Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happy Happy Birthday

Today is Fiona's First birthday!!

(This was taken at 3 months)

It's a remarkable experience as a parent to watch 12 months of growth and development unfold for the first time. It reminds me of flowers actually... like the slow motion process of the buds opening. Only you don't just go to bed with a bud and wake up to a blossom, you watch every single moment of the process.

I don't think I have blinked much this last year.

Lately her favorite thing is to say "all done" after completing almost any activity... but particularly after eating. She is a baby sign language wiz and loves learning new signs, yet her favorites are MILK and EAT... however she just learned the sign for BATH and we are working on THANK YOU.

She is full of energy and excitement for life. She also has an infectious laugh, loves to be chased, thrown in the air by daddy and runs away naked butt from diaper changes.

She is completely pure, innocent and wonderful.

I feel lucky to be her mommy, and I hope her first birthday is magical!
More birthday photo's to come.

Right after Chuck took this photo he remarked, "You guys make weird camera faces." Thanks Chuck :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Cats Away

But the mice in this house are not playing yet... we are too busy huddled nervously in a corner wondering how we will manage. Chuck left at 3:00 a.m. last night for a week long trip to Utah. He is going to get our living situation are squared away and check some other things out. This is my spring break for school so luckily I have no classes to go to.

I am going to try and keep myself REALLY REALLY busy. Hopefully that will take my mind off of it. I really do appreciate my husband and his HUGE role in my life. With him gone it feels like someone lobbed off my arm. I wonder how I will hold up as a mommy with no breaks!!! Chuck is always good for letting me have my little moments of Zen throughout the day. Even if it's just long enough to use the bathroom in solitude. Normally when I bring her in with me she stands up right next to the toilet and pinches my thighs and tries to close the toilet seat on my back (I am trying to teach her what "No" means, I am even working on my VERY SERIOUS No face. yet she still seems oblivious). I love Fiona, but I love her even more when I get a rest from the hair pulling, poking and crawling all over me.

Mom breaks are my sanity and they help me in the end be a happy more productive parent.

Luckily my mom shares the same spring break from her school bus driving job. We are going to Fargo to see my sister, and hopefully my other Minnesota sisters too.


Oh and speaking of Cats and Mice.

I realized the other day that on my drive to school I pass a store called "Purrniture" which of course sells custom cat furniture. It made me laugh the rest of the way to school.

And Chuck saw a mouse in our kitchen the other day. It actually didn't really surprise me because well... there is a constant flow of crumbs on the ground with Fiona around. We have done nothing about it. But last night I had a dream that I looked behind the stove to find the mouse and there was a tiny black man back who asked me for something to eat. Maybe I should investigate.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Follow up on previous post.

I really can't stop thinking about this... it keeps me up at night, so as I am up 2 hours early and thought I would clear my mind. Most of these thoughts are really in response to comments made by Tammy.... thanks for being willing to talk about this with me.

I understand that when speaking of abortion often the extreme cases as brought up in defense. These being rape, incest and some cases of medical conditions where the mother would not survive if the pregnancy went to live birth. I can understand why a women would question her desire and ability to carry a child that came from such a traumatizing and cruel event as rape or incest.

The reason I posted statistics for the reasons given by women was to show that the majority of abortions preformed (in Minnesota) are not from the above mentioned cases. Here are the numbers:

58 cases were rape
17 cases were incest
42 cases life threatening/ health complications

These numbers are still high in my opinion. And in the cases of rape and incest almost make me feel as if penalties for rape and incest need to be a little bit more intense. Like maybe we should be removing testicals or some other type of castration for people found guilty of such crimes. I think that would send a powerful message. Because these numbers are only portraying the women that became pregnant from such crimes, it is apparent that there were many more cases of rape and incest that occurred in the state of Minnesota not reported here.

(Ok so I just had to look it up... 1,709 rape cases reported in 2009 for Minnesota we were ranked 21 out of the country. Number one, California with over 9,000).

HOWEVER, this only amounts to 117 of the 12,388 abortions (that's only 0.94%). I think that even though these extreme cases exist abortion should NOT BE AN OPTION for the population at large. It is obviously being used as birth control (7,906 reported having unprotected sex at time of conception).

I also understand that there are some babies who are born into REALLY BAD conditions like parents who abuse substances and are abusive. Yet it just seems like Life is still the better option. I know many people who grew up in really horrible circumstances of abuse and neglect yet have grown up to overcome these challenges and are really incredible people for what they have been through. These people become chain breakers in long lines of abuse, addiction and hurt... they end the "traditions of their fathers." On the other hand there are others who fall into the same family patterns and never seem to rise above it, yet there is still hope that next generations and new life in that family can have a profound impact.

It's like Gianna Jessen the abortion survivor. I would say she is have an amazing impact in the world.

I watched an interview from President Obama's campaign where he said he is pro choice because he trusts women to make the decision themselves. How can we trust women to do the right thing with statistics like these?

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Silent Holocaust

I had to do a Community Assessment for one of my classes this semester. It was over 200 pages of data I found on a county in West Virginia... you might have heard of it because it's where Jaime Oliver did his "Food Revolution." I was kind of shocked when I found the abortion statistics for the state of West Virgina... it was a little over 1,000 and I thought if all 50 states had that many that would be over 50,000 babies.

I was curious to know of Minnesota's numbers... especially after hearing a statistic that 60% of ALL BLACK babies in New York are aborted every year. What I found shocked me.

Seriously I am posting this to make a statement. This makes me want to cry, and not just because I am pregnant and emotional, but because this says A LOT about our society and what we value. I seriously feel the need to take some kind of stand. What can we do about this!?

2009 Minnesota Abortion Statistics (not all statistics given, click here for full list)

Total Abortions Performed: 12,388

Abortions to women 18-19: 1,207

Abortions to women 20-29: 7,318 (I used to think it was mostly teen girls... not so)

Abortions to women 30-39: 2,863

Abortions to unwed women: 10,395

Women who had previous abortions: 5,037 (it listed numbers for people who have had 9 or more)

Method/ Suction Curettage (sucked out with vacuum) : 9,294

Selected Reasons Listed for Early Termination:
  • Economic: 3,597
  • Don't Want Children: 7,269
  • Want to Finish College: 609
  • Single Parent: 841
  • Already have kids don't want any more: 383
  • Relationship problems: 234
  • Unknown: 1,999
Abortions Since 1990 (1990-2009): 286,573

This is ONE state. ONE. Out of 50. And the numbers actually seem to be declining. During the early 80's it was closer to 20,000 a year.

I know that many of you who read this blog have strong views about this subject. It gets brought up from time to time by my peers in school or at the doctors office and I just cringe. I hate that this topic is considered controversial... almost to the point of being taboo to talk about. It is not taught to be wrong in school, merely a Choice that women get to make.

Last week I heard my baby's heartbeat (I am about 10 weeks along) There is a live human being in there.... not just some mass of tissue.

I find it interesting considering Chuck's line of work for the last 2 years. He worked with adults who are completely incapable of caring for themselves. They can not speak, feed themselves or even use the restroom with out extensive care and assistance. These disabled adults are HIGHLY protected by the US governmental and federal regulations. To the point that almost every moment of their life has to be recorded and documented by the people who care for them. Yet helpless fetuses are left at the mercy of their mother and whether she deems their life of any worth... or worth her time and money.

This is sick. Our society is so sick.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Check it

Got a new sweet picture for my header. Thank you Adam Kennedy. He took some photos at my Grandma and Grandpa's 60th wedding Anniversary and I really liked this one. Mostly because it is pretty true to life. Fiona is front and center and Chuck and I are slightly faded in the background.

Gotta Love it.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Your baby can...READ?!?

When Fiona was about 4 months old my mom graciously and generously purchased the "Your Baby Can Read!" learning system by Dr. Rober Titzer. If you don't know what I'm talking about you can watch the infomercial.

The basic premise is that your baby's brain is developing fast in the first few months and years, so why not seize the day and just teach them how to read. The "program" or "regiment" can begin as early as 3 months and consists of 2 sessions of a 45 minute video a day and then reading the books with your child everyday.

I was apprehensive about this at first because I read somewhere not to let your kid watch TV till they are 2... (any thoughts about this parents?) but I thought I would give it a try anyhow. I started with the book which Fiona seemed to enjoy it... mostly because I make funny noises when I show her the pictures. Then I tried the videos and wondered who can get a BABY to sit down quietly in front of a video of flashing words and pictures for 45 minutes? Especially once she was crawling she had absolutely no patience for this.

I did get kind of excited because it seemed like she was starting to recognize the pictures in the books... but NOT the words, she would just look at me like... ok I want the PICTURE MOM! Then I realized that for "first words" they try teaching are pretty tricky... like, Elephant, Blanket, umbrella and bucket. I remember the first book I learned how to read (when I was like 5 or 6) was Hop On Pop by Dr. Suess and pretty much every word in that book is three letters or less.

The program quickly turned from Your Baby Can Read, to Your Baby Can Tear Pages Out of Books.

It seemed that every time I turned around the books were missing more pages. And sometimes in the middle of reading she would violently reach forward and wolverine a page out.

I have seriously taped almost all the pages back into this book twice... and then I just gave up.

My mom was a little miffed... I guess this program cost a chunk of change. So most of the books (except the ones made with durable cardboard) are hiding from her.

Maybe we'll teach her to read when she's 2... so she can impress her friends, and then I can stop reading to her and just throw her a book at night... because seriously, how is a baby going to survive in this world if they can't read?!?!?!?

Kidding.... I think I will just let Fiona stick to what she enjoys and is good at right now...

Like taking things out of cupboard and making messes. Love you Fi!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dump Truck

Almost through week six of feeling like absolute hell or as I tell Chuck most mornings "Like I got hit with a Dump Truck." Two weeks ago to add to the fun of constant nausea I got this head cold that would not seem to go away. IT was actually kind of nice for a little while because I couldn't smell anything and could eat a lot more than I was previously.

Then like a good mommy who shares I gave my nasty horrible no good head cold to my baby. Who has been a wreck for four days now. If you are a parent I KNOW you completely understand this, having a sick baby is an incredibly exhausting and trying experience. Chuck has taken on caring for us both.... thanks Chuck and sorry you have been puked on so much. Fiona has found that she can sleep on his chest which has kept Chuck pretty much glued to the couch with a hot little potato on his chest. We actually think this is kind of cool though, Fiona has never been the cuddly type or one to fall asleep in our arms.

Yesterday my jaw and teeth started aching.... turns out my head cold invaded my sinuses and caused a nasty infection. I started taking antibiotics yesterday and hope to be better soon. Seriously I don't know how much more of this I have the capacity to withstand.

I have a new profound appreciation, or perhaps sadness for people who are terminally ill, or even more so who have children who are.

I also want to know HOW people stay positive during challenging times such as these. I must say that despite my best attempts to just grit and bear and BE HAPPY... I have felt like (as previously mentioned) swearing at strangers, lighting small animals aflame, and picking up large furniture objects and breaking them. Basically I have NOT been coping well at all. I feel like a nut case, and wonder what it felt like to be a happy, healthy person.

So here are some videos that are in attempts to cheer me up. Hope you find them amusing as well.