Kate's American Death

No, I'm not dying, but this blog is!

Kate's American Life


RIP Forevermore!

:::sniff sniff:::

Okay anyway...


A new era begins!


My Friend's "Oscar's Bingo"

Hey, if you're watching the Oscars, you should check out this. It's heeeeelarious.

We, sadly, are not. We only have netflix. So that's kind of sad because I like the Oscars even if they are silly and stupid. Haha. I have great memories of watching them with my dad when I was a teenager.


Facebook Hackers Suck

Awesome :::rolls eyes::: my facebook account was hacked by somebody claiming I am in London and got robbed, and I need them to wire them some money. As adventurous as that sounds, I'd prefer my first trip to England to involve less illegal activity, not to mention being obnoxious and annoying to friends and people I know.

So, if you were one of the people who "I" requested money from, I'm really sorry. Believe me, it's just as horrible for you as it is for me.

And with that, I think I'll take a six month hiatus from facebooking. See how it goes. I've done it in the past, and I'm about due for another "off cycle." Blogging on the other hand...

I mean, what, did they actually think somebody was stupid enough to believe them????


The Future

Today at quilting the ladies had this really interesting discussion about, "HOW did I get here????"

One of them was talking about the disastrous weekend of her daughter. The things that I remember were that their hot water heater blew out, one of their kids poured an entire thing of syrup on the floor, the daughter accidentally ran her car into her dad's car in the driveway causing so much damage that they have to submit a claim, and to top it off, this poor lady is pregnant.

And then, all these awesome middle aged women started talking about how some days they would (or still do) just wake up and look around and say, "What? HOW did I get here? HOW did I suddenly have all these kids and all these huge, major, difficult problems to deal with????? I can remember being a teenager! Oh man, the problems I thought I had back then were so not even problems at all!"

Then they started talking about how when they look at young, newly married couples who are so deeply in love and act as if the entire world is just shiny and perfect, they just kind of shake their heads and think, "Oh man, just wait."

They talked about how it's not necessarily that they will experience marital problems, or whatever (although this was strongly implied), but they definitely all agreed that life will come with some huge unexpected problems. Like children with disabilities, or a husband who is out of a job for a year and suddenly your entire savings-for-going-on-a-mission is poof gone, to name a few.

This conversation was so interesting to me, because I would definitely classify myself in the "shiny newlywed" category. I mean, I guess we've got two kids so we're not exactly newlyweds. But we've only been married two years, and I feel very much the same way about Danny as the day we got married (which is that he's the most dreamy guy in the entire universe and I don't really see how I can possibly deserve him, but somehow I convinced him to marry me anyway!). Our life is pretty much idyllic...I mean...there are problems sure, but big ones? No. We live a happy, mundane life.

So this conversation made me wonder what is in store for us. I wonder if it is a good thing to expect problems? Will this help us deal with them when they come? Is it better to hope for the best but expect the worst? I think that's basically Danny's philosophy, or maybe I'm getting it all wrong. But that seems to make sense, a kind of realistic optimism.

What do you think is in store for us? What's in store for you?



Sincere Personal Interaction and my desire for more of it

I hear you.
I understand you.
I like you.

I recently reread this article in BYU magazine. It's about the importance of people taking the time to care enough about one another to have sincere personal interaction. This is exactly what I feel like my life currently lacks, and which I am really at a loss of how to achieve.

For the first year or so of my married life, I basically didn't give anybody but my husband the time of day. We were so anti-social it's not even funny. Obviously, I'm not saying that I lack sincere personal interaction with him; it's just...now that we're not students with the option of spending zillions and gazillions of hours together every day, and that I'm not in the physically draining state of pregnancy, I would really, really, really like to have some sincere personal interaction with other moms.

 I feel like I pour my soul into giving this to others as best as I know how, in a wide variety of ways, but somehow I go unnoticed? I don't think it really has anything to do with being unnoticed or unliked or anything like that, I just think most people around me are caught up with the frantic business of their own lives. It seriously makes me want to cry because I have no idea what to do about this.

I think what's hard is that I have a lot of free time, it's just not packaged in the most convenient way (usually it's five minutes here, fifteen minutes there). My day is not structured the way it used to be when I was on a somebody else's schedule. And there are some distinct advantages to that.

I feel really frustrated because the people who I want to be friends with, well, their lives are all on rigid schedules. School, ballet, homework, playgroups, etc. etc. I feel really sad because it's like the business in everybody else's lives has built this giant wall between us, one that is impossible for me to scale. It's built of a constant stream of rush-rush-rushing everywhere and doing everything for and with everyone else except those beyond the wall, like me.

Will I become this way, too? Will life go speeding by so fast that I won't even be able to stop, look people in the eye, and sincerely ask how they're doing? Am I doomed to be that kind of super mom?

I mean, today....today I spent a lot of hours cleaning, a lot of hours filing in my new filing cabinets, and a lot of hours cooking. Dan is doing some kind of growth spurt thing and so he's sleeping extra, and Jane is sick. I cleaned up a lot of diarrhea and did a lot of laundry. I sat and hugged her for a long time, read a book with both of them on my lap, you know - just the normal, everyday things.

I guess I feel super depressed that I spent all day trying so hard to be the best mom/person ever, and then the one time in the day when I actually got out of the house (no way was I risking diarrhea in the car), I was just...ignored. And it's not really just tonight, it's just a long accumulation of sending out zillions of emails to people, calling people, messaging people, texting people, commenting on peoples' blogs, going to every single activity even the ones that I think will not be fun...and for every one of those contacts I initiate, only a small percentage are reciprocated. BLAAAAH.

Do any other young moms feel this way? I suppose they do, and that explains the proliferation of mommy blogs...

Probably part of the reason I'm feeling this way is that when a young child is sick, it banishes their mom to the house. And it's not just me stuck at home with a sickie, it's a lot of my friends. Because obviously I do have many friends, and there are times where I've felt like I've had sincere personal interaction with others during the day, and it's probably just that I'm getting cabin fever and it's midnight after my b.o.c. and I'm just overly tired and emotional etc. etc. I'm not saying boo hoo I have no friends, obviously that would be way melodramatic, right?

Anyway, the end of the article really moved me. It encourages me to continue to try my best to reach out to others, even when they don't reciprocate. It reminds me that as isolated as I feel, I'm not alone because I have a Heavenly Father and a Savior who love me, and care about me all the time, even in the mundane, little things. I wish it were easier to be conscious of that love, and that it would completely fill the lonely void. Sigh. Maybe someday I'll be spiritual enough that it will. Workin' on that, too.

Here's the end of the article. I can't rephrase it to be better, so I just pasted it in. I hope you read it because it's quite good.

And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words the whole multitude fell to the earth; . . .
And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto them saying:
Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.
And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record. [3 Ne. 11:12–15]
The scriptures tell us that they all went forth, one by one, “about two thousand and five hundred souls” (3 Ne. 17:25). You do the math. If each person faced the Lord for only five seconds, the process lasted for about four hours. Here is another lesson about the importance of face-to-face leadership. Despite the investment of time and effort, the Lord briefly but unmistakably communicated with each individual:
I see you.
I understand you.
I love you.
I have died for you.
The risen Lord powerfully embodied what His words described.
The closing of the Savior’s visit, recorded in 3 Nephi 17, is at least as powerful and sacred as the opening:
But now I go unto the Father, and also to show myself unto the lost tribes of Israel. . . .
And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were in tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them. [3 Ne. 17:4–5]
Not only did the Lord stay a little longer, but He also wept with them, blessed their children and their little ones, and taught them things too sacred to be recorded. For those of us who are preoccupied with time management, here is a lesson of leadership. Evidently, the God of the universe changed or delayed His schedule to answer the silent prayers of those who were yearning for a blessing. During this boundary moment, the Lord had respect for their great desires, confirming that our prayers are not a monologue about the inevitable but rather a dialogue that invites and includes us.

Sometimes the glorious accounts of 3 Nephi seem far removed from our condition. Although we may surround ourselves with other people at the office, the school, or the stadium, we too often feel lonely, isolated, and confused. Ironically this kind of alienation comes “not from a lack of communication but from a surplus of the wrong kind.”6
Our lives are also awash with memos, e-mails, and instant messages. Sometimes these are helpful and efficient, but they are also flat and faceless.
Loneliness may be our universal condition, but face-to-face leadership is our eternal end. “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Cor. 13:12).

Trip to Fort Worth and then Dallas

We went to Fort Worth to see the BYU-TCU game. Well, really it was to see Jimmer. But we had a great time. On the way there, we stopped at a park called "Falls on the Brazos Park," or something like that. It was kind of a bit off the beaten path, but look at the coolness when we got there.

Basically, it was a bunch of REALLY old playground equipment, you know, the kind that is probably not allowed anymore because it's "dangerous." Merry-go-rounds and teeter-totters. It was fun. Danny and I did those things with the kids, and this random little boy who showed up.

He was cute, but kind of sad. He comes up to us in the middle of our picnic and is like, "Are you having a magnifent time?" We found out that he basically lives there (there was also a park "office" trailer with some bathrooms, a scary smoking lady (this kid's grandma) and about a dozen really angry chihuahua/mini dobermans that she was selling), which is pretty sad because it's like, the coolest place but we got a strong impression that it's hardly ever used.

Here are some shots of me and the kids by the river. The second one, Danny is telling Jane to be, "HAPPY!" so that's what she's doing, haha.

And here we are in front of TCU's mascot, the horned frogs. Hahahaha I'm so glad that BYU is cougars. Although I'm sure there are worse mascots than this, I just can't think of any.

And here Jane is at the park again, pointing at the camera!

And now the baby is crying so, cy-oh-nar-uh!

In other news, my mixer broke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anybody want to buy me a kitchenaid? Pretty please?


"Being a stay at home mom is a luxury."

Whether or not this phrase is true, it is deeply annoying to me. I want to explain why I don't think it's true, but you can disagree with me and I'm okay with that.

In all fairness, the person who said this probably was using the word to mean "blessing," which I would definitely agree with. It is a huge blessing that I can stay home while my kids are little. I don't think anybody would argue that.

But when a working mom says that being a stay home mom is a luxury, it irritates me to the point of cracking me up. What is a luxury? Something superfluous, that would be nice to have but is not necessary, something extra.

I think stay-home parenting has been and should continue to be the standard.

Lots of moms work, for many reasons including in order to make ends meet. I am NOT judging you for your personal lifestyle choices. I do NOT think that working moms are evil. I do NOT think that it is always mom who needs to stay home. All I'm saying is that in my opinion, the standard is that a parent should raise their own children. Doing this is not a luxury, it is an expectation of parenthood. When it doesn't happen, for whatever reason, it is an exception to the expectation.

I'm fairly certain that most working moms would agree with this. All the working moms I've met have had the attitude: "You're so lucky to be able to stay home!" In which case, they use the term luxury as blessing, which it totally is, and now we're just parsing words.

Staying home with your kids is like bread. Can you live without bread? Yes, but it's better to have it. It is the "staff of life." In Egypt, it is called aish, which means "life." Every culture has some form of bread.

Can all people eat it? No. People with celiac aren't able to digest the gluten. It makes them sick. This is an exception to the norm, which is that most people can eat it.

Staying home with your kids is like breastmilk. Can your baby live without breastmilk? Yes, but it's better to have it. There are many health benefits including increased immunity to disease, to name just one. Every culture has women who breastfeed their babies.

Can all people breastfeed? No. There are many who don't have an adequate supply. Their babies must have formula in order to eat. But this is an exception to the norm, which is that most moms can breastfeed.

Staying home with your kids while they are little is important. Can your kids live without it? Obviously they can. Is it better if a parent can do it? Yes. Is it the norm? I don't know, but I think it *should* be. There are stats floating around about that say 60-ish % of women with kids work, and 40-ish % of them don't. But what does that even mean? Clearly there is a difference between the working woman who is gone 12 hours a day and almost never sees their child from a teacher who is gone while their kids are in school, or somebody who goes to work somewhere part time in the evenings in order to make ends meet, etc.

My opinion is that staying home is something that most people want to do, whether or not the majority actually do. It does not fall under the category of "superfluous", or "something that would be nice." Calling it a luxury demeans the occupation, and it irritates me.

Besides, when I think of my life in terms of "luxury", it's so hilarious and laughable. Especially considering that I drove pretty far to get 2 filing cabinets for $15 yesterday, and Danny and I worked for about two hours scrubbing three-or-four-times-handed-down leather couches in order for them to be clean enough to sit on. OooOOOoooh, so luxurious!!! haha.


Happy Jimmentine!

You need to check out the hilarious Valentines on my friend's blog. We were on the same floor freshman year at BYU.

We are going to the BYU-TCU game this weekend to witness Jimmer Fredette with our own eyes. It is my Valentine's present to Danny.

His gift to me was a night of cooking together without the kids. Miraculously, Jane was asleep and Dan was mostly content. It reminded both of us of before we were married, when we used to cook together, and dream about being married. Haha.

Actually, his other gift was pretty awesome, too. He used to get $2 bills every year for his birthday from his grandparents. Well, he's been saving them for years, and combined it with a little spare cash, gave me $60. He was going to get flowers, but I called him from the grocery store and forbade him from doing so.

Danny: "But what can I get you?"
Kate: "You know what I really want? A filing cabinet!"
Danny: "But that's such a crappy present!"
Kate: "No way!"

Because he gave me cash, I was able to shop Craigslist. I found a 4 door black filing cabinet for $15. And because I'm coming from far away, they want to give me a small 2 door one, as well. Which is great. I will decorate the small one like this, so it isn't an eyesore in our downstairs living space, and the black one can go in my office closet.

Hooray! And there's plenty left over to get: paint and glossy stuff for antiquing the toy thingy, risers for my desk, foam to reupholster my awesome chair, a bit of fabric to reupholster the same said chair, a massive amount of pegboard for my pantry and office, and some leather restorer stuff.

Our friends are moving and they gave us their leather couches, but they are pretty dirty. I've been scrubbing all morning. I read that if you let cornstarch sit on them for several hours, it can help get out the tough stains. So the library is currently barricaded so Jane doesn't go rolling around in the super messy cornstarch. Hope it works.


How We Celebrated Valentine's Day

For Valentine's Day dinner, I made Shrimp Fra Diavolo. It's a recipe from my 'America's Test Kitchen' book, which as far as I'm concerned doesn't contain a single non-delicious recipe. It was my first time cooking with raw shrimp, and also my first time lighting alcohol (brandy) on fire.

Just about now, I am wishing I had remembered to buy a fire extinguisher!

It was really, really delicious, and the perfect thing for my true love. He said it was the best thing I had ever cooked, in his opinion. "Or at least, in the top five!" Which is probably more realistic, because that Boeuf Bourgignon was pretty amazing, just sayin'.

It was perfect for him because he loves pasta, shrimp, and spiciness. There are 2 tsps (THAT IS A LOT!) of red pepper flakes in this baby! But somehow it had a lot of heat, but didn't burn, and also had a lot of flavor. Ahhhh, ATK, I love you. Oh, yeah, and Danny too! haha.

So, on a different note, this is the 300th post, and no new blog yet.

The problem is that the upstairs computer is our server, but it was just recalled, so we can send it in and get a brand new one. Which is good, because there is a major problem with it: the wireless no longer works. As in, it receives its internet through a plug. Weeeeeird. Haha. For now it's just been a desktop-laptop, but to get a brand new computer would be awesome.

But unless we change things around so my downstairs computer can be our server, when this computer leaves us, so does my new blog.

We could just get some free web hosting site and combine it with some redirects to work around this issue until we get the new computer.

The other big problem is that before we do anything to the downstairs computer, Danny wants to reinstall a better version of linux. The one we have is basically just a media-shell type thing. It's fine, but probably regular ubuntu would be better for my computing needs.

The other big problem is with adding an email/RSS subscription widget. It's weird that wordpress doesn't automatically download with that plugin, but whatever. So far, it keeps asking for FTP information when we try to install the plugin I want, but the server is not an FTP server. Why does wordpress want an FTP host to download the plugin? Danny thinks it's just to change the file permissions, which is something he could easily do a workaround for. But that's not a great long term solution because I imagine there will be other plugins I will want to download, and while he can do command line workarounds easily, it would take me fifty times longer and I would most likely mess something up.

I guess I could just start the new blog without a "subscribe!" button, but I daren't do that. I want my parents to read my blog, and while some people are comfortable copying and pasting URLs into their blog readers, my parents get my blog as an email subscription and I don't see that changing. I guess they *could* make it their homepage, but...yeah, no. I need this plugin, by golly!

So basically, getting my new blog up and running will involve reinstalling an operating system and reconfiguring a server, which is too much work to do right now.

This is how my true love and I spent our Valentine's Day evening, by choice. Oh the nerdiness. But it was fun, and that's what matters.


Married, Female, Mormon, Insomniac? (anybody else catch the reference?)

My bro-in-law sent me a link to this article, and after reading the first sentence I decided not to read it because I knew it would just be too upsetting. When the first sentence in an article has the words "planned parenthood", you just know that.

Later, I talked about it at length with Sarah, who had talked about it with my mom. It's about an older single Mormon woman who decides that the church is not for her because of its oppressive culture towards sex. So as a 35 or 36 year old, she goes to planned parenthood, gets an IUD, and starts living a "happy" life of promiscuity. My mom and Sarah both agreed that the author's main motivations for writing the piece were to validate her unrighteous actions, which she probably needed to do because she felt so guilty for them.

Anyway, I didn't read that article, but I read THIS one, which was an interesting response by an LDS woman who got divorced and then remarried. She basically says that the point of our existence has to be more than sex, because when that is all it is, our lives are shallow and meaningless. Even people who never get to be married and enjoy the blessings of family life still can lead full lives because the point of this life is to gain a testimony of Christ and to learn to be more like Him.

I read this with Danny. We thought it was a good blog post. I think I mostly agree with her, except maybe that she under-emphasized the importance of getting married and having a family. Thinking about it, it's really easy for me to say, "Sure, I could lose everything, but I'd still have Christ." But the truth is, I actually feel like I would have nothing without my family. But there are plenty of people who can still have full lives, who don't get the chance to marry here, but will later. I guess I just have a hard time relating to that?

What do you think?

(My MIL had a good suggestion for what to do about Dan's night wakings. She says it's a good idea to get up and "plug him" with his binkie, not feed him immediately, sort of train him to sleep a half hour longer, bit by bit. So we'll see how this goes. I'm writing this post between episodes of getting up, wrapping him up, and plugging him, FYI. I'm now on round 5.

The truth is that I kind of actually like middle of the night feedings, it's just when I wake up an hour beforehand and can't fall asleep for an hour (or two) afterward, and end up getting 3-4 hours of sleep total that it is hard. It's the insomnia/hunger pains that I could do without. But if baby wants to nurse, I'm down with it pretty much any time!)


Baby 15: mom 4 - hours of sleep that is.

Why does it always happen that I wake up at 3 am, lie awake in bed for an hour unable to fall asleep, figure out that my stomach is screaming, "HUNGER HUNGER HUNGER!" after about an hour, get a bowl of cereal at 4 am, and just as I'm finishing said B.O.C., le bebe awakes?

Rinse and repeat.

And repeat.

And repeat, ad infinitum.

Baby Dan, please wake up at 3 am next time.


"Metablogging" or "When to Kill a Blog"

I am so glad that I married a computer nerd. Last night, we spent several hours working on my blog.

My new blog.

I am a one-blog woman. I can't have multiple blogs that I keep up. I just can't. I know this because my blogger dashboard has something like 13. Don't worry, they aren't all supposed to be daily-updated type blogs; some of them are just me saving the name for someday-but-not-today. Some are group blogs that are no longer in existence. And some are finished blogs.

What in the heck is a "finished blog"?

Obviously, a travel blog is "finished" when you get home. Or some time after you get home, as was my case, since I wanted to include the first little bit of major culture shock.

But this blog? When will it be done?

The fact is, I don't listen to "This American Life" anymore because the last 3 times I tried to, it was always either extremely dirty, or worse: extremely negative about marriage. Okay, maybe it's not worse, but I can't tolerate either. So why would I want my blog to be named after it? Besides, the person who introduced that NPR show to me is no longer important to me at all.

Anyway, reading this article completely changed my attitude about blogging. How? It highlights "typical mormon mommy bloggers." Wanting to know what that is, I subscribed to all the blogs she mentioned in the article. The past few weeks reading them, I have figured out this one thing:

I want my blog to be more like theirs.

Short daily posts, lots of pictures, lots of happines, lots more about the mundaneness of life. Starting over with a clean slate seems like a good way to do it.

Besides, on a more practical-usage level, I am getting "wordpress-lust." My original blog was with livejournal, then I graduated to blogger, and now that I've grown up I am becoming a wordpress blogger? From our home server and my own domain? Don't want to bore you with the nerdiness of last night. Let me tell you, Danny and I had a blast working on it together. Again, I will state: I am SO GLAD I married a computer nerd, mainly for the reason that he has just as much or more fun figuring out the technical aspects of blogging, so it is something we can sit down and do together. Secondarily, for the reason that he knows orders of magnitude more about computers than I do, so parsing through RSS XML DNS CNAME ATOM madness is much, much, much, much easier with him around.

The other reason is that my life now is just so, SO different from what it was when I started this blog. I am now a stay-home-mommy. Major life change = major blog change?

What sealed the deal for me was picking up a random Ensign yesterday (to "read" with Jane, which means pointing at pictures and saying, "Look! Jesus!") was when I happened to pick the one with this article. I want my blog to be less ranty, and more lifey.

This blog has been more of a mind-dump. I am not sure if I will keep it active, you know, post here every so often when I build a giant rage about something political or whatever. But let's be honest, I probably won't ever post here again after the 300th post.

Yes, I will soon have reached 300 posts on this blog. That seems like a nice, round number. Good time for change.

Honestly, I'm pretty scared to do this. I love (as in obsess over) my reader stats. I love getting comments. Blogging is a big part of my life. I love writing. I love sharing. I love reading others' blogs. I'm freaked to change to a new blog because I know my readership will go down. But hopefully it will eventually go up? I love being able to say something and feel like other people hear it. Anyway, that Ensign article above clearly stated that even and especially if you don't have thousands of readers, you can make your blog be a wonderful tool for sharing the gospel.

I think the point I get from that is: share your testimony in the small things too, not just the huge, major testimony-building things.

Anyway, more about the new blog later. For now, I am going back to sleep.


Is Dunkin' Donuts "Cheap and Low Class"?

Danny: "Donuts are totally a low-class food.*"
Kate: "Sure, but Dunkin' Donuts is like Starbucks."
Danny: "How is Dunkin' Donuts like Starbucks?"
Kate: "You know how there's a Starbucks on every corner in Conifer? That's how it is in Western Mass!"
Danny: "But that doesn't mean that it's not low class."
Kate: "Everybody goes there. EVERYBODY."
Danny: "McDonalds?"
Kate: "McDonalds isn't necessarily low class."
Danny: "I can't think of anything more low class."
Kate: "Maybe if you ate there every day for every meal!"
Danny: "I think the difference is that when you think of Starbucks, you think of coffee, but when you think of Dunkin' Donuts, you think of donuts, and donuts are a low-class food. Donuts are in the name!"
Kate: "Okay, but everbody at home goes to Dunkin' Donuts primarily for their coffee."
Danny: "But it's still in the name. And they DO sell donuts. Starbucks doesn't sell donuts, they sell pastries and croissants."
Kate: "And now they sell $3.00 half-cups of oatmeal."
Danny: "Exactly! If anything screams elitism, it's absurdly priced peasant food relabled as a health food!"
Kate: "You could buy about 3 pounds of oatmeal for that much."
Jane: "Waaaah!!!"

Better go appease the whiner.

But I'm wondering what you think. Is Dunkin' Donuts cheap and low class? Dot, you worked there for a stint. What say ye?

* Danny wants to add for clarification that he is not an enormous snob, that he ate donuts every morning for 3 years in high school.



So, what's with the porn talks????

Last week was the 5th Sunday of the month which means that the Relief Society and Priesthood meet together for the last block of meetings at church. Our bishopric surprised everybody by having an LDS therapist from the other ward come in and give a slideshow presentation about Pornography.

He did a great job, and when I left, I was thoroughly terrified.

Crazy statistics, like 28% of porn "users" are women, 20% of men look at porn at work (which most employers have a zero toleration policy), the people who make money off porn try to hook 8-11 year olds (EIGHT???) - deliberately trying to get them to view it accidentally - and the most staggering part of his message: Your kids will be exposed to pornography and there's nothing you can do to completely keep them away from it.

I wish he had spent more time talking about how you can overcome this sick and home-wrecking addiction, and more time giving parents concrete ways to deal with the problem with their children. But the time was limited and the audience too diverse, and he gave us lots of resources to find these things ourselves (including access to the slideshow he had, as well as his contact info, which was cool). Not everybody there was a parent. And while neither Danny nor I have ANY doubts about the evils, addictive nature, and seriousness of this issue, it really is important to be reminded of this.

I'm grateful that my friend Galad's Sunday school lesson that day was about the Woman at the Well. I sat there in her class, and reread that story. Obviously, she had some sexual purity issues. I think she had five husbands before, and when she met Christ at the well, her current relationship was with a guy to whom she wasn't married. Yet Christ sought her out. He offered her living water. He used her as a major missionary tool in Samaria.

Anyway, that was just a powerful reminder to me how Christ's love extends to everybody, even those with serious sexual sins. To partake of the living water, she would have to change, no doubt. But that he offered, that the atonement is available to all, that's really important to remember.

Tonight was the adult session of our stake conference. President Sosa, who is a close family friend of ours, gave an extremely powerful talk about boundaries. He chose to focus his talk on avoiding pornography. The main thing that I remember that struck me was that he said that if you put your boundary right on the edge, it is not an effective boundary. You need to put it as far away as possible from the danger. That makes sense to me.

He also said he thinks it's easier to live righteously 100% of the time rather than 98% of the time. That will have to be abroidered (this is the word that comes to mind and I think it's in French but I'm too lazy to find a synonym so just figure it out from the context) on a different night since I am going to eat some yummy pasta with my true love now.

I guess that the answer to this post's title is: this is a huge deal. Pornography destroys people, marriages, and families. Through Christ's atonement, we can be healed, but it's a zillion times easier and better to not be broken from it in the first place. I think our stake is just sending us the message that this is an important issue and education on how bad it is/how to avoid it is something we all really need.

Why do you think the sudden influx of "porn talks"?


My Personal Version of Hell

It's got to be some kind of sick hybrid version of a pediatrician's waiting room combined with an 18 month old's first mommy-and me class.


Pediatrician Switch?

Ped: "Jane should be getting several shots today...let's see..." [looking at computer screen chart]

Kate: "Here's the record I have of her shots." [hands the ped my little sheet of cardstock]

Ped: [Looks confused] "Oh." [Looks from the screen to the paper to the screen several times] "It looks like we don't have a record of some of these shots."

Kate: "Okay, so..."

Ped: "Let me check on something." [leaves the office, then comes back] "Yeah, it looks like Jane has already had the prevnar and the *something something something booster vaccines I forgot what they're called*. I'm glad you had that paper because we don't want to give her the wrong shots!"

She then starts doing Daniel's physical and then leaves quickly thereafter to do another patient's physical. I was there for both kids, and I think she was there in the room a total of 15 minutes. My mind was focused on the baby and keeping him from rolling off the exam table, while Jane and her friend played with the chairs (yes, I was also babysitting, and therefore had 3 under 2 with me at the pediatrician's, but it was actually not bad at all).

Much later, the nurse comes in to give baby Dan (the 4 month old) his shots. It went like this.

Kate: "So, what would have happened if I hadn't brought in my record of Jane's shots?"

Nurse: "Oh, well, we're switching from a paper system to an electronic system. It must have just not been input into the new system yet." (that didn't answer my question at all!)

Kate: [coldly] "Well, then it's a good thing I brought in my paperwork, otherwise you might have given her the wrong vaccines!"

Nurse: "I don't work here normally. I'm just here as extra help today."

Kate: [nicer] "I'm sure it's not YOUR fault. I'm just concerned that they lost the record."

-- End of discussion --

Since the main thing we use our pediatrician for is vaccines and immunizations and they made such a huge, avoidable mistake, I think we will find a new doctor. Do you think this is an overreaction? What would you do in a similar circumstance? Keep in mind that I have thought about switching ever since:

a. my friend had problems with the same pediatrician's office
b. this office filed my kids' charts/paperwork under D instead of C and took 15 minutes to find it, while I waited with cranky kids
c. the doctor herself is nice but clearly has no clue who I am or my kids are - she reads the stuff as if it's a script instead of even listening to my concerns. Dude, I know HOW to start a baby on solid foods. Hello, I have an 18 month old!? But what I want to know is WHY I should wait longer, how it will affect the younger one, and you just brush off those concerns and tell me to read the handout? Obnoxious! and finally,
d. It's so freaking expensive. Maybe somewhere else will be...not as. Yeah right.

For the record, I'm with Dr. Stabe at Texas Children's Pediatrics - Katy.

What would you do?