Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How Many Cloth Diapers Can You Fit In A Van?

Cloth Tushie Tuesday fans ... we're back with another installment!!  Traveling with Cloth!

Mommie V

I find cloth diapering to be incredibly easy.  Even the challenges we have (mostly rashes) have been pretty easily overcome.  I don't have a complicated wash routine, I have a relatively simple stash (when I leave well enough alone).

So when the time came to take a road trip with my mother and her two sisters (my cousin and her daughter joined us too) to see a cousin 3 states away, I knew the time had come to put my cloth diapering mettle to the test.  Would I travel with cloth diapers?

Given how sensitive my daughter is to disposable diapers, my answer almost immediately was yes.  Also, some of these family members had been part of a conversation that went a little something like "cloth diapers?  We'll see how long that lasts" and I saw this as an opportunity to demonstrate that we were doing very well cloth diapering, thankyouverymuch.

So, how many days are we going to be gone?  We're staying in a hotel room and there's no sign of a laundromat nearby?  How many diapers does she usually use a day?  I did all the calculations and decided how many I thought I needed.

I requested some advice from Jellybean Mama.  After all, it appears she drives from the Carolinas to Canada with her kid regularly, so she MUST have some tricks up her sleeve.  In her email she recommended to take twice the number of diapers and wipes as you think you will need.  I took her literally, and doubled the number.  That took us up to ... right about our entire diaper stash.
Too many to fit in that one tote.  Need a bigger tote bag.
Better, but they still don't all fit in there, either.  Gonna have to use both.

Doubling the number is easy when it's just another pack of slim disposables.  Cloth diapers take up space, yo. 

76 diapers in two totes.  I used just over half, I think, for the whole trip.
I packed most of the diapers in the "way back" and enough for the full drive through in the mondo diaper bag "up front".  I packed every wet bag we owned, plus the new one I had bought for the occasion.  At the beginning, I changed her every time we stopped, about every two hours.  After that first day, I relaxed on that.  On the way home I wanted her to sleep, so I put her in a massive nighttime diaper and let her ride.  You get into a groove for what works, and it will be similar to your normal routine.

So here's my advice:

Calculate the number of diapers you think you will need based on how many days you plan to travel, and how many diapers per day your babe uses.  I wouldn't exactly double that number, maybe one-and-a-half times is good.  If you have some backup prefolds/covers, take those.  They don't seem to take as much space as the pockets, and they'll do in a pinch if you do need to delve into your "extra" stash.

Make sure you have enough wet bag space, both in big ones (for the hotel room/guest room/camper) and small ones (for the travel/diaper bag).  You don't want to be lugging around your last four days' worth of diapers in your huge hanging pail because you didn't bring a wetbag for the diaper bag.  My big hanging pail holds 3-4 days, my medium hanging bag holds 3 days, plus the new bag, so I had plenty of hanging pail space.  Then three small bags for the "out and about" trips.

Use sposie wipes.  It's easier.  When you're at a rest stop on the side of the road, you don't want to have to find a water supply to wet your cloth wipes for the poo-of-the-century.  Unless you're very used to carrying your own wipes solution, and you have enough for your whole trip, sposie wipes are easier.

Scout out a laundromat as your "just in case" backup.  We did find a laundromat driving around the first night, and I kept it as a mental note in case I ran out or she started having poos that stunk up the van and they forced me out.  While I personally wouldn't find laundromat washing an ideal scenario, I knew it was there if I needed.  Also, the family we were going to visit said that I was welcome to wash diapers there if I needed to (once the surprise was out that we had arrived!)

Oxy-clean when you get home.  Normally I wash every couple of days.  After this trip, when I pulled the oldest diapers from the bottom of the bag, they were pretty musty and gross.  I just did a regular wash, then noticed they had the musty/almost-mildewy/stinky smell after she peed.  I put them all back into an oxy-clean soak and that killed it.

Honestly, I didn't find it cumbersome to cloth diaper while traveling.  Perhaps flying might have changed my approach (those two totes with the diapers were only a portion of all of the junk we packed into that van just for me and my girl).  Flying I might do more prefolds, which can lie flat in a suitcase and can take up less space than pockets, but I would need some microfiber for nighttime.

Think about how you normally cloth diaper, and then just think about how you'll need to alter that a little on the road.  It doesn't take much to be able to continue your cloth diapering routine, saving the planet and your baby's behind at the same time!

Thanks for coming by for Cloth Tushie Tuesday.  Have you ever traveled with cloth?  Thought about it?  Planning it?  Wouldn't do it on a dare?  Link up your post!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Death By 1000 Questions, A Rant

Tomorrow I go back to work.  Like most of us who have been off for the holiday weekend, I'm dreading and loathing when the alarm goes off in the morning.  I hesitate to write about work, one reason being my tenure-track status.  I've just had some issues the past two semesters that I'm at a loss about how to solve.

I am really struggling with how needy my students are, and how to try to set boundaries with them, and how to try to teach them what behavior is appropriate, when I'm just utterly exhausted by the whole thing.  I don't remember my students being this way - or maybe, to this extent - at my former institution.  It's wearing me down to the point that I'm seriously reconsidering if being a college professor is what I really want to do with my life, when before I've always been convinced that this is my Life Calling.

I write policies in my syllabus, and they still come to me and ask.  I don't allow makeups on quizzes.  It says so, they see that I don't let other students do it.  But still they come and ask, and force me to say no.  It seems innocuous.  They try, hoping maybe I'll give in once.  What's the harm?  But when you have 100 students, and you end up having to say no 100 times, it's bothersome.

I explain to students that I have 10 minutes between lecture and lab.  This is not enough time to erase the board, shut down the Powerpoint and eject my thumb drive, and make it to the lab in time to begin there if I also have to answer questions.  I can understand you don't want to hang around for office hours.  I understand it's "easier".  But when I'm trying to focus on what I'm doing, and you ask me an asanine unrelated question, I'm going to suggest that you email me or come to office hours, that I don't have time to discuss it with you right then.  You've seen me say that countless times already this semester (try EVERY CLASS).

But these things make me feel bad. 

A student comes up saying "hey, my kid is sick, can I have your permission to stay for Wednesday's lab instead of today?"  It shouldn't be a problem for me.  Am I letting them do it or not?  If I don't, I feel like I'm being unreasonable.  But what if it's a lab exam, and I say yes, then I end up with 10 of them making excuses and asking the same question.  Do I say yes to a person whose kid is sick, when I've been there too?  Or do I say no because it's not one individual person.  Do I use them as "an example" so the rest of them don't ask?  And feel guilt in my heart about it?  (Hint: don't ask me in front of the whole class and it changes my dilemma.)

It's not that the request is unreasonable.  It's just that there's one of me, and 100 of them, and if I let them, I'll die a slow painful death one bite at a time.

From a student's perspective - what's 10 minutes of a professor's time?  From the professor's perspective: that's 17 extra hours a week if every one of my students wants 10 minutes of my time.

From a student's perspective - she's got a kid, she should understand.  From the professor's perspective - (a) I can accommodate no more than 2 or 3 makeups in the second lab exam.  Who do I choose?  The first three that come to me, the three with the best stories, the three that are crying, the three that sound reasonable, the three that are making good grades, the three that I trust?  And (b) all of this is taking time.  And usually time between lecture and lab when I don't have time to make these evaluations.  (Again, if you're in this situation, EMAIL is better.)

So I either say yes to that-and-all-the-other-requests-that-follow, which creates a logistical problem to be solved in the second lab exam with too many people, or I say no and feel bad about it.

And that's the root of it.  I can enforce policy with the best of them.  Then I feel like a heartless bitch.  But the first exception I make, and it snowballs.

Tenure plays into the thought process, although I don't like to admit that.  I'm up for tenure and promotion to Full Professor in two and a half years.  I need student evaluations that show excellence in teaching.  Every moment, I'm wondering if I piss off this student, will they write a bad evaluation.  If I enforce my policies effectively, will my evaluations say that I'm a heartless bitch.  If I say yes to this student, and make endless accommodations for them, will my evaluations reflect that I'm an understanding teacher?

It's endless.  "Are you going to give a study guide?  How many questions are going to be on the test?  Can you tell me what I need to get on the final to pass your class?  Are you going to give a study guide?  How much is each question going to be worth on the lab final?  Will there be extra credit?"

Little bites.  Tiny bites.  By this point in the semester, there is nothing of me left.  And I have two weeks to go.

Notice I'm not complaining about the number of students showing up to ask questions about content, or legitimate course questions.  Noone is asking "hey, can you help me understand hydrogen bonds here" they're asking "can you let me take a test late" or "are all the slides from the whole semester going to be on the cumulative lab final."  (Side note:  I have never met a group of people this large that all seemed confused on the definition of "cumulative/comprehensive lab final".  That's a separate rant.)

I am actually looking for suggestions.  Any professors have effective strategies for the Death By 1000 Questions problem?  Anyone else have thoughts on how I can effectively answer or deflect inappropriate or inappropriately timed questions.  Hint: mentioning repeatedly that I don't really have time to answer questions between lecture and lab only quells the onslaught for a class or two.  I've tried that one.  Also, yes it's in my syllabus, yes I've explained why, yes I've been late to lab and cut time off their lab quiz because of it.

Keeping in mind that I do want get tenure in 2013, rather than a terminal contract.  I think.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Have A Disorder

I have this thing.  I don't know what it's called.  I'm sure it has a name, everything has a name.  Maybe something like Alternative Focus Motivational Disorder.

It's probably ADD to tell you the truth.  But it feels deeper than that.  Like it's not just an attention thing, it's a Motivation thing.

Here's an example.  I'm at home all weekend, feeling lazy.  I don't really clean much, I don't really do much around the house, I watch TV, I eat, I sleep, etc.  Monday morning comes around.  Monday morning, when I'm supposed to be at work, working on work, doing work.  Instead, that feels like an awesome time to clean the house.  So I run around like crazy in the limited time I have to get ready, throwing clothes in the washer, doing up some quick dishes, and wishing I had the day off to really clean the house.

Example Two.  Right now, I am at work.  I cancelled my classes for the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (for several reasons).  I don't even have to be here today.  I completely constructed my week so that I didn't even have to set foot on campus today.  Wee One still goes to daycare today, because my plan was to go back home and clean and get ready for tomorrow's holiday celebration at my house.  But I forgot my thumb drive.  So I stopped into my office to get it after dropping the Wee One off at daycare.

And suddenly, nothing sounds better than working on stuff for classes and getting some things knocked off my to-do list.  I have to give lab exams all next week, so I can get those written and get some materials together for those.  I can post the remaining material to my online class.  Etc etc etc.

So why, when I have plans (and sometimes even obligations) to do something, does something else feel like it needs to be done immediately?

And it's not like it's the thing that's "better" that I end up wanting to do.  Dude, I could be AT HOME right now.  DOING NOTHING.  And instead, since I'm in my office, I suddenly want to work and get a bunch of stuff done.

Maybe it's contextual.  Since I'm here I want to get a few things done.  But that doesn't explain why I can sit at home all weekend and suddenly be bitten by the cleaning bug.

I'm chalking it up to Just Plain Crazy.

So, I'm going to knock a few things off my to-do list.  Might as well, while I'm here.  Then I can finish getting everything ready at home for the Judgy McJudge-a-lots to come tomorrow to eat.


Good News for Cloth Tushie Tuesday fans ... our favorite weekly meme returns next week.  Follow my Twitter (or just come back here and check to the right) for the topic!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Daughter Is On The Juice

Well, I guess not "The Juice", just "juice" in general.

It's my fault.  Firstly, when she was barely eating and I was freaking out, I thought drinking juice that promises a whole serving of vegetables and fruits was at least a way to get calories into her.

Secondly, I can't say no to my daughter when, just learning to speak, she says "juice" and I say "cheese?" and she says "juice" and I say "shoes?" and she says "juice" and say "juice?" and she nods and we have had a Communication Breakthrough in the MommieV household.  I can't just NOT give her the juice then, can I?

Thirdly, the time change really screwed with both our internal clocks.  She was going to bed at 7 and I was following at 9.  Still not early enough when she would wake up at 5:00, ready to go for the day.  I started putting a sippy cup of juice in her bed, which seemed to help.  She wouldn't make much noise until 7 am, and I'd go in to find an 8 oz juice cup drained empty.

So I take full responsibility for it. 

But then it snowballed.

First she started asking for juice when we got in the car, then screamed all the way home when I gave her none.  I learned, and started carrying juice boxes in the car.  Then she would ask for juice when we got out of daycare and I would pour her a juice and she would be happy.  Then she started asking for juice when I walked into daycare to pick her up, before we even put on her jacket.  Last week?  I just carried juice in with me to pick her up, because I didn't want to have to say no and face tears.

One day last week she had 8 oz of juice in the morning (she can just chug a sippy cup empty in minutes.)  5 oz on the way to daycare, 8 oz on the way home, 3 oz with supper, and another 3 oz before bed.  If she spends the day with me, it's even more than that.

Again, I take responsibility here.  I hate drinking milk.  I have a traumatic memory from Kindergarten where I was the last kid at the lunch table and I was forced to drink warm milk before I could get up.  They told me to just hold my nose and drink it.  To me, the only thing milk is good with is cookies or chocolate cake.  Not even peanut butter.  Ugh.  So I don't drink milk with meals the way some families do, and I don't want to force her to drink milk if she doesn't like it.  Which, given the fact that she is like me in so many other ways, is entirely possible.

Also, I admit.  I totally used juice as a substitute for nursing while we were going through weaning.  She would often refuse a cup of milk and want mommy's milk.  Juice, though, seemed to work.

So at the doctor today I asked about the juice-drinking.  Should I be concerned?  I can't figure out if she's drinking because she's genuinely thirsty, or because she likes the sugary juice.  She kindof acts the way I do about cokes, so I'm thinking it's the sugary juice.  (Addictions are inherited, you know.)

Of course the doc said cut back on the juice.  Isn't he paid to say stuff like that?

So now we are on Juice Limiting.  Tonight for bedtime I diluted her juice almost 50% with water.  She drank it, although not as much chugging as she normally does with straight juice.  I left the cup in her bed with her, so we'll see if it suffices in the morning.  Ideally I want to get that bedtime/crib cup to be just water.  Don't want the tooth decay from the sugar!

Baby steps.  Don't want to force the girl to go cold turkey, that would be bad.  We'll do more milk with meals at home (they have milk with all meals at daycare already.)  We'll do more water when I think she's simply thirsty. 

I haven't decided what to do about the daycare pickup tomorrow.  Maybe a very diluted cup.

Anyone else broken a juice addict from the bottle/cup?  Words of wisdom would be welcome!

Apparently I Am Spouse

Warning: intensely irrational VENT ahead.  I'm having a Bad Day and THIS did not help.  AT ALL.

I'M SICK OF FEELING MARGINALIZED.  It's 2010 people.  Women have babies without men.  All.  The.  Time.  And to do so, that often has to involve the medical community.  So WHY THE EFF does the medical community then ASSUME that all children have two parents?

If you missed my first diatribe about the medical community making me feel bad about being a single mom, it was up at Our Mommyhood last week.

My daughter is going for allergy testing in a few weeks.  I had a few moments today when I was trying to get my shit together cleaning off my desk to complete the forms.

Exhibit A:

I'm too pissed off to even rotate the photo.  Deal.
Exhibit B:

The first part of the form asks for the patient's occupation.  If the patient is a child, they want the FATHER's occupation here.  (Can I put "Sperm Donor"?)  The mother's information goes under Spouse.  As in, second class citizen, practically.

The second part of the form asks about environmental conditions.  "Does child live with both parents, yes or no?  If not, describe visitation."  He has never seen her in his life because his role was Sperm Donor, see previous page.

I have half a mind to cancel the appointment.  This is the allergist that was referred by our Ped, but I'm about to call them and tell them that they appear to be so unfriendly to single mothers that I don't care to even set foot in their office.

I won't, probably.  I'll calm down in 10 minutes when I eat something.  But I do plan to inform them when we go that their paperwork is outdated and should be more accommodating.

For the first part, I crossed out "father" and wrote in "mother", and put College Professor as my occupation.  For Spouse I put N/A for "not applicable".

For the back, I am a little unsure how to answer.  No, she doesn't live with both parents.  She lives with her mother who had her on her own.  I'm thinking of putting "no" then "no visitation" and then having a little fun when they get confused.  What do they want you to put if one parent dies?  Visitation "in heaven"?  The question is all around structured poorly.

I'll try to use it as an opportunity to inform others.  If I can calm down before then.  Otherwise ... it might be bad.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I Need The Mommy Manual

Alternate Title: Everything I Learned About Parenting I Got Off The Internet

Not really, but close.

So, I was in love with the idea of Attachment Parenting.  They made it sound so easy.  You tune into your child, meet his/her every need without delay, and they end up growing up to be confident and secure.  Because you anticipate their needs, you help them to know what their needs are, you can help them name their needs, and then one day they wake up saying "I'd like to have a cup of juice, please, mommy."

Somehow I failed at Attachment Parenting 101 if that was the goal, because our reality doesn't really look anything like that. 

So, back to the internet I go to learn more about how to mostly-but-not-totally-crazily Attachment Parent.

I don't want to be an overprotective, burdensome, overbearing, smothering mother.  Just a concerned, involved, attached mother.  How hard is that?  Where is the balance?

We go to music class most Saturdays, when we don't have one Plague or another.  After music class the children all play on the playground equipment which is right outside the door.  I haven't been on a playground in many years.  My daughter plays on a playground at daycare daily, with caregivers standing by but not hovering.  How bad can it be to let your kid go down the slide?

Oh. My. Gawd.  You know the caricature of the mother who won't let her kid do anything because she's afraid of him getting a boo-boo?  Me, totally.  I admit it.

Then, when I think to myself, "you have to relax, V, and let her play", she falls off a swing,  "SEE!" I practically hissed to myself, "THIS is why I don't RELAX, because she will FALL."

Very large slide.  Very slippery slide.  Very fast slide.  Very tall slide.  ALL characteristics that make it the Awesome Slide if you are a small child.   ALL characteristics that make it the Very Scary Slide if you are a parent.

So I'm simultaneously trying to protect my child from falling off the swing/top of the structure/slide, catching her as she shoots off the end of the slippery slide onto the sidewalk (who designed this playground layout anyway?), and also trying NOT to be the overprotective, crazy mother that everyone laughs at.

How do you do that?

My daughter doesn't do steps well.  She doesn't do anything well that involves motor skills yet.  She has chronic ear infections that affect her balance.  And she's 18 months old.  So I decide to go ahead and stay close to her, and fuck whatever the other parents were thinking.

While trying to help her down the steps on another piece of playground equipment, a dad told his daughter she had to wait a minute to go up.  I a very snide tone I hear him say "we have to wait for Wee One to come down..."

Seasoned mommies and daddies, more capable than I am apparently, write on their blogs about the crazy overprotective mother on the playground.  I am her, I know that.

What am I supposed to do? 

I didn't get the Mommy Manual, I don't know.  If you got a copy, and you know all the answers about how Mommies are supposed to behave, please, fax me a copy. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Because Apparently The Thing To Do Is Write About Michael Vick Today

I am utterly sick and tired of being told that it's time to forgive Michael Vick.  I do not need to be told that I need to forgive.  Or when.

Yes, the man is a talented athlete.  (That I don't believe athletes should be hero-worshipped simply for being big bags of testosterone is a separate issue.)

Yes, the man is contrite, humbled, all of those things.  Yes, he is open about crying himself to sleep in jail (um, who wouldn't?) and how he is grateful to be given a second chance.

Yes, this behavior is rare for talented athletes, who often commit crimes and act unrepentant about their acts.

However ...

He tortured animals.

It's not just that he killed dogs.  Because for some of those animals, death was probably a sweet mercy.  It's that he bred them to be killers, and when they didn't do what he wanted, he in turn killed them, mostly by drowning.  He bankrolled, hosted, and masterminded an extensive dogfighting operation where animals would cause severe injury to other animals, only to have them (somewhat) nursed back to health in order to serve as victim yet another day.

It's not that he killed, it's that he tortured.  It's not just that he tortured, but that he tortured animals who were defenseless.  It's not just that he did all of these things, it's that I'm expected to have forgotten them already because he's such a great football quarterback.

I am a football fan, and I think that should be mentioned here.  I became an NFL fan in fall 2004, when I was in love with a man who loved football, and I wanted to be interesting to him.  I'm from Indiana, so I could pretend to be a long-time Colts fan, and since they were a successful, winning team, I looked like I knew something about football.

I have come to enjoy watching and following football.  The guy isn't around anymore, but the fanhood stayed.  There are Sundays (pre-baby) where I didn't move from my couch except to open another beer or pay the pizza guy because there were interesting games on.

I'm a true Colts fan now, really an NFL fan, not just pretending to be one to impress some guy.  I watch ESPN shows for football highlights, I record PTI to watch after the Wee One goes to bed, I check highlights on my phone now.  So I'm not an outsider here, criticizing a football player without understanding anything about the game.

In yesterday's Louisville Courier-Journal, an article about how he's acting so humble, with such hubris, that we should all give him a break. (I'm looking for the link, perhaps it was only in the print edition.  It appears to be an edited version of this column by Scott Shosnick of Bloomberg News.)

On ESPN, a headline telling me that the time to forgive Vick is here.

Ugh.  Really?  A bunch of male sports writers telling me it's time I forgive?

The ESPN article begins "I'm just not sure what people want Michael Vick to do.  Quit football? Return to prison? Drown himself in the same lake where he and his crew used to drown dogs?"

I'll tell you what I want him to do.  I want him to take every penny he makes playing a game for a living, and donate it to animal charities.  I want him to take his fame and his platform and work diligently, day and night, to educate others that dogfighting is not a sport, it is a torturous crime.  I don't want him in the NFL, as a role model for young children.  I don't want him playing a game and making large sums of money for a living.  If he's going to learn from his mistakes, if he's going to truly try to make amends for his actions and the lives of the animals he took, he can't just do it on his one day off a week from playing football.

At the very least he should be funding the rehabilitation and daily care of all 47 remaining pit bulls for the rest of their lives.  The ones he didn't drown.

Later, in the ESPN article, "As if losing $100 million and three years in the prime of his career wasn't steep enough."

No, it wasn't.  I'm sorry he lost three years in the prime of his career, these animals lost THEIR LIVES.  Even the ones that lived are still not functional as canines. 

The author tells us to "press pause" and look at all the things Vick has done.  On the football field.  Sure, fantastic, he's a great player.  But I'm supposed to forgive KILLING INNOCENT ANIMALS just because he can throw a football and run too?

LeBron and MJ tweeted and texted to congratulate Vick on a great game.  So this author asks, "Does that make LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Tom Brady all dog haters, too?"

Are you kidding me?  Where did you take classes in rational thought dude?  Seriously?  Someone congratulates him on a well-played game and you're going to ask if they're all "dog haters" too?  What kind of line do you see that connects those two dots?  Of course they're not dog haters.  They didn't hold an animals head underwater while it was thrashing and holding onto life.  HE DID.

THAT is what makes him a "dog hater".  His prowess on the field, however remarkable, will always be beside the point.

Your rationalization for why I should forgive him is that LeBron, MJ, and Brady didn't kill dogs?

I can, and do, admire how the man has remade himself, as the article suggests.  It is amazing that someone that spent time in prison - less than two years, I believe, but still - managed to rocket himself to the top of the NFL.  I don't doubt that took a great amount of courage and work.  Yes, we should respect him for what he is doing.

Just because he gets to just move on, that doesn't mean the rest of us have to be expected to stop talking about the heinous things he has done, because HE DID THEM.  And to some of us, the money and the prison time and the repentant words and the one-day-a-week talking to kids just isn't enough.

Pancakes with Grandpa

This morning was the Grandpa/Granddaughter Pancake Breakfast at a local business.  Grandpa was reluctant to take her on his own, so Mommie got to go too.

It was fraught with crying, refusing to eat, refusing to sit in a chair, and only wanting to walk around and flirt with all the other grandpas there.

But she was pretty, which is why I'm showing what photos I have of the event.

It's getting much harder to get decent photos of her.  She's basically either constantly on the move, covered in food, or asleep.  Most of the time I'm shooting photos of her turning her back on me and walking away, or looking at something much more interesting than Mommie.

Also, the camera on my new phone has a bit of a learning curve.  Apparently you are supposed to focus it before you click, which is a new function for me.  But I adore the direct upload to Picasa.  Tres facile.

 We shopped for about 30 seconds, which involved looking at Santas on one Christmas Tree, then stopping to inspect the pig.

Then while Mommie was photographing a tree that she liked,

Sparkly jewels, what's not to like?
Baby was walking out a side door.

Oh, there she is
But I did get one priceless photo of the day.

Grandpa and the Wee One going to eat Pancakes.
Or maybe its this one.
Pre-nap meltdown in 3... 2... 1...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Not A Haiku

I found this today while cleaning house.  I don't remember writing it.  It was next to my bed, so I must have done it either in the middle of the night or early in the morning while still semi-asleep.  Apparently this is how I feel about mothering when I'm not conscious.

I used to think that life was hard.
Then I had a baby.
I had no idea.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mabel's Labels, Do They Really Work?

I don't get too terribly uptight about people who misspell my daughter's name.  It's a common name these days, and there are lots of ways to spell it.  You can start it with a C or a K (I chose C) and you can end it with "in" or "yn" (I chose not to confuse her with too many "i"s and "y"s mixed together, so we went with the simple "in".)

The thing I have loved about her daycare is that they are very particular about spelling children's names correctly.  There was another girl in the Toddler room with the same first name - and the exact opposite spelling.  But nothing ever came home to us misspelled. 

Until the transition.

First a care sheet with the misspelled name written over to cover the "y" that was used.  Then the sheet on the wall that documents diapering and toileting events uses the "y".  But the care sheets more recently have been spelled correctly, and all her "art" has come home with the correct spelling.  So it's getting corrected with the new teacher.

This morning I was folding a blanket to send to daycare, when I saw writing on the label.  It's one of the Aden and Anais blankets that I won in a giveaway from DaMomma, that I adore with my entire being, and that the Wee One loves too, because she allows herself to be covered with it long enough to sleep.

Writing.  On my blanket.  My A+A blanket.  Writing. 

At first I thought they had written the wrong kid's initials on my blanket, because the first initial was a "K".

Then I flipped the tag over

So one side has incorrect initials, the other side has incorrect spelling.

So for Christmas, Miss C is getting name labels for all her stuff that goes to daycare.  I'll probably even slap them on the diapers.  Just because.

So, has anyone bought the Mabel's Labels?  I've heard the clothing tags are really good.  I was hoping someone might be able to vouch for that. 

Or maybe I'll just buy a differently colored Sharpie and make my own graffiti on the labels.

I considered cutting the label off.  But that would be defacement of my blanket!  The horror!  But what do I do instead, keep a blanket with incorrect initials on it?

So, labels it is.  Now ... suggestions?


This post brought to you from the stressed out office of Dr. Crazy.  Who is trying desperately to be prepared for both a Thanksgiving Dinner and End Of Semester at the same time.  Not really, I haven't thought about Thanksgiving at all.  Have too many other things to do before then, it's a whole week away, it will keep.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I have a post up at Our Mommyhood this morning!


Don't panic when you read it - she's not sick AGAIN.  This was from the ER visit weekend.  While I was whining on here about dry diapers and fever, I was also writing a post on yet again having a medical professional be insensitive to my single mommy status.  And wresting with the guilt of not correcting her assumption, because I was too focused on trying to help my Wee One feel better.

What would you do in that situation?  Please go comment on the post, I'm curious to hear what others have to say.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I apologize that I haven't posted as much lately.  I have a litany of excuses - there are three weeks left in the semester so I am grading the last round of exams and preparing for finals.  The time change TOTALLY fucked with us, so we've been going to bed at 7:00 and waking up at 5:00 most days.  If she sleeps until 6:00 that's a major accomplishment - even on Saturdays.  (See tweet in adjacent column).  And of course, I'm taking a class that I feel like I'm weeks behind  in.

But I think the biggest reason is that there are alot of transitions going on.  I don't deal well with change, so I've retreated a bit into my shell as a coping mechanism.

The Wee One is now in the Two's room at daycare.  She is in a group of about 5 children whose age puts them in between the very large enrollment of infants (the "wind storm" baby boom is the age group right behind ours) and the somewhat large enrollment of older toddlers.  So, while she is only 18 months, there are a large number of children turning one and needing to move up to the One's room, and almost all of the children have transitioned to the older Two's room, leaving a glut of kids in one group, and an empty room.  So there is a group of the older kids in the One's room that are going into the younger Two's room.  My Wee One is one of those.

Being an effective daycare director means not only effectively managing all the children in your care, but also ... their parents.  The daycare has done that well.

One morning I came back from class to a message on my phone.  There was a teacher out, and they were trying to put children with caregivers in an appropriate way, and wondered if I would give permission for my girl to go into the Two's room with another group of 18-20 month olds.  We talked (okay, the assistant director talking and I listened) about it.  I said yes.  She did great.  Rock star and all of that.

It's a bigger room.  It has bigger and better toys, including a slide.  She loves it.  It's awesome.

The next week she did some "visiting" into this room.  One little boy from her room had already transitioned ahead of her, so there were children she knew.  She did great on all her "visits".

There have been some "biting" episodes including my girl getting bit twice.  Our daycare's policy is to not disclose the identity of a biter under any circumstances.  I've done some reconnaissance (completely dishonestly, but I don't really care) and I found out the identity of two of the children doing the biting.  When I pinned the daycare director down about the biting, she told me that the children responsible for most of the biting incidents will not be transitioning for a while, so it's actually an opportunity to get her away from "the biters".  That's what actually made the deal for me. 

So we agreed to transition her to the Two's room, but to continue the "transition" I could drop her off in the Creepers room as usual. 

Drop-off routine is normally: take off her jacket and hang it on the hook.  Hang up her bag, but take out the cloth diapers and the wetbag.  Hang the wetbag on a designated doorknob.  Put the cloth diapers in her diaper cubby.  Kiss her goodbye.

Only ... some other kid's name and diapers are now in her diaper cubby.  So I started just leaving her diapers and wetbag in her tote bag for them to move into the other room.

Then at the end of last week, when we were walking into the Creeper room, she saw her new friends in the Two's room, and walked right in there and started playing.

I thought it was bad when they transitioned the whole group from Creepers to Toddlers - but that just included moving the entire group one room over with the same caregivers.  This is not only into a new room (across the hall!) but with new caregivers.  And from a room designed for infants (refrigerator) to a room designed for older Toddlers.

Her new main caregiver isn't in until 8:15 most days, and I drop her off between 7:45-8:00.  So while I have had great interactions with the caregiver at the end of the day, I am still really discombobulated on the "drop off" stuff, and I haven't been able to ask her.  My plan was to make sure I was totally prepped for Monday, and do drop-off late enough to ask a few questions - only I have a student makeup scheduled (for an A+ student who was truly sick so I was willing to accommodate him) Monday at 8:00 am.

I tend to have social anxiety in new situations.  But I sucked it up and started asking questions like "where should her diapers go" and "where should her wetbag go" and "here are some diaper liners if she needs diaper cream - if Miss Danielle has any questions she can feel free to call me".  I also wrote up a new "Cloth Diaper Information Sheet" that can be kept in her new diaper cubby for the new caregivers in that group.

I still don't feel totally oriented to the situation, but the center's Holiday Lunch is this week, so we will be able to interact more with the new caregivers.  I am bringing mom and dad so they can meet the new folks and see her new room.

I sat in the Assistant Director's office with the AD and one of Wee One's "former" caregivers.  I cried.   They both reassured me that she's doing great.  She's showing no signs of stress about it at all.  She's learning how to walk out the the playground by holding on the loop on the rope they use.  She loves being on the "big" playground.  She hasn't been upset at drop-off or pick-up at all.  She sleeps for 2-hour naps.

So Mommie is the only one having an issue here, apparently.  I'm hoping at some point that I start to feel better about it.  I think it's just that I'm not yet comfortable with drop-off, and where her stuff goes.  And since we've lost at least two, possibly three cloth diapers at daycare ...

Maybe if it hadn't come so close after weaning, which I'm still trying to get my head around at times.  My body and my baby have adjusted.  My heart?  Not so much.

And then to top it off ...

Last night I tried her wool longies on her.  The ones I lovingly crocheted for her last winter to use.

That are now two inches too short.

Which is a good excuse to buy more wool yarn and do some more crocheting.  It's also a good excuse to cry some more because apparently my baby?  Isn't a baby anymore at all.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Vegetable Couscous

A Project Vegetarian recipe!

A while back, like several years ago, my mom bought me a cookbook.  A Betty Crocker cookbook, called Healthy New Choices.  So when I started Project Veg and was trying to figure out what the heck we would eat, I pulled it out to see what it had to say.  Turns out there were several useful and yummy recipes.

This one is called Vegetable Couscous

1 can garbanzo beans, 2 large tomatoes chopped, 4 medium green onions chopped, 1 (ok, 3) clove(s) garlic, chopped; 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp olive oil.  Heat to boiling.  Serve over couscous.  How much easier can it get?
I added mushrooms and cilantro, just because I could!

A shot of the finished product, served over couscous.  She ate it!  The recipe calls for topping it with some grated Parmesan cheese.

I forgot that I don't really like garbanzo beans, but the rest of it was really yummy!

 I'll show you some other yummy recipes from the book, as soon as I clear some memory off my laptop so I can download photos.  Oooops!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'm Fat. The End

I'm feeling very fat these days.  It shouldn't surprise me.  I do, after all, eat fast food for lunch on a regular basis, drink sugary (but caffiene-free) cokes as a mild addiction, and fail to exercise more than chasing a toddler includes.

But it's almost like I ballooned up overnight.  Or, maybe just over the last two weeks.

A friend mentioned that, since I had lost weight so easily with nursing, that maybe my metabolism is just adjusting to weaning.

I think it has more to do with liquid sugar, but I'll go with her idea for now.

Going back to nursing isn't going to happen.  So I guess it's on to Plan B. 

Whatever the hell that is.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hey, Jealousy

I have a confession to make.  I'm jealous.

When I was 34 weeks and a few days pregnant with my girl, I was put in the hospital on bedrest.  My OB group called in a maternal/fetal specialist who sat me down and said that women die from what I had.  He was involved in a malpractice lawsuit because a new mother had a stroke a died a few hours after giving birth.  He scared the pants off me, and I wanted to do everything in my power to protect my baby.

But I also wanted a vaginal birth.  I wanted to breastfeed as soon after birth as possible.  I wanted to hold her naked body to my chest and be her warm welcome into the world.

The specialist reassured me that was still possible, that my labor could be induced.   His recommendation to my doctors was complete bedrest until delivery at 37 weeks if my condition remained stable.  He ordered twice-a-week ultrasounds and twice-daily monitoring, and told me I could have a sleeping pill if it would help me sleep in the busy hospital.  Then off he went.

At 37 weeks I was wheeled into a surgical suite to have my baby.

My water didn't break.  I didn't rush to the hospital in labor.  I sat through a comedy of errors - that wasn't so funny - that led to a C-section delivery.

I wrote about it, which felt really good.  I thought I was over it.


A dear friend went into labor.  We had plans to meet for lunch and discuss cloth diapers, until her water broke that morning at home.  Her devoted husband took her to the hospital where she had her epidural and a textbook labor to deliver her son.  She held him and nursed him and they didn't even put eye goop on him until later.

I was so overjoyed for her.  Except for the part of me that was ... jealous.

Last night I hear the joyful news that my cousin went into labor.  She was on her way to work when her water broke.  Facebook was updated all evening ... epidural, 5 to 6 cm, 9 cm, then photos of her beautiful baby girl.

I am completely overjoyed for her.  Well, almost completely.

But then I feel bad.  What kind of person am I that in celebrating the incredible birth of beautiful babies to women that I love, a part of me thinks "that's what I wanted"?  What kind of person does that?  I feel selfish to think of what I wanted in the midst of their celebration.  So on top of feeling regretful, I feel lousy that I feel regretful.

So, I guess I'm not as over it as I thought I was.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Project Vegetarian Recipes

My first post about eating vegetarian is here.  Based on comments from that post I invited a guest poster, my dear friend Jenny to comment on eating vegetarian with a preschooler.  Her first post has some general advice, followed here with recipes.  Enjoy!

As promised, I am back with some easy, kid-friendly vegetarian recipes.

First, my obligatory tofu PSA.

Tofu: It isn’t half as gross as you think it is

You don’t have to eat tofu to be a vegetarian, but by golly, it is jam packed with so much good stuff that I just can’t pass it up. Calcium, iron, and protein are all abundant in the mysterious white, jiggly substance. Tofu has a reputation as the dull, awkward and nerdy kid in the class. As many of us well know, those nerdy kids have a lot of personality given the right environment and opportunities, and tofu is no exception.

Here is what I do for every block of tofu I buy:

1) Get the stuff from the refrigerated health food section. The vacuum packed shelf stable tofu is great for smoothies and pies but has no place front and center on the dinner plate.

2) Naked tofu is bland, boring and pathetic. Fortunately, it takes on the flavor of whatever you marinate/cook it in. What does this mean? Versatility!!!!

3) Tofu is packed in water. If you use it straight out of the package it will be slippery and won’t take on much marinade. (See above comment regarding bland, boring and pathetic.) Before you use it, follow these steps:

a. Open the package and remove the block of tofu from the water

b. Wrap up the block in a clean dishtowel

c. Get two small plates. Put one upside down on a stable surface. Put the wrapped tofu on top of that. Top with the second plate, right side up. On top of that plate put something heavyish that balances well enough to not come crashing down. I usually use a couple of medium sized cookbooks. Canned goods work, but have a higher center of gravity than cookbooks, so evaluate your bravery and tolerance for loud noises and messes before you chance it.

d. Be patient. Let it press for 15 minutes or so. Have a glass of wine. Or beer. Or kool-aid with rum if you’re in a real pinch.

e. For a meatier texture, when you bring it home from the grocery, pop the whole package into the freezer for a day or two and then thaw it for another couple days in the fridge. I never remember to do this but I like the firmer texture on the rare occasion that I do remember.

The Recipes:

Tofu “fish” sticks
(serves 4)

1 block firm or extra firm tofu, pressed
½ cup wheat germ
1 tbsp chili powder
½ tsp salt
Milk (I use soy or almond milk)

Preheat oven to 400. Cut the block of tofu into fish stick shaped pieces. Set out a small, shallow bowl with milk. In a cereal bowl, mix up everything else. Dip each stick in milk and then roll in the coating. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes until they’re nice and firm. Dip them in whatever you would use for chicken nuggets. I like BBQ sauce and honey.

I typically serve these with baked sweet potato fries from the freezer section.

Tofu sloppy joes
(serves 4)

1 block firm or extra firm tofu, pressed
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp onion, diced frozen
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
½ tsp cumin
¼ c BBQ sauce
½ tsp salt
Hamburger buns

In olive oil, brown onion and garlic. Add tomato sauce, cumin, BBQ sauce and salt. Crumble in tofu and let it sit and think about what it has done – maybe 15 minutes. It has to have time to soak up the flavors. Serve on buns with pickles and some cheese if you dig. This is even better reheated the next day.

Baked Tofu
(serves 4)

This is a versatile recipe. You can really use any marinade you want – I like a homemade teriyaki the best but anything works. You can also slice it into tofu “steaks”, marinate, and cook on the grill the same amount of time you would cook a steak.

Modified from fatfreevegan.com:


1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tsp. minced ginger root
1 block firm or extra firm tofu, pressed

Cut up tofu into cubes, 1 inch or so. Lay them in a big container or gallon Ziploc bag and pour in the marinade. Pop it in the fridge and marinate while you’re at work or overnight. If you get a chance to flip them over midway through, cool. If not, it isn’t the end of the world.

Preheat the oven to 375. Arrange the tofu in a 9 X 13 baking dish. If you didn’t get a chance to flip them while marinating, make sure the unmarinated side is down. Pour all the rest of the marinade over the cubes. Bake for 45 minutes or until browned and chewy looking. Serve with brown rice and stir fry veggies and pineapple if you’re feeling froggy.

The Musical Fruit

Now let’s step away from the noble soybean for a spell and talk about the other magical beans out there. I love beans. My kid loves beans. My husband likes them well enough and is kind enough to never complain about their starring role in many of our meals. The thing I like about beans is that they are easy. Dried beans can be cooked in large batches and frozen for later. Canned beans are cheap and ready to eat straight out of the can. Dried or canned, there is such a variety available that you can switch them up every night and not feel like you’re eating the same thing over and over again.

Chickpeas and Couscous, my preschooler’s #1 favorite dish:
(serves 4)

1-1/4 c water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp coriander
¼ tsp cinnamon
¾ tsp salt
Pinch of black pepper
¼ cup frozen spinach
1 cup couscous
1 can chickpeas
¼ cup raisins

Bring water, spices, and spinach to a boil. Add couscous. Remove from heat, cover, let sit for 5 minutes. Rinse and drain chickpeas. Add chickpeas and raisins to pan, cover again. Let sit for 2 more minutes, fluff and combine with a fork, serve.

Refried Beans
(serves 4)

Onion (I use frozen, pre-diced)
1 can of pinto or black beans
Scant ¼ cup veggie broth
Chili powder
Garlic salt

Brown about 2 tbsp onion in 1tbsp of olive oil. Add a can of rinsed and drained beans and veggie broth. Sprinkle generously with chili powder and less generously with garlic salt. Mash with a potato masher until desired consistency. We usually serve these over brown rice (cooked in broth and chili powder and salt) with diced tomatoes, taco sauce and shredded cheddar.

Black bean and sweet potato quesadillas
(serves 4)

1 medium sweet potato
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
Salsa, if you dig (my kid doesn’t)
Chili powder
Whole grain tortillas

Peel and chunk sweet potato. Boil in water 10 minutes or so, until fork tender. Drain and mash with a potato masher. While you have the masher handy, mash up a can of black beans, because they won’t roll off the tortilla if they’re squished. On half of a tortilla, spread ¼ of the beans, topped by ¼ of the sweet potato. Sprinkle on some chili powder, salsa. If you’re into that sort of thing add a little shredded cheddar. Fold in half and grill (heavy side up so that it doesn’t pop open) in a dry, heated skillet until it is browned and the cheese is melty. You should only have to flip it once.

Garlicky pasta w/ white beans and peas
(serves 4)

2 cloves garlic, minced
½ of a box of random pasta
1 can of great northern or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup frozen peas
Grated parmesan or asiago cheese

Cook pasta per box directions, adding frozen peas to the last 5 or so minutes of cooking. Brown garlic in olive oil until it smells too good to be true. Add beans and salt and heat through. Mix it all together and sprinkle with grated cheese.

Jenny’s Favorite Baked Sweet Potato
(serves 4)

4 sweet potatoes
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
Apple butter

Wash taters. Either bake at 400 until tender (1 hr – 1 hr, 15 minutes) or microwave for 10 minutes or until tender. I have a potato button on my microwave, so I use that. Top each with ¼ c black beans and 2 tbsp of apple butter.

Friday, November 5, 2010

If You Steal This, You Should Edit It Before You Use It. And Don't Bother To Even Let Me Know.

I learn so much from Twitter.

A few weeks ago I found out from some Aunt Becky (and others) tweets that a woman had ripped off some blog posts.  Turns out her entire blog is compiled of posts she lifted one at a time to use to support some fake identity.  I just think that woman was batshit crazy.

Then today, DaMomma starts tweeting about this Cooks Source fiasco.  She linked here, and as I read my mouth was quite literally hanging open.  I actually stopped reading to try to get my mind around some of it.  A woman in the position of editor thinks it's okay to just lift anything on the internet for publication in her for-profit magazine without permission.  And if she edits it for you, then you should be grateful and you owe her money.  BlogHer's post summarizes well also, and links to others.

I mean, seriously, WTF doesn't even come close.

I also think this woman is batshit crazy, but worse than that, she is uneducated and chronically wrong, and in a position that most uneducated and chronically wrong people don't get to.

I'm not a professional writer.  Obviously, since I've said "batshit crazy" twice, and ended that last sentence with some kind of word it probably wasn't supposed to be ended with.  And that one too.  And that one ...

As a college professor, it is my job to teach students the definitions of "cheating" and "plagiarism".  Two students can do an experiment together, can collaborate on their work, and each turn in an original lab report that doesn't contain paragraphs that are close to identical.  I often have to help them do that.  Two students can study together for an exam, but when they have copied off of each other when answering the essay, I can tell.  I have had to confront students for plagiarism and cheating.  I have had to write memos to the dean, and memos to the student, and document everything, and listen to their appeals.

Did this woman not go to college?  All the people that are digging stuff up from her publications?  Why don't you look at what she submitted for whatever degree she has.  My guess is that this all started well before she became an "editor".

Don't editors have someone to answer to like the rest of us?  Or are they boss-less Masters of the Universe?  In which case, how do I get a gig like that?

A teensy part of me feels bad for this woman.  Her entire career is completely ruined at this point.  The more I read about her actions and her words, she really doesn't seem to think that there was anything wrong in what she did.  She was naive and uneducated about her own profession, then condescending and mean when confronted with her mistake.

Unless this is all an elaborate hoax.  In which case I wasted a blog post about it.  That someone could steal.  I suggest editing, if you do.

Dumb Disposable Diaper Question

So, um, in case you have noticed?  I don't use disposable diapers much.  Not much at all.

And the last time I used one for overnight I think was when she was 6 months old and still nursed every 3 hours all night long.

So, a Major Sick has come to our house.  I think we have The Strep Throat.  Or something just like it, because my throat hurts like holy hell, I can barely swallow, and the Immediate Care doc said it looked like Strep, despite the test coming up negative.  The Wee One's doc said since she tested negative, that it's likely that I'm negative too, with that Overreacting Mom look.  Okay, then please explain why my throat is red and raw and I am unable to swallow.

She does, however, have an ear infection.  Doc once again said "tubes" and "come back in a month" and I can't even go there in my head yet.

Oh, I'm way off topic here.

Anyway, I feel like total and complete crap.  I hauled both of us to Immediate Care to get me an antibiotic, grocery for water and juice and anything-that-looks-like-it-might-make-my-throat-stop-hurting-including-Little-Debbie-Swiss-Rolls, she fell asleep on the way home and took 3/4 of a nap before we had to schlepp both of us to her doctor, the pharmacy to get meds filled and have I mentioned that I feel like crap?

My stomach tends to not tolerate antibiotics well, and since she's just like me ... same.  So two hours on the dot after we both swallow our doses, I am on the big potty and she is crying and pulling on her diaper.  An angry, red rash has exploded across her backside, and I can't find the liners for the cloth diapers.

So I cream her up and put her in a sposie.  It was so uncomfortable for her, she could barely sit down.

I cleaned her up good in the bath, then creamed her up again when putting on jammies.  Where are those damn liners?  That's when I came up with my questions.

What do normal people do for nighttime diapers?  I add an extra insert to my daytime diapers to make them nighttime diapers.  Do you put something in disposables to make them more absorbent?  Do you put something on the outside?  I seriously thought about double diapering her.  Do regular sposies really last all night?

Funny that other people go cloth "except for nighttime" and I have no idea what to do for nighttime except cloth.

They're Pampers if that makes a difference.  And no, they are NOT Dry Max.  I wouldn't touch a Dry Max diaper with a 10-foot-pole, much less put one on her.  So that tells you how long I've had the pack of sposies we have here, since you haven't been able to buy pre-Dry Max since Spring.

So how 'bout it, sposie mamas of Toddlers.  Does a single diaper go through the night?  She's already in bed, so there' not much I can do about it now.  But I'm really curious about what the non-cloth-diapering crowd does at night.

Probably nothing different and now I'm a totally confirmed wierdo.

Oh, and thanks for tolerating the stuff about how I feel like crap.  I'm one of those people that has to bitch about how sick they are and how bad they feel the entire freaking time they are sick.  And we wonder why I'm single.  Huh.

ET Phone Home, Redux

So, ladies, I did it.

I upgraded my cell phone.

You may remember me mixing my phone with chocolate and it not going well.  And then being indecisive about what to do about it.  I think that The Universe was making me wait until they put a certain phone on sale for loyalty customers like yours truly.

And then, when it was, The Universe gave me a nudge to go ahead and give the nice people at T Mobile a call and ask for some help.

And then three days later, THIS MAGNIFICENT PIECE OF TELEPHONIC EQUIPMENT showed up on my doorstep.

Well, technically, my parents doorstep, because I am apparently too lazy to change my address since I moved last year.

I. Love. This. Phone.  Like, I want to marry it and have its babies.  Or do dirty things to it.  If it weren't, you know, a phone and all.

Thank you, Lily, I love it.

Please comment and tell me how awesome you think my new phone is.  Because when you do, my phone will make a cool little noise and tell me that I have a comment.  How's THAT for instant comment gratification!  I have to work really hard to get lots of followers now, so I can feel cool and important when my phone makes its little noise.

Also?  Rhapsody app.  I have died and gone to music heaven.  My entire music library that I have spent the last 6 years building ever since I hijacked an ex-boyfriend's Rhapsody account that he talked me into paying for?  Is available at the sweep of a screen and the touch of an icon.

You may not hear anything from me ever again, because I will be busy reading books on the Kindle app, and making little to-do notes on the Toodle Droid app (that syncs with my online list on Toodledo.com OMG I AM IN HEAVEN) and checking the internet for all things important and relevant.

Now, I have had to discipline myself to not facebook and tweet constantly from my phone, even though that is incredibly easy to do.  The morning after the election I read a friend's tweet, didn't recognize the sarcasm (it was 5 am and I was still half asleep), and facebooked and tweeted that I didn't have to move to Canada because the Republicans didn't win the house.  Later I realized that was indeed NOT the case (I can't afford to move to Canada, so I guess I'm stuck here) and felt so embarassed I didn't tweet from my phone for ... like ... a day.  Or so.  Maybe less.

I've learned Swype and have gotten somewhat better at it.  Easier, yes.  Quicker, not yet. 

So, I love you guys and all, but I'm going to go play with my phone now.  Please comment.  It's really a nifty little sound.  And I'll be in a faculty meeting today, so I will need something to amuse myself.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Weaning, Redux

Okay, so it's official.

The first time didn't take.  Partly because Mommie wasn't quite ready.  Partly because Baby wasn't quite ready either.  The Sick came to our house, and it became a convenient excuse to nurse again for a few days.

So I had one early morning nursing, me and her in a blanket early in the morning in the rocking chair, when I could memorize the moment, and the way she was looking at me, that I could remember and consider as "one of" our last times nursing.

Then the next two mornings, laying in bed nursing her at 5 am wishing she would just go back to freaking sleep already, I realized that it really was time.  I didn't feel like she was getting much milk, and I was experiencing some discomfort.  So a Tuesday morning over three weeks ago was our official last nursing.

She has only asked twice since then, once was just a couple of days ago, when she was running a fever and really didn't feel well.  I said that we could cuddle, but that she was a big girl and that we didn't nurse anymore.  So she said "juice?".  And we snuggled in the rocking chair with a cup of apple juice.

I leaked like crazy for several days.  First from the b00bs, then from the eyes (crying, not milk!)  But overall I think we're both pretty well adjusted.

And with the extra days tacked on, I officially made it to 18 months.

(Breastfeeding Badges from Gynosaur.com)

Now, I can take sinus medicine when my head hurts, drink more than 2 drinks without worrying that she'll wake up in the middle of the night, and I finally don't have to remember to take those damn DHA capsules.

Still, it's really rather bittersweet.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

About Family Diversity

I am writing here today.


I'm on my soapbox, and it ain't pretty.  Actually, it could be worse.  If anything, follow the link to Lesbian Dad's page on activism.  It has some awesome links and information.

(The stuff about the feverish toddler was from when the post was originally written.  Altho, she was up in the middle of the night last night with a low-grade fever, and whines randomly because she doesn't seem to feel good.  Great, here-we-go-again...)

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Last Time I Voted

... I was pregnant with the Wee One.  I stood in a very long line on a warm November day in a big brown sweater.  I wasn't sure that I would be able to go vote, since I had bad all-day sickness at that point still.  But I didn't eat much that day so there wouldn't be anything in my stomach to make me feel nauseated.  I carried a bottle of water that I sipped lightly.  And I also carried a book.

Choosing Single Motherhood, to be precise.

I love that book.  I wish I could find it since the move last year.

I had wanted to have a baby.  On my own, even.  Last night as I was hugging the wee one goodnight and singing our special song in her ear, and looking over her shoulder at her crib, I remembered a time that I saw a sale at KMart on cribs.  99 dollars.  I almost went ahead and bought it to start setting up a nursery.  Then I figured my mother would flip out at me spending money on a nursery for a baby that didn't exist.  So I didn't.

I did end up getting pregnant, knowing that I would have her on my own.

It was all a great idea, until it became a reality.  Then I panicked.  What do I do now?  What do I tell people?  What do I tell her (at the time she was still an "it")?  I ordered the book to help myself feel better, to help me have some direction in this new world of single mommyhood.

So there I stood, in the fall sunshine, in a too-heavy sweater, trying not to feel sick, reading a book to try to make myself feel better about being a single mom.  Waiting to vote.

That's it.  That's the story.  There's not much else.  I came to no conclusions that day.  I still struggle with the "what to tell her" part of the whole thing.  I've got "mommie wanted to have a baby" and "mommie is glad that God gave her you" and not much else in between.  I voted for Obama and everyone thinks he's doing a stinking job and I happen to think it's too early to judge so get off him.

I just wanted to reminisce about standing in line in the fall summer sunshine with a baby in my belly, waiting to vote.