Hi, Again!

So, it’s been nearly six months since my last update.  I promise, I’ve not fallen off the face of the earth.

We’ve been quite busy, as we’re moving *again*.  This time, to the east coast, to a state that has not yet legalized gay marriage (BOO), a state that doesn’t have friendly laws for breasfeeding moms(Yes, Ms Piggy is still breastfeeding).

Have you guessed yet? Yep, it’s a southern state.  At least we’ll be near Washington D.C., I can do protests and try to get more involved in politics.  I mean, the only way to create change is to be change, yes?

We’re still homeschooling, actually, we’ve started Ms Action in second grade since we’re going to be packing, moving, then settling in for around a month.

Anyway, I wanted to let you know I’m still here.  I’m blogging at Adventures in Mommyland

Still on WordPress, I’m just blogging about life as a mommy right now.  Since nearly all my friends and family are religious, I’m not really talking all that much about religion over there yet – it is coming, though, I can promise you that.  As I was talking to my dad on the phone today, it hit me how differently an atheist and religionist view war, specifically, the Middle East.

My dad was all “There’s been fighting there since the beginning of time and will be until the end of time.”

I, naturally, disagreed with him.  I told him the fighting was, really, just religion vs religion.  He said nothing, but I haven’t been out of that mindset for so long that I can’t take a stab at what he was thinking.  It was probably something along the lines of “Well, it’s just satan trying to keep people from god, good vs evil” type of thought.

However, he kept his mouth shut and we avoided an argument.

So, if you’d like, check out my new blog, give me a follow, and keep up with me :)

Ms Piggy’s Broken Clavical

About a week and a half ago Ms Piggy took a tumble down a few steps.  I was finishing unpacking – there were a few boxes still upstairs.  Ms Piggy was up there with me, and I usually leave her there for a few moments by herself with no problem.  Also, she’s never had any issues with taking the stairs.

She decided to follow me – no biggie – except that somehow or other, she fell.  I heard three thunks, it took me all of a second to get over to her and by the time I got there, she was crawling down the steps.  No crying, no anything, so I assumed she was alright.  Until I picked her up.  Then she started screaming.  I gave her tylenol and noticed that she seemed to be favoring her left arm.  Initially I thought maybe she was bruised, but I decided to keep an eye on her.

I took her with me to do the laundry, because she loves transferring things from the washer to dryer.  She did it, but whimpered, so I was starting to think maybe it was something worse.  Then she started falling asleep.  Apparently, a head injury and sleep isn’t that big a deal, unlike what Hollywood has shown us.

By this time, my husband was almost home, so we took Ms Action to the neighbor’s and took Ms Piggy to the ER.  We got there and everything seemed to be going fine, they took her vitals, examined her, then dropped a bomb shell – because of the way Ms Piggy’s bone had broken, they were going to start a CPS investigation.  Ms Piggy was going to have to stay overnight and I may not be able to stay with her, they said.  We had to do three x-rays, which she hated, the whole, being held down and unable to move thing really isn’t any fun.

After talking to us, they told us that I could stay overnight with Ms Piggy (and all the staff kept saying that they thought this investigation was ridiculous – that if it were up to them, they’d have let us go home and not done any of this).  The nurses up in the pediatric unit were awesome (and also patient advocates), they helped keep Ms Piggy asleep, and helped calm me.  We didn’t get up to the room until sometime around 2 in the morning, and I didn’t get to sleep until after three, and didn’t sleep straight through – I woke every half hour or so, partly because they had Ms Piggy in a crib beside me instead of letting her sleep with me as we usually do, so I didn’t sleep as well, and partly because she didn’t sleep as well for the same exact reason.  The doctors started making their rounds at 6, so any night I had had was over then.  I met the doctor who raised the issue, who hadn’t met us at all, just looked at the x-ray and saw the strangeness of the break.

After all that, my husband and Ms Action arrived, and the girls played in the playroom.  While we were in there, a chaplain came in to see us (I had specifically asked NOT to see any chaplains, but there he was…) and since the hubs was super tired, he had word vomit.  Attacking religion, ridiculing it all, which, honestly, I’d normally not mind, but we were under investigation for child abuse, no way in hell was I going to bring up religion.  Here in America, atheists are still not entirely trusted, so I didn’t want to raise any flags we could avoid.  Fortunately, nothing came of it.

Later, we had to do a full-body  skeletal to make sure there were no healed breaks from before to suggest abuse.  That was the worst nightmare – I honestly don’t think I’ve had a nightmare worse than going through that.  It took four adults to hold Ms Piggy down, and she screamed the entire.time.  It was horrible.  And because she kept moving, we had to keep retaking shots.  And retaking them.  It was to the point that if they had come out one more time and said that we had to take more, I would have vomited all over their nice clean floor.  Between shots, while we were waiting, Ms Piggy would fall asleep nursing, then she’d be woken to take more x-rays.  It was a real version of hell.

Finally, the floor doctor came in to see us and told us that as soon as the papers were ready we’d be discharged.  That, naturally, took a couple hours.  A really long couple of hours.  The girls had a bit of fun, because we got some ice cream out of the freezer.  Right after they got the ice cream, we got discharged.  Twenty-four hours after Ms Piggy’s fall, we were finally on our way home.

Ms Piggy has been healing beautifully.  She’s had pain meds maybe three times in the past four days, so that’s all good.  But the story is hardly over.

That all happened on Thursday the 9th, the following Thursday, CPS came out to the house to talk to Ms Action, to get her take on how Ms Piggy fell (since, after all, no one had seen it).  While the CPS agent and county sheriff were here, Ms Action had a dress on and sort of rolled around, exposing her undies.  Which made the CPS agent ask me four times whether there had ever been any sexual abuse in her past.  I kept saying no, but felt like I wasn’t being listened to.  Even though I know that’s a standard question, it was unnerving that she asked four times.  Then it got stranger, because the sheriff said he would probably want me to come down to his office alone to talk to him.  Which seemed strange to not only me, but attorney friends.

This morning, as I started writing this, my hubby got a call from the sheriff saying he was closing his end of the investigation, that he’d talked to all the doctors at the hospital and they all said they didn’t think there was any abuse going on (which obviously, there isn’t).

Friday is Ms Piggy’s follow-up appointment, at which point I’m hopeful the entire thing will be closed and behind us.

While I’m glad CPS investigates, because honestly, it’s a good thing to take care of and protect our kids;  it’s one thing to be for it in theory, a completely different thing when you’re the subject of the investigation.   And I truly am glad they investigate, our children are far too precious to let them be harmed.  But knowing I would never abuse my children, and being under investigation for it, is a scary thing.  Growing up, CPS were the big bad boogeymen of the homeschool movement.  The Home School Legal Defense Association succeeded in scaring everyone I knew, in convincing all of us that the CPS was out for one thing and one thing only – taking children away from deserving parents, especially homeschooling parents.  Because religious persecution, that’s why.  So all those childhood fears were raising their ugly heads.

So, while I’ve been super stressed and even scared, I’m still glad CPS does what it does.

And I’m even more glad this is almost over.

A Christmas List That is Not Going To Make Sense To Most People

Originally posted on The Ugly Volvo:

christmas list infertility

People ask for strange stuff at Christmas, as evidenced by the popularity of Snuggies and Zumba DVDs and those electronic “singing fish” people were hanging above their mantelpieces a couple of years ago.  The holidays make people do bizarre things.  My mother regularly makes a Christmas list WITH COUPONS ATTACHED TO THE LIST to make sure I don’t wind up paying full price for anything.  My aunt, for the past decade, seems to have wanted nothing besides “Shampoo, Pantyhose, and a J.W. Waterhouse calendar.”

Fine.  People are weird.  Great.

That being said, here’s yet another ridiculous Christmas list.  While it was technically written by me, it was inspired by (and written in the voice of) my friend’s sister-in-law, Debi, to whom I was introduced through Facebook:

*          *          *

*          *          *

Dear Santa,

Happy Holidays!  Please give my best to Mrs. Claus and the elves.  After much careful consideration…

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Ms Action has been generally enjoying her homeschooling adventure.  There have been a few times where she wished she was back in school, but that’s just for friends (and I think I may have *finally* found a homeschool group that actually does something besides weekly playdates, one that actually does learning activities and field trips, so the friend thing will be taken care of fairly soon).  She was always complaining about her teacher not understanding her, not having enough time for lunch, etc.  Now we’re following her schedule as she gets to know her body and how to listen to it’s signals.  She’s making her own bedtime, deciding when we learn – which is going surprisingly well…she’ll go a few days where all we do is learn, activities, reading and all kinds of fun things.  Then she’ll have a few days where she watches tv and plays with different apps on my Kindle (most of which are learning apps, so technically, she’s still learning).

It’s been pretty fun.

We spent around two months learning about dinosaurs and the Mesozoic Era.  We made a huge timeline, with three sections for the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods, we made a lapbook, did dino digs, read over a hundred books and learned about the way dino’s are classified.  Like I said in an earlier post, I learned way more about dinosaurs than I ever cared to.

After the first of the year, we’re going to start learning about space, as per Ms Actions request.  I have to say, I’m looking forward to this study a lot more than the last one.

What it’s like to not have a dad.

I know I have parent issues – my mom always tried to make me into her little clone, if I ever did something she didn’t like, she’d tell “I never would have done that!” And I’d modify my behaviour accordingly.

Then, there was my dad, who would only do stuff he was interested in, and if you wanted to spend time with him, it was doing his stuff.

This post has some really fantastic advice.

Also, TW for mental health and parental abandonment

It’s Been a While…

Since I pulled Ms Action out of school, we’ve been quite busy.

We just finished nearly two months of learning about dinosaurs. I now know far more about the Mesozoic Era than I ever cared to know.  

Ms Action has decided we’re going to learn about space – specifically the sun – next.  

Once I get my computer back from Ms Action, I’ll do a proper update.I just wanted to let everyoneknow I am still alive and that we’re all doing well. :)

My Grandpa

As I was organizing craft supplies in our craft/library/music room, I came across three notes my grandfather wrote me.  Three of maybe five he wrote to me, total. 

As I read them, I realized I never really got a chance to mourn his death.  At that point my mum and I weren’t taking, and she didn’t let me know he’d died, so I found out through a friend.  Since I was so angry over that, and then had an argument with my brother over the existence of hell, I never properly mourned. 

Those three tiny notes brought me to tears.  During his life, he and I never really got along, we were both stubborn, and I didn’t at all like the way he treated my grandma, or the way he’d treated my mum and aunts as children.  Consequently I barely tolerated him.  It’s amazing how someone’s death can make you remember them with rose-coloured glasses.  And age gives you a perspective you didn’t you as a child. 

I realize now he was doing his best.  Yes, he screwed up royally.  Yes, he didn’t treat family very well.  But you fuck with his family and you’ll incur his wrath.  He stood up for family like no one else. 

He had a pretty rough childhood, his mum was reportedly a first-rate witch.  He grew up in the depression and couldn’t stand waste of any kind.  He wore his clothes until they literally fell apart.  I got the few thrifty ways I have from him.

He was older when he had my mum, so the normal grandparent-grandchild age/generation-gap was even bigger than usual, so he really didn’t understand what kids liked. 

Looking back, I’m more lenient toward his faults and remember the good.  And the little notes I found reminded me that he did love me, even if he really sucked at showing it. 

School, School, School (Reprise)

So Ms Action has been having issues with school.  Not bullying so much this year, but more boredom.  She keeps getting in trouble for, when she’s bored, drawing on her desk and other kids’ desks.  Cutting her clothes.  And on it goes. 

Then there’s th  problem that she really loves learning, but she’s not interested in what’s being taught.  She wants to learn about paleontology, about how the human body works, about animals, about how the universe was formed, about how evolution works, she’s asked to learn about addition with hundreds, she’s started reading more now that the books are in the living room, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 

So we’re going to follow her passions and she’ll get to learn about what interests her.  The only thing she’s not too happy about is not seeing her friends everyday.  But, I’ve found a homeschooling group in the area, we’re going to do stuff with them, make new friends, and all have the same learning philosophy.

At the moment, I’m more excited than Ms Action, but one she gets to start learning about what she’s interested in and loves, and has new friends, I think she’s going to love it.  She’ll have much more freedom, the choice of what to study will be hers, and she’ll have more time for extracurricular pursuits.

I’ll keep you all updated on how it’s going!

And now to enrage you!

Originally posted on Random thoughts:

I will just copy the post from avaaz. It has been in my email for a few days now.

By now we’ve all heard this story, but it’s no less shocking: 16 year old Liz was walking home from her grandfather’s funeral when she was ambushed by six men who took turns raping her and then threw her unconscious body down a 6-meter toilet pit.Their punishment? Police had them mow their station lawn, then let them go free!

Liz’s horror story has sent shockwaves through Kenya and now politicians and the police are under pressure to respond. But women’s groups say nothing will truly change unless the government is put under the spotlight. They are calling on us urgently to help ensure justice is done and that Liz’s nightmare marks a turning-point in Kenya’s rape epidemic.

Nobody has been brought to justice — not the rapists, and not the police…

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Poison From Religion

A twelve year old girl hanged herself to go to heaven because she missed her dad so much. 

THIS is a logical outcome to being brainwashed by religion.  If heaven is such a wonderful place, and you’re promised being with family and Jesus, what’s to stop a person from killing themself to get there?

I remember, as a child, reading about that woman who drowned her kids.  I never understood the Christian outrage over it – all she did was send her kids to heaven, right?

In an appropriate coincidence, the song Imagine is playing on Pandora as I write this.

Imagine.  Without religion, this little girl would still be alive.  Her whole life ahead of her.  It’s unspeakably sad.