Sunday, October 21, 2012

My son, the zen buddhist master (formerly "Going great")

Such a long time since my last post.. I had this draft put together a week after I gave birth but never finished it and never posted it. It's just a paragraph and it's really scattered but here it is:

"Labor went great .. so much better than the best way I imagined it could go. Turns out the fact that it was my 2nd did help. The fact that I obsessively ensured his positioning (not reclining, pelvic rocking 20 mins before bed, laying on the left side, etc) paid off. I've heard so many stories of women who had back labor with all their babies that I was certain I was going to end up having back labor this time around just like the first time. Did not happen. The fact that he was at station +1 also helped. Labor was 3 hours in total from the first contraction to his delivery. By the time I realized I was in actual labor it was actually too late to make it to the car. Midwife and birth assistant got to our place 30 minutes before he was delivered because by the time everyone left to meet us at the birthing center I was too far along to be driving anywhere. I remember hubby on the phone with the midwife on speakerphone and her hearing me pant when she said she's coming over. I snicker at the thought at what this would have looked like if I would have seen an OB instead .. can you imagine calling an American doctor saying "Can you please come over instead of overseeing your other 10 women in labor in the hospital? I don't think I can make it over there". It would have been hubby delivering the baby with instructions from 911 at that point .. or the EMT. Either way, not relaxing or very reassuring. Within 5 minutes of their getting to our place the bedroom was prepped with whatever they could find around here. Labor, as the short ones tend to be, was very intense. It literally felt like a rocket was launching out of my uterus during transition and there were a few minutes there when i thought I wasn't going to make it through, whatever that meant (I simply don't remember)."

So there it was, almost 6 months ago, and time flies by so fast. Julian is wonderful. He is my loverboy .. he cuddles and likes to nozzle me and shoots me these charming and flirtatious smiles while he's nursing and I'm smitten. Mr. G continues to be a stubborn and completely charming 3 year old who eats my soul alive. He now loves going to his (new) school .. the montessori system is working great for him. He's also the best helper in the land .. toys are completely worthless; what he wants to do is wash dishes and clean and do laundry. That does sound wonderful but when it's a 3 year old doing it it's really additional work when you have that sort of "help". Mr G, however, has the most to teach me: patience, imperfection as living art, taking things as they come, embracing failure, learning to enjoy the simple things and most importantly that every minute has a life of its own and it should be honored as such. Yes, my oldest son, the 3 year old, is a zen buddhist master.

Five years ago I would have never thought it would be me saying "I feel so unbelievably lucky to have two wonderful children" but the truth is I feel I would have missed out on so much had they not graced us with their existence. Yes I would have travelled more, tried more restaurants, made more friends, SLEPT more (oh, elusive, comfortable sleep) but at the end of the day, life is wonderful. Hard, exhausting, thankless (sometimes showerless) but wonderful.. real, physical, intense, emotional. Wonderful.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

So blah ..

Today is raining so that doesn't help. Dropped off the child at preschool and for the first time he actually cried when I left. Cried .. with tears. He's been going through a bad period lately of not listening and I spend 99% of my time with him asking him the same thing 1000 times until he screams back a "Yes" or "No" or telling him not to do something, 1000 times, until i have to drag him or stop him or whatever. It's been sort of a bad 2 weeks after a really really good 2 weeks. It's probably because I'm so tired lately and have been spending less time with him. He's been spending a lot of time with his dad which is great. They're getting along better now than ever. But I think that's why he was so upset with me leaving this morning .. I considered just taking him back home but I don't think that would be a good thing for either of us right now. He would continue to get in trouble the whole day, I'll scold him constantly and then I'll lose it and cry the whole afternoon because I'm just that hormonal of a mess.

I'm also tired of reading parenting books .. they're worthless for kids this age. Your 3 year old is going to go through this sort of crap no matter how much you spank him or yell at him or ignore him or show him attention. They just do. There's no one way to deal with a misbehaving 3 year old .. that's why so few of them actually behave and that's why parents with 3 year olds tend to not do a lot of social things: they're saving themselves the headache of going through this shit in unfamiliar spaces where they don't have control of the situation. That's also why there are a million opinions on how to "raise" or "discipline" or "guide" a 3 year old and none of them work for a majority of people. That's also why there are an infinite number of books on the subject, all of them completely worthless. Period. This is also why the idea of a "nuclear family" is idiotic from most perspectives. Kids need a variety of adults and kids of other ages to learn (good and bad) things from .. at different stages and throughout various short spurts they relate to different personalities better and loading 100% of that on two individuals (parents) who are already very alike (most likely why they're together, right?) is bad for the kids and bad for the parents. Now, I will not subject my "nuclear family" to psychologically abusive grandparents (mine) or overzealous religious and repressed grandparents (hubby's). I won't subject my kids to that and I can't personally deal with that sort of behavior. I often wonder if we should have even had kids given how screwed up our families are. I guess I just assumed that people just raised kids as a couple and that's that. I'm starting to believe that's unhealthy.

Tomorrow is my due date. It was this past sunday based on the ultrasound but tomorrow is the calendar date. The first time I was just over a week early but this time around I haven't made any progress .. well, other than baby has been at +1 station for over a week now. If you don't know what that means it's the position of the baby in the birth canal .. they start at -5 and at +5 their heads are ready to emerge. So +1 means a lot of grinding of his head on my pelvis, aka not very comfortable. Other than that, as far as I know, no effacement or dilatation. Going to get checked again tomorrow but I'm sort of pessimistic for some reason. It makes it hard to feel like giving birth to a second baby when you feel like you're a shitty mother to your first. I hate these hormones!!!

There's a bunch of other stuff going on. Like our best friends who have been planning on being around to babysit while I'm in labor letting me know 5 days in advance they will be gone for 4 days starting the day after I'm due. Haven't lost my trust in someone that fast ever. I'm still so upset I don't even really want to talk about it yet.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

O. K.

No, I'm not really ok. OK as in "I'm as ready for today/this week/this month as I can be so OK, let's go".

I keep coming back here to bitch (sorry!) but the past few years have been a rolercoaster and the past 9 months, well, don't get me started. Fucking hormones! It's been horrible but I've got 20 days till my due date and after that a few more months of the hormones hopefully subsiding and then maybe a little more back to as normal as you can be with an infant and a toddler in the house.

Thursday night I started having 1 minute contractions every 5 minutes, then 3, then 2 for 5 hours .. and then they stopped. So I've been fretting and stressing about what this may mean. Does it mean a long labor again? Does it mean I'll need to be induced? Does it mean another month of waiting? Turns out no one knows what it means cose we don't really know anything about our bodies. Even the most learned doctor cannot tell you for sure why the hell your body does most of what it does. They have some A to C theories but why A and C exist and whether there's a B in there and what role it plays? forget about it. Anywho, the midwife (the knowledge on the matter I trust about 100,000 more than any OB's) says it's my body doing some work before the labor getting things ready. And you know what? That's good enough for me. Things are getting ready. The baby dropped, my hormone dial is at dangerous levels and baby is ROT again (which is pretty much posterior) which absolutely sucks after sleeping on your left side for so long your whole body is constantly sore and doing 40 minutes of pelvic tilts a day that kill your wrists and shoulders. God, I don't want another back labor .. and I don't want another 22 hours of labor, but Gregory was ROT and turned posterior and that's what happened. So we'll see. 2 nights ago baby was LOA .. friggin perfect.

Otherwise the toddler is behaving like a teenager with the snap backs and stuff. Lots of tantrums again for the past 2 weeks probably because I've been snappy and not really the best role model myself. I had to set my project aside because my brain barely works (really, I have a hard time keeping up with a fast conversation .. it's bad). So when dealing with a fast moving, fast talking, emotional toddler I lose it lately.

Everything else is in flux now too: our lease is expiring and we want to move but haven't found a new place yet. We have to turn in today whether we're staying another month, 6 months or 12 months. Problem with 1 month is that it's a lot more expensive. Problem with 12 months is that we don't really want to stay here AND it's expensive. Problem with 6 months is that it's in the middle of the school year and we will have to drive to this side of town for Gregory's school for another 6-8 months after that until we can switch kindergarden or pre-K, which can mean another 1.5 hours added to the daily commute.

On top of that hubby is very possibly getting a new job in the next month (awesome opportunity if it works out), the contract for the position I'm supposed to be starting in July has not come through (2 week delay) and it sort of depends if I can do some work next week (which is uncertain given that I might go into labor any moment now based on the happenings of 2 nights ago), we'll have a new baby and the school Gregory goes to suddenly realized they won't have any openings till 2013 even though we were on the waiting list. Daycares are really really hard to come by around here so not being on any other waiting list sort of screwed us. Now we're stuck with 2 different schools, one of which is still to be located, and around here, with the crazy traffic, that is not good news.

Seems like everything is up in the air. And the hardest unknown to deal with at the moment is this labor and the baby. How is this child going to be? Is he healthy? Does he have any defects that will prevent him from having a happy, simple life? Will he draw so much more energy and time from us that we won't be able to do a good job parenting Gregory? How will he affect our relationship?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Things are better ..

.. and hoping the trend continues. Toddler still takes 1-2 hours to fall asleep but now without as much screaming/crying and without one of us having to be in the room. I really hope this is a lasting change because I was having nervous breakdowns on a nightly basis .. listen to you kid screaming "mommmyyyyy" that much while fighting going to bed when you know getting 8 hours of sleep for him is not enough and unhealthy and will give him a miserable day tomorrow and you'll be pulling your hair over what you're doing wrong and what a horrible person you are, as well. Anyway ..

Still unemployed but since I can't really survive without the stress of deadlines and "accomplishing" we've decided this is the perfect time to develop an idea I've had. So startup it is. Gives me something to fret over (other than housework and stuff) and get distracted by which is seemingly something I really need in order to stay sane. We'll see where this goes but I'm 100% in .. there's no trying or wishy-washy attempts. I'm already busting my butt and stressing myself in the process a lot more than I should but damn it I want it and I want it bad!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


So this is my first day of being officially unemployed. I have 3 1/2 months until baby comes and 3 1/2 months of doing whatever the heck I want because seemingly no one wants to hire a pregnant woman this close to her due date (although, 3 months is not that close). My whole office got laid off effective of the 31st so ta-da!

I am really sort of hating this already. It's 1PM and I haven't really done anything. Put dishes away, started laundry and then applied for some jobs per requirement of the unemployment office. We've decided the toddler is staying in school so the unemployment will cover that .. and just that. He's going through potty training, having a hard time in general with going to bed and tantrums and all that and there's a baby on the way so taking him out of the school he's been in for the past year does not seem like a good idea. There will be plenty of changes coming, he doesn't need to be uprooted from his friends and routine. Plus, once I start looking for a job I will need to make sure he will be in school. In this area preschools have long waiting lists so I am not willing to risk not having a place for him to go.

On the other hand unemployment covers his school and that's about it which terrifies me. We have some saved up but we had a savings plan for the next 3 months and weren't planning on living off of savings until end of March. So I'm freaking out a little bit. There's some credit and some 401k if we really need to but that doesn't give me any sort of comfort.

Then there's the migraines (or at least that's the last conclusion we got to) .. with the faintness and the going blind and the seeing painful bright spots, which is not very conducive to jobs requiring standing or hauling stuff around. I was convinced this was the way to go. Everyone told me to stay home .. that my mental and physical state are in need of some recuperation. And they're probably right.

So again, here it is, 1PM. By this time I would have worked on some code, helped out a few coworkers, committed some stuff, attended a meeting, planned tasks for the rest of the week, etc. But instead I've gotten very little done. I guess I should take it easy on myself. It's my first day and it's damned depressing to be here. But there are some benefits:
1. I do have a long list of things that need doing around the house
2. we'll be able to eat better since now I will have time to actually go to the grocery store, cook, etc (this relates more to having the energy not just the time .. which lately I've been missing despite the 3/4 of an espresso shot I allow myself a little of throughout the day)
3. There are a couple of technologies useful in future jobs I will have time to read/learn about
4. Have a lot of books I would like to finish (some of parenting, buddhism and the two I haven't had  chance to finish Schumpeter's "Capitalism socialism and democracy" and Smith's "The theory of moral sentiments"
5. Finally some time when I can work out .. I'm 6 months pregnant and have not worked once in this entire pregnancy which makes me feel very unprepared for The Event which last time took 22 hours and a lot of physical work; last time I had also worked out AND done yoga on an almost daily basis.

So, some bright spots there.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I had a lot of self-directing anger but what was left by the time I reached my computer was just this washed up fatalistic attitude. I've been seriously depressed lately questioning everything from my existence to the existence of baby #2. I am so hopeless about the world yet I bring another creature in it? For what? To expand the suffering to someone I love and continue to maintain, actually, worsen the status quo of the world? What a fucking idiot am I?

And of course all the doubts I've had positive answers to are now showing their monstrous heads as if before I had only peaked at them in the dark; as if I didn't really understand, but now, after the fact it's all become clear. Clearer because of what? because my brain is drowning in extra hormones and stress? Right.

It sort of started about 3 weeks ago when after so many months of migraines and debilitating nausea I started to really hate myself for having only about 1/2 of the energy I used to have for baby G. All my "escapes" were gone (mostly culinary and wine-related) and my self-restraint became 0. I had no patience and continuously snapped at baby G (no longer a baby I don't think at 2 and 1/2) only to feel ashamed and regretful and broken hearted over disappointing him 30 seconds later. Then this feeling of resentment towards this pregnancy and the fact that the even ethereal presence of this baby is making me a worse parent to G. Yeah, resentment. Can I get the mom of the year award now please?

I love my son so much and I want him to have the best of me, all the time. And I want to have the energy to at least try to feed him good foods and play with him, and teach him things and just really be human around him. And now this baby was preventing all that and bringing the worse out of me. Shit! I'd made a mistake. Crap! How can I say that .. I really do love this baby, I feel so guilty for saying it. I mean if guilt-free I could terminate this pregnancy I wouldn't. We want this baby in our life. But I really can't stand myself anymore.

So I've been reading like a maniac cose that's what I do when I'm at an impasse. Mainly buddhist literature on handling anger and learning to live in the moment, separated from expectations, etc. All sorts of books on raising calm and compassionate children. And they've helped .. that with lemon balm tea which is really the only relaxing tea I can have. Some days though nothing can bring me back from the brink and I just want to stop existing, stop feeling and stop thinking. Mostly stop thinking. Today was one of those days. It hasn't gotten much better but at least I typed this. I am dreading now dealing with myself once G wakes up from his nap. I wish I could be with him without me. I'm so sick of me.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Itching to leave .. again.

I think it's something to do with elections in this country. As soon as people start campaigning I get this very strong urge to get the hell out of here. All these interviews and debates spark all sorts of uncomfortable questions the answers to which make me wonder whether this country is a good place to raise my family. Don't get me wrong, for a single person or a couple without kids this is the mecca. This is a great place to scavenge and rape (financially speaking) so you can make loads of cash (at least by comparison) to travel and do all sorts of fun stuff. Sure you have to work you butt off but generally it pays off.

But now I have other interests and the questions now span more than the next quarter or year. The questions now are: How the hell will I help pay for the college education of 2 kids when in 18 years is said to have increased to $100K per? How much time will it take to stop hating the people around me who generally view kids as an annoyance and don't want to ever have them around? And perhaps the most important question is: do I really want my kids growing up in a country where the general education level is decreasing so rapidly from generation to the next? I'm not so worried about my kids' education because I will take care of that if their school lags at something. I'm worried about their generation making decisions, voting, etc. Seems more unsafe then the ETA in Spain.

I watch politicians and the general population mouthing off about things that are so ridiculous and against EVERYONE's best interest. EVERYONE except for the large national and multinational corporations (make that their boards and investors) that fund campaigns. And 30+% of the population is just going along with all this crap about deregulation of environmental standards when we've seen the negative consequences of pollution. With continuing to not tax the uber-rich even though it's been proven that they don't consume any more or less either way. With failing to put tax money towards the things are matter .. long term investments in our citizens instead of short-term fear-induced money pumping into the pockets of the large DoD contractors with friendly connections to the Pentagon.

I like the article this chart came from in The Atlantic. It focuses on productivity but says so much about other things as well. The following explains this chart:
"Adjusted for inflation, home energy costs doubled between 1967 and 2003, and continued to rise in the last ten years. The cost of medical insurance is growing faster than wages. Tuition and higher education fees are growing even faster."

I'll stop here because I am depressing myself..