Thursday, January 31, 2008
Then came the big fall. He had not really nursed more than a few seconds in the couple days before, but I though for sure he would when he got hurt, but nope. Over the next few days, he would say "nunu" once in awhile, but when I tried to get him in my lap, he wouldn't come. It was almost like he just wanted to say the word. Or I wonder if he thought it would hurt his shoulder to lay sideways.... Either way, he hasn't nursed since. It seems so ironic that it would be an injury that was the final thing that made me realize he was done!
It is bittersweet. On the one hand, it will be nice to be able to eat what I want and pamper myself a bit in pregnancy, but I also wonder if he was really ready. He has been more attached to a blanket and doll at night, and I have always read that is a sign of not being ready. :( I also wonder if he will forget how to latch by the time the new baby comes. He is excited to know my milk will come back and says he wants to nurse then, but I have heard many older kids have trouble with this. Guess I will just have to wait and see.
As one beloved mama put it, just one more opportunity to be open to the universe. :)
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
We decided to go since Orion's arm seemed better. It is still hurting, but nothing like the first day. He totally freaked out when we first got there, though, crying and saying he didn't even want to be in the room. That is really odd behavior for him, so I was thinking he was worried about hurting his arm. I told him we could just watch this week or I could help him. He calmed down after a little while and started peeking at what the other boys were doing. (Yeah, no girls in the class, what is up with that?) After watching the closest boy saw through a block a couple times, that was it. He was ready to go. He did surprisingly well with the saw and hammer using his left hand. Then for the drill, I held the top while he turned it. My only issue with the class is all the styrofoam that ended up in the class. Seems like their must be another material softer than wood out there that would be a bit more ecofriendly. Orion had fun, though, and we are looking forward to it again next week.
Oh yeah, and I dragged my camera to class only to realize the disc wasn't in it. Grrr.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
I used my new Kitchen Aid for the first time, and Orion ate the dough as usual. Notice the use of his left hand. :(
I also decided to finally dye a shirt and some yarn I have been wanting to do for like a week now.
The nice thing about having a black sink is that I wasn't really worried about stains. The bad part was it was really hard to tell when the water was running clear!
Looks like it turned out OK for my first time. I hope the color holds!
Monday, January 28, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Then I got to thinking about happy tears. It is really not just adults. I know I have seen it in older kids. I tried to remember when they started for Sarah, but I couldn't. So I started to wonder if it is hormonal somehow and maybe related to puberty. I am curious if this has ever been studied. I asked on one of my groups and hoped maybe somebody with older kids would remember the timing of it, but I didn't get any replies. :( LOL, I apparently wonder about weird things nobody else thinks about.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Then there came the Oprah clip.... The woman who created it started talking about consequences and how we need to be firm as parents. She was giving the example of grounding kids for being late, and being strict about the time, so that they got the punishment even if only a few minutes late. So of course I was totally turned off, but I decided not to judge the whole program based on that, especially since the materials our presenter had chosen didn't mention anything like this. Also, the clip was several years old, so I started wondering if maybe she had changed her tune at all, as I know some other authors have recently done regarding consequences.
At the end of class, they want over a technique called Spiritual Companioning, which I really liked. It was basically a form of deep listening, asking about a situation and being present without judgment. But I kept wondering, why use consequences if you do this? In my family, this would be instead of consequences, but I guess in her plan, it is in addition to them. Hrm.
I asked about the consequence thing after class, and the presenter gave me a really current article to read. I will say her ideas about consequences seem to have improved, although they are still not totally in line with my thinking. She is now into what she calls Restorative Justice, a horrid sounding name in my opinion, but not so bad in practice. The quote block said: "Consequences should be restorative rather than retributive." Hmm, tell me more. Here was her example, with my comments in parentheses. Assuming a conflict had just occurred (and this was for a school setting btw), her suggestion was to ask:
I want to hear what happened from your point of view. (OK start)
What virtue could you have used to handle that situation better? (Good potential problem solving here, but really stupid and rigid to box it in with just the virtues IMO)
What do you need to do to make it right and what do you need from the other person? (Hmm, maybe if it was phrased, do you want to do something... OK idea here, but not really if it is mandatory.)
So my bottom line was, there were some things I didn't like, and the things I did like, we are already doing. And yet, I kept processing it. I knew there was something nagging at me that I wanted to put more thought into, and I finally figured out what it was - the whole naming thing. Her first strategy is, Speak the Language of the Virtues. An example might be, "That was really generous of you to share your toys." The idea is to name a specific virtue instead of using a vague word like nice. Some of the examples sounded like praise, but some sounded more like observations, so I thought maybe they were OK. But then I realized what was bugging me. If the whole idea of the program is to increase certain types of behaviors, isn't it manipulative? On the flipside, could it be seen as teaching versus manipulating?
I asked Ron's opinion, and in that simple way of seeing to the heart of the matter he has, he said he thought that would be based on the parents intentions. Duh, the heart of Unconditional Parenting right there. Even so, I thought to myself, do these "virtues" really need to be "taught"? Wouldn't it be better to just model them, as with everything else? I guess I could see using them almost like a vocabulary lesson. Like just trying to work words like compassion or perseverance into your conversation or problem solving so you can talk about what they mean. I think that is about as far as I would take this idea.
As an aside, another unschooling mom at my church has this to say when I asked her opinion: "I felt like the whole thing was one big sales pitch." At least I didn't dislike it that much LOL. They did have a bunch of stuff for sale, but I thought the presenter was very sweet and sincere.
Friday, January 25, 2008
One thing the speaker said that was really good to hear was that all parts of "the work" were equally important, so whether you were taking in foster kids, driving a biodiesel car or making music that supports a cause, the value was the same. So the most important thing is to follow your heart. I thought this was an awesome message because it is so easy to get overwhelmed thinking about how many things there are to do. I often get bogged down in this and wonder which project I want to turn my attention to or feel guilty about not doing anything for a certain cause. This idea made me feel like the couple things I want to keep primary are "enough".
She also had all sorts of interesting way of looking at things. For example, she called Gratitude revolutionary, because you are denying the attitude of not having enough. In a similar way, she talked about how the sensitivity many people experience in the face what is happening in the world is actually an act of rebellion because you are acknowledging your pain, while the "powers that be" would say to ignore it. She brought up 4 base emotions that might come up in response to things that are happening: anger, fear, grief and confusion. All of these are feelings to embrace because they are places action can come from. She gave a really interesting list about the transformation of these energies, based on what they are connected to:
Feel anger, but act on compassion
Feel grief, but act on love
Feel fear, but act on trust
Feel confusion, but act on an openness to the new
My favorite thing we did, however, was a "Smiling Meditation", which basically meant we had a smile on our faces during a guided meditation. She this was a Taoist idea, and that the smile could be used to send positive energy to our heart and then out to others. Well, they were pretty smart cookies, because we now know this to be a scientific fact. It was one of those things that was so simple and beautiful, yet it had never occurred to me to smile during meditation before. It also reminded me that putting a smile on my face can help me during challenging situations. I used to do this at work when somebody approached me at work with a question when I was working on something with a deadline coming up. I would "force myself" to smile, but then it would totally set a different tone for the interaction than what I had been feeling inside. I got to thinking I should be doing this when I am feeling challenged by a situation with Orion. I haven't tried it yet, but I hope I remember to!
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
The first happened last week when he was running around with some older kids playing "tag". He seemed to be having a good time, but then all of a sudden he was doing his stomping around thing with a mad face on. When I approached him to see what was going on, he ran off into the bathroom. I followed him to see if I could get him to come out, because the mom hosting has a toddler and prefers to keep that door closed. He started telling me how the other kids were going too fast and that he kept getting hurt. He said he wanted to be alone, so I decided to shut the door and give him a few minutes. He came out and was fine after that. It seemed really pivotal that he was aware of the source of his anger and what he needed to process it. In the past, he would usually start dumping bins of toys or even taking it out on other kids, so I thought this was a maturing moment for him.
Today, a couple interesting things happened. He has been really negative about not wanting to go places lately. In the morning, I was talking to him about how we were going to his friend Marek's house and how much he always loves it there. Then he said, "But then I don't want to leave, and that's why I don't want to go." Wow, that was a deep awareness! We decided to go anyways, and it went pretty well. The thing I noticed that seemed different was how he was really playing with Marek. Usually he prefers to play by himself, or maybe next to somebody. The closest he has come to this in the past would be something like taking turns with the same toy. But today I heard him actually talking about how they were going to build something. It was awesome!
Monday, January 21, 2008
The only problem is, there are usually cute Orion pictures that go with the cooking pictures, so I guess I will leave those here. :) Also, sometimes I am approaching cooking as an educational experience. Like today we made meringues. Orion got a couple science books from Santa for Christmas, so I wanted to start working through one of them. In the one I picked, the first section was Kitchen Science. It isn't the right time of year to start seeds from fruits, so we skipped to the egg stuff. We spent some time looking at the egg whites, or should I say observing? :) We talked about what consistency they were and that they had a clear color. Then I started beating them and right away they got frothy, so we talked about bubbles and what is in them. I explained the beaters were adding more and more air and that the cells in egg whites were expanding like lots of little balloons. We watched as it got more and more opaque and stiff and talked about how the volume had changed. Then of course came the xylitol, and the science was all over haha. Actually, we added yellow food coloring at the end, and that is always fascinating to see how the color blends in.
Orion prefers this form best I think.
I love the reflection in the spoon on this one even though it is overexposed.
Now I just have to get the recipe and food pics up on the other blog and try to keep it up!
Sunday, January 20, 2008
I have been wanting to write down some thoughts about the coming birth for awhile now, so this seems like a good time. I have been thinking alot about how my last birth went, what I know now, and how I want things to be different. So I thought I would make a list. I know I may think of more things as time goes on, so I will come back here and edit it I guess. Some of this stuff I don't even need to write down because Pam, my current midwife, would never do them! But I guess it is still therapeutic to write it all down.
- I want to acknowledge I am in birth sooner. I spent so long not being sure, and so I never really enjoyed any of the birth CDs I made or anything else I had planned. For the longest time, I just kept thinking I had indigestion because I was expecting the same back labor I had with Sarah! But I wish I would have thought, maybe this is labor, so I should be present with it in that way just in case. Even once we were pretty sure, it was like I thought I needed to wait until it got difficult to use my music, and then it was too late and I didn't even notice it.
-Along the same lines, I hope my midwife is there during a good part of my active labor. Last time, she barely walked in time to tell me start pushing. I kept thinking I wasn't very far along, and I didn't want to get her out of bed when she had told me earlier she thought I would deliver the following morning. On the one hand, I don't really need anybody and can focus on being within myself, but I think a midwife does offer a different kind of support that can be really great, like knowing massage techniques to relieve pain and reminding you to try different things if it seems like things are not going well.
-I want to spend more time in the water for sure! Again, I wasn't sure how far along I was and had heard labor can be slowed down if you get in too early. But now I know the answer to that is, so what?! I love the water and want to spend more of my active labor in the birth tub compared to getting in just before transition started last time.
-I want to trust my body more and listen deeply to what it is telling me to do.
-I really want to have more freedom of movement, especially during pushing. I have realized that means Ron probably won't be able to be in the birthing tub with me (unless we decide to buy a million dollar jacuzzi before then). That part is sad, but hopefully he can still be right next to me. Last time I ended up almost on my back and couldn't move much at all.
-No automatic pitocin shot
-No baby suctioning unless there is a need for it. I look at the pictures of poor Orion being held upside down and poked at with a syringe as his first welcome to the world while my hands are reaching out for him. Pam does not believe in routine suctioning, and indeed, babies were made to deal with coming into life on their own. It is just another example of how modern medicine communicates to us we need help to do things that should be a natural occurrence.
-And to logically follow that... baby belongs on my chest as soon as she is out, and that is where she should stay, even if I need stitches. Orion ended up spending a substantial time away from me in the first hour while my tear was being attended to.
-And to logically follow that... if I tear again, I would rather have it heal naturally anyway. I am sure there are cases where this is not wise, but Pam is not in favor of stitching up in most cases, so I would trust her opinion if she thought I needed it.
-No tugging on my cord to get the placenta out! That was another shocker last time.
-I am really not sure about when I want to cut the cord, but I know I want it to be after I deliver the placenta. I thought about doing a lotus birth, but Ron is really against it, and I can see some pros and cons. I think I will just have to follow my intuition on this one.
-I would like to allow the baby to latch on by herself, with no guidance from me. There is more and more research coming out showing that baby led latching leads to much more successful breastfeeding, and again, this is the way nature designed it.
-Last, but not least, I want to keep my placenta! Somehow it never occurred to me last time that they would take it!
And in closing, here is an acrostic poem I wrote while working on Orion's scrapbook:
Home sweet home
Only who I want there
My Choices, my way
Each moment is sacred
Blessings surround me
In the water
Room to move around
Taking things at my pace
Happy baby, happy mama
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Reclaiming Our Freedom to Learn
by Gustavo Esteva
Here are some particularly inspiring excerpts:
We once did a thought experiment in which we took a suggestion of author John McKnight—imagining a world without dentists—and applied it to the teaching profession. For a few minutes many apocalyptic descriptions circulated around our table as we imagined a world without teachers or teaching. But then something radically different started to come into our conversation. We imagined a myriad of ways in which the people themselves would create a different kind of life.
One of the most important conclusions of our conversation was the explicit recognition that we learn better when nobody is teaching us. We can observe this in every baby and in our own experience. Our vital competence comes from learning by doing, without any kind of teaching.******************
So we created our university, Unitierra. Young men and women without any diploma, and better yet no schooling, can come to us. They learn whatever they want to learn—practical trades, like urban agriculture, video production, or social research, or fields of study, like philosophy or communication. They learn the skills of the trade or field of study as apprentices of someone practicing those activities. They also learn how to learn with modern tools and practices not available in their communities.
As soon as the young people arrive at Unitierra, they start to work as apprentices. They discover that they need specific skills to do what they want to do. Most of the time, they get those skills by practicing the trade, with or without their mentors. They may choose to attend specific workshops, to shorten the time needed to get those skills.Our “students” have been learning faster than we expected. After a few months they are usually called to return to the living present of their communities to do there what they have learned. They seem to be very useful there.
*********************In Unitierra we have been fruitfully following a suggestion of Paul Goodman, a friend of, and source of inspiration for, Ivan Illich. Goodman once said: “Suppose you had the revolution you are talking and dreaming about. Suppose your side won, and you had the kind of society you wanted. How would you live, you personally, in that society? Start living that way now! Whatever you would do then, do it now. When you run up against obstacles, people, or things that won’t let you live that way, then begin to think about how to get over or around or under that obstacle, or how to push it out of the way, and your politics will be concrete and practical.”
Friday, January 18, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Um, I forgot to take a picture right when they were done. This was after several had been eaten already.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
And just now he says to me, "Mommy, I want you go take a bath so the baby can come out."
Friday, January 11, 2008
But I have also had the ebay bug. I got a great little ceramic sun ornament, but that is already packed away. And I have been wanting one of these forever:If you have never owned one of these Tupperware sugar bowls, you cannot imagine how wonderful they are! :) I think part of it is nostalgia, because we had one when I was growing up. In fact, my parents still have it! But it really is an amazing design. I use so much xylitol around here and like to be able to just pour a little into Orion's drinks, so I knew this would be perfect. The weird thing is, these are apparently a totally hot commodity on ebay. I was annoyed at how much I had to pay for it. Then again, the way I am gushing about it, I shouldn't have been surprised. Just seemed odd! Here is the view showing how one side is for pouring and the other for scooping (I know you wanted to see it.)
And the transformation of the lower room has begun. I want to birth down there, so it needs alot of work! I ordered this from ebay, and it is now on the ceiling. I love to use the Om sound when I am laboring, and this will be right above the birth tub.
OK, so this didn't come from ebay, but it was on clearance at Bed Bath and Beyond amazingly cheap, so I feel like I got a major score, and it is perfect for a birth room I think.
Monday, January 7, 2008
Today was a good day to post it because Orion and I headed downtown to Powell's for a visit with him. We met at the Cafe there, and Orion was his usual high energy self, so we didn't get much time to talk, but it was still fun. Next time we will try to make it to the fancy bakery where he works so we can see him rolling out the bread and such.
Friday, January 4, 2008
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
The dough after rising and the pan of baking soda water.Um, yeah, can you say pathetic?! The recipe warned that this dough wouldn't hold together well, and that was an understatement! You can see I gave up even knotting one of them. I didn't even bother taking the out of the oven picture! Actually, they tasted really good, but they just weren't worth the work to be so ugly. If anything, I will save the recipe to make something more like breadsticks.