Depression During the Holidays

During the extra stress and activity of the holidays often new mom’s find themselves wondering why they are not as excite as usual.  Fear not!  You are not weird and this is not permanent.  Nearly every new mom with whom I have worked has experienced some level of postpartum depression.  Usually it is very mild and resolved in a couple conversations.

Moving from professional woman to the role of motherhood is a major transformation!  In my assessment there is not enough said about how this will affect you!  Your body has just completed creating a whole other person.  This little person is completely dependent upon you!  Your body is trying to transform back to its original state.  In the midst of all this you are learning to care for the new you and your baby.  It is allot to go through.

Allowing yourself the time and calm to learn and acclimate to all this is wise.  This is why  maternity leave in the US is three to six months.  It takes that long to start feeling like yourself again!  I so wish OB’s helped their clients understand the changes taking place.  New moms tell me: “My brain isn’t working right!”;  “I am so tired all the time!”;  “When will I feel like myself again?”.

One of my most valuable qualities for you, the new mommy, I my ability to walk you through this path and help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.  You will be yourself soon.  Allow your mind and body to recuperate at your rate.  Don’t push yourself to go back to work before you are really ready.  Permit yourself the time you need to fully recover.  You will not regret it!

Below find a one sheet discussion sheet on postpartum issues.  If you feel you are experiencing these symptoms talk to a professional.  Contact me, I would love to help you  find the help you need.  Take with your OB.  Everyone deals with these issues on some level after having a baby.  You are wise to get the help you need quickly!

JUDY

 

https://www.postpartum.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/PSI-Perinatal-Mental-Health-Discusion-Tool.pdf

Take Care of Yourself!

Somehow, when the holidays hit, life becomes more of a whirlwind than normal!  There are so many projects to complete, friends and family who want time, activities you want to add to the schedule:  tree lightings, Christmas movies, cookies to bake, etc.,  Life becomes so busy many find themselves exhausted and ill.  With small children, your family life is already on the edge.  If you allow yourself to become ill who is going to pick up the slack?

Make your home a place of peace.  Be the gate keeper of your schedule.  Be aware of when you are over planned.  Learn to say , “NO”.  There is always next Christmas.  If something can’t fit into the schedule, do it later.  Do not allow yourself to be pushed to your limit.  At that point none of the holiday activities are fun anyway!

Your small children and family members won’t mind doing activities in January if that works better.  Your peace of mind is far more valuable to you and your family than another lunch out, etc.

Figure out what helps you relax and plan it into your days.  I used to save Fridays as our day off.  We would not schedule any other activities for Friday.  It was a family day to enjoy.  We went to the park or beach and had time together.  It was my recharge day.  Oh how valuable and mentally relaxing having one day completely off worked out.

ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAYS!!!  MAKE THEM WORK BEST FOR YOU!!!   JUDY

An Advent of Kindness!!!

Starting December 1st lets do an Advent of Kindness!!!  Advent is the time leading up to Christmas Day.  This project costs very little and blesses many including you!  Lets focus on how to bless those with whom we come in contact through out the harried holiday season.  The list below is divided by date.  It encourages you to think about others on a daily basis.  If you want to double up your kindnesses do so!   JUDY

December 1st: Give someone a hug!

2nd:   Pay someone a compliment!

3rd:    Let someone in front of you in line!

4th:    Hold a door open for someone!

5th:    Give someone you love your full attention!

6th:    Do something kind for a local charity!

7th:    Tell a joke to make someone laugh!

8th:     Do something kind for yourself!

9th:     Hide a happy note for someone to find today!

10th:   Donate unwanted books to a local charity!

11th:    Smile at a stranger, or 2, or 15!!!

12th:    Contact an old friend or relative!

13th:     Let a car in front of you in traffic!

14th:     Write or text a big thank you to someone!

15th:     Pay for someone’s order at the drive thru!

16th:     Smile and say a jolly thank you to someone who serves you!

17th:     Do something kind for your spouse, friend, child, etc.!

18th:     Tell someone you love them!

19th:     Offer to help someone!

20th:      Feed wild animals, birds, or ducks!

21st:       Donate unwanted clothing or toys to charity!

22nd:     Prepare an unexpected kindness for someone!

23rd:     Provide something special for your postman!

24th:     Ponder the reason for the season!

25th:     Read a favorite holiday story to little ones.

26th:     Spend quite time with those you love!

27th:     Think about what has brought you the most joy over the last month!

28th:     Write or text thank you’s for any gifts you received!

29th:     Contact the first person you think of and wish them a Happy Hew Year!!!

30th:     Consider all the wonderful things you experienced over the past year!

31st:      Decide which of these kindness you want to take into the New Year!

Happy Thanksgiving:

Start Your Thankfulness Journal!!!!!

As you start your preparations for Thanksgiving think about all the things for which you have to be thankful!  There are huge things:  Your family, your home, your dear friends, a cupboard full of food, etc., etc., etc.  Then there are the smaller things, clothing you like, a grocery store clerk that always says “Hi” with a smile, gas in the car, and on and on.

Keep a pad of paper on the counter in the kitchen.  As the things you are thankful for surface quickly write them down.  Just a word or two can suffice:  hot coffee, warm slippers, baby woke up very happy……  You will be amazed at how your outlook on life changes!

Taking a minute to write down the things you appreciate focuses your thoughts on the positive.  It helps you overcome the difficult things we all face.  It sets your heart and mind on good things.  There is a verse in the Bible, Philippians 4:8 encouraging these thoughts.        Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.

The next month can be a time of great stress, unfulfilled expectations, and over commitment.  Start now to put yourself in a good place psychologically.  Head off disappointments for you and others by planning ahead.  Talk with your spouse and family about how to help sidestep potential landmines.  Think about the many good things in your life.  This will bless you and set you up for success no matter what lies ahead!

Planning Ahead for a Happy Holiday in Your Home

As you look ahead to the holidays plan activities you believe to be the most important.  Do you prefer quite celebrations with your family?  Parties with many friends?  Do you want to invite new friends to your dinner table?  Is it times of giving and serving to help your children see the value of giving to those less fortunate than themselves?  You have a month and a half before New Years.  Make it count for what is truly important to you.

Below find some “prepare ahead of time” Christmas or Hanukkah gifts for your family.  These gifts are organized around photos and other keepsakes from baby.  They are a precious reminder of how small baby is and what baby looks like this holiday.

Hand or foot modeled patterns of baby this year:

Pearhead Babyprints Ornament By White

$9.99 nearby·In stock

bedbathandbeyond.com

These can also be found at Zulily and Amazon.com

 

Photo Ornaments:

Purchasable online or at most stores selling ornaments.  Put a photo of baby’s first Christmas in, be sure to put the date in the photo.  A lifetime keepsake of baby as a baby!

Currently Michael’s has their $6 photo ornaments on sale for $4.  It you find one of their great coupons you might even find them for less!

(I always look for these items at the after Christmas sales!!!  They are usually half price!)

 

 

Personalized Gold Plated Bell Ornaments

Engraved Silver, Gold, or Rose Colored Bells with baby’s name and birth year

 

This is a wonderful tradition for you to begin right now.   Organize a card having photos or you and your immediate family.  There are cards available on line having several windows to fill.  Be sure you and daddy are in there.  It will be so much fun for you all to look back and see what each of you looked like on baby’s first holiday.  make sure the card has a place to enter your family name and the year.  Costco has cards for as little as $.25 each including foil lined envelopes!  Shutterfly, and many of the online ordering houses have cards to be printed.
Save one each year in a note book or specially printed book for this purpose.  It is amazing to see how fast baby grows, what you look like, hoe hairstyles and clothing changes.  Baby could literally be looking at this when he is a grandfather!!!  You will not be sorry you took the time to share the holiday with friends and saved your gift to them!
I have seen families who display the cards they made each year on ribbon for all to see.  It is an incredible way to remember your lives together!!!

There are so many fun ways to remember baby’s first Christmas.  Please forward any you know of that are not mentioned.  I would love to share them with everyone!!!

Happy Planning,  JUDY

Breaking News!!! Daddy’s Go Through Hormonal Changes When Their Babies Are Born!!!

As a professional doula there are a myriad of issues affecting the clients crossing my path. The physical and emotional changes of pregnancy, motherhood, breast feeding, and more are monumental and definitely life changing.  I am continually amazed at the amount of information there is surrounding these precious people we call babies.

In an effort to keep clients and friends abreast of the cutting edge research and ideas I maintain a website, blog and informational site on Facebook.  New material pops up daily for these sites.  There is always something interesting to share and research.

My clients are equally as interesting.  Every baby, mommy, daddy and family brings something new to my practice.  This work is never boring!!!

As doulas, we are critically aware of the changes the families with whom we work experience.  Mommies go through pregnancy aware of many fluctuations in their bodies.  Then comes birth;  An amazing and eventful transition to a new life!  Not only the delivery of a new little person, but the change from being responsible for just you to being the main source of everything for your child. We study hormones, emotions, expectations and more.  Being that the majority of us have gone through the process ourselves we bring our own experiences and skills to bear.

There are books to read, studies to review, and ideas to be shared.  The process is exhilarating!  No one could ever learn it all!  No matter how many years you have doulaed (my word) there is always something new to seek out and understand.

Recently I began to ask questions about the physical changes men go through at the time they become fathers. Men make the transition from man to daddy when their children enter the world.  This presents differently in each situation, and it is massive.  There are a million and one decisions to be made.  Sleepless nights are ahead as well as an overwhelming desire to protect this little person.  There is an understanding that things will never be as they were.  Mommy will need special care as she recovers from the process of pregnancy and delivery.  She will make the same transition from woman to primary caregiver and nurturer for baby.  There will be others around contributing their two cents to the process. The transition from man to daddy is one of the greatest passages is life!  How can I, as a doula, bring clarity and understanding?

The New York Times recently published an article discussing the massive drop of the male hormone Testosterone in new fathers.

https://parenting.nytimes.com/health/fatherhood-mens-bodies

In a pioneering five-year study published in 2011, for instance, Dr. Lee Gettler, Ph.D., an American anthropologist, followed a group of 624 single, childless men in the Philippines from age 21 to 26. Dr. Gettler found that while all men in the study experienced normal, age-related dips in testosterone, the 465 men who became dads during that five-year period experienced a more significant drop — an average 34 percent (when measured at night) — than those who remained single or married.

LIVESCIENCE ARTICLE

https://www.livescience.com/46322-fatherhood-changes-brain.html

Studies in animals and people show that new fathers experience an increase in the hormones estrogen, oxytocin, prolactin and glucocorticoids, according to a recent review of studies by psychologist Elizabeth Gould and colleagues from Princeton University.

Contact with the mother and children seem to induce the hormonal changes in dads, the researchers said.  In humans, dads who show more affection toward their children also tend to have higher levels of oxytocin.

Oxytocin is one of the hormones released when mothers breastfeed.  It encourages bonding and affection.  Amazing that biologically men experience the same things!

Dads are sensitive to their children’s voices 

Although it is generally thought that a “maternal instinct” makes moms incredibly good at picking out their baby’s unique cry, a recent study suggests that dads were just as good as moms.  To compare parents’ performance in baby-cry detection, researchers asked 27 fathers and 29 mothers to pick out their babies’ cries, from among the cries of five infants. On average, parents were able to detect their babies’ cries about 90 percent of the time, and men did just as well as women.

These are just a few of the many topics researched as science opens to the idea that men experience physical changes at the advent of parenthood.  This is very interesting material……………..

JUDY

To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate ……That is the Question

Currently in the US vaccinations are the way to go.  The medical doctors with whom I have discussed this are consistently in agreement.  You run a far greater opportunity for death or long term injury to your children if you do not vaccinate them.

Due to the decades of vaccinating against the diseases prevalent when our parents were young, those ailments have been all but irradiated in the US.  When is the last time you heard of an infant dying of Small Pox or being permanently disfigured by Polio?  Those illnesses are unheard of here.  Because of this, parents could get away with not vaccinating their children.  The recent influx of undocumented foreign nationals has changed all that.  Those who come from countries where medical care is sketchy have reintroduced the old time killers into our system.  Now, the only fail safe way of protecting your children is to be sure they have their own immunities to those diseases.

This has been a controversial topic due to supposed research linking vaccinations with Autism.  I encourage you to investigate this topic on your own.  The defining study in this area is severely lacking in both scientific data and breadth of control group.  If you really follow the diagnostic trail you will see there is not much behind the accusations that vaccinations cause Autism.

New Topic:  With the introduction of the internet came more information than any one person can absorb.  I encourage new parents to stay away from it.  Half the authors support one line of reasoning the other the opposite.  Coming to your own conclusion is overwhelming.  Learning every possible negative outcome paralyzes the decision process.  Talk with those in your frame of reference.  Ask the moms, pediatricians, grandmas, friends you respect.  What do they think about your particular question.  Better yet, what was their experience in raising their kids?  How did they deal with what ever question is at hand?  First hand experience in parenting is a wonderful teacher.

More to come…………..    JUDY

The Mystery of Growth Spurts…….

As a professional doula I have the privilege of shepherding new mommies and daddies in the adventure of parenting.  It is a miraculous process!  Babies arrive immobile and totally dependent.  They turn the lives of their parents upside down and their parents absolutely fall in love with them, anyway!!!  It is a life long growing, learning, laughing process.

There are a million and one books directing new parents on how to do this, perfectly.  Ha!  Ha!  The first thing I impress on the families with whom I work is “There are no perfect babies.” and “There are no perfect parents.”  The books that lead parents to believe there is a proper way to do almost anything do them a great disservice.  This adventure of becoming a family is individual.  Certainly there are goals to reach and things that will happen along the way to let you know you are proceeding well.  However, believing you can do this perfectly will only make you crazy.

Today we approach the mysterious process of growth spurts.  All babies go through them.  Some have a rough time and some barely even notice a change.  Until you walk this path with your individual baby you will not know which is for you.  If you have a second child there is no assurance he will follow the same program as his sibling.  Truthfully, it is a total gamble!  Below find several articles discussing the symptoms, the duration, and the outcomes of infant growth spurts.  I wish you the very very best as you proceed!

JUDY

TODAY’S PARENT                                                               https://www.todaysparent.com/baby/signs-your-baby-going-through-a-growth-spurt/

WHAT TO EXPECT                                                                    https://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/ask-heidi/baby-growth-spurts.aspx

THE BUMP                                                                                        https://www.thebump.com/a/baby-growth-spurts

Movie Review of Maleficent, the Mistress of Evil

Movie review of Maleficent, Unplugged Review Magazine

https://www.pluggedin.com/movie-reviews/maleficent-mistress-of-evil-2019?seid=3779367&refcd=812002&utm_campaign=Painting%20for%20the%20Master%20%2B%20Movie%20Review:%20‘Maleficent%202’&utm_medium=email&utm_source=nl_focusenews

As Halloween approaches the usual horror movies make it into the theaters.  The scenes, themes, and topics of these films are specifically designed to create terror in the hearts of viewers.  And they do a great job of it.

Your little ones need your protection.  If you don’t look out for them, who will?  I personally encourage you not to allow small children to see such films.  Be sure you watch what ever films you plan to show your little ones first.  No one knows better, how your children will receive them.

Below find a thorough review of the film Maleficent, Mistress of Evil.  This review contains an evaluation of positive and negative elements; spiritual, sexual, drug &alcohol and bad language incidences.  It discusses violence and there is a complete overview and evaluation.

The evaluation is positive for mature audiences.  In other words, Maleficent 2 is a good movie for grown ups.  Anyone over the age of 13 should be able to see the positive elements and not be terrified by it’s delivery.

JUDY

 

REVIEW

We all know the tale of Sleeping Beauty. A dark fairy cursed a princess to prick her finger upon the spindle of a spinning wheel and sleep forever. A prince battled against dark forces and a dragon to bestow true love’s kiss upon the princess and thus wake her. Then they lived happily ever after… Or so we’ve been led to believe.

Now, we know from the previous Maleficent movie, that wasn’t quite how it really went down. Maleficent did curse the princess. It was actually her own motherly love for the child that released the girl from her enchanted sleep, not the prince’s kiss.

But somehow, in the human Kingdom of Ulstead, that little detail has been deliberately omitted in the retelling of this now legendary story. No wonder most folks wrongly believe that Maleficent is the mistress of all evil. And frankly, with those huge horns, wings and scarily spikey cheek bones, who could blame them for their trepidation.

Well, it’s time for that to change. Philip and Aurora are going to be married. Philip’s kingdom of Ulstead and Aurora’s fairy kingdom of the Moors will be united. And Maleficent is coming for dinner, courtesy of a surprisingly magnanimous invitation from Philip’s mother, Queen Ingrith.

Maleficent, for her part, isn’t particularly thrilled about Aurora’s choice in husband. As she reminds her adopted daughter, “Love doesn’t always end well, beastie.” But Maleficent is grudgingly willing to make the effort. She practices niceties and even covers her horns with a shawl for the highly anticipated dinner with the King and Queen.

But relationships between in-laws can be prickly things. And so they are here, as everything that can go wrong quickly does.

In a blink, fragile affection morphs into open hostility, old prejudices erupt, and joyful talk of impending nuptials turns to grim talk of war between two kingdoms suddenly at deadly odds with each other once again.

POSITIVE ELEMENTS

The war that unexpectedly explodes between the humans and fairies is characterized as a tragedy born of fear, mistrust and prejudice. (As well as some outright evil, as we’ll see below). And as each side unleashes violence on the other, all of those tendencies get reinforced. That’s the backdrop for Maleficent: Mister of Evil’s main theme: the importance of love and peace, both of which are strongly emphasized throughout the story.

After all, Maleficent’s maternal love for Aurora is what saved the young woman from an eternal slumber in the first film. This love can be overprotective—Maleficent sarcastically wishes disease and calamity on Philip in the hopes that her daughter won’t marry him—but Aurora takes it good-naturedly. And in the end, Maleficent recognizes how much Philip loves Aurora and consents to walking her daughter down the aisle at their wedding.

In its turn, Aurora and Philip’s love for one another is what unites their kingdoms in peace. Philip’s father, King John, is especially proud of this feat since he has been trying to broker peace for years. Furthermore, Philip’s choice to let a dark fairy live (even when the fairy tries to kill him and his best friend) causes Maleficent to stop attacking soldiers (who are just following orders).

Aurora’s love for Maleficent also plays a huge role in convincing Malificent to choose peace instead of war. Maleficent also meets another key character who tells her that if she can love and raise a human as her own daughter and have that love reciprocated, then there is hope for peace.

As the story unfolds, various fairies make brave and sacrificial choices to save and rescue others from certain death. One especially poignant scene finds a fairy giving her life to ensure that her two closest friends are spared.

SPIRITUAL CONTENT

As in many Disney films, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil takes us to a magical realm populated by both humans and fairies (who are often described with the uncommon word fey in the film).

Maleficent, with her wings and horns, has an undeniably ominous presence. Human Queen Ingrith calls her a “witch.” Indeed, Maleficent can blast through walls and toss people around like sacks of flour with the green flames that flow from her body. She can also turn the shapeshifter, Diaval, into any creature she desires—such as a raven and a giant black bear. In one pivotal scene, a friend of hers is killed, sparking a deep rage in Maleficent. Her eyes, typically bright green, turn red as she uses her powers to wreak havoc upon Ulstead in retribution. It’s no wonder that Maleficent (as well as others) are sometimes called “dark fairies.”

Even though Maleficent does unleash her powers on some unfortunate human victims as war commences, she (and others) also use their magical abilities for good, turning thorns into flowers, for instance, as well as saving a group of human children by flying them to safety during a battle.

As a dark fairy dies, his elders kneel by his body and perform a pagan-feeling ceremony to absorb his body into the earth and produce a bed of flowers. “Tomb blooms” (glowing flowers with magical properties) grow from the graves of fey people in the Moors. Aurora and Philip’s wedding is set to be in a church. Their wedding is performed by a bishop. A christening is mentioned. Someone speaks the phrase, “The truth will set you free.”

[Spoiler Warning] After Maleficent is killed while saving Aurora, she turns to dust, and Aurora sheds several tears over her ashes. The powerful expression of spontaneous love in turn resurrects Maleficent, causing her to literally rise from the ashes as a phoenix. The dark fairies (who believe the phoenix is the mother of their people) bow to her reverently, essentially treating her as a goddess.

SEXUAL CONTENT

Philip and Aurora share several kisses, including a passionate one after she accepts his proposal. Queen Ingrith attempts to wake her husband with true love’s kiss. The morning after Aurora and Philip’s wedding, Maleficent leaves but says she’ll return for the christening and winks.

Many female fairies (including Maleficent) wear tight and/or cleavage-baring outfits. We also see some bare stomachs and backs of both male and female dark fairies.

At the very end of the film, a porcupine-like fairy kisses the cheek of a mushroom-type fairy, and it’s unclear from the film exactly what the gender of either creature actually is. Immediately preceding that scene, someone says, “We’re not defined by where we’re from, but by who we love.” Those two scenes, combined, could be interpreted seen as subtly affirming any kind of romantic relationship for those who want to connect the dots between them.

VIOLENT CONTENT

A pixie (who we later learn had his wings shorn off by the queen) creates a red powder that kills fairies on contact. He then tests it on a dandelion fairy, destroying the creature but keeping the dandelion. Soldiers trap a multitude of fairy creatures in a church and use the red powder to kill them (although like the dandelion, we simply see them revert to their plant forms). One fairy sacrifices herself by flying into the source of the powder, her reverted flower form blocking it.

When the dark fairies attack Ulstead, they use vines to grab, throw and trap soldiers. The soldiers use their iron weapons and bombs made of the red powder to fight back. Scores of fairies turn to ash upon contact with the powder. Although we don’t directly witness any soldiers’ deaths onscreen, they are implied since several humans are picked up by flying fairies and dropped from great distances. We see a woman lose her balance and tumble off the edge of a balcony (presumably to her death). A group of dark fairies are ambushed by soldiers in the Moors and one is shot by multiple iron bullets while saving another. One character gets impaled by a crossbow bolt at close range.

A fairy bites a man to prevent being kidnapped, causing the man to fall and drop a lantern painfully on his accomplice’s head. Two men are strung up with tree vines by a dark fairy. It is implied they are killed since we hear their screams offscreen. A man threatens hanging for any soldier who leaves their post. The queen wants Maleficent’s head. An injured fairy struggles to fly straight, bumping into walls and falling several times.

A woman uses a weapon to shoot an iron bullet at Maleficent, badly wounding her and causing her to crash into a river and then go over a waterfall. A woman is thrown off a tower and screams as she falls (she is rescued before she hits the ground). While flying as a raven, a shapeshifter suddenly turns back into a man and crashes, though his resulting injuries aren’t serious. A group of fairies accidentally crashes into a tree. Peasants arm themselves with pitchforks against Maleficent—those who aren’t screaming and fleeing her ominous presence, that is.

Fairies have been kidnapped and placed into jars so that the pixie employed by the queen can perform experiments on them and find a way to destroy them. Soldiers desecrate the graves of fairies by stealing the “tomb blooms” that grow from them. A fairy child seemingly falls from a cliff but finds her wings at the last moment.

CRUDE OR PROFANE LANGUAGE

None.

DRUG AND ALCOHOL CONTENT

At a family dinner, everyone drinks wine and a toast is given. During a particularly awkward moment, Philip requests more wine to help him get through it.

NEGATIVE ELEMENTS

Aurora repeatedly compromises her values to match those of Ulstead and the queen. She consents to wearing the queen’s gaudy and extravagant wedding gown rather than the simple one made for her by the fairies. She asks Maleficent to cover her horns with a veil to make everyone feel more comfortable. These choices eventually lead a spurned Maleficent to (temporarily) disown her adopted daughter. It isn’t until Philip reminds Aurora that he fell in love with the girl from the forest that she realizes how badly she let Maleficent down by agreeing to all these changes.

[Spoiler Warning] The queen is highly prejudiced against fairies because she believes her brother was killed by them. When others talk of amity between humans and fey, she states icily, “Peace will not be our downfall.” She secretly manufactures weapons in the dungeons and hides the spinning wheel that Maleficent used to curse Aurora. It is revealed that she is the one who put the king to sleep and started the rumors about Maleficent being evil. And it is further revealed that she does not love her husband since true love’s kiss fails to wake him. She also cunningly engineers all of the major circumstances that lead to the brief-but-intense war between the fairies and the humans. It should also be noted that Maleficent eventually turns the queen into a goat … and there’s no hint in the film that she ever returns to her human form.

CONCLUSION

As was true in 2014’s Maleficent, love is this sequel’s saving grace. It stops Maleficent from reducing the kingdom of Ulstead to a smoking pile of rubble—even when the dark fairy feels she’d be completely justified in doing so. But in the end, the harmonious love between her and Aurora convinces Maleficent to stand down.

But this is no whimsically delightful fairy tale. This film’s happily ever after conclusion only arrives after scores of characters—fairy and human alike—have met nasty ends.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil echoes the darkness in Disney’s original Sleeping Beauty. We see characters betrayed by loved ones. We witness prejudice between different races. And even though there isn’t a drop of blood on screen, characters are still battered by bullets, pierced by crossbow bolts and reduced to ashes by bombs.

So despite its strong redemptive themes, this sequel’s intense-but-sanitized violence might still be too much for sensitive viewers.

 

Stroke Indicators

The possibility of someone you are with having a stroke is always there.  Knowing how to discern if it is actually a stoke is vital.  There are medications available in our country that can diminish the long term affects of stroke if administered with in a few hours of the incident.  Here are some simple ways to diagnose a stroke.  It is better to be safe than sorry.  If you believe someone is exhibiting one or more of these symptoms call an ambulance tor get them to an emergency room.  The medical staff will know what to do.

  1. Smile – Ask the person to smile – a stroke victim will have a crocked smile
  2. Ask them to speak a simple sentence -“chicken soup”.  If they garble the wording consistently there is a problem.
  3. Ask them to raise both arms at the same time.  If they can not do this easily there is a problem.
  4. Ask them to stick out their tongue – if the tongue is crocked there is a problem
  5. If someone has stumbled for no apparent reason check for others of these symptoms.

It is alway good to be aware of the people around us.  You would certainly appreciate it if someone did so for you or someone you love.  Lets take care of each other!!!