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Delta Breastfeeding Debacle

November 19th, 2006

If you’re interested in reading more about the breastfeeding mom who got booted off a Delta flight in Vermont, check out the writings of another Portland mama, The Reluctant Lactivist.

Writing Quotes of the Day

November 18th, 2006

From Aldous Huxley: “I met, not long ago, a young man who aspired to become a novelist. Knowing that I was in the profession, he asked me to tell him how he should set to
work to realize his ambition. I did my best to explain. ‘The first thing,’ I said, ‘is to buy quite a lot of paper, a bottle of ink, and a pen. After that you merely have to write.'”

From Steve Martin: “I think I did pretty well, considering I started out with nothing but a bunch of blank paper.”


Delta, You Are So Uncool

November 16th, 2006

Here you go: Breastfeeding mom kicked off of plane. In this day and age? Please. Enough already. Please. Let us nurse and get the hell out of the way, would you? You’re distracting the baby.

My Granny told me a funny story about when she was in the hospital following the birth of one of her five kids. Another new mom shared her room and refused to nurse her baby. The doctor begged her to at least give it a try. She said no. He told her, exasperated, “That’s what they’re for, honey! They’re not there to make your dress hang right!” Heh heh. My Granny nursed all five of her babies, gave me breastfeeding advice with both of my babies, and was extremely supportive of me. Hallelujah, Granny. My mom, who was told by the doctors she “couldn’t” nurse, was amazed by my lactating talents. “I make milk. What’s your superpower?” (My motto.)

For real, the reason she “couldn’t” nurse was because the doctors told her “absolutely no nursing at night,” and put me on a four- to six-hour schedule during the day. Because, you know, you don’t want to spoil babies by feeding them. Christ almighty. So she got engorged and was miserable, I lost weight, and the doc told her she was a failure. My cousin told me, “The women in our family all have trouble breastfeeding, so don’t be surprised if you can’t.” Yeah, they had trouble because the doctors told them so. The grandmothers and great-aunties had no trouble at all — the “trouble” was specific to my mom’s generation.

We’ve come a long way, baby, no?

Here’s the comment I posted on the Moms Rising site:

Oh, memories… mammaries… I was nursing Wacky Girl on a flight (United, I think) when she was about a year old? So this was six years ago. I was in an aisle seat, toward the front of the plane, and the male flight attendant insisted on throwing a blanket over her. People were boarding the plane and he was offended. I so did not even care — my baby was hungry and freaked out.

I told him, “Sorry, she does not like being covered with a blanket.” She threw the blanket off; he put it back on; she threw it off. The third time he tried to cover her up again I told him, “Give up.” My husband smiled at him. On we flew.

I’ve never had any other problems nursing while we flew, and we fly a lot. (Other passengers glaring at me while my kids wail is more common. To them I say: “You think I’m happy with this? You think this is what I want?” and they leave us alone.)

Keep on feeding those babies, mamas.


Wacky Mommy

How to Get a Book Deal: Chapter One

November 15th, 2006

Here’s how I have attempted to get an agent: I’ve shamelessly and without pride asked all of my friends who have had books published for the names of their agents. They both said yes. Their agents said no.


Tuesday Recipe Club, Part Deux: Manicotti

November 14th, 2006

What is up with me and the recipes? Cold weather makes me want to cook, I guess.


1) Boil manicotti noodles for about 8 minutes — don’t let them get too done. Put a little oil in the water so they don’t stick. No salt! Drain, rinse with cold water, set aside.

2) While they’re cooking, beat four eggs in a bowl; mix in one carton (16 oz.) cottage cheese with one carton (15 oz.) ricotta cheese; mix in one bag defrosted frozen spinach. (I never remember to defrost it — OK to microwave for a short amount of time.) Add a little salt and pepper, and a small amount of nutmeg (my secret ingredient). My mother-in-law gave me 3 or 4 fresh nutmeg cloves (nuts?? whatever they’re called) for Christmas a couple years ago — I’m still using them. I bought a tiny Microplaner and it is so cool to have fresh nutmeg. Great with eggnog and in cookies. Not that I’m drinking eggnog. Or eating cookies. I use my parmesan Microplaner to grate in a fair amount of fresh parmesan and then stir it all up. Although really, I think this is too much cheese.

3) Slice a pound to a pound-and-a-half of mozzarella into thin strips. (Or thick, if you want to make everyone happy with gooey layer of cheese.)

4) Time to assemble: Use fresh or canned marinara (I have my own, frozen of course, Martha-in-training that I am. We had a bumper crop of Romas this year). Make sure you have at least two to four cups on hand. I cover bottom of baking dish with sauce so noodles won’t stick, then stuff noodles with ricotta mixture. (OK to cheat by tearing noodles in half lengthwise — makes it easier to assemble this way.) You can assemble it with a layer of cooked meat on top of pasta. Sweet sausage is great, or just hamburger. It’s yummy, too, with a layer of whole, fresh basil leaves on top of the pasta. (Carmela Soprano’s secret touch when she makes lasagna. And this dish really is just lasagna, with a different type of pasta.) Then cover with more sauce and spread mozzarella on top.

Jamie Oliver (the Naked Chef) likes to drizzle a small amount of the marinara on top, and not drench it. Then he uses creme fraiche in lieu of the mozzarella. I tried it this way and it was great, but my family was baffled and said, “Make it the right way.” Yeah.

Bon Appetit!


Tuesday Recipe Club: Chewy Noels, Coffee Cake and Progressive Parties

November 13th, 2006

Hola! ?Como estas? Have you ever held a progressive party in your neighborhood? Yeah, me neither. But five of our neighbors and the Wacky Family are going to go for it, New Year’s Day. For years we’ve been talking about a summer block party, but, you know. Some of us don’t get along as well as others of us. That is, some of us like to dance around naked and happy, and others like to spit at everyone as they walk by and criticize the way they park. More on Evil Neighbor — if you park in front of her house, she will waddle out her front door and she will tell you, “You need to move your car. You can’t park there.” It is a public street! Yet people are so scared of her evil eye they move their cars. No progressive party for Evil Neighbor. We may invite guests and encourage them to park in front of her house, though.


An Editorial Wherein I Ain’t too Proud to Beg the Rolling Stones to Retire, Already, Before Keith Falls Out Of A Coconut Tree Again

November 12th, 2006

Dear Mick, Keith et al.,

We need to talk. I don’t know of a nice way to say this, but you need to hang up the bag of tricks, boys, and please retire. Shauna Lyon puts it well in this week’s New Yorker, when she compares you to a corporate juggernaut and an “enduring medical miracle”:

“Can your grandfather even climb a tree, much less fall out of one, bash his head, survive, and still remember the changes on ‘Sister Morphine’?”

No, neither of my grandfathers can do this, due to the fact that they are both deceased. And not much older at their passings than you guys are at this moment. Lyon also compares you to diptheria and/or kudzu, and really, did you mean for it to come to this? No, I did not think so. But what really pushed me to write you this letter was when I read about the new documentary Martin Scorsese is filming about y’all, and that you had to hire “seventy-five dollar girls” to come sex it up a little. That they were asked to dress “trendy, sexy, hip… Women really glam it up, but not trashy… nothing too over the top and outrageous (wigs, crazy hats, etc.)…”

No wigs? No crazy hats? What the fuck is wrong with you guys? I just watched “Gimme Shelter” last week. Why, I do not know. I was running a high fever, and it seemed like a good idea. I loved your music when I was a teenager. So did my friends, and y’all were all we would listen to. I’m not talking about a five- or six-month period. I’m taking three, four years. To the point where we were planning a party and my boyfriend begged, “Please, could we possibly listen to something other than the Stones?” And we all yelled, “NO!” at him and almost wouldn’t let him party with us.

Almost. We gave in because, you know. He had all the pot. Anyway, I’ve loved you guys for a good long time now. I loved “Some Girls,” even though it was my mom’s favorite album, too, and like, how uncool is that to love the same album your ma does? I loved “One Hit to the Body” and I still listen to “Exile on Main Street” and “Sticky Fingers” over and over until my husband asks, “Please, could we possibly listen to something other than the Stones?” (Seems to be a pattern in my life.)

Anyway, I’ve seen “Gimme Shelter” probably fifty times, because I thought Tina Turner was just too fucking righteous in it, and although I didn’t like the part where the Hell’s Angels knock Marty Balin unconscious, I liked the Jefferson Airplane’s set up until that point. You want to talk sexy? Let’s talk about the Flying Burrito Brothers, and their set at Altamont. Ha! Kidding. The Flying Burrito Brothers didn’t do much for me, you know, sexually. You know who was sexy? The crowd. The guys with their fringed suede jackets. “And beatnik chicks/just wearing their smocks,” as the Beastie Boys would put it. The beads and the hats and the crazy wigs. And maybe some people who, eh, you didn’t really want to see take off their clothes went ahead and stripped, but there were enough other sexy people there that it didn’t matter.

Now, tell me — you played with Tina Turner and now you’re saying no crazy wigs? I mean, for real, what the fuck is wrong with y’all that you have to pay extras to kinda, what, prop you up? This is supposed to be a documentary, but when you’re staging things and posing people, and yadda yadda, that’s fiction, not fact.

A fact: Meredith Hunter was sexy at Altamont, with his electric green suit and his purple dress shirt, dancing with his sexy girlfriend who did indeed know how to dress, grooving on the Jefferson Airplane. He was sexy right up until the Hells Angels grabbed his gun and stabbed and kicked him to death. And then it was just God rest his soul and why the hell did I watch “Gimme Shelter” so many times? It took a fever for me to figure this out? You guys gave his mom $10,000, for losing her sweet, sexy, 18-year-old son. Is she still alive? If she is you need to give her some cash and make sure she’s set. Because how shitty is that, for 8 bazillion Stones-loving idiots like me to watch “Gimme Shelter” over and over and watch her son being killed onscreen. No one ever went to jail for that one, remember?

So please, hang it up. No crazy hats, no wigs. Just call it a day. Shidoobee.



Thursday Thirteen Ed. #66

November 9th, 2006

Do you stress? Yeah, me neither.


1) The babyproofing stage. I spaced out, didn’t get stuff baby-proofed as quickly as I should have, and chaos ensued. Now that my kids are 4 and 7, yeah, we really need all the baby-proofing I haven’t gotten rid of yet.

2) The talking. “When will she talk? What will her first word be? What if she never talks? Is there something wrong with my baby oh my gawwwwwwwwwd, wait. I think she just said ‘sock.'” Once they start talking they never stop. And once they learn to bitch at you, they never stop that, either. Then you’re thinking, “I wanted this kid to talk?”

Wacky Girl: “Why can’t I watch ‘Star Wars’? Everyone, everyone, everyone in my class has seen it. They said it is not even scary. I am too big for PBS Kids, it’s stupid. And you won’t let me watch ‘Monster House.’ And the Chucky movies. And ‘Scary Movie 3’ is supposed to be real good, but nooooo you won’t let me watch that. Or ‘Star Wars.'”

3) The nursing. It either works or it doesn’t. Bottles are fine, boobs are fine. The end.

4) The sleeping-through-the-night and the potty training. Eventually they deal.

5) Which brings us to… The projectile pooping and vomiting stage. It doesn’t last forever. Thank you, Jesus.

6) The trying-to-keep-up-with-the-Joneses phase. “Must go to playgroup. Must not miss music class again. Must go to park, even though I hate the park.” We all need to slow the hell down. My friends call me “Miss Chop-Chop” for a reason — I need to take my own advice.

7) Listening to idiots and letting them throw guilt on me like a big ol’ wet blanket. “Why doesn’t Mommy put a coat on you? You need a coat, tell Mommy.” Now I just smile and walk away. Quickly.

8) The trying to keep everyone happy phase — the husbands get along, the wives get along, the kids hate each other, but maybe they will learn to love each other? C’mon! Let’s all be happy, kids! If your kids say they don’t want to play with someone, listen to them.

9) I wouldn’t have argued with my husband so much over stupid little nothings those first few years — whether or not the baby should wear a hat, whether or not it was too cold to hike, whether or not we should let ourselves get roped into going to something that at least one of us really didn’t want to go to. Let it all just roll, y’know? It works better, in the long run.

10) Messes. Specifically, fingerpaints, glitter, sand tables, water stations. Just bring extra clothes and let the kids go for it.

11) Snacks, as in, it is not that hard to pack a snack. (I still stress out over this — so busy getting shoes and coats on and finding my car keys that I forget apple slices, peanut butter crackers and a bottle of water.) Remember them, and the wet wipes, and prevent melt-downs. Dum-Dums are a fine snack, bring 12. Plus they can’t bitch at you with a lollipop in the pie-hole.

12) Playdates. I thought my kids should have loads o’ playdates. Their little friends bring over germs. The friends leave, the germs stay, Mommy gets bronchitis. I would slash our playdate schedule in half if I could do it over again.

13) It’s really true that the years fly by. It doesn’t feel like it, zero-24 months, but after that? Zoom. They won’t love Elmo forever. But they will develop an affection for Chucky that will concern you.

Jenny Needs Some Sleep

November 8th, 2006

From Jenny at Mama Drama:

Breaking news, people! Scientists have proven that most mothers don’t get enough sleep.

Dear stupid scientists: “Duh.”

Proving that most moms don’t get enough sleep is like proving that men dislike having their testicles kicked repeatedly with a boot, or that the majority of Americans aren’t afraid of rainbows.

Go read her whole post, it’s funny.


Hey, You!

November 6th, 2006

Yes, I’m talking to you. Come over here. Get your bootah off the computah.

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