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5.22.2012

Donating

Last week Momma G went to a local blood drive to, well, donate blood. I could've gone, but I knew better. I admit, I was sad, but when it took Momma G an extra hour to get home I said to myself, "That is why I don't donate."

For as long as I can remember Momma G and my Dad, donating blood at The San Diego Blood Bank. I would always go with them and watch their little pint baggies slowly fill up with blood while they squeezed their little squeezie thing and sigh and say "I can't wait until I can do that, too!" I even remember once or twice the staffers, not wanting me to feel left out, would even "bandage" up my little 6, 7, 8 year old arm while I wore my mint green SDBB shirt that has since been left in California. I also remember Momma G always falling faint and ill and taking longer than usual in the canteena and the staff members checking up on her. I also remember the Super Donations they would do, with a needle in both arms and the big "spinny machine" that would separate the platelets from the rest of the blood, and again, Momma G with the blankets and handwarmers. There was no sense of urgency so I was never afraid. Just, oh, okay. I don't remember my Dad ever being like that, and no one was panicky or never let her donate. It seemed normal.

2005. During my junior year of high school the New York Blood Center came to my school and with parental permission we were allowed to donate, as long as we were over 110 pounds.

"Awesome, now it's my turn!"

I was pretty sure I was over 110 pounds, and so with written consent in hand, I gave up my blood for a greater good. The needle was bigger than I expected, but if I remember right it looked like a 14 or 12, but already with at least a 4ga in one ear it wasn't frighteningly huge. I squeezed and counted and squeezed and counted and watched my blood drain from my body and when it was all full, which was relatively quick, I even asked to hold my bag o' blood. It was warm and squishy and pretty awesome. I was in awesome spirits feeling pretty great. I got bandaged up and was ready to go when whoosh I was back down with my head in a negative incline and looking at my feet.

"If you pass out we have to call 911."

Don't pass out I said to myself. And I didn't. I just went home extremely tired, thinking it was all due to my sleeping issues, not getting enough sleep, or maybe only eating a doughnut for "breakfast", or maybe I just didn't weigh enough. I crawled into bed and slept it off.

2009 was the next time I donated. It was at a church a block away, so no train taking involved, just in case I got faint again. I knew I was over 110, had a better meal than a doughnut, and since it was afternoon wasn't worried about a sleep deficit. Squeeze, one, two, three, four, five, squeeze. Still some lightheaded-ness and again looking at my feet, but it wasn't as bad as the time before.

2010. Mid-town, CitiCorp building. My first encounter with a blood collection monitor. Those little annoying machines that rock your bag back and forth and beep if it's not filling fast enough. I swear, that thing cut my filling time in half. But of course, I got faint and light headed again and was not allowed to get up from the little chair for an extra 20 minutes or so, sipping a juice box of apple juice. I didn't feel so self conscious, though, because a well built man was getting sick, himself. Eventually I got up, pocketed some cookies, and slowly made my way home to... Sleep.

2011. Another blood drive at a local church, other side of our block. Again with the blood sucking machine, but this time I asked for my time. Six minutes, 14 seconds. I made it out of the chair and over to the canteena. First time I've accomplished that without incidence. Or so I thought. Lightheaded, dizzy, faint. I probably would have went down had I waited a minute longer to get someone's attention. I was brought back to the chair and again was set up looking at my feet. Until I felt nauseous, then I was rolled over. Then I felt cold and they found a blanket for me. And at this point I'm thinking What the FUCK it just keeps getting worse! They eventually released me and I felt much better, well enough to go to a church that was having a discussion on emergency preparedness, which is so my thing, until I drained of all color and literally had to run and jump over little kids to get ill in a nice private spot.

Now I'm afraid to donate whole blood. I'm open to donating platelets, but can't find a "good" time. Donating bone marrow skeeves me out, and I can't afford to donate monies. So what can I donate?

My hair! To make wigs for children who, as the Locls of Love website put it, are suffering from hair loss. What better use for hair that would otherwise be thrown away?

While trying to figure out when to do it, start of summer, after birthday, Momma G asked me to cut her hair. So I did. Emi liked it and said I should do it that day. So I washed and blow dried my hair.



And measured it. Eighteen inches. Eighteen! Probably more because my hair isn't super straight. But still. Eighteen!

Then I sectioned it and made faces.



And cut.



And now...



As I said when I emailed a friend...

Boo-yah!

5.17.2012

TIME, Attachment Parenting, Extended Breastfeeding, and Me


Last week we got our usual TIME magazine in the mail. Before Momma G handed it to me she said, "Oh, shit. I can't believe they published this!" She was talking, of course, about this one.

I was actually a little disappointed by the article. To me, it felt like it was more about Dr. Sears and his family than attachment parenting [AP} as a parenting idea, with some emphasis on breastfeeding/extended breastfeeing [BF/EBF].
There's this picture of a nearly 4 year old boy nursing (and the mom looking like she's trying to be a fashion model?) and then you read the article and there's not much information on AP or BF or why it's beneficial and how it's protected by law in most, if not all, states. It felt misleading and like a plug for the Sears' books. But again, this is my personal feeling.

When I was pregnant with my now 4.5 year old daughter I'd never heard of AP. I'd heard of Ferberizing, but only because of a movie. I only found out about AP when I was researching what felt natural to me. I live in NYC and hated strollers on the subway, you could tell it was awkward and cumbersome. I knew I was going to be a baby wearer right from the start, just like I knew I was going to breastfeed from the beginning. I am also a single parent and knew I'd have no one to take night feedings and changings for me, so co-sleeping was an obvious choice.
I wore my daughter until she outgrew our carrier and by that point she was big enough to walk everywhere, we only take the stroller when we're going to be out All Day. We still co-sleep and she still nurses at night. She's been away for entire weekends and surprisingly I'm still producing milk. She knows it's only for bedtime and I know how much our "Mommy Hugs" mean to her. I'm not going to hurt her feelings by taking away something so special to her when I can't even give her a good reason, by our standards.

Yes, Time's cover photograph was awkward and perhaps even poorly shot. There was no love there. No eye-to-eye connection, no visible bond. To me, that's what nursing is about and showing that is crucial to the acceptance of EBF. Otherwise it just looks...odd.

3.17.2012

A Week of Holidays

I like "celebrating" holidays. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Pi Day...

Pi Day was this past Wednesday, but since Emi has music class on Wednesdays until the end of March we didn't have time to bake a pie. So instead we put on our Pi Shirts, bought a bunch of pies and had a Picnic in the park.

From Pi Day, Parts 1 & 2

From Pi Day, Parts 1 & 2

From Pi Day, Parts 1 & 2
How do I pass up including this picture?

And for dinner we popped out some Pi ice to chill our drinks with our paella [pronounced pi-eya].
The next day, Thursday, we had left over pies, so Emi said it was still Pi Day, which makes sense since pi is 3.1415, so we had more pies and more ice.

This weekend, today, is St. Patrick's Day, except Emi's with Michael this weekend, so I brought the green out early. After our pies I coloured Emi's hands green and for dinner I made pancakes, coloured green. Since she's been on an Angry Birds kick I even made a pig for her, a big pancake for his head and a smaller one for his nose. Then we cuddled up and played some St. Pat's Angry Birds and Emi wished me a Happy Mommy St. Patrick's Day.
I hoped we'd have left over pancakes for brekky Friday morning, but nope, they were all eaten, so we had a regular breakfast followed by more hand dyeing! And more cuddling with a side of Angry Bird-ing.

From Mommy St. Patrick's Day
Kiss Me, I'm Irish!


I can see Emi asking to colour her hands more often now, and why not? Last month we dyed some 30 eggs. No holiday necessary!

3.12.2012

Sorry, My Lovelies! -Update-

It's been a whole month since I last posted and I have no good reason. Actually, I do, but like usual it's one of those private-ish issues that the other person involved would have been pissed if I blogged about it, so instead I just bitched to anyone that would listen, which these days is really no one since I don't go anywhere anymore because I'm too busy spending my money going to doctor's appointments instead of karate which is Really Starting to Piss Me Off!

Every Tuesday this month I have a doctor's appointment, and even one on Friday. And that's just the appointments that I already made, who knows what other appointments I'll need?
Two weeks ago I had an allergist appointment, and he did some blood work, and I get results tomorrow, and probably have more blood drawn since I thought of something between then and now.
Last week I changed dentists because I don't like the other one, even though he wore Converses, and I changed clinics entirely. And because he gave me some amalgam fillings and now my tooth is Super sensitive, I can barely drink cold water without wincing. Now I get to have it redrilled and refilled, that's on Friday and another yet to be named day, and then finally my cleaning early next month. I also still need to go for a consult to have my wisdom teeth out, and then, of course, have them taken out.
Then finally next week I see my GI again to find out what last month's endoscopy showed and get lab results back. And then who knows if I'll have to see him again.

Emi's about to be registered for school. Kindergarten this year! We won't know if she got into gifted and talented until next month, but Emi doesn't want to go. She's got her heart set on going to our zone school, my little sweet bean. It's probably because she's already familiar with the building, she used to eat lunch there with her Forever Young Daycare when I was working at St. Bart's, and also last summer. She told me to cross our fingers for our zone school.

Momma G bought me a Kindle Fire for Valentine's Day, but Emi probably uses it more than I do. At least she calls it Our Kindle Fire, though. With it came a free month of Amazon Prime, so I've woken up pretty much every day since to either The Backyardigans, Angelina Ballerina, Blues Clues, Dinosaur Train, the list goes on. We also got a streaming set-top box, which Emi calls The Special Box, which made my LOST rewatch even better, and watching Amazon Prime movies with Emi even more snuggly.
Emi's also become quite an Angry Birds fan, and the game, the free one even, is so much better on the Kindle Fire. Way more levels. Emi's new thing is the golden eggs, so I've been spending my nights looking up where to find the golden eggs and how to get them.

Wish me luck with all the doctors, and with the Angry Birds, too!

2.08.2012

Whee! Weekend

This past weekend we went to one of our favourite stores... Build-A-Bear Workshop!

We got a mailer a few weeks ago with some new, seasonal, Valentine's bears that they had, so of course we had to go and buy some new bears.

I was already 99% sure of the bear that I wanted, Momma G wanted to look around first, and Emi was saying she wanted a penguin. When we walked in Emi found the penguin she wanted, but while Momma G and I were looking around she found a bear [And for some reason I can't find the links on the BABW website] she really wanted.

From Feb 4 - 6, 2012

The bear of her choice is a "Bake Shop Bear", one of the special bears that they have out now, I think for Valentine's Day. Emi's bear is a confetti covered cupcake bear, that comes with its own cupcake. The bear that I had already picked out was also a "Bake Shop Bear", a pink sugar cookie bear, that comes with its own sugar cookie. Momma G picked out a koala... Until Emi brought her a blue donut "Bake Shop Bear" that comes with its own donut. Momma G tried to tell Emi that she really wanted her koala until she realized that Emi wanted our bears to match like they had pictured in the mailer.

There was a longer line than usual to get them stuffed, but we kept ourselves entertained by making our bear-skins talk to each other, because that's why we get bears, so they can play and talk to each other, and us.

From Feb 4 - 6, 2012

From Feb 4 - 6, 2012

From Feb 4 - 6, 2012

From Feb 4 - 6, 2012

From Feb 4 - 6, 2012

On the way to the train we stopped to buy some pretzels to eat on the ride home. On the ride home Emi asked to play with iZiggy II. While Emi was playing whatever she was playing [I don't know what she was playing not because I wasn't paying attention to her but because she knows how to switch games and all the games on the iPhones are Emi approved so I let her have at it] I was talking to Momma G about how in the mornings Emi will grab iZig2 and just start playing games, cuddled up next to me or leaning on me, while I slowly come to consciousness to the sounds of Angry Birds and German flash cards. I asked Emi if she knew how to say "Apple" in German, since it's the first word in the food category and that seems to be the one she uses most, but she didn't know so we all kept munching on our pretzels.
Then, out of nowhere, Emi says she knows how to say "Pretzel" in German.

"You do?"

"Yeah! Brezel."

I didn't know off the top of my head what the German for "Pretzel" is, so I pulled out iZiggy, opened my German flash cards app, and looked it up.

From Feb 4 - 6, 2012

She also told me how to say "Cauliflower" yesterday. "Blumenkohl".

Amazing how small ones absorb that sort of stuff.
Emi also plays with the French flash cards app, but I'm not sure which she uses most. Of course, now that I know she's actually paying attention and not just listening to it, we do it together. And, of course, since I've been wanting to learn German for, like, ever, at this point, I admit we do the German most.

After we got home I emptied out our main stuffie container to bring the bottom stuffies to the top so they can get a turn to be played with, but before I could put them all back in, someone decided to lay on them.

From Feb 4 - 6, 2012

That's why we go to Build-A-Bear.


Now for a couple more cute pictures from the past few days...

From Feb 4 - 6, 2012
Emi, Anna Cupcake, and iZiggy II


From Feb 4 - 6, 2012
Toes!


From Feb 4 - 6, 2012
Pearly whites!
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