freshjerseypeach

Written On Our Hearts: God, Love, Family

This may surprise some of you.

Here’s my beef  chicken with the Chik-Fil-A situation. 

1. Believing in the Biblical definition of marriage does not mean you hate gays. Just as I don’t believe that adultery is right, doesn’t mean I don’t adulterers. I am against someone’s religious beliefs being labeled as hate. Disagree with a religion all you want, peacefully protest that religion, but don’t accuse the believers of hate. It diminishes the severity and meaning of hate. Hate is a powerful word, let’s save it for those instances where it really exists. 

I don’t hate gays (or adulterers or pre-marital sexers or people who’ve had an abortion) I disagree with their choice. They are welcome in my home, in our celebrations, as my friends, as my family with open, loving arms.

2. The First Amendment issue with Chik-Fil-A is a religious one, not necessarily a free speech one. The First Amendment gives us the right to practice our faith, denying a business a license to operate because of its founder’s religious beliefs is a First Amendment right. That business can not and should not refuse to hire/serve people that are in conflict with their religious views, but that business absolutely has the political right to have a license. 

Those who disagree with a businesses founder’s beliefs also, then, have the absolute right to protest (peacefully) and boycott that business. That is not the same as denying them a business licence. 

But, you say, what if a business owner’s beliefs were deeply racist or sexist? As long as that business doesn’t deny people of color and women service, they still have a right to operate. Would I protest them and boycott them? Darn tooten’ but I wouldn’t argue that they don’t have a right to exist. 

There are many companies (such as Google, Pampers) that support same sex marriage. I don’t make an issue about it, I don’t insist that they shut down, I don’t insist that their profits not go to same sex marriage organizations. I just disagree with them. I even use their products. Because I understand that disagreement is just that: disagreement, not hate. And if an LGBT friendly business was denied a business licence, I would actually support their right to operate and open. 

Beliefs are a First Amendent right. 

3. I am surprised at the vitriol that suddenly is erupting here. CFA has been, for decades, a Christian owned business who closes on Sundays. So when the founder expresses a Christian world view….why is everyone surprised and shocked and angry? Why weren’t they denied business licences before this? Why wasn’t there an outcry before this? Is it because he said his views? Which seems to be the conclusion. No outcry before his statements, outcry after. Then that, to me, is scary and chilling. It’s saying, “it’s ok to have your beliefs, just don’t talk about them.” 

4. But, you may argue, that the business, through its owner, gives profits to organizations I disagree with. Ok, then don’t patronize them. Don’t buy their product. Protest them. Tell everyone you know about what they do with their profits. But, this is the point here, a business owner has the right to use his profits any way he sees fit. 

Just as you have the right to spend your profits (salary) from your job any way you see fit, so does a business OWNER. He owns the business, therefore, the profits are his to do with as he sees fit. 

Just as before, if you dislike what he does with those profits, then, heck yeah, boycott, protest and tell it. But don’t try to stop him from spending his money in a way he wants.

I’m a teacher. What if I used my salary to give to organizations that my union disagreed with? Would the union have the right to tell me NOT to give to those organizations or believe in their message? Of course not.  In fact, it’s quite the opposite. When I was full time teaching, my union gave some of my dues to organizations I strongly disagree with. They spent my money on beliefs I oppose. 

But I let it go. I realize that, for the benefit of the union’s help and protection, I allow my dues to be spent as they saw fit. After all, my dues were their profit. 

So, let’s allow people to believe what they want, spend their money where they want, protest where they want, boycott where they want…but let’s not deny them business licences as that’s a blatant First Amendment right. 

Your thoughts?

Hot Day

Too hot to play outside today? We amused ourselves: being scientists, gem stone archeologists, pirates (well, in Lexi’s words, she was a "pirate princess"), and having fun. Yes, she’s got no pants on and, yes, she’s covered in paint, lollipop, among other things, just more evidence of a day well played! The "pirate ship" is our coffee table turned upside down.

 

Slow and Steady

We are slowly getting back to “normal” around here. A few days after we got home from Virginia, my slipped disk in my shoulder/neck (that I’ve had for at least 20 years) flared up really bad. I went to the ER to get some relief. I usually have a mild to moderate flare up a few times a  year, but nothing I can’t handle. This time, I couldn’t even move. The ER gave me some intense pain meds and sent me home.

On a side note, I guess some people just don’t have the body chemistry to be a drug addict. Because when I was on the morphine and dialudid, I did NOT like it. I got so nauseous and hated that loopy feeling. I can’t imagine ever wanting to repeat it and take those again.

But I guess some people don’t understand “food addiction” like me and wonder why I can’t just put the dang chips down.

Anyway……

House is being tidied, with Art’s help, as I rest my shoulder. We moved around some money/bank accounts to be ready for another adoption match. My heart is starting to heal.

Every once in awhile, though, I get angry. I want to yell “give me back my kid!”

And before the baby, I was calm and just not worrying about the timing of our second adoption. Now that I’ve had a taste of baby, I want it to happen NOW. I’m anxious.

I need to let that go.

Summer here’s. It’s been beautiful out. We have season passes to six flags. Money’s tight, but we have enough to get by which is more than many people in the world even have. We have a roof over our heads, food in the fridge, a good car that’s paid off and some $$ in the bank.

I’m going to relax so I can just enjoy the rest of my favorite season

Mom of…..what?

Ummmm……well…..I’m just gonna say it. We have a potential match. Art and I are headed to Virginia to meet a birth mom that picked us, baby born yesterday. Pray that all goes well and this goes through. Whoa. If this goes through, I’m gonna be a mom of TWO today! Already have guilt about Lexi….only child no more!

In potty training news……

A week ago Lexi “decided” she was ready. We went two days in underwear (except for night) with no accidents and Lexi cheerfully asking to go and getting excited when she did go (pee only).

Then she freaked out. Again. The third day she began whining and crying about underwear (again). She began to hold her pee (again) until she was dancing around. When I made her sit on the potty at that point, tears and drama ensued. But she’d sit there, crying, wailing until she peed. As soon as she did, the drama/tears/wails turned OFF like a switch.

So, I’ve been sticking with it, not wanting her to go backwards to diapers. She still will hold her pee until I make her go. She still cries the whole time on the potty-but it’s a lot less. It’s just a little whine rather than a full on tantrum. And when I ask her to stop…she will. She’ll just sit there with teary eyes and a pout until she pees, she’ll have the occasional accident when she waits too long (please tell me I’m not doing irreparable psychological damage here).

I also have her in those old school Gerber training pants with the thick, cotton bottom. I’m NOT paying for pull ups, which she treats just like a diaper anyway. If she has an accident, I put old school plastic pants over them. She HATES the plastic pants-they crinkle and are hot. We talk about if she goes in the potty, she doesn’t have to wear the plastic pants, it sometimes works. Today, she went in the potty I keep in the car while at the park rather than wear the plastic pants while playing. As long as the pee goes in potty, not her underwear she can be plastic pants free. And they are GREAT at keeping her pants dry. I don’t have to carry lots of pants now, just a few pairs of underwear and plastic pants when we go out.

I know my daughter. I know if I allowed the whining/crying to let her go back to diapers, she’d be even MORE fortified and stubborn about getting out of them. It’s a “win” that that will set her back.

Adoption Video

Here’s our adoption video, finally finished. What do y’all think?! If you know anyone who wants to place a child for adoption, feel free to pass this video on to them.

 

 

 

Seaside Escape

This weekend my church’s mom’s group had a retreat down at the beach. We had a lovely bed and breakfast for sleeping and meals-and a cook from church.

We also had a beautiful historic hall for our meetings. It was a beach theme called Seaside Escape. I helped with the decorating and I did a great job, if I do say so myself.

Pics (using iPhone instagram effects/app)

Centerpieces (there we didn’t do, they were already there)

Tables, on top was sea glass and shells

close up

Some of the women

The speaker’s platform/stage

I got there on Friday morning to set up and then dinner started at 5:30, and our first session started at 7:00. We then had sessions Saturday until the afternoon, then free time, then evening sessions and one more session on Sunday morning.

IT WAS AWESOME.

Two women from church played for worship and they were amazing. We had about 26 women there total.

I presented two of the sessions.

My soul and heart were recharged. In my small group I even shared some things and got prayer for some things that were weighing me down but I had never told anyone before.

It truly was a great time of worship, prayer, Bible study, laughing (LOTS of laughing), crying (lots of that too!) and enjoying the beach town.

Plus, you know, having almost the entire weekend responsible for no one but myself. Glorious things like sleeping late (8:00 a.m., which is late for me!), sleeping 8 hours uninterrupted, having time to actually READ uninterrupted and so on.

I really got a chance to find me again. I know my mom readers will get that. We all love being wives and mothers but sometimes we lose who we are in that. We are Mrs. So-and-So or So-and-So’s mommy. We give and give all day and often into the night.

We sacrifice a lot. Careers. Time. Sleep. Material wants. Clean homes 🙂

Being a wife and mother is being a 24/7 servant and there is nothing wrong with that….however, we all need time to step away for a few days and just be.

I felt like I discovered Annie again, not Art’s wife or Lexi’s mom, but just me.

It was thrilling. And on the way home, blasting my music in the car because I didn’t have my kid with me, I started to feel a little down. I knew that as soon as I walked in that door there would be a million little things that needed me to snap into wife/mommy mode again.

When I walked in the door, Lexi was having a meltdown because she missed me and Art was trying to calm her down. I picked Lexi up and she, sobbing, said, “Don’t go to retreat again. Don’t go so far away. I wanted you.”

I knew this was her managing her emotions and I also know its ultimately good for her to learn to be away from me AND to learn to deal with these feelings-because life is going to hand her more. But it still broke my heart!

So, it was like a rude awakening! Almost 3 days of bliss and quiet reflection and then, BAM, I walk home into a crying child and a frustrated husband who asks what we were going to do for dinner.

When I was single and then married with no kids, I used to moan and groan about being married/having kids.

And, of course I wouldn’t change anything about my life right now, I now realize that I should have cherished those times more.

So, my single readers, or married no kids readers, CHERISH  your time. You will be married/have kids one day and you will look back on these days with longing. Enjoy them while you have them!

But of course!

Well, my brother’s in trouble. Again.

Here’s the (relatively) short back story:

My younger by two years brother started using drugs in high school, spent almost 20 years using and selling prescription narcotics among other things, including impersonating a doctor and calling in fake prescriptions to drug stores and then going to pick them up committing bank robberies to get drug money. Did about 10 years of jail time, came home, moved in with our parents, promptly began using again, stole and crashed my parents’ car, went back to jail for  a year, got out….

….and unbelievably, my parents let him move back in. Again.

Now, this brother, despite (because of??) the drug use has the life where things “just happen” to him. Sometimes tragic things, sometimes great things.

Case in point: after spending 10 years in jail for robbing banks and selling drugs, he gets out and within a month gets this amazing job with a Paris based company making more than I ever did as a teacher with a masters AND getting a free business trip to Paris out of it.

That didn’t last long though, when his drug use became apparent.

Other example, of his infamous “luck”: when he tried to get an apartment after his second jail release, he found out he was in this scam type of thing where the land lady took his deposit money, then called him and told him the apartment wasn’t available and he had to get the police involved to get his deposit back.

Then he gets severe food poisoning at a fast food restaurant (not allowed to say which, due to the lawsuit) and ends up in the MILLION dollar lawsuit because he got permanent damage to his colon from it; the CDC and FDA are involved in this and, if he wins, he will most likely get thousands, if not a million, dollars out of it.

Yup.

The latest?

A few months ago his leg swells up and turns red. He goes to ER and it turns out he had TWO clots in his leg. They do emergency surgery and also discover that he has this heart murmur that is very dangerous, will cause a stroke if left untreated and will need open heart surgery once he recovers from the clot surgery.

Yup.

He has complications from the clot surgery and ends up in a nursing home/rehab for a MONTH while the wound heals.

Moves back home. At this point, my parents realize he is never going to work again and never going to move out.

While waiting for the leg to completely heal, he stays home, never goes anywhere (he can’t drive, has no money, can’t really walk well, etc.) and my parents lock up his wound meds.

And then he starts acting weird. Repeating things. Walking in and out of his room over and over for no reason. Gagging at meals. Slurring words and bits of aphasia where he can’t remember the word for something or just stops talking mid sentence for no reason. Can’t remember anything past a minute.

i.e. Me: How’s the lawsuit going?

Him: Good, we have a deposition this Friday.

A few minutes pass.

Him: Oh! Did I tell you, I have my deposition this Friday for the lawsuit!

Me: You just told me.

A few minutes pass.

Him: Hey, I have my deposition Friday.

Yup.

The visiting nurse, who comes to check his wound, says it appears he *may* have had a small stroke (!!) and that’s causing all the weird behavior…after all, the cardiologist did warn us that this was a risk with his heart condition.

It’s becoming clear that he will most likely never live alone. He’ll be with my parents or in some kind of group living thing or home.

He goes to see more doctors this week to find out what’s really going on.

It never ends.

I know I sound all bitter/cynical/like I don’t care. I DO care. But this is just one more thing with him, there’s always something major and catastrophic going on.

Lazy Day!

Today was sunny, but windy and cold (ummm…it’s almost May, mmkay!) so Lexi and I decided to have a lazy pajama day. Item #1: don’t get dressed, PJ’s all day!

Then we:

1. read a ton of books snuggled in bed

2. ate breakfast

3. watched videos/I played online

4. made art with construction paper, glue, tape and stickers. Made a kite.

5. Went outside and flew kite (in our pajamas!!), came back in, too cold!

6. Played “ocean” in the tub to get Lexi warmed up: blue food coloring in the water and all her ocean toys.

7. Ate lunch while having a tea party.

8. Lexi played alone while I tidied up the house.

9. Looong nap, me included!

10. Now, yes, watching more videos as we wait for Daddy to come home….still in our pj’s!!

Clear lungs or insane child

So, after getting all the meds home a friend alerted me to be aware of the side effects (thank you!).  I begin to read the inserts/side effects. I notice on the Singulair that a possible side effect is aggression, violence, tics, neuropsychiatric disorders!

WTH!

Ummm…..what? The doctor didn’t feel the need to tell me this?

So, I read a bunch of stuff online about kids taking Singulair that are going nuts hitting, screaming, extremely violent, even suicidal and as soon as they get off the med, they are fine.

So, I freak out a little about having to choose between Lexi breathing clear or being insane. Because all these websites also said that the drug did work a miracle in their kids breathing.

Art and I talked about it and decided to try it, Lexi was pretty bad off, not sleeping well due to her breathing issues. We agreed if she began to become insane, we’d call the doctor and take her off it right away. I don’t like giving Lexi meds but I don’t like her not breathing either.

Well, it’s been five days and…..it’s been a miracle with her breathing. Where she used to wake up 3-4 times a night with asthma attacks/coughing, she wakes up once for one quick cough, and sometimes not even that, she just sleeps through.

She used to wake up extremely congested with mucus dripping everywhere (sorry, I know that’s gross) and coughing a lot.

Now she wakes up clear and free breathing.

She used to snore with congestion every night.

Now, silent, peaceful sleep.

She’s a happier kid over all.

BUT (and everyone has a big but)….I’m watching her closely for violent behavior. And there have been a few instances of possible issues, but I can’t tell if its from the Singulair or if its just Lexi being three and strong willed.

She’s always been very opinionated (can’t tell you how many times we visit time out for her back talking-she’s starting to get better though) and very vocal. She’s always gotten frustrated when she can’t do something perfect and throws a little fit but the fit lasts maybe a couple minutes and she’s back to herself. She’s always been stubborn and strong willed. But never violent.

Since she started the meds there’s been two instances where I became concerned. In one I told her no about something and she looked at me with such anger that I’ve never seen in her before and slammed her fist down on the couch-she’s never done that before.

But then she got over it and happily went back to playing.

The other night, while Art was giving her a bath he tried to play with her by putting one of her bath toys in this little boat. She got mad and threw the boat against the wall-again, never done anything like that.

I’ve also noticed she’s throwing little things more too: when she finished eating she tosses what’s left on the floor. She hasn’t done that since around 15 months!

Each and every time of these instances she’s been disciplined.

But I’m driving myself nuts trying to figure out if its a phase, her testing boundaries or the Singulair…and if its the Singulair…is there worse to come?

Her next allergist appointment is May 1, so if we can make it to then, I’ll talk to the doc about other medicines.

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