Thursday, May 31, 2012
I also wanted to share an article that was published last week but got lost in the shuffle before Shavuos. The New York Times published a profile on the pioneer midwife Ina May Gaskin and homebirth. She is one person I would really like to meet one day.
Lastly, check out this cutie at Central Park Zoo. We had a fun school trip on Wednesday and even ran into Y who was there with his class too.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
I had a lot of anxiety about arranging childcare. Just ask my husband who had to hear me obsess about it daily.
In the end, I was very fortunate that two former babysitters are available to watch the kids, 2 days each. They are two very capable young women who know my kids very well and whom my kids adore.
That was a huge relief for me. Still, I do feel kind of guilty not to be there when they get off the bus from school. And part of me still believes that I can take better care of them than anyone else because I am their mother. Even if that is true, though, that does not mean that someone else cannot take good care of them too.
Today was kind of a practice round. I freaked out when I saw how much material we need to know and when she gave us an assignment in the lab with very little instruction and said "go". I have not been near a microscope in about 10 years. Clearly I have a lot of work ahead of me.
The professor did let us leave early so I was home before 5, just in time for dinner and everything was under control. We will see what happens tomorrow when I walk in the door at 6 30. The fun has officially begun.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Sure if there is no "kemach" (flour ie food) there is no Torah. The physical enables us to focus on the spiritual, etc etc. It's all very nice and good but it still does not change the fact that this past week I have been preparing for the re-acceptance of the Torah in the kitchen.
Sometimes I try to listen to classes online while I cook or fold laundry. For some reason, I have not been very successful this past week. I started a shiur by Yemima Mizrachi four times and only managed to hear about 10 minutes or so each time before being interrupted. If you asked me what she spoke about, I would not be able to tell you.
My only comfort is that I have a portion in the Torah that my husband is learning and disseminating. I also rely on him for my prayers these days as I have not been successful at carving out time for formal Tfilla. Lucky for me he is a Rabbi and will be teaching Torah all night so I am riding on pretty good coat tails.
Maybe it is just a matter of priorities. Maybe if I tried a little harder, I could find some time to go to a shiur or two, to daven a shmone- esrei every once in a while. I have seen that if something is truly important to me, I find a way to squeeze it into my schedule.
Perhaps the goal is to find that time, to reinvigorate and inspire myself a bit more, so that when the next holiday comes around, I may still be in the kitchen, but also will have found a different way to connect to the yomtov (yontev? yontif? how do you spell that in English anyway!!) on a deeper level.
I will be busy eating cheesecake for the next few days. Will not be posting till Monday night or possibly later in the week. Chag Sameach to all!
Monday, May 21, 2012
After Pessach, I decided to work on my ever growing list and started scheduling appointments at the rate of about one a week. I also scheduled myself for some way overdue visits.
So far I took M. and A. to the dentist, then Y to the dentist on a separate trip, myself to an internist for a physical and today, Y went to see the ENT. Next week AY has a well-visit and then Y is due for one at the end of June when he turns 7 (!!). In addition, I scheduled a dental cleaning for myself and also want to see an ophthalmologist and dermatologist.
It feels a bit overwhelming. Most visits take the whole morning and by the time I am done, it is already time to pick M up from pre-school. It definitely cuts into my free time and the time I use for errands and other stuff that needs to get done. But I am trying to just do one appointment at a time.
I figure by the time I am done with all the visits, it may be time to schedule new ones :) I am especially trying to prioritize my own doctor's appointments. Taking care of four little ones takes a lot out of you and in order to care for them effectively, I need to be functioning well. That is also why I finally started taking the multi-vitamin I was supposed to have been taking for months.Slowly, slowly, we are making progress.
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Today was the last day of class for me. I have my final next week and then I am free...until the following week when I start summer school.
When I originally considered taking classes, I had falsely assumed that I can take the courses in the morning, when the older ones are at school, thereby minimizing stress for everyone. Unfortunately, the college I am attending is very small, so there are only limited choices for the classes I need to take. It seems that most science classes are given in the afternoons.
Which is why, for the month of June, I will be taking Anatomy and Physiology I from 2 30 to 6, Monday through Thursday. I was not thrilled when I found out about the timing but I need this course and the times in the fall were just as bad.
I will admit to having some anxiety as to how this is going to work. From 4 to 6 is the busiest time at home- homework, dinner and baths. But I am telling myself that it is only for a month so how bad could it be? And I am assuaging my mommy guilt with the thought that the kids will be seeing much less of me in June, but we will be hanging out all day every day in July and August.
It really is a bit of a paradigm shift to not be around for all the important things. It does make me feel slightly guilty and sad. But I guess this is good practice for when I will be in school full time in about a year and a half, assuming I manage to finish my pre-requisites and get accepted into a program.
And I will try to focus on all the time I do get to spend with them, like today when I went on a class trip with A. and then picked Y up from school later. It's the little things.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Cain has expanded her research into a whole book, one that I am thoroughly enjoying. In "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that can't stop talking," Cain makes a lot of great points. Originally I was going to wait until I finished the book to write about it, but there were just so many things I related to, I felt I had to share some of it.
My husband is making fun of me for being so excited about the book, but it is very rare to come across something that really explains so many things about you and truly resonates. I told him if he really want to "get" me, he should read it too. For example:
-Introverts are often more comfortable expressing themselves in writing rather than face-to-face. That is also why an introvert may not like to share a lot of his feelings in real life, but can be very open through social media such a blogs, facebook, etc. I wonder who that could be referring to :)
- Studies have shown that introverts are something that is called "highly-reactive", which means that their bodies respond to stimulation more intensely. Practically, what happens is that they can be easily over-stimulated and overwhelmed in certain situations.
-Introverts are often creative and work well on their own rather than in groups. They may be attracted to professions such as writing which are solitary pursuits and do not require interactions with others.
-Introversion and shyness are not the same thing although they sometimes do go together. And it is false to say that introverts do not like people (something that I have actually been accused of on occasion) rather they like to interact with people on a smaller scale, meaning one-to one, rather than at a cocktail party.
I still have more to read but I am learning a lot and also feeling validated about things I have felt or known about myself for a very long time.If you are an introvert, are related to one or often interact with them, I highly recommend this book.
Also, Happy Mother's Day to all. Rather than sharing my thoughts, I will direct you to some of my favorite bloggers- Amber of Crappy Pictures on how to show appreciation and Mama Birth on why she wants her children to give her something on Mother's Day. Enjoy!
Thursday, May 10, 2012
I think my opinion is somewhere in the middle. While I do not think having a child with special needs is suffering, I do think that it is harder than a typical child and those who claim that their child is just like everyone else in every realm are fooling themselves.
Yes our kids are bright, they have feelings, they can lead to full lives but they have to work really HARD at it and so do the parents.
On the topic of attachment parenting, this TIME cover photo of a woman breastfeeding her three year old is making news. Some feel it is just sensationalist, others think the article is too critical of attachment parenting but it definitely had the effect of stirring up some controversy.
Have you read anything interesting this week?
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
This is what I do when my husband is away-stay up too late finishing knitting projects I have been procrastinating.
This cardigan is meant as a light spring layer for baby AY but truthfully he may have outgrown it already. any nephews or nieces want to claim it?
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
They have a great day camp, which the kids enjoyed very much, but there was a lot of unstructured down time with the boys running loose all over a big hotel .
We spoke to the people involved about finding ways to make it easier for families with very young children. We will see if they change anything for next year, although I think it might just make sense for us to wait a few years till the kids are older.
In terms of sessions, there were a lot of interesting things, among them:
- A session on sexuality and talking to our kids about their bodies- self-care, privacy, exploitation prevention, relationships.
-A session on changing kid's behaviors which started with the premise that you can really change behavior :) His approach to behavior modification was very interesting and he asked us to reevaluate what behaviors really need changing and if some behaviors are annoying but maybe are not as problematic as we think. He also spoke a lot about changing the environment. We do that already for Y with all the safety issues but there is only so much safeguarding you can do. You cannot think of every last thing
-A session on religion and spirituality. The speaker was making the argument that when we offer people with cpecial needs the opportunity to participate in the community in this way, we are not doing a chessed but we are actually adding value to our schools and shuls. It was a refreshing way to look at things.
I could go on and on about the things I learned. I always come away with a new perspective after these weekends. Which is why we keep coming back even if it is a bit tiring.
The other nice thing is meeting other families and connecting with them. We met a family whose oldest son has Down syndrome and had kids all the same ages as our kids, as well as some other nice families. I would like to try and keep in touch.
We transitioned straight from the weekend to my husband being away at a conference for the next three days. I really dislike being alone, but so far I am hanging in there. Visitors and phone calls welcome!
Thursday, May 3, 2012
I started researching and realized there were a lot of articles on the issue and got very involved contrasting and comparing different studies. Finally, I realized this was taking up too much of my time. The paper was only supposed to be 3 to 5 pages and I was getting carried away.
So I forced myself to focus only on two articles, including the infamous "Wax" study. After obsessing about my bibliography for way too long, I finally handed it in today. Now all I have left is my final and I will have successfully completed my first pre-requisite.
The paper is too long to post but I will share some excerpts here. If you are interested, you can comment here or email me and I will send you the whole thing. Without further ado: