Friday, April 29, 2011

This Post is FULL of the Controversy: It's Vaccinate Your Infant Week!

It’s a generally accepted fact that two things have saved more lives than anything else in history: clean water and vaccinations. Today, there are parents across the world who cannot afford or don’t have access to vaccinations. Charitable organizations and doctors donate their time and money to cross oceans to provide kids with life-saving vaccines. This week, a nation-wide campaign encourages parents to vaccinate their infants. The campaign is aimed at uneducated and underprivileged parents who a) don’t realize the importance of getting their children vaccinated or b) lack the means to acquire said vaccinations.

While people like Bill Gates are coughing up millions of dollars to help developing countries have access to life-saving vaccines, the educated and privileged in the US (and other first-world countries) are refusing to vaccinate their children.

I am flummoxed. Absolutely flummoxed. So I looked into the major reasons why a mom would refuse to vaccinate her little people. Of course, there are a plethora of mommy bloggers out there who extol the various reasons why they would never stick their child with a needle full of toxins. The following excerpts are taken from one such mommy blogger (I do not wish to be mean or spiteful, so I will refrain from saying where it’s from) who believes vaccines are a product of the devil himself.

I knew too many people or had heard of too many people with kids with autism, and I knew not ONE child with polio, measles, mumps, or rubella.

She’s right! There’s no polio, measles, mumps, or rubella!!! She doesn’t state the obvious- that the reason her kids aren’t presently at risk for these diseases is because of vaccines. This is an example of a mom who a) is letting her children benefit from a community of otherwise inoculated children and b) who refuses to accept that vaccines are in no way, shape, or form related to autism. The initial study that linked autism to vaccines has been proven fraudulent; Dr. Wakefield fudged his results. The rational medical community asserts that, thanks to recent studies, we now know autism has absolutely no connection to vaccines.

Still, moms cling to the few members of the healthcare community who demand more research. And many are not even moms whose children suffer from autism. Their fear of the unknown- what actually does cause autism?- clouds their rationality.

I read recently that nutritionists agree that the benefits of eating tuna fish outweigh the dangers of ingesting mercury. One mom insisted that the nutritionists were in definite cahoots with tuna fishermen and that their studies could not be trusted. (That was a joke.)

No mention of where these vaccines come from and how they are made. No mention that they contain deadly toxins like mercury and aluminum.

This mom bemoans the fact that her pediatrician didn’t provide her with a full report complete with statistics of children who have had bad reactions to vaccines, as well as a full toxicity report.

Does she demand one from her water company each month with the water bill? From her local grocer who provides her with her produce? From her lawn care provider, or her neighbor’s lawn care provider? Does she pour over her town’s air quality report? (Actually, I think she does. And she writes to her local government about them. So… yeah. She’s dedicated.)

The truth is, the “toxins” in vaccines are minimal. And none of them have been added “just because medical professionals love to stick toxins into infants.” Each ingredient has a specific purpose. Anti-vaccination proponents mislead parents into believing that the ingredients in a vaccine are a reason to forego vaccinations altogether. The latest scare tactic-that aluminum in vaccines can cause neurological disorders and kidney failure in infants- is also bogus. (I love when an opportunity to use the word bogus presents itself.) I like this quote from a report on aluminum:

During the first 6 months of life, infants could receive about 4 milligrams of aluminum from vaccines. That’s not very much: a milligram is one-thousandth of a gram and a gram is the weight of one-fifth of a teaspoon of water. During the same period, babies will also receive about 10 milligrams of aluminum in breast milk, about 40 milligrams in infant formula, or about 120 milligrams in soy-based formula.
They can use aborted fetuses (this can be a major issue for Christians against abortion.)

We should all make like Charlton Heston and run out of the pediatrician’s office yelling, “IT’S PEOPLE!!!! IT’S PEOPLE!!!”

Thankfully, that statement is not true. No one is grinding up fetuses and putting them in vaccines. In fact, they now have labels that say “no babies were harmed in the making of this vaccine.”

But, if you’re curious about where this statement is derived, in the 1960s, scientists used cell-lines from aborted fetuses to create certain vaccines. Some of these cell-lines are still used today.

The babies were not aborted for science. Science journalist Chris Mooney reported:
What makes MRC-5 so controversial? According to a 1970 article in the British journal Nature, the cell line was originally derived in 1966 from the lung tissues of a male fetus "removed for psychiatric reasons from a 27-year-old woman." In other words, MRC-5 was created from an abortion.
Do with this information what you will. A good reason NOT to vaccinate? The pope doesn’t think so, and neither do I.

I just read about Tuberculosis in third world countries the other day from a ministry. In order to stop the spread of the disease, they are not vaccinating, but educating the people.

Education is good. And cheaper than vaccines! Sanitation is just as if not more important than vaccines. If we can educate, not vaccinate, why do we need those pesky shots? I got the answer from, of all places, Canada. Which I thought was a crunchy country, so I am impressed:

For the specific diseases that vaccines can prevent, however, disease rates only began to drop dramatically after the vaccines for those diseases were licensed and came into widespread use. (Follow above link for more good information.)
I think if God wanted us to have vaccines, he would have provided them in nature.

This is quite possibly the most stupid statement I have ever read on the internet. That is all.

What irritates me the most about the anti-vax crowd is their complete disregard for the danger they put their community in because they refuse to vaccinate. “If your kids are vaccinated, you shouldn’t have anything to be afraid of. Why do you care if I don’t vaccinate my kids?”

Because you put people at risk. And not just any people. The weakest and most vulnerable people.

Measles is a harmless childhood disease? Not to the infant too young to get vaccinated. Not to the AIDS patient whose immune system is severely compromised, or the cancer patient who cannot fight off disease. Not to the immunized child whose vaccine failed, because vaccines are not 100% effective. Not to the child whose parents lacked medical insurance or just didn’t bother to get their children immunized.

Life is about taking chances. We weigh the risks and the benefits, and we do what we think is best for our children, for ourselves, for the community at large. Taking a vaccine is taking a risk, but it is one that is far outweighed by the benefits.

Update:  Information about Vaccinations

Who Should NOT Get Vaccinated with These Vaccines?
Some Common Misperceptions
Risk from Disease Vs. Risk from Vaccines
Vaccine Information Statements
The Pertussis Epidemic and the Anti-Vaccine Movement

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April is Wet and I Don't Like It

On Saturday, I was granted an entire day all to myself.  One whole day.  I slept in until an unseemly hour and then guess what I did? 

If you guessed that I scrubbed and cleaned the first floor of my house in my underwear while singing the part of Mimi from La Boheme as it blasted from my iPod, you are correct. 

Then, Kiah and I took a stroll.  (I put on clothes.)  It was a rather lovely day.  As I walked by, my neighbor asked if everything was okay, because she had heard shrieking noises coming from the house.  Apparently, she doesn't clean her house to Puccini. 

I uploaded some pictures from the month of April.  Blogger is uploading pictures sideways- Blogger and Canon are incompatible or something or other.  I could not fix it, so some of the pictures are presenting themselves in a jaunty fashion.

We spent Easter Sunday at the in-laws, where all of John's brothers were accounted for.  I also have pictures of Ella's first experience at a bowling alley, fun times and frosting at my mom's house, a pic of John growing older right before our very eyes, and sideways Ben being cute at the swimming pool. 

The first pic is of Kiah and her bff Edelweiss, who were digging in mud puddles on a particularly soggy day.  They got the hose. 

Kiah knows digging in mud puddles is strictly forbidden.  Oh she knows.

John is 34!

Ben is a fish.

Ella finds the fan at the bowling alley. 

Ella helps me bowl and no joke- we got a strike. 
My mom hid Easter eggs around the house for the kids.  They were each allowed ten.  If there weren't limitations on egg procurement, there would be unbalance and unrest.
My kiddoes.

There was also cookie decorating and eating of icing off straight out of the bowls.  Caleb told me to quit it- that it was gross. 

Celeste finds an egg in sideways land.
Celeste helps Ella- such a wonderful big cousin!

Uncle Richie visits sideways land to help Ella.

Ben!  My boy Ben!

All the cousins.  I wanted to put Michelle's belly in the picture, but she just laughed at me and then disappeared.  Which was irritating.

Caleb!  My boy Caleb!

Lisa! My girl Lisa!

Someone decided the world wasn't paying enough attention to him, so he donned a neon green shirt.
Trying to take a picture for my website.  (This did not make the cut.)  WHY didn't anyone tell I've grown chipmunk cheeks?  I really don't need this in my life right now.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

2 Years of Blogging

Yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of Holly Goes Lightly. This is a major feat for me! I rarely stick with ANYTHING more than, say, a week. For instance, I’ve been making curtains for our playroom. I have three up. There are four curtains still to be made. I started 6 months ago.

Because it’s my blog’s anniversary, I feel obliged to mention how often I consider quitting. Do you want to know why? You don’t care and you think I’m full of it? Maybe so, but I’m going to write about it anyway.

1. I have a rather humdrum life: The most interesting thing that happened to me this week? I found a $40 bra I’d been missing for two years wedged beneath my dresser. John had always found its sudden disappearance mysterious. After I pulled it out, Ella immediately put it on her head and ran around the house screaming “Minnie Mouse!” And I was so happy to be reunited with it, I let her. In other words, life is a little dull around here. Which doesn't help for making interesting blog posts.

2. I’m horribly self-conscious. Which is an extreme form of narcissism. And narcissism is something that shouldn’t be fostered. A friend recently wondered why I never mentioned her in my blog. To which I got all excited- “You don’t mind if I mention you in my blog???” Because, I’ve found, some people don’t like their name or picture spread all over the internet. I don’t know why. In defense of what may seem to be extreme narcissism, I’m very sensitive about respecting others’ privacy; however, it limits my writing to me, my husband, random people at the supermarket, and my dog. As Caleb gets older, I have to be more careful about what I say about him. He deserves to have his privacy respected, too. This is really just a small part of a major discussion about sharing one’s life in such a public way- the ethics behind it, etc.- issues that fester in my self-conscious brain. (Case in point- take a look at this blogging nightmare.)

3. My readership is down! Way down. Fizzling. For several reasons: 1) My domain change debacle, 2) fewer posts being published, and 3) I dunno. Fading away.

Of course, there are some lovely things about blogging. Some days, I feel like telling everyone, “YOU should have a blog! It’s cathartic! A great outlet! We could be bloggy buds!” Here are some of the reasons I stick with it on a semi-regular basis:

1. Connections all over: I love the friendships I’ve made because of this blog. I won’t go into specifics, but I’ve met (virtually and in the flesh) some amazing people. And the blog has opened up doors to actual writing jobs, which is crazy and strange and great.

2. Maintaining a habit of writing: Having a blog forces me to sit in front of the keyboard and write SOMETHING. This was always my biggest obstacle pre-blog- just sitting down and doing something.

3. One clean, well-lighted space: I clean the house, decorate it, change things around, and within 30 minutes it becomes completely trashed. I love having this little corner where I’m entirely in control. I AM THE BLOG ADMINISTRATOR. I can come and go as I please, and everything stays just the way I left it. And that is a wonderful thing.

Anyway, thanks for reading. The readers of my blog are far superior to the readers of other blogs.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Why Poetry is Good for Kids

I wrote this several years ago for another site, but I like it, and since it's National Poetry Month, I thought I'd post it here. 

How are you all, anyway?  My backyard is mud soup and I was on suicide watch for a while after it snowed, but am faring well now. 

It's National Poetry Month!

And I just feel like throwing a party because I LOVE POETRY. Rhyming poems, free-verse, found poems, lyric poems, haikus, sonnets, odes, elegies, narratives, blank verse, ballads, and of course the end-all-be-all of the poetic form: The ABC poem; you name it, I enjoy it.

You may balk. Perhaps you never grew to appreciate a verse written in solid iambic pentameter. Maybe it bugged you that e.e.cummings never used capital letters. I submit that even if a verse of Tennyson doesn't tickle your fancy, you probably love children's poetry.

Think back to the first stanzas you sang to your tiny infant, who lay still (well, all those non-colicky infants anyway) and nuzzled in your arms, relaxing to the rhythm and cadence of your voice. "Hush little baby don't say a word, mama's gonna buy you a mockingbird" perhaps? A round of "you are my sunshine, my only sunshine?" Or maybe, like me, you enjoy a good nautical poem and couldn't help but soothe your child by singing a couple verses of "Baby Beluga" by Raffi.

All infants were at one time lulled to sleep by the beating of their mother's heart. It only makes sense that the repetition of a rhyming poem would be soothing and comforting to their tiny ears. You will find that your baby is more responsive to rhymes than he is to normal speech. The steady pace and predictable repetition reminds him of the womb. Lullaby's almost always rhyme. Those board books that are ridiculously overpriced generally rhyme.

We are all born pre-conditioned to love poetry.

Of course, as we grow, our definition of poetry grows. The world changes, the way we view the world changes, and the way we use words changes. At first, words are foreign and their sounds are what captivate us. Soon, those sounds become meaning. Later, words become not to only a way to express out basic needs, but a way to express our emotions, our greater desires, our fears, our hurts, and our experiences. Poetry is about words, the sounds they make, their connotations, the way they feel when they slip off the tongue, the way they look written in our own handwriting on a smooth piece of paper ... Poetry grows and expands and changes as we become more complex peoples. Poetry becomes what we need it to become.

Why should we hope to instill a love of poetry into our children? In the introduction to the book Read my Mind: Young Children, Poetry and Learning by Fred Sedgwick, the author writes that "because poetry exists on the frontier between the known world and the world of imagination, it reaches out to both."

Use poetry to teach history, science, and religion. Teach poetry to help your child express herself through words. Read poetry in order to laugh out loud. Whisper poetry to lull your child to sleep. Help your child embrace poetry for no other reason than that it is a stepping stone between the concrete world and that dreamy otherworld that is our imagination.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

All I Needed to Know About Life I Learned from the Movie Ghostbusters


Dr. Peter Venkman: I'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, "bad"?
Dr. Egon Spengler: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
Dr Ray Stantz: Total protonic reversal.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Right. That's bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.


Dr. Raymond Stantz: Personally, I liked the University; they gave us money and facilities, we didn't have to produce anything. You've never been out of college. You don't know what it's like out there. I've worked in the private sector--they expect results.


Dr. Raymond Stantz: Good evening. As a duly designated representative of the City, County, and State of New York, I order you to cease any, and all, supernatural activity and return forthwith to your place of origin, or to the nearest convenient parallel dimension.
Dr. Peter Venkman: That ought to do it. Thanks very much, Ray.

Dr Ray Stantz: Listen! Do you smell something?


Dr. Peter Venkman: [surrounded by excited reporters during the montate sequence, which shows the Ghostbusters as a sudden popular culture craze] Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, no job is too big, no fee is too big!

Janine Melnitz: Do you believe in UFOs, astral projections, mental telepathy, ESP, clairvoyance, spirit photography, telekinetic movement, full trance mediums, the Loch Ness monster and the theory of Atlantis?
Winston Zeddemore: Ah, if there's a steady paycheck in it, I'll believe anything you say.

Louis: Oh, no, I feel great. I just ordered some more vitamins. I see you were exercising. So was I. I taped '20 Minute Workout' and played it back at high speed so it only took ten minutes and I got a really good workout. You wanna come in and have a mineral water or something?"

Louis: [opening cabinet] Gee, I think all I got is acetylsalicylic acid, generic. See, I can get six hundred tablets of that for the same price as three hundred of a name brand. That makes good financial sense, good advice...

Dr. Peter Venkman: Alice, I'm going to ask you a couple of standard questions, okay? Have you or any of your family been diagnosed schizophrenic? Mentally incompetant?
Librarian Alice: My uncle thought he was Saint Jerome.
Dr. Peter Venkman: I'd call that a big yes.


[surveying a wrecked apartment building corridor having climbed over thirty flights of stairs with his proton pack]
Dr. Egon Spengler: [casually] Art Deco, very nice.


Dana Barrett: [possessed by Zuul] Take me now, subcreature!

Janine Melnitz: You're very handy, I can tell. I bet you like to read a lot, too.
Dr. Egon Spengler: Print is dead.
Janine Melnitz: Oh, that's very fascinating to me. I read a lot myself. Some people think I'm too intellectual but I think it's a fabulous way to spend your spare time. I also play raquetball. Do you have any hobbies?
Dr. Egon Spengler: I collect spores, molds, and fungus.

Dr. Peter Venkman: We've been doing this all wrong. This Mr. Stay-Puft is okay! He's a sailor, he's in New York– we get this guy laid, we won't have any trouble!


Dr Ray Stantz: This is a major disgrace. Forget MIT or Stanford now. They wouldn't touch us with a 10-meter cattle prod.
Dr. Peter Venkman: You're always so concerned about your reputation. Einstein did his best stuff when he was working as a patent clerk!
Dr Ray Stantz: Do you know how much a patent clerk earns?
Dr. Peter Venkman: No!

Winston Zeddemore: Hey, wait a minute. Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey! Hold it! Now, are we actually gonna go before a federal judge, and tell him that some moldy Babylonian god is going to drop in on Central Park West, and start tearing up the city?
Dr. Egon Spengler: Sumerian, not Babylonian.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Yeah. Big difference.
Winston Zeddemore: No offense, guys, but I've gotta get my own lawyer.


Dr. Peter Venkman: This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
Mayor: What do you mean, "biblical"?
Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Exactly.
Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes...
Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!


Dr. Egon Spengler: Oh good, you're here!
Dr. Peter Venkman: Yeah, what have you got?
Dr. Egon Spengler: This is big, Peter, this is very big. There is definitely something here.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Egon, this reminds me of the time you tried to drill a hole through your head. Remember that?
Dr. Egon Spengler: That would have worked if you hadn't stopped me.


Ray Stantz: Where do these stairs go?
Peter Venkman: They go up.


Winston Zeddemore: Ray, when someone asks you if you're a god, you say "YES"!

Monday, April 11, 2011


I currently serve on a board of reference at my alma mater, which basically means that I run the school now and all questions regarding academics/ fundraising/ staff concerns should be directed to me.  It also means that my husband I flew out for a board meeting held in Dallas, Texas this past weekend.  Which means, of course, that it's time to update my puke map. 

Why Holly is the Most Funnest Person to Travel With

Is it because she is the person most prone to motion sickness in the world?  Is it because she likes to try and sneak her virulent pepper spray through security?  Is it because, while in Cape Cod with two girlfriends, she inadvertenly threw her Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme into reverse while going 60 MPH?  (In her defense, she momentarily forgot she was not driving a stick.)  Is it because she has a habit of leaving her purse behind on various restaurant benches and sales counters throughout the country?  Is it because, if she is not suffering from motion sickness, she has somehow contracted a vicious strain of bacteria that renders her completely incapacitated?  Nay!  It is because she likes to arrive at the airport 45 minutes before boarding a plane only to announce that she has left her identification at home, in a coat pocket lying somewhere on the upstairs carpet.  Because how else would her husband find an excuse to drive 90 MPH down 490 or squeal his tires while turning on exit ramps?  (Don't be jealous.  If you want, I'll take a trip with you, too.)

Holly Does Visits Dallas!

Dallas is a land of flat, brown landscape and excellent Mexican food.  It is a sprawling metropolis.  I prefer my cities more compact, like New York or Toronto, but everything is bigger in Texas.  The city and its extending suburbs spread for miles and miles, bridging the gap between Dallas and Fort Worth. 

Texas is the libertarian's dream state.  Here's the difference between Texas and New York in a nutshell:  in the bathroom of our hotel room, there were no signs that pleaded with us to hang up our towels in order to conserve energy.  I have no doubt that if we had hung up our towels, they would have been washed anyway.  We kept the maids out of our room so that we could fling our towels wherever we pleased, thereby conserving energy and taking the opportunity to be messy at the same time.  (We are eco-conscious libertarians.)

Our gracious and benevolent hosts took 15 of us all around town, where we proceeded to eat our way through Dallas.  In fact, at this moment, I can think of little else but greasy, buttery, southern-style rolls and this most wonderful invention called "fried guacamole."  Just when you think guacamole can't get any better. 

There are Pictures!  (Or- Highlights of Dallas)

Somewhere behind that sign a man invented Dr. Pepper.  God bless that man.

White Rock Lake.  The big oil moguls build their houses along the waterfront, which was the original freshwater source for the city of Dallas.  Now they all drink Evian.

We ate here at the Dixie House. 

A drive-by shot of a Frank Lloyd Wright House on historic Swiss Avenue. 

Dallas is the 9th largest city in the states, and the third largest in Texas after Houston and San Antonio.

Another Swiss Avenue home.

Downtown Dallas.


Right in downtown Dallas is this little cabin, which belonged to one of Dallas's very first settlers.

So, I was there when JFK was shot.

It happened this past Saturday, and it was terrifying. 

But I got over it and snapped a pic of this church.
If Dallas is Xanadu, then Jerry Jones is Kubla Khan

(I wonder what Jerry Jones' last words will be?)

The Cowboys Stadium, I hear, can be seen from Mars.  It is a colossal architectural pheneomenon- a structure supported by two massive steel arches longer than the Empire State Building would be if it were placed on its side. 

Since I hail from western New York, I feel nothing but contempt for the Dallas Cowboys.  I'm not even really into football; this contempt seems to be a deeply rooted intrinsic feeling I was born with.

(Buffalo Bills fans might want to opt NOT to take the Dallas Cowboys stadium tour, because it certainly compounds the feeling that Ralph Wilson Stadium is... shabby.) 

Still, it was a wonder to behold.  On the private tour, we were privy to the locker rooms, the private suites, the press rooms, the tippy-top of the stadium, and of course, the field. 

Pictures- not edited at all because I lack the time and energy:

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree

11,200 square-foot LCD television- largest in the world.  As large as four long buses parked from end to end.

The top of the dome, which does open.

These tiles were purchased because they have specks of cowboy blue in them. 

View from the newspaper and magazine press room.

Most of the light fixtures are shaped as footballs.

Modern art commissioned by Jones.  This is called "Line of Play."  Tony Romo has allegedly tried to steal it twice. 

We had an enthusuastic tour guide.  John is trying to be soooo happy about this place.

View of the Rangers stadium from top of the dome.

Even the drains are in the shape of stars.

Cowgirls locker room.  If you ever want to see a bunch of respectable, grown men open their mouths yet remain mute, take them here. 

The wood for the Cowboys lockers was imported from Africa. 

On the field.

Still mustering up that enthusiasm.

Cotton Bowl Exhibition

It was a whirlwind of a weekend.  I was blessed to make several new friends, and I already miss them very much. 

Flying with John is such an experience, because he is the world's friendliest flier.  He has a policy of immediately introducing himself to the stranger sitting next to him.  When flying solo, I  turn on my headphones immediately and immerse myself in a book, only speaking to my neighbors to inform them that my puking up lunch is imminent, and they better move their butts fast if they don't want regurgitated airport food on their laps.  Thanks to John, on the way to Dallas, we conversed with a med student about to start his residency- a neurologist who listened with interest about Ella's ADP.  On the way back, I got into a heated discussion with an English professor about Shakespeare authorship; we made up, and I almost had him willing to pen my masters thesis.  Because we had established a sort of relationship, he was definitely less ruffled when I went to barf somewhere over Lake Michigan. 

As much as I occasionally long to get away and enjoy peace and solitude, after about twelve hours, I miss my little ones desperately.  I begin to stalk little kids in hotels which concerns not only the kids, but their parents and my fellow companions.  I start to hear the pitter-patter of little feet when there are no little feet around.  It's all very depressing.   There's nothing like burying your face in your kids' hair after a few days apart, and kissing their soft cheeks right before they drift off to sleep. 

Home again for a while- still feeling "off."  Will refrain from complaining about the utter inhumanity of air travel, from being forced to take naked pictures to being stuck in a tube where they dare to charge you $39 for five extra inches of legroom.  Even worse- viewing the same episode of "The Big Bang Theory" four different times. 


Glad to be home with the kids, my unsettled stomach, and my identification, which is currently safely located within my purse, just in case anyone should wonder where my "papers" are. 

And it's warm here!  These were the thoughts going through my head this morning:  SPRING!  SPRING!  SPRING!  WIND!  SPRING!  (Same thoughts, I think, as Kiah the Wonder Dog.)  

Happy spring!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Personal Private Space

I think the thing I don’t like about dogs is that they don’t respect your personal space. I’m very big on personal space. I mean, I love a good hug. If I haven’t seen you in a few months, I’ll happily give you a squeeze and a peck on the cheek. But if we’ve just seen each other three days ago, we don’t need to embrace. If we’ve just seen each other five minutes ago, we don’t need to jump on each other and lick each other and pant like we’re going to die.

Do you know how hard it is to read a book with a lap full of bull mastiff? Or how annoying it is to try and eat breakfast while an Australian Shepherd sniffs your crotch?

Blatant invasions of personal space.

We are currently dog-sitting a friend’s bull mastiff, who is the sweetest thing on the face of the planet and oh so droopy and velvety, but who has absolutely no regard for my sleeping habits or my aversion to diarrhea on the floor. Today, we left both dogs home while we went to my in-laws for dinner, and I have to say, I was relishing being away from them for a bit. In the car, it felt good to have my four needy children strapped into their seats. No one putting their grubby fingers on my face. No one sticking their snout on my lap. No one pulling on my hair. When we arrived, my in-laws’ black lab jumped on me and later slobbered all over my jeans. Which, you know, was fine. It gave Kiah a good reason to glom onto my leg for five minutes while I was trying to get everyone in the door.

Sometimes I wonder if my kids would have been just as happy with a smaller pet, one that respects my personal private space- say, a newt.

These past two months, my freelance writing venture seems to have taken off like a stampede of wild horses. I’ve had to turn down several potential clients. It’s been a whirlwind, and wholly encouraging, but it’s also led to a whole “how in the world do moms work from home when they have twins who don’t take naps (one who has serious developmental delays), a dog who probably has canine attention deficit disorder and also laundry that probably has laundry attention deficit disorder and that mates and reproduces frequently in various hampers around the house?” conundrum.

If anyone has an answer to this question, let me know.

Maybe it cannot be done.

Maybe it will have to wait a little while.

At least until the bull mastiff goes home.