Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Texas Debacle

I just can't take it anymore! I keep seeing stories on television or reading the latest about the FLDS raid in Texas, and all I can think is, "Why are the children being punished?" If you truly believe that these children have been abused, why aren't the alleged abusers the ones sitting in a coliseum and sleeping on cots? This absolutely galls me and breaks my heart. As a mother, I can't help but think about how my innocent little girls' hearts would break to be taken from all they know and from their mommy. Why aren't the men the ones in custody?

I've heard many "experts" on various TV networks saying that Texas CPS did the right thing, and these children need to be "deprogrammed". And the government is going to do this? Ha! Even Carolyn Jessop, who escaped from the FLDS community in Colorado City, Arizona had one of her children later return to the group of her own volition. If a mother, who experienced the nightmare firsthand, could not "deprogram" her own child, then there is about zero chance these children will "see the light" and want to live in the outside world. This whole experience will only serve to reinforce everything they have been taught about people outside of their compound.

The other issue I have with this whole fiasco is the general arrogance portrayed by just about everyone. Apparently, our society on the outside world has no abuse, no sexual perversion, no teenage mothers...no, it's fine that we are placing children in same-sex households, that pornography has been completely normalized and pervades our culture, but it's THEY who are weird, perverse, and need to be "educated". I am not saying that I agree with how the FLDS culture works, but we should at least consider for a moment that they are not the only group in the world still practicing polygamy. Much of the Islamic world condones and practices polygamy. We may not agree with it, but we ought to respect their freedom to practice their religion.

Mike Watkiss from Phoenix's Channel 3 put it well when he said that it's not about polygamy itself, it's about underage girls forced into marriage with much older men. I absolutely agree that something should be done to protect these girls, so take the men and subject them to questioning, DNA testing, medical exams and the like. The children should NOT be made to suffer because of what we suspect their parents may be doing. It is truly frightening that 400 plus children can be dragged from their homes and made to live out one of their biggest fears; these children have been taught that the evil outsiders want to take them away and hurt them. And that is exactly what has happened.

See Fox's Judge Andrew Napolitano with his "verdict" on this issue - HERE

Monday, April 14, 2008

Thoughts About Motherhood

OK, so here is the thought provoking post about one of my "keys to happiness." I love being a mother! I have had my share of trials becoming a mother. I had trouble finding the father, first of all, and then once we found each other and married, getting the children here was no easy task. I won't bore you with the long version, but I will sum up by saying that I had 5 surgeries in 3 years (including my 2 c-sections) and ended up with HELLP syndrome (HERE is a good description of what that is) with my 1st baby and preeclampsia with my second.

Of course, even with "normal" deliveries, having a baby is no easy task. Then, once they're here, your world is changed forever and that can be really overwhelming. There are definitely days when I feel like I'm ready to go hide under a rock somewhere, or in my bathroom, or in my bed... But there are so many other times when I am grateful to have these two beautiful children who are bright, fun, innocent people. Do they know the sacrifices I am making for them? No. They may never know until they have their own children, but that isn't the point. It's not about acknowledgment or recognition. It's about having my three-year-old tell me, "Mommy, I'm so proud of you for going on the potty!" after watching me pee, or hearing my one-year-old point and ask, "What's dat?" about EVERYTHING!

Whoever these girls become has a lot to do with what I am doing now. Their impressions of the world and how they fit into it will be based to a large extent on how I treat them, and how they feel growing up in our home. It is true that I have known people who came from extremely difficult backgrounds rise above their childhood and become productive, happy adults. But, my hope is that my children will at least know that no matter what happens, I love them and will always be there.

So, what has made me think about this on this Monday morning? Mostly the fact that when I woke up today and heard my baby yelling, "Mama!" from her crib, I knew that she meant me. I am a mama; I am her mama, and nobody can replace me or do what I do for her. There are many who could take care of her and be there for her, but I will always be her mother. Is it overwhelming? Yes. Is it challenging? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely!

Who wouldn't fall in love with these 2 faces?

I've Been Tagged

Although I do have a few things to blog about, in the interest of sleep I will humor my friend, Arianne, and play Blogger Tag.

5 Things Meme

What I was doing ten years ago...

1. Getting ready to move to Korea
2. Still single and not dating anyone
3. Answering questions like, "How can you move to Korea? Don't you ever want to get married?" (BTW, my now-husband was about to marry someone else and was not available at the time anyway.)
4. Teaching high school Spanish
5. Living in Utah

Five things on my to-do list today...

1. Go to church (Check)
2. Take a nap (Check)
3. Hang out with family (Check)
4. Plan out the week with my hubby (Check)
5. Check e-mails (Check)
Pretty productive day as far as I can tell :-)

Five snacks I enjoy...

1. Chocolate with almonds
2. Chocolate cake
3. Chocolate ice cream
4. Hot chocolate
5. Chocolate con churros

Five things I would do if I was a billionaire...

1. Buy a house
2. Buy a new wardrobe
3. Travel
4. Pay back my student loans
5. Give money to children's charities

Five of my bad habits....

1. Eating chocolate
2. Staying up too late blogging and checking e-mails
3. Monk (if you know what I'm talking about, you'll understand)
4. Worrying
5. Letting Maija watch another episode of Diego, so I can have a minute to myself

Five places I have lived....

1. Madrid, Spain (twice)
2. Provo, Utah (three times)
3. Schenectady, NY (twice)
4. Hong Kong
5. Quebec, Canada

Five jobs I've had....

1. Pizza Hut server, dishwasher, hostess, cook
2. Cashier at a mini-mart in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3. BYU Bookstore help desk
4. Utah County Prenatal Program for mothers with substance abuse issues
5. The hardest job of all ..... mother!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Key to Happiness

Let me say right now that if you think this is going to be a deep, pensive post about how one can find true happiness, you might as well stop reading right now.   This week the KEY to my happiness is that I found my keys!!!   I know, it's a corny play on words, but anyway....

After a morning visit at Grandma's house, I was loading up the girls and decided to stow one of the stowable seats in our minivan.    My mother-in-law was helping me get everyone strapped in and settled, and I walked around to the driver's side.  I looked down on the driver's seat and saw.....MY LOST KEYS!!!!    My mother-in-law found them on the floor of the van right where the stowed seat had been.   I was so relieved and a little frustrated that I had already spent the fifty bucks to replace our mail key.   At least I hadn't gotten to replacing the keyless entry remote yet... Whew!!!   

Oddly enough, in response to a posted comment (see it  HERE), I told a story about Maija claiming the lost keys were in "the car."   In the end, they really were in the car, and, yes, Maija, I am a "silly Mommy."

Here is a cute picture of Sleeping Beauty Maija.  She fell asleep in one of her princess outfits.


Friday, April 4, 2008

Losing Things...Including My Mind!

There is nothing worse than losing your keys.  OK, maybe there is something worse than that, but humor me!   About a week ago, my key ring went missing.  Actually, it is only part of my key ring.  I usually have the key ring with my car keys on it, and a separate one with one of those "handy" detachable clips, so I can multitask.  The detachable ring had my keyless entry remote for my car, my house keys, my sister's house key, and our only mail key.  

After days of waiting for the key ring to suddenly appear, Kent and I started searching in earnest for the keys.  We turned our couches inside out to no avail;  it's amazing and disgusting what actually gets trapped inside the crevasses of our couches.   We searched the cars, the diaper bag, my purse, our pants pockets, and anything else we could think of.   Nothing!   I was getting more and more frustrated knowing the mail was piling up in our mailbox that we couldn't get to (not to mention our Netflix movie that was waiting to be watched!)   But we still held out hope that they keys would appear.

On the fifth day, that would be yesterday, I started calling around to find out how much it was going to cost to replace everything.  The post office said that our boxes were actually "builder" boxes, which means the HOA handles it.  The HOA said we had to call a contracted company.  The contracted company said it would cost $63, and we would have to wait a WEEK before they could come.  What?!?!    And this is just for the mail key.  Forget the keyless entry to my car, which I haven't even started trying to deal with yet.   Kent suggested we search again before spending the money to replace everything.  

One more fruitless search, and I finally decided to put our mail on hold at the post office and start the process of replacing the mail key.  I called the post office, and a very nice postal worker told me that she could give the number of an independent locksmith who could do it for $40 and would get it replaced within 24 hours.   So, after all of the searching, phone calls, and frustration, the independent locksmith came 2 hours after I called him this morning, replaced the lock, gave us 3 mail keys, and charged us $50 instead of the $40 suggested by the postal lady.   But, it is replaced!!!  

Now to replace house keys and the keyless entry remote.   

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

My April Fool's Plans

Although in my world it is still Monday night (3/31), in the real world it is well after midnight, which means it's really April Fools' Day!   I've been thinking about what kind of joke to play on my husband.  I'm fairly confident (I'd say 99.9% sure) that he won't read this blog before I can play a joke on him, so...what to do?  

My first thought was to call him at work and tell him that there had been some kind of clerical error, and we owe $2000 to some financial institution or another.  But then that might be too mean, since I'm pretty sure he'd freak out about that.   I could make up some story about having to leave town for a week to take care of an ailing relative, and that I'd have to leave the girls with him.  :)  *grin*   That's a good one.  Hmmm....   I'll have to keep thinking.

April Fools Part II - What Happened?
(Posted after the fact) 

I finally decided to give my husband a real scare.   I called him at work and told him that the Stake Executive Secretary had called and said that the Stake Presidency wanted to meet with us before the end of the week.   For those who aren't sure what that means, a stake presidency is a council of 3 men who oversees several church congregations.  If they call, it usually means they are asking you to do something big, like be in charge of something.   Kent was definitely a little freaked out (*grin*) and I let him stew about it for most of the day.  Finally, at the end of the day, I told him that it was an April Fools joke.  He was slightly amused, but I thought it was pretty funny myself.