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Showing posts from August, 2011

Why do we need to build an orphanage?

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Do you know what happens to a child in South East Asia when her parents separate?



Do you know what happens to a boy when his mother marries a new husband?



Have you read Grimms Fairy tales?

Take the worst step parent story in a fairy tale and multiply it by at least 100 and you will get an idea of what happens to kids in these situations.

Stepparents don’t care for stepchildren at all. Children are treated like servants, sent out to beg, or sell flowers, or cigarettes, or their bodies to earn the family money. They are beaten, abused and abandoned.

There is a boy in our care who came to us after his stepmother passed away. He has scars from the day she took a break from beating him and poured hot cooking oil on his head instead. His vision is impaired because of it. His name is Suchart and he has the sweetest smile, plays the longest and laughs the loudest. He wants to be a doctor some day.

 The worse the poverty the worse these children are treated and it’s an entrenched cultural norm …

Building a Self Sustaining Orphanage - Christy Klein Originals Giveaway

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So we only have one donation so far. I guess you guys are holding out to see what kind of prizes we've got lined up.

I'm so excited about the things that have been donated this year. They are all things that I like very much and kind of wish I could keep....? NO? Ok. Here is the first one. These are for you.

Hand-Stamped Copper Heart Necklace - Abundant Love

You guys, when I asked Christy, the woman behind Christy Klein Originals, if she would be willing to donate one of her fabulous creations again this year for our fundraiser I had no idea she would pick this one.

This is my favorite of all her necklaces. I've had it pinned on Pinterest for months now, ever since I first saw it.


Look at the gorgeousness. I love the blurb she wrote about it in her shop too. I want to be the woman she made this for.

I know, you are asking yourself how you can enter to win this lovely necklace.

As you know, we need to raise $10,000 to finish building an orphanage by September 30. Why we need …

Who wants to build an orphanage?

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So you may have heard of this little non-profit that I co-founded, administrate, and have some fancy and official sounding titles in, because they won't let you incorporate in California without at least 3 officers and there were no other takers for the positions of CFO and Secretary. Apparently it involves a butt load of work and there aren't many people who are willing to do it without an accompanying salary of some sort. I don't even get benefits.

I do however get the satisfaction of helping a lot of really wonderful little kids in Thailand to have a safe place to live, be able to go to school and be taken care of by warm and loving people who really care about them. I get to be part of the exciting work of figuring out how we can maximize our impact in that region and make it so that our care for children is also something we can use to bring development and change to the communities and villages where these kids are from. I get to watch a dream of self sustaining orp…

Letters to a New Mother - Part 6 - What I wish someone had told me

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Five nights after my first baby was born I woke up drenched from head to toe from what can only be described as a hot flash combined with a breast milk fountain. I spent the next 6 months sleeping on towels, with towels tucked over me to avoid having to wash sheets all day. I had expected the milk, but the excessive sweating was a total surprise.


"Why didn't anyone tell me about this?" I wondered.

(I moved onto tight sport bras and nursing pads eventually, instead of towels.)

When my hair started falling out in clumps in the shower at around 2-3 months postpartum I had to ask someone else if it was normal. Turns out you aren't going bald when this happens, you just haven't shed any hair for 9 months and now it's going back to normal.

When I sank lower than I ever remember sinking after the Girl was born I had never heard of postpartum depression before, other than the word baby blues. I didn't know there was a way out. (For me it was regular exercise, th…

Letters to a New Mother - Part 5 - You can do this

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Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

I remember a night, shortly after my first baby was born. I lay there wondering if he was going to wake and cry again, and kind of wishing someone would come and rescue me by taking him for a little while so I could just sleep again. Then it hit me, "If I don't do this, no one will. This baby is my responsibility and his life is in my hands."

It was like someone tossed a bucket of cold water on me, startling me awake. The weight of it settled into my heart and for the first time I really understood how serious this act of being a mother is. There is a tiny person absolutely dependent on you. What you do is everything to that little person. It will affect them the rest of their life.

It's scary to think of, and maybe overwhelming, and exciting also. You probably don't feel ready. No one does.

But I believe in you. I know you can do this.

If I can, I'm sure you can too.

It gets easier. You adjust to losing your old rhythm of life, you st…

Letters to a New Mother - Part 4 - How to Get Strong

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Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

You get strong by doing things. It's really that simple.

Let's say you wanted to run a marathon for example, not that I ever have. Taking a daily nap night not be the best way to train for it. You have to actually run. You have to make yourself run just a little bit farther when you are already tired and want to quit. You have to run a little farther and faster than you did the day before and you have to do it every day. This is how your body gets stronger, gains endurance, and you get to the point where you can finish running miles and miles without embarrassing yourself by falling over and dying halfway through.

Motherhood isn't that much different.

Those moms you see who seem to do everything well in ways you find impossible to even imagine, they started just like you with one little tiny baby and no idea what came next. The beauty of motherhood is that it comes in stages. At first all you really need to know is how to feed them, help them sleep and ke…

Letters to a New Mother - Part 3 - Biology

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Part 1
Part 2

It's important to understand what your body is doing right now, and what it will do in labor and afterwards. It can make you feel crazy sometimes, all the changes. Here again it's helpful to know that you aren't the only one and even more importantly, there's a reason for it.

Let's start with the symptom you probably noticed first, your digestion. When you are pregnant your digestion literally slows down, leading to all sorts of uncomfortable side effects, such as heartburn, gas, and nausea, to name a few. But there's a reason for this. When you digest food slower you absorb more nutrients from it. You can be eating the exact same amount of food and your body automatically does what it needs to in order to get extra nutrition for that baby.

You may have morning sickness, which is probably a combination of the slowed digestion and low blood sugar from needing so much more food all the time to support all that rapid growth going on in your uterus. So…

Letters to a New Mother - Part 2

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Part 1

I was about 4 months pregnant with the Boy and my dis ease was growing. I wanted this child. I had spent 2 or 4 weeks after we agreed to try and get pregnant blissfully convinced that I actually was already, and I wept for 3 days when I learned I was not. A month later I was pregnant. I feel like I ought to apologize to my friends who tried so hard for so long to conceive for being so flippant about the whole thing, and so fertile.

But it was slowly dawning on me that I was/am a very selfish person. I felt myself pushing back against this unseen weight, rebelling against the all that I had begun to see that this child would take, would demand actually, and I despaired of ever being strong enough to do it.

We were staying with my MIL at the time and she was zealous about me getting a daily walk in every day So one day, just before sunset I walked the red dirt country lanes alone until I came to a stop under a pepper tree. In the shelter of those fragrant branches I poured it al…

Letters to a New Mother, Part 1

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A very dear friend is pregnant for the first time. As many have been over the past few years. I find that the few things I have to say that are valuable to them aren't much different from one to another. This is for my dearly loved friends who are expecting a baby. This is for you.




You're supposed to be excited. At least, you think you ought to be. Everyone else seems to be. If you are in a loving and supportive environment I expect they would be excited for you to bring a new life into this world, a new person to love.

Maybe you're not in that kind of environment. Maybe you weren't trying to get pregnant. Maybe you are wondering if you should stay pregnant. Maybe excitement is the furthest thing from your mind and desperate and frightened are more accurate words for you.

I'll tell you a secret. I'm pretty sure every woman is afraid at some point during her first pregnancy. It doesn't matter whether she wanted to be pregnant, tried to be pregnant, or tried…

Mission Statement

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I started working on a mission statement a few months ago. While intended as a guide for life originally it also works out quite well as a blogging/writing mission as well. A mission statement is handy to have because it allows me to evaluate something I'm writing or doing in light of how well it supports that mission.

So, after several week of thinking about it and revising, etc. here is my personal/blogging/writing mission statement.

I choose to be an agent of redemption, to heal what is broken, mend what is hurt, restore what is lost. I will bless in word and in deed. I choose to believe the best of you, for as long as is possible. I will say yes to and celebrate what is good. I will speak life, where there is death, love, where there is hate, that whisper the hope of joy in the midst of suffering. I welcome all that life offers, joy and pain in all their ever mixing combinations. I will laugh. I will not fear.
Do you have a mission statement or guiding principle? Will yo…

Forgetful

So I won a new smart phone from the AT&T Phone Fairy at blogher. It was awesome. I was just chatting with her and asking her what she was doing at blogher and in answer she asked me what kind of phone I have.

So I showed her my $8 tracphone from Big Lots with the pay as you go plan. It's the phone I got in case of emergencies on the freeway, that kind of thing. It was not very useful to be trying to keep up with everyone at blogher online with that's for sure.

Then she gave me a new HP Veer 4G with 30 days of free service. It's cute and smart, as apposed to my dumb phone, and does stuff like connect to the internet. I haven't even figured out how to tweet on it yet. Still trying to choose an app for that. Yes, it's the small choices that overwhelm me.

Anyway, this afternoon it rang, which was odd because I haven't given anyone the number yet. But someone from New York called and when I answered giggled and hung up. Is this a New York thing, this prank calli…

One Year Old

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This is the sound of my heart quietly weeping as I type that. Seriously, one year old! How and when did that happen? Have I been asleep? Where is my newborn?



It is so bittersweet this growing up thing. I just can't get used to it. I'm never been the fastest to learn or adapt to things and children just never stop changing and needing something new, day and night and it's hard to keep up.


This morning began much as your very first morning here with us began. You lay in bed between mommy and daddy as brother and sisters snuck into the room a few at a time. Except, instead of sneaking in to see their new baby, whether it was a boy or girl, they were sneaking in to get me to do up a party dress because it's your birthday, they must look pretty. They were also sneaking in to complain about each other to me, which was my cue to get up too. Instead of just laying there sleepily you sat up and crawled and grinned at us, making happy to see you noises. You snuggled your head in…

I went to blogher and all I really got was a dominatrix for a friend.

Well, and I made friends with a gangster too. Actually, it was she who introduced me to Dead Cow Girl, the dominatrix. I'm not making any of this up.

The second day as we were all chatting over lovely hor d'oeurves and mojitos, Blogher does things up well, the subject turned to how uncomfortable I felt at first when blogher featured my post about spanking.

"You wrote a post about spanking?" She asked. "It's so interesting that you would say that because my husband and I were just talking about that today. I've felt so bad about it [the thought of spanking] that I thought I was going to have to be the dominatrix who is in the closet about spanking her son."

They had been having discipline issues with their 2 year old. She was going to turn to my post for advice. The humor of this conversation, considering the fact that you could call her a professional spanker, was not lost on us. In fact, we laughed a long time about it.

We spent a lot of the weeken…

11 Years Ago

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I married this man.






He has loved me when I didn't deserve it, shown me grace when I needed it most, and stuck around when sticking around was the hard thing to do.


Without him I wouldn't be the person I am today.


I'm so very glad he chose to marry me.


I still like him 11 years later.


 I'm spending our anniversary at a blogging conference and he's watching the kids this weekend. He's a really great husband, have I mentioned this?



Happy anniversary hon. I love you.

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