Thursday, July 11, 2013

Contemplations: Queer Parenting "One of These Things is Not Like the Other"

On Sunday, May 12, 2013 -- Mother's Day, I got to spend the morning with my son and then leave him with a sitter to be a part of the show called, "Listen to Your Mother :: A national series of live shows by local writers in celebration of Mother's Day."

It was an amazing experience to be a part of this show. I met some amazing people/writers and even got to spend some quality time with one of the doula's who was at Avi's birth. This blog has been a chance to write... mostly it is not me as a writer, but me as an Ema (translation: mother). The LTYM show let me highlight the writer that is the mother. It gave me the spark to write again. To really write. There were even discussions with other mom/writers about starting a writing group. But the daily life of being a stay at home mom with a 3 year old has left me little time energy to write and even has taken me away from spending time here on my blog. Truth be told, it is 5 minutes to midnight as I write this. I have found that to be the mother that I want to "show" you on this blog, it means I have to spend less time here. Because being tired doesn't leave me much in the way of patience and bringing my best self to the role of mother. But I digress.

This is a video of my live reading. I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, May 10, 2013

(this moment)

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
If you're inspired to do the same, link your 'moment' in the comments for all to find & see.

Joining Soulemama

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

yarn along

Remember this post? Well, I've been busy. Here are just a few....yes a few of the little critters I've been knitting around here. 

Cats and rabbit... and one tailless bunny!

Check it.: Jenn has learned to knit too! She picked it up so quickly and her stitches are evening out!!

Pajama play time. Jenn with her new needles and Avi with the diggers. 

Joining Ginny today.

Monday, May 6, 2013

But what minutes! Count them by sensation, and not by calendars, and each moment is a day. ~~Benjamin Disraeli

Thursday May 2nd 2013

Saturday May 4th 2013 

Inviting you to join me in my Monday ritual ::: link up with your own 

Friday, May 3, 2013

(these many moment)

A Friday ritual. A single Several photos - no words - capturing a moment from the week the past several months while I've been gone. 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
If you're inspired to do the same, link your 'moment' in the comments for all to find & see.

Joining Soulemama

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Contemplations: A Civil Union Rant

At 12am today, gay and lesbians were lined up at the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s office to get their civil union licenses. Parties were being held, organizations were offering free officiating of civil union ceremonies, our friends were there to celebrate, even my straight Rabbi was there in support of us queer couples. But we weren’t there.

While YES, this is big news for Colorado -- which in the past has been named, (by the glbtq community), “the-great-hate-state", I still have a bit of a bad taste in my mouth about it.

At first I thought I was just being cynical because we don’t get enough sleep in this house, so not wanting to stay up until midnight just makes me feel old. And tired. Then I thought it was because of the rollercoaster ride that our relationship has been on since the birth of our son. Everyone says it changes everything, but you can NEVER know how it will change. And shit… has it changed. 

And then I thought my cynicism was because we are sometimes on the same page about baby number two and then in the blink of an eye, we are shelved in different library systems.  And then I thought it was because what we did to ensure that we had medical power of attorney, parental rights, and other protections costing us thousands of dollars to our lawyer, case worker, and court fees,  now gay and lesbian couples can get for $20 and a few signatures. But it’s not even that. I’m thrilled to be a shoulder that younger glbtq folks can stand on to get closer to having equal rights. God knows I stood on the shoulders of thousands millions of glbtq folks who endured the unspeakable so that I may live in relative safety and comfort as an OUT queer family in our liberal crunchy town. The fact is that civil union is still SEPARATE AND STILL NOT EQUAL.

We do gain some rights, lots of rights…. And they are important rights. But we do not gain ALL of the more than 1,138 federal rights, protections and responsibilities automatically granted to married heterosexual couples. The law says that we can adopt children as a couple now, but it doesn’t clearly state anything about parental rights. My understand is … that if we continue to live in Colorado, then Jenn will have rights to any additional children we have (without needing to do another 2nd parent adoption). But if we cross the state line, then our rights go right out the window. How is that fair?

And… we already got “married”/”commitmented” or whatever you want to call it…. FIVE AND 1/2 Years ago. And there is no way my size 10 butt will fit into my size 6 wedding dress. (DAMN, I did love that dress)! So if I’m not thrilled about this civil union thing, you may understand why. 

And Jenn and I are having a hard enough time coming together to plan a date night, so the thought of planning a civil union ceremony (even if it is just us with or without a handful of family/friends) feels daunting.

Okay, so maybe I’m a bit cynical. Maybe I do need more sleep and need to get to the gym more often to get rid of the grumps.... But I don’t think it’s all without reason. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Here I am.....

Here I am. I've been away. I am really kind of still away. Don't worry, I'll be back. In the meantime, thanks for checking in on me and letting me enjoy all of your blogs. 

Sunrise on Wonderland Lake March 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

(this moment)

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
If you're inspired to do the same, link your 'moment' in the comments for all to find & see.

Joining Soulemama

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Yarn and Read Along.

So my needles have been sitting in my office for the past.... hmmm... three years I would guess. I had a scarf that was half done just waiting to be finished and for someone to help me cast off. You see, as a young girl, when my grandmother taught me to knit, she always cast on and off for me. I'm sure she did try to teach me, but it was the thing I always struggled with. Along with my needles, yarn, and half finished scarf there was also a sheet of instructions for casting on and off (that I had printed off also about three years ago) which I tried to follow in vain.

But as I was recently inspired by Lisa and Kim to get my needles out again, I knit the remainder of the scarf and was ready to start something new. With my newfound inspiration, I decided to search youtube for instructions to cast off. Two minutes later, I had a finished scarf and was ready to start something new. Youtube cast on instructions to the rescue and I was on my way. It's amazing what a little bit of inspiration can do. So I'm working on this scarf and finally breaking out of the scarf world and also working on knitting a stuffed kitten similar to this one.

On the reading front, I've been loving Ashley English's Canning & Preserving. I decided that this year, I'm going to venture into canning in effort to not let anything from our garden go to waste. I feel that by reading up on how to can now, I'll be able to gather most of the supplies that I don't already have by perusing thrift stores and get some confidence under my belt before I actually begin. I already feel a new found confidence. 

Additionally, I'm loving Seven Times the Sun by Shea Darian, a recommendation from Mom to 5 over at One Mamas Journey. When this book first arrived in the mail, I just felt completely overwhelmed flipping through it, but after it sat on the counter for a few weeks, I picked it up again and after reading the introduction which reminds, "Begin where you are, and when there are new rhythms and rituals you wish to bring to your child's day, choose one thing at a time", I felt encouraged again and have been really loving this book. 

Avi modeling the scarf I finished.

On Avi's bookshelf, we have been loving When Lightning Comes in a Jar by Patricia Polacco. I am in love with her stories, Many of which take place in Michigan, where I grew up.  (Other favorites of her's include Thunder Cake and The Bee Tree).

All I See Is Part Of Me by Chara M. Curtis is such a sweet story about the interconnectedness of the world. I have overheard Avi remembering pieces of it out loud during his play.

And lastly, Winnie-The-Pooh and Some Bees by A.A. Milne. If you remember all the controversy I caused back here when I said that Avi didn't even know who Pooh was. Well, we are loving these stories now. Avi always giggles when Christopher Robin says, "Silly ol' bear".

Joining Ginny today.

Friday, February 8, 2013

(these [Nine] moments)

 So here is a little bit of Thursday for Friday. 
All of the following photos were taken in one day. It was a great day indeed!!

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. 
 ~Thornton Wilder

Excitement with a side of nerves :: Riding the city bus.

I bit of outdoor water play :: Colorado winters.

 "A drink of water for you snail"  :: I love his kind heart.

 A fun find after all the snowmelt :: He was loving this beat up ol' football.

We've been doing a lot of this around here :: and he likes his privacy. 

 Slowing down :: Noticing beauty all around.

 A little weathered but they work just the same :: I love hanging laundry.

 And I have the best helper in the world :: "We are doing work Ema.

I am in love with this little man!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Contemplations: Potty Training.

 Yesterday's post clued you into what's been happening in our home these past few weeks. 
Here are my accompanying contemplations. 

When Avi was 1 and 1/2 years old, I felt on top of the potty training thing. We had been doing Elimination Communication with him since he was just 8 weeks old.  I was confident that we were making good decisions and what we were doing was working. Now that Avi is 2 and 1/2, I look back and realize a few mistakes I made that caused a little bit of a halt in being diaper free. (And sure, I know that I could have done "everything right" and we might still be where we are, but nonetheless, maybe my experience could help someone else).

My biggest regret is that we first purchased a toilet seat (which sits atop the toilet) instead of a freestanding potty chair. Now, I had gotten to know Avi's cues pretty quickly. Seeing him begin to grunt and become red faced, I would pick him up and carry him to the bathroom and lift him onto the toilet. This worked fine until he began walking and didn't want me to pick him up and carry him to the toilet. He began to say something to the tune of, "Avi walk himself". And then I would hold his hand and we would walk to the bathroom together. But still, he was dependent on me to help him onto the toilet. "Avi walk himself" was soon replaced with, "No, no, no".  It wasn't long before he began to prefer to poop in his diaper. I felt horrible. Hadn't we come so far? Sometimes I'd go 10 weeks without having to change a poopy diaper. And now he was pooping in his diaper??? Where had a I gone wrong? In the moment it wasn't completely clear, but I also wasn't completely oblivious. So I finally bought the freestanding potty. In hindsight it's easy to see -- of course, a child needs a potty chair that is his size. One that he can sit down on without any help.  

And then when Avi turned two, I got a little over zealous in my own efforts and created a paradigm for him to "hurry up and grow up". More about that here. I put on my own breaks and just left the matter of potty training well alone. Though he did continue to sit on the potty (the potty chair and the big toilet) every now and then.

After about a month of slowing down, I began to communicate even more with Avi. We talked about him growing bigger and that someday he wouldn't have nee-nee (breast milk) anymore. And in the process of three months of talking, Avi, at 28 months, was ready to be done with nursing (and so was I)! That was last October. It was a beautiful ending to nursing that we did together via discussions. And over the last two months, we have been talking again... this time about the potty.  

In that time, I did more research, talked with other mamas, and read books (I like Diaper Free Before Three the best). Last week, I went on a potty training supply/readiness binge:

  •  I ordered another bjorn potty (got sick of carrying the one we had upstairs and downstairs) and even let Avi pick which color he wanted.
  • I ordered a travel potty for the car.
  • I ordered two mattress covers for his bed.
  • I bought a new wet bag and dug out our two old ones (for wet/soiled underwear on the go).
  • I set up the diaper pail again (for wet/soiled underwear). 
  • I bought a dozen or so more cotton trainers and unders
  • I got about a 1/2 dozen waterproof training pants (which we wear over the cotton underwear when we go out of the house). These are a godsend!
  • And I arranged a meeting with Jenn, myself, and our nanny so that we could all be on the same page about our approach. 
    He likes his privacy. Thus I'm often checking in on him through the crack beneath the door. 
So Avi is no longer wearing a diaper, (except for nap and bed), and we are all finding our new rhythm which includes using the potty (a lot!). Our first outings without diapers were hugely successful which helps me as much as it helps him. I can see how this gentler shift is so much better for Avi and for me/us (and my patience). And I can also see how this is, indeed, a shift and see him testing his boundaries a little too. All part of the process. 

I'm grateful for the place we are in, for the communication that is happening (amongst us all) and for the milestones we are reaching. I feel like we are finding our way again. 

Last night:
Ema: When the timer goes off, it will be time to head upstairs to brush your teeth and get ready for bed.
Avi: And sit on the potty.
Ema: Yes, and sit on the potty.