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Archive for September, 2007

Mommy’s Little Helper.

I’m contemplating my new tattoo. Max has been pushing for a Brontosaurus but I prefer the Triceratops. He’s also thinking about future tats and where I should put those:

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Birth Rant *Edited*

I am so tired. I wish I had a little pick-me-up right now. What would my “pick-me-up” consist of? Something intoxicating. Probably illegal [in most states]. And something that will make the ordinary seem really exciting.

Just kidding, mom.

Coffee will do.

Its been a long week and I am so happy Hal has the weekend off.

Max is passed out on the floor upstairs, during one of his two hour TV breaks, no-less, and Bella is playing contently in her playpen. I hate using the playpen but the poor girl breaks out when-ever I leave her on the floor for any length of time.

Last night I went to the birthing home to meet some friends for a Birth Story Circle we’ve created. We are all home birther’s. Three of the seven women present are pregnant with their second baby. Two of us already have had baby #2. And I *think* four of the women transferred to the hospital after or before their first baby was born for complications/failure to progress. And in case you are not familiar with home birth culture, a transfer to the hospital can be very traumatic. Going from a warm, nurturing, calm environment into a sterile, cold, impersonal place sucks [for lack of better wording].

We got together to talk about our birth experiences – from conception to postpartum. And WOW, talk about some intense power. You know that feeling when you realize how utterly privileged you are to hear personal information that someone dug up from the depths of their experiences? That feeling is power and vulnerability – in perfect harmony. That is what this circle of women represent to me.

My ultimate dream is that pregnancy and birth in our culture will someday be seen as normal – as opposed to the medical situation/emergency it is currently viewed as. I would love it if birth was taken out of the medical model of care offered by hospitals and placed into homes, birthing centers, and into the hands of the midwifery model of care. I would love it if pregnancy and birth were honored for the power it gives women and not the baby products it gives people the opportunity to buy. I would love it if fear didn’t trick people into believing hospitals are the best place for all babies to be born. Now, I know that home birth isn’t for everyone, and I certainly understand wanting relief from labor pains, but I’ll tell ya nothing feels better than eating home cooked food and crawling into your own bed after pushing a baby out of your twat. I hate that we are taught to fear the pain of labor and to allow that fear to direct our birthing choices. I hate it that the medical establishment has bamboozled an entire nation into thinking all women need medicine and technology to birth a baby.

Most pregnancies and births would unfold without a monitor ever beeping, if only allowed. And for those that don’t run without a hitch – I thank the stars we are a high tech society. Birth belongs to women, not the medical industry.

The clouds are thick in our culture, but I still have faith that a mighty wind of voices will someday push them away.

Yes, by nature I am an optimist.

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And now I remember clearly why I like holing up at home with Max:

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Yes, that is my son napping in the car, in his projectile vomit. One more inch to the right and it would have hit the back of my head.

I think going to school is the only outing Max will have for a while. When-ever we have left the house for an activity outside of school… it is disastrous. We have a nice flow of events throughout our week without me running around like an ass trying to keep Max entertained with new activities. This outings business messes up our daily rhythm.

I know some folks feel like they need to take their toddlers out into public so they will learn how to behave. I feel like behaving like a civilized kid comes with time and for Max, that time is not right now. And that is okay. I’m not into forcing it, especially since he is very compliant (as his teacher puts it, obedient) at school. He needs his home space to let loose and run wild.

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busy bee.

I am ready for Max to be in school three days a week. What’s more important, I think he is ready. He’s doing really well at school and his teachers totally love him (they tell me this so I know it to be true). And I’ve been enjoying our weekly routine as our days seem to be busier. Having a schedule (rhythm) helps me to feel like I have something to do everyday… I did not realize this until, like, two minutes ago. I guess a little structure is good for me! Our days are flowing very nicely. And now that parenting two doesn’t seem quite as overwhelming, I’m ready to brave some more weekly outings with the kids. Tomorrow we are going to the Y, and on Friday, we’ll go to Hal’s library for the 40 Carrots toddler program.

Max has been enjoying playing dress-up with his sister’s new clothes. He is especially fond of the leopard print pants. Apparently, he only likes Krista and Cadence right now… he tells me… “I only want Krista and Cadence to come to my birthday party, I don’t like anyone else.” Mommy and daddy are not invited.

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He keeps asking me… read the dinosaur book that Krista gave me.

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This was Krista’s book when she was a little girl. It even has her name written on the first page in handwriting that looks like that of a little girl.

One might say that those two made a lasting impression on Max and I can certainly understand why.

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This morning we had some outdoor-time before the rainfall. Max gifted us all with pretty flowers he picked from the yard.

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When Max gave me this flower he said, “beautiful mama.”
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My friend Krista came over with her daughter, Cadence. Cadence is about 4 months younger and about four inches taller than Max. Those two kids played for, I kid you not, four hours straight without a meltdown or fight. Krista and I felt lucky to have all that time to talk… we were often in disbelief that things were running so smoothly! Toddlers are really hit and miss with visits with other kids. Maybe because our toddlers are approaching age three? Maybe because they were so compatible personality wise? Were the stars lined up just right? I dunno, but they got along really well and Krista and I got to talk for the first time – face to face instead of through the receiver of a phone – in a very long time.

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They brought over the BEST chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had… wheat-free and vegan. Thank you Cadence and Krista! And yes, that little girl is vegan AND super healthy. As if anyone would doubt those two realities could co-exist. Krista and her little family shatter the [misinformed] notion that vegans are malnourished folk.

As soon as they left, I dove into those cookies like nobody’s business – even though I had eaten about five while they were here. I barely managed to save a few for Hal. They also brought with them enough clothes to suit an army of little girls… I am so lucky to not have to buy [many] clothes for Bella for at least two more years!

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sweet dreams.

Max spent the day with his Lola (MIL) so Hal and I had some much needed R&R. It’s funny to me that having only an [almost] 8 month old to care for is easy. When Max was 8 months old, I certainly didn’t feel the same way.

Max getting ready for Lola’s… putting on his own shoes and socks!

You know what? Before this year is up I am buying a new camera… a better camera… because I’d like to take pictures of other subjects I find beautiful but feel my camera just isn’t good enough to capture. My kids are easy to photograph but really, I admire and appreciate many things I see every day.

Anyhow

Tonight as I was laying both the kids down in my bed for sleep Max pleaded with me to “visit” Bella one more time (picture me in the middle). He was so sincere in his need to see his baby sister that I had to go against my previous, “no, she needs to settle down, she’s too hyper right now and a visit from you will only rile her up,” in favor of allowing him the visit.

I told him, “just a short visit, kay?” He agreed and happily crawled over to see her. I could tell by the look in his eyes that he is completely in love with Bella. His gentle touches, playful movements and the soft way he speaks spill his love – much in the same way I love the two of them. He squeezed her nose gently and touched her cheek while saying, “so pudgy,” squealing softly with delight. She had the biggest smile and showed him love in return.

I asked Max, “do you think about Bella when you aren’t with her?” He said, “yes,” and I told him that I think she thinks about him, too. He leaned over and kissed her saying, goodnight, and did the same to me. Then he crawled back to his side and fell asleep.

Life doesn’t get better than this.

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Bingo.

My TV theory… was dead on. Max has returned to being a joy to spend time with. Yes, it does mean more work for me, but the rewards are immeasurable. I like the extra work (aka: being more attentive and involved with my busy toddler) because it just feels right… and it is so much easier than before.

I’ve returned to using a soft voice with him when he’s being naughty and as a result of limiting his TV viewing, I’ve become more in-tune with his needs. I did not expect this dramatic of a difference. I am pleasantly surprised. And even more pleased that my intuitive self led me to make wise decisions for my family.

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