Monday, June 29, 2009

Shop Update: Just three items, but long overdue!

I have just added two sets of new crochet bangles I've just started making. This is the "Atlantic" set; the other is a bright aqua, red, and gold set. I also listed a cuff with a dichroic glass focal piece and some beading. To check out the new stuff, visit my shop!

I'm hoping for a productive week and some more new items added! I am bursting with ideas--it's just a matter of sitting down and working them out! I also have plans for some new stoneware pendants and other pieces. Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rant: The "Ideal" Woman

This is from June 11th.

My mother told me today about a friend of my father's who was hanging out at the beach with them this past weekend who said of his wife (who I am sure was not present) "Oh, she's getting worn out. I've gotta trade her in for a new model." This couple is in their early forties. The wife is a youthful and active mother of a five year old boy and a three year old girl, both adorable.

What kind of culture is this where a comment like this, joking or whatever, goes unchastised? I tell you, if I had been there I would've had something to say. Like "Oh, and you're exactly the same guy she met in college? No extra pounds, no recession of the hairline? I guess this is the kind of appreciation women get for sacrificing their bodies to produce children with assholes like yourself."

Because honestly, how can a few hours of "bliss" with a perfect plastic body compare to the intimate complex history of relationship? What depth would you sacrifice for a fleeting moment of attractiveness that adheres to some prescribed notion of beauty that has nothing to do with the reality of the natural female body? And I mean "natural" as in "found in nature."

Think about the "ideal" American female appearance as presented in all types of media: bleach blond hair (how many women have hair that light in adulthood?); tan, hairless skin--and I mean hairless--women are supposed to think they shouldn't even have ARM HAIR anymore; miles of legs, small waist, high round butt, and large breasts that MUST be perky. How many women look like that as God made them?

And I'm not saying anything whiny like "This standard is unfair and impossible to live up to." I'm saying this standard is ridiculous and women SHOULDN'T want to live up to it. Why should anyone buy someone else's imagining of a "beautiful" body when every woman should be celebrating her own body, and all the things that make it unique, which is truly beautiful?

I was watching TV today and there was a young woman in her 20s debating whether or not she should get breast implants. She was an attractive girl with dark hair and a body that seemed to be in very good shape. Her breasts were probably on the smaller side of average, like an A. But her friends, who she worked with at Hooters, told her that buying breasts would make her feel feminine and confident, not to mention making her clothes fit better and her tips grow before her eyes-- almost as fast her cup size!

I think breast implants are totally unnecessary outside of a cancer patient wanting to replace a breast after a mastectomy. Wanting to feel like yourself is different than trying to become someone else. But the ridiculousness of breast implants is not my point here. The problem is thinking you can BUY something that will give you confidence. Placing the responsibility for your self worth on superficial things is nothing but a temporary patch-up. The novelty will wear off, you'll age, whatever is popular will change, whatever--then you are once again without self-confidence.

Rather than buying something that makes our outsides different, why not try evaluating the insides and figuring out why we feel the way we do about ourselves? You know why? Because buying something, even something that costs thousands of dollars, not to mention the obvious physical costs and hidden emotional costs, is easier than delving into our souls. We don't even know ourselves anymore. We just follow along, accept what is given to us, and don't question the norm or ask for more.

I mean, my mother was irritated by what that man said about his wife. But she didn't feel comfortable calling him out for his idiocy. We are polite about the wrong things. Sad. And all we do is run from real emotions into the easy ideals of a society that, even if it is artificial, backwards, and wrong, has clear expectations and a precise mold that you can chip yourself apart to fit into. Until they come out with a newer model.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Two for Tuesday: Things I'm Enjoying

Well, I have a couple of recommendations for you this fine morning. I have just finished my morning workout, and let me tell you--I have not enjoyed such a relaxing and inspiring one in a long time. The New York City Ballet workout is LOVELY. And easy enough that someone who admires ballet (but doesn't have a lick of dance training) can do it. I highly recommend it for a strength training workout that gets you really in touch with your body and needs no equipment, not even sneakers! Plus it makes me walk around with much nicer posture, and I feel more graceful in all my

Our Jostens Yearbook Rep Ryan came for a little cover meeting yesterday and brought us this lovely book (a copy each for my mother and me). It is such a cool project! I really think my friend, Ms. Cost would love it, if she hasn't seen it already. They're working on a Year of Evenings now. Click on the book cover to check out the blog where they post these photos!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lip Adhesion: All Gains Erased

Sage's adhesion tore open last night, so we went through all of that for nothing. I called his plastic surgeon this morning and talked to her about the next step. We did know that there was a possibility of it tearing going into it, and Dr. White told us that if that happened, she would recommend another adhesion. When I spoke with her this morning, I told her that although Tom and I knew what her suggestion was, we felt that we'd prefer Sage to have as few procedures as possible, so we'd like to go ahead with the full repair next. The great thing she said was that when she was doing Sage's adhesion, she wished she was doing a complete repair, because there was actually a lot of give in the left side of his lip, so she would've felt comfortable doing the whole thing.

The adhesion is typically to bring the two portions of the lip closer together so the muscle and skin get stretched a bit--then it's not such a struggle stitching them together in the permanent repair. So after he heals up a bit, we're going to schedule the full repair!

My heart just sank this morning when I saw it, because I felt so sad that he'd gone through all that for seemingly nothing. But he's a resilient boy-- he was already smiling on Saturday and he's back to his happy self now.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Lip Adhesion Post-Op

Well, yesterday was quite the day. We got to the Maine Med Scarborough Surgery Center at 6:30 for Sage's lip adhesion. It's a nice-looking facility, actually. But I was just thinking about the fact that my baby boy was having SURGERY at 4 months old. Anyway, he was very cheery until about 7:00 because even though I woke him at five to give him some apple juice (clear liquids only 2 hours before surgery), he really didn't drink much. So he was a hungry little bear.

They took him for anesthesia at 7:15 and didn't let either of us go to see him off to sleep, which bothered me a bit. They told us with babies that young they don't have the parents come in, because it doesn't make much of a difference. That's ridiculous, because he notices the difference when I'm there or not there. I really think it's because they don't want to put in the oxygen tube in front of you (apparently babies that young can't breathe well unassisted when they're that deeply asleep). So we just wandered out of the pre-op area back to the waiting room and waited.

They have these screens that show the patients, coded with different colors that show what step of the procedure they're on. As soon as we saw Sage's showing that they were ready for us to come back there, we found someone to take us back, down a corridor and around corners and through some very soundproof doors. As soon as I heard my son screaming, they didn't need to tell me what recovery room he was in.

He was hoarse from the oxygen tube and the screaming. He also had these braces on his arms so he can't put his hands anywhere near his mouth. They basically don't allow him to bend his elbows at all. Also, someone had put one side on with the velcro toward his body, so his poor little cheek was red and scratched. The nurses were all acting really strange, like they didn't know why he was crying and couldn't figure out why he didn't stop immediately when I held him.

They said not to worry-- he was so numbed up he wasn't crying from pain. They know this how? Did he tell them? I've had my child get shots, and I know his "pain" cry. It's not like his hungry cry or his sleepy cry.

All that aside, when I sat down, they handed me a bottle of pedialyte with a regular nipple! When I said "I don't know if he's going to be able to work with that nipple" the nurse holding it out to me looked at me like I was crazy. Um, hello--can you not see what this child just had done? He has a cleft lip! He can't drink with a normal nipple!

Luckily I had brought both types of nipple he's used. One of them we stopped using because his suck was getting strong enough that it was just coming out too fast, he didn't know until too late that he was full, etc.

So anyway I'm sitting there holding my wriggly child who's screaming his head off, trying to hold his blanket on him (they didn't have him wrapped all that well) and also trying to communicate to my husband that I needed one of Sage's own bottles, giving directions through the . Once we got that sorted out, he really didn't like the pedialyte. I have no idea what it tastes like, but until Thursday he hadn't had anything but my milk and the occasional bottle of formula. I brought apple juice/water for him, and he liked that much better. He ate, spit up blood and apple juice, and then after about 30 minutes of me holding him and walking up and down the hall with him, he fell asleep. Then they told me they needed to take his IV out of his little hand. And basically 10 minutes later I was hauling him out the car in the rain.

The discharge instructions are not even 100 words of pertinent information. Nothing about cleaning around the stitches. And of course when they hand you the paper then ask if you have any questions, you're not thinking about when you get home. You're just thinking about the fact that your baby son is nearly inconsolable after a surgery.

On the way home, I said to Tom, "I wonder how they get those tubes in his ears." And he asked me if I was even sure they did them, because he never saw the ENT there. I didn't either, but his portion of the surgery was only about 10 minutes, so I figured he did his first then left. But I really have no idea. I sincerely hope they did that so he doesn't need to have another separate surgery. They mentioned it in the pre-op room, so I wouldn't think anyone forgot. . .

But now Sage has to wear those arm braces until his post-op appointment with the plastic surgeon, which is supposed to be in one week, but they couldn't fit us in until next Tuesday. So he has to wear them for more like a week and a half. It's all just so irritating. I really felt like we were just booted out yesterday. Plus, these people have paperwork on my son and still call him a "she". Same thing happened at all of his pre-op appointments. "How much does she weigh?" Fourteen pounds, ten ounces, and actually it's "he". One lady said "Really? Sage? Oh, that's interesting." Like, because she felt stupid, she wanted to make sure I did too. But I have never met a female Sage. I really think it's a unisex name. But whatthefuckever.

And of course when you go to an office, you inevitably need to present yourself to at least three people: the receptionist, the nurse/person that takes you to the office, and then the doctor/specialist/person you're actually there to see. It's one thing when people out in public think he's a girl (despite the fact that I always have him dressed VERY boyish (blue, green, orange, brown) and all his accoutrements are black or brown. It just gets pretty damn irritating when each one of the people is a doctor's office has access to paperwork that tells them exactly what sex the child is, if there was any doubt. Tom said he didn't think it was the name-- it's because Sage is such a pretty little boy. Does my husband know just what to say to me, or what? :)

Anyway, my sweet son who for about 1.5 months has been sleeping straight through the night, at least 10 hours, couldn't stay asleep in his little crib and periodically sobbed in his sleep while I held him. It can only get better from here. Until the next surgery (probably in September).

Well, I've probably complained enough. But I really hate how I feel like I can't question a doctor. Like for some reason we are expected to just do what they say because they obviously know what they're talking about. Well, I'm working my way out of that stupid assumption!

I have another rant on paper that I'll be presenting in the next day or so, and I have some items in the works for the shop, so hopefully I'll be taking photos today (good day for it, up here in the great Northeast). Tom's taking a test as part of the application process for an apprenticeship at the Navy Yard. Hopefully that's going well!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Where have I been?

Well, it's been quite a while since I posted, and we're getting geared up for Sage's first surgery on Friday. He's having a lip adhesion and tubes put in his ears. It's an outpatient procedure that will only take about an hour and a half. I don't really know how I feel-- I mean, I really hope that everything will be okay, with the anesthesia especially. But how many times has this surgery been done? Thousands and thousands. I feel kinda Zen about it. Let's hope I still do in the morning on Friday! It will probably be too early for me to think anything. He has to be there at 6:30 AM in Scarborough.

And meanwhile, my brother is getting rolled back to the next Navy SEAL class because he has to have laser surgery. But he's been in Illinois waiting to go to Coronado for what-- a month and a half now?-- and they couldn't do that before now? Eh, don't even get me started on that.

During all this as well, I'm trying to get my eating habits back in order, and exercise too. And I'm hoping next week to really get back to creating for the shop. So that's me-- how about you?