Murray and The Highchair (TWM: Ch 111)

For starters, I’d like to apologize for totally slacking on the blog lately. We got back from Florida late Sunday and I’ve been running around trying to get things taken care of. I have a week’s worth of laundry to do, plus cat hair GALORE to vacuum. It ain’t pretty. But I think I’m finally reaching a resting point.

For those of you who wrote me about Mom it Down: Yes, I DID have a recipe to put up yesterday. But never got a chance to do it. You see, Emory didn’t fair too well being away from home for so long. By the end of our trip he was literally begging us (in the saddest voice ever) for home. He sounded like ET. It was heartbreaking. All that said, since returning home, I’ve done nothing but make sure he’s doing exactly what he wants to do, which basically means visiting the PLAYGROUND! He missed his friends and his stomping ground, which is pretty freaking cute if you ask me. So, there’s the full-time motherhood excuse for my slackness. heh

I have some things that need to be addressed on the blog, like immediately—a few reviews for products that I was sent, an article for March Of Dimes, updates on our family life—I’m way, way behind. I have made it my duty to fix this! I hate falling behind. I promise to step it up. There is just so much to report and share, so many stories and pictures and reviews and…

In the meantime, here’s a picture of Murray who has moved away from the cardboard box, and the stroller and has decided that he belongs here now:

Murray_HighChair

I think he wants to be taller. But the best part about whenever this takes place is that Emory suddenly decides he wants to sit in the highchair, which is pretty funny because Emory NEVER wants to sit in the highchair anymore, unless, of course, Murray is in the highchair. I will try and get video of that interaction; it’s awesome.

Ahhhh, brothers.

Twitter: I'll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours.

I should begin by saying that I enjoy Twitter. I like seeing how people tell stories when they’re only given 140 characters to work with. But it’s a good thing that the service is free, because I do have some issues with it. 

Take a look at the screenshot from my (mihow) account. (Specifically the area outlined in yellow.)

mihow_twitter1

Now, take a look at Murray’s

murray_twitter

Notice the difference? Murray has a search field, which is pretty insane since he doesn’t even have thumbs. (Not at all insane, however, is that he has a Twitter account.)

Now, before you leave a comment or send an anonymous email letting me know how stupid it is that I even care, I’m not losing sleep over this. But up until recently, I had no idea what these # signs were all about. I’m still not sure how they work. And I don’t use them because I rarely see the end result. (Murray doesn’t log in very often.)

Similarly, I had NO CLUE what “Trending Topics” meant until last weekend whenever Toby Joe showed it me. He checked my account on his computer and still nothing showed up. We checked my settings, still nothing.

But it’s free. I can’t complain.

It is curious, though.

In Honor of Maddie Spohr…

Instead of writing a woefully unrelated and hypothetical tale filled with loss and anguish and making this about me, I am going to encourage you to visit to The March of Dimes, and donate whatever you can spare in the name of Maddie Spohr.

If you have kids, go play with them right now! If you don’t, but you have friends with kids, go spend an hour helping those families go about their days. Bring them lunch, help them clean the house, or suggest a trip to the park. Spread as much positivity today as possible.

Remember Maddie.

Edited to add: Several of us are getting together on April 26th in New York City to walk for Madeline Alice Spohr and the March of Dimes. Please Join us!

Using Social Media to Freak Out Brands

Jonathan sent me an interesting article from Adage about how a few vocal people can give an impression that something is a much bigger deal that it really is. (Remember the Motrin scandal?)

From the article:

“The data is a really compelling reminder that a lot of our target consumers are not the people who are sitting on Twitter freaking out over a packaging design that they don’t like,” said Diane Hessan

So, I find I’m asking a number of questions. For starters, why is this happening? What compels a group of people (in the case of the Motrin ad—Mommy Bloggers) to get so worked about something relatively meaningless?

The internet has made it easier than ever for consumers to get their opinions heard — and for marketers to listen. But it also creates real challenges: Do marketers know who they’re listening to? And at what point does the echo chamber of social media drown out the real opinions of the people who buy your brand?

Lastly, why are brands so completely afraid of these (relatively few) vocal people, so much so, that they’re willing to yank ads for them? 

(Thanks to reader Jonathan for the link!)

New Site Stuff

I’m sure that by now you’ve noticed some changes taking place around here. We’re currently in the process of optimizing this Web site, making changes to the layout, design, and overall identity, etc. 

Please let us know if there are any bugs. More changes are going to come over the weekend (including adding in some color), and if there’s anything strange going on, we’d like to make those edits at that time.

Thanks! I do hope this proves to be rejuvenating for everyone!

Get Mad About This.

(I put this up. I took it down. I put it up again. I took it down again. I am putting it up again, with a few additions. If I get attacked, so be it. I’m ready for it. I think.)

There are several bloggers upset about a post over at Mom Logic written by a guest blogger named “Gina”. (I have chosen not to link to the post in question because I feel that by doing so I’d be perpetuating their obvious quest for traffic. If you wish to find it, by all means knock on Google’s door.) She equates miscarriages with abortions and basically states that if you’re prochoice, you shouldn’t start whining whenever you have a miscarriage. She wrote something like, “Sure, it’s a baby when you want it, a fetus when you don’t.”

Now, I could state how I feel about what she wrote. It may even come as a surprise to some people. But I’m choosing to not add any more fuel to that fire because it’s a waste of time and energy and precisely what Mom Logic wants.

So, instead of ranting about “Gina” and what she wrote, I’m going to rant about something I read over the weekend that had me in tears.

Did you get wind of the story out of Florida? The one where an abortion doctor is having his license revoked (justifiably so) because of a live birth abortion? No? Yes? Maybe? Well, here it is. (CNN article).

According to the suit, Williams, then 18, discovered while being treated for a fall that she was 23 weeks pregnant. She went to a clinic to get an abortion on the morning of July 20, 2006, after receiving medication and instructions the previous day.

For those of you who don’t want to read the whole sordid (highly disturbing) story, let me break it down for you:

1). 18-year-old girl gets pregnant.

2). Girl doesn’t realize it for 23-weeks.

3). Girl finds out. Schedules an abortion.

4). Abortion goes horribly, horribly wrong.

5). Girl (awake) gives birth to living, breathing creature.

6). Staff freaks out. Screams.

7). Baby (fetus) gasps for air for 5 minutes.

8). Fetus (baby) is put in biohazard bag and disposed of.

9). Girl sues everyone in the name of her dead baby daughter.

Williams filed the suit individually and “as personal representative of the estate of Shanice Denise Osbourne, deceased,” the suit said.

It was her choice to have sex. It was her choice to have an abortion. And now it’s her choice to sue the doctor and his clinic in the name of her baby daughter—the same fetus she chose to abort.

And now it’s my choice to judge her for her choice, specifically that last one.

Sure, it’s a fetus when you don’t want it, and a baby when you see some dollar signs. Because that’s precisely the message she seems to be sending.

So, I write this to all of you who fall on the pro-choice side of the Internet: Get mad about this not about what some woman named “Gina” wrote on a Web site whose advertisers are currently thanking for the spike traffic.

Get mad about this.

Isn’t it possible that this story could very well become the pro-life movement’s dream come true? Couldn’t we have a real life Citizen Ruth on our hands? What if someone gets a hold of this woman and turns her into the poster child for just how ugly abortion really is? Even if you don’t think so—even if you don’t think it’s a life until that baby is born and breathing on its own—many, many people disagree with you.

A few months ago, Sarah Palin was shown on TV in front of a live turkey slaughter and people completely freaked out. But isn’t that the way it is? And if you’re a poultry eater (like myself), shouldn’t you be able to watch that without uttering one word of disgust? Dare I suggest that what we saw take place on that video was actually less gruesome than what goes on at many other slaughter houses across the country?

Couldn’t it be said then that what happened to this woman during her abortion is precisely why pro-lifers wish to put an end to it? Could this story open up a HUGE floodgate into the gritty truth behind abortion, at least when it comes to the pro-life message?

I ask a lot of questions here, and I think that you should as well. If you’re pro-choice, then try and see how this might look to an opponent. That’s all I’m asking. It’s probably pretty clear to you that an abortion isn’t supposed to go this way, but how is it supposed to go? I reckon that to a pro-life person—a person who believes a baby is a baby the moment its conceived—this is precisely what an abortion looks like and that this story exposes the brutal truth.

What I’m suggesting is this: no matter what side of your bread you butter, there should be at least one facet to this story that deserves your anger and attention. There must be something you would like to change about it.

So, don’t get mad at “Gina” or Mom Logic for chumming at a little traffic, get mad about this.

Spring Break!

I feel I have been neglecting this site lately. Out of the dozen or so posts I did manage to push live over the past couple of weeks, maybe two were worth a damn (in my opinion).

That said, I think I need a break. Hell, I think even YOU might need a break. I am not sure how long of a break I’ll take—it could be a week, it could be two, it could be a couple of minutes—but I’ll be back. And, I know, it’s annoying when a blogger announces that he or she is planning on taking a break, but I feel that I owe it to all the Murray lovers out there. (Who, by the way, is on his way to Florida for some wet t-shirt contests.)

I’ll be back. Maybe with a vengeance, or at least with more purpose. (In the meantime, feel free to send me email because I will most likely miss you.)

Naturally, I’ll probably continue polluting Twitter.

On Feminism

It’s a simple question, I just want to know what you think of when you hear (or read) the word feminism. What type of woman do you consider a feminist? When does feminism rear its head in your everyday life? I’m not looking for text book definitions, because we all know that terms tend to change once they are applied to our actual lives.

I realize I’ve brought somethig like this up before, but this is for a different purpose and I’d love to hear what you have to say. If you dislike leaving comments, please feel free to email me. Also, feel free to do so anonymously. (Anything goes, my friends. Don’t hold back.)

Thank you in advance!

Dear Rae Rae,

This response is very late and you’ve probably moved on by now. Truth be told, I am not sure you even visited after the way I initially responded. I can’t imagine why you would have. But I have to write this.

I think about you all the time, not necessarily you personally, because I haven’t ever met you. I don’t even know what you look like. The only role you had in my life was leaving a comment on my blog.

It read:

July 25th, 2007 at 02:21 PM

You only go through this a few times in your life. This time with your unborn baby and your husband are precious – don’t wish it away.

You were right.

I didn’t want to admit it then. Hell, I was about to meet my first child for the first time. I was sick of being pregnant. I wanted him out of me. I vowed to friends and family, “There’s no way I’ll sleep less when he’s born than I do now.”

(What a naive and silly person.)

But that’s not what this is about. This isn’t about losing sleep or having to pee a lot. It’s not about any of that. This is about what you said and how often I think about it.

I guess I never realized how true your comment was until friends of mine started getting pregnant—close friends, acquaintances, internet friends—just friends. And I promised myself a long time ago I would not become that person, ready to give suggestions without being asked. And I’m not accusing you of that; I can’t begin to thank you enough for what you wrote. But I continue to bite my tongue even though sometimes it’s unbearable.

What I wanted to say to you then was this: OH MY GOD, WHO ARE YOU TO TELL ME TO ENJOY THIS! I HATE YOU!

That’s a little harsh. I know. It was true at the time, but that’s because you weren’t really a person to me. You were just someone taunting me, pointing out something I refused to see.

Perhaps my hatred was due to the fact that a part of me (the instinctual mother part every woman is born with) knew you were right. I don’t know. I never will. But I hated what you wrote. I spit at your words. I told my husband, “HOW CAN SOMEONE TELL ANOTHER PERSON TO ENJOY THIS!” And, well, come on! I was having trouble sleeping. I peed myself several times. I had trouble doing “other things”. I could not be intimate with my husband. I couldn’t eat because of the heartburn, my ankles swelled up to triple their size. I had high blood pressure. I was seeing white or black spots every time I stood up. I wanted that baby out of me! I felt awful.

I was mad at you.

Well, Rae Rae, I’m no longer angry. In fact, I want to thank you for having had such a huge impact on my life and in such a small way.

I mentioned earlier that I don’t like giving people advice unless they ask for it, specifically when it comes to motherhood. I had so many ideas when I was pregnant and then my son was born and I could barely keep up with any of them. I had delusions of how it would (and should) be. I made plans. And even though I knew that things were going to be hard, I never knew exactly how hard. How could I have known? (They offer classes about how to give birth and how to breastfeed these little people, but no one really helps you out with the remaining 50 years.)

Anyway, I did something out of character the other night in honor of you. I wrote this on a friend’s Facebook page:

You know, I said the same thing and meant it. And one day someone emailed me and said “enjoy this time!” and I wanted to punch them and I hated them. you know what’s funny? I think about it all the time now because they were so right!

So I am going to be that asshole now: enjoy this time. Sleep. Have morning sex. Cook. Take walks together. Go out! Go out! Go out! Have a romantic meal.

He will be here soon enough, so enjoy this time you have alone.

I have never left a truer comment.

But don’t hate me for it!

Have you ever experienced that moment right before a fresh snowfall where the world becomes eerily quiet, cars distance themselves from one another, the sky turns orange or burnt sienna, everything seems at peace in the world and we’re greeted with a smashingly fine silence?

Do you know that moment?

Or, how about that moment during a kickoff where opposing teams stand guarded on an untouched field. The crowd roars, the whistle is blown, feet stomp, the rising sound is spectacular. The ball is kicked! And as soon as it leaves the kicker’s foot, the moment the ball departs his toe, a silence blankets the crowd as if guided by a maestro.

How about that one? Do you know that moment?

I look forward to moments like those. They give me goosebumps fueled by anticipation. Those undeniable rests that punctuate great big, audacious sounds are pretty outstanding.

Rae Rae, you were right.

I should have known to enjoy that time more. I should not have wished it away. That time was just like the moments I described above. I just didn’t realize it until after the game was in session, the cake was cut, and the blanket of snow had already fallen.

Sincerely yours (a year or so late),

Michele

Our View For 2009

Taken last night as the sun was setting on 2008.

Happy New Year, my friends! I am grateful that you visit, read, comment, chat, suggest, smooch on Murray—just grateful.

Thanks again for everything.