Sunday, November 29, 2009

30 things to do before I'm 30

I stole this from my friend Sara at the Handy Hooker blog. You should check her out, she's pretty awesome.

Ok, pimpage over.

I turn 28 in a few months. The normal thing to do would be to do a "27 to do before I'm 28." But a)I'm pregnant, ruling out a few things and b)I have some things that are going to need to take more than like 3 months to do. So here goes...

1)Find some ways to cook vegetables that we can all agree on
-And by we, I mean Shane. Rhi will eat just about any veggie you put in front of her. Ditto for me. Shane, however, loathes everything but green beans, potatoes, raw carrots, and corn. Do you know how tedious that gets? Very, is the answer. I'm determined to find some way to prepare more things so he will actually eat them.

2)Volunteer somewhere
-I want to find some kind of good, local organization to do volunteer work for. I'm not sure what I want to do, or where I want to work...I just want to be sure that they reflect the same ideals that I have.

3)Have a home that uses more sustainable energy sources
-I want a cob house. I don't think that's in the cards for the next twoish years, because I think we want to wait to build until I get out of college and we live somewhere that we want to stay for a long time (hint:not this state.) But once we move, we won't be using gas at all. Shane's all about switching to solar, and I'd be great with that.

4)Go to one of the following places: Spain, Italy, Bali, the Caymans
-Because I want to.

5)Get a tummy tuck
-This is my last kid, and I lost a crapload of weight. I think after I'm back to the weight I want to be, I deserve to have a cosmetic procedure to give me a flat stomach. It's pretty vain and everything, but I feel like it would be a great reward for my hard work.

6)Have a weekly family night where we do something fun
-I really hate how disconnected a lot of people are from their children and partners. I don't want to be that family. I want to be the happy, involved family. So whether we're playing board games or going to Chuck E. Cheese, or baking cookies, I want a night of togetherness.

7)Eat better foods
-We mostly eat pretty healthy, at least compared to the normal American diet of processed crap. But I'd really like to eat even less processed foods, more organics...have a garden, where we grow our own vegetables and herbs...maybe, since we'll be living in the middle of farms, get more local meat from neighbors.

8)Completely stop shopping at places like WalMart
-It's a necessary evil sometimes here. I really want to shop at less chain stores and more locally owned small businesses, though.

9)Go back to school
-This one should happen by next fall at the latest.

10)Have a date night at least bi-weekly
-Remember what I said about families? Well, sometimes, even in families that do all that, the parents totally lose the spark to their relationship and just become friends and partners. If I just wanted a friend and partner, I'd raise my kids with another chick and be celibate, lol.

11)Be a better housekeeper
-While my house is never, like, going to evoke feelings of disgust in anyone, the perils of having a small child mean that it's almost always in a state of disarray to some extent. I really want to improve that.

12)Have a better wardrobe
-I buy tons of adorable things that I love, usually at places like Goodwill. But then somehow they get lost, or the kid or I spill on them, or they don't quite go with anything else, or they aren't quite appropriate for every day. I want to invest in a wardrobe that has nice, well-tailored every day pieces, stuff for going out, et cetera, that's very washable and wearable. And kid friendly, lol.

13)Learn a foreign language
-I'm not even sure which one. But a foreign language.

14)Learn to actually swim
-I had lessons, I can do a decent approximation, but I'd like to be able to have the right form.

15)Learn to do some form of yoga that I actually like
-Man, I have a hard time with yoga. Maybe I've just watched the wrong dvds or something, because I can't really get down with it. I'd like to take a class or something with a really good teacher to see if maybe I can learn to not just think it's horribly boring most of the time.

16)Have a well-decorated home
-You know how you go into some houses and you just marvel at how beautifully put together they are? Like, maybe not Martha Stuart living, a little more touchable than that, but a place that's just so warm and inviting? And you go back to your house and are let down at how not like that your home is? I want to have that house. I can't *here*, because it's a rental, but when we move...

17)Have a dishwasher
-The worst chore on Earth is handwashing dishes. I'll go extra green on everything else, but, man, I have to have a dishwasher. One kid and two adults produce so damn many dishes I can't keep up. Imagine two kids, two adults. Ugh.

18)Start composting
-We've started recycling a lot more lately, and I'm already amazed at the reduction in normal household trash. I think composting would really add to that, too.

19)Get back to bellydance classes
-I love them, and I haven't been for a long time, because of general brokeness and just not having the time. But I'm going to make the damn time for it. In a twenty four hour day, I can surely take one of those hours once a week for myself.

20)Keep in better touch with my friends, nearby and far away
-I'm bad at keeping in touch with people, but then I get really sad that I lose touch with friends. So I'm going to try to do better.

21)Get more involved with issues I care about
-I do more than most people as far as this is concerned, I think, but I'd like to do even more.

22)Find a job where I'm happy at least 85% of the time
-I know no job will ever be something that I love 100% of the time. But lately my job's been pretty monotonous and I feel way less inspired than I did before. I love teaching the kids, I love feeling like I make a difference in that way, but I feel, lately, like nothing we do is good enough for the parents. And it sucks, because I genuinely care about those children, their care, and what they're learning. But it's hard to not just want to say screw it when you have people who are always dissatisfied with what you do. I could take it every once in awhile, but constantly...yeah. Worst is the fact that usually the parents who are complaining are the ones who we seriously need cooperation from, because their kids need extra help or attention. But we can't get it because we're too busy hearing how everything is our fault. So by the time I'm thirty, even though I won't be out of school yet or subsequently have my career going, I want a job that's better than this.

23) Be a better cook
-I get bored, I stop paying attention, I burn things. Or over-cook them, or whatever. It's less than awesome.

24) Spend a little extra money to buy products I really like.
-I wind up fretting over the extra cost, but, man, on some things, the expense is worth it. While I don't always agree that you get what you pay for, it's true in a few cases, and worth the extra.

25) Spend less on stupid things to make up for #24
-I really do buy stuff I don't need way too often. That needs to change.

26) Go the the chiropractor more
-It was worth the money the last time I went, for reals. I need to actually keep up on it.

27) Drink more water
-I really just don't like the taste. But it's the best thing to drink, really...good for you, not full of empty calories. I can tolerate it with lemon. So I need to make it a habit.

28) Grow my damn hair out
-It goes a little something like this. I start to grow my hair. I get bored. I experiment with colors. I experiment with styles. Eventually, I hack it off out of total boredom, and then I whine because I don't have the face for short hair, and I want it long again. This, I know, is going to be especially prone to happening after I have this baby when my hair is falling out and stuff. So, future Star, DON'T CUT YOUR HAIR!!! DON'T!!! AFTER THE BABY, JUST PUT IT UP UNTIL IT STOPS FALLING OUT!!!!!

29) Spend more time being actively spiritual
-I used to do this all the time. And while I still take my spirituality very, very seriously, I haven't been able to do the things I normally would have. And I need to, without being more spiritual, I feel very much like I'm not quite myself, like I'm detached from God, so to speak. And that sucks.

30) Work on controlling my temper
-I can be a little (overly) emotional sometimes. And I can be a bitch on wheels when I'm angry. I've made huge, huge improvements there, but sometimes I still fly off the handle. So I'm going to try to communicate better and yell less, I guess. lol.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Baby Blog

Because you all have nothing better to do than read two of my blog posts in one day. Or something.

I'm almost 17 weeks pregnant, which is crazy, because I seriously felt like I *just* wrote the blog announcing my pregnancy, like, yesterday. This pregnancy has been so different than it was with Rhi. First, the morning sickness...shocker there as I was almost never ill with Rhi. I think I was nauseated the first week or so with Rhi. Never strongly. Just mild queasiness. Then there was the food. OMG, you're supposed to eat a lot in your second trimester, but, in my first, I could out eat...well, everyone, I think. Lol. It was the only thing that could possibly quell my never-ending vomitousness. And the bleeding from my placenta...yeah, that was a fun adventure. Except the opposite.

But in a lot of ways, I'm more prepared for this pregnancy and this baby. For instance, I'm in way better physical shape. And despite the restrictions I do have on exercise...and I am operating under several still...I'm still keeping moderately active. I feel more prepared for labor, even though it terrifies me a little. Not the pain of it, not the contractions or the pushing, but the fact that I had a c-section on my last kid and there is a slight, but real, possibility of complications. I wonder sometimes if I should just get a second c-section. Because I know what to expect there, and everyone knows the unknown is scarier. But my c-section with Rhi was a very disappointing experience, and since I don't want more children after this, I feel like I'm cheating myself to not try.

But I'm still scared, lol.

I'm more prepared for nursing, too. I know that my milk won't come in instantly. I know how to latch the baby on in various ways now. I know where I can go for help, and the people who are best and worst at supporting me. I know that the Boppy is my best friend ever, lol. I know about Fenugreek, and mother's milk teas, and where to get them. I know a beer or two can help aid milk production. And I know that there will be several exhausting growth spurts where I will feel like I have a baby constantly attached to me, but that they will end, and I will be able to handle it. And I know how to supplement and still go back to nursing. I have more confidence in breastfeeding in general. Luckily, as with Rhi, I have a partner who is utterly supportive of nursing, too, which I know from experience can be the make or break of your nursing relationship.

I'm doing a few things differently, though, based upon knowledge I've gleaned since my first child. First of all, we're cloth diapering. It's something I wanted to do with Rhi, but a bunch of factors contributed to it just not panning out. So this time, I'm doing it. I'm excited and a little nervous about it, because, seriously, it's pretty different than disposables. But I am really lucky to have a fantastic support network of CDing moms that I know I can ask for help. Secondly, if this is a boy, I'm not circumcising him. It was something I totally would have done if Rhi had been a boy, but I don't really see a necessity for anymore. It's so purely cosmetic that I'm just not interested. If my kid doesn't want a foreskin later, he's welcome to have it removed. I just don't feel like I need to make that choice for him. If it's a him. And, third, I'm pretty sure I'm saying screw the crib and just getting a co-sleeper. I'm not totally comfortable with an actual family bed...I'm a paranoid freak, and even now, if Rhi sleeps with me, I sleep way less soundly because I'm worried I'll accidentally smother her or something. So I can't see ever having a decent night's sleep in a family bed. But when Rhi was tiny, it was such a pain in the ass to have her in a bassinet across the room. It was soooo much easier when the crib was right next to my bed, highest level, with the side down. I'd pull her over, nurse her back to sleep, put her back, and drift back off. A co-sleeper would allow the new baby its own space and still have the convenience of the crib set up. More, actually. And since I still have Rhiannon's old crib, when the baby gets bigger, it can graduate to that if need be.

We find out in just a few weeks, by the way, what this baby is. So yay to that! We have a couple of names, but they're still tentative because Shane won't fully confirm or deny them. He has this notion that the baby will pop out looking like a certain name. I keep telling him that that's silly, that babies all look like semi-ugly (but gorgeous to those who love them) boiled chickens/grumpy old men. He has a hard time believing me though, lol.

The War on Christmas is a joke

I feel like I re-write a similar blog to this every year. But every year, I get the urge to write it, usually sparked by some stupid news story, generally from Fox, or a stupid social networking post, or a bumper sticker. So here I go again. I have new readers, so hopefully this won't feel so played out to you all. ;)

It's the holiday season. It's a season that I love, love, love. It's a season of family, and friends, and giving, and counting your blessings. For me, that totally overshadows most of the annoying things, like spending craploads of money, and fruit cake, and getting gifts from people you totally forgot to buy for.

But one thing always irritates me. The "War on Christmas" propaganda.

It's sensationalized media bullshit.

Of all of the people who read my blog, who is seriously, truly, absolutely offended by hearing or reading Season's Greetings or Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas? Really, now. How many of you are just ready to throw down and stop shopping places or talking to people until YOUR particular secular holiday is recognized loudly and obviously?

And why?

Look, I get that there are overly liberal idiots who would like everything in the public eye to be completely sterilized of anything hinting at religion. It's ridiculous, I give you that. Whining about town Christmas decorations or singing Christmas carols in school is pretty lame. But whining if a Hanukkah or Kwanzaa song is thrown in there, too, is just as lame.

And having a fit that stores...stores that cater to lots of people, people who are NOT Christian in persuasion and who, in fact, celebrate holidays that predate Christmas (see here Hanukkah and Yule, to start. Kwanzaa is debatable, and, honestly, I'm not well versed enough in that particular holiday to accurately decide whether it is or not) say Season's Greetings or Happy Holidays to cover all their customers...well, that's pretty lame, too.

And if you're a true Christmas purist, you should probably know that a ton of Christmas traditions started as pagan ones. Look here for a very, very brief summary on that. But certainly, if the words, "Happy Holidays" offend you, take down your tree and stop that caroling, quick!

If you are a Christian, certainly take time to "put Christ back in (your) Christmas." I'm all for people recognising that the spirit of all the holidays at this time of the year is about way, way more than getting gifts. I think more people should spend time reflecting upon that, and I totally commend you if you do so. Just don't freak out and believe the hype that everyone on Earth is trying to take Jesus away from you. It's not true. Without sensationalized crap from the likes Bill O'Reilly and such, I think we would all be able to have a more tolerant, co-existing holiday season.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Oh noes!!!! Gay marriage will ruin everything!!!!!

Here are the reasons I get against gay marriage and why I think they re utterly absurd:

Gays are unnatural.
Seriously? First of all, homosexual behavior has been recorded...and not always admonished...throughout the ages. And, what, exactly, is unnatural? Gay men do it in the ass. So do many straight people I know. Many, many straight people. Hell, some straight guys even get off on having things in their ass. True story, I have at least three friends whose significant others love that shit. And lesbians? They use dildos, fingers, tongues....hmmmm, just like straight people! In fact, men, if you're NOT using your mouth on your woman, you should maybe think about how only 30% of women can climax from vaginal penetration. Just saying.

Gay marriage can't produce children, which is the point of marriage, after all.
Yeah? Maybe you should tell childless couples that. Some people want nothing to do with procreation. And some can't have children. Should they be forced to divorce? Didn't think so. And why does marriage always have to produce kids? We're overpopulated, folks. We don't need any help here. Gay people not having kids may be keeping us from running out of room to move, lol. And can't gay people adopt? Which leads me to....

Gay couples, if given children, will ruin the child's life, and also, turn them gay.
No, they won't. Sorry. First of all, in a society where most people only want to adopt non-minority babies with no health or mental issues, we should be applauding anyone who will provide for a child that isn't "perfect." Single people who can afford it, gay people...anyone who is proven to be fit (and sexual orientation should have NOTHING to do with that unless there is some sort of warranted concern that the individual could be a child molester or something. And straight people are just as likely to be fucked up, disgusting people like that as gay people are. That's why there are processes to go through before you adopt. To screen out those people.) As far as raising gay kids, there's simply no correlation. Straight parents produce gay kids, gay people can raise straight kids. It's not sociological. And ruining the kid's life? Pffft. Kids get teased for anything anyone can tease them for. Unless every parent on Earth models themselves into a model with just enough intelligence and a just nice enough home, they will, at some point, be a source of embarrassment to their child. And, honestly, probably even then.

Isn't that kind of a moot point by now?

What's the divorce rate now? One in every three marriages? And let's look at other shining examples of how sanctified marriage is. Britney Spears got hitched in Vegas for fifty five hours as essentially, a drunken joke. People go on TV to marry millionaires that they've known eleven seconds. In non-public marriages, adultery happens pretty regularly. Yup, sure seems to me like straight people are doing an AWESOME job with the whole marriage thing. Awesome. Yet, these people screwing with the sanctity of marriage...we let them get married and even REmarry. Whaaaaaat????

Gay marriage will make people gay.
This one is right. The other day, a lesbian was near me, and I suddenly had the urge to go down on a chick.

Get real.

Gay people being married won't make your wife suddenly want her aerobics instructor. It won't make your husband start hitting on the postman. Straight people will stay straight, gay people will stay gay. And if you're bi, that won't change, either.

People will want to marry animals,'ll be a gateway to horrible behavior!
No, it won't.

Any fool gets that marriage is two consenting adult humans. Because it's a CONTRACT. Minorities and animals can't be contractually bound. That's not going to change. It's common sense. It's like the gateway drug argument. Know what? In my day, waaaayyyyy before kids and real adulthood, I smoked a fuck of a lot of pot. Like, a LOT. Never did anything else. Because weed is not a gateway drug. Just like gay marriage is not a gateway to anarchy.

Kids need male and female role models. Gay marriage will confuse them!
Kids do need male and female role models. But just like in single parent households, someone else...a relative, neighbor, or teacher, perhaps....becomes that role model. And it won't confuse kids. Kids are smart, and they have no preconceived notions of things like adults do. So they're totally fine with pretty much anything you explain to them. It just requires that explanation. But once they have it, their natural open mindedness makes everything work just fine.

Gay marriage will change society!

Gay couples already exist. They're here, they're queer, you should be over it. It's not like homosexuality is a closely guarded secret.

My religion prohibits gay marriage.
Your religion doesn't have a lock on marriage.

People in places that have never heard of your God have hitched themselves to each other. Straight atheists get married, straight pagans get married, straight agnostics get married. Since this country is not a theocracy, you have no leg to stand on, demanding that people can't get married because of your God. But, just for fun, know what else people once said was against God? Giving blacks equal rights, giving women equal rights, allowing interracial marriage, ending segregation. Seems to me "it's against God" is an awfully easy thing to say to camouflage prejudice.

Individual churches should do as they see fit. But legislation shouldn't be based on that.

Civil unions are JUST AS GOOD as gay marriage.
Civil unions are a fancy way of segregating gay marriage from regular marriage. Which is insulting and disgusting. It's the SAME mindset as separate but equal black schools, stores, et cetera. Segregation ending for black people seemed to some like the end of the world. It hasn't caused the Apocalypse. Neither will this, I assure you.

I'd also like to point out, as a side note, that less people are bothering to get married. Places where gay marriage is allowed have seen an economic boost in the wedding profession.

And, finally, the whole "states should decide" argument.

States have historically never ever been effective in deciding civil rights issues. Ending of slavery, equal rights for women, desegregation, equal rights for minorities...none of those really took off on a state level. It required federal legislation. Know why? Because the majority of Americans are too busy freaking out over idiotic things like I listed above to think, "Well, they're people in love. Some marriages will work, some won't, but whether I agree with it or not, it's pretty much a basic American right to get married. (Pursuit of happiness, anyone?) They're adults, and whether I have prejudices there or not, it's not my call. If it's against my God, He'll deal with it with them. I need to worry about me."