Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Moving Places

we've been talking about it and researching it for almost three years now. roy and i have visited on separate occasions to scout out the lay of the land. we were standing in the kitchen about three weeks ago when we finally put a stamp on it. we are moving to north carolina in july. roy will pack the van with all our designer furniture and fancy chachkas, grab a co-pilot and set off on a road trip across the country. the kids and i will fly over to meet him a couple weeks later.

those who know us well have no doubt been listening to us talk about moving there for A WHILE now. it's hard to remove yourself from an established situation. to pull up the roots and shake them off. to make that leap is a test of faith. it can be frightening because of all the unknowns. but its exhilarating and forces you to grow.

we like alameda and california. the weather is hard to beat. roy's made some great connections here. he's created a network and is finally starting to work on what he really wants. but something is pulling us east. the decision to move feels like a mystical culmination of the life that roy and i share. its scary and liberating at the same time.

we will miss our family out here. there's nothing like being just down the freeway from bubbe and grampa. having folks nearby to share the weight of everyday life.

i like that saying about living in new york city to toughen up and in northern california to get laid back, but not staying in either too long. its time to downsize our "stuff" and upgrade our life experience. it won't be easy, but the most memorable experiences never are, right?

a new place holds the promise of possibility. it allows you to reinvent yourself and invigorates your sense of living.

so i believe this is the official announcement to all of our peoples out there. we would love to know if anyone knows anyone in the area. connections are always helpful. we would also love visitors, so come on down ya'll.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

the green project

"it came!' i yelled to razi. "what is it mom?" "my stainless steel organic waste container, thats what."

its beautiful and sleek. it has a carbon filter so it won't stink up my kitchen. now i'm really legit.

all these warnings of global warm- i mean climate change, lead in toys, hormones and toxins in our food, left me feeling guilty and helpless. what can i do?

its funny how once you start doing things to change, you get addicted to the feeling. hopefulness and confidence.

i put my new silver hope on the kitchen counter. proudly filled it up over the course of a couple days. happily brought it down to the green recycle bin for my building. read the top of the bin:
yard trimmings only

wait, what? i'm confused. what do i do now? google it of course. a search on concluded that i could indeed throw my food scraps in the green bin for yard trimmings. what a relief.

those that are green savvy might laugh at my ignorance, but for the average person that shops at Target because you can find ANYTHING there at a great price, this is major trailblazing activity right?

as the guardian of my children's souls and the grand influence of their future, i want to break through the limits of conventional parenting. its scary and often hypocritical. when i sent out a mass email about alternative children's toys made in the US, roy warned me not to push it too hard or i could turn people off. "your daughters have a barbie, you shop at target, you don't want to come off like a hypocrite..."

but its not about being perfect. or even following your own advice. its a process of understanding whats going on around you, in the world and in your gut. what feels right and what just feels wrong. encouraging and being encouraged. building that hope and confidence that we can do something better for our kids. and lets never underestimate the power of shiny stainless steel.

interesting link-

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Date

february is the month that roy and i celebrate our anniversary. this year makes 14 long years together. i asked my mom if she would watch the girls, so we could go out for sushi and catch a movie.

we chose a place that was noisy enough to drown out Dimas if he cried and went early so it was pretty empty. we sat in the back so i could breastfeed without getting stares, although i was excited to put my new hooter hider to use.

gradually, more families with kids began trickling in. lots of smiles and looks of commiseration at trying to dine out with screaming, hyper little ones. of course they thought it was our first baby and i noticed looks of longing for that oh so romantic time, when it was just the two of them and their precious little infant. before the real work began. the messy, loud time of toddlers.

one mom spoke to me. i told her we had three children and the girls were with my parents, so we were enjoying the break. both her and her husband's eyes popped out like a cartoon as they heard "three kids." we drove to the theater, talking about what people must think of us and whether our physical energies match our life realities. how can a mexican and his 25 year old wife afford to live in rockridge with three kids?

we rushed up the escalator and walked in to a packed room. Ugghh, i forgot about saturday night at the movies...we found two seats as the trailers began. Dimas slept quietly in roy's arms. following the previews, the theater announcement to keep babies and cell phones quiet elicited a worried glance between us. sure enough, the explosion in the first 3 minutes of the movie, made D jump and start to cry. everyone within 5 rows of us tensed up, making it clear they weren't enjoying our added soundtrack. roy immediately got up, "lets go." he said, as i fumbled in the dark to gather my gear.

we got a refund and watched some dvds that had been piling up from our spiritual cinema circle collection. it was a good night. cozy and quiet. i missed my loud messy girls though.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Bloody Monday

I just experienced my first major mistake as a parent. I made a decision for one of my children which I immediately regretted. It was possibly the worst feeling of guilt & disappointment in myself.

I recently gave birth to my third child and first son. We were trying to decide whether to circumcise him or not and were leaning towards the latter. But family pressure and horror stories of young men having to be cut at 9 and 13 years old due to complications were making us double think our initial gut feelings.

To make a long story short, we chose to do it, and watched it being done. The moment the doctor started pulling on my newborn's foreskin with a metal instrument of barbarism, I wanted to scream, "stop!" I turned around to see his father's face a pale, unnatural color and knew we made the wrong decision.

Bloody mess and screaming infant, sugar water and mama's tears. 15 minutes later we were left with a feeling of failing our son, only 3 weeks old.

Over the next week, we talked to each other, our families, our friends. We wrung our hands and wrestled our emotions, trying to reconcile our feelings and move forward. In the end, our baby will be ok. We may have even saved him from a painful emergency circumcision as a preteen. But I can't shake the idea that in a few years, the American Academy of Pediatrics will finally declare this backward procedure with no medical benefit, illegal or at least immoral and it will no longer be an option, even for the religious, the blindly traditional or the confused and fearful new parents, like us.