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Archive: January 2009

So Much Fail, So Little Time

So it seems that the mother of the octuplets has six other children. That’s right: SIX (she’s a single mom who lives with her parents, by the way….with her SIX other kids. It’s hard enough to raise one kid alone, let alone 14). My question is this: At what point did she, or her family, think it was a good idea to undergo fertility treatments? I’m reminded of the line from Juno: “They’re just greedy little bitches”.

You have SIX children. You really don’t need another, let alone EIGHT more. I understand how difficult it would be to face the decision of selective reduction. And that speaks volumes about the doctor who implanted the embryos in the first place. Eight at a time is excessive by any stretch, and certainly so for a woman who already has SIX children (did I mention she has 6 kids?).

And that brings up the next issue: It’s going to cost $2.5 million to provide these 8 kids with just the basics. That doesn’t include things like education or Christmas presents or specialized medical care which some of those kids will most likely need, either, just food and diapers and clothing. And, oh yeah, she still has those other six kids to worry about, too. Who’s going to finance that? And more importantly, how is it going to affect the quality of life for those kids?

I honestly don’t believe she’s choosing not to speak to the media because she’s trying to protect her privacy; I think she’s rightfully afraid of the public backlash and ensuing ethics discussion. I’m not bashing her right to have a family; God knows there’s nothing I want more than to be a mother. And this isn’t sour grapes, either. We’ve chosen a path that’s right for us. But I really want to understand what her doctors were thinking when they implanted 8 embryos into a uterus that had already birthed six other babies. A woman who lives with her parents. A woman who plans on bringing those babies home to a three-bedroom house which will seem pretty small with 17 people living in it (and I’m pretty sure that violates some zoning laws).

Vagina: It’s Not a Clown Car.

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Thank You, Willy Wonka

There’s a news story right now about a Dallas coach who was fired because his basketball team won a game 100-0. That’s right: He was fired because he won by too MUCH. Apparently, it wasn’t nice to win by that much. Now, yes, his team DID run up the score. However, even the losing coach admits that the winning team backed off for a while. So what about the losing team? Did they deserve a special favor of some sort? Lots of extra free throws, perhaps? Or did they learn that maybe, just maybe, they need to practice a little bit more? Or maybe they need to find a different sport to play?

To me, this is just one more example of parents/educators gone terribly awry. I went to a super-competitive private school. If you lost, then you learned to do better. If you got a bad grade, you studied harder. At home, if you wanted a toy, you waited for Christmas or your birthday. You didn’t get a new Barbie just because you didn’t throw a fit at the grocery store. The expectations were SO. MUCH. HIGHER. than they are for kids today. My parents didn’t do my homework for me (and the one kid whose mom DID do his homework got horribly ridiculed). If we broke a toy, we didn’t get a replacement. And when I lost a tennis match or a soccer game, I damn sure didn’t get a Participation Trophy (and what’s with those, anyway? You get a trophy just because you showed up? I don’t think so).

When I was working, I had an excruciatingly hard time finding qualified younger management candidates. These kids were so used to having things handed to them, and they were constantly told what good people they were. Sure, positive affirmations are great, but they have to be rooted in reality. Little Susie who can’t spell or add (even though she has a college degree) isn’t going to get the job, and she won’t even understand why. And I sure wasn’t giving out consolation prizes to the people I didn’t hire.

My point is this: We’re not doing the future generations any favors by constantly spewing sunshine and roses at them. Kids that have more toys than they can play with are SPOILED, and they WILL grow up with less of an appreciation for the things they do have. Kids shouldn’t have TV’s in their rooms (sorry, Moms that do this, but I just can’t abide by this one. TV should be limited). Kids WILL lose. They’ll lose the big game, they’ll make bad decisions, and they’ll bring home bad grades. They NEED to lose occasionally in order to understand the value of winning. And, yes, it’s important to win gracefully, but it’s equally important to lose gracefully. Losing teaches us to identify and evaluate our weaknesses in an effort to improve ourselves. Getting a Participation Trophy just teaches us that the path of least resistance is still going to be rewarded.

Willy Wonka had it right: If you don’t win, then you LOSE sir. Good day.

Spot the Difference

Can you tell what’s different around here?

History

When I was in the third grade, I was convinced that I wanted to grow up and be the President. Not only was I convinced that I wanted to, I was convinced that I could. As I got older, I learned some of life’s tougher lessons; my 8-year-old self shed her idealism and realized that Washington doesn’t work the way the story is told in elementary school history books.

I spend some time in DC when I was a teenager; I had the benefit of a lot of behind-the-scenes peeks at how the government REALLY works. As I got older, I learned a lot more about how difficult it truly is to bring change to government. I learned that my vote doesn’t necessarily count. I learned that lobbyists have more power with my congressmen than I do. And I honestly believed that change was never going to come.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my little sister. When I was her age (13), I was convinced that one person could make a difference. As I got older and became more jaded, I began to feel like that was the great American lie. I can’t tell you how proud I am that I was so wrong. And I can’t tell you how awesome it is that by the time she’s my age, so much more will have changed.

No matter who you voted for in this election, you cannot deny that history is being made tomorrow. There’s still a rough road ahead for so many, but I am so glad that I get to be a witness to something I honestly never thought I’d live to see.

My Favorite Things: $10 and Under

In lieu of the crappy economy, I’ve been compiling a list of my favorite things for under $10 bucks. I started this list well before Christmas, but I never got around to doing anything with it (other than buying a lot of those things for stocking stuffers). I figured I’d better start keeping the list somewhere other than my head, so every once in a while I’ll post stuff here.

For starters, my favorite thing in all of ’08 HAS to be poop-related. No kidding. Poo Pourri will change your life. The business of poop isn’t pleasant, but this stuff absolutely gets rid of any unpleasant….odors…related to all things poop. It REALLY does work. I buy the #2 formula, but I’ve tried all of them. Plus, it’s fun to say “poop”. Poop!

Next on the list are two things that make life so much better: Bacon Salt and Jane’s Krazy Mixed-Up Salt. Bacon Salt is obvious, since there is an appalling lack of bacon in the house since, oh, last April or so. And it really does taste like bacon, which is a plus for me when I’m eating something like broccoli. Jane’s used to be a staple in our house, and then it disappeared from the grocery store for an eternity. I found it again recently when I was picking up some Herbes de Provence, and I immediately pounced on it. This stuff is so addictive that you’ll never use regular salt and pepper ever again.

Finally (for today, anyway), HAS to be the “Eat This Not That” series of books. Technically, the list price of each of the three books is over $10, but you CAN get them on Amazon for less. These books are amazing, and they really will change how you shop at the supermarket, feed your kids, and eat out at restaurants. I’ll never eat a Pop Tart again, since even the whole grain version is horrendously bad for you. Funyuns, however, remain on the good list. Who knew?

Realization

I just realized that I posted a grand total of ONCE in December. I knew I was neglecting the place, but I didn’t realize until just now how truly bad I’ve been. Damn Twitter.

And Now It’s A New Year

Kevin mentioned the other day that I never blog anymore, and that’s really a shame considering I started off last year so strongly. I am forced to assign at least part of the blame on Twitter, though, since I do most of my update-y type stuff there. Twitter has definitely become a replacement blog. And Facebook. I spend waaaaaaaay too much time on Facebook.

Really, though, I have been incredibly busy in the last few weeks. The holidays are always busy, and this year was certainly no exception. I had a blast having my mom in town for two weeks, and we managed to cram a whole lot of stuff into that time. Heck, I even managed to see both coasts of Florida in a 24 hour period. We also had a great Christmas; lots of down time watching movies and just hanging out.

Speaking of Christmas…..Kevin got me tickets to see the Eagles at the end of the month, and not just any tickets: FOURTH ROW seats!!!!!! I am unbelievably excited about that. And we’re also heading out next weekend for a little time for just the two of us, which we both need. It’s been a while since we’ve had a stretch of time with just us, and we need it.

Other than that, we’re about 5 months out from our Africa trip, which will go by in a flash. It’s almost time to start the Visa application process, and I certainly know how tedious that can be. We also have to start thinking about making doctor’s appointments for the dreaded shots and such. To say we’re looking forward to this trip is the understatement of the year.

That’s about it. Check Twitter, Facebook, and my Lifestream for more frequent updates. And maybe remind me why I need all this social media….

The Ultimate, Everybody’s Gonna Want The Recipe, Gotta Have It Salsa

Ingredients:
  • 2 cans Stewed Mexican Style Tomatoes
  • ½ Large Onion, quartered
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ¼ Cup Canned Green Chiles
  • 1 Large Handful Cilantro
  • 1 Lime Juiced
Directions:

Rev up your food processor, and add the onion. Pulse until finely chopped. Add garlic and repeat the process. Throw in salt, chiles, tomatoes, cilantro, and juice the lime right into the processor, then let ‘er rip until it’s the consistency you want. Yes, that’s really all there is to it. (Serves 10)

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