Monthly Archives: March 2012

Heaven

This morning, I laid curled up in bed with sweet baby Yum Yums on one side and the love of my life on the other.  The other two kids were in their beds safe and sound, then after a bit, they went about their business like little 5 & 7 year old adults.  It was warm.  It was cozy.  We were all safe and healthy; and to me, it was what Heaven must be like.  If that 45 minutes or so was repayment for every good thing I’ve ever done in my life, it was enough.  In fact, I’m not sure what I did to deserve this perfect vacation of a life.  All I have to do is look at the Yahoo home page to realize that I’ve won the lottery.  No one is bombing my home.  I am not starving and running for my life.  My home wasn’t taken by a natural disaster.  I have food in my pantry.  I wasn’t forced to marry at age 14, then beaten on a regular basis – or sold into a sex trade.  I don’t live in a war zone.   My children weren’t taken from me in the dead of night and forced into an army or gas chamber or worse.  I have healthy, awesome children.  I have children.

I have children, and I am so glad.  I always wanted children “in theory,” but when push came to shove I resisted the idea.  My husband had to campaign for our first two – and he had to campaign hard for our first.  You see, I just didn’t know I’d love being a parent so much, and I was afraid.  There, I said it: I was afraid.  I was afraid that my friends wouldn’t want to hang out with me anymore.  I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to do any of the things I liked to do.  I was terrified that I’d be replaced in the band.  (Our lead singer went into mourning when he found out I was pregnant.)  I was afraid that somehow being a mom would make me “unsexy” to my husband.  I was afraid my body would never bounce back.  What I was most afraid of, though, was that I’d lose the person I was.

After I was pregnant, I kind of felt that I had been pushed into the whole thing.

Then began the constant soundbites:

“Your life is completely going to change.”

“Enjoy it now!” *chuckle, chuckle*  “You’re not going to have time for that anymore.”

(random kid throwing a fit at Target)  “Get that out of your mouth & stop your crying!” (same kid now screaming in the shopping cart, and smelling of poopy diaper.) – I have totally been there, but it’s not what you want to witness when you’re terrified of being a parent.

“Women used to die in childbirth, you know, and I was in so much pain I thought I was going to.”

“You’re never going to be the same.”

I thought I was going to scream.  In fact, I did.  I also had a mini nervous breakdown in Babies R Us the first time I went in there.  I was trying to be sold on the bulky plastic ugly stuff that, actually, you don’t need.  I was sure there was a conspiracy between the minivan makers, petroleum & plastic industries, and Babies R Us, because they had made everything so freaking bulky there was no way to get anything they said we “needed” into our little car.    Then came the “you need a minivan” comments – which really is not the way to calm a scared-out-of-her-mind pregnant woman about ready to hyper-ventilate right there in the middle of the high chair aisle.

There was nothing anyone could have told me that was going to make me feel better, so I silently decided that I was going to just be “me-who-happens-to-also-be-a-mom,” and anyone who had a problem with that could suck it.  The truth is, that no one has had a problem with it, and no one meant to drive me to The Cliffs of Insanity with their little soundbites.  They must have just not realized that instead of being “so excited to be having a baby,” I was terrified and completely “unexcited.”  I knew, “in theory,” again, that I was going to like it.  I knew instinct was going to kick in – or at least I hoped it would.  I also knew that I wanted to be a good mom, and not a shitty crummy mom.  I knew I wanted my kids to look warmly on their childhood & remember fun times.  I was just unsure that I was ready for that sort of responsibility.

As it turns out, the instant I held my little baby Noodle in my arms, I was smitten.  -And parenthood has changed me – but not in any of the ways I thought, or any of the ways that others warned me it would.  Instead, it has changed me for the better.  I have a new perspective, and I feel like I understand humanity’s motivations a little better.  All of a sudden everyone’s place in the word has a different kind of significance: everyone is someone’s son or daughter and that means something that I just didn’t get before.

And, I still play in the bands I played in before – in fact, becoming a parent has made music all the more important to me & it has made me work harder at it.  And I still have the same friends – in fact, I have more friends.  And I still do the things I liked to before – in fact, I have more interests (too bad there aren’t more hours in a day).  Now, I just like to do many of these things with my kids.  Not because I have to, but because I love them & I want to.

Is parenthood all tulips & sunshine?  No, of course not.  Like anything worthwhile, it takes work sometimes – but most of the time, it’s work that I don’t mind.  In fact, I wouldn’t trade it for anything – and I’m really, really glad I didn’t miss out on it.  I know what Heaven feels like, and it feels like this morning.

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Diaper Obsessed

I admit that I have a problem: I am obsessed with diapers.  I couldn’t be more happy cloth diapering, and now, I just love them!  Weird, huh?  Yeah, I know.  I comfort myself by remembering that some women are obsessed with shoes – which go on feet.  Which can also be stinky.  So, really, diaper love isn’t that strange, right?  I mean, which sounds nicer: a soft, cozy, fluffy diaper – or a stinky ol’ shoe?  (Just work with me, on this one.)

It started out innocently enough.  When The Muffin was a little over half way through her diaper days, her skin was reeeaaaallly bad (still is – she suffers from fierce eczema).  My cousin & his wife had just had a baby & they introduced me to today’s cloth diapers (I blame this all on them. 🙂 It all seemed so easy -and it would save us soooo much money over disposables.  And no more diapers sitting in landfills. And the kicker: it would be better for The Muffin’s skin!!  I did some research & bought a bunch of FuzziBunz Seconds.  They were great!  However, her skin ended up still needing creams that would have ruined the nice cloth diapers, so we ended up being part-time cloth users.  So, when Yum-Yums came around, I thought I’d once again be a part-timer.  In fact, I started out with only 4 Fuzzi Bunz (The Muffin’s stash was all size Large & still on loan to a friend).  Then after a string horrible (& embarrassing) blow-outs, I decided to completely switch over.  Some other family members bought us a few (as baby gifts), and I borrowed some newborn sized diaps from the cousins that started it all.  When Yum-Yums outgrew the borrowed newborn sizes, that’s when the obsession kicked in.

It all started with some Bum Genius seconds I got to fill in the diaper stash gaps.  Then I HATED the idea of going back to disposables when camping and on our Austin trip, so I got a Flip diaper trial pack (with disposable inserts).  I loved the idea of using pre-folds in them when at home, so I got a handful of those, too.  Then started my quest to find the perfect nighttime diaper.  (Yum-yums, as it turns out, is a super heavy wetter & nights were proving to be a problem.)  Then came the Bamboozle, and the Kissaluvs.  And the Pumpkin Butt hemp and cotton insert/liner.  Then the Trend Lab, Earth Mom & Baby’s Bumboo Bamboo diaper, and the Tweedle Bugs diaper covers.  Then the Kawaii bamboo minky diaper, and the Mother Ease cotton one-size.  They all have their pros & cons, and some are my favorites, but when it comes right down to it: I love them all!  I promise to include a page full of my reviews very soon.  (probably tonight or tomorrow)

I am currently lusting over the Australian Bumboo side snap diaper covers & luxuriant bamboo terry flats.  They’re currently having a buy 2, get one free deal.  Even still, the shipping will come to $10.50 & that’s what is giving me pause.  You see, out of the family budget, I have only spent $75.00 on diapers.  Yes, you read that right: our family has only spent $75.00 on 8.5 months of diapering!!!  And the best part is that I don’t need another single diaper.  We are totally set.  Well, when we go on Vacation, I will probably have to buy a pack of disposables, because I won’t have access to washer/dryer.  Or at least a pack of Flip disposable inserts (only 5.00, though, at Soft & Cozy Baby – our friendly neighborhood diaper shop) – but you get the idea.

So where has the money for all the other diapers come from?  Well, many were gifted, and the remainder have come from a very generous gift card I was given for the holidays.  (And a little of my gig money.)  That’s right.  I have spent my gift money, not on clothes (which I desperately need – I look a little raggedy these days), or shoes (like some women might), or even coffee & chocolate (which is my usual M.O.), but diapers.

I told you I have a problem.

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Random Walking Dead Thought of the Day

I just can’t stop thinking about Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead – and especially Darryl’s bike!  It’s so freakin’ LOUD!  How come zombies aren’t popping out of the woods & following it like Darryl is some sort of Post-Apocalyptic Pied Piper?

Just a thought.

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Wii Not-So-Fit & Half Dressed Go-Go Girls

It was an eventful week-end.  We had a gig at The Hollywood Casino in West Virginia on Saturday night.  It was the most surreal St. Patrick’s Day of my life.  I had only ever been to a casino (on a cruise ship, though) once in my life, so it was a new experience for me.  I expected to be on a theater-style stage in a room off to the side.  I did not expect to be performing on a stage in an open space with a view of the slots, and scantily dressed dancers grooving on the bar.  Not that I have a huge problem with this, but I was unprepared – as, I am sure were the dancers when they had to dance seductively to our opening traditional Irish drinking song set.  They looked as uncomfortable grinding to The Moonshiner as I was watching them attempt it – and I have seen some interesting bar dancing in my day (though the dancers in the past have all been fully clothed).  I thought I had masked my “fish-out-of-water” daze at least while I was on stage – but after watching the footage a friend shot of our performance, I can see that was not the case.  I feel badly about it, too. 

Anyway, while I was entranced by half-dressed Go-Go Girls & the flashing lights and pings of the slot machines, the kids were having a grand old time with my parents.  Yum Yums even slept for them!  He fell asleep on my dad’s chest & transitioned to my mom’s lap and then to the crib with no problems!  I shall now refer to my parents as The Baby Whisperers.  (hooray!!)

The next day, we’re all hanging out & The Noodle asks if he could play on my parents’ Wii.  There was a minor problem with the power supply, my dad takes care of it, and we’re off and running!  Almost literally.  We don’t have a Wii at home, so this is all very novel to me.  I’m watching the kids try Tennis, and well, I wanted to try, too!  The Muffin spanked me.  It was a little embarrassing, especially considering as it was all new to her, too.  I comforted myself by noting that she was really just flailing wildly & it was beginners luck.  Then she beat me again.  Then my mom decided to try, too (she *says* she’s barely attempted the tennis).  She destroyed me.  Then The Noodle beat me, too.  Whatever.  At least I was having a good time.  Jeff was having a good time watching me get slammed, too.  So was my Dad. 

The next day, sorry to say, my arms were sore.  I wouldn’t figure it out. 

“Wow,” I thought, “I wonder if I’m getting a cold or something.  I’m so sore!”

Later: “I wonder if I’m just exhausted…”

Then finally: “Sweet baby peas!  It was the Wii!!!  I’m a total wimp!” 

I laughed at myself, then called and left a message for my parents, so they could laugh at me, too.  

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The Walking Dead: Or How I Decided I Need to Learn How to Make Everything From Scratch

I don’t usually go in for post-apocalyptic entertainment.  Well, I used to, but since becoming a mother, I just can’t go there.  Too much suffering and not enough hope.  I certainly wasn’t going to get involved in “The Walking Dead” – even though it is zombies, and really, I do like a good zombie flick.  Zombies aren’t scary; they’re kinda loveable in a black & white/bad make-up/slow moving kind of way.  (I stand by this, because it’s exactly what I’m like first thing in the morning.)  So when Jeff said “Let’s try ‘The Walking Dead’.  We can stream the first season,” I objected.  Then relented.  Then objected. 

“Oh come on – it’s *zombies*.”

“Yeah, I know, but … “

“I hear it’s really well done.”

“I know, but …”

“What?  Are you scared?”

“No!  Oh all right, get it started & I’ll be right in.”

Needless to say, I was riveted. I was riveted, but it bothered me.  The end of the first episode bothered me, because the choice of the guy handcuffed (I’m trying not to spoil anything in case you watch it for yourself) made no sense to me.  He had a hacksaw.  His logic eludes me still.  Anyway, it bothered me such that I immediately looked up the comic and did some research.  That bothered me even more. 

“I just did some reading and there is NO WAY I am watching this anymore.”

“Oh come on!  It was so well done!  I can’t wait to watch another one tomorrow night.”

“No way.  You can watch it downstairs.  I’m not doing it.”

“Why?  You love Zombies! -and those were good zombies”

“It’s not the zombies.  It’s the people.  Do you want me to tell you what happens, because -“

“NO!”

“There is no hope in this series.  You think there is, but there isn’t.  I’m a nursing mother.  I can’t go there.”

I told everyone that I could think of that I wasn’t watching it.  I knew what was going to happen & I just couldn’t go there.  I said these things, then would “read” in the same room Jeff was watching, eyes mostly glued to the screen & “reading” the same sentence over and over again.  Finally, I gave up and admitted that I was hooked. 

I desperately want to talk about Sunday’s episode, but won’t.  You know – just in case you haven’t watched it yet.  But I will say that I have become obsessed with thinking about what I would do if this sort of thing ever happened.  Yeah, I know, I’m a lunatic.  But what *if* something like this – some other sort of apocalypse happened.  So I found myself researching how to make sugar.  I figure in this climate (mid-atlantic), I’d probably have to go with sugar beets.  I kid you not, I spent at least an hour researching the sugar making process.  I figured that sugar would be something I could barter with.  I’ve decided I should plant witch hazel.  I revisited the idea of buying chickens for the backyard (I tried to sell Jeff on the idea of backyard chickens a few months prior – unsuccessfully).  I stepped up my knitting skills, and decided that I’d probably need to round up some alpaca and start breeding those, since The Muffin can’t wear wool, and I suspect we couldn’t grow cotton since I never see it grown anywhere nearby.  Then I realized that I was going to need WAY more space than our little teeny backyard & hatched an escape plan to my parents’ house.   I asked my parents how they’d feel if I showed up with fruit trees one day.  I tried making sandwich bread from scratch.  (It was awful, but I shall try again.)  I toyed with the idea of bee-keeping.  For the wax.  To make candles. From scratch.  Then decided this is probably a bad idea since I think I’m allergic to bees.  This year’s Christmas list includes “DIY” books (since there will be no electricity to power the computer), and a bow and arrow (Daryl is my favorite character ;).

Now, before you grab the phone to have me committed (too late, right), these things run through my mind, but I promise, I am firmly rooted in reality.  In fact, my eyes have been opened to just how incredible modern civilization is.  I have taken for granted just how much we all rely on each other for the the simplest of things.  Just flipping on a light involves an incredible number of people.  The manufacturing of electricity, the wires laid to bring the electricity to me, the people who built the house, those responsible for the plastic of the switch, the building of the “guts” of the switch, the faceplate – and the mining of the ore to make the metal that the faceplate was made of, the creation of the glass for the light bulb – it just goes on and on. Thinking about how I’d survive on my own, has made me realize how INCREDIBLE it is that we are all so seemlessly connected and so totally reliant on each other.    It makes me appreciate every tiny little aspect of my day.  I marvel at how easy I have it.  I revel in the simplicity of my life, and the health and safety of my family.  I couldn’t be more grateful for my life – and the fact that I’ve been inspired to learn to do more things for myself.

All this from a zombie show.

 

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A pregnancy, birth, and a bunch of other stuff all in 5 minutes …

Ok, so I’ve been away for awhile.  See, things have gotten a little crazy.  You know that last post I wrote about being an emotional basket-case?  Well, turns out I was pregnant!  Go figure!  Now fast-forward 18 months & here I sit with a sleeping perfect little 9 month old asleep on my lap.  We’ll just call him Yum-Yums.  He really is such a little gift!

The Noodle survived Kindergarten (and so did I – whew!), and is 3/4 of the way through first grade (I know, I can’t believe it either)!  The Muffin just had the day she had been waiting for for 2 years (since The Noodle was in preschool): Donuts With Dads.  A truly awesome day!  And now, I’m about to scoot out to see a friend in a play!  By myself!!  Well, with a friend – but I’m leaving all 3 kids with Jeff.  May The Force be with him …

 

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