Growing up so fast

I’ve read a few blog posts lately that talk about the tragedy of losing a child and also about the fear that comes with the next pregnancy. I wanted to tell a brief story about my own experiences with this as well as the emotional turmoil of having a baby daddy who could care less. The point of this isn’t a pity party but to show what good can come from so much strife.

I look at my oldest and I realize that he’s not a baby anymore. He’s still my baby, but he is getting older. He can communicate his needs and man is he independent. The last 3.5 years have flown by and looking back I can see that having him is where my life truly began.

The situation around his conception and birth was far from ideal. I was living with my ex husband hoping to work things out when I found out I was pregnant. He, of course, wanted nothing to do with me or the baby and I found myself totally and completely depressed. He and I had been pregnant once before right after we had got married and it ended in a miscarriage early in the pregnancy. This misfortune marked the beginning of a failing relationship. It left an emotional scar that will never be completely healed that resurfaces in the form of fear and unease during each subsequent pregnancy.

I openly admit that I have struggled with depression and anxiety disorders my entire life but during my pregnancy with Merrick they reached their pentacle. I felt totally lost. Here I was, living with a man who I deeply loved and was once loved by in return and who could now care less about me or our unborn child. Not to mention that I was in constant fear of another miscarriage. It was devastating. Since we were no longer married, people asked me if I even knew who the father was which only made me feel worse. Of course I knew and so did he. Parts of his family still deny he is their kin because of the situation.

I was pretty sure that my life was falling apart around me at this point and I distinctly remember feeling like I couldn’t go on.

Then it happened. He was born.

I remember the day he was born. I remember the long labor before his arrival. I remember my arms being to weak to hold him when they finally handed him to me. I remember him laying on my chest and looking at me with those beautiful innocent little eyes. I remember it all like it was yesterday.

Having him turned my world around. Holding him in my arms made my problems disappear. It was a cure for all the depression and worries that had built up inside of me. It was an intense feeling of relief and hope that washed over me.

Now I look at this little boy and it amazes me that he has grown so much. I can’t believe Merrick is almost 4. Not a day goes by that I am not overwhelmed by my love for him and Silas. I am continually amazed at his abilities and skills. He’s growing up so fast and I want nothing more than to raise him so that he will be a good person full of compassion and love.

After all of this is said…I can’t see how anyone could deny the existence of God if they have ever comforted a sick child or looked into their child’s eyes for the first time and felt true, unconditional love. How can you deny it when this precious gift has been handed to you? I, of course, doubted the existence of any great and supreme being after my miscarriage, I couldn’t understand why God would want anyone who wanted a child so badly to endure so much pain. After holding my sons there is no way I could ever deny it again and I am thankful everyday for the opportunity to be a part of something so beautiful. Experiencing the pain that came with the miscarriage made the birth of my son that much more amazing to me. It forced me to see the miracle that lay before me in a different light. I only wish I could have realized this sooner and I hope that people going through a bad situation can see the light at the end of the tunnel and know that things will get better.

Merrick Mama loves you and your brother more than you could ever possibly know. I look forward to seeing the people you both become.

“A day without hate”

So, I have this idea stuck in my head…problem is that I don’t know where to begin.

I want to organize “A Day Without Hate” the name is negotiable. I think there may already be one of these that is local to Colorado, maybe? A day where people agree to refrain from any act of hate, be it actions, words or otherwise. This includes not sharing stories about hate on your facebook or twitter and not speaking ill of people for any reason. I’m not suggesting that we all go out and give each other big hugs, but just be civil to one another for one single day.

This is something that I think the people of the whole world needs. I know that not every citizen of the world will be on board, but maybe those of us who are can make a small difference.

Imagine a day where you don’t have to read about why this person hates that person and you don’t have to deal with people thinking ill of you because of your race, religion or creed. I think it could be amazing.

I don’t know where to begin, but I want it to be big. I have a few ideas floating around in my head…maybe we could raise money for an organization that supports peace among people. Maybe it is something that could turn into an annual event. Maybe we could organize gatherings in large cities for the participants.

I would love any advice or ideas that anyone might have. I plan on starting a blog specifically for this in the next couple of days. In the mean time I need help choosing a day. I would prefer a day that does not fall on any holidays observed by any country or religion. I also think that a weekend would work out well.

So, once again. Any ideas, no matter how small would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Ignorance breeds ignorance

Ignorance has always been something that has really bugged me. I know that “they” say ignorance is bliss, but the truth is that it isn’t blissful to those who the ignorance is directed toward. It also isn’t blissful to those of us who have to deal with the ignorant people everyday. Sometimes, the degree to which a person is ignorant honestly blows my mind. I often find myself pondering how a person has managed to get to this point and not have a desire to change.

In all fairness, ignorance is not a problem in and of itself. The real problem occurs when it is coupled with a belief that one is not ignorant and in fact knows everything there is to know about a subject. From personal experience these self appointed experts generally have little to no education on the topic and also have little desire to learn the truth about it. These people seem to forget that you can’t trust everything you see on TV or the internet.

This is all brought up because of the All American Muslim debacle that Lowe’s has gotten itself into. I’m sorry Lowe’s, but you certainly appear to be participating in an extremist Christian agenda which has lead you down a path of bigotry and hate.

The unfortunate part of this situation is all of the praise that Lowe’s is receiving  from the ignorant populous. It is pointless to try and talk sense to these people as they care nothing about a rational truth. Their argument points, such as telling people to go home your not welcome in America, are just ridiculous. I mean, if I’m not welcome here, which is my home…where I was born and raised…then where is my home. I’m a little confused. I guess that I wasn’t aware that all Muslims came from some far off land. All of the Muslims living here that were born here, or have become legal US citizens must be confused when they call this home.

I am also confused about how the show is offensive, to anyone. I really don’t understand how this show is offensive where other reality shows that feature promiscuity, nudity, violence and worse are less offensive. I’m not sure that you will find another cable program that is aimed for an adult audience that is less offensive than this one. I’m not saying that everyone on the show is perfect, or that I agree with everything that they all do, but after watching several episodes I can see that for the most part they are all good people who seem to mostly abide by a decent moral code of conduct. (Much more decent than say the Kardashians or a “Real Housewives” type of program)

I have always prided myself in trying to stay out of conversations or situations that I am ignorant to. I’m not going to say that I have always succeeded, but I have certainly tried. Before my husband starting researching Islam it never crossed my mind. I didn’t agree or disagree with anyone and I didn’t respond if it was ever mentioned. The best policy, in my mind, was to keep my mouth closed unless I had something of value to say. The same goes for all topics, not just this one.

If I could give one piece of advice to people as a whole it would be that they should at the very least do some real, scholarly research on the topic they are choosing to “defend”. We live in a society where people believe everything they hear or see whether it is true or not, thus ignorance is breeding ignorance. We could change this for the better if we could all learn to keep our mouths closed or educate ourselves before taking such a definitive stand for something we know nothing about.

Now, I want to share the facebook page for Boycott Lowe’s. They are running a petition for Lowe’s to issue a public apology to the Muslim community which has also been suggested by others such as Russel Simmons.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Boycott-Lowes-Home-Improvement/196885343732232

Also, don’t try to argue with the ignorant people on the Lowe’s page. It’s pointless and only gives them fuel for their fire. Ignoring them is the best action you can take.

-Peace

The things we do for our family

My family may not be perfect, but whose is? Mine is judgmental, stubborn, irritating, infuriating at times…and of course loving, caring, inspirational, forgiving and nurturing. Overall, I love them all unconditionally and can’t imagine life without any of them, especially my mommy.

“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.
            ~ Desmond Tutu

When I first told my mother that we were becoming Muslims she acted totally rational and didn’t understand why I would be scared to tell her about it. For the first little while she didn’t seem at all freaked out or angry about it at all. It was great. However, that understanding attitude didn’t last long.

Over the last several weeks she has gotten more negative about the whole thing and seems irritated if we mention anything about it. It seems that she is now particularly irritated that we are dragging her grandkids into this. Christmas has become a particular point of contention. I decided that we would not put up a Christmas tree or do Santa Claus this year for the kids. This would be the first year in my life without a tree; it just seemed like the right thing to do. My husband wasn’t so sure about not having a tree but he supported my decision and we thought that was the end of it.

When my mom realized we weren’t going to have a tree (after asking me about it every single day for two weeks and me telling her I wasn’t sure) she finally decided to ask if it was for religious reasons. I, of course, told her yes and that we wouldn’t be doing Santa either. She stopped talking after that. I knew I had hit a sore spot which is why I wasn’t going to mention that we didn’t have a tree or that we had decided against Santa.

I decided that we should go to lunch. She needs to see that I am still the same person. I don’t know what she thinks that I am now or why the tree and Santa are such a big deal to her. We have never celebrated Christmas as a religious holiday, after all it’s actually a pagan holiday that the Catholic Church through a Christian name on to get pagans to convert. Christmas has always been about giving and spending time with our loved ones. This was the reason she believed that we should still be able to celebrate.
I would like to clarify that we were still planning to participate in all of the family get-togethers as well as exchanging gifts

christmas treMom, this is for you

So after a long discussion with her and my grandmother I conceded and agreed to put up a small tree. (We are still not doing Santa, I wouldn’t budge on that.) Now, in the corner of my living room is a small, yet to be decorated, tree. My husband is worried that I am unhappy that we have it. He kind of wanted one anyway, but he knew that I had decided against it. He is also agrees that since we don’t celebrate for religious reasons that it should be fine. I just am not sure about the whole thing. I am, however, not doing it for myself but instead to keep the peace and to make my mother happy. I pray that one day she will be able to accept me and my decisions, but until then I will do what I need to in order to maintain peace and happiness.

I am hoping that in the future we will be able to slowly remove ourselves from these traditions. I am hoping that a gradual change will be easier for everyone to understand. After all, this is our first Christmas as Muslims; we only signed the Bai’at a couple of weeks ago.

I guess that we will see what happens…

Feels like forever

Silas and his dada

This is a few weeks old, but there he is...the puking babe.

Feels like forever since my last post.

My youngest son, Silas, has been sick for 8 days now and he seems to finally be getting better. This makes me very excited as a projectile vomiting 6 month old is absolutely no fun. I am thankful that he is finally getting better and I pray that he will stay better this time instead of getting sick in a few days like he did last week.

It is also getting very close to the end of the semester, which really only means that I have a ton of work to get done and only about a week and a half to do it in. So, you may be asking yourself why I am writing a blog post rather than doing my homework…and the answer is quite simple, which would you rather do? Fun blog post or boring homework?

We were planning on moving next week, but things just didn’t work out. I’m not terribly upset by this but it would have been nice to get away from this little town. I figure that when the time is right we will be able to move without all of the problems and setbacks that we experienced this time. My attempted move and the garage sale that failed miserably because of it, has however, turned out to be a blessing for a few lucky people.

Instead of putting everything back in storage I have decided to donate all of my baby items, most of which are practically new to a young lady who is in desperate need. I was only asked if I could donate some newborn clothes, but when I found out that she has nothing for this baby I couldn’t help but feel like I should give her all of the extra baby things that I have had in storage for the last 6 months. At least now they will be with someone who really needs them.

A couple of the bows I've made in the past

In case you don’t already know, I make hair bows, tutus, pillowcase dresses and other small items for little girls. Some of the things I have made already have been in storage for over a year, since I stopped traveling to craft shows. I have decided that they, much like the baby items, aren’t doing anyone any good sitting in my garage. So far I have found about 12 little girls who’s parents are unable to provide a Christmas for them and I am splitting up what I have left between them. I really hope that by donating these items to these children that they will have a wonderful holiday like I did as a child.

I have received so many emails from parents who cannot afford to provide for their children this holiday season which makes me realized how blessed I am that we are able to provide for ourselves and our children. We are lucky that Chase has a good job and that he does whatever he has to in order to ensure that we have a roof over our head and food on our plates. I honestly couldn’t ask for a better husband and father to my boys.