Thursday, December 1, 2016

How breastfeeding got me to love my breasts!



   So, this is a kitchen witch blog. This is a blog by a female Wiccan. In Wicca, we acknowledge a Goddess. Feminism is HUGE in Wicca. So, I thought it was appropriate to do a post about breasts. You read that right. Breasts. You might call them Boobs, Titties, Tatas, Fun bags, Milk makers, or like me, affectionately refer to them as Laverne and Shirley. Whatever you call them, I think it's safe to say that most women have a love/hate relationship with their breasts.
Take me, for example. For years I was teased about my small breast size. In middle school when all the other girls were blossoming, I hadn't even begun to bud. I could have gone my entire high school career without ever really needing to wear a bra (let's be honest...nobody really NEEDS to wear one, but it's the social norm so go with it). I was called a plethora of names by the boys. See, I was always cute (at least I think so), but I was a stick figure with awkward social skills. I think I confused the boys. See, it's an "in thing" to be attracted to big boobs and big butts with sweet, giggly personalities, especially when you're a middle schooler and all sorts of things are getting *ahem* bigger. So, my theory is that my face was cute and boys dug it, but I didn't have all the goods, so in order for the boys to feel normal they made fun of me in front of the other boys. I have this theory, because of several private conversations with said boys. 😜
  Anywho, growing up was weird for me because I had this cute face on a stick figure body. I was bumpable, but not quite humpable, if you know what I'm saying. So, when I got pregnant with my first born at 20 I thought I was about to come into some curves and finally be recognized as a woman and not a prepubescent girl. I was so wrong. My boobs grew alright. They grew to a large B in pregnancy and then a large C when my milk came in, but quickly went right back to my large A, small B size when my milk went away. I hated my breasts even more after having my daughter, not only because they had teased me, but because they had also failed me and my daughter in the breastfeeding process. I dried up due to stress after about a month of painfully trying to nurse my child that preferred just my left breast and had a terrible latch. Now, I know, I know...it wasn't my boobies faults. I know that now, but back then I was not as knowledgeable about breastfeeding as I am now.
The same growth pattern happened with the birth of my son, my second born. Although, this time, it wasn't my breasts that hindered the breastfeeding process. My sweet boy was born with a severe bilateral cleft lip and palate. He had to use a special bottle and wasn't able to latch. The stress of the pumping and constant doctors appointments and dealing with a high energy, strong willed toddler caused me to get mastitis, which is a nasty, painful infection in the milk ducts. I stopped pumping a month and a half after he was born and when the milk went away, so did my tig ol' bitties! Side note: After 3 surgeries in his first year, my son's cleft was repaired and he is doing fine, except for this long road of orthodontic work and speech therapy. He is happy and healthy!
  When I got pregnant with baby number three I was surprisingly happy, despite the fact that we couldn't afford another baby at the time. For some reason, my body was so in tune with this child from day one. It was very different than my other pregnancies and I knew very early on that it was going to be a girl. See, I found Wicca after I had my son. I started listening to my intuition and my body more, once I converted. I knew this child was special. My other two are special as well, I'm not THAT much of an asshole. But, my baby girl, who we appropriately named Willow, filled me with peace and love and happiness like I had never felt before. She is 2 now and has since carried those attributes with her. She is the sweetest, happiest, most helpful baby I have ever known. I birthed her in 1 hour and 45 minutes and when she was placed on my chest she immediately found my breast and latched perfectly. She hasn't wanted to leave my breasts since. She has cuddled up to them in all their various sizes and loved them equally, one just as much as the other. My breasts have calmed her temper tantrums, fixed her boo boos, comforted her to sleep, and made her smile and giggle as she looks up at me and rubs my face with sleepy eyes. I remember a couple of hilariously outspoken, well meaning, yet rude, older southern female friends of the family making comments about how they "couldn't understand what my baby was sucking on, because there wasn't anything there". I was taken aback, but not surprised as I have heard this shit my entire life by the *ahem* thicker women in my families circle of friends.
  Having a successful breastfeeding experience has taught me that my breasts are not broken. There is nothing wrong with having small boobs. I love my breasts because they have nurtured my child, helped her grow strong and smart and have given her some really wonderful antibodies to fight off sickness. My milk has also helped to cure pink eye, ear infections and has helped heal some nasty cuts. All in all, the past 26 months that I have been nursing my daughter have given me a different perspective on my small breasts. They might be small, but they are mighty! Our breasts are not just for show. They are a really awesome part of the female body! They are a really awesome part of MY body! No matter how big or how small they may be. I love my breasts! And through that revelation I have come to love myself a little bit more. And I feel like I can finally give the middle finger out to everyone that has had something negative to say about my body instead of meekly smiling and pretending it doesn't bother me. Because, fuck anyone that thinks they have the right to talk shit about someone else's body parts! So, on that note, Captain of the itty bitty titty committee out!


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Halloween Dreaming



  I've got my windows open, my older kids are outside playing with their friends, my baby is taking a nap and I've got Loreena McKennit playing on iHeartRADIO. I am trying to transport myself to a different place for a minute. Somewhere calm and beautiful. Somewhere much different than this cramped apartment. Halloween is in a week and though I have tried to get into the spirit this year, it's been hard. I'm trying not to let the depression get to me, but that's easier said than done. I keep trying to focus on what I want to happen in the future and not focus on what I don't want to happen or what I am currently unhappy with. But, when you are a natural realist leaning towards pessimism, that can be hard. With my partner, Michael (I gotta come up with a cute nickname for him for this) getting better business opportunities, our goal is to fix some credit issues, save up and buy a house as soon as possible. That cannot happen soon enough for me. I know I have to be patient, but it's hard for me. I'm a Capricorn with an INFJ personality. I am a very "take the bull by the horns" type of person. I like to be in control and fix problems that are thrown in front of me. I don't do well with allowing others to handle things. So, you can imagine how hard it is for me to be a stay at home mom with little to no income, allowing my partner to be the sole bread winner during tough times. I just want to do so much to help, but I am extremely limited, because I have to take care of my kids, because we can't afford childcare. This might change soon and then I will have to decide if I want to go to school or just start working. I've thought about selling real estate, because I think it would be a job I could excel in. I love houses (The Sims is my favorite game, because you get to make houses) and though I'm not always fond of being around people, because it is very draining (empath over here), I do well with them when I have to work in customer service/sales positions.
  So, today, I'm transporting myself to the future. It's Halloween night. I'm in my little dream house. It's decked out in so much Halloween decor that it looks like a prop house from Halloweentown (yes, the made for tv Disney movie). My kids are all dressed up in their costumes. This is the future so they are all a bit older. Dad's all dressed up in some crazy costume and ready to scare the pants off the Trick or Treaters that come to the door. My oldest (Z) is making a spooky soundtrack to play so she and dad can turn our house into a thing of nightmares. My middle child (A) is running around the house, hiding in different spots and popping out to scare us over and over again. And my littlest baby (W) is eating homemade Halloween themed snacks, while watching The Nightmare before Christmas. Michael, now known as DP (Dear Partner) from here on out, lost the battle this year and I was finally able to dress our dog up for Halloween, so she is decked out in the cutest little devil costume I could find. My cats are wearing hats of some kind and are curled up on the floor together in front of our giant stone fireplace! I've just finished putting on my amazing goth fairy costume with wings that actually move and am now making pots of mulled wine and cider. Once I'm done, I begin to light candles and sage my home. I make a plate of snacks and set it on our table and invite our loved ones who have crossed over to join us. My family and I take a moment to remember those we love that have gone before us. We hold hands and chant "It's the blood of the Ancients that runs in our veins. And the forms pass, but the circle of life remains". Then, the festivities begin as myself and the little ones head out to trick or treat and Z and dad stay behind to pass out candy and scare the trick or treaters! The night air is cool and the sounds of laughter and squeals fill my ears as we head down the long driveway to the neighborhood. The woods lining our driveway are decorated with thousands of orange and yellow lights and the air is filled with the fog from the cauldrons of dry ice we set out.
Once we reach the sidewalk, we see that the streets are filled with children, each all dressed up and ready to get the most candy in their buckets. We enter into the lines of people and begin our trick or treating journey. Once we are back at home with buckets filled with sugary treats, we dump them on the living room floor and begin separating and trading, while dad and Z excitedly reenact all of the hilarious ways they scared the trick or treaters that came to our door. We pass around popcorn and other various snacks and sip on cider and wine until it's finally time to put the littles to bed. Z stays up a bit later to watch a light scary movie with me and DP. As we sit, curled up together under a blanket, I scan my surroundings. My home is filled with beauty and love. My heart is glad.
  I can't think of a more perfect way to spend a Halloween night! I know this will be in my future. I see it so clearly. DP and I will make this a reality. Good things are happening for us and though it seems like it's taking forever, we will get to this point. We will. And once we are there, I will look back at this post and say, "I told you so"! Blessed be my lovelies! )O(

Friday, October 14, 2016

Solitude...I miss you...come back to me.

 



  One of the things that frustrates me the most about being a parent is the lack of freedom to just be in solitude. I grew up as an only child so I was used to being alone a lot. When I moved away from home and lived on my own, I was very antisocial for a while. My Friday nights consisted of grabbing some bagels and soup from the Bruegger's I worked at and hitting up the Blockbuster for some movies and the Lindt store for a raspberry syrup filled milk chocolate bar on the way home  I didn't exactly know how to form friendships. I still don't, to be honest. I'm awkward and inconsistent. I'm accused a lot of being either disinterested in my surroundings or too hyper and talkative. There isn't really a middle ground to my personality. I'm very aware of myself and my feelings, so it's something that I'm a bit sensitive and paranoid about. I know that I'm...odd.

  I used to hate being alone so much when I was younger, because well, it was lonely. But, now that I'm a mother of three with 2 cats and a dog in a domestic partnership with my boyfriend of almost 7 years, I miss being alone. I crave solitude. I want to just sit in my room like I used to and write music and draw whenever I want to without being interrupted or be able to take a night walk when the air gets chilly. I'm the weird kid with the drawing pad at the cemetery. I'm the girl that 'people watches' at the park.

READING. I miss reading. I don't get to do nearly as much of it now as I used to, because during the day I'm interrupted by the sounds of my adorable 2 year old's diaper being pulled off, or my handsome 5 year old son's repetitive conversations about Minecraft, or the piles of laundry that never seem to get done, or the mounds of toys that seem to pile up in my living room every single day. At night, when it finally gets quiet, I'm too tired to read anything. If I do anything, I watch a couple of episodes of Bate's Motel or The Walking Dead with the volume too low to actually hear it in case it wakes the baby (We live in a 930 sq ft apartment and the kids share the room next to the living room). If she wakes up I'll have to spend the next half hour nursing her until she goes back to sleep. Weaning a boob obsessed toddler is not an easy job!

Yes, Yes...I chose to have them. I could have opted for a way out of my pregnancies, but I didn't.
I didn't want to. I wanted my babies. And I wouldn't trade them for anything, but can't a mother miss parts of her life before children? Yes! Yes she...er...I can!

If I could be doing anything right now it would be driving to the Eno River with drawing pad in hand for a nice long walk to a secluded spot where I could draw, write and listen to Type O Negative on my headphones for hours, uninterrupted. I ache for long naps in hammocks or finishing a book in one sitting on a porch with a nice cup of tea or coffee. Those are my fantasies. Well, that and being paid to travel around the world and eat. That's like...number one fantasy right there.

I feel like I lose myself in the day to day tasks of parenthood. I feel like my magick is definitely affected. Hell, I don't even get around to doing many spells or rituals these days. I love to cook (hence the whole kitchen witch thing), but I find myself just throwing things together for my family out of convenience (well, also because I have no dishwasher and I HATE doing dishes, because it takes so long when you have a big family). Other than a few part time jobs here and there that lasted maybe all of 3 months at a time, I have been serving my family as stay at home mom for almost eight years now. Eight years of being almost constantly surrounded by at least one person. I wasn't used to this and I'm still not really. It makes me cranky. I am definitely cherishing this time when my children are little. They are so cute and sweet. But, part of me cannot wait until they are older and I can have more time for myself. It's a draining job, being a parent, especially when you have to be around them all day.

Today, I'm asking Goddess to give me guidance on how I can arrange more time for myself to do the things I love. And on that note, I have to get my baby up, because she decided that nap time is over. 

Blessed be lovelies! )O(


"Solitude is the soul's holiday, an opportunity to stop doing for others and to surprise and delight ourselves instead."
      -Katrina Kenison

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Life, Death and the thinning veil


Death.
This simple word is enough to shake people to their core, but for me, it is a word that brings comfort.
This is where you get a peek at my weirdness folks. Hang on.
Ever since I was a child, I have been around death and had a keen sense of spirits. When I was very young, maybe 3 or 4, I started talking about an imaginary friend name, Leah. I had never heard that name before. I wasn't making her up. Leah was a girl that looked just like me that followed me around. I was an only child, so having her around was a blessing to me. I loved Leah. My family thought my having an imaginary friend was cute at first, until they heard the name and realized I'd never heard it before. Then, it struck them as odd. I don't remember how long she stayed in my life, but one day she was just gone and didn't ever come back. I didn't get upset about it. It was like I understood she had other places to be. I just wanted another friend. Leah made an impression on myself and my family, and to this day, they bring her up in conversations from time to time. Was she a ghost? I don't know for sure, but I truly believe she was.

My mother worked in nursing homes as a CNA for most of my young life. She was a single mother, so during the summer she would often bring me in as a volunteer so she could have somewhere for me to go when she didn't have child care. I was in elementary school, so I did this from the ages of about 6 to 10. I would paint nails, talk to patients and assist my mother in any way I was allowed to. Now, my family is very musical and most people that know me know that I sing. I have been singing ever since I can remember. Not to toot my own horn, but during my elementary school years my vocal abilities were rated at a 98% by a state wide honors chorus where I represented my school two years in a row.  So, naturally, the patients loved it when I sang for them. During meal times or leisure times, my mother would play the piano and I would sing hymns for the patients. I spent 12 hour shifts at the nursing home and everyone there knew who I was. And I knew them.
Now, you might be saying to yourself, 'What a fantastic learning experience that must have been', and you would be correct. However, with all of those friendships that I made with those patients there was a lot of loss as well. All of my friends died. All of them. And I was the one that held their hand as they drew their last breath. See, the fact that I was a songbird was so popular with the patients that most of them, while on their death beds, requested that I come sing to them as they died. Their families described me as an angel singing them from Earth to the angels in Heaven.

See, one of the things my mother taught me was that death is a part of life. I was raised in a Christian home, so we believed that death was a positive thing for people that shared our faith, which most of these patients did. Therefore, there was no reason to be scared. And I wasn't. I never have been. Sad? Yes. Absolutely. Death is sad. It's saying goodbye to someone, at least in this life. But, does it scare me? No. Never. Not even today as a Wiccan.
I've always felt comfortable with death and my mother has always told me that I seemed like a morose child. I have always been interested in death and the darker things in life. I fully believe that some people are born with a witch's spirit...and I believe I am one of them.

I have always seen "things that aren't really there" and I have always been aware of the presence of spirits and energy around me. As a child, I could tell which people around me had good intentions and bad, and while that gift has started to fade as an adult, it still makes an appearance every now and then. It's no wonder that this time of the year, when the veil is thin, is one of my favorite times of the year. I feel at home. I feel connected to spirit in a deeper way than I am the rest of the year.

In conclusion, death is a reminder of my mortality. And I am ok with that. It reminds me not to take things so seriously. It reminds me that nobody gets out alive. We all die. It reminds me to cherish my loved ones, because they can be snatched up by death's grip in an instant. It reminds me to love harder each and every day.
Blessed be my lovelies.
)O(

Thursday, October 6, 2016

At least....for a little while.

  I'm sitting in my living room tonight just feeling so thankful for my children. This isn't going to be a post about how being a mom is just so great, because butterflies and unicorns and fairytale feelings happen all the time. No. This is a post about how the internet and all of its news articles makes me so glad that I have my children and that they are in good health and that they are safe.
  This world is a cruel place that doesn't give a fuck about you or your kids. There are murderers and child rapists and people that will kidnap your kids to sell them. There are wars being fought and bombs going off. There are storms that rip through towns and whole countries, eradicating them completely. There are people that will brainwash you and your children into believing that there are people out there that are lesser beings than you so that you too are filled with hate. There are mothers...and fathers....that brutally abuse and take the lives of their own children.
  My children know nothing of this. My children may have heard and seen a fight once or twice in their lives, but they know nothing of the fighting and the pain that goes on in this world. I am so very thankful that I was the one to be blessed with them. I am so thankful they didn't end up with someone else as their parent or some other place as their home. I wish....I wish...that I could scoop up all of the world's children into my arms and love them like I love my own children, but my arms are not big enough. I get angry at this world. I get angry sometimes at God/Goddess/Spirit/Creator/Whatever the hell you want to call him/her/them/it. I get mad, because I want all of this brutal nonsense to end. I don't understand any of it. My brain cannot conceive of the reasons why this has to happen. No answer from anyone has ever made it okay in my eyes. The answers that piss me off are the ones like, "It's all a part of God's perfect plan" and "God is in control". Well, excuse the hell out of me for not wanting to worship a God that would use the brutal rape and murder of a 9 month old baby in his divine plan!
  See, I do not believe that my God and Goddess have their hands in any of this. I do not believe that if we call to them, they save us. I believe they have left that shit up to us. I think we were created to make the right and good choices, but that God and Goddess washed their hands of being a direct part of controlling things when they made us. Maybe there are angels or spirits out there that help create miracles, but God and Goddess? Nah. They are our source of strength. They are what we are to strive to be like. Pure love. It's up to us to decide which path we are going to take. Will it be the path of hatred and evil or will it be a path of love and acceptance?
  I have chosen the path of love. And while I may have a little temper about me, and while I may say 'fuck' way too often, and while I may have issues with friendships, because I don't genuinely like many people, I have chosen to have love in my heart. Even if you screw me over I will still make you a plate of food if you haven't eaten all day.
  This is why I'm thankful for my children. I'm thankful they are with me so I can love them and protect them from this world, at least for a little while. At least...for a little while.

Decorations and Dreams


  Told ya I started decorating! :)  I still have more to do, but this is the focal point of the decorations in my apartment. It's cool, because I bought new curtains in Spring that are white and blue with owls on them and it kind of pulls all the fall decor together. Plus, I have tons of random owl things lying around my place. I also have a giant blow up pumpkin sitting inside my apartment right by the front door next to some crates where I make everyone put their shoes when they come in. I don't have a yard, but that isn't going to stop me from putting up ALL the decorations! Even if that means my family trips over them whilst trying to walk into the place. 



 I also put this damn ghost decoration on my front porch area and it scares the shit out of me when I open the door, because I think a small child is standing there. Normally that would irritate me, but because it's that special time of year I just laugh and laugh and remind myself that it's Halloween month and being scared is fun!

One day, my dream is to live in a house with a GIANT front porch that I can decorate. I want one of those double sided fireplaces that is on the outside on the porch and on the inside in the living room, separated by a brick wall, but sharing a chimney. My ideal porch looks like this...
source http://www.schumacherhomes.com/

My ideal living room looks like this...

source http://www.schumacherhomes.com/


Anywho...here I go dreaming again. I actually love to play the Sims just to build the houses. I actually designed my dream home on there a couple of times. I think it's kind of neat to daydream about plans like this, because even if you don't ever actually achieve obtaining it you can see it so clearly in your mind's eye that it's almost like it's already yours. I totally believe that we create parts of our existence with the thoughts we have the most. I think it's all part of how the universe works. We are creative beings with powerful minds. There have been studies that show that our thoughts contain electric signals. You can find more information on what thoughts are from the engineering department at MIT here.
I'd love to hear some feedback on this subject and to hear what kind of dream houses you all would love to have.




Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Autumn equals pumpkin spice and everything nice!

  OMG OMG OMG!!! So...*ahem* Fall is here again and I don't want to sound crazy or anything, but akjflajfaidjfaifiuhalkjhalksdjfhadfg IT'S MY FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR!!!
My family and I had to downsize quite a bit this year (2 bedroom 930 sq ft apartment with no dishwasher or washer and dryer with 3 small children, a dog and 2 cats-yikes!) so I don't have a yard or a lot of square footage to decorate anymore...HOWEVER...I did start decorating today!
  My son just had his 5th birthday and he is super obsessed with Ghostbusters right now, so I had a lot of leftover decorations from his party that just so happen to fit the theme for Halloween month...I mean, Fall. Ok, so I'm slightly obsessed with Halloween. I guess it's that inner goth kid that is so happy everyone is on the same dark page for at least a month. Fall brings another wonderful holiday that definitely doesn't get talked about enough, because, well...most people don't know about it unless they are Pagan. And let's face it, there are way more people who are not Pagan than there are Pagans here in the U.S.A. The holiday I'm referring to is Samhain. It's a glorious time where we get to honor our ancestors and loved ones that have passed onto the next life. It's a celebration of the time of year where the veil between this world and the spirit world is at its thinnest and it is believed that spirits are more prevalent. You can find a more informational post I did on Samhain here

*So, this is the great part about being a mom with ADHD. It's 1:11am and my youngest has been up and down since about midnight and is refusing to go back to bed, so we are currently sitting in the living room on the couch together. She is watching her most favorite Baby Genius video on Netflix and I'm trying to finish this post. Well, all I can think about right now is "She'll be comin' round the mountain" and "Row Row Row your boat". My mind cannot stay on track at all.*

  So, because I'm having so much trouble getting my thoughts in order to finish this post the proper way, I'll just end it with this; Fall is awesome, Halloween is cool, Samhain is amazing and I'm falling asleep. :(
*sigh* better luck next time, I guess.