falcongrrl: (Default)
From an email I wrote:

I've had to become the mother I wanted to raise my kids.

I want to remember this for those times when I don't feel successful. It's not everything, nor should it be. But it's something. Something important.

(And, of course, it's an ongoing process.)
falcongrrl: (Default)
Last night I went out with Ellie to celebrate [livejournal.com profile] moonwolf's birthday at a Greek restaurant. Ellie ended up dancing by herself with a belly dancer, copying each movement and gesture to the best of her ability, while everyone clapped and cheered her on. [livejournal.com profile] moonwolf's dad tossed money over her head (the way the dancers are traditionally celebrated for good dancing at that restaurant.) It's the kind of thing that could seem creepy, I guess, but it wasn't at all...it was a way of saying, "Look at you! You rock!" And she did, charming everyone at the table not just with her dancing but with her overall demeanor (not that I'm biased at all, heh). She's amazing.

And Ellie got me onto the dance floor. Normally I hate dancing in front of people, because I'm objectively not a good dancer...but Ellie really wanted to. I couldn't teach her that dancing is only something for those with talent, couldn't deny her her own exuberant movement. She really wanted to dance, so much, but she wanted her mama there with her too because there were Other People there (apparently the belly dancer didn't feel like a stranger). So I joined a line (circle?) dance, and it wasn't that bad, and when Ellie was resistant to learning it, I celebrated her doing her own thing.

I often see the hard parts about being a parent, when there are so many beautiful parts too.

Ellie defaults to happy, to yes...Daniel defaults to hesitation and to no. He's not scared of anything, but he's perfectly willing to resist if he thinks he should. Each approach has its own pitfalls. I worry less about peer pressure with Daniel; I worry less about Ellie beating up on herself for imagined errors.

Daniel and I rode our bikes to McDonald's* this evening for dinner as his fun outing with mom this weekend (and managed to make it home before dark, too.) He's great to ride bikes with - fast, but he will slow down and wait for me without prompting, and he knows to watch for cars. We used our new bike cable to lock up our bikes before going inside, and when we got back out, Daniel got really frustrated trying to open the combination lock. He'd been practicing all afternoon. Finally, with a bit of coaching, he did it himself.

"You did it!"

"Yeah, but I didn't do it perfectly."

"What do you mean, you didn't do it perfectly? The lock opened, didn't it?"

"Yeah, but it wasn't the first time. It was like the fifth or something."

"Yeah, but you got it open. As long as you get the lock open, that's the important thing."

"Yeah, but I'm gonna have lockers! And have to do this every day!"

"In...ninth grade? Six years from now? Umm...you have six years to practice, buddy. I think you're okay."

"I still should have gotten it the first time."

"Hon, listen. You're just telling yourself that. It's not true. Why do you want to tell yourself something that makes you feel bad that's not even true?"

I do it too. And we both need to stop.

We got catcalls from some guys in an SUV on the way home. At first I thought, oh, this is the drive-by stuff I've heard people talk about on fat acceptance blogs; now I know what that is like firsthand...but then they yowled at Daniel too (who was a bit ahead of me). Daniel. My eight-year-old, blue belt in tae kwon do, who climbs to terrifying heights and flies on his bike and takes the puppy for runs and...who, truth be told, is a little stocky. Though I'm still not sure if that's why they yelled at us. Why they yelled at us.

"Assholes," I mouthed to Daniel without thinking about it, when he looked back at me. I meant it as a descriptor. There's the crosswalk, there's a motorcycle, and those guys hanging out of that truck yelling at you? Those are the assholes. After they passed, he waited for me and said, "Mom, what was that you said to me, but not out loud, with your mouth? Ah-something?" So I had to tell him, out loud, even though likely I lost mother-of-the-year for saying it in the first place. And then he started giggling and so did I. And the annoyance, the fear, dissipated. Mostly.

I want to take more time with each of them. I really, really like them as people. Well, this day, this minute. :-) But it's good to remember times like this during the other, more chaos-filled moments.

*One thing that totally cracked me up...apparently as part of a marketing strategy, McDonald's prints on some of their paper cups, "We're as picky with what we buy as you are." I thought, "Dude. I'm eating food from McDonald's. How picky could I possibly be?" And then I wondered if that was the point, kind of. False reassurance?
falcongrrl: (Default)
Daniel's running a high fever and throwing up. Ellie's doing better after her foot injury, but she took a long nap this afternoon and now she's wide awake. Yes, this was my fault; I should have woken her up, but I thought she might need the sleep. Now my head and stomach are hurting and I'm trying not to get hugely frustrated.

Overall, things are really good, I just need to get that out. There are other things I want to write about, but I'll wait 'til a little person isn't climbing on me, talking nonstop, and otherwise vying for my attention.
falcongrrl: (Default)
This from Daniel to Ellie (overheard):

"Mommy loves both of us as much as if we were here in Florida and we went all the way around the world and came back to Florida."

And you know, he's right. Plus a whole lot more than that. ♥
falcongrrl: (Default)
I'll try to post about my experiences with ppd later today, but for now, I'll just copy and paste the information I saw on Ask Moxie. Please read.

" What is the MOTHERS Act? The Moms Opportunity to Access Help, Education, Research and Support for Postpartum Depression Act, or MOTHERS Act (S. 3529), will ensure that new mothers and their families are educated about postpartum depression, screened for symptoms and provided with essential services. In addition, it will increase research into the causes, diagnoses and treatments for postpartum depression. The bill is sponsored by Senators Menendez and Durbin.

This is important. Really important. AS many as 800,000 American women every year get PPD or another postpartum mood disorder, and only 15% of them will be assessed or treated. That's tragic, and we shouldn't fall through the cracks.

I'm going to ask you to do three things:

1. If you're an American or live in the US, call your senators' office today to ask them to support the MOTHERS Act (S. 3529). Find your senators' contact info by going to www.senate.gov and using the drop-down box in the top right corner to find your state.

2. Start talking about PPD. If you experienced it, share your experience. When you see other new moms out and about, ask how they are, and really look at them when they answer. You might be a vital part of the safety net we should have in place.

3. When I figure out how to this morning, I'm going to post a PDF of 14 Tips to Prevent Postpartum Depression, over there on the left-hand side of this page. Please download it and print it out, and give it to the pregnant women and new moms you know. (If you want more than five copies or to reprint it, please email me about rights.) It's better to prevent PPD than to try to battle it, so let's make sure women know there are things they can do to lessen their likelihood of getting serious PPD."

Again, the above is a quote from Moxie - the link goes to her website, which is where you should be able to find the pdf file soon.

On behalf of myself and the other moms who have struggled with ppd, thanks for anything that you can do.
falcongrrl: (Default)
Okay, probably I'm a little too proud of this comparison.

And I don't know if I've mentioned lately how much I appreciate supportive childfree friends. ♥


me: I worry that you listen to me and think, wtf?

Friend: Heck no. Kids are WORK.
More than anyone who doesn't have them can possibly understand.

me: Thank you so much for saying that. Although...it's constant work, but it's not intense constantly. I think the nearest analogy in tech work would be being the network person. Sometimes it's light babysitting, and other times you're pulling all-nighters for days on end.

And transitioning from one phase to another is a pain.

Friend: Mmm. Sounds about right.
falcongrrl: (Default)
While surfing I stumbled across firstourselves.com, and I'm liking it so far. It's dedicated to both mothering and personal growth.

I like her 'things we do for our children that we should also do for ourselves':

Read more... )
falcongrrl: (surprised)
My child found a black spider yesterday on some fence pieces Dave bought from Home Depot to create some more privacy in our backyard. I was attending a baby shower with Ellie, and Dave and Daniel were working on a home improvement project together. Dave intutively told Daniel not to touch the spider, and he didn't. But he did guide it into a container and put a lid on it.

You know what's coming, don't you?

Yes, we are now the proud captors of a female black widow spider. The little red hourglass is pretty unmistakable.

Umm...Anyone, local or otherwise, have any ideas on what we should do with the thing? Daniel, using our own words back at us, doesn't want to kill it because it's a living creature and a part of Mother Nature. We are concerned about releasing it upon an unsuspecting public. We could take it out into the woods, but still...it feels creepy. Maybe call the science center? Dave and I were kind of hoping it'd be dead this morning, but it's not.

So. Yeah. I'm 35 years old, and this is the first black widow I've ever seen, other than on TV or in pictures. My son is eight, and he manages to catch one of the f***ers.

I don't know how I'm ever going to survive this parenting gig. Too scary. The lid is on really tight, and even though I generally like spiders, I'm giving that thing a wide berth.
falcongrrl: (Default)
After a week or two of feeling rundown with various physical symptoms, and dealing with various members of the family being sick (theirs was more acute while mine was more of an ongoing thing that might or might not have been illness)...I'm feeling back to my old self again. It's a really good feeling.

This morning, on the drive to school, Daniel and I were talking about the parent characters in some of his favorite TV shows, the ones we liked and the ones we didn't. His level of conversational ability is just so adult at times, and I love it when we can really share like that.

Then I came home and made valentines with Ellie and listened to her talk about giving them to her friends.

I love both of my kids so much. ♥
falcongrrl: (falcon)
My son is reading. In English and Hebrew.

It's as if a switch just flicked. He's sounding words out, reading whole sentences he sees everywhere that he wouldn't have attempted a couple of months ago. It's amazing to watch. Developmentally, he's just there now. I don't mean to minimize the groundwork of his kindergarten and first grade teachers, which has been huge. But it's like suddenly he just can.

And at temple today his teachers commented to Dave on how quickly Daniel's picking things up. On the drive home, Daniel was telling me about the Hebrew vowels and consonants and how to read the letters, and I was just amazed. Dave is taking a class for adults, and he's able to read and sound out words in Hebrew too. Both of them have only been taking it for about three weeks, and their class only meets once a week. (Of the two of them, Dave predictably studies more between class meetings. He also knows more.)

I'm so proud of both of them.

Me? Well, I'm talking about learning to sew skirts with a mommy friend, and I'm oddly excited (if a bit fretful at my general lack of fine coordination skills for these sorts of things) and hopefully getting a bit of time to myself tomorrow. Lizzy and I have a deal worked out at the preschool where I work some unpaid time in exchange for childfree time. Last time we tried this it didn't work so well...but this time I think we've both learned a lot, and we seem to be doing well so far.

My house is not as organized (by a longshot) as I'd like for it to be...but in the larger scheme of things, there are other things more important. I'm eating more healthily and my kids seem to be doing well right now. I'm making a bit of money and forming some good friendships at the preschool. Since reading the book Driven to Distraction, I feel like I relate to Daniel better and understand some things about him more. This doesn't mean that he *has* ADD necessarily, but it has helped me with some of his issues that bear a passing resemblance to it. (Same Hebrew class, Daniel impulsively (and, we think, jokingly) called a kid an 'idiot' and really hurt his feelings. Dave had The Talk with him about it.)

I exercised yesterday but missed today, and the writing hasn't been going all that well. I wrote a poem for a friend's birthday and some prose for another friend that I'm proud of, but it's been pretty hit or miss lately.

This weekend was quiet. Dave and I got some non-kid time last night and cooked a nice dinner and snuggled. (Umm, before and after sex, for the prurient and/or curious.)

I'm getting back on track spiritually, it feels like. Though that's easier when I'm exercising too - for some reason, exercising is a great time to do mental japa. :-) Not that japa is the sum total of spirituality, but it's one of those things that helps. I've also been reading a book [livejournal.com profile] gleefulfreak sent and just try to keep returning to what's important, what's real.

This is all I have for now. Other than some lingering fretting for my friend's difficult thing, I'm at peace. I'm trying to hang onto this feeling, but i have to remember that attachment to it - to anything - doesn't really serve me either. It's a hard lesson to learn.
falcongrrl: (Default)
Daniel: "I think I know why the bigger we are the heavier we are. It's because if you're wider, you have more space for the gravity to grip onto you and force you onto the ground."

Dave: "In general, you are correct--but it's not the actual space, it's how much there is of you. It's called mass. It's like your weight."

Me: "No, weight is with gravity."

Dave: "I know, but how do you explain mass?"

Me: "Dunno."

Dave: "Mass has to do with density and space, but that's..."

Daniel (moving on to computer chess, looking at one of the desktop monitors and starting to manuever the mouse): "So, anyway, which piece do I need to move next?" (long pause) "I may have just rearranged a few pieces on the board, so how do I get them back where they were?"


Sep. 17th, 2006 08:32 pm
falcongrrl: (falcon mama)
I just spent 30 minutes watching The Simpsons with Daniel, both of us giggling nonstop.

Times like these I'm really grateful to be a parent.

(And yes, he's a little young for The Simpsons, but this episode seemed okay for him--the one where Bart becomes a jazz musician and Lisa adopts half of the city animals.)


Jun. 30th, 2005 06:54 am
falcongrrl: (Default)
Beast Boy has been buying entirely too many pet slugs.*

The first one ate the microwave, Raven's cape, and all the food in the house before Beast Boy trapped it in Robin's sock. He tried to put the second on Robin's cape, but the cape was much too strong for the slug to eat.

Each of the first two slugs had 100 babies so now there are 200 baby slugs in the house!

Now, Beast Boy has also had a couple of Captain Morgans and Cokes, due to a rough day (all the slugs, maybe?) and so he's lying on the sofa. He did take a break, however, to buy four more slugs; obviously, the ethanol has seriously impaired his judgment.

Raven has caught one of the slugs in her room.** She's pissy because it just ate her force field.

I, Starfire, am recording this for posterity so that if/when the slugs eat us all alive, someone will have heard of our plight. My green super-vision allows me to see them well, so I'm hitting as many with fireballs as I can, per Robin's instructions, but there are just too damn many of them.

To further complicate things, the baby living with us just ate my lipstick and is handing it to Beast Boy saying, "Daddy. Wook. Mouf. Mine." Even though I tried to put her on the potty, she just peed on the floor. More mess to clean up. Maybe the slugs will drink it.

Robin is harassing Beast Boy about his penchant for slugs. Oh, wait, he's turning to me now.

"Um, Starfire?" Robin says.


"The slug's on the baby's head."

"Well, you'll have to get it off. I can't hit the baby in the head with a fireball."

Beast Boy's on the phone with his mom now. The baby's eating Doritos and trying to put lipstick on me. Robin's playing with a styrofoam container, and I'm...well, I don't know what I'm doing--but in a minute, I'm sure I'll be required to hit a few slugs with my fireball power.

All in a day's work.

*The slugs are NPCs.

**Raven is also an NPC.
falcongrrl: (Default)
It feels like a long time since I've written in here. This week has been a difficult one with the kids, to the point where I just haven't known what to do. Dave made an offhand comment in a moment of frustration about us being 'crappy parents,' and that's stuck with me. I know that he didn't really mean it, and yet there's a part of me that thinks that he did, that it was one of those rare, uncensored, blatantly-honest moments.

Part of me thinks that parenting is meant for those ESTJ souls, for those of you who are familiar with the MBTI. Dave and I are both INFPs, the gentle, mildly-obsessive dreamers either retreating into fantasy or questing after something in reality. Parents are meant to be planners, administrators, not hapless folks who'd rather be taking an art class or writing a poem (incidentally, he's the first; I'm the second).

At the same time, I feel that parenting is making me stretch and grow as a person, sometimes kicking and screaming, but it's still happening. I'm much more vocal than I used to be, much less afraid of making a fool of myself, much more willing to laugh at my mistakes. I've learned to shrug off a lot of what's not really important (granted, this is still an ongoing process) and to surround myself with folks who have a baseline level of emotional health, who energize rather than drain me. I don't know if I would have been able to learn these lessons if I hadn't had to, and parenting was/is/forevermoreshallbe a huge part of that process.

But then the ambivalence comes, that little voice that says, 'It's all about you, isn't it? What about the children, for god's sake? The truth is that my kids aren't easy--whether the blame for that is genetic or environmental, the end result is the same. The truth is that I want them to grow into healthy, happy individuals--and that I often don't have the faintest idea of how to go about that process. Or, conversely, I think that I do--but it involves refashioning myself into someone so foreign, so different from the 'me' I construct normally, that it seems nigh impossible.

Or maybe that's a cop-out?

I'm going to disable comments, because I worry that lately this journal has turned into a bit of a whine-fest, with different ones of you feeling like you have to pop up and reassure me, and I don't want that to become some weird dysfunctional pattern. At the same time, it's melancholy that sends me running to the keyboard, typing in order to make sense of my (admittedly mishmosh) internal and external life(lives).

So, thank you, all of you, for reading. And thanks to those of you who have crossed over into that select section of the monkeysphere: those of you who love me, whom I love back. There are far more of you in that list than I deserve, frankly, but I'm selfish enough to...well...not care. ;-)

Have a good weekend everybody, especially [livejournal.com profile] zyll_art, who's been in my thoughts all week after her daughter's surgery.



falcongrrl: (Default)

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