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Archive for November, 2007

More later but in short…

Today was Rebel Girl’s first NAET treatment.

Well, I’m going to skip the NAET stuff and take Bella to my acupuncturist (who told me she doubts the validity of NAET). After just one “treatment” I also think it is absurd. I also question the motives/quality of any practitioner who practices this quackery. I’m all about natural medicine and stuff but that doesn’t mean I believe everything “natural” that I hear about.

I’m desperate to help Bella but not desperate enough to ignore my own eyes and instincts.

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Lots has been going on.

The Monday before Thanksgiving, I started to seriously consider taking Max out of his preschool. I don’t want to get into detail as to why I feel this way (too long and rambly) but just know I witnessed several different dynamics and actions in his classroom that I do not agree with. It really boils down to the fact that the preschool he was at had a mode of operating that isn’t compatible to the realities of children.

The same day that I started to feel strongly about Max needing to change preschools… a nature mama friend, H, said she was thinking about starting a preschool in her home. H met a woman who was interested in teaching and who is a friend of a friend, thing. In other words, connected to the natural parenting/earthy/healer-type community. Talk about things falling into place. Today, just a week later, I met with Max’s new teacher at H’s house. Max will be going to a very dear friend’s home for preschool Mon, Tue, and Wed from 8:30 am – 2:30 pm. I am so relieved.

I took Bella to her first acupuncture/NAET appointment yesterday morning. Dr. L seems to really know her stuff, is kind, honest, and in general a warm person. In other words, she gave me good vibes. At this point, I am doing everything within my powers to help Bella and it is time to move into the next realm of help. I left Dr. L’s office feeling relieved, understood, and hopeful that she will be able to help Bella.

Admittedly, I am not convinced that NAET will help. No amount of personal testimony will convince me of it’s ability to actually cure a person of their allergies. This is one of those things that I need to see/experience to believe. I do, however, have personal experience with acupuncture working to relieve severe pain by controlling the inflammation in my joints. Bella will be receiving Chinese herbs through my breast milk (I will be taking them), acupressure (needles are not used on babies), and NAET therapy. I have also been a strict bitch about my diet for the past 2 ½ weeks. Controlling what I eat helps her skin but she is still itching.

My father in-law (whom I get along with very well) is building a swing set with a slide, deck, and sandbox in our back yard. He is the kind of builder who is very meticulous and goes all out so this is going to be quite a little playground for my children…

Hal battling the wasps on our porch. They are relentless in claiming their territory…

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The play space isn’t completed, yet, but the swings are set up so today the kids got to enjoy their new play space…

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Okay, sometimes it really is hard to pick just one…

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Max is really into doing puzzles. He can do a 48 piece puzzles all by himself!

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Hanging out by his finished work:

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Bella looks like she is going to love books, too.

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Look Ma! I’m standing!

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Deep Thoughts by Michelle Harmon:

Sometimes when you think a person is a little crazy it turns out that they are. Then, you know it is necessary to build a fence around your yard – one made of pretty stone.

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Happy Tofurkyday!

This holiday season has to be about something else besides food for me and because he can’t enjoy food without me… my husband, too. We are both feeling pretty blah about Thanksgiving this year.

Everyday is about family around here so the holidays add that extra special bonus of (lots of) good food… this year I’ll just have to settle for the season being about family! 😉 However, Hal said for Christmas, he is going to go all out and make some comfort foods I can eat (he loves cooking and especially for the holidays).

Speaking of food… I took a meal over to a friend, Michelle’s, house yesterday. She had her third baby on Halloween!

When she went to the hospital for a scheduled c-birth her doctor came into the room and was like, “uh, what are you doing here?” Michelle, being full of piss and vinegar to begin with and ready to have her baby was like, “um, I’m having a baby today. Remember? You scheduled it!”

The OB swore up and down that Michelle’s due date wasn’t for another three weeks so she couldn’t possibly have planned a c-birth on Halloween. Michelle was PISSED. Her OB doesn’t have any malpractice insurance so did not want to do the c-section three weeks before her due date.

Michelle and her hubby talked about it and she decided her baby was ready to be born. She was having really strong contractions all day and just really felt strongly that it was the right time.

Well, as the doctor was reaching in to pull the baby out, both the doctor and her nurse gasped in horror. THAT freaked Michelle and her hubby out big time. Hubby took a peak behind the curtain and even he gasped. The cord had been wrapped and tied tightly around the baby’s neck. Once side of the cord was red, the other side white. She wasn’t getting any thing from her cord! The doctor told my friend if the c-birth had not been done when it was, her baby would not have made it.

AMAZING. Mother’s intuition is powerful.

I will say (since I don’t really trust doctors) I’m skeptical as to whether or not it was as serious of a situation as the baby would have died. However, I trust Michelle and this is (part of) her birth story. It is a give-me-goosebumps kind of story.

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Hal got off from work today at noon and has off until Monday! Woo hoo!

I took Bella to her 9 month check-up today. Since last week when I took Max in and Dr. B. made that comment about her skin, Rebel Girl has cleared up almost completely. She is right on track developmentally and physically… thank gawd… I don’t think I could deal with it if she wasn’t. Her only problem is the eczema. Dr. B. was impressed with my knowledge about Bella’s food allergies. She also paid me accolades for doing so well with my diet restrictions. It felt good to get some recognition in regards to how difficult it is to give up so many foods for someone else. My friends and family are good at patting me on the back… but I appreciate every pat I can get!

I have decided to delay solids until Rebel Girl is a year old… because… I have an auto immune disorder and Bella is already having issues with her immune system. It is important for me to do EVERYTHING possible to help her get a good strong start in life. Breastmilk gives Rebel Girl everything she needs to grow and be healthy… right now food will only complicate her system. Delaying solids until she is 12 months is what is best for her.

I was happy that Dr. B. was so supportive of my efforts to help Bella. Many doctors would not be as understanding and knowledgeable as Dr. B. It is comforting to be able to share so much with a medical professional and receive such warmth in return. She agreed with me on every point and assured me that I’m doing everything that can possibly be done to help Bella.

*Exhale*

I know this already but I’m not above receiving/needing some recognition and praise (as mentioned above, already, hint hint *wink*). It is hard to not fall into self proclaimed martyrdom doing what I am doing. I often do feel quite martyr-like regarding my strict diet (no dairy, soy, wheat, eggs, corn, or tree nuts – or anything with those byproducts). Then, I give myself a good swift quick kick in the head (whack).

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I want to be her best friend.

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Rebel Girl,

You are the Queen of my world.

Love,

Mama

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Hi.

Hal leaves for work this morning and I sigh to myself, “welcome to my personal hell.”

Last night and this morning I have felt hateful and sad.

Yesterday, at Max’s 3 year checkup his pediatrician took a look at Bella when I was changing her diaper and stated, “she is the worse case of eczema I have ever seen.” Thanks, I didn’t feel bad enough already. And I actually like my kid’s pediatrician.

Bella is still scratching all the time. She will clear up, I’ll eat two bites of anything, and she will flair up all over her body. I hate this. I am starting to feel desensitized to her suffering. When I change her diaper I try not to pay attention to how uncomfortable she looks as she scratches viciously at her skin. When I do pay attention it makes me cry.

Doctors are just useless. I set an appointment for Bella to see an acupuncturist. This acupuncturist is also a NAET practitioner. Not that we have the income comfortability to go the natural route – but what little extra income we do have, I’m willing to spend on healing Bella’s skin.

I know that her skin condition is a symptom… not the actual problem. My pediatrician, an allergist, and other doctors are well-meaning but have NO CLUE as to how to build my little girl’s immune system. They want to prescribe lotions and creams but don’t even address the fact that her immune system has broken down and needs some help to repair. Grrr. This is so frustrating.

I bought Bella a butt-load of cute clothes today. Three pajamas and three outfits is my definition of “butt-load.” I am not a clothes/shoe/or jewelry shopper AT ALL but I do find it fun to shop for my kids.

I drank a little alcohol yesterday. My SIL’s boyfriend is a bartender by trade and mixed up some fancy drinks for us. I used to be able to down quite a bit of liquor back in the day but not any more. My glass was still practically full when I left my in-law’s house yet I felt a little buzzed from the five sips I took. It also seems like alcohol no longer peps me up. I don’t really enjoy drinking any more.

I started writing this post in the morning after Hal left for work. I’m finishing it up at 9pm at night. I feel much better now than I did this morning.

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I run downstairs to write and surf the net for five minutes. I’m in need of a little respite from mothering. Bella is getting in her top two teeth at the same time and is just absolutely miserable. I feel sad that she is suffering and understand her clingyness, but… I also feel annoyed and frustrated that I can’t set her down for any reason or length of time. She is in her crib crying as I type this little paragraph…

… Max’s birthday parties went over very well. Friday night we had the family at our house for dinner and b-day cake. Saturday morning, Max partied hard at the playground with his friends. It was a beautiful day on Saturday, the weather was just perfect. Everyone who came had a lot of fun. As Hal and I were driving home we were glowing with happiness. Our little boy is growing. Each age is so exciting and new.

I still muse over how I got to this very special place in life.

Our back yard is slowly becoming kid-friendly and worthy of adult lounging. Today, we had someone remove a batch of five dangerous (with their threatening six inch long thorns) reclinata palms. Later this week a pest control dude will give us an estimate on ridding the ground of those pesky red ants. I have been enjoying afternoon hours outside while Max plays. Bella watches him prance around and laughs at the birds flying overhead while I kiss and hug on her warm sweet skin.

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We play a game of stationary tag with Max. Bella and I being the stationary party in the rocking chair as Max charges us from across the yard. He starts at the banana tree a neighbor planted in his yard, until we put a fence up and discovered it actually fell on our property line. His little legs move so fast and his hands are stretched out far in front of him. His face smiles with anticipation of tagging Bella’s and my hands. It’s a fun game that we play often.

The weather is so beautiful these days. It sends me into fantasy mode. I have visions of plants, fruits, flowers, and vegetables adorning our home and yard. I also have fantasies of back yard barbecues, parties, and camp outs. I have pushed moving-to-Sarasota fantasies far to the back of my mind in order to enjoy where we live now. I’m sick of anticipating a move that isn’t realistic for us at this time. I want to live in my house and make it a home. It was hard for me to do that when the space felt temporary.

Max’s birthday party brought out about 13 kids and 20 adults, many of whom drove 30 minutes to be present. This put things into perspective. My friends will drive the distance. Distance doesn’t prevent friendships and I’m always making more friends as the years go on. And as a result… as the years go on… mothering gets easier and less lonely. If the time ever arrives where it feels right to move we will know and it will happen. However, I’m done planning for it. I want to enjoy my home right now.

PS: CONGRATULATIONS LIZ!!! My friend Liz gave birth at home, Sat., November 10th, to her second daughter, Sage. I am so happy for her and her beautiful family!!!

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I have been a busy bee prepping for Max’s 3rd birthday party. The scary thing is, it is such a simple party… I can not even imagine the trouble of a more involved celebration for a kid’s b-day.

This is my first time throwing a party for Max with other kids. We had a small shin-ding on his first birthday but at that time, Max didn’t really have any friends of his own. His second birthday my MIL threw him a little party. This year, I have been very excited to host the celebration.

The party is this Saturday at a local playground. It has a dinosaur theme and I’m even hoping to pull together some kind of dinosaur dig. We are ordering pizza for the main food. The cake will be vegan and there will be some fruit and veggies with dip for folks to snack on before pizza time. Simple right? I’ve been working on this shit for about a month. I don’t mind because it is fun but seriously, the amount of thought that goes into a 3 year olds birthday party is more than I would have ever thought possible.

I don’t know if anyone caught the one-day-post I made going off about my latest MIL issue… but, I have decided to refrain from complaining (in this space) about situations with her. Instead… when I have come to a conclusion about something… a lesson learned sort-of-thing… courtesy of MIL, I will post it under the title, Deep Thoughts by Michelle Harmon.

Deep Thoughts by Michelle Harmon

Normally, I like to tell people what I think of their behavior. Assholes really stink and life has taught me it is better to speak up against them rather than to hold your peace forever. Yeah, well, life lies. Sometimes peace only comes with silence.

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Max is old enough (Yay!) where I can allow him to play in our back yard while I type on the computer. I periodically (every 3 mins or so) get up to check on him through the window. Nice. Bella is on the floor getting into EVERYTHING. Let the fun begin!

My in-laws are buying our kids a swing set for Christmas! I am very excited about this. Our backyard is slowly but surely becoming kid-friendly.

Max is really into dinosaur bones. I think I know what he will be getting for Christmas. He just called me outside to look at the bones he found…

Peaking through the window and witnessing his latest excavation site:

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I’m trying to get Max use to the idea that, Mommy can’t play with you all the time. Whenever I tell him this he exclaims very matter of factly, You can!

Max’s version of dino-bones:

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He calls me outside every 30 seconds or so to look at his dino-bones.

Proud paleontologist:

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Hard at work:

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We have had a crazy-fun-busy week. Hal’s grandma made Max a cool dinosaur costume in a matter of hours for Halloween. On Tuesday, his school did a “parade” around the playground. Max, as far as I could tell, was the only person in a homemade costume. I really need to learn how to sew because I’d like to always be able to make his costumes… and show him how to do it, too. Grandma’s ability to whip out an amazing costume in less than a day is inspiring.

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He has a cool tail that I thought I photographed but somehow missed.

Bella and I hung out with Max and I got to see how his teachers are with the kids. Though, they were probably on their best behavior (the teachers) because three other parents were there, too. One of the teachers boasted in private conversation how she firmly believes in spanking (her own kids). Max has told me that one of the students has been spanked. Now, I’m not getting all up in arms about this, but it solidifies my desire to send my kids to Montessori school – NO MATTER how far I have to drive to get them there (the free charter school is about 30-40 minutes away – *sigh*).

The creepiest thing about what I saw while at school with Max was the assembly line fashion the children moved around in. They were shuffled from station to station and activity to activity without any real interactions or interest in what they were doing. They seemed the happiest when allowed to play freely. This free-play time was always abruptly interrupted to do a craft. It was disturbing. It seems that the “teachers” are happiest with the students that are “obedient” because it makes their jobs easier… like, they don’t really have to be present in their interactions with the “good” kids. It is the children who act out that get the most direct attention and energy from the teachers. I’m sure the teachers have their “reasons,” but when it comes to children… I don’t think any reason for treating kids like they are robots will be good enough for me to swallow. I went to public schools my whole life and I know that the really great teachers are far and few between.

Halloween night we went to a friend’s house for a party and trick-or-treating. There were lots of kids running around playing, doing crafts, and being silly. Pizza and cold fancy beer kept the adults feeling like adults while the conversations kept us laughing and enjoying the good days. Because that is what these are, the good days.

This was Max’s first year trick-or-treating so at first he didn’t really know what we were doing. It was a bit strange to him. However, once he figured out that with each house we visited a person told him he was cute and gave him candy… his saying for the night became, let’s hit the next house! We all had a fun time.

Today we went to the reading festival.

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We ran into a lot of our friends (real and book-wise), had lunch at Whole Foods, and schlepped home exhausted.

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Those smiles on Max’s face are his camera ready smiles… he’s use to being told, smile!

We had plans to go to a party tonight but had to opt out. Today is the Mexican holiday, The Day of the Dead, and our friends throw a kick ass party for it every year. I really wanted to go so I could party in honor of my dead friend, Monica, and our family’s dead dog, Oscar. We were planning on placing their pictures on the alter. Unfortunately, we live a good 30-40 minutes away and don’t feel up to the drive. I’ve been dreaming about Monica, a lot lately and have woken up once in tears… but anyways, I was going to drink a beer and celebrate the good in her life tonight while partying with my friends. I’m going to have to settle for a glass of wine with my family.

It’s been a good week.

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