Friday, September 19, 2014

Three Things I Don't Get

I try not to get too political/controversial/contentious on this blog.

But I am coming from a sincere place when I wonder the following:

1) Why is this new Ray Rice video so explosive?

A caveat - I don't follow or care at all about football.  I had never heard of Ray Rice.  But I do follow the news, and from what I understand, on February 15, 2014, Ray Rice was arrested on simple assault charges for assaulting his wife.  A few days later, we all got a glimpse of what happened, as a video surfaced of Ray Rice dragging his unconscious fiancé from an elevator.  She entered the elevator standing.  She left unconscious.

Um, do you really wonder what happened to her inside that elevator?

The next month Ray Rice was indicted, and on July 24, 2014, instead of losing his job, he received a two game suspension.  Apparently, sitting out two games is an adequate punishment for knocking your wife unconscious.

On September 8, 2014, the new Ray Rice video surfaced, and we got to see what happened inside the elevator.  Here it is:


The same day this video was released, Ray Rice was terminated from his Ravens contract and suspended by the NFL.  All of a sudden, a two game suspension wasn't enough.

So let me get this straight....

You can knock your wife unconscious.  You can be videotaped dragging your wife's unconscious body.  You can be indicted for assault.

And that doesn't merit a termination or suspension.  No, that's not enough.

But if, by some miracle, you happen to be caught on camera doing what everyone already knows you did, then you lose your job.

Lesson - if you choose to abuse your wife, be sure not to do it on camera.  Keep it behind closed doors, and at worse, you'll get a slap on the wrist.  And then everyone will forget about it.

I mean, just look at Chris Brown.  He beat up his girlfriend.  He did this:

And a year after he did this he released a fourth album.  It debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts.

Do we need to see actual video footage of his physical attack to be disgusted and horrified enough to boycott his music?  Just like we need to see the video of what happened inside the elevator, despite the fact that it's glaringly obvious?

I guess I just don't get it.

2) If I hear someone in the bathroom in the middle of the night, I'm going to assume it's my husband or kids or dog before I take a shot gun and kill someone through a closed door.  

I remember seeing Oscar Pistorius at the 2012 Olympics and being impressed and inspired.  A double amputee who makes it to the Olympics?  Who wouldn't be inspired?

But then he shot and killed his girlfriend while she was going to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  He claims he woke up, heard a noise in the bathroom, and thought it was an intruder.  He fired four shots through a locked bathroom door, killing her instantly.

Not so inspiring.

Last week, he was found not guilty of murder.  Instead, he was convicted of culpable homicide, which in U.S terms is equivalent to manslaughter - meaning that the Judge found that he did not intentionally kill his girlfriend; he was merely negligent.  The Judge held that there was a reasonable possibility that Pistorius thought his girlfriend was an intruder when fired shots through the locked door.

I'm not going to pretend to know the intricate details of this case.  In fact, I really got the majority of my information from watching snippets of the Today Show whilst breastfeeding my son.  But let me say this:

If I hear someone in the bathroom in the middle of the night, I'm not going to assume it's an intruder. In all likelihood, I would just go back to sleep.  But if I was curious for some reason as to who was occupying the bathroom, I would do the following:

1) Look and see if my husband was in bed with me.  If yes, then go to #2
2) Look and see if my kids are in bed.  If yes, then go to #3
3) Check and see if the bathroom door was locked.  If yes, then go to #4
4) Say something like "Who goes there?"

Apparently Oscar didn't even get to #1.

Not guilty of murder?

Don't get it.

3) I never knew that taking a stance on transvaginal ultrasound was a thing.

Do you know what a transvaginal ultrasound is?  I do!  I do!  Three pregnancies, and I am an expert on them.

Look, there's Steven Colbert holding one!  It looks like a skinny dildo.  The doctor puts a condom over it (seriously), and then they put it up you, and voila, you see all sorts of things!  In my case, an embryo (hello, Baby Braden!).

Here's the thing - when you are very early in your pregnancy (like 4-10 weeks), doctors can't see the baby with an abdominal ultrasound - it's too low.   Instead, they stick the dildo thing up you and see the baby that way.

It never occurred to me to have a problem with this.

But then a few days ago, whilst breastfeeding and watching the Today Show (see above), a campaign commercial for Democratic Congressional candidate John Foust came on.  Here it is, for your viewing pleasures:

In it, Foust accuses the Republican candidate, Barbara Comstock, of supporting the following:

1) Making abortion illegal in cases of rape and incest (BAD!)
2) Overturning Roe v. Wade (BAD!)
3) Requiring women seeking abortion to undergo transvaginal ultrasound  (HUH?)

I have no idea why transvaginal ultrasounds would be controversial, because really, it's no big thing. Perhaps there are valid reasons, though the campaign commercial didn't expand on them. Ostensibly, just the term "transvaginal ultrasound" is enough for you to know that it is bad, bad, bad.

So apparently now this is a buzzword.  We can't live in a world with terrorism!  Climate change! Racism!  Abortion restrictions!  Transvaginal ultrasounds!

Don't get.

End rant.

ADDENDUM ON 9/23: I have been schooled.  I am now firmly against mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds. [But for those that see the campaign commercial and are freaked out about their upcoming OB appointment, I swear, they really aren't that bad.]


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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Kid

When I look back at pictures of my son, Braden, I can almost pinpoint the time when he stopped looking like a baby.  It was when his hair grew long and he started standing up tall and running like a maniac.

As he has gotten older, his transitions have been more subtle and harder to pinpoint.  But three days ago, on his 6th birthday, when I took his annual birthday picture, he looked like a kid.

A real, life kid.

He has big feet - not abnormally big (and only a half size bigger than his younger brother), but they are kid feet.  He has fuzzy blond hair on his legs now, and the last of his baby fat is gone.  He is skinny.  This may not seem alarming, but consider the fact that he once looked like this:

He walked late - around 15 months - and also endured three years of OT for gross and fine motor delays.  Now, he writes his name like a champ.  He jumps off the diving board and swims across the pool, and was on the mini swim team this summer.  He plays soccer.  And t-ball.

And when I told him I was signing him up for all of these sports, his response was:  But when do I get to do music class?  

So I signed him up for his school choir too.

He is emotional and shy.  He is full of energy and charm.  He loves to play games on the I-pad and he sticks his tongue out when he concentrates, just like his dad.  He is a complete momma's boy still, thank God, and professes his love for me on a daily basis.  But when he doesn't get his way, he hates me just as fast and tells me so, in great detail.

He is the sweetest brother ever.  He is in a constant state of anxiety over his younger, daredevil brother Casey, getting hurt.  He shares a room with him now, and says that he wants to forever, even if we someday get a big house with more bedrooms.   He loves his baby brother Colin a bit too much and knocks him over at times in his excitement.  But he goes in with me every morning to wake him up, and screams his nickname at the top of his lungs - "Ishy Collie Bee."  Braden gave him that nickname (?!?!), and it has stuck.  We all call him that now.

He is silly and crazy and sweet and complicated.  He is unique, that's for sure.

I don't usually post videos on here of my kids.  I don't know why - I guess because it gives me the slightest semblance of privacy.  But for Braden's sixth birthday party, I just have to post this video of our recent family dance party, to the tune of Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off."  This was filmed on Braden's first day of school, and as you can see, he was not the least bit fatigued.

This is Braden.  To a T. (With a few cameos from the other men in my life).

I could not love this boy kid more.

[I would be remiss not to acknowledge that it's my husband and my 8th anniversary today - happy anniversary, sweetie!  I am writing this here in lieu of a Facebook announcement (as I am somewhat morally opposed to such things).]


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Wednesday, September 3, 2014


As I sit down to write this post, I am letting out a big exhale.  It has been SO long since I have had more than ten minute chunks of time to myself, and my writing regularity reflects it.  But today, Colin is sleeping.  And both of "the boys," as we refer to them, are in school.

There is silence and calm.  For this moment, at least.  

Casey, my three year old, started school last week.  He is so laid back and chill compared to his brother, that I have to remind myself not to treat his milestones as an after thought.  

He returned to the same school he went to last year, with the same friends, with the same schedule - 5 mornings a week.  The teachers are different of course, but he was already familiar with them.  He is in the same room Braden was in two years ago, and by coincidence, has the same cubby.  When I picked him up on the first day, I arrived a few minutes early and was able to spy on him playing on the playground.  Ahhhh, that kid.  He is so free.  So awesome.  So engaging.  So easygoing...   And all without even trying.  I think that may be the coolest thing about him.

He is just the coolest kid.

Braden started kindergarten yesterday.  I may be biased, but God, he looked so handsome.  

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