Thursday, May 10, 2012

outdoorsy mom: fail

from art wife. a nice blog i found today.


So I think I'm failing at helping my children love the outdoors... and by outdoors I don't mean the park. I mean the great outdoors. You know, where you can't see cars, and there isn't a discernible bathroom? Those outdoors.

Back to the failing:

We went to Antelope Island for my birthday (its Earth Day). We always go outdoors, hiking or something. WELLLLL, it was when the biting gnats were hatching and such. It was horrendous. Everyone cried. We were out of the car for less than five minutes before we got back in, went to the indoor visitor's center, then drove around the island. 

Yesterday I took the kids up to Quarry House via Red Butte Gardens. Some yellow jackets were building a nest (hive?) and there was no way around. Wally was already in the midst, so wearing Fern in the Ergo and grabbing Evelyn we powered through. I've watched too many episodes of Billy the Exterminator (I had a rough pregnancy, don't judge, haha) to not be a bit freaked that one of us might have gotten stung and then we'd all die of course... because they are obviously tracker jackers... from the hunger games.. 

oh but I digress. The rest of our hike was lovely. We went up. It was awesome. I took a picture or two.

But tonight at bedtime, all they wanted to hear was stories about biting gnats and yellow jackets.

they're going to hate the outdoors.

Friday, April 13, 2012

synergy



right now, that's such a perfect description of our family.

today todd and i were in perfect sync.

almost eerie.

but more than that, it was just nice to settle into it. it was all flow today, no ebb.

it bodes well for the weekend.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

unassisted birth

Recently a friend asked my thoughts on unassisted birth. Here is my response. 


Birthing at home with an educated midwife is fabulous. It is not for everyone nor does it need to be. I think every choice with birth should be have the precursor of education, contemplation, and a removal from the "world's view" of birth. As with any "debate" or exchange of opinions, there inevitably are some who are wacky, who do brag, or who overshare, frankly and make the rest of "us" look bad. It bothers me. Big time.

Back to the topic you asked about, however-- unassisted birth. As I have had more children, more experiences, I have become more "open" to the idea for others, if that makes sense. Its not really my place to decide what is right for them. I can only hope that all people do educate themselves about all the ins and outs. Being in labor puts you out of your normal state and I think women deserve the support of educated care providers who can help them make the best choices in that state... who KNOW them and know how to communicate with them effectively. Women are vastly under supported in many ways in our country, but it is glaringly clear with birth. I think for some doing it unassisted may be out of fear of being manhandled-- they're more scared of having a baby in the hospital than having one ALONE... and that is really sad to me.

Also I think the internet has helped create this false "superbreed" of women. They take pride in doing things on their own because they are too scared to ask for help because it has been denied to them too often. Its like, "I can't rely on anyone to help me the way I want so screw you all, I don't need you I'm doing it myself...." Of course, there are some who approach it prayerfully, etc, and that is their conclusion, to stay home, without additional help... so I don't think those who are going for "superpowers" are the majority, I don't think. I also take pride in doing things for myself, but its the bragging about it online, the judging others based on your own situation and choices that seems so detrimental to getting anything to change in the way women are treated in their birth care.

Every topic has lots of different angles and facets, but those are just some of my thoughts about this. Mainly, my worries for these women in terms of what their choices MIGHT say about our society and women's resources.




Sunday, March 4, 2012

different languages: having three kids

Here's an analogy.

When we had Wallace, we were all speaking the same language, so to speak. Todd and I understood each other, and we learned Wallace. We had time to learn it. We only spoke the same language every day.

Then when Evelyn came, we had to learn another language, her language. We became a bilingual love language family. Everyday were speaking two languages, sometimes part of each within one breath. One for Wally, one for Evelyn. These were both like romance languages, though, in relation to the analogy. They had a lot of the same roots.

Now there's three. Fern has her own language. We are trilingual all day, every day. Even when we should be sleeping. But its not three romance languages. Three has been different. Its like we're speaking Czech now, too.

Its invigorating, running at full speed. Tiring too, definitely. There is a lot of physical busy-ness right now, but moreso its such a mental shift.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Making the Change: A Conversation We'd Have If You Knew Me



So you might have been asking what I was going to do with this blog now that I've moved my art blog over here.

I heard once how important it is to be aware of your realm of influence.

In the last year I've responded to emails, facebook messages and phone calls. loads of them. about breastfeeding, parenting, how to resist the cultural sweeping torrents towards behavior that feels wrong deep inside.

My sphere is narrow. Only people who know me look at anything I put online artistically, and I expect  even less actually read the things I write. But its for the one. That's why I'm writing how I feel. I do what feels right to me, try very much to not do things that I will regret or question later. I am so lucky to be within the realm of other amazing influences. We all are. I want to share the good I find in mine and hope to create more overlap for others.

I am not trying to guilt people, or judge others. I don't have time for that.

This will be the things I would tell you if you knew me. If we were close.

I am a good person. I'm sure you are, too. Give me the benefit of the doubt if something seems off, mean, or like I'm getting puffed up. I'm writing from my heart. I'd love for this to be a springboard for real conversations. If you have questions, please feel free to call or email me.

Please take the good you can and leave the rest.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

girl at the pet shop

Recently I found myself at a pet shop getting some things for our frog.

The girl who rang up my purchase was youngish.
She asked how old my baby was. Said she had one at home 8.5 weeks.
I commented I hadn't gone back to work yet but that I was thankful because it was so much easier to nurse when my baby was with me.
She told me she wasn't nursing because she couldn't make enough milk for her boy's big appetite.
...
I told her, if she had more children and she wanted to nurse, that she could always go to a la leche meeting during her pregnancy to learn how to avoid difficulties that time around.

What I wanted to do...
was hug her. (she also had another baby before this one she had given up for adoption to a couple she worked with who had battled infertility).
I wanted to tell her she had been given misinformation. That she COULD nurse her baby.
I wanted to tell her it wasn't too late and that she could start again, right away, and nurse this baby. That's the hardest one for me. She could have gone back and done it. Re-lactation is completely doable, especially that close to stopping.

but I didn't. I wanted to, so desperately. because she seemed sad. she believed, truly, that she couldn't. and i knew she had been lied to.


its so sad that we can't really connect with each other as a community sometimes. she volunteered a lot of very personal and heartfelt information... but there was still that hesitancy on my part to not be a knowitall. i regret it, in some ways. there was an opportunity there to uplift somehow. and i couldn't navigate it.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

life imitating art


I've found the way to ensure I'm ready when my kids want to create is to have the supplies not only accessible, but visible. When they tore the cardboard container for these markers apart (they're not hellions, I swear), I threw the markers into a bowl I have as decoration until I found a suitable container (or so I planned). Its carved wood, sent to my by my best friend while she lived in Japan. Its the only piece I dare display that she sent. The other ones are waiting patiently for children to age (and our residence to be more organized and decorated, to be honest). The markers have stayed in this bowl. They look great there, right on my kitchen table always. 


Wally's drawings have become quickly less scribbly and more recognizable. Today he drew a carrot snake. The carrot had the correct colors. His drawings of germs leave me smiling.

This was big-ish for me, as a mom. Letting the evidence that I have children be present in communal living spaces. Our living room is toy free (when its clean. ha) The children's books are neatly on a shelf in our main bookcase. Our fridge is regularly cleared of clutter. Though we used to have alphabet magnets, it was too much for me. I wanted to maintain clear spaces that were still tidy, had some semblance of style, and were ready for nice talks and discussions. In my head, clear tupperware containers that housed bright-colored blocks would be a subconscious mental block to true discussion. I'm fully aware that a lot of this has to do with our space being small. But I think it has more to do with my worries of losing myself as I shaped my children.

The markers in the bowl looks like the smallest evidence. It was huge for me, though. The change its made in them has me glad. I think there are more ways I can have tools to creativity accessible to them  in spaces other than their room.... and I know I can do this without stress to the "niceness" of home.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Blog Moving

Hi!

Just a reminder that this blog is moving!

Head on over to http://alishastamper.blogspot.com and change your feed settings.

You can follow in google reader by clicking follow up top (once on the new page), or you can head to the bottom of the page and subscribe that way.

See you soon!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Newer Things

Winter is a change time.
A re-evaluating, eye-opening time.

Winter is a gather your strength time.
A make plans and dream dreams time.

I'm changing things up.
Been listening to friends needs, promptings, and my own heart.

This blog is changing. If we're friends and you want more of me writing, more of life.... stay here. 

If you follow me for photography, if you like what you see... There is gonna be a WHOLE lot more this year. Head on over to my proper photography blog: http://alishastamper.blogspot.com My business, art and all things related to the art and professional world with be there.




Friday, February 3, 2012

running running running

so very many things plopping around in my head.
sadly, the best description of this is that there is a bottleneck of my status updates... that's sad. life in terms of status updates.
for example:
do other parents have a systematic approach to their children's physical activities? Like, this spring we'll do t-ball, soccer in the summer, basketball in the fall?
--Being able to walk into a store and purchase jeans in my pre-pregnant size felt great yesterday. this is the fastest i've bounced back.
--I am a curmudgeon-y old lady who actually expects my cashier to address me... other than saying just the total and hereyougo when handing me my receipt. i even want the cashier next to her to not be leaning on the card tower and me awkwardly having to scootchy scoot closer until she realized she needed to move.
--I love walking around with lil Fern wrapped onto me. buying a ring sling from la leche league of salt lake city was such a great thing to do 3 hours before i had Fern. I literally get asked at least 2x every time I'm out how I like using the sling and whether or not i'm worried while wearing it... will she fall out, will i bump hard into her.... no to both of those, by the way.
--i want to photograph, i don't want to photograph. i have a unique vision, i have nothing to say, and over and over and over.
--i'm completely in love with marta's write club posts. They're from awhile back and I still gravitate to them when i think to myself, i sure would like to be a better writer.
--have you read downburst yet?
--i made quite the mistake last week when i ordered some film. but it has created an interesting challenge that i am looking forward to solving. having a challenge is pulling me out of a rut. does that happen for you?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

all the stages

me through my own camera (thank you carolee)


and then as i worked at the market (thank you leslie)


then as i spent one of my last nights with some of the ladies (thanks holly)


and contemplated if this would be a christmas baby (thanks kiera)

all of that was along the way that led me to this:


Fern.