You know what? I've decided that there is too much "my life is awesome" out in blog land so I'm going to bring it back and talk about actual things that are issues. I'm all about keeping it 100, as they say on ghetto reality TV.
The struggle this week is going to be about bras. Specifically, maternity and/or nursing bras. Currently, my boobs are huge. They are huge anyways but incubating a tiny human makes them get bigger and quite frankly, it's absolute crap. I wish there was a way I could be like, "Boobs? No sense in producing milk, I'm not going to use it, so let's save yourself the work and my back from the pain and cut it out." Because this is absolutely awful.
I have purchased no less than 20 bras over the course of this pregnancy. Each one has been absolute shit. I'm convinced that the people who design these bras are either men or girls with no boobs. Or, at their best, swell to a B cup and complain of back pain. These are people who absolutely should never, ever be in charge of designing bras. I thought for sure the Jessica Simpson line of nursing bras would be OK because she's a busty girl, surely she has gone through the extra steps to ensure that the cups actually hold a boob in and the straps do their job all the while making your ribs not feel like they will snap in half.
As it turns out, she either has zero say in that entire process or she's actually stupid. Because none of that happens.
I've been measured in three different stores and each store gives me a different size. My standard size is a 38D. But my boobs are larger so I very much need a DD cup. One gal in Motherhood Maternity tried to sell me on a C cup and actually argued with me. It came down to me putting it on and coming out with my boobs clearly spilling out the top and sides and then she shut up and left me alone. Yeah, that's right- you're WRONG, lady. WRONG.
My other issue is support. When you are sporting a DD cup, I'm sorry, but you need underwire. You just do because no-wire leaves your boobs saggy and at no point is a saggy boob appropriate or attractive. Fun fact: it makes you look fatter. It just does. You need a good, supportive cup to bring the girls to where they need to be and it totally slims you out. The next issue? Straps. Even on the smallest setting, the straps do not hold my boobs up. They just don't. It's like the weight of my boobs pull the straps and so really, that bra is only going to be good for short periods of time and if you're lucky, won't be stretched out after a week and useless. But if you buy an underwire? Well you just got the next problem: rib pain. It doesn't matter if I get a size 38, 40, or 42, rib pain if for real. Normally, I don't have this issue with regular bras when I'm not pregnant, so maybe it's because all my innards are all moved about and my ribs aren't naturally this high? I don't know, but it's annoying and after two hours of wearing a bra I feel like I've bruised myself.
It's just another reason I can't wait to birth this baby. My boobs will go down after a few days and I can go back to wearing my regular bras which are comfy and supportive. Come ON, Penelope. Get out already.
Saturday, April 25, 2015
You know what? I've decided that there is too much "my life is awesome" out in blog land so I'm going to bring it back and talk about actual things that are issues. I'm all about keeping it 100, as they say on ghetto reality TV.
Friday, April 24, 2015
I've decided I'm going to bring back my "In the News" series because now that I have time on my hands and some thoughts together, I figure it's time. It's time to bring it back.
In the news today is actually an article from a local newspaper in regards to a student's outfit being too revealing and a violation of a dress code. The student, who is 14, thinks her outfit is just fine and is outraged at being "shamed" in school. You can read the article HERE.
First and foremost, the girl with the sweatshirt and jeans? She's fine. Seriously. The complaint was that if she moved around too much, you might see her bra strap. Well, the fine makers of a lot of women's clothing forget that most women have to wear a bra and make the neck hole in a way that you see a bra strap. It happens. Seriously. It's not like it's one of those off the shoulder sweatshirts where you are meant to see the bra strap, which is tacky as it is. It's not cute, folks.
But the other girl? Yes, I can see where the school has issue. Some talking points I've seen in the comments section is that while she has tights on, they are see through. Her skirt is meant to be a high-waist one. Maybe her parents can't afford better. Things of this nature. Here are my arguments:
- The school these girls go to a school where parents pay tuition. It's not considered a public school, this is separate from the public school system. So an issue of whether a parent can afford specific attire doesn't seem like an argument I'd make off hand. If you can't afford to clothe your child appropriately, you likely cannot afford to send them to a school which requires you to pay tuition.
- The dress code for the school is pretty clear. You can't wear spaghetti straps and the one girl is wearing a dress that has spaghetti straps.
- The skirt is too short. It really is. I know a lot of young women wear similar outfits, but they are over the age of 18 and the law says they can make decisions for themselves. But as a mother who has a daughter, there isn't a chance my daughter would wear a skirt that short, even with the tights.
- Because the tights are see through. I think every woman out there can honestly agree that if this girl were to bend over to get her pencil, something out of her locker, in gym class, whatever- you'd see that weird line in the upper thigh of a pair of tights and that's too much. Too much for other 14 year old boys to be seeing. Let alone the fact that in some circumstances, you'd likely see more.
- And let's say she's working diligently at her desk and is dutifully writing out her assignments. The act of bending over to write could (and probably would) cause her top to gap open so you could see the top of her breasts. That's not OK. I don't want anyone to see my daughter's breasts.
Guess who all of a sudden is on a hunt for Lindsay McKenna books because I was a Lindsay McKenna virgin, and now I'm not, and I am probably going to end up a super fan?
Running Fire - Lindsay McKenna
He was a haven in the midst of Hell…
Temporarily assigned to the Shadow Squadron in a troubled region of Afghanistan, Chief Warrant Officer and pilot Leah Mackenzie is no stranger to conflict—even if most of her physical and emotional scars are courtesy of her vicious ex. Still, she's got a bad feeling about picking up a team of stranded SEALs. A feeling that's all too justified once enemy fire hits their helicopter and all hell breaks loose…
SEAL Kell Ballard's goal was to get the injured pilot out of harm's way and find shelter deep in the labyrinth of caves. It's a place of dark intimacy, where Leah finds unexpected safety in a man's arms. Where prohibited attraction burns brightly. And where they'll hide until the time comes to face the enemy outside…and the enemy within their ranks.
If you know nothing else about me, you need to know that I am a romantic suspense JUNKIE. When I say junkie, I really mean it. If the book also has a super hot military guy as a lead? All in. The plot could be 100% ridiculous and so far fetched and it doesn't matter because I am all the way in. (I could make a super inappropriate sexual pun here but I won't because I'm trying to keep it classy.)
The only thing that could be construed as negative in this review is that Leah is super annoying. I mean, I appreciate that when things basically go tits up, she can do what needs to be done. She's not falling apart during a crisis. But when it comes to her personal life? Oy vey. Kind of a hot mess. And yes, she has legitimate reasons considering her ex-husband was a total abuse douchebag. Understandable. But I think even if she hadn't been married, she'd still be kind of a needy mess when it came to Kell.
And Kell. *swoon* Kell sounds delicious. I'm just putting that out there. I like how despite his own divorce, he's not this hardened nobody-can-love-me guy. He thinks there is someone out there for him he just doesn't know how to reconcile that with his career as a SEAL. Which is understandable.
The story overall was good. It was everything I wanted out of a military romantic suspense novel. Sure, the story seems a little not plausible with a romance going from zero to sixty in a matter of days given the stressful situation, but who cares. That's part of what I love so much about books like this. I also love the side drama with Leah's ex-husband. Yes, we have them weaving their way through Taliban infested territory, dealing with Leah's intimacy issues, but then we have Leah's ex-husband basically trying to ruin her life for his own benefit and that has it's own super great ending. I also love that we have some follow up/ending with Leah and Kell. It feels like their story is squarely finished and you're left wanting to pick up another book by Lindsay McKenna, which is what any author can hope for.
Running Fire can be purchased on Amazon, and I highly suggest you pick it up. It's pretty yummy. But you can also connect with Lindsay McKenna through her website, Facebook page or Twitter!
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Well, this is week 38 folks. I had my 37 week check last Friday and at that time, I was dilated to 1.5 cm. My cervix is still posterior, but it typically always is right until I give birth. One thing I've learned is that my cervix is shy and my ovaries like to hide during every exam I've ever had for anything, ever.
So the fact that's still hanging out where it hangs out wasn't a surprise. The doctor could very much feel Penelope's head so she's down where she needs to be, which is good. Today my visit didn't bring much change. I'm still only 1.5 cm and to be honest? That's disappointing.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
I'm going to start this post by making it very clear that I raise my kids to be kind to everyone. Like no matter what makes someone different than them, any kind of discrimination point blank will not be tolerated. And I start with that because I know that some asshole out there is going to read this and send me an email detailing all of the reasons I'm a shit mother. So I'm just heading that off right off the bat.
Jackson has seasonal allergies. He's had them since birth but seriously, it's like every year they get worse. Last year was super bad, to the point where the poor kid woke up with his eyes swollen shut. And that's before he even went outside. I managed to get him a daily prescription that he takes at night and then he takes a Claritin in the morning as a double back up for when he goes to school.
Now that it's spring (well, it was the last two weeks anyways), his allergies have started up again. I sent him to the park last week when it was super nice out to go play with his sister. He came home a short while later to get a drink and to tell me he met a new friend. He then tells me his new friend, "Has allergies just like me, mom!!".
Which, weird thing to learn about someone in the span of five minutes.
I asked him how did he know his friend had allergies? He says, "Her eyes are swollen almost shut like mine in the morning!". Um, ok. This is weird. The best part? He says, "I told her I had allergies and that I take Claritin. Claritin is really good." (Do you love how my child is pushing pharmaceuticals at the park? He's seven and kind of a drug dealer.)
He then tells me he wants me to meet his friend and see his new trick on the monkey bars. Since the park is across the street, I grab my water bottle and walk over with him. Where he enthusiastically starts pointing at his new friend.
Who does not have swollen eyes.
I'm pretty sure she doesn't even have allergies.
As it turns out, she's Asian.
My child now thinks if you're Asian, you automatically have allergies, just like him.
I proceeded to laugh so hard I basically pissed my pants. Thankfully, I had a pad on given the unpredictable nature of my bladder as of late. But I laughed. And laughed. Then I told the kids we should go home for popsicles because I didn't think I could meet this kids' parents and not laugh and piss my pants even more. Jackson was thoroughly confused and was very adamant that I was wrong when I explained to him that I didn't think she had allergies, but rather she is of an Asian heritage.
He still believes I'm lying and that I'm saying no to him playing with (as he calls it) "a disability friend".
Because apparently, allergies is also a disability according to Jackson.
Again, I laughed. It's the only appropriate response, I think.
Monday, April 20, 2015
I only have two book reviews for you this week, the rest of my posts will be other stuff. Including... baby things. Yes, shocker, I know. But I think things are moving along, so I have some posts I want to get done should I go into labor. It's only 15 days until my due date, I believe.
Prophecy's Language - Brenda Dyer
She’ll need persistence to break through to his heart
Author Eleanor Donavon’s life is finally going her way. She kicked her mentally abusive ex-husband to the curb, and her writing career is taking off. But her contented world changes when a stranger, who’s the spitting image of one of her fictional vampire warriors, appears in her home on the pretense of whisking her away on a vacation. Believing him to be a cover model sent by her agent, Eleanor takes him up on his offer in hopes of getting to know him better. When she learns the truth about who he is, and the reason behind her imprisonment, her existence is rocked to the core. Now caught in the brutal politics surrounding the vampires, her only hope of surviving is to trust Sin. To complicate matters, she’s spellbound by the fierce warrior and falling for him hard. With her heart at stake, she must somehow break through his icy defenses to the man inside or forever lose him to his haunted past.
Her love gives him the faith to live again
Sin lives by his own code: don’t care for anyone and you won’t let them down. His past actions taught him that valuable lesson. When he receives the mission to abduct Eleanor, a beautiful author writing about the Vampire Prophecy, his heart jolts awake. For the first time in years he yearns to go against his principles and make her his forever, but fear won’t allow it. When she becomes a target of the Sacred Order, Sin risks his career to save her, but the real danger lurks when he realizes he can’t stop his head-on collision with love.
I am an absolute JUNKIE for Brenda Dyer's books, specifically this series. If you remember my review from book three, you'll remember I was pretty sure Sin was the next vampire to be romanced and I was TOTALLY RIGHT. I am putting my prediction that Black is next. Ace will be last because I think he has a few screws loose and he's going to be a very tough character to win readers, let alone a heroine over. But we'll see. I'm just putting that out there.
Here's what I loved about this book: we didn't focus a whole lot on the prophecy. Which, I know, you're thinking it's book four and we should be getting to the nitty gritty, but surprisingly, we aren't and I'm absolutely OK with that. We're getting bits and pieces with each book and we learn what Eleanor's role in the prophecy is and why she was chosen. We also don't have as much interaction with the other characters like we have in the previous books, but that actually works out for this story because a lot happens in this book as far as the Sacred Order (they are total douchebags and I see them making an appearance again), Eleanor's ex-husband being mixed up with a demon, and the visit from Vampier. So though we don't learn a lot more about the prophecy, it's totally OK because there is enough other stuff happening that keeps you entertained and busy. Not to mention the budding relationship between Sin and Eleanor.
I wanted to not like Sin, I was so worried I was going to really hate him as I followed Brenda's post on her Facebook page as she wrote, but surprisingly, I kind of loved him. He's so damn clueless about women and he's kind of an asshole, but he's very much that guy a girl wants to fix. Eleanor is a fixer (welcome to club, girl, we have cupcakes in the corner) so of course she sees Sin not so much as a project, but THE project. The one that will matter the most and who needs it the most. I also loved how while he is an alcoholic and uses it to cope with stressful things, she doesn't nag him. It's like her silence is enough to help convince him he can, and should, do better. Which I love.
I even loved Eleanor. Maybe because she seems a lot like me and that makes her more interesting? I didn't like the heroin from book three, but I totally got why she was developed the way she was. But Eleanor... Eleanor is kind of a moron in her own right and she basically lets people walk over her until she grows a pair of balls and takes charge of a situation. She's a bit of a diffuser, she's the calm in the storm that can take everyone down a notch and help them see the larger picture.
I flew through this book and I'm so glad there is more. I'm going to have a dark void in my life once this series is done, I assure you. This book is available on Amazon and it's super inexpensive. You don't have to read the previous ones to get into this story, it's not like you won't have a clue what's going on, but the books are so good and you'll fly through them so just get them at the same time and read away. And to keep up with Brenda and what she is working on next, go to her website. I'm there kind of a lot. Don't judge, it's better than being in her bushes.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
It really amazes me that in 2015, we still deal with things such as discrimination. I'm not even talking about racial discrimination, which is absurd because as we all know, it's not like we can control our ethnicity or how we look. Yet people think it's completely acceptable to treat someone differently based on that.
What also is unacceptable is discriminating against someone based on who they have relationships with. You may not agree with a persons life choices, and that's OK, but it doesn't give you a right to treat them differently based on, or blatantly discriminate against them.
Yet that is exactly what is happening in a Catholic school in Nebraska.
You may have heard about the #LetMatthewTeach movement, and maybe you haven't. Maybe it doesn't concern you because you don't live in Nebraska and your kids don't go to Skutt Catholic School. I encourage you to keep reading because this could lead to a domino effect that could land right in your city. Currently there is a petition outlining details of the possible termination of Matthew Eledge solely based on his romantic relationship with another man. Let that sink in: he's facing termination of his teaching job because of who he goes home to at night, who he enjoys spending his free time with, and who he partners with in life. Not because he's a bad teacher, because a student complained, not because his students have low test scores or any other reason pertaining to his ability to lead a classroom and further the education and provide stability in a school setting for students every year.
Because apparently, Skutt Catholic believes none of that is more important. No, what is more important to them is what he does when he goes home. Which isn't even lascivious. It's what we ALL do when we go home. We often go home to our own partners, man or woman it doesn't matter, we give them a hug, maybe a kiss, we ask how their day was. We talk about plans for the upcoming weekend. Maybe we discuss what we're having for dinner. And sometimes, we may share intimate moments with our partner.
The great thing is that none of that is criminal. It also is nobody else's business.
When faced with the ridiculousness of this hate campaign this school is pursuing, their best argument is from the Chancellor of the Omaha Archdiocese who said, "There have been single, pregnant teachers and those who've divorced and remarried outside the Catholic church who have lost their jobs." That's a direct quote.
I won't even get into the irony that Jesus apparently forgives but the Archdiocese won't at all. God forbid you find yourself single and pregnant, for whatever reason, because you also could lose your job. (Could you imagine if you had an abortion and they found out? Basically, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.) It doesn't sound like they take into account the circumstances leading up to this because if you end up pregnant and aren't married, surely you must be a slut, there can be no other argument.
While I don't agree with most religions because of things just like we see playing out in Nebraska, I understand that some people really need religion in their life. It's their guiding light through life and if that's what you want to do, super. That's really great that you have that at your disposal and I hope you have a wonderful, blessed life.
What you don't have a right to do is discriminate against someone and hide behind your religion. You can't discriminate against a person and say, "Jesus says so." when Jesus doesn't say so. You can point out all kinds of passages to support your argument, but so many other passages can be used to refute it. It's hard to take a text seriously that provides arguments against itself or can be interpreted in many different ways. Let alone the fact that there are many religions out there, that we know about, and yet they all claim to be "The One". At the end of the day, it isn't on any of us to decide if the way a person lives their life is right or wrong. I have found in my short 33 years of life so far, that some of the most hateful, hurtful, and toxic people cling to religion as the basis for their actions.
Which, if Jesus was real, he'd be real disappointed in you. Shame on you for treating any human being less than how you would want to be treated.
Can you imagine what this world would be like if we just thought kindly of others? Even if they are so completely different from us and we don't understand their choices? What if we just chose to say, "You know, I don't get it. But you're a great person and I like you anyways." Especially in the case of Matthew Eledge. The Catholic Church very well may fire him anyways. I don't think they really care what kind of upset they cause because at the end of the day, there are others who support them. Who think that this kind of discrimination is OK. The other thing I find interesting is that when Skutt Catholic alumni reached out to the school to say they don't support this move and want Matthew Eledge to remain a faculty member, they are promptly ignored and/or banned from their social media. (But you can bet these alumni will still get a request of donation, right?) It's like the Archdiocese believes they wield more power than God himself.
That's the real travesty here.
The second travesty is that the students are missing out. There is a Buzzfeed article discussing this in depth. In a generation where students are not competitive globally, where students could care less about school and spend more time taking pictures of themselves for social media, where they are not able to be articulate enough to gain employment and keep it, we need more Matthew Eledge's. As a parent with children in school, as someone who works in a school, and who is at a school almost every day- I know first hand the challenges teachers face day in and day out. When you have a teacher who is as engaging and mindful, who is willing to go above and beyond to encourage students to keep trying, to try harder, to expand their goals, and helps them achieve those goals long after they've left his classroom? You need to keep that person. You need to keep them and snatch up anyone else like them for your school if you want your students to succeed and be a worthwhile alumni of your education system.
Because here's the thing: being gay isn't catchy. I firmly believe it's just how we're born, your brain is hardwired to love who it wants to love. Even if you are not of that opinion and you view it as a lifestyle choice, it doesn't give you the right to discriminate against someone. You would feel angry if you were being fired from your job because you preferred dogs over cats. Or because you like to go to the casino on payday. Or because you like to drink wine at your book club. If you look at the basics of this, and you don't weigh the validity of being gay as genetic or a choice, the ramifications of this are huge. Absolutely huge. Because it would open the door to employers discriminating against anyone for anything.
Is that fair?
Seriously, think long and hard about that. And then look at yourself. Look at your current lifestyle and your past. Would you want someone to discriminate against you because of any of it? Can you really say that you live a 100% authentically Christian lifestyle? You never partake in vices, you are kind 100% of the time, you are 100% selfless, you do not revel in wealth and you help those less fortunate than you all of the time leaving you on the brink of poverty? I can tell you right now that describes nobody. Not one person I know who considers themselves a child of God lives their life in the manner God tells them to. You don't get to pick or choose. You can't do what you want and go to church on Sunday and beg forgiveness so you get right with God, only to start Monday off no better. That's an abuse of religion and you make a mockery of the entire system when you do that. I often compare it an abusive husband. He comes home, beats his wife, but the next day he apologizes and all is right again. Only for him to come home later and beat her again.
We need to teach children that there is more value in being a decent human being, and being kind to others, looking at someone else's differences from you as a strength and as something that makes them unique and special, than learning how to judge someone based on what they look like, what they believe in, or who they love. Period.
If you want to learn more about this issue, I invite you to read the petition, sign if your heart moves you to do so. There is also another blog post written by someone who is far more articulate than I am that you may find interesting as well. Also, there is a Facebook page giving updates on the situation. If you weigh in on this controversy online, you're encouraged to use #LetMatthewTeach.