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I Don’t Get It

Last week, a 19 year old decided to end his life.  He’d been kicked out of his house; his girlfriend had broken up with him, and he’d been fired from his job at McDonald’s.  But ending his own life wasn’t enough for him.  Apparently, he felt that he was a nobody–and he wanted to go out in a way that would make him famous.

So he decides to shoot up a mall in Omaha, Nebraska.  A mall where a very close friend of my coworker worked as a store manager.  Maggie had nothing to do with this guy.  She didn’t know him; she didn’t know his ex-girlfriend.  None of his victims had anything to do with his situation.

So what gave him the right to end their lives along with his?

I remember when I was attending therapy sessions with a former fiance for his alcoholism, the counselor stated that suicide is the ultimate F*ck You.  In his experience, most suicidal attempts were made because someone was mad at those around him/her.

I’m upset that the media has released the gunman’s name and picture.  It’s exactly what he wanted.  I know that no one will remember his name in a year or two (except for the friends and families of his victims), just like no one remembers the name of the boys from Columbine or the boy in Red Lake.  I understand that, but I felt that the media made too much information available.  I don’t want to see how some victims found ways to hide or hear his message to his landlady.

I don’t get why if you want to die but you want to be remembered, you wouldn’t find a way that would make people think that you were a better person than you probably are.  Run into a burning building, go and donate a kidney (not that you’d die from that, of course), but be a positive influence in people’s lives.

When I was in high school, there was a group of boys a year ahead of me.  They weren’t popular.  They came to school in black dusters or trench coats.  But rather than get angry about how different they were, they published the first zines I ever read.  These zines sold for a buck or two and came with stickers.  They were the rage.  Anyone who was anyone was reading these things, which were nothing more than writeups about what these guys were interested in (mostly snowboarding and alternative rock), some photos, and some quotes heard around school.

It’s sad when anyone decides to end their own life.  It really is.  However, it’s truly evil to kill innocent people in the process.

About 4 months ago or so, I was recruited to the church’s Finance Subcommittee.  I don’t think I’ve written much here about the problems my church has been involved in–so here’s a synopsis of what has come led us to where we now find ourselves….

  • In January, the senior pastor, Pastor C, announced during a sermon that the church was in financial trouble and there needed to be an emergency congregational meeting to balance the church’s budget.  More Details

Working from home again today.  When Justin and I were getting ready to leave for daycare, it was snowing.  Justin was instantly fascinated; I suppose he really wouldn’t remember it from last year. 

Dinner was with my parents last night.  It was nice.  My mom had tried a new chili recipe that DH couldn’t stop raving about.  He also liked how everything tied in together (cornbread, cheese and crackers).  Even the wildberry pie for dessert.  Justin was a bit of a handful.  He was mostly pushing boundaries, and my mom’s husband was very quiet throughout the evening.  Not sure if he disapproved of our handling of Justin or if he was just tired.  It was fairly obvious that we don’t use a tablecloth often because when Justin had finished eating, he tried to pull it over his head.  He also tried to kick his chair backwards.  I solved those issues by pushing him far away from the table.  He hid behind the curtains in the living room, which I don’t think is a big deal.  I think the real issue is Justin’s need to be the center of attention.  He’s a typical toddler and while he can amuse himself for short periods of time, he much prefers interacting with other people.

My father dropped by yesterday with his football picks.  We have a family football pool that my brother runs.  I got a mini-lecture on why my dad changed his vote on an amendment at the last minute.  I think he was sober.  He was drunk on Saturday when he told me he had our vote……

Speaking of the amendment, we sent out a congratulatory email through our network yesterday, and I’ve been sorting through the responses ever since.  There really weren’t that many respondents but for every complimentary one, there were three filled with profanity.  Part of me wants to respond to these people with something like, "Thank you for your charming sentiments regarding our recent communication.  Per your instructions, we are removing you from our lists."  But in the end, it wouldn’t make a difference.  It’s just hard not to take the remarks personally.  Let’s face it, it’s a good thing I’m not a telemarketer.

Been a While

Hi. 

I’m still alive and I do read my FL even if I don’t comment.  These days I just don’t feel I have much to add.  I need to get over that. So I’m updating today.

Justin is now 18 months.  We had his parent/teacher conferences at the daycare on Monday night.  They definitely know our little guy.  We all agree that physically, he’s very developed.  He will take on any physical challenge without fear and with a lot of persistence (much to my dismay).  He’s also very smart and his receptive communication is very good.  However, he will only use words or demonstrate his knowledge when he wants.  For example, I often cannot get him to point to a picture of a dog; I have a 50% success rate of getting him to say "dog" when I point to the picture, and yet he gets excited and will point it out himself if he sees the picture without any prompting.

We’re in a strange place when it comes to discipline.  Both DH and I are conflicted and confused.  We have been doing some basics–mostly redirection, but it really comes down to how much can he understand at this time?  He really doesn’t have the ability to stay in one place, so we’re not quite ready for time-outs yet.  We’ve used the basic step of ignoring him and we use a lot of praise when he does follow direction.  We’re getting some temper tantrums–rarely major–and, for the most part, I think we deal with them well.  They don’t last long (yet) because we rarely give in to him. 

I’m still working two days at the office and three days at home.  It’s a great schedule.  I’m actually at home today because I was up in the Cities yesterday holding signs outside of polling places.  Our amendment passed (funding for cleaning up our lakes and rivers) with 56%.  This is incredible because it’s more votes than either presidential candidate got.  Even more amazing is that Minnesota has a weird law that says that this type of vote is counted in a manner where a blank vote is considered a "no" vote.  A large part of our effort was to educate voters that they needed mark the box one way or another in order for their voice to be heard.

Well, I need to hop in the shower–i’ve got a doctor’s appointment in about an hour.

Update

Work has been beyond normal busy this past month.  This past weekend I put in some extra hours and even worked the holiday in order to meet a hard and fast deadline.  However, all turned out well.

Last week, I had the extreme pleasure of hearing Neil Gaiman read the final chapter of The Graveyard Book.  You can hear him read the entire book for free over on mousecircus.com.  

In other news, I drug out my poor, neglected sewing machine, Betty, and somehow managed to put together Justin’s Halloween costume.  The pattern has a pair of pants, but I didn’t get them done in time for last night’s Halloween party.  I like what he wore, so I’m not going to rush the pants.  I may make them and use them as normal pants–not costume.   The sewing on this is pretty amateur–and I won’t bore you with how many times I tore out the collar and redid it or how many times the fourth button had to be repositioned.  But it’s passable.

For the record, he was smiling most of the evening.  But my choices were smiling blur of a toddler reaching for the camera or serious toddler sitting still.  Amazingly, he kept the bandana on throughout the entire party.

Been a While

Okay, so we last left Justin on his way to the Toddler Room.  He loves it in there.  He went to work immediately to test the boundaries and rules and proved that the plug in covers for outlets really are a waste of money.  He can get them off faster than I can.  The classroom is really structured (for the chaos that is a toddler room) and since he’s a boy who loves his routines, he’s thriving.  He doesn’t have many words yet and they seem to come and go.  "Sheri" is a constant as she was a teacher.  His new teacher is "Sharon" and he’s merged the names in his little sing song voice.  He also uses "Da" for Dad and "doh" for just about everything else.  When I’m not around, he says "Mama" but when I am, he signs for me using the milk sign.  Guess I know how he sees me.  He also says "shoe" very clearly and will hold it up (or in DH’s case, Justin hit him with it) and tell you what it is.  But I haven’t heard that word for a week now.  Yesterday, he said "cat" very clearly once while looking at a picture of a cat.

However, he is smart.  It amazes me (as I’m sure it does most moms) how he catches on to things.  He loves keys–especially when we help him lock and unlock doors.  He conned me three weeks ago when he wanted to nurse by pretending to be tired and ready for bed.  He figured out an ingenious way to leave the Toddler Room-and while he’s the youngest in there, he’s the only one who has figured it out.  He is short so he can’t turn the handle on the door all the way–just enough to unlatch it.  Then he sits down and uses his feet which fit underneath the door to pull it open.  Then he’s up and running down the hall.  He’s also the only child to build a staircase out of the soft blocks in the Infant Room to climb over the gate.  He was halfway over when they caught him.  He’s a plotter who experiments with his ideas and we really need to keep at least a step ahead of him.

DH and I are in on the family football picks again.  I beat DH last week and I’m still waiting for my back massage.  He’s still building the bookcases he started back in May.  I was being very good about keeping the house reasonably neat, but this past week I let it go and it got the best of me. 

The reason I didn’t keep up last week is that my brother was married on Friday night.  Both DH and I were in the wedding and I had added drama where there didn’t need to be prior to the wedding.  I was very anxious because we were never allowed to help with anything.  Two weeks before the wedding, we finally received a very vague itinerary.  However, it was  a beautiful wedding that went off very smoothly.  Smoother than mine at least–but that’s not saying a whole heck of a lot.  The FOB was more like a MOB and he was the one who focused on all the details and decorations.  We were all in good hands.

Work is going well.  Very, very busy.  Which is why I should probably end this entry and get to some data reports.

Today is Justin’s last day in the Infant Room.  He’s been there since he was 9 weeks old and I have watched him move from a crib in the playroom and a bouncy seat during meals to a crib in the nap room and a high chair to now a cot and a seat at the table.  I’ve watched his friends grow and develop just as I’ve watched him.  I’ve gotten to know his teachers very well and the personalities of all the other babies.  And I’ve been a little sad each time one of his friends moves up into Toddlers.

Tuesday, he will start in Toddlers.  He’s been transitioning over by spending time in that room a bit more each day.  Yesterday, our practice drop off didn’t go well, but there were other factors making it a bad morning (like falling on his head).  He’s definitely ready to be with the older kids.  I worry because he is so little, but I’ve noticed that the others are looking out for him.  So while it’s bittersweet there are some real benefits….

  1. Our daycare cost just dropped $15/week.
  2. He is so worn out that he’s beginning to sleep through the night again.
  3. He’s developing new skills almost faster than we can keep track of them.
  4. His routines are becoming more complex but more solid as well.
  5. He won’t be able to give the Infant Room teachers any more heart attacks with his amazing climbing abilities.
  6. He’s going to have peers to help model his behavior and skills.
  7. He’s so happy and excited.

The one area that really needs some work (and we’ll focus on this weekend) is the ability to drink out of a cup.  If you put an inch of milk in a small juice glass, he does very well the first time.  The second time, he gets overconfident and tips the glass before it’s in his mouth.  And if you make the mistake of filling it up a third time, he will do any or all of the following: stick his spoon in it, stick his hand in it, or dump it over his plate and the table. 
Knowing him, he’ll probably have this just about under his belt by Tuesday.  If he hears someone say that he isn’t doing something that he should be, he always starts doing it or at least making vast improvement just to prove you wrong.  Sounds like a toddler to me.