Abortion (yep, I am going there)

So I got into a “discussion” with someone online about abortion. This is an issue that seems to be on the top of everyone’s mind lately.

First, about a month ago, the Trump administration introduced their plans for a ‘gag rule.’ This plan would prevent doctors and health care providers from even discussing abortion with a patient. This is concerning for a lot of reasons, but mostly it is unethical to ask doctors to withhold information from patients. If doctors offer abortion services or even MENTION abortion options to a patient they could lose important funding that helps them provide other much needed services to the under-insured and uninsured. Services like birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and STI screenings among other health services. “The rule would take away the guarantee that patients receive complete information about their reproductive health care options” (article).

THEN, last week Justice Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court. He is a conservative justice but has been the swing vote on many socially liberal issues. Such as abortion rights and gay marriage. He was a conservative that understands the original values of the Republican party. Values of a small government and less government interference in people’s personal lives. He understands that you cannot say you want less government oversight, except in these few areas that the religious right has decided the government most definitely should dictate other people’s lives and freedoms. But now he has decided to retire and give Trump yet another Supreme Court pick.

There’s been a lot of talk about who the new justice will be and what they will do about Roe v Wade. Trump has already promised to appoint a justice who would overturn Roe v Wade, though more recently he has stated that he will not ask about that issue specifically during the interview process. We all know better. He won’t need to ask, because the candidates who have been vetted for him have already made their anti-women’s right’s views heard.

So with these things in mind, a friend of mine posted this meme:

Memeabort

Pretty straightforward. It’s about women’s rights and keeping women safe and informed about their options.

But of course this sparked a debate with some anti-women’s right’s people she knows. I am refusing to call them pro-life, because they like to call pro-choice advocates pro-abortion, so they no longer deserve any respect from me. Also, I think the term pro-life is hypocritical unless the individual can prove to me that they are also anti-capital punishment, anti-war, and have never defended a murderer (including police officers who claim self defense). Death is death, so unless you can demonstrate you are pro-life in every instance, get off my lawn.

I am happy to report that the first person I started discussing with eventually did see that, although he does not agree with abortions, the government shouldn’t be involved in regulating women’s health care options.

But then this ignorant fuck just had to open his big, uneducated mouth:

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So first, I can barely follow what he is saying because his grammar and spelling is so bad. I pointed out to him that this issue will always affect women 100% more than it will ever affect men.  I also said that if he believes sex is only for procreation and that’s what he wants to practice, then good for him, but that is not a belief I hold nor do I think it should be forced on others.

jacob7

Boys like him don’t like to hear that. There is a serious, underlying danger here that just comes across as ignorance. Really, it’s much, much bigger than that. This is the kind of mentality that leads to hate crimes against women and minorities. I don’t know this person. I don’t know how he really feels about women’s rights and inequality, but this post has a lot of red flags in it. He could easily use this discussion as “proof” that men are really the ones being discriminated against in our society. This is the “red pill” scenario that convinces young men to believe that they are really the victims in society and need to act out in order to get their own equality. Websites are dedicated to convincing young men of these things. They idolize those who have carried out violent acts against women. It is absolutely disgusting.

My last message to on the thread perhaps didn’t help matters. I was angry and frustrated. Also, I don’t know what to say to someone who has swallowed the red pill and thinks women really are to blame for the woes of the world. I really hope this is not the case for this boy.

 

 

 

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What Is Happening to Our Young Men?

What is happening to young men? Why do so many of them feel their only option is to mass murder innocent people?

This most current incident in Toronto has me disturbed. If you haven’t read the most recent news of the situation, here’s an article.

This attacker was apparently part of an anti-women hate group that blames women for the fact that they can’t get anyone to fuck them.

This is not new. As the article points out, this attacker praised a previous mass killer with the same motives. They were a part of a group who called themselves “incels” or “involuntary celibates”

Other than his membership to this group – which I assume was something unknown to others who were not a part of the same group – he apparently showed no signs of violence.

This incident came on the heels of another incident at a Waffle House in Tennessee. This shooter seemed to be a more disturbed individual who had run-ins with the police prior for erratic behavior. He most certainly showed signs of violence and had his guns taken from him in the past.

But though these two individuals are seemingly very different in demeanor and motive, the result is the same. Multiple innocent lives lost.

So my question is why? What is it that compels young men to act out in violence against groups of innocent people?

Have we really left them with no other options? Is this a “copycat” issue? Are we perpetuating violence by reporting on violence? Are we giving disturbed and/or angry individuals these ideas?

How do we inform the public of tragedies without glorifying or dramatizing these actions? How do we report on motives without furthering the messages of these murderers?

I guess as a woman I am taking this Toronto incident poorly. As a woman I am not obligated to fuck you. I don’t care if you have been “nice” to me. Women are not stupid and can see through your charades. If you are trying to be nice just to get in my pants you can fuck right off.

Something tells me that this Toronto attacker won’t have too much trouble getting fucked now that he is most certainly off to prison.

I am angry.

I wish I had answers. I wish I had solutions. I wish I had the power to prevent even just one of these tragedies.

Scream or Stay Silent

I am having a debate with myself. Over and over in my head. There are all these thoughts I want to scream from every corner. Injustices in the world. Hypocrisies I see everywhere. But do I really want the headache of debate this will bring…

Then I am tempted in the exact opposite direction. To go silent. To delete my Facebook, and Instagram and maybe even this blog and just ignore the ignorance that is infuriating me.

Right now I am leaning more in the #deletefacebook camp. The couple of people who I still have in my (acquaintance) friend list who I disagree vehemently with on political issues are not going to be swayed by my logic. They are beyond logic

Exhibit A

Capture

Capture2

 

I mean… how do you argue with that level of delusion?

Exhibit B

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Is it even worth pointing out the stupidity of memes?

I could delete these two (yes, these are two different people) from my friends list and then shout my opinions into my echo chamber of like-minded friends. What good will that do?

The recent revelations of Facebook selling user info to companies without our consent has me one step closer to the delete button.

The reason I haven’t pulled the trigger yet? I have family who I live far away from and I love seeing pictures of my niece and nephews. Also, most of my friends use Facebook to stay connected and it’s the most convenient place to make plans with others and see invites.

Have any of you struggled with the same questions? What have you decided to do?

School Walkout

I hate this. I hate this so much. I hate that our children have to stage a walkout to get the nation’s attention that they do not feel safe at school.

In America. Children do not feel safe going to school. Let that sink in.

We are full of talk. Pointing fingers of blame. And then we do absolutely nothing.

I don’t know what the solution is. Speculation is thrown around everywhere about what will reduce the number of violent gun deaths. But when it comes down to putting those theories into action and policy? We suck. We fail. We plug our ears and shake our heads until something else gradually gets our attention and we forget that we have this HUGE, debilitating issue until it happens yet again.

I could go through the list of common targets that people love to blame when these things happen (admittedly, I was about to do just that) but that would make this post unnecessarily long, because the truth is none of that matters if we don’t do anything and innocent people continue to die. 

I will address one thing that I keep seeing pop up here and there. Being “nicer” to your fellow classmates. This is victim blaming. This is telling students that they weren’t nice enough to their classmate and so it’s their fault he shot up the school. I don’t think our society has a problem with niceness. Yes, bullying is a problem. But kids have been bullied by their classmates since the beginning of time. Bullying is not uniquely an American problem, and yet mass school shootings is uniquely and American problem. Also this “solution” doesn’t address all of the mass shootings that happen outside of schools. Because there are plenty of those as well.

In fact – thinking through all of the other common targets of blame, none of them are uniquely American. Violent video games, movies, music, high divorce rates, reduction in religious belief, mental health issues, and even a rampant gun culture. None of these things by themselves are uniquely American. 

One thing that isn’t talked about as much, but does seem to be different among high income countries is access to social programs that support people below the poverty line. Here’s a graphic from this BBC article.

social programs

I don’t want to put too much emphasis on this though, because what we really need is well funded, thorough research into the issue.

Why do our citizens pick up high powered weapons and turn them on their peers?

This makes me nervous to send my little girl to school when she’s older. I hope we can come together and actually work to do something about this issue. It makes my heart hurt.

 

 

These are NOT New Years Resolutions

These are NOT New Year’s Resolutionsbitmoji1105603469

I don’t really believe in New Year’s Resolutions. I think we all overdo it around the holidays and use the New Year as an excuse to detox a bit from the overindulgence. But far too often we give ourselves lofty unsustainable goals that we fail to attain and get discouraged and fall back into our old habits defeated and forlorn. 

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So these are NOT New Year’s resolutions…

BUT

I had a crazy 2017. Becoming a mother for the first time in April. Trying to figure out my new life/role as a full-time mom with a full-time job.

Experiencing the ups and downs of new motherhood, and lots and lots of body changes. Losing (most of) the baby weight. Boobs filling and deflating with breastfeeding. Trying to figure out what I can eat that doesn’t upset baby’s tummy.

Then I had foot surgery right before Christmas. I have been mostly sedentary for the last 6 weeks. Just this week I started physical therapy.

A couple weeks after my foot surgery we had back to back illnesses in my house which you can read all about in my last blog post. Somewhere in the middle of all that stress and sickness, my milk supply dried up and I stopped breastfeeding altogether.

So needless to say I have had a lot of changes to my life, my body and my schedule in the last year. 

Now that I have stopped breastfeeding and am no longer trying to keep a milk supply up.

Now that I am in the active healing phase of my foot surgery, starting some light exercises on my foot.

Now that I am (mostly) over my head cold that has knocked us all around the last few weeks.

I feel ready to try and reinstate some of my old habits that kept me healthy, both mentally and physically, prior to baby.

I don’t expect to return to my old life. I don’t want to. I love being a mom. I will never have the freedom over my schedule that I used to (at least not until the little ones are out of the house). But it is time to find my new normal, which needs to include some healthy habits. As much for my mental health as my physical health. 

So here’s my starting point:

  • Break my sugar addiction. This is a big one. I have a BAD sweet tooth. It had gotten to the point where I was eating gross store-brand cookies that WEREN’T EVEN GOOD. But they were sugar and I needed a fix. SO for the month of February I have committed to cut the sweets. Of course there’s been sweets in the break room every day since! 28 days to break a habit they say. Perfect. We’re at day 7, so far so good.
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Had to turn down this delicious looking treat 
  • Establish a gym routine. So I haven’t started on this one yet. I need to sit down with Beau and we need to make a plan because we both value gym time and need to figure out a way to take turns. My plan is to talk to him about this in the next couple days and start this weekend. exercise
  • Reduce my carbon footprint. So this isn’t as much for my own health as it is for the health of the world. But I believe that we should all have at least one goal that gives back in some way to our community and/or world. So I am committing to take the  bus more, and eat less meat. My plan is to give meat up entirely for Lent. I am not Catholic, but I like partaking in Lent anyway. And thereafter choosing meatless options for lunches and anytime I go out to eat.

public transit

 

Anyone else out there make goals for the year? How are you doing on them?

Adventures in Sick Land

What goes around comes around. In the daycare world, this apparently mean illnesses. We haven’t been well in my house for the last month. It’s starting to get ridiculous.

Here’s a recap of our sickness calendar:

Dec. 29: Baby Doll gets Roseola. Fussy and cranky for about a week.

Jan. 4: Beau gets pinkeye. He hopes it will clear on it’s own and doesn’t go to the doctor until Jan 11.

Jan 11: That night Beau gets sick. Turns out it’s the Flu (probably got it from going into the doctor for pinkeye!).

Jan 29: Dolly has a cold. Croup-y cough, nose running like a faucet. Then the fever starts and she is making a noise when she breathes. Diagnosis: Ear infection.

Somehow I have managed to avoid all of these illnesses until today. Ugh. Woke up with a sore throat and a cough. But I am out of sick days at work, so I doped myself up on Dayquil and dragged myself in. Mom’s don’t get sick days.

Fortunately my little one has been a trouper and as sick as she is, is still playful and fun.

Here’s some photos from the last couple of days.

 

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She’s starting to pull books off the upper shelf. Round two of baby proofing is in order.
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She loves looking out the front door with our doggy. Two peas in a pod.

Beau and I have had our mind on sleep training since mid-December, but there’s no way I am attempting to sleep train a sick baby. So, with being sick, she’s waking up a lot and needing extra cuddles.

We’re going a bit crazy.

Beau and I are trading off night of sleeping, and so far it’s survivable, but it’s by no means ideal.

I hope everyone else out there is doing better this month than we are! Here’s to a better February…

Everything AND the Kitchen Sink!

It’s been a rough month for my little family, so I am a bit behind on any lifestyle changes I have been hoping to implement this year. But I have a pretty darn good excuse…

I had foot surgery on December 18th :/ 

foot 1
December 19th. Day after surgery

Two years ago I tore I ligament in my foot playing soccer. At first they said it would heal on it’s own and had me wear a boot for 8 weeks. Then I started physical therapy, but it wasn’t healed. Then they told me to stay off of it again and give it longer to heal, so I did. But it didn’t heal. Then I got pregnant and ignored it for a long time. I could still walk and run on it without pain, but later in the evening I would get pain and swelling. I also could not go up on my toes at all, the torn ligament was the lateral collateral ligament in the side of my foot by my big toe.

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So I was able to live with it, but not able to be as active as I’d like (planks were a no, as was yoga, calf raises, push ups…turns out you flex your toes back for a lot of things).

foot 2
January 14th. Healing underway

 

The surgery was the week before Christmas. I was completely non-weight bearing for the first week and then was able to hobble around putting light pressure on my heel, being sure to avoid pressure on the front of my foot.

Did I mention Baby Doll is crawling???

And pulling herself up to standing?!?!

esme standing
This was taken December 10th

So that has been mighty tricky. Baby Doll started crawling a couple of weeks before the surgery. I knew it was going to be hard, but I wanted to get this over with before she gets even more mobile.

After I scheduled my surgery, my dad was cleared to fly. He is in poor health and was having foot issues related to diabetes. So he, too, had to have foot surgery last year and wasn’t allowed to fly until recently. So he also hadn’t met baby yet and was anxious to come visit. So he came over Christmas and helped out (kind of). He was good at cooking me meals and somewhat watching baby. But he wasn’t great at watching baby because he cannot get up and down off the floor with her. He was also not great at cleaning up after himself in the kitchen – BUT I cannot complain because I didn’t have to cook myself anything (or pay for any of the groceries) while he was in town.

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She’s super interested in faces right now

THEN, On Christmas Evening, the shut-off valve under our kitchen sink broke! On Christmas. The shutoff valve! So water was leaking everywhere and we couldn’t shut it off to that one sink, so we had to shut off all the water to the entire house! On Christmas!

So no plumbers were available. No hardware stores were open. And none of us could shower, or flush a toilet, until we got it fixed… 

Luckily my dad is also pretty handy with plumbing. The next morning he and Beau took a trip to Ace Hardware and had it fixed in no time.

kitchen sink
Dad on the floor. Notice his foot is still in a boot from his surgery.

But beware! If you have one of those faucets that detaches with a hose and lets you spray water around the sink, the loop that hangs down under the sink can snag on the shut-off valves. Yank too hard to pull the faucet out and over time it will wear it down and eventually snap off. On Christmas.

But that’s not the end of it… Boy oh boy…

By the end of the week, Dolly had come down with Roseola. At first we just thought she was teething because she was feverish and fussy but otherwise seemed fine. But by Friday she was breaking out in a rash and so Saturday it was a trip to the pediatrician to see what was going on. Luckily it is self limiting and you just have to let it run its course, medicating with tylenol, ibuprofen or other fever reducers that are safe for babies.

So through that she started sleeping terribly again. Like up every two to three hours screaming and not wanting to be put back in her crib. It was exhausting.

So of course the next week Beau gets pink eye, because we’re whipped and sleep deprived and immunity is low… He finally goes to a doctor last Thursday because it still wasn’t totally cleared but the doc said it was pretty much through so not to worry.

Then that night he starts feeling worse and having G.I. issues. By the next day it’s chills, body aches and fever… Yup. He got the FLU! I know. This is getting to be ridiculous. So he goes to the urgent care clinic and gets on Tamiflu but doctor says he is still contagious for three days. So I had a nice long weekend (MLK Jr. Day) with Beau quarantined to the upstairs and me on full-time baby duty.

Good thing he was no longer contagious by Monday night. Because I thought I was going to die from lack of sleep and just general exhaustion.

Let’s not forget that I am still limited with my foot. And it’s my driving foot so I can’t drive. And I can’t carry a baby down our porch steps even if I could drive. So I didn’t leave my house from Friday after work until Tuesday morning. Rough.

Get your flu shots. Even if they are only 30% effective. 

I got mine. Dolly got hers. Both of us avoided flu. Beau did not get his shot this year and we all suffered because of it.

So you can see why I haven’t attempted to take on anything else in my life right now.

Sorry this turned into such a long post! How was your holiday? Hopefully better than mine…