Sunday, August 30, 2009

so 'tired'

its not as though i am fake to the people on the street, but I AM happier with them, it seems. They don't seem to have high expectations of me and I'm wildly aware of their judgements most of the time. I don't have to tell them any truth of my life and its great. I feel light and entertained, I just say hello if I can build up to it or make random comments about the beauty of their children or the day or the weather... It seems that I must complain too much to my family/friends because I now feel 'under watch' for 'issues' ... I'm mad. I wish I could say I felt cared for, but thats not what it feels like. It feels like people telling me to shut up. I come home and am caught off guard by a slamdance of family judgement and I flounder in my feelings of womanly power and am filled with self-doubt and guilt. Between some sibling in-law interferences and consistent spousal misunderstandings, motherly illhealth and a bunch of child behavior problems, I am off my good goddamned game. OFF. I'm letting too many people get in the way of my parenting and it makes me feel like i'm doing a shitty job. I"m going to go to Graceland in October without children or husband, and thats what I'm holding out for in my lesser moments, except when I'm free to sit in peace at the park, with strangers... then i'll just be sitting - in peace, in that very fine moment between children accidents/needs/queries/aggressions/demands. i'm working very VERY FUCKING HARD on compassion right now, finding it for others and for myself. but i am finding very little of it for any of us.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

flinch factor 109

its like some sort of perfume, that the ladies in the malls spray on you as you go... the flinch factor... i venture to say that it is boy-related. With my older son, I literally have learned that it is to my benefit to 'look away' when he is doing something dangerous. If I do not react, if I let him loose in the backyard, he is less prone to fall or do violence to his own body as part of his play. ( I do not refer to self-immolation ) The 20 month old is mimicking his older brother in ways that I can only describe as incredible. He can fit his tubby body through the top rung of the banister, next to the chimney and believes himself capable of hanging gracefully at the very top of the stairs, on the OUTSIDE of said bannister. The collection of sticks we have near the fireplace, those that we have gathered from walks, ALL become weapons. You would think we were watching war movies from the way the play evolves. BUT NO. PBS rules our lives in media, and we do not play with guns, and we will never buy a gun toy, ever. they are not toys. When raising these boys, there is a definite and palpable tension between my femininity and the masculinity of these two. Feeling that your children are foreign to you, balls of activity and aggression that bounce from room to room, off one another and oneself makes mothering something of a challenge. I admit that I may be wrong, but I am not certain that the feeling of 'foreign' is one that mothers of girls share. Please correct me, I certainly mean no 'girls are easier' commenting. THere are many very active girls out there, and many other issues that femininity may bring to the game that I know nothing about. but I LONG for crayons and art to play a part in my children's lives, and yet, the time is not here. My four year old can play for 20 minutes with 'figures' in imaginative play... and I am very blessedly happy about that, but that is our only down time- all day. When angry, the boys hit. Hard, fast, and feet are frequently employed. I am a strong mother, and I do not tolerate these things and yet I am in a constant state of flinch.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

belief, edited and added to.. and then some

BELIEF. what do you have? what do you use it for? What does it give to you?
I've been struggling lately with a far ranging and yet unbelievably short fuse. And because I have struggled with this short fuse before, and because I come from a family with a dad of incredibly short fuse, I know it is not just the heat. I am trying very hard to be compassionate with myself on this issue, but I am not really getting there. I simply want to beat the hell out of everyone around me, although I have not. I certainly HAVE been the yelling queen of hell. This week I locked myself in the bathroom and calmed my breathing because I knew that I was out of my mind, and that nothing that had been done by the boys(water spilled, brother/mother kicked, hair pulled, 'idiot' called) was calling forth this rage. It was something to do with My internal world order, and nothing to do with the environment. Its amazing how much rage is in there. Where the hell have I been keeping it on all those other days? Hm? I've called and made an appt to meet Chakra Carol again, and that should at least give me a direction to go in. I'm reading my Buddhism for mothers book, and that has chilled me out for yesterday and today, and thats a hundred pennies forward, i tell you. a hundred pennies forward.

I think I need to get me to church, if only for the AC and the Sunday School. I'd like my boys to touch the joy of possibility that exists when you feel comforted and encouraged by the whole world, i.e. G-D.

for instance, what does it serve me to believe that I am not suited to raise boys? is it my excuse for not addressing aggression? what good does it do? what about the reality being that I am suited to raise boys but wish for something else? crazy-making.
would you still write if you did NOT believe that someone were reading it? Do bloggers get fed by the writing or by the potential for readers? Is expression for its own sake like that tree in the empty woods? is there such a thing as an empty wood?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Holy hotness

if it gets any hotter, i'm taping silver dollars to my nipples and doing my shopping like that. propriety be damned.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

allright then (birth story #1)

tents, vacuums, and trucks...

tonight a woman is coming for dinner who had all three of her boys at home, in a tub of some sort with lots of doula/midwifery support and everything was blissful and smiley and there was no trauma. well. I'm very happy for her that she was so lucky. (I'm just nervous and feeling a bit judged in a projection sort-of way because she's coming to my house o'plastic and I don't know what to do if I can't plop all the kids in front of the tv on a rainy day) But its an interesting environment in which to start trying to type out the story of my first son's birth. While I am not even remotely interested in having a baby in a tub, I would have loved to have no trauma with the birth of my child. I was ten days late, and my lovely dr. had listened to me along the way about how naturally I'd like to approach the birth, so we waited. and in the waiting, baby C. grew and grew. And in the end, as my cervix only





the he.lp o2f much pitocin 3and fast pitocin, the baby did come out with the help of a vacuum . and thats when the fun began. (baby E. helping to type... second time around was REALLY different)

I never chose midwife help or doulas (though I had wonderful friends offer) because I have always been too simple to be divided. It was my husband and no one else who could hold my hand and get me through it. He switched from side to side to be by my good ear and coached me bradley-style through some of my most intense times. I was able to calm myself in the storm, as he counted me through my contractions. I was very proud, later, of those moments, and was very connected to J. throughout them.

My mom and mother in law were in the room during the first birth and held hands throughout much of what would come. . . my mum rubbed me down with warm cloths when I reacted badly to the pitocin and J. went out for a cigarette.... and she watched the monitors on the baby to see him dipping precipitously into slow did not like the epidural... and it was the first time that I realized that if I died, I'd like for the baby to be okay... I can't say I ever could have predicted such a matter of fact reaction to my own impending demise. for As labor progressed and I was epiduraled to survive the speed of the pitocin contractions, 0 to 60 in a minute or less? I pushed for hours and hours and hours... (4) and then the vacuum at the end. (his head is fine and normally shaped! :) I couldn't hear what the gender was, so once the baby was pulled out, I started shouting, 'what is it?what is it?'... I just saw a large red hand go by between my legs, it really was a big hand. They checked him all out, footprinted him... (my father in law had come in and thought that C. had died and thats why his feet were black... it really was a hard time) . . .
I got C. to my breast and he latched and then I asked them to take him away because I was so exhausted and shaky that I thought I was going to drop him... I could hardly hold up my own head, much less his.

would i have lived if i had been at home? probably not. I had a tear the size of pittsburgh's lesser parts and about four hours after the healthy big boy came out, I needed to have the retained placenta pulled out through that tear by a very brave woman who had to get help to hold me down before I'd let her near those overly sore parts. not joking. At this point, all my support had been sent home - we lived 45 minutes from the hospital and all the time spent with cervidil (to get my cervix to open) and so on and so forth, we had been trying to share the room/bed for 3 days... and then the all night labor... so even hubby had been sent away, to sleep and to return ...

J. says he'll never forget the look of surprise on the man's face with the vacuum, at the size of the baby and the fact that the vacuum worked. huh. C was born at 8 lbs 11 oz. - not as big as you would think but too big for my unexpectedly petite bonestructure... sure. He also says that they usually cut a woman off after 2 hours of pushing like that, and that they didn't at the wishes of me and my doc, in the hopes of avoiding an emergency c-section.

with the folks all gone, I had the ehem, 'cleanup' procedure above, which frankly, I don't think I want to ever think about with any degree of accuracy. I have shadowy memories of brightly lit rooms and numerous blue and green figures. I remember saying 'no' repeatedly and loudly. Four hours after a loooong ass labor. I needed to have two transfusions of blood to bring me back to human levels and then I got the call that the baby had been breathing too fast and they had transferred him to the NICU.
when I called home to tell J. about the baby and the NICU, he was so discombobulated from his two hour sleep that I had to yell at him to get my mom, who was camped in the backyard in an old shiny tin rv. She was discombobulated too, but you know women are WAAAAY more quick to pull it together in crisis. She took care of J. and got us all together once J. woke up some more.

It was not really the best day of my life. I rode a wheelchair to the NICU, stood up and proceeded to bleed all over the floor. ( I don't know if you know this, but that isn't really their favorite thing in the NICU, for all their sensitivity, just not their favorite thing.)

hm. Compared to the other babies there, several of whom did not survive our week there, C. was enormous and healthy, and I learned a lot about babyhandling from the nurses there. My baby was clearly going to make it. His breathing settled and having swallowed the meconium was no big deal.

My recovery was long and my blood loss set me back. It wasn't til after the second baby was born that I fully appreciated how much all of that experience had been really traumatic for me, and really flavored my understanding of my 'natural' abilities as a mother. I was so tired, in the way of all new mothers, and shocked and incredulous that I had never heard any kind of story like mine. C. is a wonderful boy, full of magic and delight... proving that children sprout strong from the dirtiest of dirts... dirt is dirt baby....

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


mind you, this is not all of it, this is just the trim bureau drawer and This is just what is still in the trunk of the car... and there is a third drawer under this one...
did I say THIRD?!

and I haven't even TOUCHED the fabric yet. NOT EVEN TOUCHED.

holy hell. I might not make it out alive.

I wish I could tell you what one would do with bias tape... but I can't... or 10,000 zippers... but no.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Birth Stories

whatever the story, whatever the gore or glory factor, it is a tremendously emotional thing to read. These children, that we who write them, love... and what we as former children, live through in order to bring them out into the world... its really astonishing that its ever happened more than once. and we do write them. Its one of the few verbal stories that is better in writing, for me, at least. i think and I get the time I need to digest with the written word... The time and space to distance oneself from the rawness of the experience is necessary to bring forth its excitement and beauty. The medium of type is what does it for me.
and I'm not even going to share mine today... just thankful that other people do.

*of course, the irony is that this is perhaps the most grammatically incorrect piece of writing I have ever put together... time and space, anyone?

Monday, August 10, 2009

what do you think of this?

This lady's husband told her he didn't love her anymore and wanted to leave the family. Her way of handling it is graceful and would be utterly impossible for me, perhaps to my sad detriment. what about you? Do you know anyone who could take this road? Could you?

* My Chakra Carol gave me a bunch of CDs to listen to by a woman named Byron Katie (i know, ridiculous) but itis roughly the same approach to suffering, as in- refusal to. and I tried damned hard - with the kids, during breakfast and nap, to listen to them all and do the work of examining my own beliefs as possible trickeries, as in ...'Am I actually tired all the time? No, not really. I'm not, I just get into the habit of explaining all things by saying this... Is it true that my husband doesn't really listen to me? or is that simply an expression of my desire to say less? etc.
Anyhow, I realized that its really not the thing for me as I think suffering does have a real role in understanding joy and peace. But I do think it could be the thing for someone else. I do. ..

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hiding the light under a bear/bushel

I just read a birthstory that was full of beauty and goodness and not without its fair share of what is there in a birthstory - pain. and it made me all weepy... and while my four year old is on the floor behind me with the barn turned on its head with the stormtroopers falling through the silos... its good and today I am above the whining. and they are good, and while I may be the most awkward of all the girls, I am trying and I am hopeful.

Monday, August 3, 2009

socially awkward

Things are out of control over here and I'm sure it has to do with the weather and the moon. but there it is. what to do about THEM?

I am completely tricky when it comes to appearances, full of confidence and wit on the outside and completely ludicrously anxious on the inside. someone put baby in the fucking corner, already!

I frequently blame my loserdom on my poor hearing and I think its valid, but very limited. Even as a kid, when I had two moderately working ears, my mother could send me into a wild panic by asking me to get something from the store, or to ask a question of a stranger. I'm still basically the same. I'm the first to say hello but the very last to actually attempt to engage in a conversation- hello being my tool for distancing myself... hello, smile, move away.

My hearing has forced me to read body language and subtle cues like nobody's business, and my lipreading skills have taught me many things that I did not want to learn. But there are times when I misread...and laugh at the wrong time, or flip out over a mis-read phrase... its really goddamned intimidating to socialize sometimes.
- the phone? I swear that there are people that I actually enjoy that I haven't seen because I am slightly neurotic about not being able to hear them if I called. Poor Pam, my wisconsin love, I cannot even tell her how much/often I think of her but don't call because of my neurosis. (Kids always play a part in added distraction, but my god, why can't I push through it? oh, right, because of the crushing disappointment in missing joke punchlines or sly witticisms or just the uncaught sob/hiccup...)

And while I AM shy, I am also sharpwitted and sharptongued and brook little idiocy, so there is the inevitable occasion when I say something out of place or simply turn away from frippery, as my grandmother would say. All in all, I think that I still round out as a nice person, but I'm messy...and watch out because I might do a socially awkward girly runner. . .