Archives for January 2009

Bipartisan? Not so much…

We’re still on the mend here. Lee and I are functioning at about 80% today, which is a huge improvement. Landon is by far still the worst but hopefully in the next day or two he will turn a corner as well. In the meantime, well, I’m going to discuss politics again. I know, I know, I said I’d stop but there’s really just so much going on these days, how can we ignore it?

Listen, I’m appalled, dismayed, outraged, you-name-it, about the “stimulus” bill that passed last night. Dana wrote a great article about it for BlogHer and since I can’t say it any better than what she did, I’ll let you read her words. In a nutshell, though, she makes the point that while this is being touted as a stimulus, what it is is another bailout – and it’s a bad one.

What I would like to talk about, however, is the idea of bipartisanship that everyone seems to be going on and on about but no one is really making an effort to achieve. Look, I’ll be honest with you here. I only received two C’s in all of my college career. One was in Earthquakes and Other Natural Disasters, which – well, okay that’s embarrassing. The other was in Political Science. Incidentally, I also barely passed that class in high school as well. It just didn’t make sense to me. Executive Branch, Legislative Branch, Judicial Branch, blah, blah, blah…

I didn’t vote in an election until 2000. I could have voted in the ’96 election but I was barely 18 and truly could have cared less. I’m not even sure I knew what day the elections were held. So my first experience voting was the 2000 race between Gore and Bush. My husband stayed up late into the night watching the crazy results – I went to bed because blah, blah, blah.

So, there’s a brief bit of history. I’m no political expert and I am not trying to be. But, I do care now about the political climate of this country more than ever before and now that I’m a mother, the decisions that these politicians make matter to me. As Dana has said before (yes, I quote her a lot, but I respect her very much and appreciate her amazing gift with words) motherhood is political.

So, here’s my take on this situation. President Obama came into office proclaiming his desire to reach across party lines and work in a bipartisan matter. Well, he’s one week into office and I’m already doubting the sincerity of those words. Did I really think he meant it? I don’t know. I hoped. As I said here, I want his success.

What happened yesterday, however, was anything but bipartisan. Which brings me to the climax of this post. I do not feel like there should be the opportunity for one party to have such a broad majority in the House. If we’re going to be a bipartisan nation, then we need a bipartisan government and when we have a party that is so dominant, bipartisanship goes down the drain. It’s all about survival of the fittest. This bill did not have one single supporter from the GOP. Does that not say something? House Republicans were not trying to deny America the help that it needs. But they saw things in this stimulus, nay BAILOUT, bill that were flagrant and unnecessary and all they asked was for their voices to be heard.

But it’s a popularity contest right now and the Democrats win. I’m not saying that the Republicans are perfect and their ideas were a save all, but come on – they deserve to have a say because they speak for a lot of people in this country. The last poll I heard, 40% of the American population disapproved of this package. Is that not significant?

To the Democratic party – look, you guys won elections fair and square (for the most part). You’re in office because we the people put you there. But just because you have the majority doesn’t mean you get to bully us. We want a voice and we deserve a say in the direction you take our country. Don’t say you’re going to work in a bipartisan way then walk away laughing. If you plan on running our government like this for the next four years, then please, have the dignity to tell it like it is. Don’t lie to us because we’re not buying it.

So that’s my take. We now have an massive bill out there that’s going to cost us and our children a lot of money. It was passed by a majority, but the entire majority was of the same party. This, in my opinion, is where we went wrong. There’s another chance today as the bill goes to the Senate. Will Obama listen? Will he follow through on his word to work in a bipartisan manner? Well, I certainly hope so because I want to believe in my President. But, you know, don’t listen to me. I’m just the girl who got a C in Poly Sci.

Guess who has Influenza?

Us! All of us. Every. last. oneofus. Last night was quite possibly the worst night of my entire existence. I felt like a thousand tiny Oompa Loompa’s were jack hammering around in my head and apparently the fire’s of hell were lapping around in my throat. On top of that, Lee was also a snotty mess and both of us alternated between shivering uncontrollably to throwing the covers off in a flash of heat. Then Tia woke up a snotty, blubbery mess. Then Landon woke up with a fever. I’m not sure anyone really slept well.

This morning, as I was making breakfast, Sloan started projectile vomiting and sneezing blood at the same time. Too much information? Sorry. So off we went to the pediatrician who tested both Sloan and Landon for influenza and both were positive. And since we all have the same symptoms, we were all diagnosed at once. We are our pediatrician’s first case of the flu all season, a distinction I could’ve done without, thankyouverymuch.

What’s really infuriating is that when Lee had Sloan at the ER the other night they didn’t actually test Sloan for influnenza. If they had, we could have gotten him on Tamaflu and nipped it in the bud pretty quickly. Now, it’s too late for him. He’s just got to ride it out. Tia and Landon are starting on Tamaflu and as I type Lee is at our primary care doctors begging him to write a script for us without having to actually see us. Good times in the Stuart household! We have to get everyone well so we can have Tia’s birthday party on Saturday. Lysol is about to become my very best friend.

So, it will probably be touch and go around here for a few days. We’re hanging in there but we’re all weary. Hopefully the Tamaflu, which only has a 50% effectiveness against the influenza strain, will work for us. Here’s to hoping!

*update: My husband just called me and told me that it is a fifty dollar copay for Tamaflu! That’s 50 bucks/prescription! Sooooo…Lee and I will be toughing out the flu and we will only be getting the medication for Landon and Tia. Geesh.

10 Ways to ensure your child goes from sick to healthy to sick again

10. When you receive an email from your child’s school informing you of a case of influenza in his class, blow it off and assume that due to your stellar parenting your child will not be affected.

9. When your child wakes up in the middle of the night and feels warm, assume that it is because he was wrapped up too tight in his fuzzy Lightening McQueen blanket.
8. When your child wakes up a second time in the middle of the night, this time blazing hot, give him Tylenol and let him sleep with you.
7. After a full 24 hours of running a high temp, your husband will want to take the child to the ER. Calmly talk him out of this as you know that it’s not all that atypical for kids to run temps for this long.
6. An hour after talking your husband out of taking the child to the ER, check his temp and smile as he’s finally fever free for the first time.  Feel smug.
5. When your second child spikes a temp, sigh and realize that you’re in it for the long haul now. At least child number one is still fever free.
4. When child one spikes a temp again, chalk it up to too much activity and put him down for a long nap.
3. Attend a belated Christmas party and take child number one with you, who’s been begging to go to the party for several days.  Leave a very sick child 2 home with daddy.  At the party, find out that the influenza case at school involved a high fever for several days and wheezing.  Notice that child one is now wheezing.
2. Take child one home and take his temp, which is now resting at around 103.  Finally give in and let your husband take him to the ER (wishing all the while that you would have decided to do this earlier so they could go to the Urgent Care center which is a much lower copay). This is, after all, the best way to ensure that he will get well as his fever will break almost as soon as he walks into the waiting room.  After a couple of good pats on the back, said child should give a good cough, which will stop the wheezing.   So now you are out $75.00 and your kid is fine. Works like a charm.
1. Wake up the next morning and realize that when you told your sick child you wished you could take the sickness from him, you didn’t actually mean you wanted the sickness. Sigh, drag yourself out of bed and makes friends with NyQuil because you’ve got a long couple of days ahead of you.

Meeting tomorrow

Just an fyi for local bloggers. Tomorrow morning the St. Louis Blogger’s Guild will hold our monthly meeting and if you’re interested in coming to see what we do and meet some of the other members, we’d love to have you. Details are posted on the guild site. Have a great weekend everyone!

Is it bad? Part 2

A follow up on this post:
Is it bad that I just put my 1 year old down for a morning nap, even though I have been cutting out morning naps, just because I needed a few minutes of quiet?

Is it bad that Sloan is completing his second hour of cartoons this morning? In his (or my) defense, he is very sick and has a fever but I’m still feeling a little guilty for allowing that much television.

Is it bad that I have roughly 5 loads of laundry to do even though I haven’t yet put all the laundry away from last week?

Is it bad that I wait until someone runs out of underwear before finally doing laundry?

Is it bad that I don’t really care and would rather do 6 or 7 loads of laundry over the weekend then a few small loads every day?

Is it bad that I have kind of come to enjoy folding clothes because it means I can lock myself in the basement for an extended period of time and have a good excuse for it?

Is it bad that I continue to loathe the process of putting said clothes away?

Is it bad that I fell completely in love with a Young Adult series of books about vampires and werewolves? Hey – I’m an adult and I’m still young right? Right???*

Is it bad that I’m sad to have finished all four books because I’m going to miss these characters so much?

Is it bad that last night when I was up and down with sick kids I wished that I myself was a vampire so that I wouldn’t need sleep so very desperately?

Is it bad that I attempted to start Landon off in a healthy way by giving him Soy milk, then found out that soy can mimic estrogen and it isn’t recommended that you give it to growing boys so I attempted to buy organic milk for us all only to realize that we would have to take out a second mortgage on our home to continue so I gave up and we’re all back to drinking the regular, hormone laden milk that’s actually affordable?

Is it bad that I’m feeling a little sad about the fact that Tia is finally starting to talk more and more intelligably because I miss the adorableness of her jibber jabber?

Is it bad that I’m also relieved that I can finally understand her?

Is it bad that I am so tired today that I have yet to change out of my pajamas or even look in a mirror because I’m afriad of what I’ll look like?

Are these things bad?

*If you have not yet read the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer, I highly recommend it. I was skeptical at first because it just sounded dumb. A mortal falling in love with a vampire? Seriously? Um, yeah – seriously. It’s a great series and a great love story. I read all four books in a period of a few weeks, which means I read around to 2,000 pages in a very short time span, which means I have not been all that productive these last few weeks. But it was worth getting lost in that story. While the books can’t be compared in any way shape or form to my two top books of all time (Anna Karenina and Jane Eyre) Meyer’s writing is compelling and the story endearing. So, if you’re looking for a good read, I urge you to give this series a try. Just know that you will be tired for several weeks because the books are hard to put down!

The Freedom of Choice Act

*update: It was asked of me in the comments whether or not there was something we could do to fight FOCA. I don’t know and would love to hear myself if any of you have information. From what I understood, this was going to be signed as an executive order, which means there is nothing we can do about it. And it doesn’t seem that there is much time to act, but I urge you all to not remain silent. If President Obama truly plans to “hear our voices” then let’s let him hear us. Visit the Fight Foca website for more information.
Bear with me, readers. This blog is not intended to be a political platform. I will get back to the light-hearted and fun stories that generally comprise my blog soon. But today, I must continue my political discourse just a little longer.

Today is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Today, thousands of Americans will peacably march through D.C. in the Walk for Life. How I wish I could be one of them. I am deeply pained this morning to realize that Obama’s Freedom of Choice Act is upon us. It is only a matter of time before he officially signs it and thereby erases everything that Bush did to protect the unborn for the last eight years. This is a tragedy.

As I said a couple of days ago, I will respect President Obama as my leader. I cannot, however, sit idly by without voicing my concern over this policy because I believe with every fiber of my being that this is wrong. How many of us understand just what the Freedom of Choice Act means? I didn’t until I sat down and did a little reading.

Here is Wikipedia’s definition: “The Freedom of Choice Act (H.R. 1964/S. 1173) is a bill in the 110th United States Congress which “declares that it is the policy of the United States that every woman has the fundamental right to choose to bear a child; terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability; or terminate a pregnancy after viability when necessary to protect her life or her health.
Prohibits a federal, state, or local governmental entity from denying or interfering with a woman’s right to exercise such choices; or discriminating against the exercise of those rights in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information. Provides that such prohibition shall apply retroactively.
Authorizes an individual aggrieved by a violation of this Act to obtain appropriate relief, including relief against a governmental entity, in a civil action.”[1]

Do we fully understand the ramifications of this bill? I’m not so naive to believe that a staggering number of abortions were performed year of year even without FOCA. But how many more will take place now? How many more innocent children have to die because we can’t agree on “fetal viability?”

But it’s not only the increase in abortions that has me concerned. It is the gross decrease in regulation. What happens now to the 14/15/16 year old who gets pregnant and decides to abort? She no longer has to have the consent of a parent. She can terminate the pregnancy without anyone ever knowing. There is no protection for her emotional health, and even for her physical health as the safety and qualifications of those who provide abortion services will no longer be under required regulation. So what is the cost to this young girl or to any woman for that matter, who makes an emotional decision of this magnitude? How many girls and women will have to deal with the intense and harsh emotional pain that follows them for the rest of their lives? What is FOCA going to do for them?

Americans United for Life (AUL) Vice President and legal director Denise Burke conclude’s her analysis of FOCA like this: “Clearly FOCA will not make abortion safe or rare – on the contrary, it will actively promote abortion and do nothing to ensure its safety – so, abortion advocates’ unrelenting campaign to enact FOCA is a “wake-up call” to all Americans. If implemented, FOCA would invalidate common-sense, protective laws that the majority of Americans support. It will not protect or empower women. Instead, it would protect and promote the abortion industry, sacrifice women and their health to a radical political ideology, and silence the voices of everyday Americans who want to engage in a meaningful public discussion over the availability, safety, and even desirability of abortion.”

You can read the entire analysis here.

Abortion is a hot button issue and I am knowingly putting myself out there in writing this, but my heart grieves today as I weigh this ramifications of FOCA. What about those of us who so desperately do not agree with this policy? What about our right to choose? It’s been stripped from us because soon, our tax dollars will be spent on funding that which we morally oppose. And our hands are tied. But, we do not have to accept it silently. Please, think hard about FOCA and what this means for the whole of our society. Think deeply about what it means to have an administration that says they are not going to rule us then immediately takes the the power away from the people. And pray for the women who are going to be affected by this Act. Think of the hundreds of thousands of children that are going to be killed every year – some of them brutally and barbarically through partial birth abortions. Have we really come to this as a society? Is this evolving? I will say it again, folks, this is wrong.

Many of you reading this today will agree with me and I urge you not to take this silently. But more than that, pray. Pray for our nation. Pray for the women who have difficult decisions to make. Pray. Some of you who read this will disagree with me. I understand and respect your right to disagree and I welcome your comments, but ask that you do so respectfully. And I promise I will lighten the mood next post!

Wordless Wednesday: Thank you Jon Stewart

Inauguration Day: Thoughts from a Conservative

-update: The report on the 6:30 news was well done. My fifteen seconds of fame included me talking about Big Bird and Reagan in the same sentence. Go me! You can view it here.
This morning, I attended an inauguration gathering sponsored by Quaker Oatmeal specifically geared toward bloggers. Fifteen of these gatherings took place nationwide, but the St. Louis party, hosted by Dana, was the only one catering specifically to conservatives. I was, of course, honored to be invited and thrilled to take part in this historical moment with people who understand and feel the same as I do.

I will be honest here. I really liked George W. Bush. Did he do everything right? No. But please, tell me what president has. Did he make some mistakes? Yes. But please, tell me what president has not. George Bush dealt with some of the gravest hardships of any president in recent history. There are no playbooks for how to handle such events as 9/11, a crushing economy, deadly hurricanes and extremeist terrorism. Could he have handled some things better? Yes, I believe he could have. But, I also believe that he truly loves this country and the people in it and wanted nothing more than to serve us all well. And he did serve us well. Though few seem to want to admit it (and why, I don’t fully understand), America is a safer place thanks to George Bush. Yes, we are in an economic crisis. And yes, I understand that that happened on his watch. But, I do not believe that he is solely to blame. I will not go further than that in this post, but I wanted to acknowledge the elephant.

I think what I love and respect most about George Bush is the fact that he is a man of deep conviction. There were times when I felt that he needed to be more open to the guidance and counsel of others. He came off as arrogant, which is part of his job. You have to be arrogant to be president – it’s the nature of your post. I think the closest I have ever seen to a truly humble politician is John McCain, but again, that’s not a tangent I want to explore right now. I think there were times when President Bush could have been more open-minded to outside counsel. Just because he possessed a grain of arrogance, however, did not make him a bad leader. He is sensitive and kind-hearted. How many countless stories are there of him reaching out to the American people who were grieving? How many letters did he personally write to the families of fallen soldiers? How many times did he sit with one of our wounded servicemen and cry? However you may feel about his policies, you cannot call him cold or heartless. He is a good man. And I am proud that he was our president.

Having said that, it is time to move forward. I did not vote for Barack Obama. I still do not agree with many of the ideals that he has placed before us as a nation. My number one reservation is his view on the right to life. I do not now, nor will I ever, agree with this policy and the implications that follow and I will not apologize for my feelings on this issue. And there are other policies that concern me, but outweighing all of those is the fact that Barack Obama is now my president and I will respect that, no matter what.

There is no denying the appeal of Barack Obama. He is young, he is a great orator, he is magnetic and filled with promise. His speech today was everything that I expected it to be. It was what I would have expected had McCain been voted to office, though delivered with greater aplomb, no doubt. It was lofty and ideal, in many ways unrealistic but motivating nonetheless. I want Barack Obama to succeed as president and I will be praying that he does. But I don’t want it for him, I want it for America. I want him to succeed because I want my children to grow up in a country that is great, a country where people take care of one another. A country that looks outside our own borders and seeks to protect and nuture others. I want Barack Obama to succeed because if he does not, then what does that mean for us?

I am proud of us as a country for coming so far. I am proud that we have elected a black man to be president of our country. I am proud that we can stand together and, despite our feelings about the policies behind the man, know that this moment, this day is historical. I love this country.

Today is a good day. My God is in control, of that I am sure and I do not waver in that conviction. And now President Obama has a full plate. I pray with every fiber of my being that he move forward in wisdom and that the values that make our country so great stay firmly affixed. Though the phrase has become somewhat cliche over the years, I say it now with the utmost reverence. May God truly bless America.

–Just fyi – Channel 5 (KSDK) was there today filming the get together and interviewed several of us at the end. We should be on either the 5:00 or the 6:00 news tonight so those of you who are local, tune in! I felt a little bit like Will Ferrel as Ricky Bobby in the movie Talladega Nights when they interviewed me. “I don’t really know what to do with my hands.” I told the reporter that if I looked or sounded at all like an idiot that they were to cut me immediately so we’ll see what happens!

A groovy weekend of firsts

My kids are sitting on the couch right now watching Little House on the Prairie. And my heart is melting at the thought. That show brings back such a feeling of nostalgia. I get teary at nearly every episode – I’m such a girl. I wasn’t sure they would like it because it’s a little slow, but, much to Lee’s chagrin, Sloan loves it! Tia’s a little young, but she’ll get it someday. How can you not love that show when Pa says things to Ma like, “Why do you think God made you so pretty if He didn’t want you to have a new dress?” *sigh* My heart gets all fluttery.

Saturday was the big day of Landon’s first haircut. After people repeatedly called him a “she” I decided it was time to take the plunge. It’s much shorter than I like and we’ll grow it out again, but hopefully it will have a btter shape. He also got his first sucker while getting his haircut. He was diggin’ that!The poor boy has a funny shaped little head. The haircut really emphasizes it. We’ve taken to calling him Stewie because we think he looks a little like this guy:Fuji Notebook Computers
MySpace Backgrounds at MySpace ToolBox

Anyhoo, moving on… Saturday night Lee and I went to a belated Christmas party at his co-worker’s house. It was a sixties theme and since we’re always up for dressing up, we went like this:

I got to wear false eyelashes which were fuuuun!It was a white elephant gift exchange and we brought our favorite white elephant gift – a live lobster. It’s not an original idea but we’ve done it a couple of times and it always goes over well. Here are Lee and one of the guys at the party singing to the lobster before they boiled and ate him.

That’s all for today. I have a really interesting opportunity tomorrow that I’m excited to tell you all about so stay tuned and have a great Monday!

Fun with Poladroids

I found this new application thanks to Dana and Gregg. You just drag and drop your photos into the little polaroid camera icon and it develops them right in front of you like a good ole’ Polaroid. It’s very fun – like I need anything else to be addicted to. Anyway, if you want to try it out, go to I downloaded GIMP to write on the bottom. I don’t really know how to use it very well yet, but you get the idea. Have fun and have a blessed weekend!