Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Boyz Christmas photo. If all hell wasn't breaking loose over here, I would have mailed out more cards!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Here's a good article about why GenX'ers like me are largely to blame for the current housing foreclosure drama,

Sorry, you have to cut & paste, blogger won't let me link properly!

I have always found it weird that my generation expects to live at their parents level of affluence--same size house, same kind of cars etc, right away, with the very first kid. Even before the wedding, my peers are buying houses they can barely afford to be at their folks level right out of the starting gate of adulthood. Yet... their parents took sometimes decades to get to that size house, car etc. and we often forget that.

Christmas Eve

and I'm thankful to be at home. I have been in the hospital since Saturday, home for Sunday night & admitted again on Monday, finally released today.

I try to keep it positive on this blog, but I am a pregnant chick with problems right now! I have known I have kidney stones since last June, and I've had a few come through without problems.

Unfortunately I had the most unbelievably hellish experience with passing a stone starting on Saturday. I was given Demerol, percosets & flexeril in the hospital. None of them worked much, but I was able to sleep and then released in the morning. The next day the pain came back in the afternoon, but my prescriptions were sort-of working so I was able to fall asleep. At 3 in the morning I woke up thinking I was dying, I can't even describe the pain. Its kind of like somebody ripping your back open and then individually ripping each muscle in half, without a break, or any rest at all. It took another 12 hours before I got relief, in the form of being in-patient with a PCA pump full of morphine that I hit every 15 minutes for 2 hours before I could even speak. I have had natural childbirth twice for a total of 80 hours of labor, but it honestly does not compare. I used to think people who described kidney stones as worse than labor were wrong, I had had both & the stones weren't that big of a deal. This time I found out it really is was way worse than labor to have a stone!

So.. I was scheduled for surgery in the morning of Tuesday the 23rd, where the urologist would go in with a laser, blast the stone and then retrieve it out of the ureter --tube that runs from kidney to bladder. Then they would put in a stent that would keep the tube from collapsing after all of the trauma & I would have to keep it in for the rest of the pregnancy.

The good news is I avoided the stent surgery, the stone moved on its own, IV hydration & morphine helped it stop blocking the ureter and the pain is gone. I am just nervous now of its possible return with a future stone & nervous about possibly having the stent placed in the future. Can you believe the drugs you are allowed to take while pregnant? I am not so worried about a little wine here and there after hours and hours of morphine. Believe it or not, its safe & my little guy was checked every hour & he is fine.

I am happy to be here and grateful that it wasn't worse.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Yesterday I was in the ER, again. I'm fine but I was ruling out an infection after some typical symptoms. Anyway, there is no privacy with just curtains between you and the next patient. So I lounged under my warm blanket and listened to the saga next to me. The woman was 94, she lives independently with her 95 year old husband. He is taken care of completely by her, although they just hired an aide recently. She deals with catheters, wheelchairs his meds. She cooks 3 meals a day for him.

She was there because she had a dizzy spell with some chest pains. They ordered an EKG & a cat scan to check for risk of stroke & put an IV in for blood tests and drugs. She told the nurse she had never had an IV in her life. She had the cutest voice too. The most amazing thing was that she told everyone the only time in her entire life she had been a patient was when her daughter was born. Her daghter was with her and vouched for the truth of that statement. This lady was unbelievable, I would love to be her at that age, what a woman!
Its that time where you get Christmas cards & letters that detail every perfect moment of people's lives. I don't begrudge them the right to show all the good of the past year, I totally get it--I try to blog mostly positive--but it would be fun to get a more realistic Christmas letter. I'll do a brief one that I would never mail:

-bad bad preschooler yells the F word in music class and spends most of the rest of his school year in the principal's office.

-we take a very intense, very fun trip to Chile. OF course mom has to get super sick, but the kids had a blast, except on the plane, where every single passenger hoped we would get sucked out the window b/c the preschooler was being very BAD..

-bad bad 20 yr old stepson of husband's oldest friend moves in and manages to screw up every thing we ask of him, including the dishes, so he lays down on the sofa and stays there for a month, while scary religious cults work hard to recruit him.

-oldest boy had his First Holy Communion, which was an amazing day and a perfect occasion, except for 2 things,1. we roasted a pig in the ground which scarred our 5 year old for life. He still remembers ever single person's name who ate the pig & every person's name who did not. The other thing won't be mentioned, it was real bad.

-summer came and things looked up, preschooler made it without being expelled (that would happen in the fall), but then mom, found out she is riddled with kidney stones.

-pertussis happened. Half of July, all of August & most of September lost to the whooping cough that all 3 guys contracted thanks to a summer camp at a park in Northern Va.. Poor little preschooler coughed until he threw up all day for 30 days.

-surprise! New baby on the way. Which is awesome, except it would have been nice to get through the kidney stone and bladder drama before facing another pregnancy. But, still, we are very grateful for the miracle of another unique person joining our family.

-School in the fall, hard for the 3rd grader with tons of homework, absolutely brutal for the kindergartener who is too young to face all day school. So we try his old school's half day k program, but he (I ) am expelled after 2 weeks of the principal harassing mom for no reason. When mom told her to ease up, 5 yr old is kicked out. So, now, he is unschooled at home.

-Its been bad, its been good, it hasn't been the worst year ever, by far, but it has been challenging in all new ways. Yet, we have each other, and that's enough.

---about the bad bad folks mentioned above, including my own child--there's no such thing as a bad person, just bad actions, but it was fun to call them bad for a minute.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

This is a link to a study that says that strollers facing away from the parent stress the baby. Did it really take a study to figure this out?

It seems like it would be fun for a little baby to be pushed around, looking at it from an adult perspective. But as a baby, I think it would be a little frightening, you have no frame of reference and you can't see any familiar faces facing forward. In the stroller the world is coming at you fast. I think human babies are made to be held and it is such a short time in the big picture that its even possible. I know its not for everyone, but I love wearing the baby and keeping them close when they are tiny.

Hard Stuff

When my second son was born and died, after living for 7 weeks, I wrote in a journal/word doc on the computer almost every day. I kept it up for 2 years, with bigger and bigger spaces between postings (this was pre-blog days) and then the computer crashed and I lost the whole thing.

Last night my awesome better half fixed the computer after it crashed again & found my old journal. It is very very hard to read. I am just not "there" anymore, thank God.

I was very lucky, I had lots of signs sent from my baby and I wrote each one down. I also wrote down every time one of my friends was insensitive or mean, which wasn't good of me to chronicle, since I had forgotten about most of it.

I remember one of the many hard parts was feeling socially inept. I had no use for small talk back then. I felt like I had just come back from a horrific battle and felt horrible guilt for surviving it. It wasn't another soldier, somebody's baby--it was my baby. There is pride in surviving all kinds of tragedies, but not losing your child. There's no pride in that, its just surviving, remembering, feeling & suffering & then hopefully, finding some joy again--but never in the same way. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

All boy mama

Its been a crummy week so far, I caught some kind of flu-like nightmare on Saturday and still feel bad. Homeschool hasn't happened and I needed a replacement for my meeting tonight.

But... the big ultrasound was today, this morning we looked at baby's heart, brain, limbs, stomach, bones, palate & all looks good. I'm relieved because I took a bunch of medicine for the kidneys last summer before I knew about Chunky #5. And Chunky # 5? Surprise, surprise! Another BOY! For a long minute there, we thought we were all seeing girl parts, but then baby changed position and we saw the boy baby in all his glory. So here we go again, same clothes, easy sleeping arrangements. I'm not complaining.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

When I can get a real working link to the video, I will post it. I apologize for the tininess of the picture too, but if you look closely it is amazing! The kiteboarder is right on top of the whale!

A sweetheart meme

Exciting! I got tagged by my friend Erin at Breathe, Just Breathe

Here's more than you wanted to know about my better half:

Husband's Name: Larry

How long we've been married: coming up on 10

How long we dated: Dated 1 year & 1/2 & were engaged 6 months.

How old is he? 39

Taller: Him, by 3 or so inches.

Who can sing best? Him.

Smarter? That's a toss up. I know lots of random facts but he can fix anything and I am useless around the house.

Laundry: Both of us, I am very very bad at it. Luckily, he is man enough to wear his newly pink underpants though.

Paying bills: Me, I'm not much better with $$.

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Him

Mows the lawn? We ditched our tiny lawn and covered it with pavers after we killed it.

Cooks dinner: He is a great cook, but I do 90% of cooking.

Who's the first to admit when they're wrong? Hard to say, probably him, hahah.

Who kissed first? Him

Who wears the pants? Probably him. He's classic alpha male, not metro, not new age.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Good things about being pregnant

--In your 30's it seems like the years fly by in such a hurry, but pregnancy slows down time for me to a snail's pace. When its over though, the baby is a toddler in no time!

--Once I get past being sick, where I hate music, food, and anything enjoyable, all of a sounds incredible and everything else improves too.

--My Creature has decided he is having a sister and so he constantly shows me toys he wants to buy for his sister. Sharing all of this with the kids is really fun.

--I feel less fashion pressure while pregnant, I am going to be big and enjoy it as much as I can.
I have to admit, I haven't been a huge, enormous fan of Barack Obama, like what seems like the rest of my generation. I just have a hard time in general, voting as a consistent-life-ethic Democrat, but also I get suspicious anytime big groups of people start thinking alike. In my area it was almost like Obama mind control, the ads were so constant, so extreme and so absolutely relentless, I just couldn't get on board. Ditching the funding that he and McCain agreed on & then grossly outspending McCain rubbed me the wrong way too.

I see all politicians as human and not entirely reliable, basically, just like the rest of us. I think McCain made a lot of mistakes in his campaign, but I have always admired him and I know he's a good guy from hearing about him from all the years my Dad worked in the Senate (my Dad worked for Democrats). I know he is open minded and works well with everybody, I haven't seen Obama work well with too many Republicans. The extreme bipartisanship is one of the most depressing things in America to me. I am very hopeful that that will change though.

I don't absolutely love and devote myself to McCain though & I think that's why Obama won, the utter devotion of his supporters. I do think there are some huge positives in Obama winning. Like my Dad said, it was another peaceful revolution in America. And that is really awesome. The people have spoken and I think it is infectious to see all the joy in his supporters this week. I also am hyped to see a young family in the White House. I am excited that the rest of the world seems happy about our new President elect also.

Rachel Campos-Duffy, who was on the Real World San Fran, writes a column for blogging baby & she had this to say (which I really liked :)
As a mom, I am thrilled by the possibility that Malia and Sasha, may replace Hannah Montana and other teen starlets as girlhood role models.

I'm equally hopeful that Malia and Sasha's beautiful dresses will inspire a national trend toward more age-appropriate clothing for girls and away from the sexy clothes currently being marketed to them. Though twelve year-old Malia will be 16 at the end of her father's first term, it's hard to imagine that Michelle and Barack would approve of her wearing the sleazy attire pushed by today's young celebrities or seen on MTV and BET. That will be good for girls and parents!

In fact, Barack Obama has not been shy about promoting clean fashion. On MTV, the always sharply dressed Obama, admonished "brothers" for showing their underwear and told them to "pull up their pants." Amen to that. If only Barack had been pro-life, his very sensible position on hanging off-the-butt pants might have been enough to win me over. In any case, it's safe to say that Barack may be the only president cool enough to convince teenage boys to clean up their fashion act.

more on consistent-life-ethic
Notable exponents, according to the Consistent Life organisation, include actor Martin Sheen, novelist Wendell Berry, the current Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, and Village Voice columnist Nat Hentoff.[5]

In 1971, Roman Catholic pacifist Eileen Egan used St. John the Apostle's phrase the seamless garment, referring to to describe a holistic reverence for life. "The protection of life," said Egan, "is a seamless garment. You can't protect some life and not others." Her words were meant to challenge members of the pro-life movement, as well as those who are in favor of capital punishment, to adopt a consistent life ethic. Egan's view was that there is a unity of Catholic teaching when it comes to human life.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

the boy in a basket

the boy in a blue slide

the morning primp, where I wrestle makeup away from my little friend

So, I haven't been in a very reflective place lately, more like action-mode. I am homeschooling the Creature and its taking a lot of time and energy. I am a totally reluctant homeschooler, but I realize I have to really work with him and develop my patience to get him to a point where he will be successful in school. Homeschooling can be good for kids but it can really develop character in the parents. I think homeschooling can be awful too, like in a family that punishes the kids for not learning the way the parents hoped they would. I try hard to keep it positive, but the fact remains that I am home working every day with my MOST challenging child. I do already see some improvements in his maturity so I am going to hope for the best, even though this morning at breakfast I was already so fed up I almost turned into the Hulk.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

October, my favorite month...

So, we've done the pumpkin patches & are finally decorating for Halloween. Our neighbor's annual Hallowwen party is this weekend. The big thing we look forward to in October though is the darling husband's birthday weekend. He took off work, we took our oldest out of school and went to the very edge of Virginia, to the empty police camp with our friend ( & Joaquin's godmother) Brunie--the same place we celebrated the birthday last year.

We fished and and my oldest caught the big one that we ate for breakfast, we had a huge Bday German dinner with real wurst from the German Gourmet in Falls Church. The man in my life brewed an Oktoberfest brew for the occasion, he brought the whole keg. Since I am expecting, I only had a few sips, but it was a great beer! The breakfasts were huge, we went to a couple of wineries and we hit a Scottish festival. The kids played with other kids, Brunie invited friends that brought their grandkids.

Here are some highlights: I relaxed, Joaquin experienced his first moon bounce in the capable hands of his godmother, the little guy loved riding across the camp field in a truck and my Creature--fun loving as always.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

This was a question on today.

"Why don't pediatricians, and OB-GYNs for that matter, get educated about breastfeeding?! Mine promote the heck out of it, congratulate me for keeping up with it, and were quick to criticize me at the mere mention of weaning before my daughter turns one, yet can't hold an intelligent conversation about it, let alone answer questions. And I was shocked by the question you ran a couple of weeks ago about a doctor who criticized the "richness" of a mother's milk. Is there any movement within the medical community to get doctors up to speed? I thank my lucky stars that my community has an amazing lactation consultant who provides her services at no charge. But she'd have a lot more free time if there'd been someone in the hospital after delivery to give me some proper training. — 4 Out of 5 Doctors Don't Have a Clue!"

This is why we have La Leche League.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Yoda the cookie, well, I tried...

After the Chilean Independece Day festival

Brothers hangin out on the deck

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My cute cousin sent me this article by Camille Paglia today and wow, I think it makes some great points about Sarah Palin and the entire presidential race at the moment. I find myself fascinated by Ms. Palin and the notion that she is a mom to many and a hard working public servant.

I don't agree with Ms. Paglia or Ms. Palin either completely, but there are some deep thoughts in here we could all learn from. Its the close-mindedness of both parties that hurts us all. I am still sad about losing one of my oldest mama friends to this presidential race only b/c we couldn't civilly discuss both candidates equally. I hope she returns one day, but I am not holding my breath. People have forgotten that we can have conversations without always "campaigning."

Here is the article, sorry, blogger won't do links--you'll have to cut & paste:

Here are 2 great excerpts:

"But the pro-life position, whether or not it is based on religious orthodoxy, is more ethically highly evolved than my own tenet of unconstrained access to abortion on demand. My argument (as in my first book, "Sexual Personae,") has always been that nature has a master plan pushing every species toward procreation and that it is our right and even obligation as rational human beings to defy nature's fascism. Nature herself is a mass murderer, making casual, cruel experiments and condemning 10,000 to die so that one more fit will live and thrive.

Hence I have always frankly admitted that abortion is murder, the extermination of the powerless by the powerful. Liberals for the most part have shrunk from facing the ethical consequences of their embrace of abortion, which results in the annihilation of concrete individuals and not just clumps of insensate tissue. The state in my view has no authority whatever to intervene in the biological processes of any woman's body, which nature has implanted there before birth and hence before that woman's entrance into society and citizenship.

On the other hand, I support the death penalty for atrocious crimes (such as rape-murder or the murder of children). I have never understood the standard Democratic combo of support for abortion and yet opposition to the death penalty. Surely it is the guilty rather than the innocent who deserve execution? "

and this:
"Over the Labor Day weekend, with most of the big enchiladas of the major media on vacation, the vacuum was filled with a hallucinatory hurricane in the leftist blogosphere, which unleashed a grotesquely lurid series of allegations, fantasies, half-truths and outright lies about Palin. What a tacky low in American politics -- which has already caused a backlash that could damage Obama's campaign. When liberals come off as childish, raving loonies, the right wing gains. I am still waiting for substantive evidence that Sarah Palin is a dangerous extremist. I am perfectly willing to be convinced, but right now, she seems to be merely an optimistic pragmatist like Ronald Reagan, someone who pays lip service to religious piety without being in the least wedded to it. I don't see her arrival as portending the end of civil liberties or life as we know it."

Little Teeny is 2, not teeny no more

I try not to ever make this blog political, my goal was always to keep it positive and show that being a stay at home parent can be fun and rewarding. I do see good things about both teams of candidates, but this last week both sides have been doing stupid things too--they're only human. I admire Sarah Palin for challenging my own views on working moms, and how parents really can be equal. Nobody questioned whether Joe Biden was up to the task of being a Senator with his wife and daughter recently killed and 2 sons still in the hospital. Yet, her problems are minor in comparison and people are concerned about her "balancing it all.

Anyway... the media is busy finding things out about Palin's record that may discredit her big stance on ethics. I feel for her, I'd feel the same way if it was Biden. If I ran for office they would find some bad things about me too. And that's why you'd never catch me running for office.

And a few more things I would never do:

Skydive (I once wanted to, but I don't trust those punk rock instructors to check the equipment!)
Fly in any small plane (they crash every day!)
Get a pet with small kids (I can't take any more bodily fluids in this house)
Pierce anything (almost did my nose in Chile, but I like tattoos better)
Be a dentist (teeth give me the creeps)
Go in a Hot air balloon (I hate fire, I hate heights--both in one place, no thanks!)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

More fun from the lake, man I miss it...

My little guy suited up on the day before he turned 2 and then out in the kayak with his mom & dad.

I am not as articulate as one of my favorite bloggers on the subject, , but I feel very good about the choice of Sarah Palin. I love seeing a babywearing, breastfeeding mother able to accomplish so much. I see her and I feel like I need to do more and figure out how to give more of myself too.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Creature/Yoda/my little sweeties First Day of Kindergarten

He started kindergarten today and so far, so good!
His teachers seem awesome, seasoned veterans both.
He is finally at the same school with his brother, Yay!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Summer's End

Usually we go earlier, but this year we spent the very last week of summer (school started today) at Lake Winnipesaukee. It was a gorgeous and very relaxing week after a very ugly and stressful month of August. All 3 boys were super sick for 4 weeks and I wasn't feeling well either. My brother and I celebrated our birthdays together with some friends and that was a bright spot, but the rest of the month was Rough.

Today was my oldest boy's first day of 3rd grade and the Creature (now responds only to Yoda) has his first day of kindergarten tomorrow. I can't believe it! I am so happy with the school, the kids are very sweet to each other for the most part---old friends hugged my 8 yr old and a new friend put his arm around Yoda as we waited to pick up his brother. So... I kind of miss summer, had it been more like July was, bu I am happy to get back into the rhythm too.

Friday, August 01, 2008

There is a great post here, on how the life of a mom is really not simple at all. I don't have 9 kids like she does, but I try to follow the plan God has for my life. The hardest thing for me is managing my time well and staying organized. I am building myself an office on my stair-landing, its going to be weird but I think I'll like it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I've been listening to XM radio's 30 days of Coldplay while I do my domestic stuff around the house. I remember listening to them since the beginning of my mama life, when my first was born, it was "Yellow" and then when I lost Alistair, it was "The Scientist" and a many other good songs along the way. I'm not a huge fan but I do find them hard not to like, all the songs are calming to me--even the sad ones.
This is the part that reminds me of Alistair in "the Scientist,"

I was just guessing at numbers and figures
Pulling the puzzles apart
Questions of science, science and progress
Do not speak as loud as my heart
And tell me you love me, come back and haunt me
Oh and I rush to the start
Running in circles, chasing tails
Coming back as we are

Nobody said it was easy
Oh it's such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be so hard
I'm going back to the start

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I'm grateful for a great weekend at the reunion for my dad's company in Vietnam, The Delta Raiders. There were some soldiers there that he had served with and some that had come before him, some after. I got to meet 2 widows of Medal of Honor winners, here is the story of one of them,

I remember going with my dad to his very first reunion, back in 1983. I was 10 and it was just the two of us, we camped in a tent. When we got to Brown County state park in Indiana my dad disappeared to talk to his fellow soldiers and I saw him only briefly after that. I would try to sit and listen and some of the stories were very intense. My dad was lost in conversation the whole time, and its still like that now, 25 years later.

I grew up military and I rebelled, I was a teen hippie. A total pacifist animal rights type of chick. My dad was patient with me, but that must have been very annoying for him. When he gave a speech last night at the banquet, he explained the war and all of the men's place in it so well. I don't have the kind of eloquence my father does, but every single soldier there was important.

On Friday night there was a chorus of young soldiers from the base we were staying at. (Ft. Eustis). They were very talented and the sang a version of "American Soldier" by Toby Keith that was extremely emotional. One of the men came over to me and said, "You know, this is your dad's song." I was just thinking the same thing, it was also my family's life, my entire childhood. I didn't have a lot of respect for the military when I was growing up, but I do now and I am so proud of my Dad and all of the soldiers who fought and had to come home to such an unwelcoming country.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Its a real bummer not having a camera anymore! I feel like I am talking too much on here, :) So, an update on my ridiculous kidney stones. I saw the urologist today, my second one--the first was nice but extremely paternalistic and treated every patient the same in terms of treatment. The good news is all the stones are small enough to come out on their own and with a little narcotic help--that should work out fine. More later...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Horrible Amount of Kidney Stones

I was thinking about re-naming the blog "A Horrible Amount of Kidney Stones," but I thought that might be weird & I am trying to keep this blog positive. This phrase is what a doctor in the ER said to me late last Friday night. After going in with a ton of pain (it was not the Worst pain though) and worrying it could be ectopic or possibly appendecitis, it was discovered through a cat scan that I have a whole lotta kidney stones. Luckily they appear small. I have to hydrate myself to another level, avoid extra salt ( I love salt!) chill on the xtra vitamin C & avoid dairy & meat in big portions. It definitely could be worse. I am actually enjoying the extra energy I am feeling from being super hydrated. Next week I go to a real urologist and get the lowdown on my plan of attack--probably just wait for pain & take drugs---but I'm looking into the homeopathic route too.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Its funny the difference one day can make.

My new neighbors actually seem really cool. I talked to both the mom & the dad, in the parking lot and on the playground. They are super nice, young and their kids are very friendly and sweet.

After a day where every mom I met seemed mean, today all the moms were really nice around here. The Creature happily made a friend at his Nature Camp so I stayed behind to meet his mom at pick up. I wanted to exchange numbers so they can play this summer. She turned out to be such a nice woman. She's Mexican, married to a New Zealander and they have lived in NZ, Mexico, CA & here together. She was a med student who dropped out and stayed home when her kids were born. She had 2 super high risk pregnancies and so we have a lot to talk about. :)

Then on the playground I met a brand new mama, also from Mexico, with a precious 2 month old girl. She asked me in Spanish if she could come over and hang out in the mornings. That will be nice too, I always wanted a coffee friend in the neighborhood.

I was scared yesterday about being a stay at home mama with the whole summer in front of me. Today I feel better about it & I plan on doing it one minute at a time.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I saw this on a mom's post on a message board & I couldn't resist.

I have to add that I'm very cautious about what I put here and I don't want to offend anyone. I don't judge parents who chose this surgery for their sons without having all the facts. Its only recently that this operation became standard, in the last century, and all of the information put out was strictly pro-circ, by doctors, the media etc.

If you look at the history of circ in the US this is a surgery that took hold in our culture as a "cure" for various diseases and disorders. Yet, a century later, every single "benefit" of circumcison has been disproven. The latest is HIV, 3 studies from Africa show that performing circs on adults can lower their chance of HIV transmission by 50%. If you take the time to read each study its obvious how flawed each one was and they are a little unethical too. The cut guys were home healing while the intact men were out on the town. Would an American man ever trust his circed status as his only protection against HIV? Why are Africans treated like idiots?

Circumcision is still a "cure" looking for a disease. The complications from this surgery, especially on a tiny newborn, far outweigh the complications of keeping the body the way it was designed. The adhesion rate alone is 70%!

More and more people are leaving their kids intact now, the rate in the US today is 50%--so locker room issues are not a good reason anymore. Because of problems our generation had with tighter circs, they are now cut extremely loose--to retain some of the frenulum (b/c the foreskin is a body part with parts & purposes like any other) so looking like Dad is not even possible. Who sits around comparing genitals anyway? :)

I think its important to be able to talk openly about things that are just nuts in the medical world. There are many examples of things that have been done throughout modern medicine's history that have been totally bananas--bloodletting, giving women big doses of hormones they aren't supposed to have in abundance anymore & then not expecting cancer. How about doctors in the 1940's putting women into twilight sleep to give birth? Routine, non-religious circ was first pushed in the era of bloodletting.

Nowadays an OB that does one circ a day can make more than $34,000 extra every year. The pressure to do it in the hospital can be pretty intense--I've dealt with it 4 times. The funny thing is that once I said no--the doctors and nurses thanked me for choosing not to. When else are you solicited for surgery on someone who can't consent? I can almost guarantee this surgery (for newborns) will be gone in 10 years. The other countries that once did it routinely dropped it once universal health care became standard---Australia, Canada, England. The human body is perfect and amazing in its design and it is totally unnatural to bring home a hurting wounded baby just because he's a boy in America.

Random thoughts

I don't have the energy or wherewithall for a normal post, plus my camera is sadly kaput--so a few things I'm thinking about today:

Why are people so scared of bugs that they will spray poison around their kids? Why would they spray the whole back of their house, isn't that the bugs world? So bizarre. My new neighbors are here and I'm not that excited so far...

Lil Wayne is oddly fascinating. His music is super cheesy but he has a certain appeal.

What is up with suburban moms being so unfriendly today? I had to ask 2 different moms if I could borrow sunscreen at my sweet Creature's nature camp and you would think I was asking for a pint of their children's blood. They seemed so shocked that I would ask. Then I went to Trader Joe's and was almost crashed into by about 6 different moms, I smiled--they scowled.

I had a huge uphill battle with my almost 5 year old today, my sanity was frayed and I was about to run out the door to freedom--but I got a grip and so did he. We worked together and he worked hard on helping himself become happy and he had a great day at Nature Camp.

Monday, June 02, 2008

This is a vision of Sunday brunch at Cindi's---mimosas for adults and mock-mini-mimosas for kids. Afterwards we went to the small Ren fest and it was a beautiful drive and a great hot day for it. The boys met the Queen and then came back, knighted, and met her again. It was lots of fun, with bawdy songs and many nice people.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

This article makes some very good points about the 2 candidates and life issues.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Things are much better, I had my doctor check to see if I was healing well and I am. Sunday, the swelling went down a lot and now its almost gone. I did my usual Memorial Day thing of opening up a watermelon, crushing up the fruit and pouring in a bottle of Prosecco, a little citron rum, pink lemonade and an orange cut up. I bring this to a party and voila, its yummy and fun!

Friday, May 23, 2008


I got cut open yesterday afternoon, all along the inside of my cheek. I have had a lump in my cheek for a long time, but was only aware of it some of the time. It was spotted on a cat scan and then again in all of its glory on an MRI. My ENt Dr. got me thoroughly freaked out that it could be salivary gland cancer. Luckily, it turned out to be a benign hemangioma.

The nurses were all cool and the anestheseologist was a jokester, like most of them are whenever I am in the hospital. I have no memory of being put to sleep, I was having great dreams of cuddling with my youngest boy, and then I woke up abruptly and asked them when they were getting started. They had already finished! Getting cut into is never fun, but I am feeling very good that it was no big deal and I am concentrating on healing, taking my vicodin and trying to stay away from beer with vicodin. I hope everyone has a fabulous Memorial Day and be thankful that you don't have one big chipmunk cheek like me. :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

The last week has been a wild one. The gnarly picture you see below are the praying mantis eggs I hatched last Wednesday. These eggs sat quietly in my kitchen for 2 weeks, and then I came downstairs feeling the odd sensation of movement in the room, but not knowing where. I saw the wall absolutely covered with teeny mantis babies! At least 50 were on the wall, another 50 + on the floor and more babies were rapidly pouring out of the sides of the egg. Who knew my unruly Creature would be such a great mantis midwife? He safely carried every single mantis he saw on the floor outside while I worked the wall. Not even one leg was broken in the process and now all of them are happily growing and munching in the yard. I know they are insects but I am oddly attached to them, I'm hyped about my green gardening!

I cut my hair before the oldest childs First Communion and this is the only photo I have right now. The boys are all healthy and mostly happy(er) and its been a great May so far.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


My second son, Alistair, would have been 6 today. I can't believe how much time has passed, it sounds so cliche--but sometimes it seems like yesterday and sometimes it seems like another person's life. The older boys stayed home from school and we took everyone to the cemetery and released balloons. This year we didn't plant flowers because they just get mowed down ayway. We had 6 balloons, but each small kid held onto their balloon until the last minute and one balloon got away from us in the car. So, it hasn't been a very perfect day, but that's OK. I'm grateful that 6 years ago I became the mother to this precious little soul. I can only hope to see him again one day.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


This is a touchy subject these days of course, and there are big issues like the War and life issues that are so divisive---but I've been reading about Obama & McCain and there are lots of good things about both of them. I don't talk about who I vote for, b/c I find the whole thing so frustrating, I believe in voting Catholic but I am a Democrat for the most part.

Anyway, for the people who think McCain is too old--that man is fierce beyond belief! I think he might be invincible. He has been in 3 plane crashes, 1 power line collison, and then he was in a huge plane fire and explosion & badly injured. That was all before he was a POW for 5 years, according to wikipedia, "He was flying his 23rd bombing mission over North Vietnam, when his A-4E Skyhawk was shot down by a missile over Hanoi.[36][37][38][39] McCain fractured both arms and a leg,[40] and then nearly drowned when he parachuted into Truc Bach Lake in Hanoi.[36] After he regained consciousness, a mob attacked him,[41] crushed his shoulder with a rifle butt, and bayoneted him; he was then transported to Hanoi's main Hoa Loa Prison, nicknamed the "Hanoi Hilton"." And he was tortured and held for 5 years!

What a tough guy! Whether or not you agree with his politics, this man is strong, and if he does have a temper, who could blame him? If you really look at the types of things (outside of military issues) that he and Obama vote for, they have a lot in common. McCain also came out and said he had lost faith in Rumsfeld a year ago. Here is one last thing I admire about McCain,"McCain made attacking the corrupting influence of large-scale contributions — from corporations, labor unions, other organizations, and wealthy individuals — on American politics his signature issue." That doesn't sound very Republican to me.

I hope whoever we end up with that universal health care becomes a reality in a way that's favorable to everyone, with the best possible health care easy to access for all Americans and immigrants.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I have another blog

that's all about breastfeeding. I'm drawing from my other life as a volunteer lactation consultant and trying to share what makes breastfeeding easier.
I am forcing myself to write something. I wish I had a new picture to post, but I screwed up my computer and now I can't access my photos.

I have been enjoying this song lately, Ever since Chile I love Enrique Iglesias, I never even noticed his songs before. I had only heard the English versions, but hearing him in Spanish is so much better! All of a sudden, I am loving the energy of his music, he is so earnest and sad, yet hopeful in all of his songs. When I am on one of my many challenging drives around town, I crank my boy Enrique and feel a lot better about life.

Its been hard lately, I don't even really want to be around people that much, I don't want to talk about it--I am not entirely loving my mom life these days and its rough. I'm not going to feel sorry for myself, I have a lot of blessings, but I need lots of sleep and lots of exercise to manage these days. I am going to take charge of the things I can control and let go of the things I can't control and hopefully that will help.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I apologize if this is boring...

but, as the trip fades a little into the background, I want to jot some of my impressions of Chile:

-Rastafari is pretty big with young people (don't I sound old saying that?)
I saw many dreadlocked teens waiting for buses, walking down the streets etc. I love dreaded people, I had Rasta roommates in college and I did have dreads for awhile too.

-The food, all whole foods, nothing processed where we stayed. All of the vegetables and fruits taste so much better than here.

-The wine is mad fruity and strong. The young stuff stays in Chile mostly and the rest is exported. Compared to Italian young wine, the Chilean wine is really flavorful.

-They love babies there. Pregnant ladies everywhere, everybody holding babies in their arms, not in buckets as much as you see here. Public breastfeeding is normal and attitudes are relaxed.

-Credit is really pushed on folks in Chile. Every store has a credit card and everyone around us in line at the mall, at the grocery store--were all using credit. I bought a $12 camisole and was asked how many payments did I want to make.

-Chilean Spanish is not easy to understand, it flows fast and letters are dropped off of words where you least expect it, making your head spin if you happen to be a "Gringita" like me.

That's all for tonight!

Monday, April 07, 2008


First, the Cathedral of Santiago. Then, days later, a vineyard right in the city limits, Cousino Macul. The wine samples are not the teeny drops you get in a winery here, but a big full glass of wine x2. We were the only ones with kids on the tour and that made the tour guide give us more and more wine, which was pretty funny when you saw the other people's faces.

Are boys born defective? Only in America...

This is a great blog post about a man who keeps his son in one piece even after his OB's office actually made him and his wife listen to a sales pitch about cutting up their baby. Circumcision is such a business in this country that getting the real facts about how unnecessary and harmful it is, is really hard to do here. Chile is one of the many countries that doesn't cut their babies and I think its pretty weird that its considered normal and routine here.

Friday, April 04, 2008

We went out to eat in Santiago one night, to meet my newly married Godmother's daughter and her husband. We had a plan to sit outside and live it up with lots of good food and Chilean wine. I was still not 100% well, but we went anyway and had a great time. The funny thing is that we found the only Chilean vegetarian restaurant, totally by accident because I stopped in to use the bathroom and the kids thought it looked cool. We had fabulous food there and a band randomly set up across the street and played, the baby danced. Those 2 handsome men are my husband's oldest friends and our hosts.

About Me

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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.