A Prom.....Delayed

Many of you may have come here over the last couple of days looking for my Blog Prom posts. I'm sorry they weren't here. A couple of days ago I tripped over the Damned Dog and my knee is now the size of a small tropical fruit. ( I haven't decided which fruit) As soon as I have seen the doctor and can again bend my knee for longer than three minutes without pain, I will post my Blog Prom posts.

I apologize for making you wait....I promise hilarity will ensue sometime next week.


Ahhh....the 80's....

I've been invited to the Prom.

No, you little perverts, I'm not taking some hormone amped little teenager to their prom. I'm talking about Mamma's Firts Ever Blog Prom (TM) In this part I get to regale you with the details of my pre-prom preparations.

Unfortunatley, my posts will be picture free as I lost all pictures of myself at that time when I made the move from North Dakota to Utah four years ago. I will tell you this much though. I was NOT the day-glo neon preppie girl. I WAS the safety pin through her nose, torn fish nets, bad attitude kind of girl. I was the girl that made fun of the cheerleaders, smoked pot in the back of the school, got suspended for skipping class and gave blow-jobs to my boyfriends on the first date. (Yes, I really did just admit to that.)

I went to a total of three dances in my entire high school expereince. Homecoming my Sophomore year, Prom my Junior year and Prom my Senior year. Homecoming was a good time, Junior Prom was basically something to do on a Fiday night in a town of five hundred people and well....Senior Prom, welll.....

I went to my senior prom on a dare. I was dating a guy three years younger than me and the school I was attending wouldn't allow me to bring him as a date, so his best friend said he'd take me. His best friend....the navy guy. Yeah, picture this. Me all in black, black lipstick, hair covering most of my face...him in his dress whites. It was quite the picture. He picked me up in his father's Bronco...yes, I said Bronco.

Okay, let's back this up for a minute. As part of my "pre-prom" get it togetherness, let's get some background info on Serena, shall we? From Freshman year to Junior year I went to high school in New Orleans. I hung out with what would be called the "goth" crowd today. We were the debate team kids, the drama kids, the combat boots and pot smoking kids. We all went to the preforming arts school, we all thought we were cooler than we actually were. You know us, you saw us hanging out at the edges of the football field, or sitting on the side steps of the gym...the outcasts, the weirdos, the freaks. I went to a whole school full of those kids. I felt at home. Then in the middle of my junior year, they sent me back to my mother in Wyoming of all places. I was a freak in a school full of FFA clones, it was hell. In 1988, at the beginning of my senior year, I moved in with a cousin in North Dakota, just to get away from my mother...and that's how I ended up at Williston Senior High and how I met my future ex-husband, the boyfriend with the Navy buddy...my prom date.

So.....all my friends dare me to go to this dance. Tell me I wouldn't ever think about going. So I get Cory to agree to take me. I spring for half the ticket cost (this wasn't a real date) and we're off and running. Now, anyone remember the hair from the 80's? OH MY GOD!!! What in the hell were we thinking? It was like having a fucking garden weasel attached to your forehead. I had the infamous "wall of bangs". I'm sure many of you reading this either had them, or had sisters that had them. You know, the wall of hair on the front of the head that was imprevious to wind, rain or nuclear explosion? I owned a curling iron with a sort of orange coating on it from all the Aussie Spray Gel that had been caked onto it. I'm not even sure how I managed to make it into my twenties with hair left.

I got all dressed, black dress, black pantyhose (line up the back), red five inch heels, black nails, black lipstick, black hair ( hanging in my face, parted so that only one eye showed)and the best part? You guessed it...black rose corsage! I looked like Morticia Adamms' cousin.

Cory picks me up and we get our picture taken. A lovely Polaroid that comes out looking like some fucked up Mix-n-Match picture out a children's book Tim Burton wrote. It was bizarre. By the time we got into the truck we were both laughing so hard I thought I was going to pee myself. We stop off at a friends to smoke a little before we actually go to the dance itself, because honestly, I couldn't face a room full of dancing taffeta Princesses without some chemical help. We get to the Armory and .....


A Challenge...

Okay, so after I posted my "Real Mom" thing, I came across a post at mr. nice guy about a recent study on child care and it's effects on children. No big news that the media got it wrong, but that fact wasn't discovered before it ticked off a WHOLE bunch of stay at home fathers. And they had every right to be pissed. Dad's are just as important to a child's development as mom's are.

And so....the challenge. To all you dad's who surf past or who are regular readers here. Either in the comments here, or on your own site, with a link in my comments section of course, give us a run down:

What makes a "real dad"?

Let's hear from the other side of the parenting fence.

Real Moms....

I was reading a new blog today and found a post about what it means to be a "Real Mom" , go check it out. It got me thinking, what is a "real mom"?

A real mom isn't afraid of that green thing hanging off her child's finger, even if she isn't sure what it is.

A real mom will eat the soggy, half eaten grahm cracker when it's offered to her, because it makes her child smile.

A real mom will cheerfully agree that, yes, blue eyeshadow does make the dog look better.

A real mom will bake three dozen cookies at eleven o'clock on a Thursday night because her daughter forgot to tell her there's a bake sale Friday morning.

A real mom will wear a bra that pokes her for six months because it means her child gets to have that toy/pair of jeans/game that they just have to have.

A real mome will smile through her tears as she watches her baby turn into a grown-up, right in front of her eyes.

A real mom will always accept you....no matter what mistakes you make.

A real mom will make the really hard decisions, so you don't have to.

A real mom will always make sure that the lights come on, the house is warm, the refrigerator is full and you never think about why that is.

A real mom is all the things you need her to be, when you need her to be them....and she never asks you to say thank you.

Kids will be kids...If we let them.

I have been reading quite a few "parenting" blogs recently. You know, blogs written by parents that want to share what they feel are their unique insights or ideas, their thoughts, on this lovely adventure we call parenting.

Most of the time I find information, I find funny stories or I find things I can relate to. Sometimes, however, I find things that make me shake my head and snort in that unladylike fashion that my husband loves so much. One such post showed up today at Motherhood Uncensored. The author of this particular blog is funny and smart and I love to read her stuff, but this post points out, very eloquently, one of the things I think is wrong with parents today. They worry to much. About every little freaking thing.

I want all of you who are reading this to think back to when you were children. Are you there? Okay...now....who had parents that stuck you in every friggin activity you can imagine? Music lessons? Scouting? Dance? Sports? And how many of you secretly yearned to be at home, hanging out with your friends, doing nothing much at all? Again, show of hands, how many of you, as adults tend to be perfectionists or overacheivers? Uh-huh.....okay then...moving on.

My mother ( and I think we all know how I feel about her) never stuck me in a bunch of activities. Oh, that's not to say she didn't try. There was the failed attempt at Bluebirds and the Misery of Girl Scouts. Oh, and let's not forget The Horror of Religious Summer Camp 1982. Ah...and last, but certainly not least, my favorite, Torture by Volleyball. That was the last one. After that she figured out that she was wasting money, I wasn't going to actually participate and she wasn't getting refunds...the insanity stopped, thank god.

Here's my point folks. I was much happier when The Mother just let me run out the front door and spend my days happily roaming the neighborhood with my friends. I wanted to be out in the fresh air, in the sunshine. I wanted to stick my hands in the dirt and see what was there. I wanted to climb trees and hide and ride my bike until my legs hurt. I hated the "joiner" activites she wanted so badly to force me into.

Parents today seem to feel that if they don't sign their children up for every conceivable activity from birth that they are somehow neglecting them or harming them. They have classes for everything now...and starting at an age when the child really isn't getting anything out of it, but the parents feel better about themselves and whoever is putting on the class if making a ton of money off the guilt factor.

Children don't get to be children anymore. They don't even have Saturday morning cartoons anymore. That makes me sad. Everything has to be "educational" now. Why? Whatever happened to just letting kids be kids? Isn't there enough time to be a grown-up when you actually have to? Let your children just be children. Buy them some Playdough. Fingerpaint with them. Sing stupid songs at the top of your voices in the supermarket because it makes your child laugh. Watch dumbass cartoons and spin until your dizzy in the middle of the living room. Send your children out to play in the afternoon sun. Let them BE.

Is there a place for piano lessons and scouting? Sure...but quit obsessing about it. It should be something your child comes home from school and asks you to do, not something you tell them they have to do. My daughter takes art lessons...because she wants to. She doesn't take dance lessons, because she hated them...we tried it though.

Letting your children be children isn't going to land them on Dr. Phil when they're twenty telling the whole world that if you had only put them in voice lessons they would have gotten into Harvard and wouldn't be working at McDonald's now. Ease up. Let it go. You can not control everything, but you can make sure your children get to actually be children. Let them hang on to that joy for as long as they can, huh?


My three year old had Doritos, Hershey Kisses, Yoplait Yougurt, Orange Juice and two pancakes for breakfast this morning. In that order. Does that make me a bad parent?


And Baby make Three.....

As many of you may have noticed, I haven't been around for the past week. That's because on Tuesday, March 13th, 2007 I gave birth to a 7lb 3oz baby boy. We named him Galen Michael Sorensen. He was beautiful and perfect and two weeks early.

Just like his sister before him, we placed him for adoption...with the same family that adopted his sister. They named him Archibald James. He is still perfect and beautiful, but he is gone today. They got the official okay from the state of Utah to go home this morning and I'm feeling a little numb.

I know that it was the best decision for my son. I know that he will be loved and cherished. I know that I will see him and that he will know I made this decision out of love for him. But on the inside I ache a little. This is the third child I have had to say good-bye to in my life time and part of me wants to be selfish and ask why. Part of me wants to cry and scream and be angry.

And then there's the part of me that rejoices knowing that all three of those children are living the lives they were meant to live. All three of those precious gifts are being cherished and snuggled and loved. They will always have the warmth and safety of a family and they will always be part of something beautiful. People say they don't understand how I could give my children away. I don't look at it like that. I didn't give my children away. The adoption didn't make them any less my children, it just made them my children in a different way. I did the one thing I could for them as their mother, I made a good choice for them. Being a good parent isn't always about the easy choice.

To all my children: You mommy loves you.


And the survey says....

We have become a society of what I like to call "celebrity causes". Angelina Jolie is in Newsweek this week, talking about her "causes". International adoption, AIDS assitance in Africa, poverty in third world countries. All important and worthy causes and all causes that come and go from our sight line like the proverbial flash in the pan.

Anyone here remember the "One" campaign? When's the last time it got any media play? Anyone believe that poverty in third world countries just suddenly stopped being a problem? Nope? Me either.

The big one now is Bono and his Powe(red)campaign. It's everywhere. And in a month or two, the media will have moved on to the next trendy issue and no one will remember why it is they have four pairs of red sunglasses.

The thing that disturbs me the most about this trend is that none of it focuses on issues here at home. Poverty, hunger and humanitarian aid to war torn countries are all noble and valid things to get behind. The suffering outside of this country is as immense as you can imagine, sometimes to large a thing to fully grasp. It doesn't change the fact that we have children dying right here at home.

There was a story in the news last week about a twelve year old boy that died from a brain infection. He got the infection because he was denied dental treatment for a simple cavity, which turned into an abcess, which eventually spread to his brain. Why didn't he get treatment? His mother was to poor to afford medical insurance and because she was homeless, the state had "a hard time" getting her approved for Medicaid. So this little boy died.

I'm a frequent reader of a blog called C.U.S.S written by a very funny, very intelligent woman named Suzanne. Suzanne lives in New York and is a member of a group called the Haven Coalition. This is a group that ensures that young women who have made the legal choice to have an abortion have a safe and healthy place to stay after the procedure. Groups like this are necessary because while people are screaming and ranting on both sides of the fence, someone forgot that there are real people involved. Real people that are making life altering decisions and need the support of caring compassionate people, even in small ways.

There are children living in shelters all across this country because their parents can't afford the high cost of rent or can't find employment that will allow them to support their families. Sometimes, the only real meal these children get is the one they receive at school.

This is happening here. Right here. This is one of the wealthiest nations on the planet and we have children dying from a lack of decent health care and starving to death in rundown homes.

Each time you donate to the latest "celebrity cause" remember that there are a lot of things that need tending here in our own backyard. Don't forget the people around the world that need our care and compassion, but don't sweep the suffering of our own under the rug.

Get involved. Write a letter. Commit a post on your blog to bringing attention to issues like these. Make a noise.


You Say It's Your Birthday......

My son turned three yesterday. When he got up in the morning, the first thing his father and I did was start singing to him. He got this very serious look on his face, crossed his arms over his chest, shook his head and said, "No, no birthday." This cracked me up.

Later we gave him his presents and he stood on the kitchen chair while we tried to sing to him again. Apparently the addition of gifts made my singing acceptable because this time he danced a little dance and nodded his head along with us. The PlayDough was a big hit. Shortly after we finished playing with the new PlayDough there was a knock at our door. It was the FedEx guy. (I love my Fedex guy, he is always bringing me cool things.) He had a package for my son. Our friends James and Judy sent him this AWESOME set of magnatized balls and tubes that you build stuff from. He hasn't quit playing with them since we opened it. He slept with them last night. It is officially his favorite thing. I have to admit, they're damn cool blocks.

After dinner it was time for cake. My son stood at the kitchen table and looked at his birthday cake as if he had never seen anything so beautiful in his life. He smiled, he clapped and then he stuck his fingers in the frosting.

Even though his birthday is now officially passed for the year, all day long he has been walking around saying "Happy Birthday" to everyone. I have a feeling that we will all be hearing "Happy Birthday" from him for about a week.

I love being a mom. My kids remind me that it's okay to sing even if you can't carry a tune, dance when you feel like it, sleep with your toys and just generally have a damn good time. Even if you don't have children, take that lesson to heart. Never forget that it's okay to live like you mean it. (I know most of you who read this already do!!!)

Have a good Sunday everyone!


What's on your reading list?

I read. Well, okay, I don't just read. I read A LOT. More than the average person I think.

Now I want to know what you've been reading. Recommend a book to me. Give me a new list to start on, something I've never picked up before.

I'll post about each of the books I read and give credit to the person that suggested it...cause this is my blog, and I can.


"Feminism" used to be a dirty word to me. I'm not a woman that believes that just because I have a uterus and boobs I should get special consideration for everything I do. I don't believe that dirty jokes told in the workplace are a form of sexual harrassment. I don't think that by putting men down we will ever accomplish anything.

Those were the things I associated with feminisim. In a short I believed that to be a "feminist" meant you were a man-hater of varying degrees. I had an instructor in college that would target the men in our Comp class for unfair critisism and would inflate her praise for the female members of our class. After a week of this, I dropped the class. When I went in to get the drop form signed she demanded to know why I was leaving the class. I tried to be polite, even tactful, which for me is unusual. She kept pushing. I finally said, "I just don't think you're a good teacher. You're probably a very nice person, but you allow your personal and political beliefs to cloud your ability to teach." She was irrate. She called me a traitor to my sex. I shrugged and said, "And that would be what I'm talking about."

Recently, I have started reading a number of blogs written by women who use the terms "feminist" and "feminism" a lot. When I first surfed into these blogs, I was hesitant. I mean what would I find of value at a blog written by someone with such a skewed sense of the world, right?

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that these were women much like myself. Articualte, well educated, witty and insightful. No man bashing, no calling for the burning of bras or societal castration of the male race. No once. No where. I was puzzled. Perplexed.

These women have views and ideas that I find myself nodding in agreement to. They often have differing political views that make me stop and think, help me reevaluate where I stand on a given issue. They are mothers, and wives and sisters and daughters. I was amazed.

"Feminism" used to be a dirty word to me. Something to be snorted at and used as a vulgar epithet. Now I'm beginning to see that being a "feminist" isn't really all that different from being a "humanist". Interacting with these women has helped erase some long held and preconceived notions I've been carrying around.

I just wanted to say thank you.


Equal and Fair....

Over the last two years, I have done a lot of research into the family court system and it's treatment of non-custodial parents. While there are women who are non-custodial parents, most of them remain men. When I began my research I had certain preconceived notions. As I continued to look at things, those notions were challenged.

Recently, the Utah State Legislature passed several laws regarding child support, non-custodial visitation and enforcement of child support and child custody guidelines. As of January 1, 2008 the State of Utah will be able to take up to 75% of a non-custodial parents income while providing no relief based on a second family. A weakly worded bill providing for "mediation" of custody issues was also passed. The "mediation" costs have to be paid by the non-custodial parent and have no legal enforcement...meaning that the police will not enforce a mediation agreement any more than they help enforce a custody agreement entered by a court.

There have been several stories in the news lately regarding family court judges forcing men to pay support for children that are not even biologically theirs and yet the only real media coverage continues to be stories of overworked, underemployed custodial moms who look sympathetic on the evening news. While there are cases of "dead-beats" who don't pay their fair share, it has been my recent experience that those cases are not as prevelant as we are being led to believe.

Many non-custodial parents are being forced into underemployment and poverty situations by a system unfairly biased in favor of the custodial parent. While the custodial parent is given representation by the state, the non-custodial parent is left to either go it alone, or find a way to pay huge retainers for private family law attorneys. They can be jailed for back support due, which is not legal for any other form of debt in this country. They can be arrested and charged with contempt of court, but are never given a trial by jury or access to an attorney .

In short, we provide more rights to convicted child molesters than we do to non-custodial parents. I'm left to wonder where the media outcry for this injustice is. Is it okay simply because we are comfortable assuming that these men (and a growing number of women) must have done something wrong?

Put yourselves in the place of some of these people. You wake up one morning and simply because you are divorced with children, you find that all of your basic civil rights have been stripped from you and there is nothing you can do to defend yourself from it. How would you react?

We hear talk about equal treatment under the law and fair assessment of support. Take a few minutes this week and look into the family court system and laws in your state. Do they seem equal or fair?


Because a Cheeseburger and Fries is what I think of when I hear this song....

Blister in The Sun

Is anyone else disturbed that this tune is now being used to hock cheeseburgers for Wendy's?

In which I wave to the world.....

I had vistiors from Dingley and Tally Ho, Australia today.

That's about the coolest damn thing that's happened all week. I love that those are real places.

Big wave to all my visitors from the far reaches of the globe! (And those more local as well.)
Last week I noticed several posts about the little boy in the UK who is over 200 lbs and his mother, who faced losing custody of him over the issue. My first thought on reading about the case was, "Well, she should have known better. She should have done something."

I refrained from commenting on the posts and gave the issue some thought. Along with the sentiment that this mother was being neglectful I saw several posts and resulting comments that echoed the same thought. People with weight problems lack self-control, are somehow less intelligent or simply don't care about themselves. Over and over I saw comments like, "Put the cheeseburger down and get some excersise." What I read began to trouble me.

As a woman who has struggled with weight issues most of her life for a variety of reasons I can tell you first hand how the comments of people who don't stuggle with weight can hurt. When you're overweight, it's all anyone sees. Take right now for instance. I'm pregnant, on restricted activity and adding to this, I tend to gain weight...a lot of weight...when I'm pregnant. People look at me and they don't see a college educated, intelligent woman. They see a fat woman. Their assessment of me ends there.

The next time you see someone that is overweight, stop and think a moment before you start damning them. You don't know that person, you don't know what led to thier weight gain or the inability to lose that weight. There are medications that cause severe weight gain. The people who take them face the choice of using a life saving medicine and being large or being sick and possibly dying. There are medical conditions, both mental and physical, that lead to weight gain. Bulimia and Anorexia are not the only eating disorders. Sever emotional or physical abuse can lead to the use of food as a substitute for emotion. Even income bracket and education level can contribute to these problems.

While it is easy to view someone with a morbid obesity problem as sloppy and stupid, it is usually far from the truth. The next time you find yourself tempted to make generalizations regarding someone based on their appearence, stop and remember this: You are only as good as your treatment of the people you encounter on a daily basis.

Get off your high horse and learn to value people for who they are. If you really want to make a difference and help stop the obesity problem in this country, volunteer for an educational program at the local health department. Volunteer to help with activities at the local community center or Boys and Girls Club. The people you ridicule are still people and don't deserve your scorn.