Wednesday, March 28, 2007

S is for Survey Says. . .

Some of you know I've been dealing with a difficult physical condition lately.

Here's the story

  • Sunday I had a spot on my head that felt sore. I figured I'd just combed through it too roughly and went on. It felt like it got worse through the day.
  • Monday morning one spot had sprouted into many. They were red, raised, sore patches along the right side of my scalp. They felt like they were descending.
  • Monday day it did get worse. I made Laurie come downs at work to inspect my scalp (good friend.) We tossed around theories, never getting too outrageous. Most of them included speculation about the kansas murderous spiders who are occupying my house (and not even paying rent.) I won't post the pictures but, thankfully, the massive flesh wounds pictured at WebMD did not look like what I had on my scalp.
  • Monday night I had developed a large lump behind my ear. It hurt to turn my head or open my mouth wide.
  • Tuesday morning I called the dr. Whats up? They ask. Um, not sure. Maybe an allergic reaction? Or else someone is sneaking in to my house at night & repeatedly hitting me in the head with a rock while I sleep through it? I get an apt. for that afternoon.
  • Tuesday afternoon I developed a lump on the right side of my neck.
  • Driving back to my apt. on Tuesday I called my nursing student (soon to be graduate) friend to pitch my idea about brain cancer complete with tearful images of Khubz growing up without me. Unlikely, she responded, but let me tell you about this documentary I saw of a fly bite that turned into a flesh eating wound and the only cure was to shave the woman's head and peel the skin from her scalp. Is that helping? Don't worry, this woman had multiple sores, not just one. Oh. So you do have multiple sores. Um, I'm sure it's not brain cancer.
  • What is it? Survey says. . . Folliculitis. Luckily my doctor makes her diagnosis quickly before I have a chance to tell her my brain cancer/ murderous spider/ stranger beating me in the head theories. An infection gets into the hair follicle, it spreads, it inflames the lymph nodes (or nymph lodes as I retold the story to S.) they swell up making it difficult to swallow, turn my head etc.
  • So Khubz and I are back on the antibiotic. I love that even though she hasn't been sick she's received a steady stream of antibiotics. Even once I'm done with the course, she gets them for an additional week in frozen milk.
  • But good news! I'm going to live. :)

In other news:

Khubz had her 6 month check up and is 18 lbs. 11 oz. She's 27" long. And marvelous.

We had a great weekend last weekend. Saturday was all about Khubz's first real fever. Any fever triggers the "it's okay to sit on the couch all day with the tv on" exception clause to our "no tv when the girl is awake" guideline. At this point we can't even call it a rule. Then Sunday we went out to Clinton Lake and I got to fly a kite--one of my favorite things to do ever. Really. Try it. Go fly a kite.

We're hoping for some developmental leaps & we're working hard towards some goals:

  • Bed time is 8 o'clock. Sleep time usually occurs two hours later if this mommy is putting the girl to bed. The other mommy apparently keeps a small amount of Valium hidden away and is able the get the girl asleep and in her crib and, in fact, asleep in her crib in less than 30 minutes.
  • Nursing is great. Playing with the covers, touching one of the mommies' faces, reaching for her camel (aptly named Jamel) are all acceptable things to do while nursing. Twiddling this mommy's other nipple is right out. It is not okay.
  • Pinching, squeezing and attempting to detach the other nipple violates human rights laws and will not be tolerated.
  • The girl loves carrots. Absolutely loves carrots. I see fruit (and chickpeas) in her near future.
  • Baby on a plane: I am going to Providence, RI in may and the girl is coming with me. That fabulous A McK will be watching her at the hotel while I'm in my meeting so I'll get to have her with me, feed her on breaks and spend our evenings together. This is great news! It does mean: Baby on a plane. We bought Khubz her own seat (one of the best decisions ever!) but that means I'll need to carry-on her carseat rather than checking it with luggage. So I'm trying to figure out what all I'll have to have so I don't look like fat-woman-struggling-physically through the airport. I'll be making the trip back without any coworkers and so I'll need to be able to manage things on my own. Here's my plan. Check my suitcase at the curb. Check the stroller at the gate. Carry onto the plane: me, la bebe, her carseat, the carseat base and my diaperbag. I will absolutely be one of the first ones on d/t the "small children first" boarding etiquette. Put Khubz on an empty seat while I install the carseat. Put Khubz in the carseat. Pour myself into the seat. Sedate the child with baby benadryl. Repeat in Detroit at layover. (probably no need to repeat the drugging part, but maybe) Be met by the mommy in Kansas City. Breathe. (p.s. I fully recognize this does not require a developmental leap for Khubz. But it does require one for me.)

Well, enough for now. It's pumping time.

S is for Sometimes

A man kills a deer and takes it home to cook for dinner. Both he and his wife decide that they won't tell the kids what kind of meat it is, but will give them a clue and let them guess. The kids were eager to know what the meat was on their plates, so begged their dad for the clue. "Well", he said, "It's what mommy calls me sometimes". The little girl screams "Don't eat it, Don't eat it, it's an asshole!"

I know it's stupid.
But think of it being told in my voice.
Now laugh.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

R is for Rose Apple

I don't make this stuff up, you know.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Q is for quality control, the renunciation of

There's this great spoken word/performance art group called Mango Tribe. They completely kick ass. Several women in the group were involved in a Queer API meeting on DV that I went to. After an open mic (where i did actually get up & read, thanks to the gentle persistence of our friend Lopez) we were walking around & talking about how hard/easy/hard it is to write, write well etc. And I was given two pieces of advice by a charming, charming Mango Tribe member:

  • Keep writing all the time, even if you don't like it
  • Lower your standards so you don't quit writing

So that, my poor blog reader, is what allows me to post the previous entry. (That, plus my diagnosable fruit fetish.)

In the name of art I renounce quality control!

And hey, if you're looking for quality, that's what the "Meet Someone New!" list of blogs is all about. I'll now shamelessly plug a sister blog (literally.) Check her out. I adore her.

"P" Again: Come on people--did you expect any less?

with pomegranates
You have to use your hands.
A knife would do violence.
Use your hands.
Pull it open.
Use your hands
Pick out each seed.
Use your hands.
The red glow stays
on your fingers.
The small fruit
Enters your mouth
As you again
Use your hands.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

P is also for many things: Puke, Poop & Profile

Puke as in, the girl puked. I'm not talking about spit up. I'm talking about what happens when a well intentioned Mommy trying to put tylenol into her cheek (towards the back so she doesn't spit it out) accidentally gags her precious, but cranky & fevered baby. PUKE. Nice. And guess what? It does smell worse than spit up alone. I know it's hard to imagine improving on the scent of soured, old, spat up milk but the stomach acid really adds a special note.

Poop as in, the girl pooped & pooped. My colon hurt just watching her. No need to elaborate on that.

And on an entirely different note: profile as in, what kind of American do you speak? I found this on a pretty cool blog: My Private Casbah. I usually don't go in for any kind of recreational linguist incs but I thought this would be fun. Additionally, I'd like to see how S.'s profile changes based on her many "accents" she tries out on unsuspecting McD drive-through workers. I'm not sure how I got rated 10% on dixie. She must be rubbing off on me.

Your Linguistic Profile:
60% General American English
10% Dixie
10% Midwestern
10% Upper Midwestern
0% Yankee

Saturday, March 24, 2007

O is for On the Other Hand

OtOH. . .
A real mom does/does not give birth
A real mom does/does not keep the child safe
A real mom does/does not use the babe as a shield from the world
A real mom does/does not care about recognition
A real mom does/does not escape violence
A real mom does/does not take up arms in the face of an insane and dangerous government
A real mom does/does not do good enough
A real mom does/does not choke on ideas of motherhood
A real mom does/does/does get it from the culture no matter what she does/does not/ do. . .

Thursday, March 22, 2007

N is for Nipples (my nipples. mine.)

Well a tag from my friend over at Two Shews has prompted me to contemplate mommyhood and replace the racism/landmines/amputation ramblings with some thoughts on the finer points of motherhood. Check out her blog, she's hysterical. It's really this quote that got me started and just in time for the letter "N"

"Willingly offer up your tender, ground-up-hamburger-like nipple to be tortured and chewed in the name of sustenance. Every twenty minutes. While being sh*t on." from Real Moms Go Willingly Where Others Fear to Tread

So here are some things on my discovery list as I moved from the theory to practice of being a Real Mom: Real Moms Figure things Out Along The Way

  • I knew my nipples would feel like sausages
  • I did not know my nipples would look like sausages

  • I knew Khubz would think my nipples belong to her
  • I did not know my partner would agree with her. :)

  • I knew pumping at work would be arduous but possible
  • I did not know I would enact elaborate rituals: slideshow of pictures on the computer, 10 minutes of breast massage, putting out a baby blanket that smells like Khubz, pumping for 15 minutes and finally, spending an additional 10 minutes willing every last drop into the bag. Repeat every 2 hours.

  • I knew some people at work would be uncomfortable with my half-naked cyborg activities eating up a full 1/3 of my workday.
  • I did not know I would be embarrassed putting my nice warm bag of freshly expressed milk into the office freezer as someone else was pulling out their "lean cuisine" frozen meal.

  • I knew I would love this little human child
  • I did not know I would so thoroughly love every part of her, even when she was eating me to death.

  • I knew that sometimes I would need space away from her
  • I did not know that I'd want to spend that time away looking at pictures of her

  • I knew that sometimes I'd get frustrated
  • I did not know that I would swing so quickly between adoration, frustration, exhaustion, irritation, certainty, conviction, self-doubt and guilt.

  • I knew having someone else care for her would be difficult
  • I did not know that I would still be sick about it after I "adjusted"

  • I knew I would eventually want to have sex again
  • I know I will eventually get to have sex again. Uninterrupted. Someday.

Fear not, there's more (oh, there's always more.) But it is time to pump again and we all know how long that takes me.

Hungry for more? Check it out: Real Moms Truths

M is *not* for Miss Landmine

have you heard about this?

Miss Landmine Angola--Brought to you by Norway

"Conceived and directed by Norwegian artist Morten Traavik, the MISS LANDMINE project puts the global landmine problem and its survivors in the spotlight in a new, celebratory and life-affirming way."

Celebratory and life-affirming? Ah. . .The project includes fashion magazines with amputee models in clothes designed for their bodies. (Not so bad?) The models/contestants are Angolan women. The creators, spectators & consumers of the magazine, the fashion, the images and the project in general. . .? Who has the disposable income to buy the clothes? The magazine? The cutting edge assistive technology? Who is on display? Who controls the image? Who is the prop?

You can get online and learn about the contestants. Rich and complex presentations of their lives like: how they were injured and what their favorite color is.

The tag line is "Every body has the right to be beautiful." And the creators and funders are here to distribute that beauty.
What is the difference between "Has the right to be" and "is?" And what facilitates the realization of this right for Angolan survivors of landmines? Apparently the benevolence of the western art/fashion industry and the classic idea of "woman". But the project is sure to put thanks where they are due with a credit to "A ll the friendly and helpful Angolan people who have given us "thumbs up" all the way."

So how do we remake bodies and beauty? Particularly images created of/for/by people with physical disabilities? (of/for/by each being a different question)

Can we do that without affirming gender stereotypes?
Is it possible for a Western, non-disabled woman to explore issues of violence and representations of gender, disability, nationality, and race in the non-Western world without exploitation? Maybe. (maybe not.) But this isn't it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

L is for Lost Milk

Two and a half oz accidentally left in my bag all night.
I was so sad pouring it out--S. had to reassure me that better to pour out the 2 1/2 oz than have Khubz retching from dysentary or some god forsaken sour milk tummy whatever.
I'm back to low milk production. There seems to be plenty for Khubz when she's with me. It's just trying to pump enough for daycare. Food to the rescue! (Not food for me, although I often act like baked goods will rescue me.) Today is her first day eating real food at daycare. We took over some rice, squash and peas. Next in line for the girl is chickpeas which I plan to prepare myself (me and my handy-dandy food processor.)

I know the first time she tastes fruit the world will change. I mean, she came out of my body--she will surely love fruit. She must. But we want her well and truly grounded it the worlds of veges and legumes before the wild abandon of pears, peaches, apples, bananas, prunes, apricots, kiwis. . . Well, the list could be endless (could even be a blog.)

On an entirely different note: Did anyone see the documentary Shadya on PBS last night. The girl was sleeping & S and I actually watched an entire film together. It was so sad. If anyone saw it let me know.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

K is also for Kumquat

Kumquats go to citrus daycare. They are rarely grown from seed as they do not do well on their own roots. In China and Japan they are grafted onto the trifoliate orange. This has been found the best rootstock for kumquats in northern Florida and California and for dwarfing for pot culture. (Note, dwarfing for pot culture deserves to be it's own poem.) Sour orange and grapefruit are suitable rootstocks for southern Florida.
Some other mother
Raised you
Her othermother roots find water
Her othermother trunk holds you in the sky
Her othermother branches
Your best company.
And you flower and fruit and grow
Better for her gift of surrogacy but
Keeping your own sharp bite
Your own slow sweetness.

K is for Khubz & also for Khara

Work with me.
First for the Khubz:
S. doesn't want L's name plastered all over the web. She doesn't like my take on a nickname, "Pita, Pita" so. . . that brings us to khubz. (bread.) In my defense, it sounds better in the ear than it looks on the page. So there it is.

And now for the Khara:
In more serious news, it has been 4 years and I'm feeling sad about the state of the world. I know I was glib yesterday about watching 'Nixon' but I've started having an insatiable (and distinctly anti-social) need for information about WWII and the anti-war movement in the 60s-70s. I thought watching Nixon would make me feel better about the world. Not like, whew! It was bad then--this is cake kind of way. More like, it is possible to persevere in terrible times.

I watched some of the ANSWER anti-war protest last Saturday but had to turn it off when Nicholas Berg's father got up to speak. It was so painful. I know its a cowardly response to see his grief & his well placed anger at the government and (agreeing with him) hit the little red button on the remote so I don't have to face it.

It's about so much more than just leaving, isn't it? I mean, what is being left? And so much of the dialogue is about leave because it's not worth one more us life or us dollar. So leaving responds to that but there's this pesky little issue of the iraqi welfare. Not in a, the us must stay to civilize and liberate the iraqis. but more like, you don't get to turn the toybox upside down and then leave the room because you've made such a damn mess.

I have a hard time watching democracy now but, of course, certainly recommend it to anyone else to watch.

"Hope is a state of mind independent of the state of the world. If your heart's full of hope, you can be persistent when you can't be optimistic. You can keep the faith despite the evidence, knowing that only in so doing has the evidence any chance of changing. So while I'm not optimistic, I'm always very hopeful." Wm Sloane Coffin

J is for juxtapose

Juxtapose deserves to be the word of the day for many reasons.

I mean, just look at it. Juxtapose. Juxtapose. Juxtapose.

Earlier in life I always heard "Just suppose" when someone would say "juxtapose." Though you can get away with this misunderstanding, you don't get quite get the meaning.

Juxtapose: To place side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.

For example, after watching Oliver Stone's "Nixon" I might say, "Juxtaposed to Bush, Nixon didn't look so bad!"

What other fun things can be juxtaposed? Your imagination is the limit!

  • Smooth, creaminess of hummus jxtpsd with warm, toasted pita bread = :)
  • Relaxing embrace of sedatives jxtpsd with the screeching sound of a dentist drill = :(

  • You get the idea. . .

    There's apparently a low-brow art rag called "Juxtapoz." Chock full of misogyny (isn't that the hallmark of high-brow art?) I did find this interesting pic & decided to rip it off. In the name of women everywhere.

    Interesting juxtaposition.

    Sunday, March 18, 2007

    I is for "It's 8 o'clock. . .Do you know where your kid is?"

    And I've known since 8 o'clock. (truthfully, i've known all day)
    L's been having a crabby day, clingy & sleepy& barky. All this resulted in an 8 o'clock bedtime--which is unheard of around here.
    The mommies love it! We'll definitely try to do this again.

    Of course, we still need to see if she's all rested & ready to play at 3 a.m.

    Stay tuned.

    Saturday, March 17, 2007

    H is for Horned Melon

    you love
    a fruit
    for the
    way it
    to the

    G is for. . . . (drumroll)

    Grandma? you ask.
    "As in, she's so cute. Are you her Grandma?"
    This was directed at S. of course. "How old do I look?" she asks. "Why don't they ever say, are you her Aunt? Aunt would be fine. I mean, it would still suck, but it would be better." The setting didn't help: the fish fry at the catholic church. We'd been having a good time and S. really tried to make sure it didn't ruin our night. It didn't.

    We moved along after that, heading for the library. Where I can borrow (guilt free) "The Bachelor's Bed." She wants him bad (like every other woman in town.) She's his cleaning lady, though, so she has an opportunity to scrub away soap scum in his bathtub and masturbate on his fresh sheets. He needs a pretend girlfriend to appease his matchmaking mother. But will things turn sour when she starts putting out but stops cleaning up? I can't wait to find out!

    Thursday, March 15, 2007

    F is for unFingbelievable

    Now, you never want to hear your sleeping baby wake up & start hollering. But you really don't want to hear it immediately after saying, "honey, will you strap it on??"


    we'll try again later, i suppose.

    E is for Excitement

    Now I'm not in love with John Sununu but Gonzales makes bile rise to the top of my throat. Check it out: Republican Senator Urges Gonzales to Resign

    Good times!

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    D is for Beautiful

    Spring Haiku

    Because it is Spring
    We cannot
    Stay Inside

    Even this poem

    the door

    Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    C is for so many things

    cockroaches--My very fun sister-in-law is visiting this week. She & her 3 year old son are staying with us. "I told them about the spiders in the basement." S tells me. Ah. . . You mean you did not tell her that every morning when I wake up I clean up the cockroach cemetery (once known as our living room?!!) And what's more, because our basement is now overrun by the aforementioned murderous spiders they can't sleep in the basement. They are sleeping on the couch in the living room.

    So begins my manic attempt to ensure she never sees any cockroaches. It's worse than trying to control George Bush. I mean he has millions of mindless, dis/ease spreading minions but he still can't breed at the rate they do. Picture it: all in the living room chatting pleasantly. What did you say? Your son babbled in the same way the L does? ha, ha HAHAHAHAH. I leap between Alex and the side wall, blocking her field of vision so she cannot see the adult size cockroach 1 1/2 inches long crawling UP the wall in pure daylight. They are bold, they are breeding and they are disgusting. Back to the story. HAHAHAHAHA. That's the funniest thing I've ever heard! Whump! Grab the kleenex box and smash the roach behind my back without looking.

    Or coming back from our lovely outing at the KC Science City. S and I craft a plan to ensure I'm the first one in the house and I have time to sweep up any roaches that decided to crawl out in the middle of the room to DIE (or worse to live.)

    There is more, but alas, I have to earn a living so we can fund another round with the exterminator.

    Unfortunately, the letter "G" is still far away and we have another word contending for that spot. "G" is for "Gratitude." As in, S pointing to the Malaysian Hissing Cockroach at Science City and saying "Aren't you glad the ones we have are at least quiet?" Hmpf. I've seen worse. Of course, I also left that country.

    But stay tuned. It's not all bad news!
    C is also for
    -Climax (as in the best part of a book)
    -Cutting teeth (plural)
    -Creativity (S has a plan for our financial independence. Hint: it does not involve seeking corporate sponsorship for this blog)
    -Conspiracy (Will Gonzales get kicked in the groin? Or will all this noise about firing US Attorneys get lost in the cacophony that is the bushnewscorporation?

    Thursday, March 8, 2007

    B is for Border Jumper

    In the best possible sense. As in multiracial or gender bender or going to iowa.

    So my sweet, sweet child & I are heading up in the morning. Odds that I'll get back to my alphabet post are low. I'm really hoping I keep up with this until I get to "G is for ganglion." It'll give me an opportunity to dedicate this picture to Sally.

    Fun fact--Nerve ganglions are also called "Bible Bumps". I couldn't put "B is for Bible Bumps" though because someone might think that was dirty and it is lent.

    See some of you soon-J

    Wednesday, March 7, 2007

    A is for Acorn Squash

    A nd so it begins! Jehan joins the bloggers revolution. Ah, a blog! The ultimate manifestation of my narcissism and how I crack myself up.

    I thought this lovely picture would be the best way to start. Look at the rich and vast world of fruit that lies before us! May this blog be like that fruit stand. Sweet & nourishing with a few prickly pears and a few tired worn out analogies.

    As I have your undivided attention a quick word on fruit: The term fruit has different meanings depending on context. In botany, a fruit is the ripened ovary--together with seeds--of a flowering plant. In many species , the fruit incorporates the ripened ovary and surrounding tissues. In cuisine, when discussing fruit as food, the term usually refers to those plant fruits that are sweet and fleshy. Let's say that again. Sweet & Fleshy! However, a great many common vegetables, as well as nuts and grains, are the fruit of the plant species they come from. No single terminology really fits the enormous variety that is found among fruits.

    There are simple fruits, accessory fruits, false fruits (closet cases) and then there are irresistable pears in love.

    Look. They're blushing.