Happy Easter to All...
From Ken, Jack, Deanna and myself, we'd like to wish everyone a wonderful and Happy Easter and Passover.
It's been a rough week for a lot of people, and I've thrown out some pretty harsh opinions, which are just that, opinions. My prayers go out to The Schindler Family. I hope they find peace with all that's going on. I hope Michael Schiavo rots in Hell for what he's doing to his wife, and that when his time comes it's a painful one. (I know this is mean, but what he's doing is mean too. No one deserves to die this way. I'm a bitch for my previous rantings on the subject, but I need to vent too, even if I'm not related in any way, shape or form. My apologies to anyone who may have been offended, and to those who share my opinion, remember we're lucky to have our health.)
I wish our families love and peace. I wish the same for my friends and their families. Remember to love one another, be good to one another, and to enjoy the time you have with each other, as it could be gone in a moment.
Happy Easter...Now pass the Roast Beef and Matzo!
The solid food stage...fun stuff!
Cheerios, fruit puffs, diced fruits and veggies and the ever-popular meat sticks. These are now the reality of Jackson's new experimental menu. Oh yes, he still grubs up two jars a sitting, but in an attempt to move him over to table foods, I've started giving him these solids, and man is he loving them! It all started with a lemon slice, then a lime slice, then an apple slice and an orange slice, and now it's evolved to these other foods. We're talking good times here.
Mr. no-teeth gums the living daylights out of these new foods. I popped open a can of peas and carrots and diced up a banana for his lunch today and he went nuts. I find the lunch time feeding of solids to be helping when it comes to his naps and when he goes to sleep at night. He sleeps straight through, waking up around 8:30 am and going back down for a 10:30 nap and a 2:30 nap.
He likes the new foods. He doesn't choke on them, and what he doesn't like he just spits out. He makes some pretty cool faces when trying new things, but he's pretty open-minded with what he's willing to try. A lot of this is in the effort to keep him on a balanced diet of fruits and veggies and meats, and as little refined sugar as possible. Obesity and childhood diabetes are a factor for a shitty diet. My girlfriend Emily gives her year-old daughter a lot of dairy and pasta and not enough fruit or vegetables. I don't need Jack to be a fussy eater. Deanna ate anything you gave her, and I'm hoping that the same will hold true for her brother. Jack just doesn't like broccoli, but then again neither do I, so why force it on him, ya know?
I know this may seem trivial to those of you with no children, but to us parents, this is a whole new experience, and it shows us that our children are growing and evolving in their personalities. I'm excited even if certain people think this is nothing spectacular. Next it will be teeth and crawling and walking and talking and throwing a football...but that's next week if we're lucky!
Looks like the end is near.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta denied Bob and Mary Schindler's appeal this morning to re-insert Terri Schiavo's feeding tube. Now they are going to the Supreme Court, where their case was originally refused to be heard.
Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida expressed his "disappointment" over the decision and has vowed to do all that he can to help "spare Terri's life". Today is the last day that lawmakers can pass any form of legislation regarding this case before recessing.
If Jeb Bush and the rest of Congress and the Legislature want to help, they better start a fund for Bob and Mary Schindler to pay their legal fees, which must be in the millions by now, not keep shooting their mouths off with their public opinion political jargin, which frankly is making my stomach turn.
If Bob and Mary Schindler were independently wealthy, and had the financial means and ways privately or by a foundation created on Terri' s behalf to care for her and to prolong her inevitable death and their invariable grief, then I would petition to help save their daughter. We all want to do something to help our children, to save them from the harm that befalls them, no matter what. If they had Bill Gate's bank account this may never have been an issue to begin with, BUT THEY DON'T! It is the private tax paying citizen that is funding all of this, and I don't want to tell Jack or Deanna that they can't or won't go to college because funds that were ear-marked for their educations, (Upromise, etc...) something that could have made Jack a doctor who could have possibly found a cure to help reverse and cure whatever it is that put Terri Schiavo in this condition in the first place, are gone because the government was busy caring for someone in a persistive vegetative state. Nice..."Nope son, not this year, Terri Schiavo's feeding is more important."
Please don't get me wrong. I am not a mean or callous person. I am just fucking tired of the federal government and that jackass President of ours breaking us finacially to the point where the whole country is licking the curb with the exception of perhaps 2%...the rich and ultra-rich. I'm sorry if I sound angry or uncaring about these nice people's situation, and being a parent my heart aches for them, but enough is enough already.
I'm sorry that Terri will have to starve to death, but I have also read that she will be in no pain. Her body will just shut down, and her remaining functions will slowly deteriorate until she quietly passes away. She's in a hospice, a place that assists patients in their final stages of death. They are not there to administer or quicken that pace, they are there to monitor it and the natural process of it, and to keep her comfortable. She's not dying in a hospital or on a street corner. If Bob and Mary Schindler want to take care of their daughter, shouldn't she be at home with them? Why IS Terri Schiavo in a hospice now that I think about it?
Alright, I'm done with this whole Terri Schiavo rant of mine. I hope the Supreme Court has the common sense to continue their former stance on this and not hear the appeal for Bob and Mary Schindler's sake. How many times do you have to be told no before you get it, and why is an 11th hour appeal going to make this alright? They still have to fight with Michael Schiavo about this if the tube is re-inserted, and I'll be left watching "Monster Home make-over" because CNN and Fox news will be corroded with this again. I can only sit here shaking my head, feeling badly for the parents of this poor woman, raising an eyebrow over the actions of her husband, all the while wondering what it is that Terri herself truly wanted, but I guess we'll never know, and that in itself is the saddest part of all. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Right to Live...or to Die.
I've been following the Terri Schiavo case with a lot of fervor. Being a woman in my late thirties, and now having two children and a husband, I've given a lot of thought as to making up a living will and testiment and dealing with life insurance.
While I feel terrible for Bob and Mary Schindler having to go through the process of trying to save their daughter's life, I'm also a bit pissed off at Michael Schiavo as well. It's unfortunate that Terri didn't have a will, and it's sad that a schmuck like Schiavo, whose life has gone on apparently since he now has a girlfriend and children, is able to speak for her. Why is it that this man is able to go on and live his life, but he chose not to divorce Terri and allow her parents to take over legal guardianship of her? What is his motivation? Why is it that my word to my husband "don't let me live by artificial means should I become a vegetable" not enough, that I need to have it in writing in order for it to truly have an impact, and why are Bob and Mary hanging on to a woman who has no quality of life outside of thie hospice she "lives" in, a comparative vegetable herself?
As a parent I would be hard pressed to have to make these decisions for my children, or as a wife for my husband, but if the circumstances were the same, I'd have to let them go. If Jack can't run and play, and hug me and kiss me and talk to me, or if Deanna can't respond to my touch or laugh at my jokes, and they just lay there in a fetal position being excercised daily to keep the bedsores from forming causing death from infection and needing to be fed by a tube in their stomaches, then where is their quality of life? This woman has no brain function, and for fifteen years has not responded to anyone or anything. I feel saddened by the fact that her parents wanting to hang on so desperately that they're deluding themselves into thinking that she's going to one day resume some sort of function, and perhaps get better. It makes me want to cry, and I have empathy for them; a child should never die before their parents.
Who is paying for Terri Schiavo's care, which must have bankrupted her husband and parents long ago? Why is a woman in a vegetative state being cared for with Federal funds, ie Medicaid when my in-laws can't even afford their medications on the same programs, and last but not least, why is the Federal Government and President Bush getting involved in THIS particular case when hundreds more like this happen on a daily basis, but no one makes waves about it?
While I agree that Terri Schiavo should be allowed to die with dignity, I think that she's being made a mockery of by our Federal Government. Her family is dragging this through the mud when they just need to let go and let this woman pass on to a better existance, a place where she is and can be whole again, where she is loved and can love in return, where the memory of her can be honored with dignity, not the shame of losing a battle over keeping this lifeless woman alive, and for what purpose? We can't feed our starving, we can't house our homeless, but we can pay to keep Scott Peterson on Death Row for twenty years and Terri Schiavo alive by artificial means??? These are my tax dollars at work...what the fuck is that all about?
To Bob and Mary Schindler my solemn and sincere prayer that you will see the light and let Terri pass on peacefully. To Michael Schiavo, I hope your next wife has a fucking will you pious prick. Roman Catholics won't go to Hell for divorce, but I hope you do for committing infidelity while your WIFE was and is still alive you dumbass, and lastly to Terri herself I wish you peace in all forms. May those around you do the right thing, may they follow whatever it was that was truly your last wish, which no one will ever really know since you can't tell us yourself. I'm so sorry you have to go through this, and I hope in the end you get whatever it is you wanted, be it life or death, but may you be at peace no matter what.
The moral of the story folks is this: take an hour to draw up your will. Don't let someone else make these decisions for you or you may wind up the next example of the human condition, or as I refer to this as "the human stain". Make it easy for those around you to RESPECT YOUR WISHES, and not do what they think it is that you "may" have wanted. The best defense is a good offense, so be prepared. Do yourself and your family that small favor.
Jack and Mommy...together and Happy
It is cold and shitty and rainy outside. They say Spring is coming in the next week. Okay, I'll bite, but I remember this time last year here in Atlanta and it was snowing.
I made the conscious choice to move here for the four seasons, and man am I getting them! It's probably a toasty 70 degrees in LA. right now, but I'm not jealous. I just want to be able to take Jack out into better weather. We all thrive when it's warm out.
So we have a few more weeks of this, and then a beautiful Spring to look forward to. I see a trip to Alabama to visit my Uncle Shorty (Richard) and his family in our future. He's an aviations specialist who owns his own company in Montgomery. Hey, it's someplace new to go, with family to visit, right?
Until then, I'll just deal with this shitty weather. My heater is working over-time...I can only imagine the bill when it comes.
The Final Word on gender-bending...yeesh!
For those of you who have been following along about our cat Smokey, he's gone from a "he" to a "she". This is a most unusual gender-bender. I made the appointment for the cat to be fixed and for more shots, and when asked what gender the cat was I replied, "you've got me."
I explained to the animal hospital that I hadn't seen any testicles, but now I was confused because it looked as though testicles were forming. I figured the cat was a hermaphrodite, but we'd gender assign it upon neutering. (I'm kidding folks!) After weeks of confusion, I was told to go to this particular website to look up the cat's gender. SMOKEY IS A MALE CAT! There is no doubt, no confusion, no doubt about it. The poor cat's got to be as confused as it gets. I went for months calling Smokey "boy kitty", and then after speaking with a vet (who knew shit about cats obviously) we started referring to Smokey as "kitty-girl". I now know unequivicably that Smokey is a male, and as such I have gone back to the male references.
In any case, Smokey's going to lose his nut sack on the 4th of April, and have some more shots and a check-up, all for the bargain price of $40.00 through Petco's vet services. I'll find a vet closer to home eventually, but for the most part I trust the Petco people. After all, they led me down the right path to figuring out what sex the darn cat was. Now we don't have to deal with a gender-bender situation anymore. Thank God I never bought the pink collar I was going to buy!
The Spoken Word...now it begins.
Jack has spoken his first word, and lo and behold it is "Mama". Now begins the era of spoken communication.
We are sometimes (most of the time actually) left to try and figure out what it is our children need when they can't speak. They have specific cries and whines for certain needs. When Jack is hungry we know it by a specific cry followed by certain behaviour, mainly the fact that he opens his mouth like a little bird waiting for us to put something into it! When Jack is tired he whines a certain way followed by the endless rubbing of his eyes, tugging of his ear, and endless raspberries. When Jack is just fussy he sounds like a car engine gone awry, and we play with him or give him extra attention.
Now that Jack can say "Mama", we know who it is that he wants certain things from at certain times. He says it over and over "mamamamamama" and it is the sweetest thing to my ears and gives validity to what I do during my days now. I was convinced that he would say "dada" first, but Ken said that he worked on "mama" with him so that it would be his first word. I appreciate it. Now if that damn first tooth would just come through already...
Happiness at home with Jack.
Attention Spans and Cats...
Smokey is the same age as Jack. If you'll remember, she's the kitten we adopted when Jack was about two months old. She's the same age as Jack literally, and she's grown into this full-grown monster with attitude given her age, but she treats the baby really well surprisingly enough.
This little four-legged baby has the attention span of a nat, along with a brain that size too probably. She climbs on the counter tops, goes inside of the fireplace, sleeps on top of the computer monitor, bites at my ankles when I walk around the house, growls at invisible wall bugs that only she can see, motors around the house at top speed after using the litter box. In short Smokey is a retard, as are most kittens her age. She has some of the neatest qualities though. She actually fetches little balls and toys and brings them to me when I throw them, she plays hide and seek with Ken, she lays patiently while Jack grabs her by the scruff of her neck, she cuddles with me EVERY single night when we go to bed and follows me into Jack's room to feed him if he wakes up, and she watches Jack splash in the tub during bath time and doesn't move even when he gets her wet. She loves Jack and Jack loves her.
I've always been a cat person. I grew up having cats in my home, I always had a cat as a pet in my own home once I grew up. I just relate to their independence and their freedom, and I love it when they want attention for no other reason then they just want it. Cats don't lie, and if they don't want to be bothered with you they let you know it.
It's been an interesting journey having two six-month olds in the house. Jack's changed as has Smokey. Here's the whopper; eventually in the next few weeks Smokey's going to get fixed so that she doesn't go into heat. This should calm her down considerably, but I wonder what it will do to her personality. Hell, I got fixed and it calmed me down, so it couldn't be any worse for her, right?
Just think, one day your child is a little person, one with thoughts and feelings, one who is nurtured and cared for, one who can barely stand and communicate what he's going through. You wake up years later and find that your child now dresses him/herself, they make their own breakfast, type out their own reports for school, monopolize your telephone talking to their first love and their friends, have their own dramas, their own dilemmas, their own opinions, their own lives.
We spend our children's first years being chased after for our time, for our attention, for anything and everything. These are the years to cherish, these times when you snuggle in with your children while reading them bedtime stories, when you let them climb into your bed during a midnight thunderstorm or because they're afraid of the dark, when you make breakfast in bed for their mom or dad with them for the holidays at their suggestion, when you cheer them on at little league games and dance recitals, when you send them off to summer camps. They want us to sing with them and read to them and teach them little things and even big things too.
It's so little time in the scale of things before your running around after your children for their time and their attention. You ask if you can take them to the mall and have lunch during shopping trips, you go to movies, you make their favorite dinners and watch DVD's, you tell them it's okay to have those sleep-overs just so you can have them home and safe. While I have my little one at home, my oldest one has her life at 15. Being a popular and social teenager means less time with mom and dad, and more time with the crowd. Deanna is already starting to study for SAT's for college while Jack is getting excited about Sesame Street. The age gap between the two kids is phenomenal, the differences in their lives is tremendous. I remember all of the things that Jack's now doing, only I remember it through his sister.
I miss my daughter. She's back in LA. with her father. She wants to be with her friends, which I understand. I don't have this terrific relationship with my ex, so we hardly speak, but I think about my daughter on a daily basis. She's almost grown and here I am starting all over again. I wish she were around to see Jack and how big he's getting. The fact that she's so far away makes me shower Jack with even more attention, more affection. I'm a more hands-on mom with Jack then I was with Deanna. I was a little intimidated by my little girl, and was surrounded by people constantly who had children or knew about them and worked with them. I'm an old pro now, and one of the leading authorities on child-rearing in my circle of friends here in Georgia. I don't panic, I don't freak out over the little things, hell I don't even get upset when he's sick or cranky! I'm more of a calm mother with Jack then I was with Deanna, and now she's almost grown.
I guess I feel melancholy about my daughter being in California. I'm disconnected from her teenage lifestyle, and yet I know she would relate to all of the things I'm doing with Jack! I did them with her as well, and I did them with her first. I don't look forward to Jack growing up. I wish I could keep him in this time and space, the way he is right now, but I know that one day too he'll be almost grown. For now I cherish what I have.