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Monthly Archives: June 2014

How Can We Save Meriam Ibrahim? We Cannot Save Ourselves

Today was one of those last-straw days.

One of those days when I just despair of ever getting out from under the pile of spineless weasels who make up the ruling classes; or ever seeing certain nations in the world free of tyrants and thugs. There is nothing new under the sun, so it goes, and I know human history has always been littered with tyrants, thugs,and weasels, and the innocent have always suffered their oppression and greed.

Still, I yearn desperately for the kind of plain-spoken bluntness that many people would say is not diplomatic. Good thing I’m not a diplomat and never will be.

We just don’t have time anymore to dicker around with pleasantries and words that obscure the truth rather than speak it.

I am ashamed that women in my country consider it a war against them personally to have anyone say that free birth control is not a right they should be granted. It’s embarrassing that supposedly intelligent and educated females in America whine on national television about the cost of contraception and cry about the hardship it inflicts upon them to have to obtain it with their own money.

This may be the lowest point in human history, in that modern women consider abortion a sacred “right” which can never be infringed or regulated or limited in any way by anyone for any reason. A child has no safe refuge anymore; no sure advocate, not even in their mothers. Abortion has made women the ultimate despot. They demand to kill with impunity.

It is horrifyingly evil that America is a nation that kills babies willfully, knowingly, deliberately, and with celebration. We don’t terminate pregnancies. We don’t make reproductive choices. We kill babies in the womb. We kill the most vulnerable child. For profit. For “freedom.”

Now, to add even more stupefying illogic to injury, it seems we must address the tragedy of infant mortality by increasing access to abortion. The way to make sure they don’t die after birth is to kill them before birth. Got that?

We also kill the sick and elderly now. Judges rule from on-high that it must be done. We starve and dehydrate them to death. A slow and painful death. Because that’s “merciful.”

meriam ibrahimAgainst this shining backdrop of American values and morality, we and the rest of the free world sit twiddling our thumbs while barbarians in the Middle East are preparing to flog a woman for the crime of rejecting Islam. She may or may not survive her flogging. If she does, then once her newborn child is old enough to wean from nursing, they will execute Meriam Ibrahim for defying their tyrannical dictates and refusing to convert to Islam.

Our nation sits in virtual silence from the White House down. A few courageous souls have spoken up to defend Meriam and condemn what is happening to her, but to what avail? The people who have the political power to perhaps make a difference and rescue her from this gruesome and inhumane sentence seem to disappear amidst chirping crickets.

Around the world, much the same.

But is that fair, you ask? Perhaps the powerful people are working behind the scenes to free Meriam and we just don’t know it.  They’d better be! And they’d better hurry up.

It’s still not enough. Where are the leaders who will publicly say something like this:
“If you flog this woman, you are animals. You are barbaric, sadistic animals. You’re not keeping to a pure religion. You’re not obeying God. You’re not answering the dishonor of Islam. You’re just barbaric, sadistic animals. And if this is what your Islam preaches and requires, then it is a sadistic and barbaric religion that we condemn. You can keep your violent and bloodthirsty god. We want nothing to do with it because we actually love freedom, and we actually value human life. Including the lives of women and children.”
Wouldn’t that be refreshingly honest?

But as I’ve already pointed out, the reason the United States can’t make such a courageous statement is because we don’t actually value all human life. Some human life is quite disposable to us. We love freedom, alright, but not real freedom. We love the unrestrained license to do as we please.

So the clock ticks closer to Meriam being brutally flogged by men who are barbaric, sadistic animals. And American women whine and cry about the “war on women” here at home because they want their damned Pills and IUD’s for free. And they want abortions as “back-up” birth control when all those Pills and devices fail to prevent pregnancy. That way, when they don’t get what they originally wanted, they can still get what they want by killing someone who is utterly defenseless.

Just like Meriam.

Why isn’t the whole world down to its last straw? Why do civilized societies tolerate a culture that flogs women, kills them for the sake of “honor” and executes them for not obeying that culture’s religion?

Why do civilized societies kill their own babies? How can they stand by as their sons and daughters are torn from the womb in pieces? How can they sleep at night knowing their own nation is so morally bankrupt and barbaric? How can they face themselves knowing that they kill the elderly and sick under the premise of mercy and last wishes?

In a world of violent bullies, eventually everyone becomes a target.

That’s what happens while crickets chirp.

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Posted by on June 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Ode to Great Dads: So Long, Doofus!

proud new dad
Gentlemen, this one’s for you. I see you, and I appreciate you. We need more of you. We need you to not give up. We need you to be stronger and more faithful than ever before. I ask God to bless you all this Father’s Day, and every day, and to protect you and raise you up. Thank you for being great fathers and husbands.

I cringe at the plethora of demeaning stereotypes that abound about Dads these days. He’s either the juvenile nimrod, or the lazy couch potato guzzling beer in front of the television, or the complete doofus who can’t take care of his own children without the entire house falling into disastrous ruin.

Commercials abound where Dad is left in charge of the kids and house, and total mayhem ensues. The kids are filthy and out of control, the house is a wreck, and somehow it must all be restored to normal before Mom finds out.

Or, Mom walks in to find Dad changing the baby’s diaper on the kitchen counter, amid dirty dishes galore and food splattered on the ceiling. She sighs and looks at them as if to say, “My two babies…” Then with a swipe of her disinfectant, Mom expertly gets everything back in order. Because Mom is awesome and capable, but Dad is a complete doofus who can’t manage anything except the remote control.

It’s really sad to see Dads being played as the helpless hap or the juvenile jerk or the clueless clod. It’s not even funny. It’s just insulting.

You want to know what I see around me every day, in stores, at church, on the sidewalks and front porches, in the backyards and parks, and friends’ homes?

I see a lot of great Dads.

I see Dads pushing their daughters on the swings. I see Dads kicking the soccer ball around with their sons. I see Dads wearing their babies in the front sling or the backpack. I see Dads pulling their little ones in wagons and bicycle trailers. I see Dads walking around, carrying their fussy baby, rocking them gently trying to soothe them. I see Dads cooking dinner and doing the dishes. I see Dads walking hand-in-hand with their wives, out for an evening stroll.

I see Dads taking the kids to the doctor and holding them while they get a vaccine. I see Dads sitting down to tea parties with their 3 year-old. I see Dads reading books to their preschoolers and playing Littlest Pet Shop. I see Dads wrestling and tickling the kids on the floor til everyone is out of breath with laughter. I see Dads helping to build ramps for scooters, and shoveling giant piles of snow for the kids to sled down.

The Dads I know are taking care of tubby time and bedtime; they’re helping with homework; they’re pushing the stroller and carrying the carseat; they’re making bottles and spoon-feeding toddlers; they’re shuttling kids to dance class and football practice; they manage diaper duty with competence; they’re snapping photos left and right every time their little kiddo does something cute or noteworthy.

They’re paying attention.

They don’t need anyone’s pity.

They’re quite capable.

Has there been a time in history when men were more involved in child care duties than today? Feminism had better get its act together and eat a few bites of humble pie. It’s without a doubt a great gift to men that modern parenting includes Dad in every facet and allows fathers to experience and participate in the whole sweet mess.

But that gift should not come with insults and mockery on the side. Good men everywhere are doing a Herculean job of stepping into a way of fathering that is more involved in the daily little details than their fathers and grandfathers ever were. From the looks of it, they’re learning really fast and making the most of it.

It’s too bad they have to do it amidst the lunacy of a feminist mandate that says they must treat women just like men, while women get to make fun of them and belittle them and basically insult their manhood. Huh? Poor guys.

I’m blessed to have married a man who is a wonderful, caring father to our children. He can handle a poopy diaper as well as I can, and does so without complaint or hesitation. When a kid throws up all over the couch or the bed or the carpet (because they never, ever throw up anywhere inside the bathroom), we tag-team the disaster. Usually I take care of cleaning up the kid, and he gets started cleaning up the environment.

He can take care of dinner and the dishes, and no, he doesn’t resort to ordering pizza. Stuffed chicken breast and homemade ciabata bread is more his style. Yeah, sometimes he and the kids love to have a “finger-food feast” (i.e. frozen, breaded and fried foods) and that’s just fine.

He makes memories doing simple, pure and child-like things like getting donuts every Saturday morning and planting flowers with the girls. He helps them build Legos and it’s hard to say who’s having more fun.

He plays peek-a-boo with the baby because he loves to hear her giggle, and takes her on walks when she’s cranky. He takes the older kids to the library and talk to them about good books he’s read. He encourages them by listening to what interests them. He takes the time to explain things that matter. He talks to them about the importance of virtues like honesty, kindness, hard work, and sacrifice. He sets the example in his actions.

He tells them every single day that he loves them. He takes his vocation as Catholic husband and father seriously, and he’s continually trying to live that vocation more fully. He’s a good Dad.

I know our culture is suffering profoundly precisely because too many children don’t have a good Dad around. Too many guys have kids and don’t live up to their obligations. They abandon, abuse, neglect, and squander the family they’ve been given. For today that’s all the virtual ink I’ll spill talking about them.

This is about the men. The good ones. You’re out there, and I hope you know how very much you matter. Please accept this one woman’s sincere apology for the stupid commercials and the demeaning nonsense you put up with these days.

Thank you for loving your wives and your children. Thank you for all the sacrifices you make. Thank you for being knights, and for knowing that knights are still needed.

Happy Father’s Day.

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Adventures in FPIES: The Infant Disease You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of

FPIES NEW Logo finalDarling Daughter #4 was about six months old, and since I was an old pro at this stuff, I did the same things I’d done with the first three girls. I got some Gerber Oatmeal cereal, and some Rice cereal, and some pureed apples and pears. She’d been showing a real interest in the foods I was eating, and she seemed hungry, so I decided it was time to introduce some solid foods.

I fixed a small bowl of rice cereal like I’d done a hundred times before in years past, and mixed in a little apples. My daughter gobbled it all up gladly. Success! I expected nothing else, of course, since I was an old pro at this. (ahem)

2 hours later… she suddenly became very agitated and crying, and then began vomiting. Then she became limp and lethargic. Then more vomiting. She threw up every fifteen minutes for about 2 hours. She was like a wet dishrag, and she was pale and weak. I thought she’d come down with a nasty stomach bug.

Then after a few hours, the vomiting had stopped and she perked up. Her color came back, she seemed more energetic, more like her normal self. And she wanted to nurse. I was hesitant, but I knew she needed the hydration and if anything was likely to agree with her stomach again, it was breast milk. So I nursed her. She drank herself into a nice, long nap, and that was that. She was right as rain again. When she awoke, no more vomiting, no more crying.

She seemed fine the next several days except for some persistent diarrhea. I still figured she had a little stomach bug or something, so to be on the safe side, I didn’t feed her any more solid foods for about a week. Then I tried it again. Oatmeal cereal and pears this time. Once again, she gobbled it all up.

And once again, two hours later, she vomited it all up. Just like the first time, she became rather lethargic and limp and pale. She vomited every 15 -20 minutes for about two hours again. Then, just like before, she seemed to perk up and wanted to nurse. I nursed her, and she was right as rain once again.

Now I’m thinking this is not just a stomach bug! So I took her to the pediatrician, who discovered she had an ear infection. She’d had a stuffy nose and a little cold, so the doctor said the vomiting was probably because of the ear infection. Antibiotics in hand, we went home and I decided to wait til the infection was all clear before feeding her any more solid foods.

We got the all-clear from the doctor about her ears, so I tried some more cereal with apples. She ate it all up gladly.

Then two hours later, she gave it all back to me and then some. Exactly the same scenario as the first two times. Now I knew something strange was going on and it had nothing to do with her ears. (All this time, she continued to have diarrhea which resulted in a terrible rash.)

Back to the pediatrician I went, and even the doctor was stumped. She agreed it was very strange, and referred us to a pediatric gastroenterologist at Children’s Mercy Hospital. While we waited for that appointment, we did not give her any solid foods. We continued breastfeeding only. Thank God for nursing!

The night before our appointment with the specialist, I said to my husband, “Let’s just try it one more time, just to make sure. Maybe it was a weird fluke or something and we don’t really need a specialist.” He agreed, and so I fed her one single spoonful of rice cereal. One little baby spoonful. Guess what happened?

So, later that night after my sweet daughter had finished throwing up and was feeling better again, I finally went looking for some answers. (Why I waited so long is a mystery even to me.) I sat down and Googled, “my baby throws up every time I feed her solid food”.

The very first search result left me speechless. As soon as I began reading the information on this website, I absolutely knew this was what was wrong with my baby. I began printing the information to take with me to our appointment the next morning.

I also typed up a thorough history of exactly what had been happening to my daughter, with as much specific detail as I could, and I presented it to the specialist. She walked in our room, having already read the history I’d written, and I said, “I’m not trying to do your job for you, but I did some reading last night, and I think my daughter has FPIES,” as I handed her all the information I’d printed off.

She just smiled real big at me, reached into her file, and handed me the exact same information. She and I had come to the same conclusion: my baby has FPIES.

So, what the heck is FPIES? I’d never heard of it before, and chances are you haven’t either. It’s even quite possible that your pediatrician hasn’t heard of it, or seen a child with FPIES.

It stands for Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis. (And it’s pronounced just like you think, F-PIES.)

It is a reaction to food proteins, like an allergy, but not like other food allergies. There is no single, definitive test for FPIES because it’s not an IgE-related allergic reaction like other allergies. The most common FPIES trigger food, believe it or not, is rice.

Other common trigger foods are oats, barley, milk, soy, eggs, chicken, and turkey. Any food can be a trigger food, but these are often the biggest culprits. Strangely enough, wheat does NOT seem to be a problem for kids with FPIES.

My daughter has Rice/Oats FPIES, which means no rice or oats for her at all. Which is exactly what I’d fed her with that very first spoonful of baby food. That’s what all the doctors recommend. It’s the standard advice everyone gives. “Feed your baby rice cereal.” After all, rice is supposed to be the most agreeable, well-tolerated food on the planet. It’s a staple ingredient in every country, in every diet around the world!

Not in our household, not anymore. No oats or barley, either. Since there were many months when the only food my daughter could eat was breast milk, I had to make some dietary changes myself. I eliminated rice, oats, milk, and soy from my own diet to make sure no trace of those foods made it into my milk. Better safe than sorry.

We are now walking the slow process of discovering which foods are safe for her to eat, and which foods will trigger a vomiting reaction in her. The only way to find this out is to feed her one food at a time and see what happens. She will not be allowed to eat grains of any kind for a few years, so this baking momma is going to have to get creative and learn some new tricks. (I have to say it was awful not to be able to make her a cake for her 1st birthday!)

In the meantime, in order to increase her caloric and protein intake, we have to supplement her limited diet with a specialized formula called Elecare, which is neither very tasty nor very affordable. Many parents of children with food allergies know this all too well. We’re in good company.

The good news is that most children with FPIEs will outgrow it by the time they’re about 6 years old, and thereafter be able to eat a pretty normal diet without allergy concerns (based on what is known now).

We were actually pretty fortunate. Our daughter’s reaction, while alarming to us, was not life-threatening. Some kids with FPIES have severe reactions that require emergency medical attention.

If our story sounds familiar to you, go to the FPIES Foundation website and read more. Print this article and take it to your pediatrician. Spread the information far and wide and help educate those doctors who haven’t yet learned about this infant disease.

Perhaps it’s time to encourage our pediatricians to rethink the standard advice about feeding our babies solid foods at six months, and feeding them rice cereal.

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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