Thursday, October 23, 2014

Compassion in Seven Sentences

I don't need to have experienced someone else's hard times to feel for them. I don't need to have anything in common with someone to experience empathy. I don't even need to have met someone to love and care for them.

As such, I have put together an online silent auction for Julie from The Progressive Parent. We've never met, but we're friends; I've never lost a child, but I never stop hurting for her hurt; I've never been in the position of losing a car and being stranded, but I can imagine myself in her position and wouldn't want to be there. So, I gathered together a group of compassionate people who have donated their services and goods for what is turning out to be a wonderfully successful event.

Click HERE to start bidding in the name of compassion.

(A smattering of the items up for grabs:)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Birthdays in Seven Sentences

How is he four already? Time really does fly when you're having fun and I've certainly never had more fun than I've had being his mama. He was JUST born, it seems, and now he's this precocious, hilarious, independent, wonderful little weirdo.

He spent the whole day expressing his excitement through little jumps and wiggles, thanking us for his gifts and cake, repeating "best. birthday. ever." over and over. What more is there? What an amazing person he was even at birth, is now, and is growing into. I could spend time reflecting on what was or pondering what will be, but I think I'd rather spend now playing with, laughing with, hugging, loving, and enjoying my four-year-old best friend.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

30 Things Series #30: 10 Things For Which I Hope to Be Remembered

This is it. This is the final installation of the 30 Things My Son Should Know About Me series. I'm so very glad I've written this all down for my son to read some day. Thinking of what he'll think when he does makes me smile and cringe equally. Knowing that he'll come away from it knowing me better so that we can know each other better makes me warm.

So, for the last time, I give to you:

10 things I would hope to be remembered for.

In no particular order:

1) being a good mom
2) being a good teacher
3) being a good activist
4) my willingness to try new tasks
5) doing what was right instead of what was easy
6) being good in a crisis/emergency
7) having a good work ethic
8) my intelligence
9) my willingness to change what I know is faulty about me, my thought processes, my values, etc.
10) my big laugh

I was going to expound upon each, but the great thing about this series is that, I think, if you've read them all along with knowing me throughout the years, you probably understand each one thoroughly anyway and without my explanation.

My sweet, if after reading these 30 posts, you take nothing more away from them than "I love you a million times infinity" then I have done my job, because I do. I love you. A million times infinity.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

30 Things Series #29: My Hopes and Dreams for My Prosperity

This is the penultimate post in the 30 Things My Son Should Know About Me series and it's one of the stranger, in my opinion. Perhaps the person who came up with the questions valued different things than I. Here we are, though, and here I go.

What are my hopes and dreams for my prosperity?

This is an odd question to me. I don't really care much about prosperity in the conventional way. I mean, money is great, but it's not much more to me than a way to pay bills and get us gas money as we travel and create memories. Wealth would certainly make things easier in those departments, but otherwise, I mean, I've never wanted a big house, a fancy car, or a bunch of designer clothes. I don't care about stuff for the sake of having stuff and I don't care about keeping up with the Joneses.

If I suddenly came into a bunch of cash, the first thing we'd do with it would be to pay off our student loans, our oppressive, oppressive student loans. (What are student loans, you ask? Never fear, we will never allow you to know of such things for yourself, but that's for another post.)

If your dad got a huge raise, we'd finish upgrades on our current small home, buy a small commuter car for your dad to drive without taking up as much gas during his two hour daily commute, and we'd put more into savings. I mean, that's really it.

I don't dream about being conventionally prosperous. Prosperity to me would be having a collection of memories, but we're collecting those anyway, without a lot of money and things. I want to be rich in kisses and hugs and love and laughs and beyond that, I'm not really interested in the things money can buy us, because money will never get us anything as valuable as what we already have. I'm not blowing smoke up anyone's butt here, either. I'm not saying what I think I'm supposed to say. I've never cared much about stuff and things. I've always cared more about going places, doing things, taking pictures, enjoying the world instead of worldly things.

So, my hopes and dreams for my prosperity? Does hoping we're all safe, happy, healthy, and together for the rest of our very long lives count?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Review: Sea Sponge "Tampons"

If you've been around long enough, you know that I've been on a quest to find the ultimate period product. Pads blow. I stopped using pads on about my second cycle when I was 13. The mess is just more than I can handle. Tampons were my go-to from then until my mid-20s when I discovered the Instead cup, which I used off and on. For the first few days postpartum, I used Depends. Yes, really. I went back to tampons when I felt comfortable, but was never again comfortable with the toxins I was putting into such a sensitive area of my body. The Diva Cup came to my attention. Read that, um, adventure HERE. I would've stuck with that for the rest of my menstruating years, but it wasn't to be. I thought maybe I could handle cloth pads. I was wrong. Still with the mess! Finally, I landed on sea sponge "tampons." I put the tampon part in quotes, because of a recent FDA ruling that says they can no longer be referred to as tampons, but many know them as such, so I didn't want to leave out the word. Without trying to jinx anything, I think I may have found my new quicker picker upper.

I ordered Jade & Pearl's Premium Ultra Soft Multi-Pack so that I could comfortably use them for the duration of each cycle. Unlike the Diva Cup, there was no learning curve. I watched the recommended video first. I followed the directions for soaking before the initial use. I recently started my period and all I had to do was rinse, squeeze, twist, and insert. So easy. No swearing or yelling involved.

Like some of the other reviewers said, I have noticed an issue with leaking post-urination. J&P recommends leaning forward to pee to direct the urine away from the sponge. Tried this. Hasn't worked so far. It's really only an issue for me if I sneeze. [Insert a little snark-face here.] It's not enough to discourage me from using them. Though I don't normally wear undies, I'll buck up and wear them for 3 days during my period while using the sponges. The risk of a sneeze-pee is worth the benefit of the super period product to me.

There you have it. Sea sponges in the vadge. Who knew? Thanks Jade & Pearl!

Breastfeeding in Seven Sentences

I had no qualms, no concerns, about breastfeeding. I had every confidence in my body, myself, and my babe.

Thank goodness for a good IBCLC, because things didn't turn out to be quite so easy for us. The hospital staff was atrocious - pushing formula hard, shaming and guilting me for not giving it, walking out on me when I asked for help.

Two visits with Jollina, our IBCLC, the introduction of a nipple shield and voila! Next month it'll be four years of breastfeeding for us. Boobs are rad.

Friday, September 19, 2014

30 Things Series #28: My Favorite Quality in My Spouse

Today's installation of the 30 Things My Son Should Know About Me series comes in the form of a quick note on the quality of your dada's that I like best.

"Dada, I want to paint YOU."
"Let's do it, pal!"
Your dada is pretty darn great about just rolling with all the things you want to do. It's fabulous. You want to cover him from head to toe with stickers? "No problem," says Dada. Need a horsey ride after he's worked and commuted to two jobs for a total of 17 hours that day? "You got it, Bud," Dada replies as he assumes the position. Feeling the need to get out some pent-up energy in the form of rough-housing? "Bring it, bro," is his response. He'll do absolutely anything for you.

Yes, there are times when this bothers me. I do think he cares more about being liked than about doing the right thing from time to time, but overall, I adore how much he adores you.

He's up for anything you want to do with or to him (usually much to my amusement) and I find that incredibly endearing. You do, too, I know, because there are the other moments when you want nothing more than to lie on the couch next to him or just be near him, wherever he is. The love you two share is a beautiful thing. I am completely taken by both of you separately and together.