neversremedy8: (Mother and Child)
I shouldn't have to write about this. I shouldn't have to argue this in the 21st century. The right of mothers to 1) breastfeed in public spaces, and 2) do so without hiding their babies under stuffy blankets. It's rather like other issues some people froth at the mouth over, but seem so inherently backwards to my view of the world . . . or how it should be.

Nevertheless, the debate comes up again about whether women should hide away from the masses to do their dirty business of temporarily exposing their breast in order to feed a hungry infant who doesn't understand why its body hurts, at least not on a conscious level, and who certainly can't "wait" for an opportune moment. However, this time, after reading through half of over a 100 comments, I realized one position had never been addressed in many of these arguments: the bonding aspect of not using a cover. Here's my comment from a Facebook discussion on the subject (a discussion that includes such comments as, "It's disgusting!!! No one wants to see your nasty pregnant boob and dinner plate nipples flopping around everywhere!" (Posted by a very angry female commenter, who clearly has serious issues with self-image and body consciousness.):

I never used a blanket or cover with my daughter. I wore shirts appropriate for breastfeeding, and was discrete for the brief moments before and after latch, but I wasn't going to cover my infant while she was feeding. What I haven't seen in the comments, although there are some older ones I haven't read, is the relationship between mother and child during breastfeeding.

A blanket or cover prevents one of the major bonding experiences that take place during a feeding--namely eye contact. The first time I breastfed my daughter, only minutes after her birth, we made eye contact, and I believe it made all the difference in her early achievements in gross motor coordination and verbal communication, well ahead of the average.

All I had to do was hold her, let her latch, and look her in the eyes, and an understanding passed between us. She examined my face, and I learned hers. There are numerous studies out there to read about the neurological and developmental benefits of these early encounters for an infant (search: developmental benefits eye contact breastfeeding), but even if there were no scientific support for such claims, the emotional connection deepens between mother and child in those early months when eye contact occurs during breastfeeding.

When I have more children in the future, I can guarantee I won't be covering them up just to protect adults from a natural bonding process. A flash of nipple for half a second isn't going to traumatize my infant, and it shouldn't be cause for alarm in a society where glorified violence and hyper-sexualization can be seen on every television channel at almost any hour of the day.
neversremedy8: (Chick Might Get Out)
So. After [ profile] betsycontent, [ profile] lyonesse, and [ profile] aine_willows send various items [ profile] lotusdragon needs for Farm Camp. After wrangling with the organizers to figure out what was truly needful. After many sticker shocks and late night article writing to save up enough to pay for it. After [ profile] jodawi took us shopping for everything else she needed (and it wasn't cheap), I come in the house from painting furniture on the porch to find a message awaiting me from one of the counselors.

He's left a message saying that they didn't get enough people to sign up for Farm Camp in part because Seattle Public School District changed their schedule so that this year school starts before Labor Day instead of after, and they didn't know about it. He then went on to say that while Farm Camp isn't available, Fish Camp is, and they also managed to find some scholarship money and are offering me a $150 discount if we'd like to send her to Fish Camp instead.

The muscles in my arms sang with anger and the need to hit something. The items [ profile] jodawi purchased alone were as much as the camp cost in total. But I remained calm and called the man who left the message. He answered after a few rings, and in my most diplomatic move, I didn't reach through the phone and punch him in the face repeatedly.

After a cordial chat, with dear daughter present through it all, we established what Fish Camp entailed. He rattled off some things but said that it would still entail almost everything Farm Camp did, but with more fishing and crabbing. The camp in question was originally Hunting & Fishing Camp, but no one wants to hunt, which is good, because when [ profile] lotusdragon saw the web site for the camp before I called him, she was in tears at the thought of having to trap and kill rabbits, grouse, and other small critters. When she realized she'd only be murdering fish, and the counselor assured her that there would be "no stabbing" (that was one of her questions), she calmed down.

They're still holding the camp at the same location. They'll still spend time at two different farms, one near us, and one down in Puyallup. And as daughter put it, "I wanted to learn how to fish." So she's going to Fish Camp instead. No extra gear (beyond what was already purchased) required; they'll provide the tackle, rods, reels, and safety vests to the campers, and I get to keep a little bit of the money I worked so hard to earn.

So thanks again to [ profile] betsycontent, [ profile] lyonesse, [ profile] aine_willows, and [ profile] jodawi. The journey may be somewhat altered, but it will still be an experience for which you helped manifest in my daughter's life.


Aug. 6th, 2011 12:07 am
neversremedy8: (Mama Kitty)
Ana and I ended up in a conversation where I started to tell her stories of her early years, and it occurred to me after the fact that I was beginning to give her the stories she would later grow up with and tell others.

We had been watching Cotton roll around in delight because a couple of his toys were near one another, and I'd noticed for a couple of months now, his habit of dragging his toys into one place so he can hold onto and play with all of them at once. I mentioned that it reminded me of Ana as a toddler.

ME: You used to throw all your toys down on the floor, put them in piles, and lay on them, no matter how hard or sharp or pointy.
ANA: Yeah, they were comfortable.
ME: That's how I knew I definitely had a dragon, it's dragon-like behavior to horde your treasures and lay on them. You used to hide your toys in cabinets around the house, and at various times of the day, you'd pull all of them out at once, scoop them into piles, and lay on them!
[Ana laughed and seemed to recall it.]
ANA: I still do that sometimes.
ME: Do you remember that as a toddler you also ran your own daycare?
ANA: No.
ME: You did. You would take out all your dolls and you'd lay them on their tummies on receiving blankets. Then you'd lay baby blankets over them and pat each of them on their backs to comfort them for their naps.
ANA: I don't remember that.
ME: Well, you had your own preschool as a toddler, and you made sure every doll had a good nap.

Recently, we went through a box of memorabilia mostly related to my Grandpa Vin and Uncle Buzz. We went through Buzz's year book from high school and found pages and pages of him in there; he was incredibly popular. Not one person made a generic comment; many of them went on and on about how wonderful he was and how fortunate they were to have known him. He was voted as the senior male student with the greatest amount of school spirit, which surprised me that he wasn't the one voted most popular.

What I kept noticing, though, was not so much about him, but about people in general. There were still signs of a different social structure than we have today, certain social boundaries still being kept up and silent agreements about how people treated one another in a given way, but despite all their seeming intelligence and adherence to certain codes of ethics and behavior, most of them had as much trouble differentiating between "your" and "you're." I wasn't sure whether to feel disheartened or to think that maybe certain things hadn't become as awful linguistically as I once thought. Then again, I realized these are the parents of people who would later raise the current youth, a great many of whom have trouble differentiating between "your," "you're," and "ur" on formal papers.

But I digress . . .

The stories I'm telling Ana now are overdue. There are things that I have taken for granted in my life: my ability to parse out what people mean to say from their actual words, a trait I think I picked up in part due to my many bouts of temporary hearing loss from multiple ear infections. I also take for granted my role as parent, and assume that Ana should understand things through osmosis, she was, after all, inside me for nine months . . . shouldn't she have already gained all the knowledge previously learned up to that point? I take for granted my linguistic capabilities to breakdown unfamiliar words in English and in languages that use a Roman alphabet, and glean information about the meaning of those words, often enough so that I can understand the gist of a completely foreign statement. I take for granted that Ana should, after years of educational neglect on my part (even to this day), be able to comprehend the basics of what she reads, analyze it, and draw upon elven years worth of foundational knowledge--a foundation I did not truly help build and is quite obviously unstable.

I keep hoping that it's not too late; I also keep hoping that I'll somehow remember on a daily basis what I must do each day to support her education, not just academically, but on all levels and in all aspects of her life. It's very hard for me to stay consistent, to be proactive on a regular basis, to make the priorities in my mind, priorities on my daily schedule. Story telling is not ritual in our house as I believe it ought to be; many of Ana's communication difficulties might never have been had I made two very different choices in my early years as a parent: 1) controlling my temper and creating a different environment in which she could develop her voice, and 2) reading, singing, and telling stories more than I did.

In truth, I shirked my storytelling responsibilities; I did not make them a daily priority, I did not sing much for the first few years of her life, even though I wanted to, and I didn't sit down with her each day to guide her through the challenges of basic motor skills, behavior, communication, and life skills. These are failures in my parenting, flaws I'm still struggling with. Lately, homeschooling her has become a lesson for me in what mistakes I've made, and finding ways to solve them. The hardest part for me is still to be hands-on, to move away from my own inner world, my internet life, my writing, my hang ups, my own inner drama, and sit down for an hour or two each day and say, "here's what we're going to work on until I help you make sense of it."

Because I wasn't consistent with these things from day one, she's resistant to it. Add the early signs of puberty, and her resistance is greater. These are my challenges, the majority of their cause being my own failure to do the very basics of what was necessary to help her live up to her potential up to this point. In tiny ways I'm getting better. I see myself becoming more consistent in other ways, with my health, with maintaining the house, and with working toward a routine in my career goals. Now I must translate these forms of personal responsibility into meaningful work to do with Ana to meet my parental responsibility.

Ana reads constantly, and yet, I find that she does not read well. She may slide through a book and get some pleasure from it, but there are large gaps in her comprehension. This is known as functional illiteracy. A lot of this has to do with a combination of laziness (if it takes effort, she doesn't want to do it, no matter how great her original interest, e.g. robotics) and a fear of asking for help. My frustration with the former contributes to the sources of the latter. I don't abide laziness, lies, or stupidity (which I define as a choice to remain ignorant, where as ignorance can be cured with a desire to learn and gain knowledge), and all of these behaviors are rampant in the person most important to me in this world. All of these behaviors are in large part due to my own past actions and choices.

I continue to try to find ways to redirect her energy, to learn how to parent better, and to push myself to do what I know is necessary to implement the methods I feel will best support us as mother/teacher-child/student. When I realized tonight that lately I had been reminiscing with Ana about her early years, I believe it is a sign that I am beginning to better understand my role in her life and am becoming more active in making positive changes to guide her. I also believe that reminiscing together is an act of healing, one which is helping bring clarity to what is most needful and how to achieve the goals we set forth together.


Jan. 24th, 2011 05:41 pm
neversremedy8: (A Little Help?)

Ana came down the stairs having removed her sodden pants after another futile Taigil search in the damp and dreary day.

I closed my laptop, replaced my glasses on my nose, and turned to her.

"Weasels," I said.

She cocked her head to the side. "What?"

"Having too many weasels. Nine weasels!"

"What are you talking about?"

"Nine weasels! A surplus of weasels. It's not like they're even good for anything. I mean, sometimes you can fight them, but, you only need one."

"What. Are. You. Talking. About?!"

"Weasels! Knocking some weasel-seller unconscious and running into the shadows laughing gleefully with a weasel in either hand."

She paused a moment. "What game are you talking about?" I gave her a look, and she got it. "Oh, the Bazaar?"

"Mm-hm." I stood up and said, "Seriously, imagine it. You're walking down the street, you see someone selling weasels--I mean they're popular right now as pets, right?--and what possesses you to knock the guy unconscious and steal his weasels? Can you imagine this? Running into the shadows with a weasel in each hand?" I extended my hands as I pantomimed the action. "They're not even good for anything! You can take them to the weasel fights, and I just sold my eight surplus ones for 20 pence a piece, but still, you only need one weasel for the fights!"

Ana followed me to the coat closet where I put away a grocery bag. "What's a weasel?"

"They're like ferrets, or Taigil. You know, Lucky Weasel."

She said, "Oh! Right! I was thinking hedgehogs."
neversremedy8: (Mocking You)
Craig and Ana were playing Mariokart together (again), and they'd unlocked some feature where they could both be Baby Peach. I should mention that Ana has taken to using a particular swear word when playing this game, and when I suggested an alternative, she struggled with it, and finally shouted, "I'm sorry, but it's not the same!"

But I was upstairs listening to them go on about their mad skillz, and I came down to see what they had accomplished when Ana get sideswiped by a number of NPCs. She shouted, "You don't know how to treat a baby or a lady!" I imagine she might have shaken her fist, except that her hands were on the Wii remote wheel.

After the laughter between Craig and I ended, and I'd made some comment about, "'Lady?' This from my daughter?"

She made some comment about how boys need to be nice to boys, and I asked, "Why?"

She rolled her eyes, thinking I was teasing, and I said, "No really, I'm serious. Why do boys need to be nicer to girls than they are to other boys?"

Ana avoided eye contact, sputtered a few times, and finally shouted, "You wouldn't understand!"

Craig looked at me, I looked at him. "I wouldn't understand?" I asked.

In the midst of our guffawing, Ana said, "What?!? Arrhhh!!!"

Poor kid, she must find it difficult having me as a mother. At least I gave her fair warning that I was blogging this.

neversremedy8: (Mama Kitty)
I was just commenting to a [ profile] naturalfamily user who'd asked about ways to stop wasting so much paper when her toddlers scribbled towards better artistic expression, and I thought I'd rather not forget some of the ideas I had while hammering out the comment (and other parents might be interested?):
For the art: Chalk boards (you can make your own with chalk board paint and plywood), white boards, a wall that can be repainted, paper that's going to be recycled/scratch paper, and magazine cut outs all can make for replacing the "good" paper being used for exploration. Since you're an artist, consider gathering found objects or upcycling and giving your kids a weekly art project where they can really explore (maybe give them one or two good pieces of paper for this), and then encouraging them to find other ways to draw/color might help.

I have boxes full of those pieces of art you're talking about, and sometimes it helped to just keep saying, "use the whole page, look at all that white space!" in an encouraging tone to get my daughter to spread out more and not waste as much. I also got her recycled sketch books, continue to keep discolored printer paper, any misprinted paper, and other scraps that would go straight into recycling. If they're at the "small scribble" stage, I'd say take scrap papers like the ones I've mentioned, cut them in quarters, and keep them for their smaller artwork. When you give them your time and better supplies for big projects, make those the ones you keep/display, and let the scraps be part of their journey. You may still have to keep a box or two of "art" for a while before you can recycle most of it.

Ooh! And don't forget you can teach them how to make paper using their old artwork and drawing on it again. Or ask them to help you make scrapbook paper from their old art, so it's not getting wasted.
neversremedy8: (Dramatist in Hat)
Frustrations continue. There is now silence.

Craig has a cold, and I'm working very hard to keep from getting sick myself as I've already been sick this quarter and I lost out on three days of class last week. Three important days.

At present, a pot of chicken and garlic is cooking with herbs and olive oil and when it's ready, I'll add carrots, broth, more herbs, spices, and water until it's boiling. Then it will simmer for a while, and just a short time before it's finished, I'll add the spinach & egg noodles.

Every chicken noodle soup I make is different, but somehow I always know what to put in it, what balance of herbs, what spices, even what vegetables to make us feel better. Sometimes I add curry. Sometimes it's more of a lemon-pepper broth or it has the essences of an Hungarian dish. Sometimes it has Thai spices, and other times, it's Japanese. It doesn't matter. Tonight I don't know what it will taste like, not yet, but it will have spinach noodles and rainbow carrots.

Ana's teacher has not written me back. She said they had a talk in class about bathroom behavior again, but she couldn't remember what the teacher said. I couldn't believe that she didn't pay attention, when it was so important to her, but ... ugh.

My friend Consuelo, whom I worked with at NSCC and is now in my Archaeology class, sat and talked with me during my hour break between classes today. She happened to suggest taking a minor as well as a major. Now I'm considering it. I suppose I'll really make a decision after we know who's going to be the next president. To attach myself to a minor would mean graduating later than I planned. I'm not sure if I want to do that. If I can take a minor for which I've already had some classes and use up my limited electives for that then maybe it's possible to still graduate in the summer of 2010. I wish I'd given more consideration to it before now, but seeing as I wasn't sure of my major until my last quarter at North in 2004 ...

Anyway, if you want to weigh in on it, if I decide to have a minor:

[Poll #1287015]

Class M Planet found where Vulcan was said to exist in Star Trek

David Sedaris on Undecided Voters via [ profile] silveringridd
neversremedy8: (Not Enough)
She'd been sick for nearly two weeks, and I did all I could for her short of going to the vet (which I couldn't afford). Mimsy was quite the fighter, but last night I found her and thought she'd already died, so slowly did she react. Her body was cold and her belly distended, but she tried to lift herself up. I held her for half an hour, gently stroking her fur. With every breath, I could see it was a struggle and she convulsed every few seconds. I watched as she had to work to blink when my fingers stroked her head. I was careful of the red eyes looking at me trapped and helpless inside a dying body.

I knew I needed sleep, so I used my free hand and dug up a clean, warm sock and a clean washcloth and wrapped her in layers of thick cloth to help keep her warm. I pressed drops of water to her lips because I knew how thirsty she got. She wheezed at one point, an intake of breath that had, for a moment, a faint mousy squeak deep inside her throat. The last squeak she'd make. I set her up on a stack of books next to the bed, and pressed my fingertip to her tiny paw--it curled to meet me. I looked her in the eyes that watched me constantly and said, "Goodbye Mimsy." Then she stopped breathing, her tail no longer twitched, it was over.

I covered her completely with the cloth, and left her next to me by the bed. In my exhaustion, I still attempted to reach my spirit guides to help lead the mousy spirit on her way, but I fell into a fitful sleep. I dreamt of Holocaust children whose spirits haunted the school I'd started. I woke again and again, worried that I'd knocked her body aside in my sleep. When morning came, and with it, Gwyn, I wrapped Ana up in my arms and let the furry feline nuzzle her face. I told her quietly that Mimsy died in the night, that I'd held her and comforted her until she was gone. Ana curled up and moaned a little. She never cries when death arrives--it worries me--but she lay quiet for a while and pet the cat demanding her attention.

We'll bury the body this evening; at the moment it rests, now stiff from rigor mortis, in the pine bedding in which it lived. I've never been so close to anyone in the midst of her death throes, and these were as unpleasant as one could have--she was quite obviously in serious pain, and I contemplated a quick Kevorkian maneuver, but found I didn't have it in me. I could only play helpless nursemaid and stroke her fur and keep her warm.

At the end, it was a subtle realization that one moment there was life within the eyes that stared at me, and the next, just a warm corpse that did not move of its own accord. This is the most I've processed so far, but I felt some new awareness stir within the dark, thick depths of me that before this experience I didn't have. What that is ... I'm not sure.
neversremedy8: (Live the Dream)
I commented in this entry at [ profile] metaquotes about the uses of duct tape and keeping babies' hats on their heads. [Please read entry first.] I just had to comment, being an experienced duct taping parent:
Duct tape comes in quite handy when rearing children. First, it's to keep things on them (i.e. hats, shoes, socks, diapers) or them on other things (i.e. high chair, car seat), then you use it to bind their hands to keep them off of things (i.e. any crystal figurines, star wars action figures in pristine condition, or anything that's breakable or easily destroyed by drool, depending on your fandom base). Finally, you end up just using it all over them, most especially their mouths, once they learn to run about and tell people about their genitalia and gas, everything they just learned from their friends or the television, and your private life with the new "daddy" who comes over for dates. This is also why it's good to have a membership at Costco; they sell duct tape in large quantities at wholesale prices. If you have duct tape left over, you can repair your $350 replica of the Millennium Falcon with tiny pieces and a lot of crying.

So I've heard.

In other news, I had a nightmare that I was thought to be a cop killer, when really all I'd done was steal candy with a bunch of co-workers in protest to our lack of holiday bonuses. The real killers got away, and I was pregnant. Jodawi and Mittel were raising Ana, and I was pregnant with another child, who also became their ward. Ended up making sure another child at Ana's school got safely back to her parents, but was followed by a vigilante cop who wanted to see justice done at his hands. Woke up before resolution, quite convinced I need to make an announcement to my dearest friends on here, which I will do after this post. *sighs, shudders*

I'm also either INFJ (most likely), INFP (more true now than before), or (on good days) ENFP. The links lead to the relationship page, not the overview, because it was easier for me to recognize myself in terms of parenting and lovers and such than it was to read about my daily life. Jen and I have just determined that there should be an index in the backs of these Jungian personality tests that include an entry entitled "writer." It would read: "If you are a writer, then none of this, or rather all of this, may apply to you. Or not. You're not normal. You don't fit in these categories, and you never will, so stop asking. Or go get a real job, you liberal git."

I am the son
And the heir
Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
Oh, of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way ?
I am Human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does

There's a club, if you'd like to go
You could meet somebody who really loves you
So you go, and you stand on your own
And you leave on your own
And you go home, and you cry
And you want to die

When you say it's gonna happen "now"
Well, when exactly do you mean ?
See I've already waited too long
And all my hope is gone

You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way ?
I am Human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does
neversremedy8: (Tea and Rain)
Ana's speech difficulties are 1) not my fault (huge weight lifted off of my shoulders that I didn't know was there) and 2) are not caused by any issues with the brain. She's fucking brilliant. I wish I could have recorded her responses. Even the evaluator was significantly impressed, and she meets hundreds of children every month. There were times when Ana answered the evaluator before she'd finished asking the question, she also just figured out what was expected of her without being asked and did it. Eventually she realized fully why the evaluator was writing her responses down and when she did it, and it caused her to fidget and get nervous. Her brow furrowed and she looked resentful of having her mistakes written down. But she still had fun with asking "why" questions and coming up with stories for pictures, even though she was just required to either point to things in a certain sequence or repeat/say words based on the pictures (or repeat parts of stories).

So what's wrong? Her hearing is fine, she has "excellent teeth" and comprehends fully what is around her(she is exceptionally observant, and I can finally see it and so many other attributes now that I've taken myself out of the situation and been able to observe her without interacting). The problem lies primarily in her adenoids. She is able to articulate mentally what she wants to say, she understands the language she wishes to use, but when her brain tells her mouth/voice/et al to operate and create those words, it gets cut up and comes out sounding rough and inarticulate. The constant congested sound quality of her voice is also caused by these enlarged adenoids, and it's directly affecting her self confidence and also causes her to fidget and seem unable to focus. She's so nervous and frustrated all the time!

The evaluator said that speech therapy is in order. Ana's primary problems are with articulation (because of the adenoids) and sentence structure, also partly due to the adenoids. There was a scientific term used to describe her condition, but since it was said only once, not familiar to me, and wasn't written down, I can't tell you what it is yet. I'll call them tomorrow when they're open again to get more inforamtion--we were there for two hours, so everyone else had left and closed the center down while we were still in the evaluation rooms (I was with the evalutor's trainee behind a two-way mirror).

Ana had both of us laughing in that back room, and the evaluator even said she was trying VERY hard to not laugh at some points. :) They commented on her beauty and her high intelligence, and I told Ana how proud I was of her. Some of the stuff Ana came up with just amazed me! I couldn't believe how inquisitive, observant, intelligent, intuitive, clever, and cunning she is. I knew she was smart, but there have been times when it seemed like there was nothing going on, when really it's simply a matter of it being too frustrating for her to speak because of this disconnection between brain and voice. She told the evaluator that some of the words for the pictures were "too hard" to say. She said she knew what they were, but "it's hard for me" she explained. *sighs* Poor thing. When she was misunderstood at one point, she refused to repeat what she originally used as a description and tried another way of identifying an object in the room--at first she'd said something like "brown-dog-box" but it came out garbled, and so she said, "that thing with the white handle."

Examples: Ana also spent extensive time coming up with--unnecessarily, but enjoyed by all--questions and stories about the pictures she was seeing, and explaining what she knew about certain items on the cards. Like why roses have thorns, and such. When she was asked to point to "some tigers" in a zoo picture, Ana pointed to one, and the evaluator turned the page. Ana stopped her and corrected herself, saying, "one is not 'some.'" The eval. asked if she wanted her to redo it, and so Ana pointed to two of the three tigers and said, "that is 'some.'" During one section she was required to repeat portions of a story she was listening to, mostly the dialogue at the end of each page, and not only did she do as well as she could (with her usual speech problems in tow), but she mimicked the eval's tone of voice and inflection on each word. So impressed, and I told her as much when we left.

So, the brain is healthy. Everything else can be overcome.

* * * * *

I need to get to bed, but I've been procrastinating terribly. Despite having far more pressing matters on my to do list, I'm going through my LJ archives and tagging them. To make matters worse, I ran across this link: join my procrastination hell.

I hope my child gets sent home for something like this:
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United Federation of Planets, and to the galaxy for which it stands, one universe, under everybody, with liberty and justice for all species. (see link for the entire story) And yes, we should all buy the t-shirt. Ana should have one in her size. Damnit. I need a job. Or a sugar daddy. Or lottery winnings (it would help if I bought a ticket). Or something.

Oh, and I have 11 new icons. That means I had to delete 11 former icons, all of which I loved to have. *sighs* Change is hard. Even when it's just LJ icons or cut hair or my child going to Kindergarten. Wait. Scratch that last one. That one's big. May she always find creative ways to rebel and subvert the system and still come out with a decent education!

And now, a poll to apologize for the long, long, long post without a cut:

[Poll #518453]

I apologize now should anything be misspelled. For truly I am tired. Very tired. Small 'mount of depression seeping into my veins. A good night's rest may help. Love, hugs, and kisses to all. Especially those who are dearest to me. I am blessed, I'm just not very happy with the way I'm handling my life. Love, love, love.

Oh, and my favorite (calm/quiet) Beatles song: Dear Prudence (although there are many tied for runner-up)
neversremedy8: (Default)

Take the Which Powerpuff Girl Are You? Test.

Wow, Bubbles! You're hardcore! ::bounces::


Why, it only took me two days and a lot of Ana crying and throwing fits for me to figure out she's TEETHING! Two big, sharp canines are coming up from the bottom, and she's not having a very happy time of it. ::raspberries the air::

Sera II

Jan. 26th, 2002 12:16 am
neversremedy8: (Default)
Sera's still writing journal entries we can't read... Wonder if the latest is about the letter I sent her yesterday? After all, she said she wouldn't be posting again for a while and then she posted! ::sighs:: Why does she insist on playing such games.

Mom, I know you didn't really mean the parts about her being a "boy" (refer to poem on angelovebbw's LJ starting "queen of indifference"), but I think it hit an insecure part of her she hadn't faced... or had been hearing about it too much from a certain someone, and it rubbed her raw. She doesn't seem to realize how many people she hurts and disappoints with her simple gestures. She may not intend them, but they don't lose their effect. I doubt she'll ever really understand why you wrote what you did, not unless she learns the kind of maternal love for a child, that need to protect them from all harm, that you do for me.

It took great courage to post this poem to her site, and though I want to post to hers, to console her even now, I am refraining from it. David refers to it as "the moral high ground". I hope it gets us all to a better place.

It isn't easy for me, to wait to see events unfold, to go silently into any night, good or otherwise. As much as I love Sera, I must keep my distance until she's ready to make a legitimate move toward being a parent and a caring friend/lover. Her friends think what they will of me, but I do not protest their entreaties, for all I might say would fall upon deaf ears. So I wait. I watch. I continue to pursue my goals and achieve all that I can... without her for now.

I have my weaknesses. Yes, I miss her. I want her as a partner in my life, as a parent to our daughter, but not by these rules. Not only following her agenda. I have my fears of what she's thinking, what she's doing, and the insult of posting journals I cannot read hits me even harder during these times. She's making her statement very clear, she doesn't want me in her life, and she does not wish to open herself to me. The chasm yawns wider as she keeps her silence.

Again, I offer my thanks to you all, my friends. You have been a great solace in difficult times. Support when I feel vulnerable. I do not like to ask help from others, but there are times when I must. I apologize for the excess strain I may have caused you, but this year has been a great hardship for everyone. It seems everyone leans on one another these days. ::chuckles slightly:: Today I have had excruciating pains in my shins and left knee. I awoke with them and have little clue as to why they afflict me. Yet several times today I was requisitioned for help carrying various items for others who were in sadder shape. We all need a little help right now. Thank you for yours.
neversremedy8: (Default)
...and writers bearing sell sheets and press releases. ::sighs::

Well, Ana's got an ear infection, I've got *something* making me feel lousy, tomorrow's my welfare review (though I don't know whose welfare they're concerned with).

Sitting before me are several pages of "How to's". How-to write a sell sheet (what, am I a prostitute?), how-to write a press release, how-to write a query letter, and how-to set up a book signing. All of them scare the crap out of me.

Speaking of feces, Ana decided tonight it was a great idea to take off her diaper, hand it to David, hang on to the coffee table and release waste all over the living room carpet. Of course, I was in the kitchen at the time, and unable to stop this from happening. Clean-up was most fun. ::big smile, like you mean it::
David reports it was the most shocked he's been in a long time (keep in mind she did it *right* in front of his view). What a protest!

Peach pits.

Animaniacs: "Mr. Churchill, may we jump up and down on your stomach?"
Churchill: "OK"
Animaniacs: "Boingy-boingy-boingy"
(And then Stalin wanted to join in)
Stalin (deeper voice): "Boingy-boingy-boingy"

So, no, I'm not well in my mind, I'm finding my hair in the drain after one bath, and I think I need a little stress-releaser... mom says I need to get laid, Roy confers. (He attributes my recent fires to the amount of sexual frustration I'm accumulating... he's probably right.)

As for the Year of the Horse, I was mortified to discover I was wrong when I went shouting out that it starts on the second of February... it doesn't. Yes, Candlemas (Brigit, Imbolc) is scheduled for that day, but the New Year doesn't start until the 12th! Ahhhhh! Someone help me!

SprintPCS is trying to screw me (still), they confirm that they sent the check (a month after my Voice Mail message said they would), but it should have only taken 3 business days... it's been *much* longer. (In case you don't know, I had a SprintPCS phone for ten days and sent it back with angry protests. It worked great as a date book, an address book, a secure informational storage unit, but not as a phone. I sent it back, and was supposed to receive a reimbursement check for my initial payment sometime at the end of August... it's January, and I still don't have the check!)

If Sprint PCS wants to screw me, why don't they come over and do so! Argh, I'm going to turn back into a pumpkin on the 28th, and I don't see anyone around here named Peter ready to eat me! ::smirks::

Received a VERY nice card with cute pictures of Mike and Marcie, two friends from EQ, hopefully I'll remember to write to them soon and thank them... if not, at least I posted my thanks and gratitude here! Oh, and a very loud "awwww...." for the picture of them together. The biggest smiles you ever saw.

I should go now, leave David to his computers, relinquish them back and never return... well, not never, but not soon.... well, maybe soon, but... Forget it! I'll be back here slavering all over the keyboards as soon as I can. I'm such a computer junkie, I really act like such a drug addict. Each use is like a little fix. ::slaps vein:: Just plug me in!!!
neversremedy8: (Default)
You're Rikku! You love to be with those dear to you. You're resourceful; a little stealing never hurt anyone! You try to help whenever you can, even if it means going against your own personal believes and desires. Friends come first! like thinks that go BOOM.
Which Final Fantasy X Character would YOU be? Take the test.

OMG! She looks so much like a character I created for one of our stories... ooh... ::bounces::

Hmm... Wonder if Sera even bothered to read my messages here. Ah, well... it's her choice to be a bad parent, but she can't hide forever. There will come a point soon when I'll just send in the paperwork necessary to say, "Naw, she changed her mind, she doesn't want to see our daughter." ::sighs:: Mom's right, I can't expect Sera to become responsible, even for Ana... Well, Ana doesn't seem to mind, she has lots of good people in her life to help influence and shape her. Later, she may realize that her other parent didn't want to take time for her, and it will cause sadness and a little hurt, but at least the disappointment won't persist as it does now. ::sighs:: I just wish Sera would grow up... at least enough to be responsible a few hours a week. Is that really so much to ask? Apparently so...

BLAH! I won't let this get me down! ACK! Toddler+lotion=BIG MESS ON DAVID'S BED!!! Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!

::wipes forehead:: Disaster averted, toddler silly, mommy silly. :P

E says: Misses Sera, Cyn, mommies, wishes she'd be nice ... wishes we were all together an happy

I know Eve-y, ALL WILL BE WELL... We'll get through this... This too shall pass over. ::Phhhpppppp:::
neversremedy8: (Default)
...I've been waiting too much, but there are times when I feel there is nothing more I can do, or I don't want to face the little chores and steps I need to take to get to certain minor goals.

Yes, I need a job, really need a great one that pays well enough to support Ana and I without assistance. There are two problems in this: 1) The unemployment rate is horrendous (Washington State has dropped to only the 2nd highest unemployment rate in the country). 2) I don't really want to do the jobs I'm qualified for. I've found some great Administrative Assistant positions, some of them don't require a BA (Ha! If I had a BA in *anything* I wouldn't be looking for this type of job!), and some are actually within my means of transportation. However, I look at the job requirements and the long list of duties and tasks to perform, I know I *can* do them, but I'm loathe to actually be expected to do them.

Expectations and Guilt, two things David and I've talked about a lot lately. He's a great sounding board and he's able to clarify much of my own confusion I can't see through. I have difficulty with expectations, I don't like being *expected* to do things, but I like to do them as a surprise or out of the kindness of my heart. I love to be asked to do things, but when someone makes an expectation I resent it. Then there's the guilt... David says I carry around a lot of guilt, often for things that are too minor to have guilt over, and others which I didn't mean or can't go back and change. He says guilt is holding me back from much of what I'm doing, if I keep thinking about what I've done (or haven't done) and obsessing on it, I'll never be able to move forward to correct my mistakes.

Sera hasn't called, she hasn't written, and I wonder why I even bother putting the choice to her. It's a big choice she's leaving up to me regarding our daughter, and because I haven't seen her in person long enough to talk with her in the last three or four weeks, I can't even tell her what the decision is which she needs to make. I resolved myself not to call for some time, and then I finally caved this weekend. I called her at work, she told me how very much she missed me and Ana, and she was going to call. She didn't. I called her the next day at work, she said she'd call, and she wanted to come over Sunday night, she just had to check her schedule. She didn't call, and I didn't bother to on Sunday. What's the point? If she's determined to avoid me and to disappoint Ana, then she'll never know what happens, and I won't allow this cycle of disappointment to continue. It's either Ana or no Ana, Raven or no Raven, it can't be whenever the mood hits her, change of plans at the spur of the moment, and skipping out on Christmas after six months of planning because she's afraid. Yet how will she know this? Does she even read this journal? I can't allow her to do this to Ana, I can't allow Ana to grow up with so much disappointment and resentment directed towards Sera. But I won't tell this to Sera on the phone, only in person. She hasn't posted since December, I have no idea what's going on in her life.

It's a world of frustrations, but somehow I keep smiling. Had to take Ana to the doctor's yesterday, only to find out she's healthy. Probably having trouble at daycare because of emotional issues, not physical. She didn't require I carry her most of the way back. The rain had left us, the clouds were gone, it was blue sky and white sun. Ana walked by my side for four long blocks. Such a wonder. She's been "shh"-ing me, and she's become possessive of her toys, tells everyone who tries to play with her favorites "no" very firmly and takes the toy from them. Another mimcry of me, mixed with her determination to have her way. So cute. This morning she woke up, pulled her big rag doll I got her for Christmas out from under the covers, sat it up and gave it a big hug. She then turned it to face her, talked with it, tickled it, and played peek-a-boo. The smiles and giggles were a blessing this morning.

This is the joy of parenthood, the reward for the hard work, but I'm still waiting for a miracle to come ... to help us free ourselves from State obligation, from fear, from frustration, and to build our foundations for the future.
neversremedy8: (Default)
I have my resume beautifully made, and several leads on a jobs. Meanwhile, my manuscript has been sent in to the publisher, and I've already made more changes. Of course, I was reminded of my editorial responsibilities to another writer and must divert my attention from my obsessive writing/editing of my own work for a short time. If only I still had my orange highlighter! (It was so evil... bwahahahahaha.)

My chore list builds, but I just want to vegetate with the little one. If only the inspiration to write would come at a convenient time (like the other night -- 13 new great poems in two hours!). I already ran a few ideas past Sera regarding a couple of our stories... Oh how I want to write GT and put the Eila Corbin story aside! I've thought of ways to make GT interesting to the readers, and not just to me...

Blah, blah, blah, I'm babbling again, but I'm just so happy to be able to post again! Visiting LiveJournal isn't allowed at the WorkFirst office. Soon (and I'll try tonight), I want to post the Shamanic journeys I've gone on in the last two weeks. Oh! And I finally finished researching the Malleus Maleficarum (for now) and St. Augustine's "City of God". I lovingly refer to them as the "damned books". The library is welcome to have them back!
neversremedy8: (Default)
Sera needs to post more to her journal, ::winks:: and I'm looking forward to our little Christmas gathering.

Trying not to lose my mind thinking about Ana in daycare, she cried and wailed, reaching out for me when I left her there. I'm thinking about keeping her there for a full day, so she doesn't expect me to pick her up early tomorrow. Maybe it's better that way. I'm required to search for work 30 hours a week, and here I am at the library, looking for work online. (Qwest DSL is screwing up at the WorkFirst office, joy!)

I feel myself being propelled toward the next phase of my progress, to the next major hurdles that lie in waiting for me to attempt to jump over them. I hope I don't trip... I can't use the word "hope" anymore without a pained thought of Sera, and her new Primary, Hope. No, I'm not jealous, not in anyway I see jealousy, but I am envious of the time and attention she is able to claim from Sera, the security... the bragging rights.

I hate to admit it, but Sera and I really did need our time of separation, just as much as we now need to take things slowly right now, to grow, to mature, to reach personal goals before we're ready to reunite in a more dedicated way. Love, adoration, caring, we have those between us. But we both have old patterns to do away with and new foundations to build (yay for 2002, year of the Horse! can't wait until Feb. 2nd). It will all work out for the best in the end, even in the interim it isn't so bad. Still, I don't like to wait, and if I *just* wait, our goals will never be achieved, the destination I can see in the distance will never arrive unless we're both doing what we must in order to get there.

I continue to write, though much of the "damned book" is being placed on the backburner. I'm writing some scenes which are necessary, but I can no longer continue to write it from start to finish knowing my mistakes across the last eight months. It wouldn't bother me if I had a computer, I could just go into the file, rearrange the text and fix the continuity, but I can't do that in a notebook. So I write little scenes, full of resentment for all the months wasted in writing it out of order, confused, missing important turning points. ::Sighs:: This too shall pass.

I wrote my Christmas letter, though most of those I mail will arrive late (thanks, JCPenney portrait studio!), I'm handing out those that I can on Christmas Eve and Christmas to save on postage and grief. Perhaps now I should look for those jobs, eh? ::smirks:: See? This is me looking for jobs...

"Back in the days when Phil Colins had... Well, no, Phil Colins never had hair."
-96.5, the Point advert.
neversremedy8: (Default)
Today is a day of wandering.

Tomorrow may be the day I sign daycare forms, though I just received a message from another daycare facility informing me of an availability. We shall see what comes of it. Why do they frighten me so? I wish I had someone to hold my hand, to tell me I’m doing the right thing, to know where Ana will be happiest when I must be away and working.

This morning I awoke before Ana and felt my mind and stomach turn over in unison, asking questions only Sera could answer. When Ana awoke, I fed us, dressed us and headed out. After stopping at the library to return a few books, I continued down the road and buzzed Sera’s apartment. Her eyes still laden with sleep, she came out in a silk robe and her work pants and curled up on the lobby bench.

The overwhelming sense “I’m nuts” came to me as I pulled the page of questions out of my bag and timidly asked my questions, almost as if I sat at my guru’s feet (which were bare). Patiently, she talked with me, answering as best she could those deep and probing questions, which disturbed both our sleeping on this chill, wet morning. Even though she couldn’t answer some of my questions (not knowing herself enough to answer), and even saying some things I didn’t really want to her to say, I felt better just having that knowledge. The unknown scares me sometimes, especially when it directly affects my life (and Ana’s!), and rather than fight or flight, I tend to tiptoe, curious of what lies in the dark. (I’d make a wonderful horror flick victim!)

So, we talked, we hugged, she honoured me with a recount of her own recent struggles, and I was able to comfort her. The nuzzling made me cry; the crying brought Ana to our arms. It was hard leaving, and I carried Ana back out into the rain, thinking of loneliness and suffering, wondering where next our paths would lead.

Sera is filled with fears, unsure of herself. She doesn’t feel “healthy” enough to properly help care for our daughter. Sometimes, I miss the days that never were, the opportunities that went unclaimed and unpursued.

I’m thinking about getting tiny tattoos on my fingers ... on each middle segment of the fingers of my right hand, I would like to have a small simple tattoo to represent each of my children. On my right index finger, a tiny, five-point lotus for Ana, on my pinky, a beautifully scripted “C” for Cynthia. Can I go through with it? I’m not ready for the slightly larger one on my ankle (“Na-Koja-Abad” in Arabic script with the mobius strip above it), how do I really feel about tiny finger tats? We’ll see how I feel in a couple of months when I might have money to pay for such body decorations. Any suggestions welcome from those who have tattoo experience. Especially ones so close to bone! ::smiles::
neversremedy8: (Default)
The hunt continues. Of course I know I need to find one soon, place Ana in a safe environment so I can work, but it's hard for me to go through this part of the process. To actually find the daycare. I don't have trouble after she's in daycare looking for work. It's this step, interviewing what few daycare facilities are available to us (some have waiting lists up until September 2004!), and trying to get her to understand I'm not leaving forever, just for more than half of each week. ::sighs:: I hate giving her up to this, but I am required to find work, spend 40 hours a week doing it, and eventually work 40 hours a week. How do I manage? ::shakes head:: I just have to do it. No matter how much it hurts.

On another note, yesterday Ana had her pictures taken for Christmas, and while I set up the appointment based on a C.S.R.'s assurance that I would get the pictures back in time for sending the Christmas cards -- they lied. I found out after having her pictures done, and paying them, that they won't be ready until the 22nd (Saturday), after the post offices close, which means I wouldn't be able to send them out until the 24th, ensuring that the letters and pictures wouldn't reach anyone until after Christmas. ::growls:: We'll see if I can make them work a little faster, but it may not work out the way I want it to. ::sighs:: Ah, well.
neversremedy8: (Default)
Monday - Saw Harry Potter, wow! It lived up to the book, despite the corners it had to cut to save time, and the scenes of the Quidditch match added dimension to the already astounding mental imagery created by the book. The actors they found really fit their roles, especially Harry . . . I hope they continue to make them in succession so they can keep the actor.

Tuesday - Went to the WorkFirst orientation with Ana, at first she was cute and adorable, getting everyone's attention, then the fits kicked in, and I couldn't follow anything the lecturer said. I have to find daycare fast, but Sera never called me back to discuss a plan to ease Ana into it. ::sighs:: Will she ever be a responsible parent?

Wednesday - Talked to the prosecuting attorney regarding Ana's child support case, needed to make sure the bases were covered, and to ensure Sera wouldn't be placed even further in debt (beyond what she truly is responsible for) -- they were ready to charge her for back child support even for the time we were living with her. It's strange how often I defend her.

Something happened Sunday, don't remember right now what it was . . . perhaps I'll get to it later.

The computer, or perhaps the (dial-up) modem connection doesn't allow me much time to write before disconnecting. It isn't at all reliable or I would write more often. ::falls to her knees and prays for an Athlon 1.5 GHz with DSL::

Had a fight with Qwest today, they won, and I'm going to have to take the money I've saved up for something very important to me, and use it to pay the bill or else I won't have my phone any longer. Ah well, at least with a phone I can get a job, and thus repay myself the money. And just when I was almost ready to spend it . . . it's probably for the best.

Wish I could understand why I'm pursuing my old teacher's lessons again. I thought I was done with them when he stopped writing to me, but here I am, putting aside the chance to start into Anne Rice's "Blood and Gold" and instead am reading (trudging through) "Malleus Maleficarum." One thing I've learned, never turn your back on a Catholic, or make any sign you follow any faith but their own. I'm not only a Pagan, an hedonist, and an heretic, I'm also a witch according to these accounts which turned Wiccan and Celtic priestesses and wise women into malicious, devil-fornicating fiends. The "worst" possible sin . . . well, I prattle. I don't know what he thought I'd find within these texts pertaining to what I sought at that time, but it certainly has been teaching me something. Perhaps the truths I have found are not the ones this teacher intended. But I search on for myself, not for him.

Anyway, I've strayed from my intended topic, which I no longer even remember since I had planned to post this Monday. ::smiles::

I do have a letter for that old teacher should I ever hear from him again, perhaps I'll post that here the next chance I can use the computer again. Especially since I cannot currently go to the boards where I first found him ... or did he find me? ::smirks::

Be well all (you know, the two who actually read this!), love and light.

Oh, yes, I almost tore my hair out -- or perhaps almost passed out when I discovered that the last few months of writing our novel was in vain. I managed to completely leave out some of the most exciting scenes, and rearranged quite a few others. ::bangs head, bangs head::


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