About Me

Saturday, December 27, 2008


"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 <

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


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.