Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Regretfully, i was horrible to my body over the weekend. So, for two days i went on a raw food binge...something i should do all the time, but with delicious mexican, greek, and italian food within walking distance from my house, it's difficult to always do so.
It is, however, a fulfilling/healthy way to detox!

Our living room filled up with pumpkins, wigged-people, and the aforementioned(unhealthy) food this past saturday for our annual birdhouse pumpkin harvest party.
nick & i created this pac-man pumpkin together, although he should get most of the credit. 

Thursday, October 23, 2008

i have hope that someday everyone will realize the significance of nature in our lives as human beings.
 it's a bummer that she is so often taken for granted--people tossing trash out their car windows, or cutting down dense, beautiful forest meant for sustaining life in order to build institutions & sub-divisions. 
this time of year is perfect for a realization of this kind...& i'm sad that bike-riding weather doesn't last all year here.

these are part of a new set i am working on:

Friday, October 17, 2008

I, a baby of October, was born at the high point of the seasons, when the harvest is reaped.
It seems a lot of people i know carry a natural affinity for the month of their birth. I'm not sure if it's the idea of happy spirits, or the deep down remembrance of our first looks at the world during this time, or some other natural miraculous reason. Whatever it is, I'm in love with October: the smell, the sights, the feelings.

I turned nineteen yesterday. 
I got a  call from my mom saying my cousin was in labor. I was completely ecstatic. Had it been years earlier, i'd probably be upset at the thought of sharing a birthday, but how selfish would that have been? 

What better of a gift is there, to me & the world, than a new life? 
 A new beautiful little light of the universe, Amaiya Julianna. 

welcome to the world, tiny wonder.
We'll forever be connected in our libra spirits.

Monday, October 13, 2008

on the sunny road.

we drank champagne, talked on front porch swings, listened to music as sirens rang around town, and ate a fancy meal at three in the morning. 
we woke to lost items & people, coffee & bikes, yoga & pilates, and balancing acts on the living room floor.

we walked through mushroom filled trails & snake-skinned rocks, we watched leaves suspended in mid-air, sang with enlightened friends, adventured with blue-eyed dragonflies, and saw the sunset over circling water. 

we ate calzones, talked about families & futures, space & time, and fell asleep fast.

 it was all beautiful--full of love and serenity.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Just a note: What i say about breast-feeding in this blog is not meant to imply that my thoughts are completely one-sided. I am absolutely, totally aware that there are circumstances where it is not the best thing for the mother/baby, and is, at times, impossible. 

I went to a small conference on campus the other day called "Mama PhD," where a woman in her mid-40's spoke with us about her own personal story of being in school until she reached her thirties & her struggle to find herself in happiness afterwards. She talked a lot about how it is possible for a woman to juggle being a mother, & being a professor simultaneously, however, she noted that it was extremely difficult getting there, & along the way, she worried that her biological clock would run out by time she met the right man & was ready to have a baby after her many years of schooling had passed. Luckily for her, she met her now husband of four years & has a healthy little girl. She said she's crossing her fingers that her daughter does not take the same difficult path she did.
Prior to this meeting, i thought i had a few things figured out when it came to my academic life. Granted, I'm still not quite sure what path i am taking, but i was set on becoming a professor of some sort. I do realize that it is not necessarily going to take me twelve years to get there, but even so, it's going to be a lot of work a long the way...more work than i even want to put myself through before i am established in a family. I am in no way trying to plan out that aspect of my life, I want to take it as it comes, & it isn't that i lack motivation. I merely want to fulfill my life long desire of someday becoming a mother, first & foremost...& not a mother of 40 who is worrying that my child will come out with some sort of disease. So, I have ultimately decided that a four year study will, for now, suffice for my life and future.

On the subject of Momma's...it seems that the subject of breast-feeding has been popping up everywhere lately.  I often hear stories of women being shunned for breast-feeding in public. My mom told me yesterday as we talked about this subject, that people looked at her as if they were disgusted that she would be nourishing her infant in public. Really? It's disgusting? Are these same people disgusted when they see kittens nursing on their mother? Has it ever occurred to them that none of us would be here without breast-feeding-There was no such things as Enfamil & Similac when our ancestors were growing and prospering. I am so thankful to have a young mother who chose to breast-feed my sister & i, & was not at all ashamed to do it in public, as every woman should, and is of her own free-will to do so.
The idea of breasts as a sexual object has skewed all thoughts of breast-feeding being the reason we, as women, have breasts on our bodies. My anthropology teacher, a man of about thirty, is passionate about encouraging women to breast-feed. It's inspiring to see a young father like himself talk to a group of seventy or so young students in such a way. The woman who spoke at the conference also mentioned the subject, and referred to non breast-feeding women as the "non le leche people." As i read on a website, infant formulas often include such ingredients as "lecithin, carrageenan, and mono- and diglycerides which are added to ensure that the formula doesn't separate during shelf-life..."
So it comes down to this: 100% God-given breastmilk, or ingredients that most of us cannot even pronounce? 

I found this article on a blog:

"Use my picture if it will help" said this mother.  The children are twins, the bottle-fed child is a girl who died the day after this photograph was taken by UNICEF in Islamabad, Pakistan.  Her brother was breastfed and thrived.   The mother was incorrectly told she could not breastfeed both children.  This horrific picture demonstrates the risk of artificial infant feeding, particularly where water supplies are unsafe.  The expense of formula can lead to parents over-diluting it to make it last longer or using unsuitable milk powders or animal milks.  In all countries breastfeeding provides immunity against infections.  Despite these risks the baby food industry aggressively markets breastmilk substitutes encouraging mothers and health workers to favour artifical infant feeding over breastfeeding.  Such tactics break marketing standards adopted by the World Health Assembly. NestlĂ©, the world's largest food company, is found to be responsible for more violations than any other company and is the target of an international boycott.

SCN News May 1991

This picture tells two stories: most obviously, about the often fatal consequences of bottle-feeding; more profoundly, about the age-old bias in favour of the male. The child with the bottle is a girl - she died the next day. Her twin brother was breasfed. This woman was told by her mother-in-law that she didn't have enough milk for both her children, and so she should breastfeed the boy. But almost certainly she could have fed both her children herself, because the process of suckling induces the production of milk. However, even if she found that she could not produce sufficient milk - unlikly as that would be - a much better alternative to bottle-feeding would have been to find a wet-nurse. Ironically, this role has sometimes been taken by the grandmother. In most cultures, before the advent of bottle-feeding, wet-nursing was commomn practice.

The photograph on the cover is horrifying. Another baby girl dies unnecessarily. The department of child development, Government of India, with assistance from UNICEF, has produced a compelling account of the plight of the 'Lesser child'.

"In a culture that idolizes sons and dreads the birth of a daughter, to be born female comes perilously close of being born less than human. Today the rejection of the unwanted girl can begin even before her birth: prenatal sex determination tests followed by quick abortions eliminate thousands of female foetuses before they can become daughters. Those girls who manage to survive till birth and beyond find that the dice is heavily loaded against them in a world that denies them equal access to food, health, care, education, emmployment and simple human dignity.

"Born into indifference and reared on neglect, the girl child is caught in a web of cultural practices and prejudices that divest her of her individuality and mould her into a submissive self-sacrificing daughter and wife. Her labour ensures the survival and well-being of her family but robs her not only of her childhood but also of her right to be free of hunger, ignorance, disease and poverty.

A baby dies every 30 seconds from unsafe bottle feeding.

One and a half million babies die every year in poor countries because they are not breastfed.

It's a sad reality.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

for the sake of humanity.

this summer, as i sat with a beautiful group of people in a foreign land full of adorable baby ticos, trees of green, coffee, banana smoothies, & rainy skies, a man with tattered clothes & a brilliant mind told us,
"the agenda of humanity must change."
if i can credit that man with saying anything right for the world & where it needs to go...that statement is it. 
At this time in our lives as Americans, only a month away from the most powerful election i've seen in my nearly nineteen years of life, we must realize the gravity of this political situation. I am, without a doubt, no political genius. There are a hell of a lot of things i could not tell you, even about what is going on right now.
But there is one thing i am absolutely sure of...
If McCain/Palin win the election, we are done for. 
John McCain is a 72 year old man who has seen a lot in his day, been through a lot physically & mentally, and probably does not have the longest life expectancy. If he dies in office, the soccer mom-former mayor of the meth capitol of alaksa-antiabortion-just got her passport last year-has no desire/plan to help the environment-woman who cannot even answer a damn question during a debate is going to be the president of the United States of America. 
& what will our situation be then?
Well, I will see you in Canada.

(the agenda of humanity must change)

Monday, October 6, 2008

the weekend was inspiring...full of roller blading crazies, homemade cookies at 2 AM, incredibly delayed sushi dates, beautiful babies, long-overdue talks with my best friend about growing up and all the things that seem to be accompanying it without our consent & yoga in the morning. i used to dread the start of every week in high school, but now, i actually enjoy what i am doing in school more, so i am happy to say that today is monday.

i read an article a few weeks ago about the health benefits of cinnamon and honey & have been making the last drink that is listed for about a week now, & i feel so wonderful. really, though.  & it tastes divine when it's cold! half at night before bed, half in the morning.

the other day nick came over & decided to give me my birthday present early. he handed me a package wrapped in last minute tin-foil with a little pink heart on top that read "Tori i love you. Happy B-day!"

 i opened it to see the Diana+ Dreamer camera that i've been wanting for so long now. it was such a nice surprise. i'm ecstatic to see how the photos come out.

happy monday & namaste.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

finger pets.

to preface this story of my sleep world, i must say that i have a history of extremely off-the-wall dreams, so to speak. if i am not stepping/squishing my cousin who resembles a nesting doll, than i am living in an underwater house with every single person i know. as i laid in bed yesterday morning meditating, i suddenly remembered looking at the tops of my index fingers as i slept. In my dreamworld, a world that i sometimes wish i actually lived in, I had looked down at my fingers & on each of them was a tiny blister-like bump, that was crystal clear & had a clear, clean liquid inside. & just chilling in the liquid of each finger was a turtle the size of a ladybug. They were all so detailed & adorable, too! There was one on the left finger, & two on top of one another on the right. I remember thinking, "damn this is so AMAZING. I really want to keep them but then again, this is so bizarre i feel like i should go to the doctor." which, unfortunately for the turtles, i chose to do so. The doctor took a pin and popped the bump, and the turtles just disappeared as if they had never been there. 
Upon remembering the dream, i instantly wrote/drew about it in my journal, still half asleep. Considering this is probably the most outlandish dream i have every dreamt, i couldn't not document it.