Show love

Hey all, my 36 yr old, older brother unexpectedly died of heart failure last week on Sept. 27, 2014. I loved him but I didn’t appreciate him enough. I didn’t see him often lately and when I did, I teased him (as little sisters do) but I don’t know if I told him I loved him and how much he meant to me.
So take my advice: tell the people you love, that you love them. Be there for them.

—-
What I said at his memorial service
—-
David was my brother, no David is my brother. And as his sister, I don’t think I appreciated him enough, because I took him for granted. I thought, he was always going to be there, that he was always going to tease me, that I was always going to annoy him, that he would always be there as a presence for my children. Unfortunately, I was wrong. David has taught me, through his death, that when you love somebody you need to let them know, as often as you can, be it through the words I love you, be through little gestures like hugs, kisses, punches, pinches, uh I mean hugs and kisses. And I hope that this is a lesson that he is taught you. appreciate the people in your life even if you don’t always get along with them, even if you don’t always agree with them or their lifestyle choices, even if they are the most aggravating person in the world, which David was not I was. Appreciate your loved ones be they friends or family and never treat a stranger bad because you don’t know what they’re going through.
So grieve, rage but also laugh, love and live. Live your life for you only have one.IMG_2464.JPG

IMG_2468.JPG

IMG_2844.JPG

IMG_2660.JPG

Messy pancakes and heartache

Although the below post is a funny post, please pray for the author she just lost her toddler to SIDS (awaiting autopsy to confirm).
The info about her toddlers’ passing was not on her blog but on her fb fan page.
I cannot imagine her agony and the emotional tsunami her and her family are going through. Please pray for them.

http://www.theprogressiveparent.org/2012/11/finding-zen-messy-pancakes.html?m=1

They took WAY longer than I had ever spent making pancakes- or anything, really, ever before. When we were through with our efforts, we had procured several brown, lumpy, oddly shaped wads so thick and heavy, I was pretty sure they were going to skip being eaten to put on some flannel and grab a chainsaw to finish a hard day’s work at a lumber mill. I could have said about the same for the syrup/sauce/fruit goo.

This was a giant, leaping bound away from the light, fluffy pancakes of yore. My spiced oatmeal pancakes looked and smelled like Rudolph had used the serving tray as a personal port-a-potty. (Going with the unicorns-farting-rainbows theory, I’m assuming magical reindeer poo also magically smells of cinnamon and vanilla) My not-so- abandoned reservations were screaming in my face, SEEEEE? Dude. Yuckballs. Leave the cooking to the professionals, eh? Despite the encouraging eyes of my toddler companion, I kind of wanted to cry.

“To-men ‘eesh are MESHY pancakesh!” he said between never-empty-mouthfuls. “We MADE ’em. ‘ey’re GOOD!”

With that small insight, the burden of my expectations and ego were lifted. Aiden had never had an agenda aside from wanting to spend time with me- and wanting a hot breakfast. He had enjoyed every minute of the feel of the flour mixture, the satisfaction of successfully cracking the eggs, the stickiness of the dough, the participation and the company. When it was through, he loved the outcome with no reservations and simply called them as he saw, “Messy Pancakes”… and they were the best pancakes I’ve ever tried.

Despite

Despite what readers of this blog may think, I absolutely hate posting about circumcision and its harm. It breaks my heart. I ached for these tortured children.
I know their parents love them and this (what i consider) torture is not inflicted on their child to “harm” their child but this has got to change.

People once thought slavery was acceptable it is now almost universally accepted that slavery is a human rights violation.

20121205-114412.jpg

Circumcision(warning graphic)

(added: http://www.drmomma.org/2012/05/cameron-diaz-on-circumcision.html?m=1)

(I have not proof read)

circumcisions be they done with a clamp like the gomco or a ring like the plastibell start like this.
There is no “cut free” method.
When does a child’s rights begin? Does it depend on the sex or the child? Does it depend on the body part?
Can I have my daughter’s labia removed without medical need? Can I have my son’s earlobes removed because of may parental beliefs or preferences?
Circumcision is not medically necessary in most cases. Rarely, will an adult human male get circumcised due to medical need.
The foreskin protects and lubricates the head of the penis. It is not a birth defect.
American obsession with a circumcised penis is a cultural defect.
No man or woman, circumcised or intact is better or less than the other…. However, each person cut or whole deserves the right to make the decision regarding their body, their future sex life, their own body/genital preference.
Parents, our only “choice” is to protect of children, get them medical attention when necessary and love and provide for them…. Not subject them to an optional medically unnecessary and painful surgery and recovery (and future side effects) because it fits with a cultural perception of “normal”
Cultural perceptions change but creation and/or evolution has not changed that foreskins belong on mammals… Humans are mammals, humans have foreskin, the foreskin is not a defect or a disease….

20120514-232815.jpg

(I have not proof read)

20121113-210703.jpg

Accepting the mom that I am: the connected mom

Good points to remember. Click the link and read the entire post.

the connected mom: http://www.theconnectedmom.com/2012/03/accepting-mother-i-am.html?m=1

I expect I will learn to control my temper.

The one thing I have the most trouble with on a regular basis is my temper. It’s awful and it’s the hardest thing for me to admit or talk about. My anger comes on in a flash, goes on like a switch, and is gone just as quickly. Unfortunately, what’s transpired in the interim is harder to get rid of. It goes against everything I try to do with my children in terms of parenting and disciplining them gently.

I wish so much that I could learn to breathe, refocus, and not be angry, for good. My anger is hard to let go of because it makes me feel strong and in control (the irony is not lost on me here—when I’m angry, I am absolutely not in control—my anger is). It’s my security blanket, the one thing I know I can go back to at any time and feel like myself. I grapple with it every single day of my life and am working so hard to let it go.

Most days are great. But some days are bad, and as many excuses as I make for allowing myself to react in anger (I’m pregnant, I’m sick, I didn’t get any sleep, my kids are being difficult, etc), the only person that can make this better is me. I don’t run from it. I talk to my kids about it and I don’t hide my struggle with it. I’m lucky and grateful that my family is loving and forgiving.

I have to accept the mother I am: imperfect, sometimes impatient, a yeller. Even though those negatives are what stick out in my mind during my worst moments of self-evaluation and criticism, I mother with so much more than that. I love, I cherish, and I agonize. I worry, I nurture, and I appreciate. I give thanks for and am in awe of my children every day. Late at night in the dark I think of all the things I could have done differently and all the things I did that I wish I hadn’t.

I’ve realized something: like life, parenting is a journey, and a work in progress. I’m going to make mistakes—many of them. I will feel a tremendous amount of guilt every time—there is no doubt about that. I feel a sense of hope that I’ll know better with each kid.

Then one of my kids looks at me, looks into my eyes as intently as I look into hers, and I know that she adores me, just the way I am. You could say it’s because she has no choice, but I say that maybe she loves me with my flaws. Maybe my imperfections are teaching my kids more than perfection ever could. Maybe watching me make mistakes and learning from them will teach my children tolerance and acceptance, and maybe they will allow themselves to make mistakes, and learn from them too.

Marriage: go all in

Interesting blog post (I did not write, click on the link and give mamaeve a view(
http://www.mamaeve.com/marriage-relationships/5-relationship-lessons-and-1-motto-that-saved-my-marriage/

5. It doesn’t have to feel right all the time to be right.
This I learned from watching my boys, who will yell at each other and fight with each other but still love each other with a fierceness and a loyalty like I’ve never seen. Papa Eve and I are still going to annoy the living daylights out of each other. There are times when his indecisiveness is going to drive me batty and there are times when my inability to step back and relax will make him pull his hair out. We are going to hate each other and wonder why we are together almost as many times as we know we love each other and think there is no one more perfect in the world to spend our lives with. But in spite of this, it’s right, and we know it . . . because if it were wrong, we wouldn’t have brought it back together and made it work.

And so from all of this is came the motto for our marriage: Go Big or Go Home. We could’ve pulled the plug, and it was many more times than once in this journey I wanted to. I didn’t want to be in a half-ass relationship where we stuck around for the sake of the kids while our relationship and the lights that burn inside us slowly died. If we’re in it, we’re in it for the ages. We’re going to have one of those amazing love stories, or we’re not going to have one at all.

So this is where we are . . . all our chips on the table, trying to take my own advice, and jumping all the way in.

A stanza from a poem I wrote as a teen

I once wrote a poem while in high school… Actually I was very prolific in high school… The only part of this poem I remember is

My heart cries out in sorrow
My soul is weighed down by grief
At earning deep inside lies fallow
And from the pain there is no release….

This poem was written talking about my lack of a love life… However my adult reflections make me think about the failings of society…

20120216-181444.jpg

Valentine’s baby!

Taken from thewholenetwork.org facebook page valentine intactivist photo contest.
20120208-192534.jpg

Whether a patents chooses circumcision/genital cutting surgery or not most parents love their children.
The message that you need to take from this is love your child unconditionally. Obviously, if your child needs heart surgery, cleft palate surgery or has other medical needs then get them fixed. …. However, the foreskin is not a birth defect. Most of the world does not cut infants. All mammals have foreskins. Why are american humans the only ones who need most baby boys to be surgically altered upon arrival???? Answer: social brainwashing… Tradition… Get this…The American custom of genital cutting is only around 100 yrs old…

the history of circumcision: http://www.historyofcircumcision.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=category&sectionid=8&id=73

rough/general chronology of circumcision: http://www.historyofcircumcision.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=54#top

20120211-211956.jpg

20120211-212000.jpg

20120211-212009.jpg

20120211-212014.jpg

20120211-212018.jpg

20120211-212021.jpg

20120211-212025.jpg

Paradigm shift: changing views on circumcision

Excerpt:

paradigm shift: http://wholesome-mama.blogspot.com/2012/02/paradigm-shift-my-journey-from-pro.html

What is interesting to me is the taboo surrounding the subject. Why are people so afraid to talk about it or to question it? Is it for fear of being judged? Or is it because we are afraid of the truth? Perhaps it is just hard for our species to accept that something we have been doing for decades has now been disproven to have medical benefits and has robbed millions of babies, and thus men, of one of the most sensitive parts of their bodies, without their consent.

The emotions that rose up in me on the day I watched that circumcision video were no different than the emotions I remember feeling as a teenager when I was watching a documentary film in which girls were having their genitals mutilated in Africa. I never, at that time, even considered that what we do to baby boys in our country might be just as violating and horrific. Now, I know that ethically, it is no different, but because of social custom, we often don’t view it that way.

“Being Ignorant is not so much of a shame as being unwilling to learn” ~Benjamin Franklin

What is really boils down to is this; it is not about who is right, but rather what is right. It is not about who’s a ‘good parent’ or a ‘bad parent’ based on whether or not you circumcised your son(s). We really need to get past these judgments, so that we can see circumcision for what it really is.

20120206-101033.jpg

Sigh

My darling children
My heart made flesh
Outside of myself
I’m sorry that I lack the self control to control my angry words
I’m trying, I’m trying, I’m sorry, I’m sorry
My heart, my sons, my guilt and regret in the wake of my anger swamp and drown me.
I cannot breathe.
You trust me.
You love me.
You forgive.
I cannot forgive myself.
Until I am the mother I long to be.
Until I can respect the mother I am.
I will not forgive myself.
I cannot forgive myself.
I need to do better, be better.

Oh God! I don’t know how. My heart, my tears, my agony…. May my agony stop with myself. May I not pass my burden onto my children. May they grow up unscathed.
My sons, my heart made flesh outside of myself. I love you. I’m trying. I’m sorry.

Guggie Daly: be gentle

Remember most parents truly love and adore their kids even if they make choices you may disagree with. So be gentle.
Excerpts from guggie daly blog.

http://guggiedaly.blogspot.com/2011/08/gentle-reminder-when-discussing.html?m=1

A Gentle Reminder When Discussing Circumcision
Surely it would be wise for us to remember that perhaps the parents you meet online who consented to circumcision on behalf of their children did not realize fully what circumcision was or what it would do to their sons. Some might have even been coerced into it, or had their sons taken away without notice.

If these parents are honestly reading any links you posted or thinking about your reasoning, it would be a good time to support them in their journey as they begin to realize the horror of what they cooperated in, the grief crashing down upon them, and finally the betrayal and guilt of being swept into this culture of hurting babies.

http://guggiedaly.blogspot.com/2011/08/how-many-babies-must-die-from.html?m=1

Routine circumcision is the act of taking a healthy, living, functioning baby and performing surgery without medical indication: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXVFFI76ff0

The baby is not sick. The baby does not have a congenital defect. But a part of the body is removed through surgery. And some of these babies die.

In other words, all of those 100-200 deaths were 100% preventable. Every single one of those babies should be alive today. As I’ve quipped before:

“Nothing in life is 100% safe, but medically unnecessary circumcision is 100% preventable.”

These musings led me to post a status on Facebook:

It’s interesting how people are so quick to dismiss the 100s of babies who die from forced circumcision annually as a “minute number.” Meanwhile in our society, even the hint of a death is enough to recall toys, 30 deaths is enough to recall every single crib ever made, 14* deaths resulted in an entire industry change for babywearing and 77* choking deaths resulted in the AAP asking to change hotdog shapes. But death by circumcision doesn’t count?

I wanted to contrast our society’s behavior towards infant deaths caused by other industrial products compared to our behavior towards infant deaths caused by circumcision.

20110831-071243.jpg

Mama, I want

An aspect of parenthood is self-sacrifice. I give up a lot of my time, my dinner plate and my TV preferences to my sons. I also tend to give up a lot of quality and quantity time with my hubby. However, last night was my hubby’s test of self-sacrifice. Last night, I had a girl’s night out with my mommy friends. We went out for sushi, wine and then to the movie theater to watch “The Hangover part II.” Good movie by the way. I’m a bit traumatized from the viewing but otherwise thoroughly enjoyed it.

My dinner with friends started at around 6:30pm at a Sushi Thai restaurant. Afterwards at around 8:16pm we made our way to the theater for the 8:40 movie. I text my hubby to make sure he’s ok. He calls me back within 5 mins to tell me….. ” The kids are ok, they aren’t hurt, they are fine….. but we are  driving back home now from the medical urgent care…..”

Turns out that at around 6:38pm he was trying to open a package with a switch blade and ended up stabbing his forefinger on his left hand. It wouldn’t stop bleeding so he grabbed both boys, tossed them in the car and went to the urgent care by himself with the kids. When I asked him why didn’t he call me he said “cause I respect girl’s night out and I couldn’t do that to you.'”

oh, my darling husband practically chops his finger off and instead of enlisting my help takes the boys to the urgent care by himself…… his bleeding self….

The boys had fun. They practiced fighting methods, drumming, and other methods of mayhem while in the waiting room and the “service” room. moreover, they were both a sleep when I got home at 12am.

My hubby is great! …. if a little misguided….

The Joys of parenting:

“Mama, I want my penis to go down (get smaller)” says my oldest, {He’s been tugging on it and fiddling with it since he got up 3 hrs ago…. he decided he didn’t want to replace his pants after he got up}

My reply was the obvious “well sweetie, if you stop touching it, it will.”

Ahhh, parenthood!

Angel and a Devil

Ever see yourself, watch yourself as you act in anger? Try to tell yourself to go cool off while telling yourself to go fuck off? As a mom I watch myself. In the back of my head I keep my family and friends’ judgements of me and my children. I constantly feel under attack. So I attack and react with guilt. My oldest acts spoiled and whinnying so I crack down hard on his behavior. I spank or yell or both. I shouldn’t. Afterwards, I’m broken. I’m weak and torn. I apologize.
I love to see my children smile. My oldest loves dinosaurs. We went onto a children’s consignment shop and he saw one so I got it. He doesn’t need a new toy but I still got it plus 2 Dino books. I’m sucker for obsessions.
I feel guilty because I should show more restraint and teach him to appreciate what he has….
He only behaving as I have taught him through modeling or lessons. He is the child. I am the adult. I should behave if I expect him too.
God, please help me! Please help me!

Marriage

I did not write this. A friend posted it on Facebook. I don’t know who wrote this.

MARRIAGE

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly.

She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.

She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day.

She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. . She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outsidethe door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.

On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it’s time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy.

I drove to office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind…I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.

Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed – dead.

My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push thru with the divorce.– At least, in the eyes of our son— I’m a loving husband….

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!

If you don’t share this, nothing will happen to you.

If you do, you just might save a marriage.

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.