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Archive for November, 2011

Announcement

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I would like to announce that I have found my tribe. It consists of approximately 130 women, several men, and probably around 300 children. Finally, I have found a group of people I can relate to. A group of people who were also in search of a tribe. How did I do it? I have been walking door-to-door in Raleigh handing out flyers and advertising daily on Craigslist.

OK, so I am lying about that second part, but the first part is true. I honestly feel as though I have found my tribe. These people are amazing. Someone is always around to answer a question, listen to a funny story, or share new information. I learn something new every day, and it’s so wonderful to feel supported. Our common ground is our parenting style, but this tribe’s members bring with them such a diversity of knowledge and life experience. We have moms, dads, homeopaths, teachers, and felters. Most are self-educated – have followed their passions and can share information about various topics such as breast feeding, co-sleeping, nutrition, vaccinations, and education – but all are intelligent and motivated. I feel confortable confiding in these people, and I am excited to learn from them. In fact, this tribe has only one problem:

It is virtual.

Hey, a virtual tribe is much better than no tribe.

I would also like to announce that Julian’s new favorite time to wake up 4;00 am. Better than 3:30, but not as good at 5:00. By 8:30 pm, I am writing in my sleep.

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100 Things (61-70)

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Missing the family already, but glad to be back in Raleigh. Glad to be home.

Eating a vegan brownie, drinking a chocolate stout, and sitting with Husband as he curses his computer monitors, simultaneously editing or orchestrating something (?) and watching video clips on youtube. J is asleep in the bed about twenty feet away looking so serene.

I love…

61. How much you love your grandparents! You are so comfortable with your Nana and your Mimi

62. The way you say “idea” (with a slight Southern accent) – its ‘s if you have just discovered something absolutely amazing

63. The way you point to me and say “Mama” whenever you meet someone new – I’m not sure whether you’re introducing me or making sure they know you don’t want to leave my side 🙂

64. That you always feed someone else before eating yourself – you could feed me an entire plate of food, bite by bite

65. The fact that your vocabulary doubles almost daily – some of your new favorite words are idea, Nana, Mimi, Aba, manna (as in coconut), boat (“boa”), shoe (“oooh”), and beer (spoken with a New York accent, oops… :))

66. The way you snuggle! You get more snuggly every day

67. The way you chuckle with glee when you find something amusing (such as jiggling Mama’s breasts :)) – you already have such a sense of humor

68. That every time I mention going home to see the dogs, you sign cat as if to say “don’t forget about Freya, Mom!”

69. They way you help me clean the house – it’s refreshing to see how excited you are to unload a dishwasher, fold and organize the laundry, or make the bed (your favorite)

70. The way you run – you barrel forward, leading with your core

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Level ten maneuvers

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It is Sunday evening, and I am sitting (or rather, squatting) in the back seat of a Mercedes, leaning over J’s car seat with my shirt pulled up. Breast feeding while driving is one of our new skills – probably a level ten on our list of advanced maneuvers. If you haven’t noticed, I am simultaneously blogging via cell phone, so I believe that moves this particular maneuver to an eleven. I also believe it explains the brevity of this post.

Tomorrow, we are Raleigh-bound.

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Food for thought

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Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

– Khalil Gibran, The Prophet

I am hopeful that one day, my parenting practices will no longer be considered “radical”.

Tonight, some food for thought…

Why Children Protest Going to School: More Evolutionary Mismatch
– Interesting article exploring our culture’s schooling methods

Myths of Elimination Communication
– EC criticisms challenged!

Infant Care Practices Related to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
-More evidence to back attachment parenting!

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Black Friday

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Worst afternoon ever.

Picture this: it’s Black Friday, and you’re in a crowded restaurant on the beach. It is late afternoon, and you have not eaten since breakfast. You are sitting at a round table next to the kitchen with your son, your husband, and your in-laws when your son decides he must stand and walk around. You say sure. He stands next to you and flirts with the woman at the table beside you while you pick up your fork. Suddenly, you hear a familiar grunting sound. Shit (no pun intended). You pick your son up and rush towards the bathroom to avoid a poopy bottom, wondering why he didn’t ask to go. As you reach the women’s room and read the “occupied” flip sign, you realize that he is wearing the very last clean diaper you have. Without thinking, you dash into the men’s room. In front of you is a stall and a urinal – not a single. Oh well, into the stall you go.

“let’s go potty Julian” you chime as you whip a potty insert out of your diaper bag. Simultaneously stripping off a diaper and setting the potty insert on the potty (your son trying to help), you fail to notice that you are kneeling in front of what is (in your opinion) a rather odd toilet. You hear a splash and feel water sprinkle your arms- the potty insert has fallen straight trough the potty seat. Shit. Apparently they design Florida toilets for people who weigh three hundred pounds.

By this time, you realize the diaper you are holding has already been pooped, yet you think dear son may not have finished, so you attempt to hold him and the potty insert over the toilet. Dear son does then takes this opportunity to use his free hand to pull down your shirt and latch onto your nipple. With a poopy diaper next to you on the floor, your hands holding your son on the potty insert and the potty, and your nipple in dear son’s mouth, you hear a man walk in the door and toward the urinal. He begins to pee and your son seems to wonder why someone else is here (or perhaps he is picking up your nervous energy). “it’s ok J”, you reassure, as the man shuffles in surprise next to you. Your son signs “all done”, and as you pull him off the potty (the potty insert falling back into the water) the man turns on the very loud and powerful electric hand-dryer. “It’s ok” you say, reassuring again. You wipe his bottom, throw his pants on him, and sneak out of the bathroom before the new man standing at the urinal sees you.

Fast forward one hour.

It is now even later in the day, and your son has not yet taken an afternoon nap. With all of the excitement, who could blame him? He doesn’t seem overly exhausted, so you figure he might really enjoy some play time on the beach. As usual, the sand is a hit. Running around and dancing with Mom and Nana? Awesome. The water? A little scary.

Fast forward fifteen minutes.

You are now holding a screaming, crying, desperate little boy as you pace the streets of Delray Beach. You, just as desperately, are trying to figure out how in the world he went from laughing on the sand to this. The water was a little intimidating, but you know it’s more than that. He is squirming and writhing as you attempt to soothe him so you try, again, to take him to the potty. This does nothing but increase the agony. You apologize and try to talk him through what he is feeling. You think he might be constipated. Overly tired. Over-stimulated. All of the above. You attempt to stay calm, damning yourself for not creating the atmosphere he needed to remain calm himself. He has reached the head-twitching level of agony. You count, on one hand, the number of times he has reached this level, and you wonder briefly if you should call an ambulance. Nothing seems to soothe him. You nurse him, and you sing to him. You rock him, and you talk to him. He is hysterical.

Fast forward five minutes.

He is now asleep in the carrier. Exhausted, you walk back to your mother-in-law’s house. Instead of sleeping with your son, you blog.

The best part of the day? Riding to lunch with the top down (pictured above). Should have never left the car.

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Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving: Family? Check. Food? Check. Parade and football games? I seem to remember noticing there was a TV on somewhere. Not at all necessary in my opinion, but Check. All usual holiday components seem to be present, thanks to brother-in-law and girlfriend (mostly girlfriend though :)), and food is set to land on the table in approximately fifteen minutes, so I can semi-safely say that… Well, I really don’t know what that says other than I am taking part in what you might call an “average American Thanksgiving dinner”. I have to admit, eating Thanksgiving dinner with an 80-degree, plush and green climate on the other side of the dining room window is rather odd (and not exactly what I would call average), but hey, even I can’t complain too much about this beautiful, beach weather. Tomorrow while everyone hits the mall, I will be hitting the sand!

Thanksgiving is quite possibly my favorite holiday. Unlike Christmas and Chanukah, and even Easter, it’s not about religion or presents – its about family, community. Food. It’s one of the only days a year I feel close to living in the tribe or clan my heart so often desires. I love cooking with other women (or men), eating in a large group. Drinking and talking and reminiscing. I even enjoy washing the dishes in good company. It breaks my heart when I think that, if I had lived once upon a time (or place), every day would be Thanksgiving.

It breaks my heart even more to know that some people don’t even get one day a year surrounded by this type of community. Every November I say I’m going to find a way to bring warmth to others (outside my “tribe”) on Thanksgiving, and every year, I end up closed in a house with my family again. It’s not that I don’t love it (because I do), I just feel rather selfish. I hope that next year will be different. I hope that I will actually step up and serve some damn soup or cook a yummy (vegan) meal for a family who might not have anywhere else to go. I complain a lot about being isolated, and I wish I had a year-round community, but I am so happy to have what I have. I am so lucky.

So in today’s spirit, I am thankful for (among many other things) –

My loving, wonderful, supportive husband. You are my soul mate.
My beautiful, vibrant, kind son. You are my heart’s fuel.
My family. You are my roots. My anchor.
My friends. You are my strength and my motivation.
My pets. You are the rope that ties all my loose ends.

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Poop alert

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Essential for air travel –

1. Car seat

2. Potty insert

3. Ergo (or “errrrgah”)

Without these three items, we might as well stay home! Somehow, in today’s whirlwind of a morning, we managed to secure all three. Maybe I am becoming a better planner after all. The morning began at 5:00 sharp (J’s new favorite wake-up time – better than 3:30!) so we had several hours to spare before catching our 9:55 flight. I believe we needed every minute. From throwing sheets over the couch (the dogs favorite bed while we are away) to showering, to smoothie making, the time flew by rather quickly. To Husband’s delight though, we made it to the airport early. That’s right, I said EARLY. If you are not surprised by this, you obviously do not know me very well. 🙂

Now at 20,000 feet, Julian is napping soundly on my lap, and it seems as though the morning has gone by quite smoothly. My biggest concern is that it has been poopless.

Yes, poopless. Like clockwork, Julian releases his bowels every morning within ten minutes of waking. Travel day? No poop! Six hours later? Still no poop. I am a bit concerned – a. because I’m afraid he has been holding his poor little bowels and b. because we have been on poop alert all day. (Poop alert: constant watching for signs of needing to poop. ie. signing, farting, squirming, etc.). We went from family restroom to family restroom on our journey down the terminal, hoping J would decide that one of them looked appealing. No success. He sat once, but quickly decided that he was wasting precious time he could be using to ride up and down the escalators (ekah)! I am sure that his body will decide to release at a most inconvenient time – for example, as we land.

Ironically, the seats on this flight have little television screens on them (that, to my dismay, appear to have no off switch), and I am currently watching an ad for “Colon Flow- how much are you holding your bowels?”

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