Archive | June, 2010

Cheerio, mates

30 Jun

Ida enjoyed her first bona-fide cheerios this morning (she had been eating those little wheat-puff-things that disintegrate upon consumption).  She enjoyed them, but the most exciting part of this milestone was that I totally forgot about there being TOYS in cereal boxes.  As you may already know, there are not toys in bran flakes or organic granola (can someone get on this, please?).  I was really excited to remember this grand tradition.  I think Ida was a little confused about why mama was screaming in the kitchen.  I’m sure my neighbors also have questions.  But I have a tiny, fabulous, plastic, lego-car AND it’s too small for Ida, so it’s all mine for now.  We’ll (and by we, I mean me) work on sharing some other time…

Baby’s First PRIDE!

29 Jun

Ida and I had a glorious time at Chicago’s Pride Parade this weekend!  We (along with my mom) marched with the Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches.  It was overwhelmingly beautiful.  This probably sounds pretty cheesy and cliché, but I’ll never forget how truly excited many of the spectators were to see church folks in the parade.  I marched near several clergy people in their priestly (ministerial?) garb and watched as people reached through masses of other people to grab the priests’ hands and say “thank you so much for being here”.  Watching people applaud with a sort-of passion and solidarity when the coalition walked by was very moving to me.   Moving, but It was the kind of emotional stirring that is fueled by anger and frustration that not all clergy people, or churches think that marching in support of GLBT rights and celebrating GLBT culture(s) is holy and right in the most perfect sense.  Pride was a holy experience for us, and I’m so grateful to Chicago’s fabulous GLBT community for making us welcome and including us this year!  Just for the record, you are welcome in my life, and my family, and my community/ies too.

And now, without further delay, my piss-poor snapshot essay.  To be honest, Ida was being photographed nearly constantly (what drag queen doesn’t need a fabulous tiny assistant?!) and it was tough to snap good shots on the move…..

On our way! Taking the EL! I found Ida's awesome onesie at the Village Discount.

Kris and I eating some hot dogs while we waited to step off

Kris with our sweet rig.

Perhaps the most awesome church tee-shirt ever.

Ida flying high at Pride!

Even the cops can't get enough of Ida's cuteness.

Pool days!

28 Jun

Summer is upon us, and so it is with great delight that I present Ida’s first dip in her tiny inflatable pool.  Grandpa and Grandma Joynt were on the scene to witness this momentous event.

facebook fancies – breastfeeding edition

25 Jun
Please enjoy a facebook comment bonanza that started with this link on my pal’s fbook page:  Carnival of Nursing in Public:  Call for Submissions
Random Guy I Went to School With:  More breasts in public? I can get behind that… Although my own attitude towards bare breasts may be reason enough for women to cover up 😉 I think the attitude towards breast feeding in public has more to do with protecting women from unsavory men than with a lack of respect for mothers…
Liz Joynt Sandberg:  Perhaps if we just demanded that men quit being unsavory…… Nah, nevermind. It’s much easier and better for society (and by society, I mean men) for women to either stay at home or try to hold a wriggling body under a blanket while trying to relax, holding said wriggler, and pretend like nothing is happening (which is not at all shaming, so don’t worry about it – nothing says “this is the best thing for children and we really want all women to do this” like a gentle nudge from a stranger in public to cover it up). Women seriously need to get it through their heads that breasts are for sex only (sorry, I should have been more clear – hetro-normative sex, obviously) and stop confusing/grossing-out men by feeding children with them. Luckily, lots of women HAVE gotten this through their heads, and have decided to avoid the whole thing by feeding formula – this is really a win-win because then big business (spoiler alert – men) gets tons of cash and we don’t have to see breasts in public other than in sexually objectifying adds (whew!).

On behalf of all nursing mothers, thanks for leering, RGIWTSW 😉

I think I’m just going to keep this soapbox handy……

Random Guy I Went to School With:  Lol, I would argue that most people put off by breast feeding in an all you can buffet (one of the examples you gave) would also object to a Victorias Secret model sitting down to eat in her sexy under wear. I have known a few nursing mothers, it seems to me that time requirements placed on nursing mothers is a bigger factor in deciding on formula than blankets over children in public. With most families living off two incomes what mother is able to work full time and breastfeed? I would think that played a much larger role in a womans decision to use formula or not.
Liz Joynt Sandberg:  I’m pretty sure the douchebags behind the Hooters franchise would beg to differ. You can tell me all day long that the issue is seeing breasts, but it’s not – the issue is the de-sexualization of a woman’s body and the “undesirable” presence of mothering work in public culture. It (mothering) needs to happen, but we don’t want to see it.

Isn’t it totally ridiculous that a woman who works outside of the home should expect public support to nurse (the thing that scads of public health officials site as a big boon to infant health and well-being)?! Who are these crazy entitled ladies and what gives them the idea that they should be able to both earn a living AND fulfill their doctor’s recommendation for taking care of their child. Next you’ll be telling me that a company can’t fire someone for getting sick and needing special arrangements for their health and treatment?!? Good grief. I’m telling you, between demanding the right to nurse in public without harassment and demanding the right to nurse and work, women are totally overstepping their boundaries. Good thing society doesn’t seem to give a crap about these issues and is easily placated by just throwing up hands and saying “oh well, it’s not going to work unless we change a bunch of stuff, and that’s hard……. so………..FORMULA!” Way to fight the good fight of apathy – you’re in good company, but every little bit helps.

Also, how nuts is it that some of these women think that we should change the corporate culture that makes working and breastfeeding mutually exclusive?! Who do these mothers think they are?! Soon you’ll be telling me that these broads want affordable childcare and a flexible schedule! If you give an inch….. they take a mile (read: equality).
I know, I know – this was a ridiculous and virtually useless dialogue (?).  But it was irresistible.  I have no regrets.

Happy Fathers Day

21 Jun

When your baby has been screaming for days, nothing is funny.  And yet, I remember this moment – when Nathan and I were both totally fried from no sleep, having been just slammed by the ton-of-bricks to the face that is bringing home your newborn – and when I was on the brink of losing it forever, Nathan turned around with this face while he was bouncing Ida for the however-many-eth straight hour and I cracked up.

Some things I am up to…

19 Jun

Here are some things I’ve been up to lately:

Baking bread and other items (bagels, muffins, pastries, buns).  I think I’m going to see if I can make all of our stuff like this and avoid packaged/preserved baked goods.  So far, so good.  The bagels are particularly impressive and not at all hard to make.  I’ve been using Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook as my exclusive resource, and welcome suggestions of other recipes/baking books.  I need to find a way to make some nice, soft, whole-wheat bread for sandwiches.

I made some yogurt yesterday and it turned out great!  The more stuff I make, the less mysterious the whole thing becomes.    I think that once I unleash the DIO (my friend Ryan says “Do It Ourselves” – I like it) pah-wah, it opens me up to more DIO adventures.  I think there are skills we build when we do things ourselves that lend to doing more things ourselves and not being so intimidated.  Progress is being made the way that it always is – Someone says “is it really necessary to do this thing the way we’re doing it?”  And of course the answer is no and that smarty-pants finds a better, cheaper, more responsible way to do it.  And then someone else sits on her fat ass for 6 years and mulls it over, and eventually when enough other people in her life agree that it’s a big freaking deal and exert a little bit of peer-pressure-for-good,  she somewhat reluctantly makes a few little attempts.  I’m the latter, if that isn’t already abundantly clear from……….. you know………. my love for Little Caesar’s Hot and Readies.

I’m chasing Ida around and saying “I would prefer that you didn’t do that” a lot.  Particularly in response to her grabbing and yanking electrical cords, messing with Nathan’s gadgets and gizmos (or as he might say “super-expensive audio equipment” – whatever), and her endless thirst for knowledge that expresses itself in her ripping out pages from my books (my copy of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is now a particularly, um, disjointed narrative).  Also, she’s very intent on eating dog food.  “I worked so hard pureeing all of those fruits and vegetables, making yogurt with my loving goddamn hands and cutting organic grapes into 16 pieces and now you want to eat dog food?  Fine, be that way.  Tiny jerk. Want some Cheetos while we’re at it?  Perhaps some diet coke?”

I’m thinking about what to do when I grow up.  I heard that the CMU dance department is looking for someone and I’m really interested in that job (and maybe not so interested in living in central Michigan again…….), I’ve had some interviews for teaching positions here in Chicago, but nothing is the right fit – nothing is either enough money or few enough hours to make it work while I’m taking care of Ida (Nate will be in LA for the summer doing music stuff).  I feel a whole new sense of the importance of advocating for better childcare and work situations for parents.  I have no solutions to offer, but am here to tell you that it is, in fact, a serious issue and it’s crazy that we (you know, the people) haven’t really done anything about it.  I’m also thinking about becoming a certified Bradley Method childbirth educator.  I had such an incredible experience with The Bradley Method and I think it’s important information for birthing women and their communities to have access to.  I welcome suggestions of any kind (or offers to simply subsidise my life, i.e. sugar-person style).

I’m going to Michigan in July to teach some dance workshops, and I’m planning some other things (classes and performances/public art)while I’m in the area.  I want to make some things outside and in specific places that I have a connection to.  I’m excited about how easy it is to make things happen in such a small community (it’s hard to get anyone to give a shit though, so there is that……..).  I’m also really excited at the prospect of working with some dancers who I love very much and dearly miss.  Making dances in Chicago has not gone the way I imagined it would, and I’m looking forward to making some things in the place where I first fell in love with making things.

I’m trying to avoid excess packaging.  Plastic is forever!  I guess I never really thought about it, but that’s terrifying!  So, I’m trying to figure out ways to avoid plastic and packaging in general.  I think most of the plastic that I consume comes from the food that I buy, health and beauty (snort) products, and store-bought stuff in general (duh, right?).  So the main way that I have cleverly (and lazily) thought of to avoid plastic, is to avoid stores.  Not all stores, of course (though there are some hard-core, totally radical people who do this and I think they’re amazing and have more mystique in their little fingers than I ever will have, period).  I just mean large stores that sell commercially manufactured mega-stuff.  I’ve been doing this in a few different ways:

Food:  I buy food from either the farmer’s market (which is A+, unpackaged, local and sustainable/organic! and I can get there on my bike or by walking, but sometimes I drive, bringing the grade down….), Edgewater Produce (which is, maybe a C, because it’s neither local (i.e. my food is covered in oil) nor sustainable/organic, BUT it is unpackaged and EP is a local small business that I can walk or bike to) or Whole Foods/Trader Joes (which are maybe a B/C – mostly organic, not usually local (some stuff is), TJ’s is a packaging nightmare while WF is pretty good in that dept., but they’re both a car trip for me and they’re big businesses).  I’m also shopping the bulk foods section and bringing my own containers/bags.  I even made some very handy little produce bags (which was essentially like making a pillowcase with a little draw-string action at the top.  Supa-easy).

Health and Beauty (why thank you):  Luckily, even before I gave two shits about plastic, I was very into Lush products.  So nice!  As it happens, they are very minimally packaged.  Score!  As far as other things, I’ve just been trying to find ways around extra plastic bottles.  So, buying in bulk, returning bottles to stores that take ’em for reuse, and trying to find things that are refillable in the first place.  This is the newest wave, so I’m learning lots.  Tips welcome.

Other crap I buy:  I’m trying to get stuff I want in a second-hand fashion.  I cruise craigslist and frequent my neighborhood’s second-hand stores.  I keep a list of stuff I want or need at the back of my grocery list-maker-thing.  Then, I go to the thrift store (part entertainment, part practical adventure) and when I see things on my list, I snap them up!  Right now, I am on the lookout for a Pullman loaf pan, fabric cleverly disguised as sheets or tablecloths, some converse sneakers for myself, and onsies for Ida (who, holy crap, has burrowed herself under the rug as I type this.  I am cracking up over here).  I think the main thing I am learning is that I can wait for something.  If I need something, it is hardly every an EMERGENCY – I can wait a few weeks to find it at the Village Discount Outlet rather than hurrying off to Target to get it.  Also, this has the added benefit of helping me to realize whether or not I really want that thing or if it’s just going to be another piece of crap that I have to clean, move someplace, or otherwise take care of.  And, of course, sometimes I still go to Target.

I’ve been crafting (sewing in particular) up a storm, but I think these adventures merit their own post in the near future – so stay tuned for that if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

On the horizon:

I’m going to try to make some reusable freezer/fridge bags to replace ziplock bags (which I use a lot of).  I need to google this project and figure out how to do it.

Nate and I are taking Ida to Shedd Aquarium this friday – It’s free this week, Chicago friends.

Nate and I are taking Ida to a concert at Pritzker Pavillion this thursday evening (also free, Chicago friends, 6:30 – see you there!).  I’m going to bring some middle eastern food from The Middle Eastern Bakery down the street from where we live.

I’m going to attempt baguettes.  I don’t anticipate great results the first time around….

What are you up to these days?

Ida’s First Concert in the Park

5 Jun

I’ve been dreaming of this day since I found out I was pregnant (okay, well, maybe a week after I found out I was pregnant).

There is something about seeing loads of people drinking wine, listening to music and having a wonderful time in the park that restores my faith in humanity.

Ida's first concert in the park!

Nathan, Ida and our pal Yigit enjoying the first concert of the Music Without Boarders series.