Tuesday, January 31, 2012

an alarm of repetition

i cannot even begin to-

or end. or endings.

every day is farmhand and farming.
every day is movement before waking
the moon's shadows hung still
underneath your eyes.

every day is backbreaking labor
blister sun-footed stamp on the 
sides and neck
angry red footprints on your face.

the loam you run between finger and thumb
settles it's grave in your eye.
i train my spirit to circle you.
i busy myself planting.

every day is stumble footed faith.
i believe something else exists.
something beyond this.
i whisper this for you

because you do not.

dark stranger, weary farmer.
every day, an alarm of repetition.
again, the nothing and the subtractions
making rows in the corn.

all along the edges of land
you till a strange and weary beast.
i am yours through winter and starvation,
at least. 

and for the beautiful in the horror, they call and repeat:
i am yours through these days, at least, at least, at least.

maggie may ethridge

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I've Got A Crush On: Diane Keaton

Seeing Diane Keaton in a T.V. ad, Lola said I love her! She's one of my favorite actresses. I love her joyfulness. She's quirky and smart and funny and sweet. She's so awesome!

{ Maybe I need to do a Crush On: Lola Moon }

Mrs. Keaton will always be Annie Hall from movies in parenthesis to many of us, but she is such a force of personality and character that nothing overshadows her. I love her with Woody, Steve Martin and Jack Nicholson, but by herself or with a cast of women she is no less charming, interesting and wonderful to observe.  I'd like to read her memoir  Then Again
to learn more about this marvelous creature.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Gods Of Blogging Are Very Dissapointed With You

It has been brought to my attention
(which is extremely limited, like a small, harried housemouse)
that many of you are unable to, after many attempts of strange
word combinations that you fear ( OK, I fear ) might actually
be code for some government conspiracy to control our minds
like abbaisgoodmusic or eatnabiscoproducts
have still been completely and absolutely and abject failure
at commenting on Flux Capacitor.
So sorry for your bad fortune.
It is my delight and your great good fortune
that I can tell you
when FC gets a remodel in February
the Gods Of Blogging will be ensuring
that you are no longer a total failure at commenting!!
With this reassuring pat on your kind but inefficent shoulders,
you can now breathe a great sigh of relief,
in addition to telling your Mother you have finally
done something right.
Or almost. In February, you will.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

One Night In November

Monday, January 23, 2012

Downsized: A Photo-Memory of the First Week Move-In

Ever played with Lola and the new friends outside. She's yelling at the dogs here. Maybe she's yelling " Hey, don't poop there, we have a Homeowner's Association that will, within one week of us moving in, call and 'report' that we did not clean up our dog poop, even though we TOTALLY DID EVERY TIME, and Mom can prove it if you want to see the bags of crap!!! "

My baby.

What is cuter than a squatting one year old?

Lola is nine and more radiant every day. Also VERY SASSY. And talkative.

"What? I just learned how to walk."

Moving in a new, smaller place is really, really, really busy. Doing it with a sick baby is... laundry that desperately needs to be done but doesn't get done.

The dogs were surprisingly cool with it all. I read up on how to handle it with them and followed instructions and they've done really well.

Stuff. Everywhere.

More everywhere. More stuff.

Smile, Ever!

Ever ate it at my work. Her poor noggin.

Skinny jeaned baby bossing two oversized mutts.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

People In Your Neighborhood: Sassafrass & PunditMom

take a seat and read!
Sassafrass- besides having an awesome name!- is run by Jessica, and it's full of shoe obsession, funny stories, and some touching revelations, like this post about her Grandmother's gifts left behind after her death.

PunditMom is a political site for women with easy to read political gab, opinion and facts. Pundit also has a book out called Mothers Of Intention , and is gathering a ' Mom Vote ' tutorial with all the information you need to know for the vote.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

For Everything, A Place & Everything In Its Place: Downsized and Organized

Since we've moved, I'm happily obsessed with re-decorating our home into a beautiful machine of organizational aesthetic.  The kitchen wall shelving above is exactly what I hope to duplicate in my own ( all white! ) new kitchen.

We don't own this many cups or bowls!
Adding plants and photos all over
I"m using a lot of gold frames, stacks of books and magazines, and careful tabletop arranging

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ever Everything

Time is that it was not long ago I held you as an infant, but it feels so long ago to think of you without teeth, without words, without your strut. I am incoherently, passionately and devotedly yours, in love with you from the smallest particle of your body to the intangible of your soul. I sleep with your body next to mine, often pressed between my breasts, feet tucked in the hollow of my thighs. You breath quick little breaths randomly, in some dream. You nurse possessively, one hand milking the cow, the other across the unused breast. My chest is riddled with the chicken scratches of your pinching. You are at work with me, in the car with me, in bed with me, in the bath. You and I are still coming apart, a process began at your birth. I would chop off my arms and legs to save your life. I would clean the bathroom every weekend and fold laundry every day to make your home. I do my best and when it does not feel good enough, I fumble and cry and fight until I find a way to do better. I think you are the smartest, funniest, cutest, most interesting, sweetest and best baby there ever was. These are the things about you in  your 13th month of life:

You walk like George Jefferson, with your arms at your side, hands cocked backward, fingers curled up, and a strut in your legs. I often hum the Jefferson's theme song when you are toddling around. Sometimes we say Oh here comes Mr. Jefferson! when you peacock in a room. Man, you've got swagger.

You sign for 'more', for 'all done' and for tootsies (nursing). Your sign for tootsies is THE CUTEST THING EVER. You pat your little chest with both of your hands. That's it. But it breaks my heart in the best way.

You say these words: Momma, Dadda, Lola, Dakota, Ian (you try!),Ever, woof woof, tootsies (nursing), all done, and good girl.

You began saying 'good girl' every time we buckled you in your carseat, and I realized it was because you always hold up the buckle for us to pop the clasp into, and we always say 'good girl!' in a certain intonation, so you began telling yourself so. Now you say 'good girl' in that same intonation whenever you are doing something you think is good, or when you are doing something you know is bad. It cracks me up.

You eat avocado, tomato, veggie sticks, chicken, fish, soft carrots, yogurt and bananas. You prefer boobs.

You adore your sister like no other at the moment. You scored the big sister lottery with Lola. She is only a small notch below my devotion to you.  When we pick you up from school every day, you yell 'Looooola' the whole way there, and when you see her running down the hill, you laugh out loud in delight. You hug her with both arms around her neck and your face pressed into hers. You follow her everywhere, and she looks for  you to be following. She carries you and sits you on her lap. She shares everything with you, even things she swore she wasn't going to. She lets you drag her American Girl dolls by their hair out of there carefully made beds on the floor, and poke at their fake eyelashes. She calls you 'Kinny'. She is the one, the only one, who could get you over your fear of our new bathtub in the new condo. Finally one night you sat on her lap in the tub and laughed and let me wash you without crying. She now asks to bathe you every night. She asks to sleep next to you, and when a friend sat next to you in the car over the weekend, she almost had a little fit- VERY unlike Lola. She sings to you, she dresses you, she makes you laugh when you are crying, sometimes she makes you cry because you are happy playing and she picks you up. She feeds you, she shares every treat with you, she spends more time playing with you than her toys or her friends. 

You DO have two different color eyes, to answer the question we get everywhere we go, after they exclaim ' Oh what beautiful eyes! ' One eye is blue, like Momma, and one eye is hazel, like Daddy.

Lola and I have two songs we sing to you all the time. One is the song Oh Christmas Tree, but with the words Oh Everkins. We even do the high voice part. Every time. The other is the classic Asian tune that we sing ' kinny kin kin kin kin kin ' We also sing ' My kinny went over the ocean / my kinny went over the sea / my kinny went over the ocean / oh bring back my kinny to me ' ... you get the idea. We sing all of these daily. Very daily.

You just found your vagina today. Congratulations! As Sarah Silverman would say, ' your pussy is magic. ' And now you know your mother has a sailor mouth and a dirty sense of humor. 
Lola decided at age 3 that our vaginas are called 'niney' and our butts are called 'buttina' and a gross smelling fart is a 'sewer smoothie'. So yeah. 

Your ears smell DELICIOUS. Lola calls earwax ' wax sacks '.  You can see what you are up against in this family.

Your dirty feet smell DELICIOUS. You think it's hilarious when I sniff them and shriek 'ewwwww'

You boss our gigantic dogs around.  You aren't as tall as them, but you push them out of the way, or pet them, depending. It's really cute. They lick your face and sometimes accidentally knock you over with their big fat butts.

You just cried a little sobby cry in your sleep right now. Sniff.

In case you missed it, Momma loves you. Momma loves you. Momma loves you.

Monday, January 16, 2012

People In Your Neighborhood: The Happiest Mom & Mamapundit

pull up a chair and read

The Happiest Mom reads more like a magazine than a blog to me- I love the organization and options! This post on cleaning actually did motivate me to clean, which is a rare and fantastical quality, like unicorn bunions- AND it gave me a mundane but helpful tip from the comments: if you have a pan that is horribly hard to clean, fill it with water and bring to a boil. Whala!

Mamapundit is brimming with the hilarious exploits of Danger Baby as well as socially and politically charged essays from Kate Granju, the Babble blogger, mother and activist for drug addicted teens.  

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Good Enough Mother

When people talk about young, single mothers, I think something along the lines of ' I do not think that word means what you think it means '; the hot button words attached to young single motherhood are adjectives like stressed, exhausted, overwhelmed and immature. I had my son Dakota at 20 years old- unmarried, unattached, and completely unplanned- but my experience ( outside of the first, colicky months ) was one of complete and total rightness. A depth of competence, creativity, patience, love and selflessness that I never knew I possessed was born in me, and I saw our journey together as almost romantic: the two of us began Friday Family Night ( which carries over to this very day with our much expanded family ) took long walks together, had private, inside jokes, visited Borders no less than four times a week for hours at a time, worked through his fits, temper, fears, and talked endlessly about Pokemon, ninjas, night creatures, magnets and skateboarding. I delved into his interests with him, exposed him to film, music and culture that coincided with his interests, bought and read endless books, came up with fun projects for us to do. I made sure that every day held time- at least a half hour of 'floor time' as my mom suggested- that I focused on just him: no chores, no phone, just child led play. And he thrived. He was one of the best behaved, most interesting, thoughtful, charming and wonderful little person any mother could ever hope to love. 

Three children and a husband later, I look back on those years with great joy and pride, and some consternation. I am not the mother to these children that I was to that one little boy.  As a single mother, I devoted myself to two things: Dakota and my writing. I worked part-time, went to school at night, and kept Dakota with me at work until Kindergarten. As a mother of four, I am a wife in a marriage that at times has been very hard work, but even when our marriage is wonderful and easy for long stretches of time, it is still something that requires- of course- my attention, my devotions, my energy. I am a writer, a serious and life long goal I am also devoted to. I am a full time employee, and take Ever to work with me every day. I also have a larger home to attend to than the days of a one bedroom apartment, and two dogs, and four different children with different interests, personalities, needs and desires. And of course, the largest, most significant change as far as my energies- both spiritual and physical- go, is the addition of Ever. A baby- especially perhaps a baby who is nursing and co-sleeping- is a never ending well of need. I don't sleep through the night- ever. When Ever is teething or sick, I get woken up as many as five or six times a night. I'm exhausted. That's one thing.

I thought I understood when mothers said ' by the time you have your second child, you don't change the baby every hour ' or ' you let them eat off the floor if they're quiet '... but I didn't understand the deeper implications behind these jokes- the trade offs that you make in your ability to mother in order to have a bigger family. Or I need to say: the trade offs that I make. Another person- one who doesn't struggle with anxiety, like I do, or one with a marriage that hasn't had real rough patches, or one who doesn't struggle with endometriosis and hypothyroidism and their related issues like fatigue and migrane- perhaps that person could continue being constantly calm and thoughtful in the face of the most irritating stages of childhood, or coming up with creative solutions to problems like whining, or spending 'special time' ( as we call it ) with each child individually, daily, or continually ensuring their cultural enrichment- but I can't. I work as hard as I possibly can- I really, really do- to be the best me that I can be for my children, but really... she's still not as great as the old me. 

I believe that to this day- Dakota is seventeen now- he holds a small, hurt spot in his heart because I married Mr. Curry and had more babies. He's told me You weren't the same after that, Mom, and the tone of his voice and look on his face is what made me pause to think about all this at all.  Then I wonder if perhaps, that kind of devotion and focus has it's price, as well. Anne of Green Gables didn't suffer for it- but she was pretend. A made up idea of an only child. I suppose it's pointless speculation, but I'm constantly wondering now how being just good enough is affecting my children.
Our society doesn't allow for good enough, not really- with all the studies and articles and discussions constantly bombarding us with how what we were doing last night at dinnertime is going to put our kids on the therapist couch ten years from now, how we are helicoptor moms or neglectful, how we overstimulate or under challenge- it never ends.

The trade offs of a larger family unit are clear- the expanded ability to foster intimate relationships with various personalities, the shared secrets, joys, failures, the 'always have your back' of siblings, the packness that children enjoy together, the mentoring of the older ones to the littles, more love! Still, the other mother I used to be would be horrified to know though that last weekend Lola stayed up to 2am watching T.V. because I fell asleep with Ever and didn't put her to bed, or that she eats a school lunch every Friday instead of home made, or that I can't remember the last time we had a huge creative mess in the house because it's just so hard with the baby around, or that I snap at the kids sometimes for things I should be calm about, or that sometimes when I'm having alone time with one of them I can't stop fantasizing about a stiff drink, a good book and silence. 

I'm always working to improve, but I think this is- for now- as good as it gets. As my Grandmother used to say, That'll have to do.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Member of A Secret Society { Wherin Breastfeeding Mothers Are Heroic and Good, and Babies are Not }

Ever Elizabeth, 1 year old.
Maggie May, 36 years older than EE.

Applicable Quote:
" Don't hate the player, hate the game "

Tools necessary for implimentation:
Milky breasts, hungry baby


Health of infant ie brain development including nervous system including emotional structure based on affected hormones 
Health of mother's breast tissue ie tissue protected from hormonal aggressors during period of breastfeeding ending in smaller possibility of breast cancer ie possible protection of ovaries
Bonding between mother and child
Emotional development of infant
Because that is the way it's done in our family

( Applicable quote from my deceased Grandmother Elizabeth:
' Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer ')

Deep abiding connection between infant and mother which delves into a primal biological satisfaction of meeting the life need of infant
Also; availability, lack of cost, portable.
Health ( see 'Reasoning' )

Availability, portability, accessibility. Destruction of all boundries during times of crisis: ie: serious teething, illness, stressors in which infant demands breast. Pressure to be totally groovy with breastfeeding at all times. Pressure to continue breastfeeding. Pressure to stop breastfeeding.  Teeth. Discovery of infant, while nursing, of other breast, with pincer like fingers; the concurrent obsession of infant with pinching, as hard as humanly possible with fingers the size and shape of small, delicate baby pig sausages, the unoccupied nipple. The further discovery of said infant of the ability ( and apparent burning desire ) to pull nursing nipple outward as far as humanly possible with miniature, razor sharp teeth until a siren like wolverine howl emerges from the mother, followed by an unceremonious dumping of said infant onto floor with a stern admonishment, followed by infant not giving a shit.

Applicable Quote:
' Why does mom drink so much?  '

Possible Outcomes:
Deepening love
Triumph of motherly stockholdings of future guilt inducing statements: ie: ' You wrecked my tits, get your damn ass in the car, NOW! '

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Fantabulous Essay In Mamalode: ' Listen '

I'm so proud of Stacey at Anymommy Out There- she's my friend ( so proud of her for that great achievement :)- and a truly moving and funny bloggist who is pushing herself and her writing to new heights: her essay Listen has been published in Mamalode. Go Stacey!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Bank Account

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Strange Time

There are times when the fragility of life is so vivid that it lays on the surface of everywhere you look, trembling like a membrane in String Theory, waiting to be pressed, passed through, and revealed for the tiny and delicate place it truly has in the universe. 

Ever has been so sick the last few weeks, a doctor appointment ended with asthmatic complications from a chest cold, so we began her breathing treatments. When days later that worsened, we went back and were told she had a double ear infection and sinus infection, and amoxicillan was prescribed. Wednesday, Lola was holding her outside the house when she tripped on her shoelace and they fell; Lola broke the fall the best she could ( scraped her elbow and knee ) but Ever's head hit the pavement. Thursday Ever was walking with a piece of pastel chalk gripped in each hand, so that when she fell she could not brace herself, and her face and head met the concrete with a thwack. Her forehead, skin around her eye and nose bled and scabbed up. And then last night she threw up. It's the mucus, I thought, and everyone at work agreed. But when she continued to throw up, I called the nurse line, and after discussing her various symptoms, Mr. Curry and I left Lola with Dakota around midnight and headed to the ER with Ever. The parking lot was full. The ER was full of people vomiting, moaning, sitting with masks over their faces and hands over their eyes. I kept Ever's purple heart blanket over her head, praying she wouldn't pick up anything new. After waiting- but  not nearly as long as we had feared- we found that she also had a fever. The doctor wouldn't give a recommendation on the CAT scan. It could go either way, he said. But based on the fact that she has a fever, is throwing up, and the fall was X amount of hours ago, it's much more likely she's sick, isn't it? I asked. He agreed. We took her home without the CAT scan. She's lying in my arms now, recovering from an illness she's still taking medicine for, now recovering from another. She hasn't thrown up again. She's alert when awake, but sleeping, exhausted from a long night.

This season has been very rough for many. I know of three people whose children were hospitalized with pnemonia over the holiday, and an extremely stubborn and strong chest cold and stomach flu has repeatedly swept through my preschool.  

Monica of The Girl Who had just moved six months ago with her family, and their house burnt down this week.
My friend Carrie has had repeated complications from her ovarian cancer surgery, and began chemo yesterday.

The strangeness of moving, the constant lack of sleep, the constant illness of everyone in my family, missing so much work, so much  money, a house in disarray, a job that while including lots of joyful moments also includes eleven babies in one room, including my own, fussy and not feeling good girl, the kids various school demands and paperwork and meetings... I am barely me right now, barely here. 

I am here enough to be grateful. To be aware. To feel the winds blowing and taking cover and working to strengthen my spirit, my resolve, my grit.  In the car, I turn off the radio. I listen to Ever babbling and watch Lola's blonde head in the rearview. The wind and traffic rumble outside. 
"To stay with that shakiness - to stay with a broken heart, with a rumbling stomach, with the feeling of hopelessness and wanting to get revenge - that is the path of true awakening.  Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic - this is the spiritual path."
                 ~Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Downsized: Top Ten Reasons We Are Glad We Moved

10 This neighborhood has awesome landscaping. It's a very small condo complex, gated, and inside is a little wonderland of curving, interlocking sidewalks with tons of trees and grass. Our dogs now have about ten thousand places to leave their poop, and we have a lot of grocery bags we'll be using.

9 Our internet line works. So every half hour, I won't have to turn the fan on high, unplug the cords, wait thirty seconds, replug, and reboot. I predict a lot less cursing, in general.

8 Our oven works. Hello pizzas, cakes, cookies, roast duck! Goodbye Lola's Easy Bake being the closest thing to home baked we can produce.

7 Our neighbors are nice, and there are a thousand girls here for Lola to play with. OK, seven, but still- SEVEN? On the downside, every afternoon after work there are the hoofbeats of wild herds of prepubescent girls thundering up and down and up and down our stairs. 

6 We don't have to landscape. No more agonizing over the broken sprinkler system, mowing, cutting, hedging, trimming and watering. No more patchy brown grass.

5 Dakota moved back in, and said he always wanted to live here, and if he had to live anywhere in this shithole of a town, it would be here! Oh son. A ringing endorsement.

4 Our heater and air conditioner works. Less frying in the summer and freezing in the winter. 

3 DISHWASHER. Less water used, cheaper water bill, and less work. 

2 Hardwood floors all downstairs equal= our dream. On the downside, Lola has already slid Kevin Bacon style, in socks, and landed twice on her hip and elbow. On the upside: Swiffer!

1 Goodbye mice, ants, drafty windows, leaky roof, malfunctioning garage door, bathtub with a big hole in it that our landlords themselves came and 'fixed' with ( and I'm not kidding ) duct tape and a placemat. And all this for hundreds more a month!  You can't imagine how happy we are to be here. I cried leaving, because we have raised our kids there for six years. But the tears are gone. It's a New Year, baby!!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Downsized: Happy New Year!! We Moved!!!

Everkins at our old house :)

Oh MY GOSH! I miss you guys so much. I feel weird without my blogworld, like part of my brain that is plugged in here is like Um, who turned off the lights? No Facebook, no blogging, no emails, just sick me, sick husband, sick baby, and moving moving moving. We are here! We are in the state of shock called New To The Neighborhood where our stuff is still in boxes all over the house, and we collapse in bed at the end of the night completely and totally exhausted from working full time to come home to unpacking, dinner and baths and bed. I have not french kissed my husband in weeks, people. WEEKS. This is unheard of for the Currys. I don't even want to go near our sex life. In fact, we haven't!! Get it! Get it! OK, really bad joke brought on by moving psychosis. Just now as I type this post, the fire alarm went off downstairs because Mr. Curry is attempting to bake pizzas for dinner.  Who puts a fire alarm in a kitchen? We have an oven!! We haven't had an oven in two years. So Dakota is back at home, and that is awesome, he and Ian back to sharing a room (sniff) and Lola Ever Mr. Curry and myself have slept together in the master bedroom the last couple nights. The girls are sleeping much better because this house is not cold and drafty, and Ever's breathing is much better at night- I can't tell you how happy that makes me.  She's on antibiotics and a steroid and breathing treatments after getting very sick last week, and doing much better. I feel really really weird. This happens to me whenever major change occurs. I get a little dissociative. It's unsettling and unpleasant but I handle it better and better as life goes on. I can't wait to finish packing and get back to your blogs and see what is happening in your worlds. We did it!!!  xo
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