Notebook Rants: November

  • I’ve entered a new era:  underwear, in a package of six.  Fruit-of-the-Loom to be exact.   It must signify something:  motherhood.  old age.  exhaustion.  desperation.  done-ness.   When you are young, these are the underwear that are bought for you.  They have the days of the week on them, or little hearts and flowers.  In your late teens, perhaps, underwear becomes something you covet in single-servings.   Satin or lace.  Definitely not the “family-sized” packaging.  I remember in my early 20’s, browsing through Victoria’s Secret store, marveling at the little velvet lined drawers fully of FOLDED thongs and g-strings and pretty delicate underwear.   I vowed that someday I, too, would have a drawer that slides out like that just for my shimmery underthings.    But then, you start to have kids, and your closets consist of at least three wardrobes:  skinny, maternity, postpartum.  Mine have two additional wardrobes:  Not-quite-showing-yet-totally-bloated-maternity and Breastfeeding.   And suddenly you are in your 30’s and sick of trying to find a pair of underwear that aren’t too stretched out, don’t ride up your ass, or aren’t too tight.  And you are walking the aisles of Wal-Mart and decide that TODAY is the day.  And you throw two packages of underwear in your cart and it feels, actually, surprisingly luxurious to know you are now the owner of 12 pairs of comfortable “momderwear”.  I know some of my friends would be horrified.   Especially the ones that fold their thongs and g-strings.
  • Today, while helping me fold laundry, Kaia exlaimed “Mama, I just LOOOOVE your new underwear.  They are SO pretty.”. Jason remarked “Yeah, Kaia, they look alot like yours don’t they? Only bigger”.  He then told me that when he was searching the dryer today for underwear for the girls, he kept accidentally grabbing my new ones since they looked so similar.  Reality. Check.
  • I want to write.   But my body does not.   It wants to sleep.   But it has to hang laundry.  And feed the kids.  And nurse the baby.  And pay the bills.  And wake the baby to pick up Kaia from school.  And contemplate holiday gifts.   My body wants to sink into a bath.  But it knows Lyric will be waking up soon and I could either choose a bath or half an hour of sleep.   The writing just waits.   Sometimes the words speed past my brain like a New York taxicab.   Sometimes they whisper like the prayers of a monk.     Sometimes they land on my tongue like a butterfly.  But mostly, they melt.  Back into the energy exchange of life.  To you.  To me.  To them.
  • I purposely haven’t written about Kaia’s journey with school because I am unable to capture the whirlwind of emotions surrounding it.  It has been painful for me and at times for her as well.   It does not feel intuitive or holistic.   It (has been – literally – the only situation I can recall that has made me physically sick to my stomach with anxiety.   I want to wrangle her out of her classroom every single day.  I want her home with the family.   It’s not all about me and I honor that.  But there are choices to be made, decisions to be ironed out.  She is thriving in some ways, already having learned how to read and count to 100 and speaking simple Mandarin.   But learning doesn’t always have to be about the quantifiable things.  I don’t measure her based on the ideas and concepts she “knows”.   She also comes home many, many days saying her teachers are mean and that she wants to be at home with us.    I never, ever thought it would be this difficult.
  • I’m officially off-call with doula work until sometime next year.   The Universe provided me with a huge message to STOP attending births:  not actually witnessing the last four births attended.   Two were homebirthers who ended up choosing to go to the hospital and I didn’t feel right about taking my six-week old baby to a hospital.  One gave birth 10 minutes before me and the midwife arrived at her home (just her and her husband and young daughter – and their 10 lb baby!).  And one who was going to be birthing unassisted but ended up with signs of pre-eclampsia and birthed in a hospital.    While I miss the sacredness of birth work, I am thrilled to be soaking up Lyric’s babyness and enjoying time at home with Indigo.    I have a few dear repeat clients (home births) who I will have the honor of serving in the next few months, but other than that I am hibernating.
  • Lyric is almost six months old and the impossibility of his growing weighs on me.  My arms are full with is lanky body and my lips are left with the feeling of his fuzzy hair and downy cheeks.   And yet I know that in all of those moments of snuggling – the ones you wish could last a lifetime – I will not truly be able to remember them a few years from now.  This makes me sad and yet, it is Truth.  When I close my eyes, I can only viscerally recall a few moments like this with my girls, as in physically remember the feelings surrounding them.  What it was like to hold them, what they smelled like and sounded like and the things we laughed at.   Most of the moments are ones I blogged about or photos I’ve stared at again and again.    And this all brings me back to the Now.  The reality of the present of the Present.   If we revel in the Now, we will continue to be gifted with love heaped upon love and harmony heaped upon harmony.   This boy of mine is so deliciously divine.  So…happy.  Just happy.   He is flipping over all the time, and sitting supported, and chewing on his toys, and giggling at his sisters.  He weighs 14.5 lbs and is 28 inches long.  He is super easy, mellow, and is content to hang out in my arms, riding in the Ergo, or watch his sister’s antics.  The gift of his love is so expansive and too, too pure to even describe.   He is the calm within my storm.   Loving him has been a privilege.

  • Three months.  That’s how long Lyric went before taking a binky.   Kaia went three days, Indigo 32 days.  Lyric was the holdout, mostly of his own choice.  I tried to get him to take a binky on numerous occasions – mostly for car rides so that he wouldn’t scream and cry continuously.   Besides that, he was super content and I learned his cues and became so in-tune that a binky wasn’t really necessary.  But.  But.   The 15 minute catnaps became more than I could handle .  I needed a way for him to sleep longer.  And one day, at three months old or so, he just took a binky.  And he napped for two hours!  Truth be told, I feel so guilty about it.   He loves that binky.   I wish I could mother without using a binky.   I try to reserve it only for the times I feel it would really be mutually beneficial: in the car, when he’s tired and has already nursed but just can’t seem to fall asleep, or when I really need to get ready or take a shower and I have three kids to watch and I just need him to hang out in his little seat and be calm for a few minutes.    Ulgh.  The Binky Saga begins.
  • PS Indigo is still mega-attached to her binky
  • PPS Kaia still doesn’t poop on the potty 100%.  Or even 50%.   She doesn’t go at school but waits until she gets home and lets loose in her pants.   THIS.  THIS.  Has been something I never, ever in my wildest dreams imagined I’d be dealing with.   I have become speechless and emotionless about it and we just DEAL with it.
  • PPPS  Indigo has been fully potty trained for most of this year.
  • Way back in 2009 – months before I knew I was pregnant – I said to everyone “Next year is gonna be a good one.  I can feel it”.  It has been beyond good in so, so many ways.   This year has held expansion of mind, body, and spirit for me.   I have a son.    Our family live has morphed and abundance is breathed in like air.   There is a lightness surrounding us.   Thank you, 2010.
  • I feel very deeply that 2011 is my year of challenge.  Of growing in a more painful way that I’d ever choose.   It is going to hold life lessons, yes.    I’m feeling twinges of it already – with my kids, my family, my work, my mothering.   But within this all, I have no fear.    I cannot grow within fear.  I cannot birth myself in fear.    I move forward with Knowing that Unknowing is powerful.   It is a chance to bear witness to a process of re-birth which is always, always worthwhile.    I take a deep, warm breath.  I feel my nostrils tingle.   I hold it – honoring for a moment that place of fear.  And I release it from my body.  It is cleansing and it prepares me.   I await the intense spiraling of 2011 and know I am wholly(and holy) held.
  • I want to write about money and the bullshit of it all.    Money is energy.  We give and we get and we let go and we choose.    And our choices sometimes make no sense to others.  They aren’t “logical” or wise or smart or whatever the hell kind of “choice” we are SUPPOSED to make with money.  Sometimes I exchange the energy of money based on emotion – the kind held deeply to my heart – and it is absolutely right.   Trust me, I’m doing my OMwork.  Yes, there are obligations.  Mostly ones we create, though.   Yes, we bought a  vintage 80’s travel trailer for a smokin’ deal instead of paying a bill because do I need to tell you that some things only come around once or twice in a lifetime and sometimes they come to you in a specific moment and you have a choice to make? And that sometimes what looks like a big old shiny crazy second-home-of-a-trailer to one person looks like Adventure and Freedom and Quality Family Time and Memories to me? And that that bill is already paid and the others are next.  Why do we feel we need to justify our money choices?  Do I need to tell you that I don’t buy fancy coffee 4 times a week but I do like a decent working laptop every few years and that it only costs what your coffee costs you over the course of 7 months?  Yeah, that means I could buy a new laptop every year for the same cost as your coffee habit.  But people would still look at me like “Oh geez, there you go, always wanting your fancy computer stuff, blah blah blah”. No one dares say that about your coffee.   And neither would I.  Because I respect your money choice.  The energy of money put into what makes you content, what helps you work best, parent more harmoniously, connect more deeply.   I mother my money in my own ways just like I mother my children.  Consciously.  And I have never felt more free.  Fuck our guilt around money.  It has been created as a sidekick to our insecurities and it is false.    Thank you to SARK, who years ago helped me “relax about money”.   More on that later….
from SARK's website

14 Comments Add yours

  1. latisha says:

    perfect. thank you for sharing your stolen moments. it makes me feel more human.

  2. mb says:

    this beautiful little family, all of you, your son…your son. YOUR SON!!!! I long for the day I can bounce him, put the tip of my nose on his fuzzy head and remember………

    mmmmmmmm… you.


  3. erin says:

    you have no idea how comforting you are. how reading your words put me at ease…

    love love love you

  4. Rixa says:

    Sexy underwear? What’s that? I guess I am just a practical all-white kind of girl. The craziest I ever got was in high school: I had 2 bras that were not white. Woohoo. And frankly, the thought of wearing a thong makes me cringe!

  5. Deplorable. underwear in a package? sigh. what has the world come to? 🙂 And yes, my thongs are still folded – and color coded 🙂

    Writing – all I can say is ditto. My reasons (excuses?) for not are different, but the effects are the same. All those words and thoughts just absorbed into the cosmos. Maybe they still do something, the energy of the writing – even if not recorded?

    And the money….I want to hear more. I’m working on it, but mostly I’m still stuck in the anxiety burning deep in my gut phase when it comes to money. share your journey – pretty please.


    PS: I still want to plan a Love, Actually party…you in?

  6. “…within this all, I have no fear. I cannot grow within fear. I cannot birth myself in fear. I move forward with Knowing that Unknowing is powerful.”

    You are incredible. thank you for sharing you.

  7. Heather says:

    The boy will poop on the potty at home, but will not poop on the potty elsewhere. If we are out, he will ask to go home. If he cannot get to home, he will poop in his pants. I, too, would have never expected that so much of my life would revolve around poop in one form or another.

    Praise to the binky. Whatever keeps the most people in the home the most sane most of the time wins!

    I miss you.

  8. Katie says:

    If it makes you feel any better, my daughter potty trained the week she turned 2. She will be 4 next May and is not even close to night PTd. I figure it will come in due time.

    And the travel trailer? Amazing. Look, you can invest in many things, but you will never ever regret investing in family. And that is investing in family: in long, boring road trips and endless license plate and ‘I Spy’ games and cozy nights all sleeping in one room together breathing in harmony. Growing up our family had so little money that we got new shoes about once a year, but we also owned a pop-up camping trailer. We spent two summers traveling the west coast in that trailer, and I have some amazing memories thanks to that. It was truly a priceless investment!

  9. Oh my Leigh Leigh Leigh. Wish I could write like you. My reasons for pulling the kids out of school? Again? Sigh. Try FOUR of them crying plaintively into your arms, “I CANNOT go back there, Mama, my heart is sick, I feel so horrible like I dont even live here anymore, I dont even know Eska, all we do is rush, I could learn this silly stuff on Wikipedia, I never get to do any of my ACTUAL THINGS anymore, please please please PLEEEEZ let me have one more chance to be homeschooled…”
    FOUR of them. Weeping.

    And me with a little psycho 7 year old boy who at school is a gem and a darling and learning to read but at home breaks stuff and “cant” sit for even one sentance, and a little 10 year old boy who all of a sudden can write cool stories who at home is mopey and “cant” write even one sentance, and a 13 year old whose teacher comes out of the school with her to tell me each afternoon how awesome she is and how much the class is brightened by her presence who at home is shady and often aloof, and a little 4-now-5 year old boy who at school takes a nap and sits and does little songs and activities who at home runs and jumps off the table and “hates” songs and games and hasnt napped in 2 years….

    My point in confessing all of this? Even if they seem happy and learning at school, it still isnt home and it still isnt family and it still is artificial and un-whole-some and even though NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING “looks like” I want it to here, at home, right now, I am glad they are back with me.

  10. Oh, and I know all too well about the big cotton undies in the package from WalMArt, and all I can say is that the black ones became my new sexy undies, and my husband thinks they are cute now and really nothing is sexy about being uncomfortable, I have never worn a thong in my life, sounds soooo sick and annoying, and ummm, you are hilarious!? Welcome to mom undies world, its totally ok!

  11. Oh and i am stealing this money thing, it is SO refreshing to read something like this, actually very radicalizing, compared to the Your Money or your Life kinds of depressing unrealistic guilt inducing shit I usually am unfortunate enough to stumble across. Sharing ASAP!!!!

  12. Kristen's Raw says:

    There you go again. I can’t help but want to sit here with an expensive cup of coffee and cherish your words. You rock. XO

  13. I threw in the towel and switched to full-on granny panties this year. I was SO sick of wedgies.

    Both my kids use the binky. S still does, and M (at 5.5 yo) recently started using it again. I have decided it is not my business.

    I am also feeling that 2011 will be a year of challenges. Big ones. They have already started. What I know more than anything is that I need to stay true to myself, and somehow, one way or another, I will be okay. I think this year will be scary and hard, and did I say scary already? But I trust that I will make it through. I know you will too.

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