Friday, October 31, 2014

Trick or Treat!

Last night was Trick or Treat for our city.  Costumes are one of my favorite things about Halloween.  I just love seeing the creativity that goes into some of the costumes and seeing people just having fun.  It brings people together.  It's fun!

This was Lycan's first pumpkin guttin experience from October 29th.  At first, he wasn't diggin the "YUCKY!"  But after watching mommy scrape out the gunk and pick out the seeds, then he came around and enjoyed himself.

Afterwards, I sprinkled the inside with rosemary and salt, empowered the jack-o-lantren for protection against nasty energies, and to help lead the Ancestors to the house if they wish to come today, when lit.  (Blessed Samhain!)

And here's some photos from Trick or Treat!  There was so much to do last night, that I ended up forgetting to get photos of me and Lycan :-(  but if we go to my mom's tonight, I'll be sure to get one with just me and my boys.

My Little Baby Bat!

Red Riding Hood Werewolf, Baby Bat, a Vampire, and a Little Devil

I don't know what the boys are looking at in this picture, but it definitely got their attention!  And no, Lycan wasn't picking his nose here.  lol. 

Mommy and Vinny

This year, we put the kids in a stroller.  So much easier (minus having to push a  double stroller up the hills and not having my glasses on)!  Especially since Lycan is a heavy kid!  He enjoyed being in the stroller.  As for Vin, he slept through Trick or Treat.  But was all bright eyed and bushy tailed afterwards, and got plenty of Paw Paw time in.

How was your Trick or Treat?  What did you and/or family go as?  


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

In Yo Face, Mom!

Lycan is protesting wearing a shirt right now. But isn't against carrying it. Although i found out why when he threw it at my face, yelling, "SHIRT!" Then ran away, grinning.
Toddlers are strange little beasts.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Remembering the Unborn


I was just over on Patheos reading this article, Remembering the Never Born: Claiming a Sibling as an Ancestor.  In it, the author describes different Ancestors that they honor in this season of Samhain, some of these terms I just learned this week when my friend and I took a class at The Magical Druid.

"I talked about all the different kinds of Ancestors and dead people I invite to my altar, to offer hospitality, conversation, and gifts of food, drink, scent, and colour. Similar to the categories described by Yvonne Aburrow in her latest post at Sermons on the Mound, these different non-corporeal persons for me may be:

  • Ancestors of blood and bone — my literal, genetic ancestors. For me, these include every life form evolutionarily upstream from homo sapiens sapiens, and the stars whose dust made the iron in my blood, as well as my closer personal ancestors;
  • Ancestors of spirit and inspiration — those who have strengthened me with their words and actions, especially those who have been forebears in struggles of solidarity and justice, and those from whom I draw artistic, musical and poetic inspiration;
  • Ancestors of place — those who shaped the place, either literal or metaphorical, where I live and/or work;
  • My Beloved Dead — those whom I have personally known, or are directly personally connected to, who are now dead, usually family members or close friends (including companion animals);
  • The Mighty Dead — those who have gone before me in the Craft."

As I was reading, the author mentioned how their mother had a near-fatal miscarriage when they were young.  The whole experience was very difficult, but they considered their unborn sibling as an Ancestor and thus, honor them.  I became very emotional when I read this article, just thinking about the loss of my own first baby.

It made me think of the guided meditation, that we went on at The Magical Druid.  My friend said that when she met her Ancestors, her baby was there, too (she miscarried).

Between Samhain, her experience, October 15th (Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day), a photo of a 1 lbs. baby girl who died last night on my FB feed, and this article, I've been thinking a lot about the loss of my embryo.  Even though I have two beautiful, healthy little boys, I'm always going to think of the First.  Wonder what could have been...but I know that if that baby had been full term, then I wouldn't have my little Wolfman.  The two that I have now keeps me from dwelling on the could-have-been's.  Just as they chase the depression away.  They keep me in the present.  But I'm always going to keep the First in my heart and soul.

I'm probably going to always fear future miscarriages.  With my two boys, I didn't want to tihnk of their future just in case I lost them.  It's difficult when you walk into the nursery and see it all set up and ready and yet you're terrified to "see" them using it before they're born.  But I don't fear it so much as to stop having kids.  I want at 1-2 more.  My hope and love is stronger than my worry and fear.  I felt so betrayed by my body the first time, but slowly I'm gaining understanding and trust again.  My body can keep babies alive and, boy can it produce beautiful, healthy children!  Things happen for a reason.  I would've rather have lost that pregnancy than give birth to a child with serious complications.

There's not always an outside cause to loss, sometimes these things just happen.

When I had miscarried October 2011, I just threw and packed everything away that reminded me of the joy we had felt when discovering of the pregnancy.  I have a baby book still that brings up those emotions of disappointment and loss.  But I haven't thrown it away.  I can't bring myself to throw it away, honestly.  Although I had kept a baby journal on my computer that I did delete.  But that baby book, I just can't toss it.  It's the only physical thing that I have left.

I'm still pretty traumatized.

On my parenting blog, I have links for others who've gone through pregnancy and infant loss.  Often you'll find Goodbye Rituals, where parents say goodbye to their baby.  They physically bury objects or letters for/to their baby.  Or they may write a letter, tie it to a balloon, and release it to the skies.  Or burn the letter, sending it to the Spirit World.  I haven't done any of this.  I guess I'm just not ready, or maybe it's just not right for me?

Instead of doing the above, I think that I'm going to take that baby book and place it on my Ancestral Shrine.  Like the author, although not a sibling, the First has shaped me, too.  Like my friend who met her baby, I'm sure that if my the meditation worked, mine would've been there, too.   Instead of saying goodbye, I should say hello and visit them time-to-time.  But not get lost in that plane--it's not my plane of existence.  I still have a body and a family to take care of.  But I'll always remember them.  Every Samhain, I'll invite them along with other Ancestors to the house to hang out, feast, and be merry.


(also posted on Book of Mirrors for the Pagan Blog Project)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Breast Feeding Nazis

"In a few years when they’re in preschool, you will never have to talk about breast-feeding again,” she said. “So don’t even think about it. Enjoy your baby. You earned it."

The above article is about a new mom who was harassed and trolled for not breast feeding.  Little did people know that she was a breast cancer survivor and was unable to produce milk.  

People need to calm down and stop judging others for formula feeding their children.  It's not your child, it's not your life, it's not your business as to why a woman chooses formula instead of breast.  They shouldn't feel a need to defend themselves against the societal pressures of natural feedings.  Formula exists for a reason.  Back off.  

For me, it was traumatic.  I had latching problems.  I tried various methods and they were all failures.  I pumped and only yielded a little bit before I just dried up.  I felt like a failure.  Didn't help that many people around me, both offline and online, judged me harshly, said that I gave up and wasn't trying hard enough, said that I wasn't thinking about him or that I was being selfish; they made me feel like a piece of shit because I couldn't breast feed my son.  Really?  Where the fuck is the support at?  Get over yourselves!

With the birth of my preemie, I pumped as much as I could for him.  I knew he needed it.  I still caught bullshit because I was pumping!  Pumping!  Oh, and then after a month, I dried up because I didn't have the time to pump and take care of my toddler and my newborn.  Even though we could barely afford it, we went back to formula.  We sacrificed food and necessities for ourselves to make sure that our toddler and newborn were fed and taken care of, and yet I was still called selfish by assholes who chose to judge me.  Who chose to degrade me and make be feel less than some crack head who leaves their newborn in a fucking dumpster.  

I felt bad because I knew that my preemie needed it.  He needed a boost from my immune system.  

At 6 weeks old, he caught the Rhino and Corona virus' and almost died.  The virus' attacked his brain and his lungs.  He had to be sedated, put on morphine, had EEG (the one for brain waves) and EKG (heart) tests, and he had a PIC line to his heart, and he was back on the breathing tube.  Imagine how much I felt that was my fault.  Because I had to stop giving him breast milk.

Despite what I was going through, heartless ruthless bitches still chose to call me a bad mother.  My child was dying, being kept alive by machines.  And instead of supporting me, some of them chose to say things like, "If you had been breast feeding, this wouldn't have happened."  What the fuck?  How is that uplifting?  How is that going to help anyone?  You're supposed to support people in these situations, not tear them down.  What teh fuck is wrong with you?

With Kuan Yin's help, I realized that it wasn't my fault.  Things happen.  Unfortunately babies get sick and die and it's no fault.  

You know, my grandmother and mother weren't able to produce breast milk.  In an essence, formula saved us.  Do you know how many babies have died before the invention of formula?  A lot.  Not everyone would afford a Wet Nurse back in the days.  It's a common problem going back since the beginning of time, mothers not being able to breast feed.  I wonder if they had judgmental assholes on their back, too, calling them child abusers, awful mothers, and selfish people?  

You're not better than anyone else because you breast fed.  Stop giving others a hard time for it.  Instead of passing harsh judgments on them, ignore them, or be a decent human being and be happy for their beautiful bundle and the fact that they are being a good mother, regardless of how she chooses to feed them.  At least that babies alive, well, and is loved.  

Their reasons as to why they're not doing breast milk isn't any of your concern.  Get a real life, instead of trolling theirs.  You can stroke your ego in other ways.  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Favorite Time of the Year!

I love October.  It has my favorite holiday, my favorite sabbat, our handfasting anniversary, hubby's birthday, the thinning of the veil, costumes, pumpkins, wonderful decorations, horror movies, hoodie and flapper weather, golden and red leaves, spices, and everything nice.  My favorite time of the year.

Which is funny, because in 2011, it was a miserable time for us, because I had miscarried with my first pregnancy.  Could not enjoy Halloween/Samhain that year because we were mourning.  But it's 2014, and I have two beautiful little boys, one who's nearly two and the little one who's nearly 6 months.  I still think of the first one that I lost, but then I know that I wouldn't have my special little guy, who was conceived a few months after the loss.

Lycan's talking more and he's figuring out his world.  He has quite the little personality.  He loves cars, trucks, and tractors.  Bananas, grapes, milk, pizza, and chicken.  When he burps, he grins, "Piggy."

Vin's rolling about, rolling over, squealing, and loves to watch his big brother.

My boys help me to not focus on what could've been with that first child.  I focus on the present with my boys.  I cherish these moments.  I still feel that pain once in a while, and I still worry about future pregnancies, but I don't get too lost or caught up in what could've been or what might happen.  I focus on Lycan and Vin.  They bring so much joy, frustrations, scares, excitement, discoveries, and unconditional love.  They're my little blessings.  My world.

As for my favorite time of the year, we've picked apples and have yet to get our pumpkins.  I'm excited to see how Lycan's going to do with picking one and gutting it.  :-)  Last night, we got three of four family costumes bought.  We're going with a Monster theme:

Vin's going to be a Bat
(Although i fell in love with this bat)

Lycan's going as a Devil
(there just weren't any good toddler monster costumes that I could find this year :-/ 
I liked this Skeleton better, but they didn't have it in his size)

I love how similar their costumes are, though.  And with Lycan, he's not to keen on wearing hats, but does better with hoods, so I had to pick costumes accordingly.  I refused to dress him up as a vampire.  I've never been a fan of the leeches, but I love my mutts:

I'm going as Little Red Riding Werewolf
(Last year, I went as Red Riding Hood [Lycan was the wolf and hubby was grandma].This year, she's back and bitten.  Just need a basket of bloody limbs and a red hood.)

I've always wanted to go as a werewolf, the scarier and more badass, the better (and I found some awesome masks!)....unless you have a young kid.  I wanted to pick something that was still cool, yet wouldn't scare my kids.  Hopefully this wolf mask isn't scary to them. I got some stick on claws, too.  (ugh, why won't this paragraph left align?)

Depending on funds, hubs is either going to be a zombie hunter, a monster hunter, or a axe wielding maniac.  Either way, I'm going to make both of us some bloody heads and limbs as "trophies" for him and "snacks" for me.  (and now this one won't either?  WTF?)

Omg, my left align isn't working anymore and it's seriously bothering me.  Technology, everyone!  Piece of crap.  Any way, hopefully hubby's costume will be just as cool as ours.  He likes Halloween, but he sucks with his costumes.  One year, he and his BFF went as Tenacious D.  Aka, they didn't dress up and just carried around Rock Band guitars.  Last year, he dressed up.  This year, it's going to be better, damn it, even if he's an axe murderer..  It's not that he doesn't like to dress up, it's that he doesn't put any effort into it.  Year-by-year, every since the Tenacious D fiasco, I've been whipping him into shape!  No lazy costumes on my watch!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Say Hello to Our New Security System

And pet:

(wasn't kidding about the name)

He's a 3.5-year-old rottweiler shepard mix.  Although I have a friend who's a dog breeder and trainer and thinks that he may also have akita in him. DT's a very beautiful dog.  He's an outdoor country dog--big and muscular.  But we're transitioning him to be an indoor dog.  DT is good with kids, doesn't have issues when eating, and is smart, but isn't trained very well.  So that's annoying, but he's trained to do his business outside.  And we'll be doing extra training, utilizing and sharpening those protective instincts.  

However, I might be allergic to him.  If I'm around him too long, I break out into rashes (not hives...yet) and start sneezing and coughing.  We're going to take him to the groomers and see if it's something on his fur, first.  I want to keep him, but I don't want to take allergy medicine for as long as we have him, ya know?    

Any ideas, other than the bath?  I don't want to keep him as an outdoor dog.  What's the point of having a dog if he's either kept outside, or in a kennel, when you're not home?  And I mean a real dog, something that oughta deter a burglar from breaking in, and literally rip em a new ass if they do?  But if he's outside, we run the risk of someone possibly stealing him, due to his breed. Not too mention, we need a fence (that goes deep because he's a digger), a kennel, and a dog house first.

And Lycan loves the "Puppy Doggy".  


Thursday, October 9, 2014

I Realy Hate Hardwood Floors

I've never been a fan of them, never.  Well, in some homes they look really good, and I do prefer higher quality, because it feel nicer on my bare feet.  I especially don't like them throughout the house.

I hate walking barefoot on floors, but i also hate having to wear socks or house shoes.  I don't like having dirty feet or stepping on dirt.  I hate sweeping with a broom, being tall it's just too hard on my back and knees.  And I have to sweep all of the freaking time!

Not too mention that my body needs cushion.  My hips, knees, ankles, and feet hurt from walking on these awful floors.  And parts of my feet are numb again (only happens when I'll been standing/walking on hard surfaces, too long).  Even dirt would be softer!

It's cool for my toddler concerning his riding toys, but he busted his face on the floor twice yesterday!  I know these things happen, but damn it, with carpet it wouldn't be as bad.

Now my 5-month-old is starting to roll over, we have him on blankets, but they only cover so much, so when he rolls, he fine, until he rolls again, in which, he hits his head on these god damn awful things, and is done.  Doesn't want to do it anything.  Way to go, progress!

As for area rugs, we're going to get them, but they're pricey, especially the softer, nicer types.  It needs to be softer for the babies and I need cushion for my legs.  But we need large ones and that money we don't have right now, especially since we have other much needed improvements, like more secure storm doors and front and back doors.

I was going to replace these things anyway, but after doing some homework on the sex offenders in my area, well, now it's top priority.  We have 5 convicted sex offenders (rapists, sexual battery, and gross sexual imposition against minors) living less than a mile around us.  How did we get so lucky?  And most of them are recent--as in recently got out of prison.  I've studied criminology and according to studies, most criminals are repeat offenders.  I'm not taking any risks, especially with my kids (at least two are pedophiles, which pisses me off even more, because we all live really close to an elementary school and a high school.  Who the hell fought for these sick fucks to live close to schools???  Who????  These kinds of people don't deserve second chances).

The house is pretty well protected magikally.  Physically, the windows are high off of the ground, they're new and very secure.  The house has ADT, but it's expensive!  So we're adopting a rott weiler mix this weekend, and we're going to go through proper training (he's already a dog and has has some training).  The doors are very weak and open--with large windows.  Aside from getting new doors, I think we're also going to purchase alarms for the windows.

Not to mention that I know martial arts and see just about anything as a weapon.  I will do what I must to protect my family, except submit to an intruder.  Pride won't let me do that.

Oh, and we need privacy fences....well fences period for our exploratory toddler and the dog.

Some would say that I'm paranoid, but listen, we're in a sweet spot surrounded by bad neighborhoods and sex offenders.  At least 2 times, someone's tried to break into gram's house.  I'd say that I'm cautious and protective.  It's better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.  Am I right?  We are not staying here longer than we have to.  Which is a shame because it's a nice property.  Unfortunately, the neighborhood is crap, as is the school system.  What a waste.