Archive | April, 2014

Horrified. Disgusted. Sad.

30 Apr

(There’s a poll at the end of this post. Please participate.)

Every little bear deserves to be protected by his mama bear. Sadly, not all babies/children have mothers who are good people.

Tonight, I sang, nursed and rocked my little boy to sleep, as I do every night. In those moments at the end of his day, my heart is full, my brain is relaxed and all is at peace in my world. As I lay my sleepy boy in his crib, I tell him how much I love him, and will always love him. I kiss him on his cheeks and his forehead and tell him I’ll be right out side and will see him in the morning. I leave his room with the fan on low, his noise machine on softly and I gently close the door behind me. Almost immediately, I turn on the monitor and look at him on the video screen. Sometimes I watch as he stares for a moment before falling asleep, and sometimes, he’s asleep before I leave the room. One thing I know, is that he knows that I love him. I am his mama and he is my boy. He is my world and I make sure his world is safe, happy, healthy and secure.

Not every child is this loved.

I left his room tonight, and went to my room for a few minutes of rest and catch up on Facebook, before making myself something to eat or cleaning up in the kitchen. Bad move. I’ve never been so upset by something I’ve found moments after being at such peace.

While perusing my Facebook feed, I saw a post by my sister that I didn’t understand at first. The video started playing automatically, and what I think is going to be a moment between a young boy and his father, immediately replaced any sense of peace and calm, as my stomach cramped up, my throat closed and tears of rage welled up in my eyes. I stopped the video instantly. I only saw maybe 5-10 seconds of the video and I was confused, sad, angry and suddenly, filled with rage.

A Facebook Page called Gossip posted this video as an act of “spreading terrible news”. The problem is, that it was terrible PERIOD. I will never be able to un-see those few seconds (and the video is 5 minutes?). NO VIEWER will never be able to un-see it.

Essentially, a small child (maybe 5 or 6), is physically mistreated by his father, as his mother films it on her phone, while her other younger baby sits in the background. Then, these “parents” post the video online, where it will live to haunt the child forever, until it is removed. The posters of this video claim that the parents were arrested and jailed, which is fantastic, but it doesn’t stop the video from existing. If anything, the more the people watch it, the more “success” the parents have, as clearly they’re terrible people who are probably excited by the growing number of views on their hideous video. There’s no mention of where the kids are, if they are ok, or anything that offers consolation to all of us so far removed from being able to help in any real way.

This set me off. OFF.

I immediately posted that people need to report this video as abusive to Facebook and have it removed immediately.

I immediately texted/emailed many of my mommy friends asking them to report the video to Facebook and have it removed immediately.

I didn’t get a response from Facebook, but my best friend did. Later, another friend got the same thing.

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Are you serious, Facebook?

HOW DARE WE AS A PEOPLE CONDONE CHILD ABUSE BY LEAVING THIS TYPE OF MEDIA UP FOR ALL TO SEE AND (dare I say) BE ENTERTAINED BY???? Even leaving it up to show other people how “mean and terrible the parents are” is wrong. Where’s the protection for this child’s rights and life? The humiliation alone is overwhelming.

Is this what we’ve become? Why do we expose ourselves to nightmares, at the expense of the REAL HUMAN on the other side of the camera? How can we let this continue?

The subject of this video is a CHILD. He’s a person with a real soul and real feelings and reaalllly fucked up parents (pardon the exploitive). Whether his parents are “punishing” him, or whatever they could possibly say in their defense, filming the act and putting it online, then a GOSSIP site picking it up and sharing it for the world to see, is fundamentally wrong. It doesn’t matter that it happened in another country. This is a CHILD. He will grow up haunted by his past and hopefully won’t mimic the behavior himself.

I will continue to fight this and I ask you to do the same.

PLEASE click on this link and report the video to Facebook AND ask Gossip to take it down. We have to have some standards in our lives, including our lives online.

Whatever you do though, DO NOT PLAY THE VIDEO. Do not play it and watch it’s viewership increase. Do not scar your mind with this. Do not hurt this child by telling his parents that they provided entertainment for the world by harming their innocent child on camera. DO NOT BE A PART OF THIS PROBLEM. Be a part of the solution and help me figure out how to change our standards online.

The fact that abuse exists in real life is bad enough on its own. Sharing it with the world is unforgivable.

7 Quick Takes: People of Interest (MY interest, anyway)

16 Apr

1. PinterestFail.com

Ever geeked out on Pinterest, then immediately added new things to your weekly shopping list, so you could recreate the magic in your own home? After frustrations and contemplation at your own sanity, ever wondered how on earth the original pinner was able to accomplish their “thing” without it looking like a tragedy struck your kitchen? I mean, HOW do they get those beautiful pictures? Well, I joined the club this week.  In fact, my experiment was such a mess (it TASTED good, but was not 1/2 as pretty a process as it looked online and took over an hour to clean up after), that I went to work the next day blabbing my story and my frustrations all over the place. I even decided to start a new website called “F-Pinterest.com”. While talking to my co-workers about my awesome idea, one of the guys said, “It already exists. It’s called PinterestFail.com”, a much better name than my idea was. After discovering this bit of magic, I spent way too much time laughing at messes FAR worse than mine. The site was started by a girl named Jenna Cole, who tried (just like me) to get pretty crafty thanks to all of the DIY picture/blogs on Pinterest. She (and many, many others) succeeded about an many times as I did. Be entertained.

2. Wild Flowers Photography

Long, long ago, Joy and I worked with high school kids at a church together. She was a really great person, whom I adored, but I had no idea then how much more I’d adore her as we grew up. Joy has turned into the most inspirational and talented photographers/story tellers, I’ve seen. Her simplicity and passions show in every photo. Her family (mama of four) is a perfect picture of the love between her and her husband, Donny. They’ve been through a lot and have come out the other side smiling. There’s a calm and patient light that exudes not only from her photos, but from her person. She’s beautiful and wonderful, and her story is full of transparent humility and desire for only producing the best in her work, her family and herself. If you follow her Instagram, you’ll be inspired on a daily basis. Check out her amazing blog/website as well.

3. A Little Vintage Life

I’m not sure how I stumbled upon this family, but the Wests are a traveling “nomad” family. Melissa and her husband run a cute little family business, traveling all over the place in their RV, with their 3 kiddos in tow. What makes them awesome? They travel around and search out thrifted goods, then sell them on Instagram. Their InstaSales are AWESOME. I’ve bought 2 blankets from them, and both did not disappoint me (one quilt and one afghan). Not only that, but Melissa adds a really special touch in the form of hand written thank you notes, that are included in each package and her packages are called “Happy Mail”. She also throws in some cute little vintage goodies here and there. I know it’s silly, and no, I don’t need the thank you note and extra goodies, but it makes me feel good to support someone who’s grateful for the business and who cares about her work. Plus, she’s a cool mama.

4. Blythe Fike

Blythe and I have known each other for what seems like a lifetime. Once upon a time, we were bandmates, and now, she’s the proud mom of FIVE kids… under 7. What (else) makes Blythe unique? She’s a blogger who talks about her faith as a Catholic, yes, but more importantly, she’s a real life mom who doesn’t sugar coat her challenges. And, she’s hilarious. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve laughed out loud while reading her blog. Mud covered, nakey babies just add to the perfect storm that encompasses their sweet family.

5. The Professor from this Story

As I sat at work today, I was just about to request the monday of my husband’s birthday off of work, so I looked ahead to my calendar for that day. Uh oh. I saw a calendar event from my boss; first day lunch with our new Producer. I actually thought “Crap. I can’t take that day off.” I asked my friend (and lucky me, my co-worker) about what she thought I should do and she sent me this. Thank you for the perspective, Trisha. Momentary lapses in judgement are easily remedied by friends who care. Thankfully, my boss supports my decision (best boss in the world).

6. The Law Student’s Wife

I’ve mentioned Erin before, but it’s time to check out her blog, and if you like food the way I do, sign up for her daily recipes. A kindred spirit, she’s the wife of a law student and she understands the “joys” and challenges that brings. What I love about her blog, is that it’s set up to delivery daily recipes that she’s created herself. There’s some unique flavor represented in her work, and many of the items are not very time consuming, which makes this busy mama happy. Her Pinterest is also really beautifully done.

7. Button Therapy

Two of our best friends are Eric and Haley Sanchez. They stood with us in our wedding ceremony and have been champion friends over the years, ever committed to their marriage and their daughter. They’re also committed to being ridiculously good at making things. Haley started Button Therapy some time ago, as her creative streak married her glue gun and old buttons together to form some great (and fashionable) jewelry. I love this stuff. The rings are probably my favorite, but she also makes so fantastic earrings, barrettes, headbands, and other stuff. She’s always posting sales on Instagram, so follow her there.

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