Monday, October 28, 2013

A rant of sorts

If you are not in the mood to hear me rant and rave and perhaps go off on random tangents that don't make much sense, then stop reading.  If you stick around, open a window, I'm going to vent.

It all started about a month ago when I broke a glass jar of almond butter.  Shards of glass went flying everywhere and of course, the toddler and the dogs were like awesome, let's go get bloody!!  Dogs outside and toddler quarantined, my mom and I began to clean up the mess.  As we were cleaning she casually mentioned how broken glass is so rare these days, when she was a kid someone was always breaking and/or cleaning up glass.

For some reason this really struck me and my ever musing brain went on a journey through the past 100+ years and then to modern life.  I thought about how different society is today, and how much it will continue to change, I had good thoughts about advances in technology, education, and medicine, but my brain just kept coming back to how much of what is toxic about our world is new.  Even just two generations ago, when my mother was a kid, so much of what I worry about for my own child didn't even exist.

There was no such thing as high fructose corn syrup, no GMO's or pink slime chicken nuggets.  Fast food restaurants didn't even exist, and neither did hand sanitizer, "heart healthy" vegetable oils, factory farms, video games or even television for that matter.  Kids used to play outside, in the dirt, and they weren't dosed in toxic antibacterial goop when they came inside!  You guys, food allergies and other inflammatory diseases of the body DID NOT EXIST 100 years ago.  Okay, that is a stretch, they existed but they were very rare. 100 years ago immune systems were not destroyed by "food" and "medicine" from birth causing them to attack their own bodies.

Families cooked food, yes, real food, and they didn't waste any either.  Sure the variety of produce and other foods wasn't available like it is today, but none the less, there was cooking happening AT HOME.  Adults were cooking real food and children were learning to cook real food.  A precious life skill that is rapidly disappearing was being passed down to the next generation.  People don't even know how to cook anymore!  And while this may sound like a minor thing, cooking at home, from scratch is SO IMPORTANT!  I don't care if you can buy the same thing pre-made at the store, it is not and will never be the same.

Everything from baby bottles to bleach came in glass jars.  Sure there was broken glass, but there weren't toxins from plastics leaching into their foods and there wasn't a huge strain of fossil fuels to make a ton of throw away plastic shit that we don't even need! Oh, and there probably wasn't a giant vortex of plastic bags and water bottles swirling around the ocean.  I know it is shocking, but even as little as 25 years ago people survived withOUT plastic water bottles!  Crazy, right?  And people saved things!!  They reused their glass bottles over and over again, they bought things once and actually took care of them.

It used to be that you purchased a big ticket item one time and it lasted you for a life time, or at least a very long time.  You saved your hard earned money and didn't buy a big ticket item until you could actually afford to pay for it.  Yeah, no credit cards, and guess what, if it broke, you fixed it because repair shops existed, people knew how to fix things, and you wanted to fix this expensive item because it was likely that you couldn't afford a new one.  Now you can put that 80" television that you can't afford on your credit card that you may or may not pay off some day, maybe, in 20 years...and show if off to all your friends; you have arrived.  That is of course until the new television that you can fucking TALK TO comes out six months later, then you just throw that "old" one away and buy a new one, right?  And modern people have the audacity to complain that our ancestors were wasteful and didn't recycle!?

And who needs to interact with real people when you have the internet, text messages and video games.  You guys, we are losing the ability to converse with one another.  People are losing the ability to speak proper English!!  I'm not even trying to be funny, I'm very serious.  I am terrified of technology and the impact it has on children.  YOUR children, MY children, the future leaders and workers of our world, the fabric of our society.  They are losing the ability to empathize, the feeling of community, the feeling of human touch and interaction.  Young children are wasting hours of their lives playing violent video games where nobody actually gets hurt.  You get to brutally murder people, beat up women, rob gas stations, and then just turn it off!  You can not tell me that this isn't negatively affecting our children!

Fifty years ago, heck, even 20 years ago, 328903 baby gadgets didn't exist.  There wasn't a stuffed animal to keep a pacifier in the babies mouth so mom wouldn't have to get up and put it back in through the night.  There weren't removable car seats allowing multiple errands to be run all without touching the baby.  There was no such thing as "educational television" for a kid to camp out watching while mom cooked or took a shower.  People held their babies and KIDS WERE ALLOWED TO BE BORED!  Actually an amazing gift to children!  Yes, let your children be bored!  You will be amazed at what they might come up with to entertain themselves!  Many amazing inventions have been born from boredom!

Another thing, never has the medical field been more advanced than it is today, yet people are sicker than they have ever been before!  We are prescribed a slough of medications that are deemed safe by the FDA so they must be okay, right?  That is until the FDA recalls them and pays people millions of dollars because they were never safe to begin with!!  People are walking around with perceived health!  They think that because they take a pill they are okay, not true!  Everyone wants a quick fix for their problems, why would we want to work at something.  Give me a pill to lose weight, a pill so I won't die today, a pill so my skin isn't inflamed, a pill so I can have an erection.  But nobody wants to know WHY they have these problems!  We are spending to much time on the cure and not nearly enough time researching the CAUSE!

And let's stop blaming doctors.  I know there are a lot of bad ones out there who dismiss their patients with a pill and a smile, but I also think there are a lot of really sad doctors out there who genuinely want to help their patients.  An impossible feat when they don't first want to help themselves!


As I am writing this my non-stop brain is scanning my house and taking inventory of my modern day luxuries, things that I really like quite frankly.  I love my washer and dryer, my high speed blender, my central heater, my computer/internet, television and iPhone.  I like to fantasize about living like my great great grandmother and the simplicity of it all, but I also know that it wasn't a life that I could just go back to now and be all smiles.  I don't want to kill and pluck my own chicken, make my own clothes and wash them by hand, or die from now easily curable infections, but I also don't like living in a world where big corporations think it is okay to add poison to our food and water, treat animals like garbage, and use human beings as science experiments.

I have read and re-read this like 20 times over the past few days trying to edit it for posting, but I just can't get it right.  I feel like it doesn't flow, like I don't make very strong points and like I don't really know what I am talking about.  Do I have a lot of research about some of the claims I have made, yes, but I don't want this to turn into a lecture.  This is honestly just my brains processing things about our world and the way I see it.  I don't claim to fully understand life generations before my own, but I also can't say that I really understand it now, and I'm right here living it.

Basically this blog post could go on and on and I could bring up much more of what bothers me out our disconnected society.  I could, but I won't.  I won't because I feel deep down that we are moving toward change.  I think many people have had enough and want to go back to basics as it were.  I think people are realizing that the fast paced, blow through life and make money mentality isn't healthy for anyone.  I think, or at least I hope this is true.  And until it is, I will continue to do my part to reconnect with the earth, my food, my child and my fellow man.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Beautiful, elusive, sleep

I haven't slept in over two years, seriously.  I know you must be thinking, Anne, it is impossible that you haven't slept, you would have died or become insane by now.  Oh, you mean I forgot to mention that I have evolved into a non sleep needing human who survives solely on on caffeine, sarcasm and lack of functioning brain cells?  Well I did.  It took about 15 months for my body to complete the transformation, but I am now a real live non sleep needing human.

Now, I didn't say I am a non sleep wanting human!

I do want to sleep.  I want to sleep so bad that I think about it all the time.  I think about sleeping all day and then at night when I should be sleeping I think about it still.  I count the minutes I am awake, the precious moments that everyone else is asleep and I actually could be too!!!  I curse my dogs for sleeping all day long, so peaceful and care free as they rotate from the sunny porch to the shady side of the house.  Sometimes I purposefully wake them up just because I am a feeling spiteful, yep I do.  Oh to be a dog...

I want to sleep so badly, that over two years later I still want to punch people in the face when they tell me they are tired because they had to wake up once in the night to tend to their child or a half hour early for work.  I get it, I used to be that person too.  And I'm not even mad at you, I'd be tired too if I was used to getting 8 hours and I only got 7, or if I was woken up during the night and wasn't accustomed to such waking.  I'd also be sleeping any chance I had if my life permitted.  So you go on sleeping good sleepers of the world, just know that I want to punch you when you tell me about your glorious nap or you complain to me about being tired.

I really do, but I really won't.

Which brings me to my husband.  My sweet, loving, supportive, sleeping husband.  He has been the target of at least a thousand fantasy face punches over the past few years and although we have discussed the whole, "I'm tired" thing, it persists.  I don't doubt that he is tired, not even a little bit.  He has a work schedule that is completely fucked up and works his ass off both at home and on the job.  He busts out projects on the weekends like he is a guest star on HGTV, and he helps as much as Caches allows as often as he can.  He is amazing, he also sleeps: The bastard!

He sleeps so well that he snores, in my ear, with hot, shit breath in my face.  Before we had a baby this wasn't my favorite thing in the world, but it didn't really bother me either.  I'd just roll over into a new position, put in an ear plug, or shake him until he shut up.  Now I can do none of those things.  I can't roll over because there is a toddler with all four limps splayed across my body insuring that I can not move for fear of waking him.  I can't put in an ear plug because said toddler likes to whisper to me in the night and check in with little gems like, I need to pee, hold me, and can I throw my leg over your throat?  Sure kid, why not.  I do try to shake him, but again, my arm isn't usually at a position to reach him most of the time so the snoring persists.

And even if it stops, he is still sleeping.  He is sleeping AT ME!  And I am pretty sure he is doing it ON PURPOSE too!!  He is just a sleeper.  He can sleep through Caches screaming, the cat jumping on his head, the dog scratching at the door to pee, the dog licking her foot, the bulldog jumping into bed 20 times in hopes that I won't kick him out, the kid kicking him in the face, and ME, SHAKING THE SHIT OUT OF HIM BECAUSE HE IS SNORING!

Anyone who has ever had trouble sleeping knows that there is nothing, NOTHING worse than watching a person take great joy in their sleep while you lay there awake.  They might as well be breathing full, deep breaths of air while watching you drown.  Or smacking their lips as they indulge in a giant hamburger, their food breath wafting in your sunken, starving face.  They might as well just sucker punch you right in the gut.

Here's the thing, I don't like to discount other peoples feelings.  Everyone has a different threshold for pain, loss of sleep, illness, etc, and I would never tell someone that they aren't tired.  If you tell me you are tired, I believe that you are.  But I will say this.  Don't go up to a person with a gaping flesh wound and complain about your paper cut, okay!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Thinking about that fresh baby smell

It is October now, and if things had panned out differently I would be holding a newborn baby as I type.  Inhaling the sweet aroma of baby as my fingers clicked the keys, and pausing to kiss the impossibly soft head of my child.  I have healed and accepted the loss of that baby, but I will never forget all of the could have beens that make me sigh deeply.  Mostly I am at peace and do not question the universe, but there have been times over the past seven months when I find myself wishing things were different.  I'd see a radiant pregnant woman with a belly full of life and for a moment I'd think, "that should be me."  But it shouldn't, and it isn't.  If it were meant to be it would have been.  I truly believe that.

This past month has been kind of a rough transition time for Caches.  He is growing and changing exponentially and all of the newness is taking it's toll on my sensitive blue eyed boy.  He is wakeful and restless, skipping much needed naps and feeling frustrated when his body will not settle in the night.  He is speaking and understanding so much now that his brain is literally overflowing with imagination and a desire for more.  More learning, more exploring, more talking, more reading, more discovery, more challenges and unfortunately less calm.  Not an ideal situation for a newborn and a healing mama.

Had things worked out differently and our baby survived, this thought would have never even crossed my mind, we would simply make it work because it would have to work.  But since I have hindsight in this painful situation I can see that this would not have been a good time to add a new family member.  The universe knows what it is is doing and I trust it.  My body too knows what it is doing and I trust it still.

Thanks again for all the love poured over me after losing the baby.  All of you who read this sporadic hodgepodge of crazy truly do help keep me sane.  And I love every single one of you for it.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Two loaded little words

There are a few phrases that I make a conscious effort not to say to Cache.  Okay, I lied, there are actually a TON of them, but most of them are totally inappropriate anyway, so I just let those fly on the trapeze in my circus of a head.  One of the phrases though, that seems to want to roll of my tongue about 3829 times a day, is "hurry up!" Or, "come on!"

Anyone who has ever hung out with a toddler knows one thing for sure, they are on their own time schedule.  No, they are in their own universe!  They don't just stop to smell the roses, they stop to admire the cigarette butts in the gutter, the bark on the trees, the flies on the grass, the bees on the lavender, the trucks driving by, the sound of a distant train, the kitty in the window, the open garbage can lid, the dirt in the sidewalk crack, the rollie pollies, the garbage, and the list goes on.  Seriously, we aren't even at the end of the block yet!

Toddlers take forever to eat, examining and exploring their food with great interest until in my sons case, deciding that they don't want it after all.  What, did you like spend time preparing that?  They take forever to brush their teeth, making faces in the mirror and talking about sugar bugs which leads to talking about real bugs which leads us to the backyard looking under a rock when we should be sleeping.  Add to the equation that toddlers are also notorious for wanting to do things themselves, which we all knows means v e r y  s l o w l y and often mixed in with some frustration and tears, and it's no wonder I/we just want them to hurry up!

There have been times when I am literally vibrating with the desire to help, aka hurry him along, or to do it myself because, holy shit you take forever and I could do this in 5 seconds!!!  And I could, we all could.  Adults are bigger, smarter, and far more skilled than toddlers.  And they should be, they have an entire life of experience behind them and have forgotten how difficult it is to learn new things.  Many adults, I being one of them, aren't too keen on learning new things or changing up our comfortable routines because guess what, it slows you down and it is HARD!  Kids, toddlers, they just don't care.  They are resilient, determined, entering each day with a deep drive to learn more about their world, their bodies and how things work.

This is likely the only time of their lives that they will be as motivated to learn.  Because holy shit, everything is AMAZING!!  If they were bigger and didn't spend half the day trying to kill themselves they would be pretty fucking handy too!

Here, move that giant pile of rocks from the driveway to the yard.  Really!?!? I can do it all my myself?!?!   Okay!?!?!  You would NEVER hear that form a teenager or adult.  You see, as adults we have a little thing called responsibility.  We know that we have a doctors appointment in 10 minutes or that we need to prepare dinner or that we actually really DO need to use the bathroom right now and not read 348209 books.  Adults are jaded, spirits are squelched, routines are in place and the burning passion to learn had dwindled.  Wow, thanks Anne, it's kind of depressing when you put it that way, but it is true.

When was the last time you painstakingly studied an object of which you had no idea how to use?  When is the last time you delved into a new field of study head first and ready to learn?  Can you even remember the last time you stopped and looked up at the clouds or the moon?  I can, but that is only because I have a very determined two year old reminding me all day every day to slow down, just SLOW DOWN!!

Sure, life happens and there are actually a lot of things that do need to get done as adults, but when you take the time to slow down and examine what is really important and what can wait, you make room for bunnies in the clouds and airplanes flying by.  You actually watch the interesting garbage truck lift your can.  You slow down and explain how food is cooked and how you mix ingredients to make muffins.  In short, you LIVE!  Toddler are the most epic lovers of life out there; it's us adults that really don't get it.

P.S. I have already told Cache to hurry up in one form or another like 3289 times today, BUT I have resisted at least twice as many times.  Baby steps friends, baby steps.