Friday, September 25, 2009

Freecycle Scores, etc . . .

So it appears my diapering days are drawing to a close. As such, I am not trying to put out any more money to buy diapers. But in all honesty, my diapers are on their last leg. I mean, some of them are little more than shreds of fabric held together by my sheer will to make them last. Anyway, thanks to Freecycle, we have some new items to add to the rotation which will hopefully keep us afloat a little longer.

Eight Proraps Trainers

An assortment of inserts/doublers including one Hemparoos insert and two from Motherease (that's Z1's hand--he had to be in the picture even though when I ask him to sit for a picture, he usually scrunches up his face and pitches a fit or runs and hides--go figure)

Two Bummis Super Whisper Wraps

2 Medium Fuzzi Bunz (I'm looking forward to using these as all my Fuzzi Bunz need an additional cover)

I'm thrilled!

On another note, I haven't talked about emergency prep in a while now and while I'm no longer obsessing as I once was, I'm still keeping a close eye on my pantry and my emergency supplies. I realized that while I have our emergency supplies in my house, they are not in one centralized location, i.e. a bag. So I've identified a good bag, one that's not being used for anything, and this weekend I will consolidate all our emergency supplies including change of clothes.

On another note still, I found a wonderful children's book in the thrift store the other called The Wednesday Surprise.
I love when children's books paint pictures of ordinary, working class families. Families where people have to ride the bus and fathers are off at work for days and weeks at time. Where mom works too and grandma has to come babysit. Eve Bunting, one of my favorite children's authors who also penned another favorite of mine Flower Garden, has done it again with The Wednesday Surprise. It's highly recommended and while I don't think Z1 could fully appreciate the book at his age, I'm glad that we've added it to our collection.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I chose the difficult road

It's true. When it comes to parenting, I chose to do things the hard way. And in one of many heart-to-heart conversations, I discovered that this is why the hubby is really through with having children.

You see, except for the fact that the hubby is RastafarI, he is a very middle of the road kind of brother. Not too extreme in any of his beliefs or actions. Me? Well, let's just say that's not how you would describe me. I often marvel at the fact that we actually get along since we are so vastly different. This applies most potently to our parenting.

See, whereas the hubby would have been perfectly happy to slap some Huggies on the baby and call it a day, I wanted to cloth diaper. After a bit of coercing, I got my way. We've been doing the cloth diaper thing now for years and while I loved and still love the idea of it, the truth of the matter is that it's hard work. Lately when Z2 poops, I want to throw the whole mess away not be in the bathroom hovering over the toilet with the diaper sprayer. It's gross. And I'm not really a fan of more laundry. But I can count on having to do a load of diapers every 2-3 days without fail. And there's pressure there too because without clean diapers, well, what's the plan? Elimination communication. (Wow . . . that's a whole other world that I can't even imagine dealing with now.) It's not the easy way.

Whereas the hubby didn't have a problem with the hospital birth of Z1 and the smooth way the insurance paid for it, I did. I really wanted a homebirth. And after weeks of fighting with the insurance company, they agreed to pay half of the midwife's fee. The other half, to the hubby's annoyance, came out of pocket. To him, what was a beautiful experience for me was a huge ball of stress for him . . . right down to the huge stain left on our tan carpet from the birth. It wasn't the easy way.

Then there's breastfeeding . . . he would not have minded in the least giving the boys some formula here and there or even all the time. It's mainly been my thrust to make sure they have received the very best. And as much as I'm thrilled to have been able to do it, I can't deny that it has really disrupted our lives in ways that are difficult to explain fully. Suffice it to say, Z2 wakes up in the morning screaming bloody murder for some milk. The hubby keeps encouraging me to wean. It hasn't been easy.

Then there's circumcision which I'm against and the vaccination issue and the decision to be a stay-at-home mom . . . basically for the hubby, there has been no ease in this whole parenting thing. Nothing has been straightforward. We've spent the whole time going against the grain. Or, more precisely, I have been going against the grain and he has been (supportively) along for the ride. Well, he hasn't just been along for the ride all the time. For some issues, I really had to fight him which I felt badly about but I just couldn't let the issue slide.

When I think about my desire to homeschool, this weighs heavily on me. It is definitely another thing that is solely "my thing" and it is decidedly not the easy road. The hubby would quite happily send the boys off to school because as he put it, he already pays his school taxes. Why spend money twice? And what does that mean about my return to work? He had always hoped that once the kids were all school age, I'd jump right back into the workforce and we'd make a lot more headway financially. The difficult road of being a stay-at-home mom means we give up a lot of luxuries and take a lot longer to do things that could be completed in a jiffy on two incomes.

And then add to that the fact that we don't really get any kind of significant breaks from the children since their grandparents have other priorities and everyone, in general, is quite busy with their own lives. And I really began to understand why he's so tired. And why he's through having children.

And then I began to admit to myself that I'm tired too.

I am eager to get back to the days when I could knit and crochet things, read books, exercise in peace. But I also have to admit that my children do bring me a great deal of joy and in all honesty, they move through these baby days so quickly that one more (only one more) wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

Oh, I'd love to be one of those folks who romanticize the whole natural mothering thing and glorify it. But it's been a tough road to travel. And though I've never wavered, I definitely wish sometimes that I could be less bull-headed, more middle-of-the road . . . I don't really enjoy carrying poop-soiled diapers back home with me. That's actually not my idea of fun. I don't like feeling all stressed out in the morning trying to squeeze a workout and some chanting in before Z2 starts to demand to nurse. But these are things I really believe in and I really feel are important--important enough for me to go the extra mile.

I'm truly sorry about the way the hubby feels and often wish that the things that are important to me when it comes to child-rearing would also be important to him. But he's his own person and I respect and love that. I know where the hubby is coming from and so as of a few days ago, I've officially dropped the issue. Who knows if it will be picked up again?

I like to look at

What celeberities wear to award shows. I like the glamour and the creativity of many designers.

The most recent award show (I think) was the Emmy Awards. I happened upon this "Worst and Best Dressed List" from the ceremony. I agreed with them sometimes and other times I was left thinking, "Are they blind?" One glaring case . . .

So here number 25, Jenna Fisher. I liked the dress well-enough--thought she was well put together. They gave her a B+.

Scroll forward to my girl Chandra Wilson. I was like, "Whoa" She looked STUNNING. She picked a great dress for her body and her hair is tight. She's tastefully accessorized, makeup looks great. The grade? C-. They called the outfit "snooze worthy" even though it's almost the exact same dress Jenna Fisher was wearing style- wise except that Chandra's actually has more going on. Yet it's boring? They call her 'do disastrous. Really? Wow . . . it's a classic "Black woman" style that Chandra could maybe have pulled off with all her own hair (although there's probably weave for volume). I think it's pretty and well done--certainly not a mess and not the most basic of styles. Disastrous? Far from it.

Seems to me like there's something else going on here especially when you scroll to the next picture: Looks Like She Needs to Go Find Something to Eat Kristin Chenoweth, whose dress is just a whole bunch of sparkly things (looks kind of like crinkled up aluminum foil), who's wearing a ponytail, and whose makeup is, well, snooze worthy. She gets . . . an A from these folks. Please. With a Capital P.

I mean, we don't expect much from Hollywood as Black women but they could at least be fair. Chandra looked good and it should be by anyone's standards. Yes, she a plus size woman but she looks so well put-together. Not sloppy at all. Not a C-. Not on any planet or in any universe. I'm sure as an actress, she's used to the harshness in Hollywood. And I'm not saying that Chandra couldn't stand to shed a few pounds. But she made what she's got going on work in a fabulous way and to me, looked far better than Kristin Chenoweth who I think only got an A because she's rail thin and blond.

Am I being too sensitive? I don't think so . . . it was such a glaring disparity. And a huge nod to the prevailing beauty standards that do so much to damage the self-esteem of girls (Black and White) everywhere.

I'm also getting pretty tired of the whole "she looks good for her age" spiel. Like looking good has an expiration date or something. Like youthful looks are the only worthwhile looks. Huge eyeroll. I know some ABSOLUTELY STUNNING ladies who are done with their twenties, over their thirties, blazed through their 40s, sailed through their fifties and are still rocking in their sixties and seventies.

It's just a reminder that we have to be so vigilant about the toxic messages Hollywood sends to us and begin to formulate and adhere to our own standards of beauty.

**Sorry I couldn't post pictures directly into the post. I have not yet mastered adding pictures on this blog with a Mac.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

So now what?

I was a walk-in today at my doctor's office. She made me blow my nose and looked at the snot. The snot was clear although in the mornings when I first wake, it's green and thick. Then she looked up my nose and could see that the sinuses are swollen shut. Her advice? Keep up with ridiculously expensiveClaritin D and a nasal spray. That is to say, it's not an infection. Just a really bad stuffy nose. That has lasted for all these weeks? I'm not so sure about that. But I figured I'd give her recommendations a try. So I went to the pharmacy and dropped off my prescription. When I came to pick it up, the pharmacist says, "$60 co-pay". Uh, no. I shouldn't have a co-pay for nasal spray--especially not one that high. Turns out that my insurance doesn't cover the nasal spray the doctor prescribed.

I called the doctor to see if the prescription could be rewritten. I guess I'll go pick it up later.

But in my gut I know this is an infection. It has to be. I have never had these symptoms persist so long. At this point, I'm wishing for just a regular old allergy attack. And that speaks volumes.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

For about four weeks

I've been dealing with some kind of nasty bug. It has settled right in my sinuses and will not go away. I am going to break down and make time to go the doctor this week for an antibiotic because I'm really tired of suffering. I hope it kills whatever this is that won't let me be! My nose is so congested it's ridiculous. I've tried every natural approach including giving it time all to no avail. It's tricky when you suffer from allergies too because it's initially hard to distinguish between the two since they have similar symptoms. But I'm sure now that this is an infection that clearly I need help getting rid of. Luckily, so far, no one else in the family has gotten it. I hope I can keep it that way.
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