"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. " -Helen Keller

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I thought I was done blogging today but...

I was checking my stat counter and I had to come back here. The stat counter I use also tracks any search engine searches that find my blog. Most of the time, the searches that find my blog are nothing surprising. They are searches related to infertility or maybe kids. This time however, the search engine hits made me laugh out loud and disturbed me. This is what I saw...

Num Perc.Search Term

111.11%what can i take to make me fertile

111.11%but i can't turn around i've been gone to long

111.11%give me some g*d damn infertile animals

111.11%depression caused by infertility

111.11%fertile belly pics

111.11%teenahe boys underwear

111.11%4 chemical pregnancies

111.11%the pfc. lavena johnson petition

111.11%the investigation of pfc. lavena's johnson death

9 100.00%

The third one down, "give me some g*d damn infertile animals", makes me laugh. Its truly bizarre on so many levels. First, why would anyone want infertile animals. Second, why, oh why would a search for infertile animals find my blog.

The one that really disturbs me is the 6th one. At least I can take solace from the fact that anyone warped enough to search for teenage boys *nderwear was sorely disappointed when they clicked on my blog. All they found were pictures of my fully clothed kids with their underwear on their heads.

Have any of you had your blog found through really odd searches?

Friends and surprises...

This has been a really cool week. Only one week ago, I met a long time friend from the Cross Stitch Crazy board.
Mary is such a neat lady. Her daughter and hubby were with her too. They were so gracious and I'm so glad I got a chance to meet them. Hopefully, they weren't too overwhelmed by the three ring circus that is my home.

I also got to mail a surprise out to a friend. I was honored to be involved in this group project and can't wait for the recipient to get her surprise. Then, I can post pictures.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Life is good!

My sweet, wonderful baby boy just came up to me, put his arms around me, and said, "I love you."

Then life went back to its normal level of chaos and humor.

The latest in children's fashion, the ever popular diaper hat.

Lest you think this lunacy is a one time occurrence, here Gabe is two days ago...

He decided that he needed a rawhide chew just like the dogs did.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Can y'all pray for my father-in-law?

He recently went in to the doc because he was experiencing some back pain. It was very similar to what he had experienced when he had kidney stones. The scans didn't find kidney stones but they did find a growth in his pancreas. They don't know whether it is cancerous or not...they won't know until they open him up to remove it. If it is a fluid filled growth then the odds are it is benign. If it is solid then we worry about cancer. Please pray for him. He is a wonderful man and none of us want to lose him.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A blogging name...

I can't really think of any blogging name that I like better than my own name. I think I'll table that idea for now. If inspiration strikes later, I reserve the right to change my mind.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

My goofy boys...

My older two snitched my camera and took pics (of themselves and me) while I was mowing the lawn the other evening. Here are some of the results...

Gabe followed me around the whole yard "helping" me mow.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I need help picking my blogging name...

This is something Melisssa of Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters came up with. This is just a way of acknowledging you've been writing (however sporadically) for at least 2 yrs and intend to keep writing. Please read Melissa's post about this...Blogging Name...and help me come up with my blogging name.

My new goal...

I have decided that it is absolutely shameful to be almost 4 yrs into blogging and still not have 200 posts. I am going to try to hit 200 posts by my 4 yr anniversary but I definitely want to hit it by years end. Do you think I can do it?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Have I really been blogging for almost 4 years?

I first started blogging about 3 months after we lost our Eva. I was hurting so badly and wasn't sure that pain would ever go away. Now, almost 4 years later, I have my miracle baby (OMG, he is 2 1/2). I have a host of wonderful friends I would have never found without blogging. I truly am blessed.

I still miss the babies I never got to know. I will always wonder about them and part of me will always grieve for them. Infertility put me in a dark place for a long time. Yes, I still went on with life. I laughed and loved with the children I had but it seemed there was a giant, dark, empty place within my soul. There were some days that the darkness and emptiness were overwhelming. My friends, mu hubby, and a short term visit with mommy's little helper (lexapro) helped me get a handle on the depression. Once I was back in control of the depression instead of letting it control me, it was much easier to deal with the continued efforts to have a baby.

Now, I have living proof that my efforts weren't in vain. We have a beautiful little wild child who brings so much joy to Vic, Marty, Joey, and me. In addition to the blessing of our third son, my husband has been blessed with a wonderful job that he truly loves. My family is thriving.

Despite the pain it caused, I can't regret the journey through infertility. That journey has proven to me that my hubby and I can survive anything. Its also shown me how important it is to savor every little moment you have with someone. As a result, I think I appreciate what I have so much more.

Thank you for coming with me on this journey and I hope you stick around to see everything else that's coming. At this point, even I don't no what the next step will be in our journey.

Its not how deep the sea
Its not how wide the sky
Its how sweet the time
From hello to goodbye

We have a new family member...

and he is so cute and cuddly. Here he is in all his glory, Joey's new cat, Max!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

To try or not to try...that is the question.

Yeah, yeah, yeah...I know its a badly mangled version of a Shakespeare quote but I just don't have any creative title ideas for this post. I have been thinking a LOT about trying for another baby. I am really conflicted about this. Part of me feels it would be tempting fate to try again. We went through so much and traveled so very far to get our Gabriel. How could it possibly end so well again? But, I also truly do feel that there is suppose to be a 4th child. If we don't try for that 4th child, I think I will always wonder and question my decision. Then, there is the age factor. I am 38 and my husband is 48. If we are going to do it, it would have to be soon. Then, there is the fact that we are just now financially cutting it after my husband's career ending injury in 2001 devastated our finances. However, finances are a changeable thing. Do I make a permanent decision based on temporary/changeable circumstances? My husband is in a secure job. His salary will do nothing except go up. His boss said he was the best thing that happened to the department last year.

Getting pregnant again would mean 3 months of progesterone and 9 months of twice daily anti-coagulant injections. This has to be a conscious decision. I have to either decide to do it or decide not to do it. I can't let it just happen because if I did, I would be signing up for another miscarriage. Ugh...its not fucking fair. Why can't it be easy? Why can't I just decide to let nature take its course? Can't I please go back to the days of naivety and be sure that no matter what it will turn out ok?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mom 1...Kids 0...

My kids are generally good kids but they have their moments. One of their favorite arguments when they are asked to do something (like take out the trash, feed the dogs, etc) is "I did it last." GRRRRRR It drives me insane when they argue about who has to do simple chores.

A few days ago, the older two were having one of those days where they were arguing about everything and were getting on my last nerve (and it was only 10 am). I was busy charting a cross stitch pattern and I noticed the dogs needed to go out. I said, "Can one of you guys let the dogs out?" I bet you can guess what happened next. That's right, they immediately launched into one of their "BUT I DID IT LAST ARGUMENTS". Trying to reason with them got me no where and I was getting really ticked off. That's when I snapped and decided enough was enough. While they were still arguing about whose turn it was to let the dogs out, I got up and did it myself. I'm sure the kids thought they had hit the jackpot. After all, they argued and were difficult and mom did the job. Little did they know what was about to hit them.

For the rest of the day, I did nothing for Marty or Joey...and I do mean NOTHING. Joey wanted to have a friend come over and I said, "No, I had your friends over last time. Its not my turn." And, hehehe, boy did he ever looked shocked. Then, he asked if he could go over to a friends' house. I said sure. Well, the two friends who live within walking/biking distance were not home. He then wanted to know if he could go to a third friend's house. I told him he could if he could get there himself (knowing full well he couldn't). He said he didn't remember the directions and it was too far to walk. I then told him I guessed he couldn't go because I drove him last time and I didn't feel like it this time. I think this was the point where they began to realize the trouble they had gotten themselves into.

It didn't stop there. A request for me to get a drink..."No, I did it last. Its not my turn." A plea to help them find a specific toy..."No, I did it last. I don't want to." The request for help with a video game...you guessed it..."No, I did it last. Its not my turn." But, the best moment came at dinner time. Marty wanted to know what was for dinner. I told him, "I don't know. I made dinner for daddy, me, and Gabe. I made your dinner last time. I don't want to do it this time. I guess you'll have to feed yourself" ROFL...you should have seen the look on their faces. It was such a beautiful moment.

The best thing about all this is I haven't heard "I did it last time" even once since then. They learned a lesson and I had fun teaching it.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Help find Justice for Pfc. LaVena Johnson

The article can be found on the Pfc. LaVena Johnson Petition site. However, I also want it in its entirety here. This article was posted by Phillip Barron on May 6, 2007.

The cover-up of a soldier's death?

Once upon a time lived a young woman from a St. Louis suburb. She was an honor roll student, she played the violin, she donated blood and volunteered for American Heart Association walks. She elected to put off college for a while and joined the Army once out of school. At Fort Campbell, KY, she was assigned as a weapons supply manager to the 129th Corps Support Battalion.

She was LaVena Johnson, private first class, and she died near Balad, Iraq, on July 19, 2005, just eight days shy of her twentieth birthday. She was the first woman soldier from Missouri to die while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The tragedy of her story begins there.

An Army representative initially told LaVena's father, Dr. John Johnson, that his daughter died of "died of self-inflicted, noncombat injuries," but initially added that it was not a suicide. The subsequent Army investigation reversed this finding and declared LaVena's death a suicide, a finding refuted by the soldier's family. In an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dr. Johnson pointed to indications that his daughter had endured a physical struggle before she died - two loose front teeth, a "busted lip" that had to be reconstructed by the funeral home - suggesting that "someone might have punched her in the mouth."

A promise by the office of Representative William Lacy Clay to look into the matter produced nothing. The military said that the matter was closed.

Little more on LaVena's death was said until St. Louis CBS affiliate KMOV aired a story last night which disclosed troubling details not previously made public - details which belie the Army's assertion that the young Florissant native died by her own hand. The video of the report is available on the KMOV website.

Reporter Matt Sczesny spoke with LaVena's father and examined documents and photos sent by Army investigators. So far from supporting the claim that LaVena died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the documents provided elements of another scenario altogether:

  • Indications of physical abuse that went unremarked by the autopsy
  • The absence of psychological indicators of suicidal thoughts; indeed, testimony that LaVena was happy and healthy prior to her death
  • Indications, via residue tests, that LaVena may not even have handled the weapon that killed her
  • A blood trail outside the tent where Lavena's body was found
  • Indications that someone attenpted to set LaVena's body on fire

The Army has resisted calls by Dr. Johnson and by KMOV to reopen its investigation.

We have seen in other military deaths, most infamously that of Army Ranger and former professional football player Cpl. Pat Tillman, that the Army has engaged in an insulting game of deny and delay when it comes to uncovering embarrassing facts. Only when public and official attention is brought to bear on the matter - as happened, eventually and with great effort, with the case of Cpl. Tillman - do unpleasant truths come to light.

Astonishing as it seems, it takes that level of outrage to compel the Army to find the truth and tell it, to honor its own soldiers. No such groundswell has yet emerged in the case of LaVena; not enough voices have demanded that someone in the military, anyone, speak for her. At first glance, the contrast between the cases of Pat Tillman and LaVena Johnson seems vast, but at the core the situations are the same. In each case, the death of a young soldier in a dangerous place and time was not explained to the families they left behind, the families that gave them up so that they could serve us. An honest accounting of their passing is all the dead ask of us.

The mother of Pat Tillman put the matter in stark and honest terms:

"This is how they treat a family of a high-profile individual," she said. "How are they treating others?"

In the case of Private First Class Johnson, we know the answer.

Please visit the site for yourself and check out the details. There are links to the original news reports there. Also, if you are as horrified as I am, take the time to sign the Justice for LaVena Johnson Petition.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Its been a busy, busy summer.

My two older boys went to camp at Shiloh Farms down near my parents. They did a little riding.

And, even Gabe got on a horse for a short time.

They have all kinds of animals in the petting zoo...draft horses, mini horses, llamas, zebu cows, Texas longhorn cows, goats, pigeons, doves, quail, show bantams, chickens, various types of rabbits, golden retrievers, and labs. The older kids did a lot with the animals over the week. Gabe got to visit one day and fed a bunch of the animals.

Gabe has also been quite busy so far. He has been exploring his artistic side by decorating paper and himself...ROFL...

And Joey has also been to Agape Camp and his cub scout pack had a bike rodeo...

We still have a few more camps to come...vacation bible school, Agape Day Camp, and some music lessons for Marty.

How is your summer going?