Monday, August 25, 2014

A Bittersweet Transition, gently saying goodbye to boobies. *nsfw*

      There are these moments in parenting that are full of feeling, these moments where we slow down and let it all sink in....the first ultrasound where you realize that those moments alone with the person you love has created a life and that life has a heartbeat and you are terrified and relieved at the sound. The kicking to the sound of your partners voice because they recognize both of you and you feel so happy for your other half that your heart could burst. The labor where you are anxious and full of this feeling of "we are doing this, we are making a family, something incredible and completely unbelievable is happening. The moment when you look at the baby and then you look at each other, just in awe. The sleep exhausted moments in the night when you cant decide if you want to never ever put them down because if you do you will lose one moment with them...or if you want to cry you are so tired and you just want them to sleep. The time when you or your partner return to work and you feel like your heart is breaking for your whole family, because its not fair that you cant stay in your bubble forever. There are all the firsts, walking, talking, giggles, teeth, etc. There are so many moments that happen, that help to break up all of the mundane day to day robotic moments. These moments, to me, are not always easy, as I'm sure they aren't for all mothers.

     I never realized that breastfeeding would be more than just feeding any babies I had. I never realized that it was more than just health benefits for both of us, that it was more than food and water wrapped up in one. I didnt know that it would dry tears during a hysterical crying fit from a fall down cement steps, I didnt know that it would help dull teething pain while multiple teeth (including incisors) try to bust through all at once. I didnt know that it would soothe belly pains and bumped knees and bad moods and anxiety and stranger danger. I didnt know that it was a bandaid, that it could be used as actual medicine, for eye drops and nose spray and diaper cream and more. I didnt know that the sound of her gulping could soothe my own soul. 

It hasnt been easy, from the moment that I placed her on my chest and let her crawl her way up and I had to put my fear aside. I had only breastfed her sister for 2 weeks, and that 2 weeks was a constant struggle, between the shield and the pumping and the cluelessness and the strange women touching me trying to help..gruffly I might add, etc. So I was terrified this time around, that it wasnt going to work out again, and again I would find myself sitting up bawling my eyes out feeling like a failure as a mom. The first 48 hours of her life she nurse around the clock, AROUND THE CLOCK FOR 48 HOURS...just let that process for a second. Look at her, this was her first latch after we did the breast crawl. 

After that, we dealt with an oversupply and engorgement like you wouldnt believe (hellooooo big ol booglies!) and learning to block feed, we dealt with thrush that was resistant to all three rounds of nystatin but had nothing on gentian violet...of course that meant we both had to be purple for a bit, but then it got easier. It got so easy that I began to feel bad for moms who couldnt just whip out a boob and go...oh, and I got to watch her grow...and grow....and grow....and grow! Going from 7lbs 11oz, to maxing out at around 32.5lbs somewhere between 8-10months old, she was ENORMOUS. 

But thats not the point of this post, the point is we have made it to 2 years old and counting. I thought I would stop at 1 year, I thought I would stop at 18 months...I never thought we would make it to 2 years, but somewhere around 3 months I decided I would stop when she decided we were ready....but things change. I'm not planning to cut her off entirely, because boobies has been everything I said above and her blankie, and her lullaby..boobies has been her entire world for 2 plus years, and just ripping them away would be cruel...so we are weaning gently for her sake...and mine. 

Mine, because I didnt realize that breastfeeding would be such a large part of my life, I didnt realize that in this journey of life, that I would need closure when it came to stopping, that this would be such a bittersweet transition. *break to let you know that I have incredible friends* As I was making the decision to wean, my friend (who is a henna artist, click it to see some of her awesomeness) threw this idea at me of a chest piece having to do with a nursing photo shoot, how serendipitous right? So we put together this concept of a series of symbols, the henna turned out gorgeous and helped me to find closure through their representations. 
there are symbols for love, cherished moments, transformation, renewal, healing, strength, enlightenment, rebirth, reflection, balance. 

Sadly the henna didnt last until we made time to take the pictures, you will see it, but its also very faded...but thats okay, because just getting it, and having it, helped me. I decided on the henna and the photos as one last hurrah before starting the weaning, and since the henna and photos we have completely weaned during daylight hours. She is still nursing at night, but that is also being cut down gradually. Its harder at night because we bedshare and I'm asleep when shes nursing, but with the other recent changes in our lives, this wont last much longer, but I'm okay with where we are right now :) So, without further ado: 








































Its amazing to me how far we've come, my littlest love and I. One adventure ending, many more to come.








Friday, July 4, 2014

My Reaction to the "shocking misogynist attacks Feminism, defends rape culture" video

A new friend posted this video on his wall and welcomed rebuttal. Claiming it was a silly title but had excellent points therein...so, coffee in hand, pen and paper along for the ride, I gave it a look see. I will warn you, it is an hour long, and even thougt it left me with many questions, and I didnt agree with ALL of it, I do recommend you watch it! Without further ado, here is the video, followed by my notes/thoughts, please feel free to give me any answers you have and ask any questions that this leads you to. I want to reiterate that I dont proofread or check grammar...Im a busy mama! 

My Rebuttal:

*women are in control and are the teachers, what are they teaching? Religion, the true evil here. Is there anything more misogynistic than most religions? *he isnt what I would call a misogynist, he's more like me, a humanist.

 *without father figures, there is no physical help with the children, no example of how to treat women, the tired, stressed, resentful, overworked mothers....the kids pick up on those emotions as well. And this is in an ideal single mother setting, that doesnt involve hard drugs, etc.

 *It would only take 5 years yes, but when should that begin? when will there be a break in the cycle so that we can all be stepford wives? when will all men who take off, stay and raise their kids and contribute to the homes so that all the mothers can become stepford wives? what of all the military wives and children? what should we do in the meantime while we wait on this five years to begin?

 *promiscuity isnt a problem...is it? I see nothing wrong with it so long as its consensual and responsible. 

*both parties should be choosing each other in a dating situation. once a commitment is made, shouldnt it be honored despite who took the initiative to ask the other to fuck?

 *the quality of offers made to women by men is generally severely lacking!!! 

* Yes, we get to decide who ultimately puts their dick in us (in standard cases). But, I think its safe to assume that in the majority of cases, most people are on their best behavior when they first meet someone else and that there should be room allowed in his argument for people to show their true colors later and for that to not be okay.

 *its not like test driving, unless its a car sold by Harry Wormwood

 *do women actually blame all of lifes problems on the guy she chose, or the relationship which evolved once everyone stopped being on their best behavior?

 *as a general rule, women work harder at making the best of relationships, they stick it out longer and put up with more..they settle for less

. *if a woman finally says "I've given this guy years of my life, I savored every shred of good and settled for that, and I've worked on myself to make him happier, its not really been worth my time and energy" then is that the same as blaming the man? This is what most women do, we are sentimental creatures who are always looking for hope, we hate it about ourselves. Is the time given worthy of her decision? *the "micro aggression's" are not a learnt behavior, no mother or teaching woman is showing these boys to cat call and grab ass...women may have taught them aggression, but they did not teach them to rape. Women should be able to expect men to control themselves. Innocent women shouldnt have to be subjected to mens impulses just because the guys mommy wasnt nice to him. If we are talking about affects of childhoood being an excuse, then he should discuss what affect being molested or raped as a little girl should have and what all evils women should be able to use it as an excuse for... 

*Single moms are selfish and abusive for not giving their kids away to a broken system? how can he criticize the moms who use daycare (I am troubled by its effects too), but then suggest that single moms should truly abandon their kids to the system and the hope that they may (with luck?) be adopted into a good home, as though that is better? It just doesnt make sense.

 *How would a kid abandoned deemed to live in the system (they dont all get adopted) fair? future rapist?? How many get raped or molested while in foster homes?

 *He is blaming women for not making men stay to raise the kids...even stating that women ran them off (because again, he has no control over his own actions...), but he isnt holding the men accountable at all. Mom wants baby..dad doesnt...dad leaves..mom keeps baby, which makes her selfish and abusive no matter how much she loves the baby...dad is free to go..mom shouldnt be able to force dads involvement monetarily because she didnt keep her legs closed. But what if (and this isnt a stretch) dad was a liar and made her think they would stay together, then dad knocked her up, and then bailed....

 *circumcision is often done so "he will look like dad", which takes dads feelings into consideration, but not childs feelings. Another example of women being subservient to the dad and to again, religion.

 *I love that he is an ap parent and is against helicopter parenting. 

*my body, my choice- varies based on the situation and is a slippery slope. You have to apply it to abortion, and to circumcision and gender reassignment surgery and on and on...

 *I love how anti-circ he is and that he openly calls it gender mutilation!

 *he says something to the effect of consequences of mistakes including giving a child up for adoption and how its "hellishly easy" to escape those consequences...now, I'm not sure if I mean to praise single moms, but I certainly respect them immensely, because it IS in fact extremely difficult to raise children. Hell, its incredibly difficult for ME AS A STAY AT HOME MOM. To do it as a single mom is infinitely harder-and while welfare makes it easier financially, ultimately it would be much much easier with a man or partner there to help with all of it. The partner should be responsible for his mistakes which led to the kids that mom loved enough to keep, and dad didnt love enough to not bail on. However, generally he is a deadbeat, making it harder for mom and the kids...whatever happened to dad being partially responsible for putting a condom on? Sure she should have enforced it...but its his dick, he took the risk too, and he didnt even pull out..so he shouldnt get to just walk away and not be accountable. She stepped up.

 *if mom HAD put the boys up for adoption instead of being a single mom, then the child would still have a sense of "she didnt want me" and how many of them would still be rapists and how many of them would later be control freaks in relationships who tried to make "her want me"?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Spot cleaning carpets by a self-proclaimed barefooted cheapskate

Beige carpets are gorgeous....if you dont have kids. I've seen examples on line, of luxurious, neutral toned carpeting that span wall to wall and give the room a warm, creamy feel of comfort. Lovely beige carpet in rooms like this one, from http://chaletdevelopment.com/
Farmhouse Bedroom by Denver Architects & Building Designers Chalet

Or this one, from markteskeyarchitecture.com
And theres even some kid free individuals who are brave *aka: crazy* enough to make beige carpet work under a table....*cough cough* www.michaelabrams.com
Traditional Dining Room by Chicago Interior Designers & Decorators Michael Abrams Limited

For the rest of us however, we get this every few months. It doesnt take long.

 

So, we have to clean them. I am very fortunate that I can drive a few minutes down the road and steal my moms shampooer whenever I need to, I know not all of you can do that. Even with the shampooer though, there are some stains that are just stubborn. I have tried vacuming more often, and having us take our shoes off...but we are barefooted hippies...it gets messy anyway. So, I went to the store and started browsing the carpet cleaners....boy howdy those chemicals are super expensive! There is no way I am spending $15 on a bottle of carpet powder!!! I'm way too cheap for that! So to google I run, and in some obscure forum, somewhere, that I cant remember...I find a tip. Its cheap...so cheap it stands out to me like a beacon of hope...a jewel! However, some things are too good to be true so I decide I will try it, but I will spot test it first, we do rent. Turns out, that it works like a charm! So, heres how I clean my carpets for roughly $4.50.
  

I get two cans at $1.50 each at the dollar store, I spray it on, gently rub it in, let it set for a bit, and then I get my lovely assistant to do a water only cycle on the shampooer....here he is in action:

 

With JUST hot water, the floors start looking like this:

He went over it again using oxyclean and water, to make sure it was all clean vs just the spots, but I would say that for the money (including the price of about a half scoop of the oxyclean), this is by far the cheapest and most effective way to clean carpets. For my crunchy friends, good ol Dr.Bronners works okay too..but not as well as this sadly. Oh well. Just rinse it a bunch of times.