Sunday, July 6, 2014

Why I talked to my 9-year-old son about rape

Rape, in all respects, is a dirty word. It's not just the act that is dirty or despicable, it's the way the majority thinks about it or even the minority.

There are people out there who think that rape is a woman's fault because she was "asking for it." Others want to pretend that it doesn't happen at all. Or some, such as myself, want to be a positive change and correct the problem before it starts.

I know that the only way I can stop rape is by going to the source -- men. (I'm not saying that women don't rape too, but the majority (98 percent) of rapes are conducted by a man.)

As the mother of a boy, I know that it's up to me to discuss it with my son and explain its detriments. I understand that my talks might not make a difference, but if there's chance then what's the harm of trying.

When my son was nine we had "the talk." At the suggestion of my sister-in-law we had the conversation in the car where he couldn't run away from embarrassment. It was dark, so we didn't even have to see the other's face.

We talked about sex; I told him that I wished he would wait until he was an adult to make the decision, but ultimately he was going to choose when the time was right. But, if he did it before adulthood to at least love the person and use protection. He had some questions about sex.

"Mom, is sex coitus," he asked. (We watch the Big Bang Theory) "Yes, it is," I replied.

I told him that people who love each other use sex as a way to express their love, but other times sex can be used as a weapon to harm.

Because I don't know if my son will be straight, gay or bisexual, I told him that sometimes boys like boys and girls like girls.

His response was an annoyed one.

"I know, Mom," he said.

See, we've had the conversation about not being afraid to love someone no matter their gender. (I know there will be people out there who will think that I am pushing my son to be gay or giving him that option. To calm you fears, no, I am not pushing him to be gay and yes, it is an option and I will love him the same no matter what -- that's important for him to know.)

When we were talking about sex I explained how it worked in the easiest terms I could think of -- electrical equipment.

I said, "you know how sockets on the wall have holes for the plugs? Well the holes are female and the plugs are male."

"I get it, you don't have to say anymore," he barked.

I had embarrassed him, but he couldn't see me and I couldn't see him so we moved on to the next topic at hand -- sex as a weapon, aka rape.

I said when you get older you will have urges to kiss, and when you're much older you will want to have sex. Here's the thing, you don't get to choose if you are going to kiss someone or have sex with them.

He seemed confused, so I clarified.

"There might be a time when you're kissing a girl and she decides she doesn't want to kiss anymore," I said, "you might really want to keep kissing her, but you shouldn't because at that point it is no longer up to you."

"The girl is allowed to change her mind and decide she doesn't want to kiss anymore and you should never force it on her," I added.

"When you are older there might be sex involved and if you force her after she says no or after she decides she doesn't want to continue that is date rape and you can go to jail," I said.

He understood.

But, being me, I didn't stop there. We hadn't talked about rape of the unsuspecting.

I explained that there might come a time when he really likes someone, but that person might not like him back. I told him that was normal and happens to people all the time, but he doesn't get to choose to kiss them or have sex with them, because it's not his choice to make.

This conversation happened a little more than a year ago, but it hasn't been the only time we've discussed it. The topic arose again when we heard on the radio news that members of a fraternity had allegedly marked, drugged and sexually assaulted women who were either too drunk on alcohol or messed up on date-rape drugs to fight back or say no.

This led me into the conversation of taking care of your lady friends if they've had too much to drink, but never kissing or having sex with them because: a.) they are inebriated and b.) aren't in control of their situation.

We talked about getting a taxi or driving the intoxicated person to their home and helping them in and then sleeping on the couch or leaving. And, if he had also been drinking, to never get behind the wheel of a car and to call a taxi or a friend.

I know not everyone's child might be mature enough for these conversations at nine, but mine was. As mothers and parents, it's on us to help our children make informed and correct decisions and they cannot do that without some guidance.

I hope this helps you with your own conversation.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

We started a juice fast

Recently, the husband and I watched the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. It was very inspirational and it sent us into a juice fast frenzy.

When I started the juice fast I was 136 lbs and the husband was 249. Today is our seventh day and I will admit that on Sunday we had a major setback, we ate food... dun dun dunnnn. I will get to that though.

I bought a Black & Decker juicer for $29 and bought some fruits and veggies at the store. We started with the Mean Green Juice (recipe here) from the documentary, but have tweaked it for ultimate yumminess. We decided that a five-day mini goal would be best way to start because we didn't want to let ourselves down if we didn't make it further. We have surpassed it and have new a goal of 10 days.
My first time to juice and I made Apple Juice. 
For breakfast we have a medley of fruits. I do half a slice of cantaloupe, a few slices of pineapple, half a mango, two apples (green/red/mix) and I recently added Starfruit because I had never had one before. I must say the juice is soooo good. I will never again by Apple Juice, juicing it is much better. It is already sweet and there aren't any preservatives. Hooray!

Breakfast yumms
The Mean Green Juice was not for me... I do not like ginger in my juice at all.

Mean Green Juice
On day two of the challenge, we changed it up quite a bit. I actually used everything I could find to make juice.

My lunch and dinner juice contained : a few leaves of kale, a few handfuls of baby spinach, three green onions, a clove of garlic, a stalk or two of celery, two to three carrots, a large slice of every color bell pepper (red, yellow, orange and green), three to four stalks of asparagus, sometimes half a cucumber, a few radishes, half a yellow quash, sometimes half a tomato, pepper and a few shakes of Tabasco to make it extra yummy.

Mmm... doesn't that look beautiful?

Let us note that I hate most veggies and I would probably never eat them <-- I say that now. 

The husband likes light and flavorful juices, I will add a few of his recipes later (when I know what's in them).

I am going to tell you something, it hasn't been too hard but maybe because I sneak an Avocado a day. I felt shaky on day three and I thought I was going to die, so I ate an Avocado and I felt great.

You can't juice an Avocado but you can blend one and mix it into your juice, or you can squish it with a fork to make a mush and then add it. I have one at lunch everyday now. (Shh, the husband doesn't know.)

 I feel great, I want to get up in the morning when previously I just wanted to sleep the day away. I have more energy and my clean house is proof of this. I have no idea what my caloric intake is, but it cannot be that much.

I've notice a major difference in my stomach size and in seven days I have lost an inch in my waist and belly. Hooray!

I am/was a size 8 and that's perfectly well and  good, but I am not healthy and I want to be. I have let myself get cottage cheesy and I couldn't take it anymore. This could have been prevented with exercise, but I didn't do any. It's my fault and now it's time for a change.

On Sunday, Day five, we had a major setback. We pouted to each other about our "hunger" and we decided together that a cheat day wouldn't be that bad.  It wouldn't have been except we went nuts and had nachos and cheese fries topped with bacon. What the hell is wrong with us? I felt bloated and nauseous and I drank a ton of water afterward. I felt guilty, I would have been fine with baked Asparagus covered in Parmesan. Mmm... that still sounds fantastic. 

We did decide that Sunday nights will be a treat night for doing great all week, but next time we will keep it healthy. I will let you know how that goes. 

Breakfast juice
The contents of our fridge 

I have pics of my tummy from day one, day three and day six and you can definitly see the inch that I lost!

Day 1 - 136 lbs
Day 3
Day 6 - 130 lbs


Sunday, September 18, 2011

I don't know how to post in french properly, with accents and such. This is something I have must do for my french class. It is very basic.

Je une tres amis. Elles sont amusant et optimiste. Mon ami, Brooke, est 28 ans et est tres sociable et tetu. Mon ami, Nichole, est 31 ans est tres individualiste et dynamique. Elle fils, Dexter's anniversaire le samedi, il est 3 ans. Il joue de tambour. Mon ami, Kayla, est tres amusant et disciplinee. Elles etes de Little Rock et travialle le week-end. :(  Mon ami, Lindsey, est 29 ans et habitat de Bentonville. Elle est sympa et optimiste. Elle fils, Reagan, est ma fils ami.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

i love this image

I made this today from a picture that I just love. I don't have the photo credit, but I would love to know who took the shot. It's gorgeous.


Monday, May 24, 2010

We're taking the day back.

Today, we took engagement photos at an old barn on Arkansas Highwat 5 in Benton, Ark. My mother-in-law told me about this place and after seeing it I fell in love with it's beauty and I knew we had to shoot there. 

I will give you, the reader, some back story. We have already wed; Andrew and I eloped Nov. 28, 2009 in Eureka Springs, Ark. (with Jax as our witness). But, even though we eloped, we still wanted a big wedding, so we have planned to have one in Little Rock at a hotel on the river so that all of our friends and family could be there.

The wedding date is Sept. 11. Yes, I said Sept. 11. The only other day in September that our venue was available for happened to be on my Dad's 50th birthday and I didn't want to invade on his big day or vise versa. 

When our event coordinator told us about the Sept. 11th weekend, I said, "Why not?" and we chose that day and have decided we're taking that day back and making a good memory out of it. How about that Lifetime?

My grandmother was a little weary of the date of the wedding, so I told her because I was in the Army and I lost many friends to the war in Iraq afterward that it would be a sort of celebration of their lives too. She liked the idea of that and now all is well in marriage world.

Any who, back to the engagement pics-- I love pin ups, so I went for a 40's style shoot. I left my red feather hair piece at home, three hours away and I didn't have time to put my hair in barrel rolls, so I did my best with what I had to work with.



Sunday, May 16, 2010

I Want To Ride My Bicycle (!!!).

I have an unhealthy obsession with anything vintage. It's somewhat out of control; so much that when I saw an old beach cruiser bicycle rusted beyond repair laying over on someones front lawn, I knew I had to have it.

I made a mental note of where I saw it and the next day I went on foot to collect. I knocked on the door and told the lady of the house that I loved her bike and she told me to "take it" and that I did.

While walking it home with two flat tires I met a very nice, elderly woman who told me she rode a bike like this when she was a kid and she suggested that I buy Rustoleum and primer the bike with it before I paint over it with my color of choice. I thanked her for her suggestion --it was a good one.

After I got the cruiser home, the first item on my agenda was to air up the tires to see if they were salvageable, which they weren't because they were too corroded. I pulled them off and chucked them in the garbage.

Next, I pulled at the rusted chain and it came off in my hand, so I chucked that too. Then I set out to my local shop to purchase some Rustoleum and make my previously owned treasure shine with glory once again.

I bought a silver primer color and a blue top coat and went home happy with my purchase. Once home, I coated the cruiser, which took two cans, then I let it dry.  I finished with blue because it was the bike's original color. After I did this, I realized that I wanted/needed new white wall tires to spruce it up a bit and I went right out and bought some along with a new chain, pedals and handle grips.

I got back home and tried to replace the pedals without luck. I was very frustrated once I realized the pedals were so rusted they wouldn't even crank the chain mechanism. My son and I took a hammer to the pedals, as well as some oil and after no time we had the pedals moving again.

Speaking of that damned chain --it's going to be the death of me, or it will cause me to throw this bike angrily from a very high cliff (I have probably never been this angry at any inanimate object... Ever!).

The chain I bought was too short, so I took it back and got a longer one which didn't fit in place correctly. I returned it and bought the first style chain again, but this time I bought two. I got them home and luckily I had been smart enough to buy a chain repair kit (it saved part of my sanity), which helped me link the two chains together.

Once I did that, I had to shorten it to fit --at that point I had a mini-meltdown because the chains wouldn't link back together. What the hell? This is the only thing keeping me from riding my bike. One tiny link in a chain. Thinking about it again is making my heart beat faster and I just want to kick the shit out of the cruiser. Why can't I just ride my goddamned bike? Because the universe is against me, that's why.

Hopefully, I will get this fixed soon, or I am saying "fuck the bike" and buying a brand spanking new beach cruiser.

Here are some pics of the cruiser, the first is from the day I picked it up and the second was from the following day. I haven't taken any updated pictures of progress because I can't stand to look at it anymore.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother Lover

As you all know, today is Mother's Day and this has been the best one yet.  I woke up to breakfast in bed, which included eggs, bacon, jelly toast, sliced strawberries and whipped cream.

I also received a dozen pink roses, which my son, Jax, proudly picked out himself, thanks to his awesome Dad. We watched movies/ T.V. all day that included episodes of Fraggle Rock, as well as It's Always Sunny..., SLC Punk and Seven Pounds, in that order- It was perfect. (Jax didn't watch a few of those.)

But, Mother's Day didn't start for me today, it started yesterday. I got a new tiller for my flower beds (what? say something!). Andrew went grocery shopping for me, Jax's team won their baseball game (they're undefeated), we went to the driving range and to the batting cages. All in all, it has been a great weekend and I love my family so very much!

Now it's storming, which will make for perfect snoozing tonight. Again I say, what a fantastic Mother's Day!

Pictures of my MD loot to follow.

The Picture says:
My Mom is the most wonderful Mom in the world
Her name is: Tena (Tina)
She is as pretty as: A Flwr (Flower)
She is: 36 years old (28)
She has: Brown eyes and Brown hair
She weighs: 15 pounds and is 53 feet tall (130/5'5")

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Geocaching is way cool

Recently I watched a movie called 'Splinterheads' and the main character went "geocaching." I decided to Google it and boy am I glad I did.

A week later, I took my son, Jax, geocaching for the first time; it was a very interesting experience because we had no idea what we were looking for. Thankfully,  has linked coordinates (longitude/latitude) to upload to your personal GPS. After setting five different coordinates, Jax and I set out on our adventure.

The first set of coordinates took us to a dirt road next to a small wooded area. The name of the geocache site was called "stumped," so I figured a stump is what we would be looking for. Because I had saved the coordinates into the GPS, it didn't give me the actual longitude and latitude, just a flag of the destination.  We looked around a log, wood piles, and trees without luck. In order to keep Jax's attention, we decided to move on to the next geocache site.

I ended up parking too far from the point, which made it about a two-mile walk down the a trail. Once we got to the destination flag, the grass was up to my hip, so actually finding the geocache became a feat and once again, we moved on.  After no luck on the next two geocache locations and Jax's mood decreasing, I decided to take us back to the first site. By the time we had gotten there, I had figured out how the GPS will show my location, with coordinates, and that worked to our advantage. The coordinates took us right back to the log, but we came from a different angle and just as we closed in on it, Jax saw the geocache under the log.

I hadn't thought about looking under it. This was our first geocache and we really didn't know how hard the geocache's are hidden, but the fact we found something really boosted Jax's mood. We signed the paper log and traded a Jordanian Dinar for a plastic dinosaur. Jax thought it was a fair trade and named his new dino 'Geo', after our new found love of geocaching.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Know your insects

Trying to be the adventurous mom that I am, I decided to take Jax for a walk in the woods. We get there and he wanted to build a bridge over the tiny creek. Unbeknown to us, we really ticked off the wasps in the wasp nest by a stump. Jax really wanted to build the bridge, so I let him start to gather a large pile of sticks as I stood behind and looked on. All of a sudden this "bee" or so I thought, flew right into my head and stung me on the ear. OUCH!

My first thought was "That son of a bitch bee, I hope he dies now!" I then immediately grabbed Jax away from the stump, and I'm glad I did because that damned bee stung me again. The worst part was that it was going for Jax and I just happened to be grabbing him when it stung me on the finger -- my middle finger to be exact, as if the bee was to say "F*@k you!". I pulled him away from the stump and the pain in my ear was so intense that I was saying every profane thing that popped into my head. My child heard a whole new slew of words, unfortunately.

My ear swelled twice its normal size; even my neck was red and swollen. Oh, and don't let me forget my lips, only the left side was numb, like I had been to the dentist and got a numbing agent. If i failed to mention before, I have never been stung, so this was a whole new pain sensation and to be stung on the ear, just plain painful. My cesarean with Jax was less painful than this.

I went to the doctor about the swelling and he gave me antihistamines, which hadn't helped, so I had the nurse, Daphne, give me a shot of decadron to ease the swelling, but so far nothing has helped. Today three fingers and my knuckles are swollen and it itches beyond belief. At this point you can't even see where the back of my ear meets my head due to the swelling. All in all, I guess I have an allergy to wasps and their stings. Too bad they don't lose their stingers and die like bees.

Die wasps, DIE!