Wednesday, September 30, 2009
On a mom's night out, that has nothing to do with that other mom's night out, if I am lucky I get to drive my husband's car, otherwise known as our date car. It's a mercedes c230
Did you know that a manual c230 has 6 gears?
Did you know that a c230 can go 120 miles per hour?
Actually that's not true. A mercedes c230 can go 160 mph. But when you are going south on 680 at 10pm at night at 120 miles per hour you end up in Fremont before you know it and have to turn around and go home.
Did you know that going south on 680 at 120 mph at 10pm on a Monday night you can listen to The Rolling Stones, "Shattered" 10 times in a row between San Ramon and Fremont and back to San Ramon? Trust me you can and it rocks.
September 30th 2009
We have traded the Mercedes in for a Honda Accord. We will miss it but the lower car payments make it more worth it of course. The previous post was from my first blog that is now a private blog. "You Sure Do Have Your Hands Full". Just think N.E.O. Moms is almost a year old! I guess I will have to do something special for that day.
It's this fucking steroid Prednisone I am on for the next month. Like clockwork 30 minutes after I take it I start crying. For no reason! It's also making me short of breath, nauseous,sweaty and makes my legs and feet sore. So I am just limping around at home all sweaty and crying. My poor kids and husband, who the hell wants to live with that?
Well 30 minutes after I took my meds yesterday my friend showed up with her nice card and banana bread, so of course I started crying. I am now going to plagiarize what she wrote because it was directed not just at me but to all moms. I will tell you the author's name is Julie. But since I was born in 1970 pretty much all of my friends are named Julie, Stephanie, Megan, Michelle, Jennifer and a few Yvettes. So that really doesn't give you much of a clue.
The pretty card she gave me had some glittery ladybugs on it:
"I think it's time you take a second for yourself. I'm sure this flare-up was scary and humbling- health issues always are- so I hope that when (if?) you have a quiet moment you can reflect back on it and see it as a kind of wake-up call. It's so easy as mothers and wives to put ourselves on the back burner, and before you know it, the shit has really hit the fan! Please, next time you are in pain, don't try to hide it and ignore it. listen to your body, and lean a little on your support system when you need it- you clearly have an army of people around you who love you.
I hope you see this as helpful, not preachy. I adore you and want only the very best for you.
Take Care of Yourself!"
I promise I will and I want everyone else to do likewise.
I showed Erik that card last night and he totally agreed and thought it was very sweet. He told me he feels bad that I should have to cook 3 different kinds of foods every night: his dinner, my dinner if I even feel like eating, and then the kids' dinner. So I told him that some of my friends had volunteered to bring more meals and that I can ask if those are still available. Now we have 6 days of meals coming, Yay!!
I am also lettting the house go a little bit. When I get all sweaty, short of breath and start limping then I get to sit guilt free.
My oldest is having issues at school and I am not sure if he really is crying for me because he thinks I am going back to the hospital or if he is just milking it. My 5 year old is highly intelligent and OVERLY DRAMATIC. I am trying to toe the line of extra love and extra smackdown. He dropped an F bomb in class this week, but at least he used it in a sentence............. I sent an email to his teacher apologizing and asking for any brilliant ideas, she's a smart cookie so I can use her as a resource for sure. My other 2 monkeys are just more lovey dovey than usual, and that's totally fine.
And get this! My gorgeous husband has decided that waiting 3 more years for another vacation is absurb and not heathy for us as individuals, a couple and a family. I hid my sickness because I didn't want to ruin my brother's wedding and didn't want any attention on me. Fail!! So Erik wants me to book a weeklong family vacation in Februrary so that we have something to look forward to! I am on it! And Auntie M has forbidden me to take my kids to Disneyland without her. She told me she would be heartbroken and she wants to see their faces the first time they go. So we have to get planning on a early summer Disneyland trip! I haven't been to Disneyland in 26 years!!
Ok so this present nausea and sweating jag has passed and I need to clean the kitchen a little bit.
Monday, September 28, 2009
But after spending 3 days in the hospital last week my very young kids need to get back to a completely normal, and as uneventful schedule as possible. Meals, school, nap time, quiet time. Services at our beautiful temple just aren't happening this year. I need mellow and peace for my stressed out little monkeys, who clung to me when I dropped them off at school this morning. An outing with just mommy after nap time would be nice, but nothing to0 wild and crazy.
Yom Kippur is all about atonement, and my prayer for today and my atonement for the new year is to take better care of myself. I was eating healthy and exercising but I really need to step it up even more. Just getting put on a simple anti-biotic and ignoring the ravages it did to my stomach, ended up separating me from my kids, my husband and my health and energy. I ain't doing that shit again!!!
I don't mind being separated from my kids if I am in Vegas but in the hospital where I feel like hell and my kids are super worried, is not acceptable.
So I will continue to gradually work up to a diet of low-fat and high-fiber after I get over this no fiber, almost full liquid diet. When my strength is back I will get back exercising and I will take all my meds even if they are poison and I will take lots of vitamins and probiotics to combat the poison meds. And I will ask for help if I need it and not put on a happy face.
And I promise to start being funny and irreverent again because I am starting to bore the shit out of myself. And please accept my apology for any offenses or yawns or tears I caused you in the last year. I would rather make my friends laugh.
I realize most of my readers aren't Jewish but if you want to write any goals, to-do lists, or link ups to your blog from this post feel free. Maybe you have a project to work on too and we can support you.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
The final chapter on last weekend was that I decided to continue on the steroids my gastroenterologist had prescribed me, and things will be looking up soon. That was last Sunday, by Tuesday I could barely get out of bed. I was in pain and had lost more blood than I was comfortable with. I personally called my gastroenterologist, and when I have time I will be shopping for a new one. All this time I had been in remission or had mild flare-ups but now that I was really sick, he was not helpful. He agreed that a trip to the E.R. might not be out of the question, but warned me I might lose my colon. I am not sure how he could tell that over the phone but it certainly didn't quell my anxiety.
I called my sitter Saint Sarah to come in early to get the kids dressed and to school and I insisted on showering. Erik drove me to the hospital and I won't lie I went straight to a bed instead of the waiting room and I was grateful for that perk. Erik gave the staff a quick update, kissed me and went to check on his patients. It's so embarassing talking about my symptoms that all 3 people were leaning towards me to hear what I had to say. I am not a quiet person, most people in my family don't own indoor voices. I just didn't want everyone to hear. And then I started to cry and then they took my blood pressure. 203/122! That spoke louder than words. I was in a lot of pain. The E.R. doctor was so nice and ordered some Ativan, "To step this crying down. ". He didn't say it in a rude way, it was helpful. I can't talk if I am crying and I couldn't stop crying because I was anxious, and the anxiety and pain was making my blood pressure go through the roof.
I was there less than an hour, and they decided who was taking over and that I was spending the night, and was scheduled a sigmoidoscopy for the next morning. Moms aren't supposed to go into the hospital.
San Ramon is a small town and Auntie M had seen Erik driving me to the hospital that morning so she called me on my cell and asked what's up. It was perfect because I could immediately begin to arrange child-care, and school transportation, and meals. When I got off the phone the nurse joked that I had been spotted by the paparazzi.
I was quickly whisked upstairs into a room and Auntie M came shortly after bearing trashy mags, a smile and a promise to keep the kids in line. After she left 2 nurses came back and started tossing stuff onto my bed and said we are moving you. "Why?", "Aren't you Dr. Gracer's wife?", "Yes". "Well we have a bigger room with a view for you.". "Oh that's really nice but that's not necessary I just need a toilet and a bed and a tv.". But they wheeled my groggy self to a bigger room, it was sweet but the view was wasted, because I immediately passed out.
They woke me for my clear liquid diet lunch and dinner and I ate it out of self-defense. Jello and popsicles should never be an entree. I was still in pain and the steroids make me weepy. It's embarrassing because my husband has to work there and they are going to think his wife is a crybaby. Thankfully my night shift nurse was a ray of sunshine. Super attentive without nagging or being clingy. I am partial to people who work the graveyard shift ,because I did that in an emergency psychiatric hospital, it takes a different kind of person.
The next morning was the sigmoidoscopy and they wheeled me down to that unit. I overheard my friend's voice so I called him over. One of our closest friends is a gastroenterologist and he is usually the one who would be doing this to a patient. I don't mind getting drunk and having a guy friend see me naked in a hot tub but a sigmoidoscopy is where I draw the line. He laughed and said he understood.
Now it was time for the procedure and they had me turn on my side. I warned them that I metabolize medications very quickly and have a habit of waking up during times I was supposed to be sedated. The nurse said, "OK ," Gave me the shot in my I.V. and then turned around to do paperwork. I bored holes in her back with my eyes. She turned around, and I smiled, she said, "Just give it a few more seconds.". I was feeling rainbows and unicorns but I was still awake, and there was no way in hell they were going to stick a garden hose up my ass while I was conscious. She turned around again to meet my buggy eyes and then turned to the physician, "Can I give her more?", "What!?". He was a little surprised to see my unblinking stare, but he must have said yes because that's the last I remember.
After the procedure there was a huge chunk of time that is not very coherent. I know that I was told some stuff, but then I had to ask over and over again because my short-term memory was a mess. After many people repeating to me many times I finally understood that I was grateful to not have an infection or polyps, and though they did take a biopsy they didn't think it was cancerous. But it did look like my colitis had spread significantly. I was weepy and tired and wanted my kids. My husband was tired too and very stressed out and everyone was just trying to hold it together.
My monkeys did come to visit and ate my popsicle, which was my entree, and some licorice the nurses gave them. They made a sticky mess and crawled all over me and asked lots of questions. And I was sad to see their smily faces go. The rest of that night I was still uncomfortable but I got another night shift nurse who was a rock star. All night long she kept trying to get me to lower my blood pressure. At one point I was on a pain med, benadryl and ativan and it was still 188/103. I was just laying there doing nothing! Finally she looked at me and said, "Is it me? Do I stress you out?". I cracked up and said, "You are the least of me worries!". She then said, "Well maybe I am just too hot.". I suggested she wipe off her sexy lip gloss and we can try again later. I believe bantering and a sense of humor is something that should be taught in nursing and medical school. This woman was so nice she stopped by in the afternoon to check on me on her OWN time.
When the doctor came by to visit me the next morning I told him the truth about how I was feeling and all it got me was another night in the hospital!!! What?! I was feeling better than on Tuesday so I thought for sure they would let me go. But he made a good point, "You are going to go home and start chasing your kids and end up back here on I.V. again. I need to get in as many steroids in I.V. form inside of you before you go back home.". He's right but this is just not practical. More crying. And Erik was supposed to be on-call that night at the hospital I am a patient at. I had to pull out the big guns and asked my mom to come please spend the night at my house.
By now my kids were showing by their behavior the stress of not having mommy at home. They weren't being very nice to their Nana and Grandma Wheeze and Mike was crying at school. I wanted to curl into a ball and cry. The only upside was that my MIL brought me some cute little scarecrow figurines to decorate for the holidays and my mom brought me some decent toiletries and panties (instead of the thong panties Erik brought me). And I was switched to a full liquid diet instead of clear liquid. Pureed soup tasted like a gourmet meal at this point.
Erik came by later with my laptop so I could order groceries online to be delivered, that made me feel a little more in control of my life. I told him to come back after tucking his patients into bed so he could give me a kiss. I tried to wait getting my pain meds until after he left but I couldn't wait. I have a fuzzy memory of somebody kissing me goodnight, I hope it was Erik and not the janitor.
Another Florence Nightingale got me through the night and in the morning I had one foot out the door. I told the doctor I was fabulous and was told to take it easy this weekend and eat a low-residue diet. Saint Sarah had to pick up the kids from school first and then I told her to just wait out for me out front so she wouldn't have to drag all 3 through the hospital. Well you know how hospitals insist on wheeling you out in a wheel chair? So here I am sitting waiting for a wheel chair and I can hear my kids over my cell screaming for mommy. Finally I flag down a nurse and tell her my ride is here. She asks if I can walk and I say hell yeah I can walk. We pass my volunteer in the hallway on the way to the elevator. A little old lady volunteer who practically needs the wheelchair as a walker. We told her it was ok, I can walk to my car, and the nurse and I laughed that maybe her volunteer duties should be stapling or giving out kleenexes instead of wheeling large adults around.
My kids were out of their little minds when they saw me. Mike and Bekah both unbuckled their seatbelts and lunged at me and Jake strained against his carseat and whined. I gave them lots of hugs and kisses and tried to get my bag from the nurse. She just stood there and said, "They are so happy to see you, oh it's so sad, they missed you. ". I thought she was going to cry. Oh jeez. So I just got in the van and buckled them back in and gave them hugs and kisses and then got my bag from the nurse and told her it was ok.
Wow coming home was not peaceful. The kids were hungry, whining and spinning out of control. The grocery guy showed up at the same time, to deliver the groceries and so did Erik with our new bookkeeper. It was total fucking chaos. I did not want to meet our new bookkeeper while dressed in pajamas and bruises from I.V.s on my arms and my kids in tears. She must think her new boss has the most dysfunctional family ever. The timing couldn't be worse.
We got the very nice grocery guy out the door even though I did want to talk to him about his daughter's wedding, she's a marine. I helped Erik seperate some personal and business files for our new bookeeper which she means she had to go in our home office in our messy bedroom. Then Saint Sarah and I tackled feeding the kids, cleaning the kitchen and putting the groceries away. I put Jake down for a nap and then sent Sarah to Target to pick up my meds while I did some more de-cluttering. But the hospital called the meds into Walgreen's instead of Target, sigh. So Sarah came back with the kids and made brownies with them and I went back to Target to straighten it out.
By this time my knees and ankles were starting to swell and I was really tired and irritable. But when I got home my dear friend Barb was here with her awesome monkey and everything was calm and quiet. Auntie M had come to pick up Bekah for some special girly time and Jake was napping. I was so grateful I teared up. This is more crying I have done in years, people who know me know I am not a crier. Another dear friend Danica brought dinner and we put the kids down for an early bed without a squawk.
This morning Erik came to the room and said, "Honey can you get up?", at first I was annoyed, thinking he should cut me some slack, but then he said, "It's 10:30a.m.". I was shocked I thought it was like 7 in the morning. I was so tired. I sent Erik back to bed and I got up to hang with the monkeys. I was feeling so much better and it's nice to be in my home. But I can really see the affect me being gone had on my young kids. When their Nana showed up today, my mother-in-law, the kids clung to me and were rude to her. Bekah ran into another room, Mike's rudeness was too much to ignore and he ended up on a time-out. I reassured them that Nana was just there to go to a birthday party with their Daddy and that I will be home the whole time. I am not going anywhere. Poor babies.
I just want to give a shout-out to all my friends and family that picked up the slack this week. Thank you for the orchid and the card, the magazines, tons of food, taking care of my kids and my husband, my laundry and just being here to listen. I really,really appreciate it and could not have done it without you.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
I have disease envy. I have ulcerative colitis. I was diagnosed when I was 21 years old and have lived most of the time in remission. I take my meds and get a colonoscopy every 2 years and try not to get pregnant. But right now I am having the worst flare-up I have ever had and I am angry and ashamed.
Nobody wants to talk about your colon, it's gross. I don't want to talk about it because it's embarrassing. It's not a glamorous disease. We don't get to wear pink ribbons, we don't have 3 day walks with our friends, we don't get to stay in tents and hear moving speeches. You want to see what our ribbon looks like?
Brown and Red?!! The color of shit and blood? Excuse the pun, but who was the asshole that designed this ribbon?! Thanks a lot! I will be sure to order a t-shirt right away! You fucking moron!!
July 30th I had endometrial ablation done and was prescribed some narcotics for the pain. Well if you have ever been on narcotics you know they stop up your bowels a little bit. So already I wasn't feeling too hot. Then I get this strange lump in my armpit which completely freaked me out!! Turns out to be an infected armpit hair follicle and my husband prescribes me an antibiotic to take. Well whenever anyone takes an antibiotic they put themselves at risk for c diff. If you have a fragile colon to begin with it's a huge risk. I immediately felt the effects.
I upped my meds and kept quiet, and it got worse. I went to San Diego for a week's vacation and to attend my brother's wedding. I let my husband know I was having some problems but left out most of the gory details. I started taking lots of Immodium and put on a happy face. As soon as we got home I told Erik the truth. He was not happy with me at all!! He explained to me that taking Immodium for that extended amount of time when you have ulcerative colitis can lead to toxic megacolon. Guess what the cure for toxic megacolon is? Removing your colon!
I immediately started to cry. Which means Erik stopped being mad at me because I never cry. I am so stupid, and so lucky I didn't injure myself to that extent. I made an appointment with my gastroenterologist who also read me the riot act. He changed my prescription and tested me again for c diff, so far it's negative but I am still awaiting the results from the second test. Erik and I just changed our insurance to a $2500. deductible, so the new medicine cost us $486 for a month's supply!!
Then I still didn't get better. So I finally agreed to go on a steroid called prednisone. Hit that link, read the side effects and you can see why I resisted. I get to take this for a month and then go back and see my doctor. But I am still hurting bad ,and it's a beautiful weekend and I should be taking my kids to the park, swimming, or to the gym to play with their friends. But I am honestly scared to leave the house.
I know I will get better soon, I can feel the steroid shutting down my colon like an INS raid on a factory in the Central Valley. I just want to feel better sooner than soon if you know what I mean, this has gone on long enough.
So to my local readers and friends: if you don't see me at the gym for awhile it's because I don't have the energy to work-out and the prednisone makes my legs hurt, if you see me on the computer even MORE than usual it's because I am not ready to leave the house for too long, and please don't hug me or look all sad when you see me because that will annoy the hell out of me. I will be fine, I just wish I could be more glamorous.
** 1) If you have lost family members to cancer do not read this.
2) If you get grossed out easily don't read this.
3) If you are going to feel sorry for me, don't read this.
4) If you are going to give me advice, don't read this.
I have lost family to cancer too, and it's not pretty, but this is about me and my feelings and venting. It's not about minimizing other's suffering. I have ulcerative colitis and it's gross, so don't read this while eating. My life is perfect in all other ways so don't feel sorry for me. Please, it bugs me because there are others on this planet who are way worse off. I live with a doctor, he's my husband, not my doctor, but I can still get advice if I need it. If you are going to forge ahead, thank you for listening.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Erik and I started off our first week long vacation in 3 years with two romantic nights in San Francisco. This was so we could store extra energy for the week in San Diego with our kids that lay before us. The last week-long vacation Erik and I took together, was when he had his vasectomy and a benign tumor removed from his neck on the same day, and needed a week to recover from the surgery. At the time I was pregnant with Jake and already experiencing early labor pains. To say that this vacation was long overdue is an understatement.
We only have 3 pictures of San Francisco because all we did was eat and sleep. Food, booze, sleep, food, booze, sleep. Then we went home and packed for San Diego. Do you like my new sailboat hat?
Note to self: that tube top makes you look like you have a bigger beer belly than you already have.
The flight to San Diego was Bekah and Jake's first and Mike's third. But Mike was so young the other 2 flights that this is the one he will remember. My mom flew with us so the adult to child ratio was 1:1. That's still not enough. The flight was fairly uneventful. Mike got squirrely towards the end so I had to hiss at him a few times but Jake (and Erik) fell asleep so that was a blessing.
Bekah wearing Bill's helmet.
My brother and his wife are animal lovers and very nice people. That means when Bill's buddies go to Iraq, or some other shithole on our planet, Bill and Ari watch their dogs. What I don't understand is why are the dogs stinky? Even when these dogs are clean they are stinky, strange coincidence. This dog even has a mohawk down his back. Bill thinks it makes him look like a lion, it doesn't. And that's Michael of course, my brother's clone.
Beautiful Bekah in Bill and Ari's very cute kitchen. I love their house.
After the bbq we went back to the hotel where the kids took forever to settle down and Jake fell head first out of his crib. Luckily his head is made of concrete. The next day we went to Lego Land. I know I am almost 39 years old but I had an AWESOME time! I highly recommend this to parents with kids 7 years old and under. The park is clean, food wasn't too bad and it's packed with fun stuff to do. Bring a change of clothes though because there are some water-themed activities and you get soaked.
Yes that pumpkin is made of Legos. Cool huh? Bill came with us but Ari had to run errands for the wedding. Mike asked where Aunt Ari was and Bill said, "Aunt Ari is doing girl things and that takes a looooong time and costs a lot of money.". Ahmen brother and don't you forget it.
My mom and I were on the boat ahead of them taking pictures. Jake stayed in the stroller with Erik because we trying to get him to nap. Fail.
Universal rule for theme parks: keep hands and feet inside the ride. See the boat listing to one side? Mike was convinced he was making it move faster. I was losing my mind and Bill could care less.
Thank you G-d for ice cream cones.
Bekah has a goatee just like her father.
After Lego Land, Erik, my brother, my Dad and some of buddies of Bill all went to a baseball game. My mom and I got lost driving around but eventually found a really tasty Mexican restaurant. The next day we went out to a breakfast place called the Waffle Spot which had a fountain out front. Jake tried to swim in it but the food was good. My youngest brother Brandon and his wife Amanda joined us. After breakfast we went to the wedding rehearsal at the Japanese Friendship Gardens in Balboa Park. Absolutely beautiful but we discovered they were getting married right in front of a Koi pond. Jake tried to swim in it and it was kind of stressful. Jake spent his time throwing himself on the ground in protest. Mike didn't behave much better. Bekah was well-behaved. Did I mention my brother's friends are hot?
Very cute picture of my mom and Jake at the rehearsal dinner.
My youngest brother Brandon and his wonderful wife Amanda.
Ok I am posting this series of pictures to let you know what my personal Hell would consist of. My personal Hell would be to have to live in Texas and be a professional children's photographer and eat avocado for the rest of my life. I can't think of anything worse. Erik and I always marvel when we see kids sit nicely to have their pictures taken. Our kids DO NOT do that. See below as I yell at Mike.
Unsuccessful parenting moment caught on film as I smack my oldest upside his head. I am not proud. Jake is mesmerized by his mother losing her temper and I have no idea who Bekah is talking to.
Ok now everyone look at the same place at the same time and smile!! Jake looks like he wants to die and Bekah is still in another world.
I just want one decent family picture.
Seems like a good time to pick your nose.
G-d forbid we forget the other nostril.
Examining what he found in his nose.
Clearly he didn't finish emptying that side of his nose. We have completely lost Bekah and Mike.
That's the best family picture we have ever taken. Jake is eating a lollypop. The wedding was perfect. The setting, food, weather, music. It all went flawlessly. I did my reading without stuttering, or crying, even though Mike was running around me trying to get the microphone. We had a wonderful time and I didn't get enough pictures so I can't wait to see the professional ones.
Jake is devilishly handsome! Erik bought me those coral earrings in San Francisco.
The day after the wedding we went to Seaworld but this is the only picture I took. I was just too tired. Jake drank water from this tide pool, several times, it was disgusting.
My brother, my son, a megaphone; always a bad idea! But we had a wonderful time and I miss them like crazy.
For those who are friends with me on Facebook you can skip this anecdote. After another decent flight home, Jake once again blew out his diaper. But this time it wasn't just pee. As we boarded the shuttle bus to take us to the long-term parking lot my mom and I sniffed the air and looked at each other in alarm. Sigh, ok no biggie I will change him when we get to the van. It was a short ride and as we were leaving my mom pointed behind me asked, "Did you drop something?". No, I didn't but Jake did!! He dropped something right out of his diaper! A giant poo rolled down his leg and was laying on the floor of the shuttle bus. I shooed everyone off the bus and told my mom to watch the kids while I went back to clean it up. Then it took 3 adults to change Jake's atrocious diaper on the ground of the parking lot. My mom had to watch the other kids, I did the dirty deed, and Erik had to open all the luggage looking for more wipes after I used practically a whole box wiping Jake from his belly button to his toes. My mom also walked the bag of poopy diaper, poopy wipes, poopy socks, and poopy jeans across the parking lot to the garbage can. Miraculously there was no poo on his shirt and I refused to throw the shoes away because they weren't hand-me-downs. Jake rode home in a shirt and diaper and I was twitching from P.T.S.D. for the rest of the afternoon.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Let's talk about sex, baby
Let's talk about you and me
Let's talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be
Let's talk about sex....
-Salt N Pepa
I have nothing shocking or risque to share with you. It's true, I have sex, I like it. I'm insecure in other areas of my life, but when it comes to sex I feel good. If someone wants to see me naked, then I'm not going to be shy. I get what I want and I give as good as I get. The thing is I have no idea how I became so confident and secure in this area of my life because growing up my sex ed was just fucked up (pardon the pun).
Let me share some highlights.
The first time I found out about sex was after asking my mom about maxi-pads. I didn't know what they were for and she explained what a period was and the basics of how a baby is made.
But she led me to believe that maybe there was more than one way to get pregnant. For years, I was terrified of swallowing watermelon seeds because I was convinced the seeds would sprout and turn into a baby. Thank God for seedless watermelons! I remember being offered a slice of watermelon with seeds in first grade and saying, "No thank you, I don't want to get pregnant." Someone was kind enough to let me know that I could enjoy the fruit without becoming a "statistic".
In the 70's and 80's I would hear the term "humping". I hated the way it sounded. So vulgar! I knew that a man's penis went into a woman's vagina and then a baby was made (I didn't know that people had sex just for fun or that sometimes it wasn't a man and a woman). Sex was for making babies only. Why would anyone call that humping? Well, we got cable and I saw my first sex scene and apparently there was work involved. The man didn't just stick his penis into the vagina; there was movement involved from both the man and the woman. It wasn't like sticking a plug into a socket; it required the plug to be moved in and out of the socket. This was so shocking to me that I started crying. My mother asked me what was wrong and I said, "They're humping!"
In junior high I thought I had a handle on things. We saw the sex ed video and I trusted that everything was accurate, if not romantic. Then one day my mom got drunk at a party and started talking gibberish. She told me never to use a tampon because no one would want to marry me. Her point was that if I used a tampon I would no longer be considered a virgin and if I was not a virgin no man would want me. Okay?! That wasn't in the video.
Another relative taught me a wonderful lesson. She kept moving a sewing needle and asked me to thread it. Of course I couldn't. Then she said, "There is no such thing as rape." Whoa! Seriously?! So if I got raped it was my fault?
I could go on and on. So why am I telling you these stories? Because I know I'm not the only girl that grew up with these kinds of experiences and although I think they're funny now, it's bullshit. Knowledge is power and I wasn't being raised to be a powerful woman in charge of her sexuality.
I have a daughter and when she comes to me with questions about sex I am going to give her truthful, honest, age appropriate answers. I'm not going to wrap up her sex ed with religion or politics.
Sex is natural - sex is good
Remember don't fear the unknown, especially not Unknown Mami! Stop by and visit me sometime.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Charlotte was been kind enough to guest blog over at my place (here and here) and I was only too happy to return the favor. I say was. Until I learned of the topics we were to choose from as guest bloggers. I thought and thought and felt that politics and religion, even though they are a laugh a minute don't really provide that little something something that the topic of sex does.
So here we go.
My oldest son turned four years-old yesterday. So I've had sex once or twice.
I was thinking about how different he and his younger brother are. They couldn't be more different really. Nor could the way they were conceived be more opposite. If you are a parent - do you know which "time" your child or children were, uh, made? Where you were, under what circumstances?
I do. And I started thinking about whether or not this in some way colors a child's personality. Not seriously, really, but it is very interesting to me the correlation between the deed and the dude. At least my dudes and their respective deeds. Speaking of deeds, allow me to digress for a moment.
O.k., sorry bout that, Angus Young, I lurve you. Back on track.
Take my oldest son, for instance. We had been trying for over a year after two miscarriages in a row to have a child. I had become a bit, um, mildly obsessive about it. I would read books all the time about ovulation and things on the web about possible causes of miscarriages (waste of time - no one can tell you shit usually about why women miscarry - if you ever need to talk about this topic w/someone who's gone through it though, please feel free to e-mail me at my place). I could hardly think of anything else at this time but how to solve this situation.
The day M. was conceived, I woke up and did my pee on a stick test and yes I was ovulating, no time to waste. We happened to be at our friends' house in Raleigh, where we had spent the night and were in a guest room. I ran back in to tell my husband we needed to get busy on the air mattress and so we did. I won't go into the details obviously, but let's just say it wasn't very romantic, sex for us had become a single-minded duty at this point. It was a bit mechanical and filled with trepidation of the outcome.
But the outcome this time, would be a wonderful, amazing son. Who can be a bit serious for a four year-old. And can be very methodical, a tad OCD at times. Who is data-oriented. Who has a serious attention to detail and focus, who loves a challenge. Who is sensitive and emotional. Who is a lot like the way he was created. Here is working on a Transformer.
And then, a year-and-a-half later we had our other son, W., who wasn't unplanned but rather a big, awesome surprise. And who is reckless, silly, unafraid, highly affectionate, optimistic, unpredictable and basically always in search of a good time. His conception was - a little different than his brother's was, and his personality shall we say is a bit reflective of that as well.
So this theory of mine is total B.S. but I'm curious - do you remember when your kiddo was conceived and does anything about the circumstances remind you of that child's personality?
Thanks to Charlotte, for letting me grace her sphere of the blogosphere that is N.E.O. Moms and please know that you are welcome over at my place anytime. Hope to see ya there.
And here's another one of my dudes. Why? Cause I can.
Anyway, I have to tell you that ever since Charlotte asked me to do a guest blog for her, I have been racking my brain trying to think of what to write. Politics? Um, no. Not going there. Why, you ask? Well, here is why. I am a silent Republican living somewhat peacefully smack in the middle of the San Francisco Bay Area. Hello?! Is there a more liberal area in the country? Probably not. I like to think I have balls, but if I were to speak up every time one of my friends around here went off on an anti-George Bush rant, or an anti-Republican tirade, I'd no doubt feel like the retarded kid on the playground being bullied and attacked by fifteen first graders. So in the interest of retaining some dignity, I just keep my mouth shut tight. Which, for me, is extremely hard because I am a very opinionated person, and I love to share my views with the world at large. I suppose it could be considered taking the pussy way out, but you know what? I just don't care. It makes things easier - and I'm okay with that.
On to the next option for a topic. Religion. I could write a book on that one! In fact, I actually might write a book on that one. I've got more juicy stories on how religion can fuck someone up (yes, a Republican can say fuck) than the Vienna Boys Choir. You see, I spent several of my formative years living smack in the middle of the Bible Belt in Little Rock, Arkansas. My parents, trying to do the right thing, sent us to a private, Baptist school because the public school system in Little Rock was, at that time, horrible. My sister and I went to a small school called Heritage Baptist. It was housed within Heritage Baptist Temple. Those people were some of the freakiest, scariest people I've ever come across in my life. They loved to teach about hell and the devil - I think they talked about Satan and hell more than they talked about God and Jesus. Within two months of being in that school, at the age of eight, I became "saved." I knew that when Jesus came back to earth to magically suck all of us up to heaven, I'd be among those sucked up with him. And I wouldn't burn in hell for all eternity. Phew, I'd dodged a bullet there! Because according to them, it was going to happen any day. I breathed a sigh of relief that I'd found these people in time! Just think if I hadn't! An eternity burning in hell - an eternity!! Do you know how long that is? No? Neither did I at the age of eight. But I knew that it was a long time, and it would be more miserable than anything I could imagine. My relief was short lived though when I realized that my parents, although good people, would not be sucked up along with me. Why? Because they were sinners. They drank wine. And they smoked cigarettes. (Remember, this was back in 1980 when everyone smoked.) I was consumed with worry. Every single day I tried to figure out how I was going to manage to bring my parents with me to heaven. But rather than tell them what was going on in my head, I suffered and plotted silently. I'd lie in bed at night, crying, worrying that Jesus was going to appear in the sky while we were sleeping, and that I'd be sucked into heaven with him, and my parents would wake up in the morning all confused about where I was, and they'd have to endure the misery of what was going to happen to all the sinners left on earth. At school we saw movies about this very topic: Mass confusion back on earth, all the sinners wondering where everyone else had gone. A person mowing the lawn suddenly disappears, leaving a lawn mower just idling where they'd been standing just moments before. Cars being abandoned as they were being driven down the freeway, causing crashes and terror among those left behind. So I began to sleep on the floor next to their bed at night, citing a scary movie as my fear, when in reality I was hoping that if Jesus returned while we were sleeping, that maybe I'd be able to grab their hands as I began to float to heaven - take them with me. And that story is just the beginning of my experience with religion. (With that upbringing, it's no wonder I turned into a Republican, huh?) I tend to be extremely long-winded, so I'll just end this topic right here, but you can check out more of my stories at The Official Buttwiper if you're interested.
Thanks, Charlotte, for the chance to share my silly stories with your readers. It was an honor that you asked me, and I hope you had (or are having) a fabulous time in San Diego! See ya at the gym......
Thursday, September 10, 2009
When given the choice to write about religion, sex, and/or politics it was a no brainer for me – sex always wins! But in our overly sexualized society - what aspect hasn't been discussed ad nauseam?
How about sex and the mentally retarded?
Oh no, did I actually say that – the R word? Partially for clarity, partially for reaction, and partially because I know this group can deal – but I promise that now that I’ve said it, from this point forward I’ll exchange “retarded” for “developmentally disabled”.
I’m a lucky woman. I have many friends who carry the label of developmentally disabled. I’m not going to speak for my friends in this blog, just about them – this is all me!
As I mentioned earlier, almost everything in this country is sexualized – breast feeding babies, pre-teen panties stamped with “party girl”, you know what I mean. . . . what appears to be the one exception is our stereotype of people with developmental disabilities. You know the game – those people are sweet, without a care in the world, always a smile on their face, blah blah blah. Such a strange phenomenon, and really such bullshit! In every way, people with developmental disabilities are like me and you. They can be nice, they can be assholes, they can be funny, they can be mean – and like their "typical" friends, they have all the same needs, wants, and fantasies when it comes to sex!
I remember the first time it really hit me – I’m in highschool and playing with some teenagers who were diagnosed with autism. There was this one kid who loved to play with a big red ball – and had some funny tactile stuff – so we would take the ball and bounce it on his chest and every time it hit we’d say “boom, boom, boom” and make him laugh. This was his favorite game for a good long time until the day he took the ball and clearly placed it over his genitals and said “I want boom boom”. I look back and think “yes honey, we all do!”
Fortunately for me, it’s fairly easy. I have a great husband who likes sex as much as I do, and in between, I have a few favorite toys that always do the trick. I get lots of physical touch, caressing and love – I consider it as important as air, food, and water. This is one of the main things that separate me from my friends with disabilities. And for the people I know, it’s not their lack of wanting.
So what is it? Sometimes it’s their parents who can’t move beyond the fact that their children are now adults with adult feelings and needs. Many parents will have a judge give them complete authority to control all the decisions in the life of their son or daughter with a disability. How many of us would get laid if our Mom was still making all our decisions?
Sometimes it’s the “professionals”. I sit in countless meetings where the person with a disability is supposed to be involved but the rest of the group is out talking the one person who’s opinion matters most in the discussion. Often times, we’re focused on everything but sex. Is he being compliant to the many staff in his life? Is he taking a shower every day? Is he serious at church and quiet at work? Poor little Johnny with Down syndrome is having these behavioral episodes every night – he insists on shutting his door and the staff can’t allow it because he may need help in the night, they have to be able to hear! Well yeah, poor little Johnny is trying to get off and no one is even considering it. If you have a disability and masturbate with your door open or in public settings, you’re going to have bigger stronger staff around you and your not going to get the privacy you need.
I have actually sat in meetings where the person has found a lover and the team of staff and family are spending all their time working on a solution to keep them apart. The team worries that they might not understand what they’re doing, they might not be safe doing it, and then there’s the pregnancy issue. It’s never black and white – but last time I checked people with disabilities are still people and have the same right to fuck, fuck up, have unsafe sex, and get pregnant like the rest of us. What is happening here?
I spoke with a long time friend last week who was talking about his loneliness. Struck by a car as a kid, he lives with a brain injury that affects almost every aspect of his life. He told me that he’s so lonely; he doesn’t always want to live. He’s over 40, but has never had a real girlfriend, the touch of a person who wanted to be intimate, or sex – never. Ugh, I’d want to die too.
Some people find ways to get around this – sexual surrogates had a bit of popularity in the 80s (that’s over with now) and the brave and able will make their way for a massage with a happy ending – at least every once in awhile. But mostly there’s nothing happening – nothing that any of us would want to be a part of. Here’s some statistics I want to share:
• Among adults who are developmentally disabled, as many as 83% of females and 32% of males are victims of sexual assault.
• 49% of people with developmental disabilities, who are victims of sexual
violence, will experience 10 or more abusive incidents.
• 33% of abusers are friends or acquaintances, 33% are natural or foster family members, and 25% are caregivers or service providers.
Don’t these numbers sound like we’re in Africa or something? I guess I have to take back my statement that they’re not having sex, they are, but unfortunately, it’s still not the kind any of us would choose. California had a law on the books until sometime in the 1970s for mandatory sterilization of people with disabilities. This was not because they wanted to prevent pregnancy from consensual sex – there was still no acknowledgement that they were even interested. It was to prevent pregnancy after abuse. Disgusting.
So here’s what I’m saying – at some point in all of our lives we will have the opportunity to become friends, neighbors, or coworkers with a person who has a developmental disability. That person is as likely as the next to want to talk about the hot delivery guy, the fantastic privacy of porn on the web, and what is the best sex toy! Let’s celebrate how healthy sex is for everyone – not just the folks we consider “normal”.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
When asked to guest post on Charlotte's wonderful blog, I was delighted; then she told me that the subject choices were sex, politics or/and religion. Oh dear, I thought, all those taboos our mother told us never to discuss in polite company. Then a smile slowly spread across my wee, rose-cheeked face and I rubbed my hands with glee.....sex, politics and/or religion....?
Excellent. Said in a Dr. No kind of way as opposed to Bill and Ted.
I considered politics; the recent spate of anti-Scottish websites and anti-Scottish feeling; you should see some of my emails that have sprung up because of a decision made by our Justice Minister was an option. People haven't read the actual facts and how Westminster were repeatedly contacted by the Scottish First Minister and the Justice Minister read his speech, it's pretty impressive to exclude the Lockerbie bomber from even being allowed possible consideration for transfer and that, despite reassurances, Westminster signed an agreement with Libya which did not exclude Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi. Scotland was outraged and spoke with Westminster who shrugged their shoulders, leaving Scotland no choice but to deal with this issue within the confines of Scottish law.
But then I decided against that as too emotive, not much chance for humour and religion or sex was much better suited to a guest position.
So talking of positions....apparently, a new Kama Sutra kama, kama, kama kama, kama chameleon, you come and blow, you come and blow oh oh oh has been discovered or a part of the Kama Shastra which contains amongst other works, the Kama Sutra. There are 64 types of sexual acts within 10 chapters but new revelation reveals there to be a further 5. That's right. Five positions you have NEVER even contemplated. Non Possible! I hear you proclaim in French somehow as it sounds better.
I know you're thinking right now what those 5 positions might be. I of course, get dressed in the morning with bluebirds tying my apron strings and mice fixing bows to my hair so I'd never think of such things.
Is it significant that this takes the number to 69? Are those extra 5 positions necessary to all sexual partnerships and have we been doing it wrong all those years? How awful. I was curious and searched the web, after seeing the original article in an obscure copy of a local paper but alas severe disappointment later, I can find no information/pictures or comments.
You'd have thought that at least some people would have gotten their hands on such relevant information and tried it out, simply for our amusement knowledge and potentially increased sexual health benefits. That's what the freaks sexperts are all about after all, isn't it? So keep your eyes peeled and if you hear of anyone extolling the virtues not really a word I should be using here, is it? of the 69, reconsider your opinion on what they may be talking about and ask them immediately to send a message to me, including feedback, pictures and real time footage. For research purposes only.
Ah, religion. I personally subscribe to His Noodleness, the Great Spaghetti Monster and would like him to be recognised as the all knowing, all powerful. But that's just me. I take my religion like I take my life; with a little humour. This doesn't go down well with everyone though; I've known intelligent, good, kind people turn into gnarling, scary beasts at the mention of this subject. "Sooooo, you're a HUMANIST?" a friend somewhat strangely spat at me, with barely disguised disgust at my questioning of certain....beliefs. Beliefs which he monologued. Beliefs which he knew I didn't share but proceeded to shove down my throat. Beliefs which he believes to mean my children and I will burn in hell. It's kinda hard not to retaliate to that.
It's like this; I'm confused when it comes to religion. My husband is a scientist and smiles when he reads Dawkins. My gran was a religious zealot, bordering on insanity. My father joined a strange lodge type religious culture didn't last long, they were against alcohol and my mother sent us to Sunday School. She rolled her eyes when we suggested she come with us. I understand the concept of belief but can't help but guffaw when the children mention Adam and Eve. It's an instinctual response. Lucy believes despite this, Kelly doesn't but then, she is easily influenced and Fraser is on the fence when I say fence, I mean playing the x-box 360, hoping we'll shut up anytime soon.
When it comes down to it, I respect everyones right to have faith, I believe that there may be a God but not in the traditional sense and whereas I like a good discussion, this is definitely one that should be kept behind closed doors, unless you are prepared for the raining of random nutters ready to harass you at a moment's notice.
A doctor friend of ours was harassed by some stranger who had read his views which he'd stupidly voiced a bit like me, eh? I'm Scottish, I can take it, we'll set aboot ye! on a website, sought him out and metaphorically tried to douse him with fire; he called his place of work making false accusations, he sent him hate mail, a thousand spam mail daily and hacked his computer. He got hold of sensitive information, he blackened his name and yet this person considered himself to be a good, religious man. He continues to feel he is doing the work of God. Yeah...ooookay.
I am not anti-faith or anti-belief but I may be anti-religion, if it spawns this type of zealot but of course, every walk of life, every area has it's group of crazies so why would this be any different? Therefore, anti-religious does not cover it either: I am anti-nutter and proud of it.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
It was suggested that us guest bloggers write about Sex, Religion or Politics. Jeez what do I write about? I am not a very controversial person. No bones in the closet type a gal. Don't like to offend, be looked down on, talked about but I am certainly am not 'church lady' Folks, I haven't been to a church service in 20 years. Weddings, funerals yes but Sunday morning with a Reverend whats his face? No. I believe in God, the afterlife, angels, the devil and prayer but the thought of sitting down for an hour or so in a church just makes me go funny. I was born and raised in England and my family's religion was Church of England. So what is that in America? Protestant? God knows. Ha! My Dad was adopted but found his biological sisters and brothers 25 years ago (thats how I met my husband. Came out to america to meet my Uncle and met my husband when I was 17) His biological mother was raised in a jewish household. I don't think this makes me jewish because my mum's side is Church of England. Right Char? I attended my first Sedar last holiday. It was so much fun but my 3 year old got wriggly after an hour.
You know what burns my muffins? When I meet people for the first time and they can't get past two sentences without mentioning the G word. What did you have for Breakfast? I had eggs, bacon and God loves you. Quit shoving it down my throat. Yes, I believe in God but STOP IT. I used to know someone, I will call her Mabel. She was having difficulties in her marriage and found God. It was like she had changed bodies. This beautiful, intelligent, fun gal had suddenly joined a Church (this one was more like a Cult) and her personality got zapped right out of her. The radio station in her car went from KFOG to KGOD
My beautiful Godmother was taken away from me five years ago by Cancer. She was truly the most beautiful person and a wonderful friend. I would go to her when I wanted a second opinion aside from my mums and she always had time for me. She was a Christian and attended her church a few times a week. She NEVER did the whole God this God that. She knew that I believed and that was good enough for her.
Hey, I am getting outta this blog and leaving it up to the good writers in this world to carry on. This has been so much fun for this British gal. Thank you Charlotte for letting me do this.
Monday, September 7, 2009
But enough on our Sarah. Although she's one of my favorite right wing nutcases to skewer and roast ever so slowly over extra-hot coals, there's another issue that has popped up in recent days. Apparently a Presidential speech on the importance of education directed to students has been twisted into a dark conservative conspiracy that's adamant that a 15-minute speech will convert our nation's youth to Obama's evil socialist creed. Surely their soft, moldable minds will be forever branded with leftest ideologies that might lead to such subversive activities as examining a multitude of different ideas and using rational thought processes. Next thing you know there'll be armies of children with implanted electronic monitoring devices turning them into mindless, goose-stepping drones of the state. One push of a button from some evil bureaucrat's desk (safely hidden away in an underground bunker in east nowhere Kansas) will cause them to murder their parents in the night. Could the cross-breeding of dogs with cats and Paris Hilton receiving a Nobel prize for physics be far behind?
Are these just the ridiculous rants of an aging tattooed rebel with hair colors not found in nature? Thankfully some people can grasp the concept of parody. But my tirade is no more ridiculous than spewings of "good Americans" over an upcoming Presidential speech to students within publicly-funded (gasp!) schools - which surely are no more than a trip to commie hell in a hand basket. Good white "patriots" wrapping themselves up in the flag and pounding their chests accusing Obama of bringing politics into the classroom, saying it's akin "to the propagandizing of Hitler's Nazi Germany." That last blurb was an actual statement from a "concerned parent" from Anchorage, Alaska. The land of Palin, Uncle Ted and the Murkowski dynasty.....
Silly hysterics of a few whose cheese slid off their crackers, right? Then why are school districts throughout the nation are buckling right and left (no pun intended) to the paranoid rhetoric of racists, birthers, teabaggers, dittoheads, conservatives, FOX News fans, Christians zealots, ad nauseum. What's next? They are infiltrating lawful assemblies using hired gun-toting goons to intimidate those "commies" wanting health care... Hmmmm - where was all this self-righteous furor over George "Wingnut" Bush speaking to school children (speaking of the blind leading the blind) - including on 9/11? Or Carter, Reagan, Clinton, etc.?
Can any of these wingnuts actually define "socialism", "communism", "facism", "Nazi", etc. beyond words they like to sling out for shock value? Similar to a three year old saying "fuckhead" to shock mom and dad and earning street cred with the toddler set....
However, it's not the Dark Side's latest outcries over a Presidential speech that disturbs me the most. What disturbs me is the fact that a group of knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, hypocritical right wing zealots can essentially blackmail schools into throwing out the fundamentals of education, free speech and intelligent discourse out over the least bit of controversy (even when the controversy sprung from the voices in their heads). The genie is out of the bottle - even if it is just a rusty beer can.....
Yes, thanks to the right wingnuts, the genie is out of the bottle and poised for all sorts of mischief. Those suburban BBQ's will soon be fueled by burning books instead of briquettes. Soon entire curriculums will be changed to satisfy the politics of denial and bigotry. It'll be so much easier to raise a generation molded by fear and propaganda if we didn't have all this silly academic bullshit! Let 'em learn wood shop and the bible - it was good enough for our forefathers and it's good enough for us!
Yes, the old "dynamite the fish pond" approach. Start spouting bible verses, excerpts from the constitution and whatever Glenn Beck/Rush Limbaugh said that day. Kill enough fish and the smell will overcome the strongest nose (or intellect). Hey, if Sarah Palin can use fish analogies, so can I. We're the culture of celebrity and 30 second sound bites. I especially like the bible thumpers that mix government w/religion. They forget about separation of state FROM church in addition to their own holy scriptures advocating genocide, slavery, human sacrifice, rape, etc. I especially like Timothy ii, 12, St Paul is quoted thus: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” Guess someone better muzzle Sarah......and Michelle Bachman too.
I think I just stumbled across the Conservanuts' reasons for their outcry over a simple Presidential speech - if you control education, no one will question your version of the "truth." Not the first time that circus came through town though......but they are betting that suppression of an educational system - or a country - that is free to examine any and all ideas will at least keep their freakish side show going on a little longer......