Monday, March 31, 2008

Feel Like Crying This Morning?

A good cry.

A here's my sustaining moment of hope cry.

I had some moments of questioning when I was pregnant with Khubz. What if my babychild is a boychild? I won't actually share the actual questions because some of them make me cringe now.

All that is to say, I don't have those same questions now. Khubz helped teach me that. MajPaj helped teach me that. And Noise, Umm Noise & Abu Noise have helped teach me that.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

green means go

Originally uploaded by elementalPaul
We did it. We ordered our first batch of brevelle. We are picking the donor tonight. I have constant dreams of my son (or daughter or child--we will welcome anyone the universe brings but I am sure we will have a boy child.) Inshallah, inshallah, we will get to meet the next member of our family & soon. inshallah.

Btw, I am also thinking constantly of being pregnant with a few choice women who are also constantly thinking of being pregnant. (wink, wink) You know who you are.

Fertile thoughts to all who want them!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

SOS and a quick Q & A

Signs of Spring
in texas

Q: How do you know you're in texas?

Q: Is it really spring?

Q: What is an " 'abayyo?"

Q: Can Khubz really manage a manual?

Q: How does Khubz manage to balance Islam & Catholicism?

Q: What does a fruitfemme wear out to the ranch when flying a kite?

Did Khubz find enough eggs?

Q: What's do you get when you fill empty egg shells with confetti and good-naturedly smash them on the heads of your in-laws?

Q: How will you teach Khubz that she is as holy as springtime?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

in love

Originally uploaded by Pieter Pieterse
Scully out of no where starts talking about this dream she had where she was surrounded by tomato plants. There were red ripe tomatoes everywhere. And then she breaks out of her dream story to look me right in the face and says, "I mean, think about it. The symbolism of a *tomato*." There was a pause so we could both drink in the vast symbolism.

I can't believe I am married to a woman who says things to me like, 'think about the symbolism of a tomato.'

"I love you. I fucking, fucking love you." was the only reply I could manage.

Friday, March 21, 2008

weekend vids

Hooray for Sudy! The ending is completely hillarious. Here she is:

And check this out as well. (with thanks to Questioning Transphobia) Again, laughing, laughing, laughing. Some large generalizations, sure. But still plenty more laughing. . .This actually made me think of someone at work. . . some of you may be able to guess who???? (hint: she's not trans, she *is* a dumbass!)

bloom where you plant yourself

spring is good.
spring is very, very good.
happy equinox!


it would go something like this

sick yesterday off to texas tomorrow for the rebirth of jesus headache today lots of training this last week not bad pretty good some parts went quite well really throbbing headache really found out that stickers can be worth $600 if they're on your prescription for crazy woman juice the whole afternoon was spent training on sexual assault makes me feel fragile and mad and crazy i am unbelievably excited about spending the next 4 days with my woman and my daughter unbelievably excited about seeing so much of Scully and having us together as a family with her family really pretty amazing really haven't been out & about in the blogosphere lately can't wait to catch up Grandma got Khubz a wagon & she loves it & I assembled it (totally proud of my tool-wielding, femme self) time to go take some Tylenol pick up my girl and love her and love her and swing her around we are so going to try on my next cycle crazy woman juice is on its way $3000? no problem i am ready for my baby now

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


fruit basket
Originally uploaded by Umang Dutt
there are
rough skin

a blemish

now & then

it's not all
glistening flesh
sweet juice
firm bites

sometimes it is
good enough
it is not

Monday, March 17, 2008


Happy white people culture day.

I have some catch ups & random stories. . . here goes

Happy belated birthday to albert einstien and pi

Majpaj came to visit us over the weekend & brought his parents & grandma! It was lovely to see them but wasn't exactly the weekend we had expected.

Khubz declared that my sister Joe (MajPaj's mom) shall ever after be referred to as "Tia Lila" I will never be done calling her this. Joe gets all the best nicknames from the kiddos. My Mom gave Joe the nickname "Jolly" when she was a baby. My niece Dax proclaimed that Joe was "Yaya" and now she's "Tia Lila." I love the lilt in that & I love that my daughter has a nickname for my very beloved sister.

Thursday day included several phone calls to confirm the visit. Khubz was up all night coughing, I disclose. MajPaj puked earlier today but has since acted fine, Joe replies. Both our kids are sort of half sick--let's see each other anyway! They were coming!

They got there late, late Thursday night. Khubz was asleep in the playpen in our room. They tried to put MajPaj down in Khubz's room and it was different & scary & so his parents slept on the hardwood floor to help him calm down. He talked to them for hours. My mom & I were in the living room (Scully & Khubz were asleep upstairs in our room) and could hear MajPaj upstairs. He'd quiet down and we'd think, he must have passed out. Then "maMA! daDA!" hilarious.

That night Khubz joined us early in the bed. She's got a cold or is teething or something and has lots of mucus she's dealing with. So she wakes up coughing constantly and that night she coughed, coughed, coughed and vomited. All over me, Scully and our bed. Bleckhhh.

We get her cleaned up, we get cleaned up, the bed is cleaned up and we are all back in bed in under 30 minutes. Because we are tired.

Despite the difficult night, Khubz & MajPaj had a great time together. MajPaj is always happy to see me simply because I am an indicator that Khubz is around. When he saw me the next morning he asked, "Baby?!" He is talking so much with lovely gems like "iuvyou" and "awwright." We were reading a book called Quiet/Loud and got to the birdies are quiet/airplanes are loud page. "What does a birdie say?" I asked inviting the "cheep" I was used to Khubz saying. "KAW! KAW!" MajPaj replied excitedly. We were having a good time.

Suddenly, without any warning, MajPaj vomits up a morning worth of milk. Luckily it was in the kitchen (easiest place to clean it up) but unfortunately, all over him. No worries. Clean him up. Start the second laundry load of eau de vomit.

In the face of all this vomit, the kids feel fine. They are surprised by vomiting and then get cleaned up and carry on with the matter at hand: having a blast together. Things seem okay. We get through naps which were unusually short and decide it's time to go to the P.a.r.k.

We get to the park (dubbed "Maya's park" by Khubz who insists our friend Maya will appear whenever we go there.) It was midday Friday so we didn't expect anyone else to be there but there were two very politely attired white women with their kids over in the big-kid section of the park. We help grandma get to the park bench over the very nice & very expensive recycled rubber pieces that make up the ground of the "soft park." There were giggles, guffaws, delighted squeals as they followed one another down the slides, around the poles and through the tubes. And then, in front of those very thin, white women in their 100% cotton floral print dresses, MajPaj begins to vomit. A lot. I hold my sweater out for him to vomit in. And he does. A lot. Then, after filling my sweater with vomit he coughs and dashes off to continue playing. Joe and I look down. I am covered in vomit. And so is the soft park.

What do you do? There's no way to clean the rubber pieces--we don't have any water. Those white women are staring at us. Their freshly applied lipstick disappeared as they pressed their lips together in a thin line. I am covered in vomit which makes me pretty close to vomiting myself. I pull my sweater off. Even my dress has vomit on it. Joe catches her son and takes off his coat, wipes him off. I pull up what I can of the rubber material to throw it away & kick at the rest, trying to cover up the vomit.

"I have to go." We have just gotten here. Khubz chanted "parque? parque?parque!" the entire way here. Both the children begin to freak. But it doesn't actually matter, see, because I am covered in vomit in front of two very thin white women.

We get home. I get in the shower and then start the third laundry load of vomit covered clothing. Joe calls her doctor. They are going to leave that night and take MajPaj to the doctor the next day. He has been vomiting every day for several weeks. They thought it was all the problems with his ears. He had tubes put in on Monday but the vomit continues. (their doc thinks all the antibiotic killed off the good bacteria in his stomach or he may be lactose intolerant.)

We go on to have a nice day together and no one else vomits on me. MajPaj and his parents leave for iowa and Grandma stays with us. My mom's disability prevents her from driving so I will drive her up on Sunday, stay a couple hours and then return.

This post is getting waay too long. Here's the rest summed up: Khubz puked all over her bed and then all over me on Saturday night. I showered and started vomit laundry load number four. The next day I took my mom to ia while Scully took Khubz to the doctor. She's fine ( I guess) they said she either had a cold or she's teething, so no new news.

It was an entirely surreal but still fairly lovely (if vomit filled) weekend.

All the laundry is done.

I loved having my mom here (and MajPaj & co as well)

Khubz loves having family around. Because she can vomit and her mommy still doesn't get crispy.

There is so much more I wanted to post about. Here's my reminder for later:

  • Where do you feel silenced? Really?? Silenced?
  • How & why to hold on to people
  • wagoneering

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Break Up

National Public Radio and I are not exclusive, but we have been going steady for a good long time. I know NPR sees a lot of people. And I'm not lonely-- Democracy Now! is more like my primary lover when it comes to media outlets. But NPR and I have a nice, stable relationship. We each have our own rooms. We see other people. We travel a lot together along I-35 and I-70. We wake up together except when Scully puts a Selena CD into the alarm clock/radio. So. . . no monogamy. But dependably together at some point each week & usually each day. Think nice, reliable, friendly sex.

So what the fuck is this about?

This photo montage to women enduring the shame of their husbands? Politely titled "Spouses in Scandal" on the website but "Standing By Their Men" when you open the gallery?

Let's walk through why our attention is being focused on this (& no, I don't actually think it is more evidence of a cultural/media plot against Hillary Clinton proving--proving!--that sexism is so much worse than racism. But is it sexism? Sure)

I hear all the time from westerners about how arab/middle eastern/non-western/two-thirds world women experience "honor crimes" because the culture (all one culture, you know) holds women responsible for upholding the community's honor & essentialized values.

So what is the point of that photo gallery?

A demonstration project of women as the platform for shame, pity, disgust, humiliation and dishonor.

oooohh, can you imagine the shame? another man! a prostitute! how humiliated she must be? my god, i just, i don't know what i would do. i don't know how she can stand there next to him. . . . . . . . .

It just feels so dishonest, so jerry springer, so needless. What are we supposed to gleam from looking at these pictures of men--and "their women"? Are we supposed to look at those pictures and deconstruct the ways this culture expects women to civilize men, shore up their dignity, connect them to state-sanctioned family structures so they aren't running wild or having secret liaisons with men in airport bathrooms? Are we supposed to look at "these women" who utterly failed in their highest social obligation to put forth a pretty image of a happy family?

I don't have any idea why that gallery was up there or what anyone is supposed to do with it.

Hmpf. I know I'll be back. But NPR? You're on the couch for now.

Elsewhere in the blogosphere

There is buzzing, ranting, raving and a great deal of moralizing re: Elliot Spitzer. You don't need to read me pontificating here. Instead, go check out Bound Not Gagged. Lots of great posts, very worth the listen.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Dawn!!

Best. Cake. Evar.
Originally uploaded by Don Solo

This is as close as I should actually get to a birthday cake.

Head over to Growing a Pair and drop her a happy birthday!


Shining starfruit..
Originally uploaded by jay chef

Khubz & I got up super early today. Scully is still in boston & I am definitely used to a two-mommy morning routine.

I had already rsvp'd for carpool (which leaves at 7) when it occured to me that I would be dropping Khubz off at daycare (she usually is dropped off at 7:15.)

So I was up at 5:45 and even got to shower because Khubz was all sleepysleepy in our bed. The girl was great. No fighting when I combed through her hair. No crawling away when changing her diaper. First breakfast (she has second breakfast at daycare) was a banana. Not oatmeal which gets poured down her shirt or mashed in to her hair. But manageable, fairly tidy banana.

Shoes on, jacket on, lunch bag packed (she has a little purse that she likes to carry her lunch in, because, you know, I *am* still neurotic about her food) and out the door-in the carseat. All of this was done to get us to daycare at 6:42.

It was dark. We could see the stars. Khubz thought I was nuts but went along with me anyway.

We found the early drop-off room & Khubz did okay as I was leaving.

A good time to say that daycare, in general, is going well. We had parent-teacher conferences yesterday & Khubz is on track with all of her milestones.

I talked with the teacher about inclusivity. (Did I tell you all that she moved out of the one year old room and into the toddler room? New teacher, new room, many old friends--especially her best friend Funk.) I was less interested in my actual question, "how do you plan for inclusivity. . . what do you do for "mother's day" etc." and more interested in how she responded to me. She was very responsive & thoughtful & I felt reassured. I don't think our conversation is over (it's also a conversation about resources--what books they have/don't have etc.) but I at least feel like we have a platform for the conversation. So that is a very good thing.

I often hear people say that she is so young & kids don't even notice that stuff at this age. I don't buy it. She may not notice that she has two moms and someone else has a mom & dad. But she should see her family reflected in the world around her, especially at daycare--her first public sphere. She does notice that. And Scully & I certainly do.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Breathe. Breathe.

Well the universe conspired against us and we did not make it to iowa. In addition to the already listed hideous ailments up north there is also some sort of fast-moving viral stomach flu that has already hit 4 in the tribe. And then there's snow covered interstate.

It all added up to. . . Okay, I guess we'll stay home. Luckily, we're lining up some dates so I shouldn't feel too sorry for myself this weekend (Scully will be out of town at a conference & that's usually my cue to get out state. Just won't work out this weekend.)

So breathe. Breathe.

Khubz & I are having a ball today. We went to toddler gym. We read Moobaalalala (over & over again.) We played pillow where I scoop her into a pillow case & swing it around my head (an exaggeration--sort of.)

For lunch I'm making pancakes because they were a hit on Tuesday & I didn't want to do anything more complicated. She's puttering around, talking & playing. She goes into the living room & suddenly gets quiet. This usually means she's either pooping or "reading" a book to herself. I decide to take a peek, all the while thinking I should capitalize on the moment & get the pancakes whipped up.

She has opened the door to the basement.
The basement with a steep wooden staircase straight down.
No railing (as if that would matter)
And solid concrete floor at the bottom.

I panicked. Screamed her name and ran to her. Please don't run. Please don't startle. Please don't think Mommy is playing a game. Just don't move!!

She froze.


I grabbed her & slammed the door shut & then actually locked the baby-proof lock (we didn't think she could reach it so we weren't using it!)

I then proceeded to sob & grip her against my chest.
Breathe. Just breathe.
Khubz is. You should too. Just breathe.

Okay. Okay.

She's napping now. I descended the steep stairs into the basement so I could get this story out of my shoulders & chest (still knotted with fear.) While I am down here, I'll also start measuring for a rubber floor we can lay down. Scully? You didn't have any other plans for our tax return, right?


Happy Birthday Basket!

Yeehaw! My Blog turns one today!

Has it been a year? And I've kept up with it? Yea me!
Because it is my blog's birthday and it is also "women should brag about themselves more" day here is a hit list of posts I read whenever I am reassuring myself that I should keep writing. Feel free to browse. Would you like to revisit the. . .

I love blogging & am thrilled by the things I've read, written, heard & learned in the last year. Thanks for reading!

So happy birthday, Fruit Basket!

here's a present to my blog:

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Back to storytime

Random storytime, however. I suppose anything is better than my failed attempts at whoring my blog.

First story: Bring the Funk! Bring the Noise! Bring the Bread! (Khubz)

We got to party with Funk & Noise Tuesday night. This was even better than our previous party. I benefited from the lessons learned during that previous party, the calming,soothing & reassuring presence of Noise and the improved adult/child ratio (yea Scully!)

Abu Funk & Noise dropped Funk off with Scully (they had just come from a dr. apt. and Scully was already home) She was not thrilled to be dropped off at the home of the absconders without her brother, without even Khubz there to reassure her that we don't eat toddlers.

I was not far behind after picking up Noise & Khubz from daycare. Everything got better once Noise arrived. Funk was thrilled to see her brother. Her relief was palpable. And as long as he stayed in her eyesight, she had a great time.

Chocolate chip pancakes for dinner! I decree. "Oatmeal!" Replies Funk. "O'meeaal" Khubz chimes in (Khubz would gladly eat oatmeal three times a day, every day.) Um. . . Okay. I had spent the trip back from daycare telling Noise that we'd be having chocolate chip pancakes. Easy enough. The girls get oatmeal & Noise gets a stack of chocolate chip pancakes. "Where's my oatmeal?" He asks.

Three amazing children sat on the red blanket in the living room (an indoor picnic, if you will) happily eating oatmeal. Unreal. Oatmeal. Cinnamon raisin, to be exact.

They did eat some pancakes, cottage cheese, applesauce, animal crackers, green beans (at least three bites) but the main star of the night? Oatmeal.

We had a great time. Giant sheets of paper on the floor for coloring with our toes. Pirate hats decorated with skull/crossbones personally designed by Noise. A pirate ship constructed out of couch pillows. And an endless Simon & Garfunkel sing-along. Ce-ceeeeliaaa! "mah daddy'ssong, mah daddy, mah daddy's" Funk delighted in the the repeat function of the ipod.

What a good time!

Scully took Khubz upstairs for a bath & put her to bed. She wasn't happy going up the stairs when the party was still going on in the living room. But the girl was tired. Tired. She fell asleep 15 seconds after Scully laid her into the crib. She was out.

The kids downstairs bundled up in their jammies with their blankets & settled down on the couch. Umm Funk & Noise also delighted Scully by packing the movie Cars (which Scully had personally requested.) So we were downstairs with the lights low, watching Cars.

Funk was sleepy. Her eyes would start to get heavy and then she would shake the sleepy off, sit up and look over at Noise. Seeing him she would lay back down and her eyes would start to get heavy again.

Noise kept a running monologue of what was happening in the movie, what had just happened, what was going to happen next and then what just now, even as he was talking had just happened! Did you see that? "No, I missed it. Tell me all about it!"

Funk passed out. Noise became sleepy & quiet. Scully crept upstairs to lay down with Khubz who wanted some company. I laid down and watched the rest of Cars until Abu Funk & Noise got there to collect his marvelous & sleepy children.

The next day I checked in with Scully. Four? Still interested in four?
Sure! She tells me. That was a blast. But let's start by getting number two.
Indeed. Lets!

Second story: Everyone in iowa is ill.
I'm coming up this weekend, I announced to my one sister. Great! She replies. I have a couple conditions, I warn her. "The trip may be cancelled if I am sick, Khubz is sick, anyone in iowa is sick, there are any snowstorms in any states that border iowa or if I'm just too damn tired." (yeah right.)

So the weekend approaches. My mom has bronchitis. Sister, K, is still battling walking pneumonia. Joe's husband has strep throat. MajPaj (Khubz's cousin) has vomited every day this week due to a raging ear infection. Dax (another cousin) has scarlet fever--do people still get scarlet fever?? i ask. Sure, it's strep throat with a body rash my mom replies--and Mo (another cousin & Dax's sister) has plain, old, boring strep throat.

Is everybody on antibiotics? I inquire. Um, yes. Great. We're coming up!!

In closing, please don't let this story dissuade you from feeling sorry for me or reduce the amount of sympathy you feel when you read next week that I have come down with some bizarre combination of walking-bronch-scarlet-throat. p.s. any "what were you thinking??" comments will be deleted.

rejection letter

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Fishnets & Fruitjackets

Originally uploaded by digicla

you can tell when
the fishnets are
all for show

no intent behind
the loops and strands
hanging loose


but then there are

such bindings are
not dramatic

& you are sure
as she is

& you wonder,
how exactly would i
unhook all that lace

or maybe just
go through it


right into

the zest

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

gaza today

Olive tree close
Originally uploaded by Laura Bell
olive branches
are not easy whisps of peace
not simple, willowy, bending branches

this tree is hard

tired for being attacked
because she lives & is fruitful

tired that the metaphor of
her own limbs
is used against her

Monday, March 3, 2008

there will be cakes & ale

A weekend of cakes & ale, in fact.

We went on a date. A real date. A put-on-the-Oprah-Bra date. A neither-mommy-has-clothes-with-snot-or-oatmeal-smeared-on-us date. It was great!

Scully was plotting something secretly. Babysitters would be needed Sunday afternoon. I promised not to snoop. I could not help but notice that the local Meatloaf Festival was set for the same time she had specified. She wouldn't. She wouldn't. Not even as a joke, right?

Instead, I was greeted by this sweet lyric Sunday morning.

"What would I do if you refuse to go with me today? Make me a willow cabin at your gate, And call upon my soul within the house; Write loyal cantons of contemned love, And sing them loud even in the dead of night; Halloo your name to the reverberate hills, And make the babbling gossip of the air, Cry out "FRUITFEMME!" O, You should not rest, Between the elements of air and earth, But you should pity me!"

We were going to twelfth night! One of my favorites. Right up there with Much Ado about Nothing and Measure for Measure. Perfect! Just perfect! Here is the text message version of the play for anyone who missed this in 12th grade english.

Our good friends came over about one. Khubz woke up about 1:15 and was shy, sleepy, snuggling into me. One of those times where she is up from her nap but not awake enough to swallow her own saliva so it just puddles against your shoulder where she's resting her head. She kept up the sleepy-time routine until one of our friends uttered the word "pizza."

" 'izza? Mas. Mas. P'ease"

And then it was, "oh, are you two still here?" she looked back at me & scully. Sitting at the table our friends and Khubz all sat around Khubz's glorious plate, full of pizza. "Hey, I've got people over, you know? Friends? Okay? Bye, Mommies. Bye." That was it. She didn't look back.

Scully and I drove to campus, got our tickets and sat in the courtyard until the theatre opened. It was still sunny, fairly windy and there was one more surprise on the way. What is it? "You'll see." When? "Act III."

Act III and out comes Olivia. The coveted beauty of the play. It is one of Scully's students--a friend of ours! She walks on stage. She is a tall, voluptuous latina. She is a gorgeous gordita and the stage is filled with people courting her in iambic pentameter. She comes out in a slip and stockings and lace and heels (the play was set in a New Orleans bordello, 1910) and Scully and I both gasp. "Take THAT Helena Bonham Carter!!" Stunning. She was stunning.

The whole play was well done. Feste was tremendous. We talked about the stage, the physical jokes, the accents, the gender play, the costumes. . . all the way home. We did not talk about poop, bedtime, laundry, dishes and the only time we mentioned schedules was to say we really should go on a date once a month. I'm planning the next one. (stay tuned for details of the mashed potato festival, currently in development)

When we got home we found a truly joyous Khubz. There had been no tears, no fits, no crying, no need for our friends to resort to gas. They played outside on the deck, ate a modest meal of pizza, cheerios, apples, some more pizza, animal crackers and leftover meatloaf after my entry for the festival was refused. There was playing, reading, snacking, giggling, eating of toes, a generous amount of diaper changes (the 2-movements a day girl decided to poop 3 times while we were gone,) a good amount of personal penguining. . . Our friends were tireless in Khubz's endless desire for repetition. While Scully & I were on our date, Khubz was having a date of her own--an equally delightful time and she didn't even have to get all the pinto beans out of her hair. The ultimate proof that she had a great time on her date? 7 o'clock bedtime. That was her idea. This means that Khubz had a really, really great time.

"Ya Khubz, are you ready to take a bath?" She makes the sign for sleep. Walks over to the babygate at the stairs. "Ya?" She asks. Um, sure. We take an abbreviated bath (she really did still have pinto beans in her hair) read through Wake Up, Night only once and she's pointing at her crib. For real. The teeth have been brushed, the pinto beans were largely removed, clean diaper. Um, sure. Okay. We kiss the goddess goodnight and she lays down in her crib. And she's out. For the night.

As for me and Scully? We settle in for an evening with Twelfth Night on VHS, because, in truth, I do have a real thing for Helena Bohnam Carter. And I just love that play.