Saturday, April 29, 2006

Bedtime + God

Elliot has been asking about God lately. "Did God create the earth?" "How was the earth created?" "Is God a person?" "What is God?" "Do Gods die?" I automatically wondered if our heavy into jesus neighbors inspired this latest rumination. What books were they reading in school? Could this be related to the passover seder? Did he overhear an anti-evolution theorist? intelligent design? he hasn't been to the unitarian since october.

The last time he asked about how god created the earth, I told him about how there was a big cosmic explosion in space and bits of life were created on earth. Remember the magic school bus book inside the earth? remember the magic school bus book on dinosaurs? the earth started with small animals and then they got bigger and changed. Evolution, people developed from apes. not exactly what he was asking. I need to work on this.

Tonight I told him that god didn't create the earth. (I still need to work on this.) I just didn't want him to think god was an all seeing all knowing man who created the earth. I told elliot that god isn't a person. it's a feeling, a spirit you can't touch or see. I told him he has god in his soul, in his heart. God is love. it's the love that his dad and I have for him and asher. it's good things, beautiful things, nature. We talked about egyptian and greek gods. other religions and their gods. I should buy him a book on spirtuality.

Tonight Asher asked to go to sleep in our bed instead of in his crib, "Bed. Sleep in bed." What have we done??? Danny let him sleep there.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Self Care for Crabby Parents

The parent educator for Asher's class did a "filling up the well class." She urged us to realize that self care is for our relationship and our children's emotional health as well as for our own sanity. She recommended "Parenting From the Inside Out" by Dan Siegal.

Stresses of parenthood:
unpredictable job
dealing with an unreasonable boss
poverty (relative - to pre-kids)
little positive reinforcement
dull, repetitive tasks
sometimes isolating no other adults to talk to
physically draining
clouds thinking
quality of work judged by outsiders
interferes with social relationships
interferes with sexual relationships
lack of sleep makes you cranky
not a lot to give at the end of the day
division of labor tends to be unequal
our own parents judge our parenting
more stress on the breadwinner, higher level of anxiety

In order to cope with the stresses of being a parent of young children we need to ensure we're paying attention to the following dimensions of our identity:

  • Physical
  • intellectural
  • emotional
  • spriritual
  • psychological
Some of the best advice:
  • Give up little pieces of control
  • Practice releasing control
  • Strengthen bond between couple with friendship and shared interest
  • Learn communication and problem solving skills
  • Make sure you time alone
  • Make sure you devote time to activities that nurture your indentity (intellectual and creative)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Elliot's Astronomy Birthday

Everyone we invited showed up at the pacific science center last sunday. So this was a crazy, crazy full house of 4 and 5 year old energy all crammed into one small room. On the agenda was coloring rockets and then blasting them off powered by alkaseltzer and making ice cream with liquid nitrogen. And cake and presents of course.

The teacher was a bit green. She threatened the kids a few times, "We're not having ice cream unless you can sit down" as if this were school. The kids were wild, running around the hall. I wanted to keep them coralled in the room, but the door kept opening. They colored their rockets and then shot off the rockets in the courtyard. One by one. It look a bit longer than expected. Not a great activity for 20 kids. We had to ask them to sit down so they wouldn't get hit over and over again.

We got through rocket episode and then the teacher made blue ice cream with liquid nitrogen. A dramatic cloud of vapor escaped and rolled onto the floor. The kids were impressed. The ice cream was good. I had forgotten about the cake... oops. I put the candles in and we all sang happy birthday. I felt completely barbaric as I pushed off pieces of cake onto the kids' plates. Elliot had a ball. All of the kids from school chasing each other around. The same silly jokes. Very familiar.

We opened presents next, I really didn't want to. I wanted the kids to go into the science center. But Lisa and Teresa pushed me into it. Elliot was polite. He refused to try on the amazing cape that lisa nobis made for him, a blue cape with a big letter E in yellow. He put on the red motorcycle robot shirt that will langley gave him immediately.

Elliot got so many presents it was ridiculous. I stashed most of the toys in the closet. It's just too cramped in this house. He loves the fishing game and the legos. The bug catching box is also a favorite.

Friday, April 14, 2006

my purse was stolen

Thursday morning we dropped off lisa's car at the detailing shop. I got gas, placed my credit card (usaa) in my coat pocket. drove home. we went inside to talk to mitch. I left my purse in the car. I planned on leaving soon. after ten minutes I went into the car and grabbed a spec sheet for some cork I liked. we talked to mitch for ten more minutes. asher was thrashing, he didn't want to be held. danny chased him in and out of the house.

ANYWAY - during the time we were both in the house, my purse was stolen. the car was unlocked. we didn't hear the door close. we didn't see anyone on the sidewalk. I thought I must have left it in the house. maybe I left it at the gas station. the ipod, my credit cards, orange datebook.

later that night, rhonda called to tell me that a man named Tom called her because her name was in an orange day planner he found in an alley in the u district. my wallet was apparently torn in half. nothing else was around. he thought it was trash. I had cancelled my credit cards earlier in the day. I made a police report at 11pm that night. we won't be responsible for any credit fraud or identity theft that may be perpetrated after the fact as long as I have the case number.

we drove to pick up my calendar. tom had us come into his kitchen. he told me more about where he found it. behind the UW drama building off the ave at 39th. in an alley. we drove to the alley, it was raining and trash day. there was nothing in the alley. I called danny a freak because he didn't understand why I wanted to scour the corners of the lot. he thought I was crazy.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Cranio Sacral Therapy + Osteopathy

We took Asher to a doctor of osteopathy yesterday to treat his sleep problems /recurrent ear infections. He fell deep asleep immediately after the treatment. Last night he had trouble falling asleep and woke up at 5:30 am. We're going back next monday.

We took Elliot to see dr. sorrel when he was 6 months old because of his birth trauma and we saw a marked difference in his temperment. Here is some information about DOs and cranio sacral therapy.

Doctor of Osteopathy
DOs are licensed for the full practice of medicine and surgery in all 50 states. Osteopaths are completely equivalent to MDs in law and every other aspect. Osteopaths become surgeons and all are able to prescribe controlled medications. Each state determines the tests and procedures for licensing its physicians. In some states, the same tests are given to DOs and MDs; other states administer separate licensing exams.

According to the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), osteopathic medicine is a complete system of healthcare with a philosophy that combines the needs of the patient with the current practice of medicine. Doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs) practice a whole-person approach, which means they consider both the physical and mental needs of their patients.

A key part of osteopathic medicine is a technique called OMT, or osteopathic manipulative treatment. OMT allows physicians to use their hands as a primary tool to diagnose and treat illness and injury. This form of manual medicine lets DOs examine the back and other parts of the body, such as joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles, for pain and restriction during motion that could signal an injury or impaired function.

What is Cranio Sacral Therapy?
Cranio-sacral therapy is a comprehensive therapy which can be used effectively for the treatment of many conditions at all ages. It is extremely gentle, non-invasive, and causes no discomfort or disturbance to the client; nor does it have any risks or adverse side effects. It is, for this reason, particularly suitable for the treatment of babies and children.

In treating the cranio-sacral system, the practitioner is seeking out and identifying areas of restriction, compression or tension through the body which may in turn be impeding proper function of organs, muscles, nerves, blood vessels and body tissues in general. These restrictions may be the result of injury, infection, inflammation, erncstional tension or underlying pathologies. They may also be caused by the compressive pressures of the birth process.

How cranio-sacral therapy works
Treatment consists of the practitioner placing his or her hands very gently on the body, identifying the areas of restriction or tension, and following the subtle internal pulls and twists manifested by the cranio-sacral system until points of resistance are encountered and released, thereby enabling the tissues to return to proper healthy futiction. The therapist seeks to restore balance to the cranio-sacral system, thereby enabling it to restore proper function to the affected part of the body.

Treatment is generally soothing, comforting and pleasant, and creates a sense of ease, calmness and well-being. Babies can be treated while cradled in the mother’s arms and even better, while asleep. There is no need to disturb the child by undressing them, since the cranio-sacral patterns can be clearly felt through clothes (or even nappies).

Birth trauma
One area to which cranio-sacral therapy is particularly relevant is birth trauma, the effects of which can cause many common childhood conditions, from minor ailments such as glue car to much more severe disabilities such as spasticity.

During the birth process, the baby’s head is forcefully compressed as it twists through thc narrow birth canal. To allow passage, the cranium of a new-born baby is not a solid, bony structure but a soft membranous balloon, designed to adapt readily and pliably to the rigorous pressures of the birth process.

However, intense compression of this delicate structure over many hours, as is often the case, pushes the bones of the cranium up against each other and distorts the shape of the head. This is normal, and unavoidable, but if any of the cranial bones remain at all distorted, or if they fail to release completely, the distortions may prevent the proper formation of the skull, and thereby affect development of the brain or impinge on associated structures such as nerves and blood vessels.

The body’s inherent self-healing powers are usually able to remould the compressed cranium back into its normal shape. However this innate remoulding is not always completely successful; and the degree to which the restrictions and compressions are resolved varies considerably from individual to individual. If the labour has been long and hard, with the baby stuck in the birth canal with its head engaged, the distortions are likely to be more firmly imprinted and less readily resolved by nature. Even where the birth process has been relatively straightforward, restrictions or compressions may persist and these may in turn inhibit full and proper growth and development.

The effects of these cranial bone restrictions will vary considerably. The most severe cases can lead to cerebral palsy, autism, or epilepsy; less severe cases may result in dyslexia, learning difficulties, hyperactivity, and squint. It can also be linked with other minor common childhood complaints, such as allergies and asthma, as well as general health and well-being.

Ear infections
Recurrent ear infections, otitis media, and glue car are very common in early childhood. and are all suitable for treatment by cranio-sacral therapy. They arise from an accunsulation and stagnation of fluids in the middle ear, behind the ear drum, which leads to infection (often recurrent) and could result in partial or even total hearing loss. The stagnation indicates lack of proper drainage from the middle ear of the accumulated fluids, which should normally pass via the eustachian tube (or auditory tube) running from the middle ear to empty into the nasopharyngeal cavity at the back of the mouth.

Constriction of the eustachian tube may occur as a result of compression or distortion during the birth process; blockage of the tube may arise due to the accumulation of mucus. Treatment of the compressions and tensions in the surrounding area by cranio-sacral therapy will generally remove the constrictions, clear the obstruction, and ensure the free drainage of fluids. Successful treatment relieves the immediate symptoms, restores proper hearing, and therefore proper learning and speech development, and reduces the risk of total hearing loss. It can also reduce the need for antibiotics, and the invasive processes of inserting grommets and other ear, nose and throat operations, including tonsillectomy.

Colic (and associated ailments) is another condition in young babies for which cranio-sacral therapy is appropriate, and for which it has been found to be effective. Classic colic involves prolonged inconsolable screaming for several hours, with no apparent cause, generally in the early evening. Accompanying symptoms include regurgitation of feeds, excessive wind, inability to bring up wind, projectile vomiting, and obvious pain.

To treat most cases of colic or colic-like conditions, the cranio-sacral therapist concentrates on the principal areas: the cranial base and the solar plexus region. The first, the cranial base, concerns the occipital bone and its relationship with the atlas - vertebra (Cl). The cranial base is the area most susceptible to compression and distortion during the birth process, due to its location and the direction of the pressure exerted on this area by the baby’s passage through the birth canal. It is also an area of vital importance to the overall health and functioning of all individuals, as it is close to many other important structures. These include the jugular foramen, a hole in the base of the skull between the occiput and the temporal bones, through which passes the vagus nerve, or nerve X. This provides the main parasympathetic nerve supply to most of the digestive system; its compression can lead to over-stimulation of the nerve, causing persistent spasm of the digestive organs and, consequently, colic.

It is perhaps often assumed that because babies are not rational or verbal they do not experience shock and trauma in the same way as adults, or to think that a baby going through the natural process of birth and being lovingly cared for should not be experiencing shock and trauma. But the process of birth is itself often difficult and traumatic for both mother and baby. If the birth is difficult, the labour prolonged, or the baby stuck in the birth canal for many hours, then the shock and trauma absorbed into the system may be immense.

Arrival in the outside world may induce further shock and trauma as the baby emerges suddenly into a busy, brightly lit, and often noisy environment after seclusion in the womb. The process of being washed and weighed and the immediate handling and aftercare of the baby are also a dramatic change from the previous nine months. Ideally every baby should be allowed to come into the world slowly, be placed immediately on the mother’s breast, and allowed to acclimatise gradually to its new environment before being subjected to the less comfortable practical processes of life after birth.

A particularly common cause of shock is the premature cutting of the umbilical cord. The umbilical cord is the lifeline through which the baby has received all its oxygen and nutrition throughout its time in the womb. As the baby emerges into the world, the cord continues to provide these essential nutrients for several minutes after the birth. The sudden severance of this lifeline can come as an unnecessary shock, which is then absorbed into the solar plexus and umbilical areas and manifests as a tension and tightness in the cranio-sacral system around these areas (with consequent effects on the surrounding viscera as already described).

It is also very common to find a profound sense of shock held in the solar plexus of babies born by caesarean section. This shock is incurred at the time of the incision, when the fluid pressure within the womb changes very suddenly, causing both physical and emotional shock to the baby. This frequently manifests as a sense of seizing up throughout the body; as contraction, closing down and tightness in the head, and as tension and tightness in the solar plexus.

In the case of enforced caesarean section, when the baby’s head has been engaged and under pressure for a prolonged and stressful period and subsequently caesarean section is performed out of necessity, then the baby suffers the worst of both worlds. It is subjected both to severe pressures on the cranium and to the shock effects of the caesarean section.

Shock may result from many other physical and emotional causes, including tension picked up from the mother, and other underlving stresses and tensions between the parents, in the environment, or in family relationships in general.

Other conditions
Treatment by cranio-sacral therapy can also be effective for a wide range of other conditions common in childhood: mucus congestion, catarrh, ear, nose and throat problems, constipation and diarrhoea, obsessional behaviour, personality disorders, and tantrums. All these can be related to cranial boric restrictions, as can hyperactivity, head-banging — which is often an attempt by the child to release uncomfortable cranial bone restrictions — and forceful sucking of the thumb and other objects (particularly when pushed hard against the roof of the mouth), which may reflect restriction in the bones of the palate or between the vomer and the sphenoid bone.oid muscle.

by Thomas Atlee

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Our Beloved Arians

Some astrological profiles really are spot on. I can see many of these characteristics in Elliot and myself.

  • Dynamic and quick-witted (?)
  • Adventurous and energetic
  • Pioneering and courageous
  • Enthusiastic and confident (?)
  • Selfish and quick-tempered
  • Impulsive and impatient
  • Foolhardy and daredevil (?)
Push or Be Pushed
It is preferable to be aware of your pioneering spirit and not disregard it. For in acknowledging it you not only enjoy life more, but you avoid being pushed around by others. Your nature is usually push or be pushed, with little middle ground. This can at times be objectionable to others, but you must have the freedom to act, rather then just thinking about it, getting pent-up in the process. At all costs you need to avoid negative emotions such as resentment, regret and self-pity, for they would deny you what is essential to your nature: straightforwardness.

Lost Causes
Mentally Arians are intellectual and objective, but can be in rare situations bigoted and extremist in religion and politics. They are good champions of lost causes and last-ditch resistance. They are quick-witted but sometimes foolhardy and over optimistic, lacking thoroughness and the ability to evaluate difficulties in the undertakings into which they often rush impulsively. The great need of Aries natives is to exercise an iron self-control, to discipline the qualities and tendencies of their character to the advantage, not the detriment, of the society in which they move.

A Call to Action
As an Arian, you like a challenge that will stir you to action. This challenge may just be frustration; or at a more controlled level, you may have clear direction and know what or whom you're fighting for. If your direction is not clear, then ask yourself and listen to your inner voice. You will come up with an answer. An Arian without a direction in which to go, or a without a cause to fight for, would be against your nature and make you more a "sheep" then a ram!

Natural Leader - Forceful
Arian, do not be afraid to be forceful, for this is the very core of your nature. If you feel fear in your heart, then look for a history of negative events in you personal history, such as violence or abuse from others. Being fearful may also indicate a household in childhood that negated independence and personal initiative in you. This could have inhibited your natural urge to go forward into life as the leader and champion you were born to be. Conversely, such bad influences could also have led you to be overly forceful, or to be unsympathetic to your own need and sensitivity.

You make good athletes and climbers, doctors, explorers (of new ideas as well as uncharted territory, the latter in these days including adventuring into outer space), soldiers, sailors and airmen, and leaders, though awkward subordinates, in industry and politics.

Entangled in Something Larger + More Powerful Than Yoursel
Much as you are the Ram, there is still the little lamb in you, which means that at times you would attain your goals more easily by gently giving in without resistance to the demands of a given social situation, rather than getting your horns entangled in something larger and more powerful than yourself. This is a talent akin to knowing the difference between what you can change, and what you cannot. This of course takes patience, the acquiring of which is definitely your greatest achievement, along with your sense of your own inner softness.

Head + Brain
Aries governs the head and brain, and Arians are said to be prone to headaches, particularly migraines, sunstroke, neuralgia and depression. Indigestion and nervous disorders are also threats to you, and your rashness, impetuosity and wholesale physical commitment make you liable to accidents and physical injuries.

You like extremes. Physical, emotional and mental, and benefit profoundly by experiencing them; but if your extremism goes too far beyond social acceptability, then expect to be extremely lonely.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

April 5th - Day of Consequence

Those born on April 5 have the ability to succeed in life and the tenacity to hang in there. Possessed of star quality, they present a composed and self-confident image without appearing overly egotistical. In like manner, they themselves are often teaken up with the appearnace of things rather than examining them deeply. Most often they pursue one profession, one set of principles, one stream of thought right through life. April 5 people seek appreciation, as those with star quality do, but survive without it, persisting in endeavors whether others are paying heed or not. No matter what is going on around them, they can bring tremendeous powers of concentration to bear on the matter at hand.

It is hard to imagine calling people with this kind of star quality modest, but in fact April 5 people are. They are most comfortable playing the part of an unassuming, regular guy or girl. Of course, for those born on this day who are exceptionally gifted, this is consumate play-acting. Yet April 5 people do not react well to being analyzed, probed or found out. As far as they are concerened the part they are playing is what they truly are - they do not want anyone to dig any deeper.