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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My beliefs.

Today was a weird day. I had all these plans to do all sorts of things and only really managed to accomplish one, getting Nick to his arts and crafts program at the town's Recreation Center.

Now this is a very cool program. There's a large kid play area filled with huge foam blocks and all sorts of different toys and puzzles and during this particular program, Muchkin Madness, the kids get some free time to play then a story is read to them and they do an arts and crafts project related to the story. If there's time after the craft, and there normally is, the kids can play some more. Most of the moms mill around chatting on the outskirts of the area. I've never felt particularly welcomed though I have had some good conversations with some of the moms. This one mom however seems to go out of her way to ignore me and Nick. Today I got the feeling it was a religious based thing because I happened to overhear a completely unrelated conversation she had with the "teacher" of the program. Just a simple hey this book mentions jack o lanterns is that OK with you. Previous experiences have led me to believe that some strict Christians and Jews do not celebrate and wish to censor their children's experiences to many holidays based on their Pagan roots. To which I say KUDOS because being the odd one out is not easy, especially with kids. I hold nothing against this but it did make me feel like it was a religious reason that she was shunning me and my kid.

We're different. I get that. We all wear a lot of black and I have a huge fondness for skulls which my kids have copied. I know there's a stigma against the goth look, that they're witches or satan worshippers or whatever. I've been shunned before because "Jesus wouldn't approve" of my lifestyle or whatever. It happens, it hurts and it royally sucks but it happens. Maybe this woman just doesn't like me and I'm putting too much on the religion thing. It was a comment I shouldn't have heard and didn't mean to hear. I am paranoid and am insecure, lots of other things play into that not just religion. I was upset about being shunned at the program and posted a comment on facebook. My comment read....Jesus preached about love and acceptance and tolerance of everyone, some of the most hated people in his time were tax collectors, whores and lepers and yet he accepted and loved all of them. So why can't his followers? For a god who was so kind and open his followers are awfully mean and close minded. This is why I don't go to church anymore. Too bad I can't avoid people like that in the world.

A few comments later and I got the impression that this could be construed as me hating on Christians. Not at all my intentions. It wasn't even meant to be a religious type thing. I had simply meant that Jesus' followers are supposed to emulate Him. I was raised in the Church (quite literally, my father and mother were super involved in our church and Jesus was a part of our daily lives) and for the most part I enjoyed it and learned a lot about it. But when I got older and started experimenting with my self identity I learned alot about the hatred these followers can express. I wore black nail polish and heavy make up, dyed my hair green and pink and blue, I wore short skirts, fishnet shirts, super wide leg jeans with chains. I listened to heavy rock and metal music and partied a little. And my parents friends told me I was going to hell for these choices.

Just a little background to explain myself....

At this time in my life, high school, I still prayed to Jesus and read my bible and even tried teaching Sunday School at one point. I  loved children and dreamed of the day when I'd have a husband and lots of little ones to fill our home. I truly didn't understand why Jesus would send me to hell for my nail polish or clothing choices. I had a long term serious boyfriend in high school, he followed much of the same clothing trends as I did but was really shy and didn't talk much to anyone. And my parents friends hated him more.

Fast forward a couple years and I'm still with this guy, I'm 18 and out of school and pregnant. I still go to church on occasion and have calmed down a little, no more crazy pants or hair color though I'm still to this day partial to black clothing and nail polish. My life's going pretty good. I've got a good job and I'm going to college, I'm saving every penny for the baby and I'm very respectful of my parents wishes. I come home at night, I don't have my boyfriend sleep over, and I haven't moved out yet but I'm still being bombarded by hate from the people I grew up around in the church. I'm still going to hell and people are telling me how sorry they are that I'm pregnant and I've sinned in this way. So I leave the church. I cannot tolerate the hypocrisy I'm getting. The pastors and Jesus have taught me that we love all people, we forgive their sins and it's not our place to judge others as we have not been sin free ourselves. Yet I'm constantly getting the message that they don't care what my personal life or relationship with God is they just see the black shirt with skulls and the round belly and know that I'm going to hell. I left the church.

I've gone back a few times, had my baby and the one after him baptised and married the high school boyfriend. I live a pretty decent life and my babies are 7 and 4. I still like skulls and black clothing and even have a few tattoos. My kids emulate this, Philip has a mohawk and Nick wants one. We let them pick their own clothing and they like skulls and darker colors because all little kids tend to copy their parents style. My upbringing has pretty much taught me that for all people preach love and kindness and say stuff like WWJD and they follow Christ's path they're pretty full of hate.

I hate being shunned and judged on what's on the outside. I get the message from the outside world constantly that I'm a bad person and a bad parent. I "force" my kids to be goth, I'm handicapping Philip because I won't have him implanted with a cochlear implant, I'm raising gay boys because I let their hair get long sometimes, let them wear nail polish and play with dolls and kitchens, I can't possibly be a responsible parent because I was just a kid myself when I had them. Etc Etc Etc. The list is endless on the ways I'm a bad influence on kids. But what they don't see is what our home life is like.

At home we strive to live eco friendly and I'm constantly looking for new ways to become more so. Philip is being taught that he's loved for who he is deaf or hearing. We sign with him at home and it's his choice each and every morning if he wants to wear his hearing aids, he knows that when he's old enough he can make the choice for himself if he wants the implants. We may cuss like sailors around the kids but they also hear us say please and thank you and you're welcome to every single person. We have piercings and tattoos and look all goth and dark (though I don't think we follow goth trends at all) but my kids hold doors open for other people and Philip has been recognized at school countless times for consoling other kids and returning found items. My boys wear nail polish and play with kitchens and dolls and know that if they are hetro I'll love them and accept them but if they're gay I'll love them and accept them just the same. My children aren't being taught to look at someones clothes, skin color, partner  or any other labels to decide if they like that person. My children are loved and cherished and we adults respect their feelings. They have equal say in most everything we do though they do understand that as adults my husband and I have the final say. We try our best to respect their feelings and opinions and we strive to make sure that we'll love them even if they choose to wear a close cut hair style, khakis and polos and marry another man even if that's not how we chose to live our personal lives. My children will never have to worry about what is rape or not for they'll learn that a woman can walk by them totally nude and swinging her hips and that doesn't mean she's asking for anything much less sex. They will never have to worry that if they are gay or they love a person of a different race or religion they have to hide it because they are being raised with love and acceptance of all. For as much as my facebook post turned into a religious thing my kids and myself know that a person's faith only describes a part of who they are. If raising my children this way means I'm a bad person, a sinner and am going going to be it. I'd rather be in hell then surrounded in heaven by people who are capable of blind hate and discrimination.

I had posted the post because I was upset and emotional and it really just brought up a lot of bad memories from the church experience I had as a teenager. I see such beauty in Jesus' teachings and there are many many many people who follow Him and are amazing people. I just really get bothered when people look past his message of acceptance and non judging and focus on the "you have to live exactly as I dictate" sort of message that gets passed along within the church.

This ended up being a long post but I felt I needed to defend my facebook post and explain in a better format then I could have on facebook.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

For my nephew.

I've badly been wanting to create baby things and you'd think with an 8 month old nephew and two 17 month old nieces I'd have plenty of opportunities. But I'm a slacker and rarely make them stuff. Well I recently made the nieces fleece jackets and little sun dresses but I didn't get pics so it's not worth really mentioning.

But I finally got around to making something for my beloved nephew! He's getting to be such a big boy and bigger babies always mean bigger messes so I made him a bib!

This picture isn't my nephew nor is it the bib I made. It's the picture from this blog which is where I got the tutorial to make my nephew's bib.

This is my nephew's new bib! His daddy likes elephants a lot so I found this material I thought would be perfect. I did change up the original a little bit. The tutorial recommends one layer of fabric and

one layer of flannel. I used just one layer of fabric and applied iron on vinyl on top of it :) That's why the crappy cell phone picture is shinny. I also added a pocket to catch what he might drop. The pocket is hard to see as I tried my best to perfectly match up the lines in the material's print. It's right there under the 3 big elephants. Where the brown line is above the peanuts. That was tricky to do. I made the width of the pocket a smidge bigger then the bib but when sewing I made the edges line up. This way the pocket balloons out a tiny bit to make an open pocket rather then a flat pocket. The inside of the pocket has vinyl as well so the entire thing is wipeable. Hopefully the pocket isn't so low that it's not functional. I don't have a baby to test it on until I give it to Nephew.

I'm pretty proud of it and hope when I give it to my sister-in-law she loves it. I think this is gonna become a go to baby shower gift as it took less then an hour from cutting it out to finishing sewing.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Year

Wow. A new year. I've neglected this blog for a while now. I think it's time I spent some more time on this thing. I'm gonna do what I intended to do and use my blog more and my Facebook less.

So lets start with resolutions. I don't normally make them. They just make me feel like a failure because come on really who makes goals and achives them in a whole year? Okay I get that some make sense, go back to school, pay off this or that bill etc. But lose weight, workout more, clean my house more etc those never seem to happen. It's such a small goal for a whole year. I'd like to make some goals to improve not just this year but my whole life from here on out.

I'm starting with simplify. Simplify everything. Less time going places, less time shopping, less time spent cooking, less time and money spent accumulating junk.

I'm also trying to get our family to spend less at the stores and more time and energy making/growing things. I mean why pay money for produce when I can grow it in my backyard? Why pay $15 for pjs that have some cartoon character on them that my kids will outgrow in just a couple months when for less then $5 I can make them warm comfortable pjs in a color or with a print that they like, that I like and that is timeless. Why should I spend countless hours in the mall looking for a sweater or skirt that fits me just right and is in the right color or close enough then paying for alterations when in just a few hours I could sew something up or in a couple of sittings knit that perfect sweater?

My tastes tend to run towards simpler, more basic things anyways so why try to fight the mass commericalism that says I need to buy this trendy crap just because it's all there is when I can create it myself. I'll save money and save myself some stress at the same time.

Rambling post goals for this year can be summerized by saying simply this: I'm going to spend more time this year creating rather then buying. I'll be making more clothing, knitting more of our sweaters, washcloths, hats and mittens, I'll be growing more of our food, canning our food, making more foods from scratch and all in all being less dependent on going somewhere wasting gas to obtain the things that I can create for myself in my own home.

Oh I also plan on learning how to make soap this year. Like lye and fat create it myself soap. It'll be fun.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lazy day Saturdays

Today I just feel like being lazy. Just hanging out in my Pjs with a hot cup of tea and a good book (BTW I'm reading The Lovely Bones, so far very interesting). Alas I cannot be so lazy.

I have a bunch of things to do. Plus it is just way to cold to lazy around comfortably.

Our apartment doesn't like to have functioning heat until October-ish. I complained several times directly to management about it last year to no avail.

So today I will make myself a to-do list and see what I can accomplish.

Today I need to do:
Tidy the living room/dining room
Take care of the pile of boxes in my bedroom before they fall over.
Put away some clean laundry
Clean kitty box

Today I should also do:
Gather the laundry for washing
Scrub down my tub and toilet
Pack at least 2 boxes worth of stuff up

What I'll probably do and forgo the rest of my list:
Finish Philip's new CARS outfit for Monday
Make a shirt I've been eyeballing for my unborn nephew. (Can't wait to snuggle his squishy face, December can't come fast enough)

So that's today's game plan. Matt's at work this morning then he's going to work on our house. Time is rapidly running out on that major project as we have to be out of this apartment in about a month and a half. My mother in law is supposed to take the boys but after the fight they had this morning I don't know if I still want to give them the treat of spending time at Grandma's. They woke me up this morning screaming and yelling at each other and before I could get out of bed they were both crying. Philip was crying because Nicolas bit him right under his armpit and Nicolas was in tears because Philip punched him as retribution. Definitely not how I wanted to start my Saturday morning but such is life with 2 little boys. Apparently the fight started over the fingerpaints which they weren't supposed to have anyways. So they both got time outs and I know SuperNanny would freak but I doubled the time for the double offense of fighting/hitting/biting and for getting into the fingerpaints. Then I sent them back to bed because they were clearly tired and didn't get enough sleep to start fighting right in the morning. They didn't actually go back to sleep but they did calm down and recenter themselves. After apologies, hugs and I love you's were enchanged they played together nicely but they're still a little bratty today. Chalk it up to a really long week I guess.

Tomorrow I'm hoping Matt doesn't have to work so I can have the car. I know he'll be busy at the house but that's fine. I know once we're in there we'll have lots of time together so I can spare him for now. I just want the car to take the little ones to Strong National Museum of Play. Our membership expires at the end of October and while we have definatly gotten our money's worth out of it I'd like to still go a couple times more since we won't be renewing it. At least until the new year when things begin to settle down. With Philip in school and me not having a car during the day we don't get as much use out of it anymore anyways. Plus after 2 years of going at least once a month and sometimes as much as once a week I'm kinda bored with the place.

Well suppose I should get up and start my list of things to do today. I suppose I should start motivating myself by finding some good music and getting dressed.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chaos Perseveres.

Chaos...such is my life. It's a'righ. I've learned to deal with it.

So what kind of chaos has been going on??? Well Philip turned 5. Big deal big deal. We had a good time celebrating his birthday by taking him out to buy his first real bike, even though it has training wheels it is a big boy bike and it's in his favorite color, green. After we purchased that we took him to the play ground where they have a nice paved wide path all along all four sides of the soccer field so he rode around in big circles as fast as his little legs could peddle.

We stayed at the playground just about all day then went home to dinner, movies, tons of stories and bed.

The next day was his birthday party and I feel wretched about it but I only got a handful of pictures and lousy ones at that. It was a simple party, a bunch of friends and family. Snacks, pizza, cake. Bubbles to play with, kites to fly, a slip 'n' slide for the big kids, a kiddie pool for the "babies". A good time was had by all. Philip was super excited he got to invite not only his lifelong family friends but his preschool classmates as well and 2 of his favorite friends actually made it to the party. He had a blast. My mother in law and I worked it out that Matt and I would buy the bike for Philip and she'd get him his helmet and pads. The helmet she had bought him included a bell for his bike so of course that was attached ASAP and the bike is his new favorite toy. Philip turning 5 was a big deal and sorta emotional for me. It signifies him leaving his baby/toddlerhood and becoming a big boy. A child. In a physical way he's no longer my baby. What slammed that message home was the first day of kindergarten....
This amazing little boy is old enough for kindergarten. He was really excited about it. Has been looking forwards to it all summer. The moment was kinda dampened by the fact that his "home school" is responsible for transporting him to RSD and even though I worked it out when we had the last IEP meeting somehow the address changed to the apartment 2 years ago never went through to the transportation office.

Philip gets on the bus insanely (to me anyways) early at 7 am. This lack of communication between the IEP board and transportation department resulted in the bus needing to pick him up at the house where we lived 2 years ago (this is the house we are remodeling and moving into in a month and a half, confused yet lol). Philip being picked up at the house meant I had to get him up at 5:45 in the morning to get him bathed, dressed, fed, hair styled and at the house by 7 am. I don't have a car during the day. Matt takes our family car to work at 5:30 every morning. He works on the far side of Webster in what is really 315 area. It takes him 45 minutes to get to work. Needless to say I'm not dropping him off at work just so I can have the car to go 3 miles to the house. I arraigned it with my mother to come get us and bring us to the house.

He picked his own clothes for school that morning. A Mickey Mouse short sleeved, cotton shirt (which by the way I made :p ) and denim shorts. I don't think it got above 65 that day and once I realized that it really was that cold and it wasn't just because I was in my shorts and tank top PJs we were already at the house and it was too late to go back to the apartment and get something different. Poor kid was freezing waiting for the bus. Luckily mom had a jacket in her car so it wasn't too bad but I did feel awful that he had to go through his entire day being cold. Now I check the weather first before getting him dress. Thank goodness I learned that lesson before winter hit.

He was so super excited seeing the big yellow bus pull up. He couldn't wait to get on it. I had to pull him back for my hug and kiss good bye. He simply started walking up to the bus, throwing a "bye mom" shout over his shoulder. No fear on this kid. He got on the big yellow big kids bus where there were already big kids waiting for him.

He did pause long enough to turn around and say "I love you" before the bus carried him on his first step towards adulthood and total independence.

The frustrating part of the day came later in the afternoon.

Matt came home in time to see Philip get off the bus. Came straight to the house to see our little man. I had walked up there with Nicky to make sure someone was able to get my precious guy. The time the bus garage said would be dropping him off came....and went. I understand the bus would be a few minutes early or late depending on outside circumstances like...oh I don't know, it being the first day of school maybe? But when he was 15 minutes late and still no sign of that damned bus I got worried. So I called the transportation office.

The woman I spoke to said the change of address I put in finally went through and he was being dropped off at the apartment. I got pissed. I told the woman, clearly angry but calm and polite, that the person I changed the address with promised someone would call me with the new time and the confirmation. She responds with "well I can call the driver and see if she's already dropped him off." My reply "dropped him off? By himself?" Her: "Yes she might have dropped him off at that address, I can call and get back to you." Me...shrieking: "HE'S FIVE YEARS OLD!" Her: "Oh. Well yes, you said kindergartener. Well he should be getting dropped off at the apartment." So now I'm royally pissed, I jump in the car with Matt and Nick and we fly, speeding the whole way to the apartment to get our son. As we pull up to the light right before we get to the complex the transportation woman calls me back to tell me my son's bus is minutes away from the street the house is on and will be dropped off momentarily. Now I'm super pissed because we've got to turn around and speed back to get him.
We get there to find the bus waiting for us. Poor Philip was being very patient.

Just hanging out on the bus waiting to grace us with a smile and a wave when we finally do arrive. Oh I've never been more happy to see him.

I've had words with the transportation department and now he is being picked up and dropped off at the apartment, at least until we move back into the house at the end of october. Fun fun for me. All that just to change it back later. The important thing is everything got straightened out and on the second day of school Philip was dressed appropriately and the bus picked him up and dropped him off at the apartment.

He loves kindergarten. Loves his new teacher and his new classroom. Loves the new freedom like being able to play on the playground between the bus dropping him off and the start of class, also loves being able to have a recess after lunch. He loves that he's learning to really write. He won't tell me anything else about kindergarten but I'm sure he will someday.

On a side note....guess who's potty trained!?!?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Eye for an eye and the whole world is blind

Ordinarily I hate proclaiming to the world my views on religion but as this is my blog I’ll make an exception for myself.

I just read a Newsweek article in a waiting room that really pissed me off.
Yes I understand that there are a lot of terrorist attacks by people of Muslim or Islamic beliefs and yes the attacks make me extremely angry but since when are Christians so squeaky clean and pure that they can point the finger like that?!?! Hello!!! Witch hunts? The crusades??? How many innocent people have been killed by Christians due to their religious differences? How dare we say that a mosque can't be built where we would allow a church? How dare we say that Christianity is better than any other faith? What happened to religious freedom?

I am so pissed at all these people who act like their shit don't stink, that their religion is better than others. Who is walking this earth that has met God to say "yes God wants us to worship him this way". Every single major belief system believes that their faith is the "one true faith". You wanna know the Bible itself it says that the Jews are God's chosen people. So even Christians can't say that theirs is the one true faith. Yes there are many many similarities between Christians and Jews and Christianity began with Judaism but the Jewish faith has a completely different set of rules beyond the 10 commandments. So if they are the chosen people and Christians don't follow even most of their rules does that make the Christians damned?

I was raised to be a Christian. There was no other faith in our household but that of the Lutheran church and Lutherans like many others believe that a man we now call Jesus came to Earth because of the miracle of his birth by a virgin woman. This man who was a Jew was born and raised according to the Jewish traditions and beliefs. He was loved by his mother and step father and I’m sure many others of his time. As an adult he went around preaching and leading by example how to love and care for each other. How to love your fellow humans damn near unconditionally. He loved all, the poor, the wealthy, the sick, the elderly, the prostitute and the house wife. He loved the tax collector and the tax payer. A whole religion was founded upon the teachings and lifestyles of this loving, caring, compassionate man. And now his followers condemn others. A man who preached love and forgiveness, I believe, would cry tears of bitter grief for all the hatred his followers now spew without a second thought.

In the name of this holy man, the son of God himself, who died a brutal painful death on a cross to prove God’s love and devotion to us imperfect humans we go around condemning others, slaughtering others, and just being the exact and total opposite of everything Jesus would want us to be.

Aside from what Jesus taught his followers and what Christians believe, we are Americans. A country founded because a bunch of people decided that they didn’t want to be persecuted for their religious beliefs risked life and limb to sail on a boat over to an unfamiliar and dangerous new land for freedom. In 1886 we accepted a gift from France that was inspired by the Roman Goddess Libertas, a goddess of freedom. A gift that has become the ultimate icon of America: The Statue of Liberty. This is the poem inscribed and placed on the base of our beautiful lady of freedom:

The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Emma Lazarus, 1883

Every single schoolchild in this country knows at least the phrase: "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,”
Notice nowhere in this poem does it say “But only if you are a Christian”, it does not say “Except if you are Muslim” or Jewish or Japanese or Irish or Italian or Mexican or black or a woman or gay or any other of the countless people that the people of this beautiful country has decided is unworthy of our rights and freedoms.
So they want to build a mosque in Manhattan, so it happens to be near Ground Zero. Would the people of this country be up in arms if it was a Catholic cathedral? What if it was synagogue for the members of the Jewish community? Would you protest then? Would there be countless articles in magazines and on the internet if this were a YMCA? Would you post on your Facebook how wrong this is if it were an African-American Baptist church?

Here’s a better question for you…would you even care if a group of people decided to build a Shinto or Buddhist temple at Pearl Harbor? Or if an anti-Semitism group decided to gather for weekly meetings in Pearl Harbor? Would you care then or was the bombing on Pearl Harbor too long ago for you? When is the cutoff date for hate? Is it 9 years? Maybe 15? How about 30 or 50 or 100? When you reach the gates of heaven and Saint Peter asks your name can you enter the pearly gates saying you lived a life God and Jesus would approve of? Or will Peter turn you away for being like the fallen angel Lucifer in your blind hate?

Is a mosque near Ground Zero really so wrong or do you just need a reason to spew the nastiest part of your soul without fear of repercussion?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The House.

It has come to my attention via Facebook that not everyone knows what I'm talking about when I start babbling on and on about the work Matt is doing on the house.

To the begining...

Matt love his grandparent's house. It's not his dream house or even very big but there are a lot of memories for him there. He wants to keep the house for our family to live in. Matt's grandmother no longer lives there but still owns it and since we have bad credit and cannot get approved for a morgage we decided together that this house may be the one for us. Since his grandmother owns it it gives us some leeway on payments on it. The only problem with the's out of date. The wires are old cloth covered wires, the walls are plaster and have several cracks, there were these funky arched doorways, and the insulation was so old it was crumbly and worthless.

So we tore it apart. The whole house. Tore down all the walls, all the archways, all the electrical work, the whole kit and caboodle on the ground floor. Now we have to rebuild. It has taken some time but we're making really good progress. Ripping everything down took forever. There was a lot to clean up as we tore things apart. After that Matt decided that he wanted to expand the bathroom a little bit and move the doorway for one room. When we had all the walls down we also noticed that some of the studs were poorly installed and needed to be replaced. Matt has spent every weekend the whole weekend for the last month replacing studs and framing in the walls in 2 rooms.

Tonight he is planning on ripping out the last little bit of electrial wires that we left so he could use his power tools. This weekend a buddy is helping him re install all the new wire and plugs and lights etc. We bought these nifty little outlets that have a little tamper resistant shutter behind the holes so no more worrying about lost outlet covers. Hopefully the electrial won't take more then a weekend. We want to install insulation and some dry wall next weekend before we put in the bathroom. Nothing is staying in the orginal bathroom, we are replacing everything. It badly needed it and nothing was worth saving.

It's very exciting. We hope to be in the house before our lease here is up in October. I'll post pictures of the progress we've made tomorrow. I don't have time to pull them all together because most of them are on Matt's computer not mine.