Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I say Happy Halloween to you all because this was one of my favorite holidays as a child and I really enjoy preparing for this holiday now with my little ones. I set out all of my decorations on Oct 1st. We checked out Halloween themed books from the library, and I made my Frannie a little witch costume. Well...I made the skirt. The rest of it is a black leotard and accessories purchased at the Dollar Tree, but it was fun to do a DIY costume rather than just buying one. She seemed excited about being a witch and I even taught her a witchy laugh along with the standard "trick or treat". Here's my girl!

They say a picture is worth a 1,000 words, but I don't believe it. These pictures tell almost nothing about what my poor Frannie's day was like. The child got a high fever and was barfing all. day. Her fever got as high as 103.4 and she was sicker than I've ever seen her. I cannot remember Frannie ever having to vomit. I'm pretty sure this is the first time. And it was a lot. And she is such a small child anyways, I felt so bad for her. She puked on the couch, the carpet, and in trashcans and toilets.

Don't ask me where she got it. I have no idea. It was only two days ago that we were in the ER and I always thought diseases took at least 3 days to really affect you. This thing just came out of nowhere. The day before she was perfectly fine.

We were invited to a Halloween party, and it was definitely ix-nay on that. We were going to have friends over for trick or treating, and it was ix-nay on that as well. I actually wasn't going to take her out trick or treating at all, but by 6:30 pm she was sitting on the couch and feeling better, and I asked if she wanted to go trick or treating "Just a little bit." She turned to me and said with bright eyes "It's time?" So after that whole month of talking about it here we were at the time to go. So we put on her costume, got the pictures, and I took her down the street.

This is our first year living here, and I must say the neighbors don't live up to my Halloween fantasies. In my old neighborhood, everyone participated. It seemed like almost every house had a glowing Jack-o-lantern and there were groups of children and parents up and down the streets. Here, it was essentially deserted. We did get some trick or treat candy from a few participating homes, but I didn't see one Jack-o-lantern and I didn't see one other child or parent on the street other than me and Labibah (we went together). Our neighborhood certainly doesn't lack for kids (there are 17 children on my street alone, not including teenagers) so I'm not sure where the lack-luster holiday participation is coming from. (Perhaps the high amount of Muslim neighbors sort of cuts down on things. Afterall, it isn't their custom.)

I never thought I would be interested in taking the kids to a church Halloween festival, but our current neighborhood certainly isn't going to foster any fun memories for the kids, so I may need to reevaluate my future Halloween plans.

So it has been an interesting week in my household!! I am SOOOOOO THANKFUL for my dad and mom who tag-teamed grandparenting today and came by the house to help me. I'm not sure how I would've handled things without their help especially what with JJ needing just as much care as Frannie, just in a different way. Dad came by in the morning and brought supplies and helped, and then Mom took over at about 2pm. So I had an extra pair of hands all day long. I'm the luckiest girl! Frannie and Adam are two lucky kids!

Here's a pic of my baby just because he's cute.

He is healing up nicely I can tell. Follow-up appointment is on Monday.

So Happy Halloween to my throngs (or handful) of readers ;) I'm sure next year will be a bit more festive for us!

Now it's time to decorate for Thanksgiving...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Adam's Little Cast

Look at my poor widdle fella. He had to have a soft cast put on today.

Basically it was just one of those things. I came down the stairs this morning half-awake and my heel slipped on the top step. So BOOM down I go on my heiny and thud my way down the stairs. I know...graceful as ever. Anyways, it was a pretty clean fall for me except for being stunned beyond belief. What wasn't so good though was that I was holding Adam on my hip at the time and his ankle got twisted underneath me as I fell.

He cried and cried right away and I suspected that his foot might have been hurt. After he calmed down and we were up for awhile, I gave him some Tylenol and he took a nap.

With things like this it is always tricky figuring out how serious something is. Can I handle this myself with a Do It At Home remedy? Do I just call the doctor? Or is there no point going to the regular doc because he probably needs x-rays?

Anyways, when he woke up it was apparent right away that he could bear no weight on his foot. If he were older I would probably just tell him to lay on the couch and ice it and bandage it up and see how serious it was. But being that he is such a widdle guy, who knows? I don't want him to injure himself further. The poor thing can't walk and all he wants to do is walk.

So I took him to the ER and we were there all day. I guess in hindsight I should have taken him to an Urgent Care office, but I didn't think they had x-ray machines on-site. The EMT guy told me that they do, so next time I know where to go.

Basically little Adam just has a sprained ankle. The soft cast prevents him from walking and stabalizes the foot. He'll have it on for 5 days and then I take him in to have it checked out. In all likelihood he'll be fine and good as new! His x-rays looked great.

Here are some great things about the day:
1. Even though we were there all day Pomona Valley Hosp. has good nurses and docs and they always seem to do a good job whenever we're there. So yay for them.
2. We were put into a room that had two other children in it, so Thank You Jesus, Frannie had playmates all day. (The boy was there for an asthma attack, no contagious diseases.)
3. Frannie was a dream girl. Really. Both the kids did so well being in the hospital all day, I just wanted to slobber them up. It is very hard being a small child confined to a small room where all you do is wait all day.
4. I feel like I did the right thing. Even though it was a long day, and will likely be a long week, I'm glad to know that he won't be hurting his foot further, and that it isn't a super-serious injury to begin with.

I love my little boy!

Grosgrain- New store opening and big giveaway

Natalie blogged about this new online store, and the girl's clothing is SO CUTE. Here is a link. She's got a big giveaway going on.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Prop 8 in plain English

You know, it's funny. I've totally made my peace with whomever wins the Presidential election. I know whom I will likely vote for, but either which way, I can see a positive outcome no matter who takes office.

What has me really riled up is Prop 8. So I'm writing about it again.

The No on 8 campaign has 7 times the amount of contributions that the Yes camp does and I've seen the fruits of that with increasing television and radio spots. The CTA has recently donated another million as have several Hollywood folks. I must admit that the ads are powerful. It makes you think "Well gee whiz. I'm a nice person. I want to be nice to people. I don't want to be a meanie and treat people unfairly."

So what is really at stake with Prop 8?

Will it affect our kids education?

Is it fair to treat people differently under the law?

What are the lasting implications for a society that changes the definition of something so fundamental as marriage?

What about children? Does family structure matter to them? Do we have any obligation to protect a child's right to a mother and father? Or are we males and females just interchangeable cogs? Is love enough? Or have we seen the fruits of a family structure that lacks a gender in the home?

I encourage you to take a few minutes to watch these two well-made videos. If you feel they have something valuable to say, then I hope you will pass the information on to your family and friends.

Prop 8 in Plain English

Marriage Matters to Kids

Ok now it's my turn to comment on some of this:

1. For those who think that what happened in Massachusetts won't happen to us, think again. Just this September, Arnold Schwartzeneggar vetoed a bill that passed both the House and Senate that was to declare May 22nd Harvey Milk Day. Harvey Milk was a gay activist who died in San Francisco. "The text of AB 2567 states that 'On Harvey Milk Day, exercises remembering the life of Harvey Milk and recognizing his accomplishments as well as the contributions he made to this state' should be conducted; specifically, 'all public schools and educational institutions are encouraged to observe ... and conduct suitable commemorative exercises." So the notion that Prop 8 has nothing to do with our school system is a lie because there have already been attempts to introduce celebrational materials into the curriculum. With same-sex marriage being legally interchangeable to opposite sex marriage, there will be fewer legal grounds for resisting such material in the future.

2. If traditional marriage is not restored then I see absolutely no grounds whatsoever for restricting anyone else's notion of what marriage is. That means FLDS polygamists, someone who wants to marry both a man and a woman, cultures who believe girls are ready for marriage at puberty. Honestly if we have no right to define marriage by gender then how dare we as a society claim to define it by number or any other cultural practice?

3. What about children? Is love enough? I think love is a great start. But I maintain that we owe our children even more. We owe them a loving mom and dad whenever possible. When that isn't possible then we owe them a loving single parent, or a loving homosexual couple willing to adopt. But gender does matter in the hearts and minds and children. And gender matters in the biological upbringing of both males and females. I worked at a juvenile detention center for three years and 80% of the inmates came from homes where there was no father. Lots of moms and grandmas. But no dads. It has been clearly shown that girls who grow up in homes lacking a father experiment with sex and boys sooner. Women cannot be the men that our children need. We need men for that and only a man can do the job. The same goes for the impact of a mother in a child's life.

We want to raise the next generation to be as strong as possible. We need to restore traditional marriage and strengthen it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Beautiful People

This is sort of a random post, but can I just say how much I LOVE all of the couples who take Bradley? I want to just create an island where we can all live together in happy harmony. Anyways, it is a Sunday and I've had a class this evening and I just have the best group (as always). I feel like the babies who are born are being born to the best parents who just love them so much. These are moms and dads who are totally committed to each other and committed to their baby. It is the most uplifting thing to be around all of these beautiful people.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Voting Yes on Prop 8

There has been quite a lot of discussion on my Moms Club Yahoo board about Prop 8. I'm pretty much the only person who has stated a strong opinion as a yes voter. Perhaps the fear is that a person will appear "anti gay" when in reality they are "pro-marriage and family." As some of you know, I go to probably the most liberal church out there, the San Dimas United Church of Christ. THe UCC church is very accepting of all people including homosexuals. I too am accepting, however, I do not believe the institution of marriage should be tampered with whatsoever.

This article clearly explains why I believe voting Yes on Prop 8 is so vital:,0,2093869.story

Protecting marriage to protect children
Marriage as a human institution is constantly evolving. But in all societies, marriage shapes the rights and obligations of parenthood.
By David Blankenhorn
September 19, 2008
» Discuss Article (74 Comments)

I'm a liberal Democrat. And I do not favor same-sex marriage. Do those positions sound contradictory? To me, they fit together.

Many seem to believe that marriage is simply a private love relationship between two people. They accept this view, in part, because Americans have increasingly emphasized and come to value the intimate, emotional side of marriage, and in part because almost all opinion leaders today, from journalists to judges, strongly embrace this position. That's certainly the idea that underpinned the California Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex marriage.

But I spent a year studying the history and anthropology of marriage, and I've come to a different conclusion.

Marriage as a human institution is constantly evolving, and many of its features vary across groups and cultures. But there is one constant. In all societies, marriage shapes the rights and obligations of parenthood. Among us humans, the scholars report, marriage is not primarily a license to have sex. Nor is it primarily a license to receive benefits or social recognition. It is primarily a license to have children.

In this sense, marriage is a gift that society bestows on its next generation. Marriage (and only marriage) unites the three core dimensions of parenthood -- biological, social and legal -- into one pro-child form: the married couple. Marriage says to a child: The man and the woman whose sexual union made you will also be there to love and raise you. Marriage says to society as a whole: For every child born, there is a recognized mother and a father, accountable to the child and to each other. (emphasis mine)

These days, because of the gay marriage debate, one can be sent to bed without supper for saying such things. But until very recently, almost no one denied this core fact about marriage. Summing up the cross-cultural evidence, the anthropologist Helen Fisher in 1992 put it simply: "People wed primarily to reproduce." The philosopher and Nobel laureate Bertrand Russell, certainly no friend of conventional sexual morality, was only repeating the obvious a few decades earlier when he concluded that "it is through children alone that sexual relations become important to society, and worthy to be taken cognizance of by a legal institution."

Marriage is society's most pro-child institution. In 2002 -- just moments before it became highly unfashionable to say so -- a team of researchers from Child Trends, a nonpartisan research center, reported that "family structure clearly matters for children, and the family structure that helps children the most is a family headed by two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage."

All our scholarly instruments seem to agree: For healthy development, what a child needs more than anything else is the mother and father who together made the child, who love the child and love each other.

For these reasons, children have the right, insofar as society can make it possible, to know and to be cared for by the two parents who brought them into this world. The foundational human rights document in the world today regarding children, the 1989 U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, specifically guarantees children this right. The last time I checked, liberals like me were supposed to be in favor of internationally recognized human rights, particularly concerning children, who are typically society's most voiceless and vulnerable group. Or have I now said something I shouldn't?

Every child being raised by gay or lesbian couples will be denied his birthright to both parents who made him. Every single one. Moreover, losing that right will not be a consequence of something that at least most of us view as tragic, such as a marriage that didn't last, or an unexpected pregnancy where the father-to-be has no intention of sticking around. On the contrary, in the case of same-sex marriage and the children of those unions, it will be explained to everyone, including the children, that something wonderful has happened!

For me, what we are encouraged or permitted to say, or not say, to one another about what our society owes its children is crucially important in the debate over initiatives like California's Proposition 8, which would reinstate marriage's customary man-woman form. Do you think that every child deserves his mother and father, with adoption available for those children whose natural parents cannot care for them? Do you suspect that fathers and mothers are different from one another? Do you imagine that biological ties matter to children? How many parents per child is best? Do you think that "two" is a better answer than one, three, four or whatever? If you do, be careful. In making the case for same-sex marriage, more than a few grown-ups will be quite willing to question your integrity and goodwill. Children, of course, are rarely consulted.

The liberal philosopher Isaiah Berlin famously argued that, in many cases, the real conflict we face is not good versus bad but good versus good. Reducing homophobia is good. Protecting the birthright of the child is good. How should we reason together as a society when these two good things conflict?

Here is my reasoning. I reject homophobia and believe in the equal dignity of gay and lesbian love. Because I also believe with all my heart in the right of the child to the mother and father who made her, I believe that we as a society should seek to maintain and to strengthen the only human institution -- marriage -- that is specifically intended to safeguard that right and make it real for our children.

Legalized same-sex marriage almost certainly benefits those same-sex couples who choose to marry, as well as the children being raised in those homes. But changing the meaning of marriage to accommodate homosexual orientation further and perhaps definitively undermines for all of us the very thing -- the gift, the birthright -- that is marriage's most distinctive contribution to human society. That's a change that, in the final analysis, I cannot support.

David Blankenhorn is president of the New York-based Institute for American Values and the author of "The Future of Marriage."