Monday, February 19, 2007


Simon has wanted to have a party for the past four days. Four days ago I was laid low, LOW I say, by the consumption of spinach (not e-coli or anything scary like that) and today was the first day that eating didn't feel like being knifed. So. Today we partied. We ate Chinese and drank caffeine free pop and talked about the good things that having another baby means.
I am pregnant. One of the reasons Simon wanted to celebrate was because it is very hard to wrap our brains around the idea. There is no physical proof yet, just the knowledge that there's a little tiny person in my belly.
This stage in my pregnancies is marked by me deciding on a moniker for the little bugger. Boy had no nickname that I recall- I just thought of him as the latest set of names I had picked out. Two and Three were Curly Beans, but I don't think of this one as a Bean. Four was gone before I had a chance to call myself pregnant. I thought about calling this one "Icy Eight Special K", but today's favorite is Moon Unit. I know it's a girl's name technically, but it would work for a boy, don't you think? Actually I should call it "The Last Hurrah" because the tubes are getting tied. Mother of three is plenty.

So far everything has been textbook. I got blood drawn tonight, so we'll have some numbers tomorrow. Honestly I'm scared because until week twelve things are titchy. Peanut spooked us. She taught us all the milestones. Week 12 is the first break- your odds of carrying to term are pretty good if you make it this far. Week 20 is the half way mark. Week 21 is the earliest a pre-term baby has survived (new record). Week 30 is when early babies have a decent shot at making it. Week 38 is full term.

I'm at week five. One more week and we have heartbeat.

On a completely random note, our visiting dog farts. Our dogs never did fart, but then we don't feed them kibbles and bits.

Bits of what?
ephelba and the moon unit

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


The first person to invite me into her New York Home was a mom of one of Boy's friends. I was hunting for Boy and she was barbecuing and she asked me to stay. I've gone over a grand total of three times in the year we've lived here, not because we don't get along, but because I'm slow. I don't want to bug her, and I haven't put any effort into figuring out how to get together without wasting her time because she's a mother of four.
Now she's the mother of three living children, and one little guy who died at the age of five. He got sick and died in the space of a day. Perhaps it was the flu. Perhaps it wasn't.
It is all I think about all day; what they must be going through, what could have happened, what needs doing in their house, etc. I sent Boy over with a note to tape to their door saying we'd watch their dog, since I knew they'd be having lots of family over and their dog is a barker. This morning we went over to get the dog, and even though I barely knew her kiddo we hugged and cried.

I got Peanut squeezed into the Drs office for her second flu shot today. Raw milk suddenly seems like a bad idea to me. I won't be going back to the UU Church until, maybe, June. Every time I leave the house I spend the drive planning ways not to bring germs home with me. Boy wants to walk down the street to go play with friends like he always does, but what with the snow storm and all I can't feature him walking down the dangerous road by himself.

Boy asked me if I was turning into a nut job.

I can't help it. When I imagine what's going on for their family, I imagine us going through that, and the truth is that it is just sheer dumb random luck that has kept it from being our nightmare instead of theirs. How could I not go a little nuts?

Going to wash my hands,

Thursday, February 08, 2007

My Picture

Urg. I don't like it, no sir, I don't. I wouldn't have added it even, but I asked to get in on two thousand blogs, which means I needed to have my picture up, and that's the only one I have.

I look at the ones other bloggers have and am rather envious. I like the ones that look like the person was holding the camera themselves. I'm also partial to ones that people have drawn. Abstract pictures are good. I'm not partial to ones that are of the children of the blogger. I wouldn't go so far as to say I dislike them, but it's like meeting someone for the first time, and instead of them saying "Hi, I'm Bob" they say "Hi, I'm Timmy's dad". Whatever.

Glamour Shot looking photos weird me out. The ones where the hair is being blown in the wind, or the ones that look like they belong on a book jacket. A little too much effort, perhaps. The saddest, lamest ones, though, are the ones like mine. The ones that say, "I cropped my face out of a family photo because I have no photos of myself by myself." It makes me feel un-artsy. And small. I would like to think I am a little artsy and, ummmm, medium (?), so I'll really have to do something about this. I'm tired of cringing when I leave a comment.

On another note, we got Simon the Firefly box set for his birthday and are enjoying it mightily. We watched all the episodes when it was on TV, then rented them all on netflix. Each time we watch an episode we discover anew how great the show is and how much we really, really enjoy it. It is splendidly clever. This is a show I would recommend to people who don't normally like sci-fi, because I can't imagine anyone not liking this series. Anyone whose company I enjoy.

I told Simon I wanted a Jayne hat and a Dr. Who scarf. He laughed. I asked if he wouldn't wear a set, and he said not if I was wearing a matching set next to him.

We have an appointment with Early Intervention about Peanut tomorrow, and one with a geneticist in Albany coming up. The latest Dr says there is enough stuff to be worrisome, and it's worth doing. I'll go along with that. I am not really worried though, because in the end I chalk all the weirdnesses up to the low birth weight. It just makes sense. Then again, I'd hate to find out I was wrong and wasted valuable time. So. To Albany we'll go.

I am scoring some raw milk tomorrow. A friend is going to hook me up. Sounds like I'm freebasing lactobacilli, doesn't it? It's slightly more legal than that. I am strangely excited about the idea; I haven't had any before. We drink so much milk around here that our milk habit has actually affected our budget. We're lucky to live someplace where raw milk is actually cheaper than store bought organic. We'll be saving $7 a week on the milk, and if we make our own butter and yogurt we'll save even more. Yay!

Which is all to say I have nothing to say. Which is the third post in a row, and it's not even Nablopomo.

Because I'm a blabbertwat,

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


I'm thinking about making it my new username. Whadda ya think?

going to be a know it all,

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Boy read The Cay recently, and, being basically lazy, I looked up a discussion guide to go with it. During the search I discover the book has been both lauded as an anti-racism teaching tool and a heap of racist dung. So I look into it a little further and got sucked into a whole alternate universe. Did you know To Kill A Mockingbird is racist? Do you know what's wrong with Snowy Day?

The Cay is racist because it is written from the perspective of the white boy, and the white boy didn't change enough. To Kill a Mockingbird has Negroes (I use this word here because the critique I read used it) whistling past graveyards, a maid who really is a "happy slave" character, and a phrase that goes something like "lies as black as that boy's skin". Snowy Day isn't culturally specific to African Americans, Africans, Caribbeans, or anybody else who's Black.

I was shocked.

Now I have to decide if I agree with these assessments, which brings up a whole mess of questions. I have to know what racism is to decide if I think something is racist. There seems to be no hard and fast definition or too much consensus on the topic. It has something to do with stereotype, and denial and power. The best I can come up with so far (after much reading online) is that racism is when
1) a person in a position of power says that
2) someone who isn't in power can or can't do something
3) on the basis of stereotypes for the race of the person in question.


Which brings me to the whole stereotype thing. Because stereotypes are a little like myths- dig deep enough and you find a truth that's been abused. I'll pick on the Irish, because they're white. The stereotype is that the Irish are drunkards, yes? It's a stereotype, and we know the truth is that all Irish people aren't drunkards. Some are, some aren't. And yet, I had a group of Irish friends when I was younger, and the amount of booze they consumed on a regular basis was astonishing. Simply amazing. They would go to bars full of other Irish people who were putting back amazing quantities of beer, and they would drink lots of beer and sing. You think I'm making this up, but I'm not. Now, if I write a fictional story that includes Irish folks in America who drink a lot and sing in bars, is that racist? If I was Irish and I wrote that story would it change things?

(Updated) I have been stewing on this and I think it depends on some things. It would make a difference if I was Irish. It would make a difference if I said or implied the Irish were drunk because they were Irish, not because they were young and going through a phase and also just happened to be Irish, as was the case with my real world friends. Although, honestly, I wouldn't go near that with a ten foot pole because it would be so damn easy to miss the mark and perpetuate the stereotype.
(End of Update)

Here's a real life dilemma: I read a blog where a parent asked for advice on introducing her kiddo to spicy food. I put in my two cents, then suggested a few sites where I thought people who may have the same issue might be found, namely Kimchi Mommas and Turbanhead. Am I a racist? I am a member of the majority, which means I meet the first condition. How about the second? I have suggested she go to the blog homes of Asian or Indian people to see what they think. So I'm saying that Asian and Indian people can give advice about hot food because they eat it, yes? So I meet condition two. But, I didn't say that she would definitely find the answer there, and I didn't say that everyone who is descended from Asian or Indian folk eats spicy food. But have I implied it? And if I did, does it matter, because what's so bad about spicy food? And why didn't I direct her to a blog run by Latinas (if that's even the right word to use)?
In truth, what I was thinking was that the yummiest, hottest chicken I have ever eaten what made by someone who was visiting from India. I was thinking that Indian food is known to be spicy, as is some Chinese and Thai food. I was thinking that it made more sense to ask the question in a forum run by people from these cultures than one frequented by people who think Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich is hot.I was thinking she mentioned her in-laws were Thai.
I wouldn't have done this if I thought it was racist, but in the end I guess it doesn't matter what I think, because I'm white. It matters what Asians and Indians and Mexicans and Filipinos think. Doesn't it?

Does it matter that I try not to be racist? That I read Kimchi Mommas and Turbanhead to broaden my own view? Does intent matter?

(More updating)
Rosie says she didn't intend to be racist, and basically asserts that she wasn't. She is wrong, I'm pretty sure. It feels like what she did was racist. When I apply my test she meets conditions one and three, but I don't know if she meets two. What was it that she said (or implied) that Chinese(?) people could or couldn't do? She doesn't speak Mandarin, or Cantonese, or any Asian tonal language, so she used poor judgement and executed a poor imitation of what she thought those languages sound like. Which sounds like I'm defending her, which I'm not. I'm not saying she should have done that, I'm saying I don't understand how it fits the definition of racism. Poor taste, rude, insensitive, stupid, trashy, yes, but what is it that she's saying Asian people can or can't do? Do I need to change my definition of racism? I suspect that I don't understand what she did. Or maybe racism is just the wrong word, and prejudice or the like is what I'm looking for.
Maybe I'll ask some of the people I read to help sort things out. People with better brains than mine, and perhaps browner skin.
(End of Updating)

Honestly I don't know what to make of all this. I am in the process of walking Boy through this mess, but I haven't found my own way through it yet, so it's hard.

I have found many interesting sites and discussions. I'll post them later, my real world life will suffer if I blog any longer.

going to pee,

Monday, February 05, 2007

What I am doing when I should be sleeping.

Watching stuff like this:

Far Out!

Ok, actually I was looking for stuff for biology while I was pumping, but when I found this I couldn't look away. For eight minutes and some odd seconds. It's like, Sesame Street goes to grad school, gets high and tries to explain what it's been studying to some chic it hopes to bed. Or something like that. You'll see.

I have decided I need to figure out a way to blog using the dance idiom,

Saturday, February 03, 2007


I am out of sorts. Not the true PMS seether type of thing. Just generally grumpy.

Small things give me headaches, which is new to me. I always thought that was the sort of thing that only happened in the movies- who knew? I was walking to the car and slipped in the snow a little whilst holding the baby. Excitement! Then, Headache! I got the bill for my student loans after I had made a payment but before they had recorded it. Excitement! Then a headache that lasted quite a while.

Maybe it's the latest pregnancy scare. Or the whole trying to figure out a good budget thing. Sometimes it feel like it's about getting the dishes washed and dinner made. Maybe it's all of the above.

I don't think I've belittled anyone today, or said anything hurtful, but the menfolk know I'm cross. I love my menfolk so much- I really don't mean to vex them. Wish I knew what the be in my bonnet was so I could swat it.

Piss in my Wheaties. Sand in my tw*t. Nose out of joint. Panties in a twist.


Going to wash things.

What your Nanny/Babysitter Does and Doesn't Do

1) He/She probably does love your child. They won't do anything that they believe will hurt your child.
2) She/He probably does go online, make phone calls, listen to the radio or maybe even watch TV while she/he is "On the Clock". Good ones do this when the bambino is napping. They do this because it keeps them from going crazy. You are a parent, and you should (hopefully) understand the insanity that sets in when you haven't related to another grownup in days.
3) He/she keeps their eye out for things to do with your child that will be interesting and developmentally appropriate, but they don't plan the day's activities like a school teacher would. Yes, yes, your child is their job, but maybe a better way to wrap you brain around it is to say that they are being paid to be the mother for a little while. (This may be an unpopular thing to say, especially given the whole row going on between Meridith and Melissa right now. But still...) This is more true of nannies than daycare providers, perhaps, because nannies may have to clean the house, do the laundry, and get the groceries in addition to raising a baby, as opposed to raising a baby, and another baby, and another baby.... The point remains, watching children involves a lot of actually watching children. Watching children play, watching children eat, watching children play some more. The caregiver does provide stimulation, food and a running commentary (for the littlest folks), but this watching is more in the form of continual glances than a hawk-like stare.
When you're at home with your child do you say "And now we're going to play this:" and do you hover over them and put yourself in their every exploration? I assume that your child's day is a string of explorations undertaken with you in the wings, and that games or songs the two of you do together are strung in the mix randomly and naturally. And while you're hanging out to make sure she doesn't eat the dog or try to climb out the window, your mind wanders. You find something to do until she needs you, because otherwise your brain would go numb. Your nanny is no different from you in this regard.
4) Being a Nanny is akin to being a mother, but it is most like being a Single Mother. No one is there to get the door for you if you're in the middle of a diaper change, watch the baby while you pee, pick up the groceries for you on their way home. They're running your house for you by themselves. Most single moms are doing all this with no money, so a Nanny gets a break there because you are providing the cash, but emotionally it is very similar. It can be stressful and lonely. This is why some Nannies want to talk about themselves when you come home- she has been The Provider all day, and she's ready to switch modes. One would hope she doesn't take this to extremes, that she understands your priority is (rightfully) the child and gives you those juicy details first and freely. But given half a chance she'll probably tell you more than you ever wanted to know about her digestive system or her cats because she needs to talk to somebody about something other than Goodnight Moon and Cheerios.

I wrote this with Nannies/Babysitters in mind, more than Childcare Center Providers. It's a different world when your job is raising 8 children. It is all children all the time, but you are working with other grownups, which helps. You don't have to worry about shopping with children or cleaning the house with children, because you do all that when they leave (generally). And if you want to pee there's someone else to give you a break. You still get sick of Goodnight Moon and Cheerios, but you have coworkers to be sick with. It's hard, but it's different.

I don't know what possessed me to write this. I guess I'm bothered by the stuff I've read lately about parents expecting more of their babysitter than they do of themselves. Probably because you pay a nanny but don't pay a Mom. I can see that. Still. I have been a single mom, a nanny, a daycare provider, a married mom, a working mom and a stay at home mom, and to those who grouse about the humanity of their nanny, I say "Get Over It".

going to get less grumpy,