Monday, April 28, 2008

Words of Wisdon

I was recently in a public restroom, when I over-heard a little girl talking with her mom. By the conversation I am guessing the little girl was around 4/5. The mother's age did not come up. But the little girl offered these words of clarification: "the bathroom is where we pull our pants down, but not at school or other places." I am sure by the smirk I heard, the mother was trying not to laugh at her daughter's words of wisdom but I thought them pretty profound.
Way to go girl! To the men/boys showing butt crack-please, you are burning my eyes! Same when you show me your underwear-boxers or briefs. Go to the bathroom and fix yourself.
To the women who dress like sluts, and get offended if you treat them like a sex object, I think these words of wisdom could work for you too. To the women who think I want to see them dressed in band-aids, guess again. Go to the bathroom and fix yourself.
To people who urinate in public (usually men of course, and I have seen this happen), please show us some courtsey.
The bathroom is where we pull our pants down-live by it!

Friday, April 25, 2008

My Reading List

Okay, I still have my reading list up there, and I get some geeky satidfaction just by looking at it. Look at me, I have books to read-how cool! But it was also a dumb thing to do because since I posted that list, I have read about 6 books and not one of them was one my list!!!! I finally finished Omoo, which was interesting but hardly a page turner. Ironcially, it was very popular when it came out in 1847 because it was so concise. Umm, okay. It was interesting to read about the "Sandwich Islands", which is what we know as Hawaii. But typical of the time period, Melville alternates between being paternalistic and superior to the local natives, and sometimes downright racist. Good times for those people.
I also read "Girl With A Pearl Earring". Never saw the movie, but book was great. Easy read to, especially after Omoo. I am not even into art, and I still was very interested reading about life in the artist world in the 1700's. And the life if the lower class, so to speak.
I also read some mysteries that I picked up at the grocery store, but please don't tell my husband that. I am not suppose to be buying books, but the addict in me went into the shakes and they some how ended up in my cart!
Right now I am reading two books: "Last Child In The Woods", and another one about hper-active PARENTING, although the title escapes me at the moment. I will be blogging about both of those at a later date but both are extremely informative not only as a parent, but from the point of view of society. As a teaser, one parent was so mad that her child was not being played enough in a sports game, that she physically started punching the refree. The refree was noticeably pregnant. What does that say about us as a society?!?!
Have a great weekend everyone!

Public Awareness

It seems like every month, there is a Public Health Message. Breast Cancer Awareness, Happy Hearts, Say No To Smoking, etc. I have no idea what April is, but I have a story to share before I spoil the ending.
When Asa was born, I had no expectations. Since I don't like babies, and I don't think babies are cute, I had no expectations. But after several readings, I was waiting for post-partum, a.k.a baby blues. But days went by and I wasn't breaking down into tears or feeling like my world was falling apart, so I thought I had escaped it. I was proud. Remember, post-partum is chemically based and so I wasn't sure which way I would swing.
With any new experience, whether it be babies, marriage, or going away to college, you get new emotions. So we had some learning experiences in those early days, but again, no depression so I was happy. However, I remember days of wondering if we should stay home, and have a tree fall on us. Get in a car, and be hit by someone else. Or go to the mall and get shot at. Every thing we did seemed to be fraught with danger. New baby, no tears-we were good. I would put Asa to bed at night, and think "Wow, he is one day closer to leaving me for college". Okay, that one I chalked up to new baby emotions. But still, Post-Partum, as mentioned in brief paragraphs in baby books, all talked about depression, not wanting to be near your baby, not feeling adequate as a mother, extreme emotions, etc. I had none of that. I just felt like nothing was relaxed and as a new mommy, I was rightly nervous.
So one day, I am waiting somewhere. I can't remember where, but there was reading material-a book, magazine, something. It could have been an office, store, or someone's house. I honestly do not remember. But by chance I flipped to a page and there was an article about post-partum and imagine my surprise when I read that THE NUMEBR ONE SYMPTOM OF POST-PARTUM IS ANXIETY. What the hell? Not one time prior had I ever heard that. Anxiety, not depression is what I was suppose to be looking for and 5 months of forcing myself to not dwell on every little safety issue was over. At Asa's next appointment I talked to my doctor and his exact words were "let's get you some help". It was like sunshine.
My doctor prescribed med's and I wish I could say it made everything better. It didn't. But what it did do was make me feel like I could cope, and then go out and get better myself. I sceduled in an hour of free time for myself every week. That one hour made a huge difference. I made sure to keep up on at least one hobby. But most of all, I made sure to relax and enjoy Asa as he was then, and not dream of the day when he could walk, talk, feed himself, etc. And not dwell that he could now sleep through the night, take a bottle, smile, etc. Just love him as he is no matter where he is.
I wish I could say that even after that, I become mom du-jour. I didn't. Parenting, whether it starts with step- or ends with -hood, is such a huge learning curve. And as late as last July (thank-you Katie for being there!), Asa and I were still learning the ropes. But by looking for the wrong symptoms, I delayed the entire process by months. I still get frustrated by that.
At the time I got help for post-partum, I got a lot of "pat on the backs" for being so brave as to get help. But let's point 2 things out. One, post-partum can be a whole lot worse than what I went through. We are dealing with chemicals, and it is different for everyone, AND everytime. I am waiting to see what happens with kid number 2 before I make plans about what we will do. Second, I had a baby who was depending on me to try to be my best. Note, he wasn't waiting for me to be the best. No one can be that person. Asa still needs me to TRY my best. I will make mistakes, and he will cry at what an evil mommy I am (no Thomas DVD's at midnight!!), but he will also know that my mistakes were honest and made in the name of love, and NOT because I refused to do my best, whatever that best may be.
So I declare this month, and next month, and every month thereafter the month of Post-Partum. Are you having a baby? Expecting a neice/nephew? Grandchild? A friend reproducing? Please let them know to watch for anxiety. It just seems that depression gets all the press and it isn't even what most people get. How disappointing.
A friend of mine has been blogging about her bout with Post-Partum, and while I think her's was worse (way to go T!), I also noticed that she said something similiar-she wasn't depressed per se, but she had a lot of anxiety, and since no one was looking for that, she went a lot longer than me without a diagnosis. So spread the word, because new babies deserve it. (She also inspired me to write this.)
The one thing I did learn from all this, is that when Tom Cruise passes a grapefruit through ANY hole in his body, then he can tell me what I need to do with Post-Partum. Being female, I have never made the presumption to tell men how to deal with prostrate cancer, and he has no right telling me what I need to be doing to get over child birth. If I thought bucking it up and smiling in the mirror would have cured all my problems, I would have used it in college to get better grades.
So please, pass the word-Anxiety, Anxiety, Anxiety.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Puppy Training

2 days of no rain and high's in the mid-50's means we can go to the park. So I pack up Asa to an almost deserted park near my house (apparently other's are not so hardy) and let him loose. He is of course enamored with the woman walking her dogs and although he stays with me, he watches her so closely I am about ready to call him a stalker. Then one of the dogs starts running off so the woman calls her dog back and who should respond but the kid who plays deaf for me- Asa to answer the call. Hello! I wish someone had told me to forgo the child psychology books and get puppy training instead.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Feeling Slinky

Winters in Oregon are brutal. Winter may also be brutal elsewhere, but this is where I live. I have seen "America's Funniest Video". I know there exists palces in the Winter where they get snow, but you can play in snow in-betweens storms. Even if it isn't raining, everything here is wet from November to March (sometimes October to April), and there isn't a contraption out there that can keep a 2-year old dry for any length of time. If it isn't wet and rainy, it is freezing cold and windy.
We spend a lot of time at the Burger King in the Winter, and yes I am shamelessly plugging this food chain. One near our house has a play structure, so we go in for lunch and stay an hour to an hour and a half. For the dollar, it is cheaper than any museum or movie, and a bonus is that Asa burns off the crappy food I just fed him by chasing every kid his size. The nap to come after that energy burn is a huge bonus as well.
So last Sunday it was rainy and Asa was antsy, so daddy and I took him to Burger King. There were only 2 other boys, but I failed to notice they had no shoes on. I never take Asa's shoes off, regardless of what the rules say. Call me a rebel. But since these new friends were shoeless, so followed Asa. Only he took just one shoe off, somewhere in the play structure. His brand new sandal. Why do kids never loose the old shoes? We send Asa up to look for his shoe, multiple times. Nick is getting into "you are in trouble" mode with Asa, and so I pulled him aside and reminded him that at Asa's age, we are lucky if the kid even remembers what we said by the time he get's to the top of the play structure, let alone remember to look for the damn shoe.
So guess who gets to haul her pregnant butt into the play structure at Burger King? Daddy isn't going because, besides his fear of heights, the structure sways when I am in there, let alone a full-grown man. And if anyone thinks I am letting a brand new shoe go without a fight, doesn't know the Girl Scout in me. I felt like the Grinch in the Christmas cartoon, slinking my way through tight spaces and sucking my gut in. And of course one of the other boys followed me, partly amazed that a mom would get in the structure and partly annoyed that I was blocking the path.
I get to the top of the structure, and am crawling through this tube when I hear Nick call up "Hey Dena, shoe is down here." I swear, I did not call my kid a four letter name. But I did think extremely uncharitable thoughts. I take the slide down, because I do fit and I thought it would be faster, but I lost momentum and Nick had to pull me out by my ankles. More entertainment for the kids-they thought it great fun.
In the end, we discovered that Asa and one of the other little boy's had taken their shoes off at the top of the structure, and then threw the shoe BEHIND the structure where no one can get. So we had to call the staff in to unlock the gate, so we all could go back there and grab these shoes. Again, I did not call my kid a four letter name, but I was thinking extremely uncharitable thoughts as I sat there trying to get my breath back. Lesson learned-we glue the sock to the foot and staple the shoe to the sock so new shoes stay where they are suppose to. If you see Asa walking with a limp, do not be concerned.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

George Lopez and Other Things

So to begin with, I have tried to call or write everyone to let them know how the last doctor's visit went, but I am sure I missed someone. Asa has been sick, I am frickin' tired, etc. etc. blah, blah, blah. So, to let the rest of the world know, we are having another boy and we are very excited. Or, to be honest, just as disappointed it isn't a girl, as we would be if it were a girl and we weren't having a boy. I feel like I dodged a bullet not having deal with a girl in puberty (I know what I was like), but no third generation Girl Scout either. I am estatic Asa gets a brother but I know 2 boys in puberty can eat a person out of house and home! What do you do? Dance to the music God gave you.

So, on to my thoughts of the day. I am admitting to world that I like "The George Lopez Show". I don't love it, and I don't watch it every night, but I find it far more entertaining than a lot of junk out there and do enjoy watching it every now and again. So when I tell my culturally enlightened husband of this, the first words out of his mouth were "Why, you aren't a Mexican?" Insert sigh here.
The show isn't just for Mexican's, for starters. One of the things I like about the show is how they discuss ALL countries south of the US border-there are acutally quite a few down there who speak Spanish, for those of you who didn't know. Second, just because I am not of a certain demographic, doesn't mean I can't watch a show. The censor at my house (Me, as I stated in a previous blog) is pretty accepting of things that might be different, whether it be on tv or otherwise. But what I really love about the show is that I can relate to it, and I'll bet if a lot of other people thought about it, they could relate to it too.
"The George Lopez Show" is culutural. Yes. But subsitute some of the jokes about tamales, or tacos, or any other food, for jokes about matzoh, kugel, or borsht, and it could be a Jewish joke. Subsitute perogi's or strudel and you could be talking about my husband's Eastern European family. The jokes about how hard it is to get along with your mother? That is just about everyone I know regardless of their ancestery. Holidays people can't pronounce or know nothing about? Ever ask someone what Yom Kippur is? They hardly ever know. And I had to ask a friend what Palm Sunday was. For all I knew it celebrated plants from the tropics. jokes about trying to get ahead at work, either because of a language barriar or stereotype? Welcome to being a woman, or disabled. People who are blind tell stories of being shouted at, and those in wheelchairs talk about how patronizing "walkies" can be.
The truth, in my mind, is that we all belong to NUMEROUS cultures. The culture of parenthood-who else wants to hear how your 2 year old crapped on the floor-again. The culture of different religions. I know as much about Ash Wednesday as my neighbor probably does about Passover-we can both spell it. The culture of disablities. I am legally blind without my glasses and will not swim with my children until they are in grade school because I can't see them if I take off my glasses. I can't do anything without them (Velma on Scooby-Doo was a wuss-I know by her lenses her vision isn't as bad as mine). Plus I hear from people in wheel chairs how difficult access to buildings can be. Jobs? Only teachers truly know that their job is not about summer vacation and only doctors can understand how frustrating it is to have people assume you can give out free advice on any health issue (ie. the story about the podiatrist, foot doctor essentially, who was asked by someone at a party about chest pains). My sister moved overseas to a country she doesn't speak the language-I'll bet she would get the jokes about not speaking the language right. And only a fellow reader will understand the joy I feel when I get a numerous books at a good price because the good lord knows my husband could care less.
So what I am saying, in a slow way, is that just because George Lopez isn't talking directly to "my kind", the show does talk about things that are human, and reminds me that while we belong to many cultures, we are all a member of the biggest one of all-the Human Culture. Plus the jokes about his big head are so true.