Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I didn't love it today.
There was one post from women titled "No Paid Maternity Leave" and she was very angry because she was pregnant and her company did not offer paid maternity leave. And of course, there were a lot of other mothers in the same boat, railing against the US Government for not offering paid maternity leave or for forcing companies to.
Just because we're all hormonal, that doesn't mean we can't be logical.
First, I know that when I started with my current company, I made sure to inquire about their maternity leave BEFORE I got pregnant. I learned that I would receive 6 weeks partially paid disability, and after that up to 6 months unpaid dependent care leave. Even with the 6 weeks paid (for vaginal delivery, 8 weeks for C-section), I would have to purchase supplemental insurance called Income Protection Insurance (IPI) in order to receive full pay for the 6 weeks, and not part time pay. Keeping that in mind, my husband and I made the decision to purchase the IPI for $30/month, and we knew that if I wanted to take more than 6 weeks off, then we would have to save our own money.
So we did. But I guarantee you, if we hadn't been prepared, we would never have blamed anyone for our predicament but ourselves.
People need to take ownership of their decisions to start a family. The money for paid maternity has to come from somewhere; if the paid maternity leave comes from the government, then the government obtains the money by taxing other people. I personally prefer not to have paid maternity leave because I don't expect anyone else to pay for my decision to start a family, and I don't want to pay for someone elses. And as they say - "Poor planning on your part, does not constitute an emergency on my part."
It is the same thing with the Health Insurance bill. I have been following this since the early summer, but it is so complex that at times its hard for me to wrap my head around. And how do you explain what a mess it is, when the entire thing is mess? And its just so depressing to think that the best health care system in the world is about to be legislated out of existence. So I am going to explain my opposition to it by telling a little story...
Nick and I have never been without health insurance, not even when we were just barely married. We were broke, and moving to California. I did not have a job lined up in California, and we were getting ready to pay through the nose for Nick to attend graduate school. Even with no income, we managed to scrimp together $200/month to buy private insurance. This insurance didn't cover regular Doctor's visits, but it covered emergency situations. We knew we were covered if something really serious happened. We kept it up until I was able to find a job and we did without other things so that we could have health insurance. Not having money is no excuse to not have health insurance.
A few years ago, a friend of mine had to go to the emergency room. This friend was a contract employee, so she didn't have insurance through her company, but I know for a fact that she was making $80k+/per year. She made decision not to purchase private insurance, and I'm pretty sure that she could afford it on that salary. After all was said and done, she had a bill of over $1000. The quality of care that she received was excellent, she was back in the office after only a day out.
We were talking about it afterwards, and she admitted that she was a socialist and thought that it was ridiculous that she had to pay $1000+. Healthcare should be "free", like it is in Europe. Any idiot knows that there is no such thing as a free lunch. What she didn't realize is that she was giving up her freedom of choice. She made the choice to not purchase health insurance and to spend her money on other frivolous things. The alternative is the government providing her with health care, but raising her taxes and forcing her to pay for it.
This friend and her husband takes frequent vacations all over the world to exotic locations. Her husband drives a fancy German car. They both dress nicely and have stylish hair. They recently bought a house, in spite of the fact that they have mountains of school loans.
My husband and I do not take vacations. We drive old cars. We do not dress stylishly. I do not highlight my hair. We do not have nice furniture. We recently bought a flat screen TV and it was a big spending decision. We do not have cable. I am DYING for a Playstation 3, but its $300 that is better spent elsewhere so I don't buy one. Why? Because we understand the importance of priorities, and our priorities are flood insurance, house insurance, car insurance, long term disability, short term disability, IPI, life insurance, and retirement.
I would like very much to go on nice vacations, to buy all of my furniture from Pottery Barn, to have stylish clothes. I supposed that I could spend all of my money on those things right now, and then expect someone else to step up and pay for me if I am permanently disabled, or to pay for me when I get old, or to pay for my visits to the hospital.
It is the height of selfishness and it makes me angry. Why should my taxes be raised so that my friend can do all of the things that I wouldn't dream about doing? In essence, I have been denying myself, so that she can go out and do as she pleases and pay for luxuries and ignore the essentials like health care. She's not worried... she voted for Barack Obama! He'll make sure that she never has to worry about responsibilities, and that her finances are free for her next vacation!
Its especially hitting close to home now. I look at the life that Nick and I have built, and the hard work that we have put in so that we would have freedom and choices. One choice that is especially dear to me right now, is the choice to be able to stay at home for as long as I would like when the Wannton comes. We have always structured our finances around Nick's income, so that we would be prepared when the time came so that I would never feel the need to rush back to work.
If they raised taxes to pay for Universal Health Care, or Paid Maternity Leave, or Cap and Trade... that would be it. I would have to go back to work. My choice would be made for me. The taxes can and will get to point where we can't manage them on one income. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that energy costs alone would be raised by $1,600 per household annually if the Cap and Trade passes.
Its kind of ironic that Paid Maternity Leave would force mothers back to work when they don't really want to go, isn't it? Not to worry, there will always been the option of putting your children in FREE Government run day care!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
My Turn books:
The Last Battle, The Chronicles of Narnia: "All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before."
The Hobbit: "I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led. And through the air. I am he that walks unseen. I am the clue-finder, the web-cutter, the stinging fly. I was chosen for the lucky number. I am he that buries his friends alive and drowns them and draws them alive again from the water. I came from the end of bag, but no bag went over me. I am the friend of bears and the guest of eagles. I am Ring-winner and Luckwearer; and I am Barrel-rider."~ Bilbo Baggins
The Fellowship of the Ring: "This is the hour of the Shire-folk, when they arise from their quiet fields to shake the towers and counsels of the Great. Who of all the Wise could have foreseen it? Or, if they are wise, why should they expect to know it, until the hour has struck?"~ Elrond
Wuthering Heights: "Heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights; where I woke sobbing for joy."~ Cathy
The Bluest Eye: "It had occurred to Pecola some time ago that if her eyes, those eyes that held the pictures, and knew the sights-if those eyes of hers were different, that is to say, beautiful, she herself would be different."
A Doll's House: "Our home has been nothing but a playroom. I have been your doll-wife, just as at home I was papa's doll-child; and here the children have been my dolls. I thought it great fun when you played with me, just as they thought it great fun when I played with them. "~ Nora
Gone with the Wind: "You're so brutal to those who love you, Scarlett. You take their love and hold it over their heads like a whip."~ Rhett Butler
Anne of Green Gables: "For we pay a price for everything we get or take in this world; and although ambitions are well worth having, they are not to be cheaply won, but exact their dues of work and self-denial, anxiety and discouragement."
Dune: "And take the most special care that you locate Muad'Dib in his place: the planet Arrakis. Do not be deceived by the fact that he was born on Caladan and lived his first fifteen years there. Arrakis, the planet known as Dune, is forever his place."~ Irulan
Little Women: "...and clung more closely to the dear human love, from which our Father never means us to be weaned, but through which He draws us closer to Himself. She could not say, 'I'm glad to go,' for life was very sweet for her. She could only sob out, 'I try to be willing,' while she held fast to Jo, as the first bitter wave of this great sorrow broke over them together."
I have waited years to be able to share those books with my children, and I am so thrilled that it is getting so, so, so, so close... Hopefully the baby will skip right out of the womb and into the classics, and I can share my friends with him or her. I love them, and they give me the greatest thrills and shivers whenever I read them. Some I love for their very fairy-ness, but others because they make me think and explore and understand people and concepts that I would never have encountered otherwise. They've taught me about goodness, ideals, and the importance of aspirations and ambitions and perseverance, and most importantly, they've given me a heart for children and an understanding of the need for an adored and well protected childhood. Every baby deserves that.
And I can't leave off my favorite book, The Good Book. It gives me The Turn everytime I read it, because its the best of all the fairy stories... and the only one that is really true!
The Holy Bible:
"Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world."~John 1:29
Jesus replied, "I tell you, if they kept silent, the stones would cry out!"~Luke 19:40
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."~Revelation 21:1-5
Do you have any books that you love? That give you The Turn when you read them? Any favorite quotes?
Monday, December 7, 2009
We have a DVD of the experience, which I was going to post, but I am afraid of all of the armchair gender predictors analyzing it and spoiling our surprise ;). We're even afraid to watch it again. I've already had one friend tell me that she can totally make out a male appendage from the pictures below... but I don't see it, do you? All I see are some sweet curled up baby legs and the umbilical cord!
The baby weighs 14 oz in our picturea. Nick and I have also decided not to do a 4D ultrasound because we figure if we are going for mystery... we are going for mystery all the way! I do think that they are the coolest things in the world, so I will just have to live vicariously through Jessica and cutie pie Avery. You can already tell from the regular ultrasounds what a beauty she will be!
Head Shot, Spine and Stomach: