A blog about life - the good, the bad, the people, the books, the games, and coffee.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

It's all mine, again

My body that is.

It's a few days till Keiden turns 18 months and he is fully weaned. Breastfeeding has been both hard and easy. Hard in getting started, being the food factory, and dealing with being bitten and clawed at with every feed and whenever Keiden wanted milkies. Easy, when combined with co-sleeping the night wakes were less disruptive for me, and it was an easy way to soothe him and get him to sleep.

The weaning process took three long weeks. The day nap feeds were the first and the hardest to drop. It meant up to three hour long crying battles with him pulling at my clothes. But we found our way, and now  - beside the occasional bad day - it's read a story, sit with him for ten minutes and he's out.

Bedtime, during the night and first thing in the morning feeds have been easier. It's largely because of Jerall. The bedtime routine for a few months has been bath, feed, story with daddy and sleep. So we just had me stop being around once he was out of the bath. And Jerall has spent a few nights sleeping in Keiden's room, to settle him when he wakes at night - because K still pulls at my clothes and sticks his hand down my top. The overarching policy is to not tempt him with what he can't have.

After over two years of making sure what I did with it, or put in it wouldn't hurt someone else, it feels great to have my body all to myself again.*

*Thanks Liz for saying it's okay to not feel bad about it being over.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Bits and pieces

I'm having one of those moments where you want to write a post, you know what you want to write about...but the words just aren't coming out. So this post is parts of half thoughts, in the hopes that while I'm getting them out the thoughts will finish themselves. 

Does anyone else write like this? I have sentences flitting all over my mind, and the process feels like a struggle to grab the right one, and hold onto it till I can get it down and out just right.

Sometimes it feels like I just don't have the right words for anything. And lately it's also been that I don't have the right words or actions for myself, in this post on Making Mountains Belinda speaks about doing kind things for yourself...those things we do for others. And it is just something I struggle with so much.

I don't know how to do anything nice for myself without telling myself that I'm being selfish. Logically, I know it's not being selfish...but that other voice, I just can't get it to shut up. And 9 times out of 10 it'll win. This grown-up treating yourself well business it tough, so tough. Why aren't there classes on this?  Are there classes on this? 

This post looks at the words we use to describe ourselves. Not an exercise I should be doing right now. But still a good jumping off point for things to ponder.

This series of posts is just great. It shows why studying pop culture is important. And it has served as part of inspiring me (the other part has been panels and conversations from this year's Comic Con) and helping me figure out what my 2017 academic plans are. Next year is a social science research diploma, then after that an MA and PhD for me. I'll be looking at fandoms, and probably how social media fits in with it. The way social media has helped fans come together is very interesting, especially as I see social media causing more and more disconnection.

Mandy put in a lot of work on this. It is a great series, even though she included me. Seriously, I just did what people do, do what needs to be done. Also you should so read her blog in general.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Bye-bye Facebook

Guys, I've just deactivated my Facebook account. It's been a long time coming. Even with me trimming down my 'friends' list there were still people there who wouldn't be able to say anything beyond a line, if that, about me.

And for something that is supposed to help us stay in touch, it wasn't very good at it. Also more and more it started to trigger those I fail at life feelings because no awesome holidays, outings, and all that jazz. So don't have the time or inclination to deal with that.

I honestly don't even think anyone will really notice that I'm gone.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Acts of kindness

I don't know about you, but lately it seems as if people are just these utter horrible beings. We are horrid, selfish, mean beings. I read things, and am utterly amazed at the ugliness we're capable of.

And then yesterday happened. Keiden and I were doing our weekly traipsing around town. The morning wasn't off to the best start - someone tried to queue jump when I was getting coffee; queue jumpers are one of the shining examples of snowflake syndrome.

And then as I was walking around - Keiden in carrier (front carry), backpack on my back and library bag in hand - I noticed my laces had come lose and let out a "Ugh, darn it." A lady was walking by at that moment, she saw my face and offered to help. I said no thanks, I can handle this while looking for a spot to put things down. She told me not to be silly, and just tied my laces. A small thing for her to do, but it made a big difference to me.

After that we were at Bargain Books - where I found an amazing magnetic weather board - and the folks who worked there were just amazing. Not only did the show me what I was looking for - expected customer service for me, but you don't always get that - they also helped me find a cheaper alternative and they put it aside for me so that I didn't need to walk around with it all the time. A small thing for them, but not for me.

We went to the library, got our books and headed out. Keiden was happy to walk until we got just past anywhere to put anything down to put him into the carrier. As I'm standing there surrounded by bags this guy stops and says "Let me help." I do the usual no thanks, and next thing I know I'm all sorted. A small thing for this guy, but big for me.

Then, on our way to meet Jerall for lunch I have coffee in one hand, library bag in the other and my phone starts ringing. The teens I was chatting to at that moment - they we're selling cookies to fundraising for youth - just held out their hands to hold things for me to get my phone. And then, they just double checked the backpack, without me asking, to be sure I'd closed it properly. Again a small thing for them, but not for me.

Those small acts of kindness went a long way restore my faith in humanity. Maybe we aren't all bad after all.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Things that made me think this week

This post by Shell Shocked Mummy, on finding out that adoptive parents don't get maternity leave. She has a post on bonding with her kid, and a petition for getting adoptive parent the same maternity rights as those of us who've gotten our kids the other less paper filled way.

This storify on privilege. Especially, the part that we are not vaccinated from forms of privilege when there are areas in which we are oppressed *cough* maternity leave as a privilege *cough*.

This, on how consent is continuous. How we're told, and buy into love being expressed physically. Actually, that entire tumblr has posts that just get you pondering - for me it's often what is so wrong with us that we let ourselves treat each other so poorly.

This shows the length of some movies when you only included lines spoken by people of colour...for those in the example a minute or so is the longest.

This, on how maybe white people really don't see race - they don't see theirs. As in white default and everything else is other. Meanwhile, people of colour are made aware of it in more often than not painful experiences.

This, with two different takes on parenting instincts.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Book review: Memoirs of a Born Free by Malaika wa Azania

wa Azania's book is tricky to review, it's part family history, part political musings and part story of the South Africa that some people don't see. It is an apt example of the way in which, in South Africa, the political and personal are interwoven in both expected and unexpected ways. She frames this book as a letter to the ANC, and discusses the great hope and belief it had from her family. A hope and belief that it has lost not only from them, but from her.

It's when she talks about her family's story that this book really shines. She's part of a greater whole, a witness to incomplete stories that she shares with an obvious love for her family. But, it's when she starts detailing her success and struggles that I started to switch off. The difficulty lies in that she wrote this when she was 22. And it is at 22 that we are in the process of shedding the person we were in our teens. So, as such everything she shares is tinged with that arrogance that you only ever have when you're a teenager wrapped in your own bubble with little thought to everyone else’s story.

Yes, this is Malaika's memoir, it is her story and naturally it will be centred on her. But, by framing this as a letter to the ANC she has divided her story. As I said earlier the personal and political are intertwined, but her exploration of the political strips away those aspects of the personal that make for compelling reading. When those aspects are present, you're an utterly engaged reader.

There are a few moments when I'm left wanting to know more. And those are often the moments spent on her family. I want to know more about her mother's moments during the movement, how her grandmother dealt with the times her mother was detained, what the big falling out was about that had her mother move them away. Those are things that make a memoir to me, that recognition of who the people are who shaped you, and what their stories are.

Thus, I'm left feeling that this could be part one of a greater whole to come. Perhaps this is a memoir that would have been better off being left to be written when wa Azania is older. Something you can see in her epilogue when she writes about the weight of voting, and how:
“When you vote for a party, you vote for the future of your country. You give powers to a few individuals to decide on the fate of millions, some of whom are too young or too powerless t o speak for themselves. When you vote for a party, you give them the responsibility of guarding the gains of our liberation struggle.”

Monday, 6 July 2015

Book quest: Looking for books where the kids look like mine

Recently, Tauriq Moosa left Twitter for a bit because he got harassed for saying he'd like to see people who look like him in games. What does this have to do with looking for books where the kids in it look like mine? A lot.

We've become so used to seeing white as the default norm, that we're doing ourselves and our kids a disservice. We're all entitled to see someone who looks like us in the media we consume. So I got to thinking about the books we read to Keiden. None of those we own have a person of colour in it, let alone an Asian kid in it. Yes, Keiden doesn't have a lot of the stereotypical Chinese features, but I haven't seen any kid picture books in stores or the library with a kid in it who isn't white.

Hair colour and eye colour differences, but not one that isn't white. Freaking scary. By not seeing yourself in books, games, tv or movies it's like the world is telling you, you don't exist. That's not okay for my kid, and it's not okay for me. Especially, because we live in a town where the people are predominantly pale, and I get comments on how well I speak, and my husband is always asked where he's from.

My book quest now is to find books for Keiden to read where the characters look like him and his dad, and ones where they look like me. I've found some lists on the internet, but would love some recommendations.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

tums2tots columnist

2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
Cassey has read 10 books toward their goal of 100 books.

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2017 Reading Challenge

Cassey has read 1 book toward their goal of 200 books.

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Cassey has read 9 books toward a goal of 100 books.

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