Friday, January 26, 2007

Trying to Throw Her Arms Around the World

I didn't know that I was raising such a socially conscious daughter. It seems that's the case, but I don't think I can take too much credit for it. I am so proud of who she is.

First of all, she brought home an activity that she had done for Martin Luther King Jr. day at school. Here is what she wrote:

"I have a dream that many African children would be able to grow up strong and healthy. That poor pupils will be happy and live the life of their dreams. Just imagine a world of happy people. A foundation of a lifetime of happiness. Lives saved. A hospital. Children with choices, jobs and friends. Warm wool blankets. Whatever it takes to make dreams come true. I will do it. Helping other children. Children being adopted by loving, caring parents. A family, school and scholarships."

I read this when she brought it home and we talked about it.

"I really want to help, Mom." She told me. "I really want other kids to be as happy as I am."

We talked a little bit about my friend, Holly, and some of the work she's done in Ethiopia, Rwanda and Zambia. She said she wants to talk to Holly with me to get an idea of what help is needed and what she can do. She likes the idea of setting up a booth at her school to take donations of some sort. I'll keep you updated on what she figures out.

Then the other day she told me that she wanted to cut her hair. I've been threatening for months to cut her hair every time I brush it. She didn't want to. She'd spent so much time growing it out. Then, I talked her into the idea of losing just a few inches and layering it to reduce snarls. She thought that was a good idea.

So, we planned to visit her Aunt Sara for a haircut. On Wednesday she informed me that she wanted to cut at least 10 inches off so that she could donate it to Locks Of Love.

"I love the idea of a little girl like me getting a beautiful, curly blond wig to wear," she said on the way.

So, she did it. Here are the pictures of her before and after, with her donation.

If you look on my sidebar, there's a link to an album of recent pictures of my kiddos.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Still Fiddling

Kind of getting closer. Thanks to those who offered help. I may be contacting you very soon.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


You may have noticed that I've been playing around with my template. I switched to the new blogger in hopes that it would be easier. But, no! I've logged at least 4 hours trying to get it to look the way I want it and have had NO luck at all.

So, I'll keep trying. If I can't get it the way I want, I'll just go back to the way it was.

Anyone want to help me?

I hate blogger right now.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Thursday, January 18, 2007

What a Day!!

This morning marked my second day of getting kids ready and driven to school. By myself. With a new baby. They were only about five minutes late (as opposed to fifteen minutes late on Tuesday). So we're making some progress. Life may settle down to it's pre-baby level of chaos and desperate attempts at order and organization. Or maybe this is just the new "normal" and I should just get used to it.

So, back to today. It was COLD this morning. JDub used his shop last night and kicked the car out of the garage. So my windshield looked a lot like this:

I scraped off enough for me to see decently, but as we got going it frosted over again. I could.not.see.anything. But I managed to pull off the road without killing us or any small children walking to school. Got out in the cold and scraped it again.

Then I got back in. And it sounded something like this:


The slit in my denim skirt tore all the way up to my bum. And I had to take Mashuga to a doctor's appointment right after dropping Kaitybean and Scud off.

What's a magically mama to do? Drive the kids to school of course. Then, stop by the friendly neighborhood grocery store for a roll of this:

Yes, that's right. I bought a roll of duct tape, made my way to the public restroom with two little boys in tow, took off my skirt and duct taped the tear together again. I even managed to tape it together and get it back on before anyone else walked into the restroom.

So, we made our way to Dr. Mumford's office and got there only ten minutes late. Hooray! Now this is a new pediatrician for us and so far I love him, but that's another post. (Finally a Dr. I like and trust and can talk to!)

Mashuga has only been in this office once. He came with me to Jack's 2 week visit. But this is Mashuga we're talking about. The second we turned the corner to go back to the exam room we were greeted with cries of "Hey, I remember you buddy!" and "The super-fast super-hero is back!" and "How are those huge four-year-old feet treating you?" Every nurse. Every assistant. They all remembered my Mashuga. He tends to have that effect on people. They find him exasperating or enchanting or both. But they usually remember him.

So, while I was discussing Mashuga's health and development with Dr. Mumford, he decided to jump off the exam table. It startled Dr. Mumford. I was unfazed.

"I can see your challenge with this one will be to just keep him alive?" the Dr. laughed.

Yep. That's Mashuga. 24-hour suicide watch.

After our visit to the Dr., we made our way here:

I wanted to see what they have to offer to help us fulfill Scud's drum-playing dreams. We took a tour and I tried to ignore the fact that I was following a well-dressed man through a very cool school in a skirt that I'd duct taped together in a public restroom.


I was HIGHLY impressed and if we can fit it into the budget I think we'll get Scud started there right away. And we'll probably get Kaitybean restarted on piano, too.

After this, we picked Scud up from school, went home and watched the last two episodes of this:

I've been fighting the urge all day to visit the local video store to see if they have season three. TV series are bad. The last time we got hooked on one was when we borrowed a SIL's copy of Alias, Season One. We watched Alias nearly every night for a couple of months until we finished all of the seasons. Yikes.

Thankfully this evening has been much less eventful than the morning.

I found out that JDub put out a huge fire at work today. No, he's not a firefighter. And a huge propane tank was involved. I'm glad he came home all in one piece.

Kaitybean spent the better part of two hours baking cookies in her Easy Bake Oven. What's so easy about those anyway. Sure she can do it independently. But taking almost two hours to bake just 6 small cookies seems like the hard way to me. But what do I know. I'm not eight years old anymore.

I read a few more chapters of "Reviving Ophelia" today. Wow, that is a chilling book. It is so true to many of my experiences as an adolescent girl. And I was lucky enough to stay away from drugs and alcohol and to have a strong family. The things that happen to our adolescent girls, even at the most mild, are so perturbing. But that's another post for another day. Stay tuned. I'm desperate to figure out how to save my sweet, capable daughter from the hurricane of a sexist, frightening and girl-diminishing society. And lucky you, you get to read all about it!

It's been a crazy day. But I learned that you can repair a skirt with duct tape and still keep your pride. So, it's still a good day to be me.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Meme - 6 Weird Things About Me

tagged by Edge

"According to the rules... Each player of this game starts with the "6 Weird Things about You". People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says 'you are tagged' in their comments and tell them to read your blog!"

1. Since August of 1997 there has been less than a cumulative year that I was not either pregnant or nursing or both. Actually about 10 months. Whew.

2. You do the math, but what brings my log of pregnancy and lactating hours up the most is the fact that I nursed Mashuga until he was almost 3 1/2. Now, I don't think that's so weird anymore. But I sure used to and many of you might.

3. Despite a tremendous aversion to contention, I thrive on a healthy, respectful debate. Ethos, Pathos, Logos... Ah... And I LOVE argumentative/persuasive writing. Honestly, give me an issue to debate and I'll be giddy. I don't even care if I'm right or not, I just enjoy that socratic "search for truth".

4. I fingerspell subconsciously. Whatever other people are saying, what I'm thinking... I can't remember how many people have seen me fingerspelling and asked whether or not I know sign language. Well, no. I just fingerspell. Usually without knowing I'm doing it. This was really a problem when I was doing a lot of acting. It took a great deal of self-control to keep myself from doing it onstage.

5. I quite frequently lose pens. In my hair. Sometimes I have wandered around my house looking for a pen when I had 2 or three of them in my hair.

6. I cannot handle wearing two socks that feel different, even if they look the same. JDub laughs at me because I sort socks by how they feel (texture, thickness, etc.) rather than how they look.

I tag: Meinhead, Derrick, Kim. Another thing about me. I don't like to play by the rules unless it suits me. I'm only tagging three people. And I don't care. I TYPED THIS POST ONE-HANDED, PEOPLE! :)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Wingbeats and Flowing Rivers

I am re-reading a favorite book, Mitten Strings For God by Katrina Kenison. A dear friend gave it to me when Mashuga was born and it has become a dear friend. It is a book that I come back to again and again and it touches me just as deeply every time.

Tonight I read a few chapters and finished by reading the last chapter, called "Wingbeats".

A few quotes:

"They don't stay still long enough for me to have my fill of them ever, at any stage. "Stop!" I want to shout. "Let's just do it this way for a while, let's just stay right here." But the movement is inexorable -- up and out, away, into the future."

"Sometimes, it seems, there are discernible changes overnight. The boy who meets my gaze at the breakfast table is not the same one whose cheek I kissed the night before. And even as I marvel at the latest incarnation, I grieve for yesterday's child, already a memory. To love them is always to let them go, bit by bit, day after day."

"In our own nest, I hear the wingbeats every day. I count off the years in my head until my boys will leave home, and I marvel at how far we have already come from those first days and weeks together, when it seemed infancy would last forever.... Each night before I go to sleep, I make my rounds, lingering as I gaze down upon those sleeping faces, wondering where their souls are while their bodies are at rest, and where their future flights will lead them."

I have been hearing "wingbeats" in my home lately as well.

Even our sweet little Jack, who is so new to us, is already changing with each passing day. We have loved him for only 13 days and already he is a completely new creature than he was when he came to us. He is so very different today than he was yesterday.

The change is even more pronounced in my older children. They are growing, changing, away, away, away...

It hurts my heart to see them go so quickly. Mostly because I know that I am not making the most of the short moments we have together. I take them for granted every day, capturing an ocassional moment of grace -- when I see them clearly and love them fully. Most moments of their sweet lives rush through my fingers much too quickly for me to grasp.

And perhaps motherhood is and always has been and always will be this way.

A river rushing on and on, while we flow with the current.

I cannot stop the water flowing. I cannot swim upstream to recapture moments past. But I want to clear a space where I can feel more deeply and appreciate more fully these beautiful souls whose lives are continually flowing around and through mine.

A Magically Mama Moment

What could be more magical than holding a sleeping four-year-old and nursing a newborn at the same time?

And for more pictures, click here. Lots of cute pics of Mashuga and Jack.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Clouds of Light

Clouds of Light

"They look so small and frail
but they are so great and magnificent.
They are born of the same womb
that birthed the cosmos
and knitted together the galaxies.

"If you could see them as they truly are,
you would be astounded.
You would see not little children,
but dancing clouds of light,
energy in motion,
swimming in an ocean of love.

"They are so much more
Than what you see.
As are you."

William Martin,
The Parents Tao Te Ching

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

He's Here!

Our sweet baby Coco, now known as Jack to the rest of the world, was born Sunday December 31 at 6:30pm. He was 8lbs and 20.5 inches long. It was a bit of a fight for me to get him here, but I did it! And he is worth it. We're just enjoying him as much as we can.

Here are some pictures.