Thursday, May 28, 2009

A challenge, or two

Just a thought I had the other day while talking with a friend -

What would happen to the routine circumcision rate in the US if OB's, midwives, and pediatricians stopped offereing it to every expecting parent? I mean really, this procedure is not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and is purely cosmetic and unneccesary. So why is every pregnant woman asked if she's planning on it? Something to ponder...

And while I'm on the topic, or not, what would happen if we changed how we frame breastfeeding in this culture. Instead of discussing it as 'the best' (which implies that there are other, still ok options), why don't we discuss it as what it is - our biological norm. We are told that breastfeeding lowers health risks - well, change that around - what if women were told that formula feeding RAISES heath risks? Very different conversation now, isn't it. Now of course that would mean that the US would need to provide as a culture adequate, paid family leave, and treat breastfeeding as what it is - a full time job of it's own. To be succesful, you need to nurse, alot, and with a correct latch. So many women believe that their bodies are lemons, simply becasue their job as mother is not valued in our society, and they are not supported as such.

I'm not saying here that I think women who supplement with formula are evil, bad mothers. I'm tired of the mommy wars. Isabella was supplemented with formula becasue I did not know that my supply would decrease if she got a bottle while we were out, and I did not nurse or pump. I wish, so much, that I had been given accurate information and support, because I wanted to breastfeed her longer. That doesn't make me, or any other woman in a similar scenario a bad mom. I'm just saying that I feel that women marginalize each other when they get into their camps, and get defensive. We need to turn in the same direction and change the conversations - and make parenting in a America a valued activity.

Ok, climbing down off my soapbox now...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

How did 8 months go by so quickly? Or for that matter, 5 and five-twelveths years?

Bridger has a friend named Theo.

They are just about the same age (5 days apart), but Theo has mastered motion already - he has fire in the belly, and a bit less mass to move around. However, B seems to be a pretty quick study - on Monday he watched Theo zooming around on all fours, and crawled for the first time later that night. Yesterday he watched Theo go from his belly to sitting up, and figured that out today - and then showed off in front of his girlfriend. Nothing like a lady to impress to bring the best out in a boy... The cutest part of this skill though is that he is genuinely proud of it. Every time he sits up he claps and waits for his audience to cheer. We do. Dance monkeys!



Future Madame President, and Future Monsieur First Hubby. Or maybe one can do one term, and then they trade?

Oh - and from Isabella, whose Grandpa is teaching her about fractions in most fascinating ways, today she is 5 and five twelths! You better believe it, that is how she will answer the 'how old are you' question until June 14th. Love it.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Black Thumb Finds It's Yogic Self

I've been bad about posting lately - lots going on. And I've had a few posts kind of meandering around in my head, but I must say that knowing that there are a few readers out there made me feel a little self-aware - I don't want to self-edit, but it's hard not to... But I'm also glad not to be writing this for nothing too... I'm not saying at all not to comment, by the way, dear readers. It's kind of cool, knowing that you're out there. I just hadn't anticipated the reaction I had to seeing comments. So those posts will come some time when I don't have Bridger trying to type with me, and crawl off the couch.

Anyhow... on to the subject of this post. I am a plant killer. Every holiday my wonderful mother-in-law buys me beautiful plants, and they all die. My mother even gave me an aloe vera plant, saying that they are practically indestructible, and lo-and-behold -I killed it. But the summer after we moved into this house (in '05), I extended the little stone-walled garden around the side of my house, with the thoughts that perhaps I'd grow herbs. I did that summer, manage a few herbs, but the next two summers I never got to it - wedding one summer, baby the next. So it overgrew - the lemon verbena ran rampant. It looked pretty wild...

Until today! I finally cleaned the whole bed - put in lovely compost that we've been working on for a whole year. It's a lovely dry loamy mix of chicken poop (love our girls!) and vegetable matter that should improve that soil greatly. I'm also going to mix in pulp from my juicer.

I had a very strong feeling that my great-grandfather was with me while I was working (he passed in '84). My only memory of him was gardening - he was teaching me that if I buried dead plants, they would fertilize the soil, and grow more beautiful things the next year. I think he would have been very happy - watching three generations of his kin gardening on such a beautiful day, using the knowledge he passed on to my father, and me. In this way I don't think it's glib to tell Isabella that we keep those who pass in our hearts, and talking about the dead is a way to keep them alive. Great-Grandpa is alive while I teach Isabella what he taught me, and he will continue to be as she passes his memory along.

So as I was tilling the soil I was finding not many worms, and tons of grubs. I have a crawly thing phobia - I guess the summer of '79 was a bad gypsy moth caterpillar year, in which I screamed the whole summer - and it's never left me. Crawlies freak me out - make my skin crawl literally, turn my stomach, the whole nine yards. I have no qualms about killing them (except spiders - they eat bugs, so someone else takes them outside). But as I was taking out the grubs, and smashing them with glee on the stone wall, it occured to me that I was blatantly violating the yogic principle of non-harming. So... I thought to myself, I wish we could bring the chickens over to my garden to let them at the grubs... oh wait! I can bring the grubs to the hens! Then I'm honoring the omnivore tendancies of our girls, not wasting the grubs, and not killing them just to kill them - they are going to good use! Aha! My yoga teacher would be so proud... And I think the garden is lucky - I found a newt! Little and reddish brown. Very cool - Isabella loved it. Hopefully the snake that lives in the wall won't eat it.

So this week I'll go out and get my plants - I'm only planting what I cook with, and hopefully have some pictures to add of my efforts. And the plants will live to tell the tale.