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The ‘Beard Bib’ Is Here To Save Your Marriage

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 08:45 AM PDT

The ‘Beard Bib’ catches unwanted hairs, making clean-up a breeze

If you live with a man with a certain amount of facial hair, you know the trimming process can get a bit messy. And by messy, I mean every square inch of your bathroom sink and counter will be covered in face pubes every time they groom, which would be fine if they actually cleaned up properly afterward. But even the most sanitary of men can’t possibly get all the hairs that fall; hairs that eventually cling to your new ivory hand towels like tiny koala bears.

That is, until now.

Introducing the ‘Beard Bib’ — a hair tarp, if you will, that goes around a man’s neck and attaches to the bathroom mirror with suction cups, catching all beard trimmings that fall. The geniuses behind the bib are the folks at Beard King, who came up with the product as a way to solve the messy situation that is facial hair maintenance.

Image via the Beard King

Gone are the days of hair clogging the sink or hitching a ride on your toothbrush (vomit), because the folks at Beard King thought of everything. Not only does it catch facial hair clippings, the one size fits all bib comes with an “easy flap shoot disposal,” so cleaning up afterwards is a breeze.

Image via Beard King

The company already has impressive sales driven by their appearance on Shark Tank in 2016. According to their site, the day their episode aired, sales grew by 400 percent. Fans can purchase the bib direct through their website or find it on Amazon Prime for $29.99, which basically pays for itself in unpurchased Drano. It comes in black and white, and the best part? Once you’re done using it, it folds back into a self packing pouch, which can be stored under the counter or used while traveling.

Image via Beard King

If you’re dying to buy something from the Beard King but your man keeps his face clean shaven, no problem. They also sell a ‘Bush Bib,’ a handy-dandy pube catcher that fits neatly on your toilet like an inverted shower cap. Gone are the days of finding leftovers when you go to use the bathroom after a manscaping session, ladies. And if I have to see this, so do you.

Image via Beard King

No more mess, no more clogged drains or hairy countertops, and no more bitching at your loved one to clean up after themselves. Buy one of these, guys, and you will literally be a hero wearing a cape. What a time to be alive.

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Mom Shares Stunning Photos From ‘Intense’ Backyard Water Birth

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 08:31 AM PDT

This mom loved giving birth in her own backyard

After a difficult and upsetting first birth at a hospital, a Texas couple decided to go a whole different way with their next birthing experience — and the photos are incredible.

Gini Rothenberger is a mom of three and her first birth, at a hospital, was a terrible experience. She tells Scary Mommy, “I was at the mercy of all these strangers and the relationship I thought I had built with my doctor was all in vain.” Rothenberger’s doctor was out of town when she went into labor, and a new set of nurses started their shift and gave her Pitocin to speed along her labor. “When my son’s heart rate went crazy they rushed in to put a shot in my arm and said, ‘This will slow down the effects of the Pitocin, and it will wear off in about 45 minutes,” she says.

After 90 minutes, “we still had no sign of progress, so they started Pitocin again,” Rothenberger explained. “By the time he arrived I was so exhausted physically, and emotionally I didn’t even care that I had a baby.” The process was very traumatic for the new mom and her husband Charlie. “I was so foggy from all the drugs I didn’t know what to think,” she says.

Unsettled by the experienced, they couple went with a peaceful water birth in their own backyard for their next child.

Image via Callynth Photography

Image via Callynth Photography

It was when the couple learned about home births that they reconsidered having more kids after their first experience left such an awful impression of giving birth. “We watched ‘The Business of Being Born’ the next week, and my husband decided if we ever have another baby, it would be born at home,” she said.

Image via Callynth Photography

Image via Callynth Photography

About a year later the Rothenbergers were pregnant again, and Gini started looking for a midwife. “We thoroughly enjoyed every meeting we had … and best of all, someone I knew would be by my side when the birthing time came,” she said.

Image via Callynth Photography

“I felt so very connected to my midwife and all of her colleagues by my birthing time. I knew I would be surrounded by people who would respect my needs and wishes!”

Image via Callynth Photography

“My guess date was September, so I asked my midwife what she thought of putting the birth pool outside,” Rothenberger shared. “I thought she would give me a firm ‘no!’ but instead, she was excited!” The expectant mom was surprised when someone asked if she’d have a photographer there for the birth. “All I could think was, ‘Why in the world would anyone want pictures of that?'” she said.

Image via Callynth Photography

“I didn’t know how peaceful and beautiful birth was intended to be!” Enter Callynth Finney, of Callynth Photography, who took all of the amazing photos from the special day in the Rothenberger’s backyard.

Image via Callynth Photography

“I watched the sunset, and the deer graze in the field between waves, and I had a conversation with our Heavenly Father,” Gini said. “It was the most intimate, peaceful moment when I realized this birth was going to be different.” The birth itself wasn’t without a struggle, but Gini said the entire experience was much, much better than her first time. “Things got intense, but my birth team was right there and did exactly what I needed them to do,” she explained. Baby girl Charlie Grace was so quiet at first that the midwife, Melena Sandefer, was worried about her breathing. “She was so calm and relaxed from being born in such a peaceful environment, to a mother who was so relaxed and unmedicated that she didn’t cry or seem rigid,” Rothenberger shared.

Image via Callynth Photography

“Our midwife knew exactly what to do … she stimulated her gently and realized she was breathing just fine,” the mom explained. “She not only picked her head up but pushed herself up on her elbows to take a good look at me and her daddy.” The couple loved the experience so much that they had another birth at home. “We realized this is how birth is meant to be for our family,” she shared. “The memories are unforgettable and the photos we have of these moments are priceless.”

Image via Callynth Photography

“Birth is a normal and natural process, not a medical emergency that needs to be coerced into a downward spiral of fear based interventions,” she says. “Evidence-based care along with an understanding of natural birth process can make a world of difference in the birth experience. A little outdoor exposure is a bonus.”

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Kate Middleton Gives Birth To Baby #3!

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 05:05 AM PDT

Duchess Kate was admitted to the hospital early this morning and just gave birth

This morning, the world found out the exciting news that royal baby #3 was imminent — Duchess Kate was admitted earlier today to the famed Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital in London in what’s being described as “the early stages of labour.” And now? It’s a boy! The Duchess gave birth at 11:01 am, UK time.

The Palace shared the exciting news only moments ago. It’s a healthy baby boy weighing in at 8lbs, 7oz.

Earlier, they announced that Kate was on her way to the hospital to have her baby, with today being her actual due date. How perfectly princess-ly punctual.

She must have woken up this morning, felt a stirring, and hightailed it to the hospital. When it’s your third, you know — and judging by the birth mere hours later, she was absolutely right.

Princess Charlotte was born in 2015 and Kate emerged shortly after somehow looking completely amazing, of course.

Image via Paul Treadway / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

George was born in 2013 to a complete world-wide frenzy, because he was the first. Also, can we even stand how glowing she was? I personally cannot. She’s too much.

Image via John Stillwell/WPA-Pool/Getty Images

All morning the whole world waited on news of the royal uterus, which frankly, must absolutely suck. Of course it’s always stressful for a mom knowing people are anxiously awaiting updates on your private parts and what kind of progress they’re making, but can it really compare to this royal pressure cooker? Like, oh dear, your mother-in-law flew in a few days early for the birth of your baby? That’s adorable. The entire world press was outside the hospital while Kate “hee hee hoo’d” her way through contractions and to boot, they’ll expect a photo op later while she still has a pad the size of a phone book between her legs. Moms are amazing.

There’s literally a live feed waiting to see her emerge along with armed guards posted outside the Lindo Wing. Super low pressure, you guys.

The wait has had people pretty excitable and possibly jumping the gun as evidenced by this poor couple, non-royal, who left the hospital with their baby and were met with a barrage of press.

This is exactly what a mom needs right after giving birth, right?

Congratulations to the royal parents and the royal older siblings, who will hopefully make an adorable visit to the hospital later today to see their new baby brother. We can’t wait to see the first photo of all three together.

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Jennifer Garner Wearing A 12-Foot-Long Scarf Her Kid Made Is Peak Mom

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 03:46 AM PDT

Who doesn’t want a large scarf to sport around town?

As parents, we must always be fans of our children's artwork — better known as that heap of creativity they draw, paint, and splash way to much glitter on. And of course we, as proud parents, try to display this work throughout the house, including, but not limited to the fridge, walls, kitchen cabinets, in a pile on our desks, and covering a plethora of other surfaces in our home. But let's be honest, the rest eventually find their way into our garbage cans.

Unless, that is, we’re expected to wear it.

Actress and mom of three, Jennifer Garner, proudly displayed such an item and posted it to her Instagram page this week. She captioned it, “When your nine year old weaves a 12ft long scarf on a peg loom for your birthday present, you'd better #werk,” along with the hashtags “#fashionfriday #thecarpoollineismyrunway #proudmom.”

Instagram Photo

And it’s, uh, definitely very long. And very shades of blue and white and clearly not actually fashionable, which is what makes it so freaking adorable (and relatable) that Garner’s rocking it out in public.

Of course, no matter what our little bundle of dreams makes for us, no matter how hideous, we’re sure to dole out compliments like, "WOW, what a wonderful use of the color gray," in the world’s most high-pitched voice. Or, "I really like the amount of elbow macaroni you were able to fit on one page." Hell, I once spent 45 minutes framing a rainbow crafted entirely of Froot Loops my three-year-old made. Because, mom.

I clearly remember giving my mom a pair of “H” earrings for Christmas I bought at a school holiday sale for three dollars. Pretty sure they were super ugly, but she still has them to this day. She never wore them mind you, because she was saving them for a “special occasion.”

Garner is a woman after our own hearts. She sells Girl Scout cookies in front of busy grocery stores, empties her purse to the world half-canned on wine, and is a working mom trying to raise three kids. It’s awesome that she shares her highs and lows us. We don’t deserve to know what goes on in her world, but we feel like better humans because of it.

Instagram Photo

Now go werk that scarf, girl.

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My Friend Texts Me Every Day, But We Never Hang Out

Posted: 22 Apr 2018 06:00 PM PDT

They say friendships are like plants. If you don't take care of them, they wilt and die.

Can a friendship truly last when it is strictly via text and has mostly always been that way?

When I met you when I was going through a horrible time in my life, you were having the most amazing time in yours. You were 8 months pregnant and about to embark on maternity leave and mommyhood, and my boss asked me to join your work baby shower on your last day.

I was in a meeting during your shower, but I pitched in for your gift and right before you left, you emailed me to thank me. We had crossed paths in the hallway but had never spoken over the last few years. But you knew I was the office admin, and I knew you were on XYZ's team. I had scheduled a few meetings for you in the past. We exchanged several emails. You were nice. You were kind. I needed a friend. You gave me your cellphone number, and I gave you mine.

That same night, while feeling depressed and alone, I received my very first text from you. "Hello! It was lovely chatting today. I hope you had a good day. I just wanted to thank you again for the gift; it really made my departure special."

That text really lifted my spirits. We texted back and forth for hours. Before I knew it, we were texting daily. It was instant and so easy.

When I say we texted daily, it wasn't just a text here or there. It was full-on, day-long conversations. My phone was practically glued to my hand at work, at home, wherever I was. I had you by my side during my difficult time.

A few months after your daughter was born, you came to see me at work. It was a short, quick visit, but it was nice and appreciated.

You were there for me (by text) when I broke up with my ex. You introduced me to my now-husband (by text), and you helped me set things up to renovate my home (by text) before it went up for sale.

I showed up to your daughter’s first birthday.

I went to your birthday.

I went to your BBQ's.

Fast forward 6 years later, we still text daily but we never, ever hang out.

I have tried. I have suggested things that would interest the both of us. A BBQ here. A BBQ there. A movie date. Dinner. Lunch. Breakfast. All of my birthdays. A friggin’ walk in the mall. I tried everything. It never worked out. You always cancelled.

Something always came up (and continues to come up) for you.

There was one time where the texting stopped for about six months. Ironically, when I was the one pregnant/having a baby.

What really did it for me is when you texted me three minutes before my baby shower started with: "I'm so sorry, I can't make it!"

I just could not make myself respond. One, I did not have the time. And two, I just didn't understand why you would do that to me.

I never got your gift. I never got a response to check in on how my baby shower went. I never even got a "like" on any of my pictures.

Soon after my son was born, I received a text from you. We hadn't talked in three months.

"Hello! I saw the Facebook photos of your son. He is so adorable. I just wanted to personally congratulate you, I hope all is well."

And my heart gave in again. It wasn't long before the daily texts began again. It was like we never stopped talking.

Since then, when you announced your second pregnancy and I got your baby shower invite, I was the first one to show up.

But when I asked if we could meet for lunch the following week, to truly catch up one on one, you cancelled at the last minute.

Why was I surprised?

When I invited you to my very small, intimate birthday gathering, you cancelled at the last minute.

When I invited you to my girls’ night, you said it wasn't your thing because you don't know any of them.

I'm not sure why you always cancel.

Maybe you have anxiety or something really does come up.

But you make it to other stuff. I see the posts.

You are capable of going out to restaurants.

You are capable of going out with groups of people.

While mom life keeps both of us preoccupied and I totally get it, I am not one to cancel on you at the last minute like you do religiously to me.

So here I am, accepting that we simply text daily, but never hang out.

While I'll never understand why you have trouble keeping your plans with me, I truly have no hard feelings.

I am 100% sure the texts will stop again one day. Perhaps for a short period of time or maybe longer, and perhaps we will reconnect again. But I will no longer waste energy in trying to make plans or including you in yearly traditions as I cannot accept cancellations like that.

Some of these events were really special and important to me.

I am too old, too tired, and too busy to deal with disrespectful, unapologetic cancellations.

So while I thank you for the daily texts, my efforts to hang out with you have diminished.

I've watered the plant. I've given the plant some sun. I've even picked up the leaves. It's your turn now.

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Why Everyone Needs To Have A Tick Kit

Posted: 22 Apr 2018 06:00 PM PDT

I want you to create a Tick Kit.

Yes, that's right. A Tick Kit.

Jena Whiston

I may be a tad obsessed, but I prefer the word “aware.” I'm aware because it's real. It can happen to anyone, anywhere, any age. And it is hell. A daily, living hell. If you are close to someone who has battled Lyme disease, you get it. You've seen that world, and you don't want any part of it. You aren't the person I need to persuade. You may skip the pleading in the next couple paragraphs.

I'm talking to the person whose little voice inside their head is whispering, We don't live in an endemic area. We aren't outdoorsy people. I am a healthy person. I eat right and exercise regularly. I've never found a deer tick on me or my child.

These excuses are invalid. Healthy people who don't partake in outdoor activities, like camping or kayaking, and who live right here where you live have been diagnosed with Lyme disease.

Or maybe you are thinking, I use a tick repellent. I check my kids regularly. We wear light-colored pants when in the woods. We shower as soon as we get home.

That's great! I'm so thankful you are taking precautions.

But keep reading.

Let's imagine you notice a piece of black fuzz on your child. No big deal, right? Upon closer examination, you realize that the speck is actually a tick. It's tiny — a fraction of the size of a wood tick. Time is critical.

Jena Whiston

Every second that tick feeds on your child's blood, it is potentially injecting them with Lyme, Babesia, Bartonella or other co-infections. Ticks usually don't just have one infection. Tick-borne infections are zoonotic — meaning they are passed from animals to humans. "Vectors" like ticks, mosquitos, and fleas transmit the diseases from animals like mice, rats, and squirrels to humans when they bite. Ticks can carry many bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoans all at the same time and transmit them in a single bite. They carry the infections passed on to them from their parents and those of every animal they've ever fed on. There are so many co-infections, in fact, that scientists still don't even know them all!

What do you do?

There's no need to panic. You've read about tick removal before. While you take a minute or so to find this blog post or to Google instructions, the tick continues to feed. While you look for tweezers, the tick continues to feed. The clock is ticking. No pun intended. What do you do?

You need a Tick Kit. The contents are simple: a pair of tweezers, alcohol swabs, a couple index cards or Post-it notes, a Sharpie, and some clear tape tossed together in a Ziploc bag. That's it. You probably already have these items in your home, right?

But do you know exactly where to find them? If your house is like mine, tweezers seem to disappear periodically only to return two or three at once a few weeks later. Would you have to race to multiple rooms in your house to locate these essentials? While you are searching, the tick continues to feed.

Jena Whiston

I discovered these handy-dandy tweezers designed specifically for tick removal. I've used them twice this year to remove ticks, and they are ideal. Any tweezers will work, of course, but the thin tip makes this the perfect tool for removing ticks, especially from the scalp, without leaving any part of the tick in your child's body.

Please make a Tick Kit. Heck, make two. Prepare one kit for your home and one for your vehicle, especially if you're traveling this summer. Seriously. Go. Come back and read the rest of this once your kit is together.

All right, so what do you do with that tick? (By the way, please don't skim over this section. Don't wait until you need it, because just like a scavenger hunt for Tick Kit items, you'll be wasting precious time.)

How to remove a tick:

1. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible.

2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don't twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers.

Avoid folklore remedies, such as "painting" the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly, or using heat to make the tick detach from the skin. Your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible — not to wait for it to detach. There is much "talk" online about putting peppermint oil on the tick. No, no, no. Sure, it will back out, but not before regurgitating back into the skin, which is exactly the opposite of our goal!

3. Tape the tick to an index card or Post-it note. Write the date, time, and location. If symptoms would later arise, this quick document will help doctors determine the type of tick, number of days since initial bite, etc. (I do this for all ticks, not just deer ticks.)

Jena Whiston

4. Clean the bite area thoroughly with rubbing alcohol.

Okay, so we've removed the tick, cleaned the site, and logged the event on an index card. Now what?

Monitor the site and the patient closely. Symptoms are generally not immediate and can present 3 to 30 days from the initial bite. Symptoms are often flu-like — fever, muscle aches, headache — and/or a “bullseye” rash. You do not have to have the rash to have Lyme disease, nor do you have to have every symptom. These are dangerous misconceptions.

You also have the ability to send the tick off to be tested. Sending the Midcoast Lyme Disease Support and Education your tick(s) allows scientific researchers to gather data about ticks from all over the United States. Scientists can broaden their investigations into tick populations and glean information on the current distribution of the major tick vectors and the prevalence of tick-borne pathogens that people encounter in different locations. By sending them your tick(s), you are participating in a citizen science project and national tick-collection/testing effort which will enable these scientists to compare past and potential future distributions of ticks and tick-borne disease. Our hope is that by collecting this data, we may be able to predict where risk of disease is most common.

The tick can be dead or alive, but ideally collected less than 72 hours ago. Put your tick in a small Ziploc baggie with a moist cotton ball or piece of wet paper towel. If you have access to a small vial and alcohol, you can use that instead. Click here for more information.

Someone asked me once what I would do if I found a deer tick embedded in my daughter's skin. I answered without hesitation. I would take her to the nearest urgent care and request treatment for Lyme disease. After the years of pain I've been through, I would rather be overly cautious, giving my child one round of potentially unnecessary antibiotics, than to be hesitant, providing Lyme spirochetes more time to infiltrate her cells, tissues, joints, heart, and brain. Research has shown early antibiotics are consistently effective in treating Lyme, particularly when treatment begins within the first 30 days of infection. To me, a round of doxycycline is worth the minimal risk, comparatively speaking.

Of course, this would be after I'd used my Tick Kit to remove the deer tick, clean the area, and document the incident.

Think about it this way. We actively prepare for most negative events in our lives — life insurance, car insurance, flood insurance, home insurance, health insurance. Planning does not mean we want our house to flood or our teenage son to get into a fender-bender or our husband to spend an evening in the ER. We hope we never need to use our insurance, but we pay our premiums — just in case.

Talking about it and preparing for it makes us responsible.

So do me a favor: Go grab a Ziploc bag and throw together a little tick insurance. Once you get it put together, snap a picture and share it at #tickinsurance. Show me you're listening and protecting your family by putting together a Tick Kit.

Just in case.

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I Survived The Las Vegas Shooting. This Is How I Feel About Gun Control.

Posted: 22 Apr 2018 06:00 PM PDT

As a mass shooting survivor, history teacher, political science degree holder, and born and raised American, I feel fairly qualified to discuss the gun issue. You might disagree. But I implore you to read this all the way to the end before you dismiss it and return to your echo chamber where none of your pre-conceived notions are challenged. I promise to present you with facts and reasoned arguments. 

All of your arguments rejecting gun control are wrong, except one. 

1. The 2nd amendment protects your individual right to own any gun. The founding fathers wanted you to have the right to own guns.

No. In the Summer of 1787, our founding fathers met in Philadelphia to fix the failures of the Articles of Confederation that served as our first government following independence from Britain. However, they quickly realized a whole new plan was needed and their meeting became the Constitutional Convention.

That summer they fought and argued over some very key issues — at the heart of which was a concern about state versus federal powers. At the time, our 13 states acted as individual countries, not as one united nation. There was extreme concern that if states gave up their power to an over-arching federal government, their rights and freedoms would be lost. They had just kicked off their national rulers wearing red coats and symbols of the crown.

The Anti-Federalists argued that the Constitution as presented and signed in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787 was flawed because it did not contain a Bill of Rights. To secure ratification, the Federalists agreed to quickly draft one and add amendments to address their concerns; the heart of which was still state powers and state rights. 

Thus, the 2nd amendment was born along with 9 others addressing individual and state rights. 

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

A national standing army, like the British Red Coats in colonial days was the main concern. The Anti-Federalists believed the individual states needed the right to form state militias to defend themselves from a standing national army. States could not protect their rights from an overbearing national army if they could not bear arms. Thus the right for militias to form at the state level was clearly stated in the second amendment. The third amendment was another meant to restrict the overreach of a standing army. 

But also note that the second amendment includes the phrase “well regulated.” States were intended to maintain militias with restrictions and proper training. 

Militias are indeed made up of private citizens. But, even if I were to agree with you that it protects individual rights to own guns, why do you think that right is unlimited? Every other right has restrictions and limits.

2. We need guns to defend ourselves from the Federal government.

Good luck, Susan! This argument could be made about a century ago. You know, back when we all had basic rifles and muskets capable of shooting two or three bullets a minute. Then we were on par with our government and could conceivably defend ourselves or rebel if our government became overly corrupt or oppressive. 

The reality is that our government has drones, tanks, fighter jets, nuclear warheads, MOABs, and fully-automatic guns just to name a fraction of the items in their arsenal. If somehow our government decided to turn on the people (this would take soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors turning on their own family and friends), there would be absolutely nothing we could do about it. They’d laugh at you with your AR-15. It might keep you alive an extra 15 minutes, but is that worth it?

If you want me to believe our founding fathers (more than half of which didn’t even want to add a Bill of Rights) intended for you to have guns capable of firing 100 rounds in a minute or less, you must live on another planet.

3. Gun laws won’t work. Criminals don’t follow laws. 

Okay, with that reasoning we should have no laws. I mean, we have speed limits even though people break speed limits. I know it’s a paradox — but we have proof a thousand times over that good laws — universally administered and enforced — work! 

But, but…Chicago!! Yep–I’m sorry, but you’re wrong again. It just so happens that the states that neighbor Illinois have very lenient gun laws in comparison. It’s not hard to drive across the border and buy a gun extremely easily and bring it right back to Chicago. So again, we need UNIVERSAL STRICT gun laws in all 50 states. 

Laws work. Clearly we’ve all agreed about that since roughly the beginning of time otherwise we’d be living anarchy style, survival of the fittest still. We need good gun laws that are universally adopted and enforced in every corner of the USA. 

4. If we take away guns, only bad guys will have them. 

First, I am not advocating taking away all guns. A very minuscule percentage of people want that. I still think shot guns are great for home defense. My little revolver with 5 bullets is fine. An AR with 100 round clip? That’s not okay. I think further discussion on semi-automatics in general is worth taking up, but for the sake of this argument, please know that my focus is on the type of weapons that have almost always been chosen by mass shooters. 

So sure, criminals aren’t going to rush to the police stations to hand over their guns. BUT, we have one great example from Australia where they implemented a buy back that worked. Private citizens recognized that a horrible mass shooting wasn’t worth it and they turned in their semi-automatic guns voluntarily. It’s no surprise that they haven’t had another mass shooting since. Not one in over twenty years. Think about that!

We could implement a similar buy-back for assault rifles and components like bump stocks and high capacity clips. Then you make it a law that it is a felony with mandatory two years minimum jail time just to be in possession of these things moving forward.

Most people will decide this toy isn’t worth two years in jail. And who are we kidding, most street criminals aren’t running around with AR-15s and committing mass shootings. 

5. I need a gun to defend my home!

Sure Bob, I understand. But isn’t a shotgun sufficient? Do you really need an AR? I mean who’s first thought when they hear a weird noise at night is to grab up their assault rifle with 100 rounds and go Rambo on an intruder?

Besides, most intruders are breaking in to steal your TV. They aren’t breaking in to murder you! I mean unless you make those kind of enemies, most break-ins are to steal valuable items. When you go Rambo on that intruder you will just shoot holes in everything you own anyway. 

Oh, and if you have kids in your home, you need to keep your gun locked away. So then I ask what purpose it will serve? “Hold on, robber, let me go to my safe.” How about pay for a good security system and keep your doors locked instead? 

6. The problem isn’t guns, it’s lack of religion/parents not spanking their kids/bullies/violent video games/mental illness/insert ridiculous meme statement here.

This one probably bugs me the most. As a history teacher, I know the United States is exceptional in many ways. However, we are similar in many ways to most of the Western world. In fact, we’re actually quite a bit less progressive than they are. 

In most Western countries, religion is declining. Atheists and agnostics are the largest growing group in this region; Muslims are the largest growing in the rest of the world. Religion in our most comparable countries has been declining at roughly the same rate as here. Yet, we have this ridiculous mass shooting problem and they don’t.

It’s true that parenting has seen a shift from corporal punishment to a less punitive and more gentle model in America in the last two or three decades. But again, that’s true for our Western world friends, as well. In fact globally, 52 countries have actually outlawed spanking with the earliest anti-spanking laws passed in the 1970s. We are NOT one of the 52. Yet we have constant mass shootings, and they don’t.

Bullies: it’s true that school shooters usually have some history of being picked on. It’s also true that bullies exist everywhere. There isn’t a school in the world where kids never pick on each other or call names. Yet, we have multiple mass shootings in our schools every year and they don’t. 

It’s those damn violent video games. Yet again, those violent video games are played by kids all over the world. They have game consoles and the exact same violent shoot ’em up games there too. Even though a few countries have put restrictions on some games, studies show that violent video games do not correlate to an uptick in violence in society. Again, we alone have a major mass shooting problem and they don’t. 

And the big one: mental health. Guess what folks? Mental health problems affect people all over the world and roughly the same rates. To take it a step further, research indicates mentally ill people actually do not commit violent crimes. Pissed off people with nothing to lose, and access to killing machines commit mass shootings. Mental illness is everywhere, yet only we have a mass shooting problem. 

So while you may be sick of these comparisons, you have to ask yourself: what’s the difference? The difference is that we allow our citizens access to killing machines with little restriction. We let people buy rifles that hold 100 round magazines. We let 18 year old kids buy them.

7. I need a gun to hunt.

Totally agree. I know plenty of hunters. You do indeed need a gun to do that unless it’s archery season. But you don’t need a 100 round clip, right? I mean if you can’t kill a deer with one bullet you shouldn’t be a hunter. Sorry. 

8. They’ll just do it with knives or cars or bombs.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather take my chances with a guy with a knife than a guy with an AR-15. I’d also feel safer knowing the only mass casualty option was a bomb. It takes skill, planning, lots of materials and know-how to make a bomb that would successfully hurt and kill. Heck, we regulated a fertilizer used in bomb making after just one tragic incident in Oklahoma. We take off our shoes and practically get strip searched at the airport 17 years after one terrorist incident.

Yet we have weekly mass shootings and do nothing; but I digress. And as for cars. Yep, they could certainly be turned into weapons on the street. I still feel better with my kids sitting in a classroom with cars ramming into the building being my main concern. As for large crowds out in the open? I would still rather take my chances with a car than a man 400 yards away shooting at me with assault rifles with 100 round clips and bump stocks. Been there, done that. No thanks.

9. Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.

You’re absolutely right. That’s why I don’t want to make laws for guns to follow. I want to make laws for people. We don’t make laws for cars to follow. We make laws for drivers. People should be subjected to background checks for any gun sale. People should have to have a gun license earned after proper training and have to renew said license ever so often. People should have to register their guns by serial number — that alone will drop gun crimes. People need these restrictions because we know that a few rotten apples spoil the bunch. 

And the one argument my gun loving friends are right about…

Drum roll please….

10. I like my guns and I want to keep them. 

Yep, that’s it. No offense, but that is your only 100% true argument against new gun laws. Gun owners like their guns. It’s fun to go out to the desert or shooting range and fire off hundreds of rounds. It makes you feel powerful. It makes you feel cool. Guns give you a (false) sense of safety. 

So you know what? Keep some of them. Keep that shot gun. Non-semi-auto revolvers, keep them. Keep them locked up and safe from kids. Keep your hunting rifle — but with just a few bullets. Keep them. But don’t tell me you need a gun like was used in Sandy Hook, Columbine, Vegas, Pulse Nightclub, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, etc. Because you don’t need guns like that. You just want them.

Now it is up to us to decide if some peoples’ desire to have such high powered rifles, capable of shooting 100s in minutes because they want them, is worth innocent lives. 

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This Is When I Really Felt Like A Mom

Posted: 22 Apr 2018 06:00 PM PDT

As I stood looking at my reflection in the bathroom mirror when I was seven weeks pregnant with my first child, I thought I might see a baby belly forming underneath my sweater. All the signs of pregnancy were there — I’d given up caffeine, was so tired every evening by 7 that I’d close my eyes while my then-husband watched our favorite television shows alone, and I slept next to him.

I already felt like a mother and knew I had to take care of this human growing inside of me. I gave in to every craving. I rested more, I stayed away from deli meats and cheeses, and read every pregnancy book I could get my hands on. But that was just the beginning.

I knew I was a mother by the strong urge I felt to care for this child growing inside of me, but I had no idea that feeling would grow and change and morph into some of the strongest emotions I’ve ever felt.

I had no idea it would change me from the inside out. I was told many times over that this would happen, but until you go through this epic ride, you don’t know what being a mother is going to feel like.

Like the day I yelled at a little girl for throwing a ball at my 8-month old pregnant belly. I remember stopping in my tracks, wondering what I had just done and where that protective anger came from, because, damn, was I angry.

And when my midwife told me to push through the ring of fire and the pain I felt made me think I was literally dying, but as soon as I looked at my fresh babe and the pain was gone, and all I could see was him, and all I wanted to do was hold him, inhale him, stare at him, I knew I was a mother and I’d never be able to go back to the way I used to be.

I knew I was a mother then, but over my almost fifteen years of filling that role, the truth of motherhood reveals itself one layer at a time.

Just when you think you couldn’t possibly feel like a mom any more than you already do, another layer is pulled back and you think, Wow, how was I ever not this?

And motherhood sinks deeper, takes over a little more, and there are days it’s hard to see yourself as anything but that — a mother.

Because motherhood changes you that much.

I knew I was a mother the first time my son peed in his eye during a diaper change and I called the doctor.

I knew I was a mother the first time one of my kids was sick and I slept by their crib all night and it didn’t matter if I didn’t sleep and my body felt torn and twisted the next day, and the next. The only thing that mattered was my sick child was better.

I knew I was a mother when my life’s purpose consisted of making sure my kids got to bed on time because hell hath no fury like a child who has missed a few nap times.

I knew I was a mother when I felt anxious going to the grocery store alone for the first time since having kids because an hour away from my child seemed too long.

I knew I was a mother when things that used to matter so much seemed insignificant. Like what size my jeans were, if my hair was done, and what day it was.

And I knew I was a mother the night I got in my car and took off because I felt I couldn’t breathe and the heaviness of being responsible for three offspring was overwhelming.

I knew I was a mother when I was more excited to bring birthday cupcakes to my son at school than he was to have me there.

I knew I was a mother when a boy was mean to my child and I marched over and told him he was way out of line and he better “shut it” even though I knew it embarrassed my son deeply.

I knew I was a mother the first time I realized my kids would actually grow up and leave me one day and it made my feel physically ill.

I knew I was a mother the first time I sounded so much like my own mom while scolding my kids, I kind of didn’t like myself for the rest of the day.

I cried just as hard on their first day of high school as I did on their first day of kindergarten. I still need as much time away from my kids now that they are older as I did when they were younger. The only difference is now I know doing this makes me whole, and gives me new life and I leave the side of guilt behind.

Because it must be said, the guilt that comes into your life when you become a mother feels like a guest who overstayed its welcome and no matter what you say to it, it refuses to budge.

When you are a mother, you are constantly putting everyone’s needs before your own and it’s only fair you escape that every now and again and remember the woman you used to be so you can return, and be the best version of your motherly self you can be.

If there’s one thing I know in this life, it’s that I was meant to be a mother.

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