Monday, December 29, 2008

Strange dream last night

Last night (or was it early this morning?) I had a dream that I received a call from a friend (nobody I know in real life, but in my dream she was my friend) and she needed me to go to her OB appt. I knew she was planning to place for adoption and she wanted my support. When I got there, her boyfriend (the father of the baby) was there as well as the couple who planned to adopt the baby.

My friend was very not attached to the baby and acted as if this whole adoption thing was no big deal whatsoever. The waiting-to-adopt couple had already laid claim to the child and were calling the baby girl theirs already. There was a level of excitement in the waiting room that seemed odd to me as the friend there to support the expecting mom.

Then I looked over and noticed that the expectant father was sad. I realized then that the reason I was there was to support him, not the e-mom. I asked him if he was ok and told me no. He began to cry and proceeded to tell me that he couldn't imagine life without his daughter in it and that he did not want her to be placed for adoption but my friend wasn't giving him a choice. I asked him if he was prepared to parent alone and he said yes. I remember telling him about some resources to help him and then I woke up.

Hmmm....interesting?!?!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I'm sorry (words you'll never hear me say)

I'm NOT sorry my daughter makes you uncomfortable. That is YOUR problem, not hers, not mine, YOURS! GET. OVER. IT.

There, I said it.

I am a very sensitive person. I wear my emotions on my sleeve and hate when others are hurting or uncomfortable, especially if it is my fault in any way. I have no problem apologizing when I've done something wrong (and as many will attest, even if I haven't done something wrong I'll still say I'm sorry for the situation they are in because I really, truly am sorry that they are in that place at that moment.)

With all of that said here goes a post that I have been thinking about writing for a while but just haven't been able to get the words out just right. Lets see if today is any different.

When Lil Bug was born with Spina Bifida we were sad. Not for us, but for her. We knew that her future was filled with surgeries, weird glances, inappropriate and/or insensitive questions, and, quite bluntly, ignorance on the behalf of the rest of the population.

We take great measures to build Bugs self esteem and be confident in who she is. We want her to fully embrace herself, not be embarrassed by it. Sure, she is only 4 years old, but she is not ashamed in the slightest that she walks differently than her peers, that her head is not perfectly symmetrical and that she doesn't use the bathroom like every other person that she knows.

We are completely honest with her too. We have explained from before she could even understand that she was born with a hole in her spine and that is called Spina Bifida. She knows she has a shunt that helps the fluid drain off her brain. She can explain why she wears AFO (leg braces) and why she can't be around magnets. We don't complicate it...we just tell her that her leg muscles don't work the same as mommy's and daddy's and so God gave us tools to help her walk, such as her AFO's and her walker. In her beautiful innocence, she accepts it. Sure, she has questioned things...any intelligent person would...but she accepts that she is perfect just the way she is.

Now, for the part that people don't understand and have a hard time "dealing" with...the fact that she is cathed rather than pees on the toilet and *gasp* has to have a forced bowel movement rather than just going naturally. So what?!?! I don't get why that matters to one single person other than The Designer, Lil Bug and myself (and perhaps her sister and grandparents).

Every day at 8am, noon, 4pm and 8pm we cath Grace to empty her bladder. If we are late or don't do it completely, it almost always results in a urinary tract infection. Even if we do it right, she has an increased chance of an infection because every single time we have to introduce a "foreign" object to her urinary tract, thus increasing the odds for an infection.

Every night at 7pm we have to give Bug a suppository. Doesn't sound like fun, does it? We give her the suppository, read her a story while she lays down for about 5 minutes and then she has to sit on the potty for 1 hour...EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. We bought her a potty seat with a padded top because that is a long time to sit. We also decided against having her sit on the real toilet for now because who wants to sit in the bathroom for an hour? So, we sit her on the potty, put on 2 cartoons, one after the other, and let her relax.

Recently she has shown interest in learning how to cath herself and to "help" with placing her suppository. She is proud of herself for learning these things. And she should be. These are BIG accomplishments for Lil Bug. She has no idea that talking about these kinds of things is taboo in the "real" world. She doesn't have to know. The minute she learns that talking about these things is a no-no or that people aren't comfortable discussing it with her, that is the minute she loses her innocence on the subject. That is the minute she becomes embarrassed and perhaps her self esteem lowers a bit (or a lot even). I don't want that to happen. So, yes, we totally plan on teaching her what is appropriate to discuss publicly and what is not ok. However, we are not there yet. For right now we are just enjoying our sweet, innocent, proud, confident daughter just the way she is. And, if her saying something too grown-up for you makes YOU feel uncomfortable...guess what? I don't care because that is your problem...not ours.


*****
Please know that this blog post is not really intended for everyone that reads this but I needed to vent in a safe place. I don't have a lot of people to talk to about these things and I figured it doesn't hurt to vent here with friends and strangers alike and perhaps you may just walk away with a tiny bit more understanding of what it is like to be my Lil Bug.

Help save Handmade Baby and Childrens Companies

There is a law that goes goes into effect on Feb. 10, 2009 that will force Luckybug Boutique and almost every other small business that makes things for children (under 12) and babies to close up shop.

It is sad. I like what I do and I have just started to get a good customer base. And, unless congress makes changes, I will have to stop.

There are a ton of articles out there, but here is a link to a couple articles and blogs that discuss this topic.

http://www.etsy.com/storque/craftivism/handmade-childrens-items-unintended-consequences-consumer-pr-3056/

http://seekinggodknowswhat.com/2008/12/10/help-save-handmade-and-small-toy-manufacturers/

Please consider writing to your State Reps and Congressman asking them to make provisions for small businesses. Even if you don't make the products yourself, if you stop to think, you will most likely be directly affected by this law too by seeing a significant increase in prices (as competition will drop and the costs of the tests are high).

Monday, December 8, 2008

Art Fire

Back in the spring of this year I began selling my items on Etsy.com. Although I have sell many, many more products off the site, I have had good luck with my Etsy shop.

Recently, however, I have been hearing about a new competing site called Art Fire. So I wandered on over there to check it out. I have to admit...I'm rather impressed so far. I like that with a flat monthly fee of only $7 they do not charge individual listing fees and you do not pay a fee based on the sale price either. That is about the price of one Etsy listing a day and NO other fees. I just signed up for an account and after I get home from work tonight or maybe tomorrow I will be listing my goods in there to start selling.

In order to get the site more recognition they are offering a promotion until 12/31/08. If you sign up for the $7/month account and get 10 others to sign up under you you will earn your account for FREE for LIFE. So, that is what I am working on right now...please, if you are interested in learning more about Art Fire or signing up for an account use my account (luckybugboutique) as the refering account or just link there from here and I will get the credit.

Hope to see you on Art Fire soon!!!