Thursday, May 27, 2010

More sickness

Tuesday morning SchmoopyBoy woke up with a fever. By evening he was a snot factory, and I was starting to feel it too. By Wednesday his fever was gone, but oh boy was I a mess. My sinuses are killing me. I would so love to just lay in bed for a while. And that is so not going to happen. sigh.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Happy Birthday SchmoopyBoy!

Two years ago

One year ago


This is the first day I've ever been the mother of a 2 year old. Sniff.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

More Proof That the Catholic Church Hates Women?

Yesterday was just a bad news day all around. I was driving home from work, and I was already trying to restrain myself from gouging my ears with the nearest sharp object due to listening to an interview with Rand Paul, who SO CLEARLY DOESN’T GET IT I could just scream. And then this story started. A story about a nun excommunicated for saving a woman’s life at a Catholic hospital. You know what’s funny? I kind of thought that is what the business of hospitals is – saving people’s lives.

So here’s the very brief story. A woman 11 weeks pregnant with her fifth child was admitted to St Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. She was experiencing heart failure, and the doctors told her that is she continued with the pregnancy, her risk of death was nearly 100%. The woman was reported as being too ill to be moved to the operating room, much less another hospital and agreed to an abortion. Here’s the rub – she was at a Catholic hospital, so in order for the pregnancy to be terminated, approval was required. Sister Margaret McBride, an administrator at the hospital as well as its liaison to the diocese, gave approval based on an exception called Directive 47 in the U.S. Catholic Church’s ethical guidelines for healthcare providers that allows, in some circumstances, procedures that could kill a fetus to save the mother.

The woman, I am glad to say, survived. Her four young children still have their mother, thanks to Sister McBride.

Sister McBride, as reward for saving this woman’s life, while following the Catholic Church’s own ethical guidelines for health care providers, was excommunicated – the most serious penalty the church can levy.


Rev. John Ehrich, the medical ethics director for the Diocese of Phoenix was quoted as saying “She consented in the murder of an unborn child. There are some situations where the mother may in fact die along with her child. But – and this is the Catholic perspective – you can’t do evil to bring about good.”

OMG! I feel like the back of my head is opening up and my brain is about to tumble out.

So the morally, ethically correct thing to do, according to the Catholic Church, is to withhold life-saving treatment, allowing both a woman and her unborn baby to die, rather than saving at least one of them. Newsflash - the purpose of a hospital is to save lives. If there's an opportunity to save a life, it's that hospital's ethical responsibility to take the opportunity and save a life.

The last time I checked, I believe the withholding of life-saving treatment is tantamount to murder. Parents who have refused consent to have their children treated for life-threatening illnesses have been brought to court. A woman who withheld consent to a c-section, resulting in the death of one of her babies, had murder charges brought against her.

So let’s get this straight. When a person denies treatment to herself, she could be accused of murder. But when the Catholic Church denies treatment to a woman who agrees to said treatment, resulting in her death as well as her 11-week fetus’ death, that is the ethically correct thing to do.

If your head isn’t reeling enough yet, let’s take a look at how some other scandals in the Catholic Church have been dealt with. There are male priests known to be guilty of sexually abusing children. These priests have been systematically protected and essentially let off the hook. Zero pedophile priests known to be guilty of sexual abuse have been excommunicated. Zero.

Why are scandals involving male priests committing heinous acts of abuse and betrayal covered up, while an act of mercy by a female nun, done in order to save a life (again, while trying to conform to ethical guidelines), results in the worst punishment the church can carry out? There appears to be a serious double standard when it comes to males involved in scandals versus females involved in scandals.

Are the lives of women so without value that they should be allowed to die on principle? What about self defense? Does a person have the right to defend herself from someone who is killing her, even if the one killing her is an unborn child? I’ve never seen or heard of any provision in Catholic doctrine that calls for passivity in the face of physical threats or war. Yet, when it comes to a woman, if her life is threatened by pregnancy, the “official church position would mandate that the correct solution would be to let both the mother and the child die.”

That just smacks of woman-hatred, if I’ve ever heard of woman-hatred. Thanks, Catholic Church. If ever I’m in need of ethical guidance, I’ll be sure to not bother knocking on your door.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Oh where, oh where has my confidence gone? Oh where, oh where can it be?

I went to a meeting with some very big wigs yesterday. Very Big Wigs. And I spoke. Out loud. Once. To clarify some background information that was important for the Very Big Wig to understand. And as I was speaking, I know my face went red because I could feel myself getting hotter and hotter, like my face was about to burst into flames.


Why should I be so intimidated by a bunch of Fancy Titles? I am a technical expert in my field. That's why I was invited to this meeting to begin with. I should be able to confidently speak to my expertise, regardless of my audience.

Is it just my social anxiety? My general discomfort with public speaking? Do I genuinely lack confidence? Am I so easily intimidated by rank and title?

I don't really have time to explore in depth the inner workings of my brain right now. But I need to make a mental note to revisit this incident and figure out what's going on inside my noggin so I can get over whatever causes me to turn into a bumbling tomato whenever I open my mouth at an important meeting.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

SchmoopyBoy Denied

Poor SchmoopyBoy totally got denied this morning.

Went to kiddie-hair cut place, it was closed for the next hour. So I did my other errand first - Trader Joes, where SchmoopyBoy delights in getting free samples of juice. Well, today they had iced tea. Caffinated iced tea.

Caffinated iced tea + not quite 2 year old = Bad Idea

So SchmoopyBoy did not get a free sample of iced tea. He was not impressed and kept pointing and repeating "JUICE. JUICE. JUICE. JUICE."

I tried explaining that "they don't have juice today, and I understand you are very disappointed" but he just kept repeating "JUICE. JUICE."

I considered going straight back to hair cut place and chance my groceries, but it was already over 80 degrees - hotter in the car - so I rushed home to put the parishables away, hoping to make it back to the hair cut place by 11:00 sharp, because I had to get him home no later than 11:40am in order to make it to work by 12:30pm. I got there at 11:05. There were already 5 kids ahead of us. I thought, well maybe they'll be quick and we can make it, but by 11:20 the line had not budged, so I took SchmoopyBoy home with his shaggy hair.

Almost 2 hours of shleping back and forth around town to get no juice and no haircut. sigh.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Fun With Hair Accessories

SchmoopyBaby had a lot of fun going through my drawer of hair accessories. His own hair is quite grown out, as you can see. I'm hoping to take him for a hair cut in the morning. Please excuse the horrible picture quality, I took these with my phone camera. I think he's pretty darn cute, although I might be scarring him for life by posting these on the internet.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Everything is going to be ok

John's kidney stone is passed.

All three of us are over our colds.

We are moved into the apartment, and it is going to work out just fine.

I'm getting an oil change for my car on Saturday morning.

We are looking at houses on Sunday afternoon.

SchmoopyBaby is turning 2 in about a week and a half! We invited some friends to my in-laws house for some birthday play time. Should be fun.

The second half of 2010 is going to be good.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Making a Difference For Mamas

Welcome to the May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Role model

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have waxed poetic about how their parenting has inspired others, or how others have inspired them. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


Let me be clear about this. I am nobody's role model when it comes to parenting. I am somewhat of a pariah within my family of mainstream parents, and most of my friends chuckle and shrug at my crunchy ways.

Having said this, I have accomplished something that will make an impact for mothers in the future - mothers I have never met, who I may never meet, and who will never know my contribution. I am getting a nursing/lactation room built in my work organization's new building.

About one year ago, I was still pumping three times a day for my then almost one-year old. My workspace is comprised largely of cubicles and shared offices. I was fortunate that, although I share an office with a man, I was typically able to find a spare office in which to pump. One day when my officemate was not there, I closed my non-locking door to pump, and in the middle of my session, who should open the door and walk right on in but the director of my entire department. Umm, yeah that was awkward.

I posted a quick note to a local Yahoo mama list to cringe at the fact that I had to give a presentation to the department later that day. One of the responses I received suggested I use the presentation as an opportunity to suggest that the organization create a room for working nursing mothers to help avoid embarrassing walk-ins. Another posted a link with information regarding corporate lactation programs. It dawned on me - due to the passage of the stimulus bill my organization had received funds specifically for the design and construction of a LEED certified green building. The project manager was soliciting feedback and ideas from employees regarding the design. So, I wrote a proposal for inclusion of a facility in which nursing mothers could pump breastmilk.

I confess I was surprised my proposal was received so well. I work predominantly with engineers - male engineers. I wasn't sure if my proposal would be viewed as a woman asking for special privilege. But here is the response I got when I inquired about the status just last month:

I think that your suggestion was great.
We incorporated it into the Criteria Package, and I will ensure that it is carried through and fully developed in the design process.
Thanks for the input and engagement. It is always wonderful and rewarding to work with stakeholders who are involved.
If you have any future thoughts regarding design considerations, please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.

Can I just say… YAY!!!

And here is the proposal that won them over (with *This Organization* substituted for the name of my company):

*This Organization* is in the unique position of being able to design and build a new workplace facility. This is a great opportunity to address an employee need that is lacking at current workspaces. Currently, there is no facility in existing buildings appropriate for women who are new mothers returning to work after maternity leave and need to pump breast milk. When an empty office is available, women can use the empty office; however, the only alternative is the bathroom. These facilities are not adequate or appropriate for this purpose for the following reasons:

• Practicality (you need somewhere to set up a pump near an electrical outlet, something to hold collection bottles, a surface on which to package the milk, a place to sit, and consistent light in the room that will not automatically turn off after 5-10 minutes).
• Unsanitary conditions (this is food for a newborn).
• Lack of privacy (pumping is a very personal and sometimes difficult process; quiet and privacy are preferable.)

I propose that the design for the new building include a private area to be used by nursing mothers. This will provide not only the obvious benefits to the new mother and the new baby, but some distinct benefits to *This Organization*:

• A breast-fed baby is a healthier baby. Healthier babies mean fewer stay-at-home days for mom. In addition, a healthier baby means fewer medical expenses, which is a tremendous financial incentive for federal health insurers.
• An employee with fewer concerns for the welfare of her child is more able to fully focus on her job.
• An employee with a convenient, sanitary, and private location for pumping will have more options in scheduling her day (for example, not having to take long lunches to drive home).
• When recruiting new employees, such facilities may make *This Organization* more competitive and attractive for potential employees that are or soon will be of child-bearing age.
• Elimination of embarrassing walk-ins into non-locking offices (of which I personally have experienced once, and almost a second time)

To set up a basic facility, the following things would be needed:

• A small room with a lock on the door
• A chair and small table
• An electrical outlet

In addition, it would be helpful to have easy access to a small sink and refrigerator from the room.

I hope that you will consider my proposal and see what a valuable contribution this small addition to the design of the new building can make in the quality of life for a potentially significant number of our employees. By building a LEED-certified building, *This Organization* is staying on the cutting edge of environmental sustainability. I would like to see *This Organization* stay on the cutting edge of providing a healthy work environment and excellent benefits for employees also. I believe this would be a step in that direction.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Quick Update

Well, things make a little more sense now. SchmoopyBaby woke up sick on Sunday. He had been rubbing his nose and eyes for the previous day or two, and was SUPER cranky on Saturday. I thought it was just allergies from all the wind and the fact that he hadn't been sleeping well at night - waking up for the day at the insane hour of 5am. But no, we now have officially sick toddler. I'm starting to feel sick myself, which is not so great considering we are moving on Saturday.

Tomorrow we sign the closing documents on our house. It feels very weird and not quite real that we are actually moving. I've been talking to SchmoopyBaby about it and trying to prepare him. I'm not sure how much he understands though. This is the only home he's ever known. This is where he is most comfortable - where he eats best and sleeps best.

I'm most sad for Mojo. He is losing his yard. A dog like him needs a yard to run around in. We'll have to find time to take him to the dog park. John and I will have to take turns watching Schmoopybaby while the other takes Mojo to the dog park. A large dog park is no place for a young toddler. Mojo and SchmoopyBaby have so much fun tearing around the yard, squealing and barking in glee. I am sad that they will have to miss out on that, at least for a while.

Oh well. It's all temporary.