Monthly Archives: October 2013

Water Is Precious


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It is interesting to hear in Sociology class how clean water is a part of our daily needs. Water is a precious commodity, but not everyone has access to water. And those that do have access can only find unsafe water to drink.

According to Water.org, there are over 780 million people without access to clean water. Each year, 3.4 million of those people die from the diseases they get from drinking dirty water. Only ten percent of waste water gets treated globally. That water is then let back into our lakes, rivers, and streams, where most people go to fetch their drinking water.

It is also stated that over eighty eight percent of those people get severe diarrhea from drinking dirty water. Ninety percent of those are children and are under the age of five. Sadly those children cannot survive from the diarrhea that get and there is minimal medical help.

In forty five countries, women and children spend majority of the day collecting water from the closest water source they can find. Sadly this water source is not safe to drink. It can be from a nearby river where it is polluted with trash and or sanitation. Also, not everyone knows to boil their water to make it safe for drinking, yet in some cases, boiling their water may not rid all of the deadly bacteria swimming around in their water.

Though I am not a wealthy person, I feel very privileged just living where I do. I have the access to drink from a sustainable source, where I know the water is safe to drink. If I am not sure of its safety, I can go to the store to buy water in bottled form, or buy a tap filter to use at home. I am saddened that there are others out there that lack water as a resource, let alone safe water to drink. There are companies that a person can donate to ensure people have a safe source of water, but those countries who are too poor to help clean up their sanitation problems, to help build wells for clean water, to help their people obtain the resources they need are almost heartbreaking.  

First mammogram


A few weeks ago I had gotten my first mammogram done. All the old wives tales the older generations of women tell us younger generations of women can be really hard on oneself. I was already feeling stressed out as I had felt a few knots in my left breast and one painful knot in my right. I made an appointment to see my doctor, who then made an appointment for me to get a mammogram to check everything out. Though I’m only 34, I’m not that young to start getting these exams done regularly.

From the stories I’ve heard from those who have gotten a mammogram done, I began to have nightmares. I picture an old dinosaur aged machine that was going to smash the life out of my tatas. I was also worried about my results after having the mammogram done as cancer runs heavily in my family on both sides.

I was led into a small room with this huge machine that didn’t appear to look anything I imagined it to be. Oddly I felt more comfortable. Maybe it was due to the welcoming conversation I was having with my nurse. She adjusted the machine to my level of height and had me place one of my girls on this cold metal slab. She then started turning some knobs on the machine, bring this plastic tray looking thing down on top of my girl, which squeezed it just slightly. I had to move my head out of the view of the xray camera, which had me standing a little awkward and had me pressing my ribs into the machine slightly which was the only uncomfortable feeling I had during the entire exam.

After about a half hour of waiting on my results the doctor came in to say she couldn’t find anything, but she was going to have me go get an ultrasound. It seems that the knots I have are too small to read on the mammogram xrays. Another ten minutes and I was walking with another nurse into the ultrasound room. Being a mom I was already familiar with this device and started to relax more. Though as I was laying there, watching the screen as she moved the wand over my breasts, she hit the knot, causing me to jump. She then slowed the movement and pressed in, trying to find it the knot on the screen. Now this was the most painful part of the whole procedure.

I held my breath and tried hard not to jump as she kept running the wand over the already inflamed area. Finally she found it on the screen, but wasn’t done with me yet. She had to hold the wand over the knot and take pictures of it, documenting where it was located and how big it was. She told me that it was a cyst and that was a good thing. The cyst however can grow or reduce.

After several uncomfortable minutes later she moved to the other breast. She didn’t have me jumping as badly as she had before as this side wasn’t nearly as sensitive as the other. Though I had two knots on this breast, she couldn’t find them. She had to get the doctor to come in and have a look to see if she would be successful. After another few minutes of the doctor searching she told me that it wasn’t anything to worry about, that it could just be breast pain and inflamed ducts and that’s the reason why it isn’t showing up on the ultrasound. What a relief. Then she had to take a look at the cyst. Oh joy! Just when I thought that part was over. She was more generous to me then the nurse and didn’t use as much pressure when going over the knot.

Once she found it, they took more pictures, then told me that it is too small to do anything with and that she wants me to come back in another six months to have another look at it. She said cyst can be quite painful, but if it gets worse or get any bigger to come in earlier.

It was an interesting exam, not what I had expected from hearing my Gram’s and her sisters tell me about their experiences in having a mammogram done. I’m still curious, why isn’t there a better method of having these exams done? We as a whole have bettered our technology by way of phone and computers, but haven’t found better methods in bettering women’s exams than the already outdated techniques.

Big girls sleep in their own big girl beds


It’s hard to break habits once they start. Giving up chocolate, coffee, smoking. No, I’m not a smoker, but I was just naming a few habits that could be hard to break. I can’t imagine going without the thought of popping a delicately sweet piece of milk chocolate into my mouth and savoring it. The heavenly bitter-sweetness of it rolling over my taste buds, as it melts into my mouth causing it to water even more. The chocolaty smell hitting my sense of smell and…hang on a second while I go get some…

It started about a year or so ago. My daughter had this high fever that I was having trouble breaking. I had taken her to the doctor and she was given meds for an ear infection. But that was only the day before her fever reached 103F. She woke me up crying in the middle of the night. I rushed into her room to find her not only covered in sweat, but she had thrown up all over her bed. She was burning up so I thought what best than to put her straight into the bath. I washed her off, telling her everything was okay. Once she was out and dressed I put her on the couch, gave her something for the fever, then went to change her bed sheets. When I came back she had nodded off to sleep, so I left her there, all snug and warm, tucked into a fresh blanket on the couch.

About an hour later she woke up crying again. Same thing, sweaty and covered in throw up. Another bath and this time was put in my bed. She stayed the whole night without waking and without throwing up, though that didn’t mean I slept peacefully. Her fever had reduced a few degrees, but was still too high. I even made a trip to the Children’s hospital about thirty plus minutes away, only for her to be given a gatorade and nausea meds. She stayed with me that night and the following night, just so I could monitor her fever and be close by in case she needed to throw up again. But ever since then she thinks it’s okay to hop into bed with me, especially when she’s not feeling well.

“Don’t you want to go sleep in your very own bed?” I ask her.

She casually shakes her head while sucking on her thumb. She stares up at me with those bright blue eyes of hers and immediately I thought of Puss in Boots from Shrek and how he would look at people with a cute little pout and those big soft eyes. I could tell I wasn’t getting anywhere. She was winning me over. I had to change tactics. Think of something that may work.

Finally, I had a thought. “I thought you told mommy that you were a big girl.” She nodded her head. “Well, big girls sleep in their own bed. Don’t you want to be a big girl and sleep in your own bed? Mommy’s a big girl and she sleeps in her own big girl bed. You have your own big girl bed too. So what do you say I take you back to your room and put you back into your big girl bed?”

She looks at me and nods her head. It worked! Though for the time being as she still gets up in the middle of the night and crawls into bed with me. This whole big girl thing however, seems to not work so much on her any more. Time to think up of something else to use.

Mommy, what are you doing in there?


There’s a written law, or code if you will, for Mother’s all over the world. It’s an extensive list and yes, every mother has one. One of the things on that list is the fact that a mother cannot go very far without her children knowing her exact destination or knowing where she is at any given time…it’s under the “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” clause. Your child(ren) can find you, especially if you think you’re going to have a little ‘me time’.

1. A mother locks herself in the pantry just to scarf down a sandwich or cup cake before dinner time – this is due to the fact that she’s the last one to eat, and by the time she does sit down to eat her food she had placed onto her plate, she has noticed it has gone ice cold. She gets up to warm her plate only to be distracted by her child(ren) asking for seconds, set up a movie on their TV, or any other long list of things that will have her coming back to another cold plate. By this time it’s already time to get the kid(s) into the bath, then bed.

2. A mother locks herself in her bedroom closet just to snack on a candy bar – trust me, if you haven’t tried this, you’ve thought about it. That stressful moment when everything is not going the way it should, (your child has dumped the entire contents of the cheetos bag into the floor and now has the color orange all over herself and the carpet. The washer is rocking, the phone is ringing non stop, someone is knocking on your front door, you’re trying effortlessly to clean up the other mess your child has made before you notice the cheetos disaster). All of this has you locking yourself in your closet just to escape for a few minutes peace and quiet before heading back out into the craziness that had you going in there in the first place.

3. A mother locks herself in the bathroom – oh yes, a must do occasionally just to refrain from getting a UTI. How many times have you sat down to pee just because you could not hold it anymore and someone runs into the bathroom crying because you are the only one in the world that could help them. A.) The TV is broken – another way of saying that they can’t reach the cable box to turn it on, their movie is rolling the end credits and they need it restarted right now or their cartoon ended and they don’t like what came on afterwards. B.) They spilled their entire bag of chips and is having a meltdown because they wanted one and now they’re all dirty. C.) I threw my toy into the washroom, but I cannot go in there because the washer is running and I’m scared of it.

I only lock myself in the bathroom when I know I’m not the only adult in the house. But this doesn’t stop my almost four year old from knocking on the door and calling my name in sobs because she needs me for something.

I just got into the shower and stood there under the hot stream. Two minutes had not passed when I heard a knock, knock, knock on the door, followed by, “Mommy, what you doing?”

“Mommy’s taking a bath!” I say calmly. I’m used to her knocking on the door or better yet, bursting through, stripping her clothes off, and getting into the shower without my knowing she even entered the bathroom. Kids are ninjas! I swear they are! Another good reason to lock the bathroom door – so mommy can get a proper shower.

“Mommy, door stuck!” she says with a grunt, referring to the fact that she cannot open the locked bathroom door. She starts to kick the door, then knocks on it again, “door stuck mommy!”

“I know it’s stuck baby, it’s okay, I’ll be done in a few minutes.” I reply, trying to hurry.

“It’s okay mommy, I fix it!” After a brief pause I can hear her yell just a few feet away from the door, “Nena (the name my daughter calls her great grandma – who is on the computer), door stuck! Nena, stuck!”

I could not help but laugh at how funny she sounds. Was she trying to rescue mommy, or was she trying to get into the shower herself. I quickly finish my shower, wrapped the towel around me, and opened the door. She stood there, giving me this mad look, then says with her thumb in her mouth, “Door stuck.”

I bit back a smile and say, “Door isn’t stuck now, what do you want?”

She points in the direction of her room. I followed her in there only to find that the cable box didn’t turn on and she was missing her Dora the Explorer show.

Economic Patriotism


~ A blog post for my French class:

Read

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/29/monsieur-made-in-france-foreign-goods

about a Parisian attempting, with mixed results, to live for nine months buying only French made products.  Have you ever had a similar experience?  How is Carle’s experience like and unlike an American who might try to do the same thing with US made products? ~

Economic Patriotism

If you were to go through your house and look for ‘Made In’ stickers and tags, how many items would you find in your home that are made in your very own country? There may be a few people out there that choose to buy products made in their own country, which is where the term ‘economic patriotism’ comes from. As you may find, it is actually harder to do as everything may not be made in your own country, or maybe it is not sold in stores. It could also get expensive as you would have to buy it directly from a factory that makes the items you are looking for.

I have seen a few shows on television where a couple wanted to clear their house of everything that was not made in the United States. A team came into their home and removed all but two items.

Do you think that if people were more economically patriotic, it would be more beneficial to their country’s economy? It would probably see an increase in jobs. Do you think the trading industry will see a decrease in numbers? It is quite possible, but there is always something that someone wants that the other person has. Could you be economically patriotic?

Autism and Ignorance


Two things that are often paired with one another, autism and ignorance. There are many people out there who are ignorant on what autism is. You can’t just look at a child and say, “They don’t have autism” or “Oh yeah, they have autism alright.” You have to either be familiar with it, or get to know that child well enough to see the signs.

Some look at my daughter and think there’s nothing wrong with her, that she’s just quiet and reserved. Some tell me that she’s just slow because she couldn’t sing her ABC’s to you. Some tell me that meltdowns are a part of her being a child and that I’m not doing right by properly punishing her and letting her get away with bad behavior. If there was a class to learn about what autism is, I would suggest it to these people, but unfortunately there isn’t. There isn’t a class for us parents who have autistic children, to learn how to deal or cope. There ARE support groups, but not enough out there and some aren’t even nearby.

There are many sides to autism, not every child with autism are the same, it’s that broad. That’s why the doctors call it, autism on the spectrum. One child may display anti-social behaviors, while another child many not be anti-social. One child may like to hug, whereas the other child doesn’t want to be touched completely. Lack of eye contact, inability to understand emotions, delayed speech, all those that I’ve said above are all autistic behaviors.

My daughter has progressed so well since having started therapy. I commend each of her therapist as I’m starting to understand my daughter better and she is able to understand me better. After picking her up from daycare each day I’ll ask her, “Did you have a fun at school today?” It took her many months before she would reply with a yes. A small word that many parents may brush off as being normal, but for me that’s in a sense, moving mountains.

Just yesterday at breakfast we were eating eggs and toast, our usual breakfast meal as she would only eat just that. She looks up at me with cinnamon on her face and says with a big smile, “I like toast.” It threw me for a second as this is the first time she’s ever confirmed liking anything. Better yet, this is the first time she’s used a full intelligent sentence with every word being understandable and clear. She usually talks in babbling sentences with one or two words that are understandable or mumbled to the point I have her repeat what she said just so I could try and figure out what it is she is trying to say. This is where it gets upsetting, her inability to communicate clearly and my inability to understand what she’s trying to say.

Another thing ignorance doesn’t see is that majority of children with autism are very, very smart. Every day I can see just how smart my daughter is. She may not be able to communicate very well, but she does not forget anything, especially if you told her something this morning, she’ll remember it at the end of the day. She can put a puzzle together really fast on her kindle. She can understand three different languages, even say a few words in another language. She can even count to ten in Spanish without missing a beat.

A person should never judge the capabilities of a child with special needs. That child may look at us as the one with a special needs. My daughter continues to amaze me every day. I have never judged what she can and can’t do. I myself will test that, just to show others that you can’t tell me I can’t do something. My exact response is always, “watch me!” My daughter will learn this from me, and I will be there to encourage her every step of the way. Autism isn’t a disability or something to be afraid of. Autism isn’t a label. It just gives a child their own uniqueness. The ability to show those that are ignorant around them that they are just that, ignorant for not believing in what they can do and for judging and doubting them.