Monday, November 29, 2010
*When we would go through grocery stores Tristan, riding shot-gun in the cart, would throw his head back and look at the lights. He'd stare and say "whoa......." really drawn out. ~ It was funny. We never turn a lot of lights on at the house so we figured he was just impressed.
*When he was still learning to talk, Tristan's first full sentence was "I want a cracker." This eventually got shortened down to "I want crack." That's really funny until you have to go through a grocery store, trying to hold your head up and not die, with a toddler sobbing and screaming "I WANT CRACK!!"
*Sitting around the kitchen table one evening, I hear someone kicking the table. I look at Shannon and tell him to quit it. Shannon looks at Justin who then looks at Tristan. We're all now looking at Tristan, who is off in his own world yet all the while still kicking the table. I snap "TRISTAN!!" and he jumps and with a shock replies "What, I didn't pee!!"
*Both boys are musical but it is Tristan who remembers songs. Of course he doesn't always remember the correct lyrics. First it was Tom Waits. They love his song 'Big in Japan' & they call him/it the 'Silly Man Music.' I didn't think anything of it until, again in a grocery store, Tristan starts singing it, mimicking Tom Waits' voice quite well, and singing "Hey but I'm big in your pants, I'm big in your pants..."Then it was them walking in while I was listening to the Beastie Boys. Tristan walks of singing "NO .. SLEEP .. TILL BROCCOLI!!!" ~ I am seriously going to put that on a shirt!
*The other evening, a weekend evening, Justin ran an errand really quickly. It had been a holiday weekend so Justin had been home from work for several days before said weekend. Justin comes home from running the errand, walks through the door and is greeted by Tristan asking "Daddy, are you home from work now?"
*We used to get milk delivered, and the milkman still comes by every Monday morning to bring us cheese and other items of our choosing. He usually is here around 10:30am. That evening, around 5:30PM Justin's father stopped by to drop something off. He was only here a minute but he did make sure to say hi to the boys. Several minutes pass. Tristan walks to the front door and starts asking "Is the milkman here now??" Although he stated it clearly enough from the beginning, I am in disbelief and have to get him to repeat it. I reply "no" and Tristan just blankly says "oh" and walks off.
So we seek out what we think will make it better. What will make these tough times ok? We desperately seek out the solution that will kiss the wound of difficulty and make it all better.
This all causes me to get really stressed out, depressed, and down right angry. Not because we're seeking out what will make it better, that of course is a good thing, but because there are so many snake oil salesmen out there and they are craftier than ever.
Every where you turn there is a magazine full of solutions that will make your life better. It will make your kitchen look pristine, it will make a pile of throw rugs on the floor look like a decorating statement and not like you're a sloth, it will make your kids so deliriously happy that they won't ever bicker or back talk again, it will make you lose _x_ many pounds, it will make your spouse fall literally heads over heels in orgasmic awe of you. And if you buy now (or through the next three days) you can get it for 20% off and with $5 shipping! It's an even better deal!!! If you delay dinner with your gathered family to stand in the freezing cold & avoid being trampled or attacked in the ensuing stampede, the store will offer you magical discounts on the perfect products to make your holiday season absolutely perfect. You don't even have to think about your shopping list, the store has made it for you with their special deals! It's amazing!!
But it isn't, is it? No. It's soul depleting. It leaves us empty, because as soon as you've bought that wonderful deal a better deal, a newer model, comes out and then .. well, you're deal just sucks. And your life sucks. And that great gift makes your ass look fat. It's not only depleting it is insulting.
I would like this to be a general, any-time-of-year kinda post but the fact is that I am writing it as the holiday season is officially under full-swing. It is what it is. And as I look around I see the increasing amount of soul-depleting, life-draining false promises. Viruses don't spread this fast. Evil-do'ers dream of viruses that spread as fast as these shiny promises of happiness.
We need nourishment y'all. We desperately need it. We need a hug that isn't just an empty embrace by someone thinking of what else they would rather be doing, but a hug that is there.
We need loved ones who are there not to demand more but to offer help and support, and who will get it in return in spades.
We need friends, acquaintances and neighbors who aren't there to try and one up you. We don't need these same people who would say nice things to your face but roast you in hell behind your back. We need the ones who notice you left your front door open when you went out of town and not only call you but double check that all is well by asking the police to do a quick run through. Ones who lend several tablespoons of baking soda when you need a pinch, just to make sure you have enough .. just in case. Ones who bring by chicken noodle soup when they know you have a cold. Ones who realize that dogs bark, children leave out toys, and sometimes taking down holiday decorations can take all damn year.
We need family that doesn't make you feel bad for losing your temper with your kids when they've been pushing your buttons for too long, but instead offers, if nothing else, just the simple encouragement and reassurance that you're still a good parent. That your kids won't hate you forever. Family members who can help you through those times in a marriage (or any relationship) where you just don't know if it's going to work out, if you haven't grown apart. Family who can reassure you without assuming divorce is immanent.
We need love. And we need to be able to give that love back. Return it ten-fold. Not just to strangers we've never met, or that we only know online. Not just to those who are in poverty around the world. Even though everything is amazing, it seems like we're dying from the inside-out. We need the love to nourish ourselves whole again. True nourishment. Not sold to us by a book of how-to's, but what is already deep inside us, to give and to get. It hasn't been that long, our bodies still know what true nourishment is.
I hope you all can give and get the nourishment you need. I wish you all so much happiness, true happiness. I want you to know that I do believe in you, and that I do have faith in you. These are tough times but you will get through them, and you will do it wonderfully, even if you stagger at times, you will do it wonderfully. You are a good parent, you are a good person, you are a good partner and spouse. You are beautiful as you are and I hope you know that in your soul.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
I had always intended to write a lot more about homecshooling and our journey on that path on this blog. After all, it is a big part of our lives, so how could I rightly leave it off? But a couple things happened.
First - when you tell people, or when they find out that you're homeschooling your kids
Shannon is now in 1st grade. He goes to homeschool gym class at the YMCA and loves it, though I don't care for the instructors. I haven't taken him out yet though. I'm there while he's in class, so I'm .. well, there. And he loves it.
His reading is amazing, almost too good. Math hasn't clicked yet. We're still working on it, very gently showing him how things can add up. He can get it a little bit, but it hasn't clicked. We're not worried. I'd like to work with him on learning money, if only I can get myself organized and ahead of the game enough to get there.
What I've really been impressed with him about this year is his empathy and caring for others. When my uncle died in August we took the boys to the burial. Shannon was upset, but I think it was more because he saw everyone else upset and that bothered him. At Halloween he wanted to color pictures to pass out to all the trick-or-treaters (we wound up making special goodie bags for friends). Thanksgiving comes around and there he is with a stack of paper and a tote of crayons, drawing & coloring hand-turkeys for everyone .. writing their names on them and then folding them up just so, so that they had to be opened just the way he wanted them to be, and giving them away.
So I trusted a friend who assured me that she had put in dreads for several people to put in my dreads. Unfortunately, they .. to say it nicely .. weren't done quite as nicely as I would've hoped. They were kinda hideous. But I loved having dreads. After the mess was done I began doing research and finding sites about dreadlocks. ~ Lesson Learned - ALWAYS do your research FIRST!!! That, and if you're interested in dreadlocks do yourself a favor and head over to http://www.dreadheadhq.com - they've got lots of info & products to help you out!
Anyway, eight years later and the bug bites again. Actually make that 6 or 7 years later as I did a friend's dreads a year or so ago and that put the seed of desire in. My brother in law was growing out his hair with the intention of putting in dreads and so we agreed to do each other's dreadlocks when our hair was long enough.
So I talked it over with Justin. I talked it over with a good friend. I had made up my mind and just needed a little reassurance (don't want a bangs crisis on my hands, ya know?). Since we had court on November 23rd (blog on that coming soon), we agreed it would be wise to wait until after that.
I made an appointment to have my hair sectioned into roughly 1" squares by my hair stylist. This could've easily been done at home but I thought I'd spare Justin the hassle and reassure myself that we were starting with a good base. I also ordered the following from DreadHeadHQ: locking accelerator, dreadlock shampoo, lock peppa (the best stuff EVER!!!), a loose tool (for wrangling in loose hairs), a dreadlock comb, and tiny rubber bands for the initial sectioning. Justin and I each had our wax leftover from our previous dreadie days so I was all set there.
This is me, pre-dreads. Obviously this photo was taken over the Summer. I'm not exactly wearing tank tops in this chilly weather!! Anyway, this is pretty much what my hair was looking like before the dreads.
I didn't get a photo of my hair sectioned off before we began dreading it. I should've, it looked pretty silly. ~ Dreadie Lesson ~ Be prepared to look downright goofy at times. ~
Saturday morning. Remember the stated Dreadie Lesson above?? You're gonna look goofy at times. Just try to own it and you'll get through it.
My dreads are skinny and little, which looks better (at least on me) than trying to start out with big, phatty dreads. It also means that dreadlocking takes a LOT of time. Admittedly we did take a long time-out for the Tech/UVA game on Saturday, but we didn't finish until late Saturday night. Justin put in most all of my dreads, and at final count/estimate I have between 70 & 75 dreadlocks on my head now.
Finally done, November 27th.
From the back they're looking real good. We were both proud & impressed.
And here I am, a dreadie Mama Taney. I can not begin to adequately express my gratitude to Justin for spending the hours it took to put these babies in. I am eternally grateful, even if my head was sore as hell afterwards. I'm especially grateful because I know he'll be there to help me maintain them along the way. Dreads are a journey. I'm officially on day 2 of that journey.
PS ~ My ultra-cool and supportive mother (who not-so-secretly hates dreads) gave me a dreadie bead for my recent birthday. I put it in this morning. I love it. I love her for her support.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Most of his friends have already lost several. Apparently girls loose teeth earlier than boys and most of the kids he knows who are his age are girls. I have been informed just this afternoon that the little girl who lives next door has already lost FIVE teeth. ~ much emphasis on that five.
So when we were at the dentist back in September and it was announced that he had a tooth starting to loosen, Shannon's world exploded. His eyes were as wide as saucers and his open-mouth smile took over his entire face. Since then it has been non-stop checking of the tooth. How loose is it? See how it can be wiggled? It's LOOSE!!
Apparently he is going to quite gummy soon, as he is now claiming that he has, at the very minimum, four loose teeth. They seem to magically loosen overnight. It has been confirmed that the two front bottom teeth are indeed loose, but he swears there are more.
Today he showed me just how loose that first tooth was. And it is. In fact, it was just the slightest bit bloody around the gum line on one side. Swished with warm salt water, and we're good to go. Apparently we're good to go straight to the mirror ....
One must check the status of one's loose teeth at every possible moment. These photos were taken before he even was out of his pajamas this morning.
Can you tell he's pretty happy about it??
Everyone has asked him if he wants them to tie a string around it and yank it out. Justin suggested to him this morning that we tie one end to the tooth and one to Foster. I think this has overwhelmed him a little (not just that last one!). He announced to me at lunch that it will come out on it's own when it's ready to.
In the meantime I've gotten out a pillow that my mother made for me when I was his age and starting to loose teeth. Hand embroidered with a Tooth Fairy rhyme and my name. It is green with little flowers (this was the very early 80's), a ruffly green edge along with a lace like trim. I asked Shannon if he would like me to change the fabric. I thought I might add Shannon & Tristan's names to the pillow under my own as well. He thought about it for a second and said that he would like me to change the fabric. I asked him what type he would like. He replied "Something more green." ....... "Um, Shannon, the pillow IS green." .... "Oh, ok, I like it then." -- boys.
And, of course, since I am MOM and this is my oldest, I am weepy over the first loose tooth. All who know me are not shocked as I am weepy over everything. I am weepy as I type this and I think about holding that tooth when it comes out. How long it took for him to get that tooth. How he looked before he had teeth. How my baby isn't a baby anymore. --- Ok, I must stop and wipe away these tears.
I will let you all know when the big moment happens. With photos for me to cry over.