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bye bye baby

Look at me, up before 6AM without the little person waking me.  I suppose she’s been getting up early for long enough that my internal clock has been reset.  Or maybe it was the light streaming in through the window or the loud snoring coming from the other side of my bed.

Regardless, I wanted to take this time to reflect on a moment of sadness I experienced last night.  The weening has been going well, not entirely without fussing and boob-grabbing, but overall pretty smooth.  I went away last weekend to Breitenbush with Jody and no kids and had a fabulously relaxing lunar beltane soaking, hiking, sleeping and playing music.  I thought perhaps my milk would be gone when I returned home, but, it was not.  I nursed Sierra one time hoping there would be none, she’d give up, and that would be that.  But she did get some and so I realized I would have to simply say “no.”

I felt a shift last night physically, and then emotionally.  The physical shift was uplifting but the emotions were those of grief.  I suspect if I nursed her today there would be no more milk.  I don’t intend to have any more babies, but it’s hard to imagine life without one.  Especially my smilie little girl with the funny hair and glowing eyes.  After this, I know it’s a slippery slope further and faster away from having a little one to hold and cuddle. 

But I’ll honor the grief knowing these changes are coming regardless of when and how she stops drinking mama’s milk.  I could nurse her for another year, but it wouldn’t actually make her stay a baby.  I suspect this feeling I am having today is what makes people keep having more children.  They are hard to quit, those sweet little things.

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ween

Welcome to day two of mama computer time during the day!  I’ve had so many brilliant blog posts in my mind over the past months, but right now I’m going to settle for sitting down and once again learning how to form sentences.  (How many times will I have to re-learn this?)  Ah well, life is a circle and some things just keep circling back.  Or, perhaps life is a spiral, we re-encounter things as if we’d traveled in a circle, but by the next pass we’re actually in a different place.

We are working toward weening this week.  I can proudly announce that it’s 1:49pm and Sierra has not yet nursed today.  First thing in the morning (read: 5:45am) is an impossible time to refuse her the boob unless we get up and start our day.  And today, that’s what we did.  Bananas, toast and diluted orange juice at 6am took her mind off the milkies and I even got a few minutes to read the paper.  I joined her for a second breakfast at 8am, along with Sam, and then she had a third breakfast at 11am over at Julia’s house.  I guess when you’re one, drinking less mama milk, and get up before 6am, three breakfasts are in order. 

I dodged the nap-time nursing today because she fell asleep in the car on the way home from getting Sam from school.  Normally I try to get lunch in them before nap/computer time, but Sam snacks at school and Sierra had three breakfasts so I figure we’ll eat when she gets up.  I’m a little hungry, but I’ve been snacking on some fabulous sprouted garbanzo and red pepper hummus Jason and Julia made.

Anyway, I am going away this weekend on Mama’s retreat.  TWO nights at Breitenbush hot springs with a friend, and no kids.  It will be Papa’s first long stretch of having two kids and no Mama around (which will be a fabulous growth experience for him, I suspect) and my first time away from the kids since Sierra was born.  (I got 17 hours at the new year, but that was pretty much it.)  I am very excited to relax, ponder, play my ukulele, soak, read, write and perhaps even formulate and articulate some goals.  Several goals are already in the works, and I’m hoping the time away will me organize them.

Also, I wonder what will happen to my milk supply after having no baby for almost three days?  I don’t think I make that much now, and when she does nurse it usually isn’t for very long.  I have loved nursing, and it is sad to say goodbye to this magical bonding phase of motherhood.  On the other hand, I am ready.   Sierra is 18 months old and I am ready to reclaim my body in a big way.  She will miss it, and be sad for a bit, but I think once we push past letting go it will open up a whole new level of bonding for us.  I long to snuggle her in bed in the morning and not have it be all about the boobs.

Okay, I’ll resist the temptation to keep rambling (wow is it easier to write mid-day rather than after the kids are asleep) but hopefully I’ll keep posting semi-daily until one of two of those brilliant blog posts accidentally pops out. 

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wii

Well, today I bought a wii. And it is no coincidence that I am posting for the first time in a long time. For better or worse, the tradition that has evolved in our house is that while Sierra takes her afternoon nap, Sam has ‘computer time.’ He plays PBS kids, watches netflix, plays coolmath games, etc. This is all well and good (I’ve made my peace with him having some screen time each day) and with simultaneous nap and computer time I sometimes get an hour plus of kid-free time. The problem that has risen to the surface lately is that sometimes I’d like to use my computer during this time. Obviously, that doesn’t work if Sam is using it. So what do to? Buy another computer? That’s pretty expensive… so I came up with the idea of getting a wii. He can play games, use the web, and watch netflix. I hope my plan works and I get some time to write during the day! Okay, there’s the wee one waking up… Not much of a post, but it’s a post! Yea me!

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a moment

Look! I’m still here!

What do you know, but here I am sitting down once again to write.  It has been a while.  I was blogging everyday for a month, then I zotted off to Maui and never looked back.

Winter is fresh and only slightly damp.  No snow in the mountains, but the earth smells rich and moist.  I have arrived at a quiet moment, in my house, during the daylight hours.  These moments are so, so rare.  I am savoring the stillness like a warm bath with sweet red wine  and chocolate peanut butter fudge.  Sierra will wake up any moment, or Sam will arrive back from his visit at Kate and Derry’s house.  But right now, my thoughts are my own.

I am sipping fresh ginger-lemon-honey tea.   Looking south out the window I now see the giant orange wedge and far hills, once hidden by the old blue spruce tree.

I want hot biscuits and more tea.

 

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no naps no laundry

<((I’m double posting this from my new blog.  My new blog is a daily ramble I’m trying to keep up.  This post is the first one I’ve felt like putting somewhere someone might actually READ.  If you’re out there, and you care, ask and I’ll tell you were my new blog is. 🙂 ))>

A full, inspiring day today.  It started out with laundry and failed nap-times (these things brought no inspiration) but the day improved.  One up-side to having Sierra not nap is instead of hanging out at the house trying to be quiet, it suddenly makes more sense to get out and do something.  Usually if she won’t nap she’s still tired and clingy, so trying to get chores done is just frustrating.  Nothing so wasteful as spending a beautiful fall day being frustrated with your kids because they won’t let you clean the house.  So out we went!

Stopped by Julia’s to drop off a couple things.  Then to goodwill to look for a new (to me) binder for my ukulele music.  I’ve decided I have to separate guitar and uke music because otherwise I spend too much time hunting for the song we’re playing.  They had a perfect one and now my uke music has a home all of its own.  As often happens at thrift stores… I came away with a few other treasures.  Two bamboo mats (for beside the tent, or the beach, or whatever) a hanging hoop herb drying thing-a-ma-doodle, a toddler costume that is a horse you stand through and look like a cowboy (or girl.)  Oh, and Sam got a little old time pocket digital game. (Old time being probably the 1980’s or 1990’s.)

After scoring all those treasures for a bargain price we were in such good spirits we decided to stop by and say hi to our friends camped out at 8th and Oak.  I was a teeny tiny nervous that it would have a weird homeless camp vibe, but not near as worried as I was curious.  We parked and walked over.  Found the kitchen, and someone was brewing a fresh cup of coffee (donated by Full City) and insisted I have one.  Hard to say no to free coffee.  “Cream and sugar?”  “Go see Big John over by the main kitchen.”  Big John was indeed a big guy, with a big smile, and besides cream and sugar he offered Sam a cup of apple juice.  I could see big pots, a double burner propane stove, lots of tables, a dish-washing station and a whole tent filled with fresh produce.  I asked Big John how it was going and he filled me in on how to prepare donated food to feed hundreds.  He cooked round after round of dinner last night, he said, up until 10pm.  After the last scoop of stir fry was dished out someone suggested he start another. “Just wait.” he said.  Sure enough, a few moments later a giant pot of steaming hot donated soup arrived, by bike!

There are a couple hundred camped out, but the organizers of this movement don’t turn away a hungry face.  Clearly, word on the street is out.  Big John said he probably served 600 street kids yesterday.  600!  “They were so, so thankful.”

Next we stopped by the info booth to ask what supplies were needed.  “Anything. blankets, jackets, propane, socks.”  John from info booth talked to me for bit about how it was going, the meetings, working by consensus.  “Do you know about consensus?”  “Only from community village meetings.”  “Ah, that’s where I learned it too.  Here we use something similar but more streamlined.”  He showed me a few of the hand signals.  I wonder if Sierra picked up any?  Oh wait, she was asleep.

On our way out a ‘blue jacket’ reporter asked if he could take footage of us.  “I GUESS so…”  I got a text from Jody this evening that she saw us on KEZI news, but I can’t find it.

We zotted off home, had some lunch, and then a second failed nap attempt.  Our lucky day!  Again, I chose adventure over frustration.  Well, during our first outing I noticed my gas light was on.  Of course there are many places I could purchase gas, but I’m rather partial to fueling up at Sequential.  I know it’s still mostly petroleum but at least a little is fermented local blueberry waste!  Plus I can say ‘Mt Pisgah’ and they donate 5% to my favorite natural area.  But even given all these things it feels wasteful to drive all the way out to I5 just to buy gas.  So, I decided, we must go for a little walk at Mt. Pisgah while we’re out there.

A little hike because Sam had swim lessons at 5:20pm.  Well, I should have known that there is no such thing as a little outing to our favorite hike spot on a beautiful sunny fall day.  I decided to let the swim lesson go and we explored every bench, tree and rotten log on our way to… wait for it… the south meadow!  Of course, unless you’re in my head you don’t know why that’s exciting, but trust me, it’s exciting.  I’ve attempted to make it to that ‘distant’ flood-plane restoration site at least five times, always having to turn back because of kid or time restraints.

So this time we made it, it was beautiful, and we had the whole place to ourselves.  I might have to post a couple pics I took of the kids because for a moment or two they were being so cute playing together with rocks and leaves.  Sometimes I think raising children must have been so much easier before TVs, computers, and plastic toys.  In the olden days (the REAL olden days) kids just had to go outside and play!  And really, how much energy are you going to put into fighting over a rock? If there’s one, there’s many more.

Came home, and Ben was actually here before six!  He hung with the kids while I made dinner… ahhh… so relaxing.  I wish I could go back to my former pre-kid self and tell me that someday making dinner will be relaxing.  At least when you compare it to making dinner while trying to keep two hungry, clingy, fighting children happy!

To top off the day I attended a talk put on by the Native Plant Society at EWEB about restoration work on an threatened checker mallow.  I learned quite a bit that could be applied to restoration in general.  And, I missed bedtime.  Ben got the kids to bed all on his own, and Sierra didn’t cry a bit!

So, I failed at laundry and do not get to put a sticker on the chore chart.  But I’m fully inspired again today by people and nature.  The feeling I got from the occupy site was energizing and powerful.  I can’t get it out of my head that they are feeding the homeless and how awesome that is.  Yes, we all deserve food.  Even if we’re slackers, druggies, have PTSD, or are mentally ill.  WE are rich enough to feed everyone.  About time someone finally gave it a shot.  Good Job Big John!  I’ll be back tomorrow with whatever supplies I can round up.  I wonder if Ben would miss the propane tank on our gas grill….? *hehe*

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magic water

I’ve had a little wine and should go to the store to get some milk… but suddenly I feel like writing.  Yesterday was such a wonderful day.  Sam and I took our first trip to Cougar hot springs with some lady friends to celebrate the birthday of a little angel who only held her human body for about a week.  I cannot believe I have lived in Oregon my whole life and never before soaked in those magical waters.  Perhaps I was waiting for just the right moment.  It was a warm bath in crystal clear waters surrounded by giant trees, moss, stones and rushing creek.  If there is a place that fairies come from, it is there.  We joined other naked bathers in a sacred space where silly things like covering one’s body are not important or required.  We chatted with a crone who wrote a book on women’s moontime, an old man who was short a few teeth but had plenty of stories, and a young couple with bright hair and many tattoos.   Sam was in heaven.   We soaked for a couple hours and I think he would have been content for a couple more.   He ‘swam’ up to the old crone, grabbed both her hands in his and stared intently into her eyes for a couple long minutes.  She stared back, charmed, and said, “Hello, old soul.”  Today I am thankful to live in such a beautiful part of the world surrounded by loving, kind and open minded people.  I got a great picture of the us girls (and two baby boys) but we’re uh… naked, so I think I’ll just share this one of Sam.  Tomorrow we are off to High Hopes and it is supposed to be warm and sunny!  Thank you spring time, I was so ready for you!

dsc05814

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i thought

turning 30 was going to pretty much suck and be lonely and boring.  BUT it was quite the opposite.  I have such wonderful friends and family.  I got love from all sides today, and even ma nature gave me sunshine in the morning, a BEAUTIFUL rainbow, and then exciting storm clouds that blew in this afternoon.  Love is magic and life is wonderful.

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