Thursday, February 26, 2009

BIG FAT DISCLAIMER

I need to clarify my point with the previous Bias post...I'm afraid it sounds as if I'm defending the correctness of this woman's choice to recklessly bring life into the world. My irritation is where the media chooses to pounce, and under what circumstances.

The main illustration I was attempting, but obviously failed to make, was that being reckless with life is being reckless with life. On both sides of the spectrum. I view Nadya Suleman with as much baffled dismay as the next mother. My frustration lies in the fact that the media doesn't cover the elimination of human life with the same sort of contempt and passion as the creation of it. Genocidal war leaders are treated with more courtesy in interviews and discussions than this girl. Terrorists probably receive fewer death threats.

If Nadya Suleman had aborted each of these lives, this wouldn't have even merited a conversation. And yet the biggest supposed concern is the health and well being of these babies. Right now, their chances of what we deem to be a relatively normal and thriving upbringing may be slim to none. But what would their chances have been had she aborted them? None. She is publicly castrated (pardon the pun) for taking the risk.

There are millions of people, all across the globe, who are unfit parents. Children living in dire circumstances. If we think we have the right to say or choose who stays and who should have been "selectively reduced" based off of this sort of information, back in WWII we might as well invited Hitler to tea and crumpets.

Nadya Suleman, a crazed baby fanatic coupled with an unethical doctor was a bad mix. Kind of how a woman and a man on the wrong night, without the right sort of protection, end up in a little predicament down the road. However, once the deed is done, its done...and my point simply was that if she had aborted them she would have been hailed a heroine (if even mentioned at all).

I welcome more thoughts though! It really gets me thinking!


Toodles,

rae

Bias



If there ever was a case to be made that the media is completely bias, it's the case of Nadya Suleman. I've never really fully bought the whole "liberal media bias" argument in the conservative world of conspiracies...but if you really think about it, let's consider the explosive coverage and negative attention turned on a woman who decided to opt for life for her children rather than selective reduction (abortion). Instead of choosing to discard of her remaining human embryos, she opted to have them implanted and raise them on her own. Yeah, I think she's on the crazy side too, but the issue at hand is really women's rights, isn't it?

Why is it that that media crucifies this girl, a mother who is pledging to attempt to raise her own children against significant and legitimate odds?

If they are so concerned about the innocent children involved, where is the uproar over the latest male serial whore (unfortunately an idealized standard for the American male) who has fathered multiple children he doesn't and never intended to provide for? Where is that provocative interview?

Why isn't the media pinpointing and attacking the woman who has had multiple elective abortions?

The media and leftist America hail themselves to be the progressives in "women's rights". Apparently, only in the case of eliminating life. As long as a woman is choosing to destroy the life she creates, she is allowed respect and privacy. It's her body, let her do whatever she feels is best...it isn't any of your business...it's between her and her doctor...isn't that what they claim?

But when a woman exercises that supposed right, and chooses to keep life?

Whoa, watch out.
What a shameful double standard. It sickens me.




Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A few highlights


Tyler had a special present from his parents, all wrapped in bright birthday paper:

A shoe box. From his closet in his old bedroom, STUFFED full of every love note I'd ever written him in high school.

Lori: "Oh yeah Hunnie, and you better believe I read every single one of them when you were in high school! Alexis and I would call each other to discuss!"

Really Lori? After that last post dedicated to you? This is how you repay me?

Kidding, of course.

That night, I doped myself up with anti-nausea medication in preparation for digging through each sappy line. I alternated between amused, nostalgic, and hideously embarrassed. Tyler and I were definitely reminded of some good ol' days. However, I'm going to have to say that my main conclusion reached after unfolding each crumply note is that the fact that American teenagers are even allowed out of their homes is beyond comprehension. We were like apes with shoes.

Passages that prove my point:

It's the inside that counts...

"I don't know why on the day that I needed to look good my face broke out, my feet hurt, I got a zit on the most beautiful part of my body* , AND my arms look fat! Not to mention my hair wouldn't even work this morning. Every other girl, including your X got to look flipping gorgeous......I do want to talk to you tonight so I hope you'll want to stay up. I can hardly stand not seeing you so I definitely cannot stand not talking to you."

*(I used to believe that my the best part of my body was the declogae(spelling is atrocious) - the spot right below your neck where a necklace hangs- that is until God punished my vanity and I've since grown a mole)

Breaking up
(which for Tyler and I was a monthly occurance)...

"I know I should be telling you this in person...."

"I know I said I needed space but then I got space and realized I didn't want space..."


Love notes composed on a deeper level...

Did you talk to your Mom to see if tonight is okay for me to bring over your Christmas goodies? I had the weirdest dream last night. I dreamed that I met Britney Spears and she was a fat Mexican. I was like "I knew she was really fat." How weird is that?



Part of me wants to burn them. Part of me loves them. So, we'll definitely be keeping the shoebox of memories. But, I can NEVER let my children find them...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

His Birthday

Dear Tyler's Momma,

It may seem a little odd. Instead of composing my usual "Top 100 Reasons I love Tyler", or other such ooey gooey love cyber notes to my husband on his birthday, I've ended up wandering around my house the past couple of days, reflecting on the love of my life's origins...you.

I'm afraid of having sons. I do desperately hope to have at least one someday, so don't misunderstand. While I relish the pink bows and tea parties of girl-dom- I want to be able to equally dive into booger flinging contests and the puppy dog scent of my little boy(s)' head someday. A boy would be a treasure beyond words, but the navigation of a son's existence into the world strikes me as so much more painful on a mother than that of a daughter's. Or so I would imagine.

A little boy is instantly so innocent and sweet. Cuddly and loveable and honest. My Mom always said she loves each of her children equally and infinitely, but a mother falls in love with her little boy in the most magnificient and unique way. And they love you back. Boy oh boy, do they love you back. They hug you, and kiss you, and gaze with the purest adoration into the eyes of their Momma.

And as time goes on, their reciprocal love doesn't fade, but changes in its expression. And as a mother, I would imagine you are aware of this shift, dreading the impending presence of more distant affection. For their own good in the masculine and brutish world they must thrive and belong in, you'll even begin assisting in arming them with tools and techniques of becoming a man, and slowly and surely the hugs, kisses, cuddles, and sweet words become fewer and more naturally distant. With a sort of ironic selflessness, you would even be the first person to put a prompt halt to your sixteen year-old son running out of a highschool gymnasium yelling, "Mommy! Mommy! I won the game...I love you!!" or something so socially suicidal as that. But also, I imagine, your heartstrings would be ruthlessly tugged and wrenched as you wish you could simply comfort and hug him when he's had a hard day, or didn't make the team, or had a girlfriend break his heart. Because at the end of the day, it is you that remembers and has known the longest that boy who is inside. The boy who never goes away. And the boy you will love eternally.

I can only imagine how crazy difficult it would be to watch him begin his life with another girl. Even a good one! (Wait, was I just giving myself a pat on the back?)! If it was my son, I would be TERRIFIED.
Will she understand him? Will she be kind to him? Will she recognize how special and unique he is? Will she encourage him? Will the home life she creates welcome him? Will she respect him? Honor him? When he's had a bad day, will she nag him? Or, nuture him and suggest he kick up his feet up on the sofa and relax? Will she understand that under that tough exterior lies a complete softy that needs assistance properly sorting his laundry?

So many worries, so many unknowns...and here you have to let go of your life's greatest accomplishment - him - without even the consolation of intimidation with a rifle that a father is at least allotted when giving away a daughter! Mothers don't get to have that woodshed initiation conversation underneath the mounted animal heads. We don't get to look the girl square in the eye and warn them of the baseball bat and car trunk that await them if they so much as think about hurting your son. No, no, no. We're left with a few family keepsake recipes to possibly hand down, and even if we ask whether she's given them a try it's considered "prying" or "not cutting the apron strings" properly.

Yes, Yes. I do fear having sons.

But, if you had never been so gracious as to sacrifice yourself and your love for him, if February 22nd, 1984 hadn't produced the wonderfully healthy boy that would help complete both your life and mine, I would not have found my other special half. So I will think of that when I hopefully hear the announcement that "It's a boy" someday - maybe, maybe not. I will just plug my nose, close my eyes, and jump into the waters of mother/son relations, and give you a call when I'm crying because my son told me to stop kissing his cheeks.

I once had a blog commentor request that I write something about the duties and roles of a mother-in-law, as she had just become one. I guess my answer would have to be this, and I mean this honestly: Be a mother-in-law like mine. Someone who is passionate and strong. Someone who may not always agree, but is always willing to try. Someone who accepts, and forgives, and loves. Someone who is an amazing Nonna, and even better friend.
Someone who is capable of raising a son like my husband.

I owe you big time. And so I promise you, I am not perfect - I never will be - but, I will make sure that I annually re-read my "Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" book.

I will love your son, forever.

And you too.


Thanks Momma Lori,

Rae

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Why I despise Facebook

I realize I just offended everyone on planet earth by saying this. Only every person on planet earth doesn't read this blog, phew. In fact, I'm going to estimate on the higher side and assume that I've just offended six people. So to you six, it's not that I judge you. For pity sake, I have a facebook too. Well, actually I don't. Tyler does, with one picture of our family posted only as evidence to any possible anonymous female browsers that he is taken. He likes it because he was able to check up on other college buddies and see how they're doing.

But I hate it.

And here is why:

The other day a so and so friend called me, ready to share the most juicy and shameful little detail of another so and so girl we knew in high school. It was awful to gossip, we knew it. But, we simply had to check out her so and so page, and examine. She looked good. Really good. We discussed that aside from the fact that she is insane we actually were semi envious of how good she looked. I wasted a good 7 minutes of my day viewing the friend of a friend friend's friend's stupid facebook page.

Point being: I'm still apparently stuck in high school. Because of Facebook.

How do you feel about facebook? Pros..cons? Am I wrong?



Tuesday, February 17, 2009

These are the days

"Um...um, Mom, I dus sneeeked da teese in the bawbee house."

Translation: "Um...um, Mom, I just sneeked the cheese in the Barbie house."

Lily has an obsession with grated Parmesan. If I ever catch a whiff of something akin to a massive burp floating through the air, I can quickly trace it to a spot underneath the dining room table where Lily is literally shoving fistfuls of this pungent cheese into her mouth. This time, she sheepishly admitted she was consuming it in the top story of her ginormous wooden doll house (the "bawbie" house).
Different locale, same addiction.

I mean, seriously, if a kids gonna love cheese
you would at least think mozzarella.

We go round and round with episodes of cheese thievery in our home. And you'd be surprised how after the 87th time it begins to suck the sanity out of you. And some might think, "Just give her the cheese." But I can't give her the cheese, she ends up skipping meals. So enough of your advice, but thanks anyways. I will just continue to trudge on, finding her nude in the top story of the dollhouse, smuggling dairy, and scold her one more time.

When the next expose on motherhood is published or aired on some ridiculously liberal women's mag or television series, I'm just the sort of woman they are looking for. The woman caught on the wrong day, or series of days, drowning in the perilous, smelly cheese flakes smooshed into my carpet for the bijillionth time, who will say something stupid like,
"Stay at home motherhood is just not for me."

These are the days you ask, "So, what exactly have I done all day?"
The days you think you're completely
overqualified, and yet strangely stupified when it comes to handling the random daily tasks at hand.
The days when you take stock of the past hour and realize the following three sentences have been shouted:

"If you poop on the floor on purpose again, I'm serious...you'll get spanked."

"Did you just eat the blush powder out of Mommy's NEW Mac compact...why are your teeth pink?!?!"

"Raisins are our friends! They are good for you!"

The days you realize, wow...Parmesan was not in the job description. I didn't expect this. It just doesn't make sense.

...

Then there are the
other days.

The days when you are there to tuck your cheese sneeker into bed for a nap. She falls asleep while you're "poky poky-ing" (her favorite back scratching technique) her back. You sniff, and she smells like a combo of cheese and strawberry scented shampoo, mixed with three year old sweet breath.

The days when you announce it's time to load up in the car to head to the store, and she replies "Jus a second, Wachel!" ("Just a second, Rachel" - she calls me by my first name when we are doing "grown up" things like shopping), and emerges from her room armed with the necessities: Disney princess plastic heels, an oven mitt, and a baby doll for the journey.



The days you enter the room from around the corner, just in time to catch her comforting her baby sister from the latest fall, saying "It's okay Lundeen, its okay...take a bweath, take a bweath." (It's okay London, take a breath...take a breath).

The days that as you shower, two little faces peer in the glass from the other side...alerting you with panic, "Mooom!!! Wait!!! I can't shee you!!!" as the steam begins to fog up their view.

The days that you have little people. Everywhere you go. And little things. Mostly random.

The days when suddenly,
it all seems to just make sense
.





Little Miss London

There are days you are so cute, so fat, so darling, so delicious
I have no choice but to stop what I'm doing and do a photo shoot.
Even if the bed behind you isn't made.
Who cares.
Just look at you! Look at you!!!
I'm going to eat you.






Okay, okay, okay....we're done.

Monday, February 16, 2009

My Valentine

Talk about a creative sort of Valentines Day. Instead of dinner reservations at a jammed and expensive restaurant, he suggested something different.

How about a day of skiing/snowboarding together?

Skiing? I haven't hit the slopes since I was fourteen. There were questions as to whether or not I was still "athletic enough" (questions posed by him, not me). Don't let the pink nail polish fool you, lover boy. After birthing two children, caring for three children under the age of three on a daily basis, keeping a decently clean home environment, cooking, reading, teaching 12 piano students, writing, managing, and juggling - we're talking about the ultimate in endurance, coordination, agility...
I am the definition of athletic.

So, we hit the slopes. For a romantic Valentine's Day in the snowy hills overlooking gorgeous Lake Tahoe.




I think he was impressed with my skills (just a little). I think I was impressed at how much I still want to impress him (just a little more). Even more impressive than that, was that he chose to forgo the best slopes to stay with me on the ones where I felt most comfortable (well, not really surprising I guess, he's always that sweet).

Skiing was followed by Lovefest 2009 and a wonderful nap back at home, without the kids. Haha. Are you blushing? I am.

Nap was followed by the yummiest Colorado omelet and buttermilk pancakes for dinner, all while wearing cozy sweats at a very private dinner at IHOP (cuz who goes to IHOP for dinner on Valentine's Day?).

And I must say, it was the most different and fun one yet.
I look forward to many many more...




*I don't know how to get the stupid date mark off of the pics...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Don't be a hater

It all started a few months ago...

Lily:

"I hate dat boy."

"I hate dat man"

"I hate nigh nigh." (nigh nigh = bedtime)

"I hate people."

"I hate you!"

Lovely. How exactly am I supposed to explain this to the grocery checker, the fellow mother, the nursery leaders...as my truly sweet and adorable child smears both her mother's and her own reputation as she proclaims the H word with all her might over the slightest irritation?
My apologies. As you can see, somewhere between learning her colors and counting to ten I've taught my child the ever eternal human expression of misery and spite. She says hate! Isn't it cute?!!

But before I continue to berate the very imperfect mother that I am, let it be known I didn't think I was teaching her this at all. In fact, as her mother I am helping her to untangle that new lovely web of negative emotions pummeling her forming rationale. While doing this I have come to discover that Lily simply uses the forbidden "H" word to express any sort of negative feeling.

Hurt
"I hate dat bike."

"No, Lily,...you don't hate the bike. You fell off the bike. You are hurt. The bike hurt you, and now you are mad. You are mad that you fell off of the bike."

Impatience

Stopped at a red light in the car:

"Go Mom! Goooo! Keep moooving."

"Lu, I can't. We have to wait our turn. It's the other people's turn."

"I hate people."

"No, you don't hate people. You don't like waiting."

Jealousy

Perusing a blog with her on my lap, she sees a little boy eating a donut in a picture.

"I hate dat boy."

"No, Lily...you don't hate that boy. You want a donut too."


I can see it in her eyes, too, as I try to explain what she really seems to be trying to say. She is starting to understand! Call me Mom/SuperNanny. We've even included a request to God during bedtime prayers. Lily frequently requests that "she won't say hate anymow (anymore)".
Oh yeah, I'm good. Uh huh. Uh huh.

Not so fast, Supernanny.

Just tonight, Lily was insistent that she didn't want the blue bowl full of soup she had been handed for dinner. She proceeded to howl and moan and demand a different bowl. Tyler and I, firm in our conviction to not be too trampled by three year-old absurd requests, explained that she would have no choice but to eat from the bowl she had been given. With a solid tone, Tyler said:

"Lily, you're getting the blue bowl. Not another word. Now go ahead and you can say the prayer."

Lily seemed to get the message, and politely folded her arms, bowed her head, and proceeded with the following grace:

"Heavenly Fadder, I hate my bowl. I hate my bowl. I hate my bowl."


Oh boy.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

An Open Reply



From Sarah Anne:

(Cough...clear throat...ahem...English accent)

My Dearest Sister-

Oh what adventures this day has brought. Stourhead being the most delightful...the foggy weather, and exquisite landscape surrounding. Ah!!


Ok- so by far I have fallen in love with Stourhead the most since being here. I thought of you, and how you would probably be the funnest person to be there with. :) We are now on the coach headed to Winchester and Portchester. I thought you would appreciate this Jane Austen card and my very very extremely cool wax seal! I remember you being into that stuff when we would go to Name Droppers at Arlington Gardens and just loving it in general. Anyways, I miss you, and of course Tyler and the girls. Stay safe, happy, and healthy. I love you and can't wait to see you in April.



Cheerio,


Sarah



Response
:


(Cough...clear throat...ahem...English accent)

My dearest Sister,

I received the amusing thrill of correspondence from you this eve and was equally delighted upon its conclusion to learn of your travels throughout the motherland. Indeed, your accounts of comfortable turn abouts in the region of Bath, along with kindly strolls through the daffodils of Hyde Park leave me full of nostalgic sentiment. You are too gracious to share your adventures so generously with your retiring older sister. Although, I must immediately confess, a slightly bewildering emotion has begun encasing my majority: it is quite reminiscent of, oh...the words escape me...oh yes: seethingly jealous abhorrence!
It is with regretful admittance that after our recent mobile conversation, at which point you informed me of your encounter with none other than the exquisite Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in Covent Garden during the annual British social events, this intoxicating sentiment escalated into a passionate desire to remove your luscious blonde tresses by sheer force of my hands- I daresay... I shan't! I shan't!

While one can never be too cautious of false assurance, I pledge the most faithful endeavor to abstain from such trivial pursuits, and meekly request the continuance of our correspondence.

May you find the joys of England as monumental as is befitting of such a beautiful soul such as yourself.


With much love and affection,


Rachel Elizabeth

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Junkie Love

It was a rainy Saturday a couple weeks ago...and there's a nothing more wonderful on a rainy day than an 'antique-ing' outing (besides having an amazingly hot husband willing to keep the girls and let me have a few hours of blissful meandering by myself).

I found this treasure, a lovely sitting bench, at a new favorite thrift/antique spot: Junkies, for only $50!






I'm so in love with it. The blue tufted velvet makes me feel very plush and oh so Marie Antoinette (minus the guillotine...)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Review Time

Alright, I've finished them. It took two library renewals and a whole lotta offspring negligence. The consequences of which include but are not limited to: Lily shaving off half of her eyebrow and eating 3/4 of a bottle of children's Flintstones vitamins.
Dangerous? Yes. Deadly? No (as verified through a panic-stricken phone call to Gigi the nurse after finding empty bottle hidden behind television). Diarrhea inducing? Yes. Childproof cap? Yes. Stored on the highest shelf in the kitchen?

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Did that stop Lily? No.
What kind of mother allows this?
Enough with your questions! This is a book review.



The Question of God: A fascinating read. Highly recommend it to all seeker types. I am a thoroughly satisfied LDS woman, and yet the yearning to continually seek and seek urges me on. An LDS article of faith (statement of belief) says, "If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." A nice push towards the philosophy that nobody (not even Mormons) has a current monopoly on all great ideas...so go get em.
So many questions, so many ideas. So many truths and falsities to sift and sort through your mind ends up spinning. It's no wonder many just choose to ignore and wander about unsure of anything. But to the ones like me, the ones who too frequently lie awake at late hours of the night pondering what on are earth they are doing here and why?, and what is the point of a toenail?, books like this are a delight. CS Lewis was already a favorite of mine, and Freud - he makes me feel like a pervert. And yet I completely agree with the author, I would do his work a great disservice if I didn't thank him sincerely for giving birth to the meaning of the phrase: "You are so anal."

Bottom line: If you are a non-believer, of the materialist worldview, then you'd best start figuring out a way to at least hypnotize yourself into believing something higher, because while Freud believed he had discovered the truth of ultimate nothingness, he certainly paid the price of such beliefs that manifested in misery, depression, and fearing death more than I fear the fact that I might have once been subconsciously attracted to my father.





Born To Rule: LOVED. THIS. BOOK. Galardi sometimes uses entirely too many names and nicknames throughout the book - it takes you a while to sort out which Queen she is speaking of - but, once you dive into the book it takes on more twists and turns than a fictional read. This is the story of the five granddaughters of Queen Victoria, and their tragic and beautiful lives are mingled with some of the most famous characters and events of all time (World War I, Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, Wilhelm II, Bolsheviks, Rasputin, etc. etc). Not only are you given a bite of the 19th century Russia, Romania, Spain, England, and Norway...you get intimately connected to each of the women's personal stories. Love. Death. Sickness. War. Assassinations. Betrayal. Religion. Family. Royalty.

I. EVEN. CRIED.

Bottom line: I've said it once, and I'll say it again: Real life is more fascinating than fiction. And though you may not cry over a history book like me, you'll feel really cool when the subject of 19th century Eastern Europe arises (uh, never), and you can name at least one person who existed during that time (nevermind that you might not be able to remember the context, the country, or anything else for that matter...the name alone will impress enough).

Back To the Library. It's time for another good read.