It's hard to be the baby

Family friends moved to Ohio a year and a half ago (thank you, Air Force. I mean, I do like the Air Force, but it'd be nice if they hadn't moved this particular family. There are other families we know who the Air Force would be welcome to relocate.)

This week, they're back in town as dad is doing some training, so mom and kids came for a visit. Their eldest is my eldest's BFF. So we got together for lunch and then a playground and then came here and, as determined ahead of time, their boy is staying the night and we'll meet back up with their whole crew tomorrow for the Lego Movie 2 and lunch.

Eldest is in pig heaven.

Youngest is not.

Youngest also adores this boy. (Though he has a friend roughly his age in the family as well, who he also enjoys, it was determined after a little back and forth that their youngest isn't quite ready for a sleep over. Which is fine as their youngest is...well, even his parents say he's feral. Although I will say after today he was much better. Age is a good thing sometimes.)

Eldest would like his younger brother to take a short walk off a tall cliff and leave him and his friend alone.

I am torn.

I remember those days when you just want to hang with your older sibling and their friends. Especially when you don't have a friend of your own. But I also know it's been a long time since these two got to hang out, and they should have the opportunity to do that without younger brother hanging around.

I think all I'm actually managing to do is irritate everyone. Is that a mom win? Feels like that's pretty much the absolute definition of a mom win.



It's Never as Simplistic as You Want to Make It

With all the recent extreme abortion legislation flying around lately, it's been fascinating to watch the political posturing on Facesplat from the pro-abortion 'scuse me, "pro-choice" crowd and how they like to do flying leaps a la some kind of WWE champion onto the unsuspecting who dares to express an honest desire to do more to help stop this kind of madness from becoming the law of the land.

The most egregious of these came in the form of this oh-so-helpful list posted in the comments one one friend's "Hey, how can I get involved in supporting pro-life things" posts.

Let me walk you through why this is unhelpful.

Suggestions from the pro-abortion pro-choice about how to help:

  • Fight for access to affordable, available birth control options.

There is a fail-safe, 100% free birth control option available to EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the world. It's called abstinence. It's a simple concept: don't have sex unless you're ready to entertain the possibility of procreation. Yes, yes, that's old fashioned and unrealistic. Except it isn't. It does require a return to valuing marriage and choosing to see sex as a scared covenant created by God for use inside of the marriage covenant. Which means undoing years of the pro-choice feminist lobby to convince everyone that free sex is awesome and can be had with no strings.  And of course, no one wants to let go of that brainwashing.

So let's push that aside. I'm pretty sure schools give out condoms still. They did when I was in school and that was a million years ago. There are easy ways to look up online how to understand your body as a woman and pinpoint the, let's say five to be generous, days each month when you're actually fertile (of course that implies that you can manage to abstain for a short period of time each month so maybe that's horrible of me to suggest?) Bonus: knowing how your body works and what the signs of that working are can tell you even more than how not to get pregnant. Let's teach THAT to girls who are getting ready to start their cycles for the first time.

Beyond that? Birth control isn't all that expensive unless you're sneaking around and not wanting to use your parents' insurance to get it. Isn't it also included with Obamacare? So with that, doesn't everyone have access to this if they want it? Thus? This is a moot point and all you're doing when you're saying it is that you consider killing babies an acceptable form of birth control.

Abortion is not birth control. It's killing a child. If we've gotten to the point as a culture that we are seriously trying to convince men and women that murder is a means of family planning, we have failed more than is probably recoverable.

  • Support science-based, thorough sex ed.
So here's another jab against abstinence education. But hey, I can scientifically prove to you that if you never have sex, you will not get pregnant. And if you want to include the scientifically based natural family planning methods that I mentioned above? Heck yeah, do it. Girls should know how to chart their temperatures to understand what their bodies are doing before, during, and after ovulation. They should know how their bodies produce varying levels of fluid based on what's happening with their hormonal fluctuations. All of that? Science.

You know what's not science? "This is a clump of cells not a person." Cause 12 days in it's got a beating heart. Show me a clump of cells with a beating heart that, were it not human, would NOT be classified as a living being by science.

I'm all for science based sex ed, but let's go ahead and make sure it's actually that, not some propaganda to push abortion as health care.

  • Adopt
Sure. Cause it's that easy. Just take yourself on down to the adoption store and get yourself another child. There are more couples willing to adopt--particular if we're talking newborns--than there are babies available. There are people willing to adopt from foster care, too. But there are a lot of kids in foster care whose biological parents won't release them for adoption. And the foster care system (you could argue that it's correct) seeks reunification above all else. They want these kids to go back to the biological family whenever possible. If the biological parents aren't going to step up, they need to relinquish parental rights immediately and let their children be adopted, not dick around with the foster system, dragging out the process until the courts are forced to sever and the kids are close to aging out anyway. There are a lot of men who won't let their babymama choose adoption and force her to either parent or abort (and then generally they aren't there paying child support for 18 years like they ought to, nor are they stepping up to marry the woman and make a family.)

Pro-life Christians are standing on the sidelines willing and waiting to adopt. Our culture has attached more stigma to adoption than to any other choice a young woman can make today. You want pro-life Christians to adopt? Then you - the pro-abortion talking heads - need to be willing to tell women that hey, here's another option, have you considered it? There's nothing wrong with making that choice and it's actually better for your body than terminating a pregnancy. (But of course, they don't want to talk about the harm abortion does to the woman's body. Because they're all about safe and legal.)

  • Treat mothers and post-abortive women with the same love you have for their babies and destigmatize being an unwed mother.
Honestly? I don't know what circles this poster hangs out in, but it's clearly not the pro-life Christian circles I'm in. Because we do all of that. More than all of that. Yeah, it's a great talking point to say "Oh, they're going to shame you. Blah blah blah." No we aren't. No we don't. Go to a pregnancy resource center and I can pretty much guarantee you they're going to help you learn how to be a better parent, help you get diapers and clothes and cribs and affordable childcare so you can work. Because that's what they do. It's never been about saving a baby and dumping the mother. Ever.

  • Hold men accountable
You know the best way to do this? Don't make abortion cheap and easy.

Also? Circle back to that stuff above about marriage and family mattering.

There were a few more points after that, but they weren't specific to anything pro-life so much as it was a liberal platform for government-provided everything.

It's fun to post stuff like this and act like you're being kind and caring for fighting for abortion, because look how easy it is and you pro-lifers just don't step up. But the thing is, we do. We are. We will.

If you truly want to make a life-affirming choice and give birth to your child? There are people who want to help you do that and make the best choice for you and the child going forward. Because that best choice is never going to be death for the child and the physical and emotional trauma of that death for the woman.


There is a reason I am not a medical professional

A long, long time ago (either in a galaxy far, far away or I can still remember - your choice) I had these dreams of being a pediatrician. I had my high school and college and medical school path all planned out. I read up. I plotted. I schemed.

And then, gradually, I began to realize that I got a little squeamish here and there. Like with blood. And vomit. And that's probably not a super great trait for someone in the medical field.

This morning, my decision to not pursue medicine was validated, yet again, as I glanced at the enormous line of stitches in my scalp and immediately felt the room begin to spin. (Fun fact: This was a good hour ago and my stomach is still rolling greasily.)

I did manage, with great swallowing gulps of air and several minutes of resting my forehead on my knees, to apply Vaseline to the area as instructed by the nurse yesterday. But I'm already dreading having to do it again tomorrow.

Programming languages never do this to you. I'm just saying.


In Which My Head Hurts

Today was skin cancer removal day. Short version? My head hurts.

It wasn't awful, but I'm not recommending it for folks who are bored and looking for new experiences either. I was there a solid three hours. The actual digging and poking at my scalp was maybe an hour of the experience, all told, since they take what they remove and look at it in the lab right then to see if the edges are clear.

On the bright side, the first round showed clear edges, so she didn't have to shave any more of my head and make a bigger spot than she initially did.

She just had to go deeper.

Like past where the follicles are deeper.

So yeah, no more hair will ever grow there now.


I have two sets of stitches -- internal and external (that's how deep they had to go) and a horrendous headache.

She seemed confident that all the cancer had been removed, so I'll also call that a win.

But still, in general, if you can avoid it, that's my recommendation.

Also? Wear sunscreen. And a hat.


Wear Sunscreen. (And a hat)

So a while ago - and I'll admit it's longer ago than it should have been - I noticed a little weird spot on my scalp that was almost like cradle cap. It would flake up and then disappear for a bit before flaking up again. I said, "I should get that looked at." And that was the end of the matter.

At the start of January, while being bombarded with new insurance cards and all the start of the new coverage year information, I finally found a dermatologist and made an appointment.

Last week, I went in. I figured they'd biopsy it. That's what dermatologists tend to do with things because it's the best way to be safe and know things for sure, right? So I wasn't super worried.

Then yesterday they called and, if I'm honest with myself, it was no surprise that the little spot is basal cell carcinoma. Because of course it is. Now, in the skin cancer world, that's the kind you "want" to get. (Not that you really want any skin cancer, but if you're getting some, that's the easiest one.) My head knows this. My heart is a little less convinced.

I blame the anxiety fully on the fact that the diagnosis ends in the word "cancer" and Mom just died of cancer. Two very different kinds, blah blah blah. Still cancer.

So on Thursday I'll be back to the dermatologist to get it removed and hopefully that will be easy and won't result in them having to shave my head (did I mention it's on my scalp?) And then, again hopefully, we can put this all behind us and I will be one of those hat-wearing people henceforth.

But the dread in my gut is worried that I delayed long enough that it - I don't know, ate through my skull and into my brain. I don't think that's really a thing. But it feels like it could be and if it was going to be a thing, given that my honorary name these days is Murphy, well...

Anyway. Wear sunscreen. And a hat.


Step Away From the Stupid

So first I'll state for the record how unequivocally I am heartbroken by the recent abortion legislation in NY and stunned that VA tried something similar (but yet worse). I'm grateful that, at least, got tabled (needs to be killed but I'll take a baby step.)

So with the understanding that the laws are heinous (and honestly should be no matter how you feel about abortion) - I am appalled at the suggestion of some connections on the Faceplant who are suggesting that Trump ought to be able to veto said laws.

Um no.

Just no.

The Federal Government should not have the ability veto State laws. That's kind of the whole point of having separate state and federal government.

When I tried to point this out, I was told that since Trump is pro-life he should get an exception. I'll set aside the idea that he's pro-life. Maybe yes, maybe no. But exceptions set precedents. And then those precedents can be used against you down the road by someone who gets the office who does not represent your particular values.

Checks and balances matter. All across the board. And states have already ceded too much power to the Federal government. Can you imagine the chaos if they could wade in willy nilly and veto laws??

I stopped after one response because it was clear that her fervor yo protect babies was greater than her common sense. And that made me sad, because it's that sort of thing that costs the battle long-term.

Be zealous. But be smart.


The End of the World As We Know It

Yesterday, I finished reading Station Eleven.

I'd been eyeing it for a while (it kept being recommended as an audio book for hubs), then a friend came over on Monday for a playdate and she was talking about how she's trying to read more and had just read and really liked it. So...it pushed me over the edge. There was a crazy waiting list at the library, so I just bought it and went ahead and added the audio for hubby while I was at it.

It sounded like it should be a good post-apocalyptic thriller type thing.

It...was not.

I mean, it was post-apocalyptic, no question, but it was sort of a rambling, literary affair that skipped around in time -- pre-apocalypse, post, five years out, twenty, this character, that one, this other one who you only ever hear from once.

I think it was meant to be some sort of dissertation on the meaning of life and the ill-effects of technology on modern society. But basically, since I wasn't really in the mood for introspective mumbo-jumbo it was mostly boring.

But the premise had promise! The world as we know it ends owing to "the Georgia flu" -- a mutation of the swine flu. Massive death toll. General collapse of everything because it spread so fast. Etc etc. Great set up.

As I was finishing up Station Eleven, I got a notification that my digital library loan for Year One (by Nora Roberts) had automatically checked out.

I grabbed the book and started reading. I knew it was a post-apocalyptic thriller type thing (a little shift from what she usually writes, but not a huge shift and, in general, I know I'll enjoy anything she puts on paper.)

Wanna guess how the world ends?

Do you?

You know you do.

Mutated. Bird. Flu.

So yeah, somewhere 2 or 3 years ago, there was a writing prompt somewhere that was like: the world ends because of a virulent flu virus. Go.

It reminds me of when The Island came out. At the same time as Never Let Me Go. And one other clone book. Or the year that we had asteroid movies all summer.

It's like they say, there's nothing new under the sun. Just sometimes it all seems to converge.

Happily, Year One actually has a plot (surprise!) and characters I care about, so it's much much MUCH better than Station Eleven could ever dream of being.

So at least there's that.