Friday, December 31, 2010

the end

So this tonight is the end of the decade...we are moving into the adolescent years of the 21st century.
If you'd asked me last year what my life would look like in a year I wouldn't have guessed I'd be called GiGi, or sharing a bed with LO.

I knew my son would be driving but I didn't think he'd be hanging out with the girls basketball team...videotaping games..

I never imagined I'd be listening to kids music again, or learning sign language, or using cloth diapers

or going to LLL again, or babywearing...

or using a exersaucer

But I am, and I'm enjoying every minute of it...even though I've had to drop LO off at the jail so she can have a visit or had unwelcome visitors at my house for hours on end. I even blogged everyday for a month. I've made new friends like Jennie and Beth (who supplied my babywearing fetish) and Lisa and all the Green Bay babywearers. Or Tara (@wolf_mommy) or Curtis (@blackgaykendoll)!

I hope in the next year, it gets finalized so that LO gets to stay with us permanently. That my son decides where he wants to go to college, that everyone has a good year.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Bodhi Day and Anger Management

Since today is Bodhi Day, which is the Buddhist holiday to commemorates the enlightenment of the Siddhartha, I thought I'd talk a little bit about mindful breathing and anger management...

When I was in about 10 years ago..I had a temper that could start a fire as quick as wink. I could be described as being quick to anger and quick to forget. I've noticed that the older I've gotten, the better able I am at controlling my temper. (Either that or I just don't care anymore.) Unfortunately, over the last few weeks the flames of my fiery temper have been stroked more frequently and they are burning bright.

Little One has not been feeling well the last few days..which leads to a fussy, crying, screaming baby that seems to be inconsolable..which leads GiGi to be grumpy, impatient, and frustrated. In the logical part of my mind, I'm telling myself..there is something wrong with LO, she is either hungry, in pain, overly tired, or over stimulated (dysregulated) and as her GiGi, it is my job to figure out what is wrong. reptile brain just wants to scream, yell, run away, and be ANGRY...and resentful.

In the current issue of Mothering Magazine there's an article called Managing Mama Rage by Tera Freese. In the article she talks about how to take care of your anger and how to deal with a fiery temper. She gives some techniques about how to breath through your anger.

Tonight, as soon as I got LO home from SO's shop she started fussing, then it escalated to screaming uncontrollably. I got her to sleep while walking her around in the sling and laid her down, but she woke up about 5 minutes later, only to scream some more. Nothing I did seemed to make her feel better...I kept thinking about the article and the breathing techniques that she recommended..well..I couldn't remember a darn one of I just started he' know that breath they teach you in Lamaze..the “he he” breath..

Did it work?..well LO was startled at the strange sound so for about 2 minutes she stopped crying but once she figured out that it wasn't a risk to her, she began screaming louder then I was he'ing. Did it help me? It did help me to be more present..and to recognize that I was quickly losing my patience. I was about to the point of laying her down in the crib and walking away (to the Bahamas) but part of me doesn't want her to feel abandoned.

SO finally got home, to find me sitting on the couch with a half naked baby (I started stripping off her clothes thinking she may be hot or just something different might stop the screaming) on the verge of tears.

Where am I going with this?? well, I guess as a good mother, it is our responsibility to recognize where our rope ends...and to realize that we don't always have to tie a knot at the end of it. We can let go of the long as we don't hurt ourselves or others, its okay to face our anger. It's okay to ask for help, it's okay to leave the baby someplace safe and take a breather. Slap on the earphones and listen to some Metallica (BTW, I had to look up how to spell Metallica, cause I don't listen to them normally). It's even okay to say to LO..I'm angry, I need a break, I love you. It doesn't make us bad parents, it actually makes us better humans.

What techniques do you use to take care of your temper? And what do you do when you've reached the end of your rope?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Little One at Peace (so GiGi can play)

The other day my precious BlackBerry bit the dust. I really loved my 'berry but I loved the touch screen on my iPhone (AT&T dumped me because of to much off-network internet usage.) Then the new BB Torch came out, and I thought....fabulous! But its only available on AT&T..(damn it)  So I opted to get the new HTC EVO.  I'm still getting used to the new operating system, but I am enjoying the camera and some of the photo editing apps. The app I used to edit these pictures is PicSayPro




I miss my BB messenger..I loved pinning people but I did find an app called PingChat which has the same features as pinning does and allows me to text for free. The application is completely free and who can pass up free.  You can also send video, pictures, and files to your friends and you can chat with a group of people and send them all the same stuff...(totally cool)...If any of you want to give it a try my user name is GiGi_40, the app is available for iPhones, Blackberries, and Android systems.  

The phone also has a voice recognition application you can use instead of the keyboard (I'm assuming to limit distractions) but I have noticed that it causes more distraction then just typing..but I can't break the new texting I have to figure out how to either enunciate more clearly or just send messages that make absolutely no sense. 

Menu-Planning and Meatless Mondays

I was hoping to have this post set up yesterday, but LO's visit was canceled so we spent the day was COOOLLLLDDDDD and I'm like a reptile..the colder it gets the slower I go!  If I could get away with hibernating, I'd be there!

Monday-Vegetarian Minestrone

Tuesday-Chicken/Rice/Broccoli (extra rice and chicken for Friday)

Wednesday-Vegetarian Pad Thai Noodles

Thursday-Crock-Pot Chili

Friday-Chicken Fried Rice


Sunday-Salt-Roasted Porkloin with Fingerling potatoes/Cheesy Cauliflower

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday

Today on my business travels took me to Ripon, Wisconsin.  I'd never driven through downtown Ripon before so I decided to take a peek.  Ripon is also called Cookietown USA as it is the headquarters to Rippin' Good Cookies, it also boast a fabulous liberal arts college.  
The Local Movie Theater
For the last 20 years the Ripon Chamber of Commerce has been sponsoring A Dickens of A Christmas.  The stores were all putting up window displays and this one was finished.  It's not a particularly good picture but I noticed you can see the stores across the street..


So while I was downtown I stopped in a thift shop to look around.  While there I stumbled across this box...its a coffin for cremation..I thought it was a little strange...

then I noticed this written on the end of the box...which made me pause

Isn't it kind of ironic that they store Christmas decorations in a cremation box?  I have to wonder if they store Easter decorations in a cremation box too?  mmmm...

Later Little One and I went with our friend Sarah swimming at the community pool..
(she looks unhappy because she was crying in the car seat AGAIN!)

She really enjoyed the swimming pool.  She smiled, giggled, and she even took it in stride when she was dunked under the water.  She had a blast for about an hour and then decided it was time for her mid-day snack.  I took her to the locker room for a snack and then.....

She passed out! She was like a little limp doll..I took her back out to the pool to watch Sarah and the boys swim and she slept for about 30 minutes until I took her to get changed so we could go home!

When we got home tonight she ate dinner and passed out..she's sleeping like a rock right now..
mmmm...I think that we might have to take a weekly trip to the pool!!!!

BTW my friend Sarah has just started blogging..take a peek

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Humanism, Sexism and the Flying Spaghetti Monster!

Those of you that know me well, know that I am a Humanist who leans towards Buddhist teachings.  I don't care what religion you practice be it Christianity, Islam, or even worshiping the Flying Spaghetti Monster as long as you don't rub it in my face or judge me for not following your beliefs.  I shook my head in stunned amazement jumped for joy the other day when the Pope declared it legal for sex workers to use condoms. Hooray..Condoms for all! (BTW in 6 degrees of separation I know the pope..I lived at his nieces farm house when I lived in Germany)

Yesterday someone twittered a link to an article called Creepy Christian Patriarchy Movement Shackles Daughters to Their Fathers and Homes. I can't resist any article that talks about shackling so I took a look.  Apparently there is a faction of Christianity called “Christian Patriarchy Movement.”  This movement reminds me of Christian Domestic Discipline or men who physically abuse spank their spouses in the name of Jesus.  They are “committed to affirming the historic faith of Biblical Christianity”...okay, I'm down with that..there are people in this world who follow a book written by SciFi writer L. Ron Hubbard..a la Tom Cruise!

In the article the author talks about how Christian girls are choosing to live under the rule of their fathers to be “turned over” to their chosen husbands for care when they get married.  These captives stay at home daughters are kept turning away from higher education and careers in order to learn to be good slaves “helpmeets” for their future owners husbands...not to mention the quiverfull of children they will be having..a la The Duggar's or even Andrea Yates

I don't care if you are an adult and want to subscribe to this craziness.. Fine, more power to ya' but no child should be made to feel that her only goal in life is to grow up having decisions made for her, to birth as many children as God will allow and that her job is to “submit to an imperfect man’s ‘whims’ as well as his heavy requirements.”  I am not a raging feminist, but I believe that in an advanced society, all members male or female should have equal opportunity to unbiased (read non-religious) education allowing them to become whomever they want to it a stay at home quiverfull mom or a Captain in the Navy whose husband does the majority of the child rearing.

I have raised my son to be an independent thinker and to question everything...the Buddha says that “we should believe nothing merely because you have been told it.” My son has chosen to be areligious at this point in his life. I don't shield him from other religions..if he came to me in the morning and said..I've had an epiphany and I want to worship L. Ron Hubbard..I might totally disagree with him, but hey..I might get to meet Tom Cruise!

So your asking yourselves..GiGi..where are you going with this???

Here's where I'm going..

At this moment sleeping next to me is a precious little one..I love her to the moon and back..but I would not be in this situation if her birth mother believed in birth you know why she doesn't believe in birth control? Because she feels baby's daddy's “religion” forbids it.  Since the daddy's religion is often brought up in regards to little one..I did some research..and I found that..(you're going to be shocked) Islam forbids sex outside of marriage! Can you believe that? Oh and you know what else? Islam actually allows birth of the reasons given to allow birth control is because "the husband cannot financial support more children."  

So lets pretend that its okay to have sex without being married if you're Muslim..but you already have more kids then you can support..guess can use birth control. So why exactly does birth mother believe that birth control is wrong? Let alone why isn't she practicing abstinence?

This leads me to what aggravates me the most about the people who follow religion..they pick and choose what to follow..You want to wear a demin skirt that has some stretch..just forget about Leviticus want to complain about the little ones nails being too long, just say its against your religion. GRRR

That being said..I am all about rituals..rituals define who we are, what we are doing, and how we are going to go about it..I am looking for a non-religious ritual for a child, kind of like a naming ritual.  I'd like it to have something similar to "godparents" as in someone who looks out for the welfare of the child.  If you have one or have a link to one please post it in the comments below.  

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

National Blog Post Month Grand Finale!

I can't believe it..I actually blogged everyday for a month!  Not only that..people actually read my blog!  I had over 650 views.  Someone in Bahrain even looked at my blog!! 

I just want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who read my blog this month.  I totally think that everyone of you that read my blog is totally KEWL!  I especially want to thank Jenny over at Making A Home And Family for sending her readers over to read my blog!  

So what happens now?  Well I'm hoping to keep blogging, NaBloPoMo sponsors a blogging contest every month.  Maybe that is what I need to keep blogging..  

Again thank you so much! Love you!

Edit: BTW those of you who are reading my blog in other countries, I'd love to know who you are..leave a comment!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

Today was my 41st birthday! I never expected to be alive this long. I've always had this thought that I would never get a chance to see my grandchildren.  Well I might not get to see them grow up but I have seen them. 

For my birthday I got this chocolate cake (this is a bad picture, but SO still hasn't fixed the light in the dining room..grrr..I should have asked for that for my birthday)

Apparently all the hints, as well as the email, given to SO on what to buy me as a gift paid off because he gave me this beautiful necklace this morning, as I was leaving for work/visitation.

 Now I'm tired as I have plummeted off the edge of my sugar high!  Night, Night all!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Givin' Sugar Sundays

Well, this long weekend flew by..

Today I got the shopping done that I needed to do yesterday..I finally have some clothes that fit to start off the work week right!  I've been busy all night cleaning house, doing laundry, and getting my day set up for tomorrow, I'm planning on it being a good day since its my birthday!

Here are two blogs that I enjoy and maybe you will too!

This blog is frackin' hilarious The Manwife Chronicles David is also good for a laugh on twitter and the occasional UStream..I recently spent Friday evening with him and about 10 other people..we discussed decorating, drinking, and falling down.

Another blogger I like is the Reluctant Vegetarian, actually I started off kind of pissed at her cause she has the name I wanted for my I am a reluctant vegetarian..I'd rather be off eating a thick juice rib-eye then this low protein crap I'm stuck with oh and then I wouldn't have to figure out something to eat every other day at my house!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday Chaos!

So once again its 30 minutes till the Sunday and I haven't even started on the blog.

I had a great morning with the little one this morning only to have the afternoon turn into a screamy plans of doing some shopping for myself didn't work out.  Every time I put her down to sleep so I could get ready to go, just ended with screaming and upset...I did get a bit testy with her and DS..We finally got out around 2pm and I got a chance to buy two Daily Tea outfits for her.  I know Daily Tea is expensive, but I love their line.  They are feminine yet don't overwhelm you in the pinkness that baby girls tend to get stuck with.  I needed to pick up some new pants for myself as I have lost to much weight to continue wearing my old pants but I didn't get a chance to get to Kohl's. 

We had Thanksgiving dinner with family tonight, which was great.  Its always nice to get together with family and talk and eat great food.  My son went with us and I can honestly say I think he actually had a good time.  He ate a lot, almost seemed like I never feed the boy!  Everyone loved the LO's sling and thought that babywearing was neat.  Of course there wasn't much babywearing as everyone wanted a chance to hold her!

I just got little one off to sleep and I would like to get some rest because tomorrow is grandma visit day which really just drags on me..

Goodnight all!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Almost There

Today was Black Friday...and guess what I did? 

I slept in..I didn't get up at 4AM and go stand out in the cold!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

The Benedryl has been taken,
the turkey eaten,
The tryptophan is workin'
And I'm about to be snorin'
I am thankful to you all,
for reading about my life
I bid you all a good night!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's All About the Boots

So today was a court date for LO's parents...I have to say parents lightly because some anonymous guy has stepped forward and said that he's the baby's like a real life Jerry Springer show. So now things have been put-on hold until after the New Year.

What struck me the most was when they brought mom out is how casual she seemed to be about being in an orange jumpsuit and shackled! It was like it was a completely normal thing...I just kept thinking..WHY!

So when that was done I went and did some work...but I did stop at this cool vintage shop and walked away with a pair of boots and a cool Harris Tweed jacket.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Menu-Planning and Meatless Mondays

My menu plan this week was pretty easy as we share Thanksgiving dinner at two different houses on two different days so I only needed to come up with five meals this week.  We end up with left overs from both houses so I probably will get some turkey for lunches.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only times I will go off my meatless diet to eat Turkey..I take a lot of Benedryl to make me feel the symptoms of my allergy less.  If worse comes to worse I end up really sick and down a day..but hey..I love me the turkey!

Meatless Monday-Vegetarian Minestrone

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped celery
1 cup carrots, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup barley
4 cups vegetable broth
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped kale
1 can (16 ounces) canned white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup uncooked small shell pasta
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic and continue cooking for another minute then add the barley.

Stir in broth, tomatoes, kale, and beans. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes then add pasta. Add zucchini. Cover and cook for 5 minutes more.

Remove from heat and stir in the basil. Ladle into individual bowls and serve immediately.

Tuesday-Chicken/Rice/Green Beans


Thursday-Family dinner

Friday-Eat out (I promised Jake BW3's for good grades)

Saturday-Family Dinner

Sunday-Potato Pierogi

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Givin' Sugar to Some Foreign Blogs

Today I want to give some sugar to some of my friends on other continents...

I'll start with Australia..I'd like to see more blogging from my friend from Down Under Faerie Midwife, but I'm sure she's busy birthin' I won't hold it against her! She recently got a kick ass tattoo of a stork and I'd love to see more pictures!

From England:

I enjoy reading Nurturing Career Mama's blog about trying to be a working mom who nurses and practices Attachment Parenting.  I was reading a post she put up recently about shopping with a toddler and I have to say I can relate to the non-child shopper..but I guess in the next few years, I will again be that dreaded shopper with a toddler in toe!

Another wonderful blogger from England is Kylie from Not Even a Bag of Sugar.  She writes about her experiences with being a mom to a little boy born at 27 weeks.  She has posted a great delivery story.  And I would love to sit down with her and have a cup of tea. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Living with Me Can Cause Drinking!

Its Saturday night I have 45 minutes to get today's post written, edited, and posted.  I have no topic in mind and I have someone reading over my shoulder which makes it even harder...

I spent the day in bookkeeping hell...I hate, absolutely hate, doing the books for my SO's business..we don't see eye to eye on a lot of things and how I run the business books is one of them..It leaves me angry, flustered and lacking patience for the LO and my DS..I just want to run away screaming..sooo

I did run away from the shop, but I ran away with the LO and we ran to someone's house to pick up a Exersaucer for $15.  (I love Craigs List!)  She's still to small for it, but in just a few months she'll think it's the bee's knees!

When I got back home (I never run away for too long)  I found a package from Jenny over at Making a Home and Family which thrilled me..I bought some diapers from her and she had to school me on how to use them..I was hoping that another package would be in my mailbox too..a new sling from BabyEtte but alas, I am going to have to wait until next week!

We spent the evening watching movies..I finally sat down and watched New in Town with Renee reminded me of how I felt during my first winter in Wisconsin..cold and in culture shock!

After the movie..SO decided that he wanted to mess with GiGi and shouldn't mess with GiGi..a water fight ensued and this is what happens!  I win the water fight and you get driven to drink in the bathroom in the dark!

At this moment we are all calmed back down and watching Seven Years in Tibet (Brad Pitt is hot, even with a terrible accent!), LO is sleeping and I'm about ready to head off to the shower..

Remember..don't mess with GiGi..

Friday, November 19, 2010

Babywearing and Big Glasses!

Our babywearing group (Green Bay Babywearers) met today at a great restaurant called Kavarna's.  I love getting together with this group of ladies...we are all crunchy in our own ways.  We tend to just take over the children's area of Kavarna...and pandemonium ensues!

I tried on an Ergo carrier...and I should have grabbed the Mai Tei to give it a try but I didn't think about it at the time.  I did put LO on my back in a back wrap, but she truly hates the process of of getting wrapped onto my back, so I'm really tempted to give a Mai Tei a try!  We got a lot of looks from the rest of the guest in the restaurant while we were trying on our different wraps. 

The other day when I was looking for some pictures I found this one of me and Jake..16 years can't see him cause he's in the sling!

I look like a baby in this picture..and man..were those glasses big.  My friend sitting next to me was from La Leche League and she really helped me get a good start nursing Jake...Those days seem so long ago..

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Topic of the Day: MEN!

I want to talk about seems to be the topic today..Whitney over at Not Merely a Momma talked about her husbands feet and Tiffany (@MomNom) blogged at Scary Mommy about neutering her husband.  I want to talk about how frustrating men can be sometimes...

They fart, belch, leave their dirty socks all over the house, and never put the toilet seat down.  They scratch their privates and pick their butts..and when you bend over to pick something up they butt check you!  (Butt checking is..when they thrust their pelvis into your tush I hate that!!)  I can barely tolerate those things, but I think its programmed in to their DNA so what else can you expect..what I can't tolerate is when grandpa does things just to annoy me.

Like when the LO is sleeping, he comes in and makes loud noises seemingly wanting to wake her up.  I just want to slap him upside the head...I am terrified that she'll wake up and then I'll have to spend hours getting her back to sleep..I threaten him with death if he wakes her but he just smiles and acts like its no big deal.

The other thing he does that pisses me off (I can get pissy pretty easily) is when he brings me the LO with a poopy diaper.  He just smiles and leaves her in my lap..I'm mean jeez..its just a dirty diaper..clean the damn thing.  Poor baby having to wait for me to do it!  I have been half tempted to leave a dirty diaper in his car, just to prove the point..don't mess with the GiGi!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

GiGi (That's what I call myself in front of LO) is gonna be 41 at the end of the month..people are always asking me what I for Wordless Wednesday I'm showing my list!!

Well Behaved Women

Vermont Leaves Copper BabyBasics LINEN Superwide Pleated baby Ring Sling

Racer Girl Socks

French Butter Dish

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Terrific Tuesdays!

So yesterday at 8:30am I got a phone call from the LO's social worker saying that our home care coordinator called in sick so they were canceling the visit with the LO's birth mom this morning..I'm like wh..wh..wh..what?  I had no idea that there was even a visit wasn't ready that's for sure!  Then she says..oh maybe I forgot to call you.  What the hell?  BTW..I'm not a crazy planner, but I do like an idea of what I'm going to be doing so that I can make sure we are where we need to be or else I begin to get resentful.  But geez..a little earlier notice would have been nice. 

Visits with mom were canceled two weeks ago since she was incarcerated again..but they will be starting up again so LO will be taking her first trip to the county jail next week.  I'm not quite sure that jail is good for 10 week olds,'s all about the momma! 

I also found out that baby's daddy has gone to court and established paternity and now would like some visits..which brings up some issues in my mind because daddy doesn't have a job, a car, or a place to live.  Dad is entitled to two visits a week, but who the hell knows where the they'll be at cuz coming to see her here is out..did I say that daddy is homeless?  I did say I was willing to help facilitate some visits, which means that I will taking LO to see him (library?) and then hang out while he visits.   But its all about the daddy!

So now once visits get going there will be a visit once week for mom, two visits a week for dad, and one visit a week for grandma.  Visits for mom and dad will be happening during regular business hours and the social worker doesn't really want a mom and dad visit on the same day..I'm like when the hell am I supposed to work?  But it's all about the birth parents!

And yes I'm frackin' bitter but this is my blog so just get over it! and don't be commenting about it being all about placement back with the birth parents cause I know what the goal is..I'm just being bitter!

I know that a perfect world, mommy and daddy will get their damn acts together and in a period of a few months get out of jail, find a job, get an apartment, and become stable so that LO can move back in with her birth parents, but come on..daddy already has three kids that don't live with him..oh wait that's cuz daddy doesn't have an place or a job. Mommy is a felon with severe mental health issues..When does CPS say NO, enough! We've found a place for your LO and you can still be involved with her life, since its a family member..but you have lost your right to decide her future! When is it about the Little One?

I have to wonder if this is why we have so many kids in the foster care system.  The goal of CPS is placement back into the biological parents home..but if there are so many negatives how can you get to the positive? And when you repeatedly pull a child from their biological parents and place them in foster care homes when do you say enough?  If a child is removed more then twice do you say enough?  And what help are we giving these parents before, during and after replacement?  When do we as a society that wants productive citizens say ENOUGH?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Givin' Sugar to Some Blogs

As you know, I just started blogging..I always wondered what I should do to be a good blogger and I came across Blogging For Dummies by @mommywantsvodka. I love her irreverance..anyone that can tell the hospital staff that someone in her room was going to be moving and get someone moved out..well she's someone I'm willing to listen too!

Then, in a cool of my fellow bloggers Jennifer at Making a Home and Family lives just up north of me..which is totally cool..and since my job has me traveling all over the state, we made a date last week and met for coffee at a cool little restaurant.

Another twitter friend Whitney started me off on this blogging journey, and she has decided to try her at blogging too..Give her some sugar and visit her new blog Not Merely A Momma

Nolie over at Nolie's Place just put up a review of Take Flight Boutique over at Esty.  So this is what I want for my birthday..

I Love You to the Moon and Back Hand Stamped Necklace - Sterling Silver Disc
And this..
Keep Calm and Carry On Eco Tote - Eye Chart - Vintage Crown

So if anyone would like to get these for me..or maybe drop a hint to Grandpa..I'm sure he's looking for suggestions..I'd appreciate it!