sing as much as I was hoping he would.  Before Michael, all I had were two plants to keep me company during the day, one of which kinda died on me.  
          The reason it has taken me so long to realize just how much I need life is because I had always counted myself as an introvert, a loner.  I spent many an hour alone in my high school years, wandering the neighbors' woods with my dog, and later my horse; I could spend hours contentedly reading some book or another, quite happy with not being bothered by another person's presence; so why was it so difficult for me to adjust to unemployed married life?  I was used to being alone for hours on end, so why was I so unhappy?  Because I never really was truly alone before.  That's right.  Though I was without human companionship and content with that, I was never really the only living thing around.  There were the dogs, cats, chickens, the horse, the great living outdoors which were my companions, and in the first 6 months of marriage, the only things I had for company for the majority of my time were my plants.  Talk about shock to my life and nature loving system!    
          What I really missed was the easy access to the woods.  Spending time in nature is like my spiritual, mental, and emotional recharging system.  The hours I spent wandering Karen's Woods brought me closer to God and provided a wonderful opportunity to meditate on the things going on in my life.  Here I was like a fish out of water, slowly suffocating in a foreign atmosphere.  Sure, there are trails around here, but not only are they public, they are popular as well, so the opportunity to get away from it all just kinda doesn't exist.    
          Originally, I was thinking of making the point that other things have a way of taking us out of ourselves, but I think I got a little sidetracked.  Though they do, and that is one reason why I think pets, or at the very least plants, are a good idea for kids, even if they have siblings to look out for.  There is something about other living things that get us thinking about something other than ourselves, and for me, my thoughts quite often turn to the Divine.  Anyway, more in line with the tone of the post, is the reflection that knowing what the problem is can often help one come to peace with the situation, even if nothing really changes from the knowledge, other than just the knowing.  Things are definitely much more improved for me, but knowing what the problem was is an added little bonus.  :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Look, I'm Just Pregnant

          So, I write this at a time where I am beginning to realize that I'm going to be needing a little help, from now until who knows when.  Yesterday I had to make two trips to the car in order to go do laundry (I usually carry both baskets at the same time; not anymore.), and today I was tired by the time I got to the checkout at the grocery store, and still had the not-usually-daunting task of bringing in the groceries and putting them away.  Needless to say, I'm kinda on the exhausted side at the moment.  I'm beginning to reach the point where I will (read that as need only to prevent something bad from happening) ask for help with things, and even quite contentedly let others volunteer their services.  But only because I know I can't do it myself.  Yeah, I'm foolish and proud like that.
          Up until this point, though, it really irked me when people would tell me that I shouldn't be doing x, y, or z because I am expecting, as though I am some sort of fragile invalid.  Yes, I understand it is out of care and concern for J.B.'s and my well-being, but honestly, I don't like being told what to do, or what not to do, especially since I know it is still within my power to not do/do whatever it is.  Just because I'm expecting does not mean that I have suddenly lost the ability to do laundry, go shopping, clean the house, or that said things no longer need to be done.  They do, and for as long as I am able, I will do them.  Yes, I know the Martian is capable of such things as well and will help out when necessary, but I also know the last thing he will want to do when he comes home after work is more work.  His time will definitely come, but it is not now.  Now is still my time.  
          All I have to do is look to the mother expecting for the nth time, and still has to plow through her day without taking it easy.  And all the women who came before us, on the pioneer trails, on farms, and elsewhere who didn't stop their lives because they were expecting.  They had to keep going, otherwise they quite simply would not survive.  And our Blessed Mother, who still had to do what she needed to do, and she was carrying GOD.  Seriously, if these women managed to not die and give birth to relatively healthy children, I'm pretty sure living my day-to-day life isn't going to hurt anything.  I do appreciate concern, but the whole "you're fragile as a china doll" attitude can certainly be done away with.  Yes, I'm a woman; yes, I'm pregnant; but that does not mean I am incapable.  Thanks anyway, though.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Cravings

          I have, for the most part, lost track of time in regards to my pregnancy.  In the beginning, it was easier for me to keep track of weeks rather than months so I just dismissed the months.  (I'm not so great at figuring out x weeks = x months; therefore months = unnecessary knowledge - except when speaking to the general public who have no concept of how many weeks a pregnancy generally lasts.)  But recently I have lost track of the weeks as well, and mostly just remember that October really isn't all that far away anymore, something for which I am glad, and yet a bit melancholic about at the same time.  While on his lunch break today the Martian pointed out that we have less than three months until J.B.'s due date, 10/7/12.  Time sure does fly!
          I had decided quite a while ago that I was not going to have cravings while pregnant, I simply would not allow them.  And I seem to be succeeding thus far, to my great pleasure.  The only kind of cravings I seem to have are directly connected to the presenting of something to my senses, for example smelling fries means wanting fries and seeing those pecan pinwheels means really wanting to buy them and had they not been presented to my senses it wouldn't have even occurred to me to want them at all.  Or remembering something I like that I haven't had in a while like the ramen noodles that were an impulse buy in the first trimester, because I saw them, hadn't had any in a while, and decided I ought to have them (they were on sale, and I'm a sucker for sales....pregnancy has only made that worse!), yet I have only had one pack of the 6 this whole time.  Unlike the ramen, however, I can't forget about the fries and cinnamon rolls after having had some - they are what could be classified as my recurring cravings.   I could eat them f.o.r.e.v.e.r.  But they were my "weak" foods anyway, so I don't view this as a recent development.  
          To me, cravings are illogical, and the reasons many give for cravings, both pregnancy and otherwise, don't make much sense to me.  Some say the body is in need of x, so there is this craving for y which contains decent amounts of x.  What I want to know is, how does the body know that y has x in it, or how it even knows what x is?  When food hits the stomach, it usually does so as one glob with foods indistinguishable from one another, and the absorption occurs much later than when the food is taken in, so how in the world is the body supposed to "know" what food just gave it what nutrient?  Makes no sense.  
And that is what I think about that.  
Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes