Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I am PC.

I'm going to come right out and say it. I am PC.

ACK! Not a Progressive Conservative (although I've been known to vote that way on occassion).

I believe in Pro-Choice.

I do NOT support the pro-life movement.

Nope. And not because I want to have an abortion. Not because I want to 'kill a baby' or any other horrifying rhetoric statement.

I believe in pro choice for one reason, and one reason only. Choice.

I believe each woman should be the SOLE person responsible for her sexual and reproductive health. We don't need anyone- not a doctor, not the government and not Church- telling us how to deal with our bodies.

I won't even begin to get into the 'right to life' debate. It's all been said before, in numerous ways.

As a grown ass woman, what I say is this:

If I were single, and found myself unexpectedly pregnant, should I choose to have an abortion, that would be my choice. The emotional consequences would be mine to bear alone. Should I choose to place my child for adoption, it would be my choice; but, I would not bear those consequences alone. I would be forcing my child to share that grief and loss of relationship; I would be forcing my whole family to endure that loss of relationship. If I chose to parent; once again, my choice, but again; the situation would be shared with the child and the rest of my family.

So, out of those three choices, only 1 of them affects solely the woman making the choice. The unborn fetus would not share an opinion because they would no longer exist- except to the woman who would still mourn that loss privately.

And pro choice is about much, much more than simply the abortion debate.

 Pro Choice is about the basic right to access good medical care. Birth control- so that less women find themselves with a surprise pregnancy. The right to choose what is best for our own lives and families.

It's about being able to make a mistake and not being made to feel like a monster, or a walking uterus for an infertile couple. Pro choice is only about choice, and being allowed to make an informed choice and being treated like we, collectively as adults, are competent to make those decisions for ourselves.

And before someone jumps on me with the whole "it's a baby!"  let me say:

The Arch Angel Gabriel came to Mary to ask her what her choice would be. She chose to have that baby. She chose to parent Jesus. But God wasn't going to force her to. What if she had said no?

And if God won't force a woman's hand, why should anyone else get to?

Here's a link to a great video- it had me in stitches

Women's Health Experts Speak Out

"Also it's a well known fact that women don't show up on camera." + "vaginas"= Funniest thing I've heard all day.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Teething babies suck.

I don't like teething babies.

That is the extent of today's post.

P.S. My husband has kindly pointed out that I don't like him either. He's right, I don't. He's sick and whines worse than the teething baby.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Guilt Can: a) Wreck My Happiness or b) Kiss My Ass

How many different emotions are there?

Happiness, sadness, love, hate, joy, hurt, pride, guilt, forgiveness, resentment.

Wait, why did guilt make my list?

I don't believe in "guilt". I understand it is there, and I understand that some people feel it keenly. I refuse guilt in my life. I try my hardest every day and I refuse to be 'guilted' or manipulated by anyone -my kids, my in- laws, my husband, or my friends. Notice my mother and her family didn't make the list. They don't believe in guilt either. I guess for some families/ people, it's a non-issue.

I simply refuse to live my life feeling guilty for something in that can't be undone. I apologize when necessary, and I move on from there. I do not hold grudges. I do not bring up the past over and over (okay, well, I TRY not to do that). That is something I learned from my momma.

When I was a child, trying to manipulate my momma to my advantage, she would say, "Pack your bags, we're going on a guilt trip!" And that helped me recognize that looking back and 'reheating' serves no one a tasty dish.

You need to learn that choices cannot be 'unmade' so feeling guilty does nothing except hurt you.

I submit that we ALL stop the guilt.

 "Guilt is anger directed at ourselves - at what we did or did not do. Resentment is anger directed at others - at what they did or did not do." -Peter McWilliams

Neither guilt (nor resentment) is a productive emotion. Move on and get over it- because allowing someone else to 'guilt' you does nothing for them (except encourage the belief that they should hold onto their resentment of you).

So, if I did something which hurt you, I am sorry. I regret that you've been hurt by me, or my actions. But I won't be eaten up by that knowledge. In fact, I'm over it. You should get over it too. Not for me, but for yourself.

If you are going to feel guilty for something- don't do it! If you already did something, don't feel guilty for it- learn from it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Consider (before commenting next time) Mr. I'm In A Hurry.

So, following up on the last post, I'm officially back at work (almost) full time.

And I remembered how much I do enjoy working there (I would still prefer to stay home; but, such is life). I work in a home for adults with brain injuries, emotional disorders and physical disabilities.

My coworkers are good people. The clients are, without exception, a cast of characters worthy of being written into any number of theatre productions. They are varied: dynamic; frustrating; hilarious; unstable; kind; loving; manipulative; and sweet. And they are all these things in rotation on any given day, for anywhere from 2 minutes to several hours. They are exhausting- in every way- physically, mentally and emotionally.

Some have the capacity for such bravery it would make you cry.
Some have the capacity for pettiness on a scale I've only seen in small children.
Some are so vulnerable that my heart breaks for them and their families.
Some are only able to communicate non-verbally.
Some never stop talking (even when you sometimes wish they would).
They are as different from each other as you are from me, or as Mickey Mouse is from the Jolly Green Giant.

They all wake up everyday, get dressed, have their meals. They watch T.V., go shopping, visit with friends and family, go to the doctor, hit the gym. Most cannot be in the community without assistance, so you see us together sometimes: walking down the street, talking, pushing wheelchairs, or holding arms.

Our clients come to us because we are a "high needs" company. We are touted as "specialized residential services" (previously "neuro recovery services") to the clients and their executors.

In reality, we do not deal in "recovery". There is no recovery for our clients. They are not going to: walk freely again; think rationally rather than emotionally; have short (or long) term memory come back. We deal with helping the clients adjust to their new situations and new levels of ability. We teach them patience with themselves and with others.

We teach them how to cope with being unable to cut their own steak, with the inability to make seemingly inconsequential decisions (what shirt to wear; whether to have a cigarette now or in 1/2 an hour). We teach them how to live with life as it is, instead of how it was. And since most of them led completely normal lives at one point, they feel the differences in their personal situations keenly.

 And, unfortunately, we're the last stop before most of these clients are put into psychiatric care homes. If our company says, "Sorry. We can't help you anymore"- a good percentage of the clients would end up sedated and tied to a bed in a pysch ward. If they ended up institutionalized, they might as well stop trying to live normally- because the institutions are not set up to offer hope, or to encourage small triumphs (putting socks on alone). Institutions are set up to maximize efficiency and minimize interaction with staff. These clients do not belong in a palliative care setting. They are not dying, they are trying to live.

I am thankful that I do not have to walk in their shoes (wheel in their chairs). But that does not mean that I think their lives are "not worth living". They require constant care, monitoring and supervision- but they are still individuals. They still have likes, dislikes, goals, complaints, triumphs and fears. I try my very best to treat them with respect- because they deserve my respect. They do something every single day that I do not believe I would have the courage to do. They wake up knowing life will never be the same- and they still aim to make it better.

Because of this, if it takes me 20 seconds or 3 hours to get someone to choose to take their medications, or to take a shower- then that is how long it takes. I won't force someone to do something they don't want to do (short of dangerous/ life threatening situations). I won't take even one more choice away from them.

So if you see me taking 5 minutes to find out what my client would like to drink- and that holds up your wait in line at Tim Hortons- too bad. Consider how you'd like me to treat you if you woke up one day with permanent brain damage from a stroke you suffered in your sleep, or after a botched surgery, a car accident, or even a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia.

Consider it carefully, then you wait those five minutes without comment.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Biting kids is a real job.

I'm back at work now, 30ish hours/ week.  Monster will be in a daycare 2 days/ week, while I work evenings and days around my husband's schedule.

And I feel like a terrible mother. 

When Brat was a baby, I stayed home full time days with her, worked evenings and weekends (when my husband could be home from work). She didn't enter a day care until she was almost 3. I was tired. All the time. But I LOVED being able to be the full time care giver. I think a large majority of society's issues stem from a lack of parenting- yeah, I said it.

And I think in part this is due to women leaving the 'kitchen' to be a part of the work force. Yeah, I said that too.

I'm not a feminist. I'm a humanist. I think humanity suffers when we forget that our kids should come first. Yes, women can do (almost) anything a man can do.  Yes. We can: work; build families; have lives; be superheros. But should we be doing those things when our kids are less than two years old? When they haven't learned to talk yet?

I think we need to recognize that since women have entered the workforce and become more fulfilled as people, we've let go of 'family first'.  Society is falling apart. And it's because we are too busy working to be parenting.

Reality is that the world has changed. Is still changing. It's expensive to live. Very few families can have only 1 full time worker. Most of us cannot afford to stay home from work to raise our children- even if we wish we could. And by the time we're done working 40 hours/ week; doing the housework; the laundry; the chores; and, personal hygiene- we're too tired to cook nutritious meals, too tired to nag the kids to make their beds, too tired to make our kids tell us about their day, lecture them for poor behaviour, bad manners, and irresponsible actions.

We tell ourselves they'll figure it out. But how? Who is teaching our kids that stealing is wrong? That lying is unacceptable? That being polite is an important life skill?

The day care workers? The two ladies who have twenty kids under 5 to supervise? Sure. They're just trying to keep the stupid kid from snorting a rail of sand and eating handfuls of rocks. They are awfully busy for us to be asking that they also instill values in our toddlers.

With the right to be paid workers; to demand equal pay for equal work; to be put on an even keel with men- we've given up something I believe is more important. We've given up the chance to be the ones to teach our children right from wrong. The chance to be a positive influence these first years of life. Many children go into grade 1 unable to differentiate between letters- let alone sound words out or read. We gave that up too.

We gave up our responsibilities to our kids. We handed it off to someone else for $30/ day. For $600.00 a month in day care fees. And on the day your two year old bites the day care worker during a temper tantrum; the day care worker isn't going to bite your child back- that was supposed to be YOUR job. My job. I am giving away the most important job on earth. Biting my child. Yes, you read that right.

But when will someone stop and say, "Being a stay at home mom is more important than being an employee. I'll go back to work when my children no longer need me to teach them not to bite." I wish it could be me saying it.

I understand that there are times when being a stay at home parent is completely impossible. Nothing is free. And single parents simply don't have that luxury at all.

But I still feel terrible that Monster is going to be in daycare 2 days a week. I hope that the other 5 days are enough for me to teach her all the things she needs to know.

So, if you see my kids acting like dicks- yell at them. Because I'm not always here to do it myself.  And I promise, if I see your kids acting like A-holes, I'll yell at them for you in return.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sometimes, being crazy is hilarious.

Sick again.

I am not a big sissy. I hardly ever hit the doctor's office. I mean, I need to be almost dead with a fever before I'll go to the doctor.

I have no 'issues' with doctors- I just have a hard time taking advantage of their time, because mostly I think I have a strong enough immune system to work it out myself.

That being said, I had strep throat just after New Year, and went to a walk in clinic (my doctor was still on holidays). The doc at the clinic was great, and prescribed the "anti-germy pills" (Thanks Brat).

I got better. Good. That's what the doctor is for.

However, my kids are all gross. They are all disease harbouring, germ-y hand touching, snotty nose wiping baboons. And they got me again. I'm pretty sure they've organized some sort of betting pool on who can sick me up fastest.

I woke up two days ago with a throat so sore I couldn't swallow, let alone talk. It hurt. I hurt. I had a headache, a fever and felt like a bag of puke- covered bones.

This morning I didn't feel as bad, but anticipated it could possibly get worse again. So, I called the doctor and made an appointment. I got Monster snugged into bed for her nap with Dada, and Brat and I left for the doctor (she was home from school because- gasp- she was sick with a chest cough). Darned kids.

We got saddled with a resident doctor, which was fine (so was he). He swabbed my throat, pointed out that it was pretty inflamed and looked super sore. I turned to answer one of Brat's many, many questions. When I looked again, the doctor was putting a pregnancy test into my throat swab.

I started laughing. I couldn't help it; a) I have a filthy mind and b) the second thought that hit me was the equivalent of 'pregnancy is the same as strep throat- and sometimes you let your strep throat grow into a baby'. Not true, but the mental process amused me so much I was virtually hysterical.

The doctor saw me laughing, and said quickly, "I know it's a pregnancy test but...." He trailed off, apparently disturbed by my continued (read: increased) laughter.

I tried to put him at ease, saying, "For God's sake, don't give me a pregnancy test, they keep coming back positive!" I had tears of laughter running down my cheeks. I was clearly not capable of interacting normally. Instead of being amused, he looked at me like I might need a referral for counselling. So I laughed some more. He left as soon as he could, after telling me it was viral, and I'd just have to wait it out. I was still laughing (mostly at his reaction by this point).

Sometimes, being crazy is hilarious. Sometimes I get laughing, and it's unstoppable (if you don't want to see it, don't ever be in the room when I'm on www.damnyouautocorrect.com).

I do love a good laugh.

Monday, February 6, 2012

I swere, da cellfones 8 mi graymer. lllloooovveee u!

I don't actually have a cell phone. I bought one once. In 1998. It was the size of my arm. Seriously. I haven't bought one since. People today are so obsessed with 'being in touch' that they have sacrificed their humanity.

Teenagers lack ACTUAL social skills (talking to their peers, adults, and family members verbally). The GRAMMATICAL skill set is long gone. lol i wsh ud bin der. Ug. In short, if these teenagers had grown up any other time in history, they'd be considered "retarded" (yes, I hate that term as well- but that was the term used until the 90's). So what?

You're absolutely right. So what. It's not just teenagers. I know ADULTS who do it. Grown ass people. People who went to school, learned to read and write. Can spell. But they don't. It's the computer generation. i loooovvvveesssss uuuu!!! Seriously, I am bringing back the term 'retard', but I only apply it to texters. Actually, I'm going to go one further and make up "are-tard" (that's capital R). Extra letters to text.

The problem I have with cell phones is not just the inherent stupidity of someone wanting to be 'reachable and connected' 24/7. I mean, I like my privacy and my solitude. I WISH more of my friends shared LESS of their thoughts/ actions.

The rest of the problem is the fact so many people, who are otherwise good , ethical people, buy products with absolutely zero concern for the production standards that major manufacturing companies (and the umbrella corporations) use.

Here's an example I was given by my mother (one of the most ethical people I've ever known, buying only ethical mutual funds- even though the return may not be as high as the mutual funds which deal with arms manufacturing).

So, before you run out and buy your next iPad, iPhone, Blackberry (which is just as bad)- look into the manufacturing process and decide if THAT world is one you want your children to be a part of.

According to the New York Times, workers at a factory in Shenzhen, China, owned by Foxconn (a company that manufactures iPhones, iPads and other devices for Apple) regularly work sixteen-hour, seven-day work weeks.

They stand until their legs swell and they can’t walk, and they perform repetitive motions on the production line for so long that some permanently lose the use of their hands. To cut
costs, managers make workers use cheap chemicals that cause neurological damage. There has been a rash of suicides at the Foxconn plant, and 300 workers recently threatened to jump off the roof over a safety and pay dispute.

In short, as one former Apple executive told the New York Times, "Most people would be really disturbed if they saw where their iPhone comes from."

Mark Shields, a self-described member of the "cult of Mac," started a petition on Change.org demanding Apple exert its influence on its suppliers to improve working conditions for the factory workers that make iPhones, iPads and other Apple products.

Click here to sign Mark’s petition right now: http://www.change.org/petitions/apple-ceo-tim-cook-protect-workers-making-iphones-in-chinese-factories?utm_medium=email&utm_source=action_alert

Apple knows it can play an important role in ensuring safe and fair working conditions for the workers at its suppliers, like Foxconn. In 2005, the company released a supplier code of conduct, and it performs hundreds of audits each year in China and around the world to confirm its suppliers are meeting the code’s expectations.

But that’s where Apple’s commitment falters: the number of supplier violations has held steady year to year and Apple hasn’t consistently publicly stated which suppliers have problems or dropped offending suppliers.

The bottom line, Apple executives admit, is that they’re not being forced to change.

One current executive told the New York Times that there’s a trade-off: "You can either manufacture in comfortable, worker-friendly factories," he said, or you can "make it better and faster and cheaper, which requires factories that seem harsh by American standards.And right now, customers care more about a new iPhone than working conditions in China."

That means public pressure is the only thing that can force Apple to ensure its suppliers treat workers humanely. If enough people sign Mark’s petition -- and tell Apple they care more about human beings than they do about how fast the company can produce the next generation iPhone -- the company could be convinced to make real change for the workers at Foxconn and other factories.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

First of 12 Steps.

Why on Earth did I say the kids could have a sleep over tomorrow night?


Because I wasn't thinking. I wasn't paying attention. I was bubble shooting. I have an addiction. The first step in the road to recovery is admitting you are powerless over your addiction. Bubble shooter is just so much fun though.

I mean, it's pointless, useless and doesn't make sense at all. It's awesome. I have finished a game in under ten minutes- but not often.

And although there is no time limit, I simply can't walk away and leave the game 'just sitting there'.

Back on track.

Bubble shooter. THAT is how they tricked me. They know I don't listen to them when I am bubble shooting. So, they wait until I'm in the middle of a game, and ask me things they are pretty sure I wouldn't agree to if I'm listening. Because when I'm playing, I agree to anything.

"Mom, can I have cookies?"

"Huh, yeah, whatever."

They are sneaky children. So, a sleepover is imminent. And I guess, I'm okay with that.

We'll order pizza, they can watch Netflix, and I'll let them stay up until 6 pm.

What? 6 is plenty late. Oh, go lump. If you aren't coming over to help me wrangle these things, you don't get to make fun of me for sending them to bed so early.