Monday, February 28, 2011

breastfeeding: 3 truths and one lie

i nursed bella for over a year. i am proud of myself. and i am proud of bella. but i learned a lot during that time. like, people don't really talk much about it except to cram it down your throat say that it is best and formula is "poison" (not my words). i am a breastfeeding advocate. i think, if you are able to, everyone should at least try. but i recognize not everyone has the option. if my situation was different, i can't say that i would have proceeded to nurse for an entire year.

many people spout rhetoric about how breast feeding is "natural" and that there is nothing better, but here's what they don't tell you....

truth #1- breastfeeding is hard. at first. it takes a finesse that is not in any way, shape, or form natural, to get a baby to latch right each time. yes, breastfeeding itself is a natural process, simply meaning there is nothing synthetic about it. but the art of breastfeeding, the actual physical act, does not come naturally. it can be overwhelmingly frustrating. in the early days, i would cry just thinking about the next feeding, and how hard it was going to be.

truth #2- breastfeeding is beneficial. do i need to expound on this? other than the nutritional part, which everyone seems to harp on, let me just say that at 2 am, then 4am, then 6 am, when bella would wake for feedings, if i had had to make a bottle each time? i may have hurt someone. sleep deprivation makes me crazy (as it does most people i know) and being able to feed her without fully waking up sometimes, saved my life. i kid you not. plus, knowing myself, had i needed to fix a bottle for the 3rd time at 2 am, there is no telling what would have made it in there. or what temperature it would have been.

truth #3-breastfeeding is hard. wait, i already said that one?? well, it's true. and i hate hearing that people quit or choose not to nurse just because it was too hard. i guess this stems from my frustration at people who get pregnant easily and didn't even want a baby. because there are people out there who want to nurse and can't, it seems unjust to me that there are people who are capable, but don't because it was too hard. (please don't confuse this with people who have issues like work, medications, illnesses, etc. i mean people who just say, i don't want to do it because it is too hard. period. end of statement.)

support systems are CRUCIAL to new mothers who think they may want to nurse. without one, it IS too hard. surrounding yourself with people who make you feel weird will only make it harder. surrounding yourself with people who are supportive, even if they don't fully understand it, will help make you feel like you are doing something important. and that's good. because you are.

a big fat lie: "breastfeeding should never hurt". on day 2 in the hospital, the lactation consultant came in and asked if i had any questions. i didn't but i did mention that i was sore from nursing. "breastfeeding should never hurt!" she insisted. over the next few weeks, i felt immense guilt that i was doing something wrong because it DID hurt. it hurt a lot. i remember a few times actually screaming out when bella latched because it hurt so badly. i kept feeling defeated. that i was doing something wrong. that i had failed because it hurt. and i feared that it would always hurt. i even threatened (myself) that i would never do this again. but then, slowly the pain subsided. eventually, it didn't hurt at all, and feeding bella became a joy, rather than a burden.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

it has been decided

and the winner is.....

True Random Number Generator  7Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Jenn!! I have e-mailed you! 

thanks to everyone who participated in this giveaway.

bella loves her rompers and ruffles shirt! 


we are out enjoying this beautiful day. i promise to come back this week with meaningful posts. probably. maybe. if it rains, most definitely. 

happy sunday!

Friday, February 25, 2011

i wish i had a good excuse..

i can't believe it has been almost an entire week since i have posted. i feel like i should have some amazing excuse, like i was in some remote tropical location that doesn't get 3g coverage or even cell phone service (hello, hawaii, right below my house....)

but i don't. pretty much i have done very little this week to warrant an excuse. except that it has been in the 70's almost every single day. and sunny. and perfect. so we have been outside getting our LIFE on.

last year, at this time, bella was so tiny, that i probably didn't go outside much, for fear that if i lay her down she may roll away and i would never even notice. but this year? the girl is on fire! she loves the outdoors. she runs, she falls, she rolls. i ask her, "bella, you want to go outside?" and she goes, "yep!" and runs to the door. as soon as she gets out of bed in the morning, she is chomping at the bit.

a couple of nights ago, we reserved our camping spot for our first camping trip of this year! last year, we went camping with her at the ripe old age of 5 months, and then again a month later. then we took her one more time, for good measure, right after she learned how to walk. with joels deployments to haiti and jordan, that was about all we could fit in during the warm months. this year, bella is in full blown small person mode-she can walk, run, stand up, sit down and practically swim, so i am a little nervous about taking her. the last time we went, she could just barely walk, but she was so slow, that she was pretty easy to catch when she did try to run off. she didn't really walk much, either, so i could sit her down and know that, 5 minutes later, she would probably still be there.

this year? i fear that if i look away for 1 second, she may be in the water. so in preparation, we decided to get her, her very own life jacket.

i'll sit right here, mom. now, where's the water?

i'm outta here. 

we're pretty excited about trying this bad boy out. can't you tell??


if you haven't entered yet, rompers and ruffles is giving away a cute onesie or t-shirt with the applique of your choice on it. if i could enter my own giveaway, i so would. but since i can't, YOU SHOULD!! bella will be getting her goodies any day now, and my heart is all a flutter with anticipation! giveaway ends feb 27th, at noon!! so get on it!

Monday, February 21, 2011

spring has sprung....for now

this weekend has been fantabulous. upper 70's and sunny all 3 days. saturday we got up early and drove out to savannah to spend the afternoon with our good friends at tybee island and walking around downtown. sunday, we spent most of the day at the dog park with some other good friends and our combined 4 fur babies. and today, we spent all morning at the park and all afternoon in our back yard. 

i love this weather. it reminds me of hawaii and the temperate climate. the first thing i said the day we landed in hawaii was, "i hope i never take this weather for granted". i missed the snow and the change of the seasons, but i loved how it was always hovering right around that blissful warmth. 

being from north carolina, i know this weather won't last long. honestly, next week it could snow 2 feet and i would not be a bit surprised. and then after that? it will be 98 with 100% humidity. but for now, i am enjoying the beautiful, early spring and all the fun that comes along with it. 


i got some great pics of bella on her slide, and i am entering the "don't make me come up there" giveaway at we are that family


don't forget about the rompers and ruffles giveaway! ends feb 27th! if you haven't entered already, get on it!! 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

rompers and ruffles giveaway

another giveaway. i know. but trust me on this one. 

i met taylor in high school. we went to the same church, knew the same people, and she was pretty much the nicest person i had ever met. 

through the glory of facebook, after probably 7 years, we crossed paths again, when she had her first baby, parker-a cutie patootey little man with a face you can't resist. she had made all of his bedding and curtains in his nursery, and comments littered her pictures about how she MUST sell her stuff. 

then, she recently found out she was having a little girl, and a whirlwind of martha stewarting began. i don't even think that really encompasses all of the creating that has been taking place. again, people commented, almost each poster mentioning something along the lines of blahblah!!ETSY!!blah! 

so when taylor said she was going into business with her friend to start making baby stuff, i was like, duh! it's about time!!

i love all things monogrammed and appliquéd for babies. and i love how personalized outfits become when you add that special touch of handmade. so, i asked taylor if i could help advertise for her by hosting a giveaway. 

people? you will not be disappointed! 

what did i tell you? 

what's even better? this isn't just another handmade shop. a portion of all of their proceeds go to the levine children's hospital, where taylor's son, parker was born, 8 weeks premature. he weighed a whopping 3 pounds 10 ounces. i can't even imagine that, as bella was more than twice that size. he stayed in the NICU for 4 weeks and is now a healthy, happy little boy! they do great work there, and rompers and ruffles is giving back to them. it's a win-win. you can read a little more about that, and how rompers and ruffles started, here

so here is the giveaway part. taylor has offered one lucky reader the chance to win the appliqué of their choice on a short sleeved onesie or t-shirt, just in time for all this warm weather! 

this would be my pick:

bucket trendy stitches_500x333.jpg

or maybe this one:

tiara applique cafe_500x333.jpg

no wait.....i like this one!

petal patch trendy stitches_500x333.jpg

ooh and sometimes i wish i had a boy, because how cute is this!?

Jeep and Surf Boards Applique Momma_500x333.jpg

and this!?

simple surfboard trendy stitches_500x333.jpg

{giveaway rules}
one comment per entry. there are several chances to enter, but you must leave a separate comment for each one.
leave your e-mail address in at least one of your entries.

{mandatory entry}

go to rompers and ruffles and browse through their appliqué selection. come back here and tell me which one you would choose to go on a short sleeved onesie or t-shirt

that's it. easy peasy, lemon squeezy.  

{extra entries}

follow me, and let me know you did (+1 entry)
"like" this blog on facebook, and leave a comment telling me you did (+1 entry)
"like" rompers and ruffles on facebook, and leave a comment (+1 entry)
tweet this: "@this_isparadise and rompers and ruffles want your kid to look cute! enter to win an appliquéd onesie or t for your little one! ends feb 27" and leave your twitter handle in a comment (+1 entry)
follow @this_isparadise on twitter, and leave your handle in a comment (+1 entry)
purchase anything from rompers and ruffles, and let me know you did (+3 entries-separate comment for each)

that's a lot of entry opportunities, so get to it! giveaway ends 27 feb at 12pm. i will draw the winner randomly through and contact them within 24 hours of the end of the giveaway. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

mama kat's writers workshop: my husband makes me proud.

one of mama kat's writing prompts this week is "husbands. a post that will hopefully not get you in trouble"

i like to complain about my husband. mostly because, well....he is just so darn....husband-like. you know the type-clueless. forgetful. so much like a 16 year old boy that you sometimes forget you are not his mother? 

i was going to tap out this lovely little ditty about how he woke up at 6am to go turn on the blender, subsequently waking me AND the tiny terrorist that resides on the other side of the house. or maybe i would recycle this gem from when he was forgetful (one of the MANY times). 

but as i was drafting what i would say, i changed my mind. so, here is what i think about my husband. 

Mama's Losin' It



there are plenty of husbands who are the bread winners for their families. they wake early, come home late, working hard all day to provide a life for their families, allowing their wives to stay home with their children. that doesn't make you unique. 

what makes you special, what makes me proud, is not that you do, it's what you do

you are a smart man. when we were in college, i have this distinct memory of you never studying. we would walk to class, then meet up a few hours later after classes were over, and go eat, or go hang out with friends, go to a movie, go to a club meeting or a coffee shop. a park, or the pool. but never once do i remember you cracking a book. i would come upstairs to hang out and you would be playing video games or tinkering with some electronic thing. or goofing off with some of the guys on the floor. but not studying. 

when you told me that if you didn't pass our ballroom dance class, you wouldn't graduate, i assumed it was because your other classes were lacking, and that, indeed, this class would be a make or break class for you. it made sense, since you never studied. but then when grades came in and you graduated with a 3.85 CUMULATIVE, i thought maybe there was an error on your transcript. or maybe you misrepresented yourself.

you graduated in four years, which seems, in this day, an oddity. you scored a 98 on your asvab. you have a degree in computer science, and a masters in IT management. it seems that you could do whatever you choose with your life, and you would be wildly successful in whatever arena you choose. 

but that's not why i married you. 

while many people your age were "finding themselves" and enjoying their college years to the fullest extent, you made a commitment to serve your country. you could have joined a fraternity or done internships for some big money making company. but you chose a route that would undoubtedly be less lucrative, but would challenge you and force you to put service before self. on. the. daily. 

while many college students were sleeping off a hangover, you were up before the sun, working out and keeping yourself "fit to fight". 

while most people floundered through the first semesters of school, failing a couple of classes, switching majors 4 times (ahem....not me. someone else i know......), trying to figure out what they want to do, you decided a major, stuck with it, and excelled at it. 

you work hard. just like millions of other people. but in your off time, you go deliver meals with meals on wheels. you volunteer your time helping kids. you volunteer at animal shelters (all with your lovely wife, of course). you could rest on your laurels, knowing you're off the clock. but even in your off time, you want to help other people

you sacrifice birthdays. anniversaries. family vacations. eventually, maybe births of children. all for people you have never met, some of whom don't agree with what you do, so they can speak out (sometimes against you), so they can protest (sometimes at your fallen comrades funerals), so they can be free (sometimes as they attempt to take the freedoms of others). you leave your family behind, so that theirs are safe. and you chose to do this, knowing that you would face opposition

this is why i married you (one of the many reasons). this is what makes me so proud of you. there are others who do less, who are compensated more. but there is a sense of pride that you carry with you. 

i am proud to be your wife. i am proud of the life we have built. and i am proud of the father you are and will be. 

i love you. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

my dog is nasty. and this is not about valentines day

dear lola,

you? are disgusting.

you may be the nastiest dog i have ever known. those tasty morsels you are sneaking out of that giant bucket in the laundry room? are. not. chocolate.

you are eating poop.

i have heard of dogs eating other dogs poop. some instinctual thing about being dominant, blah, blah, blah. whatever. you are not covering tracks here. you are just eating poop.

i admit, i feed the kid some pretty awesome stuff. but i am pretty sure that everything remotely yummy about what she eats, is sucked out of that food before it gets to your mouth.

don't tell me that it's an accident. you have to work too hard to get them out of the pail for it to be an accident. and, personally? when i accidentally eat something disgusting? i usually try not to repeat it. ev. er.

the next time you mosey up to me with your butt breath? prepare to be shunned. because momma don't kiss poop eaters.

love, mommy.


dear mommy,

i ate poop.

and i liked iiiiit.

love, lola.

Friday, February 11, 2011

giveaway winner

and the winner is........


congrats to you, and thank you to everyone who entered in the drawing! 

winner was chosen via*

today, we took bella up to story time in macon with her friend nicholas. they heard a beautiful story about giving hugs and then we colored pictures for our valentines! bella colored hers for her daddy. 

for some reason, with all the fun activities there were today, bella and nicholas wanted to climb in and out of these chairs and play with this strange toy.....

silly babies. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

my funny valentines.

Mama's Losin' It

an {extra}ordinary day

i hear you calling.
the lights getting more intense.
you are wide awake.

we stay in jammies,
snuggled up with our waffles,
cold knocking outside.

mickey and manny, 
names i never thought i'd know,
not like this anyway. 

target becomes respite
from the mundane everyday,
daddy is not pleased.

playgroups, mommy friends,
going on adventures, too.
this is my new life.

fun is my new life.
i take this seriously.
you're only small now.

for a short, short, while.
i eat it up completely.
taking you all in.

just before your nap,
daddy makes it home for lunch.
his arms wide open.

your bright eyes light up,
like you have missed him so much,
like you are surprised.

we eat, play, us three
happy little family.
it can't get better.

it will get better.
as you grow, i watch in awe.
each milestone, great.

tomorrow is new.
and it goes by so quickly.
i try to freeze time.

each day quickly past.
my baby will soon grow up.
but today? i love.

this lovely haiku brought to you by 

 Mama's Losin' It

where i generated a random prompt and was asked to:

write a haiku describing what you love about an ordinary day. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

sometimes, i get real.

i've been kind of fluffy lately. fluffy and absent. 

i have so much running through my crazy brain but i am trying to wait for the right time to say the right things. i'm pretty sure if i wait too long i may forget what i have to share. 

i have a struggle. i've talked about it before, here and here. i suffer from pcos and/or unexplained infertility. the doctors can't agree. but as of 3 weeks ago, it's clinical pcos (poly cystic ovary syndrome).

when i wrote about it last time, it was the end of september. we had officially been trying for about 3 months. i knew it was a long shot, but i thought i was pregnant. i hoped i was pregnant. 

but i wasn't. obviously. 

people assured me that after having a child, sometimes your body "fixes itself". but it didn't. i kept waiting for the fix. i kept waiting for it to just happen, naturally. like "normal" women. 

joel kept telling me to go to the doctor, we know what worked last time, so i should just go through the same steps. i agreed. i told him i would make an appointment. monday. first thing.

but i never did. i was afraid. afraid that i would make the appointment and go in and i would be told i had to wait again. or had to go through more tests. or had to see "specialists" and take lots of medicines that i didn't know enough about. i was afraid that they would tell me i shouldn't get pregnant right now. or that i couldn't get pregnant ( i know, i know, why would they tell me that? but my imagination is very active). 

i put it off, week after week, just hoping that i would wind up pregnant and wouldn't have to worry about it. wouldn't spend days believing i was, only to find out 8 weeks later that my body had, once again, deceived me. it was a cruel game i played with my mind. 

then, in january, i decided to take control of the game. i made an appointment, and i went in. i had to go on base first, to get a referral to a specialist (hoop #1). then, of course i had to go to the lab and get a pregnancy test, just to be sure (hoop #2. and negative, in case you were wondering), then i got a referral, found a provider and made an appointment. (hoop #3)

the day of my appointment, i was nervous. i had no idea what to expect. my mind raced as i sat in the waiting room, an older couple sitting across from me, and a young girl, maybe 16, sitting with her dad behind me. 

my mind went to that dark place of, "how unfair. she didn't even want to be pregnant. she can't even handle a baby. here i am, trying, able, capable, responsible........". i snapped back to reality. this poor girl. she didn't want to be pregnant. her whole life, changed in an instant. but what i would give to have her "burden". 

it sounds strange, maybe even a little mean. but when you follow all the steps, when you do things "the right way", when you plan and pray and save, and then things don't happen like they should, it's hard not to be a little bitter. a little resentful. but i told myself, self? you are so blessed already. you have a beautiful baby. an awesome husband. a good life. you are loved and you know how to love. stop being envious. your time will come. when He says it's time. it will be. 

some form of this has become my mantra. each day, i remind myself of how much i have been blessed with. how much has been put in my keep. how much i have to be grateful for. 

they called me back into the exam room, and we went over my charts and talked. she reassured me. she was on board with my plan. "let's make you a baby!" she told me, at the end of our meeting. 

no tests.

no doubts.

no worries.


if you haven't yet, check out the hidden in my heart doll giveaway! only 2 more days!!! 

Monday, February 7, 2011

i don't know what makes bowls so super......

super. bowl. get it? moving on.....

we hosted a party at our place. we didn't have a vested interest in either team, but i like parties and food. and football. and food. (this may explain why my baby weight is still hanging around)

those wings? yumm. meee. and a very important part of our game day. 

this picture is blurry, but that big screen? yeah, that's how we roll. 


make sure you enter for a chance to win the hidden in my heart giveaway! 4 days left! 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

my, my how the time does fly

a year ago, joel was in haiti. i can't believe it's been that long. but one year ago, this week, he left for a support mission to haiti, leaving his just 7 weeks old baby, to go save other babies and mommies and daddies. 

i went to stay with my family for help and support (and if we are being honest, so i would have someone to talk to). it made the time fly by. and it was a fun bonding time for me and bella. i remember those days so fondly. i didn't have a moment of panic or breakdown until bella was almost 10 months old (at which point she embarked on a "drive mommy mad" campaign. those were dark days). we would snuggle together in the bed, and early each morning she would wake up, cooing and smiling at me. i missed her daddy like you can't imagine. i missed that he wasn't getting to see this. that he wasn't getting to experience this. 

we took bella and her cousin taylor, who was about 9 months old then, to get their pictures made. we didn't get many good shots, and i hate studio places. especially chain studio places. but we went to one because it was last minute and it was cold outside and we just wanted to get their pictures made.  

these may have been the best shots from the group. i didn't like our photographer. i wasn't happy with these pictures or the way they were posed. i didn't like these pictures (can you tell??). 

but i am glad we had them done. it preserved a moment. that's what pictures are for anyway, right? and when i look at them, part of me scoffs at the experience, but part of me remembers very clearly that day-it was rainy and cold and early. and i remember that week. and i remember my tiny little bella. 

one year later. we went home a couple of weeks ago to have our delayed christmas. we decided to get the girls pics made again. this time, i found out that a friend of mine in the area was a photographer (actually, several of them are, and they are amazing, and it was hard to pick one!) and so i asked her to take the girls pictures this time. 

the cd came in the mail today and i was so excited, i tore the package open and stuck it right in my computer. 

amazing, no???? my, how our little girls have grown. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

he's deploying

joel came home the other day, bursting at the seams to tell me something.

"i found out about my deployment."

my initial response? ::stone faced::

"uh, huh? ok, what's that mean?"

see, i knew he was deploying in the next cycle. i mean, it was definitely his time. when he got this job, it was with the understanding that he would be deployed. a lot. we will have been here 2 years this summer and he has only gone on 2 deployments, both less than 3 months in length. haiti, for relief (which was incredibly rewarding, but i think emotionally difficult), and jordan (which ended up being more of a vacation, taking him to all kinds of awesome historical spots). 

"well, i got a date. and a place. but i can't talk about it" he informs me, all casually.

"uh, huh? ok, what's that mean?" i repeat.

"um, babe. i can't talk about it." 

"uh, huh? what's that mean?" 

"are you listening to me!? i can't talk about it. but here are my dates."

they are pretty far off. 

"ooooh, whew. i thought you were leaving like, next week or something"

"nooo. noooo. oh, but i do leave for training first. and it's a few months long"

"which wait. not a few months off, then? you're, soon."


ok. alright. that's it. like i said, i KNEW he was leaving. but there were no dates. no times. no places. it was happening, but since we didn't know when or where, it wasn't really in my plane of existence. it wasn't real. 

now it's real. and surprisingly? i am ok with it. 

::gasp!! shock and horror!!::

"you're OK with your husband deploying for most of the year?!?!"

yes. i am. because this is what i signed on for when i married a man in uniform. i knew we were in war time. i knew he was commissioning into the military. and i knew the implications. and when i decided he was worth it? well, that's when i said, "yes". and i said yes to everything that entailed. 

did i know everything i would experience? absolutely no way. but i vowed that, for better or for worse, i would love and support him. 

here's the thing. it must be hard for him-leaving his wife and one year old. leaving convenience and entertainment. leaving friends and his dog. leaving a warm bed and safety and routine. i get to sleep in my bed, eat my fatty, too-big sized portions of comfort food, play with my ever changing child, and enjoy all of my modern conveniences. so why should i complain? will i miss him? abso-freakin-lutely. but i am sacrificing nothing compared to what he is giving up. 

i am pretty independent, by nature. and i think that's something joel appreciates. he knows he doesn't have to worry about me, and that's one less thing he has on his plate. my job, as his wife, is to support him and make what he does, easier. and that's what i try to do. 

deployments are never easy. it throws off routine and order. and right when you get settled into doing it on your own, they come back, and there is a NEW adjustment period. but when you marry someone in uniform, you have to know that's what you are getting in to.


make sure you go check out the hidden in my hearts doll giveaway!! just a few more days!! giveaway ends 11 february! 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

let me clarify.

i keep rewriting this. then i read something and i get a new perspective, and i rewrite it again. here's what i want to say.....

don't judge me, monkey. i make choices. we all do. and i live with my choices. you don't. so why do you need to tell me i'm silly? why do you need to make me feel like i am doing something radical? i am a mom, and i have mom struggles, and i have person struggles. i'm unsure of a lot of things, but one thing i am not unsure of is that when i make a decision, it's mine. i own it. i stand by it. you may be right. and i may be crazy.

but baby, being a lunatic is what gets you through sometimes.

i won't get into details, because that's not important, but something i have learned is that the best thing to do for someone, is support them. whatever their decision is. if you love someone, you support them. clearly, self destructive behavior is not good. and if someone else is going to be hurt by a decision you are making, someone should intervene. BUT my decisions effect me, my husband, and my child, and so long as they are happy and healthy, i could give a rat's hind end about what you think.

and i say that with all the love my heart can muster.

this comes out of something silly. nothing serious, or rash. just comments made by individuals who think they are being helpful, when in reality, their comments are like swords. and they hurt. and they are WILDLY unnecessary.

my analytical mind has a hard time letting things go, as you can tell. if i don't say something in a moment, i toss the statement around, chew on it a bit, think about what i SHOULD have said, get angry over why it was said, start thinking about the intention of the statement, make up some kind of meaning behind it that most likely isn't there, and then i get my feelings hurt.

i don't do that all of the time, or most of the time, but when i feel strongly about something, that is, in fact, exactly what i do.

so, keep your criticisms of my decisions to yourself, unless they bother you. but be prepared for me to tell you why you're wrong. but you may be right. and i may be crazy.

that is all. we will now return you to your normal "my-baby-farts-rainbows" programming. have a nice day!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

i am offended

i have been offended.

on facebook, someone makes a comment that is political or religious, that opposes how i feel. i am offended.

in the grocery store, someone smacks her young child and calls him stupid. i am offended.

driving, someone cuts me off, then flips me the bird. i am offended.

on twitter, someone tweets that they are letting their baby cry all night, whether he likes it or not. i am offended.

at a gathering, someone i barely know criticizes my way of parenting, spouting "facts" out of ignorance. i am offended.

on flickr, someone shares a picture of their 4 month old in a carseat, on top of an atv. i am offended.

on the news, someone's 2 year old gets out of her house at 12:30 in the morning and almost gets hit by a bus. i am offended.

at church, someone makes an asinine comment directed towards a controversial topic. i am offended.

i am offended by laziness, by apathy, by ignorance, by hate, by judgement.

do i disconnect? turn off the computer and the tv? never go out in public? stop reading the newspaper?

do i speak up? do i become "that woman" who always is complaining about something someone said or did? or put myself in the middle of an argument?

do i keep it to myself? let things boil and fester, until i can't take it anymore and blow up at some unsuspecting passerby in line at the post office?

i am sure i have offended someone. by my words, by my action, by my in-action. i apologize.

my mind is buzzing with topics i want to address in a forum that is my own. this blog. but fear overtakes me half way through, and i can't put the words to (virtual) paper. i don't want to offend someone unknowingly. there are people i love who say things i don't love, and while this is MY space, they visit it.

sometimes it's fun to be all shallow and superficial, and pretend that my child poops rainbows. that i have it together, and i am always happy. but sometimes i am offended. my feelings get hurt and i say nothing or do nothing, right up until my heart feels like it will split at the seams. i want so badly to defend myself and my choices, sometimes, so much so that i cannot discern between defending myself and screaming "YOU ARE WRONG!"

how do i say what i want to say, without the repercussion it may carry?

if you blog publicly, how do you choose what to keep quite about and what to defend? even if you don't blog, what makes you stand up for one thing, but not another?