break out the hankies.

I don’t mean for that title to undermine what I’m about to share, because I’m totally.serious.  Whenever I hear about a child getting seriously injured or worse – preventable or not – my heart aches.  I cannot fathom losing one of my babies, ever, because that’s just not the way life is supposed to be.  I want to share this first one primarily as a warning to mamas with little ones in infant carrier carseats.  Please, please, please.  Do not put your baby’s carseat in the upper portion of the shopping cart. 

I learned about the infant’s death from Krista over at Not Mommy of the Year.  She linked up another blog post about it. I found a couple news stories about it.  I looked up our carseat’s warnings and guess what it says? 
 “NEVER place carrier in top of shopping cart.

Carrier will not be secure and could fall causing injury to child.”

I probably should have read the instruction manual or the carseat, because you know what?  I didn’t know.  I had seen other mothers putting their babies in the shopping cart like that.  Fortunately, I learned that this was a no-no sometime between the time Theo was out of the carseat and Dexter was into it.  But I did put Theo in the shopping cart like that.  And I got lucky, because nothing ever happened.  Now, I either wear Dexter in a carrier or he goes in the big basket part of the shopping cart.  This. Is. Scary.  And so preventable.  So one more time, pleeease. Don’t put your baby carrier in the top of the shopping cart.


Sadly, I read about another unexpected child death that broke my heart.  One day he’s here, one day he’s not.  Can you imagine?  This one came from Lydia over at Rants from Mommyland.  She linked up a fellow mom blogger’s story (don’t click that link without tissues…I swear).  She posted his first-day-of-7th-grade pics on September 7th and just 4 days later, his picture, a bible verse, and the simple words “Our Beloved Son.”  Sometime between those two posts, Jack died as a result of a flash flood related accident in Virginia.  I don’t know if his death was preventable.  It doesn’t really matter because Jack is gone.  Now there is an empty desk in his classroom and an empty spot at the dinner table. 


I don’t know how long this link will work but … a couple of weeks ago I also learned of a 2 year old toddler who ran across a busy highway, following his mother to their house from his grandmother’s house.  The mother thought the boy’s grandmother was watching him and the grandmother thought the boy’s mother was watching him.  He was struck by a car going the speed limit (40mph).  Senseless and preventable.  And he’s still gone.  In an instant, your life can change forever.  Can you imagine being that innocent driver?  The mommy?  The grandmother?  Heartbreaking. 


These kinds of stories make me want to hold my babies tighter, love them harder, kiss them all over, and protect them in every way I can.  I’ve been doing just that.  Won’t you do the same with yours?


so saddened,

rape: how far is too far?

Disclaimer: this is a mommy blog, usually.  This has nothing to do with mommy-ness or my children.  Just something I can’t get off my mind.  So here goes.

I mentioned in a previous post that we had the opportunity to go to the movies this weekend.  We saw Straw Dogs.  Synopsis: David and Amy Sumner, a Hollywood screenwriter and his actress wife, return to her small hometown in the deep South to prepare the family home for sale after her father’s death. Once there, tensions build in their marriage and old conflicts re-emerge with the locals, including Amy’s ex-boyfriend Charlie, leading to a violent confrontation” (Yahoo).

The movie is Rated R and details about the reasoning for the rating includes “strong brutal violence including a sexual attack.”  I was not familiar with the 1971 original, therefore I did not know that the 2011 remake also had a graphic rape scene.  The original film was apparently banned in various venues following its release due to the violent, disturbing content. 


I wish I could remember the name of a movie I saw within the past 2 or 3 years that also had a graphic rape scene.  I recall telling my husband that I, a woman who has never been raped or physically attacked, was extremely uncomfortable watching the scene.  I felt the exact same way watching the scene in Straw Dogs this past weekend.  I had to look away several times and wondered why the director felt it necessary to show so much when a whole lot less would have gotten the point across.  I can’t imagine what anyone who has been raped would feel while watching the movie. 

Since that experience I had a couple of years ago, I’ve thought that movies with this type of scene should warn viewers.  “Warning: This film contains a graphic, violent rape scene that may be disturbing to some viewers.” Is that enough?  Or too much? Sure, the rating details explain that the movie contains a “sexual attack.”  But who looks up the reason behind a movie rating before going to the theater? 

If a warning about rape is required, then what else will require a warning?  I know…once you start that kinda ball rolling, it’s hard to stop it. 

Kate Bosworth plays the victim of rape in the 2011 version of Straw Dogs.  Alexander Skarsgard plays one of the rapists. 

“I told Alex not to worry about me, to just go for it. I said, I need you to lose yourself in this moment,” Bosworth told Black Book in a recent interview. “And it was actually violent,” Bosworth continued. “He’s a huge guy. When he was ripping off my clothes in front of a room filled with men, even though I knew it was make-believe, it was still incredibly violating and terrifying. The panic you see flooding me in that rape scene is real.”

I dunno, guys.  I’m not trying to be all Miss Picky-Picky.  Truthfully as a whole, I was entertained by the movie and enjoyed the storyline.  I just wish they would have left that rape scene out.  I suppose I’m looking out for someone who might be re-traumatized by this sort of thing.  It just feels wrong and unnecessary. 


Has anyone else seen Straw Dogs (either version)?



when sad slaps happy upside the head

This past weekend was such a mix of the ordinary and the extraordinary.  There were these moments, those little ones, that make it all worthwhile.  Friday I had both babies by myself and it was a good day.  Nothing spectacular, but not stressful and therefore a solid “good.”  I ran some errands, met a friend at the mall for a Chic-Fil-A lunch and playground time, and did some chores while both kids napped (massive success).  That night, my heart nearly exploded out of my chest as I watched Theo trying to entertain Dexter for the first time.  I mean, Dexter is pretty entertained by Theo – he always follows his every move.  But this was different.  It was on purpose.  Theo was sitting on the couch next to me as I was holding Dexter and they were smiling at and reacting to one another.  Theo was leaning over in Dexter’s face, grinning and admiring his baby brother.  It was a moment that would mean absolutely nothing to anyone else sitting there, but one that I had been waiting for.  It was so sweet.  Stinkin’ adorable. 

On Saturday, the early morning was full of sleepy snuggles in a dark bedroom as barely awake babies were tucked beneath cozy blankets.  Theo drank whole milk from a pirate sippy cup as Dexter nursed and a big mess of intertwined legs and feet ensued.  R and I paused and looked across the divide between us, full of squirmy little kids in footie pajamas, and quietly smiled at one another…thinking this is itThis is what everyone wants.  We’ve got it.  This is the dream.  If “they” don’t want this, then “they” don’t know what it is.  I felt insurmountable wealth in that moment.

After agonizing about it all week, I decided to accept R’s parents’ offer to keep Dexter and Theo Saturday night so that we could enjoy our first kid-free night since April.  I went back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.  There were pros.  There were cons.  There were stomachaches thinking about leaving my bitty baby Dexy for the first time.  Ultimately, I knew that I had to do it because we desperately needed that time together.  But I didn’t want to.  But I did.  You see?  It was quite the challenge.  Long story short(ish), we dropped them off and had dinner at Bravo, then saw the movie Straw Dogs (I thought it was good, for what that’s worth, and I’m going to talk more about a particular scene in a separate post).  Of course, I had to pump, so we went home for that and then headed over to The Melting Pot for a decadent dessert (which was friggin’ amazing).  Y’all.  We didn’t even GET to The Melting Pot until after 10pm.  That’s 2200 hrs.  Do you understand how wacky and extraordinary a phenomenon this has become?  As we were gushing over how delicious our Cookies ‘n Cream Marshmallow Dream fondue was, I felt the deepest gratitude for my in-laws…who not only agree to babysit when we ask them to, but ask if and when they can babysit.  Again, so lucky. 

I felt a sense of renewal and rejuvenation I haven’t felt since, well, probably the last time I was kid-free for a night.  I spend so much time in mommy mode nowadays that I tend to forget I ever had any other mode.  Being my husband’s girlfriend (and not just the mother of his children) for a day was fun.  Waking up on Sunday morning at 9:08am was pretty magical too.  Lying on the couch watching Ghost on Lifetime (or whatever channel it was) was kickass.  But you know what, guys?  Seeing those kids on Sunday afternoon – that was the best.  Theo’s little chipmunk grin and Dexter’s gummy, slobbery smile…those faces melt my heart.  My little humans were finally home and back in my arms.  We had a good dinner and some time to play before they went to bed.  The weekend was over but the euphoria from those perfect three days lingered on. 

I got in my car and started the quiet drive to work, feeling full of contentment about my life.  For some reason, I started thinking about a shirt we bought Dexter that had a cute excavator and said “my grandpa digs me” on it.  I had showed it to R’s dad before they left.  Five minutes before I pulled into the parking garage, that stupid little 3-6 month shirt made me cry.  I thought about how Dexter would never wear that shirt for my dad.  I have often thought things like “my dad won’t meet my kids,” etc.  But I had never thought much about what his relationship with them would have been like.  I never pictured him chasing after Theo or them laughing together as he tossed Theo up in the air.  I had never imagined him snuggling Dexter up to his scratchy beard to kiss his forehead.  Never envisioned him taking my boys fishing and coming back with stories about funny things that happened.  He won’t shake their hands or hug their necks and say “I’m proud of you” on graduation day.  I never thought about the memories my kids won’t make because they don’t have their Gramps.  The memories that I won’t make because my kids don’t have their Gramps. 

For some reason, that realization took me by surprise and before I knew it, hot tears were welling up in my eyes and streaming down my cheeks.  Life is weird.  And beautiful.  And strange. And ugly.  Death and loss is a natural part of that, I know.  Just when you think you’re truly happy, sad comes along and slaps you upside the head.  Missing my dad is something I do every day, but I’m not going to let that steal my thunder.  All in all, it was still a perfect weekend.