Saturday, January 10, 2009
I have been unabashedly absent from this blog lately, but after watching a recent 20/20 segment called "What Would You Do?", I couldn't sit silently by without speaking up, even if it is just on this under-utilized, under-trafficked blog post. Here's an almost 9 minute clip to view so we can chat about it. Please take the time to watch all the way to the end of the clip, as I feel that is the most important segment of the clip.
I have never encountered racism such as seen in the clip, but I have been present when a fellow human being was being harassed for one reason or another on several occasions. I have never hesitated to get involved in whatever way it would be helpful. In one instance, a cashier was being verbally abused by the customer in front of us because the customer had mistaken what day the taco special was on and wanted the cashier to honor the special anyway. She refused (the special was for Tues night and it was Sat afternoon) and the custormer got hostile. When he finished his tirade and it was our turn to order, my involvement amounted to me saying that I hoped her evening when better after that and continuing with my order. The customer then got verbal with me and the cashier (he actually came back across the restaurant to do so) and I kindly told him what I had said to the woman and asked him to calm down and go eat his dinner with his family so I could finish ordering. IT was pretty intense, but I wanted that cashier to know that she was not alone, and I wanted the customer to know that I would not idly stand by and witness his abuse of a fellow human being.
I tell that storry, not to try to brag about what a good person I am, but to point out what often gets overlooked in moments of anger, frustratioin, and/or racist outbursts. Our common humanity. How easy is it to stereotype someone if it suits your situation? All telemarketers are evil folks whose only goal in life is to disrupt my dinner. Or maybe that telemarketer is a single mom just trying to earn enough to buy some food for her family and has been hung up on and told "no" rudely all day long and just needed to hear that one kind and friendly voice. All skateboarders are loitering property vandalizers who need to get a life and stop launching themselves off of my front porch. Or maybe they are foster kids who have no place else to go and have never been taught better than to skate wherever they felt like it.
I think racism is smaller issue within a larger one. How easy is it for us to take the humanity of others for granted? What would you do if you saw someone else treating someone poorly? What do you do when you are out and about in the world? How do you treat your fellow humans? Do you show them Chirst's love and acceptance? Do you stand back and let things take their course? Are you the abuser?
These are all things that I have been caused to ponder myself after watching that segment. We are all created in God's image. We are all made of the same flesh. We are all God's children. Are we living like we truly believe that? A lot to ponder.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I usually dislike election time and politics in general. This year proved no different. In the wake of all things political and the big shake up in Washington this election, I am left wondering, where do I fit in? I do want to have a voice in issues that matter to me, my family and my neighbors. I still could care less about "politics". I feel more and more convinced each day that "politics" continue to get us nowhere, but there are some things in my life that would really change for the better if political figures would take a vested interest and make the changes that I would like to see.
So I guess this is just a train of thought kind of post to try to sort things out for myself. These are the things that I care about and would like to see move forward or change, whether through grassroots social movements or political involvement-
- Reform in the FDA and other governmental regulatory systems that seem to care more about the "bottom line" than the health of the general populace. This includes taking a better look at alternative medicine; eliminating harmful chemicals from olur childrens' products and foods, our cosmetics and toiletries, and our food supply in general; better regulation and labeling of genetically modified and/or cloned foods; stricter import inspections and regulations
- A deeper care and respect of life from the womb to the tomb. I would see this including better discussions and policies concerning abortion, elder care, poverty, healthcare, capital punishment, the foster care system, nutrition in public schools, and care of the disabled, the mentally ill, and veterans/military personel.
- Keeping the right to school our own children as we see fit.
I know that's not my complete list, but its a good start for now. As I lok back over that list, it has kind of struck me that government will never be able to accomplish what God can by changing hearts one at a time. I have always believed that effective change has to start fromt the bottom up, not vice versa. We are even realizing that in the church we now attend. It has been shocking to me at times the mindset of some of the older folks at church. If it ever happens, it will take years and years to accomplish change in that Body. RIght now, we are sure that is were God has us. The time for complaining and whining is over and the time to plunge in head first and get involved is upon us. I feel the same way about this country I was fortunate to be born into.
It is very easy to complain and stay detached. What kind of change can happen when I start to say "yes" to God when He brings up an opportunity that may seem uncomfortable, inconvenient, or even unsafe into mine and my family's lives? I can't wait to see! Pray with our family as we seek God's path for our lives and follow Him wherever He leads. Pray for the Body of Christ and the nations of this world and their leaders. We could all use some prayer.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
This evening while getting the kids ready for bed, Eddie and I overheard a conversation between our two oldest sons.
Karlos- Bobby you be the creditor and I will be the frog
Bobby- I don't want to be the creditor. You be the creditor.
Me- What did the frog do to get a creditor after him?
Karlos- He lives in a river and he does a lot of jumping.
Me- Did he take out a loan or something?
Karlos- Yes, he took out a loan
Me- What was the loan for?
Karlos-The loan was for jumping. Jumping for 40 minutes.
Me- How much money was the loan for?
Karlos- (holding up ten fingers) It was for 10. Ten dollars. Bobby, are you going to be the creditor or not? You can be a wild dog or a baby wild dog.
Bobby- I want to be a baby wild dog. I am a dangerous creditor!
(In case you ddin't catch on, they were actually meaning "predator" but it was too fun listening to them play "creditor" to correct them. Hee hee)
Friday, September 19, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
This post is terribly belated. A while back (maybe months ago now) I won a contest that Kristen hosted over at her blog, We Are That Family (you should really go check out her blog by the way. She is just hilarious and never fails to make me laugh until I feel like I am going to spit something out of my nose).
I wanted to say thank you to Karen from The Rocking Pony for graciously providing the prize for this contest. Since I won very close to Karlos' birthday, I let him pick out the T-shirt he wanted from all of the wonderful designs Karen has in her Etsy store. Karlos picked her design "Tired Little Robot". I think he looks adorable!
Thanks again to Kristen and Karen for giving Karlos his new "favoritie" shirt!
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
I'm not really sure where to start with this post, but I guess since confession is good for the soul, I'll fess up first.
This has been a monumentally horrible week for me as a parent. Last Sunday we stopped for some Del Taco on the way home from church because we were all really hungry and there was nothing to eat at home because I had fallen behind on the grocery shopping and prepping nurtritious meals that could be fixed in a short time. It became obvious in the next few days that our family had been unintentionally poisoned by a hidden source of wheat or soy in our food because neither Karlos nor I were at our best come Monday. I was feeling sluggish, cranky, and achy all over and Karlos was a quite frankly, a terror to behold. I realized what was going on almost immediately (thank you God!) and was able to have the mercy, grace, and discipline that our family needed to make it through the day. Tuesday was a bit better. Wednesday was a nightmare.
I don't know what got in to my boys, but on Wednesday, they just would not listen to me. They acted like they didn't even hear me at all. All three of them! This time it was Bobby who was the main instigator. I remember Karlos going through a similar stage at age 3, but that didn't make it any easier because now there were three very naughty little boys running like maniacs through my house. We went on a walk. Still crazy. We ate lunch. Even crazier. Then came naptime. Wait, forget naptime, lets call it Crazy time. Boys jumping on beds and throwing toys and bedding willy nilly into the air. I was outnumbered. I think Wednesday was seriously the closest I hope to ever come to having a nervous breakdown. I started calling friends and family to see if I could get another adult over here to help calm things down. No dice. No one was home. I called Eddie to give him the low down on the situation, but what could he really do except tell me to calm down and "we" will figure this out. Wrong thing to say to the frantic pregnant lady who has just become the mother of three monkey boys. There was no "we" about it. It was me and them. No outs. Finally, I cried out to God for help in my despair. Immediately the phone rang and my blessed and dear freind Sammy told me she could be here in less than 20 minutes. Thank you God! Needless to say, we all survived that afternoon.
The rest of the week was a breeze after that. Until today. I don't know what happened, but I was just having an off day. Everything was getting me down, into a terrible funk. I was able to pull myself out of it by dinner time and was doing much better until my angelic little cherub, Elliott, in his toddler enthusiasm and innocence, hammered on the bedroom window with a platic toy monkey wrench and BROKE THE WINDOW. There was glass all over the three freshly laundered beds (seriously, I has just finished making the beds after washing the sheets, mattress pad, comforters, and pillow cases for three twin beds!). Then I had to call our landlords, who just happen to be my parents, and explain to them how the unsupervised one year old had just broken the window and could they please come over, after having worked all day at my brother's condo getting it fixed up to sell, and secure the window so my boys couild go to sleep tonight in their bedroom without glass falling down on their heads. Perfect.
I got all of the glass shards vacuumed up and was in the process of picking up all the boys tools while Eddie gave them all a bath to get them out of the way, when my parents came over to fix the window. My dad climbed right on the bed with his dirty shoes and proceeded to screw a board in over the window and spreading sawdust over all three beds. So I got to vacuum the "clean" beds all over again. Did I mention that I am almost in my third trimester of pregnancy? At that point I sat down and cried. I was wondering if maybe I should just have my parents go ahead and board up all the windows because I just know this is not going to be the only time. If it was the 5 year old or the 3 year old who had done it, then it would be the only time, let me tell you! But of course, it was the 1 year old, which is the only thing that saved his life today.
I got it together enough to pray with the boys and get them into bed for sleep. Then I set about my nightly chores, getting ready for the busy week ahead. I realized that I had not finished my Bible study and I have such a busy day tomorrow that I didn't think I would have time to work on it like I normally would, so I decided to sit and finish it before bed tonight. Guess what verse popped out at me from the study...
Psalm 30:4-5 " Sing praise to the Lord, all his faithful people! Remember what the Holy One has done, and give him thanks! 5 His anger lasts only a moment, his goodness for a lifetime. Tears may flow in the night, but joy comes in the morning. (GNT, emphasis mine)
Oh how I needed to read that! Then came a question later in the study, "Can you think of anything recently that you got too busy to stop and really thank God for?" Can you guess what I wrote? Of course, I had to thank God for allowing me to parent these three, soon to be four, wonderful boys. Here's a list of what I have to be thankful for-
- Thank you God the health and vitality of my boys
- Thank you God or the love that my boys show me every day
- Thank you God for giving my boys kind and tender hearts
- Thank you God for giving Eddie and me the opportunity to train our boys in Your ways and show them the love you have for all of us.
- Thank you God for the inquisitiveness and curiosity that you have given my boys
- Thank you God for teaching me more about my relationship with you through my relationships with my boys.
Every day as a parent is a journey. Some days are easier, some days are harder, but looking back and looking towards the future, I would rather be on this journey than not. By the grace of God, all of my boys have survived birth and infancy and I could not imagine my life with out each and every one of them, I don't even want to! I am just so grateful that God entrusted me with these little miracles. That is what I plan on clinging to on this rocky journey, as well as clinging tighly to my Lord. I have truly been blessed!
Monday, September 01, 2008
Let's see, where to start....hmmmm....
Well, I am sure you may have noticed the two new buttons at the top of my blog. I have recently become a contributor for the online women's magazine, Bilissfully Domestic. I will mainly be contributing to the Home and Garden section, but I may branch out as I have time and interesting things to talk about. My first post is gong to be about my favorite organic gardening resources, but keep an eye on it for much much more to come!
In honor of the launching of the new Bilssfully Domestic site, Sylvia (another awesome contributor!), is hosting a HUGE giveaway on her blog. "A Tad Bit Prudish". Please head over and check out all the great things you can win and support Blissfully Domestic by clicking on the link in this post (until I can get those buttons working. EDDIE!!!!) :)
In other news, I have planted my Three Sisters garden and it is growig in quite nicely! I will have pictures and updates on that as things grow. Also, look for a post in a few months about how you can put together your own Three Sisters garden next spring!
Last, but definitely not least, we found out a few weeks ago that we are having another boy! We are naming him Miguel John, in honor of four very special men of God that we know- LwC's very own tuffy (whose name is actually Michael John); Eddie's brother (Jose Miguel); a friend of my family, Miguel Juarez, who you can pray for right now as he and his wife Minnie are down in Mexico battling flooding in their home and village from the storms that are hitting. The town has completely flooded three times in the past three years and their home is right now under two feet of water; The last person we wanted to honor was our family friend John, who is living in Central Asia now, with his family and our other good friends who moved with them. We are so honored and pleased that we can honor these fine men by naming our fourth son after them. It's quite a legacy to live up to!
I hope to be a more frequent visitor to my blog, now that I am contributing over at Blissfully Domestic. We'll, see. :) Thanks for stopping by!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I just found out today when we visited our local Trader Joe's store that any of their private label food is guaranteed non-genetically modified. This from the Trader Joe's website, "Action Issues"-
Our customers can be assured that all products in Trader Joe's private label are sourced from non-genetically modified ingredients. Our efforts began in 2001, when we determined that, given a choice, our customers would prefer to eat foods and beverages made without the use of genetically engineered ingredients. Our process has been to identify any product containing ingredients that could potentially be derived from genetically engineered crops and work with our suppliers to replace offending ingredients with acceptable alternatives.
This is great news for our family! It means we can save even more money. We have had to be very choosy about what we buy organic because of the rising costs of food and living in general. Eddie and I put our heads together and decided that the things we would not budge on were buying GMO-free foods and certain fruits and vegetables that are considered part of the "dirty dozen" when it comes to pesticide use. We were buying organic in the foods that are most likely to be GMO (yellow corn, canola, soy, and cotton) but now we can shop at Trader Joe's (which is less expensive anyway!) and buy anything in their private label worry free! Thank you so much Trader Joe's!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I have been putting off writing this post, but this stuff has been tumbling around in my head for almost a week now and I thought it might be good to get it all down and sorted out a bit. I don't know if I had mentioned it here before, but one of my life desires is to some day become an assistant midwife. I would like the road to that goal to take me through doula certification and some kind of lactation consultant training, if not certification. I really have a heart for pregnant women and their babies and I really do love everything about birth.
I had originally planned on starting my doula certification process this last year, but one thing led to another and I never ended up starting, officially. I have been slowly but surely gathering the books I need to read and have cracked a few of them already. I guess this just isn't my doula season yet though. :)
Although I have given birth to three children naturally, and hopefully a fourth one coming up here in the fall, I do not feel like I am the know all end all expert on natural childbirth. Far from it! I know what works for me. When my brother called me to tell me that the time had arrived for their baby to come, that is the perspective I left home for the hospital with. I packed a few things that I knew had been helpful during my birthing experiences and just planned on staying for a bit to help everyone get settled. I was there a couple of hours, her water had broken naturally, but she was only 34 weeks, 4 days pregnant. I guess the powers that be decided that this baby could wait no longer and decided to proceed with Pitocin. This is where my inexpertise in birth really kicks in. I have friends that have gone weeks with ruptured membrane and the baby has been just fine. I guess being exposed to the alternative side of childbirthing makes me more likely to "question everything" that the status quo takes as normal.
I stayed for a few hours, but had to get back to my boys, so I promised to come back later that evening after Eddie got home, to check on how things were going and see if I could be of any more help to them. I felt good leaving them with an admonition to "Drink a lot of water and tea and eat eat eat!" My brother called me a few times at home with updates and then I headed back in the evening, expecting to mostly be a spectator and stay in the room and be supportive as long as I was allowed to. In the hospital where they birthed, only three extra people were allowed to be there when pushing began. I figured that I would be the last person they would ask to stay.
When I arrived labor was already in full swing. I believe she was 5 cm dilated when I got there and starting to be in a good amount of pain. I had heard her mention previously that she wanted a completely natural birth, but in my personal experience, that is very hard to achieve in a hospital setting. I was hoping to help as much as I could. I had my rice heat pack to warm up, a birthing stool, a pitcher of Raspberry Leaf, chamomile, spearmint, and honey tea that I made up at home, plus various massagers and snacks like nuts, dried fruit, and whole grain muffins. There was a shower in the room too, so I thought we were set. The first draw back was that she was not allowed to use the shower because of being induced with Pitocin. The second drawback was that the nurses refused to warm up the rice heat pack because their microwaves were for food, not patient's heat packs. The thrid drawback was that the nurse continually kept asking if she could give the mother Fentenol in her IV because it would "help labor progress more quickly". She came and asked at least every 10 minutes, finally resorting to telling the mother that if she didn't take the Fentenol, her cervix was going to swell up and she was going to have to have the epidural she was trying to avoid and possibly end up in a c-section. For crying out loud!
The only thing I could do was rely on God. I prayed that He would give me direction and wisdom in how to deal with the situation. My biggest desire was that I wouldn't be pushing my own natural childbirth agenda on the mother and taking over her birth experience. I just wanted her to be informed, but also to feel like I was on her side no matter what she chose. I really have no idea what being a doula is all about yet, since I haven't been trained at all, but I know how I would want to be treated during my own birthing experience, so I tried to use that as my guideline. I felt like I needed to establish a team attitude with the nurse on duty, but she was not making it easy. I could tell she didn't trust me, and I really didn't trust her, but I was determined to work with her as much as she would let me. I was hoping to convey that attitude to my brother and his family as well, because I didn't want it to ba an us against them situation. That would end poorly for all involved. Can I say again how terribly inadequate I felt for this task. I know this is long and rambly, but I need to process all this so I can sleep tonight! Sorry that you have to be along for the journey.
I mostly just tried not to contradict the nurse right to her face. I waited until she left the room, and then I offered information to help them make the best decision for themselves. They had originally agreed to take the medicine, but by the time the nurse got back with it, they had changed their minds because they were better informed. I just tried to offer encouragement and information as needed. The thing about the nurse that I did like, was that eventually I was able to win her over. I thanked her for at least letting the mom get out of bed and cope with her labor however she could (it is unusual that women who are hooked to an IV are allowed to walk around, in this hospital) She said that as long as the baby looked good, she would continue to let the mom walk around. Because of the trust I developed with the nurse, I was later able to talk her into leaving the room for 5 minutes so I could give the mom some homeopathic remedies which are not allowed in that hospital. I asked in a vague way, and because of the trust, she let me do it. That was totally God. I mostly just coached the mother to breathe, drink, breath, drink, breathe. God totally gave me the confidence to take charge and get her attention and be the safe beacon in the midst of her labor to focus on. It was pretty cool.
Okay, to wrap things up, it came time to push, she made it the entire labor with no drugs or epidural, and even though she was scared about having an episiotomy, she came through everything with flying colors. I found that since I am not really a doula, I didn't know what to do about the follow up stuff that doulas usually do (at least in my experience with them). When Karlos was born, our doula stayed with us for a bit after he was born, then came and brought us dinner when we got home from the hospital. She made herself available morning or night if I had breastfeeding questions, she showed Eddie how to make icepacks for my sore bum and she just took good care of us. She was so helpful, both Eddie and I feel like we would not have made it through the experience as successfully as we did without her. We even named Elliott after her. She is now one of the head nurses in the maternity ward of the hospital where my nephew was born. I didn't get to see her, but sometimes I think about why she chose being a doula or nurse instead of being a midwife. She had three of her five children at home with a midwife, why did she chose the hospital as her place of operation?
I think I may know now. As hard as it has been for me to attend or hear about births where pain relief is used (because I wish all mothers and babies could have the natural beautiful births that I have had, not because I think everyone should be a masichist like me) I have realized that there are those few who have no other options, whether in reality or because of that lovely status quo again, and they need doulas like the one I had for Karlos' birth to remind them that they have the power within themselves to birth that child in whatever way they determine is best for themselves and their baby, no matter what the hospital tells them or pressures them to do. Does that make sense? I guess I feel like God just really gave me the opportunity to be able to use my experiences to help another mom realise her potetial. I think that is mostly what it is all about.
I'll probably have to go back over this later and do some heavy handed editing, but I think I got enough out tonight to be able to relax and go to sleep, Thanks for sticking with me. :)
Sunday, August 17, 2008
The little guy is doing well! You can continue to pray for him, as he has developed jaundice and has to be under those wonderful blue lights. I have heard from his parents that he hates the eye cover he has to wear while he is under the lights. He is also still not sucking, so that's why he has the feeding tube in the picture. Isn't he cute!?! Also, please continue to pray for his mommy's milk production. It is getting better, but still isn't up to full production yet.
Thanks agian for all of your prayers. Yay God! :)