Saturday, December 30, 2006

and i want to pass it on (pass it on...)

besides the fact that i am having a mini faith crisis (again!) - well, maybe not so mini because i am actually wondering if i believe the bible anymore and also questioning why The Deity doesn't show up for every child (in a hurtful/abusive situation) who prays for help. so, as i was saying besides that crisis of faith, i think i'm doing okay.

i am posting this short message to try and spread the word about this site i go to every so often. more likely than not, you've recieved the email pleading with you to go to The Breast Cancer Site and click to provide free mammograms. if you have then you may already have seen the other sites to which it is attached such as the clicks for child hunger, animal rescue, literacy and rainforest preservation. well, they also have stores that sell fairly traded goods as well as food provision 'kits' or even 'send two girls to school in afghanistan' gifts. it seems to be on the up and up and i thought it would be a good place to shop online so i'm providing them with an albeit miniscule but gratis advertisement. So go to the Child Hunger Site Shop and look around. you may find something unique and interesting.

i need to talk more about my 'where is god' stuff, but not now. it's 11:37 (PM) and i need to get to sleep. so go already!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

consumerus christmas

well, it's over. 20 some days of shopping and madness for 20 minutes (at the most) of paper ripping fun. and i am feeling kind of happy about how we 'did christmas' this year. well, to be really honest i think i would like a bit more balance. maybe we went a bit far on the scale when we went with no gifts for anyone at all except lauryn. that's right, we bought and wrapped ONE SINGLE gift this year and it was for little lauryn. none for ryan because there are things he needs and he doesn't know the difference yet. there is a part of me inside that holds tightly to 'what i know' and feels awkward about that.

i think it could also be the same part of me that wishes that we had bought gifts for our immediate family. i missed that feeling of seeing joy on someone's face when they open something that you gave them (that they are happy to receieve, anyway). don't get me wrong, i am still very happy to know that we gave toward the wells for people without drinking water as well as the aids support group in the bahamas and i KNOW this kind of giving will be a part of our tradition. but, perhaps in an effort to remove ourselves from the vortex of consumerism (by remove ourselves i mean trying to climb OUT of the hole into which we have already fallen)... as i was saying we may have taken it a bit too far and missed out on the genuine sharing and caring that (can) happen/s. now that it's all said and done, i really wish we'd gotten gifts for my mom and sisters. and for my friends' kids (and my two wives too). i would like to have gotten something for nathan too. and yes, i would be remiss if i didnt' say that i would like to have gotten something from him. this is, after all, the 'reminder' time of year where it's designated 'show appreciation for everyone you love' time. and humans kind of need that. a reminder to do something to show friends you really appreciate them. (which is a good policy to ensure that no obligatory or duress gifts are purchased too. as in: i have to buy a gift for suzie because she's gonna buy one for me. or i don't even really like so-and-so but i have to buy a gift for him..

:/ but we are going to get a few pieces of clothes (to replace my washed- and stretched-out, and very stained tee shirts and replace some of nathan's wicked old shirts too. again, my thoughts lead me to the path of balance. always the thing i am hoping to achieve in pretty much everything i do.

can you believe i thought i could limit how many presents lauryn was allowed to open to three???? haha! what a laugh! she only had like 5 or 6 under the tree, so it wasn't that bad (like 12 or 13, in which case i think would really have tried to make some kind of cut off till later) and she did show genuine appreciation for the gifts so that was okay. but then, i guess i robbed her of the feeling of giving too. let's face it, she has no concept of giving money to charitable organisations. and there is so much fun in picking out things for someone you love. so next year, we will move further in, toward the cente of the scale and try not to tip it too much in one direction or another.

still, the idea of sharing with those who need more than we do and being in community with the children at the orphanage is something i plan to incorporate into our regular lives next year. (i.e. not just waiting till christmas to 'give' of ourselves and our pockets).

okay, ryan is getting mommy restless. nathan can only hold him for so long with the ball. i gotta run.

Monday, December 18, 2006

open season on nursing

do i go into peoples homes and say to them "why are you having soda? you should drink water instead." or "why on earth are you going to bed at 9? that's ridiculous! stay up till 11, if not 12!" or "you should get rid of this dog. it's irritating me."

are you catching my drift yet? how come people feel like it is perfectly fine to tell me how my nursing relationships with my children should look? why are people SO concerned about how many times a night my son is waking up? you mean he is STILL waking up??? why, my children all slept through the night by the time they were 8 weeks old. really? i guess it was super convenient to wean them, toss them into a crib and leave them to cry alone in the dark - or maybe toss them a bottle of artificial milk and comfort to cry with while you slept peacefully in a seperate room in your own damned bed?

i cannot think of a single thing we "teach" children by leaving them to cry alone in a room except to "fall asleep on their own". when, in actual fact, what these babies are really learning is that they are worthless and the people and the world around them are not to be trusted. ("now see here, timmy - you sit in this room until you can figure out how to dress yourself and tie your own shoes! you're two years old, dammit, it's about time you learned! and stop you blubberin'!") sure they seem fine enough as they go through the early years, but the disconnect will evidence itself when these children/adults try to form meaningful relationships. hello? look at our western society chockoblock full of people who don't touch or even get too close to each other... yet we know full well that humans need touch, look at all the people paying masseuses (sp?) for touch.

we're all about the personal space. which i respect, but it's really a NO TOUCH society! thank heavens for the loving latin culture where everyone kisses and hugs everyone else. let's hope they can influence americans and not vice versa.

the high touch, intimate relationship that is breastfeeding (we say breast feeding because we must differentiate from bottle feeding, which is ridiculous. it should just be feeding and the breast part be understood!) anyway, the bodily contact in breastfeeding is such a perfect way to foster a nurturing individual (in both the baby and the mom). unless bottle feeding mothers are prepared to remove a portion of their clothes for each feeding, this part of the bonding is missed. what's my point here? i kinda lost some steam cuz i am doing this over a two day period. but i think whay i'm getting at, bottom line is that it pisses me off royally that people (in my familial circles) feel like i need advice on how to handle feeding and nurturing my son. "give him a bottle of water when he wakes up. that'll stop him!" i try to be kind and make jokes about how my cut off is when he's ready for college or how it's much easier for me to just stick the boob in and go back to sleep (which, duh! of course it is - that's whole damned evolutionary point!) but next time i think i'll nicely but bluntly say that i am happy with it - actually WE are happy with it - and he will wean when he is bloody well good and ready. (or me whichever comes first -but i'm hoping to stick it out for him.)

well, this has taken me long enough to rant. let me get on with life. it's off to FL tomorrow to visit my mum and sisters for christmas but that's a whole other blog...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

the REST is not history, but mystory

so last post i was trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with me. how come i can't - won't - stay alone with my darling children. and i know the answer: i am too tired. i need more rest. (gosh why is this falling flat even as i type it?) c'mon, cian, rest? who doesn't need rest? you say. but what i'm saying is that i have been nursing and growing babies for the past three years. and not in the 'traditional' way.

'traditional' here translates to: leaving them to cry, sleeping seperately, using formula (or bottles!), going back to a full time job, weaning them before they are ready (lauryn nursed till she was 34 months and, of course, i've only just begun with ryan, haven't i?), feeding them crap filled with PHOs, food coloring, sugar... basically just going with the flow.

i'd like to say i'm a crunchy granola mom (hey, i don't vaccinate and i buy organic!) but i don't think i've made it all the way over there either. has lauryn ever eaten a hot dog? yeah a couple of times (3 or 4 maybe), fast food? hello! KFC anyone? candy? sadly, yes. so, i'm not like making my breads from scratch or growing my own organic vegetables. but what i am is INTENTIONAL. the decisions i make are not done lightly. i may not always make the right one, but i am always doing so with the best intentions. as in, what will this mean days, weeks, months and several years down the line? so maybe i'm crunchy store bought, organic granola.

i mean, i honestly don't know how anyone can do this - waking up several times a night for years, showing up every single day, being present with your kids - in isolation! it's just not the way it was meant to be. right now, my house is clean. and that is because of my two best friends who were here yesterday with their kids and they cleaned my home for me. because i could not. i am the only mom i know who has not had any 'professional help' (as i a paid homekeeper) with managing my home. the dishes, the laundry, the floors, the beds, the cooking the everything still needs mine and nathan's attention in the middle of me working full- and part-time (for me now) and looking after our 3 and 1 year olds.

(i think i'm defending myself because i'm imagining people reading this with raised eyebrows and rolling eyes.) but the truth is, i have to justify my tired feelings to myself sometimes. which is absolutely ridiculous. ree-dic-yoo-luss!

of course i am grateful for every single moment that i am present with my children. as i said to my grandmother this morning, if i don't raise my kids, someone else will and i'm sure they won't do it the way i want. i see no point in bearing children just to hand them off to someone else to raise for you. not during these tender, formative years especially. but, that's another soapbox.

all this to say, --- actually no, i don't think that if i got 10 straight hours of sleep every night guaranteed, it would mean that i could stay home alone with my kids every day. bottom line, it takes a village. and that village for me is very clearly defined in the women who are sharing this journey with me - namely deborah and christine. thank God for them.

so we continue to strive to be together as much as possible so our kids can play with each other while we watch, participate (sparingly :), encourage, correct and love them.

silence | clarity | peace

Sunday, December 03, 2006

being a mother on sunday, dec. 3rd 2006

warning: this is going to be honest and raw. reader discretion is advised.

okay - this morning nathan got up with the kids at 6:15 so i could sleep in. he came to wake me at 8 so he could go to the supermarket before we went to church. (honestly, i was sad.) and as i dragged myself to a state of wakefulness, i began to feel a kind of apprehensive feeling. i began to dread - yes dread - getting up out of the bed and facing my two [albeit darling] children. i didn't like that feeling. what was that about? i was scared to be alone with them. i was unwilling to 'face' dressing the two of them and myself while nathan was out doing [an albeit noble thing] the grocery shopping. i didn't even like to make those words in my head. what kind of mother, i asked myself, doesn't want to be with her kids???

now this is not the first time i've not wanted to be alone with them. that's pretty much all the time. for me, it's much easier to mother in community (usually with DST). am i alone in this? does every other mom on planet earth relish being alone at home with her two (or more) young children? i am trying to articulate to myself what exactly it is that i am afraid of. and i can't say for sure.

but i don't have the time to ponder that right now. i have to run. i'll chew on this and write another post.

the enormous red elephant

friday, as we all know, was world aids day.

i live in a country where we have one the highest per capita rates of infection in the world.

i live in a country that claims to be a "christan nation" (church on every corner, that kind of thing).

i live in a country where no one cares about aids. (well except for some of the members of new providence church community and a few other individuals. but not the religious community at large.)

this math does not add up. what kind of followers of Christ would not care about people dying in their midst? i feel i should say a prayer for our country and for all our brothers and sisters here and abroad who are suffering and dying because of this disease.

dear Mother,
from You all good things flow. it is in Your secret place that we have each been created in Your image. You are our Mother and You are our Father. i am so sad when i think about all the people whose lives have been affected by this epidemic. and i know that You are sadder still. no one could care more about Your children than You do.

my prayer, dear Mother is that our hearts would be filled with Your love and compassion for the men, women and children who are suffering and dying from this sickness. and also for those who are left behind without mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends. and may this be a true love that motivates us to do something. to speak, to serve, to give, to share - to show up. may the light of The Christ Jesus be evident. no, not just evident - bright and shining and warm. shared with everyone without discrimination or judgement.

this is my prayer.