Tuesday, August 28, 2007

In my defense

Really, it's not like I collect personal information about people coming to the blog. The only cookies I embrace are of the type mentioned by Two Shews. In truth, I wouldn't know how to collect personal information or how to sell it. (although the corporations have been clamoring for a while to get at the massive traffic on my blog. i promise. sort of.)

It is amusing to see what search categories land people here. Key phrases from different posts all get mashed together and suddenly google says I'm a match for someone looking for "dyke bumps with fruit vomit."

So with a curious spirit I noted that someone searched for the famous Somossa Rivolta and landed here. Sure she was googling herself (thank the goddess i'm not narcissistic like that) I checked to see if it was from her town. No. . . .?

Let the mystery begin.

It does feel a bit rude to call someone out on the blog. Really, if you know somossa, you know she's pushy like that. She made me do it.

Guest Blogger: Sommossa Rivolta

I Heart Plano, TX

Ok, no I don't actually.

But it turns out that someone there has found me, or someone else with my exact name, interesting. The reason I know this is because my friend fruitfemme has a site hit counter thing on her blog, and apparently noticed that someone got to her page a couple of times by googling my first and last name with an IP address registered in Plano, TX.

I have thought very hard about every remote connection to Texas that I have. No one of whom I have thought lives in or near Plano-- that I can recall.

I assume I know this person, because of my utter lack of fame or notoriety. Is it someone I know from years ago? Or someone I know currently?

I'm just dying of curiosity. Dying!!! Seriously, I can't stand the mystery. I must have answers. One thing you cannot learn about me from google is that I have no tolerance for ambiguity and unanswered questions.

I do feel a little bit bad. I totally google people I know or don't know all the time. And if I got called out on a blog, I would be a little weirded out. So, I totally apologize to you, mystery friend. Don't feel bad. Everyone does it. Including me, with frightening regularity.

I am a very nice girl. I am hoping that you are very nice and well-intentioned too. If you are, I promise that I will be my usual nice, kind, polite, self if you drop me an email here:

sommossa_crazy at yahoo dot com

Who are you?

Monday, August 27, 2007

What's Equity?

Khubz was asleep and so it was time for the talk.
You know. That talk.

I am committed to mothering with a woman who is in the PhD program. She's working more-than-full time in a more-than-full-time job with plenty of evening obligations. She has deeply held moral beliefs about maintaining low levels of clutter in the house.

It means that we occasionally have a dialogue like this.

Scully: " I know you've had her all day & have things you need to get done, but I have to go to this program tonight. I'm sorry. I feel really guilty and miss you both. I know it's not fair. . ."

FFemme: "Stop. Stop right there. Say that last sentence again." Deep breath. "It just helps me to hear you say it." Exhale.

Now, I am certainly not a card-carrying member of the "Everything should be fair" club. I think the whole idea of "fair" is crap, actually, because it assumes we all have the same needs. Is it fair that I got a new car and Scully didn't. No. Except that my old car was on its way out & her truck is humming along. Is it fair that I have Fridays off and she works Fridays? No. Except that it supports what we both want for our daughter. Is it fair that Scully has a massive amount of reading to do because she is taking two classes both of them research classes? No. Is it fair that she is locked in a basement on a bright sunny day when Khubz and I are upstairs cavorting with soccer balls, Personal Penguins and the wheels on the bus? Is it fair that I am going to reap many benefits of a PhD without ever having to open the chronicle of higher education (unless I'm using it to paper Khubz's pinata?)

Remember that guy who said "Expecting life to be fair is like a vegetarian expecting the bull not to charge at him."

So there is no fair. I don't expect there to be "fair." I do not define equity as "you put the cherub to bed one night. I put her to bed another night." Equity has to have a new meaning: we both do as much as we possibly can and try to take care of this family we have made. Rules for this new definition

  • Stop counting. That pretends that mothering is a series of comparable activities that can be divided up anyway. And it doesn't seem to be.
  • Don't pretend. Acknowledge that things aren't "fair" in ways that work in my favor and in ways that piss me off.
  • Remember that the magic closet isn't magic. Just because I don't see something, doesn't mean it isn't happening. All I see is that the closet always has clean, neatly folded towels in it. I don't see the towels being gathered up, taken downstairs, sorted, washed, dried, folded and put away. All I see there are always towels when I need one. There are all sorts of ways to contribute to our household. Many of those are invisible (especially once they're done.) This is true for the unseen things I do as well as the things Scully does that I don't see.
  • Extend the gratitude. We are grateful to the universe that we have Khubz. We should thank each other more.
  • Believe, for real, that the other person is doing as much as they can. Really. Try. Try really, really hard to give them the benefit of the doubt. When you can't maintain this belief resist the urge to violate rule # 1. Also, resist the urge to be too rule-oriented.
  • Finally, give each other more grace. For when it all goes to hell.

But when I'm tired and when I have been repeatedly vomitted upon for the last three days a small voice, almost like a 3-year-old, wells up inside me. It's not fair! Luckily for both Scully and me, I didn't kick the couch as I had my fit.

Even as I write this Scully has taken our poor child to the doctor. They agreed that she has a low grade fever, running nose and confirmed that the vomit is likely from swallowing so much mucus. With that, they sent them home. "Can't help you. Feel better!"

It seems I'll have to share that "surprised vegetarian being gored by a bull" story with Khubz sooner than I thought.

Life & Politics

Lots of news today:

Gonzales resigns! I'm accepting entries for best one-liner related to this news. So far, the best has been at Daily Kos: Gonzales does not remember resigning. "I have no memory of having submitted such a letter or of having any conversation with the President about anything at all," Mr. Gonzales replied. Or this quote found at the onion from joe schmo on the street: "Congrats, Dirk Kempthorne! You're now my favorite current cabinet member!"

Switching tracks:

Khubz is sick. She woke up Friday with a slight fever and has puked each day since. Scully is taking her to the dr. today because I just can't get puked on one more day in a row. Nights have been really hard. Last night she went to sleep right away but got up to join us in bed around midnight. I'd only gotten to bed myself at 11. She nursed & squawked and, well, you know how that goes.

Despite all that, we had a really nice weekend (pretty much.) We got tons done on Saturday morning, had a great time with friends Sunday morning (they even forgave us for not having orange juice--i daresay I would have held a grudge). The afternoons were a little trying. The evenings were difficult. And it's all okay, right?

Anyway, I hope Scully & Khubz have an okay time of it today. We're supposed to leave for Texas on Thursday night, if Khubz is feeling better.

In other news, I had a short conversation with a coworker this morning about transracial/transnational adoption. The question hinged on whether or not babies had a culturally specific identity. Would the white adoptive parents only have to "deal" with culture in terms of people's racism directed at their brown child? Do they need to do more than teach their child to deflect people's assumptions? Is there something that might make that child inherently Guatemalan or chinese or romanian? Yes, I think so.

I should say that I think adoption in general is fraught with ethical dilemmas. x 10 for transracial/transnational adoption. Without judgement to the adoptive parents and certainly without judgement to the birth mom. If you've been with me for any amount of time you know that I think the fertility industry is fraught with major ethical dilemmas and it didn't stop me from (figuratively and literally) opening my legs to them.

"This is an impossible problem." my coworker said. But for the parents to just shrug off this "impossible problem" that only transfers it to the child, it doesn't resolve it.

So at some point in the conversation I said, "It's not just that the kid is going to have to deal with racism. That's not the sum of her racial identity. Being adopted from Guatemala by white american parents is part of her story. Just like the donor is part of Khubz's story."

It just came out. I didn't mean to say it and I hadn't thought about it quite like that until I said it. And the donor is part of her story. What that means will be up to her. It is a fact of her existence and a fact of our family. It is not a tragedy (just as adoption and abortion are not tragedies--given real consent and choice.) It is part of what brought her to us/us to her.

It is another complexity that deserves our conscious attention and deliberate gratitude.

Well, hell. (sigh) I'll add that to the list.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Vomit, part ii or iii or iv

More vomit.

Much, much more.

To her credit, Khubz looked much more upset about puking on me than she ever had before. It was sort of a slow-motion, marathon vomit. She was nursing and swallowing lots of mucus (again) and sat up looking at me like I'd said "I'm thinking about transitioning to a man" Calm down, folks, this is not meant to shock you with transphobia. it's meant to shock you because of my great antipathy (some would say loathing) of masculinities.

So she had this surprised, confused look on her face. She sunk her chin down into her neck and up came round one of vomit. I'd been nursing (most of the day) and so I didn't have a shirt on.
Try to be a good mommy, I tell myself, and banish both my sigh and my grimace. "You're okay. Are you okay? You're okay. Are you okay?" Each of these was punctuated by another round of vomit from the child. At that point it was a two mommy job.

Scully was downstairs tackling Mt. Laundry so I had to stomp on the floor to get her attention. Classy, I know. Every woman loves to be interrupted while doing laundry by her partner banging on the floor. And every woman is even more overjoyed when she comes up from the basement to find her partner covered, covered in vomit and her infant child still heaving. That same every woman feels completely fulfilled when (once the child is done & wiped down) she gets to return to the laundry with more dirty clothes--especially since these ones had the aforementioned snotty, milky vomit all over them.

Khubz and I plunked down in the bathtub together. We hadn't done this in a while. It was sort of nice because she loves to splash and play in water. I just had to pretend that I wasn't in the tub to wash off vomit and bathe in water that she was likely peeing in. When did I get so squeamish?

Oh well. She cried for an hour and a half before falling asleep. It was awful. I'd rather be vomited on.

(note to future self, don't forget to link to that statement in future vomit-related posts.)

On another note:
The poet of the day is Sonia Sanchez

I'm listening to the Sweet Honey song where she reads this poem over their singing. Marvelous.

I do so much better with poetry.
It is the opposite of a crying baby, a political campaign, horns honking outside or the musak i'm subjected to while being on hold.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

We did it

Khubz will be starting at a new daycare.
It is totally the right decision.
And I am sick about it.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Maybe try this one?

I was having major problems with Google Video. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn't. So I'm trying youtube. Cross your fingers.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Apples & Oranges

What's your decision making process? Mine is usually something like this:
  • Come upon the decision
  • Contact many good women to talk through emotional aspects, consequences, costs, ethics and any other elements that answer the eternal question "what does it mean?"

  • Vacillate

  • Recontact those same good women for additional insights they may have had in the 10 minutes we were off the phone

  • Relay the conversations I've had with each of the good women to the other good women

  • Make a decision. Vacillate. Make a different decision. Change my mind again (maybe twice.)

  • Announce my decision but request grace from the listener for subsequent vacillating

  • Act on my decision while worrying

So motherhood has changed my decision making process somewhat. It's all really the same steps but the steps can happen in any order and the background is an overwhelming amount of anxiety. I really have to find a better way to cope.

We got a call from a daycare center. There's an opening and we're on their waiting list.

It is a block away from our house. A block. We know several parents that take their kids there and all highly recommend it. Good parents. Parents who parent the way I want to parent.

It is a center so there's no casual t.v. or wacky fundy christian radio on in the background. There's a schedule with activities like art, storytime, sign language, regular nap times. The classrooms are divided by age so Khubz wouldn't be in there with 5 year olds who play a different kind of game than she does.

But it's a center so it's not like she's at someone's house. It's an institution, right? A system. Plus we don't know them. We know Trish. And she loves Khubz. Loves her. And Khubz is all love back. And Trish doesn't mind if we're running 10 minutes late. She does evening daycare if I'm traveling & Scully is in class late. She's totally flexible and wonderful about our crazy schedules.

How do you make a decision like this?

And then there are the things that I know should not factor in to our decision making process but that I know already do creep in to my assessment of plus/minus: The daycare center is only one block away from our house. It is $200/month more than what we're currently paying. I don't want to hurt Trish's feelings.

I almost feel like Scully & I have already made our decision and we're just waiting to solidify it. We're going to go meet the lead teacher tomorrow and take another tour of the center. They call everyone on the waiting list and whoever brings in the deposit check first is the one who gets the slot. So there's one way to resolve my endless vacillating. Stay tuned.

How Khubz Savvy Are You?

Don't be scared. There are some trick questions!

  1. Khubz reliably points at a _______ when you say it in Spanish

  2. Lesbian




  3. The word "khubz" means

  4. Foot in Spanish

    Foot in Arabic

    Bread in Spanish

    Bread in Arabic

  5. Who is Khubz's "real mother"?

  6. Scully


    The Goddess

    What kind of question is that, you asshole--don't you read the blog?

  7. When I labored with Khubz

  8. It lasted 52 hours

    It happened 7 days early

    I was 10 minutes away from a C-Section

    All of the above

  9. Khubz' full, real name has ____ syllables in it

  10. 198




  11. Before Khubz was born she was known as

  12. Queerspawn


    Mayor of Wombville


  13. How many states has Khubz traveled to?

  14. 8

    9 (Texas counts twice!)



  15. Which of the following have we not read out loud to Khubz?

  16. Instructions for lowering her crib

    Personal Penguin


    The Well of Loneliness

  17. Khubz will drop everything for

  18. Leche

    The itsy bitsy spider

    A tasty tortuga

    All of the above

  19. Khubz's favorite food is

  20. Cheerios



    Whatever the Mommies are eating (often one of the above)

Good for you! You finished the quiz!

Best post ever!

For real. Just watch.
And then thank Scully.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Well hell again

So I had this pretty funny quiz about Khubz all worked up and then the code broke down or fucked up or something. So enjoy a little bit of someone else's humor.

Friday, August 17, 2007

this is not fucking right

You Are Most Like George W. Bush

So what if you're not exactly popular? You still rule the free world.

And while you may be quite conservative now, you knew how to party back in the day!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Did I tell you?

About last night's vomit?

I hadn't pumped all day long and so Khubz got high-pressure milk when she nursed. A LOT of it. Luckily, she wasn't very hunger for her dinner of pureed peas and oatmeal. This is good because instead of an after-dinner mint she picked up something (ball of lint? one of my long hairs? a stray thread?) that got caught half-way down her throat.

Her survival skills are strong. (Hamidillah)

The projectile vomit hit me, the couch, the carpet and only slightly got on her shirt. She was momentarily stunned. I was more than momentarily stunned. Scully was momentarily entertained until she remembered that some co-workers were expected anytime now and our living room now reeked of vomit, half-digested breast milk and peas.

Khubz, satisfied that the something she had half-swallowed and regurgitated was certainly not the something she was currently picking up and lifting to her mouth, continued her search for dangerous objects left on the floor by her slacker moms.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

If anyone cared

I love stealing ideas. Especially from this blog.

Letters I would write if anyone cared:

Dear uncle bill,

i really wish we would have stopped by at least once. We drove by your town 4 times a year for the last 6 years and I just never stopped. Thank you for stopping by in my dream to meet my daughter. i'm so sorry. i just didn't think it was possible for you to die.

missing your presence in the world, Jannie

Dear Super-wacky, anti-interracial marriage, woman&immigrant&homo-hating evangelists,
please stop wasting paper by jamming your weirdo pamphlets into our front door. Our recycling bin fills up fast enough as it is. My partner already knows jesus and has emergency contact information in case jesus gets lost anytime in the future. As for me? I hate your god.
Sincerely, my soul.
p.s. i go down on women. prayerfully.
Dear hoa supreme overlord,
what is your fucking problem? you think we have more money to pour into your shifty/shitty pockets so you can pay your son $70/hour to mow the grass? don't you know people live in townhouses because they are trying to save what little money they have? if you raise our gddm hoa fee we will be paying 1/4th of our housing costs to satisfy your neverending, ever-escalating appetite. If we did not have to pay your stupid fee (or if you had left your stupid fee at the rate it was when we bought this place) we would have our house paid off 10 years sooner. You are an ass.
sincerely, two women who do, in fact, own a hammer
p.s. that fucking dead squirrel is still in the yard behind our house. i am not picking it up. eventually you or your offspring will have to mow the patch of grass where it is decomposing. if that lawn mower sprays chopped up decomposed squirrel bits on my deck i will personally mail you all the road kill between here and iowa on a monthly basis (along with our check)
Dear white canvas bag with pictures for my in-laws and with Sally's sonicare toothbrush all of which I was supposed to put in the mail,
Where are you??
sincerely, off to print more pictures and buy a toothbrush
p.s. are you with my old debit card? or with my favorite measuring cup? or with my flash drive?
Dear daycare provider,
I am sorry we don't pay you more. Your work is to protect and nurture our beloved. You certainly deserve to be paid more. But we don't pay you more. And so you have to take more kids. And it is unfair of me to grimace when I heard you were taking another infant. But I did. And I can't hardly stand to think about it now. If we could pay you more we certainly would. I am so grateful to know that you love our girl and to feel secure in knowing that you would never hurt her. Even though she is almost one she is still a baby. I don't want her to be one of a gaggle. (unless she was one of a gaggle of brothers & sisters.) The kids she spends all day with are not her family. We are. How can I feel so indebted to you and so entitled at the same time? How can I feel such relief and such resentment? I know this is unfair. I know women are trained to compete, dislike each other, resent one another. I am profoundly thankful to have Khubz and always grateful she is with someone who loves her--even though she should be with one of her mommies.
sincerely, umm-Khubz
p.s. i know that none of this is your fault. i hope you don't think it's my fault either.
Dear Mo,
Please, please, please ditch Sydney. She is a two-timing bitch. You & your neurotic ways deserve better. Remember Hillary? She's got a kid now! Imagine all the anxiety you can channel into being partnered with a woman who has an infant! Endless possibilities!
sincerely, adoring reader
p.s. stay far away from Clarice. Do you hear me??


Dear menses,

Uh. . . WOW. Welcome back! How did that happen?

sincerely, weaning-is-doing-something

p.s. the shedding is a good start. can you mention something to the ovaries about follicle development? just thought I'd ask.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Not yet

I went into hoblobby yesterday and was greeted with cinnamon smells, orange/red/corn yellow colors, felt and straw creations. It was the coming of fall. This was also evident by the entire third of the store dedicated to christmas.

But not yet. Not yet.

It is 109 degrees outside. For real.

I got my pompoms, google eyes and fled.

I am excited about the coming of fall. Khubz's first fall where her awake hours come close to the number of sleeping hours. Her first fall where she will be eating sweet potatoes, acorn squash, pumpkin and pieces of dark molasses bread.

But it is not time yet. We are still sweltering outside. The microwave and the stovetop are still the primary devices of dinner. The hum you hear is the air conditioner--not the heater. We walk in from outside, shake off the sweat and sit far away from any other creature putting off heat from their metabolism. We do not walk in and cuddle up. There is only one thin blanket in the bedroom and it spends most of its nights kicked to the floor.

There is joy in this heat. All the joy sinks in to tomatoes bursting with the taste of sunshine. It is the best manifestation of summer. We should not rush madly towards the fall without reverence for what precedes it. Now go find one of these big boys, beefsteaks or yellow lanterns. Thank them.


Dykes 511 web
Originally uploaded by Alison Bechdel

I follow a couple of soap operas. Dykes to Watch Out For is far and away the most intelligent. C-Span (my other soap) has dialogue that is always so scripted and predictable. Plus the story lines are outrageous.

The DTWOF strip has been a bit of a downer lately (something to do with the country in the strip being locked in an endless war or something.)

But I thought this one was perfect to blog about because Alison Bechdal has reintroduced naked breasts--even if she has a well placed dialogue bubble over Ginger's youknowwhat.

And hey--I've learned how to blog from flickr! Yea new blog tricks!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Since you're here

Given the high rate of people stumbling onto my blog looking for lychee it seemed a shame not to have the info they crave.

If any fruit eludes to it's reproductive role, it is the clever lychee.
It embodies a paradox for each of us: a joyous interior hidden under a rough exterior. A presentation of self designed to test you with an outside public finds distasteful: sometimes bumpy. Sometimes hairy. All manner of colors. A skin that seems unyielding.
Quite like an egg hidden inside. or a jewel. or an orb. a very private sweet spot.
It is the kind of food you would eat only if you already know its mystery.
Once you're inside you will find a light clean taste that makes you feel like you are tasting a secret.

The company you keep

Well have you checked how people get to your blog?

As you read the list below please stay connected to the knowledge that this is funny because of the context. Or should I say, the missing context. Or should I say, the collision of one topic and another minus either's context.

  • Uvula fetish (again)
  • Ableism/women & disablism
  • Paris Hilton child fuck
  • Girl poops in basket
  • Leche fruit (I think they meant to search for lychee fruit)
  • Fruit of jesus
  • She goes boom boom boom
  • Bartertown
  • Flashback story
  • bumps on scalp
  • bumps on uvula
  • stimulate my nipples
  • infant rolled off bed
  • hijab baby

Friday, August 10, 2007

Boobie Nights

We are in the midst of a heat wave. It has been around 100 degrees with a heat index up to 109. This means that upstairs in where our bedrooms are the temp averages 137 degrees. Celsius. This basically means we've been sleeping in the living room all week.

Since it is so blazing hot, we figure this does actually raise our body temperature would could be considered a "fever" and so we've been watching some t.v. (just a bit, don't go getting uptight or emailing me any more adbusteres videos) Quality video like "Sunflower Journeys" showing a local guy who converted his diesel car to run on used cooking oil. Or a show featuring local artists who were creating large scale pieces for the new h&r block building in kc. Or a show exploring questions about whether giant snakes can actually swallow adult humans whole. We stayed far, far away from both Bob the Builder and the Muppet Show.

She just refused to go to sleep last night. I'd be nursing and she'd break away, flinging her body backwards and squawking. Around 11 o'clock I had tried a variety of nursing positions: rocking her in the chair, laying on the couch with her, sitting upright while pretending to not be trying to get her to sleep, laying on the floor while nursing and reaching for the other mommy crashed out on the couch. None of it.

"Khubz! It is time to sleep. The mommies are exhausted. You are exhausted. What is your problem??" It didn't work. She only yelled back. "Meeeaaaaahh."

We went back to the recliner. All the lights were off. I kicked the air down a couple degrees. I started singing the enya song (which I now have on CD thanks to the marvelous Mulder!) We're nursing, we're starting to snooze. Kick the foot rest up on the recliner, now we're reclining. And. . . We're asleep. Asleep. Immediate, medicated-like sleep.


At least, the Mommy was asleep.

Yes, it's true. Khubz faked me out. It took all of 37 seconds for me to pass out in the chair. Khubz heard opportunity knocking. Don't you hear it? Sounds a lot like. . . Oh maybe it is. . . The sound of your infant child climbing down your legs and toppling off the recliner. Yeah. Not a good sound.

I'd like to say that I woke up and caught her.

It would be more accurate to say that I woke up and while trying to catch her, actually knocked her over.

Good times.

Even better, the entire getting-to-sleep routine had to start all over. This time we stayed on the floor.

So how's the weaning going? Let's save that for another post.

When I finally did get to sleep for real I had wicked menstruation dreams. This is not unusual for me. But it's been a while. There's a poem in that dream somewhere.

Anyway, we are off to iowa to leave a Sentra and take an armoire (for the tv no less) This is especially exciting because we can put on some Foyle's War or Red Dwarf, close the armoire doors and just have the audio. This is perfect.

More later.

Friday, August 3, 2007

what's in your head?

This song. Regularly sung to my child like a lullaby or a sesame street song. Nevermind that it's about plastic pleasures.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Tightwad heros

I have many. One of them is my sister, Joe. She is getting ready to put her house on the market so she & her husband & her 1 yo son can move into a 2 bedroom apartment & save money. Because they don't want their son in daycare. This means that she is putting together a birthday party for a one year old on $23. They don't have long distance on their phone. They share one cell phone. They are a one car household. (this means her husband is home with their son and no way of escaping or running to the store etc.) They don't have cable. And their diet is largely organic food. I have no idea how they do this. Unfortunately, she's stopped updating her blog so I can only show her off with an old post.

They don't think we're evil, or anything, for putting Khubz in daycare. But they don't believe in it for their son. I don't believe in it for my daughter--except it really is the best option for my family right now. Don't worry, I'm in touch with my cognitive dissonance.

We want to have more kids, inshallah, and I need really, really good insurance when we're trying to get pregnant. The insurance I have at my current job is excellent and I have an amazing amount of flexibility in terms of my work schedule. All this is to say that I don't usually feel beaten down by daycare guilt on a daily basis anymore. But I do feel like we need to maximize our savings while we're a two income family.
So what are our actual numbers? I know this is "tacky" but remember that women have been taught not to talk about money and never to tell each other the truth. I post this in the name of economic justice! (also, i know that public declarations help shore up someone's resolve when they feel themselves slipping. i'm not about to list my weight so you'll all have to suffer through our budget.)

  • 3600 : income after taxes/withholding/medical insurance
  • 775: mortgage + stupid hoa fee which they're threatening to raise--bastards.
  • 190: gas, water, electric (huge utility bills for an interior townhouse! Mostly because I am a sucker about running the airconditioning and we really, really need new windows to be well insulated)
  • 200: landline (why do we still have this, Scully?), 2 cell phones, DSL
  • 30: basic, crappy cable
  • 500: daycare (how can something that costs so much pay so badly?)
  • 250: my new car
  • 200: our new car insurance bill
  • 300: student loan repayment
  • 250: gas & tolls (this incl. a monthly ia trip and semimonthly trip to tx)
  • 100: tx loan repayment
  • 200: savings
  • 250: household goods (if it's not parchment paper, it's toilet paper or computer paper or toothpaste or buttpaste or--god save us--diapers)
  • 280: groceries. This is high for a family of two adults and an infant but we're trying to buy organic including the very pricey organic meat. And I am a sucker for beautifully merchandised fresh foods. It does also budget for eating out one meal a week.

This leaves us $75 a month if we're doing everything right.

It's not bad because the above numbers on the loans are our goals, not always our actual minimum payments. So we have some emergency wiggle room if desperately needed. It includes an additional $75 towards our house, an extra $100 on my car all trying to get our debt ratio down. It also has savings built in. So where's our cash at the end of the month?? (sigh)

To assist me with my perspective:

  • TANF benefit for a family my size = $ 429/month

  • Minimum wage in Kansas = $ 5.15/hr or $892/month

Then there's some additional perspective:

  • KS Powerball payout next week = $ 123,000,000.oo

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

announcing. . .

The fully registered domestic partnership of the Fruitfemme y Scully!

It was so romantic. “Will you domestic partner registry me?” I asked her sweetly one day. And, yes, she said “yes.” A thousand times, yes.

At last the day has arrived. She opened up the webform. I listened to her click on the keyboard. Then finally we came to the button “submit.”

Submit? I frowned. That’s not what I’m signing up for!

“Submit the information.”

Oh—okay, then. Scully hit the submit button.

The emailed confirmation pronounced us registered with the city of Lawrence.

I feel more respectable than ever.

Not a bad way to celebrate the lamas/harvest festival, eh?

I love Lawrence!

Happy Lamas!

Check this out for more happy stories.

Flashback: hsg test

How did I get on this pre-pregnancy/pre-Khubz nostalgia kick? I don't know. I've received some complaints (ahem, aMcK) so I'll be offering full refunds for dissatisfied customers.


is a test to check out the shape, size and condition of my uterus & fallopian tubes. They do this by inserting a straw through your cervix (in this case, through my cervix.) They then insert and inflate a balloon, next a "contrast medium" (dye) is inserted.
before you can get to all this, though, you have to get past the nursing school student. She showed Scully and I to a little cubby and gave me one of the luxurious hospital gowns. Then she had some standard questions: date of birth, first day of my last period, have I had sex since my last period? 11/76, Nov 9th, yes.
oh, she says. She'll have to check with the doctor.
Here's what happened next.
me: but i do absolutely know i'm not pregnant. Is it about pregnancy?
her: but you can't really know. how can you be sure?
me: i don't have sex with men.
her. oh.
actually, it was more like this: oh. oooooohhhhhh. . . . really?? (with a squeak at the end.)
Scully then helped smooth things out. Standing in the corner with her arms straight at her sides: helloooo. (waiving her hand at the nurse) he-helloo. i'm her partner.
hilarious. i can't even convey it well in words. it really did improve my day.
Once we were actually in the exam room we were told that Scully couldn't stay in the room. This was upsetting because I knew it was going to be uncomfortable & i was just kind of scared. She couldn't stay, though, because use radiation. (it is basically an x-ray.) So she assumed her post right outside the door.
The actual nurse came in and explained the procedure to me. That's all good even though I knew they were lying about the "it feels just like menstrual cramps." Then this male nurse came in and he looked strangely familiar. Hey! He was on the local channel 6 cooking show and he made pumpkin flan with Carmel topping! It looked super yummy too.
The woman nurse says he's here to observe the explanation but not the actual test. okay. okay. So I sign the required waivers for the test. One small comment is made about taking my vitals. Suddenly, three people have their hands on me. The nurse sticks a thermometer under my tongue. The guy puts some meter on my finger. The student is trying to put a blood pressure sleeve on my arm. Ah! There are too many people and I am too freaked out. I pulled the thermometer out of my mouth. There are tears in my eyes and I am freaked.
"I want no unnecessary people in the room during the test" I say why looking right at the guy. The woman nurse reassures me. "We know this is very personal. It will only be the Dr, me and the student." Poor male nurse leaves, taking his pumpkin flan with him. We are waiting for the dr. and I ask them to let Scully come back in until he comes. The student must have just finished her chapter in "there there"ing patients and was trying to comfort me.
No. Don't touch me unnecessarily. Just let my woman back in the room.

Scully comes back in and I immediately began to feel better, though still scared.
The dr (Dr. Orth, a man with gorgeous blue eyes but rather large hands) comes in and explains the procedure. I'm glad Scully got to hear him explain it. Also, he didn't make any stupid cramp comparisons. So then Scully had to leave. She said she stood right outside the door with her arms crossed. She also said she heard them lock the door behind her.
And while Scully was assuming the position outside, I was assuming the position on the table. I had never had any kind of pelvic exam done by a man and I was seriously alarmed. I did have Kirsten's voice in my head: by the time you're actually in labor everyone has already seen all your stuff anyway.
The most painful part was when they were getting all of the equipment in place--inside me.
They scrubbed my cervix clean (squeaky clean) and then just pushed right up on through it.

I often like to think of my cervix as a

or a

but on this particular day it was more of a

or a

In the end it all felt like

Apparently I deal with discomfort by adding qualifiers to my sentences. During the initial push into my vagina I was really hurting and expressed it this way. "Ah, okay, that's really, pretty extremely painful." The dr asked for some direction. Was it more painful on the right? the left? Again, a push. "Ah, I'm really not able to explain it. It's just a sharp pain--feels sharp actually, pretty seriously just extremely painful." They had to stop and start all over again. Again Kirsten came to mind this time talking about how many women in labor wind up shitting on the table. hahahahah! And I relaxed a little thinking of Kirsten and also of Scully's earlier "helllooooo."

Once everything was in place it wasn't as painful. I had taken some aleve earlier and I didn't cramp up when they inserted the dye. I am glad they told me to expect "drainage" and told me that they dye was orange. The dr said everything looked perfect. I remember thinking that his eyes were really blue. They should get the actual report out to the fertility clinic next week.