Friday, May 16, 2014

Hello again!

So I've put this thing back out there, perhaps against my better judgement but then most of my life has been led that way. :)
Not sure what sort of drivel will pop up on these pages, but I am opinionated and much less into censoring myself than I was the last time I wrote. As I get older I find that I care more about many things and less about what anyone else thinks.
Still searching for Paxton.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Welcome back?'s been a while.
We left Texas bound for the North Shore of Massachusetts in June of 2012, when our new daughter was 2 1/2 months old. Since then it's been...hectic.

I love it here, but not quite in the distict locale we have landed. We are in a small town filled with snobby people. I want to move to Beverly. That's all I will say about that, for now.
(When neighbors report your garbage to the recycle police? It's time to move on...)

Anyhow, here I am, mom to 2, in a place I never could have imagined geographically or metaphysically. I lived in RI for 38 years. I do miss my home. But. I'd be very happy in a grittier community on the North Shore.

I'm putting this stupid blog back online. I have a lot to say. Hope you are ready.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Settling in

Pigs by whatstepheats
Pigs, a photo by whatstepheats on Flickr.

Finally we are feeling somewhat settled down here. There is just so much involved in relocating. Tomorrow will mark the date one month ago when the movers came to pack up our lives in Providence. One month ago tonight was the last night we spent in our Providence condo. It's gone by so quickly and yet never has it felt like I've jammed so much into 30 days.
We've been trying to get health records sent, appointments set up, to make friends, to find hairdressers and babysitters, get Sam a passport (here you have to make an appointment with the post office to submit passport application materials!), learn where to go for what.
It's such a big deal, moving to a 'foreign land'. Though it's made me realize that we lived in a part of the country where people just are not kind for far too long. It's made me realize that it is really hard to be nasty to people who are kind to you, even when they are incompetant or annoying. It's made me realize something I've always suspected - I am not a typical Rhode Islander, if I am a typical anything.

I love that it's sunny and hot here everyday, I love that the whole town slows down on Saturday and nearly shuts down on Sunday. I love that everywhere you go there are kids. I love the food we can buy at the grocery store 5 minutes away - great, fresh produce, fish, meat. All you need.

Basically I really love it here! I can see myself someday living in Little Compton right on the ocean, or in Boston, but short of that, I'm not sure I could ever move back north. Even if I did it would be part time.

We are within driving distance to Houston, Dallas, and most closely Austin. I can't wait to explore Austin.

A friend's photo of Fenway got me thinking of Boston. I love Boston, always wanted to live near there. When I was a teenager and used to visit my dad's cousin who is a renal pathologist at NEMC. I would follow him around at the hospital all day. I wanted that life. I guess I still do. I didn't realize then that what you want when you are 14 really doesn't morph much over the years. You are who you are. I've been suppressing it, trying to take shortcuts (shacking up with one doctor and marrying another instead of becoming one? Freud would have a field day)...but it keeps coming back.

Now I have Sam so for now this is my life. But I still consider nursing or massage school down the line, when he's older and when the next potential child is too. I love the human body - maybe massage. That's another thing that keeps surfacing in my head.

I finally got some tomatoes and peppers in the ground. Hope to find more seedlings this weekend...

Happy weekend, happy summer!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Boy Colors?

Boy colors, at last by whatstepheats
Boy colors, at last, a photo by whatstepheats on Flickr.

Last week I ordered binkies from The ones I picked were billed as: 'boy colors: colors may vary'.
I received one pink and one purple. My Western-conditioned mind reflexively reacted, "how are these boy colors?".

The incident has got me thinking.

The link between gender and color symbolism is fascinating to me. According to what little I've been able to find out, in the early 20th century color and gender were dissociate. It was only around the 20's that pink became the masculine color (likely because it was close to the strong, distinctive, fiery red) and blue the feminine (the Virgin Mary, and blue for whatever reason was considered the fairer and more delicate shade). Since then, obviously, they have been inverted.

This whole color thing is amplified in the US, as most everything is.

Then it struck me - grown men can wear purple and pink with little, if any, consequence. Is it simply because a baby can appear to be either a boy or a girl sans clothing, and color is all we have to go by?

More confusing is the issue of why the change happened, and why so abruptly.
From what I can tell, some factors may be that the pink triangle was used to mark homosexuals by Hitler. Was this cause, effect, or neither?
WWII in the 40's involved blue navy uniforms for men. Was that part of the equation?
The switch did seem to happen in the years surrounding WWII. Perhaps the woman who had been filling the 'man's place' in the factory switched her role to the 'happy housewife', and took her working man's strong red-related pink with her?

Whatever the truth may be, I can personally testify that in Italy several years ago the colors were reversed, much to my embarrassment. While at a small, family run restaurant in a rather remote area of Tuscany, I ducked into the bathroom bearing a pink plaque. As I exited, a small Italian boy was laughing, shouting, and pointing his finger at me! I had made the wrong choice. Pink was for guys, and this little fellow had to go! (The ugly American skulked back to her table...)

I can only say that to me, color is color. I love them all. If my son someday wants to wear tights and prance around in a pink tutu, I will love and accept him no less than if he becomes a linebacker in the NFL.


Friday, March 18, 2011

It's a Luxury on Toasted Bread

Peanut butter and grape jam, that is.
It's what's for lunch. On toast.

Stuff That Works For Me - Fisher Price Rock 'n' Play Sleeper

Fisher Price Newborn Rock 'n' Play Sleeper
Not sure how this product flew into my airspace. Could have been a random pregnant Google search, of which there were many.
Anyway, this sleeper has been one of the best things for us. Sam has slept in it every single night since he came home from the hospital at 2 days old. The weight limit is 25 lbs, which he will likely hit sometime before his first birthday, as he's already 17.5 lbs or so. I wish they made them bigger.

The great things about this product:

1) Cozy little bed positioned at a slight incline. This helps with reflux, which believe it or not, is an issue for a fair number of babies. Plus, Sam was just plain comfortable in it, as it hugs the little baby body a bit.

2) Inexpensive (we bought one for $49.99 or so on Amazon).

3) Very easy to fold and take on the road. We've traveled to Texas and Florida and used it in hotel rooms.

4) Super easy to assemble; easy to take apart and stuff in a suitcase too.

We didn't know what to expect with the whole sleep situation, which is a plight common to many new parents I'm sure. We were open about it, but from what I'd read it seemed important to swaddle the baby, and to have him in our bedroom, at least at first, as in the beginning babies wake every few hours to eat and well, it just seemed practical. Also, we had no clue what the fuck we were doing, so leaving the baby down the hall in a separate room did not even enter the realm of possibility. This sleeper is small and light enough to fit beside our bed.

An added bonus is that I can take it into the bathroom if I need to shower while home alone with Sam. (As he's become stronger he has to be strapped in though, lest he flail his way to the tile floor. Another bonus, this thing has a 3 point restraint strap.)

I'm sure this is very boring to those of you without kids, and perhaps barely readable to those of you who have or are expecting or planning or considering having any. 

In any case, I'm currently being drooled upon and pinched in places I've never been pinched before, so as all good things, this blurb is coming to an end.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Stuff That Works For Me - Playtex Drop-Ins

Like many moms-to-be, I had a laundry list of idealistic notions of how I would do things once the baby arrived. Front and center was the issue of breastfeeding. I was certain that I wanted to breastfeed.

Sure, I'd heard about the difficulties involved, but I thought, I'm stubborn. I will persist, and we will emerge victorious. After all, that's the natural way, right? Where would mankind be if breastfeeding failed over the centuries on a large scale?

I wasn't breastfed, but my sister was. So there was that. My baby would be healthier and happier and bond better with me if I breastfed him, so who gives a shit about sore nipples? And that's really what I thought the worst scenario would be actually, sore nipples. Ha!

As usual, reality came and bit me in the butt.

Sam was born 3 1/2 weeks early, and he was perfectly healthy, but a heel-stick glucose test at birth revealed he was hypoglycemic, and medicine being what it is in this litigious state, in these litigious times, he bought himself a stay in the NICU.
(I'm sure husband being a physician played into the overkill as well.)

In the NICU he was bottle-fed, and he thrived. I was simultaneously pumping, but it took a few days for the milk to come in, and then he was having problems latching. So we went home with a breast pump and lots of formula, thinking we'd do the best we could and see where it got us.

Looking back, I know 2 things. One, I was a nervous first-time mom of a preemie, which combined with the rigid NICU scheduling that had been ingrained in out heads (my husband, as we were leaving the NICU, actually thought we had to take his temp each time we changed his diaper! Um, no) made for little left to chance with his scheduled feeding times and amounts. Time spent at the breast was far too nebulous. Latching was far too erratic. So I pumped! Literally around the clock. And we made it work, and got no sleep. But it was fine! It was ok! I was so revved up, so wrapped up in making sure everything was as it should be, that sleeping and eating were secondary. It went on like this for a couple of months! Everyone told me I was crazy, that I should just switch to formula. I tried to - but couldn't pull myself away from the pump.

Until the point where I was not producing enough milk for his growing appetite. Which leads me to the second thing: I learned at 9 weeks post partum that I had retained products of conception, and while it thankfully did not hurt me, I'm willing to believe it interfered with milk production. Right after that the pump went back to the hospital, and we embarked on the equally scary decision of: which formula? There are only about a thousand different kinds out there. How hard could it be?

Yada yada yada...tried regular milk-based formula which irritated his digestive tract. Landed in a patch of soy.

But that's not the point of this post, actually. I want to talk about how much I love Playtex Drop-Ins.
You buy the bottle shells and the nipples, and the liners are disposable. What's better than that?

I tried many other bottles before going with these. Maybe it's just what my baby took to, but they were and are a dream for us to use.
(Just yesterday he started eating solid food - maybe a little nostalgia is behind this right now! It happens so quickly!)