Sunday, May 31, 2009

Has the TV abducted your children???

Let me set the scene for you... The Soldier is walking by the TV on his way to somewhere, when it happens. Yes, he has been sucked into the television again. I don't mean bodily, I mean the kind of sucking in where you can see his eyes glaze over and he freezes in time.

This happens daily, it doesn't matter what is on the TV or where The Soldier is going, he just gets sucked into it. This morning I am fairly sure my 12 year old got sucked into the TV time warp by the Wiggles. What?!!! The Wiggles? I didn't even know they were still on the air, much less that they would fascinate The Soldier. And, it's not just him! The Princess and The Cookie Queen are far from immune, but sure enough that poor 12 year old boy just can't fight off the pull of the TV. All 4 of the kiddos are going to summer school so I kind of feel guilty about making them read or study on the weekends, because they are busy all week. It does not bother me one little bit though to put them all outside at 9 am on a Sunday morning.

So just now, I turned off the TV... the disconnection is immediate! Three little heads turned in my direction as though I had cut off their life support. I said "Good morning, it is summer, put real clothes on and go outside." So now they are sitting on the front porch surrounded by an acre of grass bitching about the fact that they have nothing to do outside. My mom would have lost her mind, we spent everyday from sun up til sun down outside during the summer, sometimes we even ate lunch out there.

So what about you, internets? Has the TV abducted your children?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A letter of apology to C

I know that things are hard right now, and I am sorry that I haven't played my part in trying to make it better. I wanted to apologize for constantly feeding the turmoil in our lives.

I have not been as supportive as you need me to be, and I am sorry for that. I am sorry for being so frustrated by our lives right now. You see, you carried the biggest portion of our relationship for two years. So, when you started falling apart it scared me. I react to being scared by being angry in response. I also really, really like to fix things. When you tell me you don't know how I can fix this I get even more frustrated. You were the person who entered my life like a giant ray of sunshine and showed me that I was loveable, and not permanently damaged. You are the only one in years that I could say anything to, and not be rejected. You are the one who built the confidence I needed to succeed in everything.

For crying out loud, who else was going to teach me defensive tactics and not laugh when I didn't figure it out right away? Who else was going to watch me lose my mind over a bully of a boss and make sure that I was going to be okay, and that the kids would still be taken care of. Who drove to the prison to get me because I was having an anxiety attack and couldn't be trusted to drive?

You did all of those things so I built you up to be something that noone could be forever. You can't always be my savior, you can't fix the parts of me that the stupid ex permanently eff'd up. You can't always be there for me, and I forgot that. I forgot that occasionally you needed me to be the strong one.

I am sorry that I forgot about our partnership, I didn't forget you I just got so wrapped up in trying to fix a certain part of our life that I let other things fall to crap. I built you up to be the permanent strength in our relationship, and figured you didn't need me to be strong for you.

I have never in my life met anyone like you, you take my breath away every day. Noone else I know could have crawled out of what you did to make a life for yourself and the Diva. I am so proud of you every day!

I know that you will never hurt me the way others have, but sometimes I let myself fall into that place that says 'what if'... 'what if' she stops loving me, what if she gets tired of the emotional bullshit? What if she doesn't love me the way I love her? And I know...I know all of that is crap! I know that is just my previous bullshit crowding our life, and I am so sorry for putting you in that place.

And so, I cry while I write this and I hope that you can feel what I am trying so hard to say and that it is coming out the way I need it to. And I promise, here and now, to try (really try) every day to make our home your place of calm. I promise to be there for you for the next 70 years the way you are for me every day. I promise to start walking away (just for 5 minutes) when I start feeling frustrated, and not make you the target of my frustration. I promise to be the strong one right now, because I know you need that.

I love you, I will always love you, you are the first place in my life and your happiness (stability, whatever) is what is most important right now. It is not always about me or our kids, and I see that. Finally, two months into this sad moment I finally see it.

I love you mo chriede,

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Prolonged Detention...WTF???

I am confused... Did President Obama change places with former president Bush today? Why would he be giving a speech on the value of prolonged detention?

This is the man who two months ago was talking about shutting down Guantanamo permanently, so what happened? I think he has been cowtowed (sp?) by his own party. Yesterday Rachel Maddow (OMG, she's awesome!) was commenting on the fact that the president was going to have to fight with his own party because members of Congress went on record with their arguments against closing Gitmo. Today, the president gives a speech while standing in front of the original constitution regarding prolonged detention.

This is unimaginable... this issue is one of the areas C and I argue most passionately about. She being a marine believes that if we find one terrorist as a result of measures used in Guantanamo,so be it. I believe that we should not use methods we would not want used on our own soldiers.

I just don't know what to think anymore, first Obama refuses to move quickly to take down DADT (don't ask don't tell), and now he has perhaps taken back his desire to immediately close Gitmo. I need to understand, anybody out there got any ideas?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Schooool's out for the summer... oh wait, not yet!

If we all make it through this last week I will be amazed!

We only have this one last week to go, but OMG it seems as though it will never end. The Diva has three days of cheerleading tryouts, the Princess has all kinds of crap during the day for reading counts, the Soldier had his recorder concert last night and Dare graduation and fifth grade graduation today.

If any of you read Mother' you should read the post on kids functions. That post really encouraged my ability to admit that I was overbooked. This does not mean that your children will be happy with you though. The Princess is pissed that I can't miss work for an hour and a half every day so that she can miss summer school to attend swim meets. The Soldier was pissed (he gets over it quickly) that I couldn't go to Dare and fifth grade graduation because I had to work. I in turn feel like I should paint cabbie checks on the roof of my yellow focus.

I wish schools realized that there are parents out there that don't have an option, we have to work. I sometimes wish that weren't the case, but unfortunately I don't know how to do this any other way.

Next week they all start summer school, but at least the after-school functions will be over for the year. Anyone else feeling overwhelmed??

Monday, May 18, 2009

So that's how you stay employed...

Imagine my excitement when I passed the marker that made me eligible for promotion within my field in the department of corrections... After all I had made the fastest promotion the department had seen in a while when I jumped from Mail Room Supervisor (sounds really important, not!) to Corrections Caseworker I.

I was all set to send off my application (this one section isn't available for online apps yet) when I went to my monthly meeting with my boss in February. Then he dropped a gigantic bomb on all of us. The department has unofficially frozen all positions. That means that we cannot transfer, we cannot promote, hell we can't even demote apparently. Currently there are positions above mine state wide that are open. The problem is the state has frozen everything so we can't go anywhere.

When I first took the position of grievance officer I thought I would love it, alone all the time, writing all the time...yeah right! What I failed to realize is that I feed off other people's energy. When everyone else is panicking over 10-49's (fights) or 10-5's (officer needs assistance immediately) I am in rare form. I love it, the adrenaline is a wonderful thing. Coming down isn't so great, but every one has to have a high right? The grievance job is just plain boring most of the time. They moved my office, so now I am in a closet, and I hate it. I absolutely detest it. But, I am stuck here. Now they are saying it might be January before they unfreeze anything.

Most of all, I really would like to experience a REAL prison. I am well aware that the one I work in could most easily be compared to summer camp. We had two escapes in the early 90's, but since then nothing really interesting has happened. I know I should be thankful, I know I should be happy to have a job, but mostly I just want some excitement! Why do I feel this way and how do I change it now?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Oh, You're a FEMINIST?!: Tyra Takes on Same Sex Marriage

Oh, You're a FEMINIST?!: Tyra Takes on Same Sex Marriage

Tyra Banks has joined the ranks of Jerry Springer...

I normally don't watch talk shows, however I got caught up in Tyra Banks at midnight the other day. You know how nothing is ever on late at night? You have your choice between soft porn and Tyra Banks apparently.

C. and I were talking the other day about the Tyra Banks show and she said "Didn't you hear, Tyra has a new show called 'is gay, The New Black?'. I had no idea and did not go out of my way to find it, but at midnight with soft porn and Tyra I unfortunately chose Tyra. I find it amazing that Tyra could not find three heterosexual people who could speak intelligently without sounding like bigots. I do find the title insulting, and infact said as much to C. when we were first discussing the show. I know that the LGBT community loses far more than it gains by comparing ourselves to the african americans who participated in the civil rights movement. This only creates discord among african americans who feel that a moment of such great importance is suddenly being devalued. I also know that the LGBT community has had members of its commumity tied to barb wire fences, apparently unnoticed by Sandy Rios.

Please visit here to see at least an intro for this show,, I found it hard to watch without feeling outraged. Has Tyra forgotten Matthew Shepard? How could anyone forget him? How could Tyra not say something to Sandy Rios, president of the Culture Campaign, when she said you can 'stop being gay, you can't stop being black'?

I spent 32 years hiding who I was for fear of losing my family and eventually my children. I know in my heart, I cannot change who I am... I could only hide it for a time. Also, Sandy Rios needs some lessons in tact. When she chooses to accuse the young man who broke down crying of mental and emotional instability, her true colors shine through. She and all others like her are the reason that people hide who they are, and why good people can never hear a well thought out argument against the LGBT community. I would listen to someone who would speak without hate in his/her voice, but I will not listen to someone so full of vitriol and anger.

This post may sound angry, and part of it is... but there is also a huge amount of sadness here. I long for the day when my mother will accept the relationship that C and I have; but, I am also well aware that day may never come. I long to be able walk on the streets in Pella, Iowa (not where I live now) and hold my partner's hand without fear that we may be attacked. Most of all I just want equality. There are 1,164 rights that I lose by not being able to 'marry' my partner while I live in this state. What if I were hurt? Who would get custody of my children? Why does the law say it is okay that they live with an abusive father over my loving partner who would never hurt them? Why is it ok that my mother, not my partner, would be able to decide whether to sign my DNR order when her beliefs are not mine?

I know that there are enough kind heterosexual supporters of the LGBT community to completely overshadow the Sandy Rios' of the world, but those people don't make news. And that is why Tyra's show angered me so. She chose those people like Sandy Rios because they cause a sensation. They cause an emotional build up in people so that they do not listen to rational argument. The show was very much like Jerry Springer with people screaming and yelling and acting in a non-rational manner, which just encourages suspicion and stupidity.

For all her supposed support of the LGBT community Tyra chose her guests for sheer sensationalism and nothing more. She did not want to educate or inform, just look at her choice of shirts for her audience. Red for straight, light blue for gay... why was it necessary to seperate the audience into factions? These are my thoughts, what are yours?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Does everyone but me wear pantyliners every day?

So, C. and the Princess went to school together today to watch 'The Video'. This is 'The Video' that discusses the female body and what is going to happen during puberty. I didn't go because I had to work. I really thought The Princess would be okay with it, because I bought her The American Girl's Guide to Your Body and she has been asking questions for years.

Turns out the Princess was embarassed and scared. She is worried about what will happen if it starts at school, or if she is at her dads house. The school nurse also had many things I didn't agree with. She apparently said that you should not swim at all during your period, and the pamphlet they handed out (by Always brand) says you should wear a pantyliner every day. So, I started thinking... does everyone wear a pantyliner every day? That seems unhealthy to me.

When my period started I was home alone from school and my mother had never really discussed it. My mom also thought teenagers should never wear tampons. Fast forward 22 years (wow I feel old), and I still don't like to wear tampons. I am trying to teach my daughters to feel comfortable with their bodies, but I still want them to be healthy. I can't imagine having a pantyliner pressed up against my girly bits all day, every day. It seems uncomfortabe and I worry that it could lead to an infection. But, if the nurse tells them one thing and the pamphlet another, and then she asks me and I tell her something different who is she supposed to listen to?

I even dragged the Diva in to answer questions, because I am a sneaky conniving mom always wanting the girls to get along better. The Diva was helpful and I think The Princess feels better, but I worry that this is the part where I will totally fail at parenting... Any ideas?

Mo Anam Cara

A couple of days ago, before the stomach flu laid (layed?) me out, I said I was going to introduce my partner to my blog.

I met her two and a half (almost) years ago. Have you ever seen someone from across a room and just had a sense right then that they would become the most important person in your world, beside your children? Mo chriede (my heart) is that to me. Honestly, I went to a work party and she came up behind me and I turned around and it happened...bam! I tell people all the time it really wouldn't have mattered to me if she were a man or a woman, our souls connected at that point.

I know that sounds cheesy, and I have had people argue with me several times over the validity of my statement but it is true. I knew growing up that I felt differently about men and women than most of the people around me, but I grew up in the south as a rigid southern baptist. What do most southern baptist women grow up to do? Why they get married and have babies of course! So, I got out of the Navy and met my children's father. I thought he was perfect. Of course he wasn't and I wasn't either. I spent the last year and a half of high school in foster care, and I was looking for someone (anyone) to love me. T was that man. It didn't matter how many times he hit me, or got drunk, or did drugs, he loved me. He said it all the time so it must have been true, right? The tipping point was when (three weeks before the cookie queen came along) he pointed a loaded weapon at my head. After six months of storing money and planning I escaped. Anyway, this is not supposed to be about me.

Fast forward three years, and I met C. Instantaneously I knew why I felt different growing up. This is the adult relationship I had been waiting all my life for. I talk about her almost all the time, I miss her whenever she isn't here, I can't imagine life without her. We have had some of the best experiences of our lives together, and some of the worst. I was there for her when her grandmother quit recognizing her and was diagnosed with cancer. She was there for me when I came out to my family, including my ex. It is hard to explain exactly what she means to me. I just like to say that she is everything to me. She is my best friend, soulmate, lover. She understands better than anyone else how I feel.

So, now we are trying to decide whether to move to Iowa to get married. She is from Iowa, so most of it depends on job options for me. She can transfer, but I really can't. I have a degree in history, but no teaching certificate, so I am left with few options. All I know is that I go where she goes, and I will for the rest of my life. I cannot wait until we are old together sitting on the porch swing, rocking the grandbabies. I am soooo blessed to have her.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Between Prison and the Kids...

So, I work in a prison. I am technically a corrections caseworker, however currently I work as a grievance officer wherein I deal with offender (inmate) complaints. I also have four lovely children. Between the prison and the kids I promise I can come up with some damn illnesses that would shock a normal human body.

So far this year I have had some version of the flu twice. The kind that requires tamiflu to get over. This past weekend my partner called on her way home some three hours early. Now she is on light duty, but she still has to go to work every day that she is scheduled. She normally doesn't leave early, but when I asked her what was wrong it was immediately apparent she was having trouble just driving home. She didn't know what was wrong, was just dizzy and feeling sick to her stomach. Sunday morning was worse, she was really sick and she has this really bizarre inability to throw up. God, I wish I had that ability.

It didn't hit me until late Sunday night and I am now on day two of this dreaded stomach flu. When I called in this morning to let them know I wasn't coming in, the lady who answered the phone said she had it all weekend. For those of you that are teachers, imagine 1,100 10 year old children running around all in a confined space. Some of the offenders were never taught to care for themselves properly, some really just don't care about hygiene, and a lot of it is just too many bodies in one location. Sooo, now you know what I do for a living. What a way to find out, heh!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The post where I introduce my kids...

As I was starting this blog I didn't know how much of it would be dedicated to my children, but they are an extraordinary part of my life and I would hate for you all to be lost when I mention them. I am extremely blessed with my four children and I am proud of each and every one of them probably at least once a day. They can also be some of the most frustrating people I know.

I think I will start with the youngest...

The cookie queen (her real nickname is too close to her real name to be revealed here), she is 5 and is a ball of fire. She is 5 years younger than her next closest sibling, and was an awesome surprise and blessing. I have never met anyone that doesn't like her (I know I am biased), and almost everyone at work will go out of their way to meet her. She loves baby pink, hound dogs, and almost every Disney movie ever made. She asks very insightful questions for a 5 year old and constantly surprises me. Even when she is in a pissy, screaming mood she can still make me smile.

The princess is 10, and as her name implies she in training to one day soon be queen bee. Even before the cookie queen was born the princess was training to be the boss. She is knock your socks off brilliant, and can surprise you with the intelligence of her questions. Lately she has been reading about the holocaust. She is one of the most socially conscious children I have ever met, and is always looking for ways to make the world better. She loves history, is worried about getting her period, and always arguing with one of her friends at school. Like me, she likes to argue about things she feels passionate about. Plus, doesn't every princess have to have a little drama in their life?

The soldier is the only boy in our house (bless his heart). He is 12, and can be one of the sweetest children I've ever met. He can also lose his temper in the blink of an eye, which can be kind of scary. He loves geography and military history (thus the nickname) and wants to be a Marine, or a cop, or a baseball player. He has some trouble in school, and has to be cajoled into any chore most of the time. But, this week he surprised us by taking out the trash without being asked and seperated the clothes. What a blessing! :) He is my biological first, so I do wonder many times a week how badly I did when trying to raise him through his toddler years.

I will say now that the middle two children spent many years with my ex-husband before I finally decided that they could possibly grow up as damaged as he was and left. Given that, they seem to do alright; but, I can still see the damage at least once a month. Then we have to figure out what changes to make and still further their growth.

The Diva is fourteen and I am so blessed to have her. I met her two and a half (almost) years ago when I met her mother. I am so lucky to get to be a part of her remaining years at home before college. She is a typical Diva, wherein she sometimes believes the whole world should revolve around her and what teenager doesn't? She runs track and is the fastest girl in her age group at the 200 meter dash. She loves Twilight, and is actually reading the fourth book now. Reading is sometimes difficult as she is dyslexic. She works super hard to maintain her grades and asks questions all the time. She is worrying about getting her learners permit, and has a semi-crush on a boy in our neighborhood who runs track with her. She is Incan Indian, Peruvian, with her mother's german mixed in for good measure. I love her with all my heart, and will miss all the hugs when she grows out of this phase.

So... now you have met my kiddos. Tomorrow I will introduce my partner, mo anam cara.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Does the President want to Repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell, or is he just blowing smoke?

There is no secret that I like President Obama, I voted for him. However, I am not ignorant enough to believe that he will be the savior of gays and lesbians everywhere.

I knew when I voted for him that he does not support the idea of gay marriage. I was hopeful though that the President might be less willing to backpedal and change up what he considers to be appropriate measures to gain more rights for the LGBT community. I am now trying to figure out whether or not I have been misled.

Apparently at the beginning of the President's administration, his website was very clear with the statement that the President believed that work should be done to repeal 'don't ask don't tell' with all due speed. Sometime thereafter the statement was changed to state that "He supports 'changing' Don't Ask Don't Tell in a sensible way that supports the armed forces."

Now the website changed again to take out the word 'changing' and add back in the word repeal. Did he really think we wouldn't notice? Does he really believe that all the LGBT voters out there are not watching him like a hawk, waiting for him to abandon us? I realize that he is not there for us in the way that he needs to be. I realize that he will probably not ever try to repeal the Defense Of Marriage Act. I also realize, however, that he is probably exactly what is needed at this moment and that we do need to be patient.

I just want to say at this point, Mr. President, you are on notice. The LGBT community is getting stronger every day. We may hold enough weight at the end of this term to vote you out if you will not protect us. I have friends who served in the military and hid who they were just to keep from being dishonorably discharged. They did not do it out of shame, and I bet most of their brothers and sisters in arms don't care what you do in your private life so long as you stay in that foxhole with them. Just a thought.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Law and Order SVU... touting the government's agenda?

Did anyone see Law and Order SVU on Tuesday? It is one of my favorite shows, however this week I have a bone to pick with the NBC giant that encompasses all the Law and Order series'. When the show started I thought it resembled the Casey Anthony case out of Florida. I am always amazed that they can produce an episode so quickly after a national news event. So, I rolled my eyes and settled down to enjoy the writing and Marishka Hargitay.

Here is where the problem begins, the writers at NBC apparently decided they couldn't find the character which resembles Casey Anthony guilty. I guess they felt the need to add more drama to an already complicated case and attack families who choose not to immunize their children. I know this is a sensitive topic, and NBC dealt with it in an original manner by attempting to prosecute the mother who would not immunize her child. My question is this... did the writers come up with this storyboard in a completely original manner or is someone at NBC attempting to toe the goverment line?

Are we really ready as a country to prosecute (persecute... take your pick here) families who will not vaccinate their children? Does it matter why they don't want to vaccinate? Should we require everyone in the U.S. to vaccinate their children, no matter the side effects?

I will admit this hits close to home for me, I have a family member who some would say exhibited some of those side effects closely linked to the MMR vaccine.

I believe NBC did an outstanding job of making me question the need for vaccinations, but I worry about those parents who are quick to blame everyone for occasional issues they may have. This could so easily be compared to the Swine Flu issues right now, are you responsible for other children in a park if you don't know your child is sick when you take them out to play? Just a thought.