Monthly Archives: April 2012

Other things that happened in April…


Jolene’s Car Inspection Outfit 

Pigs flew, the earth turned into cake and SOMEHOW the car passed inspection! Jolene was dressed for it.

Outdoor Bath!

On the porch! In the sun! This is a new wonderful beautiful thing that hopefully will happen again soon (It is currently crazy windy and a bone chilling 35 degrees… my tomato plants are furious with me and probably won’t last the night…). I am so excited for summer and baby in the water!!

The CLPP Conference 

I already talked about this. I really just wanted to share this lovely picture of Jo & Vanessa.

My Sister Had a Baby!**

**okay well this hasn’t actually happened yet but SHE WILL HAVE THIS BABY IN APRIL. She’s overdue and man do I just feel for her. I went into labor two days before Jo’s due date but MAN… babies should be ready in 37 weeks. 40 weeks is entirely too long.

Beautiful Booties

Just wanted to show these off. Lizzie knitted them. So talented.

Mom Necklace! 

The hip mamas on the internet seem to think that wearing your childs name around your neck is corny but screw that. After hours pouring over Etsy, I found this lady (her shop is currently closed but will reopen soon) who does custom hand stamped jewelry. She was so nice and accommodating (Jolene’s name is longer than she usually fits but she made it work) and everything came fast and nicely packaged. I am trying really hard not to spend all my money on Etsy.

LOTS of Grandmama Times

I went back to work super parttime, so Jolene has been enjoying frequent afternoons with her grandmama. Two peas in a pod. Plus I get some relief. Everybody wins.

We got BAD ASS at Nursing 

…’nuff said.

Also in April we… rearranged the nursery, discovered a new walking place by the river, listened to lots of Al Green,  planted our tomatoes outside (stupid stupid, they are going to die tonight due to frost and crazy wind), spent lots of time gazing at each other in bed, read all the Hunger Games books (some parts aloud), had a birth send off dinner for my sis (complete with fish stew and aioli yummm), promised to ask for help when we need it, got caught up on Mad Men, made new friends, bathed in the love of old friends, bathed not nearly enough, lost a nice stripe of hair in the back (Jo, not me), and fell in love over and over again.

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Pieces of April

…is a movie that I saw the preview for probably about 100 times in Caitlin’s basement in early high school while eating her dads AMAZING cookies and/or doing crunches.

I digress. I’m going to post some moments from this glorious, strange, nearly rainless month of April. They might be few and far between. We are still working on finishing April up, so think of me as on top of my shit. Maybe it will be one of those things like “Wordless Wednesday” that one does periodically on their blog, like a series. Pictures from the Month that I Didn’t Post Yet Because My Internet is Slow or something.

Jolene’s Palace 

ImageThis month Jolene has become completely smitten over the technicolor palace. Its a lime green and pink crazy bug acid trip in there with a giant goofy yellow sun that is Jo’s GIRL. She seriously gets so happy when she sees her (also when Sasha makes her dance). Sometimes she will stay in the palace for AN HOUR. This thing has seriously revolutionized our days at home/ now I can actually get like one thing done each day. Speaking of which, I have some sleeping to do.

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not kidding

I would cut off my right leg if I could just hear Jo laugh one more time. I have been doing everything- peekaboo, tickles, big fat raspberries, fart noises, feet kissing. She just gives me maybe a smile and a look that says “That? Oh I am so over that.” I think this is the early phases of mom not being “with it.” I think my use of the phrase “with it” is proof of that.

Today is mama group, then this afternoon Jo is having grandma time and I am going to get a MASSAGE (!!!!!) and maybe a glass of wine and dinner at the Smith dining halls with my former fellow transfer ladies. I got all dressed up (think tights, mascara, cleavage?!) at about 9am this morning. Its really any occasion these days…

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for real

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April 24, 2012 · 12:44 pm

FIRST LAUGHS

(some of) JOLENE’S FIRST LAUGHS THIS IS IMPORTANT

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Happy Three Months Jolene!

Monday was Beans’s 3 Month Birthday! I was waiting for a friend (new mom friend!!!) at the cafe I worked at back when Bean was in my belly, when this lady and her little boys came up to me and started gushing over how cute my baby was and how she would take a picture of us if I wanted because she always forgot to take pictures of her babies with her. Only I forgot my camera and my phone cost 10 dollars so you know it doesn’t take pictures, so she took a bunch on her iPhone and then had her 9 year old email them to me.

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teen moms and taxes

The putridness of  filing my taxes** and the beauty of rediscovering how much I love Treats by Sleigh Bells are working to neutralize each other. I am left feeling pretty meh, trying not to dwell on the things I haven’t done, Mostly practice the ukelele and wash my feet after an excursion around Paradise Pond (well the path next to the river that runs into it… what is the name of that river??) with my first MOM FRIEND!! i feel creepy saying her name and stuff on the internet but her baby is about a month younger than Jolene and she is a couple of years younger than me! we are rocking the 18-22 age demographic in our mama group. just us just us.

Speaking of which! One of the best workshops i went to at CLPP this weekend was called Teen Families Take the Lead. We missed the first half of the panelists, but the last two were kids whose mumma had them when she was 17 and 18. Here were two awesome, smart, well spoken, stylish, and totally confident teenagers who had been raised by, well a teenager (then she was in her 20s etc).

Another panelists was this rad sociologist named Gretchen Sisson who brought up this idea of eliminating the phrase “teen pregnancy prevention.” Instead of giving teens inadequate sex education, and declaring that they have ruined their lives when they become pregnant, we could maybe empower teens with comprehensive sex education and paths besides getting pregnant early in life. I am starting to think that teen pregnancy is mostly a problem when teens don’t feel like they don’t have anywhere else to go in life or feel lonely and think a child is the cure. Teens kinda have the right to make their own (informed) fertility choices. We pretend that wanting to get pregnant as a teenager is absurd/ unnatural, completely ignoring that in many parts of the world (and in the past in this country) being a teen mom is the norm.

The same sociologist was on the panel for my Friday afternoon workshop, Exploring The Social, Political and Economic Context of Building and Supporting Families, talking about her doctorate research on birth mothers. This is where something kind of clicked. Although adoption statistics are patchy, it seems that white, class privileged women place their children with adoptive families at much higher rates than women of color or low income women.  Sisson hypothesized that this is so because rates of single and or young mothers are lower in these communities. There just aren’t many examples around of women raising children on their own or at a young age, so it isn’t seen as an option.

I had sort of forgotten about this point until the Speak Out (which was incredible and Jolene did cry a little and I was super embarrassed but I think it was okay). First off I want to say that every woman who stood up in front of that group was crazy brave and I have just infinite respect. I mean that so earnestly. But again and again I heard women justify their abortions with “I wanted to go to college,” and “I didn’t know the father.” I don’t believe that people who have had abortions should have to “justify” it to anyone, but isn’t it interesting that these are the reasons that women gave, instad of simply “I did not want to carry my pregnancy to term.”

What I’m trying to say is that it seems really important to de-stigmatize and support young families and single parents. Otherwise abortion isn’t a choice, it’s a necessity.

**I wrote this on Monday so don’t worry, my taxes are done-zies!

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rusty brain

…maaan i just tried so hard to write something interesting about my thought break through that occurred tonight but i am just so damn rusty at writing anything vaguely intellectual.

in a nutshell: the conference is fierce. jolene cried a little at the speakout but no one threw anything. people are crazy brave. i had a thought that was revolutionary in my brain but apparently i don’t know words anymore. its 1am and i am an idiot for being awake. 

i would “live blog” from the conference tomorrow but i have no room for my computer in my diaper bag. 

 

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Baby’s First Reproductive Rights Conference!

Somehow the year I have a teeny baby is the year I actually get it together to go to the CLPP Conference at Hampshire College. I figured they might let me bring Jolene, if I banished her to childcare all day, but I emailed them and she is welcome to come to all the workshops! So she will be tagging along, in the Moby or (fingers crossed) the new Ergo I got on ebay for  50 bucks (I am so seriously proud of my bidding skills, those things are $130 new… Hopefully it will come in time).

People from the Prison Birth Project will be speaking along with a million other rad people and organizations that I haven’t even heard of. I am pushing myself to not just go to the workshops on the medicalization of birth, but I’m going to be honest, I spend 85% of my waking life talking about babies and birth and I wish it was 95%.

We’ll see how it goes. Jolene is pretty good at being in public (nursing, sleeping and charming at all the right moments) and I have a feeling it will be a pretty forgiving crowed. My biggest fear is that she is going to start crying at the Abortion Speak Out and everyone will get upset and throw things at us.

I know that won’t happen. I think my real fear is that people will find out my real feelings about abortion. Mainly that I think it is wrong. I’m not sure when exactly life begins, but having carried around a squirmy kicky baby for 9 months, it certainly isn’t at birth. Therefore abortion, particularly of the third trimester variety is, in my opinion, destroying a life. I know. I am a terrible liberal. It scares me sometimes, to think that if I was raised in a different family, in a different state perhaps, I could be on the “other side” driving around with a bumper sticker that says “Smile! Your mom chose life!”

But I do consider myself to be Pro-Choice. I can feel whatever I feel and believe whatever I believe but I am not going to tell a 14-year-old who that is carrying her uncle’s baby to think of it as  a “blessing from God” (a la Rick Santorum).  A friend, recently asked me what I would say if she decided to get an abortion. I thought about it. I told her that it would make me very sad, but I would support whatever she decided. I am pretty sure that the majority of my friends would get abortions if they became pregnant right now. Some of them already have. Do I judge them for it? No way.

I admire the control they feel over their own bodies. And I don’t mean that in a scary, anorexia kind of way. I have never felt particularly “in control” of my body, more like I am “along for the ride.” This has been true from puberty, to my struggles with mental illness, to giving birth. Especially giving birth.  For me (and I realized having a sleeping infant that smells live lavender in my lap influences what I am writing a great deal) an abortion would be devastating. That being said, I have the incredible privilege of having a family that has supported me emotionally and financially through my unplanned pregnancy and single young motherhood. In conclusion, I plan on being celibate until Jolene is at least 10.

No really in conclusion, I have a lot of living left to do (isn’t this always the conclusion?). Perhaps I am an abortion agnostic. Despite my fear (of being found out, of straight up fainting, of my crying baby), I am excited for the Abortion Speak Out. Maybe I need to throw it all up in the air. I’ll tell you all about it.

I am a work in progress
dressed in the fabric of a world unfolding
offering me intricate patterns of questions
rhythms that never come clean
and strengths that you still haven’t seen

-Ani DiFranco

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That Thing Where Someone Breaks Into Your House and Tries to Breastfeed Your Baby

(from jezebel http://jezebel.com/5900503/that-thing-where-someone-breaks-into-your-house-and-tries-to-breastfeed-your-baby)

It looks like we have another thing to add to the list of horrifying things that can happen when you have a baby. Police have arrested a woman in Brookings, South Dakota for breaking into another woman’s house and trying to breast feed her baby. The mother called police early Sunday morning after she discovered the stranger in her home, attempting to latch her two-month-old onto her breast. Oh, hello terror, my old friend.

Fortunately, the mother was able to get the baby back unharmed, and the police arrived in time to arrest the intruder. She’s a 24-year-old and has been charged with unlawful occupancy. I guess there’s no specific law forbidding breaking into someone’s house and trying to latch their child onto your breast—though now it seems we might need one. The reasons this woman decided to go on a nursing raid have not been explained, except to say that “alcohol was a factor in the incident.” Okay, sure, but there are plenty of people who get drunk and don’t go to the trouble to breastfeed a stranger’s baby in the middle of the night, so there has to be more to this story. As for the mother, she’s probably busy trying to secure every surface in her home—possibly including her child’s mouth.

Cops: S.D. woman broke into home, attempted to breastfeed stranger’s baby [CBS]

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