Monday, September 27, 2010

Empty Chairs at Empty Tables

I want to be one of the students in Les Miserables (the musical, not the crappy movie or the epic but fabulous novel).  Specifically, I want to be one of the students from Act I, before the fighting and death and all that.  They sit around at a bar for infinite amounts of time, discussing politics and being idealistic, occasionally breaking into song. They evidently don't need to work, because they have nicer costumes than the rest of the cast, but they don't do anything besides drink and make plans for overthrowing the government.

I don't want to overthrow the government or anything violent, but sitting around making plans and drinking cheap wine sounds like a nice way to live life sometimes.  Plus, being a perpetual student is totally something I could live with.  

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Recycling Rant

When people come visit our house, they are really perplexed by the recycling bins.  It's not hard.  Like goes with like.  Paper goes in one bin.  Cardboard in another.  Plastic and aluminum in the one outside.  They don't recycle glass around here any more, so that has to either get washed out for a reuse or you throw it away.  Every time, I wind up having to pick through our bins, rearrange, and throw out non-recyclables.  One of the worst mistakes people make is putting used paper towels or paper plates (with the food still on them - gross!) in the paper bin.  Our recycling company won't take that stuff.

The reason that people have issues with this is THEY DON'T RECYCLE!!!!! It's 2010 and most of my area DOESN'T RECYCLE!!!!  We pay a private company, but it's only $20 a month.  Times are tough and all, whatever, but seriously! It's $20 a month.  

Family members who visit act like this is some cute hobby of mine, recycling.  They say things like "You're so good!" about our recycling.  We don't recycle to make ourselves feel good.  We recycle because it's the right thing to do.  Who wants more landfills?  Who wants more stuff just hanging around taking up space?  Why the hell not recycle?  Answer: Laziness and not giving a crap.  Boo on those people.  

And if you live in the NOLA area: Phoenix Recycling

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I think I have problems, but I don't.  Not really.  I get frustrated with my job, but I think I'd get frustrated if I had morphed into a stay at home mom after the birth of V.  I get frustrated about not having as much time to exercise or do yoga, but I am capable of making time at least a few days a week.  And seriously, those are my most pressing issues.  Other problems (The house is so so dirty! I'm so sleepy! Baby's bedtime routine cuts into possible fun evening nights out!)...  These are temporary and really not that big of a deal in the long run.

I'm really lucky actually.  I've got a beautiful family.  My husband and I fit together so well, and V is just a new extension of that amazing dynamic we have.  We don't have to stress about bills or affording good food.  We have no worries about the current mortgage crisis because we rent.  I might not have my neat little four pack abs anymore, but I'm back in the pre-pregnancy clothes and I'm pretty damn healthy, in my opinion.  

The hard times - when it seems like I really do have huge, enormous problems are at work, when it's a bad day (high school students really can be assholes sometimes), and I just think about my baby's face and I get that tightened throat feeling and the tears start to prick my eyes...  I remind myself that I CHOSE this, this working mom thing, because we did discuss it, the possibility of me staying home.  Before she was born, it seemed so logical - we like to live a certain way, and money helps with that.  Jumping back into the workforce after a few years would be hard.  There are only so many choral music positions available in our area, and I've got a pretty posh set up.  Now that I'm doing it, I miss my baby all day.  I never thought it would be so hard.

But then again, perspective.  I've had two students tell me what's going on their lives this week.  Deaths, family members who are alcoholics and addicts, and absent parents that have left them feeling abandoned...  I don't have it so bad.  My baby will be just fine in the arms of a loving daycare worker that she knows and trusts.  And I will be just fine too.  My little family will soldier on through the trials of babyhood and we will survive intact.  Just gotta keep everything in perspective.      

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Doing my part to end the great recession

I went to Whole Foods today and the impulse buying thing struck me.  Whole Foods is the best place for this, 'cuz you can wind up with wacko stuff like...

Yeah.  I'm like, coconut water is supposed to be all trendy right now.  I should see what it's all about... Oh look at that one, it has lime in it.  I bet it'll taste kind of like a pina colada, only juicier (??? - I swear that really was my thought process).  Fail for me.  It was like sugar with overpowering lime flavor and this vague wannabe coconut milk thing in the background.  Yucky.  At least the can was recyclable. 

Impulse buy of the day #2: 

 This looked very promising.  Especially the 70% cacao bit.  Love love love dark chocolate.  But then, as I unwrap it to indulge, I notice this: 

Vegan chocolate?  

Skeptical.  That is how I felt about vegan chocolate.  How do I feel now? After the bar is in my belly?  I like the combo of fig, fennel, almond, and super dark chocolate very very much.  But the texture was... not yummy melting in my mouth indulgent mouthgasm inducing creaminess.  It was just kind of crunchy.  And I prefer yummy melting in my mouth indulgent mouthgasm inducing creaminess when I eat chocolate.  

So I'd say the impulse buys this week were one fail and one ok-ish.  Gotta keep those impulse buys comin' though.  Otherwise, my money would stay in my pocket, and that won't help us out of this recession at all.     

Monday, September 13, 2010


It's month 8 of new parenthood.  That means like month 6 of breast pumping.

The inconspicuous pumpin' bag, disguised as super huge purse.   
Morning starts with the rush to get to work, because I always sleep late - a side effect of co-sleeping, I think.  Babies are so freaking snuggly.  Get to school and in the 15 minute window between morning duty and my first class of the day, I sit in the faculty restroom and pump.  I wonder if the kids notice that I disappear into the bathroom next to their lockers for an inordinate amount of time every single day.  They are in junior high, which means they are a bit spacey and self involved, but then again I kind of remember discussing and speculating about my teachers ad nauseum when I was that age.  I don't think they can hear the strange rhythmic pulsing sound coming from the bathroom...

Paper towels on the ground in an attempt to be sanitary.

I emerge, boobs noticeably diminished in size, and a try to be discreet, making small talk with the random faculty sitting in the faculty lounge, deposit the precious cargo in the faculty fridge, and rush to my classroom.  Repeat the process for lunch, although sometimes if there's more time I vary it up and head to the backstage of the school's theater, where I lean with my back to the non-locking door and hope no student randomly tries to come in.
Carpet rather than bathroom tile in the theater! Yay!

I love my baby, and I love breastfeeding.  For real.  It came easy for us, and it's this amazing bonding experience.  Plus, it is sooooooo much easier at night.  Even though the precious one still wakes me up multiple times every night, I just roll to her and give her the tit.  And back to sleep she goes.  Minimal fuss.

I really hate pumping, though.  It isolates me from my fellow faculty because I can't eat lunch with them.  It ensures that I am not available to tutor students before school, at lunch, or after school.  And it just plain sucks.  Breastfeeding is such a primal, earth mama thing, and pumping is mechanized and just feels wrong...  Plus, sitting on the bathroom floor is nasty.

So, when I'm sitting there pumping, I'm googling things about weaning on the iPhone and crossing my fingers that I won't have a kid who wants to breastfeed forever.  But when I'm home, the kid and I are linked by this desire to nurse and I know I'll probably cry the day she actually rejects the boob.  So many different emotions, so many different directions to be pulled as a new parent...