(Mr President, I Am a Stay at Home Mom) Ready to Verbally Blast the President Or So I Thought

Saturday, I scrolled numerous FB post and countless articles that cited an excerpt of a speech by our President. I am assuming reporters isolated these remarks from his speech to incite stay-at-home moms and the families that embrace this idea as a core value to rage. The President had been quoted as saying, “And sometimes, someone, usually mom, leaves the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. And that’s not a choice we want Americans to make. So let’s make this happen. By the end of this decade, let’s enroll 6 million children in high-quality preschool, and let’s make sure that we are making America stronger.”

Watching repeated clips of this 28-second sound bite only incited me further. I spent different moments throughout the last several days carefully crafting a post in my head, a rebuttal. I was ready to actually blast and in my opinion cross a line by verbally accosting the President of the United States in print. Whew! I am glad I dialed my rage back a notch and did a little research.

I didn’t create my blog to become a political forum. I didn’t create it to join the political divide that continues to create a deep chasm in our country. I assume that through my posts, most people who read my thoughts would gather certain opinions about me. It wouldn’t be far-fetched if they concluded that I value God, my family, my marriage, my ability to be a stay-at-home mom, a good sense of humor, and honesty. I mean, after all isn’t honesty, even transparency in a conversation and in the situations around us an essential to everyday living? A key ingredient in our interactions that allows us to gain a certain level of comfort, even trust, in a person, company or idea?

I don’t want to speak to the complete integrity of our President or my beliefs on many of his policies. I can tell you that I do not pull the imaginary lever, push the button, or blot out the circle with his name next to it at election time. Even so, I am dismayed at the lack of honesty and shoddy reporting on this sound bite. During this speech at Rhode Island College, the President took an enormous amount of time building his point before and after the alleged offensive comment. I searched out reading the speech ready to be armed with information filled to blast the President. But it simply cannot be so. I could not find fault with his sound bite statement that was actually building his case for having better education for preschool age children and fair standards in the workplace for women.

I might not agree with his agendas on who women should and can be in the workplace, and he may very well devalue me as an American because I am an intelligent, vibrant woman who chooses to stay home daily and work within my home, but that was not the essence of this speech. In my opinion it was dealing more with the reality of what our workplaces, daycares and homes look like because we do have an America with legions of women working outside the home. It really was a speech aimed at supporting that fact in more concrete, viable ways. Again, I may not agree with him completely about how we make it better, but that’s not the point.

I wouldn’t begin to disparage these women. They have been my mother, my sister, my best friends and neighbors. They are hard-working women that for various personal reasons and circumstances have chosen both career and motherhood. And I simply don’t believe media, columnists, and fellow stay-at-home moms are doing women any favors as a group within the population by falsely raising our arms and pens to attack the President in this instance.

Let’s not do it, friends. Let’s not be labeled as lunatics who take every potshot possible to degrade the reputation of the President. If you are a stay-at-home mom, like myself, and hold your right to be closely to your heart, I understand and I stand in the daily trenches with you. But let’s not allow erroneous reporting to not only bombard our President but to annihilate and create an even deeper divide with women who do not make or have this choice. These women are not behind enemy lines.

No, I’m not the President’s biggest fan by a long shot. But I am not a fan of partial truth when it comes to reporting such an important issue. Actually, I want the whole truth in life. Just give it to me straight.

I am an American and I am a stay-at-home mom. And I don’t feel devalued by this sound bite when it is placed in the proper context of his entire speech. In the words of my former high school History teacher, Mrs. Hattie Suber, “It would behoove all Americans to copiously peruse this speech and give it serious meditation. We do not need to plant some erroneous statements to start a brouhaha.”

You can read the speech in its entirety here http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/10/31/remarks-president-women-and-economy-providence-ri

IMG_2846.GIF

Never to Old for Dress-Up

We’ve had snow flurries here in Cincinnati this morning and so I once again find myself snuggled under my bedroom quilt-writing. Now before any of you that know me for the very hot-natured girl I am, don’t gasp quite yet, the heat for our home is still not turned on. Our youngest is with David at ballet and as I am still recovering from a cold, I am taking advantage of a leisurely morning. It’s given me the chance to enjoy pictures of friends and their loved ones from all over the world dressed in their Halloween costumes. Pictures of excited faces or kids and parents alike in sugar comas are splashed all over the Internet.

As I lay in bed writing my last post a week ago, my almost 16 year old and 5 year old daughters began a parade of imagination through my room. It was pure delight to hear Phoebe and Lydia giggle as they tried outfit upon outfit on and then danced or sang for my benefit to whatever mood the costumes conjured up in their young hearts. Over the last few days, I was then delighted even further on the topic of dress-up, while reading several FB post by my fellow Johnny Cash loving, seminary buddy, Leslie.

Leslie was pondering what to wear for Halloween and if she would even wear a costume. Between several discussions with her children she concluded she could just wear one of her every day outfits. Leslie ran through a list of characters she could be from a rock-a-billy, to a pirate, to a cowgirl, and more. And I can attest I have seen my wonderful friend dressed in all kinds of attire complimenting her mood for the day. She rocks it and she looks astonishingly beautiful.

These three ladies in my life made me realize, I don’t ever want to lose the imagination, or maybe even bravery, in my life for a little bit of make believe. I understand Halloween can be a polarizing hot bed of discussion, but that’s not for this post. But I would like to think, one thing about the day that bonds us all together, is the fun and fascination of viewing creative costumes on the people around us. I am not campaigning that every day be wear your costume to work day, it would be too insane, I guess. Sigh. Although I have to admit, my dentist dressed as a pirate ready to delve into the treasure trove sea of my mouth and pull out the cracked silver in my tooth might relax me more and I could lay off the bubbly before my appointment. Just kidding-kind of, and that’s a whole other post.

But seriously, as I crawl out from under the covers and dress for the day- I think I feel like an Eskimo. Yes, I will pretend I am living in the Canadian Artic. I am going to put on my lined shoes, my heavy coat, thick pants and my gloves. I will face the chilly wind and brave the cold today as I forage Home Depot and Kroger for supplies for my home. Yep, I believe pretending I am of the Inuit people group just may get me up and around. Hey, whatever it takes to keep on keeping on in this great big world of ours. Bringing a little dress-up and make believe to the day, might just make it a little brighter and warmer.

IMG_2833.JPG
Phoebe and Lydia. I was going to save this picture to show Phoebe’s future husband some day, but why not share now? :-)

Help with Technology

Normally I would be the first person in line, refraining from slinging a slew of curse words, ready to throw words of damnation to anyone associated with offering “help” to a problem on the other end of the phone. Typically I find almost any call made to just about any company one of the most frustrating experiences in my life. It’s not unusual at some point in one of these conversations that I find myself checking my pulse. The level of stress my body begins to physically manifest convinces me, this will be the call that will be the death of me. I avoid these calls like the plague, and when I have to make them, I normally end up screaming at the automated prompter, ” Customer service please, customer service please!” ! over and over again! My family now just giggles from another room in the house instead of coming running to my rescue as they did in days past. Now they know, everything’s okay, mom is just trying to get to a real live person. But today was not one of those days where the windows needed to be shut so the neighbors weren’t privy to my descent into temporary madness.

I recently bought a new PC notebook. Actually, I should rephrase, David bought it for me. I am writing a book. Yes, you heard it here first folks! :-) About a month ago, David came home several days in a row to me typing my novel on an IPAD. After reading several chapters a day, he gave me the biggest vote of confidence, by telling me “to get on my shoes, I needed a laptop of some sort.” Did I mention I love my guy?

To my horror this morning my Microsoft Word would not open. I’m invested in writing this book, after all I’m 27,469 words in to date. Plus anyone who knows me well, knows I’ve wanted to write this book for years. Hours working around being a wife, mother to nine, daughter, sister, homeschool mom and friend have already been spent. A glitch in my computer system is NOT going to stop me.

So here comes the shameless plug, HP rocks! I have had to call them twice since I purchased my computer and they have rescued me with great ease. Sure I spent an hour on the phone this morning with them, but it was painless. I only had two speak to the automated system twice and it actually understood me. I guess a good night’s sleep paid off in helping me enunciate my words instead of sounding like I was in a drunken stupor. Then on the other end of the receiver, a kind, knowledgeable man living in India magically appeared and took control of my notebook. It was amazing, he remotely accessed my computer and fixed it! He actually made it perform even better! I know , two exclamations at the end of those last two sentences, I’m excited! The hour on the phone wasn’t even drudgery. I sipped my tea, ate my peanut butter toast and strawberries, surfed FB on my IPAD and chatting with the parade of my children filtering in and out of my room, all the while snug under my quilt. It’s chilly this morning :-)

So after a lifetime of dreading calls for any type of help from a business at all, my faith has been restored. My hats off to you HP, you gave this girl a smile that will last the day through.

And remember, keep an eye or an ear out, for more news about my book :-)

IMG_2834.JPG

Keeping My Body Limber

I realized today that I need to keep my body limber if for no other reason than the dog and my five year old. We recently purchased a home and we are in the middle of not only getting out of the old one, but trying to settle into the new one. It has been a long and exhausting process but we are joy-filled and very grateful.

My husband and I have been sleeping in the basement while we are painting our bedroom. Each morning I find our Lydia has shifted from her pallet ( so she can be near us -after all, as she reminds us ” she can’t see through floors from her room”. I guess that means on the same floor her x-ray vision is in place through walls, she says tongue in cheek ) to the futon with me. Each day our beloved family golden doodle, Lexie, has inched closer and closer to sleeping on the floor by the futon. I was plotting out my escape route amidst boxes, bookcases, human and fur when I gave up and decided to just write a post.

So in addition to working on my mad cat-like skills, I need to remember tomorrow, if I feel wet, sloppy kisses in the morning, it’s probably the dog inching even closer.

The Smile Behind The Tree

Time flies by. We all know it. We all say it, but so often we don’t stop and really appreciate it -time.

With having children ranging in age from almost 5 to almost 26, I get a glimpse of different ages and stages every day. But oh one of my favorite things in life, the most precious moments, is when I get a glimpse of the little person in my grown child.

Over the weekend, Grace, now 21, became tickled with a story she was telling and as she began to giggle, she brought her hand to her mouth, cut her eyes to the side, crunched her head down low between her shoulders held high and in a split second, there she was – my little princess with her white dress with the silver lining trim and her princess crown on top of her head, giggling as she told me a story about her day. I could even see the dated wallpaper behind her head that really needed to be peeled and scraped and replaced with fresh paint, a new look. They grow so fast and for just a moment she was five again.

Later, I picked Lilly up from a meeting at college. She was waiting just past the stop sign like she always does, tucked behind the bush. As I came down the hill, I could see the top of her head and her eyes peaking over the shrub, but I could already tell there was a playful smile attached to the bottom of the face that held the head full of wild, beautiful hair. Something about the look on her face transported me back to preschool days. As I would pick her up, some days she would pop out from behind a tree on the playground, wild mane revealing her spot just seconds before her playful eyes and then her “I’m not up to anything smile” would not be too far behind. But then I blink and realize she’s really 18.

I know it sounds kind of cheesy or something like the scene from Father of the Bride when Steve Martin’s character watched his daughter grow before his eyes while playing basketball with him, but it was wonderful.

It’s such a privilege to watch as our children grow and experience different seasons, but oh how special to catch glimpses of the little person they were as they grow into the person they were meant to be. I pray I always remember to not let life move so fast, that I don’t miss the smile behind the tree.

Bella is leaving the hospital! Yippee!

I am so happy to share with all of you that Bella is leaving the hospital! She has been fever free for 48 hours and is being released. We are so thankful for her healing and for all of your faithful prayers and concern. Please continue to keep their family in your prayers as they have a few other medical things to attend to before they fly back to their home in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

We are so glad our sweet Bella is feeling better!

20131015-231750.jpg

Please keep the prayers coming for Bella

Thank you everyone who continues to pray and be concerned for our sweet Bella and our family. Bella has had some improvement in that she is eating again and she feels like playing. She has always been protective of her “baby sissy” Emma, even on the days she has felt terrible.

On the medical front, her urine has cleared for signs of the bacteria that has caused the UTI. That is great news and a huge praise! However she continues to have fever, it spiked again this morning :-/. The doctors will be running more tests tomorrow to try and determine the origin of her fever and to piece together all of her lab results.

We covet your prayers!

20131013-105859.jpg