Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A couple of things...

1. I've basically cut off all my hair and I'm growing out the gray. So, if you haven't seen me in awhile and we run into each other, you've been warned.

2. School pictures!

It's been so long since I posted last that those school pics are actually a couple of months old now. Here's a more recent and accurate one of LB:

I know it's blurry, but come on! Here's one in better focus:

She's is a playground menace. And she's got mad slide skillz!

3. Having 2 kid is a lot. I'm serious. It's a LOT! I don't know how parents of 3 or 4 or whatever do it. This 14-18 month age is rough. I remember feeling on the brink when Linus was this age. Luna is teething her first molars and just got over a barfing virus. I haven't had a sound night's sleep in months, possibly even 1.5 years. Linus kinda half woke up the other night crying about how he wanted to draw a lion. That morphed into 20 minutes of "I WANT A LIIIIIIIIOOOOOONNNNNN!!" at 3 in the morning before I could wake him up enough to get him back to sleep. I'm obsessed with finding easy and tasty 30-minute dinner recipes BECAUSE THAT'S ALL THE TIME WE HAVE TO GET DINNER READY. I feel like I'm hanging on by my fingernails.

4. Linus is into drawing sharks. Sharks and swords.

I've got one just like it in my office. I'm going to frame it because it's fucking awesome!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Luna Bee is 1 year old tomorrow!

Time flies! My baby's growing up! I can't believe it's been a year! And all those other cliches that are cliches BECAUSE THEY'RE TRUE!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Getting out the Pre-K vote

Conversation with Linus (age 4) this evening:

Linus: Mommy, I voted for Obama.
Me: Really? You did? Where?
Linus: Mmmm, somewhere.

I think he's being pretty cagey. Maybe this is some of that historic Democratic voter fraud we've been hearing so much about.

Monday, October 27, 2008

OK, go check out this post over at Yes We Can (hold babies). Be sure to read the caption. Go on, I'll wait.


Back? Now, if that didn't cause you to at least choke up a little, if not actually weep, well...I just don't know what to say.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thinking about another baby

Linus is, not me. I mean, I think about it sometimes, but I think I've come to the conclusion that we just can't fucking afford it. But last night Linus asked me, "Where are the babies before they're in the mommies' tummies? Like, when you're zero?" I did a bunch of hand waving about how mommies have little tiny eggs in them, like little seeds, and under the "right conditions" *wink*..blah de blah, etc. Then this morning as he watched me changing Luna he announced that he wants another baby and he wants to name her Butterfly.

Me: That's a nice name, honey. But, what if we had a boy?
Linus: No, I want a girl.
Me: But you can't always control that and you could get a brother. What then?
Linus: (thinks about it...) Then we could name him Luna!
Me: Luna? Wouldn't that be a little weird having both a sister and brother named, "Luna"?"
Linus: No, not really.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Random interlude

Look, I know that last post was a bit of a hot mess. Motherhood, childbirth, breastfeeding, weight, food, fitness, physical activity, and body image (among other things) are all jumbled up for me. It's hard to sort out. I'll endeavor to do better next time.

Meanwhile, I had the following conversation with Linus yesterday on the drive home from work/school:

Linus: Do you know what "bejermen" means?
Me: Bejermen?
Linus: Yes.
Me: Uh, no. What does it mean?
Linus: It means something that is soft AND bumpy.
Me: Soft and bumpy, huh? Bejermen. Really?
Linus: Yes.
(long pause)
No one told me that. I just know.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Getting My Shit Together

The process of becoming the kind of parent I want to be is really the process of Getting My Shit Together. I've quoted him on this blog before, but as my friend Jordan said, "Parenting isn't about controlling your kids, it's more about controlling yourself." Truer words were never spoken. There's this period when your kids are little where you don't really have to have your shit together. Babies need arms, diaper, booby (or the equivalents) and that's about it. It really makes no difference to a baby if you have your shit together, as long as it's together enough to change a diaper, hold them, give them the booby. But, at some point you are no longer just facilitating their development as organisms, but also as people. You begin to help shape their emotional and intellectual as well as physical development. That's when it really starts to become important that you have your shit more or less together, as far I see it.

So, this is number two in a series of posts about Getting My Shit Together. Last one, sex. This one, body image. Here's the thing: I talk the talk about having a positive body image, but it is a struggle. I think with a boy child, that would be sufficient. Not perfect, but sufficient. I think my role-modeling duties regarding body image could be met with him such that he could grow up with a healthy attitude toward his, and others, bodies no matter their size or physical abilities. But, I'm afraid that now that I have a girl child too, I need to get my shit together about it. I don't want to subtly telegraph to her that in fact it's not ok to be anything less than within a narrow range of physical dimensions, because I have completely internalized the negative messages myself. The distinctions I'm drawing between my roles in raising a boy and raising a girl may be bullshit, but nevertheless, I now recognize I need to get my shit together.

This has come to the fore for me lately because I'm again struggling with being ok with my post-pregnancy/breastfeeding body. This is how it goes for me: I gain some amount of weight while pregnant, I have a baby and I lose all the baby/uterine/water/extra-blood-volume weight, but not any more. My weight stays completely flat for about 7-9 months, until the baby starts eating some solids in addition to breastfeeding, then my weight starts to slowly go up. It goes up for some time until it again flattens out. Once the baby weans completely, only then do I slowly start to drop weight again. All of this seems to happen regardless of what/when/how much I eat or exercise. I think what's happening in the breastfeeding period is that once the baby starts on solids, the amount of calories they're taking from me drops, but my body is still getting the hormonal signal that I'm a breastfeeding mom. This means that I'm hungry as hell all the time, so even if I wanted to restrict calories (which I don't) I can't without being miserable. Also, my body isn't going to let go of any fat stores if it can help it. There are plenty of good evolutionary reasons for this. Obviously, it's better for the baby if the mom has the fat stores to feed them no matter what food shortages may strike.

This is what happened to me with Linus. It wasn't until he was completely weaned that I finally began to lose the weight I'd gained during pregnancy. I'd go online to various pregnancy/early parenting sites and chats to find other women having the same experience, and I have to say I found very little commonality with other moms. Many, many women posted about how the weight just fell off while they were breastfeeding. In fact, this was tauted as one of breastfeeding's benefits - You'll have an easier time losing your baby weight :-) ! It was common to hear about moms not losing the last 5-10 lbs. until they'd stopped nursing, but I almost never heard about other moms gaining weight while nursing. I don't know if women just weren't willing to admit it, or maybe my experience really isn't that common. Maybe it's because I'm "older". Who knows?

To be sure, there's plenty of advice out there on how to lose baby weight. Diets, exercise regimes, endless articles on "reclaiming your pre-pregnancy body". That's not what I was looking for. At all. I was looking more for reassurance of normality, I guess. I have no interest in dieting. I know for a full-fucking-fact that it doesn't work. Does. Not. Work. Sure, if you want to lose weight in the short term, one way to do it is through calorie restriction. But, you will gain it back. I just wanted to know if anyone else had had a similar nursing experience.

Now, I'm experiencing the exact same pattern again with Luna Bee. Even though I now know that this is how it happens for me, I struggle with being ok with it. In general, I try to not be all American-girl weirded out about food. I try and eat good food that I enjoy. As a family we try to eat as locally, organically, and in-season as possible. We try to limit mega-corporate fastfood, or buying super-processed food because it was successfully marketed to our kids (or us), though I'd be lying if I said I never eat the occasional Big Mac. We try to eat for nourishment and pleasure, and not treat food as medicine or as a badge of our moral purity in some form or other. I recognize that even being able to talk about food like this is a signifier of privilege.

I also try to be active. I know that I feel and sleep better if I am active in some way every day. But, I'm not interesting in punishing myself with physical activity. It took me awhile in early adulthood to get past the whole, "no pain, no gain" bullshit. I want my kids to be active in whatever way they enjoy because they enjoy it. Not because they feel like they have to to be good people. Hmmmm, it seems I have a lot more to say about this. Maybe in another dedicated post.

Anyway, in part because I'm unwilling to "use" food or exercise to try and control how my body looks, I need to be happy with how it just is. I know that my weight alone isn't a sign of how healthy I am, and shouldn't be a determiner of how happy I am. A particular challenge, I think, when my body has gone through as much change as it has (up, down, around the corner and back again) in the last 5 years or so. Sometimes I am care free about it, sometimes I'm not. Truely, I need to get my shit together about it.