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.