Perverts make me Frowny


So today I put a new post on my family’s blog. I started that blog so that my family from far away can see pics of the fam without me emailing them constantly. It’s great to keep up with family members without actually having to talk to them. I mean that seriously. I hate talking on the phone.

But today, I am annoyed. Pissed off. Disgusted. Because right after I wrote a new post, I got a comment from an unknown person. I was curious and I clicked on the person’s name to see who would write something like “You have a very nice blog.” And guess what I found? Not a person, but a full-freaking-fledged porn site. Thank you, a-holes for introducing porn into my home.
I immediately made my family blog private and invited all my family and friends who I thought would be interested in reading it. (BTW, if you would like an invitation to read my family blog, drop me an email, and let me know).
As you can tell, I’m pretty pissed off. Look porn sites, I don’t think you’re so lacking in business, sad to say, that you need to make comments on family blogs so that it leaves a link to your site. I can understand if I had some sort of adult content on my FAMILY site, but I don’t. Unless you consider pictures of my 10 month old son, porn. And if you do, I believe you should burn in hell forever. Leave my family alone! Stop spamming blogs to entice more people to look at your website. Your ickiness makes my heart hurt.

A Thousand Splendid Suns – A Book Report

I just finished reading the book, A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini. I loved this book as much as I loved Hosseini’s book, The Kite Runner. Set in Afghanistan over a period of about 40 years, this story tells of two women, Mariam and Laila, and how their two lives painfully intersect against the backdrop of one Afghanistan’s most volatile and violent periods in recent history.


After reading Hosseini’s two books, I feel like I better understand the history and culture of Afghanistan. The book starts out with a five year old Mariam. She lives with her mother in a hut, or kolba, outside of a small city called, Herat. Mariam is a harami, or illegitimate child. Her father, Jalil, is the richest man in Herat and Mariam’s mother was his servant when he impregnated her. Rather than bearing the shame of conceiving a harami, he sent Mariam’s mother to live outside of town. Jalil visits Mariam once a week and Mariam adores these visits with her father. Despite her mother’s repeated warnings that her father is not the man she thinks he is, Mariam chooses to believe that her father loves her and would do anything for her. Mariam finds out that this is painfully untrue when her mother dies and Jalil refuses to take care of her or let her live in his house. Jalil’s three wives devise a plan to get Mariam out of their hair and to stop bringing shame on their family. Mariam is married off to a much older man named Rasheed and sent to live a reclusive life in Afghanistan’s biggest city, Kabul.

Years later, as Soviet bombs drop in Kabul, Laila is born. Laila grows up reeking the advantages of Communist rule. Mainly that being female doesn’t hold her back from enjoying a lot of freedom and being well educated. Laila’s older two brothers go off to fight the Soviet soldiers and she is left alone with her doting father and emotionally neglectful mother. Laila’s best friend, Tariq, is a victim of a Soviet landmind, and despite having an artificial leg, is her protector. When the Americans come and help the Afghans defeat the Soviets, Laila and her family cheer as the Soviets leave Kabul, naively thinking that they will finally be enjoying peace. However, break-off Afghani tribes quickly begin fighting each other for power and not only does the violence continue, it escalates.

When they are teenagers, Tariq’s family leaves Afghanistan for the safety of Pakistan. Laila’s family stays even though her father feels it would be better to leave. One day a missile aimed at Laila’s house kills her parents and nearly kills her. Her neighbors, Rasheed and Mariam, rescue her, nurse her back to health. Laila receives word that Tariq and his family were killed and soon Laila joins the family in as Rasheed’s second wife. Laila has no other choice because marrying Rasheed will keep her save. With no living relatives she would be homeless and vulnerable to being raped or killed. At first Mariam and Laila are bitter rivals. Soon they become as close as mother and daughter.

To say more would be spoiling the ending of this fantastic book. Most of all I came away from reading this book feeling a tremendous gratitude for being born in America, where, as a female, I take for granted the life that I live. Especially after the Taliban takes over Kabul, you see just how badly females were treated under their rule. Life stock was treated with more respect. Not only were women required to wear burquas whenever they left the house, if another man saw their face who was not their husband, they could be killed. They couldn’t leave the house without a male relative. If they did, they would be beaten. They were not allowed to be educated. They could only be seen my female doctors. That makes it kind of difficult when women weren’t allowed to work. The hospitals they were able to go to were places in squalor without adequate water, medications, or human decency. If a woman was raped, she could be killed by her family in an “honor killing” to save face. These are human atrocities that I could never imagine.

The husband in the book, Rasheed, is a violent man who brutally beats Mariam for not providing him the son he desires. He beats her physically and he beats her down emotionally until she truly believes she is nothing. When Laila joins the family he pits them against each other by treating Laila like a Queen in the home and Mariam as her servant. After a few years, Mariam and Laila become close as they protect themselves against Rasheed’s cruelness. Laila’s friendship and her daughter Aziza’s love, save Mariam from feeling like she lived a wasted life. My favorite passage in the book is when Mariam reflects over her life:

She thought of her entry into this world, the harami child of a lowly villager, an unintended thing, a pitiable, regrettable accident. A weed. And yet she was leaving the world as a woman who had loved and been loved back. She was leaving the it as a friend, a companion, a guardian. A mother. A person of consequence.
Mariam and Laila’s story is fictional. However, there are probably thousands of Mariams and Lailas who have suffered due to the wars in Afghanistan and the oppressive culture. Despite all the progress that has been made in Afghanistan since the overthrow of the Taliban by the Americans in 2001, the misogynistic culture is still hard to overcome. Just within the last week, the Afghani government tried to pass a law that would require women to have sex with their husbands at least every four days. Marital rape does not exist to them. The wonderful thing we saw happening was women protesting in the streets. Social progress is happening.

I would recommend this book to anyone who not only desires to read a wonderful book, but anyone seeking to understand Afghanistan’s history and culture. Hosseini is truly a master of story telling. You will get lost in his world.

Ruminations

I’m feeling a little down tonight. I don’t know why. I have so many things to be grateful for. My loving/loyal/committed husband, my three beautiful children, the roof over my head, the food in my kitchen, our collective employment, and family and friends who love me in spite of myself.

So why am I down? Why am I feeling a little ho hum? Without going into too many details, I’m trying to “get over” something right now and I’m trying to live my life accepting something that has never been and never will be. I wish I could go into details, but that really wouldn’t be fair.
I’m just tired of having my heart broken, I’m tired of being ignored, and I’m tired of not being loved in the way I need to be loved. I’ll never understand why I was never good enough for that love. Or maybe that person was never good enough to love me. I once heard this story that back in Old Testament times, if you killed someone, you were sentenced to drag that person around on your back the rest of your life. This would eventually kill you. Well, I’m tired of dragging this burden and I have decided to lay it down.
Yes, lay it down.
I’m done. Things will never change. I have to lay this down before it kills me. I refuse to let this interfere with my happiness any more. I choose to be happy and I’m sorry that you will never be apart of it.
*This post is not about my husband. Just thought I’d FYI ya.

Tea-bagging the Tea Party

I was going to write a big old long blog post commenting on how I feel about the geniuses protesting today at the tea parties. But then I realized, the Utah Democratic Party basically summed it up for me, so I stole this from them. Below this are my own comments. If you care.

Utah Democratic Party’s Response to “Tea Party”
As a party with a record of fiscal responsibility, Democrats understand the anxiety people are feeling over ballooning deficits. In January 2001 when Bill Clinton left office, it was projected that by now our national debt would be paid off. Instead, Republicans decided to cut taxes for those with top annual incomes and now we are facing record debt
The premise of these corporately funded, Fox News and right-wing radio orchestrated “Tea Parties” is that conservatives now can be trusted to spend our money wisely. They propose we put off needed investments in infrastructure, education, energy and healthcare during the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. The decreased spending will magically revive a declining economy instead of driving up unemployment rates and thereby driving down consumer spending, and digging a deeper hole in revenue.

“Tea Party” participants complain a great deal about taxes. As of April 1st nearly one million Utahns began receiving a tax cut that will total more than $500 million. This tax cut took effect immediately in the form of less income tax withheld from workers’ paychecks. The only member of Utah’s congressional delegation to vote for Obama’s tax cut was Congressman Jim Matheson. Congressmen Bishop and Chaffetz, both speakers at today’s “Tea Party”, voted against this tax cut for struggling Utah middle class families.
According to Utah Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Holland, Bishop and Chaffetz’s vote against a tax cut for working Utah families was a real slap in the face. “Over the past eight years the average working family has seen their income decline by about $2,000 and their healthcare costs mushroom. Meanwhile the wealthiest one percent of Americans saw their income literally explode and their taxes cut.” Chairman Holland concludes, “Utah deserves representation that will stand up for working families when they need it most. By voting against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Bishop and Chaffetz both failed us.”
Republicans in the Utah legislature dutifully voted against any proposal that involved increasing anything with the word “tax” in it including: gas taxes, cigarette taxes, centrally assessed property taxes that hit big business, income taxes, or severance taxes. Instead, they decided to increase the cost of nearly everything else: vehicle registration fees, business fees, court fees, college tuition, public employee health insurance co-pays and premiums, public school student fees, and even marriage license fees.
Utah Democrats have been a consistent voice against the ballooning of the national debt during the Bush years. It’s these past Bush and Republican policies – and not the Recovery and Reinvestment Act – that is to blame for the current economic and fiscal crisis. Some of the Bush policy supporters speaking at the downtown SaltLake “Tea Party” should be the focus of participant’s rage.
I want to know where these protestors were during the Bush adminstration when Bush expanded the government so it was basically the biggest government in American history. I want to know where the protestors were when Bush put us trillions of dollars in debt when Clinton handed us a surplus at the end of his administration. I want to know where the protestors were when Bush was handing out bail-outs left and right with no government oversight and accountability, which led to AIG executives having over-inflated bonuses. People who are loyal to the party and not to the principles of the party are hypocrites. Back when Bush was president and the damn Democrats in office stood idly by and did NOTHING to stop him from over-spending, expanding government, starting pointless wars with countries that DIDN’T attack us, cutting the rich’s taxes while increasing the middle class’ taxes, and dropping the ball on Hurrican Katrina, I REFUSED to call myself a Democrat. I was so ashamed of them. If you really believe in the principles of your party, you fight for those principles, not the leader behind your party abjectly abusing and crapping all over your principles to retain power.
So really, all I gotta say protestors, is that I support your right to protest. Thank goodness we live in a country where dissent is welcome. We have the right to speak ill of our leaders and criticize them when we think they are doing our country harm (unless, of course, you’re a Democrat and the president is a Republican). But the real reason you’re protesting is your guy lost. You lost people! It’s time to put on your big boy panties and get over it. We held an election and your side lost. Suffice it to say that when the person you disagree with gets elected, you’re going to disagree with the policies they set forth. That’s just logical. And unless and until the Republicans put forth a viable plan to recover the economy that doesn’t include tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, they can shut the hell up.

What are Father’s worth?

Recently I was reading an article about a couple who’s marriage was in trouble because of financial problems. A year ago the husband had lost his job, and with it, his confidence, his manhood, and he fell into a deep dark depression. After six months of this, the wife left him and went to go live with her mother and step-father with their young daughter.

The wife said that her parents didn’t understand why she wasn’t just divorcing him. What really bothered me was her parents couldn’t understand why she would even let him see their young daughter because he wasn’t making any money. In their estimation, because he doesn’t have a job than he isn’t worthy of being a father.
This got me thinking. What are father’s worth? Are they worth only their paychecks? Is their worth in direct proportion to the dollar signs? Are they not fit to be fathers unless they are fulfilling that “provider” role?
When I think of my husband and the wonderful father he is, what value am I placing on him? Is his only value what he brings into the bank account? The fact that he is able to make a living so that our family as a roof over our heads, food on our table, and clothes on our backs is a true blessing. But is that all he’s worth?
I don’t think so. No one is a better playmate than Daddy. He rolls around on the ground with the kids. Something I hardly ever and don’t like to do. He is usually the ringleader of fun at the kids’ birthday parties. He plays with them, he protects them, and yes, he provides for them. But so do I. That’s both our jobs as a parent. We would both be irresponsible if we didn’t finacially take care of the chilren we brought into this world.
In July 2003, Casey was laid off from his job. At the time we had a 2 year old and I was newly pregnant. We were poor. Even with his job we were poor. I was working part-time at a shoe store and going to college part-time. Knowing that our future was uncertain and that we desperately needed health insurance because of our young daughter and my pregnancy, I stepped up to the plate and asked my manager if she would consider me for a full-time Assistant Manager position. She said, of course.
Luckily for us Casey was able to find another job within a couple of days thanks to a co-worker of mine who knew that her husband was hiring. It only paid half of what he was making before, but we were thankful for it. We were also thankful that we knew our parents would help us out in any way possible if we needed it.
I found it interesting that in this couple’s situation, they decided to turn against each other during a difficult time. They stopped communicating all together. I remember this time in 2003 as very scary. But I never felt like my marriage was in trouble. Casey and I have always been on the same team. Whether we succeed or fail, we do it together. We have been through some tough financial times and we’ve always pulled through because we stuck together.
When my mother was sick and dying, Casey took care of me. When just the thought of doing anything more than getting out bed in the morning was too difficult to handle, he picked up the slack for me. He carried me on his back during those times. I wouldn’t have made it without him.
So to get back to my original question, what are father’s worth? Well I know that my husband as a father is worth a lot. He’s worth a lot more than just a paycheck. This family doesn’t work without him. I don’t work without him. I’m so glad that I have the assurance that if something bad were to happen to me or to us, we will always have each other to rely on. And that’s better than any paycheck any day.

Web blahness

When I started blogging about 2 years ago I never expected anyone to read what I wrote. I don’t write so that people will read it, I write so that I can get out all of the stuff that jumbles up my mind. About a year ago, I started getting comments on my blog and it was great. Great to see that people actually care enough about what I write to actually read it. Now those comments have dwindled and I have struggled with thinking that what I write holds no importance for anyone.

Should I go back to writing just for myself? That sounds like a good idea.
I don’t know why I torture myself by watching Oprah. On Monday’s episode (4/06) she had on a bunch of Mom’s talking about their experiences with motherhood. Most of it was pretty funny, especially when that Mom from Florida admitted to peeing in a diaper on a very long drive rather than stopping at a rest stop and waking up her kids. We’ve all been there. My motto is let sleeping kids lie.
However, I took issue with some of the Mom’s whining and complaining about how hard stay-at-home-motherhood is. Here was a bunch of upper middle class, mostly Caucasian women whining because they had to sacrifice so much in order to be a Mom. One mother couldn’t <*gasp*> be there for her best friend when she broke up with her boyfriend because she was taking care of her baby. Not that! How awful it must have been for her to take care of a helpless infant instead of comforting a grown woman who can take care of herself!!! Another woman complained because she is tired of cleaning up liquids (i.e. pee, poop, throw-up). Yeah it sucks, but that’s what you signed up for when you decided to become a mother. And what about the lady who says that she loves her children but not motherhood? They go hand in effing hand, you twit. And don’t get me started on the actress, Cheryl Hines, that appeared on the show who only has ONE child and a FULL-TIME NANNY complaining about how hard it is to go on a date with her husband. Cry me a river, Cheryl. Seriously.
What I want to know, Oprah, where is all those women who don’t have the luxury of staying at home with their children? Why don’t you talk about the women who have to work 2 or 3 jobs just to make ends meet for their children and aren’t even with them enough to complain about how hard it is to be with them? Five years ago we had 30 million people in the United States who were working full time jobs but were still living in poverty. I can’t imagine what that number is even like now with the economy the way it is now. I bet those mothers would trade places with those pampered whiners in a second. I bet they would like not having to work 80 hours a week just so they can put food on the table and second-hand clothing on their children’s backs.
I sat there thinking, watching these women, about all of my adoptive clients. I tried to imagine how those women felt while watching Oprah as they struggle with the horrible reality of infertility. For someone who can’t have children of their own, complaining about how hard motherhood is is just a big slap in the face. One of my friends, who struggled with infertility, told me that she would endure the most horrible morning sickness, she would gain all the weight in the world, she would have her body covered in stretch marks, she would endure 100 hours of labor, if it just meant that she could get pregnant and be a mother.
Or how about those mothers who have special needs children and have sacrificed their lives taking care of them? How do you think they would feel about women with perfectly healthy and able children complaining about how hard motherhood is?
Is motherhood hard? Hell yes it is! I have three children of my own. There are days I feel defeated, empty, like a failure. It is the hardest job I have ever had. I’ve always either worked or gone to school full-time since my oldest child was born. It hasn’t been easy. My daughter has a learning disability, and this has been a real trial for my husband and I. But we get through it and have done everything we can to help her. Some days I hate being a mother. But I would never get on a national TV show and whine my butt off about it. I would never sit in my million dollar home and complain about being a stay-at-home mother because that means I have given up getting mani-pedis every day because I actually have to pick up my kids from school, do homework with them, and like, pay attention to them and stuff. Ridiculous.
The days I love being a mother far outweigh the days I feel like I’m not good enough for the task. When my two older children tell me they love me, when my baby snuggles his head into my shoulder, when my children laugh, when my children succeed at something, when my baby falls asleep in my arms because he loves and trusts me, when I feel like I have given my whole heart to my children, those are the times that I’m thankful to be a mother. I’m not perfect. I’ve made MANY mistakes. But I will never take my fertility for granted. I will never take the chance that God gave me to be a mother for granted. I will NEVER complain that I had to give up something in order to be a mother. Because what I get in return far outweighs anything I was doing with my life before I became a Mom.
As I write this, I’m watching my 7 year old daughter play on the floor with her baby brother. She is making him giggle and smile. They love each other so much. It is moments like this that I wonder why God blessed me with this beautiful gift. The chance to be a mother. It sucks some days, but I will never take it for granted.