Sunday, January 29, 2012

A closet in order

You all know I like order. Not only that, I find creating order therapeutic. Further than that, I find getting rid of things lightens my soul. Why pay a therapist when I can sort through my closet for things I haven't worn in a year and make a Goodwill run?
Yet it seems I am always in a vicious circle. Clear closets. Take 7 bags to the care and share table at my MOPS group, or to a thrift store. Then, stop in and find a cute sweater I can't resist. (then there are hand me downs for kids,too)
It's harder now that I've gotten in shape. I'm now at a size I can be happy at indefinitely (4, for those curious but too polite to ask). When I buy an item of clothing, it will fir for the long haul, not just til I lose another 15 pounds. So I should stop buying, right? Between Christmas and this past week, I kind of went nuts rewarding myself for my progress ( better than eating a cake and LOSING my progress, right?) . I got an Easter dress, which none of my bras fit under. I got pants . I got sweaters. I have enough jeans to last a week (even though I only wear them once before watching, enough pants for another week, enough BLACK sweaters for a week, enough other sweaters for another week... you get the picture. If I wore all the shoes I own into the ground, they might last until all I need is slippers for shuffling round the nursing home. The last thing I got was a tiny denim miniskirt. Hey, it was $3, and I can TOTALLY ROCK IT. I have NO IDEA where I will wear it, even with thick leggings. So now, I must be done until shorts weather, when I will gleefully discard all the shorts that don't fit and hear to the thrift store. And but a NEW swimsuit...not just new to me. Except, ComicCon is coming up,and my costume really needs a swirly black cape-that doesn't count, does it?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Three things the power outage reminded me of

Number One: I hate being too broke to have mobile web. Having a netbook that I could take down to Starbucks is nice, yes; but it's not a smart phone. I don't think there's any thing that money can buy that I want more. When our life situation is such that I return to full time paid work, that will be my NUMBER ONE PRIORITY. My phone will do EVERYTHING phones can do at that point in time no matter what percentage of my paycheck it takes.
Number Two: This is why I don't go camping. I really don't believe my husband when he says that if I CHOOSE to go without hot running water, heat, light, a working oven and WI-FI for a couple of days it will be " fun". Having those things is fun, not having them is not-fun.
Number Three : A successful marriage is not really about the romance. Sure, flowers and jewelry are nice if you're into that (I'm not, personally) and I DO like a dinner out, but that's just the sprinkles. It's not even the icing. Real love, real success, lies int he ability for you and your spouse to dig wet firewood out from under a snow bank because you have no heat, clean up the dead fallen branches together, and break up ice and shovel the walk and driveway as a team. If you can't find the romance and happy in that, not only may you be with the wrong person, but it's very likely you won't be happy with anyone.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Snowpocalypse reading

I never seem to have enough time to read, but with us being mid-snowpocalypse, I'm letting my kids roam the snowy neighbourhood whilst I catch up on reading.

I love reading about human evolution, and have read two good books on the subject lately. In The Artificial Ape , Timothy Taylor looks at the ways technology have influenced human evolution. I first became interested when I read a review mentioning that he posits the baby sling as an important impetus in our evolution, and Taylor does not disappoint in that area. I'm currently reading The Origin of our Species by Chris Stringer. This book is scholarly but accessible, and for a book about evolution by a British author, refreshingly free of religion-bashing.

However, with a house full of noisy kids, it can be hard to concentrate on scholarly works so I've been interspersing a fair number of graphic novels. I recently finished DC's Blackest Night series, which is probably the best comic series I have read in...ever. Whilst focusing on the Lantern Corps, it also gives great insight into the psychology of various Justice League characters in the face of resurrected loved ones. I've also read several of Marvel's  Ender's Game imprint  ; (Battle School  and War of Gifts ) . I believe any  Orson Scott Card fan would find them enjoyable.
I've also recently read Stephen King's newest,     Like most of King's work, I couldn't put it down.It's well researched, and I think may appeal to history buffs who are not fans of King's work. Interesting aside- I was interested to learn in the afterword that novelist  Joe Hill    is King's son. While not surprised, I can see why Hill chose to use a different last name until he had established himself.

What's next on my reading list? I have a few collections with stories by Charlaine Harris on hold at the library; in addition to the books I got for Christmas, there are a few books I got for kids that I want to read. Then, and only then, I will let myself put some more SCIENCE! on hold. My reading list for the next month or so looks like this:
Chicks Dig Timelords
Serenity, Better Days, Volume 2
Sirens to Gotham city (series)
War of the Green Lanterns
African Exodus
African Genesis
The Dawn Warriors
In Search of the Neanderthals
Neanderthal Burials
The Biology of Morals Systems
Homo Britannicus

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Breastfeeding in public: the ongoing Saga

     When my children were little, I sought out books for them with images of breastfeeding babies.
When they were at the picture book stage, and had younger siblings who nursed or were nursing toddlers themselves, I favoured books like A Teeny Tiny Baby by Amy-Schwartz and Happy Birth Day by Robie Harris over books with pictures of bottle feeding. One of my favourite Christmas books, The Story Christmas Jane Ray , features two paintings of Mary nursing the Christ Child, and is one I still share with my little ones at work.
     During this stage in my childrens' lives, I was of course nursing them everywhere- Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, work, church services, even in a sling cooking or while pushing a cart down the aisles of Fred Meyer. I only once, in all 8 years or public breastfeeding, had someone say something negative to me (unless you count the time that woman at a Starbucks read me the riot act for caffienating my kid's boob-juice-but she had no problem with me nursing).
     I knew, and know, that public breastfeeding is still controversial. There have been nurse ins with the past month, and just last week a campaign to bring breastfeeding back to Sesame Street. Yet I was still shocked when this past week artist Dave Dorman raised objections on his blog about the cover art  on Fiona Staple's upcoming comic Saga. Dorman, whose C.V. includes illustrations for Heavy Metal , objected to this image in which the female protagonist is breastfeeding her infant. Dorman originally raised objections based on the fact that he mistakenly thought Saga was intended for children. It's not, but that is beside the point. In the year 2012, breastfeeding an infant should not be seen as something done for "shock value". You can read Ms Staples response here  .) Dorman seems unable to separate the dual purposes of breasts. Yes, breasts are sexual and are often used in foreplay. So are hands. So are mouths. Yet we don't feel compelled to shop vegetables or eat dinner behind closed doors. Dorman needs to internalise this, especially as he's raising a son now 7. In discussing this controversy with the DM, I asked the (mostly rhetorical ) question, "What is he teaching his son about women?" The DM had an answer anyway, which was, "You don't think misogynists spring fully formed from the ground, do you? They're taught by their fathers, uncles and brothers."
     I don't know Dave Dorman, I don't know what values he's passing on to his son, but I can guess from his outrage that he wants you to "think of the children". So do I- which is why I will be purchasing Saga, sharing it with my teenage children, and making sure to support images of public breast feeding whenever I can.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My medical issues (with TMI)

I want tp preface this by saying that I have been seeking medical help. I don't want anyone to think I'm looking to the internet for medical advice instead of seeing a doctor.
For a few months I have had some intermittent constipation with localised discomfort. The severity is very much tied to my cycles. Brian is sure it's due to me going paleo, but I eat HUGE amounts of veg and salad, and I can just feel something, in the same spot. Not like a lump but SOMETHING. Even when I am not in discomfort, if I do belly rolls I can feel it. I HATE HATE HATE doctors and any procedure more invasive than a tooth cleaning causes near paralysing fear in me. I have not has a check up in 4 years; I wouldn't get them for free unless I feared ( as I do now) that I have something going on with my body that left unchecked might kill me. A wierd side note- rather than making it worse, exercise makes the pain almost disappear.
I went to my doctor Dec 27th. Nothing seemed out of place; she found no palpable masses, no health issues at all. No tenderness. She did a blood test for kidney, liver and thyroid function. BTW, blood draws for me are a two person job- one to draw the blood,the other to squeeze my hand and remind me to breathe. Yes, I actually DID stop breathing during my blood draw, and have fainted in the past from them. 
Understand, I had all of my kids drug free, not from any hippy naturalness but because I TRULY find 25 hours of unmedicated back labour less daunting than being pricked by a needle. That combination tells you I must be in a lot of pain, and worrisome pain, to be pursuing this medically.
Last week, abdominal ultrasound. Every thing is normal, but I am able to pinpoint the source of my pain as the spleen. I now call them spleen attacks. Yesterday was the last day of my period ( which lasted too long, let me tell you. Since Sunday evening I have been in my most severe pain yet, spending what time I could doubled over and barely able to eat. (I know, because I would have myself a few years ago, that some of you are thinking, "Not able to eat? I'd like that problem!" The reality? Not so much, and at 5'1, 123 pounds, I don't have a lot of not eating wiggle room)

So I finally got a visit with a gastroenterologist set up, which took ALL FREAKING AFTERNOON. And the appointment is in FEBRUARY. I dread the thought of menstruating again with this unchecked. A friend has brought up endometreosis, which I mentioned again in yet ANOTHER voicemail left with my doctor. In the meantime, internet- any thoughts?