Friday, April 30, 2010

More than halfway...

I desperately want to press pause. My little guy is 7 months old today. It seems so old and at the same time like it wasn't that long ago he was born. He is more than halfway to one!

When my daughter was a baby it seemed like the time was slower, looking back. I remember her being a baby for so long. As you get older, time just speeds up. Maybe Adam Sandler will let me borrow that neat remote from "Click"?

7 months ago I was leaking amniotic fluids in my best friends husbands truck lol

Being a single mom, I actually had enlisted my best friend Maggie as my birth partner. I chose her over other people in my life because she is a rock, is sweet as pie, loving and caring but when she has to be, a complete psycho controlling bitch. That is why I love her :) lol

I needed her rock side to get me through the birth, and then I needed her controlling side to tame the nursing staff who all felt that birth was a major medical emergency needing massive amounts of intervention. I believe otherwise. Unfortunately being a single mom also has made me financially strained. My medical insurance doesn't allow for a home birth and financially I could not afford one with a midwife. Thankfully I was able to have a midwife still, just had to birth in the hospital...

My birth plan was extensive. I wanted the option to move about and walk around and not be forced to lay in a bed. I wanted the option of eating and drinking instead of an IV. I wanted no epidural. And that was just for ME, the mom in labor.

Everything went so fast mostly because when your in pain, time has no more meaning. Maggie drove me to the hospital at 5:30 after my water had broken. By 8pm I was in pain. Pain pain pain pain. It was deep, strong, low pain all through my pelvic area, contractions in my lower pelvis, not at all like labor with my daughter 10 years earlier where it was all in my stomach and much more manageable. This was intense. Then my midwife informs me that I have to stay in bed, because I have to have antibiotics for testing positive for strep-b a week earlier... awesome.

With limited mobility I was now in so much pain I couldn't keep my eyes open. I shut down and went in to my own world. I remember screaming through every contraction even though I tried hard not to. I have no idea how long this lasted because at some point I cried out for an epidural, screaming at nurses that I didn't care if the anesthesiologist was at home in bed, get his ass in here NOW. No, I didn't want the freakin pool that you all just spent 30 minutes filling. No, i don't want to sit on that ridiculous ball, no, i want drugs. NOW, lots!

I really wish I could say I regretted getting that epidural, but I don't. I am a huge advocate for natural birth, really. I just wish I could do it. I have no tolerance for pain what so ever. But literally moments after having it, I was dilated to a 10 after being stuck at 3 for HOURS. And a few pushes later, my little Emmett Michael was here! So, I would like to think that little to none of the epidural got to him :) He was wide eyed and very aware from birth, looking around, always sticking out his tongue. He was amazing, and still is! He is my non vaccinated, exclusively breastfed, intact, co slept, baby worn, organic little guy.

But now, we are more than halfway to one. Time to hit pause!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Clothesline for peace

For our Earth Day celebrations the kids and I spent the morning playing without electricity, just enjoying the beautiful day. Then that evening we spent with friends playing "whatever ball" which is a neat rendition of softball, kickball, using any kind of ball. Hence the name, whatever ball :)

Then we made a trip to the hardware store and picked up the fixings to hang a clothesline in our backyard in an attempt to lower the use of the dryer and also save money on our electric bill. However, according to my landlord, the city in which we live has an ordinance that says you are not allowed to have a clothesline or hang any clothing from porches/fences at any time.

This seemed outrageous to me. Why on earth would there be such an ordinance? Hanging your clothes to dry conserves energy which is good for the planet, and saves money!

Since I am not the kind of person to take no as an answer, i acted immediately. I called the city clerks office and spoke to a very nice woman. She informed me that while it was ridiculous, it was truly an ordinance. So, I decided to take it upon myself to have the ordinance changed. I asked the clerk to call me back with the location on the web I could find a copy of the ordinance and then diligently began researching ways to have this ordinance changed. Not of course before posting a status update on facebook letting all my friends and family know that the bag of poo was on fire in my neck of the woods...

Turns out, its extremely hard to locate information on how to go about getting an ordinance changed, most likely because the people who make and enforce the ordinances don't want them changed....

About a half our in to my research I get a call back from the nice lady at the clerks office with great news. Turns out allot of people THINK this is an ordinance but its not. It is not found in any chapter or section of the city ordinances. HOORAY!

So this morning while my little dude was happily gnawing on a teething ring riding in his sling, I hung our clothesline. Its nothing fancy, is minimal, and was cheap - exactly how I like it.

We love our clothesline and little mans dipes smell wonderful now!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My little guy is growing up

My son and I co-sleep, we do this for many reasons but mostly because its beneficial to my health (i get tons of sleep :)
So early yesterday morning my little guy wakes up cooing next to me, ready to nurse. As per usual I get situated so he can nurse and I can peacefully fall back asleep as he usually does once he starts nursing.
Just as I am entering dream land "YOWWWWW"! that HURT! It feels like someone has decided that I needed my nipple pierced during my slumber! I look down and what do I see? My little man, smiling up at me, one little white pearly tooth sticking through...

I sure will miss the days of nursing without teeth lol... But mostly I am going to miss my little guys adorable toothless baby grin.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Why I became a homeschool/unschool parent

I am a homeschool/unschool parent. I say both because while we do workbooks and focus on particular subjects- there is no time limit, no schedule, no due date, no grades. She may spend one night on division and have it all figured out, or 3 or more months learning Spanish. I give her the amount of time she NEEDS to properly retain the things she is learning and we got back to cover the basics all the time so she wont forget. She has no pressure to learn on a time limit.

I was a public school student. As I school my 10 year old I find myself having to re-learn things I had already been taught in school because I did not absorb it properly. I would complete an assignment in the time allotted, get a grade, and move on. For tests, because I was so terrified of being embarrassed by a bad grade, I would study and study and study until my eyes and brain were raw with information. I would get an A. But if you would have tested me on the same thing a month later the information was gone, because I had exhausted myself in to learning it, all for a grade- NOT because i wanted to know the information. So, my brain tossed it out to make room for other temporary knowledge. I did not retain, I was simply trying to survive and pass.

Now, when speaking to other parents about homeschooling I often get asked, " how on earth does your child socialize?"

Yes, your public school child gets to socialize 5 days a week for 7 hours a day with other students. But the difference with my daughter is that while she doesn't spend as much time with other children, when she does- their time is valuable. They enjoy being together. She is also not restricted by age. My daughter has friends who are 4 and up. Some older, some younger, a few the same age. She gets along with anyone and makes friends easily and well. We are in a home school group that gets together weekly for play dates, she also has choir once a week at a Unitarian church. She has plenty of socialization and it doesn't end with the school bell.

To top it off she is not being bullied every single day. At 10 years old, when her little friend who is 4 wants to gallop around and pretend they are horses, she happily leads the way through imagination. She is not afraid someone will laugh at her, she has no self esteem issues. She just wants to have fun.

I spent all of my school aged years being bullied, torn down, ridiculed, and made to feel like the fattest most unintelligent being in the room. But, I wasn't fat, nor was I the least bit unintelligent. However smart I was did not outweigh how cruel the children in class were. The first time I experienced this was in Kindergarten while learning the alphabet. The teacher asked the children to raise their hands if they knew what sound "Y" made. My enthusiastic little 6 year old self raised a hand and when called on I shouted, "eeeee!"...

Most of the children laughed and the boy sitting next to me called me a "retard"...

Except, I was RIGHT and they were assholes, even at 5 and 6. Regardless, that moment changed my enthusiasm for learning and made me a timid, scared little girl. Another time in 3rd grade we were going alphabetically through the classroom coming up with words that rhyme with grape. When we got to "R" the boys sitting behind me told me to say "rape". I'm in 3rd grade, I'm 10... I have no idea what this word means, only that it starts with R and rhymes with grape. Because really, why should a 10 year old know what that word MEANS?

Of course those boys thought it was gut splitting hilarious what I had said and roaring laughter erupts around me. I was oblivious, and then later scarred when my teacher pulled me aside and explained what the word meant. Don't worry, later that day while they were in the lunch line, I spit in their milks...

These are only two small stories from a childhood PACKED with moments just like them. So, in conclusion- children are evil. They are raised in a public school system that thrives on competition, grades, winning and losing. Kids will do what it takes to come out on top, and then the weak ones are left in the dust, failing and struggling.

So for us, homeschooling works.

To my readers, do you home school or does your child attend school? What works for you and why?

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Beginning

Today is the beginning of a new life. What better way to start that, than to document it in a blog to the entire world right?

I have officially decided that my life is to be free of stress. No one is allowed to stress me out, not a single bill, not a small paycheck, not a boringly empty fridge, and not one single angry, cursing customer on the phone. I will sit blissfully unstressed and let it all pass me by.

How can I do this you ask?

I'm going to ignore the balance in my debit card. Ill pay the bills that need to be paid, and then pretend I have no other money- which hopefully will help me save up, and also not be as stressed when there isn't as much as I want to be in there...

Then, I will ignore the pile of laundry, walk past my kitchen sink full of dishes, step over the smelly dog that needs a bath and go outside to play with my awesome children.

On top of eliminating stress I will also be eliminating processed chemical laden foods and purchasing as much local organic as possible. No more high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils for this family!

We have also become more earth friendly. We switched to all the fancy Eco bulbs to save energy, we put a brick in the back of the toilet to conserve water, There is a big smelly awesome pile of compost out back (which is also the main cause of our smelly dog that needs a bath)... We will put all of our organic purchases in reusable sacks! My son is sporting adorable, soft, beautiful cloth diapers. Adorning our sink is a brand new bottle of Seventh Generation dish soap and hand soap. In the drawer next to the sink is a colorful arrangement of knitted dishcloths that I will wash and reuse instead of disposable sponges.

I feel better already! If anyone has some more suggestions to help de-stress my family and make us more organic and earth friendly, please let us know and we will absolutely try it out and then, inevitably- blog about it afterwards!