Tuesday, September 25, 2012

News Station or Rumor Patrol?

Teenagers can be so mean, cruel, and gossipy. Adults scold them for this behavior, but then they call it newsworthy. A local news station has been running a "story" about a teen that may or may not wear a mask in the hallways, dresses strangely, and acts abnormal. Have none of these people ever entered a middle school?! Well, I have! I teach in one, and these things are not abnormal, nor are they newsworthy.
This teen possibly has a "hit-list" and (once again) may or may not making stabbing motions when walking through the halls. Even the students that the news station interviewed said, "I heard that he....." and "....but it may be just rumors." It even says these words in the story that is posted on the website. Even the school is not admitting to any wrong doing by the student, in fact they said that they "asked the student to stay home from school today." If there is any evidence of a real threat, schools don't ask the student to stay home! They  would have suspended or expelled the student immediately.
As a parent and a teacher, I believe that we should all be made aware of real threats, but to put hearsay and speculation on the news for all to hear is not right. All I know about this story is what the news station is reporting, but I for one don't think that they have enough to report on to ruin this student's reputation. If they are wrong or are blowing this out of proportion, think of the life this poor kid has in front of him. Not only are his peers going to harass him (probably more than before), but now parents, and KATU viewers as well.
There has been a huge focus on anti-bullying campaigns both in schools and out, but this sure seems like people jumping to conclusions about a boy because he is different. Maybe I'm wrong, but that seems a lot like bullying. As I said, I don't know the specifics of this situation, and maybe this boy is a threat. But I just think that there should be a line between facts and guesses, and that what airs on the news should only fall under the first category.
If you would like to read what little information KATU has on this story, here is the link:

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pretty Toes

Not too long ago, there was a big uproar about an advertisement where a mom was painting her son's toe nails. So many people felt that this was an issue important enough to publicly complain about it and even demand that the ad be removed. What is the world coming to, when you can;t just not look at the ad if you don't like it?! Why is it such a big deal to people if a little boy wants to wear nail polish? I thought the hoopla surrounding the advertisement was nuts.
The other day, Liam saw my blue painted toes and asked if I would paint his for him. I said, "Sure." To which his daddy admittedly disagreed. He made a comment like, "Boy's don't wear nail polish, that's for girls!" This was infuriating to me. Maybe it's because of all of the family/child/gender studies classes that I took in college, but I could see that my husband was imposing a horrible stereotype on my son right in front of me, and I was having none of it.
When Liam went to bed, we talked about it. Soon Joe agreed that it really isn't an issue if he wants his nails painted, but he said that he still just had this inner voice telling him it was not ok. It was then that I realized how ingrained these gender stereotypes are. He was firmly against it earlier in the night without really knowing why. It was just the "feeling" that he had when it was brought up.
I think that it is so strange that when girls like "boy things" (trucks, climbing trees, playing sports) it's not "proper", but it's ok. She's just a Tom Boy, but when a boy likes "girl things" there is something wrong that needs to be fixed. Liam's favorite toy from his first birthday on, was a pink shopping cart that he picked out with his birthday money from his Great Grandma D. Even then, Joe was unsure of this being an acceptable purchase.
It will take a lot of time, but I hope that we learn to reprogram ourselves, so this isn't as much of an issue as it has been. Liam is a boy, who plays with "boy things", but I believe it is perfectly normal for him to want to play with any toy. We are the ones putting the gender label on it, to him it's just a toy. To end this post, I will share that Liam got his painted toe nails. They are red (the color of his choosing), and he is quite proud of them. Telling everyone he sees that he has "pretty toes!"

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

An Involuntary Vegetarian

My whole life I have been what I can, a half-way vegetarian. I love pork, turkey, and chicken, but have never been too interested in beef, seafood, or any other meat for that matter. I refuse to eat things like deer, elk, lamb, etc. for personal reasons, but have never gone 100% meatless. Although I have very few choices, meat is almost always on our home menu in some way or another. Until this month that is.....
My blue gummy bear has made it quite clear that he is a vegetarian and that he strongly believes that I should follow suit. I have tried all of my favorites and they have taken turns making me feel nauseous. First it was just chicken. I have always been a bit of texture snob when it comes to my food, but the stringy, chewy texture of chicken made me sick for days. Then I made jambalaya for the first time. I was so excited about the sausage and shrimp (the only kind of seafood I have ever been able to swallow). But the ended even worse! I had a whole crock pot full of, what I'm sure was a delicious meal, but all I could taste and smell was the shrimp and my baby boy was not happy. Next it was ground turkey in our pasta, then turkey burgers from the BBQ, who know what's next!
All that's left are sausages (which even at this very moment sounds disgusting) and bacon. Otherwise, I have become a full blown vegetarian thanks to the little guy who now rules my body. My diet is dwindling, my husband is having a difficult time w/o meat, and my son misses his chicken nuggets. : ( 
Even as I add this picture, my stomach churns!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Gender Reveal, Laced with Guilt

I may sound like a horrible, terrible, very bad mother during this post, but I want to be honest about my feelings and my pregnancy, so here goes!
For the past week or so I've been a little anxious about finding out the gender of baby #2. Yesterday was the big day, and by the time I woke up I had all but decided not to find out what we were having. I wanted to know so I could prepare for this little one, but it made me worried that I would end up being disappointed with the outcome.
To understand why, you need to know a little back story. Joe and I agreed long, long ago that we were only going to conceive two babies of our own. I have always wanted to adopt older children, and we agreed that stopping at two with the making of babies would be best. Although I wasn't completely on board with two at the beginning, after having Liam and dealing with all of the stress and emotions I felt with him, I have whole heartily-agreed. In fact, Joe was the one who had to convince me to have two!
The drive to the ultrasound was stressful and packed with racing thoughts. Knowing that this would be our last gender ultrasound, that whatever gender this baby ended up being was what we had for life, made me so scared! What if I was disappointed? What if I cried? I will feel like such a horrible mom!
With Liam gender didn't really matter to us, we have always wanted one of each, so he was just the first of two. We were thrilled to be having a little man, and I was so sad that I might not feel the same way about the gender of my gummy bear. I should be happy with any healthy baby that was growing inside me, and my biggest fear was that my heart would not agree.
I thought about the dirty looks I would get from the ultrasound tech., the "Oh, I'm so sorry!" from my friends and coworkers who knew about my hopes for one of each, and it was almost unbearable! On the way there, I told Joe I didn't want to know, but when we discussed why not, he told me that he felt the same way. That he was worried he would be disappointed too. But then he brought up a good point, this baby, boy or girl, will be ours and some day we won't even remember feeling this way, because we will love them for who they are.
This made me feel a great deal better, and we decided to find out. When the ultrasound tech. asked if we wanted to know, we both said, "Yes!". Before she could even tell us, I knew. The tell-tale body part that I saw on Liam's ultrasound was plain as day. We were having another boy!

I will admit, I felt a bit of a let down for about 30 seconds, but then an amazing thing happened. The baby started to move. I could feel it and see it. He is beautiful, just like his brother! I have to say that I am mourning the girl section at the store and shopping trips with my little girly-girl just a bit, but I already love this little one, just the way HE is!