AHHH! Political turmoil!!

So… Gay Marriage is a thing now.

Some of you love this, some of you hate this. Each side has it’s arguments all laid out and ready to deploy at a moments notice. Instead of commenting on random Facebook posts all day, let me give you my thoughts here…

Here’s the thing. I used to be a little hesitant about accepting “gays”. It wasn’t a religious thing, though I am a believer. I just didn’t understand it because my brain doesn’t work that way. Don’t get me wrong, I was never anti-anything, just wary and kinda weirded out (If you can’t be honest on the internet, where can you, right?).

Then a funny thing happened. I made friends with some really awesome people who just happened to be gay. I was able to witness moments of attraction, affection, joy, fury, and tenderness between two people of the same sex. I realized that there is absolutely nothing weird about it. It is exactly like straight relationships, except for one thing. When a straight couple finds each other, after years of searching for the right fit, they fall in love and decide to make a life together. Some live together, some get married and start families, but they do so with the blessings of society. No one thinks twice about this natural progression.

There are lots of reasons to support marriage in general. You get to cherish the security in having a best friend, a help meet, someone who always has your back. You can share financial burdens and housework duties. You never have to sleep alone.

You say, “Gay people can live together and have those things too without getting married.”

Yes they can, but what else does a married couple have? Monetary benefits of a civil union, Health insurance discounts, car insurance discounts, community property, tax reductions, the list goes on and on.

Why would you willfully deny a couple who has committed to each other for life the benefits afforded to straight couples?

Because God says it’s a sin.

OK.

Sure, let’s explore that then, shall we?

First, a civil union, which is all this is, doesn’t affect your beliefs or your church. No church is required to preform ceremonies for gay couples.

Second, are you divorced? Have you ever lied? Disobeyed your father? Coveted something? Did you look at your neighbors new car and think, “man I want one of those!”? The Bible say not to do all of those things or you risk damnation. It also contradicts itself regularly.

The Bible is a book, directed by God, but written by man. Man is fallible, man injects is own beliefs into things. The Bible itself isn’t even the Bible as it was originally written. Over the centuries it has been tweaked and changed by the church to reflect whatever agenda they were promoting at the time. It even incorporates some elements of Paganism to attract the early Celtic crowd.

What God says, over and over is to love one another. Do not be a judge of man, do not hate or create violence, do unto others as you would have done unto you. Where does it say to discriminate against someone based on their personal choices? Do you honestly think that keeping a loving couple from filing legal paperwork will somehow save their soul? Or yours? Or that it somehow endangers your soul?

They are going to be gay, no matter what you do or don’t approve of. The choices people make are accountable only to God, not man. Every man will face judgement in their own time. Your opinions will have no effect on the way that goes down for me, or anyone else, only for you. So maybe tolerance and kindness would even benefit you in the end?

Love one another, as I have loved you.

In other words, you don’t have to like everything in this world. However, if it does no harm, you can learn to tolerate it or turn your head away. Because honestly, I don’t like guys wearing skinny jeans, and I think people who eat no gluten without being celiac are silly. But, you know what? IT’S NONE OF MY DAMN BUSINESS. I will cook a meal with no gluten for my friend because she says it makes her feel better to not eat it and I can keep my mouth shut when a guy walks by in skinny jeans because he likes them.

If I can keep my comments to myself when someone else’s kid comes over and chews with their mouth open, you can let people of the same gender marry before the courts.

The willpower it takes might be intense, but you can do it.

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*cough* hello?

Is my wordpress dusty? Poor thing needs some activity.

I feel like I’ve been asleep for a few months. So. Stinking. Busy.

Kids in school, mommy in school, hubby working. Add in kid activities and volunteer roles… I think I might be overextended, just a little.

Well, back into the fray.

Bye WordPress. I guess I’ll see you in… April??

😀

Squirrel!!

Squirrel!!

Funny story… I started culinary school this week. My first Chef Instructor is a nice guy, funny, knowledgeable and can take boring material and make it, well, less boring. He also has a habit of saying, “Squirrel!” –like the dog from the movie ‘Up’
He goes off on tangents. Wild stories and funny memories dot his lectures and when he realizes he has strayed from the current topic, he says, “Squirrel!” and then gets back on track.
Being my sarcastic self, I thought it would be funny to make a squirrel on a stick to hold up in class when he’s gone off topic.
*It was totally Hilarious*
Chef was going on about something and quietly, from the back row, comes a squirrel… He did a double take and then said, “Ha! Squirrel!”
He liked it so much he took it to show the other classrooms… I hope he doesn’t dock my grade too much. =D

I’ve got a rant for you…

Recently, I gave you all the gory details of my son’s illnesses and his journey to get to being a (sort of) healthy toddler.

It’s rough, what he goes through. I know, I have to watch it. It’s not just the three rounds of pills everyday, or the shots every night, or the fear of ANY illness getting to him; it’s also the difficulty of acquiring and the outrageous costs of his medications, especially the HGH.

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You know what? This stuff is really expensive! In fact, it runs about $2,400 a MONTH. Wanna know why? Because athletes and movie stars think they need it to keep from getting paunchy. That makes the suits in the government bureaucracy put a stamp next to it on the medication list which makes it harder to get….and MUCH more expensive.

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Thanks Baywatch dude…

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Little Man takes Human Growth Hormone because he doesn’t make any, hard to do without a pituitary huh? It does more than just make you grow though. For people who don’t make Growth Hormone, they also don’t efficiently manage cell-reproduction or muscle repair. So think about this, Your body sheds and replaces cells ALL of the time, from your skin to your muscles to your organs. Your heart is a muscle right? If you are shedding cells from your heart, and can’t replace them efficiently or process out the dead cells, you start to get a weakened heart muscle. HGH prevents that from happening for my son by boosting those processes back to their normal levels.

So, have you heard the stories out of Hollywood about HGH abuse?

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Probably not.

Did you see the star get arrested for HGH abuse?

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No, me neither.

How about the TV star standing up and begging for research into pituitary disorders?

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Nope.

You know why? It’s not a “benefit worthy” cause. Not enough Cool-Factor points.

Sure, It’s not as cool as the “Big Money-Big Exposure” Diseases, but can the Rare Diseases get a little celebrity love too? Then maybe my son’s prescriptions won’t cost me the price of a mortgage for the mansion on the beach that the buff, steroid pumped, actor-jerk gets to live in.

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Maybe, if some celebrity looking for a cause to champion could do battle against HGh abuse and for research into better methods of hormone replacement therapy, my son could someday get better.

Well… I won’t hold my breath.

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*Thanks for letting me rant*

My Media Console is FINISHED!!

My Media Console is FINISHED!!

It took a while… A lot of self-doubt had to be addressed, but I did it!! I built a beautiful piece of furniture that won’t fall apart the first time someone touches it! I couldn’t be more pleased.

Panhypopituitarism. Multi-syllabic words aren’t always fun.

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This is Little Man.

It has taken me a long time to be able to write this story, so bear with me….

My little boy is my youngest and my last baby. He is a lucky boy because in addition to having me for a Momma <giggle>, he has three big sisters that keep him well mothered at all times.

Little man has a big heart, and huge smile, and an awesome little personality. He’s funny and sweet and a big troublemaker.

I call him many things, Little Man, Tubby, Bubba, Trouble, and Superman.

Most of those names are pretty usual I suppose, Little Man, because he’s a “he”; Tubby because, well, he’s tubby. I call him Bubba sometimes because he has the three big sisters, and Superman because he is Superman.

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We adore our little girls, but we knew our family wasn’t complete without a rough and tumble, mud-covered, mess-machine of a little boy. We waited with bated breath through the first 16 weeks of my pregnancy for the ultrasound that would tell us the gender of our fourth and final baby. When the Dr. said he saw a little BOY, our joy was immense.

We planned his room, purchased our first baby boy layette, we decorated in blues and browns and zoo animals… our world was perfect. My due date came and went in late October of 2011 with zero activity, then Finally, Halloween morning, contractions started. He was 10 days late, but he was finally on his way.

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As soon as he was born, the Dr’s knew something was wrong. He seemed ok, but his blood sugar was dangerously low and he wasn’t bouncing and lively like he should have been. He was taken to the NICU to “perk up” for what they assured me would be no more than 12 hours. Unfortunately, he couldn’t stabilize his blood sugars so they took some blood for labs. His liver numbers came back all wrong which was strange. The NICU Dr called for an endocrinology consult, got an MRI of he brain and waited for the “gland specialist” to evaluate him.

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That never happened because before they could get the specialist in to see my baby boy, he crashed.

They transferred him to a larger hospital in the Seattle area for an emergency surgery, his bowels were inexplicably dying. They call it Necrotizing Enterocolitis. That long unpronounceable diagnosis translates roughly to: an infection causing death of tissue in the small and large bowel. This is something that usually only happens to preemies. Babies born too early can have underdeveloped bowels that just aren’t ready to work yet. My son was 10 days late, so this made no sense. How could this be?

After the surgery, they said to prepare ourselves because our son was in big trouble. There was nothing they could do besides relieve the pressure and pump him full of antibiotics. They said he likely would not see the next day.

To say we were devastated or crushed or pulverized would not adequately describe the way it feels to have someone tell you that your child is going to die and that there is nothing anyone can do to stop it. There are no words for that. When people say to me that they can’t imagine how it would feel, I say, “Don’t try. You don’t want to know.”

We stayed by his tiny hospital bed in the NICU of that big hospital all night. At about 4 in the morning, I had been awake for so long that I couldn’t see straight so they led us to a temporary parent room and practically ordered us to rest, if only for a little while. I slept for a couple of hours and dreamed things I won’t torture you with… Even now, almost 2 years later, with my (now very big) baby boy at home, those dreams are still too sad.

After 2 hours or restless, tortured sleep we went back to the NICU to find our son much unchanged. We were so afraid to leave him and so relieved to find he was still there when we returned. It had been more than 12 hours since the surgery, and he still lived.

After 24 hours of watching, the Dr came back and asked for permission to go back into surgery and see if there was any improvement. He should not still be alive, they said. He could have made a small improvement but Don’t get your hopes up. If there is no change, be prepared to let him go.

A baby needs 30 cm of salvageable small bowel to live without artificial help, when they left for surgery they expected to find less than 12 cm, when they returned, 3 agonizing hours later, they had salvaged __49 cm__ of small bowel. It was like Christmas mixed with winning the lottery and finding a genie in a bottle. We were ecstatic. When I couldn’t describe the feeling of impending loss, this is the same, only pure joy. The most exalted feeling you could have outside of the gates of Heaven.

They said he was still in danger, he had been through a severe trauma and could still decide to give up at any time. Give it 7 days before you get too excited, they said. Pssshhh. yeah right. He WAS ALIVE! And he was expected to STAY ALIVE! We didn’t care about the diagnosis of Short Bowel Syndrome from losing so much small bowel (over 200cm). We were just happy to have him at all.

It was a LONG 7 days. But they passed. After 3 days, he woke up. After another few days, they let me hold him, and after 2 weeks, he was finally able to breathe on his own. Which is the day we took this picture, one of my favorites:

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After a few days of watching my baby boy get better, we finally had our visit from the endocrinologist. So much had happened that we totally forgot about the reason he was in the NICU to start with. It turns out that my son’s MRI showed an anomaly, where the pituitary should be, there was an empty space with a tight cluster of cells near the area where the stalk of the pituitary should be. They call that cluster an Ectopic Posterior Pituitary.

My sweet, long-awaited, baby boy was born with Congenital Panhypopituitarism, a rare and complicated Endocrine disorder.

What happened  was that as the brain developed, the pituitary tissue was somehow blocked from reaching the area it should be and therefore stopped developing. That means that ALL of the many things the pituitary controls, will never work. The Thyroid, the Adrenal Glands, the Reproductive Glands, and production of Growth Hormone are not functional in my son. That one tiny, pea-sized bit of tissue controls THAT much in our bodies and his was just not there.

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He would need daily medications just to live. He would appear perfectly normal, but any tiny cold could send him to the hospital, and add missing bowels to that… imagine what a stomach flu can do. I live in a constant fear of germs, though I can’t keep him quarantined, especially with three older sisters, so I spend a lot of time Praying that he will kick whatever cold he has caught and that he will not get another anytime soon… When he does become ill, he needs extra medication and, depending on the issue,  a broken bone, or an episode of vomiting, loss of consciousness, he will need an emergency injection to keep him stable until he can get to a hospital.

As you can see, there are many reasons why I would call my boy “Superman,” if anyone deserves the title, he certainly does.

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I think my Little Man had some sort of shock in the womb or in the NICU that caused him to crash somehow and that contributed to his bowel problem, but there is no way to know for sure.  We just Thank the Good Lord that we still have him.

After his last surgery, he continued to improve, very slowly. The hospital stay became a large part of our lives. We changed our schedules, learned to rely on friends and family. We learned a lot about ourselves and our ability to handle anything the world can throw at us.IMAG0544

It took him four long months to be able to leave the hospital, and a lot of dramatic medical things, but he finally did come home to us, a little broken, missing a few parts, but we like him that way. At least he will have battle scars to impress the chicks when he gets older.

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*I  Love this little Rough and Tumble, Mud-covered, Mess-maker of a little boy*

Thanks for reading his story.

I can be crafty. Right? – Part 3 *Results*

It has been a crazy summer…

We have had Gymnastics

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swimming lessons

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random illnesses (leading to 1 hospitalization for my son, but that’s a different story)

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The biggest Garage sale I’ve ever seen

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a vacation and a few day trips

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and even Girl Scout camp

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… whew, sounds exhausting.

It was exhausting, but fun.

Between projects and activities, I managed to find time to work on my media console.

To refresh your minds, I found an awesome website, ana-white.com, which is full of FREE plans to build your own furniture.

I was inspired to create a media console based on this Printer’s Triple Console Cabinet.

Printers Triple Console Cabinet

I took my time getting started, the story of that is here. Once I did get started, I gained a little confidence and had gotten to this point in the build before ending my Day 1 build:

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That’s the back frame and the assembled door panels.

On Day 2, I finished assembling the doors and built the front frame:

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Then I got excited and stopped taking pictures… **sorry ’bout that**

I remembered again at this point:

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I had joined the front and back frames with the 2×2’s, as seen at the side there. I then screwed in the top panel in which I had pre-drilled the guide holes with my handy-dandy Kreg Jig. I then began attaching the divider panels, and finally the base panel which left me with this:

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I set the doors in the frame to check for fit and called it a day.

I was pretty proud of myself at this point. I had demonstrable evidence of my handiness! Kind of, anyway…

The next part was a bit tricky. I had the brilliant idea to deviate from the plans and add in cubby-bases instead of drawers at the top. Then I would have a Media Console instead of a sideboard. It was a good idea, but I couldn’t cut the panels until I got to this point because the measurements were uncertain. Once I had this built, I was able to measure and cut the panels which I fit (almost exactly) onto a 2’x4′ piece of 3/4in plywood, that worked out well.

Over the next weeks, I stained the doors and the pre-cut cubby base panels:

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I used Varathane Stain+Poly in “Kona”

At some point I attached the drawer pulls:

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Let me be clear about that little step… that. is. a. pain. in. the. butt. They sell drill guides for this purpose, I Highly recommend investing in one if you plan on doing something like this.

Then I sanded and sanded and sanded my cabinet, first with 150 grit, then 220 grit sandpaper before staining it as well:

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Next I attached the cubby-base panels, placed the doors in the cabinet to get a feel for how the finished product will look (forgive the dead grass and the neighbor’s car)…

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I stepped back and went, “Holy Crap!!” …. I can’t believe I built that!! I did it! The woman who falls off porches and can’t catch ANYTHING you throw at her *built* that!!

Unbelievable. Awesome. Now all that is left is to attach the doors and move her inside. I’ll post a pic update as soon as I get that done. For now, I sleep, satisfied with my success…. Goodnight!