Monday, March 30, 2009

I used to think I was so busy...

I posted to my sisters on ravelry earlier:

"all i really want to do is close myself up in a room with my knitting. no interruptions, no fussing babies, no broken vacuums or other extraneous things to deal with and take care of. no babies to feed, change diapers, get to sleep, figure out what they’re trying to tell me. just me, a room, a cup of tea and my knitting. but that exists only in my dreams. even if eric were to watch the babies for a couple hours, it wouldn’t be the same. i think what i’m really craving is that time when you can get into a zone of timelessness. no clocks, no demands or responsibilities. i haven’t had that since i lived in my apartment by myself. and even then i didn’t think i had it."

I'm feeling nostalgic for my single days in my one bedroom apartment. I would come home from work, sit in my papasan chair, listen to music, drink a glass of wine, read a book and hang out with my cat. I wasn't knitting or crocheting much in those days. My apartment would be clean. I'd have the whole evening to myself. Nostalgia doesn't usually paint an accurate picture of reality, though. Even then I thought I had so much responsibility, so many worries, etc. It's only now that I can look back and realize how few demands I really had on my time and energy - especially when you compare it to having two teenagers and two babies, a cat, a dog, a husband, 3100 sq ft and a yard. I think having kids is like being in a time warp. Time becomes almost meaningless. There's both too many hours in the day and too few. Time goes by so fast and at the same time at a snail's pace. It's a strange phenomenon.

But then my little girl comes up and give me a big smile and a hug. Your heart melts and you think "I wouldn't trade this for all the time in the world..." Now that should go on a cheesy Hallmark card.

I have another poopy diaper to change...

Friday, March 27, 2009

patience, patience

It isn't good when you start your day DONE. Patience gone, frustration level high, just done. The kind of day when you really just want to hibernate. But oh yeah, you have babies to take care of and they fuss and fight and hit and say "my mama!" or do anything else just to get your attention. And you are done. You don't have very much attention left to give. You feel like you're teetering on the edge of losing it. Getting mad and then sitting almost collapsing into a huge burst of tears. Oona I need you to sleep.

Anyways, this is not one of my prouder mothering moments. So here goes a self-motivating pep-talk. Patience is a virtue. Assume a virtue if you have it not. I guess that's all I can really do today. Every moment is an opportunity to have patience and be loving and gentle and forgiving to all around me. (After I get done beating a pillow up... lol.)

I used to think lol meant lots of love instead of laughing out loud. Both interpretations might be appropriate today. I have my fingers crossed that I get some knitting time in today. I might need it to recharge my patience-o-meter.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

there should be dancing in the street!

I could laugh, cry, sing, dance, twirl around, jump up and down! Oona slept for four hours straight twice last night! Yes siree bob, I got some sleep last night! Of course it doesn't make up for not sleeping for eleven months (wow, she really is eleven months old today) but it still felt absolutely wonderful. :)

Here's hoping for more nights like this in the future! And I'll even take it a step further and look forward to her sleeping all night long... Now, hopefully I'm not jinxing anything. Better find some wood to knock on.

:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

yarn guilt

I'm suffering from yarn purchasing guilt. I don't need yarn. I already have too many projects planned. And there's the whole spending money guilt as well. Sigh......

I got new yarn yesterday and I'm very excited about it but also feel very guilty. I got some superwash wool/bamboo yarn - enough to make the Soap Bubble Wrap Sweater. And I got some mercerized cotton DK weight to make a shawl based on the one in Knitting Classic Style by Veronik Avery. So those two purchases already stretched my straining yarn budget. But then, I got a color of yarn that just won't work for the shawl -four skeins of the cotton in a blue color, one of my favorite colors. What to do with it? First, I thought I'd make a shawl out of my Victorian Lace Today book. But I already have yarn for two lace shawls and I really really don't need another one. So more guilt there... Then I considered a tank-top or something but decided eh, that's not what I want to do. I'm not sure that this cotton would feel that nice next to the skin. I think I've finally decided what I want to do. Yeah, finally, because I got the yarn yesterday and it's been driving me crazy for a full twenty-four hours what to do with it. lol. I have more guilt because it involves buying eight more skeins. And less guilt because it seems a worthy project. It's Evelyn Clark's Labyrinth Shawl. Something about the fact that I can use this project for something other than frivolous purposes assuages my guilt.

Which brings me to the topic - why do I always choose ridiculously huge projects???? It seems for some reason they're more exciting to me. When I do a small project, I'm always thinking "Aren't I done yet?" But with a huge project, I think "Wow, look how far I am!" Seems to be opposite from many knitters. More proof that I'm crazy :).

So my queue that I already have yarn for: Kaftan dress, socks for Eric, large cap shawl, forest path stole, soap bubble wrap sweater, Faorese sweater for me, sweater for Eric, a vest, more socks (haven't chosen patterns yet), mittens, and amigurumis for gifts. Jack and Pat also want sweaters. And I want to figure out my knitting machine. I think I have enough yarn and projects already, don't you?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

i'm a terrible housekeeper

I don't think there's any question about it. Housekeeping and anything to do with cleaning put me in a foul mood, make me a bear to live with, and is pretty much at the bottom of my "what I want to do with my day" list. I truly envy people who like to clean, or even who don't mind doing it - because they have clean houses and I don't. The boys come home telling stories of friends who have seven kids in their house and their house is so clean. Why can't our house be like that?

The other thing is that I have not figured out how to clean with babies around. Other people do it. I know. I've seen their houses. Now how do they do it? Oh, yeah. They don't turn into royal b****es when they clean like I do. Gemma and Oona start screaming their heads off five minutes into a cleaning job and I'm already stressed and that just makes it worse.

The problem is that I really hate having a dirty house, especially when company is coming. And even more especially when child-less company is coming. For dinner, tonight. Plus more stress because I'm meeting these people for the first time. They're old friends of my husbands who are moving to town in the fall and are on a house hunting trip.

The other problem is that I'm supposed to be cleaning today while Oona is sleeping. I even skipped Mindful Mamas to be able to do this. Plus my immune system is still struggling and I don't want to be exposed to any potential pathogens and be sick for even longer than I have been. But Oona is REFUSING to fall asleep. And it is driving me CRAZY! Every particle of dirt is looking ten times bigger than it actually is. I call my husband and he tells me to relax. He's coming home early so that he can clean. And then I feel guilty because I'm such a terrible housekeeper. I guess I'll have to figure out how to clean with babies around. TV babysitter?

Oona is still refusing to fall asleep. I guess I'll do the old shove it in the closet trick.

Monday, March 16, 2009

My Mama!

Sibling rivalry has arrived chez moi. Gemma pushes Oona away and says "My Mama!" and Oona starts crying. It's wonderful to be so loved - so much so that they're fighting over me! At least that's what I keep telling myself as I'm pulling my hair out in frustration. Can't I go ten minutes without hearing a baby cry? Please?

Gemma is getting to the very bossy stage. My goodness! She constantly tells Oona what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. And if Oona doesn't comply, she gets hit on the head or pushed over. One of these days, Oona will be big enough to get even. "Getting even never works." Isn't it great when you start quoting your parents? That was one from my Dad.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

random bits

Yesterday I made waffles. Waffles have quite a bit of milk in them. Yesterday Oona was especially fussy and clingy. Last night, she was up quite a bit. Could it be the waffles? She's asleep right now. I woke up and just really needed some not-being-touched-by-babies time. So here I am.

Talk radio was playing in the car the other day while I was driving around. I usually listen to NPR but in an effort to be open-minded, if the radio is set to talk radio, I'll give it a try. There are times when it really makes me mad. And there are times I can see their point. If I have to listen one more time to Dr. Laura tell some woman that it is her fault that her husband cheated on her, I might scream. Though, at least Dr. Laura acknowledges that it takes two to make a relationship. Anyway, the other day some guy was on. I'm not sure who it was, just that he was a fill in for Rush Limbaugh. He was talking about how sometimes you'll see or hear something on the news that will haunt you. The imprint of it will stay with you and you can't get it out of your mind. I was like, yes, that happens often, this is intriguing. Then he said that what was haunting him was a video clip of some famous basketball players golf swing and how bad it was. Uh, okaaaay... I don't think that would haunt me. The story that has haunted me for a long time is this one. I don't remember where I read or heard it. It's a story about an Israeli family. A gunman came into their home and shot and killed the father and four year old little girl. The mother was hiding with her toddler (two years old, I think?) in the other room. The mother survived. But she accidentally smothered her two year old to death while trying to stifle her cries. Now that is a heavy and haunting story. I can only imagine being that mother. The part where she accidentally killed her own child while trying to save her is the part that haunts me. I can get so overwhelmed when I think of all the atrocities that happen on this planet. So here's a little prayer for peace and some hope that we can all find a way to be nice to each other.

I've been worried about pelvic pain. The other night I had a really intense dream about having to have surgery for an ectopic pregnancy. The past couple days, I've been having pelvic pain pretty badly so I'm sure the dream is related to that. I had pelvic pain two plus weeks ago. And I've been feeling bloated, etc. I got my period when Gemma was six months old. Oona is almost eleven months old and I still haven't gotten it. I sure hope my body figures out what to do soon. Am I having phantom cycles? Do I have an ovarian cyst? What is going on? I've thought about calling the doctor but western medicine just doesn't understand the female cycle. Their only solution is birth control pill because then they can control the cycle. But that doesn't address the cause(s) at all. I'm not sure what to do so I guess I'll just wait and see.

Oona is awake. So that's all for now. Time to have babies glued to me again. I will miss it someday. That's what I keep telling myself, anyways...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

cat in the hat and other stories

Gemma is saying more and more words, though most of what she says is relatively unintelligible. Like she says "nuss" for sun, and "peas" is pants and "ah" is on and and "mamie" is mermaid. Every day is a new word. Today I was very impressed. She pulled off the book "Cat in the Hat" from the shelf and she said "cat in the hat" very clearly. Wow! Then I tell my husband this wonderful story and guess what? She's been doing that for a few days now. So, old story, no news - but I'm still impressed. :)

I told the boys today that they would have problems because they'd have so many girls after them. My backhand way of saying that they're good looking - which they really are. And they replied, "So, what's the problem?" Ha!

And Oona has figured out how to open the garbage in the bathroom - a very impressive skill. She has also figured out that when I put my hand on the lid that I'm trying to stop her from opening it. Even more impressive! She keeps trying to pull my hand off the lid. Luckily I'm still stronger than she is. :)

I'm still fighting off this cold but I think I'm winning - fingers crossed, knock on wood. And I'm knitting away at my Kaftan dress. I'm on the front and have gotten to the waist shaping. I'm excited to finish it. I plan to mark the occasion by actually having a real dinner date with my husband. I don't even remember the last time we had a real dinner date. I can't finish it too soon because Oona needs to be able to go to bed without her Mama. Right now that sounds so wonderful - to have that freedom to be gone from the house at 7 pm. In actuality, I most likely will feel sad and like my left arm is missing...

That's all for now.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

sanity and sleep deprivation

I so wish there was a magic formula for getting a full night's sleep. Oona was up every hour and fifteen minutes last night and would not go back down without nursing. So far, I've been on the attachment parenting side of things. Oona will sleep through the night when she's ready and the best solution is the solution that works for everybody. But cursing at your daughter in the middle of the night is a sign that something isn't working. Resenting your daughter is not a good thing. Now, is the solution a change in my own mind-set? Or do I need to pursue night-weaning? Is this a need or is it a manipulation? Do I let her cry it out - with me there? I personally just can't let her cry by herself. But that is even more sleep deprivation, at least on the short term. says that the night nursing is a need - if not a nutritional one than an emotional one and each baby will start sleeping through the night when he or she is ready. Here's my reference on their site. She also suggests nursing more during the day. Now, I know I have this problem but don't know how to fix it. Oona doesn't nurse well during the day. She gets distracted, latches on, latches off and I have very low patience for that. For one thing, it hurts! And I can't go in to a separate room because my older child isn't old enough to be by herself while I try to get Oona to nurse. If she was three or four, it would be different but she's not even two and a half.

Overall, I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. I either tough it out and be okay with it (I am okay with night nursing but not at an hour a part) or I let her cry. All I really want is to sleep and it's hard to decide which one will give me more sleep. I also don't want to be the subject of my daughter's psychotherapy sessions but perhaps that is unavoidable? Cursing isn't a good thing. Are tears better? See, rock and a hard place.

Thank you, blog, for giving me a place to write this out. I have had one idea. Oona gets fussy and hungry around 4:30 in the afternoon or so. Usually either the boys or Eric are home by then. I could leave Gemma with them and try to get a good nursing in while in another room. I haven't been doing this because I've wanted Oona to eat more solids around dinner time in the hope that that would get her sleeping longer. But maybe it could work. It is definitely worth a try. More painless than listening to her cry or getting mad at her. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

all the time in the world

My sister posted on Ravelry the question "If you had all the time in the world, what ten things would you most want to do?" Here's my answer - not really in order of importance.

1) be everything i want to be all at once - mid-wife, massage therapist, teacher, wife, mother, and play in a symphony or chamber music group.
2) knit - all my sweaters and socks and scarves etc would be hand-knit
3) learn how to spin and dye my own yarn
4) travel
5) read
6) learn photography
7) yoga practice
8) walks in scenic settings
9) fix-up and decorate my home
10) spend time with extended family and friends at my leisure

How I'm really spending my time? Becoming addicted to FreeCell. Oona is to blame. She hasn't been falling asleep nursing lately and so that I don't get mad at her wondering why she isn't asleep yet, I sit in the half-dark and play FreeCell until she does finally fall asleep. It's good for my brain, right?

Monday, March 9, 2009

time changes

I really think that whoever decided to institute a time change didn't have children or if they did, they never spent any time with them. Babies, especially, just don't get time changes. We haven't adjusted to it, yet, getting up an hour later, and everything. We'll try to get nap-time and bed-time earlier tonight.

Another reason, I think, that I've always hated the spring time change is that it always falls during flu/cold and the very beginning of allergy season (though this year is the exception to that since we still have snow on the ground). It's a time when you want to maximize your rest so that you stay healthy but then you lose an hour of sleep. I've gotten sick at this time of year more often than not.

Oona was up in the middle of the night with a fever. She seems to be better this morning, thank goodness. I woke up with a bit of a sore throat. I'm hitting it with everything I can think of - airborne, neti pot, tea by the gallon, lymphatic drainage, extra vitamin c, oil of oregano, echinacea. Hope we're all healthy soon.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

one determined baby

Oona has discovered the stairs. Her favorite activity at the moment is climbing them, which makes her mama very nervous. If you put the gate up so she can't get to the stairs, there are tears. I must have "rescued" her a half dozen times already today. She is determined!

And just so Gemma doesn't feel left out.... Here she is wearing pig-tails (doggy-ears are what I called them when I was little) for the first time.

Friday, March 6, 2009

enneagram and politics

Christmas 2007 Eric gave me a book about the enneagram (for a description of the enneagram go to Christmas 2007 was also when I went on bedrest with Oona because I was having five minute contractions. They weren't strong but at 22 weeks pregnant, I wasn't taking any chances. I read everything I could about the enneagram, eventually getting four more books to read. And I couldn't for the life of me decide what number I was. I narrowed it down to 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, or 9 which isn't saying much since I only eliminated three of the nine numbers. I especially didn't want to be a 9. Eric, on reading the descriptions thought 9's were the most annoying kind of people and I agreed. I couldn't see any good in being a 9. Have you guessed it? Yep, I'm a 9. I've read it's pretty typical not to like a lot about your own number, though I've come to accept that 9's have some redeeming traits. I really wanted to be a 4. They seem so deep and in touch with their emotions and their creativity. So I'm a 9 and a 4-wanna-be. And how is it being married to someone who finds your personality type annoying? Let's just say the enneagram shed some light on some of our recurring conflicts.

I finally knew I was a 9 when I read in Helen Palmer's book "The Enneagram: Understanding Yourself and the Others in Your Life" that 9's will read everything they can about a subject and try to integrate and smooth out any conflicting points of view within that subject. Wasn't that exactly what I was doing with reading so many books about the enneagram?

I met with Fr. Egan, a Jesuit priest at Gonzaga who studied with Naranjo when the enneagram was first introduced in the United States. He also helped me see that I was a 9 and not a 4. And he talked about how he feels the nine different personality types relate to God in different ways - fascinating to contemplate. I also feel that political views - being truly in the sphere of ego - are also different for each type. I'm not going to address all types but have been thinking about my own political views (or non-views) and how that fits with being a 9.

A 9 will do one of the following politically.
  • Nothing.
  • Believe what their parents (or somebody else important to them in their environment) believed and that's that - no real thought, contemplation and also no arguing with them. Their mind is already made up. They will be loyal to their chosen party and they will know all the little arguments to say. These arguments give them comfort because they show that they've made the right decision on what party to be loyal to. They can be activists but usually only if others around them are activists. 9's won't usually take the initiative themselves. (this used to be me, though I never was an activist.)
  • Hate the conflict in politics (this is me now) because there is no way to make the different points of view work together. Part of the point in politics seems to take a very strong position (stronger than you actually feel) because you don't want to be pushed from it from the evil other side. So 9's decide neither to agree or disagree with either side and you keep your head in the sand and hope for the best outcome.
My 14 year old is a 3 (I think) and is interested in politics. I especially hate political arguments with him. Part of the trouble is I grew up in a left-leaning family and now find myself in a right-leaning family and I want to agree with both of them because I love both of them but both think the other are unthinking idiots so it is impossible to agree with both so my political views are stuck in limbo-land. A more 9-ish statement never there was! Ultimately, though, I don't think politics are the most important and interesting thing in the world so part of not deciding what I think about them is doing my very best to ignore them. This will, of course, shock anybody who's life is centered around politics and they will say I'm being an irresponsible citizen. Oh well.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Just plain tired.

I'm missing Mindful Mamas at the moment. Two friends and their families have the flu. Five kids from Patrick's class went home sick yesterday. It is just in the air and I'm doing everything I can to not get it, including staying home from Mindful Mamas. I'm taking Airborne, Vitamin C and I even did my neti pot this morning. Pat was sick this past weekend with either the flu or a bad cold. Fingers crossed.... I really don't want it and I really don't want Oona or Gemma to have it. So with how tired I feel, I think it's a good idea to stay home and rest.

Why am I just so very tired? Well, sleep deprivation, sugar crashing, and pre-bed-time discussions about all the bad things happening in the world with the economy and everything and could this mean that the Mayan predictions about 2012 might be right on the money and if they are what does that mean for my life and for the girls who will be so young in 2012.

Sugar crashing - I know I wrote about this the other day but it is even worse today. The post-sugar depression and insecurity is full force today. It's in these moments when I feel like I really could give up sugar forever - that it is just not worth feeling like this. But just like childbirth, memory is selective and you forget how bad the bad parts were and just remember the good.

Remembering the good - what a great reminder for what is really important in life. I'm just hoping that there will always be something good to remember. There just has to be something good out there or else the saying every cloud has a silver lining would be dead wrong. It is hard to find that silver lining sometimes, but I'm hoping it will always be there. Especially if the Mayans were right.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Funny baby moment

I was multi-tasking just now - watching Monarch of the Glen (a BBC series I highly recommend) and crocheting a Sleepy Sarah for Oona's bday coming up in April. I look up (I wish I had pictures) and Oona was gleefully pulling out baby wipes by the handful and Gemma was dipping the kitchen towel in the dog water bowl and "washing" her leg with it. At least they're good at entertaining themselves, right?

sugar blues

I've got the blues, the after sugar blues.....

About ten years ago, I came across a book called Potatoes Not Prozac. At the time, I knew it applied to my mother and most likely applied to me but I didn't do anything about it. I definitely fall under the category "sugar sensitive." It's kind of like being an alcoholic but with sugar. But sugar is a lot harder to avoid than alcohol is. Also, in the book, the author talks about how the seratonin levels of people who are sugar sensitive are effected by eating sugar. My copy is loaned out but what I remember is that when you eat sugar you get flooded with seratonin and you're on the top of the world. Then your body compensates and changes the amount of seratonin produced and how much is re-uptaked (is that a word?). So it keeps taking more and more sugar to get that sugar high and otherwise you're fighting depression and other things.

My current solution to my sugar sensitivity is to go on sugar challenges when I don't eat sugar for a given period of time. I haven't been willing to totally give up sugar yet - it's way too yummy and is such a huge part of celebrating events like birthdays. So right now, my challenge is to go the entire year of 2009 with eating sugar only on certain days when I'd really miss it. So far it's been Valentine's Day and my birthday. Next sugar day is Easter (cadbury eggs, spice jelly beans - who can have Easter without those???). I've been relatively successful so far though I ended up adding a day on either side of Valentine's Day and one day before my birthday. My reward in the end? Yarn! Sugar was always my reward or special treat. Oh, you had a bad day? How about a cookie? So now buying yarn is my special treat. I'm trying to have fancy loose leaf tea be my other sugar replacement.

And now to the post-sugar blues..... After a sugar binge - because I seem to have no self-control when it comes to eating sugar and when I have self-permission to eat sugar, I eat an obscene amount - I go through about a week of being depressed. I'm convinced that nobody likes me. My joints ache. My ability to go up and down stairs and to get out of bed is impaired. Everything is in slow motion. And watch out! I might just bite your head off! Which of course just reinforces the feeling that really nobody likes me. Hey, I don't even like myself so who else would?

I'm in the middle of the blues now. But I'm looking forward to feeling better in about a week or two. I might even drop a few pounds! Another side benefit of not eating sweets.

I have another sweet I'm going to have at Easter. Sushi candy! I tried a piece yesterday (figured it was a once in a long while chance and I only had one piece...) Yum! You make it with fruit roll ups for the seaweed, rice crispie treat for the rice, and gummy worms for the filling. Yum! And pretty, too. So I think I'm going to make that for Easter. Then the post-Easter sugar crash and depression will be worth it. Right?

Monday, March 2, 2009

sleep deprivation

I feel like all I do these days is complain about being sleep deprived. Oona is ten months old and she still doesn't sleep through the night - getting up 4-6 times to nurse. Lately I've been having a hard time going to sleep at night which doesn't help. I crave that not-being-touched-by-babies time, though, so my system goes through a mini-celebration when Oona goes to sleep at night. Then she's been waking up ridiculously early. This morning it was 6:08 am. A couple weeks ago she was sleeping until 8. So here I am, eyelids propped open with green tea. Wish I could do serious caffeine, but unfortunately I would get even less sleep if I did that. I'm still holding out that somehow Oona will figure out how to sleep through the night on her own. We'll see how long I last for before we have to do some serious night-time weaning.

But here is the solution to all women's troubles. lol. An excerpt from "The Birth House" by Ami McKay. (page 195, 200) I have not researched whether this is historically accurate or not but can you imagine?

"Feeling Anxious? Tired? Weepy?
You are not alone. The modernization of society has brought about an increase in neurasthenia, greensickness and hysteria. Symptoms of Neurasthenia include: Weeping, melancholy, anxiety, irritability, depression, outrageousness, insomnia, mental and physical weakness, idle talking, sudden fevers, morbid fears, frequent titillation, forgetfulness, palpitations of the heart, headaches, writing cramps, mental confusion, constant worry and fear of impending insanity. Talk to your physician. He can help."

Gee, I need to get to the doctor right away! And this is what he'll do for me.... ?

"The White Cross Battery-Powered Vibrator - Genuine Swedish movement and wonderfully refreshing effects, the same treatment for which you would have to pay at least $2.00 each in a physician's office. Vibration is Life. It will chase away the years like magic. Every nerve, every fibre of your whole body will tingle with the force of your awakened powers. All the keen relish, the pleasures of youth, will throb within you. Rich, red blood will be sent coursing through your veins, and you will realize thoroughly the joy of living. Your self-respect, even, will be increased a hundredfold. You can relieve pain, stiffness and weakness, and you can make the body plump and build it up with thrilling, refreshing vibration and electricity. Just a few minutes use of the wonderful vibrator, and the red blood tingles through your veins and arteries and you feel vigorous, strong and well."

Now you have all the information you need to solve all your problems and worries - a vibrator! No more suffering the ills of sleep deprivation! Wow! Sign me up! :)

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Today is my birthday, along with my twin sister and my nephew - I remember the day he was born at about 23 weeks gestation. He is eight now and his birthday is definitely worth celebrating. He made it against very definite and difficult odds. That is when you're thankful for modern medicine. It does save lives.

Growing up, I hated having my birthday on a Sunday because it meant going to church - a definite non-birthday activity. We went to mass last night so I don't have to go to church this morning. Anyways going to mass has a different feeling than going to church as a PK. Fridays and Saturdays were the best days to have a birthday and weekdays were okay. I remember starting standardized testing on my birthday in sixth grade.

My husband and I have argued about whether you should celebrate your birthday on the actual day or just on the closest weekend. My opinion is that you should have your birthday celebration on your birthday because it's about celebrating that magical moment of birth - a moment only really experienced by you and your mother (unless of course she was knocked out/asleep for your birth) and less about celebrating you and your life. When my first daughter was born, I felt like I could almost hear the angels sing. I think that is the moment we're celebrating. My husband agrees with that part and that your solar return (astrology - when your sun returns to the same point in your chart that it was in when you were born) is also important but that the celebration is just an administrative/organizing detail that is less important and can happen whenever. I can see his point. I wouldn't necessarily have a group party with friends, etc on my actual birthday if it wasn't convenient. But I think it's important to have the family party on the actual day.

I mentioned the part about being knocked out for your birth because I'm reading "The Birth House" by Ami McKay. In the book, a doctor comes to the area and opens a maternity house or birthing center and his method is to knock out the mother (so she doesn't have to feel any pain), do an episiotomy, and pull the baby out with forceps. I think that deprives the mother of that magical moment of birth - leaving her disoriented and detached. Though there are times when it is medically necessary to do a c-section with or without general anesthesia, it's a different kind of magic for that kind of birth because everybody lives. A hundred years ago, if a mother had that kind of medical emergency, either the mother or the baby would die. But if it's not medically necessary, you lose the magical moment.

I was imagining my own birth this morning. I'm number four out of five and my mother didn't know for sure whether she was having twins or not. I was born first. So I imagine a pause and waiting before my sister was born. The doctor broke her water and she was breech and had the cord around her neck so he had to reach up and unwrap it. But I had paved the way and she was born only four minutes after I was. After giving birth myself, that is a short amount of time for pushing a baby out! We were also relatively small so we were checked out and wrapped up before my mom held both of us. Then she was the crazy mother who was trying to nurse twins - something she did succeed at though she says she felt like all she did was eat and nurse. But that was thirty one years ago.