Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bed Hogs...

In my 21 years of parenting I have discovered that there are three main types of bed hogs. Yes, I am the mom (we are the parents) that let their children climb in bed with them for just about any reason. Bad dream, tummy ache, fever, lonely, wanting snuggles...you name it.

The first type of bed hog is the "heat seeker".  This is the child who will cling to you, burrow into you and somehow find you in the bed no matter how you try to evade her. My first heat seeker was my daughter Meg, now 21 years old. She would climb in bed with me (actually, I never bothered to put her in her own bed, even though she had one),  and just go straight for the throat. Literally. I would wake up in the mornings with downy soft, blonde baby hair tickling my nose because she would fit the back of her neck sideways over my throat. I have no idea how I endured this, because I am a little claustrophobic, but I actually enjoyed it. She was my baby. I was going to school full time and working several jobs, so I soaked her up every second I could, even if that was while we were sleeping.

She doesn't sleep with me anymore - she's kinda huge. I have a new heat seeker - 7 year old Luke Christopher. He doesn't climb in with us often, but when he does, you know you are in for a long night. He burrows. He clings. He plasters himself right up against you. Lukey is going through a growth spurt right now, and having the bad dreams that seem to accompany growth spurts in children his age. We pull him in, and his dad scoots over as far as he can to accomodate for the big boy climbing in between us, and he puts his sweet head on my arm, and I know I am trapped until morning. There is no escape, even if I ease my arm out and scoot away, he will find me in his sleep, and burrow in once more.

The next kind of bed hog is what I like to call "the sprawler". Four year old Benjamin is one such bed hog. Climbing into bed with us, usually under the guise of needing to snuggle, as soon as he falls asleep, he flips sideways, so his head is in the middle of his dad's back, and his feet are kicking me. No matter how many times we rearrange this child, he always flips back to his sprawl position. This too, makes for a long, uncomfortable night. We have tried putting him back in his bed, too - but if he wakes up and catches you LOOK OUT! He is kinda mean when woken. So it's not really worth the effort, especially if he manages to wake the third kind of bed hog...

Yebbi - aka Caleb, our 2.5 year old, is the worst kind of bed hog. He sometimes wakes in the night, so we bring him into our room before he can wake the other kids. He loves being cuddled. Until he falls asleep. Then he is ALL OVER THE PLACE. This kid does NOT like sharing a bed. He wasn't one to be held while sleeping as a baby, either. He wanted to nurse, and then lay down in his own space. Fine by me! His bed was within arms reach, close for me, alone in his space for him. He is still the same. He wants to sleep in our bed. But, he doesn't want us in it. While the other kids would not want to sleep without us, he would much rather be in our bed, and he is just fine you go find whatever empty slot there is, bed wise. All the better so he can toss and turn at will. He doesn't sprawl. Yeb still sleeps with his legs tucked under and his butt in the air. I love that. But, he doesn't want you, your blanket, arm or hair touching him while he sleeps. He will go to great lengths, apart from actually leaving the bed, to not be touching anyone, including just pushing you repeatedly in an effort to scoot further away.

While we have had many, many nights with a bed hog of one type or other, we never send a child away. We both know that all this...this glorious existence where we are the parents of small children, will be over all too soon. I hate that thought. I think all parents do. We've been incredibly blessed. We've been parents of small children far, far longer than most people these days. I'm still not ready for it to be over. So, when they come creeping into our room at night we never, ever send them away. We pull the covers back, tuck the bed hog between us. Ask them if they are scared. Check for temperatures, and snuggle them in. Tell them they are safe, mommy and daddy are right here. Breathe that magical scent of a small child. And are grateful for the long, sweaty, crowded night of nurturing a tiny soul who needs us that night. And thank God for the opportunity.

Monday, February 20, 2012


I get frustrated. Perhaps a little too easily. I read a lot of Catholic and Christian blogs, articles, newspapers, etc. One trend I keep seeing over and over and over is that we attack one another. All the time. Constantly. Now, I don't want to come off as 'can't we all just be friends?'...or maybe I do.

For instance, so often I see articles on one topic or another, often abortion or some other topic which is usually a unifiying topic, in the comments section, Catholics and Protestants are fighting over who is right about what aspect of Christianity. How is that going to help us change hearts and minds about abortion, or contraception or any other issue?

Fighting amongst Protestants and Catholics is not new...and it won't stop until there is unity once again. But having differences should not stop us from uniting on issues such as abortion, or the HHS mandate, or gay marriage or any other social or societal topic.

I had never really encountered Catholics engaging in this type of behavior until today. I was reading a thread on Facebook and the topic of NFP (Natural Family Planning) came up. One commenter implied that some people use NFP to postpone pregnancy or avoid it altogether for reasons that were not serious. I have to contend that if a couple is using NFP to avoid pregnancy, then most certainly they are doing it in the right spirit, with serious reason. NFP is hard. It takes dedication, communication and a lot of grace to practice. It is NEVER my business if a couple is employing NFP or not, and in that same vein, it is NEVER up to anyone else to judge if their reason is serious enough. Clearly, they have undertaken to please God. If they had not, they would be using some other, easier form of birth control. NFP implies a willingness to leave things in God's hands. I really don't think that abuse of NFP is possible. I might be wrong, or naive, or whatever, but think about it. Would you go through months and months of charting, temp taking, abstaining, and all that goes with NFP if your intention was to "cheat the system"? If you are going to cheat the system, there are way easier ways. If that is your intention, the sin is the same as if you were using artifical means.

So, how about we give one another the benefit of the doubt? How about we think of one another with charity, rather than assuming abuse. Yeah, maybe that family only has two kids, and maybe they go to Disney every year. Maybe they use NFP...but are trying to concieve and just can't. Maybe the mother is dealing with a health issue where pregnancy would not be recommended, so they use NFP until there is a better time for pregnancy. MAYBE the couple has suffered so many losses, and have decided to use NFP to protect their hearts a bit, and spend the time and money they have relishing the children God has given them. None of these reasons are anyone's business. None of this is for another, save God alone, to judge.

So, how about, as Catholics and Christians, we decide to stick together. Stop judging one another's motives or reasons for the choices they make. Uplift that which is good and holy. Work and pray for justice in all unjust situations.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Bullying and Scare Tactics ...

 I received the following email this morning. I subscribe to MoveOn.org's email so I can see what the other side is saying. This, basically says,  "Hey, look, we were able to bully Susan G. Komen enough to get them to reverse their funding decision. Let's keep bullying, scaring, threatening until we make sure we get what we want from anyone who tries what they tried!"

 They go so far as to claim that Planned Parenthood was under attack by this change! Since when is a change in a charity's funding an attack? Besides that, Komen only gave around $600,000 a year - less than 1/20th of a percent o fit's annual budget. So you know what this is saying to anyone else who funds PP? " DON'T YOU DARE EVER CONSIDER DEFUNDING OR WE WILL COME AFTER YOU, TOO. We will harass, bully and exploit the situation until we get what we want. We'll sic the media and all Planned Parenthood's uninformed or conscienceless supporters on you. You will be sorry you every crossed us."
My suggestion? Don't get in bed with the devil to begin with - he will make you pay, and pay you will, or you will see the demise of your organization. The fact FACT that PP doesn't provide mammograms for some reason doesn't resonate with these people. Komen intended to make grants directly to mammogram providers, rather than paying the middle man, PP. They thought that would be a better use of their funds, and so it would. I am sure charities and other organizations and businesses change their grant processes all the time, and never hear a whole lot about it, let alone all the national new fuss over $600,000. So ridiculous. It's a drop in the bucket for either of those organizations. And see below where they reference ACORN? I am laughing my head off that they want to set ACORN, one of the most corrupt organizations, so corrupt infact, that they blew themselves up and no longer are able to function cohesively, because they broke so many laws, are under investigation, and is run by crooks. Wait, are we talking about ACORN, or Planned Parenthood?

Dear MoveOn member,
Did you hear Susan G. Komen for the Cure's announcement yesterday? There's good news and bad news.
The good news is that Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced that they are reversing their decision to ban grants to organizations under politically-motivated investigation.1 This shows the power we have to create change—Komen backed down quickly because hundreds of thousands of people immediately stood up for Planned Parenthood, with petitions and phone calls, and on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs.2
The bad news is that it's not yet clear that they will continue funding Planned Parenthood beyond this year. In fact, a Komen board member said yesterday that Komen refuses to commit to funding breast screening and mammogram referrals at Planned Parenthood in future grant cycles.3 And the anti-choice, anti-gay vice president they recently hired, Karen Handel—whom many believe drove the push to stop funding Planned Parenthood—is still a top organizational leader.4
We can't let Komen sweep their problems under the rug with this announcement.
Will you sign the petition to the Komen foundation demanding they commit to continue funding Planned Parenthood?
We're joining with a new organization, UltraViolet, to deliver the petition to the Susan G. Komen foundation headquarters in Dallas on Tuesday, and we need as many signatures as we can get before then.
What has happened in the past four days is truly remarkable. Not only have we moved Komen in the right direction, but we made it clear: if you attack Planned Parenthood's services for women's health care, we will fight back.
The radical right has been trying to damage Planned Parenthood using the same methods that were used to take down ACORN, both groups with long legacies of providing crucial services directly to communities in need.
That's why it was so important that we stood up for Planned Parenthood when the Komen foundation and the radical right tried to use a politically-motivated investigation as an excuse to cut off funding. And that's why we'll keep the pressure on until the Susan G. Komen foundation promises to fully continue to fund breast health services through Planned Parenthood. (They only provide information on self breast exams, and referrals!)
Will you sign the petition right now? (NO!)
We need to show that there are hundreds of thousands of us standing behind Planned Parenthood when we deliver it to the Komen headquarters on Tuesday. (Okay Pro-Lifers, Komen needs to know there are MORE of us wanting to do what is truly best for women. Planned Parenthood NEVER wants what is truly the best - they want to sell more abortions.)
Thanks for all you do.
–Elena, Wes, Robin, Joan, and the rest of the team