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Musings
Category

  • Extreme Parenting

    I would like to think of myself as a person who pushes boundaries. I like a physical challenge. I wouldn’t say I am a freebase jumping off a building type of girl… but I am definitely someone who would jump go cliff jumping, or swim across a lake, or climb a mountain in the dead of winter. I like to do things that others might think is intense, but I don’t do things that people think is outright crazy.

    Despite my propensity to test limits, since having a baby, the line has become a lot lower. The risk/reward factor has drastically decreased, because no adrenalin rush is worthy of putting The Munch in danger.

    So my when my friend sent me that picture of a mom tossing her baby over a ravine my first reaction was “what the fuck is wrong with her!?” All I could see was potential horror, making my stomach turn inside out like socks out of the dryer.

    Part of me thinks it is beautiful that these parents are hiking with their baby and exposing him/her to their passion of nature. But couldn’t you take the bunny trail? You don’t have to totally compromise yourself, but like it or not a baby does change your life. Can’t you tone it down a bit?

    It was similar to how I felt when I saw the “baby swinging yoga video.” When I first came across the title in an email I was all “awwwwww, this will probably be cute… baby swinging yoga.” But when I clicked on the video and saw a burly woman fluctuating a baby around like a nun chuck, all I could think was “what the fuck is that bitch thinking?” Do whatever potential benefits outweigh the risk of tossing your baby accidentally? I mean it is a human, not a purse you are swinging!
    (Check out the video… if you can’t make it through, go to the end and see how the baby reacts)
    Swinging Baby Yoga

    The video left such a strange taste in my mouth I had to eat a brownie. Okay fine… I just wanted a brownie. Part of me felt like that chick was insane, but part of me thought the baby did not seem to mind. There was a rhythm to the whole experience that I think provoked some sort of trance. Even though I thought Brunhilda looked like she could have flung the kid off into oblivion, or at least dislocate a shoulder, they baby seemed malleable and pretty much going with the flow. Not that it had a choice.

    And maybe that is my problem. Not that these people are seriously extreme with their childrearing techniques, but the baby’s have no say in any of it. But my baby doesn’t have a choice either when I put her in a car to go grocery shopping… and maybe that just as life threatening?

    I then got an article interviewing the “baby swinger” who pretty much had a totally different cultural view on what she did. She said that she has been swinging babies for decades, and swung the shit out of her two daughters who know can communicate with dolphins and translate Sanskrit in their sleep.

    Children Who Survived \"Swinging Baby Yoga\"

    I guess at the end of the day it is hard to judge another person’s parenting. Maybe it is all about intention? If you fully believe what you are doing is the best thing for you baby, then maybe it is? But if your actions are veiled with your own selfish agenda, then maybe it is time to prioritize your baby over yourself? At least until they are old enough to tell you if they think you are totally nuts.

    January 27, 2011 • 4th month, Mommy Mind, Musings, Parenting • Views: 2580

  • My Life is Like One Long Day

    I used to know what day it was everyday. There used to be a difference between my days. Each “day” was separated by a night. During this “night” I slept, which helped me to distinguish between one day and the next. When I “woke up” for the day, it meant I was not going to sleep again until that night, further enforcing the idea of “day time.” During these “waking hours” I did stuff. That stuff differed according to what “day” it was. Those “days” came in sets of 5 to create the “work week” which then was rewarded by the “weekend.”

    Now my life seems just like one long, giant, extended day.

    Because I wake up every two hours during the night to feed her, the night is no longer perceived as one chunk of time, but rather broken up pieces of the day I just lived. Because my sleep is so irregular, I find my self “sleeping when the baby sleeps” and napping more during the day. Since neither during the day or night I sleep more than 2 hours in a row, I just feel like I am always in a haze of just waking up, or trying to fall back asleep.

    Because my current “job” is to take care of my baby, there is no more weekday or weekend. There is just the 24-hour a day responsibility of being a mom. Yes, this is much more enjoyable and emotionally enriching than “working,” but there is no off time. No coffee break. No Columbus Day off type of thing.

    Although there are no days off from being a mom… and the only thing that distinguishes yesterday from today is the fact that other people insist upon it… In my world of life beyond time, I am having one amazing day.

    (Doesn’t it look like she is saying “Wait… give me a minute…” Ha! Like she knows what a minute is)

    January 24, 2011 • 3rd month, Mommy Mind, Musings • Views: 1454

  • My ULTIMATE Obsession

    I have an obsession. I am not talking about your Calvin Klein kid shit… I am talking about a serious, pathological obsession. The kind of obsession that deserves a reality TV series. An obsession so consuming, so relentless, so intense that I am ruled by it.

    And that obsession is with buggers. The buggers in my baby’s nose that haunt me.

    You see, your baby spends most of their day laying down right? And when someone is lying down, you can see up their nose. Pretty simple concept I know. But when I see up my baby’s nose, and I see a bugger, all I want to do is get it.

    Now, there is a problem. Her nostril, is infinitely smaller than my fingers. I can’t get my finger up her tiny baby nose. And I can’t look at her with buggers in her face. I just can’t.

    Does she give a care? No. Not at all. She is perfectly happy with buggers dangling like a chandelier. Why does it bother me so much? Because I have to look at them. I want to free her nose of these buggers as much as I want to Free Tibet.

    So, what do I do you ask? First, I tried using her finger. Although her finger does fit up her nose quite nicely, it is hard to manipulate it because she doesn’t want to put her finger in her nose. If by miraculous coordination I do get her finger in there, she has no idea why her finger is in her nose, and does not make the necessary motion to dig the bugger out.

    Idea number 2… Push her nose up in a pig position, and try to smoosh the bugger out. She is not a fan of this strategy. She gets increasingly annoyed at me.

    Idea number 3…Grow my pinky nail. Maybe my pinky nail might be just small enough to fit. And you know what? It worked! Okay, fine, now I look like a cokehead mom, which is suspect, but I can really get in there to dig one right out.

    I can’t say she enjoys that I do this to her. Sometimes she will turn her head back and forth and resist. Moments like that, I jut have to breathe and let it go. A true test of love and will. But if I persist, and pick just the right moment when she is feeling calm, I can get my nail up there and pick the hell out that nose! It is a satisfaction worthy of a prize.

    January 23, 2011 • 3rd month, Baby Body, Mommy Mind, Musings • Views: 3013

  • The BEST Idea I EVER Had

    A couple of years ago I had an idea. An idea that I thought so brilliant… so profound… so worth of sharing that I had to make a video depicting my fantasy of it.

    What is this idea you must be asking yourself! What could possibly warrant an introduction of such self-gratifying language?

    And that idea my friends… is Human Cheese.

    I was traveling cross-country, making my way through Oregon when my friends and I decided to stop at the Tilamook Cheese Factory. Why did we do this? Not because we were high… (exclusively) but because it was there! And that is just what you do.

    At the cheese factory, which as you may be able to imagine was quite disturbing, I started thinking of why we eat cow cheese. Who was the first person that came up with that idea? “Yes, I am going to take this liquid from a cow’s tit, cook it, curdle it, make it nice and chunky, and turn it into hard mold. And then I am going to eat it!”

    And why cow cheese? We as humans have a history of sucking on human boobs, not cow boobs. Who was that guy who looked at a baby cow nursing his mom and said to himself “Now that’s a good idea!” How did this catch on? How did we start manufacturing cow dairy? Why not human dairy?

    Since I made this video, my friends and family have sent me an alarming number of articles on the subject. I guess I am not the only genius who came up with this thought. Sigh. (see example below)
    http://itp.nyu.edu/livingsystems/2010/10/human-cheese/

    But… I am the only smart ass who made an awesome video about it. Check it!

    January 22, 2011 • 3rd month, Breast Feeding, Environmental Impact, Mommy Body, Mommy Mind, Musings • Views: 1001

  • I Miss Her While She is Sleeping

    I am experiencing a serious paradox. I am with my baby all day, and at times, want to do other things. It is not like I have to entertain her every second, but it is hard to get uninterrupted time to just focus on something. Especially if you are doing anything mental, like reading, writing, or working… having time to get into the zone is pivotal.

    So the times I have to sit and really focus are when she is either sleeping, or someone else is watching her.

    This is the problem. Even though I know I want and need time without her, I miss her. It is hard not to think of her. If anyone is watching her, I am always in the house too. I can still hear everything. Every fuss or whine makes me want to jump of and intervene to make everything okay. And if I hear her being cute, I still want to jump up and watch everything being okay.

    I remember once while hanging out with a friend who had a baby, she mentioned how she missed her little girl. I have to admit I totally rolled my eyes thinking she should appreciate the time to do her own thing. She was with her damn kid all the time, why does she have to think about her now?

    Serves me right for being such a judgmental jerk! What was my problem?

    I guess it was hard for me to understand the intensity of the biological bond that connects a mother with her child. My brain has completely rewired to think about this baby all day and all night. It makes perfect sense, because without this strong bond, how would humans ever survive? It is not like we are like turtles and just lay eggs and take off. “Good luck to you guys… hope you make it to the water before you get eaten or some fuck head human steps on you.”

    So even though I am still trying to give myself an hour or two to write every few days, I am obviously still obsessed with my baby considering I am not only thinking about her, but writing about her too ;o)

    January 21, 2011 • 3rd month, Mommy Mind, Musings • Views: 3118

  • I Wish There Was an On/Off Button For My Brain

    As a new mom, sleep is a huge issue. The advice I keep getting is to “sleep while the baby sleeps.” Okay, that is good advice. But I have never been the best napper, and often want to do things when the baby sleeps. So it is a hard decision for me when I put her down. Do I try to do something, or do I try and sleep?

    This is my issue with the napping. I cannot just fall asleep within minutes like she can. It takes me a while to shut my brain down. Often times I bring the conflict of “should I nap or not” into my napping session, which only makes falling asleep harder.

    The worst thing that happens is that by the time I finally do fall asleep, she wakes up! Then I am all groggy from just waking up, and she is up and ready to go. It is almost worse than not sleeping at all. And then I feel guilty for not having done something else, if I wasn’t going to get a good nap in anyway.

    I wish I had a button I could just press to turn my brain off so I could insta-nap. Or a big giant adult size nipple that would put me asleep like it does her. Then I wouldn’t have to stress out about whether or not I should be napping, and I would get the optimum naptime in.

    I haven’t quite figured out the solution to this problem. Maybe I just have to really commit to my nap. Not feel pressured to do anything else, and just do it. Maybe laying with my eyes closed even though I don’t always fall right asleep is good too in some respects?

    January 21, 2011 • 3rd month, Mommy Mind, Musings, Sleeping • Views: 1168

  • We Are All Just Animals

    Having a baby has really exposed me to the most primal understanding of being human. From the birth, to the breastfeeding, to the baby bodily fluids that coat your skin (and you of course ignore, or rub in like its moisturizer)… this whole experience has opened my eyes to see how I am actually a part of the animal kingdom, and not just a distant observer from the Discovery Channel.

    Yes, there are many attributes that distinguish us from other mammals, those are obvious…. But being around this baby is making me realize the subtleties of our similarities.

    Think about how a baby thinks. She doesn’t have any language, or true comprehension of time. She doesn’t have any shame, or awareness of social convention. She is an observer. Of course, she has emotions, and can react to her surroundings, but so do animals. Is it possible that the nature of thought for our cats and dogs, is much like the nature of how our babies think? In pictures? With the whispering of memories coming in and out of our consciousness, but mostly just watching what is going on?

    Or their relationship to their bodies. Have you ever been to the circus, or a zoo, or a farm, and just watched the animals inadvertently shit. Not a care in the world. Not concerned about where it happened. Not running to a secluded spot. Just plop plop plop. Babies are the same way. Not just with their poo, but their pee, their vomit, anything. They just let it all out when the sensation arises. It is like they are totally one with their bodies because there is no suppression. A baby is not going to hold in their fart to spare themselves the embarrassment. They just let it rip! Isn’t there such freedom in that? Not that I am suggesting that adult humans should just crap where ever they please, but there is something to be said for having a bodily need, and just satisfying it without thought.

    I guess the reality of dealing with someone else’s bodily functions and secretions all day will make you ponder such things as the body, how it works, and how everything that is alive has the same processes to deal with. How we are all one, and that as parents, we can connect to our understanding of animals as we try our best to intuit the needs of our babies. Neither species can talk, and both will pee in your face if you’re close enough. So why not honor animals like we do our mini humans? Maybe it is my responsibility to become an animal rights activist. Maybe it is yours too! Maybe I should go back to being a vegan because what is the difference between eating a cow taking a bite out of my baby’s thigh?

    Of course, I am writing this with barf that smells like breast-milk coating my sweatshirt sleeve, and pee stained jeans from when it took me to long to replace a diaper… so you can only take me so seriously anyway.

    January 6, 2011 • 1st Month, Musings • Views: 853

  • Thinking Too Much About You, Will Make You Miserable

    Thinking about yourself is the root of all misery. I know this from personal experience. I have spent a lot of time thinking about myself. I would in fact, spend most every moment, of every day, thinking about me. Even if I was thinking about someone else, I was thinking about how they were affecting… me. Me. Me. Me.

    Take a second to think about what you think about. Really try and recall what that voice in your head is actually saying to you. Chances are that it is not that positive… not that productive… and not serving you. I feel like our inner monologues are the cause of much internal suffering with the blah blah blahing that clouds our thoughts. “Am I too fat? Am I good enough? Does he like me? Why doesn’t he like me? What should I wear? Will I look hot in that? Does my boss hate me? I wish I hadn’t eaten that. I like her boots. I would like lame in boots like that. I should work harder. I work too much. Will I ever succeed?” It’s exhausting how our minds torture us.

    In so many ways, I feel like so much of what we do is an attempt to distract ourselves from ourselves. To not be haunted by the you inside of you. Work, exorcize, sex, tv, reading, drinking, drugs… is all an attempt to escape.

    Maybe that is why falling in love can be so intoxicating. For a short period of time, you think about something other than yourself. The thought of that person totally consumes you and it is as if you can’t think of anything other than them. In a way, the impulse to find love, is the same that inspires us to get puppies. Yes… I do believe that is true. Falling in love with a man is totally like getting a puppy. But hopefully, a man won’t shit on your living room rug. At least more than once.

    When we get a puppy (or any animal), we bring home a being that is totally dependent, totally adorable, and utterly loveable. The responsibility of having a pet creates a dynamic that enables you to care for another being other than yourself. It takes you out of the mundane misery of thinking about you all day. You now can think of your sweet little creature and have peace in those moments.

    So in a way, having a baby is like bringing home a puppy and falling in love at the same time! I have been so zenned out since having her because I have had zero time to think about me and all my dumb problems and insecurities! I am fully aware that I if I come to use her as too much of a distraction that will totally backfire in my face… but I am definitely enjoying the beauty of thinking about her all day.

    December 18, 2010 • 1st Month, Mommy Mind, Musings • Views: 5400

  • Where Do Babies Come From??

    Technically, I know where babies come from. Sort of. I mean, I have a vague idea of what happens from 8th grade science class, and diagrams on the internet of a tadpole like creatures turning into a baby. You know… if you think about it from an evolutionary standpoint (assuming you believe in that sort of thing) the human gestation period mimics the evolution of life on the planet. A primitive single cell organism (sperm) that develops into an amphibian with a tail, and then eventually a mammal. Crazy town!

    So yes, there is a rational, scientific explanation of where babies come from… but that does not satisfy my genuine intrigue of how this all happens. There is such magic and mystery to how one day you are suddenly hosting a life… a life that develops completely without any conscious effort. It is not like you sit around being like “okay body, now its time to create the ears.” All this happens without any deliberate effort on your part. You just have to do is ride the wave of the experience.

    Having a baby connects you to questioning the impetus of life, period. Life as meta concept. How was life created? How do you get from life not existing, to suddenly just being? Is life eternal? Has it always existed? If so, has the baby always existed? If yes, then where? Another dimension? What is that spark? The initiation that creates life? I feel now more than ever the vast unanswerable wonderment of it all.

    I was once watching the discovery channel, and it was talking about how all the building blocks of life, the hard elements that comprise every living being on the planet, are the same as the insides of stars. So the theory was that the implosion of stars, and the stardust falling to the earth, was what ignited life to be possible. Isn’t that the most breathtaking thing you have ever heard? That we are children from the stars!

    When I look at this newborn baby, I think I can totally see that, because she does kinda look like an alien ;o)

    December 3, 2010 • 1st Month, Musings • Views: 1040