Thursday, August 30, 2007

Nature Table

Our nature table right now, thanks mostly to the child formerly known as The Creature.
Sort of halfway between summer & fall, the mandevillas still bloom, but green acorns are everywhere & the first leaves are falling.

Monday, August 27, 2007
This song ran in my head constantly last night. Its got 2 of my favorite things, The Smiths & techno.

1st day of school

My private school boy, in his summer uniform, on the way to his first day
Little fuzzy bunny

Baby JX

A rare moment of quiet kids actually eating...

Little teeny had a small faamily birthday on the day of his birth & then a few friends and neighbors came by on Saturday to celebrate him. It was a bummer because I had planned to be outside and a huge and hectic storm kept us cooped up in the house. It was still a good time, here's the greatest cake ever made, brought by the awesome godmother of JX.

Still learning

I went to the babywearing expo in the "big city" and it was pretty wild, tons of slings & mei tais for sale. All of the parents were very nice to their kids there which was cool. I was excited to get some help and learn how to put baby in a rucksack carry on my back, by myself. I can get a lot more done this way, so it was worth the trip.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Good thing my summer was good...

Because things are getting hectic right now. Tomorrow is the oldest boy's first day of private school and I'm worried about getting up early, getting his uniform perfect, getting other kids in the car at that hour & keeping sane through the first week. The ceiling in the basement caved on last night b/c our dishwasher sprang a massive leak. I knew our 24 year old dishwasher would be dying soon, I just didn't think it would go out like that, such drama! The yard was supposed to be our summer project, but it didn't happen and its embarrassing back there. There's so much to tackle right now!

Why I'm Catholic

I was raised Catholic, I was confirmed at 13 and all the normal stuff. At 15, when I got my first job I stopped going to church because I worked on Sunday. I didn't have any use for any church for 10 years. 2 things brought me back to church, the amazing movie "The Last Temptation of Christ" and the break up and getting back together with the love of my life, my husband. I needed more help, I was doing it all alone & love especially was very scary to face for me. I went to church slowly, to big anonymous churches where weird things happened that made me feel like I was in the right place. I love the darkness of the Catholic faith, I love the reality of it. Bad things do happen, suffering happens to all of us. I love that anywhere in the world where there is a Mass being said, its the same order as every Mass everywhere.I followed my instincts & I kept going. I thought I had it all figured out and I prayed, meditated, said rosaries. Then my second son was born & died when he was 7 weeks old. I had a crisis of faith on top of just grief, but I still went to church. I still have a hard time with the rosary, but I consider myself Catholic in the Walker Percy way, thinking, living & just being. The most powerful Catholic influence I felt as a child was guilt. As an adult I find the biggest influence is love.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Yay! I'm tagged...

Thanks to Aimee:)
Playing Tag
RULES - Post rules before giving the facts - Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves - People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules - At the end of your post you need to tag six people and list their names - Leave them a comment on their blog, telling them they have been tagged and not to forget to read yours.

My 8 random facts,

but first, I have to say it is hard to pick 8 facts to share & then to remember that family reads my blog, so I have to think hard about what to say:

1. I have an unnatural love for Germany. I was a German major, the only one in my classes who had actually never learned a lick of German before college. I was born there and spent much of my childhood there (military). I love the language, the food & beer, the whole fairy tale atmosphere of the countryside. The people are not the friendliest in the world, but I don't care. When I'm in Germany or Austria I am blissed out just to be there. I would move there in a minute, even if we all crammed into one small apartment.

2. I used to socialize for a living. I was a corporate concierge in Washington DC in the early 90's. I stayed out late every night going to soft openings, regular openings, parties, concerts, clubs etc. etc. Some of my coworkers and I would get paid by our agency to go to parties and mingle. It was weird & there were some major cheeseballs out there. My dad told me working as a concierge would be good for me because I would learn to smile a lot. He was right, I can be friendly to anyone. He also told me it would help me find a better job in a depressed time (not many good jobs back then) He was right about that too.

3. I have causes, things I believe in, but they all revolve around babies, because I am baby crazy.

4. I used to be a mover in the summertime. I was very fit, I lifted boxes all day that I packed, I had some lunatic coworkers and I had a blast almost every day. We would stay out very late partying in the parking lot with car radios blaring Dr. Dre's the Chronic CD.

5. I love to entertain. I love cooking, reading cookbooks, having people over & staying up late drinking, talking, eating, dancing. I thank my mom for this, she is the Queen of entertaining, even on a moments notice.

6. I secretly don't relate well to a lot of other moms my age because, I am my dad, as a woman. I am more like My own dad if he was a stay at home dad. I read whenever I can, I suck at laundry, I do the minimum in the kitchen & I truly suck at cleaning!! I will cook a damn good meal, I make sure the kids are healthy, clean and well fed, but I hate housework. When I was a kid and my dad was watching us he was always reading the paper or a book, with his music cranked. He interacted, but he left us to our own devices a lot. I am the same kind of parent. I think kids entertaining themselves is the best! I am trying to improve, but deep down I am interested only in learning loads of random facts and reading anything I get my hands on.

7. I had written here about my Catholicness, but that's not really that random, so I'll make that its own post & here I'll add here that I had dreadlocks in college. I went to the beach over labor day my sophomore year and decided I was through brushing my hair. It dreaded up in less than a week because its tangly. I did not have cute orderly pre-fab dreads, they were really gnarly & I liked them. It was liberating in a way.

8. I am a constant primper. I love makeup and I will always have a mirror with me at all times & I will never forget my lipstick.

If you want to do this, please do & then send a comment so I can see your randomness!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My baby is 1!

Here is a slide show, I have to link to it until I figure out how to put it up here:

What a great year, I love every minute of having Joaquin here.

Monday, August 20, 2007

my companion and me
ridiculously clean water
getting ready for dinner

another beautiful morning
napping outdoors
the last day
A long drive, 12 + hours
first cocktail hour
the kids table!
father & son breakfast
great place to be a kid

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Yay! We are back and we had a blast. Many great meals, cocktail hours, sunsets & loons later, we are here. I could stay forever on the lake. No responsibilities except for the kids and keeping our one room somewhat orderly. Being there reminds me of the Augusts of my childhood, visiting my grandparents in the Hamptons, spending all day on the beach & then washing up for cocktail hour when all of their friends would come over and eat brie and drink whiskey and ginger ale. My brother and I would sneak in and grab as much brie as we could fit on a cracker and then go back outside and row the rowboat around the pond in their back yard. I love rowing and now, at the lake, for the past 16 years, I kayak as much as I can. It brings me back to basics. The kids loved swimming and snorkeling and luckily the man in my life loves going to the far North as much as I do. The summer is almost over and I feel so lucky to be able to appreciate summer days in all their glory on the magical lake with my family.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Why is this picture tiny? I don't know... but it is a gorgeous lake in New Hampshire with crystal clear water, loons, moose, lots of beer & kayaking! We go there tomorrow, and the next day is my birthday, 35!!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A boy excited about his new school uniform

An amazing description of pregnancy:

"Those first few weeks are an unearthly season. From the outside you remain so ordinary, no one can tell from looking that you have experienced an earthquake of the soul. You've been torn asunder, invested with an ancient, incomprehensible magic. It's the one thing we never quite over: that we contain our own future."

From Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver

Monday, August 06, 2007

I try so hard but I can't get a good group photo!
Little sweety
This is how I found the 2 mama kangaroos, with beautiful play doh headresses.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Crying it Out, for crying out loud!

Yesterday morning I overheard 2 young first time moms talk about letting their babies "cry it out." These 2 ladies decribed it as horribly stressful and painful to leave their babies alone in their cribs as they cried until they gave up and fell asleep. I didn't say anything to them. I liked these 2 new mamas and I didn't want to appear judgemental. I can say here though, that I feel bad for people who get old school advice from family and friends and ignore their own instincts.

I have met many mamas who do this but I've never heard one say, "Man. we had a great night last night, the baby screamed, we ignored her, and then we had tons of fun as our baby slept alone all tear stained and sweaty because, damn it! She's gotta learn to be independent and go to sleep on her own." Most mamas are very unhappy about letting their baby cry, they decide that their diaper is dry and that they must not be hungry, therefore they don't need anything, so, sleep! Everybody told them their baby would be spoiled if they were held often and cuddled or nursed to sleep. But, maybe the baby really is still hungry? Or just wants to be held? I think that the times in our life when we can ask for comfort and receive it are so short, why not make the most of it? The baby has only one method of intense communication, crying, and when they stop crying, after 3 or less nights of this treatment, they have usually given up, because their one method stopped working. That is kind of scary. And sad.

I think "crying it out" is pretty new in human history. For most of human's time on earth we have had no option but breastmilk, and like all other mammals, we gave milk early & often to our babies, sleeping beside them to give them milk all night. There are parts of the world that have never deviated from this natural approach. I can tell you from experience that babies in places like sub-Saharan Africa & South America rarely cry, they are held all day, fed on demand & sleep with their moms. Their needs are met. Sleeping close and nursing freely at night is not only instinctive, its biological. Breastmilk is digested quickly and for optimal weight gain babies really need to nurse often. For the mom, its important to empty the breast as often as every 3 hours at night to avoid breast infections, plugged ducts, abscesses. Yet, there is this crappy advice out there that says babies have to learn to sleep without a boob in their mouth. Or, if they are not breastfed, that they should give up the paci and sleep all alone in a crib. Breastfed and bottle fed babies can be held and loved and patted until the pass out blissfully, knowing they are loved, knowing their world is a safe place. The time is so short, the baby is more secure, the mama feels good because the baby is not crying.

If you can never be fully dependent when you're supposed to be how can you learn to be fully independent?

About Me

My photo
I'm just a mom in the world. A crunchy Catholic mama of 6 trying to make sense of it all and stay positive. 5 boys here & 1 in heaven. One awesome man who I get to grow old with. I help new moms breastfeed. I`m happy. I don`t go to shows or dance clubs every night but I would if I could. Where`s the nanny? When I see her she`s SO fired! One of my boys is super sweet and sensitive, another one is a holy terror. I learn a ton from all of them daily. Like Nigella says, as any parent of small children knows,there comes a point in the day where you can`t go any further without a drink! I love cocktail hour. I`d like nothing more than to be with my family and some good friends surrounded by tropical plants drinking a margarita listening to the Eagles. I don`t care about trendy, I like that grungy 70`s vibe.