Life Family and the Pursuit of Sanity

or… adventures in infertility and babies and family drama!

How Much Is Too Much February 27, 2014

You remember a while back I was all “Ooh, mah parenting style is the suck. Must. Fix.” Well, I was. It was. Major changes were made. Major.

 

We are now an unschooling, peaceful parenting, anarchy leaning Libertarian family. For real. That means we learn, but don’t have a set curriculum. We don’t punish. At all. And, yeah, the political stuff. That’s mostly me. G is still a morality legislating right winger. We’re working on winning him over from the dark side.

 

Part of unschooling, at this age is exposing Lil G to a variety of experiences and subjects so that we can help direct his interests as he gets old enough to start career planning. Try as we might the boy has exactly one interest: the ocean, with several sub interests: Antarctica and the Arctic circle. Primarily, he’s interested in leopard seals. Orcas and sharks have their places. He can tell you a chromis from a tang from a parrot fish (those are all tropical fish, BTW, in case, like me, you have no clue what a chromis is). But, he loves. I mean loves leopard seals. A favorite game is pretending there are hundreds of “annoying penguins” hatching and he is the leopard seal that has to eat them all. Also, my three year old roots for the predators when watching Happy Feet (he also roots for Darth Vadar when watching Star Wars and Loki when watching the Avengers). So far, we’ve been rocking the Antarctic obsession for nearly two years. Pretty much since he first saw Happy Feet.

 

Recently, I was informed that he is going to get a wife when he grows up and they are going to have 3-4 children (this number changes) and he is going to move to Antarctica to “learn about leopard seals.” Daddy and I have to move with him, though, so I can help his wife “take care of all those babies.”

 

So, I did what any loving, unschooling mama would do. I took my kid to meet Paul Nicklen (he is a Nat Geo photog specializing in the poles with an affinity for leopard seals). During his presentation Mr. Nicklen mentioned that for $40k you too can swim with leopard seals. It was a joke. A. JOKE. A concept which my three year old does not get. The child is dead for real trying to save $40k in his piggy banks.

 

Obviously, we can’t take a small child to Antarctica. At least not on a swim with leopard seals expedition. Not least of all because Mommy is tropical. But also, he’s too small and would freeze to death and frankly I don’t trust the top predator of the south pole not to eat my child regardless of what “Nicklen says.” (Nicklen has been declared “cooler than Spiderman.”) But, a cruise is possible. We could probably all three do a cruise for $25k’ish. Why the hell am I even seriously considering this? I don’t have $25k for a vacation. I don’t have $25k period. If I did, we’d be a two car family.

 

But, if it’s his dream? If he wants to grow up to be the next highest regarded leopard seal expert in the world, I have to support that right? When is it too early to start?

 

Then again, he’s also pissed at polar bears for sometimes eating narwhals and wants to go to AK and “stop them from doing that.” And, AK is far more affordable.

 

I’m a crazy person, right? He’s three.

 

She Works, But Mostly From Home February 21, 2014

Filed under: Baby G,Money? What Money? — arminta @ 4:34 am

So, you may have caught from a post or two ago that I was away from home in the middle of the night (as I am right now). Not to worry, I’ve not turned to whoring it up. It’s much worse than that. I got a job. My oldest nephew asked me to come work at his hotel so he didn’t have to cover night audit anymore. And I thought “Oh cool! I can stay up two nights a week for a paycheck that doesn’t involve missing waking hours with le boy.”

 

Also, though, I am doing some work/work from home. Some people I used to work with contacted me when my non-compete was up and there is a small politically affiliated company for whom I’m doing some work.

 

Why the switch from “mommy only” to WAHM+? Honestly, it was Lil G’s perception of me. I wanted him to know that his mama is more than just cuddles and snacks and water refills. I am those things. But that’s not all. He needs to know that. Because he needs to know his wife is more. He needs to know his friends are more.

 

Also, without Ladybug terrorizing my every free minute 50 hrs a week, I was getting bored. You’d think I had enough to be getting on with, but apparently I’ll do anything to get out of doing the dishes.

 

The Stupid, It Hurts February 20, 2014

Filed under: Big C,Family — arminta @ 7:38 am

This happened yesterday, on Facebook. Because, that’s where I live, now.

 

Big C: This movie is sooo scary and could happen for real! -Feeling: Scared, Watching: Vacancy

  • Me: WHAT?!?!?!?! Who is letting you watch that?!!? Turn it off!
  • Him: Aunt Wiccan is letting me watch it. It’s fine…
  • Me: Grrr…
  • His older brother: Turn it off! That’s totally inappropriate for you, and you JUST said you were scared.
  • Aunt Wiccan: Relax… he was born desensitized. LOL He hasn’t even jumped.

 

Being an older movie, I’m gonna guess no one’s gonna get pissed at “spoilers” being posted… the plot is a couple of creepy dudes lure people to a hotel, then brutally and suspensefully murder them and record it and sell it as murder porn. Of course, our hero and heroine are the ones who finally thwart their evil plans, which means, they get a double dose of horror.

 

Big C is 10.

 

I was 27 when I saw this movie, it still haunts me. Because, as he pointed out, it could happen. It’s not a fantasy based movie like dolls coming to life, or super natural dream killers. It is crazy balls realistic.

 

Also, Big C needs someone to go pee with him at night. So, kiss my ass he’s desensitized. Also, wouldn’t a desensitized 10 year old be a bad thing? Where were the younger kids? How much of this shit did they see?

 

Yeah, this is ignorance my sister thinks is “great” for her kids. I swear to piss I’d like to smack them all. The worst part is, although I took care of this child from the time he was born until he was 7.5, I have no say. I have no voice. They are ruining my baby, but he’s not mine. I want my baby back.

 

The Fear: It Continues February 14, 2014

Filed under: Baby G,The Fear — arminta @ 5:25 am
Tags: ,

You know how I spent my whole pregnancy with Lil G terrified of a miscarriage? Then, I was scared of crazy things like his car seat sliding down the driveway into oncoming traffic? Then, I was scared that I was screwing him up?

Well, I got over that shit. It took time. It took a lot of self talk. OK, I am still a little scared of the oncoming traffic. Pet Semetary, anyone? (In case you’re unaware that is the way the book title is spelled, I didn’t forget how to spell.)

The fear du Jour is brought to us by the St. Jude’s children’s hospital commercials. Been seeing a lot of these commercials lately. Do I know it’s irrational? Sure. Does my brain care? Nope.

I just wanna go home and snuggle my boy… Oh well, couple more hours, then I’ll go home and snuggle the shit out of that kid. Then he will go a his Grandma’s, by himself, all day for the first time ever. So I can sleep. Who wants to bet the St. Jude’s fear really stems from Mama having separation anxiety?

 

Big Changes September 15, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — arminta @ 4:52 am

So, yeah, things… not so great.

 

Basically, my entire family imploded. My sister came up with the idea that my brother should watch all of her kids. Then she, he and my mother talked about it for a few days without talking to me. They made themselves believe that I would just be hunky dorey fine with 1) having my grocery money completely cut with no notice and 2) losing Ladybug. They also talked themselves into believing that Lil G would be just fine with not seeing “his sister” everyday anymore. They were wrong. Duh.

 

I, of course, was terribly hurt by all of this. As much at the fact that they all conspired together and didn’t discuss it with me, then when my sister did bring it up it was “Oh hey, did Mom tell you we all discussed this plan that totally fucks over you and your kid?” I mean, I was hurt by the decision, too, but I could have dealt with that if it weren’t handled in such a way that clearly said “You and your family are not important to us” from people who are supposed to love and care for me. Needless to say, I didn’t handle it very well. Initially I did. But then my mom kept calling and wanting to talk about it and when we talked about it I only got more hurt and angry because it was clear as a bell that all she wanted was for me to say “oh yeah, sure it’s fine, I’m not upset with you guys” so she could feel better about the situation. Yeah, that didn’t happen.

 

So, after she got me all pissed off I let loose on everybody. Then I found out that my Mom relayed everything I said to her back to my siblings. Then she tried to pretend like she wasn’t “taking sides.” Basically, my whole family turned against me and the issue became about my reaction to their betrayal. Of course, I’m crazy and nuts and blah, blah, blah. 

 

That was a month ago. I’ve seen Ladybug and Lil C twice and Big C once since then. If it weren’t for Lil G I wouldn’t be able to make it right now. 

 

Today is Ladybug’s birthday, tomorrow is Big C’s birthday. I just want to hug my babies and tell them how much I love them.

 

But, their mother has decided that hating me is more important than her children’s or my child’s best interests. In her words “they’re little, they’ll adjust to a new normal and forget about each other.”

 

Except everyday I hear “where is my sister” and “I miss my sister.”

 

Well, I hate my sister. She is a selfish, hateful bitch and I wish she was never born.

 

Completely Random Things That Make People Hate July 23, 2013

Filed under: The World at Large — arminta @ 12:16 pm
Tags: , ,

** This post is crazy long and contains quotes of offensive language. Frankly, it turned my stomach writing it, just like it turns my stomach hearing it. **

 

I’m breaking my silence to speak up on an issue that probably seems far removed from my white, SAHM existence. Let’s talk racism, shall we? The Martin investigation and Zimmerman trial has been the catalyst for a lot of talking about race in our house lately. I’m not going to comment on the case/trial itself other than this: a child is dead and that is a tragedy, no matter the reason. Even *if* he was exactly what he was feared of being (a thug, a criminal, a “bad” person) he was young and had his whole life ahead of him, and I know I am a completely different person than I was at 17 and he may have grown up to be a different person too (for better or worse). The loss of his future IS a tragedy and is horrible. At the same time, not all deaths are murder. It’s very easy to make assumptions about what Zimmerman was thinking, or what his motivations were. From the comfort of our homes, behind the anonymity of the internet it’s all well and good to be an expert on what happened or should have happened that night. But… none of us were there. We don’t know. There seems to be a massive case of polarity happening surrounding this situation (Zimmerman’s a hero for “taking another nigger off the streets” or Zimmerman’s a murderer for “gunning down a poor, innocent kid”) but, the truth is life is full of gray and none of us were there. None of us know for sure what happened or why and one life has been ended and another ruined. I won’t speculate on the verdict or facts of the case. I will only say the situation is horrendous and I wish we lived in a world where things like this simply didn’t happen. But, we don’t and they do and they aren’t always black and white. We all need to embrace a bit more gray.

 

That said… I grew up believing racism was dead. I went to an urban school and have a very unique name. Meaning? White kids were in the minority and my name bought me instant coolness with the black kids. I didn’t realize at the time, butnthis was actually another form of racism. I was one of the “ok white people” because most weren’t. My Dad was raised similarly (actually, he was raised in the projects, and the vast majority of his friends were black until they moved to a more balanced neighborhood when he was 15). I never heard racial slurs. I never heard skin color based stereotypes. Never. The first time I heard the word “nigger” I had no clue what it meant, why it was offensive or why it caused my Dad to get SO MAD. We were at a convenience store and the guy behind the counter (a friend of my Dad’s) called one of the kids we were babysitting a “little nigger.” My Dad made us put all of stuff back, yelled at his friend and we never went back to that store. It was less than a block from our house, we NEVER went back. When I say racism was not a part of my upbringing, I mean it. We weren’t like a lot of white families who had black “friends” and talked the talk in public but used racist speech at home. There was genuinely zero racism in our home. For all of my Dad’s faults, that is one thing he did right. He raised us to believe “people are people.” He truly instilled in us the importance of judging people on their actions and words.

 

Unfortunately, he didn’t warn us that although many people were like us, many more were not. He didn’t tell us that the media “line” and the actual way the media reports on race issues are completely different things. He didn’t warn us that our biracial children would be seen as different from us and we would be judged for being seen with them in public. He didn’t warn us that we would have friends who wouldn’t understand how we could believe that people were more than the color of their skin. He didn’t warn us that racism is still very much alive and well.

 

Since we were white, and no one told us any differently, we grew up believing that racism was dead. Except for the few cases of radical groups that no one really associated with much any more (KKK, Black Panthers etc…). I genuinely believed that until Big C was about 2 years old. That was the first time I heard someone comment “whore” as I walked by them carrying “my” bi-racial baby while shopping with my white husband. Since then, I’ve heard lots of comments like that. And, it’s worse when I have my sister’s three bi-racial children and my white child out together by myself. I hear “four kids, four daddy’s” and “my tax dollars at work.” Because obviously, a white woman with lots of kids, some of whom have a black father, must be on “the system.” Never mind, that I’m not and most of the kids aren’t mine. But, when faced with my family people draw assumptions from their core beliefs (white women that have children with black men are whores) rather than actually get to know us. Their loss. And the least of my worries, frankly.

 

Because, as it turns out my precious darlings are subjected to MUCH WORSE when playing in the neighborhood while visiting their dad. (Another common core belief conflict: All black dads are dead beats. My BIL has shared parenting and pays the kids daycare and buys about half of their clothes and is at every school performance/event/holiday.) Apparently, the 7-10 year old children in that neighborhood are being taught words like “Puerto Riccan nigger” and “porch monkey” and my favorite “jungle monkey” (which duh, monkey’s live in jungles! but, I think it’s supposed to be their way of combining “monkey” and “jungle bunny”). Also, they like to yell these things at Big C and Little C when they’re riding bikes. There are houses that my boys are afraid to ride past because they’ve been told that they’ll “be lynched.” They have no idea what “lynch” means, they think it’s like a wedgie. I didn’t know. Until we started talking specifically about racism I had never heard the severity of the issue. I knew they were saying “Puerto Riccan nigger” over there, but had assumed it was an isolated thing (maybe one kid’s older sister ran off with a latino guy and their parents were throwing that word around or something). But, it’s not, it’s a widespread issue coming from multiple families. Obviously, these children didn’t make these words up or decide to be racist all on their own. No one is born racist. I repeat NO ONE IS BORN RACIST! They are learning it from their parents, and the media. Scares me to death.

 

It’s not just isolated to little hooligans in a bad neighborhood, either. Recently, I was driving my oldest nephew to a doctor’s appointment (he’s 21, yes, step-nephew, but he’s been around since he was 5 or 6, so he’s ours now) when I turned on red. Apparently, there was a “no turn on red” sign. I didn’t see it. We were late and lost, babies were fussing and I wasn’t paying enough attention. But, a sheriff was paying attention to me and I got pulled over ($100 ticket, too!). My nephew was literally shaking. He was PETRIFIED. I couldn’t understand, we had nothing illegal in the car, it was a minor traffic violation, we’d get a ticket (and directions) and be on our way. Inconvenient, sure, but nothing to be scared of. I tried to talk my way out of the ticket (unsuccessfully), got directions and drove off. He was still scared and checking behind us to be sure the cop wasn’t following us. Then, when we got to his appointment without further incident he said “It sure must be nice to be a white lady, Aunt Minta.” At first, I was a little offended and pissed by that statement. The cop was only doing her job, and we gave her no reason to be rude/excessive with us, so she wasn’t. Honestly, at that time I’d never had an incident with the police that didn’t go that way. After his appointment I asked him what he meant by his little comment and he told me that he’s been pulled over three times. Twice he was drug out of the car and held while his car was searched (illegally) and he was patted down. The other time the cop actually punched him and made him sit in the cruiser while they searched his car with a drug dog. My nephew is a clean cut, well dressed, handsome kid. He drives a decent car, but not nice enough to think “drug dealer.” I asked him if he had drugs, “No.” Did he argue with the cops, “No. Definitely not the way you did. They’d have beat my ass.” Was he speeding excessively in a residential zone, “No, when the cop punched me I had just dropped Nanny off from grocery shopping and hadn’t even made it off of her block.” The fuck?

 

This terrifies me. I am frightened of my nephews being stereotyped and mistreated because of their skin. Honestly, I had no idea racism was this prevalent still. When are we going to learn that People are People? Not before my boys will be scarred by the ignorance of society, because that’s already happened. And how the fuck do I protect the littles, without their being over shielded like I was?

 

Sunday Night Chit Chat May 12, 2013

Filed under: Grown Up Slam Books — arminta @ 9:14 pm

I read a story this week that I LOVE. It’s an old Taoist story.

 

There once was a farmer that had only one horse. One day the horse ran away. The farmer’s neighbors said “Oh that’s so unlucky.”

The farmer said “Maybe.”

 

Three days later the horse came back with two others. His neighbors said “That’s so lucky.”

The farmer said “Maybe.”

 

One of the new horses threw the farmers son and broke his leg. The neighbors said “That’s so unlucky.”

The farmer said “Maybe.”

Soldiers came to conscript all able bodied men and because of his broken leg the farmer’s son was not taken. His neighbors said “That’s so lucky.”

The farmer said “Maybe.”

***

  • Reading? The Widows of Eastwick. But, I think I’m gonna give it up. It’s just not holding my attention at all. I want to read Mayim Bialik’s Beyond the Sling.
  • Listening to? The Boy slurping my water from my cup he just stole from me.
  • Watching? G is watching Step Brother’s in the living room. I’m between shows and have cancelled my Hulu Plus, so I’m gonna start Family Ties on Netflix this week. My friends are trying to get me into Doctor Who, but it’s just not taking.
  • Cooking/Baking? Eh… This has been the week of deep frying, so healthier fare is definitely in order. Plus, my lettuces are coming in.
  • Happy you accomplished this week? I accomplished nothing! I mean, we worked on addition and subtraction and I did some laundry and I made some new crochet things and I made some Mother’s Day stuff for my mom. But, I didn’t do any of the crap I was planning on doing.
  • Looking forward to next week? Leaving for vacation. That means lots of laundry and cleaning this week to prepare, but then we’ll be leaving for 10 whole days!
  • Thankful for today? Nightgowns, yoga pants, my boy
  • *Bonus Question* Do you ever gamble, play the lottery, BINGO, sweepstakes, etc… Sometimes. I like the idea of gambling, but I hate losing money. I used to try to find some kind of formula to win the Pick 3 consistently. But, you know, randomness and all of that.

***

Ok, it’s your turn!!

  • Reading?
  • Listening to?
  • Watching?
  • Cooking/Baking?
  • Happy you accomplished this week?
  • Looking forward to next week?
  • Thankful for today?
  • *Bonus Question* Do you ever gamble, play the lottery, BINGO, sweepstakes, etc…

***

OK, now head over to Carla’s and play along.

 

 
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