Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Little Mama Milestones

          So this post is dedicated to the little milestones in a first-time-mom's life.  You know, the ones where you can spend the day not in bed and not end up with a fever by supper.  Or when that little run in with mastitis is gone, only to be replaced by a tiny turn with thrush.  Okay, so maybe not everyone encounters those.  But there ought to be small celebrations for spending the day outside of the bedroom; for no longer feeling like you've been run over by a truck.  (Giving birth for the first time is a full body experience, let me tell you.)  The day nursing actually doesn't hurt anymore.  Your first little outing as a family - for us it was to mass - and the baby doesn't scream bloody murder or want to be fed.  The first large gathering where everyone gets to meet the new arrival.  The first trip out, just baby and me.  Being able to vacuum and do dishes without Daddy being home.  I would probably be able to add laundry to that list if we had a washer here - juggling laundry baskets and the baby at the laundromat is a bit too much for me at the moment.  That first grocery shopping trip.  Figuring out that nursing in public is almost no big deal.  That first shower where you don't have to rush, because the baby no longer thinks he needs to eat every hour on the dot.  
          Though it was such an awesome thing being able to take that shower, the best thing is realizing that I can do this whole mothering thing.  Not only am I capable of it, I rather enjoy it.  Feeling confident in myself, that I can take care of the baby and the house too.  No longer feeling useless.  I know feeding and changing and feeding the baby are good things, and housework can wait, but it really is much better now that I can spend my time in a clean, mostly uncluttered apartment.  And stretching.  Oh my goodness, is stretching just the most amazing thing ever!  In all seriousness, though, it is good to be back to feeling like me again.  :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Are You Sure It Hasn't Been Forever?

          Eight weeks ago today, at 1843, I had a child of my own that I could hold in my arms.  After 9 months of anticipation, and a couple months of "My goodness, when will this be over?" I could finally see what my baby boy looked like.  And, now that it has been a while, I can see that he looks just like his father, only with O'Neil eyes.  Anyhow, from the moment we brought him home, it seemed as if we had always had him, like there never was a time without him.  So it quite honestly comes as a little shock whenever I recon his age.  How could it possibly have only been 8 weeks ago?  He has grown so much, and I feel almost as good as I did before we were expecting him.  2 months on Saturday?  Impossible!  Yet, not only is it possible, it is reality.  Perhaps it is because we spend nearly every hour of every day together that it seems like life has always been this way.  Oh, sure, I can remember what it was like before him, how much freedom I had (going to bed when I wanted to, and not getting up until I wanted to *sigh*), but overall, it was worth it.  Supremely worth it.  :D

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ten Minute Tuesdays: Beached Whales Debunked

          Once again, it is Tuesday, and that means you get to read my ramblings for a whole ten minutes!  Not that it will really take that long to read, unless it does, I've never timed it before.  Anyway, I was thinking yesterday, while trying to roll myself up and off the couch, that the phrase "like a beached whale" is inappropriate.  Why?  Because it is inaccurate.  Granted, I suppose, it is hyperbole so perhaps I shouldn't be so harsh.  But it is inaccurate.   Whales, when beached, have a tendency to kinda just flap their flippers and tail for a while, then expire, unless a group of kind-hearted people stumble across it in such a predicament and have the means to pull it back into the ocean from whence it came.  Not a lot of people can honestly say their experience is quite like that of the whale.  Some might be unable to do more than flail a bit while facing the possibility of expiring, I suppose, but I certainly am not one of those.  Rather, what came to my mind was "walrus".  Walruses are meant to be able to get around both in the water and on land, albeit it is quite difficult for them to drag themselves around on a glacier, especially the larger more rotund ones.  At the moment, standing, walking, sitting in the table chairs are my water - ease of movement is complete.  But that couch and the bed, man, I am totally feeling like a walrus every time I have to get up - flail a bit, flop a bit, roll a bit, and eventually heave myself up to my feet.  Thus, it would be much more appropriate to use the phrase "like a beached walrus" rather than "like a beached whale".  

Thursday, September 27, 2012


          So I think the nesting bug has finally begun to bite a bit.  Unfortunately, the nesting fever seems to be exhibiting itself in the form of a great desire to bake and store food, which in other circumstances wouldn't be a bad thing.  For the present, though, the midwife would like me to stay away from processed foods and stuff as much as possible, focusing on proteins and fruits and veggies  until Jose arrives.  Such instructions are not compatible with muffins, shortcake, brownies, pancakes, french toast (oh how I love french toast!), etc.  *sigh*  You can probably guess what kind of food eating spree I'll go on after the birth!  Thankfully I have rationalized apple crisp as healthy, so I can somewhat satisfy the desire to bake.  
          In regards to the typical nesting, I finally have the diaper bag I wanted, so I can pack that in preparation for going to the birth center.  Trying to put the apartment in order will be a bit more of a challenge - it is hard to organize stuff if there really isn't much room for it.  I currently have four different piles of baby stuff stuck in corners, because the closets are all full and there is no room anywhere else.  Our apartment is listed as 600 sq. ft. but there is some doubt about it actually being that large.  Not complaining about the size, it is nice and cozy, but it is a little difficult to find good storage space.  Hopefully we will be acquiring some dressers so we can unpack the suitcases we have been living out of and gain a little bit more usable floor-space in the bedroom.  Plus it would be nice to have something more convenient than a Rubbermaid bin for the baby clothes.  And to finally put the cabinets up so they are no longer sitting on my counter.  That would be nice.  
          I'm trying not to let myself get too stressed out about all the disorganization because I know we do have a little bit of time, but Jose is going to be here before we know it, and I would really like the apartment to be in order by then.  Especially with people coming to visit afterwards.  I know they will be coming to help and stuff, but it will be so much easier if the apartment is in order to begin with.  Oh, well, guess we'll see what happens.  In the meantime, I'm going to go play with my new diaper bag!  :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ten Minute Tuesdays, Sort Of - Protest Against...

          So I am aware that it is no longer Tuesday, and thus I am late.  Sorry.  But things were a little busy for me yesterday.  Anyway, the whole Ten Minute Tuesday thing might not be a link up after all, as Rachel over at Testosterhome explains in her most recent post.  *sigh*  And I was looking forward to doing more communal bloggy type things.  But oh, well.  There is nothing to stop me from trying to keep up my own Ten Minute Tuesdays!  It might be a good thing for me to practice anyway, considering I'm not posting anything else, and maybe it will help me to be better at posting more things of "value".  
          Recently I found a youtube video of kids protesting Michelle Obama's healthy lunch policy.  I was impressed, and subsequently liked their Nutrition Nannies page on FB, to kind of keep up with the news in that area.   After sharing another post from them, I realized how exciting it is to stand up to those we do not believe are right, to protest authority, etc.  I actually rather like it - it's kind of like being able to live out for ourselves one of those legendary stories from either history or elsewhere.  Then it struck me how we should get the same thrill from standing up to Satan and sin.  What better thing is there to rebel against?  Yes, it is hard, but standing up for what one believes in always is, and the rewards for rebelling against sin will be infinitely more satisfying than protesting against unfair school lunch mandates.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ten Minute Tuesdays Linkup

          So Rachel Balducci over at Testosterhome, a pretty amazing blog about life with lots of boys, has come up with this idea for a linkup called Ten Minute Tuesdays.  The idea is to take ten minutes and just write whatever thoughts pop into one's head, and then linkup somehow.  I'm not too sure about how to do the whole linky-uppy thing, but I figured I would give this one a try.  Perhaps I'll get better at posting things more often.  Anyway, here goes, and I hope slightly premeditated ten minute spewing still counts.

          Today is a typical rainy day, as in rain all day kind of rainy day.  It started out looking pretty awesome out there, all blustery and rainy and stormy, but has now basically calmed down to rain in spite of  the tornado, hail, and basic destruction warning.  It is a good day to just relax inside, snuggle up on the couch with a warm nummy drink and chill.  I was actually kinda happy to see the weather this morning - there is something about the power of the storm that calls to me, begging me to come out and enjoy it.  Alas, such opportunities are going to be rare for me for a little while.  The woods are a little more difficult to get to here, and there is rarely anything fun about traveling in a car sopping wet, even if it is only a short distance.  *sigh*  So I forewent the walk, and decided on indulging nostalgia with condensed chicken noodle soup for lunch.  I know, not healthy but still.  Turns out they changed it, or my memory is not so good, because it wasn't like I remembered it being.  And then I spilled it all over the counter while trying to pour it into the bowl - splashed out over the sides it did.  So now the weather has calmed down to just a depressing rainy day, and my mood unfortunately with it.  Now to figure out what to do with the rest of my day...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Carthago Delenda Est

          It may be noted as not irrelevant here that certain anti-human antagonisms seem to recur in this tradition of black magic. There may be suspected as running through it everywhere, for instance, a mystical hatred of childhood. People would understand better the popular fury against the witches, if the remembered that the malice most commonly attributed to them was preventing the birth of children. The Hebrew prophets were perpetually protesting against the Hebrew race relapsing into an idolatry that involved such a war on children; and it is probable enough that this abominable apostasy from the God of Israel has occasionally appeared in Israel since, in the form of what is called ritual murder; not of course by any representative of the religion of Judaism, but by individual and irresponsible diabolists who did happen to be Jews. This sense that the forces of evil especially threaten childhood is found again in the enormous popularity of the Child Martyr of the Middle Ages. Chaucer did but give another version of a very national English legend, when he conceived the wickedest of all possible witches as the dark alien woman watching behind her high lattice and hearing, like the babble of a brook down the stony street, the singing of little St. Hugh.  G. K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man
          So I have been slowly re-reading The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton, and this quote really stuck out to me as one that is so pertinent to our current state of affairs.  While most of us readily assent to God being one of the living and not the dead, I'm fairly willing to assert that most of us do not continue the thought far enough to come to the conclusion that the Devil must be one for death rather than life.  I suppose this is because the idea of the demonic scares the snot out of most of us - I know it scares the snot out of me.  If God is of the living, then His opposite must be of the dead.  
          The Devil's work is quite obvious in this world, if viewed in such a way.  Many speak about a "war on women"; "war on the family"; "war against tradition"; but I believe these are all branches and covers for the real war, the war against children.  The Lord is the God of life, so what better way to smite Him than to wage war against the very thing which symbolizes life and brings hope to the world?  And to bring this war about under the banner of a distorted notion of "the Good"?  The most abhorrent societies in history are those which sacrificed their children to the "gods"; the sign of a declining society was one which held children in disdain; and our society must surely be counted among them.  Our ritual murder is named abortion, and at this altar we sacrifice our children to the "gods" of 'Selfishness', 'False Compassion', 'Misplaced Pity'.  There are those who preach the Culture of Death while clinging to the vestiture of Christianity, in defiance of the One who died so that all may live.  Though the Devil knows he can never ultimately win the war, it must bring him much delight to steal the souls who subscribe to his war cry of "Death!" under the guise of "Life", that which men greatly desire, and only God can give.
          But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them, "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such as these belongs the kingdom of God.  Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it."  Mark 10:14-15  RSV

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Calorie Counting

          So, with only 8 weeks til D-Day, it turns out that I am under-size.  In the past month, though the numbers on the scale have gone up, then inches of my tummy have only increased by 1.  Apparently not a sufficient number, and now I have to keep a food log for this week to see if I can increase my caloric intake.  And I'm not so sure it is working.  Yes, I am eating more, which is good, but the most calories I've been able to calculate is around 1500, which is an appallingly small number, considering I've been eating 8 times a day, and I can't imagine how few I was eating before actually making the effort to remind myself and force myself to eat more often.  Granted, the 1500 is not taking into consideration the caloric count of supper, mostly because I decided that math was too difficult for me to try and figure out, but still.  My best day was Friday at 1856, which included pizza and a milkshake (though I had to guess the calories for both of them, and may have been too conservative).  This whole food thing has been the most stressful and frustrating part of pregnancy for me - there is too much to keep track of (protein intake, now caloric intake) and it gets me all frazzled real quick.  *sigh*  And I'm probably going to get in trouble when I hand in my food log for not eating enough protein.  Top it all off, a friend informed me the other day that there is a possibility that my appetite may not come back after delivery, even if I am breast feeding, so my only hope may have just flown out the window!  :-/

Monday, August 13, 2012

One Year

          Wow.  It has been a whole year since I took the Mister as my husband, and he took me as his wife.  And we have come such a long way since that day.  The first six months were hard, due in part to what we didn't even realize were unrealistic expectations; little hopes, dreams, and promises that could have been fulfilled but the effort they needed wasn't taken; failures in communication in regards to the disappointment of the aforementioned, or the unexpressed desire for new things to do.  Adjusting was hard, there is no doubt about it.  Even if you do marry your best friend and think you know a ton about them, there is going to be a bit of a learning curve when you move in with them.  Sure, you learned a lot about them when you were dating, but now you have to learn how to live with them.  You will see more of who they are in a week living with them than you have with however much time you spent dating.  How goofy, silly, serious, weak, strong they really are.  And it will be good.  They will be learning a whole lot about you as well, and it will be good.  It will take time to adjust to the rhythms of living life with each other, and when that eventually happens you will once again remember exactly why it was that you wanted to do this whole crazy marriage thing in the first place.  As with most things in life, those that are the hardest to achieve are the most worthwhile, and marriage is no exception. 
          Through all of the turmoil and strife (that I mostly caused...), my husband has been there for me.  As many times as we had both thought "What have I gotten myself into?"; as many times as I have failed to be the woman I am supposed to be, even the woman we both thought I was;  as many times as I thought I honestly could not do this anymore, my husband was there to hold me and not once did he let go.  He is my best friend, my support, my lover - everything I need and then some.  Though I know we have a lot to work on - that whole helping each other get to heaven bit needs constant attention - I also know that this is where we are supposed to be, where God wants us, and we are going to make it.  
I love you, Mister, and here's to many, many more years together!  <3

Friday, August 10, 2012

The First Time

          So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them.  And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth."  Genesis, 1:27-28 RSV
          I found myself wondering the other day what it might have been like to be Eve.  You know, to be the first woman ever, and therefore be the first woman to ever experience pregnancy.  I'm sure she and Adam were aware of how babies came to be, especially before The Fall when they had all that super-knowledge and everything, but there certainly is a difference between knowing intellectually and actually experiencing something.  Eve didn't have a mom or friends to give her advice and tell her the general things to expect.  After The Fall, she lost her super-knowledge and was left in the dark regarding the workings of her body - what must it have been like to undergo the physical and emotional changes of pregnancy with no foreknowledge whatsoever?  Can you imagine how a conversation between Adam and Eve could have gone that first time 'round?
Eve:  "Adam, I think something funny is going on.  I've been feeling these weird bumps and things inside my tummy all day...  Do you think it's getting bigger?  I do..."
Adam:  "Now that you mention it, I do suppose your stomach is a bit protrude-y....  Hold on a minute, let me go check out the sheep."  (Wanders out to the field, comes back)  "Well, I'm no expert, but I think you just might be...with lamb."  
Well, I suppose it could have gone a bit differently, but it most likely was a monumental moment for both of them when they finally realized what was going on - together we made another person, and I am are carrying him inside of me!
          Thankfully, though, they did have a bit of insight into what labor and birth would be like (God can be kinda nice like that):  To the woman he said, "I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you."  Genesis, 3:16 RSV  I can't imagine what it would be like to be facing labor and birth without knowing what it might be like.  Though perhaps not knowing about the pain at all might have been better....  Nah.  I'd rather know it was going to hurt, at least then I could sort of pretend like I could prepare.  I'm told that there can be great pain and agony during childbirth, and sometimes even afterward, but such horror stories are also accompanied by "But it's all worth it to have this little one to love."  Pretty sure Eve must have felt the same way:  The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.  Genesis, 3:20 RSV

Monday, August 6, 2012

Necesse Est...

          I need to run.  Badly.  It happens when I get stressed, worried, have something on my mind.  I feel the tenseness almost to the core of my being, my muscles itching and burning for a release.  Running.  It is a need to run until I can't run anymore, until my mind and body are clear again.  Running prevents a minor emotional breakdown which would leave me feeling slightly better emotionally, but physically sick and tired.  I need to run, and badly.  But my pregnant body cannot physically handle it anymore.  To run as I wish to run would leave me hobbling, eventually incapacitating my ability to move at all.  Would that I could go for a run!
          Today hasn't turned out quite the way I had thought it would.  I had a decent amount of things I had hoped to do today, and maybe a quarter of them got done.  It's not the end of the world, I know, but sometimes it feels like it.  And I'm beginning to worry and stress about this whole having a baby thing, as in about two months I will be giving birth and will have a baby to take care of.  Kind of an overwhelming thought right now.  I'm not that worried about the actual labor itself, but more about the after part.  The part where your sore, and hormones are all out of whack, and life is so completely different than it was before.  I can't do this; I'm not ready.  9 weeks.  6-ish weeks until we have to start paying attention for signs of labor. I am not ready for this whole new level of being a grown up.  Oh how I wish I could go for a run right now!

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


          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

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Went through an equine phase, some of
which turned out pretty well.
          Nicknames can be a wonderful part of life, a symbol of the affection one person has for another, albeit ofttimes a bit teasingly.  My first one came from my brother and his inability to pronounce "Jennifer" when he was young, so for a while I was "Fuffer".  Kinda cute, no?  Dad is the only one who still uses it, mostly in it's shortened form "Fuff", though often he incorporates it into my name making "Jennifuffer".  I use "Fuff" to sign my artwork, but my skill is rather juvenile so you don't need to look out for it in the museums or art shows.  
Tigger with Eeyore.
Eeyore was always my favorite though.
          In my high school years, once I came out of my depressed shell (I'll write about it someday), I acquired two more nicknames:  "Psycho" and "Tigger".  "Psycho" came from my first year of basketball, having never really watched or played the game before, not really understanding what constituted a foul, and throwing my whole self into the playing of the game.  Needless to say I was a bit, um, scary on the court.  "Tigger" was the result of my energy during those years, having found friends to hang out with and grow with.  I was happy and bouncy and fun, much like the stuffed tiger himself.  Also, there was a brief time I remember the moniker "Snickerdoodle" on account of Snickers being my favorite candy bar; but that wasn't used much. 
The Blue Hen is a real breed of chicken,
and is also the Delaware State Bird.  Who knew?
          Then came college.  There were actually quite a few people there that I knew from the home school group back home, but overall we didn't end up hanging out all that much, so my old names eventually became extinct.  (Though I think "Psycho" may have been apt still...apparently I'm intense or something.)  Anyway, new nicknames invariably follow after making new friends, and that is where I got my "Blue Henn" moniker.  A couple of my friends were into pronouncing names with Spanish pronunciation, so my "Jenn" with a "j" became "Henn" because the Spanish "j" says English "h".  Add to that my favorite color, blue, and thus "Blue Henn".  It turned out to be rather fitting, as I *love* chickens and have been informed that I am a "mother hen" type person.  I'm not entirely convinced of the veracity of my "mother henness" but oh well. 
Marvin is just about the only
Martian we have pictures of...just Google it!
          The Martian got his name a bit more scientifically.  It was after the March for Life freshman year, a bunch of us went to the Air and Space Museum to gain extra credit for Astronomy, and he was one of the party.  (We were not really hanging out at this time hardly at all, though I did count him a friend.)  One of the exhibits had to do with Mars, in particular the rocks found on said planet.  According to the sign, the scientists had done tests or studies or something on the rocks in O.H. and found that said rocks greatly resembled the terrain on Mars.  So, logically, we decided that the Martian must be a Martian, seeing as he was born and raised in O.H. where the rocks are like Mars rocks.  Quite scientific and logical, wouldn't you say?  
Because it's pretty, and I like needlework.  :)
          Baby Chick quite easily followed from the "Henn", so I guess that is about it for nicknames.  Oh, by the way, I also have a theme song, thanks to one of my friends - Eye of the Tiger by Survivor.  Said friend would sing "Henn! Henn Henn Henn!" to the tune to the intro of the song, and now every time I hear it I hear her singing in my head.  Naw, I'm not crazy or nuthin'.  ;)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Red Button Complex

          How quickly things can change.  We went from "shouldn't have to work late this week" to "didn't have time for lunch and have no clue when he might get off" in a matter of 24 hours.  And the possibility of a date night seems to be disappearing much in the same way as a morning fog dissipates with the sun and wafts away on the breeze.  Goodness knows, at this rate the cream I got for the homemade alfredo sauce is going to be chunky by the time I'm able to use it.  Thankfully bacon and pasta have the decency to not spoil.  And the wine is still at the store, which means there might actually be some when an opportunity for date night does finally arrive.  
          Times like this cause me to wish I didn't have to work on that "self-control" thing, that I could just eat/drink/do something because that is the impulse I have and I don't have to want to worry about the consequences.  Like the brownie mix sitting in the closet, just begging to be made, then eaten in one sitting.  Or the booze that is tempting me mentally currently - my shopping list is 30% alcohol at the moment, though I won't be getting all of it.  Of course, it doesn't help that alcohol is now my "red button" issue, and will be until after J.B. is here.  What do I mean about red button?  Well, it is the tendency to want to do what we know/are told we are not allowed to do, like "Don't push the red button" and had we not been told, we wouldn't have even thought about it, but since we were, it is all we want to do.  Sometimes it is easy for me to ignore the "red button" calling, but man, there sure are days when I wish I could just hit the darn thing.  With a sledgehammer.  

Monday, June 18, 2012

Baby Chick Is A Boy, And Scheduling "Date Nights"

          So, for those who must be *dying* to know who is coming in October, here is your update.  Joseph Benedict will be welcomed into our arms in October!  The ultrasound was good, though I was a bit, um, stressed when we arrived because we were late, and there were dire warnings about the results of being late.  But it all turned out well in the end, though we still have no clue as to how adorable our boy is, because it turned out he was a bit camera shy.  And has no apparent clue about modesty, so the only (2) pictures we have are proof of his masculinity, but that is about it.  Hence no photographic evidence shall be posted.  I'm glad he is a boy - I have long thought that a boy as oldest would be, well, ideal.  There is something about a well-raised oldest boy, and his subsequent brothers, that makes for excellent men.  Plus it means I get to put off the dolls and princesses and "you be the mommy" and such that seem to accompany girls...  It is much more fun to play trucks and planes and army men and destroy Lego walls.  (Did I mention I am somewhat of a tomboy, and that girls scare me?)
          This will probably be the only time I use his full name on here.  I think I'll refer to the children by their first and middle initial after the official "Who's Coming" announcement, and all subsequent pregnancies will be Baby Chick.  And my dear husband shall be The Martian, which shall be explained in a later post.  :)
          Even though J.B. isn't actually here yet, and therefore doesn't interfere with much of anything, it turns out there is a necessity for us to schedule "date nights".  Yes, schedule, because the Martian does not come home at the same time every night.  There are nights he comes home after the obligatory 8 hours worked, then there are nights when he comes home after 12 hours worked, but there is no telling really which it will be on a given day.  Not cool.  *scowl*  Not that we really have had any since we've been married (or even many official dates before for that matter), but lately I have been wanting to do something nice, but this "office job" is certainly getting in the way of things.  I just want to have the house nice and clean and tidy, a glass of wine ready for him when he comes home, and a slightly more upscale meal practically ready also.  Unfortunately the few times I have tried for something like this have turned out quite disappointingly.  Cold dinner is not cool, and while I understand rationally why he needs to work late, the accompanying annoyance isn't quite so nice either.  *sigh*  It's the little things, it truly is.  
Tean Bean Bake - not fancy, but really yummy

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Omphaloskepsis = Navel Gazing

          I'm vaguely aware that I have heard the term "navel gazing" before, but more recently encountered it on one of the blogs I follow, though I can't remember which one.  It took a little while before the funniness of the phrase set in - I do it a lot!  Not because I am really all that self absorbed, but because my bellybutton is undergoing quite the change at the moment.  Actually, my whole belly is.  This whole pregnancy thing is rather new, foreign, and different for me.  I was too little to remember when Mum was expecting either of my siblings, so I haven't had much experience of it.  Anyway, watching my belly button slowly loose depth, and knowing it is eventually going to completely reverse itself is something else entirely.  I've always been and in-y, but soon enough I'm going to experience what it is like to be an out-y too.  I'm glad to see my belly getting bigger, and the number on the scale going up, too.  It means things are progressing as they should.  Plus, I'm beyond the looking fat stage and am quite firmly in the looking pregnant stage, though it may not show so well with the loose t-shirts that are still my preference.  But it does mean that I have stopped using my belly as a drum.  Having "belly fat" was a new experience for me, and somehow noting its existence translated into drum on it.  Don't know why, and even if I did I prolly wouldn't be able to articulate it.  Why not? For the same reason I've tried to put the toaster away in the fridge, and use a butter knife to eat my cereal, - I simply do not know.  There are some days I wonder how I manage to make it through without creating some huge catastrophic accident.  Overall, baby brain drain isn't so bad - I was kind of not all there anyway - but my belly button is sure starting to look funny!  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

So, Are You Gonna Find Out?

          It seems that when one is expecting, especially with a first, one inevitable question is going to be "Are you going to find out what you're having?"  A reasonable question, in this day and age I suppose.  I personally have gone from "No" to "I wouldn't be opposed to knowing" to "I absolutely think it is a good idea to know." 
          Growing up, Mum always said that babies only come in two kinds, and don't you want to be surprised when the baby finally arrives?  Of course, there was always the "What if they are wrong?" factor that she also brought up, which made a really good argument for not having a baby shower until after the baby is born - much less likely to have a bunch of girl clothes for your little boy to wear.  And yes, they can be wrong.  A couple of years ago (or maybe a few more) a cousin of mine was informed they were having a girl, and when the day came, weren't they surprised to find a little boy instead!  Anyway, the basic gist is that my initial thoughts (when I thought about it, which was rare) were that I wouldn't really want to find out, but that if it happened (sometimes an ultrasound can be quite obvious) I wouldn't be all upset about it either.  
          Then I got to thinking more in depth about it, especially since I have been married (and it is now quite a real reality) and started volunteering at the Crisis Pregnancy Center here in town.  I want to find out, so I can stop referring to the baby as "it".  I usually end up using the plural "they/them" because it adds a bit of humanity to the situation.  My child is not an "it".  I also tire of saying baby, and would much rather use a name and the proper corresponding pronoun:  Joseph/he; Mary/she.  Finding out also means better praying for the baby:  invoking the specific saint or loved one the baby is named after.  Though I'm usually pretty good at generalizations, sometime it is nice to have specifics, and to be able to dedicate that child to the protection of a particular saint as soon as possible seems like a really good idea.  For a less lofty reason, it would be nice to know so our mothers - now grandmothers - can go shopping for baby clothes.  Yes, kind of a materialistic and utilitarian reason, but both of them are so excited about their first grandchild, and looking at baby clothes is so much fun, it would be nice if they had a specific gender to shop for.  Especially since they are 6 and 10 hours away and a little bit left out of the baby preparation process as a result.  
          I've also been wondering what, if any, impact such a thing could have in regards to how society views the unborn.  For the most part, I think people have moved beyond the "just a clump of cells/tissue" argument, and are more focused on the "right of the woman to choose".  This I find to be a good thing, because it seems to grant that the thing to be sucked out of the uterus is more than a clump of cells, that it is a baby.  By focusing on "choice" there is an implicit acknowledgement that there is another living being involved, but out of fear of what explicit acknowledgement might mean the argument is refocused elsewhere.  Basically, I think most people will agree that there is another human being, a baby, involved; yet the idea of person is still too abstract, too vague, to impersonal.  It is easier for a soldier to kill the enemy, but not so easy to kill one's brother, even if he is on the enemy side; it is easy enough to slaughter a pig or a chicken, but much more difficult to kill Wilbur or Miss Biddy.  The unborn need more than person-hood -- they need identity.  The more pro-lifers refer to the unborn as individuals and by name, I think the harder it will be for pro-choicers to deny it.  The more we expectant mothers and fathers refer to our unborn children in a similar way to how we refer to those who are born, perhaps the world will come to see how there really isn't so much of a difference after all.  I am a mother, my parents are grandparents, and have been since my child was first conceived.  The only "will be" involved was before - there is no "will be" now, now it just is. 
          After Saturday, we will know our baby's identity, we will know who we will be welcoming into our arms and home in October.  I will finally be able to refer to my child with the dignity and respect that is due them.  I will be able to call them by name, to pray for them by name, to love them by name.  And I simply cannot wait.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wild Horse Runner

          I was young, the first time I decided to run away, somewhere not much older than 8, I don't think.  My siblings and I were going to meet at midnight, get our packed and hidden things out of my closet, and book it for the woods somewhere.  Now, this desire didn't stem from the unbearableness of our childhood at the time, but more from a sense of adventure.  We didn't get very far - I fell asleep in my closet waiting for my brother and sister, who themselves couldn't have been much older than 5 and 4, respectively.
             The second time I was bound and determined to run away, I was somewhere around 13, and that time it was to show my parents.  I'm not sure what I was gonna be showing them, but I do remember the "that'll show 'em" feeling.  It was winter, and I was supposed to clean out the dog pen before the next day, or I wouldn't be allowed to do something, though I can't remember what, connected to my uncle/god father visiting the next day.  I was mad, because both Mum and I had a dog and it wasn't fair that I had to clean it out, especially since I think it was her dog that liked certain frozen "treats".  So I sulked for quite a bit, on the porch, because I wasn't allowed in 'til it was done.  Then I came up with the brilliant idea to rebel by leaving, so I left.  Just up and walked in the neighbors woods for a while, wondering if Mum would notice I was gone, what her reaction would be, and how much trouble I would get in when I got home.  Then, to waste more time, I quite happily imagined that the woods were still full of Indians and what I would do if I were captured, etc., 'til I kinda started to freak myself out - it was getting dark - then I headed back home.  And, to my chagrin and minor relief, Mum hadn't even noticed I had been gone.  
          For the most part, though, my desire to run flows from a major wanderlust, a desire to go and find something exciting and new, somewhere I haven't been before.  Guess I read too many adventures growing up.  I still suffer from this wanderlust, though now I mostly have it under control.  Except when I see the horses.  Horses in movies, horses in pictures, horses in real life, horses in my dreams - I fall apart.  I can't handle it.  I'm left an emotional wreck, my soul yearning for the wilderness, freedom, excitement of a life somewhere else.  And I want to run, run as fast as I can from the comfortable familiarity, monotony, and tepidity of my life and enter into an adventure.  Six out of the past seven nights, horses have been in my dreams, their presence growing stronger with each consequent night, passing from random background imagery to becoming the prominent focus directing my dreams.   I cannot tame them, these wild horses; perhaps because deep down I do not want to resist their siren call....
On The Autobahn

Friday, June 1, 2012

But... I Can Do It Myself...

          So, the car is in need of an oil change, and since I'm the one who isn't terribly busy with like, work, during the day, it has fallen to me to find someplace to get it done.  Now, I'm not really looking forward to this because 1) it will involve talking to strangers about a service needed, 2) which quite possibly could lead to me looking ignorant and vulnerable, and most irksome, 3) changing the oil is something I am capable of doing myself.  For the most part, I try to avoid situations which involve 1 & 2 as much as I can - email works wonders for that, most of the time.  I just love the impersonalness of it; sure, I might still look the fool, but at least I can't prove it.  When email fails, the next best thing is to get as personal as we can, and actually talk in person.  Quite a jump, I know, and I totally forgot the phone, right?  Not really - it has been my experience that talking on the phone is less reliable than both email and meeting in person, for the chances of misunderstanding seem to multiply by 100 when conversing over the phone.  Hence I try to use it as little as possible, and why I haven't scheduled an appointment for an ultrasound yet.  
          As for 3, I can change the oil myself!  Why pay someone else to do what you can do?  Besides, I enjoy playing car.  And it's cheaper!  Though it does leave one with the sticky problem of what to do with the used oil...  We already have about 2 gallons of used oil kinda just sitting around somewhere...  But alas, having someone else do it is a necessary evil.  We do not have the means to change the oil as efficiently and cleanly as Joe Mechanic can.  Our jack is too small, and to do it ourselves it is a two person job, which has come with its own set of frustrations each time we have done it by ourselves.  Then there is the problem of  having to dispose of waste oil.  *sigh*  I dream of the day when we will have the means to do such easy car maintenance ourselves!
          Why is it so important to me, you ask?  Because that is what I grew up with.  Dad was pretty great at tinkering on cars, which was good because the ones we seemed to be able to afford quite often needed some tinkering every so often.  Sure, there were many times where it would have been more convenient and less time consuming to just take the car to the shop, but you can imagine the money we saved from only having to pay for parts, and not labor!  At $80 an hour, and your brakes need replaced, that is quite the savings - replacing brakes is not like changing the oil.    Our vehicles were taken care of on our time; we didn't have to make appointments; had no need to figure out rides to and from the shop because the one car not in use had to be fixed...  It was nice.  God willing, our growing family will have a chance to be more self-sufficient as well, someday.  But now I suppose I should gear myself up, and actually go find someone to change the oil for us.  Yuck.  
Because a train is sorta like a car...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Right, let's see how bad I am at writing a short post...

          It was one of those amazing days - bright, sunshiny, green, fresh - everything screamed life!  What an amazing day to be alive on!  Flowers, birds, hustle, bustle, everything.  And it struck me, just how amazing life is, qua life.  It honestly is eternal - it never ends!  Yes, individual things come and go, live then die, but life itself does not stop just because one living thing ceases to live.  Now, I've never really made a study of evolution, but from what I understand it is all about life, the perpetuation of the species.  So this particular being has died, but in a sense it is still living in its offspring, in the generations follow.  From a simply materialistic point of view, this is a pretty amazing concept.  But, add to it a bit of the supernatural, and this idea is overwhelming.  For those who believe in the eternal life of the soul, there never will be non-life.  While the simply-naturals will argue that the end of the world will bring about a complete and total end to life, for to those who believe in the supernatural, life will never end!  Life is more than just the animation of matter, Life is God Himself!  Some creatures (non-rational beings) participate in the life of God in a temporary and temporal way; some (rational material beings) in a temporal and eternal way; others (rational immaterial beings) in an eternal way.  Though the material world may have an end, Life does not.  Life continues; Life endures.  

Monday, May 14, 2012

Now Picture This...

           Alright, so my last post wasn't the most positive.  Considering it was written on the heels of a rather black mood, that makes sense.  Perhaps still a bit shocking from a person who understands what this whole pregnancy thing is all about, and is really quite glad that all this annoyance means that, God willing, I will have a baby to hold, love, etc., in October.  But, if a pro-lifer such as I, who wanted to conceive and is happy to be expecting, could wish that I didn't have to go through this, just imagine how horrible it is for someone who didn't and isn't:
          Go back and read my Rant Against Pregnancy, and try and picture emotionally what I was kinda going through.  Got it?  Right, now let's add this to your plate - not only are you feeling slightly miserable physically, but you realize your period is kinda late.  Like, late in an "Oh, fudge, this can't really be..." kinda way.  So you take a test....results, positive.  Now, not only are you feeling like junk physically, but your psychological and emotional states are beginning to crumble.  Maybe you thought you were "protected", maybe you thought you were just immune - I mean, it hasn't happened before, right?  This so cannot be real.  
          What is your b.f. gonna say?  You haven't ever discussed this before, but you kinda have the feeling he won't be pleased, and there is a chance he will leave you, with the attitude of "It's your problem, you can deal with it.  Obviously something you did/didn't do went wrong".  The first doubts begin to enter your mind, brought on by the fear of judgement and rejection.  "It's all my fault...he's gonna leave me...I can't do this!"
          "My parents!"  At this thought, new panic begins to enter your mind.  "How will I ever tell them?"  You already know their position on unwed pregnancy, and those "little sluts who can't keep their legs closed."  Or perhaps your parents are more the type who started you on birth control when you were a teen, to prevent this sort of thing from happening - either way, you've gone and failed them, too.  Will they kick you out, disown you?  Where would you go?  
          Thoughts of judgement and rejection fill you with panic, you are emotionally a mess, and physically feel like junk.  You can't think straight, and feel like you have no where to turn - who can you trust?  All those close to you seem as sources of judgment and rejection, pain and loneliness.  You just want to make this go away, to have things as they were, to restore equilibrium.  There is a pro-life crisis pregnancy center in town, but you know how those pro-lifers are, all concerned about saving babies, and not so much concerned with the women who are carrying them.  To them, it is the baby who is in a crisis situation, and they couldn't possible hear or understand what you are going through, or how you are feeling.  Mentioning to them how you just want a way to make things right again, to make this go away, might as well be like telling a P.E.T.A. representative that you enjoy beating and drowning puppies and kittens for fun.  
          Maybe you've never really given much thought to abortion before, but then again, you've never really been in a situation like this before.  But you have heard that the people over at the clinic actually listen to the women who come to them, and want to help them.  You have heard that they will focus on you, and what your needs are here and now.  You know abortion ends pregnancy, which means your physical symptoms will go away too, and after spending so much time feeling sick, that is quite an appealing thought.  Your b.f. and parents will never even have to know about that test you took...everything will stay as it is.  
          Perhaps you believe that all abortion is doing is removing a bunch of cells; perhaps you believe that abortion ends a potential life; perhaps you believe that it actually kills a baby.  But you can't do this pregnancy thing on your own - everywhere you look, you find rejection and judgment, everywhere but the clinic.  You are so emotionally, physically, and psychologically drained, that you simply can not process rationally what is going on.  All you know is you are alone, and the only seeming light of hope is the abortion clinic.  So you go, and don't tell anyone.  
(If you think I'm exaggerating this, go and read the testimonials at  I dare you.)

          Many women contemplating abortion are in a similar situation to the one I described.  It is hard to try and put ourselves in their shoes, especially when we "know" so well that abortion is wrong, evil, etc.  But unless we can understand what is motivating these women to flock to abortion as an answer, we are never going to win the war against abortion.  To tell a woman in such a situation that she will be a murderer if she has an abortion only serves to add to her feelings of rejection and being judged, and does nothing to help her see that it isn't the only option.  Forgetting the women in our desire to save babies actually hurts and sends more to their deaths than it actually saves.  Yes, abortion is an evil that needs to disappear, but if we do not have the support in our hearts and communities that these women need, they will always turn to abortion.  Not only do we need to support women in crisis pregnancies, but also those who have chosen abortion as their way out.  Condemning and judging them in no way helps them heal, and only adds to the guilt and pain many are afraid to admit resulted from their decision to terminate their pregnancy.  We cannot possibly hope to change minds and hearts if we do not seek to understand where the other is coming from.  The most effective slogans against abortion are "Abortion hurts women" and "Abortion ruins lives" rather than "Abortion kills babies" and "If it's not a baby, you're not pregnant". 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Now I've Done It: Rant Against...Pregnancy

          So Mother's Day is just around the corner, and this year I get to be one of the women celebrated.  A nice idea, except on Monday I had a slight emotional breakdown because of this stinkin' pregnancy thing.  Yes, I said it, and in a very real sense I mean it.  I am so done being pregnant, and yes, I am still less than halfway there.
          It was all fun and exciting in the beginning, and I mean the very beginning, like the first month, maybe, that we knew.  But swearing ourselves to secrecy kinda killed much of the novelty and my excitement.  Add in morning sickness, and BAM!  First thoughts of "I sure as heck don't like this whole pregnancy thing, and it can totally be October now." (See My First 1st Trimester for some insight.)  Ugh.  Now that I'm not feeling sick, I'm freaking out because I'm not sure I'm eating enough (at 18 weeks I've barely gained any weight).  I'm beginning to look fat, am going to the beach in about a week, and don't have anything to wear (I could wear my old bathing suite, but then I'd be "that girl" who doesn't realize how horrible she looks with her rolls hanging out).  I could actually feel said tummy jiggling - jiggling! - at soccer this week and my performance absolutely stinks cause I'm more afraid of the ball now than I have been in, like, forever.  My brain seems to have decided to quit functioning properly, and trying to come to a decision about anything quite honestly leaves me rather confused.  Feeling the baby is more like experiencing weird huge gas bubbles than the butterflies everyone mentioned (honestly not a very pleasant experience for me, see here if you haven't already).  I find it frustrating to be treated with kid gloves all the time.  I'm tired of being asked how things are going, and trying to match the excitement and enthusiasm pretty much everyone else seems to be experiencing (I'm not really a terribly excitable person - I live in the present, and this is just how things are, why should I be so freaking excited all the time?).  I'm fatigued all the time, and feel like I'm not even doing a fair job at keeping the apartment running.  Oh, and did I mention that I'm too fat for my normal clothes, but not fat enough to warrant obtaining maternity clothes, while at the same time freaking out because I don't think I'm eating right?  Yeah, I guess that just about covers it - I just can't take the stressing anymore, and am so done with this pregnancy thing.  
          Now, I know the above might cause some, um, strong reactions in some people, but at the moment I don't really care.  That was what I was feeling, and have been feeling for a little while.  Not that I don't want this baby, because I really do, but I'm tired of things being constantly portrayed as super crazy bright and sunshiny, and if you express anything to the contrary then may fire and brimstone rain down on you.  I know conception and gestation are miracles, and greatly amazing ones at that, but pregnancy isn't always rainbows and butterflies.  I'm sick and tired of "the bright side of things" obscuring and ofttimes replacing reality.  Not that we have to be all dark and gloomy all the time.  *eyeroll*  But sometimes a healthy dose of reality is more readily accepted and a better antidote to some things than annoying, healthy, wholesome sunshine. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Real Margaret Sanger

          The following is part one of a research paper written by my sister, and I am posting it here with her full permission.  It is a bit long and parenthetically notated, but quite informative. For the second half, see The Real Margaret Sanger, Cont'd.  Her own words are found in the second part.  

          Margaret Sanger is heralded today as a hero for the women's rights movement in the early 1900's. She has been accredited to have fought fearlessly for a woman's right to be in control of her own reproductive health through the use of artificial birth control.  But was that really her reason for trying to make the use of birth control legal?  Could her mission have really been more about trying to control the population of those she deemed "unfit" than her trying to fight for the rights of women to use birth control?
          She was born Margaret Louise Higgins, one of eleven children, to Michael and Anne Higgins on September 14, 1879.  After attending Claverack College and Hudson River Institute, Sanger started the nursing program at White Plains Hospital and graduated from there in 1902 (A and E Television Networks).  She married William Sanger shortly after and had 3 children in Hastings, N.Y.  In 1910 her family moved into the City.  Even though their marriage ended in divorce she kept his last name of Sanger (A and E Television Networks).  
          Her work toward making birth control legal started in 1912 when she started a column in the New York Call called "What Every Girl Should Know."  And in 1913 she began publishing her monthly periodical "The Woman Rebel" which often emphasized a "woman's right to access birth control" (Witherbee).  By promoting and circulating such material she was in violation of the federal 1873 Comstock law which prohibited the promotion of "obscene" and sexually explicit material (Witherbee).  She was indicted in August 1914, posted bail and fled to Europe (Witherbee).  While in Europe she spent time with social "elites" where she learned of neo-Malthusian thought and readily embraced its ideology.
         Neo-Malthusian is a stance that built off of Thomas Malthus's fear of overpopulation.  Thomas Malthus (1766-1843) was an English clergyman, economist, and demographer who feared the threat of overpopulation if the population did not use more moral restraint in procreation (U of Colorado).  He proposed negative checks, also called moral checks, which included abstinence and waiting longer before marriage.  Through this "individual and moral choice" the threat of overpopulation would be stemmed (U of Colorado).  Neo-Malthusians, however, believe that the world population is in a "state of crisis" and that the overpopulation can only be reversed through the negative checks of artificial birth control, sterilization, and abortion (U of Colorado).  Neo-Malthusians blamed the poorer and lower classes for the overpopulation because of their high birth rates and therefore believed that the negative checks should be used against them.  The poorest communities were usually filled with immigrants, minorities, and the uneducated or under-educated and they were to be targeted to keep them from continuing to procreate, thus removing them from society.
          She came back to New York for trial in 1915 but the prosecutor dropped the charges because of the death of her young daughter.  In 1916 she "opened the country's first birth control clinic in Brownsville, Brooklyn" and was forced to shut down 9 days later because it was illegal to hand out birth control related material (Witherbee).  In 1917 she started publishing her monthly periodical "Birth Control Review", which often contained eugenic material.  In 1921 she founded the American Birth Control League (ABL) which was eventually renamed Planned Parenthood.
          For the second half of the posting, see The Real Margaret Sanger, Cont'd.  Her own words are featured in the second part.