I came across this video the day before yesterday.
It arrested me in a moment -- which, aside from moments with the kids, is hard to do these days. It made me think ahead to an article I'm writing on how my relationship to feminism has evolved through motherhood and how that article needs to begin with a poem. Mostly, it made me think about my birthing days with Jakaya and Mateo. How those stories have evolved since my first telling of them here on this blog.
I couldn't take birth lying down, not in a tub, not on a bed. I knelt, upright, to push my babies out and recall the sensation of their heads descending with a clarity I pray I never lose. I am lucky to be reminded of that sensation, to feel it every time I'm blessed to be with a birthing mother. I will fight to remember, always, every moment of my sons' births. And I know that makes me lucky. There are legions of women who fight to forget.
I read recently that, by percentage, more women suffer PTSD from birthing their babies than warriors returning from combat. That sickens me. It is part of why I choose to do the work I do. I cannot...I will not take that kind of horrendous statistic lying down.
If you've been reading this blog for a long time, you'll know that I've been struggling with my weight. On the one hand, struggling to accept myself -- no matter the size! and, on the other, working hard to lose the weight I put on between two pregnancies and the bipolar medication I'm on.
Today, I'm pleased to say that I've returned to my pre-pregnancy weight. The change was so dramatic that even Gus, the owner of the Kalamata Grocery downstairs from our place, asked me what I did. I attribute the weight-loss to my dear friend +Laurinda who clued me into the wonders of Paleo Living. I hesitate to call it the Paleo Diet, because, really, Paleo is more of a life-style than a simple way of eating. When it comes to food, if you're able to hunt it, catch it, or forage it, you can eat it. This means: meat, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds are in. Grains, dairy, white potatoes (long story and much debate about the potatoes) and sugar are out.
The transition was simple, and much helped by Danielle Sanfilippo's book, Practical Paleo. Basically anywhere we used to eat a grain, now we eat a vegetable: Cauli-rice and faux-tatoes made from cauliflower; spaghetti squash, zuccanoodles and cabbage-noodles in place of pasta. It's simple and so delicious. When craving treats, we turn to items easily made with almond flour (and The Urban Poser's chocolate chip cookies and pancakes!).
Now, we are by no means paleo-perfect. We don't exercise (yet) and we cheat on a fairly regular basis, but we're doing really well and I have never felt healthier -- my mystery abdominal issues have disappeared since going paleo (except when I cheat big). Here are Stephen and I at his surprise party in November. Yay for fitting into my pretty dresses again!
Also, I had to include the totally not-paleo cake because Cakeworks did such and amazing job with it. Right on down to the Starbucks label on the coffee cup.
Usually I begin the year with a blog post of resolutions. Some of them I keep, others I discard throughout the year. I thought about doing the same this year, but then thought again. Instead, for my birthday, I'm going to get together with some wonderful women and have an intention party. Basically, everyone will leave with a board or journal full of intentions for the year. I'll post pictures here after it happens.
That said, I am going to do better with the blog. What's the point of having one if I'm not using it?
I love Hallowe'en, as you can read about here and here.
Well, it's time for this year's Hallowe'en post and the first time Stephen and I were responsible for two costumes! Thanks to the influence of our dear friend Stacey, we decided to embrace a medieval theme and also thought that handknit costumes would be the way to go, given our climate. So, Jakaya dressed up as a knight and Mateo as a court jester.
Originally I bought red yarn for Jakaya's tunic. When I showed it to him, he replied, "No, mama. No. Jakaya purple knight. Knight purple." And, so, purple he is!
In the past, I have been a pretty quick knitter, but with a busy almost-nine-month-old, my eyes were definitely bigger than my abilities, so my dear friend, Karen, bailed me out by knitting Jakaya's Knight's Tunic. And Mateo's Jester Jacket? Well, it became a vest. Also, his hat is a little too small (even though it was the 12-18month size. Sigh). All that aside, I'm pretty pleased with the results.
I will finish off Mateo's jacket and do a proper daylight photo shoot with the kids, so you can see all the beautiful detail Karen put into Jakaya's tunic. But, for now, here is how the kids looked as we celebrated Hallowe'en last night:
Jakaya loved everything about Trick-or-Treating. He was so pleased with the Jack-o-lantern bag that Gido and Tata bought for him. Holding hands with Halto Amira, he went to each door and yelled "TRICK-OR-TREAT" with the rest of the kids, without being prompted said thank you when items were put into his bag and as he was walking away from each house, he said, "Another one!". We went until he asked to be carried -- about ten houses all told. And he got to keep all the loot he was not allergic to, thank goodness for folks who hand out playdough!
Mateo pretty much slept through his first Hallowe'en.
I can't wait until next year when Jakaya will be showing Mateo the ropes. We're starting to brainstorm for costumes as of now. I'm thinking something along these lines with or without the tutu. Let the nerdom reign! It will be up to the kids :).