Friday, March 27, 2009

I dont wanna go home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Poor old blog! Im still here!

Well, we have a cold going around the family, sort of a sore throat that turns into a hacky cough. The bad thing about a big family is that it can take a long long time for something to go through the whole crew---then by the time you are ALL better, a month ? Its time to get sick again! Actually, we have been quite healthy this winter, amazingly so. Quite a change from last year when I was to the point of tears at how we literally didnt get to have a winter whatsoever!

Living across the street from a big park is wonderful, when I do not feel like getting it together to go over there is when I most need it--and the wonderful little froggy rain boots we got the boys from /Target have proved to be indispensable for the omnipresent mud everywhere. I put them in the washing machine and dry them on their sides next to the furnace at night. (They get so muddy, as in, black ooze filling the tops and insides) that a little wipe-down doesnt quite cut it!

The mud is "worth it" for sure, because down in the valley of the park, where obviously, all the water is, there are mallard ducks and sticks to throw and hills to run up and down and it is so joyous to go from bickering over snacks and remotes to running in the sun and watching birds. EVERYtime I feel too tired or whatever to go over there I am always SO glad I did it....until its time to leave!

The little boys have been giving me a run for my money lately. TONS of screaming and defiance and I am trying so hard to be patient, above it all, not taking it personally, but wow. This makes leaving the park, and all the fun times sort of bad. I can warn them about how we have "five minutes left!" and in my heart I know it doesnt matter--when it is time to actually go, all the little single-serving mom and dad "friends" who chatted me up get to now witness the extreme scene. One boy hides, one runs away from me, and/or they scream bloody murder "IM NOT GOING HOME MA-MAAAAAA!!!!!" totally sucks. A million things flash through my head, images of Nanny 911 (television show), trying to not worry about what people think, but grateful for the public keeping me from being "too mean"....embarrassment, worry, annoyance. Do I pull one of those cheesy and idiotic and weird things where I pretend "Im leaving without you?" .....I cant very well go pick them both up and push the stroller, too. I usually just quietly walk away and try not to cry, thinking about where I went wrong and how things didnt ever, ever used to be this way. Ive been practicing deep breathing, waiting a few moments before speaking, etc but its hard. They eventually come but crying like they are being attacked by wolves, I mean, hysterical angry screeching, not boo hoo mommy I love the parky-poo, oh no---its a wonder noone calls the cops on me for stealing little boys, for real.

So yeah, behavior issues have been pretty much all I remember from this week. When kids act that way, the days are long, unrewarding, anxious. Steve gets home today at 1pm and I am completely free to do things that I want to do! I think I will hang some homemade curtains, take pictures for the blog, and sleep. Next weekend is my birthday, April 3rd, and I do NOT want to be sick.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

No more mindless!

I had dinner with Kneelingwoman last night and as always her calm and extremely loving guidance did more for me than a lifetime of "shrinks" ever could! It might amuse you to see my hesitance-verging on skepticism of the idea of a psychologist when that is what I have my degree in! Anyhow, she is a spiritual advisor and boy does the title fit! She gave me a book as a birthday present and it is incredible. Its so easy to get very lost in the sea of self help stuff that I appreciate just being given one plunked into my lap like that! The title is Change your Mind and Your life Will Follow. By Karen Casey. I am not going to say too much about it yet but it certainly is a pleasant and peaceful read, and inspirational and just "feels good".

I am going to start today by being more thoughtful. Although I had a temporary feeling of relief in writing that post about my mistreatment in hospital, I wrote it wildly and blindly and ---yes --even though folks love that side of me---wildness has caused me alot of hurt and regret in my life, too. I am planning on rewriting the post and putting it back up in its original time slot in a few days--if only not to lose all of your wonderfully supportive and heartfelt stories and comments.

I have been contemplative for a while now, like, as a full time vocation ever since fall. So much swirled and twirled in that whole chaos of the new baby and putting the kids in public school, and the settling will take time and I am happy for the reprieve of it all.

My struggles in expressing myself honestly and wholly were part of my discussion last night over dinner, and some small but significant mind set changes are going to help a great deal. I do have FAR too much of my energies set on what others think of me, what others are doing, what others are saying, do they approve? Am I loved today? Will I be loved tomorrow? Is it ok? Is what I am experiencing as happiness actually ok? Its a nightmarish way to live, and the book really gives some great tips on why that is totally not the way to be and to just live and just be and it is very freeing to even read, let alone put into practice. It will take time, and so patience will be something the extremely knee-jerk-Joy will have to learn. (Its funny, because in my mothering, I am patient and thoughtful, I put a great deal of thought into the "big decisions" for my children but also am quick to temper and shout and say "extreme" I wanna get better NOW but it will take time and I think its good for me)

I am excited to follow this wonderful part of my personality "all the way" now--the thing that I used to refer to as optimism, the extremely happy and sweet and kind and innocent and precious part of me, I am going all the way with that now. Its very hard to explain or describe, but I am drawn to certain things that I am now going to persue actively. Perhaps the children will be inspired, but they dont have to be into it with me, and neither does my husband. For me, that is very radical. If they want to, then awesome, but its ok if they dont. Painting and drawing stuff like apples and pears with happy faces on them, making up homemade songs on my electric guitar with no apologies about not knowing the real names of the chords or whatnot, being outside almost every second, being very into birds and trees and no more giving my precious resting time to Comedy Central and ugly negative sitcoms. Do you know how much my worries about being "out of touch" or "a dork" have cost me in terms of sleep? Now, I really couldnt care less! Late night conversations, a great film, reading, writing, sex.....those yes I will lose sleep over. But no more mindless yucky stupid stupid tv. Its so harsh and gross. No more mindless anything!

With that I conclude...and next I will tell you about whats up with the Home School. Its going very wonderfully but nothing like we've ever done before....

Monday, March 16, 2009

9 months old baby, lovely visitors

Spent a wonderful albeit exhausting (my energy level is still SO low) last few days finally having people over to the new place, and visiting our friends' new baby, etc. My dear brave Mom who has stage 4 cancer and my steadfast Step Dad, my dear sister and her 3 little adorable little ones, and my best friend from high school and her wonderful son, all got to come and spend time in the biggest little house ever. I do not know how this tiny place seems to be so able to house so many guests comfortably, but it does, and I already know I dont want to move and would like to buy this place--yep you heard me--my wanderlust is GONE, something I wasnt sure would ever happen to me in my lifetime. Now dont get me wrong, I still am desperate for travel, but that seething itching desire to "leave my options open" and to job and house search in other states (!!! yes i do this) is just gone--poof--like that. interesting how one place can change you. I like it. Ok huge understatement. I feel an enormous peace, comfort and safety here--perhaps the finding the house was the cherry on top, perhaps it is everything. But I have been on a journey, an unforseen and to be honest, unwanted ride for a while now. I keep joking to everyone that I need to get a T-Shirt that reads "Sorry about 2008" if that would cover all of the memory loss, friendships not nurtured, actions not well understood, or anything, really.

So many things have come full circle for me and my family, and this time it is different than just "getting my figure back" (ha!) or "Sleeping through the night" (double ha!). We have been through some stuff. I know I will never be the same. What only a year and a half ago was a cozy surprise, another pregnancy, turned into alot.

But here we are, and the sweet baby is as precious as ever. I wanted to write some big poignant thing about her turning 9 months old a couple of days ago, but really, so many others have done such a beautiful job of that, so, yes, 9 months in the belly and 9 months out in the world, seems significant, yet I cant really bring myself to write anything monumental about that. I am not poetic or nostalgic when it comes to much of anything about my pregnancy with Eska, but believe me when i tell you that miss apricotmoonbaby Eskarina Poppy has brought me nothing but joy and none of what I have been through is her fault, she has just sort of been there with us, through it all. Too many changes, time to rest.

I kept saying that I have been "thinking" since November, and I still am. Maybe not the deep meditation that January with a nursing baby and 2 feet of snow can bring, but still in that phase. The children are d-e-c-o-m-p-r-e-s-s-i-n-g, and knowing that this is best for them is why I am a good mother. Flat out. Some of them show it on the outside, some of them seem "fine". But I know it has all been too much, three houses, a baby, a sectioned mama wildly depressed, lets try public

So, heres to a fresh new week, it is supposed to be 70 degrees tomorrow and then get cold again, so we will be outside as much as possible, have a great day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cool Blog!

I have been OBSESSED with vintage children's books since way before I was an actual mommy. I have made lampshades from old science texts, decorated my guitar with cut outs of 1940's cats and dick and jane type kids and their gorgeous little outfits....sigh. Give me an old Little Golden Book anyday over really anything and I will be enchanted, entranced, amazed.

Well, someone has a blog with just such leanings but apparantly much more awesome talent and time: Go check it out and pretend that I made it, LOL

Someday when my kids are too old for the little books, I will have them all. Hopefully out of 5 kids I will be blessed with even one grandchild....

Petiton to support health coverage for home birth

I have been personally asked to pass this along, a petition to sign in defense of a woman whose health coverage does not include homebirth midwifery. For so many of us who have been there, this might be right up your alley. There is a lot of sticky-tricky stuff when it comes to midwives being "able to" accept health insurance, etc, which can lead to legislation that might not be favorable to the traditional midwifery model, requiring independant midwives to carry unaffordable liability insurance, etc...but check this out, read it, and sign it or pass it along if you can

They’re planning a support rally for her for the actual appeal hearing, but they want to show that there is national support for this coverage - please sign the below petition and be sure that the SEIU hears your voice!
Contact: Kelly Renn, kelly @ 212-867-9646
Afternoon Hearing Will Determine Coverage for Union Employee’s Wife; New York State Law Covers But SEIU Rejects
NEW YORK – Choices in Childbirth, a New York City nonprofit that helps women make informed maternity decisions, is holding a rally to support a 3:00 PM hearing for Julie Finefrock. Ms. Finefrock is six months pregnant and medically eligible for a home-birth, which she has chosen for herself and her baby, but for which she has been denied coverage by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Ms. Finefrock’s husband is an SEIU employee and she is appealing her denial of coverage.
Under New York state law, Ms. Finefrock would have the benefit of medical insurance coverage, yet SEIU, because it provides a self-insured health policy to its members, has found a loophole to exclude coverage for planned homebirth care via the Employee Retirement Income Support Act (ERISA). This federal law sets minimum standards for retirement and health benefit plans in private industry. Ms. Finefrock is asking SEIU to give her parity with non-union NY State residents and allow her to choose the medical care that evidence has shown is both safer and more economical than hospital birth.
Choices in Childbirth has unfortunately found a growing number of self-insured corporations using this ERISA loophole. It is Choices in Childbirth’s belief that New York State residents deserve equal coverage regardless of their employment situation, and encourages the SEIU to support appropriate maternity care in line with that of New York State law.
WHAT: Rally in support of appeal to the SEIU to cover home births, as New York State law permits
WHERE: Outside SEIU 32BJ, 101 Avenue of the Americas
WHEN: Wednesday, March 18th at 11:30–1:30; hearing is at 3 pm
Choices in Childbirth
At Choices in Childbirth, our mission is to improve maternity care by providing the public, especially childbearing women and their families, with the information necessary to make fully informed decisions relating to how, where, and with whom they will give birth.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Grass Roots

My close friend and former Midwife Michelle, aka Kneelingwoman has written a wonderful post over on her blog. It really has me thinking about the state of grass roots movements, and where we are all headed as society. Do some movements, who were "grassroots" originally due to just being too radical or marginal or too small in numbers to be anything BUT very fringe, perhaps in the 60's or whenever, stand to benefit or be harmed ultimately by getting funded, supported or even, popular? My real-life experiences have shown me that, contrary to what my liberal heart would want to answer quickly (Funding! We need more funding! Fund everything! Support the people!) some stuff gets sullied, sanitized, changed, ruined, when it leaves the community level. This might sound and might be elitist, privileged, nit-picky, but it is what i have found to be true.

The real small stuff, the real community-level stuff is where the intrinsic goodness lies. The local midwife who delivered the 3 other ladies at your church's babies is better than the Big Birth Center with all its exciting jacuzzi tubs and hanging ropes. The group of 3 families that you and your kids grew up with is better than the 65 person field trip to the overcrowded cider mill with the homeschool support group you found online. Your 5 girlfriends sitting around nursing your babies, all different ages, talking about the real messy stuff, the real stuff, is better than the Lactation Class at the hospital.

Yes, better than. Better. But what about getting out the good word? What about those who dont have access to, due to financial constraints, social constraints, or bad luck, any of that, and them finding out about Homebirth, Homeschool, Breastfeeding "too late" and feeling so sad and left out--if only they had known, what about them?

I dont know. I guess we need many many grass roots movements. Tons and tons of them, all unique, all different, all serving the needs of their own specific communities, whatever those needs may be. But just broadly professionalizing/sanitizing/standardizing (the worst word of ALL) these things strips them of their very home-y-ness and real-ness and soon you get a midwife who "Isnt allowed to let you eat", or a homeschool group who "doesnt allow younger siblings", or a breastfeeding support group who never heard of anyone nursing triplets, or a kid after age 1 or 3 or nursing two kids when you are pregnant again, or whatever, and no you may not get up and tell us about it because you are not the Lactation Consultant.

Any experiences from any of you who have experienced this phenomenon, (did you have a great KoolAid stand and then when you opened your KoolAid store and chain of stores was there a loss of something intangible? Did your knitting circle get a little too stringent when its membership went from 3 to 75? Is it only natural to want a good thing to get bigger?)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sometimes someone cooler says it for you

I just got around to checking out Wikiquote. I like it. Spent alot of the morning poking around in between Emerson and Whitman, my two dear friends. (Does anyone else lay claim to feeling like all kinds of celebs, dead and alive are your friends, dead serious,sometimes better than your real friends in some ways?:))

Wikipedia is genius and now that I found out about Wikiquote I am going to check out all the other Wiki-stuff. So amazing, really, how much is out there....and how much internetting I can do with my laptop! Its not often on my lap, but its on the kitchen counter, couch, bed, here and there, little snippets.

Here are two quotes from dear old R.W. Emerson for today:

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

I give this to all of you as a nudge towards bravery and authenticity in whatever that means to you. As advice and encouragement, from 150 years ago to today and for always.

*I also figured out that this computer has its own little seeing eye camera right in it(creepy/cool) and took this pic whilst sitting here! I cant rave on enough about the Aspire One by Acer. WalMart. 288 bucks. Yes we shop at Walmart.
: )

Friday, March 6, 2009

Nursing tanks

These seem perfect...but I have been doing the exact same thing with an Old Navy womens' Tall Tank. It is so low cut that I could never wear it just by itself, but I have been wearing one under my t shirts now for the entire winter and it covers my tummy totally but I can nurse via the low cut neck/chest area. Much cheaper, same deal.
I know women have been dissatisfied for some time with the nursing clothes because they are all about hiding the boob and not the often disturbing (to the Mama) postpartum midsection. Many of you wrote to me a while back about little home made tank tops and underthingies you have concocted to help with this. I am here to vouch for the Old Navy Tank top in tall. They really are tall. You might not even need tall. But I do.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

So, we dont really use playpens too much since my kids alwasy kind of acted like it was a cauldron of boiling oil...but good ole'Eska didnt mind when in the chaos of moving, we popped her in there....the next thing I know, she is peeking at us and then hiding by ducking down and giggling! She is cracking us up all the time now but this little trick really took me by surprise! Also be quite excited and proud of me puttin' a video on here--it was easy but the times ive tried in the past always just locked up my computer.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lovin' it

Well, we are living in the dear sunshiney cheerful new house. The "move" was hard, the friends who would help us were literally all out of town or sick or having new babies (Congrats A and J on your new baby girl!!!!!!!!!!!) and so we just did it with our own vehicles, trip after trip, mostly just Steve, as taking the kids in any capacity or combo out in the sub-freezing just to look at the half-empty old house was depressing, difficult and impossible (where to set the baby? on the bare floors with dust and nails and lost legos?....) so it was pretty much a joke and ended up back on Steve, whose cheer and energy must come from some invisible fountain of RedBull deep inside himself, he is incredible (and stubborn. didnt want to spend the $$$ on the moving truck or the POD type thing, so, well, what can I say?)

Its not even that I have no back muscles or no stomach muscles, its that I have all these little kids with noone who will babysit them and nowhere to put them so I can at least use my strong arms and strong will to grab the end of the bunk beds, couches, dressers. So I sit and nurse and watch my husband bust his bum, not willing to "deal with" having anyone's issues over us intentionally moving to a smaller place (gasp! bigger! bigger! move up the ladder! more more only!) he refused to involve his parents after a few ridiculous episodes that showed us exactly what they thought of us and our increasingly "weird" (to them) lifestyle choices....never mind that as we move closer to our values and intentional living we get happier and happier and the children unfurl and blossom, no no thats all just TOO weird.

But I didnt mean to be negative for even two paragraphs because we are actually doing great already. the house is everything that I lay awake and envisioned and then some. each and every one of our plans and purchases has worked out gloriously, everything is just like I hoped it would be and then some!
Mornings: This house is so wonderful to wake up to. Warm and cozy, quiet and serene, its only a matter of days before we build my front window park-view "bar"/shelf and I can sip coffee while looking out at the misty hills...the big open kitchen inviting cereal and toast and the floors are so warm and the south facing front window lets in sun the whole day.

Days: Good vibes and good cheer, everyone sort of gets themselves ready at a gentle pace. I have been doing tons of dishes by hand, dont know why, we have a great built in dishwasher, real quiet and eifficient, but its just that kind of kitchen. You want to do the dishes and feel the sun. I am freaking myself out how much I love this place.

Afternoons: nap has been no problem and the older kids have been reading and making their endless movies with my little videocamera. They will be YouTube stars soon, I feel it. I dont even know how to make a youtube yet, seriously.

Dinnertime: again, its fun to cook here and its fun to run to the market for ingredients, too. There are alot of stores close by and lets not forget my rockin new van!!! Luckily we have a verrry long driveway or else that thing would block my wooded view==not cool. We have a glass top stove which i find quite swanky and it is fun to cook on it. We sat around as a family after dinner just talking and laughing like best friends with a bottle of wine--except it was a bottle of trader joes sparkling lemonade (too yummy) until 930 pm! We never do that, its usually go to bed darn kids so me and daddy can watch tv and "relax"--sorry to say. But besides Charlie, we all just had a great old hang-out at the kitchen table. and here I was kind of worried about not having a dining room. Fooey! I love eating in the kitchen now!

Bedtime: very smooth. Much bigger bathroom lends to many kids brushing teeth together without being smashed or fake smashed or whatever they used to scream and fight about. Nice deepish bathtub, too. Gonna take a bath ASAP.

Eska seems to love it here, she can crawl everywhere as it is all nice clean carpet, and there is a little track where she can go round and round the house and she loves when we play peek a boo and act all surprised to see her--she is SO cute and hilarious!

I refuse to take pics until we get unpacked. Its too box-filled....but soon soon soon.

Living in a little house is a great gift to me. I do not feel like some crazed washer-woman/cleaning lady/maid. We have 6 rooms and it is plenty. For real. I am busy enough without having to maintain some mansion. When it warms up, this is going to be heaven, truly heaven.