Friday, June 25, 2010

Suck on this

I read two very interesting posts on the eternal and mind-numbing breastfeeding debate this week. The first was from Her Bad Mother, suggesting that it may be high time we embrace the breast as a symbol of sexiness and as a source of nourishment, instead of engaging in a neverending cycle of "nursing-shaming" and retaliatory "slut-shaming." ("Ew, nursing! Boobs are gross!" / "Nursing isn't gross but your epic cleavage is, you whore.") The second was a response by Carolyn Castiglia over on Babble, in which she discusses the difficulties she had nursing and the embarrassment she felt when she needed to nurse in public. I didn't open the comments on HBM's post, but I did on the Babble post, at which point my common sense utterly deserted me and I decided to leave a comment of my own, admitting that I do feel a bit embarrassed about nursing in public and telling a very short version of Nico's nursing story.

After that, a few self-styled experts took it upon themselves to anonymously inform me that I didn't read anything about babies before I had one, to imply that I let my baby scream in his bassinet in the hospital, and to assure me that if I'd held him enough / fed him often enough / not made excuses / understood what he was really crying about (i.e. not hunger), then nursing would've been easy and natural and perfect for me. Well hot damn, anonymous commenters! It's too bad I didn't have your infinite wisdom at my disposal when my baby was wasting away. Oh, wait. The doctors were wrong about that. He wasn't wasting away, or hungry, because a mother's body not having enough milk to sustain the baby is just a myth. Clearly those commenters are right and (I quote) "people very obviously do not know their babies." I think the richest part of all is that I'm doing what they insist every mother should -- exclusively breastfeeding my baby -- but they're still ragging on me for not doing it fast enough.

All this is a long intro to me saying, look, after reading the original two posts I had planned to write a thoughtful post of my own about breastfeeding. But I'm sick of talking about it and figure I've been insulted enough by people who know more than me for one day. Instead, how about some five-minute book reviews? That sounds better, right? At least with those, no one can accuse me of not reading anything!

Visit the book blog for my quick and dirty reviews of the following books: Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, Angels, Vampires, and Douche Bags by Carla Collins, The Map of True Places by Brunonia Barry, The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, and The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Reading:  His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik

Playing:  Drunken Lullabies by Flogging Molly

Photo Friday

View the entire Photo Friday collection on Flickr.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer of love

When the Lady Gaga episode of Glee aired, I finally succumbed to my Twitter-fueled curiosity and watched it. Even though I felt like the vocals in the big musical numbers were rather over-produced, I liked it enough that I set up a series recording for the remaining episodes. My friend bibliophile81 saw me talking about Glee on Twitter, and she put the DVDs of season one on hold for me at the library. I ripped through season one and found it sharper and much funnier than I'd expected. And so quotable! So now I'm totally that obnoxious person going around reciting lines from a show that everyone else geeked out over ages ago. (But seriously, you guys. "Cross over to my side of this black shiny thing." "That's called a piano, Sue.")


When Jonniker started The Book Lushes a few months ago, I was ridiculously excited. I've been waiting forever to be invited to join a book club. (And anyone can join! You should!) I have to say, so far these ladies have not steered me wrong. I skipped the first book, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, because Nico was brand new and I didn't get it from the library's hold list until nearly the end of the month. The second book was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which I liked so much that I immediately checked out and read the sequel and put my name on the list for the third one. I skipped The Year of Magical Thinking because I wasn't feeling up for a book dealing with the mortality of a spouse and child. Next we read Olive Kitteridge, which I expected to merely tolerate and ended up sort of loving. This month we are reading The Red Tent, another one I expected to not like much and really, really enjoyed. I'm so impressed with the Book Lush track record that I went back and got a copy of The Help and started it at work this week. And holy crap, it's soooooo good.

While everyone else was reading The Year of Magical Thinking, I finally got around to reading Watership Down (which my friend Tamsyn has been reminding me to read for years) and it was wonderful. I managed to find time to re-read American Gods for the 1 Book 1 Twitter project, though their reading / commenting schedule turned out to be way too slow for me and I gave up on the discussions after the second week when everyone else was talking about chapter five and I had already finished and moved on to something new. The bibliophile has also sent me some really excellent books, and I can wholeheartedly recommend Sarah Addison Allen's The Girl Who Chased the Moon and Brunonia Barry's The Map of True Places. So far 2010 has been a very good book year. Even though I've been crap at keeping up with reviews over on my book blog, I do keep a list of what I've read each year going back to 2006 in case anyone wants to look. I love peeking at other people's book lists. I am finding that I have plenty of time to squeeze a book or two in between each Book Lush selection, so if there's a book you think I should read, let me know!


The baby, God, he's so cute. But also sometimes pitiful. Upon stirring from naps, he often turns and rubs his face on his blanket or my shirt before truly waking up. It's really stinking cute. Unfortunately right before he did it the other night, he spit up and I didn't know it, so when he turned his face to rub it on his blanket, he landed snout first in a pool of milkbarf. So then he was lying there crying pitifully, half awake and all spit-uppy. I managed to wipe most of it off his face, but as I was reaching for another flannel, he went for a second comforting blankie rub and found an additional splort of milk that I'd missed. Poor kid. It was so gross and yet impossibly funny. Infants...full of adorable Darwinian fail.

I did an outreach program at the library today (We made slime! It was great!) and as I was walking out through the children's room afterward I decided to browse a little and ended up checking out four books -- Nico's first library books! I'm way more excited about this than I should be, but I can't help it. When I was a kid, my mom took us to the library every week. She had a giant red and white canvas tote bag (seriously, large enough that I could sit in it when I was little), and we would fill it up with ten books per kid. Back then library books still had a card in a paper pocket glued inside the cover which the librarian would stamp with the due date. Mom collected all the due date cards and kept them in the china hutch so that when we went back the next week she knew exactly how many books we had to dig up. These days the library gives you a printed receipt listing all your checked out items, so I will tape Nico's receipt into my planner to remind me to return his books. A librarian I know tried to talk me into signing him up for the summer reading program this year, but since we usually just read the same two books every night (Bear Snores On and Guess How Much I Love You, we'd never make our goal for the summer. Plus I'd kind of like his first official summer reading year to be one in which he can participate by helping to pick out his books and such. I hope he'll love the library as much as I do.


"I'll have you know I have my PhD." "You got it online, Sue!"

'Round Here

So, I am not dead or ill or otherwise incapacitated. Promise. I've just been busy with a baby who gets more interactive every day. Also, I've developed an unfortunate new habit of falling asleep at 8:30 PM when Nico goes to bed and not waking up until 11:00 PM, at which point I have to shower and pump and then go to bed for real. Or I do what I did last night: fall asleep at 8:30, wake up at 11:00, eat a bowl of cereal, then go nurse the baby who has decided he's hungry, only to fall asleep AGAIN and wake up at 4:30. Still in need of a shower. Sigh. I did have a lovely evening with Nico before we both fell asleep, though, so there's that.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Monday, June 07, 2010

Don't rock the boat, baby

Yesterday was my annual canoeing trip with Danger. We planned to do our usual 14 mile trip, but when I called last week to make sure they were running it, the person I talked to neglected to tell me that they close that trip at 12 on the dot. Due to some Nico-related delays, we didn't get to the canoe station until 12:14 and they wouldn't budge even though there was no way it was going to take us six hours to complete the trip and we easily would've made it to the end before the last pickup. We ended up going on a very crowded 7 mile trip, but since all the people who went into the water before us literally pulled their canoes over to the banks within twenty feet of the launch to start drinking beer, we easily left the entire group behind. The weather was stunningly perfect, and the whole trip was fantastic and relaxing even though we ran into an exhibitionist.

No lie, total flasher. There's no way the dude was just taking a pee break on what he thought was a deserted bend of the river, either, because I didn't even see him up on the bank until he made it a point to yell hello at us. So I turn to say hi back, and there's a flabby pasty white dude with his swimtrunks around his ankles and his (really unimpressive) junk hanging out in the breeze.

One summer we had a flasher who was targeting the local chain of ice cream stores that I worked for in high school, presumably because they were staffed entirely by teenage girls and were open late-ish. We'd all been warned that he was, well, on the loose, and so I spent a few weeks concocting elaborate revenge fantasies involving the hot water from the coffee machine and a moment of precision aim or of calling all the other girls together to point and laugh. But the one night he showed up at the store when I was there, I decided to just deny him the thing he wanted the most. When he knocked on the drive-through window and then dropped his pants, I rolled my eyes and kept on walking. I didn't even tell anyone else he'd showed up.

I figured that approach would work for the river flasher, too, so I just said hello, kept on paddling, and didn't turn back around when he tried to start a conversation about whether we'd been swimming in the river yet. I sincerely hope he and his rather small penis were disappointed. Seriously, though, why do hot buff dudes never feel the need to strip in public? It's always, always the pudgy pasty ones. Such a waste.

Oh, and there was one more bit of weirdness. When we got to the take-out ramp, Danger ran the canoe up into the gravel and got out to pull it ashore so I could get out. As she was doing that, this high school looking dude came over and said he'd get the boat. He didn't ask me to get out or tell me to sit tight, so I figured he was going to pull the boat up a little bit so I could get out, which is what the ramp guys have always done in the past. Now, I didn't ask or expect him to haul my heavy ass along in the boat, I would have been glad to get out, but he didn't give me any chance to before he grabbed the canoe and yanked on it, throwing me into the side of the metal boat and nearly dumping me into the river. What the hell, man? I said, "You know what, I'm happy to get out," and waded ashore. I get that being the guy that drags the giant metal canoes up the ramp is kind of a crappy job, but at least be decent to people, you know? Me and my bruised ass and knee would appreciate it.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Greater than

(stolen from Jen and Kerri)

music > silence

books > TV

woods > beaches

reading > shopping

thrift stores > malls

bare face > makeup

daily ponytail > flat ironing

flip flops > heels

jeans > dresses

ice cream > steak

milk > any other drink

camping > five star hotels

camels > monkeys

cake > pie

yoga > therapy

Fall > Summer

friends & family > fortune

life with my boys > anything else, ever