Thursday, December 10, 2009

an oldy about motherhood

My little attempt to wrap my head around the right wing agenda...or something : )

Oldy about socialization

Heres an old post about homeschooled kids and some of the fallacies surrounding the ideas of socialization. Enjoy.

Oldy about food

Hers an old post about the troubles we face in providing a good breakfast! Enjoy.


I am going to be sharing a series of old posts from a while back. Here is one about nursing, nursing more than one baby, extended nursing, etc. Enjoy the musings of the old me : )

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


So much of this insane story reminded me of the craziness
I went through with my babies 1, 2 and to some extent, 5. Anything to do with hospital care just was so confusing, humiliating scary, abusive, and plain old unnecessarily crude....yes. This stuff happens. Thanks good old Navelgazer for this sad story of reality for too many mothers.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

shrink shopping

Feeling somewhat better today...I missed my "pill" (Zoloft) last weekend 2 days in a row and it may have set me off into a bad patch. I felt horribly dour and depressed early in the week, as you read. Anyhow, the kids and I went to a holiday parade in our "Downtown" and it was kind of fun for them, I think they liked it... It was unseasonably warm and we enjoyed just wearing sweaters. I must admit feeling fake and disoriented about Santa and jingle bell dudes and local politicians waving in convertibles with greenery on them...its not even Thanksgiving, its warm out, and my mom is dead. Its kind of like that first car ride with your first baby...that whole "Why are these freaks driving so fast? Who can eat McDonalds on a very special day such as this? Why isnt anyone looking into our car at red lights to see the miracle?"...just seemed rude to have a parade and say yay yay xmas oh yeah woot woot when really, I feel nothing of the sort. I just feel fear and sleepiness and worry.

Can you tell I am struggling to blog? Oh well. Little updates are better than not writing.

I did a depression check on WebMD and it linked me to local shrinks/counselors and whatnot, and I emailed those to myself to call monday. I am not looking forward to finding childcare, going to the new doctor, and them possibly being somehow yucky and then having to start that whole process again. But I guess its worth it. Obviously if I find someone cool or tolerable or even perhaps kind and professional, that'd be fabulous! Also, if he/she starts thinking that homeschooling is bad and wouldnt I like a nice break from the kiddies, that is going to color our whole exchange, so I am hoping for some tolerance on that arena also. Natural parenting, too, whatever that means or if I even "Do" any of "it" anymore, I dont want any eyes rolled about nursing or anything like that. I am sure there are very cool doctors out there, its just the wading through them process that I dont have the strength for. At least not tonight!

Well, here's to me finding a cool psychiatrist or something/someone. I am doing research into lots of different medications and alternative stuff too and hope to get it all going...yeah...right after I sleep for like 4 months zzzzzzzzzz thats all I really truly want. Sleep and quiet.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Still here, still mental

We moved to a teeny little house last winter...and umm it blows. Don't get me wrong, it is cute...because we made it cute. The theory is great, but like so many things in my life, I get hyped up and latch onto websites and pour over library books and my kick was that of small houses as some kind of simple living movement and, in true Joy fashion, I ignored the fact that all this stuff is written by single old ladies or childless couples or maybe sometimes a family with like one kid. It all photographs so well, you know : )

Well, so we need to move. We are literally gathered 'round a shabby little rug in the front room as our ONLY living space. Try to imagine say, a dentist's waiting room with your five kids. Theres some Duplos on the floor, and ummmm well, hope you like Duplos! Its the pits. We tried and tried and spent a good deal of money on "solutions"--oh yes we heeded the siren's call of clever organizers, upwards storage, loft beds, bunk beds, closet systems, and nope. Still sucks. I know most of the world lives in huts, but for the rent we pay, we are not making a wise choice staying here literally falling over each other.

So, I try to go back to the drawing board--where do actual homeschooling families live? Where do actual families of seven live? Not mopey artists, not never-home 2 income families, but us. What works? How can I "Go confidently in the direction of my dreams/Live the life I've imagined"? When I have failed so many times to be realistic?

Bringing the kids along to these go-sees helps. Let them run and scream and see if it is intolerable even when there is nothing but wide open spaces. Do not go alone to house-hunting appointments, and no taking one mature calm 12 year old doesn't count either. Must bring the loonies.

Do we want a farm or something downtown? We have looked at (and loved) both in the past week. All of us except Mickey. He hates moving and wont barely speak to us about it.

This is what is taking up some of our time lately. Otherwise, I am struggling staying afloat of my depression and anxiety. I have done ALOT of research into new medications and dont get to see my doctor until December 4th. I have learned alot about BiPolar disorder, depression, post partum depression, post traumatic stress disorder, mood swings, and although I want to "get all into" grief and loss, (har har) I cannot do it right now, not while I am the sole caretaker for these five kids. Its bad enough just trying to be a good role model and decent mother when I am feeling so anti social, vulnerable, upset, and so extremely sluggish most of the day. So I am a bitch sometimes and they are all staring at me in the tiny house and its pretty miserable.

It was brought to my attention from a very thoughtful and well meaning old friend that I was starting the "Medication/Moving/Put The Kids In School Dance again", and while the point was well taken, and it did catch me off guard and make me so much of everything, it just kind of made me feel worse.

I just dont have a novel approach, but I keep on trying! Really,all I can say to ALL the mothers struggling is to keep on trying. Try what you know, try something new. Listen to your kids, listen to reason. Listen to your heart, but if your "heart" is only a black ache eternally pounding you suck, you suck, you suck, you blew it, you blew it, you blew it, theres no fixing any of this, its all over, you fail, you failed as a mother as a person as a wife as a super sparkle star you let everyone down all day everyday you suck suck suck suck...then do NOT listen to that. Just try really hard not to be mean, get more sleep, and do not be discouraged from getting professional help including medicine!!!!

I don't know what to tell you about our homeschool. To me, it is just horrid. Everything is. A huge, eye-stinging, heart squeezing disappointment. But the kids are ok. Id like to get them a bigger house and a Mom who is stable-er.

I am also very afraid and hating the holidays. It will start off with an awkward sad thanksgiving with widower step dad and go downhill from there. I used to be so into Christmas but this year I can barely choke it down, without Mom and Grandma.

Well, I try to be fun and funny on Facebook, so if you miss my old blurbs and jokes, yes I am on there alot now, but the blog is still really what I care about, just haven't made the time.

Well ya wanted me to blog....: ) sigh

Ill keep everyone updated on the house hunting, we looked at a nice one tonight, actually.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Late October

I have not written in one month!!! I SUCK!

I have been too happy, too sad, too busy, too overwhelmed, too bored....I dunno. But this is my 300th post and so I will just tell you that I have dyed my hair Nuclear Red (by special effects) and I like it. Here is a picture of my new hair, isnt it getting long?

Mostly, though, my laptop computer has been dead and there is no way to get to the old desk-n-chair with all these beebees in this teeny tiny cabin-house-thing (which i love and hate) but now Steve got it running again and I can sneek in a little internet time here and there-- phew!

I love you all I miss the blog world, I have lots to say, just need to re figure out how to STILL eek out a little me-time with five kids.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

**pass this along please! **

This year, the start of National Midwifery Week (Oct. 4-10) has coincided with a particularly unflattering depiction of midwives and home births on The Today Show in which they compared home birth to, among other things, "a spa treatment." The report, which suggested that home birth is an option chosen by women who are merely imitating trendy celebrities, was a great example of shoddy and biased reporting, with a equal parts patriarchal patronizing and emotional exploitation.
At Choices in Childbirth, we believe that women should have all the necessary information to make their own choices about where, how and with whom they give birth. In response to the Today segment, CIC has put together a petition demanding accurate reporting on all birthing options, rather than fear-mongering and fact-free depictions of home birth and midwifery. If you would be interested in signing it, writing about it or passing it along to people in the feminist and birth communities who you know would be interested, I'd be most grateful.

Best regards,
Chloe Angyal
Administrative AssistantChoices in Childbirth
Choices in Childbirth
441 Lexington Ave. 19th Fl.
New York, NY 10017212.983.4122
New York, NY.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Today was supposed to be the first day of Casey and Charlie's little school. But they woke up around 4 am coughing and snuffling, Casey asking me if he had "The Croups" (no! ). I couldnt send them like that, although the bark was worse than the actual "cold", plus the handouts said no sick kids no fevers, no coughs, etc.

Darn. I hope they can attend next Monday. I hardly slept at all last night, all anxious about it.

So, all five kids have a cold, and we are laying low. Seems a bit early for this stuff, but hey. I was happy to rest today, to be perfectly honest.

I will be the first to admit that I am using Facebook all the time and it makes me think I have blogged. It is lazy and easy and quippy and reaches lots of casual pals whom I would not direct to this blog necessarily. This blog means the WORLD to me and yet I am in a space where I dont have the "fire" about the stuff that I used to. At least not now. Im not all jazzed up about homebirth, I am just sad about stuff like that. Im not all ferociously passionate about homeschooling or able to post any cool links, but eternally grateful for this blessing that homeschooling is and the people my children are free to become. I nurse constantly but feel no desire to protest or rally or do anything militantly Lactivist. Maybe its the anti depressants, making me a safe and neutral blob... or maybe it is my brain protecting me from utter anihilation. Not today. No 24 hour crying jag today. Maybe next time. Some other time.

I am proud of all you birth bloggers and hope that my passions were not cauterized when I got my tubes tied. I actually had that thought when I was laid out on the operating table. I DO care about all that stuff, I just don't have much to say right now.

Hmmm what else is up? My hair is getting really long and I have cut fun little betty-bangs. I still hope to have it way way long and beautiful cobalt blue again and keep it that way. Probably by spring?

The curling club doesnt want/need me back for the bartending position I foolishly assumed was mine for the taking this season. I am really sad about that, but plan to kind of hang around there a little bit so I can weasel my way back into their consciousness? Greta is old enough to do junior curling, but she doesnt like sports very much. We shall see.

Talk to you all soon,
I was reading today, a site I have visited many times, and have had many different reactions to. I used to abhor it. All of it. Now I find it affirming, uplifting, and good.

I thought unschooling was risky and freaky and irresponsible and, frankly, a back-door excuse/explanation for why it was okay to "not educate" your kids and let them "run the household". I had physical reactions such as fear, and sadness, at the thought of Trusting The Children, and it has taken me 7 solid years of parenting children who don't go to school to admit and fully grasp just how much of my adult existence has been based on doing what I have deemed "Impressive", or "What Looks Good". To whom, exactly, I was never able to really admit. That one piece of the puzzle was just out of reach for me, and no amount of meditation, prayer, or wondering really ever seemed to put the answers fully within my grasp. Who Am I Trying To Impress?
Is It Working?
If this person is indeed impressed, what was the cost?

I knew and yet I didn't know, but one of those people was my mom. I also knew but didnt know, that when she died, there would be a new level of self actualization and although I tried tried tried to just live my life and do what felt right while she was still alive, I couldn't.

Now that she is gone, there is a void and a wide open slate and moving about in this new realm has been a very new experience.

Last week, the other very important adult in my life, my beloved Grandmother, died. She was 84, had breast cancer, and we knew she wasnt doing super well, but the death was rather sudden and definitely a shock. Her funeral was out of state and I had about 3 days notice and could not go. I am upset about alot of details about what has happened to my family tree and all the open ended lack of funerals or gravesights. I am trying to heed every Hallmark admonition to let peoples memories live on by living out their intended goodness, and to let go of guilt and material possessions and longings for the kinds of goodbyes that I might have envisioned. (Accept the things we cannot change, etc?)

But now with mom and grandma gone (Ow its hard to type that) I am really, really on my own. Funny for a girl who left home at 17 to say something like that, but these 2 women were the voices in my head. I allowed that. I created that. And it just so happens that they weren't too keen on homeschooling or many of the things I believe so strongly in. And it just so happens that I simply was not able to not let it matter to me. I tried.

Now they are gone, and reality is clearer for me. These are my children, and living in radical freedom is serving them extraordinarily well. I will devour Home Education Magazine, sit back, rest, mourn, and feel 100% okay to let them flourish.

Enjoy this article, great reading suggestions, and kiss your loved ones tonight. Death really will touch your life, not to be morbid, just to be present and aware. Let appreciation wash over you, and above all, do not be afraid to respect your children. It has nothing to do with you being the adult, nor does it threaten your authority. You have natural authority by virtue of being the parent. I have stopped chiming in little "helpful"admonitions and have taken on the role of a guiding observer with the children as of late, and it has been an honor.

Rest In Peace, beautiful precious Grandma. Your love and respect for me as a child will never be forgotten. I know we disagreed about homeschool, but I always understood why. Your spirit is with me constantly,( forcing me to rethink everything I thought about that sort of thing!!!) I love you so much.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Homeschool fall 2009

As we get closer to "the school year", i have been remembering what we have all been through and am trying to learn from all i have experienced, all i have read, and to listen to that old, tiny, precious voice within, along with the voices of my children before we jump into another fake construct of charts and lists and over wrought plans that noone wants and noone would ever, could ever truly "do" until June.

So, here are our plans, our loose and loving plans for this semester, also known as the time from September 'till Christmastime. Ish. Lots of "ish"!

Mondays all of us will be driving 6 year old Casey and 3 1/2 year old Charlie to their once-a-week school/daycare place. The two of them will be gone from 9am until 1pm at a woman's house who is running a very Waldorfy day school out of her home. This will be Charlie's first experience being away from me in a non-family or friend or babysitting situation. I hope they behave well and that they enjoy it. I hope to make the best use of this time to do something cool with Greta, Mickey and Eska.

Tuesdays we are reserving for field trips. Could be anything, library, museum, nature center, etc.

Wednesdays we are going to be doing school-y stuff with the little kids in the mornings before lunch, and during naptime (If I work it right, both Eska and Charlie will take a nap from 1 until 3 or even longer) I will be doing something school-y with the older kids.

Thursdays we will be doing all necessary work for our homeschool Co-Op, such as me planning my class i teach to assisting them with their homework for their own classes. I also have dreams of getting together with my sister and her 3 children for dinner at their place on Thursday nights---her husband works midnights and she has to do the entire evening thing on her own everynight, and my husband works until 8pm on thursdays, so I thought maybe we could go across town and bring a pizza and hang out from like 6 to 8, maybe even get the littles in their pj's for the drive home? My mother's death has brought us much closer together but still didnt give us any more hours in the week, so we both agreed to try to do anything we can to see each other LOTS more, even if it is just a silly Hot N Ready on a weeknight.

Fridays we have our homeschool Co-Op. This is a great group of homeschooling parents who teach classes to each other's children, there are doctors and lawyers and moms and dads and it is a very inclusive group of open minded families from literally all walks of life. I am looking forward to this immensley and hope to post lots of info and pictures once this gets started.

The class I volunteered to teach I called Circletime/Show and tell. I am planning on doing fun little games like Head,shoulders, knees and toes, Hot Potato, and stuff like that. do you like how it starts in 2 days and i really don't know exactly what I am going to do yet : )?
It looks like there will be 11 kids in my class, ages 3 to 6. i will have a uch better idea of what the heck i am doing after the forst week, once i get a feel for who these little people are and what they seem to enjoy! I hope Eska is not a CRYING fiend, because she has been a bit of a pip lately--very cross and biting and hitting (yes, the little apricot is a toddler now! getting molars and feeling angry about it!) and wanting to nurse for one second and then back flipping and screaming...(might give the tiny angel a bit o' the pre-emptive tylenol that morning, come to think of it!)

Greta will be taking German, Physics, Writing, Art History and Teens for Our Planet.
Mickey will be taking German, Legos, and Science.
Casey will be taking Circletime, Language Arts and Legos.
Charlie will be taking Circletime and Language Arts.
Eska will be taking painkillers. LOL!

We are considering a few other semi-regular events proposed by my county-wide homeschooling Yahoo group, a homeschool nature class, a homeschool "gym" class at one of those bouncey-inflatable party places, and maybe ice skating.

So, although looking at what Ive typed here, the schooly stuff seems to have gotten a rather small slice of our time pie, I know those open spaces are where my children do their true learning, and where meaningful relationships with the world are realLy formed.

I would like to use Five In A Row curriculum again, a very nice product that helps you glean the most from some great children's books. in a nutshell, it was written by a mother of five, and you are supposed to read the same book up to five days in a row. They now have it for older kids, too, so I am excited to check that out.

Continued apologies on my lack of blogging, and thank you for still reading!
Love to all,

Monday, August 24, 2009

Its not that I have nothing to say...

...I just truly cannot seem to make the time for it lately. So much has transpired this summer, with the biggest things being my depression and getting on medications, and the death of my mother. We decided to "start summer" on August 4th, the day after her memorial service. That was her birthday and also Casey's...I didnt even make a happy birthday post to my sweet home born baby! Ack! HAPPY BIRTHDAY PRECIOUS CASEY ANGEL!

The memorial service was just supposed to be a little something me and my sister threw together at our step dad's home. It turned into a huge huge poorly planned crowd, and her and I had 8 children of our own to deal with, with seemingly no one to greet, help mingle, even get the door! I remember a sweaty, stressful house party with no cohesion, no point. I felt helpless to gather anyone to even come look at the candles and photos we set out of my mom, but people did look. I wanted to have a time where we spoke about mom, I bought an expensive journal for people to write in...I just dont know. My husband had to work so he wasn't there, and so I had to do it all while carrying Eska on my hip (fancy house, glass, stairs everywhere)almost continually from 3pm until 930 pm. I had elbow and hand problems for 2 weeks afterwards. I forgot the playpen, the babygate didnt fit their stairs, it was hot....

I hope people got something out of it. I felt horrible the next day, just in a haze of sadness and exhaustion. But we decided to start summer and we have. We bought a pool, 15 feet across by 42 inches deep from Target, mega clearance due to it being mid August,and it is great. The kids love it, Charlie stands next to it on a step stool and squirts us, he will come in but only on my lap on a raft, it is over his head and he is scared. We have done Homeschool Park Day a few times recently, we went to a friend's beach birthday, and we are trying to plan camping. I am not ready for homeschool, not even in the slightest. The only thing I have done to "prepare" is put some great bumper stickers on our van!

We are in a co-op that starts in 3 weeks. It meets on Fridays and I am teaching a class for which I have prepared nothing. Not only do I work well under time pressure, I am kind of only able to do so! The class is called Circle Time/Show and Tell and it is for kids 3 to 6. I am going to do some songs and games, just happy little nursery kind of stuff. Maybe some silk play-scarves, hot potato, whatever. I know it will go well, I used to throw ELABORATE birthday parties and the kids would just play and play with me and before I knew it like 3 hours would have passed, so this 50 minute class twice a month--Im not sweating it. Perhaps I am insane or overly confident but I think it will be fine.

Charlie and Casey are going to go on just Mondays to a home day-school. It is run by a sweet sweet lady who follows Waldorf principles and seems to be a very gentle spirit and I joke that either it will be verrrry good for them or they will get expelled! LOL. It is from 830 am till 1 pm.

Casey is doing AMAZING on his medication. He takes a tiny little 18 mg pill called Concerta and he is polite, funny, articulate, patient, reasonable, talkative, insightful, inquisitive, focused, considerate, kind, communicative, and totally awesome for about 10 hours, and then he falls on the floor and breakdances and makes barking noises and whines and kicks and seems out of control, confused, rude, and possessed. (This is when the pill apparently wears off!) He is back to his old self, but it seems "Worse". Perhaps in direct contrast to how he acted all day, or maybe being off the pill is worse than never taking it. We are happy with this pill and I feel like I am building a true deep relationship with my son that I was never able to in 6 years. Perhaps the barking and kicking and backflips had something to do with it?

Not everyone knows this, but we got THIS close to moving to a big house. As in, we were ready to sign the lease, write the check, and a flukey series of events happened and we had a *big talk* and we have decided to stay and make this work. We love our tiny house, we love our town, we need to lay down roots and settle in, and yeah, sharing one toilet sucks, but only a few times a week do esit seem like we all need to "go" at once. I feel good like we are doing the right thing, and we are working hard to come up with "Solutions" to help it be more liveable in here. I am proud, a little disappointed, alot hopeful, and very impressed with my husband's attitude about alot of things. We have a small sunroom thing on the side of our garage and now might be the time to seriously fix it up for play space.

Yesterday was our 13 year wedding anniversary! Very cool. We didnt do anything special but hope to tonight, maybe have a little "date" on the couch. I dunno. Our house is all taken apart for the house-reconfiguration, I am kind of sick to my stomach from antibiotics from an infected tooth, and the romance just wasnt happening yesterday.

So, lots going on and nothing profound to preach. As soon as I get in the homeschool mindset I will let you all know! Enjoy summer!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Girls Don't Brag.

Inspired almost simultaneously by what I read by Jill at Keyboard Revolutionary AND what I am really noticing "on the playgrounds" this summer, I would like to discuss the phenomenon of Bragging,/Telling, Boasting/Describing and the role it plays in our social interactions. Especially us women.

From a very early age, people like to tell about what they know. Regardless of whether the story recounted will be of interest, and wonderfully free from the notions of offending or resonating with their audience, a young child of either sex will, if you let them, happily tell you about the biggest bubble they ever blew, the highest tree they ever climbed, the most hot peppers they ever ate, the awesomest snowman they ever built, their roller skating trophies, their best drawing, their highest score on Whizzball, and, for the lucky kids who grow up in a "supportive and nurturing" culture or subculture, they will get at least their family members to listen, nod, and share in their joyful news. No matter how small, no matter how relevant to the listener, it is only...polite? accept someone's triumphant experience for what it is. Their news. Their news they chose to share with you. And then, like so so so so so many things we weirdly do to children, (and isn't it always around age 5 or so?) the genuine sharing and smiles and unwavering support turns. It turns to slight discomfort. It turns to whispered Shush-ings. It turns into suggestions that Maybe So and So Doesn't Want To Hear That, Sweetie. And oftentimes, it turns into, "Don't say that, dearie, its going to make them feel bad."...Which is right around the corner from DON'T BRAG.

And Don't Brag is the one thing that gets heaped by the truckload onto girls. by the freaking truckload. and by age 7, 8 the little boys on the playground seem to ONLY brag and boast, scarcely listening to each other, so excited to say their own braggy-boast, and the girls are deeply entrenched in the mind games involving Don't Brag, Don't Be Bossy, Don't Show-Off, Do/Don't make so and so feel bad. EVEN IF THEY ARE JUST TELLING A BASIC INFORMATIONAL TALE, THEY TONE IT DOWN FOR BROADRANGE APPEAL AND THE COMFORT THEORETICALLY GAINED BY MEDIOCRITY AND HOVERING NEAR THE MEDIAN. Don't Brag.

And this is what is happening everyday in our lives, and this is what is happening to the women who have a tale to tell about their births. Either good or bad, whether beautiful and empowering (ewww another very scary word) or damaging and completely fucking insanely illegally abusively neglectfully wrong, birth stories just are too much womanly-realm to be acceptable, period.

When bragging is wrong
and boasting is wrong
and bodies are wrong
and complaining is wrong
and calling out our assailants is wrong
and experiencing ecstasy is wrong
and being hurt is wrong
and blood is wrong
and sweat is wrong
and tears are wrong
and strength is wrong
and vulnerability is wrong
and yelling is wring
and crying is wrong
and sex is wrong
and bellies are wrong
and breasts are wrong
and vaginas are wrong
then there is no way to tell anyone's birth story. Ever.

So we must shrug off all of this, no matter how we wince inside, we have to just tell our stories. to other women. To men. Harken back to when you were really, really little, and Grandma or someone really did want to see your worm. your best worm ever. I hope you had that. And if you didn't, well, you need to tell your stories even more, so you can eventually experience acceptance and tolerance of your truth.

and in the meantime...Don't worry about BRAG. the men do it all day, and we call it Sexy Confidence!

Bebe Gloton

My great friend sends me thoughtworthy stuff all the time, and he forwarded this to me: (Warning! I am pretty sure some other stuff on this page might link you to some other stuff that is definitly rated R/(X?) and I am not guaranteeing anything beyond this article!)

So there is a breastfeeding doll. And it is seen as waaaaay wacko-sicko. Totally "out there". Like it is literally a Blowjob Barbie. Sick! Sick! Sick!, right? Hmmmm... The whole angle and assumption that THIS IS THE ONE SEX ACT WHERE I DRAW THE LINE! is deeply out of touch, first of all. Secondly, right off the bat, there is old comparison to excretory acts such as peeing and messing one's self, and then the entire thing is deemed "hellish". The anger levels in this article are extreme and quite surprising. Thirdly, it gets downright rude and starts using words like tits and the f word, all in the name of, what, good taste and decency for children?

There are SO many lame toys out there, I mean, aisles, and aisles of them--whats so weird about "nursing dolly"--many many babies nurse and many many kids see it all day--my littler ones wouldnt even know what to do with a dolly and plastic bottle---cuz they dont see that. But they might actually get a kick out of a nursing doll--for about 15 minutes, which is the fun-times-shelf-life on any of that idiotic plastic talking crap, anyhow, right? The She Really Burps Pony ends up at the bottom of the ole' toy box in a flash, and the Legos endure and endure...

I guess once anyone spends any time around any nursing moms and realize it isnt secret, exciting, or mysterious, and certainly not nasty but just a part of the day in the life of having babies around, then the shock and titillation would stop quickly. Like living in a nudist camp--the giggles probably stop on day 2. Everyone is freaking naked. Move on. Thats what nursing a baby is. Theres a baby and sometimes it gets hungry and has some boob for a few minutes. I can kinda picture a weary mother of a nursling baby telling the 4 and 6 year olds: Maybe you could give Mommy a little space for ten minutes...and go play nursie with your nursie-dolly. Make her some wooden food and push her in a plastic car---WHO CARES ALL OF A SUDDEN ABOUT TOY QUALITY? HAVE YOU BEEN TO TOYS R US LATELY? ITS ALL COMPLETE TRASH.

Babies, baby bottles, breasts, Dollies that pretend to drink orange juice out of a tiny pink dissapearing bottle, dollies that pretend to breastfeed--its just all part of play and life and its not sick or depraved or ridiculous. Maybe this doll, to some, is little dumb and wierd--but to me so are ALL TALKING ROBOT TOYS--I just dont like them. And BTW, I dont like when my own kids SLURP either--thats not a good latch and it feels and sounds yucky!

: ) What do you all think?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Carrying Charlie Linden

My 4th baby, Charlie weighed TWELVE pounds when he was born. Twelve. I have so many outrageous memories of his pregnancy, and I have often wondered if my experience wasn't more like a twin pregnancy than a singleton, at that size. Here are a few memories:

Being really big at Greta and Mickey's June birthday party. I had a little fancy non-stretchy cotton blouse top from Motherhood Maternity and it was to the full max. Charlie was born November 1st.

Having to lie on my side constantly, while somehow caring for my own three kids and the 2 I was babysitting. Ages 8 7 5 4 and 1.5...

To make this possible, we rearranged our living room so that we had a futon in full open position right next to the fron t window. We had a big old fashioned porch and we put a sandbox on it and a big babygate in front of the opening to the steps with bungee cords. I would lie on the futon and watch Casey and talk to thim through the window. When we saw the mailman I would shout "just a minute! just a minute!" and one of the kids would run out and have the mailman hand our mail over the babygate to them.

The side-lying was about the Pubis Synphasis Disorder that came from carrying such a big child after vaginally delivering an eleven pound child less than 2 years before. My pregnancy with Charlie was the worst case of this I had, despite the fact that it usually gets worse with each pregnancy. I could not sit up on my bones. It would be like jumping on a broken ankle. You just can't do it. When you're pregnant you can't lie on your front, and you can't lie on your back, and I couldn't sit, so....I could stand and lie on my side!

The first twinges of wondering if this was a very big baby came when we went out to eat for my birthday April 3rd and we had to leave the restaurant because I couldn't get comfortable enough in the basic restaurant wooden chair to even eat my meal. April third. Born in November. *sigh*

I had only experienced getting pregnant in the fall and having a baby in the summer. So getting pregnant at the beginning of the year was really significantly different. It was dark and bleak and cold out. I would gag everytime cold air got in my mouth and our winter plans were immediately cancelled due to Mommy is barfing or asleep. We never went back to a homeschool co-op we went to one time, and we never sledded or skated or did anything. I remember February as Girl Scout Cookie Time for Greta's troop and driving around as a family one Saturday delivering all the cookies, and pulling over to throw up in the blackened road side snow, exhaust going into my face, the descriptions on the cookie boxes in the backseat mocking me with their descriptions, each word more gross and woozy than the next--minty! buttery! rich! peanuty! ohhhhhh so so gross.

I remember an inordinate amount of energy going into us not telling anyone I was expecting, and how negative that experience was.

This was my first experience with (I'm so sorry baby Charlie! We of course couldn't imagine life with out you now!) not being overjoyed at finding out I was pregnant. This was also my first time not "peeing on the stick" with Steve right there outside the bathroom door. I did it in private on a Sunday evening when spaghetti dinner smelled yucky (again) and my boobs were sting-y and my newly upstarting period hadn't been around for a while. It went positive and I got covered in chills and I smiled and I had tears in my eyes and I came and politely ate a little spaghetti. For the baby. The Baby??? Oh good Lordie. We already have a baby, and a little one at that--Casey was 17 months old and nursing 'round the clock.

I didn't tell Steve until Thursday. It was a very strange and new experience keeping this secret from him. I am not good at keeping silent, as I am not the stew and brew and contemplate type. I did it for many reasons, some of which are still unknown to me. But I could feel that this not telling him was somehow a big deal. I tried to experience holding the secret as an intimate exercise in personal growth and empowerment. I tried to think of holding a little egg-ball thing somewhere deep in my belly and visualizing my secret as something peach and fuzzy and watery and minuscule and enormous and full of potential and nothingness as well. Exhaustion and nausea and winter's darkness made that a truly psychedelic week of primordial ooze and otherworldly wonder and worry.

It got to the point where I was so all encompassed with my secret that I couldn't really believe people, my husband at least, couldn't tell. Empowerment and quiet knowing took only a handful of days to turn into resentment (at nighttime nursing, at stinky foods, at changing not only my own toddler but the babysat toddler's diapers, at any and all suggestions that I do anything that took any effort whatsoever...) By the evening of the fifth day I had to come out with it. I had been teary-eyed and completely weird all week. I was very weird in how I told Steve. It was basically a really shameful female head trippy sideways passive aggressive bit that involved me smiling all freaky and asking him how could he just act like he doesnt know was really uncool. I wasn't able to see at that point whatsoever that a lot of this was about me fearing he would not think this was good news. Or to be very hind-sight is 20/20, me putting all of my own trepidation and guilt onto him somehow. Because I was not "excited". I was already to the throws of morning sickness (all day) by then and there just isn't anything to do but hang on for the horrible boat ride. I was *this* close to thinking tiny, tiny, teeny little thoughts about miscarriage. Not abortion. Just....a kind of quick terrible little thought when I went to the bathroom and peeked for blood on the undies (like I assume every single woman does every single time she pees, there they are, right between your knees, you look, right?) and I just had this fleeting thought about how I have been almost too lucky in never having had a miscarriage and how maybe I might, and how if I did, we would not even consider pregnancy for like 2 years and...just little stuff like that. Normal terrible secret little stuff. But no blood, not one speck. A baby is surely coming. As sure as tomorrow being as nauseating as today. As sure as knowing you will "have the flu until summer" is in February. Heavy stuff.

Being pregnant while mothering an EXTREMELY INDESCRIBABLY hyper 18 month old was just horrid. I could see that there would be no cuddly loaf-y afternoons of Blue's Clues and hummus, no cozy coloring books while Mama semi-dozed, no mother and baby swim class with Panera afterwards. I was the proud owner of a full time daycare and the mother of a real live monkey--and this was scary.

The pregnancy mosie-d along, and it was a long year. We eventually told everyone, and --eh--the reactions were about par for the course. A lot of the relatives who literally pretended I did not just have a homebirth a year and a half ago were now stumbling over themselves with the "Whos yer doctor--or--whatever--" kinds of stuff. No one saw my homebirth with Casey as a success story, as a triumphant VBAC, or as anything fit for discussion, really. So there I was with my big belly and truly feeling ignored, left out of even the most basic polite conversations. No what do you think your having, nothing. I think they were so scared I was going to talk about Homebirth that they just couldn't deal with me as human.

(I didn't start blogging until Charlie was 12 weeks old. I was very closeted as a birth-junkie, and nobody besides a few few people knew how passionate I was about homebirth, midwifery, or what my homebirth of Casey meant to me. My fault, nobody's fault, just how I did stuff back then.)

I remember taking oodles of baths later in the pregnancy. Sometimes 3 a day. We got a pool in the summer and I liked it but it wasn't super deep and so I would sit in it and Casey would jump on my belly and it kind of was awkward. But after my tepid baths or my times in the pool, there would be a nice hour or so when my feet weren't swollen and my legs weren't swollen and my Braxton-Hicks stopped.

Oh man speaking of Braxton-Hicks...I was EIGHT WEEKS pregnant and I decided I had to take my own kids and the babysitting kids to Home Depot to buy a big rug for the front porch. it was the first springish weather and I wanted to get these kids out on the porch for some freshness. So there I was, pushing the cart through Home Depot and I had that bladder-cramping, pulling hard feeling because I was briskly walking. Are you kidding me? Braxton Hicks? I stopped walking, drank some water, and it stopped. As soon as I started walking again it started up. Eight weeks pregnant. I feared twins.

By July, I was a huge, huge, when are you having that baby, lady? huge. We went to music in the park with my sister and her son, and I stayed at the blanket when the kids all went down to the dancing part. I couldn't walk that far and be expected to make it back to the car later! July. For all I know Charlie did weigh 6 or 7 pounds by then, I really looked and felt 9 months pregnant. July.

Charlie's due date came and went, and his October 20th due date blurred into a Halloween labor and an All Saint's Day birth of the second biggest baby that particular doctor ever delivered.

So that was a bit of what it was like to have a twelve pound baby so soon after an eleven pound baby. I promised you all I'd write about his birth and I will. Someday.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This is just so, so good.

Not hilarious, not amusing, simply brilliant post. A consent form for the doctor. If I had the wherewithall, I would distribute these like hotcakes.

Kudos, Kudos, Kudos.

Friday, July 24, 2009

How did you ever shop before you knew me? ;)

Here are some fab new products I have tried lately:

Clearasil Blackhead Eraser. This is a little creepy vibrator that you velcro little soap-laden pads onto and scrub your face with. It takes like ONE treatment to have a whole new face. Its insane. I look better than when I was 25. Ok maybe 28. I guess I just needed to scrape and fry off the top layer of my face. Who knew? Under 20 bucks, any drugstore.

Axe Body Detailer. A buff-puff of sorts marketed to men. My husband got it and I quickly became obsessed with moving beyond the face to scouring off my whole body. Whats with the new cultural obsession with exfoliation and why didnt we all do this sooner? I fricking LOVE it. My wierd dry arms feel like some fake-ly soft stripper or something. See, why do I have to say stripper? Why cant I just say SOFT? Because I am not depressed anymore--you should be happy about it! Anyhow, buy this, it was like 4 bucks.

***While youre already in that aisle, get your man the Red Axe body wash. All the rest smell like some nightclub perv from 1991 but the red one smells like oh my god black pepper and sunshine and cinnamon or something...dude its yummy. Or use it on yourself, I definitely am ok with smelling like a yummy cinnamon guy now and again.

Krusteaz instant pancake mix. At Costco and Sams Club. this is not only a just-add-water pancake mix that actually tastes good, but it is cheap! You get this enormous bag that you can barely lift for like 7 bucks. The pancakes are puffy and golden and you can jazz them up with apples and cinnamon, etc. Do not be afraid to buy this, you WILL go through it all. Just add water! Do you realize that that means no matter how poor you get, you can have yummy pancakes and be this cool fun mom who does pancakes for dinner? Im just sayin'...

Also, just an all-out plug for an intensely righteous website with all things amazing and gorgeous and perfect: Who is this person and why has she tapped into my every dream of cuteness? Hooray! I am already begging for the acorn necklace---it is very difficult for me to look at this website without screaming and squealing. Just warning ya. Dont wake your baby when you see this stuff. Clasp your hand over your mouth as you run for the debit card. (Is it just me?)

Well thats all for the reviews 2-nite. Please share your own experiences with any of these or any other products, good bad or otherwise!

Housefairy is alive

Where did that breathless fun blogger go? You know, the one who blabbered on incessantly about Birth and Makeup and Fashion and Family and Rock and Roll and Hair and Sex and Body Image and DIY everything and Budgets and Houses and Beauty Supplies and Indie Films and Breasts and Bellies????

She went down that slippery scary waterslide of hormones and sleep deprivation and poverty and insecurity and depression and self doubt and fear and death and pain and loss and change and growth and lack of basic everything and there just was no place for Blue Hair or Cherry Skirts or Guitar Amps or Slurpees or Homeschool Tips or Nursing Bras for Tall Moms or Painting Little Chairs With Bluebirds and Smiley Clouds or Clever Quips or, most sadly of all, any insight whatsoever into Birth-Related-Anything. Nada. Zip. And when she got into her car alone, she did not BLAST The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, she usually just cried.

A little hand reached up out of the water that she splashed down hard into at the bottom, the bleak-as-hell-rock-bottom of the waterslide and she got a hold of some Zoloft. That helped tremendously. Then people sent her and gave her a few things that literally, LITERALLY, saved her and her family from actual homelessness. Food. Books. Gift Cards. Loving emails that she never write back to, but held in her heavy heart as she tried to sleep at night. Unheard of patience and generosity and support. A little lifeboat made out of tiny antidepressant pills and donated food and good reading material, and kind emails and phone calls, she floated on while her own Mother died in her arms.

July kind of has floated around, and past, and yet its still there. And Zoloft got to be a little too cocoon-y and fuzzy and although it cut the sharp pain of the depression, it also left her pretty vapid. Nice for a while, but not truly a lifestyle, but more of a warm and neutered quilt. Now she is on Wellbutrin. Now she has to watch her temper again, and she has to get sleep and eat right and now she can cry hard and now she can laugh hard and now she can remember stuff and now she can read and now she can write and now she can enjoy sex (*uncool uncool side effect of zoloft...youre finally not depressed but you have the sexuality of a piece of clay*) and all that stuff is really important for Living, not just making it through.

So, faithful, faithful blog people: She is me and I am her and I am back and although I am without a mother now, I am happily moving right on through this incredibly hard period quite swimmingly! I cannot thank you all enough, anonymouses and acknowledged friends, for all you have done for me. I PROMISE to pay it forward.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

High on it

Ah, my Jill. Go read her cool post! Then send this link and other stories like it to the nearest ignoramus who tries to compare your natural childbirth ecstacy to dental work or other idiotic misinformed yucky medical events.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Well a alot has gone on but I havent felt like blogging...thank you for reading this and not forgetting me!

I bypassed the system and took Casey to the pediatrician and got him on Concerta. It is a stimulant medication for ADHD. It seemed to be helping tremendously for a couple of days but now I dont know. He is on a microscopic dose and can go up 2 more levels if needed. If you are freaked out or shaking your head at me thinking I am doping my kid, all I can say is that I understand and I felt like that too before ?I was a parent of a child with this disorder.

The ahndouts they gave me about what can happen to your kid of they do NOT get treatment were what really hit home for us to decide to try it. Besides the ominous and me...not the number one of poor school "performance", there was alot about car crashes and drugs and prison and I tell you what it was all the stuff I thought in my bed as I tried to picture someone so impulsive and hyper growing up--what kind of life will he have, etc.

The two days we had that were super, he was a five year old boy. Not sluggish not doped not boring or "sitting still", just a nice boy who chatted my head off all day and did NOT hit me with branches, break dishes, run across the street and not tell anyone, not kick the cat, not pour juice on the floor in the bathroom on purpose, not squeeze glue into the heater vents. He talked and talked and talked to me and was really fun and rational and thoughtful. He asked permission to do stuff, he apologized when he spilled or knocked something over, we read books, we started a little sticker chart, it was amazing. But the past three days he has been mean and hyper and impulsive again. This will be an ongoing thing with the doctor ?I am sure but that glimpse of how it could be was really heartwarming.

Eska had a mysterious fever for 6 days that had her at the doctor 3 times. They ended up giving her 3 shots of a broad-spectrum antibiotic which immediatrly ended the fever. But we still dont know what her deal was.

Mickey and Greta are fighting alot, the first time in their lives. Greta is playing the role of exasperated older person and he is playing the role of non communicative pouty spaz. Sigh.

I dont know what we are doing in the fall but we are NOT all five kids gonna be home with Mama. i am looking at a Waldorf day school for ages 3 to 6 on Friday. For Casey and Charlie to go a couple days a week. The lady was SO cool on the phone but avoided my questions about pricing so I am already worried it will be unaffordable.

There is also public kindergarten for Casey, or Mickey, and Gretas best friend goes to a charter junior high about 15 miles from here that sounds really open minded (you can have purple hair and listen to ipods! woo woo).

I also am considering just having lots of activities, and being some car mom who is always driving the kids somewhere. but something has to give. This blows right now-- all of them floundering and bickering and loafing and complaining.

I wish with all my heart that there was 2 or three days a week school. Ive said it a million times. maybe 9 to 3, no homework.

Love to all,

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My beautiful mom passed away Tuesday night after nearly a 9 year battle with ovarian cancer. She was 59. I was there with her when she died. She suffered for so long with tumors and surgeries and chemos and I know for sure now that she is no longer suffering. I do not have anything eloquent to say yet, but thank you to everyone who has offered us help, it means so much.
Rest in peace, truly, Mom.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

tiny update

We got Casey into community mental health last week and they said "cut and dried, ADHD." I was relieved and feel hopeful about medication, which they feel could help him "dramatically, witthin hours". But we don't get to see "the doctor" until AUGUST 12TH!!! grrrr. Long summer of him breaking everything and exhausting all of us.

My beautiful mom is not long for this world...spending every possible moment at her hospital. Her husband made the wise decision (he had no choice, she tried to get up every 5 minutes, 'round the clock, couldn't take meds any more, and basically lost her mind...he didnt sleep for weeks...) to bring her to a respite care place late last week, where they are doing everything they can to help her transition be comfortable. Shudder.

Never ever imagined having to literally watch her die. It is harrowingly sad and disturbing and traumatizing. Going back tonight. Jumping at every phone call. Wanting her to just finally be at peace but dreading IT with all my might. No appetite, in a fog.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Free Range

Thanks to a link via Facebook from Pamamidwife, I found this blog. It is about letting kids ummmm live? Go outside? Not feel like they are going to get "stolen" everytime we run back into the house for our coffee we forgot?

What do y'all think? I think its great.

Monday, June 22, 2009

So much has transpired

So much has gone on in a week or so, I will attempt to share a bit of it with you. First on my mind and in the hearts of everyone is my mother, who in about ten days time has gone from coherent and weak to completely out of it, and a skeletal ghost. She speaks as though in a dream state and I will never again have a conversation with her. This has not sunken in at all and I have been by to care for her, to spell off my stepfather from his 24-7 devoted care, and to just pet and kiss her and chat to her, though she cant tell me anything that makes any sense at all, she doesnt seem frustrated, just like someone sleepwalking, sleep talking is the best way I can describe her now. Its just about the saddest thing I can describe, and I did not not expect this to go this way, if that makes any sense.

I got on an antidepressant, Zoloft, and I will certainly impress upon all depressed mothers to CONSIDER THIS if you can, if you need to--I will not buy into any shame or guilt, if "working out all your issues" is what you want to do for the next 50 years, by all means, go for it, but this helps, too, immensely, and does not need to replace any inner psychology stuff. Meditate, journal, pray, reflect, read, grow, think, see therapists, thats all good stuff, too. But I didnt have 50 years. And Im gonna tell, ya, it didnt take "six to eight weeks" it took about a day and a half to feel significantly better. I HATE SECRETS KEPT FROM MOTHERS! Its no one's f-ing business whats in your purse or your medicine cabinet so if you wanna get on some anti depressants, DO IT. I am deciding to NOT be secretive about it, because, I love you-all and well, frankly, it is just too obvious the way I was writing and they way I am writing that something changed. So, get some help if you need to.

So, How does it make me feel? Like I am NOT buzzing with helpless rage, like I am NOT confused and overwhelmed, like my skin is NOT electrified with nervous tension, like my toddler spilling a cheerio is NOT a big deal or a day ruin-er. I feel more comfortable, more at ease, well rested, intelligent, clear minded, rational, and able to do the things that need to be done. Not all fake ahppy, just stable. Functional; I have done some work with our "budget", I have made an appointment for Casey to see a counselor, I have contacted our utility companies, I have cleaned and taken care of the home----did you all know I was not able to do any of this for some time now, mostly just crying and shaking and obsessing about my "bad and ruined" children?
So, Zoloft. And I also got 2 different anxiety pills to be taken as needed. They havent been needed more than 2 or 3 times and I probably wont need them. One is Xanax--the big famous xanax, I thought it would turn me into some 1950's sedative Mom but it didnt. I felt a little tired, but not sleepy. The other one is Klonopin. This one is a doozy, but before I got on the zoloft, I was wringing my hands and gasping for breath walking back and forth in my kitchen--so if anything like that happens again I would take this. But it puts you to sleep. Take at night if you are really freaking out AND you have a husband who would be "on call".

We are still up in the air about Casey and school/daycare. The little daycare up the street (the one thats so nice and the lady cooks the kids organic meals and encourages you to drop in anytime and the "Tumble-Bus" comes once a week...) is twenty bucks a day. Twenty! Less than a babysitter. So we dont have any money but yet......maybe for July, even, you know? They want a health check and shot records and that alone would have sent me into a self pitying panic attack but now (that I am on Zoloft) I feel like hey, ok, Ill call the pediatrician in the morning.

I have to stop right now and give a huge thank you and mention of the generosity that our friends near and far have bestowed upon us this past week or so, as well. Babysitting, long hours on the phone, kind sympathies, food and diapers, and surprise gifts for the kids' birthdays which were extremely uncharacteristically uncelebrated this year-they ended up with some really kind surprises and cash that they are being quite frugal with--we will have some kind of little summer party at some point, but we just cant right now, and yet I know that each of them ended up not feeling like they didnt get anything special, so thank you everyone for advice and thoughtfulness and just being steadfast, etc : )

This weekend we got a new cat! The Humane Society has waived their adoption fees for adult cats for a little while and we found a sweet black kitty--I have always wanted a little black cat, everytime I see him I just smile, he is so pretty and shiny. We read up extensively on "how to introduce a cat to another cat" but in truth, it took less than an hour for our dear Sonic to accept him and they are good pals already. I am really glad we found such a nice one--although I really love cats, I am strangely picky about what kinds I dont find very cute--well this little guy is just adorable--we dont know what to name him yet. Soon!

We still have a long, long way to go in our child training. We have some very very bad habits that have been going on for a while now, and I have allowed myself to be emotionally manipulated, to put it mildly, by screeching little boys, by ridiculous hijynx not only at mealtime but bedtime, cartime, schooltime.....yes.

We have a long way to go. But I do feel stronger and happy in my decision to get some medication. I dont know if I will be blogging or not for a bit. My heart is with my mom, and on putting my family back together through these strange times of economic hardship and change. Love and peace and clarity to everyone--
be safe--

Friday, June 19, 2009

pop on pop off

As an actual mother who has actually breastfed "exclusively" and "on demand" five babies for many many years, I have not ever thankfully put much stock into anything written on the subject by professionals, and by that I mean anyone who is not a mama with a baby on her breast.

As my friend Trish once said "Schedule? Yeah, she comes up for air every four hours!" I liked that one.

Perhaps as in so many mysterious things about motherhood that "they" dont tell what does labor feel like and how much do you nurse a newborn, it is kept under wraps for our own good. So we dont get scared and say hey ya know what, I was gonna have a baby but I think Ill just join a ska band instead. But of course, like all secrets and lies, they end up hurting the intended protectee exponentially, because now she feels weird, which is alienating, which is depressing, which is uncool.

So, how many times a day do you "feed your baby"? Good old Hathor has a nice little comic about it. Here it is. As for me, Eska has had a sip or two probably 12 times already this morning, but then decided that the squirrely out the window or the cheerio stuck to my shirt or her brothers shouts were more interesting and *POP* off she went a-scrambling. Did those constitute as "feeds"? Who cares?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Charlotte Mason dreams

I have really stumbled onto some great stuff today, huh?

Heres another gem: a blog devoted to using Ann Botsford Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study. We have had this book for 7 years but as much as its turn of the century wording warms my heart, have we used it? Not really. Well some thoughtful soul has put together some lesson plans using it.

Technology is officially so so good to me today.

Blog, She Wrote

Blog, She Wrote. Its a blog that has me all choked up because she is doing everything I was getting ready to do until I got pregnant with missy-moo.

Bless you, cool science Mama who uses Five In A Row (FIAR)

I am feeling the slightest tingle of hope and inspiration for fall. Cant wait to delve in! She did ALOT of the work for me. Soooo cool!

boysie stuff

Very interesting thread on MDC about Boys and homeschooling...really made me smile. My boys each had two baths today, it was a filthy good day, and all after 5 pm! Two parks and a big walk--and a new toad found by Casey as a present to Greta! He was so pleased to give it to her and she loves it.

Of course there are wild n wiggly girls and calm and bookish boys. Duh.

u.p. homeschooler advocate

A well put blurb from someone up in Munising:

As for homeschooled children: I happen to know many parents who have homeschooled their children. What I have seen is children who are homeschooled often have a greater knowledge base when it comes to history, geography, the law, classical literature and music, actual useable mathematics and algebra and geometry. They seem to be more in control of their emotions as well and most have not been exposed to "trash". By "trash", I am not talking about people, I am talking about ideas and concepts which are imparted through the schools either by other kids (some of who may be troubled) or by teachers and the system itself. These homeschooled kids are not "indoctrinated" by any "right-wing radicals" or other such nonesense. Most of the homeschooled kids I know have gone on to major universities and become doctors, lawyers and just about anything anyone could wish to become. They are not fruitloops or lunatics who cannot think for themselves, unlike some of the publicly schooled kids who are simply "followers" of any given crowd. Many colleges and universities SEEK OUT homeschooled children because these children test high, are well disciplined and are self-disciplined when it comes to studying.
Are there some parents who do a poor job of homeschooling? I'm sure there are. But I would rather have one parent teaching poorly one or two of their children than one teacher teaching poorly hundreds of students.
I just wish I had made the decision to homeschool my children....and from what they've told me, they wish the same.

Diginity? Why, indeed

This is an intensely gorgeous photo montage (very discreet nothing rated even pg) of a lovingly supported homebirth.

What I want people to think about is, truly, how different this is from the hospital. the birthcenter. Anyone of those. How truly, truly, qualitatively different. and HELL Y_E_S, BETTER.

Better better better. So all of you who have grown wishy washy about homebirth, grown jaded or tired or lost some of your fire or passion for this, for women, for families, shut up and think for one moment how very very different this is from the other ways.

Thank you.


I think I should brainstorm how I want our homeschool to be. And I think I should do it on this blog. Because the thought process might strike a chord with others, might show people with one or two kids how different it is with five, might cause someone with 9 kids to tell me no no no, might be something to look back upon.

Alot of my dreams and ideas are all tangled up in nostalgia, and that has been a very pervasive and persistently life-draining emotion for me for literally the last 5 years. And I am trying to slowly pick through what is nostalgia for something actually experienced and what is nostalgia for just being in my twenties and having it all be still an open wide field of dreams. Painful, painful nostalgia and regret and guilt....blech such a wierd depressive type I am. Why cant I be the loss of appetite stay up all night writing cool songs type? ; ) kidding.

We have quite alot of things coming up, and it all feels like a big hill that we are climbing whether we want to or not: My mother is rapidly dying now, and with this impending loss will be a flurry of activity and I have no experience with such things, blessed has been my life devoid of any deaths whatsoever. My grandmother is also very ill and in hospital and is going to be most likely going into some kind of nursing home out of state to be under the care of my aunt--so coming to grips with the real fact that no, I am not driving up to see her "any weekend now" is hurting my throat like a stone clamp.

After these events, there will be the question of money. Will be be able to afford some part time day care babysitting preschool for the littler boys? Math tutor? Music lessons? Sports? Swimming? Ice skating? Curriculum of some kind, even just a few things? Some maps and atlases? Paint and brushes, a printer with ink, zoo passes, camping, bicycles? We are still hoping things turn around financially but I cant pretend to assume anything about inheritances. We job hunt. We scrimp. We hope our landlord is more patient than the electric company. We take
Casey to the medicaid psychologist and hope they help us all deal with the chaos.

But still I dream. I dream of the day when my children sit with me around the table and we do our lessons. Not all day everyday. But when I say so. I am a really really fun mom and I have so many wonderful ideas. Too bad lately just trying to vaguely vaguely make it through breakfast diaper change nursing re diaper change fighting spilling crying nursing can i make eggs myself mama whoopsie kid running out in mud fighting nursing be quiet for the baby goddamnit you woke her up im hungry again can i use a hammer wheres charlie diaper change choking phone calls spills fighting im hungry again no we arent having pop it is 930 just not cool.

i never ever meant for it to get this way but 99% of homeschool is relationship between the parent and child. So when that is out of whack then the little books sit on the shelf and just mock you.

So I will brainstorm. Thats all I can do for now.


Ok one more:
This post about not dieting is great. Because even though I got into some anorexia stuff with counting calories and depriving myself and hating myself and all that in college, for the most part I have stayed away from those head games. My body disturbs me only when I am depressed. but really, I feel good. I feel medium. I feel totally ok. I feel like this has been my size for many many years, I havent yo-yo'd, There was a body I had before I got pregnant with baby #1 and there is this body. It was vaguly a toned size 14 to a smooshy size 18. But I am a busy woman with alot on my plate, and I eat well. I dont lay in bed with donuts, I dont sneak in the night to horf down ice creams, I really dont do any kind of crazy bingey stuff. But I like my head to be not floating off and so I like hearty meals, and I eat lots of vegetables, and lots of good homemade stuff and I eat about as much as Greta does--one big plate. So this is me, and there is not one iota of room in this Mama for added stress of self hate. Self love would be awesome, and its there, too, but mostly I am trying to run a family and thats enough work for me.

I dont begrudge my friends who diet, who have had surgeries, who yo-yo. I totally understand. But for me, right now, it would be the absolute ticket to the looney bin if I was adding self hate kinds of stuff to the pile.

Women of size

Oooh a new blog! I needed this one! It is a wonderful blog about plus size women and the issues they face in the maternity system, as well as all kinds of positive stuff, too. Please check it out, especially her waterbirth labeled posts. The Well Rounded Mama. And thank you Pamela for the original link. Lots of good reading ahead...

From one "obese" Mama who had an hbac, and for whom laboring in water helped a great deal...kudos!

Monday, June 15, 2009


Well today I just got one little step closer to getting some help for Casey! I went through the community mental health 45 minute intake interview and she said that yes absolutely he qualifies for assistance and he has an appointment next week with someone!

When Casey is in treatment and hopefully the rest of us can all be counseled, will be a victory for me against all the folks who dismissed our concerns about this child and the beginning of the new way of working positively with him as a family unit! We love you Casey, more than you will ever know....I have a feeling we will look back on these early years with laughter someday. I cannot wait for you to feel things normally and to be able to interact with your environment in a safe and sane way. Your going to go far, my little sweetheart! If you need medication, then so be it. If you just need some new techiques, we will try them all!

They got weird with me when I said I needed help for postpartum depression so I called back and said I have (regular old) depression and now I get to have an intake interview too. Just waiting for the phone call.

Cool conversation with male friend link

Jill rocks! This is such a cool post! I want to enlighten people who are really interested and curious like this! Great one, Mama!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Happy 9th Birthday Mickey!!!!

We love you so much, sweet funny Mickey! You are our firstborn son and a ray of sunshine. Yes, the carrots turned your eyes golden, and your little heart, too! Hope you have a wonderful day!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Humor. Who am I without humor? Humor is how I show people I am "ok", how I make people feel at ease, how folks end up coming to me at parks and places, who am I now without my humor?

Children. I have surronded myself with them, devoted my life to them, worked with them and for them and studied them and followed them. who am I now that my children are unrecognizably poorly behaved? who am I now that I am no longer fun or curious, and every morsel and item in my home and practically everywhere else just breaks my heart with this regretful nostalgia?

Creativity and the arts. Who am I now that there isnt one single moment in the day to do anything besdies weep and weep as I stare in horror at my 2 little boys and the things they do. When do I paint play guitar cut hair draw pictures write stories. Never is when.

Hope. Who am I now without my boundless optimism? All my ideas are coming up against obstacles and I cant get even an afternoon to make all these #$%#$% phone calls to community mental health and schols and daycares and food stamps and shut off notices.

Money. How does anyone live without money. We might have to live in our church bus. But how?

Death. My mom is dying and I am spending the day with her Sunday. I dont even know if she will remember it. Oh wait. That doesnt even make any sense. I find myself thinking about how people afford funeral clothes for 7 people. Shes all dehydrated and her hospice nurse told me she cant give her an IV of glucose cause her body doesnt want food or drink anymore. But my mom says she is thirsty and hungry and its all i can do to not lose my mind with empathy as she lays there on her couch and i think of the hospitals and their crazy lack of humanity towards me when i needed just a few comfort items and was denied them...and when i just could have used one person at my bedside to advocate for me but he had to be home with the other kids cause my big baby shower sign up list didnt really guarantee me anything besides false hope.

Im bringing my mom popsicles and good music.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

six eleven

Happy Birthday, Eska-Angel!

Doing this project (blogger photo uploading is theraputically slow, eh!) destoyed by ability to even feel remotely depressed tonight. Incredible year, incredible baby, isnt photography one of the most amazing inventions ever?
Love all 'round...