Wednesday, December 13, 2006

My Freaky Pet Day (not a school essay paper)

Okay, yesterday was the oddest day I've ever had. Totally bizzare.

Magick (my big black cat) was missing, and we could hear him meowing out back but couldn't find him. We took out the entire storage twice, and its a freaking mess now. Still no cat. We took off the sheet rock out there, no cat. Finally we were able to tell that the sound was moving. Sure enough, he was stuck behind the wall. The wood wall. Ya know, the one the house is actually made with? LOL Apparently there was a small hole out there in the back room that he fit into, but couldn't fit OUT of. We had to take off some of the wood out there and he popped his head out. It took nearly 7 hours yesterday to rescue him. I was so worried he would die in the walls and we wouldn't be able to get him out.

(Magick before he got fat and huge)

Then, at about 3am Ivy woke up screaming. She pointed to the tv and said, "A wolf! A wolf!" and was hysterical. (we sleep in the living room right now) I thought she was dreaming and calmed her down and told her to go back to sleep. A few minutes later something touched my foot and jumped on the couch next to me. I saw a tail, thought it was a cat... then KNEW it was not. It slithered. It ran. It was too big to be a mouse (which we do have, but the cats kill them pretty well)

So I grabbed both kids up and ran out of the room screaming like a maniac. I guess my brain knew what it was even though I was freaking out. It was a ferret. Yes, a ferret. And no, we DON'T have one!!! I woke Chris up and he came out. The ferret ran into the bathroom and we closed the door. We got an old gerbil cage we had and put it inside of it. Ivy has no idea what a ferret is, never seen one so she's screaming "A SKUNK!!! AHHHHHHH!" and even I'm jumpy. I mean, it crawled across our bodies at 3am ya know? LOL

I went downstairs to the only neighbor in the building I wasn't sure didn't have one, and knocked.
"Do you have a ferret?!"
"Uh, ya. why?"
"Your ferret is upstairs in my house!"

Apparently they let it roam loose and couldn't find it. It had gone through holes and whatnot, from the second floor right side, to the third floor left side. Ugh. I hope it doesn't happen again. I finally got the kids back to sleep an hour later. I'm still creeped out. I don't like ferrets and I don't like this neighbor either.

So my question is, was there some sort of pet zodiac thing going on yesterday? Something not lined up in the stars right? Cause it was the most freaky pet day I've ever had!! LOL

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Marriage Penalty Woes

I have had time to post. I just haven't. I figure the honest response is better than the typical "my life has just been SO busy lately!" The past few weeks its been getting so cold here. I suddenly realize why old people move to Florida. Something does happen to your body as it gets older. It starts to rebel against the cold winds and the impending snow storms. Its a sign I'm definatly aging. Born and raised in Maine, I no longer look forward to winter like I used to.

So what have I been up to aside from moping about the weather? First and foremost, I did cut my hair. Money became tight this month so I chopped it off myself. Its crooked and uneven and honestly looks pretty bad. Goddess willing I'll be able to have the money next week to get to the hairdresser and get it cut how I want it. I'm still going super short! (why, when I'm freezing as it is.. I'll never know.) Technically I had the money to get it done this month, but I just couldn't justify spending the money on myself. Yes, I'd rather walk around with crooked hair all month than feel guilty because I used the precious money on myself.

And precious money it is becoming!
/rant on

Social Security sent me a wonderful letter on my birthday telling me I had an appointment to come in because I neglected to tell them I had gotten married... over two years ago. Umm... no. I went in two weeks after I got married and let them know. I changed my name and updated my social security number. The whole thing. I called them and they pretty much called me a liar. I explained that they sent me a letter telling me that my husbands benefits would be cut in half because of the marriage penalty, and we awaited the change but it never happened. Again the woman didn't believe me. Lo and behold, the amazing woman that I am.. I was actually able to find the piece of paper they sent me two years ago. And I found it while I was still on the phone with them! I read it to her, and she said, "Oh.. umm... bring it in to us please." Ya.. I thought so. Their mistake. Apparently they had forgotten to merge my husbands and my accounts together so they never actually cut his check. I haven't heard anything official yet, but I'm willing to bet money that they'll cut it come November.

After two years of living with the money we had, we'll be forced to give a few things up. Now realize, we don't have a whole lot. So this feels pretty darn unfair. Nothing has changed. We've lived together for almost five years. The only thing that changed was a piece of paper and suddenly we're expected to be able to live on almost $4oo.00 less a month than we currently are. There goes the tv. I'm damn lucky the car just got paid off. (the old crappy 97 Pontiac I have) and who knows what else will go since there isn't much else we have thats "luxury." No, in fact.. there are only two other things.. my internet connection (forget it jackasses.. I'm NOT giving it up) and my subscription to World of Warcraft. (Yes, I'm an MMO nerd. Deal with it.) Thats all I have. No magazines, no gym memberships, no dinners out every week, no cable tv. Hell, I've even got a crappy self haircut to save money. So yes, I'm a bit miffed about this "penalty." I don't think it makes any sense and I don't see why they penalize for a piece of paper when it changed nothing. No other program penalizes for marraige, in fact.. others give back for marriage. Thats the US government for ya.. Oh! You're poor? Well then, we'll have to penalize you for things that we don't rich people. Its only fair after all..

/rant off

Halloween festivities have been happening this week. I was able to take the girls and the neighbor kids to the Halloween party at the community center. They had a great time, and Ivy even won a special bag of prizes because her costume was "so wonderfully cute" the woman said.

Other than hunkering down from the cold, and doing Halloween things.. not too much has been happening. Personally I'm in a bit of a lull with this weather. Not run down tired feeling, but a bit apathetic. I'm trying to keep connected with the kids and not space out my entire days. I make sure to squeeze in enough ooomph to paint or do play doh with them. Some nights I just hit refresh on my Gmail account and stare. Hows that for pathetic confessions from cyberspace?

Myspace has been a fun place to read. I'm not sure why I go there, except maybe a faint tiny hope of changing some of those parents minds about how they treat their kids. I'm pushy. I try hard not to be rude, but after sitting through post after post about how people just "lock the door and turn off the monitor so I don't hear him scream. Yay! Now I can sleep at night!"... and "When my daughter is bad, I spank her butt. Its not going to hurt her. She's 6 months old and knows how to make me mad."... Sometimes there are no words to say. No polite ones to find. All I can muster on those nights is, "I'm sorry for your children."

Yes, I'm a rude bitch. I'm a "breastfeeding Nazi" and a "tree hugging hippie." I will not apologize for how I raise my children or how many mistakes I see parents make. And yes, beating your kids and leaving a 3 month old baby to scream all night alone.. ARE mistakes. Sadly they are not being made because the mothers are ignorant. No, they are very informed and just choose to take the "easy" route. They choose to be neglectful and abusive. And boy are they mad at anyone who suggests they are! I haven't come to the conclusion of whether I should just drop the nice route and straight up say it how it is.. or keep on trying to be nice and polite even when I don't feel like it. History shows I'll probably keep taking the higher road, but oh.. it would feel sooo nice to be like them for once.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Can't... take it.... must...

My last pregnancy was the first one I successfully got through without cutting my hair. For some reason I always feel this massive need to cut it off when I'm pregnant. Not last time! I made it! And 8 months beyond that too. I'm officially a dreadlock dropout now. I had them for 5 months. Naturally. What I learned is, my hair dreads wonderfully! Almost too well to do it naturally. It all wanted to dread together, and I spent a lot of time separating. I didn't mind a few congos here and there, but I wasn't really out to have a beaver tail ya know? So.. I spent the last week combing them out.

Yes, it really took a week. And about 6 inches of my hair cut off. I'll be getting it cut and styled next week, but for now it just grazes the top of my shoulders. Horribly crooked as well. LOL Hey, I never claimed to be a hair stylist.

I think I'm going for a short short look right now. Something along these lines.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What I posted on my mirror today

I am the honored one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and a virgin.
I am the mother and the daughter...
For I am knowledge and ignorance.
I am shame and boldness.
I am shameless, I am ashamed.
I am strength and I am fear...
I am the one who has been hated everywhere
and who has been loved everywhere...
You honor me...and you whisper against me...
For I am the one who alone exists,
and I have no one who will judge me.

Attributed to EVE/LILITH, The Gnosis Archive

Monday, September 18, 2006

Our "Goodbye Summer" beach day

The nights are getting colder, and the days overcast. Soon the trees will have completly changed colors and before long, winter will blow in. This weekend was exceptionally warm and sunny, so we took advantage of it and headed out to the beach.




Saturday, September 16, 2006

"Me time"

I've been thinking a lot lately about "me time" and how its changed so much in the past three years. I won't lie and say that I am so self assured, so together and so selfless that I no longer require "me time." The truth is, I would give almost anything to have an hour a week- hell, an hour a month, where I wasn't on the clock. I love my children, and I wouldn't trade my reality for someone elses fantasy even if it were dished out on a silver platter with a sprig of parsley on the side. All I need is some time to reflect. To feel. To go inside my own head, or not. To shower uninterrupted, or even soak in bubbles maybe. To read a book and glean more than one sentence in between screams of someone jumping on someone elses head. To wash my face in the morning and get dressed before my day, as oppossed to a rinse and throwing on something on my way out the door, kids in tow and late as usual.

Perhaps my choices are to blame for my inability to "do it all." Maybe if I had been more mainstream in my parenting. My oldest child was not nearly as demanding or time consuming. She was formula fed and sleep "trained" at 8 months old. By one year she was in a toddler bed and going to sleep on her own. Sure she came out, and I put her right back. I did just what all the books say to do. I cut off my emotions to do the "right" thing for her. When it was all said and done, I walked away with blocks of time that were all for me, uninterrupted showers, bubbles, time to be with myself, and guilt that followed me for years. Would I trade my soul and instincts again, just for that sought after "me time?" No. I wouldn't. The price is just too high.

So how do I get through these years sanely, knowing my parenting choices are whats standing between me and "me time?" When most of your friends and family think you're off your rocker to begin with for even doing half the things you do. Breastfeeding for not only a month, but three years and counting! Tandem nursing her sister and not forcing either to wean. Slinging them instead of putting them down. Attempting my best at Gentle Discipline instead of a swat on the rear for everything. Co-sleeping and encouraging family togetherness instead of actvities with strangers 7 days a week. Add the prospect of Unschooling into the mix, and there you have it! From the outside world I look completly insane. How do I keep those voices at bay? Am I supposed to want "me time" or was that supposed to be tossed out the window as soon as I took the narrow path of attachment parenting? How can you voice your frusteration for being on call 24/7 to friends who made the choice before their children were even born that "Children will NOT keep me down!" You can't. There is just no way to voice it without your choices coming back to slap you in the face. For once I'd just like acknowledgment that what I'm doing is hard. Not sarcastic comments like, "Well thats what yooooou wanted, so you've got to deal with it now." I learned a long time ago that I couldn't vent my breastfeeding frusterations to anyone because they simply didn't understand. "Time to wean!" they'd tell me. Eventually I just shut my mouth. Unless I was willing to submit to mainstream ideas, and throw in the towel- they didn't want to hear me vent or complain. And whining certainly was off limits.

Let's not forget the extreem guilt there is involved with even wanting to have "me time." I self sabotoage any time I might have by doing something that doesn't qualify as for me. Oh! The baby is asleep and the little one is playing quietly! I could read a book, or get dressed, or maybe watch the sun set. Instead I aimlessly wander to the laundry pile and start sorting. Or sweep the floor again. Or maybe one of those things on the list of "have to do's," like fill out a baby book (or two) that have been forgotten as life went by. Return a phone call I dread, but know I should. Something. ANYTHING! As long as its not "me time." To be honest I'm not sure I know what to do with it. It can't be too involved in case the baby wakes up. It can't be too messy in case the little one become uninterested in what she's doing. It can't be too loud. It can't be so engaging that I'll be upset if I'm interrupted. It makes perfect sense why I head to the laundry pile.

I love being a mother, and I'm happy with my choices in life that lead me here. Sometimes though I'd like time to be me. To take off the hat of responsibility and relax. That hat gets awefully heavy at times.

(Ivy and Daddy at her 3rd birthday party, and Piper starting to crawl)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Tandem Moments

Tandem nursing Ivy and Piper. I will never forget the looks on their faces that day. The gentleness on their faces, and the way they shared what they love the most.
It might seem like an odd angle. And it is. I wanted to try something different though. I'm quite pleased with it.

This was Ivy's first meeting with Piper. I had auntie hold the baby,
while I greeted Ivy who had greatly missed me while I was gone the two days at the hospital. It was the very first time she had gone without nursing. She was eagar to have what she missed out on! I missed her so much while I was gone. This picture captured perfectly what I was feeling.

My very first attempt at tandem nursing, caught on camera. Can you see how nervous I was? A brand new baby, and a toddler who missed me so much.

There was never a more tender moment than that first nursing session with my girls.

Pipers Birth Story

My January Due Date Club is being deleted on MDC, so I'm moving some posts over here so they won't be lost forever. A bit late, but here is Pipers birth story!

Piper Anastasia was born January 12th at 10:37pm, weighing 9 lbs 1.8 oz and 20 and
3/4 inches long. *To the left is my last profile picture. It was taken while I was in labor and trying to get things moving faster. We went for a walk in Portland at the Eastern Promenade because it was a gorgeous day outside. Its one of my favorite memories about that laboring Piper.

The doctor stripped my membranes at my 9:15am appointment, I was 4 cm's. They hooked me up to the NST machine and saw contractions were 4 minutes apart. Then the whole building lost power on what was an oddly warm gorgeous 50 degree weather day (for January in Maine) They sent me to the hospital to be admitted. Chris had to drive 45 minutes home to drop off my dd with my SIL and then drive back. I wasn't prepared to wave goodbye to my toddler. I hadn't even told her today was the day, so I was very teary as they drove away.

After we got there, the hospital told me they were having a really busy day and that if I wasn't in active labor they couldn't keep me. They suggested I go home. My OB didn't want me going home since its so far away, and with my history of fast labors she didn't want to risk it. So she told us to walk around and meet her at the office later. So we walked. And walked. And walked some more! I have blisters on my feet from walking so much. 3 hours later we met her back at the office. I was still having surges, but they were not painful at all. She checked me and I was 6 cm's dialated now. She sent me back to the hospital and called over there to tell them they were not allowed to send me home because I was indeed in labor.

By the time we got to the hospital it was about 7:30pm. I hung around for about an hour doing the monitoring and whatnot. My doctor came in and broke my water around then because she was positive it wouldn't take long after that. Around 9pm the surges were getting pretty strong in my back. Babe was still posterier and I was feeling it! I sat on the birthing ball for a bit, but found that it didn't distract me enough. Instead I walked the hallways a few times. I opted to

try some Nubain to see if it would take the edge off. It didn't really do much except make me a little dizzy, but at least it didn't have the same after effect that Stadol had in the past. (emotional instability) Still, as far as taking away any pain.. nada.

I decided to try the jacuzzi. Lovely big jacuzzi. Except I couldn't tolerate the jets. They bordered right on super annoying to me, so I turned them off and just labored in the water for about an hour. I remember the nurse coming in and watching me quietly. Dh was sitting next to the tub quietly as well. I was tuning everyone out and focusing on this glowing circle in the water. It was probably a light fixture reflecting on the surface... but it looked exactly like the fullmoon glowing. The tub was green, so when I got into the zone.. it looked like I was looking out on a lake at night. I consontrated on that moon and used it to ride each surge. It was around then that I noticed I was a bit shakey. The nurse asked, "Whats different Ana? Something changed."

I asked to get out of the tub, and when another surge hit.. I found myself hanging onto my husband and pushing. I finally made it back to my room, quickly before another one came. The nurse watched one more contraction and paged the doctor to come in. She was there in a flash. She checked me and said, "Hmm... only at 7cm's.. still quite a bit to go. Head is still not engaged" I started to whine a bit and said, "I can't do this." (thinking to myself.. this is

usually how it feels at the end! What do you mean I have a ways to go!!?) I pushed during the next surge uncontrollably. The doctor looked when I did that and said, "Oh but you ARE doing it!" and then whispered to the nurse, "She's pushing the baby down now." She got on her gloves and said, "I only put this stuff on when its almost over." Aparently my cervix looked to be 7cm's... but when I pushed it was a full 10 cm's and the babys head crowned. Two more pushes and she was out!

I was able to push the way I wanted to. Oddly, I found myself sitting on the bed, lying back... but tilted to one side. One leg flopped open and the other straight. I was gripping one side of the bedrail with both hands and bearing down that way. I didn't arch my back this time, and my tailbone didn't crack either!! The doctor was really good about keeping her hands down there and helping to guide the head so I wouldn't tear too much. I did tear along the same scar

tissue from the other two, but not nearly as much and not into my urethra this time! They did offer hands and knees, but for some reason this time that way didn't appeal to me. They let me labor how I needed too and it was perfect. They asked me to stop pushing and told me when to push slowly.. and I listened and pushed controlled this time. It was wonderful!

From 7cm's to the birth of Piper... less than 2 minutes. This labor was even shorter than my last one. Much more prodromal labor, and a few more pushes... but I tore much less. Only a few stiches, but my "down below" area feels pretty good! My abdominal muscles however... whew! Pushing that baby down and out in less than 2 minutes took every muscle I had I think!

She was also my biggest baby yet! Gorgeous DARK??? hair! Tons of it! Mellow disposition so far, awesome nurser!

My dd's have not met her yet... I'll let you know how that goes!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Happy Summer Solstice! (Midsummer, Litha, etc)

Ivy and I said good morning to the sun outside our window when we woke up. We dressed in bright yellow clothes and made pictures of the sun on paper, using dried flowers for the rays of light. We made up a song and sang it all day long. This was the chorus. "The sun is hot and its in the sky. It means that it is summertime. Happy Summer Solstice! Happy Summer Solstice! Happy Summer Solstice! Happy Summer Solstice!" We picked out a sweet smelling incense and burned it while we read books from the libraray about summer.. Summers Vacation, (wonderful pagan books!) Earth Mother, (beautiful!) Summertime, and Circle Unbroken. We had snacks of apples, bright colored oranges, and sunflower seeds. And then we called and emailed people we loved to wish them a happy Summer Solstice.

How did you celebrate?

Monday, June 19, 2006

You Learn Something New Everyday

I really would like to share this with you all as I'm pretty excited. Please forgive me for the length, when I get excited I tend to type type type!

My husband was finally able to SEE Unschooling in action today!!! I am so thrilled! This was what our day was like... (keep in mind dd 8 goes to public school and is not homeschooled. Ex husband wants her in school so we agreed to that since we split 50/50 but she spends the week with him. My other 2 children will be unschooled. They are almost 3 and 5 months old right now.)

This morning Sierra was watching a movie, Charlie's Angels. (for some reason she loves it and thinks it hillarious. LOL I find it funny watching both girls do the "Charlies Angel pose" ) She started asking questions about the stunts and how they were possible. So we talked about stunt doubles, and how they use computers to do many of the scenes. We used the computer to look up things I wasn't sure about and she was excited to learn that stunt doubles use gymnastics moves all the time. She is a gymnist and loved learning that there is yet another way she could pursue a career doing what she loves.

We looked up Charlies Angels goofs and went through the movie scene by scene, catching all the mistakes they made while filming. (cables showing, cameras reflected off things, problems with continuity, etc..) We'd watch one, laugh, pause it and read about the next. It was awesome trying to catch all the bloopers together and she learned a lot about behind the scenes film making in the process. Also she is still in that fantasy vs. reality phase where she questions which is which, so it was good to be able to talk about what things in the film were absolutly NOT possible to happen. (for example, in the opening scene one of the girls parachutes and catches a man falling, then she opens her chute up and saves them both. Its physically impossible to open a chute up while holding someone, the force would throw them from you, which is why they use harnessess.)

In once scene there is a scene of the characters filming a movie. (a movie in a movie) She gets shot, they yell "cut!" and the character gets up. Sierra wanted to know how that works so we discussed tricks like how the fake blood gets on shirts. She asked if anyone has ever accidentally gotten shot for real. (the fantasy vs. reality thing again) I said "Actually, they have" and we Googled and looked up all information about Brandon Lee and the filming of The Crow. During that we ALL learned the difference between a "dummy" round, and a blank, and the importance of gun safety and proper maintenence.

Later in the day she commented that the word Mississippi was so long it had to be the longest word ever. We took turns spelling it. I could spell it fast, and she tried to do it as fast as I could, it ended in fits of giggling. I let her know that it was a huge word, but that there was an even bigger word. So then we talked about the word Antidisestablishmentarianism and how it was the largest word in the english dictionary. She wanted to know what it meant so we looked that up too. Supercalifragilisticespialadocious (spelled fantasically wrong I fear) is longer then antidisestablishmentarianism, but its not considered a "real" word because it orgininated in Mary Poppins which is a fictional movie. We counted how many letters were there and she practiced saying it to *wow!* all her friends.

Dh walked in and said "Long??! I know something thats long!! The longest river in the world is the Amazon!!" I decided we'd double check to be sure and lo and behold we learned that the Nile is the longest and the Amazon is the second longest! Dh learned right along with us! We looked up pictures and saw how pretty it was and we all agreed some day we'd love to visit Egypt. We found out that the Nile is 4160 miles long! We talked about what the word "amazon" means. (and she said, "Oh! I know! Its where you buy your books right? )

Shortly afterwards, my husband came up to me and said, "Wow! So thats how it will be huh? Thats unschooling..." I nodded and smiled. He continued, "I really enjoyed today. I learned a lot too and it wasn't a bit schoolish at all. I think raising them this way will be a lot of fun for all of us."

I am totally thrilled with how today went. My daughter brought things up that she was interested in, and we found the answers together. One thing drifted seamlessly into the other, and dh even had his hand in the "strewing" when he introduced the comment about the longest river. We were talking about the LONGest word, and she was talking about the Mississippi river (which IS the longest and largest in North America!) so he found an "in" to introduce some new info. Even though his statement wasn't correct, it was jumping board for more learning! I loved that I was able to see the learning moments in our conversations without forcing it to be learning, and it was wonderful! I know not all days will be like this, but I was in awe at how easily it came and how natural it felt.

I think the difference between today and some other days is.. I was connected. Sometimes I'm not. My brain has trouble shifting between events. If I'm reading, I'm reading! If I'm trying to think about whats for dinner, I'm trying to think! And sometimes I miss opportunities to answer questions or to help with finding answers. I know I won't always have 100% of the time to answer things and BE THERE in the moment, but it really felt good to have a day like this.