Friday, March 27, 2009

Save the Foreskin!

Most who know me would say I am rather passionate. Although it is a lovely descriptive word, I wonder if my opinions don't carry their deserved weight because it is sometimes assumed I am only riled up because that is just what I do. I imagine many of my friends and family thinking to themselves, "Oh it is no big deal, she is just going off on one of her tangents." This thinking, I believe, is exactly what got my babe and I in the whole KFC chicken and honey eating incident. (Unbelievable story to come soon.) The truth is, it isn't that I blow everything out of proportion, but that many things are important to me and, like I said, I am rather passionate about them.

I do not believe in routine infant circumcision. It had never really occurred to me before I became pregnant, but since we were waiting to be surprised by the sex I figured I should look into it. My initial opinion was that since it seemed everyone I knew from my generation was circumcised there must be a valid reason for it, right?

Then, I started thinking about how many things are done, repeated, and carried on not because of any rational reasoning, but because it doesn't always occur to us very social beings to think far out from our social perimeters, even when we should. I want my life to have meaning, purpose, and thought therefor I must practice consciousness, live with intent, and well, think.

After doing some research and asking medical professionals, I couldn't think of one justifiable reason to choose a routine circumcision. I brought it up to the babe's Daddy and we decided that if there just wasn't any reason to irreversibly change a perfectly created little person without even getting their input first, then why even consider it?

There are two arguments that get at me the most:
  • Baby needs to look like daddy
  • The whole locker room scenario
First of all, it is not a hard conversation to explain if it were to come up, "When daddy was a baby his penis was cut, but we didn't want to give you an owie on yours." Next, I don't think it is a responsible way to start out the very beginning of a child's life by surgically altering them so that they can supposedly fit in better. I believe it is much more supportive of somebody's self worth to teach them that they are wonderful being themselves just as they are. Cutting at an infant's most private body part without their consent is not the same as buying a teenage boy something he desperately wants just because everyone else has it. Most people are much happier with their lives when they finally grow out of that I want to be like everyone else phase, why begin some one's life with and encourage it through a risky surgery?

Then I told my mom. When I brought up that many insurances won't even cover it anymore because it is basically cosmetic surgery for an infant's genitals she offered to pay. Ugh... She is now supportive by simply saying it is my child and my choice, but that is just the thing, I don't believe it should be my choice, after all, it isn't my penis.

There is tons of very valid information out there, but I don't think it is even all that necessary with the most obvious reason why we should leave babies' penises alone. Of course, there are no medical benefits of a routine infant circumcision, there are serious risks, it is irreversible, but my favorite, which needs no data, statistics, etc. to back it up: it is not my body!

Anyways, my mom told me the other day, "Grandma was right about you. Even when you were a little girl she was saying you would be out there picketing just to be picketing. Why don't you get a bumper sticker that says, 'Save the Foreskin' on it."

Picketing just to be picketing, huh?

(Photo used courtesy of L.M.I.)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How To No 'Poo: Day 2

So today is my second day of no 'poo-ing. Don't worry, this isn't a matter of fiber, but actually the decision to cut out shampoo! I will chronicle my journey of my no 'poo adventure, but thought maybe some of you would like some more info in case you are:
  1. Curious
  2. Grossed out and wondering WHY?
  3. Interested in trying it yourself

First I will give you some reasons why one might consider the no 'poo route.
  1. Dry hair
  2. Oily hair
  3. Frizzy hair
  4. Less Plastic
  5. A general hair rebellion
  6. To try something different
  7. All the gross shampoo ingredients
  8. So you can say, "I don't 'poo," and see people's reactions
  9. Shampoo strips away hairs natural oil sebum which can result in dry hair or an overproduction of Sebum resulting in oily hair
Supposedly, if you cut out 'poo-ing all together then after a while your scalp with figure out how much sebum it should be producing. This should result in your hair being coated in just the right amount equalling awesome hair days from there on out. The catch? Appearently there is a rough patch for some people, but if you can push on through then amazing, low maintenance hair is promised in your horizon.

Getting Started:
First, you can start weaning yourself from 'poo or you can just skip right to the baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Also, in order to encourage the sebum to travel down your hair shaft a wash cloth (to smooth from scalp to root) or natural bristle brush is recommended.

I started weaning myself from 'poo maybe a month or so ago. I started only using it about once or twice a week. Then, yesterday I finally broke out the baking soda and apple cider vinegar. To begin you mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with water to create a paste. You massage this paste gently into your scalp and roots then let it be for about a minute. After rinsing well do a rinse of apple cider vinegar. I mixed 2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar with some water and poured it into the ends of my hair, letting that sit for a minute as well before rinsing it all out with water. I plan on only using the baking soda and apple cider vinegar bit again when my hair seems to really need it. Also, I think it is important to note that my hair does not smell one bit like vinegar like I thought it might!

Well day 2 of no 'poo has begun and so far so good! Stay tuned for more of my no 'poo adventure!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Grow Up!

Watching how fast my babe grows reminds me how slow my progress has been lately. This past weekend he has rolled from tummy to back, back to tummy, grabbed his feet, and ate KFC chicken with honey!

Okay, the whole KFC and honey thing is actually a very infuriating story that I will be sure to share once I can see the humor in it a bit more. Rage is still the first emotion that takes over, but I am getting there.

Anyways, watching him inspires me! So, in order to help myself commit to really stepping out of my comfort zone, I am compiling a list of goals, interests, and ideas that I want to explore.
  • Crocheting - already started
  • Sewing - need to learn to use the sewing machine
  • Cooking - ugh
  • Writing - everyday
  • Reading - some plans
  • Creating - so far so good
  • No 'Poo-ing - as in shampooing, today is technically day 1
  • Going More Green - see above, cloth diapering, any more ideas?
  • Supporting - like breastfeeding, natural childbirth, and not routine infant circumcision
  • Discovering My Hidden Talents - we'll see!
Okay, here I go!

Monday, March 23, 2009

From Here On Out

One year ago last Friday, March 20, I found out that I was going to be a mother.

The emotions poured through me colorful and bright. Shock, fear, excitement, and disbelief overtook me. The disbelief made itself quite at home and I imagine it will stay with me the rest of my life.

I dote on my beautiful babe's every wakeful moment in complete awe. I am really looking forward to helping his little toes experience all the sandy, wet joy of the beach for his first time this summer. There is so much I want to teach him. Even more though, I want to stand back so that I do not get in the way of opportunity. It is easy to send someone a message that suggests you don't believe in them. If he wants to become or do anything, who am I to tell him he cannot? If at 6 years old he wants to fly, I will just point him in the direction of the swing set and away from the rooftop.

I, on the other hand, do not even bother to swing anymore. It isn't that I am particularly pessimistic, I just don't expect to fly. He is growing everyday and I desperately want to catch up to where I left off. I want to challenge myself, try new things, be adventurous, spontaneous, learn, explore, discover new talents, and everything else that will inspire me to grow! How can I expect to nurture his excitement for life when I am so caught up in the things that keep me from living it?

Today, when I leave the house I am only going to check the heaters and locks once. If whats her name tries to give me any grief about it I am really going to let her have it this time.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Step One: Give Her a Name

My life is unfolding. There are ragged edges that have curled up over time and I am ironing them out, wondering which ones to simply tear away. In order to create change, I need to know what exists to change. What have I imagined into life, but really isn't so?

Most days I wake with an eagerness to quench my thirst for more. Although, I hope I can never accomplish and eliminate such a desire, I would like to at least try. Instead, I distract myself with mundane life because I probably have less chance failing at that. When there is extra time just aching in my day to bring me to a new level I allow it to be smothered out with my life's greatest debilitating critic.

There is a familiar self doubt which comes to rescue me from the possibility of embarrassment from pitiful failures. I once believed it to be my enemy, but over time, I have grown rather accustomed to it. I almost feel it deserves a name, an identity of its own. The term Stockholm syndrome comes to mind.

An anxious heart drumming first came over my body when I was 3 years old. Over the years it would randomly reappear with little to no warning. Each time the feeling overtook me more spreading from my body, to my mind, and eventually seeped into my very being. Now, every time I am ready to break out she whispers and I listen,

"Are you sure? You may fail. You will just further prove to yourself what you already know. It will hurt, do you want that? In fact, let me remind you that your doubt in your self is so strong you must check the heater and locks at least 5 more times before you can even leave the house. If you cannot even trust that the door is locked after the fourth time checking it, how can you believe in yourself with anything at all?"

Yes, I think she definitely needs a name so I can tell her directly to, "Shut the hell up."

So It Begins

I have documented many of my thoughts in notebooks, journals, and on scraps of paper. Sometimes, a passion to spill the words into my everyday life takes over. The company I keep is not always amused. Maybe you will be.

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