May 30, 2012

The depression is depressing me

Seriously, this depression thing is depressing me.  No, I don't have it, but everyone from one of my dearest friend to my new favorite blogger have shared their battle with depression today.  I don't have television, but when I went to check my email tonight, I caught some of the national and local news on AOL.   It was disturbing, at best.

First, there is some nut job on drugs that had some sort of psychosis type episode and starting eating a face of another man.  (If you ever needed a sign that drugs are not good...)  I know, poster child.  When I told my mom that everyone does it at some point in their life, she disagreed.  She must have been privy to the face eating side effect.  Instead of showing me what cigarettes do to my lungs, or what an egg on a hot pan looks like, why didn't they tell me about the face eating?  That drug period of my life was during my vegetarian phase of life.  I know that would have been so much more effective than the bad trip I had.  And that brings us to the vegetarian phase and child rearing.  How's that for a segue?

So, when I was a teenager, I was helping my mom prepare dinner.  She had cooked a whole chicken in the oven.  I saw her pulling it apart, and I asked her, in all honesty, what those parts were.  I saw the chicken for the first time, and put it all together, and that was it.  No turning back, until 7 years later I ate a Big Mac.  Anyway, so I guess my lessons was that one day, when I have children, I will explain the food chain to them- early.

So, another drive to the YMCA, we see a truck transporting chickens.  We live only a few miles from a chicken plant, and we see these trucks often.  This time, I was driving alongside of it.  Girl migit says, "Mom, those chickens looked uncomfortable.  Don't they look squooshed?"  I agreed, and tried to turn the music on.  She persisted.  "Mom, why do they have so many in each cage?  There's one that can't even stand up."  She was beginning to get distressed, and I was not sure how to handle this, but I thought I would just tell her.  So, I explained that they couldn't go for a ride and properly restrain them with seat belts.  That would be difficult.  And because Daddy finds they are easier to eat if they are fried and not broken.....  NO, that's not right.  (Yes, that's really what I said, sort of... skip the part about how daddy eats them.)  So, she asks, "Where are they going?"  I assumed telling her Walmart or to get their hair done was out of the question, so I said they were going to the chicken plant.  She was good with that- for about 45 seconds.  Hand moves to volume control when it comes.  "What will they do there?"  My response, after careful and yet quick consideration, "Eat?"  She then said, "Oh, and then they take them back?  Huh?  Why would they take them to eat?"  At which point I explained that I was not an expert on the habits of chickens, and luckily, it's true.

Moving on to the next subject, which lucky for you, turned out to be the very first sex talk, and again, instigated by none other than, the famously bright girl child.  As I was finishing washing the dishes, she said, "Mom. I have a question for you."  I knew it was coming.  But at five?  Wow.  Okay, I pride myself in my comfort level with human sexuality talk.  So, as I said a quick prayer that G-d would put the exact words on my tongue to adequately explain whatever she asked, I turned and said, "Go ahead.  I'm listening."  (Yes, similar to the Frasier Crane radio calls, but it is the only way I can show my migits that they have my undivided attention.)  So, she asks it.  "Mom, where do baby snails come from?"  While I thought I would begin explaining fertilization, I truly thought, "Huh, how would they do that?  Would one go into another shell?  If so, who decided who is going?  Or, how would they know if they found a mate?  Hard to see through those shells ya' know. "  So, G-d placed it at my fingertips.  Google.  And wouldn't you know it?  The snail is a hermaphrodite.  That's fantastic.  So, I told her that the snail has the mommy and daddy parts inside them, and they make themselves pregnant.  And no, they don't need to be in love with themselves.  They just need to not have a headache I guess.  I did read on to tell her that they only live to be five to seven years old.  That was hard hitting and close to home.  She ended her line of questioning with, "I am glad I am not a snail!"  I have a feeling that will be the easiest question I will get from her from this point on.   Really?  Starting with hermaphrodite?  I think I was still trying to figure out toilet paper at her age.

So, while I could have written about our family fun at the local library today and seeing the amazing and hilarious Ken Scott Magic Show, I thought I'd try to help with the depression that is seizing in on those around me.  I hope it makes you smile.  If not, I hope you learned a little about the snails reproductive cycle and share it with your own family.  Might as well find purpose in your life ;o)

PS  With all the YMCA'ing I do, you'd think I was one of the skinny-minnies.  Not so much.  I will blame this on mandel bread and melted chocolate.   I doubt those strawberries are the culprit.  I bet it's the chocolate I dip them in.

The Apostles

The girl migit and I were driving to the YMCA a few weeks ago, and she told me that her bags were packed.  (She always packed a bag of coloring books, in case she didn't have anyone to play with in the childcare center that day.)   Anyway, the phrase made me burst into song... "My bags are packed, I'm ready to go, I'm standing here, outside your door... I hate to say good-bye..."  You know.  She asks me where that's from. When I burst into song, it's usually, "Mom?  Did you make that up, or is that real?"  So, I said, "Peter, Paul and Mary."  Her response?  "Oh, the disciples." Which made me realize, after I snort laughed on my Gatorade, that I was doing an okay job as Catholic convert from being a closet Catholic Jew-tile.  

We might have gone to our synagogue a few days a week, but I never really felt that tie to my faith.  While we did all the rituals, and attended lengthy services each weekend, it never clicked.  I am a Hebrew school drop-out.  My friend used to sing that Grease song to me.  "Hebrew school drop-out..." (I bet you just did it in your head.)  My mother blames herself, and I say she should re-evaluate that.  He did it.  He chose me.  I used to believe that G-d knew how stubborn and obstinate I was, that He purposely put me into a Jewish family knowing full well that I was going to rebel and do what he wanted in the first place.  Darn it!  Outsmarted by Him again!  

Geoff is a non-denominational Christian.  He says he was raised without religion, and it kind of happened for him while he was in college.  The migits are being raised Catholic, with a Jewish influence.  I just wasn't sure that my ability to guide them in this faith was sufficient.  If she knows that folk music was written by the apostles, then I'm doing it right.   

"Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.  It has been a 4 months since my last confession.  I confess that my daughter believes that Peter, Paul and Mary are the disciples, and I did not correct her. For this, and all those other insignificant little venial sins, I am so sorry."  

Moral of the story- If you are raising your children into a faith, or just a belief in a higher power, do it through your actions, not through a hippy band from the 60's.  

May 29, 2012

Why do I not think koalas are attractive?

Woof.  A face only a mother could.. look at.  I really don't think koalas are cute.  Not even the babies.  None of them.  This from a mother who saw her baby girl migit for the first time after her birth and when the midwife tried to tell me she was beautiful, I told her that was kind, but that she was wrong.  Luckily for me, the midwife is the wife to one of my old coworkers at the urgent care center I worked at during the time of my "friskier" days.  That is in reference to my birthing/milking years.  Yeah, I've moved on.

So, back to these, G-d love them, ugly koalas...  So, they have started to become the new adorable "it" animal.  The owl just recently had it's time in the spotlight, and now, I am seeing koalas all over Pinterest, and that, to me, is like the People magazine for the new "it" animal trend.  I guess some people might appreciate them, but not me.  I like elephants.  But those are sort of not so attractive.  It's the family bonds that elephants are famous for that I appreciate them and relate to.  In fact, I think elephant skin and a certain old man body part resemble each other all too closely, but that's for another time.

Here's what I am getting at.  (I know you were waiting for it.)  Oh wait.  I think I forgot.  Darn, I wish I had the memory of an...  See?  I think the elephant should be the new "it" thing.  It could even double as the alzheimers' mascot.  Or not.

If you like koalas, you are entitled.  You probably thought your babies were beautiful the moment they entered the world too, right?  Look back at those first pictures.  You will understand what I am saying.  True Story.  EA

May 28, 2012

Thanks for Following Me PEEPS!

After getting my feet wet, I am ready to spread my wings, and tire my fingers to my hearts' delight!  I am so excited that you guys meandered this direction.  I promise to blog as I did before, and share upcoming family friendly events in and around Cherokee County, GA that are free or low cost- or just a really good deal ;o)  When I say that I am just a mom that loves to spend time with my family, I really mean it.  We enjoy each other as if we choose to be together, not because we have to because we are family.  I pray that each of you finds that some days are harder than others, but that you learn to find bonding through the good and the bad ones.  

We know both sides of that coin all too well.  We are a family of four that has been on every part of the spectrum.  Literally.   We started out in our marriage very wealthy.  We had season tickets at the Fox Theater for every event.  We bought whatever we wanted or needed.   What we couldn't buy, was a pregnancy that didn't end in miscarriage.   I miscarried many times until I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome.  At that time, my miscarriages were an easy fix, and I was treated medically to have our first child, our son.  It's all I ever wanted, to have a family of my own.  It was awesome, and then, our awesomeness doubled!  Our daughter was born fourteen months later, and at that point, I felt complete. 

I worked 12 hour shifts at the time, and breastfed, made all my own baby food, and even cloth diapered for some of that time.  I worked hard at the baby stages, but knew that one day it would be a memory, and I would be able to enjoy my family and not have to "work" as much at the "job" that is motherhood. I was half way correct.  I had envisioned that since my *migits came out with ten fingers and ten toes, that they would be "normal" kids.  They might be normal.  If the normal means autism for my son.  He was diagnosed when he was two years, 3 months old.  It has been work, and sometimes, it makes me frustrated, impatient, or other times, it makes me laugh, or smile to see how compassion reaches through that diagnosis.  

I had to leave my job in order to assist in my sons' recovery process, and I took on the wife and mother title like I had just received a promotion and I have tried to keep the title of best mom and wife ever since.  Each day I take pride in the fact that on any given day, you can come by unannounced and I will be proud to welcome you in to a clean and happy home.  Music is always on.  Children are always dancing, singing, laughing, or playing a make believe game throughout our humble home.  We cancelled our television services about two years ago, and haven't missed it one day since.  My husband makes very little money, but somehow, with creativity and His gifts, we have managed to stay happy, healthy, and debt free.  We engage our family in faith, love, fun, and education through everyday experiences.  

I work hard at finding some experiences that are close to home and budget friendly.  It is out of this that the blog comes to fruition.  I love to share our experiences, and hope that each of you might find an idea or two to share with your family.  

As this past weekend was in memorial to those who have sacrificed for our country and its' freedom, we explained it to our children the best we knew how to a five and six year old.  When we saw our ninety year old veteran neighbor walking down the street, I told the kids to thank him for what he did for us.  I suggested to thank him for fighting in the war, for giving his time to protect us, etc.  My daughter says, "Mom, he is across the street.  Should we yell it?"  I said, "Yes."  So, my six year old runs to the end of the driveway and yells, "Thank you for the war!"  I love how just about anything can be made into a humorously embarrassing situation when it comes to autism.  I laughed until I peed after I got up from behind the car when I did a duck and cover after that spewed from his innocent little lips.  I then approached them, and explained that he is not a six year old hippy with sarcasm.  He laughed, and luckily, seemed appreciative for us even explaining the day to our young children.  May we all learn to let the small stuff slide, as this wise old veteran showed us.  EA

*Migits is my affectionate term I use to refer to the little people my husband and I are raising.  I don't like to use their names out in public for safety concerns, therefore, they have come to recognize that term as my way of calling them.  "Mommy's migits!  Hand on your belly! No touching my migits!"