Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I can't sleep because the babies aren't either!

I can't sleep. Too many things on my mind. Whirlwind of thoughts - frustration, anger, disappointment, helplessness, apathy.

The AAP has its new infant sleep recommendations out. What a load of misinformation. Basically it says never to sleep with your baby and to give them a pacifier. OK I don't have much against pacifiers they didn't harm my breastfeeding relationship with my first son and after a nasty virus he gave his binky up so we never had to get rid of a terrible habit. My second son I didn't encourage to use one - though I offered it but he never took to it.

but the anti-co-sleeping that REALLY gets me angry. First of all don't THEY know that SIDS statistics are grossly inaccurate? Basically if a baby dies while sleeping in this country they label it SIDS. Baby smothers - SIDS, baby chokes on foreign object- SIDS, Drunk and high- adult rolls over on baby - SIDS, baby has previous health problems and succumbs while sleeping - SIDS. And there are the actual unexplained cases of SIDS. I personally know someone whose baby had respiratory problems and her baby died while sleeping - couldn't get enough air- they labeled it SIDS. Its like the vaccine conspiracy - if your child has a reaction to a vaccine the doc is SUPPOSED to report it but they hardly ever do. It is all politics.

OK so now why co-sleeping is good. IT REDUCES THE RISK OF SIDS CASES AND OTHER INFANT DEATHS! First of all co-sleeping mothers often breastfeed which is known to reduce the risk of SIDS. A baby who suckles during the night has different sleeping patterns than a baby stuck alone in a crib and forced to spend the dark night there.
The mothers themselves are very aware while sleeping. I have never in 5 1/2 years ever not been aware of my children when they were in my bed. I have never rolled on top of them maybe a hand or foot) and I never let them slip under the covers. It just doesn't happen Mother radar just kicks in. I sleep deeply enough to ignore a kick or two but if something was wrong with my baby I would know in a heartbeat.
Another compelling reason is breathing patterns. Hearing someone breathe reminds babies to keep breathing - if they were inclined to stop hearing mom's heartbeat and breathing keeps them going too.
And the best reason mom always knows what is going on with baby. A baby in a crib in another room or the same room could be dead for hours before you would even think something was wrong. A mother next to her baby can know immediately and would have a chance of resuscitating the baby.

This has nothing to do with the crap coming from the AAP but is along the co-sleeping theme. Co-sleeping keeps me sane. I literally can not fathom how these parents can get up out of bed at night and pace around with a wailing baby! I can not do it I do not have the patience at night. The handful of times I have had to stay up with a sick baby I thought I was going to implode. My nighttime parenting skills consist of "Insert breast" for infants and " snuggle up" for toddlers. That is as far as my mind works at night.

Will I put my new little baby to sleep in my bed when she arrives? You bet I will you couldn't stop me it is safer and just makes more sense!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


OK so last night was the premiere of "Rock Star: INXS"

I have been so nervous because...what if it is LAME? And then my band would look stupid. But it wasn't lame, it was pretty good as far as reality TV shows go.

I love people actually recognizing INXS as a rock band - not just some 80's pop sensation. The guys looked GREAT. Garry still makes my haert skip a beat.

I was suprised that Tim did all the talking last night, I don't know I kinda pictured Andrew as the "leader" if there was one since he and Michael wrote most of the songs and I had gleaned from my fan-obsessed reading that he was kinda the driving force in the beginning.

So heres the funny thing. I have loved INXS since middle school. I love their older, pre- "Kick" stuff. When I was 18 I came out of a new age/ classical phase and fell back in love with INXS this time head over heels. I really wanted to see the Elegantly Wasted tour but I was saving my money for my semester in London and said "I'll catch them next time." Well...of course Michael died halfway through my semester. I watched them at the opening of the Sydney Olympics on TV but by the time they were touring again I was a married fuddy duddy old lady with kids to look after.

POINT IS - last night I felt like a teenager again. everytime I saw they guys or heard INXS on the TV my heart would race, face would flush I would squeal. it was crazy - Kinda like Beatlemania - but more restrained on my living room couch folding laundry.
It is almost time for tonight's show, of course I am Tivoing it but still...Thank you CBS for not letting the show be lame...so far.

Friday, July 01, 2005

The things we don't do

I spent an hour this morning clearing overgrown flowerbeds of grass and weeds. I liked it. I love working in the yard but I never do it. True the constant battle of trying to keep my house clean ( I am woefully inadequate on that front) keeps me preoccupied. But why do I never get outside?

It's like yoga. I love doing yoga, I feel so relaxed, my body feels great, I have more energy. Everytime I practice I say "WHY don't I do this everyday?" And the next day comes and I don't find the time and months pass by before I roll out my mat again.

My neighbor is retired and spends his time in the yard. It is the nicest garden. But he has TIME and MONEY to invest. I am surprised at how expensive yardwork is. You need tools, and stones, and plants and in our case dirt because we live apparently on a slab of clay. Which means if I want to grow food I need garden boxes so I can have a raised bed. The point is this is the yard next to mine so whenever I think about the state of my yard I get depressed comparing it to the garden of bliss next door. The only thing pretty in our yard are the things climbing over the fence from next door.

So funny little story. I went from the back yard through the house to the garage to get a rake. I opened the garage door and walked to the gate to go back into the yard. I opened the gate and was met by a ... JUNGLE...yes a jungle of weeds taller than myself. Luckily I had the rake to hack my way through.

Maybe we will spend the holiday weekend in the garden...

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Brave new world

Ok so it has been a few months since I have blogged. I have 2 kids, a perpetually messy house, and an aggressive reading habit. I"M BUSY.

So what am I going to talk about, what has moved me to the computer at long last? Is it the US opposing stricter WHO breastfeeding standards, is it those anti-breastfeeding Prada toting idiots at "The View"? Am I announcing my 3rd pegnancy (due in January 2006)? NO. It is something small.

The Sacagawea Dollar is my muse. I just love that little gold coin.

1- It reminds me of the Pound. I loved the Pound in Britain. It felt heavy like it was really worth a pound. I know we Americans love our greenback - as well we should but I jut love using that heavy golden coin.

2- UMMM isn't it obvious a WOMAN WEARING her BABY on her BACK on our CURRENCY. That is so huge. She isn't using a stroller or carrying a diaper bag - she didn't have diapers. She isn't even holding her baby in a demure motherly way. She has that baby on her back and she is out to explore the world, to lead others, to be a guide in the new world.

That's the kind of mother I want to be. I love hiking with my baby snuggly tied on my back. I love the feel of his breath on the nape of my neck when he falls asleep. I love exploring the world with my baby in tow. I hope that I am leading the way through my example, that I can be a guide in the new world. The world where mothers are in tune with their babies' needs, the world where children aren't a hindrance to a woman's career but the crowning glory of a woman's life.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

March reading list

It was a slow month, and to top it off I can't relly remember what I read, but here goes:

"Echoes of the elders: the stories and paintings of Chief Lelooska"
This book we found on the fairy tale shelf at the library I picked it out for the art work. I am so glad I did. The BEST part of this book is the CD included it has all the stories in the book on the CD told by a real Pacific Northwest Native American Storyteller. It is enthralling. My 4 year old asks to hear "The Owl Witch" and "Beaver Face" everytime we get in the car. We did read all the stories in the book as well.

"The Mayor of Casterbridge"- Thomas Hardy
Good stuff. I borrowed the Masterpiece Theatre production from the library and liked it so much that I read the book. I hate sad endings.

"Jane Eyre" - Charlotte Bronte
For the millionth time. I had started apologizing for JE being my favorite book by adding that my favorite book was a tie between JE and "The Tennant of Wildfell Hall" - by Anne Bronte. So I read Jane Eyre again (it had been a while) and WOW! Best book ever. No more apologizing. Such passion in everything. I love how she is religious and holds to god. I really hate how she ends with St, John though. It is a lovely passage but this book isn't about St. John, it is about Rochester!

"Pilgrim's Progress" - John Bunyan
...was alluded to in JE as in nearly EVERY book I have read this year, so I purchased a copy and have read the first two pages. Then I realized that the following book was due in a few days so I am putting PP aside and reading...

"C.S. Lewis: The Man and His Message" - Andrew Skinner
A collection of essays on Lewis and his works from an LDS perspective. This book is so powerful, it really makes me want to go back and slug through "Mere Christianity" and finish it this time. Then I'll take on his other stuff...or maybe I should do it the other way around.

"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" - Washington Irving
FINALLY! I have been attempting to read this for umm...years! I don't know why but everytime I picked it up I didn't have the concentration. Such a fun story, unusual ending that really makes you want more. Now the book is off it's hitherto permanent place on my night table and back on the bookshelf.

"The Tale of Despereaux" - Kate DiCamillo
Oh this is a great little story. I am going to read it to my kids this week.

"The Ch`i-lin Purse : A Collection of Ancient Chinese Stories" - Linda Fang
Good tales with morals. I like learning about Asian thought.

Ok I think that is it. Of course we have been reading lots of children's fables and fairy tales this month - my 4 year old son is now afraid of witches but like giants and ogres - Go figure.

I reached my limit!!! My library has a limit of 100 items that can be checked out at a time. I reached it! It wasn't that hard between travel books for this summer's vacation, numberous kids books to read at night, DVD's and music CD's, books on tape for the car and my collection of books on every topic I am currently obsessed with. I scaled back, did a major purge and have been hovering in th 30-40 item range. The poor librarians looked shocked when I come to check out and there is nothing on hold for me, they always ask what is wrong! I love that the Librarians recognize me, ours is a BUSY library! I guess the adorable, chubbybaby on my back and the huge pile of books every week makes me memorable

Monday, February 28, 2005

Isolation and Childrearing the prologue

We have been having a discussion about finding
your tribe, and how it wasn't meant to be this ways moms aren't supposed
to be penned up alone with the kids all day, doing all the housework and
having no adult conversation all day. I agree.
In more civilized times (and I mean that I think the way we live is
barbaric) Women saw other women all day. Their kids played with other
kids and all the mothers mother all the kids (this STILL happens today
in more traditional societies and is probably what would be ideal in a
church community) So no one was over worked and over stressed.
Likewise we used to live with or very near our extended families. NO
more my closest relative is my SIL and she is a six hours drive away.
So when you needed help why grandma is in her room upstairs she can come
help cook and Grandpa is outside with the boys already all the cousins
are just next door.
Or take it back just 20 years. When I was a kid my mom could leave us
at home alone with out fear of CPS. i started watching 3 of my 5
younger siblings when I was 8. Also she didn't have to worry about us
ALL day long she could say "go out side and don't come back until
dinner." and we would. She could call up a neighbor and say "I am going
to such and such and place my kids are outside if one of them starts to
bleed can they come to you?" and the neighbor would agree knowing in
all likely hood she would not see anyone's children but her own and not
until dinner.
Do you see what I am saying? We need to be more of a community. Helping
someone out with their kids should be a matter of course not a big deal
and a reason for condemning someone as an unfit mother. Nursing someone
else's baby shouldn't be a heroic act, it should be a "your baby was
hungry and you were not here so i fed her and it was fine and we don't
mention it kinda thing"

Also parents used to work to support the family TOGETHER and the
children were included. Everyone works to keep the farm going, everyone
works in the bakery, everyone works here at the general store. None of
this dad goes away for 10 hours a day to support the family while mom
smothers under loneliness children and housework.

Isolation and Childrearing

Most of you probably don't know this because you don't know me IRL but
Osito is supreme mama's boy. Not you normal baby that likes mom but a Cry
HYSTERICALLY when mom is gone - the entire time even if it is 4 hours. -
kind of baby. He is 17 mo old an I noticed this at about 6 months. I
just went to the temple for the first time in 2 years because he was
finally able to be left with dad long enough with just tolerable sadness
and crying verses extreme hysterics when i leave him with anyone else.
I can't even leave the room. I can in the house sometimes if I don't go
too far and not for long and there is something really exciting going on
where he is.

I have mixed feelings about this. Of course i would like to be able to
go on dates (I even had my sister move in with us in hopes of him
getting to know her so she could watch him occasionally - no deal he
doesn't like her) but i feel

1) that it shouldn't be a problem that he likes me so much that there
shouldn't be anywhere that I can't go WITH my baby. I don't choose to
go to places that don't welcome children often. the temple is an
exception. I think that the temple should at least have a visitors
center so that a sitter could come and hang out with the baby - so i
could be away for less time - the Portland temple does not have a
visitors center. I mean we are a baby making baby loving people!
2) I shouldn't be EXPECTED to leave him. It makes me so sad when I meet
people who are out for HOURS when they have few days/weeks old baby at
home. And the fact that I seem to be the only one bothered by it and
everyone else doesn't bat an eye but when they find out I don't leave my
toddler it is HORROR and I am the only one that seems ok with it.
3)I shouldn't be in this situation in the first place. I was COMPLETELY
alone for the first 4 months I sat on the couch with the baby on my lap,
computer on my side book in my hand and my pre-schooler watching TV!
And then alone mostly for every day until my sister moved in after a
year. I SHOULD have had a community to help raise my baby mother close
by, sister down the street, friend across the way and a whole ward full
of sisters to see and hang with everyday. Instead my family is 2 states
away good friend 45 minutes away other friends a country away and no
ward friends and play dates that have to be scheduled, gotten ready for
and piled into the car and go. I should have had a NUMBER of people
that Osito saw every day and was comfortable enough with that leaving
would not be the trauma it is.

I admit he still would be partial to me - he just has that kind of
temperment - and do love to have him close but I just can't help
thinking thing are backward. It seems like society is regressing rather
than progressing. I guess that is just part of Satan's plan to help
destroy the family.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

My baby isn't a baby anymore!

My baby is growing up. He is nursing much less lately and he acts so much like his bigger brother. The nursing doesn't bother me so much because I have been getting a little tired of it lately and looking ahead to when we will be done (though I will miss knowledge that I can feed my babe.) But what is really upsetting me is that he is getting too big for me to wear him. I can still wear him comfortably, but he wants to walk and explore more frequently; and soon I'll hardly get a chance. We have been staying home more and going out less and I have noticed that I miss wearing him. I don't wear him around the house because he is too busy. Sometimes I try to think of places where we can go where I have to put him on my back. He is almost 18 months old and he is taller for his age than his brother was. Today they were standing together and I noticed that Roo is only a head taller than Osito and Roo is almost 5!

My sister has been trying to get me to have another baby. There is NO way I am ready to go through another pregnancy yet! Roo and Osito are 3.5 years apart and I think that is a great age difference, but Osito seems so grown up (compared to Roo at that age) that as I was watching him dump cheerios on the table the other day, I thought he might really enjoy being an older brother.

Q & A with Samurai Mom

Q. Samurai Mom, why are you so insistent on remaining anonymous?

A. I don't want to be held accountable in my personal life for what I say here. If
my readers know my real identity I will not be able to say what is in my heart for fear of causing offense. For example I have a friend who doesn't breastfeed, she doesn't even try, she had a baby that died, and still she refuses to breastfeed. How will she feel if she reads my rants on how bottle feeding kills 4,000 babies in the US per year and THOUSANDS more worldwide?

Q. Why did you choose Samurai Mom for you Screen Name?

A. I love the Samurai Legends and Culture. I admire the dedication and skill the Japanese put in to EVERY aspect of their lives. I like the ritual and the simplicity. Samurai are also fearless warriors loyal to their master. Like wise I feel that I must be a fearless warrior and loyal to the standards, causes, and values that are important to me. I am a mother. I LOVE being a mother and most of the things I believe in pretain to motherhood directly or indirectly.

Q. What can you tell us about yourself without giving away your identity?

A. Well, I am a mother, a wife, a scholar, a mentor, an artist, designer, and seamstress. I am LDS, a Diaper Free Baby mentor, a baby wearing expert, an avid reader and a budding archer. I am about as Attachment Parerenting as you can get and believe in positive parenting not punitive. I homeschool, breastfeed, homebirth and try to eat healthfuly. I have 2 young sons and a fabulous husband, all my boys are much better than I deserve.

Q. Samurai Mom, do you like chocolate?

A. Are you kidding???? I love it, the darker the better! I used to be a fan of chocolate but since becoming a mother I have formed a very unhealthy attachment to chocolate. My friend gave me a box of Godiva Truffles for my birthday....oh, YUM!