Tuesday, July 31, 2007

the empires strike back. and back. and back.

from maps of war

Flashback: The Dog Story

See where nostalgia gets you?
This was an email from Octoberish of 2005 (that long ago??) A couple months before I got pregnant with Khubz.


Hello beloved family & dear, dear friends,

What is going on? Your good, though reclusive, friend has emerged temporarily from her isolationism with a story of unwavering and wavering love, faltering devotion and (ultimately) compassionate indifference. Please do not fret. This is a happy story.

Before I launch let me say that I miss seeing everyone, care very much about you all and hope to permanently emerge from my shell some day here soon. Many thanks to everyone for their patience.

The (almost entirely true, barely embellished, practically sworn-testimony of the) Dog Story

(after having completed the story I can now add the qualifier: "way, way too long & detailed" Dog Story. Any of you who lived through this with me are welcome to skip. The rest of you darn well better read it and be glad you're not getting a verbal retelling which takes about an hour and a half.)

So it had been a rough week. My loving partner and my loving sister were both of the same mind: Get Ffemme a hot dogdog to ease her sadness. We went to the pound, searched pet finder high and low and eventually decided it is not the right time to get a dog. Why? Though I love my (small) house we don't have a yard, neither of us can come home every day at noon to let the dog out, Scully & I both travel a lot for work--we don't really have a life that will support a dog.

Instead I am off to Iowa. Joe cancels the appointments she made to see puppies. We plan a picnic at Branwen & Rhiannon's old school Roosevelt. It has a great playground for the kids, places for the old people (Jim & the like) to sit and is close to Joe's house if we forget something. It was quite nice and the whole clan turned out.

While we are eating our bologna sandwiches we see this old DOG walking towards us. And the dog is in bad shape. Its front legs are kind of bowed and it seems to have arthritis in its back hips so it hobbles, not unlike a young bear. She's a very sweet girl with a very pretty face although the rest of her seems mangy. Someone had shaved her but her hair had grown back in all matted. It took a while to figure out she was a Keeshond (thanks go to Kirsten.)

She is hungry and guess what? She likes bologna. Her tags say her name is Storm (terrible name for this dog) which she does not respond to. Maybe she's deaf? There's also a phone number. And what is a picnic without everyone bringing their cell phones? So Joe calls and the conversation goes like this:
Joe:Hi, we are at a park and we found your dog
Him: What? What dog?
Joe: Um, your dog
Him: What kind of dog? What does it look like?
Joe: It looks like a dog that had your phone number on it--exactly how many dogs are you missing??
Him: Well, we used to have some dogs in the frat but. . . I'm in Arizona.
Joe: Uh, great. Thanks.

This tells us all we need to know about him. Pissed off at people who abandon their dogs in general and at irresponsible college students in particular, we call the humane society. Though they are closed there is a cop who is willing to meet us out there and let the dog in.

Is this my dog? I ask. NO, replies everybody. I am unsure so I jump in the car with Kirsten and Joe who are taking the dog. The poor old dog has a hard time getting in the car but settles right down. She's very, very sweet. The cop that meets us out there is really nice and Kirsten remembers him being very good to battered women. This is a good sign. We know this dog won't be around long at the shelter, and not because she'll be adopted either. She looks like she has seen better days.

This nice cop cannot open any of the doors at the shelter. He tries all of his keys in all of the locks and though the keys will go in, they do not turn the lock. This has never happened to him before. "Is this a sign?" Joe asks him. "Sure," he replies. "He thinks this is a sign, Ffemme!"

At this point, the sweet old dog receives a name: Mi Osa "my bear". She is coming home with us.

We drive past the house that is listed on her tags. She sees her house and gets very excited. Joe goes up to the door and finds that the house is completely vacant. These people have left their good, old dog. Bastards.

At Joe's house the dog gets a bath. Though she clearly did not want one, she sighed and said "Oh, okay." I am massaging shampoo into the neck and chest of a dog that doesn't know me and she is so sweet & gentle that she just stands there. There are also two yappy neighbor dogs barking! barking! and this good old dog is absolutely silent.

After the bath she goes to the back door. "Isn't this where we go in?" she asks. So we let her in. She has a hard time with the stairs and it isn't long before she is actually carried up and down them. We soon discover the dog has perfect hearing. Not much time elapses in any Faisal household before you hear some Faisal crinkling open a package of something in the kitchen. And this dog hears it. She hears the small suction of a refrigerator door opening. She knows the squeak of the kitchen floor and can tell if you're in front of the dishwasher or in front of the stove.

She is also extremely smart. Unsure if she was fully housebroken, we lavished treats and rewards upon the dog when she successfully went outside to pee. She quickly learned the easiest way to a treat was to act like you need to go out, someone will CARRY you down the front stairs, you pee and get a treat! She had us trained immediately.

And Scully, poor unsuspecting Scully, gets a phone call. She is quiet on the other end of the phone. "So you're telling me that you're at a park and a hot dogdog just HAPPENS to walk up to you. . ." It did seem like a set up & Joe is known for occasional good-intentioned sneakiness. When she heard that it was not a hotdogdog and especially when she heard that, actually, I would NEVER have picked this dog she believed me. And I would never pick this dog. This dog picked me.

"Did she tell you, with her eyes, that she's your dog?" Scully asks. "Um, I'm not sure, but I think so!" replies the ever-decisive Ffemme. And then, "Okay, bring her down" a brief pause, " I will not be the only one responsible for this dog." That's how I knew Scully was serious. If she was being all la'a di daah I would have doubted her. But if she went immediately to the "accountability" discussion, she was for real.

Mi Osa did really, really well that night. She's an old girl so she mostly sleeps and lays around. She didn't have a single accident in Joe's house. Still, by morning I was vacillating again, because--see--I don't have a *life* that will support a dog. Kirsten could not take her. Joe can't breathe around dogs. It was Kansas or certain doom for this good old dog. And she deserved to have someone love her in her old age. She had to be at least 12.

Ultimately, I decided we should not take her, because I really can't have a dog.
And then, ultimately, ultimately, I brought her down to Kansas, because I just couldn't take her to a shelter.

She does so well in the car. Lets me know when she needs to stop, waits the 19 miles before I get to the next rest area. She's a good old dog. We get home and she immediately craps all over everything in the house. I don't think she could control it. We'd fed her bologna & god knows what she ate before she ran into us! So I don't blame her but I did call SKM to share my frustration. She gave me back a very empathetic, "Welcome to dog ownership" Thanks.

Scully says she has a sweet face but the rest of her looks awful. Really, the only thing that would have completed the look for Mi Osa was if she'd had one of those giant paper collars. One was sure to come soon, too, because she had some kind of growth or skin tag on her leg and she had licked it absolutely bare of hair. There was a storm and she worried about the thunder but everything was so new--of course she was a little needy. And then she would rub her body against our couch and I'd think, "do I want a dog??" It's all a little late for that question but remember, folks, I can't make up my mind about ANYTHING.

Its time for bed and there is no way this good old dog can get up our very steep wooden stairs. So we pen her in downstairs with a baby gate and we go up. She would have none of it. She knocked the baby gate over and got out. Then we hear the sound of a dog climbing stairs using only her front paws to drag the rest of body up to be with us. With a small amount of pressure Scully agrees that Mi Osa can sleep in our room on the floor. Neither of us want her in our bed. This, however, just does not work.

She lays down and we hear the constant licking, licking, licking. She won't settle down and I have decided that I should not have a dog. I'm taking her to the shelter tomorrow, we don't have to worry about establishing any kinds of patterns, I will sleep downstairs on the couch so the dog can sleep downstairs. I carry her down the stairs and we have a good night overall but are still destined for the animal shelter Monday.

The shelter doesn't open until 10. I look at Osa (now just simply called "Osa" because it seems terrible to use the possessive "Mi" in her name when I'm so ready to abandon her at a shelter) and she looks at me. So this is the message I leave for Scully at work. "If you have time and patience for me, please call me back to talk more about the dog. But if you don't have both of those things, please don't call. So, time and patience, call. Otherwise, don't worry about it." Good woman. She calls me back right away.

And I am crying. Is this a test? Is the universe testing me? I don't want to take this dog to shelter. She already looks at me like I'm her designated human. She's already been abandoned once. I feel like I'm supposed to have this dog. But I don't want a dog. I don't want my house to smell like dog. This dog has massive amounts of hair & shedding. My neck is hot and itchy. I'm having some sort of reaction to the dog or to something that she's been in. Am I supposed to prove that I'm compassionate and capable of love and responsible? Once again, I am very worried about making the wrong decision. The problem with taking her to a shelter was that if it turned out to be the wrong decision it would be very, very wrong. The problem with keeping her is that I don't seem to ever feel like I've actually made the decision. And I don't want a dog. And I am still crying.

Take her to the vet, says my girl who has both time and patience. That will tell us more about what we are signing up for.

I make a vet appointment for later in the day. They don't usually take walk ins on Monday because they have surgeries but it just so happens that there are no surgeries scheduled today.

And that's sort of the basic story of this dog. "It just so happens. . ."

Back in Iowa Jim calls Vet Med in Ames because Mi Osa (possessive returned) has a vaccination tag from there. So he calls to get some medical records and discovers. . .

Mi Osa has an owner. And she's looking for her dog. And she's not sure how her dog got to Kansas.


She had recently moved. Her 10 year old daughter has been worrying about their dog for days. The dog "Storm" figured out how to open the screen door at her mother's house and got out. She (allegedly a "he") headed back for the old neighborhood and happened upon a bunch of overprotective dog-lovers who decided the dog should come to Kansas.

The bad news is: that very morning, the day after I just returned from Iowa, I got back on I-35 and headed north. The good news is she met me in MO so I was back in my house by 4 o'clock instead of 8. Additional good news, this was all discovered in time to cancel the vet appointment which would surely have cost quite a bit.


And yet, perhaps this was all choreographed by the universe.

I learned that I did NOT want a dog and no one got hurt. That's amazing. I could have easily spent hundreds of dollars and broken the heart of some hot dogdog trying to discover that self-truth.

The other life lesson was that when your dad says "Ffemme, this dog is not your problem. This dog is someone else's problem" sometimes he's right. Sometimes.

And the final lesson is: if you move or break up with some jerk who moves to AZ, get a new damn dog ID tag. They cost $2!

Okay, thanks for working through all of that with me. Much love to anyone who is still reading at this point and (of course) love to those of you who stopped reading already as well.

:* (kisses)

Monday, July 30, 2007

a change in time

We are back after having attended the wedding of a friend.

The trip was marvelous, the ceremony was beautiful and my dear friend was absolutely stunning. Khubz thoroughly enjoyed herself. Her review highlights some of her favorites from the wedding:

  • Two thumbs up on an outdoor wedding & for having the dinner on the lawn. The sweet potatoes were cooked to perfection and the blades of grass were freshly harvested.
  • Dollar dance with Tia Lopie was the best.
  • Staying up till 11 pm is fun.
  • Tia Sally is hilarious. And the mommies get all twitterpated around her.
  • Gay men are fabulous!

She stayed up the whole wedding. Other children were littering the benches having passed out hours before. As soon as we got in the car she collapsed. Mouth hanging open. Tongue slightly hanging out her mouth. We got to the hotel & she slept. We changed her clothes & she slept. We gave her her antibiotic & she slept.

Khubz was great on the trip. The only meltdown occurred immediately after I said, "she has been such a good baby, you guys! have you ever seen a baby be this good on such a long drive?"

Scully and our friend Mulder stomped around the Field Museum during the day. This allowed Khubz, Tia Sally and myself to sleep until 10. Bliss. Then we got in the pool and stayed there until it was clear Khubz was ready for the mandatory post-swim nap. Awesome.

As always, there are lessons learned.

  • Don't forget to bring pants (Scully and Tia Sally!)
  • If you do forget to bring pants (or something to sleep in) don't cuddle up to the person you're sharing a bed with (this one is just directed at Tia Sally on behalf of Mulder. Scully can cuddle up with me anytime!)
  • Caravans should be reserved for the old country. They just don't work well here. Particularly in crazy Chicago traffic where none of us know where we're going.
  • It is always a good idea to leave at 4 in the morning. No matter what the haters say (Rebekah!).

We drove back via iowa with a nice 2 hour stop at casa de grandma. It was also great as we were leaving to say "See you in a few days!"

Grandpa had gotten Khubz a singing dinosaur that croons out Johnny Cash "Ring of Fire." This happened to be one of my theme songs from when I was trying to get pregnant. Remember that? (insert nostalgic sigh) Fruitfemme's first ever yeast-infection combined with progesterone vaginal suppositories three times a day? The progesterone had to be kept in the fridge, too. I think that does outrank the hilarity of breast milk in the fridge at the office break room. Ah, the memories.

I forgot why I titled this post the way I did. Then I remembered! Tomorrow is Llamas, a harvest holiday. I'd like to start doing more witchy celebrations with Khubz. Perhaps we can make some spiral cookies or something tomorrow. We're going to the fair tonight with some friends. (Also an excellent way to celebrate the harvest, the land & the coming of fall.)

I can't wait.

Also, Ramadhan starts around Sept. 13th this year. We pretty much skipped the festivities last year. I think I made some phone calls on Eid and that was it. This year it is on. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Khubz is standing up now with ease and confidence.
She is 29 inches long and weighs 21 lbs. At 10 months old she is

  • Making the sign for "leche"
  • Saying mamamamamama to us both
  • Getting a spoon into her mouth--even though its the wrong end of the spoon
  • Playing patty cake
  • Clapping when she is pleased with herself
  • Turning the volume up on the stereo
  • Pulling things out--toys out of the toy box, clothes out of the basket, wipes out of the wet wipes container. . .
  • Banging the icecream scoop on pots & pans
  • Waving bye-bye when Scully drops her off at daycare
  • Cleaning lint and pieces of dust and errant pieces of stuff off the floor by picking things up and eating them.

Scully often asks if I am not "over-reflective" about things (particularly motherhood.) Just to prove she's right I've been thinking about milestones I remember from growing up. At each stage I thought I had achieved "womanhood"

  • When Mom had me put an apron on, rather than taking my shirt off, when we would have spaghetti (age 6ish?)
  • When I stopped wearing pants/shorts and started wearing skirts almost exclusively (age 10ish?)
  • When I started brushing my own hair (age 8sih?)
  • When I no longer had to take baths with my sister Joe--even if Mom was running short on time. ( I earned this right to decline the group bath when i turned 7. I actually negotiated it as a birthday present.)
  • When I started wearing a tarha/hijab (age 11)
  • When I walked into the gym, rather than sitting in my car in the parking lot & looking back and forth between the gym and the bakery next door (not disclosing this one)
  • When I went out to dinner with a group of 40 arab dykes I had previously only known through the queer/arab/woman email list (age 25)
  • When my brother & I got to go see a movie in a movie theatre by ourselves (age 9)
  • When I started shaving my legs (age 10)
  • When I stopped shaving my legs (age 18)
  • When I voted for the first time (and then voting for the first time with my daughter) (age 18 and 29)
  • When watching yesterday's senate hearing on gonzales and understanding how fucked up everything is. Contrasting this with memories of my parents watching the iran/contra/oliver north hearings and me repeatedly saying "what's going on? who is that guy? when will "Diffrent Strokes" come back on??"


Are you watching this?

I am left without words. And I also know that sputtering has become so commonplace that it is banal. Isn't this all a really bad script by Oliver Stone?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Break

Scully is staying home with Khubz today.
She's not contagious but it was a hard night. She's very low energy, whiny and needs the constant comfort that only her mommies can give.

I am heading off to work. Shamelessly.

Last night was okay. I think Khubz joined us about 2ish? I was impressed we got her in the crib at all last night. She was so tired that she was overtired. We wanted to give her more tylenol and wanted to do the tylenol at the same time as the amoxicillin which meant keeping her up until 10 last night. We will definitely plan better this evening.

So she did do some sleeping in her crib. The mommies immediately collapsed in the bed.

Leaving the bedroom this morning I saw Khubz cuddled up in the crook of Scully's arm. I love seeing them all bundled in the bed together. Khubz was on her side with her face nuzzled against Scully. She had one arm up so her hand was resting against Scully's face. This is her ideal position so she can pat-pat-pat the mommy on her cheek until she wakes up. It was a very sweet image.

And yet, I was still pretty happy to be leaving for work this morning.

I know I'm not going to sleep at my computer or anything but at least no one will be screaming at me as I wipe their nose or their ass. (If such expectations exist, we will seriously be renegotiating my salary.)

So to keep my sense of humor up even though my energy level is low:

Actually. . .

It's an ear infection.

Our first.

All hail amoxicillin, right?

Poor girl. She hates it.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

When a great white shark gets a cold. . .

Khubz woke us up this morning with a temperature of 102.4. This is not douse the baby in a bathtub of icewater fever but it is higher than any of Khubz's previous fevers.

I remember that she was fussy all night (or at least once she joined us in bed) but I kept dismissing that as tired baby doesn't want to extend the effort required to suckle and at the same time cries when the nipple falls out of her mouth.

Come on. It was 3:30 in the morning. I was tired and not about to hold the nipple in her mouth for the rest of the night. So I let her fuss. Bad, bad mommy. How about this: baby in bed with both mommies, uncharacteristically fussy, tired but unable to sleep. . . Could she be sick?

The short answer is yes. She is sick.

(its a few hours later now. She's had two rounds of tylenol and a 2 hour nap with me in the recliner. All this while Scully was moping the kitchen floor. I know. I know.)

Prior to the glorious, life-saving nap: Scully asked me to bring up some videos from the basement. Remember that any type of fever inactivates the rule. Specifically, she asked me to bring up some Bob the Builder. (sigh) And yes, I actually did sigh. I return from the basement with three videos: one bob the builder, one baby Einstein and one muppet show (the one with Carol Burnett where they were doing the dance-a-thon. It's hilarious!) I put all three dvds on top of the tv and sit down with Khubz.

"So, do you really think that the Muppet Show has some kind of "educational value" that Bob the Builder doesn't?" Scully snipes.

"What??" said with the unfortunate tone of "what did you say? what did you just say???"

What ensues is a bizarrely heated discussion (on both sides) about which is the better video. For the record, Kermit could kick Bob's ass. Even Robin could kick Bob's ass.

Her argument: We always watch the Muppet Show and there's all kinds of casual violence in it. Why don't you mind that? Huh? Huh??

My argument: Bob the Builder is insipid. ("Insipid" is a word that is most satisfying spit out in a debate.)

WTF? What is wrong with us?

Khubz calmly got herself some more tylenol and poured each of the mommies a drink. She said the quality of the conversation warranted alcohol for everyone. In fact, alcohol is usually the prerequisite for such debates.

The nap helped.
I haven't felt the need to defend Kermit's honor all afternoon.

Friday, July 20, 2007

If We Was Fishies. . .

I would be a

Don't take the analogy too far: I am not generally prickly and, actually, have a reputation for being positively squeezable. Nor am I poisonous.

But do consider: Puffer fish puff up when threatened, stressed out or when courting. Puffer fish also have amazingly elastic skin.

Khubz would be a

Don't take the analogy too far: She's not actually bloodthristy. And she also enjoys a cuddle.

But do consider: A great white prefers a fatty food source. A great white also seeks out the often fatty food source by pursuing it relentlessly with an open, grasping mouth. Once they set their sites on prey there is little the prey can do but unhook the nursing bra and hope for the best.

Scully would be a

Don't take the analogy too far: After all, if either of the mommies should be depicted by a fish with whiskers--it's not Scully. Nor is she a bottom feeder.

But do consider: The south aligns more closely with Catfish than any other single animal. They are often found in ponds on farms or ranches. Catfish are happiest when dug into the mud. (Have you seen Scully's mud wrestling pics from grad school?)

What would you be?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Yes, She is Breathing

I have this good friend (many good friends, actually)

But we're going to talk about this one good friend. I was going to refer to her as "Hairball" but she requested the codename Mulder. (Moulder? Mulder? More proof that I am not an X-files fan, though I am surrounded by them.)

We arranged a babysitting-lunch exchange. Scully & I were heading off for our first post-Khubz date. She arrived about noon and it occurred to me that I had not started the quinoa. "Welcome!" I said, "lunch should be in about an hour. You don't mind cooking it, right?"


I snuck out of the house as Mulder was giving Khubz a bottle. Chickpeas & okra was bubbling on the stove. Quinoa was simmering in the ricecooker.
From the doorway & out of Khubz view I whisper edicts (err, I mean, reminders) for Scully to pass along to Mulder.

Pssst. Tell her the stove is on. It's on. Remind her!

"My loving partner has asked me to speak on her behalf. The stove is on."

The ricecooker will beep.

" The ricecooker will beep when it's ready."

The diapers are over there.

"Mulder, the diapers are over there."

She can call us for anything. Anything, Any-

"Yes. Yes. Call us if you need anything. Really. Okay, let's go. Let's go now."

The movie was great. There were a couple moments where I thought, God is she crying? Is she looking around & wondering why we're not there? What if she's been crying the whole time? That's a hideous thought. Maybe they're having a good time?

"Fruitfemme, aren't you the one who told me that Mulder has 93 nieces & nephews?"


"And didn't you tell me that she adores them unendingly and often babysits?"


"And didn't you tell me that none of those children had lost any limbs or digits while being watched by Mulder?"


"Watch the movie."

I did. It was really good. I didn't even have any dark movie anxiety (like I did all through LOTR or even in Prisoner of Azkaban.) This is even the first movie that made me say, "maybe I would like the books."

And I was thrilled by the entire ritual of movie going. Driving with Scully, for example, without screaming from the carseat or without worrying about screaming starting. Purchasing the tickets, "two adults, please!" and eating a food designed to be choked on: popcorn.

It was especially nice to sit next to Scully and lean against her. It was nice.

But then the movie was over. I call before the credits start rolling.

"She's asleep. And she's been asleep for about an hour and a half" Mulder whispers to me on the phone.

"Really?! Then we're going to go get iced coffee! And we're also going to need you to come over every night some time between 8 and 10 to get her to go to sleep."

We made it as far as Mass street and decided that uninterrupted time at Dusty Bookshelf outranked Java Break. 10 minutes later. . .

"Are you ready to go?"

No. Not really.

"Because you're hovering."

Umm. . . Okay, yes. Actually. I am ready to go.

So we get home. We enter quietly. The child is still asleep. Amazing. But, what's that smell?

"What's that smell?" I whisper. "It smells like--"

"It is. Gas." Scully went immediately to the kitchen where she turned off the stove. The unlit stove. The stove that was pumping natural gas into the house where my baby was. Let me say that again. No, I'd better not.

"Was it on??" Scully nods. "I'm so sorry! I should never have left it on." I have turned to Mulder as I apologize. Khubz is still slumbering in Mulder's arms. Gas seeping into the house. Slumbering baby taking unusually long nap. Wait---

"IS SHE BREATHING?!!!!!" I grab Khubz to put my hands on her body. No one can be trusted, remember, so it is not enough to be told she is breathing. Nor is it enough to see her breathing or even to hear that she is, in fact, breathing. I have to feel her chest inhale/exhale with my own hands.

Yes. She is breathing. And, actually, now she's awake.

Mulder is apologizing for the stove (the stove I left on.) Apologizing for not noticing the smell. Apologizing that Khubz took such a gloriously long nap.

Apologizing for giving us a great date outing while our child slept peacefully.

I, on the other hand, was apologizing for trying to gas them while Scully and I were living it up.

So lessons?

  • The front right burner does not hold the flame on low
  • It is a good idea to go out together
  • Go see the Harry Potter movie
  • Next time, don't greet your good friend giving you free babysitting by coming home and shrieking, "IS SHE BREATHING?!!"

There & Back Again

I can't take it either.

There's something jovial about the dark dots that seems to compliment a fruit blog.

Welcome back.

Monday, July 16, 2007

well hell

I should have left well enough alone. I've lost the beautiful background I had this weekend and have put this up until I can mess around & find the old one. Oh well.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Whatcha Think?

Whatcha Think Of The New Look?
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Don't. Just Don't.

Mombian has this great post of do & don't tips called How to Respond When Meeting Lesbian Moms.

I think I've decided to print it off and carry it around as a small, laminated tip card. That way, when I meet people like this woman I can just hand her the card, perhaps with a hotline number if she doesn't understand.

The story goes like this:
Scully is showing off Khubz. There are several students who Scully has worked with for years and who knew what a difficult path it was when I was trying to get pregnant. They hadn't met Khubz and so Scully was naturally talking about how great it is that she's here. I think Scully said something like, "She was worth the wait."

Insert peripheral dumb woman standing at the edge of our conversation. She is not someone Scully knows well and not someone I know at all.

Her: "Oh, where did you get her from?"
Like, where did you get that skirt it's fabulous. Really, Walmart? On sale? Did you get one in every color??

Me: puzzled expression (okay, anyone who knows me knows that this is my pissed, slightly wincing pretend-puzzled expression) "Ummm, what do you mean--um, she's not adopted." As soon as I said it I knew I was in a needless & ridiculous conversation. So what if she was adopted? That is a totally bullshit question.

Her: "Well, whose is she?"
Like, I know I don't even know how to say your name, let alone your daughter's name, but because you're queer moms I have a right to know the genetic origins of your child, don't I? Of course I do! I'm a stupid but entitled straight white girl.

Me: openly glaring with my eyes although my fake smile is still in place. "She's ours."

Her: she begins listing the known facts out loud while counting them off with her fingers. I am not kidding. Her cadence slowed, as if the problem in our conversation was my cognitive ability. "She's both of yours. . . She's not adopted. . . So, who's the mother-mother? I mean, who had her?"
Like, I hear you trying to assert that you three are a family, but that just doesn't fit with my narrow understanding of relationships/love/family systems/the world. So I'm just going to keep asking my homophob-y and outright rude questions over and over. Only more slowly.

Me: fake smile is gone. my head is tilted to one sight slightly to make my glare more menacing. "Does it matter." It was not a question. I would have added a 'huh' before my statement if I thought she'd have understood nuance.

Scully, who had been chatting along happily with non-weirdos hadn't heard the stupid conversation I'd been having. But she has trained her ears to catch certain tones in my voice. That coupled with the words, "Does it matter??" and she went into rescue mode. "I've gotta get going." She said to the students she'd been chatting with. "Honey," she turned to me, " I know we've got to get you to your thing." No need to even fake an appointment, a meeting, a class. It was enough that I had a thing to get to.

Even as her rescue operation was in progress, dumb-ass continued.
Her: "Well, yeah. I mean, I'm curious! Now I need to figure out which of you she looks like." The final sentence was said with the hushed tone of bitch-ass-idiot-straight-girl who thought she was undertaking some Holmesian mystery.
Like, I'm curious and you are my specimen, right? After all, I'm a cool liberal straight white girl! You have to satisfy me, I'm your ally!!

We walked away.

She really could have used a tip card, you know.

Here's the right answer to anyone struggling internally with her questions of where did she come from? / how did she get here? / which of you is the real mother? / is she human? / are you human?

Just quietly hear those questions well up inside yourself. Then answer them out loud without ever voicing the questions. The answer is, "I'm so glad she's here."

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Mama goes boomp-d-boom-boom-boomp!

Ah, the sounds of peaceful morning in our home. Khubz did not want to quit nursing this morning but I had to get up & get going for work. Scully was already done getting ready and was heading downstairs. She got Khubz dressed while I got dressed and then Scully headed downstairs with our sleepy, crabby daughter.

Say it out loud with me: Boomp-d-boom-boom-boomp!

Yes, Scully missed a step towards the bottom of the stairs
Yes, she and Khubz rolled and pitched forward down the last few steps
Yes, Scully's fall was broken (not softly) by the wooden baby gate at the bottom of the stairs
Yes, I ran to them both
Yes, Scully had cradled Khubz with her arms and body, keeping Khubz from any harm
Yes, Khubz thought the amusement park ride was a blast and wanted to do it again. She had not a single scratch.

The mommy? She's not so anxious to have another go around.

This fall warranted one of the precious prescription-strength ibuprofen saved from after Khubz's birth.

What a good Mommy.
She is totally at the top of my gratitude list.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


What to name her seems like a bit of a personal question.

But what should she wear?

Now that's a good subject for a poll!

Check out the actual stickers & then scroll further down to vote.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

We did it!

We bought a car.

The right car for me.

It does not have power locks/windows. It does not have cruise control (though we will add that.) It does come in $30 under our budget. Yea us! (and also, yea to everyone who helped reason me away from the '06.)

It is an '05 Nissan Sentra. 40 k miles. Still has some of the original warranty in effect. It's black. It has the latch system for securing carseats.

And YES it has a jack for my ipod.

Good news all around.

Monday, July 9, 2007

meme before bedtime

1. Your name spelled backwards:
Emmetiurf or something like it

2. Where were your parents born?
Dad in Ha'il, Mom in Wichita? Maybe Wellington?

3. What is the last thing you downloaded onto your computer?
pics of Khubz.

4. What's your favorite restaurant?
At the moment: Mister G's

5. Last time you swam in a pool?
A very cold pool at a 4h camp to celebrate my mom's 65th birthday

6. Have you ever been in a school play?
Multiple plays on another continent. None around here.

7. How many kids do you want?
Four please--or however many the universe sends to us

8. Type of music you dislike most?
Country. That was easy.

9. Are you registered to vote?
Duh. Do you know anything about me?

10. Do you have cable?
Low-grade cable so we pay a little bit and get no channels we enjoy which is fine because we're not supposed to be watching it anyway, right?

11. Have you ever ridden on a moped?
Not sufficiently big-girl friendly, if you catch my drift.

12. Ever prank call anybody?
Once drunk dialed a ridiculous hetero boy who simply could not even see the gorgeous woman-friend of mine right in front of him.

13. Ever get a parking ticket?
If by "ever" you mean today then no, I am proud to say.

14. Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving?
I do think bungee jumping looks fun. Not unlike how I think dropping a little acid might be fun. Just not in the life I am currently living.

15. Furthest place you ever traveled?
Furthest from where?

16. Do you have a garden?
Yes. And a loving Mexican who lovingly toils therein.

17. What's your favorite comic strip?
like all good lesbians I am addicted to DTWOF. I also enjoy some Jennifer Camper (how could I resist a queer arab comic?) and then there's Erika Lopez.

18. Do you really know all the words to your national anthem?
Are you shitting me?

19. Bath or Shower, morning or night?
I do best showering at night.

20. Best movie you've seen in the past month?
Anything other than Pan's Labyrinth

21. Favorite pizza topping?
Ricotta cheese & fresh basal

22. Chips or popcorn?
Popcorn as long as it comes with an artery-clogging topping

23. What color lipstick do you usually wear?
Don't wear any. And, yes, I am a femme.

24. Have you ever smoked peanut shells?
Wow, that's a weird question. Is that what the young 'uns are doing these days? No.

25. Have you ever been in a beauty pageant?
Ask me that question face to face

26. Orange Juice or apple?
Not from concentrate either is divine.

27. Who was the last person you went out to dinner with and where did you dine?
"dine" does that imply non-drive through food?
we did stop at sonic to celebrate the purchase of our new car.

28. Favorite type chocolate bar?
Kit Kats are yummy but I don't normally like candy bars.

29. When was the last time you voted at the polls?
Last november. I voted for anyone not a republican.

30. Last time you ate a homegrown tomato?
Yesterday!! Thanks to Scully!

31. Have you ever won a trophy?

32. Are you a good cook?
Depends on what I'm cooking. Haven't had any cases of food poisoning attributed to me.

33. Do you know how to pump your own gas?
What kind of question is that? Yes. I even know how to pry open the gas cap since the pully is broken. But it's not broken on my new car!!

34. Ever order an article from an infomercial?
No although I came close to getting some cooking appliances in Mexico. I didn't even understand the words on the infomercial.

35. Sprite or 7-up?
Diet 7-up. Only if I'm sick or pregnant (or god save me, sick and pregnant)

36. Have you ever had to wear a uniform to work?
I worked at KFC for 7 days. It was, in fact, the uniform that did it for me.

37. Last thing you bought at a pharmacy?
I think the aforementioned diet 7-up

38. Ever throw up in public?
Sure. Sometime.

39. Would you prefer being a millionaire or find true love?
Scully, I didn't think this was either/or. I've been tricked!

40. Do you believe in love at first sight?
Love, the noun, can start at first sight. Love, the verb, has to go a lot farther.

41. Can exes be friends?
Will I lose my lesbian status if I say FOR THE LOVE OF G*D, NO!!!!

42. Who was the last person you visited in a hospital?
Scully's Dad three years ago.

43. Did you have a lot of hair when you were a baby?
I think so

44. What's your all time favorite Saturday Night Live Character?
Sure don't watch snl

45. What was the name of your first pet?
Pepper, my dog who was (surprise) black

46. What is in your purse?
God, do you want to know? Tweezers, ipod, wallet, receipts, a pen, my phone, gum, keys and (shamefully) no pictures of my family.

47. Favorite thing to do before bedtime?
I would say something suggestive but if I get to "do" anything before bedtime it is likely to be blogging (what I'm doing now before bedtime)

48. What is one thing you are grateful for today?
So much gratitude for my family, the people i love and being so well loved.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

As promised, Cuentos de Monterrey


We have just returned from tia josefina's house where the figs were amazing. Literally picked off the tree in the back courtyard. So fresh that milky sap was still coming off the branch. It was really amazing. I only wish I could have flirted with Scully as I bit the soft skin and tender flesh of the fig. Instead I worked a different kind of love magic and gave Khubz a whole fig, freshly washed. It still smelled like leaves and sky.

She loved it. She loved it.

Her mouth opened with great expectations and her two bottom teeth pierced the fig. It was all over. I couldn't give her fig fast enough. I'd bite off a small piece and she would practically take off my finger trying to gobble down fig. The other figs looked on pitifully, knowing their time was near an end. I'm sure they saw Khubz--vampire teeth on top, bunny teeth on the bottom--and only wished the birds had gotten to them first.

Tia Josefina has a granddaughter Paola. If my Uncle Faisal was ever reincarnated as a 10 year old Mexican girl, he would be Paola.

She also reminded me of Darla from finding Nemo. She was very exuberant with Khubz--almost treating her like a toy. I heartily dislike Paola, even though I know that it is not her fault. So I was rude and followed her all over the house refusing to let her play with Khubz unless I was right there. I was shameless. Oh well.

Sounds in Monterrey

  • Music. Not that there really are Mariachis on every corner. But there are TVs everywhere playing movies about Mariachis, reality shows with wanna-be Mariachis, tribute shows for famous-now-gone Mariachis. I mean it. Also on TV: Beyonce getting on it with Shakira.

  • Church bells. All over. For real.

  • Metal doors. The large gates in the courtyards and also the interior hollow metal doors. They squeek and heave in the humidity. They remind me of Ha'il.

  • Fans. Ceiling fans, standing fans, fans built into the window. Glorious, blessed, life-saving fans.

  • Horns. Drivers honk to let people walking in the street know a car is coming. There are also lots of beep-beeps from cars waiting outside to pick someone up. Then there are the honk-honks (or sometimes ring-ring of a bell) from vendors selling paletas, enormous cups of cut fruit, candy, lots of things.

  • Great guffaws of laughter. These come from Tia Rosy, Grace and Scully. They are hilarious. I love that we're staying here and that they are so wonderful.


I am in the room that Grace and Tia Rosy share. This is the room we have been staying in. There's a large fan by the window catching occasional gusts of cool air from outside. This is like a parting gift from Monterrey itself.

There are two twin beds in here. One is buttressed up against a wall--perfect for me & Khubz so we only need to guard one side. Early on in our visit Scully had asked if we could move the mattresses on the floor so we could all three sleep together. This is Khubz' favorite sleeping composition. She loves to be the filling in a mommy sandwich. Tia Rosy's response? Claro que si. We've spent all our nights like this together. Very nice

This room also has a private bathroom with a shower. This is unspeakably luxurious. We have showered about 7 times a day as a way of cooling off from the 98 degree weather. Cooling off is essential to getting any sleep as well. The shower is a walk in, so we've just been taking turns showering while holding Khubz. There's a window to the outside waaay at the top. The frosted glass reminds me of arabia.

Despite the two knobs, the shower comes with one temperature setting: cold. There are slight variations. For example, if someone in the house flushes a toilet or rinses a spoon we get particularly cold water instead of just cold water. The five seconds of reliable warmth were provided by Khubz herself who, upon feeling the cold water or the particularly cold water, would pee all over herself and whichever mommy was holding her while showering.

The fact that Khubz has done this each and every single time we've showered makes me think long and hard about the baths that Khubz & I have taken together. I can no longer cling to my denial. I'm sure she peed on me. Every single time.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

How was Monterrey?

this good
every day

every single day

Monday, July 2, 2007

Blogging from Monterrey

hola desde monterrey nos da mucho gusto a mi mama y a mi que nos acompa├▒aran estos dias, fue un placer tenerlas con nosotros y sobre todo que nos hayan dado la oportunidad de haber conocido a esa hermosa princesita que es lupita, las queremos mucho y saben que aqui tienen su casa y esperamos que las proxima vez que las veamos, (espero que sea muy pronto), no sea para estar en monterrey, si no que ojala nos vallamos a CANCUN...

las queremos mucho y las vamos a extra├▒ar!!!
grace y rosy.