About Me

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Obama

"Divide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one. "

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
German dramatist, novelist, poet, & scientist (1749 - 1832)

What does an Obama presidency change about America? W chose the former, Obama the latter. What a blessing.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!




I hope everyone is having a blessed Christmas! Here are some pics from ours, no, I don't know why Levi insists on resting his hand on his sister's head, some battles I just don't fight anymore.

My whole life we did Christmas mostly on Christmas Eve and my ex's family always does it on Christmas Day so I had the kidlets yesterday and we had a great time at my Aunt Sue's and mom's and then they woke up here this morning, we opened stockings and I took them to their dad's.

It was so heartwarming to see them excited about putting baby Jesus in the nativity set this morning and still excited to put the shepherds there tomorrow and the Magi there later this week. I am not always perfect about making Christmas all about Jesus, but each year I do a little better. This year we have been doing an advent lesson that I found online and although we are still not done, I'm ok with us continuing it through the next couple of weeks. After all, there isn't anything magical about Dec. 25, the story is what's important.

So, what am I doing today (other than blogging)? I used to take the tree down on Christmas day but this year my friend wants to see it (and he should get to, he helped cut it down) but he got stuck behind a 13 car pileup the day he was going to come down so he's going to try to make it this week plus, that level of work doesn't fit into my new plan:

I started a new tradition last year - mimosas and nothing. Today I have done very little productive, and it feels great! I took a bubble bath, read some 007, took a nap, watched The Muppet Christmas, researched a new phone, ate leftover turkey dinner, and, hmm, nope, that's about it. I just switched to straight champagne, though because you can only drink so much orange juice in a day and I'm pretty sure it's illegal to not finish a bottle of champagne the day you open it. Hey, I don't make the laws, I just follow them. :-)

Do you know the Vezeau family?

All year long I upload my digital camera pics to Snapfish.com and then at the end of the year I choose which ones I want to print to keep or put in my Christmas scrapbooks I make for family.

This year, I ordered my pics on Dec. 15th, they shipped on the 16th and I received the box on the 18th. Fantastic turnaround and plenty of time to make the scrapbooks and get the ones in the mail that I need to. I excitedly opened the box to get started and found, not my pics, but the Vezeau family photo cards. Hmm, not ideal.

I emailed Snapfish that I would really like my pics, but my family will not be terribly surprised if they get their gifts late. I am concerned that the 100 people the Vezeau's meant to send Christmas greetings to will not be getting them. So, if you are waiting for your Vezeau family card, let me assure you that it is not their fault that they are late and the picture is very nice.

Since the 18th I have been emailing the Snapfish customer service department and finally after five emails, they sent me a link to a prepaid mailing label to ship them back to them and asked if I still wanted my pictures - yesterday. Why that wasn't the first thing they sent me, I have no idea. If that had happened on the 18th it might have still been possible for everyone to be happy by Christmas. Up to this point I have had nothing but great experiences with Snapfish and will still use them, but I'm a tad dissappointed in them right now. :-(

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Have you ever owed $26, 000 to a lawyer?

This is a plea from the Free the Midwives campaign. The amazing thing is that they actually Freed the Midwives! Now we just have to pay for it, no big deal, right? Our total charges for the original lawsuit and the appeal to the Supreme Court were somewhere around $120,000 I believe and the fact that such a huge chunk has already been paid amazes me. I hope someone out there can help with the rest.

From Mary Ueland:

I just heard a story from a CPM the other day. She was told about having to transport a baby by ambulance to the hospital a few weeks ago. It was amazing to hear her say, "I stood there with the paramedic and the cop and it was such a good, strange feeling to be at perfect peace and know that I had done the right thing AND wouldn't be going to jail.... to know that everything I did was just AND lawful!"

Last winter as we took our midwifery battle to the Missouri Supreme Court, and the legal bills piled up in the tens of thousands of dollars, we found ourselves facing bills far larger than we had ever imagined incurring. And, really, we had no idea just how we would pay them. Was it worth all the money we spent? Absolutely! It was totally worth everything that each one of us have given - our time, our money, our blood, sweat and tears so that women everywhere in Missouri can find a legal midwife!

It wasn't an option to quit and go home, leaving the midwives as felons for another year or decade. So we moved ahead, and scrimped and saved wherever we could. And many, many people donated so generously. We pleaded with our attorneys to waive the interest and give us time - a lot of time - to find money to pay the rest of the bill off. They graciously agreed and have given us a lot of time. We managed to pay off a good portion of the bill.

This week I received a personal letter from our attorney, informing us that we need to get our outstanding legal bill of $26,258 paid off by the end of the year.

Paying off our huge legal bill seems like old news to everyone. Donations to Free the Midwives (www.freethemidwives.org <
http://www.freethemidwives.org> ) have trickled to almost nothing as few people seem to think that we are counting on *them* to dig deep and help us finish paying off the bill. (Thank you to the few individuals who have faithfully gone above and beyond in donating in recent months, and the St. Louis FoMM group that has tirelessly continued to fundraisers for Free the Midwives!)

Will you commit to giving/raising $1,000, $500, or even $100 or $50 before the end of the year?

Do you have a midwife who risked 7 years of prison to attend your birth? She went out of her way to give you the birth you wanted. Perhaps you could prioritize this need and give generously, even inspite of it not being a "convenient" time for you? Almost anybody could raise $500 or $1,000 if they really set their mind to it. There are a multitude of ways, even if you can't personally give that much yourself.

Perhaps you can talk your mother-in-law into donating $200. Or your co-worker into giving you $20 to finish paying this bill off before the end of the year. Perhaps you can offer to match 50% of whatever your midwifery/doula/childbirth education clients are willing to give by deducting that much from your usual fee? Perhaps you have an uncle and a neighbor who would each donate $100 if you simply called and asked. Or you can collect $1 from everyone at some of the clubs/get-togethers/meetings you attend. Or maybe you can ask your family to donate to Free the Midwives on your behalf for Christmas instead of buying you another sweater that you really don't need?

So far, I have commitments from 2 people who have set a goal of giving $1,000 each from them and their friends by they end of the year. Can you commit to a similar goal? Please email me at: better_birth {at} yahoo.com and let me know what we can count on from you!

It is going to feel so good to have our debt paid off and devote our energies to increasing the number of CPMs in Missouri.

Thank you!

Mary Ueland
Cell: 417-543-4258

Please donate online at:
www.freethemidwives.org <
http://www.freethemidwives.org>

OR by check or money order:
Free the Midwives
PO Box 2319
Rolla, MO 65402

Rearranging

So, I needed to rearrange my living room so my two gardenia plants, that I have managed to keep a live for almost a year could be near a window. Let me go back for a moment. Did you catch the part where I have kept not one, but TWO plants alive for almost a year!!

So, I moved the coffee table under a window and put the plants there. That meant that the outlet where the computer, DSL, and router were plugged in had to also move. I need the laptop to always be plugged in because, even though the diagnostics say the battery is functioning normally, that is a big, fat lie. So I moved the TV to the wall facing the new couch location and tried to plug everything (Wii, DVD player, TV, lamp) in there, but I was one outlet short. *sidebar, why do they keep making plugs so large that they take up more than their alloted outlet space??*

Then it hit me (because I'm a freakin' genius) that I have the wireless router so I don't have to be plugged into the computer! So I moved the router and DSL box to the school room. I know, GENIUS!

Ahh, its a good day in the Doyle household.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Quotes and Insight from Molly

My friend, Laurel (Grace and Glory) referenced Molly (Adventures in Mercy) on her blog by saying that it shook her. Laurel is one of the most unshakable women I know so I thought I should check it out. What shook Laurel, and then me, was a simple phrase in reference to her house filled with children - “Jesus is here today. In my house. My house!” I will really try to keep that at the front of my mind.

I don't agree with her on several issues, but our hearts share space. Here are some quotes from her blog (my absolute favorites are highlighted):

"And this wise man asked me to stop. He said, Stop asking God to bless what you're doing. Get involved in what God is doing -- because it's already blessed." -- Bono, U2

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it. - Martin Luther King Jr.

"In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centering on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome where it became an institution. Next, it moved to Europe , where it became a culture. And, finally, it moved to America where it became an enterprise." - Richard Halverson, former chaplain of the United States Senate

If it weren't for Christians, I'd be a Christian.-- Mahatma Ghandi

Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong. - Lao-Tzu

“I have three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.” - Tony Campolo

A candle loses nothing of its light by lighting another candle. - Fr. James Keller

Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair. --G.K. Chesterton

Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion—several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight. --Mark Twain

I shall earnestly and persistently continue to urge all women to the practical recognition of the old Revolutionary maxim. Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God. - Susan B. Anthony

“Gandhi sought to follow Jesus without being a Christian, whereas we try to be Christians without following Jesus.” - Brian D. McLaren

"Isn't equality a son of a bitch to follow through on. Isn't Love thy neighbour" in the global village so inconvenient?" - Bono, U2

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a door mat or a prostitute. ~Rebecca West

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

(Gay) Marriage Insight

I love Margaret. No, that's not why I'm in favor of allowing gay marriage... Not in that way. :-) She is an incredibly smart, well-versed, outspoken old lady - the type I hope to be lucky enough to grow into.

I'm sure you could guess that I think we should leave the government out of the whole marriage thing, gay or otherwise. I mean really, they can't manage to always make sure bridges go somewhere and we expect them to somehow manage love?

So Margaret and Helen blogged about the issue and it is, as always, entertaining and informative, but the thought below made me laugh. It's about marriage in general, not specific the the Prop. 8 thing:

>>>>>

It seems to me that the loudest Christians have suddenly become the most un-Christ-like people. And my sincere apologies to those good-hearted Christians who have found themselves caught in the crosshairs. You know, Harold is a Catholic. How would all of you feel about a constitutional amendment banning meat on Fridays? How about banning dancing because Baptist seem to have two left feet? And how about birth control? A lot of religions don’t allow it. I wonder how little Cherry from The View would feel about a constitutional amendment banning that?

If you want to protect Holy Wedlock, by all means padlock the church door whenever guys who love Judy Garland come-a-knocking. But if you want to protect marriage push for a constitutional amendment to ban divorce.

But let’s step away from the church and state argument for a second. I posted yesterday that love is about the heart not the body. Trust me, if it was about the body a lot of us would be in a world of trouble. You can’t legislate love between two consenting adults. You just can’t no matter how hard you try. If you want to save marriage, marry someone you love. And that’s all I have to say about that.

>>>>>>>>>>>>


Smart lady, that Margaret. But a bit of a dreamer, I mean, really, "marry someone you love" seriously? LOL

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More overwhelmed than blessed

Alright, it's never a good sign when you start a post by spilling your beer all over the floor by the computer. ugh.

Yes, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed lately. I've been divorced for quite a while now (since August of '05) so I should be in the groove of the single life, right?

I started a new job that should have made life easier, but it didn't. I still trust that it will, but we'll see.

I am giving the "no dating" thing a try and it's not nearly as much fun as the "let men shower you with compliments and stuff" thing that I tried earlier.

So basically, I just need to whine a bit. I know I am incredibly blessed and I really do appreciate all that I have been given and I know that to whom much is given much is expected, but still I say... why is it so hard sometimes?

All right, I cleaned up the beer and don't have any real complaints that are even close to worse than anyone else's so I guess I'll head to bed, hopeful to awake feeling more blessed than overwhelmed.

Everything that needs to be said

Sometimes those who have been around the block a time or two know some things that those of us who are new to the neighborhood should pay attention to. A word on the state of our country from two women who have been here long enough to know:

Margaret and Helen

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Spanking Science

I am asked on occasion why it is so bad to spank and my usual answer includes that there is always a better alternative, one that actually addresses the specific issue and that I don't want to teach that if you are bigger you can be in control because of that fact. I came across a really thorough article about all the actual scientific arguments. Why You Shouldn't Hit It is pretty long, here are a some excerpts, but I really recommend reading the whole thing.

What do scientific studies prove about corporal punishment?

"The negative effects on children include increased aggression and noncompliance—the very misbehaviors that most often inspire parents to hit in the first place—as well as poor academic achievement, poor quality of parent-child relationships, and increased risk of a mental-health problem (depression or anxiety, for instance). High levels of corporal punishment are also associated with problems that crop up later in life, including diminished ability to control one's impulses and poor physical-health outcomes (cancer, heart disease, chronic respiratory disease). Plus, there's the effect of increasing parents' aggression, and don't forget the consistent finding that physical punishment is a weak strategy for permanently changing behavior."

Why do parents still do it?

"The key is corporal punishment's temporary effectiveness in stopping a behavior... The direct experience of that momentary pause in misbehavior has a powerful effect, conditioning the parent to hit again next time to achieve that jolt of fleeting success ... The research consistently shows that the unwanted behavior will return at the same rate as before. But parents believe that corporal punishment works, and they are further encouraged in that belief by feeling that they have a right and even a duty to punish as harshly as necessary."

So what's the case for not hitting?

"It can be argued from the science: Physical discipline doesn't work over the long run, it has bad side effects, and mild punishment often becomes more severe over time. Opponents of corporal punishment also advance moral and legal arguments. If you hit another adult you can be arrested and sued, after all, so shouldn't our smallest, weakest citizens have a right to equal or even more-than-equal protection under the law? In this country, if you do the same thing to your dog that you do to your child, you're more likely to get in trouble for mistreating the dog."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A new goal

Do you ever see someone and think they:
- have a pretty smile or
- look good in that color or
- have a great attitude or
- have a beautiful smile or
- are great at getting people to cooperate or
- are really organized or...?

How often do you tell them? I try to be nice and positive but I know I can do better.

I read posts on two other blogs about what seemingly insignificant things we remember. They can be positive or negative things that happened or were said to you that really added to who you are. I know every time someone randomly compliments me it catches me off guard and I glow for a bit after. I would love to give someone else that feeling.

So my new goal is to never let a positive thought about someone else go unspoken.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Amazing

When Levi was a baby he had a lot of birthmarks and they kept appearing so the doctor kept track of them because it is a sign of a disease called neurofibromatosis, once thought to be what "the elephant man" had. Even if he had had it (which he does not), we were reassured that it was not that big of a deal except in extreme cases. It is characterized by lots of benign tumors, sometimes small, sometimes larger. This is the story of Jessica Stone who has a very active case, but handles it in an amazing way. She had to choose to become deaf in order to remove a tumor and had 30 days to plan. What would you do if you knew that in 30 days you would never hear again?

http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=5665944

Today

Alright, so here's what I like today:

Music:
Matt Nathanson His music is so pure and powerful his blog is funny and cute and random. I am enamored. :-)

"Come on, Get Higher"
Come on, get higher, loosen my lips, faith and desire and the swing of your hips, just pull me down hard and drown me in love...

Quote:
Wanting what you don't have does not obligate anyone else to give it to you. Even if they have it. anonymous

Other:
When members of a co-op actually cooperate. I know it's a lot to ask...

Mania

I've been a bit manic lately. Not terribly so, nothing scary, I didn't buy a bridge or sell a kidney or anything, but still possibly a little more agitated and flighty than normal (yes, I have a normal). I am so fortunate to have a friend who talks to me often enough to notice and close enough to be able to tell me in such a way that I didn't shut him out. I am really just barely above where I should be and I think it is mostly due to sleep disturbances and the change in daylight hours, so I slept a bunch today and feel much better tonight.

But anyway, I did some research (that always calms me. No, really, I'm odd that way) and started what they call in the psych ward "coping strategies." Something that I had forgotten about is how important it is to have a plan for dealing with things that annoy you. If you don't deal with them in a healthy way then they become this monster that is out of control and instead of a cup of chamomile tea to fix it, you need a shotgun and an alibi. This is one of those things that are helpful for everyone, not just the crazies, like me.

So here, for your entertainment and enlightenment are my tips for quick coping:

If you are irritated, put into words exactly what it is that bothers you. Sometimes it is as simple as the tone of voice someone used. So, repeat the offender's words in a pleasant tone, then respond. Maybe it is a situation that someone else is irrationally upset about. Point that out to them (only if it will help) or at least to yourself and then move on.

If you are scared, pretend that you are there with the kids and need to reassure them that everything will be fine. This helps me so much! I am great at making even the scariest situations seem navigable if I have to calm the kids. I'm never lying to them, just assuring them that I have handled a lot and can handle this.

Remember the Golden Rule. Take three deep breaths and only speak when you can say something respectful. To yourself or to others.

Keep a mental or written checklist of problems and how you will solve them: Impulsive? Make yourself take 24 hours to make any decision that can hurt yourself or anyone else in any way. Sleepless? Don't let it go more than a day without a plan. Feeling worthless? Talk to someone about times you have helped others or, better yet, go help someone who will appreciate it. Talking too fast or too much? Take deep breaths while the other person is talking to keep yourself from interrupting, even if it seems like they are taking forever to finish their sentence or story.

Most importantly, find someone, anyone to talk to about it! Hopefully, you can find a friend to talk to who loves and understands you. Otherwise, a therapist would be great. In my case, seeing a therapist would just make things worse since I'm stressed about money and shelling out $100 or so an hour would not help!

So, that's all from psychiatrist Kolbi...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Palin



Alright, I try really hard to be positive and not put any bad thoughts into the atmosphere and all that jazz, but I have to admit that this cracked me up.

Monday, September 29, 2008

SOAM


What does a woman look like? A real woman? As in, 98% of the population. Not like this:







I found a great blog called "Shape of a Mother" and it has reaffirmed my love of my body, as "imperfect" as it is. So what does a woman look like? Usually closer to this:

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Uneducated Economic Questions

Okay, everyone is talking economy and, of course, I'm also concerned. I mean, realistically, I know I don't have any money. I'm not supposed to, I'm a waitress. But, for heaven's sake, the rich people are supposed to have money! I get all confused when the rich people start infringing on my poor territory. So, here are my questions. Keep in mind that I really have no idea what I'm talking about:

If the US is so ridiculously in debt already, where are we coming up with $700 billion? If I already owe more than I have, I can get another credit card or loan, I guess, but I don't actually have the money to loan someone else.

As far as I can tell, the Dem plan has a cap on the compensation of the CEOs of companies we bail out. Um, why are they still the CEOs? If I am manager of a restaurant and spend my whole budget on cabbage and mopheads and none on food we actually need thus making the restaurant lose all its money, I'm pretty sure I shouldn't expect my next paycheck, much less any bonuses.

I also don't get how spoiled we are. The media is saying things like, credit won't be able to be extended and entrepreneurs won't be able to open new businesses, people won't be able to buy new houses. I'm sorry, are these things that are absolutely necessary? Would it hurt to put a slowdown on things like this? Maybe take a bit more time to consider the risks?

Also, if the rich people have less money will they still come out to eat? (selfish concern about self-preservation)

(In case you're interested, here is the *entire* $700,000,000,000 plan - it will take you about a minute to read it: Treasury bail-out proposal)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

ACOG and McDonald's

I'm stealing this post from another blogger because she has put it so brilliantly, I can't possibly do it better. :-)

This is an excerpt about the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology's (ACOG) legislative goals for the coming year. They listed our little ol' midwives as their number two most important issue!

<<<<<<<
Which brings me to the point of this ramble. When a professional provides a service to about 1% of the general population, why does the professional who services the other 99% jump to the defensive? That'd be like McDonald's, a multibillion-dollar worldwide corporation, attacking a little mom-and-pop restaurant for making a chicken sandwich similar to theirs.
>>>>>>>>>>>>..

Please read the whole post here, it is definitely worth the time: Keyboard Revolutionary

Levi's first game


My baby boy is a real live football player! Pads and tackles and everything! His first game of the season was today and I was really impressed with how organized they were. I mean there were even recognizable plays. He played quite a lot on defense as a lineman and a few times on the offensive line. He did well, had a couple tackles. Unfortunately, they lost, but there's always next week. :-) Here's the only decent pic I got (he's the blue guy,) my next purchase needs to be a camera with a serious zoom.

Oh yeah, and I slipped and fell in a mud puddle, ever so gracefully.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I almost get fired

Alright, let me start by saying that I have an odd sense of humor that not many people get. Actually, I've only ever found two and one is my sister. LOL So here's the story of how I almost/might lose my new job:

Today we had a server meeting and the chef asked me to take notes which I will later type up as official minutes. I do a very thorough job but every once in awhile I add some little comments that just make me giggle. Keep in mind that I think I am the only one who will ever read these. Everyone else will only see the typed version. Examples of my extra comments: another server scribbled on my paper and I wrote that he is a dork. The boss leading the meeting was being silly while teaching us to open wine and I wrote the he wanted us to act like an idiot at the table. At one point he said shit and hasta la vista and I noted that.

Now to the fired part. I left the notes on the chef's desk after I finished typing them, I don't know why, I just did. I thought I should keep them in case he had any questions about what I typed and I could check them to clarify. I should have grabbed them, but I needed to get to work and just left them on the desk (he wasn't even there, no one should have needed in there anyway.) Well, the bar/floor manager went in the office to do something and noticed them. I don't know if she just happened to notice her name or if she was being nosy or what, but she read at least the part about her. At one point she had to leave to take a call or something and I noted it by saying that she left because she was too cool to hang with us. When she returned, I put that she came back because she missed us. If ANY rational person finds that the least bit offensive, please let me know. It was just a silly comment and made me giggle. That's it. Well, she came out of the office and found me in the kitchen (surrounded by people, mind you) wagging the paper and demanded an explanation. I apologized if I offended her and assured her that those were only my personal notes and offered to show her the official copy that had no mention of her at all. She totally flipped out and said she was calling the GM/owner and I would have to explain to him how I could possibly do that, blah, blah, blah. The whole time I was just confused and shocked. I tried to explain that it was in no way derogatory, only my notes, etc. to no avail. Later, I pulled her aside and again apologized if I offended her and that it certainly was not my intention. She was just pissed!

One of the servers who was there for the whole thing texted the chef to let him know what was going one and he told her to have me call him. I did and he said the only reason he wanted to talk to me was to make sure I didn't do anything rash like quit and that he wasn't at all worried. He knew I didn't do anything wrong and sometimes she just flips out over nothing. He said she probably won't even call the GM but even if she did I shouldn't worry.

So, that's my story. Fun, huh?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Losing part of my youth



The Woodlands Athletic Center to be Closed

The WAC

I don't know why this is bothering me, it's silly really. But many things that bother me are.

Backstory:
I grew up in The Woodlands, TX (1977-1987) and even though I have been in Missouri for over 2/3 of my life, I still call it home. My parents were volunteer firefighters and part of their "compensation" was a membership at The Woodlands Athletic Center (WAC) for the family. Kara and I spent most of the day everyday during the summer there. (Actually, that's not true; some days we spent the morning at the ice rink at The Wharf, then went to the WAC.) I spent most of the time in the dive well.

I think and talk about the WAC a lot even now at 33 years old. When the kids took swimming lessons this year I so wished they could have taken them there where I did. I wish we had a platform for them to dive from. There is nothing closer to flying. From 10 meters you have time to look around and think before you hit the water and then after you hit you are so far under water you have more time to think on the way back up. I am more comfortable in the water than anywhere on land. I don't have a lot of truly happy memories growing up but everyday at the WAC was rejuvenating.

I remember the water being sooo cold in the mornings after the early morning swim team practiced. I remember sneaking into the gym to pretend to be Olympic gymnasts. I remember taking my Red Cross training course and having to tread water forEVER! I remember new lifeguards trying to stop me from climbing to the platforms because they thought I was too small and the older guards telling them that I was fine, I dove constantly. I remember the one time I belly flopped off the 10m platform and nearly needed to be rescued (I managed to get to the side on my own, but it was a bit rough) and when the guard asked if I needed anything Kara told me to ask for a Coke for her! I remember the long, long climb all the way to the top and how quiet it was up there, surrounded by tall pine trees and blue sky.

I miss it a lot, I think those dives represent for me what was good about my childhood, where I could go to get away from the stress (real and perceived) of my life.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Obama picks Biden!

I am so excited about Obama's pick of Joe Biden for VP! When he was in the running for the Democratic nominee I always matched up almost perfectly on the myriad of political quizzes available. I didn't plan to vote for him because I just didn't think he was as electable as Clinton or Obama (I think he had dropped out by Missouri anyway), but I am thrilled to have him as the next VP!! Here is my favorite quote so far about the pairing (from Jasper on The Daily Show Blog):

Their campaign should be "The future of the USA is going to be sensible. The American people will have better things to do than be terrified and angry. And the rest of the world will stop thinking we're dumb."

On a side note, as I read several accounts of the pick they all mentioned the ridiculous hour that the text message to supporters went out, making jokes about Obama being ready for the 3am call, so I went to see what time it really was - 2:41am - I guess that might be a little late, huh? I wasn't even ready for bed when it came, as a matter of fact I was in the middle of another text conversation. LOL

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The smallest thing

It's amazing how the tiniest gesture can have the greatest impact.

I have been having some trouble staying focused on the fight to keep midwives legal. I just want to believe that the opponents will give up rather the redouble their efforts like I know they are doing.

Now to the small gesture. Last week I was shopping at Target and when I came out to my car there was a note on a small scrap of paper attached to the windshield. I thought maybe the car next to me had dinged my door or something. Nope, it was a note telling me that she loved my (midwifery) bumper stickers and to keep up the good work. The fact that someone took the time to show appreciation to a stranger illustrated just how important and far-reaching the fight is.

When I talk to people who are not anywhere near the child-bearing part of their life and they have heard about our efforts it warms my heart. Just last night I told my new boss that I do some lobbying for midwifery and he had heard about it! I was amazed. Just the fact that the term "midwifery" is in the modern lexicon is unbelievable. The knowledge that I played a role, however small, makes me feel worthwhile.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Leaving the Bee


Well, I didn't think I would ever do it, I was feeling like a Bee lifer. But on the 25th I will no longer be an AppleBuddy (yes, they actually call us that LOL.)

"So what happened? I thought you were so happy."

That's a fair assessment of the situation most of the time. There was only one small problem with some rowdy, demanding, chaotic, cheap guests, but I could handle it. They are only around for nine months of the year and dealing with them along with friendly co-workers makes it bearable. My favorite manager used to handle them respectably well and they would at least be quieter, still not tip, though. Unfortunately, he abandoned us because he's a big, fat loser. (And yes, I know you might be reading this, but I tell you this all the time, it's time everyone else knew it, too.) Really, I have a whole log of reasons he's a loser if anyone is interested, but anyway, enough about Doug...

So, this undesirable group begins to grace us with their presence around 9:00 and stays until close or after, sometimes arriving as little as 5 minutes before close. This used to give us two hours to deal with them. Two hours of running my butt off, getting belittled, having to track down the manager all for my $3.33 hourly wage, basically no tips, especially when you consider that I have to tip out the host and bartender 2% of sales so sometimes I end up paying for the privilege of waiting on them. Lovely, huh?

Well, Saturday, management informed us that we are now going to stay open until midnight every night but Sunday. Not for me! I put in my notice on Monday and will be working at the restaurant in the brand new Doubletree hotel starting on the 26th. It seems really nice and I think I will be happy there, at least the change of pace will be nice. I enjoy fine dining and it is probably a better fit for me. I like having more time to get to know the guests and I LOVE really good food, so I might get a bit chubby working there!

New Place: Sapphire

I feel bad leaving my managers and co-workers who I have really enjoyed working with. I know that in this business I am infinitely replaceable. Servers are a dime a dozen, but it is a bit hard finding one to show up every day (sober) and not steal the silverware. They hired three new servers this week so hopefully at least one will make it through training. I trust they will forget all about me by the time I've been gone a week.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Landscaping




Okay, I know that some of you might have given up on me ever doing any type of landscaping. I keep saying I am and I really believe it when I say it... but then life keeps taking all my time and/or money and, long story short, I've been in the house over a year and just today got around to doing anything in the yard.

I am so proud of how it turned out!! The kids and I all worked so hard on it. Levi was my hole digger, Paige spread some mulch, made sandwiches, and kept the sprinkler company.

Here's the breakdown:

I'm not sure why but I accidentally bought a 20' x 20' tree (well, two to be honest, but I'm returning one) and didn't really have anything to do with it so I put it in the middle of the old pond. Kent was supposed to bring me dirt quite a little while ago and still hasn't, but I can't really complain, he was doing it for free. On the other hand, I really do need the dirt to fill the pond, so I now have a tree planted in a half full pond. Oh, well, no one who knows me expects me to be totally together, right?! My plan was to have the pond filled with annuals each year so now they can just go around the tree and it will be really nice. Right now there are just a few ground cover-ish plants (it's a horticultural term) surrounding it. So that's the pond part.

When I moved in there were some steps dug into the side of the hill to go from the driveway to the top of the yard but only one block was still in place and the holes were fading. So today I took some blocks from the pond and re-dug the steps and replaced them. I would like to change the blocks around the pond to something a little more natural anyway so I'm not worried that three are missing.

Now for the main part, I put flowering plants ranging from mature size 6" to 5' in a pretty much semi-circle around the pond and along the sidewalk. They start small on each end and get larger and bushier toward the sidewalk and then a little smaller right as you turn to go up the steps. Eventually I think I will remove those two giant bushes but that's a while away so for now the flowers will just be in front of them. I also put five huge bags of mulch around everything, which is really the part that makes it look finished. Just mulching would have been an improvement and I think I might just do that in the back yard for this year and worry about planting next year.

Did I mention how proud I am and how great it looks!!

Oh yeah, I should mention that I did this instead of mowing and so the rest of the yard looks like crap. :-)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Candidate Rankings

Have you ever wanted to know how all the candidates for office rank on midwifery but are too lazy to ask them all? Me too!! Thankfully there are dedicated women out there who have done it for us! Yea! Check it out here: Show Me Candidate List

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bravery

I got a call today about the class I'm teaching for our homeschool co-op. Pretty run of the mill, really, but during the conversation the mom told me how happy she was that I was brave enough to post to our email list about an idea I had for a splinter group of homeschoolers. Basically, young-ish and/or single moms who maybe feel left out of the other activities. After the call I started to think about how silly it is that I would be thought of as brave that I put out this description of myself:

For those of you who don't know me - in a very small nutshell, I am a
divorced mom of 2. I am a full-time server and bartender. I am a
member of a very liberal Christian church. I have a strong calling to
help women choose traditional birth attendants and use the God-given
tools and skills to parent, particularly breastfeeding and respectful,
attachment parenting. I have friends of many faiths and have learned
a great deal about true love and tolerance from many of them.
Politically, I am a fervent liberal feminist Democrat, but love my
conservative Republican friends who can have intelligent discussions
about current events. I am 33 years old and feel like I am just
coming into the best time of my life and am more comfortable in my
skin now than I ever was previously.


Should I be ashamed of my life? I'm not. I think I'm pretty okay. It struck me as odd that I might need to be brave to tell some people about who I am.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Saying goodbye to the Pirate

About noon yesterday I got a call from my best friend asking if I had talked to anyone at Jolly Rogers. I had not so he told me I should probably call as he had heard on the radio something about it being damaged the night before.

I called Joe (the owner) and he said it had not been "damaged," it had been destroyed; burned to the ground. I made sure no one was hurt and their home was saved (they live on site) and did my best to express how sorry I was and let him know to call if there was anything I could do to help. He says he plans to rebuild for next season, always the optimist. That is one thing I will really miss. It is one of about a hundred things I will really miss.

The great money would not be enough to make me drive four days a week for an hour to get to a place to run my butt off for several hours in scorching heat. Working there is so much fun, it is easy to feel like you are a part of your tables' vacations. The owners are fantastic and accommodating, my co-workers and guests are/were fun and entertaining, the food was fantastic. I miss it already and tomorrow will be my first actual missed shift. I got a little teary-eyed putting away my apron this morning.

I am incredibly fortunate that I kept Applebees part-time. Yesterday I went in as soon as I heard and asked about getting put back on the schedule full-time and Kara assured me that they would make room for me. I put up a note asking for shifts and already got one for Thursday, so I will be fine. I will need for work some on my kids' weekend which pretty much sucks, but I'll survive and they will, too. When I worked at the Pirate with them, they loved it. They got to play with Luke and Anna all day. It's not so much fun at the Bee. :-(

Here is the story from the newspaper:

Fire Destroys Jolly Rogers

Statewide Celebration

I am so upset that I had to miss the midwifery celebration this weekend. Here is the post from FoMM's blog, including pictures:


Friends of Missouri Midwives: A Celebration of Legal Midwives in Missouri!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

WE WIN!!!!!

I CAN'T EVEN STAND IT I'M SO EXCITED!!! BASICALLY, IF YOU ARE CERTIFIED NATIONALLY AS A CPM YOU CAN START PRACTICING LEGALLY NOW!! IT'S HARD TO PUT TOGETHER A COHERENT THOUGHT, SO I'M GOING TO C&P FROM THE EMAIL LIST:

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
The Supreme Court ruled in our favor today!!!!!!!!!!!!! The ruling was based on standing. Yay for our lawyers for making such a good case on that!

You can see the opinon and summary here - http://www.courts.mo.gov/Courts/PubOpinions.nsf/0f87ea4ac0ad4c0186256405005d3b8e/f291298ad8cf21978625747100797615?OpenDocument

The plantiffs have 10 days to request a rehearing. We've been told is it *very* rare for the SC to agree to rehear a case, but the decision won't be "final" until that's over. So keep praying.

WAHOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, send us some money so we can finish paying our attorneys. We have only $33,000 to go!!!!
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I THINK THE ONLY PROPER WAY TO CELEBRATE TO TO GET PREGNANT AND USE A LEGAL MIDWIFE, HMM. THERE'S ONLY THE ONE TINY GLITCH... ;-)

The official ruling:

http://www.courts.mo.gov/Courts/PubOpinions.nsf/0f87ea4ac0ad4c0186256405005d3b8e/f291298ad8cf21978625747100797615?OpenDocument

SC88783: Missouri State Medical Association, et al., Respondents v. State of Missouri and Missouri Midwives Association, et al.,

And the Press Release:

News from Missouri Midwife Supporters

CONTACT: Mary Ueland (417) 543-4258, grassroots@friendsofmomidwives.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Missouri Women and Families Declare Victory
Independence Day Comes Early for Midwives as State Supreme Court Upholds Right to Practice
JEFFERSON CITY, MO (June 24, 2008)—Today's Missouri Supreme Court decision is a tremendous victory for Missouri families, who have been working for 25 years to gain legal access to professional midwives. The ruling increases access to maternity care in the state and allows women and families more birth options and affirms their ability to exercise their rights to choose how their babies are born.
In a 5 to 2 ruling, the Court upheld a law that legalizes Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) who practice in the state. The Court determined that the physician groups that brought the suit to overturn the law lacked standing because their only interest in the case was economic.
“The Missouri Supreme Court made the right decision today, and after 25 years of legislative struggles to ensure more birth options for families, we are very excited,” said Mary Ueland, Grassroots Coordinator for Friends of Missouri Midwives (FOMM). “Now, we can commence with creating a system in Missouri where CPMs are part of a team of caregivers, where mothers are truly informed and able to determine their own birth preferences, and where midwives can appropriately transport when the need arises, without fear of reprisals, and without intimidation and harassment of the parents.”
The decision makes legal Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) and removes the threat of prosecution to professional midwives who assist families who choose out-of-hospital birth. State and national birth and midwives advocates hailed the ruling as a triumphant and historic moment in Missouri’s history and evidence of a tipping point at hand on the national scale.
“Certified Professional Midwives must pass rigorous exams to obtain the credential, and participate in continuing education and peer review to keep current. They practice according to their Practice Guidelines within national standards for CPMs,” said Debbie Smithey, president of the Missouri Midwives Association, “Missouri was one of only nine states to prohibit CPMs from practicing, and now the number drops to eight states remaining.”
The Court’s opinion summary is posted online. The ruling makes Missouri the 23rd U.S. state to allow professional midwives.
“Today’s victory over Big Medicine is a real shot in the arm to the growing campaign to legalize midwives across the nation,” said Susan Jenkins, legal counsel for the National Birth Policy Coalition and a consultant to the Missouri midwives. “This case confirms the message that’s been reverberating loud and clear in both the mainstream media and the blogosphere ever since the American Medical Association launched its attacks against midwives and home birth last week—physicians do not have the right to speak for patients when it comes to deciding who delivers their babies. Missouri families now have legal access to CPMs, who provide high-quality, cost-effective care and fill significant gaps in the state health care system.”

Across the nation, many have stepped up to help in a case that has been likened to a David-and-Goliath battle, with midwives supporters hosting bake sales and garage sales to stand up to the enormously well-financed Missouri State Medical Association, an affiliate organization of the AMA. In February, an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief was submitted by:

*
Citizens for Midwifery (CfM)
*
Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA)
*
National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM)
*
Our Bodies Ourselves
*
The National Birth Policy Coalition (NBPC)

The amicus brief submitted by the coalition urged the Court to reverse the injunction against the midwives law and made the case that increasing access to trained and qualified CPMs and out-of-hospital birth is beneficial to Missouri citizens.

The new Missouri Midwifery law was supposed to take effect Aug. 28, 2007, but the Missouri State Medical Association (MSMA) organized a well-financed challenge to the new law and was granted a temporary restraining order on July 3. Then on Aug. 8, Circuit Court Judge Patricia Joyce, who serves on the Board of Directors for St. Mary’s Health Center in Jefferson City, disallowed the Certified Professional Midwives provision contained within HB818 regarding portability and accessibility of health insurance.

Judge Joyce ruled the provision was unconstitutional and unrelated to health insurance, despite hearing from Assistant Attorney General John K. McManus and Midwifery Coalition attorney Jim Deutsch that decriminalizing midwifery does indeed relate to health insurance as they recalled that the Missouri Supreme Court has already ruled health insurance is interdependent on health services, and the two subjects are related.

During the Circuit Court appeal to Judge Joyce on Aug. 2, Deutsch cited nine other states where Medicaid covers home births attended by Certified Professional Midwives and many others where CPMs receive private insurance reimbursement. Both McManus and Deutsch argued that families obviously cannot get health insurance reimbursement for their midwives if their providers are considered felons by the state. They agreed that legalizing Certified Professional Midwives is a first step to home birth families being able to have their maternity care providers covered by insurance. They also cited the lower cost of midwifery care, which in turn could encourage insurance companies to lower their rates for healthy women.

Midwives Supporters Seek Donations to Help Pay Legal Fees
To help pay for the legal fees incurred over the past year, families across Missouri have undertaken fundraising efforts, including bake sales, garage sales, and other community fundraising events. “Through our own efforts, we have steadily chipped away at our legal bills, but we still need help,” said Laurel Smith, President of Friends of Missouri Midwives. Smith added that donations to help pay the legal fees of the coalition of midwives and their supporters can be made at http://www.FreeTheMidwives.org.

Missouri is a priority of The Big Push for Midwives Campaign , a nationally coordinated campaign to advocate for regulation and licensure of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and to push back against the attempts of the American Medical Association Scope of Practice Partnership to deny American families access to legal midwifery care. The Big Push for Midwives Campaign is the first initiative of the National Birth Policy Coalition (NBPC). Through our work, we are playing a critical role in the building of a new model of U.S. maternity care delivery at the local and regional levels. At the heart of this new model is the Midwives Model of Care, which is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes.
Media inquiries about the Missouri Supreme Court case should be directed to Mary Ueland at (417) 543-4258, grassroots@friendsofmomidwives.org. Media inquiries about The Big Push for Midwives Campaign should be directed to Steff Hedenkamp at (816) 506-4630, RedQuill@kc.rr.com.

Friends of Missouri Midwives www.friendsofMOmidwives.org
Missouri Midwives Association www.missourimidwivesassociation.org
Show-Me Freedom in Healthcare www.showmefreedompac.org
Free the Midwives www.freethemidwives.org
The Big Push for Midwives www.TheBigPushforMidwives.org

NOTE: The Missouri Supreme Court’s ruling today legalizes Certified Professional Midwives and how they practice within their scope of practice for pregnant women, and has nothing to do with abortion, c-sections, or epidurals.

The Midwifery Amendment

376.1753. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, any person who holds current ministerial or tocological * certification by an organization accredited by the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA) may provide services as defined in 42 U.S.C. 1396 r-6(b)(4)(E)(ii)(I). **

* Tocology is the science of midwifery or obstetrics. The National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA) certifies more than 160 credentials, most of which are in the medical field. The Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) and Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) are the only tocological certifications under NOCA. CNMs are already allowed to practice under their own statute. There are no ministers certified by NOCA. Therefore, the CPM is the only credential affected by this language.

** This portion of the US Code says “services related to pregnancy (including prenatal, delivery, and post partum services).”

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Chainsaws and Trailers


I am thrilled to report that I am finally having the tree limbs removed from the ice storm...in December. I know that my punctuality is stunning. I meant to do it sooner...

So, right now Bill and his son, Billy, are in my front yard with a chainsaw loading limbs onto their trailer! Yea!! On a kind of funny note, they are sweating and heaving limbs that little ol' me and Levi moved ourselves.

Now, if I would just attack those bushes out front and finish the flowerbed I might (at least) look like a respectable homeowner.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Things I like today

Get to know Kolbi:

Radio station: KQQX Almost streaming, if you click on the "yes" circle at the bottom of the widget it will play the songs and the videos with just a few glitches (sometimes it stops a song right before the end and switches to the new one, I don't know why) On this site it gives you the option of downloading to iTunes and gives you the band info and lyrics:
KQQX @ yes.com

Applebees: pays the bills year round and keeps me out of trouble.

Jolly Rogers: gives me some spending money in addition to paying the bills and makes me feel like I am on vacation even when I can't really afford one. I work harder here than I ever have before, but also love it more than any other job I can imagine.

Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy: Lemonade beer. Yummy. Also worthy of mention, the Sunset Wheat Tastes like good beer with a tiny hint of Fruit Loops. I know, this isn't probably what they are aiming for, but it is fantastically delicious. :-)

Sixx AM: Nikki Sixx's new band. Terrific, true rock music, made even better if you read the story behind the music. I love when art is more than beautiful, when it is a way to express things that you can't find any other way to tell.

Midwives: Never give up

Books: Percy and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. I got the first of this series for Levi when I
saw a boy his age reading it at work and he loved it so much, he convinced me to read them. He also now has a library of other books on mythology, proving once again that when self-motivated, learning is never a chore. They are fantastic books and Levi could pass any college course on Greek mythology with flying colors!

Quotes for the day:

Don't marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the individual you think you can't live without.
James C. Dobson

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.
Aristotle

When love is not madness, it is not love.
Pedro Calderon de la Barca

A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.
Ingrid Bergman

How absurd and delicious it is to be in love with somebody younger than yourself. Everybody should try it.
Barbara Pym

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage.
Lao Tzu

In the duel of sex woman fights from a dreadnought and man from an open raft.
H. L. Mencken

It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations... The quotations, when engraved upon the memory, give you good thoughts. They also make you anxious to read the authors and look for more.
Winston Churchill

Perhaps it is better to be irresponsible and right, than to be responsible and wrong.
Winston Churchill


When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.
Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865), (attributed)

Summer is here

I kicked off official summer this weekend at Jolly Rogers. The Pirate is just as much fun and as lucrative as I remember! Yea!

Those of you who know me really well know that I sometimes get a bit paranoid and nervous. At an old job, I had a minor panic attack every time I pulled into the parking lot because I knew today would be the day they would fire me. I'm getting better at keeping those thoughts in check and have regulated my mood swings with my crazy meds fairly effectively. Rationally, I know I am a good employee. I work hard, follow the rules, am obsessively honest , and (most importantly in restaurant work) always show up. That being said, this first weekend has been a bit rough. I am kind of the new girl, but kind of not since the restaurant has been open weekends for a bit, so some of the new girls have been there already this year. I feel a little out of place because of my age anyway. I don't know, I'm a mess (we can all agree, right)and need constant reassurance of my value.

I'm am really fortunate that I have a great friend who understands me and sees through my confident facade and knows when a hug (either in person or through text) is needed. He boosts my fragile self-esteem so I can continue to wear my "server-face" even when I'm terrified of invisible threats.

So, all that out. I'm so excited to be back at the Lake, it's great. I love the owners, I love the guests. It's so nice for people to let me take part in their vacation and, better yet, TIP me for it! We just need the weather to cooperate and all will be well. Regardless, it's SUMMER! YEA!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I get lost coming home






New windows and siding!!

Ok, I'm only exaggerating a little. I haven't actually gotten lost, but the house looks so amazing and so completely different that I'm surprised I haven't passed right by it (not even taking into consideration that I am directionally challenged.) Thank goodness I haven't done any landscaping or I might for sure drive right by.

The windows all go up...and get this...down, too! Not only that, there is glass in ALL the places glass should be! Crazy, I know! The siding not only looks fantastic, but contains NO asbestos, not even a little! I mean Paige could eat parts of it for lunch everyday (which I wouldn't put past her) and she would totally survive!

The only bad thing is that now it makes my door, which I thought was white, look dingy and makes the yard look even worse. Give me a break, I'm working on it! We bought a dark teal paint for the front and garage door and eventually those bushes will be tamed. But for now, I am just as happy as I can be with my little house!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

We lose...again

I try to keep to the old adage of, "if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all" so I am going to keep this post plain and simple. Midwives are still felons. There are a handful of Senators who should be ashamed of themselves for so perfectly being the stereotypical "crooked politician" but I am not going to name names, mostly because I'm beated down to the point that I don't think it would do any good.

Money and influence wins; truth and perseverance loses. Same story as the last four years. End of story, end of post.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Thank you!!

I just wanted to take a minute to thank my Central MO group.

Let me start by saying that not all parts of history making, paradigm shifting, women empowering legislative activities are exciting. As a matter of fact, *many* tasks are actually mundane, which makes finding people to do them a bit rough.

This week, Halley Watson, Jesca Byndom, and Halley's friend Emily worked for several hours on looking up the 4 digit extensions for the zip codes in our database. Without these, I can't find the House and Senate districts which we need to better focus our activities, eg: asking people in a certain district to make calls or send notes when their Senator needs special attention. Using the information they gathered saved me at least six hours of mind-numbing work and I can not express how happy it made me!!

THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Body Parts


Did I ever mention I'm an interesting kind of girl? Today I am so excited to have a table full of cow's eyeballs, sheep's hearts, grasshoppers, frogs, and earthworms! No, Paige hasn't started her descent into insanity and gone on a killing spree (whew.)

I am teaching a dissection class, actually two, for our homeschool co-op next month and all the kits and preserved specimens came today. I'm a bit worried about Levi. He is in the class, but didn't even want to look in the box with me. I hope he will be more willing when it is part of the class.

Monday I get to practice dissecting them. Is it wrong that I am teaching the class so I have an excuse to open up a sheep's heart?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Central MO FoMM meeting

We had a really good meeting today of the newly rejuvenated Central MO FoMM group. I am very excited about the enthusiasm of some new faces.

I am just beginning to fully grasp how vital our Senate district is in the future of the midwifery cause. There are some pretty good contacts within our group to hopefully break down the current blockade which originates right here in Columbia.

Thursday we are meeting to work on the database which makes me so happy I could cry. I love being in charge of the supporters list because it allows me to make a difference on a time schedule that works for me (I frequently update things at 1:00 am.) That being said, some of the tasks are a bit overwhelming sometimes. I need help looking up the zip+4's and Senate and House districts and finding people to help is a Godsend.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Supreme Court Hearing

So I heard my first Supreme Court case this morning. It was actually a lot more interesting and friendly than I expected. I expected the justices to sit and listen to long-winded lawyers drone on and then maybe ask for a clarification or two. Rather, it was a more informal back and forth discussion between the lawyers and justices. The process reminded me a great deal of the debate tournaments I have judged for our homeschool group.

The State's lawyer was given eight minutes to speak, the other lawyer for our side (the side of all that is right and good in this world, as I like to call them) was allotted three minutes. The Missouri State Medical Association lawyer (the side of personified evil and greed, of course) was given fifteen minutes, after which, our side had four minutes of rebuttal. This might sound like not very much time, except that, I have learned through the debate tournaments that even three minutes can be used in such a way that a tremendous amount of information can be shared. Ahh, unless you happen to be interrupted every fifteen seconds by one justice or another asking you a question! Both sides did a pretty good job of returning to their main points after each question, but the court certainly guided the discussion.

My initial thoughts (those of a person watching her first case, mind you) are that at least three of the justices had made up their mind before we began. Two against us, and one for. The others seemed to be less opinionated and possibly more open minded. I am obviously partial to our side, but will admit that we need some help from justices who don't want to interfere in the legislative process unless really necessary. Our argument is that without this provision making them legal, midwives can not be covered by health insurance. Only one thing would have been needed, in my opinion to make this an open and shut case. One sentence after the one that said anyone certified with a CPM can practice that said they may then apply to be covered by health insurance. Unfortunately, in the last-minute rush to get the bill passed, Senator Loudon didn't think to add that.

Ever the optimist, I hold out hope that the court finds in our favor and the legislature passes the licensure bill, so we are double-covered!

John and Gina Loudon

Here is a really nice video from Senator John and Gina Loudon (the Senator sponsoring our midwifery bill) about why they believe in this movement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0c20Doq6kUw

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Letter to the Editor

I had a Letter to the Editor published today in the Columbia Daily Tribune, hopefully, it will do some good to put pressure on Senator Graham to not filibuster this year.

Law should allow midwives to practice home births

Editor, the Tribune: My hospital birth was not a horrible experience, but afterward I began researching childbirth, childbirth providers and locations. At the University of Missouri library, I scoured the medical journals for all comparisons of obstetricians, family practice doctors and midwives. I found no studies that show outcomes to be unfavorable when using a midwife in a planned home birth.

Through word of mouth and a lot of legwork, I eventually found two midwives. One was a Mennonite who was not comfortable coming out of her community. The other was a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) who was one of two at the time working legally in the state - now there is one. My husband and I both liked the midwife and her philosophy of pregnancy and childbirth. The birth of my second child at home was an amazing, empowering and relaxed experience.

I later learned about the Certified Professional Midwives certification. The educational requirements are as thorough as the CNM requirements, and the apprenticeship requirements are above and beyond what is expected of CNMs.

My insurance company would have allowed me to deliver in a hospital for one $10 copay but would not cover my midwife. I had no choice but to pay $3,000 out of pocket. It was worth every penny.

There is no scientific or moral reason not to allow these highly skilled midwives to practice in Missouri and for our insurance companies to cover the superior care they provide.


Kolbi Doyle

1222 E. Elm St., Jefferson City

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Maybe this is our year...

Ok, I admit that sometimes I am annoyingly optimistic, but I think this year the midwifery movement is starting really strongly!

It is early in the session and already a huge victory for us! The Senate committee decided to combine the tocology repeal language and the licensure language into one bill! This is giant! That means that our opponents can't remove the language that made the midwives legal thus rendering our Supreme Court case moot without at the same time legalizing CPMs the way we wanted to in the first place.

For all the details: http://www.friendsofmomidwives.blogspot.com/

YEA!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Quotes

I LOVE quotes! I came across these on Nikki's website:

"Before you speak, ask yourself:
Is it kind,
is it necessary,
is it true,
does it improve on the silence?" --Shirdi Sai Baba, Indian saint


"I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time." Jack London

and thought I would share some of my favorites.

"Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I have ever met." Chuck Palahniuk Invisible Monsters

"Those whose cause is just will never lack good arguments." Euripedes Hecuba

"Trying to control love is like being the captain of a small sailboat on a chaotic sea of frustration and ecstasy." DW Pop Rocks and Coke

"If I were asked...to what the singular prosperity and growing strength of that people ought mainly to be attributed, I should reply: To the superiority of their women." Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America

"Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day." Jesus Matthew 6:34

"I will carve a tunnel of hope through the mountain of despair." Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

"Dreams are how we figure out where we want to go. Life is how we get there." Kermit the Frog Before You Leap

How to spend a day at the Capitol

The following is an email to our homeschool group about hanging out at the Capitol, I believe the same directions apply to any trip to the Capitol with only minor modifications. Does anyone have anything to add?
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I am the Chair for the Legislative Committee and would like to offer a task. One of the most important things we, as homeschoolers, can so is to remind our legislators how well the Missouri law is working and how grateful we are for their support. We are so fortunate that the tremendous resource of the Capitol is right in our backyard, it would be a shame to not use it. So here is my task for all of you: make a visit this month. If you only have 30 minutes, that's fine, if you have all day, even better! Here are some suggestions to make your trip successful:


  • Before you go, write a short (one to two paragraph) story about your family and why homeschooling is important to you and any changes you would like to the law or things you love about the law, eg: wanting a tax credit for curriculum, freedom to tailor education, choice of year-round or other unconventional schedule, etc. You might also include any awards the kids have received or goals they have been able to reach because of homeschooing or even a family photo! Make about four copies of this letter.


  • Stop by the desk in the Rotunda (use the front entrance that is under the big stairs facing High St.) and ask for a list of the Senators and Representatives. If you don't know yours, then they can help you figure it out. If it is a nice day, you might also want to pick up a copy of the "walking tour of the Capitol grounds" (that might not be the exact name) to get an art and history lesson out of the visit, as well as the social studies. This guide explains all the sculptures outside the Capitol and is really interesting.

  • Visit your Senator (for most of us it is Carl Vogel, office 321 http://www.senate.mo.gov/08info/members/mem06.htm) and drop off your letter. If the Senator is in the office, try to talk to him or her directly, if not the Legislative Assistant (LA) is almost as important. Talk to him or her the same way you would the Senator, he or she plays a very important role in what is brought to the Senator's attention and how the Senator perceives an issue. If your Senator is Vogel, then enjoy a free soda out of the cooler, his family owns the local Coca-cola distributorship.

  • Visit your Representative (same as in Senate office.)


  • Stop by Secretary of State Robin Carnahan's office, room 208. Here you can get a free copy of the Blue Book, you just have to ask and sign that you have received it. This book is amazing! It has the answer to any question about Missouri you could have: bios of all the legislators, election results, schools, history, winners of a photo contest (one winner is a Kempf, is she a homeschooler?), addresses of newspapers, and much more. You can also get a small packet of educational things for each kid. While you are there say, "hello," to Milton for me and my kids and get a piece of candy, he always has chocolate! He is one of the friendliest people in the Capitol, if you ever have a question about ANYTHING (including the Chiefs), he should be your first stop.

  • Enjoy the museums on the main floor and the paintings and old photos on the upper floors. There is a new exhibit of the battleship Missouri that is really cool on the main floor that has a scale replica, huge bell, and other artifacts.

  • If you have more time, ask one of your reps to take you to the Whispering Gallery at the top of the Capitol, from there you can even go outside and see the whole city! This is a looong walk up lots of stairs, so be prepared for some exercise. If your rep is too busy, try asking Representative Jim Viebrock, room 407A http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills081/member/mem134.htm. ; He is super nice and will do everything he can to make time to take you up there. You can also tell him, "hello" from the kids and me if you'd like.

Fun links:
Senate kids page: http://www.senate.mo.gov/kidspage/index.html
State government home page: http://www.mo.gov/
How a bill becomes a law: http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/info/habbl.pdf