Shocks and Jolts from the Unplugging experience

May 7, 2012

After reading Sleeping Mom’s blog post about geing “unplugged” on “Sleeping should be easy,” I, too, thought that it would be a nice change to unplug. Actually, I admit that this is not the first time I thought of such an idea. A few months ago, I was listening to the BBC’s podcast and a Rabai and a Christian were teling how they unplugged every Sabbath to keep it Holy and family oriented. I mentioned it to DH and got a slight negative reaction. So, when I read “Sleeping Mom’s” post, I thought that this would be a good time. After all, I now have a baby and this will give us the opportunity to spend extra time with him. I don’t think that I am too addicted to my computer/IPhone, but I catch myself thinking: “I wish he’d just go to sleep so I could check my mail or write a blog.” I find myself wishing he would be quiet and still on my lap so I could get some web surfing done. My mind wanders off to my next research project instead of engaging with my Little one. I thought that DH would warm up to the idea, after all, his response pre-baby was only “slightly” negative. So, I asked him to join me.
*Shock1: Expect the type A computer geek person in your life to refuse the challenge, deem it the worst stupidest thing ever and in some extreme circumstances, try to sabbatage (ok, don’t want to look the word up b/c my LO should be up soon and just don’t have time) your efforts.
*Shock2: I sent an text message to all family members and told DH of my plans. The plan was only to be unplugged from 6:00 AM 05/06/2011 until 6:00 AM 05/07/2011. Not only would DH “not join me” but he described it as “paghal,” “Bakwaz,” (crazy and nonsense). when my mother called to ask me the meaning of the text, they both commiserated on the follies of such an action. They had different stances, actually, but the same resulting opinion. DH is a technology addict (yes, mistake 2 was calling him one) and my mother has no computer in her home. DH thought it was nonsense because I would have to turn off the stove, refridgerator, microwave and breastpump; for this to be truly authentic. Otherwise, it was nothing more than a nonsensical fad — and — “Who suggested such a stupid thing anyway, Your friend J?” [Don’t worry Sleeping Mom, I didn’t rat you out ]. and, obviously, he does not know J very well. she could not survive too long without TV or phone or book player to keep her company. My mother, on the other hand, said that it was like taking a short break from smoking. When it is over, you can pat yourself on the back and then return to your normal “plugged in and charged up,” state. She would know, she still has not kicked the tabacco monkey, even though she has been hospitalized several times: so she is just imparting her own experiences. So, for that reason, she saw no point in unplugging.
*Shock3: When you tell certain family members, they will accuse you of trying to exclude yourself from the “real world,” and “family.” Do I have an odd family or what? When I bring up the point that my goal is to spend “more” time with family and not “less,” they remind me that they are not in physical proximity, so, the only family member who will benefit is the baby — and, Aren’t I spending all day/ every day with him anyway??? and, DH chimes in that technology is allowing him to spend time with his family via skype video chat.
*shock4: I miss BBC documentaries that I never even saw and usually don’t have time to check: but now that my Iphone and computer are out of order, I nostalgically do want to see what good documentaries are on the site: as well as finding out all the educational kids stuff that I can get online that actually might be of some benefit.

As far as my “unplugging experience” actually went, I did rather well. I do need to get a braille watch, though. I lost track of time because I could not turn on my phone to check the time. And, while this might not be a big issue for most (and wouldn’t have been for me either, except) I have to time my pumping; [every four hours, for twenty minutes on each side]. I sang my own songs, instead of having Pandora accompany me. I thought about our soon-to-be new house and talked to my baby while I pumped, instead of listening to Stitcher. Twice I wondered about the discussion on certain Facebook message boards. I didn’t have a strong desire to “just check my messages,” or “check other’s facebook status.” Ironically, I caught myself several times thinking: “Oh, I’ll have to remember that so I can blog about it.” It made me think of how we approach experiences, nowadays. I am probably not alone when I say that we approach experiences as 1/2 participant and 1/2 observer. Sometimes, we are more focussed on “how we will blog about this experience,” than actually “having it.”
I did learn a few things from my experience, though:
*JOLT1: Keep it quiet. don’t tell people. Just tel the blogging community: who actually can’t encourage you anyway, because to reap such encouragement, you will need to “log on,” and isn’t that counterproductive???? Make it your own personal journey.
*JOLT2: Be specific about “what you will unplug from. I found myself vacilating about the book player. On one hand, it is electronic. Yet, it allows me to read books that others can read in print.
*JOLT3: Plan out some fun things to do so that you are not thinking about connecting and so that you might be making the most of your unplugged time. DH said that it was crazy, decided to try it with me for a couple of hours and then resumed his prior position with more zeal than before. I think that this happened because he is use to the thrill that technology gives him and … … well, he just got bored and didn’t know what to do without it. I had planned on taking the stroler (with the baby in it, obviously) out for a walk, but by 10:00 AM. DH had bounced bakc to his normal stage of paranoia and disgust.
*JOLT4: It might be a good idea to organize your internet using so that you get the most out of it in the least amount of time. I need to find a good accessible blog reader, only put in it the blogs that I will certainly read, maybe be able to export it to my IPhone and simplify the information/news that I want to read. some articles are interesting, but their content is not relevant or beneficial to my life.

I’d love to hear other experiences. these are just mine and I do admit that I have a very wacky family. I probably will do this again and heed my own advice!

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The dinner, the dig and the discovery!

May 2, 2012

Dining In the Dark was a fund raising effort put on by DH’s work. This is the first time that I have attended. This is a moneymaking event in which sighted people purchase a ticket for dinner (in this case, $125 per plate) and eat the salad and main course in the dark. They wear sleepshades. The practice is suppose to simulate what it is like to eat your dinner as a blind person. this concept is not exactly new. supposedly, there was a restaurant in Europe that allowed patrons to eat their dinner in the dark and were served by blind employees. I can’t find a link for it, though. And, honestly, the fundraising event (although I would prefer it to be) was far from this concept. There are Dining in the Dark projects where there is not only dinner, but audio entertainment. And, a popular dining in the dark experience can be found dining in the Dark in California
There are serious flaws with this approach, however. Usually the patrons leave with an unrealistic approach: saying things like: “Wow, I have empathy for what you go through on a regular basis,” and “Oh, it is so difficult to do something that we take for granted.” and my view is that
if they think that it is such a challenge to just eat a meal while blind, why on Earth would they trust you with important business responsibilities???? Thus, any job offer that a blind person receives from people of said companies would be “simple” at best and “degrading” at worst.
Anyway, no one asked me and since DH went, I naturally went as his guest.
My daughter watched the baby. He enjoys her singing. Our new song to sing when she comes over is:
“Hey Little Mr.
Ain’t that your big sister
on the radio, the stereo, I think its time for us to go.
Hey little Mr.
You don’t want to miss her
when she sings to you tonight.”
Ok, that is a take off from a popular song: don’t know who sings it. But, it works. The baby enjoys my daughter. He usually smiles for her and she usually takes a couple of pics.
anyway, we got there on time. DH was an ambassador. that means that he was suppose to mingle with the crowd and tell them all about being blind and bosma. The alcohol line was longer than the auction line. There were a few appetizers being served and the smoked chicken was actually good. We met up with his friend Rasta (Yes, he is Rastafarian) and his fiancee. Rasta is a line supervisor in production. But, DH and he struck up a natural friendship when They realized that they both like technology, books (or at least acquiring them) and (the most important thing) **saving a buck or two. Rasta is from New York which means that he talks fast, and has a unique accent(his family is from Jamaica, even though he was born in the USA) and he also has this kind of stutter speech, which makes it even harder to follow him sometimes. but this does not detour DH in the least.
I guess the premise is to get the patrons “all liquored up” so they will spend more money. I think it worked. After a few informational videos about “bosma” and a speech from Brian Bosma, (the place was named after his father), we ate dinner. The lights went off and the sleepshades were given to sighted people to wear. Actually, some sighted people cheated and turned on their cell phones for light. (Can we say Losers?) We had a salad of greens, cherry tomatoes and candy/nut bits with a sweet dressing. the blind people gave the sighted people tips on how to spear their cherry tomatoes and how to make sure that their lettuce did not end up in their lap. the main course was a blueberry barbeeQ stuffed chicken with steamed vegetables. Actually, I liked the chicken verry much and so did DH. It was stuffed with Lentils and had a hint of spices in the stuffing. I have to get the recipe. Rasta was not at our table, but his fiancee did not like the food at all. Rasta does not eat meat. So, we discussed it on the way home. I remarked that it was much better than the award dinner that we attended in November. Rasta retorted that, although he had the stuffed mushrooms and not the chicken (his fiancee would agree and she had the chicken) it was certainly not worth $125 per plate. but, I pointed out that our plates were purchased by bosma, so, technically, we paid nothing for this meal.
Anyway, many of the sighted public had a difficult time cutting their stuffed chicken and knowing how big of a bite was on their fork. Frequently, they lifted their fork to their mouth with nothing on it. [Hey, it happens to the best of us — on a regular basis, sometimes]. But, I do have to ask: how much of this was due to their previous guzzlings. The alcohol was “free.”
the most interesting part of the evening was the occupants at our table. There were three ambassadors, DH, M (who I developed a good relationship with while working and who subsequently took over my job when I resigned) and her guest/sister, a guy from production and his sister. There were four sighted people at our table. Two women did not talk very much. But, there was a couple who sat by DH and I who were quite talkative. He is an artist and wants to make art accessible for blind and VI (visually impaired) people. He will be having an art show soon. they now live in Lafayette, but they use to live quite close to DH’s boss. Apparently, DH’s boss would go over to their house because the artist had a recording studio and the Boss plays a guitar and sings. The artist let him record and also showed his son the finer points of “beep baseball” — even though his son was not blind. Well, apparently, the artist — or artist’s wife got a job in another city, so had to leave the house behind to be sold by another company. Guess, what? We had looked at that very same house to buy. The price is very good — especially for that side of town. The sqft meet my requirements. There are some drawbacks, but this was one of the two houses that had survived our critique. Who would have thought that we would be sitting at a table with the former owners of a house that we were considering buying???? That coincidence was enough for DH. We put in an offer after returning home. My sister was also looking for homes for us in an adjoining county, where she lives. The houses are cheaper there, but there is way more driving and inconvenience. DH would have to take two busses to get to work and it would take him the better part of two hours. The costs outweighed the benefits. Yet, it was kind of exciting to fantasize about living near my older sister. she has four children at home: m13yo, f11yo, m9yo and m7yo.
Yet, our preferred home has a busline which is still difficult to get to. I am not sure that I’ll be able to do it with baby. We would have well water instead of city water. And, I am not sure if all of our stuff can fit into the 1600sqft home. but, it is a ranch style home, has three bdrms and 3baths and an extra room for the office. Yes, the extra room is built in an L shape with two cubby hole rooms (like recording knooks) at one end. that is kind of strange. There is a fenced in yard, a fenced off area where an above ground pool use to be, a long driveway, a basketball goal, lots of sidewalk(near the driveway, but not around the neighborhood), one garage and all appliances included(Washer, dryer [The electric element just went out on ours], dishwasher, garbage disposal, fridge/stove, built-in microwave, etc). . It was built in 1960, but has been rennevated. this means that it was not factory built. I like that aspect because it is built sturdy. The bathrooms are a bit small and the Master bath has only a walk in shower. And, it was built on a slab, so don’t know about flooding, yet. The septic is city sewer, but there is well water. The pipes are copper and the roof is relatively new. the furnace is gas (I’d rather electric). And, so is the 40gallon hotwater heater. I’d rather it be electric and 60gallon. But, I like the rooms and the floors. I like that there is a small place for a dining room table. I like the large kitchen. I like the fact that the office space is on the opposite side of the house as the bedrooms. so, we are going to try to buy it. I’d link to some pictures of the house, but I don’t want to give out my possible address. The asking price is under 100k, but, don’t think that we won’t bargain this down further. DH is Pakistani, after all.
Back on track:
After monopolizing the Artist’s time, we decided to do the “Diamond Dig.” There were games such as black jack and slot machines after the dinner. We did not play any of those. They didn’t even have “braille cards.” [but, I’ll get to the complaints in a minute]. After dinner activities consisted of various gambling options, a silent auction, a dance with a live band and the Diamond dig. we did spend $20 on a ticket for the “Diamond dig.” There was a large bin with shreds of paper or styrofoam or something similar. There were little pouches hidden in the paper. when we found a bag, we would take it to the person working the “dig” and would receive a prize which corresponded with the number that was written on a small piece of paper inside the little pouch. Basically, it is an updated version of “find the money in the haystack” carnival game. I dug and came out with this $3 piece of costume jewlry. Rasta bought 4 tickets and was rewarded with four pieces of the same type of jewlry. I was hoping to at least get a Starbucks certificate.
DH and Rasta didn’t like the music and Rasta’s fiancee said that there were only about six people on the dance floor at a given time. Granted, that would probably change as people’s alcohol consumption increased. Actually, I thought that the ban was rather good and tried to get their particulars to pass onto my daughter, in case they needed a backup female singer.
Last year everyone got a bottle of wine, but that was last year. this year, it was a chocolate bar — Can we say “downsizing?” The organization also did a better job at describing — or iluminating on the positives of blindness, last year…. at least that is what DH says. And, there were no braille programs and no braille cards. The auction items were not described for the blind people and were displayed visually, which means that they were not able to be touched… … although most of the items were certificates and such. there was no way to tell “what” exactly was in the auction. Although, if you knew and had the three digit number attached to the item, you could enteract with the auctioneers via your IPhone or smart phone. It would have been simple to make the auction accessible. There were limited braille menus (but I wondered why a menu at all since we wer all eating the same thing. And, Couldn’t they put the Braille menu into the entire program? And, to make matters worse, this year, Bosma Bacquired a Braille production department. The games were not blind friendly. There were only gambling games(they could have set up a few carnival type of games with a tactile theme or ringing/noisy balls, etc). Bosma could have done a better job at incorporating blind individuals into the planning process and putting on of the event. I know that a blind chef or a blind bartender was out… … not because blind people aren’t in these professions (See An article about Laura Martinez but, I am sure that the hotel has policies about contracting other professionals. Yet, only one (an Assistive Technology instructor — no, not DH),spoke out of six or seven speakers. Blind individuals could have helped with the roulette wheel, blackjack tables and diamond dig. Although I really enjoyed the band, for a better effect, they could have hired blind musicians. they could have had a couple of computers set up with some accessible computer games (like bowling or racing or shooting) and charged a small fee for the chance to try their luck.
There is an xbox game called “in the Pit,” which is quite accessible because you can’t see what is on the screen. Actually, “nothing” is on the screen and you must use your ears, only to navigate and find/kill the monster at the bottom of the pit — so “no one has a visual advantage. They could have also play some “blind Trivia,” for a prize. Bosma could have put together a “goodie bag” for each guest which would include pamphlets on blindness and interacting with blind people, an alphabet card and other miscelaneous items associated with blindness . It certainly was not blind friendly.
Yet, we still had a good time out.

Family matters

May 1, 2012

what makes a family bond tight? How do you keep that familial bond from loosening or breaking altogether?
Often DH will tell me that “his family is much more close than mine.” My children (the adult ones, obviously) don’t call me nearly as much as he calls his parents. He reports that they don’t give me the same level of “respect” that he gives his parents. Of course, he’ll never put his parents into an old folks home. He sends his family money from time to time out of gratitude. And, when an elder speaks, children obey…. well, kind of…. and this is where the rub comes in.

for all of DH’s “strong familial bonds,” his family knows very little about our “real life.” His family doesn’t know when we have an argument and what we fight about. His family doesn’t know when/if we have any financial problems. His family doesn’t know when we are frustrated by transportation, social issues, etc. If he feels belittled or disrespected by his family, he can’t approach the subject with them. Any disagreeable circumstance: an illness, a bad decision, encounters with a scammer, feelings of anger at someone in the family, a possible crisis, etc are all left out of their daily conversations. Now, of course, I can’t be for sure, I don’t speak Urdu enough or fluently enough to understand all that they are saying. But, I do believe DH when he says that he just doesn’t tell his family because …. (get this) “My mother would worry and get sick from all of the worry.” What? really????
In contrast, I talk to my mother about three times a week (and that is a serious upgrade from what it use to be). We don’t talk nearly as long as DH does to his own parents — “what are they talking about????? — who knows). But, I can tell my mother:
“Although it seems strange to us, I still shaved LO’s head.”
“yes, we argue about the lack of housework that he does.”
“OK, dh is a better saver than I am.”
“Last night we went to a Pakistani picnic and…..”
“No, DH has not changed another diaper yet.”
“Once I was careless and the baby fell and hit his head.”
“We’re discussing birth control, but don’t be surprised if Baby Boy has a brother or sister.”
“We had to pay taxes this year and the amount was ….”
“I love my daughter, but I worry about her spending so much time with that All-guy band.”
You get the picture. These are conversations that DH will not have with his family. So, I ask: how close are they really? It seems that they are “faking a strong family bond.” I have told DH, I want to know what my children are doing, even if I don’t agree with it. I’ll tell my son that I don’t agree with his loyalty to the military…. or my daughter for living together before marriage, or Mr. Basketball for sluffing off his classes and expecting to get a good grade by whatever means necessary … or the Drum Diddler (last son) for engaging in the consumption of illegal substances. I want to know the “real person,” not who they pretend to be for my benefit. I might not like their choices, but I at least know the truth. My mother asks my opinion: “Am I being selfish because I don’t want to bring one of my grandchildren along???” Now, I don’t use a “we are just friends” tone with my mother. I don’t chide her or berate her. But, I have a much more free conversation with her than DH does with his mother….. and I was just under the assumption that if he and his mother talked every day — sometimes for an hour or two — they must be bonded as mother and son. He must be able to share with her lots of things about his life and so on. …. … not true.
I think that our son will have the best of both worlds. We, … … or I, won’t shy away from him when discussions of social justice, sex, drugs, etc need to be had. Yet, we will raise him with enough respect not to use foul language when talking to us and never to think about putting us in a nursing home.
Still, just because a family talks on the phone two or three times a day does not automatically mean that they are actually “close.” There is so much more to discuss on this subject: levels of observing familial duties, familial roles, patterns of manipulation within families,and many more.

Wedding summary

April 4, 2012

This is the first message that I am sending from my iPhone. I hope it works. This is just a summary of my daughter’s wedding. I will talk more in detail about my impressions, my role, the baby, and the wedding details in a later post. Hopefully, I will also have more pictures. This picture should be my daughter in her wedding dress. I hope it sends. My daughter married on April 1 of 2012. She married a man named Isaac shoafw. There were approximately 200 attendance at the wedding. We got some pictures, but not nearly enough. The wedding was wonderfully planned and beautiful. Sure, I have some suggestions that could make it better. But, I’ll talk about that in a later post. Dominica sang a song for Isaac at the wedding. The song was from Adele. I think the name of the song is well, I don’t know the name of the song. The first line of the song is: you have been on my mind. I don’t know the name. Anyway, her brothers two of them, were brides men and his three sisters were grooms mates. Her colors were purple and white and black She did not have the wedding in a church. It was in a hall called the loft .
Her wedding started at four. The reception and did at 10 o’clock. There was no alcohol present. But, the local band which she liked so much played for the wedding and the reception. And, the songs were in good taste they were all very kid friendly Although, they spend a lot of time on pictures. She wanted to get pictures at a few different places. For example, she got pictures at the hotel and at a place with lots of greenery that looked like gardens. I didn’t go to the gardens because the baby was a bit fussy. But we went to the loft where she would be married, and we took pictures there. The groom’s father married them. They wrote heir own vows , which centered around the “I choose you. They were good Vals. They also had a rememberance candal for those people who passed away, and unity candle to light. Anyway, my daughter is now married and on to her honeymoon. She is honeymooning in Las Vegas and driving down to San Diego to see Her brother DJ who could not make it to the wedding. It should be a good trip. Well, enjoy the picture and I will post more about the wedding.

the hunt!

March 28, 2012

I have mentioned it before, we are looking for a house. The truth is, since we didn’t go to PK, we have decided to step up the hunt for a good house.
Last Friday, my daughter and I went to look at four houses. One of them was only 36k, but needed lots of work. We know nothing about house fixing and although her fiancee does, he doesn’t have time. I liked house3 the best.
I thought of posting the links, but then, the address would be displayed and maybe that is just a bit TMI. I’ll post pics when we decide to buy or if I can get the pics without displaying the address.
Muslims are not suppose to benefit from or pay interest. So, we are trying to get money together so that we won’t have to obtain a loan/mortgage — or better put, (obtain a loan that will result in interest). so, we might get a loan from Muslim brothers, etc. I am not sure, yet.
. i am trying to learn everything that i can about the buying process. There are classes on “house buying,” from the City Neighborhood Housing Project, but when I called them, they said that since I was not getting a loan or paying a mortgage, I would not benefit from the classes. the only advice they gave me was to obtain an independent inspection and appraisal. They say that the cost is worth it. DH wants to find any Government programs or such that “gives you assistance.” But, the only ones that I find mandate that you have a mortgage or get a loan for a mortgage.
Our qualifications include:
*more than 1500sqft,
*at least 3bdrms,
*relatively safe neighborhood(although this is kind of subjective),
*Relatively Good school system(although this is also a bit subjective),
*no fixing up or repairs necessary,
*close to work — on the NorthWest side of city,
*close to a busline (preferred),
*wood or tile floors (preferred),

I know to ask about the age and servicing of the furnace and hot water heater. I am not a fan of the wooden windows and like the newer windows with the good locks. I know to check the roof, crawl space, flood damage, plumming, septic or city water and flooring. I know to ask about the utility bills. Did I forget anything?
i would love to hear about your house experiences — good and bad. please share.

miscelaneous updating

March 14, 2012

Well, this is kind of a discombobulated post. But, wanted to at least update a bit.
First, I can’t click on facebook pictures and download them to my computer and then post them here. And, somehow, I can’t locate a text message and email it to myself to download the graphics, either.
So, for now, I’ll just put in the link to My facebook page where you can see the growing number of pics.If you friend me, send me a msg telling me that we know each other from the blog and I’ll confirm so you can see pics, etc. My daughter takes them all. — Well, she takes most of them. sometimes she is slow in updating: But, We have to give her some slack. She is getting married on April 1st and is hiding her nervousness quite well!
Yes, she is marrying her formerly norman fiancee on April 1st. She will sing him a couple of songs at the reception. She has planned out each and every part of the wedding. Her brothers (Military Man, Mr. Basketball and Sir Audio) [although she has at least four other half brothers from her father and now one little tiny half brother from me]) will stand with her. Her fiancee’s sisters are standing with him. So, she has Bride’s men and he has Groom’s maids. (smile) A bit untraditional. If I can, though, I will post pics.
DH and I are in the process of buying a house. It feels quick, but the time is now. We have saved up some money and “were” going to take a trip to pakistan. the trip has been put on hold for… …. who knows how long. We have had family issues which have altered our plans. In a nutshell, I don’t think that he wants to leave his sister behind: not while she is pregnant — and probably not after she has the child. So, since the economy for house buying is quite good, we are going to try to buy. We found one wonderful house that was only 36k — period. I mean, he (the owner) was just trying to get rid of it. He only bought it to make some money and since he can’t make money, he is selling it cheaply. It is close to work, has four bedrooms, is 2400sqft, has a neat fenced yard and is in a good neighborhood. The prob is that it is a great starter house, if you know how to fix it up. There needs some electrical work to be done, a furnace and AC needs to be installed, gutters need to be put on the house and probably many other repairs. We are not good with that, so we won’t buy it. But, the yard is kept up, the neighborhood is wonderful, other houses on the block are going for tripple that amount, etc. Anyway, we are looking to buy a house that is larger (hopefully at least three bedrooms and at least 1600sqft) and closer to his work.
The baby is doing well. I’m still pumping, but he won’t nurse. It still makes me sad if I think about it and even when/if I try to encourage him to nurse, b/c he doesn’t want to. Encouraging him to nurse sets a cycle into motion that I would rather not deal with, so I don’t do it often. But, I am pumping and have managed to save about six/eight ounces a day since January 27th. OK, there are some days when I have not been able to save. But, for the most part, I have put away some milk to freeze. I am going to have to give back the hospital rented “Lactina” from Medela pump and start using a “purely Yours,” from Ameda that I bought off of Craig’s list. I hope that I can keep up the supply. As of now, I have not taken the contraversial Reglan. But, I have a filled prescription for it, so can start at any time. If I do start, it will be at a time when someone is with me to make sure that there are not any effects that I can’t handle.
the baby is rolling from side to stomach and side to back. But, he can’t roll from stomach to back, yet. He does love being on his stomach, though. He is gurggling more and sometimes reaching for things. the only things that he has been successful at holding onto (with a tight grip) is my hair and the breastpump cords. (UG). But, I talk extensively about our LO and each milestone on my parenting blog
My Blog Parenting Past Perceptions
I resigned from work on February 18th. I was a bit down. I will miss the people and the activities. But, I know that it was the right decision for me. It comes down to: “what/who will I miss more?” No contest. And, honestly, day care would have been too much money. We would barely get to see our wonderful baby. I would still have the tasks of housecleaning and dinner making. I think I said it before: if I worked, I might be bringing in money, but I would not be a good mother, a kind wife or a efficient worker. I just know me. We will probably have money issues and arguments down the line, but for now: I am where I need to be.
That is about it for now.

 Ok, so I have…

February 28, 2012

 

Ok, so I have made an attempt at starting another blog.

But, seriously, I need some wordpress tutorials so that I can learn how to post links, pictures, a bit of media (like the wonderful voice of my baby) and such.

Yes, I know that WordPress has tutorials. they are full of phrases like “when you see,” “On the left side of the screen,” and “Click on.” these tips don’t help.

so, I tried uploading a pic of my baby and I on December 1st (four days after birth). We were in the hospital waiting room checking his jaundice levels.

Hope that it goes through. ?????? Let me know, if you can.

thanks.

Oh, and the new blog, just in case you don’t have enough blogs to read already, is

www.parentingpastperceptions.wordpress.com

Yeah, I thought about tumblr, But, I think that I just need to learn wordpress instead of switching blog sites. Yes, I tried blogspot.

I thought about livejournal, but, decided to just learn wordpress. Now, it is off to find an accessible tutorial.

 

tick tock watch the clock — TIME to update

February 26, 2012

There are probably almost as many songs that are written about time, as their is Love. I could probably rattle off ten from the top of my head. “time in a bottle,” “time after time,” “time for love,” “time to cry,” … And, we haven’t even mentioned books, TV shows, movies, etc.
you get the picture.
Hmm, next baby shower I plan, I’ll have to make that a game. (three minutes to write down all the songs with “baby” in the title. — then three minutes to write down all the songs you can think of with “time” in the title).
Anyway, Without time, Love, joy and sorrow would not know a beginning or an end. DH tells a story about a man who wants to speed up time. His life is like a spool of thread and whenever he wants to speed up time, he just pulls on the string.
The baby is now thirteen weeks old. I already feel like “time” is going way to fast. No, he has not hit any specific developmental stage. He does smile more and try to grab objects. He has grown out of his newborn outfits. but, it just does not seem like he has been here for thirteen whole weeks. I don’t want to pull the string, I want to slow the flow. sure, I want to pull the string when he is fussy and I can’t seem to comfort him. But, all in all, I know that we are gaining momentum and will soon be ariving at each birthday at breakneck speed. I’ll be the only one aware of our spedometer. the baby will insist that we are going too slow. and, my hair is getting “whiter” by the minute. (smile)
In other matters:
Just another blog.
I realize that not everyone wants to hear about my musings as a parent. Sure, it is part of “our” relationship, but I thought I might spare my few readers too much talk about daily baby happenings.
So, I am going to start a new blog.
I’ll let you know when it is up, just in case you want to check it out. Hey, it will probably have more pics — if that is any type of incentive!and it will chronicle all the normal baby stages. But, it also will talk about parenting as a blind person. I talk about the effects of intercultural and interfaith issues on the Baby.
I’ll still write about the baby from time to time. And, I’ll try to link to my other blog when applicable.

Ganja Bacha

January 31, 2012

It finally happened. Last sunday, when my LO was exactly 9 weeks (ok, eight weeks overdue), he was shaved. I was emotional, but it happened. Here’s the story.
We have a friend from Gambia who sometimes takes DH to the Mosque. His Wife, E. is American and christian. I never se her at the mosque. They have a son, “Little E.” Their son is named after A’s father. We see A much more than we see the rest of the family because A usually helps us with transportation, when he is not working his two jobs. A also calls DH to check in quite frequently. It is obvious that A likes DH’s friendship. This is one of the truly authentic friendships that we have made while going to mosques. A, the friend, said that he would shave our LO’s head. We could not find a Muslim Barber and I wanted someone who had actually “done” it before. A said that he shaved his son’s head at 2weeks, after waiting one week and not finding a barber of his own. I was Still skeptical, but didn’t want to offend. And, my anxiety increased when A asked for soap (I gave shaving cream) and water, after unwrapping his freshly purchased straight razor. I didn’t mean to be rude, (Hasn’t anyone heard of Razor burn … … and on a little Baby, just for the sake of obedience??????), I asked many questions in hopes of feeling some type of comfort. I must admit, I could not watch it all. I mean, I could not stay in the room when the razor first touched his head. All I could think about was that hair falling to the floor and my baby being nicked by the razor. But, A took it all in good stride. He went very slow and kept talking to the baby and DH and even me (long distance) until I felt comfortable enough to join them. In fact, he was so good with LO (genuinely talking, playing, smiling) that I *had to relax a bit. when A first visited us, after I was out of the hospital, the first thing he did was to see/hold the baby. Actually, I think his words were: “Where is the Baby, I want to see and hold the baby first.” He immediately began talking and smiling with the baby. (I’ll try to attach a pic of Baby boy in his hat and being held by our baby-friendly barber). You don’t get that much from a guy. It was obvious that he had been around babies before and thoroughly enjoyed them. Now, when he comes over, he always asks to see the baby, first. I expressed my feelings to A who tried to reassure me. Although it took a long time; Yes, A was quite careful and eventually used his electric razor, the deed was finally done.Baby boy only cried a bit. He cried because he had to be put in different positions. A washed his head and played/talked/cooed with the baby until he smiled. I have done a thorough check (grimmacing at the stubble), and no nicks, cuts or razor burns. Then, without my asking, A gathered up the hair and asked if I wanted to keep it. DH remarked how crazy it was to keep hair, but A figured that I would want to keep it — and I did. Now, the very small portion of hair that I have is locked in a zip lock baggy, ready to go in Baby Boy’s scrapbook, if I can ever get someone over here to help me write and organize it.
While I was emotional about his hair being shaved, and I was really concerned when that straight razor blade touched my LO’s head; my mood was overshadowed by the obvious pride that DH (and A as well) felt by doing it. I keep putting hats on his head to hide the stubble from any tactile contact. But, I know that there is a certain pride, a certain joyful feeling that one gets when they “know” that they are obeying God/Allah and that God/Allah is also proud that his mandates are carried out. It is as if a large burden has been shaved off of DH’s shoulders, as well. and, now, everytime DH holds the baby, he feels pride in his obedience. so, for now, LO is affectionately “ganja Bacha,” — “Bald child.” … … It sounds better in
Urdu…(smile)
Since A was so good at shaving Baby Boy’s hair (and consequently named our barber), I tried to convince him to shave DH’s beard. But, it just wasn’t my day!

the changing faces of family

January 30, 2012

Most Goris write about their own ILs and the drama that surrounds them. I notice that not many write about their own family and the possible drama that could be present from those monocultural and possibly ethnocentric Western family members. Well, if DH had a blog, (which he doesn’t) — and if he were inclined to put his experiences and emotions on the web for everyone to read, (which he isn’t) — then he would have lots to say about my family.
He would use the first 10pages to complain about my father’s dogs and the overall general attitude about cleanliness (or the lack there of) and furry four-legged friends. He would state that if my family truly wanted to demonstrate that he was “welcome” they would keep the dogs in a confined area and not value them more than human family members. He would note how different my family’s parenting styles and thoughts on teaching “respect” are from his own family’s. He would express his exasperation at the constant stereotypes that always seem to be looming in the background, ready to color all of his actions in the most forbidden shades. But, there are also some unexpected changes in our family dynamics and attitudes.
First, some background: I have two sisters. T is two years older and N is four years younger. T and N grew up, basically, the same way. I went to a residential blind school. It would seem that T and N should be closer. But, until recently, N and I were quite close. N has been married twice. she has M18, F16, M5 and m3. The last two children are her current husband’s. OK, N and I do not share the same values about money, bill paying, mind altering chemicals/substances and/or respect for our mother. But, N was always inclusive. She would help me find solutions for issues that required some sighte, listened and respected my thoughts on parenting/religion/etc, would request my assistance and advice, never doubted my capabilities to care for children and she actually enjoyed our sisterly time together. Furthermore, N’s one overwhelming positive quality is her ability to accept and socialize with all types of people. She is willing to try new things and is open to new experiences and she is “NOT” judgmental at all. I am the one who spent her 21st birthday with her: going to a bar and letting her drink. She is not afraid to drive anywhere, get stuck in the middle of a gay pride parade, enjoy her time in the Ghetto and listen to Hindi/indian music. For this reason, I love and appreciate N — and have to remember this wonderful quality when she annoys me by putting her desires for nicotene and other substances (legal or not) before her obligations. Noone in their right mind should ever loan my sister money. furthermore, her housekeeping habits have left lots to be desired. She does tend to put much household and child rearing responsibility on her teenage daughter. And, maintaining property and possessions is just not in her understanding.
Nevertheless, N and her husband were with DH and I when we went to the courthouse to marry. She always supported our marriage. We can easily laugh and talk together. A week later, her and her (current) husband also took the plunge after 2 or 3 years of living together. Although N and T do not get along at all, I still call N and we can have a 60-90 minute conversation.
My older sister, T, relished her position as “oldest.” She always seemed to put herself “above” us. As children, she would not waste her time playing with the younger siblings. I always felt that she looked down on my first marrital situation. When she married for the second time, there was a “no kids allowed” on the wedding invitation. She let my daughter come, but not my three boys. “They are just too active.” Or, was it that she was embarrassed?? Who knows. I always felt that my sister was a bit racist and certainly had some blindophobia going on. When my children became teens, she would askk the ones that she thought were the most popular to help her watch her own children. She has a male child who is 25 from her first marriage. then, she has m13, f11, m9 and m7 from her second. My sister has come to see me twice since Baby boy was born. Although I have lived in this house since March of 2010, she had not come to see me before then. They also invited us over for Christmas dinner. I was not going to go: (six week homebound bonding period was not quite up yet), but DH convinced me with the “your sister is holding out an olive branch,” speech. We went. And, yesterday, she came over again. Actually, before she comes over, she calls DH to tell him that they are on their way. I don’t know why she doesn’t call me, but her and DH have a kind of special relationship where they can talk about electronics and the IPhone and the NOOK for large spans of time. The children love to hold the baby. She is engaging all of us in conversation and seems to enjoy her time spent with us. Her children are getting more comfortable with Imran and I. In the past, she would come to Christmas celebrations and her children would feel quite awkward around me. I always say that if the adults aren’t comfortable, the children won’t be, either. So, what can I attribute this newfound relationship to? … … The birth of this wonderful baby boy. We also found out that her MIL (who is now retired) just loves fabrics and jewelry from PK/IN. And my BIL is actually pretty good with babies. Who would have thought???? Since my marriage, my mother calls at least once a week. sure, she has some annoying questions: “Does DH stop you from reading the Bible?” “Has he asked that you wear the veil?” But, she actually is wanting to talk more and is interested in our relationship. Now that the baby is here, she calls at least twice a week. Yes, she says things like: ” Get that man to start changing diapers!” and “I don’t think you should be going to Pakistan!” But, she is much more willing to accept my breastfeeding semi-attachment parenting style, some aspects of DH’s culture, etc. My new marriage has certainly stopped some friendships from blossiming. But, these are relationships that are flourishing and it would not have done so if it was not for DH and this wonderful baby boy. WOOHOO, the peacemaking bridge!!!
Now, it is on to the challenges present between DH and my children and father! Let’s conquer them all!