Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Exploding heads?

In response to Crunchy Bunch's question about exploding heads...

Don't let the kids watch this until you've approved it. It caught me so off-guard that I jumped and woke up Baby Crabcakes, who was sleeping on my lap.

It's good fodder for discussion of why we don't believe everything we see on TV (or video).

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Confessions of gluttony.

Breastfeeding moms are supposed to LOSE weight, not gain it, right? 'Cause I think I gained 8 pounds this week.

Maybe it had something to do with the five pieces of cake I ate to celebrate my mother's birthday on Sunday. I swear, I wasn't just being a pig. She had three different cakes given to her on two different days. I was just trying to help!

Maybe it was the four dozen oatmeal-chocolate chip-pecan cookies I baked for the Not-Back-To-School Party on Wednesday. Turns out the kids were more interested in root beer floats, so I took two dozen cookies home with me. And ate them all Thursday.

Or maybe it was the box of a dozen See's chocolates my mother-in-law sent home with UberDad because she was cleaning out her pantry before she left for a three-month trip to South Dakota. I shared one with my neighbor, one with my mother, and one each with Puffer and Grouper. There are two left. UberDad didn't eat any.

All summer I've been wearing the same pair of drawstring khaki shorts because nothing else fit yet. At eight weeks postpartum, I realized I'd actually lost all my pregnancy weight! (Though I started my pregnancy 15 pounds over what I need to be to wear most of my clothing.) Hooray! I could finally wear a different pair of shorts!

Then yesterday I noticed those shorts had gotten significantly TIGHTER. And the one skirt that fits me didn't look so great anymore. *Sigh* And I was planning to bake UberDad a pie for his birthday today.

My eating habits this week could also explain why I've been so tired and unfocused the last couple days. Looks like I'll have to detox before Family Camp next weekend, or the altitude might do me in.

It's going to be a busy week. This afternoon we get to visit with a dear friend we haven't seen in a year at a birthday picnic for UberDad. Monday I need to go grocery shopping. Tuesday we're going to my friend Emily's for a playdate. Wednesday we meet some homeschooling friends to try the Mentos and Diet Coke experiment and play in the water park around the corner. Then I've got to do laundry, clean the house, go to Target and finish packing before a birthday party Friday night. We leave Saturday morning for the Sequioas.

Oh, and I really wanted to knit Baby Crabcakes a hat before taking him for his first trip to mountains. We'll see how that goes. I might need some chocolate to keep up my energy...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I would blog more if I weren't so busy parenting.

I've had exactly 1,093 thoughts I wanted to blog this week, but I haven't been able to focus on any one of them long enough to do what it takes to post. By the time I've convinced the male members of my household that YES, even MOMMY deserves a turn on the computer, I've either forgotten what I wanted to write, or the baby's awake and hungry again.

The teeny tiny corner of my brain my creativity occupies is quickly shriveling up, as IQ points are leached out to produce the richest hindmilk available to a baby this side of the neighborhood park. I hope Baby Crabcakes appreciates my sacrifice. His mother could be a much more popular blogger if she didn't spend so much time in his favorite horizontal nursing position. It's hard to blog from the bed. Maybe I should ask for a laptop for Christmas.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

God is good. All the time. Even on Grocery Day.

I had my very first trip to the grocery store as the mother of three today. It was the excursion I'd been dreading all summer. (Would Baby Crabcakes cry the whole way there? What if he needed to nurse halfway through the store? What if I had to plop down on the sticky floor with a screaming baby while his brothers ran up and down the aisle hitting each other with those balloons on sticks they sell in the floral section? What if the baby pooped all over me while I was bagging my groceries? What I lose my mind? Would they kick me out? Would someone try to steal my fashionable diaper bag?!?)

As usual, God's grace was more than sufficient for my worries. So sufficient that I found myself tearing up as I said a prayer of thanks on the way home -- because NO ONE CRIED during the ENTIRE THREE-HOUR TRIP. It was a miracle. It truly was. The discount grocery store is 20 minutes from home in the middle of the day. Baby Crabcakes has never been happy in the car longer than 10.

Fortunately, his mother isn't completely stupid. Our first stop was Starb**ks, about halfway there. Grouper wanted to return the "Power Rangers" DVD he rented last week and get "Bionicle" next. Blockbuster is right next door to Starb**ks, but it wasn't open yet, so we decided to get a snack first. I know there are mothers who like to use treats as a reward for proper grocery store behavior on the way home. I'm of the "preventive treat" persuasion. Get the treat first, then when they ask for goodies in the store, you can remind them that they already got something. Since their blood sugar's already up, they don't complain. Besides, I really needed that iced soy mocha.

We settled in among the men reading newspapers and working on laptops to wait for the video store to open. Puffer and Grouper nibbled their tiny cafe scones, I got my chocolate fix, and Baby Crabcakes quietly nursed to sleep (Miracle #1!). Then I tightened up the sling, and we headed for our first official errand. Miracle #2: Blockbuster didn't have any of the "Bionicle" movies, but Grouper didn't make a peep. Just decided to get "Batman" instead. (Hallelujah!)

Miracle #3: Crabcakes stayed asleep being moved from sling to carseat.

We drove the rest of the way to the grocery store, and I remembered that we were out of cat food. The pet store is right next door, so we headed in there first. Pet stores are super-cool free entertainment for kids, in case you haven't been to one. We looked at all the fancy expensive birds, the geckos and snakes, the tarantulas and hermit crabs, mice and guinea pigs. Really, why pay zoo admission fees?

Did I mention that the budget's a little tight this month? We really tried to prepare for a month without a paycheck, but having a baby can get expensive. I had exactly $100 in cash when I left home. Spent $7+ at Starb**ks, $17+ at Petco, and had $74 plus change left for groceries. Miracle #4: We got everything we needed, including chocolate chips, for $74.09.

And a store employee even bagged my groceries!

Miracle #6: Baby Crabcakes didn't poop or cry until after I'd unloaded the groceries and put the cold stuff away.

I don't expect every Grocery Day to be so full of blessings. But I'll try to stay hopeful.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

You asked for it. I'm up on my soapbox.

Well now, THIS is an interesting comment:

"Your husband is willing to earn a salary from public schools but not to send his own kids to them. Interesting. Are you afraid that children of color or of poverty might infect your son? He can't stay in that little cocoon forever, you know. Someday he'll have to deal with all sorts of people."

Dear Anonymous,

I'm sorry I can't reply to you directly, since you've chosen to hide yourself even as I bare intimate details about my own family. Your brief comment contains many inaccurate assumptions, but I will respond as thoroughly as I have time for. I figure you're not the only reader who's curious about our decision.

I do realize that it seems a bit contradictory that my husband will be working for the public school system even though we don't plan to send our children into it. However, our choice to keep our children home has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the color or economic levels of children who do attend school.

Some families choose the homeschooling path in an effort to protect their children from the influence of people whose values they disagree with. I believe they have that right, perhaps even that responsibility. But those values are not necessarily related to poverty or color. They don't have to be. There are homeschooling families of color, believe it or not. Some homeschooling families even qualify for public assistance -- they've given up a second salary and free child care, after all. And not all homeschooling parents have college degrees. They don't have to. CHILDREN KNOW HOW TO LEARN!

As far as our little "cocoon" goes, we actually live in a rather diverse neighborhood. That was something we liked about it before we moved here eight years ago. We have shared our block with Latino families, Black families, Asian-American singles, and elders. Our children are under no illusion that all people look the same or live the same. They have friends with divorced parents, working mothers, stay-at-home dads. Their friends live in small houses, larger houses, and apartments. They are conservative Christians, politically-liberal Christians, and pagan.

In fact, if we lived in many other neighborhoods in our city, sending them to public school would do absolutely NOTHING toward enriching their world with a diversity of people, because the children at each school come from the same neighborhood of the same suburban socio-economic class. There's not much cross-town bussing around here.

School can be its own "cocoon." The current school system is not about supporting or creating diversity. It's not about opening up a world of possibilities to each child. There may be teachers and administrators who would like it to be that way. But the budget limitations and state mandates prevent it in most cases.

Instead, school applies one educational agenda to nearly all students. Just like the rest of mainstream American culture, it is full of practices and ideas that encourage negativist win-lose thinking. It was designed to control the masses with bells, grades, and other forms of behaviorism which interrupt creative thought, but ensure a particular social order that will continue to uphold the failing economic system we call capitalism.

There, I've said it. Now I'm REALLY going to get some hate mail. But no, I'm not a communist. No more than Jesus was, anyway.

I haven't addressed why UberDad is entering the public school system to work as a teacher. It was not his career goal. As a child, he did not dream about being a school teacher -- though he humiliated at least one by knowing more chemistry than she did. Maybe God has seen fit to humble him by putting him in her shoes! In any case, it turns out he's pretty darn good at relating to kids and sharing his love for math and science with them. Teen-agers love him.

Obviously, not everyone can homeschool. Wal-Mart is the largest employer in this country, and we all know the minimum wage is not a living wage. But don't the children of those who must work outside the home deserve a teacher who sees the possibility of a better future for all children? Is it so hard to believe that someone would try to be a light in the darkness?

Only those who recognize the limitations of a system can enter it and affect change. But that doesn't mean they have to drag their children along -- not when the opportunity to explore and learn in freedom is available to them on the outside.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Last minute vacation, then it's back to school. Or not.

UberDad, Puffer and Grouper returned last night from a two-day vacation together. They went to the Aquarium of the Pacific, the beach, and Legoland. The aquarium is a favorite spot, and they always love the beach, but Legoland was new. They enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as just playing in the ocean and the sand. Next year I think we'll save our money and just camp at the beach for a week.

Baby Crabcakes and I stayed home to bond over baby smiles and enjoy a quiet house. We originally planned to take the trip as a family, but since he's never lasted more than 10 minutes in the car without crying his eyes out, that idea was nixed.

Outside of the car, he's mellowed a lot in the last two weeks. He wakes up happy and full of giggles and smiles. He's figured out that nursing will make him feel better when he's hungry, and he's much more patient with me. His stomach issues seem to have settled down now that I've removed all dairy from my diet. It was definitely worth the effort.

UberDad starts his new teaching job next week, and class starts the week after. We're beginning to get the schooling questions about Puffer, who would be entering kindergarten in 10 days if his parents weren't such rebels. Though he's not the slightest bit interested either. Our homeschooling group used to have a "Not Back to School" pancake and pool party on the day the local public schools began, but the host had to cancel when the group got too large. I'm trying to decide if we should comemmorate the non-event or just ignore it.

But I'll have to write more on that subject later.
Related Posts with Thumbnails