Archive for November, 2005

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Holiday Hullabaloo

November 25, 2005
Thanksgiving is over which means it’s now time for Christmas.  Or Hanukkah.  Or Kwanzaa.  Or "Happy Non Denominational Celebration" as old friend of mine used to say.
 
In years past, I waited until Christmas was right on top of us to do anything holiday-ish.  Those were the days before the boys.  Now, especially now, we dive head first into the holidays – with little kiddos, you cannot help but do that.  They force you to do it, much like they force each other to eat dirt, stick earthworms up their noses, and play "Name that Toot," (much like Name That Tune, but no one sings … sigh, yeah, they’re boys.) So today we made the paper Christmas chains (taking off one link each day until Christmas.)  We watched the first holiday movie of the season ( Sponge Bob Squarepants Christmas Special, thank you very much,) drank hot chocolate, and are getting ready to make popcorn balls which I will eat all by myself after the boys have gone to bed.  Shhh!
 
Christmas means creativity to me, for a number of reasons.  I’ve always wanted gifts to be special and well thought out.  There is almost nothing that disgusts me more than people just randomly throwing money across the counter after having grabbed something that "Aunt Martha will like and if not, oh well, it’s something, eh?"  Gifts are not about the money, the brand name, or how early you had to get up on Black Friday and bitch slap all the other folks away from the coveted blue Ferbie.  I want it to be personal.  I want it to mean something.  I want the thought more than anything (because, let me honest, you don’t have to water, feed, insure, or dust thoughts.)  Also, my husband and I decided very early on in our relationship how we wanted to raise a family and what was important to us (no day care, attachment parenting, homeschooling.)  We decided that we would do this at all cost, and have successfully done it.  The cost being that we have a very modest income and with careful planning and budgeting and eliminating a lot of wants (but not needs,) we live a fairly nice life on surprisingly little money.  I’ll not deny that we do get a very handsome bonus from B’s boss, and that does help some, but for the most part, holidays have come to be the "let’s see what amazing things we can make and give or buy with little resources and still be able to show our faces come February when we go hunting for babysitters for our anniversary" show.
 
This year, folks are coming up roses.  This year, we have a business that is all about creating one of a kind gifts for folks.  It’s all about creating for one’s unique personality.  It’s delightful.  It’s wonderful.  And people really like it.  And, to be honest, most folks are going to get things that have a retail value of about 5 times what I would normally spend on their gifts. To top it all off, most everyone has already asked for something from Kohleidoscope.  Sweet.
 
Today, almost everyone I know is buying stuff, dealing with crowds, and getting into fist fights with parking lot bullies.  Not me.  Nope.  Today, I’m drinking tea, listening to cows Moo in the holidays, and knitting like a fiend.  The lists have been made with regards to who gets hats, who gets scarves, who gets handbags, who gets soaps, who gets jewelry, who gets frames, and which few get things with bar codes.  Sunday, the tree goes up and, for the first time ever, we’re putting lights on the house (be sure to donate to B’s emergency room fund.)
 
Soon, family and friends will start making their way back to my area.  My brother will be in from a neighboring state, my father and his wife will be in from a few states East of here.  VJ comes in from CA, Jill comes in from Ireland, Meghan from KC (maybe, I’m guessing – speak up!,) CTodd from Denver.  New Year’s Eve will be the best I’ve had in years – there is a cocktail party planned for all of us old buddies to get together and compare sagging body parts and creaking joints.  We’ll laugh and hug and thank all our higher powers that we somehow survived our youth.  I’m sure at one point or another, we’ll find a tree that is staring at us and barrel down a hill, through the snow, to get it.  There will be some Janis, some Jimi, a whole lot of The Band.  I don’t remember being so excited about the end of a year – well, not since my high school and college years, anyhow.
 
I’m not waiting anymore.  I’m diving in.  I’m welcoming the holidays.  After all, I’m already laden with gifts – what’s a few more?
 
 
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Gratitude

November 24, 2005

Listing them, folks, probably more for myself than anyone. I’m sure I’ll miss some.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

  • My strong healthy body that carries my where I want to go and allows me to do what I want to do.
  • My heart that aches for all those in pain, leaps for joy with all those celebrating, dances in love, and hopes for the future.
  • My mind that is rusted open.
  • My spirit that is beyond my body, heart, and mind.
  • My husband who is the perfect extension of my being, and I am the perfect extension of his.
  • Our marriage, which is based on honesty, trust, openness, faith, humor, compassion, and love.
  • Our children who walk on clouds and sprinkle magic wherever they go
  • My family members who have humored me for nearly 30 years.
  • My in-laws who took a chance on the weirdo and have loved me for 7 years and counting.
  • My friends to whom I owe more than words can convey.
  • My house that shelters me and my loved ones, keeps us warm and together.
  • My art which gives me outlet for my creativity and keeps me sane
  • My ability to stay at home with my children and educate, rather than school, them
  • My career in birth – there are no words for how grateful I am to be a part of miracles on a daily basis.
  • My freedom
  • Food in my belly and clothes on my back
  • Being 35 pounds lighter and healthier this year
  • Sobriety
  • Intelligence
  • Passion – without it, there is no motivation. Without motivation, there is no growth.
  • Forgiveness
  • Pronoia
  • Faith and hope
  • Humor

And the list goes on…

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The Best Gift

November 23, 2005
"Hey, Duck, are you a happy kid?"
 
"Yep, Mama, I sure am a happy kid!!"
 
"What makes you happiest, Duck?"
 
"Loving you, Mama.  Loving you."
 
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New Olympic Sport – Stair bowling

November 23, 2005
Simple as can be.
 
1) Find old, cement, basement steps leading to your Mom’s office
2) Set up cylindrical blocks on the bottom step in some sort of triangular arrangement
3) Climb to the top step
4) Hurl hard plastic bowling ball down the steps in attempt to knock down all the "pins" and get a strike
5) Laugh hysterically as your Mom pisses herself as a result of the surprising clamour
 
YOU’VE WON!
 
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Credit where due

November 22, 2005
I mentioned that I have PMS.  Pretty much makes me the last person anyone would want to be around.  Except my husband.  He doesn’t mind.  He brings me tea.  He rubs my back.  He tells me he’ll try to come home early.  He tells me that I need to give myself a break – everyone gets crabby now and then.  He kisses my forehead, hugs me tight, and tells me that if he had a cramping uterus, he’d be a bitch, too.  You cannot ask for much more than that.
 
I write about B in this blog and give him a lot of crap, but truth be told, he’s about the most amazing human being I’ve ever met.  Yes, it’s true, he can be self centered at times, he’s moody, he smokes too much, eats too little.  But sincerely, that’s about all I can complain about.  He’s kind, honest, dependable, and he has even begun doing dishes, laundry, and other things without being asked.  He doesn’t complain too much when I leave the house at 3 in the morning and tell him to find childcare as I walk out the door.  He makes the meanest grilled cheese sandwich in town and he makes me laugh until I pee a little.  He’s an inspiring father, an artist, a brilliant man.  I got one of the good ones and I’m blessed.
 
***
In my brief post about the breech home birth, I mentioned the Student Midwife.  What I didn’t mention is that the Student Midwife was my very own DDFF.  I write about DDFF all the time.  She’s one of my very best friends in the whole wide world, she was my doula mentor years ago, she helped me have a VBAC, and well, she’s just awesome.  She’s also a midwife.  Yes, yes, she will tell you that she is a student midwife (technically true,) but she has the hands of a midwife, the mind of a midwife, the heart of a midwife.  I’ve worked with her to bring many many babies into the world (I’ve lost count,) and I’ve seen her catch a few, and each and every time I’m filled with the feeling of "this is right."  She’s got it going on and it is a sincere honor and pleasure to work with her.  She has informed me that, as of this week, I’m now in training to be her assistant.  I’ve hoped to be a midwife’s assistant for a long time and this thrills me to no end.  What makes it even better, however, is knowing that I’ll be assisting DDFF.  We always said we were going to take over the world.  I can see it happening. 
 
***
My Mom’s husband recently shut down a business he was running with a corrupt partner.  As a result, they have used most of their savings to make ends meet.  She hasn’t killed him yet and I believe that deserves a round of applause.  Way to go, Mom!!
 
***
Velma has spent 7 months traveling and being unemployed.  She did it largely by herself, driving thousands of miles, camping alone, crossing the boarder into Canada.  That’s hardcore, VJ.  Oh, and yeah, I want a quilt!  COLORS, texture, bohemian, go nuts. 
Can’t wait to see you soon – I miss you.
 
***
 
Everyone, if you deserve some credit, here it is:
 
HOORAY FOR YOU!  GOOD JOB EVERYONE!
 
Have a great day. I’m off to find some chocolate.
 
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somebody shoot me already

November 22, 2005

I have PMS.  BAD PMS.  And I know it.  So, I’m irrational, emotional, demanding, contradictory – and I know it.

 
My poor kids. 
 
I’d say poor B, but I’m sure he’s done something to deserve it in the first place.  🙂
 
 
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um, California isn’t so sunny

November 21, 2005

As a homeschooling family, we look for interesting ways to educate our kids.  Sincerely – we play "N, S, E, W leapfrog."  Anyway, one of the ways that we’re teaching the kids about US geography is by ordering packets from each individual state, one at a time.  Now, some states are really great about this. Some will give you hidden links to resources that you might not find otherwise.  Some states, for example Texas, will send you an educators packet that talks about state history, geography, etc.  Most all of the states we’ve hit up thus far have been exemplary.

 
Not California.
 
Oh yeah, they have all kinds of online tours, all sorts of amazing websites and links to get you to know how to drive in CA, how to find a place to eat in CA, a million and twelve ways to spend all your money in CA, but nope, nothing about the history of CA, nothing for or about educating kids.  (In all fairness, there’s a ton of great online learning tools, but you know, I’d rather my kids not sit and stare at a box for hours and hours.)
 
To be honest, it’s not so much that the lack of resources that bother me.  It’s the fact that they do have an option for ordering things for a student project, reference, you know, education – BUT when you click on the little dealy bopper that says you’re requesting information for a student project, you immediately get taken away from the order form and to a 404 page.  Check it out.  Be sure to check the box for Student Project under the part about "I plan on using this information for." That is just plain ol’ slimey.
   
So, while I love California and I love many people who live in California, they’ll have to forgive me a little for being pissy.