Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dear Trucker, 36 months !?

Dear Trucker,

You came into the world three years ago.  You came quickly, immediately giving me the gift of your birth story, which I will cherish more than any other gift and hopefully remember until I am thick into dementia.  You came smiling.  You came chunky.  You came with a full head of spiky hair.

And now here you are.  You are three.  You started practicing for age three at about age two and three quarters.  By this I mean, you started trying to do everything completely by yourself, meeting any unsolicited help with screams of protest.  Ah, three. It is a long year.  Also, it is a year of showing the world that you are no longer a baby.  You clearly need to teach Mommy that you are not a baby.  You can speak in full sentences.  You can almost ride a bike without training wheels or assistance from me.  You have your own ideas and your own taste.  You don’t need me to feed you.  (Though sometimes you still request it.)  You’re here! You’re Trucker! I’ll get used to it.

You sing all of the time.  Real songs, made up songs, made up songs with words that are made up.  You also love to dance.  You are not a big fan of food.  Mostly you like meat.  Which is what I liked to eat when I was pregnant with you.  You also have an unwavering love for chocolate milk. I realize now how the younger child gets spoiled.  There’s something about knowing that there will be no more babies that makes a mom want to baby that last one.

Of course, you are still in love with trucks.  You have branched out to airplanes and hovercrafts, tractors and motorcycles.  But nothing makes your heart quite as happy as a shiny big rig or a car carrier loaded with cars.  Your favorite book right now is Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go. I love that we can’t go to bed without looking at the pickle car or looking for Goldbug on at least three pages.

Oh, and you are a charmer.  You got your first crush at your uncle’s wedding. A fourteen-year-old niece of the bride became your princess.  You danced with her and her mom all night long.  Even though the wedding was weeks ago, you still look up at me at times and tell me that you are going to dance with her tonight.  She liked you back.  She said that she was going to go back home and tell her friends that she met a cute boy from New York.

I love you, my sweet boy. Thank you for teaching me to face the day with a song.

Love,

Mommy

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A Message from Cakie

It has been a busy year.  So so sorry I’ve neglected the blog.

I wanted to let y’all know about a sweet thing my Cakie did the other day.

I’ve had some anxiety about Cake not thinking I’m legit, since he didn’t come from my belly.  The other day he must have been feeling particularly lovey dovey.  He climbed up on my lap and said, “I don’t have to love Mama more than you.  It doesn’t matter which mom you come from.  We are a family.  You love everybody in your family the same, right Mommy?”

I kid you not.

So if you’re feeling blue about something your child is saying or doing regarding biology or playing favorites, just wait for it.  Wait for it.  It will come.

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Who’s The Boss?

On an entirely different note, I want to talk about education.

I’ve been teaching for ten years.  I’ve been teaching in an urban public school for ten years.  I’ve been whining lately about policy makers.  They seem to be so far removed from the reality of education.  The reality: the person (living, dedicated) sitting in a room full of children (real, not grown-up, also alive) teaching.  The unreality: kindergarteners taking standardized tests?  Students needing to improve every single time they take a test, or else they are failing and so is their school?

I’ve been saying that the people who make educational policy should be educators. I recognize the disparity there.  Educators are kind of busy educating.  But let’s say I actually put my money where my mouth is.  What if I wanted to work on educational policy issues?  Maybe I’d start by going back to graduate school.   Sounds good, right?  So I looked at a couple of doctoral programs.  Again, I’m not a rocket-scientest here, but the programs do not make sense.  To learn how to make policy for education, one does not, apparently, need to learn anything about children.  Hmmm.  Ok.  Wouldn’t it make sense, if one were going to spend millions of tax-dollars doling out standardized test money to George Bush’s test and textbook-selling cronies, that said person might be required to take, oh, I don’t know a CHILD DEVELOPMENT CLASS?  Then maybe they might know that kindergarten-aged children cannot necessarily hold a pencil correctly, let alone complete a standardized test?  They are far more concerned with which shoes their mom made them wear that morning, than a question on a paper?  The classes in these programs are all about educational policy, politics, and leadership.  But shouldn’t a leader know who they are leading?  Many of these people trying to “reform” education blame teachers.  Yet, they themselves have never stood in that room alone with twenty-two seven-year-olds.  One of whom always has to go to the bathroom. One of whom just got back from three months in Bangladesh and has forgotten English a bit.  One of whom smells a little funny.  One of whom is very excited about playing with bits of paper on the rug.  And one of whom always always has her hand up, but never quite has something to say that matches the topic at hand.  I believe that every one of those kids has the ability to meet high standards. But how those standards are being measured and how my performance may be measured does not make a lot of sense.

Here’s my modest proposal for Harvard, NYU, Columbia:

Just add this to your program.  Not unlike the swim test I had to take before graduating from Brandeis, because swimming is just something a well-educated person should know how to do.

Each doctoral candidate must substitute teach for one month in a public school.  They must have no outside support beyond what the school provides them.  Nobody at the school needs to know that they are anybody special.  Just a sub.

That is my idea for education reform.

I think if every person trying to fix education would just dip their toes in teaching, education reform would shift from blaming teachers to supporting them.  From testing children to nurturing them, you know, teaching them.

And why is research so disconnected from policy? There is so much research on the value of play, yet current policy causes schools to cut out recess periods for test prep, cut arts programs because there is not a test for them, and spend the bulk of kindergarten teaching reading and math, instead of letting the children have constructive play, which develops problem-solving skills, creativity, and social skills (which, by the way, is what kindergarten is supposed to be about.)

Oh dear, don’t get me started.

I guess one problem I’m having is figuring out how to go from what seems like a whiny teacher to somebody people might listen to.

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Wow

I haven’t blogged since April 16.  Dang.  That’s a new record for me.  But I did write 30 poems in 30 days.  Which is also a record.

I don’t have anything wonderful to say right now.

I just wanted to let you know that I still exist.

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TRUKKEN*

*TRUKKEN — When one goes Truckin’ at Ikea.  (Note the awesome assembly of excavators on the other side of the parking lot.  Toddler heaven.)

This blog is turning into a place for me to post pictures of my toddler looking at trucks.  Fascinating, right?

Well, if you can think of something helpful I could write, let me know.  My “How-to” posts seem to get the most play.  I love to be helpful, though I’m not much of an expert at anything except posting pictures of my toddler looking at trucks.

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Two-Week Wait Advent Calendar #2

The last one worked wonders. Two of my friends got pregnant using it, one was on the first try.  This is not scientific evidence or anything… but crossing fingers and picking up lucky pennies count in situations like this.  So I’m doing it again.

Here’s how it works… I know how rough the TWW can be.  I did it 11 times.  I think I could maybe write an Elizabeth Kubler-Ross-esque book on the stages of denial and anger and joy that one goes through in those two weeks.  So a while back, I thought, wouldn’t it be fun if I could make an advent calendar like the Christmas ones?  And each day of the TWW you could open a little window and get a treat?  That might make it ever-so-slightly easier to bear.  Now I have a very small handful of friends who have secretly told me they are TTC.  So this is for you, my secret IRL friends… and for you, too, my virtual friends.  May you only have to do one TWW!  And if you have to do two, I have two calendars, now. Open one link each day of your wait.

Stage 1 — Excitement

Day 1  Get pumped.  Imagine each person in the audience is a 100,000 swimmers, each one working toward the same goal.  Scroll down and click on the DipDive video link.  Don’t read the article first.  Just watch.

Day 2 Positive visualization.  Since this is a live-streaming link, it may not work forever.  Let me know if I need to change it.  Imagine this is you. If you are a vegetarian, this might not work for you. 🙂

Day 3 Some more positive visualization.  Short but sweet.

Stage 2 — Denial. You might be thinking, depending on how many TWWs you’ve experienced, what am I doing?  I’m going to jinx this try.  Stop thinking about it!  Stop! Stop! So here are a few days worth of distraction.

Day 4 — Is it day 14 yet?  Wait, day 14 of what?  I’m not doing a TWW!  I’m just my plain old self, not even thinking about such a thing at all.

Day 5 — Pick one and go see it.  While you have the time, money and energy.  🙂

Day 6 — You are almost through the first week of the-thing-that-shall-not-be-named.  Not that I’m naming it, or anything. Why don’t you celebrate with some cake? (This is my favorite blog… always good for a laugh, so surf away there while you ignore that thing you’re not ignoring, kay?)

Day 7 — If you really want to get distracted for hours and hours on end, try this… I mean, you are already on the computer, so you probably already do.  But if you don’t I’m sure you have some long-lost friends out there wishing you would.

Stage 3 — Trying to ignore, yet simultaneously causing, physical signs of pregnancy.  Physical signs of pregnancy, by the way, are evilly similar to those of PMS.  Just breathe, my dear.  Breathe.  And get your hands off of your b00bs.  Your prodding is what’s making them sore.

Day 8 — I know what will stop you from groping yourself… put yourself in a white over-the-car luggage holder in a bathroom stall. Yeah.  That ought to do the trick.  Or, maybe try wearing a sparky, flamey-type bra thing. (Try to ignore the vodka.  You may have some in a few days.  Or not.  Both wouldn’t be a bad thing.  Unless you are in recovery.  Then just try to focus on the costumes!)

Day 9 — Fu*k it.  Go shopping.  Just… stay away from that baby button. EEehh!  I saw that.  It is too early.  Focus on yourself while you still can.  If you are pregnant, it won’t be about you anymore.  And for my lesbian friends, you may be spending so much on baby making supplies… what’s another $50 to spend on yourself?  Nothing!  A drop in the pan.  Go.  You have my blessing.

Day 10 —  I said stop touching your b00bs.  And that goes for your partner, too.  Nah.  She can, but you can’t.  Sorry.  I’m getting off the point.  The point is, you only have a few more days to go.  Yes, the cramp you felt yesterday could be PMS.  It could also be implantation pain.  But since there’s no way knowing which at this point, why don’t you just look at this.

Stage 3 — Wanting it to end.  Trying not to test too soon.  Really, really wanting it to end.

Day 11 — Put down that pee stick!  Put it down and back away.  If you test now, it will be negative and you will feel sad, quite possibly for no good reason.  Why don’t you just try to meditate. And if you feel nauseated, you’ll know the real reason.

Day 12 — You may want another positive visualization at this point.  If you are trying for the first child, look at this.  If you are working on making a sibling, open this oldie but goodie. (Yeah, this was on the first calendar, but I figured I should carry over some mojo from there.) If you are an amazing master of your own mind and you still are ignoring that thing that will be over in two days (go, you!)  Watch this. (Ok, you can all watch that one.)

Day 13 — Please wait one more day to test.  I mean, you can go ahead and test, but I recommend waiting just one more day.  Look, you waited 13 already.  You can do it.  Where ever you are on your journey, I ‘m glad you’ve bothered to spend some time during the trip at my humble little blog.  And here, I give you the beginning of my final TWW.  And here, the end.  I hope this is the end of your final one, but if not, that’s ok, too.  Let me know how it goes.  XOXO!

Day 14 — Take the test already.  And don’t be a stranger.

Love,

ohm

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Pelvic Floor Boot Camp Part II, “Drop and Give Me 30!”

Hee hee.

My PT is so nice and funny.  It is hard for me to picture her as a drill sargent.

I went to my second PT appointment.  This time I did not have my period.  (Whew.)  Of course that meant that she did have to do the internal exam.  And she actually used the phrase “everything from the waist down” which sent TTC willies down my spine just from the memory of those early morning dates with Dr. Mug and his magic wand.  Oye.

Apparently I have been doing (and saying) my pelvic floor exercises all wrong for all this time.  Ok, well according to my handy-dandy online dictionary, I have been pronouncing Kegels (KAY-gels) correctly.  But if what I’ve been saying right is what I have been doing wrong, then I need to change my Kegels to KEE-gels, as my PT calls them.  My Kaygels have involved my leg muscles, my abs, my butt cheeks, and possibly my biceps.  My PT called me a teacher who cheats.  I’m not allowed to use anything but “these mucles” she said, as she pointed them out in the internal exam.  “Oh. Only those guys?”  I replied.  “You can’t even use your eyebrows,”  she smiled.  “Only those guys… er, girls, then.”  “Yes, just these girls.  Try again using only the girls. That’s a Keegel.”

So I have to do 30 Keegels a day.  Prolapsing is scary.  Scary I tell you.  And  I need to up my fiber intake because I need to never, er, strain, if you know what I mean. It makes me prolapse.  Which is scary.  I feel a little like an old lady.  And I guess I am technically middle-aged for those who only intend to live to be 76.  I have to do these four things to keep from straining: 1) Add oil to my diet. Olive oil on the salad.  Check. 2) Eat more fiber.  I bought some flax seeds.  I just need to figure out how to grind them.  My PT mixes Fiber 1 with Lucky Charms.  See, I told you she’s nice and funny.  She said the marshmallows make up for the Fiber 1 yuck. 3) Drink more water.  I don’t need to do that.  I already drink plenty.  And 4) Exercise.  Get this: the crunches I’ve been doing recently are not so good for me.  They are similar to straining in a bad prolapsy way.  So I don’t have to do crunches anymore! Woo!  She’s going to teach me other stuff for my abs. She told me to do yoga.  So I have to do yoga.  She told me to.  Now I really need to sit down and figure out how to go.  And she’s friends with my prenatal yoga teacher.  Hence, I love her.

Boot camp is nice and cushy so far.  I guess I should go do some Keegels now.  Harumph.

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