Thursday, October 8, 2009

I have a new home!

If you've come here expecting witty commentary, head on over to my new digs:

All About Avacakes

I look forward to welcoming you there!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

There's Something About the Internet

Computers are without question a wonderful invention. They've made life much easier, and certainly more fun. We can talk to people far away, make new friends, meet members of the opposite sex, spend hours upon hours lost in mindless entertainment.

But there is a dark side. An evil side. The side the trolls live on.

I've been fortunate so far. I haven't attracted the attention of the trolls yet. Mainly because there's only about a dozen people who read anything I write. However, so many of my online friends have been viciously attacked by people who hide behind a mask of anonymity and spew forth vile, disgusting, hateful things.

But WHY?

Why is it fun for anyone to purposefully, intentionally hurt or demean others? I know many people go through stages of this behavior as children, taunting other kids. Then of course, there are the teen years, where insults are taken to a new art form.

But as adults, who are supposed to know better, why does anyone do this? What is missing in your life that you get thrills from making someone else feel bad? What has warped your brain to the point that you would tell someone already in the midst of the worst pain they could ever imagine, to just "get over it". Why would you tell a mother that has lost her child that she's somehow to blame, when you have no firsthand knowledge of this person's actual life.

I realize that you are comfortable doing this online is because you have no fear of repercussion. You know that the target of your venom does not have the ability to punch you in your stupid face. Your friends or family won't stop speaking to you. You won't lose your job. In short, nothing happens to you. You live with your dirty little secrets. Do you sit around giggling to yourself about how you made someone cry? Do you feel important because you were able to provoke a reaction? Tell me why. What do you get out of it that you keep doing it, over and over. Do you have no friends? Did your mother not love you enough? Did your Dad walk out on you? Did your siblings beat you up? What happened to the part of your brain that censors what you say? Were you perhaps dropped on your head? Because honestly, nothing, NOTHING justifies this kind of behavior. I don't care if you just had the worst day ever. I don't care if you yourself are dealing with loss - YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER!!

Bringing someone else pain will not lessen yours. Oh you might giggle, laugh, snicker, whatever. But I will bet you that eventually your nasty side will leak out to your real life. You'll hurt people you really care about. You might even end up alone. When you are lying on your death bed, and you look back at your life, I'll bet this will be a part you will wish you could change.

And if you don't, look out. There is a comment mafia. They will find you.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Grandma is Coming To Town

I'm pretty excited this week. You see, my mother is coming to Oregon for a visit.

She lives in Mississippi, where I grew up, and lived for 23 of my 36 years. We've tried to keep her updated as much as we can on the growth and development of my offspring, but pictures can only say so much. My mother is not computer savvy, and cannot even turn one on, much less surf the internet, email, or any of that sort of thing. We did send her a VHS tape of two hours worth of video clips that we had taken of Ava. She watched it over and over again.

The one and only time my mother has seen Ava, she was 3 weeks old. Ava, that is, not my mother. :) As referenced by the Wordless Wednesday picture below. A beautiful, sleeping, cuddly, snuggly newborn. My mom came out for a visit last June, 3 weeks after Ava's birth by C-Section. I wasn't even driving yet, and developed a nasty infection that netted me daily trips back to the hospital's outpatient facility for I.V. antibiotics. So she didn't get to spend much quality time with either of us, especially with Ava.

Ava is now a very active 1 year old. She is walking, almost running. She can feed herself with a spoon. She can mimic actions. She says a few words. She knows her name, and will respond to it. She laughs, she dances to music. She has developed a personality all her own. My mom has not been witness to any of that. I cannot imagine how mind-blowing it will be for her to see how much Ava has changed in one year.

My mom's plane gets in Friday night. I plan to break my strict bedtime rule just this once, so that my mom can have the memory of her granddaughter running up to meet her at the airport. I hope it's a good visit. I hope it's filled with fun, and love that will create memories for years to come.

Worldess Wednesday - My Mom & Ava, 1 Year Ago

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ava's Birth Story

Now, here's a novel idea for a post, right?

It occurred to me this morning that I haven't written about Ava an awful lot. And this blog being named "All About Avacakes" I figured I should probably rectify that little situation. What better place to start than her entry to the world? Although I guess this really isn't as much about her as my experience with her getting here.

Little Ava was scheduled (loosely) to arrive on June 3, 2008. I say loosely, because my due date shifted no less than 3 times during the pregnancy. So around the end of May/beginning of June I would leave my office every night and tell my boss "I may see you tomorrow, I may not".

June 3 came and went with no baby. June 4 I left work as usual and headed home. I decided to lie down on the bed for a short rest while Darin started dinner. After a few minutes I got up, thinking I would head into the shower. When I got up, I felt liquid running down my leg. Umm....did I just pee myself? Turned out I couldn't control it, so I knew at that moment my water had broken. I went into the kitchen to tell Darin what happened. I said "Honey, my water just broke. This is it." He looked at me with a huge grin and said "Really?" I assured him, yes, this was the real deal. He of course wanted to rush to the hospital. I told him to go ahead and eat his dinner, since it would likely be a while before he got a meal again. So while he did that I hopped into the shower and got dressed. Yep, you heard me, I showered. God knows why, considering it was all for naught about 2 hours later. But I digress.

So off we go to the hospital at around 7pm. We tell the admitting nurse what has happened. They test the fluid to make sure it is indeed amniotic, and check us in. Off to the birthing suite!

We get settled in, hooked up to IV, monitors, the whole nine yards. But before that happened I had to go in and change. And throw up. That strawberry sundae I had at lunch came back to haunt me.

About an hour later, the contractions started. They weren't too bad at first, mainly just felt pressure. Fast forward a few hours, and I asked for IV pain meds. It was ratcheting up. Push IV drugs, which made me feel dizzy and loopy, but did NOTHING for the pain. So now the room is spinning AND I'm in pain. Great. Awesome. But I suffered through it for a few more hours because to be quite honest, I was freaking TERRIFIED of the epidural. The mere thought of a needle in my spine was more frightening to me than the pain.

Sometime in the wee hours of the morning, the nurse doctor, somebody decided that the contractions weren't strong enough, so they decided to administer Pitocin. What? I'm writhing here, and you're telling me it's going to get worse? So the Pitocin gets pushed and the contractions ramp up. A LOT. As in HOLY MOTHER OF GOD. At that point, I didn't care WHAT they stuck in to me or where, as long as I got some relief. So I broke down and told my husband I wanted the epidural. Turns out it wasn't anywhere near what I had feared. I finally got a little relief. But it only lasted a few hours, before one side of my body began feeling pain again, and the other, not wanting to be left out of all the fun, soon followed.

Anywho, this went on for several hours, until about 9 or 10 am. Finally got the word that we could start pushing. YAY! Doing something! WOOHOO!. So with each contraction, I pushed. And pushed. And pushed. And pushed. THREE SOLID FRICKIN HOURS. Still, no baby.

Turns out the only thing tiny on my anatomy turned out to be my pelvis. Ava simply could not fit through. Doctor ordered a C-Section. Now, what's funny here is I spend 9 months terrified at the thought of being cut open while awake. And here it was happening, and I was actually relieved. I didn't care at that point, I just wanted it over and to see my baby.

They got me prepped, doped me up again, this time REALLY good. I could barely even move my arms. My anesthesiologist was awesome, telling me everything that was going on as it happened. Soon they let Darin come back in and he took his place up by my head. Before I knew what happened, I heard Darin say to me "Did you hear that? Do you know what that is?" I shook my head no. He said "That's our daughter crying!" OMG!! She's out, she's here! I barely got to see here before they whisked her off for cleaning and assessment. I told Darin to go with her, that I was fine. And I was. My baby girl was finally here.

Welcome to the world little one.

Ava Elizabeth Riggs
Born 06/05/2008
7 pounds, 6oz
20 inches

****Edited to add weight, height, etc, because Momma is a moron who forgot to put in original post.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Yesterday I read and commented on a blog post regarding the WOHM (Work Outside Home Mom).

I read the blog author's post, and immediately wanted to go hug her. She's having a tough time transitioning back to the work place. She has a full time job, kids, a business on the side. She's had to deal with sick kids, and an obviously not understanding boss. She's got a tough row to hoe.

Yet instead offering her sympathy, most commenters went on the attack. Sure, she could have phrased what she was trying to say a little more clearly. But that does not excuse the vitriol I saw. Stay at Home Moms, Work At Home Moms, even some WOHMs jumped all over her for what she posted. Outraged that their way of parenting/contributing was being diminished and insulted. Telling her to quit being a crybaby and if she doesn't like it, change it.

What I don't think any of them saw was the irony. Here we have moms insulting and demeaning other moms...for judging and demeaning other moms.

I saw several comments stating that for them, it was more important to be with their child, implying that by working, a mother who does so doesn't value time wtih her child. Many of us today don't work because we want to, although some of us do. I went back to work after Ava was born because I had to. I have this crazy habit of wanting to keep a roof over our heads. That requires both of us working to pay the mortgage. And before you jump on me and tell me I could sell my house and rent...I could do that. But in this market, I'd sell for less than we owe, and then be faced with renting for approximately the same amount as my mortgage payment. So what does that leave? Squatting under a bridge? Moving in with parents?

I keep coming back to this question. Why do mothers feel the need to judge other mothers? Why are we so quick to say "I am better than you". Why do we feel the need to tear each other down? And most importantly, why do we give complete strangers so much of our power? Why do we let words on a blog upset us so much? Are we all really that insecure in our mothering that we attack and go on the defensive every time we perceive an insult?

I can't speak for every mom out there. I can't speak to the situation of a stay at home mom. I was one for only four weeks. For three of those, my husband was home with me. I've never really worked from home. I have no idea what that's like. So I can't begin to judge what either of those sorts of mothers lives are like. As a working outside the home mom, I can speak. It's difficult. I watch other moms who get to stay home with their kids, working or not, and I am jealous. I wish I had that kind of time with my daughter. You may be juggling phone calls, and proposals and deadlines, but you can at least look over and SEE your child. I have pictures. I can't hold her, kiss her, touch her soft hair. I have days where it is almost too much to bear, and I want to walk away from my job. I leave her at her gramma's house and I walk away in tears. Days when she is sick, and I feel I need to be with her and I'm afraid to call my boss because I think "what if this time is one too many" and I lose my job.

I guess my point is if we all felt more secure about our choices and situations, we wouldn't be so quick to judge another mother's life. Maybe we'd be quicker to offer love and encouragement when we see someone asking for a life line.

**Note, I will not post links to blog post in question here. I don't want to drive more traffic that might upset her.